Author Topic: US Election: 2016  (Read 532995 times)

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Offline E.R. Campbell

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US Election: 2016
« on: November 09, 2012, 07:34:57 »
I suspect that America may have to endure, in its own more complex manner, what we did from 1993 - the electoral destruction of the PC Party and the rise of Reform - until 2003 - the union of the Canadian Alliance and PC Party into the Conservative Party of Canada.

My guess is that the Real Republicans will abandon the GOP and for a new party with socially moderate, fiscally conservative, resoundingly secular and inclusive values. The current GOP will wither and die on the vine because angry, white, poorly educated, Christian fundamentalist men are simply too small a base upon which to build or sustain a national party. The new party - let's call it the Reform Party, just for fun - will, eventually merge with the few Republicans that are left and, in the process, will drive out the "religious right" and other assorted fruitcakes.

I think this may take them the same full decade it took us and it, too, will require two leaders who are fed up with the Liberals' Democrats stranglehold on power.


The 2012 US Election thread had almost run its course and it is in the nature of 21st century US politics that the 2016 campaign is almost underway now. In this column, which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, Jeffrey Simpson speculates on who might carry the Republican banner:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/dont-expect-republicans-to-move-to-the-centre/article5103229/
My emphasis added
Quote
Don’t expect Republicans to move to the centre

JEFFREY SIMPSON
The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Nov. 09 2012

Americans were still rubbing sleep from their eyes the morning after the election when the Tea Party headquarters in Washington began breathing defiance.

The election, its spokesmen insisted in a press release, showed that the Republican Party had not been true enough to the conservative principles that reflected the virtues and values of the Founding Fathers. A temporary setback, the Tea Party declared, would not deter the movement from going from future strength to future strength.

Now, it would be easy to dismiss this response as post-election delusion and to argue that the Tea Party had not done very well. Several high-profile Tea Party senators lost, as did a few Tea Party House members. But many of them won, and the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket came within a couple of points in the popular vote of President Barack Obama.

Far from reflecting on the lessons of defeat, it’s likely the Republicans will regroup and remain well on the political right, because that’s where their voters are, not to mention their mega-money backers, the think tanks that animate them and, although this is mere conjecture at this point, most of the possible candidates for the party’s presidential nomination four years hence.

These would include Mr. Ryan, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and South Carolina Senator and Tea Party favourite Jim DeMint, plus an assortment of also-rans and has-beens on the far right (including Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee).

This prospective field – Mr. Bush excluded – doesn’t look much like one crafted from the notion now put about by post-election analysts that the Republican defeat sprang from being too far right for the American people. Forty-eight per cent or so of Americans voted for Mr. Romney, who twisted himself into a political pretzel appeasing his party’s right wing.


Indeed, the very words “right wing” misstate reality. The word “wing” suggests one part of an object, presumably balanced by another “wing.” But there being no moderate “wing” of consequence in the Republican Party, the “right wing” is the party. The moderates have fled or been pushed to the margins, and a few of them actually endorsed Mr. Obama.

What makes it unlikely that Republicans will become more moderate is the intellectual and media worlds in which they live, from which they get most of their ideas, and to which they look for inspiration. How could it be, you might ask, that 30 per cent of Republicans tell pollsters they believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim?

It’s because, out there in cyberspace and in the kind of media most Americans never consume, this is stated and restated as fact. A few years ago, a fascinating study asked Americans a series of questions based on understood facts, that, for example, climate change is caused by human activities. An astonishing number of people who identified themselves as Republicans replied to these fact-based questions with assertions that were clearly wrong, in fact, but were obviously believed by these people.

If your major source of news comes from Fox and the right-wing shock jocks on radio, and your preferred think tanks are Cato and the American Enterprise Institute, and you gladly accept oodles of dough from far-right donors such as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers, and if you bow before the likes of Grover Norquist (he of the “no tax increase ever” pledge), and if your rank and file are full of religiously inspired, fire-breathing populists, then your party is going to be what it is.

Mr. Romney got caught out telling a group of wealthy types in Florida that 47 per cent of Americans were essentially sponges for public money. He got shellacked in many quarters for this remark, but he was just telling those wealthy Republicans what they wanted to hear. He was them, in other words.

The Republicans have been moving toward this state of affairs for decades, and they did well enough Tuesday to suggest that the kind of fundamental rethink the party needs won’t happen. Half a century of repositioning can’t easily be turned around.


Perhaps we can keep the nasty, partisan insults out of this thread. There are some useful icons you can add to your posts to aid understanding (and I, too often, forget to use them):  :irony:   :sarcasm:    :crystalball:

Ignore Mr Simpson's antipathy towards Republicans and the right, in general; take his ideas for what they are worth: the prognostications of a seasoned political observer.

As GAP opined in the 2012 thread, the Democrats will also have a problem selecting thier 2016 candidate: with their base, which has a strong left wing.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 09:28:59 »
I dont even want to think about an election before 2015. We will probably have a global economic meltdown well before then which should make for more interesting discussion.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 09:44:03 »
I dont even want to think about an election before 2015. We will probably have a global economic meltdown well before then which should make for more interesting discussion.

:ditto:

In fact I'd prefer to not think about the 2016 election until about October 2016 ~ but I doubt the media, with its insatiable demand for 24/7 "news," will allow that.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 13:59:22 »
The GOP needs to be renewed, very much like the Conservative movement in Canada was; here is a possible scenario for this to happen:

http://libertylawsite.org/2012/11/07/a-constitutional-moment-sometime/

Quote
A Constitutional Moment. Sometime?
by Michael S. Greve   / 5 Comments

Filed Under: 2012 Presidential election, Constitutional Moments, Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton   

To my constricted mind, elections are like meteorological events. They happen, at more or less regular intervals. People can’t stop talking about them. If I had a desire to participate actively in either, it wouldn’t make a difference; and so I never have and never will. I’d be grateful if electoral politics and the weather could stay in the background, where they belong; but if they intrude all too much I’ll move, uncomplainingly, to a place where they don’t . In short, I don’t have any actual opinion on Tuesday’s election or its outcome, only a few rain-drenched musings:

The thing to behold is the breathtaking professionalization of our politics. Political parties and operatives can micro-target and mobilize every last voter, focus-group and finesse every ad in every precinct and medium. Because the pros are not going to leave anything on the table, every election will be basically 50:50. Thus, small events—a purloined campaign video, an indifferent debate performance, a storm—assume outsized significance, because the margins are so small.

As each side has to compete for the marginal voter while keeping partisans on board, political campaigns elevate trivial policy differences into points of principle. Moreover, government itself becomes a permanent campaign, because you have to buy or at least rent the decisive voting blocs as soon as you can. (This style of government according to Rove and Plouffe works, by the standards of their trade.) No government will be able to claim a mandate—because the election wasn’t about any serious differences in the first place, and because razor-thin margins (and, as now, divided government) don’t enable the winner to do much of anything. These results will obtain even if the country’s status quo is truly miserable and if absolutely everyone is convinced that this is so.

The miserable condition, I argued here, is an unsustainable, let’s-have-it-and-not-pay-for-it transfer state that both parties promised to maintain. We are stuck with that condition, as we would have been under President Romney. What now?

