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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

OTP: October 2012-THE RACE: As Candidates Prep, Attention in DC split between politics and baseball

While President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney bone up in Nevada and Colorado for Wednesday’s opening debate, back in the nation’s capital attention is split between the hard-fought presidential race and baseball playoffs.

The Nationals won the first division baseball championship for a Washington team since 1933 by clinching the National League East race Monday night.

Washington, D.C., has the only ballpark where so many Cabinet members, politicians and other luminaries routinely gather and where fans now are openly rooting for a particular president — one who served more than a century ago, Theodore Roosevelt.

“Let Teddy Win” banners and buttons are everywhere. Fans like 2008 GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona say it’s time for Roosevelt’s 500-plus losing streak to end.

[...]

“Teddy, you are the victim of a vast left-wing conspiracy by the commie pinko libs in this town,” McCain said in a video played in the stadium Monday night. “But you can overcome that.”

The October 2012 “OT: Politics” thread starts ... now.

Joe Kehoskie Posted: October 02, 2012 at 02:14 PM | 6119 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, politics

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   501. GuyM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4253636)
Yeah, what's up with that? I'm not a poll expert, but that looks weird. Page 8 of that PDF starts the breakdowns, and there appears to be zero respondents ("N/A") in ANY of the following categories:
non-white
under 50
no college
liberal
And the only geographic region that DOESN'T show "N/A" is the South.

"N/A" likely means that group was too small for the results to be reliable, and so they are suppressed in the crosstabs, not that zero interviews were conducted with that type of respondent. However, the pre-debate results for these respondents (much more favorable to Romney) do indicate that the sample was skewed toward Romney. Doesn't invalidate the poll necessarily, but CNN should have reported how these people were voting before the debate.

   502. GuyM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4253637)
double post
   503. GuyM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4253638)
double post
   504. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:13 AM (#4253644)
praise every big tailored Obama speech event as a seminal point in the history of America.

uh, no.
   505. GregD Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4253645)
Jim Lehrer is getting pasted from all corners, and I suppose that from a 'modern moderator' perspective - yeah, he may as well have not even been on stage. He certainly didn't control anything.

However, isn't that what everyone wanted from a 'debate'? A freewheeling discussion with two opponents essentially arguing with each other? Don't we always complain about canned 2 minutes answers, 90 second rebuttals, and well-rehearsed answers?

I say this even though my guy didn't shine in the format for whatever reason -- I would have no problem with all future debates happening the same way.
I agree with this. I hate gotcha newsmen playing the endless hypocrisy tag. Of course politicians are inconsistent. 1) consistent politicians lose so the people don't get or want or deserve consistent politicians, and 2) people themselves change their minds. Tim Russert did a lot of damage in this area.

This was the best format for a debate I've seen in years as you could get actual engagement. It was wonky and required them to talk at length and get beyond soundbites. It turned out that Romney had soundbites beyond his initial soundbites and Obama just had mush, but that's the way it goes. The old debates were terrible.
   506. Zoppity Zoop Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4253649)
"uh, no."

This sounds like a cue for me to try and go back and find the discussion of that post-racial Obama speech that led one poster to said that he cried and another to state that he will have to make sure his son watches it someday.

"This was the best format for a debate I've seen in years as you could get actual engagement. It was wonky and required them to talk at length and get beyond soundbites. It turned out that Romney had soundbites beyond his initial soundbites and Obama just had mush, but that's the way it goes. The old debates were terrible."

Nobody's really criticizing the format, they're criticizing that their candidate got creamed. If the debate had simply consisted of candidates reading prepared remarks, like a BBC presenter, Obama would've easily won.

Is boooond Greg Sargent or something? He seems to lift his talking points ad verbatim from Democrat-friendly websites.
   507. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4253652)


This sounds like a cue for me to try and go back and find the discussion of that post-racial Obama speech that led one poster to said that he cried and another to state that he will have to make sure his son watches it someday.


Because this really supports the bullshit claim you made.
   508. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4253653)
Wow, the leftysphere concedes a loss last night*
you know when your own partisans think you lost, you lost :-)

It seems that Obama was trying to play prevent defense I take it? (I didn't watch)
   509. tshipman Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4253655)
Romney cleaned up. As for "howlers" neither side was searching for absolute truth and, when the details of high finance and government programs start getting bandied about, who knows what the truth is?


:( This is the problem with the country. One of the candidates gets to propose something that is mathematically impossible and the American voter does not seem to have a problem with it.

This sounds like a cue for me to try and go back and find the discussion of that post-racial Obama speech that led one poster to said that he cried and another to state that he will have to make sure his son watches it someday.


I didn't say that then, but I'll save you the trouble and say it now. As important as I thought that speech was, I didn't think it made a single tenth of a point of difference in the primary--although, primary speeches and debates have more impact than GE ones.
   510. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4253658)
Factcheck gives Romney a true because "If you take him at his word" the deductions will equal the rate cuts. But Romney won't name the specific deductions or explain the math of how it will offset. He's full of #### on that score.


This is precisely where I think Romney won / Obama lost the debate. Romney hit that nice middle ground of sounding specific (e.g., all the follow-up talk of how it was a debate for "wonks") without saying anything fact-based enough to actually be a lie. It's absolutely mathematically possible to lower tax rates and close loopholes / reduce deductions in a way that's revenue neutral (even in a way that raises revenue, as, for example, Simpson-Bowles recommended). Now, it's not possible to cut rates by $5 trillion or 20% and get that math to work, but Obama never really sourced where his $5 trillion number came from and couldn't get Romney to concede it (and I have no idea why he would have expected Romney to), so there you go. It leaves Romney a perfect opening to pledge that his reform will be revenue-neutral and won't raise taxes on the middle class. I actually thought Romney even played his lack of specifics very well, explaining at one point that he's not specific because he wants to work with Congress, not dictate to them, or something like that. Excellent performance for Romney, I think.
   511. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4253659)
"N/A" likely means that group was too small for the results to be reliable, and so they are suppressed in the crosstabs, not that zero interviews were conducted with that type of respondent. However, the pre-debate results for these respondents (much more favorable to Romney) do indicate that the sample was skewed toward Romney. Doesn't invalidate the poll necessarily, but CNN should have reported how these people were voting before the debate.


They interviewed 430 people. If the sample size for the categories "under 50", "non-white", "North East", and "liberal" are so small that they don't appear in the cross-tabs, then I have to believe this poll was designed specifically to give Romney a "win" by CNN.

