Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Morning Joe: Harold Ford, Jr., Ideologues, and The Question It Begs

I was watching Morning Joe on MSNBC Tuesday morning as I do everyday, and a very interesting discussion took place between Joe Scarborough, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Harold Ford, Jr., and my man crush, author and editor of Newsweek magazine, Jon Meacham.

Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough’s co-host, was at the table as well being her usual pretentious, oblivious, ass-hat self, and offering nothing of substance.


The conversation centered on former Rep. Harold Ford’s (D-TN) aborted run for the U.S. Senate seat in New York.

Now, when he was a citizen of Tennessee, Ford ran for the U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee and he was defeated because he was deemed to be a Liberal.

After he moved to New York, he was going to run in the Democrat primary against Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), but he dropped out, mainly because New York Democrats find him to be too much of a Conservative.

The conversation brought up a good issue. Do we as voters, focus on a couple of key issues with which we define a candidate…issues that really in the big scheme of things, affect a minority of people?

Scarborough brought up a couple of these issues. Namely, abortion and gay marriage.

He went on to say that actual leadership ability is far down on the list of what voters look at when choosing.

During this back and forth between the panel (minus input from Mika who is a disaster when it comes to critical thinking except for her demand that we tax pop and fast food), I agreed that yes…

Many Americans DO base their vote on these issues, politicians exploit those issues, and in turn we end up with elected officials who are sub-par and nothing gets done.

And…it’s a fucking shame.

So let me put this question to you folks today…

If you are a person who has a Liberal bent on things political, how would you answer the following…

If there is a candidate for President who has a staunch history of being pro-life, and anti gay marriage, yet was guaranteed by God himself that if elected, would reduce unemployment to zero, balance the budget, and eliminate our nation’s debt would you vote for him or her?

I’m thinking that bonehead ideologues such as Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and many others would say, “NO.” Would you?

And conversely…

If you are a person who has a Conservative bent on things political, how would you answer the following…

If there is a candidate for President who has a staunch history of being pro-choice, and pro gay marriage, yet was guaranteed by God himself that if elected, would reduce unemployment to zero, balance the budget, and eliminate our nation’s debt would you vote for him or her?

I’m thinking that moronic ideologues such as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and many others would say, “NO.”

Does that really make sense to you, ‘cause it sure as Hell doesn’t to me…

I am damn well sure that all over this country there are gay men and women who don’t give a rat’s ass whether they can marry or not, because they are too busy struggling to find a job.

And, there are church going women throughout this land who are thinking about how they are going to buy groceries and not about their right to have an abortion that they, in the future, may or may not need.

Abortion, gay marriage, and other issues all have their place at the table of debate, but…

Shouldn’t we focus on the issues that affect every American before we tackle those?

Or, should we stand idly by and allow others who haven’t a care in the world other than for their ratings or reelection bid to determine the course of this country?

To paraphrase Mr. Spock…To you, do the immediate needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one?

Let me know your answer.



3 Men and a Lady said...

After seeing that picture of the devil I have a creepy feeling that I cannot shake. Thanks, Matt.

And yes, I agree. I think the bigger issues should be handled and voted for first. That's how I roll, anyway.

Matt-Man said...

Lady: So you'd vote for a person who could do all that if it went against your feelings on the issues of abortion and gay marriage? And please...

Don't you dare diss Mr. Spock, he's my hero. Well, him and William Shatner. Cheers D!!

Clay Perry said...

i lean to the right, yet i dont give a shit if a woman has an abortion or if gay people want to get married... so yeah i would vote for someone if i knew they would work hard for whats best.

georgia has open primaries, so i had to go democrat a few years ago & vote for al sharpton when he was running... how often can you say that... not that i think he would work hard for whats best.. but come on.. it was al aharpton...

Matt-Man said...

Clay: Ha...At least you have a story to tell:

"Damn right, I voted for Al Sharpton!!"

