Friday, November 05, 2004

The Red Neck of Democracy

The reelection of George Bush is a salutary reminder for liberals (in any sense of the word) that democracy includes "rule by people who are wrong" no less than
freedom of thought includes "freedom for the thought we loathe". We must reflect that the religious right, neoconservatives, bigots and the simply stupid have the same right to determine the direction of a country as any of us. Governments are human institutions and no constitution can guarantee the wisdom or moral character of the government of the day. The purpose of the constitution must rather be to safeguard those freedoms and values that Americans (and New Zealanders) hold most precious against a government that does not respect or understand them or one that simply finds the constitution "too finely nuanced".

There are weaknesses in the American system. There are causes for concern in the dynamics of current support for the Bush administration and the Republicans generally and it is appropriate to look at them in some detail (but in a later post). It is not without precedent and not the end of freedom, civilisation or the world as we know it. Rumsfield, Cheney and Wolfowitz are no more sinister than Joseph McCarthy. The Southern Baptists are neither more numerous nor more bigoted than in the pre-civil rights era when they were the Southern Democrats. The judges appointed to the Supreme Court in the next years will be eminent jurists (whatever their politics) and certainly no worse than their predecessors who gave us Dredd Scott v Sandford. The current crop of Republican representatives and senators are no more politically opportunistic or constitutionally insensitive than their forebears who tried to impeach the president on spurious grounds barely three years after the death of Lincoln.

They wish to know whether the President has betrayed our liberties or our possessions to a foreign state. They wish to know whether he has delivered up a fortress or surrendered a fleet. They wish to know whether he has made merchandise of the public trust and turned the authority to private gain. And when informed that none of these things are charges, imputed, or even declaimed about, they yet seek further information and are told that he has removed a member of his cabinet.
deja vu n'est ce pas.

The "checks and balances" of the separation of powers is at best an uncertain safeguard as "divided" governments (Republican President with Democrat Congress or vice versa) is by no means the norm and will not apply for at least the first two years of Dubya's second term. There are, however, other important safeguards.

The constitution limits what laws Congress may pass and what executive actions the President may take. The government cannot pass the Family Marriage Amendment (outlawing same-sex marriage) without a 2/3 majority in both houses of congress and ratification by 38 states. He may be able to start another war but will struggle to gain the congressional and public support he got for Afghanistan and Iraq - besides the US military have their hands full enough already.

The States have considerable autonomy and the federal government's role is circumscribed by the constitution. Bush may block federal funding for stem cell research but the State of California can (and will) pick up the slack. There will be no need for the "Bicoastian" States to secede or join the "United States of Canada" (Thanks Hans). Their State governments will ensure that life goes on pretty much as it would have under a Kerry presidency.

I don't think there will be a mass exodus of American liberals to Canada or NZ (welcome though they would be). Americans are optimists - perhaps that's the difference that separates them from European Social Democrats. Liberal Americans no less than conservatives are individualist rather than collectivist. They instinctively seek the opportunities of soaring alone above the safety of the flock. And they know that Dubya too will pass.

For that is the greatest safeguard of all. No President can serve more than two terms. Perhaps America can expect four more years of deficits, fiscal mismanagement and inappropriate tax redirection to the rich - but the economy will survive it. Maybe we'll see further encroachments on civil liberties - but they can be repealed. Maybe we'll see further intransigence on global warming - but we already have the numbers for Kyoto and Bush's term ends the same year as the first commitment period starts. Maybe we'll see further military adventurism - but first the US has to disengage from Afghanistan and Iraq. Perhaps with just a modicum of luck...

And then maybe we'll see some good things. It took Nixon and Kissinger to end the Vietnam war. Is it impossible that Dubka and Sharon might finally find a road to peace in the Middle East? And perhaps Kyoto won't matter if someone invents a technological fix to the global warming problem - cold fusion (ok not in four years), affordable photovoltaics or CO2 sequestration from coal gasification for instance. Who knows? It migh \t even be an American.


Blogger sagenz said...

how can you call yourself a liberal and not support the fact of 50 million people being moved towards democracy

7 November 2004 at 3:22 AM  
Blogger Greyshade said...


I'm at a loss to know what you mean by 50 million people being moved towards democracy. I discussed the numbers in my previous post and this suggests that the % turnout was very similar (maybe a little higher) than 1992 and about 5% (equivalent to 10 million votes) higher then the previous election.

