So much hate, so little decency

When NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert died, too many readers of this web site cheered his death. The same thing happened this past weekend when former Bush Presidential Press Secretary Tony Show succumbed to colon cancer.

Some of what I read in the comments section on Capitol Hill Blue turned my stomach. I vomited my guts out after reading the bile. Readers showed no compassion for a man who fought an insidious disease with bravery and grace. They lacked compassion for someone who left behind a loving wife and children. They cared little for someone who died before his time.

Instead, they used his death to spew hate, aiming their anger over the fact that Tony was a conservative and, for a while, the voice of the Bush Administration in the White House. Their hate spread through this web site like the cancer that killed him.

My anger led me to disable, briefly, the ability of readers to post comments directly to news stories. After conversations with the staff, I decided – reluctantly – to allow comments again but I’m serving notice to everyone that the hate stops or the comments will be history.

The ability to comment directly to stories and columns is not a right that anyone who visits here enjoys. Capitol Hill Blue is not a government or a publicly-owned entity. It is a private web site that I own and comments are a privilege that I alone can grant or take away. It’s my web site and I can do with it whatever I damn well want. It’s not a business so threatening me with loss of readership or revenue is useless. I’ve never cared how many people visit here or read the site. Those of us who work daily to keep the site on the Web do so as a labor of love – nothing more, nothing less.

My various enterprises operate under a single slogan: Determine what sucks, don’t do it.  When something becomes a pain in the ass, I simply stop doing it. Right now, the hate I see taking over this web site has put a rash on my butt. If that rash gets worse, I’ll cure it by eliminating the symptom.

Earlier this morning, Carl Nemo posted the following comment on the story about Tony’s death:

Tony Snow was not close to any of us; ie., a family member etc. The Snow editorial and the subsequent postings to CHB are not necessarily to be those expected at his wake.

As my lawyer would say, such a comment is assuming facts not in evidence.

In fact, Tony Snow was someone I knew during my sojourn to the dark side when I worked in politics for both the Republican Party and GOP members of Congress.

Although we did not share the same philosophy, we did share a mutual respect for each other. Tony loved his family. He loved his country. His political beliefs were strongly conservative but they were genuine.  I respected him and so did a lot of my fellow journalists – liberal and conservative.

But even if I did not know him, he is due respect for his devotion to family and country. Common decency demands that we honor our dead and political differences must not be turned into justifications for hate.

Sadly, we have lost the ability to have differences in this nation, be them political or philosophical, without hate replacing reason. I disagree strongly with the policies of President George W. Bush but I don’t hate the man. I don’t know him well enough to judge whether or not he believes his policies but I do know a lot of people who work for him and the Republican Party and most of them are true believers in their cause just as many who oppose their cause are true believers in their point of view.

Yet those with different philosophies are too often treated with disrespect and hatred and the usual justification for such actions is the standard childish excuse that the other side  "did it first!"

There are people in this country who truly believe that the Iraq war is just and that what others see as excesses in security and loss of freedoms is justified because of the threat of terrorism. I know some who have such views and they love their country just as much as I do. Having such beliefs does not make them criminal, corrupt or stupid. It simply means they have a different point of view.

One of Capitol Hill Blue’s columnists told me over the weekend that my style of writing contributes to the growth of hate on this web site. He may be right. I use strong language. I go over the top. I assumed that readers understood that my positions stemmed from love of country and not from hatred of differing points of view.  Like Carl Nemo, I assumed facts not in evidence.

I don’t know if I can change the way I write. I don’t know if I can stem the hate that is consuming this country.

But I can change what happens on this web site. I have told columnists to feel free to moderate comments to their columns when those comments degenerate into hate, racism or bigotry. If the hate continues, I will remove the privilege of posting comments directly to stories, columns and blogs. If I do so, no one will be able to talk me into allowing them ever again.

Those who cannot control their hate should pack up and leave now. Capitol Hill Blue is a non-partisan news site where differing points of view are welcome as long as readers show respect for each other and express those views with a modicum of civility.

There are lots of web sites out there that pander to hate. There are many that pander to partisans.

Capitol Hill Blue is not one of those web sites.

53 Responses to "So much hate, so little decency"

  1. WaltervdH  July 15, 2008 at 11:46 am

    33 years ago, I got divorced and my ex-wife ended up with
    my children, and of course, our house. She lived there together with her long time boyfriend, and I developed a
    hatred for him, and a resentment toward her—-a very typical reaction. I fantasized about being in the days of the Old West, and shooting both of them in the kneecaps,
    and then one shot each, low in the bladder, where it takes
    a person days to die.

    What happened was that I was unable to keep my anger separate from other relationships, and became an angry and
    short-tempered person. It affected my relationship with my
    little children, with my parents and with my friends. It was clear that I had a choice—-continue with the anger and become a mean, spiteful person—-or let go of the dubious luxury of hatred and anger, and become once again a kind, loving father, son and friend.

