Escape Artists

The Lounge at the End of the Universe => Gallimaufry => Topic started by: Zorag on August 04, 2010, 10:27:14 PM



Title: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on August 04, 2010, 10:27:14 PM
I am not (Yet) expressing an opinion on what I would like to happen.  I would just like to kick the thread off with observations about some trends.  1.  The biggest trend so far is the dominance of female candidates.  2.  The next?  The anti-incumbant movement.  3.  The "Tea Party" is neither a political party nor unified by core beliefs.  Your thoughts or observations?


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: wakela on August 05, 2010, 01:06:20 AM
I'm an American, but I live overseas, so I'm a little divorced from the situation.  But it seems to me that the Tea Party is unified in their belief in smaller government and lower taxes.  They're not a formal party I guess, but I don't know how one formally defines a political party.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on August 05, 2010, 06:27:27 AM
The Tea Party may have started with people who believe in smaller government and lower taxes, but they have splintered into factions already.  There are some who have inserted religious beliefs into their platform.  Some are merely Republicans by another name.  There are Tea Party organizations supporting big government Republicans over small government Independents.  This is why I say there are no uniting core beliefs.  I would need to do some more research, but I do not know of anyone running as the Tea Party.  There is a political movement, yes.  The Green party and Libertarian party would be examples of movements that became parties.  Trying to explain myself while accessing the forums on my nonsmart phone is not easy.  I will reply as I can.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Boggled Coriander on August 05, 2010, 08:29:27 AM
The Tea Party may have started with people who believe in smaller government and lower taxes, but they have splintered into factions already.  There are some who have inserted religious beliefs into their platform.  Some are merely Republicans by another name.  There are Tea Party organizations supporting big government Republicans over small government Independents.  This is why I say there are no uniting core beliefs.  I would need to do some more research, but I do not know of anyone running as the Tea Party.  There is a political movement, yes.  The Green party and Libertarian party would be examples of movements that became parties.  Trying to explain myself while accessing the forums on my nonsmart phone is not easy.  I will reply as I can.

Your phone may be insufficiently smart for easy posting, Zorag, but I think you hit the nail on the head here.

On threads like this I'm always scared I'm going to say the wrong thing that'll send the discussion spiraling towards incivility.  I don't want to do that.  I'm genuinely interested in the discussion.  And I know that no one on this board lies awake at night thinking, "I wonder what Boggled Coriander thinks of Barack Obama?"

At least, I hope not.  That would be creepy.

So I'll just say that, like wakela, I'm an American living abroad, and I will be blissfully away from the States for the 2010 elections.  I follow the American news, but I feel like I'm getting only bits and pieces of the prevailing mood.  Interested to hear how this discussion evolves.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on August 06, 2010, 08:50:58 PM
Now that I'm at home, I'll try to post this a little more clearly.

The 3 items that I listed in the initial post seem to be the biggest trends this year. 

There are some people who will vote for every "D" and some for every "R".  Those people need not be swayed to vote for a particular candidate.  The strategy with these people is merely to motivate them enough to get them to the polls.  Apathy is a large factor in nearly all of our elections.  These are the people that rhetoric works best with.  You'll often hear them repeating talking points from one group or another.

There is a large group of people who go with the flow or whatever is "hot".  Nothing creates a crowd like a crowd.  To get these people to vote your way, you need to create a buzz.

There is another group, not nearly as large, who vote for individual candidates.  These are the hardest to win over, catch phrases and rhetoric don't work very well with them.  Unfortunately for our system of government, they actually have the least impact in elections.  They are not likely to try to sway anyone else to their beliefs.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: wakela on August 15, 2010, 07:06:04 PM
There is another group, not nearly as large, who vote for individual candidates.  These are the hardest to win over, catch phrases and rhetoric don't work very well with them.  Unfortunately for our system of government, they actually have the least impact in elections.  They are not likely to try to sway anyone else to their beliefs.
Actually, don't these people have the most influence of all?  Based on the last few elections, it seems like the split between the Repub voters and Dem voters is very nearly 50/50.  So even though the percentage of people who vote for the candidate instead of the party is very small, it's that small percentage that decides the election.

