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Congratulations to the Dems - Page 2

post #41 of 196
OK, you caught me in a generalization, there are some differences in the details between the parties and candidates. (I agree that if Bush wasn't in office we probably would never have invaded Iraq, etc.)

What I meant was, that in the 20 or so years since I started caring about politics, there have been no *significant* changes in the way things are run IMHO, be it Dems or Reps in 'charge'. Perhaps if I was in one of the special interest groups that get targeted (good or bad) by one party over the other I would have noticed more differences, but in the grind of my average, middle class, day to day life I can't honestly say I've been 'better off' with one party or the other, paid noticeably less or more taxes with one or the other, etc. I haven't been asked for my papers or had to be vetted to leave the country with Republicans in charge. (at least not yet! )

For example, I was upset when my pay raises (miltary) in Clinton's first term were laughable, but Bush has been holding increases down almost as much as Clinton did. (have to pay for that war somehow)
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post #42 of 196
There is some hope for congressional grid-lock!

This blog/article points out the most likely reality:

Quote:
Because both parties know that either House or Senate could easily switch back over in 2008, they will do their best to deny the other side any legislative victories.

Another blog adds:

Quote:
My real wish is that Pelosi would pursue impeachment, not because I think it is justified but because it would tie Congress up into a magnificently entertaining gridlock. Unfortunately, she has pledged she would not do so.

The first blog has probably the most realistic political analysis so far. The "we'll be friends" thing will likely last about 72 hours...perhaps less (with legal/political fights starting over a Virginia senate seat).
post #43 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

Huh? The Democrats have some problems and the Republicans have major advantages:

First, McCain and Guiliani are strong candidates. McCain is right where most of the electorate is politically, and is generally a popular guy. He waited for his turn, and it's coming. Guiliani is socially pretty liberal, and very popular in a huge blue state...Hillary's state. This, IMO, is the best choice for the Republicans. Rice might work, but she'll be tarnished by the war and Bush Admin fatigue.

The Dems still have a serious problem. Their party's power base (read: money) comes from the hard left. The hard left controls the party's purse strings and dominates the House and Senate leadership. However, the electorate is right of center. They're not where Santorum and Bill Frist are, but they're still right of center. To win, the Dems need to nominate a moderate. This is why Hillary has spent six years trying to bridge the gap and move to the center. At heart she is a far left as they get, but she's politically savvy enough to know she's not going to win like that. The last liberal President we had was Jimmy Carter. Mondale and Dukakis were slaughtered running as liberals, and Clinton ran as "new Democrat." The Clinton people don't run the party anymore though. Pelosi, Reid, Kerry, Schumer, Dean, Rangle and Conyers do.

Let's look at the candidates. Hillary will face huge conservative opposition and opposition among men. Her numbers among white men will be laughable. But that's not the problem. Hillary's real problem is with women...yes, women. The first female President is going to need 75% (perhaps) of the female vote to win. With her disapproval in the 40s amongst women, she has a serious problem.

Kerry is finished, this much we know. Dean is finished too. Clark won't catch on, just as he didn't last time. John Edwards is too much of a pretty boy (not a technical analysis I know, but it's true). Barack Obama hasn't done anything worth mentioning. And let's face it, the name is a killer for him. Bill Richardson comes across as sloppy, and Evan Bayh is too unknown.

That leaves us with Mark Warner and perhaps, just perhaps Ed Rendell, though I think he comes across as too unpolished as well.

Now I'm leaving out one, and you know who that is. It's my prediction that Al "ManBearPig" Gore is going to run again. I think he has a chance of beating McCain if he picks the right running mate and runs a better campaign. Pair him up with Obama or Warner, maybe even Hillary and you have a good ticket. Gore is pretty "left" too, but he does care about US business interests and knows how to look like a centrist. He'll also tackle global warming head on...whether it needs to be tackled or not.

Nominating Hillary would be a disaster in my opinion. The only way she can win would be like her husband did. If a third party candidate gets thrown in and splits the fiscal conservative vote, she's got a good shot.

Just my take.

But americans just don't like what the republicans have been doing any more. Don't you get that?

And I don't think that's going to change in just 2 years. The republicans have had their day in the sun and then some! This is just balancing things out. You know the other part of the cycle. I have been trying to tell you. And you know it could be someone who isn't on your current list for the democrats.

Here's food for thought : http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15624617/

After the last election the more conservative parties on this board ( no names please ) crowed " The democrats are so mixed up maybe they'll never elect another democrat again ". Well look at things now! Cyclic, cyclic, cyclic! 'Get it? That's why we have a 2 party system. I think you guys better start looking at 2012.
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post #44 of 196
Thread Starter 
shet:

Quote:
It is highly, highly unlikely that Gore or Kerry would have gotten us into the Iraq war. And yes, I know a lot of Democrats authorized Bush to have the option, but that's very far from the same thing as deciding to do go into that war temselves.

