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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

OTP- August 2012: The Leader Post: New stadium won’t have same appeal, says Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee

“Building a new stadium down the street does not work unless (Ron) Lancaster spilled some DNA in the lot where they’re going to build the new stadium,” he added. “You have to refurbish (Mosaic Stadium). You’ve got to can all new ideas you might have and use the sacred ground. Fenway did that and that is why Fenway is loved. The new Yankee Stadium isn’t the same as it used to be.”

The former Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos pitcher will not be running for the vacant mayor’s position in Regina later this year. With his opinion on the new stadium, he wasn’t sure he would garner many votes anyway. But that is nothing new to the former member of the Rhinoceros Party. Lee ran on the Rhino ticket in 1988 for president of the United States. Not surprisingly, he didn’t make the ballot in a single state. He said one of the high-ranking members within the party gave him a six-pack of Molson Canadian and asked him to run for president.

“I adhered to their funny philosophy,” Lee said. “My campaign slogan was ‘No guns, no butter. They’ll both kill you.’ And I only campaigned in federal prisons where I knew they couldn’t vote, and I only accepted a quarter in campaign contributions.”

With it being an election year in the U.S., Lee said he is all in for the re-election of Barack Obama.

“The only time (Mitt) Romney opens his mouth is when he needs to change feet,” Lee said of the Republican nominee. “If Obama does lose this, which I can’t see happening, then it’s because of a lady in Florida who works for Jeb Bush and Diebold, the voting-machine company. If Obama even comes close to losing this election, it’ll be fraud.”

Guess what, its the new OT politics thread!

Tripon Posted: August 01, 2012 at 12:04 AM | 5975 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: boston, politics

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   3401. GregD Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4214435)
Corporate media's sole bias is to deliver consumers' eyeballs and eardrums to advertisers.
and through that maximize return to shareholders. I would guess the vast majority of corporate media owners are fairly liberal socially and fairly conservative economically, like lots of wealthy cosmopolitan types in many fields (not all!) Roughly akin to Mitt Romney circa 2002. For some the social issues predominate and they're hearty Democrats (though strong anti-deficit Democrats who get wobbly on social programs) like the Sulzbergers. Others, say the Murdochs, obviously weight the economic conservatism more highly. Lots probably wish they could vote for George H W Bush or Gerald Ford or Nelson Rockefeller.
   3402. bobm Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:19 PM (#4214436)
[3387]
Since you like "quick Google searches", if you do that for "Romney dog story" you get 133,000,000 results. If you do it for "Obama unemployment" you get 32,400,000. "Obama Afghanistan?" 112,000,000. "Obama Economy?" 677,000,000.

And, if you do it for "Obama Muslim" you get 223,000,000 results


"Obama ate dog": 52,100,000 results :)
   3403. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4214437)
Lots probably wish they could vote for George H W Bush or Gerald Ford or Nelson Rockefeller.


As I said about 100 posts ago, that species is extinct. If nelson Rockefeller were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave over what the GOP has become.
   3404. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM (#4214438)
Since you like "quick Google searches", if you do that for "Romney dog story" you get 133,000,000 results. If you do it for "Obama unemployment" you get 32,400,000. "Obama Afghanistan?" 112,000,000. "Obama Economy?" 677,000,000.

And, if you do it for "Obama Muslim" you get 223,000,000 results



"Obama ate dog": 52,100,000 results :)


Shows to go you how worthless these google search wars are:

Romney ate Obama - 3.360,000
Obama ate my dog - 2,350,000
Obama ate Romney's car - 8,710,000
shoehorn wax pomegranate - 1,650,000
   3405. GregD Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4214440)
As I said about 100 posts ago, that species is extinct. If nelson Rockefeller were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave over what the GOP has become.
Extinct as holders of elective office, but there's still a large floating pool of voters who fit that, and lots of them, unsurprisingly, are wealthy, economically conservative, cosmopolitan, socially liberal, and that's how I'd describe most of the big media owners whose views I am aware of.
   3406. formerly dp Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4214442)
Sure, and Akin, while it is a very real issue, is also from a corporate media POV an emotional story, with a horserace angle. Rape! Abortion! Anger! Senate control? Will he drop out?


Absolutely. Gripping and suspenseful. When you're running up against CSI, America's Next Top Whogivesafuck, and Jersey Shore, you need a nice narrative arc to compete.

I think that corporate media generally do a poor job reporting on issues, but I think this is due to structural issues rather than to individual bad/biased actors. When the Koney video broke, a lot of young people were complaining because "the" media didn't tell them about it earlier. But plenty of journalists (yes, many of whom probably vote Democrat) had reported on the issue, at great personal risk, only to have their stories not attract eyeballs and thus not get prominently placed.

==
My complaint all along has been with the liberal media turning this into a huge affair despite the fact that Akin was a no-name legislator whose opinion had never been sought on any other topic in his 12-plus years in Congress


That complaint assumes the existence of a leftist agenda on the part of "the" media that exists only in your imagination. I could use Krugman's charge that "the" media insists on treating Ryan's joke of a budget plan as if it's a "serious" proposal as evidence of a systemic conservative media bias, but that would be cherry-picking evidence to suit my ideology.

We have 10 percent unemployment, but the media doesn't care.


You're joking, right? Maybe it's just my own selective media diet, but I hear at least one story about the unemployment rate a day. Abortion? Not so much. It's a hot topic right now because of a focusing event, and it'll fade into the backdrop again once this story plays out, just like the gun control debate came up for a week or two around the Aurora shooting, and has now receded into the background. But the jobless rate is reported on religiously. Journalists fight to see who can get those numbers first, and obsess over the slightest change.

The ideal of objectivity, according to some media critics, might actually be causing some of the problems that you're bemoaning-- because of the need to appear objective, there's often a desire to emphasize dramatic narrative (he said/she said) rather than explain positions and the values that motivate them, because explaining values is seen as taking sides, and taking sides betrays the ideal of objective reporting.
   3407. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4214443)
The Times routinely criticizes Obama - it broke half of that #### about Obama having a list of people to assassinate, classifying all dead males in drone attacks as "enemy combatants," etc - this week's front page story in the Times Magazine is about how the neighborhood where Obama cut his teeth as a community organizer is still a hell hole. They've published the same happy fluff about Paul Ryan that everyone else has in the last week.


ISTM that most of that drone stuff was leaked to help make Obama seem more resolute, along with the leaks about the computer virus that sabotaged the Iranian centrifuges. It's a sort of ironic "criticism" that actually serves a helpful purpose, not unlike the Jeremiah Wright controversy that had the "positive" side effect of refuting the "Obama is a secret Muslim" propaganda by talking ad nauseam about Obama's pastor.

The Times apparently can't win no matter what it does. It's either covering up for Obama by ignoring the economy**, or it's transmitting sneaky leaks designed to make him look good by looking bad. It's only fitting that the Times is owned by a family of descendents of Zion, because nobody can hatch conspiracies better than those dudes.

**which it accomplishes by deviously putting economic news on the front page where nobody would be expecting to find it
   3408. robinred Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4214445)
Shows to go you how worthless these google search wars are:


Those numbers are all a little short of 677,000,000 or 133,000,000.

Google search numbers are a very imperfect and small piece of evidence, but I think they do tell us something about what is going on in Clickland. YMMV.
   3409. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:39 PM (#4214447)
Those numbers are all a little short of 677,000,000 or 133,000,000.

Google search numbers are a very imperfect and small piece of evidence, but I think they do tell us something about what is going on in Clickland.


OK. Romney Sex Obama - 160,000,000
Obama gay love Romney - 194,000,000
   3410. Joe Kehoskie Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4214450)
Obama ate Romney's car - 8,710,000

I thought Michelle has him on a strict diet?
   3411. Steve Treder Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4214452)
because of the need to appear objective, there's often a desire to emphasize dramatic narrative (he said/she said) rather than explain positions and the values that motivate them, because explaining values is seen as taking sides, and taking sides betrays the ideal of objective reporting.

This is the criticism of current-day US media that has substance.
   3412. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 21, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4214454)
OK. Romney Sex Obama - 160,000,000
Obama gay love Romney - 194,000,000


Now here's a real Florida 2000 in the making:

Obama f#ck#d Romney 8,760,000
Romney f#ck#d Obama 8,640,000

I sure hope that they washed the ####### sheets.
   3413. bobm Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:07 AM (#4214463)
It's only fitting that the Times is owned by a family of descendents of Zion, because nobody can hatch conspiracies better than those dudes.

