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When politics gets personal, everyone loses

By Doug Thompson
September 3, 2007

Here at Capitol Hill Blue we’ve noticed a disturbing increase in hatred in comments posted by readers.

Hatred towards President George W. Bush, hatred towards Senator Hillary Clinton, hatred towards former President Bill Clinton and even hatred towards this country.

This disturbs us. It disturbs us a great deal. While we agree with many of our readers that this country is in great trouble, we cannot agree with the level of vitriol that is directed at those who serve in or seek public office.

We disagree strongly with the policies of President Bush. However, our disagreements are driven by concerns over his policies, not personal animosity. We do not believe the ills of this country can be corrected through hate, threats of violence or disrespect towards those who might disagree with us.

President Clinton often used the phrase “politics of personal destruction” to describe his enemies and it is true that the campaigns of too many who opposed both he and his wife were driven by a personal dislike of both. However, the Clintons also used the power of the White House to wage personal wars against their opponents.

The White House of George W. Bush is just as, if not more so, vengeful when it comes to punishing enemies. Opponents are not just discredited but lives often destroyed. It is said that all is fair in love and war and politics is often portrayed as war.

So, too, is too much political commentary as practiced by those who post comments on news sites like Capitol Hill Blue or the many blogs and bulletin boards that deal with politics.

Too often the commentary goes beyond philosophical differences and descends into outright hatred. We saw it over the weekend in comments posted about the resignation of White House spokesman Tony Snow who is fighting a losing battle with colon cancer.

We saw it in comments posted about Senator Larry Craig, who resigned Saturday amid questions about his guilty plea on charges of soliciting sex from an undercover policeman in a Minneapolis airport men’s room.

We see it in comments posted on too many stories by those on both sides of the political divide.

And we wonder: Is there any chance for resolution of our problems when those with differing opinions become so polarized? Can we find a middle ground when neither side is willing to even listen to the points of view of others? Has political belief become so absolute that only one point of view can be correct all of the time?

We believe it is time for those on all sides to step back and think before they speak, to consider before they pontificate and to remember that absolutes are seldom found in a country as diverse as the United States of America.

As the publisher of Capitol Hill Blue, I pledge to try and do that with my writings. I have not always done so in the past and that was my failing. I will try to do better in the future. I may slip, as I have in the past, because I am human and I have a temper that I lose too often but a month off to reflect on where this web site has been and where it must go has led me to believe that words spoken in anger or opinions driven by animosity cannot accomplish real change in this troubled nation.

We cannot, and must not, advocate positions or spread information that is driven by hate, personal prejudices or political agendas. We must promote reasoned discourse on the issues and problems that face our country.

If we succeed, everyone benefits. If we fail, and as humans we will from time to time, we will depend on our readers to remind us that we have. You, after all, are the reason we publish this labor of love called Capitol Hill Blue.

46 Responses to When politics gets personal, everyone loses

  1. yarply

    September 4, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Whats not to despise,,,,,,, about the people who run this country? They lie, cheat, send people out to fight wars for no other reason than power, money, revenge. Are we supposed to sit back and admire these people?
    Almost EACH and EVERY candidate running for office today will lie and say anything to get elected and then go and do what they want with no concern for the people of this country. These people are controlled,, and working, not for the people, but for the Big biz which is polluting the water, air and food we need. The enslavers of mankind.

    You are disturbed by the hate towards these people?
    Where I do not advocate hate, I certainly can understand what and why people would hate these “people”. What I do not understand and am disturbed by,, is some peoples LACK of outrage towards these monsters. Its hard to be civil towards a criminal while he is stealing you blind, killing your kids and raping the country you live in while he wants to spy on you like you are the one doing something wrong.. A president and any other so called public servant which has sworn to uphold and protect the constitution and has then forsaken his or her vow,, or any other vow, is worthy of nothing other than contempt. So I will say it flat out, The Bushs, the clintons, edwards and all the other liars running for and in, a so called public office make me sick. They deserve to be arrested for treason and done with as any should be who has sold out this country and its people. This isn’t hate its moral outrage.

    When all is said and done it is usually hate of and an overwhelming anger towards the tyrants,, which finally makes a people rise up and throw off the chains of tyranny. They do not say,, lets be civil about this.

  2. Jellicoe

    September 4, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Doug, if what you are arguing against is bad language, that’s a matter of style and manners, and I won’t disagree. However, if you are opposing calling a criminal a criminal, then what you are arguing for is unilateral disarmament in the middle of a life or death war. The people will never know who their enemies are if debate needs to be “polite”. Such a position is a prescription to continued, bleeting servitude. You might just as well sell the blog and let it openly join the corporate press chorus. In light of these comments, can you further explicate what you mean by hate?

  3. justanothercoverup

    September 4, 2007 at 10:27 am

    Doug;

    I’m not sure if I’m one of those who have posted hateful comments or not, as I’ve been posting here on and off for quite a while, and there were times I wrote when I was mad as hell…

    That said, there is a division between hateful statements and reality, and in this administration, too often they seem to merge, and reporting what is “real” may seem to be hateful and inappropriate.

    Would it be a hateful remark if I called Bush a “Mass Murderer?” Maybe, but you have to look at the context in which it was written:

    Former Reagan Aide Accuses Bush of Being a “Mass Murderer”!

    Or, if I stated that Bush was mentally ill and crazy, would that be considered to be a hateful statement? We have both written pieces that challenge President Bush’s mental stability, and that’s a fact that is discussed through-out the web, so would it be hateful to say: “Bush is a mentally deranged mass murderer!” taken in the context that considers my previous statements and references? In other words, there are times when the stone-cold truth sounds hateful, and where exactly are we to draw the line?

