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  1. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The US Politics Thread

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by EdFromNY, Dec 10, 2010.

    Lemex was kind enough to start a general Politics thread, but I thought that US and UK politics on the same thread might launch multiple discussions that didn't really relate to one another (not to mention the politics of other countries represented on this forum). So, here is my offering for a thread on US Politics.

    My own view is that the Obama-McConnell agreement is the defining post-election moment for US domestic policy. It clarifies the manner in which the President will deal with a hostile Congress, and the outcome (whether it passes or not, and the resulting impact on the economy either way) will frame the 2012 Presidential election.

    Do you think the Democrats in the Senate will allow it to pass? Should they? If not, what should they do? And will Obama's shift to the center salvage his chances of a second term or hasten his exit?

    I look forward to seeing a lively discussion. I'll save my own opinions until later.
     
  2. EagleOne
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    EagleOne Member

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    I think Obama's greatest political failing was sitting back and letting those idiotic ideologues set the agenda for 2 years. He gave up all the good will he engendered during the election. All the talk to inclusion and change in the process meant nothing. Just more of the same with liberal Dems going wild with their social agendas.

    Working together to bring/keep more jobs in America should have been and continue to be his focus. Bring in some folks and write / suggest legislation and use his office to get it done. He was too politically weak to do so and it shows now that he's trying to compromise and his supposed allies are not supportive.

    All these politicians care more about themselves than getting the important stuff done.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    EagleOne is correct, in my view. Instead of candidate Obama becoming President, he seemed to delegate to Congress, which has had an abyssmal approval rating for at least a decade now. And he suffered for it.

    Obama was in a tough spot with the McConnell deal. He really didn't have a lot of choice. But even if he did, the kind of willingness to work across the aisle is something he campaigned on but up until now has not demonstrated in office. After the deal was announced, 2/3 of the people said they thought it should pass. Obama should end up getting some of his good will back after this.

    I also think if it comes right down to it the Dems in Congress will end up passing it. The problem in the House is going to be getting it up for a vote (and it will pass if it comes to one). The House Democrats really bungled things by keeping the same House leadership in place that is part of an over-arching Congressional leadership that led them to their greatest election defeat in 50 or 60 years (the leadership change wouldn't have made a difference for this lame duck Congress, of course, but in the coming Congress it will; and it shows a certain tone-deafness to the electorate).

    If the deal doesn't go through at this point, given that the President himself has signed off on it along with the GOPers in Congress, then when everyone's taxes are raised in a few weeks AND unemployment is not extended, the Democrats in Congress will take the blame. This sort of thing will virtually ensure a complete GOP take-over of Congress in 2012.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    As an aside, we really need to get to a post-party mentality in the U.S. Our current bad government thrives on dividing the electorate and convincing those too busy or lazy to inform themselves and think critically that one party is less corrupt than the other, or is looking out for their interests. It's not the case. Political parties are about maintenance of party power, and personal power for those higher ups in the party.

    The electorate need to think critically on issues and on the merits of individual candidates, be they GOPers, Dems, or third party, and vote according. The mindless checking of (D) or (R) on the ballot needs to stop.

    Unfortunately, we're as party-oriented as I can remember. It is astounding how many people actually believe that you can tell whether a candidate is right or wrong, has good ideas or bad ones, has integrity or does not, merely by looking to see whether they have a (D) or (R) in front of their name. We fool ourselves to their ultimate benefit.
     
  5. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Here's the usual disclaimer:

    This thread will be closely monitored. If it veers to close to argument and flaming, then it WILL be closed, and any persons whose behaviour is uncivil WILL be infracted.

    You've all been warned. I'm willing to give you a chance to do this responsibly, but this has ended badly in the past.
     
  6. EagleOne
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    EagleOne Member

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    I have faith in our brothers and sisters here. I believe we're all adults or act like it and can discuss complex issues w/o devolving into petty personal attacks.

    Cheers,
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    I hope so EagleOne, but I've seen it happen too many times to not be cautious.

