Ramona's picture

    The Cowardly Liberal Talks About Strength

    About once a year or so I have a confidence crisis.  When it happens I'm able to convince myself that I can't go on writing about politics and hate and fear and unfairness.  This year it was even worse, brought on by the very real fact that the dreaded Republicans swept the elections last November and are now in almost complete control of our lives.

    The Republican rout is depressing and demoralizing, setting in rock-hard concrete, as it does, the image of us liberals as big, fat losers.  We had such a beautiful message--and we lost.  We had such plans for a kinder, more equitable future--and we lost.  We're such nice people--and we lost.

    But we will survive and go on.  I know that. Our problem is local and, so far, not lethal.  In the bigger world outside, unfathomable horrors persist. A barbaric group of subhumans get away with slaughtering some 2000 Nigerians, mainly women, children, and the elderly, for--who knows what?  Two lone radical terrorists murder 12 journalists in a Paris cartoon magazine office as retribution for blasphemy.  A murder spree in a Paris kosher market is seen as a ghastly punctuation mark.

    It's as if there is an overload switch that goes off whenever I'm at a point where I begin to believe half the world is mad and the other half is pure evil. (There is a tiny percentage who are good but their numbers are so small they barely register.  Or so it seems when I'm in this state.)  I shut down.  I read  Dave Barry.  I curl up on the couch and watch the Hallmark Channel.

    I admit there are times when I am a coward, but sometimes I relish those cowardly moments.  I understand now how video snippets of precious kittens could hit the billion watcher mark.  It's R&R, it's therapy, and, in a world like ours, it's necessary.

    So I was all set to just not think about all this for a while, but then I came upon an article by Edwin Lyngar. The writer, a former right winger now turned liberal, warns us liberals that in order to defeat these people we have to take a page from their playbook and "learn to talk big and fight dirty."

    He says:

    When I lived conservative values, I attended many events with like-minded people. Conservative movements foster a herd mentality. Even when someone stood up to “lead,” he or she often regurgitated well-accepted talking points while crowds nodded in unison. Listen to talk radio or watch Fox News, and you can barely tally the number of times you hear, “yes, I think that’s true.

    A perfect example of thoughtless regurgitation is when callers on talk radio mention “Saul Alinsky Democrats.” Still others like to sling the insult of “Obama’s Chicago political machine,” with no context whatsoever. I’m going to make the obvious point that few if any of these callers have read one word of Alinsky, and fewer still have any direct, pointed or even third-hand knowledge of “Chicago politics.” These goofy phrases have become totems of the insider, and like children, these listeners mindlessly repeat what someone else has said as if they had insight.

    Now that I’ve been in the liberal camp for a few years, I’ve noticed the complete opposite with the politically engaged left. They often identify as “contrarian.” They question everything and have a hard time taking a firm stand, even when 70% of the public is with them (on minimum wage, for instance). In an ideological battle, the tendency toward inclusion and reflection can become a handicap. As a side effect of all this soul-searching, the left becomes ineffectual at fighting even the worst excesses on the right. I’m boiling this down to a false dichotomy to illustrate a point. Of course there is every gradation of political belief on the right and left; yet our system itself is incapable of nuance, because only one side has even heard of the word.

    It's true that liberals of all stripes tend to over-think things and strive to a fault to consider what's best for everybody.  We--or, at least, I--do try to reason with the wingers, and waste a lot of valuable time trying to figure them out.  But, as much as I admire most of what Edwin Lyngar had to say, when it comes right down to it, I don't want to get down and dirty with them.

    I want to understand their tactics so I can head 'em off at the pass, but I sure as hell don't want to emulate them.  They're nasty.  They're hateful.  We don't need a double dose of that.

    At the same time, we're heading into a new and dangerous era, with right wing politics and fundamentalist religion at the forefront, and no cute kitten image is going to obscure what is absolute fact:  The Republican takeover will put in place unprecedented barriers to our constitutionally-endowed liberties.