I especially don't understand why you accuse me of "not supporting the higher turnout". I don't think I made any comment on the turnout in this post. The comment in my previous post -

"Heaven help America (or at least the American election boards) if they ever get the 80% turnout we expect for our national elections."

related purely to the logistics - if voters had to queue for up to nine hours on a 50 or 60% turnout a genuinely high turnout would have induced a total meltdown. For the record I welcome the higher turnout (with reservations about how it was achieved - see next post). I would far rather see a turnout of 80% or higher -but with sufficient resources to accommodate the voters without excessive queueing.

7 November 2004 at 12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

I have a **shirt** site. It pretty much covers ##KEYWORD## related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

14 November 2005 at 1:32 PM  
Anonymous What Is Solar Energy said...

Hello! Blog surfing(as usual) and I found you guys. Nice feeling here. I'll come back . Keep up more stuff about Solar Power Energy, please.
All the best, Solar Power Energy

25 January 2006 at 3:24 AM  
Anonymous Solar Power Energy said...

Hello! Blog surfing(as usual) and I found you guys. Nice feeling here. I'll come back . Keep up more stuff about Alternate Energy Sources, please.
All the best, Alternate Energy Sources

5 March 2006 at 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done!
[url=]My homepage[/url] | [url=]Cool site[/url]

13 September 2006 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good design!
My homepage | Please visit

13 September 2006 at 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! |

13 September 2006 at 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Institute For Skin Sciences Release: Doctor Reveals The Skin Plays A Vital Role In

buy cheap phentermine free fedex
Find the acura you are looking for on Search by Zip or browse through the second largest online database of used vehicles

5 January 2007 at 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy viagra
buy viagra online order viagra buy viagra alternative buy viagra internet buy generic viagra online buy viagra canada buy viagra online cheap cheapest place buy viagra online where to buy viagra online

8 January 2007 at 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sildenafil citrate, sold under the name Viagra is the first of a new group of medication which allows adequate sexual stimulation, relaxes the blood vessels of the penis and helps erection..More info

love art preteen model non nude dutch preteen sex top lolita sex preteen boy

Finding a hot couple for swapping was easy.

If you encounter any problems in any of our chat rooms please feel free to contact technical support or the chat users FAQ

Couple: Marcus & Devon Teen: McKenzee How: shopping for bras Video

video american sexy hot girls picture under fourteen age teengay gallery guys porn

Free gay fetish porn pictures sites by a complete smut pervert just for you.

animation pics porn animation bt free incest xxx animation mom sun animation sex animations hot dogs

Web cam girls and fort mcmurray' live girl cams from home big tits

Sexy lesbians licking pussy: You must be at least

full picture or html porno video free avi little girls having mature sex

11 January 2007 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Folk!
How you have met Christmas?
You have brought a smile to my face all year long. ... I never would have met such a fun, interesting group of people.
Mark Oem

11 January 2007 at 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It can assist men with this disorder in achieving and maintaining an erection during sexual activity

xxx on Downloads,

30 January 2007 at 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BACK to the UNESCO website on the First World Forum on Human Rights
poetry wedding

electric apple peeler
price comparison airfare
alexa spyware free removal download scan

buy cheap VIAGRA online. Sildenafil citrate, sold under the name Viagra is the first of a new group of medication which allows adequate sexual stimulation, relaxes the blood vessels of the penis and helps erection

31 January 2007 at 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unesco's water portal coordinates and provides database access and worldwide information

bakery case

dupont automotive paint
georgio armani cologne

welcome om yoga classes austintown ohio

buy cheap VIAGRA online. Sildenafil citrate, sold under the name Viagra is the first of a new group of medication which allows adequate sexual stimulation, relaxes the blood vessels of the penis and helps erection

1 February 2007 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

electric power industry news and information, also trends and developments.


bamboo roman shades

discontinued bali bras bali bras discounted

louisiana loans bad credit bankruptsy guaranteed bankruptsy bad credit loans 1

2 February 2007 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hacking and Hackers - Computer Security Programs Downloading Search Engines Portal News The Security Portal for Information System Security Professionals
buy cheap CIALIS online


bedding comforter ensembles
buy or sell bee propolis online

luxury bedding ensembles daybed bedding ensembles


3 February 2007 at 4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Discussions going on in the most active aviation forum online
buy cheap CIALIS online - An incredible online casino experience offering blackjack, roulette, craps, slots, and video poker. Deposit now and get up to $555 FREE!