"All the protocols that are fit to print" :)
   3414. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4214466)
My father, a dyed in the wool Republican, loves the NY Times. He thinks that it is sacrosanct. Part of the reason is that he is obsessed with NYC itself and believes that everything from NYC is the best ever no matter what it is, whether or not there's any justification for it.

He ignores the NYT editorial page, as do I. He disagrees with the editorials. I usually agree with them. I just ignore them because they're boring.

He said that he's thinking about voting for Obama this time. This was an absolute shock to the family. I am sure that he's never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate before, and he's not a guy that's getting more liberal in any way. He's the type of guy that, under his breath, will accuse a swarthy waiter of being a terrorist. He argued to me, with a straight face, that "nobody could have possibly predicted that Iraq would become such a quagmire." A year later he argued to me, with a straight face, that becoming a quagmire was exactly the point! (To distract the terrorists)

The reason he's voting for Obama is, apparently, that his friends in the military really like Obama. My father left the military about 40 years ago, but he still has some old soldier buddies that are either still in the military or work with it, friends that by this point are very highly placed.

He doesn't say "I'm voting for Obama." The way he phrases his support betrays the very characteristic way that a conservative of his stripe would come to such a decision. He says, "I'm considering supporting my Commander in Chief."
   3415. robinred Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:19 AM (#4214468)
Fish,

That is interesting; thanks for sharing. And ISTM that your old man's opinions and feelings reflect the lefty disappointment in Obama in some ways.
   3416. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:27 AM (#4214474)
It's only fitting that the Times is owned by a family of descendents of Zion, because nobody can hatch conspiracies better than those dudes.

"All the protocols that are fit to print" :)


Good one. Henry Ford himself couldn't have put it any better. (smile)
   3417. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4214475)
And ISTM that your old man's opinions and feelings reflect the lefty disappointment in Obama in some ways.


Yes, that might have something to do with it. I would like to think that the military folks like Obama because he is a smart and capable decision maker, not because he is surprisingly hawkish (in some ways). But I don't know.
   3418. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4214478)
I would like to think that the military folks like Obama because he is a smart and capable decision maker, not because he is surprisingly hawkish (in some ways). But I don't know.


Speaking as a veteran, no one in the military likes to go to war for war's sake. We prefer the speak softly but carry a big stick kind of hawkishness. Arm us to the teeth so that no one is foolish enough to test us. Where we might prefer active hawkishness is when it's obvious conflict is inevitable and now is a better time to do it rather than later. But no (or at least very few) soldiers seek war.
   3419. tshipman Posted: August 22, 2012 at 05:06 AM (#4214505)
We have 10 percent unemployment, but the media doesn't care. We have a vice president who's so unstable the White House hasn't released his transcripts in two months, but the media doesn't care. But Romney's dog, and some no-name candidate who failed science? The media has endless time for those topics. It's a joke.


First of all, is anyone besides Gail Collins still covering Seamus?

Second of all, the reason why the media covers stories is because they draw eyeballs. Was the Casey Anthony Trial an example of a conservatively biased media because it took time away from debt ceiling coverage? (Yes, I have actually watched The Network, although honestly I don't know why. It's so transparently a fantasy.)

Thirdly, the media has actually been biased towards Republicans in discussing the economy. Crackpot crazy claims about inflation are given sober consideration. There has been very little discussion following Obama's preferred narrative (Bush tanked the economy, initial estimates of the economy's performance were not bad enough, obstructionism by the House and Senate have blocked further stimulus), and much more about Romney's preferred narrative (We still don't have robust growth and rapid gains in jobs). However, I should add that this is not due to any kind of partisan bias. Rather, the bias in economic news is always towards oversimplification. Economics is boring. Any time there are two sides to a story, and one side is more complicated to explain, the simple to explain narrative gets more coverage--regardless of facts!
   3420. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 08:09 AM (#4214514)
My father, a dyed in the wool Republican, loves the NY Times. He thinks that it is sacrosanct.
...
He said that he's thinking about voting for Obama this time.


Maybe these two facts are connected.

(smile)
   3421. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4214540)
My father, a dyed in the wool Republican, loves the NY Times. He thinks that it is sacrosanct.
...
He said that he's thinking about voting for Obama this time. This was an absolute shock to the family. I am sure that he's never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate before, and he's not a guy that's getting more liberal in any way.


Maybe these two facts are connected.

What, the fact that he's not getting more liberal in any way?

But then here's more front page liberal propaganda from the Uptown Edition of HuffPost. It never ends:

Friendship as Priceless as the National Pastime

   3422. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4214546)
ISTM that most of that drone stuff was leaked to help make Obama seem more resolute, along with the leaks about the computer virus that sabotaged the Iranian centrifuges. It's a sort of ironic "criticism" that actually serves a helpful purpose, not unlike the Jeremiah Wright controversy that had the "positive" side effect of refuting the "Obama is a secret Muslim" propaganda by talking ad nauseam about Obama's pastor.


So, just so we have this calculus down:

Run stories about the drone war or Jeremiah Wright or some other item that paints the admin in an unfavorable light = the criticism is "ironic" and is actually meant to serve a "helpful purpose." Therefore, LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS!

Suppress stories about the drone war or Jeremiah Wright or whatever = refusing to run "bad press" about a preferred pol. Therefore, LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS!!!

A convenient rubric you've designed here, Bob.
   3423. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4214556)
As I said about 100 posts ago, that species is extinct. If nelson Rockefeller were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave over what the GOP has become.


Extinct as holders of elective office, but there's still a large floating pool of voters who fit that, and lots of them, unsurprisingly, are wealthy, economically conservative, cosmopolitan, socially liberal, and that's how I'd describe most of the big media owners whose views I am aware of.


The reason Michael Bloomberg is considered and Independent and a third party stalking horse is because the GOP has run the Rockefeller Republicans out of the party by catering to the Kehoskieite True Believer base.

In 1988, I voted for George H. W. Bush.
In 1992, I voted for Ross Perot.
In 1996, the only ballot option where I didn't vote R or L was next to Bob Dole's name.

The fact that the GOP has no room for me is evidence that the GOP is a fetid swamp of insane right-wing populism these days.
   3424. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4214559)
I would guess the vast majority of corporate media owners are fairly liberal socially and fairly conservative economically, like lots of wealthy cosmopolitan types in many fields (not all!) Roughly akin to Mitt Romney circa 2002.


You mean the guy that would probably win this election if he hadn't been beaten to death by the GOP?
   3425. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4214561)
He doesn't say "I'm voting for Obama." The way he phrases his support betrays the very characteristic way that a conservative of his stripe would come to such a decision. He says, "I'm considering supporting my Commander in Chief."


This is a pet peeve of mine. Is your father currently serving in the military?

If not, he does not have a Commander in Chief.
   3426. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4214563)
I would guess the vast majority of corporate media owners are fairly liberal socially and fairly conservative economically, like lots of wealthy cosmopolitan types in many fields (not all!) Roughly akin to Mitt Romney circa 2002.
Yup.

And if I were to hazard a guess as to what an actual study of "media bias" would find, I'd expect they'd find that mainstream media tends to lean conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues. I would hypothesize that the main contributing factor to bias is less the partisan affiliation of reporters and more the ideology of ownership.

EDIT: Obviously, there is no single media and no single bias, and all the stuff that tship's talking about, with the trained dispositions of reporters and all that, are overdetermined, not simply determined by ownership ideology. But if we wanted to put things in oversimplified terms, the above would be my hypothesis.
   3427. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4214566)
You mean the guy that would probably win this election if he hadn't been beaten to death by the GOP?


I see where you're going here, but I don't think we should underestimate the pure, crystalline lack of charisma or charm that Mitt Romney manages to project.
   3428. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:49 AM (#4214568)
Yet more NYT front page pro-Obama propaganda, complete with a large color photo of grieving parents. I guess this story would fall in the "ironic" category.

In Toll of 2,000, New Portrait of Afghan War
   3429. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4214572)
I see where you're going here, but I don't think we should underestimate the pure, crystalline lack of charisma or charm that Mitt Romney manages to project.


I think I mentioned this in a previous thread, but Bain was a client of the firm I used to work at (which was also former home to such liberal minds as Robert Bork and Ken Starr), and I've met Romney a few times. He's quite fluid and charismatic.

The problem is that it requries a whole different level of charisma to say complete nonsense that you probably don't believe. I'm sure 2002 Romney didn't come off as poorly as 2012 Romney, since he wasn't trying to remember his lines from the Tea Party user's manual.

