The United States Elections/Political Party Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by liberalmaverick, Mar 6, 2006.

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  1. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Here are some interesting facts about the midterm election.

    Perhaps the most incredible is that no democrat running for reelection as a congressman, senator, or governor lost.

    Not a single one. :eek:



  2. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    That is.. not yet.

    Hopefully, William Jefferson, (D), LA (we call him 'Dollar' Bill here, because of the 100 grand in the freezer) will lose in the runoff against Karen Carter (D), LA.

    But, with this population here - I do not hesitate to call them ignorant - I don't doubt that the man will be re-elected. They re-elected Nagin because of the color of his skin, after all.

  3. ZombieProblems Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2004
    star 2
    The most important thing to note about the recent elections; the recent sweeping victory by Dems; is that the vast majority of Americans are moderates much more in favor of moderate progressive/liberal ideals than ultra-rightwing neocon ideals.

    Bush Jr. and his neocon allies have, in their hubris, all but destroyed the Republican party. Moderate conservatives are now seeking to distance themselves from the folly of Bush and the neocons, and are seeming more and more like moderate progressives/liberals everyday.

    I think its a good day for American politics. And I think that the biggest mistake that Bush and his neocons made was misjudging the American people; people far more progressive/liberal than they thought. Of course, the politics of fear can work in the short term ("quicker, easier, more seductive"), but it burns out quickly.

    We have seen a massive sea change in American politics, and I look forward to moderates on both sides of the fence joining together and working for the mutual advantage of ALL americans, not just ultrawealthy jingoist religious extremeists / oil barons.

  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    People are now doing contortions to claim that Rove's "play to the base" strategy was never any good to begin with. The argument goes that Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore, barely won reelection in 2004 against the weakest democratic presidential candidate since Michael Dukakis and lost the House and Senate in 2006.

    I don't buy it. I think the religious right will continue to have an enormous influence in this country. Rove kicked ass in 3 straight national elections by engineering the campaign to bring in the conservative vote. The strategy was overwhelmed by reality in the end - the Iraq war was just too big to spin.
  5. ZombieProblems Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2004
    star 2
    I don't think the religious right is going to go away, but I think they lost alot of power and credibility with the common folk in the last few years. I think more people than not, even those who are religious, don't like the idea of religion mixing with gov't too much. They want freedom of religion, not a theocracy.

    I mean, there will always be religious extremeists, but I think their numbers are much smaller than Bush, Rove, and the rest of the crooks believed.

    In regards to the 2004 election, as soon as I heard Kerry speak I knew he was going to lose; the droning monotone and advanced vocabularly was an early indicator that he had a snowballs chance in hell of winning.

    Regardless of the fact that Kerry was championing increasing the minimum wage and making healthcare affordable to ALL people, all Cletus "Nascar" Sixpack heard was "Orwellian," got scared and confusified, voted for Bush and, therefore, directly against his and his families' best interests.
  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    and so much of politics is based around fear. fear of terrorism, fear of change, fear of bad things happening, and so on. rove has been able to exploit people's fear.
  7. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    ...and the Democrats don't, KW, especially to keep their minority base in line?

  8. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    definitely not. rove has turned it into an art form. democrats don't play the fear game nearly as much.

    sorry.
  9. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    [face_laugh]

    Doesn't "taking school lunches away", letting midicare "wither on the vine", or Gore's famous "republicans rewriting our environmental laws is going to kill more people" ring a bell KW?

    The democrats have become the new reactionaries out to keep the old, failed Great Society programs in place.
  10. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    You don't even have to go that far.

    How about "The Patriot Act allows the government to arrest anyone for checking out books?"

    The dreaded "cop killer" bullets that never existed?

    How gangs of thugs are running rampant with "Saturday Night Specials?"

    None of those are accurate, and fall squarely in the "over-reaction based on fear and ignorance" category.

    It's simply intellectually dishonest to suggest that either party has a lock on such tactics.

