Tinklenberg won’t challenge Bachmann in ’08

May 7th, 2007 – 11:19 AM by Eric Black

ebmug.jpgElwyn Tinklenberg, former minister, mayor of Blaine and Minn. transportation commissioner, won’t seek the DFL nomination for the U.S. House in the Sixth District in 2008.

That seat is held by freshman Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. Tinklenberg sought the DFL endorsement in ’06, losing a close race to Patty Wetterling. Wetterling went on to lose the general election to Bachmann.

Tinklenberg had been mulling another bid, as the cliche has it. One school of DFL thought had held that Tinklenberg’s combination of a ministerial background, transporation expertise and an ability to portray himself as a moderate on social issues (although when you got right down to it, he had mostly the same positions as Wetterling on abortion and gay marriage) made Tinklenberg a good bet in the very socially conservative and transportation-focused district. John Wodele — who worked on Tinklenberg’s ’06 campaign and spoke to Tinklenberg about his plans — confirms the rumor of the non-bid.

Bob Hill, a Stillwater attorney, does plan to run as a DFLer against Bachmann.

120 Responses to "Tinklenberg won’t challenge Bachmann in ’08"

Brian G says:

May 7th, 2007 at 12:53 pm

Elwyn is out but it sounds like Mark Dayton is making a run for Gov!!!

How crazy is that?

bsimon says:

May 7th, 2007 at 1:52 pm

Former Sen Dayton ought to start a foundation to improve Minnesota and give up on being a politician. I suppose it depends on who runs against him for the DFL gov nomination, but I have a hard time seeing Dayton build a huge base of support.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 7th, 2007 at 3:24 pm

The enigma of the modern Sixth District–so close to Minneapolis/St. Paul, so far from God…where can a DFL candidate be found–a DFL candidate who can topple the nut, liar, and bigot placed by the national GOP in one of their only safe seats?

Justin C. Adams says:

May 7th, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Dayton is a curious Gov. Candidate.

DJ, Eric, we’re not losing you two to restructuring, are we?

Being that the Gov race is in 2010, I’m going to spare you all my analysis on that one for now.

Those of us in the 5th should probably just say thank you to the 6th for being so, well, gerrymandered and secure, though it probably is going to be rough for Mr. Hill Esq.

Cash N. Carey says:

May 7th, 2007 at 5:55 pm

bp – There you go again. Anyone who so frequently derides conservative Christians calling someone else a bigot?! Look in the mirror next time. One doesn’t need your hate speech.

God bless Michele!

Brian G says:

May 7th, 2007 at 7:30 pm

“The enigma of the modern Sixth District–so close to Minneapolis/St. Paul, so far from God…”

Right, I believe I saw the God of Mpls under the bridge down by Dunwoody.

lloydletta says:

May 7th, 2007 at 8:52 pm

Nut:
http://www.startribune.com/blogs/bigquestion/?p=554

Liar:
http://www.startribune.com/blogs/bigquestion/?p=651
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpwLcYUC7u0

Bigot:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN_k4btm6GE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGFwOgif83M
In one of these she suggested that gay marriage is comparable to polygamy and group marriage – and “things much worse”. In the other, she talked about gays being “after our children.”

Bill Prendergast says:

May 7th, 2007 at 9:39 pm

Ah, yes, CNC despises bigotry and hate speech, but asks God to bless Michele…

On the gay community and same-sex marriage: “This is a very serious matter, because it is our children who are the prize for this community, they are specifically targeting our children.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 20, 2004.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 7th, 2007 at 9:55 pm

This is a rumor, strictly a third hand hearsay rumor that I am trying to fact-check here:

Republican activist Andy Aplikowski reports on his blog that Michele Bachmann announced on the Hugh Hewitt show that Katherine Kersten’s column has been cut:

Aplikowski writes, May 7: “I also just heard Rep. Bachmann (MN6 R) on Hugh’s show and she said Kersten’s column has also been cut.

The Strib couldn’t find there objective arse with both hands, and they up and can 2 great center right perspective writers.”

The other “center right” writer that “has been canned”, according to Mr. Aplikowski, is named Lileks, or something.

Is that a fact, Mr. Black, Mr. Tice, about Kersten “being canned”? Also, did anyone else here hear Bachmann announce that on the radio?

Bill Prendergast says:

May 7th, 2007 at 10:07 pm

GAK! Just found it; last with the news, as always:

From today’s Editor and Publisher web page:

“NSNC Prez Criticizes ‘Star Tribune’ Attempt to Reassign Columnists

Five Star Tribune columnists were reportedly asked last week if they would volunteer to join the newspaper’s shrinking reporter ranks — and at least one has apparently been ordered to do so. “(T)hey’ve killed my column, and assigned me to write straight local news stories,” James Lileks wrote in his blog…

…And he told readers: “Would it matter if you contacted the paper? It very well might. … If I can get my column back and/or a nice big online gig, that would be a satisfactory conclusion.”

The other Star Tribune columnists asked if they wanted to volunteer to become reporters are metro columnists Nick Coleman, Doug Grow, Cheryl “CJ” Johnson, and Katherine Kersten, according to the Web site of The Rake magazine in Minneapolis.

Lileks and Star Tribune editors could not be immediately reached for comment this morning by E&P.”

NICK COLEMAN? The guy’s a three hundred year old liberal, and they’re asking him to do shoe leather reporting? What’s he gonna do, the police beat or something?

Black and Tice’s names are noticeably absent from the list. (Whew!)

Lileks says he was “ordered” to go back to reporting, but apparently he’s trying to organize his own “grassroots” campaign to save his column. The other columnists were apparently “requested.”

What kind of a slaughterhouse are you operating over there at the Strib, boys?

Bill Prendergast says:

May 7th, 2007 at 10:13 pm

This just in:

Kersten’s new duties apparently involve doing the Daily “Jumble” on the comics page. Her first effort:

“The real threat to Minnesota comes from Muslim cab drivers at the airport who refuse take you anywhere if you got a bottle of this in your luggage:

“INWE”

PhoenixWoman says:

May 7th, 2007 at 10:47 pm

Poor Elwyn Tinklenberg. With a name like that, there’s no way in God’s green earth he could win statewide office. But that’s OK: The Sixth CD probably isn’t long for this world, anyway. It’s the CD most likely to get zapped should Minnesota wind losing a seat once the results of the last census are digested.

As for Lileks: He should be grateful he’s been offered a gig. Lots of his fellow Stribbies haven’t been. But that still won’t stop him from whining about it in finest right-wing Entitlement Boy fashion. (I’d love to see him going hat in hand to the Newspaper Guild, the folks he’s spent half his Newhouse ink mocking; that should be especially rich as Newhouse is no longer printing his stuff, so I hear.)

My favorite is hearing that Hugh Hewitt’s trying to sic his fan base, all eight of them, onto the Strib on Lileks’ behalf. Hey, Hewitt, you told all your fans to stop reading the Strib ages ago! You got no leverage, boyo.

6th district Jim says:

May 7th, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Again, proof that the Strib market value continues to plummet towards zero.
Again, a business that has, for years, gleefully insulted half of its potential customer base is finally getting
its comeuppance. Gosh, maybe one shouldn’t alienate so many of its customers (especially the better educated, higher income group).
A sampling:
“The paper gave an involuntary buyout to Rob Daves, director of the Minnesota Poll and the part-time manager of the newspaper’s community website. The newspaper also expects to reduce its editorial staff by five staffers to seven”

What? The MN Poll? Skip, Mondale, and Hatch didn’t win?
The editors? No more 10,001 ways to whine about Iraq or global warming?

Me thinks the swagger is gone from the old Trib.
KA-BOOM : the economic hammer has fallen.
The thread? Michelle is stronger than ever and cruises in 2008. The new Strib might even endorse her.

Les says:

May 8th, 2007 at 8:53 am

What a surprise, after being personally assured by Patty that she wouldn’t run in the 6th in 2006, Tinklenberg decides this time he isnt going to run on the DFL ticket.

I wonder why? Must be that “truth” plank in the DFL platform eh..

