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No, it's true. Wait...get your finger away from that "troll rate" button...please?

Since this is my first diary, I thought I'd better get this out of the way right now. I know, it's like standing up at a Dobson function and shouting "I'm gay!" or like attending a Sierra Club meeting wearing seal fur and carrying a "Drill in ANWR - NOW" sign. But I've been lurking here at dKos for over a year, and I finally...well, just needed to join here last week. I think it was ScAlito that finally pushed me over the edge.

I have a weird view of my party affiliation and, in fact, my party. IMO, the Republican Party has become a third party, a fringe party. It's practically gone - a mere afterthought in American political party history. We've got the two "major" parties now: Democrats and Rethugs - and the rest are also-rans.

I'm not sure the exact date the Republican party died; the Southern Democrats' reaction to the civil rights movement in the 1960's may have foreshadowed the Republican party's demise as swarms of bigoted, racist, and intransigent Dems fled their party and took refuge in the oppostion's camp. The party went on life support with the rise of Jerry Falwell, the religious right, and trickle-down Reaganomics in the 1980's. And by 1994, the year of the so-called "Republican Revolution": well, that was when the leadership of the party formerly known as "Republican" firmly established itself as being from the radical south and the Rethug party was born.

I've been a registered Republican since 1972, when at 18 I first registered to vote in my native state of New Jersey. Always a contrarian, I foolishly supported the Vietnam war in order to differentiate myself from my peers. I proudly voted for Richard Nixon by absentee ballot, and I voted reliably "R" for almost the next 20 years. The Reagan era caught me napping - too many recreational chemicals in the '80s for me to realize what was going on, maybe - and I failed to see the evil being born and the destruction of the potentially beautiful Carter legacy before it ever passed the embryo stage.

I can tell you exactly when I had my epiphany and stopped voting "R" though: the Bush 41 - Clinton debate where Papa Bush said that our courts should 1) eliminate "all those" appeals..."you get your sentence, and that's it!" and 2) eliminate "ridiculous exclusionary laws...when an honest cop makes a mistake the evidence shouldn't be excluded just because he didn't have a warrant or something".

Pfffffft!

Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth amendments to the United States constitution: obsolete. Let's wipe 'em out.

I've tried to develop impeccable progressive and liberal credentials. I have Political Compass numbers of -10.00, -6.77. **edit** Sorry - typo - it's -9.00, -6.77. I vote for Democrats for almost every office except for a few local and state positions.

But I'm still an "R".

Maybe it's a stubborn refusal to give in to the Rethugs, to finally accept that they've destroyed my party. I know that part of my motivation is to be able to vote in Republican primaries at the local level such as county commissioner; in my county, one of the reddest in an already red state, there are no Democrats in county office, so it's important to try to get rid of the worst of the Rethug crooks in the crowded "R" primaries (there generally are no local "D" primaries). Part of the reason is so that I can stand up to the rest of my so-called party members and say "I have the same letter after my name as you do, what in the world are you thinking?"

I've even had some success at the latter.

My "D" friends - a growing circle - keep predicting I'll leave the "dark side" soon. I think they have some kind of pool going at local Denocratic party headquarters. And then I read diaries such as the Lamont/Lieberman diaries and realize just how crucial party activism is for Demorcats right now. I'm trying to find a way to help. Democratic primaries for congress in NC are just about nonexistent, but good Democratic candidates, such as Tim Dunn NC-08, are emerging and I will loudly support them. I've come to the conclusion - it's not exactly rocket science - that it's not necessarily about party, it's about values. I've already gotten infuriated by Kossacks who have voiced support for ScAlito, or made excuses for the unacceptable votes by Democrats and blue-state Republicans Rethugs for cloture. As a newbie, I reflexively "1" rated some of those comments, and I'm sorry I let my emotions run away from me causing me to abuse the rating system that way. I'm learning.

I hope that there are other "recovering Republicans" out there who share my views and offer themselves as allies in the newly emerging progressive movement led by brilliant and principled Democrats like so many of the Kossacks. The fact that "recovering republican" was already taken as a member ID when I joined is a good sign. I pledge to work tirelessly at all levels, from local to federal, to eliminate the Rethug plague from our system. We need some help from the last remaining Republicans too.

I apologize for making this more of a bio than a diary, but I look forward to posting some good diaries when I have something substantive to write about.

Originally posted to blue in NC on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:25 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice diary. Reads very therapeutically. (4.00)
    Its always encouraging to see that people DO change...thank god we all arent exactly like we were at 18.

    Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

    by ablington on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:32:28 AM PST

    •  speaking of therapy (4.00)
      apologies for jumping the thread just to post a little cold water, but...

      If you are disillusioned and dissatisfied with your party, why do you retain membership?  The strongest statement you could make to your D and R friends would be to leave the party.  It's so easy.  You don't even have to go all the way Dem, independent will do.

      Are you just out to seek attention, and/or approval?  Fine, you have it now, but time is precious these days.  If you have recognized evil, good for you.  Now, move on.  Don't milk this indefinitely.

      It is plainly obvious that the leader of your party, George W, does not have the mental faculties, moral courage or the true know how to be truly evil.  What he believes in is even more dangerous.  He believes he's an agent of a god.  What makes this so dangerous, is that those that are manipulating him find themselves once removed from responsibilit for their actions, and thus, are able to do even more damage to our fragile state.  Surely, you must admit we are in a fragile state, in terms of the nation and the continuation of human civilization.

      Make the leap.  The Republican party is past tense.  Move on.

      "pulp is fiction, blogs are hope, long live electricity"

      by dash888 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:46:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why I am still a Republican (4.00)
        because if I (and all other republicans with a small r) jump ship, only theocons will vote in primaries.

        And given the level of gerrymandering thats taken place,  there were only 37 highly competitive House seats in play in 2004 and only 10 seats were decided by less than 5 percentage points.

        So the primaries are the only place to stop the theocons.

        And so I must remain a republican.

        Now if only enough Democrats became Republicans and voted in primaries, we could end this long nightmare.

        Join the Republican Party and save the Republic.

        Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

        by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:08:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what's wrong with facing a theocon? (none)
          Let the party fully disrobe and expose itself.  The majority of the American people, even in red states, do not believe in their tripe.  

          "pulp is fiction, blogs are hope, long live electricity"

          by dash888 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:14:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is a theocon in the White House already (4.00)
            so your remark that the majority of the American people won't vote for one was proven wrong in 2004.

            I voted for McCain in the primary in 2000.

            Any time you nominate a theocon there is a chance they might win.

            And boy do they win.

            Did you hear Kansas wants to force abortion clinic to pressure  young women (under the age of 16) report their boyfriends to the state as rapists?

            Even if both the girl and boy are 15?  And the sex was consensual?

            Imagine the chilling effect on young girls seeking an abortion.

            And if a girl goes to get treated for a STD?  Her doctor is supposed to report her to the state as a rape victim.  Now how many girls are going to be willing to confide in their doctors?

            Wake up.

            Americans will and do vote for theocons.

            Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

            by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:35:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As a Californian, I made the (none)
              strategic choice to vote for McCain in the 2000 primary also.  I viewed Bush as an incompetent fool, though dangerously connected.  He needed to be stopped.

              I do not feel that I was proven wrong in 2004.  The theocons are scary, sick and wrong people, but I do not feel that they win elections fairly.  I believe that the right candidate, with a helping of truth, can expose these people for the evil that they are...

              I do not feel the need to "wake up."  I already understand that theocons are absolutely evil, but I do not agree that the way to fight them is with mediocrity.

              "pulp is fiction, blogs are hope, long live electricity"

              by dash888 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 12:12:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So did I (none)
                I used to be more of an independent.  In 2000, I reg'd as a Republican so that I could vote for McCain, because the Dem primary was no longer really contested, and I thought Bush was an idiot, and I liked McCain -- though would have voted against him in the general.  I don't doubt that this country would be better off right now if McCain had won in 2000.  Of course, that ain't saying much.  Reagan, even in the state he was in, would have been better than W.

                New Right Wing Motto: W, better than Stalin

                by NewDem on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 01:45:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  me too (none)
                  I registered Republican when I turned 18 because I didn't really care and it seemed like there were more Republican crazies running for President that it would be nice to vote against during the primary. Voted Bob Dole in the primary, Bill Clinton in the general; Gray Davis in the open primary, Gray Davis in the general; John McCain in the primary, Al Gore in the general; noticed a pattern and registered Democrat.

                  I always used to vote for Republicans and Greens on the downticket items on the theory that it would be a good idea to grow more reasonable office holders to replace the crazies. Then I discovered that downticket Republicans were even crazier and Greens...could not be forgiven for 2000. So now I'm a straight-ticket Democrat.

            •  Of course the girl could lie (none)
              And name any one of a number of religious right adults in her community as the "rapist" who impregnated her, rather than getting her (in my opinion innocent) boyfriend in trouble.  I'm not advocating anything here.  Not trying to come up with ideas as to what people could do in real life of course.  No, not innocent little me.  I'm just saying....

              Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

              by DemDachshund on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 02:26:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  see advisorjim's story to find a truer path (none)

          "pulp is fiction, blogs are hope, long live electricity"

          by dash888 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:16:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I had the same thoughts in the mid-80s (none)
          when I became so disillusioned with Reagan corruption and mistruths, College Republican lack of integrity and backstabbing, etc. that I began to find myself voting - and speaking - against the poor direction of Republicans for the first time in a very public manner.

          Yet, I retained my registration with that party until after getting married and moving to a new state.

          The registration as a Democrat while at the DMV seemed odd and foreign, because I truly feel like an Independent in terms of party affilliation and it almost seemed that I might once again fall into the trap of blind alignment with a party, rather than ideas, causes and conscience.

          I certainly vote mostly Dem today, but give worthy Reps a vote here and there (1 vote out of all choices in the most recent voting cycle, actually).

          You may want to reconsider the need to be registered as a Republican.  Simply adding numbers to the other side - or, at least taking them away from the Republican side - is possibly a more positive, and freeing, action.

          A fine diary, btw.  I can empathize with much of what you offer, even if my own travel away from programmed social conditioning and virulent Republican membership happened after some significant, personal situations smacked my mind and soul.

          •  The backstabbing issue chased me out (none)
            of the YAF chapter where I went to college.

            I was far too liberal for the YAF types even then, in the early 70's, and the bullshit attempts at "political intrigue" were about as idiotic as it gets.

            The loss of the Rockefeller/Javits wing of the party spelled the end of the party being "mainstream" as far as I am concerned.

            Since D'Amato's first election the party has shifted way to the right and is far and away more in the pocket of special interest groups than I thought imaginable, and one look at the disarray of the party in New York State will bear out what I say.  It's like a Sam Waterston line from a movie, "More money than God, and the moral conscience of an ant."

             

        •  thouroughly recovered republican (none)
          youthful indescretion is in the past.I am now dry,have not had a drop of babies blood in years.

          it tastes like burning...

          by eastvan on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:01:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  R for Republican (none)
          Good point about voting in the primaries to counteract the extremists.

          Welcome to Republicans, lurking and out. Nice first diary, blue in NC.  Thanks for your insights into yourself, the Republicans, and politics in general.  

          I'm in the opposite situation. I'm one of those Democrats who is going to register Independent after too many years of supporting the cause and Democratic candidates only to be let down, time and again.  I'm a lefty liberal, and obviously don't belong in the party, and should not expect anything from Democrats. They don't care about or need me, other than for my vote and money.  

          I heard the message yesterday that those who were not a certain brand of Democrat should leave the party and get off kos on the way out. And in some of the diaries today, I see that the ideas of moderate Democrats are not welcome, either, and troll-rated away. I think the Democrats have to be more inclusive of the heavy fringes of the party in order to win elections by numbers.  

          All these years I've wanted the Democratic party to change and be more like me, but now I realize it's me that has to change; change my situation.

          But I'll have to do some more checking about whether or not I can vote in local primaries, so thanks for the heads up. We are mostly Democrat, and very rural, small town, Aaayyy Bro- backroom political deals around here. I'll check on it before switching from Democrat. Maybe I can just be unaffilated and still vote all I want.

          I'm looking forward to more diaries from you all.  

          People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people.  R for Revolution

      •  I thought his arguments (4.00)
        for staying in the party made sense. "I've the same letter after my name" and all that.

        We all have the freedom to make different decisions.

        To the diarist:

        Welcome aboard! -- I don't care if you're R or D, glad to have you working on our side.

      •  disillusioned and dissatisfied with your party???? (none)
        "If you are disillusioned and dissatisfied with your party, why do you retain membership?"

        If we followed this theory, nobody at dkos would be a Democrat.

        I once believed that the Republican party was conservative (slow to change) not radical, that they stood for the constitution, not against it, that they stood for fiscal frugality, not against it, that they stood for an old-fashioned morality and a touch of isolationism. I was wrong, but I would like to have been right.

        If THAT was the Republican party, I would probably still be a Democrat, but sharing popular cycles of popularity with that party wouldn't tear the country apart, spend us into paralysis and shred our moral stature in the world.

        I encourage our friend to remain a Republican, I suspect he is not alone. I live in New Jersey and I know others like him.

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. ~~ Mohandas Gandhi

        by TimeTogether on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:49:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why keep the R? (none)
        Subvert from within.

        "But sanctuary never comes without some kind of risk" - Bob Seger

        by YukonJack on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:11:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Welcome (none)
      greetings and welcome. it's true, it's nice to see people using their critical analysis skills to question the status quo, instead of believing everything they see.
  •  Welcome!!! (4.00)
    I think one of the biggest things you can do is to continue to identify yourself as a "recovering Republican." As one who has been disillusioned by the GOP, your voice carries a certain weight. Lifelong Republicans who now recognize the corruption of the current GOP cannot be as easily dismissed as those of us with longtime progressive leanings. Your voice is welcome here. Please continue to speak up!

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mohandas Gandhi

    by trueblue illinois on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:34:25 AM PST

  •  I miss real political argument (4.00)
    You know, where you had a neighbor or somebody from work who was a real conservative, not this weird tribal "conservatism" that we're inundated with these days.

    I remember debating actual issues based on stuff like "what is the actual cost-benefit relationship between higher taxes and more social spending"?

    That's largely disappeared. I wish Joe Lieberman were a Republican. I could almost respect him as a Republican.

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

    by Bill Rehm on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:34:40 AM PST

  •  Your political compass defies categorization (3.62)
    What is that?!  Socialism squared?  It sure as heck isn't Republican.  I doubt you ever were.  You were just rebelling when you registered and voted for Nixon.  Heck, I'm more Republican than you are and I'm a registered Democrat.  
    Well, whatever the heck you are, it must sure be fun to be with you at a barbeque (is that mustard based in NC?).  Your party affiliation is bound to throw the wingers for a loop.  
     

