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RJ Matson

Republicans Should Move to Center

GOP Needs to Change to Compete on a National Basis


Friday, July 4, 2014
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As a Republican of the Eisenhower-Nixon-Reagan-George H. W. Bush variety, the recent, stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and the near victory of Tim Donnelly to oppose California Governor Jerry Brown in November are troubling. A great national party benefits from a diversity of views. There are those who believe the Republican Party should hew to the hard right. I am not one of these. Rather, the Republican Party should move closer to the political center.

From a personal perspective, I cannot see how the Republican Party can continue to compete on a national basis over time (irrespective of the outcome in particular elections) without changing its position on three issues in particular: 1) abortion, 2) gay marriage, and 3) public education. While I have great respect for individuals who oppose abortion on a personal basis, the larger society has spoken. Legal abortion is, will be, and should remain the law of the land.

With respect to gay marriage, the larger society is also speaking, if it has not yet fully spoken. Gay marriage will also become legal throughout the United States in the coming years. It’s time for the GOP to move on from opposition to gay marriage. Concerning public education, I have always felt that the best course to improve education is to focus on the public system that educates 90 percent of children. By all means, it is appropriate to work for reform of and choice within the public system, but there is no reason to denigrate or reflexively oppose it.

The Republican Party retains strong residual support nationwide. Particularly in California, the GOP should emphasize three issues: 1) energy development, 2) lower taxes for working families, and 3) public employee pension reform.

Concerning energy development, the United States has abundant energy resources. Though many on the environmental left don’t believe it, fracking at a national level has made possible substantially reduced emissions of CO2 through allowing the replacement of coal by natural gas. In addition, energy production is great for the economy and reduces energy imports to the United States. There are abundant economic and environmental reasons to encourage energy development in the United States.

With respect to lower taxes for working families, it is highly undesirable that income and wealth have become so unequally spread in the United States. Tax policy makes a huge difference. At a national level, Social Security taxes on working families with children should be reduced. At a state and local level, regressive sales taxes, fees, and charges should be reduced.

Regarding public employee pension reform, public pension systems remain unsustainable. Projected annual returns of 7.5 percent per year or more are not realistic. Reform of pension programs is vital not just for the funding of government services but for the benefit of public employees.

There is nothing wrong with being a “Republican centrist” — in fact, it is the direction in which the party should move. From my own perspective, I believe it is unhelpful always to criticize one’s political opponents, especially personally, and to reject compromise and attempting to find middle or common ground. When I served on the Santa Barbara school board, one of the lessons I learned was that reasonable people of good will can differ on issues. They do all the time.

The Republican Party should move to the political center. Extreme anti-governmentalism and neo-anarchism have no place in state, national, or local politics and are certainly not in line with conservative values. The United States, and particularly California, would benefit from a healthy, two-party system. Ironically, a move by the GOP to the political center would probably also pull the Democratic Party in this direction. It’s time to end the polarization in American politics.

Lanny Ebenstein is a past member of the Santa Barbara Board of Education and the Santa Barbara County Republican Central Committee.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

OK, Lanny, good job, but you're gonna get drummed out of your own party for this. Haven't you heard? Dick Cheney is back and kicking A*s, so your party is becoming that of neo-nationalists, "let's get back into Iraq bigtime", and hatred of ANY government mandates. Admit it, you want out of the dinosaur time period.
You are absolutely correct about the unsustainable public pensions, and basing them on 7.5% return is crazy. While I'm all for unions, the workers all need to pay into their own pensions, too, like they do at the UC public pension plan.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 1:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bravo Mr. Ebenstein, its truly sad to see the hijacking of the Republican Party by fringe lunatics; and indeed a dangerous phenomenon. You've taken a truly courageous stand whereas other more careerists "Republicans" have embraced the fringe for their own personal benefit and not the good of the country.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 1:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hmm... Maybe Mr. Ebenstein and Andy Caldwell should get together and craft some policy statements... YIKES. Both men get such a large amount of air/print space here locally... Seems like if very many people agreed with them we'd have more Republicans in local elected positions. Also, Mr. Ebenstein just couldn't resist putting in a plug for hydrocarbons and fracking.... THAT'S a popular position here locally!! Not.

