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Dog Fight Politics

By xC0000005 in Politics
Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 09:57:32 PM EST
Tags: (all tags)

The house wasn't always dark and empty. It didn't always reek of urine and beer. Flowers grew in the lawn where someone has now planted beer bottles. Inside, a ring formed of carpet and stained with blood defines the house. It's where they held dogfights, and in that ring the dogs were set on each other. The spectators came in quiet cars, shuffling in and exchanging cash, mumbling, laughing, shouting when the liquor loosened their spirits and wallets. They came, you see, to bet on a dog fight. Each of them had a favorite dog, a dog they put their money on. They couldn't wait for the dogs to finally be let go, to stop the growling, the barking, the posturing. To start the tearing. I watch today's politics and wonder if the dog ring wasn't more civil.


I make no secret of the fact that I am not a democrat. The sundries of their candidate positions matter little to me. Over at Daily Kos they get so lathered up you'd think the entire community caught rabies over every comment, every move, every nuance. They can't seem to wait for the blood letting to begin. I once volunteered at a shelter where they took abused animals. The last spring I worked there they brought in truck with crates, huge crates. Inside the crates where misshapen hunks of monstrous fur and teeth. They snarled and snapped and bit at the cages while the handlers unloaded them. I stayed away. That afternoon I went to one of the rooms to get food and saw the shelter manager kneeling down, petting one of the dogs. The cage was open, it was wandering freely. It wagged a ragged stump at me, eager to be petted. It's perfectly safe, said the shelter manager. The dogs were bred to be aggressive toward other dogs.

The thing about the democratic party is that they are so eager for blood that until the fight begins in earnest, they'll settle for tearing each other's heart out. The crowds at dog fights are more civil, more tolerant, and they've gathered to pay money to see animals kill each other.

The Michael Vick School of Campaign Management
Then you read laments from political pundits. "How could Hillary be so cold? So ruthless?" Idiots. She was bred to be that way. Like those shelter dogs she is a product of her upbringing, training, and own primal desires. Dogs desire to slaughter each other, and to rend the meat from the weaker ones. Politicians desire power, wrung from the bones of those who either stood against them or didn't run fast enough. And it's not like there was some bait and switch: I've seen them call Hillary a hypocrite or fake, saying she isn't "democratic enough". Hillary Clinton, love her or hate her, hasn't varied one iota from what she is: a pure political animal. The DC equivalent of a junk yard pit bull, owing allegiance only to those who hold the food bowl and willing to do what it takes to win. And her supporters love her for that. My neighbor's a big Clintonista (her term). "Hillary's a fighter. I want a fighter," she said, "someone to go in and play nasty and make the republicans walk the line, someone who's not afraid to do what it takes." 8th street in West Seattle, Friday at 11:30p.m., they got your kind of election woman. "If he (Obama) can't withstand Hillary, the Republicans will eat him up" (her words). So Obama's the meat dog for Clinton? Just something for her to warm up on before the real fight?

Down, Dogs
So Democrats are dogs? That's the point? Not exactly, though the current "Majority party" sure behaves like it. If the Democrat party leaders rolled over and peed themselves when a Republican walked by I wouldn't be surprised. A majority party who doesn't stop the war? Who approve legislature that runs counter to the values they paid lip service to in order to get elected? Honestly, if we had any sense of decency, any sense of mercy we'd bring in the Detroit PD and let them raid the Senate and House. "Today in the news five hundred and thirty four disease politicians were seized from a disgusting house of bribery and corruption. Several packs, or `committees' had to be tasered or harpooned. Officials say some of these may be able to be rehabilitated into business owners or neighbors. The rest will be rehabilitated by PETA.

If you were wondering if I'll work in a reference to Dog Whistle Politics, I won't be. Dog Whistle politics is where a politician says something, and constituents hear whatever they want to. Dog whistle politics are the EVP of Washington DC. You listen to it long enough and true believers will hear whatever they want to hear. For instance: Politician A says "I believe in equal opportunity." The far right says "It means he believe in affirmative action." The Far left says "It means he believes in ending affirmative action", and the middle of the road say "I just want to believe there is opportunity." Anyone who uses the phrase "Dog whistle politics" has just done you a favor. Fold them up a tinfoil sailor's hat and seat them at a table with the cousine who believes the aliens have made contact, the aunt who thinks the government invented AIDS, and the other delusional people. They're happier that way.

