US Presidential Election 2012

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Orwell on Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:57 pm

Oooh... esoterica, or what? Very Happy (And to think, Petty has come up with something very "off-the-wall". Amazing -- him being - usually - such a dull-witted fellow. No encryptions. Petty knows I'm only trying to help him! Very Happy )

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:13 pm

And so Perry takes his bow and exits stage left leaving four behind! The field is getting steadily narrower. I'm not quite sure I understand this process afterall- at this rate there will be only one or two left by the end of it- I thought the point was they all made their case then the Republican members voted based on that and there was a winner- is the idea rather the process wittles it down to one left standing?

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:28 pm

It used to work more the way you describe, but with the ever-increasing costs of running a campaign the candidates are more and more dependent on large sponsors, who can be very fickle and usually want to back a winner. When a perspective candidate isn't performing as hoped, the money he's been pledged starts moving to better performers.

Couple that with the ever-more-sophisticated polling techniques which allow the major donors to pick the most likely winner weeks or months in advance, and all that's left to do at the National Convention is a grand theatrical production. But that's why they've been parading the clowns anyway. It builds the sense of theater and gives Mitt some sparring partners to practice on before the presidential election.

Does it make sense now? Rolling Eyes
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:31 pm

Yeah it does- but in a really sad, grim sort of a way! Sad Doesn't America like to style itself as the 'World's Greatest Democracy'?- this doesn't really look like democracy to me- it looks like money deciding who is left to vote for.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:51 pm

It really does work in an ass-backwards kind of way. The presidential election still is still strongly influenced by the popular vote, and any prospective candidate has to be able to generate broad popular support or he isn't going to be able to convince the big money that he's a good investment.

Neither the Democrats or the Republicans have a majority, and the minor parties are all marginalized, so for any candidate to be viable they've got to be able to bring in votes from the independents, some of which are centrist and some of which are lunatic fringe. By parading the clowns during the state primary elections etc. they're testing the waters. If they see a grass roots movement like the Tea Party or the Occupy folks they start experimenting with their platform to see if they can broaden their base.

I don't know about "World's Greatest Democracy". I like to think of it as an old Ford tractor. It's not the most efficient and it breaks down a lot, but it's easy to work on and you can keep it running with a few simple tools plus some haywire and duct tape. pig
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:51 pm

What's wrong with all the candidates going to a state holding town hall meetings, hustings etc, doing the tv debates and everyone voting- no advertising, no campaign funds- just them debating and explaiinig to the voters then the voters deciding?
There is a cap in Scotland (and I think UK parliament too) on how much a party is allowed to spend on a campaign to prevent this sort of thing- perhaps an idea the US should consider.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Eldorion on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:59 pm

The primaries are really just warm-up. As David points out, the general election is more democratic, though obviously the money involved still skews everything and the electoral system functions in such a way as to exclude all parties other than the main two. (This is especially true of the media, who only invite the Republican and Democratic candidates to debates and report on them almost exclusively.) But the purpose of the primaries is to weed out the weak and fringe candidates. Until the mid-1900s this was done through backroom deals by party power-brokers, and to an extent that's still true. When there's an upset, such as Obama successfully challenging Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2008, there is a lot of backlash. The Clinton campaign is the origin of a lot of the smears against Obama that Republicans now use, such as calling him a secret Muslim (earlier, Republicans were harping on Rev. Wright, if anyone remembers him) and claiming that he was born outside the U.S. (and would thus be barred from the Presidency).

In the end, though, even if some Americans like to say that we're the greatest democracy in the world, no one who knows anything about the American political system could agree. Even if you have a favorable opinion of it, the system is simply not all that democratic. It was deliberately designed to isolate political power from the great masses of ordinary people. These barriers have been steadily eroded away since the early decades of the nation, but many are still in place. Compared to many other contemporary first-world democracies, the United States is far less democratic and more republican (in the classical senses of those words, not referring to the parties) in its form of government.

