A political agnostic and damned proud of it

Anytime Capitol Hill Blue runs an opinion column by anyone right of center, I get bombarded with email from outraged liberals who want to know why in the hell I’m allowing such heresy on this web site.

They want me to ban columns from conservatives like Jay Ambrose, Cliff May and others because, they say, such opinions do not belong on "a liberal web site."

Say what? Liberal web site? What part of "bi-partisan" or "independent’ do these folks not understand?

Seems our last eight years of nailing George W. Bush and his henchmen to the wall for their unbridled attacks on the Constitution led some to believe that we are a bunch of left-wingers out to bash anything Republican, right-wing or conservative.

Such readers have short memories. They forget the 1990s when our favorite target was Bill Clinton, his insatiable sexual appetite and his inability to tell the truth.

Capitol Hill Blue is, always has been, and always will be an independent news site that treats both sides of the political aisle with equal disrespect.

Our FAQs page has this to say about our politics:

Politics? We don’t need no stinkin’ politics. We believe it is the job of newsies to report the news, not be influenced by political beliefs or bias.

We subscribe to legendary Chicago newspaperman Finley Peter Dunne’s belief that it is the role of a newspaperman to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."

When Clinton was in office, Democrats dubbed us a member of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy."  My answer to this was:

Nope. We’re members of the Great Buffalo Wing Conspiracy. We meet on a haphazard basis at the local Hooters and, over a plate of wings, ponder important social questions like "do you think those are real?" or "is she wearing underwear?"

After 14-and-a-half years on the Net I should not have to keep explaining this but it seems I do. We keep getting new readers who come because, at the time, we’re bashing their favorite enemy. Then, when we start bashing their favorite political party or President they usually leave after sending an angry email calling us traitors to the cause.

So let me state this again so our newbies aren’t confused:

I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I don’t belong to any political party. Never have, never will. I worked for Republicans during my time on Capitol Hill because they paid better and their checks didn’t bounce.

I’m a gun-owner who believes in the Second Amendment. I’m also pro-choice when it comes to abortion. I hate big government and think bailouts and regulations are, by and large, mistakes.

I worked in Congress long enough to know it — as a legislative institution — is a failure that is so corrupt and controlled by big money that neither party can fix it because both are co-conspirators.

As a general rule, I don’t like politicians, partisans or politics.

So why do I keep doing this? Beats the hell out of me.

Maybe it’s because I’m a masochist, most politicians are sadists and, when you look at it from the proper perspective, sadists are people who do nice things to masochists.


  1. RichardKanePA

    Bill Moyers – William K. Black

    When I first noticed CapitolHillBlue I was impressed that people of different points of view were actually talking to each other or at least at each other.

    But now when praise of Charles Freeman is posted on CHB, none of the accusations of him being a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia were posted, not that a Saudi enthusiast would be of help to the suffering Palestinians since Saudi Arabia was angry since they supported Saddam in the first Gulf War.

    On plenty of web sights people are still praising President Obama, but the story content has made them abandon the debate at this sight.

    My support of Obama is the only support still posting, and I fear he may turn out like Jimmy Carter always trying to do right, but frequently sabotaged by entrenched interests.

    Incidentally I don’t think the band aid approach to the banking credit meltdowns is the right approach, but one would have had to go back to John Edwards to find a top Presidential contender who would not at first try band-aids.

    What most alerted me to how much worse the band aids approach is making things is William Black interview on Bill Moyers Journal. Black was the top expert on the Savings and Loan scandal. He has much detailed insight that I hope everyone especially Doug reads or watches the following:
    Google, “William K. Black: CSI Bailout”.

    (CHB seems lately to be allergic to directly posting links.)

    I want to help Obama do right not join those who are trying to tear him apart.

    I hope Doug picks some stories of praise or at least understanding of what Obama is up against.

    Doug, Thanks for your many past successes at covering contradictory viewpoints.


  2. Watchman

    So Dems are offended that you have not joined the Cult of Obama? That’s a good sign. When you take flak from both sides you know you must be doing something right.

  3. Marzman

    “We know what Doug really wants from politics.”

    I believe we want the same things from what I see.

    “I applaud his work in opposing whoever is in office at any given time since, because of the above reasons”

    Reflexive opposition isn’t helpful, it’s childish. And giving a forum to people with an an ideological axe to grind, people who are just interested in making their points isn’t being effective as opposition.

    Opposition to the Iraq debacle, my first exposure to this site, wasn’t idelogical. It was a matter of both morality and smart policy, as well as opposition to the most heinous, malevolent lying by an American administration in history.