For advanced democracies in the transfer state predicament, there are only two ways out. One is a responsible Social-Democratic party that is (1) cognizant of the fact that a wrecked economy would also wreck its constituencies and (2) capable of holding labor unions in line. Successful reform countries—Canada, Germany, Sweden, and (more arguably) Brazil—all  have that dynamic in common. America had but forfeited that chance in 2008, with Mr. Obama’s victory over Mrs. Clinton. The moment is gone for good, and Mrs. Clinton (should she enter the 2016 sweepstakes that started yesterday) will go nowhere. The new face of the party is Elizabeth Warren et al—brutal, ruthless hacks from Harvard.

The only other way out is a political force that offers a competing social model. That force, and that model, does not now exist—largely, I suspect, on account of our grimly professional politics. Conservatives felt compelled, for eight long years, to defend the Bush administration, an exercise that left them exhausted and compromised. After 2008, they should have done what opposition parties normally do—rethink, and regenerate. Alas, there was never any time for that: all the energy went into a fight against Obamacare, stimulus bills, etc.

The natural temptations is to keep it up: the people voted for “the people’s House” to keep taxes low. Maybe. But they also voted to keep benefits high, and so there’s the problem. A responsible opposition, it seems to me, would have to start at the opposite end—not with some clever promise to move crucial voting blocs (Hispanics, blue-collar Catholics), but with the truth: the country is broke. Our institutions are broken.  Our economy is on the ropes. To fix the mess, you must give up something; but we have a plan that makes it worth your while.

That pretty much sums up The Federalist. The difference between Publius and us is the willingness to tell the truth, and the plan.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline jollyjacktar

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 14:28:41 »
:ditto:

In fact I'd prefer to not think about the 2016 election until about October 2016 ~ but I doubt the media, with its insatiable demand for 24/7 "news," will allow that.

Nope. 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2230160/Hillary-Clinton-THREE-times-popular-nearest-rival-Joe-Biden-Democrats-presidential-candidate-2016.html

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2012, 19:08:25 »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
Bad ERC! Bad Boy!
It's hard to win an argument against a smart person, it's damned near impossible against a stupid person.

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 09:09:08 »
Maybe the GOP can take home a few lessons from us:

http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/Barbara+Yaffe+Republicans+need+take+page+from+Stephen/7513603/story.html

Quote
Barbara Yaffe: Republicans need to take a page from Stephen Harper’s playbook
 
The presidency was winnable for Mitt Romney. But he annoyed many women and failed to court the immigrant vote
 
By Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun columnist November 7, 2012
 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s success has come largely from his focus on the economy. Conservative policies are packaged and sold mainly as measures to boost job growth. Even immigration policy is fashioned to help Canada’s bottom line as much as to be compassionate.

Photograph by: Adrian Wyld , The Canadian Press

Republican strategists need to fly to Ottawa for a lesson on how Conservatives win elections even in the toughest of economic times.

Stephen Harper, an uber-conservative, is a year and a half into a third term in office; his 2011 win, a robust majority government.

U.S. Republicans, fresh from their second electoral defeat in a row at the hands of a Democrat, might imagine they have little to learn from Canada because the political system and population are so different.

But both nations are advanced democracies in the grip of slowing growth, with large immigrant populations.

In the U.S. race, the Republican candidate had trouble defining himself. Voters kept waiting for the real Mitt Romney to stand up. Was he a moderate conservative or a Tea Party type?

Voters typically are reluctant to embrace leaders with authenticity problems.

By contrast, Harper’s persona as a right-leaning fiscal conservative is clear. When folks mark an X beside his party, they know what they’re getting.

Harper’s success has come largely from his focus on the economy. Conservative policies are packaged and sold mainly as measures to boost job growth. Even immigration policy is fashioned to help Canada’s bottom line as much as to be compassionate.

The PM has worked overtime to reach out to immigrant groups, paying attention to historical grievances, courting trade with home countries and tapping into the small-business interests of new Canadians and their concern about crime.

Harper refuses to discuss incendiary social issues. Same-sex marriage, abortion, contraception — all are shelved topics. Should any Conservative backbencher raise them, the parliamentary agenda is arranged to ensure such topics remain a one-day wonder.

Romney, in his campaign, was forever jabbering about protecting religious groups’ rights not to fund contraceptive pills for their employees, closing Planned Parenthood, restricting abortion. (Interpolation by me: the Legacy Media was forever jabbering about such things, reading transcripts or watching live (unedited) video of Governor Romney's speeches and public appearances, not so much....)

Those issues are historical for most women. In this century, North Americans covet individual freedom. Many are even libertarian.

Even in the more religiously conservative U.S., a growing number of states are opting to sanction same-sex marriage.

And resolutions on marijuana legalization, in both Colorado and Washington state, passed Tuesday night.

Blacks and Hispanics were a huge part of the Democratic victory. They obviously saw in Barack Obama someone who would protect their interests.

A presidential candidate can no longer ignore this community. There are 52 million Hispanics in the U.S., making up 16.7 per cent of the population. By 2050, they’ll be 30.5 per cent of the population.

In New Mexico, they’re 44 per cent of all residents. In Texas and California, 36 per cent. In Arizona, 30 per cent.

These are religious people seeking a better life, who believe in family and hard work. Just as in Canada, this immigrant group is susceptible to conservative-think.

Canada’s Liberals used to pretty well own the immigrant vote — until Harper manoeuvred to win it over. This is a challenge Republicans must take up.

Obama went into the campaign with the considerable advantage of owning the black and Hispanic vote. But he also had a record of having done nothing on the deficit and debt, and not enough on job creation.

This contest should have been winnable by the Republicans, who did manage to come close in terms of the popular vote.

Had they not alienated women, had they cultivated and nurtured the Hispanic vote, the Republicans doubtless would have pulled off a win.

Canadian politicians have taken a lot of notes from the U.S. playbook over the years.

It’s time for Republicans to consider the modus operandi of Canadian conservatives.

byaffe@vancouversun.com

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Barbara+Yaffe+Republicans+need+take+page+from+Stephen+Harper+playbook/7513603/story.html#ixzz2BpMChFWv

Perhaps the biggest problem is the block that votes for "Free Stuff" is large and growing (even in Canada, about 60% of the vote is split between the Social Democrat NDP, the transactional Liberal Party, the National Socialist BQ and the Greens [another Social Democrat party with a different client base]). Campaigning on a straight individual liberty ticket is astoundingly futile, look at the performance of the Libertarian parties in Canada and the US, or the Freedom Party in Ontario.

If arguments can be effectively re-framed (which is essentially what PM Harper's team has done), then the key leadership of many of these voting blocks will move over, and take a large number of voters with them (the "severely normal", who were described on one of the Canadian Politics threads as people who think about the election several months after it happens). I suspect this will be a far more involved process in the United States due to the two party system and the different nature (and internal mechanics) of party politics there, but it can be done.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2012, 15:48:52 »
Immigrants are not going to vote for republicans.Reagan signed the first amnesty bill but the votes didnt follow. Look at the jewish vote. They vote democrat even when their man in the White House is openly anti-Israel. The biggest loser in this election was Israel.

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 16:02:25 »
Immigrants are not going to vote for republicans.Reagan signed the first amnesty bill but the votes didnt follow. Look at the jewish vote. They vote democrat even when their man in the White House is openly anti-Israel. The biggest loser in this election was Israel.


I agree that immigrants and Jews and other "groups" will not vote for the Republican Party you describe here:

I suspect that Romney being a Mormon and a moderate may have been the reason he lost. The former would have been reason enough for southern Baptists.As for being a moderate against Obama I wouldnt think that would have been much of a problem. Onward to 2016. I do hope that the GOP learns a lesson by closing the primaries to Republicans only.

