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OP-ED | Democrat Watches GOP Debate With Fascination

by Sarah Darer Littman | Sep 8, 2011 9:54pm
(42) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Opinion

I’m writing this with a migraine due to the alcohol I had to consume in order to be able to watch the GOP debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday night without hurling something at my television - or hurling, period.

Witnessing the debate debut of Republican frontrunner Rick Perry was like watching Dance Moms, the reality show my daughter and I view with horrified fascination because we can’t believe people like that actually exist.

Take, for instance, his bizarre response to a question about his continued skepticism about global warming:

The irony of a guy who believes the theory of evolution “has gaps” and creationism should be taught in schools as science comparing himself to Galileo Galilei, the father of modern science who was persecuted for heresy for defending the concept of heliocentrism, made me reach for my beer, particularly since it was clear that Perry doesn’t even know his history well enough to understand that it’s ironic. I guess that’s what happens when you’re from a state that rewrites the history books.

Republicans who loved George W. Bush’s unwavering certitude will find much to like in Perry. He’s a guy who doesn’t lose sleep at night about the death penalty.

But according to the Greenwich Time, Republicans in my neck of the woods are putting their money on Romney.  “[Perry’s] a little more of curiosity item at this point…I think two weeks from now he’ll just be another ordinary average Republican candidate,” Sen. L. Scott Frantz is quoted as saying.  Former gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley is equally skeptical: “I think the feeling about Governor Perry is nobody really knows him,” Foley said. “He seems even conservative for Texas. People have to wonder, would that sell even nationally in a general election?”

One has to wonder if these gentlemen have actually been listening to what’s been going on in their national party for the last few years, or even observing the conflicts within the party here in the state of Connecticut.  From time to time I email a GOP friend and ask, “What is going on with you guys?”, because it’s just mind boggling that the party has become so different from when I went door to door canvassing for my dad when he was elected to the Board of Representatives in Stamford.

I can’t imagine in those days someone like Jon Huntsman actually having to stand onstage at a debate and state something as obvious as this: “When you make comments that fly in the face of 98 out of 100 climate scientists, to call into question the science of evolution, all I am saying is that in order for the Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science…By making comments that basically don’t reflect the reality of the situation, we turn people off.”

The conventional wisdom is that Huntsman doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning the nomination, because he’s too much of a “RINO”, this despite his economic plan having won kudos as the best of the GOP bunch from the Wall Street Journal. Too bad, because he seems by far the most reasoned and articulate of the bunch. All the candidates invoke Reagan, with regard to tax cuts, but when Huntsman spoke on immigration, he reminded us of one of the things about the Great Communicator most conservatives seem to forget - his human touch.

“President Reagan when he made his decision back in 1987 said this is a human issue, and I hope that all of us as we deal with this immigration issue will always see it as an issue that revolves around real human beings,” Huntsman said.

Alas, all the things that seem so positive and rational to me will most likely kill his chances with the base. But all is not lost. I saw a tweet last night from the Manchester Young Republicans ranking Huntsman’s performance #1. So I’ll just sit here with the “plop plop fizz fizz” humming “I believe that children are our future…”

Sarah Darer Littman is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers and an award-winning novelist of books for teens. Long before the financial meltdown, she worked as a securities analyst and earned her MBA in Finance from the Stern School at NYU.

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(42) Comments

posted by: ... | September 8, 2011  11:36pm


I wouldn’t rule out Huntsman yet. Its tough, and a lot of analysts are saying he’s throwing his head in so 2016 looks better (though these people assume Obama is being re-elected in this scenario).

But we should all remember the McCain scenario. He looked strong, moderate, but suddenly got a nose dive in the summer and was seen as a dead candidate until the winter debates where he gained that miraculous revival and led to win the primaries (though lost by trying to gain a base too radical for independents).

I’d be a toss-up if Huntsman ran, but if he pulls a Palin for his VP, he’d loose my vote.

