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[P]
Nader Testing Waters

By felixrayman in Op-Ed
Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 09:52:25 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who many Democrats accuse of handing the 2000 elections to Bush, is considering another run for president in 2004.


Nader, who ran for president in 2000 on the Green Party ticket and has been called "the worst thing to happen to civil liberties and poor people in quite a while", has formed the Nader 2004 Presidential Exploratory Committee to consider a run for office next year. Nader first gained prominence as the consumer advocate who after an extensive investigation figured out that Chevy Corvairs were crappy cars.

The key issues of the Green Party platform include protection of the environment, grassroots democracy, diversity, decentralization, non-violence and feminism. Nader's philospophy seems to intersect only tangentially with that platform. A visit to his opinion page reveals precisely zero articles on environmental issues. Nader's main focus has been on consumer advocacy and limiting the power of corporations.

Many Democrats are horrified by the thought of a 2004 Nader run. In the 2000 election, the Green party votes were the difference in at least two states, Florida and New Hampshire. A Democratic victory in either of these two states would have put Gore in the White House. In addition, Nader got 4% of the vote in California in 2000. The Democrats have little chance of winning in 2004 without carrying that state. Nader has denied any responsibility for the results of the 2000 election. He has called Democrats "chronic whiners" for making the charge that he was in part responsible for putting George Bush in the White House, and has said that "the only person who could defeat Al Gore was Al Gore himself". The man who introduced Nader in the two previous Green Party conventions, Ronnie Dugger, has asked him not to run. Dugger has said, "We cannot afford another division in our ranks that will bring about the election of George W Bush in 2004. If we divide our votes for president again between the Democratic nominee and Ralph Nader, we will very probably help elect Bush."

Third party candidates, while rarely elected to office in national elections in the US, play an important role mainly by siphoning votes from candidates of the two dominant parties. Critics point to this as a flaw in the voting algorithm by which politicians are elected in the US. While it is true that no voting method can be perfectly fair, it is also true that some methods are fairer than others. Approval voting is an alternative to the winner-take-all US system that would allow people to vote for third party candidates without "wasting their votes". Nader himself advocates the "None of the Above" option for elections in which a second election with different candidates would be held if enough voters registered dissatisfaction with the candidates on the ballot.

There is somewhat of a contradiction in Nader's statements about his presidential campaigns. He has said that he saw no difference whatsoever between the Democratic and Republican candidates in 2000. He has also recently been quoted as saying, "The highest priority is to defeat President George W. Bush and his administration, which is running this country into the ground". It can safely be assumed that George Bush and his advisors are fervently hoping for a 2004 Nader campaign.

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Related Links
o "the worst thing to happen to civil liberties and poor people in quite a while"
o a run for office
o Chevy Corvairs were crappy cars
o Green Party
o opinion page
o horrified by the thought of a 2004 Nader run
o 4% of the vote in California
o "chronic whiners"
o has asked him not to run
o no voting method can be perfectly fair
o Approval voting
o "None of the Above"
o quoted as saying
o Also by felixrayman


Display: Sort:
Nader Testing Waters | 332 comments (322 topical, 10 editorial, 1 hidden)
Great! (1.36 / 11) (#1)
by Fredrick Doulton on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:00:46 PM EST

Let's hand Bush another election.

The last thing we need is Nader bankrupting every major business under the sun with his insane conservation policies. There's a reason he will never win the presidency - No one takes him seriously. And rightly so.

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"

It's not as if he could do any worse than Bush (1.83 / 6) (#2)
by GreyGhost on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:09:54 PM EST

The economy might still be in the toilet, but we'd probably end up with cleaner air and water and a President the whole world and a signifcant portion of the citizens of his own country do not hate.



[ Parent ]

but... (none / 1) (#14)
by khallow on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:25:27 AM EST

those tax cuts, Republican pork, and US military commisary contracts are so sweet!

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

i take him seriously (none / 0) (#190)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 05:36:02 PM EST

I just won't vote for him, because I'm not a fool...

As for nader being an Earth Conservative, that is, wanting to keep the planet as it is now, to keep the Islands that exist now above water and the plants and animals alive now, alive - well, eventually, we will be forced to adopt some of these policies which European companies already have to contend with.

They have a headstart. They are competition. Who do you think will have an advantage in the long run?

The japs are about to introduce their third gen of hybrid cars - this time, they might make a profit. When the American auto makets are forced to make hybrids, how many years will it take them to make a profit?

You Earth-liberals are quite short-sighted - and I thought you were pro-business!

What are we the world leader in anymore, exactly? Space, sorta kinda? Software? Why don't we become leaders in next gen energy, and pay the oil companies to develope clean ways to extract hydrogen from natural gas - we tell them that in the short term, we will allow them to increase natural gas extraction, if they decrease other fossil fuel prosepecting. Gradually, we taper them off and enjoy the new hydrogen economy, while still relying on the "oil" companies to do it.

Or, we can use the conservative approach, which is really thinking for the SHORT term: dig everywhere, and get as much of that black liquid shit out of the ground as you can, and we'll let the Europeans worry about hydrogen - it's good for business!


Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

A story I've read earlier (2.66 / 6) (#3)
by strlen on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:10:51 PM EST

A story I've seen earlier (sorry, can't find a link, I'll reply to the comment once I find it), used statistics on the polling records of those who voted for Nader in the 2000 election to suggest that those who did viewed Nader's run as a single issue campaign: basically the found that 45% of those who voted for Nader supported, widely, the military action in Afghanistan, where as much smaller percentages of those who voted for Buchanan and for the Libertarian Candidate did.

That is despite the fact Nader's campaign platform, and his views are generally very anti-war. The conclusion the author of that article reached, confirms what I've been suspecting for a while: Nader's campaign in 2000 was perceived by many a single issue campaign, mainly for legalization of drugs (which was a major part of Nader's campaign) -- the Nader candidates didn't have much interest in the rest of the party's ideas.

Will the same happen in 2004? I don't actually see that as happening, as differences between Democrats and Republicans (particularly Dean,Clark and Kucinich) are far more pronounced and far more idealogical than in 2002.

And of course, that's besides my main point: that Republicans shouldn't complain about Libertarians or Democrats shouldn't complain about Green's "stealing" or "spoiling" their vote: the ones at fault are the major parties, they failed to have any guts to hold an actual opinion.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

not courageous? (none / 0) (#4)
by karb on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:24:50 PM EST

the ones at fault are the major parties, they failed to have any guts to hold an actual opinion.

The ones with guts are either called 'losers' or (party name)s in a traditionally (party name) voting area.

About 85% of the electorate already knows who they will vote for 11 months from now. The battle is for the remaining 15%. That's why some republicans have donated to Dean's campaign ... they don't believe somebody who suggests the president knew about 9/11 beforehand would ever make any inroads winning the moderates who decide every election.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Re (none / 0) (#5)
by strlen on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:30:11 PM EST

Well, for the 15% vote, how they going to win it, if they fail to take any positions that are going to distinguish them from the next?

As for the last point, republicans are also not alone: California democrats did the same, though in a less sneaky way, by running negative adds against Riordan during the governor primary, to cause Simon to get nominated, thus leading to the [now defunct] Davis victory. Both parties definately are extremely ethically challenged.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

How to win. (none / 0) (#26)
by rvcx on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:38:50 AM EST

Well, for the 15% vote, how they going to win it, if they fail to take any positions that are going to distinguish them from the next?
By forcing the other party to take an unfavorable opinion.

This is why negative campaigning is so effective: instead of talking about your own position, you claim that your opponent has a position that sucks. In what other environment would we be parsing quotes out of context trying to divine political intent. (Anyone who says the words "confederate flag" must be racist! Or calling Southerners racist! Or something!)

[ Parent ]

not risky. (none / 0) (#13)
by khallow on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:23:49 AM EST

The ones with guts are either called 'losers' or (party name)s in a traditionally (party name) voting area.

The major parties care about protecting their revenue streams. Holding opinions endangers that revenue stream even, if it might give candidates an electoral advantage.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I disagree (none / 0) (#123)
by karb on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 11:17:54 AM EST

The major parties care about protecting their revenue streams. Holding opinions endangers that revenue stream even, if it might give candidates an electoral advantage.

I don't believe that's correct. Actually, the exact opposite is true.

Your donations come from your most avid supporters. They are not likely to be the centrists. That's why Dean is making a killing, money-wise. It's also why the republicans held their justice-for-judges marathon ... most of them thought it would be ineffective, but it made conservative political donors happy. (although that ineffective thing turned out to be wrong, immediately after polls revealed that it had a negative effect on democrats)
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

but let's think about the future (none / 0) (#149)
by khallow on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 03:29:07 AM EST

Your donations come from your most avid supporters. They are not likely to be the centrists.

When I said "revenue stream", I didn't mean campaign donations though some of it probably appears as such. The religious fringe supported Daddy Bush, but they couldn't provide for the well-being of Daddy's kids. FWIW, every single one of the surviving four Bush sons has done well in business (as has the daughter's husband). George W. Bush in particular has fallen into some sweet deals (at least for him) over the last couple of decades. The kind of people that can provide for your future needs don't want the boat rocked.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

And the link (none / 0) (#6)
by strlen on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:39:25 PM EST

http://www.leftwatch.com/articles/2001/000129.html

(Despite the domain name, the site seems to be rather moderate).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

I would expect... (none / 2) (#7)
by felixrayman on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:46:49 PM EST

I would expect voters for Buchanan to be the most anti-war, he is an isolationist. If he was a liberal his manhood would be questioned. For example he had this to say about the Mideast:

"If Islamic peoples detest America, why not let them discover democracy in their own time, rather than trying to convert them with thermobaric bombs and cruise missiles?"

When you are far right you can get away with saying stuff like that without looking like a weenie.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#9)
by strlen on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:56:17 PM EST

If a republican repeated Dean's ignorant "confederate flags and pickup trucks" remark, I'd more than expect the democrats to crucify him on the confederate flag's cross pattern.

Political correctness is great, isn't it, and nowadays it cuts both ways (nothing like mutual hipocrasy).

That being said, Buchanan and other anti-war conservatives/libertarians do catch TONS of flack from the mainstream right as well (also largely due to the fact there's many other ideological differences between mainstream conservatives and paleo-cons/Buchnanites and definately libertarians). It's just, that the A.N.S.W.E.R. crowd is far more ridiculous (though, Pat Buchanan's  opinions on matters such as World War II is quite ridiculous as well).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

isolationism (none / 0) (#17)
by horny smurf on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:48:14 AM EST

Isolationism isn't reserved for the far right. Put Pat Buchanan and The AFL-CIO in a room, and they'll both agree NAFTA sucks.

[ Parent ]
The Magic of Nadervision: (1.30 / 13) (#8)
by Kasreyn on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:47:48 PM EST

Now sit tight, gentle reader, as the magic of Nadervision (tm) takes us inside the private thoughts of everybody's favorite yachting enviro-hypocrite:

"Hey! I wonder how much money I can get the Democrats to pay me to not run in '04. Hmm, not much money coming in yet. I know! I'll make ominous gestures to scare them into appeasing me! I can smell my new yacht now! It'll make Rusty so jealous!"


-Kasreyn

P.S. Ralph, you fight the fights you can win. If you really care about America, tell your Greens to throw their support to the Dems, and for once the Green Party would actually accomplish something good for the environment - instead of just being the expensive, narcissistic personal soapbox it always has been.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Uhhhh... (none / 0) (#329)
by Jumery on Mon Dec 29, 2003 at 01:19:53 PM EST

The democrats aren't much different from the republicans.  People should reject both of these parties and vote green.

[ Parent ]
psh (2.91 / 12) (#10)
by Work on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:57:19 PM EST

the fact of the matter was, the democrats sucked in 2000. Sucked hardcore. Gore was too afraid to even be remotely linked to Clinton (who people actually liked!) that he came off a boring wooden stiff who failed to play up the successes of the tenure, and so failed to differentiate himself in any meaningful way from Bush.

This utterly boring lack of polarity in the election drove sway voters (like myself) who didnt even like the Greens' policies to vote for them simply because they couldnt tell the other two guys enough apart and wanted to vote for something different.

If the dems get their shit together right this time, it wont matter if nader runs.

It's funny to watch all this shit (2.50 / 18) (#11)
by fae on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 12:23:13 AM EST

People act as if the Democrats and Republicans are different parties.

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
They aren't different parties (1.83 / 6) (#12)
by Stick on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 12:44:51 AM EST

That's where the difference ends though.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
being this naive is dangerous (none / 2) (#188)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 05:22:38 PM EST

Which party is likely to support, or at least, not oppose, gay rights:

1. The democrats
2. The republicans

Which party is likely to support, or at least not oppose, abortion and other reproductive rights?

1. The democrats
2. The republicans

Which party is more likely make the world better by allowing business more freedoms, thereby creating a stronger economy with a more vibrant workforce?

1. The democrats
2. The republicans

Which party is more likely to make the world a better place by retricting business freedoms, thereby creating a stronger economy by having a strong and loyal workforce?

1. The democrats
2. The republicans

Which party is likely to support, or at least, to not oppose, Seperation of Church and State issues?

(do I really need to repeat the possible answers?)

Which party is more likely to support, or at least not oppose, a conservative judiciary? A liberal judiciary?

Don't tell me there isn't a difference. Folks who don't think there's a difference are apathetic, ignorant foolish fools who should LOOSE the right to vote.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

RE: being this naive is dangerous (none / 0) (#192)
by CompUComp on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 07:01:43 PM EST

Which Party has a history of stomping all over our civil liberties by passing the Patriot Act:
1. Democrat
2. Republican

Which party supported the communications decency Act and its draconian attempt to stamp out Free Speech on the Internet?
1. Democrat
2. Rebup

The Bono Copyright extention act? The DMCA?

The answer to all of these is both.

---
Howard Dean 2004
[ Parent ]

right, both parties sometimes agree, but (none / 1) (#200)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 09:09:52 PM EST

Yes, politicians agree on some issues. Some who like the DCMA, etc., would use that point as a good thing - myself, I differ, but that's my opinion.

The point is, that while both parties do get legislation passed sometimes (imagine that!), there are still _significant_ differences; differences significant enough to get vastly different results and ideologies in power.

I can accept a statement such as, "those two bastard parties got together and support a piece of shit bill", fine, but I cannot accept, "there is no difference".

They both have politicians, those folks that we love to hate and blame everything on. They may both sleep with groups that buy them, but those groups often aren't the same!

Who is your prefered mistress - unions, cops and teachers, or oil companies, born-again Christians and Boeing? Any way you slice it, there are _VAST_ differences. If you want to say the system itself is broken, corrupt, whatever, that's another issue.

Voting for Bush or Nader means you are supporting the further erosion of abortion rights, for example, regardless of how Nader feels about the DCMA.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

abortion (none / 0) (#281)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 04:40:37 PM EST

Voting for Bush or Nader means you are supporting the further erosion of abortion rights, for example, regardless of how Nader feels about the DCMA.

There's never going to be a federal law banning abortion. Partial-birth abortion, perhaps, but Gore himself said:

On the issue of partial-birth or so-called late-term abortion, I would sign a law banning that procedure, provided that doctors have the ability to save a women's life or to act if her health is severely at risk.

Clearly there are some minor differences between the two parties, but for the most part the two parties are the same, at least, the candidates they produce generally are.



[ Parent ]
We are also considering a fool candidate (1.00 / 11) (#15)
by United Fools on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:28:40 AM EST

By nominating another fool, we can provide a similar alternative to George Bush. This way Nadar's impact is neutralized.
We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
Where Al went wrong (2.37 / 8) (#16)
by horny smurf on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:37:55 AM EST

A lot of people like to blame Ralph Nadar for Gore's loss. Or The Supreme Court. Or confusing ballots in Florida.

Consider this: his "home" state of Tennessee voted for George Bush. Had the people whom he and his father once represented considered him suitable, Florida wouldn't have mattered one bit.

PS - JFK and Bill Clinton were elected without a plurality.

JFK and Clinton did get pluralities (2.50 / 4) (#25)
by rvcx on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:28:36 AM EST

What they didn't get was a majority. Not only did Bush not receive a majority, he also didn't even receive a plurality; only the way in which the electoral college causes votes from agricultural states to count more than votes from industrial states gave him the victory.

And obviously the only way neither candidate can get a majority is if third-party candidates spoil the election. It is entirely possible that a true majority preferred Gore to Bush, but third parties (including, and particularly, Nader) caused this not to be reflected in the popular vote.

[ Parent ]

"Plurality" (none / 2) (#49)
by b1t r0t on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:20:35 PM EST

A plurality is meaningless in an election where not all votes are counted. In many states, the absentee votes were simply thrown away when one or the other candidate had numerical superiority with election-day votes alone. California alone threw away many times more votes than the margin in 2002.

Which is reasonable, because in the presidential election, absolute votes are completely and totally irrelevant. Unless you want to get the Constitution changed, STFU already.

Besides, Clinton didn't even get 50% of the absolute vote in the 1992 election.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics (none / 0) (#57)
by ph317 on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 03:51:13 PM EST


Statistical models allow votes to be thrown out without likely consequence.  If 70% of the votes are counted, and the winner has a 15% margin, (I don't know the actual numbers, I suck at that type of math), then you can say beyond reasonable doubt that the results won't change.

Of course, there's flaws in that, since the distribution of votes is likely to change between counties reporting earlier than others due to geographic chunking of voters by party... not to mention if more dems were too lazy to vote in person than republicans, I suppose the absentees could have been off-norm as well.

And in the end, even the statistically unimportant final votes in the various states, when added up, could well exceed the statistically allowable amount for the margin of total votes throughout the nation, but we don't take a nationwide vote - we use the electoral college at the national level.

[ Parent ]

That blows (none / 0) (#189)
by meaningless pseudonym on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 05:31:36 PM EST

Over here, we keep counting. We make sure we have all the absentee ballotts in before polling closes, we then count _every_ _vote_ and give a precise total.

You try and tell me that you've thrown my vote - my democratic right (well, centre-left in my case) - into a bin because maths tell you you're pretty sure it wouldn't matter anyway and I'll tell you you're not doing your job properly. Count the lot and don't announce results until you've got the lot counted.


[ Parent ]

electoral college (none / 1) (#220)
by Cackmobile on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 09:34:47 AM EST

do you know of anywhere I can get info on the electoral colleges. I am not a USian so don't know how it works but it seems complicated

[ Parent ]
pretty straightforward (none / 0) (#251)
by rvcx on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 08:54:17 AM EST

People don't actually elect the president. The president is elected by a special assembly whose makeup corresponds precisely with that of both houses of Congress: each state gets 2 members (to stand for the senators) plus an additional number based on population (to stand for members of the House of Representatives). It's the members of this special assembly, known as "electors" who are actually chosen by the people.

The important bit is that the electors for each state are chosen by that state in any way it sees fit. In practice, the states hold a normal election with the voters voting for who they want for president. The state then sends electors who promise to vote for the winner. In all but two (tiny) states it's an all-or-nothing system; all the electors go to either one candidate or the other. This is the primary way in which the electoral college can choose a very unpopular winner: winning a state with a 51%-49% majority is exactly the same as winning with a 100%-0% majority. (In reality, this effect is rarely seen.)

The other problem is those two "automatic" electors states get regardless of population. In large states they are pretty irrelevent, but in states with small populations (agricultural states in the middle of the country, and Alaska, for example) it can double the number of electors the states get. So in a way votes in smaller states "count more" than votes in larger states. Bush won most of the agricultural states (which usually lean Republican), but lost the bigger ones. It was these "automatic" electors that made a difference.

(There was also a bit of concern about the possibility of a "rouge elector" after the last election. The electors aren't necessarily obliged to vote for whom they were told to vote, but they're generally chosen specifically because they're very loyal to the candidate and party they're supposed to vote for.)

[ Parent ]

Technical theory (none / 1) (#256)
by error 404 on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:39:45 PM EST

In theory, the Federal government's constituents are States, not individuals. Technically, individuals don't vote for anything Federal - Senators and Representatives belong to the State they represent, and Presidents and Vice Presidents are elected by electors who, again, belong to the State they represent.

There is a compromise between the idea of "one State one vote" and "one man one vote". One branch of the legislature has exactly two Senators per State, and the other has Representatives in proportion to the population of the State. The Electoral College makes exactly the same compromise - each State has two electors to start with, plus some number that depends on the population.

Consider what would happen if there were a State with only one citizen. That citizen would have 3 (or maybe 2, I'm not sure whether they round down) votes in the Electoral College.

I don't think that is a realistic representation of the Union anymore, other than maybe Texas. I see myself as an American, not a Wisconsonite. Very few Americans (other than Texans) see themselves as citizens of their respective States. I doubt many Americans have any sense of State citizenship at all, although we all are citizens of a State or Commonweath unless we live in the Capitol. The extreme ease of changing those citizenships makes them almost meaningless, except for tax purposes. The Federal law has far more direct impact on individuals than the authors of the Constitution envisioned. Still, changing the fundimental structure of the government is not something to take lightly. Too many of those involved would try to tweak it to their own advantage. We were extremely lucky in the way the way the interests (both petty and noble) of those in power in the late 1700's fell, and I would not trust that luck a second time without a really severe cause. Occasional odd (but still as designed) electoral results are not a severe enough cause in my opinion.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

The framers.... (none / 0) (#324)
by ckaminski on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 04:02:44 PM EST

...could not have predicted the necessity of the Uniform Commercial Code or NAFTA.  I'd be hard-pressed to say we need to start from scratch to fix a few things; the system seems to have worked quite well so far.  

[ Parent ]
Heh, yes (none / 2) (#106)
by strlen on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 01:16:44 AM EST

That's pretty much my point as well. How about Democrats blaming themselves for having alienated much of the heartland[1], thus, a great deal of electoral vote? But no, that isn't nearly as much fun as blaming SCOTUS, Nader, etc..

[1] See map here:  http://freeconservatives.com/rhino/small_mandate.gif

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

nice map (none / 0) (#164)
by Wah on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 02:57:11 PM EST

now, if you overlay a population density map on it, you'll end up with numbers something like...

Gore: 50,999,897

Bush: 50,456,002

No need to point the finger at Nader, SCOTUS, Chad, or anything.  Heck, just blame the freakin' electoral college.

But, yea, What Mandate?
--
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!"
..or simply
[ Parent ]

The population isn't my point (none / 1) (#199)
by strlen on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 08:18:53 PM EST

Being a president is never a mandate for anything, honestly, and remember, even a lesser percentage have voted for Clinton in 1996 (thanks to Ross Perot).

I'm also pretty much opposed to the very idea of an imperial president, and such don't think that the president should EVER consider himself a representative of all people.

The only reason I used this map, was because, well that was the only map I had that described the situation.

What my point was, is that democrats, knowing full well about the electoral college, still chose to alienate majority of America's heartland (which is probably WHY an electoral college exists: in order to force the candidates to campaign in less populous states). The lesson to the democrats should have been you can't count on support from only half of the population, from groups scattered around the coasts: you have to campaign to all Americans.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

yup (none / 0) (#225)
by Wah on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 10:37:33 AM EST

Being a president is never a mandate for anything, honestly, and remember, even a lesser percentage have voted for Clinton in 1996 (thanks to Ross Perot).

Oh there is no doubt about that, Perot was as big as boost for Clinton as Bush's lips.

What my point was, is that democrats, knowing full well about the electoral college, still chose to alienate majority of America's heartland (which is probably WHY an electoral college exists: in order to force the candidates to campaign in less populous states).

I completely agree.  It's tough at this point, however, as the electoral college kind of makes you want to cut your losses and focus on winnab le areas, also.  The Democrats could spend all their money while trying to take back Texas, but it would be a completely wasted effort.  And with the ratings the FNC gets in the heartleand, unless they get 24/7 'message' they don't stand a chance.  It's a whole lot of W for very little D, if you catch my variables.

I dunno, with Gore jumping on Dean's wagon today, Nader, frankly, needs to STFU (at least about running in '04).

--
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!"
..or simply
[ Parent ]

Nader should follow his convictions and run (2.00 / 13) (#18)
by NaCh0 on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:50:00 AM EST

But in the end it won't matter. Democrats are lame and Bush is doing a pretty good job. The economy is seeing good growth and the jobs are begining to pour in.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
Really (none / 0) (#20)
by wji on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:32:03 AM EST

Care to substantiate that argument about jobs? The numbers are easily available.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.
[ Parent ]
Jobless rate now under 6% (none / 2) (#22)
by NaCh0 on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:00:28 AM EST

Like you said, the data is readily available.

