Jump to content
BainIhrno

Elections in 2012

Recommended Posts

Originally Posted By: Randomizer
God taking the easy way out in punishing humanity. smile

Everything I currently learn comes from the comic pages.


wow, this thing has its origins in february 1992, have you really been following this long?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Non Sequitur is among the better print comics remaining, I'd say. Nothing's Calvin and Hobbes, but...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Everything I currently learn comes from the comic pages.
Yeah, that sounds about right. I seem to get more accurate news by reading the comics (and the editorial cartoon) than the rest of the newspaper combined.

In the meantime, Here's my candidate for President. wink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thought. It's way too early to actually predict the 2012 Senate/House elections. That's true, in most election years, but 2012 is an odd year. Wisconsin will be strongly affected by the (still undecided) timing of the Gov. Walker recall election. The rest of the Great Lakes region has similar mixed feelings over similar overreaching/mandate fulfillment (depending on the source of the description.)

 

The Super Pac money (Citizens United) has the potential to let under-funded candidates stay in races longer. Anyone who is still in the race has a chance to take advantage of the ever-changing whims of the electorate--which brings us back to the economy. A slow improvement to the economy continues to favor Obama and the down-ticket Dems. Any odd upheavals in the economy can have a huge effect. Any trigger for greater turnout (back to Walker, again) would favor the Dems. Continued efforts to reduce turnout, including poll taxes disguised as anti-voter fraud, favor the GOP.

 

This is also a new-decade/post-census election. District redrawing (still in progress for some states) will have odd side effects. This once-a-decade exercise has the general effect of disenfranchising voters. It does so by forging districts that are safely Democratic or Republican. Your House vote doesn't matter if your district is solidly blue or red. To a lesser extent, this is true for many state-wide and national elections. The primary factor to consider is who is in charge of the redistricting. That is (usually) the party in power in the state government. Due to the 2010 shift, that is often Republicans. It is safe to assume that they will aim for (or already have) maximized safe-Republican districts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's been obvious for a long, long time that Romney will have the Republican nomination. A lot of the stupidity that we see among the other Republican nominees is being engineered, I think, to make Romney look good by comparison. (Similar to the way that the Democratic party engineered these unbelievable conflicts between Obama and Hillary Clinton, whose actual political positions were almost identical, to dominate the news cycles and increase the power of both names.)

 

One of the things that makes Obama such a good campaigner is that it is impossible to attack him on personal grounds. You can attack his political positions and choices, but not his personal life. The GOP tried to anyway in 2008 and it didn't work. So this time around, they are running a candidate who has a similarly unexciting personal history and unexcitable affect. And instead of attacking Obama's person, they are trying to make Romney look good as a person.

 

So there are a lot of known factors in this election. We know who the major players are, and obviously the economy is the most likely deciding factor. However, there is one big unknown. In the same way that the Tea Party movement shook things up a few years ago, it remains to be seen how Occupy Wall Street will affect things. They may be a non-factor; or, they may churn out candidates Tea Party style; or, they may stumble on to the ignition point for actual class warfare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It becomes less obvious that Romney will be the nominee day by day. His campaign seems to be imploding over the tax return issue, which is mind-blowing. Did he really think it wouldn't come up?

 

Gingrich is now about 6 points ahead in SC polls going into the primary. Who knows what'll happen in Florida, but there's a bunch of southern states after that, and Newt is a native son who knows exactly what those voters want to hear.

 

Of course, it's even money that he'll also come out with something that will turn them off completely, so... Yeah this is gonna be fun to watch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I don't really know that much about Gingrich, but FWIW my impression is that I really wouldn't want him as my chief executive. He seems like a loose cannon, and that's the last thing you want in a president, because a president is supposed to be there precisely for when the deck starts to roll.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the humble opinion of this Canadian, any of those clowns would be a disaster as chief executive. Here's hoping it's moot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As another Canadian I feel the same. Most of the rest of the civilized world likes Obama just because he seems more in step than most American politicians with the rest of the civilized world. Americans too seem to agree on this, in fact. It seems to be just what Obama's opponents most hold against him.

 

Whether indeed it is good or bad for the USA is up to the American electorate to decide. As a not entirely disinterested spectator, I find myself hoping that the Republican primary is long and bitter, so that even if the Republican vote isn't actually split by a third candidate, a substantial fraction of Republicans will ultimately decline to vote for their party's candidate, and Obama will have the edge.