    After promising to do it for decades, they will finally be in a position to dismantle any signs of what they tout as liberal Commie secularism.  They're already giving essential, science-based committee chairs to avowed anti-science legislators.  They're doing it as an in-your-face gesture--a joke on us--with no regard to our health or the planet's future.  They'll work overtime to try and overturn Obamacare and Roe v. Wade.  The rich will get richer and the poor, poorer.  Our infrastructure will continue to crumble, but not to worry.  Public lands will be sold off to private interests and we'll be the better for it.  Pollution will turn out to be good for us.

    The chambers in congress now ring with Old Testament bible passages proclaiming the advent of God in his proper place as lawmaker.  Dozens of representatives were elected almost exclusively on the strength of their religious views, and they see their elections as a mandate from their Maker.

    We're in for many battles on many fronts, and Edwin Lyngar is right that we need to study our enemy and get strong.  I'm pretty sure I can do it without calling anybody a Shithead, as he suggests, but if that's your thing, I'll defend to the death your right to say it.

    But we're not them.  We'll never be them.

    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices and Liberaland)




    Show me a good loser, and I'll show you a loser.

    Vince Lombardi

    Matthew 16:26:

    For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

    You're either for Jesus or you're for Satan and his government (Caesar)

    1 John 5:19

    19 ……. q the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

    Luke 4:5-6

    dAnd the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you eI will give all this authority and their glory, e for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.

    Is it a cognitive disconnect;  You go to war, to seek Liberty and Justice  and in the middle of the war; in the heat of battle, you want to claim you're a pacifist?

    Jesus has better things to do than decide who plays the part of Caesar; in the battle of Good vs Evil.  

    God is not on either the Democrats or the Republicans side.Just as he wasn't on either side in the Great War.  

    Your sacrifice to either cause, is unacceptable to God, so why would you care if winning achieves your desires, it isn't Gods desire for either side to win.

    You think it will buy you time in his arrangement?  Get Real   

    One reason that people find problems with your arguments is that they are often contradictory. You continuously state the leaders are chosen by God. Vigorous protests against the Authority are improper according to you. Now you say that these same governments are of satan. You also state that God didn't chose Caesar. Your current statements go against any need to respect Authority because the Authority is of satan.

    I have never said God CHOSE the leaders.  Just more of your lies. (As someone pointed out ; Disgusting) 

    Evidently it is too hard for you to grasp, the peace, that is derived by the ARRANGEMENT allowed by God,  an arrangement God wants Christians to observe and obey until he replaces it with his own Sons Kingdom with his it's own rulers and government officials.

    An arrangement,already in heaven,  of "subjection to the superior authority" observed by the myriad of angels and other servants   

    I suppose I'd have to explain the Prayer  "Let your kingdom (arrangement) ..... COME  to Earth as it is in Heaven 

    and until that time,...... Satan rules and he chooses who ever he wants to co- rule with him. to serve his purpose.

    Is it too hard for you to understand?

    Subjection to the superior authorities allows peace for servants of God, until the day of deliverance.

    You would have servants of God punished by Caesar, who would charge   Gods servants of being disobedient?   Not to bright and foolish in the eyes of God, who said wait and in time he would set things straight.  

    And when he does set things straight; you better know the arrangement, " Subject yourself to the Superior authority"

    Just as Caesar; God hasn't and wont have time for your disobedience either.       

    If the leaders are not ordained by God and are of satan, how are Christians supposed to view obeying the faux Superior Authority as not obeying satan? If the government is of satan, shouldn't it be rejected? Wouldn't a satan inspired police department justify the killing of unarmed men. Wouldn't a satan inspired prosecutor's office participate in a cover up?

    Do what ever you like; be a fool if it floats your boat 

    If you were a Christian; you'd know Jesus suffered injustice for righteousness sake and he said his followers would suffer too

    It is through endurance, the prize is won 

    If you want to do bad in Gods eyes and rebel against the authorities, then suffer for your unrighteousness, but don't expect to be rewarded by God or Caesar for your disobedience.


