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    •  There is no question -- he understands the (46+ / 0-)

      nature of the modern GOP, and is very skilled at taking advantage of it. His address before Congress last year proved that much.

      I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

      by David Harris Gershon on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 06:25:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most of the rest of the world sees our (62+ / 0-)

        internal politics much clearer than we do.  In other countries, there are traditions of understanding and being involved in politics.

        We seem to have a willful ignorance about politics in our country.  Someone at work the other day, a very respected and intelliegent manager and friend, saw a car with a couple bumperstickers in the parking lot and remarked, "That's so politicial."

        "So political?"  A couple bumperstickers like "Texas Democrat" or "Obama"?

        I'm telling this as an example of how people - even educated, informed (in most areas) people - see politics as "hands off."  Willful ignorance or avoidance.

        And the rest of the world sees us clearly:  One party mainly representing cranks, religious right wingers, and anti-science (which they find absolutely astounding), and the other mainly representing large corporate interests and narrow interest groups.  

        And they just cannot understand:  Why don't the people demand someone represent them?   The USA political field is so far to the right of most of the rest of the world. Amazing, really.

        The most conservative Mexicans, as a whole, are far to the left of the Democratic Party in the USA.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:27:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a very interesting perspective. Thx. (15+ / 0-)

          The best way to prevent abortions is to arm fetuses.

          by Flyswatterbanjo on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 08:54:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Give examples. (6+ / 0-)
          The most conservative Mexicans, as a whole, are far to the left of the Democratic Party in the USA.
          I see this mentioned regularly, it'd be nice to see some follow up.  Can you find press statements, policy position papers, or even party platforms that demonstrate this?

          Deconstruct them a little in a series of diaries.

          -7.75 -4.67

          "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

          There are no Christians in foxholes.

          by Odysseus on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:07:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, there are three major political parties in (18+ / 0-)

            Mexico, PRI, PRD, and PAN. PRI and PRD are both members of the socialist international, and both of them support mixed economies. PRD are social democrats, while PRI are mixed economy socialists. It's complicated, but they're both center left, to left.

            PAN is the conservative party, and currently the smallest of the big three. They have referred to emergency contraception as a weapon of mass destruction, vociferously oppose same sex unions, and have banned profanity and miniskirts on the municiple level, and even tried to make it illegal for couples to kiss in public.

            So if they're referring to PRI or PRD, whichever one is more conservative this week, then they're right, but if they're referring to PAN, then they're wrong.

            Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon were PAN, and those were the only two conservative Mexican Presidents since the re-establishment of the Mexican Republic, and PRI still controlled the legislature and most of the state governments while they were in office. So you can argue that these guys are out in the wilderness, if you like.

            I don't think that the evidence bears out that the most conservative Mexicans are far to the left of the Democratic party, though. The most conservative Mexicans would get along pretty well with the Republicans. If, you know, the Republicans were willing to get along with brown people.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:52:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  (Clarification of my oversimplification) (7+ / 0-)

              You might count Porfirio Díaz as a conservative leader, but I consider him to be more of a fascist autocrat, and while I don't like PAN that much, they're not technically fascists, they're just jackasses. There's an important difference there.

              An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

              by OllieGarkey on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:01:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I enjoyed your descriptions, but there's a wide (7+ / 0-)

                gulf between Mexico and the US on everything outside social policy.  The Catholic Church is against birth control and so the PAN, a Catholic originated party, follows that dictate.  

                And even there, the Mexican Supreme Court had a very favorable ruling about gay marriage from one state being recognized in all other states.

                Move over to economics and do a comparison.  Much different view from there.

                "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                by YucatanMan on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:27:42 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with you, but.... (0+ / 0-)
                but I consider him to be more of a fascist autocrat,
                I was called a racist for calling a vicious dictator a fascist. Be careful.
            •  I'll give you that on social grounds for the (8+ / 0-)

              "churchy" PAN (very closely aligned with the Catholic Church).  