4 consecutive months of job growth

Jobless rate drops to 5.9%

Hours worked has increased

Overtime has increased

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

It's left wing commentary, but interesting (none / 0) (#33)
by eliasbizannes on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 09:21:52 AM EST

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17315

[ Parent ]
At the same time (none / 1) (#46)
by andamac on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:27:10 PM EST

Getting better then "Pretty Shit" isn't that phenomenal.

[ Parent ]
Here's an article on how much Bush sucks (none / 2) (#21)
by GreyGhost on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 05:46:24 AM EST

You might find it illuminating.

As lame as any of the Democratic candidates may seem - old Dubya has got them beaten hands down. That boy sucks like nobody's business....I bet he could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.

And where are these jobs that you speak of? If your definition of good involves getting fucked up the ass by a rusty screwdriver, than I would have to agree with you. Bush is doing a great job.



[ Parent ]

Wow (2.00 / 9) (#24)
by NaCh0 on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:21:32 AM EST

Socialists hate Bush? Thanks for letting me know!!

And please keep your homoerotic fantasies about trailer hitches and screwdrivers to yourself.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

Veterans Against the Iraq War (none / 2) (#27)
by GreyGhost on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:49:00 AM EST

Socialists hate Bush? Thanks for letting me know!!

WOW...what a intelligent point you make. Who would think that there could be so many 'socialists' who have served in our Armed Forces. Oh - I know who! Dumbass conservatives who are in denial about what a fuck-up we have for a leader.

Oh you know who else hates his guts? A lot of the parents of those soldiers who have been getting killed in his useless little war.

Gosh - I may even venture to guess there are millions upon millions of Americans out there who hate Georgie's guts. And I don't think they are all socialists.



[ Parent ]

Not many of them (3.00 / 6) (#29)
by NaCh0 on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 07:35:18 AM EST

Veterans also support the war. Any sufficiently large group will have dissenters.

Millions upon millions love Bush and think he is the best thing that could have happened to America. Don't be blinded by your hatred. Even the libs in Europe like Bush more than they hate him.

Mark my words. Bush is a good man. He will be re-elected.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]

You have got to be kidding me (none / 1) (#31)
by GreyGhost on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 08:02:57 AM EST

I send you to a site that represents a political coalition of tens of thousands of participants and is very active in coordinating protests with other groups, and you respond with a link to the personal page of one veteran from WWII who supports the Iraq war. I am feeling seriously ripped off here.

Hey for kicks why don't you try Googling 'Veterans for War' or 'Veterans for the Iraq War' and see what kind of hits you get. You won't get shit...because there are hardly any veterans who support war around, but if you follow the other links that pop up you might learn something.



[ Parent ]

Tens of thousands of vets oppose Bush, eh? (none / 0) (#36)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:01:20 AM EST

Conveniently, they are all vets of 'Nam, and not older, or more recent, conflicts.

--
"Leftists believe they are the creators of a new world. They see themselves as godlike. That's why they are so rude and so dangerous" - D
[ Parent ]

And this surprises you? (none / 0) (#43)
by Ogygus on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:09:04 PM EST

Veterans of Vietnam have a unique perspective. The 55,000 dead bodies from that conflict also have a unique perspective. For the current administration to ignore that perspective is cowardly at best.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
No....there are veterans of the first Gulf War (none / 0) (#83)
by GreyGhost on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:20:08 PM EST

And Panama, and other conflicts actively involved. But don't believe me - explore around and try and educate yourself a little.



[ Parent ]

great article, thanks [n/t] (none / 2) (#37)
by omegadan on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:30:59 AM EST


Religion is a gateway psychosis. - Dave Foley
[ Parent ]

Another, focused on his economic effects (none / 1) (#40)
by jongleur on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 12:31:13 PM EST

Krugman interview

A fresher follow-on:
Looting the Future


--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
McJobs (none / 2) (#48)
by Ogygus on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:50:04 PM EST

The Labor Department figures showed most of the gains to the non-farm payrolls figure came from the service sector. But the manufacturing sector continued to shed jobs, losing 17,000 posts during the month. BBC

At the end of WWII, 40% of American jobs were in manufacturing. Today that number is below 10%. Although the rich are getting richer (thanks to tax cuts that targeted them), the poor and the middle class are losing. How would you like to be the loser of a high paying manufacturing job who is now forced to work at Starbucks for minimum wage just to eat? Especially when the company that you used to work for (you know, the one who moved production to China) posted record sales and profits? Eventually, you end up with a small number of very wealthy people and millions of low wage slaves supporting them.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
division of labor (none / 0) (#81)
by horny smurf on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:00:43 PM EST

In economics, there's the concept of division of labor.

Let's say Joe American can make $10 an hour manufacturing 50 widgets a day. Or he can make $20 an hour doing computer programming. Chen Chinaman can manufacture 25 widgets a day, but onlt gets paid $1 an hour. The best solution would be for Joe American to do something else and outsource the low-skill job.

Unfortunately, the high skill/higher wage jobs require more training, which Joe might not have, and also unfortunately, the high skill jobs haven't kept up with the manufacturing migration, and even worse, the "high skill" jobs are now being outsourced as well...

All in all, our standard of living is much better thanks to advances in machinery and outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, even though it is a bitter pill to swallow.

[ Parent ]

Who is it better for? (none / 1) (#86)
by Ogygus on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:26:17 PM EST

The standard of living of the owner/shareholders of the widget company and the people who can still afford to buy the newer, lower priced widgets make out great. Everyone else loses.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
As much as I hate to say it (2.86 / 15) (#19)
by godix on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 03:17:24 AM EST

Nader is right, Gore is the one who fucked democrats up the ass with no lube. Think about it; Clinton scandal drove any of Gore's off the front pages and Gore successfully kept well away from Clintons perjury, Gore was vice-president for a popular president, he was vice president through a booming economy, and his opponent couldn't say a multisyllabic word if the presidency depended on it (apperently it didn't though). The only reason the 2000 election came down to a few thousand people in one state was that Gore was such a fuckup he couldn't manage a decisive majority even with all those positives going for him. The less than 5% that Nader cost him are nothing compared to what Gore cost himself.

That being said, if Nader runs again it'll just be a joke. He failed to get 5% last time so this time he'll be viewed basically the same way people view Perot.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage

Causation (2.16 / 6) (#23)
by cameldrv on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:08:03 AM EST

There are many reasons Gore lost in 2000.  You can come up with any number of things which could have gone differently, and resulted in Gore winning the election.  One of the things that caused Gore to lose was that Nader ran and picked up a few percent of the vote.  The plain fact is that if the Nader voters had voted for Gore, Gore would be president now.  You can bitch about the things that Gore did wrong in his campaign, and there are many of them.  However, if you want to get rid of the evil doers currently occupying the white house, having 3% of the electorate voting for Nader is certainly not going to help.  I've also seen several people make comments here to the effect that "Gore doesn't deserve the Green votes."  That may be the case in that Gore doesn't represent you on all of the issues, but if you had a choice between Bush and Gore, I'm sure you would pick Gore.  You had that choice in 2000, and effectively you picked Bush.

I voted for Nader and Gore would *not* (none / 2) (#35)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:58:55 AM EST

have been my second choice. I find the whole "Nader stole the election" crap to be highly disingenous.

--
"Leftists believe they are the creators of a new world. They see themselves as godlike. That's why they are so rude and so dangerous" - D
[ Parent ]

exactly (none / 1) (#42)
by Work on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:00:04 PM EST

i voted for nader, and i live in texas. Of course, texas was going to go to bush no matter how I voted.

I'm curious, how many votes did nader get in florida? thats the only state where it possibly would've mattered.



[ Parent ]

97,000 (none / 1) (#54)
by felixrayman on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:44:37 PM EST

Nader got 97,000 votes in Florida. The number of people voting for Nader was also larger than Bush's margin of victory in New Hampshire. In Oregon, where Gore won by 5,000 votes or so, Nader got 5% of the vote. Republicans demanded a recount in Oregon when the whole fiasco was going on, so Nader could have mattered there if things had turned out differently in Florida.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 2) (#62)
by cameldrv on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:46:36 PM EST

If you want to vote for nader in a state that's not a factor either way, go ahead and make the statement you wish.  If you're in a state that looks like it could be close, vote for the best candidate that can win.  We can't afford to be divided when there is so much at stake.  All the Nader voters who said in 2000 that there was no difference between Gore and Bush have been proven wrong.  You have a choice between a Clinton like president who may not do everything you like, but will keep things moving along and generally not totally screw up the country, or you can have Bush.

[ Parent ]
yeah, and maybe he should've told people that. (none / 1) (#71)
by Work on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:01:02 PM EST

Rather than being a wooden stiff who did little to differentiate himself from Bush.

Do you really think things would be terribly different if Gore were president? The whole reason sway voters like myself didn't vote for gore was because there was virtually nothing he did to differentiate himself.

And the democrats are just as rotten underneath as the republicans.

People have a right to vote for whoever they choose for whatever reason they choose. Arguing that nader voters 'stole' from gore is just passing on the incompetance of the democrat party's inability to hold voters who are tired of the status quo to the voters themselves. People don't like that shit. Its asinine and disingenous.

[ Parent ]

Not really. (none / 1) (#195)
by Maurkov on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 07:51:03 PM EST

All the Nader voters who said in 2000 that there was no difference between Gore and Bush have been proven wrong.

I don't buy it. They might have used different rhretoric, but I cant think of one thing Bush did that Gore wouldn't have done also, or at least failed to prevent.

[ Parent ]

Fallacy. (none / 3) (#58)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:04:26 PM EST

The plain fact is, that if Bush voters had all voted for Gore, he would have won, and a landslide at that. Why not blame them?

Another fact: If everyone who was eligible to vote but unregistered had indeed registered to vote, and then voted for Gore, he also would have won.

Or how about this. Had 3 million illegal mexican immigrants had been given the right to vote by Billy "Dress Stain" Clinton and his congress, they would have likely voted for Gore. Let's blame it on Clinton.

Or how about this. If Gore's election campaign cheating experts had only been better than Bush's election cheating experts, he would have picked up Florida. Why don't we blame it on them?

As a matter of fact, there are at least a few more likely culprits, before we pick on Nader, and those who voted for him. Not that I would ever vote for the freak, but goddamn. If you want to live in a country where you can't vote how you choose, simply because someone else's choice will lose, then move to fucking europe for Christ's sake. My god, at least the Nader lovers didn't vote for dubya....

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

As I said (none / 3) (#61)
by cameldrv on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:42:30 PM EST

If you read the first two sentences of my comment, you would see that I said that there are many reasons Gore lost.  Any number of things would have been sufficient to tip the election.  Nader was one of those things.  The vast majority of Nader voters would have prefered Gore to Bush, and they voted for Nader.  If you say that the Nader factor was insignificant, you might note that he got nearly 3% nationwide, and his votes, had they been cast for Gore, would have given Gore New Hampshire and Florida, either being enough to give Gore the presidency.  Any candidate that pulls 3% of voters from one side in such a close race is obviously a major factor.  We may have another close race again, and while it is certainly your right to vote any way you wish, Given that Nader is not going to be elected, what do you hope your vote accomplishes?  If you vote for the Democrat this time, you have a chance of at least stopping the bleeding in our country, even if it is not going to be the paradise you hope for.

[ Parent ]
Actually.. (none / 2) (#76)
by Kwil on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:22:51 PM EST

..it was only a close race because Gore stole votes from Nader.

Nader voters who were too afraid of Bush to vote for Nader did America more of a disservice than those who voted their conscience.. they effectively told the Democratic Party that its policies would lead the country if they can get a more charismatic candidate.

If instead all the people who were afraid of Bush so voted for Gore instead of Nader had voted for Nader? There wouldn't have been a contest. Bush would have won by a huge margin, and the Democratic party would have had a heads up about how far they'd strayed from the people who would elect them.

Short term difference? None. Bush got in anyway.
Long term difference? We're seeing it now, with the Democratic party in an embarrassing state, unsure of where it should go or what its voters really want.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Or if Bush voters had voted for Gore (none / 0) (#187)
by startled on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 05:15:32 PM EST

"The plain fact is that if the Nader voters had voted for Gore, Gore would be president now." Or if the Dems in Florida who voted for Bush hadn't turned out, or had voted for Gore. Funny that there's so much focus on Nader voters, and not Bush voters. Is it because of where they fall on the spectrum? Or because Nader wasn't a "real" candidate? Me, I'm more pissed at the people who voted for a crony for the rich and connected-- a crony who really didn't try too hard to hide it-- than the people who voted their conscience.

[ Parent ]
I voted for Nader. (2.60 / 5) (#28)
by eann on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 07:05:24 AM EST

But I was registered in Massachusetts, which is essentially a one-party state, so my vote counted for Gore anyway.

My favorite Nader quote about the election so far: "All [Gore] had to do in the debates was ask: 'Gov. Bush, just what is it about peace and prosperity you want to change?'" (Philadelphia Weekly, 19 Nov 2003).


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


That was rich (1.66 / 6) (#59)
by gibichung on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:12:20 PM EST

It was obvious to anyone that the "propserity" of the "dot com" boom was temporary.

And the "peace" came at the cost of ignoring outside threats like bin Laden and Hussein. I wonder if the British equivilent of Ralph Nader asked the same questions of their "hawks" who complained when Hitler marched into the Rhineland.



-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

a better way to ask the question... (none / 0) (#73)
by Work on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:13:09 PM EST

"are you any worse off now than you were 10 years ago?"

People vote with their wallets. It's the most important issue in any election.

If the dems wisen up some they'll say things like "Remember the last time we had a democrat president? Things were pretty good then. Now look at us. the economy has flopped, people die everyday in iraq and that jerk in the white house keeps telling us how he's fighting for his twisted concept of freedom. Yeah maybe the freedom of the money that keeps flying out of our wallets and not coming back and freedom for people like Ashcroft who want to spy on your every move"

Sure thats a loaded quote - which is exactly what they need to do. Polarize.

[ Parent ]

Yes, they should (none / 1) (#77)
by gibichung on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:35:04 PM EST

But the argument clearly doesn't hold water. That's why they've resorted to chanting "net loss of jobs" and the like.

An objective look at the economy of the last few years shows that the real causes of the downturn were completely out of the hands of the President, while the recent upturn is, if not a result of his pet projects, certainly assisted by them.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

doesnt hold water to who, though? (none / 0) (#96)
by Work on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 12:13:48 AM EST

Sure if you give it a lot of thought, or keep up to date with your statistics and all that.

But for the general public, or just to rally them, it works just fine to use loaded phrases.

[ Parent ]

You are a nutcase. (none / 2) (#138)
by felixrayman on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 07:03:14 PM EST

It was obvious to anyone that the "propserity" of the "dot com" boom was temporary.

That temporary prosperity was part of the longest economic expansion in the history of the US, presided over by Clinton.

And the "peace" came at the cost of ignoring outside threats like bin Laden and Hussein

That is a mind-bogglingly stupid statement. Clinton was ignoring bin Laden? Clinton authorized the assassination of bin Laden, bombed Afghanistan with 70 Tomahawk missiles in an attempt to kill him (a move which right-wing nutcases such as yourself denounced at the time), kept two submarines in the closest waters to Afghanistan to be able to launch an attack on bin Laden at any time, trained native forces in Afghanistan to fight bin Laden, and sent Special Forces personel to train in Uzbekistan (which is why the US was able to attack so quickly in 2001).

In addition, Clinton handed over a plan to Bush to attack bin Laden in Afghanistan and warned him about the threat from al Qaeda. Bush ignored the plan, and even found it fit to send millions of dollars in aid to the Taliban as part of the war on drugs. And now you are trying to fault Clinton for not doing something before 9/11 that Bush not only didn't do before 9/11, but can't even do now.

As far as Hussein goes, unless the meaning of the word "ignoring" has changed to "bombing on an almost daily basis" you are a few cards short of a deck.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Spin (none / 2) (#157)
by CENGEL3 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 12:00:30 PM EST

"That temporary prosperity was part of the longest economic expansion in the history of the US, presided over by Clinton."

I guess that is because Bill Clinton "invented the Internet" ? ....... Oh wait, no that was Al Gore.

Now when a person actualy decides to turn thier brains and stop being spoon fed propaganda, they'll very quickly come to realize 2 things:

1) Presidents (ANY president) really have very little effect on the economy. They can nudge it a little bit one way or another... and if they do something really radical (Like start a World War) they might be able to Tilt it... but that's about it. They are still more then happy to take credit (or pass blame) for it... but the fact of the matter is that it wouldn't have mattered whether Clinton and Bush were economic whiz kids or dullards, the economy would still have done pretty much what it did.

2) It takes many months even years before political actions show any real effect on the economy. Thats just how the cycle works. The economy was starting to spiral into the toilet before Bush, the younger, was even innaugurated which means the actions which were contributing to that had taken place even earlier (i.e. The last years of the Clinton Presidency). Note, I am NOT blaming Clinton for the downturn (See #1 above), however the factors which led to the downturn did take place under his reign, not Bush's.

Now on bin Laden, Conservatives don't blame Clinton for not having a desire to take out bin Laden. He most certainly did.....however the manner in which he went about it was arse-backward and assured to accomplish nothing but get a few headlines. The same holds true for Iraq actually.

Now you certainly can argue whether the costs were worth it or the methods justified but the fact remains that Bush has succeded in doing 2 things that Clinton wanted to do but could never accomplish..... he ousted Saddam and decimated Al Queyda. That is because Clinton never had a clue about the millitary and didn't respect the millitaries judgement on what it takes to get things done. I don't think Bush really does either, but at least he is occasionaly willing to listen to advisors who do.

[ Parent ]

Irony (none / 1) (#166)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 03:18:15 PM EST

I guess that is because Bill Clinton "invented the Internet" ? ....... Oh wait, no that was Al Gore.

Now when a person actualy decides to turn thier brains and stop being spoon fed propaganda, they'll very quickly come to realize 2 things:


Amusing juxtaposition there. Did you believe the spoon fed propaganda about Gore "lying" about the internet?
___
Length 17, Width 3
[ Parent ]
on that note... (none / 0) (#325)
by ckaminski on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 04:53:03 PM EST

I also live in Massachusetts.  My roommate is a so-called Libertarian.  He cast his lot with the Republicans in 2000, because he didn't want to throw his vote away on a candidate who had zero chance of winning.

It took me several hours of explanation that in a Democratic state, any vote that wasn't for Gore was a throw-away, but that in the end he was only hurting his chosen party (Libertarian), by wasting his vote on a Republican.  His voice as a Libertarian wasn't counted.  If people stopped voting for the "lesser of two evils" we might get real fucking change in this country.

I voted for Brown, even though he lost by a landslide, simply because my slightly demo-libertarian slant wants saner policies.  But any 3rd party President is going to be hobbled by a two-party Congress, so until we upset the Congressional balance a little more, taking power away from the Democrats and Republicans, any Green, Reform, or Libertarian candidate will likely get nothing done.

[ Parent ]

so... (none / 1) (#30)
by reklaw on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 07:55:43 AM EST

  1. Find out what matters a lot of Bush voters.
  2. Create a Republican equivalent of the Green party around those issues.
  3. Take votes away from Bush.
Simple.
-
Didn't Perot already try that? (2.80 / 5) (#32)
by GreyGhost on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 08:50:23 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Not only did he do it . . . (none / 0) (#92)
by acceleriter on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:50:56 PM EST

. . . he succeeded. He cost Bush the 1996 election, even after he bowed out, probably after some smoke-filled room deal that would have netted Perot a cabinet post, for "family reasons."

[ Parent ]
%s/1996/1992/g (none / 0) (#137)
by acceleriter on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 06:32:55 PM EST

NT

[ Parent ]
It already exists. (2.75 / 4) (#51)
by skyknight on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:23:15 PM EST

It is the Libertarian Party. Republicans bitch about the Libertarian Party as much as Democrats bitch about the Green Party.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
libertarians (none / 1) (#79)
by horny smurf on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:48:19 PM EST

Does anyone vote libertarian? Personally, I like the most of the libertarian ideals - I'm perfectly capable of making decisions for myself, and don't need gov't beaurocrats thinking (and spending) my money for me - but they generally get dismissed and labled as wanting to decriminalize drugs.

As I understand it, New York has a "Conservative" party and a "Liberal" party besides the Democratic/Republican parties. Generally, they endorse the democratic/republican candidate, but if they're too centrist, they'll run their own candidate (not that they'll win...). I think Rudy Guilianni recieved the Liberal endorsement in one of his mayoral races, but I could be hallucinating again.

[ Parent ]

I did (none / 2) (#165)
by Happy Monkey on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 03:12:12 PM EST

and I'm liberal. But then I also knew that DC would go Democratic, so I wasn't hurting anything.

Essentially I agree with Libertarians on personal freedoms, and the Greens on environmental/corporate issues. In 2000, I considered the libertarian view to be the least represented, so I went for them.

This does not mean I endorse all of their policies. It would be a disaster if we got an all-Libertarian government. In fact, it would be a disaster if any party took control of all branches of government. Just look at it now. There has to be honest debate, or it doesn't work.
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[ Parent ]
Libertarians... (none / 0) (#326)
by ckaminski on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 05:03:00 PM EST

If the libertarians would change their platform just a little:

  - Minimize the pro-legalization/decriminalization bit.  It's hurting them among the middle-aged moderates.
  - Dump their "pay-for-all-services" platform.  Face it, there are things like roads and sewers and schools that are good for everyone, hence we should all pay our way.  Don't ignore bits like the gas-tax, but don't accentuate them either.

They might score.  These two bits, IMHO, are the number one show-stoppers for a Libertarian explosion in this country, and they are all self-inflicted.  

[ Parent ]

Yep (none / 1) (#278)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 03:40:08 PM EST

And if the Libertarians ran someone as moderate as Nader, they'd probably have the same effect.

Nader disagreed with the Greens on a lot of issues, he was much more moderate than the Green party platform. And that's why he got so much more of the vote than Harry Browne.



[ Parent ]
What I want to know is... (2.80 / 5) (#34)
by Timo Laine on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 09:26:32 AM EST

who stole Jello Biafra's and R. U. Sirius's votes. Both Gore and Nader have some explaining to do, I believe.

I voted for Nader (2.75 / 4) (#38)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:52:05 AM EST

but that is because I knew my state would go to Gore by about 8%.  (I was right.)  I convinced at least one of my friends to vote Nader for the same reason.  I would have voted for Gore if I lived in a swing state.

That being said, Nader's line was that Democrats and Republicans were basically the same.  Democrats have their faults, but I don't think Gore would have had us conquer a foriegn country on false pretenses.  Hatred of Bush will stop anyone from voting Nader.  Nader should stump for Kucinich in the democratic primary and step aside for the general election.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

But Green voters want to vote for the Green party (none / 0) (#39)
by cam on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 12:30:58 PM EST

Nader should stump for Kucinich in the democratic primary and step aside for the general election.

Why? Kucinich is a Democrat not a Green. Myabe Green voters want to vote for a Green President. Maybe third party voters want one third party representative to get 5% of the vote and some public funds?

I think if someone is a green and wants to vote Green they shouldnt have to waste their vote on a Democrat or a Republican. Same for Libertarian voters.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

actually (none / 1) (#52)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:38:27 PM EST

The Greens said that if Kucinch won the Democratic nomination, they would endorse him rather than running their own canidate.  His positions are very similar to theirs.

Also, Nader won't get as many votes this time as last time.  Therefore, no 5%.

If they want to vote green they obviously should vote green.  The questions are whether they should or will want to vote Green.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Also (none / 1) (#45)
by minerboy on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:21:11 PM EST

Suffice it to say that Nader has a personal agenda in running for president. He's a funny guy, because it doesn't seem to be about the money. He is a bit of an attention junkie - and I think he feels that its better to draw attention to certain single issues. Small parties are Ideal for focusing on a few issues - which is what Nader wants to do, to encourage severe limitations on business. if he were to run for the democratic nomination, he would need to have a broad focus, and he would have to sell out to their corporate supporters.

I'd like to see you take the voting fairness section out, and explore it as a single topic - though I can't believe it hasn't been done here before



Nader is powerful (2.72 / 11) (#47)
by Blarney on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:37:09 PM EST

Nader's Greens are perhaps the most powerful force in determining the outcome of the next elections. They screwed the Democratic party good, not only in 2000, but in 2002 as well. All evidence indicates that if Nader chooses to keep active, he can keep the Republicans running the place for the forseeable future.

The Democrats have left themselves open, yet again, to another attack by Nader. They've been cleverly moving to the right, doing their best to be only a hair's width to the left of the Republicans. A somewhat simplified mathematical model, described by Martin Gardner among others, indicates that this is a stable optimal strategy. The theory they're working on here is that, if they're almost indistinguishable from the Republicans, they will win half the vote.