BTW, I don't agree with the frequent maligning of those who only vote their party.  The parties do actually stand for different philosophies of government, and if you agree with one there isn't any reason to vote on the other.  If you think that a low regulation, business-friendly environment is better for the country (or yourself) there is little reason to vote Democrat even if you think their candidate is a smarter guy.  Likewise, if you think the government should be in the business of actively helping people and solving problems, you wouldn't vote Republican.*

*Simplification of political agenda noted.  Also, any snark at either party is unintended. 


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on August 16, 2010, 08:35:06 AM
Granted on infulence.  My problem with voting party line is that there are more choices than D or R.  It is not intelligence I vote for.  I vote based on the best match for my political beliefs.  Whichever candidate is for less government, fiscally or socially, generally gets my vote.  I do not care about their ethics or beliefs, so long as they do not impose them on me.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: wakela on August 16, 2010, 09:18:03 PM
Granted on infulence.  My problem with voting party line is that there are more choices than D or R.  It is not intelligence I vote for.  I vote based on the best match for my political beliefs.  Whichever candidate is for less government, fiscally or socially, generally gets my vote.  I do not care about their ethics or beliefs, so long as they do not impose them on me.
I vote the same way.  And it puts us in an interesting position, doesn't it.  One party favors more economic freedom and less social freedom, and the other is for more social freedom and less economic.  So it's more logical for people like us to vote on the candidate since there isn't a significant party that is for both social and economic freedom.   If gay rights or strong defense were most important to you, could could safely pick a party and vote for whoever they run.  I have hopes that the Tea Party could be for both kinds of freedom, but I think they would rather be a movement and an influence on the Ds and Rs rather than have a candidate of their own. 


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Fenrix on August 17, 2010, 11:00:11 AM
Tea Party activists tend to focus on lower taxes and smaller government. There are different groups under the tea party umbrella that have divergent views on the other issues, so the lower taxes and smaller government are the only consistent unifying stuff they have.

The Libertarian Party covers the desire to have a party that supports fiscal and social liberty. On one hand, they have a tendency to handicap themselves by nominating unelectable wingnuts. On the other hand, the eloquent speakers in the bunch never get air time, as the last times third party members were invited to the party by mainstream media was Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura. A predominance of time third parties get on the air is clips that make them look like leaders of the tinfoil hat brigade.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on August 18, 2010, 11:12:02 AM
I consider myself a libertarian with a lowercase l.  The party itself was not that full of loonies until the loonies got the media attention.  It is the same thing the Tea Party will encounter.  I am not claiming there is a conspiracy.  When you gather a large group that has freedom as their main priority, chaos will rule.  Organizing a power structure goes against their very nature.  Insert some huge egos into the mix, add the sheeple who follow the crowd, and sprinkle money and you create an entity that cares more about protecting itself than the ideals that created it.              On a related note, I have changed my political desires.  Balance the budget, pay off the debt, stay out of my personal life and I will pay my 50% in taxes and not complain about how it is spent.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Millenium_King on September 07, 2010, 12:20:31 AM
It will be a Republican sweep.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 09:08:16 AM
I am fairly pleased with the outcome.  Nowhere near what I would prefer, but should give us plenty of gridlock.  Fillibusters in the Senate, Republicans have the House and Democrats have the Presidency.  Palin had the magic touch with conservatives, but not so much with the public in general.  If I were a D, I would want her to keep running her mouth.  The Tea Party has been swallowed by the Republicans.  There will be more fallout from state races, but I will need some time to digest the info. 


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Talia on November 03, 2010, 10:43:32 AM
Why is gridlock a good thing? Don't you want the goverment to have some chance of being effective at anything ever? :P

At least one Republican has stated plainly the party's entire mission is to ensure Obama is one-term president. Instead of, you know, helping run the country. But heck, why do that when you can be spiteful and seek ways to cause as much damage as humanly possible instead!