We have closed primaries in Ohio. You must declare what party you are voting for. I am serioulsy, after 27 years of being a registered Democrat, switiching to becoming an Independent which means I will not be allowed to vote in either primary unless there is an issue on the ballot.

The far left has hijacked the Dem party just like the far right has hijacked the GOP. Fuck Em Both!!

Cheers Clay!!

3 Men and a Lady said... personal opinion is that abortion is totally wrong and gay marriage, whatever, I don't really care either way about it, but I'd vote for a pro choice person first if I thought they could do more good overall. Besides, I don't think abortion will ever be outlawed, no matter if the biggest pro-lifer is in office or not. I am an independent who is mostly just slightly left of center on most issues, btw.

And I was talking about Coulter.... ick.

Jay said...

Okay, first of all Harold Ford is a fraud. When he ran in Tenn he claimed to be pro-life, then when he talked about running in NY he claimed he had always been pro-choice. Plus, he handed out campaign cards with scripture on them, but at the same time was a regular at the Playboy Mansion.

So, Ford is the kind of candidate I would never vote for. He changes his "beliefs" to fit the electorate and his a big old hypocrite.

Just wanted to get that out of the way first. haha

As for your question, you're just never gonna find a candidate who you agree with 100%. Hell, you might not find one you can agree with 50% of the time. While I'm pro choice and support gay marriage I can vote for someone who is neither of those things. If fact I did when I voted for my current governor.

I think a lot of the time the only thing you can really do is just vote for the candidate that doesn't make you feel bad about yourself when you pull the lever for him or her. Even if that candidate's policies aren't what you really support. In fact, I think that's the case more times than not. Especially on the local and state level.

Matt-Man said...

Lady: Ha...I thought you were speaking of Spock's ears. A Thousand pardons. She is the Devil. As for abortion...

Eh, I think that it is a medical procedure and a moral issue that a woman takes up with the guidance of her Doctor and her God. If it is ultimately wrong as some believe, she'll find that out if there's an after life, and I am not one to judge in the present.

Cheers D!!

Matt-Man said...

Jay: You are muddling his stance on abortion to a degree but this wasn't really about Harold Ford, although I will ask...

If by Ford changing his postition on something makes him a fraud, am I a fraud because I will switch from being a Democrat to an Independent?

Can people not change and evolve or in some instances, devolve?

I have and will ever only vote for candidates that I think will do a good job. If I am faced with candidates in a race that I have no feeling for, I leave that blank.

The bottom line is...

As you touched upon, too often we are left with a choice of which mediocrity we prefer.

Cheers Jay!!

bobbybegood1 said...

As per my response in another blog, I would rather my president, whomever that would be, to go to war to save a billion people, than to not go to war to satisfy a few protesters. Therefore, I'm all for tackling what affects the majority before we deal with issues that affect the minority. Some issues do have their place. Cheers Matt!!

Jay said...

He didn't change his stance on these issues out of some kind of evolving or growing. He changed them to suit the electorate of the state he was running in.

Do I think that people can change and evolve or devolve? Of course, we all do. But, we do have to look at whether or not that change came about naturally or was simply motived by political convenience.

Now, if Ford went back home to Tennessee and announced he was running for gov. or the senate and said that he was now solidly pro-choice and pro gay marriage then it would be easier to believe it was an honest change, because it would be one that would make things much more difficult for him politically. But, instead he took the position that even republicans like George Pataki and Rudi 9/11 had to have on social issues. So, how can one really believe that it was an honest philosophical change?

You switching from Dem to Ind. isn't the same thing. Unless you're doing so to for personal gain of some kind. Then you could be considered a fraud too. Because you would be presenting yourself as something you're not.

For the record I feel the same way about Mitt Romney. He went the opposite direction of Ford. Went from the more liberal positions to conservative to run in the repub primary. Again, is it an honest change of beliefs? Maybe, but it was an awfully convenient time and place to suddenly change those beliefs.