There are three real-life problems with this approach, which their party strategists for some reason cannot understand. The first Democratic problem is that, even if they get 50% - 1 or -2, they still are a bunch of losers in our winner-take-all system. - didn't we see that in 2000? Winning 49.9999% of the votes gets them nothing. The second problem that the Democrats face with this strategy is that people do not vote based purely on the ideology of the candidate. Bill Clinton did well in the elections, with a platform that economically resembled classical budget-balancing free-trading Republicanism - yet many older voters who had supported such positions in pre-Reagan days as members of the Republican party still kept right on voting Republican, as usual. Should the Democratic candidate edge rightward, he will not necessarily pick up the Republican voters whose positions he reaches - if they want a Republican, they'll vote for a real one. Even if the real Republican is a budget-busting, war-mongering, hypocritical televangalist type who they would never have supported over a Nixon or an Eisenhower-style Republican.

The third problem, of course, is that all Nader has to do is poach a few voters off the left end in order to eat the Democratic Party's lunch.

Assuming that I'm correct, what should Nader do? That depends upon whether his main priority is policy or whether it is destroying the Democratic party for their hypocrisy. If Nader wanted to get his policies implemented, he'd get on the phone to Dean and deal. Universal health care, student loan amnesties, federal jobs programs for the unemployed, repeal of Bush's various environmental rules, an end to preemptive warmaking, Nader could get some of these (Dean would not be entirely unsympathetic given his existing positions) - in exchange for Nader telling his voting bloc to go for Dean. Now, if Nader would rather wreck the Democrats then get his policies implemented, he would steadily refuse to deal - much as he has. Saying that he'd support Kuchinich after Dean has already taken a clear lead - this is just disingenuous behavior, were Kuchinich in the lead Nader would probably be calling him a corporate shill as well. I think that Nader's motivations here are clear - he wants the Greens to be the only viable alternative to a one-party dictatorship. Personally I dislike this strategy - I think that Nader is risking the collapse of our country into corporate feudalism on the off chance that he'd be able to fix it later. Munchausen-by-proxy syndrome - like a mentally-ill woman who slowly poisons her child in order to get it attention and the best medical care available.

And assuming that I'm correct, what should the Democrats do? Well, the time for them to pretend that the Greens aren't important is over. They ought to be going up there and asking Nader voters to vote for them instead - ought to be pointing out the clear benefits of their policies over those of the Republicans - and maybe they should toss a few nice favors to the Green voters as well. "Vote for me, and I'll take care of your medical bills" - they could handle that. Honestly, a lot of Green voters are in it not for some vague fuzzy environmentalism but simply because they want a proper safety net for the working poor. The Democrats may not be willing to eliminate the combustion of fuels to CO2, but they could at the least do something to avert a Snow Crash corporocratic world or a country-wide Detroit ruin - they should, and they would pick up the disaffected Green votes as well.

Please, be serious (none / 1) (#53)
by minerboy on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:40:55 PM EST

Only a small portion -I'd guess 25 % of the Greens actually have a real political agenda. In order for the party to survive it has to accept anyone who will wear a Vote green button. It ends up being a collection of fruitloops and attention whores that only know or care about their one issue (if that), and could never even hope to be able to connect the concept of environmentalism to industrial growth, to health care, much less be so politically macheavelan. But they do all turn out for a fun day of carrying signs, and shouting no justice, no peace.

In other words, never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetance



[ Parent ]
When... (none / 0) (#330)
by cyberdruid on Tue Dec 30, 2003 at 10:51:44 AM EST

...accusing people of being incompetent, ignorant, unprofessional, etc, it helps if you can spell it.

[ Parent ]
Yeah right (2.50 / 4) (#64)
by godix on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 05:50:27 PM EST

Like Nader could really influence even a fraction of his supporters. If Green party members were mindless sheep who followed whatever their choosen leader said then they'd still be voting for democrats. The greens are a fringe party and the only people who vote for fringe parties are people making a protest vote or people really REALLY serious about certain issues. Neither group would vote for Dean just because Nader said so. As soon as Nader tried that he be branded a heretic then the Greens would go find a new token leader to rally around.

Nader is the perfect example of a Gandi quote: "There go my people. I must catch them, for I am their leader."

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]

I call bullshit (2.69 / 23) (#60)
by TheModerate on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:41:10 PM EST

If I want to vote for Nader, I'll vote for him. Telling him not to run because he might be responsible for Bush being re-elected gives me less choices on who to vote for. Doesn't that seem undemocratic to anyone else?

If Nader runs, that will be because the Democratic Party is too far too the right. You have to remember that influencing the Democratic Party in this way is one of the only ways that the radical left can have a voice.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer

not to mention.. (none / 2) (#72)
by Work on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:07:27 PM EST

it speaks volumes of the incompetence and how out of touch of the democratic party is if the green party of all things is 'stealing' votes.

If you think about it, he republicans pretty much have the whole political spectrum from just-right-of-moderate to the far-right tied up.

As for the left of moderate, you've got the dems for a little while, but then you've got parties like the green, who have really terrible policies and many voting for them know it, encroaching in because the democrats are doing a piss poor job of reaching out further and representing people who want somebody different than hacks like al sharpton and joe lieberman.

And to blame their problems on nader is just plain stupid.

[ Parent ]

wrong/it's not about blaming (none / 2) (#203)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 09:38:42 PM EST

In the last election, folks were split down the middle. Most people actually identify more with democracts, but they are less likely to vote, as they tend to include the poor and undereducated.

It's pretty simple - and it's not about blame. If Nader runs, he gets some of the democratic vote. You can't say that this is because people love republicans, it's simply a fact that the Green party platform intersects the democratic party more-so than the republican party.

Now, as for political opinion:

Don't pat yourselves on the head - you have an idiot leader and your party has been infiltrated with extremist elements on the far right, the kind of extremeists that make trouble in every nation. The problem with the soviets were the Right in the soviet Congress, right? The problem with anti-semitisim in European countries are the Right - you are all a bunch of nut-sacks, and you always loose in the long run, at least in modern times ;)

It's ironic that if a libertarian ran, he would take votes away from Bush, even though the republican party is sleeping with the right-wing christian nazis, who have anything but free speech and libertarian social issues in mind...

Tell me, is small government worth it if it means having a theocracy? Is less business regulation a good trade for more sex regulation? I'd have an ounce of respect for the republicans, if they ditched the thought-control, religions nuts.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Errr. Uh.. Yeah, good on you! (2.25 / 4) (#154)
by jmzero on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 11:00:59 AM EST

Well done.  As long as the left continues to make decisions based on feelings and principles and shrill vengeance and the crap you mention, the right will continue winning elections.  

Way to go!  Way to be effective!

You have to remember that influencing the Democratic Party in this way is one of the only ways that the radical left can have a voice.

Don't forget puppets.  They have voices too.  Well, they do if your head is in them.  Or just below them.  Or perhaps if the Nader fairy comes and visits them in the night and makes them real.  

Thankfully for Bush, puppets (and the rest of your radical left "voices") will continue to be safely outside of government office.  And, thanks to them, so will the rest of the left voices.  

The Nader campaign slogan can be "4 more years of influencing the Democratic party!"

.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

the only thing needed (none / 0) (#222)
by speek on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 10:01:13 AM EST

to swing this country way to the left is a good solid republican run.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

I'm not a leftist (none / 0) (#246)
by TheModerate on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:03:01 AM EST

The world isn't right vs left. Get real.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

You're right, but you're still wrong (none / 1) (#184)
by MicroBerto on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:53:15 PM EST

Who would be the current President had Nader not run?

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]
who got the popular majority? it doesn't matter. (none / 0) (#206)
by bolson on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:37:19 AM EST

Who would be president if the Dems had a real candidate? The cowardly 'smokey back rooms' failed us.
Making Democracy Safe for the World (change the voting system)
[ Parent ]
Saddam Hussein? n/t (none / 0) (#279)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 03:48:06 PM EST



[ Parent ]
facts (1.40 / 5) (#185)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:53:16 PM EST

I know the facts may trouble you, but if you vote for Nader, you bote for Bush.

Literally, in almost every sense of the word, your vote won't count.

Are you in favor of the man, or the ideals? If you choose man, don't read further.

Your only choice then is which of the real candidates best matches your ideals.

If you truely want a 3 party system with Greens in power, vote for Greens at the LOCAL level and GIVE THEM MONEY. I do.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

No, A vote for Nader is a vote for Nader. (none / 2) (#207)
by bolson on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:39:02 AM EST

Only Bush can be blamed for being Bush and doing what Bush does. And don't forget that it's Gore's fault for doing what Gore did. A vote is exactly what it says it is. That the system denies you the proper result from voting your conscience is a failure of the system.
Making Democracy Safe for the World (change the voting system)
[ Parent ]
childish (none / 1) (#233)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:47:49 PM EST

This isn't elementary school, and I appologize if the _real_ American democracy doesn't meet your _ideal_ hypothetical version of it, however, since most folks are split down the middle, a vote for Nader, is effectively, a vote for Bush. Good intentions don't cut it; it's the end result I'm concerned with. Another 4 years of Bush, and the democracy will be even less _ideal_ (even LESS Nader-like), especially with hounds like Ass-Croft on the watch.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]
And so long.. (none / 1) (#311)
by Kwil on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 04:14:38 AM EST

..as people continue to vote "strategically" instead of their conscience, all they're doing is guarunteeing that the major parties will never match their conscience.

Bush won. Had some of the people who voted "stragetically" for Gore instead voted their conscience for Nader, Bush still would have won (and with a lot less damage to the American voting system, I might add) and the Democrats would have had a heads up about how their party line is straying from their constituents.

Short term, is Bush getting in again a bad thing? I tend to think so. Long term, though, it's better to have a major party who's policies actually match the majority of their consitutients. When you vote "strategically" you're thinking short term and robbing your long term prospects of having a major party that you can whole-heartedly endorse.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Finally, someone on K5 who gets it... (n/t) (none / 0) (#327)
by ckaminski on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 05:12:19 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Nader is thinking in the long run (1.80 / 5) (#63)
by gibichung on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:47:29 PM EST

He draws his support from the far left. Thus he stands to benefit from polarization of the country.

Although I'm not really sure how a centrist like Bush has evoked so much anger from the left [I believe it has something to do with the fact that he is a Christian], another four years looks like it would only benefit Nader's long term personal interests.

The idea is that if they give the right power, the people flock to the left. Well, that won't happen, but if Nader wants to do this and the left is foolish enough to let it happen, I'm all for it.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt

Is Nader Reallly a Leftist? (none / 1) (#67)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 08:43:05 PM EST

First off, Nader is officially a member of the Green Party. I know quite a few hard-core consertives that prefer Nader to Bush(i.e. Nader has some integrity, Bush doesn't). I've heard that Nader and Buchanan actually socialize together.

My sense is that the Green Party has chosen not to nominate a hard core green-but to reflect the will of the American people in a way neither major party can. The centrist politicians of both major parties are IMHO utterly corrupt-"leftist","racist" and "right win" are almost code words these days for "not bought off".



[ Parent ]

I realize you have an axe to grind... (none / 1) (#69)
by gibichung on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 09:25:45 PM EST

...with the "racism" issue but I'm not going to be baited into letting you hijack this.

I'm still at a loss how anyone can claim that the President is not a man of integrity. If you want to see a lack of integrity, look at the "Bush lied" people -- and the pathetic lies and half-truths that they base their arguments on.

And, yes, Nader is a leftist in every sense of the word. I could list off the reasons, but it would be easier if you'd just give a few for why he might not be called one.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Well, (1.75 / 4) (#90)
by kmcrober on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:47:26 PM EST

I'm still at a loss how anyone can claim that the President is not a man of integrity.

Disclaimer - I'm a politically active liberal.  So take my opinion for what it's worth.  But I dont think that an intellectually honest person can claim to not see, at the very least, the seriousness of the attacks on Bush's integrity.  Off the top of my head, he:

    1.  Used his father's influence to join the Air National Guard to avoid serving his country in a meaningful capacity.
    2.  Went AWOL from that ANG service when it became tiresome.
    3.  Engaged in questionable business practices in Texas, then lied about them.
    4.  Ran on a platform of centrism and bipartisanship, then proceeded to thoroughly abandon any pretense of being anything but an ultraconservative shill.
    5.  Blew the cover of an American intelligence agent in retaliation for her husband's honesty and integrity.
    6.  Buried documents from his gubernatorial term and his father's presidential term.
    7.  Instituted a policy of foot-dragging on all FOIA requests.
    8.  Lied to the country about the dangers of Saddam in Iraq.
    9.  Lied to the country by continually linking Saddam and Al Qaeda in the absence of actual proof or solid intelligence.
    10.  Lied about finding WMDs in Iraq (albeit on foreign TV, so maybe it doesn't count in the eyes of good Republicans).
    11.  Used the "War on Terrorism" for political gain.

I grant, at least, that a number of those complaints are more properly attributed to his administration than the man himself.  But if he were a man of integrity, then the distinction wouldn't matter much, would it?  Men of integrity take responsibility for their mistakes.  They apologize and change their behavior, rather than denying all responsibility.

That list is off the top of my head, and I won't deny that it's a partisan rant.  I apologize for that.  Bush gets me worked up, as I imagine the Clintons gets a lot of conservatives worked up.

The difference is, I'm not going to stand here and pretend to be at a loss how anyone can claim that Bill C. is not a man of integrity.  I like him, but I can certainly see why Republicans demonize him.  I'm willing to forgive his mistakes, or at least ignore them - that's easy for me to do, because I like his policies, and because his mistakes didn't people.  

Surely you can, at the very least, empathize with those of us who see him as an opportunistic and dishonest ideologue.  If you really see him as a model of integrity, try seeing his record from the perspective of a serviceman who died in Iraq to keep us safe from the "imminent harm" of Saddam's WMDs.

I feel dirty dragging that jingoistic crap around like it's a valid point.  It makes me feel like I need to apologize for being so childish.  It makes me feel like a good Republican.  It makes me loathe Bush for setting such a reprehensible example, and long for a president we can look up to, rather than make excuses for.

Is Nader that guy?  No, and not least because he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.  But even as a hardheaded, practical liberal, I just can't bring myself to condemn him for trying to bring some fighting spirit back to the good fight.
The man stands for something, and he's honest about what he stands for.  That's real integrity in a politician; even if you ignore his pre-presidential life, Bush lost his claim to integrity when he ran as a moderate and a consensus builder.

OK, that's it.  Rant over, I promise.  Like I said, I'm an activist liberal and not an evangelist, so I'm not going to pretend that I have, or could have, or should have, changed your mind.  But think, long and hard, about what integrity means.  Think about what Bush has said, and what he has done.  Think about the difference between the two.  I'm not asking you to demonize the man like I do, I'm just asking you not to pretend that he's above reproach.


[ Parent ]

That's the best you can do? (none / 0) (#99)
by gibichung on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 12:34:37 AM EST

Obviously no controversial man is above reproach, but you should notice that there is no consensus on any of your points; in fact, a perfectly reasonable person could believe the best about the President where you choose believe the worst.

Acknowledging your biases is one thing, but it takes more to confront them.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Not true (none / 1) (#102)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 12:55:17 AM EST

As I said, I'm not trying to convert you.  But a man of integrity should, by definition, be above reasonable reproach.  

Moreover, there is a great deal of consensus on a number of those allegations - his irresponsible and dishonest claims of the danger posed by Iraq, his false claims to have found weapons of mass destruction there, and his 'service' record are all in plain sight, and undisputed.

A man of integrity should be willing and able to say, "I was wrong, and I'm sorry."  Bush will not say that he was wrong about the threat of WMDs or apologize for dodging the draft.  It would be politically inconvenient, and he lacks the strength of character to do what's right when what's convenient is, well, so much easier.

Don't believe me?  What about conservative values?  What happened when protectionism became a useful tool in congressional politicking?  He threw up trade barriers until he was forced to back down.  What happened, as you yourself said, to small government?  It got in the way of the social agenda.  What happened to states' rights?  They only apply in the Bush administration when the states play by conservative rules.

Hypocrisy isn't moral, and it's anathema to integrity.  As you say, confronting these problems is more difficult than recognizing them.  The GOP hasn't done either, yet.

[ Parent ]

It all hinges on *reasonable,* doesn't it? (none / 0) (#105)
by gibichung on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 01:16:14 AM EST

There is no consensus on the WMD issue; as I am quite fond of pointing out, some people seem to have a very short memory on these issues. And he made no false claims in Germany. Why don't you cite this one?

As I said above, Bush is not an absolute conservative. Most of his beliefs are center or center-right and probably not completely consistent with the rest of his party or even his administration. So, while you're attacking him here for compromising, there's a thread calling him an extremist. Expecting someone to be consistent through these varying perspectives is impossible.

If you don't understand the man's philosophy, how can you call yourself a fair judge of his intentions?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Citations on demand (none / 1) (#108)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 02:12:11 AM EST

Bush is a far-right social conservative, and wobbly-right on fiscal and government issues.  He is not, and has never been, a moderate or a consensus builder, although he proudly ran on those platforms.  He trumpeted the value of small government until he was the government.    He extols NAFTA, an initiative which I also support, but throws up politically popular protectionist barriers.  He claims to be a good fundamentalist Christian, but is infamous for the lack of mercy and compassion he showed the prison population in Texas.  

Being a hypocrite on conservative values doesn't make him a moderate.  It just makes him a hypocrite.  

He claimed to have found bioweapon labs on Polish TV, not German.  Did I say that?  As for citations, here you go:


"You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons," Bush said in an interview before leaving today on a seven-day trip to Europe and the Middle East. "They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.

"And we'll find more weapons as time goes on," Bush said. "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them."

The Washington Post

One thing else we've done is we made sure that Iraq is not going to serve as an arsenal for terrorist -- for terrorist groups.  We recently found two mobile biological weapons facilities which were capable of producing biological agents.

The Department of State

The Iraqis claimed at the time that the trailers were for making hydrogen gas for the floating of artillery balloons.  The most that the CIA could say about them later was that they wouldn't be very good at producing either hydrogen gas or biological weapons.  There is no evidence whatsover to suggest that they were bioweapon labs, but that didn't stop Bush from making political points on them.  

It's not "hating America" that makes it a lie.  It's just a lie.  Even if you excuse it (and I have this sneaking suspicion that you'll say it's not a lie to claim to have found bioweapon labs without proof), an ethical man, a man of integrity, would apologize.

America is waiting.

[ Parent ]

Load of garbage (none / 0) (#110)
by gibichung on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 02:44:22 AM EST

As a far-right social conservative, Bush sure does disappoint. Let's see, he's said that he will not work to ban abortion, that he will sign an extension of the assault weapons ban, that he believes in limited affirmative action, he believes in tolerance for homosexuals, he believes in immigration. Must I go on?

And, it's funny, but I remember that the CIA report concluded that the trailers would function adequately for producing biological weapons, but were only superficially made to look like they could be used for filling balloons, with 90% of the capacity for this purpose replaced with other equipment. So if Bush based his claims on this report, does that make him a liar? No, I don't think so.

All you have left is rhetoric.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Integrity means saying you're sorry... (none / 2) (#112)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 03:19:16 AM EST

The CIA report was later discredited.  CIA spokesdrones by October (the press release you provide is from May) could say no more than the vans could have been used to produce weapons, but that there was no evidence. "We have not yet been able to corroborate the existence of a mobile BW production effort."  (http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/10/02/kay.report/)

We're back to integrity.  Bush politicizes intelligence, and goes to war on faulty premises.  Americans die.  Bush goes to Poland and says, "We found weapons!  I was right after all," based, at most, on that same politicized intelligence.  After a great deal of hemming and hawing, the CIA says, look, sorry, but there's no proof.  There never was proof.  But there were seals and vats that, sure, could have been used for hydrogen, but could have been used as a faulty and poorly designed weapons lab.

He made an untrue statement.  If you're an apologist, you can even pretend that he didn't know that it was untrue at the time.  He knows that it's untrue now.  Bush, your paragon of integrity, does nothing.  No retraction, no apology... but he profits from commercials using that nasty word, "rhetoric," to attack the dems for attacking the president for attacking the "terrorists."  

We should expect more from our leaders, not less.  


And please, don't criticize rhetoric while you're chanting "the left hates America."  It makes baby bald eagles cry.  And Jesus.  

[ Parent ]

You're both wrong (none / 0) (#193)
by StewedSquirrels on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 07:47:10 PM EST

And, it's funny, but I remember that the CIA report concluded that the trailers would function adequately for producing biological weapons, but were only superficially made to look like they could be used for filling balloons, with 90% of the capacity for this purpose replaced with other equipment.

You know what it also said? It said that the materials were "inadaquate" for producing any sort of dangerous bioweapon. You just talked yourself into a deep hole.

As far as i'm concerned you're BOTH wrong. But you're both so caught up in your own agenda that you can't see past the end of your nose.

It's complete idiocy to argue that bush was "lying" in order to further an agenda, since his speeches are written and reviewed by a dozen people before he utters them. In addition, it's just as likely (or more likely) that the agenda came from elsewhere within his organization.

As for the claims that Iraq DID have chemical weapons capability, they're equally, if not MORE absurd, since this one incident is the ONLY case where it was really even *believed* that they were found and this incident was found that the weapons (while they may have been a weak attempt) were woefully inadaquate for producing anything more dangerous than methane gas (cooking fuel).

But both of you are going to squwak and yell and cry "foul" because your heads are so buried in the ideological sand to listen to reason.

Shoo... go away. This isn't intelligent discussion, it's biased rhetorical flapping.

Stewey

[ Parent ]

Replace weapons... (none / 0) (#194)
by StewedSquirrels on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 07:49:14 PM EST

When I said the "weapons" were inadaquate, I meant to put that in "quotes" to make sure you realized it was "sarcastic" but I "forgot" so I'm "making up for it" now. :-) Stewey

[ Parent ]
Garbage, garbage, garbage (none / 0) (#205)
by gibichung on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 10:57:12 PM EST

Oh give me a break. I'm confident that Iraq's WMDs will be accounted for.

You could fit 100 tons of chemical or biological weapons in an in-ground swimming pool. It's a big country.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

All well and good, (none / 0) (#328)
by ckaminski on Mon Dec 22, 2003 at 05:27:50 PM EST

except for the fact that the U.S. Marines are ground-pounding, rounding up every single bad-guy they can find (and just nailed the Ace of Spades).  To think that not one lowly Iraqi private would lead soldiers to an ammo dump filled with chemical weapons is absurd.  The simple fact that they could probably extort a million dollars out of the U.S. government for undeniable proof would be worth the political capital to pay for it.

It's a sham.  9 months in and we get a few canisters that may have had anthrax or botulism toxin in them, and two trailers that could have been used as chemical weapons factories.  I'm not buying...

[ Parent ]

He *is* a fundamentalist Christian. (none / 0) (#116)
by ti dave on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 05:19:08 AM EST

He takes his Old Testament very seriously.
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Why Bush Lacks Integrity (none / 1) (#244)
by nomoreh1b on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:26:32 AM EST

I'm still at a loss how anyone can claim that the President is not a man of integrity.

Believe it or not, I know someone that knew Bush in high school(not well, but well enough at the time they knew each other's name). Anyhow, the person I know that knowns Bush said that in high school Bush was known as a mean drunk that stiffed his cocaine dealers. Now, I can forgive someone doing some stupid stuff in their youth-but Bush was running around getting DWI's when he was old enough to know better-and then there is the matter of the sealed records(which according to my sources do related to a cocaine charge).

Using your daddy's influence on a cocaine charge and then putting folks in prison doing the same dang thing as you did strikes me as a lack of integrity. If he thinks the law is unjust-I'm not going to begrudge him pulling a few strings. I _am_ going to begrudge him claiming the law is just and then pulling strings to put himself above the law.

[ Parent ]

Excellent. (none / 0) (#247)
by kmcrober on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:48:02 AM EST

You know, that's a much more concise and much more forceful argument than my rambling rant below.  

I will say that I don't find alcoholism or drug abuse in a man's past, even to wild excess, to necessarily implicate his integrity today, although driving while intoxicated is a loathsome offense.  But hypocrisy, especially in a leader, is an ongoing sin.  

All that I would add to your comment is to say that your last sentence applies to much more than substance abuse - I think it stands as a very compelling condemnation of his decision to opt out of Vietnam and then go AWOL from his stateside.

[ Parent ]

Excuse me. (none / 0) (#248)
by kmcrober on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:49:27 AM EST

"go AWOL from his stateside sinecure."