  11. ZombieProblems Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2004
    star 2
    Both sides may use the fear card, but the Republicans definately use it more, and in far more hyperbolic fashion. I mean, they have their own network that pumps this stuff out on a daily basis, 24 hours a day; FOX News. (Btw, CNN, MSNBC, and the rest of the mainstream news media is far from liberal; at best, they range from moderate conservative (CNN), to far right (FOX)).

    I mean, "a vote for the democrats means the terrorists win"? Thats beyond fear-mongering, its paranoid, delusional, and insane.

    And lest we forget the whole "Saddam has WMDs" meme that turned out not only to be a lie, but the impetus for one of the US' worst foreign policy disasters in its short history. Well, okay, the worst one since Vietnam.

    But, hey, its burned out now. Bush, Rove and the rest all but shot themselves in the foot (or the face if Cheney was around). You can only use the politics of fear so long before people become immune to it, figure it out, and vote accordingly. And boy did they ever vote accordingly! We saw that earlier this month; a big thumbs down to the fearmongering of the ultra-rightwing neocons and a return to saner, more moderate politics.

    And not just by a slim margin; by a landslide.

    God (or what/whomever) bless America. I knew you couldn't sleep forever.
  12. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd like to see your support for that being a lie. I'd never bought the claims, but it seemed to stem more out of bad intel than from an actual lie. A lie is to make a claim when one knows it to be false, and takes a lot of evidence to prove. Even if there is contradictory evidence, and one just picks the evidence that one wants to hear even when the claim is weaker, its still not lying, its just bad judgement.
    I'm not saying that Bush was right in the WMD claim against Saddam, but that I'd like to see your evidence of why Bush was actually lying when he made that claim. Also, do you also feel that John Kerry was lying to the American people in January 2003 when he said, "the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real," or that Hilary Clinton was lying to the American people in October of 2002, saying, "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program," or that Ted Kennedy was lying to the American people in September of 2002 when he said, "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
    Of course its a seperate matter of if military force was a good idea to solve the problem, but my question is more the attempt to call it a 'lie' by the Bush administration, when there are quotes from under Clinton about the danger of Saddam, as well as many more quotes from Democrats leading up to when coallition forces went into Iraq that state Saddam had WMDs presently or in production and was some measure of threat.
    Just as Bush should have had to prove, beyond a doubt, that Saddam was a threat with WMDs, if you're going to say he lied, rather than just made an error of judgement, you've got to prove that one convincingly too.

    As for the election itself... I think you've read far more into those results. It was an election AGAINST Republicans, yes, but that isn't the same as an election FOR democrats. Which isn't to say that the results aren't noteworthy, but it would be worth distinguishing getting votes because people support a cause vs getting votes because people want the other cause to lose.
  13. ZombieProblems Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2004
    star 2
    Umm... the fact that they weren't there?

    I agree that it was more of an election AGAINST Republicans than FOR Democrats. Which, of course, proves my point; people don't want right wing extremeists running the country anymore. They want moderates. As it stands, the Dems are the moderate party. This will force Republicans to ditch the whole neocon thing (as the country has) and attempt a shot at centrism.

    Reality will force them to, and truth will out.
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I would say that the country deosn't want extremists from either party running the country, and these election cycles represent one way to try and even this out. Don't forget that the election of 2 years ago could be characterizied as a backlash against the "Hollywood elite" and the actions of other radical leaning elements trying to define that time.

    Both parties still have the best interests of the country at heart, and it is the process of mixing ideas that keeps the system going. Sometimes I wish that the political pendullum wouldn't swing back and forth to such the degree it does sometimes, but again, that's the sign of an active political process.

    I still think it is too early to define either party by the results of an election that just happened. The dems swept the elections by running some central-leaning candidates, but just like when the GOP controlled both chambers, we'll have to see what the moderating force of the new situation is.
  15. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Did you net read more than the first senstence of his reply?

    The WMDs not being there does not make it a lie. It means that the statement was false. While almost all lies are false statements, not all false statements are lies.

