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Old 2008-01-08, 19:07   Link #61
Aoie_Emesai
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A president's personal life is his own, but that doesn't stop people from believing what they will. Even if Bush is a jackass in office and he's a saint off duty, his presidental status will out weight anything he do off duty, unless Bush gets wasted and runs to the nearest stripper bar than kills someone.

Either way, the president's personal life and his job are one in the same. One affects the other, one just has less paparazzis on him.
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Old 2008-01-08, 19:17   Link #62
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Franco-ly (ouch), I'm appalled at the French media obsession with their president's date partner rather than his policies (which I consider a meh so far). However, he is at least initially being fairly open about it and reminded the press today implicitly that they were shirking their duty if they focused on that rather than his policy implementations.
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Old 2008-01-08, 19:33   Link #63
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I was watching the news tonight on the BBC (in Britain), and the top news story was, of course, the New Hampshire Primary. The only 2 contestants mentioned, like pretty much every time the elections in America were mentioned, were Clinton and Obama. I understand that this isn't America, and we're not the people who're voting for these people, but the fact that I had a conversation with a friend of mine in America that went something like this isn't that good;
Me: The Democrats seem to be quite far into the selection of their candidate, shouldn't the Republicans start?
Him: ...? They already have.
Me: Well, if they want people to vote for them, they should tell someone that...
I can only remember one mention of a Republican candidate in the news, and that was when he came over to Britain, criticized our heathcare, and then left (or at least that's all the papers said about him, and for the next 2 weeks their write-in coloumns were filled with various more complicated and angrier ways of saying 'At least ours it free')
Or is the press in America much the same (in terms of election coverage, not angry people writing in on something that didn't really matter that much)?

I realise that Clinton and Obama may seem like the more 'exciting' candidates, but there's also other candidates from the same party, let alone a whole other party (I can only remember a fleeting reference to John Edwards in Iowa)...
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Old 2008-01-08, 19:39   Link #64
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What vibe I'm actually getting from this year is something along the lines of this:

"The Republicans held office for too long, it's about time the Democrats take over."

Once again, for some reason, I don't see Republicans shine this year. I don't see Ron Paul shine. For a man who's so willing and promising, he isn't getting much media, but only the Net, where people have the freedom of expressing ideas for all to see. Sigh... If only Americans voted someone like Ron Paul into office... I don't think Clinton or Obama would do a bad job, nor do I have anything against Democrats, it's just Ron Paul's my hero when it comes to ideals and stuff. I'm rooting for Obama in the Obama vs. Clinton though, and I'm not quite sure why...

Aoie Emesai - Well said.
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Old 2008-01-08, 19:44   Link #65
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The corporate news media coverage... even after the troutslapping they're getting for their appalling sloth over the last 10 years... has been miserable and inept.

The Democrats have a full slate of highly qualified candidates, Biden, Dodd, Richardson, etc. who are simply being ignored by the press. It really looks as if Clinton has been anointed (bought and paid for?) by the corporate masters of the media-plex.

The Republicans.... oh that's another entire story but I've run out of time.
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Old 2008-01-08, 20:14   Link #66
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Before I launch into anything else, I have to say that I am very, VERY tired of people dividing up political parties as though each party were ethically or ideologically homogenous. The primary divides are primarily made up of
a) What demographics the party caters to
b) Emotional attachment and personal networking
c) (hopefully) Policy differences--and we must differentiate between the policy differences of constituents and policy differences of the party leaders.

I am also tired of people not being able to differentiate between the actions of the president and congress. Do NOT blame the president for the actions of congress unless you believe that the president should have taken the step of vetoing and done so knowing that it would likely hurt his ability to work with the (whiny, sobbing babies that that are) members of congress.

And as for integrity in one's personal life and its relevance in public office...
Slice of Life, when you say "a public display of morality", I assume you mean some one who publicly calls for morality rather than some one who just lives moral lives in the public eye. Those who talk a little too loudly about it can often be motivated by a guilt complex that is the consequence of their own wrongdoing, but the world isn't just made up of the immoral and the shouting morality police. There are people who quietly do right and do their best to avoid wrongdoing, and they are the people most fit for office.