What surprises me most about this OP-ED is you didn’t mention how people ‘cheered’ when they heard how many people Texas had executed in a year. I’m not against the death penalty 100%, but to cheer for death? It reminded me of Borat when he said to a rodeo that his people ‘support your war of terror’ and people hooted and hollered like he were campaigning.

However, I’m glad you caught the Galileo comment. We watched that after a club meeting and said ‘Yea, he got criticized by highly religious, polemical zealots’.

posted by: saramerica | September 9, 2011  9:15am


Oh believe me, I was drinking heavily about the cheering for death part too, but there were only so many things I could cover…that came under my “Dance Moms” thing…like really, people? That’s what you’ve become?

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 9, 2011  11:46am


As usual the swing states will be the real battleground. Romney does well in them.

Would Romney be better for the coattail effect in the Blue States even if he loses the state and wins the general election? That seems to be the prevailing view on Romney in Blue States like CT.

As a whole the GOP has an interesting take on immigration. It’s the one issue where they make some sense as a whole (ignoring the arm the border to the teeth proposals).

Ny problem with the solutions They are a decade too late as is typical of these cyclical items. By the time a solution is implemented we will be in an economic recovery and need immigrant labor.

Huntsman doesn’t work for me. As a Mormom he has the backing of many LGBT groups for proposing civil unions in Utah which makes him the darling of the anti-Prop 8 crowd. Other than that he’s got nothing.

Obama gave his first decent speech in 3 years. He pulled himself out of Jimmy Carterville for a few minutes. Then he ruined it by proposing a lot of recycled ‘Meh’.

posted by: ... | September 9, 2011  5:17pm


The overarching theme once 2012 actually hits for primary voters in the Republican base (after the Big 3) is going to be 2 questions: 1. Who is going to fire up the base most? 2. Who is going to put more swing states in play, and create defensive strategies for the Obama camp in ‘lean-blue states’?

They’re going to have to find a balance. And at this point it is too tough to say who has that perfect balance. Huntsman and Romney don’t have the fiery base (yet), but Perry/Bachmann have yet to perform they could reach conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans (the independents).

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 9, 2011  5:36pm


And as far as the death penalty and war monger crowd goes the difference between the parties is kinda like choosing between dry trash and wet garbage.  The Blue Bin or the Red Bin.

The Red bin says what it means. Yes to the death penalty and war. How could the Blue bin be more repugnant?

By publicly opposing war and the death penalty and then backing down post-election. It’ s pure deceit whereby issues and interest groups are hijacked and appropriated as necessary then jettisoned like stupid tools.

So let’s join our Democratic Congressmen in Bushnell Park opposing war and celebrating every contract by Sikorsky and Electric Boat. And let’s march with them to oppose the death penalty and watch them decide the Petit crime so heinous it would simply be wrong to deny the public the gratification of another round of public executions.

It’s a character thing. I’ve decided the simple noose loving redneck has more character than the Wesleyan-educated politician who can write dynamite Grad Journal essays against US military policy and the death penalty while voting to sustain the very same policies they oppose on paper.

This goes back to the abortion thing and the cutesy Catholic politician spin “I support choice because my constituents support choice but I oppose abortion personally and lack the backbone of a 1-week-old fetus when it comes to standing up for my beliefs”.

posted by: lisalake | September 9, 2011  7:12pm

“Republicans who loved George W. Bush’s unwavering certitude will find much to like in Perry. He’s a guy who doesn’t lose sleep at night about the death penalty.”
You must mean the SAME WAY you libs don’t loose any sleep while KILLING BABIES.

posted by: Todd Peterson | September 9, 2011  10:20pm

Smug, arrogant, condecending right out of the box. Nice job…

posted by: Terry D. Cowgill | September 10, 2011  7:24am

Terry D. Cowgill

@lisalake >> You do have a point. The death penalty moment during the GOP debate did make me uncomfortable. But I also get squeamish when I hear pro-choice people cheer at their rallies. It is interesting to note that the media do not treat those moments as equals.