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:35:20 AM PST

    •  political compass (4.00)
      Funny, I too voted straight Republican for twenty years, up until Dubya. Thankfully I was in the midst of a move in 2000 and didn't vote, so I don't have that guilt to bear, and when he talked about attacking Iraq, I could see in his body language that he was lying. I soon grew to despise him, voted for Kerry in 2004, and was devastated when Bush won again. (I don't see how people can't see that he's almost always lying and basically just a hollow shell, like one of those ghost-town storefronts that look good on the outside but are nothing but trash on the inside.)

      That's when I wound up here on dkos, seeking solace and like-minded folks. And over the past year plus, I've come to realize that I've been voting against my interests and deepest held core beliefs all these years. I'd been brainwashed by the church I went to, as all of my friends there had been as well. And my political compass scores actually turned out to be further to the left than yours and many other Kossacks as well, with scores of -6.75 and -6.21!

      •  chantedor (4.00)
        I've seen quite a few eyes beginning to open in my Sunday school class. We switched churches from a big Southern Baptist church after November 2004 because we couldn't stand being surrounded by so many Talibaptists -- although a lot of the white haired ladies in the back pews were Kerry voters, the overwhelming were Bush  cultists.

        At my new church I decided I'd speak up more even though it's small and impossible to get lost in the crowd.

        And I'd point out regularly how the Bush administration is not Christian as they believed.

        I think I've convinced several. I've even heard one of the former Bush people, a woman with the big poofy hair blasting Bush even when I wasn't in the room.

        Last week the Sunday school teacher asked me to be the assistant teacher.

        We can make the world a better place by laying them by the heels. -- Sherlock Holmes

        by Carnacki on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:05:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lots of Christians are wondering (4.00)
          how this gang of thugs managed to claim they represent Christianity.  These thugs have given us a black eye.  

          It's been easier for me -- we attend a church (here in the SOUTH!) where most of the bumper stickers on the cars in the church parking lot were for Kerry.  We talk all the time about the meaning of Christian values, the fact that as Christians we are called to care for "the least among us" -- not the wealthiest 1%.  You know -- all that liberal, progressive stuff.  :)

          Glad you found a church where you can feel at home.

          Stay strong!

          "No self-respecting woman should wish or work for the success of a Party that ignores her sex." -- Susan B. Anthony

          by Yellow Dog Dem Woman on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:43:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  what kind of church? (4.00)
          I stopped going at all, and haven't gone for several years now. I couldn't stomach it any longer. But sometimes I think I'd like to go to one that reflects progressive values. What kind are you going to now?
        •  Woo Hooo! (none)
          As I have mentioned before...

          You...rock.

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:05:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Faustian bargain made by the religious right (4.00)
          Justice Alito, and to a lesser degree Justice Roberts, will ina ll probability be pro-life which is what the religious right wants.  But here is the Faustian bargain; they also got justices who believe in the unitary executive doctrine and the transferrence of power from Congress to the President.  Here's the bumper sticker synopsis for the Christian right:

          Pro-life means Pro-Caesar.

          Make sure your church going friends know this is the bargain they made.

          •  davidgmills (4.00)
            I can honestly say I've not heard a single one of them mention Judge Alito - pro or con. Not one. It's not a politically inactive group either. One of the members -- and we've talking about a 40 person congregation -- is the County Commission chairman and a Republican. I'm not exactly sure what to make of that, but if I had to guess I'd say the Faustian bargain as you so well describe it weighs heavily on them and they don't see Alito's appointment as cause for celebration.

            We can make the world a better place by laying them by the heels. -- Sherlock Holmes

            by Carnacki on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:18:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Whats gonna be interesting (4.00)
            is how much Roberts and Scalito continue to believe in the unitary executive when that executive has a "D" after their name.  I dont suppose its possible that they might be hypocrites?
    •  Mustard? (none)
      "Well, whatever the heck you are, it must sure be fun to be with you at a barbeque (is that mustard based in NC?)."

      The barbecue sauce is vinegar-based (for pulled-pork barbecue); the cole slaw, however, IS mustard-based.  Gooood eatin.'

      S - An ex-Tarheel living in San Diego, who believes the locals aren't quite as civilized as they believe themselves to be because they haven't thrown any good pig pickin's.

    •  I dont see it as odd at all (none)
      socialist on economic, libertarian on socials.

      for the recod i'm

      Economic Left/Right: -6.50
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

      O'BRIEN: What if Jesus got this card? Would he be angry about it? He's be OK with it, wouldn't he? DONOHUE: Well, maybe he would, but I've never met him

      by PoliMorf on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:13:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm, it was supposed to be funny (none)
        I honestly couldn't remember who was represented in that quadrant of the compass.  Was it Pol Pot?  Nahhh, he was authoritarian.  Who was socialist and libertarian at the same time?  The Navajo?  It just struck me as a curiosity for a so-called Republican.  
        I'm about where Nelson Mandela is which puts me in good company.  :-)

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:34:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  its in the same quadrant (none)
          as Mandela and the Dalai lama but closer to the centre

          O'BRIEN: What if Jesus got this card? Would he be angry about it? He's be OK with it, wouldn't he? DONOHUE: Well, maybe he would, but I've never met him

          by PoliMorf on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 03:42:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If that's socialism squared, What am I? (none)
      Personally, I say I'm Libertarian Socialist.
    •  politcal compass is meaningless (none)
    •  I think the compass (none)
      streches out on the ends. Im 9,8 ish and i know Im a very liberal person, but I wouldnt place myself as THAT extreme. I mean, Im to the right of Chomsky and others on a lot of issues.

      Momma, who are we voting for? Big momma gon' vote for Rod Blagojevich.

      by your friend steve on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 05:37:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No problem (4.00)
    There are people in Brooklyn who still root for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    There's nothing wrong with nostalgia, as long as it doesn't interfere with your life -- staying registered as a Republican because of what the party once stood for but being an activist for Democrats because that party now embodies your interests is perfectly reasonable.

    I'd be frustrated not getting to vote in primaries, but that's not nearly as important as getting out the vote and fighting people like Alito.

  •  No prejudice here... my wife is Republican... (4.00)
    and voted Democratic in the last 2 Presidential elections...

    Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

    by Dood Abides on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:38:23 AM PST

    •  Oh lord (4.00)
      I couldn't do it.  My ex-girlfriend is a Republican...aparently one of five under-25 African-American female Republicans in all of Los Angeles County.

      Worst. Relationship. Ever!

      Ironically, it was that relationship that helped me truly understand that a person's political ideology is a reflection of their values.

      Hey Roberts lovers, a link to a CNN story PRIOR to the nomination: Big Biz Draws Up Supreme Court Wish List

      by DWCG on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:54:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This has been my best relationship ever... (none)
        we have some real differences in political philosophy... she is more into personal accountability/responsibility... I'm more in favor of erring on the side of mistaken overfunding and possible abuse of funding for social causes... we have lively discussions, but very much respect each other's opinions... she's even read and seen some of the stuff that I write and photoshop from a decidedly partisan viewpoint and thinks a small portion of it is a little funny... I might even be getting her to come with to Yearly Kos... ; )

        Dudehisattva... <div style="color: #0000a0;">"Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"&l

        by Dood Abides on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:27:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd certainly hope it's the best relationship (4.00)
          you've ever had, seeing as how you married her. I don't think she'd be too pleased to read that you had a better relationship with someone else... ;)

          Anyway, I agree with both you and the original diarist.  I definitely differentiate between Republicans and Repugs, and I wish the Republicans had a stronger voice in this country.  I may have disagreed with them far more often than I agreed, but that didn't mean I couldn't see the validity of their arguments, and they weren't morally reprehensible to me.  I thought they served a necessary purpose in this country.  I have Republicans for friends.  I wouldn't have a problem dating or marrying one.

          This current crop of Repugs, though - those are the ones where I see how political beliefs absolutely go hand-in-hand with atrocious personal values.  I could never have one of them as a friend or lover or spouse.

      •  Hoo, Yeah! (none)
        When I first met my wife in 1988, I casually asked her what she thought of Reagan.  She said (diplomatically)she really didn't care for the man.  I said (non-diplomatically) that I hated his guts.  I could never have had a relationship with a Republican for that reason: the way you vote is a reflection of your personal values.

        "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." -Mohandas Gandhi

        by Bulldawg on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 01:28:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have a number of friends who are Republicans (4.00)
    ... like you.

    They cannot believe the turn their party has taken.  They are particularly disturbed by the reckless spending of the current regime.  They know the fallout is coming for the immense borrowing under Bush.

    The Republicans I know who are in your camp did not vote for Bush this last time around.

    They were too disgusted.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:38:41 AM PST

    •  Same here, Bob (4.00)
      My friends, they are far more "Republican" than you could comfortably call "liberal," but they don't recognize his policies in any way as conservative.

      The Randian fanatics, or Neo-Liberals, do like that "liberal" word, the rest are very, very Southern Gentlemen types.  They were Republican through and through.  That was until Democrats were the ones espousing reigning in government power, taxes, and growing the economy, and they were the only ones with the credentails to prove it.

      I keep hearing stories like yours Bob.  It looks like Dems could be out for lots and lots of converts.

      •  Not sure if these folks would 'convert' (none)
        But they are certainly bigger fans of Clinton's economic polices than those of the Bushies.  (That said, most of them can't stand Clinton for other reasons.)

        But these people are, first and foremost, business people.  They are well aware of the consequences of having China fund a huge portion of our debt while Americans borrow incessantly against their homes.

        There will be hell to pay and they think Bush doesn't give a shit.

        Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

        by Bob Johnson on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:47:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've met these people as well (4.00)
           If you think about it, in many ways on fiscal issues Dems are much closer to the politics of old time R's than the idiots that are calling themselves "Republican" now. Can you imagin what Goldwater would think of Bush? Even 20yrs ago, if you told an R that we would be looking at the deficits that we are facing with a Republican pres and congress they would puke.
    •  Me too (none)
      and most of them supported Dean and continue to work to undermine the neocons.
  •  Welcome, and you're not alone. (4.00)
    No, not me personally, but enough of my friends that we have an acronym for it-OPR.

    Once Proud Republican.

    When we join together to wrestle our country back from the abyss, it's as Americans-as human beings.

    Once the worst of that danger as past, I look forward  to debating the issues-Old School style...

    A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

    WAtR

    by boadicea on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:41:01 AM PST

  •  Welcome (4.00)
    Don't worry, there are quite a few of us already here.

    The Republicans have a fundamental problem with telling the truth - Howard Dean.

    by NYC Sophia on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:41:22 AM PST

  •  Dirksen (4.00)
    Everett Dirksen, of course, played a vital role in passing Civil Rights legislation as the Minority Leader in the Senate during LBJ's tenure.  You could say to W, "I know Dirksen.  I was a friend of Dirksen.  And you are no Everett Dirksen!"

    Seeing W invoke Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln last night (well, reading, I couldn't stomach actually watching him) made me wonder how he had the nerve to claim their legacy when he stands for hatred, diminishing the rights of the American people, and running roughshod over the kind of protests that was MLK's staple.

    Then again, my father shared a lot of your views and  he, too, was a nominal Republican.  And he sure wouldn't have liked Bush.

    •  Maybe call them "Classic Republicans" (4.00)
      ...as opposed to the Rethugs or the GOP Taliban or the RICO Republican Party (that'd be Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations) that's now in power.

      My dad was a registered Republican for something like 35 years, but he was a New Hampshire Republican, probably in a similar mold to Senator Jeffords.

      And speaking of the comparisons to Lincoln ... my dad related a joke the other day, about GWB being visited by the ghosts of Presidents past, giving him advice.  Washington said never to tell a lie.  Jefferson said ... I forget what.

      Lincoln advised him to go to the theater.

      =

      Here's a meme for you: U.S. Const. Art. II Sec. 4.

      •  WTF happened to all those old-school Republicans? (4.00)
        They've either died off or are keeping a lid on it.  Javits, Rockefeller, and Chafee?  Dead.  And the remaining moderates--the Welds, Kassebaums, Whitmans, and Rudmans?  There's not a peep from them.  (Don't get me started on Weld's bid to become governor.  Give it up, Bill!)  Whitman wrote a namby-pamby book called (barf) "It's My Party Too."  Please.  She comes from an established Republican family.  The proper title should've been "Who're You Calling a RINO, Jerk?"

        When you couldn't get a real journalism job, there's Fox News.

        by The Truffle on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:03:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the laugh... (4.00)
        BruceK wrote:
        ...Lincoln advised him to go to the theater.

        LOL...

        Yeah, I was a New Jersey Republican...sort of the same thing, although Jeffords is the best of all of 'em so far.

      •  My father was Republican (none)
        but he was, as I like to add, an "Eisenhower Republican," in large part because he had been his commander from 1941-'45.  Remember, Eisenhower's the one who said "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

        And "Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

        "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." -Mohandas Gandhi

        by Bulldawg on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 01:38:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome..I am glad you crossed over (4.00)
    and have joined the good fight. The more people we have like you joining us, the more elections we will win and then be able to get rid of the moneygrubbing bad guys that don't give 2 shits about Americans and what America once stood for.

    *"It is the difficulties that show what men are" ..Epictetus*

    by Chamonix on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:45:04 AM PST

  •  Interestingly (4.00)
    I had my conversion about the same time. That was the time I first got access to the internet.

    I never was an official "R" though, so I disn't have all that baggage. Plus my family was from a heavily Dem area, so I wasn't fighting the tide like you are.

    Thanks for coming on board.

    (-6.25, -5.23)
    Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

    by admiralh on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:46:29 AM PST

  •  I've Noticed A Lot Of You Guys Here Lately (4.00)
    Which is a good thing. I sometimes lurk (and post) at RedState too. You're right about the parties being in a state of major flux. You must have a few years on me if you remember a different Republican Party though because the writing has been burning in tall letters on the wall for my entire life. But then, it's not really about the parties, but about our society.

    History not being completely run by "great men," we have to contemplate that the country itself has caused and allowed the current alignment, or misalignment, to arise. We all need to come to our senses as a people, and reduce the collective agita before Uncle Sam develops angina. Politicians by and large stand in the way of that. There are only a handful who seem at all interested in what everybody can live with... Centrists generally carve a "third way" so distinct that it is not the center at all but another wing, one which right nor left can love.

    Tell me if I'm an idiot:
    I think that a candidate like Russ Feingold has more crossover appeal to republican voters than a Biden, Hillary, Kerry, or even Clark (however much I may love a couple of them). The reason I think this, is that I think his principles are more comfortable to a traditional republican than centrism, which by definition I find is malleable, mercurial.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:48:54 AM PST

    •  Nail on the head. (4.00)
      "...principles are more comfortable to a traditional republican than centrism, which by definition I find is malleable, mercurial."

      Would you explain that to the DLC? And while you're at it, tell them it's not just Republicans who feel that way!