              However, even the PAN, Fox and Calderon supported and strengthened the countries socialist economic policies and those would never be acceptable for most US Democrats today.

              But, "conservative" really doesn't fit well with PAN, PRI, or PRD (at all within PRD, really).   Each party has it's own subsets of strongly conservative or more liberal members.

              But look at the economic policies. Hardly anyone questions them at all -- clearly socialist economics (aside from acceptance of several huge monopolies), clearly socialist national health care, clearly socialist education (free public university if you are smart enough), etc, etc, etc.

              How many US Democrats are prepared to endorse those measures?  Bernie Sanders and who else?  (note: He is an independent).

              "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

              by YucatanMan on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:24:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fuzzyguy, YucatanMan, elwior, ichibon

                But that means from my perspective that pan is about where the dems are economically.

                The "most conservative" Mexicans still support stuff like nafta and other free trade stuff. If Calderon and Fox weren't in a position where they had to bargain with a PRI legislature, I think they would have gone more with the things that their right wing base seems to want. Things like privatization.

                However, they were great politicians, and were trying to put a softer face on their own party in order to increase its long term chances.

                I'm splitting hairs at this point, because you're right that as a whole, they're a lot more left wing than we are. But please don't ask me to look at PAN and see anything other than theocratic pseudomoderate jackasses. That's the only point I really wanted to make.

                An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                by OllieGarkey on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:54:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  To clarify, economically the democratic party (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fuzzyguy, YucatanMan, elwior

                  Seems to be center-right, rather than center left. So yeah, on economics, I do agree.

                  An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                  by OllieGarkey on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:58:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "Free Trade" and "loosened workplace rules" etc (4+ / 0-)

                  have caused huge controversies in the past.  Yes, conservative Mexican politicians support free foreign trade, but hardly support it at home in all areas (monopolies rule steel, cement, television, telephone/communications, etc).

                  It's a really interesting topic, but my perspective comes from that of the headlines and the concerns of everyday life.

                  What US Democrat would accept federal government mandated uniform pricing of gasoline?

                  What US Democrat would try to establish a national electric company?

                  What about nationalizing the oil companies, which Mexicans accept as a daily fact of life, even though some factions are trying to work toward more foreign technical support and investment in PEMEX?

                  I love your description of PAN.  They are widely (well, among their opposition) seen as being run as a branch of the Vatican and the local archbishops.  They're seen by disdain by a large number of people who believe the Mexican Constitution got it right with restrictions of the Church in participation in public/civic life.

                  At the same time, the PAN is seen (probably due to propaganda) by their followers as "modern business people" who "know" how to run a business, make money, employ people.  (The "makers" in Romney's world).

                  All the discussion of the liberalness and conservativeness of various parties and politicians can also be shaded by their personal or organizational history of corruption and corrupt on behalf of whom?

                  It's extremely complex, really, and I did over-simplify quite a bit in my original remark.

                  In reality, Mexico is a socialist country and even (most) conservative pols go along with the majority of the main tenets of the operation of the country.

                  It is greatly amusing to me to meet US "conservatives" who were in Mexico looking for a place to escape the "socialism" of Obama.  It's entertaining, to say the least, as they realize how things actually work.  Usually, they end up back in the US after a couple months or a couple years, finally realizing the country wasn't going to change everything about it just for their convenience.

                  "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                  by YucatanMan on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:51:29 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Heh, I think I misunderstood your original (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    elwior, YucatanMan

                    statement quite a bit, too.

                    And I'm going to trust your info on this one because, frankly, you would know more about Mexican conservatives than I do.

                    And you're right that most democrats wouldn't support a nationalized electric company.

                    I mean, I do, but that's because that's the only way we're going to be able to move forward on renenwables like we need to, and also because ConEdison is one of the most evil organizations around, and needs to not exist anymore.

                    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

                    by OllieGarkey on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:57:33 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  To be completely honest, Mexico is an odd mix (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OllieGarkey

                      of "socialist oligarchy."  

