U.S. Republican Primary

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KnightExemplar
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:47 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Saying the US is out of Iraq because "security contractors" are used instead of soldiers is like a mafia boss saying that the hitman hired to kill you wasn't part of his family so you should stop complaining...

And can anyone explain the difference between hitmen and mercenaries? Excuse me, "security contractors". "Security contractors" are just hitmen with heavier equipment, right?


US Troops would have been immune to Iraqi law. Contractors, as far as I know, will be held responsible.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/world ... ctors.html

Those who have greater insight into this... please prove me wrong / prove me right.

Still, the number of American contractors in Iraq is much much lower since the writing of that article. And in the Iraqi war, there always were more contractors than troops as far as I can remember (EDIT: Woah boy, I'm an idiot. Didn't say nothing stupid here....). I don't think things are as bad as you make them sound. Obviously, there are the oversight issues with contractors, and I do think bringing troops home and declaring it over is a bit premature when we still have such a large presense of contractors.

I'm also ignorant in who actually controls the contractors. From what I can see, there's a lot of talk about the State Department controlling them... and not the DoD. That implies that the CIA, NSA, Navy, Marines, Army, etc. etc. are all out. I'm pretty sure that "contractors" will have smaller guns in comparison, no matter how you try to twist the story. (But the previous article I mentioned shows that the DoD did have contractors of their own. I just haven't seen any news on them. I'm not sure if DoD contractors would have military support either...)
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:14 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:52 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Saying the US is out of Iraq because mercenaries are used instead of soldiers is like a mafia boss saying that the hitman hired to kill you wasn't part of his family so you should stop complaining...

In the end I guess it depends on to what extent you consider an oversized embassy to still be a military presence. The actual terms of our relationship with Iraq have changed (see KE's ninja post above mine that I just saw when I hit preview), and it still represents a significant down-sizing in total force size, so I do consider it a proper withdrawal.

CorruptUser wrote:And can anyone explain the difference between hitmen and mercenaries? Mercenaries are just hitmen with heavier equipment, right?

Hitmen are meant to intimidate or assassinate, generally being associated with illegal activities, mercenaries are hired to act as soldiers, supplementing your already existing forces. If you don't see any difference between a soldier and a hitman, then, sure "just hitmen with heavier equipment". Similar in that they both take money to perform actions that relate to violence, they're not quite the same.

Cathy wrote:There are some parts of Paul's stances that I definitely want, like ending the War on Drugs and less World's Policeman... but he has too many other views that fly in the face of my personal stances for me to seriously consider switching my vote to him.

In the lesser of two evil categories, Paul's not top of my list.

This is basically how I feel, though I'm pretty sure I've said so already.

I was thinking earlier, actually, and one of the side effects that'd be nice about a lot of those positions- being able to cut military of police funding and redirect it to more worthwhile causes, such as science or healthcare- would not occur with Paul, as he'd just be cutting the funding. Which would still be an improvement, mind you.

KnightExemplar wrote:On the other hand, the Ronpaul's attitudes often sound like dangerous isolationism to me. At least based on the debates that I've seen, he goes as far as to say we shouldn't even be sending in Spy Drones into Iran to keep tabs on their nuclear program.

Eh, I'd be against outright isolationism, but I do feel we've gone way, way, way, too far in the opposite direction. A lot of our oversized military funding is to the benefit of the rest of our western allies, such as the NATO members. The basic goals we'd have throughout the world that our military power gives us would still be accomplished, just it'd be with a mix of US, British, Canadian, etc. military power. Obviously, we also get to have even more of our goals projected with our military the way it is, but the important, basic goals would still be accomplished one way or the other, as they matter to the rest of the west too.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:55 am UTC

Yeah, in the ideal case, I want see the Ronpaul as a critical influence on the election year and politics. I just don't want him running the show >_< If I were Republican, I'd vote for him in the primary, and then probably vote for Obama in the general election. Lol.