posted by: lisalake | September 10, 2011  11:42am

It’s a sad commentary on the political debate today where the media believes they have the right to choose our candidates, especially those who right off the bat, admit they were drunk—- and continue to live in fantasy land where they believe their views matter over everyone else. Even in her drunken state… If the author could not find one comment from all eight candidates she could believe in, or find credible, then it just shows a blatant lack of knowledge of the process, and her willingness to blindly follow failed policy without an original thought to offer. Obviously the author is comfortable trashing those who are putting their solutions out there for us to evaluate, while offering none of her own…wonder who in their right mind might want to admit to siding with a “journalist” who evaluates and comments on serious issues while lying drunk on her couch.

posted by: saramerica | September 10, 2011  12:35pm


@LisaLake - see that’s you trying to put your religious conception of when life begins over mine. In my faith for the first 42 days the fetus is “as water”. Does your faith take precedence over mine? In your mind perhaps. But in the United States of America, according to the Constitution, we do not legislate religion. Furthermore, I do find the paradox interesting that a majority of people on that stage were against Perry mandating the HPV vaccine by executive order (interfering with women’s bodies) yet perfectly happy for federal govt to rule against women’s right to choose.

posted by: gerardw | September 11, 2011  12:07am

Blue State. Only 7 votes now…  the national Republicans aren’t talking to you. No need to waste good alcohol giving yourself a migraine.

posted by: lisalake | September 11, 2011  1:52pm

@saramerica—you seem to propose to know who I endorse-what my faith is- and what I think about Perry’s failed HPV legislation-You also think that being a drunk journalist pontificating from from your couch can sway opinion. MURDER is the same in any form, and if killing babies is ok with you, so too should be capitol punishment—mommie makes the decision for the baby, and the courts make the decision for the defendant…

posted by: Terry D. Cowgill | September 11, 2011  3:48pm

Terry D. Cowgill

Sarah, I don’t think LisaLake said anything about religion. I’m an agnostic and have serious problems with late-term abortions. There is a secular case against abortion, too.

posted by: saramerica | September 11, 2011  5:17pm


@terry - perhaps @lisalake would be kind enough to clarify. It’s just when people use rhetoric like “you libs” and “KILLING BABIES” in all caps, it usually means that they are referring to abortion in general as opposed to late term abortions. If I am wrong, I apologize.

posted by: saramerica | September 11, 2011  5:23pm


Awww, Careful/Hawkeye…I like lots of Republicans. I Terry, Heath.Fred Camillo, to name a few. I might not agree with their politics, but I LIKE them as people. And just so happens I LOVE my dad, who served in local govt as a Republican.

posted by: lisalake | September 11, 2011  5:55pm

Looks like CT News Junkie doesn’t like differing views? Wonder where my posts are?? humm….

posted by: saramerica | September 11, 2011  9:29pm


Well, Terry, it appears that’s Lisa’s way of clarifying her point. I suggest you and I have a rational conversation about that sometime when we meet. I think you would probably be very surprised by some of the things I’d say. But I’m not going to post them here, because…well, I think it’s obvious why.

posted by: ... | September 11, 2011  9:47pm


lisalake, sometimes a person who comments does come off as highly offensive even if they don’t believe so.

This website doesn’t have an extensive commenting policy about civility and such like others, but the screening by site moderators is done by moral/common sense standards. They may also be seeing multiple short posts as spamming/flooding the comment feed, which isn’t appropriate netiquette.

But considering how partisan some of your posts have been in this story (in reaction to a certainly partisan opinion article), I think your particular opinion (of abortion and Sarah) has been represented pretty well.

posted by: saramerica | September 11, 2011  11:53pm


It’s also interesting (although hardly new) that Lisa didn’t appear to even read my comments thoroughly. When I wrote about the paradox about Perry and HPV, I said “the people on the stage” obviously referring to the candidates at the debate. However, Lisa chose to take it as a personal affront and to make personal attacks. I am not writing any of these comments under the influence, nor did I write the column under the influence. But it’s so much easier to make a personal attack than to actually answer a question that is relevant to the discussion, isn’t it?