    I chose life, and love, and gave up my resentments. I still have to be very careful with other situations, as I
    loathe, detest and despise “dubya bush” as a traitor to the values and principles set out in the Declaration of Independence, and Constitution. I have to greatly limit the time and attention spent on current politics, as it
    gets me very angry—-and separates me from my Higher Power.

    So I try to maintain some distance from the whirlpool, lest I be pulled in, and lose my conscious contact with God. The bottom line is that I try not to indulge myself in hatred and negativity for the sake of the other people involved, but because it is not good FOR ME to do so.

  2. woody188  July 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Snow was just like Mohammad Saeed al-Sahhaf claiming American’s were not attacking while the tanks rolled in behind him. Snow’s lies too are laid bare but he still maintained the facade. That may be commendable for typical corporate spokespeople but we are talking about one of the only sources the public has for information from the most secretive President in history.

    Al-Sahhaf works for Abu Dhabi TV now. Shows corporate and government “journalists” are inter-changeable and should not be trusted to tell the truth because they are paid to speak what they are told. They are over-glorified anchormen. They sell their honor and principles for cold hard cash. Even in death I will not show respect to such men for they deserve none.

    I’m sure there are some very nice people in the halls of government and news media, but this doesn’t excuse them from the decisions they make and who they choose to support or ignore. Nor does it excuse them if they actually believe in what they are doing. This defense never worked at Nuremberg.

    I’m really trying here Doug but when you defend the indefensible based on if someone is a nice guy in person, it’s not surprising people get emotional as rational thought has been tossed aside. I always hear how Bush Jr. is extremely friendly and personable. Would we sing his praises after he kicks the bucket? No, I’m sure many would line up to spit on his grave.

    Were Tony a true conservative, why was he not appalled with the excesses of the Bush Administration? If he was such a good person, why would he not come forward as Scott McClellan did? Is it commendable to ignore the corruption, the power grab, the loss of rights, the torture, the destruction of our nation and Constitution?

    We will never know. Assumingly his lust for money and being connected with the highest echelons of power over-rode his own conservative beliefs.

    I’m sure it is harder for you in this instance, as he was a friend or acquaintance. Objectivity tends to fly out the window when we are personally involved. Perhaps you need to step back on this and reflect on Tony, good and bad, and see how you feel about it all. Is Tony’s being a nice family man that believed in what he was doing an excuse for lying to the nation and supporting a fascist dictator named George W. Bush?

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
    “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” proposed motto for the Great Seal of the United States by T. Jefferson and B. Franklin.
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

  3. buckethead  July 15, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Doug – I have never in any of your columns over the past 5 years seen any of your invective directed towards someone immediately after their passing. I agree with your words and wish you the best with your decisions. Thanks for the way you get the discussions flowing.

    Greg Abernathy

  4. Janice  July 15, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    This hatred has spread across our nation – and our world – like a cancer. It is fueled by partisan politics and the for profit media. When we had real news – it was to report the days events. Now the news channels seem to exist to generate news and fuel the fires of partisianship in order to increase viewers and profits.

    I think today’s ‘win-at-all-costs’ political attitude probably dates back to the Nixon administration and the Watergate cover-up. It has since continued from administration to administration until today we have an inoperable cancer festering in government which is rapidly consuming the flesh of our political system and our national identity.

    We used to listen to those of opposing viewpoints, consider their points, debate it, and come to a compromise. Now we just spew hate. That gets us no where. It sidetracks us from dealing with the real problems facing our society. It also clouds our judgement and distracts us from the reality of what is going on. It is easier to bitch and argue, than to pay attention to what is being done. We have lost our focus as a people and as a nation. Doug, and many others, are right. It is time to set the hatred aside come together to find solutions to the challenges facing us.

    We, as citizens of this country, have many serious issues to deal with, including the crisis facing our financial institutions, the hugh debt our country has, the oil crisis, the failing education system, illegal immagration, job loss, un and under insured citizens, food prices, loss of homes, energy costs, global warming… there is a lot. However, I KNOW that as Americans we can overcome these challenges – IF we move beyond the partisianship and work together.

    We need to stop bickering among ourselves and start working together to solve the problems facing us. If we do not, there will not be a future worth saving.

    One of my favorite quotes is There are no problems, only solutions. Isn’t it time to set aside the problems and start finding the solutions?

  5. scytherius  July 15, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Ya know, there was a time when I would have agreed. This is not that time. Years upon years of treason by our elected officials and their enablers changes a man/woman. When your country leads the world in dead and maimed teenagers in an oil war, torture (some of them children), institutionalized cruelty against it’s own people and so many other crimes against humanity that it boggles the mind . . . when that happens it changes you. I cheer the demise of the supporters of this regime (the worst in recorded history) just as I would Hitler’s press secretary.