That sir, is complete and utter bullshit. They voted to give him authority to invade. They did it because they were scared it would bite them in the ass in the 2002 midterms. Then they tried to run away from their vote. Period.
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post #45 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac

But americans just don't like what the republicans have been doing any more. Don't you get that?

And I don't think that's going to change in just 2 years. The republicans have had their day in the sun and then some! This is just balancing things out. You know the other part of the cycle. I have been trying to tell you. And you know it could be someone who isn't on your current list for the democrats.

Here's food for thought : http://msnbc.msn.com/id/15624617/

After the last election the more conservative parties on this board ( no names please ) crowed " The democrats are so mixed up maybe they'll never elect another democrat again ". Well look at things now! Cyclic, cyclic, cyclic! 'Get it? That's why we have a 2 party system. I think you guys better start looking at 2012.

I really tend to disagree with that, cyclic or not. The Presidential race will not be about voter fatigue. It will be about the candidates, as it nearly always is. That's all it comes down to.
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post #46 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR

I honestly want to see a Schwarzennegar Republican win in 2008...someone who will actually work together with the other side and end all this nonsensical bickering and ra ra team attitude that prevails in this country.

They will have to make an amendment to the constitution for that to happen. Thank God.
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post #47 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

That sir, is complete and utter bullshit. They voted to give him authority to invade. They did it because they were scared it would bite them in the ass in the 2002 midterms. Then they tried to run away from their vote. Period.

How is it bullshit?

There were three main reasons for Democrats, or Republicans too for that matter, to vote for the authorization to invade Iraq:

1) They believed the evidence for WMD and/or Al Qaeda ties. But the so-called evidence which swayed members of Congress never would have been presented to them in the slanted way that it was, with dissenting views from within the intelligence community largely filtered out, and minimal evidence hyped up to look like more than it was, without the process that particular to the Bush administration and its built-in drive to look for an excuse to invade Iraq.

2) They wanted to give the present a tactical too with the threat of invasion, but had (very wrongly it turns out) had hoped he'd use the option to invade more judiciously, and if used, implemented more competently.

3) In the post-9/11 environment, they were afraid to look "weak on terror", and voted as they did as a political calculation. But here again, that's not a political calculation that would have existed in the absence of the Bush White House. It is incredibly unlikely a Democratic President would have put the Iraq option on the table, nor have used the same propaganda games to create a strong Saddam-9/11 connection in the public mind (always mentioning "9/11", "Al Qauda", and "terrorism" within a few words distance from and mention of "Saddam" or "Iraq" in every public address on Iraq done by Bush or any of his people) such that members of Congress would feel that political pressure to either go along or look weak.

You're looking at the narrow picture of lots of Dems voting for the authorization, deliberately or stubbornly jettisoning all possible nuance (a conservative trait if ever there was one!) about the reasons behind those votes, and totally ignoring the issue of whether the idea of invading Iraq would even have come up in a post 9/11 Democratic administration.
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post #48 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

I really tend to disagree with that, cyclic or not. The Presidential race will not be about voter fatigue. It will be about the candidates, as it nearly always is. That's all it comes down to.

Yes but you have said they wouldn't take the senate. Well guess what?
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post #49 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

How is it bullshit?

There were three main reasons for Democrats, or Republicans too for that matter, to vote for the authorization to invade Iraq:

1) They believed the evidence for WMD and/or Al Qaeda ties. But the so-called evidence which swayed members of Congress never would have been presented to them in the slanted way that it was, with dissenting views from within the intelligence community largely filtered out, and minimal evidence hyped up to look like more than it was, without the process that particular to the Bush administration and its built-in drive to look for an excuse to invade Iraq.

2) They wanted to give the present a tactical too with the threat of invasion, but had (very wrongly it turns out) had hoped he'd use the option to invade more judiciously, and if used, implemented more competently.

3) In the post-9/11 environment, they were afraid to look "weak on terror", and voted as they did as a political calculation. But here again, that's not a political calculation that would have existed in the absence of the Bush White House. It is incredibly unlikely a Democratic President would have put the Iraq option on the table, nor have used the same propaganda games to create a strong Saddam-9/11 connection in the public mind (always mentioning "9/11", "Al Qauda", and "terrorism" within a few words distance from and mention of "Saddam" or "Iraq" in every public address on Iraq done by Bush or any of his people) such that members of Congress would feel that political pressure to either go along or look weak.

You're looking at the narrow picture of lots of Dems voting for the authorization, deliberately or stubbornly jettisoning all possible nuance (a conservative trait if ever there was one!) about the reasons behind those votes, and totally ignoring the issue of whether the idea of invading Iraq would even have come up in a post 9/11 Democratic administration.


Exactly!
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post #50 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

There is some hope for congressional grid-lock!

This blog/article points out the most likely reality:



Another blog adds:



The first blog has probably the most realistic political analysis so far. The "we'll be friends" thing will likely last about 72 hours...perhaps less (with legal/political fights starting over a Virginia senate seat).


This is called " Wishful Thinking ".

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post #51 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR

I honestly want to see a Schwarzennegar Republican win in 2008...someone who will actually work together with the other side and end all this nonsensical bickering and ra ra team attitude that prevails in this country.

