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I thought that Daily Kos was a blog for Progressives, Liberals, and Democrats - people that are supposed to be able to understand that the justice system might be skewed, even though you yourself may never be a victim of its injustice.  Daily Kos readers should be able to set aside any personalization of the death penalty (...if your mother/father/son/daughter was killed...) to understand that sometimes, people die who had nothing to do with what they were charged with, and any time it happens to ONE person, WE are all totally culpable.

More ranting below the fold...

The test of a belief is in the implementation of it at its most uncomfortable point, and even if Stanley Williams was entirely guilty of his charges, he should have been able to live out his years in prison.  Bottom line, we should be working to make sure that no one dies from inadequate legal council, especially since we have actually killed people who were never guilty of their crimes.  We should be even more vigilant in making sure our legal safety net is secure for everybody in light of this Administration's attempt to destroy Habeas Corpus from the front end.

These past two weeks have shown me how little the regular posters at Daily Kos carry Progressive ideals in their hearts.  Progressives believe that every person, given the attempt by society to even out inequities in social status and financial and racial divide, will work to their highest potential.  Being a Progressive means that you err on the side of expecting more from a person than they might even believe they are capable of. And Progressives understand that even though they may never be racially profiled, stereotyped because of ethnic or racial fallacies, or have to negotiate a B-Class legal system, they understand that is a reality for many people.

I believe Daily Kos people are for the most part limousine liberals who believe in the work for justice, just as long as it doesn't interrupt their viewing of "Survivor".  It's too bad that the left is joining with the rest of the country in acting more like the Romans at the Coliseum than the early Christians.

Maybe the reason that the President is considered "likeable" with a 38% approval rating is because Democrats have stopped acting like the party of the disenfranchised.  Maybe we will never be in power anymore because we have lost the convictions of our beliefs.

And if you believe in the death penalty, please don't consider yourself a Liberal or Progressive - you don't qualify.

Originally posted to Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:35 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  is this (4.00)
    the new litmus test?

    "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

    by keefer55 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:39:18 PM PST

    •  Litmus test for joining the West (none)
      as an enlightened society? Yes. Pretty much since 1767.
      •  So the executions after Nuremburg... (4.00)
        ...was not a part of "the west" and "enlightened society"...?

        Sorry, such absolutist positions do not square with either history or a tenable principle. I posit that such sentences were and are a moral imperative for an enlightened civil societies.

        For the record, I am against the DP for numerous substantive issues pertaining to the flaws in it implementation and the fallibility of our criminal justice system. But not because of some moralist axioms like " the state has no right to kill" sort of position which is, to be frank, bullshit.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:00:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, as long as you think it's bullshit (none)
          then I guess it must be so.

          The trials of Nuremburg were as enlightened as things get, because they were an exercise in discursive human reason---which is what all social relations depend upon. To take that potential away from someone--anyone--in the name of discourse (or law, or judgment, or whatever you want to call it) runs directly counter to the philosophical and moral grounds of human society. Execution takes that away.

          It the baldest kind of cognitive dissonance for people to argue that the death penalty is somehow a necessary evil of social order, when in fact it runs directly counter to it. If his life isn't worth what it's worth, no one's is, yours or mine. There's no progressive society worth having based on that.

          •  It isn't just because I think so (none)
            It is demonstrably so.

            Take the hypothetical of a known violent criminal, has a hostage, knife at the throat of child... you are saying the swat team can't use lethal force as he starts to cut?

            The trials of Nuremburg were as enlightened as things get, because they were an exercise in discursive human reason---which is what all social relations depend upon. To take that potential away from someone--anyone--in the name of discourse (or law, or judgment, or whatever you want to call it) runs directly counter to the philosophical and moral grounds of human society. Execution takes that away.

            A legal/justice system is not for continual perpetual discourse, but holding people to account for their actions. A sI have indicated, holding those accountable for the genocide of millions,  is a moral imperative, just as it would be a moral imperative that people who are guilty of commission of genocide forfeit any sustaining of their life by society as a whole.

            Killing millions, and having society keep you alive, with 3 square meals a day, shelter form the elements, etc. is, I posit, an affront to, and in now way even close to holding said persons accountable for the crimes against humanity they commit.

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:28:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  By your logic, me and enough of my friends (none)
              are within our rights to decide to kill you. All we need is enough due process and documentation.

              While that might relieve us of the absurd paleolithic position you espouse with regards the death penalty issue, it would also rob us of your many worthwhile and stimulating contributions that have advanced the process of discovery and consensus here at dKos.

              But, according to your DP logic rift, our execution of you would be morally justifiable.

              But it wouldn't be. It never is. It never will be, and your desire to make it so doesn't.

              (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

              by doorguy on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:32:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Huh? (none)
                By your logic, me and enough of my friends are within our rights to decide to kill you. All we need is enough due process and documentation.

                That does not follow from what I have said at all. If I am threatening to kill your family, and am holding a gun to your wife's throat, you are well within your right to use lethal force to save the life of your spouse. Same would be true for the police to use lethal force. Nothing "paleolithic" about it. Self defense and defense of others whose lives are directly threatened have always been legal, and rightly so.

                You argument that it is somehow not a legitimate

                By your logic, me and enough of my friends are within our rights to decide to kill you. All we need is enough due process and documentation.

                That does not follow from what I have said at all. If I am threatening to kill your family, and am holding a gun to your wife's throat, you are well within your right to use lethal force to save the life of your spouse. Same would be true for the police to use lethal force. Nothing "paleolithic" about it. Self defense and defense of others whose lives are directly threatened have always been legal, and rightly so.

                You argument that it is somehow not a legitimate position to defend ourself and the lives of others is absurd to the extreme, and would be the very definition of lawless violent behavior run amok. Your position is that a killer is free to kill, because using lethal force to stop it is morally wrong.

                So we let people kill until they run out of ammo or victims?

                IN a fantasy world where people do not try to kill or rape, etc. then killing would always be wrong. Self defense is, alas a necessity because there are sociopaths, and people who can and do commit heinous crimes that cannot and will not stop of their own volition. So when a brutal regime commits genocide, what do you propose as a way to stop the killing?

                Your assertion that individuals or the state cannot under any circumstances use lethal force is the very apex of stupidity and is, given the realities of the human condition, insane. position to defend ourself and the lives of others is absurd to the extreme, and would be the very definition of lawless violent behavior run amok. Your position is that a killer is free to kill, because using lethal force to stop it is morally wrong.

                So we let people kill until they run out of ammo or victims?

                IN a fantasy world where people do not try to kill or rape, etc. then killing would always be wrong. Self defense is, alas a necessity because there are sociopaths, and people who can and do commit heinous crimes that cannot and will not stop of their own volition. So when a brutal regime commits genocide, what do you propose as a way to stop the killing?

                Your assertion that individuals or the state cannot under any circumstances use lethal force is the very apex of stupidity and is, given the relaities of the human condition, insane.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:49:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The apex of stupidity (none)
                  is to argue that individual priorities of self-preservation constitute some sort of moral, legal or social right to establish and implement capital punishment.

                  The claim that such establishment is somehow "duty" or "obligation" is drivel. Your spit might be wet and salty, but it's not the ocean and it won't ever be.