    When the rules of he game are changed, you either adapt or lose. A lose to these people is the end of this nation and humanity. I for one will not go quietly into the night.

  6. Elmo  July 15, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I’m still trying to figure out why I should be subjected to weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth about either one of them. For those of you who knew one or both, the loss is as personal as you make it but for me it’s just a change in whichever talking head happens to be perched on whatever chair the camera is pointed at.

  7. Janice  July 15, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I would like challenge the readers of CHB to come together to work for solutions to the problems we face as a nation. Doug tried this, but there was not enough interest (or maybe money). I would like to challenge each of us to reach beyond our partisian politics and try to come up with a solution to some of the problems facing our country. I am sure, with the intelligence of readers here, that we can set aside our political differences, listen to each other’s ideas, and develop solutions that will work. I am also certain that we can bring these solutions which warrant public scrutiny to the appropriate news media, organizations, and representatives. I am also sure we will be able to generate the appropriate amount of noise to make sure these ideas are given the attention they deserve.

    Or, we can just keep sitting on our collective behinds and continue with our impotent bitching …

  8. RealityBytes  July 15, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Doug, 2 questions:

    You say you ‘respected’ Tony Snow – do you believe he lied for Bush and, if so, how can you respect that?

    And whether or not you believed Tony Snow lied for Bush, or was an honorable person, do you believe that a person’s death should change the public’s opinion of them, or at least the publicized opinion of them?

    As for me, I liked Tim Russert. I do think he lobbed softballs too often, but very few high profile ‘reporters’ these days are much different. I did not see much hate or even anger in the comments I read upon his death (then again, I didn’t bother reading many of them), but I did see a lot of the rehashing of disappointment that he was not a better reporter. Even though I was a fan of Tim Russert, I could not find fault with such comments.

    Indeed, for someone to rant against someone while they are alive and then temper that after they are dead, is sheer hypocrisy. What changes? What makes them any more saintly, or any less evil?

    I do not have a strong opinion of Tony Snow; although the fact that he was Bush’s mouthpiece lowers my opinion of him, I can see how it is barely possible that one can be an honorable person and do evil, mistakenly or even unknowingly… I’d like to think that of Scott McClellan, for instance, but from the little I know of Tony Snow, it seems less likely. I do know that those who expressed anger with Tony Snow after his death also did so while he was alive; assuming their opinions had significant validity while he was alive, I see nothing wrong with reminding people of the evil that was done, and will continue to do harm, after his death.

    So, Doug, in the end I guess I have a third question – did you really respect Tony Snow and the work he did, as press secretary for President Bush, while he was alive? If I go back and read your comments on the subject, is that what they will reflect?

    Evil is evil. If you think it is important to inform other people of the evil done while someone is alive, in my opinion it is no less justifiable to do the same after their death.

  9. Belle  July 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Never having met Tony Snow, I cannot vouch for his character OFF the podium at the White House. Woody you said it all. If I acted like I had lost a best friend I would be the worlds worst hypocrite, because of the times I watched that man stand there and utter what a lot of our citizens knew to be lies. How can anyone stand and say some of the things he did with a clear conscience.?I lost a husband and a 56 year old daughter, one from lung cancer and the other from breast cancer., I know how the family feels..and so do the thousands of families left mourning someone they lost in bushes war. Tony did what he was told PERIOD…I am sure he must have known he was lying to our country…He as a man and the life he lived under bush could very well be 2 different people, but as I have said before one does not attain saint hood when one dies….we ALL die sooner or later………….

  10. pollchecker  July 15, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    When the rules of he game are changed, you either adapt or lose. A lose to these people is the end of this nation and humanity. I for one will not go quietly into the night.

    I totally agree. But I see it as the fear/hate mongers versus everyone else..ie average joe. In fact I believe the responses to this column show that.

    As long as we buy their product, they will play it over and over like a broken record. It’s easy to buy into at times even when you know exactly what is happening around you…there is always that “what if?”.

    However, strong words will always evoke strong emotions on both sides. The words of the Declaration of Independence may seem like “old hat” to us that have always had them, but they were indeed strong words in that time, strong enough to be tried for treason if King George so demanded.

    They were strong enough to rally the masses to put their life on the line … to usurp personal fortune and proudly stand up for a common cause, a common good. I can’t imagine what words would it take to inspire that in today’s citizen…if it is even possible at all.

  11. Wayne K Dolik  July 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    You’re not over the top. Thank God someone speaks truth to power around here.

  12. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    No, I don’t believe Tony lied for Bush. Press Secretaries are seldom privy to inside information within a Presidential administration. Scott McClellan’s book showed that.

