U.S. Republican Primary

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Hawknc » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:16 am UTC

Point taken, I'm only going off accounts from people who have fled escaped regretfully departed the state. And Rick Perry.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:19 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:So the leaps of faith for each would be:

Christopher -> name from mostly christian dominated part of the world & means "bearing Christ" = they must be christian! Verus: Hussein -> name from mostly muslim dominated part of the world* = they must be muslim!
My point is that, except for the word "must," that chain of reasoning is correct. Someone with the name "Hussein" is more likely to be Muslim than someone chosen uniformly at random; that's what evidence means.

Ghostbear wrote:It hasn't achieved a color blind society over the course of less than 50 years because that wasn't its purpose- I doubt any of the people that originally implemented would have expected such a long term, huge societal goal, to be accomplished over such a relatively short time frame. You could, perhaps, see the ultimate goal of redressing those issues as being to create a color-blind society, but that isn't the stated nor primary purpose.
Er, a lot of proponents sold it as a temporary measure before color-blindness was instituted. If it had been sold as "we need to respond to the existence of de facto second class citizens by making de jure second class citizens," I do not think it would have passed.

Hawknc wrote:It's not a perfect system, but it's remarkably egalitarian for a place like Texas.
Eh. It exists because the school system in Texas is so variable in quality, funding, and students; I'm not sure I'd call it egalitarian. (School funding and quality really don't have all that much impact on how bright kids are compared to genetics, family, and the student's choices.)
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Garm » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:41 am UTC

To comment on something earlier in the thread. I was under the impression that the reason so much energy was put into the presidential race was that if a party could reach 5% nationally they would be eligible for public funding from the government. There's some minimum amount made available to political parties trying to run but they have to reach that threshold of support. IIRC, that was one of the reasons for the Nader candidacy during the second Clinton/Gore election.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Cathy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:14 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:Point taken, I'm only going off accounts from people who have fled escaped regretfully departed the state. And Rick Perry.

Yeah I can see where people could get a bad impression from Rick Perry... I'm hoping that the most notable result of his presidential campaign will be him losing the governor's seat.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:22 am UTC

To be somewhat fair (erm... unfair? towards Texas), there has been a decent amount of high-profile cases in Texas concerning anti-intellectualism (Thomas Jefferson was not a founding father according to Texas School Board), plus the whole George Bush and now Rick Perry thing. Texas is most certainly one of the major centers of technology in the US. But the recent news hasn't really done well for its reputation.

I don't know much about the school systems in Texas at all however. So I'm certainly biased by mainstream-media reporting on the whole issue.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Cathy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:30 am UTC

A large part of the problem is the funding of schools in texas are mainly done by property taxes. So if the property values in the area of a school district are crappy, the school gets terrible funding. Something said earlier was very correct - middle of nowhere has much worse funding and opportunity than somewhere closer to cities and industrial districts.

Texas gets tons of terrible reporting, and I sincerely dislike large swaths of people in the state, but there are good parts. San Antonio has a blossoming medical-technology complex and Austin is bursting with forward-thinking people. Houston is growing well and Dallas/Fort Worth are too. The biggest problems for Texas liberals are the large swaths of middle of freaking nowhere districts where the 100 whole people who wake up to vote do so in a way that invalidates the cities' views.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:33 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Then why is affirmative action based on race and not socio-economic status? Why should a rich black kid get affirmative action but not the poor "disadvantaged" white kid?

I wouldn't be so adamantly opposed to AA if it was based on poverty rather than explicitly using race as a criterion. To change it for our little "RACISM!" argument, I believe that AA is racism because the law changes based on a person's race. If the law had been "must accept x% poor" rather than "must accept x% black", it would not be racist, even though it would help more black people than white people.

Because these systems aren't perfect? If you feel it should be twerked or improved, I won't disagree with you in the slightest.

CorruptUser wrote:Personally, I like Texas's version of it best (for education that is); if you are in the top 10% of your class in any public high school, you are automatically accepted to any state university. So if you live in a shitty neighborhood, you don't get (as severely) screwed over.