FRESCHFISCH says:

May 8th, 2007 at 8:54 am

Bachman is not it my district but I hope she continues to win because it torments so many of the hard core left, including the Star Tribune.

Justin C. Adams says:

May 8th, 2007 at 12:11 pm

She certainly does, though I’m sure Mr. Prendergast will explain for you shortly how your attack on the Strib isn’t well founded based on their failure to report on her, how should one say nicely, wackyness, prior to the election.

God himself could run for the seat and would lose as a DFL candidate in the 6th.

I don’t see why the 6th is particularly more likely to be eliminated than any other district, particularly 1,2 or 7. The east metro has done better, population wise, then most of the rest of the state – the only good reason is that it can be folded into three other districts (3,4,5) more contiguously than any other district in the state.

But I don’t think the powers that be – either the DFL or GOP at the state house, would want to redistrict 6 out of existance. If the DFL is in charge, it would put 4 and 5 into play to fold all of the social conservatives into those districts whereas now they’re pretty safe for the DFL. I’m certain Ramstad doesn’t want the northwestern portion of the 6th in his district either – being a good moderate like he is.

Similarly, with the GOP having a lock on only two districts, or maybe 3 (2 and 6, with a strong GOP tendency in 7), I don’t see why they’d take give a solid district (6) in exchange for a more competitive 4&5. Bird in the hand and all that.

Justin C. Adams says:

May 8th, 2007 at 12:13 pm

I think if the DFL is in control, they’ll try to fold 7 into 8 to maximize duluth’s influence. If the GOP is in control, they’ll try to fold 1 into 2 to undermine Rochester’s influence and make Walz an instant statewide candidate (for another job).

Justin C. Adams says:

May 8th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Or, just maybe, the DFL would take 1&2 and put them together, figuring that Oberstar will retire, causing an unstable situation for a potential district 7-8, figuring that Walz will be a stong candidate throughout the next decade, banking on a personality to keep a potential district 1-2 in DFL hands.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 8th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

It’s a terrible thing, gerrymandering. Look at Justin, trying to do the sudoku of redistricting, from the point of view of the parties. There is sense in what he points out–politicians play the game, trying either to contain “the opponent virus” into one district or “weaken the opponent virus” by cutting it into smaller bits in more districts. Judges can help or hinder the process…

And what if you are a minority voter (dem, gop, whatever) in one of those “safe seat” districts? Well, in my case, it means you end up with a nut for a Congresswoman, if that’s what the GOP wants to run.

Les says:

May 8th, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Trust me Bill, your not alone in feeling disenfranchised.

Nothing you can do but keep on voting.

Jay says:

May 8th, 2007 at 3:30 pm

“Nothing you can do but keep on voting.”

I suggest looking a little further down the ballot than simply DFL vs GOP, if you truely want to make your disenfranchised voice heard. If too many people start to vote 3rd party, both major parties will need to start endorsing more moderate candidates…..or if they don’t, a solid 3rd party candidate has a shot (assuming voters finally grow a spine).

mark says:

May 8th, 2007 at 4:41 pm

“if they don’t, a solid 3rd party candidate has a shot (assuming voters finally grow a spine). ”

Voters have always had a spine, and that is why there are two major parties. The fact is that the two major parties represent the major breakdown of interests of the American Electorate and that this has been the case since the inception of political parties in United States politics.

American politics is ruled by interest, and not idealogies and policies. The same basic divide still separates these two major interest groups as it did in 1796. One party, the Hamiltonians represented the division of the American electorate whose interests favored expanding the economic marketplace.

The other pary, the Jeffersonians, represented the division of the American electorate whose interests did not coincide with the economic marketplace.

If you look at the policy options that each of these groups proposed originally you will notice that each of their platforms have changed 180 degrees since then, but they still represent the same interests.

For example, the Hamiltonians who formed the Federalists, Whig, and then Republican parties originally favored protectionism until the 1940′s when they switchted to advocating free trade. The Jeffersonians, who formed the Democratic Party wanted free trade and low tarriffs until about the same time and then switched to advocating protectionism.

Another point, parties exist to win elections. That is their only purpose for existence. The problem with the historical trend of 3rd party efforts has been that instead of representing INTERESTS, like the major parties, they represent ISSUES. Third party issues have centered around anti-masonic, anti-immigrant, anti-alchohol, and anti-slavery positions.

But because these party organizations could never win elections their reason for existence ceased, and their parties have become moribund.

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 4:43 pm

E. Black,

I am shocked that you were able to write about MB and didn’t use your favorite source, dumpbachmann! :) What is more amazing is that you weren’t overtly negative, in your post, towards the congresswoman? Are you feeling ok? In the past, every time you write about MB it seems as though you have to degrade her? I think the readership is taken aback at your loss of vitriol? Come now, your not doing this as a favorable gesture for Lileks being shown the door?

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Elwyn is pretty much saying the same thing that everyone else with political knowledge has been saying…..Bachmann a lock for 08!!! :)

On the other hand, Coleman will have his work cut out for him as he battles Franken/Star Tribune! Right E. Black :)

lloydletta says:

May 8th, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Gipper, Bachmann the bigot, isn’t in the tradition of the Gipper. Recall that Ronald Reagan publicly opposed prop 6 in California in 1976 (an initiative to ban gay teachers). Ronald Reagan had a positive, and optimistic can do message that united the country – not the narrow minded, bigoted and theocratic message of Michele Bachmann.

When I gave Black the tip about the statement she made to Larry Schumacher, he didn’t just parrot what I had said about the matter. Instead, he investigated the statement, and put some context in his reporting of it. He contacted Bachmann’s office for comment (and despite Jason Lewis’s and Michele Bachmann’s claims to the contrary – gave her plenty of time to respond.) That’s what a reporter should do. There are way too many reporters who just take press releases, and regurgitate the press releases.

Bachmann was just on the Hugh Hewitt show yesterday claiming that Katherine Kersten’s column has been cancelled. She was also whining about the coverage she gets in the strib.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 8th, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Mark wrote:

Another point, parties exist to win elections. That is their only purpose for existence.

Nnnnope. That’s wrong. There are other reasons to form political parties, good reasons, besides winning elections.

Teddy Roosevelt agreed to join the Progressive Party–not necessarily to win, but to split the GOP and spoil the chances of the conservative wing of the party to retain the White House. TR could count–he knew if he could shave the GOP vote, the dem Woodrow Wilson would win. So in effect, TR, Republican icon to this day–put Wilson in office instead of a conservative Republican.

So there is one reason that a political party can exist, that does not involve winning elections or office. They can act as effective spoilers and splitters, convincing the unwary and naive to bolt one of the “regular” parties–thereby throwing the election to one of the other candidates. Happens all the time.

Brian G says:

May 8th, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Justin says, “God himself could run for the seat and would lose as a DFL candidate in the 6th.”

No I think God would win. People in the 6th do believe in God and if He were indeed to test us up here by running as a dem, he would win.
Can’t say the same about the 5th however.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 8th, 2007 at 6:08 pm

God would win in the 6th as a DFL candidate, but there would still be a lot of mudslinging.

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 6:42 pm

E. Black,

So do you feel good about yourself being defended by the leader of Dumpbachmann? :) Why is it that conservative individuals aren’t defending you? Kinda shows where your political leanings are:) Of course I don’t think too many had to try real hard in guessing about your bias towards our esteemed congresswoman (ie your whining that MB doesn’t clamor to your beckoning)! :)

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Eva,

Michele Bachmann is about the closest thing this state has to Ronald Reagan, other than the old man himself! Bachmann has never proposed that gays be banned from teaching positions. And to assert as much is slander! What can be said is that she does believe that MN voters should be given the chance to define for themselves how they want marriage interpreted! A far cry from what you are trying to purport as truth!

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 6:57 pm

“MN voters should be given the chance to define for themselves how they want marriage interpreted”

So what’s stopping you? Why should you or Bachmann or anybody else define for the rest of us how marriage should be interpreted?

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 6:57 pm

I am always miffed at how anyone who dares to suggest that people should be able to vote on the definition of marriage is now somehow a bigot! According to some on the left, the majority of Minnesotans are bigots! :( Whatever happened to the left being tolerant of debate? And what better way to measure a debate than to gauge the pulse of the people by taking a vote on the matter? As far as I’m concerned, I’ll take being called a bigot if it means that I don’t have to check my values at the door in order to fit in with the opinions of a select few. :)

Long live James Lileks!