                      Political parties really mean something there - there are many and they compete for actual power with diverse ideas.

                      Yes, there are many socialist policies of longstanding history.  

                      But at the same time, there are the powerful monopolies holding ownership of protection from competition.  The biggest are TelMex/American Movil (Carlos Slim), Cemex (which even has a strong foothold in the US now), steel, PEMEX (gasoline, oil), etc.

                      What is very refreshing is that people from major cities to little villages march out into the streets to support their parties and candidates and to protest perceived wrongs.  There is a very active political life and many Mexicans, I would wager, know more about American politics and policies in the world than most Americans.

                      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

                      by YucatanMan on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:31:21 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  OK, even "conservative" Mexicans see nothing at (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elwior, Odysseus, isabelle hayes

            all wrong with the CFE being the federal government-owned electrical supplier for the entire nation.

            A federal government-owned power company for the whole country.  Can you imagine any US Democrat outside of maybe Bernie Sanders or Dennis Kucinich endorsing that idea?

            From education platforms to health care to food supports to electrical subsidies for the poor (and even more for those who live in the hotter regions) to nationally managed gasoline prices, there isn't much that a US Democrat would support and that practically all Mexicans regularly accept and welcome, even the conservatives.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:19:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  My overseas friends think us insane or ignorant (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Steven D, isabelle hayes, elwior, Blood

          ..and they are right. We are at least mostly one or the other, and far too many Americans are now both.

          •  in the past three years, I've been to the UK, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus

            Norway, Costa Rica and South Africa.

            In every country, I was quickly driven to the point of introducing myself by saying "Hi, I'm Lenny.  I'm from the US--sorry about that. We're not ALL crazy lunatics."

            They look at us and shake their heads.  In their eyes, the US had it all--the richest most powerful country in all of human history, a scientific and cultural leader and beacon to the rest of the world -- and we are throwing it all away. Many people in all four countries flat-out told me they feared the US was running headlong down the road to flat-out fascism.

            And I cannot disagree with them.

        •  ignoring the I/P pie fights, but this: (0+ / 0-)
          The most conservative Mexicans, as a whole, are far to the left of the Democratic Party in the USA.
          is true in most of the world.  It was a Canadian Prime Minister, I believe, who really outlined the difference between the US and Canada: "In the US, there is no major party leftwing enough to call for socialized medicine.  In Canada, there is no major party rightwing enough to call for dismantling it."
      •  What gets me (10+ / 0-)

        is that Hagel isn't up for state, but for defense. His responsibility will not be policy, but the military. Why no questions about the military?

        I do think it's the Christian Zionists who most influence the Republican party. Only one Jew in Congress is Republican, and he isn't in the Senate. There is more concern for Israel and Jewish constituencies within the Democratic party.

        I still think what happened in November in Gaza would have been different if Romney had won.

        Republicans want to make government small enough to fit in your vagina..

        by ramara on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:14:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was no accident that shortly after O was (10+ / 0-)

        elected the first time, Eric Cantor met with BIbi and his party at the St. Regis in New York, a widely discussed event when it happened.

        •  Was it where Cantor promised Bibi (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fabucat

          that he'll keep an eye on the American president?

          Can you say "traitor"?

          "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

          by zenox on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:30:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm no friend of Cantor, but that doesn't come (6+ / 0-)

            close to meeting the definition of treason in the US.

            "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

            by JesseCW on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:10:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  This, right here (7+ / 0-)

            is where things go off the rails.  Eric Cantor (who I think is an asshole) met with a foreign head of state for breakfast and supposedly made a comment (do you have a source?) and that makes him a traitor?  This is why you and your opinion cannot be taken seriously.

            •  Cantor as a member of US congress (0+ / 0-)

              met a foreign head of state for a breakfast and told him not to worry, that "we"will check on the newly elected U S president.

              To me, yes it is treason. Sources can be found on the net since it is public knowledge now.

