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Mar 24, 2005

In the Funhouse Mirror
Have you ever stood in front of one of those funhouse mirrors? They make you look like you are too thin or too fat, or all twisted out of shape, but then you look down, and you know you look nothing like that. This is what has happened to my political beliefs. My beliefs haven't changed much at all since I was about 16. I have loosened my opinion about guns and hunting, but that is the product of being exposed to people who have respect for both. But I am pretty sure the NRA won't be sending me an invitation any time soon. Other than that though, I am fiscally conservative, and socially liberal--but fairly conservative on the issue of welfare. But watching the Republican party has turned my views into a funhouse version of themselves. I believe the same things, but when when I look back at them, they seem twisted and contorted into a more liberal version of themselves. They don't stand on their own and make sense. They are bouyed by a Conservative Right who has begun to so twist their own party's beliefs into a warped liberal-conservative pile of mush that what they stand for no longer seems clear. A friend of mine (a Republican, but not of the Religious Right) said this to me:

"It seems as though the primary representatives of the party have forgotten that our goal should be a government that is barely noticed by its citizens, but feared and respected by the rest of the world."

The truth in that statement, and the extraordinary way the Republican party has ignored this part of their platform blows me away. "A government that is barely noticed by its citizens." That is exactly the point of the Republican view on small government. Yet when was the last time the Bush Administration was barely noticed? They are in everything. They can't keep their hands out of it. Why in the world are we spending tax dollars to learn if there is a problem with steriods in baseball? Why in the world are we spending MORE tax dollars to intervine in Terry Shiavo's life when, not only did she tell several people (not just her husband) that she would never want to live like this, but the case has been seen 20 times and decided the same way 20 times. And WHY in the world is the federal goverment trying to usurp the power of the state? States Rights are a big issue in the Republican party who has traditionally believed that states should have extensive power over their citizen. In many cases, more power than the national government. Yet, the Religious Conservative Neo Funhouse Republicans want to take away this right in the Schiavo case, the gay marriage issue, and education.

I am at a loss right now. I cannot figure out what is happening to the Republican party. I cannot understand their complete abandonment of parts of their core platform.

And neither can Andrew Sullivan. He wrote an article about just this issue.
posted by Ty @ 3/24/2005
At 3:20 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly appreciate your reference to the funhouse mirror. It give both a witty and insightful look into your true feelings of current political perception.

I do have to warn you, If you continue to lump every current issue today into the GOP's bucket, your mirror will become more and more amusing.

Steroids as an example. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. This is an issue concerning the best interests of the National Pastime and the youth of America. Until recent years, baseball has been one of the largest stabilizers of the American Union. How did people get through the Depression? Baseball. How did people get through WW I and II? Baseball (both men and women's).
Unfortunately, young men and women alike, look toward America's pastime players as heroes and role models. If kid's weren't dying and permanently damaging their internal organs with the use of steroids than it would be less of an issue.
As for the Republican's leading this charge. Think Again. The panel leaders for the commision consisted of a Republican and Democrat. McClain was the biggest name on the panel and that is why you are probably pointing to this as being a Republican issue.
The fact remains that baseball is our nation's pastime and kids are dying from the consequences of this horrendous drug. This is a national issue, but it is not partisan.
As for your references to Andrew Sullivan. If you want to empathize with an English, HIV positive man who continues to have unprotected sex because he views doctor's beliefs of the spread of HIV are hypothetical, go right ahead, but let me warn you, your mirror may get a bit more fuzzy. I personally won't listen to him and I personally don't believe that he represents the views of the country that I love.

At 4:17 PM, March 24, 2005, Blogger Ty said...

First of all, Anonymous, I would love to know who you are...I hate that about Blogger...

As for what you said about lumping everything "into the GOP's bucket," I would like to make it clear what I am lumping into said bucket. Yes, I mentioned steriods. Because I do not understand why we are spending tax payer money on this issue and at the moment, Republicans are in charge. Period. As long as they are in charge of both houses and the Executive office, I think they need to be held slightly more responsible. But you are right, that is not solely their doing.

HOWEVER, I wrote one sentence about steriods. The rest of my post was about other issues that you deemed not worthy of responding to? Why not?

