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Keep your hands off my tax returns

The Istook Amendment. Is this what those of you who supported Republican candidates in the election were voting for? How about the Presidential yacht? Somehow, I don’t recall that being a theme in the campaigns. It sure as hell isn’t something I stand for.

John McCain is right: The system is broken.

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  1. kevin whited says:

    The difference between idealists and realists (or liberals and conservatives in a broader sense), of course, is that one group of people believes the “system” is broken and can ultimately be perfected and fixed (and people too, for that matter). The other group realizes that of course the system and people are broken, and that it has ever been thus.

    Folks who look to perfection in politics may want to recheck their premises, no matter who is the majority party at any given time.

    The Founders understood this, even if Progressive revolutionaries of the early 20th century and their progeny today still do not. 🙂

  2. Charles M says:

    So therefore one should take advantage of it to the greatest extent possible?

  3. Greg Wythe says:


    I have to say that may well be the absolute stupidest thing I’ve ever read of yours. Since when is it “realist” to think “Oh well, a nutjob from Oklahoma thinks its ok for the Appropriators to check tax returns?” Since when is there anything highminded about that? Is there nothing you won’t apologize for out of a Republican? … other than McCain, of course … I mean, the 3rd most conservative Senator in the Senate [pre-Coburn] certainly is too liberal for your taste.

  4. julia says:

    Kevin, I understand the hell out of the imperfection of man. That’s why I vote for the party which believes in checks and balances and accountability.

    You know, like the idealists who founded this country were realist enough to write into the constitution.

    Of course, that’s not a popular document on your side of the aisle.

  5. Sarah Berel-Harrop says:

    Regardless of one’s theological stance on the perfectability of man, some actions are unethical.

    It’s unethical to use the conference committee to insert text into a bill that couldn’t be passed on the House floor, much less a must-pass bill (it also contradicts the Republican Party of Texas platform, incidentally. There are enough Texas Republicans highly placed in Congress to put an end to the practice.)

    It’s unethical to blame said text on a staffer as Stevens did because it’s an attempt to avoid personal responsibility.

    And it’s completely unethical to lie about the circumstances surrounding its inclusion in the bill. Someone’s lying, maybe the House people who say they told the Senators what they were doing, maybe the Senate people. I don’t really care which, do Republicans think the American people are such morons they can’t figure out they are being lied to?

    The party of God and moral values, of all people, should be able to differentiate between ethical and unethical acts and to refrain from committing unethical acts.

  6. seeabell says:

    Do you REALLY think that the dems are the owners of integrity in office? Please, I too lived through the Clinton years. I voted for Clinton twice, but the main was crooked as a… politician. I would have voted democrat had they put someone up who was remotely close to moderate. I’m not a GW fan. But the dems put up a major league lefty who couldn’t even formulate a good election lie, much less an actual plan for what to do in Iraq, with the economy, etc. Given the choice between two rich boys, one who got his money from Daddy, and one who got his money from his wife, I had to make my best logical decision. Sorry for you guys if it didn’t agree with your logical decision.

    Maybe it’s time for the hard-core Kerry supporters to quite whining and do some real work to address those issues they claim to be so concerned about. How about some donations to charities? How about calls to your congressman on issues like this hidden yacht? How about some volunteer time at a soup kitchen or with big brothers/big sisters? At least you’ll carry a bit more weight next election season when you can say “Because of the Republicans *we* had to survive billions and billions of people soup”

  7. Locutor says:

    Nice pile of BS, seeabell.

    Now, do you have anything of substance to say on ths subject, other than a 3rd grade level “nyah nyah democrats are worse” response?

    Nah, didn’t think so.

  8. Tim says:

    People who think one party has a monopoly on virtue and “the other” on vice need to be barred from voting straight ticket. 🙂

    Human nature gives us blind spots. And folks who are straight party-line voters and die-hard partisans have some of the blindest spots of all, regardless of which side of the aisle they’re on.

  9. Steve Bates says:

    Kevin, your eyes are turning brown. And any association you may have with the founders is purely coincidental. Otherwise, why would you need to resort to demagoguery regarding abstract generalizations about liberals and conservatives, when the question at hand is, pure and simple, whether members of Congress should be authorized to take a peek at people’s tax returns? “When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table…”

  10. kevin whited says:

    Folks, you can attack me, you can call me stupid, you can say my eyes are turning brown.

    I hope it makes some of you feel better.

    Now, go reread what I said.

    C A R E F U L L Y

    The system is the system.

    It’s not broken. It just is.

    Those of you who honestly believe “the system” somehow accounted for a dumb legislative provision, but that somehow “the system” can be perfected are deluding yourselves. That’s the extent of my comment!

    Now, why did I make it? Because the assertion was made the “system is broken.”

    I didn’t make that assertion. John McCain did, and it was reaffirmed by Charles.

    I do not concur.

    And for that, Greg Wythe calls it the stupidest thing I’ve ever said — but honestly, what he is calling stupid is something I didn’t say. Have I made a direct comment on Istook? No. Try reading what I actually say, instead of creating straw men from it.

    Steve says I’m full of shit (politely, though — points for that) and a demagogue for resorting to abstract generalizations. Well, gee, Steve, thanks for setting the parameters of acceptable blog commentary on a blog that isn’t even yours! Still, I’m not pounding the table — I didn’t express any opinion on the TINY politics you are obsessing over (a dumb provision most everyone dislikes). But the notion that somehow the system is broken because it allowed this — THAT is BIGGER politics, and that is interesting to me. If it’s too abstract for you, then maybe you need to broaden your horizons, read a bit more, take a political theory or history course, and stretch your mind some. I don’t know. I don’t especially care how you overcome your shortcomings. But saying I’m full of shit doesn’t seem the best way to do so!

    Julia: I don’t know what you are talking about, but it seems you’re angry with me and prone to fanstastic statements.

    Not impressive, those. Passionate, but not thoughtful. Try harder.

    Charles M: You’re not included in that response, because you didn’t resort to misrepresenting what I wrote or simply blasting me personally. But to answer your question — NO, my comment wasn’t PRESCRIPTIVE at all. I expressed no judgment of the provision at all. I don’t especially like the provision. Who does? Hardly anybody that I can tell. The question I raised was more interesting TO ME. Sadly, I had hoped to engage the question I raised, instead of spurring personal attacks. My bad.

    Sarah: I don’t view what you wrote as incompatible with what I wrote. That’s the sort of conversation I thought we might have.

    Tim: I think this thread may have proven your point quite well. 🙂

    Charles: Sorry to take over your blog this way. If any of the folks who actually engaged this conversation would like to continue it, feel free to email me.