              "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

              by zenox on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:35:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Still waiting for (0+ / 0-)

                a source other than your fingers typing and until I get one, I'll believe you're full of shit.  And get a dictionary or even better the constitution which clearly states what is treason and learn something today.

                I'm sure you were just as upset when Senator Obama went to Europe and gave all those speeches before he was elected - I mean if you're not a hypocrite.

                •  Two comments: (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zenox, elwior, CwV, 3goldens

                  1. You are correct, Cantor meeting with Bibi and offering to keep an eye on the new Democratic president doesn't meet the constitutional definition of treason. One can be an asshole or even disloyal without committing treason, which is technically defined as aiding the enemy in wartime, or waging war against the US.

                  2. Your response to zenox was totally inappropriate and unnecessary, and comes close to earning you a donut from me. Something along the lines of my comment above would have made your point more effectively without disparaging the commenter. Perhaps you've missed some of the recent diaries here concerning basic civility. I'd highly commend them to you.

                  The only entitlement that needs reforming is the inbred belief of the 0.1% that they are entitled to 99.9% of the wealth and 100% of the power.

                  by flitedocnm on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:15:48 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your lecture (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JNEREBEL, elwior

                    earns nothing more than a yawn from me.  Been here too long for that.

                  •  Thank you flitedocnm (0+ / 0-)

                    I also have a question concerning to the "treason" issue. Not all treason happens during the war times. Spying against one's own country during the times of peace can be also considered treason, yes? We had a Robert Hanssen case, for example. We don't have evidence of Cantor spying for the Israeli government but his position as a member of the congress creates a serious conflict of interest to say the least when it comes to making such public comments to a head of a foreign state.

                    What if this comment was made by Rep. Keith Ellison to Saudi Arabian king? Imagine that?

                    Cantor had at least a treasonous attitude when it comes to the loyalty to the duly elected US president when he made that comment.

                    That's what I think.

                    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

                    by zenox on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:35:45 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Are you ever going (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JNEREBEL, elwior

                      to prove Cantor even made that comment?

                    •  Treason versus Espionage: (0+ / 0-)

                      From the article I linked to in my previous comment:

                      Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

                      The Treason Clause applies only to disloyal acts committed during times of war. Acts of dis-loyalty during peacetime are not considered treasonous under the Constitution. Nor do acts of Espionage committed on behalf of an ally constitute treason. For example, julius and ethel rosenberg were convicted of espionage, in 1951, for helping the Soviet Union steal atomic secrets from the United States during World War II. The Rosenbergs were not tried for treason because the United States and the Soviet Union were allies during World War II.

                      Under Article III a person can levy war against the United States without the use of arms, weapons, or military equipment. Persons who play only a peripheral role in a conspiracy to levy war are still considered traitors under the Constitution if an armed rebellion against the United States results. After the U.S. Civil War, for example, all Confederate soldiers were vulnerable to charges of treason, regardless of their role in the secession or insurrection of the Southern states. No treason charges were filed against these soldiers, however, because President Andrew Johnson issued a universal Amnesty.

                      The crime of treason requires a traitorous intent. If a person unwittingly or unintentionally gives aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States during wartime, treason has not occurred. Similarly, a person who pursues a course of action that is intended to benefit the United States but mistakenly helps an enemy is not guilty of treason. Inadvertent disloyalty is never punishable as treason, no matter how much damage the United States suffers.

                      The only entitlement that needs reforming is the inbred belief of the 0.1% that they are entitled to 99.9% of the wealth and 100% of the power.

                      by flitedocnm on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:16:00 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  sure--he is--I was thinking more of (34+ / 0-)

      Jewish democratic voters over here who were still swayed by the nonsensical Israel pandering by the (primarily Christian) social conservatives.  (and hence question Obama's commitment to a long-time ally, a commitment which is pretty obvious to anyone paying a lick of attention)

      I mean--we're a people--we're not a tool used to kill Muslims.  Although that's how many of the neo-cons AND the social conservatives would like to use us.

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