BondJamesBond (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 9:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DTS and independents will choose the direction of both parties. The extremism and fiscal recklessness of the Left will drive more Republican votes as the only viable non-suicidal alternative, rather than the Republicans themselves leaning one way or the other.

Plenty of Republicans think Jerry Brown is doing a good job, so it works both ways. Balance the budget, cut the growth of government, develop the economy, demand public services be competent and accountable and reduce government dependencies are the goals no matter which party puts these on the table.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Lanny's point was about the "The extremism and fiscal recklessness of the" Right, Jarvis. It was Bush '43 who expanded the national debt due to his unfunded AND irrational wars.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 9:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This makes perfect sense! Moving to the center will allow for:
1. Bigger and more wasteful government.
2. Huge increases in crony capitalism.
3. More Presidents that 'act on their own'.

We might even get more supreme court justices that see the constitution as a kind of 'general guideline open to wide interpretation and criticism'.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 11:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't let that knee jerk too hard reality. While I might not agree on every issue with Ebenstein at least he's got all his marbles and the guts to speak out against extremism. The MSM is in itself fueling the polarization we are experiencing, and to what purpose? To sell more fast food, laundry detergent, and cars.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 1:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Two of the three issues are connected to religion in the Republican party. The sooner we can get religion out of politics, the better it will be for the party and the country. The party should be that of lower taxes, lower spending and less government, but I will have to acknowledge that historically, that has not usually been the case either.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 2:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ron Paul.

End the Fed.

That's the only way to stop the wealth gap from widening.

Also, separation of church and state and end the wars.

To bad Ron Paul is retired, lucky you at least have Rand.

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 4:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Agree with your first two sentences, Botany. Yet, we need higher taxes ON THE TOP 2%, more efficient government, and more government spending on public education, roads (Peter Adam agrees!), infrastructure, and health care.
RealityWilly88 absolutely shows why sincere Republicans like Lanny are slowly getting out of their "Party" since it's been ripped-off by intransigent fools like Willy et al.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 4, 2014 at 7:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ebenstein knows first hand the public pension system is unsustainable. Fix that and benefits for other present needs will flow from this fundamental reform. Ebenstein has long recommended conversion to public 401K pension plans. On this issue, he is 100% correct.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 9:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

401ks are akin to slot machines, while reform may be needed don't throw the baby out with bath water.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 9:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Yes, Lanny brays this conversion to 401(k) all the time from the pages of the paper-thin, dying SB News-SUPPress, and convinces no one despite incessant repetition. I do not agree with him on this, but then he doesn't state this in the piece above since he's playing to the liberals.
Jarvis in your Foo incarnation you said the same silly stuff re 401(k)s...I stated that reform of some of the public pensions (over 85 plans in Calif., many are just fine, the UC one is just fine) would involve getting the workers to pay into them...as UC started a few years ago. KV is totally correct, and NO ONE in one of the defined benefit pension plans will agree to switch, and legal recourse will not win so...Jarvis, let it go.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 9:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@K-V: your comments in this trail are dead on.

JohnLocke (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 9:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Taxpayers are refusing to plug holes in current public pension plans and courts are agreeing with them. Reform public pensions now for future pension security.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Traditional pension plans are dinosaurs that deserve to be eliminated from our retirement systems permanently. Defined contribution plans are the only way to go. Even traditional social security is a complete rip-off for almost all participants.

https://research.stlouisfed.org/publi...

I think everyone would be shocked how much money they'd have for retirement if they could have taken the money they put into social security and put it into an S&P500 index fund instead. Workers should be compelled to fund their own retirement through a vehicle like that.

All social security does is give the bloated government a free loan, double taxes contributions and benefits, and leaves the participant with less that he/she would have if they invested on their own.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 10:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Your all talking nickels and dimes. No amount a tax fudging is going to reverse the flood of wealth moving to the wealthy. Only reform of the monetary system will change this.

The Republican party freed the slaves once. Please do it again by dismantling the Federal Reserve bank.

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 10:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

True kook. One of the primary reasons for increased income inequality is inflation of asset values caused by quantitative easing.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 11:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

please elaborate on "quantitative easing", at one time I thought I understood the term, now it's less clear.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 11:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Quantitative easing (QE) is the process of making money out of nothing and buying short-term bonds with the newly created money in order to keep interest rates low.

Investors seeking yield can't get decent yield in the treasury market so investors bid up the price of income producing assets (stocks and real estate) as they seek yield for their investments.