I don't think you could find four better categories to exclude that could hurt Obama in a survey, other than maybe "last name Obama", "Whitehouse employee", "Democratic volunteer", and "Chicago resident".
   512. Zoppity Zoop Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4253663)
":( This is the problem with the country. One of the candidates gets to propose something that is mathematically impossible and the American voter does not seem to have a problem with it. "

Tell me again, how many times now has Obama used the exact same money "saved" by not funding future wars that weren't happening with money that doesn't exist for different proposed purposes? 12? 20? How many times has he proposed new money saved by counting the money already saved? 50? Obama's imagination has a gigantic fiscal multiplier.
   513. tshipman Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4253672)
Also, the biggest thing that I keep seeing on post-debate coverage is bizarrely Romney's statement about Big Bird/Jim Lehrer.

   514. Zoppity Zoop Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4253681)
   515. tshipman Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4253688)
Tell me again, how many times now has Obama used the exact same money "saved" by not funding future wars that weren't happening with money that doesn't exist for different proposed purposes? 12? 20? How many times has he proposed new money saved by counting the money already saved? 50? Obama's imagination has a gigantic fiscal multiplier.


What a bizarre criticism. I can't remember if this is Szym's sockpuppet/troll account or if it's a real person.

On the off chance that it's a real person, first of all those budgetary savings were part of Bowles-Simpson and every other deficit reduction plan as well. So it's not unique to Obama.

Second of all, Obama is actually ending those wars. Romney, for instance, thought we should not pull out of Iraq and thinks the timetable for withdrawal in Afghanistan is a mistake. Those savings are real and reflect policy choices.

Third of all, in every deficit reduction plan submitted by the President, additional cuts have been targeted.
   516. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4253694)
Nobody's really criticizing the format, they're criticizing that their candidate got creamed. If the debate had simply consisted of candidates reading prepared remarks, like a BBC presenter, Obama would've easily won.


No - there's plenty of criticism of the format from all over... and it's not just coming from Dem partisans. I'm saying that I disagree with the criticism - it was a healthier debate style that moved away from canned soundbites. It's easy to see why, from a media critic perspective... Despite so many folks - especially the media - often complaining about 'stage managed campaigns' and soundbite-centric politics, clearly -- those folks are heavily invested in what they built. I mean - just listening to the news on the way in this morning, I was struck by how hard it was them to even come up with soundbites for the morning news. There really weren't any.

Again, I think Obama lost because he failed to adapt to what was a rather unusual debate format, and Romney won because he pretty quickly did and embraced it.

If there were any undecideds watching who HAVEN'T been paying attention at all for the last 10 months or so - it wouldn't surprise me if Romney wins them all... He sounded like a Democrat - or at least, essentially came across as a guy who likes all the wonderful safety nets and government programs that Democrats like, while essentially lily kissing the GOP orthodoxy (states decide, etc). That's probably what most of those types of folks want -- someone who promises to do all the Democratic things people like, safety nets, health care, education funding, etc... but promises to do them without any taxes (indeed - do all them while CUTTING taxes), while also magically eliminating inevitable bureaucratic red tape... oh, and it will all shrink the deficit, too.

Hell, I wouldn't mind the Romney from last as President -- I mean, he basically said "I'll keep all the stuff you liked from Obamacare, PLUS cut your taxes, and it will only cost you PBS funding!" I support public funding for PBS, but my vote will hardly hinge on it. If there was any legitimate way he could actually DO that -- and if I didn't know damn well that's not he's been saying for 5 years... Sure, sounds great. Who in their right mind would oppose ironclad Medicare and Social Security, increased funding of education, and all manner of sundry programs along with a tax cut AND along with a shrinking deficit?

Any undecideds who HAVE been paying attention, I think Romney still wins them solely on last night's debate -- but the margin is closer simply because Romney contradicted himself one hell of a lot based on what he's said for the past 5 years...

In effect, the question is -- was Eric F right? Did Romney just effectively shake up the etch-a-sketch?

I think he did... but a lot will depend on how effectively Team Blue juxtaposes things he has said against what he said last night, because there were some clear, clear contradictions.
   517. GuyM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4253700)
They interviewed 430 people. If the sample size for the categories "under 50", "non-white", "North East", and "liberal" are so small that they don't appear in the cross-tabs, then I have to believe this poll was designed specifically to give Romney a "win" by CNN.


A snap poll of 430 debate watchers will often have a lousy sample. It has nothing to do with a "design" by CNN. It does appear to be a very old sample, with over 300 of the 430 respondents being age 50+. On the other hand, the party ID is in the right ballpark: "33% of the respondents who participated in tonight's survey identified themselves as Republicans, 37% identified themselves as Democrats, and 29% identified themselves as Independents." The sample leans toward Romney, but not so much that it's worthless. It's telling you that debate watchers thought Romney had the better performance, but probably not by the margin CNN says. The CBS poll question is also better, giving people the option to call it a "tie."
   518. tfbg9 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4253705)
Romney freakin' smoked him. Mitt made Barry look incompetent. That was my takeaway. As a partisan, I was extremely pleased.
   519. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4253714)
Also, the biggest thing that I keep seeing on post-debate coverage is bizarrely Romney's statement about Big Bird/Jim Lehrer.


Again - because despite Romney 'winning' - there weren't many memorable moments. One team was on its game, the other team was flat - but it was ultimately a boring 28-14 game without any big plays, without any turnovers, without any controversial penalties (fact checks aside, but they don't matter... at least yet). The team that won simply executed better - methodically, unexcitingly, but successfully moved the ball down the field, while the team that lost didn't convert a few key 3rd downs - and failed to stop the other team on some 3rd downs of their own - and stalled.

We shall see what it means for the complexion of the race... I still don't think it changes things all that much -- I think it stops the trajectory, but I just don't think it's going to change many minds... Romney almost certainly picked off more undecideds, but there just aren't that many of them left, and even getting them all isn't enough to dig out of the hole he's in in Ohio and other places.
   520. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4253716)
For some people, it's never enough that the poor are poor; the poor also must be humiliated.
For some people, it's never enough that the poor are given things that don't belong to them; the people who had their property confiscated must be grateful that they've been forced to give money to them.
   521. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4253717)
Jonathan Bernstein linked to a lengthy analysis of Romney as a debater (before last night's debate). In summary Romney's been through a lot of debates (going back to running against Ted Kennedy) and has generally done well. His preparation is excellent and he has good body language (something that seems to help in deciding who "won") and has both attacked and defended well as needed.