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 12, 2011  7:45am


Why not clarify your comments on abortion Sara? Lisa’s point was unambiguous.

Are you proposing a 42-day limit to abortion on demand? Would that be a litmus test for you for a SCOTUS appointment?

Or are you in favor of choice until delivery as many women’s groups are?

The euro zone is generally more strict than the US. Denmark and France for example have AOD through 12 weeks and in Sweden where its 16 weeks abortions that late are rare as its considered borderline unethical.

Why not clarify your view for Lisa’s edification?

posted by: lisalake | September 12, 2011  9:27am

As these responses were not posted in sequence, and posted late due to Christine being away for the weekend, I would have had no way to respond to your request for “clarification”—- nor would I. Sara believes I need to clarify a question SHE believes is relevant to the discussion, even though only she and Terry can have a “rational conversation”. I did not bring up your religion, nor did I make the distinction between late term or “abortion in general”—- I was merely making the comparison between capitol punishment and abortion. If we are going to split hairs on this topic; you’re not suggesting that capitol punishment would be “acceptable” if carried out within three months (“generally”) after sentencing, as opposed to years on death row? 
In any event, it appears that Sara believes she has the right to partisan opinion, and no one else. When columnists’ put their work out there for comment, and then get to argue or reject all comments submitted – then what is the point, if not to assert yourself as the “ultimate authority” on every topic? Everyone who posts here knows Sara is always partisan—as is her right. And so too, is it my right, and everyone else who cares to post here. Was I being reactionary? Admittedly so—and why not? As for personal attacks, if you’re going to put it all out there, in your columns and blogs, then it’s all fair game when asking for comment by sometime “reactionary” posters.

posted by: Todd Peterson | September 12, 2011  12:36pm

Sarah, you might start out by not beginning your Op-ed pieces on such a snarky, arrogant and condescending fashion.

Lisa is commenting about how you started this op-ed in such a sophmoric fashion and finished with “plop plop fizz fizz”. I see no problem with commenting on the churlish nature that you choose to “reach” your readers. I also think Lisa isn’t making an attack on you by saying “you seem to propose to know who I endorse-what my faith is- and what I think about Perry’s failed HPV legislation”.

This is a very good site that I read on a daily basis.  However this is the last piece of yours that I’ll ever read.  You are condescending, puerile and your presentation detracts from any substance that you may have to offer.  Before you tell me you don’t care what I think of you or your writing I’ll tell you that I already know that.  You come off as being quite shallow at times. Someone needed to tell you that.

posted by: saramerica | September 12, 2011  12:48pm


GoatBoy: In Judaism, in contrast to what appears to the interpreted “Christian"dogma as translated politically, the life of the mother takes precedence over the life of the unborn child. So if it were a medical emergency and the mother’s life were at stake, yes, I believe it is right to sacrifice the fetus to save a living adult woman, who might well have other children to raise. Now,my question is, why should the “life begins at conception” or, as Lisa prefers to call it “Baby killing” point of view, take precedence over this viewpoint? Who is to say which is right? What I am saying is that the Constitution says freedom of religion and a ban on abortion is placing one religion’s beliefs over that of another. Lisa should be free to live according to her believes and me according to mine. Is that clear enough?

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 12, 2011  1:37pm


Sarah’s polemics?

Always a given and her distance from Parry voters is what strikes me when CT Democrats speak about conservatives from the middle and Southern States.

When the Public Sector Unions and Big Government Democrats figure out why people are so averse to spending more money on government goods and services they just might make some changes.

It’s much easier to think people are stupid and cheap rather than see government as similar to the US auto industry circa 1973 when the oil cartels forced Japanese cars into the US market and they walloped the market in terms of quality, pricing. continuous improvement standards,  customer service, and value.

