In one last note before the weekend, let me say that despite my recent tirades, I do not actually harbor a vicious bloodlust toward all conservatives. My father works in the oil industry, and despite the fact that he claims to be an independent, he's basically a conservative at heart (although even he has had it with George W. Bush lately). I was raised in a house with a somewhat liberal (although very religious) mother, and a fairly conservative father who is a Vietnam veteran and who works in finance in the oil industry. I understand fiscal and social conservativism, and sometimes I can even relate to it.
I attended the Republican convention in '92 with my parents just so I could see a national political convention (my dad got us tickets), and Rep. Bill McCollum (R- FL) and his wife, who were old friends of my parents, had dinner with us (while his wife stayed at our house) during the '92 convention (ironic since I later ended up volunteering on the Clinton campaign and then Bill later ended up helping to lead the charge for the Clinton impeachment hearings).
Anyway, all of this is to say that I don't just exercise knee-jerk reactions to conservative viewpoints (or at least I try not to). Even in my own family I have had to come to understand and relate to viewpoints that are different than my own. But even within the family it was understood that the expression of one's views needed to be supportable with facts and logic. I'm used to hearing conservative views- it's just that in the end, I typically don't find their arguments very persuasive or convincing. Still, I'm willing to discuss politics with people of any viewpoint if they can do so rationally and without making personal attacks.
So you conservatives out there, go ahead and do it it you're listening. Step into the ring. I'm willing to hear arguments about why the war is a good thing or about why it's a good idea to selectively prosecute gays for firecode violations or about why the federal government has actually done a good job in managing Katrina disaster relief. Actually, even if you didn't convince me of your position, it would be nice just to know that there's a logical argument out there which might sustain some of these positions. It might make the whole state of the world seem a little less surreal. And I promise not to erase your posts unless you turn into a potty mouth.