Saturday, October 09, 2004

If Bush 41 Appointed the sort of Supreme Court Judges That Bush 43 Says He Likes, Al Gore Would Be President

My comments on the Presidential town hall "Listen To The Candidates Debate" evoked a strong response from A Red Mind In A Blue State which can be seen in the replies to my October 8th entry. I replied in turn

Rarely have you shown your cards as openly as you do in this last missive, so it is nice to have the opportunity to disagree with you as openly: viz ---

I think you have to be much more liberal than John Kerry to look at taxes merely as a form of income redistribution. However, the basic point of disagreement is this -- you red minds think that people succeed in spite of the American government, and we blue minds think that people succeed because of the American government.

Therefore, if there is income redistribution, it is not, as Bush likes to say, taking the people's money from them. Income redistribution merely increases the dealer's vig on a system that basically works properly, but is certainly rigged in favor of certain players. Easy bankruptcy, incidentally, is another instance of keeping people in and playing. The notion is to keep the game going, to allow people to take risks, and basically keep what they have. Too much income in too few hands will eventually kill the game.

The government you so hate today is the way it is because corporations destroyed the country in the 1920s. The reason the United States exists at all in the way it does is that religion destroyed Europe for centuries at a time, and the lack of religion destroyed Europe again in the 20th century.

The question is not whether an incompetent government can run a health care system or a school system. The question is why you think either a corrupt insurance corporation or the Church can do a better job. And as I have said continuously, those are the only three choices you have.

Most of the time, people side with the choice that pays them the most money. Politicians do all the time. Why shouldn't they? The question of who gets paid is the only way to answer your question about healthcare in Washington D.C., and the only way that it will be answered in the future. Incidentally, it wasn't the liberals who put together the biggest socialization in medicine in the last 40 years, it was George W. Bush, and Chaney made a lot of it in the Veep debate.

So your question has already been answered. Both Republicans and Democrats (although not you, and maybe not me) believe in socialized medicine, and believe that the people of Washington D.C. are better off with a system of socialized medicine. The fight wasn't about what to do. The fight was about who should get the credit, and which of the interest groups should get paid. The Republicans won that fight, but the system will be increasingly socialized. Instead of your medical choices being made by the government, as Democrats favored, they will be made by the insurance companies, as Republicans favored. The notion that you would continue to make those choices yourself was never seriously considered.


I don't know why you think that a President, of either party, should get to choose extremists to be Supreme Court justices, although I know, historically, that extremists of both left and right have been nominated and have served.

Mainstream Republicans must have found Bork too extreme. I don't know how Republicans like Spector or whoever was in Connecticut could go in front of the voters and explain Bork. If moderate Republicans approved of Bork, they would have found a way to get Bork in.

But beyond that, Bork happened a long time ago. There are fewer moderate Republicans, and fewer Democrats of all stripes. Conservative Republicans have controlled the White House continuously since 1968, with exceptions for the two most conservative Democrats (Carter and Clinton) you will ever come across. The idea that Teddy Kennedy and the liberal media is able to counter that kind of continuous public endorsement of conservative government power is insane. It makes for good television, and for good fundraising, and it makes it easier for Karl Rove to stoke resentments. It is just a strawman, and if you pushed it, it would fall.

The next wave of liberalism will come from the Latino/ Asian community, and it hasn't coalesced yet. The only political arguments over the next several election cycles will be arguments between conservatism and voices for right-wing change. The current Democrat Party is very conservative. John Kerry is very conservative. Kerry runs around saying he can do things better. Real liberals don't say they can do things better. Real liberals say that there is a need to do things differently. The only people saying that things need to be done differently are the people who want to change the 5,000 year old geopolitical structure of the Middle East, destroy Social Security, allow the President to call people terrorists (as that meaning may change in the President's mind from time to time) and jail them indefinitely, and abolish the estate tax. Few of those people are Democrats, and virtually none of them are "liberals".

Robert Bork may not be on the Supreme Court, but Scalia and Thomas are. They were confirmed by Senates far more liberal than the Senate that will confirm the next Supreme Court justice. Your e-mail implies that only Bork will do --- that people like Scalia and Thomas are too liberal to advance any so-called "movement conservative" agenda. I don't know what to make of such a statement, and I really find it hard to believe you do either.