OK, I guess I'd better put my money where my mouth is if I'm going to claim to be an equal opportunity basher.
In what way has the power of the Federal government spiralled out of control so much? (Pre Patriot Act)
The war on drugs started long before George Bush. Restrictions on the ownership of firearms in blatant violation of the 2nd amendment started long before George Bush. (I'm all for limiting ownership of weapons -- I don't think individuals should be allowed to own nukes for example -- but the right way to do that is to amend the Constitution, not ignore it.)
I could go on and on. Both parties have been complicit in the slow evisceration of the Constitution, although the Democrats at least seem to be a little queasy about it whereas the Republicans seem to me to be utterly shameless, even gleeful about it.
(One of the first things the Republicans did when they took Congress back in the 90's was repeal the 55 MPH speed limit. I thought that was terrific, and for a brief moment I thought that having the Repubs in charge might not be such a bad thing. Alas, it's been pretty much downhill from there.)
When have Democrats actively supported legislation criminalizing "not being politically correct"
I spoke too hastily here. The Dems don't want to throw you in jail, they just want to marginalize you if you don't toe their intellectual party line. If you're gay or black or poor or Muslim even (gasp!) an atheist then you're welcome. If you're a Christian then you can still come in, but they'll ask you to check your faith at the door. If you dare suggest that, say, the teacher's union might be doing more harm than good, or that working to reduce the number of abortions (in ways other than threatening to throw people in prison) then you're out.
And yet, you still are reluctant to vote Democratic?
Not at all under the circumstances. But I might be if they were in charge again.
You cannot bring yourself to say that "I admire that many Democratic Senators finally have the balls to stand up to the rape of the Constitution." Why not?
I'm glad some of them have finally found their spine. Where have they been all this time? Where were they when the first Patriot act was rammed down our throats? Where were they when Dubya first wanted to invade Iraq? (It was clear even at the time that the intelligence on WMDs was suspect. There were U.N. weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq. If, as we claimed, we knew exactly where they were, why not just send the inspectors there to find the smoking gun?) And, most importantly, how are they going to fix the mess we're in? Throwing the Republicans out is only half the battle. Once that's done someone has to clean up the mess they've made. We're in a pickle, and how we got here doesn't matter. The fact is we're in and no one, Republican or Democrat, has a credible plan for getting us out. (My plan? Admit we fucked up and ask the world to forgive us. It's not a great plan, but it's better than anything else I've heard.)
They say the same things you do.
No, they don't. They utter tired old plattitudes about the gap between the rich and the poor and a woman's right to choose and they completely miss the fact that some people really believe in their heart of hearts that a woman should no more have a right to choose to kill a fetus than she should have to choose to kill a Jew. I think those people are completely and utterly wrong, but the difference between me and the Dems is that I acknowledge and respect a person's right to believe it. The Democrats do not.
Everything you describe as believing in is what mainstream Democrats believe in too. The Republican propaganda is successful at convincing you otherwise.
No, it's not Republican propaganda, it's the Democrat's incompetence. If these things are what Democrats really believe then they have utterly failed to communicate that to me, and I am the most receptive audience they can ever hope to find. The fact of the matter is that there is a lot of truth to the right-wing charges that the Democrats are a bunch of elitist snobs who don't give a damn about what people outside their clique really think. And I come to this position not from watching Fox News, but from hanging out with Democrats.
So a pox on both their houses. But this November I think it's really important to vote Democratic because if the Republicans keep control of Congress (especially if it's the result of another stolen election) I fear that American democracy may never recover.