    Still, I'm happy to give it a go.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with EagleOne. I started this thread in the hope that ideas could be exchanged in a thoughtful and respectful manner. If that turns out not to be the case, then I'll be the first one to support closing it.
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And just so that no one gets the impression that Banzai is acting as "red coat," please allow me to echo his concern that this thread of discourse remain educated, erudite, and of a high brow. I would love nothing other than that such a conversation remain within the bounds that the forum espouses. As soon as it does not....
     
  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It seems to me we're a reasonable enough lot. I think the discussion will stay cordial and on-topic, though I've certainly seen the opposite happen in other internet forums.
     
  11. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I completely agree, Steerpike. Obama had a flood of goodwill going into the office of President; he quickly squandered it away and is now paying the price for it. At this point, Washington is so partisan that a "compromise" now entails giving up more than you get to the party currently in power. I'm primarily a Democrat, but if a Republican candidate or an independent candidate has ideas or ideals I like or agree with, I'll vote for them. I won't always vote along party lines. I don't believe you SHOULD, anyway.
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure that he "sat back" at all. I think he did quite a lot to put his own stamp on things, but the problem was that the congressional leaders in his party were more savvy than he was (little wonder, since they had been at it so much longer than he). He brought in Rahm Emanuel specifically to deal with Pelosi and Reed, but in the end Emanuel was as outgunned as was his boss.

    It's also interesting that the country's answer to the idealogues of the past two years has been to turn back (at least partially) to the idealogues in the opposition party a scant four years after taking away their majorities in congress and two years after denying them the White House. We seem to be a fickle bunch these days.

    Alas, that is not new. But it is scary given the impending consequences.
     
  13. Capt Bob
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    Capt Bob Senior Member

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    I'm sure our members can show the utmost good taste and restraint, even on a topic such as Politics in the US, which currently engenders feelings far akin of cuddly warmth.

    If in ten posts the farthest afield we go is "idiotic ideologues" I certainly hope "That" hasn't warranted scrutiny and warnings??, it should fly well under the radar of political writing, creativity and free expression abuse.

    If not I would venture to observe your censure ship filter is composed of a very fine mesh. Unless of course you realize the potential and are merely giving the participants an preventative inoculation?.

    Our most serious problems at this time are the same worldwide and spawned from the same source, namely the greed and ingenuity of some Banksters in engineering instruments designed to enrich them and pass the bill to the working taxpayers by way of threatening "Craven" political law-makers with taking down the entire economy with them if "called to task". So far seems to be working in this "To big to fail" Scene two.

    Gee that was so genteel, it surprised me!, almost British You know??--Your admonishment working fine so far.
     
  14. EagleOne
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    EagleOne Member

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    Perhaps he did put his stamp as you say, however, the face of the agenda was Pelosi and her ilk. The President wasn't a strong leader who pulled together what he truly believed to be best and got his party behind it. He made speeches that were eventually proven false when congress got through with the bill. Definitely made him look weak and ineffective in my eyes. My mum cried as she watched him fade into the background (her words). She felt betrayed. I was just sad it was more of the same partisan bickering we've come to expect (even within his own party).

    Alas, this is a function of America's relatively apathetic electorate. Many, many people don't vote at all and even worse some vote w/o any understanding of the issues. That leaves the extremes on both sides trying to sway the under-educated middle. Not a great recipe for good outcomes.

    Cheers,
     
  15. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hooray, a politics thread!
    ThisWillAllEndInTears.jpg

    I agree that Obama has missed the mark and that congressional leaders are running the show, despite being wholly unpopular among the general population. I feel that is the base-line problem in the states currently: the disconnect between the population and our elected representatives.
     
  16. EagleOne
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    EagleOne Member

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    That disconnect is greatly amplified by the sheer number of people who voted for "none of the above" because they don't think it makes a difference who's in office. Estimates of turnout in this year's election range from 39-42% of registered voters. Think about how much lower that number is if you factor in all adult citizens not just those who register.

