Senate Where are all the good politicians?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by SuperWatto, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Well?
    Who hid them?

    I don't have them. My government is sorely lacking in spirit, knowledge, or insight...
    The US doesn't appear to have them. They can't even seem to find a qualified person that wants to be president.
    The EU, oh man. What a disaster. Bunch of nerd herders if ever I saw one. People that can't put two and two together are putting thousands of billions in crisis funds.

    So what's going on? How come we seem to live in a time without political heavyweights?

    Whoever knows the answer is hereby qualified to run for president.
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'd say President Obama is a decent politician, even in face of the fact that alot of the good things he's done doesn't really make the spotlight-the effective dismantling of AQ as a coherent organization and the revitalization of the US-PacRim countries relationship, plus the resumption of the USA's traditional role in NATO, for three. Also, one has to consider that prior to 1973 and Watergate, alot of the...less than great, shall we say, actions of Presidents/Senators/etc didn't ever become public knowledge due to media collusion that doesn't really happen as much anymore.

    I kinda suspect the Cold War was a major, major factor in bipartisan politics, as well; one didn't want to get squabbling over irrelevant nonsense for fear of being legitimately accused of not caring about the Big Bad across the border. That's gone now, and IMO to our countries' detriment.
  3. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    First, define "good politician."



    Do you mean ethical?

    Or do you mean competent?

    Or do you mean politicians who know how to lead?

    Or do you mean politicians who know how to inspire?

    Or do you mean politicians who are brave enough to go against public opinion and other politicians to do what must be done?

    Or do you mean politicians who will do anything to be super-popular?

    Or do you mean something else?
  4. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Competent, knowing how to lead, knowing how to inspire.
  5. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    So, you want a competent demagogue?

    ;)
  6. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    You don't have to be a demagogue to lead and inspire.
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Obama deserves more credit for being ethical. At least so far, he hasn't had the personal ethical problems of Clinton or the business ethical problems (Plame leak) of the Bush administration. Those things are important although of course by itself it hasn't made him a good leader.
  8. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    All the good politicians have real jobs in trade and industry where they make squillions.
  9. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Yes, that's what I'm afraid of. So how do we get them back to where we really need them?
  10. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I guess you have to examine why somebody would want a career in politics in the first place. What does politics offer which you can't get in the real world? The corporate world rewards inspired leadership much better than the political world. The corporate world wields much of the power in terms of support for or opposition to legislative platforms. Corporate CEOs can't commit a country to war but they weild a hell of a lot of personal power.

    I'm a bit of a cynic, but I consider politics to be like the priesthood - a refuge for losers who can't function in the real world. Of course there are notable exceptions, but that is the vibe I am getting from my political representatives.

    Even the lure of the warm and fuzzy notion of doing 'public service' has somewhat soured in this new era of extreme political polarisation, particularly in the United States.

    I believe that if politics wasn't so grubby you'd have better class of politicians.
  11. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    I still believe most politicians are well intentioned. But their actions are magnified due to the nature of their job position.

    It's more systemic than anything.
  12. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    So I guess they'd get more of a fair chance if we start putting all the gossip about business men in newspapers. Right?
  13. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    I think you might've just grazed the essence of the problem, there. I don't think it's necessarily that there are fewer inspirational politicians capable of leadership today, but that it's harder for people to be led and inspired. Inspiration is easy, as is the illusion of competency. Leading an immaculate life isn't. If there is anything even remotely questionable in a politician's or candidate's history (to say nothing of outright illegal), it's more or less inevitable that the whole country will find out sooner or later (given how many people are looking), and the modern electorate isn't exactly inclined to be forgiving. I can think of more than a few people who did quite well in the past despite things that would today almost certainly be career-sinkers.

