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Old 2013-02-26, 20:19   Link #361
Vexx
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I'm getting a drift in the wind that the "practical mainstream" remnant of the GOP figure it is now or never to get the steering wheel back from the "batshit crazy" in control now. If it doesn't happen then you can watch an exodus of anyone who remains that makes a lick of sense.
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:21   Link #362
KiraYamatoFan
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Grudge is running high inside the GOP because of the Obama thing, I see.

Why blame Christie when he only addressed to the needs of his people? Parties aside, I thought that a major part of any politician's job is to listen to the citizens who elected him/her into his/her current position.
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:33   Link #363
Lost Cause
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Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Grudge is running high inside the GOP because of the Obama thing, I see.

Why blame Christie when he only addressed to the needs of his people? Parties aside, I thought that a major part of any politician's job is to listen to the citizens who elected him/her into his/her current position.
Probably because he didn't ask first. And certain people didn't get to join in the limelight.
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:33   Link #364
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I'm getting a drift in the wind that the "practical mainstream" remnant of the GOP figure it is now or never to get the steering wheel back from the "batshit crazy" in control now. If it doesn't happen then you can watch an exodus of anyone who remains that makes a lick of sense.
I am just amazed that instead of Christie, CPAC invited Romney to speak.

You might argue that Christie isn't conservative enough for CPAC. But then why invite Romney? No one really ever believed he was a Conservative.
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:50   Link #365
Lost Cause
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I am just amazed that instead of Christie, CPAC invited Romney to speak.

You might argue that Christie isn't conservative enough for CPAC. But then why invite Romney? No one really ever believed he was a Conservative.
Everybody needs a "yes man".
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:51   Link #366
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
In parts of Europe and Latin America that I've visited where fuel prices are quite a bit higher than in the states, motorcycles seem much more prevalent. I don't have any statistics on it, but from observation I can safely say it seems that higher fuel prices do eventually seem to motivate people to make the switch. My problem with them is the safety factor... I'd be terrified of the consequences of a collision while riding one.
Higher fuel prices would force people to change something, whether their vehicle, driving habits, or commuting method. Going back a few pages in this thread, that's part of the idea of artificially raising the price of gas, and doing it in a slow and controlled manner. The supply isn't unlimited and we've arguably already picked the low-hanging fruit; meanwhile, demand around the world continues to grow. We can either artificially raise the price now to nudge development and get people to make changes, or we can get hit with massive price increases that we're powerless about later.

I don't know that people in America would switch to motorcycles. Part of the issue is the same reason behind why bicycles aren't more popular: distance. Motorcycles simply aren't as comfortable or effortless to use as cars. Ride five or ten miles and it isn't a big deal; ride 40 miles one way for a commute and you might start to feel it, especially if you're on the road for a long period of time due to traffic.

Another part of the reason is what's already on American roads. Huge vehicles are very popular here. If everyone were riding motorcycles or driving tiny cars then using a motorcycle wouldn't be particularly intimidating. With these gargantuan trucks and SUVs, seeing around them and being seen are big issues. It's also part of the reason why people go for huge vehicles: they feel safer being among large vehicles if they're in a large vehicle, too. Unfortunately that's a positive feedback loop that will be hard to break.

I suppose one other reason could be the transmission. America is the land of automatic cars, and as far as I know there aren't any automatic motorcycles. The clutch on a motorcycle is more forgiving than on a car (in my opinion), but it's still manual. If there were enough interest I'm sure that could be changed... but by comparison, isn't manual transmission still fairly popular outside of America?
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Old 2013-02-26, 20:59   Link #367
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I'm getting a drift in the wind that the "practical mainstream" remnant of the GOP figure it is now or never to get the steering wheel back from the "batshit crazy" in control now. If it doesn't happen then you can watch an exodus of anyone who remains that makes a lick of sense.
At this point I see no need to analyze the GOP's actions as they have no goal or no purpose. Their campaign slogan should be "dems are poopheads" as popularized by Rush Limbaugh.

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Old 2013-02-26, 21:08   Link #368
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
We can either artificially raise the price now to nudge development and get people to make changes, or we can get hit with massive price increases that we're powerless about later.
You're not gonna be able to effect any significant changes in public behavior without significant rise in gas price, which will disproportionally affect the poor and working class, drive up inflation, and generally piss everyone off.