Romney looked and sounded in complete control, looked and sounded more presidential, looked and sounded like someone who understood the issues. And I think his word choice and delivery is much better than Obama's, in the sense that he sounds like he's not just delivering talking points - and he actually explains basic concepts.

And again, people think that despite Romney's strong performance there were no "youtube soundclips" to trumpet, but I think there were, for example, the "I've been in business for 25 years; I don't know what you're talking about." Being willing to utter the words "I don't know what you're talking about" does go a long way to getting people to believe that Obama doesn't and you do - especially when that is how most of the debate is sounding.

Is the economy a bigger issue in this election than people have thought? Most people seem to think that unless the economy tanks, Obama will win. But what if the real situation is that these idiots who are undecided are so worried about the economy and so unsatisfied with its present state that they are willing to pull the lever for the guy who sounds more knowledgeable on the subject and sounds like he actually gives two shits about the state of the economy?

It helps when you can point out that your opponent actually had four years to deal with it and instead went on frolics and detours such as the liberal grab bag that was the stimulus bill, and such as the socialism entree served up as Obamacare. If the economy is good, more people can buy their own health insurance and you don't need to shift wealth to do it.
   522. PreservedFish Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4253718)
My heavily liberal Facebook feed thinks that Romney pasted Obama.
   523. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4253731)
For some people, it's never enough that the poor are given things that don't belong to them; the people who had their property confiscated must be grateful that they've been forced to give money to them.


You forgot the "at gunpoint". But since it is at gunpoint I don't think anyone expects gratitude, but it would be nice I admit.
   524. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4253732)
Romney looked and sounded in complete control, looked and sounded more presidential, looked and sounded like someone who understood the issues. And I think his word choice and delivery is much better than Obama's, in the sense that he sounds like he's not just delivering talking points - and he actually explains basic concepts.


I don't think anyone was ever really questioning Romney's 'competence' to be President -- I mean, no one, not even snarky liberals, have said he's Sarah Palin.

As far as explaining concepts, sure -- if by 'concepts' you mean he explained how prohibitions on pre-existing condition discrimination will be kept in place without a mandate or how you can cut 5 trillion in taxes but stay revenue neutral while cutting exemptions solely hitting the upper income brackets. I suppose in a debate - that's "explaining"... In the real world, I'd call it "lying" -- but then, frankly -- given my opinion of CEOs, it is par for the course.
   525. GuyM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4253738)
For some people, it's never enough that the poor are given things that don't belong to them; the people who had their property confiscated must be grateful that they've been forced to give money to them.

I know a lot of liberals, and honestly, I don't think any of us care whether you like it or not. I suppose it would be nice if you'd all stop whining and playing the victim, but as long as we get your money it's really not a big deal to us if you want to feel sorry for yourselves....
   526. The Good Face Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4253740)
For some people, it's never enough that the poor are poor; the poor also must be humiliated.


It should suck to be poor and dependent on others. If it stopped sucking, everybody would do it.
   527. Famous Original Joe C Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4253743)
Kerry crushes Bush in the first one.
Gore beats Bush in the first one.
Perot destroys Clinton and Bush in the first one.
Dukakis beats Bush in the first one.
Mondale beats Reagan in the first one.


QFT. This debate in and of itself just doesn't matter much, and I haven't seen anyone here (or elsewhere) even try to make a case why it might. If Obama had "beaten" Romney tonight instead, would it have made much difference? Nope. If Romney has two more debates like tonight, maybe that makes a significant difference. If the other debates two are boring ties (see 2004), I'd guess tonight's outcome will have very little (if any) effect on the final outcome.

If the election was a best-of-seven series, it's 3-2 Obama, but Romney just took a 2-0 lead early in game 6.
   528. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4253744)
He seems to lift his talking points ad verbatim from Democrat-friendly websites.

Yes, what a marked contrast from your own talking points.


I don't think anyone was ever really questioning Romney's 'competence' to be President

Completely agree. He just has the support of people I disagree with, utterly. I have confidence he would competently screw over people I care about.
   529. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4253749)
Presented without comment:

AL GORE: I'm going to say something controversial here. Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don't know, maybe--.

   530. GregD Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:19 AM (#4253751)
John Sidesestimates a 1.25% shift to Romney, based on 1) taking the impact of past big debate wins on undecideds (moves 25% of undecideds toward the winner) and 2) the number of undecideds left this time (5%). That seems reasonable to me. If the debate moves Obama supporters to undecided, then that's obviously a much bigger deal. If the undecideds are incapable of choosing or want to wait for the next one, then it could be less. We'll see.
   531. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4253753)
Completely agree. He just has the support of people I disagree with, completely. I have confidence he would competently screw over people I care about.


You care about them? Have you sent them as much money as people in the highest tax bracket have?
   532. Answer Guy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4253755)
My heavily liberal Facebook feed thinks that Romney pasted Obama.


Romney understood early on that neither the Obama nor the moderator were going to call him out on his out-of-nowhere reversals of position, his math that doesn't even come close to adding up, or the fact that he's the standard bearer of a party that has done everything in its power to sabotage the Obama presidency. And so that happened. Dunno if that's a fear of being the "angry black man" or mere complacency and/or carelessness on Obama's part.

The other thing hurting Obama is that the economy isn't doing especially well despite corporate profits and stock prices being at or near all-time highs. This obviously shoots a big hole in the conservative idea that corporate America is being taxed and regulated to death...but obviously Obama isn't the man to make that case.
   533. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4253759)
The situation for Team Obama is likely to get worse before it gets better, unless Joe Biden's debating skills have received a steroids injection.
   534. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4253760)
The plain fact is governmental programs are not bribery. he whole idea is silly. Governments (Democracies) are supposed to do things their citizens want. It is one of the main selling points of Democracy even. If a government did nothing for its citizens, if it pissed its citizens off then it will (generally) fall. And yet every time the government does something to help its citizens you scream bribery.
This is a weird modern liberal/socialist (but I repeat myself) idea. In Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? he said something similar. The premise of the book is that poor people are being tricked into voting against their own interests when they vote Republican. But the trickery isn't that Republicans lie about the effect of their economic proposals on the poor; the trickery is that Republicans attract the votes of the poor by talking about social issues and such. It's not that he thinks Republicans have the wrong views on those social issues (though he does), but that they shouldn't view these as issues at all. The thesis is that the proper role of government is redistribution of wealth, and that any focus on issues unrelated to that are actually mistakes. People should only vote based on which politician will hand out more.

