June 9, 2008

A Debate with a Conservative: Rebut the Rebuttal

My uncle responds to my earlier email. He's on vacation in England, and he's not really equipped for this discussion:
Chris, you're kidding.  I'm typing on my Blackberry with "one hand tied behind my back."

Hey, this was YOUR idea. You wanted debate, you got debate.

1.  Never said you were a Dem.  You just use there talking points.  They are meaningless, but do support your position -- none.

Which talking points are those? If you're going to accuse me of something, be specific.

2.  You brought Clinton up.  Not I.  You said the press dumped on him.  I say that's a lie.  The press loved him, still does.
I said the conservatives dumped on him; they did, and they still do. Tiresome. Why elect a president who is so reviled by a large constituency that they spend enormous amounts of energy overcoming the opposition. Time for someone who can work well across party lines.

3.  McCain wears the flag every time he raises his arms -- he can't.  But that was a little dig that you take exception too.  You sure made a lot out of it.  
I seem to recall saying that I don't question McCain's patriotism. You made wearing a flag pin synonymous with patriotism, I didn't. But if wearing the pin is what counts, then you have to acknowledge that your candidate also fails that test.

McCain can't raise his arms above his shoulders, but he manages to get his tie on. If he can do that, he could wear a pin. But he doesn't wear a pin. And I suspect it's because like myself, and like Obama, McCain believes that patriotism isn't about putting the flag on your chest.

McCain is a patriot who doesn't wear a pin; ergo, a pin isn't necessary to be a patriot.

Obama refuses to wear one -- said so. 
And I refused to put a flag on my car following 9/11 for much the same reason. I won't fault him for it, because his views on it mirror my own. My patriotism is measured by how I live my life, not a meaningless display of the flag.

He doesn't even salute the flag during the National Anthem.  Big thing? Not too big, unless you want to swear to protect and defend.
Let's be truthfull: he didn't salute it at ONE EVENT.

Have you seen the video of that event? It's up at snopes.com. Indeed, he didn't place his hand over his heart. But listening to the recording, I had a hard time believing it was the National Anthem being sung. Just awful. Honestly, I initially couldn't tell it was the Star Spangled Banner. BTW, the flag code also requires facing the flag, something none of the candidates did at this particular event.

But Snopes also points out that it's ONE event, and there are hundreds of photos and videos taken before and after this one event where Obama holds his hand over his heart during the Anthem.

You will have to do better than ONE instance, on one hot summer day. Show me that he NEVER salutes the flag, ever, and then you will have a compelling argument.

4. He might be a great lawyer -- I doubt it, though.  His own staff hasn't said anything like that.  They keep bringing up his work in the Hood.  Good for him.  Let him keep doing that.  He was a small-time Lawyer in a big firm.  I would have left to join the legislature too.
Did you know that initially, his firm expected that he would remain on payroll and work part time during his tenure on the state legislature? But on the second day he was in office, he called the senior partner and resigned, saying that being a state rep would be "a full time job."

BTW, he took a pay cut to be a legislator. That's why most state legislators keep their "day jobs."

5.  The Illinois Legislature where he worked "with lots of other legislators" to do some good.  Never said he didn't work well with a crowd.

6. Retired police: this was merely a labor-union cuddle event. He wouldn't work for my right to keep and bear arms. No, he wouldn't or didn't.
Actually, as a retired veteran, he did work specifically for your right to keep and bear arms in this case. Read the bill.

He didn't work for MINE. OTOH, I really don't think that a lot of my neighbors should be trusted with military or near-military grade firearms. These maniacs down here tend to fire guns in the air for holiday celebrations.

7.  Politicians don't cut taxes.  By the way, Stewart was a liberal Dem just trying to turn your brain into mush. 
I didn't know that you met Lt. John Stewart, US Army, Ret. And to make any realistic statement about him, you would have to have met him. Anything less would be dishonest.

Hit by machine gun fire 27 times during the Battle of Normandy, he was a decorated war hero. He didn't talk much about it; the only words he ever said to the class about it came in response to a question about his artificial limb: "Lost it in the Big One." He was out on a medical leave of absence my sophomore year: shrapnel had worked its way towards his heart and he underwent major surgery that took the better part of a year to recover from.

He might have been a liberal Democrat; it never came up in conversation: but he certainly wasn't turning our minds to mush. He was making us use them.