 

For the longer term, I think that the US needs a strong conservative party, because whether the rest of the world likes it or not, that's a big part of what American society is, and that part needs a voice. A sane and sound conservative vision would be a good thing for everybody; liberalism will grow foolish as well if it's only opposed by fools. But I think the party of Lincoln has lost its way in recent years, and needs to re-invent itself for the 21st century. A collapse in 2012, against an incumbent who seems to be more popular abroad than at home, might be just the spur it needs in order to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
I guess I don't really know that much about Gingrich, but FWIW my impression is that I really wouldn't want him as my chief executive. He seems like a loose cannon, and that's the last thing you want in a president, because a president is supposed to be there precisely for when the deck starts to roll.


I stopped listening to Gingrich after the first debate, when he warned against EMP attacks.

Also, the party of Lincoln began to lose it's way much longer ago that "recent years."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Master1

I stopped listening to Gingrich after the first debate, when he warned against EMP attacks.
I am definitely not a big fan of Newt Gingrich, but EMP attacks actually are a real threat. It would only take a few large payload nuclear devices detonated in the atmosphere over the US to completely wipe out al electronic devices. If you think we are even slightly prepared for that, you're wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Newt Gingrinch isn't the best person to deal with the US debt crisis because in his own life he a dead beat about paying bills. He was successfully sued for repeated failure to pay alimony to his first wife while Speaker of the House.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Tsokay, he'll just put it on his Tiffany's tab. tongue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't done any calculations, but the idea that a few EMPs would put out enough energy to fry cell phones across a continent doesn't strike me as plausible. Inverse square is not just a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's more a few near key concentration points like major cities would disrupt the infrastructure. Knock out the communication relay points and power distribution system to cause a cascade as the system copes, You had that with the Northeast United States when a power plant failed a few years ago,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you're saying that you could kill the grid pretty effectively, but that actually shutting down every single electronic device would require a great deal more (and, at that point, would probably be the least of our worries).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right. Wireless devices require wires somewhere, and if you knock out enough wires in the right place you can overload the system and take out everything reliant on it. 9/11 gave a small example of that: even though phone systems weren't directly affected at all, cell phones became almost unusable just because of the number of calls. Combine that with an actual reduction in capacity and telecom could be hit pretty hard.

 

—Alorael, who doesn't think EMP is the biggest worry when nukes start to fly. The biggest worry is, in fact, the massive explosive damage, which can do the same damage to grids, make that damage harder to repair, and then leave everything irradiated for a long, long time. Oh, and everything and everyone in a wide radius is gone, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and Gingrich wins South Carolina. Bahahahahaha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Master1
I certainly see the dangerous potential of an EMP attack. But if we go with Ron Paul and stop getting involved in wars that don't involve us in the first place, there would be far fewer groups that would want to attack us.

Isolationist policy never works anymore since transportation improved from the sailing ship age. There will always be groups that want to attack either because you control resources they want or you are just different.

Right now Southeast Asia is just short of war as China is pushing to claim oil and other resources that are in areas claimed by Vietnam, the Phillipines, and other nations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being peaceful is not isolationism. Do you consider Switzerland to be isolationist?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taking a lead role in issues that concern the global community while still working as part of the global community could be the mid ground between isolationism and "protecting American interests".

 

Calling Ron Paul's foreign policy isolationist is being a bit absolutist. Being the dominant power doesn't necessarily mean dominating everyone. I think this is where Paul (& Obama) are coming from.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isolationist is what Japan used to be: not trading. Switzerland actively trades with other countries, allows for immigration, and engages in diplomacy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Switzerland maintains neutrality. North Korea maintains isolation, or tries to. What Ron Paul really wants for America is neither of those things. He supports non-interventionism: we should really mind our own business at home.

 

—Alorael, who can understand the reasoning there. The USA has plenty of domestic issues to focus on. Still, there's room for nuance between gung-ho foreign policy with guns and letting the rest of the world deal with its own problems. America can provide effective aid without immense (over)commitment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I waffle on that. Certainly, our financial, cultural, and military standing comes with a certain stewardship (I'm avoiding the Spiderman quote on purpose). On the other hand, our interventionism is rarely as beneficial to the invaded parties as it is to the United States.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: The Turtle Moves
...and Gingrich wins South Carolina. Bahahahahaha.