And then you pick on Andrew Sullivan. Who cares if he is HIV positive? Or British? Oh, that must be the Liberal in me...He is smart and well spoken and quite knowledgable. If you prefer not to read what he has to say, that's fine. I didn't even quote him in my post, so you were spared even having to look at words he has written. But I am not sure I understand why you felt it necessary to suggest I should follow your lead and not listen to him (which by the way, it is a good idea to read the writings of those you dislike because it can give you ammunition to power you distaste for them). If you aren't going to leave a name or a some information about yourself, why would I listen to what you have to say? What creedance have you given to what you have written?

And finally, the inuendo at the end of your post was unneccessary. "The country that I love." I am sick and tired of people suggested that I don't love my country because I don't agree with the Bush Administration. That is complete bullshit. Loving your country has nothing to do with only reading things that AGREE with the views YOU have. NOTHING.

At 4:33 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just love how creative people get when they try to absolve the GOP of any guilt, as if they are all saints.

The GOP runs the house, senate and presidency and so anything our government does is, by definition, according to their wishes.

I love baseball, but congress has more important things to do (like war, Soc. Security, Health Care, terrorism). Why waste our time on steroids. Sports heroes are not rolemodels, even the "beloved" ballplayers of the past had their problems (like alcoholism and extra-marital affairs for Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle), they just werent reported in the press back then.

another thing that pisses me off: George W. Bush had to know of steroids when he owned the Texas Rangers. People had publicly accused Jose Canseco of steroids since 1988, and Bush's Rangers acquired him in the mid 90's. No rational person would invest millions on a single player without doing at least a minimal background check on things ike his health (which steroids would obviously affect). Similar things could be said for other former Rangers Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmiero. He knew then, and did nothing. Great morals. The GOP led congress didnt have the guts to ask what the owners knew (they didnt subpeona a single owner).

I love the hypocrisy of the GOP, as you pointed out yesterday, that Bush dealt with the right to die issue as governor and signed the law allowing a person in Mrs. Schiavo's condition to end her life. What a guy that Bush is. To him, something is moral one day, then murder the next.

It'd be funny if it werent so sad..
Cuz Rob

At 5:03 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all...

Cool off a little bit. I did not suggest that you did not love your country. If you did not love your country, you would not be writing about these issues. If you read my comment in context it was a comment in response to Sullivan being British.

At the same time you said, "Who cares if he is HIV positive? Or British?". Are you saying that he has just as much invested in this country as you or I? Could this possibly influence his opinion?

Second of all, to your coment about Sullivan being smart, well spoken, and knowledgeable. If you want to reference smart people, why don't you reference Bobby Fischer? He probably has the highest IQ of any "American Born" person in history besides being well spoken and knowledgeable. He is also very outspoken when it comes to American politics.

Third, I didn't leave my name because I didn't feel the need. I have to tell you that I don't agree with your criticism responding from this.
You said, "If you aren't going to leave a name or a some information about yourself, why would I listen to what you have to say? What creedance have you given to what you have written?"
So, are you telling me that Ben Franklin, Louisa May Alcott, and Samuel Clemens have no credibility in your eyes because they chose not to write under their given names?
Fourth, If you would like my opinion on education, Shiavo case, gay marriage and your interesting comments, I will be glad to give them to you. I just can't at this time because I have a prior engagement.

Let me know...

At 8:40 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when someone tries to put words in my mouth so generic as, "I just love how creative people get when they try to absolve the GOP of any guilt, as if they are all saints."

Good job. Clever, witty and original. Humor aside, there is no such thing as a perfect world, Democrat or Republican. "All saints" is nonexistent.

As to your comment, "Why waste our time on steroids?" Because it is a national issue in which young people have died, are dying, and risking permanent health issues in order to get a "step ahead" like their idols have.
Were Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth alcoholics and womanizers? Of course. I am surprised you did not name more than two athletes.