That does seem to be a good system for that, though it's my understanding that it causes some issues with people feeling over-compelled to get into the top 10% at any cost because of it. I remember reading a fair while ago that at many high schools it caused a much larger percentage of students (compared to other states) to turn to study drugs like adderall and the like. No links because I'm way too lazy to hunt something like that down again.

CorruptUser wrote:You keep using that word. I don't think you know what "minorities" means; most "minorities" in the US are not Afromerican. And the ones that are, have quite a bit of "white" ancestry.

No, I'm pretty sure I do know what minorities means, and I'm using it because affirmative actions doesn't explicitly target blacks, or hispanics, or natives, or... I'm using the blanket term, because I seek to be inclusive with my statements. What, specifically, do you think is wrong with my usage of the word minority?

Vaniver wrote:My point is that, except for the word "must," that chain of reasoning is correct. Someone with the name "Hussein" is more likely to be Muslim than someone chosen uniformly at random; that's what evidence means.

But it's not at all a valid deduction to say "This person has the name of Hussein- therefor they are muslim". You can take that probability guess, that someone with the name Hussein is more likely to have arab parents, who are more likely to be muslim, and that people are likely to inherit the religion of their parents, and say "it's possible they're a muslim". But that's not what the comparison that Heisenberg gave was.

Garm wrote:To comment on something earlier in the thread. I was under the impression that the reason so much energy was put into the presidential race was that if a party could reach 5% nationally they would be eligible for public funding from the government. There's some minimum amount made available to political parties trying to run but they have to reach that threshold of support. IIRC, that was one of the reasons for the Nader candidacy during the second Clinton/Gore election.

I've tried to look this up, but all I can find is information on how to get public funding for the primary campaigns. Anyone with better legalese searching here? The statements all state that the general election public funding will go to "major parties", but gives no formal definition of such. To be honest, a threshold of 5% seems low to me- I'd expect higher. That's just a guess though.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dark567 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:02 am UTC

Garm wrote:To comment on something earlier in the thread. I was under the impression that the reason so much energy was put into the presidential race was that if a party could reach 5% nationally they would be eligible for public funding from the government. There's some minimum amount made available to political parties trying to run but they have to reach that threshold of support. IIRC, that was one of the reasons for the Nader candidacy during the second Clinton/Gore election.
See, most presidential candidates forgo public funding anyway because the limits are a lot lower then what they would be allowed to spend if privately funded. Obama was criticized somewhat heavily for going back on public funding. Basically it seems public funding doesn't matter for presidential races, donations are what matters.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:20 am UTC

Dark567 wrote:See, most presidential candidates forgo public funding anyway because the limits are a lot lower then what they would be allowed to spend if privately funded. Obama was criticized somewhat heavily for going back on public funding. Basically it seems public funding doesn't matter for presidential races, donations are what matters.

That's not true actually. Obama was the first candidate since 1976, the year they started public funding for general elections, to decline public funding for his campaign. It's in a link in my prior post, but to save time: here.

It's believed that both Obama and the eventual republican nominee will decline it for 2012, and I suspect that that is a trend that will continue, unless public funding is boosted dramatically (e.g. $500 million+ each, in current dollars).

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dark567 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:26 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
Dark567 wrote:See, most presidential candidates forgo public funding anyway because the limits are a lot lower then what they would be allowed to spend if privately funded. Obama was criticized somewhat heavily for going back on public funding. Basically it seems public funding doesn't matter for presidential races, donations are what matters.

That's not true actually. Obama was the first candidate since 1976, the year they started public funding for general elections, to decline public funding for his campaign. It's in a link in my prior post, but to save time: here.
Wikipedia wrote:From the inception of this program in 1976 through 1992, almost all candidates who could qualify accepted matching funds in the primary. However, in 1996 Republican Steve Forbes opted out of the program. In 2000, Forbes and George W. Bush opted out. In 2004 Bush and Democrats John Kerry and Howard Dean chose not to take matching funds in the primary.
In 2008, Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Republicans John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney and the Ronpaul decided not to take primary matching funds. Republican Tom Tancredo[18] and Democrats Chris Dodd,[19] Joe Biden[20] and John Edwards elected to take public financing.