But no. Governments are not "supposed to do things their citizens want." If the topic were gay marriage or abortion or waterboarding members of Al Qaeda or conducting prayer in school or the like, you'd never make that argument. Similarly, government is not supposed to hand out goodies.

Governments are supposed to secure our rights. Anything else is ultra vires.
   535. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4253762)
And so that happened. Dunno if that's a fear of being the "angry black man" or mere complacency and/or carelessness on Obama's part.


That must be it. Obama performed so poorly because he knows that America is racist!

How do you people get up in the morning?
   536. GregD Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4253774)
The situation for Team Obama is likely to get worse before it gets better, unless Joe Biden's debating skills have received a steroids injection.
Serious question. Have VP debates ever moved polls? Even when Palin was struggling? I think Biden is closer to a meh than disastrous debater. Ryan as a debater is unknown.
   537. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4253780)
For some people, it's never enough that the poor are given things that don't belong to them; the people who had their property confiscated must be grateful that they've been forced to give money to them.


I believe that's the way baseball is currently run, except the purported "poor" are zillionaires, which makes it perfectly ok.
   538. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4253781)
The situation for Team Obama is likely to get worse before it gets better, unless Joe Biden's debating skills have received a steroids injection.


Expectations matter, which is why you saw the silliness of Obama and Romney gushing over each others' debating skills in the days leading up to last night's debate. I think this is also why there was such a surge toward Romney on Intrade. It was a "market correction", where the pre-debate Obama price was baking in an expectation that he was going to win the debate. Now, we have the reverse: conventional wisdom is that Paul Ryan, serious man and budget expert, is going to clean the clock of Joe Biden, goofball gaffe machine. It's certainly possible that Biden will say something exceptionally stupid that really hurts Team Obama, but I don't think Ryan out-debating Biden in a way that's similar to what happened last night would have nearly as big an impact (also, obviously, VP debates don't matter as much as Presidential debates).
   539. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4253782)
John Sidesestimates a 1.25% shift to Romney, based on 1) taking the impact of past big debate wins on undecideds (moves 25% of undecideds toward the winner) and 2) the number of undecideds left this time (5%). That seems reasonable to me. If the debate moves Obama supporters to undecided, then that's obviously a much bigger deal. If the undecideds are incapable of choosing or want to wait for the next one, then it could be less. We'll see.


Nate's analysis today indicates the historical ceiling is about +3 -- which would essentially us back into toss-up territory at least on the national level (he needs better than that in a variety of state polls, though).

I'd say 1.5 sounds about right.

The situation for Team Obama is likely to get worse before it gets better, unless Joe Biden's debating skills have received a steroids injection.


Between the 2008 primary, the 2008 GE, and the election this time out -- Obama doesn't tend to spiral... hell - just look at health care reform - that was supposedly dead, and it was the Obama speaks to the GOP caucus on CSPAN that essentially salvaged it.

Whatever one thinks of Obama and his policies, I see a lot more evidence that he tends to rise to the occasion following setbacks than continuing to spiral... Wright, clinging, 'you're likable enough', Caribou Barbie, ACA -- whether self-inflicted or external or some combination, Obama has a history of following up a stumble with sticking a flawless landing.
   540. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4253784)
They're going to put Biden on the attack, particularly against Romney's flip-flops, and I predict he will win.
   541. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4253788)
And so that happened. Dunno if that's a fear of being the "angry black man" or mere complacency and/or carelessness on Obama's part.


Well, one little nugget I saw reported "pre-debate" -- I think on TPM -- was that Obama's prep was very centered around "above all else, make sure you come off as less of a dick than Mitt".

Obama isn't Bill Clinton - he can be aloof as can Romney. Obama had/has the advantage of a significantly better personal approval rating, so I can completely understand the thinking here: If you push back too hard, maybe you damage that equation.

It may have been a fine gameplan going in, but there should have been a plan B -- i.e., don't be afraid to smack back if Mitt's on his game and able to attack without being overly dickish.
   542. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4253794)
That was about as lopsided a debate as I have ever seen. Obama appeared to be put out by having to be there. Another performance like that and we have a toss up election.

Biden has great comic potential next week. I almost expect a Stockdale-like scene.....
   543. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4253796)
You care about them? Have you sent them as much money as people in the highest tax bracket have?

Someone I know has a relevant response to something like this, let me see if I can find it.

Oh yes, here it is:
Snore.
   544. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4253797)
AL GORE: I'm going to say something controversial here. Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet and you only have a few hours to adjust, I don't know, maybe--.


Ask Ryan Clark. Obviously that must be it......
   545. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4253802)
I think Biden may end up coming across as someone with experience, which will work in with Joe K.'s desire for substance over style.
   546. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4253804)
But no. Governments are not "supposed to do things their citizens want." If the topic were gay marriage or abortion or waterboarding members of Al Qaeda or conducting prayer in school or the like, you'd never make that argument. Similarly, government is not supposed to hand out goodies.

Governments are supposed to secure our rights. Anything else is ultra vires.


This is crazy talk. First of all the idea that a government (a Democracy no less) should not be responsive to the needs of its citizens is nuts. Why have a Democracy is all that you care about is "secured rights"? One of the selling points of a Democracy is that it is responsive to the citizens.

And this is not some Liberal idea, this is the idea pretty much everyone ever (other than some Libertarians) has about Democracy.

By the way, of course the Government should be responsive to the desires of its citizens with regards to all of the things you listed (OF course the water boarding involves non citizens, but responsiveness to the existing laws and the desires of its citizenry is the order of the day - every day in fact). If the citizenry of the US decided school prayer was very important, then of course the government/society would have to allow it.

Obviously you would have to amend the US Constitution since school prayer* is a first amendment issue, but the whole reason we have an amendment process is because the founding fathers knew even the constitution needed to be responsive to the citizenry and changing times. After the constitution was amended laws would be passed and school prayer would be allowed.

I am against school prayer. I would fight against the above scenario. But what the people of the US want (in aggregate over the long run) they end up getting, and that is the kind of country I want to live in.

Note: Your entire first paragraph is odd. I was rebutting Joe K and his constant bribery talk. I don't think the function of government is redistribution of wealth or anything like it. I do think that every government ever (certainly in the last few hundred years) has in fact redistributed wealth. It is an outcome of governance, it is not the reason for being. As to why voters do or should decide how to allocate their vote, it is a Democracy people can decide their voting however they want.