    Every word they speak will be examined and deconstructed from a dozen or more different points of a view within hours of being spoken, and those analyses will be plastered over the front page of every major news source within a day. No matter how they vote or what decisions they make, their histories will be criticized. Loudly. By many voices. Perceived hypocrisy or inconsistency, real or imagined, will be pounced upon with great vigor. Doesn't matter whether or not people want to pay attention, they're going to be bombarded with it, and it's a bit hard to be inspired by someone when half of everything you hear is doing its utmost to deconstruct their lives. Past politicians have had similar problems, certainly, but not on a scale quite like this, I think.

    Ignorance is, as they say, bliss.
  14. LtNOWIS Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    There are also a lot of spouses and other family members who don't wish to live under a microscope, which is why Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels didn't run this cycle.
  15. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Why is it that I see this thread and all I can ask myself is where are the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?

    Sorry but I can't take this one serious. I mean really good politicians. Thats like impossible to find.

  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    This. I also think that they take their good intentions to DC and then realize what kind of sneaky underhanded "Whose corporate ass do I need to kiss next?" political games that they need to play to survive there, and then become one of the corrupt politicians that we complain about.

    I think it was Jimmy Carter who mentioned in one of his books that DC makes everyone corrupt.
  17. icqfreak Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 1999
    star 4
    Russ Feingold was a GREAT politician, until the idiots from my state voted him out a year ago.
  18. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    This. I also think that they take their good intentions to DC and then realize what kind of sneaky underhanded "Whose corporate ass do I need to kiss next?" political games that they need to play to survive there, and then become one of the corrupt politicians that we complain about.

    I think it was Jimmy Carter who mentioned in one of his books that DC makes everyone corrupt.


    Funny since Obama is probably the most ethical president since Jimmy Carter; which doesn't necessarily mean he's an uber-ethical guy: it's a relative sort of thing. And you know, that doesn't necessarily mean he's a better president than some LESS ethical guys. Bush Snr. was probably less ethical -- but probably not by much, and I think he was still the better president (although also not by a whole lot).

    I think the issue of corruption might indeed be summed up by your phrase: "'Whose corporate ass do I need to kiss next? political games that they need to play to survive there". The phrase 'need to play to survive' is probably key.

    Think for a moment if you're an ideal young person wanting to make a difference in Washington and you've won a seat in congress. Ok, so already you're almost guarenteed to be beholden to one of two parties. And people within those parties have helped you get to where you are. Before you even begin, you owe people.

    Now do you want to take down a special interest? Well ok, but you've got little to no clout, here. You're going to need help to get that moving. The only way to get help is to make friends. And those friends are going to want something in return. And not only that, but they're going to want you to accept whatever gifts they give you. It's like living on the streets: if you don't join a gang eventually, you're just a waiting victim. And going on a crusade without joining a gang just means you're a target and assured a single term with nobody much noticing you've left DC when it happens. After all, the other party will push to beat you (perhaps ironically with an idealist of their own), and if you don't play the game, your party will not push to save you.

    Maybe the only answer, if corruption is really what you want to break, is what people allege of the Kennedys, or rather, Bobby Kennedy: that you cowtow to corruption as long as you have to and then, when you get into a position of great enough power, promptly start backstabbing your former 'friends' (Mafia, Hoover, etc.) in what time you get to put some real change in place.

    I don't know if that was ever true of Bobby Kennedy -- it certainly wasn't true of Jack Kennedy -- but it's a plan that could work in theory, at least.

    Funny though that I think there was a conspiracy to kill JFK but that RFK really was the victim of a lone gunman. You'd think it would be the other way around.
  19. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Sadly I think you're right, and because of that, I understand on some level the libertarians who want the least amount of power concentrated in Washington as possible.