The differentiation is...When was the last time you heard of some teenager dying because he thought it necessary to "drink like Ruth" in order to play right for the Yankees or "score chicks like Mantle" in order to be one of the best center fielders ever?
If you are going to make ambiguous reference points, please keep it "apples to apples" and not "apples to oranges".
As for the "Bush Texas Rangers Comments". Are you going to imply that someone who owned less than 10% of the Rangers knew about the steroid problems of Jose Canseco when one of the most respected men in baseball, Tony LaRussa, denied McGwire's use up until the House Committee testimony (or non testimony). Do you really think that LaRussa would risk his credibility knowing that McGwire was going before the House Committee under oath?
With that said, can you truly implicate someone who had less than 10% personal ownership in a team?
As for your claims that Palmeiro and Gonzalez were/are on roids. Palmeiro testified in front of the House Committee that he has never taken steroids. If you would like to prove otherwise, please do, because he made this statement with the risk of perjury. Too bad the law does not apply for people who make ambiguous comments on the internet. : )

As for Gonzalez, feel free to reference fact in your comments concerning him as well.

I welcome your comments...

At 8:49 PM, March 24, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry... Let me emphasize that those comment were made toward Cuz Rob's last statement and not Ty's.

At 8:47 AM, March 25, 2005, Blogger Ty said...

Rob! Good to see ya on here again! When are you coming down here?


Thank you for commenting and sharing your opinion on my blog,I love to hear what others think, but do to the nature of the internet often inflections and some meaning can be lost, I am sorry if overreacted to your comment about loving my country...obviously, that is something I have heard before and I assumed that was what you meant.

As for Andrew Sullivan, you clearly suggested that his opinion was lessor based on his HIV status and ethnicity. I cannot agree with you. I do not care where the opinion comes from as long as it is well spoken and accurate.

I don't know if you read his blog, but Andrew Sullivan always writes about the US. This is not an isolated article. I believe he lives in NYC. In fact, I think his desire to learn about our country and speak out about it when he has his own country probably shows his true interest in what happens here. When was the last time you took an interest in British politics? I would suggest at the very least, not often. And if you did, I would imagine you would want to know a lot about what you were going to speak to before you did so because you would not want to look a fool. And again, if you don't like what he says, that's fine. There are plenty of writers I don't agree with. But I was pointing to his article because *I* found it relavant. I was simply trying to back up my ideas.

"Are you saying that he has just as much invested in this country as you or I? Could this possibly influence his opinion?"

No I'm not saying he has as much invested in the country as Americans do, but I certainly don't think that means I can't appreciate his opinion. Often, an outside look at ourselves is healthy. We are ensconced in our lives and being able to understand how we look from the outside can give us greater dimension to our thinking.

And of course his British background influences his opinions. Just as my living in Texas influences mine. It meaningless other than to give the reader insight into where the author is coming from. You take that knowledge and add it to how you feel about what was written. Obviously, for you, that knowledge means he is not as reliable of a source. For me, that is not so.

I am not going to respond to all of the comments about steriods because I have already expressed that was not the point of my post. I was not writing about steroids, I was writing about the changing Republican party.

Thank you for your comments Anonymous. I may write more later, but at the moment I have an appointment to get too.

At 11:56 AM, March 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we are on the same page but still a bit off...

In terms of an outside perspective, I completely agree with you that it is healthy to take into account the perspectives of "knowledgeable" outsiders. I also agree with you that there is no arguing Sullivan's knowlege or insight into our country's political system and environment.

I do think that we are not on the same page regarding your comments of, "As for Andrew Sullivan, you clearly suggested that his opinion was lessor based on his HIV status and ethnicity."

Please do not confuse ethnicity with nationality. This country is inherently composed of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Ethnicity, has no bearing when it comes to my perception of political commentary.
Nationality definitely has a bearing on my perception but not in your terms of, "As for Andrew Sullivan, you clearly suggested that his opinion was lessor."
Let me emphasize that I did not suggest his opinion was lessor, but I did suggest that it carries less weight. There is a distinct difference between the two.

On the HIV side, Sullivan's HIV status is his own business. It becomes national business when he makes comments about doctor's warnings of wide spread HIV as being weak and hypothetical, and he is residing in this country.

Honestly, Sullivan makes comments that lean not only left but right at times as well. I could easily side with him on many issues. I just choose not to listen to someone with that kind of non-sensible background.

But to each his/her own.

I appreciate your opinion. If you wanted my name you should have just asked.



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