We’re as Mad as Hell … and You Know the Rest

PolarizationDick Metcalf was “one of the country’s pre-eminent gun journalists,” as a page one story in the New York Times described him.  He wrote the feature column for Guns & Ammo, the popular magazine for gun enthusiasts. He also did a television show.

Not long ago Metcalf wrote a column under the headline, “Let’s Talk Limits.” about the gun debate.  In it he said, “The fact is all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been and need to be.”  To many Americans that’s hardly a controversial statement.  To many gun people, it’s treasonous.

So after his column was published, the Times tells us that, “readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions. Death threats poured in by mail. His television program was pulled from the air.”

Turns out that two major gun manufacturers called Metcalf’s editor and told him “in no uncertain terms” they could no longer do business with the company that publishes the magazine and produces the TV show if Metcalf worked there.

That’s when he was fired.

Welcome to our brave new world where you can’t even call for a discussion about guns – or a hundred other topics – without the lynch mob coming after you.

When I read the Times’ story I thought about an issue that keeps popping up in my commentary:  The polarization of America.  We’re at a point now where neither side in any controversial debate, whether it’s about guns or anything else, wants to hear what the other side has to say.  Neither side even likes the other side.  So we seal ourselves off from opinions we don’t want to hear.  We impose a kind of apartheid based not on skin color but ideology.

We go to the Internet and cable TV and talk radio to get our already entrenched views validated, not to learn anything.  This is not good for America.

Yes, the two sides, left and right, have deeply held beliefs and legitimate differences, differences about the size and role of government, about our foreign policy, and many other issues.  But not every issue is worth going to war over.  But more and more that’s what we do.  Cable TV, talk radio and the Internet can take a story about littering and blow it up into World War III.

The Internet, cable TV and talk radio didn’t start the fire.  They didn’t create the polarization and nastiness.  But they happily provide the battlefield where the two sides can go to war non-stop 24 hours a day.  And the result shouldn’t surprise us:  more polarization and more anger.  That may be good for business but it’s not good for the country.

Those media platforms, of course, have also done a lot of good.  They give outsiders (like me) a seat at the table and let them have a say in the national conversation.  The old media – the networks and the big city newspapers – have guards at the door and are careful about who they let in to express an opinion.  (My first book Bias, which went after the so-called mainstream media, was the number one book in the country, but no network showed the slightest interest in having me on to talk about it.) And cable and talk radio and the Internet play up the kinds of news stories that the so-called mainstream media either downplay or flat out ignore.  They deserve our thanks for that.

But they also give voice to chuckleheads who honestly think Barack Obama is as bad as Hitler, or on what used to be liberal radio, that George Bush was behind the 9/11 attack on America.  Thanks to the Internet and talk radio people who couldn’t write a coherent letter to the editor can tear down their “enemies” — using some dopey made up name — with half truths and flat out lies.  They can be vulgar.  Talk radio doesn’t allow F-bombs, but no one is going to confuse what goes on there with a Mensa meeting.

The left thinks big business is out to destroy us.  The right thinks big government will cause our downfall.  Too many Americans feel powerless.  That’s when they get angry, and maybe a little paranoid.

I’m pretty sure a lot of gun people feel powerless.  They think the government is out to take their guns away.  That’s why they went after Dick Metcalf, the gun journalist.

That’s also why evangelical Christians went after A&E when they suspended Phil Robertson for what in my view was his needlessly nasty anti-gay rant.  Millions and millions of us are as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.

Sometimes I envy those Americans who don’t care all that much about politics. They’re less polarized and less angry, I suspect, than the folks who are hooked on cable news and talk radio and who surf the hard right or hard left sites on the web.  Maybe they’re “low information” voters who don’t know what’s going on. But I’ll bet they’re not perpetually angry.  I’ll bet they don’t think much about how polarized we are because that’s not a problem in their lives.  And I’m guessing they’re less paranoid too.

 

 

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  • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

    You’re comparing what you said to “arse?” lol. Consider arse an approved word, Ted. Feel free to use it anytime your little heart desires.

    • Ted

      How magnanimous of you. I’m in your debt. So if someone were to call someone an arsehole that’s permissible as long as arse is in the word? Good to know.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Nope. I’ll ban you for that.

        Gonna have to pick this up later, T. Got things to do. But work on those comebacks. In a couple of years you might have something worthy of more than an eye-roll. Practice, Cupcake. Practice.

        • Ted

          What a courageous stance on your part.

  • Vance P. Frickey

    The polarization of America is worse than at any time since the unions were backing Richard Nixon (few people remember that the AFL-CIO’s George Meany actually dusted the term “the silent majority” off to describe his own constituents.

    I was shocked to hear of Dick Metcalf’s firing myself; especially given his long tenure at Guns and Ammo magazine. Conservatives generally preen themselves on having more respect for the rights of other people to hold opposing political views than do leftists, but in this case it’s clearly not true.

    The informing thought in most pro-gun rhetoric is that everything’s stacked against Second Amendment rights and only by staunch conformism within the pro-gun side can those who cherish their right to keep and bear arms retain that right. Neither Dick Metcalf nor anyone else gets to dissent within the camp.

    To a certain extent, that’s true – the Obama administration and former Congressman Giffords are now re-branding gun control as “gun safety,” on the thought that if certain (eventually all) guns and accessories which have been declared “unsafe” by a process too close to voodoo mysticism to be called rational aren’t available at all, they are certainly then “safe.”

    But the gun press in general isn’t doing itself or its readers any long-term favors by inculcating a bunker mentality. A more realistic perspective would try to understand the anti-gun camp’s perspective, if only to debunk Rep. Giffords and Sarah Brady when they really do “jump the shark” and push their own side’s rhetoric too far. That wouldn’t be hard, by the way, if we just did it often enough.

    As far as Phil Robertson was concerned, he let himself get in the same truck cab with a reporter from the Metrosexual’s Bible, Esquire magazine. He strikes me as a little too smart to expect a fair shake on his political and religious views from a magazine that’s all about male fashion. But purely as a matter of principle, Robertson gets his say, just like everyone else. The First Amendment to the Constitution says so, and it’s why George Mason and his friends help ratification of the rest of the Constitution up until we got a Bill of Rights.

    • Sheila Warner

      >> if certain (eventually all) guns and accessories which have been declared “unsafe” by a process too close to voodoo mysticism to be called rational aren’t available at all, they are certainly then “safe.”<<

      That statement is the biggest reason I scoff at the liberals who run around, hysterically trying to determine which type of gun is truly dangerous. It reminds me of Senator Feinstein holding up an assault rifle while invoking the memory of Harvey Milk. Milk, of course, was murdered by a man wielding a .38 caliber revolver. Sen Feinstein's appeal for the assault weapons ban was nothing if not comic.

      It bothers me tremendously that those who do not know guns at all are trying to determine which guns should or should not be legal.

  • rune

    It’s not about guns at all. It’s about freedom. If govt can restrict a specifically enumerated right then they can do anything at all to you. It should be everyone’s line in the sand. Gun aficionado or not

  • Mitch Dworkin

    Here is the O’Reilly Factor video link where Bernie was interviewed by Bill O’Reilly about this article. I think that Bernie is absolutely right, especially when it comes to the points that he made about the new type of media we have today (and talk radio). I highly recommend watching this 6:10 video of Bernie and Bill:

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/3025094713001/political-hatred-on-the-rise/

    Jan 07, 2014

    Political hatred on the rise (06:10)

    Bernie Goldberg on why the political rhetoric in America is so nasty.
    Bernie Goldberg is interviewed by Bill O’Reilly.

    I also recommend forwarding on this video of Bernie and Bill for others to watch!

    Mitch Dworkin

    Dallas, Texas

  • Randy James

    Liberalism is a pathological mental disease, clinically speaking, “Ideological Narcissism”, wherein the afflicted person seeks only to validate their particular set of moral conceits, regardless of the cost to any who do not share them. If you can’t get past this opening question…

    “Can we both agree that continuing to print trillions of US dollars out of thin-air in order to pay for the “social justice” some among us believe to be unalienable rights — is suicidal, both economically and to our democracy?”

    …what’s the point of talking to them?

    • Ted

      So, Dr Jung is conservatism the cure for liberalism or as is clear is the solution worse than the cure. Ok, so it’s rhetorical question isn’t it

      • Vance P. Frickey

        A pox on both your houses. Knee-jerk political discourse in general has doomed the country to oscillate between equally ill-considered courses of action. If it has no other virtues, Westminster parliamentary democracy at least encourages coalition-building and assumption of responsibility for government by a broader political base than we now have here in the US.

        • Ted

          Two can play that game! Ha! And a stitch in time is a penny saved!

  • Lc Goodfellow

    Ted, go find j copper, Jackaru, and all three of you can talk to the Preacher.

    “If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up.” — who’d you think ?

  • Lc Goodfellow

    There must be something liberating about ignorance.
    Back when most members of Congress had served in the military, there was a reluctance of politicians to try to tell military leaders how to run the military services. But, now that few members of Congress have ever served in the military, they are ready to impose all sorts of fashionable notions on the military.
    After watching a documentary about the tragic story of Jonestown, I was struck by the utterly unthinking way that so many people put themselves completely at the mercy of a glib and warped man, who led them to degradation and destruction. And I could not help thinking of the parallel with the way we put a glib and warped man in the White House.
    There are people calling for the banning of assault weapons who could not define an “assault weapon” if their life depended on it.
    Yet the ignorant expect others to take them seriously.

    • Ted

      Yeah, the Jonestown documentary made me think of W too and all the idiots who twice voted that disaster into office! Well put.

      • Randy James

        Yeah, me too. I’m one of the Republicans who voted for W in 2000, only to discover I had made a big mistake, and set about trying to fix it in 2004 by opposing him. The problem is, I followed up in 2008 by making a far worse mistake, and voted for O. Unfortunately, it appears the gangrene of liberalism is so advanced now, there aren’t enough limbs left to amputate to save the patient.

        • Ted

          Thx Dr. You may go now!

        • Ted

          No, clearly your bigger blunder was in 2000. And until Obama invades a sovereign country that’s no threat to us like Iraq or fails to protect us from another 9/11 or does nothing as the economy collapses, he’s playing w/ house money. So, who’d you vote for in 2012 if it wasn’t Obama?

  • TransplantedTexan

    When people have lost faith in the government and more than half of the citizens view the government as the greatest danger to their freedom (as shown by several recent polls), it is extremely difficult to have a civil debate. So-called civil debate and reasonable compromise have created a bankrupt country with a political class that routinely lies to the people and a bloated bureaucracy that is dedicated only to itself and is totally unresponsive to the American people. So we have tried civil debate and reasonable compromise, and it failed. So we have to try something else.

    • Ted

      Oh, what polls were they and exactly what “reasonable compromise” has your side tried? The unprecedented 420 filibusters, shutting down the government at the cost of $24 billion and blocking judicial appts resulting in the long overdue invocation of the nuclear option? That kind of reasonable compromise or did I miss something?

      • James

        You missed something, like the last 40 years!!

      • Randy James

        You’re an imbecile, hence eligible for “most favored constituent” status by the Narcissist-in-Chief. If you’re lucky, you may be invited to stand behind the President while he spews forth on whatever subject seems most important to him that day.

        • Ted

          Nice example of a tu quoque (you can look it up later) attack. Better ck your backside for teethmarks because you wouldn’t know a fact if it bit you on your clueless and low informational @$$. No need to thank me!

  • Florida Jim

    If the country could have an honest debate about anything we would be a lot better off. If we could trust our politicians we would be a lot better off. As it now is whenever anyone rises up to challenge the political leaders, who are bent on self -preservation, they are smacked down. Example being Christie who was rising in the polls so his opponents looked for any reason to gain the spotlight and bring him down. The traffic jam at Ft. Lee became the issue chosen for his ,if not destruction, at least his wounding.
    As Bozell says in his recent book , “Collusion-How The Media Stole The 2012 Election” whenever any Conservative rises in the polls the opponents, on both sides, try to bring them down however they could, Every Republican who came into view during the 2012 campaign was soon brought down by the media if they were Conservative Progressives were not brought down at all they were allowed to do or say whatever they wished knowing it would not come back to harm them, unlike Palin, Cain, Perry, Romney etc. He uses so many examples it cannot be refuted and now Christie will be vilified to protect Hillary who is such a dud with zero accomplishments in her life other than keeping bill’s pants up most of the time. Our system has sunk to the bottom but , I fear, the bottom has not been reached.

    • Ted

      People like Hannity, Brent Bozell and John Bolton have tapped into the fear gripped rt wing extremists brilliantly showing how easy it is to sell paranoia to the paranoid and fear to the fearful. You’re an obviously proud member of the group that mindlessly and frankly gleefully ingests all those crackpot, whackjob, rt wingnut, 24/7, propagandist and bogus chain emails before sending them on without vetting them. If you fact check them you’ll be more informed.

      • James

        Coming from an ideology that attempts to turns everything into a “crisis” , “one paycheck away” , “war on women” , “racist homophobes” ect…ect…ect… Talk about calling the kettle black!

        • Ted

          Crisis you say? Fear and crisis is the unequivocal domain of your side’s policies. Watch the message of every Repub Prez when he campaigns? Your side fear mongered and duped the country into Iraq and uses bogus and inflammatory language like “class warfare” and the “war on guns” and the “war on freedom” et al. But wait there’s more! Two separate university studies proved that the cons are much more easily frightened than the libs. Why do you think you side is the war monger side? Because you perceive everything as a threat!

    • JMax

      “Every Republican who came into view during the 2012 campaign was soon brought down by the media”.

      All the media did was allow them to open their mouths on camera. Ooops.

      • Ted

        And 19 debates all to prove how inarticulate and clueless they all were.

        • Vance P. Frickey

          Glibness and dishonesty to go with it are worse than being inarticulate. As far as “clueless” is concerned, the course of ObamaCare is showing very few clues about the nature of actuarial insurance being had by its namesake.

          • Ted

            Ok, so they were glib and dishonest, too! I was trying to be generous to that clown car full of candidates on the right. Each debate got funnier than the one that proceeded it. Were you ok w/ the fact that the ACA was basically the Heritage Foundation’s idea? I’m guessing Jim Demented’s oops, I mean Demint’s head explodes ever time he hears that!

          • Vance P. Frickey

            You just made my point… and gave up any right you may ever have had to complain about anyone else’s tu quoque arguments.

          • Ted

            Alrighty then! If you aren’t a fan of tu quoque arguments of which I really didn’t make any, how do you feel about ad hominem arguments? Large and hopefully obvious hint: I messing w/ you! I do appreciate blog nazi’s like you who tell posters what they can and can’t do. Rest assured I follow your mandate in a most assiduous manner. Pfffft!

          • Sheila Warner

            Read this lengthy article from The Heritage Foundation on its vision of health insurance reform. It’s not what you think. Or, you can ignore it, like you frequently do.

            http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/06/saving-the-american-dream-the-us-needs-commonsense-health-insurance-reforms

          • Ted

            I’m sorry, it’s been so long since last we conversed. Refresh my memory, what intell branch were you referring to that I’d disclaim? Getting a straight answer out of you is a joke.

          • Sheila Warner

            I can send you the link, again, if you wish. I am assuming that you read my comment to John Daly, so there is a BIG clue (or two!) about the source. Just let me know….my fingers are agile and I know how to re-post the link.

          • Ted

            I find it very childish at your age that you behave as sophomorically as you do.

          • Sheila Warner

            I’m not the one ignoring the .pdf file released by the Pentagon. Oh, look at that, another CLUE!

          • Ted

            Another clue you say?………God forbid you communicate directly like an adult. Even I know better than to expect that from you.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Says the guy that ends half of his posts with “Waaaaaaaa… Waaaaaaaa.” lol

          • Ted

            First you’ll note (or in your case you probably won’t) I didn’t say I was surprised by her behavior. Re: Your loony and unsolicited comment, when I start whining about the recent elections and not getting my way politically like you and your vratty side then you’ll have a point and not until. Nice try though.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ted, if you can’t see the irony in you calling someone else ‘childish’ while you regularly choose to respond to posts with the sound a newborn baby makes, there’s not much I can do for you.

          • Ted

            Once again and as usual you miss the point. And the point is that there’s a pattern of childish behavior and inability to deal with not getting your way. want proof? Just read some of your posts.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Like calling everyone “baggers” and telling them that they hate black people? Thanks Ted. I think I got it now.

          • Ted

            So, you don’t think many if not most of the (diminishing in power and numbers) Baggers don’t hate or at least greatly fear Obama because he’s black? The Baggers were formed because Obama won the Presidency and their fears were increased exponentially by his race, immigration and the fact the the decreasing white majority can no longer control a national election. Read it and weep. Or be in denial about it because you don’t think it applies to you. Were I you, I wouldn’t wish to admit it either.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>So, you don’t think many if not most of the (diminishing in power and numbers) Baggers don’t hate or at least greatly fear Obama because he’s black?

            Correct. I don’t believe that – as evidenced by the seven other times I’ve already told you that.

            >>The Baggers were formed because Obama won the Presidency and their fears were increased exponentially by his race, immigration and the fact the the decreasing white majority can no longer control a national election.

            Which is a narrative you pulled directly out of your arse, Ted… or possibly Chris Matthews’ arse. Well done. Your parents would be proud.

          • Ted

            I never said the truth would be popular with you or palatable. But to your side that and whether it fits the wishful thinking narrative you’ve tried so desperately to create is the benchmark for whether it’s a fact. The truth has no meaning to your side anymore. It is whatever you and Alex Smith simply want it to be.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Oh, Ted. You silly boy. The truth isn’t whatever adolescent thought happens to pop into your head at any given time. Are you sure you’re in your 60’s? Because my 9-year-old is a better debater than you are.

          • Ted

            You reference a 9 yr old and then use the word “adolescent”. Now, that’s rich. Actually, you should give him a shot as he couldn’t do any worse than you have here.

          • Ted

            Ignore it? Hey I get it, just like you do! It’s like you and John have irony allergies. Whew!

  • lark2

    Why is it that in the “gun debate”, we never hear about “Prohibition” … there are many out there old enough to remember … I’m not, but I am well read. There were lots of fights, killings, accidents, the temperance people called it “demon liquor” .. some “Progressives” came up with the bright idea that LIQUOR was to blame and we could heal all the ills by outlawing Liquor. The law caused more deaths than the liquor. The law created a new criminality that did not exist before. A great deal of pain, time, effort, and money was spent in enforcement. New criminals appeared in our cities … does anyone remember what AL CAPONE was doing before Prohibition? … I don’t! We were all visited with all sorts of mayhem. No one was prevented from getting liquor and only decent, law abiding people obeyed the law … and there were very few of those. Finally, after YEARS of pain for everyone, we gave up and the prohibition era ended. I would add that the Constitution of the United States of America does not guarantee the right to have liquor in your home. This sound familiar? Does this have any relevance to the modern day idiots? It seems that some Liberals – even the liberated ones, just won’t let go of this nonsense until they ignite another civil war in this country.

  • firstofall

    I do not believe freedom of speech and one or an organization(s) exercising this right is the cause of gridlock and polarization. And at times I struggle to understand why these conditions are necessarily bad things. Assuming they are I believe the answer to correcting the situation lies in the electoral process and take actions that truly support majority rule. Namely, for Office of the President, one must get a majority of the popular vote ie., 51% or better. Additionally, establish criteria for eligibility to run for the office e.g., active duty military service, an advanced degree. Eliminate the electoral college. Draw congressional districts strictly using vertical and horizontal lines, state by state, and maintain the filibuster In the Senate for all legislative actions, new, amended or killed. Government will always be there, these actions I feel will allow the desired state of majority rule

    • Vance P. Frickey

      Nothing’s magic about majority rule. History’s FULL of majorities making ruinous decisions. It’s one reason the filibuster has survived from its origin in the 1800s to the present day. That being said, the Electoral College is an antique serving NO useful purpose; it goes back to when state legislatures appointed US Senators. It and the Senate BOTH need to be either abolished or curtailed.

      One badly-needed reform would make the Senate a proportionately elected upper house. States would get the number of Senators their TAX-PAYING population can justify.

      This would reduce the tendency of voters who DON’T pay Federal taxes to vote higher taxes on voters who DO pay taxes. If we have to have our own House of Lords, then let it be for a rational cause.

      • Sheila Warner

        Your proposals would need amendments to the Constitution. It’s the Constitution which sets up our legislative houses, (House & Senate), the number of legislators in each branch, as well as the Electoral College. How much time would that take? How receptive would the states be to changing the Constitution in this manner?

  • Chris Matthewson

    Bernie’s current post sounds like maybe–just maybe–he’s taken to heart some of the criticisms I made in response to his 12/21/12 post, “This Just In: John Wayne Is Dead”:

    Chris Matthewson: Sorry, Bernie, but it’s the Republican party that has red-shifted–like a crazy quasar run amok in the political heavens–so far to the right, that the country actually appears left-leaning to you aging dinosaurs. What you refer to as the “fringe” of your party is increasingly becoming its mainstream.

    A true test would be to resurrect Reagan, Nixon, Goldwater et als and see what they would think of your “new” Republican party. They would be appalled at its dominance by an ultra-conservative religious faction and the no-holds-barred, uncompromising, intellectually dishonest right-wing ideologues, not to mention the truly dim-witted in the “conservative entertainment complex” like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Coulter and Palin.

    You and your merry band of right-wing ideologues can’t seem to appreciate a simple tactical point: If the R’s would simply embrace ALL of the tax increases suggested by the President (and even propose a few more revenue enhancers, such as closing a few tax loopholes), then they could condition their acceptance of an overall deal on Obama’s having to make the truly painful, but necessary cuts in federal spending, such as those recommended by Bowles-Simpson (I would personally go far beyond those inadequate, but necessary spending reductions).

    Your party’s obvious reluctance to pursue such a responsible and tactically
    beneficial course highlights to the nation its selfish and irresponsible agenda. The difference between John Wayne and your right-wing colleagues and is that the Duke always stood tall and wore the white hat. You and your abysmal crowd repeatedly act like a bunch of dimwitted, out-of-control, gun-toting ideologues, running around with black hats and shooting yourselves in your two right feet.

    Bernie: Very intelligent, Chris. Not really. If I’m an ideologue why do I get so much negative mail from the right. Like so many on the left, you’re angry, mean-spirited, predictable, and forgive me, not too deep.