Slight typo.  

The terror alert may now return to Orange.

[ Parent ]

in the real world... (none / 2) (#74)
by Work on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:15:29 PM EST

I've heard that Nader and Buchanan actually socialize together.

Adults know how to get along together, even if they have widely differing political beliefs. Especially politicans. The differences stop at the podium.

[ Parent ]

Nader and Buchanan are quite similar (none / 1) (#253)
by Simon Kinahan on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 10:05:47 AM EST

Their political views are much more alike than the conventional labels would imply: they're both protectionist, anti-capitalist and in favour of stable social organisation. The only difference is really in the totemic left-right issues that seem so important to Americans. Virginia Postrel makes this very point in "The Future and its Enemies". The lables

Simon

If you disagree, post, don't moderate
[ Parent ]
I'm confused (none / 1) (#80)
by Tyler Durden on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:52:40 PM EST

Can you please define what you mean by centrist, and how exactly President Bush fits into that category?  

I was under the (apparently mistaken) impression that he was busy loosening environmental restrictions, banning abortions and cutting taxes (which while it does benefit all tax paying Americans, directly benefits the wealthiest most).  I thought those were all things right of center.  Have things been redefined?

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

You were under that impression (2.25 / 4) (#85)
by gibichung on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:24:54 PM EST

because you get that information from people who just want to hate Bush, and are desperately trying to find reasons.

Although I could go on about the recent Medicare bill, rather than being a question of action, it's a question of inaction. Despite the fact that his party controls the House and the Senate, Bush has not pushed for any dramatic changes on any key conservative issues. Where's repealing gun control laws or reducing the size of the government? What significant enviromental restrictions have been loosened? Just what were you saying about "banning abortions"?

While Bush may favor the right on many small issues (and be relentlessly hammered for it by the liberal press) his record is nearly as centrist as Clinton's, with the exception of his greatly-improved handling of foreign policy.

The American left hates Bush because it's easier to hate a man than to admit that they hate their own country -- that, and they want his office. The European left is afraid of him, first, because he is a Christian, and second, because he isn't afraid of having a real foreign policy like Clinton was.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Borders on trolling... (none / 3) (#97)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 12:15:28 AM EST

Where's repealing gun control laws

Look to the DOJ's handling, under Ashcroft's ideological guidelines, of civil rights after 9/11.  Fourth Amendment restrictions were pared back as far as possible, but the Second Amendment was enshrined.  Ashcroft was livid that background checks might be used by law enforcement agencies as part of terrorism investigations and fought like hell to stop it.  Look also to the position the Solicitor General has taken with regards to the Second Amendment; the official position is now that the right to bear arms is an individual rather than a communitarian right.  This is a significant change in US policy, and it is entirely in line with far-right ideology.  They're also actively working on exempting gun manufacturers from civil liabilities.  Again, not a centrist position.

What significant enviromental restrictions have been loosened?

What haven't they tried to loosen?  Restrictions on power plant emissions, mine tailings, toxin levels in public water supplies, handouts to MBTE manufacturers, logging in public lands... oh, and a little thing called Kyoto.  Maybe you heard of it.

Just what were you saying about "banning abortions"?

Even conservatives are saying that the "partial-birth" ban is a way to chip away at the edges of the right to abortion.  Pretending that it's anything else is what makes me think that this is nothing more than a well-written troll.


 reducing the size of the government


You got me there.  My opinion is that that priority went out the window when his administration saw just how much they could get away with.


The European left is afraid of him, first, because he is a Christian, and second, because he isn't afraid of having a real foreign policy like Clinton was.


That's Coulterrific. Really.  Europeans have a different take on public religiosity than the U.S.  That != hating Christians.  

Clinton's foreign policy was marvellously successful.  Conservatives at the time dug their heels in to protest his actions in the former Yugoslavia, and his punitive strikes on terrorist training camps.  My, how that worm turned.  

Want to talk about foreign policy?  We didn't lose some of our oldest and strongest foreign relationships because Europe failed us.  We failed to provide principled leadership, and allowed our basest elements to demean us in the eyes of the world.

The American left hates Bush because it's easier to hate a man than to admit that they hate their own country


I noticed in your diary how much you seem to hate Godwin's Law.  Do you really think you're operating on a higher horse when you pretend that those who disagree with you "hate their own country?"  Grow up.  Mature political debate is above "Love it or leave it" and "You must hate America."  Loving America means admitting that this country makes mistakes, and working honestly and ethically to correct them.

[ Parent ]

You're really reaching (none / 1) (#101)
by gibichung on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 12:49:42 AM EST

Abusing Bush for minor decisions on periphery while ignoring real issues.

Yeah, I remember Kyoto; I remember that it never had a chance in this country. And I can pretend that the ban on partial birth abortions is more than an attempt to chip away at the abortion "right" as you put it; I can say that it is a ban on partial birth abortions. How is that trolling?

Europeans have a different take on public religiosity than the U.S. That != hating Christians.
You're ignoring what it means to be a Christian. It's like saying that you don't like ice cream because it's cold: if it wasn't cold it, it wouldn't be ice cream, would it? Christianity is not and cannot be a private religion.
Clinton's foreign policy was marvellously successful. Conservatives at the time dug their heels in to protest his actions in the former Yugoslavia, and his punitive strikes on terrorist training camps. My, how that worm turned.
I don't remember complaining about striking against terrorist camps. I remember complaining that firing missiles was an impotent gesture rather than a real response.
We didn't lose some of our oldest and strongest foreign relationships because Europe failed us. We failed to provide principled leadership, and allowed our basest elements to demean us in the eyes of the world.
Give me a break. We may have stressed a few, but we lost any. Our relationship with Europe has always been one of us giving and them receiving. Expecting them to have behaved differently is foolish.
I noticed in your diary how much you seem to hate Godwin's Law.
Because it's ridiculous? I didn't spend years studying history so that I could be told to ignore parts of it because it makes some people uncomfortable.
Do you really think you're operating on a higher horse when you pretend that those who disagree with you "hate their own country?"
I guess you haven't been following the far left in this country like I have. Look at them before and after 9/11. Before it, they blamed "the U.S." for our problems; today they blame Bush. How else do you explain this?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
What it means to be Christian? (none / 1) (#103)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 01:07:25 AM EST

Humility, mercy, compassion, honesty.  Four core values that Bush has rejected with all his considerable power.

[ Parent ]
Only one comment (none / 0) (#163)
by StewedSquirrels on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 02:45:20 PM EST

You seem to express a fundamental misunderstanding of the tenants of the religion which you proclaim (quite loudly) to be important to you.

Christianity is not and cannot be a private religion.

Matthew 6:5-6: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men....when thou prayest, enter into thy private chamber and when thou has shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret...."

I don't like getting into religious arguments, because they're usually so convoluted, since there is clearly at least one quote in the bible supporting BOTH sides of an argument... But this concept is very clear. He says that anyone giving alms who are announced publically

With no other basis, I cannot call you a "hypocrite", but you seem to have made a few steps in that direction.

Stewey

[ Parent ]

Incomplete... (none / 0) (#176)
by StewedSquirrels on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:35:29 PM EST

Sorry, seem to have lost a few sentences...

He says that anyone giving alms who announces it publically can't be in it for the right reasons because doing it privately is quite possible and much more Christ-like.

Same with prayer and worship if you ask me.

Stewey

[ Parent ]

Far-Right Ideology (none / 1) (#107)
by Bad Harmony on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 02:09:43 AM EST

If you think that stuff is far-right ideology, you need to talk to some real people for a change.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

I'll give you that. (none / 0) (#109)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 02:25:15 AM EST

Most of those points weren't meant to represent far-right positions, but core conservative positions that bely his "I'm a moderate and a consensus builder" campaign stance.  It's a pet peeve, since I'm from Texas and I remember the bipartisanship we enjoyed before Bush and DeLay.

Some of those points, like the Ashcroft DOJ's stance on gun rights being more important than terrorism investigations, are far-right; I'd say the environmental position is as well.  You could make a very strong case that opposition to Kyoto was a middle-conservative platform, but dumping mine tailings in streams and the "Clear Skies" stuff - that's pretty radical.  

Bush personally may not be a radical.  I tend to think he is, but hey, my judgment is not as objective as it could be.  His administration, though, is extremely beholden to ultraconservative interests.  Ashcroft is a prime example, and the one I know most about.  In other news, the energy policy meetings, the media conglomeration, the surrender of states' rights to hard-right social interests, and the constant "You're with us or with the terrorists" are far, far away from centrism or bipartisan government.  

Look at the reaction of moderate conservatives - many are openly uncomfortable with the position the administration has dug for itself.  I doubt (to make a last-ditch effort to keep this on topic) that it will make a difference in their votes - Nader's not going to pick up disenchanted conservatives.  But I wonder if the polarization might not eventually result in a schism in "the right" along economic/social lines, somewhere around the libertarian fault.

[ Parent ]

Centrist? (none / 3) (#121)
by Torka on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 10:45:48 AM EST

LM-fucking-AO.

Only in America, where the choices for major political candidates run the gamut from "kinda right" to "fanatical right" by the standards of the rest of the world, could someone even consider describing Bush as a centrist.

[ Parent ]

It's all relative... (none / 0) (#122)
by espo812 on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 10:48:29 AM EST

...and depends on who's judging.

espo
--
Censorship is un-American.
[ Parent ]
Idiot (none / 1) (#126)
by gibichung on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 01:07:10 PM EST

And just who would you say is the "fanatical right" candidate?

Because, you know, exaggerating about people you disagree or don't like with doesn't just show that you are ignorant; it could also be used to call you "fanatical."

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Have you considered looking at his positions.. (none / 2) (#135)
by strlen on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 05:45:54 PM EST

And in comparison  to  Al Gore, or especially Lieberman?
Have you seen his record in office (namely extending medicare?). Most conservatives criticize him heavily for his spending. There's very many republicans, and even democrats, to his right, and many in his administration are to his left (for instance Collin Powell).

Want to see moderate right? Look at someone like California governor candidate McClintock: very strong fiscal discipline (far cry from Bush!), very strong economic conservativism, support for gun rights (far cry from Bush who supports the "assault weapons" ban), support for federalism (in McClintock's case, even to the point of supporting medical marijuana), and a moderate socially-conservative outlook.

Want to see far right? Meet Pat Buchanan (foreign policy isolationism, economic policy isolationism, locking the borders, states rights to the point of  opposing the Lawrence v. Texas decision, support for confederacy, etc..).

The American political spectrum doesn't include Marxists, or most anyone else who's running on an anti-private property (completely) platform, but that's a feature of American history (namely abundance of land, hence a great amount of property owners), and most people generally consider that a positive thing, given the bloody record of Marxists in power.

So, if you compare Nader with most everyone else, he's fairly far left. The Green Party, is even further to the left of Nader (need I say "bicycle freeways", or "abolish the senate"), and most of those who voted for Nader, did so on a single issue basis (see my earlier post showing 45% of green party voters turned out to be pro-war!)

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Not one issue, but many (none / 0) (#276)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 03:11:00 PM EST

and most of those who voted for Nader, did so on a single issue basis (see my earlier post showing 45% of green party voters turned out to be pro-war!)

Whoa now. It's quite a leap to go from disagreeing with the Greens on a single issue (war with Afghanistan) and only agreeing with them on a single issue (war against drugs). There were a lot of other issues which separated Gore from Nader: gay marriage, the death penalty, DC statehood, publically financed campaigns, same day voter registration, proportional representation, nuclear disarmament, instant runoff voting, minimum wage increases, participation in the WTO and the IMF, renegotiation of NAFTA and GATT, mandatory labelling of genetically engineered food, solar energy, the list goes on and on. It's a lot more than just drugs.

I supported the war in Afghanistan, but I voted for Nader. Yes, drug laws were a big part of it, but the death penalty was at least as big. Political reform was another big issue where I departed from the Democrats.

Of the three evils, I found Nader to be the least.



[ Parent ]
Thank goodness for Nader! (1.08 / 23) (#65)
by sellison on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 05:57:12 PM EST

Can you imagine if Gore had been president in 2001???

We would probably have surrendered to the Iraqis and we'd all be building statues our hallowed leader Saddam where the Trade Center used to stand!

While Fighting George is in no danger of losing to that draft dodging Coward, Dean, a strong Nader run can only help get this nation back on the Right track, so TIA, Ralph, you go gettum!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

And if Gore had won . . . (none / 2) (#91)
by acceleriter on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:47:47 PM EST

. . . we would still be conducting the environmental impact study in anticipation of the eventual bombing of Kabul.

[ Parent ]
really (none / 0) (#181)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:45:42 PM EST

You really think that Gore would have 'given' up to the Iraqui's in some way?

No, here's what would have happened:

1. Either Gore would have offered a UN sactioned response, complete with our rich allies and their much needed money
2. He would have avoided the UN altogether, as Clinton did

Either way, he would have taken care of business, without spewing religous, nonsensical BS and pissing off everyone, only to go back later and ask for money.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

I doubt very much Gore would have had the spine (none / 3) (#212)
by sellison on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 04:13:07 AM EST

to punish the Iraquis for 911.

He probably would have sided with the liberal liars claiming Saddam was an innocent bystander!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

incorrect (none / 2) (#232)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:33:30 PM EST

First of all, punishing Iraq for 911 is a stupid thing to do. You cannot prove any links and if you feel the need to go after terrorists which happen to be Muslim, check out Lebenon, Syria, Iran and Palestine.

Please tell me that you didn't fall for that utter BS?

Further, as to spine, are we talking dems and republicans or individuals here? What do you know about Gore, personally? What do we know about Bush, personally?

Bush isn't "tough" because he comes from Texas, and isn't "normal" because he wears jeans. He was born into wealth; his father had a nice service record, he did not. He found his own way to avoid 'Nam.

Please don't buy into those silly photo-ops with Bush landing on an aircraft carrier! As if Gore couldn't have done the same thing and pose for a pretty picture???

A president doesn't need a spine to declare a war; it's not about the individual, anyway, but rather, the party and ideology that they represent. Do you think Bush can spell IRAQ? His strings are being pulled back and forth between the neo-conservatives and the pragmatists, which opposed this war mongering, btw. Bush SR. was a pragmatist, btw.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Afghanistan (none / 1) (#238)
by error 404 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 01:43:28 PM EST

I suspect Gore wouldn't have abandoned Afghanistan so fast.

11,000 troops. Not even a decent audience for a baseball game. It doesn't matter that those troops are the best in the history of the world, Afghanistan is just too big for 11,000 to hold against a decentralized threat. Remember the War on Terrorism? Where we were fighting people who actualy attacked us and said they'd do it again? We are losing, the Taliban is rebuilding, because Captain aWol decided to go play in Iraq when he should have been fighting terrorists.

Isn't Rumsfeld one of those "liberals" claiming that there isn't any evidence connecting Saddam with 9/11? I'm not calling Saddam an innocent anything, but the "bystander" part appears to be the case. The administration never said Saddam was involved. They just said "9/11" and "Saddam" in the same sentence ofen enough that the not paying attention majority beleived what they though they heard. The line wasn't that Saddam was involved, but that 9/11 changed the rules.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Ummm (none / 1) (#219)
by Cackmobile on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 09:18:33 AM EST

Isn't GW a draft dodger!

[ Parent ]
idealism vs pragmastism (2.50 / 4) (#66)
by keelerbeez on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 08:11:37 PM EST

ideally, Nader's running for president would be a good thing, a pointed reminder that there are a significant number of liberals out there who stay home on election day as there is no one who represents their views; The DLC has dragged the Democratic party too far to the right.

pragmatically, the necessity of getting this fool out of the white house must override idealistic visions of democracy, especially when they are never more than illusions.

however, we do not need another republican party in this country, so we will have a real quandary if a DLC candidate wins the democratic primary. Nader had this much right: having Joe Lieberman anywhere the white house is not much different than having dubya occupying it.

Repetition does not transform a lie into truth.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt


-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GAT d? s++:+ a- C++++$ UBS*++++$ P--- L+>++ E--- W- !N !o !K w+++(---)$ M+ PS+++ PE(--) Y+ PGP t++@ 5++ X+ R* tv(+) b+++ DI++ !G !e h* r*% y++++**
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
I owned a Corvair (2.25 / 4) (#68)
by epepke on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 09:02:40 PM EST

About five years ago, I owned a Corvair. Sure, it was a crappy, or maybe just a minimalist car. But it sure was fun, even when it broke down in the middle of nowhere, because if you have a 9/16 wrench, you can fix just about anything on a Corvair. It was a 63, so it didn't have that tendency to spin, and with radial tires it was just fine. Bikers saluted me when I was driving it. And how many 30-year-old Volvos are still on the roads anyway?

But what's the point? The point is that Nader turns me off because he's so anal-retentive. He's really quite extremist in his views, and has spoken out against some really good life-saving drugs simply because they were invented by evil corporations (a redundant phrase in Nader's view). Yet some people look at him with the vaseline-covered glassy eyeballs of age and think he's really a good guy.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


Yep (none / 3) (#104)
by strlen on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 01:12:30 AM EST

I'm definately no fan of his self appointment as a consumer advocate. I thought "advocate" means someone who defends someone else's rights, not someone who wants to stop me from buying a car I might otherwise.

The issue with oversteer isn't nearly as bad on Corvairs as it is on many other cars, and many drivers, such as myself, would probably get enjoyment out of it, provided they know how to cope with it. The lack of an engine in the front, actually had saved several Corvair drivers I've known, with the front "trunk" acting as a crumple zone.

Funny thing is, though, if Ralph Nader had his way, you can more than bet your ass we'd either by riding the bicycle or driving a Zaporojets or a Trabant. Sorry, I'd take a Corvair over any of those options.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Bloke I work with (none / 2) (#120)
by cam on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 08:53:42 AM EST

Bought a 92 Lumina when they were new. The warranty was 13,000 miles (IIRC) and just after it fell out of warranty the brake rotors and discs had to be replaced. They couldnt be machined they had to be replaced. He complained to Chevrolet and they put him off.

He went to Naders consumer advocacy group and they found out about it. Apparently the rules for fuel consumption changed in the Lumina's development cycle and the Chevrolet engineers had to drop the weight to get the fuel consumption in the correct boundaries.

They twigged that spinning weight added disproportionately more weight to the car so they put in carbon fiber brake rotors. That just happened to need replacing after 13,000 miles.

That bloke has not bought an American car since. So it was a bit short sighted of Chevrolet. The point is that with Chevrolet putting him off, the avenue he felt that he had a voice was through Ralph Naders group.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#111)
by C Montgomery Burns on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 03:11:22 AM EST

has spoken out against some really good life-saving drugs simply because they were invented by evil corporations (a redundant phrase in Nader's view).

What are you talking about?  Would you please provide sources for this?  Otherwise I"ll need to send Smithers to visit you in the middle of the night.
--
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
Intelligent design
[ Parent ]

Nader and Lifesaving Drugs (none / 0) (#160)
by Alfie on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 12:48:39 PM EST

I find it very difficult to believe that Nader would prevent the use of livesaving drugs. Do you have more information on this issue?



[ Parent ]
Re: I owned a Corvair (none / 0) (#241)
by Filip on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 05:31:22 PM EST

And how many 30-year-old Volvos are still on the roads anyway?

Funny. I just saw a 40-year-old Volvo today, and 20/30-year-old ones abound. Then again, I live in Sweden... ;)

/Filip
-- I'm just a figment of your imagination.
[ Parent ]

What's Taking So Long? (2.52 / 17) (#75)
by Peahippo on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:17:05 PM EST

What? Still in editing? I can't wait to vote this Democrat shill down. I'd vote -1 many times if I could ... it's only the Democratic way to vote early and vote often.

My Nader vote in 2004 is going to "help elect Bush". Yippee! I freely admit it. I did the same in 2000. And the sad part is that my Nader votes concurrently didn't and won't be teaching the Democrats to have:
  • a spine
  • a morality
  • a philosophy
Not that I really care, anyways. How could I? What responsibility do I have to support a pack of elitist stooges who have been hoist by their own petard? They've been caught on their knees, giving blowjobs to corporations, and once the light was shined down the alley, they stood up hurriedly, wiping their chins and straightening their clothing, loudly proclaiming that no, Sir, they weren't whoring for corporations. And wouldn't you know, right when one of them is there, looking all red-faced and blinking in the light, beyond him you can see ANOTHER Democrat, down in front of a pack of standing corporations, head bobbing to and fro like a fucking circus seal.

Democrats are on the hook, obviously caught, and it's beyond sad watching them squirm. It's becoming a dark-humored item. It's getting to be hilarious, like the LaRouche-ians have been for some time. Democrats have stopped being the investment deal like they were in the 1990s, so it's time to talk up the stock. Democrats: Too late ... too late to pump, so you're being dumped. But hey, you're the ones who loved stock-marketeering.

Remember, America: If it looks, smells, walks and barks like a Republican, you may as well vote for a real Republican.

As for me, I don't support vicious packs of thieving little liars, which is the appropriate label for both major parties. I'm voting all over the other board: Independent, Green, Libertarian ... that is, until my votes are 0\/\/|\|3|> by Republican-controlled Diebold voting machines, or Democrat-controlled, vote-redistribution schemes. Then I'll have to stop voting.


Excellent points! (none / 2) (#94)
by sellison on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:55:58 PM EST

The dems have long outlived their usefulness and only now exist as a union propped up shadow of their former powers.

The unions know that the Republicans will dismantle their 'saftey net' so they loyally vote dem, even though there is no reason nor excuse to rely on a safty net in today's economy.

And the eco-groovers always get the back seat in the dem mind because the unions need constant expansion to fuel their ever growing  hourly wages and benefits.

Smart eco-groovers know that the long range dem plan of 'a little pink house' for every workerperson, is far more incompatible with your own vision of living in harmony with the land than the moral Christian nation with hardly any government vision of the Republicans.

So it certainly is better to vote your conscience rather than hold your nose and vote for some wolf in sheep's clothes like Dean, stick with Nader and keep to your principles, it will be better for everyone in the long run if the dem party self destructs and the unions fade away.

Remember, it was a Republican Teddy Rooseveldt who created the US park system, whereas the dems union bosses would pave over every square mile of land to give their workers a 'living wage' the Republicans will set aside beautiful lands for parks for the honest and moral people of America to vacation in peace.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

you've made your choice, sir (none / 2) (#174)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:28:53 PM EST

Think with your mind, not with your heart. It's time be a little more Vulcan, and less hue-mahn!

Both parties are Ferengi, just accept it and get on with life!

If you vote for the Greens, you vote Republican. those are the facts. If this doesn't sit well with your heart, than start using your mind.

The Republicans have Spines, Morals and Philosophies, and those are the very things that scare the shit out of me about them! (have you looked at their 'values', truely???)

Fine, lets all become prude, propper Christians and treat women and children in a Biblical manner. Come here, BOY - you aren't black and blue yet - you haven't learned your lesson! *SMACK* *WHACK*...well, you aren't moving, but you aren't dead either...


Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

A Green Vote is a Green Vote (none / 1) (#208)
by bolson on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:43:46 AM EST

That the system doesn't reflect your voting of your conscience is a failure of the system. Change the system. You can do that in a Democracy.
Making Democracy Safe for the World (change the voting system)
[ Parent ]
of course we should change the system! (none / 2) (#231)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:23:33 PM EST

What's an individual? Is Nader as a person important, or what he represents?

You can either, in this election, if Nader runs, get some of what you want and vote for the dems, or get nothing and vote for Bush by voting for Nader. Isn't democracy about self rule and getting what you want?

You will get more of what you want by voting for the dems, if you like Nader.

As for the change, get the Greens into office, bottom up! Is Nader the only Green you know? If so, you are lazy and easily influenced and get too much news from TV or one source! (IMO)

Volunteer! If you see the Greens outside of a supermarket, go talk to them and sign their petitions! Send them a check! It isn't Nader, it's the idea behind Nader, right?? Give money to other liberty/liberl social broups, like the ACLU, etc. Once mayors and other local offices have a percentage of Greens, you've got something.

Besides, a Green mayor won't risk a conserva-nazi supreme court bastard in there for life. If one of those bastards gets in there, it could mean trouble for future liberal causes - even if Nader himself becomes president in, say, 10 years, you won't see much change if a conservative supreme court will oppose every major social progression!
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

It's All About Democrat Refusals to Change (none / 1) (#250)
by Peahippo on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 07:01:49 AM EST

Isn't democracy about self rule and getting what you want?

No to the latter, since by "democracy" you agree that you could be in the minority that loses the vote. It that "getting what you want"? People who solely aim for getting what they want, must eventually abide by the principles of tyranny.

