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    June 14, 2008

    It's the economy, economy, economy

    Posted by: Andoni

    Depression As I've noted before, voters, including myself, tend to vote their values over their economic interests. It takes really bad times to break this pattern. In order to ascertain that the Democrats wrestle control of the White House from the Republicans and also win a huge filibuster proof majority in the Senate, I'm still hoping for the economy to keep tanking. The economy has to get to the point where it really hurts. This happened in 1932 and provided a new era of Democratic control after a long period of Republican economic mismanagement similar to today. I know that a severe economic downturn is devastating to lots of people and it will harm me as well. But it's the economy that gets voter's attention more than anything else.

    Bob Herbert provides evidence in today's New York Times that the economy is indeed tanking and may provide the the deep and broad voter dissatisfaction that will help re-align politics for another generation. As a person interested in gay rights, this would be very welcome. A McCain victory will throw cold water on a gay rights movement that is about to break out with its biggest advances in our country's history. All we need is a gay friendly president and large working majorities in Congress.

    To this end, I don't trust the voters to make the right choice on their own. However, when the economy is foremost on their minds, we just might get the results we are looking for and we deserve.



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    1. Tim on Jun 14, 2008 11:24:07 AM:

      you know i tend to despise people that want the economy to tank just so they can win. Those are real people struggling to make ends meet and keep their homes and jobs. For you to want them to suffer because your party can't do well in real debates is childish and immature.
      we aren't even in a recession but people swear these are the end of days. You do realize our entire econnomy and dollar is based loosely on consumer sentiment. Not only will people suffer in the uS but people throughout the world depend on our economy doing well so that they can sell enough or work enough just to eat. But you Andoni want them all to suffer because its "for their own good" right?

    1. Kevin on Jun 14, 2008 11:57:02 AM:

      To wish widespread harm on innocent people for a narrow political goal is exactly what the religious right is all about. And, it seems, some gay Democrats as well. The level of craven selfishness borders on the insane, and it's dangerous for a democracy if such thinking wins the day no matter what the goals were.

      It's chilling to read these words of yours, Andoni. I hope you really didn't mean them.

    1. Hawyer on Jun 14, 2008 2:38:15 PM:

      The conundrum:

      Is equal protection under public law a philosophic
      luxury without a robust economy?


      Is a robust economy a philosophic luxury without equal protection under public law?

      The former is fundamentally the Republican point of view and the latter is fundamentally the Democratic point of view.

      I'm a liberal and I want both. Problem is I live in in a two-party country which seems averse to advocating both as public policy.

    1. Matt on Jun 14, 2008 5:25:32 PM:

      Classic radical liberalism: "Love" humanity, but hate people.

      This is quite possibly one of the most offensive posts I've read anywhere. It would be like a Republican wishing for another terrorist attack on the United States just so that George Bush would have justification and support to attack Iran or something.

      Chris, I love you and Kevin, but I don't see why you give a forum to such garbage. You bill this blog as as "independent," but there's nothing independent about someone who's so in the tank for Democrats that they would wish something so awful on our nation in exchange for political power.

    1. Matt on Jun 14, 2008 5:30:05 PM:

      P.S. If you don't "trust the voters," then move to North Korea or Venezuela. You'll fit right in in a country where the will of the people means nothing. You might be a Democrat, but you're certainly no "democrat."

    1. Lucrece on Jun 14, 2008 7:51:04 PM:

      Matt~ Ignorance is not very flattering to you. Chavez was elected by a wide margin thanks to the extended periods of political corruption and neglect of the lower classes.

      The will of the people is what got this populist demagogue into power.


      Concerning this post, I am a Democrat, and I am appalled. Is this what we want people to perceive the gay rights movement like? Willing to throw everyone under the bus for the slightest chance of achieving a goal?

      Andoni, dear, I know you often mean well, but this little piece is quite extreme.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 14, 2008 8:10:32 PM:

      I don't see why you give a forum to such garbage.

      Andoni has been an asset at this site. He's made several excellent posts in the past and has kept this site going while Chris and Kevin have been away.

      You bill this blog as as "independent," but there's nothing independent about someone who's so in the tank for Democrats that they would wish something so awful on our nation in exchange for political power.

      I'm gonna give Andoni the benefit of the doubt. I've read several of his previous posts and do not believe he meant to say that he wanted the country to suffer needlessly.

      I think he was merely saying that, to the extent the bad economy affects everyone, people might think more carefully about their choices this fall and will hopefully become more informed about the issues and the candidates. I agree with Andoni that Barack Obama and the Democrats will do a better job of running the show.

      If you don't "trust the voters," then move to North Korea or Venezuela.

      Save your petty, sneering taunts for your own site. You sound like a snotty 6-year old.

    1. Matt on Jun 15, 2008 6:06:41 PM:

      Lucrece, forgive me for not writing 18 pages worth of historical context to satisfy your need to judge my intelligence relative to your own. I know that Chavez was popularly elected, but he has spent every moment since then demolishing any vestige of democracy in his country.

