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. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    PBS gets my seal of approval.
  2. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    That was pretty much my point. When people say "Bush lied" moderates have tended to turn off the TV because Bush comes across as a straight shooter. Not saying he always is, but that is the perception. I don't understand why the far left continues to push this made up "BusHitler is teh WORST warmongerer EVAR!!!!!1." Actually I do, it is because they are so angry at him they will resort to any name calling they can think of. What I am saying is that they do a great disservice to themselves, and make it much easier for Bush to be able to not sound crazy when he says "a vote for Dems is a win for terrorists."

    To be honest my own real change of opinion on the Iraq war didn't come from these boards, they did help me start to think, but what really changed my mind a while back was that Frontline documentary. They didn't indulge in any of the pointless namecalling and extreme versions of Eval Bush that much of the left tries to portray. They showed that Bush thought what he was doing was right, his motives weren't to destroy poor little Iraq, he just wasn't smart enough to figure out that his own preconcieved notions were getting in the way of the facts, and that some in his administration were so eager to get rid of Saddam they didn't bother to plan what the crap they were going to do with the country once he was gone.

    I think this is the message that the people have started to respond to. Sure it makes you think a lot harder than "TEH BUSH=EVAL!" but I would rather have an evil villian in charge of the country than an incompetent frat boy that thinks dropping bombs is kewl.

    As a "values voter" I have come to realize that preemptive war is far more immoral than letting gays get married. Don't get me wrong, I still think both are bad for the country. ;)
  3. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    The people who continue to associate George Bush with Hitler don't represent any part of the Democratic Party really, or at least are viewed on the same level as those who continuelly repeat 'Demorats who teh COMMUNISTZ!1!!' and view Dubyah as the greatest president...ever.

    Also, it looks just as bad, if not worse, when such people say 'a vote for Democrats is a vote for the terrorists', seeing as how that's completely inaccurate, and didn't we just go over this whole "fear tactics" issue? I've seen no evidence to support that Democrats support the terrorists, and I think it's not only disgusting and dispicable to associate the Democrats with terrorists (as the far right does), and anti-patriots, but even more unpatriotic than an opponent of the war. The people who oppose the war are typically showing that they care about their country, and standing up when your country is wrong isn't being as unpatriotic as blind support (which many on the far right do). But, I don't think this is the time and place for that debate.

    Well, at least you have can see that clearly, unlike some on the far right. ;) And we'll work on that last statement (concering that homosexuals getting married is bad for the country, which is ludicrous, but we'll save that :) ).
  4. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    Yes. Very true.
  5. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    As a "values voter" I have come to realize that preemptive war is far more immoral than letting gays get married. Don't get me wrong, I still think both are bad for the country.


    Um, I think the whole big issue with the Iraq war is that there was nothing to preempt. You know that the war wasn't nearly as widely condemned in 2003 when everyone thought that they just might have those weapons. ;)
  6. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    a very good point about hindsight being 20/20
  7. shinjo_jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 5
    Kofi Annan declares that Iraq needs a new direction, and states that it is on the verge of a civil war. Chuck Hagel is calling for a pullout of troops from Iraq. Hagel, one of the more prominent Senators on foreign affairs, has always been a vocal critic of the war, but things just got more interesting...

    It's getting ugly in the political world. ;)
  8. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    That is very true, considering in the lead up to the war when I was convinced that there were those weapons you can go back and read how neo-con I really was. Looking back I don't blame myself for supporting the war, I just realize that I was taken in by the bad intelligence and propaganda. The populace can easily be lead into war, but the leaders are in positions to stop war. Of course with the war powers act it is now the President that declares and fights the war. The thing about America is that while we are too quick to rush off to do something, eventually we do realize our mistakes. We might not remember them for long and get into a similar mess a few years later, but we now see the mistake it was to go into Iraq and will get out in the next presidential term.
  9. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Then again, the administration was taken in by bad intelligence as well. Bush in particular, because that bad intel re-enforced preconcived notions, but there were plenty of Dems and leaders of other countries that thought Saddam had WMDs or a program to get them.
  10. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    And yet, being the ones with the power to wage war, the people in charge of the country (and other countries as well) have a responsibility, a duty, to not be taken in this bad. And if they are suckered into it, then they need to admit to it. Tucker Carlson has said "I was wrong. I should never have supported the war." No one in the White House (or on Capitol Hill) is willing to say that, blaming instead the intel. "Who's more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?" That's the problem these days, no one takes responsibility for their actions.