Quality, pricing, continuous improvement, customer satisfaction, and value are not attributes many hear applied to government today. Wowing the taxpayer with efficiency and outcomes and excitement in accomplishments? It’s exceptionally sad is what it is.

People are cynical and many hate government. Not what government could be, but they hate what it is.

Given a choice between the status quo or cutting the funding off they’d rather cut off the funding. That sad reality is never ever properly addressed by Democrats.

I believe government can improve people’s lives and maintain faith in the power of government to better human character. but not under the Democrats and the current public Sector Employee System. The marketplace is too nimble for entrenched petrification and pet rocks with 20-years of service pension plans at age 42.

posted by: saramerica | September 12, 2011  3:42pm


GoatBoy: How interesting that you think Perry will be any different:

posted by: NOW What? | September 12, 2011  3:49pm

Wow! I haven’t seen this much debate around here in quite a long time.

First, I’d like to point out that electronic communications on screens such as monitors and most backlit lcds (including those on phones) are *not* the same as those in print. For reasons still unclear, our brains do not process such communications in quite the same way as they do when we read printed words - that is one of the biggest reasons why Amazon had its “Ink Pearl Display” developed for use on its Kindle e-reader, and also the reason why it is so easy for people to miscommunicate and misunderstand each other when using electronic media. Because of this, it is often a very good idea for people to actually print out their words for review before posting them or at least try to imagine their words in print before hitting that “Submit” (or “Enter” or “Return”) button.

Secondly (and returning to the subject of the op-ed piece), I too tend to view the issues referred to therein as matters of factual knowledge possessed (or not) by the candidates and their “character” or - possibly more often - their varying degrees of hypocrisy, but *also* in terms of how they use (or fail to use) their judgement when confronted with moral, ethical and logical paradoxes. When one claims, for example, that they believe that marriage is legally and primarily the purview of the States (which factually is correct) and yet insists that the federal government should enact legislation that would ban same-sex marriage, I seriously question that person’s ability to hold federal office - ANY federal office. Similarly regarding any non-scientist who doubts evolution (which is factually based in the well-established science of genetics among other disciplines) and states belief in creationism yet compares themselves to Galileo Galilei.

But when one tries to lump the debatable issue of possible mandated hpv vaccination with those inherent in the even more debatable and *more* complex ones inherent in abortion, one begins to stand on somewhat shakier ground. I’m not saying that I favor one opinion over the other, just that the comparisons are not entirely valid because the justifiable decision-making processes behind the two are fundamentally very different. That is why although I did not particularly find George Bush Jr. to be a very good President and didn’t necessarily *agree* with his ultimate decision(s) regarding stem cell research, I did *respect* that decision because I understood and respected the intellectual, moral and ethical integrity of the decision-making process that he utilized to formulate it.

Unfortunately, proponents of the “Tea Party movement” have deliberately and strategically hijacked the national Republican Party. I say “unfortunately” because the Tea Party has *very* little by way of intellectual and philosophical, or even moral and ethical, integrity as its underpinnings and thus hardly qualifies as a “movement” let alone justifies its role within a national political party. They don’t even know of or understand the history and role of the Republican Party, yet have the gall to label as “RINO” those who do not blindly agree with their beliefs. As many have said, the founders and historical leaders of the Republicans (as well as even Nixon and Reagan) would roll over in their graves if they were to see what has become of their political party.

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 12, 2011  5:04pm


I was trying to pin you down on the AOD (on demand) after 42 days thing but it would appear you are being politic about it and failing to address the most contentious issue: arbitrary on demand abortion.

Does the fetus ever assume a right life assuming the incest, health, and rape exceptions are not in play and if so when? Most have a defined opinon on this which conforms to either religious or ethical or political belief adn questions as to whether abortion access beyond 26 weeks should be expanded in the US for those believing a fetus is not born until the umbilical cord is cut.

posted by: Todd Peterson | September 12, 2011  10:12pm

I actually have a few constructive things to say about Sarah’s “work” after watching her responses to “lisalake”.