One's faithfulness in small private matters is a pretty DARNED good indication of how faithful they will be in larger private matters. Yes, it's a public office, but much of what is done is not up for public scrutiny and there is virtually zero accountability, so voters must be careful. Many countries have had great leaders who had personal failings--after all, NO one is perfect, and the type of person with the drive for politics generally has a sex drive that they're channeling that energy from, meaning if they do mess up it will likely be gossip-drawing (make no mistake, there are LOTS of relevant factors, not just marital fidelity)--but that's luck of the draw. Personal integrity is NOT irrelevant! They're still the same person when they go into the office in the morning. There is no "morality switch", and the political scene is not only morally desensitizing but also carries with it temptations and has little chance for real scrutiny.

I also find it funny that people prioritize "experience" over policy. Strange...

As for my opinions on candidates, forgive me for using US politics definitions for "conservative" and "liberal" rather than being literal. It's just more concise.

I tend to be conservative in the fashion that the typical anti-conservative rhetoric doesn't apply and in ways the more radical right-wingers would label "libertarian". The closest we come to my ideal candidate is the far-off possibility that we find some way to re-animate Ronald Reagan and cure his Alzheimer's.

More seriously, to take a look at the candidates running...

For matters of policy, I just can't vote for any Democrat unless Zell Miller decides to run. For solutions on health care, retirement, welfare, you name it, the Democratic party as a whole seems to take the exact opposite stance I do. Not that the Republican party stance is always my own, but a few is better than none, and some of the most important issues we have (copyright, intellectual property, tax reform) find opinion equally scattered among members of both parties despite stereotypes to the contrary.

If I had to pick a Democrat (out of the ones who seem to have a shot at this point, I mean), it would without question be Obama. His occasionally almost-right-wing statements that seem to show he might show some sense when faced with senseless policy have not been pandering to Republicans, but occasionally gaffes in Democratic company that have earned him some derision (and for that I assume hiss apparent sensibility is at least a little bit sincere). I find his overall social and healthcare policy to be broken and destructive, but I find it FAR less damaging than Hillary "I broke US healthcare in the 90s, now let me finish the job" Clinton. As well, I do not trust Hillary Clinton in the least. Both Clintons and their history of outright lies (and I don't mean surrounding Bill's affair) make George W. Bush and his creative interpretations look like a choir boy singing hymns. They are also the ONLY government officials I've ever heard of whose security personnel vehemently despise them--Hillary in particular, since Bill was at least generally likable (this is what I personally gather from reports from close family members and other trusted friends who have actually spoken with members of of the Clintons' past security staff).

On the Republican side, I want nothing to do with Romney or Giuliani. They really ought to be Democrats, but they find too much success pandering to Republicans. Well, in all fairness, in New York City Giuliani is Republican in a relative sense, and it's worked out pretty well for NYC. Giuliani seems as honest as a career politician can be, but Romney, on the other hand, feels as slick as the bottom of a bacon pan. I can't listen to him without feeling like I need to find some Lava soap to scrub the grease off.

Vexx said it right about Ron Paul: The man is a principled, consistent, libertarian... wingnut. I actually think the US could use a wingnut along his lines of "adhere to the constitution, don't cede state power to the federal government, et cetera, so forth" lines, but I think that he doesn't give credit to the consequences some of his desired changes that require long-term solutions to fix without causing dire problems. If he could be president for just a day, perhaps...

McCain isn't conservative enough for me, but I think he's more respectable than most give him credit for. He plays "the game" of politics too much for my liking, though.

I like Fred Thompson. The man is more knowledgeable on the issues international and domestic, not to mention more sensible, than 99% of people in D.C. I agree with him on most things, and can respect his positions on things I disagree with him on. I am not fond of the fact that he was a lobbyist or that he's sat on the "Council on Foreign Relations" (a Rockefeller think-tank). Now, I don't know that he was an unethical lobbyist or that he agreed with anything that the CFR stands for (as he's said about the CFR, he doesn't have to agree with some one to discuss the issues), but I can't know where he stands on these specific things because he can't talk too loudly about that without burning important bridges. It looks like he's not getting much support, though, so I probably won't have to worry about it.

Which brings me to Huckabee.