The very immoderate candidate you appear to want (e.g. Santorum this year) will lead that party into oblivion.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2012, 19:45:15 »
Mark Steyn lays out the issue in his usual brilliant way. Frankly, if we have reached the point where there are more voters who are willing to vote for "Free Stuff" than the ones who vote against, then the tipping point has been reached and the only end is calamity. Does anyone really believe the US will continue on with yearly trillion dollar deficits until 2016?

History tells us that the most common result after that will be the apperance of "The Man on the White Horse". Styen does offer one small ray of hope, telling his readers to tend to their gardens of local governance. America, alone of the nations of the world, was built on the idea of small governmetn and local control, not big government dictating the size of soft drink you can order. This is a reprise of an idea first articulated in "Democracy in America"; that America is a nation of associations, so when the calamity happens, the people who can pull through by creating pockets of order might well be the members of the Rotary Club or congregation of local churches (and gangs of criminals are also examples of local associations that are well equipped to function in the absence of order).

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333116/edge-abyss-mark-steyn

Quote
The Edge of the Abyss
The default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.
By Mark Steyn

About AuthorArchiveLatestRSSSendFollow•  35851 followers

From the cover of After America, by Mark Steyn

 
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Mark Steyn
Amid the ruin and rubble of the grey morning after, it may seem in poor taste to do anything so vulgar as plug the new and stunningly topical paperback edition of my book, After America — or, as Dennis Miller retitled it on the radio the other day, Wednesday. But the business of America is business, as Calvin Coolidge said long ago in an alternative universe, and I certainly could use a little. So I’m going to be vulgar and plug away. The central question of Wednesday — I mean, After America — is whether the Brokest Nation in History is capable of meaningful course correction. On Tuesday, the American people answered that question. The rest of the world will make its dispositions accordingly.

In the weeks ahead, Democrats and Republicans will reach a triumphant “bipartisan” deal to avert the fiscal cliff through some artful bookkeeping mechanism that postpones Taxmageddon for another year, or six months, or three, when they can reach yet another triumphant deal to postpone it yet again. Harry Reid has already announced that he wants to raise the debt ceiling — or, more accurately, lower the debt abyss — by $2.4 trillion before the end of the year, and no doubt we can look forward to a spectacular “bipartisan” agreement on that, too. It took the government of the United States two centuries to rack up its first trillion dollars in debt. Now Washington piles on another trillion every nine months. Forward!

If you add up the total debt — state, local, the works — every man, woman, and child in this country owes 200 grand (which is rather more than the average Greek does). Every American family owes about three-quarters of a million bucks, or about the budget deficit of Liechtenstein, which has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Which means that HRH Prince Hans-Adam II can afford it rather more easily than Bud and Cindy at 27b Elm Street. In 2009, the Democrats became the first government in the history of the planet to establish annual trillion-dollar deficits as a permanent feature of life. Before the end of Obama’s second term, the federal debt alone will hit $20 trillion. That ought to have been the central fact of this election — that Americans are the brokest brokey-broke losers who ever lived, and it’s time to do something about it. 

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My Hillsdale College comrade Paul Rahe, while accepting much of my thesis, thought that, as an effete milquetoast pantywaist sissified foreigner, I had missed a vital distinction. As he saw it, you can take the boy out of Canada but you can’t take the Canada out of the boy. I had failed to appreciate that Americans were not Euro-Canadians, and would not go gently into the statist night. But, as I note in my book, “a determined state can change the character of a people in the space of a generation or two.” Tuesday’s results demonstrate that, as a whole, the American electorate is trending very Euro-Canadian. True, you still have butch T-shirts — “Don’t Tread On Me,” “These Colors Don’t Run” . . . In my own state, where the Democrats ran the board on election night, the “Live Free or Die” license plates look very nice when you see them all lined up in the parking lot of the Social Security office. But, in their view of the state and its largesse, there’s nothing very exceptional about Americans, except that they’re the last to get with the program. Barack Obama ran well to the left of Bill Clinton and John Kerry, and has been rewarded for it both by his party’s victory and by the reflex urgings of the usual GOP experts that the Republican party needs to “moderate” its brand.
I have no interest in the traditional straw clutching — oh, it was the weak candidate . . . hard to knock off an incumbent . . . next time we’ll have a better GOTV operation in Colorado . . . I’m always struck, if one chances to be with a GOP insider when a new poll rolls off the wire, that their first reaction is to query whether it’s of “likely” voters or merely “registered” voters. As the consultant class knows, registered voters skew more Democrat than likely voters, and polls of “all adults” skew more Democrat still. Hence the preoccupation with turnout models. In other words, if America had compulsory voting as Australia does, the Republicans would lose every time. In Oz, there’s no turnout model, because everyone turns out. The turnout-model obsession is an implicit acknowledgment of an awkward truth — that, outside the voting booth, the default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist.

The short version of electoral cycles is as follows: The low-turnout midterms are fought in political terms, and thus Republicans do well and sometimes spectacularly well (1994, 2010); the higher-turnout presidential elections are fought in broader cultural terms, and Republicans do poorly, because they’ve ceded most of the cultural space to the other side. What’s more likely to determine the course of your nation’s destiny? A narrow focus on robocalls in selected Florida and New Hampshire counties every other fall? Or determining how all the great questions are framed from the classroom to the iPod to the movie screen in the 729 days between elections?

The good news is that reality (to use a quaint expression) doesn’t need to swing a couple of thousand soccer moms in northern Virginia. Reality doesn’t need to crack 270 in the Electoral College. Reality can get 1.3 percent of the popular vote and still trump everything else. In the course of his first term, Obama increased the federal debt by just shy of $6 trillion and in return grew the economy by $905 billion. So, as Lance Roberts at Street Talk Live pointed out, in order to generate every dollar of economic growth the United States had to borrow about five dollars and 60 cents. There’s no one out there on the planet — whether it’s “the rich” or the Chinese — who can afford to carry on bankrolling that rate of return. According to one CBO analysis, U.S.-government spending is sustainable as long as the rest of the world is prepared to sink 19 percent of its GDP into U.S. Treasury debt. We already know the answer to that: In order to avoid the public humiliation of a failed bond auction, the U.S. Treasury sells 70 percent of the debt it issues to the Federal Reserve — which is to say the left hand of the U.S. government is borrowing money from the right hand of the U.S. government. It’s government as a Nigerian e-mail scam, with Ben Bernanke playing the role of the dictator’s widow with $4 trillion under her bed that she’s willing to wire to Timmy Geithner as soon as he sends her his bank-account details.

If that’s all a bit too technical, here’s the gist: There’s nothing holding the joint up.

So Washington cannot be saved from itself. For the moment, tend to your state, and county, town and school district, and demonstrate the virtues of responsible self-government at the local level. Americans as a whole have joined the rest of the Western world in voting themselves a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. The longer any course correction is postponed the more convulsive it will be. Alas, on Tuesday, the electorate opted to defer it for another four years. I doubt they’ll get that long.

— Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2012 Mark Steyn
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 00:16:28 »
One of the interesting features in 2016 is going to be the lack of an incumbent.  Sympathetic media have successfully run interference for Obama's past for two elections.  Conversely, they've gone beyond parody seeking dirt on Republicans.  Romney was about the high watermark for scandal-free candidates; both parties will have to work hard to find respective candidates with as few skeletons as Romney.  The question is whether the Democratic apology machine is going to be as effective at throwing blocks for the Democratic candidate and attacks at the Republican candidate if their influence becomes increasingly confined to their own echo chamber.
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Offline Nemo888

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2012, 01:53:50 »
The reality TV gong show this time around was definitely second string bench warmers. I expect a real Republican candidate in 2016. Next election Dems won't get the cake walk they had this time against Magic Underwear Mitt with all the human warmth of an ATM machine. The Republicans better have learned that misogyny, racism and homophobia will kill you on election night. From just the misogyny alone they were 38 points behind Obama in the single woman demographic. 38 is unbelievable. STFU and never touch that issue again unless you want to be irrelevant. Women vote, as do minorities and gays.

Too bad Petraeus is out. Some are saying McChrystal. Powell blew it, but he would have been a good choice IMO. Bush doesn't have a chance in hell of winning after his brother destroyed the country. He'll play well to the base, but never get elected. Republicans need a winner next time.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2012, 11:01:15 »
Romney was a winner, but selected members of his party were stronger losers.

I think I understand what you mean by "misogyny, racism and homophobia" (in terms of who said what to antagonize voters) but each of those labels overstates the position and glib demonization generally halts meaningful discussion before it can begin.  Opposition to compulsory provision of contraceptive care in insurance packages is not misogyny.  The position that abortion is only wrong if the life at stake is human, but is always wrong if the life at stake is human, is entirely uncontroversial - it is the simplest and most logical ethical position.  A desire for controlled immigration is not racism.  An objection to SSM which is founded on the needs of children rather than the desires of adults (ultimately, the point of the contract is to bind fathers to children; and if government has not that interest, marriage should be purely a ceremony delegated to whoever cares to perform it) is not homophobia.

However, few of those distinctions are likely to make headway among voters when the "data-driven reality-based community" is quite happy to excrete the intellectual rigor to which it nominally claims to aspire and just makes statements equivalent to the apt "misogyny, racism and homophobia" summary.  When it's that easy to say and people want to believe it, it's hard for even a scandal-free candidate to overcome it.
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Offline RDBZ

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 04:27:33 »
Mark Steyn lays out the issue in his usual brilliant way. Frankly, if we have reached the point where there are more voters who are willing to vote for "Free Stuff" than the ones who vote against, then the tipping point has been reached and the only end is calamity. Does anyone really believe the US will continue on with yearly trillion dollar deficits until 2016?

History tells us that the most common result after that will be the apperance of "The Man on the White Horse". Styen does offer one small ray of hope, telling his readers to tend to their gardens of local governance. America, alone of the nations of the world, was built on the idea of small governmetn and local control, not big government dictating the size of soft drink you can order. This is a reprise of an idea first articulated in "Democracy in America"; that America is a nation of associations, so when the calamity happens, the people who can pull through by creating pockets of order might well be the members of the Rotary Club or congregation of local churches (and gangs of criminals are also examples of local associations that are well equipped to function in the absence of order).

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/333116/edge-abyss-mark-steyn

I found this line a little unsettling...

"In other words, if America had compulsory voting as Australia does, the Republicans would lose every time. In Oz, there’s no turnout model, because everyone turns out. The turnout-model obsession is an implicit acknowledgment of an awkward truth — that, outside the voting booth, the default setting of American society is ever more liberal and statist."

With compulsory voting, we here in Aus still elect governments that aren't that dissimilar to the GOP (John Howard vs George Bush jnr), and look like electing to government an opposition party who's members could easily slip into a tea party campaign meeting totally unnoticed.... :o

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2012, 08:58:40 »
I think the salient difference lies in the likelihood that one or the other camp will turn up to vote. In Aus everyone votes, so there's no voter imbalance for one party vis-a-vis the other from the turning up at the polls perspective. The Dems had an enormously effective get out the vote machine targeting key demographics in key seats. If everybody were mandated to vote then this advantage would disappear.
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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2012, 19:41:31 »
Here is some food for thought. Can the younger part of the GOP save it from itself, and break it out of the bubble / echo chamber / cocoon?

The GOP's media cocoon

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83704.html?hp=f1

Quote
A long-simmering generational battle in the conservative movement is boiling over after last week’s shellacking, with younger operatives and ideologues going public with calls that Republicans break free from a political-media cocoon that has become intellectually suffocating and self-defeating.

GOP officials have chalked up their electoral thumping to everything from the country’s changing demographics to an ill-timed hurricane and failed voter turn-out system, but a cadre of Republicans under 50 believes the party’s problem is even more fundamental.


The party is suffering from Pauline Kaelism.

Kael was The New Yorker movie critic who famously said in the wake of Richard M. Nixon’s 49-state landslide in 1972 that she knew only one person who voted for Nixon.

Now, many young Republicans worry, they are the ones in the hermetically sealed bubble — except it’s not confined to geography but rather a self-selected media universe in which only their own views are reinforced and an alternate reality is reflected.

Hence the initial denial and subsequent shock on the right that the country would not only reelect President Barack Obama — but do so with 332 electoral votes.

“What Republicans did so successfully, starting with critiquing the media and then creating our own outlets, became a bubble onto itself,” said Ross Douthat, the 32-year-old New York Times columnist.

“The right is suffering from an era of on-demand reality,” is how 30-year-old old think tanker and writer Ben Domenech put it.

Citing Kael, one of the most prominent Republicans in the George W. Bush era complained: “We have become what the left was in the ’70s — insular.”

In this reassuring conservative pocket universe, Rasmussen polls are gospel, the Benghazi controversy is worse than Watergate, “Fair and Balanced” isn’t just marketing and Dick Morris is a political seer.

Even this past weekend, days after a convincing Obama win, it wasn’t hard to find fringes of the right who are convinced he did so only because of mass voter fraud and mysteriously missing military ballots. Like a political version of “Thelma and Louise,” some far-right conservatives are in such denial that they’d just as soon keep on driving off the cliff than face up to a reality they’d rather not confront.

But if the Fox News-talk radio-Drudge Report axis is the most powerful force in the conservative cocoon, technology has rendered even those outlets as merely the most popular destinations in the choose-your-own-adventure news world in which consumers are more empowered than ever.

Facebook and Twitter feeds along with email in-boxes have taken the place of the old newspaper front page, except that the consumer is now entirely in charge of what he or she sees each day and can largely shut out dissenting voices. It’s the great irony of the Internet era: People have more access than ever to an array of viewpoints, but also the technological ability to screen out anything that doesn’t reinforce their views.

“The Internet amplifies talk radio and cable news, and provides distribution for other sources like Newsmax,” said Trey Grayson, 40, the former Kentucky secretary of state and the current head of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. “Then your friends, who usually agree with you, disseminate the same stories on Facebook and Twitter. And you assume that everyone agrees with you!”

Grayson continued: “It’s very striking for me living in Cambridge now. My Facebook feed, which is full of mostly conservatives from Kentucky, contains very different links to articles or topics than what I see in Cambridge. It is sort of the reverse up here. They don’t understand how anyone would eat Chick-fil-A, watch college sports or hold pro-life views.”

“Social media has made it easier to self-select,” added 45-year-old GOP strategist Bruce Haynes. “Who do you follow on Twitter, who do you friend on Facebook? Do they all look the same and say the same things? If so, you’ve created a universe for yourself that is wedded to its own self-fulfilling prophecies.”

