GOP candidates for state Senate speak at Tea Party forum

GOP candidates for state Senate speak at Tea Party forum

DANVILLE — Six Republican candidates for three state Senate seats in central Illinois showed unanimity on a number of issues Wednesday night and avoided taking any shots at each other.

The six, who spoke at an Illiana Tea Party forum at Danville Area Community College attended by about 120 people, will face off against each other in pairs in the Republican primary election next March.

At the forum were Alan Nudo and John Bambenek, candidates in the 52nd Senate District; state Sen. Shane Cultra and state Rep. Jason Barickman, candidates in the 53rd District; and Tom Pliura and state Rep. Chapin Rose, candidates in the 51st District.

All six said they support the Second Amendment and would support concealed-carry legislation in Illinois, which is the only state that bars gun owners from carrying a weapon. Five of the six — all but Nudo — said they are gun owners.

The only real difference came on the issue of civil unions, where every candidate except Nudo voiced opposition.

"I'm against gay marriage, but I support civil unions so that people can conduct business in the state. It's the same as I said at the county board," said Nudo, who voted for a civil-unions resolution earlier this summer on the Champaign County Board.

Pliura said he was "disappointed" to see the passage of a civil-unions law in Illinois earlier this year, saying it "wasn't necessary" and "wasn't appropriate."

The LeRoy physician and attorney said he was "strongly opposed to gay marriage."

"I don't think society ought to be condoning that anymore than, quite frankly, if a guy wants to get married with a donkey," he said. "If you want to have relations with your donkey, that's fine. Just don't ask me to say, 'OK, now that we have a civil union here, my donkey can get health care benefits.'"

The six also seemed to agree on the need for right-to-work legislation in Illinois, although Cultra seemed to hedge, saying it is legislation "that we need to look at."

Several of the candidates said their top priority is defeating President Obama in 2012.

"I am so committed to defeating Barack Obama," Cultra said, without endorsing any Republican contender. "Any one of them would be better than what we have."

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read the DI wrote on September 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

How can these JA's be for individual rights and want the government out of the individual's business, yet be so adamant about whether two consenting adults have the right to be married?

Oh, I know -- it's because they are LIARS!

pangloss wrote on September 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

"I don't think society ought to be condoning that anymore than, quite frankly, if a guy wants to get married with a donkey," he said. "If you want to have relations with your donkey, that's fine. Just don't ask me to say, 'OK, now that we have a civil union here, my donkey can get health care benefits.'"

WOW. The middle ages mentality is getting so old in this country..

bluegrass wrote on September 15, 2011 at 10:09 am

The donkey comment is as ridiculous as the Pliuras campaign. He is not a serious candidate - he's like Ron Paul or Ralph Nader or Dennis Kucinich, in that he doesn't have a legitimate chance of actually winning and he does more harm than good. Tom, you proved that people can be JA's, as read the DI put it, but even a three year old knows the difference between a human and a donkey. Interesting choice though, donkey. Out of all the animals in the kingdom, you chose to talk about relations with a donkey... Weird that. Please go quietly back to LeRoy. Someone will call you when you're needed.

The real issue facing Illinois is that 1 in 2 kids in this state are born on Medicaid, unemployement is high and IL democrats (with much help from George Ryan) have made IL one of the highest taxed and least profitable places to do business, and our state budget it out of control even with a massive tax increase.

Republicans, please stop alienating people with close-minded statements and stands on social issues. To the rest, please put some reasonable people in our state offices who will work to get the budget under control, get spending under control, and make IL a competitive place to own and operate a business again.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm
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I agree with the sentiment of your comments about Mr. Plurals or whatever his name is...don't respect him enough to look back and check how it is spelled.

However, your comment that candidates who, by your estimation, don't stand a chance of winning and are "doing more harm than good" by running for an office of their choice might just be the most undemocratic and most unamerican thing I have read in a long time.

By the way, Ron Paul is consistently polling third or fourth in the primary polls right now and racking up double digit percentages. Don't try to cast him as a fringe candidate just because he supports actual conservatism, instead of the bastardized neo-conservatism that the other GOP candidates so prefer.

bluegrass wrote on September 20, 2011 at 12:09 am

Ron Paul has absolutely zero chance of becoming the President of the United States. Are you saying he isn't a fringe candidate? Does he represent mainstream conservatism? Just below you wrote something like, "The problem is that there is no political party that represents the mushy middle that the majority of Americans occupy...non-partisan, center-right on economics, center-left on social policy. Instead we are presented with two extremes who always seem to have plenty of slander to throw at the other side but very few ideas to actually move the country forward. It is quite sad indeed." Does Ron Paul represent that 'mushy middle' you're looking for?

Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich do more harm than good running for president, because they take away from time from serious conversation. If that is the most unamerican thing you've read in a long time, perhaps you don't read enough.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 20, 2011 at 4:09 am
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No, Ron Paul certainly does not represent the middle, but he also seems like the only presidential candidate right now who is willing to engage in "serious conversation" about policy instead of telling people whatever they want to hear. Dennis Kucinich was the same way when he ran for president. He may not have been the most sensible candidate, but he was the most truthful and had the guts to speak up for something while the other candidates did not. That means something to me, but maybe you are one of those voters who likes being pandered to so it doesn't mean anything to you.

bluegrass wrote on September 20, 2011 at 9:09 am

I think Newt Gingrich is the most well spoken, most articulate, most qualified of all the candidates on either side. I'm not sure how he's pandering to me or anyone.

I actually like some of what Ron Paul says. He loses me when he talks about bringing all our troops home from everywhere in the world. So what about South Korea? What about Southeast Asia? What about having a presence in Europe? What about Cuba? What about having some kind of presence in the Middle East. From what I understand, he's against it.

Despite all the massive overspending by our federal and many state governments, and despite the fact that our economy is stagnate, America is still the biggest, brightest, strongest country in the world militarily and our economically. Are we really going to bring everyone home, shutter the windows and doors, and put our fingers in our ears and chant "I'm not listening" as the world turns? Is that who we want as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and in charge of American foreign policy?

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm
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If you think Newt Gingrich is truthful, I may be wasting my time here. But here goes.

There is no reason for us to have a military presence in Cuba or Europe. MAYBE South Korea, although North Korea is really not a threat to our well-being either. Neither is Iran, and Dr. Paul is the only GOP candidate who admits that.

Our current foreign policy and our current level of defense spending is absolutely unsustainable. Unfortunately, the function of our military is no longer to protect and defend our country and vulnerable countries around the world. Instead, thanks to the military-industrial complex, they have become just another extension of corporate power, draining our economy with expensive contracts and obligations and acting as mercenaries to survey or dispatch people who do not pose a genuine threat to us.

As for having a presence in the Middle East, did you know that is a major reason behind terror attacks like 9/11? Jihadists are infuriated that we are building military bases in Saudi Arabia, their holy land. Once again, Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate with the courage to admit this, instead of spouting off some ra-ra-ra ain't America swell jingoism that, judging from your last paragraph, you prefer to hear.

bluegrass wrote on September 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

Ohhhhh. I got it. You're a Ron Paul guy. Sorry. You're a 'Dr. Paul' guy.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but according to you and Dr. Paul, America caused 9/11, Iran is not a threat to the United States, and MAYBE it would be okay to leave South Korea. I wonder what President Dr. Paul would do after we MAYBE pull out of South Korea, when North Korea begins to lob artillery shells into Seoul and destroy our 7th largest trading partner and one of our best allies in the region.

I especially like the take on Iran not being a threat. Here are a few gems from their leader...
'Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury.'
'Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need.'

That's not threatening at all. I'm sure the we'll all feel safer when the warlords in Yemen and Somalia and Sudan have their nuclear needs met by Iran.

Some of what Dr. Paul says makes sense. But some of what he says is kooky. Kooky is not courageous.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm
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I'm not a "Ron Paul guy" or anyone's guy. I don't worship any individuals. I disagree to a large extent with Dr. Paul on the extent that the federal government should be scaled back. But I firmly believe he is more intelligent and more truthful than any other current candidate.

It is not our fault that 9/11 happened, and Ron Paul doesn't claim it is either. What is unarguably true is that reckless actions by American influences did play a role in provoking the attacks. Decades of reckless (and extremely expensive) interference in the politics of other countries, including those in the Middle East, has obviously created a lot of ill will towards America around the world. Unfortunately there are a lot of uneducated and impoverished (and therefore easily manipulable) religious zealots in the Middle East who are easily angered by actions like this and are easy pickings for the Jihadists to indoctrinate. The way to curb Jihadism is not to build more military bases in Muslim holy lands and to interfere more in their politics. That is the main reason they hate us in the first place (not because we are not Muslims or because they "hate our freedoms," like I suppose you believe bluegrass). The better way to get rid of Jihadists is to do a little indoctrination of our own. A wave of more secular and "Western" behavior has been occurring in Saudi Arabia of all places recently, and that has been largely credited to the popularity of reruns of shows such as "Friends" on Saudi TV. Look it up. The threat that America will come in and blow you to pieces if you attack us or our allies is still an asset, and should be maintained. That doesn't mean we should also take up shop in their countries and waste fortunes of tax payer money building long-term establishments there and doing more harm than good to our national security.