    Chris Matthewson: You get so much negative mail because so many in your party are exactly as I’ve just described above!

    You are wrong in all your descriptors of me, save one: I admit I’m not very deep. That is why it is so amazing I can clearly see that your angry, mean-spirited and predictable anti-Obama rants feed into the anger and mean-spiritedness of your audience with such predictable results.

    You have written so eloquently about media bias In the past and, much more recently, about gun violence and those who cannot resist the temptation to proselytize at the drop of a hat. But, like all commentators (including myself), you have certain blind spots. A glaring one is your inability to credit anyone on the left as having a positive, constructive idea or view.

    When the nation rejected your candidate, you attacked not only its collective judgment, but its collective intelligence. Excuse the biblical reference, but you love to point out the splinter in the eyes of your opponents, while ignoring the logs in your own.

    Like so many of your conservative colleagues, it’s so easy to feed red meat to your readers and listeners. But you have become just like those you have, in the past, so rightly criticized. You are now the equal, not the superior, of Olbermann, Mathews and Schulz and Maddow.

    Congratulations. I had expected much better.

    –a happy, conservative, but somewhat unpredictable Republican

    Patrick: Also, could you give me a quote that screams an anti-Obama rant? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I would like to see an actual quote of his that is an Obama rant. Too often, people take criticism as ranting especially in politics. So one passage will do.

    Chris Matthewson: How about this one from Bernie’s “Obama and the Dolts Deserve Each Other”: “On a personal note, I hope that every small business operator whose taxes go up, fires somebody – or several people – to make up for their lost revenue. First, they should find out if, during the presidential campaign, the employee thought raising taxes on the rich was a good idea. If yes, fire him or her and make sure he or she understands why you did it. ‘My taxes went up, my profits went down,’ the business person will say, ‘and you’re going to pay the price since you thought Mr. Obama had such a great idea when he said the “rich” need to pay their “fair share.” Bye Bye.’ Sure, this will cause a lot of pain and suffering. Too bad I’ve reached the point where I don’t care anymore. Barack Obama doesn’t understand how the economy works and neither do the slugs who voted for him. They deserve each other – and the consequences of their actions.”

    Patrick: I do appreciate the fact that you did give me an example and did quote an entire passage instead of just one line or two. To his defense, I will say I don’t think he was serious at all, but was using hyperbole to prove his point, I do think though being it’s the internet and you only have the benefit of the text, it takes away from the column itself which I think raises legitimate points. Anyway, I do thank you for honestly finding me an example and showing to me. That is appreciated.

    • wildjew

      You are proof positive that looking for compromise with left-wing thugs and radicals is fruitless. That is why Bernie is mistaken. Obama is not a liberal. He is a low life radical ideologue. There is no accommodation with his (and your) kind.

      • allen goldberg

        The only accommodation for the left libtards is agree with them and shut up. And allow them to name call, demean and lie, cheat and destroy.

        • Ted

          So wildjew calls progressives “thugs” and you call them “libtards” and then whine that they are “name callers”? Ah, the irony! Have someone smarter than you explain it to you. Anyone you pass on the street should do.

      • Ted

        Kind of like how Israel “acccomodates” the Palestinians by illegally bullldozing their homes and olive orchards. Yeah, that will create peace in the middle east. Can’t imagine why they hate you? Actually, I’m starting to get it.

  • Bryan

    Indeed, this is a very interesting article. And the comments are even more interesting.

    This is a topic that I have spent quite a lot of time contemplating, from various perspectives. In particular, I’ve wondered about the overly emotional, “mother cat protecting her kittens” reaction that people have to criticism of their political views. Most people seem to be able to experiment with a business model or enterprise, see that it didn’t work, and calmly just go try something else……but they can’t seem to do that with politics. They hold to a failed political belief as blindly and insanely as do Atlanta Falcons fans like me in thinking that we will ever finally win a Super Bowl!

    I started out in a family of old time “it was good enough for my grandpappy so it’s good enough for me” Southern Democrats. The elder members of my family believed to their core in the supposed inferiority of non-white races. The had completely inflexible ideas about religion.

    Despite being raised in the midst of all that, I managed to reason out for myself that, whatever my beloved Grandmother believed, FDR did NOT “single-handedly save America” during his Presidency, that the Democrat party stopped doing anything constructive for America more than 100 years ago, that racial discrimination is possibly the STUPIDIST concept that there can possibly be, and that the Constitution …. as the Founders originally wrote it … is a pretty brilliant document.

    The first time that I noticed the kind of political polarization that Bernie mentions was during the first Clinton administration, when I watched Bill Bradley sitting on a television talk show with Bob Dole, announcing that he was retiring from the Senate because he could not stand the “new hostility” in Washington. He said that Republicans and Democrats had, in his experience, always been able to work together, but “now they won’t”.

    The problem with Bernie’s concept, as well as Mr. Bradley’s, is that I wonder if they have considered the old axiom of “It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you”? What I mean by this is America has deteriorated a LONG way from what made us great. After years of “compromise”, we’re now pretty darn close to that “socialist utopia” that we all talk about so much. We really are.

    And, at the risk of being considered as one of Bernie’s “chuckleheads”, Obama may not be “worse” than Hitler….I mean, I haven’t seen any concentration camps or such being built…..but there are some truly scary similarities between the two men’s rise to power and their behavior since getting there. And I can state my case for comparing the two quite eloquently, with published references and facts, and discuss it quite calmly and rationally.

    No I don’t believe that Bush caused 911, I don’t think that we faked the moon landings, and I don’t think that aliens are performing impromtu rectal exams……but comparing two men whose political careers look frighteningly identical doesn’t belong in the same “nutjob” category.

    And finally, looping back around to Bernie’s original point, there are many of us very intelligent and rational Americans who subscribe to the belief that the only sort of “compromise” that is today even considered in Washington is for Republicans to rollover and give in to Democrat positions. Further, and realizing that this practice is how we got to the very diminished America that we have today, where does the belief in “getting along” and “compromise” become “fiddling while Rome burns”?

    • kayakbob

      Who says you won’t win a Super Bowl some day?

      • Bryan

        You’ve got to admit that it doesn’t look promising.

    • Ted

      The answer to your last sentence is, “When your paranoia and imagination gets the better of you”.

      And then you claim that the Republicans on the incredibly few occasions they have “compromised” with the Dems is akin to “rolling over” and has diminished America? Really? Did you miss those unprecedented 420 filibusters from the Senate or the last two “do nothing” Tea Bagger led Congresses who have (you’ll pardon the expression) “passed” fewer bills than any other Congresses. So, exactly where is all that “compromising” that only you can see?

      • George Williams

        You assume that we should believe that Congress is actually doing the bidding of the people and aren’t wasting billions in tax dollars, and that the Senate actually votes for useful legislation. I and millions of other Americans voted for those people who have wisely opposed the corrupting agenda of Barack Obama. You arrogantly think that those of us who oppose him should just support Obama as mindlessly as you do, even though we are ideologically opposed to what he’s doing. People like you evidently hate democracy, because no one could ever have a better idea than you. The fact that we managed to thwart his agenda is a good thing from our perspective. It’s probably saved our National Debt billions of dollars, and our children from paying more taxes to service Obama’s $17 trillion (and rising) National Debt. In fact we need more filibusters to stop the insane spending of the Democratic Party. The Senate is the party of the Barack Obama, whose EPA and other regulations have cost this nation’s employers billions of dollars, money that could have been invested in the economy to create jobs. Filibusters thwart the waste of money that Democrats habitually spend on useless programs. Hooray for filibusters.

        • Ted

          What a completely bizarre first sentence and absolute demonstration of ignorance about the history of filibusters even by your remarkably clueless standards. For some context do you have any idea how many filibusters LBJ had during his years as Senate Majority Leader? Exactly one. Then you create this Strawman hypothetical making baseless statements about what may or may not happen in the future. You need to explain why your crazy side can’t deal with it when you don’t get your way. Please let me help. The answer is, “Waaaaaaaaa!”

          Then you make the specious claim that all that partisan, party first, “Our #1 goal
          Is to make Obama a one term President”, intransigence on the right had something to do with governing and ridiculously assert that it saved billions. Ok, then name the spending bills your side blocked? Note: We both know you can’t. Any more than your feeble attempt to blame Obama for the $17 trillion national debt. First of all thx to W it was at $10 or $11 trillion when Obama took office. And again what you and your sore loser’s side wish you could deny is the $5.07 trillion spent by W and that his spending added to the national debt. Now, I realize this will make your geriatric head explode but you’ll just have to deal with the aftermath of what you simply wish weren’t true. Unfortuntely, your not liking or in this case not knowing the facts doesn’t change them.

          Oh, and I and millions of Americans intelligently voted twice for your President Barack Obama.

          • George Williams

            “Our #1 goal
            Is to make Obama a one term President”,

            Uh, that’s the ambition of each party when the other has a president in power, unless you’r claiming that the Democrats throw elections when a Republican runs for a second term. You really don’t know how stupid your party sounds when it complains that it’s somehow evil to vote against Barack Obama. Only Obama sycophants find it objectionable. Voted intelligently? That’s an oxymoron for a Democrat. Pity the fool!

          • Ted

            Hey knumb knuts! When have the Dems ever said that job #1 was to make aRepub prez a one termer at the expense and detriment of the country? The key word is # 1 goal. McConnell could’ve said job #1 was to create jobs or fix the economy but he didn’t, did he? And all the intransigence and partisan obstruction prove it.

            Oh, where are all those Repub blocked bills you were going to list that helped the economy recover as well as it has lately?

          • George Williams

            Uh, just because they don’t say it in public hardly means that they don’t intend it. And, frankly, only an naive fool like you Obamabots would believe otherwise. Jobs? What a joke. Obama stole billions in the form of taxes that would have gone to investing in the economy. And Obama’s stimulus, his feeble attempt at job creation, was considered a complete failure. By the way, calling me names adds nothing to the credibility of anything you say.

          • Ted

            Bills your side obstructed? You’re the archetypal example of what it is to make unsubstantive, whack job statements you can’t back up. Hypocrite!

          • George Williams

            Your side didn’t even consider a budget for over four years, so your criticism about the House is pathetic. The Senate is required to consider a budget per the Constitution. Your side refused to consider the House budgets, refusing to even give them a hearing in debate. Obama’s budgets were considered ridiculous even by your party’s standards.

          • George Williams

            Your side refuses even permit debate of Reid’s bills. These were passed by the House.

            Review of Federal Regulations
            H.Res. 72 – Passed by the House (391-28) on February 11, 2011

            Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act
            H.R. 872 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Energy Tax Prevention Act
            H.R. 910 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Disapproval of FCC’s Net Neutrality Regulations
            H.J.Res. 37 – Senate has blocked a companion measure by a vote of 46-52

            Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act
            H.R. 2018 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Consumer Financial Protection & Soundness Improvement Act
            H.R. 1315 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act
            H.R. 2587 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on The Nation
            H.R. 2401 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act
            H.R. 2681 – Senate has taken no action to date

            EPA Regulatory Relief Act
            H.R. 2250 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act
            H.R. 2273 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act
            H.R. 3094 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Regulatory Accountability Act
            H.R. 3010 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act
            H.R. 527 – Senate has taken no action to date

            REINS Act
            H.R. 10 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act
            H.R. 1633 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act
            H.R. 4 – Signed into law by the President on April 14, 2011

            3% Withholding Rule Repeal
            H.R. 674 – Signed into law by the President on November 21, 2011

            Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act
            H.R. 3630 – Senate has taken no action to date

            U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
            H.R. 3078 – Signed by the Preisdent on October 21, 2011

            U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act
            H.R. 3079 – Signed by the Preisdent on October 21, 2011

            U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act
            H.R. 3080 – Signed by the Preisdent on October 21, 2011

            Southeast Arizona Resource Utilization & Conservation Act
            H.R. 1904 – Senate has taken no action to date

            The America Invents Act
            H.R. 1249 – Signed into law by the President on September 16, 2011

            Veterans Opportunity to Work Act
            H.R. 2433 – Signed into law by the President on November 21, 2011

            Small Company Capital Formation Act
            H.R. 1070 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Small Banks’ Access to Capital Act
            H.R. 1965 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act
            H.R. 2930 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Access to Capital for Job Creators Act
            H.R. 2940 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
            H.R. 3012 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act
            H.R. 1230 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act
            H.R. 1229 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act
            H.R. 1231 – Senate has taken no action to date

            Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011
            H.R. 2021 – Senate has taken no action to date

            North American-Made Energy Security Act
            H.R. 1938 – Senate has taken no action to date

          • Ted

            Hey, at least you voted to repeal the ACA 47 times and rename all those post offices! Imean it wasn’t like your Baggers didn’t do anything they also banned Sharia law just in time, too

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I think it’s cute that you think those bills would have improved the economy. lol.

          • allen goldberg

            More libtard fairyland BS. Thanks Ted.

          • allen goldberg

            Showing again, there is no “reaching across the aisle BS” existing today. Either agree with the Libtards or prepare to be audited, demeaned and destroyed.

          • Ted

            As you’ve relentlessly demonstrated, when you put bogus words in other people’s mouths you put your feet in yours. Well done! So, who besides you said that it was “evil” not to vote for Obama? Lets be honest. What it was was stupid. Clear now?

          • allen goldberg

            Ted: there was no intelligence at all, voter fraud by the millions and pure vulgarity on the part of the libtards in this country. Place your head exactly where it is…up your backside. No one denies W.’s role. Another libtard straw-man BS argument. As usual.

          • Ted

            Hey Rube, was anyone talking to you? What are you some kind of drama queen? Ok, so it’s an obviously rhetorical question isn’t it? “Destroyed” you pitifully claim? Define destroyed, nutbag? You’ve been listening to way too much Rash Windbag, Glenn Blecccch and that psycho (no offense!) Alex Smith. And if you truly think that there were millions of examples of voter fraud on the left then you need to stop getting your “facts” from crackpot sites like WND and Judicialwatch or (not so) Breitbarf. Voter fraud was .0004% in 2012. Bummer for you! I hate to confuse you w/ the facts but there was much more fraud on the right from the voter registration company hired by Reince Preibus and paid millions to register voters and which got busted in Colorado and elsewhere. Turns out they threw away registrations from Dems who they also turned away. Due to the embarrassment, it caused Preibus had to fire them and try to get his money back. The videos of what they did were fun to watch.

            Lastly you schmeckle, if I want your crazy, extremist, pissed off, persecution complex revealing, made up narrative bullshit opinion I’ll give it to you.

      • Bryan

        “Government is best that governs least” — Benjamin Franklin

      • Bryan

        Whoops! My mistake. It was Thomas Jefferson.

        • Ted

          Yes it was.

      • wildjew

        Anyone who calls Tea Party activists “tea baggers” should be immediately dismissed.

        • Ted

          Interesting that you’ve missed the fact that the Tea Party has Tea Bagged its own party! And thank God for that or else you’d control the Senate and the House so stupid are they.

          • wildjew

            Like I said, degenerates and perverts like you discredit yourselves.

            “Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent.” (Proverbs 17)

            But you can’t keep silent.

  • dhayescrna@msn.com

    Well said.

  • D Parri

    In case there is any misunderstanding about my last comment, I am simply asking for more civility from the people posting here.

    • Ted

      Why the epiphany now?

      • D Parri

        I realize there are myriad points of view which people want to express about a multitude of issues, but the injection of personal insults tend to accomplish only one thing–increased hostility and a reduction in the willingness of opposing sides to listen to each other.

    • allen goldberg

      Never going to happen as long as libtards push their BS, positions and demand complete capitulation to their agenda.

  • kayakbob

    Mr. Goldberg, if pieces like this are part of your diabolical plan to get air time on MSNBC, this is not the way.

    :-)

    • Ted

      Priceless

  • D Parri

    I would like to ask for all parties submitting their comments here on this site to exercise restraint from incivility in order to encourage a more healthy and enjoyable experience for all. Below I have included some points I would like for all of us to consider.

    The increasing chasm between Obama supporters and non-supporters has been increasingly disparaging and personal, much to the detriment of the overall benefit in participating here.

    I realize there are myriad points of view which people want to express about a multitude of issues, but the injection of personal insults tend to accomplish only one thing–increased hostility and a reduction in the willingness of opposing sides to listen to each other.

    I do not advocate censorship but for one reason. When the purpose of the forum is to hold an open discussion on a topic, then the discussion should revolve primarily around that topic. When comments take a personal tone of slandering another commenter, then the initial purpose rarely stays intact and there is a decidedly different direction in activity as the rhetoric heats up with more offensive or defensive language.

    Perhaps it is my error in judgment to think that there is some useful purpose in coming here to express my views, and if I somehow feel that I didn’t receive respect for my posting then I should get upset about that. I might feel that way sometimes, but I would hope to think that for the most part I can maintain a proper perspective while here and realize that this is an open forum and this is a widely diverse nation. This forum is but one small window allowing a peek into that makeup.

    • 4deuce

      I agree with you about civility – and how it can open doors to a reasonable debate of the issues. In my case, the comments I make here consist of my personal responses to Bernie Goldberg’s frequent articles – about half of which now alienate me when I read them. As a solitary individual, age 67, I feel very abandoned by the institutions of America. I can no longer trust our national news machine to even write the truth in what is pawned off to us a news stories. Our government, one I once swore to protect from all enemies, foreign and domestic, has now shown itself to me as MY enemy and those I rely upon to protect my freedoms and best interests have been sold to the highest bidding special interest group. I am a member of the GOP but I now must view them simply as the lesser of two evils. When I visit blog areas that follow online political articles. it is simply a way for me to vent my feelings and utter frustration with a status quo that get worse and worse for me every 24 hours. And when one of my venting rants steps on someone’s toes and it results in them calling me a moron or idiot, that does not make it so. I try my best to realize that they are venting too – perhaps in an unadvisable way. But, as one who did pledge to honor the freedoms afforded to us all via the Constitution, I must recognize their right to call me names.

      • D Parri

        I agree with you and feel very much the same feelings that you’ve expressed here. Also, I find myself needing to reiterate (to myself) the necessity of an open forum as being a hallmark of a truly free society. That is what I feel we all support and agree upon–regardless of political persuasion or leaning.

        Civility is not a bad thing, but passion may understandably take precedence.

  • jackryanvb

    Yes I saw this. Pathetic. Political correctness, Neo Stalinist close minded. Orthodoxy, this is mostly on the American Liberal Left. But, yeah, it’s also in place on parts of the Conservative Right. I ‘m blacklisted in both places.

  • Patrick H

    You can always count on Bernie to get the comment section flying for better or for worse. Very thoughtful piece.

  • sandbeachprofessor

    Very thoughtful piece

  • mikecowan424

    I am a Libertarian, and I am on the side of the gun owners. I don’t want a bunch of Democrats and Republicans telling me about guns. Get out of my life! I am sick of your taxes, regulations, immorality, and intrusion into my private life. #TooMuchGoverment And the New York Times can go to hell.

    • Patrick H

      I understand and sympathize with your concerns, but I think you missed the point of the whole article. You can be sick of the taxes, regulations, immorality, and intrusion into your private life without being nasty and can still listen to what the other side has to say. I think no matter what Bernie’s leanings are, it was more a commentary piece about the state of American political discourse than any political issue itself.

  • Wheels55

    If our founding fathers were here today, what would they want? I’m sure they would be amazed at the power of our weapons and know that only the military should have severe killing power. I’m sure they would want us to stay ahead of technology as best we could (enter the 3D printed gun). I’m also sure they would want honest Americans to enjoy second amendment rights, but not to be a ready militia to take on invading armies (we already have a military). I’m sure they would want ANY government to have to think twice about taking over our neighborhoods and households in an unconstitutional way – now gun owners can form a militia if our military is weakened. I’m sure they would fully support the prevention of nut-jobs from having access to any weapon.
    This all is kind of where we are at these days. So, let’s just leave things the way they are and trust honest gun owners.

  • John Colburn

    Thanks for sharing this piece on polarization. You could just have easily been talking about my family at Thanksgiving time. The same goes for some of my friends on Facebook. But Bernie, I never thought of you as an “outsider” and would like to hear more about why you think that.

  • VermontAmerican

    The polarization has always been there, Bernie, in the hearts of all Americans. The internet just allows greater expression of it. Not to mention a more informed electorate, which is what we want. Sure, we’ll always have extremists. But the exchange of information, opinions and views is more desirable than hand-wringing over polarization.

  • Shane

    Yes, and most of these knuckleheads are in the tea party. They are politically naive and ideologically rigid. These fanatics call any con or Republican who disagrees with them a RINO, while they have no loyalty to the GOP.

    RINO Definition – A RINO is any republican who dares to disagree with you (a tea party member) on any issue.

    • Ted Crawford

      I swore NO Oath to either Party! Rather i swore an Oath to defend this Country and it’s Constitution against ALL enemies, Domestic or Foreign! PERIOD!
      By the way I’m not a member of any Tea Party, I simply believe in the Constitution and demand that if one truly believes the Constitution needs adjusting, well that’s exactly why the Founders, wisely wrote Article Five, USE IT, or accept the Constitution as it was written!

      • Ted

        So you’re the President?

        • Ted Crawford

          NO Denny dimwit! I’m a Disabled Virtnam Vetran, the Oath i took in 1966 had no time limit attached to it, therefore it is still in effect. I will do whatever must be done, that I’m still capable of doing to honor that! Hopefully America will FINALLY awaken from this putrid Progressive Trance by November 4, 2014, If not,… I’m concerned about what may become necessary going foward!

          • Ted

            And what would that be, armed insurrection?

          • Ted

            Thank God you’re here. Thx for your service.

      • D Parri

        Agreed, 100%. What better proof than the fact that it works!

    • Ted

      Got that right! To them it’s all aboht ideological purity. Had they possessed two functioning brain cells the Repubs could’ve already held a majority in the Senate!

  • Seattle Sam

    Don’t know whether this was Bernie’s intention or not, but the responses to this column are a great illustration of his point. Because the example he used had to do with the topic of guns, half the respondents here flew off on the subject of gun control or government intrusion, which is not at all what this column is about. Bernie was posing the question of why the discourse isn’t more civil. I think he found a partial answer here.

    • Bernie

      thank you seattle sam. you got it right.

  • sjangers

    Good column, Bernie. Diversity is a good thing until it triggers a nationwide epidemic of hypertension. Then we need to figure out what to do about it.