    Let's face it a single parent with 1-2 kids making $25K isn't going to see much benefit from tax cuts or changes in the tax code. The working poor with children in the U.S. don't pay federal income tax. They pay FICA and receive the EIC (earned income credit), which is basically a subsidy that allows them to make ends meet and stay off of welfare while keeping their low paying job or jobs.

    These folks don't research issues and candidate positions. They are too busy trying to stay afloat; being one broken down car repair from losing that low paying job.

    The people in the middle have become so frustrated with job loss and the global economy they don't understand they too fail to vote in large numbers or they just lash out in pointless frustration against whomever is in power.

    Additionally the issues facing the U.S. and other "developed" countries are so complex many people can be swayed by whatever persuasive argument manages to break through the noise of their busy lives. People come home after a hard day at work, help the kids with homework, get them in bed and turn off their minds to watch mindless drivel on TV. I watch enough TV to know if that was my only access to information I'd probably sit around thinking is all hopeless too.

    Many of these good paying jobs of the past are gone forever.

    ***Complaining about illegal immigrants means nothing. They're not doing high paying jobs in most cases and in the instances they do (taking carpentry and electrical work) it's not enough to turn the country around if you got rid of them. Besides the employers are really the problem. If these folks had no jobs (or employers were punished so severely it wasn't profitable to hire them no one would come here for work).

    Those old high paying jobs are gone, period. Unless everyone is willing to pay more for the next iPad, computer or TV those items won't be built here. Even as more auto and heavy industries relocate to the U.S. automation has significantly reduced the number of humans required at each facility.

    Today Foxconn (builder of many of Apple's products) announced their total employment has crossed 1 million employees with thousands of openings still unfilled. American's better wake up and figure out what they want because passing 1 million jobs to China -and that's just ONE company- to keep prices at home cheap isn't really a good thing. It is said such things are inevitable. It's progress and shareholder "value" (read profit) must be maintained and improved. It is said we must find new ways to compete, new products to sell.

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and other information companies are uniquely American creations and spawned massive domestic job growth but it's not the sort of work a laid off factory worker or loan processor can easily obtain.

    I'm just touching on a few issues. Think, I mean really think about the millions of Americans that don't pay attention to any issue that doesn't directly impact them or their immediate livelihood. It does not bode well for the development of an informed electorate.

    Americans need to care about what is happening around them. They need to try and understand the complexity of their world (and where they fit in) and how their elected representatives can make things so much worse if the wrong people get into office. They need to READ. They need to STUDY the positions and ultimately the actions once elected of those who desire their vote. They need to DISCUSS with their friends and neighbors. And once they are fully informed and understand the consequences of their actions (or inaction) they need to VOTE -- not based on emotion or some nebulous promise of change but based on a real and complete (as they can get) understanding of who and what they're voting for.

    Cheers,
     
  17. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    EagleOne, I'm sorry your Mom was so upset. A lot of people were. But in truth I can't believe that more people didn't see that he really wasn't up to the job (neither was McCain, if truth be told - eight years earlier, yes, but not in 2008). I think his presidency has proven that he was an excellent campaigner (and he was!) but that he really didn't begin to understand the difficulty of the office itself.

    The irony is that I think he has learned a lot in two years, but he will likely be trapped in a defensive position for the next two years. Assuming the tax package passes, there will probably be some bounce to the economy in 2011, but then probably some contraction in 2012, for which he will shoulder the blame (because the payroll tax cut is only for one year).

    I also agree with you regarding the apathy of the American electorate. As a nation, we have a painfully short attention span, and what little we've got, we prefer to focus on matters of no consequence (like Bristol Palin on "Dancing with the Stars" or how cool iPhone 4 is). Add to that the fact that our main news outlets are little more than Soundbite Manufacturers, with little actual information, and we are a massive, national case of political ADHD.
     
  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    General threads on poilitics will not be permitted. History has shown that the overwhelming majority of threads on specific political topics quickly ignite into flames.

    If you wantr to argue politics, there are forums all over where you can scream an d rant to your spleen's happy release. This is not one of them.

    This will not come as a surprise to anyone who has been here more than a few weeks.
     
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