Iran and North Korea are big on bluster and empty on results. People who think they are a threat to us or our allies give them too much credit. Kim Jong Il can't afford to feed his people, run trains, or keep electricity running. He doesn't even have enough money to finish a hotel...the tallest building in Pyongyang is an empty concrete pyramid that was once going to be a luxury hotel but was abandoned halfway through because the government couldn't pay for the construction. As for Iran, they have a large and growing secular and tech-savvy population that will likely rise to power sooner than later. Arbitrarily bombing them so President Obama's or Perry's or Romney's approval rating can go up a few points and telling their governments what to do would risk alienating the rising sector of young, secular, and West-friendly folks in the Arab world.

If you want to keep lapping up regurgitated talking points, that is your right. I will stick with unbiased and objective thinking, thanks.

John O'Connor wrote on September 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm


bluegrass wrote on September 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Dr. Ron Paul absolutely does believe that America's actions caused 9/11. He's said it over and over again. Look it up. He believes it. I don't think he would want Alabaster Jones, the Oklahoma City Playa, out there denying it for him. You say you don't believe it's the fault of the U.S., but then go on to explain why it WAS our fault.

North Korea may be big on bluster, but they have plenty of artillery and a million or so soldiers in their army who can do untold damage to Seoul in a short period of time. They also have one of the wackiest, most brutal dictators the world has ever known. Remember in March when a blustering North Korean ship sunk a South Korean vessel killing 46 sailors, denied they did it and then threatened war? Are they giving the North Koreans too much credit by taking their threats seriously?

Iran apparently does have people who would take the country in a different direction than their current leaders. However, when they try to make some changes, the government has this nasty habit of killing those proponents of change, all while the U.S. turns a blind eye. So until this secular and tech-savvy population figures out a way to take control of the Iranian government, we're left to deal with the current leaders. I've never said we should arbitrarily bomb Iran or any country, and I don't know of any legitimate politician who has said that either. Under it's current leadership, Iran with nuclear weapons capability is absolutely a threat to the U.S. and the world at large.

Well, I'm off to lap up some more talking points to regurgitate. You are right about one thing though, if you don't believe the Federal Government needs to be downsized, then you are surely not a Dr. Ron Paul guy. But there's still hope for all you "unbiased and objective" thinkers out there. You might get a chance to vote for Nader again!!! NADER IN 2012!! No, seriously this time. I mean it guys... Come on.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm
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I don't really agree with anything you said, but I am glad that someone here knows where my username came from. Main mack daddy of the OKC.

"You say you don't believe it's the fault of the U.S., but then go on to explain why it WAS our fault."

No I didn't. The "fault" for the attacks themselves belongs to the terrorists who committed them. What I did say is that we have committed a lot of actions that made ourselves more vulnerable to a terror attack such as 9/11. I believe that true patriotism requires looking at your country through an unbiased lens and owning up to mistakes instead of whitewashing history and looking at everything through sunny red, white, and blue lenses.

I am not disputing that the leaders of North Korea and Iran are evil tyrants. We also must keep a close eye on them, and we must retaliate with any force necessary if either of them tries to attack us or an ally of ours. What we do NOT need to do is have, for example, 87 military bases in South Korea alone. Ron Paul is not trying to dismantle the military like you and other Paul bashers imply. He is trying to get rid of wasteful defense spending such as that mentioned in the article above and to weaken the military-industrial complex. I don't see a serious commitment, or even an acknowledgement that wasteful defense spending is an issue, from any candidate other than Ron Paul. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I will certainly consider voting for Nader in 2012. But my choice to vote for a candidate that I think would actually do a good job instead of choosing one of the two electable evils is harmful to the democratic process...right?

read the DI wrote on September 22, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Out of curiosity, what caused the Oklahoma City bombings?

Is it possible -- just maybe -- that fanatics look for causes, rather than causes creating fanatics?