    The problem is that individuals on the extremes really have no idea that there’s a serious problem, except for the fact that everyone isn’t listening to them and doing exactly as instructed. Moderates really don’t know how to bring the extremes closer to a social consensus without making changes that might do more harm than good. We live in a society where there are so many different motivating factors, and where the issues are often shrouded in such complexity, that most people no longer know how to solve problems and maintain a coherent society.

    I’ve posted observations to this and other sites about the corrosive effect of obstinate extremism on our social health. I sometimes get comments back from other readers who share my concerns. But I’ve never had anyone respond with a constructive suggestion when asked what we can do about it. To most of us the problem feels too big and too complex. Trying to do something about it is stressful. It isn’t going to be easy. Our solutions may not make things any better. And so it’s easier, and feels healthier, to declare that the problem is too big and to try not to think about it too much.

    And therein is perhaps the biggest difference between moderates who have been turned off by the political process and the extremists who all too often drive the process. They understand that solutions sometimes create their own set of problems. They’re reluctant to impose their solution on others, particularly knowing that their ideas might not make things better. Extremists don’t have that worry. They know how to solve the problem- if only they could just get everyone to listen to them and do what they’re told. And unfortunately many moderates, the people who might have solutions that could find enough consensus to encourage social cohesion, are playing right into their hands.

    • kayakbob

      sjangers, (That “1 Guest Vote” you just got was me. I had not signed in yet. Duh. ha! but I digress.) Interesting. I do want to acknowledge something you said, and Mr. Goldberg has said many time too, that there are “extremist” on both sides..left and right.

      As I read your comments I thought, “hmm. I am not sure what a ‘moderate’ is really”. I used to consider myself a moderate, but not if compared to many people I know irl. If moderate is the ‘mushy middle’, then I am probably not a moderate.

      I just try to be as civil as I can be in my positions – not always easy in the world of self-make-believe (chat rooms and comment sites like this). For the really obnoxious here perhaps their bravado is because this medium is the first time in their lives they feel like they have a ‘voice’.

      • sjangers

        All labels in a conservation as broad as this one will be generalizations, KB. I have enough trouble getting out a clear thought in under three paragraphs without having to worry about expressing myself too precisely.

        Moderates, of course, won’t be moderate on all issues. When I speak of moderates, most of the time I may well be talking about what you called the “mushy middle”. Personally, I have strong convictions about the scope, focus and direction of life, both on a personal level and for our broader society. But I believe that if a substantial number of my fellow citizens don’t share my vision for our society, it isn’t productive for me to push too hard in that direction. I can educate others in the hope that they’ll eventually come around to my way of thinking, but I’ll probably have to live and be constructive in a society that doesn’t share my values while I’m trying to change it.

        Creating too much tension or dissonance within the body politic will most likely cause more harm than any good that might result from aggressively pushing my values and goals for our society, so the pragmatic approach is to work cooperatively within the existing social norms. There are exceptions, of course, for circumstances where those social norms are causing direct and immediate harm, but generally the ‘moderate’ process is to persuade gently and encourage consensus. Unless it’s a crisis, I’d rather take a decade or more to persuade most citizens of the goals we should adopt than to use pressure, deceit or even coercion to implement more rapid change.

        Naturally, there are also degrees of moderation as well as degrees of extremism. You may aggressively encourage goals and values that are well outside the social mainstream, but do so respectfully, while others might fell their ‘mission’ is more important than any eggs that might get cracked along the way. But trying to be too specific about labels in a conversation like this is only going to take up space and bore the majority of readers.

        • kayakbob

          Based on your most recent comments, I must admit that your explanation/classification of the “mushy middle” is far more palatable (to me) than most that I have heard to date.

          As much as I would like to expand on that, it would probably descend into minutiae that would not only “bore a majority of readers”, it might make them want to pour gasoline on their own heads and light a match just to make it stop.

          • sjangers

            LOL.
            You have to understand what you’re fighting for and the probable effect of the ways in which you can choose to fight. Then pick the battles that are important and try to fight them in the ways that will be least destructive to your goals and to our country. Struggling toward ends without a clear sense of perspective on both your goals and the tools you’ll use to reach those goals will often be more destructive than constructive.

      • D Parri

        KY, the ‘guest votes’ are ok…especially if you keep stacking them up on the ol’ Minuteman!

        • kayakbob

          I am considering offering my next rant in Latin.

          And, yes…what is up with the Minute Man? I just figured you were super patriotic. Nuthin’ wrong with that!

          • D Parri

            Yes, super patriotic…I like that.

          • kayakbob

            since when does the truth please anybody?

          • D Parri

            Unfortunately, while we remain in this lifetime there seems to be fewer people that seek the truth and genuinely want to know.

            It is not until after this life that it begins to matter to them, but as they sometimes say, “The toothpaste is already out of the tube.” It’s too late at that point.

  • kayakbob

    As a previous poster mentioned, this piece is not about gun ownership. It is about polarization – a topic that Mr. Goldberg has written about before.

    I freely admit to not having read the article…yet. In fact this is the first time I heard about this subject at all. But here is a thought: perhaps “gun ownership” is not the issue, even when the topic IS gun ownership. Perhaps it is a reaction, for many people, to the misguided notion that gun control = crime and violence control. It doesn’t.

    I am not a gun owner, but I know this because I grew up in a gun business household in the Southwest. And I am showing my age here, but when I was a little kid there were..OMG..Shooting clubs in High Schools. Yes. Shooting Clubs that had target shooting competitions with..OMG..other Shooting Clubs in other High Schools. And school shootings were literally non-existent. It just didn’t happen.

    No, I am not advocating a return the 1960. I am saying that something significant changed – the culture. The culture of no personal accountability in our dealings with the rest of society. And who drives the culture now, and has for the past 40 years? Hollywood..pop culture. In short, the political left.

    So when the left starts pointing fingers demanding “gun control” to stem violence, many of us see it as liberals scolding peaceful, law abiding citizens because they don’t like the results of a culture that they had a big ‘ol hand in creating in the first place.

    The so-called gun ownership/limit debate & 2nd Amendment debate are proxy ‘wars’ for a lot of other things in my opinion.

  • joepotato

    Weall, if you’re not at least concerned, or even enraged by what Fedzilla has been doing lately… You are not paying attention… People that don’t pay attention should NOT vote. Elections are now a stacked deck and the fix is in… but I digress. The BSM, controlled by multi-dimensional corporations whose COE’s are (mostly all) CFR members have an agenda… That agenda is the dissemination of propaganda to control the thinking/ opinions of as many sheeple as possible. It’s nothing new and it has been documented. Polarization of the serf class and upper serf class is not new either… The elite DC Carpet-baggers must be a bit nervous as more people are awakening to their presented scams… The big fraud/ bamboozle… (Search~ CCP Sheriff’s Kit)

  • rbblum

    A polarized constitutional republic? Who would have thought that you are either for or against a constitutional republic embracing capitalism in free markets that actually has a sound currency.

  • Chuck

    Bernie I love you but this is another one you’ve gotten wrong. And I am sorry to say that.

    It is a very good question; why did Guns & Ammo run the column, if it was so antithetical to the magazine’s editorial philosophy?

    But James Taranto, writing for the Wall Street Journal, just demolished most of the criticism of G&A, here:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304617404579306662410582016

    Bernie, I hope you and your readers will take the time to look at one of the best analyses I have seen, of the Dick Metcalf story.

    • Sheila Warner

      Excellent article. Thanks for the link.

  • beikim

    I did not watch any cable/network news from November 2012 through November 2013 and noticed that my life was much calmer. I started (slowly) to watch an occasional news program, and find myself more agitated. The truth is that none of what I watch has any influence in my life, and the idea that any politician cares what I think is just an exercise in stupidity. I have told you many times that the one big mistake that we all make is in believing that they “care.” They don’t, so get used to it! No matter what they say.

    • Ted Crawford

      So your recommendation is that we simply bend over, apply lubricant and …smile? What a wonderful idea!

  • Paul Vasek

    Excellent points, sometimes I wish I didn’t care so much, but I see what is going on, and it does deeply concern me.

  • Iowa48

    Mr. Goldberg is being Pollyanna in his analysis of the current conflict between the right and the left in today’s America. The new left, which is now in power in the administration, is quite unlike the left that Bernie’s generation grew up with. The left has been taken over by the same elitist totalitarians that ran the express trains to Auschwitz, staffed the gulags in Siberia, and enjoyed the privileged existence of the Politburo, the apparatchik, and the nomenklatura.
    They no longer hide in the shadows or under the rocks, but now populate the halls of Congress, academia, and the bureaucracies of the corrupt DOJ and EPA. It is no longer just about politics, and has devolved into an existential struggle between those, like Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers, Anita Dunn, and Van Jones who would transform America into their version of Stalin’s USSR, and those of who are disinclined to ride the train to the gulag.
    I attribute the fierceness with which people defend their Second Amendment rights to their realization that it is quite likely their last line of defense before the very real potential to being forced to board the cattle cars. The right hasn’t gotten any more rightwing nor is it being baselessly paranoid. They are responding to the realization of the fact that the left has gotten to the point that they can flaunt their true purpose with arrogant impunity, making the threat more real, more imminent. That is what makes people cling to their guns. It is no longer just an intellectual exercise, nor merely a heated political discussion, and Bernie is too naïve to see it for what it really is. It has become existential.

    • allen goldberg

      From one Mr. Goldberg to another, extract your head from your backside and debate me on national TV. Your naivete is revolting, and I would tear you to shreds. People who have no care of concern for our country, or worse have disdain and wish the destruction of this country , sit in Congress and the White house. The passion we have for our country will not diminish just because YOU, the knucklehead from Oreilly’s milk-toast show says so. Bernie, you have stopped caring, and lost your intensity. My question is..is this a sign of age? Of has the Scum who sits in the White House threatened you? For he has so many others. One more thing, this country’s future is worth going to war over. If you disagree…MOVE!!!

      • ARJ127

        Thank you helping to illustrate Bernie’s point about civility.

        • allen goldberg

          AR: if you taken exception to my civility, so be it. This siting president has regularly demanded civility while being a liar, a fraud and uncivil as hell. I have got 30 quotes to prove it. As far as the main stream media liars go, the liberal nastiness is stunning…Chris Mathews alone proves the point. Perhaps the Pollyanna Bernie would like to “kumbae-ah off into the sunset..but not me.

        • joepotato

          Civility is a novelty… Ask El Residente aka the Drone Ranger… He says,” I’m good at killing people.” His minions are also good at “suiciding” people. Deceit, treachery, murder and the like, are not strangers to the world of politics… We are not so special as to be exempt from these maladies… Have a GR8 day… I hope that clears things up for ya…

      • Ted

        Chillax already!

        • allen goldberg

          ted: what does this mean?

          • Ted

            Chill out/relax!

      • I Hate Fascists

        What are your plans when you right wingers get your butts kicked yet again in November?

      • G. W. Bridge

        What are your plans when you right wingers get your butts kicked yet again in November?

    • Ted Crawford

      Well stated! I’ve been struggling, more and more as time passes to free my thoughts of the phrase “Event Horizon”! As well as “Expatriation”, as a disabled Vietnam Veteran, that seriously unsettles me! While I clearly didn’t give my all, I did give my best. I honestly believed that I had earned my Citizenship! At the risk of seeming dramatic, it is truly heartbreaking for me!

      • Iowa48

        Welcome home, my brother. VN ’69-’71

        • Ted Crawford

          Welcome Home to you as well! Thank you for your service!
          I served with the 11th. Cav – 67-68 Xaun Loc and Americal – 70 Chu Lai

          • Iowa48

            173rd Airborne – LZ English / An Lau Valley – An Khe –

        • Sheila Warner

          Thanks for your service, as well.

          • Ted Crawford

            You are completely welcome, after all it is, or at least it was, my Country too!

      • Sheila Warner

        Thanks for your service.

    • Ted

      You say the right hasn’t gotten any more conservative? Yeah, right. Next thing you’ll be sayi g is that you’re a moderate. By what metric did you decide that? Good to see another Bircher steps forward. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not coming for you. Whew!

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        >>You say the right hasn’t gotten any more conservative?

        They’ve gotten more fiscally conservative. I think that’s safe to say. That’s what the mass expansion of government in the face of an economic meltdown will do to people. Socially, no. No on foreign policy as well.

        • D Parri

          Agreed.

      • Bryan

        See? You have just illustrated a point that greatly concerns many very rational, non-hysterical Americans. To wit, you didn’t have any rational response to the many very appropriate concerns expressed by “Iowa48″…..you just started calling him names and derogatory catch-terms.

        Here’s a little guidance for you:

        1. There are several very constitutionally valid arguments…including several specific U.S. Supreme Court rulings…to make the argument that Barack Obama is not constitutionally eligible to hold the office of President of the United States, and they have nothing to do with whether he was born in Hawaii or not. They rather have to do with what is the true constitutional definition of a “natural born citizen”.

        And if you happen to believe that historically documented, valid jurisprudence makes him eligible, it does NOT make one a “Birther”.

        2. As I’ve noted above, there are many very calm and rational people who believe that Obama got himself elected with the pure intent of destroying America…..and that doesn’t make one a nutjob.

        • D Parri

          Bryan, two of the most-repeated phrases used by Obama in his campaigns were “income redistribution” and “the fundamental transformation” (of America).

          These two expressions of his agenda alone indicate a destructive intent. To believe what he said doesn’t make anyone a nutjob, nor does it require adherence to his political agenda.

      • Iowa48

        The metric I use is the fact that anti-American Marxists like Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Anita Dunn, and Van Jones are empowered and celebrated by the Dems, rather than shunned for the traitors that they are. If the right has gotten more conservative, it is out of a sense of self-preservation necessitated by the rabid radicalism of the left.

        “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

        • Ted

          You call rt wing extremist paranoia self preservation. And where’d you get the idea that Van Jones et al are “celebrated” by the Dems, from knuckleheads like Beck and Hannity?

          • Iowa48

            Obama celebrated and empowered both Jones and Dunn by appointing them to his administration. He sat in Wrights “church” for 20 years and celebrated him as a mentor, and colluded with the terrorist Ayers. You need to come out of the basement and find out what’s going on.

          • Ted

            Which your side claims made Obama a Muslim! Deny that?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            His “side”? Why is it that you believe conservatives should take ownership for Birthers, but liberals should not take ownership for Truthers?

          • Ted

            Are you serious? How many Truthers do you think there are vs Birthers when at least 20% of cons are Birthers who think Obama’s a Muslim and the anti-Christ? And to use your absurd tactic, if you disagree w/ me then you’re a political hack.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            At least 20% of cons are Birthers? Out of curiosity, Ted, how far up your posterior do you reach to come up with all of these random percentages you like to throw around each and every day on this website?

            But you know what? Just for argument’s sake, let’s say that’s true. That would still be significantly fewer than the whopping 50% of Democrats who believed in 2006 that Bush was either behind 9/11 or let 9/11 happen so that he could take the United States to war in the Middle East: http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0411/More_than_half_of_Democrats_believed_Bush_knew.html

            Hey look, another poll: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/bush_administration/22_believe_bush_knew_about_9_11_attacks_in_advance

            And another one: http://hotair.com/archives/2007/09/06/zogby-poll-42-of-democrats-think-bush-caused-911-or-let-it-happen/

            So then, by your own estimate, a much larger percentage of Democrats are Truthers than the percentage of Republicans that are Birthers.

            How do you respond, Ted?

          • Ted

            How do I respond? I respond that this is one more example of when your wishful thinking narrative trumps your objectivity. In the Politico “poll” W is never even mentioned and the questions are so vague it’s absurd or as you call it “proof”. And exactly how many Dem pols ran on the “Truther” platform vs how many con pols ran on a Birther ticket. The Rasmussen poll won’t open however the fact that you picked tells me how desperate you are.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>How do I respond?

            Yes. I’ve only asked you half a dozen times now since you keep avoiding my question.

            >>In the Politico “poll” W is never even mentioned

            The question is about the federal government under George W. Bush. You’re confused by that?

            >>and the questions are so vague

            lol. The question wasn’t even the slightest bit vague: “How likely is it that people in the federal government either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action to stop the attacks because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East?”

            What is vague about that? It’s a VERY specific question.

            >>And exactly how many Dem pols ran on the “Truther” platform vs how many con pols ran on a Birther ticket.

            One of each I believe… Unless you count Hillary Clinton as running on the Birther ticket during the 2008 primaries, which she did.

            >>The Rasmussen poll won’t open however the fact that you picked tells me how desperate you are.

            It works for me, but if you need a second link, here you go: http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-goldberg15may15,0,4307794.column#axzz2qGYASfkT

            By the way, I love your long-awaited, desperate response. I can’t imagine how foolish you must feel right now, having the narrative you’ve been spewing for weeks now totally dismantled by a simple Google search.

            Pure ownage, man.

          • Ted

            Wow, deluded much? Ok, dumb question. First you quote an op-ed piece. And then it’s from Jonah Goldberg who is only on the Times opinion section so they have at least one con nutjob there and whose there to prove the libs are right. And three, he quotes that whackjob rt wing nut Rasmussen! Wow, what a weird trifecta! Well, not for you.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Good lord. You are determined to embarrass yourself, aren’t you? I’m starting to think you derive some deviant enjoyment in being humiliated.

            I quoted a second link to the same poll result merely because you said you weren’t able to see the first one:

            If you want several hundred more that reference that same poll, here you go: https://www.google.com/#q=%22Democrats+in+America+are+evenly+divided+on+the+question+of+whether+George+W.+Bush+knew+about+the+9%2F11+terrorist+attacks+in+advance.%22

            The notion that Rasmussen polls are unreliable because Scott Rasmussen is a conservative (no where near a wing-nut) is pure idiocy on your part. His polls are consistently the most accurate in the country, as evidenced by the results of the elections he polls for. And generally, all of the other national polls show similar results to his.

            Oh, and thanks for ignoring the other polls I cited that weren’t conducted by Rasmussen, but show the same thing.

            Accept your defeat like a man, Ted.

          • Ted

            You day Rasmussen’s polls are the most accurate? Really? Here’s another question for you to dodge. How’d his projections compare to Nate Silver’s 538 poll during the 2012 presidential election?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Tell me, Ted: Which question did I supposedly dodge?

            Yes, Rasmussen’s polls have historically proven to be the most accurate once election results come in. They were a bit off in the last election, if that’s what you’re getting at.

            In 2008 and 2010, however, they ranked at the top in accuracy.

            Is this really what your argument has disintegrated into? You’re trying to discredit a Rasmussen poll taken from 2007 (whose results mirrored other polls at the time) by lauding Nate Silver’s presidential poll 5 years later as being marginally more accurate than Rasmussen’s?

            Wow. You have totally dealt me an “Ah hah!” moment that I might just not be able to recover from.

            Anything else irrelevant that you want to throw out there to distract from your defeat? Maybe something about the weather or grocery prices?

          • Ted

            Not sure where I lost you but once again I did. You claimed Rasmussen’s polls are always the most accurate and I offered a very recent and glaring example where you were wrong. There is no bigger, more important chance to get it right and demonstrate your chops or botch it totally than the Presidential election. To claim otherwise is nonsense despite what I expect your response to be which will be to marginalize and not admit the truth. The only people who use his polls are the rt wing nuts because his are always by far the most conservative usually by 5 pts or so. Go look at Realclearpolitics polls if you want some perspective or don’t believe it.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>his are always by far the most conservative usually by 5 pts

            Fine, have it your way. Only 45% of Democrats are Truthers… not 50%.

            But since non-Rasmussen polls showed the same thing, I still don’t get your argument:
            http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0411/More_than_half_of_Democrats_believed_Bush_knew.html

          • Ted

            The headline of Rasmussen’s poll said 22% thought W knew about 9/11 prior to it happening. So, to enhance your bogus argument you took Politicos numbers and took the 22% plus the 28% added them together and created a far bigger and inaccurate Truther number of 50%. Reread my prior post if you still don’t get it?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            The reason you’re so confused, Ted, is because you’ve spent several days now avoiding, distracting from, and eventually perverting the very simple, straightforward information I presented to you that totally debunked your proclamation that Birtherism was more prominent within the Republican party than Trutherism was in the Democratic party.

            First, I need to educate you on something. The Truther movement has always consisted of either the belief that Bush (and the federal government) orchestrated 9/11 or the belief that he knew of the 9/11 plot and intentionally let the terrorists carry it out. That’s what Trutherism is. Either way, it’s the belief that Bush was an accomplice to the murders of nearly 3000 innocent people.

            Similarly, Birthers don’t merely consist of people who are convinced that Obama was born in Kenya, but also of people who suspect that he was born in Kenya because they doubt the authenticity of his birth certificate.

            Now, let’s get back to the polls. I cited more than just a Rasmussen poll. I cited an Ohio University poll (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0411/More_than_half_of_Democrats_believed_Bush_knew.html) that stated that 50% of Democrats believed that Bush and the federal government likely knew of the 9/11 plot but let the murders of 3000 happen because they wanted to go to war in the Middle East. You can try and quibble with the difference between the phrases “very likely” and “somewhat likely”, but that just makes you sound foolish. “Likely” means likely.

            The Rasmussen poll showed that 35% of Democrats believed Bush knew of the 9/11 plot and let the attacks happen: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/08/03/each_party_has_its_fanatics_97748.html

            Regardless if which poll you use, there has never been ANY poll that has shown that high of a percentage of Republicans subscribing to the Truther theory.

            Again, I presented this information very clearly from the very beginning and you chose to essentially stick your fingers in your ears, scream loudly, and then eventually respond by throwing out a bunch of irrelevant nonsense.

            Please read this post a couple of times, click on the links I provided, and if you’re a man, you’ll concede that you’re wrong. But we both know you’re not man enough to admit the obvious.

          • Ted

            Bullshot speaking of pulling things like ur cranium from your arse.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Enjoy a vacation, Ted.

          • Sheila Warner

            Ted us like legal eagle. You can’t discuss anything with him. After complaining that I put words into his mouth, I copied and pasted his exact comment to me. Of course he overlooked that, and continued to accuse me of “cut and run” discussions because he didn’t bother to read any of the material to which I linked. You can lead a horse to water, but–you know the rest.

            I have concluded that Ted is lazy. He doesn’t cite his own sources because putting up a link seems to be too much of an effort. And, he doesn’t read other people’s links. Ted is pathetic. I have stopped talking to him.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Lazy, among other things.

            My guess is that he also doesn’t cite his sources because he has none. He simply hears things on MSNBC and regurgitates them here, having no idea if they’re true or what their actual context is.

