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ON FREEPERS AND CALIFORNIA
3 October 2003 | Egon

Posted on 10/03/2003 9:31:22 AM PDT by Egon

ON FREEPERS AND CALIFORNIA

I was recently directed to FreeRepublic by my Dad, who has been using it as his primary source of news for quite awhile now. I've been reading it extensively now for a month or so, picking up on familiar names, starting to understand the nuances and the lingo. I'm even able to recognize people by their previous views and predict which ones are going to respond in which way. It's a really fun exercise in getting to know new people.

As I come up to speed in this medium, however, it's amazing to me how quickly some of the forums degenerate so quickly into derision, name calling, and rhetoric. The gubernatorial recall race in California, for example.

In every related forum that I've read, the respondents can best be classified into three groups of people: Liberals, "pragmatic" conservatives, and "principled" conservatives. I haven't read much, if anything, from actual liberals here, but it's amazing how quickly the other two groups label each other as liberals. Here's my take on how the groups are actually divided:

Liberals

These people either want Davis to stay in office, or they want Cruz to win. They LOVE the way the Republicans are divided between Arnold and Tom. At first, they were willing to sit back and watch, laugh at us, and occasionally stick their fingers in to stir up some controversy to keep us divided. Lately, as both Davis and Cruz have sunk in the polls, they've gotten a bit more desperate.

"Pragmatic" Conservatives

These are either moderate Republicans (or Independents) who like Arnold, or any Republican who thinks Tom doesn't stand a chance of winning and, therefore, Arnold is the only option. These people tend to be labeled as "RINO"s by the "principled" conservatives. Accordingly, they view the "principled" conservatives as either failing to take into account the real world, or closet Liberals who simply want to throw the election-- or they just call them that for purposes of vitriolic argument.

"Principled" Conservatives

These tend to be the farther right of the conservative Republicans. They have decided that enough is enough. They're tired of compromising their principles by voting for more elect-able, moderate candidates. They see the state/country as having been dragged too far to the left and want it to stop. Anyone who is either farther left than they, or who compromises their principles is labeled either a Liberal or a "RINO".

My Two Cents

First, let me clarify something. I live in Minnesota. I was born in San Francisco, and spent the first (roughly) 18 years of my life in the Bay Area. I "escaped" as soon as I was able, and moved to the Midwest. My parents and one brother, unfortunately, haven't been so lucky. Not trying to disparage California-- it's just not my cup of tea. Aside from having family directly affected by California politics, I could also argue that I've got a dog in this fight because California represents the world's 5th largest economy and, arguably, whatever happens there affects everybody.

I tend to automatically identify myself as a "principled" conservative. My Dad is a VERY principled conservative. After watching events in California unfold, however, I've found myself drifting over into the pragmatic end of things, much to the dismay of my Dad.

California has been dragged inexorably toward the left by the liberal establishment. California has always been a strong-bed for liberalism in this country, so that's not much of a surprise. But what strikes me about this migration is that it's been slow and steady. Californians didn't suddenly wake up one day and exclaim, "Today, let's elect Vladimir Lenin as our leader!" No, it was a gradual, incremental process.

Now I could say something really derogatory about liberals like: "Sure! They can compromise their principles and elect progressively more liberal, moderate Democrats because they have no principles." But I don't believe that to be the case. I DO think, however, that they have taken a more reasoned, far-sighted approach to politics than we have been able to. They understand the old axiom that it's much easier to boil frogs when you turn the heat up slowly.

I think Republicans need to learn this lesson. Instead of suddenly reaching to the farther right and selecting a candidate that represents the ideal of conservative values, we need to recognize that it took a long period to get to where we are now, and the road back is not going to be traveled instantaneously either. Additionally, as we've slowly drifted left, the lines distinguishing what's moderate and what's considered extreme have also drifted left. 20 years ago, Tom might have been considered a moderate candidate. Heck, most Democrats of 50 years ago would be considered Republicans today.

Complicating matters is that "principled" conservatives are being forced to choke down another issue: If Arnold wins, he's either going to win again in the next election, or he's going to lose to a Democrat. There is no apparent way for another, farther-right conservative to nose into the process anytime soon. In fact, many "principled" conservatives would argue that as we keep electing moderate Republicans, it'll become harder and harder to introduce a true conservative candidate.

On the Rantings

Aside from the name calling by the conservative groups back and forth, I've also heard it put forward that not only should Tom get out of the race, that he should never have entered it in the first place. Now, I suppose an argument could be made for him to withdraw at this point, especially as this is not a primary, but a general election. But never to have run at all? At this point, with Arnold having a comfortable margin over Cruz, regardless of Tom's draw on the conservative base, I guess I'd say to Tom: You've already alienated (hopefully not permanently) a portion of the Republican base by staying in, why drop out now and alienate the rest?