Why can't we just have primaries all at once? That way we don't force candidates to pander to super right-wing evangelicals in Iowa and S.C., and we don't wind up with elections "decided" after like 1/20th of the electorate votes in seven states?

I mean, even just staggering it so we get like ten to fifteen a week for a month and then it's over would be so much better than the Chinese water torture that is the current system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Switzerland isn't isolationist or neutral, it greedy. The government encourages wealth transfer from other nations to itself through the banking industry. Until recently when it's practices became exposed it allowed people to hide their wealth to avoid taxation. The secret banking meant that the banks could retain the money when the owners died or they or their heirs were unable to claim it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those two tortures are different, and the Chinese variant is the better analogy. But it's good to bring up the American water torture at the slightest possible excuse, in any conversation. It's a crying evil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: HOUSE of S
Come now, Dantius. It isn't Chinese water torture, it's American waterboarding torture.


I was actually proposing that, given the current anti-Chinese sentiment in the right wing (currency manipulators? really?), we could get them to change the primaries from scary foreign Chinese water torture style with one a week to a red-blooded AMERICAN waterboarding-style schedule, where you're deluged with dozens of primaries a week until you can't take it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to identify sarcasm in text, particularly if you have a reputation for the mildly outlandish (by whatever standards). I suppose we, as a community, could adopt the snark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
On the other hand, our interventionism is rarely as beneficial to the invaded parties as it is to the United States.


I think this is a pretty shallow idea of "intervention." Invasion is one way to intervene in another country's affairs, but there are others including foreign aid money, trade sanctions, sponsorship of both legitimate political parties and guerrillas/terrorists/partisans, aggressive propaganda, and more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fair enough. Even so, the United States government (obviously milage varies where its citizens are concerned) does not tend to sanction, sponsor, or otherwise intervene in the politics of another country unless it is a direct threat or has a potential strategic or resource value.

 

Is it immoral that we look after our own well being first? No. But it's annoying when we use claims of stewardship to justify our military endeavors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But seriously, you silly people you. Why on earth do you do one primary a week? What is stopping you from doing them all at once?

 

I realize that there's a difference between primaries and elections, but up here the system is bad enough as is. Polls are open according to the time zone, and results are counted immediately. There is a media blackout, but there's nothing stopping a British Columbian from going online and checking the results in Newfoundland before voting.

 

But you people? Seriously. Why?

 

EDIT: Also, yes, there is a difference between isolationist, non-intervention, and non-imperialism. We don't want another Iraq, but on the other hand, when the next Rwanda happens, we don't want another Clinton.

EDIT2: On second thought, that's not really fair to Clinton, as he definitely wasn't the only one to blame. Still, you get the idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit more concerned about the two party dominance than primaries, but that's probably because I'm registered as an independent and thus have no say before the general election. I would imagine, though, that we spread them out this way because it serves the media (who, as noted above, have a lot of clout).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Actaeon
I'm a bit more concerned about the two party dominance than primaries, but that's probably because I'm registered as an independent and thus have no say before the general election. I would imagine, though, that we spread them out this way because it serves the media (who, as noted above, have a lot of clout).


It serves the states, too. Each of them gets their own shot to have politicians sell them sweet lies and campaign for a time in their state alone. This is especially true of Iowa.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If we're going to have a state by state primary system we could at least randomize them every election year so candidates don't have to exclusively pander to Iowans with promises of ethanol subsidies and whatnot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Excalibur
If we're going to have a state by state primary system we could at least randomize them every election year so candidates don't have to exclusively pander to Iowans with promises of ethanol subsidies and whatnot.
The problem with that idea is that it makes too much sense!

BTW, in Texas, there is no registration as a member of any political party. The only restriction is that you can only vote once.

Re. Romney. Too Smarmy. He'll say anything to get elected. And I don't trust the polls that say he is more electable. I don't trust the statistics of anything that is used for political purposes.

Re. Gingrich. A lot of baggage that can hurt him. But what there is is old, and already known. His strength is that he talks straight to the point, and doesn't hem-haw around the question.