Are we reading different articles?
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:29 am UTC

That's for the primary campaign funding. For the general election, Obama is the very first that did not accept it. See:
Wikipedia wrote:No major party nominee turned down government funds for the general election from 1976, when the program was launched, until Barack Obama did so in 2008,


I consider the important focus here the general election, as that's the one that actually determines the president.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Dark567 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:35 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:I consider the important focus here the general election, as that's the one that actually determines the president.
Well. Okay, we're clear now.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LtNOWIS » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:31 am UTC

[quote=Cathy]A large part of the problem is the funding of schools in texas are mainly done by property taxes. So if the property values in the area of a school district are crappy, the school gets terrible funding. Something said earlier was very correct - middle of nowhere has much worse funding and opportunity than somewhere closer to cities and industrial districts. [/quote] I believe that's how things work in the US in general, not just in Texas.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure that we'll see a Romney-Bob McDonnell ticket, or a Romney-Bobby Jindal ticket. There are a few other viable picks for Romney, but I would put hard money on one of those two being chosen if I had access to Intrade.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:17 am UTC

LtNOWIS wrote:I believe that's how things work in the US in general, not just in Texas.
In most other states, county funding is supplemented by state funding. (At my old school district in MD, 66% of the funding came from the county, 27% from the state, and the rest from various other sources, and that was one of the richest counties in MD.) In Texas, state property taxes are constitutionally forbidden, meaning there is very little state money for education. Property values and populations vary quite a bit county to county, leading to quite a bit of difference.

LtNOWIS wrote:Anyways, I'm pretty sure that we'll see a Romney-Bob McDonnell ticket, or a Romney-Bobby Jindal ticket. There are a few other viable picks for Romney, but I would put hard money on one of those two being chosen if I had access to Intrade.
Intrade has Jindal at 3%, McDonnel at 6%. I agree 9% chance for either of them is too low. (Rubio and Christie top the list.)
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:37 am UTC

I can't possibly see Christie taking a VP slot after going through such stern refusal to run for president at all. Rubio could be a possibility, but I doubt him as well. My guess is it'll be like 2008- nobody that we're expecting right now. Making a smart choice for your running mate can do a lot to boost a campaign's media impression. Palin, for all her horrible, horrible (horrible horrible) faults (which were rather horrible) did quite a bit to shake up the Obama-McCain race (despite being horrible). I don't see any of McDonnel or Jindal or Christie doing anything to change the dynamics of a Romney ticket.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Jonesthe Spy » Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:34 pm UTC

Glenn Greenwald, one of my favorite columnists and commentators, has a brilliant article that came out today about the Ronpaul and the dilemma he poses for progressives: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progressives_and_the_ron_paul_fallacies/singleton/

To quote some of the choicest bits:

The thing I loathe most about election season is reflected in the central fallacy that drives progressive discussion the minute “the Ronpaul” is mentioned. As soon as his candidacy is discussed, progressives will reflexively point to a slew of positions he holds that are anathema to liberalism and odious in their own right and then say: how can you support someone who holds this awful, destructive position? The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.

The fallacy in this reasoning is glaring. The candidate supported by progressives — President Obama — himself holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested...

...It’s perfectly rational and reasonable for progressives to decide that the evils of their candidate are outweighed by the evils of the GOP candidate, whether the Ronpaul or anyone else. An honest line of reasoning in this regard would go as follows:

Yes, I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered by covert drones and cluster bombs, and America’s minorities imprisoned by the hundreds of thousands for no good reason, and the CIA able to run rampant with no checks or transparency, and privacy eroded further by the unchecked Surveillance State, and American citizens targeted by the President for assassination with no due process, and whistleblowers threatened with life imprisonment for “espionage,” and the Fed able to dole out trillions to bankers in secret, and a substantially higher risk of war with Iran (fought by the U.S. or by Israel with U.S. support) in exchange for less severe cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs, the preservation of the Education and Energy Departments, more stringent environmental regulations, broader health care coverage, defense of reproductive rights for women, stronger enforcement of civil rights for America’s minorities, a President with no associations with racist views in a newsletter, and a more progressive Supreme Court.