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

The Republican party: strongly opposed to man on donkey sex. The 'tea party' has taken over the gop. The yahoos are officially in charge. Who would you rather have in office, people who want to work to fix the state's problems or people who obsess about sex with donkeys?

mendys wrote on September 18, 2011 at 11:09 am

Taking one line and twisting it is all too common. Pliura is mentioning that he doesn't think the state should sanction gay marriage any more than other relationships he views as ridiculous. Can't we at least all be tolerant to respect those with different views? I know from past discussion you believe in gay marriage. I disagree. Apparently so does Pliura, and he wants to point out a slippery slope. I can be tolerant of that as much as I can those who think everyone should support state-sanctioned unions. If the majority of the state want it, then I think it should happen. Where is the civility called on by President Obama after the Tuscon shooting?

We all have contradictions. Even another poster stated that Republicans should stay out of individual lives by government-sanction of gay marriage. While that is laughable because the contradiction is all too obvious, then shouldn't government stay out of the same gay couple's life when they want to carry a gun to protect themselves? I would think anyone supporting the individual rights of gays would also support the individual rights of gun owners if the matter is truly about respect and value of individual rights.

Admittedly, the last sentence is a non sequitur. Everyone just needs to get off their high horses of calling others communists, acting like Democrats STRONGLY support donkey sex (otherwise, Pliura would be in agreement with everyone and no one would mention it), and that TEA Partiers are terrorist (when was the last time the TEA Party hijacked air planes?). Let's focus on the specifics and elevate the discourse to substance, not surface.

Now I can't wait to hear the personal attack about how I am really just sarcastic and belittling. I am sarcastic, but I did not throw daggers at others. I stayed on just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm
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"Pliura is mentioning that he doesn't think the state should sanction gay marriage any more than other relationships he views as ridiculous. Can't we at least all be tolerant to respect those with different views? I know from past discussion you believe in gay marriage. I disagree. Apparently so does Pliura, and he wants to point out a slippery slope."

Ah, what an argument. Should we also be tolerant of people running for office who think that interracial marriages or relationships should not be sanctioned by the state? How would that be any different? Mr. Pliura has a right to believe what he wants, but his argument (comparing a human same-sex relationship to a man violating a donkey) is repulsive and is no different than, for example, someone using chicken and watermelon insults to deride blacks. Also, funny you mentioned by name the logical fallacy employed by Pliura: the slippery slope fallacy. As for the civility called by Obama following the Tucson shooting, I think anyone following politics knew that wouldn't last. The country could be burning and all the Democrats and Republicans would do about it is find a way to blame the other and fight over which party is more "anti-fire."

I do agree with you, however, that same sex marriage should be up to the states to decide. I think that basic anti-discrimination statutes and perhaps civil unions should be mandatory for all states in order to ensure basic legal protections for gays and gay couples. But really all anyone is accomplishing by opposing gay marriage is delaying the inevitable...once the younger generations right now--who overwhelmingly support gay rights and gay marriage--come into power, it will be legal in all 50 states.

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

Republican debate crowds clap wildly at the mere mention of execution. They scream at the top of their lungs that the uninsured should just shut up and die. The man on donkey doc thinks people struggling economically don't pay enough for the medical treatment he gives them. If these things float your boat too, then vote Republican.

bluegrass wrote on September 15, 2011 at 11:09 am


Wacky. John, you're like the Howard Dean of the News Gazette message boards.

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

Nice attack. When you can't refudiate, insult. Can you offer evidence disputing anything in my comment?

bluegrass wrote on September 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

I didn't know that comparing a democrat to Howard Dean was an insult to democrats. If you're offended, I'm sorry. I thought you guys loved Howard Dean.

"Wacky" could be construed as an attack, but it could also be construed as appropriate given the tone of your rhetoric. First you make fun of Pliuras for taking logic way over the top and comparing gay marriage to donkey marriage, but then in the next sentences you use the same over the top logic to call people yahoos. I will make no attempt at refudiation. Instead, I will only say unto you, "Not only are we going to New Hampshire ... we're going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we're going to California and Texas and New York! And we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House, Yeeeeeaaaaaargh!"

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

So, you're saying 'unto' (really?) all of us that you believe people who cheer wildly at the mere mention of execution and scream that the uninsured should die are not yahoos. Noted.

bluegrass wrote on September 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

That's really not what I said at all.

You're reminding me of the French guard in The Holy Grail. Every time you make a comment about Tea Party Ty-pes, you should end with, "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt, of elderberries." This comparison, by the by, is not an attack or an insult. That character is my favorite in the movie, and he really does have some zingers, don't you agree?

"Unto" is kind of funny, isn't it? It was written with a smile, not a scowl. Smile, John. Please smile.