You will get more of what you want by voting for the dems, if you like Nader.

You are ignoring completely the Naderiffic emphasis on corporate corruption of politics. Voting for a pro-business, corporate-owned Democrat is inconsistent with Green and Naderian principles all around. They are incompatible. Further than that, you can't get much of anything you'd want with a Nader-wanting Democrat vote since all that corporate corruption defies most items in the alleged Democrat platform ... like social welfare, environmental safety, etc.

So, once again, we are back to the thorny knot that the Democrats attempt to avoid in every election nowadays ... that they have not adhered to their own philosophies, and hence, have not earned a vote for those principles.

The rest of your article is eminently sensible and I consider to be very good advice.


[ Parent ]
i understand, (none / 1) (#268)
by davros4269 on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:25:53 PM EST

but we have to be real this time around.

There's too much at stake. If Bush gets in and gets a conserva-nazi surpreme court nut in power for LIFE, it will work against any future liberal move that the dems or the Nadrites will want to achieve!

I admit the dems aren't as vocal as they should be, but I also have to admit, that I like Dean more and more...

Nevertheless, I won't punish the dems by voting for Nader. Corruption is common to both parties, this is true, but you can't ignore these basic points:

1. The dems policies, weak, strong or otherwise, intersect the Greens, much more so than the republicans
2. Voting for Nader helps Bush and hurts the dems

Being realistic and accepting that Nader can't possibly win this time around, and given that we are inside this system and that change comes slow, it seems the most prudent and logical alternative is to vote for the dems and give money and support to liberal causes.

I completely disagree with the notion that the dems and elephants one in the same - if both are evil, clearly, the dems are the lesser of the two evils. Even if they get dirty money, they at least use that dirty money for policies I agree with; that isn't to say that I don't loath corruption, but rather, that while I work to change the system, I may as well use it to my advantage. Not voting is a choice, as much as voting. We are all in this system, there is no escape, is there? No matter the choice, it affects the system. We are all dirty.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Perspective of one Nader voter... (none / 0) (#274)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 02:31:07 PM EST

Take it as you will. I don't expect you'll agree with me, but I also don't think I'm alone in thesee views.

There's too much at stake. If Bush gets in and gets a conserva-nazi surpreme court nut in power for LIFE, it will work against any future liberal move that the dems or the Nadrites will want to achieve!

On a federal level, this is a good thing. I'm more interested in the laws that the Green party wants to eliminate than the laws they want to add. If a Green party plan to limit campaign financing is thwarted by a Supreme Court decision saying that people have a right to free speech, that's fine with me.

The dems policies, weak, strong or otherwise, intersect the Greens, much more so than the republicans

In theory, perhaps, but in reality the democrats rarely fight for those policies they allegedly believe in. Furthermore, for someone like me, the places where green party policies intersect with the democratic party but not with the republican party are rarely issues that I care about very much.

Voting for Nader helps Bush and hurts the dems

No. Voting for Nader doesn't affect Bush or the Democrats. Not voting for a democrat hurts the Democrats and helps Bush. If you weren't going to vote otherwise, then it doesn't matter if you vote for Nader, except that you help make the message sent by the Nader voters just slightly louder.

I completely disagree with the notion that the dems and elephants one in the same - if both are evil, clearly, the dems are the lesser of the two evils.

I don't see it. Not in actual voting records. Sure, there are some issues that I tend to agree with the Democrat vote on, but there are about an equal number than I agree with the Republican vote on.



[ Parent ]
I Understand Your Position Also ... (none / 0) (#297)
by Peahippo on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 01:34:17 AM EST

... but I'm being as real this time around as before. I can't give my vote to twit#2 (who will sellout my public interests for his private gains) no matter how bad twit#1 (a modern Hitler) is. Both of these people are twits; and neither earned my vote ... Nader and LaDuke have. (Disclaimer: Last I heard, LaDuke stated that she's not running. A shame, really.)

Look, voting is a team effort. You can't possibly single out my vote, nor even the voting bloc of Nader or Green Party voters, nor even any Republican who votes non-Rep in protest over current Rep extremism ... since it's a collective effort. The points are:

1) It's likely that too many people will be voting for the Bush administration in Nov of 2004. They will be destructive and vicious, and it is our task to convince them otherwise.

2) It's likely that too few people will be voting for the Democrats. (Don't mistake my terminology; I don't think in general terms that they NEED to have such votes, since I'm "not a Democrat".) It is THEIR task to convince people to vote for them on the merits of their platform and credibility.

It's up to the Dems to straighten up their act, and for the Reps to be ashamed for their excesses. Either will earn dissent votes, such as mine.

According to my memory, Nader had said after the 2000 election, that Gore cost him the election. This is as true as Gore saying the same thing of Nader. (Disclaimer: I have no memory that he did, but a good many Dems certainly have said so.) This applies since voting is a collective effort, and votes only count once they are cast.

Metaphorically: If you are trying to buy a car, and your income from work, consulting, investments and babysitting after expenses is less than what you need to get the car, do you go to your babysitting client and blame him for your not having a car? No ... your income comes from various sources and the combined income simply wasn't enough.

And furthermore ....

Your aim of "you gotta vote Dem since it's an emergency" is exactly the method that produced half the trouble we are in, in America today. You don't compromise your principles in an emergency. You don't surrender civil rights just to allegedly catch terrorists. And you don't vote for a lying Democrat just to avoid putting the fascist Republican back in power.

By breaking your own oaths, and compromising your principles, you really don't have any. And in such an environment, any emergency can be intentionally constructed and delivered to your notice, to help you along the path to complete moral oblivion.

To close this posting, your "we're all dirty" sentiment is just crap. You won't find people like me in politics since the system is so filthy it automatically rejects cleanliness. If the public would stop voting for politicians, they'd come to understand this in time.


[ Parent ]
Balance Your Load (none / 1) (#249)
by Peahippo on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 05:19:25 AM EST

Think with your mind, not with your heart.

You seem to have no idea of the personal peril you are in for, in advocating such a silly thing. People in general have no idea of the monsters that rationalism has given birth to, even though they live with them day to day. Instead, one should strive to think and feel in equal measure. I do, and the balance of these forces avoids the extremism of both.

Both parties are Ferengi, just accept it and get on with life!

I do not and will not. If I surrender to this assertion, then the Republic is truly dead (even by intent) and I may as well start the real domestic shooting war. There will be no life of any quality under such slavery.

If you vote for the Greens, you vote Republican. those are the facts.

This is only partially-true considering two factors: Democrat weakness of spirit, and of course two-party system dominance. I support neither. If it's evil, even the lesser of two, one cannot in good conscience support it ... and in fact, one should break out of the warhawk-and-chickenhawk dichotomy, which is a faux system of "only two choices". The two-party system doesn't own my vote. *I* own my vote. And once cast, my chosen candidate owns it. If I get away from that thinking, then I become a slave, and the worst part of that would be that I will have enslaved myself. If this is what you want for yourself, then good luck.

The Republicans have Spines, Morals and Philosophies

Those things are not enough to have a sound and sustainable run in life ... I was using terminology like that to try to point out that Democrat self-betrayal is the veritable soul of their own weakness. As for the Republicans ... they now have a longish history of being entirely hostile to the common man. That much is clear. Hence, that much earns my spite. I will never cast a vote for such a vicious pack of thieving little liars ... which is ALSO why the DEMOCRATS have FAILED to earn MY VOTE for the last 12 FUCKING YEARS.

But yelling at Democrats has accomplished nothing. They have been lulled by their beloved Clinton -- criminal asshole that he is -- and have ridden a temporary wave of primacy onto the shoals of utter moral defeat. I'd bet any amount of money that they are working towards "Hillary 2008!" and in that, have utter contempt for their own existence while they continue to laud their progressive visions.

Democrats: The clue train arrived some years ago on platform 12, and it bought a big load of this: Electing a popular person with a slimy personality is not the way to run sustainable government.


[ Parent ]
What if there's no choice? (none / 0) (#273)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 02:09:27 PM EST

If it's evil, even the lesser of two, one cannot in good conscience support it

I just wonder, what are those of us who consider all the parties evil supposed to do? I voted for Nader as the lesser of three evils. Had I lived in Florida, I probably would have voted for Gore. But really, I'm not all that sure.



[ Parent ]
This Election There is a Choice (none / 0) (#280)
by Alfie on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 04:03:15 PM EST

He's often ignored or put down by columnists and other media outlets who cover the election like a horse race, but Dennis Kucinich has a real chance of winning over both Greens and disastified Republican voters. Check out his platform and positions, and look at a few of his speeches. For example, he will treat drug addiction as a medical problem rather than a criminal one.



[ Parent ]
Is he going to run? (none / 0) (#282)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 05:12:24 PM EST

When Kucinich loses in the primaries, I won't have that choice any more, will I?

Looking at the platform, I can't see any major differences between him and Nader. Basically, the places I disagree with him are philosophical differences I have with the Democratic party - affirmative action, federal gun control, Roe v. Wade, those places where that darn Constitution gets in the way. Maybe I'll register Democrat so I can vote for him in the primary. But I seriously doubt he's going to win.



[ Parent ]
Kucinich (none / 0) (#283)
by Alfie on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 06:22:50 PM EST

I think he has a genuine chance. In the debates, he easily got more applause than any of the other canidates. He generally does a good job when he actually gets media attention. (There is a 224K mp3 soundbyte demonstrating the kind of applause he got at the debates on his website.) I believe the media is ignoring him because he resonates strongly with Green Party members and there is a fear that if he does not win the primaries then he will have riled up the Green voters to the point that they won't vote democrat. John Nichols has a story on the media issue entitled Go-along media ignoring Kucinich.

I personally find Kucinich to be inspiring. When I disagree with his platform, I find that I can at least tolerate the differences. I think his message of hope will work very well against the fear tactics used by the Bush administration. Also, given his background, he has a great deal of credibility with me as someone who understands issues facing the lower and middle classes. I really do think he can win both in the primaries and in the presidential election.



[ Parent ]
Credit Where It's Due (none / 1) (#296)
by Peahippo on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 12:48:52 AM EST

Kucinich is the only Democrat candidate that I know of and could vote for (if there wasn't the problem outlined below). His Cleveland experiences are some of his strongest marks in my mind. I believe that of the Democrat contenders, he's the most capable of fighting against the huge problem facing our society today, that being corporate takeover of public assets and policy.

However ... his unabashed support for party stupidity has ix-nayed my support. He is clearly beholden to the party machine, hence I can see that this weakness will compromise his position on the all-important sellout issue. He should have joined Nader's initial Democrat rebellion.


[ Parent ]
I disagree with that (none / 0) (#304)
by dipierro on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 03:59:06 PM EST

He is clearly beholden to the party machine, hence I can see that this weakness will compromise his position on the all-important sellout issue.

I assume you're talking at least in part on his Pro-life/Pro-choice turnaround? I agree with you that selling out is a bad thing, but...

He should have joined Nader's initial Democrat rebellion.

I don't agree. I actually think Nader should have ran for the Democratic party. The fact of the matter is that the majority of Nader voters would have voted for Gore, or possibly not voted at all, had Nader not run. I think the best solution then is to have the primaries decide on the candidate. If the majority of the Democrats decide they like Gore better, then we should stick together and vote for Gore. If the majority decide they like Nader, then vote for Nader. Forking the Democratic party, to use a techie reference, is a bad thing. Nader could have accomplished everything he accomplished anyway by running as a Democrat and working inside the party.

If the third party really did span across Democrats and Republicans, it'd be a different story, of course. And in that sense, perhaps Kucinich might be a good candidate to start a third party, if he wanted to keep his moderately pro-life views. But joining with Nader and Co. certainly wouldn't have been the answer for that one. The Green party machine would have been even more adamant than the Democratic party machine on that issue. Of course, if either party would have welcomed Kucinich without changing his views, I guess it would have been acceptable to run in their primary, and then run as an Independent if you think you can get enough Republicans and Democrats to have a decent chance of winning at least a few electoral votes.



[ Parent ]
The very nub of my gist (none / 0) (#305)
by Peahippo on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 04:43:06 PM EST

I am talking about Kucinich's various statements while being a Presidential candidate, the tone of which indicate he is much more adamant about opposing the Bush regime than in addressing the sold assets of the Democratic Party and platform. This indicates to me that while he does have a Cleveland history of fighting the good fight (i.e. keeping public assets and profits public instead of private) and that speaks well of his character, he is unfortunately and clearly subservient to the very party machine that has betrayed Democrat ideals.

You may be saying, what's so terrible about that? It's because this subservience is one of the fundamental mechanisms towards selling out to monied powers.

What do I have against monied powers?

If a Congressional representative of a wealthy, white district, is told by most of his supporters to pass a law banning Blacks from being out in public after 9pm each night, or to pass a law increasing the auto tax to $1000, he should refuse. He should refuse such demands since they clearly target minorities (and that's a bad thing, right?) and is a direct demand by monied interests (in this case, his wealthy, white supporters).

If a city council is approached by a corporation that demands millions in tax abatements, with the consequences that the corp will move from the city if the demand is not met, then the council should refuse. The public treasury is not for looting, and they should refuse to put the corp above the principle of law (i.e. the idea that the wealthy and corporate are on the hook for taxes just like the poor and individual).

Similarly, Kucinich's subservience indicates to me that he will follow the orders of his corporate campaign donors and not the heeds of common sense, decency, and the direct laws and indirect philosophies in the US Constitution. Sorry. Otherwise, he seems head and shoulders above the other Democrats who are known to me or running. I even place him in esteem above my own rep (whom I have never voted for), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and she's rising up in my view due to her NO votes on various items like the $87 billion war payment, and the Medicare reform fiasco.

Dennis Kucinich: He's a good choice, just not the best, and I make the best choice every time I step up to that booth.

From my speaking like this, you can see why I applaud Nader's rebellion. He is not a sell-out, hence there's no place for him in the Democratic Party today, alas.


[ Parent ]
re (none / 0) (#306)
by dipierro on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 05:37:28 PM EST

From my speaking like this, you can see why I applaud Nader's rebellion. He is not a sell-out, hence there's no place for him in the Democratic Party today, alas.

Well, I still fail to see where your only choices are to sell-out or leave the party. I just think that a candidate like Nader should stick with the party, and try to change it from the inside. If that means he only gets 5% of the vote in the primaries, so be it. The people obviously don't agree with the ways Nader is trying to change the party.

I think Nader can do this, because there's really no reason for a Nader supporter not to vote in the Democratic primary. It's not like they are likely to want to vote in the Republican primary.

This year I currently plan to register as a Democrat and vote in the primary for Kucinich. When he loses I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm not sure I want to give my support to Nader again. Maybe I just won't vote. Depends how the local races seem like they're going, I guess...



[ Parent ]
You Always Have a Choice (none / 0) (#295)
by Peahippo on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 12:39:28 AM EST

Vote for the candidate that you respect, even if you have to write them in, even if they aren't running, and even if your vote is the only vote they ever get. Otherwise, you will tend to support "voting for the winner" and you can clearly see where that's gotten us.


[ Parent ]
don't like the country? leave (none / 0) (#298)
by dipierro on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 11:14:13 AM EST

Vote for the candidate that you respect, even if you have to write them in

You have to register as a write-in candidate in order for your votes to be counted. So if you're going to vote for "Mickey Mouse," you might as well not vote at all.

Otherwise, you will tend to support "voting for the winner" and you can clearly see where that's gotten us.

It's gotten us the best damn country in the world. Could it be better? Absolutely. But voting for my dad or my best friend isn't going to accomplish that.



[ Parent ]
Re: don't like the country? leave (none / 0) (#301)
by Peahippo on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 12:34:44 AM EST

To prefix my comments, I can only maintain that your vote is owned by you, and then it is owned by the candidate you cast it on. The two-party system doesn't own your vote; nowhere in the Constitution or the body of law is this ownership authorized or recognized (barring practical limitations at the State-level for technical details on voting).

You have to register as a write-in candidate in order for your votes to be counted. So if you're going to vote for "Mickey Mouse," you might as well not vote at all.

Even if this is true, it is only true as a technical detail that can be changed. And change can follow the courageous act. Vote and see. After all, if by your logic why-bother-anyway, then it can't hurt, can it, to simply cast a vote that won't be counted, but noticed? And what about your local board of elections? The last time I checked, people worked there, and we can use that strange mode of communication called "talking" to find out how such a technical detail can be changed.

It's gotten us the best damn country in the world. Could it be better? Absolutely. But voting for my dad or my best friend isn't going to accomplish that.

I was afraid that you were heading in this direction, if your article title was any indication.

You know, this "best" labelling is the propaganda that formed -- and is killing right now -- the Empire. (An Empire is only an improvement over a Republic from a military and wealthy standpoint.) I was not just implying, but am stating directly, that the two-party control system is a strong mechanism for social destruction. Electing one vicious and lying thief over another one, is not the way to promote a general prosperity, since all that spite and falsehood crumbles the culture. In a similar fashion, exporting violence doesn't promote peace, since it must come home to roost eventually. Spiteful, deceitful civilizations eat their own bellies and must collapse.

So, despite your assertion, voting for a friend can make this better. Your direct involvement is always an improvement over the current ossification of your local political machine, since your presence can help break the cycle of lies and hate, and change things. One thing that Americans have enormous trouble comprehending, is the significant power of accumulating small numbers. In not understanding that, they moan and whine and then ... in droves ... vote for the pre-calculated winner. If people would actually vote on informed conscience, we'd have a more interesting political arena than the monolithic pro-corporate one we have now.

Lurking behind all this monolithic vote activity, is the unspoken assumption that Americans love and aim for consensus and majority rule. Unfortunately for this sentiment, such things are usually expressed in an autocratic mode. The mentality of "you're either with us or against us" arises very quickly. Then the usual violations of civil rights occur as people strive to use indirect force to enact majority rule. After enough of that kind of thing, the direct force of "civil warfare" is inevitable, alas.

But that's OK. I'm armed. :^)


[ Parent ]
practicality (none / 0) (#302)
by dipierro on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 03:36:39 PM EST

To prefix my comments, I can only maintain that your vote is owned by you, and then it is owned by the candidate you cast it on.

Yeah, I guess that's why I get a little pissed off when someone tells me who to vote for.

After all, if by your logic why-bother-anyway, then it can't hurt, can it, to simply cast a vote that won't be counted, but noticed?

The problem is the opportunity cost. A vote for Mickey Mouse is a vote for Bush, and all, right? I mean, look, if it's not a close race, it doesn't really matter who you vote for. You might as well not bother voting at all. But if it is a close race, then I think you gotta go for the lesser of the two evils, at least if there are only two evils that have a shot.

And what about your local board of elections? The last time I checked, people worked there, and we can use that strange mode of communication called "talking" to find out how such a technical detail can be changed.

That technical detail can't be changed, though. What happens when "Anthony DiPierro" wins? How are we supposed to determine which of the hundreds or thousands of people named "Anthony DiPierro" that represents. You have to register before you can be a write-in candidate, to avoid that situation.

I was not just implying, but am stating directly, that the two-party control system is a strong mechanism for social destruction. Electing one vicious and lying thief over another one, is not the way to promote a general prosperity, since all that spite and falsehood crumbles the culture.

I completely agree with that, but you have to look at the options you have, and what you can do with them. In terms of a national election, it's less obvious, because in reality it doesn't matter who you vote for anyway. But in smaller elections there commonly are candidates who do win by a single vote, and the value of changing that vote is much greater than the value of sending a message which will probably not be heard anyway.

If people would actually vote on informed conscience, we'd have a more interesting political arena than the monolithic pro-corporate one we have now.

True, but if I had wings I'd fly to work instead of taking the bus. We don't make decisions based upon speculations of what reality could be. We make decisions based on what reality actually is. Again, there are options. Last election I voted for Nader, not Gore, and not Bush. But that's because that's the strongest message I felt I could send. Had I voted for my dad, or my best friend, or Mickey Mouse, my vote would not have been heard at all. Instead I managed to make the count 2.00038473% instead of 2.00038362%. Small, sure. Meaningless, probably. But it was the best I could do.

As far as real activism, money and actions speak much louder than votes anyway. And that's part of why I really do believe that we have the best country in the world. Smart people like you and I really can make a difference, and it's a much bigger difference than 1 in 150 million in a vote. I swear, if third party candidates spent just half the time and money they spend campaigning on something actually productive, we'd see a lot more progress than we see with their 2% vote count. I don't know, maybe it's necessary.

Sadly, following the court ruling allowing these soft-money bans, it's going to become a real black and white issue. Support your candidate, or support your cause. It'll be illegal for a non-profit to run a commercial about how horrible the PATRIOT Act was, and mention that by the way, Dennis Kucinich is the only presidential candidate to vote against the PATRIOT act. Good thing I'm not Rusty, 'cause I'd have just broken the law, i guess. But I digress, sort of (the fact that thee person I'm probably going to vote for in the Democratic party probably voted for this very law does bring up the fact that there simply is no perfect candidate).

Oh well, I've managed to stray way off topic, but I think maybe you understand a little of where I'm coming from.



[ Parent ]
should have used preview... (none / 0) (#303)
by dipierro on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 03:41:07 PM EST

in case it's not clear, "thee person I'm probably going to vote for in the Democratic party" should say "the person I'm probably going to vote for in the Democratic primary."

[ Parent ]
Nader is Historys Greatest Troll (1.00 / 4) (#78)
by thelizman on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 10:37:54 PM EST

...and he was successful at it. Then, in 2000, he did to Algore what he did to the Corvair. Admittedly, as much as I disliked Algore, I can't help but point out that as with the Corvair, Nader fuggin lied.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
I thought that was... (none / 0) (#114)
by bolson on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 04:07:33 AM EST

Socrates.

He trolled all of Athens quite well. Too well it turned out for him in the end.
Making Democracy Safe for the World (change the voting system)
[ Parent ]

The Corvair and Gore (none / 0) (#136)
by strlen on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 06:06:18 PM EST

The rear-end losing control problems of the Corvair are/were hardly unique: Ever driven a 1980's or older Porsche 911?

In addition, the Corvair's rear placed engine did, to several Corvair drivers I've known, serve as a safety feature: the empty space in the front of the car acted as a crumple zone.

And, again, as I've said earlier, if it was up to the Green Party, we'd all be either driving Zaprojets/Trabant or riding bicycles (may be on bicycle freeways Nader's party supports!), which are hardly more safe than a Corvair.

But, in your point about Gore, Nader didn't need to lie: the democrats, and the democrats alone are to blame for them having lost the election. The triangulation bit them in their own ass: they failed to win over the urban liberals from Nader (most of whom were persuaded by single issues), and at the mean time alienated the heartland of America.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Nader would be an interesting candidate (1.50 / 4) (#82)
by Captain Jean Luc Picard on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:10:33 PM EST

I reject comments that claim there is no difference between the democratic and the republican party. To any impartial observer, the differences between the parties are crystal clear. Ralph Nader is doing the entire nation a favor by presenting a third choice to a country too long restricted to merely two.

Will Nader help 'elect' Bush if he runs? Such a question is thoughtless -- does have the 5th Amendment help 'free' criminals? Of course not.  And would a Bush re-election truly be so bad? One could not argue that the record speaks for itself: no terrorist attack in 2 years, an improving economy and a vastly stronger US military. What Bush lacks are diplomatic skills. There is nothing wrong with brandishing your pistol but to be diplomatic you should at least say 'Excuse me' before pulling the trigger.

Bush re-elected (2.00 / 5) (#143)
by YelM3 on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 11:56:52 PM EST

no terrorist attack in 2 years, an improving economy and a vastly stronger US military

You, sir, are a sucker.
No terrorist attacks? Sure, but Bush let the first one happen. Even if you believe that Bush has saved us from "the evildoers", then what about the cost of our lack of terrorist bombings? See: massive civil rights loss, hundreds of dead American soldiers, a quarmire in Iraq we might not get out of for decades, 30,000 dead Iraqis and many more Afghans, nearly universal fear and contempt for the United States abroad, the destruction of many forgein alliances, abandonment of the Kyoto treaty, etc etc etc.

Improving economy? Yeah right, it's up 4 points after BushCo slammed it down about a thousand. And how about the fact that he took us from one of the biggest surplusses ever to the biggest deficit ever, in under 4 years?

Vastly stronger military? I don't know where you get your information -- our military is spread thinner than it's been in a very long time, we have much of it hopelessly entrenched in foreign nations, and we are consistently pissing off other countries. I don't feel any safer, in fact quite the opposite.