    I wrestle with that issue myself, and if someone reads the two articles, and they see evidence that Bush is mentally unstable, connect the dots themselves, what conclusion are they to draw, and how should it be stated? I’m full of anger and I despise Bush and Cheney, and all whom seek to steal our liberty and freedoms – but I rarely use profane language and attempt to keep my writing as civil as possible – because I want people to read it! I don’t want someone to quit reading because they believe it’s just another long, hateful rant about Bush and Cheney… Articles and posts like that are everywhere, as the country is becoming outraged, and disgust and loathing in regard those who have almost destroyed America is everywhere!

    I’m one of the “poor” Americans since I became disabled, and when Milk tops $4.00 a gallon, Gas is just a few pennies less than milk, and ALL of the prices in our supermarkets and stores are sky-rocketing – because to add insult to injury, some genius within the Bush administration decided that making ethanol out of corn was an appropriate way to combat high gas prices, so Bush and his cronies devised a plan to increase corporate profits again, and this time those in the low-income brackets are really suffering! Every time I leave the store I’m breathing fire, calling the SOB’s everything I can think of, because I’m genuinely angry, but those are my personal moments when I vent my utter frustration and despair as it pertains to the state of this nation!

    However, now my anger is now turning to those who continually write about even more crimes committed by the Bush administration – but do nothing to try and organize the people to make change happen, and we could do it if the Progressives and Liberals would simply unite and speak with a unified voice. We could move mountains, there are tens of millions of us out here, yet no one is taking it serious to unite us – and it’s got me infuriated! All of you who are as angry as I am, please turn that anger into activism, and urge all of the Progressive and Liberal political sites to unite as one, and work to effectively remove Bush and Cheney from office, rather than cussing and frothing at the mouth and using-up energy and time that is best suited in effectuating change, not moaning about how bad it is. (And yes, I’m guilty of rants myself), but I also am trying to get people to unite and speak with a single voice, and that my friends, is the only way we will get this tyrant out of the White House!

    William Cormier

  4. JoyfulC

    September 4, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Doug, I like your new leaf. They say you can’t change anyone else in this world. You can only change yourself — but in doing that, you make everything different.

    Thank you!

  5. mrtshw

    September 4, 2007 at 10:32 am

    Has April Fool’s Day been moved to September 3 on our calendars? Doug Thompson, the Prince of Vitriol, has suddenly morphed into the Church Lady!
    What a terrific ploy to generate comments!
    Welcome to the Nanny State of the universe formerly called the United States of America.

  6. ronnieastrala

    September 4, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Ronnie
    Doug – I read you every day – this is only the second time I have commented – but let me say I am very proud of you for speaking against the vitriol that seeme to be infecting the public discord. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the frustration that many of us feel about Bush & Co. – but nevertheless I know from experience how feeling hatred and “chewing” on it can backfire into depression and hopelessness…it’s a matter of mental health if nothing else to be “above” the hatefulness of this administration by not echoing their vitriol.
    Thanks, Doug
    Ronnie

  7. justanothercoverup

    September 4, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    I also must add one other item in regard some of the comments that are made, not necessarily on CHB, but what is almost becoming a trend on the Internet.

    Every day, I see posts where people are calling for an armed rebellion against the Bush administration, which equates to a civil war and an instant declaration of Martial Law – which would give Bush the authority to turn our own armed forces against the people of the United States. When the anger and frustration reaches the level when people are actually voicing their support of an armed rebellion, we know that something is gravely wrong with our nation – and to agree with such nonsense is counterproductive at best, and suicide at worst!

    The mere thought of shooting another American, especially those that are in the National Guard who would help to suppress an insurrection – turns my stomach, and to those that support such a radical approach – I urge them to reconsider and use that so-called “patriotic fervor” in a way that will actually help us to take-back our republic, and in one piece without having to resort to violence.

    The last thing we need is to destroy this country from within, and once again, it comes down to solidarity and uniting our fractured voices – which would be thunderous and could literally change the course of history as quickly as we became organized!

    Surely, if you have the passion and are willing to lay-down your life in the defense of our freedom and liberty, then you should be able to make four or five phone calls to the White House and Capitol Hill per day, and help to organize people so bloodshed can be avoided! I am not keen at shedding blood, especially that of fellow-Americans, and I doubt it will be necessary if people would just wake-up and unite.

    I am challenging all of the major Political sites, including Capitol Hill Blue, to keep-up the great articles and evidence that keeps the people informed and therefore angry enough to fight for our freedoms, but in a way that will succeed and follows our long tradition of public descent and real “patriotism”, which is working to achieve the common-good, and maintain the health and welfare of our country – not destroy it by over-reacting and allowing ourselves to be caught-up in the rebellious nature of all those who cherish and love freedom. IF there were ever to be a time for rebellion, no one will have to raise the alarm. Unfortunately, we would all know at once when Martial Law is declared, and the government begins to disarm its citizenry and imprisons those who speak-up for freedom. At that point, no amount of words would quell the storm that is brewing, and it’s a confrontation we can stop from happening by working together and sites like CHB reach-out to other major political and alternative news sources to see how they can work together to unite us into one voice.

    It’s time for more than Articles and Discussion!

    As it stands at this moment in history, the Bush administration is winning, and we are losing! It’s time for a change in our approach, and I implore all of you to consider the old adage which today carries as much meaning as it did when it was first coined! “United We Stand, Divided We Fall!” If we quit chasing our tails and urge the most prominent voices on the Internet to aid in uniting a real movement to rid ourselves of Bush and Cheney – it will work, or in the alternative, it will cause Bush to attack Iran immediately in order to quell our solidarity and declare Martial Law. Either way, the solidarity of the people would be established, and then and only then will be able to effectively fight the growing menace to our society, freedom, and the American way of life. We have to do something, and simply bitching and moaning about it isn’t accomplishing a damn thing. It’s action and solidarity we need, and all of us can pitch-in and make it happen.

    What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain? We should all carefully weigh those thoughts and react appropriately – because there is only one answer that makes any sense – and in our hearts, we all know it to be true.