Is it possible that Ford has always been liberal and lied when he rain in Tenn? And Mitt has always been conservative and lied when he ran in Mass? Sure, but that makes them frauds too.

I've left many races blank over the years. Either I hated them both or as you said I had no real feeling for them. But, I've also voted against someone, even if I basically agree with them because I just think they'll be a horrible mayor/judge/governor/pres whatever.

Mike said...

"Let me know your answer."

My answer is .... yes!

And in the third picture, who's the guy with the long blond hair?

And being president and trying to get ANYTHING done is like hearding cats.

Matt-Man said...

Bobby: I believe that I agree with you. IN fact I'm pretty damn sure that I do. Cheers Michelle!!

Matt-Man said...

Jay: Ford's description of whether he is pro-life or pro-choice may have changed but his voting record when in Congress was relatively unchanged. He voted with anti-abortion groups anywhere from 5 to 25 percent of the time, and pro-choice groups the rest of the time.

Perhaps he can't be labeled by either group as being one of theirs just as neither Liberals nor Consrvatives can claim him either. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Cheers Jay!!

Matt-Man said...

Mike: Ha. You mean the blonde hair guy with the huge adam's apple and hate oozing from his oily skin? Cheers Mike!!

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...I think that, without question, the the only conclusion an intelligent person could come to on this topic is that pointy ears are the shiznat...

Matt-Man said...

Phfrankie: Ha. Y'know...I write all of these words, often too many perhaps, in an attempt ot get my point across, while you, in a brief comment, cut to the heart of the matter. You my good man, are one brilliant mo-foe. Cheers P-Man!!

IRENE said...

I am a bleeding heart liberal but I would vote for someone that is guaranteed to fix the mess we are in even if meant voting for someone I don't agree with on other issues.

Matt-Man said...

Irene: I am pretty damn liberal myself, but I would do the same as you. I often refer to myself as a Pragmatic Liberal. Have a wunnerful day Irene. Cheers!!

RobinF said...

I grew up in basically a very neutral political family so I came to it later in life. I've always been more about the person rather than the party. At this point in my life and considering the major dilemma this country is in I'd have to say let's fix the immediate emergent problems and let people solve their moral dilemmas in another forum.

Matt-Man said...

Robin: I can dig that, bu tI must say...

This country has no dilemma. We are suffering from a horrid economy, drowning in red ink, and too many people are unemployed.

I don't think that that is a dilemma. I think that those are issues that need to be fixed. Cheers Robin!!

David said...

All too often I find myself voting for the lesser of two evils as the phrase goes.

I'm socially liberal and fiscally conservative and neither party suits me well. I guess I would be a Goldwater Republican since in that era the Repubs were for small gov't, get out of peoples lives and balance the budget. Today, I've given up on the Repubs completely and go for the Dems for their approaches on social safety nets.

Matt-Man said...

David: Hell if you go back even further in time, you could consider yourself an Abraham Lincoln Republican.

Funny thing...the "founder" of the GOP, good ol' Abe, would today be chased out of the GOP. How ironical. Cheers David!!

Desert Rat said...

I vote for the bigger picture. What irritates the shit out of me is the fact that abortion and gay marriage are an issue in government. Remember that "separation of church and state" part? Well, abortion and gay marriage* are church issues and have NO business being on the political platform for governance.

*I think that people have the right to choose their morality, meaning that abortion and gay marriage should be "legal," off the table, and the conservatives should just be happy that God will take care of the evil sinners in His own good time. I mean, they DO have faith that God will smite them, right?

Oh, and yeah, I CAN'T have children and I'm NOT gay, so these aren't personal issues for me - I just think it's wrong for the government to make these decisions. I think the Pope has made it pretty clear what's what for his peeps - why do we need a "law" after that?

Matt-Man said...

Rat: You know, oh lovely one, I have written about what you just said on a couple of occasions, and I whole-heartedly agree with you...they are issues that are religious in nature and the government should have no say in them. Sadly, however...