    My first job in Washington when i took a break from journalism was as press secretary to a Congressman. I passed on information given to me most often by the chief of staff. I later found out some of it wasn’t true. That’s when I quit.

  13. woody188  July 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I’m sorry Doug, but Tony was claiming we weren’t torturing people at Gitmo before his stint as Press Secretary. Check out his articles here. He occasionally detracted from Junior, but most of the articles are extremely partisan and supportive of the Administration no matter what they did.

    I challenge you to read some of his articles and not change your mind.

    I don’t want to upset you Doug. You have become a personal hero to me. I don’t want to be banned. You have consistently spoken out against the wrongs and rights of government to this point. And you do it because you love it, not because you are paid to do it.

    I think you may need to read Hal’s idealization column and apply it to your relationship with Tony. The man has literally blinded you with his charisma. But isn’t that why Bush chose him for the job in the first place?

    Ask yourself this, if Tony were asked today if America tortured it’s prisoners, would Tony answer no just like George W. Bush does?

  14. Carl Nemo  July 15, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Doug Thompson…

    Since you decided to use my commentary out of context in this rant, then I think it’s only fair that folks have the link from which it came so they can read my thoughts in their entirety.

    http://www.capitolhillblue.com/cont/node/9451

    Carl Nemo **==

  15. jyakubow  July 15, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    This hate and lack of decency you speak of started in November 2001 when George W. Bush said to the world “You are either with us or you are against us…” That’s when I started receiving emails from my conservative friends with Christian themes that pretty much said the same thing; if you’re not with us, you’re against us; if you’re a liberal, then you’re immoral, if you don’t forward this email to everyone in your address book, then you’re not patriotic and YOU DON’T LOVE GOD!

    I’m a Christian, I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but around 2004 I realized that I had a deep seated loathing for anything religious, especially evangelical ministers with their 3 karate diamond pinky rings, $45,000 Mercedes Benzes and $3 million dollar mansions, who use their power and influence to buy politicians who will legislate their brand of morality and force it down the rest of the Nations throat. I used to feel sorry for the vulnerable people who fall prey to these charlatans, but now I look at them and think they’re just plain STUPID!!! Am I angry? Am I full of hate? YES I AM and I blame the George W. Bush administration and their brand of divisive politics!

    jyak

  16. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Woody:

    I knew the man. You didn’t. We discussed the challenges he faced many times.

    You speak from a distrust of an administration that I suspect stems from partisanship and a belief that all things Republican are evil.  I’m a non-partisan who judges everyone by the same yardstick.

    I trust my friends.

  17. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I’m sorry but decency took a hike long before November 2001. Bill Clinton’s Presidency was hardly a hallmark of decency, fairness or honesty. Neither was Richard Nixon’s. Neither political party has a patent on decency. Both put party above country and partisanship above the best interests of the nation.

  18. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Citing media matters as a source hardly bolsters your case. They have a partisan agenda and admit it. I don’t like partisans and I seldom accept their arguments as anything but what they are — partisan pap.

  19. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Yeah, Woody said it all and that may be all the reason I need to send comments packing and rid this site of the hate that infects it.

    The lack of decency and compassion I see here makes me sick. Keep up the bitterness, anger and invective folks and you will ruin a good thing for everyone. and you will have only yourselves to blame.

  20. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Emotional? Hardly. Disappointed? Absolutely.

    I had higher expectations from those who read this site. Most meet those expectations. Sadly, others do not.

    Why is it "too bad" that I expect common courtesy and decency from those who post here?

    Why is it "too bad" to expect a reasoned discussion of issues rather than angry outbursts and hate?

    Why is it "too bad" to expect people to act like adults?

    It’s "too bad" that I have to ask those questions.

     

  21. DejaVuAllOver  July 15, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    I’m sorry, Doug. From hereon henceforth, I’ll just try and have only happy thoughts about the Nazis that have plunged this country into fascism. Hitler had a family, too.

  22. Carl Nemo  July 15, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Hi Doug Thompson…

    I felt quite happy for you when you decided to pull the plug on the blogs and commentary to your site, mainly on your behalf and health.

    It’s too bad that you’ve become so emotional concerning postings to your site. It simply isn’t healthy behavior.

    As you’ve stated succinctly you don’t need me or anybody else to contribute commentary to your site. I don’t consider it a privilege to communicate with you, I do so because I choose to do so and your forum has served my needs well over time in spreading the word about the evil forces that are stalking this once great nation. Thanks for having provided me and no doubt others with such a platform.

    “May you live long and prosper”…Spock

    Carl Nemo **==

  23. jyakubow  July 15, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Okay, you’re right, I should have left the decency bit out, because you could probably go back even further than Nixon.