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Believe me, I smile, not to mention laugh out loud, quite a bit when I read your and others' comments on here. Sometimes due to agreement and appreciation of effective use of humor and other times, not for quite the same reason. Python=+1. Your use of 'unto,' despite what you may think, not so much.

you use the same over the top logic to call people yahoos.

Who are you claiming I was referring to when I used the term 'yahoos'? It seems clear that the reference was to the people I described in the immediately preceding sentences. But, it's your contention that I was referring to others?

read the DI wrote on September 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Tea Partiers will disagree, of course, but what John says is correct.

What the rest of us have to remember is that just because they are loud doesn't make them right. Bullies are always the most forceful people in the crowd. They are also the most cowardly. And eventually, the masses always repel them back to the lairs where they belong.

bluegrass wrote on September 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

Who, exactly, are the yahoos? I don't know anything about someone yelling that the 'uninsured should shut up and die,' but if someone did yell that, then I would agree they could be called a yahoo. The execution thing and Texas and the clapping. Inappropriate. But what are those people in charge of specifically? Pliuras has no chance to win this primary. After his donkey statement I think he could be put into a yahoo category, but what is he in charge of exactly?

I guess what I'm saying is that there is some wackiness out there from the right, especially Ron Paul and his followers, and if you want to call some of these people yahoos, then okay. But I disagree that they are 'officially in charge.' The Tea Party isn't in charge of anything. It is just a group of citizens who are against unlimited federal government. They are not the evil monkey in the closet, as many in the media and on the left would like to define them to be.

read the DI wrote on September 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Bluegrass, the problem with your statement is that to believe it means believing the Tea Partiers actually desire less government. They don't. They just want less government for wealthy whites. Everyone else gets lots MORE government.

killerut wrote on September 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Wow, you and John really are clueless.

Again, I say, please stop spouting what the democratic party and the media tell you to say, and actually read about the true intentions of the Tea Party.

read the DI wrote on September 18, 2011 at 8:09 am

I would argue that you are in denial.

But really, who cares? The Tea Party is no bigger or significant a movement than the radicals who occupied college buildings in the 1960s. It is too extreme, and too foolhardy, for actual relevance. It eventually will become a footnote, not a chapter, to American political history.

John O'Connor wrote on September 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm

But they really are in charge, aren't they? Here's a link to a Republican debate crowd cheering death at the mention of executions; and Here's a link to another Republican debate crowd with the 'let him die' caucus screaming at the tops of their lungs. The 'establishment' Republicans are absolutely terrified of the Frankenstein they've unleashed on the country. Look at Castle losing to O'Donnell in Delaware and that absolute gift to Harry Reid, Angle. So they compete with each other to pander to the 'tea party' in the primaries even though they know it will doom them in the generals.

Also, the 'tea partiers' are not just concerned about the budget. Here's a link to a poll that finds 'tea partiers' aren't exactly fond of certain people.

"The data tells us this opposition and frustration with government is going hand in hand with a frustration and opposition to racial and ethnic minorities and gays and lesbians," said Matt Barreto, a political science professor and director of UW's Washington Poll.


Barreto, citing a recent New York Times poll that found most tea party supporters approved of government spending for Social Security and Medicare, and research by fellow UW professor Christopher Parker, concludes "The tea party movement is not just about small government or frustration. It's (also) about a very specific frustration with government resources being used on minorities and gays and lesbians and people who are more diverse."

mendys wrote on September 18, 2011 at 11:09 am

Not so fast Wilbur! (The Mr. Ed joke should not be compared to the fixation some got on donkeys after listening to the debate.)

What is surprising about this is that TEA Party members do not fit the stereotypes so many want them to fit. A gallup poll found the following:

"In several other respects, however -- their age, educational background, employment status, and race -- Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large." Source:

To sum it up, the TEA Party is "fairly mainstream."

But polls can and are skewed. Heck, even the Gallup Poll above should be taken with a grain of salt. Some have pointed out that the Barreto poll went fishing to prove its point. Here is the conclusion the poll would draw about liberals if a similar methodology was used:

"One could write headlines about the "racial paranoia" of white liberals who consider blacks less trustworthy than whites!"

On the flipside, "Compared to middle-of-the-road whites, Tea Party supporters show far more agreement with the statement that blacks should work their way up "without special favors" the way other minorities such as Italians and Jews did, or that blacks would be as well off as whites if they worked harder. The standard left-of-center view, shared by the UW researchers, is that such attitudes represent a subtler form of racism, or "racial resentment." In some cases, that is surely true. Yet these sentiments may also reflect a genuinely race-neutral belief . . . ."


read the DI wrote on September 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

There is no bigger verbal tell that one hates something than when they insist -- unsolicited -- that they don't.