[ Parent ]

Here's a place to get information: (none / 0) (#145)
by kmcrober on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 01:10:36 AM EST

Straight from the horse's mouth.

"Four Army divisions -- 40 percent of the active-duty force -- will not be fully combat-ready for up to six months next year, leaving the nation with relatively few ready troops in the event of a major conflict in North Korea or elsewhere, a senior Army official said yesterday."



[ Parent ]

First terrorist attack? (none / 1) (#179)
by smithmc on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:41:14 PM EST

No terrorist attacks? Sure, but Bush let the first one happen.

Really? 9/11 was the first terrorist attack? I guess that means the first WTC bombing, and Oklahoma City, never happened. It's amazing the lies people will tell themselves just because they hate GW Bush so god-damned much.

[ Parent ]

Republicrats? Demoblicans? (none / 1) (#167)
by smithmc on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 03:36:21 PM EST

I reject comments that claim there is no difference between the democratic and the republican party. To any impartial observer, the differences between the parties are crystal clear.

Well, then, would you tell us what they are? Because they both look pretty much the same to me, at least where it counts. For instance, neither one seems particularly concerned with freedom, be it economic, civil or otherwise.

[ Parent ]

Even if they are identical (none / 0) (#178)
by error 404 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:41:09 PM EST

A change of administration will at least provide a small speedbump on the highway to hell.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
WHy (none / 0) (#218)
by Cackmobile on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 09:09:38 AM EST

Is a vastly stronger US military a good thing. To me less military is a good thing.

[ Parent ]
the differences are illusory, though (none / 0) (#266)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:14:28 PM EST

I reject comments that claim there is no difference between the democratic and the republican party. To any impartial observer, the differences between the parties are crystal clear.

Sure. The republican party is all about people exploiting people. But with the democratic party, it's the other way around.

The claim is that the differences aren't really significant to the vast majority of us. Sure, if you're an inner-city crack addict with 10 children, you probably want to vote democrat. And if you're a racist farmowner in the midwest with 10 guns, you probably want to vote republican. But if you're some random white guy living in South Jersey who's not on welfare and doesn't own any guns, it doesn't really make a difference to you who wins.



[ Parent ]
I'm sure President Bush will be elated. (2.16 / 6) (#89)
by acceleriter on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 11:44:32 PM EST

All Nader will accomplish what he did in 2000--splitting the Democratic vote, effectively handing the election to Bush. The same thing happened to Bush Sr. at the hands of Perot. Apparently, the Bush campaign in '96 promised Perot what he wanted to get out of the race too late.

What the hell (none / 1) (#124)
by godix on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 12:19:31 PM EST

In the past 4 elections there have been three that had a Bush running. You managed to make a Bush conspiracy claim about the one election that there wasn't a Bush running. It's people like you that make people like me think conspiracy wackos are all idiots.

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
%s/1996/1992/g (none / 1) (#133)
by acceleriter on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 05:04:29 PM EST

Thanks for the zero, BTW.

[ Parent ]
You're welcome (none / 0) (#139)
by godix on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 07:46:33 PM EST

What you said was factually incorrect, is there something else I should have given?

Well, at least I shall die as I have lived. Completely surrounded by morons.
- Black Mage[ Parent ]
Yes. (none / 0) (#140)
by acceleriter on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 07:51:38 PM EST

You used a rating that is reserved for harassing posts to express your displeasure over an erroneous date. With regard to the conspiracy claim, methinks you doth protest too much.

[ Parent ]
Conspiracy claim? (none / 0) (#134)
by acceleriter on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 05:05:42 PM EST

I said "apparently," and even a rabid running dog Republican has to admit that it's awfully interesting that Perot conveniently dropped out for "family reasons" toward the end.

[ Parent ]
NADER == Notices All Democrats Envy Republicans (none / 0) (#144)
by Peahippo on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 12:41:51 AM EST

Oh please, Nader Basher. I'm equally sure that Bush's elation comes from the acknowledgement that the Democratic Party is such a dead animal that people gag from its stench and naturally stagger in his perfumed direction.

But, hey ... never mind that ... it's only reality, and we can blot that out with enough campaign slogans! Vote Dean! Help choose his campaign slogan! * :
  • Because You Have To {tm}
  • It's Easier To Have One Chosen For You {tm}
  • He's a Democrat, Stupid! {tm}
  • Anyone But Bush (But a Democrat) {tm}
Seriously ... Dean? Kucinich? Fuck, Clark or Kerry? That Jew Lieberman? (Yeah, Lieberman, what a great fucking choice -- let's have a Jewish US President directing bombings upon Arab countries.) YOU CALL THESE MEN "OPTIONS"?!?! Do you dare to present these men as being quality choices to oppose the vulpine rapacity of the Republican Party? If this pack of political animals is the best you can come up with, Mr. and Mrs. "Democrats to the Death", then you may as well run good ol' stiffy-stuffy himself, Al Gore.

* To participate, choose one entry. Punch out the chad on the screen next to the entry right ... er, left ... er, close by. Email this entry to k5sloganvote@VotingDeanIsMandatory.com. If your choice is not in the majority, the next one down will be selected as your next probable choice in a run-off election. Deadline to vote is midnight, Dec. 8th, 2003, or a few minutes thereafter in Miami-Dade county.


[ Parent ]
I don't have anything in particular against Nader. (none / 0) (#151)
by acceleriter on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 08:09:16 AM EST

But you have to admit that he would, if he were to run, siphon Democratic votes. I see you don't think the Democratic party has a viable candidate--which may well be true--but that doesn't change the fact that he isn't going to attract those who would currently be Bush voters.

[ Parent ]
You could say (none / 0) (#156)
by Easyas123 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 11:29:26 AM EST

he syphons votes, or you could say that the Dems loose votes via their own stupidity. In the last election, Gore did nothing to link himself to a popular economy and a popular president untill it was too late. At the time of the election Clinton had a positive approval rating, and still Gore lost! Do you know how rare that is? I may be wrong but I do not beleive that a member of an incumbent administration had ever lost an election when the sitting president had a positive approval rating.

On top of that, the Des saw this coming and did nothing to prevent it. Common sense would have said absorb some of the Greens policies, or invite Nader to a debate in order to expose him as an amateur. The Dems did nothing. And they paid the price.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Amateur? (none / 1) (#215)
by Peahippo on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 06:43:51 AM EST

invite Nader to a debate in order to expose him as an amateur

Amateur? Amateur what? An amateur politician? If so, great, that's also what I was looking for.

Nader is a researcher of long standing, so showing him up in any forum is a silly expectation. He does his homework and has experience in public speaking. What, exactly, do you expect him to stumble over in a debate?

When it comes to debates ... the two-party establishment can't ever risk again what was risked in 1992, when a rogue was allowed into the debates. The League of Women Voters was kicked out of debate governance, and a Dem&Rep owned commission was installed to control it. So, in 2000 we saw a lot of candidates on the ballot but only the authorized 2 were allowed in the major public forum. The Democrats will continue this until the Empire crumbles from its usage. They certainly cannot ever allow someone like Nader (who will air all their dirty laundry of corporate ownership) to make their candidates look foolish in the Coliseum. The Coliseum is for bread and circuses to keep the populace distracted; and that's where Christians and gladiators die, not Senators and Emperors.


[ Parent ]
Why Quibble? "Vote Chthulu 2004!" (none / 1) (#214)
by Peahippo on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 06:31:34 AM EST

No argument, but you've got to be careful with your sentiments.

Sure, he'll "siphon" votes, but it doesn't mean that the Democratic Party owns or even merits those votes. A vote is owned by the voter, and then it's owned by the candidate the voter voted for.

And when it comes down to merit, I can only assume that if someone votes for a candidate, that they earned the vote. If the Democratic Party wants those Nader votes, it should attempt to earn them like Nader earned them ... by having a philosophy that attracted them.

The Democratic Party is squirming on a hook, knowing it has to earn those votes, but it doesn't want to go the distance and actually obey a Democrat philosophy since that endangers their corporate ownership. Hence they use slogans.

Note that the slogan "vote for me since it doesn't elect Bush" is so morally perilous that it should be self-evident. The lesser of two evils is still evil. You shouldn't vote for evil (if so, why go half measures ... "Vote Chthulu 2004!"). You shouldn't pay taxes to evil. Evil only deserves your support if you are evil also.


[ Parent ]
Forget splitting the Dem vote (none / 0) (#210)
by bolson on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:50:34 AM EST

The Republicans are splitting the American vote! We should be one counrty united, building great and wonderous things! Our civilization should be loved with awe around the world! Not internally divided, crumbling and hated.
Making Democracy Safe for the World (change the voting system)
[ Parent ]
shows how undemocratic the US system is (2.60 / 5) (#118)
by the sixth replicant on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 07:12:49 AM EST

The Democrats blaming Nader for their lose is pretty much the most stupid thing i've heard in a long time. Doesn't anyway say something like "well since people are voting for Nader instead of us, maybe we should change our polices". No. Instead they treat Nader like the guy that told every kid Santa was a myth, or the boyfriend who's invited to Thanksgiving and starts off by saying how he's a vegan and will pray for your sins.

Nader is not like that! He actually wants to lift everyone up. Have a tightly regulated economy with more personal freedoms than we have now. Not the other way around!!

Ciao

Nader is like the rest (none / 1) (#119)
by eliasbizannes on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 07:40:17 AM EST

All polititians are full of shit. Whenever I hear a policy nowadays, I always try to work out why they are proposing it, rather than how good it is of them to put something that they believe in.

And who wants a tightly regulated economy? That failed in Russia. And personal freedoms?? So the government can now tap your phone, interrogate you for a few hours, and steal your underwear from the clothes lines legally. At the end of the day however, the government does not give a flying fuck if you live a normal life, and only if you are trying to bomb something (or perhaps contest them in an election).

[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#131)
by igny ignoble on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 03:42:52 PM EST

I think when you said "the government does not give a flying fuck if you live a normal life" you actually meant "the government does not give a flying fuck if you are white and live a normal life."

[ Parent ]
your apathy is brilliant! (none / 1) (#175)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:34:16 PM EST

Vote for the party, you naive fool! Certain parties are for and against (in smaller and larger quantities) the things you precieve to be problems. Cam I assume you think it's broken? How to fix it? Bitch about all politicians and use this as an excuse not to vote?? BRILLIANT! The future is indeed bright...
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]
If you live a normal life? (none / 0) (#180)
by fenix down on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:43:14 PM EST

Normal, says the cynical nerd posting anti-government propaganda on a discussion board with a history of being investigated by the Secret Service for publishing death threats against high-level public officials?

[ Parent ]
I've got a dollar... (none / 0) (#155)
by howardjp on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 11:14:14 AM EST

for anyone who can explain how you can have more personal freedom and tight regulation anything. <dollar goes back into pocket because the author knows it ain't going anywhere>

[ Parent ]
LIBERAL MAAAD! Liberal want dollar for Slurpee! (none / 2) (#169)
by fenix down on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 03:59:42 PM EST

Easy.  Just use the definition of "freedom" in which it quantifies your range of choices, rather than the limits of the power government has over you.  In that case, if a certain regulation creates, for most people, more options to chose freely between than it disallows, you've created more freedom, regardless of whether certain people have lost the ability to make specific choices about what to do with their money.  Hence gay people can get married in both of these, since banning gay marriage both increases government power and fails to provide a "profit" of freedom for the rest of the country, but gun control can be allowed by Greens for freeing most from the obligations of a M.A.D. situation, while being condemned by libertarians for forbidding certain purchases.

In short, Greens consider wealth, power, and liberty to be aspects freedom, while libertarians consider only liberty from the authority of the federal government to be worth worrying about.  Hence, a Green might like a federal program in which taxes are used to provide greater options for advancement for the majority on the grounds that the money creates more freedom that way than where it was, while a libertarian would be appalled at the federal government being allowed to meddle.

[ Parent ]

you do know (none / 0) (#213)
by the sixth replicant on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 06:08:30 AM EST

that freedom refers to an individual and my "regulations" will be for companies that think they have the same freedoms as an individual. As I said i prefer the government to regulate some aspects of business (which by the way it HAS to else there will be no business - as we know it - try buying things with your hard earned money but without the guarantee from the government that 10 US bucks means the same all over the country) and to keep out of our bedrooms and TV rooms.

So can you see where i'm going with this...

Can I have my money now? Ah, yes, i guess I have to pass that big dog that you have there...nice doggy..nice doggy..argghhhh...the pain!...rrghhh my god this hurts......

Ciao

[ Parent ]

They are correct. (none / 3) (#171)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:14:38 PM EST

Nader may be all of those "good" things, however, it doesn't change the fact that he did make trouble for Gore, and has therefore, allowed 4 years of very anti-Nader policies.

It's a factual conclusion if you run the numbers.

The Green party should learn from the Christians - get into office starting with city councils and school boards and build a nice base and get filthy rich and charasmatic individuals to pretend like they are helping the "little guy".
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Kind of like (none / 0) (#172)
by Easyas123 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:19:00 PM EST

the fact that if had won his home state he would be POTUs right now?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

what's a POTU? (none / 0) (#201)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 09:13:59 PM EST


Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]
POTUS (none / 0) (#239)
by Eccles on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 02:51:23 PM EST

President Of The United States.

[ Parent ]
Re: They are correct. (none / 0) (#191)
by CompUComp on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 06:40:16 PM EST

it doesn't change the fact that he did make trouble for Gore

Well I think Gore made trouble for Nader, gore should have stepped back and let Nader run against Bush like the two-party system we are meant to have.


---
Howard Dean 2004
[ Parent ]

interesting... (none / 0) (#202)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 09:18:25 PM EST

I've never really considered that, but it seems to me that the logistical issues involved would prevent this, for example, the money already spent on the election, etc.

BTW, we aren't "meant" to have a two party system. I think some change should be considered, something that borrows from the Swiss and Australian systems, like in the Mars series by Kim Stanley Robinson.

In any case, nothing will change before the next president is elected - if you are the least bit liberal, voting for whatever Democrat runs is your only real choice.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

IHBT. IHW! (none / 1) (#209)
by bolson on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:46:43 AM EST

Only Bush can be blamed for what Bush has done. Bush stole millions more votes from Gore than Nader did. Every time Republicans win votes by lying, they are stealing votes. Nader earned his votes the honest way, by being a good candidate.
Making Democracy Safe for the World (change the voting system)
[ Parent ]
Democrat's campaign money (2.66 / 6) (#128)
by fhotg on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 02:25:53 PM EST

might be better spent by creating a mock-up right wing christian dumbfuck candidate who will take votes away from W ?

Even if the American system isn't democratic anymore, it sure is funny !
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

Don't we already have one? (none / 0) (#262)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:56:19 PM EST

a mock-up right wing christian dumbfuck candidate who will take votes away from W ?

Doesn't W take votes away from himself?



[ Parent ]
Fucking democrats (1.05 / 18) (#130)
by debacle on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 03:26:00 PM EST

Alright, I admit, back when AD&D2 was king, I had a min-max'ed fighter mage, but how the fuck can you min-max democracy? Let him run, that's the course of things. I'm never playing Dragonlance with that Jew Lieberman again.

It tastes sweet.
Democrats,Republicans - what's the difference? (2.20 / 5) (#152)
by fritz the cat on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 09:26:09 AM EST

Yes, George Bush is an evil bastard, but let's not forget the US was bombing Iraq daily when Clinton was in power.
Choosing between Democrats and Republicans is like trying to work out who's less of a bastard between Himmler and Goering.

DOING NOTHING FUCKING SOMETHING

Not all Democrats (none / 0) (#158)
by Alfie on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 12:30:29 PM EST

Check out Dennis Kucinich, who happens to be from my home state of Ohio. He's the first politician I've ever liked, and the first to whom I've contributed money.



[ Parent ]
Yes... (none / 0) (#159)
by DDS3 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 12:43:20 PM EST

...let's not forget that Iraq was violating the peace agreement (or was it the cease fire) that ended the first Gulf War, not to mention many UN resolutions. Let's not forget the daily AA missile locks from Iraq stations (which were usually the target of the above mentioned air strikes). Let's not mention the AA-fire from Iraqi positions. Nope. facts are just so annoying.

[ Parent ]
Peace agreement (none / 1) (#217)
by Cackmobile on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 08:42:09 AM EST

How, by building WMD. Where are they?

[ Parent ]
Help me out... (none / 0) (#332)
by DDS3 on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:49:19 AM EST

....what the heck are you talking about?

[ Parent ]
I used to say that too... (none / 0) (#161)
by mattw on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 01:19:45 PM EST

I used to say that, too. And I voted libertarian in 2000. But if you ever wondered... hey, what's the difference between Bush and Gore? ... well, Bush has gone the extra mile to show you in the past 3 years. For me, Iraq is not the issue. I wouldn't have been miffed if we didn't invade, I'm not angry that we did, and I'm not surprised at the casualties we suffered and I think that any comparison to Vietnam makes the person drawing the comparison sound ridiculous.

Bush, however, is responsible for his staff, most notably John Ashcroft, that hallowed crusader for the religious right, and their unending quest to terminate civil liberties.

As such, I'll be voting for whomever seems to have the best chance to defeat Bush, because "anyone but Bush" seems like a great candidate. I need an "Anyone But Bush '04" bumper sticker. I'd even vote for Hillary Clinton over Bush, and that's saying something, let me tell you.

Patriot Act? Faith-based aid? Patriot II, as if the first one wasn't ridiculous enough? "Enemy combatant"? "There's such a thing as too much freedom"? An 84B budget deficit? A tax cut instead of a reduction of national debt? Homeland security department? Whatever. If these people are supposed to be about smaller government and fiscal responsibility, I'll have whatever's behind curtain number 2.


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]

Patriot (I/II) acts (none / 1) (#162)
by strlen on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 02:38:19 PM EST

But are you that certain that if Al Gore was in office, we wouldn't have those? After all, much of the practices this horrible act allows were already de-facto "legal" during Clinton. And not to mention,  there was a democrat dominated senate at the time Patriot 1.0 passed (wasn't Russ Feingold pretty much the only one to vote against it?).

Ashcroft however, is also a hyppocrite: he opposed Clinton's anti-crypto laws when Clinton is in office, but now supports more crypto restriction; and you do have a point about his distinct affinity for the religious right.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

hmm (none / 0) (#196)
by mattw on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 08:04:25 PM EST

It might be a bit of a misnomer to call the senate "dominated" by democrats when they only lead by a single senator (and only because they got a defection).

I'm fairly sure Al Gore would have helped make sure the provisions sunset across the board, and I don't think Al Gore would have even attempted to arrest and hold an American Citizen as an 'enemy combatant'. What freaks me out is that the courts let this happen. The founding fathers are turning in their graves as the Supreme Court fails to uphold our right to a speedy trial by the jury of our peers; the right to confront our accusers in a court of law.

As another note, I think Al Gore would not be calling teenagers with bb guns 'terrorists'. In what world are teenagers with bb guns and extremists who hijack planes and kill thousands tried under the same law?


[Scrapbooking Supplies]
[ Parent ]

Hmm, not that you mentioned it (none / 0) (#198)
by strlen on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 08:14:19 PM EST

Yes, it was definately a misnomer to call it dominated, my bad, but democrats definately had a role.


As another note, I think Al Gore would not be calling teenagers with bb guns 'terrorists'. In what world are teenagers with bb guns and extremists who hijack planes and kill thousands tried under the same law?

What specific instance are you reffering to? Now that does seem extremely ridiculous. Or are you talking about the "Paintball 7" group who trained to fight in Pakistan (by using paintball guns, apparently, but they did have plans to actually fight there), but had an archaic law used against them (doesn't seem too egregious, but however, these laws have been very selectively enforced (they weren't enforced during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan or the Yugoslavian conflict), and as far as I recall these weren't teenagers. Or may be I'm talking about a completely different case, please cite a link (I'm not in any way arguing against sure, just not sure what instance you're discussing).

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

Herbert Hans Haupt (none / 0) (#257)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:40:56 PM EST

...I don't think Al Gore would have even attempted to arrest and hold an American Citizen as an 'enemy combatant'.

Why not? FDR held Herbert Hans Haupt, an American Citizen, as an enemy combatant back in 1942.

What freaks me out is that the courts let this happen.

The courts allowed it then, too.

The founding fathers are turning in their graves as the Supreme Court fails to uphold our right to a speedy trial by the jury of our peers; the right to confront our accusers in a court of law.

I doubt it. Padilla isn't white. He probably wouldn't have been a freeman anyway.

If Gore had won, sure, the world would be chaotically different, but I don't see much reason to believe it would have been any better.



[ Parent ]
The deficit (none / 0) (#197)
by Eccles on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 08:11:18 PM EST

"An 84B budget deficit?"

Oh, if only it was that small.  Try $500 billion.  $2000 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.  But hey, you got a bit of a tax cut, didn't you?


[ Parent ]

sometimes, bombings are a good thing (none / 1) (#170)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:06:42 PM EST

Having said that, I agree that Bush is an ass, and that this war was unjustified, and that, if comparing Iraq 1 month before the war with today, the Iraqi's were better off 1 month before the war.

However, for an American, the party most certainly does matter! The person doesn't matter as much anymore, but the party is everything!

The Republicans, in leauge with the Christian Right, represent a very real problem, laying the groundwork to overturn abortion and get in bed with the type of corporate corroption that is already common in Japan - to give just two examples.

Please use your brain and get over this naive, "both candidates are assholes, both parties suck" ideal. The country is divided now, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. Stem cell research, women's rights, gays, global warming, education - issues that will have real day-to-day impact are at stake, and it sings the party-line tune.

I like Nader, but this time around, he needs to get the hell out of Dodge - he needs to stay on the sidelines and throw his support behind the Democratic candidate, even if that candidate is HITLER himself!!!

The supreme court is aging and the Republicans are changing. Most of the court members in now were put there by Republicans, yet most aren't the Conserva-nazis you see on Fox news. This is a critical time for anyone even a tenth of a percent to the left of the center.

As for you libertarian trouble makers - consider that Republicans only agree with the economic, small government side of your ideals! Keep this trend going, and you'll have your welfare eliminated, as well as a small government - you just won't be able to have sex unless you PRAY first, do it in the missionary position while facing AWAY from Mecca. I guess ya'll need to consider which set of freedoms, or percieved freedoms, you wish to concede and to whom. Think about it.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Did I miss (none / 1) (#173)
by Easyas123 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:21:48 PM EST

the part where when the Dems were in power they fixed all that stuff? I mean, if their party was in power, and those are core issues to the party, then they must have gotten solved. Right?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

not sure what you mean (none / 1) (#177)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:40:04 PM EST

exactly, but the 'dems' aren't in bed with the Christian nuts and generaly, if issues fall along party lines, which they do more and more often, the dems won't put conserva-nazi's into courts, won't oppose liberal sex type social issues, and won't oppose the teaching of science in schools.

I guess you need to ask yourself, if, given both parties are whores, which mistress you hate the most?

For me, it's social liberty, science-freedom/freedom of information, and secularism.

I guess I don't look at the dems as fixing things, so much as I look to them to 'prevent' things ;)
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Inaction is the (none / 0) (#183)
by Easyas123 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:51:30 PM EST

same as opposition in effect isn't it? When Clinton & co. were in power, there were no serious advances in any of the things you mentioned.

The Dems had a shot at advancing those agendas and were too scared to pull the trigger. While I understand that there are political realities to decisions like that, another political reality is this: eventually the other party will gain conrtol. If you are unable to make hay while the sun shines, don't be suprised at the result when the other guy gets his shot.

This is why no one sees a difference between the two parties. If the dems talk a good game but do jack shit, why would I want to vote for them?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

you've answered your own question (none / 1) (#186)
by davros4269 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 05:08:36 PM EST

- to prevent the party which represents ideals that you dislike from pushing them forward, of course! Actually, Clinton did advance several key pieces of legislation that I support.

He turned back some of the Reagan/Bush abortion BS, including some stem cell research restrictions. He also faught to keep the Right from gaining territory on this front - this is key, because, after all, abortion is legal, that goal is reached, the only course is to hold ground!

He made it possible for everyone to get 2 years of college.

He made partial progress with gay rights, IMO.

His environmental policies were good, if not great or sweeping

You have to realize, that he needed to get re-elected. Since most Americans are pretty stupid, I think he achieved a balance, that while not great, was ok.

Explain to me how you can possibly not see the difference between dems and the Elephants? Think of it this way:

1. there will be an election.

2. Someone will win.

If you protest this by not voting, you still have made a choice (and voting for Nader is NOT voting). Isn't the sensible and realistic course to vote for the dems, which have a shot, while giving money to the Greens, the ACLU and the Sierra Club, while writing your local paper and bitching when the Right pulls some local BS? It works for me...

