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Old Nov 3, 2012, 10:38 AM   #1
jnpy!$4g3cwk
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The blackmail caucus and protection racket politics

Sometimes Paul Krugman writes an editorial I could have written myself -- if I wrote better.

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If President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back.
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Given the starkness of this difference, you might have expected to see people from both sides of the political divide urging voters to cast their ballots based on the issues. Lately, however, I’ve seen a growing number of Romney supporters making a quite different argument. Vote for Mr. Romney, they say, because if he loses, Republicans will destroy the economy.
:

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But are we ready to become a country in which “Nice country you got here. Shame if something were to happen to it” becomes a winning political argument? I hope not. By all means, vote for Mr. Romney if you think he offers the better policies. But arguing for Mr. Romney on the grounds that he could get things done veers dangerously close to accepting protection-racket politics, which have no place in American life.
For the complete rundown, see it here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/op...me&ref=general
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 10:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jnpy!$4g3cwk View Post
For the complete rundown, see it here ...
Totally agree. If Romney wins then we've just rewarded the Republican strategy of the past four years to be completely obstructionist and to legislate based on bringing down a president instead of running a nation.

If Obama gets elected I don't hold much hope for Republicans to change. I believe their leadership is locked into following the course they've established. We can look forward to four more years of threatening government shut-downs, full-blown congressional Fast & Furious and Benghazi investigations and very little legislation that actually benefits the people and moves our nation forward.

But the answer isn't to avoid this gridlock by voting in Romney. As Krugman implies, that would be capitulating to political blackmail and signal to the republicans that strong-arm tactics can be a fruitful way to wrest power. No, the only solution (IMO) is to elect Obama, endure the b.s., and hope that the American people get tired enough of the obstructionism to vote out the Republicans in the next mid-term elections.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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Totally agree. If Romney wins then we've just rewarded the Republican strategy of the past four years to be completely obstructionist and to legislate based on bringing down a president instead of running a nation.

If Obama gets elected I don't hold much hope for Republicans to change. I believe their leadership is locked into following the course they've established. We can look forward to four more years of threatening government shut-downs, full-blown congressional Fast & Furious and Benghazi investigations and very little legislation that actually benefits the people and moves our nation forward.

But the answer isn't to avoid this gridlock by voting in Romney. As Krugman implies, that would be capitulating to political blackmail and signal to the republicans that strong-arm tactics can be a fruitful way to wrest power. No, the only solution (IMO) is to elect Obama, endure the b.s., and hope that the American people get tired enough of the obstructionism to vote out the Republicans in the next mid-term elections.
How is that any different than what Harry Reid said yesterday about his refusal to work with Romney if he were to be elected?
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 11:10 AM   #4
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How is that any different than what Harry Reid said yesterday about his refusal to work with Romney if he were to be elected?
It's different because that is not how it was in the past. Republicans started this on inauguration day 2009. Those who start it take the blame. Also, since when is Harry Reid the entire Democratic Party?
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 11:27 AM   #5
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How is that any different than what Harry Reid said yesterday about his refusal to work with Romney if he were to be elected?
How is it different? It's not entirely.

Politicians need to de-escalate the rhetoric and concentrate on doing what's right for the people and the nation. Reid should have found a way to say he'd work with Romney, but wouldn't sacrifice the values he holds or his commitment to the American people.

Everyone really needs to take a pill and chill out.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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It's different because that is not how it was in the past. Republicans started this on inauguration day 2009. Those who start it take the blame. Also, since when is Harry Reid the entire Democratic Party?
So that's how things get better? One side shows their backside and the other responds in kind? How exactly does that end?

And no...he's not the entire Democratic Party, but he's the highest ranking Democrat not in the executive branch and he's basically calling his shot on refusing to work with a potential Republican president. Just a pointless thing to say as the Senate Majority Leader (as a mouthpiece for the Obama campaign I get it...but a guy in his position should be above the fray a bit).

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How is it different? It's not entirely.

Politicians need to de-escalate the rhetoric and concentrate on doing what's right for the people and the nation. Reid should have found a way to say he'd work with Romney, but wouldn't sacrifice the values he holds or his commitment to the American people.

Everyone really needs to take a pill and chill out.
That's a very practical and reasonable statement....which means something like that will never occur to anyone in DC.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 12:37 PM   #7
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So that's how things get better? One side shows their backside and the other responds in kind? How exactly does that end?