The key IMO is to improve viable alternatives so that they become more practical and better than what you want to replace, instead of punishing everyone else.

As far as motorcycles in the US goes, a big issue is safety. If you get into an accident on one, the chances of you not being able to walk away from it - sometimes permanently, is much higher. Practicality is also a big issue. Cargo capacity aside, in large parts of the nation a motorcycle is simply not practical or downright suicidal to ride during portions of the year. I was actually looking into getting one a few years back when the gas price spiked, but decided that it'd be rather pointless if I won't even be able to ride the thing for nearly half of the year.
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Old 2013-02-26, 21:10   Link #369
Lost Cause
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Higher fuel prices would force people to change something, whether their vehicle, driving habits, or commuting method. Going back a few pages in this thread, that's part of the idea of artificially raising the price of gas, and doing it in a slow and controlled manner. The supply isn't unlimited and we've arguably already picked the low-hanging fruit; meanwhile, demand around the world continues to grow. We can either artificially raise the price now to nudge development and get people to make changes, or we can get hit with massive price increases that we're powerless about later.

I don't know that people in America would switch to motorcycles. Part of the issue is the same reason behind why bicycles aren't more popular: distance. Motorcycles simply aren't as comfortable or effortless to use as cars. Ride five or ten miles and it isn't a big deal; ride 40 miles one way for a commute and you might start to feel it, especially if you're on the road for a long period of time due to traffic.

Another part of the reason is what's already on American roads. Huge vehicles are very popular here. If everyone were riding motorcycles or driving tiny cars then using a motorcycle wouldn't be particularly intimidating. With these gargantuan trucks and SUVs, seeing around them and being seen are big issues. It's also part of the reason why people go for huge vehicles: they feel safer being among large vehicles if they're in a large vehicle, too. Unfortunately that's a positive feedback loop that will be hard to break.

I suppose one other reason could be the transmission. America is the land of automatic cars, and as far as I know there aren't any automatic motorcycles. The clutch on a motorcycle is more forgiving than on a car (in my opinion), but it's still manual. If there were enough interest I'm sure that could be changed... but by comparison, isn't manual transmission still fairly popular outside of America?
Large pick-ups and SUV intimidating? Uh they share the road with much larger vehicles, the Semi-truck! And "Optimus Prime" can be downright scary. Yet I notice now a lot of vehicles sporting bumper stickers starring "START SEEING MOTORCYCLES" in bright orange.
We all share the road and must live by the "Rules of the Road" and drive responsibly. Law Enfircement has singled out DUIs especially! Also your awareness of your surroundings is MANDATORY, no matter what your driving!
I think the manual transmission is popular in Europe given the fact that most of the cars on Top Gear are manuals. Also it seems that the classic car crowd love the old manual too!
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Old 2013-02-26, 21:12   Link #370
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Yeah, I'd be pretty mortified driving a motorcycle, honestly - the only place where I would ever do so would be a wide open grassy field. I would have no problem using a motorcycle if reality was like a videogame and I could stock up on extra lives in advance by stomping on turtles, but as it is I'm too much of a weenie to go the motorcycle route.
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Old 2013-02-26, 21:15   Link #371
DonQuigleone
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From what I can see, all the cars in Ireland are manual. I don't know anyone who drives an automatic.

I think the US is the only country where automatics are so ubiquitous. However, personally I think automatics are probably the future. Clutching is pointless busywork.
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Old 2013-02-26, 21:27   Link #372
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Higher fuel prices would force people to change something, whether their vehicle, driving habits, or commuting method. Going back a few pages in this thread, that's part of the idea of artificially raising the price of gas, and doing it in a slow and controlled manner. The supply isn't unlimited and we've arguably already picked the low-hanging fruit; meanwhile, demand around the world continues to grow. We can either artificially raise the price now to nudge development and get people to make changes, or we can get hit with massive price increases that we're powerless about later.
From what I have seen in Europe is that increased fuel prices result in people trading in larger cars for subcompacts and/or moving closer to where they work.

If fuel prices keep rising then in the US there should be plenty of opportunity for the latter, at least over longer time periods. At some point it will become economically viable to make urban areas more compact.

First time I moved to the States in the late nineties, it just struck me how utterly alien the urban landscape is from what I was used to. Almost randomly dispersed city parts connected by motorways. The country is really seems built around car usage.