As the wealthy are the primary holders of most stock and real estate assets, the wealth created by QE goes almost exclusively to the wealthy.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Because of the massive federal debt than the current administration has refused to control, the country will go broke if it had to pay higher interest rates than the near zero ones now paid on federal treasury notes. Think back when the Republicans tried to enforce the last debt ceiling and review how Obama turned that into a partisan Democrat feeding frenzy before you condemn fiscal conservatism.

Anyone expecting to live on fixed income investments is going to have a long wait before interest rates get back to a 4% normal rate, let alone anything higher. Occupy trying to destroy corporate earnings that translate into investment earnings factors into this retirement mess too. Retiring baby-boomers need to get savvy about what is going on if they expect any degree of retirement security. Including those expecting public pensions because efforts to destroy the free market and manipulate interest rates to allow even greater federal debt will have a direct impact on everyone's retirement plans.

401K plans are not crap shoots in a functioning economy. Public pensions are the real crap shoot right now because there is little hope they will ever be fully funded when needed. Patching over decades of unchecked federal debt and public pension short-falls affects all retirement plans. This is not the time to kick American business in the teeth.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The current stock market bubble is just that. When it bursts it is not a crash, it is a predictable correction to an unsupported buying frenzy. it does not turn 401Ks into crap shoots unless those 401K investors got greedy and thought they can outsmart the real players. George Soros made billions betting against the market and he is now betting against the US economy, along with other mega-traders. Go long, go for value and don't be greedy. And don't cry when this current bubble re-corrects.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 12:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Jarvis if interest rates are being kept artificially low how come inflation is also low?

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 12:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Inflation rising - sharp uptick in May.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 3:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A primary reason for income inequality is the increased number of single parent homes, which virtually guarantees life-time poverty for all affected. Practice impulse control if you want to grow your personal wealth..

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 3:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Jarvis the current inflation rate is 2.1% which is a third lower than the 100 year average of 3.22%. Please explain as you present yourself as some sort of expert on economics and investing.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 4:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's time for the NH party-Non Hypocrite.Neo Cons espouse less government yet favor more laws restricting personal freedom and choices while progressives refuse to acknowledge basic economic principals.The vast majority of our population reside in the middle in a political sense and any move towards the center by either side would gain many more voters than it would alienate but due to our primary system both parties clamor for their lunatic fringe.

garfish (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 4:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Please display the interest rates over the same 100 year period of time.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 4:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here you go. Knock yourself out genius:
http://inflationdata.com/Inflation/In...

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 4:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What are the corresponding interest rates for the 100 year period? Retirees like high interest rates on their fixed income investments, which unlocks their discretionary spending. The economy loses their discretionary spending when continued artificially low interest rates protect other sectors of the economy. As more baby boomers move into risk-adverse retirement, what pressures will this moving demographic bulge place on the government regulation of interest rates?

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 4:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

your mind is completely closed, Foo (I mean Jarvis), H-G gives you the answer to your query and you cavil and counter-punch. Boring and useless.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 7:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you, Botany, and this accords with my hedge fund manager friend [OK, in-law I'm stuck with] and her definition, one who worships "wealth creation" and QE. Could we summarize by calling it the hyper-wealthy jacking off with their money to the detriment of the rest of us?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 7:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think we can call it government intervention to increase income disparities. Ask your hedge fund manager friend about the expression "never fight the fed" and maybe you'll get the idea about who's causing this. Sure, the wealthy are cashing in, but it's the government that's enabling them to do it.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 8:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lanny, you make important points, but those issues are diversionary. The GOP intelligence want us to debate those things when the larger issue is wealth inequality.

Wealth inequality is an American problem, but it's also a world problem. The GOP provides apologists for this evil that ultimately leads to revolution.

"They only call it class warfare when we fight back."
Anon.

ahem (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 9:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why doesn't the government just print it's own money instead of borrowing it?

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 10:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Is CPI a good measure of inflation?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/perianneb...