Peanuts, Get Your Peanuts
If I were a still a Republican this would be the most entertaining race possible. Watching my "enemies" fight it out amongst themselves, knowing that every drop of blood they let on their own just makes my job easier, that would be invigorating. I'd recommend that my own supporters vote for the loser to keep him going. I might even fund the loser to make certain that he still takes a bite out of it. Because the longer the fight goes on the better off I would be in the end. Like fight night at the dog ring, the winner hasn't won anything but the right to get attacked by the next challenger. A challenger who hasn't been fighting all night. Who has been resting, watching, waiting.

And the crowd, that record crowd who turned out to watch the first two dogs go at it? Well, the die hards got what they came for in the primary. A bloody battle with a "victory" by the dog they bet on. The others, the ones who just showed up because they were excited...are not so convinced. The dog that won did it by attacking anything and everything. The blood is everywhere. And that dog that is waiting - he didn't look so good before but as the night has worn on he looks better and better. "Hell", says the average man, "I can't really tell the difference, but that one doesn't have blood all over it."

When this election season dawned the crowd was so against the reigning dog that they hated anything associated with it. The crowd was waiting to throw sticks and bottles at the dog from that party. Now they know they just can't stand any of them. The party that seemed to stand against hate just seems as though it likes its hate a little better dressed. If someone asked me who was campaigning the hardest to get John McCain elected, I'd have to say it was John McCain, with the Democrat party running a close second. Nothing Johnny boy could have done would have made him look any better than an extended civil war among democrats. So if you are republican, just ride it out. Fuel the fire if your state hasn't voted yet. And watch the dog fight, because if you thought it's been bloody so far you aint' seen nothing yet.

Bring the Kids
That old house, it wasn't the site of any published debate. Not even Fox News could leave it that filthy. It wasn't the site of the Democratic National Convention, because the spectators didn't kill enough of their own. It wasn't Republican headquarters either. The closets simply weren't large enough. No, it was the site of a dog fight, where two dumb animals played out their most basic instincts for the thrills of the crowd. In time the crowd joined in. In a few weeks I hear CNN will be hosting yet another debate. If you want more civilized entertainment, there's a house in West Seattle where the action starts near midnight.

lonelyhobo points out that this makes no reference to bees, so I have analyzed the "Honeybee Election Method" here.

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Dog Fight Politics | 87 comments (50 topical, 37 editorial, 0 hidden)
I like, will vote up... (none / 0) (#20)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:51:17 PM EST

When it hits voting.

For bonus points, repost at DK.

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

I'm sure at least one of the DK true believers has (none / 0) (#21)
by xC0000005 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:06:17 PM EST

already realized that scorched earth doesn't attract independents, and that "His party is ugly" works less and less by the day when you have the sort of spin and spout crap being bandied about by the "d" candidates.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
This doesn't make any sense. (3.00 / 3) (#23)
by TDS on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 03:09:09 AM EST

I don't understand what your point is. That the Democratic party has an internal debate? Isn't this a good thing?
At no point are you actually saying anything. I'm sure you are making some terribly clever satirical points but damn, I can't find them.

What I find more troubling is what this appears to say about how you think politics should proceed.

You sound a lot like the Chinese, they think political debate is undignified and people should have enough shame to quietly fall into line with what confused old men (like McCain) think should happen.

Why do you hate what little remains of American democracy?

And when we die, we will die with our hands unbound. This is why we fight.

What I miss are the statesmen. (3.00 / 2) (#27)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:29:58 AM EST

Or Stateswoman, if you prefer. People who disagree on a fundamental level but acknowledge that democracy is a process, that they in fact might not win. People who have limits about what they'll do to win. I don't think politics should play out in a smokey backroom. I don't think there should be a succession for "the good the party". Fundamental disagreement and vigorous debate are good. How we go about it is what I have a problem with. Most americans dislike the way the general election is run. This year's primary is dragging that out even further.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
such things never existed. (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by chlorus on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:03:10 AM EST

also: seeing the past through rose-tinted glasses is more localroger territory, i think he'll be nonplussed that you're competing with him.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

See, thats an interesting (none / 0) (#35)
by TDS on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:03:11 AM EST

and nuanced point worth discussing. I wish you'd said that it in the article :( The British press talk about 'living after the age of deference' and maybe its a similar thing because I wonder where the statesmen have gone as well. TBH I think part of the problem is these people in the past had feet of clay, its just conventions existed to protect them (e.g, JFK, not nearly the person everyone thought he was at the time). Can we really expect people to rise above the mud when we try so damn hard to pull them in?