Frankly, it is ridiculous that we have a military budget thats on par to inflation-adjusted Cold War era military budgets. Sure, spend a bit on terrorism, but wtf?
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LtNOWIS » Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:38 am UTC

It all depends on the mission. If they're just escorting State Department personnel and protecting the embassy, then I don't see why people would have a problem. Although I wouldn't be surprised if we're still providing police trainers and other experts for the Iraqis.

I've never heard of contractors going out on patrols on their own, seeking out bad guys, manning checkpoints, or searching areas, all of which are pretty fundamental to actually fighting a war like this. But of course, the US military in Iraq hasn't done any of that for many months now either. In other words, I highly doubt any security contractors are going to do anything proactively violent, but rather act like the security guards they are.


KnightExemplar wrote:(But the previous article I mentioned shows that the DoD did have contractors of their own. I just haven't seen any news on them. I'm not sure if DoD contractors would have military support either...)

The DoD has contractors everywhere, even in the US. Someone needs to mow lawns, serve food, build and maintain facilities, guard gates, and so forth, and soldiers generally have better things to do. There are also technical experts and the like.

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CorruptUser
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:43 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:And can anyone explain the difference between hitmen and mercenaries? Mercenaries are just hitmen with heavier equipment, right?

Hitmen are meant to intimidate or assassinate, generally being associated with illegal activities, mercenaries are hired to act as soldiers, supplementing your already existing forces. If you don't see any difference between a soldier and a hitman, then, sure "just hitmen with heavier equipment". Similar in that they both take money to perform actions that relate to violence, they're not quite the same.


Soldiers ostensibly fight for honor, mercenaries just for money. Hitmen are more like assassins, but the distinction between hitman and mercenary is never clear to me, as both are hired muscle paid to kill your opponents. I guess hitmen only kill, and mercenaries sometimes do other soldiery stuff like guard? The difference between soldier and mercenary sometimes gets blurry too, as a soldier is really a mercenary that has worse pay, fewer controls about how to do their job and even fewer rights (I view conscription as slavery) but is sanctioned by one of the legitimate powers.

Not that I view soldiers as being equal to mercenaries, just that the 'line in the sand' isn't always so clear, especially in parts of the world that don't have any centralized authority to speak of.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Zamfir » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:51 am UTC

@CU, there are surely areas where hitman and mercenary are just two points on a gliding scale, but I don't think that's the case in Iraq.

I would suggest that the main difference is the relation to the central authorities. A hitman works for a criminal organization, an organization that works mostly in secret because the central authorities oppose them and would clearly outgun them if they were in the open. While in Iraq, security contractos work in the open, in pretty much all cases formally as security guards. And from what I understand, that is indeed mostly what they do, guard the premises of foreign organizations. Companies, NGOs, and apparently even parts of the US government itself. The government clearly allows this. Perhaps they're not happy to allow it, but those organzitions are not operating in secret against the laws of Iraq.

The border between security guard and mercenary is blurry in Iraq. The guards are heavily armed and seem to operate not quite under control of the government, but in a sort of grey area negotiated between the US and Iraq. But the border between security guard/mercenary on the one hand, and hitman on the other hand is quite clear. Perhaps those companies also order some of their employees to kill or intimidate Iraqis outside of their premises, but if that happens (no clue, really), then everyone involved knows they are crossing a line.

A grey area between hitman and mercenary exists more in places where the government really fails to outgun criminal groups, like drug lords in some places. Then it becomes rather arbitrary whether the hired muscles ar called mercenaries or hitmen (or security guards). But that's not happening in Iraq. If foreign organizations in Iraq have a huge freedom to operate their own security forces, it's not because of their own strength, but because of the implicit backing of the US and its formal military. So the central government doesn't treat them as criminals (regardless of what they might want to do in their heart of hearts)