                  Fortunately, it's still permissible to avow dumb-as-a-stump positions here, and as you've illustrated, it's possible to spin idiotic tautologies and empty bluster on one thread and meaningful, thought-provoking contributions on others.

                  (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

                  by doorguy on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 09:51:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well thankfully that is not what I have done (none)
                    I was pointing out that the stupidity lays with the argument that somehow the government never has the right to kill, which is, as I have repeatedly stated an idiotic "maxim" to argue, since it is demonstratively false. This is why I pint it out, because it is simply not true either factually or philosophically.

                    I also point it out because it is stupid politically as well since there are indeed crimes which the overwhelming majority of people rightly agree are offensive in which life without parole in contrary a moral imperative, i.e. crimes against humanity.

                    cheers,

                    Mitch Gore

                    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                    by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 10:52:24 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  And so if an overwhelming majority (none)
                      of people in, say, Salt Lake City agree that homosexuality is an abominable act deserving of capital punishment it has the right? How about in Saudi Arabia? I am pretty sure, even within your cosmic construction, there is a difference between moral standard and common practice.

                      (none / 0), (none / 0), it's off to Kos we go, with a...

                      by doorguy on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 10:49:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Lethal force isn't execution, nor is it punishment (none)
              and I'm quite sure you understand the difference.

              But you've finally admitted what this whole thing is about for you; "holding said persons accountable." And that's being unquestioningly conflated with justice, instead of what it really is about--retribution.

              If that Old Testament eye-for-an-eye world appeals to you, I encourage you to look a bit more closely at our fundamentalist friends and see exactly how far that kind of thinking goes in making a functioning pluralistic society (if you don't want to do the heavy lifting, I'll clue you in---it gets you something roughly pre-St. Augustine).

              This is exactly where Rico gets his/her certainty that there's nothing "liberal" or "progressive" about state sponsored killing. It's neither by definition. And it is in that charge--regardless of how it insults those who would otherwise consider themselve politically enlightened--that Rico's spot on.

              •  You don't seem to understand what I have said (none)
                Lethal force isn't execution, nor is it punishment and I'm quite sure you understand the difference.

                I am well aware, those who insist the state never has the right to kill though bltihtly ignrore the reality that the state and the indivudal at times do have the right to kill. The exmple I gave about stopping a killer from killing someone via lethal force is one. Which is my point. Those who pop-off with mornoic axioms about "the state has no right to kill, ever" is bunk.

                But you've finally admitted what this whole thing is about for you; "holding said persons accountable." And that's being unquestioningly conflated with justice, instead of what it really is about--retribution.

                Holding people to account for their actions is what justice is. What do you consider justice for committing genocide?

                Do you think society has a responsibility to feed and cloth someone who commits to the killing of whole people's?

                If that Old Testament eye-for-an-eye world appeals to you

                It doesn't. So spare me your misguided sermon.

                This is exactly where Rico gets his/her certainty that there's nothing "liberal" or "progressive" about state sponsored killing.

                And once again, fails utterly to address anything I have pointed out with regards to such sweeping and moronic statements, as the use of lethal force situation, and crimes against humanity demonstrates.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:59:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (none)
        Joining or not joining the West, I am indifferent and don't know what that means, but as a condition of any enlightened society.. yes.  We should abolish the death penalty.

        "What the Republicans need is 50 Jack Abramoffs. Then this becomes a different town." - Grover Norquist, 1995

        by daria g on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:20:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  limosine liberals? - lol (4.00)
  •  Well then (4.00)
    I guess we can rule out most of the Democrats who want to run for president as not qualified to be liberals or progressives.

    I am fervently against the death penalty, but then I consider myself too liberal to be a Democrat.

  •  Thank You (4.00)
    for stereotyping me and telling me what I am and am not, what I am allowed to believe in and what I am allowed to call myself.

    I refuse to buy in to the echo chamber that declares that if my beliefs do not match your beliefs 100 percent I am not a "real" liberal.  That smacks of the whole "Rino" bullshit thing going on over on the other side of the aisle.

    We are all on the same side because we have more things in common than we have difference and we are working to have honest dialog on those differences.  I refuse to be called out on one aspect of my beliefs and have the rest of my beliefs belittled and called into question.

    There are bagels in the fridge

    by Sychotic1 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:41:51 PM PST

    •  Wrong. (2.50)
      The Death Penalty issue is fundamentally one of equality - it is administered unequally because it is inherently impossible to administer without making mistakes or changing the parameters to make it more usable in it's imperfect state.

      The Death Penalty is probably the ultimate gauge of the inequality of the justice system - this recent study outlines, among other findings:

      -80% of executions in California were for those convicted of killing whites, while only 27.6% of murder victims are white.

      -Those who murder whites are over four times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill Latinos and over three times more likely to be sentenced to death than those who kill African-Americans.

      -A person convicted of 1st degree murder in a predominantly white, rural county (like Napa, King, Colusa, or Shasta counties) is more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death than a person convicted of a similar crime in a diverse, urban county like Los Angeles, which has the highest number of homicides in the state.

      You have to fight for equality and justice even when you don't gain personally from the fight, and not caring about the abuses of a system that will kill the innocent, deny adequate legal council, and sentence according to arbitrary racial and financial realities qualifies you for Little Green Footballs land, not a blog for progressives and Liberals.

      "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

      by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:53:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since 1992 (4.00)
        12 executions in California

        8 were white
        2 black
        1 native american

      •  It's a sad fact, but a fact (none)
        On the issue of the death penalty especially, one cannot just draw a line in the sand and say you're either with us or against us. I agree with you that the death penalty is one of the great evils in our nation and the state has no right to take the life of a person who is under control (as oppsed to the right to use deadly force to prevent harm). The thing is that we're still only about 1/3 of the population. Whether it's the death penalty, reproductive rights, a fair tax system or militarism, sometimes you just just have to swallow disagreement over one issue to get along with people who are with you 80% of the rest of the way.

        What you ought to be doing is pointing out what is wrong with the death penalty and how it brings no real benefits with it, other than a small reduction of prison operation costs (which is roughly balanced by a higher cost of appeals in the courts).

      •  your analysis is flawed (4.00)
        one can logically believe that certain crimes merit the death penalty

        and the fact that some who merit the death penalty "get off the hook" by receiving a lesser sentence does not make the "correct" punishment of death received by others any less correct -- it doesn't lessen the severity of the underlying crime, it doesn't lessen the need for punishment.

        and for those "getting off the hook," which I am presuming you mean to be whites, even though your comment only talks about the victims of crimes, not the perpetrators, i imagine the vast majority find "getting off the hook" to be life imprisonment.

        personally, i'm rather ambivalent on the death penalty. i find life imprisonment in the torture chambers that are our prisons a functional equivalent. and our society makes life or death decisions every day, just not so explicitly.

        i find your absolutist approach to be flawed.

        I believe in saving money. I believe in having a house. I believe in keeping things clean. I believe in exercising. www.walken2008.com

        by The Exalted on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:16:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's better (none)
        If you had included this comment up above, you wouldn't be taking so much heat.

        Mike Farrell's group is who sponsored the study from what I can tell.  If we allow for bias or any of those things, the numbers are still pretty impressive.