So when Tea Partiers say they, too, "like black people," we can be sure that they are really saying, "Ship the lot of them back on the boat they came in on."

mendys wrote on September 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Unsolicited? I guess you didn't read John O'Connor's quoting Barreto from the New York Times and Newsweek. Maybe you missed the Democrats with the Black Caucus making the same accusations. The TEA Party didn't answer something not asked.

I like how one can tell what one means by the opposite, like in your last sentence. That would be convenient so some could make the TEA Party out to be what they want. While I disagree with Mr. O'Connor, he would never sink that low to make such a ridiculous statement that some how we are in an alternate universe where YES means NO, etc. Just don't drink the kool aid!

freechampaign wrote on September 18, 2011 at 9:09 pm


read the DI wrote on September 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Nothing "alternate" about projectionism. It's actually a normal behavioral response. My advice: Try not to fight who you are.

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

John, get a grip on it..... When there is no listening, there can be no discussion. Whether you agree on the issues of conceal and carry, or civil unions; you can discuss the issues without screaming about conspiracy plots. Many people are listening to the issues: civil unions, conceal and carry, deficit reductions, two wars, stimulus programs, unemployment, illegal immigration, etc........... Whether we agree, or disagree; we are facing it together. Together, we will make compromises to get through it. I do agree with you on some things; but you drive more people away than attract them to your valid points. I am not against civil unions; but I am concerned with conceal and carry. I think most people are one way on an issue, and another way on another issue. People need to discuss them before elections.

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Sid, those things happened. They are real. The 'tea party' is nothing new in American history; we've always had people with reactionary worldviews and always will. The difference now is that the extremists have taken over a major party and we are seeing the results of that, nationally and locally. As the last two and a half years have clearly demonstrated, they have zero interest in compromising. They have extreme views and are ideological purists. Their idea of compromise is for people who don't think like they do to shut up. That's why one of their local leaders called the cops on me in Westside Park, and asked a police captain to kick me out of the public park, because I didn't agree with her.

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

John, I agree with you. However, they feel the same way about us. Extremes at both ends of the parties are not that much different except for their ideologies. It is sort of like a pie chart with both extremes closer to each other than the middle. I hope that I am in the middle. With what is coming, we need people in the middle. People who will compromise for the good of the nation. The approval rating for the President is dismal; but the approval rating for Congress is close to the bottom. People are frustrated, and scared. We can not wait until the next election. There has to be a discussion of the issues without posturing. There has to be compromise on both sides. The people in the middle need to be heard. C.E.O.s are stating that compromise must happen. The economists are stating the same thing. One in six Americans live in poverty; and the number is rising. There is no escaping it regardless of our perceptions of the Poor. The Middle Class is becoming non-existent. People of reason have to put pressure on both sides of our Two Party ( wish there were more ) system to compromise, and move forward for the good of the nation. It needs to be done fast.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 15, 2011 at 4:09 pm
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I agree. The problem is that there is no political party that represents the mushy middle that the majority of Americans occupy...non-partisan, center-right on economics, center-left on social policy. Instead we are presented with two extremes who always seem to have plenty of slander to throw at the other side but very few ideas to actually move the country forward. It is quite sad indeed.

John O'Connor wrote on September 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

So, you agree that the 'tea partiers' are ideological purists who refuse to compromise and the insist that we must work to compromise with them? Ya lost there.

Obama is a center left on some thing and center right on others (Bush tax cuts, foreign policy, et al) but they paint him as the antichrist. Obama has done nothing but compromise and they respond by refusing to say 'yes' and moving the goal posts. How can you negotiate with people who refuse to compromise?

I am certainly left of center, but my views are hardly, as you claim, extreme. Do you think any of the candidates discussed in this article will lift one finger to work with Democrats to resolve the states' problems? The answer is of course no, they will not. If I'm wrong about that, how about if one of the candidates or someone from their staff indicate otherwise? Are any of them even willing just to go on record promising to work with Democrats in the state house?

mendys wrote on September 18, 2011 at 11:09 am

How again did the Democrats work to compromise with the stimulus bill and Obamacare? This was during Democrats' super-majority. Democrats admitted they didn't even read the bill before passing it. While incredibly stupid, anyone that has read or studied the situation knows that bills have been passed without reading for years. Only the openness of information changed to reveal the stupidity. Of course, even though Democrats didn't want to compromise then and you failed to speak up, I will defend the Democrats here. When one party wins, the other loses. The people had spoken and their representatives didn't have to compromise. Bravo! Losers like me don't have to like the majority rule. When power changes, the party that would never compromise doesn't hold up to facts. The fact is there was a compromise with the debt ceiling. Will there be one with the American Jobs Act when the Democratic President publicly avowed there will be NO COMPROMISE? Either side can have insults heaped on them or one can recognize it for what it is: Cheap Political Theatre.