Without my adopting it, that is at least an honest, candid, and rational way to defend one’s choice. It is the classic lesser-of-two-evils rationale, the key being that it explicitly recognizes that both sides are “evil”: meaning it is not a Good v. Evil contest but a More Evil v. Less Evil contest. But that is not the discussion that takes place because few progressives want to acknowledge that the candidate they are supporting — again — is someone who will continue to do these evil things with their blessing.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LtNOWIS » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:25 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:I can't possibly see Christie taking a VP slot after going through such stern refusal to run for president at all. Rubio could be a possibility, but I doubt him as well. My guess is it'll be like 2008- nobody that we're expecting right now. Making a smart choice for your running mate can do a lot to boost a campaign's media impression. Palin, for all her horrible, horrible (horrible horrible) faults (which were rather horrible) did quite a bit to shake up the Obama-McCain race (despite being horrible). I don't see any of McDonnel or Jindal or Christie doing anything to change the dynamics of a Romney ticket.

The McCain campaign decided to shake up the race with Palin because they knew they were otherwise headed towards defeat. Most campaigns will not want to take that kind of risk, because they feel they can win without changing things significantly. So most modern-era VP candidates have been someone safe who wouldn't harm the campaign, and I think this cycle will continue that trend.

I would say that Christie is overrated and has many positions that deviate from the GOP orthodox view. Rubio and the other people elected in 2010 are probably too inexperienced, and would invite Palin comparisons. That doesn't mean they couldn't do well, but it's an avoidable risk.

As for Palin, she was unexpected, but not unheard of. She had received media speculation, along with a vast array of other semi-realistic choices. So even the unexpected long-shot people are going to be pretty much listed out and subject to our analysis.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

Right, but Romney has a big "humanity" problem- people see him as overly robotic and boring. If he goes for a purely safe person, he'll just be double dipping in that. Rubio is probably the wisest choice, to me, of the heavily speculated options. I don't think he'd risk his rising star status on a candidate with a fairly decent shot at losing though- if he keeps where he is, he could be a good candidate on his own soon enough. And as you said, he also has a risk of having something go wrong with him, not having been vetted enough over the years. His characteristics (in a political sense) though- young, likable and hispanic- would be a great contrast to Romney. All the same, I don't see him being taking the spot, even if offered.

I just don't see him picking someone that people are already floating as a suggestion now- speculation now tends to amount to "who we really wish had actually run for president instead", which isn't the only pool from whom running mates can be chosen from. I do agree on Christie- he's popular with republicans because they haven't actually looked at him in depth yet. He's at least smart enough to know that though, to give him credit.

Somewhat tangential, but what do people see as the likelihood of Obama dropping Biden for someone else? Biden was there to contrast his lack of experience in 2008, so he's not really "useful" anymore, but at the same time I can't see Obama dropping him. I also can't think of who would be the replacement either- people would speculate Clinton, but I don't see her wanting it now.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:24 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Somewhat tangential, but what do people see as the likelihood of Obama dropping Biden for someone else?
Hmm. It's surely an option, but has anyone ditched their VP after one term (rather than the VP retiring or resigning) before?
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

I don't know about one term, but I know at the least FDR changed his VPs around a bit. I'll do some looking and see what's there.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby netcrusher88 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:40 pm UTC

I think when positing that possibility the question isn't "why not?" or "who?" but "why?"
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:54 pm UTC

Looking at wikipedia, it looks like the last time a running mate changed was Spiro Agnew, but as Vaniver mentions, this was due to resignation. Before that, the last change was FDR*, who switched his VP twice.

So, going on history it's pretty unlikely. But I think, to answer netcrusher88's "why?", I was just asking in the sense that the ticket advantages Obama gets out of Biden don't help him in 2012, when they did in 2008. He might also want to setup a younger potential successor to run in 2016, should he win.

* EDIT: And before that, it looks like the last switch was by Grant, then Lincoln, then Jefferson, and that's it. So not much of a storied history for presidents that won. I haven't looked up the running mates of presidents that lost re-election though.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Jave D » Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:55 am UTC

Jonesthe Spy wrote:Glenn Greenwald, one of my favorite columnists and commentators, has a brilliant article that came out today about the Ronpaul and the dilemma he poses for progressives: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progres ... singleton/


What a yawner. Just another glorification of the principles the Ronpaul supposedly stands for, with the outright assertion that if you don't support the Ronpaul you not only do not support those principles but that you want to slaughter Muslim children. And he calls that "an honest line of reasoning!" Puhlease.