      Hitler was elected too. Did you know that? Huh? Huh?! ;-)

      Scrutiny: Who named you the hall monitor? I'll write whatever I want to on this site until Chris tells me otherwise.

    1. Lucrece on Jun 15, 2008 6:48:23 PM:

      Matt~ Chavez trusts the people; it is the people who have been approving his recent revisions to the Venezuelan Constitution. His recent moves are actually made to impede public influence by his opposition, a rather small one.

      And you don't need to provide me with historical context; I happen to be a Venezuelan exile who happens to be bothered by some sheltered American's claim of knowledge of Venezuelan politics. Stick to your own sphere of experience, will you?

    1. Matt on Jun 15, 2008 7:03:25 PM:

      Excuse me, but by your logic, then, what right do you have to weigh in on gay politics in America? I don't need to live in Venezuela to know that Chavez is a thug and to have an opinion on him. "Sphere of experience," indeed.

    1. Kevin on Jun 15, 2008 7:09:31 PM:


      I can't believe you would, as a self-described Venezuelan exile, defend Chavez. What exiled you? As a resident of South American I guess I get to claim some sort of moral right (based on your spheric logic) to say: Hugo Chavez is a mentally deranged, two-bit tyrant bent on being a dictator. Those of us down here can see him quite clearly, and generations of military dictatorships that destroyed the country I call home today is plenty of background to know that Colonel Chavez is destroying Venezuela.

    1. Lucrece on Jun 15, 2008 8:30:01 PM:

      I do not defend Chavez. I take umbrage at Matt for actually trivializing what's going in Venezuela through some silly remarks conveying his strong disagreement with Andoni.

      Please, if I defended Chavez, I would not be here. First with my father and Fidel Castro (he fled to Venezuela), now with me and Chavez.

      What I'm objecting to is Matt's claims that somehow the Venezuelan people have their voice oppressed. No. We Venezuelans brought this disaster upon ourselves, and we've been every step in there to empower this imbecile. It's preposterous to give Chavez the credit of fooling people into power.

      Chavez is not destroying Venezuela by himself. The ugly truth is that Venezuelans never loved their country like Americans here do. I cannot help but laugh off the silly claim that Americans are heavily disinterested in their country. That's such a sheltered claim.

      Matt~ The difference between you and I is that I happen to live in the U.S. for over 8 years; I have some semblance of experience. You, however, have no experience with Venezuelan politics beyond regurgitating some U.S. conservative slogans, which are only half-truths of the situation.

    1. Kevin on Jun 16, 2008 7:31:14 AM:


      Thanks for the background, but it doesn't give you the right or the basis to accuse Matt of anything. You know zilch about his very wide experience and broad knowledge of the world. And no one should have to justify himself as "worthy" to offer an opinion in the comments section of this blog.


    1. Lucrece on Jun 16, 2008 3:46:05 PM:

      Except, that Venezuela bit was not part of an opinion.

    1. One Scared Jew on Jun 16, 2008 8:21:47 PM:

      I'm still hoping for the economy to keep tanking. The economy has to get to the point where it really hurts. This happened in 1932 and provided a new era of Democratic control.
      Hello Stalin, nice to meet you. Wow, You're really a sick f**k.

      The person who is willing to wish hunger and suffering on people to further his political goals is the person who is willing to inflict hunger and suffering and who knows what else on people to further his political goals.

      Just like Stalin, Lenin, and Mao, Hitler and Mussolini, the gay left WILL make you fall in line with their ideology, even if they have to kill you to do it.

      You're one scary f*cking fascist.

    1. Andoni on Jun 17, 2008 1:02:49 PM:

      I read your posts and have taken them to heart. Feedback is always good because I learn how people are reacting to my words. Your comments caused me to go back and forth on whether I was out of line in what I wrote. The first few slams actually made me think that maybe I went too far in what I said. However, when I got to the one who called me a f*cking fascist, I decided that the comments had crossed the line and I needed to respond.

      That said, none of you know me. Your conclusions of who I am, what I stand for, and what I believe are off the mark. I don’t think anyone who knows me well would have written any of those comments because they would have had a vast array of other shared thoughts, actions and written words which would put my post in perspective. They would have known that my words were not literally what I would like to happen or what I would do if I were in charge. However, based solely on the words in my post and not knowing me, maybe the comments were fair. Obviously I touched a very raw nerve.

      Here is the background of how this post came to be:
      I wrote this post during the 15 minutes just prior to leaving Virginia Beach where I attended my niece’s graduation. While there, I discussed politics for 2 days with my brother in law (who works for Pat Robertson) and some of his religious conservative friends who also work at Robertson’s university.

      My brother in law teaches government administration and readily admits the Republicans have been a failure. By every objective measure (and we came up with at least 10 criteria), he said as a professor he would have to give Republicans an F for their stewardship of the government. Yet in conceding that the Republicans have been that bad, he and his friends are still going to vote Republican again in November. It was exasperating. It was impossible to reason with these people.

      It was against this backdrop that I wrote the post. During those two days I kept wondering how one gets the attention of these people so that they might actually think a little before they reflexively vote Republican. After I read Bob Herbert’s column, it occurred to me that a bad economy was probably the only thing that had a chance of shaking these folks up enough for them to think seriously about voting differently, mainly because several were worried about their personal economic future.