The first day of class, he informed us that if we did all our homework, got 100% on every test, if we got every answer right, we would achieve a grade of "C" in his class. "Because passing the tests and getting the assignments correct is what's expected of you, and that is 'average.' If you want an A or a B in MY class, you will have to give me more than I expect of you, you will have to go above and beyond the assigned studies. Otherwise, you get nothing more than a 'C.'"

"Turning our brains to mush?" Is that your idea of "honest debate?" If you want to refute his point, show me that TAX LOAD has gone down at any point in history. Pointing to a tax-cut won't do it. You have to show me that not only did that tax get cut, but that no other sources of revenue were raised to make up the difference.

And good luck with that. That was one of my extra-credit activities; I was going to prove the arrogant sonofabitch wrong. I could not, because it turns out he was right. Every time a tax gets cut, other taxes and fees get bumped up to make up the difference.

He was preparing you so you would just accept higher taxes.  Bush cut taxes and saved the economy and fought his whole tenure to get them made permanent...they should stay in place. It's dems who won't let tax cuts stay in place -- DEMS.  
The tax cuts are irrelevant. They are a fiction. You're wasting your time looking at tax cuts, but then, that's their purpose. You should be looking at the TAX LOAD. And that has not gone down anytime in history. Every time a tax gets cut, a fee goes up, or is created outright. Sometimes we lose sight of it, because the adjustment happens at the state or local level. But it is there.

By the way, McCain thought of the gas tax thing first.  
Hardly something to brag about.

You have know idea what will happen to the price of gas neither do the talking heads on CNN.

"No idea?" I have an excellent idea of what will happen. In fact, I will go so far as to tell you exactly what WILL happen. If gas prices dip, what will happen will be the same thing that has happened every single time gas prices have dipped: people will buy more gas until the reserves shrink and drive up the price again.

History ALWAYS repeats itself.

8.  Thanks for the list.  It is impressive.  Some of them were the law in other states and Obama was not the leader in any of them. Heck they film interviews on CSI and Law and Order. 
CSI and LAW & ORDER are fictional, and not actually very accurate. I have a friend who works for the DA's office in Miami. He laughs at LAW & ORDER. "Funny stuff!" he says.

That they may have been the law in other states isn't actually relevant. He got it passed in his. He found a problem, proposed a solution, and saw it through into law. Few freshmen legislatures manage that even once. He did it several times.

Some required more government spending thus higher taxes or the attempt to raise them.   One limited a person's ability to have his or her voice heard.  I don't like the McCain/Feingold thing either.  They both paved the way for the 501s or whatever the number is.
So score one against McCain, then. Or did you want to only apply things one way?
In ten years Obama might be okay.  He need to run something, like a state or a company or a military unit. Hillary even said he wasn't qualified.
Yeah, because the politician running against him is a great source for honest appraisal. History is against you on this one, Uncle Stew. Abe Lincoln didn't run a state or a military unit, either, and he did just fine. Ask Newt Gingrich about that; he's on the record.

Chris.  None of this makes any difference.  Every time he opens his mouth another program is planned, another tax is added to the list and our National Security is compromised.
"National Security?" Try yelling "BOOGEYMAN," it will be about as frightening to me. Seriously, Bush has run up the biggest deficit in history, and you're going to scare me with hypothetical taxes by Obama?

Bush has run up the biggest deficit since Ronald Reagan. Bush's predecessor will face a 400 billion dollar deficit. When Clinton left office, he left Bush a 122 billion dollar budget surplus.

"National Security." Puh-leeze. Bush has left us with an exposed flank by engaging the tar-baby known as Iraq; we're losing progress in Afghanistan as the Taliban quietly recovers, and what resources has Bush left us to deal the actual threats of Iran, and Korea? And our presumptive allies, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, face turmoil within from radicals who are sympathetic to Al Quaida and the Taliban and Hamass.

Anyway, thanks. That little note of yours about screening out name calling. Real cute, I guess you turn off Radio America too.  Oh wait.  They failed already.
I think you mean "Talk America," and no, I never listened to those left-wing nutcases. They were no better than Hannity, Coulter, and Limbaugh, and the rest of the right-wingnuts.

No, Chris, you may say you aren't a democrat, but you are a democrat or at least a liberal.
At some point, you will have to draw up a list of what makes one a "liberal." I know for a fact that I am not a Democrat.

And if you DO make up a list, leave off crap like "mush-head" and "hates freedom."

Not bad for one thumb on a Blackberry.  The rest of your message never got through.

Cheers, from Alderley Edge. We're coming back down at the end of August. Need to be in another movie.
There are still a few shooting.


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