read the DI wrote on September 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Get your facts straight. The Democrats controlled the White House and Congress. They didn't have to debate anything -- yet they kept trying to bring the GOP to the table anyway. What a waste of effort that was.

mendys wrote on September 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I like how you prove my point. I said the Democrats didn't compromise. You tell me to get my facts straight. Ok, my fact is quoting you: "The Democrats controlled the White House and Congress. They didn't have to debate anything -- yet they kept trying to bring the GOP to the table anyway." Hence, the Democrats didn't have to debate or compromise anything. And right you are, the Democrats asked the Republicans to vote with them, not to compromise to get them to vote with them. That is democracy at its finest. Still, the charge of the GOP's lack of compromise is laughable in the face of such facts. Who was the first president to be invited to the opposition party's caucus? George W. Bush. That's right. The Democratic Caucus invited him and he attended. Now, does this make the Democrats with control of Congress and the White House heavy handed? Hardly. There are winners and losers. But hey, don't let the facts get in your way!

I think compromise, in many instances, is over rated. Sometimes, like in the case of Obamacare and the stimulus, it is ok to agree to disagree. Notice the Republic didn't end because Democrats didn't want to compromise. Why someone would now think compromise should be the name of the game when power is shared is hypocritical. These same people, like you, never said a thing back then because you were on the winning side of the debate. And you know what? I agree with you and believe you should revert to your former position.

read the DI wrote on September 18, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Wow, your rewrite of history is almost Soviet-like. Next thing you'll tell us is that the US won the war in Vietnam.

WiltonDiary wrote on September 18, 2011 at 9:09 am

Plain and simple: Republicans = Communists of the 21st Century. When any one party declares their way or the high way and NO Compromise regardless that is as Communistic as it gets in the 21st Centruy.

Communism is conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just the Party Secretary) have any say in how the economy works. Republicans are conservative. Fewer and fewer people (preferably just people controlling the Party figurehead) have any say in how the government works. The conservatives in the US are in the same position as the communists in the 30s, and for the same reason: Their revolutions failed spectacularly but they refuse to admit what went wrong.

A common mistake is to confuse Socialism, the economic system, with Communism, the political system. Communists are "socialist" in the same way that Republicans are "compassionate conservatives". That is, they give lip service to ideals they have no intention of practicing.

mendys wrote on September 18, 2011 at 11:09 am

Republicans were Nazis under Bush, so I guess becoming Communists is a step up. The insults when one disagrees never ceases to amaze me. "To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history" seems to be the spirit called for. Of course, Barack Obama spoke these words. (At least there could be some facts about exactly how Republicans are Stalinist wanting to take over the economy and control everyone's life. But heck, who needs facts when one can insult.)

John O'Connor wrote on September 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

'mendys' (why not use your real name?) said:

blacks should work their way up "without special favors" the way other minorities such as Italians and Jews did, or that blacks would be as well off as whites if they worked harder.

and yet you insist 'tea partiers' aren't racist; you're just misunderstood by the durn lib'rul media. Do you see how silly that assertion looks when it comes with utterances like the one I quote here?

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm

And as the clock ticks down.... you guys keeping denouncing each other as republicans, democrats, conservatives, nazis, communists, etc................ Something has to be done fast. How about Americans solving the problems? How about putting labels, and ideology aside to solve the problems? People are tired of Congress doing nothing, but denouncing each. Yet, people continue to do it themselves. The country does not have time until the next election. If there are not some compromises by that time, the economy will be in the tank. People will be happy to get a lump of coal to stay warm instead of toys from Santa.

read the DI wrote on September 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Actually, if you watch the news, you will see the Democrats have put forth a very clear platform that includes broad medical coverage, extended unemployment benefits, new manufacturing initiatives, reduced war/defense spending, improved educational funding, and, of course, a fair tax policy for all.

And, if you watch the news, you will see the republicans say "no" to everything, simply because that's what they are -- a bunch of do and know nothings fixated on enjoying the trappings of government jobs without doing any actual, you know, work.

asparagus wrote on September 21, 2011 at 5:09 am

You have repeated Obama's talking points very well. If I switched "Democrat" with "Republican", and vice versa, in your post I would be repeating Boehner's talking points. Neither side's assertions are the full truth. They are each fighting for political dominance in 2012. In the meantime, there are real problems that are not being addressed.