Also remember, that right now, the dems are the only reason why some EXTREME conserva-nazis aren't getting key judicial positions. It will be a long time, if ever, before the Greens can have that kind of liberal, broad sweeping, impact.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Answerd my own question? (none / 0) (#221)
by Easyas123 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 09:45:24 AM EST

He turned back some of the Reagan/Bush abortion BS, including some stem cell research restrictions.
Well then he didn't do enough , because it isn't happening now. I suppose if he had given it enough support to shore up its position, it would not have been so easy for GW to stop it.

He also faught to keep the Right from gaining territory on this front - this is key, because, after all, abortion is legal, that goal is reached, the only course is to hold ground!
Did you miss the ban on abortion that was just passed? Abortion as a right has been taking hits for a while now. While the core right is still there, the extentions of that right have been being pushed back bit by bit.

He made it possible for everyone to get 2 years of college.
It was not that big of a deal, it was not that hard to begin with. This was a good looking law that added little of value. Besides, it was not as if the Republicans were opposed to it that strongly anyway.

He made partial progress with gay rights, IMO.
I know that it is your opinion, but he signed the defense of marriage act and did the "don't ask don't tell" thing. Both of which were cop outs to a lobby that supported him and he pledged to support in return.

I see no difference between the Dems and the Republicans because "silence gives assent". If all the Dems do is act like Rebublican Lite, what difference is there? Look at the dem candidates. What is their big beef? The war and the economy. They oppose the former, whis is not so much a republican position as it is an issue with the sitting Pres, and the want to inprove the latter by...? If I recall correctly, isnt the Dem position tax cuts for all but the rich? As far as that goes, that affects only a few out of the entire country, not a partcularly dramatic difference.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

you prove my point, in a way (none / 1) (#229)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 11:58:51 AM EST

Abortion rights have eroded - you are correct - because we have a Republican administration!

Reagan had the same goal; Clinton reversed and held ground. That's one major reason that he got my vote - his CLEAR difference from his Republican opponenents. Who said Clinton was Mr. Liberal, besides Limbaugh? He achieved much of what I wanted him to - I understand that most people are most people, and he had to make consession to the middle. Why should the minority rule? Clinton was a good compromise, given "most" people.

As for the whole lobby thing, look, they both get money from different groups. I just prefer the groups, normally, that give the dems money, rather than the groups which support the Elephants.

You can slice this anyway you want, but you do know that if Nader runs, he takes votes away from the dems. Taking that as a given, why is that? Because the dems' issues intersect with the Greens.

Further, if the vote is close, Nader could pull enough votes away to effectively re-elect Bush. I can't change how people nationwide feel! Bush, for some reason unknown to me, appeals to lots of folks...

In any case, here are your two possibilities then:

1. Vote for the dems, and get some of what you want - that intersection with the Greens
2. Vote for Nader and have further erosian of liberal social rights

What's more important to you, your abortion rights, or Nader? Education, or the Green party? It's pretty clear once you dig through the BS.

Finally, like I said before, money talks - send the Greens a check or go volunteer - you can't instate the Greens top down, but rather, bottom up.

Do you really want to risk a Right leaning supreme court - those bastards are in there for LIFE?
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Thats the thing. (none / 0) (#237)
by Easyas123 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 01:35:11 PM EST

Consession to the middle. Too many politicians do it. What is the point of voting Democrat if all they do is mimic Republicans? How will you ever get the point across to them unless they are forced to change?

Companies own both sides, so they do not want your money. They are some of the best connected people in the world, so they don't want to know what you can do for the. All they care about is your vote. If you give that to them you endorse that behavior.

If it was not for 9/11 the dems would be running against a average guy with a recovering economy. I'm not always a fan of the crap that the republicans pull, but I do have to say that they have the stones to put something out there. For all the talk about the patriot act and regime change, when was the last time a dem even came close to anything that bold?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

it's a democracy! most people ARE the middle! (none / 0) (#243)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 06:20:45 PM EST

It's like that line from the movie Ants, where the general at the end wants to flood the ant hole and says, "It's for the good of the colony!" And then the main character ant, played by Woody Allen says, "We ARE the colony!"

Most people ARE the middle! Vote-shmote - the real way to change things is from the ground up, like the Christian Right has done from, what, the late 80s or so?

The Patriot Act is bold, but so is throwing yourself off a skyscraper! Clinton's attempt to even talk about national healthcare was BOLD. Actually getting national healthcare would be BOLD and the best new good thing to happen to this country in a long time.

You sound as if you support anyone that goes against the grain, regardless of reason - like a Rebel without a cause! Since politicians are put into office by the voters and since most voters are in the middle, most politicians stay in the center, this isn't rocket science! However, they also throw bones to their supporters and directions - Clinton to the left, Bush to the right. You sound like the typical, apathetic, individual. Apathy is worse than action or inaction, because it's effectively inaction without thought. At least, if Clinton didn't do the bold thing, realizing that most people aren't bold, it was a _calculated_ choice.

Your choice is which companies and orgs you like! Myself, I prefer the unions, environmentalists, teachers, cops and the LEFT in general. If you support big oil, Detroit auto and Pat Robertson, vote for Nader (or Bush).

Don't buy into that silly fairie tale that one person can make a difference, top down. The person that makes a difference isn't Nader - he's just a nice advertisement. The guy at the bottom, signing people up for the Greens - that's the guy that matters.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Nope. (none / 0) (#252)
by Easyas123 on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 09:45:52 AM EST

If you run for office on platform X and get support, (by your logic mostly from the middle), for platform X and when you get into office you actually act as a Y lite, you aren't doing anyone any favors. If you run on bold leftist action, when you get into office, do it! Actully serve the constiuents that got you there in the 1st place.

i dont support the rebel, but I can respect him a lot more than the coward.

Besides you can do things from the top down. remembver F.D.R.? He is the all time dem hero. he did plenty from the top down. Kennedy as well, to a lesser extent.

Don't get me wrong. I am no Naderite. I could actually care less. However, will the Dem party do anything different if I continue to vote for them? No. As a matter of fact it is a polititica reality that when a party becomes stagnant, the only thing that can save them is change. If they will not cahange on thier own, they must be forced.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

I won't repeat my cliche (none / 0) (#264)
by davros4269 on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:02:17 PM EST

Clinton ran on platform X, and delivered, or, tried to deliver, for the most part. The stupid masses also elected a the elephants to congress, which didn't help him any, if you recall ;)

Further, let me correct you - he didn't switch to platform y - but he did prevent y from achieving ground, which is why I elected him twice. The country isn't ready to become Nadrites right now, the best we can hope for is push the masses a bit to the left - well, you said you don't care - I do. I'm happy if the masses become more liberal. I understand that I live with 250 million other americans.

As for top down - that's the exception, rather than the rule.

You didn't address the "wishfull thinking" part of our discussion, or was that another thread?

Punishing the dems for their "mistakes" is silly - if you want anything that the dems are for, than voting for Bush or Nader certainly won't get you that. It will, however, help move the masses to the Right and make it harder for a future dem or Green, no matter how bold, to change things. Baby steps, baby steps. The libertarians know this. The Christians know this. Why don't you?

Finally, don't be such a fundementalist about this - there is a wide berth between rebel and coward. Had Clinton been a liberal-rebel during his first half, he wouldn't have been reelected during his second half - this isn't rocket science! And, had he not been reelected, even less of his policies would have made it and more Right policies may have come into play!

Aren't you the one that told me that it's about poll numbers? Why should Clinton have ignored the polls, and not gotten reelected??? For some stupid legacy? What legacy if, as a result, the elephants had put a conserva-nazi into the supreme court for LIFE? Some legacy.

Clinton as the person doesn't matter - just being in office prevents the supreme court shifting - I've read that some of the conservative members which had wished to retire, stayed in because they feared who Clinton might put in there...if Bush makes it, woe are we, woe are we...

But if you don't care, than what's the point, eh?
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Violence is the last refuge of incompetency... (none / 0) (#223)
by Alhazred on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 10:20:09 AM EST


That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
if only it were that black and white... (none / 0) (#227)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 11:41:51 AM EST

Did you ever read the Ramma series by Clarke? Politicians should read more sci-fi - Clarke said so himself...

In any case, in the third or fourth book of the series, the alien race which the humans called the 'octo-spiders' consider going to war. They don't have much choice, however, in their system, any president which declares war must commit sucicide after the war is over.

Nevertheless, they NEED to go to war, and do, and the president dies.

Here's a quote for you, "Pacificism only works if everybody is a pacifist" --me Sometimes, bombings are a good thing.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

How about this (none / 0) (#228)
by Easyas123 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 11:52:44 AM EST

Nice sounding quotes by science fiction authors are simply that. It is not like foundation is either a earth shattering political treatise or in any way applicable to real life.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

is it so different? (none / 0) (#230)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:11:18 PM EST

Don't stories influence us all? At least for fiction, science fiction, good sci-fi, anyway, is based on possible and potential truths, if there is such a thing.

Don't most people base their philosophies on stories? if not stories than what, logic? Pure logic? Even the Vulcans fight when they need too ;)

Who produced that quote you gave? An author, per chance? ;)

Besides, what comes with pacifism? For a pacifist, is that his/her highest ideal? Suppose you have a democratic pacifist nation. It gets invaded. The invaders aren't democratic. A dictator is instated. The pacifists remain pacifists, but loose their democracy.

Which is more important and why? What law of nature, what philosophy dictates this? What STORY?
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Stories influencing (none / 0) (#235)
by Easyas123 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 01:02:19 PM EST

politics is all well and good, if the story is applicable to real life. The main point of Sci -Fi is that it imagines a world that is not ours. Granted with time and technology that world may come close, buyt the world of Foundation is not one of them.

Modern political philosoph is based on reality and polling data. Not happy images of things. Case in point, everyone would say that it would be great if everyone was just nice to the other guy and didnt start anything, but that is what we call a pipe dream.

We'll never know about the pacifists really, because there aren't any. Things like this make for interesting intilecual debate, but do not have a lot of truck in the real world.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

if there are no pacificsts, then sometimes, bombin (none / 0) (#242)
by davros4269 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 06:06:34 PM EST

-gs are a good thing, which was one of my original points.

Imaginary worlds give us goals to shoot for, like, the obligatory world government in so much of sci-fi. Today, it's nearly impossible for me to imagine a realistic and functioning world gov., however, it's easy to imagine the first step - several large competing trading blocks, which may have their own sovreignty technically, would have alot to loose if they piss each other off. Anyway, enough about philosophy - suffice it to say, sci-fi amd even altermate what-if type stories, like, what if world war two had never happened, are good excercies that all politicians should be forced to do. That is, as opposed to other forms of fiction.

Now then, I am glad you used the phrases, "pipe dream", "happy images of things, etc." - following your logic, polling data, etc., brings us back to the really real world. In this real world, Nader will not win this next election, and if he runs, he will help to push forward policies that he disagrees with more, much more so than if, say, Dean won - whether he intends to or not!

Go to Dean's page and compare to Nader, then to Bush and you will see the obvious.

I hate to cliche myself, but it almost sounds as if you've proved my point again, in a way.
Will you squirm when you are pecked? Quack.
[ Parent ]

Stories reflecting (none / 0) (#245)
by irrevenant on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:00:35 AM EST

There's a lot of different Science Fiction with a lot of different main points.  But I've always thought the strength of the genre is that it lets us examine contemporary issues in a different form so that we can see them with new eyes.

[ Parent ]
Sci-fi is mostly about here and now (none / 0) (#254)
by error 404 on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 10:46:40 AM EST

wrapped in a thin layer of intentional strangeness, and/or stretched in one direction or another.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Vote Nader 2004 (none / 3) (#168)
by wakim1618 on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 03:53:56 PM EST

There is somewhat of a contradiction in Nader's statements about his presidential campaigns. He has said that he saw no difference whatsoever between the Democratic and Republican candidates in 2000. He has also recently been quoted as saying, "The highest priority is to defeat President George W. Bush and his administration, which is running this country into the ground".

Gee, why don't you just say that Nader lies just like any other politician to get his way? Let the electorate think that they are voting for something else while I get what my fetish calls for (e.g. more hospitals, more tanks or more warning labels on consumer products).

Just figure out which politician's fetishes coincides most with yours. Then, figure out if how much the fetishes are going to cost. See if he will make someone else pay for it (e.g. raise taxes on the capital gains if you are poor). Sheesh. Once he is elected, sit back and watch your lackey get pilloried in the press. Your checks will come in the mail.


If I wanted dumb people to love me, I'd start a cult.

Speaking as someone who has owned a Corvair... (none / 1) (#182)
by Mr.Surly on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 04:46:53 PM EST

... a 1960 Corvair for that matter, I can honestly say that it was a pretty damn good car.

Yes (none / 0) (#216)
by Cackmobile on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 08:38:03 AM EST

but not very safe!

[ Parent ]
Utter bullshit. (none / 0) (#287)
by Mr.Surly on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 11:31:09 AM EST

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment062800a.html

Seven years after the publication of Unsafe at Any Speed, a definitive study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- the very agency Nader's book conjured into existence -- concluded, in July 1972, that contrary to Nader's charges, the '60-'63 Chevrolet Corvair models were at least as safe as comparable models of other cars sold in the same period. The study also found, after extensive tests of the '63 Corvair and five other compact cars of various makes, that Corvair's handling in sharp turns was no more dangerous that that of other cars and did not result in abnormal potential loss of control. NHTSA concluded that the available accident data indicated that the rollover rate of the '60-63 Corvair was comparable to those of other light domestic cars.


[ Parent ]

Here, Here -> Nader ushered in SUVs!!!! (none / 0) (#319)
by ckm on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 07:34:20 PM EST

The Corvair was in fact a very safe car.  It had somewhat different handling characteristics due to the rear-engine configuration, but no worse than a Beetle.

However, the lesson the American car manufactures learned from the Corvair is that new, smaller, innovative car designs were 'a bad thing' (and a huge risk) and that it was better to stick to the traditional V8 up front on a big chassis.  Nader essentially killed the small car for US car manufacturers.

The end result of this is that American car manufacturers are still loath to this day to take design risks in passenger cars.  The legacy of this can be seen all over America in the form of SUVs, the modern day equivelent of the 50's/60's V8, front engined body on frame design.

Thanks Ralph, for doing us all a favor and keeping gas guzzling, polluting engines around for 40 years.

Chris.

(ps. there was an analysis of this done in a magazine I regularly read [either the Economist or one of the industrial design mags] that trace modern SUV design to Nader, but I can't find a link to it right now)

[ Parent ]

I'm agreeing with this post. (none / 0) (#331)
by neomonkey on Wed Dec 31, 2003 at 06:30:42 AM EST

I had a '63 and '65 Monza, and they were great cars.  The problem was the stupid gas station attendants (remember them?) who filled the tires with pressures appropriate for front engine cars, when Corvairs required 18 front/30 rear to handle well.

Nader is just an arrogant, self-serving demagogue in a cheap suit.  His supporters, including Michael Moore, urged him to "free" his constituents in close states so they would vote for Gore, but he refused, so I don't expect him to get significant support this time.  Most people realise that the next president will be either Bush or the Democratic candidate, and there's no room for idealism this time, considering the damage done by Bush so far.
"Was man God's greatest mistake, or was God man's?" -Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

I hope he runs again! (none / 0) (#211)
by Your Biggest Fan on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 03:38:51 AM EST

Ralph Nader is the best thing that's happened to politics in this country in the past 20 years.  You have to love Nader, even if you disagree with his platform.  He has not only opened the public's eyes to the fact that Democrats and Republicans are nearly identical, but he has also offered a viable alternative, something that no other presidential candidate has been able to do.

You've got my vote, Ralph!

Sincerely,
Your Biggest Fan

Voting on principal (none / 1) (#236)
by mstefan on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 01:05:33 PM EST

I think you have three general camps: idealist who vote on principal, pragmatists who vote for less lofty goals and the vast pool of people who don't vote at all. We have a system that above all things, including party affiliation, rewards mediocrity and exploits apathy. Radicalism on either side is generally found distasteful.

This is why Nader will never win. It's also why someone like Dean, unless he significantly tones down his leftist rhetoric, faces a real uphill battle in the general election. While he has strong appeal to his base of Democratic supporters, folks in the midwest and deep south aren't going to be waving "Dean for President" banners. And without them, you might as well pack it up and go home. I can guarantee you, the RNC is desperately hoping that Dean wins the nomination and Nader entering the race would just be icing on the cake.

So, if you want to unseat the President, then you have to make a decision: vote according to your ideals, or add momentum to whoever looks like they have broad enough support and actually could win in the general election. Because in very practical terms, every vote for Nader will be in effect a vote for Bush. Such is politics.

[ Parent ]

vote, don't vote, whatever (none / 0) (#255)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:24:27 PM EST

I think you have three general camps: idealist who vote on principal, pragmatists who vote for less lofty goals and the vast pool of people who don't vote at all.

That's pretty funny, because I've been known to be in all three of those camps, although I think they're all quite pragmatic. Generally, I don't vote at all. But in a close race, I'll vote for the lesser of two evils. Of course, in the last election (I lived in NY), I voted for Nader.

While he has strong appeal to his base of Democratic supporters, folks in the midwest and deep south aren't going to be waving "Dean for President" banners. And without them, you might as well pack it up and go home.

Apparently you're counting Florida as "deep south?" Geographically, it certainly is, but politically it is not. Otherwise, what states do you think would be affected by Dean's liberalism? After all, Gore won in 2000, I don't see why Dean couldn't win in 2004.

So, if you want to unseat the President, then you have to make a decision: vote according to your ideals, or add momentum to whoever looks like they have broad enough support and actually could win in the general election.

Actually, I'm probably not going to vote at all. No President has ever been elected by a single vote. My vote doesn't make a difference either way. I voted in the last election to show my support for change. I highly doubt we're going to get anywhere near as high of numbers in 2004, so I'm probably not going to bother. After all, my chance of getting killed in a car accident on the way to the polls greatly outweighs my chances of affecting anything.

Because in very practical terms, every vote for Nader will be in effect a vote for Bush.

No, every vote for Nader will be in effect a non-vote. Every two changes in vote from Democrat to Nader will be in effect a change from Democrat to Bush.

If you really want to change the election, get a few thousand people to move to Florida with you and vote Democrat. Then maybe you'll make a difference.



[ Parent ]
Reductio ad Absurdum (2.75 / 4) (#224)
by Alhazred on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 10:28:45 AM EST

Thats my answer to the argument that 'you should only vote for people who can win' (and its corolary that you should not run if you can't win). Were that true then all the dictators in the world who get themselves 'elected' are legitimate democratic leaders...

Obviously you gotta do what you gotta do, and if Ralph Nader has to run for president then thats what he needs to do.

Another analysis: If its true that Nader is 'responsible for Gore loosing' then that is saying that he's responsible for the way all the people who voted for him cast their ballots. This is the same logic by which leaders the world over absolve themselves of responsibility and ironically the same logic in reverse is used by all the world's cronies to hide from THEIR responsibility as well.

Lets be brutally honest here. A man who casts his vote is responsible for the consequences of that vote, and a man who pulls a trigger is responsible for the results of his actions. I don't care how you try to slice and dice it, nobody can EVER FORCE YOU TO DO ANYTHING. Every excuse in the world is nothing but cowardice.

Until people accept that truth we will all live in   a sad world.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

the real reason Gore lost (none / 2) (#226)
by phred on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 11:38:28 AM EST

too many people voted for Bush!

[ Parent ]
Or maybe (none / 0) (#258)
by Alhazred on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:41:27 PM EST

too many people voted for Nader. I don't maintain that Nader didn't help defeat Gore. I simply maintain that it is NOT Ralph Nader's responsibility to elect the President. Those votes are the responsibility of the citizens who cast them, just like the deaths of people killed by US soldiers in Iraq are the responsibility of THE INDIVIDUAL SOLDIERS WHO PULL THE TRIGGERS OF THEIR GUNS. Etc. Any other view of responsibility is pure absurdity.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
multiple people are responsible (none / 0) (#259)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:53:45 PM EST

I simply maintain that it is NOT Ralph Nader's responsibility to elect the President.

Sure it is. Are you suggesting maybe he voted for Gore?

Those votes are the responsibility of the citizens who cast them

Absolutely, but responsibility can fall upon more than one person.

just like the deaths of people killed by US soldiers in Iraq are the responsibility of THE INDIVIDUAL SOLDIERS WHO PULL THE TRIGGERS OF THEIR GUNS.

As well as the responsibility of the people who provided them with the guns and told them to pull the trigger.

Any other view of responsibility is pure absurdity.

I guess you consider the legal doctrine of conspiracy absurd?



[ Parent ]
Some points (none / 0) (#265)
by Alhazred on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:08:33 PM EST

<p><cite>Are you suggesting maybe he voted for Gore?</cite></p>

<p>Cute, but hardly relevant to the original point...</p>

<p><cite>Absolutely, but responsibility can fall upon more than one person.</cite></p>

<p>Neither legally nor morally can Ralph Nader take the slightest credit for the fact that people did or did not vote for him. They were asked to make a choice in full view of the consequences of the alternatives and they chose. No court on Earth based on any rule of law currently given credence by civilized man would make Nader culpable for our voting record...</p>

<p><cite>As well as the responsibility of the people who provided them with the guns and told them to pull the trigger.</cite></p>

<p>In our legal system those who participate in a crime or commit a tort can be held 'severally liable' (that is each one is liable entirely as if they had acted alone). There is a perfectly logical reason for this, suppose 100 men participated in a lynching, should each one get 1/100th of a sentance for murder? That would be absurd. In that sense EVERY member of an army, its suppliers, its political leaders, and the populace of the country which consented to allow them to commit acts of violence are liable, yes. That is however not in every sense a comparable situation. Nor is it common jurisprudence to consider soldiers as being party to a single act of war for which they can all be held accountable.</p>

<p>My point about the soldiers was simply that moral responsibility for your actions, and in a just world legal responsibility, rests with he who performs the act, and there is no acceptable 'license', thus by analogy Nader could not be accountable for voters casting their ballots.</p>
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

responsibility (none / 0) (#271)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:42:10 PM EST

Neither legally nor morally can Ralph Nader take the slightest credit for the fact that people did or did not vote for him.

I have to strongly disagree there. If he did not run, then people couldn't have voted for him. He made it possible, so therefore he is at least partially responsible.

No court on Earth based on any rule of law currently given credence by civilized man would make Nader culpable for our voting record...

Again, I have to disagree. He made it possible, and he told people to do it. In a court of law, that's going to imply culpability.

That is however not in every sense a comparable situation.

How is it not a comparable situation?

My point about the soldiers was simply that moral responsibility for your actions, and in a just world legal responsibility, rests with he who performs the act

Again, I don't deny that the person performing the act is responsible. However, the person who enabled the people to perform the act, while simultaneously encouraging them to perform it, is also responsible.



[ Parent ]
OK (none / 0) (#320)
by Alhazred on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 03:51:47 PM EST

So Ralph Nader is 'guilty' of running for President. He STILL isn't responsible for people voting for him. Last time I looked, it was still legal to run for president as long as you met the criteria.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
good (none / 0) (#323)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 17, 2003 at 12:22:38 PM EST

So Ralph Nader is 'guilty' of running for President.

Umm, sure.

He STILL isn't responsible for people voting for him.

No, he is at least partially responsible for people voting for him, because if he didn't run, people wouldn't vote for him.

Last time I looked, it was still legal to run for president as long as you met the criteria.

I never claimed Nader did anything illegal.



[ Parent ]
why (none / 1) (#289)
by phred on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 01:04:36 PM EST

are you so eager to absolve the american voter of responsibility?

[ Parent ]
NOBODY voted for Bush. (none / 0) (#284)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 07:11:31 PM EST

They voted against Gore. Nobody voites FOR anybody any more, you hold your nose and vote for the least distasteful. I mean, face it, no matterwho you vote for, they will continue to support the corporations who pay them, and discount YOU, the voter.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

there was no such entry (none / 0) (#288)
by phred on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 01:03:29 PM EST

in the ballot that said "against Gore", as there would be no fair way to divide this vote among the remaining candidates.

[ Parent ]
First of all, (none / 2) (#234)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 12:52:53 PM EST

why is third party candidates siphoning off votes from major parties a flaw in the voting system? If the major candidate deviates from the opinions of his support base too far, he will lose a critical mass of votes and lose his chance at office. It adds a check to the voting system. If everybody concedes there are only two possible choices, then there are no longer any more checks on the system. And no, an incumbent two-party system does not count.