      I'm glad I'm not George W. Bush, because George W. Bush is going to hell

      by Alna Dem on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:49:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am a lifetime Democrat but my husband was a (4.00)
    lifetime Republican who says he will never, ever vote for a Republican again no matter what. He feels that they are not the party he joined, and he is more than disturbed about the overtaking of it by the wingnuts.
    He, too, is a contrarian.
  •  This is a great diary (4.00)
    I am a Democrat.  Last night, however, I was bemoaning to my friend my horror at the lack of energy and determination in the Democratic Party.  I really am a guy who will walk in front of a moving bus without fear, and I don't understand people who are not willing to stand up for what they believe.  But it does seem that my party's elected leaders have the standing power of autumn grass.  

    I will stick with the party.  The weaklings who lead it need me.  I have guts for them and me both, and I am willing to share 'em.

    Kossacks: a large population of Medieval exegetes who each day grapple with the fabulistic opportunities of the early third milennium.

    by DCDemocrat on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:49:19 AM PST

  •  Wow...thanks for the welcome (4.00)
    ...and thanks for getting this diary in the "recommended" box already!

    The warmth and humanity that I find in all Democratic environments, and the horrible, negative, cold, and conniving attitude that I experience at the few "R" events I find myself forced to attend, couldn't be in bigger contrast.

    I have lots more to say about this, but I have to leave my computer for a while. See y'all soon. :-)

    •  Hey (none)
      This is NC baby. Change your registration to that big U.  You can declare which party you are voting for at the primary for that year, if you want.

      I'm not putting my D on there until they give me a damn good reason to.

      For that matter, if you are in the Triad area, you can help us kick the hell outta the party headquarters here, these people are PATHETIC.

      Oh, and a very hearty welcome to you!

      •  Yeah it's NC, and that's tha bad part too... (4.00)
        we have some of the worst ballot access in the country. As you know from our state government (starting with "hang 'em high" Easley <barf> ) the NC Dems are not all the good guys either.

        Anyway, I ran for county commissioner in 2000, and as you know it's nearly impossible to get on the ballot in NC as anything but a "D" or an "R". So I gritted my teeth and stuck with the "R". I lost in a crowded primary, but that's mostly because the party worked against me and for big-money developer-backed candidates.

        •  Ballot access is weird (none)
          I'll give you an example.  In California, it is nearly impossible to get access as an independent.  But there are six different parties that have ballot access, used to be eight before the American Independent and Reform parties imploded.
  •  no illusions (4.00)
    I know other 'recovering republicans' personally.  The dems certainly have weaknesses, one in being able to put words together that are politically powerful, clear and moves the spirit of the nation.  They exist, the dems don't know how to put them together.  Just read Lincoln's words compared to what we have today from any party and you'll can feel the difference right inside the words.
    McCaulife was not a good choice for the DNC, did great damage to the party and the dems have not recovered from it yet.  

    Would a man of God sow the seeds of hate and then continue to cultivate his crop?

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:51:08 AM PST

  •  I suggest deciding whether or not... (4.00)
    your a liberal or a conservative and then vote for who best fits your ideology.

    And don't confuse the terms with what those in the political parties define them as,

    Conservatism = power over the people by the government.

    Liberalism = over over the government by the people.

    All the rest is just a sideshow to those opposing views of the world...

    What we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. (Albert Pine)

    by laughingriver on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:52:41 AM PST

  •  If you had been reading National Review (4.00)
    and other conservative publications in the 70s, how could you have missed the anti-abortion, socially-authoritarian, pro-big business and pro-interventionist domination of the conservative movement and its political arm, the Republican Party? When Bush talked about "Dredd Scott Decision" in the debates, I was one of the only people here to know at once that it was code for "repealing Roe vs Wade" - because I remembered reading that exact turn of phrase in conservative columns circa 1977.

    I'm really curious, because I was a prolife single-issue straight-ticked Republican until I became disillusion with the RTL and dropped out of politics altogether and called myself a "moderate" or "independent" until this administration, when I finally owned up to being a liberal. I'm familiar with wilful blindness on the part of conservatives - we ignored the racism and the big-business side and pretended that it was all about the family values - but that was how the '79 campaign was run - equal parts military machismo and anti-abortion, anti-lax-moral-liberal-secular-humanist 60s values. You couldn't swing a cat in the late 70s and early 80s without hitting a conservative pundit opining on how Feminism and Witchcraft and Neopaganism and TEH GAY were all linked up with Drugs and Rock'n'Roll and Godless Commies and the Dilution of Western CultureTM by Multiculturalism (code for "damn those blacks with their sexy jazz music!") and OMG Muslims were building Mosques in Italy!!!1! and it was all the fault of contraception, the Pill was an Abortifacient and there weren't going to be enough workers to support the elderly, just look at Old Europe and Japan and that was why we needed to get rid of Social Security (and go on the Gold Standard) before the Tie-Dyed Vegetarian Hippie Fags in their Che Berets rounded all good Judeo-Christians up into camps to sterilize them and force them to have peyote-fueled orgies...

    In 1979, all that rhetoric was well established, thanks to Bill Buckley and Paul Weyrich and a constellation of lesser luminaries (some of whom now Town Hall regulars) all well funded by the same people who founded and funded the John Birch Society.

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 07:53:46 AM PST

    •  not everyone was red hot (4.00)
      i grew up a liberal republican who assumed that republicans were mostly pro-education, pro-choice, "patriotic," and competent with money (ie. deficit hawks). i didn't hear a fundimentalist pro-lifer republican speak until the 1992 convention, which drove my republican mother to tears, and didn't meet one until my senior year in high school. when i met actual republicans from florida and north dakota in a school trip to DC, and got the national review for a year to see what the movement conservatives thought, it scared the hell out of me and i reregistered independent, much as yourself. but until i cared to pay attention, i just projected my assumptions onto them, and went about my merry way. i would bet that there's more than a few republicans out there who wouldn't know paul weyrich from adam.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:42:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're absolutely right (4.00)
      but I wasn't a "movement conservative", so to speak, and in 1975 I'd probably never even heard of the Nasty Review.

      I was a "complacent Republican"...21 years old and I did inhale. As I said in the story, I got caught "napping" and fell for the Reagan spin after downing a whole pitcher of the Kool Aid.

      It was easy to be that way in New Jersey...strong unions still protecting a lot of the workers, heavy Democratic representation in state and local government, and just a whiff of the bginnings of Dem scandals (Pete Rodino, Harrison Williams) to make a lot of people take their eye off the ball. We simply didn't notice the evil lurking just on the horizon.

      Looking back on it, and knowing the nausea I now feel every time somebody says the word "Reagan" with that fawning reverent tone in their voice, I can't imagine how I fell for it for so long.

    •  whoa (4.00)
      That was like a really bad flashback.  I'm curious to see the answer to this too.
      These were some of the things that turned me off completely to R's.  I was just a few months too young to vote in '79 but I cried when Reagan won.

      The Town Hall connections are creepy:

      In 1979, all that rhetoric was well established, thanks to Bill Buckley and Paul Weyrich and a constellation of lesser luminaries (some of whom now Town Hall regulars) all well funded by the same people who founded and funded the John Birch Society.
      my bold

      Fire Halliburton! -me, because I'm pissed damnit

      by LeighAnn on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:24:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome! I knew there had to be thoughtful (4.00)
    conservatives out there who place love of country over party! Please continue to share!
    •  thoughtful EX-conservatives (4.00)
      although I still harbor some feelings within my Political Compass -9.00 that might be considered conservative: small government (like out of my bedroom and out of a woman's OBGYN office), belief in the constitution including all of those little provisions like separation of church and state and freedom from unreasonable search that the faux-conservative Rethugs find inconvenient...those sort of things.
  •  Maybe (4.00)
    you're a pre-1980 republican - a Goldwater republican.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    You got stopped short with that little Reagan headfake. He made you feel good, but he was the beginning of the "feeling" conservative, vs. the "thinking" conservative.

    Just take a look at Thomas Dewey's platform adopted at the 1948 Republican National Convention:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Reduction of the public debt
    Federal aid to states for slum clearance and low-cost housing
    Extension of Social Security benefits
    A federal anti-lynching law
    Federal civil rights legislation
    Abolition of the poll tax
    A crackdown on domestic Communism
    Recognition of the state of Israel
    International arms control "on basis of reliable disciplines against bad faith".

    •  Very interesting... (4.00)
      I read the wikpedia article you linked too.... just sounds like democrat to me.

      Recently (over the last five years) become a republican hater. Im 25, and my interest in politics started with the destruction of our country led by GW. I often say this... Republicans care about themselves, mainly their wallets..Dems care about others. But this other definition of republican deffinately goes against that. I have never met a republican like that. The only ones I know are only interested in keeping all the money they can...thats all they care about.

      We need more of these other types of republicans... This country wouldn't be sucking then.

      Actually, you're the engineer on the Crazy Train. You built the crazy train. You dug the tunnels for the crazy train to drive through when it goes underground.

      by Little Girl Blue on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:04:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's your label (4.00)
    A Jacob Javits Republican.
    •  or Bill Weld republican (4.00)
      for recovering republicans from the great state of Massachusetts.

      Nelson Rockefeller republicans for the NY crowd.

      Hell, I almost hate to say it,

      but Richard Nixon republicans.

      Today Nixon would be to the left of half the Democrats in the Senate.

      Passed Food Stamps, Affirmative Action, Wage and Price controls,

      and Nixon's Family Assistance Plan in 1969 (think Negative Income Tax) wouldn't stand a chance in hell of being supported today by the majority of Democratic Senators.

      The NIT would thus be a mirror image of the regular tax system. Instead of tax liabilities varying positively with income according to a tax rate schedule, benefits would vary inversely with income according to a negative tax rate (or benefit-reduction) schedule. If, for example, the threshold for positive tax liability for a family of four was, say, $10,000, a family with only $8,000 of annual income would, given a negative tax rate of 25 percent, receive a check from the Treasury worth $500 (25 percent of the $2,000 difference between its $8,000 income and the $10,000 threshold).
      http://www.econlib.org/...

      Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

      by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:28:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If there were still Roosevelt Republicans, (4.00)
        I'd probably be one.

        I am the federal government.

        by mateosf on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:44:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Dems under Clinton expanded (none)
        the Earned Income Tax Credit.  It is a variation on the negative income tax.

        (-2.75,-4.77) "Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose." Senator Barack Obama

        by Sam I Am on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:47:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was thinking of the philosophical underpinnings (none)
          The EIC credit was sold (inserted into the tax code) by Russel Long in 1975 as a way to offset the payroll tax.

          A negative income tax is -philosphically- a means of re-distributing wealth (or as it is put in a more palatable form for Americans - an income-maintenance program).  Whereas in Europe they would describe it more accurately (or cynically) as the payment the lowest class exacts in order to forestall revolution.

          The difference was in the rhetoric.

          Nixon saw it as a way to eventually replace the welfare system - although I admit that FAP was originally intended to be implemented as a supplement to it.

          Instead we have welfare reform and the utter destruction of an entire generation of black males who have been imprisoned at rates unimaginable during Nixon's presidency.

          Imagine what kind of America we would have today if  Senate Democrats were willing to argue for wealth re-distribution, or a guaranteed income

          and that was regarded as a mainstream policy position.

          A republican initiated policy - to boot.

          Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

          by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:25:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  garunteed income could never pass (none)
            i think it's a great idea, and could be great policy, especially if funded via an asset or wealth tax... something highly progressive. but it just not  politically viable:

            1. you can't tell people who have spent their lives breaking their back working to make a better life that now you're just going to pay people for nothing.

            2. this country is already paranoid about giving social services to undocumented immigrants (and their children,born here). imagine what their reaction to a basic income would be?

            mvgovern ran on that policy in 1972, got laughed out of the room. any policy that has this affect has to be sneaky so that people don't realize it.  combine a more liberal eitc, with higher minimum wages, and even possibly government subsidies for low-wages (ex: pay small business to give their employees a higher wage).
            •  I know it is not now politically viable (none)
              In my opinion, and just my opinion, the Democrats missed an amazing opportunity to lock it in as a republican proposal in 1969.

              Probably the Democrats wanted to wait until they could propose it and get the credit.  But when it was shot down, the Republicans instantly played the race card.

              However, as Sen. Kennedy has proven over the last thirty years - pass even a bad entitlement program and then amend it to increase benefits and coverage over time.

              But, after 1969, Reagan came along with his story of welfare moms buying steak and suddenly the opportunity was lost.

              My point is that if only the Republican version in 1969 had passed - and it was seen as a way to enable hard working lower income people who needed just a little help to escape poverty - then this country today would be a very different place.

              And illegal immigration needs to be solved by Democrats so "Republicans" can not automatically generate opposition to single-payer health plans and other progressive policies by claiming that illegal aliens would rip-off Americans.

              And a modern WPA program offering jobs at just above poverty level would solve the problem with working class people turning around and stomping on those below them on the economic ladder - not because they are racist - but because those below them on the economic ladder were seen by them as the greatest perceived threat to their jobs.

              Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

              by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:47:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Nixon... (none)
        Yes, yes, yes.

        Lots of flaws, but many refer to him as "the last liberal".

        Wasn't the Clean Water Act part of his legacy too? You know, the one that Bush (via executive orders) and the rethugs on the SCOTUS (via judicial activism...imagine that!) are gutting?

        "Treehugger" is my middle name. ;-)

        •  Nixon is probably laughing in his grave (none)
          at how many real republicans (not theocons) are looking back at his place in history and wishing he was the current face of the Republican party.

          And he though history would vindicate him based on his foreign policy.

          The irony is too bitter.

          Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

          by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:48:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  well, nixon was working with (none)
        mostly democratic legislatures pushing all those bills.

        but you're right nelson rockerfeller was an outright tax-and-spend liberal as governor of ny, who ironically had to get bailed out by his democratic successor who governed more like a conservative.

    •  Liberal Republicans Endangered (4.00)
      Isolated spottings in Northeast. Shays, Chafee. Even Jeffords couldn't identify himself as a Republican anymore.

      I started out as Northeast Liberal Republican. Believed in the Kemp approach to social problems. Believed in an internationalist foreign policy. Didn't have a problem with the progressive tax system. Was pro-choice. My views have not really changed that much. Somehow I am now a left wing liberal Democrat. Reagan and the rise of right wing media has shifted the center of debate way to the right.

  •  Welcome (4.00)
    Your eloquent analysis of where you fit into the continuum of party labels and philosophies is most welcome.

    There is a wide spectrum of people here at dailykos.  I too wish for the days of "old Republicans" where one could actually have a reasoned argument.  

    Keep on doing what you're doing.  We will re-direct our country back on track, slowly but surely.

  •  Welcome - to you and all those like you (4.00)
    I've wavered back and forth from R to D over the years.  While respecting Carter, I always knew he was a disasterous manager for the country.  While despising Reagan, I recognised that America wanted desperately to believe his myths.  Both parties are capable of being inspiring, incompetent and corrupt.  

    Right now the inspiring role is vacant in US politics.  I'm hoping Dems step into the lead on inspring the American people to reassert principles of good governance at home and abroad.