      •  And that is just it (4.00)
        On the substance of this comment, I would actually agree with most of what you post. In fact you touch on several reasons why I am staunchly against the DP. But to have you trot out your Rush Limbaugh size paint brush in the diary itself, to create phantom enemies here at the dKos community and then have the unmitigated hubris to declare this community as a bunch of sell-outs and not "real" Democrats, progressives, liberals, etc. is not only arrogance writ large, but also stunning in both its stupidity and wrogn on the merits.

        Congratulations.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:21:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This meeting (none)
      of the people's judea front will now come to order....

      And no, I am not explaining this if you don't get it.

  •  STAND IN A CIRCLE AND SHOOT! (3.80)
    I wonder how many of these I'm holier than thou posters are coming over from the right wing blogs?
  •  Confused (4.00)
    Really you've got to work out what your arguments are before you start legislating how we're allowed to classify ourselves. Is it sometimes, people die who had nothing to do with what they were charged with, or is it even if Stanley Williams was entirely guilty of his charges, he should have been able to live out his years in prison? C'mon, this should be easy.
  •  what peacemonger said (4.00)
    rico, if you're that offended by the existence of pro-death penalty Democrats and pro-death penalty Kossacks, seems to me you have two choices:

    1) take some time to cool off and then start communicating why you feel so strongly, in a respectful tone, so as to help move people further left on this issue

    2)go elsewhere ["Abolish the death penalty" -- item H.18 on the 2004 edition of the U.S. Green Party platform].

    p.s. do limousine liberals really watch Survivor? i thought they were more into law and order and the bbc.

  •  Feel better now? (none)
    "And if you believe in the death penalty, please don't consider yourself a Liberal or Progressive - you don't qualify."

    As you don't know any of us. I doubt you have the right to judge us, but then you have. Typical.

    I hope you feel better now knowing you have given heck to people you don't, and never will, know.

    You almost sound republican (gasp).

    Cheers.

    " Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " George Orwell

    by pogo possum on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:45:19 PM PST

  •  I thought... (4.00)
    liberals and progressives were tolerant of differing opinions.  

    Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Stevo on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:49:21 PM PST

    •  According to Rico (none)
      I guess not.

      " Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " George Orwell

      by pogo possum on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:52:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To a point (none)
      Just because you're open minded doesn't mean you have to accept stupid-ass ideas. Like a hawkish foreign policy, a mania for the death penalty, no universal heathcare, etc. All of which have had way too much sway in the Democratic Party. I'm not calling for strict litmus tests, particularly not for candidates in places like Oklahoma or Nebraska. I'm not going to tell Ben Nelson that he's got to toe the line on every liberal issue. But, I am saying that we should have some standards.
    •  then you had a niave view of those labels (none)
      •  Or.. (none)
        you have a narrow view that suits your own agenda.

        Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre

        by Stevo on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:05:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  look, the logic of your post doesn't hold up (none)
          You constrained the terms,I provided no constraints.  If anybody is being narrow here, its you.
          •  following up to clarify (none)
            No, liberal and progressive doesn't mean being blindly 'tolerant' to other views.  I try hard to not tolerate racism, assholes, bad coffee, lame jokes, or corrupt politicians regardless of their location on the spectrum.  If you think a liberal and progressive must tolerate all other view you do indeed have a simplistic view of liberalism.  
  •  Your passion and ire are misdirected. (4.00)


    That is to say, you allowed your pique at a few bellicose online people divert you from writing what might have been a poignant and powerful piece about the death penalty... and your distraction resulted in a somewhat schizophrenic post whose sole reeaction from its audience will be along the lines of, "Whether or not I am against the death penalty (and most likely I am), fuck you, charley."

    Do you get my meaning, here? What earthly purpose could you serve by insulting the very people who are your natural allies? Debate, discuss, argue, by all means -- but there's simply no sense in lambasting an entire website's membership.

    What on EARTH could you have expected as a reaction?

    •  Indelicate? Maybe. Misdirected? Hardly. (4.00)
      Count me among the disappointed to find so many people here this week accepting state sponsored killing. We all know what the polls say about the public and the death penalty; shit, most Europeans still think that it's not such a bad idea.

      But there are plenty of base human feelings that we overcome on our way to civilization.

      Rico didn't manage to say it well, but what was said really can't be denied; "liberal" means that one accepts our essential humanness as the basis for the laws we structure over ourselves, and because of this essence we never ever deny it of others. Putting other people to death goes against the very basis of liberal thinking.

      •  With more then 70,000 users (none)
        it would seem we span the bell curve on the death penalty. Given that many users, I'd be surprised if we didn't.

        Me, I find the crimes most deserving of it generally don't receive it: launching illegal wars; stealing votes; and raping children.

        •  Why Raping Children (none)
          as opposed to anyone?

          Embrace diversity. Not everyone is intelligent.

          by FLDemJax on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:46:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was just trying to divert attention (none)
            from my obvious desires that would be of concern to the secret service.

            Seriously, because I (and I've been raped) stand some chance of protecting myself, of not putting myself in an unsure position, etc. Some chance, however slight it might be. Raping a child is taking someone who has a right to our protection and using their trust to harm them for your own gratification. For the other rapists, life in prison is okay. For a small child -- and I've a young friend who was raped when she was three -- I'd be willing to sentence the rapist to death on genetic proof.

            •  Forgot to add (none)
              that my friend's predator received only a three year sentence, and was let out two years early. She lives in fear of him every minute, fear he'll come hurt her again because he hurt her before, fear he'll hurt her again because she told after he said not to tell.

              In fact, her fear was enough to cause her family to move to a different state. Through the Megan's list, they found out recently that he'd moved to their new state too. So maybe her fear is justified.

    •  Its a common syndrome (4.00)
      It is sometimes more frustrating to see someone that nearly agrees with you stray off the reservation than it is to see someone that you know is out to lunch. That's unfortunate.

      It's my bet that, among the people in dKos that can stomach the death penalty, the vast majority are deeply worried about any potential miscarriage of justice. The far right, on the other hand, don't seem to give a damn. Their blood lust sweeps any thought of possible collateral damage completely from their sight.

      By hitting out at the people that are (mostly, sort of) in his corner, the diarist is implicitly letting the real evil off the hook.

      -2.38 -4.87: Maturity - Doing what you know is right even though you were told to do it.

      by grapes on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:24:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's true (none)
      though I'd say I can understand some people who are really upset about Williams' death taking it out on the community.  I did the same thing after Kerry lost.

      Me, I wasn't particularly upset about the execution, even though I oppose the death penalty.  But that's just me.

  •  Survivor? (none)
    I believe Daily Kos people are for the most part limousine liberals who believe in the work for justice, just as long as it doesn't interrupt their viewing of "Survivor"

    Man that is hitting way below the belt.

    Cheers,

    Pogo

    " Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " George Orwell

    by pogo possum on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:51:25 PM PST

    •  It's so easy to pick on Survivor! (none)
      I'm an inveterate Survivor fan myself, and quite unashamed to say it.  Actively pursuing progressive politics and enjoying the best of the reality TV smorgasbord are not mutually exclusive activities.

      Ironic, isn't it, that the diarist's efforts to disdain "limousine liberals" should come couched in such transparently elitist rhetoric.