Arnold: Despite my misgivings about your stand on some core issues, the advisors you're surrounding yourself with, and the way you've conducted yourself in the past, we're counting on you to steer the state of California back toward its former glory.

Tom: I admire your principles and your moral will. I hope we can figure out a way to allow you to represent our values, if not in 2006, or in this venue, then certainly again in the future.

To the rest of the conservatives (myself included), I guess I'd say this: We all believe in something, we all make decisions, we all get frustrated at other people who hold different views from ours; but we all want basically the same thing in the end. Intelligent, civilized people can disagree without over-the-top rhetoric, and without burning too many bridges.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: arnold; california; mcclintock; recall

1 posted on 10/03/2003 9:31:22 AM PDT by Egon
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To: Egon
"Intelligent, civilized" take on the subject. Well done.
2 posted on 10/03/2003 9:38:49 AM PDT by sarasota
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To: All
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3 posted on 10/03/2003 9:38:50 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Egon
My, you're good :-)

Well stated!
4 posted on 10/03/2003 9:40:44 AM PDT by Tamzee ("Big government sounds too much like sluggish socialism."......Arnold Schwarzenegger)
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To: Rabid Republican; ambrose; Sabertooth
ping
5 posted on 10/03/2003 9:40:47 AM PDT by SteveH ((why can't we all just get along??? ;-))
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To: Egon
Well written. I happen to disagree with you btw.

Your father should have told you that if you don't have a thick skin, you should not be frequenting FR.

6 posted on 10/03/2003 9:42:48 AM PDT by sauropod (I love the women's movement. Especially walking behind it.)
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To: sarasota; Egon
I thoroughly agree. These comments are intelligent, literate, on point, and brief. Nobody should get their dander up over these comments. Nobody should feel their time was wasted on a long screed. This is the opposite of a post that is all heat and no light.

Welcome to FreeRepublic. Keep up the good work.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column, "Two Degrees of Separation and a Double Sawbuck," discussion thread on FR. IF YOU WANT A FREEPER IN CONGRESS, CLICK HERE.

7 posted on 10/03/2003 9:43:12 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob (www.ArmorforCongress.com Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
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To: Egon
Welcome to FR. And BRAVO!
8 posted on 10/03/2003 9:43:45 AM PDT by Humidston (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law)
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To: My2Cents
Liberals
"Pragmatic" Conservatives
"Principled" Conservatives
My Two Cents

No fair, you got your own category.


9 posted on 10/03/2003 9:44:37 AM PDT by Sabertooth (No Drivers' Licences for Illegal Aliens. Petition SB60. http://www.saveourlicense.com/n_home.htm)
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To: sauropod
Thanks!

My skin is actually pretty thick. My major concern after following a few of the bigger threads, though, is the original intent of the debate is lost in the noise.

That said, the humor drives on through!
10 posted on 10/03/2003 9:46:05 AM PDT by Egon (I collect spores, molds, and fungus.)
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To: Egon
it's amazing to me how quickly some of the forums degenerate so quickly into derision, name calling, and rhetoric.

You should have been here five years ago. "Derision, name calling, etc." were the nicer exchanges on this board. (And no, I won't list any monikers).

Welcome to FR.

5.56mm

11 posted on 10/03/2003 9:47:15 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: Egon
I appreciate your take. Welcome aboard.
12 posted on 10/03/2003 9:47:20 AM PDT by 68 grunt (3/1 India, 3rd, 0311, 68-69)
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To: Egon
You pretty much nailed it Egon.

Well done.
13 posted on 10/03/2003 9:47:59 AM PDT by Bikers4Bush
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To: Sabertooth
No fair, you got your own category.

Heh. That may just because I'm not smart enough yet to know any better.
14 posted on 10/03/2003 9:50:05 AM PDT by Egon (I collect spores, molds, and fungus.)
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To: Egon
You should have been posting earlier!!
15 posted on 10/03/2003 9:50:46 AM PDT by Rabid Dog
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To: Egon
Well said. You have expressed my thoughts exactly.

Red

16 posted on 10/03/2003 9:52:43 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Wm. Wallace did not cry 'diversity' while being disemboweled.)
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To: Egon
One other thing....Republicans are going to have to learn a lesson from the dems....they have to learn to circle the SUV's and stop eating each other alive. I believe the phrase is United we stand. Just my thought.