    There have been good Republicans.  There have been bad Democrats.  Right now I view Republicans as dangerous and corrupt, leading America into dangerous wars, loss of liberties, economic catastrophe and international oprobrium.  

    I could wish, however, for a higher standard of Democrat because otherwise the few remaining "good" Republicans (McCain, Hagel) are likely to retain power for the GOP in 2008.

    "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

    by LondonYank on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:05:39 AM PST

    •  Carter (none)
      What about his stance for human rights? It may his best legacy......The economy, well, I think rising oil prices had something to do with it.
      •  My son is named Carter (none)
        I think that's pretty clear testament to the higher opinion of Carter I hold now compared with 1976.  

        Yes, his stance on human rights and his negotiation of the Camp David Accords are great contributions to international affairs, but on domestic politics he sucked.  He appointed way too many bozos from Georgia, pissed off everyone in Congress within weeks, and looked indecisive and ineffective vis-a-vis the USSR, Iran and others.  Too little got done.

        Carter may have actually been right on a lot of things, but he was ineffective at turning conviction into policy into action.  Being right is no substitute for getting stuff done.

        "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

        by LondonYank on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 02:14:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  These stories are everywhere (4.00)
    I think you should write this to your local paper.  We have a "soapbox" section in our editorials.  If you add a few key points, this would make a great op/ed piece.  

    My opinion is that if you do that, it needs to be stated as an honesty piece- "The Republican Party has changed, and does not reflect mainstream values anymore.  I wish I could remain in the party, I've been there 20+ years, but unfortunately, there is no groundswell of support for honest Republicans representing mainstream America."

    I know that sometimes in smaller towns, a statement like this can get you in trouble, but if they aren't feeling the same thing, I'd be surprised.

    The principles of the Democratic Party are the principles of mainstream America.  They are the principles upon which the country was founded.  They are not the principles of some radical experiment that has gone completely wrong.

  •  you get it. (4.00)
    "And then I read diaries such as the Lamont/Lieberman diaries and realize just how crucial party activism is for Demorcats right now. I'm trying to find a way to help. Democratic primaries for congress in NC are just about nonexistent, but good Democratic candidates, such as Tim Dunn NC-08, are emerging and I will loudly support them."

    you understand something very important that a lot of people don't get.  and with your background, you'll make a big impact in your local democratic party.

    here's why.  imagine yourself at a meeting.

    step 1: scruffy upstart progressive stands up and speaks out for a progressive candidate.

    step 2: wimpy old-time dem stands up and talks about how moderation and accomodation are key to getting republicans to cross over.

    step 3: you stand up and explain that you're a republican.  back up the progressive.

  •  Please read my diary... (4.00)
    my one and only--to see how the republicans have devolved. I am from Wisconsin, but now live in NC.  Incidentally, I have never identified with any of the modern repub party "principles" and have voted for dems. since LBJ in '64.

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:09:58 AM PST

    •  Linky (4.00)
      Here's that diary.  

      I've been a liberal ever since I remember historys mysteries (also known to me as "Mom") yelled at Reagan whenever he appeared on t.v., beginning around 1981!

      "I'm not interested in that same liberal claptrap. That meow, meow, meow, ironic detachment." -- Stephen Colbert

      by SneakySnu on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:09:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  lol (none)
         The only thing that my daughter remembers (politically) of the Reagan years is her dad yelling obcenities and mooning the TV. I thought he had regained civility and then Bush got elected.....
  •  Nice to have you... (none)
    I can see holding onto that R.  Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and Strom Thurmond a Democrat.  Someday, the values of these parties may once again flip (just look how dead real conservatisim is to the Republican party).  Just be advised, you may be waiting the better part of the century for the switch-back to come, most of which will hopefully be spent affiliated with the minority party.
    •  and J...J...Jessee Helms too. (none)
      I can hardly bring myself to type his name. Probably the first time I actually recognized pure evil in human form...

      Pragmatic Left wrote:

      ...Just be advised, you may be waiting the better part of the century for the switch-back to come, most of which will hopefully be spent affiliated with the minority party.

      Damn, I sure hope so!
  •  Well said (4.00)
    Especially this part:

    I have a weird view of my party affiliation and, in fact, my party. IMO, the Republican Party has become a third party, a fringe party. It's practically gone - a mere afterthought in American political party history. We've got the two "major" parties now: Democrats and Rethugs - and the rest are also-rans.

    Republicans and Rethuglicans -- exactly right. The former are an endangered species; the latter enjoy killing off endangered species.

    Recommended.

    Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

    by wiscmass on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:19:28 AM PST

  •  Honest Republicans (4.00)
    I have been making the call for "Honest Republicans" for some time now. I knew they had to exist. And frankly, we need them! We need to accept the fact that our best path to correcting the egregious mistakes of this administration is to appeal to the honest Republicans that are out there.

    The more we bring them out and make this a bi-partison effort, the more successful we can be.
    Blue in NC, they will call you a traitor, but it is they that have betrayed you. The Republican Party you know needs your help and direction. Keep working on the inside. They won't listen to us.

    A President in his own league. The Bush League!

    by Tuba Les on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:21:07 AM PST

    •  We need decent Republicans (none)
       I believe that we are watching the Republican party imploding. They have boxed themselves into a very tight corner. They've given up any claim to their former platforms and are running on bigotry and fear. When you hear Roy Blunt stand and proudly say that they are the party of reform you know that you have wandered into Bizarro world. They are pissing off alot of those in the center who have supported them in the past, destroying our senior population, and trying to lie themselves out of their mess. If we can get our own shit together we are going to win big in the next two elections, I really believe that to be true. But, I also believe that we need two strong, principaled parties in order to have honest government. When the R's pick themselves up I want to see a Republican party that stands for something more than this Christo/fascist nightmare.
  •  The Republican party died (4.00)
    in 1980 when they embraced the fascist, far-right sect of the party.  Reagan did fool me in 1984, but I have not been fooled since.  With what that damn party has done to this country, I'll NEVER EVER vote for one of its candidates again.
    •  Agreed (none)
      Have never been a Republican (no party affiliation), but have voted Republican. Can't really see doing it again unless the party cleans out the corruption.

      It is refreshing to see more and more Republicans here. I used to feel somewhat out of place with all the Democrats, but more and more, there's getting to be a good mix.

      One nation, under surveillance, no liberty, nor justice for us

      by SisTwo on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:55:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good Diary - Gave you a Rec (none)
    For what it's worth, I have family members and frieds that are on the same journey as you. Some were true believers up until the last few years when they really started to think the issues through for the first time in their lives.

    I think you should switch your party affiliation. Those sorts of changes are the things that get local officials attention, and in a small way, if it happens often enough, will get them to question the reflexive loyalty they have been giving to people they know don't deserve it.

    As for the Scalito/cloture business, I'm one of those people who though that this was a lost fight since the 2000 election, and that without the votes to win a fillibuster/nuclear fight, we were risking a greater downside than most on Kos were willing to admit. I of course got dinged more than a view times for expressing this opinion, but since I don't give a shit about comments ratings I took no offense if you were one of them.

    Good diary. Keep 'em coming.

    •  Nope (4.00)
      Never rated you. Never saw a comment.

      The ones by others that bugged me were, I think, pretty condescending to those of us that thought we should stand up and fight.

      Thanks for the rec!

      I'll give you a "4" now just in case I would have thought about a "1" earlier. ;-)

  •  I wish we had (4.00)
    two strong, principled political parties, who had HONEST and MEANINGFUL debates.  At least then when one or the other  had the advantage you wouldn't feel like evil was winning.

    Instead, we've got a powerful party that is rotten, corrupt, and patently unAmerican, and a weak, complicit "opposition" party that has a lot of decent leaders who aren't allowed to lead.

  •  a note to defectors (4.00)
    Republicans have a right (duty) to be upset, that their core values have been hijacked by the Neocons, and Bush: Fiscal Conservatism, restraint in Foreign Policy, Individualism, and civil liberties. The Democratic party does not address any of the abandoned Republican issues in a meaningful way. It boggles the mind to see how fast the Republican party turned into a Fascist, Empire building, pro-business partner of the thugs in Bejing. We must seek to prevent the jewels of corporate America from aiding the Chinese in their efforts to suppress dissent and democracy in China. If General Motors were building fighter planes in Japan in 1939 we would have done something about it, now our President makes hollow speeches about protectionism. We need to protect our  rights as Americans, because if Yahoo and Microsoft and Google will sell out freedom in Bejing, they'll sell us out too.
    A number of Republicans signed up for the fringe benefits, lower taxes, fewer regulations on business and the environment. When the economic goodies disappear, the stock market crashes, they will suddenly find their conscience, (its easy to be idealistic when you are poor, or you have Aids, or your city was devastated by a hurricane and no one showed up). If your core values are Republican, (nothing wrong with that) then take your argument about corruption and cronyism to them. If you want to switch sides,  that's good too.  

    "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

    by agent double o soul on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:25:25 AM PST

    •  Prescot Bush (4.00)
      If General Motors were building fighter planes in Japan in 1939 we would have done something about it, now our President makes hollow speeches about protectionism.

      Oh, you are just going to love reading about Prescot Bush.

      Let's just say it wasn't Japan that Dubya's grandfather was doing business with, back in 1939.

  •  I look forward to your comments and diary. (none)
    Welcome. I'm all for a strong two party system. I subscribe to Thinking Republican's diary. You might like to check it out.

    Now I laugh and make a fortune off the same ones that I torture and a world says, "Kiss me, son of god." ~ They Might Be Giants

    by misscee on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:26:52 AM PST

  •  Welcome! (none)
    And I say "welcome" not because of your misgivings about the Republican Party.  On the contrary, what this needs more than anything right now is more people like you, who have taken the time to follow world events, decide where your own moral compass guides you, and follow your own heart.

    Certainly the events of the past five years that if we rely on any political party to be our leaders, and follow them blindly, we will all be in for incredible disappointment.

    Follow your heart and your instincts.  Never let anyone tell you where your loyalties must lie.  Only you can decide.

  •  We need your perspective (4.00)
    There are many things about traditional conservatism that are admirable; even if I don't agree with all of them, in days past I felt there could be a healthy dialog, even a dialectic, that would lead to "course correction" on both artificially narrow sides of our system.

    But the people who have grabbed power are not Republicans. Your party left you. I suppose some people here would take issue with that and say what is happening is the ultimate legacy of conservatism. I disagree; it didn't have to be this way.

    You don't need to recant your Republican roots. By some traditional standards, everyone on Kos is as "conservative" (or more) than the powers-that-be now. Believe in pay-as-you-go balanced budget government? Believe government should stay out of your personal life (and off your phone)? Hell, believe in do-it-yourself American gumption? These types of values are not contradictory here, even if the prioritization is slightly different.

    But what we have now is cancer, plain and simple. The body politic will waste away until all immune cells are engaged. We need the traditional right to understand that what is going on is alien to all Americans. I appreciate your courage to present your viewpoint here, and hope you can use your perspective to tell the truth to people with your background.

    •  Strangely, both parties in danger (4.00)
      from the same core disease. If you look at what's ailing the Democratic Party, and what we at dKos are fighting against on a regular basis, it's corporatism.

      Both parties have been infected with it. In the (former) Republican Party, it has metasticized to the extent where the victim is no longer recognizable. The "theocrat" cell, previously small and dormant, has also become cancerous and even threatens to outstrip the "corporatism" cancer and be the final cause of death.

      Fortunately, the Democratic Party is in the early stages of "corporatism", and doesn't seem to have been infected with "theocracy", so there is some hope for treatment and eventually recovery. It's what keeps me fighting this disease.

      I do hope an earlier, more civic-minded, form of Republicanism manages to survive after the death of the Rethug host body. Because we as a society do need the exchange of ideas, the conversations that keep us on the left from being completely seduced by our own dreams, which may not always be well-thought out, or the full range of consequences considered. The dialogue between different healthy and civic-minded parties is essential to keep all sides honest and moving in a direction that keeps the nation and democracy healthy.

      We're all better from an honest conversation and dialogue.

      "They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean they will necessarily avoid it." - David Manning re: BushCo in DSM

      by DavidW in SF on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:07:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Conservative... (4.00)
      Few things piss me off more than seeing or hearing somebody in the SCLM refer to somebody like ScAlito, or Bush, as "conservative". That is just complete crap. They don't even bear a passing resemblance to conservative.

      So yes, I may have some conservative instincts, because the root of "conservative" is the same as that of "conservation". Your examples are right on the money. But in today's environment, I'm liberal. I'm proud of that, too. I like to listen to George McGovern's definition of liberal, and I think I live it. So I really do fit in at dKos, I think, with the exception that that little letter next to my name in my voter registration records probably only corresponds to that of 1% of the dKos membership. ;-)

      I hate how not only the rethugs but also the SCLM use the word "liberal" as if it's somehow tainted.

  •  I'm a proud Democrat, use to be Republican (none)
    Please join us.
  •  The "dark" side (none)
    may be a little more complicated than "D" or "R", as we witnessed with the cloture vote on Alito recently.
    My observation of dkos, after nearly 18 months here, is that all critical thinkers are welcomed enthusiastically.

    Many of us here have been engaged in an exhausting battle to change our party from the ground up. I suspect some good people in your party will find themselves with a similar moral imperative. Whether you will join us or them will be a matter of personal conviction for you. (both are worthy causes IMHO.)

    This is a diverse group of people and for my part, I welcome you to the mix.

    If not me, who? If not now, when?

    by rcvanoz on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:29:17 AM PST

  •  If this were 20 years ago, (4.00)
    I imagine that most of the people on this site would fall in the "Republican" category--supporting so-called traditional values like education, health care, the Bill of Rights and other quaint, old laws. But the country has been pushed so far to the right in that time that today's GOP makes Barry Goldwater look like a fire-breathing liberal.

    The terminology, however, has not kept up with the shift in the political landscape, so that people today who self-identify as Republicans are really admitting to being somewhere on the continuum between reactionary conservatism and fascism. If they realized what they were saying about themselves, chances are they would change their terminology.

    Perhaps it's a labeling issue, again.

    The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

    by Mnemosyne on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:29:32 AM PST

    •  No, no, no (4.00)
      Twenty years ago was 1985 -- deep in Reaganland, or have you forgotten?

      I sure haven't. I voted for the first time in 1984 and have never, ever, voted for a Republican, although I've voted for just about everything else.  

      The Reagan era was when it all went wrong for Republicans, when they stopped being a normal political party and started being a cult.

      It was when, among other things, the forces of evil successfully convinced many Christians that they had to vote Republican or lose heaven. The 80s was when the single-issue anti-abortion voter was cultivated: a degraded moralist inexplicably willing to support any atrocity as long as it is perperated by a politician willing to speak the token anti-abortion codes.

