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  1. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Boston Tea party...again!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by NaCl, Jan 20, 2010.

    It’s only fitting, that when the federal government of the United States began behaving like a monarchy instead of a democracy, the good people of Massachusetts staged a modern-day tea party. Queen Pulosi, Czar Harry Reed and Emperor Obama have been rebuked by the land of Paul Revere, the birthplace of anti-sovereign revolution and the home of oddly pronounced English. My deepest thanks to the citizens of the Commonwealth.
     
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  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    From what I see, the votes haven't all been tallied yet, so I will hold back on cheering.

    If Brown is the victor, as it appears he will be, some balance has been restored to the Senate. The Democratic Party still enjoys a majority, but they can no longer simply shut out all Republican input.

    Before the election, Obama promised an end to partisan politics. Perhaps he will now be motivated to take the first steps in that direction. The Democrats will now have to listen to the Republicans at least enough to make some small concessions.

    The two party system is there to force discussion. It will now start to work again as intended.

    The Senate will now have about two weeks to try to ram te health care bill through as it currently stands. That is the time required to certify the election results, and Brown will be unable to take his seat in the Senate before then.

    If Brown does indeed emerge victorious.

    EDIT: I just saw that Martha Coakley gave her concession speech, so it appears that Brown is indeed the victor. Letus hope that the shift in power will actually result in positive change.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the ramming it through in two weeks, if attempted, will only further imperil the Democratic control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

    What has led in great part of the wide divide in Congress is the seniority system the parties use. Those who have been in Congress the longest, move up in seniority, and thus in power. They chair and manage the key committees and greatly influence/dole out to those less senior members based on their support and loyalty—including the promise of funds and support in re-election bids. Of course, the senior members are from the safest seats, so they can afford to be the most partisan, and ignore their constituents and consequences of their actions, up to a point, as there is little chance of real opposition rising up. It is the same for Democrats as it is for Republicans.

    At least today, it appears that what was considered a securely Democratic Senate seat was lost. Hopefully, it will signal to other members of congress, on all sides, that they should focus on doing what is proper and best for the people, and not strictly for their retention of political power.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. For the past year, there has been almost a giddy arrogance among the Democrats in Congress, and with the President himself. In the wake of the Bush presidency, they had secured a majority strong enough that they didn't have to listen to the Republicans in the system, so they shut them out of the process.

    During his election campaign, Obama spoke of working with all of Congress and tearing down the partisan walls that have frozen Congress into near immobility. I believe he was frustrated that just promising that was not enough to make it happen, and chose the path of expediency in the name of moving forward. But he made the mistake of not crediting the partisan system of generating important negotiations, an exchange of ideas.

    The partisan divide has become so colored with hostility that it has itself become the root crisis. The President needs to address this as a priority. The diversity of the party system is an asset, but it can only work if they work togeter to solve the nations problems, not in a tug of war.

    One of Obama's greatest strengths is his communication skills. He must act to get Congress to work together instead of carving out empires.

    Last night was not the solution to our problems. But it is a start, because it will force Washington to address the rift that is tearing the nation apart.

    In the words of Abraham Lincoln, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
     
  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I sure hope so, Cogito.

    I voted for Obama in the 2009 elections (I didn't vote for the Republicans like I did two times before with GWB after seeing how GWB messed up.) :/ I really, really hope Obama doesn't screw this up.
     
  6. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ironically, this Massachusetts tsunami is NOT about Obama. It is about congress. One-party dictatorship thwarts democracy. When two parties are forced to compromise, the people win, but dictatorship by 51% is still dictatorship and that is what Reed and Pulosi have created. Their idea of "partisanship" is Republicans will have to sign off on OUR agenda...or be labeled as obstructionists. To make matters even worse, every major poll in the past three months have shown a serious public loss of confidence in the Democrat's plan for controlling the delivery of health care at the federal level. The ignored the will of the people, often insulting citizens who spoke out by labeling them with derogatory tags! Is this acceptable behavior from our elected officials? Have they forgotten that THEY serve US?