Second of all, I can't read the article in the first link. It says "File Not Found". It's from my own newspaper and I can't even read it.

Re: why is third party... (none / 2) (#240)
by scott reynen on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 04:40:21 PM EST

you ask "why is third party candidates siphoning off votes from major parties a flaw in the voting system?" it's not the effects on the major parties that makes it a flaw. it's the effects on representative democracy. for example take a scenario with 3 candidates: A, B, and C. 30% of people vote for A, but if A doesn't win, they'd be okay with B (but not C). 30% of people vote for B, but if B doesn't win, they'd be okay with A (but not C), and 40% of people vote for C (and maybe they'd be okay with B but not A). although C gets the most votes, C is not actually the most popular candidate. in fact, most people don't want C to win, and yet under our current system, C wins anyway. this is the problem.

[ Parent ]
The flaw (none / 0) (#261)
by Valdrax on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:55:08 PM EST

The flaw is simple to sum up.  A candidate whose views are disliked by a majority of the voters can get into office because the majority splits its votes between two similar candidates.  A candidate who does not represent the views of the majority of Americans can get into office this way.

Here are the numbers for the last 3 elections:

1992
William J. Clinton, Democrat    370    44,908,233
George H. W. Bush, Republican   168    39,102,282
H. Ross Perot, Independent      ...    19,741,048

1996
William J. Clinton, Democrat    379    47,401,185
Robert Dole, Republican         159    39,197,469
H. Ross Perot, Reform           ...    8,085,294

2000
George W. Bush, Republican      271    50,456,002
Al Gore, Democrat               266    50,999,897
Ralph Nader, Green              ...    2,882,955

Perot can be considered a small government conservative, and Nader is definitely a liberal.  In 1992, Perot split the total conservative vote of 58.8 million voters vs. Clinton's 44.9 million voters.  Bush I should've won that election as the will of the voter seem to indicate the conservative politics carried the nation at the time.  Instead a liberal candidate with only 43% of the popular vote carried the election.  Perot nearly screwed up 1996 again, but Clinton just barely edged out Perot + Dole.

In 2000, Nader, a decidedly liberal candidate took away enough votes from Gore, another liberal candidate, to put a conservative Bush II in office with only 48% of the popular vote by knocking down Gore from 1st to 2nd place in two key divided states.  While a good number of Nader's supporters were people who were so dissatisfied with Bush II/Gore that they wouldn't have voted anyway, Bush II took Florida with only 537 votes vs. Nader's 97,421 votes in that state.  (More info at the Wikipedia.)

This is a flaw in the American system of voting.  In two of the past 3 elections, the political will of the people was dealt a grave disservice by electing candidates that stood on the opposite side of the liberal/conservative divide from the majority of voters.  This was exacerbated even more in the 2000 election due to the fact that the 1st runner up in the election actually himself held the largest number of popular votes, but was starved out of two key states by Nader votes.

[ Parent ]

a bug or a feature? (none / 0) (#263)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:00:20 PM EST

The flaw is simple to sum up. A candidate whose views are disliked by a majority of the voters can get into office because the majority splits its votes between two similar candidates.

Maybe that's not a flaw but a feature. As you showed, the plurality vote doesn't always win anyway, and the system was specifically designed with that in mind.



[ Parent ]
Plurality (none / 0) (#267)
by Valdrax on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:19:36 PM EST

I consider that to be a flaw as well.  I understand the reasoning for the electoral system and the bi-cameral Congress, but I strongly disagree with it.  It's one of those ugly little compromises that had to be made to appease the smaller states and get them to sign onto the Constitution.

Actually, I don't mind the electoral college too much, except that I hate the way that the vast majority of states (including my own) allocate their electors all to one party based on a state-wide vote.  I'd much rather have every state take the Maine/Nebraska approach, where each district gets an elector appropriate to what that district voted and the two "Senatorial" electors go to whoever won the state.  I prefer a more fine-grained approach.

[ Parent ]

I kind of agree... (none / 0) (#269)
by dipierro on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:33:21 PM EST

I used to be strongly in favor of the electoral college. My theory was that it helped keep power out of the hands of the federal government. And back in the early days of our Constitution, that was probably true. In a system where federal power is limited, requiring a geographically broad consensus is a good thing. But after taking a class in Constitutional law I've seen that federal power really isn't limited so much any more.

We really have become a single nation, and while my first choice would be to take power away from the federal government and give it back to the states, barring that I'd at least like to give each of us as citizens an equal vote.

One problem though is that the current electoral college system requires a majority, not a plurality, in order to win. We haven't seen this kick in for quite a long time, due to the two party system, but some type of replacement for that would have to be found. IRV is a candidate, or of course we could just let the house vote for the President in the case that no one gets a majority.



[ Parent ]
One nation (none / 0) (#275)
by Valdrax on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 02:57:32 PM EST

This is the main reason that I dislike the current system.  We aren't really a collection of states anymore (and haven't been since the War Between the States) and our current government does not reflect this.  However, we'll never see a nation-wide change in this sort of thing for exactly the reason that the system was set up in the first place -- the deliberate tilt of power to small population areas over large population areas via Senatoral seats.

Currently, American politics is divided between rural areas (who strongly vote Republican) and coastal and inner city areas (who strongly vote Democratic).  Just look at the by-county map of the 2000 election.  This is partially a factor of racial politics among the masses but is mostly a severe cultural clash.  Allowing a direct vote or a more fine-grained electoral vote would ever-so-slightly tilt the balance of power into the hands of liberal candidates currently -- it would not be a neutral change to the American political landscape.  Both parties are aware of this, and this is why this can be considered an unwinnable battle in the current political arena.  

If next year's election carries off a repeat of 2000 with a candidate getting the election without a popular vote, we may see a sea change on this issue, but I don't see that happening unless somehow Bush comes out the loser in that struggle, balancing out the dissatisfaction onto both sides.  Even then, I expect that small states would fiercely oppose it to avoid losing power.

[ Parent ]

The competition-based model (none / 0) (#299)
by error 404 on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 12:30:41 PM EST

A third party punishes a major party for moving too close to the other major party. It is, in effect, a penalty call. Without it, you get pretty much what we had in 1996 and 2000 - two parties with almost the same campaign promises.

The Democrats had strayed farther from their core than the Republicans, so they got hit with the significant penalty. The Republicans could have scored better had they toned down some of their positions, but they would have risked the same penalty.

In some ways, it really does work. The Greens would not have come anywhere near winning, regardless. With a "correct" voting algorithm, the Democrats could have ignored them with impunity. This way, the Democrats have to take them into account. Ugly, but it works. Despite the fact that in this case it resulted in the worst candidate coming close enough to be installed, I do not consider those Nader votes wasted. The process is more important than the outcome of any one election.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Sorry, violence has no justification (1.00 / 4) (#260)
by Alhazred on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 12:54:01 PM EST

Because it only leads to more violence. Violence has never in the history of Mankind lead to peace. In fact ALL of our history is one long sad tale of capitulation to the lust for violence, usually whitewashed with the same tired and eternally lame excuses I see recapitulated here on this forum nearly every day.

What if you had a truely pacisfist society? What would happen when the 'evil bad guys' invade? Everyone goes home and refuses to even set foot on the street until the assholes vacate. No work gets done, no value exists in dominating a society who's members simply DO NOT ACCEPT YOUR DOMINATION and just go about doing their own thing.

Sure you can execute as many of them as you want, but the last time I checked any asshole with a few H-Bombs can wipe out the whole world anyway, so exactly where did THAT get you?

All of this is somewhat missing the point anyway since the real truth is that it is our WILLINGNESS to use violence which precipitates violence. It is a self-fullfilling prophesy. If you hate and fear your neighbors enough to arm yourself against them then of course they are hateful and to be feared and as you might expect sooner or later there will be violence between you.

Peace is not 'absence of violence', peace is an active and creative state, just as much as violence is. So when you argue that an 'absence of violence' is absurd, you are creating a straw-man argument, because THAT IS NOT PEACE. The philophy of violentism, and its practitioners, will of course try to deny or obscure these truths.

The facts remain thus: If Humanity does not abolish organized violence then it will abolish us. Even if you DO believe in violentism you STILL logically must eventually subscribe to pacifism to survive. If you won't then don't waste my time with your utilitarian arguments for violence, they are absurd.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

That's rather naive isn't it? (none / 1) (#277)
by mstefan on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 03:38:04 PM EST

No work gets done, no value exists in dominating a society who's members simply DO NOT ACCEPT YOUR DOMINATION and just go about doing their own thing.

Typically, people do not invade/conquer another group of people for the value of their labor force. Security, resources and conflict over religion/ideology are far more common reasons. The fact that the indigenous engage in passive resistance is probably of little concern. Hell, in many cases they want them dead anyway, so pacifism on their part just makes the job of rounding them up and killing them that much easer.

And if they really do want the local population as a labor force, then all it would take is some regularly scheduled executions and public beatings to cow the people into falling in line. Don't show up for work? That's fine, we'll electrocute your son. Not going to do as we tell you? No problem, we'll rape your wife in front of you and make no mistake that we'll come back for your daughters if you resist us tomorrow. I can guarantee you that while some people would continue their passive resistance even in the face of this, most would not.

Passive resistance to occupation only truly works if the larger world is outraged by the abuses of the invader. If the rest of the world doesn't really give a damn what happens to you, then pacifism is tantamount to just laying down to die. Usually in a rather painful manner.



[ Parent ]
I think Heinlein said it best (none / 0) (#300)
by AtADeadRun on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 06:19:19 PM EST

when he said that the large-mouthed pacifist would always be an endangered species.

More seriously, there is a single, powerful argument against your thesis: you depend on everyone being rational. You don't take the sheer irrationality of some individuals, and more importantly, of large groups, into account. Those individuals and groups have no compunctions about using violence to accomplish their goals, even when use of violence is counterproductive (see the Israel/Palestine conflict). When there are nutjobs like that, going inside and refusing to do anything will simply enrage the nutjobs in question. Result? Lots of unnecessarily dead people.

I'll go ahead and insert a couple of disclaimers here; I'm an active duty member of the United States armed forces, both because I feel I owe my country a debt and because I saw the military as a means of advancing my personal goals. That being said, I harbor a deep disagreement with the current administration's military, homeland security, and foreign policies. I'm not a raving pro-military bigot.

I still deeply believe in the necessity of defensive military force, because those irrational individuals and groups exist. I also deeply believe in rational civilian control of the military (which is something I wonder about our administration now). I have a job because there are those people who would attack me, my home, my family, and my friends, and I would gladly place myself between my loved home and the war's desolation.

My opinions are my own, and do not reflect those of the US Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or my command.



-------
Pain heals. Glory is forever. Keep running.

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
[ Parent ]
"Violence never solved anything." (none / 0) (#316)
by grout on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 02:44:14 PM EST

"Tell that to the city fathers of Carthage."
-- Heinlein
--
Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

[ Parent ]
Also, from Starship Troopers (1997) (none / 0) (#317)
by Alfie on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 02:53:06 PM EST

Dizzy: My mother always told me that violence doesn't solve anything.

Jean Rasczak: Really. I wonder what the city founders of Hiroshima would have to say about that. You.

Carmen: They wouldn't say anything. Hiroshima was destroyed.

Jean Rasczak: Correct. Violence has resolved more conflicts than anything else. The contrary opinion that violence doesn't solve anything is merely wishful thinking at its worst!



[ Parent ]
But don't you see (none / 0) (#321)
by Alhazred on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 04:03:28 PM EST

<p>that your very argument turns itself against what you claim?</p>

<p><cite>More seriously, there is a single, powerful argument against your thesis: you depend on everyone being rational. You don't take the sheer irrationality of some individuals, and more importantly, of large groups, into account. Those individuals and groups have no compunctions about using violence to accomplish their goals, even when use of violence is counterproductive (see the Israel/Palestine conflict). When there are nutjobs like that, going inside and refusing to do anything will simply enrage the nutjobs in question. Result? Lots of unnecessarily dead people.</cite></p>

<p>The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is the most complete and obvious example of the complete failure of violence to produce a useful result. Despite almost a CENTURY of unparalleled hatred and violence against each other these two groups of people have accomplished NOTHING, they still stand essentially exactly where they were 40 years ago.</p>

<p>The best possible thing the Palestinians could do right now is to forswear violence forever, and the best possible thing the Isrealis could do right now would be to unilaterally withdraw from the occupied territory. Everyone damn well KNOWS this, even the most die-hard fanatics on both sides obviously DO realize in their more rational moments that they are NEVER going to 'win'</p>

<p>People are of course irrational, but I argue that when you STEEP the members of your society in the culture of violentism you CREATE irrational violence prone individuals. The very 'security' you seek to create is the very thing you destroy by the very existence of institutions such as 'armed forces'.</p>

<p>Were human beings rational in fact I would agree with you that we WOULD logically want to have defensive military institutions. Just strong enough to make the cost of someone attacking us higher than the cost of doing business with us. The problem is people are NOT rational, and giving maniacs guns gets people killed.</p>
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

Arkansas... Tennessee... (none / 0) (#270)
by BlackStripe on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:36:27 PM EST

Forget New Hampshire and Florida, if Gore could have managed to win either his or his President's home states he would be sitting in the White House right now. That, or if any Democrats had the integrity to fight to point out the fact that they actually WON the election. The reason they refused to do that is that they prioritize the system above their control of that system. Imagine the MASSIVE protests we would have seen if Bush had been on the losing end of a stolen election. Say what you will about the Xian right, at least they have integrity and fight for what they believe in.

The bottom line is this: you could have run a fucking tomato against George W. Bush and won, especially if it was Bill Clinton's VP. Nader is going to be in this race whether the Dems like it or not, so they need to stop crying and start figuring out a campaign strategy. Al Gore and the Democrats who refused to fight for his victory are the ones who carry the blame for 200. The rest of this is a waste of their own time.

Isaac

wtmf (none / 1) (#290)
by hiro the hacker on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 05:02:25 PM EST

the RIGHT...INTEGRITY?!!! You gotta be kidding me. Bush lied repeatedly -- the end of the war, the cause of the war. Anyone remember the weapons of mass destruction? THEY'RE NOT REAL! THEY WERE NEVER PROVEN TO BE OF EXISTANCE.

I think it was after that that Bush lost all integrity. Fuck him. Fuck him


It is caffeine alone that sets my mind in motion.
It is through beans of java that thoughts
acquire speed, that hands acquire sHaKeS,
that shakes become a warning...I am...IN
CONTROL...OF MY ADDICTION!
[ Parent ]
Semantics. (none / 0) (#291)
by kmcrober on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 06:17:29 PM EST

I don't think he's saying that Bush is an ethical person - I think he's saying that the right wing had a fire in their belly and prioritized their social agenda over the core values of voting.  When he says "integrity," you could read it as "consistency" - they said this is what we believe in first and foremost, and it's XYZ rather than counting votes.  

[ Parent ]
gotcha (none / 0) (#292)
by hiro the hacker on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 07:43:26 PM EST




It is caffeine alone that sets my mind in motion.
It is through beans of java that thoughts
acquire speed, that hands acquire sHaKeS,
that shakes become a warning...I am...IN
CONTROL...OF MY ADDICTION!
[ Parent ]
This is all beside the point (none / 0) (#285)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 07:14:48 PM EST

No matter who wins the White House, the multinational corporations (partly foreign owned, FUCK the American people) will still rule America and the world.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

When nobody votes... (none / 1) (#286)
by megid on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 05:54:48 AM EST

The whole "Nader stole votes" thing is utter bullshit. You, dear USian, tell me what percentage of citizens voted at all (wasnt it below 50%? I dont remember too well) and THEN repeat that Nader stole votes from the democrats.

Ridiculous.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."

Too many choices (none / 0) (#293)
by JayGarner on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 11:22:55 PM EST

Between Kucinich, Nader, Sharpton and Carol Mosley Brown, how the hell am I supposed to decide which fringe nutball with a snowball's chance in hell to piss my vote away on?

Re: Voting (none / 0) (#294)
by Alfie on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 11:50:40 PM EST

Nader has not yet decided whether to run. Obviously he will be running as the Green Party canidate if he does choose to try.

As for whom to vote, I suggest you study the canidates' platforms and prior experience.



[ Parent ]
Nader this, Nader that (none / 1) (#307)
by Stickerboy on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 01:42:14 AM EST

You know, whether or not Nader runs, I can guarantee a Bush election victory.

How?

The simple matter is, since presidential primaries became standard practice in the US, not a single incumbent president, Democrat or Republican, who didn't face a significant challenge for his party's nomination has lost the subsequent presidential election.

What does this mean?

Several things.  A president that does not face a challenger in the primaries conserves his many political and financial resources for the main event, instead of squandering it against six other members of their own party.

The lack of challengers is an indication of the president's ability to galvanize support among his base, which is crucial to get reelected.

A corollary to this is that it's easier to rally the party and get-out-the-vote initiatives when a candidate is cruising through primary season unscathed, instead of emerging after a bruising presidential primary where egos, pride, and personal honor are stepped on and smashed in cordial fracticide.

It's true that 40% of the country will always vote Republican and 40% of the country will always vote Democrat, but just as crucial as winning over the undecided 20% is making sure your 40% actually gets to the polls on election day.

oh really? (none / 1) (#308)
by Mindcrym on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 02:53:18 AM EST

The simple matter is, since presidential primaries became standard practice in the US, not a single incumbent president, Democrat or Republican, who didn't face a significant challenge for his party's nomination has lost the subsequent presidential election.

Not even George Bush Sr.'s presidential campaign?

-Mindcrym

[ Parent ]
Uh, yeah.... (none / 0) (#314)
by Stickerboy on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 03:09:19 AM EST

Does the name Pat Buchanan, and the phrase, "Read my lips, no new taxes!" ring a bell?

When a good portion of card-carrying Republicans consider you a traitor to the Republican ideals, it's a fair bet that not many of those Republicans will go out and vote for you.

[ Parent ]

Who was Carter's Significant Challenger? (n/t) (none / 0) (#318)
by cestmoi on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 04:42:54 PM EST



[ Parent ]
A Nobody Named Ted Kennedy. (none / 1) (#322)
by Stickerboy on Tue Dec 16, 2003 at 07:02:30 PM EST

And if I do recall, the only thing that stopped Kennedy from winning the Democratic nomination was the infamous Chappequidick incident.

[ Parent ]
Walter Conkrite (none / 1) (#309)
by Alfie on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 03:40:48 AM EST

Walter Conkrite has written something similar entitled Democrats are wasting time.



[ Parent ]
Cronkite (none / 0) (#310)
by Alfie on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 03:45:29 AM EST

Cronkite. Duh. This is what I get for posting at 3am. :p

By the way, it sure is chilly outside here. The ground stands out with the eery whiteness of snow. There's this lone tree in my back yard which a friend called "sad", but I had to point out that no one looks good at 3am.

Anyways, keep warm y'all.



[ Parent ]
Democrats running to lose? (none / 1) (#312)
by alaska nemesis on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 06:17:52 PM EST

I have not voted for a republican for president during the last 22 years. and as a atheist I despise the religious right and their influence on this country. How ever I see the Democratic party going no where and will likely not only lose the presidential race against george bush but will probably lose several states that they had as a majority as short of time ago as the last election. Whenever I hear liberals shout "Bush stole the election, Bush- lied us into a war, Bush-etc." i tremble as i begin to realize that he is going to get elected again and unfortunately with more senators and congress members with him. Trying to refight the last election in the middle of the current election is a sure sign that many Democrats are so out of touch with reality that they don't have a clue on how to talk to the great mass of the voters. I offer a few facts as evidence and a few of my own observations as well: 1- Bush is personally liked by most of the public. Any effort to attack him personally only makes his opponates into raving losers in the minds of many that would otherwise consider their arguments. shouts of baby killer and that he is trying to murder arabs do not make bush look worse but do make those who bring up these arguments as unworthy of being listened to let alone of voting for. notice the polls showing what % of the public likes him personally compared to what % like his policies. 2- This map: http://tranquility.net/nemesis/roughmap.jpg should be kept constantly in mind by every Democrat. What's happening is that the coasts are becoming more democratic and leftist while the rest of the country is becoming more Republican and Right wing. What this holds for the future is that the Democrats will unless things change have a ever increasing percentage of the vote of a ever decreasing number of states. what is likely to happen is that california,mass etc. with have Democratic majorities of 70% plus while the rest of the country will go from the 50/50 or close to it to 55%/45% Republican. By concentrating on issues on vital interest to a urban population in the largest cities they are gradually losing the support of much of the rest of the country. in many of the border states like Missouri, kentucky, Arkansas. Elections have changed the makeup of the state legislatures who draw state and congressional district boundaries. In many others the Governors and the Legislatures makeup changing to a Republican majority is simply a matter of time. Saying well we still have all these votes in the large cites on the coasts! will not overcome the rest of the country becoming a one party territory. 3- Demographics, At one time the Democratic Party had several legs to stand on and could depend on the financial support of several groups in society. Blacks- this group voted solidly Democratic 40 years ago and it is the one group that still votes solidly democratic today. Any effort by any Republicans to appeal to black urban voters is simply wasted money flushed down the toilet. Depression babies/WW2 FDR supporters- This was a huge group. They reliably voted democratic and unlike other groups they were in every city and county in the country and they vote. They will turn out to vote in every election because if they didn't hoover might get back in and there will be a depression and they will be eating in soup kitchens. These people were scared by the memory of the great depression and a more loyal group of democratic voters could not be found. Unfortunately these people are between the ages of 75 and 100 years old and the graveyards are being filled up with these people every passing day. Their influence is passing and with it the large Democratic Majorities is passing with them. Their children and grandchildren listen to their stories of the great depression and FDR while visiting them at the nursing home and say times sure were tough while wanting to get away from them as soon as possible. The passing of this group alone will convert many of the states to a republican majority. Unions- Once when i was young, people identified with their union. They wore jackets that said IBEW local 1547 or laborers local 942 or UAW local 6 or whatever. They went to union picnics and tended to vacation with other union members and politicians went to union meetings to talk to the crowd and get the unions nod. All the politicians knew if local XX didn't endorse them they were not going to get elected. Now days most members think of their union as another layer of suits they have to pay off at payday to keep their job and their greatest wish for their children is for them to get a education that will mean that they wont have to work at the factory or job so they will have to work at the same plant their dad worked at. I was a member of the Laborers Union for many years. In my local we only saw union officials at election time. The union can offer the unions endorsement but at least in our area most of the member usually voted against whoever the union endorsed. Given a choice between union solidarity with a bunch of older remote polititions and the sure chance they will lose part of their standard of living in higher taxes. The union became a shell trying to make people think they could guarantee votes when they didn't have a chance to deliver them. Rural Farmers- Strange to think of it but this used to be one of the largest groups supporting the democratic party in many western and midwest states. now the numbers of family farmers has declined to almost nothing in many areas. The few remaining ones either work part time in shops or other trades or for large corporations. Anti free trade or globalization efforts will fall very flat with them as they want to export crops overseas. Any efforts to stop other countries from bringing in manufactured items will raise prices they pay for those items as well as leading to trade embargoes of things they want to sell to those countries. Think about a few of these points. The Democratic Party is in very serious trouble that is going to be getting worse. Making the opposition to George Bush look like a pack of raving lunatics is not going to help win the hearts and minds of much of the country. Trading the votes of the rural, southern and western population for the votes of a east and west coast urban elite is a sure path to a long reign of Republican victories. I don't want to see george Bush win and even more i sure don't want to see the Republicans take over every branch of Government for many years to come and that's what i see happening if many things are not changed. alaska nemesis
better to be a pirate than to join the navy
Ow. Ow! (none / 0) (#313)
by kmcrober on Sun Dec 14, 2003 at 09:05:39 PM EST

It doesn't really matter how insightful or gracefully written that enormous chunk of words is - it just isn't readable.  

If that kind of formatting was intentional, then watch out.  Page-long paragraphs are the first sign of joining the tinfoil-hat brigade.  I have to wonder if there's a sentence about the lizard people in there.

Otherwise, use the preview button.  It loves you, and respects you, and will save you from yourself.

[ Parent ]

sorry the formateing was removed when i posted. (none / 1) (#315)
by alaska nemesis on Mon Dec 15, 2003 at 09:50:54 AM EST

this was my first post here and i had never used this before. i selected html formated and assumed all my pagebreaks and paragraphs would be retained.

 i guess auto format would have been the corect choice

alaska nemesis
better to be a pirate than to join the navy
[ Parent ]

Nader Testing Waters | 332 comments (322 topical, 10 editorial, 1 hidden)
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