* By school prayer we are talking about the sort that has been ruled against, and not Little Timmy praying for a good score on his Geometry test, obviously.

EDIT: And by responsive to the citizens, the government still has to obey its own laws. Popular but illegal things should be first made legal through the Democratic process, and then have at. No one is saying there is no process and we have unbridled tyranny of the majority.
   547. BDC Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4253807)
Ask Ryan Clark

I was thinking, ask Josh Fogg :)
   548. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4253811)
An aside... The AP/consortium that does exit polling is cancelling plans to poll 19 states this election.

Now, granted - you don't need exit polling to call a winner in probably 25 or so states at the Presidential level...and the article also notes that the significant increase in early voting makes exit polling more difficult to use as a modeling tool.... but this disappoints me because many of those 19 states (which they don't mention, but I can guess most of them) may very well have contested House and Senate races.

For example, I would imagine Utah is being dropped... so I guess we won't know whether Matheson was able to come back to hang onto his redistrcited seat against Love. I would imagine that Illinois probably gets dropped -- but there are a good 2-3 seats that are in play. Whither Massachusetts? When will we get a Brown-Warren call?

I understand why they're doing this -- but it just feels like MLB deciding that the concluding Astros-Cubs contest wasn't worth more than sending two umpires and having no official scorer.
   549. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4253813)
Someone I know has a relevant response to something like this, let me see if I can find it.

Oh yes, here it is:


So you haven't volunteered to send even as much as the people who were forced to contribute have sent. And you're claiming with a straight face that you care more than the "selfish" people who are complaining about their money being forcibly taken from them? If we're measuring "caring" and "not caring" by money, then let's measure it by money.
   550. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4253816)
So I looked up ultra vires:

ul·tra vi·res/??ltr? ?v?r?z/
Adjective:
Beyond one's legal power or authority.


You may want anything other than securing rights to be beyond the government's legal power, but in actuality, here in the real world that we all live in, the government can and does do many other things and they are well within its power. Like making you pay for other people's health care. You don't like it, but it is happening. The government has the power to do it. And the government (and not you) decides if it is legal, and has decided it is.
   551. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4253818)
They're going to put Biden on the attack, particularly against Romney's flip-flops, and I predict he will win.


I agree they are going to use Biden as an attack dog, whether Biden will do it well or crew up, or screw up spectacularly, remains to be seen.

   552. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4253820)
Ray, if you can move beyond "Have you stopped beating your wife", let me know.

I do not subscribe to your theory that you are part of an aggrieved, oppressed population, so answering your points from within that premise is pointless.
   553. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4253823)
So you haven't volunteered to send even as much as the people who were forced to contribute have sent. And you're claiming with a straight face that you care more than the "selfish" people who are complaining about their money being forcibly taken from them? If we're measuring "caring" and "not caring" by money, then let's measure it by money.


We care, but we also want to (as I have said before) avoid the freeloading problem where all the Liberals pay for stuff and you benefit without the cost. To avoid that we make everyone (including us) pay according to something we like to call the tax code.

Welcome to society!

EDIT: And I love the fact that Captain We Hate Freeloaders main talking point against Liberal ideas is how he wants to freeload on our compassion. You can't make this stuff up.
   554. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4253824)
But no. Governments are not "supposed to do things their citizens want." If the topic were gay marriage or abortion or waterboarding members of Al Qaeda or conducting prayer in school or the like, you'd never make that argument. Similarly, government is not supposed to hand out goodies.

Governments are supposed to secure our rights. Anything else is ultra vires.


and when someone all but utterly rejects your concept of government (as I mostly do), and you rejects theirs, is there any significant common ground left to discuss?
   555. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4253828)
and when someone all but utterly rejects your concept of government (as I mostly do), and you rejects theirs, is there any significant common ground left to discuss?


We can compare which version of government is actually seen in the real world.
   556. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4253832)
Also, I know you can't get them out of your persecuted skull, but poor people really wasn't what I was even primarily referring to. But thanks for reminding me.
   557. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4253833)
You don't accomplish what Joe has and for as long as Joe has by screwing up and screwing up spectacularly.

Just like in 2008 team-Obama is likely to play it safe in the VP debate. Team-Obama doesn't need to throw a hail-mary or even some 30 yard pass play to win this election.
   558. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4253836)
This is a weird modern liberal/socialist (but I repeat myself) idea. In Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? he said something similar. The premise of the book is that poor people are being tricked into voting against their own interests when they vote Republican. But the trickery isn't that Republicans lie about the effect of their economic proposals on the poor; the trickery is that Republicans attract the votes of the poor by talking about social issues and such. It's not that he thinks Republicans have the wrong views on those social issues (though he does), but that they shouldn't view these as issues at all. The thesis is that the proper role of government is redistribution of wealth, and that any focus on issues unrelated to that are actually mistakes. People should only vote based on which politician will hand out more.

But no. Governments are not "supposed to do things their citizens want." If the topic were gay marriage or abortion or waterboarding members of Al Qaeda or conducting prayer in school or the like, you'd never make that argument. Similarly, government is not supposed to hand out goodies.

Governments are supposed to secure our rights. Anything else is ultra vires.


This is quaint - and also why the purebred libertarians always manage about 1-2% in the voting - plus a few transient points from both bases that feel unloved by their own party.

Government has ALWAYS handed out goodies - I don't care if it's a democracy, a monarchy, despotism, communist state, or whatever. The only differences are "what goodies are appropriate" and who gets them.

I don't think government should ONLY hand out goodies nor do I think government should just automatically bless whatever goodies either a majority, plurality, or supermajority wants -- but it's the height of silliness to deny that it has always done so.

Cripes, 10,000 years ago -- I doubt a tribe of caveman were debating whether Og would best protect their right to draw on cave walls or shag Fog in a meadow... they were probably debating the fact that Og tended to bring down the most game for the tribe and was most adept at beating the crap out of the tribe that kept bothering them.

Government is a reflection of society and society requires some manner of community and communal sharing of resources... Deal with it.
   559. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4253847)
You're asking a libertarian to deal with it. They don't do that.
   560. BDC Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4253849)
I doubt a tribe of caveman were debating whether Og would best protect their right to draw on cave walls

Ah, they were snarking at Og for wearing earth-toned loincloths, and ridiculing him for claiming to have invented grunting.
   561. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4253855)
Og promise new mammoth that feed 100.