  •  Wow.... (4.00)
    ....I thought you articulated my stance on the death penalty perfectly, and then you still managed to offend me. Congratulations.

    When Jesus returns, religious wingnuttia will have him committed to an asylum. - anonymous

    by Doug in SF on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:51:36 PM PST

  •  What a self-rightious piece of shit... (3.25)
    ...diary this is.

    Thanks for wasting a minute or two of my life that I won't get back reading this bullshit screed.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:51:40 PM PST

  •  Sorry I have to run (4.00)
    My limo driver called and said my Dom Perignon is not chilled sufficiently and I simply cannot eat my caviar without a fine champagne.

    Excuse me, do you have any Gray Poupon?

  •  so much for the big tent (none)
    care to write up a more comprehensive list of issues that we must all agree upon 100% in order to cling to these useless labels?

    "There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who believe there are only two kinds of people, and those who know better." - Tom Robbins

    by beedee on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 04:52:51 PM PST

  •  Thanks for telling me what I am. (none)
    Did you know that there have been 13 people put to death since November 1st?  By scanning your past diarys I wouldnt know it.  Reading your diary today would lead me to believe you rant EVERY time someone is put to death.  You are against the death penalty right?  Why do you NOW want to make an issue out of this? Dont oppose the death penatly becuase of the person who is executed, most dont deserve it, oppose the death penatly because its barbaric, every time someone is put to death.

    I love people who all of the sudden speak up when its the 'in' thing to do.

    •  Oops needed spell check. (none)
      •  I'm involved in Death Penalty Focus (none)
        ...yeah, sometimes I actually engage with real people outside of cyberspace. I'm also involved with Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace in Los Angeles.

        I actually was at Governor Arnies's house last year protesting his refusal to grant clemency to Kevin Cooper, who was granted a last-minute stay.

        Active enough for you?

        "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

        by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:04:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well if this bone-headed screed of yours (3.40)
          is any indication, you are hurting the cause for ending the DP in this country more than you are helping it. Particularly when you rail against your cartoon phantoms of who your ignorantly think this community consists of and doesn't precisely lick your boots the way you like on your pet issue. The fact that I, as someone who is very much against the DP for substantive reasons is tempted to tell you to simply go fuck yourself, I shudder to think how ineffectual you must be with people trying to work through this issue or those who might be reached who are currently ok with the DP.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:13:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you want to tell me what was inaccurate... (none)
            Or are you just venting?  Or maybe you can define for me how exactly a Progressive or Liberal can look at a capital punishment system that is inherently flawed, be OK with it, and still be a Progressive or a Liberal?

            Feel free to tell me to go fuck myself - just tell me where I'm wrong.

            "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

            by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:28:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You begin with the pressumption that most here (none)
              are "OK with the DP" which is a huge assumption (one which I posit is erroneous). You seem to misread the legitimate points being raised about not arguing the DPO in shaky "moral absolutes" and the fact that many rightly have little sympathy for Tookie Williams in particular as somehow proof that we are "OK" with the DP. Many, myself included, that have been arguing that there are legitimate reasons for not rioting over his execution (which some diaries were advocating),  are opposed to the DP, and said so repeatedly, while arguing the flaws in taking dubious maxims of "the state has no right to kill" as a mantra for arguing against the DP.

              Furthermore, there are people of good conscience who do not oppose the DP in every case, cases of genocide for example. FOr you to arrogate to yourself that that anyone who might hold such a position is not a "real Liberal or progressive" is not only wrong, but simply asinine.

              You then rail against the community as a whole for these absurd leaps, then come here with a holier than thou screed railing that we are not real progressives or liberals.

              It is not only wrong, but arrogance and hubris writ large.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:44:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I think there is sadly more than a little truth to (4.00)
    what you are saying. This site bills itself as a blog for Democrats, but that's only partially true; it is dominated by a certain brand of (mostly) white, middle class (as in Deaniac) Democrat. As the white working class began to cut its ties to Democrats after the 1968 realignment, liberalism became a politics of culture rather than a politics of economy and social justice, a politics of liberation (for white upper-middle class liberals) rather than compassion.

    For all the huffing and puffing about the sins of the Washington Democratic elite, there is little functional difference on a range of important domestic and foreign policy matters between the likes of Hillary Clinton and the likes of many here. The rhetorical bloodletting is mostly about the war in Iraq. There is little more concern in these parts about the plight of the accused and incarcerated than on the Hill, little mention of the fact that America imprisons more of its citizens per capita than any other country on earth, and in more violent, and unpleasant conditions than anywhere in the West. There are token diaries about poverty in America, but most of the Katrina critique was simple partisanship, not a call to arms for a new war on poverty. There is little mention of human rights abuses abroad unless they involve American soldiers, and little mention of the democratic aspirations of any number of peoples around the world, especially if those people are Muslims. Kossacks often seem fine with the American empire, as long as it has the imprimatur of the UN and EU.

    Sadly, one largely has to look to libertarian and leftist publications for conerns about the plight of the convicted, to neoconservative publications for concerns about peoples living under totalitarian regimes, and to paleoconservative publications for conerns about empire.

    I don't fault Democrats today for their preoccupations. I fault them for their sins of omission.  

    "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

    by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:02:35 PM PST

    •  What nonsense (3.00)
      Your screed is a nice strawman chraicature (at best).

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

      by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:07:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How many diaries have appeared in the past (none)
        six months about the state of the American prison system, and the epidemic of violence (both inmate-on-inmate and guard-on-inmate) and rape? How many diaries have appeared in the past six months about the human rights situation in Belarus, Zimbabwe, China, and Columbia? How many diaries have appeared in the past six months about the plight of liberal, democratic reformers in Burma, Egypt, and Libya? Why hasn't there been a front page effort to mobilize the thousands of Kossacks on behalf of repealing the bankruptcy bill and the new overtime rules? How many diaries have appeared about predatory lending to the poor and the lack of affordable housing for the poor (especially in Democratically-controlled blue states)?

        "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

        by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:16:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Quite a few on some of those (none)
           Most of them never get seen, however.

           On the others, why haven't those who are activists in those areas diaried them for those of us who are either time-constrained or unknowledgeable about these things?

           Perhaps it's that THEY are more concerned with Survivor instead of educating what should be a receptive audience....

           (Hint: The last sentence is only serious if you take the diarist's comments about 'limousine liberals' seriously.)

          I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

          by Anderson Republican on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:23:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look: I haven't compiled empirical statistics (none)
            about the content of dailykos diaries over time, but to suggest that there are not thematic trends on the one hand, and that certain issues have been either cravenly or negligently ignored in recent decades by the liberal mainstream is just unserious. On some level, you have to know that there is more than a little truth to what I'm saying.

            "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

            by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:28:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This has never been a site dedicated to (none)
              advancing the cause of human rights in Belarus. Not that diaries about that issue are not welcome here, but your are carping about something that is not really a legitimate issue to hold against this community.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:41:36 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Are Democrats the party of isolationism now? (none)
                Does it not matter to them that blond haired, blue eyed young men in Eastern Europe are still being disappeared, fifteen years after the end of the Cold War?

                "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:46:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No (none)
                  But we are focusing on what we can to do gain back power in this country, so we can be a positive force both here and abroad.