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 5, 2014 at 11:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The two party "system" has been around as long as all of us can remember. If a third of Americans voted on something it's considered a boost in democracy.
The reason for this is simple. The "center" can neither be left or right. Trying to bring the extremists on both sides away from their confused agendas is like trying to shine a sneaker.
Whats best for our country is exactly what's happening now. We are better off when Coulter rallies against the "non American" sports like soccer and Obama promises to protect our borders from future Americans....
While both parties find themselves looking as organized a soup sandwich is when the majority finds itself in the center!
If your looking at the tea party's small victories, or fluctuations in the graphs depicting down jomes or Clinton book sales; your selling this great country short.
We all need to remind those who make a living selling us that crap that the logical move is away from the center!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 12:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

but Botany, the truth is we have a plutocratic oligarchy so it isn't "true government" enabling the wealthy; the Gilded Age barons and baronesses control and ARE the government, for the most part. Most members of Congress are indeed millionaires and more, you know that. Yet in the 50s there was much less wealth INequality -- partly because our oligarchy feared revolution Soviet-style and socialism so the powers here did distribute wealth to the middle. This is when GM and GE etc. gave defined benefits pensions to their workers, which government entities emulated. As it became clear in the 70s and 80s that the USSR was failing, note how our wealth IN-equalities exploded until we have the situation today. A more intense and relentless Occupy movement might've scared our 1% rulers into more redistribution.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 12:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Occupy Central America!

touristunfriendly (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 1 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cantor's defeat is hardly "stunning", look at honored former Republican Sen. Richard Lugar who 2 years ago lost HIS Repub. nomination to a tea-hadist idiot, and there are other examples.
Interesting and very illuminating that the extraordinary Republican voters in Cantor's district COULD CARE LESS about his national position as House Majority Leader, which perfectly reflects Tea Party fanatics focus on narrow, selfish, local issues: think Don Thorn or his spouse. Think Peter Adam and his obsession with potholes.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 7:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So the Left admits that voting for Hilary is just a further consolidation of our plutocratic oligarchy? In California, the Feinstein and Pelosi clans are Robber Barron's in the truest sense of the term and at the top of the pyramid in our consolidation of wealth and the ruling class.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 7:50 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I don't speak for the Left, there is no Left left...and who brought up Hilary? Barron's magazine is robber Gilded types. All the clans should go down. Wealth infects 'em all and afflicts us folks lower down on the feed chain.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

You might stop referring "The Left" as some kind of cohesive bloc, it's not anymore than "the Right" is as illustrated by Mr. Ebenstein's letter. It's that kind of simplistic thinking is creating the extreme polarities the letter decries and CNN banks on.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 1 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken: How do we differentiate between old school liberals (live and let live types) and those Democrats that are into rules and regulations?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 6:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Abortion: Only the Supreme Court has "spoken" on abortion. If a vote had been taken in 1973 it would have been overwhelmingly against legalizing abortion. Only relentless propaganda to sanitize what is repugnant and unconscionable has worked to get any concession at all from the general public. Characterizing abortion as a woman's "right" only makes women look bad - it doesn't make abortion look good.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 7:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

History will smack itself on the forehead and say,"why didn't we elect Ron Paul?"

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 8:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@random_kook,

When they answer tha question, "Why didn't we elect Ron Paul", they might see that the forces that effectively negated the massive popular support for Paul are the same interests that control both the Republican and Democratic Parties and it would go some way to explain why Obama has continued Bush's policies.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 9:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Lanny,

Like your belief that the public has "spoken" on abortion, you mistake judicial fiat for public support of gay marriage.

Homosexual behavior is one of a long list of sexual behaviors that have been considered taboo, unwholesome, unnatural, and have been subject to both religious proscription and secular law. Laws and penalties against such sexual behaviors have been accepted, unquestioningly by our society for hundreds of years which indicates a general belief that such behaviors are damaging and a threat to children, families, and to the wider society.

Virtually no one wants his child to engage in perverted sexual behavior and that is the true measure of "support" for gay marriage.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 9:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly you have the right to spew your garbage on these threads. After your "hundreds of years" our society HAS CHANGED and for the better! Your "our society" is a pathetic term since we are a land of immigrants, and many of their traditions were not homophobic and nasty like your opinion about gays. Native Americans, who were here first, were much more sophisticated and tolerant than the Christian separatists who originally founded the USA and began the slow genocide of these wiser peoples. Finally, you dolt, Lanny E. never indicates HE supports abortion (which I call a woman's reproductive choice), he emphasizes that he has "great respect for individuals who oppose abortion on a personal basis". Why don't YOU have "great respect for individuals/women who" choose to do with their bodies what they will?
You are really screwed up, and my hope is that your son marries another guy, or your daughter marries another woman -- then you may begin to think.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 9:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdley is the new "I have issues" troll.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 10:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

yeah, I admit I fed him, but only this once!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 6, 2014 at 11:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

NEWSFLASH for Dewdly, nobody wants their child to grow up to be like you: bitter, ignorant, and hateful.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 12:37 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Dr.Dan,

Romanticizing sodomy is a preposterous conceit. "Homosexual is an adjective describing a sexual behavior - it is not properly a noun identifying a different breed of human being.