Agreed. Schwarzenegger is underrated.

Here's one thing I want from the Dems: make elections work more properly. Instead of bickering about who may have tampered whose election and how and who got shot for finding out, take the constructive approach and actually fix the election system's biggest woes. For instance:

1) Make proper laws to ensure standards for election machines. Enforce the hardware to be built on standard components. Enforce the software to be developed an open-source project. Enforce the operating system to only allow running digitally signed binaries. In other words, make the devices secure as well as open; safe as well as transparent. Make fraud completely impossible.

2) Make precincts verify identities better. A friend of mine walked in without having his identity checked at all; he could have easily pretended to be someone else; nobody cared to check.
post #52 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

That sir, is complete and utter bullshit. They voted to give him authority to invade. They did it because they were scared it would bite them in the ass in the 2002 midterms. Then they tried to run away from their vote. Period.

The president and his men flamed the fire by bringing Iraq to the spotlight. It's not like they were extra denying the UN resolutions. I don't even recall them flaunting anything. They'd been ignoring them for years. It took a republican to respond to that, and to create the situation we're in. Once the inferences and buildup was started, many dems, and much of the public, ate the bait.
post #53 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

How is it bullshit?

There were three main reasons for Democrats, or Republicans too for that matter, to vote for the authorization to invade Iraq:

1) They believed the evidence for WMD and/or Al Qaeda ties. But the so-called evidence which swayed members of Congress never would have been presented to them in the slanted way that it was, with dissenting views from within the intelligence community largely filtered out, and minimal evidence hyped up to look like more than it was, without the process that particular to the Bush administration and its built-in drive to look for an excuse to invade Iraq.

2) They wanted to give the present a tactical too with the threat of invasion, but had (very wrongly it turns out) had hoped he'd use the option to invade more judiciously, and if used, implemented more competently.

3) In the post-9/11 environment, they were afraid to look "weak on terror", and voted as they did as a political calculation. But here again, that's not a political calculation that would have existed in the absence of the Bush White House. It is incredibly unlikely a Democratic President would have put the Iraq option on the table, nor have used the same propaganda games to create a strong Saddam-9/11 connection in the public mind (always mentioning "9/11", "Al Qauda", and "terrorism" within a few words distance from and mention of "Saddam" or "Iraq" in every public address on Iraq done by Bush or any of his people) such that members of Congress would feel that political pressure to either go along or look weak.

You're looking at the narrow picture of lots of Dems voting for the authorization, deliberately or stubbornly jettisoning all possible nuance (a conservative trait if ever there was one!) about the reasons behind those votes, and totally ignoring the issue of whether the idea of invading Iraq would even have come up in a post 9/11 Democratic administration.


1. There is no evidence that the intel was manipulated or cherry picked, as you put it. They saw what Bush saw. They saw what other agencies had too, inlcuding the Brits, the Israelis, the French, the Russians and the Germans. "They were lied to" doesn't cut it. They weren't lied to.

2. Oh come on. You cannot possibly believe that! The whole country laughed at Kerry when he said that. They knew what they were voting for. Really, this is one of the weakest, most pathetic arguments I've ever heard. The resolution didn't say "go threaten them" nor did the President need the resolution to do that. Please.

3. Now we're getting somewhere. Except then there is this:

Quote:
nor have used the same propaganda games to create a strong Saddam-9/11 connection in the public mind

I am really sick of hearing this. I disagree this effort ever took place. What was said was that in the wake of 9/11, our view of threats changed.

I don't know whether or not a Dem would have invaded. I really don't see the point in debating it. The Dems were scared and didn't want to look bad in the midterms, which they did anyway. Then, when they had to go face people like you...their constituents....they cried "we were tricked" or "we were pressured by propoganda." It's really nothing that sophisticated though. They were just trying to keep their base and look tough on terror at the same time.
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post #54 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

1. There is no evidence that the intel was manipulated or cherry picked, as you put it. They saw what Bush saw. They saw what other agencies had too, inlcuding the Brits, the Israelis, the French, the Russians and the Germans. "They were lied to" doesn't cut it. They weren't lied to.

2. Oh come on. You cannot possibly believe that! The whole country laughed at Kerry when he said that. They knew what they were voting for. Really, this is one of the weakest, most pathetic arguments I've ever heard. The resolution didn't say "go threaten them" nor did the President need the resolution to do that. Please.

3. Now we're getting somewhere. Except then there is this:



I am really sick of hearing this. I disagree this effort ever took place. What was said was that in the wake of 9/11, our view of threats changed.

I don't know whether or not a Dem would have invaded. I really don't see the point in debating it. The Dems were scared and didn't want to look bad in the midterms, which they did anyway. Then, when they had to go face people like you...their constituents....they cried "we were tricked" or "we were pressured by propoganda." It's really nothing that sophisticated though. They were just trying to keep their base and look tough on terror at the same time.