                  Hell we can't even secure Habeas Corpus in our own fucking country now. While I am not an isolationist by any stretch of the imagination. given our fucked up foreign policy for decades, culminating in the unmitigated disaster Iraq is, I think we as a nation could do a little more about cleaning up our own shit and stop being an empire before we can legitimately do much abroad.

                  The fact that we have a broken justice system here (which is what I believe legitimately inspired this misguided diary) is a pretty clear indication that there are real limits to what can be done, right here, right now. You can read into that however you want, call it hypocrisy, call it myopia, call us heartless brutes, but the realities is that we can only reasonably be expected to focus mainly on getting our own shit together. It isn't that we do not care, but human beings (be they individuals, or communities) have only so much bandwidth to dedicate their efforts to. It isn't because of any selfishness (more than any other human being) or lack of concern.

                  It is a bit disingenuous IMNSHO to expect dKos as a community to give equal focus to all the worlds ills all at once.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                  by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:59:21 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, with all due respect, I remain unconvinced (none)
                    that many Democrats either in the elite or the grassroots care much about a number of issues that used to be regarded as important to liberalism. Structural changes have taken place within the Democratic Party in recent decades, and not all of them have positive; this can't be denied. You know just as well as I do that diaries outside the preoccupations of this community get ignored, and that is sympomatic of what is wrong with the Democratic Party today, and wrong with liberalism in America.

                    "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                    by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:05:32 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Then you will have to remain unconvinced (none)
                      since you seem to be convinced that what you see is the truth.

                      You win, we are just heartless, uncaring, selfish assholes, so why stick around?

                      cheers,

                      Mitch Gore

                      Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                      by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:16:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The burden of proof is on Democrats in and (none)
                        out of power that they have not abandoned the most vulnerable people in this society, that they have not abandoned the cause of liberty and humanity abroad, that they have not abandoned the American middle class. The standard for Democrats today is the presidency of Bill Clinton, the behavior of congressional Democrats in recent years, and the issues that Democratic activists have taken up. On all three fronts, there is much to be desired.

                        "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                        by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:24:50 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Agree to a point (none)
                          but that is precisely what the "Democratic Wing of the Democratic party" was and is, and has been the mantra of the Dean movement. Getting back to the fundamentals of the progressive era part of the Democratic party's roots.

                          The DLC triangulate against the middle and lower income people in our party and nation are precisely the kinds of reforms within the party structure that Dean and the grassroots have been fighting to change for the better part of 3 years now and the the very people you are wrongly attacking and condemning because we are not trumpeting every cause under the sun with equal vigor in your eyes, and on issues which even where the Dems in power would have little legitimate control over. What next, we should invade Belarus because of human rights violations?

                          Again, we are assholes, we don't care, we are not "real" progressives,... whatever.

                          Seems you will not be convinced, and want nothing more than to throw bricks from the side-lines.

                          cheers,

                          Mitch Gore

                          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:00:58 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I disagree, not so much about the DLC but (none)
                            about Dean. With the exception of his opposition to the war in Iraq, Dean was squarely within the parameters of the DLC on most domestic issues. Apart from signing civil unions into law (which he could only have avoided by resigning), he was one of the most conservative governors Vermont has had in years, and widely disliked among many progressive activists in the state. Dean said "there was never that could be done about Wal Mart," never mentioned democracy or human rights abroad, or spoke out on behalf of a humane criminal justice policy, and a fair deal for the middle class and poor at home.

                            The Deaniacs have done a service to the Democratic Party by introducing internet-based fundraising by small donations, and the Democratic blogs have had an effect on the public discourse on some issues (this is why I want the focus to broadened), but in some sense they have helped to define liberalism rightward. They take many of the same positions as Bill Clinton but come across to the American people as angry liberals, so those positions come to seem more to the left than they actually are. Deaniacs have also focused too much on rhetoric, and not enough on substance. They often seem interested in having Democrats say the right thing rather than do the right thing.

                            "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                            by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:11:04 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dean was dislied by a minoirty of far-left (none)
                            activists because he was hardcore about fiscal discipline and wasn't opposed to every expansion of urban areas. He in fact did speak about democracy and human rights in the campaign. That is simply not true. He specifically talked about tying our trade policies to workers rights and environmental policy and spoke out regularly about a fair deal for both the middle and lower income Americans.

                            I suggest you go back and read his speeches.

                            They take many of the same positions as Bill Clinton but come across to the American people as angry liberals, so those positions come to seem more to the left than they actually are.

                            Like?

                            Examples please.

                            cheers,

                            Mitch Gore

                            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                            by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:37:57 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know... (none)
          ...how many of those issues have you written diaries about?

          You are again trotting out strawman arguments left and right. So because I am absolutely unqualified to write about the human rights situation in Belarus, I am therefore a some stereotyped brand of Democrat and thereby the point of this diarists jack-ass attack on this community is valid?

          What crap.

          BTW, there have been more than a few diaries in the past about predator lending, and about the bankruptcy bill, overtime rules.

          Those who carp about the focus here tend to do nothing to address the problem they are complaining about. Write a quality diary about the human rights issue in Belarus and you might educate people here. ANd I think it is rather disingenuous to be peeved at this community about fighting for human rights in Zimbabwe when we are having a rather piss poor job of keeping our ciivil and human rights secure form the neo-con assholes currently in power.

          When your house is on fire, it is hardly time to complain about the neighbors not mowing their lawn.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:35:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know man. There seem to be any number (none)
            of people with an apparently deep appreciation of Arab history, politics, and culture.

            You know as well as I do that diaries not about culture issues or the war in Iraq or partisan mud wrestling or the occasional confessional tearfest about how they were raped by a mad dingo at the age of twelve get roundly ignored. Check out how many people responded to my diary about the jailing of a Libyan blogger; the right-wing blogs were all over it.

            "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

            by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:43:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So it boils down to... (none)
              ...your diary or topic not getting the praise/attention you think it deserves?

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:02:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It isn't me who deserves attention; it is the (none)
                hundreds of thousands of people languishing in American prisons. It is the hundreds of millions of people living under repressive, authoritarian regimes aspiring to have liberty, and essential rights. It is the struggling American middle class, who have seen their burden of taxation steadily increase under Democrats and Republicans alike, and their safety net steadily eorde. It is the struggling American poor, who have been criminalized, and forgotten about for a generation. It is the struggling global poor, thousands who die every die, and millions who die every year, from hunger and disease.

                You wanted an example of my point, which was that diaries outside the preoccupation of bourgeois liberal concerns today get ignored.

                "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:20:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There have been numeriosu posts about many of (none)
                  those issues which have not been ignored. From long, in-depth series on the war on drugs being a abject failure and how those contribute to the prison industry and many of the problems therein.

                  You have a cartoon perception of this place you are railing against. Given your low user ID, I can perhaps understand it. But there have been diaries on many of the issues you cite over the years and in fact those were some of the reasons this site grew to such prominence.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                  by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:48:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hell there is, this very minute... (none)
                    ...a diary on the rec. list called Minimum Wage won't get you a 1-bedroom apartment ANYWHERE!... but yeah, you are right, we never focus our attention on diaries about the working poor, education, the social saftey-net.