      In the 80s trickle-down economics was invented. The Heritage Foundation started showing up in the news revealing their scheme to repeal the New Deal, Phyllis Schlafly and Jerry Falwell were founding their personal cults. The US engaged in ill-advised foreign wars under the cloak of "freedom" and it became apparent that "freedom" meant "friendly to US interests, no matter how tyrannical the government."

      Iran-Contra -- doesn't anybody remember Iran-Contra?

      I really doubt most Kossacks were Republicans during the Reagan era. Maybe a substantial minority.

      •  not even substantial (none)
        yikes, I cant imagine being a progressive liberal now and having been able to drink the Reagan kool-aid then..  

        Sure, a minute number of people experience a magical epiphany on the order of the immaculate conception in gradiosity..

        I just dont see there being a huge number of people who had the scales fall from their eyes and then being committed progressives here and elsewhere.

        I think more people have jumped ON that Reagan rethuglican bandwagon than have left it.

        I think its just palliative talk to make the newbie-progressives or rethuglican-lites feel some how more at home here.

        If you were paying attention like you should have been back in the Reagan era you would STILL be pissed about the S&L scandal, Iran-contra, the way Reagan and thugs totally fabricated the Iran hostage thing to engineer the coup de estat we continue to marvel at.

        You should have been pissed for 20 years.. but many people seem to think its ok to check out.

      •  Well, I was (none)
        using "20 years" more or less generally. Although in the first Reagan term, what was happening politically in this country wasn't yet clear to most people. What's happened since isn't even clear to most people, that's how unconscious we are as a nation.

        I remember all those things you cite. BCCI, too. I spent a lot of time putting that information before the reading public--"viewing with alarm" as the editorial writers say.

        In retrospect, it's easier to see the dividing lines; at the time, they were a good bit blurrier.

        The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

        by Mnemosyne on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:57:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was stoned or napping (none)
          ...as a lot of people were.

          Mnemosyne wrote:

          ...Although in the first Reagan term, what was happening politically in this country wasn't yet clear to most people...

          I really, truly, had no idea what was going on. I was a "Republican of Convenience". Money was cheap, the economy appeared to be in good shape...life was good.

          But that was the cluelessness that the burgeoning Rethug movement was counting on for success. And a whole lot of us provided it for them.

          •  Same thing's going on (none)
            now. There's a new generation of people who don't remember the past, and it's really hard to figure out the bigger picture when you're getting just snippets in daily news stories. And that's assuming people pay attention to the news and that the news is reported accurately. A lot of people now are too busy working two or three jobs trying to keep food on their families, to quote one of our prominent politicians.

            Following BCCI at the time, for instance, was a matter of reading the day's reporting, if there was any, and trying to make sense of it. Who were these people? What were they really doing? How did it fit into the larger picture? In the news biz, there's seldom time for the luxury of thoughtful contemplation of what that bit of information you saw last week might really mean today.

            Now we can see who they were and what they were doing, and realize that it really was all part of a VRWC, thank you Hillary. But then, as now, most people in this country assume that their elected leaders are working on behalf of the citizens. To educate them otherwise requires them to make a quantum shift in the way they think about their lives.

            The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

            by Mnemosyne on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 12:30:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  my Republican neighber in 1979 (none)
    Back when I lived in Gales Ferry, CT just outside the naval base (Groton, CT) I was the only civilian wife on the street. My best friend was a liberal/ conservative Republican. I call her Liberal/Conservative because she believed so much in small government and personal responsibility that she was strongly pro-choice! She was a very religious women who believed that government should not make moral or religious choices for people.

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:32:06 AM PST

  •  I used to be an independant (none)
    and used to consider myself a moderate. One of the things that just amuses the heck outta me now is this sudden bemoaning of "partisanship" on the part of conservatives. Because they are the ones who did this to our society, and ultimately shot themselves in the foot. After years of radical hate-talk right wingers, and the successful demonization of terms like "liberal", "left", "environmentalist" -- now, even "scientist"!!! -- what do they expect?
    And I'm ready for the fight. But I'm not "partisan"; I'm just as pissed off at the Democrats who refuse to stand up, and who vote against the middle and working class.

    I registered as a Democrat this past year, because the Independant Party in California is actually a party and they aren't progressives, either. And I did a lot of voter registration last summer, which invariabley netted us at least 1 or 2 Republicans who switched parties. What's interesting is that many of these folks were still more socially conservative than most progressives, but even they were getting scared of the takeover of their party by the Christian right. I remember one who was against abortion, but the tipping point for her was when I asked about her feelings on birth control. She felt that birth control was necessary, and that while it was the primary responsibility of parents to discuss it with their teens that it should be available to teens that seek it. All it took was me pointing out that the Christian fundamentalists oppose birth control, and are very opposed to giving information or birth control to minors. She agreed that this was true, and immediately signed up with the Democratic Party. We disagreed on abortion, but we both agreed that the way to prevent abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
    There are a lot of moderate, reasonable folks out there. They agree with Democrats much more often than these Neo-Con Fundamentalists who have screamed and bullied their way into power.

  •  I was a republican...actually (none)
    I still am a conservative republican by deffinition; Strong DEFENSE, more isolationist then colonialist, a Constitutionalist and I beleive that smaller government is better for business.  However I was PRO-CHOICE and after the Clinton impeachment MISTAKE, I found little room in my partyy for me. The religious right took over in the early 90's.  I say that I never left my party, the republican party left me.

    So hear I am... a strong DEMOCRAT.

    "Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance (liberally)" Jude 2 Brother of Jesus

    by pinkpanther on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:40:03 AM PST

  •  There is still a basis for Republican unity. (4.00)
    Essentially, Republicans seek to keep "them" -- you know, the  Blacks, Latinos, union members, gays, and women-defending-their-right-to-choose who make up our fractious Democratic coalition -- from gaining political power.

    I think that's why so many white men continue to vote Republican, even though Republican ideology has never made any sense.

    In the voting booth, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is not so much about what you believe, it's about who you're willing share your democracy with.

  •  I Am A Former Republican (4.00)
    I'm only 22, but I was a Republican up until college or so.  I was a liberal Republican and didn't really understand how psychotic the general Republican party was, especially since my Congresswoman was one of the few sane ones, Connie Morella.  I supported Bush after 9/11 and thought he was a strong leader.  However, in 2002 I became frightened by Republican Congressional gains and by the inevitable move to war.  One day I sat down and realized I have nothing in common with these crazy neo-cons and that the Republican Party is no longer the party of individual freedom.

    Strength and wisdom are not conflicting values--they go hand in hand. - Bill Clinton

    by skidrow on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:43:05 AM PST

  •  I share your pain....Also in NC (none)
    I moved down here from Indiana in 1997 and registered as a Republican.  While, as a young man, I had been a registered Democrat, even a former President of the Teenage Democrats in the 60's, I turned my back on them in the 70's because of, what I felt to be, their extreme turn to the Left. While I hated Nixon passionately, I thought (at the time) that he was an anomoly.  I was troubled by Reagan but lost my appetite for the Republican Party when the Extreme Right Wing took over in the early 90's with their campaign to destroy the office of the President and their hatred of Bill Clinton.  I re-registered as an Independent (only because I can vote either way in a primary) shortly thereafter .  I have since supported the Democrat Party and will probably re-register just to make a statement.
  •  Leaving the dark side (none)
    was difficult for me as well. I live in a "purple state", Florida, and am surrounded by rethugs in my area.  I also stayed rep. to vote in local elections to weed out the scummiest of the scumbags.  I finally switched parties three weeks ago. (Proud new Democrat!) I can't be part of an party that pisses on our civil liberties and ignores the weakest in our society. The most upsetting thing is watching this administration use religion to create divisions in our country.  

    I know alot of other "former reps" out there and I hope that we can all take a part in the coming elections and do some serious house cleaning.  I think we add an important perspective to the debates that have divided us.

    Thanks for the great diary.

     

  •  We now have Dems, Repubs and Facists... (none)
    Dems are those pols that stood up to ScAlito.  Repubs are the wimpy Dems that didn't, and a few moderate Repubs.  Facists are the neo-con criminals and the nut fundies.  Now if we only had truly representative government we wouldn't all be forced into this silly two-party system.

    Energize America: Demand Energy Security by 2020!

    by Doolittle Sothere on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:53:37 AM PST

  •  That's ok if you're a Republican (4.00)
    I have nothing against Republicans.

    I wish the President was a Republican.  

  •  Great diary. (none)
    Make sure you get yourself over to Blue NC and get involved. If we have our way . . . and we will . . . you won't be living in a red state for long.

    Carolina Blue -7.38, -7.28

    by Anglico on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:55:19 AM PST

  •  i'm a registered nj republican (none)

    i have always been very interested in politics and governance even when very little.  i grew up in nj, like you, where for the most part, there was the freedom to choose between R and D on a ballot and not feel you were screwing the human race, the environment, the world, or the economy.

    my core values have always been the same:  human rights, respect for science and the environment, choice (yes, even when i was under 10 years old), and responsible financial stewardship of budgets and the economy.

    my house didn't discuss politics, but it was understood that my father voted republican (no other consideration) and my mother probably too.

    from their guidance, and the way nj politics were, i thought the republicans and the democrats were really not so far apart on human rights and the environment, but that there was a huge difference regarding financial issues.

    two things happened:

    1) as a teenager i began to be aware that the democrats were +definitely+ more the defenders of human rights and the environment

    and

    2) ronald reagan

    i was initially fine (and even happy) with his win, as foreign policy issues were important to me, and i saw a diminution of american power and influence (and thus its ability to lend the world stability).  what i did not like was that i perceived reagan to not be a particularly intelligent person, and someone who seemed to be "on show" much of the time.  i also did not like the aura of "power for us and our kind" that he and his administration brought in.  

    ironically, during the primaries, i supported george hw bush.  i thought he was a decent man and i was impressed by his resume as un ambassador, head of cia, etc.  (in that, i must regretfully say, i was wholly naive -- we should +never+ countanance a president who was in the spook business).

    i grew to despise the reagan administration.  it was obvious that they were anti-woman.  they didn't even have the sensitivity to be too upset that the secretary of the interior, james watt (who was there to pillage, not protect), referred to a group (i'm going to paraphrase) in part as "two jews and a cripple."

    i mean, really.



    it was obvious that the republican party at the national level was against everything that was important to me.  but i still felt i could vote for their representatives on a local and state level (something that i no longer feel i have the freedom to do).

    i've never switched party affiliations.  unless they expire, i'm still a registered republican.

    why don't i switch?

    i've thought about it.  but i'm not sure what that would serve.

    because my experience with the republican party has shown me that i'm loyal to my +principles+, not party.  i'm loyal to justice, fairness, equality, prosperity for all and respect for the planet that supports us all.

    i actually see the greens or parties like them that espouse and act more along the ways that i would like ('tho not all).

    but i have and will +never+ vote green when the two top contenders are an R and a D.  i will vote D.  unless it's a race between someone like trafficant and pete mcclosky (he who helped write the endangered species act); then, i'd have to vote R.  but i don't think we ever have to worry about a scenerio like that.

    btw -- for those who say they keep their republican party affiliation so they can vote in the primaries for the lesser republican evil?  that only works if you actually vote in the primaries.  i say this as a part of a realization that that has been a (minor) reason for my not officially switching to D, but really haven't gotten myself out to the primary voting booth recently, because the republican party, well, disgusts me.

    so, i think i understand where you're coming from.

    you are not alone.

    follow your principles, not your party.



    cheers --



    •  another reason not to change my party affl (4.00)

      another reason not to change my party affiliation...

      when they start rounding up democrats and average citizens, we can use my place as a safehouse.

      cheers --

    •  Finch, (none)
      You are practically...me!

      :-)

      •  yah, i got a strong (none)

        yah, i got a strong "looking in the mirror" feeling when i read your diary.

        i wound up diarying this post of mine, and i added something (in the thread) about foreign policy and business being very important to me.  to me the importance of these issues is a given, and i also feel like the republican party -- especially at the national level -- is extremely short-sighted as regards economic policy.  plus, it's a rich man's game in which they move the pieces primarily for their own benefit.

        aside from an assortment of other, worthy reasons, i'm an environmentalist because defending and maintaining the health of the environment makes good economic sense.  but that is not the +only+ reason the environment should be protected.

        congratulations on your journey.  :)

        cheers --

  •  What part of NC are you in? (none)
    Seems funny how life under Jesse Helms can make a moderate Repub into a Democrat.

    Jack Murtha is no coward--here's a real coward.

    by Christian Dem in NC on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:05:38 AM PST

    •  Not only that.... (none)
      But it seems life under GWB can turn a partisan Jesse-supporting Republican into a flaming liberal.

      Even though Jesse was a racist, loud-mouthed dolt he had the decency to stfu about most of those views during elections.  Virginia Foxx won because she out-bigoted a bigot on the airwaves.

    •  Charlotte metro (none)
      since 1987.

      I had begun to hate Helms before I got here, but it really took the nauseating Bush family, in the person of that phony genteel "41", followed by the Gingrich scum, and finally the current demon spawn to complete my education about how toxic a thing the Republican party had metamorphosed into.

      Didn't Franz Kafka write about something like that?

      I probably voted for an "R" for congress in 1990, and I know I voted for 41 in 1988 (sorry), but that was the end of my long illness.

  •  Not alone (none)
    No, not me. I have ALWAYS been a D with only occasional R or G or WFP votes.

    But a friend of mine, who happens to be the highest ranking New York Republican I personally know (judicial positions only), absolutely HATES the Bush family and sees them as having destroyed the Republican party. I think this person voted for Clinton against Bush I (and walked out of the Bush I Republican Convention for exactly the reasons you state as the epiphany).

    Bush has failed traditional Conservative values just as surely as he has failed to capture bin Laden, protect American lives and preside over a good economy.

  •  at long last (none)
    I'm glad to hear one of you elephants speakin' up. I keep saying "Aren't the real Republicans PISSED OFF that their party has been utterly hijacked?"

    And yet, my Republican friends and relatives don't even seem to notice. None of them are religious freaks. I don't think they give two shits about abortion, and if they do, they are pro-choice. I don't get it. Kudos to you for paying attention. My condolences that your party up and left you.

  •  I, too, am a recovering Republican (none)
    the only difference is that I changed parties because I want to vote in NY primaries, and I am considering running for offices myself, and I think they would laugh at me running as a Republican.

    Welcome to Dkos - thanks for sharing your getting-more-familiar-every-day story.  There's lots of us!!!

    Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

    by adigal on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:13:18 AM PST

  •  Welcome (4.00)
    I don't care if someone is a jackass, an elephant, or a shade of grass politically.  Anyone that is willing to look at another side and do some thinking for themselves is welcomed by me.  No matter what we're all Americans and must live here together, for better or worse...
  •  Recovering Libertarian Here... (none)
    ...back in my idealistic youth, I truely belived the world would be such a better place if governments got out of the way and just let people be people.  Let businesses run things and the "invisible hand of free markets"  would automatically solve all problems.