All human societies have taboos, proscriptions, rules, and laws that regulate sexual behavior. The rules are not arbitrary, but rather they indicate that such regulation has been vitally important for group survival, cooperative social living, the physical and genetic health of a society, and the nurturance, protection, and education of its young.

If rules regulating sexual behavior have been necessary for a culture's development aren't they still necessary for its maintenance?

"Gay marriage" is an unbiological, anti-evolutionary, top-down imposition on a people who have yet to see its full disintegrative effect. Wait until your eleven year-old is introduced to the joys of fellatio and anal intercourse by her public school teacher. Manif pour tous.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken_Volok,

Wanting to protect one's children from alienated sex is bitter and ignorant?

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

can't feed troll dewdly any more: get some psychiastric assistance.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

psychiatric.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DavyBrown, the only blogger to have a campsite named after him. Y R U so insecure that you go gallivanting all over S.B. county and getting campgrounds named after U?

http://www.independent.com/news/2013/...

Remember this, I am the numero uno troll on this site. Nobody, not Dewdly, Sealion, or anyone else holds a candle to me for insanity, stupidity, or being annoying.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

annoying AND funny, I agree. But gotta correct you: there are MANY local camps named after guys, some of whom blog under pseudonymous handles, e.g. "Bill Faris" and "Lonnie Davis" and of course Indy Outdoor Editor Ray Ford's camp called "Ray's Camp"....but as an underwater swimmer you've likely not visited them.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

On the other hand and to get away from recent comment weirdness-There is no room for old style liberals in the new Progressive mind-set bc, Being an old style liberal/moderate libertarian myself has left me without a party. Growing up in agriculture I was mostly surrounded by the future equivalent of Reagan Democrats. The extreme views of both parties are not in line with any of my world views.
There is obvious left, middle center in these comment strings.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 7:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Dewdly,
"alienated sex"? that might be called masturbation, maybe you should try it - you might feel better. I'm more concerned about who's protecting the children from your depravity.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 8:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

nomoresanity,

Liberals have been reduced to advocates of gay marriage and abortion. In the article above there is no mention of war, foreign policy, the economy, or immigration and Lanny's suggestion is that Republicans join the Democrats by turning their attention to peripheral issues.

Neither party represents the interests of the American people.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 12:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken,

Alienated sex is sex that has been disengaged from its family and procreative moorings, losing its purpose, its love, and its beauty, while retaining its drive and persistence which, in turn, makes it addictive: masturbation, pornography, prostitution, sodomy, pedophilia - all the paraphilias and perversions. Children should be protected from alienated sex, not schooled in its techniques.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 12:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Dewdly

The fact that you can't comprehend the fact that two men or two women can love each other says more about your moral shortfailings than anybody' else's.

Children should be protected from YOU! Do you know statistically you are most likely the pedophile?

In addition if you really have a problem with LGBT people then take it up with God, quit trying to inflict your dysfunctionality on the rest of us.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 1:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sex between two men or two women isn't about love, just as masturbation, prostitution, pedophilia, pornography, and rape are not about love. Conjugal love is about procreation, and the commitment to give children the survival advantage of having a bonded mother and father. Children deserve to be protected from alienated sex.

I never take anything up with "God". All human societies make their rules about sexual behavior because of its importance in reproduction, stable family structures, and raising healthy children. You can't blame a god for an evolutionary strategy - it's unscientific.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly, maybe sex with another man is all about lust for you but many other men have and do fall in love with each other, and most assuredly have far healthier relationships than anything you've ever had. Most women don't wish to be regarded as baby-making machines.
You're the last one to bring up Science..haha

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's get everyone arguing about sex and then steal all their money and take away their rights while they're not paying attention.