Our government over the decades has become a self-absorbed entity that is no longer truly representative of the people of this nation. It is an entity that feeds on cash and power for their own sake. This is the message of Ron Paul.

Return government to the people so that meaningful solutions to real problems can be achieved.

read the DI wrote on September 21, 2011 at 6:09 am

Not really. The GOP has insisted that when it comes to medical coverage, it should be every man for himself (women and children get nothing at all, of course). The GOP wants to cut education, cut regulation on businesses (especially banks), and end unemployment benefits (Bachman says they are a disincentive to working -- which of course explains ZERO about how under Clinton the unemployment rate dropped to 3% Was it a disincentive then, too?). And they want to INCREASE defense spending (who knows why -- probably because there's two nations in Africa we aren't engaging in war ... yet).

In fact, the GOP position is the OPPOSITE of what I wrote. But it's hard to tell if they are serious because they supported many of these things before a, you know, black man, was elected president.

asparagus wrote on September 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

Your characterization of the GOP position is exaggerated. They do not advocate for leaving people without any health care. They are also not all in agreement on increasing defense spending. These types of statements are no more "truthful" than if I said democrats want to cede our sovereignty to the UN, and completely control every aspect of our lives through government regulation.

It is unthinking rhetoric like yours that is the perfect example of why reasonable solutions to today's problems are not being reached. You have drunk the "koolaid" (albeit democrat flavored).

read the DI wrote on September 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Nope, my characterization is dead-balls accurate. You keep drinking your Kool-Aid, though. Soon enough, it'll poison you.

John O'Connor wrote on September 21, 2011 at 1:09 pm

DI is correct. You have clearly not been following what has been going on for the last two and a half years. The Democrats have bent over backwards to pre compromise with the Republicans and the Republicans still say no and move the goal posts further and further to the right. It has come to the point, as I linked to above, that Republican debate crowds cheer the mere idea of execution and scream that the uninsured should die. Locally, Republican candidate, pandering to the 'tea party,' claims that civil rights for gays will lead to rampant man on donkey sex. The Democrats are far from perfect and it would be much better if we had a multi party system with some kind of proportional or run off voting. But to say that they are the same as the fringe 'tea party' dominated Republicans is false equivalency at its worst.

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Asparagus; I agree with you. You seem to be taking the pragmatic, middle ground beyond political ideology. There are millions of us who are not dogmatic Democrats, or Republicans. You don't have to be either, or...... Sadly, we are caught in the unrepresented middle. The polls more accurately portrait the unrepresented middle than their elected representatives. When vocal, ideological minorities denounce each other; they get the media attention. The solving of problems ceases. When the 2012 Election comes around, the nation is going to be in worse shape than now. What if the election result is a different President with a majority in the House of one party, and the majority of the Senate is the other party? Just more of the same posturing while the nation sinks lower?

read the DI wrote on September 22, 2011 at 8:09 am

Now you're being part of the problem, Sid. Clearly, the Republicans from the get-go refused to work with Obama. In fact, they said they wouldn't, and they didn't. Now the Republicans want to claim the high ground in all this, and are attempting to assign the blame on the Democrats. This isn't dogma, it's the plain truth.

Sometimes the facts are what they are: the facts.

John O'Connor wrote on September 22, 2011 at 11:09 am

But some people want to just throw up their hands and take the easy route of saying a pox on both their houses. Yes, the Dems are far from perfect. But the ridiculous false equivalency some easily slip into, with total disregard for actual recent history, is not helpful. It's intellectually lazy and a cop out. There is a stark choice between the blood thirsty, death cheering, and, yes, racially motivated, 'tea party' dominated Republicans and the less awful Democrats. It sucks, but that's our choice right now. In the long run, we should work to open up our political system; but in the short run, a vote to put the 'tea party' fringe dominated gop back in power is a far different choice than even a settling vote for the Dems.

STM wrote on September 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

A quote from Vincent L Michael:
"I refuse to believe corporations are people until Texas executes one."

Sid Saltfork wrote on September 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Think of how much better off we all would be if the Alamo would have had a backdoor...........

alabaster jones 71 wrote on September 21, 2011 at 6:09 pm
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Sid and asparagus are right. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are cancers upon America and care more about boasting about themselves, maintaining power, and slandering the other side than they do about bettering the country. We won't come around until we say no to politics and yes to policy.