    William Cormier

  8. dadblasted

    September 4, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    dadblasted
    Doug-
    There has been so much of politicians’ disrespect of one another during the past 14 years that it is not unreasonable to assume that many are disgusted with the game of politics and those that have been using it solely for personal gain. With many hypocritical Republicans calling the Clinton “kettle black,” while they dallied in even more sordid circumstances and suffered little or no consequences, it has been difficult to treat the opposition with the respect required to conduct a civil dialogue. The vitriol backed by millions of dollars to place G.W. Bush in office, further escalated oppositional anger. That anger placed the Democrats in limited power in Congress in 2005 and those limitations have resulted in frustrations. Thus, the Bush administration has not been halted in its assaults on the US Constitution, nor in its pugnacious attitude of arrogance regarding the American public that it was elected to serve and not to dictate.

    Perhaps we’ve all come to feel like frustrated children, absolutely powerless and able to respond only with temper tantrums that result in shrieking “I hate you!” to our parental figures.

  9. JudyB

    September 4, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    People are angry and this society is at war with the leadership of our nation. Our words are the only readily available ammunition. Once a person has voted there is nothing more you can do except write your representives and sign petitions.(mostly to no avail but we do it)
    I have never thought that anything I posted here would make a difference either way on any subject..yet I continue venting,opining,and most of all learning. I do not have to agree with something or someone to learn. To say that I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me here at CHB would be a gross understatement.

    “Words are an excellent way of communicating but they will never replace kisses and punches”
    Ashleigh BrilliantI

  10. Boots

    September 4, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    And we wonder:

    Doug, Your comments starting from the above (And we wonder) part of you letter should be sent to the White House and Congress. Sounds like you are talking about them.

    The Bush family, the Neocons and the ultra right wing coup masters have really shown us what this country and it’s people are all about. I think what you get on your web site is the real McCoy. I don’t know why you get so upset? The human animal is the most vicious of all the species on earth. You know that, so why get upset when they prove it?

  11. baliboy

    September 4, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    Doug: In your effort at balance, you once again conflate the two parties. I don’t believe that the level of vitriol directed at our CURRENT leaders (i.e., the ones we’re trying to change) in any way even APPROACHES the viciousness that was directed at our FORMER Democratic leaders (e.g., the Clintons, Kerry, Gore) or, revoltingly, at anyone who OPPOSED this Administration’s policies–particularly in the first 2-3 years of the Iraq War. ANYONE who questioned our invasion of a sovereign country lacking the means to threaten us was immediately vilified, or worse. Undercover C.I.A. agents were outed (and their careers and contacts destroyed), entertainers who expressed even a mild opinion were trashed.

    So I’m offended by your “fair-minded” approach to lumping all this “hate” together. It seems that for you, and everyone else, the Clintons remain “fair game”–able to be attacked with impunity and without resorting to facts. Specifically, you state today that “the Clintons also used the power of the White House to wage personal wars against their opponents.”

    When, specifically, did they do this? What “personal wars” did they conduct–other than rightly questioning the motives and methods of those who spent 8+ years investigating their every breath? If you’re going to make a definitive statement like that, back it up: Please cite multiple examples–since you chose the plural term “personal wars”–in which the Clintons went after people in a PERSONAL way–rather than refuting or resisting their policies or efforts. I think you’ll find that difficult.

    It’s one thing for the right-wing Republicans to impeach a twice duly-elected President for the very specific crime of perjury without EVER specifying the precise question(s) or response(s) that constituted perjurious statements.

    But it’s quite another for a respected journalist to just throw out a blanket statement that TWO PEOPLE engaged in “personal wars” directed at political opponents–in the midst of a “Rant” about the rise in personal attacks–without any factual basis (or even feeling that you need to advance one).

    It seems you’re being hypocritical: Condemning unproven (and cheap) “personal attacks”…while making one. Shouldn’t PART of your message be that, “Just because it’s the Clintons, doesn’t mean you can just say ANYTHING about someone?!”

    It’s too easy–as you often do–to say that “both sides do it” and that “they’re all equally bad.” Especially as it relates to the paramount disaster of our times–the Iraq invasion: those that were FOR it called those that questioned it “traitors,” “un-American,” “Saddam sympathizers” and far worse.

    Those that didn’t feel it was necessary, moral or worth the “life and treasure” merely countered that those pushing the policy were wrong. Which they were.

  12. laudyms

    September 4, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Frustration! not hate
    is what seems to be fueling most posters. This is not the only site complaining recently and trying to stifle the din.

    Our economy is based on debt and our leaders are determined to launch a nuclear war on Iran.

    Now tell me why we should ‘reasonably’ be able to discuss this at less than a roar?

  13. Steve Horn

    September 4, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Doug –

    Political debate is dead, didn’t you read the obit? It died along with integrity, transparency, selflessness and the rest of the virtues that defined true patriots.

    We’ve gone from being a society that defined itself through its accomplishments in helping others to one that cares only for itself, as such those old ideas of virtue are obsolete within major party politics.

    All that seems to matter at this point is winning and grabbing power at any cost, damn the means, it’s the end that counts.

    You see it on the highways of this nation as drivers combat to be first in line, you see it on the sidewalks and under the bridges where the homeless manage to eke out existence while those with substantial portfolios pass by without so much as a passing glance, much less a passing thought that perhaps they could stop and help and it manifests itself in the congress where substance means nothing, posture means all.

    I’m not sure when this death spiral began, it wasn’t with the current administration, it seems to have begun well before, but Bush and company have driven a stake through the heart of virture to ensure that it never again sees the light of day.

    Peace

    Steve

  14. mary cali

    September 4, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    I do not believe I use vitriolic language when I post. However, I do strongly dislike George W. Bush, as I would anyone who is responsible for the deaths and mutilations of thousands. His arrogance, ignorance, and hubris has caused great damage to many. To say otherwise about him is to be totally ignorant of where he has led this nation. I will continue to speak out against him. I believe he and his gang of neocons belong on trial for decieving us into an unnecessary war. How can anyone not strongly dislike someone who has done that? Personally, he has put my son-in-law and son at high risk.