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:03 pm

Dora,

How can we have constructive debate if any time we advocate for a traditional marriage posiion, your side resorts to calling us Bigots? I thought we all graduated the 4th grade? :)

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:05 pm

I didn’t call you a bigot. And you didn’t answer my question. Why should you or Bachmann or anybody else define for the rest of us how marriage should be interpreted?

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:06 pm

These are the same people who claim to know that Michele Bachmann isn’t a “true Christian”. And claim that her husband is a homosexual for cheap political theater. Or as Eric Black would refer to them, “as my most trusted sources”. :) :) :)

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:09 pm

You still didn’t answer my question.

And didn’t Reagan advocate for less government intrusion into people’s lives? And here you are advocating for something in direct conflict with what he stood for.

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Dora,

For the same reason that society has made laws on it’s basis of morality ever since our inception. Of course our morals and values have changed. And if society gets to a point where we do want gay marriage then that is a value that America will adopt and I will live under. The point is that we have been legislating morality and values for centuries (ie prostitution, polygamy, pedophilia, etc..). I am not saying that these are directly analagous to homosexuality but they all share the characteristic of falling under the guise of moral precepts. And accordingly, society has a right to define what type of a culture it should live in. Good or Bad!

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:16 pm

Dora,

I can’t type as fast as you :( I need more time to respond:) Your confusing Reagan with Libertarianism. Reagan advocated Conservatism! He believed in leeting children in public schools have the option to exercise voluntary school prayer, he was an advocate of the Pro-life movement and opposed Roe, he and his wife were interested in lessening the flow of illegal drugs into the US. All of these are things that set guidelines for society to live by–Conservatism, not libertarianism!

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:17 pm

“The point is that we have been legislating morality and values for centuries”

MN already has a law banning same sex marriage. So then what exactly are you complaining about?

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Bull. I’m old enough to remember from living through it. Conservatism used to mean keeping government “off our backs”.

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:22 pm

B/c five UN-ELECTED judges could POTENTIALLY thwart the will of the people. Why should five members of the judicial system be given precedent, in regards to their moral compass, over millions (possibly) of Minnesotans? I am not frightened by what my fellow Minnesotands will decide in terms of the definition of Marriage. Why are you so afraid?

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:28 pm

Dora,

We both have something in common–I too am old! :) :) Again, if you don’t believe me on Reagan-then go back and see what his positions actually were on the already mentioned. Conservatism encompasses “getting the govt. off of our backs” but classical Reagan conservatism included having moral boundaries as well.

I should have you know that I am not a believer of the current Bush Republican Party! From the war in Iraq to spending and govt. corruption, I find myself at odds with many of the things the GOP has traded itself in for. In fact I think the gipper would be wondering whatever happened to his Grand Old Party!

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:31 pm

It isn’t me that sees bogeymen around the corner if two Minnesotans of the same sex get married. I’m not afraid that will harm my marriage or my children’s marriages. But that’s the argument that I hear as to why they shouldn’t get married. Why are you so afraid?

Bill Prendergast says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Gipper, you’re Paul, aren’t you? The smiley faces, the exclamation points… Welcome aboard, anyway…

Sometimes the unelected judges should thwart the will of the majority. That can be a good thing, as well as a bad thing. Because the judges are unelected, they can thwart the will of the majority when it violates the rights of a numerical minority. That is one of court’s *legitimate* functions, to protect the rights of a minority against the tyranny of a majority.

Classic example is “Brown v. the Board of Education” and the string of cases that led to that decision. There was no majoritarian “groundswell” in favor of desegregated public schools. So the USSC went out on a limb and recognized a constitutional right in a minority, one that had never been recognized before. Most people now believe it was correctly decided–*even though it went against the will of the majority.*

At the time, though, it set off a lot of howling, particularly among conservatives. “Impeach Earl Warren”, that kind of thing.

Sometimes the Court has to go out on a limb to protect a minority from being victimized by the majority. Sometimes the minority is gays, sometimes it’s blacks, sometimes it’s property owners or local taxpayers.

But there is always a solution, if the public really feels that a Court decision is wrong. They can vote for people who will legislate to amend the Constitution–to overturn the Court’s decision. It’s very hard to do, but if you don’t have enough votes to do that, then the popular majoritarian tide isn’t really with you, is it?

I know it’s sometimes fashionable for conservatives to deplore the elitist “power” of the courts–but when you come right down to it, they really aren’t all that powerful–because if the other two branches of government refuse to enforce their decision (because it’s against the will of the majority)–what can the court do about it? And as Mr. Dooley once said: “The Supreme Court follows the election returns.”

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:38 pm

“classical Reagan conservatism included having moral boundaries as well.”

And who doesn’t believe in having moral boundaries? It’s a fools errand to try to legislate morality. If passing a law would make people more moral then there would be no crime. And the fact that those Republican Congress people who claim the mantel of morality don’t live by the morals they push on others shows how foolish it is.

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:45 pm

Dora,

I can’t speak for the majority of MN’s who oppose Gay Marriage, but I can say that I am not in favor of Gay marriage for the same reason that I do not think we should legalize polygamy or an adult being able to marry a minor. Simply b/c people love each other does not entitle them to certain benefits (ie marriage). For example, if my teenage daughter wants to marry a 30 yr old man she shouldn’t be allowed too. It simply isn’t right. I think society would back up that opinion. The reason is that it goes against my moral beliefs. Now, you and others may have a different opinion. That’s fine. But we (society) should be entitled to vote on whether we want to open that particular relationship to marriage. Again, why are you afraid to let Minnesotans vote on morality? I am fine with their deciding what our state’s set of morality pertaining to marriage should be, why aren’t you ok with your neighbors having a say?

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Bill,

My name is Paul. Hopefully you don’t publicly display the make and model of the vehicle I drive like your website (dumpbachmann) did to Michele Bachmann! :( It’s kind of stalkerish!

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:52 pm

Dora,

I’ve enjoyed the discussion. However I have to get going :( You made some great points! :) I appreciate the discussion. Take care.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:53 pm

I guess I shouldn’t have done that–sorry, but your writing style is kind of like a signature. Didn’t want to pretend you were someone else, since we’ve written to each other before. I don’t know your last name, wouldn’t reveal if I did–and I always try to read what you write–even if I disagree with it.

Won’t do it again, Gipper.

The Gipper says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

Bill,

I see your point. However, in the MB scenario of letting Minnesotans vote on the definition of marriage-we in effect are saying that we feel you will impose your morality on us.

I think we could go round and round but I must get going. I’m sure we’ll talk later. Hopefully the New Orleans trip went well! :) If you get a chance give me an update at DB sometime. I served down there after Katrina through the Red Cross. Just interested in the progress.

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 7:59 pm

My neighbors do have a say. In their own marriage. And that’s how it should be. They should not have a say in mine. Or anybody elses.

“I am not in favor of Gay marriage for the same reason that I do not think we should legalize polygamy or an adult being able to marry a minor.”

So then you weren’t sincere when you said this earlier: “The point is that we have been legislating morality and values for centuries (ie prostitution, polygamy, pedophilia, etc..). I am not saying that these are directly analagous to homosexuality”

You are saying they are analogous. And since there is already a law banning gay marriage there is no further need to “vote” on it. In fact, even though polls show that Minnesotans oppose legalizing gay marriage they also show that they oppose a constitutional amendment against it and support civil unions.

Dora says:

May 8th, 2007 at 8:05 pm

Okay Bill, I see what you meant by the smiley faces the other day. [smiley omitted]

Bill Prendergast says:

May 8th, 2007 at 9:13 pm

You and everyone else in the world can put up as many g0ddam smiley faces as you want, if it makes you happy. The Gipper uses them like commas, it’s his style–that’s how I spotted him.

He’s gonna be here spouting the conservative line and making some good old school points, so we had all better get used to it.

mark says:

May 8th, 2007 at 10:43 pm

“Nnnnope. That’s wrong. There are other reasons to form political parties, good reasons, besides winning elections.