    The point I was trying to make is that I have never seen so much hate and divisiveness in the 29 years that I’ve been eligible to vote. And in my experience, that hate and divisiveness is coming form the so called “values voters” or “moral majority” who want to force their beliefs down my throat and if I disagree they label me as immoral and unpatriotic. That really kind of gets my goat.

    jyak

  24. Ann  July 15, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Glad I was not reading for a little while because I would have done that same as you Doug. So little respect Tim Russet and Tony Snow I didn’t know but it is sad they leave their family and friends. Tony Snow fought a big fight to live as long as he did and I have nothing but compassion for his family and their lost also Tim Russet it was sad he had to leave so young.
    They loved what they did and I didn’t agree with Tony but both of these men had beautiful smiles and so much life.
    We have got to start to be a Nation of feelings for people that have horrible problem and it doesn’t matter is they are Rep. or Dem. they are first off humans that love their country and their families.
    What in the world is wrong with out country hating and not careing about anyone who suffers.
    Things have to change we are a bitter country and well if we were having to live through war here we wouldn’t have time for that crap. I pray all the time for the people I don’t know and for their saftey. Better start caring and not always hating it is not good for you or our country.
    Ann

  25. ekaton  July 15, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Black. White. Left. Right. Conservative. Liberal. Democrat. Republican.

    There has to be a way out of the “labels”. There has to be a way to find the correct path for our country. There has to be a way toward logic, compassion, positive action.

    I wish I knew the way.

    – Kent Shaw

  26. ekaton  July 16, 2008 at 12:07 am

    I don’t know, Doug. Maybe it WOULD be best to terminate the comments after the articles. Emotions are running high, and sometimes, or often times, emotions cloud logic. Please keep writing “the rant” in any case. CHB is still the first and the best either way.

    – Kent Shaw

  27. incog99  July 16, 2008 at 3:02 am

    OK, an expression invented by my ancestor Martin Van Buren, 8th president of the US and vice president to Andrew Jackson, meaning Old Kinderhook who also invented the party system as we know it, oh but I diverge, um, you are saying that Capitolhillblue is NOT a Democracy or do I understand your rant incorrectly?

    incog99

  28. woody188  July 16, 2008 at 3:53 am

    That was just a link to a collection of links to Snow’s own work that just happens to be maintained by Media Matters. I’ll keep that in mind Doug, but I’ve found Media Matters to be very credible and they typically link to the original work so you can make up your own mind. Yes, they only collect conservative news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible, as per their web site.

  29. incog99  July 16, 2008 at 4:33 am

    Oh Hell turn off the posting a yall can talk to yourselves!

  30. jay_spaan_sr  July 16, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Doug, you have created a monster. You are an exceptional writer for the left. But you became a “Rush Limbugh” for the left.

    You wrote such things as “Obama says We, Hillary says I”.

    Now we must deal with this situation.

    You have no more confidence in your canidate of choice. Thousands admire you and take your word as gospel. Now you change your mind.

    You are getting what you should expect: extreme left hatred with no reason or knowledge.

    Embrace your people that you created. It is your Frankenstein.

    “I’m a goalie.
    your a sieve… and it’s all your fault”
    Jay Spaan Sr. still proudly backing Hillary.

  31. woody188  July 16, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Please do not blame me for your decision to remove comments. That’s like taking a hostage and then blaming the police when you shoot them.

    I do not hate Tony. I feel for his family as I said. But I can’t show respect for a man that worked for a person you called the “American Hitler.”

    You quit when you found out about the lies you were made to disperse. Did Tony just never question what he was told? We don’t know, but maybe you do! Instead of insisting he was a good man, how about sharing some of that first hand knowledge and use your writing talent to prove it.

    Otherwise you are just telling us that this nice man worked for a person you called, “an international war criminal, a despot who sanctions torture and a madman who is nothing less than a mass murderer.”

  32. Doug Thompson  July 16, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    "Writer for the left?" Back when Bill Clinton was President I was being called a propagandist for the right. God, I wish people would make up their minds.

  33. RichardKanePA  July 17, 2008 at 5:01 am

    RichardKanePA

    Some people have the warmest friendliest smile, and seem to show genuine concern, while they go around hurting people.

    Some say that about Bush Jr. But I genuinely think he is a moron being pushed around by the wind or advisers, smiling like a little kid who says his lines right oblivious to what the words he uttered. I could have just fell for his con I don’t know.

    Tony Snow was as sharp and as alert has he could be, with far more determination than Ted Kennedy in doing his job and perusing his goals despite being wreaked with cancer.

    I don’t hate him but fear a warm memory of him will cause lingering harm the way warm memories of Reagan still does.

    I’m suspicious that he got his start as part of Sun Myung Moon’s conglomerate. The Washington Times, UPI, Comcast etc. conglomerate. A friend of mine who never reached the point of selling flowers 14 hours a day, still tells me what warm and loving people the Mooonies are.