Re. Paul. Libertarianism may sound like a good thing to some people. It is certainly conservative in most things. Non-involvement in world affairs is appealing considering that it puts the U.S. in the position of the neighborhood bully, is not appreciated by the people it benefits, is costly especially in a time of economic recession. But is it really practical, or wise?

Switzerland is practical. When you are a small country surrounded by neighbors who like to fight each other, neutrality was their only option. Besides, they can take advantage of their position to greatly increase their profits. Practical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gather we're pretty well agreed that it's a less than ideal group of candidates. But can any of them actually defeat Barack Obama?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Actaeon
I gather we're pretty well agreed that it's a less than ideal group of candidates. But can any of them actually defeat Barack Obama?

Short answer? No.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On that question, I am not certain. However I get the feeling from the pundits on NPR and Pacifica radio that he is losing favor from his own party.

 

According to one co-worker, his foreign policy in the middle east has alienated one base of persistent democrats, those of Jewish descent.

 

His bail outs have helped the people who caused this mess in the first place, instead of the people who were hurt by it.

 

Congresswoman Maxine Waters of Congressional Black Caucus has complained that he has not done enough for minorities.

 

And by denying Canada permission to build a pipeline to feed United States refineries, a prospect that not only would have reduced our dependence on oil from metastable countries that don't like us, it would have created a few thousand jobs involving a lot of unionized skilled workers.

 

On the other hand, he is making points with the green party, and there is a strong contingent of Obamacrats who will vote for him no matter what.

 

This promises to be one hotly contested, and very close election. It won't be over until the final aria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, so many "Primary day" advocates on the Spidweb, I had no idea. The current system may serve the media (and we all hate them obviously), but whom would a national primary day serve?

 

It would serve rich candidates and/or candidates pre-coronated by the party establishment. Think about it. Candidates like Rick Santorum (not that I like him) would have no chance. All the hard work he put in kissing babies and shaking hands and promising ethanol subsidies to Iowans would be for not. Small states would no longer matter at all (not even for 1 week every 4 years). All that would matter is national TV coverage in the biggest markets. AKA $$$.

 

I think the randomized state order is much more brilliant idea. Just think how much fun it would be.

 

Disclaimer: I am also Canadian, and I don't even participate in our crappy primaries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Canada... any interesting and potentially less screwed up election build ups going on abroad?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Fringy MacGee: Whereas the current system of primaries puts a vastly disproportionate amount of decision-making power in the hands of the same small number of people year after year. I agree that the idea of simultaneous primaries has some glaring faults, but you seem to ignore the equally (probably more) glaring faults of the present system.

 

That said, the idea of randomized primary order, or primary order that shifted deterministically each election, is interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This might have been asked here before and I missed it, but is it possible for the democrats to decide that they are fed up with Obama as president and run someone else instead of him to the president office turning him (Obama) into the third party candidate if he still insists on running?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is theoretically possible. In reality, this will almost never happen due to the serious advantages an incumbent possesses, as well as the potential to splinter the vote.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that was brought up when I asked someone else what they thought about randomized state primaries, is that, no matter which state(s) you pick, it will never be representative of the whole US.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Erasmus
This might have been asked here before and I missed it, but is it possible for the democrats to decide that they are fed up with Obama as president and run someone else instead of him to the president office turning him (Obama) into the third party candidate if he still insists on running?


As has been mentioned this is a possibility, and has happened in the past. But realistically any opponent would have had to start the process of getting on the ballot far before now in order to force the incumbent party to hold caucuses and primaries. Even when that happens the incumbent president usually crushes the opposition. The last time I can recall that it was more than a formality was in 1980, where Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy had a tough primary battle. Carter had a majority of delegates, but Kennedy refused to concede and at the convention there was a "Draft Muskie" movement. Before that in 1976 Gerald Ford had a tough battle with Ronald Reagan, but of course that was a bit different in that Gerald Ford was never elected president or vice president, and so was incumbent in name only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: The Ratt
One thing that was brought up when I asked someone else what they thought about randomized state primaries, is that, no matter which state(s) you pick, it will never be representative of the whole US.

But at least the states that benefit from being early in the primary order will be different every election, instead of the current situation where the same few states hold the advantage every time.

Dikiyoba.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...