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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
I suppose one other reason could be the transmission. America is the land of automatic cars, and as far as I know there aren't any automatic motorcycles. The clutch on a motorcycle is more forgiving than on a car (in my opinion), but it's still manual. If there were enough interest I'm sure that could be changed... but by comparison, isn't manual transmission still fairly popular outside of America?
Yes, manual transmissions were for a long time cheaper to make and a bit more fuel efficient. When cars and fuel are heavily taxed these differences become more relevant. These days the differences are much smaller, but it's become the norm to drive manual. Bit of a stigma on the use of automatics as it's considered something for the elderly or the disabled.

Last edited by Bri; 2013-02-26 at 21:39.
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Old 2013-02-26, 21:36   Link #373
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
From what I can see, all the cars in Ireland are manual. I don't know anyone who drives an automatic.

I think the US is the only country where automatics are so ubiquitous. However, personally I think automatics are probably the future. Clutching is pointless busywork.
Every European and Latin American country I've visited is predominantly manual due to the fuel efficiency factor. I'm not a car expert so someone more knowledgeable can elaborate, but from what I understand your RPM on an automatic is always higher than on a manual. All of my family in Ireland drives manual except my Grandfather, but he's quite old now, otherwise he'd be driving a manual as well, I'd assume.

I think the ubiquity of automatics, SUVs, big pickups, etc are all a result of relatively lower gas prices in the US compared to most other countries (other than big oil exporters, but they are a rare exception to the rule). I don't think higher gas taxes are necessarily the answer to getting people towards more fuel efficiency, but they could be part of the package. Perhaps use the revenue from gas taxes to make up for tax incentives for the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles, or the R&D of them. As far as I know, there is already a limited amount of this going on already in the US, but I'd imagine it could be done a bit more efficiently given how most of our tax revenue gets eaten up by our juggernaut bureaucracy. It's too bad because I'm not at all opposed to government being involved in these types of things, but I have trouble trusting the current government to use their powers wisely. There's already so much waste to begin with.
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Old 2013-02-26, 22:12   Link #374
DonQuigleone
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For the US, you also have to factor in the large amounts of highway driving on long straight roads most people do. Automatics are quite beneficial for this kind of driving (Cruise control!).


Regarding efficiency, I would expect automatics to eventually be more efficient then manual transmissions in the future, as it's a tedious task that a computer should always be able to do better then a human.

The future is automatic transmission, but how far away that is I don't know.
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Old 2013-02-26, 22:13   Link #375
kyp275
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Originally Posted by ChainLegacy View Post
Every European and Latin American country I've visited is predominantly manual due to the fuel efficiency factor. I'm not a car expert so someone more knowledgeable can elaborate, but from what I understand your RPM on an automatic is always higher than on a manual. All of my family in Ireland drives manual except my Grandfather, but he's quite old now, otherwise he'd be driving a manual as well, I'd assume.
Close, but not quite. Generally speaking automatic transmissions have higher parasitic loss - so more of the power produced by the engine is wasted in the operation of the vehicle. Modern automatics have mitigated this a little, but it's still behind manuals in this regard.

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For the US, you also have to factor in the large amounts of highway driving on long straight roads most people do. Automatics are quite beneficial for this kind of driving (Cruise control!).
Cruise control doesn't care about manual or auto, as it's all between the ECU and your throttlebody

Quote:
Regarding efficiency, I would expect automatics to eventually be more efficient then manual transmissions in the future, as it's a tedious task that a computer should always be able to do better then a human.
Unlikely, as the inefficiency is in the actual design and operation of the transmission. Automatics operates on fluid couplings, and inevitably some additional powers are lost as it's converted into heat. Shifting-wise the computer can shift much faster than human can, yes, but that has little bearing on the actual efficiency of the transmission. Auto can (and has) come much closer to manual due to improvements in parts and design, but when all things being equal (number of gears, gear ratio etc.), an auto transmission as they exist today can't really be more efficient than their manual counterpart.

Last edited by kyp275; 2013-02-26 at 22:28.
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Old 2013-02-26, 22:51   Link #376
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Unlikely, as the inefficiency is in the actual design and operation of the transmission. Automatics operates on fluid couplings, and inevitably some additional powers are lost as it's converted into heat. Shifting-wise the computer can shift much faster than human can, yes, but that has little bearing on the actual efficiency of the transmission. Auto can (and has) come much closer to manual due to improvements in parts and design, but when all things being equal (number of gears, gear ratio etc.), an auto transmission as they exist today can't really be more efficient than their manual counterpart.
While there will be losses from the replacement of "human powered" actions, much greater gains should be possible due to the ability to exactly optimise the gear ratio for driving using a computer. A person can never match the computer.

