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Neither the First nor the Second Amendment are applied absolutely, nor should they be. The First Amendment is limited by laws prohibiting libel, slander, copyright and trademark infringements, "fighting words," shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, and so on. The Second Amendment is limited by laws prohibiting shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missles, ICBMs, and the list goes on and on. Almost everyone believes the line should be drawn somewhere; the disagreement is where. Even most self-styled absolutists (much like Biblical literalists) draw the line somewhere, even if they don't realize it.
SteveAR: Is gun ownership more important than democracy? If our elected representatives, following the will of the people, pass a bill to confiscate certain guns, do you still think this should be stopped violently? You realize this is anti-democratic, right?
Glenn Beck: "If things would remain stable, I would say we are looking at a loss for the president around the size of, if not greater than, Jimmy Carter. Americans are tired. They are tired of the finger-pointing. They are tired of the excuses. They're tired of it on both sides."
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Mike the Mad Biologist: Nate does not treat the states as independent. The fact that similar states tend to move together is built into his model.
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"And if you are going to cite President Obama, it would be appropriate to at least mention the contrast of how he addressed the mass protests in Iran (an adversary) with how he addressed the protests in Egypt (an ally), even in an article that is centered on a critique of Krauthammer." The U.S. response to the Iranian protests was similar to its response to the Egyptian protests, if my memory serves.
I agree with you that Obama will do what we have to do to make sure the country survives, but I'm sure he doesn't share your belief that most/all Muslims want to impose their religion on us through violence or the threat of violence. Mohammad's exhortations notwithstanding, most US Muslims don't believe in forcibly converting non-adherents. According to a 2007 Pew Research Center survey, only 33% of American Muslims believe that Islam is the one, true faith leading to eternal life, and even then, a full 60% believe there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of Islam. 63% do not see a conflict between being a devout Muslim and living in a modern society. 78% of US Muslims say they are "very happy" or "pretty happy," and an equal percentage say that the use of suicide bombing against civilian targets to defend Islam from its enemies is never justified. Certainly we should be concerned about the small percentage that believes in violence or forced conversion, but this does not justify fear or suspicion of all Muslims. What you wrote in this blog post is disturbing. Its meaning becomes clearer when we tighten the language. "What do you do about adherents to a religion whose freedom of religion threatens your country's survival? You do what you have to do." It sounds like you're suggesting that Muslims' freedom of religion should be taken away, or that they should be forcibly converted, or, darkest of all, that they should be exterminated. I sure hope that's not what you're saying.
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2009 on Conundrum at baldilocks
OK. I assume you're berating Brooks because you think he should actually be castigating himself for helping foster the likes of Limbaugh and Beck. So he should. But leave that out, and this column (or at least what I've read here) is pretty great. He's busting the myth that the right wing media represents a powerful conservative movement, that the right wing has any large effect on the voting public. This is a conservative saying this, and it helps suck all the air out of the big myth. And without that myth to puff up themselves and their listeners, these right wing blowhards will be very weak indeed.
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A much wider range of the public seems to believe in or be unsure about a 9/11 conspiracy than believe in or are unsure about Obama's birth. Check out the disparity in the Independents column. 20% more are Truthers/uncertain than are Birthers/uncertain. Also, with about a 14 point spread, Republicans are much more likely to be Truthers/unsure than Democrats are likely to be Birthers/unsure.
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"a white american" is pretty much a typical Republican today. Moderates have abandoned the party in droves, and that's why the GOP is becoming a regional Southern racist party, no longer a party that can win national elections. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Anyhow, Praire Weather, you've bought into the dominant media narrative. Obama's numbers aren't tanking, they're coming down to earth, meaning down to the 53% that elected him. His numbers will tank only if he delivers "reform" that doesn't extend affordable health care to most of the uninsured, and doesn't offer protections to those buying or who already have private insurance. It wouldn't be quite as bad if health care reform were killed entirely, since then the Republicans can be blamed for killing it. Also, we would know that we could start over, hopefully with fewer Republicans and Blue Dog Dems after 2010, and pass a bill with real punch.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2009 on How the Obama presidency ends at Prairie Weather