I'm just happy Delaware voters had the common sense not to elect the O'Donnell moron.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 10:53:43 AM
Alaska, as of now, has elected a write in candidate to the US Senate.  This has not happened since Strom Thurman.  The 3rd party candidate for governor in CO received more votes than the Republican.  I absolutely love these 2 facts.  Rand Paul is going to the Senate!  I burst out laughing when they called that race.  My wife asked why and I told her he is a lunatic.  At least he agrees with my belief in limited government.  This is going to be a fun week for those of us who follow politics for the entertainment value.  I can't wait to hear the President's spin.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Sgarre1 on November 03, 2010, 11:55:34 AM
Those who dislike either of their own parties should seriously check out the new episode of THIS AMERICAN LIFE - in particular, the segment on the life-long friends who found a tea party organization is painfully truthful about what the road to hell is paved with...

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/417/this-party-sucks (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/417/this-party-sucks)


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 12:16:14 PM
Listening to President Obama, it appears that he is keeping his cards close to his vest.  I get the feeling he wants to keep pushing his agenda, but does not know the best approach yet. 

Before anyone reads this as an attack, it is not.  It is his right to do what he feels is best, or just plain wants to.  He will have to face whatever consequences his actions bring on.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Talia on November 03, 2010, 02:04:23 PM
Alaska, as of now, has elected a write in candidate to the US Senate.  This has not happened since Strom Thurman.  The 3rd party candidate for governor in CO received more votes than the Republican.  I absolutely love these 2 facts.  Rand Paul is going to the Senate!  I burst out laughing when they called that race.  My wife asked why and I told her he is a lunatic.  At least he agrees with my belief in limited government.  This is going to be a fun week for those of us who follow politics for the entertainment value.  I can't wait to hear the President's spin.

That's pretty cool, I must agree. About Alaska, that is. Not about Rand "headstomper" Paul, who's a douche (Yes, I know it wasnt actually him who headstomped, but it just fits so nicely into the line that way!).


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Fenrix on November 03, 2010, 03:14:18 PM
Why is gridlock a good thing? Don't you want the goverment to have some chance of being effective at anything ever? :P

Lack of action from the Federal government may very well be the best thing for us. Sure, they can't actively help. But they also can't actively harm.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 03:54:34 PM
Limited Federal Government, FTW!  States Rights!


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: stePH on November 03, 2010, 04:05:16 PM
Giant Douche... Turd Sandwich... all the stuff's the same.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 04:05:25 PM
There are hateful people on both sides.  Stating that your goal is to limit Obama to one term is no different than when the same was said of Bush.  Take away your personal opinions of either man and you will see that the verbal assaults are similar.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Talia on November 03, 2010, 04:07:58 PM
Why is gridlock a good thing? Don't you want the goverment to have some chance of being effective at anything ever? :P

Lack of action from the Federal government may very well be the best thing for us. Sure, they can't actively help. But they also can't actively harm.

It's not like state governments are any better.

Although, I'm pretty happy with the way CT elections just went, so.. heh.

But meh. I'd rather have a functional federal goverment where everyone is united with the common goal of getting things done rather than bitching at each other.

I don't care much about state rights one way or another.



Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Talia on November 03, 2010, 04:10:11 PM
Their are hateful people on both sides.  Stating that your goal is to limit Obama to one term is no different than when the same was said of Bush.  Take away your personal opinions of either man and you will see that the verbal assaults are similar.

And the people who said that about Bush were not being effective statespeople either. I wasn't trying to draw comparisons, just say they really aren't helping anyone.

Except for that rabid, mouthbreathing segment of the population who are having coronaries because they can't stand having a black man at the helm. 


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 04:12:01 PM
Why is gridlock a good thing? Don't you want the goverment to have some chance of being effective at anything ever? :P

Lack of action from the Federal government may very well be the best thing for us. Sure, they can't actively help. But they also can't actively harm.

It's not like state governments are any better.

Although, I'm pretty happy with the way CT elections just went, so.. heh.

But meh. I'd rather have a functional federal goverment where everyone is united with the common goal of getting things done rather than bitching at each other.

I don't care much about state rights one way or another.