As for Perry, good riddance to bad rubbish. I hope Santorum is the next to go.
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:04 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:What's wrong with all the candidates going to a state holding town hall meetings, hustings etc, doing the tv debates and everyone voting- no advertising, no campaign funds- just them debating and explaiinig to the voters then the voters deciding?
Thats how it works in state elections, but for federal elections it's just hard to reach out to 300 million people spread across most of a continent. The media is necessary. There used to be a rule called the Fairness Doctrine:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine
that tried to ensure fair coverage. Unfortunately it started being gutted under the Reagan administration and is still under attack. Then the late 80's and 90's brought us an Ausie right-wing media mogul named Murdock (you may have heard of him Rolling Eyes ) who built the FOX network and quickly took control of something like 90% of the cable news content by fielding a host of entertainer/commentators who will make any outrageous claim as long as it generates controversy and ratings. This has lowered the tone of debate to the point where any candidate who wants a national career has to spend more on public relations and image than on real issues. And so it degenerates to a war of $$$$. [end of rant]

There is a cap in Scotland (and I think UK parliament too) on how much a party is allowed to spend on a campaign to prevent this sort of thing- perhaps an idea the US should consider.

We have this too, partly thanks to John McCain, but it's constantly under attack too, and the loopholes are now so big that it's almost meaningless.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipartisan_Campaign_Reform_Act

The recent Supreme Court ruling in "Citizens United V. FEC" that recently determined that corporations are citizens and dollars are free speech was part of the challenge to the McCain/Feingold Act. That's no got both the extreme Left and the extreme Right in agreement for once. Twisted Evil
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:42 am

I am watching a live feed from fox news waiting on Santorum to make a speech- its fascinating- as its just been all setting up so far- practice waving the banners, being directed when to hold them up, when not to. And this horrible rythmic chanting of 'we pick Rick' which reminds me of the self induced hypnosis of 1984's B B chant- although its not a fear filling as the ghastly U S A chant all sides indulge in and which would be such a good accompaniement to the sound of marching boots.
But the thing that struck me more was those leading the chanting, those leading cheering were predominatly female voices (although females did not appear to make up the majortiy in the room). Its something in 1984 Orwell highlights - that women were always the most zealous adherents. I always thought as an observation it was a little sexist- now I'm now so sure as this is not the first time I have noticed this.

ps Santorum sounds like he is bowing out and backing Newt.

ps Looking like its a comfortable win for Gingrich in South Carolina- 40% of the vote compared to 2nd place Romney on 27%- although those are exit polls but if they hold up then the noimination is definetly not in the bag for Romney.


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:12 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Orwell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:56 am

What was that?

(1) Work?
(2) Education?
(3) Marriage before any child bearing?

No wonder the ladies are swooning. Very Happy

He didn't mention two articles of the Conservative Faith - so I'll put them in.

(4) Faith and (5) Guns.

Now, if women don't know their place by now, they never will. Oh how happy they'll be when Rick is President. Back in the kitchen - at risk at getting shot if they complain. The good old days, what. Very Happy


(That black guy's looking better all the time. And he can hold a tune too!)


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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:13 am

So now it's down to basically a two horse race. Anybody but Newt and Mitt who continues is just using it as a springboard for something else (look how much money Sarah Palin made with a failed VP campaign). Mitt is favored in the next 3 primaries.

The strategists will be supporting Mitt if they believe there's a real chance of beating Obama, as he's the only one of the two that has any chance of taking votes away from Obama's moderate base. If Gingrich gets the Republican nomination it means that they've given up on the presidency for this round and are focusing on energizing their conservative base, especially in the South, with an eye toward taking more congressional seats.

Meanwhile the press is covering the whole election like a sporting event, which it really is, and all the real issues will have to wait till after the game is over.
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Orwell on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:18 am

Nothing new. At least we've had a taste of Obama and know what we're getting.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:59 pm


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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Orwell on Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:55 pm

lol!

I love it!


Newt: How dare you remind the Nation of my Immoral Life! I'll make sure that kind of Immoral public reminiscence is Prescribed by Law when I get in! You must think of me as your Perfect Big Brother! God Bless America.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:21 pm

"The main breeding season for newts is between the months of June and July. After courtship rituals of varying complexity, which take place in ponds or slow moving streams, the male newt transfers a spermatophore which is taken up by the female."
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:07 am

Q: You caused a stir in the Middle East by calling the Palestinians "an invented people." The chief Palestinian negotiator said, "These statements of Gingrich will be the ammunition of the bin Ladens and the extremists for a long, long time."

GINGRICH: How would he know the difference? Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth: These people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. It's time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, "Enough lying about the Middle East."

Really America? This is who you want forming your foreign policy? Mad

At least theres another option:

Q: How would you approach the new reality for our ally, Israel, and the existential threats it faces from Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah?