Like Grayson, Haynes and many of the approximately two-dozen young Republicans interviewed for this story noted that Democrats have their own self-reassuring echo chambers.

What worries Republicans, though, is that their Kaelism may be harder to overcome in the short term.

“Unfortunately, for us Republicans who want to rebuild this party, the echo chamber [now] is louder and more difficult to overcome,” said Grayson.

That’s partly because of the difference between the two cocoons in the two parties.

First, the Al Sharptons and Rachel Maddows of the left don’t have the same influence as their counterparts on the right. There are as many, if not more, NPR-oriented liberals as MSNBC devotees on the left; the Democratic media ecosystem is larger and more diverse.

Further, and more importantly, the Democratic Party has a leader in Obama who for over four years has sought to appeal to a majority of Americans for the obvious political reasons.

“Being a Democrat means being identified with Barack Obama, not Ed Schultz and Martin Bashir,” said Douthat, citing two liberal MSNBC hosts.

Conversely, for nearly six years, since President Bush’s second term went south, Republicans have been effectively without a leader. And into that vacuum has stepped a series of conservative figures whose incentives in most cases are not to win votes but to make money and score ratings by being provocative and even outlandish.

“Their bottom line is their main goal, but that doesn’t mean they’re serving the population that buys their books,” said Domenech.

And this, say next-generation Republicans, is where cocoonism has been detrimental to the cause.

The tension between the profit- and ratings-driven right — call them entertainment-based conservatives — and conservatives focused on ideas (the thinkers) and winning (the operatives) has never been more evident.

The latter group worries that too many on the right are credulous about the former.

“Dick Morris is a joke to every smart conservative in Washington and most every smart conservative under the age of 40 in America,” said Douthat. “The problem is that most of the people watching Dick Morris don’t know that.”

The egghead-hack coalition believes that the entertainment-based conservatives create an atmosphere that enables flawed down-ballot candidates, creates a cartoonish presidential primary and blocks needed policy reforms, and generally leave an odor on the party that turns off swing voters.

It even fosters an atmosphere in which there’s a disconnect with the ostensible party leaders.

Consider: In the fall of the past two presidential campaigns, those in the conservative cocoon were talking about, respectively, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Obama as a black radical, and the seemingly impeachment-worthy scandal surrounding the deaths of U.S. officials in Libya. Meanwhile, on the actual campaign trail, John McCain and Mitt Romney showed little interest in even mentioning either topic.

And the entertainers’ power isn’t just with gullible grass-roots activists who are likely to believe whatever nefarious rumor about Obama is forwarded to them in an e-mail chain — it’s with donors, too.

Outside of Washington, New York and state capitals, the big conservative givers are as likely to have read Ed Klein’s Obama book and seen Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2016,” and generally parrot whatever they just heard on Fox News as the old lady stuffing envelopes at county GOP headquarters.



“One of the reasons the entertainment complex has the influence they do is because the people who are supposed to be responsible figures in the party, those who fund the campaigns, have bought into this apocalyptic world view,” said Douthat.

More than a few Republicans said it was such donors whom Romney was trying to impress when he infamously riffed about the “47 percent,” a variation of the makers-versus-takers world view that has become popular in the conservative cocoon (Rush Limbaugh has called Obama “Santa Claus” since Election Day).

The tension between entertainers and operatives-thinkers may have come into sharpest relief in the prolonged, and for many Republicans, painful 2012 GOP primary. The thinkers and the operatives cringed at the umpteen debates and carnival-like procession of candidates with little chance of landing in the Oval Office.

“Look at Newt Inc., [Herman] Cain and [Michele] Bachmann,” sighed Haynes. “What’s the purpose of entering a presidential primary anymore?”

Suggesting the incentives for getting in the race now owe as much to fame as to winning the job, Haynes added: “If that market didn’t exist, what would our primary look like?”

The sexual harassment scandal around Cain offered a vivid example of the different goals of the two groups. To the entertainment-based right, it was a great opportunity to rally the faithful against a purportedly liberal media targeting a black conservative. It touched almost every erogenous zone for the likes of Rush Limbaugh. But for the operatives and thinkers, the story threatened to tarnish the GOP with a sex scandal and make a martyr out of a marginal figure they were already cringing over before POLITICO reported the harassment charges.

Long after the primary ended, the entertainment-based right was still promoting figures that many in the GOP believe are harmful to the party’s brand. Take Donald Trump, who made regular appearances on “Fox & Friends” all year and delighted in pushing the discredited idea that Obama wasn’t born in America. Why energize black voters and turn off moderates broadly by elevating a buffoonish figure questioning the president’s legitimacy? Because it’s good box office. (To be sure, other nonpartisan outlets, including POLITICO, not to mention Romney himself, did their share of enabling Trump).

“It’s like a weird version of identity politics for people who like trash culture and reality TV,” said Douthat of Trump.

This same financial-political tension also arose two years ago in one of the most high-profile GOP Senate primaries in the country between Grayson and Rand Paul. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, worried that his hand-picked candidate wasn’t getting equal time on Fox to make his case, called Fox President Roger Ailes to ask that Grayson get similar treatment as the oft-interviewed Paul, according to a source familiar with the call. Ailes, who consulted on McConnell’s first Senate race, had tough news for his old friend: Paul was just a better draw.

Some younger conservatives worry that the effects of cocoonism are just as evident after the race as before — and not only in the disbelief that Obama won. The knee-jerk reaction by some on the right to Romney’s poor performance with Hispanics has been to simply say that all will be well with the party if they pass an immigration bill and elevate Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

But to many next-generation Republicans, this smacks of tokenism and is more than a tad patronizing.

“They just want to put a sombrero on the Republican elephant,” said one Latino GOP operative, who didn’t want to be identified discussing such a sensitive topic.



Similarly, Haynes fretted that “the mistake Republicans are going to make is thinking this is a demographic and political problem and not a social and cultural problem. You can’t fix this with Orca (the Romney campaign’s ill-fated GOTV software) or iPad apps or to some extent even running Hispanic candidates.”

To young Republican strategists and writers, a fundamental shift of how the party communicates is required. That doesn’t mean delegitimizing hugely popular and powerful outlets on the right, but rather transcending them.

“Communicating to the country’s changing demographics and outside of the Fox News echo chamber is a strategic imperative,” said GOP operative Phil Musser, 40.

“The rise of conservative media has been one of the best things to ever happen to the conservative movement. It has helped us reach new voters, has helped with voter persuasion and even motivation,” said GOP strategist Todd Harris, 41. “But with all the positives, there is this fact: If all you did was watch and read the conservative media, you were probably pretty shocked at what happened Tuesday. There’s a huge and ever-growing segment of the vote that Republicans just aren’t talking to and in some cases didn’t even know existed.”

The good news, say the young Republicans, is that there’s hope for them to appeal more widely. They look no further than to 2004, when liberals were in disbelief that America had reelected George W. Bush. “Jesusland” was the name of the famous map of the country showing where Bush had won.

But instead of inveighing against the purported theocracy the country had become, Obama and his aides began to plot how they could appeal to a broad coalition of voters.

Younger Republicans are confident that they, too, will take over the party and reorient it to accommodate a more tolerant country.

“I expect that in the years to come, a class of young and up-and-coming Republican practitioners will exert a greater degree of influence on how the party’s outreach to key groups is handled and ensure that the tone and tenor of our message is reflective of today’s society,” said Jon Downs, 35, a Republican media consultant.

But these Republicans know a degree of self-examination is required.