    [face_flag]Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell: Weak on Defense![face_flag]
  11. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Now, what I will agree with there is the politicians on both sides, but especially the white house, should have been willing to admit that there were errors in judgement in how they weighted different pieces of evidence. Just because I said the administration has been unfairly criticised when it comes to them saying there were WMDs in Iraq isn't saying I don't think they should have handled things better rather than been unwilling to make concessions such as even saying "we said what we thought based on the evidence... that view was wrong"
    The stubbornness has been much more a problem because its meant that there can't be more dynamic planning in what to do regarding situations like Iraq. Its a "well, we picked a way, we can't admit we were wrong so we'll just stick with this precise path no matter where it goes"
  12. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Senator Johnson of South Dakota has reportedly suffered a stroke. All personal stuff aside, if a replacement has to be appointed, it will be done by a republican governor.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16191212/

    Is there any history of governors of one party appointing replacements from opposite parties?

    For both personal and political reasons, i sure hope he recovers.
  13. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The democrats will make sure he keeps his seat, even if he ends up one of those Futurama-style heads in a glass jar.
  14. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    It will be just like Weekend at Bernie's, except with the fate of the most powerful nation on Earth riding on it.
  15. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    KW, here's a compiled list for the all Senate replacements since 1980:
    in all those, the Governor always appointed someone of the same party. The closest to a deviation from that is that one could argue Lincoln Chafee as being not much of a Republican as he's been considered between very mderate, to only being a Republican in name for the sake of his father, whose seat he was appointed to. Similarly, Zell Miller has been associated fairly strongly with Bush, though he was a Democrat. Edward Zorinksky (Nebraska 1987) had apparently been hinting he would return to a Republican, and Harrison Williams was a resignation after a scandal.
    That said it makes for seat changes of 1 from Democrat to Independant, 2 from Republican to Democrat, and 3 from Democrat to Independent. In short, doesn't look likely that the seat won't be changed to Republican.
  16. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    It worked in Chicago during the last election, so it's not that far off. I mean, there was no Futurama head in a jar, but the board President did have a stroke just before the election.

    The answer? Just keep him in seclusion until the nom was secured. Although that entire affair was closer to Misery and not Weekend at Bernies.
  17. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    I thought this was interesting.

    It turns out that the Democratic majority in the House is wider than anything the Republicans had in the last 50 years, including the vaunted 1994 Republican win with the Contract with America.

  18. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Well, the 1994 win was significant because of the swing, not because of the resultant majority. I mean, that was 54 seats gained, as opposed to 30 for the Democrats this time around, which puts them only a couple seats higher than the majority from 1994. Also, the Democrats have had much larger majorities than this.
  19. Quixotic-Sith Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 22, 2001
    star 6
    This medical crisis is unnerving. Apparently he's in surgery now. If he is speech was altered and he had poor motor control on his right side, it might be a left side hemorrhage or encephalitis pushing on his cortex (Wernicke's or Broca's area(s) and the motor cortex). This is disconcerting.
  20. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    I hope for his sake and the sake of his family he comes out of this OK, but I have to say it doesn't look good for him.

    You really have no idea how frustrating it was back then for me and the others among the few, the proud, the ones who knew this was a crock of **** from the beginning. It's immensely gratifying on one level to have been proven right beyond my wildest dreams, though I'd gladly trade the self-satisfaction for people having listened back then before hundreds of thousands of bodies piled up...

    What kind of blows my mind, though, is that people who were leading the charge on Iraq still retain any credibility with the public at all. I mean, come on. How people who supported the war from the beginning, and who actually took all the spurious arguments of the administration seriously, have the temerity to even so much as voice a tentative opinion about the ******* weather is beyond me. You'd think that being so catatrophically wrong about such a big thing would lead someone to re-evaluate their positions on everything, but no.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    well, thats a lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle that thought there were weapons though.

    Even though I was against the war before we went in, I've been very frustrated with people that have taken the "well, thats not what we expected, so lets bail out on this". Its like breaking something by accident then just running off after saying "oops"
  22. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    Yes, well, I've never supported the Democrats because they were actually any good. It's just that I generally thought they were marginally less awful. Most of the time.

    It's frustrating to me, too. It feeds many of the worst impulses our society has, and it doesn't give enough weight to the fact that the Iraqis are now really, really screwed, and it's totally our fault.

    However, I don't know that we as a country would learn anything by staying - most of the people most in need of a wake-up call would just get more and more bitter and turn that feeling against the Iraqis, blaming them for not being able to fix their country and for not appreciating all the "help" we've given them.

    And, of course, even if we would learn something, I don't know that it's appropriate to keep our troops in their country just so our civilians back home will learn a valuable lesson about consequences and moral responsibility. It's kind of appalling to have to argue that more of them need to die so that we can learn something.

    What this comes down to is the simple question of whether or not the US presence there is making the situation worse or better. If it's making it worse, we need to pull out now, regardless of the atrocious abdication of responsibility this represents on our part. If it's making it better, we need to stay as long as it takes, despite the spiralling economic costs and the mounting body count.

    And, frankly, I have no idea which is the case, and I don't think anyone else does either.
  23. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I have to say that I was quite shocked at Sen. Johnson's situation. I hope everything turns out well for him, and I hope his family is holding up.