    I understand Doug’s ever present attempt to be fair to both parties as he does when he says Clinton abused power going after enemies. I do not defend Clinton and his personal behavior. I wrote him to resign after Monica. However, there is no comparison between his “going after people” and the hatchet job that this administration has done to people who have disagreed with their policies. Doug makes a stretch when he equates what Clinton may have done to discredit the “women” in his life and the assault on our government that Bush/Rove have done going after dissenters from their orthodoxy. Their disdain and destruction of dissenters led them to the ruinous policies they have persued. They have corrupted our system of government so that the DOJ can not be trusted to be impartial. Our elections are in doubt. They have shown nothing but disdain for Congress. All this and they have gotten us into an unnecessary war that has become a quagmire. What is there not to dislike?

  15. yarply

    September 4, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Sometimes, when all else fails,

    There is nothing left but rebellion. If you vote for change and when and then the ones you voted in turn coat and join what you wish changed,, you say what the hell??? When the people you elect no longer serve you the people,, and after all means have been exhausted,, when judges make decisions which are contrary to law,, when the rights of the people are squashed, when you and everything you believed in is being destroyed, when we as free people are having that freedom taken from us, when peaceful protest fails and protesters are jailed for exercising their God given rights, when women, men and children can be abused for no cause, when you can be jailed just because they want to, not charged for any crime and jailed indefinitely, tortured, your community and
    and the children living in it burned to the ground and murdered, your sons shot in the back, your wife shot in the head and killed for no legitimate cause,
    Your land taken from you and given to someone else, when the majority say and vote for years saying no no no and the government basically says fuck you and up yours, when you say the truth and you are jailed for siding with whom ever. There just comes a time when people will say ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!

    Have we as a people reached that point? Will the government listen finally, and change course as the people have asked, wished, dictated and screamed about? Hope so.
    But when all else fails,,
    When a government no longer serves its people,, it has been shown through history what will finally result.

  16. yarply

    September 4, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    On a personal side……

    Its hard to reason with someone who will not be reasonable and reason with you. As the saying goes it takes two too tango.

  17. geyser

    September 4, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    I believe Anger is related to your own tolorance and Temper. It can get to a point where you have run out of cheeks to turn, apologizing for others that refuse to see what everyone else sees or watching something you love being destroyed.
    For a very long time, I had a very deep hate toward bush. I wished him dead numerous times, it consumed me to the point, it was all I thought of. Each day he did or said something, fueling the hatred, keeping it going and alive.
    My wife, God Bless her, sat me down one day and talked about my feelings. First, it was not helping my hypertension, started to get headaches again after it took a long time to control getting them.
    She made me understand that alone, I couldn’t do anything to change what bush had done nor could I change him.
    What I do now is change what he does to a joke, make it look foolish. I also collect the “Bushisms” that are the funniest.
    It weasn’t easy to do, changing my thoughts of him. I took that step back, looked at myself and realized it didn’t matter to him being hated by me, he would never read what I wrote but, I took solace in the fact, he was aware just how many Americans felt about him. He claimed to never look at the Polls of which I felt was a lie, he knew very well what the numbers were.
    There is another way that hate can be mustered, frustration. The frustration I felt and what many others were feeling, towards the Democrats. They asked us for help to put them in the majority of Congress, we even went a step further by doing the same in the Senate. They made commitments and promises to us of what they would do, once in power we put our trust in them to carry out those changes. Once the Democrats were in power, we waited and waited for the changes, none came. Not one important item was touched. They had the unmitigated nerve adding insult to injury, giving in to bush, everything asked for and then some.
    We are asked by independent political sites to telephone our elected officials, tell them what we want done on certain issues. They should count their lucky stars, the calls are free as calling does as much good as writing comments. The calls are ignored, threatening with voting someone else for their seat, means nothing to them. There are too few politicians actually listening to their constituents, when evety one of them should be doing.
    I don’t know when it took place but, this government regardless which party is in power, no longer is it for or by the people. The real majority does not rule. The words of past great presidents have been lost. Words and Speeches are no longer followed or used as guidelines to help in today’s problems.
    It is easy for Doug to ask us for respect to president bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton and for the Country but, I was taught, respect has to be earned. Bush never came close to earn my respect or that of millions of other Americans. He started off on the wrong foot by the way he reached the White House, something like that is difficult to forget.
    I will try my best to keep my Hate in check but, with bush still in charge, he will test me everyday.

    Taking One Day at a Time.

  18. Carl Nemo

    September 4, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    Superbly stated spot-on analysis William Cormier…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  19. Arlo J. Thudpucker

    September 4, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    “We cannot, and must not, advocate positions or spread information that is driven by hate, personal prejudices or political agendas”

    Ahem.

    Everything is driven to a greater or lesser extant by hate, personal prejudices or political agendae.

    My particular agenda is to remove the criminals that are the White House cabal, and have them prosecuted for their transgressions.

    Why? Simple. I hate what they have done. ( And, I will spare you the recitation of facts to support my contention.)

    Pollyanna doesn’t work here, Doug.

    Cheers,

    Arlo J. Thudpucker

  20. knockknock

    September 5, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Nice try in holding back, but how can it work with people in Washington who seem to think only of themselves and perhaps their constituents.

    It appears we have no representation in DC at all, and nobody seems to listen to the people. They listen to lobbyists, why not us?

    And we have no good candidates running for office of president. That’s frightening.It’s also frightening to learn here and there how many women will vote for Hillary Clinton just because she’s a woman. My God!

    We have nowhere to turn but here where we can air our feelings in a reasonable and civilized manner.

    There is anger now because passion didn’t work. We’ve trusted too many times and can no longer safely do so.