Furthermore, you could increase the efficacy of the gear system in ways that would not be possible if a person was in control, for instance you could have a continuously variable transmission system with an infinity of gears, so that the exact optimum gear ratio can always be selected by the computer. That should tip things towards the automatic transmission.

And let's also remember that we could eventually design a gear changing system that doesn't require clutching, so that hydraulics are no longer necessary for gear changes, and eliminating the lingering inefficiency.
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Old 2013-02-26, 23:59   Link #377
Ledgem
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You're not gonna be able to effect any significant changes in public behavior without significant rise in gas price, which will disproportionally affect the poor and working class, drive up inflation, and generally piss everyone off.

The key IMO is to improve viable alternatives so that they become more practical and better than what you want to replace, instead of punishing everyone else.
That would be ideal, but how do you go about it? Gas is cheap; vehicles with an internal combustion engine are plentiful and can be had for very cheap. How do you break out of that? "Offer something cheaper," sure, but how? Until the environmentally-minded Honda and Toyota began producing hybrids seemingly no other auto manufacturer was taking alternative technologies seriously. Hell, American auto manufacturers still have paltry hybrid offerings, even while it seems like nearly all Japanese and now Korean auto manufacturers are hybridizing everything. We had a few hydrogen prototypes, but nobody is taking it seriously. God bless Elon Musk for founding Tesla and giving America something to be proud of in the automotive sector. But even if Tesla can hit their target price point with their third or fourth model of car (~$20,000), they'll still be at a disadvantage: ICE vehicles could still be had for cheaper, and people will still be put off by the idea of limited charging stations and long "refuel" times.

So how do you get a change? The EPA regulations over minimum fuel efficiency that people bitch and moan about are one way; raising the price of gas is another. Having the market raise the price on us or give us fuel shortages would be another, but both of those are beyond our control. I'd rather cause a bit of pain for the poor, cause some temporary inflation, and piss people off than have a crisis that paralyzes the nation.

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Large pick-ups and SUV intimidating? Uh they share the road with much larger vehicles, the Semi-truck!
Trucks are slow-moving in their turns and general acceleration/deceleration characteristics. Sure, I've nearly been smashed by a truck that made a sudden lane shift, so I know that they're not 100% safe... but I had time to react before the trailer followed the front of the truck. If that had been any smaller vehicle it would have been a very different story (although I've had a few cases of those, too - so far no collisions, thanks to luck and reflexes). People with big vehicles still slam the accelerator, still lane shift like crazy, still don't signal, and still slam on the brakes. I like driving with and around tractor trailers, I don't like driving around big SUVs - and I'm in a crossover vehicle, myself.

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We all share the road and must live by the "Rules of the Road" and drive responsibly.
I wish

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From what I have seen in Europe is that increased fuel prices result in people trading in larger cars for subcompacts and/or moving closer to where they work.

If fuel prices keep rising then in the US there should be plenty of opportunity for the latter, at least over longer time periods. At some point it will become economically viable to make urban areas more compact.
Indeed, I argued this point a few pages back. The pains would be a bit different in America, given that our distances are larger and we have less public transportation. People would adapt.
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Old 2013-02-27, 00:13   Link #378
kyp275
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While there will be losses from the replacement of "human powered" actions, much greater gains should be possible due to the ability to exactly optimise the gear ratio for driving using a computer. A person can never match the computer.
Not sure what you mean here, the only "human powered" action in a manual transmission compared to auto is the shifting of gear itself, and while an auto can shift much faster, you're talking about fractions of seconds here - completely irrelevant as far as fuel efficiency goes. And if you're going to play with gear ratios, then it's a wash, as that has little to do with the transmission type itself.

Quote:
Furthermore, you could increase the efficacy of the gear system in ways that would not be possible if a person was in control, for instance you could have a continuously variable transmission system with an infinity of gears, so that the exact optimum gear ratio can always be selected by the computer. That should tip things towards the automatic transmission.
CVTs are nice for optimizing engine RPM, but it also has its downsides. Cost being one (but that applies to just about all autos), and the random revving of engine being another, but that's something that is subjective depending on the driver. Reliability, especially when paired with more powerful engines, remains a concern, though I expect this to improve with time.