                    </snark>

                    cheers,

                    Mitch Gore

                    Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                    by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:54:41 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I never said never, only that Democrats have (none)
                      become considerably less concerned with the plight of the American middle class, the plight of the American working class, the plight of the American poor, the plight of the accused and incarcertated, the plight of peoples living under totalitarian regimes abroad, and the plight of the global poor over the past generation. The principal concerns of dailykos are bourgeois social issues, partisan mudslinging, and the war in Iraq.

                      "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                      by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:01:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  The so-called war on drugs certains dovetails (none)
                    with criminal justice issues, but it is primarily a preoccupation of libertarians and bourgeois, libertarian liberals, so it comes as no surprise that it would be a popular issue at dailykos.

                    I've been here for two years, just got a new user ID in the past few months. And I've been following American politics since I was fourteen, which was the late 1980s. The transition from politics of compassion to politics of liberation within the Democratic Party was well underway by then, and the concerns of Democratic pols and activists have only become less ecumenical, less international, less humanistic in the intervening years.

                    "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Mencken

                    by thebluenomad on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:57:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  you, sir (none)
        seem to have acquired yourself a ratings stalker.  there's a lot of hot rhetoric flying through this thread, but you're the only one getting dinged.

        how curious.

        •  Par for the course these days (none)
          I get gang stalked in ratings often because I call bullshit when I see it. The irony of course is that I also get accused of doing that to others, though I most certainly do not. Even been accused of "messing with tags" which is an utterly bullshit claim that even if I were to do that, there would be no evidence to anyone but the site admins that I did.

          Hell I even got a ton of zeros by a bunch of twits because I called someone out for behaving like an asshole for calling AnnArborBlue a "Democracy Stealing Whore" because he was correctly calling bullshit over the demonstratively false title in the diary about what the GAO report on problems in the '04 election stated.

          Some just don't like direct honest language or discussion.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:39:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  and how did you decide that? (none)
      Are we all typing in whitey?  Damn, my caucasian is showing on the Internet again!

      I bet most people here would agree with your views of crime, there just (apparently) isn't a loud voice here that has been leading that discussion.  Have you been that voice to change the Kos tone?

    •  I love sterotypes! (none)
      Thanks for doing just that to me.

      Cheers,

      Pogo

      " Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " George Orwell

      by pogo possum on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:16:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for the history lesson (none)
      As your word "sadly", not all Democrats think alike, and not all people think alike. If your premise is that we are stereotyped as some white quasi Deaniac limo snobs, your dissertation is more full of shit than the diarist. Democratic philosophy today has very little to do with 1968. Half the American population were not even around in 1968. More Democrats left the party because of Ronald Reagan and not because of some kind of "re-alignment". In fact, many more Democrats in the south left en masse because of Johnson's Civil Rights bills, and that started before 1968. The death penalty not withstanding, is not a poster child for your argument.
  •  "And if you believe in the death penalty (none)
    please don't consider yourself a Liberal or Progressive - you don't qualify". That is a very simplistic statement that reeks of exclusionary rhetoric. What makes the issue on its own such a polarizing one is it is a personal issue as well as a societal issue. Should a liberal like myself be run out of the cause because one of my immediate family members was the victim of a homicide? Can you feel my pain? Do you have the right to tell me that because I experienced something in one issue of the vast amount of issues that determine my liberalness, I am excluded from some kind of club? I can no longer consider myself a progressive or a liberal? It sounds like you want to turn liberals into the same biased exclusion issue club as the conservatives because of one issue. And I was personally against Tookie's execution.
  •  I guess this means... (none)
    I'm neither a liberal, nor a progressive. I guess you don't want my blue vote in my purple state, in my purple district. Way to tighten that exclusionary tent pole there.

    Is it okay if we retain our US citizenship too?

    Needless to say, if I listened to every impassioned, single issue voter who denounced my own "earned" belief system, I'd be nothing more than the same frothing, foaming at the mouth zealot as Rush Limbaugh's ditto heads. A breed of voter I particularily hate, because they opt out of matters of critical thinking, and vote with their tribe.

    Furthermore, this stern talking to, like we were wayward school children, is more self defeating than it is constructive. Because I highly resent the notion that any particular stranger is going to lecture me on what I can and cannot be - and what I qualify for in terms of Liberal and Progrssive politics.

    Intolerance of other people's differing beliefs is always a wonderful sign of both arrogance and hubris. Good luck with that, I'm sure it will work out great for you.

  •  I've been in a limo once (none)
    it was a nice ride and there was quite a bit of Coca-Cola around too.

    When it comes to Mr. Williams, I don't have enougn information to make an adequate statement on what should have happened to him.

    I think that there's times which the Death Penalty is justified. It should also be used in a way which is fair, consistant, and non-discriminatory. That might be asking for a lot though.

    So basically I'm close to the middle on this issue.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:06:37 PM PST

  •  I may agree with you (4.00)
    on your attitude toward the death penalty, but your approach is all wrong, unless you want to end up, like Creon, the ideal ruler of a desert island.

    Telling people "If you don't agree with X, you are not a liberal" is nonsense.  Person-in-question may not be liberal on that issue, but may be emphatically pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-environment, etc., etc.

    Think of it this way: you may disagree, but these people are your allies.  What do you gain by telling them to bugger off?  

    Much more productive: "We disagree.  Let's talk through this.  Why are you pro-death penalty?  Maybe I can convince you otherwise."

    Otherwise there's no point in being on a forum for discussion.  You're only listening to yourself.

    (besides, unless I'm mistaken, the vast majority of posters on death penalty issues were anti-death penalty.  There were 2 or 3 death penalty advocates that I remember.)

    •  Actually... (none)
      Most posts here were for the Death Penalty, and it's implementation on Stanley Williams.  

      And my ally would fight on my side even though it is not their struggle - I would seriously doubt that most people for the Death Penalty have ever been racially profiled and pulled over in a high-rent area for no reason other than "Driving While Black/Brown", or had to struggle with the issue of scraping up enough money to pay for a defence lawyer because the court-appointed one knows you are innocent, but doesn't have time to represent you.

      I have either lived these issues on a personal level, or have had to struggle with these issues with friends.  My belief that the judicial system is inequal is "Reality-Based", and maybe that is where the disconnect is.

      "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

      by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:23:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  on that: (none)
        "And my ally would fight on my side even though it is not their struggle."

        Believe me, I know the feeling.  As a gay male, I have see my own civil rights struggle chucked out the window for political expediency, but since I'm in the minority, I take pride in what victories I do get (the Ford debacle, thank you everyone for your support) and work to fix those I don't (the marriage debacle).  Occasionally I resort to passionate, emotional defenses, but I gain nothing if I alienate the few people who will listen.  Flies + honey, right?

        That the justice system has an equity problem is understood by most on this forum, although I'm not sure if the death penalty per se is the best litmus test for that - the procedure as practiced in California directly contradicts that statement (see comments above), while the procedure as practiced in Texas supports it.

        Notice that most people who are arguing with you aren't doing so on the basis of whether the people on death row deserve their punishment, but whether the death penalty as such has merit.  By attacking racial profiling, you're implicitly supporting the death penalty by showing that its worst effect has to do with racial inequality.  

        I disagree.  I think it's wrong, regardless of who's on the slab.  Racial profiling has nothing to do with my opposition.