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 2:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Love between man and woman is integral to reproductive biology. There is no biological basis for conjugal love between two men or two women any more than there is a biological basis for loving a hamster. Biology is a scientific discipline and placing "love" outside science is to make it a supernatural phenomenon. Capitalizing "science" doesn't make your "arguments" scientific.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@random_kook,

Tried and true.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is no biological need to comment here at the Indy. So dewdley you would be ok with a law that banned blogging / commenting right?

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here's a suggestion: How about the government mind its own business?

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 7, 2014 at 4:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If sex is all about pro-creation, then we're screwed. Must be tens of thousands of dewdly's running around which is also not good for the planet. Protect your children from 'alienated sex' (whatever that is), but is ok for them to watch beer commercials. Leave the children out of your sexual discussions about your weak desire for orgasm and engage in humanism. Get the dewd some color. Smell the flowers.

spacey (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 5:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@spacey,

Pedophilia, prostitution, masturbation, bestiality, sodomy, sado-masochism, rape, pornography, all the paraphilias and perversions - none are about procreation - so relax.

Alienated sex is sex that has no connection to family or procreation but is simply the satisfaction of one's sexual appetite. It doesn't involve love, commitment, or responsibility and so it is characteristically selfish and often abusive. If it were otherwise then you would find the fathers of young women supplying condoms to all who come calling to make their daughters "safe" for recreational sex.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 6:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Dewdly, the only person having "alienated sex" is you. You're sexually repressed and happy that way, fine. Don't inflict it on everybody else.

In addition it's trash you that is responsible for the multiple suicides of LGBT teens, make no mistake- I'm happily your enemy and will fight you and your kind with everything I got. You're on the losing side of history, how much you want it to hurt is entirely up to you, Mr. Too Cowardly to sign his own name but is happy to spread hate.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 7:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If sex is all about procreation then by the time most couples hit their late 40's then they should not have sex.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 8:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

troll dewdly hijacks thread to be all about his mental illness and obsession with [his words]: "Pedophilia, prostitution, masturbation, bestiality, sodomy, sado-masochism, rape, pornography, all the paraphilias and perversions ". He did the same with the Miller-Young thread. Maybe not feed this troll.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 8:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think that some people need to take biology courses. There is a large variation of sexuality in humans; it is not 100% male and 100% female.

Consider the case of runner Caster Semenya — a person with both male and female sexual characteristics. And there are examples of kids who know from an early age that they are different. Homosexuality has also been observed in other species besides humans. Some species can be both male and female, or change from one to the other, depending on various circumstances that affect continued viability of a species.

There is a whole spectrum between 100% female and 100% male in humans. While it may have nothing to do with procreation success, it may have much to do with both environmental factors (chemicals in the environment or in the womb), or just plain DNA mixing. Homosexuality has been known from the earliest days of recorded human history.

"We can now appreciate that biological sex is multi-dimensional and is ultimately determined by the sexual differentiation of the human brain; rather than that of body parts such as external genitalia. We now know that a person's legal sex (as per their birth certificate) can be different from their predominant biological or innate sex (as per their "brain sex") and their common law sex as determined by a court. Our society has now begun to understand transsexualism and some other traditionally known intersex conditions and to appreciate the life experience of the people who live with these conditions, whose brain sex differentiation is at odds, or incongruous, with the sexual differentiation of some or all of their body parts and assigned legal sex and that such conditions are nothing more or less than natural variations in human sexual formation. "

The extreme right do not understand or want to understand science, where often the "truth" is not what is appears to be on superficial observation. I could never judge others for their sexuality or impose social norms upon them. They are what they are as nature created them, and they should be accepted for what they are. We cannot choose the color of our eyes, hair, height or other physical features, just as we do not choose our sexuality. Why sexuality should be the only characteristic not subject to variation, is not something that is obvious.

Those who cannot understand this are blinded by artificial dogma.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 9:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"There are around 46 different types of "intersex" conditions that can result in individuals having both male and female characteristics, according to a leading British gynaecologist.

The claim that Caster Semenya, the world 800metre champion, has demonstrated both sexual attributes suggests she may be what would once have been called a hermaphrodite.