    If Doug wants to be a gadfly, then good. Oppose the way the Obama administration has pulled back from real change, the way it has employed corporate hacks and cozied up to the big bankers. Oppose the fact they aren’t different enough from the Bushies.

    But just giving “the other side” bandwidth isn’t effective. Especially when “the other side” is so evidently morally, intellectually and ideologically bankrupt.

    If our only alternative is a return to the failed policies of the GOP – and right now that IS the only alternative being offered – we better be on guard or we’ll wind up with another resurgence of that horror.

  4. rbw152

    “…opposing whomever is in power at the time.”
    Um. There is always something to oppose regardless of whose in power. No government is perfect and never will be. Isn’t this obvious? And of course opposition should be directed at the encumbent administration because they’re in power and need opposing. Again, isn’t this obvious? Doug does a good job of providing real opposition when those actually in opposition are either compliant, in cahoots or just plain ineffective.

    We know what Doug really wants from politics. He’s stated it many times: a completely new model of government that actually carries out the will of the people – instead of lobbies – and speaks the truth. But he isn’t going to get it because big money is more powerful than Doug Thompson.

    Nevertheless, I applaud his work in opposing whoever is in office at any given time since, because of the above reasons, no government is perfect and because opposition/scrutiny is absolutely necessary to keep even a good government on it’s toes.

    And I don’t think anyone would truly want a government to do it’s work UN-opposed would they? You live in the US, not Zimbabwe!

  5. Marzman

    You’re part of the problem then. You won’t find truth by allowing partisans and polemicists from opposite sides of an issue parrot propaganda and then just split the difference. Sometimes one side is just wrong. Or is much further from the truth and is bending the facts more than the other. Comparing a center/left position with a far right one isn’t balance. That’s what happens in the mainstream media every single day.

    You also hurt rather than help when you take the position of automatically opposing whomever is in power at the time.

    So you were one of the folks howling about Clinton’s sexcapades. Yeah, thanks for that. Thanks for the distraction. Thanks for bringing government to a grinding halt so that a group of filandering liars (90’s Congressional GOP leadership) could make political gains by persecuting a filandering liar. Maybe you could have devoted more time to looking into the destruction of the wage earning middle class which your former boss Reagan started and which Clinton was continuing.

    I don’t belong to a political party either. I also think that our government has for a long time been “a failure that is so corrupt and controlled by big money that neither party can fix it because both are co-conspirators.”

    My complaint with the Obama adminstration is that they aren’t liberal ENOUGH. For all the talk about change and big plans to remake America and move towards a sustainable furture it is rife with people deeply invested in the status quo.

    The problem is that the only alternative, the GOP, is even worse. The 8 years of Bush were all the evidence we will ever need that the the ideology of the GOP from Reagan on is extreme and their policies simply do not work. For thirty years the wage earning middle class, the very backbone of America, the vast majority of Americans, has seen it’s share of wealth and power in this country shrink as a result of these policies. Policies Clinton largely continued I have to say. They have now come to fruition in economic ruin and war with no end in site.

  6. CheckerboardStrangler

    Doug, speaking only for myself, the only time I’ve screamed bloody murder about right of center columnists is when their columns suck.
    Surely there must be better contributors from the conservative movement than Jay Ambrose or Whats-his-name Murdoch.

    I’ve actually praised several of your more conservative columnists from time to time, in fact. The ones I’ve praised seem to have left the Capitol Hill Blue stable, but I remember reading some fine conservative thought when I first joined here.

    But if Ambrose and Murdoch are the best that can be found these days, then so be it. It just means that the conservative movement (not to be confused with conservatism) really IS dead.

    And I have every right to complain about the lack of quality in conservative thought. Please don’t take it personally if I do, because it’s not a slight on you or your fine forum.
    Maybe it’s just like complaining that no one’s making any good carburetor V-8 engines that run on leaded premium anymore.

    Jeff H in TX

  7. NumbnotDumb

    A one-party system posing as a two-party choice.

    The voters don’t seem to mind much, it gives the “losers” something to complain about.
    Funny, it feels like we all lose.

    The “sports mentality” the US has developed allows this “good cop/bad cop” ruse to continue.
    It’s time we realize that bickering divides us, like fighting over the best seat on the Titanic.

    Those in power should receive Oscars because they are putting on a brilliant show, pretending they don’t like each other!
    It’s like pro wrestlers, after the heated ring matches, you’ll see them having a protein shake together in the gym the next day.