    You said that the government's are not ordained by God and of Satan. If I follow your interpretation of the Bible, I would be following Satan. Now I see your real intent. You want to trick me into going against my faith and follow Satan. You place Satan as the Superior Authority. Your arguments make no sense.

    I have to say that Resistance is absolutely correct. After all, you never saw Paul in jail, did you?


    Woah, non sequitur much? Which case or ruling are we talking about? Paul's?

    My mistake; Which Paul were you referring to?

    The Cowardly Liberal Talks About Strength

    I'm referring to the Biblical Paul. What have I said about his trials that you disagree with? Since all I've said was (sarcastically, which I assume you understood), "you never saw Paul in jail". The implication being that Paul was in jail, and the context suggesting that I was asserting that Paul was in jail because he was rebelling* against the "unGodly" authorities. Do you dispute any of that?

    *By rebelling I mean that he was knowingly preaching what they did not want him to preach.

    Woah, non sequitur much? Which case or ruling are we talking about? Paul's?   by Verified Atheist 8 hours 49 min ago in The Cowardly Liberal Talks About Strength

    Now you say it was the Paul I thought you were talking about?

    Evidently; Writing the Truth is not one of your attributes?.

    You twist words and thoughts to put others in a bad light,  now calling deception .... sarcasm?

    Governments are in a mess because of this bad trait you have utilized. 

    Resistance, you may have noticed that I almost never respond to your comments.  That's because I rarely find them to the point or anything but your own self-serving sermons.  You think nothing of taking over someone else's thread to carry on about your religious views and if anyone questions your views or your judgment you resort to insults.

    You may also have noticed that I rarely ask you to stop.  That's not because I don't want to.  I want to.  Very much.  But if I'm going to be true to my own views on free speech I have to allow you to prattle on--unless the insults go too far.

    So you needn't take this as a warning.  Just my own impressions of what you do here at dagblog.  Which I am entitled to do--free speech and all.

    I try to do the same but obviously faltered this time. I'll try to do better. :)

    I know it's hard not to.  Sometimes I have to tie my hands behind my back. . .

    So you needn't take this as a warning. 

    Yeah, right.


    I believe that was Leo Durocher.

    I--do try to reason with the wingers, and waste a lot of valuable time trying to figure them out.

    This ^^^ reminded me of a something I read a couple of weeks ago:

    "You cannot reason people out of positions they did not reason themselves into."

    Sorry I do not remember exactly where I read it or who said it.


    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it! - Upton Sinclair

    Via ThinkProgress.

    GTK it was Swift. I was thinking of him while reading all the Charlie discussions about how he used a more subtle humor to make political points plus he was among the first to do so as entertainment through a mass medium. Changing hearts and minds without provoking anger is not that easy but it can be done, Of course, for some humorists, provocation is the real goal.



    Emma, I feel the same way. I also read the article. I think you put it on fb. I agree completely that we have to do more than blink furiously when Mitch McConnell retroactively takes credit for the economy improving; when the Republicans have a hissy-fit when Democrats manage to filibuster in the Senate.  We are complacent when the media gives them a pass on ABSOLUTELY every piece of BS they peddle, but challenge every word out of Democrats' mouths. 

    Why is the only good (FACTUALLY GOOD) news about the ACA on progressive sites?  That is OUR bad. Surely there is some money somewhere to get the message out to people that they can actually save money and their, and their family's health by getting insured through the ACA. The Supreme Court should actually be afraid to ruin it because of the harm they would do, AND THEY WOULD BE OUTED.  

    Someone I care about very much truly believes that Dems are as bad as Repubs in the negative things they say and do. I can't tell you how hard it is to hear that, but nothing I say changes the (now) firm assumption. 

    I really couldn't believe we actually lost in 2014. I still can't believe Mitt got so much of the popular vote in the last election. My kids don't believe they will have Social Security. I used to reassure them but now I don't know.  

    Yes. It is very discouraging. 