    It’s stifling to us to suggest that we ought not allow our anger to show. What would you like us to do? Throw more tea into Boston Harbor again? Yeah, like that’d work now.

  21. knapple

    September 5, 2007 at 12:57 am

    I think this country is more divided now than at any time since the Civil War.

    People root for their chosen liberal or conservative candidates as if they were rooting for their favorite football team. No matter how lousy the Quarterback, everyone has an opinion that will not budge.

    As the body-bags continue to accumulate some need to recognize that this is not a frickin’ game.

    The divisiveness itself is terrible — and so destructive. Everyday the hate-mongers of stupid-talk radio(note the correct use of the hyphen), do more and more damage. And it is stupid talk. Most of it is bullshit.

    And this GOP arrogance. Their smug assumption of superiority. (Let me put my hand on your foot in the bathroom stall, and hey I’ve been a senator for 25 years, a staunch defender of hot-dogs, apple pie, baseball and I hate gays. I’m just an ultra-right wing wacko, and I’m always, always right.)

    Gimme a break.

    Lincoln said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Yet, over a hundred years later that is the position we are in. A house terribly divided.

    The only question remaining is: When the entertainers of stupid-talk media, the horribly corrupt leaders of both parties, and the fundamentalist religious evangelical warlords depart — who then will restore the Union?

    In 1861 Lincoln faced an uncertain future, the prospects of a horrible war. Then, as now, the divisiveness that grips America today is your guarantee that this is going to be yet another long, ugly struggle.

    Lloyd K.

  22. SEAL

    September 5, 2007 at 12:59 am

    WOW! Today I came home from the hospital after my third brush with death from this disease to find the owner of my beloved forum telling us we should not hate. Well, I can cetainly tell you I hated this past week. Just as I hated the several other close brushes with death I’ve had in my life defending my country from what I was told was its mortal enemy. That I would not have hated dying for, then. Knowing what I know now I’m sure as hell glad I didn’t throw away my life for the lies I was given to be the truth then. I don’t believe anyone has the right to ask me not to hate the people that lied me damn near to death then anymore than they have to ask me not to hate those who are lying my nation to death now.

    After 32 years of putting my life on the line for my beloved nation, I think I have earned the right to hate anyone who threatens it. I am personally offended by your request Mr. Thompson. Especially in view of the fact that I have endeavored to channel my hatred in the most constructive way I know how most of the time as I believe a review of my posts in this forum would show.

    Asking people not to hate is to ask people not to be people and that is totally unrealistic. Perhaps you might ask them to express their hatred more constructively. But to ask me not to hate those currently destroying my America is insulting, sir.

  23. SEAL

    September 5, 2007 at 2:54 am

    Doug:
    I have tremendous respect for you. One of the things I have admired is that you have always been human with the normal human failings and flashes of brilliance. You have always been honest. However, This piece, like a couple of others in the past, I believe you wrote without thinking it all the way through.

    My guess is you are concerned with the way people are expressing their anger rather than actually expecting people not to be angry because I can’t believe you truly believe that ordinary people would not be angry. I agree that people should refrain from the personal hated remarks. They take away from the writers presentation and make them no better than those they attack.

    What we need more than anything at this point is someone to step out and take the lead to develop a following. There are millions of us who, If we could get organized, could make great changes. In mass, we could force our employees in congress to do the right thing. I’m in no condition to do that, but you or someone you know should be the perfect person to to start that. Maybe CHB would be the birthplace for it. I know we would all support it. I would like to hear your response to this..

  24. pacplyer

    September 5, 2007 at 3:38 am

    Doug.

    Who got to you? Seldom does such a true patriot turn into such a Benidict Arnold in such a short period of time!

    You went from a patriot of the people and a champion of free speech and the bill of rights, no matter how sorted it was, to a timid censor of opinion. JUST LIKE THAT.

    You best reconsider your role in history my friend. No matter how ominous the powers that be and their influence on the net; or the criticisms hurled your way by common citizens; you will regret becoming a editorial coward for the rest of you days. Please reaccess your course my good friend.

    American History is repleat with tipping points begot by true patriots of the constitution. IMHO, you and your website are of that incredibly high caliber of journalism. I emplore you to hold out against natural fear of anarchy which always shawdows great endeavors of great men.

    of Your loyal base and groundswell,

    pacplyer

  25. justanothercoverup

    September 5, 2007 at 9:31 am

    SEAL:

    What you have advocated in your post I have been advocating through-out the Internet, and my opinion, sadly, is that attempting to get Progressives, Liberals, Independents, and all who support ending the Bush administration to unite is like herding cats! Even though it’s the obvious solution, advocating and pushing for exactly that scenario is probably the most unpopular of endeavors that I have ever attempted, and is generally ignored. Why?

    So far, I’m not quite sure, but my best bet is that as you stated, a true “Leader” has not emerged that has the talent, vision, and chrisima to step-in and fight for a general mobilization of “The People”. I’m a very small voice in the political scene – however, if KOS, The Brad Blog, The Huffington Post, ThinkProgress.org, or even CHB took the lead and supported such an endeavor, it would have a chance succeeding, depending on the tenacity and doggedness of that particular site – but in all honesty, all seem to be too busy worrying about their own traffic and readership to step-out into the realm of controversy and activism and work towards a solution that would actually impact Washington!

    In short, it isn’t going to happen! The GOP political machine kicked our asses because they spoke with a united voice, no matter what – but we who seek a return to our constitutional values and the rule of law refuse to be realistic and rather than give an inch, will watch, and bemoan the fall of our Democratic Republic – all because of selfishness, vanity, and the knowledge that the government will attempt to stop anyone from actually uniting the people – and no one of consequence apparently seems to be up to the challenge. (IMHO.)

    Stick me with a fork, I’m done.