On the other side, without wishing to sound Pollyannaish, be glad that Hillary and Obama can row like this and nobody gets killed. The same thing in Pakistan or wherever would see an actual bodycount rather than a tiresome series of headlines in the New York Times.

And when we die, we will die with our hands unbound. This is why we fight.
[ Parent ]

It was a different mindset as well. (none / 0) (#40)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 12:00:07 PM EST

One in which the leaders were less polarized. It was like voting for the red checker piece versus the black checker piece. Also, the politicians often considered the process of intense debate healthy. Today's attitude is that anyone who does not agree is my enemy, fit only for feeding to the pigs.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
You were talking about JFK (none / 0) (#84)
by curien on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 11:00:44 PM EST

Wasn't that about the time folks were getting lynched, blown up, sprayed with firehoses, and had police dogs loosed upon them for daring to stand up for equal rights?

Or the generation before, when people were regularly beaten for striking?

Or the generation or two before that, when... well, I guess that takes us full circle to election fraud (Rutherfraud B. Hayes), "if you're not with us, you're against us" (Reconstruction), and trumped-up justifications for war ("Remember the Maine!").

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]

Not so much. (none / 1) (#85)
by xC0000005 on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 02:37:08 AM EST

I grew up watching several flavors of small, medium and state level politics play out and was always amazed that people who had been arguing so fervently that they were turning red and sweating could:
a. Accept when they lost. and
b. Continue to work with the people who "beat" them,
and
c. Continue to work and live with these people day in day out as neighbors, sometimes friends.

Normally the smaller the stakes the more brutal the wars over them (something I still don't understand) but I have always wondered what it is about this that makes it "unfit" for the wider picture of national government. What is it, exactly that makes it so worth winning that doing anything to anyone is worth it?

Some comments say "It's survival of the fittest in politics." We had a system like that once, when we lived in caves, and the caveman who clubbed his neighbor the hardest got to live int he cave. Survival of the fittest politcs serves only to promote the meanest, the lowest, the dirtiest that we will tolerate.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]

Well I was (none / 0) (#87)
by TDS on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 12:37:45 PM EST

and what I was thinking was probably a little less interesting than that.

Just that JFK, today, would have had someone say "actually you're a cripple and you lie about it" and "you sleep around a lot" and that would be the end of it. The press certainly knew all about it, but they agreed to STFU so JFK could be a 'great man'. Same thing with Churchill for example, his past mistakes were never really thrown in his face even in the 1950s and certainly he never got into trouble for being a drunk who had several crippling psychological problems that put him out of action for days at a time.

There used to be a conspiracy almost towards presenting politicians as 'great'. And now we still demand the same and are always disappointed when the skeletons come out of the cupboard, but I think its ultimately an unrealistic demand to be making. Clinton was a good President, at least from my vantage point as a foreigner and the economic numbers look good for him as well, but all anyone talks about in relation to his presidency now is spunk stains on dresses. As if JFK et al. didn't do exactly the same thing or worse...

So thats the battleground and politicians are obliged to fight in it and just throw handfulls of shite at eachother until someone loses. You know, if the people said "fuck this Lewinsky shit, we don't care" the networks wouldn't run it either. As ever, we get the politics we deserve.

And when we die, we will die with our hands unbound. This is why we fight.
[ Parent ]

That's basically the problem (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by rusty on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 12:03:37 PM EST

There's no fundamental difference between Obama and Clinton. The less daylight there is between two candidates positions, the nastier the fight gets, because all that's left is personal stuff, like "judgement," and "character," and "leadership." The Republicans actually had some pretty wide policy differences on offer this time around, and it would be hard to argue that McCain was just like Romney was just like Huckabee. The Democrats, on the other hand, are stuck with two excellent candidates who are the same politically but who light up very different sets of identity-politics triggers.

Oops.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Do you expect that the two are similar enough (none / 1) (#43)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 12:15:31 PM EST

that when all this is settled (whichever way) that the followers of the other will fall in line? I'd expect so, though my knowledge of democratic party layout is poor. I know that up here the democrats have a defacto ally in the libertarians. The libertarians as a whole detest the democrats but usually will vote for a democrat versus a republican. And the moderates - will they follow one versus the other?

