Ted Frier

Ted Frier
Location
Boston,
Birthday
April 02
Title
Speechwriter
Bio
Ted Frier is an author and former political reporter turned speechwriter who at one time served as communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, helping Bill Weld become the first Bay State Republican in a generation to be elected Governor. He was Chief Speechwriter for Republican Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift. Ted is also the author of the hardly-read 1992 history "Time for a Change: The Return of the Republican Party in Massachusetts." So, why the current hostility to the Republican Party and what passes for conservatism today? The Republican Party was once a national governing party that looked out for the interests of the nation as a whole. Now it is the wholly-owned subsidiary of self interest. Conservatism once sought national unity to promote social peace and harmony. Now conservatism has devolved into a right wing mutation that uses divide and conquer tactics to promote the solidarity of certain social sub-groups united against the larger society while preserving the privileges of a few.

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JULY 6, 2012 3:49PM

Right wing attacks one of its own -- again

Rate: 25 Flag

Jonathan Krohn, the precocious 13 year-old who wowed attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference four years ago, is older, wiser and feeling the heat from his one-time admirers now that he's disavowed the revanchist prejudices he absorbed through conservative talk radio.

Krohn admits his speech to the CPAC convention about the "principles of conservatism" (respect for life and the Constitution, personal responsibility and less government) was "naïve," but also "something that a 13-year-old does" when he lives in a place like Georgia where people are "inundated with conservative talk" even before they've had a chance to form opinions of their own.

"One of the first things that changed was that I stopped being a social conservative," said Krohn, explaining his turnaround. "It just didn't seem right to me anymore."

I know just how Jonathan feels. One of the reasons I abandoned conservatism myself is that however logical or meritorious its arguments might be in the abstract, when you added real people into the mix the thought of ordering an entire society around such stark and unbending beliefs was horrifying.

One example: while I might disagree with their conclusions, I do respect on philosophical and theological grounds those people who think abortion is evil and a sin, even from the moment of conception. I can even admire someone doing the hard, time-consuming missionary work of winning over hearts and minds one at a time to their pro-life position. It's behavior inspired by moral conviction but which still respects individual free will, dignity and personal choice.

Yet, within the anti-abortion movement itself is the fertilized egg of fascism.

Imagine for a moment a new cabinet-level department -- call it the Ministry for the Protection of Life -- created when some future President Sarah Palin and Tea Party Congress finally disenfranchise enough blacks, Hispanics, elderly, college students and non-Christians to gain power. This new ministry is empowered to register all women who become pregnant. It then follows them with its army of MPL field agents throughout their term and to the moment of birth. And these agents are equipped with portable trans-vaginal, ultra-sound probes which agents are authorized to use during surprise inspections at a moment's notice.

What a horrible consequence to come from a "culture of life."

But that's the sort of epiphany Jonathan might have had as he "thought about it more" and realized the possible consequences of his abstract right wing principles becoming real.

Since life is complex, he said, "you can't just go with some ideological mantra for each substantive issue."

And so what had once looked "fresh and insightful" back when he was 13 now seemed like spam in a can: "A lot of what I said was ideological blather that really wasn't meaningful. It wasn't me thinking. It was just me saying things I had heard so long from people I thought were interesting and just came to believe for some reason, without really understanding it. I understood it enough to talk about it but not really enough to have a conversation about it."

A little learning is a dangerous thing. And once people start thinking for themselves, and demanding more than slogans and talking points, they are ruined forever as foot soldiers for the conservative movement.

"I have to explain to people over and over and over again that I'm not a conservative and I have my own ideas and I'm not just agreeing to everything that every conservative said, Krohn says.

Krohn now says he supports gay marriage, President Obama, Obamacare, and a woman's right to choose.  And so, as Politico reports, Jonathan has been pilloried by the far right as a traitor to the cause.

"There have been a lot of people on the right who have attacked me viciously," Krohn told Politico. One commentator even went so far as to suggest that if he had been Krohn's father he would have left him in the woods as a baby to die.

David Frum, himself a prominent conservative apostate who has felt the sting of the right's scorpion tail, says the piling on against the 17 year-old has been "pretty ugly" but not surprising.

Frum points to Gregg Re of Daily Caller who, in a snark-filled screed, portrays the "self-styled child actor" as a political opportunist, whose "conformist embrace of non-conformism won him fast new friends" as he headed off to pursue a film-making and screenwriting career at New York University - "an institution known almost as much for its progressive slant and weed culture as its nationally-recognized film program."