Red

17 posted on 10/03/2003 9:54:50 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Wm. Wallace did not cry 'diversity' while being disemboweled.)
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To: Egon
Well said.
18 posted on 10/03/2003 9:55:54 AM PDT by Bob J
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To: Egon
If you want to see 'discourse' that'll peel paint, visit Democratic Underground. People here are downright genteel compared to them. I can see why the left is against guns: they'd kill each other in a minute if they were armed.
19 posted on 10/03/2003 9:56:45 AM PDT by John Jorsett
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To: Egon
nice job, kid.

(agreeing with some of your treatise)

20 posted on 10/03/2003 9:59:32 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Beltway's "Attack Iraq At All Costs" Faction Ignored N. KOREA. To your and my possible peril)
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To: Egon
On the Rantings

Your comments are good.
Don't let the rantings and ravings bother you (much).
Most of us arrive at the keyboard at the end of a tough day and after a sip or two
of wine to relax...well, in vino, veritas.
And sometimes we're not delicate enough when dispensing the truth (as we see it).

Stick around...you're gonna' love some of the "I'm sorry" or "I was incorrect"
apologies.
Unlike most of the Democratic playgrounds, we've got enough ego-strength
(and from many, sufficient humility) that we can survive the dust-ups.
21 posted on 10/03/2003 10:00:35 AM PDT by VOA
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To: Egon
As I come up to speed in this medium, however, it's amazing to me how quickly some of the forums degenerate so quickly into derision, name calling, and rhetoric.

Every so often Freeper Hurricanes will blow through over certain issues with lots of bloodletting and casualties (banned/suspended accounts). Like tropical depressions you can see some of them coming from a long way out.

22 posted on 10/03/2003 10:02:00 AM PDT by Chesterbelloc
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To: John Jorsett
...visit Democratic Underground.

I spent a few hours there last evening.

It was pretty revealing. Definitely a foreign brand of logic there to my own. I'm thinking of registering and adding my two cents.

Probably not worth it...
23 posted on 10/03/2003 10:04:15 AM PDT by Egon (I collect spores, molds, and fungus.)
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To: Conservative4Ever
...they have to learn to circle the SUV's...

Agreed!

When they do disagree, it doesn't seem to be nearly as loudly as we do. Although, it may be just portrayed that way in the media...
24 posted on 10/03/2003 10:06:59 AM PDT by Egon (I collect spores, molds, and fungus.)
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To: Egon
Good post & Welcome! :-)
25 posted on 10/03/2003 10:09:07 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: Egon
Good post. I agree. Fellow Minnesotan.

FYI--You probably should include the word (vanity) in the title of threads like this in the future, just so people know that you wrote it, it's your opinion, you're not posting some outside news article, etc.
26 posted on 10/03/2003 10:16:01 AM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (Moving to Turkmenistan, where all the jobs are.)
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To: MNLDS
You probably should include the word (vanity) in the title...

Ah. Important safety tip! Thanks!
27 posted on 10/03/2003 10:22:55 AM PDT by Egon (I collect spores, molds, and fungus.)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Egon; Grampa Dave
Well, now I have to admit that I only got as far as the categories, and skipped over your personal bio; please accept my apologies; I agree with your post. Well said (as I wipe egg off my face)
29 posted on 10/03/2003 10:53:59 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
LOL. That was a joke, right?
30 posted on 10/03/2003 10:54:17 AM PDT by m1911
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
It worked better as a kind of tongue-in-cheek response.
31 posted on 10/03/2003 10:55:05 AM PDT by m1911
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To: m1911
Well, that will teach me to read the whole thing before replying. I was in a hurry; gotta get some work done.
32 posted on 10/03/2003 11:01:57 AM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Egon
Excellent first post (I think)! You and I are in the same SUV, or we have two of them pointed at Davis and Cruz Busta Our Wallets! Your summary needs to be repeated:

"Arnold: Despite my misgivings about your stand on some core issues, the advisors you're surrounding yourself with, and the way you've conducted yourself in the past, we're counting on you to steer the state of California back toward its former glory.

"Tom: I admire your principles and your moral will. I hope we can figure out a way to allow you to represent our values, if not in 2006, or in this venue, then certainly again in the future.

"To the rest of the conservatives (myself included), I guess I'd say this: We all believe in something, we all make decisions, we all get frustrated at other people who hold different views from ours; but we all want basically the same thing in the end. Intelligent, civilized people can disagree without over-the-top rhetoric, and without burning too many bridges."

Excellent:

Just the thoughts of Arnold and Tom must be driving the rats of California into a deeper drug induced depression. Let send them into terminal depression this Tuesday!

Lets kick Davis out this Tuesday and make our guys #1 and #2!

Welcome to Free Republic, Egon.