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, no (3.00 / 3) (#45)
by rusty on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 12:29:02 PM EST

This is the problem with very similar candidates. You get so into personality stuff that a lot of people don't notice they're so similar, or they simply grow within themselves a visceral dislike for the opponent.

Specifically, this time, I see a lot of Obama supporters sitting out rather than vote for Hillary, and some of them (the more confused) going to McCain. Obama, as the insurgent candidate, had to put together a tricky coalition of new voters, young people, idealists and independents. He's actually done a surprisingly good job of it. Compare him to Dean, who went the same route and flamed out very badly when the young people failed to show up.

Unfortunately, these people are easily discouraged and generally have no stomach for the deep-down ugliness of the dogfight. They're, in a word, flighty. If Hillary managed to pull it out, a ton of Obama people would disappear. Not his whole base, mind you -- let's face it, the blacks are still going to vote for the Democrat, and Hillary has never been the enemy of the black voter. But that crucial edge contingency that's putting him in top. Those people will bail.

I think if Obama wins, Hillary's voters will go to him. She's appealing much more to the traditional Democratic base. Unions, blue-collar Dems, and so forth. Plus it's looking increasingly like a Hilary win would be extremely dubious, and would have to be cobbled together mainly out of some kind of superdelegate advantage and MI and FL votes. Obama supporters would go apeshit at that.

I just don't see a way for Hillary to win this without really hurting our chances in the general. I appreciate the battle of politics, and I frankly dislike Obama (but will happily vote for him, mind you) but I do think every day Hillary sticks around is a missed opportunity for her and us.

If I had a dream scenario here, it's that Obama manages to Spitzerize himself out of the race somehow. That's basically the only thing that could get Hillary the nod without wrecking the queasy Democratic coalition. We'd still lose some Obama cultists, and a lot of young people, but frankly who cares. Those people are generally not a factor anyway. I think, in contrast to coventional wisdom, Hillary's a much stronger candidate for the general. Everything bad and ugly there is to say about her has been said. Obama's problems will leak out a bit at a time, nibbling and nibbling away at him while he tries to defend, and those problems will all be news, not olds.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I would have to agree. (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by jd on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 02:01:12 PM EST

Personally, I have not liked Obama and Hillary in the same race for other reasons. There is a risk that they will be seen to primarily represent a specific group (probably by colour and gender respectively) and that whoever loses will harm the credibility of any future politician from that same group.

There is also the economic tarring and feathering that the eventual President is in risk of. The worst-possible case is that the economy truly tanks at the point where they get into the White House. It would be the primary connection people formed in their minds, no matter how unjust that might be.

I want Democrats in power, but in my mind, it almost has to be an insignificant Democrat. Smart, yes, to pull the economy into good shape, to stabilize things, and to normalize international affairs, but ultimately someone who can afford to have the inevitable hostility and crud poured not just over them but over the group, stereotype or class that the person is truly seen to represent.

The problem is, there are no Democrats left in the race that can be thrown into the Presidency and so the wolves. Both Obama and Hillary could be excellent Presidents and achieve much, but both are perceived as representing underclasses, which means the wolves at the door will be a lot more vicious and will go after a lot more than just them.

IMHO, if either win the White House, they will need to act with amazing speed to eliminate the disasters that are handed on to them. It will take a lot of effort, a lot of nerve, and a lot of planning, to get right. This is a crunch time. If we can't use the political equivalent of a crash test dummy, and the price of winning but crashing is too high, then they need to either lose or be very very certain that they can escape the crunch.

Obama and Hillary are good, they are respectable in their own ways (and more so than many politicians), and they are both capable of beating McCain. To me, though, that's not what is important. Are they good enough to avoid being caught in the crunch? Are they good enough to avoid their race and gender being used - not only against them, but against everyone else?

I truly wish they'd campaigned 4 years ago, or in another 4 years. Either way, we'd be out of this really deep pit. That's the crux. Whoever wins will be associated with the pit and all that happens within it, whether or not it was inherited and no matter how enlightened all other policies are.