We are a varied collection of individuals.  A one-size-fits-all solution will not work.  Our country was founded with a belief in states rights.  Contrary to the way Lincoln brilliantly spun it, the Civil War was not about slavery, it was about states rights.



Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 04:20:55 PM

Except for that rabid, mouthbreathing segment of the population who are having coronaries because they can't stand having a black man at the helm. 

I don't see why race has to be brought into this.  I despise the President for his beliefs, I need no other reason.  I would go as far as to call him and those that believe like him evil.  Up until the Rand Paul comments, no one had cast any dispersions on any individuals.  You feel free to insult him for something that you admit he is not, yet feel no qualms in calling out others for doing the same thing when it is done to someone you like.  You are a hypocrite.  I am done with this conversation.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Talia on November 03, 2010, 04:23:48 PM
While I see your point, I'm not entirely sure what you want. I mean, we are one country. You almost seem to be arguing in favor of things being run more like 50 mini-countries. (although if we did that then built a wall between certain southern states and the rest of us, that'd work out OK :p). Well, I mean you said want you wanted, but I just don't really understand why its so important to you. After all there's no guarantee your state goverment wont proceed to act like a bunch of douches, either. (Referring back to CT again - John Rowland, I'm lookin' at you!)


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: DKT on November 03, 2010, 04:26:15 PM

Except for that rabid, mouthbreathing segment of the population who are having coronaries because they can't stand having a black man at the helm.  

I don't see why race has to be brought into this.  I despise the President for his beliefs, I need no other reason.  I would go as far as to call him and those that believe like him evil.  Up until the Rand Paul comments, no one had cast any dispersions on any individuals.  You feel free to insult him for something that you admit he is not, yet feel no qualms in calling out others for doing the same thing when it is done to someone you like.  You are a hypocrite.  I am done with this conversation.

Zorag, you started off saying earlier in this thread stating that you weren't attacking the president, but now you're calling him (and essentially - me) evil. And you're literally calling other people names. If you do come back to this conversation, please try to tone it down.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Talia on November 03, 2010, 04:30:41 PM
I just want to say I do apologize for causing offense, wasn't intended. And while you are correct for calling me on the Rand Paul comment, I do feel that race is very much an issue among many of the Obama detractors, particularly among that sect known as the Tea Party, so I stand by that comment.

That's all. I do apologize for coming off as uncivil if I have done so in any way.
I will also leave the thread now so keep on keepin' on with other commenters if you care to. I don't mean to ruin a good thread just because I have vehemently different political views from any given person.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 04:54:54 PM
I will not back down from my statement.  I see too many people receiving so-called aid from the government that have been harmed by it.  By disincentivizing personal growth and acheivement, the government does great harm.  In my book, that is evil.  I brought that up to defend my feelings about the President.  I will discuss things from a rational point of view, but I will not do so when another person is using  underhanded tactics.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 04:58:09 PM
Where did I call someone a name?  I stated a fact.   Wait, I did call Rand Paul a lunatic, sorry about that.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: eytanz on November 03, 2010, 05:15:18 PM
Where did I call someone a name?  I stated a fact.   Wait, I did call Rand Paul a lunatic, sorry about that.

You called Talia a hypocrite.

And you didn't just call your president evil, you called "those who believe like him evil". Which includes quite a few of the people you are talking to.

Plus, there is a big difference between stating that someone is causing evil and calling someone evil. The latter implies that you think the president (and those who believe like him) are *seeking* to cause harm; that the president's motivation is to harm Americans. I'm not an American, but quite a few of my friends who are voted for, and believe in, your president. I don't believe any of my friends wishes harm upon any American - they may very well be causing it by being mistaken about how to go about doing things, but that's a totally different debate.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: DKT on November 03, 2010, 05:21:03 PM
Where did I call someone a name?  I stated a fact.   Wait, I did call Rand Paul a lunatic, sorry about that.

You called Talia a hypocrite.

This is what I was referring to. But you also said:

I would go as far as to call [the president] and those that believe like him evil.