“In some communities, like with African-Americans, it’s simply unacceptable to be a Republican. This is a cultural phenomenon,” said Haynes. “Who do you go to church with, who do you send your kids to school with? Are enough Republicans socially and culturally engaged with folks who don’t look like themselves?”

Or, as Domenech put it: “Conservatives may be content to stay in a bubble and yell about Benghazi, but it doesn’t help the cause in the long term.”

What’s needed, he said, is to develop new institutions that will engage conservatives on the issues that the broader country is focused on.

He cited the much-buzzed-about piece in The Atlantic earlier this year about whether women can have successful careers and devote ample attention to child-rearing as a conversation conservatives should have gotten in on.

“We need to play the long game on how people engage in culture and society,” Domenech said. “Conservatives and the right generally have a lot to say, but it’s going to require more than a place to discuss the latest campaign or the New Black Panthers.”


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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2012, 21:23:47 »
Compared to the average university campus, I doubt anyone else could be thought of as "cocooned".
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2013, 16:18:13 »
Perhaps it was inevitable she would play the gender card as opposed to just coming out and saying "I WANT to be president"... :blotto:

link

Quote


Hillary Clinton would like to see a woman U.S. president


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton has fed speculation that she might run for the White House in 2016 by telling an audience in Canada that she would like to see a woman president in the United States in her lifetime.

"Let me say this, hypothetically speaking, I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime," Clinton told a private audience in Toronto. "And whether it's next time or the next time after that, it really depends on women stepping up and subjecting themselves to the political process, which is very difficult."

Clinton, a Democrat who was secretary of state under President Barack Obama, a former senator from New York and is the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is said to be undecided whether to seek the presidency in 2016.

Many Democrats and Republicans in the United States are expecting her to run, although the 65-year-old Clinton has said she needed to rest after four years as a globe-trotting secretary of state.

Polls have indicated she is far and away the most popular potential Democratic candidate for 2016, and that most Americans would prefer her to several possible Republican contenders.


Clinton picked up an endorsement on Tuesday from Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who announced she is supporting a group encouraging Clinton to run for the White House.

McCaskill, who backed Obama over Clinton in the Democratic primaries in 2008, became the first member of Congress to announce her support for Clinton.

She praised the political action committee called Ready for Hillary for using the Internet to build support in the hope that Clinton will run.

Last week Clinton started her official Twitter account, describing herself as, among other things, a "wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate." She alluded to her future as "TBD" - to be determined
(...)


« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 16:22:32 by S.M.A. »
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2013, 16:37:27 »
Perhaps it was inevitable she would play the gender card as opposed to just coming out and saying "I WANT to be president"... :blotto:

link

Or is she attempting to position herself as a Queen-maker?  Fewer prying eyes than if you are the candidate, and the potential to exercise power behind the scenes.
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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2013, 11:33:41 »
Defense News link

Quote
March to War in Syria Reveals Fissures Within GOP

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s march to war in Syria is exposing anew fissures in the Republican Party, with its members splitting over whether the United States should intervene militarily.

President Barack Obama could order Tomahawk missile strikes on Syrian targets at any moment, but GOP members’ reactions to the simmering conflict have put the party’s isolationists and interventionists on opposite sides.

The factions of the party agree with the White House’s determination that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons in a deadly Aug. 21 attack. But that’s where members head to different sides of the party’s famed “big tent.”

The Skeptics

In one corner are Republican lawmakers who appear skeptical that an American military mission in Syria is in Washington’s interests. This group also is warning that US action could cause further instability in the always-chaotic Middle East.

“The United States has deep national security interests in Syria and the region,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif.

But Royce also warned that “any US military action could bring serious consequences or further escalation.”

Libertarian GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has become a thorn in the side of both Obama and his party’s hawks, on Monday said the administration “is right that Assad using chemical weapons is an outrage, and it is wrong.”

But Cruz sees something “missing” in the White House’s publicly stated reasons for the expected strikes.

“Unfortunately missing from … the president’s approach so far has been a focus on what the touchstone should be, which is the vital US national security interest of this country,” Cruz said. “The United States armed forces is not, doesn’t exist to be a policeman for the world.

Cruz, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate, also is warning that “simply lobbing some cruise missiles in to disagree with Assad’s murderous actions” would not equal “protecting our national security.”

Another libertarian-leaning GOP lawmaker, Michigan’s Justin Amash, opposes a Syrian military intervention on legal grounds.

Amash posted this on his Twitter page Monday: “War Powers Resolution is consistent w/Constitution: Pres can take unilateral action only pursuant to nat’l emergency.”

He has since tweeted quotes from Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden from 2007, when they argued a president can authorize a military strike without congressional approval only if an imminent threat to the US exists. Amash says no such threat is evident with Assad’s forces in Syria.

“Obama ‘07: ‘Pres does not have power ... to unilaterally authorize military attack ... that does not involve stopping actual or imminent threat,’” Amash tweeted this week, followed later by: “Biden ‘07: ‘Founding Fathers vested in Congress, not Pres, power to initiate war, except to repel imminent attack on U.S. or its citizens.’”

War Drummers

In another corner of the GOP tent, members are pounding the drums of war.

John McCain, R-Ariz., a longtime Senate Armed Services Committee leader, took to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Wednesday to deliver a full-throated call for strikes that go beyond what the Obama administration reportedly is mulling.

Experts predict the coming missile and air strikes likely will target Assad’s command and control capabilities, chemical-weapons delivery units and platforms, air-defense systems, and other military targets.

The idea is to punish Assad and send a message. But the goal will not be to remove him from office, according to the White House.

“I want to make clear that the options that we are considering are not about regime change,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday. “They are about responding to a clear violation of an international standard that prohibits the use of chemical weapons.”

McCain said Wednesday morning that the Obama administration should be preparing war plans for strikes that would drive Assad from office.

The leader of the Senate’s “Three Amigos” pointed to Obama’s repeated declarations that Assad cannot remain in power after leading a civil war that has killed tens of thousands of Syrians and driven others to refugee camps in neighboring countries.

Also in the McCain group are lawmakers such as Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who support strikes but want them limited to Tomahawk missile launches.“I think you’re [going to] see a surgical, proportional strike against the Assad regime for what they have done,” Corker said this week. “And I support that. … With the use of chemical warfare, I think we have to act. And I think we’ll do so, again, in a very surgical, proportional way.””

This is where Corker breaks with McCain.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member, who has been briefed by the White House, wants a limited response that avoids another protracted ground operation in a Middle Eastern nation where violence from al-Qaida and sectarian conflict could break out — thereby dramatically increasing the amount of blood and treasure America would have to expend.

“I do not want us, though, to move into a situation where we’re moving beyond supporting the moderate, vetted opposition on the ground,” Corker said. “I do think Syrians need to be the ones to deal with this issue.”

Resigned to War

Finally, a third group appears almost resigned to war’s inevitability.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., on Monday endorsed a US military intervention.
But he did not do so without questioning Obama’s logic. Essentially, McKeon is asking: Why did Obama issue his now-infamous “red line” warning to Assad over the use of chemical arms if he did not already know how he would enforce it?

Once that kind of line was set, this group said this week, Obama might have made war inevitable.

“Now that American credibility is on the line,” McKeon said, “the president cannot fail to act decisively.”

Sounding a similar tone this week is former House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King, R-N.Y.

“Once that red line has been crossed and once chemical weapons have been used,” King said, “I believe the president has to take action.”