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:This Ron Paul ad is quite relevant. It makes viewers think about what our overseas military presence really means. As political ads go, this one is totally on-point and eminently watchable. I recommend it as a thought-provoking piece, completely separate from the political message.
That's an amazing ad, actually. I'm glad to see the Paul campaign all grown up.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby IcedT » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:58 am UTC

Zamfir wrote: The border between security guard and mercenary is blurry in Iraq. The guards are heavily armed and seem to operate not quite under control of the government, but in a sort of grey area negotiated between the US and Iraq. But the border between security guard/mercenary on the one hand, and hitman on the other hand is quite clear. Perhaps those companies also order some of their employees to kill or intimidate Iraqis outside of their premises, but if that happens (no clue, really), then everyone involved knows they are crossing a line.

^This. Even at the height of the war, we weren't using people like Blackwater in combat, or for patrolling cities. They were mostly assigned to security details, or as escorts for VIPs. This is one of the reasons why actual servicemen had so much disdain for them. They do tend to be heavily-armed (as in, automatic rifles and body armor), but given the environment it'd be ridiculous to ask them to make do with less. Saying that a relatively small garrison with automatic rifles has as much firepower as the Army and Marines, who have tanks, artillery, and air power, is an exaggeration to say the least.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Lucrece » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:32 am UTC

The ad was too long and the music was grating in the "are you seriously trying to frame this as an action movie rebellion sentiment" way. Otherwise, pretty good message -- pity he jumps the bandwagon against Obama and doesn't bother to call out the party he sold the libertarians out for when they do the same, but worse.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LtNOWIS » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:36 am UTC

Afghanistan already had foreign fighters setting up checkpoints and killing people before we invaded.

The Taliban at that time was maybe 40% foreign fighters, and they were fighting an ongoing conflict with the Northern Alliance. So the idea that we brought war to any of the countries we are fighting in is false.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Tirian » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:19 pm UTC

It's not false, only because it is all hypothetical. The ad is "merely" asking how you would feel WERE Texas to be occupied in a manner that invites comparison to a melange of raw nerves that may but do not have to be accurate accusations of American foreign policy or President Obama.

Two things about the ad really grab my attention. The first is that, keeping the above in mind, this is the closest that any politician has come to suggesting that the soldiers of our recent wars kill women and children, and that it's regrettable that any politician (much less a Republican) would choose that message in this time when the last of our troops are still unpacking from the Iraq withdrawal. The second thing is that this ad was evidently put out by Paul's PAC and that video has about fifteen seconds at the end where you expect to hear "I'm Rοn Paul and I approve this message" but don't. So now next week is going to be another round of the candidate having to unpack his lieutenants' inflammatory rhetoric and probably distance himself from a portion of it, which you'd think would be an exercise they'd be in no mood to repeat.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Diadem » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Qaanol wrote:This Ron Paul ad is quite relevant. It makes viewers think about what our overseas military presence really means. As political ads go, this one is totally on-point and eminently watchable. I recommend it as a thought-provoking piece, completely separate from the political message.
That's an amazing ad, actually. I'm glad to see the Paul campaign all grown up.

Why is the Ronpaul still carrying around the word 'love' very prominently in his logo? Perhaps I'm completely misjudging the Republican base, but I can't imagine that coming across well amongst them. It's very hippie.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:44 pm UTC

Because he isn't a "real" Republican; he's a Libertarian.

L and R agree more on the economy than L and D agree on social issues*, which is why most L are in the R. That and many L feel that economic freedom is more important because it economic freedom leads to more social freedom than social freedom leads to economic freedom.

Not that R has a great track record of actually pursuing economic freedom...

*the Ronpaul diverges from both L and D on abortion, but as I said before, he has more right to believe in his position because it (ostensively) comes from his experience as a Gynecologist rather than from what someone else told him god wanted.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Heisenberg » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:*the Ronpaul diverges from both L and D on abortion,

You keep saying that, but
Wikipedia wrote:The Libertarian party does not have a unified stance when it comes to Abortion.
So no, Paul doesn't conflict with the Libertarian Party on abortion because the LP takes no official stance on it. The Libertarian Party is actually very friendly with Paul, having run him as their candidate once and offered him the VP slot last election (Paul declined).