Yet, says Re, in an effort to "make the right look bad," Politico "deliberately portrayed Krohn's shift from staunch 'tween' conservative to teenage liberal college-bound idealist as a brave and unusual move."

Re goes on to quote one attendee of the 2009 CPAC conference as exclaiming after being told about Krohn's political conversion: "Holy fucking shit. The kid was the most annoying 13-year-old I have ever met."

Re even threw Krohn's mother under the bus, calling her "an aspiring actress and middle-school drama teacher" who coached her son for the publicity it got them.

"Krohn was smug, condescending, and obviously completely ignorant of what he was saying," Re quotes another attendee as saying. "When I spoke with him, I got the impression he was merely repackaging what someone else had told him. He was smart, but almost Stepford Wife-like in how it seemed like he was being used. It was creepy. ... He kept talking about the book he had written and how many radio shows he had been on."

After a pause, wrote Re, the source added: "To be clear, the fact that he was being used did not make the kid any less of a douche."

Jonathan Krohn is now in good company.

The attacks against him now that he has betrayed right wing orthodoxy remind me of when William F. Buckley Jr.'s son, Christopher, endorsed Barack Obama for president back in 2008.

After Buckley broke ranks, the editor of the National Review magazine that Bill Buckley co-founded in 1955 called Buckley's son Chris "cretinous" and canned him on the spot. This led the younger Buckley to say: "I retain the fondest feelings for the magazine that my father founded, but I will admit to a certain sadness that an act of publishing a reasoned argument for the opposition should result in acrimony and disavowal."

A year later, David Frum learned the hard way the price of diverging from the right wing conservative party line when he was let go as a Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for challenging Republicans on their obstructionist strategy on health care reform.

And then there is shock jock Michael Savage. Savage went on the air after Chief Justice John Roberts surprised conservatives last week by joining the Supreme Court's liberals to rule Obamacare constitutional and said: "Let's talk about Roberts. I'm going to tell you something that you're not going to hear anywhere else, that you must pay attention to. It's well known that Roberts, unfortunately for him, has suffered from epileptic seizures. Therefore he has been on medication. Therefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you look at Roberts' writings you can the cognitive disassociation in what he is saying."

Savage reminds me of those old Soviets who used to send dissidents to mental hospitals since opposing communism was obviously crazy.

And when, as Paul Krugman notes, the presidential nominee of the Republican Party is forced by his conservative base to "bitterly denounce the Supreme Court for upholding the constitutionality of his own health care plan," you can understand why someone like Frum would say Republicans are prisoners of a "mindset of subordination and conformity."

It's a mindset that reveals itself whenever conservatives lash out in frustration and rage at liberal critics who they denounce as being hypocrites for not living up to their own liberal principles of tolerance and open-mindedness -- by unconditionally surrendering to right wing orthodoxy.

Recently, for example, the Washington Examiner's Senior Political Columnist, Timothy P. Carney, wrote about the "closed-minded dismissal of opposing views" that he says is now "a core strategy of the Left" as liberals "ignore, dismiss and ridicule conservative and free-market views."

What is telling about Carney's remarks is that as thin-skinned as conservatives seem to be about criticism of their ideas, Carney does not have much faith in either the veracity or efficacy of those  ideas or else he would have put up a better fight for them against liberal criticism. Instead, again and again, Carney cites the mere fact of a liberal criticism against a conservative "idea" as being its own refutation, as if disagreement of any kind is uncivil and out of bounds. Conformity in the name of open-mindedness?

We all know the game being played here. Carney doesn't defend conservative ideas.  He defends the conservative groups that embrace them.  Carney isn't interested in promoting a genuine, good-faith debate between liberals and conservatives. His aim is to promote conservative group solidarity by stoking resentments through the age-old tactic of picking a fight and telling people that they --- or their intelligence, their honor, their dignity, or the good name of their mamas -- are under attack by some targeted "outsider."

Convince enough conservatives that liberals despise them just for who they are, and disrespect their ideas -- well, just because -- and you never, ever have to engage with liberal arguments or refute them on their merits.

Bottom line: It would be a whole lot easier to take conservative ideas seriously if conservatives took ideas seriously themselves.

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I did a quickie post, including video, on young Mr Krohn after his CPAC speech. It's prescient and short enough to reproduce here:

It's hard to be critical of a kid, but this one has redefined conservatism with his book "Define Conservatism"
He gets closest to the real meaning of conservatism when he describes it as a pie filling. When he gets older he's bound to be disappointed to find out what the pie is really filled with, but at least he'll completely understand what "conservative movement" means.