Quote:
And let's also remember that we could eventually design a gear changing system that doesn't require clutching, so that hydraulics are no longer necessary for gear changes, and eliminating the lingering inefficiency.
I'd think by then they would probably be classed as something else other than automatic transmission

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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
That would be ideal, but how do you go about it? Gas is cheap; vehicles with an internal combustion engine are plentiful and can be had for very cheap. How do you break out of that? "Offer something cheaper," sure, but how? Until the environmentally-minded Honda and Toyota began producing hybrids seemingly no other auto manufacturer was taking alternative technologies seriously. Hell, American auto manufacturers still have paltry hybrid offerings, even while it seems like nearly all Japanese and now Korean auto manufacturers are hybridizing everything. We had a few hydrogen prototypes, but nobody is taking it seriously. God bless Elon Musk for founding Tesla and giving America something to be proud of in the automotive sector. But even if Tesla can hit their target price point with their third or fourth model of car (~$20,000), they'll still be at a disadvantage: ICE vehicles could still be had for cheaper, and people will still be put off by the idea of limited charging stations and long "refuel" times.

So how do you get a change? The EPA regulations over minimum fuel efficiency that people bitch and moan about are one way; raising the price of gas is another. Having the market raise the price on us or give us fuel shortages would be another, but both of those are beyond our control. I'd rather cause a bit of pain for the poor, cause some temporary inflation, and piss people off than have a crisis that paralyzes the nation.
Your whole premise is predicated on there being an inevitable, but sudden and unforeseen runaway spike on gas prices in the near future, under what premise will this happen? it's not as if we'll just suddenly run out of oil one day. You can't force people into adopting something new that does not yet fit what they need at a price they cannot yet afford by punishing them with increasing the cost of operating what they already have that does meet their needs at a cost they can afford, on something as essential as basic transportation. The only thing you'll achieve with that would be public resentment, not to mention such a move would never be able to gain enough political support to get passed in the first place.

I mean, go ask any politician on either the state or federal level, and ask how they feel about sponsoring a bill that would double the price of gas, and see how fast they kick you out of their office

Imagine if Intel's strategy of selling a newer, but slower and more expensive CPU is to double or triple the price of every other older CPU in their inventory, how do you think consumers will respond?

As oil become scarcer/more costly to produce(or speculation runs more rampant), the price of gas is naturally going to go up, this combined with continued development in EVs and such should naturally drive more and more of the public towards the new fuel standard, whatever it may be. Artificially inflating the price of gas now may have a similar effect for EVs, but that only makes sense if your goal was large adaptation of EVs in the immediate future. Personally I don't feel there is a need for that, especially at the cost you'll have to incur, and on whose back it'll have to be carried.

Last edited by kyp275; 2013-02-27 at 00:32.
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Old 2013-02-27, 01:31   Link #379
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I'm getting a drift in the wind that the "practical mainstream" remnant of the GOP figure it is now or never to get the steering wheel back from the "batshit crazy" in control now. If it doesn't happen then you can watch an exodus of anyone who remains that makes a lick of sense.
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/0...ng-the-nation/

Three words:

Republican Brand Name

As it stands, the Republicans have branded themselves as the party of no compromise. Hence, the "party of no".

Quote:
But by nearly a 3-to-1 margin, respondents conclude that the Republican Party is emphasizing partisanship more than unity.
Essentially, Party over Country. Especially since 2010, they've clearly established the position of willing to tank the economy in order to make Obama look bad. To some degree, it is working. Therefore, they continue it. However, it seems that most people are seeing through that strategy and know who is at fault here.

This will make 2014 rather interesting.
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Old 2013-02-27, 02:20   Link #380
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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Essentially, Party over Country. Especially since 2010, they've clearly established the position of willing to tank the economy in order to make Obama look bad. To some degree, it is working. Therefore, they continue it. However, it seems that most people are seeing through that strategy and know who is at fault here.

This will make 2014 rather interesting.
It's working for people who are still voting for them. But it doesn't help if they can't get new supporters.

The issue now is that they can't even pretend to be moderate. All because the far right demanded to run the show now. They know they are the only people who still vote GOP, so they expect to be treated like they actually matter. Flipping to a moderate stance after pretending to be Conservative in the Primaries is no longer viable. No one is buying it Left or Right.
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