Our Country
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2013, 23:19:15 »
War talk is probably more aimed at the mid terms than 2016:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/1/curl-obamas-2014-calculation-lets-have-war/print/

Quote
CURL: Obama’s 2014 calculation: Let’s have a war

By Joseph Curl Sunday, September 1, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The first rule for President Obama: It's all about 2014. The second rule for President Obama: See Rule No. 1.

Make no mistake: The president couldn't care less about the plight of Syrians, the 1,500 gassed to death — including nearly 500 children. It's all about 2014. Win the House, reign supreme.

Consider this: Mr. Obama made his dramatic Rose Garden statement Saturday — then headed to the golf course. Congress has no plans to cut short its 30-day vacation, and the president did not call lawmakers back. So much for urgency.

The conventional wisdom is, as usual, wrong. Losing the congressional vote won't be an embarrassment for the president, as all the talking heads are still parroting. A loss would be a double win. First, because a "No" vote would allow the foreign policy neophyte to walk away from his blundering "red line" declaration on chemical weapons ("I wanted to go in, but Congress said no"). And second, should Republicans who voted for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars now oppose Syria, the president would be armed with clear "evidence" that their opposition is purely political.

Keep in mind: This president knows no way to campaign other than to blame others. He'll batter Republicans for all of 2014 as obstructionists should they be the reason the effort fails.

But the bloviating politicos are also wrong that the "Republican-controlled House" could reject the plan for partisan reasons. It is Democrats who seem most squeamish — and they were the most vocal in demanding their say before intervention in Syria. Remember, two years ago, as the president prepared to bomb Libya, 70 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against military operations. Mr. Obama bombed anyway.

Still, the entire fiasco has been hard to watch, "Amateur Hour" indeed. The president declares a "red line," then sees the Syrian dictator cross it again and again. The Nobel Peace Prize winner declares he'll take America to war — but only then does he seek partners and only to find a "Coalition of the Unwilling." The United Nations says no, the Arab League says no, China and Russia say no — even the United Kingdom says no (mainly because Brits did not want to have another U.S.-led war jammed down their throats).

Back home, polls find 80 percent of Americans want Congress to decide, and nearly half oppose intervention. So the president — hoping to appear magnanimous — declares he'll seek authorization (read: share the blame).

Still, the president and his secretary of state are absolutely right. "The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity," John F. Kerry said. Mr. Obama, in his most powerful passage, said: "Here's my question for every member of Congress and every member of the global community: What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?"

Of course a firm response is the correct action. And Mr. Obama doesn't need authority to do so in Syria, just as he didn't in Libya. While Republican support on the Hill now would help Mr. Obama save face after his "red line" throw-down, striking Syria with a few cruise missiles — however fleeting and ineffectual that would be to the course of its 2-year-old civil war — also would send a signal to the real target: Iran. That's why, most likely, Republicans will support the president after rewriting the White House's draft resolution.

Now, it is up to Mr. Obama's own party: Does he still hold sway over Democrats? Will they bend to his will? Many already seem to be running for the hills. And if they don't, will the president have the temerity to order strikes anyway?

Whatever happens, this much is clear: We're no longer talking about the IRS targeting tea party groups, the Justice Department tapping reporters' phone lines, the NSA's surveillance programs, Benghazi. The president has smartly changed the subject to the most important decision a commander in chief makes: war.

And the most presidential. That, he knows, will play better in the midterm elections, whichever way Congress votes.

• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/1/curl-obamas-2014-calculation-lets-have-war/#ixzz2dnPngmbl
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2013, 10:15:13 »
A look at some of the internal stresses that are working in the Democrat Party. The comment is quite interesting as well; with the party silently struggling between the Obama and Clinton wings, who is being groomed to move into the top ranks for 2016 and beyond?

http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2013/09/21/hillary-losing-stings-for-bill/

Quote
How Much Does Hillary Losing to Obama in ’08 Still Sting for Bill?

September 21st, 2013 - 1:44 pm
     
A lot. That’s the subtext I’m taking away from this quote from Bill Clinton’s interview with Obama sycophant Fareed Zakaria on CNN, aside from the boilerplate leftwing bitching (from a guy who ran to the right, on several issues, of George H.W. Bush in ’92, no less):

FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: You’re not worried about the Democratic Party?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. We’ve got a lot of good people in the Party. We’ve got a lot of good ideas.

But I think you’ve got to give it the Republicans. They have a much more reliable media base. And they just say no. They know what they want. They want power to cut taxes, eliminate regulations, take government down except for what they like. And they can fill the atmosphere with a lot of static.

When you’re trying to get something done, it requires a much more deft strategy because you have to explain what you’re trying to do, and it’s a little tougher for us.

In the fall of 2006, Bill told John F. Harris, then with the Washington Post, now with Politico, that “There is an expectation among Democrats that establishment old media organizations are de facto allies — and will rebut political accusations and serve as referees on new-media excesses.”

So it must have really stung a year and a half later when those old media organizations he and his wife viewed as “de facto allies” turned around and accused the Clintons of racism* in order to advance the Democrat candidate they much preferred over Hillary.

And could very possibly devour the Clintons once again if a fresh face who’s “clean and neat,” to coin a Biden-esque phrase, “a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views,” ”an exotic who says nothing,” to coin a couple of others, shows up to take on someone who carries as much baggage to exploit as Hillary does.

* Which was nothing compared to the drubbing that Hillary received in some of the fever swamp regions of the leftwing media back then.
and the comment:
Quote

Jon1979
While the left side of the Democratic Party would love to spurn Hillary again in 2016, the Democratic Party's presidential playbook has been set in that the hierarchy plans to dig up a candidate from every one of the party's special interest groups then can find and (in their mind) run them in eight-year intervals through the middle of the century, while working with the media to endow each new face with the God-like powers they promoted for Obama in 2008.

The problem is while they would love to run a Latino, an Asian, an LGBTmember, or whatever other special interest group they can find or create, they haven't prepped anyone yet the way they did with Obama in the 2004 DNC convention (San Antonio Mayor Joaquin Castro was showcased at last year's DNC convention as a quick response to Ted Cruz's Texas Senate primary win, but both Castro and his twin brother -- who won election to one of the state's new House seats in 2012 -- are checkmated from advancing higher at the state level at least until 2018).

So Hillary's the only option for the playbook in 2016. But after what happened in 2008, if she does run and get the nomination, you can be sure there will be a wholesale purge of the Obama types from the levers of power within the party as part of payback time, as soon as Hill and Bill decide it won't hurt them in the general election.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2013, 22:10:07 »
If nothing else, this is a very creative way to sell an essential economic truth to the voters. Of course, once elected on a platform like this, you also have to "walk the walk", something neither party seems very good at:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2013/09/22/republicans-will-win-the-government-shutdown-pr-battle-if-they-promise-voters-private-jets/

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Republicans Will Win The Government Shutdown PR Battle If They Promise Voters Private Jets
 
 Assuming a federal government shutdown come October, there’s a surefire way for the Republicans to win the ensuing war of words. Without a hint of hyperbole, they should promise voters a future of widespread private jet ownership.

The above proclamation is easy to laugh at, many surely will, but when Karl Friedrich Benz created the first gasoline powered car in 1885, it was exponentially crazier to contend then that cars would be a middle class good within 25 years. But by the 2nd decade of the 20th century the once inconceivable to own luxury that was the automobile had become rather commonplace. Thanks to Henry Ford’s aggressive investment and reinvestment of profits into perfecting mass production of the auto, gasoline-powered cars rather quickly became ubiquitous.