The title: At Last, A Conservative with an Excuse for Being Adolescent.

As you probably know, aberrant ideological movements reserve their worst demonizing for their heretics. It's no surprise they were compelled to attack this kid.
There is no one more powerful than those who "convert" themselves one way or other to new ways of thinking and believing, but I'm sure you're also aware that close minded fanaticism isn't only a conservative perogative. For every Hitler there's a Stalin throughout history, and it's no less true today. You'll find them screaming right here on OS.

What is the source of ideological fixation? That's the question I wind up at and I don't think the answer is on any front page or legistative solution. If you dare challenge the fanatics to take a deeper cut you become the psycho, yet there seems little other way to explain the insanity that has become our national conversation.

Murdoch was very clear recently that he only sees the news as an "entertainment" for the vast majority, hence the Michael Savage's and Bill O'Reillys find their platform and prey upon their victims. Pity the peacemakers. Pity them today, pity them tomorrow, and pity them the day after that.
"Aberrant ideological movements reserve their worst demonizing for their heretics."

Paul, be forewarned, at some point I am going to steal that line in a future post because it gets at the point exactly. I get no extra consideration or credibility -- none -- for having once been the communications director of a state Republican Party. In fact, as you say, if anything the hostility is worse because they know that I know who they are and what they think and have still rejected them. And that is what causes them to thrash out as hysterically as they do, even to the absurd lengths of criticizing liberals for being closed-minded hypocrites for rejecting their conservative closed-mindedness.

And Ben, what is the source of ideological fixation? Sounds as if you have given me a challenge for my next post. But I am thinking it has something to do with anxiety and the need for certainty. That, together with what I have suggested above -- that politics is an extension of personal identity for some.
The presidential debates are going to be really, really telling when Romney's conservative values are challenged. Can't wait.
"Identity" politics is what came fully into vogue during the Clinton era when the Washington establishment hated the hick from Hope, if I remember correctly (though it started with Nixon) who stuck his foot in it and still managed to survive. Class started to trumph all else.

I ask: why are so many so easily influenced to vote against their own best interests?

But not only that. Why are they so fervent about it?

Or this: Why are so few able any longer to distinguish between politics and ideology? What has made politics a religion and religion a mere ideology?

My grandfather didn't vote with the same intentions in mind that people do now. He knew who were the good guys and the bad guys from his vantage point, but who does any more?

Eventually, you arrive at an examination of the American "mind." The most recent popular book was about "rightousness." I forget the exact title but it talked about our communal ideological attachments. If we don't go beneath the front pages, we are the victims of them. That's why I review books now, anything to get out of the fucking box.

My conclusion is for most Americans "politics" has nothing to do with politics, but are projections based on purely personal considerations. Pick at them and they come apart at the seams. We have become a nation in which the majority are adolescents, or so ignorant and confused it doesn't matter.

How else do you explain the presidential race and Romney in particular? He's offering virtually nothing except that he isn't Obama, the authority figure, and all the little boys and girls wanna go find their new mommy and daddy. The herd isn't interested in anything it can't fuck.
How could anyone, liberal or conservative, expect a 13-year-old to remain consistent with regard to anything? This is why I think it's wise to keep kids out of the spotlight when it comes to politics.
Conservatives might have their ideas viewed more respectfully if they were open to evidence-based beliefs on evolution, global warming, incarceration and supply-side economics, to name just a few.
Political "philosophy" in the US is no longer a matter for examination and debate except in academia; it is, for the public, fully religious in nature now. One does not question or challenge the doctrine laid down by the leaders - one just believes it. Anything else is heretical and will be punished as such.

And yes, this applies to all parties...... no exceptions.

;-)
.
Attacking this (still a) kid is ridiculous, but characteristically cruel. These are people who cannot abide any deviation from the party line.
American conservatives are always open to a difference of opinions when you agree with them 100%.
It appears that Jonathan Krohn has grown up, and has a definite capacity for critical thinking and discernment. That's a heartening sign in a young adult. Especially one who has been inundated with political messages since he could remember.

Unfortunately, it seems the adults of the Tea Party are still thirteen year-olds at heart and still parrotting what they've been taught to believe.

rated
Thanks everyone for your comments. I think we are all on the same page. And Kate thanks for bringing up Woodward and Bernstein because, paradoxically, a society that is less serious and more inclined toward entertainment will also be a society more susceptible to ideologies (to your point Ben) which offer ready answers to all life's problems and shortcuts to thinking instead of the hard disciplines of politics and governing that require a fuller and more nuanced view of the world. Such a society will also be susceptible to political extremism for the conflict and drama it provides. That is why Rush Limbaugh's listeners defend his rants as "entertainment."