ROMNEY: Very simple. You start off by saying that you don't allow an inch of space to exist between you and your friends and your allies. The president went about this all wrong. He went around the world and apologized for America. He addressed the United Nations in his inaugural address and chastised our friend, Israel, for building settlements. The right course for us is to stand behind our friends, to listen to them, and to let the entire world know that we will stay with them and that we will support them and defend them.'

Maybe not then!

I have a question for the American hobbits here- what is meant by American Exceptionalism as used in the following?;

In a world composed of nations that are filled with rage and hate for the US, our president should proudly defend her rather than continually apologize for her. I reject the view that America must decline. I believe in American exceptionalism. -Romney

Cause to my ears that sounds a bit like a Nazi Master Race thing going on there.

And surely 'in a world composed of nations that are filled with rage and hate for the US' the pertinent question is why do they hate us? Not how can we get our own way some more.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:12 am

American exceptionalism is the idea that the United States as a nation is fundamentally different -- and better -- from the rest of the world. Not only is it the biggest, baddest, most powerful, most hard-working country in the world (though American exceptionalists generally believe such things), but it is in an existential way different. It's generally agreed-upon in certain circles that America is "the land of the free and the home of the brave", and that no other country is as free or brave as America. Furthermore, the American political and economic system(s) are the best ever devised, period. To American exceptionalists there is simply no way to legitimately dislike America because anything America does is self-evidently right. The rest of the world either wants to be American (this is a disturbingly common assumption made about Europe) or is consumed by jealousy for America (which is the real reasons why Nazis, Communists, and Islamists all fought against America at one point or another).

Even in its extreme form this is still worryingly widespread, but watered down and/or partial forms of this philosophy permeate virtually every corner of American politics to a greater or lesser degree. In the mainstream parties it is worst with Republicans, who seen to often try to one-up each other by praising America in the most hyperbolic terms possible.
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 5:17 am

Ah, so it is a nazi master race thing then! Shocked

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Tue Jan 24, 2012 7:30 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Ah, so it is a nazi master race thing then! Shocked

Not Nazis. They were amateurs at global domination. These guys are looking to the REAL pros: "The sun never sets on the British Empire," Opium Wars to support the British East India Co. (how dare they not buy your drugs! Mad ) etc. It's a proven business model, and you guys seem to not be using it anymore, right? So why shouldn't it be our turn? farao

Seriously, Eldo stated the position well. This is the kind of ultra-nationalism that you can find in almost any country, certainly in England, and possibly even in Scotland. In the USA before WWII it was expressed as isolationism. This was the group that believed that we should restrict immigration to the wealthy, provide no foreign aid, and fight no wars unless we were actually invaded first. After the war it became clear to the Extreme Right that the rest of the world actually had some things we wanted, and so xenophobic isolationism slowly morphed into xenophobic imperialism pig. It's as simple as that really.

What's scarier is the neo-conservatives who pander to them, like Dick Cheney and friends. They may or may not believe the world is out to get them, but they certainly understand the power that comes from inspiring xenophobia in others. OK, I guess maybe THEY are nazis Banghead

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Orwell on Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:15 am

Eldorion wrote:American exceptionalism is the idea that the United States as a nation is fundamentally different -- and better -- from the rest of the world. Not only is it the biggest, baddest, most powerful, most hard-working country in the world (though American exceptionalists generally believe such things), but it is in an existential way different. It's generally agreed-upon in certain circles that America is "the land of the free and the home of the brave", and that no other country is as free or brave as America. Furthermore, the American political and economic system(s) are the best ever devised, period. To American exceptionalists there is simply no way to legitimately dislike America because anything America does is self-evidently right. The rest of the world either wants to be American (this is a disturbingly common assumption made about Europe) or is consumed by jealousy for America (which is the real reasons why Nazis, Communists, and Islamists all fought against America at one point or another).

I am a great admirer of America, but this kind of attitude cerrtainly tests my admiration.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by David H on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:33 pm

Orwell wrote:
I am a great admirer of America, but this kind of attitude cerrtainly tests my admiration.

mine too
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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:12 pm

I admired America a lot more when I knew less about it. The more I find out the more horrifying it seems to become. Honestly if it wasn't for the Americans I interact with directly here I would probably have despaired of the whole place by now.

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Ringdrotten on Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:30 pm


Laughing

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:31 pm

lol!

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Re: US Presidential Election 2012

Post by Eldorion on Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:12 am

Laughing

The strange thing is, even the Republican base is starting to disapprove of Romney's unearned riches and low taxes. I think that is saying something! Shocked
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