And he gives the standard dismissal-defense of the paranoid racist garbage that the Ronpaul published in his newsletter bearing his name for years as merely an "association with racist views in a newsletter." As if the Ronpaul merely is connected by some tenuous and not-at-all-damning way, like he just touched the newsletter(s) and everyone is being gauche and tasteless by turning that into something more than it is. PuhLEASE.


The premise here — the game that’s being played — is that if you can identify some heinous views that a certain candidate holds, then it means they are beyond the pale, that no Decent Person should even consider praising any part of their candidacy.


No, it means that when a candidate holds a heinous view I am particularly horrified and opposed to, I am horrified and opposed to that candidate and am not going to vote for him. Nor am I going to "praise" him in that light; nor will I praise how certain leaders in the 20th century could "get the trains running on time." This is not because I'm playing a game, it's because I'm a rational AND moral person.

Oh, and it's not because I want to kill children either. Nice try, but Glenn Greenwald can bite my nuts.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby jakovasaur » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:03 am UTC

So who are you going to vote for?

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Malice » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:09 am UTC

Jave D wrote:
Jonesthe Spy wrote:Glenn Greenwald, one of my favorite columnists and commentators, has a brilliant article that came out today about the Ronpaul and the dilemma he poses for progressives: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/31/progres ... singleton/


What a yawner. Just another glorification of the principles the Ronpaul supposedly stands for, with the outright assertion that if you don't support the Ronpaul you not only do not support those principles but that you want to slaughter Muslim children. And he calls that "an honest line of reasoning!" Puhlease.


Greenwald's explanation of that "honest" line of reasoning is ridiculous. Saying that Obama is the lesser of two evils does not mean you like his level of evil and approve of 100% of his policies. Nor does it mean accepting them. You can, in fact, vote somebody into office and still lobby for them to change what they're doing.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:15 am UTC

Malice wrote:Saying that Obama is the lesser of two evils does not mean you like his level of evil and approve of 100% of his policies.

Can you spare me reading the whole article on New Year's Eve and just quote where Greenwald says this? From the excerpt, it looks like he's just challenging people who don't recognize Obama as being an evil at all.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby jakovasaur » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:31 am UTC

I thought he was just saying that compromising on Paul is the same as compromising on Obama.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:34 am UTC

I suppose so, but failing to recognize Obama's evils seems like a form of compromise.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Malice » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:24 am UTC

For TGB:

Greenwald wrote:It’s perfectly rational and reasonable for progressives to decide that the evils of their candidate are outweighed by the evils of the GOP candidate, whether the Ronpaul or anyone else. An honest line of reasoning in this regard would go as follows:

Yes, I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered by covert drones and cluster bombs, and America’s minorities imprisoned by the hundreds of thousands for no good reason, and the CIA able to run rampant with no checks or transparency, and privacy eroded further by the unchecked Surveillance State, and American citizens targeted by the President for assassination with no due process, and whistleblowers threatened with life imprisonment for “espionage,” and the Fed able to dole out trillions to bankers in secret, and a substantially higher risk of war with Iran (fought by the U.S. or by Israel with U.S. support) in exchange for less severe cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement programs, the preservation of the Education and Energy Departments, more stringent environmental regulations, broader health care coverage, defense of reproductive rights for women, stronger enforcement of civil rights for America’s minorities, a President with no associations with racist views in a newsletter, and a more progressive Supreme Court.

Without my adopting it, that is at least an honest, candid, and rational way to defend one’s choice. It is the classic lesser-of-two-evils rationale, the key being that it explicitly recognizes that both sides are “evil”: meaning it is not a Good v. Evil contest but a More Evil v. Less Evil contest. But that is not the discussion that takes place because few progressives want to acknowledge that the candidate they are supporting — again — is someone who will continue to do these evil things with their blessing. Instead, we hear only a dishonest one-sided argument that emphasizes Paul’s evils while ignoring Obama’s (progressives frequently ask: how can any progressive consider an anti-choice candidate but don’t ask themselves: how can any progressive support a child-killing, secrecy-obsessed, whistleblower-persecuting Drug Warrior?).