    After I got hit by a car, I was already on low income medical state insurance. When I went to get welfare and food stamps, I was totally helpless, afraid of falling off my crutches, and had trouble concentrating. The Korean case worker was so warm and helpful and seemed embarrassed about my problems, I realized later he was acting embarrassed, more about my hyperactivity than my helplessness, something I had to deal with my whole life.

    He told me to get a letter from my part time job that I was fired. The secretary hadn’t even took my keys back hoping I’d be back. It turned out he never signed me up for food stands or welfare, but cut me off medical assistance for not having a part time job anymore.

    Anyway I fear fond memories of Tony Snow will cause harm into the future the way warm memories of Reagan still does.

    All I know for sure is Tony Snows warmth, dedication to his ideals, and what looked like genuine concern tended make the world slightly less nice a place to live in.

    RichardKanePA

  34. Sandra Price  July 15, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Well done, Chief. Precise, clear and correct!

  35. ruthross  July 15, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Doug,
    You wrote: “One of Capitol Hill Blue’s columnists told me over the weekend that my style of writing contributes to the growth of hate on this web site. He may be right. I use strong language. I go over the top. I assumed that readers understood that my positions stemmed from love of country and not from hatred of differing points of view.”

    There were times I could not read some of your posts, so filled with what I saw as hatred for Hillary Clinton. Your fulminations were often over the top. I think you gave some of your readers the idea that such speech was okay to post.

    As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Perhaps you need to tone down your rhetoric to sound more measured so others don’t get the wrong idea…if it’s ok for Doug to say it, so can I.

    Ruth M. Ross

  36. trog69  July 15, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Good morning. I haven’t been one to read much of the comments here, and I’m glad of that now. I too would have been most discouraged to have read anything derogatory about their deaths. As was pointed out in the article, most of the people that we fight so hard against, actually believe that they are doing the exact same thing we are doing. And they truly feel that what they do is the way the system should be headed. Are they wrongheaded? Well, that’s my opinion, just as they would say the same about my views on a great many things.

  37. SNAFUBAR  July 15, 2008 at 9:35 am

    With all the vicious invective you hurl here Doug is it a surprise that others would use your fire as a catalyst to express their frustration with the same ferocity?

    Does this mean you give the people you know a free pass when it comes to slicing and dicing them on this site?

    I have a hard time taking this article seriously as you have consistently been as mean and nasty as the posters you decry in your rant.

  38. dbumRob  July 15, 2008 at 9:47 am

    I concur: so little decency. I was no fan of Snow’s politics. But he has a member of our species who was suffering. That people have allowed politics to mask over their human nature is what saddens me.

    We’ve allowed our egos to dictate our actions. Our philosophy of dualism, which makes one right, the other wrong, and hence an enemy to fight and destroy, needs to be laid aside for something that works. And when vitriol and cheering follow the news of a death, it’s obvious to me that it isn’t working.

    Government isn’t broken folks, we are. Without us, there is no government. There is no business, no sports, no infrastructure and educational systems, no markets and all the attendant corruption, greed, and failure that we have seen displayed in them all. All of the negativity we have seen in any system was done by a human. And have we not either been a part of the problem and not of the solution is this is all we see?

    When the two Democratic candidates held their conference to decide the fate of the Michigan and Florida delegates, I saw then how ego has come to dominate us. Their was verbal abuse and pushing among like party members, because of an identification with an individual and/or ideology.

    Wow.

    I was already beginning to draw away from the numerous e-mails of political nature that arrive in my mail box. They mostly amount to efforts to prove the other wrong and do little to actually present solutions to problems. But then I signed up for them when I was identified with an ideology.

    Perhaps Mr. Obama’s choice to support the new FISA bill was along the vein of thinking that it’s better to forge ahead with something with teeth, rather than not have it and spend hundreds of millions and years of time finding criminals who in the end might claim executive privelege. That’s a gutsy call, because justice is important to Americans, and rightly so. But it points to the problem doesn’t it?

    It’s people that are broken. How are we going to change that?

  39. incog99  July 16, 2008 at 3:40 am

    Sports? Please, that is the ultimate Metamucil for the masses. Put on a game and the masses will not see the looting of our treasury by the current Bush Crime Family.

    Sell the public lands, sell the roads paid for by tax payer money!! wooooo hooooo! sell everything possible before leaving office!

    Did you see the market today? lord. We are going down fast. Tax payer revenues cannot even pay the illegal Fed the interest on the debt and now the Fed (a private entity) wants to print more dollars to bail out Fanny and Freddie! We are the suckers!

    We are becoming a third world nation very quickly sooner than you think.