Now, I'm not going to overlook the fact that he's sold his principles out to the lowest common denominator, but I will say that in an alternate universe where Romney had the spine to stick to his guns, he would come off far less robotic.
   3430. GregD Posted: August 22, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4214573)
You mean the guy that would probably win this election if he hadn't been beaten to death by the GOP?
Or even like that other guy on the other side of the ticket?

What's interesting to me is that, unsurprisingly, Obama and Romney share a great deal with each other and with most very-well-educated people in their realms, especially that general sense of social liberalism and an economic worldview that sees the key debate as between moderates and conservatives. Both are whip-smart, aloof, data-driven guys who are personally cosmopolitan and have no heart for culture wars. Neither is an economic lefty; neither thinks unemployment is the pressing economic issue. Both would say low inflation and low deficits are the primary goals. Both, obviously, arrived by different paths at a similar solution to what each recognized as a problem in health care. Both would like to think their vision is technocratic and to hearken back to old days when people worked out problems together.

I don't mean to make too much of this. Romney obviously identifies personal financial success with virtue in a way that Obama doesn't (not that Obama doesn't want to get rich!) Romney clearly would set tax rates below Obama in his ideal type world.

But it suggests two things:
1) The establishment still--barely!--has enough control of the Republican Party to get the nomination to someone who thinks and looks like them and doesn't take the boo bait for the bubbas too seriously.
2) Romney had to pay a much bigger price in his party's primary purity test than Obama did. Obama never ran to the left but put himself to the center compared to Hillary and Edwards, by and large. Romney would have dearly loved to do that but--rightly--saw that way led to doom in the primaries.

I am obviously in favor of Obama, but if I had to choose between Obama and Democratic control of the Senate, I'd probably pick the latter. Romney with a split Congress would just get nothing done. A united Republican Congress, in control of the madmen, could create real chaos.
   3431. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4214584)
That complaint assumes the existence of a leftist agenda on the part of "the" media that exists only in your imagination. I could use Krugman's charge that "the" media insists on treating Ryan's joke of a budget plan as if it's a "serious" proposal as evidence of a systemic conservative media bias, but that would be cherry-picking evidence to suit my ideology.


It is an article of faith on the right that the MSM has a massive and persistent left wing bias...

On some issues I would concur- the MSM is biased in favor of racial equality, marriage equality, abortion rights and various other issues that makes the far right evangelical wing go nuts- especially what the evangelicals see as "family issues"- on those they see the media as leaning left (and it does) - what they don't see is that on most of those issues now is that the public as a whole is now well to the left of THEM (the evangelicals)- they (as most people) see themselves as in the center- and so you have a situation where the MSM is a bit left of center on social issues- and that center itself is a considerable ways left of the evangelicals...- so from the evangelical POV, the MSM is really really really far left

economic issues? foreign relations? the MSM has certainly tacked far right of where it was in the 70s/80s, its' also become a bit more diffuse/heterogeneous, but I think the 50s-70s was a time of unusual news/media homogenization in the first place- having highly partisan and opposing media outlets (like Fox vs. MSNBC) is actually the norm in most US history.
   3432. Ron J2 Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4214585)
#3429 It's far from uncommon for politicians who come off stiff on TV to be engaging in smaller groups.
   3433. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4214588)
It's far from uncommon for politicians who come off stiff on TV to be engaging in smaller groups.


Don't disagree. But Romney even looks stiff in smaller groups now. It's like he's been shell-shocked from the primary process. Reports said that Romney was energized by the Ryan pick. That doesn't surprise me. He finally has somebody around who is actually at home with his talking points.
   3434. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4214590)
I see where you're going here, but I don't think we should underestimate the pure, crystalline lack of charisma or charm that Mitt Romney manages to project.

I think I mentioned this in a previous thread, but Bain was a client of the firm I used to work at (which was also former home to such liberal minds as Robert Bork and Ken Starr), and I've met Romney a few times. He's quite fluid and charismatic.


I had to deal with a gaggle of venture capitalist guys awhile back on a syndicated loan deal that went bad, almost all were interesting guys (they were all guys), almost all guys who you wouldn't mid having a drink or two with, none were guys you could see as politicians unless they clamped down on their actual personalities to the point that any release of pressure would be bends inducing... Also none of these guys are guys anyone would trust not to stab you in the back if they thought they would A; Benefit and B: get away with it. (which I guess is something they share with most politicos).

These are guys who if they entered politics would do it behind the scenes.

Romney does not seem to have the raw merciless drive these guys have, I have no doubt that among other Venturists he was seen as something of a "trust fund goody goody," playing with inherited money, they on the other hand play with and for blood.
   3435. formerly dp Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4214591)
I would guess the vast majority of corporate media owners are fairly liberal socially and fairly conservative economically, like lots of wealthy cosmopolitan types in many fields (not all!) Roughly akin to Mitt Romney circa 2002.


One of the (numerous) problems with the study Joe cited is that it focused exclusively on journalists-- it didn't include editors (the people who actually make decisions about what gets printed), it didn't include owners. Robert McChesney, who has written extensively about media conglomeration/consolidation/ownership, makes the point that media owners and editors show a countervailing tendency to vote Republican. Using a 30+ year old statistic about the voting tendencies of 240 journalists as conclusive evidence of left-wing media bias is simply lazy, especially when far more rigorous and methodologically sound studies abound on the 'tubes.
   3436. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4214592)
On some issues I would concur- the MSM is biased in favor of racial equality, marriage equality, abortion rights and various other issues that makes the far right evangelical wing go nuts-


You touch on this, but from the named issues you list above:

Racial equality - being in favor of racial equality was a "liberal" or "left" position in 1962. Being in favor of racial equality in 2012 is status quo centrism.

Marriage equality - being in favor of marriage equality was a liberal or left position in 2002. It's still liberal in 2012, but the weight of history is well behind the movement

Women's rights/reproductive choice - Roe was decided in 1973. Again, this is not a liberal position. It's status quo for the last 40 years. FORTY YEARS.

This is a major part of the problem. People frame the desire to maintain a 40 year status quo as "liberalism," while claiming that a desire to *unwrite 40-100 years of history and pretend it never happened* is "conservative." That's not ####### conservatism. That's reactionary thinking.
   3437. zonk Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4214594)

What's interesting to me is that, unsurprisingly, Obama and Romney share a great deal with each other and with most very-well-educated people in their realms, especially that general sense of social liberalism and an economic worldview that sees the key debate as between moderates and conservatives. Both are whip-smart, aloof, data-driven guys who are personally cosmopolitan and have no heart for culture wars. Neither is an economic lefty; neither thinks unemployment is the pressing economic issue. Both would say low inflation and low deficits are the primary goals. Both, obviously, arrived by different paths at a similar solution to what each recognized as a problem in health care. Both would like to think their vision is technocratic and to hearken back to old days when people worked out problems together.


I guess I'd say it's hard to tell with both of them...

The Governor Romney - that would be a guy I could probably tolerate. I know the national party and national dynamics have forced him to stake out turf to the right, but then - he's been staking out that turf for 5 years now. I'm reminded of the Hawthorne quote from the Scarlett Letter -- No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true.

I look, too, at Romney's foreign policy team - it's swarming with the worst of the discredited neocons. If FDR were reincarnated, but had Dan Senor has a foreign policy adviser, I'd have an awfully tough time voting for him under any circumstance.

I never really bought into the idea that now disappoints many of Obama's liberal supporters - his state senate district is an eclectic, classic 'liberal' district, but he was generally to the right of it. What I did hope was for him to be more Reaganesque - soft-selling the nation on ideological course correction, but understanding that he wouldn't be the guy to actually achieve that... rather, it would be the generation that immediately followed him in office that would consolidate and grow the movement. In this, I think he has been disappointing... not so much in his policies - although, there have been disappointments there, too -- but even in his public negotiating stance on certain issues. I don't think, for example, he's been as robust in defending the fundamental founding principles of liberal sacred cows like Social Security. I'm not burying my head in the sand and insisting that there's no need for changes to the program as demographics change - but there are still bedrock principles that underpin the program itself, and there, I've usually been disappointed in his failure to make those core principles the thrust of any discussion.

I suppose, if he wins in November, there's still time for that -- the 'Reagan revolution' wasn't built in 3 1/2 years either... As a citizen, I've been largely happy with his performance as President. Civil liberties have been an obvious exception - but then again, I knew I was going to be disappointed well before he was inaugurated or even won. Administrations never roll back the increase in tools/laws/rules that the previous administration handed them. Always has been true, always will be true. As a Democrat, I've been relatively happy. I like the principles that health care reform establishes and codifies and I think it's a good first step. As a liberal, though, I've definitely been underwhelmed.

