Andy: Glad to. If you operate from a super-internationalist "let's attempt to make everyone in the world our friends, any other potential considerations, tradeoffs, or unintended consequences be damned" sort of standpoint, then I concede that there was nothing bad about Nixon's visit to China. I do wonder if there would've been a better way for us to open up dialogue with the nation without giving such direct rise to the next great capitalist empire.
Also, I was going to feel some sympathy for the 5% of the Saudi population that identifies as atheist but then I read an article about them smuggling Hitchen's books into Saudi Arabia and I felt less sympathy...
Even if you concede that slavery was "acceptable" at the time, it was only acceptable like supporting the Iraq War or opposing gay marriage is "acceptable" today. It was an issue that we debated at the time and he was on the wrong side of the debate. He doesn't deserve a pass because his stupid position was less stupid at the time.
Also, make sure that the costs of entitlement reform aren't entirely thrown on the back of those of us who are/will be healthcare providers. We seem to be the most politically palatable group to target, but just remember that Medicare (and especially Medicaid) reimbursements to providers often don't cover the cost of the treatment anyway, and further reimbursement cuts (which usually are echoed by private insurance) make it harder for us to run our practices and hospitals.
Obama's comment is on the same level as the "clean and articulate" type comments Obama got when he was first running for President.
Was the reaction proportional? I don't know, but if you think that people overreacted, you could read this thread, which is on a site that I considering to be more enlightened than most of the internet, and see why people overreacted.
Jason: <Q 9142>but more than likely it's the loss of economic benefit or social status that keeps them with their abusers.
Then they're stupid.
There are a lot of people in this position, my own late wife ran into this with her first marriage but she was strong enough to leave him. Many friends and family side with the abuser, questioning whether the abuse actually took place or justifying it's practice. The very real economic impact that women see in a divorce, something only compounded by having to be the primary caregivers to the children, shows why many will stay in these relationships tolerating the abuse as the lessor of two evils, it doesn't make it right. I can't believe you would question my position on why they do unless you agree with the Representative on his theory over mine.
It's oversimplifying to say that people "like" being in abusive relationships. The way he phrased it suggests that some people enjoy being abused, which probably only applies a very, very, very small number of people. There are lots of other complex, psychological factors that would cause a person to stay in a relationship with, or even become dependent on, someone who is abusing them.