            Looking up to see if they’re real might make Ted realize they aren’t, which is something he doesn’t want to subject himself to.

          • Sheila Warner

            Conspiracy theories and paranoia are as American as apple pie, in this interesting piece: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-nation-of-birthers/

            The Left & the Right are guilty.

          • Ted

            Maybe, however two college studies, one from UCLA about 5 yrs ago, offer proof that conservatives are more easily frightened and have a higher threat perception than liberals. Has to do w/ how their amygdala’s react to threats.

          • Ted

            Hey Twister, nice job of twisting the 22% who said W likely knew vs the 28% who said it was “somewhat likely” he knew. You self-servingly added them up to exaggerate your numbers and then claim 50%. Hey at least your monicker isn’t “Integrity” as that would be a real laugh wouldn’t it? Even Rasmussen put the number at 22%. Funny which one you chose. Busted again.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>nice job of twisting the 22% who said W likely knew vs the 28% who said it was “somewhat likely” he knew.

            Good point. It was totally out of bounds for me to conflate the terms “likely” with “somewhat likely” when it comes to the murder of nearly 3000 people. You’ve blown my entire statement out of the water. Well done, Matlock.

            I can only thank my lucky stars that I didn’t get “pretty much likely” mixed in their somewhere.

          • Sheila Warner

            Cite your source.

          • Ted

            Google it like I did and see what you get?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ted, I DID “Google it” and found that you were absolutely wrong. I gave you three links citing that far more than 20% of Democrats are Truthers.

            You lost. Man up and admit that.

          • Ted

            You must be the inventor of the game Twister based on your non pareil ability to distort for strictly partisan reasons whatever you need to distort so that it fits your narrative. And speaking of the results of polls you won’t like, there were two polls where 20% of one and 25% of the other conservative respondents indicated that they believed Obama was the anti-Christ. Almost exactly the same numbers who also claim Obama’s a Muslim, non-citizen. Are you starting to see a pattern that roughly 20-25% of your side is completely insane? If not then understandably you’re in denial. Hell, your side can’t even admit how far right the Baggers have co-opted them to the right. I mean who’d want to be associated w/ the Glenn Blecch, Rash Lumbar, Alex Smith nutbags? Now, you’ll knee jerkedly dismiss them because you simply have a biological imperative to. Lets see if I’m right?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>You must be the inventor of the game Twister based on your non pareil
            ability to distort for strictly partisan reasons whatever you need to
            distort so that it fits your narrative.

            Yet, you fail to provide any information on what I supposedly distorted. You pulled a wild accusation out of thin air, and I offered clear-cut proof that you were absolutely wrong. I understand you’re embarrassed, and that it makes you feel better lash out at the guy who embarrassed you, but you need to get over it and accept responsibility for being wrong.

            >>20% of one and 25% of the other conservative respondents indicated that they believed Obama was the anti-Christ.

            The anti-Christ. lol. Give me a break, Ted. If that poll question would have been asked of the Democrats for Bush, you would have gotten AT LEAST that number. It wasn’t asked, however, because it’s an idiotic question. You could have replaced the “anti-christ” term with “a-hole”, “moron”, “loser”, “dumbass”, etc and you would have gotten the exact same result.

            How many people do you think even know what “anti-Christ” means? I doubt you even do.

            And since I’ve already listed lots of left-wing nuts jobs that make your list of right-wingers seem like diplomatic statesmen, I won’t bother doing it again.

            Preserve some dignity, man. You’re making me wince from what you’re doing to yourself.

          • Ted

            What a bunch of self congratulatory bullshit. As for what you’ve twisted there Twister, try everything. How’s that for specificity?
            You’re so partisanly blind that if you had one more eye you’d be a cyclops!

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. You can’t even form a coherent response because you know I twisted nothing. I cited hard statistics that totally annihilated your argument, and you just can’t deal with it.

            Thus, you’ve decided to act like a six year old and whine, cry, and name-call. You have no dignity Ted, and its a sad thing to witness.

          • Ted

            Did you think I wouldn’t catch on to your strategy or is it strategery? Clearly it’s your hope that my foot will become so sore from its’ kicking your ass that I’ll need to stop simply to give it a rest. You’re not the first rt wing nut to have thought of it and most assuredly you won’t be the last. Wonder what you’ll try next? Here’s a thought, how about logic, reason and the facts? You never know, you certainly haven’t tried it before?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ted, I honestly about woke up my kids just now from laughing so hard.

            You’re a real life version of a Mel Brooks comedy, and I thank you for the late-night entertainment.

          • Ted

            Turnabout’s fair play. Now you know what it’s like to read one of your posts.

          • Sheila Warner

            But I cite my sources. I’ve posted plenty of links when I bring up something to add, which some may not have read. You throw out things with no sources. The onus is on the person who postulates.

          • Ted

            If I cite some poll whose name escapes me from say 5 yrs ago, I have no interest in chasing down where I read, watched or heard it. I also don’t care if anyone here believes it in fact I know they won’t. Obviously, when the numbers I cite are specific then it’s clear I got them from somewhere. Typically, the cons simply want to know what site they need to play “label and dismiss” with, so why would I bother feeding that exercise in stupidity? When the cons don’t like the facts they simply claim they’re made up or false.
            And I’m still wanting to know which intell agency you anonymously and baselessly claimed I would dismiss? Evidently, your mind reading powers and ability to predict the future trump my knowledge. Care to reveal said agency?

          • Sheila Warner

            I gave you the link two times, to the intelligence report. This obsession of yours with “mind-reading” and “putting words into” your mouth is puzzling. I can’t help it if you ignore my links.

            >>If I cite some poll whose name escapes me from say 5 yrs ago, I have no interest in chasing down where I read, watched or heard it<<

            Not me. I do indeed go back to said poll. If it is an old poll, then I do research to find out if any new fact has been established which refutes the older poll. When asserting facts, it is important to know the source of those facts. I'm sorry if this is too difficult for you, but it is how I and some others on this forum operate.

            Since you have, by your own words, demonstrated that you have not bothered to check out what I sent to you, further discussions on the topic of the intelligence community is rather pointless. I won't debate someone who is too lazy to really engage.

          • Ted

            Then stop trying to read minds or put words in anyone’s mouth. Problem solved! And your links do nothing to identify what agency you idiotic claim I’d dismiss? Best example of an answer there would’ve been to straight forwardly say you think it was the FBI or the CIA or pick one? Of course then you’d have risked and I’d demonstrated how completely full of speculative crap you statement is and you damn well know it. Your inability to apply or understand any nuance besides your astonishingly black or white view is as dogmatic and linear as any I’ve ever seen. Want more proof? Probably not. Hell, you’re still claiming Obama’s not black! Nuff said.
            And, if I quote a poll from some years ago representing how people felt at that time how can those numbers from that time change? Answer: They can’t. And if they change a cpl of yrs later that doesn’t change what they were at the respective time I quoted them does it ? If you’re gonna spew nonsense like this and you’re not capable of reason then yeah, don’t bother responding to my posts.

          • Iowa48

            There is no way that Obama is a muslim. Marxism is anathema to Islam, ergo Obama would not be allowed to be a muslim.

          • Ted

            Congrats you’re wrong on both counts!

  • beikim

    YES

  • http://theromancatholicvote.com/ catholicvoter

    Bernie Bubba! (You are worldly enough to know that’s a Texas thing),
    It has gotten so bad that folks you got along with before you knew of one another’s politics just don’t like you once they find out you disagree with them politically. I admit that I even get annoyed with liberals for many reasons, especially their pro-abortion stance and their ideas about the economy. But at the end of the day it’s only politics and as a Catholic Christian I try to remember that God loves liberals as much as he loves everyone else. And because God loves them, I am to love them too.
    How’s your liberal cousin, Whoopie? Heh, heh, heh.

    • Bkwcomments

      I love this post! Are you married? Yes? Well, lucky her, but do you have a like-minded brother? Who wouldn’t mind a New Englander Red Sox and Patriots lovin’ liberal recovering Catholic now living in the midwest? Cuz I’m lookin’! LOL

      Yes, at the end of the day it’s all politics. Heck, i have a nephew who’s in love with, gasp, a Phillies fan from Jersey! If they can get along so well, why can’t the rest of us?

      And at the end of the day I may not love what my fellow Americans say or do, but if I want the right to say and do what I want, I damn well better respect their right to do the same.

      • http://theromancatholicvote.com/ catholicvoter

        Thanks BKwcomments,
        We are actually from NJ, outside of PA and there are some rabid Phillies fans in the family. But I’ve always been in love with the South because I have a southern mentality. Folks in the Northeast are whacky – haha.
        I am married, and a female, by the way LOL. Good luck finding that special someone. He’s out there!

        • Sheila Warner

          I live in southern NJ, a hop, skip and a jump from Philly. There is no other team in baseball but the Phillies for us! Win or lose….We are as fervent as the Yankee fans, or the Bosox fans. I miss the adventures of sitting in the nosebleed section of Veterans Stadium, where the REAL Phillies fans gathered.

          • Bkwcomments

            The nosebleed sections, the bleachers, the obstructed view seating – those are the places where real fans sit.

          • D Parri

            I like that view of a real fan.

          • brickman

            Maybe today. In the past when teams only drew 10-12 thousand fans in stadiums built for 40-50 thousand we bought cheap seats and watched the majority of the game in good seats.

          • brickman

            I used to go to Connie Mack Stadium as a kid. Buy a bleacher seat for 80 cents or a dollar and then sneak into the good seats after the third inning. The Phillies were awful except for Bunning,Chris Short, Callison,and Richie Allen. I went to see Mays, Mccovey, Aaron, Frank Robinson, Koufax,Clemente, Stargell and Cepeda.

          • ARJ127

            My daughter lives in Princeton. Philly is a hop skip and a jump away too. Recently, I enjoyed a day at the touch museum there with my granddaughter.

        • kayakbob

          I’m just trying to be a better Christian..and a Texas Ranger’s fan. But in which order? I can’t say for sure.

  • JASVN67

    Cuddos for the article Burney you’ve told like it is. We are a divided Country. A polarized people. Oh there are still decent people out there who truly care about their fellow citizens and the direction this Country is headed in but sadly, they are the exception not the rule. We have become the “me” generation. Congress has the lowest approval rating in recent memory and the President is not doing much better! These are the people leading our Nation. Really? They don’t talk to each other they are warring among themselves. I give you the leader of the Senate as exhibit “A”. He used the nuclear option because he could, the end justifying the means. We are indeed a flawed people. History from the past points the way to where we are headed. Abraham Lincoln’s words ring true: A house divided can not stand! We had better heed these words before it is to late!

  • Sheila Warner

    The topic of polarization in the country has driven a few of Bernie’s columns. And, predictably, the haters have arrived in force on this forum to prove him right.

    Time for a new topic, maybe? All of the name calling and bomb throwing on the forums is producing a bunch of nothing.

    • allen goldberg

      Shelia..if people who are intensely proud and defenders of their country are haters, then perhaps you ought to refine your definition of ‘haters’. Establishment GOP members will compromise on every and anything. Frankly there are principles I will refuse to compromise on and will die to defend them. If foreign to you, visit Arlington National Cemetery. You might be surprised.

      • Sheila Warner

        My definition of haters are people who only use ad hominem attacks in their posts. You know who they are. There is enough substantive discussion to be had on the direction of the country without all of the viciousness put out there by both sides. What the President is doing is very upsetting to me, but I won’t call him names. That accomplishes nothing. Instead, I can explain why I disagree with what he is doing.

        • allen goldberg

          Your point is well made and understood. Name calling is worthless, but seems to split 80/20. I find liberals resort to this ‘technique’ far more often than conservatives, but regardless of the split, its’ worthless. Descriptive terms however, have value. The best example I have is the word ‘fraud’. It has a legal connotation but is poorly understood. The President is a fraud. Defined in Black’s Law dictionary as guilty of purposeful deceit. and can have criminal intent. The media does this every day. Frankly, these descriptives are accurate and appropriate, although quite upsetting to the left. They think I am name calling, but I am describing his policies and behavior. He is also a serial liar. I think again appropriate, as he lied 38 times publically about the health-un-care law.

        • brickman

          Can’t believe I’m the only upvote.

    • D Parri

      Agreed.

  • Cecil James

    Bernie – I appreciate your column and I offer this bit of insight. I am a member of the so-called ‘gun culture’. I have read Dick Metcalf’s work for years and I actually agree to a certain point that the reaction to his column was “strong”. In my circles (the gun culture is anything but monolithic) he is regarded as quite full of himself so, to a certain extent, the natives were looking for a reason to pounce. (As a glimpse into the shooter’s psyche… shotgun shooters probably agree with Dick; ‘black gun shooters’ have a rope ready as soon as they finish the gallows). I hope this matter will resolve and Dick will reemerge because he does have considerable useful knowledge and experience to share. Regarding the overall disposition of gun owners… you will never understand our point of view as a casual, ‘outside’ observer. I have been involved for over 50 years. Our opponents (over the years) have included some of the most scurrilous (and ridiculous) characters in politics. You imply that gun owners are more than a little paranoid. As a little exercise (that does not involve purchasing a firearm)… purchase a silencer for a firearm. See who is really paranoid….

  • JBubs

    Bernie, the thoughts and feelings of this generation is no different than the thoughts and feelings of my parent’s generation, or their parent’s parent’s parent’s. Hell, today all of us would easily understand the thoughts and feelings of Socrates if he had a Facebook account. And that’s the point: Human nature has not changed a whit in the past 4,000 years, nor will it change much during the next 40,000 –regardless of what Liberals continue to sell. What has changed however is the means of communication, there is simply less buffer than there used to be. It is the exponential increase in the speed and the scope of each individual’s ability to communicate that gives the illusion of more polarization and closed-mindedness. I must insist that your perception is wrong.

    • Kathie Ampela

      I agree human nature has never changed and never will. The high tech age gives the perception of hyper polarization but only to those of us highly in tuned to this universe. Commenters in this forum are in the hyper awareness universe. As someone who used to occupy the universe of the oblivious, I can tell you they far out number us and I sometimes wish I could go back ;-) The real question is, where do the “independents” or “low information voters” stand because they ultimately decide elections.

      • JBubs

        I sense that we might be kindred spirits, Kathie. So, if you are more tuned in to the real universe, then the question about the low information voters becomes “How often will they be ALLOWED to decide elections?” Faith in truth and goodness tells me that there always will be a balance.

        • Kathie Ampela

          I may be naive, but I believe truth will always find a way.

          • JBubs

            Amen to that.

  • Ted Crawford

    I’m one of those that Academic Elitests find …distasteful. One of those who struggles with spelling and sentence structure and “couldn’t write a coherent letter to the Editor” Being a Frank Zappa scholar, I went to the Library, actually I couldn’t afford College!
    I began my active political life as a volunteer for Pat Schroder (D) Colorado in the early ’70’s’. After about three years I was forced to admit that the Democrat Party I was involved with, wasn’t the same one I had grown up believing in at my Fathers supper table, so I quit!
    Over several years subsequent to that I had many a debate, some were quite “Lively” debates with the few remaining Liberal Democrats I encountered! They were often informative and even productive. We had the same goals for America, we just had different, sometimes very different, ideas of how best to accomplish those goals! This current Democrat Party isn’t at all similar to that one. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in our views with respect to the Second Amendment! JFK, Walter Mondale, Herbert Humphrey, argued against gun bans. JFK quite eloquently!
    Today the Democrat Party IE: Howard Metzenbaum, before his death, Jayner Simms, Janet Reno, Diane Feinstein, Joseph Biden, Rahm Emanuel, and Charles Schumer are all about gun bans and gun confiscation, oh in Public they advocate “Common Sense” measures, but in Private they honestly argue for confiscation!
    The debate today isn’t the one we had in the ’70’s’, and the old addage; “give them an inch and they’ll take a mile” has never been more appropriate!

  • Beth

    Civil discussion is considered too boring when advertising and sound bites drive media. Each side has its entrenched gatekeepers that prevent opposing views. Example: The token “conservative” on all of PBS is democrat lite–far from the republican base and even farther from the conservative base. A thoughtful nuanced discussion is just so much tedium. People don’t even learn how to discuss anything anymore. Conversation itself has become almost obsolete. Everyone listens to and repeats the most colorful or comical sound bites and ignores all the connecting ideas. Most of the time the sides are drawn not by what they believe but by what they choose to ignore. Liberals think good intentions are enough, and workability does not matter, so the other side must not have any good intentions and must be evil. It is wrong to listen to evil people. They view conservatives as moral monsters for failing to have good intentions. Conservatives think good intentions don’t even count if something does not work, so liberals are idiots. It is stupid to listen to idiots. But they are never allowed to explain why anything is not workable, because that would be tedium. Notice that conservatives have been saying all along Obamacare won’t work. And it isn’t working, and liberals don’t care. They still are supporting it full steam ahead. Name ONE democrat in congress who is willing to do any modifications to it because it is not working. Name one “mainstream” news media outlet that is covering the issue. Moderates have no idea what is even going on. They are moderate because they don’t understand either side. They can’t suggest a compromise because ALL the connecting ideas are absent from the entire word bash.

    In the meantime, the media is going for fluff, celebrity buzz, and wasting what little face-time might be available for actual issues. Celebrities are almost always politically to the left, so they are ambassadors of that worldview–a soft-sell to round out the hard-sell of one-sided news. These Fluffy News programs are falling to the level of the magazines once found only in hairdressers’ waiting rooms or on display at the supermarket checkout. So people who care about how things work MUST go to alternate media for information. And alternate media is far from the middle ground in both directions–that is the way to avoid being BORING.

    Conflict over ideas is not what causes polarization. Conflict over ideas is ordinarily healthy and helpful for finding the best ideas. The lack of connecting ideas causes polarization, and the lack of understanding what ideas work in the real world, and which ones don’t work. More discussion about connecting ideas might produce less of seeing the other side as moral monsters or idiots.

    Example: Everybody, INCLUDING ALL conservatives, would love free high quality health care for all people, but adding layers of government bureaucracy to an already cumbersome system is going in the wrong direction and will make it LESS affordable for everyone. It can’t NOT do that. All those new layers with regulators have to receive salaries in addition to the salaries already being paid. The free market works because it is efficient in the allocation of goods and resources. Any healthcare answer that will actually help people afford care HAS to go toward free markets rather than toward more regulation. We should be taking layers of cumbersomeness out of the system and should keep the government’s massive salary load out no matter what.

    Leave medicare and medicaid intact for those who have no salary. For everyone else go toward the free market this way: The most effective reform would take the employer layer out of the system as well as the government layer. A three way system of customers, providers, and insurers, with freedom to select the kind of plan the customer wants and total freedom to select providers, would be the most efficient system, and would be the most cost effective in the long run. That plan would have the fewest salaries for people who don’t actually provide care. It would encourage competition among providers and insurance companies to serve the customers at reasonable cost. People would have the freedom to select the kind of insurance they need. Insurers would have the incentive to provide coverage people want.

    Four reforms would make the marketplace work. If pre-existing conditions were not allowed to block coverage, and if group negotiations were not allowed between groups and insurers, and if providers were required to post their fees so everyone would know what they are, and if insurers were allowed to tailor an array of policies according to customer wishes, the insurers could calculate how to integrate their costs based on individual policies, and nobody would have to be coerced about any part of it. It would work like an actual marketplace. Give people below a certain income level the tax credits to buy the insurance, and phase that out with increasing income, and make the insurance companies provide the receipts so people can get the credits. Make tax credits the form of the freebie, and let freedom ring.

    Anyone who considers the over-regulated phone company 35 years ago versus the plethora of choices today, and the cost of service under both systems, can see that free markets are the way to go.

    But NOBODY is talking about this direction of approach. Connecting ideas and principles are absent from every discussion. The result is an economy that is struggling and will continue to struggle in the foreseeable future, with health care growing more expensive by the minute.

    That is the case on issue after issue. The absence of connecting ideas creates a win-lose approach to politics that leaves half the country constantly feeling disenfranchised no matter which side wins. So of course people are angry.

  • Alexander Shaskevich

    Andrew Grove, Founder of Intel Corp ( the chipmaker) wrote a book called “Only the Paranoid Survive”.

    By the way, Andrew is a Jew just like Bernie. Bernie why don’t you interview Andrew and talk about paranoia. You obviously have something against it, while Mr. Grove believes it is necessary.

    I like it when two Jews have an argument.

  • DanielS

    Bernie is sitting on a fence looking at both sides. He is a Moderate who thinks like Bill O does on Fox. I can’t believe a word the Liberals are putting out so why listen to them. Yep, I’m one pissed off individual. We are living in a world of lies now.

    • wildjew

      I can’t blame you for being ‘pissed off’. I don’t know if Bernie Goldberg (I have his excellent book, “A Slobbering Love Affair…” by the way) appreciates what a nightmare Barack Obama has been for millions of ordinary working Americans. I do not understand why he and Mr. O’Reilly think we are the “hard right,” those of us who do not want our elected officials working ‘with’ Barack Obama who we believe is systematically destroying the institutions that made this nation prosper; not to mention the mess he is making out of the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and our national security.

    • Ted Crawford

      Perhaps Mr. Goldberg and Mr. O’Reilly are “lost in the ’60’s'” as it were. A time when we had the Libertarians to anchor the right end of the political Spectrum and the CPUSA to anchor the left, with the major action taking place between the Conservative Republicans and the Liberal Democrats bouncing around in the middle!
      Today, CPUSA doesn’t even nominate a Candidate and instead puts their money and resources behind Obama and the Progressives, and the Tea Party somewhere between the Conservatives and the Libertarians!
      What I find most curious is the fact that, neither Mr. Golberg, nor Mr. O’Reilly were slanted to this degree left in 2010! What can account for that?

      • DanielS

        I think what is happening is the battle lines are more sharply and darkly being drawn now. I have been a Factor viewer for over 10 years. I suspect O’Reilly is still playing by the old rules that Liberals have changed and has not changed with it. No one can deny our culture has changed.

        • Ted Crawford

          Perhaps, but the facts remain, the weapon or tool one uses, must depend on the Enemy or task at hand, one size definately does not fit all!

  • Bill Henderson

    Just what are these ‘reasonable’ arms regulations we hear so much about? I’m not about to agree that we need any until I know what ‘reasonable’ regulations are being proposed.