Teddy Roosevelt agreed to join the Progressive Party–not necessarily to win, but to split the GOP and spoil the chances of the conservative wing of the party to retain the White House. TR could count–he knew if he could shave the GOP vote, the dem Woodrow Wilson would win. So in effect, TR, Republican icon to this day–put Wilson in office instead of a conservative Republican.”

This is the stupidest example that you could have picked. THe “Progressive” party existed for ONE election cycle, 1912. It was not a party, it was Teddy Roosevelt. THis “party” did not field a candidate in 1908 or 1916 on.

Political parties exist to win elections. Even the Socialist and Communist parties exist in this country to win elections even if they fail, and know they are going to fail, in every election cycle.

mark says:

May 8th, 2007 at 10:56 pm

State governments have excercized their Police Powers since the creation of the United States. Saying that opposing homosexual marriage is imposing morality is meaningless. The State, through the police powers, has this power and has utilized this power.

The state legislating the constraint that married couples must be of a different gender is no different than the state imposing a constraint that a marriage must consist of two people.

bob the ice climber says:

May 9th, 2007 at 12:00 am

oh lordy,,what has our society become,,the majority of anti gay,,save the babies rightwingers,,have no clue who there own state representive is,,they vote for who ever there religous leader of the day tells them to vote for,,if they arent worried about gay couples,,then they are worried about who is going to be next on american idol,,,If you dont believe ask them yourself

Les says:

May 9th, 2007 at 7:54 am

Using Dora’s logic, we need to repeal the laws against all controlled substances. After all, it’s your body, you should be able to put anything you want into it. And, ’cause it’s now legal, subject to market forces and local production, crime by drug users shoudn’t be a problem. Heck, let’s do it. What’s wrong with a few kids running down the path to legal stonesville instead of say, studying computer science.

“Why are you afraid of gay marriage.” Everyone ask why one is afraid of it. Well, it isnt fear, it’s principle, and many of us feel that “normalizing” gay lifestyle is not the legacy we want to leave, and it’s not what we want to teach our children.

As for the “born that way” crowd, So are psychopaths, so do you support thier right to run around society commiting murder and mayhem?

And finally, should the left prevail in this social disgrace, How much is the marriage license surcharge for medical impact going to be?

Jay. Good point on the third parties. And one I taken to heart. Hutchinson got my vote for govenor last election.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 9:06 am

All red herrings Les, same arguments that were used against inter-racial and inter-religious marriages. Nobody is stopping you from teaching your children anything you want.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 9:08 am

hmmm, 2 days with no new BQ. I wonder if EB is considering taking the buy-out offer?

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 9:39 am

I imagine the newsroom is a bit hectic these days, with little time for side projects.

Les says:

May 9th, 2007 at 9:52 am

No Dora, not red herrings, just a position you happen to very much disagree with. You infer racial and religious differences are analogous to unnatural sex acts. Interesting.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:00 am

No Les, I’m not inferring anything just pointing out you are using the same arguments that were used to stop “normalizing” other marriages people wanted to prevent.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:02 am

“Nnnnope. That’s wrong. There are other reasons to form political parties, good reasons, besides winning elections.

Teddy Roosevelt agreed to join the Progressive Party–not necessarily to win, but to split the GOP and spoil the chances of the conservative wing of the party to retain the White House. TR could count–he knew if he could shave the GOP vote, the dem Woodrow Wilson would win. So in effect, TR, Republican icon to this day–put Wilson in office instead of a conservative Republican.”

This is the stupidest example that you could have picked. THe “Progressive” party existed for ONE election cycle, 1912. It was not a party, it was Teddy Roosevelt. THis “party” did not field a candidate in 1908 or 1916 on.

Further, the example that Bill P points out indicates that the entire purpose of the Bull Moose Party was to WIN an election, either for Roosevelt directly which was a real possiblity and what the true purpose was or to let teh Democrat win.

Political parties exist to win elections. Even the ***ialist and ***munist parties exist in this country to win elections even if they fail, and know they are going to fail, in every election cycle.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:20 am

“Political parties exist to win elections”

Of course, as we’ve seen the last two elections, the modern day Republican Party is only concerned about winning elections and turning the federal government into an arm of the party machine. Governance? Public policy? Bah! Who needs it? That’s for the reality based community and all “loyal Bushies” make their own reality.

Justin C. Adams says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:39 am

Well, I’m for extending co-equal civil protections to heterosexual and homosexual couples. I’m also for liberalizing drug laws, though not for every drug.

In my view, which I’ve cribbed from ‘On Liberty’ by JS Mill, government should intervene to reduce my liberty only in so far as the exercise of it violates other people’s rights.

I am willing to accept some pretty broad arguments, such as increased healthcare costs bourne by everyone, as justification for these encroachments on my liberty.

But in so far as the argument against civil unions is based on offending moral sentiments, and not on some material affront to another citizens’ rights, I am unmoved.

Which is why people on the left are always asking ‘what are you afriad of’.

If you were afraid that allowing two men or two women to enjoy (particuarly) the tax benefits and (less particularly) other privileges afforded to married heterosexual couples would in some way infringe on your rights, we would have a debate that seemed sensible.

But in so far as certain civil rights and privileges are dependent on the issue of a marriage license, and in so far as certain individuals are denied access to these marriage licenses while others aren’t, basically on the basis of gender, I find it an offense against the 14th amendment guarantee to equal protection Granted, I like to interpret that amendment more broadly than the USSC does.

To me, it turns on a question of individual rights. Couples have no rights under the constitution. But each of the two individuals interested in acquiring a marriage license have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender, or at least I think so.

This is substantially different from pedophilia or polygamy in a number of ways. In the first case, a minor is not considered to have the rationality required to consent to sex or to participate in civil society, and as such, the state has a particular burden in protecting the minor until such time that they acquire this rationality (18 for voting and military service, 21 for drinking). I doubt that even a liberatarian would argue that this is an illegitimate ban on individual behavour.

In the case of polygamy, the operative difference is the maximum number of people to whom civil privileges are extended under federal law. Some polygamists might raise a 1st amendment religious persecution argument against the polygamy ban, but equal protection doesn’t seem to apply as there are no 3 person unions which receive separate and disequal benefits in relation to other three person unions under federal law.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:40 am

“Governance? Public policy? Bah! Who needs it?”

Then you really do not understand politics then. Governance is NOT done by political parties. It is done by individuals. The Republican and Democratic Party organizations have nothing to do with governance. The political parties organize the elections. THey do this because they want to win elections. Once the elections are over, the party organizations procede to try to win the NEXT election.

Further, your comments are nothing but partisan diatribe about policies that you disagree with. If George Bush was a Democrat and conducted the exact same policies (a very real possibility given the expanded spending) you and the media would be singing his praises.

WHAT A MIRACLE 4.4% unemployment is. DO you see all of the job growth. Considering that he inherited an economy coming out of recession and faced the 9/11 shock it is a beyond a miracle.

Instead, we hear nothing but false stories about “inequality” and “security”.

The Bush record is a very solid record of presidential achievement. Beyond solid econimic performance. Afghanastan was a singular success. And Iraq will be, even though it overshadows everything else at the moment.

Further, REAL events have demonstrated that the claims that George Bush has ruined America’s standing in the world are just ridiculous claims as well. In middle Europe candidates that are advocating closer ties to the US, like Merckel (ANgie, Angie, Angie) and Nicolas Sarkozy reveal that any such claims are bunk.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:44 am

“Governance is NOT done by political parties. It is done by individuals.”

…who belong to political parties.

Royinoslo says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:45 am

As long as the newspaper’s buyout has been brought up here’s a suggestion for the PTB. Dump Kersten based on her fixation with Muslims and gays, her poor logic and persuasive powers. Replace her with Lileks, who seems to be laughably the cause celebre of the RW bloggers (most of whom are probably unaware of the lack of politics in the Daily Quack). That will spare readers further self-absorbed tedium of Lileks. He’s likely a better read if he’s talkin’ politics.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:46 am

Justin,

I essentially agree with your position on civil unions. There is absolutely no valid reason for the state to not honor such a contract. However, I do see some problems of requiring private parties to recognize such a contract.