In view of what's happening good luck on that view.
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post #55 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuh Freak

The president and his men flamed the fire by bringing Iraq to the spotlight. It's not like they were extra denying the UN resolutions. I don't even recall them flaunting anything. They'd been ignoring them for years. It took a republican to respond to that, and to create the situation we're in. Once the inferences and buildup was started, many dems, and much of the public, ate the bait.

The bait? I'll tell you what changed: 9/11. That's what changed. That is when the Administration decided that threats now were going to be looked at differently, inlcuding Saddam. They decided they weren't going to chance it. They thought...everyone thought that he had WMD. He openly praised 9/11. All of a sudden someone decided Saddam might just pass some of those WMDs on to a terrorist group. We consequently decided to take him out....to pre-empt him and not take the chance. Given the context of the times, I have to wonder if a Dem president would have come to a different conclusion. Maybe he or she sould have, but I wuld hope you could at least acknowledge that the decision Bush came to was reasonable and in the best interests of protecting the country at the time.
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post #56 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

The bait? I'll tell you what changed: 9/11. That's what changed. That is when the Administration decided that threats now were going to be looked at differently, inlcuding Saddam. They decided they weren't going to chance it. They thought...everyone thought that he had WMD. He openly praised 9/11. All of a sudden someone decided Saddam might just pass some of those WMDs on to a terrorist group. We consequently decided to take him out....to pre-empt him and not take the chance. Given the context of the times, I have to wonder if a Dem president would have come to a different conclusion. Maybe he or she sould have, but I wuld hope you could at least acknowledge that the decision Bush came to was reasonable and in the best interests of protecting the country at the time.

Democrats would never have entered this war. Only a fool with a screwed up sense of direction would. Trying to say they would have is just silly at this point.

And no he didn't have country's best interest at heart. The voters just pointed that out.
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post #57 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac

Democrats would never have entered this war. Only a fool with a screwed up sense of direction would. Trying to say they would have is just silly at this point.

And no he didn't have country's best interest at heart. The voters just pointed that out.

Your first statement is unsupported...utterly unsupported. You don't know that.

Ditto on your second statement, except that it's much nastier. On what do you base it? That's the kind of criticism I'm talking about. You're accusing the President of not having the interests of the country at heart. That goes way beyond appropriate political discourse. I wouldn't say that about Clinton, as much as I despised him. I just think he was wrong on many things, and a demonstrable liar. He still wanted to do what was right for the country....even if he was the ego to end all egos.

Lastly, the second half of your second statement is inaccurate. The voters didn't say "Bush didn't have the interests of the country at heart." They said they didn't like the Iraq war. They said they don't like corruption and sex scandals. They said they wanted to punish the Republicans for doing nothing about immigration and spending and more tax reforms. That's what they said.
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post #58 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronaldo

They will have to make an amendment to the constitution for that to happen. Thank God.

Feh, it wouldn't be bad if he did run but that's why I didn't say HIM specifically but someone LIKE HIM.

 

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post #59 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR

Feh, it wouldn't be bad if he did run but that's why I didn't say HIM specifically but someone LIKE HIM.

My mistake . All I saw was Schwarzznegger.
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post #60 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

Your first statement is unsupported...utterly unsupported. You don't know that.

Ditto on your second statement, except that it's much nastier. On what do you base it? That's the kind of criticism I'm talking about. You're accusing the President of not having the interests of the country at heart. That goes way beyond appropriate political discourse. I wouldn't say that about Clinton, as much as I despised him. I just think he was wrong on many things, and a demonstrable liar. He still wanted to do what was right for the country....even if he was the ego to end all egos.

Lastly, the second half of your second statement is inaccurate. The voters didn't say "Bush didn't have the interests of the country at heart." They said they didn't like the Iraq war. They said they don't like corruption and sex scandals. They said they wanted to punish the Republicans for doing nothing about immigration and spending and more tax reforms. That's what they said.


What do you think that was saying and why they were saying it SDW?

Geez!


About the other two yes I can be very sure of that. The way this war started was unsupportable and not normal for the U.S.
I know the way democrats opererate and that's not it. No one but an idiot like Bush would have done this.
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post #61 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

Not according to historical precedent. Trickle down tax cuts do work. Kennedy proved it. Reagan proved it. Bsuh proved it. Revenue has gone up dramatically. The rich create jobs and invest their capital in the market.

That said, I would not oppose an "uber wealthy" tax on those making over 1,000,000 a year, say an addtional 1% of earnings over that amount, so long as the revenue was dedicated to certain programs.

Bush did NOT prove it. He has shown this country the largest deficits since the great depression. Cliton had a very large surplus. The economy was booming under him.
post #62 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Bush did NOT prove it. He has shown this country the largest deficits since the great depression. Cliton had a very large surplus. The economy was booming under him.

With due respect, you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

Government revenue is UP, not down. It's the spending side of the equation that is utterly out of control. I say again: SPENDING. PORK. APPROPRIATIONS run wild. That is the problem.