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:04 pm UTC

The Wikipedia article seems to indicate there is far more support for Prochoice than Prolife within the LP. A quarter of the Dems oppose abortion, but I wouldn't say opposing abortion isn't breaking with the Dem line.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dauric » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The Wikipedia article seems to indicate there is far more support for Prochoice than Prolife within the LP.

There's "no support" for banning abortion in that the Libertarian platform writ-large would make that and issues like it a state's rights issue. The issue of abortion itself however is not a "plank" in the Libertarian "platform" and as such any individual Libertarian can have whatever position they want on the issue without being out of sync with the entire "platform" of the party.

OT:
Spoiler:
We need a party that starts with a "U" to get some air-time. With (R)epublicans, (D)emocrats, and (L)ibertarians all being abbreviated to their first initial, a party that starts with "U" would let our political discussions look like instructions on doing special moves in a fighting game.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Spoiler:
We need a party that starts with a "U" to get some air-time. With (R)epublicans, (D)emocrats, and (L)ibertarians all being abbreviated to their first initial, a party that starts with "U" would let our political discussions look like instructions on doing special moves in a fighting game.


Spoiler:
The opposite of Libertarian would probably be Utilitarian...

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Garm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:49 pm UTC

We need enough political parties to enter the public sphere so we can use their first initials to spell something that properly describes the current state of US politics. I wonder if it would be too much to describe the modern libertarians as the Tea Part, then have the Republicans change their name to the "Amurican" party. Then someone could start the Federalists and we would have DAFT politics. Not so far off, I think.

As for the Ronpaul. I recommend reading this recent article by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/01/the-messenger/250685/

I also agree with Kevin Drum's opinion on Paul but think that in various ways it can be extended to all the riders in the GOP's presidential clown car.

Can we talk? the Ronpaul is not a charming oddball with a few peculiar notions. He's not merely "out of the mainstream." the Ronpaul is a full-bore crank. In fact he's practically the dictionary definition of a crank: a person who has a single obsessive, all-encompassing idea for how the world should work and is utterly blinded to the value of any competing ideas or competing interests.

This obsessive idea has, at various times in his career, led him to: denounce the Civil Rights Act because it infringed the free-market right of a monolithic white establishment to immiserate blacks; dabble in gold buggery and advocate the elimination of the Federal Reserve, apparently because the global economy worked so well back in the era before central banks; suggest that the border fence is being built to keep Americans from leaving the country; claim that Social Security and Medicare are unconstitutional and should be dismantled; mount repeated warnings that hyperinflation is right around the corner; insist that global warming is a gigantic hoax; hint that maybe the CIA helped to coordinate the 9/11 attacks; oppose government-sponsored flu shots; and allege that the UN wants to confiscate our guns.


http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/01/crackpots-messengers

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:06 pm UTC

Dignity? In the Whitehouse? Have you even read about the Presidents we had?

So far, we've had at least one incompetent alcoholic, an omnicidal maniac, half of them lecherous old men, at least one complete jackass, several coke-addicts, too many racists to bother counting...

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Garm » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:17 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Dignity? In the Whitehouse? Have you even read about the Presidents we had?

So far, we've had at least one incompetent alcoholic, an omnicidal maniac, half of them lecherous old men, at least one complete jackass, several coke-addicts, too many racists to bother counting...


I'm well aware that the office of the Presidency has been held by a group of men for whom the word Integrity has little meaning. The current GOP crop is so full of venal mendacity that they put all previous contenders to shame. They're so willing to lie without first making sure that their lie is plausible. It amazes me.