Howver, the reasons why polygomy and pediophilia are brought up is that in the end these types of contracts are prohibited soley on a moral basis.

The argument is that is one type of marriage contract can be prohibited based upon The People’s moral understanding, then all types of contracts may also be.

Further, the equal protection clause is not as strong here because ALL people are prohibited from doing this activity. All men cannot marry another male. Personally I do not think this is a strong argument, but the police powers of the state clearly encompass morality.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:48 am

“…who belong to political parties”

That is unimportant. An individual is free to vote their own conscience once they are elected to office. Their party affiliation is left at the door and the Constitution does not recognize parties.

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:56 am

Mark is making me laugh with comments like this
“The Bush record is a very solid record of presidential achievement. Beyond solid econimic performance. Afghanastan was a singular success.”

Solid economic performance: the greatest gap between the rich & poor since 1929, which we all remember as a year to which everone wants to return, economically. Afghanistan, where the Taliban keeps popping up like mushrooms after a rain. What a joke. The Bush record is one of failure, failure to protect the homeland, failure to hold the attackers accountable, failure to improve our position in the world, failure to promote our ideals in the world. Perhaps when the President retires to his ranch, he can successfully catch big perch in his stocked pond. He could setup a barrel for Cheney.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 10:56 am

“Their party affiliation is left at the door”

Now that is a real knee slapper. That you expect anybody to take that as a serious comment is hilarious.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 11:07 am

“Now that is a real knee slapper. That you expect anybody to take that as a serious comment is hilarious. ”

It is meaningless when they vote. When the roll call is taken they don’t say “Democrat-Minnesota” they say “Klochubar”. Likewise for Norm Coleman.

counter-coulter says:

May 9th, 2007 at 11:26 am

mark says:
[who belongs to what party] is unimportant.

So you’re really attempting to tell us that party affiliation plays no role in the votes of the members of congress? That those that run on a Republican or Democrtic platform serve no masters and carry no debt to those that put them there?

So there’s no such thing as majority or minority whips or leaders? No such thing as a “party line” vote? No “aisle” exists within the halls of congress?

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 11:39 am

“So you’re really attempting to tell us that party affiliation plays no role in the votes of the members of congress?”

Parties are groups of individuals with common interests that organize a group to win election victories. The candidates are “affiliated” (notice the word that you also use) with a party when they are elected. They were chosen as candidates for election by the parties because their policy choices that they advocate best represent the interests of the INDIVIDUALS of the party.

“So there’s no such thing as majority or minority whips or leaders?”

A causcus is not the same as a party. HOwever, the interest breakdowns between the major parties and major causcus makes them virtually identical in membership. This in its part is a function of the two interest dominance of the American electorate, which really does not propel many third party candidates into office that would muddy such even splits in the caucus. If you want to see how this has worked in the past, check out the Speaker of the House election in 1851, when the Whig party was collapsing and other contentind parties trying to replace it (like the Know Nothings and other such parties).

“No such thing as a “party line” vote?”

There may be some votes in the course of a legislative session that happen to fall on “party” lines. However, this is just a descriptive term for such a vote. It has no meaning in law.

“No “aisle” exists within the halls of congress? ”

The aisle is another metaphor and simply an organizational device. THere is no fundamental reason why the house assigns desks and offices,

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 11:41 am

“Solid economic performance: the greatest gap between the rich & poor since 1929, which we all remember as a year to which everone wants to return, economically. Afghanistan, where the Taliban keeps popping up like mushrooms after a rain”

All nothing but rhetoric that does not match the facts.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 11:48 am

“when the Whig party was collapsing and other contentind parties trying to replace ”

And, why did the Whig party collapse, anyone, anyone, anyone?

The Whig Party collapsed because it as an organization could not win elections anymore. The same was true for the defunct Federalist Party.

When these organizations could no longer fulfull their one and only mission, winning elections, they quickly ceased to exist anymore.

In the Whigs case, they were replaced by the Republican party that then went on to win elections that the Whig Party could not.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

“There may be some votes in the course of a legislative session that happen to fall on “party” lines”

Stop, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. People at work want to know what joke I’m reading. You’ve jumped the shark mark!

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Mark writes
“All nothing but rhetoric that does not match the facts.”

But I think he was respoding to his own post:
“The Bush record is a very solid record of presidential achievement. Beyond solid econimic performance. Afghanastan was a singular success.”

Bill Prendergast says:

May 9th, 2007 at 1:25 pm

bsimon and Dora–

Don’t you guys know that what Mark has been doing here since before the last election is an especially brilliant, subtle form of satire?

Look at his posts–valuable facts and historical perspectives mixed with pointless pettifogging, logic-chopping, straw man argument, idiosyncratic definitions of words in ordinary use–it’s BRILLIANT, but you guys are responding to it as if it were in earnest. You’re letting down the critical thinking side.

I have to read Mark the way the way that I read James Joyce–for meaning, for significance, which is often communicated by the tone than the words. Try reading a passage of Mark out loud, as Joyce advised his readers to do. You will be astonished by the effect he has created.

Having said that–there are sometimes valuable perspectives on MN politics in his posts, though this is beclouded by his satiric subtleties.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 2:42 pm

Bill, one can only hope that’s what he’s doing. Hard to fathom he really believes the drivel he posts.

Frankly says:

May 9th, 2007 at 2:44 pm

bsimon:
Real wages down for 5 sraight years, healthcare cost through the roof, we are adding troops in Afghanastan and Iraq, he destroyed the goodwill we had with the rest of the world after 9/11, our national deficit and debt are at all time highs, etc, etc.

Now that is a solid record.

Bill Prendergast says:

May 9th, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Dora–

Mark does give you and b and others a chance to kick ass when he posts stuff like that–which you do, regularly, and thank you. So I assume Mark understands the consequences of posting that kind of stuff here, where he will be called out on it.

Mark has a lot of valuable observations to offer (especially about the dynamics of the state GOP.) I will continue to read him for all he’s worth.

parthian says:

May 9th, 2007 at 3:21 pm

Mark is either a sophist constructing false arguments that he doesn’t believe, or he is actually delusional. I lean toward the latter.

His performance today is a farrago of motor mouth nonsense, with huge helpings of appalling arrogance, making the resulting concoction even more unpalatable.

And even if you are yourself being satirical, Bill, Mark doesn’t have the imagination to be satirical, so you’re way off the “mark”, so to speak.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Really, at least I discuss facts rather than drivel that is nothing but talking points.

For example, lets take a loog at what “Frankly” states:

1. Real wages down for 5 straight years.

Absolutely false and if you actually looked at the data you would agree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes series of data that real hourly earnings over the Bush presidency have been:

2001: 8.12
2002: 8.25
2003: 8.28
2004: 8.24
2005: 8.18
2006: 8.24

Not the best wage performance, but indivcative of coming out of a recession and increasing employment. Further, 2007 shows substantial gains in real wages.

2. “Adding troops to Afghanastan and Iraq”

I find it curious that the claims of adding troops to Afghanastan is suddenly a topic and is just another of the lefts changing the topic on this issue. A legitimate claim about the Iraq war could have been that it did divert resources from Afghanastan, but in fact it has not. One poster (I believe bSimon) posted a link discussing the largest EVER NATO offensive in Afghanastan. Clearly this belies the claim that Iraq is draining resources from Afghanstan.

As far as troop levels, it is disingenuous that the left has now found that this to be a problem, after preaching for months that there are not enough troops in country.

3. “he destroyed the goodwill we had with the rest of the world after 9/11″

Another laugher that is preached from the left. What we are seeing in actual fact is the opposite effect. European govenremnts have voted in leaders that are much more pro-US and rejected their opponent’s anti-US stances.

4. “our national deficit and debt are at all time highs,”

Like I have stated, anyone who talks in nominal numbers or seasonally unadjusted numbers is trying to fool you. They are using numbers that sound good but really do not make the claims that the think they are making. Anyone who is even “nominally” aware of the actual information will put these claims to rest.