Which, you know, isn't helping any, and is rude. Please try to be polite.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 05:30:00 PM
I stand by my statement.  I am also not a racist.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 05:33:38 PM
If I say I think Bush is evil for using our military to settle a family grudge, among other actions would that cause a problem?  Because I believe that as well.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: eytanz on November 03, 2010, 05:36:19 PM
I stand by my statement.  I am also not a racist.

No one called you a racist.

I do, however, call you a troll. You seem to have created this thread for the sole reason of insulting those who disagree with you and passing moral judgement on a large swath of your country. I anticipate your response to me will be either leaving in a huff, or an angry rant. If you must choose on of these two, then I recommend it be the former, as the latter will just prove me right.

I am, however, not locking the thread because I want to give you the chance to prove me wrong. I don't give a damn what you say about the president of the USA, but I do care about what you say about other forumites. I'll let you figure out for yourself what sort of response may convince me that you are here to participate productively in the forum.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: eytanz on November 03, 2010, 05:36:54 PM
If I say I think Bush is evil for using our military to settle a family grudge, among other actions would that cause a problem?  Because I believe that as well.

If you said that everyone who believes in Bush's presidency is evil, then yes, that would cause the same kind of problem.

Presidents are fair game. Other forumites are not.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: DKT on November 03, 2010, 05:42:25 PM
If I say I think Bush is evil for using our military to settle a family grudge, among other actions would that cause a problem?  Because I believe that as well.

You're missing the point: you're not just calling an abstract political figure evil; you specifically called people on this forum evil if they agree with said political figure. Stop doing that.

And I do not care how close you stand to your statements; I do care that you're respectful to people on this forum, and that people are respectful for you. (Talia never did call you a racist, but she did apologize for giving offense.)

ETA: eytanz beat me to this, but it doesn't hurt to read some things twice.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 05:46:23 PM
Talia's post was no apology.  I am sorry for saying that those who belive like President Obama are evil.  I will ammend it to politicians that believe as he does are.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Bdoomed on November 03, 2010, 05:54:07 PM
Oh yes, us who agree with what Obama is doing are evil.  We are just evil people, and we hate America, and hate people.  We hate people so much that we like the idea of letting those who need insurance get insurance.  We are so evil that we think being nice to people is a good idea.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 05:56:51 PM
This thread was started as commentary on the political landscape.  I admit that I inserted my personal belefs by cheering for gridlock and then later stating my personal beliefs about the President.  Please split the argumentative posts from this thread, as it still has merit. 


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: DKT on November 03, 2010, 06:00:10 PM
Talia's post was no apology.  I am sorry for saying that those who belive like President Obama are evil.  I will ammend it to politicians that believe as he does are.

No, actually she did apologize, and then she civil enough to say she didn't want to offend anyone else and wouldn't be participating anymore.

This thread was started as commentary on the political landscape.  I admit that I inserted my personal belefs by cheering for gridlock and then later stating my personal beliefs about the President.  Please split the argumentative posts from this thread, as it still has merit.  

Right now, your posts (and the ones reacting to it) are all the current discussion this topic has merited. So if people want to contribute something more to it, then they can do it here.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 06:03:27 PM
Talia basically called all Tea Party members racists on her way out. 


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 03, 2010, 06:16:15 PM
Eytanz, I just saw your post.  I missed it earlier.  You are correct, I should have said causing evil.  It is an important distinction.  I did not start this thread to troll.  Look at the earlier posts.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Boggled Coriander on November 04, 2010, 02:12:34 AM
Okay, I know I'm late to the party.  This thread's touched on something that's been on my mind lately, and I can't not say something.

Zorag, I agree with the sentiments you expressed in the early part of this thread, even if I don't always support your politics.  You didn't start this thread to troll.

Although there's a lot about the Tea Party I do not agree with, I agree that we shouldn't go around saying the Tea Party is racist.  It's not entirely about civility, although civility is an important part of it.  I also think it's very, very bad politics.  Lots of Tea Partiers feel liberals are condescending to them, and think they're bigoted ignoramuses.  As the meme that Tea Party = Racism spreads, what do you think will happen?  Tea Partiers will take that as confirmation.  They'll feel even more on the defensive, and get insular and stop listening to people with different viewpoints. 