   3438. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4214595)
Racial equality - being in favor of racial equality was a "liberal" or "left" position in 1962. Being in favor of racial equality in 2012 is status quo centrism.


yeah, I should take that out, even most evangelicals have come around on that.
   3439. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM (#4214597)
And comparable to Sam, the Democratic party chased me out. Things like civil liberties and free speech and government not singling out groups or even individuals as enemies were stuff I valued. What good is a Democrat who thinks free speech is something to be determined by government? What good is a Democratic party who, by standing aside and doing nothing, owns Obama's extra-judicial murders just as much as Dubya ownes the Iraq war? I didn't vote for W either time and I was pretty happy that in 2008, either candidate would represent a change from the most arrogant, close-minded, opaque, ############, vindictive administration of my lifetime. I was wrong. I didn't imagine in my wildest dreams that Obama would take Bush's civil liberty violations to the next level. Or politicize the Justice Department more than Bush ever did with the lawyer firings. Or somehow top Dubya's unearned smugness that dripped constantly.

I voted my first ever Republican for Senate in 2010. And before the 2012 election, I had voted for more Green Party presidential candidates (1) than Republican presidential candidates (0). I also certainly never donated any time to a politician, which I'm hoping to have time to do in the coming months. Now, I'm excitedly casting a straight Republican ticket in Ohio, to vote for the second-worst group of people in the United States over the first-worst group.
   3440. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4214598)
Romney does not seem to have the raw merciless drive these guys have, I have no doubt that among other Venturists he was seen as something of a "trust fund goody goody," playing with inherited money, they on the other hand play with and for blood.


Interesting is a polite word to describe PE guys. I will say that a lack of killer instinct can be highly profitable at the upper tiers of private equity. The real warriors are obsessed with hitting their hurdle rates (typically 35%+ ROI), but you just can't do that with a mega-fund. There aren't enough eligible deals to use your funds on. But mega-funds are where you make you guaranteed money, as a non-refundable management fee on a massive pile of money is nothing to sneeze at.

If you can make a name for yourself in PE, and then swallow your pride enough to raise a huge fund, generate mediocre results, and rip management fees up the wazoo, you can make a lot of money for a long, long time befroe people start realizing past performance does not insure future success.

I would never, ever, invest in a huge PE fund. The big ROIs are all with the upstarts with small funds, or the experts whose ego's won't let them raise a fund too big to invest with success.
   3441. tshipman Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4214601)
Romney with a split Congress would just get nothing done. A united Republican Congress, in control of the madmen, could create real chaos.


I feel like this is a very a-histoical view. A united Republican Congress with a Dem president would preside over gridlock with increased use of the presidential veto. It's not like Congress can get that much more gridlocked. Reid will turn around and abuse the filibuster the same as McConnell did.

Romney is at least somewhat (20%) likely to start a war with Iran if elected. I think you should consider how damaging Bush was without control of both houses of Congress.


You mean the guy that would probably win this election if he hadn't been beaten to death by the GOP?


I don't think that Moderate Romney would be doing any better than "severe Conservative" Romney. They both would still be running an economics all the time campaign and would have gotten side-tracked on the same issues. This is very much a fundamentals election.

Edit: Szymborski's 3439 is almost as dumb as Tom Friedman column. Almost.
   3442. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4214602)
This is a major part of the problem. People frame the desire to maintain a 40 year status quo as "liberalism," while claiming that a desire to *unwrite 40-100 years of history and pretend it never happened* is "conservative." That's not ####### conservatism. That's reactionary thinking.


That's what gets me about so many Faux News viewers/Rush listeners, they have no idea how RADICAL the economic vision that is being preached to them is, how it would undo the socio-economic system of the last 80 years- they are continually told that Clinton and later Obama are pushing the country to the left, hell all they did was temporarily brake the rightward push we've been having ever since Carter.

Look at the GOP National Party platforms from the 1960-1970s, look at where they were on economic issues- very far left of today- in fact the 1972 Repub platform overall is probably closer to the 2012 Dem platform than to the 2012 Repub one.
   3443. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:29 AM (#4214603)
economic issues? foreign relations? the MSM has certainly tacked far right of where it was in the 70s/80s, its' also become a bit more diffuse/heterogeneous,

I would agree. I think that there was a liberal media bias on these things a couple decades ago, but both the conservatives railing against it and the vast increase in media outlets has generally made such concerns pretty irrelevant. Yeah, there are plenty of liberal news outlets, but there are plenty of conservative outlets as well. Now that both conservatives and liberals (as seen in the endless articles complaining about the media trying to be objective) dislike media and think it's biased against them, I think we probably have a pretty good balance (among the statist crowd, that is).
   3444. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4214606)
Romney is at least somewhat (20%) likely to start a war with Iran if elected.


What do people think the odds of this are?

Romney definitely stands stronger with Israel than Obama does, but his comments on Iran (aside from the vague bluster) have also been pretty much the same as Obama's. This is a comment of his: "I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition." Which is ... exactly what Obama is trying to do.
   3445. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4214611)
I was wrong. I didn't imagine in my wildest dreams that Obama would take Bush's civil liberty violations to the next level.


I agree with you there, the Obama admin has been terrible, worse even than Bush in many respects

Or politicize the Justice Department more than Bush ever did with the lawyer firings.


disagree, while Obama's Justice Dept is more politicized than is historically normal, it's not nearly as bad as Bush's post-Ashcroft Justice Department.

   3446. Lassus Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4214615)
Now, I'm excitedly casting a straight Republican ticket in Ohio, to vote for the second-worst group of people in the United States over the first-worst group.

Meh. If everyone sucks, I'm going for the group less likely to be telling my queer friends they are less than human.
   3447. tshipman Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4214616)
What do people think the odds of this are?

Romney definitely stands stronger with Israel than Obama does, but his comments on Iran (aside from the vague bluster) have also been pretty much the same as Obama's. This is a comment of his: "I will make sure that the sanctions, diplomatic pressure, economic pressure and support of insurgents within the country help them become dissuaded to get away from their nuclear ambition." Which is ... exactly what Obama is trying to do.


His FP advisors are the same guys who took us to Iraq. They're making the same noises. In 2000, no one thought we'd be going back to Iraq.
   3448. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4214617)
Meh. If everyone sucks, I'm going for the group less likely to be telling my queer friends they are less than human.


This.
   3449. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4214619)
Romney with a split Congress would just get nothing done. A united Republican Congress, in control of the madmen, could create real chaos.


My personal best case scenario is also the least likely- Romney with a Dem Congress :-)

My guess: Fed Government 2013 in order of likelihood:

Obama, Dem Senate, Repub House - 25%
Obama, Repub Senate, Repub House -21%
Romney, Repub Senate, Repub House - 18%
Romney, Dem Senate, Repub House - 15%
Obama, Dem Senate, Dem House- 12%
Romeny, Dem Senate, Dem House- 9%
   3450. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4214620)
I think that there was a liberal media bias on these things a couple decades ago, but both the conservatives railing against it and the vast increase in media outlets has generally made such concerns pretty irrelevant.


Liberal media bias was real and powerful. So powerful, in fact, that a faction of that liberal media essentially hounded up facts and stories until Richard Nixon had to resign the presidency.

In 1974.

Media bias persisted through the early 80s. Certainly the first Reagan admin dealt with some entrenched media bias from established outlets. But then the cable news and AM talk radio mediums took off and X began being offset by Y. By the mid-90s 'liberal media bias' was basically the domestic equivalent of the Evil Empire of the Godless Communists; a foe so great terrible in the minds of the right wingers that the mere fact that it no longer existed wasn't sufficient reason to stop waging endless war against it. And so on, unto this very day...
   3451. hokieneer Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4214626)
I didn't vote for W either time and I was pretty happy that in 2008, either candidate would represent a change from the most arrogant, close-minded, opaque, ############, vindictive administration of my lifetime. I was wrong. I didn't imagine in my wildest dreams that Obama would take Bush's civil liberty violations to the next level. Or politicize the Justice Department more than Bush ever did with the lawyer firings. Or somehow top Dubya's unearned smugness that dripped constantly.


Same here. I was excited about the change in 2008, to anyone else other than the Bush administration. I was not too pleased with the 2 big-boy candidates, but I figured either one would be a step in a right direction. I did not vote for either one, but still welcomed the change. I have been disappointed so far. Maybe I was(am) just to naive.