An argument I left on the cutting room floor (one of the few!) in my last post about equality and Chris Hayes's new book on meritocracy, is the idea that one of the reasons conservative communication has become so dysfunctional is that it is no longer the language of governing but rather of the protection and preservation of privilege.

Hayes point is that a society that divides wealth and power according to "merit" -- and nothing else, especially an egalitarian ethos -- will inevitably produce a corrupt and incompetent elite with the power and position to rig the game in its favor, get rid of the referees (government) so that it can pull up the ladder against future competitors after it has gotten to the top, and avoid accountability for its mistakes by blaming others.

This is the Iron Law of Meritocracy, as calls it. And Republicans have become as incoherent as they are because as the wholly owned subsidiary of today's oligarchy their aim is not policy that makes sense and is intellectually coherent and consistent but the defense of that oligarchy by whatever means necessary. And since they can't defend those aims on their merits when challenged all they have left is to use liberalism's values of tolerance against their liberal critics by accusing them of hypocrisy for not being more openly embracing of conservative dementia.

The emergence of oligarchy out of movements is not a feature exclusive to the right but of all group dynamics whether of the left or right. Communism, after all, had its own 1% in the leaders of those countries who were actually allowed to be members of the Communist Party. But in America oligarchy has been a particular problem on the right ever since Ronald Reagan and the GOP opened the gates to the development of a financialized elite with their supply side tax and regulation policies beginning 30 years ago that favored capital over labor and manufacturing.

And because oligarchy and elitism and therefore the ideologies that protect them are group dynamics, what America needs going forward is to rescue those habits of discredited liberalism that we have lost (regarding evidence and reason, rule of law, compromise, and genuine democratic behavior, free speech and press as the foundation of real debate not manipulative propaganda) that encourages people to get beyond the comfort of their particular group in a constitutional arrangement of limiting checks and balances and divided powers that, as Madison said, has "the ability to break and control the violence of faction."
There are Liberals who have the same issues of being able to argue a case on the merits alone. Yet, being politically asexual (in that I believe neither party should exist -- I believe political parties are anathema to the concept of a Democratic Republic in the first place) I have the outsider view of both parties.

Since the time Reagan won his second term in office (and I voted for him that second time) I have watched the shift in politics, both from left and right. Here's the skinny of a quick score card.

Since 1978 till now:
Political Sexual Scandals have shifted from being a Majority Left/Democratic problem to a much larger Right/Republican problem. This means that, in the beginning of this period, the majority of sexual pecadilloes were mostly Democratic, but the level was low, something on the order of 8 at most in a single snapshot. Now, in this day, it's almost completely on the Right and the highs have hit something like 18 in a single snapshot. That is a swing from left to right and an increase of 125%.

Moreover, this swing now includes, more often than not, gay or homosexual scandals. Which is alarming when you consider that one of the primary planks of the Right is very strong Anti-Gay rhetoric that should cause the Right to literally hang their scandalous ideaologues on pikes, yet instead it gets brushed aside as being made more of it than it really is.

In financial terms, money scandals in this period went from notoriously left to right as well. And again, we see that the level has increased at an alarming rate. Once again, though, the arguments from the Right basically "pooh pooh" the notion that they've done anything wrong and that this really isn't illegal or unethical, it's just a perception problem being made more of than it is by those damn Commie Liberals (who were the ones most guilty at the start of this period.)

Seeing all this from the outside looking in at both sides, it's comforting at times to hear the Right scream, "Well, they're just as bad!" Except that this is the argument of the child caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. You can't justify bad behavior on your part by exercising the old saw, "Well all the other kids are doing it."

The truth is that both parties have their demented and disconnected despots. The difference is that the arugment, "They're just as bad," from the Right doesn't hold water. No, they're not just as bad. They're not even close. In their competitive bid to win at any cost and by any means necessary, the Right has become rapidly unable to argue anything on the merits of their cases. Evidence that dispels any logic they might provide is simply ignored as blatant lies, coming from people who know no better and their family lines are questionable as well.

How much of this sort of arguing comes from the Left? Honestly? It's actually quite little, especially as compared to the outrageous increase in terms of percentage and proportion from the right.