For example, our national deficit is NOT at even a NOMINAL historical high. The deficit in 2006 was $248.2 billion. For example in 1992 the deficit was $290.3 billion. And, as a percentage of GDP it is not even close to a “high”. In 2006 the deficit was 1.6% of GDP. This percentage is lower than every year from 1971-1995 (with 3 exceptions).

The same holds true for public debt. Net public debt as a percentage of GDP is 37.0%. This is a lower debt level as a percentage of GDP than in 1962 (43.7%).

I guess you can criticize President Bush if you are willing to not use facts and just criticize. However, when you actually know and understand the data and facts, you will realize it is just pure rhetoric.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

“‘There may be some votes in the course of a legislative session that happen to fall on “party” lines”

Stop, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. People at work want to know what joke I’m reading. You’ve jumped the shark mark! ”

If this is so funny, explain what a “party line vote” actually is? Explaine how the mechanism of a vote works that forces everyone from the same “party” to vote? If there is such a thing, how do members of the legislature such as Joe Lieberman and Bernie Saunders vote on these issues? Does their vote count? I guess that in this case their would be a Republican (yea), Democratic (ney), a Socialist (whatever), and an “Independent” Democrat (something else).

Your simple views on the world are very amusing to me. I like to bring them out.

In the US Constitution and Article I thereof, there is no such thing as “PARTIES”. The members of the legislative branch vote their own vote and nothing compels them to vote the “party line”, unlike in other legislative structures.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 3:53 pm

“‘There may be some votes in the course of a legislative session that happen to fall on “party” lines”

Stop, I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. People at work want to know what joke I’m reading. You’ve jumped the shark mark! ”

If this is so funny, explain what a “party line vote” actually is? Explaine how the mechanism of a vote works that forces everyone from the same “party” to vote? If there is such a thing, how do members of the legislature such as Joe Lieberman and Bernie Saunders vote on these issues? Does their vote count? I guess that in this case their would be a Republican (yea), Democratic (ney), a ***ialist (whatever), and an “Independent” Democrat (something else).

Your simple views on the world are very amusing to me. I like to bring them out.

In the US Constitution and Article I thereof, there is no such thing as “PARTIES”. The members of the legislative branch vote their own vote and nothing compels them to vote the “party line”, unlike in other legislative structures.

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Mark claims
“I find it curious that the claims of adding troops to Afghanastan is suddenly a topic and is just another of the lefts changing the topic on this issue. A legitimate claim about the Iraq war could have been that it did divert resources from Afghanastan, but in fact it has not. One poster (I believe bSimon) posted a link discussing the largest EVER NATO offensive in Afghanastan. Clearly this belies the claim that Iraq is draining resources from Afghanstan.”

There you go again, changing the story. First of all, if the job in Afghanistan had been completed in the first place – i.e. not divering our troops & focus to Iraq – there would be no need for the large NATO action last month. Secondly, a NATO action is not in any way indicative of whether or not US troops are there in large enough numbers – NATO, as I’m sure you know, has more members than just the US. Nonetheless, to reiterate the point: had we done the job in the first place, NATO would not be obliged to conduct large-scale offensives in Afghanistan.

And one more thing, Afghanistan is not ‘suddenly a topic.’ It is mentioned on a regular basis as a place left behind by the Bush administration in their zeal to go after Saddam, despite not quite getting around to finding & bringing to justice the people who attacked us.

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Mark, given your pedantic, obtuse rantings on party line votes, I will call you on this statement: “European govenremnts have voted in leaders that are much more pro-US and rejected their opponent’s anti-US stances.”

Show me where european governments vote in leaders. Are Euro gov’ts self-appointing?

counter-coulter says:

May 9th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

mark says:
In the US Constitution and Article I thereof, there is no such thing as “PARTIES”.

Who here made the argument that parties were defined in the constitution? You’re the one who made the statement that parties “only exist to win elections” which is demonstrably false (caucusing alone disproves your theory of political party role). It should go without saying that political parties have platforms and ideologies that drive their membership and those that run within certain parties are expected to maintain certain beliefs and vote accordingly. The fact that you may get a “rogue” member here or there is not proof that parties “only exist to win elections”.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 4:42 pm

“It should go without saying that political parties have platforms and ideologies that drive their membership”

That is a false statement. The interests of the parties membership is what drives their “idealogies”, and not the other way around.

A caucus is NOT a party activity. Howard Dean does not participate in such events, and he is the head of the Democratic party. Howard Dean’s job as the head of the Democratic Party is to get the candidates proposed by the Democratic Party ELECTED. That is it. That is the role of the Democratic Party. Get their candidates elected. All of their activities are directly associated with that goal in min: voter identification, voter registration, candidate and issue awareness, get out the vote, and of course, fund raising. All of these activities have ONE objective, GET THE CANDIDATES ELECTED.

Again, to make certain you get the point, a CAUCUS is not a party activity. The fact that the main CAUCUSES are distributed along the same lines as the political parties does not change this fact.

“Show me where european governments vote in leaders. Are Euro gov’ts self-appointing? ”

Well, yeah, that sentence does not make sense, even though it is obvious what I meant….it is supposed to be “Europeans”.

Regardless, in fact, the heads of government in many European countries are chosen by the governments. For example, the people of the UK do not vote directly for Tony Blair.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Here is an article about Afghanastan from a very informative website called “Strategy Page” which covers military information. I highly recommend it because it has the best information on new and existing weapon systems, tactics, and any information regarding the world’s military. For example, they have an article about the new Russian version of the Stryker.

Regardless, here is some recent discussion about Afghanastan, which I find to be very convincing:

May 1, 2007: The Taliban are having more success with paper bullets, than with real ones. On the ground, over a hundred Taliban fighters have been killed in the last week, as NATO troops continue their own Spring Offensive, which appears to have cancelled the long threatened Taliban Spring Offensive. NATO troops are forcing the Taliban to fight, by going into drug producing areas of Helmand province. This area is Heroin Central, where a disproportionate amount of drugs are produced. The Taliban have to try and defend this, because their share of the drug profits pays many of their gunmen. No pay, and a lot fewer guys will carry a rifle for the cause.

Meanwhile, the Taliban are doing better in the Information War. They have thoroughly intimidated the French, with both candidates in the current French presidential contest promising to pull out of Afghanistan if elected. To help that along, the Taliban released one of the two French aid workers they had recently kidnapped. The Taliban also have an information war campaign going against Canada, hoping to strengthen Canadian anti-war groups sufficiently to get Canadian troops withdrawn. This would be a major win, because the Canadian troops have been particularly effective against the Taliban.

Unable to score any success against foreign or Afghan troops, the Taliban go for easy, if empty and expensive, triumphs. The most typical ones involve attacking a small district capital in a remote area. These are usually defended by only a few police, and easily overrun. The Taliban publicists then quickly proclaim “district capital captured,” knowing that the mass media will pick that up and make it sound like the Taliban were taking over. The reality is that Afghan security forces and NATO air power quickly shows up, and usually catch a number of fleeing Taliban. As a result, these propaganda victories are expensive in terms of Taliban lives, and the Taliban foot soldiers have come to look at these “conquests” as suicide missions.

The Taliban also tried to convince the world that their leader, Mullah Omar, and al Qaeda head, Osama bin Laden were still in charge and supervising operations. Bin Laden has not been heard from since January, 2006. Back then, his sickly voice was heard exhorting followers to kill more energetically. But for the last few months, there have been persistent rumors that bin Laden himself has died of disease.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Here is another article with respect to Afghanastan that echoes some of what I have been posting:

April 17, 2007: The Taliban appear to be changing tactics, switching to kidnapping and suicide bombing. For over a year, they have been shut down whenever they sent large forces (over fifty men) out. NATO aircraft, and better trained troops, tended to catch the large Taliban groups and destroy them. Even the Afghan army and police were able to defeat large groups of Taliban. But the large groups were needed to terrorize unfriendly villagers to support the Taliban. This is how the Taliban ruled the country in the late 1990s. Despite the fact that it didn’t work then, the Taliban are traditionalists and insisted on returning to the past. Now, realizing that they have a lot of support in the home countries of the foreign troops in Afghanistan, they are trying to mobilize that support, in order to get the foreign troops withdrawn. This would enable the Taliban to fight on more effectively. By allying themselves with drug gangs, the Taliban have a source of income, and can keep hiring gunmen to stir up trouble in the south. “Another Colombia” is what the Taliban is looking for. But for now, they have to survive, so kidnapping foreigners and using suicide bombers against foreign troops seems a more effective strategy. Let the headline hungry foreign media work their magic, and all will be well, or at least less bad.

