Voting 2008...

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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby Graybeard » October 1st, 2012, 5:09 pm

Thanks for digging up those blasts from the past. May I quote one of my own? It has both an on-target component, and at least in my opinion, a very wide miss.
Graybeard wrote:If so, it's not much longer a stretch to see him taking on the Chickie as a running mate in the sense of "taking one for the team." I am reminded of the Mondale-Ferraro ticket of 1984. They didn't have a snowball's chance against a wildly popular Ronald Reagan, but somebody had to be the Democrats' nominee -- and vice-nominee. The groundbreaking step of nominating a woman as Vice Presidential candidate happened at a time when that woman had to know she wasn't going to win. By nominating the Chickie, the Republicans can now say, "hey, we're equal opportunity here" -- even as they throw her under the bus as soon as some conveniently egregious malfeasance comes to the fore. And they'll have saved their real candidates for 2012, when Obama is going to look lousy for not cleaning up 100% of the messes he's been bequeathed.

And no, I don't normally come across as a conspiracy theorist. Just check me out on one thing: watch to see how the Republican hard-core views Sarah Palin over the next two years.

Last things first: I think we may see in this election a subtle distinction between the "Republican hard-core" and the conservative hard core, which are often viewed as identical. Their treatment of the Chickie makes it clear that they are not. The conservative hard core continues to worship at her feet as she makes the rubber-chicken rounds, but the Republican hard core indeed became much more stand-offish after the election, and has done little to engage her in any electioneering that has real content to it (for obvious reasons). I think I got this one basically right.

However, I really screwed up on the "real candidates for 2012" part. The prediction about Obama and not cleaning up 100% of the messes is sound, but can anybody honestly describe any of the Republicans who got close to the nomination this year as "real candidates"? They were bloody embarrassments, every last one of 'em. And it isn't because the Republican Party is completely devoid of people with half a brain. Living in the state where Gary Johnson was governor, I will grudgingly concede that he is a surprisingly capable guy who would have met my criteria for being a "real candidate." Of course, his own party actively declined to take him seriously as one. There must be others. Surely there must be. Mustn't there?
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby mindstalk » October 1st, 2012, 5:55 pm

Arguably not. The GOP, especially the Tea Party wing, has been busily engaged in purging intelligence, honesty, and compromise from the party. It has challenged Richard Lugar and Orrin Hatch as insufficiently conservative! (Successfully, for Lugar.) When your policies require denying science on an increasing number of points, and are aimed to benefit the top 0.1% without even a figleaf for the rest of the voters -- who, nonetheless, do vote -- and your partly leader openly vows that sabotaging the President is his most important goal, then you kind of don't have any room for smart and principled people. Just demagogues and nutcases. Fortunately the supply of good demagogues seems weak.

(Of course, most successful demagogues have something to offer the masses. Amazingly, Reagan got away with trickle-down.)
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby Graybeard » October 1st, 2012, 6:06 pm

Point taken. I'd forgotten about the purging of Lugar (whose co-sponsorship of the "Nunn-Lugar Act" back after the collapse of the USSR showed the man had some insight and principles, did some good things for reducing the nuclear danger, and incidentally, paid my salary for several years). I'm not sure he would have made a good president, but he was a mensch and a stand-up guy with something between his ears other than dollar bills and IOUs to the Far Right.
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby mindstalk » October 1st, 2012, 6:15 pm

Right.
I don't know much about Hatch, but my impression is "way too conservative, but still some reputation for decency and collegiality." So they tried to bump him off. Lincoln Chafee faced a challenge from the right, squeaking through his primary with only 53%. Lisa Murkowski had to run (and win) as an independent.

Jon Huntsman, who's actually fairly conservative, is considered a RINO.

And to not be a RINO you have to deny global warming, deny the effectiveness of economic stimulus or government investment in general, probably pander to Creationists, also pander to Birthers now, say you're going to balance the budget without raising taxes... it's check your brain at the door time.

As for Johnson, I don't know. But the race already had one libertarian with his own built-in popularity base.
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby Graybeard » November 1st, 2012, 9:51 am

So here we are, with one week to go. Has anything changed in the basic assessments here? I don't think so.