Secondly, the deficit is coming DOWN. It was up to 413 B. It's now 248 billion. Not only is it not a record as a percentage of GDP (look it up, it was far higher in the 1980s for the same reason), it is currently not even the highest it has been in terms of current US Dollars. You are as wrong as could be. No offense.

In any case, what I said was that Kennedy, Reagan and Bush proved that tax cuts stimulated the economy and produce more revenue. You're going to get very frustrated arguing that point, because numbers don't lie. Federal income tax revenue when Reagan took office was just about $400 billion. When he left, after the top bracket went from 75% to 28% (a tax cut for the "rich"...cough, cough), Federal Revenue was over $900 billion. It doubled, sir. It doubled because the overall economy was better. It turns out tax cuts "for the rich" actually don't just benefit the rich, they benefit the economy.
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post #63 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

1. There is no evidence that the intel was manipulated or cherry picked, as you put it. They saw what Bush saw.

Most Senators don't have the clearance to see everything Bush saw. Those with higher clearance still ended up looking at a lot of redacted reports, and didn't have access to the raw information behind those reports. They didn't see every memo or hear every conversation in the White House in which warnings were made about the quality and veracity of much of the "evidence" presented to Congress, nor to the public in general.

One way of manipulating information is to control who you send to gather it, and what you tell those people you're looking for. Bush and the neocons made it quite clear that they were specifically looking for anything that could in anyway be tied to Iraq. They had an agenda to find some reason, any reason, to justify going into Iraq because they were breathlessly eager to find a pretext for implementing the PNAC dream of creating a democratic (and capitalist and business friendly!) Middle East, with Iraq as the starting point and centerpiece.

I could go point-by-point through the rest of what you wrote (a lot I could refute, regardless of whether you'd buy it or not), and if you really wanted me to come back to something specific I would, but this is the key issue:

Quote:
I don't know whether or not a Dem would have invaded. I really don't see the point in debating it.

Remember what I was addressing... whether or not it makes a big difference if you vote for a Democrat or vote for a Republican, or if they're all so much alike that everything turns out the same anyway. No one can say anything incontestably true about a what-if hypothetical past, but I think I can very confidently say that no Democratic President would have done anything more in Iraq that maintain the no-fly zones and attempts at inspections and perhaps, should some special situation have arisen, run the occasional bombing raid.

Then again, any non-neocon Republican we might have gotten would have been more restrained than Bush as well, and would have stuck with Bush's pre-2001 stump speech rhetoric against "nation building" and in favor of a cautious, restrained foreign policy.

The point remains that there was an enormous, and devastating, difference in consequences between voting for a Republican over a Democrat, and especially in voting for a particular Republican over a particular Democrat. Even if you prefer to imagine some right-wing dystopian fantasy that, having put Gore in the White House instead of Bush, we'd have been taxed into depression and economic collapse just before the some radical Islamic dictator conquered America, cackling with glee over how easily the weak Democratic defenses were overrun, you'd still have to admit that's a big difference in outcomes.

People who say there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans are either blind to the important differences that (to them apparently too subtle) policy differences and leadership styles can make, and/or they're Illuminati-style conspiracists who think everything we see is no more than a big puppet show run by some shadowy Power behind the scenes, making everything always come out the exactly way They want it come out, no matter how we vote, no matter what we do.

Quote:
Then, when they had to go face people like you...their constituents....they cried "we were tricked" or "we were pressured by propoganda." It's really nothing that sophisticated though. They were just trying to keep their base and look tough on terror at the same time.

I've already admitted that, at least for some Democrats, their support for Bush was essentially a craven political calculation. That doesn't obviate the point that I also made that having a Democrat in office in the Whitehouse would have very likely taken the whole Iraq invasion issue, and therefore any need or desire to play a vote on it for political gain, off the table.

Nor does the fact that some Democrats lost their spines mean that there wasn't propaganda going on. It was the power of that propaganda that made it hard to play against. It's hard to stand up for what you think is right when you know that you would have to explain a nuanced position to a country full of people hyped-up on fear with no patience for often important subtleties.

Go over speeches made by Bush and his allies back before the Iraq invasion. Note how often "9/11", "Saddam", "terrorists" and "Iraq" come up within seconds of each other whenever any of those terms were mentioned. There was a surface argument that "9/11 taught us we need to preempt trouble before trouble strikes", but that was merely verbal scaffolding for the deliberate and quite definitely intended effect of making people think that Iraq and Saddam were behind 9/11.

Look at opinion polls from the time before the invasion. Here's one from 2003:

Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 Attacks

69% thought it was likely that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11, 32% thinking it was very likely. That skewing of public opinion, despite the fact that it was impossible to pin down any definitive statement made by Bush clearly linking Saddam to 9/11 in a causal way, was almost completely the result of the propaganda technique that was used to link Saddam and 9/11.
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post #64 of 196
Thread Starter 
Shet:

Quote:
Most Senators don't have the clearance to see everything Bush saw. Those with higher clearance still ended up looking at a lot of redacted reports, and didn't have access to the raw information behind those reports. They didn't see every memo or hear every conversation in the White House in which warnings were made about the quality and veracity of much of the "evidence" presented to Congress, nor to the public in general.