Edit: Here's someone I'd support. :D http://twitter.com/#!/OldHossRadbourn
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:A quarter of the Dems oppose abortion, but I wouldn't say opposing abortion isn't breaking with the Dem line.
Questions of 'party line' are not settled by opinion polls but by representative polls. I'm under the impression less than a quarter of elected democrats oppose abortion.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Qaanol » Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:49 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:A quarter of the Dems oppose abortion, but I wouldn't say opposing abortion isn't breaking with the Dem line.
Questions of 'party line' are not settled by opinion polls but by representative polls. I'm under the impression less than a quarter of elected democrats oppose abortion.

There’s also a large distinction to be made between “oppose abortion” in the sense of “prefer it be done less”, compared to the sense of “believe the government should have the power to force women to carry pregnancies to term against their will”.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:05 am UTC

Most Repubs are at least as pro-life* as 'abortion in the case of forced pregnancy' such as rape, and 'abortion in the case of deformities' such as incest. But I wouldn't say they were "for abortion".

*Assuming the pro-life/choice scale is 1-dimensional, from "Noe abortions ever, fore it is an abomination unto thy lord" to "Buy one get one free at Preggers'B'Gone".

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:18 am UTC

Results for Iowa shouldn't too far off- anyone willing to make predictions? I'm pretty sure anything I'd guess would end up wrong. Seems to be a 3 way race between Paul, Romney and Santorum for 1st place tonight.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:29 am UTC

According to Drudge, Paul is getting 1/3 and Shikkum and Romney are both getting 1/5, while the Grinch is getting 1/10. Of course, that poll is limited to conservatives that can work the internet.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:38 am UTC

Is Shikkum a new word filter?

Found an interesting entrance poll- seems to speak well for Paul's and Romney's chances. Not sure how much can realistically be gathered from it.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Adacore » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:43 am UTC

Paul is looking pretty strong from everything I can see so far, but it's still early. I guess we'll know much more in an hour.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Tirian » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:51 am UTC

It's a great night for Santorum and Paul, but the real winner is Romney. His original plan had him not even bothering with Iowa, so every delegate he gets is one that is not going to a conservative. And Gingrich's implosion seals the deal. The only fear Romney ever had to worry about was losing Iowa and South Carolina to the same person, and that is getting to be a real long shot.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:13 am UTC

Tirian wrote:It's a great night for Santorum and Paul, but the real winner is Romney. His original plan had him not even bothering with Iowa, so every delegate he gets is one that is not going to a conservative. And Gingrich's implosion seals the deal. The only fear Romney ever had to worry about was losing Iowa and South Carolina to the same person, and that is getting to be a real long shot.

That's about how I see it- it looks like it it will finish in close to a three way tie. If Santorum is the overall "winner" he'll probably be somewhat dangerous- he'll siphon a lot of support from Bachmann, Perry & Gingrich- but Romney will go from a better than expected finish in Iowa to almost certainly winning NH. The worst case scenario I can see for Romney from this (assuming the numbers stay about where they are) is if everyone besides the three of them drop out, with Santorum and Paul doing well enough to keep him from getting a majority of delegates.

I wonder how long Santorum's support will last though- he had a last minute boost in the polls without going through the media scrutiny that all the other frontrunners of the week had. I'd say he lucked out almost as much as anything else.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:13 am UTC

"Shikkum" is what I use as it has all the meaning of "santorum" without being tainted with the filth of the man himself.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:27 am UTC

It's a really cute name, too. I'd put it on a pet.

edit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLZZ6JD0 ... r_embedded

A guy vents about the supposed conservative image people have of Iowans.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:27 am UTC

97% reporting, tie between Romney & Santorum- Santorum has a minor lead. Paul came in a close 3rd. Roemer did worse than Cain, even though Cain dropped out.. ouch. Perry is going to decide whether he should drop out or not (which almost always is a nice way of saying "I'm going to drop out but don't want to admit it just yet").