If your political opponent thinks you're a jerk and won't listen to you, THAT DOES NOT HELP YOU AT ALL.

It works in both directions. 

The statement "Policies pursued by Presidents Bush and Obama have caused evil" feels much different from "I would go as far as to call him and those that believe like him evil."  Zorag, I realize you've already regretted saying it the way you did and I appreciate that.  I'm not trying to lecture anybody, and I apologize if I'm coming across that way. 

But you've made a huge subset of this thread readership mentally categorize you with Americans who like to compare the President to Hitler, or think it's appropriate to call him a Muslim.  You haven't said any of those things, I know.  But I feel like those people have already stopped listening to you.

And that doesn't help you at all.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 04, 2010, 05:36:42 AM
Well put, B.C.  Talia, feel free to chime in.  I, as others have stated better, do not care if you, I or anyone else says anything about the politicians, but let us agree to lay off the followers.  I do believe in the inheirant awesomeness of the human spirit, but my approach is not a gentle one.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 04, 2010, 05:46:35 AM
...and now to jerk this back on topic.  The Republicans are facing a possible scism.  The Tea Party, as fractitious as it is, is shaking up the party.  Democrats have traditionally been more of an umbrella party, and have experience at building a coalition from differring opinions.  This is the first time in my experience that the Rs will have to deal with such inner turmoil.  Many of the Tea Party are rebeling against the traditional leadership.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 04, 2010, 05:56:15 AM
When Clinton lost Congress, he moved more to the center, and managed to accomplish some things by being less partisian.  Bush increased the power of the executive branch.  With the Senate staying in Democratic control, it will be interesting to see what approach Obama will take.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Fenrix on November 04, 2010, 03:59:03 PM
While I see your point, I'm not entirely sure what you want. I mean, we are one country. You almost seem to be arguing in favor of things being run more like 50 mini-countries. (although if we did that then built a wall between certain southern states and the rest of us, that'd work out OK :p). Well, I mean you said want you wanted, but I just don't really understand why its so important to you. After all there's no guarantee your state goverment wont proceed to act like a bunch of douches, either. (Referring back to CT again - John Rowland, I'm lookin' at you!)

50 individual states work like a marketplace of ideas. What works well in one market might not be a great solution for another market. Us Southerners don't need you yankees legislating to us the proper level and type of sweetener we put in our tea.  ;)

If your state is terrible and you feel strongly enough to move, it's not terribly painful to move from one state to another. It's a lot harder to consider moving from one country to another.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: DKT on November 05, 2010, 10:52:01 AM
Those who dislike either of their own parties should seriously check out the new episode of THIS AMERICAN LIFE - in particular, the segment on the life-long friends who found a tea party organization is painfully truthful about what the road to hell is paved with...

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/417/this-party-sucks (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/417/this-party-sucks)

Thanks for pointing this out. I'm a huge fan of This American Life, but hadn't gotten to this one yet. It was heartbreaking to hear about idealists within the Tea Party essentially fold. And I say this as someone who is very much not a Tea Party person.

And I was nodding my head a lot with Democrats sharing frustration with their own party.

So thanks for pointing it out!


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: stePH on November 07, 2010, 10:44:13 AM
When Clinton lost Congress, he moved more to the center, and managed to accomplish some things by being less partisian.  Bush increased the power of the executive branch.  With the Senate staying in Democratic control, it will be interesting to see what approach Obama will take.

Obama started in the center. What's he going to do now... move further toward the extreme right?


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Fenrix on November 08, 2010, 01:21:09 AM
Obama started in the center. What's he going to do now... move further toward the extreme right?

I thought there was some discussion to end the deliberate trolling and lobbing of flamebait...


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: stePH on November 08, 2010, 10:38:28 AM
Obama started in the center. What's he going to do now... move further toward the extreme right?

I thought there was some discussion to end the deliberate trolling and lobbing of flamebait...