    While some people may feel repulsed by getting down into the gutter with the Republicans, someone has to. Harry Reid was viewed as a wimp. Nancy Pelosi was much more respected. During the Civil Rights movement Martin Luther King was said to be a rabble rouser and a Communist. When King was viewed next to Malcom X, King was the rational alternative. Malcolm X was the scary guy who made Rev. King look good. Liberals lose because they do not appear to have a backbone.


    Liberals lose because they do not appear to have a backbone.

    Like sheep to the slaughter 

    The "problem" with us is that we keep thinking we can win by fighting clean while they have no problem with fighting dirty.  I don't want us to have to fight dirty, but I do want us to FIGHT.  We can do it best, I think, by using our bullhorns to bring attention to every filthy thing they do.  We have the entire internet as a platform.  Nobody can silence us unless we let them.   And we can hound the press and make them do their jobs.  They're entirely too willing to treat politics as a gotcha game, with no real consequences to the losers. 

    Harry Reid should have been out of there long ago.  His idea of a solution was to cancel out any vote he thought the Dems couldn't win.  That was crazy.  Yes, put it to a vote!  Make them explain their actions.  A vote against us would have been a more honest outcome than allowing them to hide behind no vote at all.

    I'm going after my party during the next two years.  I clammed up before the election because I didn't want to pile on when there was so much at stake, but the Democratic Party is the party of populists and liberal/progressives.  I don't plan on letting them forget that.  It's too important now.

    Elizabeth Warren seems to have a grasp on reality. Barbara Lee has a moral code that led her to vote against the Iraq War. There are others like Bernie Sanders ready to fight. Citizens have to be active. The majority of the media is too involved in inside baseball to report what the country actually faces. The public is left to its own devices.

    We need to support the populists and we need to start at the local level.  Every politician had to start somewhere and if we can keep them out locally we can keep them out nationally.

    On two different occasions I've been asked by people, (with only a vague interest in politics), to explain the difference between Republican and Democrat. It isn't any easy question to answer, especially if trying to be somewhat objective. I actually found it almost simple to describe Republican philosophy, but then I stumbled a bit. I'm a proud Democrat - but for what does my party stand? An enduring, unwavering platform of civic responsibility and social justice shouldn't be hard to define.

    To me it boils down to this:  a Democrat believes in the Common Good.

     That sums it up pretty well, and it could go on, but all the sub-set explanations fit nicely into promotion of inclusiveness and acting in ways that make life better for every being, which then makes life better for all. 

    Great answer, Cville.  That's it in a nutshell.  We care, they don't.

    Oh Republicans care a LOT. They just only care about themselves. Except in the case of the low-info ones. They only care about "others" not getting "free stuff."  Basically with them it's all about either getting money or keeping "unworthy" people from getting any. 

    Unfortunately, I have a few of them in my own extended family.  They've been poor and then they've been not-so-poor, and at some point they've taken help from the government, but to hear them talk everyone is on their own now and there are jobs out there if those people would only get off their lazy asses and stop sucking on the government's teat and. . .

    Well, you know.

    To add a counter-point to Ramona, my father is a Republican, and he does care about the less fortunate. He volunteers at his local soup kitchen, takes annual mission trips to Peru, and is just generally generous.

    So, why is he a Republican? The bit about the mission trips should be a clue. He sees Democrats and Republicans through the reverse filter that many of us do, generally trusting (but not that much) what the Republicans say, while not trusting anything the Democrats do. He thinks that taking care of the less fortunate is the job of the Church. Etc.

    That might be ok if the churches were up to the task. They never were and they are even less able today with less people buying in to the 2,000+ year old fairy tales.

    Preachin' to the choir… wink

    barefooted, I wrote about this a while back.  The Democrats have a solid platform, but I wonder how many of our politicians have actually read it.


    Since 1980, the Democrat Party was able to stay relevant by getting people who could sit on the fence and where wealthy enough to stay in the game. This did hold back the GOP from their complete slash and burn. Now we are finally seeing progressives take a tough stand and can think on their feet.  We just don't have very many of them in Congress. We still have a bunch of fence sitters left over from the civil rights backlash era.  