    I'm at work now, which is where I heard the news... I have a very good friend (a Respiratory Therapist who works here) that's a die-hard Democrat. Both she and her RT boyfriend work here, and we had time to discuss the shock of the whole thing...

    I found the opportunity to tease her relentlessly about the situation (I'm the workplace clown... [face_mischief] )... saying stuff like "God really must not like the Democrats." and "God had the last vote."... Totally joking, of course, and we were all laughing about the total irony of this situation. (BTW, we weren't laughing about the guy's unfortunate condition, but the unbelievable irony of the situation if it plays out that way.. sort of laughing in disbelief). She made it seem like she was pissed (she really wasn't, as she was smirking), and said "don't talk to me."

    I told her the "Dems can't win for losing."

    When I heard the news about a Democratic Senator being ill, at first I thought it was that old Sen. Byrd who I feel might blow away with the next strong wind...
  24. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    From what I've heard, he has suffered the rupture of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

    AVM's are usually congenital, meaning that someone is born with them. Under certain conditions, such as stress or high blood pressure, they can rupture, leading to bleeding.

    As of this morning, he is in critical condition, not because he is necessarily going to die or is close to death, but because that is generally how patients who have had invasive neurosurgery are listed. "Critical" in an ICU setting means that a certain level of care and observation are being implemented because the patient is in a state where he could die easily or suddenly, and hence he is being watched until he is "out of the woods". What does that mean? Well, over a period of the next several days if his vitals remain stable, he begins to open his eyes, and can be removed from the ventilator, his condition will be downgraded to the less serious steps on the scale.

    In terms of the effect on his function, the AVM occured in a sensitive area of the brain. However, this does not mean that his actual thinking was affected. The surgery was listed as "successful". Having participated in the anesthetic management of well over a hundred patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures, I can tell you that this means that the blood has been completely evacuated, the AVM totally removed, and the pressure on his brain alleviated.

    The degree to which he recovers will be based the length of time under which his brain was compressed (ie, how many neurons were damaged and to what extent), and how thoroughly blood flow to the area is ultimately restored. I would list his chances based on what I've heard (which of course is very limited) to be pretty good; he was described as recovering without complication, which means that there have been no unexpected swings in his blood pressure, no excess bleeding through a likely ventriculostomy tube placed in his cranial fault to drain excess blood, and certain no instances of cardiac arrest. The goal now is to get him awake and extubated, do a neurological assessment to see what the compromise has been, get him home, and begin a rehab plan.


    Now, on to how this will affect his abilities. Assuming a marginal recovery, I would believe that he could still function as a United States Senator. His recovery will still be slow, but if he makes it, it can occur. Legally, he cannot be removed. He may very well choose to step down for family considerations, but until he does, he is still occupying that seat and the democrats still control the Senate. Unless he dies or steps down before the next Congress convenes, the dems will control the committees and run the Chamber.

    I don't know much about him personally, but unless his functional compromise is severe (and for his sake and his family's sake I hope it isn't), he should eventually be able to resume his duties if he chooses with therapy. He may not be "good as new", but if his thinking is unaffected, he would be able to serve; he may just need some special accomodations if his speech is slow, for example, or he occassionally fumbles words.

    If his thinking is damaged, or his is functionally unable to communicate because of permanent aphasia (G-d forbid, that's a horrible condition), then he would probably choose to step down, as he wouldn't be able to talk to anyone.

    It's a waiting game. As of now, the dems still retain control. If he ends up like Sharon, there will be pressure to declare him incapacitated and open up the seat. But right now, no-one knows.

    Interestingly enough, the loss of Lincoln Chafee might really end up hurting the dems if they lose the Chamber. He might have been a crossover vote on legislation that Bush wants but the dems don't. The remaining lines will now be more partisan than ever if the hands change again, and Bush might very well try and push aspects of his agenda with his razor-thin margin just to try and ram things through.

    Talk about hair-raising....this is better than any movie!

    Peace,

    V-03
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    That's not entirely accurate.

    The 17th Amendment has this to say about replacing a vacancy in the Senate:
    When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
    Note carefully that it doesn't say anything about how that vacancy can be created. Obviously it would include death or resignation, but it doesn't limit it to that.

    As with other terms like that in the Constitution, it falls to the US Code to flesh out the definition. This is what it has to say on the matter (2 USC 8):
    The time for holding elections in any State, District, or Territory for a Representative or Delegate to fill a vacancy, whether such vacancy is caused by a failure to elect at the time prescribed by law, or by the death, resignation, or incapacity of a person elected, may be prescribed by the laws of the several States and Territories respectively.
    Under the US Code, he can be legally removed for incapacity (although I believe it would require a vote of the Senate to do so, and that would likely be along party lines).

    Kimball Kinnison
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