Save by buying your Down Pillows direct from the manufacturer. We offer a wide selection of quality Hungarian down, down and feathers bed pillows, body pillows, pillow inserts, and cushions
birkenstock sales

bostonian shoe company
shoes work shoes bostonian
bostonian shoe store

5 February 2007 at 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



25 February 2007 at 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alias Maya 7.0 Unlimited.
buy low-cost XANAX online
buy low-cost ALEGRA online
buy low-cost VIAGRA online, Buy Alprazolam ONLINE & Half-Price
buy low-cost DRUGS, ALTACE online, MEDs Half-Price
buy low-cost AMBIEN online, OnLine Pharmacy
buy low-cost AVELOX online
buy low-cost CIALIC online, half-Price CIALIC ONLINE
buy low-cost MERIDIA online
buy low-cost VIAGRA online, Buy Alprazolam, ONLINE Half-Price MEDs & Beauty

download Adobe Acrobat Professional 8 oem

27 February 2007 at 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hot lesbians dildos laton lesbian extrem free sex insertions lesbians barefoot lesbian esperanto free xxx lesbian movies free lesbian blogs big latina lesbians

1 January 2010 at 5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My computer had a virus and we got it rebooted and after getting it rebooted there is no sound but when I go on device manager and check it says the sound is fine and games that require sound are playing I think it has something to do with the settings. I went and checked almost all of them and there seems to be no problem last time there was a similar problem and someone sorted it out they sound sound was going in as an input and not coming out as an out put if this is the problem does someone know how I can adjust and if this is not the problem what is the problem. I have windows 7 [url=]santoramaa[/url]

21 February 2010 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commonly lifetime determine mankind reverie offending if they corrupt vacation harmony to fondness in mitigate [url=]viagra[/url]. The most beneficent baggage your kids to place missing from to through adjacent medication, [url=]ambien[/url] and conclusively betide to an informed in do obligation with nostrum [url=]buy meridia[/url] or [url=]flagyl[/url].

21 February 2010 at 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tv ts personals [url=]singles chatrooms[/url] free animated dating ecards definition of the dating abbreviations

25 February 2010 at 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IBM laptop battery [url=]hp laptop batteries[/url] laptop batteries reviews AC Adapter
laptop batteries for notebook computers [url=]laptop review[/url] sony laptop Wholesale Price on Laptop
IBM laptop battery [url=]Laptop search and advice[/url] Fujitsu laptop battery buy laptops

3 March 2010 at 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cathedral city auto audio products [url=]car audio systems integrated ford falcon[/url] car audio for the scion xb overhead auto dvd player
car audio for subaru legacy [url=]ford cd cassette car audio[/url] car audio for the scion xb absolute auto audio syracuse
auto audio systems [url=]hyundai car audio system[/url] install auto dvd player dual screen auto dvd player

4 March 2010 at 6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 April 2010 at 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kidney foundation donations used items [url=]indinavir[/url] endocrine and blood diseases coughing to prevent heart attack
cholesterol 28 test [url=]stress relief[/url] penis pump pictures [url=]nhs anti smoking cholesterol[/url]

9 April 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

diabetic rhetinopathy [url=]doxazosin[/url] tea at the dorchester jobs immune from offshoring
critical design review fda [url=]hangover helper[/url] home health aide course oregon [url=]allegy asthma sinus center knoxville[/url]

12 April 2010 at 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
[url=]medicine man pharmacy houston texas employement[/url] beth israel medicine chestnut hill ma [url=]is escitalopram a benzodiazepine[/url]
legal drugs for anxity
[url=]drugs required after surgury with pig valve replacement[/url] drug cocfical [url=]drug evista[/url]
cialis levitra viagra vs vs
[url=]shopko pharmacy wisconsin rapids[/url] carmen hayes on drugs [url=]fluoxetine poisoning induced eps[/url] drug store products with same ingredients as trish mcevoy [url=]fluticasone[/url]

15 April 2010 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

travel beach flights amtrak travel deals04
[url=]travel tourism sacramento california ca[/url] travel to porto rico [url=]northwinds hotel cebu[/url]
foreign travel permission form
[url=]travel supreme closing[/url] i10 travel alert [url=]san francisco tour map[/url]
paradisso travel
[url=]colorado cheap travel insurance[/url] travel lodge ludlow racecourse [url=]philipines maps[/url] travel jobs in nz [url=]adventure holiday south africa[/url]
government of canada travel advisories [url=]sayre mansion inn[/url]
world wide travel scam
[url=]cuba travel requirements[/url] egyptian ancient cocaine travel [url=]world war 2 maps[/url]
[url=]maps of atlantic canada and maine[/url] suggested australian travel [url=]roanoke county tax maps[/url] sound travel from speaker [url=]discount airline tickets travel flight[/url]
understanding a man who travel constantly [url=]cruises from philadelphia[/url]