[ Parent ]

I don't know (none / 1) (#49)
by rusty on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 02:22:05 PM EST

I don't think there's any time that a first successful candidate from any non-white non-male group won't have that risk of screwing up. I don't think you can really worry about that. Someone has to be first, and anyone can fuck up. You go with whoever can win, y'know?

I also don't think Barack and Hillary are unique, going forward. I think they're signs that it's been long enough since women started asserting their rights and long enough since minorities started being treated as full citizens that a few have reached such a lofty plateau. I don't think they'll be the last of their kind, by any stretch of the imagination. Hell, just by being the last two serious contenders, they've opened the door for future black candidates or female candidates to not automatically be seen as fringe or hopeless. In a way, that job is already finished and going forward they're just candidates.

A Dem in the White House will, virtually all by itself, turn around the economic mess whoever it is.  Democrats can get away with massive handouts and bailouts in the same way only Nixon could go to China and only republicans can really end wars. By being contrary to the stereotype, it becomes very difficult to criticize. Look at what Bill did in his first year in the white house. He basically turned around the collapsing commodities market by just doing everything they wanted. It was really contrary to Democratic principle and philosophy, but Bill understood that the crisis was mainly one of confidence, and he could survive the political hit he'd take for it. I think this crisis is very similar, in that real action isn't making much difference (look at the spread between fed funds rates and mortgage rates, for example) because the psychology of the market is broken.

Basically, they're both excellent candidates. But either Obama has to get caught in bed with a dead child or Hillary has to step aside without being forced aside. Otherwise, we're in some trouble.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The only way I see Hillary stepping aside (none / 0) (#50)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 02:29:48 PM EST

is if she's offered more power somewhere else than she could get as commander in chief. In a lot of respects I regard the "personalities" of bush Junior and both clintons as more similar than alike - both crave power and see it as their right. I got to talk once with Bush the Senior and he was a different breed. How his son wound up so far off I'm not certain. Certainly no shining political star but his son makes him look better by the day.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
The sons of privilege... (none / 1) (#54)
by rusty on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:54:27 PM EST

Ok, so technically Bush Sr. was a son of privilege too.

The way I see it is, Bush Sr. casts himself as being from Maine. Bush Jr. casts himself as being from Texas. That basically says all you need to know about the difference between them.

As far as both craving power -- perhaps. I don't see how you can run for President at all without craving power. What other possible reason would there be for doing it? By my lights, Obama must also crave power. McCain pretty clearly does. I mean, Fred Thompson obviously doesn't crave power, and you see how that went.

But as for "sees it as their right," there I have to disagree. Hillary Rodham grew up middle-class (maybe upper-middle, but not plutocrat rich by any stretch of the imagination) in Illinois and worked hard to get where she is. Bill Clinton, for God's sake, came from a single mom in buttfuck Arkansas. The Bush family, on the other hand, hasn't seen the wrong side of "filthy rich" since 1901. They are grade-A gold-plated blueblood oligarchs, and their very political prominence would all by itself give lie to the American Dream if anyone ever cared to notice.

If Hillary sees power as her right, it's because she has sweated blood to get it. No Bush has sweated anything at all in over a century.

At least McCain comes from sailors. Wish he'd learned something from his family, or at least not forgotten it since.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

+3 - Good link.. (none / 0) (#55)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 05:06:51 PM EST

I had no idea the scope of influence the Bush family had (and it appears that they have no problem continuing to make certain they are filthy rich). Being from Texas myself, I have no problem with GWB being from there, even if he's a miserable failure.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
The fact that you are ignorant (none / 1) (#75)
by shinshin on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 03:32:20 AM EST

of the background of the current ruling family makes me deeply skeptical that any of your cynical insights are anything but flip, snarky, and childish regurgitations of the rhetoric espoused by the current crop of fashionable disillusionati.

You go to all the effort to make proclamations that you "make no secret of the fact that [you are] not a democrat", and yet you know nothing of the power structures of the party that you thereby implicitly support? You (rightly) detest the awful policies of the current Republicans, and yet you go to great pains to point out that you can't bring yourself to support the opposition party simply because they are practicing the exact same politics that have been the hallmark of the American system for hundreds of years? Who are you, Maureen Fucking Dowd?