(Emphasis Greenwald's.)

Anyway, his argument is kind of bullshit, because it presents a false dichotomy: we either pretend Obama's negative aspects do not exist, or we acknowledge and accept them in exchange for his positive qualities. The third option--we acknowledge but do not accept his negative qualities--goes completely unstated.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:35 am UTC

What do you mean by "accept"? If you mean "approve of," then I really don't see where you're reading that in his argument. He's only arguing that people who vote for Obama have to "accept" his negative aspects in the sense of an "acceptable sacrifice" — not that they have to be OK with them, just that, in voting for Obama, they're saying that it's acceptable to vote for a candidate who will do evil things X, Y, and Z if it will accomplish good things A, B, and C. Which is kind of hard to dispute if you agree that X, Y and Z are evil; are there people who plan to vote for Obama but who think that it's unacceptable to vote for Obama?

Edit: I think you're taking the passage beginning with "I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered" a bit too literally. Greenwald isn't saying that an honest Obama voter wants Muslim children to be slaughtered ceteris paribus. He's saying that an honest Obama voter recognizes that her vote will lead to such slaughter, and regards it as worthwhile given the available choices in order to get better policy on other fronts.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:18 am UTC

I take strong issue with Greenwald's assertion that progressives ignore the negatives associated with Obama. I've yet to meet a progressive who doesn't have at least one bone to pick with Obama. It seems to me that Greenwald more has a dislike for progressives and is willing to paint them with a fairly broad brush as a consequence.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Tirian » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:44 am UTC

The thing that boggles me is that based on the parallel structure I can't help but wonder if Greenwald's case is that if we progressives got our lips off of Obama's ass that we'd recognize that Paul was the candidate of progress. Which I don't even.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:52 am UTC

Progressives don't have a rallying person in this election, or anyone in the past few elections. Just that Libertarians have a rallying person with Paul, for the first time since Rand started the modern Libertarian movement in the 50s. So long as abortion isn't critical...

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Malice » Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:25 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Edit: I think you're taking the passage beginning with "I’m willing to continue to have Muslim children slaughtered" a bit too literally. Greenwald isn't saying that an honest Obama voter wants Muslim children to be slaughtered ceteris paribus. He's saying that an honest Obama voter recognizes that her vote will lead to such slaughter, and regards it as worthwhile given the available choices in order to get better policy on other fronts.


And I'm saying that the bolded is not necessarily true. It is perfectly possible to vote for Obama with the intention that, through lobbying and discussion and all the other ways besides voting that one participates in the democratic process, Obama will be convinced not to slaughter Muslim children (or whatever) in his second term.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby LtNOWIS » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:30 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Right, but Romney has a big "humanity" problem- people see him as overly robotic and boring. If he goes for a purely safe person, he'll just be double dipping in that. Rubio is probably the wisest choice, to me, of the heavily speculated options. I don't think he'd risk his rising star status on a candidate with a fairly decent shot at losing though- if he keeps where he is, he could be a good candidate on his own soon enough. And as you said, he also has a risk of having something go wrong with him, not having been vetted enough over the years. His characteristics (in a political sense) though- young, likable and hispanic- would be a great contrast to Romney. All the same, I don't see him being taking the spot, even if offered.

Rising star or not, Marco Rubio will have only spent two years as a Senator when he's sworn in as vice president. Even if that isn't seen as insufficient for governing/campaigning, it'll make it tough to continue the line of attack that Obama wrecked everything because he's an inexperienced amateur. And the Republicans have been using that line for years, on tape, so they couldn't just walk away from it even if they wanted to.

It's too bad, because a lot of stellar prospects were elected in 2010.

Ghostbear wrote:Somewhat tangential, but what do people see as the likelihood of Obama dropping Biden for someone else? Biden was there to contrast his lack of experience in 2008, so he's not really "useful" anymore, but at the same time I can't see Obama dropping him. I also can't think of who would be the replacement either- people would speculate Clinton, but I don't see her wanting it now.

Yeah, changing things up would signal that he's worried he can't win otherwise. It wouldn't be worth it.