Og not pull hair of woman, this Fog woman.

Og invent spear.

Og not wait for bad tribe stick rubbing to be fire.

Og not solution, Og problem.

Og for gathering before Og against gathering.

Og ask is young hunting?

   562. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4253857)
nor do I think government should just automatically bless whatever goodies either a majority, plurality, or supermajority wants


Out of curiosity why? I don't think every transitory whine from the public needs to be showered with rainbows and ponies, but why should a government not respect the actual long term desires of its citizens?

If you are starting from the basis that, hey a large portion of the citizens are flawed, stupid, or crazy, well that might be true, but who are you to judge and so what? If the citizenry is that screwed up then that civilization is basically screwed no matter what.

Government, to be legitimate, has to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, no matter how screwed up those people may be. Else it is not a legitimate government.
   563. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4253859)
They're going to put Biden on the attack, particularly against Romney's flip-flops, and I predict he will win.


The question will be if Biden will straight out call Ryan a "liar", or that the Republicans are "lying". He might couch it ("changing positions daily") or soft-peddle it ("promoting incorrect statements"), but I think he's going to be in blitz mode on Ryan.

I suspect he'll screw up and call Ryan "Romney" at some point.
   564. GuyM Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4253863)
Ah, they were snarking at Og for wearing earth-toned loincloths, and ridiculing him for claiming to have invented grunting.

Some were probably even claiming that Og was not the greatest of cavemen, despite catching the most fish, finding the most bananas, and killing the most antelope (all in a single season).
   565. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4253871)
despite catching the most fish


Were they Trout?
   566. Martin Hemner Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4253873)
This debate was entirely about domestic policy, where Obama is vulnerable. I don't think Obama was prepared, but I also think he chose to avoid getting overly confrontational about it because Romney might be able to sneak in a strong punch or two. He kept his guard up, kept his emotions under control, and, if the desired result was to weather the storm, I think he did that.

The next debate is a combination of domestic and foreign policy, and the third is all about foreign policy. Romney's "businessman" approach doesn't really apply to foreign policy. A majority of Americans trust the President on foreign policy matters, and he's just not as vulnerable. Romney's ridiculous comments so close to the Ambassador to Libya's death will really force him onto a tightrope. If Romney tries to come out swinging in a foreign policy debate like he did last night, he'll be exposed (unless Obama refuses to prepare again).
   567. zonk Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4253874)
nor do I think government should just automatically bless whatever goodies either a majority, plurality, or supermajority wants



Out of curiosity why? I don't think every transitory whine from the public needs to be showered with rainbows and ponies, but why should a government not respect the actual long term desires of its citizens?

If you are starting from the basis that, hey a large portion of the citizens are flawed, stupid, or crazy, well that might be true, but who are you to judge and so what? If the citizenry is that screwed up then that civilization is basically screwed no matter what.

Government, to be legitimate, has to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, no matter how screwed up those people may be. Else it is not a legitimate government.


Well, because I'm not the absolutist David is, but from the other direction --

To wit, I do believe government has significant responsibilities regarding preservation of rights - in fact, going back to the last thread's "natural rights" discussion, I still maintain that whether they exist or not is immaterial; government codifies and protects them.

I might even be willing to say that protection of rights is paramount to goodie handouts (say... 51/49).

But - there are occasions where government, especially democratic forms, do indeed have a responsibility to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. The gay marriage or slavery issues were prime examples -- I would also include the 50s and 60s civil rights movement, and federal intervention to do everything from secure voting rights to stopping crackers from torching black churches when the majority of state and local communities were fine with letting them do so.
   568. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4253880)
nor do I think government should just automatically bless whatever goodies either a majority, plurality, or supermajority wants

Out of curiosity why? I don't think every transitory whine from the public needs to be showered with rainbows and ponies, but why should a government not respect the actual long term desires of its citizens?


Funny how when the issue is something like gay marriage you no longer feel this way.

Once again, liberals don't have principles; they have preferences, whims, and fancy.
   569. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4253887)
This debate was entirely about domestic policy, where Obama is vulnerable. I don't think Obama was prepared, but I also think he chose to avoid getting overly confrontational about it because Romney might be able to sneak in a strong punch or two. He kept his guard up, kept his emotions under control, and, if the desired result was to weather the storm, I think he did that.


He is roundly seen to have gotten his head handed to him. I don't really see how that is "weathering the storm." Why should he need to say something silly like "I have now been to 57 states" for his performance to qualify as a disaster?

He lost so big that the Goreacle wondered seriously whether altitude was a factor.
   570. Random Transaction Generator Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4253889)
Funny how when the issue is something like gay marriage you no longer feel this way.


Huh?

Rights are "whims"?
   571. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4253894)
Huh?

Rights are "whims"?


The post I responded to spoke about "the actual long term desires of its citizens." Note the operative word "desires," which, yeah, pretty much are whims.

That aside, gay marriage is not a right.
   572. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4253895)
He is roundly seen to have gotten his head handed to him. I don't really see how that is "weathering the storm."

He got beat because Romney executed a good gameplan but getting beat like that isn't disastrous. The President didn't come off looking incompetent, didn't come off looking like he was evil or out of touch with the people. As someone else said this was basically a 28-14 win for Romney with Romney executing his gameplan rather well while Obama didn't execute a few play here or there all that well.

Two weeks from now nobody will really remember why Romney won this debate. This debate will be a hazy memory by then. Obama provided no real trophies or bloody carcasses for team-Romney to wave about.
   573. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4253897)
But - there are occasions where government, especially democratic forms, do indeed have a responsibility to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. The gay marriage or slavery issues were prime examples -- I would also include the 50s and 60s civil rights movement, and federal intervention to do everything from secure voting rights to stopping crackers from torching black churches when the majority of state and local communities were fine with letting them do so.


I agree with this, but as you said to a point. Torching black churches was illegal. Governments have a responsibility to follow the law, even unpopular ones, until they are changed.

Morally slavery is pretty close to the worst. However repugnant as it was, it did exist, was supported (at a minimum tacitly) by a majority of most of the pre-Civil War period. I think abolitionists were correct to protest the unjust law. Just as I agree that MLK was right to engage in civil disobedience. People's minds were changed. But government will never be perfect, it is flawed just as we all are.

I think trying to overrule the long term desires of the citizens is much more problematic than establishing a rigorous process that protects rights and from the tyranny of the majority, but long term allows for the will of the citizens to happen.