    Then I grew up, and now I proudly call myself a Democrat.  But I constantly fight with my inner libertarian - some demons are just really hard to exorcise.

  •  Sticking with it... (none)
    is commendable, as is your civil discourse. There are many here, you've noticed, who are quite angry, frustrated, upset, with our dem's, but trying to change the party from inside.

    I applaud your honesty and willingness to take a chance in what some might call a hostile environment. However, if more of us could exchange ideas in the attitude you're modeling, maybe a) the "tone" that people are forever wanting to change, will actually change and b) we can each of us change our parties without destroying them and each other in the process.

    Thanks

  •  No, you're not alone! (4.00)
    Not only have I been registered with the GOP since turning 18, but I was actually part of the local county Committee for a while.  Crazy?  Not really.  When you're political compass is only -3.25/-4.36, the old Repub party would have considered you a moderate; the one today calls you a wacky liberal.

    We all have stories of our conversion, and mine is probably has common threads with many others'.  Frankly, the party was starting to lose it for me as soon as I got to college.  I slowly began to see what used to be Lincoln's party slowly-but-surely become a haven for the religious ultra-right and bigots.  Still, I persevered because I believed in its libertarian roots and in the vain hope that by working within the party, I could somehow soften some of its less palatable platform planks.  I'll also admit that being in the military probably also helped to keep me within the party.

    What killed it for me was the GOP primaries in 2000, when I was working for the McCain campaign and saw the bags of dirty, unethical tricks used by the Bush campaign in South Carolina against the Senator.  It became crystal clear that his supporters would do anything, really anything, to win.  The same scenario, in my eyes, repeated itself in the rest of the campaign, in the Florida recount, in the past five years of his presidency.  There's no compromise, no bipartisanship with him and the new GOP.  It's no longer my party, or any party of debate for that matter, but a conduit for talking points, lies to the public, and presidential authoritarianism.

    It's sad, in a way.  I miss what it used to be.

    Working as a field scientist, and married to a teacher, there's no doubt which camp I'm in; the simple observation that this Administration can't deal with facts is enough for me.  The Dem party shouldn't automatically count us in, though, and needs to better publicly articulate what it believes in, to convince us that it's really become our party.  Communities like dKos make that permanent conversion easier for me by the day, and you'll always be welcome.  

  •  Welcome. (none)
    You will be fine once the swelling in washington goes down. I hope you find this to be a useful sanctuary like I do. There is some fun here too.

    Nothing is more real than nothing. Beckett

    by rx scabin on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:36:48 AM PST

  •  the NY Times (4.00)
    I wrote this in Times back in December:

    "...Twenty years ago, I was a conservative and believed in balanced budgets, limited foreign intervention and limiting the government's encroachment upon individual liberties and freedom. Today, I believe in balanced budgets, limited foreign intervention and limiting the government's encroachment upon individual liberties and freedom, but now I'm called a liberal.

    Conservatives of yesteryear respected state sovereignty and believed that torturing prisoners was only what the Communists did. Today's conservatives have no compunction about using their federal muscle to overrule state courts. It's repugnant that we are even debating the merits of torture."

    You and I seem to be from the same side.

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - John F. Kennedy

    by jpeskoff on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:39:07 AM PST

  •  you're an inspiration (none)
    welcome! welcome! welcome!  even if you're not officially here yet.

    as a 6th district nc democrat, we'll take a light blue/purple dem in nc any day of the week.  

    i can't imagine what it must be like to be surrounded by people who put loyalty to party over country and who ignore the facts.

    i mean, you can't get anything over on a democrat.  damned informed group of people.  ;)

    that you turned away from all that gives me hope that there is a chance to turn this all around and makes banging my head against this reddest of red district seem almost bearable.

    ;)

  •  You and my Father (none)
    same thing, except my Dad refuses to vote for any Republican for any office.  He has been a Republican all his life, yet is in many ways more liberal then I am.

    He is digusted with the Republican party right now, and it resembles in NO way what used to be the Republican party.

    What the current GOp has done is to destroy ANY way for political parties to debate issues on merit, rather everything ends up being a personal attack, and the issue is "forgotten."  I, personally am sick of this, as debate (honest debate) helps everyone involved grow and learn.

    Welcome to Kos!

  •  with the.... (none)
    lopsided political compass score of 10.00, -6.77, you just need to go mingle among the people, live a little. then you won't give your grand old party another thought...

    Crime is contagious....if the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law. -- Justice Louis Brandeis

    by FemiNazi on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 09:46:36 AM PST

  •  I know so many people who switched over Bush (none)
    I've met so many people lately who switched from Republican to Democrat in 2000 when Bush was nominated instead of McCain.  That was their "red flag" that something had gone horribly wrong!

    I've always been one of those people the media calls "extreme left-wingers," who are supposedly "out of touch" with mainstream America, but I've got a lot of respect for "real" Republicans--you know the ones I'm talking about, intelligent people who actually know the issues and can give me a real debate instead of shutting off any real debate by spouting stuff about God. Good grief.

    You mentioned the "Rethug" primaries; one local Democratic poll watcher reported to the Elections Commission in 2004 that there was one polling place where all the poll workers lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same church, and were surprised that a Democrat showed up to do poll watching.  The poll watcher overheard them talking about Hispanic voters, that if "they" showed up, they would tell them they couldn't vote there.  Good lord.

    So you're right--your party has changed, but there are still some good ones out there.  Glad to have your support for our team, but hope you'll find a way back into the Republican party to reform it from the grassroots up, like us "leftists" are trying with the Dems.  We need two parties (at least), and lively debate on real issues that affect Americans, as opposed to platitudes and rhetoric on "wedge" issues that really don't affect most people.

    Glad you're here & hope you'll keep posting.

  •  to thine own self be true- (none)
    surely many in the country are scratching their heads and wondering why they do not recognize their own country.  I have conservative loved ones who are going through a terrible time of confusion right now, and all I can do is hug them tight. My mom replaced her framed picture of Bush and Laura with the liberty bell, and I am so proud of her.  I just want to cry at what they have done to their minds and their lives.  I am strong, I never fell for his jive, but they were true believers.  Until they were reduced to nothing by the empty promises.

    As each one wakes to a foggy haze that has become our American political landscape, unrecognizable, as each one takes off the lens that has MEDIA written on it, and faces his or her neighbor, friend, coworker, and sees the pain they endure at the hands of the Bush Administration policy's, he or she will work to bring about a new day.  The volunteers at ground zero see the weariness in Katrina survivors , the parents and lovers and children who have lost someone in Iraq, those who have lost jobs out of defunding, Veterans with lost medical benefits, those who have had to pull the plug on a loved one for lack of money, while the Republicans demonize those who let someone go out of compassion.  Those who worry about their childrens continued protections under the law, and worry about their safety overseas.

     Every day a Republican wakes to realize they are not so safe anymore, who feel they must shout their affiliation louder and louder out of a sense that doing so will surely keep them exempt from the same trials they easily send those "others" to, yell a little louder, wear a sticker or place a banner, attend more meetings, but more and more out of a sense that these actions will protect them in the future. Stacking up points, so to speak, just in case anyone dare question their intentions, beliefs, or support.

    Sooner or later they will come to realize they are as tired as the slogans, and hopefully it will not be too late.

  •  Welcome! (none)
    And thanks for sharing part of your story. I'm interested to read more.

    For a far-left progressive like me who lives and works in overly Rethug environments, diaries like these give me hope.

  •  GODDAMN (none)
    Oh,goddamn it.  I'm so angry about this that anything I said would be irrational.  

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:04:16 AM PST

    •  Angry? (none)
      About anything in particular?

      My diary, or just the whole situation that our once-great nation has found itself in?

      ScAlito and that embarassing SOTU are more than enough anger-fodder for one day.

      I'm angry most of the time, too. I can't stand it when Bush's voice comes on the radio (NPR)...that makes me angry. Of course all radios and televisions in my house were turned off at 9:00 EST last night. I can find out what he spewed by reading it on dKos. I was so angry and depressed the day after the Rethugs stole 2004 that I was ranting irrationally to anybody unlucky enough to be around me.

      I think about a 72-25 cloture vote on ScAlito and get downright pathalogical.

      There's plenty of anger to go around.

  •  Psst! Here's a little secret.... (4.00)
    you can be a Republican and not vote Republican.....

    I'm a "decline to state" voter here in CA, but am seriously considering re-registering Republican so I can get their mailings and vote for Doolittle's Republican challenger in the Primary in June. Then I'll vote for the Dem in the General Election in November....

    And welcome, welcome, welcome to the reality based world no matter what your registration is!

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -Governor George W Bush (R-TX)

    by espresso on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:06:07 AM PST

    •  Bingo (none)
      Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

      Although, if the Democrats control the state legislature, then its usually a good idea to vote

      Republican for the Attorney General

      and vice-versa.

      Call the world if you Please "The vale of Soul-making" Then you will find out the use of the world. - Keats

      by republican with a small r on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:40:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Realignment (none)
    I wonder if we're not going to see a sort of generalized realignment in American politics over the next few years.  Random observations:

    1. People associated with the military may tend to be less uniformly (so to speak) Republican.

    2. Illegal wiretaps annoy the ACLU, but also some libertarian-type Republicans.

    3. The hyper-leftist, uber-PC postmodernist crowd may be running out of steam in the academic world.

    4. Everybody from GM to the AMA is starting to realize that something needs to be done about health care.

    5. There may be an increased appreciation of general, non-ideological "competence."  Even a lot of people who supported the war in Iraq are horrified at Bush's handling of it.  (Eg, Andrew Sullivan.)

    Just in general, I think a whole lot of new alliances are going to be formed, and old ones broken, on the American political scene over the next few years.
  •  My mother (none)
    My mother is a life-long registered member of the Republican party. I'm pretty sure that the last time she voted for a Republican (for President) was in 1972. It's possible it was 1968, my dad and I have never gotten her to admit who she voted for in '72 (damn those secret ballots!).

    She can't stand what the GOP has become, especially in these last number of years.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - FDR

    by Vitarai on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:15:55 AM PST

  •  the thing is ... (4.00)
    ... i don't want the democratic party to be a refuge for republicans. i want those republicans back over in the republican party, voting for sane republicans. then the democrats could move back to the left of center, and sometimes there'd be a dem in the WH and sometimes a pub, and during the periodic shifts when the republicans held the white house and one or the other of the houses of congress, i wouldn't have to feel despondent over the very real possibility that the end of civilization is at hand.

    america is not ever, in my lifetime, going to have a government that comes close to being as far to the left as me (at least, not unless the elites really screw everything up and we all end up wading through rivers of our fellow-citizens' blood). i can live with this reality. what i can't live with is the idea that the choice for the remainder of my life will be between the rather conservative party and the lunatic conservative party.

    don't get me wrong, i'm glad the diarist sees through the neocon lies.

  •  I was raised Republican (none)
    but Michigan Republicans in the past were principled, rational, sensible.  but I was also pro-Nixon in high school, not because I knew a lot, but because I was raised with general ideas of "respecting the office" and I thought Nixon was getting a raw deal.

    I started moving left in college esp. during the Reagan years, and Reagan also moved my Republican parents leftward, mainly on women's rights issues.

    I went left and never looked back.

    thank you for your diary.

    I thought nothing could be worse than the Reagan years. Boy was I wrong.

    by marjo on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:37:13 AM PST

  •  Neither the Republicans nor Democrats (none)
    Can any longer be said to represent traditional "right" or "left" politics. To large degrees they are amalgams of traditional political viewpoints (probably less than 30%), extremist elements from the fringes, and bought-and-paid-for corporate political careerists.

    So it's understandable that party affiliation can be virtually meaningless today. And it's also understandable that many folks here are incredibly frustrated with the Democrats. I think in all honesty that Markos is missing the boat by using this site as a platform to elect anybody in particular. Our ability to park our votes anywhere is the only power we have over politicians and we need to exercise it.

    The highly partisan atmosphere of US politics is detrimental to the pursuit of democracy.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:52:26 AM PST

  •  welcome! (4.00)
    i wasn't yet even a citizen when the Ronald Reagan CRs came on campus and started changing the debate.The ruthlesness,bigotry and outright lying outraged me.

    As a christian ,i saw them distorting the message.What was once fringe nutcase belief became mainstream.Along the way it became o.k to hate blacks,o.k to hate gays,just fine to bring your children to Planned Parenthood on a saturday morning and call young women killers and throw blood on them(DYE) and i knew i had to fight them.

    The scary thing was watching young kids at work coming in spouting Rush Limbaugh talking points.They had no idea what the Republican party used to stand for.

    George Bush is not a member of that republican party,because low taxes for only corporations and the wealthy to the detriment of the economy is not republican neither is a lack of seperation between church and state.

    A hungry man is a angry man.

    by blacklib on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:09:05 AM PST

  •  Power in (R) ... (none)
    As you note, there is a power in being an (R) for debate purposes with acquaintances.  But, you can choose to extend that power beyond the casual conversation.  

    If you are in NC-08, consider forming "Republicans for Tim Dunn" ... if there isn't already such an organization.  Who knows whether you might be able to pull along a few other (R)s in the process ...

    For a long time, a very 'blue' district (Montgomery County, Maryland) had Republican representatives.  This started with Mac Mathias in the 1960s (who became a Senator), then was Gil Gude (who was the founding director of the Congressional Research Service), and then Connie Morella (who was finally put into pasture last year).  For 20 of 30 years, with a decade period of a Democrat in the seat (Mike Barnes), the Republicans held this 'Blue' district.  These were all 'moderates' -- a part of the Republican Party that has lost all power.  A key tool in the ascendency and hold of these Republicans was formidable "Democrats for ..." groups.  You represent, perhaps, an opportunity, to do this for Democratic Party candidates in North Carolina ...

    And, if not in NC-08, seek similar opportunities as they emerge.

    9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

    by besieged by bush on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:12:19 AM PST

  •  I enjoyed reading this diary (none)
    Seeing so many comments that speak to caring about social justice issues and the realisation that nations are known by how they care for the weakest and poorest and most disadvantaged,  domestically and internationally, is encouraging.

    If these epiphanies continue, things may start to get better.

  •  No, you aren't a republican (none)

    You are just a fiscally minded democrat. The policital spectrum in this country is so tilted, that the middle of the road is no longer an even balance between conservativism and socialism, but a balance between sense and lunacy.

    This, when what we need is neither 'bigger government' (ie increased socialism), or 'smaller government' (ie a more conservative social structure), but, I am sure you agree, SMARTER GOVERNMENT.

    So, by current definitions, you aren't a republican - you're a democrat. A conservative democrat, now doubt, but a democrat nonetheless.

    May I recomend you watch the film 'The corporation'?   It's on my list of films everyone should be required to watch right now.

  •  I would love to have (none)
    Charles Percy in the Senate today.  Of course,I think he would be a Democrat now, because the current Republican Party would disgust him.