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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:58 am UTC

Jave D wrote:No, it means that when a candidate holds a heinous view I am particularly horrified and opposed to, I am horrified and opposed to that candidate and am not going to vote for him.
So, let's take a step back, and forget about Obama and Paul, and just talk about leaders in general.

Consider a leader who believes he can and should use his military to murder political opponents without due process. That seems like it would be a heinous view, and as a rational and moral person you would probably be horrified and opposed to that view. You might even go so far as to refuse to vote for such a candidate. (Would you?)

But potential political leaders are, as a group, terrible. You might quickly find yourself refusing to vote at all, and so the question is not "who is free from the blood of the innocent?" but "who is the least stained?". The temptation, of all people, is to dismiss the stains they care about less / their favorite has and emphasize the stains they care about more / their favorite's opponent has. Whether you talk more about the drug war or conventional wars might depend more on the choice in front of you than your personal preferences.

The logical extreme of that position is to point at a single issue and say "There! That has forever earned my enmity." But unless you're a single-issue voter, it's likely that your favorite probably has something comparably to that single issue in damage done. Greenwald's argument is that it's most honest to compare packages. When you say "Paul represents X, Y, and Z things I dislike, and that outweighs A, B, and C things I like," that's a nuanced view that conveys quite a bit of information and implies serious thought. When you say "I would never vote for Paul because of X," that implies quite a bit of information about A, B, and C that may not actually be true.

Malice wrote:Anyway, his argument is kind of bullshit, because it presents a false dichotomy: we either pretend Obama's negative aspects do not exist, or we acknowledge and accept them in exchange for his positive qualities. The third option--we acknowledge but do not accept his negative qualities--goes completely unstated.
It's one step above that. He's arguing that, if that third option exists for progressives ("I support Obama but do not agree with his wanton pursuit of murders and terror"), then it is only honest to extend that option to libertarians ("I support Paul but do not agree with his disregard for reproductive rights or his association with racist writers"). If anyone wishes to deny the third option to libertarians, they must do it to progressives as well, and search themselves deeply and see if any of Obama's actions make it impossible to support him.

Malice wrote:You can, in fact, vote somebody into office and still lobby for them to change what they're doing.
By the way, the technical term for this sort of lobbyist is a "dupe."
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Qaanol » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:43 am UTC

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.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:14 am 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.


Certainly, he has a good point. IIRC, a number of Afghanis don't know why the US is there, and certainly, a growing generation of Americans are simply too young to remember 9/11. I do recall seeing some interviews where Afghanis thought we were Russians: it doesn't make a difference to them. All they know is that foreigners are in their land messing with their politics. 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.

Furthermore, "just bring them home" strikes me as naive. Certainly, it is offensive for us to be there in the first place, and it may even be a mistake for us to have moved into Iraq / Afghanistan. But lets not be stupid about this. They aren't just pissed about us staying in Afghanistan, we've got a little ally over there with a couple of Nukes that we've got to protect. As long as the US remains an ally of Israel, I'm positive that the Muslim world would remain spiteful at us. In fact, Al-Queda swears by it. (To be fair, the above video is a campaign ad, and is therefore unsuited for actual debate. Still, the issue is far more complicated than "We're pissing off people by being there")

I definitely applaud the Ronpaul for (attempting to) bring this to the national debate, but I still probably won't vote for him. I certainly believe that we should bring home the troops sooner rather than later. Fortunately, the Iraq war is mostly to a close (sans the State Department's contractors. But the DoD is out of Iraq as far as I know). Furthermore, the politics of the Middle East are complicated as hell, and I'm not going to pretend that just leaving Afghanistan will solve all of our problems.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby Cathy » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:24 am UTC

Wait, I'm confused. The ad implied that Obama changed his position on getting out of Iraq -- but he did get us out of Iraq. What's the changed position? That it took 3 years to do it?

I understand the emotion of the ad and I agree with it, in fact I'd love it if America wasn't still responsible for providing Germany and Japan with militaries. It would be a lot less expensive if we kept fewer, smaller bases in Europe and Asia. But of course, that means firing or radically re-tasking at least half of the military which is ragingly unpopular with Congress and (no duh) the military.

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.
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Re: U.S. Republican Primary

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:34 am UTC

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?


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