Can you support that somehow? Otherwise, it's just speculation.

Quote:
One way of manipulating information is to control who you send to gather it, and what you tell those people you're looking for. Bush and the neocons made it quite clear that they were specifically looking for anything that could in anyway be tied to Iraq. They had an agenda to find some reason, any reason, to justify going into Iraq because they were breathlessly eager to find a pretext for implementing the PNAC dream of creating a democratic (and capitalist and business friendly!) Middle East, with Iraq as the starting point and centerpiece.

Well that may be true, I'll grant you. I don't think we know it's true...it's just a suspicion. However, even that would seem pretty understandable given the context of when that all happened. I don't think there was a secret "neocon" agenda that caused it though. I know you'll stick to that like glue.

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but I think I can very confidently say that no Democratic President would have done anything more in Iraq that maintain the no-fly zones and attempts at inspections and perhaps, should some special situation have arisen, run the occasional bombing raid.

I fail to see where that confidence comes from. Actually, I think it comes from your unalterable belief that this was some kind of Necon Grand Scheme to Takeover the World. I look at it differently, in the context of the way threats were percieved after 9/11.

Quote:
Then again, any non-neocon Republican we might have gotten would have been more restrained than Bush as well, and would have stuck with Bush's pre-2001 stump speech rhetoric against "nation building" and in favor of a cautious, restrained foreign policy.

Well you're certainly right in that Bush reversed course on nation building. That said, a lot happened to cause that reversal. But the first part of the statment is unsupportable and, I think, even unlikely to be accurate. Bush was quite restrained, especially in Afghanistan (I realize you're addressing Iraq). If he was really the Necon War Monger you make him out to be, he would have never bothered with inspections and the UN and all of that. He would have just said Saddam was a threat post 9/11 and he was pre-empting his ass. He also wouldn't have allowed the initial list of targets to be scaled back by 50% in the opening days of the war (just an example). So, saying that anyone but him or "the like" of him would have been somehow more moderate, is I think dubious and unsupportable. It's speculation.

Quote:
The point remains that there was an enormous, and devastating, difference in consequences between voting for a Republican over a Democrat, and especially in voting for a particular Republican over a particular Democrat. Even if you prefer to imagine some right-wing dystopian fantasy that, having put Gore in the White House instead of Bush, we'd have been taxed into depression and economic collapse just before the some radical Islamic dictator conquered America, cackling with glee over how easily the weak Democratic defenses were overrun, you'd still have to admit that's a big difference in outcomes.

Oh, I agree there is a difference. I'm not saying they are one and the same. I'm saying that given what was going on at the time, another President might very well have invaded. Clinton bombed Iraq unilaterally....is it really that unreasonable to assume a Democratic President might have reached the same conclusion Bush did?

As for Gore, well who knows. But, I do think he would have left tax policy the same, which in my opinion would have prolonged the recession.

Quote:
I've already admitted that, at least for some Democrats, their support for Bush was essentially a craven political calculation. That doesn't obviate the point that I also made that having a Democrat in office in the Whitehouse would have very likely taken the whole Iraq invasion issue, and therefore any need or desire to play a vote on it for political gain, off the table.

Well, perhaps. But you're operating from the standpoint of a Ted Kennedy there...that the President concocted a war for political gain. Do you believe that?

Quote:
Nor does the fact that some Democrats lost their spines mean that there wasn't propaganda going on. It was the power of that propaganda that made it hard to play against. It's hard to stand up for what you think is right when you know that you would have to explain a nuanced position to a country full of people hyped-up on fear with no patience for often important subtleties.

It's too bad that you think about the American people like that. What interesting is that now that "the people have spoken," all of a sudden their wise and powerful. In any case, I also take issue with the term "propoganda." the admin made their case to the people and to Congress. Why is that "propoganda?" It certainly didn't go unquestioned...as you like to pretend...by the media.

I also think you're ignoring the past statements of Democratic politicians...statements that don't jive with their eventual positions on the war.

John Kerry said this on 10/9/2002

[quote]With respect to Saddam Hussein and the threat he presents, we must ask ourselves a simple question: Why? Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations have agreed to limit or give up? Why is Saddam Hussein guilty of breaking his own cease-fire agreement with the international community? Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster? Why did Saddam Hussein threaten and provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and deceive the inspection teams previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all of the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents? [/quote

Uhh...yeah. He voted for the threat of force. Now, let's look at some statements during a Democratic administration, before the "propoganda" and pressure was brought to bear.

Quote:
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

I'll stop there. The full list can be found here. http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp It's hard to explain that with the term "nuance", hmmm?

Quote:
Go over speeches made by Bush and his allies back before the Iraq invasion. Note how often "9/11", "Saddam", "terrorists" and "Iraq" come up within seconds of each other whenever any of those terms were mentioned. There was a surface argument that "9/11 taught us we need to preempt trouble before trouble strikes", but that was merely verbal scaffolding for the deliberate and quite definitely intended effect of making people think that Iraq and Saddam were behind 9/11.