        So, quo vadis?  You have a strong opinion vis-a-vis the death penalty, but you're finding people who disagree with you.   You have a choice.  Do you call them "not real liberals", or do you discuss the implications of the death penalty in the hopes that you convert them?  The first option is a zero-sum game, and you do nothing but lose supporters (cf. the majority of comments here).  The second is the only real hope for change.

        I want to see the death penalty abolished.  So I do my best to engage the people in favor of it.  

        This is, after all, a democracy.  

      •  No (none)
        " My belief that the judicial system is unequal is "Reality-Based", and maybe that is where the disconnect is."

        I doubt that anyone here would stand behind the belief that the judicial system is free of bias.

        You decision to label most of the people who either read this blog or occasionally post to it is where the disconnect came from.

        Earlier Maryscott pointed out that your passion had ideals had merit, but that you choice of words may not have been wise (paraphrasing here).

        I am white. I grew up in a racially diverse neighborhood. In those days they were called slums. They were the marginal areas that separated the all white neighborhoods from the black ones.  One would have had to be blind not to see the inequality.

        You have a strong voice. Use it wisely to bring people together for the right reasons. Remember, it is hard enough to understand ourselves; it is much harder to understand the others.

        But we must if we are to do any good at all.

        Peace,

        Mike

        " Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " George Orwell

        by pogo possum on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:39:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not buying that (none)
        Most posts here were for the Death Penalty, and it's implementation on Stanley Williams.

        I call bullshit on that.

        Well over 80% of the posts were from people who do not support the DP, and the various diaries in the polls confirm that.

        I personally spent a large amount of time debating the issue of the DP against those who take a moral absolutist position that the state has no right what-so-ever to take a life, which is, as I have repeatedly argued, a bullshit assertion for numerous reasons. Yet I am 100% against the DP in our current criminal justice system, but for substantive practical reasons in how it is implemented and systemic problems with actually implementing a truly just system which uses it. Most of the people posting about not "rallying around Tookie" where because of real problems not just with the individual case of Williams being a poster child for the anti-DP cause, but also with absurd maxims that the state has no right to kill, which is an absurd proposition which is not only a disaster politically, but fundamentally wrong because, unfortunately there are humans which will kill, and sometimes lethal force must be used to protect the lives of others.

        cheers,

        Mitch Gore

        Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

        by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:10:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Personally, (4.00)
    I am vehemently anti-death penalty in all cases and find it utterly incomprehensible how anyone with even a modicum of conscience can condone it.

    That said, I recognize that while I don't understand where they are coming from, there are many decent people who do not share my point of view. I consider it my duty to attempt to persuade them to see my side and try to do so. Simply writing them off as bad people does no one any good.

    In the same vein, your diary is not contributing to a productive discussion. Simply attacking people who disagree with you and telling them they don't belong in your party will not only get you nowhere, it is also extremely rude.

    The basic division in society isn't liberals vs. conservatives, but those who believe that they should control the love lives of strangers and those who don't.

    by tempest in a d cup on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:14:07 PM PST

  •  I don't take issue with the death penalty (none)
    I've spent zero nanoseconds worrying about Stanley Williams and his ilk and I'm not about to start.  I don't really have any money that doesn't get gobbled up in the various bills I have to pay either.  "Limouisne Liberal" is a common conservaitve insult, and it seems your trying to incite a single-issue "pie fight" here.  Count me out.  If you don't like this web site, find another one rather than throw blanket insults of its membership.
  •  What is... (none)
    ...Limouisne?  Kossacks also believe in spellcheck.

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin blogomni

    by boran2 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:16:35 PM PST

  •  having just disembarked (none)
    from my....ok, "the 63 westbound", and having recalled the thoughtful diary posted by Buck Mulligan yesterday on the issue of the death penalty, and only finding rare support for the death penalty among any responders here yesterday.....I'm not sure what you are basing your critique upon.

    What's "Survivors"? ok, I know but I've never seen it.

  •  Litmus Tests & (none)
    black/white conclusions are useless.

    we're not addressing causality here, i.e. why some people feel compelled to be criminals, whether small time types or big time gangsters. we've scratched the surface a bit, but clearly there's a lot of work to do.

    then there's the fact the murder/crime rate is trending lower in some cities.. and understanding why that is?

    "Apparently, the person had been killed by a falling graveyard." Steve Coll The New Yorker

    by Superpole on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:27:57 PM PST

  •  nice to have a bigot - IF you do X, THEN (none)
    you aren't as pure as I am, or as noble, or as selfless.  

    regardless of whether I do or did agree with your points, your delivery is a kind I've heard since I was a teenager in the 70's from holier than me self sacrificing pain in the asses.

    IF we ever figured out how to run society fairly, then we'd figure out how to run the justice system fairly.

    And if the justice system was fair, people like Ken Lay and Tom Delay and pension leveraged buyout thieves and corporate and public management who ran their organization (making steel or teaching kids) into the ground --

    those who have the most rewards and the most authority would have the most accountability.

    and every saturday at the local football stadium I'd sell raffle tickets to who ever gets to pull the trigger or flip the switch on the people who've violated the trust of hundreds, thousands or millions of community members, cuz white collar crime is WORSE than robbing 6 seven elevens.

    and, if I am not your definition or anyone's definition of a liberal, tough.
    rmm.  

    Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders" http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by rmdSeaBos on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:31:15 PM PST

  •  God Forbid (none)
    We wouldn't want:

    •  Any disagreement - we should just adopt this week's talking points like our right wing counterparts.
    •  Any money - we should return all checks over Mr. Dean's $100.  It's not a revolution otherwise.
    •  Any self-reflection - we all must surely be right, on all things, and in agreement.

    I oppose the death penalty.

    I also think this is and unfortunate, misguided, silly post, hopefully offered as a reflection of passion rather than an attempt to be divisive.

  •  I'd comment further (none)
    but my limo is out front ready to take me to do battle against Christmass.
  •  I'm against the death penalty (4.00)
    And disgusted by the modern prison system. Do I get to keep my limo?
  •  Doesn't KOS find public action useless? (none)
    After all, Kos wept at the futility of all those clueless world protestors while surfing the blogosphere for the real action...
  •  So, is this GBCW? n/t (none)

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin blogomni

    by boran2 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 05:55:21 PM PST

  •  damn, i don't take litmus tests. (none)
    i refuse any label you give me by the way. no, i don't believe in the death penalty, but frankly that is none of your damn business. and saying what i am or am not is also none of your damn business.
  •  I've absolutely opposed the death penalty (none)
    in word and deed for years, now buy me my limo. I want it now, one with a bar in the back.  No TV though, I never watch the stuff as it brings out bad writing in people. Witness this diary.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:14:11 PM PST

  •  Well... (none)
    ...I would just cry a f***ing river if I cared what you thought about my progressive values.

    Feel free to post your thoughts and opinions, but statements like yours tend draw MY judgement about YOUR values.

    Truce and give it a rest.

    "Ninety-nine miles of solid-gold track, lay on the whistle and don't look back..."

    by InquisitiveRaven on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 06:38:34 PM PST

  •  Be proud... (2.50)
    You can all be partners of the Coalition of the Willing to Kill, like Iran, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and other bastions of Progressive and Liberal politics like Daily Kos.