    A lie is, by definition, a statement made with the intent to deceive. If you ask me for some information, and I give the wrong answer, I am not lying to you unless I am trying to give you the wrong answer. (Similarly, if I tell you the truth, but do it in a way designed to make you think it is a lie, it is also a form of lying.)

    Look again at what Lowbacca said, immediately after what you quoted:
    In order to show that Bush/Rove/the EEEEEvil Republicans lied about WMDs in Iraq, you need to demonstrate both that their statements were false, and that they knew that they were false. You have a shot at the first, but almost nothing to go on for the second.

    Kimball Kinnison
  16. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    Forgive me for being the devil's advocate again here Kimball, because I find your arguments to be sound, but I'm not sure we have to prove that they "knew" that what they said was false in order to prove that they lied; we might also show that they didn't "know" that what they said was TRUE. If we can demonstrate that someone was exaggerating... That too should be sufficient to call them a liar...wouldn't you say?

  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except that makes no sense.

    If I ask you to guess what artwork I have hanging on my walls right now, and you answered "Star Wars posters," would you be lying? You would be incorrect, but does it represent a lie?

    Now, extrapolate the act of guessing what is on my wall into the realm of international intelligence activities. It's fair to say that the conclusion looks to be incorrect, but it doesn't have to be dependent on all sorts of conspiracy theories to explain it.

  18. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    Perhaps.

    If you asked me why I went into your room and I told you "because I thought you had star wars posters in there" I may be telling the truth or I may be lying, but it is dishonest if I tell you that and a) I didn't think there were star wars posters in there OR b) I did think you had star wars posters in there BUT that WASN'T the reason why I went into your room!

    See, GWB told us that we invaded Iraq because we thought they had WMDs. He can be a liar whether or not we really thought they had WMDs. He may have seen definitive satelite imagery of nuke's being fueled - but GWB may STILL have woken up that day and said "you know what, I feel like attacking Iraq" - and the real reason he sent them is was because of that or a dozen other reasons and perhaps the WMDs didn't enter into the question of why.
  19. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I think it is far too easy to blame everything on "BusHitler the liar." What people do not want to confront is the reality that our government isn't in control of the world we are in, and that not just the leaders but the system of our government can be very inept. Living in a world where the only problem is the evil leader of the world who lied us into war is much easier than one where everyone, including our leaders, were so blinded by the past that we got dragged into a disasterous war. I don't know why the left keeps on making the claim that "Bush lied," it only makes them easier to paint as pinko crazies. If Bush lied, he might have known what he was doing, and I would rather have a liar who has a plan than a clown who only looks for evidence that supports his preconcieved notions and takes no thought of the long term consequences of his actions.

    Most independents realize that Bush would have to moronic to make such claims about WMDs knowing that they didn't exist. He thought they were there, and when he said they were he wasn't lying. He was totally wrong, but he wasn't lying. His administration and the intellegence failed so badly they didn't even know they were wrong. So don't think I am trying to defend Bush, I have just realized that there are much worse things than being a liar.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Most independents realize that Bush would have to moronic to make such claims about WMDs knowing that they didn't exist. He thought they were there, and when he said they were he wasn't lying

    except that he formulated his conclusions first, and then had the data twisted to fit them. he wanted a certain outcome, and he did everything necessary to make that outcome happen.

    he was the absolute opposite of an objective scientist, who accepts whatever conclusion the data supports, and after careful study.
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    GWB told us that we invaded Iraq because we thought they had WMDs. He can be a liar whether or not we really thought they had WMDs. He may have seen definitive satelite imagery of nuke's being fueled - but GWB may STILL have woken up that day and said "you know what, I feel like attacking Iraq" - and the real reason he sent them is was because of that or a dozen other reasons and perhaps the WMDs didn't enter into the question of why.

    Honestly, I don't know what any of that means. We don't know what Bush the person was thinking either way. Characterizations that say
    "Bush woke up one morning and decided to invade Iraq" just fit with the perception of the person making them.