As soon as you (generic you, not you) start to think you know best, know how tings need to be no matter how in a minority you are, as soon as you succumb to the thought that the people's right to be governed ultimately by their will (edit) is not real (end edit), then you have taken a step away from Democracy and towards a form of authoritarianism. I think that is a very dangerous step to take.
   574. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4253899)
That aside, gay marriage is not a right.


So, that whole "pursuit of happiness" thing is what then?
   575. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4253900)
Now, granted - you don't need exit polling to call a winner in probably 25 or so states at the Presidential level...and the article also notes that the significant increase in early voting makes exit polling more difficult to use as a modeling tool.... but this disappoints me because many of those 19 states (which they don't mention, but I can guess most of them) may very well have contested House and Senate races.

For example, I would imagine Utah is being dropped... so I guess we won't know whether Matheson was able to come back to hang onto his redistrcited seat against Love. I would imagine that Illinois probably gets dropped -- but there are a good 2-3 seats that are in play. Whither Massachusetts? When will we get a Brown-Warren call?


ZZonk, I love you, but you do realize the states count the votes, right?


First of all the idea that a government (a Democracy no less) should not be responsive to the needs of its citizens is nuts.

This is a deep and serious topic. Yes, of course, governments always stay in power by handing out goodies. And, yes, generally a democracy that asks for goodies for all is more "fair", probably more stable than one where all the goodies go to some select group. But the reason you can't just give everyone everything they want is that people are clever and selfish. Eventually, what we want is everything and what we are willing to pay is nothing. That goes for the poor, rich and all in between.

The government should, as you say, be responsive to the needs of its peoples, not all its wants. We can all run our own lives into the ground, we don't need the government to help out with that.



Based on my facebook feed (I love this new survey technique, by the way), I think Obama might have some trouble. He might not have needed a big score before last night but he can't just play out the clock now, in my opinion. He's going to have to counter in some form. There seems to be the beginnings of a "Obama failed us" vibe amongst my liberal friends.
   576. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4253905)
The post I responded to spoke about "the actual long term desires of its citizens." Note the operative word "desires," which, yeah, pretty much are whims.

That aside, gay marriage is not a right.


If the actual long term desire of the US citizens is to grant gay marriage as a right then that will happen. Full stop. If the long term desire is to prevent gay marriage as a right then that will happen. Again, full stop.

I use the term long term desire, because it is not a whim. It is something expressed with enough authority, over enough time to surmount the various obstacles to change and veto points built into the system. I used the term because I too fear the tyranny of the majority and want such veto points. Any government that treats the long term expressed desire of its citizens as "whims" deserves what will happen to it.

And Ray, you don't get to decide what are and are not rights. Neither do I. Society does, which is then expressed through our Democratic government. I will continue to "work the system" and express my desire (not whim) that gay marriage become a right. And, by the way, it is pretty much a lock to happen in my lifetime.
   577. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4253906)
The President didn't come off looking incompetent


I think he got embarrassed, frankly. So, yeah.

And I didn't expect that. I hadn't really seen Romney debate before, because I don't follow the primaries.
   578. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4253908)
Torching black churches was illegal. Governments have a responsibility to follow the law, even unpopular ones, until they are changed.

So, if we pass a law that makes it legal, it's cool?

I mean, I think majority rule has limitations but I'm generally in favor of it as a way to solve problems. But you seem to think that whatever the majority decides is fine. Is that what you think?

If so, I may have to give the Tea Party another look. Holy ####.
   579. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4253910)
Serious question. Have VP debates ever moved polls? Even when Palin was struggling? I think Biden is closer to a meh than disastrous debater. Ryan as a debater is unknown.
Palin didn't do that badly in the debate (she didn't do well, but she didn't fall apart the way she did in some of her interviews). Dan Quayle, of course, was devastated by Lloyd Bentsen's attack, and we all know how that turned out for the Dukakis ticket.

Of course, the question is whose side Biden is on; the other day he explained that the middle class has been "buried" the past four years. Apparently he forgot who was president in that time.
   580. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4253911)
There seems to be the beginnings of a "Obama failed us" vibe amongst my liberal friends.

Which doesn't really matter. It's like Red Sox fans whining about the Red Sox. At the end of the day they are still Red Sox fans. What matters is the undecideds and this year there are not a whole bunch of them left. The election is a month away, this debate makes for an interesting topic for a couple of days but it just won't mean much by the time people start voting.
   581. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4253917)
As my wife said about half an hour in, "I hope to God he's not this out of it when he's at work." She is a lifelong Democrat and loves Obama. Is really afraid he'll lose, not only because of policy but because she likes him and doesn't want his feelings hurt (she also is stauchly for him on policy). But she recognized that he did not look good.

I felt the same way. Everyone has a bad night, but if that was close to the real Obama, he shouldn't be president.
   582. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4253919)
So, that whole "pursuit of happiness" thing is what then?


Part of a statement announcing that the 13 colonies no longer regarded themselves as part of the British empire?

And "happiness" is broad and vague, anyway. Andy basically stated that his pursuit of happiness involved watching Good Face die in the streets. Should that count for anything?
   583. spike Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4253920)
There seems to be the beginnings of a "Obama failed us" vibe amongst my liberal friends.

That is a far cry from "so I am going to vote for Romney."
   584. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4253921)
I think he got embarrassed, frankly. So, yeah.

Being embarrassed doesn't mean one is incompetent. He didn't fight the fight that Romney fought yesterday night and thus didn't do well but again there were no trophies or bloody carcasses from last night. Just an overall impression that Romney did well and Obama didn't.

Obama didn't get "embarrassed" because Obama was a disaster or said something like we should kill all the Jews. He got "embarrassed" because a lot of people, such as yourself, were surprised by how well Romney came off in the debate. It's a binary reaction. The more you think Romney did a good job presenting himself in the debate the less well you think Obama did. It isn't really possible for one to think Romney did a great job and so did Obama.
   585. rr Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4253922)
There seems to be the beginnings of a "Obama failed us" vibe amongst my liberal friends.


Perhaps, but presumably they will still vote for him. It is partly an ego thing, seeing your team lose--the book Nixonland has a good analysis of the concept.

I felt the same way. Everyone has a bad night, but if that was close to the real Obama, he shouldn't be president.


The problem with this is that one can easily say "If the 47% guy was close to the real Romney, he shouldn't be President" or some such.
   586. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4253923)
There seems to be the beginnings of a "Obama failed us" vibe amongst my liberal friends.