    • Seattle Sam

      I think Bernie’s point was that if you fire anyone who wants to discuss that question, you’ll never find out, will you?

      • Bill Henderson

        When someone says we need ‘reasonable’ gun regulations but neglects or refuses to tell us exactly what that might entail, they deserve to be fired.

        • Sheila Warner

          You’ll never know what he meant now, will you? Unless you google him and see if he is writing elsewhere.

          • Bill Henderson

            Why don’t we already know, Shelia? Why the secrecy? We’ve been hearing about ‘reasonable regulations ever since the Heller decision, but no one ever tells us exactly what that means. Why not?

          • James

            We must pass it to find out what’s in it. Were to stupid! or at least they think we’ll be stupid again!

          • Bill Henderson

            Ever since the Heller decision in 2008, we’ve been hearing about the ‘reasonable’ regulations that were mentioned in that decision, but we are being asked to agree to ‘reasonable’ regulations without knowing what that entails. Again, why the secrecy?

          • Sheila Warner

            1) Contact the magazine and ask the editors. After all, it is the magazine which terminated the guy.

            2) Get the contact information on the guy and ask him yourself. See my suggestion about googling him.

            3) Visit anti-gay sites and visit sources to which they link. You’ll find quite a few ideas about which types of regulations are being pursued.

            Come on, now, really? We all know that the anti-gun lobby wants to ban certain guns, wants all guns to be registered with the Feds, and wants magazines to be limited (I bet there are those who only want single shot guns with no magazines). Do you really need any writer in any magazine to tell you what “regulations” on the Second Amendment might look like?

            A couple of advertisers threatened to pull their money if the writer wasn’t fired. Others can cancel their subscriptions (which is pulling money) if they are upset by the firing. And so it goes, round and round.

            Fortunately for us, there are a zillion magazines and newspapers around, and we can always find what appeals to us. Or, we can troll what we dislike and make our voices heard on forums like this.

            Much ado about nothing much, here. People keep clobbering each other over the head.

          • Bill Henderson

            You’ll notice that not one liberal has told us what they have in mind for ‘reasonable’ gun control. Ask yourself why that is.

  • RoscoeBonifitucci

    Bernie – I would rather be Angry than Eternally Dumb as many Libtardos are; any day of the week, minute of the day or month of the Year. Libtards would have us in Socialist Chains in a heartbeat if their Unintended Consequences ever got loose.

    They are the cannon fodder known as “Useful Idiots” by the Bolshevik Playbook as defined by their heros: Mao, Lenin, Marx, Stalin and Hitler…yes, Hitler was a Socialist too.

    These dumb b@st@rds known as Liberals/Progressives – Socialists all would have America turn into yet another 3rd World Dung heap with Elite Royalty running the show. They care not for we unwashed masses.

    • Seattle Sam

      What exactly are you expecting to accomplish with that sort of rhetoric? Other than feel good, that is.

      • Sheila Warner

        There’s nothing to accomplish in what was said. It only serves to validate Bernie’s point, right? Trying to engage a person who spews that kind of rhetoric is a waste of your time.

        • Ted

          Yeah, kind of like getting a straight answer out of you……

          • Sheila Warner

            Still on that rant? Even after a detailed answer? You just can’t handle a person who sees some things from a different point of view.

          • Ted

            I don’t care about your view pt but I object when people like you make put phony words in my mouth that also bogus, inaccurate and unfounded statements and attribute them to me. Like your BS comment about some anonymous intell organization that you absurdly claimed I had dismissed regarding Benghazi’s faux scandal. When I called you on it you changed the subject and cut and ran because you had no where else to run for cover. You were trapped by your own word then as now and you damn well know it. Admitting it is a different story so I won’t be holding my breath.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I object when people like you make put phony words in my mouth that also bogus, inaccurate and unfounded statements and attribute them to me.

            Like when you accuse conservatives of racism?

    • Ted

      Yeah, I remember my first Poli Sci class, too. Just think how cool it would be if your assertions were actually based on facts and not hyperbolic rhetoric?

    • Bkwcomments

      As soon as I see someone tossing around terms like libtardo or republitards or sheeple or other words asshats use, the writer loses all credibility.

      Haha! Did you see what I did there? With asshats? Oh, the irony!

  • Will Swoboda

    Hey Bernie, as far as Mensa goes, there are not many on Fox news who are going to make that meeting either with the exception of Krauthammer. I am a Christian in the traditional sense and do not like jokes about gays. I personally know of no one who has mistreated a gay person because they are gay. I had a cousin who was gay and I got along well with him and his partner and they both knew my beliefs that I thought a homosexual life style was incompatible with living a Christian life. A&E knew Phil Robertson’s Christian beliefs long before the interview with GQ. Many people think homosexuality is something new. Come on Bernie your a Jew, check out the OT. Bestiality pops up every now and then as well. Phil Robertson didn’t go on a rant as your say. He just said what he believed bad behavior can lead to. But you are right about political polarization. I was disinvited from a sailing crew when the captain found out I watched Bill O’reilly. Never once did we discuss politics while sailing. We were riding back from the boat one day and he said he was center left and I said I was center right and liked watching Bill O’Reilly’s show and that was that. He said he lived to prove Fox news reported nothing but lies. He never ever returned a phone call and I really tried because I love sailing but don’t own a boat. If a Dem and a Rep can’t sail a boat together, we are in trouble.

  • stmichrick

    Bernie;

    To your point that technology enables voices to be heard today that were never heard in earlier times; as in sports and warfare, many of those can give no ground in a test of wills. They find it impossible to give credence to anything the other side says because that might help them prevail. These days, for many conservative people, the fact that Obama was reelected is proof that traditional values are being turned upside down by a groundswell of people who want what they have and are positioning themselves to take it. Never before has the party in power differentiated itself so radically from traditional American ideals. To have a gun writer say something that sounds like what the Sarah Brady types want to hear is heresy. It’s also about sadness and desperation.

    Varied levels of political sophistication don’t communicate well with each other. Simple folk don’t know the satisfaction of engaging someone intellectually and neutralizing, rather than silencing, opposing views. On the other hand, perhaps Mr. Metcalf didn’t couch his admonition in a way that respected the sensibilities of his readership before expounding his thought. Though we recognize that both sides of an issue like guns have simple extremists, communicative skill can take the edge off a nuanced idea.

  • Drosack

    Somebody needs to kick Hobama Choom’s ass.

    • Ted

      Based on your bizarre post you should change your name to Prozac.

      • Drosack

        Got your attention.

        • Bkwcomments

          Didn’t keep it long.

        • Ted

          Obviously you’re a pill.

          • Drosack

            AAAHHHhahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  • Jarob54

    I admit Fox News is the only news program I watch, I must also admit one of the reasons I watch Fox News is because Bernie is on every night. I’m a fan of Bernie because he offers his take and his views never venture into the extream. Bernie offers a sensable view to the the topic. I can’t say this regarding other news media outlets. Never will you find a line up of consevatives on Fox’s competitors. But Fox offers Juan Williams, Allan Combs, Bob Beckel, and the list goes on, evey day and every night. That’s called fair and balanced. If one really wants to know the news, and both sides of the argument, Fox News is the only place one can find it.

    • Ted

      So, you only watch Fox but know that no other station like MSNBC offers cons on their programs? Really? First you’re attitude is based on what you wish were true based only on a self serving narrative. So how do you know anything about what you admit you never watch?

      • Sheila Warner

        So, enlighten him. Who are the regularly seen conservatives on msnbc included in their line up of programs?

        I stopped watching msnbc in 2008, b/c they didn’t give air time to John McCain, but only spoke over him when he was shown in any video giving speeches. When then Senator Obama spoke, he was never spoken over. I heard the words as they came out of his mouth. I wanted to know what John McCain was saying for myself, out of his own mouth, without the talking over which slanted what he said.

        I complained about this to a friend, who recommended FNC. It was amazing to actually hear liberals and conservatives both give their POVs when I turned on Fox. I still watch the mainstream networks, but not msnbc.

        Again, who are the conservative contributors who are regularly seen on msnbc? I’m interested to find out if msnbc has changed its SOP.

        • Ted

          Be happy to enlighten you after you put your integrity where your mouth is and either finish your bogus statement or admit you made it up? Right now you’re in Karmic receivership.

          • Sheila Warner

            What bogus statement? This one? ‘

            “Yeah, read Kirkpatrick’s piece. The Obama critics are the party of ‘isms’ aren’t they? There’s the trifecta of cynicism, skepticism and negativism.”

            So, you read the piece and believed it? Why else refer to President Obama’s critics as the trifecta of cynicism, skepticism, & negativism? You & J Maxx had a field day against those who criticized Kirkpatrick.

            Or, are you still upset because I won’t say the President is black? (or white, or Asian, or Native American, or Eskimo, etc etc etc). He is biracial–half black, half white. I don’t give a rat’s @ss what anyone else in the nation says about him being the first black President. RACE DOES NOT MATTER.

            Are you really that entrenched in your anger that you cannot understand a rational and factual statement?

          • Sheila Warner

            Oh, & since i quoted your “bogus” statement, will you now enlighten us as to the conservative consultants who are regularly on msnbc?

            I thought not.

            Psssst: newsflash. The President is biracial. Is your head exploding yet? Or, as Kevin put it: “Are you thirst for more?”

      • http://theromancatholicvote.com/ catholicvoter

        Ted, I normally watch Fox when I bother watching the news at all these days, but when I’m at the gym they have CNN and MSNBC on. Fox is the most balanced, although it is not unheard of for one of the other outlets to invite a conservative on. Now stop giving Jarob a hard time – haha.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          I’ve actually had people come up to me at book signings and say exactly what you just did. They recognize the small photo of Bernie I have on my promotional poster so they want to come up and talk about media. Lots of independent thinkers see bias on all the networks but turn to Fox because it’s the most balanced of the bunch.

      • Jarob54

        No I don’t watch MSNBC, I tried, but I don’t suffer fools very well. Good day!

        • Ted

          Neither do I, hence my reply to you.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ted, are you honestly telling us that you don’t watch MSNBC?

          • Ted

            I was saying that I don’t suffer fools gladly either and given his charter membership in that group let him know which side of that divide he was on.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ah. So you do watch MSNBC then. Got it.

          • Ted

            Say you don’t (shhhh) watch Fox do ya? Who do you watch there besides Hannity? Yeah, I watch Lawrence O’Donnell.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I do watch Fox News. Haven’t watched Hannity in years though. I do like Special Report and usually watch the O’Reilly Factor. I’ll also check out what the other news networks are doing, though they often make it pretty painful.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Oh, and Fox News Sunday too.

  • Roadmaster

    You are right – I do not want to hear what the other side has to say, because I’ve heard it all before over the years and the lies and subterfuge never changes. They are as evil, vicious, duplicitous, deceptive and determined to destroy everything I believe in as they ever were. You cannot find common ground with someone whose true ideology is disguised, advanced through “ends justify the means” tactics and uses every trick in the book: red herrings, straw men, phony rhetoric, deflection, projection, demagoguery, jingoism, populism, tortured logic, slanders, smears & innuendo, to argue their point.

    My opinions may even be wrong sometimes but at least I mean them for GOOD, and not EVIL!!! I quit trying to be nice to the Left 30 years ago, because they, to put it mildly are not nice! Ask any one of them – you will be shocked what their plans are for those of us who will not comply with their Utopian dreams…

    And the Down Stream Media are even more despicable animals because they have forsaken their charge as the only public entity named in the Constitution, tasked with upholding free speech. Today they are “qualifiers” of politically correct speech, slanted Left and getting “lefter.”

    Not FAIR!!! I refuse to play in a rigged game.

    • brickman

      Why doesn’t John Daly respond to comments like this? Don’t you find this as interesting as Ted?

      • Ted

        There’s no explaining it……

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          There’s no explaining what?

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        lol. Why am I expected to respond to this? Am I supposed to have something interesting to say about every random post on this website?

        I don’t respond to 90% of the posts on here. Yet, this one’s somehow special and requires my attention?

        Tell me Brickman, What’s your point that I’m clearly missing?

        • brickman

          My point is you never respond to intolerant right wing viewpoints, only left wing ones. Don’t you find them as special as Ted’s or Legal Eagles’ points?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>My point is you never respond to intolerant right wing viewpoints,

            Read my comments in Bernie’s columns on gay marriage and religion and THEN try telling me that.

            >>Don’t you find them as special as Ted’s or Legal Eagles’ points?

            I can promise you that if some right-winger was incessantly race-baiting on this website, the way the two you mentioned do, I’d add my two cents worth.

          • brickman

            I’ll trust what you say but I’ll verify even though like Bernie, I’m tired of the Culture Wars.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Feel free to. I mix it up all the time on here with people to the right of me.

          • brickman

            Good to hear. I’ll keep my eyes open.

    • James

      Well said Roadmaster,
      Sorry but your first paragraph will unfortunately continue as long as we have Bernie’s
      Too many pointy analytical talking heads in JOURNALISM giving their opinions instead of good old fashioned objective, investigative reporting!!!
      Were not capable of making up our own minds, we have to be led around by the nose just like the left lead their sheeple around. They don’t know what to do in the face of true independence so they’ll attempt to minimize us as unreasonable and whatever the catch word is for the day. It’s you and me brother. I will not comply!! I will not comply with the HHS “MANDATE” who do these people think they are? I will not comply with the shredding of the 2nd AMMENDMENT! I will not comply and be led around by the nose to advance one political party or another at the expense of my rights and liberty no matter what Krauthammer and Goldie say!
      The Down Stream Media????? You and me brother. Those sorry bastards have usurp their unwritten but protected by the first amendment their fourth branch of government to expose scandal and corruption, to keep our civil servants honest and report the facts. They HAVE forsaken their charge in exchange for political ideology….

  • ARJ127

    Kudos to Bernie for an insightful column. Part of the problem lies in the presumption of anonymity that posters have when they publish their screeds in these forums. All you have to do is look at the examples in the forum attached to this site. Many of the people posting there are extremely angry, often ignorant and intolerant people who substitute invective and insult for informed opinion.
    I hope that they are a very tiny vocal minority and that we should see them as such. Therefore, a few yahoos who scream about a columnist’s suggestion that the Second Amendment isn’t absolute, shouldn’t be enough to scare an editor. As for the arms manufacturers who threaten to pull their ads, I would publish their names so that I could bocott their products. How dare they trample on the First Amendment in their zeal (incited by their business interests) to defend the Second.

    • Ted

      Rt on! Now duck quick because here come the gun fetishists after you!

    • Sheila Warner

      The gun manufacturers did not trample the First Amendment. The magazine is a privately owned business, and can legally hire or fire anyone it pleases. Read the First Amendment again: it begins with “Congress shall make no law…”. An editorial policy is not a law.

      • ARJ127

        The effect of their attempt to stifle any discussion by demanding his dismissal is a de facto trampling of the First Amendment (although their actions are legal because they are private entities).

        • Sheila Warner

          No, the effect of what the gun manufacturers did was to remind the magazine where its bread and butter is. It’s no different than any other boycott.

    • Ted Crawford

      As the Progressives pointed out during the Robertson debate, in view of the fact that no Government institution is involved here, the First Amendment isnt applicable!

      • Sheila Warner

        When the First Amendment is trivialized in this fashion, it makes it harder to fight real First Amendment abuses. I cannot understand why people do not get it that it is only when the government attempts to shut down speech that there is a problem. Private entities can do what they wish. If the people don’t like it, they can take their business elsewhere. It’s called boycotting.

      • ARJ127

        In strict legal terms, you are correct. However, their actions violate the spirit opf the 1st Amendment. BTW, I also agree with you that Robertson shouldn’t have been punished for his remarks. IMHO, he was entitled to air them no matter how stupid they were.

  • retsam369

    Bernie: You just can’t help yourself. From time to time your liberal sentiments have to come out. I realize that you want to write a column that draws from both sides, so I know that you love it when you get so many comments from both sides. However, it doesn’t change the fact that you really do have some liberal tenants!

    • Sheila Warner

      So? That makes him a moderate.

  • retsam369

    Just who’s column is this? Bernie’s of the Alpha Hotel named ted?

    • Ted Crawford

      He’s simply another Progressive Academic Elitist! As George Lorimer pointed out, “Colleges don’t make fools, they only develop them”!
      Academic Intimidation is his stock-in-trade, he intends that we swoon at his elequent articulation. however it largely points out the wisdom of Karl Kraus, “Education is the crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove they are not idiots!”

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      lol.

    • Ted

      Clever W/ a capital K. So much BS so little time. You’re an egg roll.

  • Jim

    Polarized? Paranoid? I think bipolar!

  • Drew Page

    Bernie — I must agree that our society has become much more polarized, not just on a single issue or two, but on almost every issue. People are getting more and more angry and are expressing themselves on internet websites such as this one. Why all the anger? Two things, (1) fear and (2) resentment. Fear of unemployment, loss of financial security, loss of a home, or of health care, or higher taxes, or of not being able to send your kids to college, or of what the government is going to take from you. Resentment of being lied to and condescended to by government; of being told “it’s your own fault for being poor”; or “it’s your fault for causing the poor to be poor”; or “you aren’t paying your fair share of taxes”, when 47% of wage earners pay no federal income taxes; or of being told by a president that “you didn’t build that, somebody else did”, referring to the business you built from scratch by, borrowing money to get started, by working 80 to 100 hours or more per week
    to keep it going and by risking everything if the business fails.
    It would seem appropriate to delete responses to your posted articles that contain obscenities. It won’t stop people from feeling the way they do, but you don’t have to let them share their comments with others here. There is resentment among those who want to find work at a decent wage and can’t find a job and among those who see others content to live off sweat of others.
    And what do people hear from their President about this? They hear either “there are no problems” or your problems are caused by his political rivals. So instead of trying to heal the rifts between these groups, he seeks to pit women against men; young against old; minorities against whites; gays against straights; illegals against legal citizens, poor against wealthy; union against non-union; and liberals against conservatives, representing the former of each group to the exclusion of the latter. Divide and conquer seems to have worked out pretty well for the President, but not so well for the rest of the country. There you have the source of all the vitriol of which you speak.
    I’ve heard that people who have had lobotomies don’t care much about politics, or anything else for that matter. I am sure that they are less polarized, less angry and probably much less paranoid than those of us who listen to “talk radio”. Maybe lobotomies and the elimination of talk radio would solve the problem, but maybe some presidential leadership in solving America’s problems, instead of blaming others for them might be a better solution.

  • trailbee

    Last month I was at the doctor’s office, waiting while my husband had cataract surgery. It was a small waiting room, and there was only one other person around. I just looked up and asked him his opinion about the Ryan/Murray budget which had been passed the previous day. He was unhappy and I asked why, and so we talked and exchanged ideas. He was a retired govt. employee, a liberal, not really hard-left leaning. He told me how he had lost a life-long friend over political “debates” and was surprised that we could have this conversation.
    I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’m independent/conservative. I felt I didn’t have to inject that in a very civil conversation. I mentioned something he didn’t know, and he mentioned something I didn’t know, and went online to find the information. He was right, and I was wrong. We are both old, retired, and can’t pick up a blunderbuss to save our country, but maybe, just maybe, we could find a way to exchange ideas and come to some compromises without starting a war, or losing our friends.
    I loved watching Mr. and Mrs. Carvel on O’Reilly this week. It was the first time I did not walk out of the room when James C. was on TV. There is hope.

    • Sheila Warner

      I love how Mary kept affectionately reaching over to touch James’ arm. They are proof that opposites can co-exist without hate.

  • James

    Goldie, your a dinosaur. Why don’t you go extinct so we can begin to wrestle our country back! It’s been your style of poor JOURNALISM that has allowed the left to corrupt, bastardize and poison our great nation into a blithering nanny state full of corruption and decadence and I speak of the left in the Republican party as well. If you had ever done your job instead of working so hard to win acceptance from your colleagues who are overwhelmingly left, maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess. Were are the Woodward and Bernstein’s today? Scandal after scandal, corruption of massive proportions and the blatant disregard for the rule of law and particularly the Constitution and look what you choose to write about let alone actually investigate anything
    ….What a wasted career, what a shame… ..
    While you choose to attack talk radio and the millions that listen and the tea party that won the House and are comprised of millions, I can only wonder were this country would be if the likes of you had won the day back in 1776. Bernie, your not up for the fight and maybe it’s just time you retired!!!!!

    • Bkwcomments

      *you’re, not your
      *where, not were

      • David Gorton

        Good try Bkw ,but case in point, like Bernie said,”. . . .they’re not listening to one another”. Amazing! Although Trailbee had a thoughtful comment.

        • James

          What? What was that? Did you say something? Oh, No comment ? okay

          • David Gorton

            Yes, I did say something, but not to you. It was to Bkw, about you. Your comments were exactly the point of Bernie’s article. You validated his thesis; which is, and I’ll paraphrase: “It’s better to have people think you a fool, than to speak up and leave no doubt about it.” While trying to define his reality, and minimize his existence, you fail to grasp that he was talking about people like you. That was my comment. Got it? Or am I speaking to fast for you?

          • James

            Could you repeat that????

    • alpha444

      James, your attack on Bernie is uncalled for. You either do not read a lot of his work, or you would know that he is balanced, or you read it and pick out the portions that may not agree with you.
      Thank goodness for Bernie’s articles. He is more often than not, a voice of reason, and an analytical mind that I rank up there with Charles Krauthammer. Shame on you for your harsh and misplaced words. You clearly only want dialogue that agrees only with your view of things…that is not journalism. You can get that from MSNBC if you lean left, and from far right-wing talk radio hosts( and no, I do not consider Rush, Sean, Laura to be far right-wing).
      So, if Bernie is so bad, why read what he writes? Just pick a writer or pundit who agrees with you, and you won’t have what appears to be a significant anger issue.

      • James

        Thanks for making my point alpha444 ; )
        “A voice of reason ranked up there with Krauthammer” and you are so wrong to say I only want dialogue that agrees with me. Why would I be posting here if that was the case obviously. What I want is for the few JOURNALIST that are suppose to be fair and balanced to DO THEIR JOB!!!! What I want is these so called journalists to read the HHS mandate before its passed ,at least before its implemented, and expose it for what it is. Instead they attack true civil servants that actually are doing the will of their constituents and what they were elected for and they attack them in favor of a political parties gain. So much for your fair and balanced. The party wins and the people lose, I lose my insurance! Once again I’m going to point out that there are numerous scandals and misuses of power in Washington and apparently Bernie nor Krauthammer are up to the task of a Woodward or Bernstein. Their just talking heads that are more in favor of arresting power in Washingto for a floundering Republican party instead of back into the hands of the people. See us simpl peeples that can’t spell arnt capable oof We The People By The People For The People anymore and we need pointy talking heads to direct us because they know best the same way the left leads their sheeple around. Sorry Bud but I believe that most Americans are capable of making up their own minds like myself they just need the facts. With that said there are to few investigative FACTS coming out of JOURNALISM and way to much analytical self serving BULLSHIT!!!!!