    William Cormier

  26. justanothercoverup

    September 5, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Carl Nemo;

    Thanks for the Kudo – but as spot-on as I may be, nothing of consequence will be accomplished as far as uniting the people. Read my final comment at the end of this thread and you’ll understand why…

    I am sad and disgusted, but my efforts to help unite people have resulted in site owners utterly ignoring my ideas completely, and some who feel downright threatened or angry that I would suggest that they “should work together” for the common good.

    I’ve taken enough flak on this one to understand that people don’t really want to organize and make a difference, as somehow, they believe that bitching about it and supporting a hundred ideas, none of which has enough actual support to be successful, is the way to go, and vanity and stubbornness will allow the Bush Crime Family to go happily on their way with only feeble opposition…

    I’m disgusted and will work on something else that is actually productive rather than wasting my time on a lost cause.

    Best regards,

    William Cormier

  27. gene

    September 3, 2007 at 7:41 am

    Doug are you crazy. Politics is personal because in affects all of us in a very personal way. So what if I hate Bush for murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent people, many of them children.

    Hello Doug are we listening. So what now, are we required to leave our emotions in another room before we post on CHB. I thought the truth was what this blog was all about and wether you know it or not truth will cause many to hate criminal actions that hurt and kill human beings.

    If thats your way of thinking then I want be posting here anymore and I suspect many others will feel them same.
    You dam better believe I hate all these assholes that have destroyed this nation which has already gone down the drain and headed to the septic tank.

    Take care all of you great ranters, will miss you!!!

    Gene…..signing out for goood!!!

    One last question: Did they finally get to you to Doug?

  28. Doug Thompson

    September 3, 2007 at 11:04 am

    Gene:

    I’m sorry you feel that way. I believe we can better resolve problems by cutting back on the hyperbole and dealing with issues from a rational basis.

    To answer your question, yes, someone did get to me. Myself. Reflection can do that.

    –Doug

  29. vietnam vet

    September 3, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    vietnam vet
    Gene, I think what doug is saying is don’t low your standards to the same level as others. We don’t have to hate just because others hate. We are better than they are because of our integrity. You and I proved that in Vietnam. Stay with the team, we can’t stop now.

    Jesse of DC

  30. pollchecker

    September 3, 2007 at 9:50 am

    First of all, Doug, it should be noted that you have been a part of all this with your columns. Hate begets hate. The law of Karma says you get what you put out there. So please start with yourself and others that write columns here if you want to change the dialog. Perhaps this column is your first step.

    However, I have been saying the same thing for months. I have come to the conclusion that unless the American people mandate that these politicians work together for the good of the country by participating in the process, NOTHING WILL CHANGE!
    It is very apparent that both parties and those that support them are more interested in being right than winning elections or working towards reconciliation.

    The time has come for an Independent party. Look, in the real world, when you have 2 parties who are deadlocked in totally opposite positions, a nuetral third party is brought in to bridge the differences between the parties. Sometimes it is a mediator, sometimes it is a judge. But unless and until this is done, nothing gets accomplished.

    So until the people of this country get fed up with this partisan BS, nothing will be accomplished and our country will continue to deteriorate. I’m not very hopeful though even though I am an eternal optomist. When the people of this country, who continually spout colloquialisms like “Support our troops” and then turn a blind eye to a Memorial that supports the troops (like the one at http://www.iraqmemorialquilt.com), it is really hard to believe that things can be turned around.

    But as someone who has lived outside the USA, there’s no place left to go. So there is no choice but to stand up for what is right for the country, even when it is hard to do because of those who would oppose you by spouting vile hatred on both sides of the aisle.

    So for those of us who refuse to give in to the hate even when its aimed at us, we are the ones who must lead. We changed history 40 years ago, because we had people who were not afraid to lead. We are where we are because we have had no true leaders, just a bunch of anonymous people who exercise their freedom of speech by being hateful on the internet or a bunch of politicians who follow their own agenda and lie, lie, lie.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have thrown up my hands in disgust vowing never to write another word. But I can’t do that because I do care about my country. And as I said before, as someone who has lived outside the USA, there’s no place left to go, so there is no other choice but to make a stand.

  31. Doug Thompson

    September 3, 2007 at 10:52 am

    Pollchecker:

    You’re absolutely correct. I have been a major contributor to the madness here. I have been as guilty of making it personal as anyone. That’s why I have to be the one to try and return the discussion to issues and reasoned discourse. Is it too late? God, I hope not.

    –Doug

  32. pollchecker

    September 3, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Doug you may have contributed to the madness but you did not cause it. The politicians and those who would prefer to be apathetic and not participate are the ones responsible.

    However, You are doing your part to be part of the solution as well. I have disagreed with you many times but lately I have seen the light and today we are on the same page. And the majority of people that I talk with agree that a 3rd party is needed as well.

    The problem is they are all afraid that if they vote for a 3rd party they will elect the guy they dislike most. Fear is a powerful tool. It takes the really loud voice and the determination of a leader to be heard above the fray.

  33. DejaVuAllOver

    September 3, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Doug, I think you’re getting a little confused. Mostly on the definition of the word “hate.” Hate is NOT calling someone a scumbag, or a lowlife or a depraved POS. Hate is blowing someone’s brains out, or robbing them blind or stealing their land. Words are not hate, and even though they sometimes incite hateful acts, this is ALWAYS a personal choice. Angry words have also been a call to arms and have accomplished many noble purposes, which is something Democrats in particular need to remember. Frankly, we need MORE angry words, not fewer, if we’re ever going to beat the filthy, scum of the earth Republicans and their evil plans to take everything they can get their filthy paws on. Human beings have never responded to reason very well, and there’s little reason to think this will change anytime soon.