Who's trolling or flamebaiting? I'm just calling it as I see it. Obama was never the "far-left socialist" that the right tried to paint him as, and he's continued many of Bush's more repugnant policies.

But whatever. Guess I'm out; see ya in other threads.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: birdless on November 08, 2010, 03:49:17 PM
Those who dislike either of their own parties should seriously check out the new episode of THIS AMERICAN LIFE - in particular, the segment on the life-long friends who found a tea party organization is painfully truthful about what the road to hell is paved with...

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/417/this-party-sucks (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/417/this-party-sucks)
Oh! I haven't listened to that one yet! Thanks for the preview! I'll be listening to it on the way home. My political views on FB are listed as "political cynic." I feel like everyone (i'm not sure if there is hyperbole in that noun for me) in gov't is more interested in representing Washington's ideas to us rather than our ideas to Washington, and trying to figure out what they can do for themselves or their party. I don't LIKE believing this, but this is how it appears to me. I'm hoping that something/someone can restore my confidence.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 09, 2010, 09:19:42 PM
Steph, Obama may be in the center on some issues, but not the majority.  I am not calling him far left.  Clinton only changed his approach after the government shut down anyway.  One aftermath of the election seems to be the near extinction of centrist Democrats in the House.  It seems to me that the more left leaning Dems had better results in voter turn out.  Anybody who lost by 1 percent could have won if they had a more energized base.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: kibitzer on November 10, 2010, 05:45:03 AM
And so it goes. (sigh).


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 10, 2010, 07:38:02 AM
Kibitzer, what are you replying to?  This is a chaotic thread.  Kind of fitting, though.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 10, 2010, 07:45:08 AM
I should also note that the moderate Republicans had the same problem as the moderate Democrats.  There were more attack ads than usual this year.  It almost seems that many people just went out to vote against candidates.  The Green and Libertarian parties really missed an opportunity, IMO.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: birdless on November 10, 2010, 04:38:19 PM
So i've listened to all but the last 4 minutes of This American Life's "This Party Sucks," and it's just served to confirm my cynical view of politics. I was so disappointed that Rick caved to the spin cycle the GOP offered him. And they were so matter-of-fact about the blatant lie regarding the departure of Rick from the independent guy's campaign (can't remember his name right off hand). I don't see this as a uniquely Republican shortcoming, either—i believe this is SOP for politics in general. I did like the phrase "principal over party," but i wasn't left with the impression that anyone is really ready to commit to that motto. I honestly feel like that both sides are so diligent about gaining support from other politicians or supporting their own party line that the voters needs are a irritating distraction to what they want to accomplish, which is some self-serving BS of one variety or another. Then the independents are stuck in a netherland of having to compromise their ideal to even get competitive. So yeah... i hope i'm wrong, but this is how the whole political landscape reads to me. I am, admittedly, not an avid follower of politics (the only reason i even poked my head in here was to see how everyone was getting along on such a hot topic, and to see if i could learn a little something in the process :)).


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: DKT on November 10, 2010, 04:41:20 PM
Yeah, that bit broke my heart, too.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 10, 2010, 04:46:06 PM
Birdless, for someone who doesn't follow politics, you have a pretty solid grasp on the current landscape. 

I don't know what could help turn the tide.  One of the biggest problems I see is that Greens and Libertarians are polar opposites.  I really think term limits would help some, but we may be too far down the road now.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: birdless on November 10, 2010, 05:00:08 PM
Birdless, for someone who doesn't follow politics, you have a pretty solid grasp on the current landscape. 

I don't know what could help turn the tide.  One of the biggest problems I see is that Greens and Libertarians are polar opposites.  I really think term limits would help some, but we may be too far down the road now.
Yeah, i've wondered if that would help, too. I wonder how many Americans would support term limits? And what would happen if a national petition supporting term limits showed a majority favored them? What are the downsides to term limits? Simply voting in lack of experience every 8 years? Is there something wrong with a system when someone can't learn it in 4 years or LESS (assuming, at the worse, 4 years to learn it, 4 years to be effective)? Anyone have any answers? Or guesses? I'll take guesses. Personally, i kinda wonder if less experience is a GOOD thing, so there's less chance to exploit the system.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Anarquistador on November 17, 2010, 11:50:20 PM
I don't know if I agree that less experience is a good thing. Look at elder statesmen like the late Ted Kennedy. He was still able to wield a great deal of clout without compromising principle.