        • alpha444

          Well Bud”, There are only a couple of things you said that are worth mentioning. One is “self-serving bullshit”…clearly I would never argue with someone who appears to be an expert in “self-serving bullshit”, but I might point out that your use of the phrase seems to be a bit of projectionist rhetoric…meaning that you are describing yourself.
          Second your rants are angry and extremely condescending…just plain smug in your self-righteous belief that you have all the answers.perhaps you need professional help. Other than that, Your rants have become boring in their emptiness of substance and confused singularity. So, adios…not really interested in any more back and forth with a zealot.

          • James

            I don’t believe I gave any answers just my observations as I see them. Thanks for making my point again. I meant Bud in the nicest way but hey, go figure, Back to mediocrity and the pasture you go.

  • Helland

    Letting the “camel’s nose ” into the tent is an opening not likely to be spurned by anti 2nd amendment advocates. Especially when the author had been so respected by 2nd amendment as written defenders.

  • Debdeb

    After 9/11 I remember the Red Cross warned that if watching the news was mentally bothering, do not watch for a while. It was a statement for mental health. I think that is a good idea for “Mad As Hell” as well. Take a total break from the news/media/politics every so often. Life happens regardless.

  • savage24

    Who the hell killed civility ? It sure was not the conservatives.

    • ARJ127

      Perhaps you should see some of the posts in the forum attached to this site.

      • Jeff Webb

        >>Perhaps you should see some of the posts in the forum attached to this site.<<

        A sure-fire way to make it clear the left killed civility. Also effective is observing Alan Grayson, Harry Reid, Pete Stark, Bob Filner, and Barack Obama, for starters.

        • ARJ127

          I don’t think that you’ve seen the really nasty posts from the right. However, they do exist in equal numbers as the posts from the left. Calling people names is something that you’ll find throughout the forum. I suggest that you look at the posts of someone called “flyphish 56″

          • Jeff Webb

            Oh, I’m very familiar with flyphish, and there clearly has been plenty of incivility from the righties in the forum, even myself back in the day. But I can assure you, overall for the last 9 years, liberal visitors’ vitriol has no equal. As for “equal numbers,” I say nuh-uh. Liberals were always in the minority, but compared to conservatives, a higher percentage of them was nasty. Far, far higher.

          • ARJ127

            Jeff:

            I confess that I was guilty of some nastiness from time to time when I posted there. I eventually gave up on the site last year. You can see my “parting thoughts” in General Topics/Current Events forum. Most of my nastiness was engendered by the insults from others. I’m not a “turn the other cheek” kind of guy. Frankly, there was more from the right than from the left because there are more right-wing posters than left-wing posters.

        • Ted

          Oh? How about the civility of those purveyors of charm and reason such as Joe Wilson, Rash Windbag, Sean Inanity, Glenn Blecch and Alex Smit?

          • Jeff Webb

            Now, don’t get me wrong there, precious. I know very well that vitriol comes from both sides of the aisle.
            The left still killed civility; by comparison, the right merely landed a few punches.

    • Ted

      Yeah, I’m guessing you think those God damn, mother luvin’, coughsufferers on the left killed civility? That about cover it?

  • Rarin Togo

    As always, it was a great column. Having said that and while I laughed through most of it; I have to draw the line at “a little paranoid.” Take for instance my Christmas present to myself. It was a tablet (as they were the rage for 2013 gifts.) When I lifted the lid, I did not have to power on; the first thing it did was take a picture of me. Which, needless to say, I did not want. It was early morning….I looked like something the cat dragged in & the NSA wouldn’t even recognize me, after I was all cleaned up anyway!

    • Deborah G

      That picture is how they are watching us. I refuse to buy a computer with a built in Camera. I plug in one to skype with my kids.

  • Jen

    First of all, there is not one single issue on the Liberal side I can agree with. Not one. Bernie–help me out, what Liberal idea or policy is a good one we should agree with?
    Secondly, anyone who has read blogs can say there are idiots on both sides but the Liberals far out comment with vulgar, stupid laments than Conservatives.
    Lastly, just sit down and compare the name calling from the politicians themselves and then tell me both sides are equally to blame. Simply not true.

  • mthammer

    I agree with you Bernie, there is no happy medium on either side. The amount of corruption going on in this Fraudulent Obama Administration , plus the corruption in theHouse & the Senate puts a bad taste in everyones mouth . Why do only 25% of the American Public vote , the rest are apathetic to this countries political unprofessional representatives, that speak out of both sides of their mouth. Even when you write your reps, or speak to them in public they are guarded on what they say and don’t say. None of the people in Washington know what the truth is , they feel if the taxpayers don’t care , lets just keep on spending their money , we don’t care , because we know that our families will be taken care of and that’s all that counts for them. Everytime a lobbyist comes to their office its always whats in it for me , not my state but me and the companies in my state that will pay me, to get them Grants & Government contracts. I have talked to politicians who have served this country in Washington, worked for a few of them on their campaigns , all come to DC with the best of intentions , Mavericks as we use to call them , however its a game in Washington , you don’t play you loose , your state looses , the people you represent loose. The only way we could get things changed in DC is get rid of the Legislature , term limits would be started with new elections. We need the people to go to DC and fire everyone , Legislative Branch, Executive Branch , majority of current Federal Employees , plus leave the Supreme Court in its place to run the country , until the Governors in the States get the new elections done, the Constitution would be followed by the letter of the Law. There are only 650,000 military , maybe another 50 to 75000 FBI, CIA & DHS , that would be prepared for a Second American Revolution , if the people headed to Washington DC.
    Its already been talked about , planned , logistics done , and in a matter of less than 30 days we could have 3 million Gun toting taxpayers in DC to get rid of the current corrupt government. We could have our own Arab Spring , but here in this country the people have more weapons and ammo, explosives , artillery and more . Our own soldiers in the military are not going to follow President Obama , kill their own people , relatives, friends , its my opinion they would be instrumental in helping us take our country back. You can’t stop the people in this country , we have more trained Veterans , that know how to fight , they are the ones who would be interested in getting this country on the straight and narrow. After attending various Gun Rights and State rights meetings in the Capitol Cities of these states , these people are ready , have the communications , the coordination to handle anything that we would be confronted with. Join us America and lets take our country back from these frauds in Washington .

  • Bkwcomments

    One can only laugh at how so many of those commenting are just reinforcing your points! LOL, indeed!

  • Seattle Sam

    And the gutless editor who fired Mr.Metcalf instead of sticking up for him? Giving into extortionists just increases their attempts at extortion. Might that not be one of the reasons you say you see more polarization?

  • beniyyar

    This sort of class warfare and political polarization always happens during periods of economic upheaval or other major social distress and seems to abate when the situation comes back to normal. Barack Obama would have had no chance to be President had the Depression of 2008 not taken place, and now that much of the economy is slowly coming back on track, it has become apparent that Obama was the major reason that this Depression has taken so long to overcome. This is also why now people are beginning to see Obama as the charlatan and amateur he was to begin with, and why him and his policies are coming under such heavy criticism.

    • Ted

      What Obama had to overcome was the historic levels of obstruction and lack of wanting to govern on the Right. Between the Senate’s 420 filibusters and the House passing the fewest bills such as jobs bills EVER the turnaround he’s led has been remarkable. Had the Baggers in the House helped just think how much sooner we’d where we are now! And if it was so easy to do then why was the economy heading off a cliff under W? Why did it take Obama to fix it?

  • k962

    Bernie, whether you like it or not government and media has gone hard left! Obama has doubled down on pleasing the left, his appointment of John Podesta as an advisor is proof enough of that.! De Blasio’s election in NYC is a Marxist regime in motion more interested in creating class division than solving problems! Yes you are right, I don’t want to hear them, I have heard it all before in the 60s and 70s. I will not compromise with Marxist tyrants!

  • ksp48

    THe premise that everyone is becoming more and more polarized seems correct. I think in part we can thank the President for that. When the very top is as divisive as he and his admin (EVERYTHING is divided by race, class, income, gender and political viewpoint) , its unlikely that the rest of us won’t follow that lead.

  • sniper2535

    As a conservative I’ll occasionally converse in communities such as this. I will eventually be called a racist when any opposition has no further valid points to contribute. There is no comparison between liberal and conservative vitriol. None.

  • madhatter46

    In 1492, the center thought the world was flat. “Truth” is much harder but more important to find. Yes the rhetoric should be turned down –but left, right is for marching and being in the center doesn’t lead to truth! I’m amazed how many stereotypes the ‘Center” promotes with their own ideological catechism. As my old Marine sergeant used to say–poop or get off the pot–no center position.

    • Bernie

      I certainly didn’t call for any “center” position. I called for a more civil discussion.

      Bernie

      • madhatter46

        But I’ve heard you call the Tea Party (limited Constitutional Government–Federalism) radical. I’m 67 years old and I’ve seen how “1965 normal” now is considered old and worst, radical. Newton’s theory of gravity is old but still relevant and more importantly still a truth!!! So if I believe abortion is the taking of a life–see the echo sound–then I’m considered radical by the mainstream media? I’m so fed up with polls —again in 1492 the Genoa Times stated that 87% believe the world is flat. So what -87% were wrong! How can Obama’s lies about healthcare not be considered lies? It’s hard to stay civil in Alice’s Wonderland.

        • nickshaw

          I think that was 97%, MH.
          If you know what I’m getting at. ;-)

      • I Hate Fascists

        You can start by cleaning up your cesspool of a website. But why would you even want a civil discussion if you believe as you have written in the past that liberals are ruining the country?

    • Seattle Sam

      The Columbus flat-earth myth perhaps originated with Washington Irving’s 1828 biography of Columbus; there’s no mention of this before that. His crew wasn’t nervous about falling off the Earth.

      • brickman

        Thank you. I had this same discussion about a month ago. Now if I can just get people to stop using the term “moral compass”.:-)

      • madhatter46

        The crew went to charter schools and read National Review! Joke and therefore not part of the 87%

  • wildjew

    THE AUDACITY OF HATE – Obama & Pastor Wright’s Racist Church

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcXFxbx1Y4M

  • Helena Handbasket

    OOOOHHHH!!! You right wingers with your BIG GUNS!!! Just thinking about it is making me all tingly!!!

    • wildjew

      Do you know why the Founders gave us a Second Amendment?

      • Helena Handbasket

        Do you know why God gave you a tiny pee-pee? I suspect the 2 are related

        • wildjew

          I hate to descend to your level. Do you know why God gave you a large (stretched out) ‘cooch’?

          • Helena Handbasket

            You want it? You can’t have it

          • Helena Handbasket

            Did the Mohel cut a bit too much off? No wonder you are such a Wild Jew

        • Ted Crawford

          Actually Helena, it’s an extremely valid question! One of the best answers I’ve seen was given by John F. Kennedy, and it doesn’t agree with Obama, Feinstein and Schumer!

  • wildjew

    Bernie, I feel compelled to say something to you from one Jew to another Jew. I just watched you on Bill O’Reilly @ http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/oreilly/index.html#/v/3025094713001 The Hitler comparison came up near the end of your interview. Obama is not Hitler (there are no perfect historic comparisons), yet Obama is plenty dangerous Bernie. Obama sat in a racist church for twenty years internalizing anti-American, anti-SEMITIC, racist sermons. Obama ran with PLO activists, racists, jihadists, anti-Semites, etc., virtually his entire adult life. Bernie, I feel compelled to question your Jewish instincts; your instincts for survival. Perhaps your lack of sound Jewish discernment is the reason why you (and O’Reilly) are perplexed folks on the right do NOT want compromise with this very dangerous man in the White House.

    • Ted Crawford

      I don’t know from “Jewish Instincts”, but simple common sense would seem to make it clear that Obama and his progressive regime is an equal if not greater threat to America than was Hitler!
      Remember what Cicero said about people such as Obama. ” To be more feared than a Murder!”

  • gold7406

    polarization is a tool used by the administration to draw clear lines of difference.
    in trying to distinguish differences between products or philosophies polarization makes sense. as a community organizer, it was always, “us against them.” the constituency was able to understand, that if they didn’t give you what you wanted everyone in opposition was evil. the distinction is always yes or no, dark or light….never a gray area. compromise was viewed as a loss.

    • wildjew

      Here, listen to this brief interview on NPR: “Saul Alinsky, The Man Who Inspired Obama”

      “Alex Cohen talks with Alinsky biographer Sanford Horwitt about his book Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky His Life and Legacy and the man.”

      Horwitt writes for Huffington Post, not a right-leaning publication. Cohen does not challenge Horwitt’s assertion that Obama studied Saul Alinsky who wrote, “Rules For Radicals.”

      RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

      RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

      RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

      RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

      • Ted Crawford

        “Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my fathers model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond the local organization to affect the Democrat Campaign in 2008!” L David Alinsky

  • agunillaj

    Thanks for writing this, Bernie. I agree that both sides are too far out, the conservatives mostly right now because Obama is the WH, and before that the liberals because Bush 43 was there. I am moderately interested in politics, but I am sick of both parties. I work with nothing but liberals and my personal friends are often Christians, which for some reason means that you have to be pro-gun and afraid of the government. I prefer to stay in-between and only listen to or read journalists/authors who can either keep a middle perspective or at least be very fair-minded and knowledgeable about their opinions, like you, Bernie.

    • wildjew

      agunillaj, as a forty two plus year registered Republican, I was plenty critical of George W. Bush (I voted for him in 2000) and I still am. I believe former President Bush helped make conditions ripe for the rise of Barack Obama. My fellow conservatives (most) do not want to hear this. Bush violated fundamental conservative principles in large measure following the September 11, 2001 attacks. He misled the American people about our friends (in particular Israel who Bush sold-out in behalf of his and his father’s Saudi friends and benefactors) and our enemies. Folks like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc., carried Bush’s water for eight years, virtually uncritically. I am pleased that conservatives see Obama for the threat that he is to this nation’s institutions. Would that they were critical of Bush – that conservatives and Republicans held Bush accountable – because there was plenty to criticize; there was plenty to hold to account.

    • madhatter46

      Be careful of stereotyping. All Christians are not pro-guns nor afraid of government. In fact the majority of Catholics vote for the party that advocates abortion, and politicians who believe the ends justify the means. Even those of us who think the world is divided into 2 extreme positions, in fact have some extreme views ourselves. Also define fair-minded journalists? Truth is far above the elusive term, ‘fair minded.” Most often fair means they define things as we define things. Seek the truth –it’s not a middle ground!!!!

  • Ted

    Why is everything to the gun fetishists, a “war”? And stop buying all those rt wing nut, whack job, gun nut chain emails like the insane, UN Treaty 19 usurping the 2nd Amendment or those black UN helicopters that were going to fly into Texas on election day to count the votes? Or that chain email that absurdly claimed the only reason Japan didn’t conquer us during WW2 was that there was “a rifle behind every blade of grass in America”. Too bad the author of that joke never heard of supply lines needing to cross the Pacific and 3,000 miles of our country for that to happen.
    Sheesh, what’s next? Looking for bogeymen who will repeal the 2nd Amendment when no one’s ever talked about it? What makes the rt wing nuts so paranoid? You’re the one’s who’ve bought all those AR-15 and .50 BMG’s back when they were legal. And you know what? If the Gov ever really tried to take over, even they wouldn’t be enough. You’ve got an AK and they’ve got M1-A1 tanks so sleep tight gun nuts.
    But it’s nice to see that you have (as I do) so little faith in your rt wing politicians. At least we have that in common.

    • Integrity

      You are almost irrelevant. You seriously need to get a life. QED

    • nickshaw

      Other than the fact that Yamamoto is reported to have actually said those words and thus, dissuaded the Emperor from any thought of invasion, it’s not that the Japanese didn’t give it consideration.
      And if you think a rifle is no good against tanks (piloted by men with divided loyalties as a bonus) you really aught to speak with a typical Afghani.
      Liberals have enough conspiracy theorists of their own but, you seem to have overlooked that.
      Do you have as little faith in left wing politicians? Or is your ridicule only directed to those on the right?
      Sure sounds like it.
      As an aside, the Japanese troops on the Alaska islands weren’t sightseeing.

      • brickman

        Depends on the rifle. DAVY CROCKETT.

      • Ted

        If you believe Yamamoto actually said what that chain email bogusly claims he said then you’re guilty of making the same gullible mistake twice because it was that very email which claimed Yamamoto said it. And I’ve seen that statement attributed in other email iterations to an anonymous Japanese Naval Officer at a party AFTER the war to Tojo and Hirohito.

        Re: the attack on the Aleutians you probably know that that it was a diversion from the attack on Midway and in no way threatened the mainland and that’s why their was no rush to finally remove them from Kiska island. Try factchecking that email I cited and see what you come up with?

    • Drew Page

      Ted — You are over-reacting. Not everyone who owns a gun owns an AR-15 or a 50 Caliber sniper rifle. Not everyone who supports the Second amendment wants to overthrow the government. there are millions of gun owners in the U.S. Every year, we read about four or five
      lunatics who decide to kill a bunch of people and it is a tragedy. And every year in inner cities across America gangbangers kill hundreds of their rivals, and lots of innocent bystanders, yet I see no rush by politicians to make street gangs illegal. Police in most cities know who these individuals are but won’t or can’t arrest them. If they do arrest them, they wind up back on the streets again. when police want the right to stop and frisk suspicious looking individuals, they are accused of racial profiling, despite the fact that the vast majority of gangbangers are black and Hispanic. We don’t have a problem with white or Asian gangbangers, so maybe it’s a good idea to “profile” young black and Hispanic males in areas where homicide rates are high.

  • Barry Hirsh

    Bernie, we are in a war to prevent losing any more of our liberty. The core of that issue is guns in the hands of the people, else why would the right have been specifically enumerated?

    That is not to say that we hope to be forced to use them for that purpose (in fact, exactly the opposite is true), but at bottom, the right exists for our own personal self-defense and defense of our liberty, be it against foreign enemies or domestic ones.

    A core right. Remove the core, and the rest will rot.

    • Bernie

      All rights have limits. You can’t falsely yell fire in a crowded theater even thought we have a first amendment right to free speech. all the gun journalist did was say let’s consider limits — and for that he got fired. you happy with that?

      • Barry Hirsh

        Rights do not impart legitimacy to criminal acts.

        Straw man.

      • Drew Page

        No, I’m not happy with that. Dick Metcalf should have the same rights to speak his opinions without threat of losing his job.
        I think that those who called for Metcalf’s firing were over-reacting to his comments. On the other hand, Metcalf knows that the gun rights that we do have are very regulated currently and are always under attack by anti-gun advocates who believe that no one but police and those in the military should have access to any gun.

    • Stimpy

      There already are limits in place. I was surprised to learn that citizens can own fully automatic machine guns – but require a special license to own one. That license comes only after serious scrutiny and ownership is limited to ‘vintage’ weapons already in existence and not to newly manufactured weapons. This is accepted in the gun world, so don’t say that gun ownership shouldn’t or can’t be regulated in any fashion.

      • Barry Hirsh

        Fully automatic rifles, suppressors and short shotguns and rifles are not “in common use”. thus they fail to meet the Miller test and are not afforded Second Amendment protection.

        AR-15’s and the like DO meet both prongs of the Miller test, i.e. “in common use” and “have some reasonable relationship to the . . . efficiency of a well-regulated militia”.

        Hence, Draconian restrictions that materially burden the right can’t be imposed on those weapons.

  • George Williams

    When the Left is out to destroy the Constitution, there cannot be any compromise.

    • Ted

      Nino de Jorge, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you!

  • KStrett

    Bernie’s premise in this article is flawed. The premise is the left and right won’t talk to each other and are becoming two diametrically opposing unmovable objects, which is not a good direction for the country.

    Since he used gun control let me use that to illustrate my point:

    The political left is not honest about their position on gun control. They don’t want to pass ” common sense” gun restrictions. They do want to ban guns all together but they can’t say that. Their tactic is to pass one million new “common sense” gun restrictions and eliminated guns by 1000 paper cuts.

    If one side is being dishonest, how can you have a conversation?

    Example: The metal health restriction on gun ownership.

    Everyone agrees if someone is bat crap crazy, we don’t want them going on a murder spree.

    A bill passes that places mental health restriction on gun ownership. What happens? The state comes in and takes guns away because someone is on an antidepressant and because of that they can take all the guns out of the house.

    If one side is being dishonest about where they are coming from, you can not have a conversation and it isn’t a good idea to compromise. The definition of comprise is the political right goes over to the left’s side and gives them half of what they want.

    Lets listen to each other and comprise sounds great on the surface but never really works out too well…

    • Ted

      So, because you’re paranoid that makes the left dishonest? Don’t think so. But congrats, for the first time ever you’ve just made mental illness a positive trait. Only a fan of those two gun industry shills, LaPierre and Jim Porter could do that proving how easy it is to sell fear to the fearful.

      • KStrett

        Ted, are you seriously arguing the left doesn’t want get rid of guns?

        Why is the idea of deeming lead as a pollutant constantly being floated around?

        Are you in favor of voters being required to show ID before they vote? If No, Why?

        • Ted

          If it is your contention that “the left” (and exactly who is the “left”?) wants to confiscate guns house to house or whatever then yeah, we disagree and one of us is paranoid and has drunk the NRA Kool Aid.

          And evidently you’ve been talking and worse yet, listening to the Alex Smith’s and Glenn Blecch’s of the world? Some critical thought is in order here so ask yourself how the 2nd Amendment would get repealed? You guys control the House and the Senate would need a super majority so your fears are unfounded. And remember, the more fear and paranoia LaPierre pedals the more guns he’s going to help sell for his bosses–the gunmakers. They contribute millions and pay his salary so make no mistake who butters his bread. Oh, and I own guns as well. I just don’t delude myself that an AR will hold off the Gov or prevent the word the NRA loves, “tyranny” or save “freedom”.