Your thin-skinned (in my opinion) reaction to lisalake’s attack raises a red flag to me.  You are a columnist who actually has pieces published under your real name with a picture attached unlike internet posters.  I have letters and op-eds published in print and occasionally online and I comment online under my own name.  You are being entirely too sensitive about lisalake’s responses.  You need to be 10 times tougher than this on a bad day.

You chastised lisalake for being “irrational” and therefore unworthy of your more reasoned position.  First off I don’t think your reaction was warranted.  Lisalake’s opinion is strongly pro-life although I don’t use the words ‘killing babies’ in my discourse.  This sort of strong response, however, is not new and certainly not something you’ve never heard before.

You responed to Terry as follows “Well, Terry, it appears that’s Lisa’s way of clarifying her point. I suggest you and I have a rational conversation about that sometime when we meet. I think you would probably be very surprised by some of the things I’d say. But I’m not going to post them here, because…well, I think it’s obvious why.”  Allow me to tell you why you ought to post them.

The reason why op-eds are writtem is to PERSUADE.  One reason why I’m sure that you’re happy to be here is eyeballs.  The number of eyeballs on this site is growing in a big way - in part due to John Rowland’s radio gig.  If you think that a poster isn’t too bright then that’s fine.  Your condescending attitude of “you’re not worthy of my response” is stupid.  You should have seized this as an opprtunity to clarify and, yes, persuade rather than to say that ONLY Terry is worthy of hearing your views.  A LOT of us read these things, Sarah.  Terry and Heath do well with this.  Heath is very good at getting to the point quickly and respectfully.  When your first reply starts off, “
Oh believe me, I was drinking heavily about the cheering for death part too, but there were only so many things I could cover”. you’ve spit the bit.  BTW, I wasn’t happy to hear the applause either in case you figured me for a troglodyte as well.  Mort Zuckerman is a good example of a non-conservative writer who can make salient points in a respectful fashion.  If you continue to operate in this fashion you won’t help broaden the base of your political persuasion. You will simply be a more well-educated Janeane Garofolo.

As to your being able to persuade, I’ll got back to the old chestnut, “People don’t care what you know ‘til they know that you care”.  In retail politicking that’s part of the human touch you speak of. Behaving the way you have in your posts here along with your multiple references to your alcoholic consumption doesn’t lend to be being taken seriously regardless of how many advanced degrees you’ve acquired.

On a more political note, if Rick Perry is the moron you think he is then he’ll flame out like the Donald Trump non-candidacy did.

posted by: saramerica | September 12, 2011  10:29pm


Goatboy - I didn’t write this piece about abortion. It was Lisa who brought that topic into the discussion, with the “you libs…“KILLING babies” remark. My feelings about the abortion issue are extremely complex informed by my personal experiences (not having one, but other issues) and if I wanted to discuss them in detail in this forum I would write a piece. However, given the nature of the commenters, I am in no way inclined to discuss something of such a deeply personal nature on this site.

posted by: Todd Peterson | September 13, 2011  11:26am

The conclusion of you last reply here, “However, given the nature of the commenters, I am in no way inclined to discuss something of such a deeply personal nature on this site.”, is pretty interesting.

You have been, once again, snarky, condescending and dismissive.  I don’t get that from any of the other columnists here.  This is pretty rich given the amount of potshots you take at your former party. You certainly have the right to do that; there are times that I may actually agree with you!  Unfortunately you need to be able to take the arrows. 

If you were running for local office and spouting off like you have been here you’d have no chance of winning unless you were in a one-party town. Of course, writing op-eds is different than running for office.  One needs thick skin to do both.
I think it’s time for a new colummist for this site to speak for the left side of the aisle.  This sort of presentation isn’t going to reach people who aren’t already on reservation.  When you talk so much about how much you had to drink to watch a debate and then feign the vapors when people call you on it then I think it might be time for a change…

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 13, 2011  11:28am


I’m not a Perry fan. I do respect the people he represents. There’s a difference.