This country has turned those two personal moral issues into a political football for a long time and it will continue to kick it around probably long after you and I are dead...or at least me, anyway.

Cheers Rat!!

Scott Oglesby said...

As succinct, erudite and intelligent as this post was you forgot the third option…..

Move to Europe and become a dirty, socialist, welfare receiving, late-term abortion performing, gay marrying, gun stealing, dope smoking liberal who masturbates to images of Olbermann making hot, sweet, anal love with Palin. (Should I mention that Nader is giving them both foot massages….during?....nah)

Micky-T said...

Desert Rat says it best.

I just want to vote for someone I think will get in there and do their job (for me and you) as best as they can without being influenced by money. Simple as that!

Matt-Man said...

Scott: As disgusting as your commentary was, I find it highly arousing and it gave me wood. However...

I got even more wood from your use of the word "erudite". I love that word. Cheers Commie!!

Micky: I'm with ya Mick, but until reforms are put into place that reduce the effect money has on campaigns and elected officials, you and I both know that it won't happen. Cheers Mick!!

katherine. said...

I continue to believe certain issues should be decided by the states...not by the President..and those include abortion and same-sex marriage.

That said, I am ephn tired of abortion and same-sex marriage being the deciding factor of every campaign. They are issues that should be VOTED on...not decided by a handful of people.

AND I think we do ourselves a disservice in combining these issues. They really are not similar.

I live in what is arguably one of the most liberal states in the union. We are overwhelmingly democratic. We may very well have the largest gay population. And apparently the voters don't want to legalize same sex marriage.

Separation of church and state was mandated by this country's founders to keep the government from mucking around in how people practiced their faith. Not the other way around.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Well, I didn't post this in order to debate the pros and cons of gay marriage and abortion, but since you and recently Rat brought it up...what the hell.

I don't believe that government should have a hand in either one. Be it on the Federal or on the State level because they are both government entities.

And that includes votes by the residents of a State...why should someone else care if another gets married to someone of the same sex or gets an abortion?

Government should mind their own damn business as far as those choices.

With that being said...

If a Church doesn't want to marry same sex couples that's fine. If that is what their doctrine proclaims, so be it.

If a state or the Federal government doesn't want to help a rape victim out with an abortion because they can't afford it, that's fine too...with a caveat...

The Federal or State government has to apply that to ALL medical procedures for the indigent and the victim, not just abortion.

Cheers Kat!!

katherine. said...

On the marriage seems the issue is that all the "laws" (mostly fiscal in nature) are worded to define marriage as different-sex. These laws have to be reworded to include same-sex couples. If voters do not approve these changes....then...who gets to decide?

Question...are you saying that where same-sex marriage is legal a church (or an individual member of the clergy) who does not want to marry them they shouldn't be required to?

And...where abortion is legal...should a doctor or health facility be forced to perform abortions if they are opposed to the procedure?

For the record....I believe abortion (with some restrictions) should be legal. It is a women's right to choose. I get oh-so-tired of men who think they have any idea of what this subject is about.

I have stood as witness with friends (laura and chrissianne) at their wedding...and my step sister and her partner are legally married here in California.

So I would love to see a batch of VERY conservative candidates who think like I do.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: I am saying that every law or non-recognization of same sex marriage should be thrown out.

Those laws are based on ancient laws that created the definition based upon religion. Ergo there is a basis for them to be thrown out due to the separation clause.

While I think that govt. should recognize the marriage not every church has to perform the ceremony. That too, would be a meddling of govt into religion. Some denominations will, some won't.

As for abortion, I think a hospital can choose to do abortions or not. That is a business practice. Some hospitals do some things that others don't.

I don't think any hospital should be forced to do abortions just like they are not forced to do certain specialties, nor are they equipped to do so.

Cheers Kat!!

katherine. said...

While I agree every the laws need to be can't just throw out a law without a replacement.