    So, while I commend you for wrestling with these moral issues, I think that maybe the model of Christ might suit your tastes. (and I’m not preaching….I’m not even a Christian) Here was a guy who called the Hebrew establishment vipers, the children of Satan and died defending the concept of peaceful (verbal) warfare. He may have trashed the temple and called the money lenders (the Biblical Republicans) a load of slime, but he never hit any person. He died defending decency and used a LOT of harsh words. But he was NEVER guilty of hate.

  34. pollchecker

    September 3, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Inspiring words. All I can say is “AMEN TO THAT!”

  35. Carl Nemo

    September 4, 2007 at 3:20 am

    To DeJu VuAllOver, brilliantly stated…!

    Carl Nemo **==

  36. Doug Thompson

    September 4, 2007 at 4:55 am

    Dejavu I’m sorry but I have to disagree. When hateful words are used in language (and I’ve been as guilty as anyone in such usage), it promotes the level of vitriol that poisons the political atmosphere. Calling someone a “scumbag” accomplishes nothing in a debate. It only inflames the situation. I reveals a level of anger that defeats reason.

    This country faces many problems and we cannot solve those problems by calling each other names. There is a big difference between unbridled passion and uncontrolled anger. What I see in the American political scene today is too much anger and not enough passion.

    –Doug

  37. mblee1

    September 4, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    I buy this Doug…’sticks and stones’ and all that. Think about it. If this were Hitler (and I think that Bush/Cheney are our Hitler) would you not think that we should speak out against him and his policies. I’m sure that the 3,000+ Americans and the 300,000+ Iraqis that have died take it very personally. I’m not talking about killing, but doing what you have done so far, telling it like it is, trying to stop the continued destruction of life and country. This seems like something worth speaking out on, in very negative terms, don’t you think?

  38. tneeno

    September 3, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    Dear Doug:

    Thank you for trying to maintain a level of civility in an increasingly embittered political atmosphere. I too am concerned at the growing divisions within this country. The problem is that we can no longer skirt the facts: the president of the United States is a liar, a bully, and grossly incompetent. His vice president is nothing short of a cancer upon the body politic, whose policies have led this nation to disaster. I realize that these are harsh words, but they are the truth. The Bush-Cheney administration is the most incompetent, corrupt, and dishonest administration we have had in over 200 years. Saying anything else is sugar coating the facts.

    The bitterness you decry is only a symptom of problems that go much deeper. the time for half measures is past. Anyone who loves this country needs to call on the Congress to impeach and remove Bush and Cheney.

    I say this because these two are going to bury the Republican Party. They will bury legitimate, intelligent conservatives who want to maintain a limited government. They will bury this nation’s credibility with the rest of the planet. And they will destroy the faith Americans have in their leadership.

    Doug, I thank you for all the effort you have put in to make Capitol Hill Blue an unbiased forum, but the time has come to take a stand — issue a call to Republicans and Democrats alike to remove both Bush and Cheney from office, so that we can begin to pull together as a nation again and rebuild.

  39. bryan mcclellan

    September 3, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    While my comment about snowjob was barbed I did not profess to hate him or his boss.I realize my imagery is clumsy and crude but it’s my only style. Disgusted and sickened by, more aptly describes my view of todays politicians,hate for their conduct not their person is what drives my opinion.Snow has carried on the smirko tradition of making the WH press pool look like willing fools with his so called Murdockian showmanship.Showmanship we’ve had a belly full of.His conduct shows disdain for truth and is a slap in the face of the journalistic community. The WH press corp if they had any sense would boycott the briefings until they trot someone out to answer truthfully without the spinning line of crap.A snake cut in half deserves no pity because of his own predicament, he will still bite.You kill the SOB without malice and move on.These are not times for self preservation and the extending of olive branches, but for focused activism and calling a spade a spade when the need arises.I’m still waiting for the smirko bunch(rove in particular) to be hauled before the American people to apologize to the Honorable former Senator Max Cleland for the contemptible manner in which they sought to destroy him.We know thats not going to happen and calls for everyone to play nice are useless when dealing with these types of power mad megalomaniacs.Thats my take on the situation,clumsy and inept, but my true feelings none the less.Thanks for the opportunity of expression Doug..

  40. Carl Nemo

    September 4, 2007 at 2:25 am

    During the past month I’ve contacted various informational sources, some of which you have referred to me as so-called “hate sites”. The consensus from these site owners is that they don’t trust you and that you’ve done a complete rollover since some government entity possibly “tapped” you on the shoulder and gave you an offer you couldn’t refuse!? You’ve already publicly bitched that you are on the domestic “no-fly” list etc. Possibly even more serious sanctions have been levied against you if you don’t soften your opposition to the Bushistas!

    Since I’ve publicly made many indictments concerning this administration on your site, I’ve had choppers, dark green, un-marked, flying low-level, below 500 feet sorties over my land. Other than for concern for my wife I could care less, we have no survivors; ie., children. I’m glad I’m turning up the heat on these scumbags that have taken over our nations body-politik…!

    I have only one life to give for my country. I’m well-set, no doubt like yourself, but at my age, 62 I could care less about my material comfort. I’m obsessed about only one thing; ie., the maintenance of “FREEDOM”, for all time and all places!

    Doug Thompson…I hope you haven’t sold your soul for a “bowl of pottage”…! Your comfort and to your survivors, whatever that might be won’t mean a tinkers damn if this great experiment in freedom for all time and places goes down the tube. When confronting the Bushistas and their ilk, the “Marquis of Queensbury” rules of engagement do not apply. This is a total war of FREEDOM vs. TYRANNY…! This is not a dry run but a DEFCON I alert that’s now in a countdown mode with an impending launch sequence…!

    Rest assured my indictment concerning your recently emerged, softening and “wimpishness” is not done in malice but as a friend that’s trying to rekindle a Doug Thompson that just might have given up hope beyond all hope while taking your walks down country roads…!