    Just keep the Americans busy with their IPODS and IPHONES long enuf and the admin can get off. Oh but one problem, the meltdown started before the election and the FED (again an illegal entity not related to our government) has no more rabbits to pull out of its hat. TSK TSK how simple minded we are. I put my dollars in Swiss Francs last week. Good luck to the rest of you.

    Tony lied and watch what happens in the next few weeks.

    Sorry to be negative but we was robbed.

  40. ekaton  July 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

    If the hate continues, I will remove the privilege of posting comments directly to stories, columns and blogs.

    So you will punish the group for the transgressions of the one. Why not simply ban the one instead. That may even mean banning ME! So be it.

    – Kent Shaw

  41. Warren  July 16, 2008 at 12:33 am

    I agree. It’s your website and you can do as you want. If it was my site I’d feel the same way. Kent’s right on target. You can ban whoever you want. I hope you’ll do it. And if one of those blacklisted should ever turn out to be me, well, I will be ashamed for having deserved it.

  42. pollchecker  July 15, 2008 at 11:20 am

    There is a difference between anger and hate…but it is a very fine line.

    It is ok to be angry especially when you are watching your country sinking and feel helpless to do anything. When someone close to you dies, it is a natural part of the grief to be angry.

    But where that anger grows is the path to hate. One can take that anger and sit on it and become a bitter hate filled person frustrated with lact of action….or one can take action.

    Anger does eventually pass if you let go of it. For me it was moving to another country to understand that unfortunately there was no place I wanted to live but America, my home. It was then I put the anger aside and vowed to take action, whatever action I could take.

    I still get angry when I see poisonous, hate filled lies spill over into our govt. The New Yorker piece was not a satire….it was pure fear and hate.

    I do not think you were the one to start the Hate Doug. GW started the hate when he thumbed his nose at America, the Constitution, and the brave American families that have suffered losses under this administration.

    And since hate begets hate….well, those of us who use words as tools naturally picked up on it and threw it right back at the neo-cons. But it is contagious as the neo-cons well know and you are now just realizing.

    I did not read the comments about Snow. Sorry I did not get up enough to delete them myself. I guess I am old enough to know the difference between who a person is and what a person does. Snow and Russert were journalists and did a job. You do not have to like the job they did but at least respect their families grief. But look, we have neo-cons attending funerals of Iraq Vets saying that they deserved to die because America is a country of homosexuals. How dare someone say that people deserved to die in Katrina because New Orleans was full of sin and debauchery.

    I’m glad it was pointed out that your rants do have a tendency to spur people on…because they are so frustrated, they need a leader.

    You could be that leader Doug. You said in your first rant you were working on solutions. Thats what we need apparently…a leader with some actions and not just hate. There are things that can be done once the political play concludes in November. These changes will not be easy no matter who or what party is in power in the end. But once again we are simply left with the choice of worse or worst. We clearly understand the difference as has been displayed since GW was given power by the Supreme Court.

    I do not think there is such a notion as non-partisan in politics. I was thinking about the American Revolution and it was most certainly partisan. There were those that were for Independence from King George and there were those who advocated working with King George. Among the libertists…there were different points of view, strong words were most certainly used. But there also was honor and respect.

    As I write this, our version of King George, is on the tv spilling forth his form of damage control on the federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His words sicken me but I must listen to it because to do otherwise would be no better than the sheep led on by the disinformationalists. It makes me so angry……and then I find myself right back where I started. It’s a viscious cycle that must be broken…but won’t as long as it is effective and the Genuises of Propaganda are masters at using it.

    Words Matter! And you most certainly have a way with words for better or worse.

  43. Doug Thompson  July 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Oh, I’m working on solutions but those solutions will be non-partisan and will recognize that no party has the market cornered on honesty or dishonesty, good or evil, right or wrong.

    I doubt partisans will get the point and until partisans learn to think of themselves as Americans first and Republicans or Democrats second the situation will not improve.

  44. incog99  July 16, 2008 at 3:54 am

    Pardon my frustration but my computer is taking an HE, human eternity, to give me this page, but did you see the marvelous HBO mini series on John Adams?

    Abigail Adams hands George Washington some letters and says, I am sure you can deliver them unmolested.

    My god, we have come full circle. Not only have we abanded the original FISA law we had to modify it to expand the unitary presidency powers. I weep for our country. We founded this country on private mails and communictation and it takes that historical momemt to see how far we as a free nation have fallen.

    A Patriot

  45. almandine  July 16, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    It seems the difference between anger and hate is that anger statements reference me and hate statements reference you/him/her/them, etc.

    Each of us has only perspective… lacking data, truth is but cognition. Clearly reference one’s own thoughts and feelings and the “hate” problem will take care of itself. Then it’s only the “idiot” problem that must be dealt with.