I wonder if there is ANY place in our laws that marriage is not a religiously defined institution. Meaning if you remove the religiosity from marriage does it exist? (That's a serious inquiry you know?)

And...doctors and medical facilities are being hauled into court for refusing to perform abortions on demand.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Sure you can throw out laws and not replace them. Look how many are on the books that don't apply today.

Laws that refer to horses, wagoneering and the such. There are plenty of archaic laws that are finally stricken and not replaced.

I do know that religion was the basis of the marriage ceremony however, religiosity (I do love that word, it rolls off the tongue) has long bee removed from the laws, and yet kept at the same time.

How many times has a couple gone to see the court, the Justice of the Peace, etc? There is no religion in that ceremony.

It is a ceremony that ties them into a civil and legally binding "marriage" contract.

As for the abortion thing?

If a Doctor gets a job at a hospital that is equipped and he or she can, as a doctor, perform an abortion they should do so or go to a hospital that doesn't (religiously affiliated) or one not equipped to do so.

That would be like me applying for a job as a stripper and once getting hired saying, "Oh...I have to take all my clothes off?"

In my world, if a doctor knows going in that he or she may be required in some instances to perform an abortion and it goes against their grain, don't work there.

Cheers Kat!!

Desert Rat said...

I think "marriage" is a religious institution - the idea being that it is sanctioned by God. The government, however, actually treats it as a contractual arrangement with "rights" of survivorship, tax ramifications, etc., but they use the "marriage" term 'cause there just wasn't a better one out there at the time.

I'm not sure "domestic partners" conveys the same image, but my sister, who lives in California, has been living with her fiance for something like twelve years - the company for which she works recognizes this union and treats it as a "marriage" and thus she gets the same benefits (insurance, etc), as if they had the piece of paper. I like that.

I think the "separation" of Church and State is the sticky issue. Kat's right. You can't throw out the old laws without replacing them.

I like the idea of Partners - with all the benefits (tax breaks, etc), with "marriage" being a Church issue. If a specific church doesn't recognize a marriage then perhaps a different one will.

For example, my husband's first wife wanted to have her child with her second husband baptized in the Catholic Church, but in order for that to happen, she had to have her marriage to my husband annulled because her second marriage wouldn't be recognized until the first one "never happened." Otherwise, the child would be considered a bastard. See, the weird marriage shit isn't just for gays.

(And, of course, the Catholic Church can do whatever it wants, but that doesn't mean one has to be a member!)

BTW: "I always have, and ever shall be, your friend." Looove Mr. Spock. He was my total alien crush.

Matt-Man said...

Rat: Now See? I think Domestic Partners or Partners in Crime is a fine term, cuz...I think we all get hung up on labels and/or descriptions. And I agree, marriage IS a religious term.

And okay...if you're gonna push it, maybe a law or two..jeez...anyhoo

If all of the legally binding stuff between couples is copesetic what's the worry no matter what it is called? Damn straight, I say, Damn Straight!!

One last thing...When you speak in Spock, my heart melts. Cheers Rat!!

katherine. said...

Too many legalities still in active use regarding "spouse" to just throw them away...its not like wagons and horses mateo.

There are many Catholic owned and operated hospitals which have never performed elective abortions.

I agree they (and their employees) should never be forced to do so. And yet there are lawsuits trying to force them to. I believe at least one hospital is closing...leaving a community with none.

Oh yes. Domestic Partnerships.
One of my faves.
Basically in California I get screwed.

If you choose not to marry a "man" you get your partners full benefits, tax breaks, et cetera.

If you choose not to "marry" a man, you are not treated as a get nothing. That doesn't seem right.

Desert Rat said...

Kat, I agree. You're getting the shaft for sure. Unfortunately, it's not about the love or commitment for most government institutions - it's about the money.

And I also agree that if a medical facility does not wish to perform certain procedures, that is their right. There are other facilities who will catch the ball for that particular "business opportunity."

What next? Are people going to sue McDonald's because they don't sell tacos?