    There is no doubt that health care costs and access must be improved. I have been in the health care industry for 34 years and I could fix most of the problems with legislation of about ten pages in length. There would be no new bureaucracy. There would be no taxes. There would be no "forced" participation. Only, intelligent fixes that would benefit those who chose to participate. The problem with my approach is that legislators would not be able to add pork for their districts, because there would be no "earmarks" allowed...no special deals to buy votes.

    One more thing...in a capitalist economy, competition is supposed to drive costs down. The health care providers do NOT compete. When one raises rates, they all do. It's a form of collusion and the government should enforce existing anti-trust laws against hospitals, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and large medical groups to force competition.

    Congress has also granted Obama's requests for big government spending. I believe some of it was necessary to prevent a deeper economic crisis, but a lot of the funds were misdirected into pork grants. Heads should role for that! The rest of the money, like TARP, will be returned to government as businesses pay back their loans. Where is that money going? So far, dozens of banks have returned their TARP loans and congress is holding those funds instead of paying off loans. Where is fiscal discipline? For Christ's sake, I taught my kids to save when they were five years old...what's the matter with those bloated morons in congress?

    Again, I thank the good people of Massachusetts for issuing the wake-up call to congress. Now, they better get out of bed and get to work or we, the people, are going to fire them all!
     
  7. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Now if only Vermont would do that! For as conservative as native Vermonters are, the force of the liberal flatlanders that move here swing us in a totally liberal state. I'm more of an independent with conservative tendencies. I'd love to boot out our gov officials and start fresh. Another reason I support term limits for both the house and the senate. We shouldn't have career politicians holding the same seat for their entire lives. IT's too easy to fall to the dark side and be bought out by deep pockets and pushy lobbyists.
     
  8. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I feel the 2 party system is the problem. You are either FOR us or AGAINST us on both sides. Neither side is willing to concede on anything, for fear that it will make the opposite side look good.

    We need a functioning 3rd party, congressional term limitations, and to find a way to get the lobbyists out of washington.
     
  9. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I think that's EXACTLY what we need, Kyle.
     
  10. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I consider myself to be a liberal in my social views but an extreme conservative when it comes to government and law. Neigh an anarchist. I believe we need a governing body to make sure everyone plays fair, but every law that is passed comes at the cost of freedom. and that is an expensive way to do things.
     
  11. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    To tell the truth, I think the brit's parliamentary system is excellent...multiple parties and government can be dissolved at any time by a vote of no confidence.

    In the US, the first step to regaining control over government is to have term limits. Such restrictions reduce the influence of lobbyists and tie the congress member closely to his or her constituency. With term limits, there would be less gridlock and more opportunity for a third party to grow. I wish the constitution had a provision for bypassing congress like the initiative process in California.
     
  12. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    A third party would be great, but it won’t work in the current political environment. I tend to lean toward Libertarian, but that would draw more votes away from the right than it would from the left.

    I think the United States is at a crossroads. The health care bill is at the center of attention for two reasons. The economy is stressed, and it seems that spending huge sums of money is self-destructive. Also, it will determine whether the United States will retain a free economy.

    It looks like voters have deliberated and come to a conclusion. However, I’m not sure whether they are afraid of fundamentally changing the country, or if they think this is just a terrible time to try it.

    Personally, when I read history, I see the danger of any government with too much control of its people. I believe that Democrats mean well in general, but actions have consequences, many unintended.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Two parties work perfectle well until they fortify their positions and refuse to budge on anything.

    Solurtions come from having to sit down and create a middle ground that nobody is overjoyed about but everyone can live with. In a corporate environment, good managers make teams with people who often disagree. Constructive conflict is what breeds innovative solutions.

    However, it IS necessary to have a means of conflict resolution, not just a shout-down war.
     