          And no, I’m not in favor of your side’s relentless efforts at voter suppression. Given that voter fraud is at .0004% and therefore virtually nonexistent I get it that the only way the cons think they can win is by abrogating the Constitution who they laughingly claim to be fans of while disenfranchising as many Dem voters as they can. Ah, what strict constructionists they are!

          • madhatter46

            Where did you get the .0004% voter fraud number? Come to Chicago and compare the death notices to the voter’s roll. Or people admitting they didn’t vote but had their votes tabulated? Would the statistical .0004 –(again where did you get that number?) have mattered in Florida in 2000.?How many felons voted in Minnesota for Franken–? Did that matter? What’s funny –How about a bet–if the Repiblicans admitted to winning through fraud, that the liberals would be screaming for a voter id requirement. Maybe a National Identity Card?

          • Bkwcomments

            MH, if you think Republicans are not into voter suppression, research some of the stuff said by Republican party leadership in Ohio.

            There are multitudes of dead registered republican voters as well. It’s the nature of bureaucracy that it takes time to clear the names of the dead from lists. That doesn’t mean other people are casting votes in their names. There is a difference between voter registration and voting. Too many people fail to make that distinction. Even when there are clear cases of fraud in voter registration drives (another activity of which workers hired by BOTH parties have been found guilty) there is no proof (and by no proof I mean statistically insignificant enough that there is virtually none) that improperly REGISTERED voters have actually voted.

            There are also multitudes of people on multiple lists. When people move from one state (or any voting district) to another and register in their new locale, they are not necessarily immediately removed from any previous voter registration lists they were on.

          • madhatter46

            Maybe we don’t read each other’s post so well–sorry all I meant is that cheating is more than .0004 –I live in Chicago–and yes I believe both parties engage in fraud. Work as a judge and protest a vote and see how far it goes—not far if you are of the minority party–by minority I mean either a dem judging in a rep district or rep in a dem district. In my opinion, I don’t see why showing an ID discriminates against people. In fact, I think that in Indiana and Georgia, both states requiring ID’s, the vote count actually went up after changing the law.I just served on jury duty- had to show one to get into the building. Flying by airplane-need an id. Buying liquor, need an ID. Withdraw money from a bank-show an ID. I called the fire department to get an ambulance to take me to the hospital–had to show an id and they wanted to see my insurance card too. Many states give ids free of charge–no cost to individual. Heck, I’d contribute to a fund to provide id’s and a bus to transport also–to allow a more valid count–to both parties. That .0004% is way to low–wherever it came from—hope not Mother Jones. lol. Yes there are even laws that disallow comparing voting rolls to residency or death notices–a waiting period–why ? Yes moving from state to state or district to district is a potential problem –or precinct captians voting for people not present.

          • Ted Crawford

            “We’ll take one step at a time, We’ll have to start working again to strengthen the Law, and then again to stregthen the nextLaw! Our ultimate goal, total control of hand guns, is going to take time!” Peter Shields
            “Waiting periods are only a step, Registration is only a step, the prohibition of Private Firearms is the goal!” Janet Reno
            “Gun Bans are an idea whos time has come!” Joseph Biden

        • Bkwcomments

          I would be willing to argue that many on the left are NOT trying to get rid f guns. You can own all the guns you want as long as you are a responsible gun owner. I don’t have a problem with gun registration; I think it’s a good thing. I DO have a problem with the bullshit argument that people need to own guns in order to provide a well-regulated militia. The 2nd Amendment needs to be amended to remove that outdated crap.

          Lead IS a pollutant. And it’s hazardous if it gets in the water supply. Even stained glass artists have seen restrictions on lead-based solder. The ammo industry is not being singled out on this.

          The constitutionality of banning certain weapons is for SCOTUS to decide. I see no reason to ban them completely but I also don’t have a problem with requiring special training or licensing for handling certain weapons.

          I am in favor of voters having to show IDs. I’ve been a proponent of this for years, way before it was “a thing.” It could be as simple as issuing a card similar to a Social Security card when one registers to vote. It doesn’t need to be a government issued photo ID card.

          • KStrett

            ‘I would be willing to argue that many on the left are NOT trying to get rid f guns.”

            Can I own a gun in NYC? Why is it in bastions of liberalism it is next to impossible to buy or own a gun?

            “DO have a problem with the bullshit argument that people need to own guns in order to provide a well-regulated militia.”

            The founders defined a well regulated militia as an armed populous…….

            “The 2nd Amendment needs to be amended to remove that outdated crap.”

            The left isn’t attempting to ban guns but the 2nd amendment needs to be repealed?

            “Lead IS a pollutant. And it’s hazardous if it gets in the water supply.”

            We are not talking about lead in the water supply. We are talking about deeming lead as a pollutant and banning lead bullets.

            “The constitutionality of banning certain weapons is for SCOTUS to decide.”

            Is SCOTUS infallible? Since SCOTUS decided owning a slave was a right, we should have just sat back and accepted the decision?

            It was a good thing Abraham Lincoln didn’t share your view.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    We can’t bake it anymore!

  • therealguyfaux

    The Japanese have a saying to the effect of, it’s the nail that sticks out the farthest which is going to be the first to get hammered.

    I getcha, Bernie, about how polarized everything has become, and there’s no real discussion anymore– it’s the folks farthest from the center who shout loudest at the ones farthest from the center on the other side, leaving many in the middle wishing they’d ALL just shut up.

    But the difference is essentially that (and I claim no special authorship here, as this is practically a hoary old shibboleth by now), the Right think the Left are crazy, and the Left think the Right are evil. That it is a cliché makes it no less true. It’s been said, as well, that the GOP speak to reporters, hoping they will be fairly treated and hoping that what they say will be reported fairly and that the public understand what they were trying to say; whereas, the Dems speak to reporters, knowing they’ll get more than a fair shake, confident that the reporters are in the tank, and hoping the public don’t REALLY understand what it was they were REALLY saying.

    Against that backdrop, then, you have Mr Metcalf’s apparent “apostasy,” which, because it seems to poke a hole in the Second Amendment Rights position, will be lauded by the MSNBC’s and Piers Morgan’s of the world as if the Prodigal Son hath returned. When the shoe is on the other foot, however, it is reported much less frequently, if indeed it is at all. And if it IS reported, it is usually in a he’s-gone-over-to-the-dark-side manner.

    Mr Metcalf’s damascene conversion may be genuine, and I venture no guess on that score. But one can see how the Second Amendment Rights people, already beleaguered by the elite media “intelligentsia” crowd, might see him as Quisling/Benedict Arnold/Judas Iscariot, and react accordingly. It is no less vehement than the sorts of abuse the Left heaped on those who “named names” to Congressional Committees back in the late-40’s/early 50’s, and in the present case, with more justification vis-à-vis the fact that the Supreme Law of the Land is being betrayed in their view, whereas the so-called “rat-baiter’s” invocation of the First Amendment was often a blind for covering up criminality.

    That’s MY two cents in this, anyhow.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Good post!

    • KStrett

      Look at the last attempted school shooting. The shooter turned out to be a socialist, was not using an ar-15 but a shot gun, and the shooter committed suicide after being confronted by an armed security guard.

      The story destroyed the narrative the left has been attempting to sell to the American people. What did the media do with the story? Nothing to see here……..

      If the student was a conservative, he used an ar-15, and there wasn’t an armed guard present, they would still be reporting on it.

      If the student was a conservative they would be attempting to bundle a gun ban with free speech restrictions.

      How can you have a conversation if one side isn’t being honest and the deck is stacked against you?

      • Ted

        “Attempted” school shooting? How is the fact that kids died an “attempted” shooting? You mention he was using a shotgun not an AR and thank God for that! Thank God it wasn’t an AR with a 100 rd drum like in the theatre! Also, how many died from the shotgun vs the movie shooting? Answer: 12 dead and 72 wounded. You really want to compare the two shootings? Or Newtown? Go for it!

        • Jeff Webb

          >>You really want to compare the two shootings? Or Newtown? Go for it!<<

          Great idea.
          Out of the aforementioned shootings, would you say the ones that took place in "gun-free zones" had more casualties or less?

          • Ted

            So exactly how was the latest shooting impeded by a “good guy w/ a gun”? The last two gunmen weren’t killed by anyone but themselves and shot themselves to death? Is it your argument that had 100 rd drums been banned there’d have been more killed at the theatre or less?

          • Jeff Webb

            Really, Ted? Because the most recent perp didn’t let the “good guy w/ a gun” shoot him, the latter didn’t impede him?

        • KStrett

          “You mention he was using a shotgun not an AR and thank God for that”

          Do you read my post? Using a shotgun didn’t stop him from going an a killing spree, AN ARMED SECURITY GUARD DID!

      • Bkwcomments

        We really can’t say what constitutes the last “attempted” school shooting. Every day weapons, sometimes guns, are confiscated at schools. And an attempted shooting could be one that was planned but prevented, by circumstance, by a mentally ill person rethinking his actions, or by a parent who recognized his child’s intentions and got him help and/or removed his access to weapons. “Attempted” shootings don’t always result in weapons being fired. It’s kind of like a “near miss” which, by definition, can’t be both. It was either nearly a hit (collision) or it was a miss. Also, kind of like being “nearly pregnant.”

        And “anyone with half a brain in their head (where else would it be? In their ass, I suppose.) realizes the left” (and I use the term “the left” as you intend it, being to the left myself but not part of what seems to be your definition of left) would not be able to pass the sweeping gun restrictions so many on the right are afraid of. Because many of us on the left are gun owners, or support gun ownership, and recognize the futility and unfairness of such restrictions. But we also recognize the ridiculousness of any claim that SOME gun control MUST lead to the government breaking down doors in the middle of the night to confiscate guns. I mean, seriously? People who make such claims would do well to keep such thoughts to themselves. First of all, it ain’t gonna happen. Second of all, if restrictive legislation somehow got passed, before the slow moving wheels of government could be set into motion those opposed could just vote in people willing to overturn that legislation. Except, of course, those people who fear the government are the same who think it’s actually possible for Obama to become a dictator for life.

        • Sheila Warner

          Your point is well taken. I suppose the Second Amendment hysterical posters here are unaware that the Second Amendment just got a boost from the Court in Chicago, which overturned the ban on gun retailers. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-citys-gun-ordinance-ruled-unconstitutional-by-federal-judge-20140106,0,7182171.story

        • KStrett

          You either ignored my points are are arguing against a straw-man.

          “We really can’t say what constitutes the last “attempted” school shooting.”

          My point on this was about media hypocrisy and the narrative the left was using after the Sandy Hook massacre.

          The school shooting I mentioned destroyed the narrative the left used after Sandy Hook and the Gabby Giffords shooting.

          Where they arguing they wanted to ban AR-15s?

          How many times has the media and the left attempted to present a crazed mass murderer as a tea party activists?

          “would not be able to pass the sweeping gun restrictions so many on the right are afraid of. Because many of us on the left are gun owners, or
          support gun ownership, and recognize the futility and unfairness of such restrictions.”

          You are correct about not being able to pass the restive legislation they want. That is why they are attempting to ban guns by one million new regulations.

          They will not come out and say what they really believe. That is why they lie and say they are gun owners too and they just want common sense restrictions.

          Why have they been floating the idea of having a regulatory branch of government declare lead as a pollutant?

          “But we also recognize the ridiculousness of any claim that SOME gun control MUST lead to the government breaking down doors in the middle of
          the night to confiscate guns. I mean, seriously?”

          After having many debates in the wake of Sandy Hook with liberals it became abundantly clear they had absolutely no idea what they were talking about.

          Many of them believed an AR-15 was an automatic weapon and had absolutely no idea what constitutes an assault weapon label.

          Again, they believed an assault weapon was a machine gun and had no idea that the assault weapon label is constituted by cosmetic issues rather than the performance of the gun.

          Progressives do everything incrementally. First they ban AR-15s and 10 round magazines and then other guns follow after they can use the next tragedy for their political gain.

          They do not pass a single bill and then kick down people’s doors.They slowly raise the temperature and slowly boil the frog instead of throwing the frog into boiling hot water.

          “People who make such claims would do well to keep such thoughts to themselves.”

          After they passed a mental health restriction on gun ownership in CA they confiscated guns from people who were on antidepressants. They also confiscated any gun that was owned by someone else who lived in the house.

          They confiscated guns in NYC. Can you buy or own a gun in NYC? Sure…. you just have to jump threw all the regulatory requirements that make it next to impossible to own a gun.

          What about Hurricane Katrina? Guns were confiscated at a time when you would really need one.

          “. Except, of course, those people who fear the government are the same who think it’s actually possible for Obama to become a dictator for
          life.”

          You are arguing against a straw-man. No one is saying the government is currently tyrannical

          However, it is not unreasonable to hold the position that some time in the future the government could turn tyrannical. If you look at history, this tend to happen more than not.

          This is why the founders put the second amendment in the constitution. They realized government’s default position was to grow and become more and more oppressive.

          If you look at the majority of oppressive regimes you will find they have a lot in common. They all generally take guns out of the hand of their citizens.

          Are you going to argue that the founders of this country are insane and paranoid?

          Is it permissible for American citizens to show an ID before they vote?

    • madhatter46

      Problem is defining the center but more importantly the ‘Truth.” Back in 1492 ,the ‘Center” thought the world was flat!!!!

      • therealguyfaux

        The Center is not virtuous simply in virtue of BEING the Center, of course. Let’s have a moderate amount of freedom of the press and speech in this country, OK? Let’s have a moderate amount of equal protection of the law and of the right not to be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, OK?

        Of course, that’s horse$#!t, as anyone can see. But what has happened is that people have over the years allowed many in the political arena to get away with advocating policies without disclosing the philosophical underpinning of those policies. Sometimes the “Truth” of the position taken, i.e., the reality of what it would accomplish, ain’t pretty, and Low Info Joes, who aren’t going to work it out for themselves, similarly don’t demand it be shown to them– and sadly in many cases, wouldn’t care, even if it were.

      • brickman

        People have known the earth was a sphere since 330 B.C. Eratosthenes calculated its CIRCUMference in 240 B.C. Isaiah 40 talks about the “circle of the earth”. Bede, a christian monk, wrote about it in the 7th century A.D. Islamic scholars knew it in the 9th century. Dante wrote in the Divine Comedy about the earth being a sphere. With very few exceptions, no educated person in the history of western civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed the world was flat.You’ll make your point better if you stop using this false analogy.

        See no use of “low info” in this discussion. I don’t believe this poster is low info. His other posts show that. He’s just wrong on this itty-bit point. No need to get nasty. It can be done.

  • Darren

    I read the Metcalf article i question, and I can’t entirely agree that he was essentially chased down by a lynch mob. The problem with his article, and it’s really inexcusable in a gun writer, is that he displayed a very poor understanding of the second amendment, and then seemed to advocate something threatening second amendment rights based on that poor understanding. In his article, Metcalf parroted one of the central ideas of the gun-banners: that the second Amendment’s phrase “well regulated” equates to regulations (laws) which infringe on the right guaranteed by the amendment. This is NOT what it means. The words “a well regulated militia” (the means that the body – the militia – is well drilled, practiced, and maintained. American English has changed a bit over the last two centuries, so that use may no longer be common, but you can still find it in the dictionary, and at the time the Constitution was drafted, that was the common usage of the word and it was well understood. Modern scholarship has confirmed this.

    To be well regulated, the militia (which was comprised of ALL able-bodied males) required the possession of the weapons the members would need in order to maintain their proficiency. That’s why the Amendment was written: to maintain possession of arms and skill in their use, for the people, so that they could protect themselves and, by extension, their country.

    Metcalf seemed to admit that he thinks regulated means legislated, and then followed on from this misunderstanding to say, that any legislated infringements are essentially acceptable because they’re just the regulations that the Amendment allows. This is NOT the case.

    This call for more gun control from an industry veteran, made under a poor understanding of the very amendment he claims to support was, quite understandably, outrageous: a prominent editor of a gun magazine gave a page that magazine to agree with some of the most common anti-gun talking points. Those talking points are false, but he gave them more credibility. Metcalf did something that gives aid and comfort to those who seek to eliminate my (and your) rights to self protection as guaranteed by the second Amendment. I think it is entirely appropriate that he faced some backlash from doing so.

    • George Williams

      So many amendments, so little understanding of their actual meaning. Conservatives mistrust the left as they’ve attempted to pervert the 2nd Amendment, 14th Amendment and the Commerce Clause to their own ends. Even the Supremacy Clause has been taken too far, allowing the federal government to enact law conflicting with state prerogatives.

      • Ted

        So per you only cons can read the Constitution and have a monopoly on understanding it? Pfffft! You’d be well advised to tell your hypocritical con buds to read the part about the individual right vote disenfranchisement so worried about rights are you!

        • George Williams

          The People have the right to assure that their votes mean something. Fact: The history of this country is rife with voter fraud, dating back to turn of the century. The same potential exists today as back then, should a concerted effort be made by your corrupt party. The news has been full of persons voting multiple times for Barack Obama. Your party puts far too much effort into assuring that we are vulnerable to voter fraud, thus making your motives questionable.. The Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws requiring photos to protect the integrity of the vote are legal. Your party’s argument to the contrary is therefore just ideologues spouting venom to make political points.

          • Ted

            Hey, Mr Alzheimers? What happened to “No Response”? Did you already forget what you wrote a little earlier? Quick! What’s your name, George? Give up?

          • nickshaw

            Voter ID is simply a platform for those who love to shout “racist!”
            Nothing more.

          • Bkwcomments

            I’m a liberal who has been a proponent of voter IDs for many, many years. Even if the requirement is showing a piece of mail addressed to the voter and delivered to them at the address they provided in their registration, as has been the case in some of the districts in which I’ve lived. I see no reason in asking people to prove they are who they profess to be when they are claiming a right as a citizen. Of course there will be some who will be disenfranchised through unfortunate circumstances. That is what is normally considered collateral damage, the cost of doing business, the built-in +- statistical error. No system will be perfect and no system will satisfy everyone’s demands. But if we’re going to limit voting to those who are eligible and registered, there’s no reason to not expect them to prove they ARE eligible and registered.

            Why is it that people are so embattled in the ID requirement argument, yet nobody is questioning the requirement that people register in order to exercise their right to vote? Opponents of gun registration requirements come to mind. You don’t want to be required to register a deadly weapon, or prove proficiency in its use, but you want people to be forced to register to vote and provide IDs. I don’t get it. I support registration and IDs for both. And like I said in the beginning, I’m a liberal.

          • I Hate Fascists

            The Integrity Of The Vote?? Is that what you think voter id is about? Some prominent right wingers would beg to differ:

            Mike Turzai PA House Majority Leader: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
            http://www.politicspa.com/turzai-voter-id-law-means-romney-can-win-pa/37153/

            Pete Gilbert Pasquotank County NC GOP chairman: After ruling that on-campus address cannot be used to establish residency: “I plan to take this show on the road”
            http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/08/17/3115208/college-students-will-have-to.html

            Ken Emanuelson Dallas Tea Party Activist: “I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”
            http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/06/texas-democratic-group-targets-dallas-tea-party-activist-and-comment-about-black-voters.html/

            Don Yelton Buncombe Former NC GOP precinct chairman: “The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt, If it hurts a bunch of college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”
            http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/10/24/north-carolina-yelton-resigns/3184993/

          • I Hate Fascists

            The Integrity Of The Vote?? Is that what you think voter id is about? Some prominent right wingers would beg to differ:

            Mike Turzai PA House Majority Leader: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
            http://www.politicspa.com/turz

            Pete Gilbert Pasquotank County NC GOP chairman: After ruling that on-campus address cannot be used to establish residency: “I plan to take this show on the road”
            http://www.newsobserver.com/20

            Ken Emanuelson Dallas Tea Party Activist: “I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”
            http://trailblazersblog.dallas

            Don Yelton Buncombe Former NC GOP precinct chairman: “The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt, If it hurts a bunch of college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”
            http://www.usatoday.com/story/

          • George W. Bridge

            The Integrity Of The Vote?? Is that what you think voter id is about? Some prominent right wingers would beg to differ:

            Mike Turzai PA House Majority Leader: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
            http://www.politicspa.com/turz

            Pete Gilbert Pasquotank County NC GOP chairman: After ruling that on-campus address cannot be used to establish residency: “I plan to take this show on the road”
            http://www.newsobserver.com/20

            Ken Emanuelson Dallas Tea Party Activist: “I’m going to be real honest with you, the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they’re going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”
            http://trailblazersblog.dallas

            Don Yelton Buncombe Former NC GOP precinct chairman: “The law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt, If it hurts a bunch of college kids too lazy to get up off their bohonkas and go get a photo ID, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of whites, so be it. If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”
            http://www.usatoday.com/story/

        • Darren

          “So per you only cons can read the Constitution and have a monopoly on understanding it?” Please quote the passage where I said or even implied any such thing. Simply because I point out that Metcalf, and many of the gun banners are wrong about their understanding of THIS amendment, in no way shape or form translates to an implication that only conservatives are capable of understanding the entire document. This is just about the most egregious leap of logic I think I’ve ever seen.

          And spare me the nonsense about disenfranchisement, because that’s what it is: nonsense. Requiring someone to show ID to vote in no way disenfranchises them, not when getting an ID is trivially easy for ANYBODY, and 99% of eligible voters already have one (after all, you need one to board an airplane, get a job, set up bank accounts, rent a car, take out a loan, etc. etc. ad nauseam).

    • Stimpy

      So a citizen needs a license to operate a vehicle but not to own a deadly weapon? I say that as a non-rabid gun owner of a hand gun.

      • Darren

        Operating a motor vehicle is not a constitutionally protected right. That IS a privilege. Also, you don’t need a license to operate a motor vehicle as long as you only do so on private property. You only need one to use the public roads. Complete apples and oranges comparison.

        • Stimpy

          Uh … they didn’t have motor vehicles when the constitution was written. They didn’t have semi-automatic, high capacity weapons either. Motor vehicles can kill when not operated responsibly, hence the license requirements. Apples and oranges … really?