Weird, to watch Christie and Obama touring the Sandy carnage together as colleagues and partners -- precisely as both of them should -- to a background of quiet grumbling by the Republicans looking for some way to turn it into a stick to beat the President with. I wonder just how much damage Christie has done to his future presidential aspirations with these photo ops. Well, it wouldn't be the first time that a politician's quest for higher office has run afoul of his own desire to do the right thing.
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby Graybeard » November 17th, 2012, 1:05 pm

So with it all in the can now, any additional thoughts on what happened this time around?

I continue to see all manner of news items that suggest to me that the Republicans honestly have no clue as to why they lost, and some of the reasons that they think are why they lost are getting Way Out There. Note, incidentally, that I have some professional experience/expertise with the Delphi method; it is hardly a means of "mind control," quite the contrary, it is a normal and legitimate (if imperfect) way of iteratively harnessing the collective input of independent experts to create consensus-based predictions. The "independent experts" is the key point and is about as far from mind control as it can get. These guys not only can't get the attribution right, they can't even say anything sensible about what the thing is that they're protesting against. And this may not even be the weirdest attempt for them to justify themselves.

Further thoughts on this election would be welcome before it once again slips from the collective ADHD state that is known as the American public consciousness for four years. My feelings are almost exactly as they were four years ago: I feel sorry for the poor sap that's gotta clean up this mess.
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby Imp-Chan » November 18th, 2012, 5:08 am

Over the last four years, I've come to the conclusion that I actually like Obama. I think at heart he's an idealist, and that makes him both a good person to have in office and a weak president, but in general I like how he thinks. He'd be a more effective president if he had an utterly unprincipled enforcer at his back, someone or a group of someones willing and able to twist arms to the breaking point among the milling flock that is congress in order to get cooperation and results, but still. I like Obama, he seems like a person to me, and I have a lot of respect for any politician who can pull that off.

This is not to say that I agree with the man on every point, but I think his overall direction is a positive one and I'm willing to budge on the points where I disagree in order to accomplish the other stuff.

Also, it's pretty cool that they legalized pot and gay marriage in a few places, though it will almost certainly result in my becoming extremely ill when I go to FGC Gathering in Colorado next summer. Why they can't restrict environmental pollutants to private property instead of forbidding them in private businesses while allowing them on public thoroughfares, I do not understand, but I wish I could walk down the street without choking on smoke.

In local elections, I had only a handful of ballot issues to vote. I voted yes for tax levies to help schools, old people, and crazy folks, no on a thinly veiled excuse for fucking with the voting districts, and yes to a review of the Ohio constitution... something that I did not previously realize was an option, but have been saying would be good at a national level for YEARS. I randomized my judge selections because I think a variety of opinions on the bench is good for the system... but I also overwhelmingly voted for women, regardless of their politics. It seems a lot of contested laws these days relate to women's health, so women should probably be the ones deciding about them.

Also, these maps and others like them make me much happier than the standard red/blue map, but I still want to see one that is pure pointillism, with each vote at each polling location represented by a single dot, so that zoomed out the picture includes negative space where population is not, and shows a naturally shaded purple representing actual votes, as well.

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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby Graybeard » October 11th, 2016, 4:24 pm

For old time's sake, I was reviewing this thread to compare politics of the day with what we were seeing and saying eight years ago, and noticed this gem from Impy:
Imp-Chan wrote:That said, he [McCain -- GB] was clearly deranged when he accepted That Woman as his running mate, and I suspect substantial amounts of campaign money and underlying desperation were involved in the decision, not just to accept her but to shift the entire campaign in that direction. Palin was, indeed, a death knell for that campaign. I don't think I've EVER seen an individual in politics become such an effective lightening rod for loathing so fast. The sad thing is she still thinks she's got a future in politics after this.


(My emphasis added.) Uh, still feel that way, my friend?
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Re: Voting 2008...

Postby kaitou » October 20th, 2016, 4:08 pm

Palin must be sad that she is now in third place...
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