Huckabee is not conservative enough for me (although his tolerance and compassion that bugs some more uptight conservatives). Some of his comments really indicate that he doesn't quite have a grasp on how capitalism works on the top-end, but I can understand how some one can make a comment that sounds like ignorance of economics when trying to comment on the social aspects of society. I think he takes flack for being even-handed on immigration, but I don't think he's totally right, either.

A lot of people dislike the fact that he wears his religion on his sleeve. As a person of faith and a minister, I'm personally very scared of some one who'd want to make this nation a theocracy whether they agree with me or not. Fortunately, not every openly religious person desires to do that--after all, how can you expect freedom of religion when you can't afford it to other people? Having known many ministers, I like to think I've picked up on some clues that help me to differentiate between the two sorts. To me, Huckabee seems like the sensible kind. His religion drives him, certainly, but that's not prevented him from being respectful of others with different religious and moral beliefs, nor kept him from being aware that the pendulum of religious discrimination swings both ways.

And even if I don't agree with him on everything, I'm very fond of Huckabee for having a history of flaunting the "party will" and (seemingly, at least) not playing "the game" of politics any more than he has to. He also has a phenomenally clean record during his governorship: The biggest actual smear claim I've read about him were not investigating his death-sentence pardoning closely enough and the reception of an inappropriate gift of... a blanket.

My takes on the some of the issues:
- I don't care what a candidate thought about going into Iraq, I just want the troops home as soon as the Iraqis are able to take care of themselves. No sooner, but no later. Any one calling for an immediate pullout is a lunatic and has no compassion for the future of the Iraqi people.
- The US doesn't need to emulate the UK or Canada's failing healthcare systems, they need to START by rolling back every the federal law which broken the health care system in the past couple of decades and ushered in this abuse. I'm sick of people suggesting that the answer to fixing the abuses is to institutionalize them.
- The answer to "Do you believe in evolution?" is "That is a horrible, misleading, irrelevant question." (Huckabee actually did pretty well when asked this, though he didn't give my answer.)
- The second amendment of the constitution means what it says. Period. If congress doesn't like it, they're free to amend the constitution, but stop pretending that this amendment should be interpreted differently than the others.
- Abortion? Except in extreme circumstances, the woman ALREADY had the "right to choose". Hint: It was before she conceived! The laws covering unborn children and the laws covering those in comas being cared for by family should be the same. Modify either to make it what you will, but let's not have double standards here. But wait, one minute--why is this being discussed at the federal level? That's right, like anything regarding evolution, this matter should never be something the president has to worry about. Why? On to my next point...
- Any power not constitutionally assigned to the federal government belongs TO THE STATES. Abortion law, civil unions, drugs, what have you is NOT the realm of federal law. The federal government's power and funding beyond constitutional mandates MUST be returned the states. (Only Ron Paul gets this right. Huckabee and Thompson don't do too badly, though.)

Ron Paul being a wingnut and Thompson not likely to have the support he needs, Huckabee is the best choice I see.
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Old 2008-01-08, 22:20   Link #67
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One opinion piece indeed...

Updates on NH Primary -

Democrats : 39% Clinton, 36% Obama

Republicans : 37% McCain.
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Old 2008-01-08, 22:22   Link #68
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Since this is basically a repeat of Lyndon Baines Johnson's demise, I really have no interest. Since I know whoever wins the democratic primaries will win the election, my support goes for Clinton because I just want her to be president, nothing special. Although if Clinton wins the primaries, then the race for presidency might be closer than a landslide. If Obama wins then I do expect a landslide.
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Old 2008-01-08, 22:34   Link #69
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Primaries just came on, It's looking like Hillary and McCain.
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Old 2008-01-08, 22:40   Link #70
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I will follow later with information and my own opinions on individual candidates, but one thing I cannot stand about McCain is that he is against internet blogs and forums. I know it sounds silly, but it really edges me.
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Old 2008-01-08, 22:56   Link #71
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But in case, there is some confusion.... I rather *like* Ron Paul's wingnuttery even though I think the libertarianism he espouses would just send us right back to the warlord-feudal days of biggest-thugs-win. But he (and Huckabee) are the most straightforward and honest about their beliefs on the Republican side. The rest of the Republican candidates are a bit too slimy at this point - even McCain whom I used to admire greatly took some slime when he reversed his gears to cozy up with elements of the extreme social right that publicly *do* want a theocratic America.