WV will easily go for Romney, so my vote for the President doesn't really matter. I'll likely vote for Johnson or no one at all. My votes for other races will likely be a mix bag of both D and R, like every other ballot I've filled out before.
   3452. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4214627)
They're making the same noises. In 2000, no one thought we'd be going back to Iraq.


They would still need a pre-text, I assume you are not a Truther, I'm not either, but I get the sense that many neo-cons saw 9/11 as an opportunity not a catastrophe.

Unfortunately, as nutty as I think many neo-cons are, and as unhinged as I think man elements of the GOP has become, the clerical gangsters running Iran are far far far worse, they could easily give the neo-cons a pretext, hell an assortment of pretexts...
   3453. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4214631)
Meh. If everyone sucks, I'm going for the group less likely to be telling my queer friends they are less than human.


This.


Double secret rainbow powered high five. Dan oversells the Democrats' civil rights abuses by factors of ten or more. I am disappointed in Obama's not reeling in the national security state, but the idea that in order to improve civil rights and curtail the national security police state one ought to vote for the guys that built it out in the first place, and who's backbenchers* spend real hours of their legislative time crafting "find the secret members of the Muslim Brotherhood who have infiltrated God's own United States Congress" bills...

Well. No, Dan. Just, no. Not at all. Ever.

*the only relevant criticism here is to my categorization of a woman who was briefly considered the popular favorite for the GOP Presidential ticket as a "backbencher."
   3454. The Good Face Posted: August 22, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4214642)
Ah! Right! Totally! Like when you constantly mocked me for asking for proof and citations in countless earlier threads. Got it.


I recall chiding you once when you were being particularly dull and repetitive, but please carry on with your persecution complex if it makes you feel better.

However, for your edification, the situations aren't at all comparable. You went through a phase where you apparently believed that "citation needed" was a devastating comeback to somebody's opinion (it's not). Here, somebody provided statistical evidence that numerous people are claiming is wrong because, well, because they don't like it. In the latter circumstance, I think it reasonable that the people who disagree provide evidence. Thus far, they have not.

It has been, for decades. Just because you, GF and Joe aren't familiar with the mountains of literature on the subject doesn't mean that it hasn't been studied.


My goodness, studies you say! Where are they? You haven't provided anything but your own hand-waving about journalistic integrity and how all those Democratic voting journalists are apparently utterly controlled by some shadowy right-wing plutocrat who scrutinizes every story they run and every word they write.

Meanwhile, in addition to overwhelmingly voting for Democrats, journalists also overwhelmingly donate money to them, by approximately the same margin.

Finally, I'm still waiting for you to address my hypothetical since you conveniently glossed over it. I'll repeat it for your convenience. What if, all else being equal, 90% of the media was comprised of current KKK members? Would you have confidence in their ability to accurately and objectively report on racial issues? If not, why not?
   3455. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4214646)
WV will easily go for Romney, so my vote for the President doesn't really matter. I'll likely vote for Johnson or no one at all. My votes for other races will likely be a mix bag of both D and R, like every other ballot I've filled out before.


Replace "WV" with "GA." Lather, rinse, repeat. My more standard-line liberal friends have done a really poor job of making the "but you should vote for Obama again to maintain a closer margin of loss" argument, and his punting GITMO* and the expansion of drone warfare to pretty much "anywhere we feel like dropping massive ordinance that day" his written him out of my will.**

*I'm well aware that the reason GITMO continues to violate human rights left and right is because of the Congress, but some game situations require that you go for it on 4th and long even if you're not likely to get the yardage, and Obama punted anyway.

**They keep calling. The donations keep not happening.

***Running with the idea that Tim Geithner and the cabal of Goldman Sachs asshats that brought us unregulated derivative trading and "too big to fail" were exactly the folks to fix the problem they created didn't really help either.

So, for the record people, contrary to all of your preconceptions of how liberal or whatever I might be, I'll almost be certainly voting for a Libertarian candidate for POTUS in 2012. Again.

Current tally of Sam's presidential votes to date: R(1), D(3), I(3)
   3456. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4214669)
Liberal media bias was real and powerful. So powerful, in fact, that a faction of that liberal media essentially hounded up facts and stories until Richard Nixon had to resign the presidency.

And what would an "unbiased" media have done? Pretended that the breakin represented nothing but, in Ron Zeigler's eloquent phrase, a "third rate burglary"? Should the Post have reassigned Woodward and Bernstein to following around George Allen** when he went carousing at the milk bars?

"Media bias" is a complete red herring unless it can be shown that stories and/or facts that run counter to that bias are somehow being suppressed. When, exactly, was that the case during Watergate? What facts that would have exonerated Nixon did the media suppress?

**the Redskins' coach, not his "macaca" son
   3457. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM (#4214670)
What if, all else being equal, 90% of the media was comprised of current KKK members? Would you have confidence in their ability to accurately and objectively report on racial issues?


of course not. Now if you can show evidence that even 25% (let alone 90%) of the media is as far from center as the KKK is you may have a point.
   3458. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4214676)
And what would an "unbiased" media have done?


I don't know, but there clearly existed an adversarial relationship between "conservative" status quo America and the liberalism of the media in the 1960s and 1970s. That's not a bad thing. Someone needed to prod the proles into more moral behaviors.
   3459. formerly dp Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4214679)
My goodness, studies you say! Where are they? You haven't provided anything but your own hand-waving about journalistic integrity and how all those Democratic voting journalists are apparently utterly controlled by some shadowy right-wing plutocrat who scrutinizes every story they run and every word they write.


The study Joe cited is 30+ years old. Pretending it contributes something new, shocking, or conclusive to a conversation is ignorant. Your unfamiliarity with the counter-arguments does not invalidate them. The study surveyed 238 journalists. It did not include the political attitudes of editors or owners. It did not analyze journalistic practice or norms. You're definitively concluding that there's a systemic liberal media bias based on the self-reported voting record of 238 (!) US journalists in the 1980 election.

"J-schools teach the American ideal of objectivity" is hardly a controversial claim. But if you want a quick, summary, you can check out this piece by McChesney. There are media historians who study journalistic socialization and norms. Again, don't confuse your own ignorance with a lack of research and thinking about the question.

Meanwhile, in addition to overwhelmingly voting for Democrats, journalists also overwhelmingly donate money to them, by approximately the same margin.


With all of the smoke you're finding, you'd think there'd be fire around somewhere. Maybe, just maybe, journalists are not the all-powerful media elites you're dreaming them to be?

What if, all else being equal, 90% of the media was comprised of current KKK members? Would you have confidence in their ability to accurately and objectively report on racial issues? If not, why not?


I didn't address it because it's a stupid analogy. It's a stupid analogy because KKK membership speaks far more definitely and specifically to someone's political attitudes than pulling a lever for a D or an R (as we've seen in the last few posts by Sam and Dan). But, indulging your particular brand of idiocy: if 90% of the media was comprised of current KKK members, I would absolutely think this suggests those journalists would produce racially-biased content. But it would not prove that the content they produce is racially biased-- it would infer it. Inference is not proof. You're claiming otherwise. The numbers Joe cited suggest that there should be more research to see if the voting record of those 238 journalists correlates with the production of liberally-biased content. And that's precisely what happened after the study was published 25 years ago. But the study itself is not proof of a liberal bias, especially since its methods were deeply flawed, and its assumptions overly simplistic (Democratic journalists in, liberally-biased media out).

I'm not making a radical argument here-- this is the same summary of the debate on media bias that you'll find in a Media Studies 101 textbook.

Edit: All of this is not to suggest that there aren't issues, cases, topics, and venues where there can be biased coverage. I worked as an RA on a projct that analyzed the rhetoric around in the 1994 immigration debate, and it was painstaking work-- we coded every sentence in 200+ articles on the subject to see what sorts of rhetorical tools were being mobilized by reporters (not op-eds) in their covering the issue.
   3460. bunyon Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4214686)
Unfortunately, as nutty as I think many neo-cons are, and as unhinged as I think man elements of the GOP has become, the clerical gangsters running Iran are far far far worse, they could easily give the neo-cons a pretext, hell an assortment of pretexts...

Right. The odds that Iran won't do something unbelievably stupid and/or dangerous in the next five years is close to nil. I'm far from a peacenik but I prefer war be reserved as a last resort. I would prefer the president take us to war only if it is absolutely necessary. I think Obama would go so far as to take us into Iran if it merely looked advantageous. The Republicans, on the other hand, will be looking for a reason.

To echo Sam, my votes to date: R(0), D(1), L(4). I missed 88 by a couple of months but would have voted for HW.