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Hmmmm. (none / 0) (#78)
by xC0000005 on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:24:46 AM EST

I don't make it a practice to study family trees of anyone other than my own. And if it's fashionable to detest a party of law breakers and regard the other group as petulant children fighting over who gets to play as red, then you definitely got me. There was a time when American Politicians were even more passionate about politics but they understood that democracy was a process, and that they very well might lose. That their opponents were Americans as well, not some piece of slimy trash to be disposed of. I wonder where those leaders have gone, and why we traded them for people willing to do or say any anything to win.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
I don't know if that really was ever the case (none / 0) (#79)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 10:54:10 AM EST

The more you read about American history, the more it starts to look like the worst of what we have now is historically normal, and the best of it is fairly unusual. I would even submit that these are not the most bitterly partisan times in our country's history. I mean, clearly it was worse in the mid 1800's. The parties were so far apart they fought a war over whether to stay one country or not. There is no civil war even  remotely in the offing today.

And that partisanship continued throughout the rest of the 1800s as well. The populists, the Wobblies, the Republican plutocrats and their Pinkerton goons. I don't think many of them thought their enemies were anything but scum, or that democracy was a process where you were supposed to just submit to your losses graciously. Taking up arms was not uncommon.

Basically, I think you're looking at the best of what we have been and ignoring the worst because it's much easier not to see it when it's distant.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Hear, Hear! (none / 0) (#80)
by shinshin on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 01:35:38 PM EST

So many people have a Norman Rockwell illusion of past elections being honest and civilized. It never happened. They've been in the mud from day one. And no matter what era you look at, there is always the same hue and cry about contemporary politics being so dirty, and if only we could return to this mythical age then everything would be OK.

And I, for one, am itching for a good fight. Hopefully B and H won't break too many of each other's limbs in this primary that they will still have enough fight in them to give some payback to the Republicans.

Shrinking violets should restrain from engaging in American politics. It's survival of the fittest out here.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]

Where where? (none / 0) (#81)
by wiredog on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 01:42:41 PM EST


The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

do you really think? (none / 0) (#88)
by nononoitaintmebabe on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 08:53:43 PM EST

that both are capable of beating mccain? really?  i'm not so sure.  i don't think that hillary can beat mccain.  
hillary's just too polarizing. i don't think you can overestimate how much the people that hate her- hate her. i also  don't think there is a very accurate understanding of how many people do hate her either.  and i think if she wins the nod, those that hate her will turn out in full force for mccain. not so much in support of mccain or the republican party and it's ideals.  but because they will not be able to stomach hillary as president.  

[ Parent ]
The democrats I know (none / 0) (#48)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 02:06:08 PM EST

(and I live in hardcore democrat country) are so virulently for their candidate it's almost like there needs to be a moat between them. I don't recall a similar dust up on the right recently. Assuming the democrats actually do want to win someone has to be planning beyond the convention and figuring out how to win the convention and not lose the general.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Problems with statesmen (none / 1) (#82)
by Pentashagon on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:17:18 PM EST

There's a problem in your definition of a statesman; anyone with a limit on what they'll do to win is ultimately defeated by anyone slightly worse (but perhaps more popular) than them. Induction suggests that the quality of politicians will decrease over time. I think statesmen need a bit of patriotism to actually fight for what they believe, as well. The oligarchs are obviously going to fight for more power, so fighting fire with fire is necessary at some point. It's either that or replace the U.S. population with critically thinking and rational people.

In regards to Clinton and Obama, I've always thought they should just run on the same ticket (flip a coin for god's sake, the Democrats win either way). Even better would be if the U.S. hadn't made the mistake of tying president and vice president into a single electable entity. I would be absolutely thrilled to see McCain/Clinton or Obama/McCain (or any of the other 2 permutations) elected directly. It would provide a far more balanced executive branch, even if it did result in a 4 year (or longer with any luck) stalemate. It would also be far more entertaining than k5.

Making the political process a winner-takes-all gamble leads directly to fucked up politicians who HAVE to do anything to win. There can be no constructive dialog when it all occurs in the 9 to 12 months leading up to a nomination and general election of a single Leader<TM>.

The other obvious fix is to ignore the presidential election as a mere figurehead selection and focus on Congress. The line item veto and increasing executive power makes that difficult, though.

[ Parent ]

Other problems with ignoring the president:SCOTUS (none / 0) (#83)
by xC0000005 on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:37:34 PM EST

As long as the president gets to appoint candidates (and as long as congress does not act as a barrier for this) people of either party should be concerned. I'm more conservative than liberal in some areas but the supreme court really needs a centerist balance to keep the reigns on the other two branches.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
-1, too Americapoliticocentric (1.50 / 2) (#26)
by BJH on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:24:37 AM EST

Yes, I did just make that word up.