  46. Flapsaddle  July 15, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I’ve lost a grandmother and a grandfather to colon cancer, my mother-in-law to a brain tumor, my father-in-law to pancreatic cancer, a sister and a nephew to leukemia, and a brother to full-blown AIDS complex; my favorite niece is fighting small-cell lymphoma, my one remaining brother is fighting prostate cancer, and my better half is a 9-year survivor of renal cell carcinoma.

    I’ve seen great pain and agony and disfigurement, and both mental and physical decay as a consequence of these diseases. These diseases wreck the family as much as they wreck the victim, the pain and the despair and the depression are palpable in the survivors. I would not wish them on my worst enemy for any reason whatsoever. It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would revel and gloat at the thought of someone enduring these dread diseases.

    How petty and cruel it is to chuckle at the thought of a political opponent dying in pain and knowing his family is enduring it as well. Does our dislike of someone’s politics mean that s/he and the family should suffer the ravages of an incurable disease? How about a traffic accident? Or a homicide? Is it just that some wish to vent their frustrations, their personal political impotence by wishing for and glorying in the agonies of others?

    I’ve seen great destruction in my life that was man-made, and I even caused some of it; I’ve seen dead men stacked up like cord-wood; I’ve watched the light of life go out of the eyes of both friend and foe. I felt no joy, no exultation, no justification at any of it – just a sad feeling of loss and a sense of guilt and responsibility that things had to end the way they did, even when the death was that of someone who just a short time before was intent on killing me and mine.

    When you can hand back a life or a limb, when you can cure the ravaged body, when you can comfort the sorrowful and bring back some joy, then you may award yourself transcendent authority to decide who should suffer for what you decide are their terrible sins.

    Barring that millennial day, have the decency to at least shut up and say nothing.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  47. Ladywolf55  July 15, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Flapsaddle, that was the most thoughtful, well-said piece I’ve seen regarding respect for the dead and their families/friends. Thanks for the post, well said and VERY true.

  48. Charlie Couser  July 15, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Somewhere along the way, we have lost sight of what the true spirit of patriotism is in this country. We have forgotten the number-one goal of our democratic republic — to work for the betterment and the common good of all. Today, however, irrespective of political affiliation, the goal is to not only defeat the other guy; it is to bury him — at any cost.

    The politicians of today forget they took an oath pledging to uphold the Constitution of the USA. Instead they pledge their alligance to the potus and to their financial supporters and to hell with everybody else.

    This attitude spills over into the press when they are perceived as having favored one side or the other. This occurs when they are perceived as being biased — either by their comments or by their association with one particular group or another.

    In this environment, it’s easy to forget that these people (politicians or press or whoever) are human beings. People spew hatred and vitriol without thinking of the hurt and anger it may cause. But, more important, they forget their words or actions are only adding to a rapid downward spiral of negativity that pervades today’s life in the political fast lane.

    I think today’s ‘win-at-all-costs’ political attitude probably dates back to the Nixon administration and the Watergate cover-up. It has since continued from administration to administration until today we have an inoperable cancer festering in government which is rapidly consuming the flesh of our political system and our national identity.

    I can personally attest to these emotional outbursts because I am so angry with the current administration and its supporters and their contribtions to the destruction of our great nation that I could spit fire. Instead, I spit words which often are less than appeasing.

    So, Doug, I concur. We should all strive to use better judgement and control when we express opinions here and elsewhere. I promise to do just that…

    Charlie Couser

  49. ekaton  July 15, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Well put. If you really are working on solutions, sign me up. I’m not a leader; I’m a foot soldier.

    – Kent Shaw

  50. Sandra Price  July 15, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Partisanship is the greatest divider this nation has ever encountered. I had a discussion with an old friend about National Geographic and it seems that NG is considered a liberal organiztion. When I defended Tony here, someone responded as if I were a liberal voter. When I dare criticize Limbaugh’s words, I am a Socialist/Communist. When I state I do not believe in God, I am called a street whore with my soul owned by the devil.

    This goes beyond politics but it blends in nonetheless. I have stated on many sites that I am above religion and certainly above partisan politics. I deal in right over wrong in search of integrity and it cannot be found in religion or politics. I have no place to go but out!

    Let me know chief, when you find your nonpartisan group who will work for a “Campaign for our America.”

  51. ekaton  July 15, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    “I have no place to go but out!”

    STOP THAT! Do NOT leave here. Go other places, too, of course, but do not leave here. I’m cantankerous with you at times. So what? You make me THINK from time to time.

    – Kent Shaw

  52. Sandra Price  July 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    It often amazes me when Flapsaddle can turn into a wonderful writer of great depth. I almost find myself liking him/her.

  53. ekaton  July 15, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I am often too thin-skinned. I think we all need a bit of “thickening” sometimes. Cut “Flap” a break, matter of fact, can we ALL cut each other a break? Thanks, Sandra.

    – Kent Shaw

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