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Well if Catholic hospitals are being potentially "forced" through lawsuits to perform abortions, that's just stupid.

Catholic (or any other denomination that opposes abortion) hospitals should give every bit of the care they can until it conflicts with their principles, i.e. abortion. I can't imagine that lawsuit ultimately upheld.

As for the last part, and if I understand yo correctly...

Maybe as we have discussed, at least in the states' eyes, get rid of marriage, leave that term for the churches, and call everyone who enters into a like contract domestic partners and they get full benefits and protection. That way no one gets screwed.

Cheers Kat!!

Matt-Man said...

Rat: I already sued McDonald's for that. They said that allegedly they couldn't afford horse meat, and the courts threw my claim out. I think they're in cahoots with Taco Bell. Lyin' Bastards. Cheers Rat!!

Four Dinners said...

'Mika Brzezinski'?...only in America could someone have such an unpronounceable name...;-)

As for the lesbian bird..Rachel Thingy...I quite like her.

She has no respect what so ever for politicians...which is a good thing.

(As I have no idea precisely who she is I'm assuming she's a lesbian 'cause she looks like one)

Matt-Man said...

Four: I loathe her and yes, she is a lesbian. But she does this ad on the network and claims to have no agenda...

Holy Cow...she is a walking agenda...She's not unbiased. And showing no respect to advance a personal cause is just rude, don't you think?

As for Mika...She's of Polish descent...hence the unpronounceable name that was probably mispelled because, well...they're Polish. ; )

Cheers FD!!

David said...

This has stirred up dialogue.

I think that churches perform weddings. Marriage is a legal term because it is enshrined in law throughout the US (and beyond)for inheritance, government benefits (SSA for example) and all kinds of legal rights. I find it distressing that Kat thinks that the civil rights of gay or lesbian couples to marry should be subjected to a popularity contest/vote.

I think we should have a vote that no one should be allowed to procreate without a license to do so. They should have to prove they are competent just like getting a drivers license.

katherine. said...

No distress intended I assure you.

If not voting...then what?
Whoever is in control gets to decide?

Each Governor?
The President?

'cause you know they were put into office by a "popularity contest/vote"

And what happens when someone who is diametrically opposed is elected? Gonna keep changing the law back and forth?

Not sure where you live David, but trust me...what happened in California shouldn't be trivialized by calling it a popularity contest.

Matt-Man said...

David and In Essence, Kat: David, Kat said it should be determined by each state.

I say civil unions should be free and unfettered from any legality as far as couples go...Human couples that is, as far as the law recognizing the rights and protections of each party in said couple.

Where the procreation thing comes in I have no idea. Are there parents who are jerks? Of course there are, but what does that have to do with gay marriage?

In entire post had nothing to do with the pros and cons of gay marriage or abortion...It had to do with people and what is imporatnat to them.

Evidently, I didn't find the answers I was looking or hoping for.


katherine. said...

I believe your question was:


If you are a person who has a Conservative bent on things political, how would you answer the following…

If there is a candidate for President who has a staunch history of being pro-choice, and pro gay marriage, yet was guaranteed by God himself that if elected, would reduce unemployment to zero, balance the budget, and eliminate our nation’s debt would you vote for him or her?

and my response was:
I would love to see a batch of VERY conservative candidates who think like I do.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: I didn't say that I was talking about you. Cheers Kat!!

katherine. said...

I know dear.
cheers back.

Matt-Man said...

Kat: Ha...That was the simplest comment of the day and perhaps the best. Cheers Kat!!

Dana said...

Well, I'm late to the party but let me say what I've got to say anyway ...

Domestic partners want the benefits of marriage, why shouldn't we give single people the same rights?

Why should I have to be married (or in a recognized partnership) to reap tax benefits or better pricing on insurance?

There has to be a line somewhere ...

Matt-Man said...

Dana: That's a very good point. Now answer the question, dammit. Cheers Dana!!