Just the same, if someone had said in 1903 (when the Wright brothers first took flight) that flying would within the 20th century become a pedestrian and often bothersome necessity, that person too would have been laughed out of the room.  But with government on all levels consuming exponentially less capital in the early part of the 20th century, huge technological leaps were taking place thanks to extra capital in the private sector funding all manner of commercial experimentation.  To deny the correlation between small government and big private sector advances is to ignore basic economics.

More on private flying in a little bit, but first it should be said that the Republicans, even though Obamacare is dying before our eyes of its own myriad contradictions, must stand firm on defunding it anyway. They must do this even if it means a shutdown of the federal government.

Wise political minds have made very apparent their view that a GOP-authored shutdown would amount to political suicide, but it seems the thinkers inside the Establishment have misread the electorate. Put plainly, a Republican Party that deserved rebuke after the George W. Bush economic disaster was given a very probationary second chance in 2010.

The second chance was rooted in voter discomfort not just with the growing size and scope of government, but also in fear of Obamacare’s implications for the quality and cost of healthcare. If voters had desired the status quo, they would have left the Democrats in control.

To be blunt, if the Republicans aren’t willing to do everything in their power to defund, delay, or repeal Obamacare, what’s the point of voting them majority status to begin with? Just the same, if the cost of government is going to continue to grow no matter the Party in control of the purse strings, why vote Republican at all?

The allegedly wise thinkers of the GOP Establishment will respond that a ‘defund, shutdown and shrink’ strategy will just make things worse for those who want smaller government, and who similarly want freedom over their healthcare choices. The thinking seems to be that absent the Republicans, full-throated national healthcare and expansive government are just around the corner. It’s an argument that has merit on its face, but it’s also one that is no longer credible.

Indeed, going back to 1994 the Republican base was sold a similar line about GOP parsimony with the money of others. To see how well that worked out, readers might compare federal spending in ’94 to 2000, not to mention spending in 2000 vs. 2006 when a disgusted base finally – and very correctly – helped return the Republican Party to much-deserved minority status. To state the obvious, Republicans have historically talked a good game about limited, less expensive government, but the expense of it always seems to grow on their watch. (interpolation. Sadly, the spending record after 2006 was far, far worse...)

They probably don’t deserve it, but Republicans have been given yet another chance to match policy with their bold rhetoric. Even better, and contrary to some of the more established consensus, good policy will in this case be good politics for the Republicans. The House of Representatives is where spending originates, and Republicans were handed control to delay, defund or repeal Obamacare in concert with serious shrinkage of the size of the federal government itself. Assuming what’s likely true, that President Obama and the Senate won’t go along with GOP plans, a Republican House in control of spending will get to starve Obama’s signature legislation, and then with a government shutdown that decidedly does not mean a shutdown of the federal government (Social Security checks will go out, the military will be funded, the IRS will for good or bad remain functional), it will force a happy realization on the citizenry that life goes on rather swimmingly without Leviathan running on all cylinders.

Assuming the opposite, as in assuming that voters make Republicans pay for a ‘defund, shutdown and shrink’ strategy in 2014 and beyond, well, that must be a risk the Party’s leaders are willing to take. That’s the case because in addition to talking a good game about limited government, Republicans almost to a man talk big about the dangers wrought by lifelong politicians, not to mention how ‘alien’ to them is the ‘corrupt’ Washington culture. Since they do, they should be very eager to give up their privileged perches in Washington in order to ‘stand athwart’ an ever expanding federal government. Furthermore, for a Party that talks a lot about the very real horrors of dependency, why should its political leadership in Congress expect the base to sacrifice their principles in order to save the cushy jobs of GOP Congressmen?

Further on with the alleged political risks, since GOP voters decidedly did not send the Republicans to Washington in order to do that which would get them re-elected, it’s fair to contend that the presumed risks associated with ‘defund, shutdown and shrink’ are well overdone. Indeed, wouldn’t it be more risky for the Republicans’ electoral chances if Obamacare were in full flower and the cost of government even greater come November 2014?

It’s worth mentioning that in pursuing ‘defund, shutdown and shrink,’ the Republicans needn’t do this in angry fashion. Obamacare is inimical to quality healthcare outcomes given its focus on non-market cost controls, so Republicans should talk about the heart, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and ACL cures that will more quickly reach all of us if the government’s role in healthcare is substantially reduced.

And then rather than talk about deficits, Greece, entitlements, and how the size of government is unsustainable, Republicans should go the optimistic route; talking about how the federal government’s loss is the private sector’s certain gain. Indeed, they should talk about how much more we’ll have, including many more Microsofts, Intels, and Apple products that will make the iPad seem dated, if the size and cost of government shrinks. They should talk about how Henry Ford’s quite speedy ability to mass produce the once unimaginable luxury that was the automobile was directly related to his being able to retain Ford Motor Company’s profits in order to re-invest in the perfection of car manufacture. They should talk about how Jeff Bezos, Fred Smith and Warren Buffett are much better allocators of capital than are John Boehner, Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

To state what’s obvious, Republicans should talk about how much better our lives will be, how much more we’ll earn, and how much more often we’ll be blown away by staggering technological innovations if the federal government is consuming much less of our hard-earned money. In short, Republicans should talk about the private jets we’ll all eventually own if the economy-suffocating growth of government is reversed by the Republican Party.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline S.M.A.

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2013, 23:25:39 »
Here we go...seems Hillary Clinton just began campaigning again...

Yahoo News

Quote
Did Hillary Clinton tip her hand on 2016 presidential run?
By Jay Hart | Yahoo News – Tue, 15 Oct, 2013.

Hillary Clinton may have tipped her hand on Tuesday about her plans for a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking in Atlanta at a convention that was closed to the media, Clinton spent 25 minutes talking about the 2011 raid on the Osama bin Laden compound, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The crux of that discussion: that she was for the 2011 raid in which al Qaida leader bin Laden was killed ― and Vice President Joe Biden did not support the military action.

State Representative Tom Taylor, a Republican, told the AJC that Clinton went to great lengths to paint herself and former CIA director Leon Panetta as the raid's fiercest advocates, while at the same time highlighting Biden's opposition.

"Without turning the knife too deeply, she put it to Biden," Taylor told the AJC.

(...)
« Last Edit: October 16, 2013, 23:29:21 by S.M.A. »
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"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

Offline Thucydides

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Re: US Election: 2016
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2013, 20:55:02 »
Why polls are becoming even less reliable than usual: polling firms are radically manipulating the data. This isn't just the usual skewed questioning or oversampling/undersampling, which are generally subtle and sometimes difficult to detect. Polling firm PPP, in developing a poll for a "progressive" group, adjusted the racial composition of Georgia from 71% White voters in an August poll to 62% in the September poll.

Now if the group that comissioned the poll was looking to get a snapshot of what the electorate was thinking, they should sue for fraud. If, on the other hand, the desired result was to release poll numbers showing radical changes in voter intentions and support to embolden firends and demoralize enemies, then that is what they got. Since most news organizations, bloggers etc. do not look at or release the methodology (amd the vast majority of voters never ask), I would suspect the second reason was the real reason for these polls.

http://georgiatipsheet.com/2013/10/18/ppp-criticized-for-gaming-ga-poll-results/

(formatting issue: go to the link to read the article)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.