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:28 am UTC

Fox News. At time of writing, 98% of counties are reporting, Romney has 29,625 votes (25%), Santorum has 29,584 votes (25%), Paul has 25,875 votes (22%), Gingrich has 15,974 votes (14%), Perry has 12,410 votes (11%), and Bachmann has 6,016 votes (5%). Santorum might snatch the 1st place lead with the remaining 2% (he had it when only 96% had reported) but the clear message is a Romney win. Romney has jumped up to an 83% chance of getting the nomination on Intrade.

Interestingly, Intrade puts the chance of a Romney win at 90%, up massively from yesterday, and a Santorum win at 8%, down massively from yesterday. Romney is currently only ahead by 41 votes, and was behind by more than that at 96% reporting, so it seems to me like there's more than a 8% chance things will swap again.

[edit] It's worth clicking through and taking a look at the map. It's almost solid brown (who chose that color for Santorum? Really?), with a bunch of blue Paul along the east and dots of red Romney throughout. That seems to suggest Paul and Romney are getting their support from similar places- it'll be interesting to see how that changes going forward.

[more edits]Santorum is back in the lead, leading by 5 votes. Intrade is correcting, with his chance of winning back up to 20%. I can see how people stay up all night watching votes come in.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Adacore » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:35 am UTC

I think that comes from an analysis of the likely voting demographic in the undeclared precincts - they're expected to favour Romney, so given that he already holds a lead (however small), it's highly likely that he'll sustain it. A shame, I was hoping Romney's support would be poor in Iowa so the GOP would have at least the chance of nominating someone unelectable in the long run. It looks fairly likely that Romney will take the nomination quite early in the primary process, now.

Vaniver wrote:[edit] It's worth clicking through and taking a look at the map. It's almost solid brown (who chose that color for Santorum? Really?), with a bunch of blue Paul along the east and dots of red Romney throughout. That seems to suggest Paul and Romney are getting their support from similar places- it'll be interesting to see how that changes going forward.

As I understand it, Santorum gets his support from the (more conservative, evangelical) rural areas, Paul from the (less conservative, more libertarian) youth vote, and Romney from everyone else. Hence Santorum gets large swathes of mostly rural Iowa on the map.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:44 am UTC

Adacore wrote:A shame, I was hoping Romney's support would be poor in Iowa so the GOP would have at least the chance of nominating someone unelectable in the long run.

I think history here says: "be careful what you wish for". Romney has a huge money & logistical advantage over the other candidates- if any of them could beat him, without those advantages, they'd be a favorite to win the general.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Giant Speck » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:39 am UTC

Yesterday evening was my first time voting in a caucus. It was... an interesting process.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:43 am UTC

Adacore wrote:A shame, I was hoping Romney's support would be poor in Iowa so the GOP would have at least the chance of nominating someone unelectable in the long run.


Wouldn't it be better to wish your opposing party nominated someone that would be good for the country rather than someone so terrible that your candidate looks good in comparison? Because if you believe in conspiracies, people that are only nominally part of the party would 'sabotage' the primary, resulting in a contest between which party's candidate is the least abominable.

A lot of people claimed that Hillary's support in the spring of 2008 was actually Republicans trying to draw out the primary and get the Dems to implode on themselves.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:21 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Adacore wrote:A shame, I was hoping Romney's support would be poor in Iowa so the GOP would have at least the chance of nominating someone unelectable in the long run.


Wouldn't it be better to wish your opposing party nominated someone that would be good for the country rather than someone so terrible that your candidate looks good in comparison? Because if you believe in conspiracies, people that are only nominally part of the party would 'sabotage' the primary, resulting in a contest between which party's candidate is the least abominable.

A lot of people claimed that Hillary's support in the spring of 2008 was actually Republicans trying to draw out the primary and get the Dems to implode on themselves.

In general I agree with that sentiment, but... I think the issue here is that, for many people, any of the republican candidates with a chance at the nomination, are all unacceptable. Just like how many people wouldn't vote any democrat likely to have gotten the nomination in 2008 (or likely to get it in 2016). They see all of the options on one side as unequivocally bad for the nation.