And no...he's not the entire Democratic Party, but he's the highest ranking Democrat not in the executive branch and he's basically calling his shot on refusing to work with a potential Republican president. Just a pointless thing to say as the Senate Majority Leader (as a mouthpiece for the Obama campaign I get it...but a guy in his position should be above the fray a bit).
Can you really blame Reid, though? Think about it. Republicans have shown they are not willing to compromise on anything for 4 years -- why would that make one inclined to suddenly do for them what they would not do for so long? Unless you are willing to embrace the fact that over the past 4 years 90+% of the Republican Party have done and said the same thing Reid mentioned, but to the extreme, I don't think you have room to complain. In other words, if you're frustrated at Reid, you should be many multitudes more frustrated with McConnell and the Republicans.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by myrtlebee View Post
Can you really blame Reid, though? Think about it. Republicans have shown they are not willing to compromise on anything for 4 years -- why would that make one inclined to suddenly do for them what they would not do for so long? Unless you are willing to embrace the fact that over the past 4 years 90+% of the Republican Party have done and said the same thing Reid mentioned, but to the extreme, I don't think you have room to complain. In other words, if you're frustrated at Reid, you should be many multitudes more frustrated with McConnell and the Republicans.
I'm frustrated with them all.

Can I blame him? Sure. As a person in that position he is supposed to be bigger than this kind of pettiness.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:13 PM   #9
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If Romney is elected, dems will be cheering if their congressmen are blocking stuff.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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If Romney is elected, dems will be cheering if their congressmen are blocking stuff.
And yet you'll note that they didn't do anything of the sort Bush's last 2 years in office. So there is nothing indicating that the Blues will follow the same trends of the Reds.

Unless you'd care to back this up with some sources/studies..

BL.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:26 PM   #11
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And yet you'll note that they didn't do anything of the sort Bush's last 2 years in office. So there is nothing indicating that the Blues will follow the same trends of the Reds.

Unless you'd care to back this up with some sources/studies..

BL.
I'll leave you with some quotes:

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

''I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,'' Mr. Watt said.



And now from 2003 NY Times article:

Quote:
The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.
2003....
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:40 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
If Romney is elected, dems will be cheering if their congressmen are blocking stuff.
If Dems threaten to shut down the government over budget issues, then I won't be cheering. That would be a time to compromise and make the best of things.

On the other hand, if Democrats voted against legislation that would privatize Social Security or voucherize Medicare, then I'd be cheering for them all day long.

It all depends on what you mean by "blocking stuff".
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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If Dems threaten to shut down the government over budget issues, then I won't be cheering. That would be a time to compromise and make the best of things.

On the other hand, if Democrats voted against legislation that would privatize Social Security or voucherize Medicare, then I'd be cheering for them all day long.

It all depends on what you mean by "blocking stuff".
So if they block stuff you agree with then you will cheer... hmm sounds familiar.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 03:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
So if they block stuff you agree with then you will cheer... hmm sounds familiar.
Thank you for being completely incapable of appreciating any nuance in my argument.



Edit: Here. Let me try it again. Perhaps I just needed to reword it.

I do not consider it to be "blocking stuff" to vote against specific legislation (or nominees) that a representative believes is not beneficial to their constituents or the country as a whole.

That is legislation in action. That, I would cheer.

I do consider it to be "blocking stuff" to vote against virtually any legislation (or nominee) simply because the opposition supports it/them.

That, I would consider "blocking stuff". That I would not cheer.

I hope that helps you understand my stance.

Last edited by citizenzen; Nov 3, 2012 at 04:12 PM.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 04:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
I'll leave you with some quotes:

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

''I don't see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,'' Mr. Watt said.
And what part of this says that the Blues are going to act in any way like the Reds? Nothing here states that they would be a party of "no" or state that their goal would be to make Romney a 1-term president. Nothing.

Quote:


And now from 2003 NY Times article:



2003....
You mean the same 2003 when the Reds controlled the House, Senate, and White House? Don't know about everyone else, but Canadia's 2003 was the same as ours here, when the Blues didn't even have the power to obstruct the mucus coming out of their collective noses.

How about some real examples of something that would indicate the Blues would by a party of obstruction for Romney.

BL.
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Old Nov 3, 2012, 08:37 PM   #16
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And what part of this says that the Blues are going to act in any way like the Reds? Nothing here states that they would be a party of "no" or state that their goal would be to make Romney a 1-term president. Nothing.