    So I see only tatters of clearness through a pervading obscurity - Annie Dillard

    by illinifan17 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:39:04 AM PST

  •  That's what I keep telling normal repub folks... (none)
    That their party has been hijacked.

    I get all sundry of responses... "Oh yes, those fundie nuts... I just don't listen to them."

    To which I respond, "Yeah, well the policies you will live under are most definitely fundie/radical....so until you take back your party...you are supporting everything the radical/fundies are propogating."

    To which they respond with..... silence or a "well, that's your opinion."  Indeed it is.

    LetsFight. re handle: Fight the radical right is the sentiment!

    by letsfight on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:53:15 AM PST

  •  Welcome! (none)
    Thanks for your story.  I am a lifelong Democrat & range thru the spectrum, & I barely recognize my party these days too. But I believe in my deepest soul that I Am the Democratic Party.  Me & all the other Democrats.  I'm a partisan.  I think that when all the entrenched, wrongheaded, coctail party, establishment DC pols & their strategists are booted out of their comfy chairs, I will still be here.  

    What kills me about Rethugs is how they love to pretend that MLK & other freedom fighters are so great in their minds & hearts, when they fought tooth & nail against every just movement since Lincoln!  & they have the very gall to invoke Lincoln when they have been on the wrong side of every civil rights issue!  

    It's easy to look back longingly to a romanticized past.  LBJ was an asshole, & Dems said so.  When Rethugs & Repubs can look back & say the same about Reagan, I'll start to respect them.  Some Repubs came out & called W an asshole last year, & I respect them.

    GWB & the current crop of Rethugs have been fomenting civil war in America, & I seriously resent that.  When they say "Liberal" & "Democrat" sneeringly, I just want to smash a brick in their face.  When DeWine stood on the Senate floor on Monday & called Dems child pornographers among a littany of vile pronouncements, I swear, I felt if I was there I would have ripped his head off with one hand & used it for a hood ornament.  They have set on a dangerous path.  This is not "just" politics.  It is a call to arms, & they don't seem to get that we pitchfork & torch wielding rank & file have limits to the insults we will endure.

    GWB spewing meaningless platitudes & going out to campaign on them is no substitute for sober, reasoned governing.

    Bribery, corruption & division is a dangerous stew.  The Rethugs cooked it up, & we need to make them stew in it.

    The future ain't what it used to be. Yogi Berra

    by x on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:55:09 AM PST

  •  I figured the "Republican" in the title (4.00)
    would be eye catching, but I never imagined so many replies. I feel like the sorcerer's apprentice trying to keep up with the brooms and the buckets of water! I'm trying to reply to some of your comments, but I'm on dialup :-( and new comments come faster than I can reply to some and rate others.

    But to get such a heartfelt welcome for a first diary is just something I value more than anybody will know. The dKos community is filled to overflowing with intelligent, well-read, honorable, and respectful individuals. I can't comment enough about all the new and informative material has come to me in your comments. I believe that dKos will be a force for real change, starting with a Dem majority in the house in 2006 (and dare I hope: impeachment?).

    I hope nobody feels slighted if I can't reply to everybody. Since I've noticed that the comments on my diary are almost all direct compliments (thanks!) rather than the simple rejoinders that are more common on other diaries, I feel obligated to reply as much as possible.

    I'm looking forward to visiting dKos often.

  •  You illustrate what has gone wrong... (4.00)
    ...with our political process.  There was a time not all that long ago when what differentiated the political parties was not their ends so much as their means.  There was a respectable consensus on what made for a strong nation as well as a strong society.  No one on either side of the aisle would have seriously suggested it was a good idea to let our infrastructure decay, our public schools go to hell, our edge in science be replaced by blind superstition.  And yet, that is precisely what leading Republicans have proposed.  They have avoided using those words, of course, but that is indeed the substance of their policies.

    And while there were disagreements in interpreting the Constitution, no one on either side of the aisle would have suggested just shredding it.  Nobody would have suggested arbitrarily dismissing treaties which we had honored for decades, and disregarding international and domestic law.

    Until, that is, the Reagan administration.  Under the auspices of that fine group of humanoids the United States became a rogue nation.  Bush has by and large completed a process begun under Reagan.

    Good luck with your party.  It may be beyond saving, just as the Whigs were beyond saving in 1854.  Believe me, I don't think Democrats have all the answers.  This country was a lot better off with two parties that were able to come together from time to time for the benefit of the nation as a whole.

    "...the big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

    by Roddy McCorley on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 12:15:45 PM PST

  •  quick! (none)
    somebody call that blowhard on fox radio and tell him "look!  (R)s are eating (R)s!  internicene warfare!"

    weather forecast

    The palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. - Paine

    by Cedwyn on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 12:17:21 PM PST

  •  Rehab (none)
    Is there a twelve step program for recovery rethugs?

    The shrub needs to be pulled he is terrifying

    by libbie on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 12:19:37 PM PST

  •  I was a Republican too (none)
    Now I am far to the left and don't leave the Democratic Party for the same reason you stay in the R party -- reform from the inside.  But they both have remained obviously corporate oriented and they both are not representing or protecting us citizens.  An earlier poster was correct -- polls show that most people asked support more "liberal" governance that we currently have (more money for envirnmental protection and restoration, most support women's reproductive choice, more money to public schools, etc.)  and the economy always does much better under Democratic administrations and under the Republicans.  

    I am all for isolationism (as in keep our troops home and out of another country's business) and apeasement as in bring to a state of peace).

    Thanks for your diary.

    •  I, too, believe in reform from the inside (none)
      Since I have the credentials, as wondering if I should join the DAR.

      I come from a long line of Republicans including one who ran for President and another who was a Senator.  Most of them are registered Democrat now.  My family's exit from the party started when Newt Gingrich was simply the last straw that broke the camel's back.

      I remain Independent because, like the diarist, I vote principles, not party.

  •  Correction . . . (none)
    The economy always does better under Democratic administrations THAN under Republican ones.  (That is correct.  You can check this out with a google search.)
  •  Great music on that subject (4.00)
    We're all Republicans now,
    We've all come around somehow.
    Even old Democrats can change their hats,
    We're all Republicans now.
    Affirmative action must go,
    Unless you're somebody we know.
    We'll get conservative judges back on the bench,
    Cut government spending and down with the French,
    No more arguments, we've taken a vow,
    No more dissent, just smile and bow.
    We're all Republicans,
    All Republicans, All Republicans now.

    We're all Republicans now,
    We've turned to the right, and how!
    We are one land,
    One old party that's grand,
    We're all Republicans now.
    We're opposed to the power of the state,
    Our motto is deregulate,
    No more free health care here in our nation,
    Why should I pay for your kid's education?
    If you can't afford to pay your own way
    Then you don't belong in the U.S.A.
    We're all Republicans,
    All Republicans, All Republicans now.

    We're all Republicans now,
    And America's stronger, ka-pow.
    If you're unemployed
    Don't be annoyed,
    We're all Republicans now.
    We're all united tonight
    'Cause it feels so good to be right.
    Put your nose to the grindstone, your hand to the plow,
    Get out to the barn and find a cash cow.
    When the sign lights up that says, "Applause",
    Clap your hands and smile because,
    We're all Republicans,
    All Republicans, All Republicans now.

    © 2003 Garrison Keillor and Richard Dworsky

  •  Human beings first (none)
    a) Really, it probably would be good if a lot of us re-registered as Republicans and voted for moderate Republicans nominees, rather than wingnuts. I'm too lazy to do that, but, if you're Republican, stay Republican and guard against the wingnuts.

    b) I think that, 10 years from now, maybe we can go back to having principled debates between Democrats with big dreams and Republicans who want to talk about our fallen nature and where the money's coming from. Today, I think all people of good will from whatever political perspective should be uniting against one-party Bush Rovie rule. One-party Bush Rovie rule is clearly as dangerous to decent Republicans, including normal conservative Republicans, as it is to Democratic progressives.

    c) One temporary issue is WMD terrorism and another is figuring out a decent way to get our troops out of Iraq while avoiding genocide. But the real issue is preventing global warming from destroying the coastal areas of the world and perhaps bringing about an ice age or a desert age, or a giant belch of ammonia from the oceans. The thing to keep in mind is that environmental change that would make the surface of the Earth resemble the surface of either Mars or Venus would be devastating to liberals, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, animists, KKK members, African-Americans, gay people, women, angry white men, children, Native Americans, Asians, Hispanics, transsexuals, intersexuals, fetuses saved from abortion, U.S. people and non-U.S. people. It seems as if we are all entering into a giant science fiction disaster movie together and we ought to be more concerned about whether the people next to us can build solar stills than what they think about flag burning.

  •  Welcome, blue! (none)
    Good to have you on board dkos.  Great 1st diary by the way.

    Your story gives me hope that maybe we can still turn this country around, one disillusioned Repub at a time.

    Thanks for sharing.

    "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?"-- Micah 6:8

    by Mad Mom on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 01:15:47 PM PST

  •  Has anyone else (none)
    received personal emails from someone trolling this post? I just got two emails from "germanoffice@aol"
    something like that...

    This person took offense at my earlier post wherein I stated that dkos welcomes critical thinkers. I've gotten in the crosshairs of these fucktards before, but never related to a post on daily kos....

    Any suggestions?

    If not me, who? If not now, when?

    by rcvanoz on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 01:17:35 PM PST

  •  as far as I'm concerned (none)
    Republicans are welcome here.

    This is a place where they can hear truth they won't get from any other news source.  Have you seen anyone get the Cindy Sheehan story right today?  One single news broadcast?  Anywhere?

    This is a place where they can read advisorjim's "confessions of an ex-dittohead" diaries and learn how to talk to their Republican relatives who still refuse to see the light.

    This is a place where they can reacquiaint themselves with the idea that a fact is only a fact if you have independent sources to back it up.  they can learn how to click links and do their own googling and discover for themselves the hollowness of RoveCo lies.

    I believe there are a lot of republicans on dkos.  not all of them are trolls.  some are here to get questions answered they can't ask anywhere else.  some are here to get information.  some are lurking. some are making valuable posts.  some of them are against the war.  some of them support cindy.

    All of them won't vote D next time, but some of them will.  Some of them will refuse to support wingnuts and will vote for more moderate Republicans in primaries.  Some of them will vote Green.  Some of them will stay home.

    Once upon a time there were lots of moderate and even progressive-leaning Republicans before the neocon thugs hijacked the party.  Once upon a time I had Republican friends with whom I had reasonable political conversations including principled disagreement.

    Now when I can bear to talk to them I say: "If you can't bring yourself to leave the dark side completely, at least you can reform your own party from within.  If reasonable people like you take your party back that will help me take my country back."

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 01:43:12 PM PST

  •  I can't ask Andrew Sullivan this (none)
    (well, I could, but I doubt he'd answer it,) so I'll ask you, blue in NC:  Do you stay in the party in the hope that you can reform it?  Is that why?  And if so, do you really think you have a snowball's chance in Hell of doing so?
    In any case.....Welcome.  Nice first diary.

    I see you when you're sleeping. I know when you're awake. I know if you've been bad or good. But criminy, even I go through FISA!-S. Claus

    by jazzmaniac on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 02:22:58 PM PST

    •  I stay in the party because (none)
      The problem isn't the Republican party, it's the Rethug party

      There are no meaningful Democratic primaries in my part of NC

      I like to look my friends who call themselves Republicans in the eye and ask: Are you serious? Do you really believe in what these people are doing to this country?  Believe it or not, some of them notice; maybe they still consider me sort of an insider

      It gets attention in Dem circles, where I spend more and more time

      I live in a red, red county and any attempt at county-level office must be made as an "R"

      SO... do I expect to "change the party from within"?

      As I said, the Rethug party can't be changed; it needs to be obliterated. If I can swing a few Rethugs back to Republican status, I'll feel I've accomplished something.

  •  But on the bright side (none)
    you must get some pretty funny (in an insane way) direct mail.
  •  The party died (none)
    In June of 1974 when the results of Lowell Weicker's crusade were revealed in the committee report on Watergate.

    It was never the same after that.

    Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk. - Thoreau

    by harrier on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 03:04:05 PM PST

  •  Not R Not D (none)

    The truth is that a new progressive movement is evolving that will combine elements of the old Democrats and Republicans. I see both so called parties as quite troubled today and neither supporting or being supported by its grassroots.  That gap of support and reality is what is fueling your change and the threats of some of us Democrats to make radical change.  We all know, give or take a tweak here or there, that the system has failed and that we no longer have parties that work for the people -- whether theo or neo or DLC con, we have in essense one major party running things. The confusion is that members of the ruling party use both labels, Democrat and Republican which engenders huge fights among supporters trying to be loyal while trying to also stand for something.  They know, of course, that it will do just that.  Meanwhile, they get what they want -- divided and ineffective opposition and time to further undermine our ability to get on our feet for a fair fight.

    This country is in serious serious trouble.  Best in my opinion not to get hung up  on labels -- which in the end are just going to confuse us more than them.  It is quite clear that opposition will come from both the clean right and left and from progressives who want reform.

    I long for good and fair true political debate and discourse again.  We are so estranged from it!
    Welcome to the battle we face.  It will take all that we have and then some.

    Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

    by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 03:05:35 PM PST

  •  Funny that John Gibson would rather (none)
    interview MSOC than you, huh?

    Welcome to the fight, this is about more than politics, now.

    "The pen is mightier than the sword, but only at a range of greater than five feet" Malaclypse the Younger

    by buhdydharma on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 03:30:05 PM PST

  •  I think we DO need (at least) two parties... (4.00)
    Parties of sane people who happen to disagree on the structural approach to our shared problems and goals.

    Parties made up of people who want to recreate the American dream, and who have different ideas about how to do it.

    Parties of well-meaning, basically honest people who want to make the world a better place.

    Fixing the Republican party is worthwhile.  In the short run, getting Democrats into office is critical, in my opinion, to the very survival of the planet.  But I am very much in favor of principled, activist Republicans helping to get their party back on track.  As a moderate, I want real debate, not name-calling and mutual bashing supplemented by corruption and deep pockets.

    A government with two parties that both represent actual citizens?  Bring it on!

  •  I stopped voting republican when (none)
    leafblowers went on the market.  Because Reagan had reduced the power of the EPA.  Those @#& things were howling all over our neighborhood.
    People sleeping in the streets of Manhattan for the first time in my lifetime didn't help much either.
  •  Republican Party Dead? (none)
    What are you folks smoking? They have been kicking Dem butts all over the electoral map for a decade. If you delude yourself into thinking the Rs are dead, you will have no reason to evolve into the Democratic Party the country needs. Check that red/blue congressional district map. There are very few, very intensely democratic districts. Suggesting that the Republican Party is dead is as useful as suggesting that Kerry really won because he's smarter.
    The Repubs have a core, they have faithful voters that show up on election day, they volunteer and they donate.  There are more Democrats, but they don't bother to vote. We can't even have the substantive debates we need to move the country forward, because Dems usually don't show. Dems are marginalizing themselves.
    It doesn't matter if what they do seems evil, if you won't go vote.
    To keep suggesting that Dems are too smart and passionate to lose to moronic Republicans is to look defeat in the eye and resign yourself to minority status. Get a grip. Get passionate about something other than complaining.