  14. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    The ultimate "means of conflict resolution", or perhaps the motivation for conflict resolution, is the threat of losing the next political race. Before yesterday in Massachusetts, I do not believe most of the members of congress really perceived the threat. With the exception of someone like Nancy Pelosi, most now realize they'd better start compromising or the public is going to yank their playing card.
     
  15. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    I do believe it. Voters often neglect their responsibility to be informed and vote – I am among them when it comes to voting, especially locally – but when they are angry, they can get things done.
     
  16. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    I think the other problem is that not everyone who can vote does vote. The Mass race was big with a 50% or so voter turn out...which they said was better than the typical 20% voter turn out. The last presidential election was a big one, yet we still didn't get a full turn out, only what, like 60% voted... (not sure what the presidential election turn out was.)

    Between term limits, more parties, maybe even the vote of no confidence would be nice, full voter turn outs...our government would probably look a lot different than it does. And if we could eliminate this whole, only voting rich well connected slick politicians into office, and start elected real people who are not all connected and sold out...well that might be nearly a perfect system.

    But in a system where the person with the multi-million dollar ad campaign wins the election, we'll have nothing but the same elitist people running the show. Of course none of it really matters in the end, the powers that be could crush America in devastating financial ruin any time they want, and will do it when they prove to gain the most. Probably in 2012. lol
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This special election had about a 55% voter turnout in Massachusetts, despite fairly crummy weather and slippery road conditions. The 2008 Presidential election had a 66% voter turnout in Massachusetts.
     
  18. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think voter turnout is a problem. I wouldn't care if the turnout was 25% or 95%, as long as those voting were well-informed. Paid attention, learned the issues and candidates--and didn't have a short term memory with respect to elections and promises kept/broken.

    Those led by media sound bites, campaign ads, etc. and don't look deeper...

    How many folks take the local newspaper and vote as they indicated. Or just vote down the line Democrat or Republican?

    Above, someone indicated it was about Congress--that caused the backlash, and not Obama. I disagree. He has shut out Republican input and basically said as much to them and to the public. Wasn't it President Obama that last week summoned the leaders of the Democrats in congress to negotiate behind closed doors, an attempted settlement on the health care legislation?" Wasn't it Obama who met with union leaders about certain aspects of the bill that he favored and was pushing for? And in the end, the President is the leader of his party. Just as President Bush became unpopular and dragged down the Republican party with him, so is it beginning to appear President Obama will do as well with the Democratic party. To be sure, arrogant congressional leadership isn't helping their cause.

    As for a third party, with the current structure of two party system, and all the hurdles they have set up to establish an effective party (Ross Perot was the closest we came to in recent history), what happens is that those who would support the third party, will come from the party they most closely support overall, leaving the one they oppose the most likely to waltz into power.

    For example, if the Green Party became powerful, they would draw from the Democrats, splitting the vote, leaving the Republicans to win easily. If say the Libertarian Party became strong in numbers and support, it would likely come at the expense of the Republican party...leaving the Democratic party (which the Libertarians would be most opposed to) in a stronger position to win more elections and control.

    The problem with term limits is that if a small group of states institute it, they will hurt themselves as their members of congress could never elevate in seniority and power.

    One major solution, besides term limits and a third party, would be The Fair Tax. It would eliminate much of the power Congress has (the power of picking winners and losers financially through taxes and tax breaks). Legislation wouldn't be slanted for favored lobbyists and groups as easily. But congress (either party) give up power? That's the meat and gravy of career politicians.
     
  19. LordKyleOfEarth
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    The real problem is that no one in congress knows what it is like to be an average American. The national average household pulls in $50,000/year and the lowest paid congressional representative makes three times that. Once you add in that congress get an automatic annual cost-of-living raise based upon inflation, free bomber health coverage, retirement, etc, there is really no way they can be in touch with the people they are supposed to be representing.