That's interpretive on your part, despite the fact that many libs agree with you. They said pretty clearly there was no evidence Saddam participated in 9/11. Speaking of 9/11, of course it was mentioned, because it was part of the "surface argument" as you put it.

Quote:
69% thought it was likely that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11, 32% thinking it was very likely. That skewing of public opinion, despite the fact that it was impossible to pin down any definitive statement made by Bush clearly linking Saddam to 9/11 in a causal way, was almost completely the result of the propaganda technique that was used to link Saddam and 9/11.

I have always thought that claim of yours was really weak. First, I think the poll may be flawed. First, it's a huge issue to only survey 1,003 people on. What was the sample like? Who were these people? Secondly, read the questions. It says somewhat and very LIKELY, not "do you believe Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks?"--- yes or no. Wording and even the answers have a lot to do with it. Asked that question, I may have answered "somewhat likely" if I didn't follow the situation as much as I did. "Somewhat" and "Very" are subjective terms. In other words, people that didn't follow what the President and his Admin were saying may have been more....cough...LIKELY to answer in the affirmative (69%) column. Think about it.

Beyond the poll itself, it's highly dubious to suggest that because the public thinks something, the Admin "made" them think it. That's more speculation on your part.
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post #65 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

With due respect, you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

Government revenue is UP, not down. It's the spending side of the equation that is utterly out of control. I say again: SPENDING. PORK. APPROPRIATIONS run wild. That is the problem.

Secondly, the deficit is coming DOWN. It was up to 413 B. It's now 248 billion. Not only is it not a record as a percentage of GDP (look it up, it was far higher in the 1980s for the same reason), it is currently not even the highest it has been in terms of current US Dollars. You are as wrong as could be. No offense.

In any case, what I said was that Kennedy, Reagan and Bush proved that tax cuts stimulated the economy and produce more revenue. You're going to get very frustrated arguing that point, because numbers don't lie. Federal income tax revenue when Reagan took office was just about $400 billion. When he left, after the top bracket went from 75% to 28% (a tax cut for the "rich"...cough, cough), Federal Revenue was over $900 billion. It doubled, sir. It doubled because the overall economy was better. It turns out tax cuts "for the rich" actually don't just benefit the rich, they benefit the economy.

SDW to go from what we had in the late 1990's to what we had in the early part of this century is inexcusable and beyond what I would have guessed.


" First, I think the poll may be flawed. "

Uh. Yeah. Right.
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post #66 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac

SDW to go from what we had in the late 1990's to what we had in the early part of this century is inexcusable and beyond what I would have guessed.


" First, I think the poll may be flawed. "

Uh. Yeah. Right.

What are you talking about? What exactly is "what we had" and "what we have now?" Please define so we can begin to have a discussion.
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post #67 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001

With due respect, you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.

Government revenue is UP, not down. It's the spending side of the equation that is utterly out of control. I say again: SPENDING. PORK. APPROPRIATIONS run wild. That is the problem.

Secondly, the deficit is coming DOWN. It was up to 413 B. It's now 248 billion. Not only is it not a record as a percentage of GDP (look it up, it was far higher in the 1980s for the same reason), it is currently not even the highest it has been in terms of current US Dollars. You are as wrong as could be. No offense.

In any case, what I said was that Kennedy, Reagan and Bush proved that tax cuts stimulated the economy and produce more revenue. You're going to get very frustrated arguing that point, because numbers don't lie. Federal income tax revenue when Reagan took office was just about $400 billion. When he left, after the top bracket went from 75% to 28% (a tax cut for the "rich"...cough, cough), Federal Revenue was over $900 billion. It doubled, sir. It doubled because the overall economy was better. It turns out tax cuts "for the rich" actually don't just benefit the rich, they benefit the economy.

Don't patronize me. You're not looking at the whole picture.

The current US deficit as of 10 Nov 2006 at 09:22:25 PM GMT is: $8,593,072,464,824.13, or in other words, 8.5 trillion dollars. That us HUGE. And knowing how to balance a budget is not just about getting money into the government, it is about spending it wisely.

Take your own personal budget for instance. You would not spend more than you made, and to some extent the government can be excused, but really, they should try as hard as possible to not spend more than they are making.

That being said, Clinton did a damn good job with the economy. Under Clinton, the deficit started going down as there was a very very large budget surplus.

Budget is about both SPENDING and REVENUE. Not just one or the other. Bush has also done various other things which have stifled the economy compared to Clinton (although I will give him a little credit for also do some things for some sectors which have helped them). But anyways, the economy was better with Clinton, and Bush did a shitty job with the economy, and a major part of that was the bad decision to go to war with Iraq. That had nothing to do with threat or terrorism, that had everything to do with geopolitics and oil.
post #68 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Take your own personal budget for instance. You would not spend more than you made, and to some extent the government can be excused, but really, they should try as hard as possible to not spend more than they are making.