    Ban Intolerance Now!

    by brahma on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 04:59:40 PM PST

    •  Republican party IS dead (none)
      brahma wrote:
      What are you folks smoking? They have been kicking Dem butts all over the electoral map for a decade...The Repubs have a core, they have faithful voters that show up on election day, they volunteer and they donate...
      No, no, no...

      Maybe it's just a question of semantics, but I said emphatically - and I think most of the rlevant comments did also - that the Republican party is all but dead; it is a marginalized third party. The Rethug party is very alive and very well and very dangerous and must be obliterated.

      I certainly wouldn't want my comments in any way to be taken to imply that we have nothing to worry about from Republicans (in name only) - yes, although they vote Rethug, they still call themselves "Republicans".

      As a recovering Republican, I'm trying to make sure that that distinction doesn't get lost. We the people - not "D" or "R" necessarily - need to do what it takes to get the bad "R's" - which is most of 'em - out of office.

      •  I missed the distinction (none)
        Is it your opinion that the rank and file Republican voters are substantially more evil than the rank and file Democrats, or is the problem in the leadership?

        Ban Intolerance Now!

        by brahma on Thu Feb 02, 2006 at 08:38:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure (none)
          brahma wrote:
          Is it your opinion that the rank and file Republican voters are substantially more evil than the rank and file Democrats, or is the problem in the leadership?
          Hmmmm...I don't know. How would I know who among voters was actually evil? I do think that rank and file Republican voters are more dangerous, strictly based on the empirical evidence that so many of them voted for a blatantly evil specimen like Bush not just once, but twice. They also continue to put more and more extreme examples of the Rethug mentality into house and senate seats.

          I just can't figure out what makes them do that.

          I want to be careful what I say about rank and file Democrats, because I can't claim familiarity with the party itself. From the outside, I wouldn't classify them as anything remotely evil. So why are the "good guys" losing elections? I just don't know. Part of it is, I believe, Rethug-perpetrated election fraud. Democrats are turning out, just not in quite large enough numbers to offset the Diebold effect.

          As for leadership: I would venture to say that the Republican Rethug leadership is Pure Concentrated Evil. Bush. Cheney. Rove. Frist. Hastert. Delay. Boehner. Unbelievable, unmitigated evil.

          The Democratic leadership seems weak, disorganized, and a bit scared (they should be more willing to crush the Rethug leadership and lapdog candidates under the heels of their boots like the cockroaches they are), especially based on many diaries and comments I've read here by dKos people who work in the trenches personally and would know better than I.

  •  I'm an Independent (none)
    but it's been a long time since I voted for any GOP candidate.

    Welcome.

    Fiscal responsibility can be good {especially when rich people are held to ponying up their fair share}.

    Conservative values are great - especially when they are about our environment.

    Jump in, don't be shy!

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty, soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 05:12:50 PM PST

  •  Well Someone Else See's It.... (none)
    And here in NC as well!!

    I'm Not a Repub, but have been saying that the Republican Party 'No Longer Exists' for a Long Time!

    I'm not sure the exact date the Republican party died

    I'll tell you the Starting Point:
    Reagan!
    But the Fast Pace move away from came with the Newt and GHW bush, with the Rapid Run starting in 2000!!!

    No More Republican Party, Not Even Third Party!!!

  •  I don't know... (none)
    like attending a Sierra Club meeting wearing seal fur and carrying a "Drill in ANWR - NOW" sign.
    We're not that bad, are we? :P

    Don't feel so bad about voting for Nixon, by the way. Compared to the situation today, Nixon doesn't seem that bad anymore.

    Breaking and entering? Passe.

    Wiretapping without a warrant? I bet Bush has the whole Democratic Party under wiretap, although that hasn't come out for sure yet.

    Cambodia? Meet Iraq.

    And consider the politics--Nixon would be a freaking Leftist today. He created the EPA, proposed something similar to nationalized health care, and if i remember right proposed a federal maximum wage.

    Nixon may have invented the idea that the President can do no wrong, legally, but Bush is the one who is actually trying to force it onto America. Nixon, when shown to be wrong, had the grace to at least kind-of admit it and step down.

    My favorite Nixon quote?

    I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the tapes.
    As the author of the comic i linked above put it: at least Nixon was honestly trying.

    I think, personally, he was the last Republican President to really do so. I might be pursuaded on the first Bush, though.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:07:07 PM PST

    •  Nah, you're not bad at all (none)
      Shapeshifter wrote:
      like attending a Sierra Club meeting wearing seal fur and carrying a "Drill in ANWR - NOW" sign.

      We're not that bad, are we? :P

      I was jokingly putting myself in the position of ANWR-killer and y'all as the Sierra club...the really good guys.

      just an analogy...

      BTW, I never meant to imply dKos was like a Dobson event! ;-)

  •  Another Recovering Dittohead (none)
    After 25 years as a registered Republican, 2004 was the first year I campaigned actively for a Democrat in any capacity. What happened?

    Until the end of 2003, I considered myself a supporter of the President. But toward the end of 2003, no longer listening to Limbaugh or Hannity anymore, I started asking myself some questions.

    Questions about the war (where were the WMD??), fiscal insanity (surpluses to record deficits), and stifling of dissent (minor groups of peace activists were being monitored and harrassed by the local US district attorney and FBI).

    The 2/16/04 issue of Time titled When Credibility Becomes An Issue finally tipped the balance for me.

    Bush lost his credibility with me. Like virginity, it's hard to get back.

    But was I the only Republican on earth that had doubts about President Bush, much less consider voting for Kerry?

    Unfortunately, while I found there were a few of us who were off the reservation, there weren't enough of us to make a difference.

    My parents, for example, are GOP lifers, Kool-Aid drinkers and Limbaugh-infected to the core. Unfortunately there's a lot of them out there.

    Over Christmas my mom actually said, "I don't mind if they want to monitor my calls." I bit my tongue ... debating that kind of thinking is like talking to a TV. They're all talk and no listen.

    But you'll notice from recent polls that while Republican support for Bush is still insanely strong, it is slipping. Little by little. Once it gets around or below 70% GOP approval for Bush, you'll see overall approval ratings in the 30s.

    Then the mid-terms and Dems will gain. Ahhh. Chimpy will say quack in November.

    Am I still a registered Republican? Yes. But not for long, I'm going Independent soon. And working for Culver for Governor later this year, and Clark or Feingold in 08.

  •  you forgot the DixiCrat Party or the UnDems (none)
    also another fringe party.

    MATTHEWS says Bush sometimes "glimmers" with "sunny nobility" (Hardball, 10/24/05)

    by Krush on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:49:39 PM PST

  •  You are not alone (none)
    My husband is a liberal Republican.  He's stubbornly waiting for his party to come back to  him, but in the meantime he's working to convince other long-time Republicans that they really have more in common with Democrats and that there's no shame voting against a party that has gone so completely awry.

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

    by Catriana on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 06:51:14 PM PST

  •  Republican 1980-2001 (none)
    I was also a Republican, deciding at age 16 that I was a Republican, and proud of it, proud to be a conservative. I eagerly voted for Reagan in 1984, my first presidential election.

    But even then I serious issues with the Reagan administration, though I always liked Reagan himself. I was always an environmentalist, and appalled by James Watt (Interior Secretary), and I was quite appalled on how the AIDS crisis was handled (or not) by his administration. Even then I had nothing against gay folk, and was always a social liberal. I became more and more alarmed as the 1980's progressed with the growing influence of the religious right. I had grave doubts about Reagan's Central America policy, but thought that it was the lesser of two evils (communism being the Big Evil).

    In 1988, I voted for the last time for a Republican for president. In 1992, I voted for Perot. In 1996, I voted for Clinton. However even then I wasn't able to bring myself to change my party registration even though I rarely by that point voted for Republicans.

    Finally in 2001 I reregistered as an independent just because I moved to another county. In 2003 Howard Dean convinced me to become a Democrat. It felt really wrong and weird at the time, it was actually a little traumatic at first, but I got used to it, and I'm happy to be here now. I can actually get why people hang on to their party affiliation. I guess I didn't want to admit maybe how wrong I was for so long. Now looking back, my shift to the left started at the conclusion of the Cold War. My sole reason for voting for Republicans was because of their perceived strength on national security, and I liked Reagan's strong anti-communist rhetoric (I come from a family that was victimized by a communist regime). The other reason was because they were supposedly good on budget matters. Well, it was pretty clear that the Republicans weren't at the end of 1980's.

    Today I don't even recognize what's become of the Republican Party... I hope they end up on the ash heap of history where they belong.

    He who is the author of war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death. - Thomas Paine 1783

    by lanshark on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 08:10:53 PM PST

  •  Republicans? (none)
    This is what I've been trying to tell people for a while now... there are no ideological conservatives left in the leadership of the Republican party. I knew that was true when J.C. Watts was purged from the party. I wonder if he went to the party leadership (in theory, he was the #3 Republican in Congress) and told them he wanted to be President somday... and they laughed at him. Makes me wonder.
       Anyway, welcome back to reality! The "Rethugs" you speak about have ruined our political system... which should be about compromise. It's always worked before, it can work again. But, we have to get people in office that are willing to give something to get something.
  •  Hallucinations (none)
    Your history sounds like a litany of drinking the koolaid. You are still a Republican even though that party hasn't represented you for decades, at least. But what amazes me the most about your delusion is that while you were abusing drugs in the 1980s you were steadily voting for Reagan and his Drug War. You've got a lot to make up for.
    •  I'm sorry... (none)
      DocGonzo wrote:
      Your history sounds like a litany of drinking the koolaid. You are still a Republican even though that party hasn't represented you for decades, at least. But what amazes me the most about your delusion is that while you were abusing drugs in the 1980s you were steadily voting for Reagan and his Drug War...
      Yeah, I know, but it's a lot like the "What's the matter with Kansas" phenomenon today: why do heartland voters still vote "Rethug" when it's demonstrable that the 'thugs are acting consistently against the best interests of those voters?

      At least I have "being stoned" to offer up as a feeble excuse... ;-)

      Besides, how many Kossacks should dump the Dems? Since it's pretty obvious to me that the current Dems don't represent the values of dKos members either...we should all switch to Green. NOT. After the 2000 fiasco, I never want to hear the word "Nader" again.

      ...You've got a lot to make up for.
      Yes, I know. :-( That's why I work so hard on behalf of progressive, honest Democrats, and try to give the Kool Aid antidote to as many deluded Rethugs as I can.
  •  To whoever added the tags in bold listed below... (none)
    Democrats, Party Affiliation, Republican Party, Rethugs, Values, Recommended, red shift, Go Fuck Yourself, Asswipe, Fag

    Grow the fuck up ya fucking chicken-shit moron.

    As for the diarist, I can empathize. I was a dissenting GOPer for many years (during Reagan) who finally bailed when his doing absolutely nothing while more Americans died of AIDS than did in the Vietnam War, and had as his most vocal base standard bearer the bigoted fuck-head Jerry Fartwell. I thought fiscal prudence, basic small L libertarian principles were sound views to hold. Too bad they have nothing to do with the abomination that is the current GOP.

    I have also moved left economically as well when I realized how utterly bankrupt (pun noted) that laissez faire and "trickle-down" economics is a bunch of horseshit. I have since come to recognize that a hybrid of capitalism  and limited components of socialism are what works best not just for the lower-wage end of the spectrum, but across the board.

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    by Lestatdelc on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 10:51:36 PM PST

  •  Why my dad is a republican (none)
    He registered that way so he could vote against Goldwater in the 1964 primaries.

    So people have their reasons.

    "I believe in vengeance" -- Harry Reid

    by fightcentristbias on Wed Feb 01, 2006 at 11:12:26 PM PST

  •  Most folks (none)
    I know are pretty good folks, whether from NYC or Oklahoma. I think the ineffectiveness of the Democratic party in finding good candidates, promoting them, and giving them a platform to stand on is criminal. I think most here believe as I do. If you give regular folks good people with a good platform to vote for, they will. I don't think the Dems have done that since JFKennedy. Obama maybe, but he will have to be less wishy washy, take principled stands and be a leader. Feingold does both those things, but he has no charisma. I can't figure out today what Hillary stands for. I don't think the Dems have a candidate or a leader of the party. Apparently Reid agrees. I don't blame grandma in Wichita as evil, I blame the DLC for not giving grandma someone to vote for. Enough voted Bush by default to turn the election to the outcome we saw. Bush was the only one with a deciferable position on anything. I still don't know what JFKerry stood for.

    Ban Intolerance Now!

    by brahma on Thu Feb 02, 2006 at 09:31:28 PM PST

    •  Yes, weak Dem candidates are a problem (none)
      but I still have trouble understanding the sheer number of mindless votes for "R's".

      brahma wrote:

      ...I think the ineffectiveness of the Democratic party in finding good candidates, promoting them, and giving them a platform to stand on is criminal...I don't think the Dems have a candidate or a leader of the party. Apparently Reid agrees. I don't blame grandma in Wichita as evil, I blame the DLC for not giving grandma someone to vote for. Enough voted Bush by default to turn the election to the outcome we saw. Bush was the only one with a deciferable position on anything. I still don't know what JFKerry stood for.

      But why can't Grandma recognize evil? Yes, Dems have been pretty weak and still are...just the fact that 19 of 'em voted for cloture this week and 4 of 'em voted for a fascist thug's confirmation to our Supreme Court is plenty of evidence of that.

      I was no huge Kerry fan and you're right - I really don't know much of what he stood for - but I knew that he stood for some American ideals and Bush stood for "The haves and the have-mores...my base" [his own words, remember]. I knew Bush stood for starting and promoting an illegal and immoral war. I knew that Bush stood for eliminating fundamental civil liberties and promoting bigotry. I knew that Bush stood for fouling our environment into toxic oblivion, and for giving away our precious public lands to timber, mining, development, and oil & gas interests.

      I knew that Kerry, even if he wasn't a blazingly charismatic figure, stood somewhat opposite those positions.

      Am I really that much more observant than Grandma? Why couldn't Grandma at least see the fundamental differences?

      •  Kerry's Positions (none)
        If you believed you kind of knew what Kerry stood for you were channeling him. He never said anything he stood behind. Even with the filibuster he would not admit that he was driving the debate, even after having made the very public call from Davos.
        Grandma doesn't want to fight the war against terror at home. Kerry didn't want to fight it at all (in Grandma's mind).

        The other advantage Bush had against Kerry, but not necessarily against Hillary, is apparent heartfelt optimism. Bush portays that we are good folks and we can have a better country. Kerry was dour. I don't think we can elect a dour President any more.

        Ban Intolerance Now!

        by brahma on Fri Feb 03, 2006 at 04:58:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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