    I am worn out from all the racism that has been in the media now for years.  I am also tired of the ignorance.  I no longer have any patience for it.  I watch a little local news on TV now and that is all. I have no use for people who repeat Fox news. I just avoid them.  I have to work to hard to get by and don't want to spend my precious free time visiting with their version of Fox news. Don''t even try to argue with me over climate.  

    The country is in the middle of a nervous break down and they will take it out on the party that is in power.


    The country is in the middle of a nervous break down 

    Look around, the governments and the people of the Whole world are about to go over the edge. 

    and they will take it out on   the party that is in power  


    It is obvious the path most people are on, leads to destruction; a complete breakdown of civility and rebellion against the authorities and rule of law.  A “Reign of Terror” destined to end in self-destructive violence.

    I hear you, Momoe.  It gets real discouraging when the people who should be running the country are looked on as irrelevant dreamers without a chance in the world to win.  You would think reality would strike and the voters would look around, see what a mess we're in, and put the blame where it belongs.  The dreamers didn't put us here, the oligarchs and their willing partners did. 

    I think often about quitting caring but I just can't.  And I suspect neither can you.

    I just read about the tactics that Nancy P. pulled on the Republicans this past week.  She sounds as angry as we are.  There are moves in the Senate also made by progressives last week that was noticed by the media.  Also Democrats have admitted there is a big push that is coming from the liberal blogs that is pestering them.  People must be taking time to use the addresses to write their opinions on some of these issues.  Maybe I should make that my New Year resolution to do the same.  

    This isn't directed at you but writing letters or signing petitions isn't enough. If everyone supporting progressive policy would spend just one hour a week supporting whatever issue the local groups are working on we could make changes.

    I don't have time nor do I have the skills to lead movements. But I put time in when ever something is happening in my community. Right now I live in southern Arizona so the issue the activists are most focused on is border control. When there's a demonstration or some other activity were numbers can matter I'm there. It doesn't really take much time to support the movement with your presence.

    They need to hear the populist message from every corner and by every means.  The internet is an amazing vehicle for spreading messages, but maybe we're not using it to its full advantage.  What I do by blogging is just so much muttering.  When those guys have hundreds of thousands of protest letters delivered to their offices, they'd have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to notice.

    Hey, Ramona, chin up.

    I think being in Texas is in a way psychologically better than in Michigan because here there was no hope of routing the Republicans whereas there you actually had a chance which didn't materialize.  And Davis just wasn't an effective messenger, and resorted to a stupid ad with a wheel chair in it.

    I did vote for a prominent Republican at the local level because he is competent from a fiscal standpoint and doesn't spout off on the typical social conservative stuff.  

    If Obama exercises the veto pen and his accompanying narrative is effective,  Republicans will have a hard time showing that they are relevant, and without relevancy they can't demonstrate governance. 

    I'm feeling o.k. about 2016. The Republican primaries will be more fun to watch than Laurel and Hardy.  

    Oxy, you could be right about Texas vs. Michigan when it come to our politics.  But the truth is, Michigan Democrats have been out of the mix since Reagan.  It's true we've had a few Dem governors since then but most of the time they've been hobbled by a Republican legislature unwilling to let them win on any level lest people might think the Dems can actually govern.

    I wish I felt okay about 2016.  I'm not there yet.  I've been through this too many times before.  The Republicans are almost always irrelevant, but they win anyway

    We can't afford to be okay about 2016. Hillary Clinton is by no means a shoe-in, and the Republicans are energized. We need a strong, vibrant primary with as many progressive voices as possible. She'll almost certainly win the nomination, but the base needs to hear how she responds to more liberal views than she currently holds.

    I had been feeling that way, but have had a relapse.

    Well, Dylan's advice was good : Just keep on , keepen' on.

    So was Chekov's : God see's the truth. But waits.

    Meanwhile the Republicans control everything but the White House.


    "Alas, regardless of their doom, the little victims play!  No sense have they of ills to come, nor care beyond today."

    Thomas Gray 

    And. . .

    "The sky is falling!"

    Chicken Little

    Oh, I'm kidding!  Sort of.

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