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 5:06 pm

Counter, to a certain degree, he has a point. The parties have become distracted from their claimed goals and are now primarily in the business of achieving and retaining power, not making changes to government for the better.

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Mark, your posts reiterate the point: too many of our troops were pulled from Afghanistan before the job was done.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 5:17 pm

“Counter, to a certain degree, he has a point. The parties have become distracted from their claimed goals and are now primarily in the business of achieving and retaining power, not making changes to government for the better. ”

Well, at least this is a start. At least you are thinking a bit, but then at the end you let your naive view of the world shine through.

Maybe some more remedial instruction from the beginning.

1. There are groups of individuals that have similar interests.

2. These individuals realize that if they create “Political Parties” that they will more efficiently elect candidates that will represent their interests.

No political party has ever been created to “make changes to the government.” What hte parties do is get their candidates elected so that these candidates will then have th epower to make changes that are in the interests of the individuals taht make up the party.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 5:21 pm

” too many of our troops were pulled from Afghanistan before the job was done. ”

No, because you believe that “getting the job done” entails eliminating all of the Taliban from their rathole. That is unrealistic.

The real job has been accomplished, which is to create a govenremnt in Afghanastan that is somewhat stable and can protect itself from these types of attacks.

The way you judge the situation in Afghanastan (and Iraq) is exactly the way that the second article describes as the objective of the Taliban. They cannot impact anything on the battlefield, so they resort to terrorism to remove the other forces so that they might be able to accomplish it then.

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Mark claims
“The real job has been accomplished, which is to create a govenremnt in Afghanastan that is somewhat stable and can protect itself from these types of attacks.”

If that were true, why is NATO doing the heavy lifting? In short, the Karzai government can barely keep the peace in Kabul – they certainly don’t rule the whole of Afghanistan.

“They cannot impact anything on the battlefield, so they resort to terrorism to remove the other forces so that they might be able to accomplish it then.”

Wasn’t the whole point of invading Afghanistan to ‘fight’ terrorism? And now you’re claiming success because the former rulers are reduced to being terrorists?

bsimon says:

May 9th, 2007 at 5:38 pm

Speaking of naive worldviews, Mark writes
“What hte parties do is get their candidates elected so that these candidates will then have th epower to make changes that are in the interests of the individuals taht make up the party.”

You overlook the point I was making: that candidates, once elected, seem to become disinclined to actually work to make changes for which they were elected and instead seem to work for the party in order to 1) stay in power and 2) bring more party members to power. They never quite get around to making the changes they promise.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 6:01 pm

mark, to deny there are party line votes is simply ludicrous.

bsimon says: “to a certain degree, he has a point, The parties have become distracted from their claimed goals and are now primarily in the business of achieving and retaining power, not making changes to government for the better.”

That’s true, but that wasn’t really his point. He claims parties have never had as goals making changes to government.

mark says:

May 9th, 2007 at 6:12 pm

“They never quite get around to making the changes they promise. ”

I am not even certain what you mean by this. There is lots and lots of changes, some promised and some not.

But, what you are clearly stating, is that the elected officials represent “the Party”, meaning the interests of the individuals that make up the party.

“That’s true, but that wasn’t really his point. He claims parties have never had as goals making changes to government. ”

THEY DON’T. They have as their goal to ELECT INDIVIDUALS THAT REPRESENT THEIR INTEREST. That is the PARTY’s ONE AND ONLY JOB. ELECT.

Once this job is done, the parties role is complete. The party affiliation of the members in office is meaningless.

“mark, to deny there are party line votes is simply ludicrous. ”

Again, a PARTY LINE VOTE is simply a descriptive term that describes certain votes that occur because all of the “Republican” members vote one way and all of the “Democratic” members vote another.

If their is such a thing, how does it occur? There is no mechanism that will suddenly make all of the members of a caucus vote identically. For example, the caucus leader cannot go to the podium and announce: “All the Democrats vote YEA on a party line vote”. Each individual member of the legislature votes INDIVIDUALLY because there is no such thing as a “PARTY LINE VOTE.”

“He claims parties have never had as goals making changes to government.”

Parties do not want to make changes in government. The individuals that make up the parties do. The Party only facilitates the election process so that the candidates that represent these interest can make the changes in government that represent these interests.

The party raised money for the election. The party registers voters for the elections. The party imparts information on the electorate that will help their candidates win election. The party encourages their members to get out and vote. The party supplies information and strategy about how to win an election.

That is what a political party does. That is ALL a political party does. And the only objective of all of that activity is to win elections.

Dora says:

May 9th, 2007 at 9:03 pm

“The party affiliation of the members in office is meaningless.”

You are delusional. Typing in all caps and repeating yourself does not change that.

Frankly says:

May 10th, 2007 at 7:33 am

Mark,

Tell the whole story; adjusted for inflation the BLS and other government agencies show that real wages are down for 5 straight years and most likely it is going to be 6 years. By the way they no longer use energy cost when figuring the inflation rate; I guess putting gas in your car and heating and cooling your home are not considered being part of everyday life.

counter-coulter says:

May 10th, 2007 at 9:15 am

mark says:
No political party has ever been created to “make changes to the government.”

Every party has within their platform the scope and function of government and the way they feel people should be governed. It’s kind of the whole idea behind political parties.

Since you mentioned them before, here’s a quick example:

From the Whig Party platform:
First: The Government of the United States is of a limited character, and it is confined to the exercise of powers expressly granted by the Constitution, and such as may be necessary and proper for carrying the granted powers into full execution, and that all powers not granted or necessarily implied are expressly reserved to the States respectively and to the people.

Yeah, sure sounds like they didn’t want to change the way government was run.

mark says:

May 10th, 2007 at 2:54 pm

“Tell the whole story; adjusted for inflation the BLS and other government agencies show that real wages are down for 5 straight years ”

As I indicated, those ARE real wages. Real wages are adjusted for inflation. This is a direct BLS series and if you would have actually looked up the data instead of making false claims (and, for that matter, accusing another person of making a false claim) you would understand.

“Every party has within their platform the scope and function of government and the way they feel people should be governed. It’s kind of the whole idea behind political parties.”

This is a ridiculous statement and again, proves you do not even understand the basic function of parties.

1. A policital party is a group of individuals with like interest.

2. The reason for establishing a political party is to create an organization that will be able to elect candidates for office that represent the interest of the party.

If you truly believe the the “platform” of the party is something important then you really do not understand American politics. The best way to explain this is to consider the fact that political parties are not monolithic beings of the EXACT interest. Clearly, even someone with as limited of an understanting as you will admit that there is a difference in political philosphy between Susan Collins and Sam Brownback, that there is a difference between the Minnesota Republican Party and the Texas Republican Party, and the the National Republican Party is a different entity altogether.

“Yeah, sure sounds like they didn’t want to change the way government was run. ”

No one “wants to change the way government is run. What they want is that their interests be represented. If this “changes the way government is run”, then that is a consequence of interests rather than some inherit objective.

mark says:

May 10th, 2007 at 2:57 pm

“You are delusional. Typing in all caps and repeating yourself does not change that. ”

Again, this is the extent of the substance of your remarks. You comment on how emphasis is placed in a post.

Dora, the one thing I admire about you is your self-esteem because anyone with such limited substance, but with such major self satisfaction really is a marvel.

counter-coulter says:

May 10th, 2007 at 3:13 pm

mark attempts some semantic hair-splitting:
2. The reason for establishing a political party is to create an organization that will be able to elect candidates for office that represent the interest of the party.

Here was my original defintion:

counter-coulter says:
…political parties have platforms and ideologies that drive their membership and those that run within certain parties are expected to maintain certain beliefs and vote accordingly.