Most of American internal politics usually is a discussion about which functions should be a collective effort and which shouldn't (roads, police, libraries, healthcare, etc). Unfortunately, the $2 trillion dollar Bush-crony junket into Iraq coupled with looting-the-treasury no-bid no-results contracts going on in all the government agencies have pretty much accomplished a decimation of infrastructure neither party is really going to be able to grapple with easily.

Note: Pop Punk Sucks is referring to the primary party decision-making of New Hampshire (since Wyoming is being totally ignored by the media). One state... and a rather small one. The real icebreaker will be the "Super Tuesday"s when several large highly populated states have their party elections. New Hampshire is a bit of an interest because they tend to have "Venus and Mars" political stripes -- the women tend to vote Democratic and the men tend to vote Republican - and both sides tend to veer toward the center.
So it isn't really surprising that Clinton (D) and McCain (R) are edging out there.
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Old 2008-01-08, 23:05   Link #72
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All right. The necessary results for the New Hampshire Primary are -

Clinton (39%) over Obama (36%) for the Democrats.

McCain (37%) over Romney (32%) for the Republicans.


If Clinton wins, it's Racism. If Obama wins, it's Sexism. Just kidding...

Just watched Obama's Concession speech (is that what they're called?). Anyways, he speaks good as ever. One line intrigued me.
-... Disagree without being disagreeable... -

But, Obama should get the next one, and Repubs, I'm not too sure really.
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Old 2008-01-08, 23:28   Link #73
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Originally Posted by Spectacular_Insanity View Post
More party bias. If you just go for the "Democrat that can win", that doesn't make him or her a good person and competent leader. In my experience, Democrats have done a lot to explain what's wrong, but have they offered any solutions to the problem, namely the war in Iraq? No. They bitch and point fingers, but I have not seen any solutions from them that would actually work. If you've seen some, please point them out to me. But I am NOT voting for Hillary Clinton. You thought her husband was bad enough....

On the other hand, Republicans are too damn stubborn to be able to adapt to the will of the people, and/or admit fault. In Bush's case, he keeps pressing forward when more planning would be advisable. And enough of the Moody-esque "vigilance" routine. It's not working. Not that Congress was much help a few years back. After all, Congress approved of the action taken right after 9/11 without hesitation, lacking better judgement. We know that we acted too qickly, so now we have to clean up our mistakes, whether people like it or not.

As the situation goes, pulling out too quickly from Iraq would leave the country terribly destabilized, and open to who-knows-what. Terrorism, more dictators, you name it. I know people don't like it, but we have an obligation to that country to fix the mess we put them in. National Security aside, we can't just abandon them and say, "okay, we got of that guy we didn't like, now you're on your own". That's unacceptable conduct, to which I would agree with the opinion of "orderly and scheduled withdrawal, once the government is back on its feet and once again autonomous".
In order not to get completely harassed and have e-tomatoes thrown at me, I'll simply say this:

Where did you come up with the idea to add "Insanity" to your name? IMHO, you are quite down-to-earth.
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Old 2008-01-09, 00:55   Link #74
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So yeah, saw the results today. Kinda lol at the fact that Ron Paul didn't get any attention, and even if he goes independent, the wealthy New York mayor is beating him, and he doesn't even plan to run.

I never paid attention to the primaries/caucuses till now, but I'm very certain that we'll be seeing a Democrat despite all romanticizing (hey, look at Ron Paul). Either way, they look just the same, a president that'll hopefully get us out of Iraq and eh, not much else. For 4 years. Yay.

God, I wonder if I'm just gonna vote for a 3rd party and rock the boat a bit, because I know what's going to happen, and it's going to happen regardless of what I do. >_>
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Old 2008-01-09, 01:34   Link #75
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Hey, look what taking AP Government does to a student: I'm paying attention to this thing

But frankly, I wonder why people are so interested in the "polls" of who is currently front runner and such. Doesnt really matter in the end if that particular candidate does not win, does it??