Like the 13 year old who is now 17, I started off quite conservative and ended up relatively liberal in my views, because people cannot be slotted and pigeonholed into nice, neat little niches of behavior. The entire platform of the Republican Party is trying to "regain" some lost glory of exceptional Americanist prosperity.

Except that this "lost glory" isn't for everyone. It's only for those deserving of it. And while those deserving few amass ever greater wealth and prosperity, they are poisoning our lands, farming out our manufacturing and productive capacity, resulting in fewer jobs that lead to prosperity, and they are increasingly intent on creating rules that separate not only the wealthy from the poor, but the voices of dissent from those that are simply good little compliant followers.

This is what I see from the outside looking in on both parties. The Right has become insane, for all intents and purposes. The left lacks the moral conviction of their own reasoning, in that advancing liberal principles doesn't require them to have a spine. It's as crazy in its own way as the rabid phobic jingoism of the right.

All in all, though, on balance, I prefer that we have folks with good ideas and poor conviction than those with bad ideas and religious zeal to carry that out no matter who gets trampled in the process. In the former, we simply have inept government that leaves things pretty much as they are. In the latter, we end up with a fascistic and zealous despotism that will make you disappear if you don't like it their way.

That this kid has changed his mind, even under the oppressive conditions he described gives me hope. I have argued consistently that, even with our woefully gutted public education (and goddamn it, quit calling it free education, it ain't free, it's publicly funded through taxation -- and it's a good idea) system and our focus within it to turn out millions of drones to serve us in restaurants, janitorial functions, cops who obey without question and other such service functions for those who can afford to have a real education that focuses on critical thinking and reasoning -- we still get kids like these, who can rise above the dross and chaff of our purposely deteriorated systems and reason, think and observe that something's not right with this picture.

They're not ALL chatting on FB, Twitting and playing video games and that should be a beacon call to anyone willing to give a damn and focus on finding kids like this and encouraging them to think independently, show them where to look to find more information on subjects of concern and provide them with positive values of reason, logic, critical thinking and the open-mindedness of being able to view opposing views without immediately disparaging it because it comes from a source you might not like.
dunnitowl,

You are in good company not believing in parties. The Founding Fathers didn't like them either, calling them "factions." The problem is that since the organized will always outgun the unorganized, we pretty much need parties or something like them to protect ourselves.

What we can preserve from the founding fathers are the virtues of "civic republicanism" or "disinteretedness" that they hoped to achieve with their system of checks and balances that forces the parties to grow beyond their narrow group, to deliberate and compromise in order to reach some public as opposed to private interests. That is a liberal principle, not a conservative one and it is never easy to bring about since the "public" interest or "common" good is usually in the eye of the beholder.

But we can try by giving support to those traditions, norms and other parts of our culture that promote impartial and objective realities over arbitrary and self-interested ones. Science, rule of law, parliamentary procedure, judicial rules of evidence -- these are what I mean.

As a former reporter I subscribed to the "Canons of Journalism," which were rules designed to ensure that American reporting was accurate and fair. "Unbiased" is impossible, since merely selecting what stories to publish, however accurately, requires a value judgment that reveals what we think is most important. But right wing conservatives have destroyed even that by undermining public credibility in a free press altogether in order to establish their own "fair and balanced" alternative that is self-consciously unfair and unbalanced in favor of conservatives.

It is true that you will always find individual examples of liberals who lie, cheat and steal in order to promote their favorite cause -- maybe lots of them -- which we can be sure will be enthusiastically promoted on Fox News to prove that liberals are hypocrites. But the truth is that lying, cheating and stealing is baked into the right wing conservative cake because their aim is not to peacefully govern a large and complex society but to advance the interests of their particular subgroup within that society.

When a liberal lies in order to get his way politically, in other words, he is acting against his liberal principles, which require equal application of universal principles of honesty, fair-dealing and truth-telling. Only in that way can a liberal hope to build a larger community made up of many different groups. Conservatives believe in universal principles too -- provided they are "conservative principles" of their particular tribe. If not, conservatives will do anything they can get away with to undermine those values, beliefs or practices. When right wing conservatives like Brent Bozell of Accuracy in Media speak of "liberal bias," for example, they mean a liberal bias in favor of ideological impartiality and factual accuracy -- since such a liberal "bias" might produce a journalism that disadvantages right wing conservatism in some way. And Bozell can't have that.

And this is why I say that while liberals may sometimes be hypocrites themselves, right wing conservatism is hypocritical by nature.
I saw young Mr Krohn interviewed on TV, and I must say he is to be admired for having the courage to publicly admit to error -- that alone places him far above those who are savaging him. Doing so coming from whence he came makes his frankness all the more laudable, for one has to suspect this puts him at odds with his family as well as the Right.