I don’t think his followers on climate change are any more gullible than the Left.

The question remains—do you pursue bad solutions willy nilly at taxpayers expense—solutions like ethanol and biomass fuels? Do we hold hold off until the science is settled? Or are we best doing nothing at the Federal level. Ever?

As far as climate change goes the science isn’t yet settled. What percentage is due to man and what is cyclical?

Then there’s the science of the solutions: it turns out Al Gore’‘s ethanol love was driven by politics and bad science paid for by industry lobbying groups.

Then we get into bio-fuels and the wood pellet controversies—in one year Sweden (2010) went from the most progressive user of bio fuels and wood pellets to a nightmarish hell of net carbon emissions based on a full lifecycle analysis of wood pellets.

All those billions of dollars wasted by countries and individuals on bio-mass fuels like ethanol and pellets now find as of 2011 their carbon footprint is larger than an oil consumers and they were used by green industry predators selling the bad science of bio fuels and deforestation.

I’m simple. I know how sensitive aquariums are to temperature changes and the pernicious effects of climate change.

So, let’s reforest.

Deforestation is killing us. Let’s grow more trees and grow what food we can on our own lots and farms and in community gardens and eat simpler unprocessed foods. Grains and Dairy, etc.

Don’t tell me the science is settled. There’s so much we don’t know and we can be sure politicians and their industry-paid scientific studies prepared by GE or Archer or Monsanto aren’t the answer.

While some members of the Left are well-meaning and gullible does that make their expenditures pushing solutions that are proving to make the problem worse smarter than the do nothings of the libertarian parties and the cynics?

I do think the Wesleyan educated writer who gets published in a grad school journal sounds more convincing. Even if their conclusions are often wrong in real life and counter productive to their own stated goals. it’s one of life’s little ironies concerning literacy and intelligence.

The Tea Party has many roots. The Know-Nothing Party of the pre-Civil War is an interesting predecessor.

posted by: Careful | September 13, 2011  4:37pm

Sarah Darer Littman/saramerica:  I’m glad you like Republicans, but your rheotoric confused me.  You do not have to agree with their politics, Sarah, as the politics of both political parties have buried this country.  At least the Republicans gave your father a job.

posted by: saramerica | September 13, 2011  5:20pm


Ah Hawk…it was actually because of a lying, unethical Republican president that my my father lost a job after Watergate. There are no saints in politics for sure, and the Citizens United decision ensured that government these days is even less “We, the People” and more those that can afford to pay to play.

posted by: lisalake | September 13, 2011  7:24pm

@Sara—I did not change the subject of this topic to abortion—as I already said, I was making a valid comparison. It was your choice to take the debate into a discussion of abortion, apparently because you didn’t like my choice to use the words baby killing, as opposed to the more acceptable (to some) abortion—-  @LisaLake - see that’s you trying to put your religious conception of when life begins over mine. In my faith for the first 42 days the fetus is “as water”. Does your faith take precedence over mine?........
I never asked you what you believe about abortion, or your faith. My use of the comparison was only to point out your utter outrage on how anyone can support capitol punishment.….. He’s a guy who doesn’t lose sleep at night about the death penalty.
My comments were only to point out your obvious contempt and bias for anyone who dare not think like you; candidates and commenters alike. I personally could care less about how Perry feels about the death penalty, abortion, immigration, debt, and inoculating little girls by executive order –his choice—but I sure as heck want to know, so as to make an informed decision. If you had your way, they’d all think like you… then we wouldn’t need an election.
And if you check recent polls, you’d know the majority in this Country are pro-life and are pro-death penalty. You certainly are entitled to state your views, but in your arrogance, it appears you enjoy doing it in such a way as to disparage and insult.
As that seems to your preferred style, I fail to see why you feel the need to be so defensive….seems instead you’d be enjoying all the angst!

posted by: Careful | September 13, 2011  8:08pm

JonesAC12: You took a hit at the Tea Party, by saying it has many roota…the know nothing party of the pre-civil war is an interesting predecessor. Be realistic, Jonessey, the Tea Party hasn’t been in power to fiscally buried this country—but the Democrats and Republicans have!  Don’t hit the Tea Party to create a smoke-screen for our two-party political failures.

posted by: Todd Peterson | September 13, 2011  11:27pm

Sarah, you don’t belong on a reputable site like this one. My last post never made it to the page.  Your peurile and condescending attitude will never bring anyone over to your side of the ledger politically. 