My biggest problem with the political Left these days is they seem to have given up on being truly progressive. No one seems to have the werewithal to effect any serious change. They're too busy tending to their pet causes to care about any bigger picture. The Democratic party has a long sad history of falling apart over this. They couldn't get a decent health care reform bill passed even with a majority in Congress, because none of them were willing to compromise what they saw as their principles for the sake of a greater good. There's never any forward movement because everyone is running around in circles.

With the Republicans in power in the House, I don't know what's going to happen. Most likely, nothing at all.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: birdless on November 19, 2010, 01:02:43 AM
I don't know if I agree that less experience is a good thing. Look at elder statesmen like the late Ted Kennedy. He was still able to wield a great deal of clout without compromising principle.
Definitely not a statement of belief on my part—simply curious conjecture! ;)

(Although I feel like there are more than a few politicians who exploit the system; but even if we did have less experienced people, i'm sure they would get mentored by those with decades of experience.)


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Anarquistador on November 19, 2010, 09:29:08 AM
Experience is a fine line to tread in politics. That's the problem. There is this well-ingrained notion that "the system" is bad and will inevitably corrupt you, so you should spend as little time in it as possible. On the other hand, if DON'T spend a good bit of time inside the system, how are you going to get anything done? It's like a self-defeating cycle: the young people who get involved in politics looking to genuinely make positive change are pressured to not "play the game." So naturally they don't develop the experience needed to actually affect any change.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 20, 2010, 06:37:58 AM
I think idealism dies with experience.  This is ot just in politics, either.  Remember being young and having the future ahead of you?  Anything was possible.  As you grew older, you began to find limits.  It happens in many aspects of life.  Political idealism is generally more publicly visible.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Anarquistador on November 21, 2010, 09:34:08 AM
Well, there's losing idealism, and then there's just plain giving up. There IS a difference, and I fear that we as a society have forgotten that. The world is not perfect - and probably never will be - but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop trying to make it a little better.

...okay, that was sappy even for ME. Sorry.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Zorag on November 22, 2010, 02:55:54 AM
I agree.  I did not intend it to sound horrible.  Idealism alone is not enough to sustain a political career.  I think this is what the system is blamed for.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: stePH on November 23, 2010, 10:47:27 AM
Here's an interesting (and depressing) read:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/opinion/22krugman.html

Quote
The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing. And that party now controls one house of Congress, which means that the country will not, in fact, be governable without that party’s cooperation — cooperation that won’t be forthcoming.

and ShamWow is still trying to "reach across the aisle" from what I understand.  ::)


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Swamp on November 23, 2010, 12:16:58 PM
heh.  You speak as if that is a unique characteristic of the Republicans.  When Democrats are in power, they shake their heads and complain that the Republicans won't cooperate with them and go along with their agenda.   When Republicans are in power, they shake their heads and complain that the Democrats won't cooperate with them and go along with their agenda.  It is depressing, but it is not unique to one party.


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: stePH on November 23, 2010, 09:38:35 PM
heh.  You speak as if that is a unique characteristic of the Republicans.  When Democrats are in power, they shake their heads and complain that the Republicans won't cooperate with them and go along with their agenda.   When Republicans are in power, they shake their heads and complain that the Democrats won't cooperate with them and go along with their agenda.  It is depressing, but it is not unique to one party.

It's the first time I can recall either party baldly stating their intention of opposing the President's every move, no matter what. Sure, that may be what they always do anyway, but coming right out and saying so takes nuts as big as my house.

(I got a big house.)


Title: Re: 2010 politics
Post by: Fenrix on November 23, 2010, 11:38:49 PM
It's the first time I can recall either party baldly stating their intention of opposing the President's every move, no matter what. Sure, that may be what they always do anyway, but coming right out and saying so takes nuts as big as my house.

Quote?