You mean the same 2003 when the Reds controlled the House, Senate, and White House? Don't know about everyone else, but Canadia's 2003 was the same as ours here, when the Blues didn't even have the power to obstruct the mucus coming out of their collective noses.

How about some real examples of something that would indicate the Blues would by a party of obstruction for Romney.

BL.
The Republicans never had a super majority, democrats could obstruct at anytime they wanted in 2003. It seems they saw no need for increasing regulation in the housing market.. being how financially sound it was and all..
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 10:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
If Romney is elected, dems will be cheering if their congressmen are blocking stuff.
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Originally Posted by Zombie Acorn View Post
So if they block stuff you agree with then you will cheer... hmm sounds familiar.
I don't expect that Democrats would cheer if the Democrat leadership orchestrated 100%, uniform obstruction and opposition to legislative proposals that were liberal ideas. The GOP has spent the last 2-4 years opposing their own ideas!

The jobs bill was composed almost entirely of Republican supported ideas, and yet, 100% opposition.

The healthcare bill was a heritage foundation proposal!

The GOP blocking things is politics. I can't fault them for that. I can, however, fault them for blocking every effort to address real problems we have to deal with, even things that they supported. If the Democrats blocked a bill on medicare, but were willing to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way to address whatever problem, then that's called statesmanship. If, however, you have the GOP opposing every effort to pass any jobs legislation, you just have a bunch of petulant a**hats who were elected to work for us, but who have put harming a President above patriotism.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 10:19 AM   #18
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The Republicans never had a super majority, democrats could obstruct at anytime they wanted in 2003. It seems they saw no need for increasing regulation in the housing market.. being how financially sound it was and all..
And the goal posts shifts.

The Reds had all 3 branches of government until 2006, when the Blues took the house. All that the Blues could possibly have done would be to filibuster the hell out of every bill, which that did not happen. Yes, they filibustered bills, but not on the premise that they would do anything and everything they could to make sure that Bush did not get a single damn thing done, nor intentionally try to make him a 1-term President.

So to that aspect, your claim is baseless, yet again.

So until the Blues do something similar to that like the Reds are and have been the past 4 years, your claim still carries no weight.

BL.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 10:23 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by citizenzen View Post
How is it different? It's not entirely.

Politicians need to de-escalate the rhetoric and concentrate on doing what's right for the people and the nation. Reid should have found a way to say he'd work with Romney, but wouldn't sacrifice the values he holds or his commitment to the American people.

Everyone really needs to take a pill and chill out.
No kidding agreed. Politics is a dishonorable profession and both sides continue that trend.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 11:11 AM   #20
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face it we are in for yet another round of do nothing congress.

The GOP has set the record for a do nothing blocking everything and they made it crystal clear they would block anything that would give the president even the slightest help no matter the cost as they want the white house.

The GOP should of kick the Tea Party out early on at let them form a 3rd party. That way you would have the concerative Tea Party. Moderate GOP and then liberal dems.

The GOP could of taken the more moderate Republicans and the more conservative Dems (aka blue dogs)
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 11:23 AM   #21
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I have figured out how to get my facts on the two presidential candidates from this message board without having to go elsewhere.

There are a few people on this board who post (and I won't point any fingers) where I have come to realize...whatever is the opposite of what is posted is what is correct. This has saved me a lot of time having to research and I thank you.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 11:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by mcrain View Post
I don't expect that Democrats would cheer if the Democrat leadership orchestrated 100%, uniform obstruction and opposition to legislative proposals that were liberal ideas. The GOP has spent the last 2-4 years opposing their own ideas!

The jobs bill was composed almost entirely of Republican supported ideas, and yet, 100% opposition.

The healthcare bill was a heritage foundation proposal!

The GOP blocking things is politics. I can't fault them for that. I can, however, fault them for blocking every effort to address real problems we have to deal with, even things that they supported. If the Democrats blocked a bill on medicare, but were willing to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way to address whatever problem, then that's called statesmanship. If, however, you have the GOP opposing every effort to pass any jobs legislation, you just have a bunch of petulant a**hats who were elected to work for us, but who have put harming a President above patriotism.
Link on your healthcare bill statement, please?

I could post 5-10 links from Heritage that blast Obamacare . . .
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:11 PM   #23
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Link on your healthcare bill statement, please?