With all due respect to Christine, this site needs a new Democrat/liberal columnist. You add nothing to this site.

posted by: ... | September 14, 2011  12:21am


I have a feeling your interpretation of the know nothing party Careful is not that the Tea Party is anti-Irish Catholic & German party.

They were called the know-nothing’s as a joke because they were keeping their inter-party work secret. So that also doesn’t apply to the Tea Party. Sorry to say, the joke fell flat.

Whether you like it or not Careful, the Tea Party is trying (and succeeding) to remodel the Republican base, not break free from it. They aren’t running candidates on a separate party platforms, just challenging moderates/incumbents of the party who were around/responsible for the last decade. And they don’t seem to need to have their own party from viewing the CNN/Tea Party Express debate Monday night. Its no smoke screen, it is clear as day. Don’t smoke yourself though into thinking the Tea Party is some new revolution of the political party system.

posted by: NOW What? | September 14, 2011  1:25pm

With all “due respect,” “Todd Peterson,” I find Sarah’s articles and comments quite refreshingly honest and to-the-point.

Keep on truckin’, Sarah!


posted by: GoatBoyPHD | September 14, 2011  2:37pm


I made the comparison to the Know Nothing Party.

It wasn’t an insult. Populists Movements have a long history in the US.

Here was the know Nothing agenda:

Severe limits on immigration, especially from Catholic countries

Restricting political office to native-born Americans of English and/or Scottish lineage and Protestant persuasion.

Mandating a wait of 21 years before an immigrant could gain citizenship.

Restricting public school teacher positions to Protestants.

Mandating daily Bible readings in public schools.

Restricting the sale of liquor.

Restricting the use of languages other than English

Opposition to any union between Church and State; no interference with religious faith or worship, and no test oaths for office.

Free and thorough investigation into any and all alleged abuses of public functionaries, and a strict economy in public expenditures.

The maintenance and enforcement of all laws constitutionally enacted until said laws shall be repealed, or shall be declared null and void by competent judicial authority (immigration enforcement was part of the problem)

posted by: Careful | September 14, 2011  8:22pm

JonessAC12:  I have no misconceptions about the Tea Party. It’s growing, and is a force that will bring changes to our basic two party system.

posted by: Careful | September 14, 2011  8:36pm

Sara:  I’m sorry that you concluded Pres. Nixon influenced the loss of your father’s job—after Watergate—which kind of explains your continual anti-GOP dialogue.  However, try to forgive and forget.  Life is much too short.  Don’t take life too seriously—as it will be over, before we know it.

posted by: Todd Peterson | September 15, 2011  10:31am

NOW What; If you like Sarah’s articles and (churlish) comments than that’s fine.  My point is that op-eds are supposed to be persuasive and ideally they should be designed to “expand the base”. I gave Mort Zuckerman as an example.  All this talk about alcoholic comsuption, migraine headaches and “plop plop fizz fizz” doen’t exactly cut it for me. 

I think lisalake got it right when whe said, “You certainly are entitled to state your views, but in your arrogance, it appears you enjoy doing it in such a way as to disparage and insult.
As that seems to your preferred style, I fail to see why you feel the need to be so defensive….seems instead you’d be enjoying all the angst!”

“Todd Peterson” is my real name.  I post under my real name because anonymity gives cowards the cover to be the biggest guttersnipes in creation.

It’s a bit curious that Sarah has reponded to everyone but me.  I’m not ont he edge of my seat waiting for it, as I think it won’t happen.