At this point, I plan to vote for Johnson, unless one of the other two does something massively crazy.
   3461. Lassus Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4214687)
I recall chiding you once when you were being particularly dull and repetitive, but please carry on with your persecution complex if it makes you feel better.

Clever, if unoriginal.


You went through a phase where you apparently believed that "citation needed" was a devastating comeback to somebody's opinion (it's not).

Thank you, Kreskin. Now, what color am I thinking of?

   3462. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4214688)
this is the same summary of the debate on media bias that you'll find in a Media Studies 101 textbook.


So now you want him to consider arguments from Crypto-Marxist Academia?
   3463. Rickey! On a blog from 1998. With the candlestick. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4214698)
Right. The odds that Iran won't do something unbelievably stupid and/or dangerous in the next five years is close to nil.


And if they do something stupid, you retaliate. You don't start another war based on the idiotic neo-con notion that we can start a war any time our super special Spidey sense tells us the other guys are going to do something bad at some vague, undefined moment in the future.
   3464. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4214705)
Right. The odds that Iran won't do something unbelievably stupid and/or dangerous in the next five years is close to nil.


I disagree with this. The theocrats are of course dangerous and insane in their own way, but they aren't goofy idiotic grandstanders like Ahmadinejad is, and Ahmadinejad is going to be gone soon. The theocrats are more invested in the long term well-being of their country. And the next Iranian president might be less of an ass.
   3465. bunyon Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4214718)
Right. The odds that Iran won't do something unbelievably stupid and/or dangerous in the next five years is close to nil.



I disagree with this. The theocrats are of course dangerous and insane in their own way, but they aren't goofy idiotic grandstanders like Ahmadinejad is, and Ahmadinejad is going to be gone soon. The theocrats are more invested in the long term well-being of their country. And the next Iranian president might be less of an ass.


I think I didn't make my point. The odds of any country not doing something that looks stupid or dangerous from the outside in any given 5 year span is close to nil. If you want to go to war with someone, you can find a reason. There are damn few reasons that are sufficient for a country as big and secure as ours to go to war against a country as small and far away as Iran. They exist and Iran may well take those actions but I would guess not.

But my impression is the neocons will be watching like a hawk and as soon as some action is taken (that could and should be dealt with diplotmatically), in we go.
   3466. Steve Treder Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4214720)
I am obviously in favor of Obama, but if I had to choose between Obama and Democratic control of the Senate, I'd probably pick the latter. Romney with a split Congress would just get nothing done. A united Republican Congress, in control of the madmen, could create real chaos.

Disagree. A Romney administration would be very bad news regarding Supreme Court nominations, which are likely to occur within the next four years. Plus he would bring back W's foreign policy dolts.
   3467. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4214724)
bunyon, gotcha.

I don't know if Romney would really order a preemptive attack sooner than Obama would. As I noted above, every substantive comment Romney's made on Iran has just been an echo of the exact plan that Obama is employing.

But I think that Romney as Commander in Chief would embolden the hawks in Israel.
   3468. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4214725)

Unfortunately, as nutty as I think many neo-cons are, and as unhinged as I think man elements of the GOP has become, the clerical gangsters running Iran are far far far worse, they could easily give the neo-cons a pretext, hell an assortment of pretexts...


Where do you get this idea? Iran has never started a war. Iranian foreign policy has been hard-headed with remarkable consistency. Unless "pretext" means "not doing exactly as the U.S. wishes on every issue" (and such would very likely be considered a pretext by the neo-cons), I am not sure what you are suggesting.
   3469. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM (#4214732)
Dan oversells the Democrats' civil rights abuses by factors of ten or more.

There's a Democratic president and attorney general that have stated explicitly that they have the right to kill any American abroad that they want, anyone they accidentally kill automatically becomes a terrorist, and that there is no oversight anywhere outside the presidency, not Congress, not the courts, not anywhere. That the due process is them promising to be totally sure that the dudes are bad. That's a step way beyond anything Bush ever dreamed of - both were wannabe facists, but Obama's way smarter than Bush. Obama has also quadrupled-down the Bush administration's policy on whistleblowers and opaqueness in government. Greenwald has pretty much annotated all of this.

Then we get into issues in which it's the official position of the administration and the Democratic party, that government can choose to censor movies, television, or books for their political content. And since they haven't gotten their way, many are pushing for an amendment to this effect and threatening to abandon the ACLU, one of the most important protectors of free speech in the United States, because they haven't gotten the message that censorship is good when the good guys are in power.

I don't think I'm exaggerating one bit. I voted for Democrats when they were the check on civil rights abuses. Now, they're the prime advocates. I have no illusion that the mainstream Republican party is full of civil libertarians, but the current administration is the bigger problem.



   3470. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4214737)
Disagree. A Romney administration would be very bad news regarding Supreme Court nominations, which are likely to occur within the next four years. Plus he would bring back W's foreign policy dolts.

Not to mention appointments in the lower courts, regulatory agencies and cabinet / sub-cabinet positions. AFAIC nobody in a swing state who votes for a third party candidate has any standing to complain about anything that happens in the next four years. If Bush had taken those Florida Nader voters in 2000 and put them in preventive detention just for the hell of it, I would have laughed at their sputtering, and told them "you should have thought of that before you went into the voting booth."
   3471. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4214739)
who's backbenchers* spend real hours of their legislative time crafting "find the secret members of the Muslim Brotherhood who have infiltrated God's own United States Congress" bills...


And that these idiots are preferable says a lot about how authoritarian the Democratic Party has become the last decade on things like civil rights and extrajudicial killings.
   3472. zonk Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4214740)

I think I didn't make my point. The odds of any country not doing something that looks stupid or dangerous from the outside in any given 5 year span is close to nil. If you want to go to war with someone, you can find a reason. There are damn few reasons that are sufficient for a country as big and secure as ours to go to war against a country as small and far away as Iran. They exist and Iran may well take those actions but I would guess not.

But my impression is the neocons will be watching like a hawk and as soon as some action is taken (that could and should be dealt with diplotmatically), in we go.


The problem is that it's not just Iran that you have to worry about...

I'd put the odds at 50/50 that Israel strikes Iranian sites in the next year or two. At that point, it's likely things spin out of control pretty quickly -- Iran tries to close off the Straits of Hormuz, or at least, makes it an unsafe route... then what?

I feel pretty confidant that there will be SOME manner of flashpoint at some point soon in the region, and I think American reaction is as important to deal with as proaction.
   3473. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4214742)
Meh. If everyone sucks, I'm going for the group less likely to be telling my queer friends they are less than human.

As long as we're playing hyperbole, by this standard, an administration that seeks to destroy basic protections of free speech and feels that due process involves them deciding who gets to live and who gets killed from the sky, the opposing group is telling every person in the country that they are less than human.
   3474. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4214743)
A Romney administration would be very bad news regarding Supreme Court nominations, which are likely to occur within the next four years.

Supreme Court nominations are always likely to occur within the next four years.
Obama is apparently determined to leave the Supreme Court more gender-balanced and diverse (at least racially, if not in terms of professional experience) than it has ever been. But as in so many things, it's not that Obama's nominations have been "good" so much as that a hypothetical/imaginary Republican's nominations would be "bad."

Anyway, I'll start believing the Democrats think it's important to, for example, preserve abortion rights through Court appointments, when they can provide some reason to think their nominees are pro-choice besides "A Democrat supports them." There's no substantial evidence that Kagan or Sotomayor were (or are) pro-choice.
   3475. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM (#4214744)
Then we get into issues in which it's the official position of the administration and the Democratic party, that government can choose to censor movies, television, or books for their political content.

Umm, which party is dominant in all those states where the textbooks are being vetted and censored by fundamentalists and creationists? How many millions of people have been affected by those actions, as opposed to the sort of censorship you're referring to?
   3476. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM (#4214745)
I disagree with this. The theocrats are of course dangerous and insane in their own way, but they aren't goofy idiotic grandstanders like Ahmadinejad is, and Ahmadinejad is going to be gone soon. The theocrats are more invested in the long term well-being of their country. And the next Iranian president might be less of an ass.


Let's see, his term ends 8/13, he's term limited, he can't "legally" run again.

1. Is he going to try to pull a Chavez and change the constitution to allow him to run again?
2. Is he going to try to do something in his last year knowing he'll never have another chance?

Regarding #1- I wouldn't rule this out, even though from what I can tell he's just not that popular- with anyone- he was re-elected [allowed to steal the 2009 election] essentially because the most powerful establishment bloc found him to be less unpalatable than the rather lukewarm "reformers" running against him, those who supported him in 2009 are more than willing to see him out to the curb this time.