I could post 5-10 links from Heritage that blast Obamacare . . .
This is from the liberal Wall Street Journal, but I'm sure you can find a more conservative link to back it up...

Quote:
In an October column, we recounted the origins of the ObamaCare individual mandate at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. In a USA Today op-ed earlier this week, Heritage's Stuart Butler offers his own account. But crucial elements of it are at variance with the facts. Here is the key paragraph:

Quote:
The confusion arises from the fact that 20 years ago, I held the view that as a technical matter, some form of requirement to purchase insurance was needed in a near-universal insurance market to avoid massive instability through "adverse selection" (insurers avoiding bad risks and healthy people declining coverage). At that time, President Clinton was proposing a universal health care plan, and Heritage and I devised a viable alternative.
WSJ
Quote:
Is it the #truth? Yes, but it's a little more complicated than the ThinkProgs let on. Heritage did put forward the idea of an individual mandate, though it predated HillaryCare by several years. We know this because we were there: In 1988-90, we were employed at Heritage as a public relations associate (a junior writer and editor), and we wrote at least one press release for a publication touting Heritage's plan for comprehensive legislation to provide universal "quality, affordable health care."

As a junior publicist, we weren't being paid for our personal opinions. But we are now, so you will be the first to know that when we worked at Heritage, we hated the Heritage plan, especially the individual mandate. "Universal health care" was neither already established nor inevitable, and we thought the foundation had made a serious philosophical and strategic error in accepting rather than disputing the left-liberal notion that the provision of "quality, affordable health care" to everyone was a proper role of government. As to the mandate, we remember reading about it and thinking: "I thought we were supposed to be for freedom."

The plan was introduced in a 1989 book, "A National Health System for America" by Stuart Butler and Edmund Haislmaier. We seem to have mislaid our copy, and we couldn't find it online, but we did track down a 1990 Backgrounder and a 1991 lecture by Butler that outline the plan. One of its two major planks, the equalization of tax treatment for individually purchased and employer-provided health insurance, seemed sensible and unobjectionable, at least in principle.

But the other was the mandate, described as a "Health Care Social Contract" and fleshed out in the lecture:

We would include a mandate in our proposal--not a mandate on employers, but a mandate on heads of households--to obtain at least a basic package of health insurance for themselves and their families. That would have to include, by federal law, a catastrophic provision in the form of a stop loss for a family's total health outlays. It would have to include all members of the family, and it might also include certain very specific services, such as preventive care, well baby visits, and other items.
The Heritage mandate, at least in theory, would have been less burdensome than the ObamaCare one. You'd have to be covered against catastrophically costly conditions but could choose to buy additional insurance or pay out of pocket for everyday medical needs. On the other hand, Butler's vague language--"it might also include certain very specific services . . . and other items"--would seem to leave the door wide open for limitless expansion.

Whatever the particular differences, the Heritage mandate was indistinguishable in principle from the ObamaCare one. In both cases, the federal government would force individuals to purchase a product from a private company--something that Congress has never done before... WSJ
So, still want to provide the links from Heritage blasting their own idea?

(edit) To anyone wondering about Romney's evolution on RomneyCare and ObamaCare, here's an interesting take on RomneyCandidateCare. No idea who Families USA is, but it's an interesting read. Here.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 12:37 PM   #24
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People debating over the democrats and republicans in this election and over Obama and Romney is like a heated debate on which color dinner plates to set the table with. There is no difference.

Both have had equal hands in the debacles of the past decade plus and both are driven by special interest money. Its simply another form of people's tribalism. My tribe is better than yours, my college football team rules..etc etc. Get on the winning team so you personally will benefit.

Choosing between the lesser evil? Good luck with that.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 01:08 PM   #25
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People debating over the democrats and republicans in this election and over Obama and Romney is like a heated debate on which color dinner plates to set the table with. There is no difference.

Both have had equal hands in the debacles of the past decade plus and both are driven by special interest money. Its simply another form of people's tribalism. My tribe is better than yours, my college football team rules..etc etc. Get on the winning team so you personally will benefit.

Choosing between the lesser evil? Good luck with that.
Really? Ask a gay person who feels there rights are threatened by one party but protected by the other. Or the parents who are reaching a lifetime max on their insurance for their sick child and Romney now wants to put them in that position again. Or the women who uses planned parenthood and is faced with it being closed down. The two parties are NOT the same. Not at all. And I am sick of hearing people like you say that they are. You couldn't be more wrong.
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