      When I wrote the post it was in response to the obstinate people I met in Virginia Beach. It was how I felt when I wrote it. If I were writing it today I would shift a little to say that it looks like the economy is tanking and if it continues to do so, I hope enough people will feel the pain and associate it with how the Republicans have mismanaged the economy to vote Democratic.

      Know that I can’t make the economy tank. Even if I had access to a button to make it tank, I couldn’t and wouldn’t push that button. I was merely conveying my thoughts at the moment in an honest fashion. There was definitely an emotional component because of the people I was interacting with in Virginia Beach. However, keep in mind, these were thoughts, not actions. I think you are still allowed to think anything in this country. If I had wished these people dead, but not acted on it, is that OK? There’s a big difference between thoughts and actions. Remember, I’m not Stalin or Hitler who actually had the power to ruin people’s lives when they wished it.

      The economy tanking would ruin me as well. Intertwined in my statement was my attempt to put a value on how much I want a new direction and especially gay rights in this country. At that moment I was willing to face financial ruin to achieve them. That’s how important gay rights are to me. However, to make others suffer so I can get my rights, well that’s not really my style.

      Although I wouldn’t do my post today the way I did it the other day, I’ll close with a question for those who vehemently disagreed with my words and thoughts. Going back to my original post, I said I hope the economy keeps tanking so I can get Democrats elected and achieve gay rights. My “hope” would lead to a lot of suffering by innocent people to achieve my ideological goal.

      How about this scenario: It’s 1984 and I “hope” Ronald Reagan gets re-elected because I want to achieve my ideological goals of smaller government and less taxes. I know deep down, however, that people with HIV and others will suffer immensely (not on conjecture, but based on demonstrated prior policy actions of this administration) if my “hope” is realized.

      How much different are these two hopes for an ideological outcome when intertwined in the outcome is people suffering? In one case it’s people suffering leading to change in ideology, in the second case it’s an ideological change with the known end result that in doing this people will suffer.

      Is there a huge difference here other than one is stated in the process and the other is unstated, but known?

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 17, 2008 1:57:23 PM:

      And here, really, is the crux of the problem.

      During those two days I kept wondering how one gets the attention of these people so that they might actually think a little before they reflexively vote Republican.

      Add to that this statement from one of your previous posts.

      In 2008 there are so many issues important for the country’s future: the Iraq War, health care, the economy, the environment, gay rights and the Supreme Court. In each of these areas I believe the Democrat (any Democrat) has a better solution than the Republican.

      THAT is a "reflexive" statement.

      The problem here, Andoni, is that you are incapable of acknowledging that people have logical and rational reasons for voting Republican -- or for voting against Democrats. Instead, you insist that their doing so is nothing but an irrational action, or "reflexive".

      You seem quite unwilling to even entertain the possibility that people have evaluated Barack Obama and the Democrat Party similarly and found them to be even more of a failure. Instead, you continually insist that this can't be right, that these people must be namecalled as racists or made to suffer economically so that they "see the light" and realize what you perceive to be the error of their ways.

      Your post is nothing more than the typical view that Barack Obama expressed so well in his speech in San Francisco -- that anyone who doesn't vote the way he thinks they should is an irrational, or "bitter", idiot, and probably a racist, too.

      Furthermore, I found this quite amusing.

      The economy tanking would ruin me as well. Intertwined in my statement was my attempt to put a value on how much I want a new direction and especially gay rights in this country. At that moment I was willing to face financial ruin to achieve them. That’s how important gay rights are to me.

      And yet you and your fellow Democrats mock people who vote against what you claim are their "economic interests" and insist that their doing so proves they are irrational idiots.

      I have a better idea, Andoni. If you're so willing to "suffer" so that other people get free healthcare, go ahead and start paying for them yourself. If you're so willing to be "ruined" economically to be environmentally friendly or pay for cleanup, feel free to take your own money out to do it. If you want to raise taxes on capital gains, start by paying more of your own to the government.

      But then again, as we see with Obama's sweetheart land deals from slumlords, overpaid healthcare executive spouse, campaign staffers who were getting incredible mortgage deals from the very lenders he was blasting as irresponsible, and twenty-year in-depth relationship with the racist Jeremiah Wright, it's about forcing OTHER people to make sacrifices and suffer.

    1. Kevin on Jun 17, 2008 2:51:37 PM:


      A thoughtful response. Thanks for writing it. I don't think you're a fascist, and I think you're far better than the people on the far right who pray for punishment and retribution against America for its "tolerance" of gay people. We have to be careful not to let frustration lead to madness. Democracy works - if we choose to really engage it. I would argue that the logic of wishing harm in order to motivate those who don't vote our way is not engagement, but surrender.

    1. Matt on Jun 17, 2008 9:30:38 PM:

      Yes, handing over complete power to the Democrats will be great for the economy. They've done a terrific job with the mortgage crisis -- at least as far as their own bank accounts go, meanwhile merrily selling the rest of us down the river.

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