33 posted on 10/03/2003 11:05:27 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (W. Clark, "If Karl Rove returned my phone calls, I could have run as a Republican!")
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To: Egon; All
This coming Tuesday we need to make the Rats really big losers!

#1. We need to vote/drop kick Davis out of office with a resounding margin!

#2. We need to vote for our guys to make them #1 or #2 in this race with Cruza Busta Our Wallets a brunt out flash in the rat pan.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/994615/posts

CA: Democratic Party will be the biggest loser
The Long Beach Press Telegram ^ | Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 10:08:34 AM PST | Jill Stewart


Posted on 10/03/2003 11:03 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach


The only things that can be predicted at this point in the frantic final days of the race to recall Gov. Gray Davis are that panic reigns inside the camps that are losing, fur will now fly with gobs of flesh attached, and the losers won't just be the three men who voters reject as governor.

The new Los Angeles Times Poll, which echoes the recent Gallup-conducted poll for CNN-USA Today, shows something truly intriguing besides big support for recalling Davis next Tuesday.

The poll indicates that the "progressive" agenda Davis and the AFL-CIO union honchos believed Californians would back -- whose essential message was higher taxes to support burgeoning state welfare programs, softer treatment for illegal immigrants and minimal cuts in the bureaucracy -- failed miserably. Two key findings stand out, beyond 56 percent support for recall, and Schwarzenegger's solid 40 percent to 32 percent lead over Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante.

First, groups that might have warmed to the images Davis projected -- Davis arm-in-arm with the crowd from the failed bilingual education movement as he signed a bill giving licenses to illegal immigrants, Davis promoting his vastly skyrocketing expenditures for health insurance for the children of working parents -- had second thoughts.

The Times poll says two out of 10 liberals now want to oust Davis, as do 54 percent of women, union members, and the elderly, and 53 percent of voter-rich Los Angeles County. Democrats are defecting to Schwarzenegger so fast we may need a new term -- not the Reagan Democrats but the Recall Democrats.

Second, California voters don't want social conservative state Sen. Tom McClintock as governor, but they nevertheless accept much of his conservative message.

How else to explain the 62 percent approval rating for McClintock? And a stratospheric 75 percent of them said he had the integrity and character to do the job. About 62 percent said that about Schwarzenegger, but only 48 percent said it of Bustamante -- a comment on his entanglements with Indian gaming money.

One clear message from this poll is that Californians don't much like the leftist slant gripping Sacramento Democrats, which just resulted in a raft of new job killer anti-business bills. The approval rating for McClintock and the 63 percent disapproval of the driver's license law bill should strike fear into legislators who fought budget cuts and pushed for bloated state spending.

The media have focused on the horse race, but a larger struggle is afoot here. California has not seen a battle for power like this since 1966, when Republican neophyte Ronald Reagan wrested the governorship from longtime Democratic Gov. Pat Brown.

For nearly a decade, the far right has trapped the Republican Party in a murder-suicide soap opera, putting forth right-wing candidates for statewide office who can't win elections. The far right, which is better-organized and willing to fight dirtier than Republican moderates, has crippled its party. The Democratic Party of California has benefited enormously. The party has risen to its greatest power in more than 20 years. The last thing partisan Democrats want now is a moderate Republican governor who could tame the ultra-conservative tail that wags the dog in the California Republican Party.

Schwarzenegger, as governor, would pursue moderate policies even as he pursued fiscal conservatism. That means moderate Republicans, who fled their party, would come back to the fold. The Democratic Party could be taken on.

So, no, this ain't just about Arnold and Gray. These clashing tectonic political plates are the reason why former President Bill Clinton urged Davis nearly two years ago to declaw moderate Republican Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles.

Clinton, although a purported friend of Riordan's, advised Davis to trash Riordan in an unprecedented Democratic expenditure during a California Republican primary. It worked, and Riordan lost miserably to conservative Bill Simon. So Davis is panicking. My, how that changes a man. Davis refused to face the other candidates in the debates to which he was invited. Now Davis is demanding Schwarzenegger debate him, and the Davis and Bustamante camps have begun to trade insults with one another.

The only thing Davis or Bustamante can hope for is something with which to taint Schwarzenegger. But they'd have to top the Oui magazine article, shrugged off by many voters.

The fear among Democratic leaders is palpable. They watch helplessly as the Republican Party in California undergoes a transformative moment, in which its members put aside ideology and social concerns to go all pragmatic.

After what Davis did to Riordan, the Democratic Party believed it would enjoy years of control in Sacramento. Davis and the Democratic majority moved further and further left to appease unions and others -- but the populace didn't. Now the Democrats have to find a way, with just a few days left, to hang onto to their brass ring.