24 April 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oman travel travel adapters mexico
[url=]travel trilers for sale on classified ads in texas[/url] ecuador travel packages [url=]new mexico road map[/url]
bus travel info
[url=]asia mail travel[/url] washington redskins reebok nfl player duffel travel bag [url=]maps from 85bc ad165[/url]
visa travel to iraq canada cook islands travel packages [url=]motel package in niagara falls[/url]

25 April 2010 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

faber snowshoes wedding shoes uk [url=]designer mens jeans[/url] the fashion bug maliziosachanel [url=]atlanta fashion week[/url]

30 April 2010 at 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

information on being a designer of magazine layouts the gap clothes store [url=]shoes insoles[/url] kids rockstar clothes saint laurence university ny [url=]lowteck shoes[/url]

30 April 2010 at 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

interior designer rooms massart fashion designer [url=]website designer hosting solution[/url] slick shoes songs verde international men shoes [url=]information on being a designer[/url]

1 May 2010 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

christian dior online shirt designer [url=]chaps ralph lauren zacka[/url] mens euro punk shoes mootsies tootsies shoes [url=]buy designer handbag[/url]

3 May 2010 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chubby anal
[url=]imogen thomas porn vid[/url] erotic amateur foto [url=]gay canines[/url]
neptune 7 lubricant
[url=]free adult orno[/url] over 60 adult amateur sex movies [url=]gay white fucking asian boys[/url]
adult video champagne
[url=]boy rape porn[/url] amateur hardcore teen blog [url=]gay naked celebrity[/url]
hot sexy beach babes
[url=]amatuer porn pictures[/url] list of adult foster homes in salem oregon [url=]sensual gay clips[/url]

15 May 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

use a web page to text page a mobile phone virus protection for windows mobile [url=]windows mobile statistical software[/url] what mobile number has 0208

17 May 2010 at 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sexy teens in thght shorts free sites
[url=]amateur fucking machine video[/url] virgin mobile coverage map [url=]poems about a bad ass[/url]
horny girls porn
[url=]free hentai sex online[/url] free dildo clips [url=]boomis ring adult[/url]
adult disposable briefs small
[url=]webcam chat adult[/url] full length porn film downloads [url=]looking under the thong[/url]
sexy camo lingerie
[url=]homade dildo porn[/url] tight sexy bod [url=]overextended adult children[/url]

17 May 2010 at 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

source cheap travel insurance suzanne huard travel
[url=]travel travel italy[/url] travel health vaccinations [url=]warrior adventure quest[/url]
repro travel trailer
[url=]nautica travel gear[/url] raleigh travel agents [url=]expedia coupons[/url]
hamilton beach travel iron rn travel companies [url=]discount airlines in the middle east[/url]

21 May 2010 at 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

movie quote goonies [url=]Secret[/url] movie quotations [url=]The Seeker The Dark Is Rising[/url]
us movie industry [url=]The Art of Crying[/url] death tunnel movie [url=]Halloween[/url]
movie clips of unfaithful diane lane [url=]The Cyberpunk Educator[/url] install windows movie maker [url=]The Good War and Those Who Refused To Fight It[/url]
blowjob movie gallery [url=]Indiana Jones Trilogy[/url] movie gost rider 2007 [url=]Spiral - Limited[/url]

21 May 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

air jordan shoes new york pet fashion week [url=]clothes for large men uk[/url] bragano shoes designer invitation wedding [url=]running shoes reviews runners world[/url]

25 May 2010 at 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

fashion institute of new york i want to put on my my my my my boogie shoes lyrics [url=]cute junior clothes[/url] womens ryka athletic shoes designer homes [url=]hush puppies childrens shoes[/url]

26 May 2010 at 3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

port townsend house designer aron sophia lauren nude [url=]remodeling contractor designer columbus ohio[/url] walmart maid clothes star wars clothes [url=]fun online fashion design game[/url]

29 May 2010 at 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best cat food urinary tract infection [url=]aceon[/url] bump and dark spot on lower penis
weight loss with curves [url=]lariam[/url] can you get an infection and swelling when scrathing genitals [url= ]paranoid personality disorder treatment [/url] heart attack stress related
dental insurance children [url=]doxycycline[/url] lymph health
mass dept of mental health [url=]calcium carbonate[/url] subcutaneous drugs [url= ]high ph and diabetes [/url] urinary system kidney disease

1 June 2010 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

roderick lauren hill gallery laurent flochel cnrs [url=]buy danelle shoes[/url] fashion art teen danville fashion [url=]leading cloths fashion design[/url]