Having said that, I try to be someone willing to give any candidate some consideration, but I can't see myself voting for any of Romney, Santorum or Paul (the only Republicans with any chance, it seems). Romney and Santorum are far too right-leaning on issues I care about- while there are some things I oppose them supporting that Obama also supports, they lack the benefit of having anything significant I agree with. In fact, I can't think of anything off the top of my head they support that I agree with (though, there is assuredly something!). Paul we've been over a dozen times, but for those who forgot / didn't read it, I see him as having some good ideas that are accompanied with many bat shit insane ideas, so he couldn't get my vote either. That leaves people like me (and presumably, Adacore as well) left with Option A- that we believe will take the country in the better direction, or Option B- that we believe can not take the country in a better direction. In those cases, you want "B" to be as weak as possible.

Then you have to add on top of it that there's decent odds of two of the more liberal justices on the supreme court wanting to retire (or just dying- Ginsberg apparently has poor health) in the next 4 years, and the stakes become even higher. Hell, even if you don't care about the actual result of such nomination, any situation with a republican president in that case would probably bring the senate to a stand still- the democrats would likely filibuster anyone that opposed Roe v. Wade replacing someone that supported it, and the republicans wouldn't accept anyone that didn't oppose it... It's something that they probably shouldn't do, but the republicans have been doing to same to all of Obama's non-SC appointees as of late, so the democrats will return fire if they can. It'd make the current government show-downs look friendly by comparison. So the stakes are high for liberal leaning people- they could see an issue that's become a rather important part of modern politics completely reverse course against their interests, if a republican wins.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:28 am UTC

Speaking of ignorant predictions of the future, I read that Obama has about even odds to win, and the dem's are about to lose the senate. But, I haven't read any predictors on the House, who's projected to win it?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:49 am UTC

I haven't looked for anything specific and recent, but what I'd been reading suggests that the republicans are likely to hold the house, but with a significant lose in the size of their majority. The mood seems to be that the democrats have a decent chance of taking it back, but it's an uphill battle. Pelosi, at least, seems to be investing all of her energy into making that decent chance happen- I believe she's significantly increased her rate of fundraisers.

If I was forced to give my gut feelings for how things are:
House: In republicans favor to be held, but by not as much as people expect. I think Pelosi is a far more shrewd politician than she is given credit for, and would be reticent to bet against such, especially with how driven she appears to be to regain the speakership. Generic ballots are also in favor of democrats.
Senate: In republicans favor to take over, and by more than people expect. Many of the "toss-up" seats I think are decently in favor of democrats (Massachusetts & Hawaii, toss-ups, seriously?), but they're just defending too much ground here, and not all of it is like Massachusetts.
Presidency: I feel this is in Obama's favor somewhat, if only because of how weak of a candidate Romney is. A significant event or gaffe could change this one really easily though, so a guess here is worth less than the other two.

Also worth noting is that the past few elections have broke heavily towards one party in the end- if 2012 is good to republicans, then they'll control all three. If it's good to democrats, then they'll gain the house and hold the senate and executive. It's only in overall "toss-up" night range that the three sections will behave different. In 2010, by my memory, all or nearly all of the "close" elections broke towards republicans in the end. In 2008, it was the same, but for the democrats. The makeup of the two chambers right now is such that overall control could shift to either party, depending on how things break at the last minute. Along those lines, I expect if a republican wins the presidency, that they will almost definitely also win the senate, and retain the house. If Obama wins decently, the senate will be held, and the house will likely switch. It's if he has a close win that the results will be easy to shift.

That's all my take on it though, you can take it to be as needing of salt (or perhaps, as full of shit) as you like.
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Apparently Romney won the Iowa caucus by 9 votes. All hail republican nominee Mitt Romney? I can't see him not getting nominated after winning Iowa, unless Santorum manages to keep his momentum going forward and build up the infrastructure needed quickly enough.


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