          • Bkwcomments

            There are a lot of comparisons to be made between gun ownership and driving. Why do cars need to be registered? Partly so when one is involved in an accident, ownership can be traced. When one is stolen, it can be traced and the theft can be reported, the vehicle identified. Drivers’ licensing ensures that one has a basic understanding of the rules of driving and safe driving measures. That doesn’t mean all registered drivers USE that info, but at least they have been exposed to it. Drivers’ licenses can be “graduated” as in restrictions on new (usually teen) drivers which are lifted as the driver gains experience. Licensing is also classified, so that your average SUV-driving soccer parent doesn’t think piloting a Hummer from their suburban driveway to the local Starbuck’s qualifies them to drive a tractor-trailer combo on the open road. Though that theory is often tested by people who think nothing of attaching a behemoth trailer to their sub-compact and wiggling their way down the road, or hopping into the cab of the largest available U-Haul truck, overloading it with household crap they’ll throw away when they reach their new home, and slamming their oversized vehicle into the roof at the McDonald’s drive thru.

            Yes, licensing and restrictions have their place, and there is no valid reason to exempt gun owners from licensing and restrictions. It is NOT a violation of the Second Amendment to require licensing and restrictions. And gun owners who claim the right to bear arms under the guise of providing a well-regulated militia are fooling nobody but themselves. I know gun owners who have proudly served in the military who would be embarassed to claim such a right. I also know gun owners who would pee their pants and throw their guns out the back door at the first sign of a militia organizer knocking on their front door to ask them to join up to defend their country. Not to mention the fact that hasn’t happened in a coupla centuries. So keep the guns. Nobody’s trying to PREVENT private gun ownership. Just stop hiding behind the “militia” bullshit and say you just like guns. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Irresponsible ownership, though, is a threat to society, just as irresponsible driving is. There’s no VALID reason to NOT regulate gun ownership.

          • Darren

            Yes, really. They also didn’t have the internet, television, radio, loudspeakers, and so forth when the constitution was written. Are you really prepared to assert that your

            first amendment rights should be limited to the range or your unamplified voice, handwritten letters, and hand-operated printing presses?

            There were also no airplanes, cars, motorboats, high-rise apartment towers, so maybe your fourth amendment protections against illegal search and seizure shouldn’t apply to those things.

            By your logic, NOTHING that involves anything later than eighteenth century technology should enjoy constitutional protection. That what you want?

          • Stimpy

            Take a deep breath. I simply was responding to the statement that “operating a motor vehicle is not a constitutionally protected right”. In a way you validated my answer — motor vehicle operation requires a license. Where in the constitution does it say that owning or operating a firearm DOESN’T require a license? We have restrictions and licenses required for ownership of automatic weapons so the concept isn’t as alien as you would suggest.

          • Darren

            “Where in the constitution does it say that owning or operating a firearm DOESN’T require a license?”

            The same place it says exercising your freedom of speech DOESN’T require a license. Do you understand the concept of a RIGHT?

      • Iowa48

        Could you help me out with some directions? I need to know which offices I need to go to get my licenses to express my opinion, to exercise my religion, and assemble with my friends to protest government malfeasance. I am having some difficulty finding those offices, and I assume you know where they are located. And since the Internet did not exist when the Constitution was written, do I need a special license to use it to express an opinion? Is Skype covered under the same license?
        Also, I am unsure if I need a license to hire an attorney, or a license to secure my home from being unreasonably searched. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to if and where those licensing offices are located. Thanks ever so much.

        • Stimpy

          No, you don’t need a license for any of those things. And, if you are a cop or a gang member, you don’t need a license to kill.

  • Uncle Dave

    I understand what you’re staying, Bernie. But I like it here in my cozy, comfy corner; reading only the news that I agree with. I had a few conversations over the holidays with other staunch conservatives, like myself (they’re the only ones I ‘bother’ talking to); most of us agree, This Year… we’re all backing off of the TV-set, the computer blog sites and AM-radio. We are getting burned out all the in-fighting in the GOP, the hostilities across the aisle and the schemer-in-chief. This is mostly in an attempt to lower our collective blood pressure.

    But back to your point, to lower the hostility in the room/country, both sides have to give a little. The Right can become less angry but only if the Left will grow-up and face facts (mostly financial). So… who will go first?

  • Gratefulconservative

    Political HACK Obama, can be attributed with all the extreme division going on in the country today. He originally campaigned on uniting the country in order to get elected the first time and everyone was in a wait-and-see mode; until after the election and when his lies became apparent; at least to half of the nation. The other half are still following the pied=piper!!!Some, however, are beginning to see thru the facade. And, I believe you, Bernie, are naïve to think at this point, that any rational person would or could compromise with democrats that are hell bent on destroying the country.

    • Ted

      Grateful Connedservative, so you wishful thinkingly blame Obama for being unable to unite the ununitable? I.E. People like you? To expect him to unite Birthers and Birchers and demagogic racists on the right is absurd. He’s only the President, not a magician,

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Oh brother.

        • Ted

          What a clever rejoinder. Is there more to that or am I supposed to guess?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            It just gets boring after a while, Ted. This dopey idea that anyone who don’t support far left policies is a racist is SO three years ago.

          • Ted

            I do agree that Birtherism, Bircherism and racism is very boring and even more so, boorISH. Unfortunately, it’s still rampant particularly on the right. Until it diminishes on both sides it’s also the truth. And when it no longer occurs I’ll be happy to applaud the change.
            As for now, your side simply denies it as though it’s imagined because they can’t admit it. Funnier still and as you know they claim that anyone who brings it up is the REAL racist.
            So, do you really think Obama should be able to unite those on your side who are Birthers, Birchers and demagogic racists? I’ve never posited that the truth guarantees that it won’t be boring.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ted, I could waste my time trying to rehabilitate you after the damage MSNBC has undoubtedly and tragically caused to your head, but I won’t.

            I would just hope that you could manage to open your eyes up wide enough to see the irony between your post above and the content of this column.

            Thanks T!

          • Ted

            You could also continue to waste your time making specious claims on prior posts like “Many on the left still think W lost the election in 2000″. What the hell does “many” mean? I don’t know any who believe that. Do you have numbers or %’s to offer? Sadly, when you don’t it’s easier and better just to say “many” and hope no one calls you out for it. Then you attempt to minimize the % of racists on your side when you called them the “vast majority?” or some such un-substantive and vague, wishful thinking BS. To you the facts are whatever story supports your narrow minded narrative. I liked your party so much better when facts had meaning unlike now.
            As for this column and even one of yours about politics and children, it was surprisingly balanced and articulate. You can always tell that it’s balanced when Goldberg gets called every RINO name in the book. The irony is that the Baggers are the real RINOs, aren’t they? Even Jorge Boy knows that.

          • Patrick H.

            Are you saying the majority of Republicans/conservatives/libertarians or anyone else who disagrees with Obama are racist?

          • Ted

            Of course not! But that does fit a certain parochial, kneejerk narrative that the rt has wishful thinkingly embraced, doesn’t it? It would be much easier to dismiss that idea that on the rt race has nothing to do with this President. I wonder how soon George will drive by and say, “I hate his white side, too”. Then my day will be complete.

            I’m saying if you hate, don’t like or don’t trust or if you oppose your President because of the fact that he’s black THEN you’re a racist. I’m also saying that whenever a rt winger says that to point out racism makes that person the racist is total BS. By that absurd yardstick when anyone criticized W and was called a “hater” that would make the W supporter the real “hater” wouldn’t it? I’d also hazard a guess that the older a Caucasian male is over 65 or so, the higher the likelihood he’s got racist tendencies.

            It’s no coincidence that the single largest group that voted for Obama the least were uneducated, southern, white males ages 70 and up. Interesting that this would put these southern “gentlemen” at just the the right age to be the KKK “emeritus” from the 60’s.

            In a recent AP poll 79% of Repubs and 32% of Dems gave answers indicating they had racist tendencies. In another it was 64% Repubs and 55% Dems. In 2008 Obama also lost the white vote by 11.5 million votes. So, anyone who thinks his winning the election was because he won the white vote is mistaken. If anyone thinks racism is dead they’re in denial.

          • Patrick H.

            Okay I think I would agree with the first part of your post. And I can sort of see your argument on white southern males (although I think you are jumping into stereotyping a bit here). your last sentence: “If anyone thinks racism is dead they’re in denial.” Who said that? I don’t think anybody on here has denied racism is still alive. Have some argued it’s exaggerated and caused by race-baiters like Sharpton, Jackson, and others they’ve named? Yes. Do they disagree on specific incidents like Trayvon Martin on whether or not it was racism? Of course they have. But nobody in his or her right mind has denied racism is still alive in some capacity.

          • Ted

            For the most part we agree. Well reasoned….and not just because we agree. As for Trayvon, you have to wonder would Zman have profiled him had he been white with comments like ‘these a$$holes always get away w/ it” and “he’s up to no good” etc if he hadn’t been black? We’ll never know now.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            That’s true. We’ll never know. Why then, do you proclaim “to know” when it comes to conservatives who oppose President Obama?

          • Ted

            Ok, last time I’m going to tell you so I’ll say it r-e-a-l slow just for you. I’ve never said and therefore do not believe that, despite your side’s desperate need to believe otherwise, to criticize Obama or any black politician is inherently racist………..Unless it’s done because of that person’s race. And per the various polls, many if not most people with racist tendencies are unaware and in denial about them.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. The problem is that you keep insisting entire demographics are against Obama BECAUSE of his race.

            Your words: “You’re right. I should’ve said ‘freaked out’ old, white guys who ‘want their country back’ and who for the first time ever look at the White House and see a black guy instead of another old white guy staring back at them. How disconcerting that’s been. It’s also what spawned the Tea Party movement despite what the cons are willing to admit.”

            The fact that you’ve painted the entire Tea Party movement as racists negates your argument.

          • Ted

            And? You really don’t know any freaked out old (70 and up) white guys who see and fear immigration and the 2% decline of the white majority every 4 yrs and yep, a young black guy in the White House? If not, then you’re simply in denial. Try reading the fear based crap here from people like George Williams and others and tell me what that you think that’s based on? That’s why they demagogue Obama like the Tea Partiers. And yes, they were formed to oppose Obama not unlike a political wing of the KKK.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I’d guess about 75% of the old white guys are racists based on my experience.

            Well that sure sounds like irrefutable evidence. lol. Ted, aren’t you an old white guy yourself? Is that the “experience” you’re referring to?

            >>You really don’t know any freaked out old (70 and up) white guys who see and fear immigration and the 2% decline of the white majority every 4 yrs and yep, a young black guy in the White House?

            I know LOTS of old white guys (can’t believe I’m even entertaining your choice of words). None of them are freaked out by immigration. Some have a big problem with ILLEGAL immigration. And none of them could care less about the color of our president – only what he’s doing in office.

            >>I know dozens of them in southern California who belong to my golf club and after a couple of beers will drop the n-word in relation to Obama.

            Pick new friends.

            >>Sounds like you’re simply in denial.

            Or I just don’t hang out with racist golfers.

            >>Try reading the fear based crap here from people like George Williams and others and tell me what that you think that’s based on?

            I like George. He puts forth strong arguments. I see no racism in his posts. I have a big problem with the Obama agenda and I am very critical of it, in large part because I fear the kind of future its setting up for my children. Does that mean I’m a racist?

            >>They say he’s a commie, a socialist, the anti-Christ, a Muslim from Kenya and he’s out to “destroy” America.

            I’ve heard George W. Bush called far worse things by the left, with just as much regularity. I assume you are equally offended by that?

            >>That’s why they demagogue Obama

            Ted, Obama is the king of the demagogues. If you can’t see that, you’re beyond redemption.

            >>And yes, they were formed in response to Obama and to oppose Obama.

            To oppose the Obama agenda, correct. Not to oppose the color of his skin.

          • Ted

            You’re right of course that the sample group I mentioned is from southern Cal and contains more racists than the rest of the country. Pfffft! So what part of mississippi are you from? The part that has no racists? Try educating yourself by reading the AP polls which show racism exists (obviously) on both sides and has gone up over the last 5 years not down. Your views and position that you know zero racists are what happens when your wishful thinking trumps critical and objective thought.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>You’re right of course that the sample group I mentioned is from southern Cal and contains more racists than the rest of the country.

            lol. Just listen to yourself. You’ve declared 75% of an entire national demographic to be racist, based merely on your experience with a handful of liquored-up golfers at a country club. OF COURSE I find that absurd. Who in their right mind wouldn’t?

            >>Pfffft!

            Why do you keep typing that? Are you sick or something?

            >>So what part of mississippi are you from?

            Mississippi? What are you talking about? I live in Colorado.

            >>Try educating yourself by reading the AP polls which show racism exists (obviously) on both sides and has gone up over the last 5 years not down.

            Give me a link and I’ll give it a look, Ted. I don’t doubt that racial tension has gone up. But racism? I’d like to see that “proof” of yours.

            >>Your views and position that you know zero racists

            When did I say that I know zero racists? I’ve absolutely met people who I’ve heard make racist comments before – all throughout my life, in fact, and not just from white people. It’s certainly a rarity for me to here it these days. I can tell you that I haven’t heard the n-word outside of television and movies for probably 20 years.

            I said that I don’t know anyone who’s “freaking out” over a black man being in the White House, just like I don’t know anyone who’s freaking out over black men playing in the NBA.

            Anytime I’ve ever heard someone complain to me about Obama, it’s been about something he has done, never about the color of his skin. I’m sorry you have trouble believing that from inside your country club bubble.

          • Ted

            It took liquor for them to be honest enough to display their hatred. Not sure how you missed that but you did. And were I as desperate to prove that racism doesn’t factor into the distrust and fear of the black, Muslim, anti-Christ from Kenya like about 25% of your side admits to believing I’d make similar statements as you did. Yep, all of the push back against Obama is strictly policy based. Just like white supremacy hate groups growing by 150% since Obama took office. Again, strictly policy based. As for those AP polls do what I diid. Google them under racist AP polls.

            As for your other wrongheaded contention that W was treated more disrespectfully than Obama, try and prove it. Ask yourself how many Dem pols yelled “You lie!” during a sotu speech or were and still are openly Birthers vs W like they are vs Obama? And not one of your side has ever gone up against jerks like Trump or Arpaio or the fat ass Limblob because they fear those guy so much?! Have you no shame, sir?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Is this honestly the argument you’re making? That if you liquor up a bunch of old, white guys, 75% of them will start dropping the n-bomb?

            What have YOU been drinking tonight, Ted?

            You obviously chose to ignore all of the Michael Moores, Harry Reids, Al Frankens, Keith Olbermanns, Cindy Sheehans, and Harry Bellefantes, Kanye Wests, Rosie O’Donnells, Howard Deans, Janeane Garofalos, Sean Penns, Al Sharptons, Oliver Stones, the Truther movements, Hitler comparisons (just to name a few) of the world during the Bush era…

            … Or maybe you were just liquored up at country club bars during that time. ;)

          • Jeff Webb

            So, you missed the part where Mr. Zimmerman wasn’t sure if he was black, then? Did you hear the actual recording of his call to the police? You know, BEFORE NBC’s edit?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ted’s argument is one I’ve actually seen often from the left (including on this website):

            Because racism exits (which it absolutely does and no one would deny), it stands to reason that those who dislike Obama are racists.

            Ted, in some of these posts, then makes the distinction that only people who dislike Obama because of his skin color are racists. Well, no duh! But he’s merely guessing as to who those people actually are, which completely negates his entire argument.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. Congratulations. That’s the most incoherent rant I’ve read in some time.

            Again, I find it absolutely stunning how self-unaware you are.

            You blindly proclaim conservative opposition to Obama to be racist, then you insist that anyone who disagrees with that statement is being un-substantive and vague.

            Tell me you don’t see the irony there.

          • Ted

            Wow, so you really missed the point? Clueless thy name is John. I’ve never said and I repeated it here to another poster that to oppose Obama was in any way de facto racism unless you opposed him due to his race as “many” on the right do. Evidently, I misjudged your intellectual acumen since you failed to glean that. My bad.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. Ah Ted, you keep me young.

            Your broad-stroke proclamation in the past has always been that conservatives’ distaste for Obama begins with the color of his skin, and that you know this not because you have proof, but merely because you know how “they” think.

            Now, you’re taking the definitive position that only “many” conservatives who oppose Obama do so because of the color of his skin, for which you still have no proof, other than your claim that you know how “they” think.

            I’m really glad you cleared this up. Well done, Ted.

          • KStrett

            Ted, Birtherism came from Hillary Clinton’s campaign….

          • Ted

            Even if that’s true and no one here has offered any proof of that, is your point that somehow she’s on the hook for what knuckleheads like Trump, Arpaio, Orly Taity, the aptly named Gary Kreep and all those Bagger pols like Steve King from Iowa and a number of Reps from the south still baselessly allege? I thought your party was all for individual responsibility, no? Aren’t those idiots on the hook for what they say? Or would that involve too much honesty when it’s easier to find someone else to blame for their fear based idiocy?

          • KStrett

            Look it up. The idea that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States originated with the Hilliary Clinton campaign.

            Do all conservatives believe President Obama was not born here?

          • Ted

            I’ll ask again. Are you saying Hillary’s somehow responsible for what the rt wingers do or say about being Birthers?
            And I tried looking it up and could find nothing. If you’ve got something pls send me a link. According to the polls about 20-25% of cons think Obama’s not a citizen and a Muslim. And that’s despicable.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Here you go. Took me about 15 seconds to Google it: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53563.html

          • George Williams

            No responses to Ted.

          • Ted

            Georgie Boy, you’ve given yourself sound council. Lets see if you have the intelligence to take if. I’m guessing you can’t. Feel free to prove me wrong.

          • George Williams

            I’ve got you pegged, Teddy Bear. You are unemployed, live at home with your mommy after obtaining a community college degree and been turned down by a hundred employers who tell you that knitting isn’t really isn’t a marketable profession.

      • George Williams

        Ah, the Human Fly is buzzing the Goldberg blog once again.

        • brickman

          Richard Thompson?

          • George Williams

            His brother Ted.

          • brickman

            Richard Thompson has a son called Teddy.

      • Jeff Webb

        BO’s efforts to unite have been the same as Obamacare’s consequences: nothing like his prior claims.

        • Ted

          He’s a pragmatist and he’d also have to be a real slow learner to continue to waste his valuable time on a group as intractible and recalcitrant as the Tea Baggers. Like the defeat of the filibuster, the hard righties like Jorge Guillermo here are just pissed that just like the beating they took over shutting down the government, Obama outmanuevered them once again and as usual. Better learn how to deal with it because it won’t be the last time you get schooled.

          • George Williams

            If they’re baggers, then that makes your party the scum of the earth.

          • Ted

            If….?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>He’s a pragmatist.

            lol. Is that the term we now use to describe someone who repeatedly lies to the American public to pass unpopular legislation, on a party-line vote, that affects 1/6 of the U.S. economy?

          • Jeff Webb

            Blaming the TPP for Obama’s refusal to follow through on his lofty rhetoric? Cute. You know, it ain’t just “Birthers and Birchers and demagogic racists” who oppose him. Focus on very specific groups all you want, but the guy hasn’t acted like a uniter to ANYONE.

            Either Obama needs to qualify more of his claims or he shouldn’t make them in the first place.

  • GM Suarez

    Can’t wait to see the reactions you get for this column which will undoubtedly and ironically prove said point.

    • Patrick H

      No kidding, never mind the fact that the internet can bring out the worst in all of us. I wonder how long will it take before a “I’m never reading any you write again” posts or “Bernie’s a traitor to the conservative cause” or better yet “anti gun, anti Christian, anti conservative bigot/racist, RINO” or whatever else.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        I’ve actually seen those very responses directed at Bernie on this website. I don’t get it.

        Bernie’s never presented himself as political partisan, yet because he was the pioneer of exposing liberal media bias, everyone expects him to be one. lol.

        • Ted

          You really don’t get it that when anyone who’s not in lockstep with the fringe end of the fringe end how incredibly threatened that makes them? Surely, that can’t be a newsflash to you, can it?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            The fringe end of the fringe? Uh, no. I’m just talking about partisanship in general.

            I think partisans on both sides of the political aisle have a team mentality, and when someone perceived to be on their team doesn’t tote a certain line, they let themselves feel a sense of betrayal.

            That’s what hurt Clinton in 2008 with Iraq, after all.

          • brickman

            I was a Clinton supporter in 2008. I agreed with the attack on Iraq but would have withdrawn after the capture of Saddam. Hillary wasn’t hurt because Democrats didn’t consider her a team player. In a contest between 2 candidates, people voted for the person closer to their views. In the Dem Party, anti-war sentiment is the majority. They won.

      • KStrett

        Bernie’s appeal was one of the media’s own correctly pointed out the media is indeed biased to the left. When he wrote Bias the media didn’t know what to do or how to deal with him.

        Usually when this happens the media’s first response is to paint the person as a rabid
        conservative ideologue or ignore them. If I remember correctly Bernie was ignored and some attempted to put the rabid conservative label on him.

        It is because of the media reaction coupled with frequently appearing on Fox news that many people misconstrued him as a conservative.The reality is he is not.

        To me, he is stuck in the old 1990s republican paradigm. In other words, you need to moderate, middle of the road and comprise to win. This tactic has failed over and over again but proponents of this idea will not give it up.

        “Bernie’s a traitor to the conservative cause” or better yet “anti gun, anti Christian, anti conservative bigot/racist, RINO”

        You are parroting Bernie’s straw-man caricature of “conservative purist.” I don’t think comparing conservatives to Ayatollahs or labeling them as the “suicide wing” (only to be proven wrong later) is appropriate type of discourse.

        If instead of arguing against a caricature, he presented conservative arguments and articulated why he disagrees, I can respect that. However, that is how he deals with the conservative wing of the GOP.

        When he veers off from media bias, he shows he is coming from an outdated paradigm that doesn’t work.

        • Ted

          If that paradigm doesn’t work as you assert and assuming I understood you then you’re all about ideological purity, correct? Then explain the last two Presidential election outcomes? Or the fact that the Dems have won 5 of the last 6 presidential election popular votes? Additionally, your side could’ve and should’ve held a majority in the Senate had they not been so rigid in supporting merely the most con candidate.
          Watching Romney first have to pander to the Tea Party during those 19 debates and then have to pivot back to the Independents during the final two Presidential debates was painful to watch. The fact was/is that no one couldn’t have shifted positions that far and that quickly without being called a flip flopper and the sooner that is understood by the Tea Parties holding the rest of the Repubs hostage, ala Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the sooner they’ll be competitive again nationally.

          • KStrett

            Ted,
            “Then explain the last two Presidential election outcomes? ”

            Are you joking? Both McCain and Romney are the apotheosis of moderate. McCain is essentially a democrat and Romney implemented Romney-care!

            How do you explain the successful tea party candidates in 2010?