Jill Stewart is a California TV, radio and print political commentator, who can be reached at www.jillstewart.net.


34 posted on 10/03/2003 11:30:42 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (W. Clark, "If Karl Rove returned my phone calls, I could have run as a Republican!")
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To: Egon
Welcome to Freerepublic ! The currant daily Tom/Arnold foodfights are nothing compaired to things I've seen in the past.
Let's see, there was the Pat Buchannan brigade,
the Bush/McCain fued,
the whole damn Elian Gonzalez mess,
don't even get me started on the WOD threads,
and nothing beats a good religion flame war for Christian brotherly love!
Then a whole bunch of banned posters get together and start their own website to collectively vent their spleen about how evil we are. Poster children all for obsessive compulsive disorder (medication, please!).

All in all, if you remember that another person is at the end of you computor reading your rant, and take what you read with a grain (or two or three) of salt, it's a damn fun place to be!

Just remember, insulting people anonomously is what the internet is all about (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).
35 posted on 10/03/2003 11:36:39 AM PDT by gracie1 (Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?)
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To: Egon
As a native Californian, I'd like to see it go back to the good old days. But that would be about before 15 million people moved into the state. You know back when it was affordable to live here.

But Minnesota, I'll take the weather and the earthquakes before I'd have to put chains on the tries;)

My problem with Arnold goes back to a personal revelation a friend me told back while I went to a private Catholic College. When she was underage she a fling with Arnold. He was almost twice her age. She was into bodbuilding and obviously body-builders.

This was over 25 years ago and he wasn't married at the time. Yet I think those kind of thing shape you. So no mister muscles but a smart guy, a sincere guy, just like my husband, will get my vote. And that would be McClintock.

BTW welcome. Some here are smart and funny and others close-minded idiots. Just like the real world.
36 posted on 10/03/2003 12:22:03 PM PDT by Madame de Winter
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To: Egon
And don't cross the streams. It would be bad.
37 posted on 10/03/2003 1:02:56 PM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (Moving to Turkmenistan, where all the jobs are.)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
...please accept my apologies

No problem! It's Friday! ...besides, next time I'll probably deserve it anyway! ;-)
38 posted on 10/03/2003 1:14:57 PM PDT by Egon (I collect spores, molds, and fungus.)
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To: Egon
First, let me clarify something. I live in Minnesota.

My condolences. Hope the coming winter isn't to brutal for you.........

That being said, This is historical, as Californian's march Davis towards the political gallows, and as the trap door opens, it will end the career of this little communist.

As Gray Davis flys home in total disgrace a few days, back to NY where he came from, be sure to wave as he passes overhead.

I'll vote McClintock. However, even if Schwarzenegger gets it, he'll still be many, many times better than Gray Davis.

39 posted on 10/03/2003 1:21:54 PM PDT by Joe Hadenuf (I failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: Egon; BibChr; onyx; PhiKapMom; Tamsey; redlipstick; habs4ever; My2Cents; South40; ...
Excellent comments.

My biggest frustration with the recall posts over the past two months is that the "principled" conservatives think they have a corner on the definition of "conservative." I suppose it's because conservatism has become as broad and as widespread as it is that there are many different "flavors" or hues of conservatism. The "principled" ones ought to be glad for this, but they want to run the rest of us out of the movement, even though this would relegate conservatism back to the 20% or so of the electorate that it was during the Eisenhower Administration. So, what concerns me is someone who is a conservative, has been voting conservative for years, is all of a sudden deemed NOT to be a conservative by the "principled" ones. I've posted on FR that there are sound conservative reasons to vote for Arnold...in fact I've posted such comments so often that my fingers are bleeding from the typing. But the "principled" ones still insist that "Arnold is a Leftist...Arnold is a Kennedy." Frankly, I'm sick of it. And I'm really weary of the "blowhard" wing of the conservative movement.

But thank you for your breath of sanity in the midst of a very divided FreeRepublic.

40 posted on 10/03/2003 1:30:53 PM PDT by My2Cents (Well...there you go again.)
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To: Egon
Well put. I'm still steaming about a poster calling my mother a moron over her stance on the Governor's race. Civliity is no skin off one's nose or posterior.
41 posted on 10/03/2003 1:37:27 PM PDT by annyokie (One good thing about being wrong is the joy it brings to others.)
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To: Egon

E-e-e-e-e-x-c-ellent, Smithers!

42 posted on 10/03/2003 1:51:26 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Far out, man!)
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To: Egon
Who ya gonna call? Egon!

Astute observations.
43 posted on 10/03/2003 2:52:09 PM PDT by pogo101
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