With respect to the 2013 election, I think the Guardian Council will make extra sure that anyone they let on the ballot toes the line- I think in 2009 Mousavi had originally been acceptable to them (obviously- they let him in the ballot- indeed they may have expected him to succeed Ahmadinejad)- but the nature of his campaign and how it picked up broad popular support among the disaffected citizenry basically freaked them out...

Ahmadinejad has managed to gather around him more of a power base than previous Iranian Presidents have, he has more real power than his predecessors, but still less than the "Supreme Leader"- Guardian Council combo...

My guess is that if Ahmadinejad makes noise about running again/amending the Constitution, the Guardian Council simply says no, the next question is what Ahmadinejad does next- if he tries to buck them they will almost certainly try to arrest him and haul him out of the office ahead of time.... If that happens the most likely scenario is just that, he gets arrested and thrown in some pit- but if he and his supporters put up an effective resistance/avoidance of arrest- the fun will start.

Ahmadi
   3477. Lassus Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4214747)
As long as we're playing hyperbole, by this standard, an administration that seeks to destroy basic protections of free speech and feels that due process involves them deciding who gets to live and who gets killed from the sky, the opposing group is telling every person in the country that they are less than human.

If you think that we are being equally hyperbolic, the debate pretty much ends there.
   3478. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4214750)
As long as we're playing hyperbole, by this standard, an administration that seeks to destroy basic protections of free speech and feels that due process involves them deciding who gets to live and who gets killed from the sky, the opposing group is telling every person in the country that they are less than human.


I find those actions by the Obama administration deplorable. But I have no reason to believe they won't be continued/expanded by the Republicans. In the end it's a judgment call. Do you think the GOP will scale back to Bush-level abuses? Preserve the status quo? Double down on the Obama abuses? Your opinion on that question determines how you feel about these sorts of things.

I for one highly doubt that either candidate will scale back. Both parties are in favor of hoarding as much executive power as possible. Given that, I give my social tie-breaker to the Dems.

EDIT: Yes, that's meant to be as pessimistic as it reads.
   3479. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4214752)
As long as we're playing hyperbole, by this standard, an administration that seeks to destroy basic protections of free speech and feels that due process involves them deciding who gets to live and who gets killed from the sky, the opposing group is telling every person in the country that they are less than human.
It seems to me you're committing the same error you saw yourself commit in 2008. Presuming that a new party in power will roll back civil liberties abuses rather than mostly entrench and sometimes extend them. A Romney presidency would surely retain the capacity for extra-judicial killing established in the last decade, and I think there would be a higher risk of their expansion of abuses under the radicals that Romney has brought in for his foreign policy team.**

It really, really sucks that there is not a significant voting bloc in this country that supports civil liberties. I don't think that ping-ponging between the parties as they both roll back civil liberties protections in the name of the "war on terror" is a particularly productive way to respond.

**For instance, a Romney presidency surely means the return of torture as American policy.
   3480. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4214754)
Where do you get this idea? Iran has never started a war. Iranian foreign policy has been hard-headed with remarkable consistency. Unless "pretext" means "not doing exactly as the U.S. wishes on every issue" (and such would very likely be considered a pretext by the neo-cons), I am not sure what you are suggesting.


They have been harassing Western shipping in the Gulf for quite some time now, we've chosen to [publicly] ignore it, they've kidnapped Americans from Iraq, hauled them over the border, tried them as spies, and then "magnanimously" pardoned them, they've kidnapped British Seaman, some of their crypto-military services are not shy about conducting operations on foreign soils,

WE do these things of course (and so do the Israelis of course)
some of this is the standard cold war type of crap we and Soviets used to pull on eachother - but the point is that if the neo-cons were back and they wanted a pre-text, and excuse, there's no need for a false flag operation, the Iranian Government will do something...

The pre-text need not even be one of those types of things, 2013 is an election year there, what if 2009 happens again, and the Iranian police start busting heads again?
   3481. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4214755)
And that these idiots are preferable says a lot about how authoritarian the Democratic Party has become the last decade on things like civil rights and extrajudicial killings.


No that you find those idiots preferable says a lot about you.
   3482. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4214759)
It really, really sucks that there is not a significant voting bloc in this country that supports civil liberties. I don't think that ping-ponging between the parties as they both roll back civil liberties protections in the name of the "war on terror" is a particularly productive way to respond.

This.
Also, people who say "You have to be realistic" are not actually trying to help.
   3483. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4214761)
Then we get into issues in which it's the official position of the administration and the Democratic party, that government can choose to censor movies, television, or books for their political content.


Can you elaborate, Dan? I'm not aware of all this.
   3484. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4214762)
There has been very little discussion following Obama's preferred narrative (Bush tanked the economy, initial estimates of the economy's performance were not bad enough, obstructionism by the House and Senate have blocked further stimulus)

Perhaps, but what happened and what should have happened will always be considered less headline-worthy than what's happening right now, now, now.

In any event, the public polling has been maddeningly consistent from a Republican standpoint. When given a choice whether to primarily blame Bush or Obama for the state of the economy, voters have picked Bush 2-to-1 in each of the past four years, with the result wavering from 70-30 all the way down to 67-33. That's a tough nut for any GOP candidate to crack, let alone Romney.
   3485. bobm Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4214763)
[3422]
So, just so we have this calculus down:

Run stories about the drone war or Jeremiah Wright or some other item that paints the admin in an unfavorable light = the criticism is "ironic" and is actually meant to serve a "helpful purpose." Therefore, LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS!

Suppress stories about the drone war or Jeremiah Wright or whatever = refusing to run "bad press" about a preferred pol. Therefore, LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS!!!

A convenient rubric you've designed here, Bob.


Your premise is wrong. These were hardly unfavorable stories. Bush was castigated for much of the same aggressive foreign policy tactics and stances that Obama has adopted only after he came into office.

The NY Times' drone war story I refer to quoted insiders on-the-record describing secret meetings in which Obama was confidently, seriously and judiciously choosing targets. Not exactly unfavorable.

Aides say Mr. Obama has several reasons for becoming so immersed in lethal counterterrorism operations. A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, he believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions. And he knows that bad strikes can tarnish America’s image and derail diplomacy.

“He realizes this isn’t science, this is judgments made off of, most of the time, human intelligence,” said Mr. Daley, the former chief of staff. “The president accepts as a fact that a certain amount of screw-ups are going to happen, and to him, that calls for a more judicious process.”

But the control he exercises also appears to reflect Mr. Obama’s striking self-confidence: he believes, according to several people who have worked closely with him, that his own judgment should be brought to bear on strikes.

Asked what surprised him most about Mr. Obama, Mr. Donilon, the national security adviser, answered immediately: “He’s a president who is quite comfortable with the use of force on behalf of the United States.”


A student of the writings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas! Hardly unfavorable.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=all

The NY Times' Stuxnet story was also the product of leaks--without much public Administration objection--and served to show how American power could be resolutely projected by our President in new and earnest ways.

Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons — even under the most careful and limited circumstances — could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.

“We discussed the irony, more than once,” one of his aides said. Another said that the administration was resistant to developing a “grand theory for a weapon whose possibilities they were still discovering.” Yet Mr. Obama concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.

If Olympic Games failed, he told aides, there would be no time for sanctions and diplomacy with Iran to work. Israel could carry out a conventional military attack, prompting a conflict that could spread throughout the region.


My favorite part of the story:

Meeting with Mr. Obama in the White House days before his inauguration, Mr. Bush urged him to preserve two classified programs, Olympic Games and the drone program in Pakistan. Mr. Obama took Mr. Bush’s advice.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/01/world/middleeast/obama-ordered-wave-of-cyberattacks-against-iran.html?pagewanted=all

Obama--the Nobel Peace Prize winner--gets 1/10th of the flak that Bush took for bellicose conduct of foreign policy. Obama seems to have been pretty lucky that he could not convince Iraq not to throw the US out at its first opportunity. Afghanistan/Pakistan is still a mess with the end far off.
   3486. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4214764)
The problem is that it's not just Iran that you have to worry about...


Well there is that too.

People forget- Obama let Israel have the bunker buster bombs that Dubya wouldn't...



   3487. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4214766)
Can you elaborate, Dan? I'm not aware of all this.


Pre-Citizen's United law, the Fairness Doctrine etc.