While I agree with you in principle, I think it's worth pointing out that people do spend more money than they make all the time: they buy cars and houses. This, as you say, is the kind of exception that can be made for government (i.e. just as people run a deficit, so can the gov't). But this bunch's determination to run massive deficits and pay the interest to China and Japan is unconscionable.
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post #69 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter

While I agree with you in principle, I think it's worth pointing out that people do spend more money than they make all the time: they buy cars and houses. This, as you say, is the kind of exception that can be made for government (i.e. just as people run a deficit, so can the gov't). But this bunch's determination to run massive deficits and pay the interest to China and Japan is unconscionable.

Agreed.
post #70 of 196
12 years is a long time. I don't think the Democrats have much of a mandate, but it is pretty clear that America is very tired of the current administration. It only took them 6 years to figure it out... no one has ever accused Americans of being quick on the uptake.
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post #71 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Bush did NOT prove it. He has shown this country the largest deficits since the great depression.

Untrue. In fact, his deficits as a percentage of GDP are on par with Clinton's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Cliton had a very large surplus.

The largest surplus Clinton had was $236B. This is great mind you (given our general history of deficits)...and as a very staunch fiscal conservative, I was quite pleased. However, it should be noted when his surpluses began...1998...and his deficits started going down sharply after 1994. Hmmm...I wonder what happened there. The economy boomed during the Clinton years for a variety of reasons...not the least of which is that he had a Republican congress for most of that time.
post #72 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

The economy boomed during the Clinton years for a variety of reasons...not the least of which is that he had a Republican congress for most of that time.

That worked out really well for Bush, didn't it?
post #73 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

The current US deficit as of 10 Nov 2006 at 09:22:25 PM GMT is: $8,593,072,464,824.13, or in other words, 8.5 trillion dollars.

You are talking about the national debt (the accumulation of all deficits minus all surpluses)...not the (annual) budget deficit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Take your own personal budget for instance. You would not spend more than you made,

Well, most people do. The annual budget of the federal government is approximately $2.2T. The total outstanding debt is only about 4X that. What is your outstanding debt to annual expenses/income ratio?

While I am a staunch fiscal conservative, I also realize the need to put these numbers into perspecive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

That being said, Clinton did a damn good job with the economy. Under Clinton, the deficit started going down as there was a very very large budget surplus.

President Clinton and the Republican congress did a great job with the economy and under President Clinton and the Republican congress the deficit started going down as there was a moderate budget surplus.
post #74 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

That worked out really well for Bush, didn't it?

You miss the point (somehow I am not surprised).

We had a Republican Congress that despised the Democratic President. Perhaps that's what worked so well. Divided, grid-locked government. Perhaps that they spent more time fighting one another that they got out of the way of the rest of us and the economy boomed.

Just a thought.
post #75 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

You miss the point (somehow I am not surprised).

We had a Republican Congress that despised the Democratic President. Perhaps that's what worked so well. Divided, grid-locked government. Perhaps that they spent more time fighting one another that they got out of the way of the rest of us and the economy boomed.

Just a thought.

Yeah. Good thing the "grid-locked" government spent all of its time worrying about Clinton's crimes, as it kept them out of such mischief as, oh, I dunno, taking the threat of terrorism seriously, dealing with an ever more dysfunctional health care system, making common sensical adjustments to Social Security, crafting sustainable and rational immigration reform, implementing any kind of national energy policy whatsoever or addressing the shameful decay of our national infrastructure.

Because the free market puts magic fairy dust on everything, if we would just believe!
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post #76 of 196
On second thought,

I did miss your point. It does seem pretty out there though: inaction resulting from gridlock somehow led to budget surpluses (as one purported benefit of an adversarial relationship between congress and the president).

Yeah...
post #77 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ

On second thought,

I did miss your point. It does seem pretty out there though: inaction resulting from gridlock somehow led to budget surpluses (as one purported benefit of an adversarial relationship between congress and the president).

Yeah...

OK. Fine. Whatever. But...don't give Clinton credit for the surpluses when it is Congress that controls the purse strings.

post #78 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

OK. Fine. Whatever. But...don't give Clinton credit for the surpluses when it is Congress that controls the purse strings.


But the administration preps and approves the budget...
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post #79 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Yeah. Good thing the "grid-locked" government spent all of its time worrying about Clinton's crimes, as it kept them out of such mischief as, oh, I dunno, taking the threat of terrorism seriously, dealing with an ever more dysfunctional health care system, making common sensical adjustments to Social Security, crafting sustainable and rational immigration reform, implementing any kind of national energy policy whatsoever or addressing the shameful decay of our national infrastructure.

And, of course, the government is the solution to all problems large and small. Why don't you do a study of vast number of socialistic failures before pontificating about how we should try even more socialistic programs and plans.
post #80 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Cuilla

And, of course, the government is the solution to all problems large and small. Why don't you do a study of vast number of socialistic failures before pontificating about how we should try even more socialistic programs and plans.

Because dealing with things like terrorism, national energy policy, balance of trade and immigration are "socialist"?

It's fun talking to angry 85 year old men from 1956!
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