    I rest my case…

    Carl Nemo **==

  41. Doug Thompson

    September 4, 2007 at 4:49 am

    Carl:

    Your links to many of those sites are why you land on the Akismet spam filtering service’s list so often and they don’t trust anyone so I’m hardly in exclusive company. I openly admit that I don’t care for web sites that promote anti-Semitic themes, racism or conspiracy theories. I do not now, nor have I ever, bought into the notion that the federal government planned or executed the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon or the World Trade Center nor do I accept the unproven charge that internal explosives brought down the WTC towers.

    In a society where the federal government wiretaps its citizens and tracks the travel and financial activities of so many there is reason for paranoia but when that paranoia is used to spread messages of hate, racism or anti-Semitism I draw the line.

    Yes, I was on the TSA’s “no fly” list for a while but I wrote about it and asked my Congressman to check into it. Suddenly, I could fly again. The same was true for other administration critics. We fight tyranny by shining the light of public exposure upon those who practice it.

    But I don’t worry about being whisked off to Gitmo because, frankly, I’m not important enough for the government to waste the time or the effort. I do worry about the time and effort that is, in my opinion, wasted by dwelling on conspiracies that are logistically impossible and could never work.

    –Doug

  42. gene

    September 4, 2007 at 6:03 am

    Thanks Carl Nemo…your a great individual. I said I would not post here again but i could not resist in letting you know that what you said above is simply an excellent expression of the reality we now face. Most American citizens as I have said before are nothing but brain dead zombies looking for their next purchase.

    Here at CHB I found individuals that were angry and disgusted with all the lies and murdering these SOBs in government have caused. I doubt their was much love for Hitler when the truth came out and I suspect hating this evil monster was a common emotion and rightly so.

    Soft politically correct words are no more than lies and just because I call a spade a spade doesn’t meant I plain to turn into a mass murderer….like Bush.

    This country sent me to a place called vietnam and I saw horror Doug could not and would not want to imagine. Bush is a coward, lier, murderer, psycho, SOB and yes, human piece of shit. Trying to reason with these kind of human creatures is insane, they don’t give a dam about human life or suffering. You know, like when an Iraqi child gets his/hers arms or legs blown off and their is basically NO medical care because of Bush. God!!..give me a break…wake up you idiots and smell the stinch coming from this WH.

    Wiping brain tissue off my young scared skinny ass that came from a friend I loved and care for taught me that we live in a very cruel world with evil men who would sacrafice their on mother for their desire of greed and desire for power. They are without a conscious and using politically correct speech to me is just “kissing up” to this incrediable evil. The truth about these monster need to be said and hating their actions is not lowering ourselves to their level.

    Using words that express ones disgust for this horror (to me at least) reprsents the turth and reveals an individual (such as yourself) that is willing and ready to go the full course.

    This country is in very serious trouble and the majority of its citizens have no ideal nor the will to fight as long as they can continue to shop and take their vacations.

    Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many their are that go this way, narrow is the way that leads to truth and justice and few now travel this road.

    God bless you Carl Nemo (my friend). I have much admiration and respect for you.

    I salute you Sir.

  43. gene

    September 4, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Doug those buildings were professionally blown down, the third building was not hit and just fell down, perfectly.

    Their is absolute proof of this from professional engineers and scienetist, I know one personally who would stake his life that this was a fake (false flag) action to start Bush’s agenda.

    Their is absolute proof that NO plane hit the pentagon.

    They have eyes that cannot see and ears that do not here.

    I know now I made the right decision. You are either blind or they have gotten to you.

    Only the second coming of Jesus Christ can save us now…and yes I believe and will not denie him.

    Wake up Doug before its to late!!!

  44. yarply

    September 4, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    Gene, At least you see,
    When one speaks about certain things some peoples hands go over their ears and they go LA la la la la, and when you show them some things their hands go over their eyes and they say I just don’t see it,,,
    and if they actually do listen to you they say,, I don’t believe that. You could show them all the proof in the world and still they would say,,, I don’t believe that.
    There is a saying in the word about such things;
    Willingly ignorant. I have shown people pictures of the pentagon after the so called plane hit. The whole wall still intact. No plane wreckage, burning jet fuel, nothing. Most people, if you tell them the section of the pentagon which was struck by whatever hit,, did not collapse for twenty to thirty minutes afterwards will say you are crazy. My own brother said he saw the jet strike the pentagon. I don’t know what it was that hit the pentagon, but it sure as hell was not a passenger jet. In my estimate it was a single engine Lear jet or a missile of some type. I have seen photos of passenger jet crashes many times,,, and they leave LOTS of wreckage. I don’t care what they slam into. Plus you do not take that much jet fuel and make it just disappear.
    So keep up the faith, hang in there, wait and watch and remember these words; And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.
    Plus; Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
    Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
    For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
    For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.

  45. Caro

    September 4, 2007 at 9:02 am

    Calling names is the laziest form of communication.

    So much of what we see on the internet is read-react, read-react, read-react, with too many people trying to outdo the others in snarkiness.

    What we need a lot more of is read-REFLECT-react, with reactions from the brain and the heart, not the gut.

    Carolyn Kay
    MakeThemAccountable.com

  46. JoshuasGrandma

    September 4, 2007 at 9:17 am

    I know it’s true that when emotion takes over, it is impossible for reason to function. The lymbic system of the brain trumps the cerebellum every time. It’s why good dads advise their sons not to let the ‘little head’ take control of the ‘big head. But the rising level of anger that hate speech in the blogs represents the frustration and disillusionment becoming more widespread in the country, and the inability of people to see a clear way out of the dilemmas Bush and co. have created.

    One effect of the blogs is that they give people the chance to vent (rant) their anger and rage to a wider audience which may give the illusion of something being done. Trouble is on most blogs people are usually preaching to the choir; I don’t think the trolls ever change their minds. A better strategy might be for progressives to comment with reason on the right wing blogs – no name-calling, no hate speech but calm and reasonable argument. It might have a better effect.

    Save the ranting for the choir and use reason with the conservative bloggers; it might make a difference.