There are four ways of determining sex, said Dr Peter Bowen-Simpkins, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The problem is that they can be at odds with one another. Chromosomal sex is defined by x and y chromosomes. The default position for mammals is that they will develop as females unless there is y chromosome present. In one rare condition, androgen insensitivity syndrome, the body is insensitive to the male hormone and develops to become a woman.

"It's very complex area," said Bowen-Simpkins, a consultant gynaecologist. "The male hormone is what gives bulk to muscles and bones so they are at an advantage. I have seen pictures of this girl and she has no waist and very masculine musculature."

As many as one in 3,000 are born with some kind of intersex disorder. "Some people are brought up as females even though they have no uterus or vagina. The sporting bodies don't have an agreed definition of sex. Cases like this may force them to define this particular issue.""

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009...

tabatha (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 9:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That is true Tabatha, as this three minute video explains.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgOyqd...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 8, 2014 at 11:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Reading is so educational. I didn't realize I dreamed about search engines and links as a child, while I read the encyclopedia.
"Manif pour tous" The Protest for Everyone" How dare they speak for people! Can you imagine the Tea Party using this label?!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_2013...

March 18, 2014 An Anti-Gay-Marriage Tea Party, French Style?
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs...

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 5:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Shocked at Ebenstein's editorial, in a good way. But of course the Republican party was hijacked by the Tea Party and others who seek to control individuals, as do most if not all politicians, and now they're looking to gain supporters. I agree that politicians are power-hungry, money-wasting money grubbers, but will still vote Democrat nationally for the sake of a more liberal Supreme Court. No politician gives a damn about income inequality or their struggling constituents. Americans, even those in dying cities, and those dying in wars, don't care or disagree enough to protest. OTOH, protest makes no difference in the European countries where it is done, so why bother? I'm a total pessimist. I'll be relieved to be gone and not have left spawn behind.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I rather agree, bostock, with your "Americans, even those in dying cities, and those dying in wars, don't care or disagree enough to protest" -- Occupy was a most short-lived phenomenon. Do NOT agree, as a teacher of children, with your pessimism: not good for you or for the rest of us. I DO have spawn and care deeply about what happens in the next 20 years.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Dewdly, you might want to read up on golden age Greece.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan, I do support public schools & school bonds. I get to take longer showers because I haven't added much to the burden on resources (only slightly kidding). Just in a black mood, but I knew as a pre-teen that I never wanted kids, and my mind never changed.
Never found myself agreeing with you as much as I did this night/morning.

geraldbostock (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 6:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Progressives need not worry about the extreme right wing of the Republican party. They need to worry about their own tax, spend and regulate policies that have suffocated every institution they control, and the growing rejection their tax, spend and regulate policies have generated among the growing numbers of independent and decline to state voters.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 8:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"Progressive" has become an essentially useless term, unless we specify the Teddy Roosevelt/Taft/Wilson specific type.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 8:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

There exists an obscure effort to take the country back from the banks:

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/0...

It doesn't stand much chance. At least Republicans are trying.

random_kook (anonymous profile)
July 9, 2014 at 10:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok says 401k's are akin to slot machines.

What?!?

The stock market has shown an average annual return of 10.5% during the past 20 years and 8.8% over the past 100.

Clearly it's just like a slot machine.

Government unions getting lib-dem pols to promise too much and then underfund pensions is the slot machine when cities go bankrupt.

Classic lib dem. facts matter little

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 10:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Too bad the "center" is just coming to agreement with the establishment, continuation of wars, spying on citizens, no more rights, continue the war on drugs... The "center" gets us nowhere.

The Republicans closest to the "center" are neo-cons who believe in big government and lots of wars and occupation and that is precisely what we need to move away from.

Republicans need to get back to their roots of small, limited constitutional government, non-intervention overseas and pro-civil liberties.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 12:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If Republicans move to the "center" then that is going to mean electing Jeb Bush.

If Republicans move to the "right" then that is going to mean electing Rand Paul. Rand Paul opposes overseas adventurism, the war on drugs and is for civil liberties, and while many on the left support those positions as well they are arguably conservative positions that people on the left happen to support. If that is what is meant by moving to the center, then that's fine, but in reality the "center" in politics is where Republicans and Democrats agree which ends up being big government programs, more war and less civil liberties.

According to SurveyUSA, Rand Paul is doing the best against Clinton in Florida out of potential 2016 candidates, including Jeb Bush in his own home state!

Link: http://www.surveyusa.com/client/Poll....