And the difference is what? The ordering of the words? Was the secret word “organization”?

Saying someone doesn’t understand the basic function of parties and then giving an almost identical defintion doesn’t help your case and really lends itself to the irony of you calling someone else “ignorant”.

mark says:

May 10th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Again, PARTIES do not choose policies. Parties choose CANDIDATES.

Parties do not develop interest and policy solutions. Parties attempt to ELECT candidates that have the policies that represent the membership of the party.

Where you go wrong is the chicken and egg issue. It is the membership of the parties that possess the interests and idealogies, not the other way around.

The only function of a party is to elect candidates to office.

I have already challenged you naysayers to name another function and no one has. The challenge is still out there.

Everything that a party does has one purpose, ELECT THE CANDIDATES OF THAT PARTY.

counter-coulter says:

May 10th, 2007 at 3:48 pm

mark proceeds to contradict himself:
Parties do not develop interest and policy solutions. Parties attempt to ELECT candidates that have the policies that represent the membership of the party.

mark just three posts prior:

2. The reason for establishing a political party is to create an organization that will be able to elect candidates for office that represent the interest of the party.

mark says:

May 10th, 2007 at 4:10 pm

“that represent the interest of the party.”

I did notice that error….and it should read “the interests of the members of the Party”.

The Party does not have interests. Only their members do.

Dora says:

May 10th, 2007 at 4:55 pm

“You comment on how emphasis is placed in a post.”

There’s that pesky reading comprehension problem of yours again mark. I commented that repeating yourself and emphasizing your repetition with all caps will not change the fact that you are delusional when you say “The party affiliation of the members in office is meaningless.” Trying to omit what I quoted before my comment in order to misrepresent what I said and belittle me isn’t going to fly bucho.

“The only function of a party is to elect candidates to office.”

So let’s follow your semantic hairsplitting. Since the “party” doesn’t develop interests and policy statements then the “party” also doesn’t elect candidates to office. In fact, it’s not only the members of the party that elect candidates to office because those who identify as independents and no party affiliation may elect those candidates to office. Your attempted verbal jujitsu is a dud mark.

mark says:

May 10th, 2007 at 5:04 pm

Ok…again, if you disagree with the fact that POLICITAL PARTIES exist for one purpose, to elect candidates to office then name ONE OTHER FUNCTION THAT THE PARTY DOES. One. One thing. What else does a PARTY do.

” policy statements then the “party” also doesn’t elect candidates to office”

I have used the word “elect” a lot of times in this thread, but never in that context. The sole function of a party is to elect their candidates to office. Their entire structure and organization is soley devoted to this.

The “Platform” that you and others keep thundering about is simply a campaign message and as relevant to the future policy as campaign commercials.

The Party has specialist that help organize elections, recruit volunteers, raise money, provide campaign advice, create message, organize events, and maybe help identify policy for candidates. But that is it.

While the members of the Republican Party have an interest in lower taxes, lower taxes do not benefit the Republican Party because the Party has no real interests. It only attempts to elect Republicans to office.

Frankly says:

May 11th, 2007 at 8:35 am

Mark,

BusinessWeek AUGUST 7, 2006

Perhaps the oddest and most depressing fact about the U.S. economy these days is the lack of real wage growth. The unemployment rate has been below 5% since December, and productivity growth is still looking strong. Yet wages and salaries, adjusted for inflation, are down for virtually every broad occupational category.
According to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers are up by 3.8% over the past year. That may sound halfway decent, but it still lags the 4.3% increase in consumer prices over the same period (see BusinessWeek.com, 8/4/06, “July Jobs: Pretext for a Fed Pause?”). Even managers and professionals are taking the hit: Figures from the BLS show that their real wages have fallen by 1.8% and 1.1%, respectively, over the past year.

August 28 2006: 11:32 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Most workers have not seen wage gains keep pace with inflation during the current economic expansion, the first time that has happened since World War II, according to a published report.
The New York Times reports that the median hourly wage for American workers has declined 2 percent since 2003, after factoring in inflation. Median wages are the point at which equal numbers of workers earn more and less.
The paper reports that while average family income, adjusted for inflation, has continued to advance at a good clip, that has been helped by gains by the top wage earners.
The paper says that about nine out of 10 workers have seen inflation that has outpaced their pay increases over the last three years, according to the Labor Department. That includes workers earning up to $80,000 a year, a level that puts them in the 90th percentile of wage earners.
By Lou Dobbs
CNN – Oct 4, 2006
:
NEW YORK (CNN) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit an all-time high and Wall Street firms are posting some of their best earnings ever. For the first time in our nation’s history, the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans includes only billionaires. In fact, having only a billion dollars means you’re not on the list. As a group, the Forbes 400 has a collective net worth of $1.25 trillion.
So the rich are doing well. But how about the middle class?
More Americans than ever are living in poverty, living without health care, paying more for housing and for the costs of our public education. And real wages are falling.
Real median earnings of full-time working males fell nearly 2 percent last year, according to the Census Bureau, while the real wages of working women fell by 1.3 percent. Despite that, real median household income did manage to rise slightly last year, though that small gain was the first increase in household income since 1999.

parthian says:

May 11th, 2007 at 8:57 am

Why in the world do you guys waste your time responding to this juvenile, foolish pedant on a “topic” of his own choosing? All it does is feed his monstrous ego.

When you point out his own posts violate his nonsensical “rules” and “theory” it doesn’t even phase him.

It’s your business, of course, but you can’t “argue” with sophists or crazy people. And no one takes him seriously, so why bother?

Dora says:

May 11th, 2007 at 9:47 am

“When you point out his own posts violate his nonsensical “rules” and “theory” it doesn’t even phase him.”

That’s true but it does point out that his own posts violate his nonsensical rules and theory which is why no one takes him seriously.

counter-coulter says:

May 11th, 2007 at 10:21 am

parthian asks:
Why in the world do you guys waste your time responding to this juvenile, foolish pedant on a “topic” of his own choosing?

I realize that sometimes his posts will contain “troll bait”, but I do feel that some things that he posts need to be responded to…if just for the sake of posterity. At times it is possible to engage in good debate with him but, yes, most of the time it boils down to a mix of symantic parsing and willful ignorance. There are some though that I flat out just ignore because of their “crazification factor”: D2SI and CnC come to mind.

mark says:

May 11th, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Frankly,

What is your point? THese articles quote BLS real wage data. I showed you real wage data directly from the BLS. What does it show, real wages have only increase slightly during the Bush Administration. Again, I will post the actual numbers from the BLS:

2001: 8.12
2002: 8.25
2003: 8.28
2004: 8.24
2005: 8.18
2006: 8.24

Like I said, your concepts are all rhetoric and little data. This is the actual data. These are the actual facts. IF you want to make the claim “Real Wages have fallen in the last five (six) years” you are mistaken.

Again, if you are not going to use ACTUAL facts in your argument then all you can do is look like a fool.

“That’s true but it does point out that his own posts violate his nonsensical rules and theory which is why no one takes him seriously. ”

Rigth, the real reason is that you are too ignorant to understand anything beyond 4th grade level material.

Again, if the idea I have developed here is so “nonsensical” then answer the challenge question. It should be easy for such “mature” and “intellectual” folks.

Name ONE, just ONE, fucntion that a political party does other than elect their candidates to office…ONE THING. So far the best you could do was Bill P’s claim that a political party can be developed to throw the election to someone else, that is defeat another candidate.

The fact that you cannot name a single function is very telling. If political parties did anything else you should be able to make a whole list.

bsimon says:

May 11th, 2007 at 2:22 pm

“The fact that you cannot name a single function is very telling.”

As is the fact that you keep rambling on and on on the subject. Who cares?

mark says:

May 11th, 2007 at 4:06 pm

“As is the fact that you keep rambling on and on on the subject. Who cares? ”

ANother substantive post heard from.

No argument, no facts, just pure idiotic ramblings.

It really does please me to see these types of posts! It is equivalent to QED in a proof.

Dora says:

May 11th, 2007 at 4:40 pm

Poor mark. You don’t have a clue that what you proved is how foolish you look. All you can do is sink to 4th grade level name-calling.

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