Oh well, I'm personally more favored toward Obama, but meh, not like I want to get involved in politics anyways (apathy ftw lol)
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Old 2008-01-09, 01:41   Link #76
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Originally Posted by Akherousin View Post
God, I wonder if I'm just gonna vote for a 3rd party and rock the boat a bit, because I know what's going to happen, and it's going to happen regardless of what I do. >_>
isn't that considered as a waste of votes, the third party guys? i don't really know that much about former us elections, but aren't the third parties "just there", or let's call it irrelevant? Like i said i'm not that much into the history of elections in the us, but has there ever been someone with at least a small winning chance? IIRC there was Perot in the 90ies with nearly 20%, which looks outstanding to me considering how your politics work.
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Old 2008-01-09, 01:57   Link #77
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^ Once upon a time, there was a "third party guy" running for presidency of the United States. He went by the name of Abraham Lincoln. Not only did he win the presidency due to a split between the 2 most prominent parties, but he propelled the Republican party to power as well.
Suffice to say, that probably won't happen in the next general election, but third-party candidates can still act as spoilers to other candidates. Not only that, but a third party doesn't have to have its candidate win Office just to strengthen the party itself. Running and getting notice is more than enough.
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Old 2008-01-09, 02:02   Link #78
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Originally Posted by Ice Climbers View Post
Hey, look what taking AP Government does to a student: I'm paying attention to this thing

But frankly, I wonder why people are so interested in the "polls" of who is currently front runner and such. Doesnt really matter in the end if that particular candidate does not win, does it??

Oh well, I'm personally more favored toward Obama, but meh, not like I want to get involved in politics anyways (apathy ftw lol)
I know that situation, my AP Econ teacher can't believe Huckabee is serious about this 23% regressive sales tax replacing progressive income tax brackets.

Anyway, it does matter who wins in the primaries because the major parties are so heterogeneous in political colors. Look at Wiki for the parties or ask your govt teacher, these parties are big for a reason. All the candidates stand on very roughly the same ground, but have different issues, priorities, plans, methods, ethics, backgrounds, policies, etc etc etc

Definitely look into it if you turn 18 before the election, especially if you're in a state that isn't clearly Red or clearly Blue (like me ).

Quote:
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^ Once upon a time, there was a "third party guy" running for presidency of the United States. He went by the name of Abraham Lincoln. Not only did he win the presidency due to a split between the 2 most prominent parties, but he propelled the Republican party to power as well.
Suffice to say, that probably won't happen in the next general election, but third-party candidates can still act as spoilers to other candidates. Not only that, but a third party doesn't have to have its candidate win Office just to strengthen the party itself. Running and getting notice is more than enough.
I'm not going to go into detail on US History, but you should know that campaigning in the pre-Civil War days and 2008 are WORLDS apart. With mass media, drastically different demographics, and no singular pressing issue today's politics IMHO, it doesn't even warrant comparison. The only time when third party votes MIGHT have been an issue was Gore vs. Bush, the single closest election in the history of the country.
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Old 2008-01-09, 02:32   Link #79
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Originally Posted by ApostleOfGod View Post
Anyways, he speaks good as ever.
That is his strength, and a good way to cover his weaknesses (a.k.a., experience, running away from experience, and shouting "we can change" all over, as if it will be piece of cake when he becomes the President).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ice Climbers View Post
But frankly, I wonder why people are so interested in the "polls" of who is currently front runner and such. Doesnt really matter in the end if that particular candidate does not win, does it??
It does matter, especially for the candidates to figure out what went wrong or what made the turn around. Of course, the poll results also allow the candidates to get ready for the worst. Or it can even let the non-decisive voters make an impact based on what they observe (more voters and non-decisive voters seem to belong to the set of reasons on why Clinton had won).

Anyway, I am happy for the turnarounds. McCain is someone I respect from before, though, he is an unlucky candidate, and possibly lose to the radicals at the end. And Clinton is someone with strength and who will be ready to take the initiative when necessary, with or without the influence of her husband (yes, the identity of her husband is a big reason why I favor Hillary), unlike the untested Obama or the (as always) below-threshold candidate Edwards.
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Old 2008-01-09, 02:38   Link #80
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I'm not going to go into detail on US History, but you should know that campaigning in the pre-Civil War days and 2008 are WORLDS apart. With mass media, drastically different demographics, and no singular pressing issue today's politics IMHO, it doesn't even warrant comparison. The only time when third party votes MIGHT have been an issue was Gore vs. Bush, the single closest election in the history of the country.
Oh I know. That's why I said it wouldn't happen in the next general election.
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