    Too bad Europe is not as enlightened as you all are - all European contries have outlawed the blood sport of execution.

    And you know what? Maybe someone needed to point out some absolutes - you just don't get to call yourself a Progressive or Liberal unless you walk the talk, period.  If you support the final solution of a racially and economically biased legal system, you are more in line with the Pat Robertson idea of justice than any Progressive/Liberal solution to crime.  Ban me or downrate me, I don't really care, but if my diary exposed some of the hipocracy of the pseudo-left and embarrased some of the comfortable, so be it.

    And Maryscott O'Connor, the diary is not "schizophrenic". It's pretty direct and clear - Liberals and progressives by definition don't support the death penalty and support abolition.  I did err on the side of figuring that most people that post to Daily Kos are aware of all the volumes of studies that show the inequality and ineffectiveness of our legal system, but I think that's more emblematic of most Kos readers disinterest in the subject.

    Progressive and Liberal values are not nebulous definitions or "my club" - they are as real and definitive as any other political view.   I think the main reason that this diary is being hammered by so many people is that some of you are closer to the Republican/Conservative view on this issue than you personally feel comfortable with being accountable for.  And since the House passed Patriot Act 2 this evening, I hope that none of you will ever have to deal with the penalty phase of legal system while this administration destroys Habeas Corpus and Probable Cause from the front end.

    "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

    by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:32:27 PM PST

    •  no (none)
      Like any other political view, liberalism and progressivism are individualized definitions that everyone has a legitimate right to define for themselves, on their own set of beliefs.  As a progressive group, we get to call out people who are obviously using our titles to twist them for political gain -- like Zell Miller or, to a lesser degree, Joe Lieberman.  But even Joltin' Joe is progressive on some issues, and if he wants to define himself as one, who's to stop him?

      Your telling people what they should and should not call themselves, on the other hand, reeks of conservative power-craziness and is dangerously anti-progressive, in my view.

    •  And dude (none)
      I AGREE with you on the death penalty.
      •  Then where is the line in the sand? (none)
        Why would Zell Miller be a Progressive on some issues? Would David Duke be a Progressive if he believed in Fair Trade?  How much of walking the talk do you have to do before you are considered a liberal?  

        It's the opposite of the old Graucho Marx line - I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.

        "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

        by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:52:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You tell me... (none)
          ...where is that line in the sand?

          You have a single issue litmus test that goes beyond just whether or not someone supports or opposes the death penalty. I oppose the death penalty, but not for the simplistic and often absurd "moral" platitudes that "killing is always wrong".

          But yet according to you and some others here, even though I oppose the DP, I am not a progressive or liberal because I have the gaul o point out that the state and individuals are in some cases well within both the legal, but morally correct position to use lethal force, and that some crimes can rise to a level where people of conscience can and do support execution, (crimes against humanity for example).

          But instead, you would rather scream that nobody who doesn't meet your taste in liberalism or progressivism are not "real" ones and paint the entire community with a huge Rush Limbaugh sized brush.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

          by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 08:05:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you Francophile! (none)
            "having the gaul" lol.  Sorry, couldn't resist. :)
          •  Well - (none)
            I said that a fundamental point of Progressive and Liberal political action is fixing an unequal justice system and the abolition of the Death Penalty.  How you get there, I really don't care - The Flying Spaghetti Monster may have told you, or you just realized that innocent people have been put to death by the state.

            But it is an absolute for Progressives and Liberals, just like women's sufferage, child labor laws, infrascture and public health improvements, etc. And just like you can't consider yourself a Progressive if you don't believe in enviromental issues, voting rights, and universal health care, the Death Penalty is a line in the sand.

            It is a big paint brush, because it is a defining characteristic - maybe that's why it's so scary to some.

            "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

            by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 08:32:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh? (none)
              But it is an absolute for Progressives and Liberals, just like women's sufferage, child labor laws, infrascture and public health improvements, etc. And just like you can't consider yourself a Progressive if you don't believe in enviromental issues, voting rights, and universal health care, the Death Penalty is a line in the sand.

              Oh?

              Says who... you?

              Define "believing in environmental issues"...?

              Many paleo-conservatives believe in conservation and protecting our open spaces. Nixon even created the EPA... so saying "believing in environmental issues" is a meaningless phrase really.

              You do have a penchant for using those big ole' cartoon pencils that's for sure.

              But whatever... us low unworthy fake liberals and fake progressives will just have to defer to your superior abilities to decide who and what we are.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

              by Lestatdelc on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 08:42:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So... (none)
                If any Conservatives do anything a Progressive does, it falls off the list of Progressive qualifiers?

                Hmmm-we're not getting anywhere, are we?

                "A CONSERVATIVE is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." --Elbert Hubbard

                by Rico on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 08:51:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  If your definition (none)
                  of progressive or liberal is based on the way you view the world, then you have to find people who believe not only what you believe, but believe why you believe what you believe as well.

                  Did that come out right?

                  All I am saying is if you haven't figured out that the idea of liberal and progressive aren't absolute or "a line in the sand," then you are in for a lot of heartache at the worst and confusion at the very least.

                  Each of us comes from a very complex past that forged our values. If mine aren't exactly in line with yours, that's life. If I believe that the death penalty is wrong, but not for the exact same reasons as you, is my voice less legitimate?

                  You like to debate. Good. But don't alienate those who feel the same way you do. Call them what you will. I personally don't like labels of any kind - well that's not quite true when it comes to the administration :o). But I digress.

                  Debate those who do not believe in the value of life, who do not believe that justice is slanted.

                  Talk to those with whom you share common views and seek to understand and respect their opinion as you would have them yours.

                  I learned long ago very few people are totally bad. There is good in everyone. I also learned the fastest way to turn someone against your cause is to tell them that they and their kind are worthless and incapable of understanding your unique plight.

                  You have to decide what it is you want to do: be a martyr or be an agent of change.

                  Peace child,

                  Pogo - leaving in his Subaru Outback. Never cared much for limos.

                  " Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. " George Orwell

                  by pogo possum on Thu Dec 15, 2005 at 02:49:37 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  How Progressive of You (none)
    to post a diary that scolds and insults your political allies because they don't measure up to your personal standards.

    You may consider yourself a progressive, but what you write reveals you to be imperious, judgmental, and given to broad-brush condemnations of those you deem ethically or morally deficient.  Hmmm.......

    -7.38, -6.62 Jesus + Fetus = SCOTUS (math by Jon Stewart)

    by lightiris on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 07:33:05 PM PST

  •  Anti death penalty diaries (none)
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    They haven't gotten much play, but there have been a number of death penalty diaries here.  I wouldn't say most Kossacks are pro death penalty although there are several really loud proponents here of the death penalty.

    A Particularly notable anti death penalty diary was MississippiDem's diary, because it is her/his story starting with the death of her/his sister, and ending up her/him being against the death penalty.

    Not all relatives of murdered people are lusting after revenge.

    I don't myself.  You can find my story in MississippiDem's diary.

    I particularly dislike the fact that the execution of the death penalty makes our elected officials, and particularly our governors, into murderers, who will authorize a death penalty even when they know that some of the people they execute are innocent.

    I don't think the Texas death penalty improved the character of  GW Bush.

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