Which doesn't really matter. It's like Red Sox fans whining about the Red Sox. At the end of the day they are still Red Sox fans.


I don't think it will either. But if it picks up speed it could easily lower turnout. It PROBABLY doesn't matter a whole lot. But it might. People have tried to use baseball analogies so here is mine:

Going into the top of the seventh, Obama's starting pitcher was cruising and he was up 6-0. However, he gave up 3 runs in the seventh, his pitcher was up in the zone and he gave up a number of line shots. Now, he only has to get six more outs but he doesn't have a bullpen. He still has a 3 run lead, so the big inning probably doesn't matter. But he does have to get those outs and he and all his fans have moved from that quiet complacency to the edge of their seats.
   587. BDC Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:03 PM (#4253925)
Have VP debates ever moved polls?

I don't know how it was reflected in the polls, but when Admiral Stockdale said "Why am I here?" Ross Perot's reputation for genius got a body blow.
   588. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4253927)
I felt the same way. Everyone has a bad night, but if that was close to the real Obama, he shouldn't be president.



The problem with this is that one can easily say "If the 47% guy was close to the real Romney, he shouldn't be President" or some such.


No doubt. I'd like to retroactively emphasize the IF.
   589. spike Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4253930)
Now, he only has to get six more outs but he doesn't have a bullpen.

I don't get this. The next two debates have a foreign policy component that is surely one of the President's strong suits and the weakest of his opponent.
   590. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4253932)
There seems to be the beginnings of a "Obama failed us" vibe amongst my liberal friends.

I have certainly heard this, but what are the liberals going to do, get their needs met by Romney? Unless the complaints are coming from progressives who voted for Obama and are now going green, I consider such grousing not worth a whole lot.

I don't drink coke. Diet snapple all around.
   591. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4253934)
So, if we pass a law that makes it legal, it's cool?

I mean, I think majority rule has limitations but I'm generally in favor of it as a way to solve problems. But you seem to think that whatever the majority decides is fine. Is that what you think?


Did you miss the part where I wrote about the repugnance of slavery? Where I mentioned that MLK was absolutely correct to protest unjust laws through civil disobedience? Of course I don't think it cool, don't be ridiculous.

Do you think a law giving the OK to burn black churches would have passed and been ruled constitutional? Really? Of course it would not have and rightfully so. However, if we are in bizzaro world and it had passed and the long term desire of the US citizens was firmly of the desire that burning churches was OK that somehow the government could have done something to prevent it from happening?

The government is people. It is made up of people. It is not some exogenous thing that appeared from outer space to rule us all (and in the darkness bind us).

As soon as you say, the people are wrong in direct contrast to their expressed desires* then you are headed in a very problematic direction.

* Not just what they claim. Example: People claim to care about deficits, but it is clearly not an expressed desire by any major portion of the citizens to actually do anything about it, certainly not if it means cutting popular programs. And yes this is just an example, please don't lecture for 20 posts about how they do care about deficits, that is a different topic.
   592. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4253936)
Andy basically stated that his pursuit of happiness involved watching Good Face die in the streets. Should that count for anything?


Absolutely not. Unless Good Face wants to die in the streets. Otherwise, And'y pursuit conflicts with Good face's pursuit. As the old saying goes, my right to swing my fist ends at your nose. But since gay marriage harms no one, impinges on no one's rights despite what the religious loonies claim, your analogy is not valid.
   593. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4253938)
But if it picks up speed it could easily lower turnout.

Why? How many liberals would be okay with Romney and the Republicans winning? The only way liberal turn out gets lowered by this is if somehow in the next few weeks a close election turns into a predicted Republican landslide. That isn't going to happen.
   594. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4253939)
I have certainly heard this, but what are the liberals going to do, get their needs met by Romney?


Agreed, it's Obama who's handing out the free cell phones.
   595. Lassus Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:09 PM (#4253941)
Ray, you may have already answered this, I'm asking as I literally don't remember. Is traditional hetero marriage a right, or no also?
   596. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4253942)
Unless the complaints are coming from progressives who voted for Obama and are now going green, I consider such grousing not worth a whole lot.

I have specifically heard "green" mentioned a bunch. And I'm not saying he's done. I'm saying what looked perfectly safe now doesn't. If he has another performance like this it will matter. I will say as an "independent" who has been wavering between Obama and Johnson (prefer Johnson, leaning Obama to prevent a Republican unity government) that two more debates like this and I won't be voting for Obama. I have friends who feel as I do about the Republicans in general who are now questioning whether all they've heard about Obama's incompetence isn't true. It probably isn't fair - it was one debate. But he looked and sounded terrible and if he and/or his campaign staff are sitting around today with "ah, well, doesnt' really matter" the way his biggest fans here are, he's in trouble.

I don't see how saying he has to get six more outs without giving up a big inning is much of a stretch. He should be able to do it. If he can't, he should lose.
   597. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4253944)
Absolutely not. Unless Good Face wants to die in the streets. Otherwise, And'y pursuit conflicts with Good face's pursuit.


And taking 1/3 of my time and labor conflicts with my pursuit. So we need a different guidepost. "Conflicts with" isn't it.

As the old saying goes, my right to swing my fist ends at your nose. But since gay marriage harms no one, impinges on no one's rights despite what the religious loonies claim, your analogy is not valid.


Gay marriage, in the view of those opposed (*), harms the instutution of marriage, and people who think that is important feel harmed by it.

(*) And in my view, though I don't care.
   598. bunyon Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4253946)
Did you miss the part where I wrote about the repugnance of slavery? Where I mentioned that MLK was absolutely correct to protest unjust laws through civil disobedience? Of course I don't think it cool, don't be ridiculous.

There are some things that are right, no matter how few people are on that side. Slavery being approved of by a large majority does not move it to the right and having a government in place that prevents peoples basest desires from coming to fruition is a good thing. The majority should not always get its way. If you think it should, you are a monster.
   599. McCoy Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4253949)
This kind of stuff strikes me as really weird. Obama has been President for 4 years now. We've seen him in debates before and we've all heard what he has had to say numerous times and seen how is administration operates and executes strategy numerous times as well. But because he doesn't come off well in 4.5 hours of staged partisan commercials he won't get someone's vote. Talk about small sample size issues.
   600. spike Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4253957)
It's the latest magic bullet that's going to turn things around. Really. This time I promise.
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