Clinton: 46%
Paul: 42%

Clinton: 53%
Rubio: 39%

Clinton: 47%
Bush: 41%

Paul also leads Biden by 8% in FL

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 2:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Here in this song, Ted Nugent (right wing extremist) tells us to "Journey to the Center)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN2VNF...

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 3:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You mean nominating not electing , looks like they all lose to a Clinton election.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 3:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"looks like they all lose to a Clinton election."

In Florida, if the election were held today, correct.

Polls have shown Paul beating Clinton in NH, CO and I believe also in IA and possibly some others as well.

The point is that Rand polls better than all other Republicans against Hillary in a general election. Whether one considers Rand further right, or more toward the center than his Republican counterparts due to his stance on wars, civil liberties, the war on drugs and some other positions I suppose could be up for debate.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 4:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I would like to share your optimism Loonpt, but Paul is up against "the system" in his own party.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 6:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The biggest difference separating the Neocons and the Libertarians is defense spending and foreign policy.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 11, 2014 at 10:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's hard to believe the Democrats would run Hillary Clinton after the Obama debacle. Both are unqualified "token" candidates designed only to draw in blacks, women, immigrants, and the cheering sections from gay pride parades.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 1:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

That's rich coming from the token Nazi on this site.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 1:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt,

Rand Paul is not Ron Paul. He sold his soul to the devil when he gave his assurances that he would give full support to the 2012 Republican presidential candidate in exchange for his senate seat. When he gave those assurances he likely did not know that he would be required to give that support BEFORE the convention. Ron Paul miraculously had the support of the majority of delegates from Romney's home state and enough other states to be nominated from the floor. Time to make Rand pay up. He threw his dad and all Ron Paul's supporters under the bus. Paul supporters won't forget that. They will also wonder what other assurances Rand has given and to whom.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 1:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Tabatha,

There are no objective criteria - genetic, phenotypical, or phisiological that support homosexual, bisexual, or transexual identities. Genetic defects or deformities are an entirely different matter, e.g., Intersex is a birth defect, not a type of "sexuality". The creation of "sexualities" is an attempt to give scientific bona fides to an unbiological idea.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 5:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I hear Paul is vacillating on the issue of the war on drugs.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 5:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More importantly he is kowtowing to the Israelis.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 7:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Weird that Paul might be vacillating on the "War on Drugs" when the popular sentiment is more and more against it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 13, 2014 at 7:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@Ken,

The "popular sentiment" is not for legalization of drugs. The Libertarian positions of legalizing drugs and prostitution always presented difficulties for Ron Paul when he ran as a Republican. Rand Paul is distancing himself from his father's less popular positions.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 11:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dewdly the only reason it arguably hurt his father is because he was in the Republican primaries and the media blacked him out and did not allow him the same amount of exposure the other candidates got.

Rand is not vacillating on the war on drugs so much as he is doing political posturing within the party to help become the Republican nominee. It's all strategy, he is playing the exact opposite strategy that his father played of a totally principled libertarian, which failed twice.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 1:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)

loonpt,

Ron Paul's "failure" should tell us that those who control the two parties will not allow a principled candidate to get that close to the presidency ever again. What they will do, however, is to use Paul's enormous base of support among young white men by passing off Rand as his legitimate successor. What appealed to Ron Paul's supporters was his unwillingness to compromise his principles for the sake of winning a position as front man for those controllers. What the thousands of Paul supporters should have learned is that the two party system is rigged and inimical to the interests of the people.

dewdly (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 1:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well dewdly what you said about the two parties controlling the narrative and the system and not allowing a legitimate representative of individual liberty and the people to come to power is totally accurate.

What is up for debate is Rand Paul's true interests and intentions in running for President and what he would be able to accomplish using this strategy.

Some people think he is using his father's platform to further his political career, only wants to get elected and doesn't care about the issues his father did.

No doubt establishment Republicans want the libertarian vote in the general election no matter who the candidate is, but does supporting a Rand Paul presidency necessitate voting for Jeb Bush in the general?

Those who know Rand personally or have been following him for some time know that he has been a libertarian and ardent supporter of his father for decades and is in all likelyhood "playing" the tyrannical system to get into power in order to help facilitate a return to individual liberty and help to significantly tone down or completely end wars of aggression and occupation.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 1:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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