    On your Bush 41 comparison, I would add that Bill Clinton is probably the slimiest (for lack of a better word) man to hold office since the Kennedys, but he was a damn good President.
  20. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Nixon was pretty slimy himself -- it was just in different ways. And JFK was mostly a philanderer (and he certainly didn't make waves like his brother did -- most of the waves he made was BECAUSE of Bobby) but I think... think... that's where it mostly ended for him. I've never heard tell that he had any secret slush funds or anything since he didn't need them, though there may have been voter fraud. It was his Dad who was the key figure in the underhanded dealings, but JFK was not necessarily his father. That said, he was probably more of a womanizer than even Bill Clinton; I think Clinton actually established extramarital relationships whereas JFK was even less invested in who he fooled around with.

    And I think Bobby Kennedy was honest enough, and had a core sense of values. He wasn't exactly faithful either, though.

    The most ethical presidents before Obama going backward were probably back-to-back: Ford and Carter. I know each may have been involved in covering up things (Ford particularly), but at least it was OTHER people's messes. I don't think they created many of their own. Their terms in office were sort of boring... a good indication that the voters picked an ok guy.


    And for the record, I think all the modern presidents are downright saints compared to LBJ. I have really dark suspicions about that guy. People go on and on about Nixon -- and Nixon was a thoroughly dishonest, rabid badger of a politician -- but I suspect that morally he was actually a step UP from his predecessor.
  21. Nagai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2010
    star 3

    It wouldnt suprise me if the Larry Sinclar affair was true and they used the fact that he knew little about lie detectors.

    Could a robot be elected pres? I mean if Google can one day make self-driving cars...
  22. Game3525 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2008
    star 4
    Bobby was fairly clean....besides maybe Cuba. And your right about his brother, he was simply a play boy but he wasn't unethical like LBJ or NIxon.

    The really corrupt bastard of the Kennedy family was Papa Joe.:p
  23. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Bobby was fairly clean....besides maybe Cuba. And your right about his brother, he was simply a play boy but he wasn't unethical like LBJ or NIxon.

    The really corrupt bastard of the Kennedy family was Papa Joe.



    Bobby was driven and pushy, which earned him few friends in the corridors of power. JFK wasn't really that driven, but had a presence publicly. On a personal level though, JFK was a pretty shameless womanizer. Bobby had his affairs too, but they were fewer.

    But, Bobby was really rare. He was someone who actually did have these ideas on what he thought government policy should be. He really did want to change things for the better. Maybe JFK did too, but Bobby actually walked the walk. I mean, it was Bobby himself who, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, might have literally saved the world (although the American Ambassador to the Soviet Union helped a lot too).

    Nixon is a very odd guy. The man had NO extra-marital affairs. He was actually faithful, although his first love was power. The guy was a bit unhinged and had anxiety issues. He was also undeniably ethically corrupt. But if you look at his career, the man was also BRILLIANT. He did a lot of awful and shameless things, but he knew what he was doing.


    LBJ was... I don't know, some of the things I've heard about him make my stomach turn. All his best ideas and policies seem to have come from JFK... which probably means they have a lot of their roots in Bobby, and Bobby HATED the guy (and LBJ hated him right back). I have trouble reconciling the stories Bill Moyers and Bob McNamara tell of a decent and wearied man with those of a bully and possible criminal. At least the Nixon stories are all consistent.
  24. CloneUncleOwen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2009
    star 4
    [image=http://i.saucesome.net/Bo2.gif]

    Squi-doodly-diddly-dillions!!!!!!
  25. heels1785 Jedi Draft Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2003
    star 6
    While I agree that Obama has appeared to be a very good man, ethically, I would like to see how this Solyndra mess pans out before we see if he can evade the "business/ethical problems" tag. As in the case of the Plame leak, it doesn't necessarily require the President himself to be solely responsible for his legacy to take a hit. I recall one of my Poli Sci professors in college giving a lecture on the "curse of the 2nd term," and if you look back, it really has been quite accurate. I hope, if the President is re-elected, he can buck that trend.

    And I lost total faith in trusting politicians the afternoon that the only one who I thought was truly good- whose campaigns and inaugurations I worked for and attended- failed me miserably by disappearing from the South Carolina state house into the "Appalachians."