That the right would use a 13-year-old to promote its ignoble cause in the first place, speaks volumes not only about its integrity, but its perspicacity. After all, it's well understood -- even by mouth-breathers -- that a 13-year-old is likely to rebel as he grows older.

But alas, the Right is ever foolish when it comes to favoring short-term gain over long time investment. And thus is the notion belied that the Right is truly conservative. Obdurancy is not conservancy.
Why does the phrase "devouring their young" come to mind here?
There is a reason that the far-right Republican government here in TX tried to limit teaching of critical thinking in schools. (And yes, they actually came out and SAID it, leading to much scrambling retraction when they figured out how bad it sounds, to limit critical thinking. Yikes.)
This piece made me smile... picked this out

"And once people start thinking for themselves, and demanding more than slogans and talking points, they are ruined forever as foot soldiers for the conservative movement"
Hm. Did you mean "revisionist" rather than "revanchist?" Revanchism is territorial, and it's most often used today to describe gentrifying urban planning models, as in, "the Daleys' used violently revanchist practices like eminent domain to kick poor people out of large plots of developable Chicago real estate."

Anyhoo, good for the kid.

Rated.
Both this essay and its comments contain a surprising number of well-turned phrases and well chosen words that sum up ideas pithily in the kind of discussion that I value and don't find many places other than OS.

This one stood out: Obdurancy is not conservancy.
Some good points here, but I'm a little depressed that any political discussion starts or revolves around the beliefs of a 13 year old, however precocious.
jlsathre,

I know what you mean. The kid is obviously very bright, but I am less interested in his ideas than the reaction of his fickle right wing admirers to him, whose demand for conformity to a pre-set dogma overrides the individuals who possess them. Once a person changes his or her mind and rejects conservatism, the right will angrily throw them under the bus rather than use the conversion as an opportunity to rethink their orthodoxy for themselves. This holds true whether the apostate is a former Republican communication director like me, a fixture of the GOP like David Frum or a 13 year old prodigy like Jonathan.
Ted-your last post is kind of the pot calling the kettle black. Name a few pro-life dems and we can talk about the dogma angle with some reason. Conservatives do have a tendency to eat their own, Livingston was a perfect example but, dems will forgive all and look the other way over and over. Barney "Hot Pants" Frank had a 'boy friend' running a brothel out of his Georgetown Flat even going so far as to have tickets fixed for Johns parked illegally. A conservative would have resigned that day,dems rally around and ignore which I guess is a strength here at OS.
BTW-ask Ed Rendell,Bill Clinton,Cory Booker ,Harold Ford Jr,Blanche Lincoln. -any pro-business "Centrist' what an ideolog Obama is-The Clinton Centrist model is dead and thdose that spoke up are quickly dealt with such intensity, they all but disappear. Bill Clinton has actually recanted twice on pro business comments.
Yeah, Jay is right, the Dems have become just as grotesque in their partisanship. And in a pro-fascist state with high unemployment where all the major parties' members spend most of their time sucking banker cock, really, who the hell cares about the latest partisan hack piece of "news."
Yeah, I agree with skinny. This is partisan hackery barely disguised as half-hearted reason. Prostituted stuff like this gives real rationalism a bad name.
Jay Richer,

There are a number of anti-abortion Democrats, including Bart Stupak, Bob Casey, Harry Reid, Joe Manchin, and Ben Nelson. The truth is that GOP-leaning groups have been a large part of targeting Democrats opposed to abortion. I recall a Christianity Today article from a few years ago about the Susan B. Anthony list targeting anti-abortion Dems. According to Pew, about 1/3 of registered Democrats think that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.
Bob Casey talks openly about being ravaged by the DNC about his position. Harry Reid stands for nothing as NARAL gave him a 100%
Stephen Lynch (D) South Boston is pro-life and was told if he made it an issue he would not get funding.
Both parties are a mess. Turning on a 17 year old whom I vaughly heard mentioned as an amusing story a few years back is a yawn.
Ted did some great things in Massachusetts but, what sells as a Republican in MA is not reality in fly over land.
I don't think only the right is intolerant of people abandoning their cause. Heretics are unwelcome on both ends of the political spectrum. e.g., the late Christopher Hitchens got a lot of heat and had to leave his position @ The Nation for his strong stance on slamic terrorism after 9-11.