    You can fault him for taking action based on incomplete intelligence, but I don't see how all of these "Dr Evil" characterizations come into play.



  22. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    In intelligence circles, you almost never know that some piece of information is "true" and 100% accurate. There are always varying levels of reliability. Often it comes down to a judgment call.

    By your reasoning, almost any intelligence report could be called a lie, because they don't "know" that it is true.

    In the case of Iraq, we know that Saddam had WMDs and that he had programs in place to develop them in the past. We also knew that he had not fully complied with the inspections process to verify that the WMDs had been destroyed and the programs terminated. We had reports from defectors saying that Saddam was continuing to develop WMDs. After the invasion, we even had reports from several of Saddam's generals that they were told that neighboring units had and would use WMDs.

    When you add all of that up, it makes if very clear that at the least Saddam was trying to make it look like he had WMDs. Within that context, it makes if very difficult to prove that Bush was lying about the intelligence saying that Saddam had them.

    On a different note, I was having a discussion with my brothers-in-law last night, and one of them gave his 3-minute overview of politics. I thought some of you might enjoy it.

    For him, politics can be exemplified in one issue from the late 1980s: the reintroduction of wolves to the western United States.

    As he describes it, the majority of candidates from the Republicans tend to be way off to the right, and the majority of candidates from the Democrats tend to be way off towards the left. The majority of America is somewhere in between. On the issue of reintroducing wolves to the western US, the people on the left insisted that wolves needed to be reintroduced to Yellowstone Park to restore the ecological balance. On the right, ranchers insisted that wolves would be a threat to their livestock. Neither side was all that willing to compromise.

    As my brother-in-law said, he supports the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, but he also supports the right of ranchers to shoot wolves that threaten their livestock. Where does that mean that he fits on the political scale?

    Kimball Kinnison
  23. Earl_Ferrell Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Somewhere reasonable, if you ask me.

    E_F
  24. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    So by your definition, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and numerous other Democrats are all liars as well?
    That Bush said something incorrect doesn't make him a liar any more or less than those Democrats above that all said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction are liars.
    The idea that Saddam had WMDs wasn't created by the Bush administration. Now, was the Bush administration too uncritical when they were getting info that confirmed what they wanted to think about Iraq? Thats a totally different question, but thats a question of judgement, not of honesty. I'm in no way saying that you can't criticise Bush about going into Iraq, just that at least do so fairly and intellectually honestly, rather than having the pre-concived idea that Bush must be a liar, and therefore you take any situation where Bush was incorrect to be Bush lying.

    An aside... honestly, if you're gonna lie about something this big, one would think they'd have done the extra legwork to plant a WMD or two over there.

    Its not even so much a move for moderates as it is a move for 'someone different'. The number of democratic supporters that have used the "anyone but Bush" phrase in 2004 showed themselves how weak the platform of the Democratic party was getting because they were trying to cash in on that vote by saying "well, you don't like stuff, we're not them". Its not that the democrats represent moderates, but that the democrats are the only viable other option, since third party candidates don't stand a chance in most elections. Granted, thats the cycles of politics... the party out of power runs on the platform of "well, things are bad now, but we're not the people in charge so vote for us instead". I'd just think it a mistake to view an election against the status quo as an election for the democrats when its more just that they're the only option available.
  25. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    This Frontline documentary (which you can watch in two different sizes in Realplayer and Windows Media formats) aired on 20 June 2006 traces the path from 9/11 to the Iraq war. I find it very convincing in its portrayal of the Bush administration as manipulating intelligence to get involved in Iraq. It is approximately 90 minutes long, but very systematic and informative in its portrayal.

    I challenge all those who think the WMD argument was an honest mistake on the part of the administration to reiterate that argument after watching this.

    Also, if you go to Wikipedia's entry on Frontline, it appears they have done some other documentaries on the War on Terror/Iraq subjects which I have not had a chance to watch yet
  26. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    Somewhere on the political spectrum with the majority of Americans. ;)
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