The rest of the world doesn't need to hear more about the cesspit of US political infighting. Just give us a yell when you manage to elect somebody who's worth the time spent jawing about them.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

Oh, I'd like to. (none / 0) (#28)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:30:59 AM EST

Our news sucks so I have no idea how politics in Japan play out.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Very similarly, but with less choice. [nt] (none / 1) (#33)
by BJH on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:52:19 AM EST


--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Really? I deal with execs from Japan (none / 0) (#37)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:20:11 AM EST

every day and they are so grave and serious, I have difficulty imagining a throwdown.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
One difference... (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by BJH on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:24:57 AM EST

...is that nobody really gives a shit about politicians' sex scandals - one of the main members of the ruling party is well-known for a scandal a while back where he spent several years screwing around with a 25-year-old ex-bargirl (he's in his mid-60s), after which she went and spilled the beans to the press about how he had her get two abortions, enjoyed golden showers, and kept on asking her to organise a 3-way session with her mother - not to mention that he took her, rather than his wife, with him on official trips to China, the US and Taiwan.

A more succinct way of putting it would be that Japanese politics is strictly a spectator sport for its citizens. There's noise from the stands and action on the pitch, but nobody runs out there to try and grab the ball.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

Dog whistle politics may be too refined for you... (2.33 / 3) (#51)
by Russell Dovey on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 03:23:53 PM EST

...backwards hicks in America, but here in Australia it's worked quite well. The last PM survived 11 years by harnessing people's intolerance of... well, everything.

Mind you, he also had a pitbull called Bill Heffernan whose job was to stand up in Parliament and spew shit upon the Prime Minister's enemies; if they were male, he'd call them a child molester, and if they were female he'd call them barren. I wish I was in any way exaggerating.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Barren is an insult? (none / 0) (#52)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 03:29:22 PM EST

That is in and of itself amusing. Any examples of these statements?

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Exact words were "deliberately barren". (2.33 / 3) (#53)
by Russell Dovey on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:06:12 PM EST

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Heffernan

"On March 12, 2002, speaking in the Senate under parliamentary privilege, Heffernan made accusations against a judge. He alleged that this judge - initially unnamed - had regularly 'trawled for rough trade' in a Sydney locality well known for male prostitution, illegally using a government car and driver to pick up a 'young male', and suggested that this judge's alleged leniency towards a convicted pedophile might be viewed as 'subliminal self-defence'."

"In the same Bulletin interview, Heffernan caused widespread outrage by suggesting the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Julia Gillard was unfit for leadership because she was "deliberately barren". He continued: "I mean anyone who chooses to remain deliberately barren ... they've got no idea what life's about." Heffernan was later forced to apologise for the remarks."

Heffernan is a contradiction in many ways. For example, the moronic nature of the above is almost entirely outweighed by insights such as the following:

"In an interview with The Bulletin magazine in May 2007, Senator Heffernan repeated previously-stated views that priests should be able to marry because "...priests, like the rest of us, wake up with a horn at four in the morning."

"On February 7 2006, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Heffernan had been forced to apologise to National Party senator Fiona Nash after a public altercation at Canberra Airport the previous day, during which he had told her to "blow it out her backside". Senator Heffernan said the airport altercation with his fellow Coalition Senator was just "a bit of colour and movement".

(It helps to bear in mind that Heffernan and Nash are in what is essentially the same political party.)

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Speaking as a Republican (1.00 / 2) (#58)
by LilDebbie on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:30:15 PM EST

my dick is so hard right now.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Thanks to this or because you found pics (none / 0) (#59)
by xC0000005 on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:32:59 PM EST

of Elliot Spitzer's whore?