   3488. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4214767)
On civil liberties, I think that the determining issue is Supreme Court nominations. The next president will get to choose if the court retains its current shape or shifts radically to the right. I don't see any chance of a right-libertarian judge getting the nod from Romney. The reasonable (sorry Fred) best-case scenario is two more Sotomayors. She isn't the best, but she is wildly preferable to another Alito or Roberts.
   3489. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4214770)
Anyway, I'll start believing the Democrats think it's important to, for example, preserve abortion rights through Court appointments, when they can provide some reason to think their nominees are pro-choice besides "A Democrat supports them." There's no substantial evidence that Kagan or Sotomayor were (or are) pro-choice.

During her time on President Clinton's Domestic Policy Council, Elena Kagan advised against legislation that would have banned late-term abortions with few exceptions, arguing that the president should tailor the language to protect women from serious health consequences.

Now a nominee for the Supreme Court, Kagan affirmed on Tuesday that as a justice she would rule as unconstitutional laws that restrict abortion to the point that a women's health is placed in danger.

"I do think that the continuing holding of Roe and Doe v. Bolton, is that women's life and women's health have to be protected in abortion regulation," Kagan said. "Now, the Gonzalez case [Gonzales v Carhart (2003)] which said that with respect to a particular procedure, that the statute congress passed, which passed a statute without a health exception and with only a life exception, was appropriate because of the large degree of medical uncertainty involved."

"But with respect to abortion generally, putting that procedure aside, I think that the continuing holdings of the court are that the woman's life and that the woman's health must be protected in any abortion regulation," Kagan went on.


Sotamayor's record is sketchy, since there haven't been any cases that go to the heart of the abortion question since she joined the court, but then there's this story from one of the main RTCH websites:

Supreme Court Upholds Pro-Abortion, Pro-Rationing Obamacare

And of course who were two of the five justices who upheld that law? Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotamayor.
   3490. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4214773)
When given a choice whether to primarily blame Bush or Obama for the state of the economy, voters have picked Bush 2-to-1 in each of the past four years, with the result wavering from 70-30 all the way down to 67-33. That's a tough nut for any GOP candidate to crack, let alone Romney.


Politicians I blame (in order):

Bush
Republican Governors
Republican House
Republican State Houses
Dem Senate
Obama
Clinton/Clinton era house/senate, state governments

You may guess from the above that I'm a Keynesian... I also regard the median income as being more important than the mean.




   3491. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4214774)
Anyway, I'll start believing the Democrats think it's important to, for example, preserve abortion rights through Court appointments, when they can provide some reason to think their nominees are pro-choice besides "A Democrat supports them." There's no substantial evidence that Kagan or Sotomayor were (or are) pro-choice.
Have the Democrats nominated an anti-choice judge since Roe? Ginsburg is staunchly pro-choice, and Breyer appears to be as well. Kagan was clear on choice issues, as Andy points out. I find the odds that Sotomayor isn't pro-choice to be exceptionally low.
   3492. PreservedFish Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4214776)
Obama--the Nobel Peace Prize winner--gets 1/10th of the flak that Bush took for bellicose conduct of foreign policy.


That's true, but a lot of it is just how lazy people (both the media and us normal humans) are with our stereotypes of the different parties. Somehow the bailouts, enacted by Bush, have become exclusively associated with the Democratic party. Why? Because it's liberals who solve problems by spending money, that's why.

Obama killing terrorists is kind of a Nixon goes to China thing - because he is thought to be a dove (and thus going against his natural instincts), people assume that his hawkish actions must be well-considered and necessary.
   3493. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4214779)
Obama--the Nobel Peace Prize winner--gets 1/10th of the flak that Bush took for bellicose conduct of foreign policy.
Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Bush: 2
Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Obama: 0

This doesn't get Obama off the hook for his foreign policy, which has been poor, but there's just no comparison to the worst president since the 19th century.
   3494. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4214783)
On civil liberties, I think that the determining issue is Supreme Court nominations. The next president will get to choose if the court retains its current shape or shifts radically to the right.


Actually replacing one of the rightwingers with a centrist would radically shift the present court to the "left". The current court is the most rightwing since the early New Deal Court- and it seems 4 of the 9 are more than willing to go back to 1920s jurisprudence.

Every now and then Scalia used to have a libertarian streak that would blead out in surprising ways, that seems to have ended, a younger Scalia may have sided withe the "Bong Hits for Jesus" guy...

right now we have a court that sees nothing wrong with tracking people through their cellphones/GPS, because you have no "expectation of privacy," a court that sees nothing wrong with kidnapping people on foreign soil, or ordering hits on people just so long as they are not physically present on a US jurisdiction...

I don't see a POTUS or Congress curtailing the current police/surveillance state, but SCOTUS one day might- but to do that we'd either need some old fashioned liberal put on, or a true libertarian (but as with Scalia, it seems that when push comes to shove the judges with libertarian leanings become partisan republicans when it counts most)
   3495. ASmitty Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4214784)
That's true, but a lot of it is just how lazy people (both the media and us normal humans) are with our stereotypes of the different parties.


This. Also, while Dems, with their dove reputations, like to play up to their dove voting base by calling out GOP hawkishness, the GOP isn't all that likely to call out a Dem for hawkish behavior.

During the primaries there was plenty of sabre-rattling done by the GOP candidates, usually trying to insinuate that Obama was soft. They didn't WANT to castigate Obama for being too hawkish.
   3496. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4214785)
Do you think the GOP will scale back to Bush-level abuses?

On the new Obama powers? No. The die's already been cast there, sadly. We've gone from torture to murder. From asking Congress to authorize an idiotic war to just announcing wars without even a Tonkinesque veil. From signing statements to simply declaring laws don't count. Given that the Democrats are, surprisingly to me, the ones that have executed this playbook, there's no moderating party on the power of government and we're stuck with these things. My only hope here is that the Democrats, when out of power, remember all that civil liberty stuff is important even when the Good Guys are in charge and become an effective check on these abuses once again.

But I do believe that a Romney administration will be less determined to legislatively repeal the First Amendment. And as much as I want gay marriages to be recognized, freedom of speech affects everyone, gay or straight, far more than a particularly subset of a particular type of legal contract.

A Democratic party that advocates for civil liberties and due process is one that I'll be happy to once again be a registered member of and once again to vote for.
   3497. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4214787)
Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Bush: 2
Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Obama: 0


Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Bush: 1
Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Obama: 0

Afghanistan has been botched, but speaking as one who had a building fall on me, starting it was neither unnecessary or unjust
   3498. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4214789)
"But with respect to abortion generally, putting that procedure aside, I think that the continuing holdings of the court are that the woman's life and that the woman's health must be protected in any abortion regulation," Kagan went on.

I guess I don't see much difference between this and the standard "I will uphold Supreme Court precedent / Case X is the law of the land" line. Alito and Roberts said stuff like this, too, but nobody seems to believe they're actually pro-choice. Well, maybe this guy.

Sotomayor's record is sketchy, all right, but that's kind of the point: when Bush nominated Miers, Rs freaked out NOT because she was unqualified, but because her record on issues important to them was sketchy-to-nonexistent. Obama has nominated two people with sketchy-to-nonexistent records on issues important to Dems, and the Dems in turn said, basically, "Well, we trust our President."

EDIT: it appears very much as though the Supreme Court has moved to the right under Obama - Kagan right of Souter, and Sotomayor right of Stevens. That might change over time, of course. But it's strange to think that a President Romney could still move the Court more to the left than Obama ever did, just by replacing Scalia with somebody even marginally less right-wing.
   3499. Dan Szymborski Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4214790)
Unnecessary, awful, unjust wars started by Bush: 2

I love the mainstream Democratic thought here. First, that the Iraq War was awful and unjust (I agree) and it detracted us from the important, necessary war (Afghanistan). Obama escalates Afghanistan greatly and the important, necessary war that the Iraq War distracted us from is suddenly awful in retrospect, and entirely Bush's fault even if Obama greatly escalated it to the point it became a quagmire.
   3500. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 22, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4214795)
My only hope here is that the Democrats, when out of power, remember all that civil liberty stuff is important even when the Good Guys are in charge and become an effective check on these abuses once again.
They were entirely ineffective under Bush, even in the majority. In the minority under Romney, it'd be even more useless. The ability of the legislative branch to prevent the executive from abuses of this sort is basically nil under the current system. Some Democrats were critics of Bush's civil liberties abuses, but they were not an "effective check" because (a) civil libertarians are a minority in the establishment of the Democratic party and (b) they didn't have the power to stop the unitary executive from acting.

It sounds like what you want is rhetoric rather than results.
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