5 June 2010 at 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

harness racing betting coral betting shops fruit machines
[url=]casinos in pennsylvania at the reacetrack[/url] wi casino locater [url=]roulette casino game game bonus[/url]
microgaming casinos
[url=]aruba resorts and casinos[/url] simi gerewal naked in mera naam joker [url=]new atlantic city casinos[/url]
college football bowls betting line blessing bingo [url=]sdio and cf card slots[/url]

5 June 2010 at 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bingo bonanza scigames article billion combined comments effect lottery payout
[url=]casino hotel lake charles louisiana[/url] revolution money exchange online casinos [url=]mail slot sarasota[/url]
lottery numbers database
[url=]jokers vs angels gang fights[/url] treasure bay casino biloxi [url=]southern california indian casinos[/url]
blackjack sgh i 607 recalls hilton papagayo bay resort and casino [url=]baccarat scoring[/url]

11 June 2010 at 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sex movie free [url=]saturday night live[/url] movie 1408 2007 news of new superman movie
movie theatres york county pa [url=]the point[/url] movie listing in area transformers movie stream
final season movie [url=]one a m[/url] movie lethal weapon 2
movie xxx images [url=]pontypool[/url] studio that produced duel the movie you got served the movie
barnyard movie [url=]loverboy[/url] lehigh valley movie hairspray movie the golden compass

17 June 2010 at 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kenny movie review [url=]the seduction of dr fugazzi[/url] tron movie free handjob movie
lyrics to old movie songs [url=]traffic[/url] movie half blood prince cast lake placid movie
dinner and movie in scottsdale az [url=]brainstorm[/url] robert deniro movie sounds
gina wild free movie [url=]pay it forward[/url] new halloween town movie plugged in movie reviews focus family
hentai movie list [url=]rounders[/url] soundtrack to the movie crusing movie ghost trider

22 June 2010 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beerfest movie wavs [url=]scaramouche[/url] ocean city movie theater new movie theater in rosemont
the quiet man movie [url=]consequences[/url] round rock texas movie theatres cedar falls ia movie theaters
benevolant bereavement movie [url=]the flying squirrel[/url] sprung movie
movie release [url=]this is america charlie brown[/url] when is naruto shidpudden movie coming out softcore movie torn blonde riding
the movie grindin [url=]imagine me you[/url] bob dylan movie city pof god movie

28 June 2010 at 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

movie theater boston massachusetts [url=]the little whirlwind[/url] delta farce movie actors stone cold steve austin movie soundtrack condemend
dragonlance the movie [url=]dumbo[/url] free windows movie maker downloads american girl movie collection
romeo and juliet 2006 movie [url=]paths of glory[/url] desibboy hindi movie
linda shortman movie review [url=]warriors of virtue[/url] the movie little black book soundtrack movie the hand
movie trailors [url=]bicentennial man[/url] bella the movie omaha hugh laurie movie house

2 July 2010 at 7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dinner movie theatre [url=]rita rudner live from las vegas[/url] the clique movie auditions gay rape movie
free porn movie force milked tits [url=]the believer[/url] movie at prince georges mall in maryland free funny movie websites
dirty sanchez movie [url=]dollhouse[/url] ice age movie
k 9 cop movie [url=]gryphon[/url] drivin inn movie in indiana movie review noise
free teen sex movie [url=]little buddha[/url] heartbreak kid movie reviews home strip movie

4 July 2010 at 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

austin music project [url=]M. Ngaro[/url] free music notation software htm silver spear fiddle music
music top 10 artists aust [url=]Color Filter[/url] billy powell freebird sheet music jayalankiel music
group music lessons [url=]Crash Bass[/url] toddler music tucson
taylor swift music video our song [url=]Creamfields Andalucia 2007[/url] pagan music online find bulgarian music online
new karaoke music htm [url=]Synaptic Defect[/url] magic ceremonial music music sheet stand

16 July 2010 at 3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To lionize the set in motion of the one drive just about the play dependence. [url=]online casino[/url] online casino games Create sure your chosen play land site is and unnoticeable edifice should not misinform you.

11 April 2013 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Il s'agit de défenseur de la santé interdisant, en effet, des méthodes efficaces et qui aident les fumeurs à démissionnent relativement inoffensif nicotine-livraison, tout en permettant au produit de consommation le plus dangereux - cigarettes - de continuer à tuer? [url=]cigarette electronique[/url] cigarette electronique Il CEMain d'œuvre partir de feuilles tactiques de lutte contre le tabagisme, en fait - et ne sont pas disponibles sur ordonnance comme NRT est souvent.

19 April 2013 at 11:35 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home