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Is that because (1.00 / 3) (#76)
by Nimey on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:54:58 AM EST

you've got a wide stance?
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
obama beats mccain, and here's why republicans: (1.50 / 2) (#63)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:08:03 AM EST

it's called the carter effect. i just made that up: after nixon, americans were so disgusted with vietnam war they elected a goddamn peanut farmer to the presidency. weakest presidency ever

same thing happening now. look at bush's poll numbers lately? sorry republicans, that rubs off on your party. result: we get an obama presidency, he pulls all the troops out of iraq, etc.

remember, the iranian revoultion happened on carter's watch. wonder what step back in the war against islamofascists will happen in the obama presidency? again, don't blame obama, obama will be president only for the same reason carter was president: you fucking republicans fucked up

but cheer up republicans: who came after carter? that's right, your fucking saint, ronald reagan. so look to 2012 and the second coming of the conservative messiah

man i hate you republican assholes


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

well if the numbers (none / 1) (#65)
by yellow shark on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:11:15 AM EST

hold in these independent polls McCain is beginning to take advantage of the quarreling Democrats.

Although it is too early to tell who will be elected, McCain was not only out of the race a year ago he was out of the picture of even being nominated.

Yet his strength has been growing for a year now.

I am not sure why this is but certain things are becoming obvious:

As much as people hated 12 years of The Bushes they also don't want 12-16 years of the Clintons.

Obama's star is now tarnished and the euphoria of "looks good, says nothing" campaign Obama is running is vanishing. At some point, the Democrats have to stop squabbling, focus on developing a winner and quit looking like a bunch of plantation owners.

And if Obama is nominated we still have to get past the race issue, which most Americans can't get past.

[ Parent ]

how old are you? 45? (none / 1) (#67)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:03:43 AM EST

most americans are past the race issue. except in the minds of old retards


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
not where I live (none / 1) (#69)
by yellow shark on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:31:07 AM EST

in fact, most Americand are not past the race issue. Especially, Hispanics who are becoming the largest voting block of minorities in the U.S. They are overwhelmingly in favor of Clinton.

[ Parent ]
yes, there are retards everywhere (none / 1) (#70)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:35:01 AM EST

i'm talking about enough to make a difference either way. for example: would you say that the attitude of germans towards jews has changed in the last 70 years? likewise, the state of race relations in the usa is progressing and has progressed a very long way, to the point where it's not the decisive issue on obama anymore

certainly, neither you nor i would have much trouble finding morons spouting racist crap anywhere in this country. or anyone in the world, frankly. the point is: do they make an overwhelming difference in the us election on obama?

not anymore

there were assholes like you in the 1950s who were certian a catholic could never be elected president in protestant usa, using the same rationale you do now. then comes jfk

progress actually exists in this world

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

uh maybe in cts fantasyland. (none / 0) (#71)
by chlorus on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:10:27 PM EST

out here in the rest of America, racism is alive and well.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

says chlorus, of all people (none / 1) (#72)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:15:06 PM EST

chlorus, you special little star child, go back to rating my comments zero and shouting inane low iq shit. stop trying to play the big boys game. run along now little troll thing


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Obama is 46 (none / 0) (#73)
by Booger on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:14:46 PM EST

So what does that make him--a retarded old fart who uses race (somehow) to bolster his credibility?  

The GOP, like their political fellow travelers,  has come to an impasse of irrationality;  they can't sell their fake color-blind story anymore.  How is it that a sharp mind, such as yours, cts, doesn't grasp this?

-

There's a tidal wave of mysticism surging through our jet-age generation--George Clinton, "Better By The Pound"
[ Parent ]

yeah, i knew that... (none / 0) (#86)
by mikelist on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:44:31 PM EST

...that's why all the white kids dress like rappers, so they can identify with their black counterparts. excuse me, but you are extremely shit-filled.

[ Parent ]
Um, St. Reagan? (none / 0) (#66)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:16:01 AM EST

Didn't he waste trillions we didn't have in the national checking account to beat the russians, those god-awful russians?

The same ones with an empire so rotten to the core that if the idiot had just waited a few more years, they'd have collapsed from within?

Yeh, we need another one of those.

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

dude, i think reagan sucks donkey balls (1.50 / 2) (#68)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:08:20 AM EST

but i'm not a conservative republican asshole. go ask them what they think of reagan

and go ahead and provide them the facts you regurgitated on me about his presidency. go tell a christian or muslim there is no invisble sky man. watch as reason has the same zero effect on reagan worshippers

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Reagan (1.00 / 3) (#77)
by Nimey on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:59:11 AM EST

Lots of republicans think that Reagan is just one short step below Jesus Christ. It's actually kind of scary how deep they are into the personality cult.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Dog Fight Politics | 87 comments (50 topical, 37 editorial, 0 hidden)
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