    I hear a person call in on the radio complaining, earnestly, that if national health care passed, those who have healthcare already would have to wait or make appointments to see a doctor. I doubt the caller made $50,000 a year, but it shows how out of touch and desensitized people have become.

    Make congressional pay equal to the national average. If they want more, make the country more profitable. Make their health coverage equal to the national average coverage level. If they want better, let them pay out of pocket (like their constituents) or increase the national standard for health care. It's much harder to let lobbyists **** on the little guy when you are in his same boat.
     
  20. Lavarian
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    I am pleased that someone brought up Fair Tax. I think it sounds like a great idea.
     
  21. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    The major problem that I see for any party is the main stream media. They print what they want everyone to see and what they don't want is not reported except as an after thought.
    I have started reading blogging tories and get much more information from there than from newspapers.
    It is more Canadian Oriented but is following some things from the states and England.
    It gives a different take on all the stories you read and see on tv. It is also more interactive.
    Mind you none of them like obama and they don't like the liberals at all but all in all it makes interesting reading.
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The President has limited control of Congress. The majority party exerts control that crosses between the Executive and Legislative branches, so he can exert influence as the party leaders when both branches are controlled by the same party.

    One fallacy is that the party in charge is responsible for everything that comes to a head during the period they are in control. Normally, even the minority party has a say in all policies that take place in that time. But even then, situations like the economic collapse last year develop over decades. There was plenty of deal-making and overlooked opportunities on both sides of the aisle.

    The Bush adminiustration takes a great deal of heat over Iraq. But who is to say how a different president would have handled 9/11 and the situation in Iraq at the time? The party not in power can point their fingers all they want, with absolutely no way of showing they would not have ended up in an even worse mess.

    One thing is certain - if 40% of the elected representation in the Legislative branch is blocked from acting in any way, it is a corruption of the system.
     
  23. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dictatorship by 51%. Therein lies the fundamental problem with democracy, especially at the national level where each citizen's vote means almost nothing. Our founding fathers had it right. Limited only by the terms of the Constitution, states should meet most of the needs of their citizens and the federal government should be strictly limited to issues of national defense, immigration, treaties, interstate commerce and maintaining a common currency. Federal taxes should be low and states should receive the bulk of tax dollars to pay for all the services that the residents of each state demand. Why? Because your vote counts at the state level. Most state legislators live at home and are neighbors with many of their constituents. Term limits, lobbyist restrictions and special state provisions like re-call petitions and the initiative process are effective at the state level. The public has real power.
     
  24. Sabreur
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    As a liberal, I can't say the Republicans winning makes me happy. Then again, the Dimocrats seem to be making a mess of things. Suppose I can't say the current political system does much for me. Then again, I'm a writer, not a politician. So maybe it's good these things make little sense to me. I try to keep up on politics, but I find certain other countries (don't try too hard guessing) and their political landscapes FAR more interesting and pertinent than my birthland's Red-State-Blue-State shenanigans.
     
  25. Mercurial
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    "If the Democrats run for cover, if we become pale carbon copies of the opposition, we will lose, and deserve to lose." -Ted Kennedy

    My stance?
    kNOw more Democrats
    kNOw more Republicans

    James Madison warned us of factions (IE interest groups AKA parties) before we even had a Constitution. Elitist though he was, he was not a stupid man. Our government was designed to be slow-operating, but look at us. We are more stagnated than ever. It's going to take great change to make things right again.

    Personally, I'm surprised and a little ticked off this thread hasnt been flagged. Seeing as the topic is all about controversy and some of these posts have been a little more than biased, untrue, and rude.

    I hope everyone's happy about the Mass win. Being neither Republican nor Democrat, I have to say I didnt give a damn who won. All I know now is that it's going to take even longer to get **** done in Washington, and that hurts me. That hurts a lot of people. We need progress right now, and whether the dems or republicans (or in my opinion, neither) have the solution, it's going to be incredibly hard for any progess to be made.

    Fantastic.
     

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