Not signed in (Sign In)
  1.  (10429.1)
    I'm usually off hiding in the art threads, but I think this might be on-topic enough for here:

    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012
    @ Mr Pace- that's genius. Applause.Thank you. Any chance of a series of these to follow the circus to its conclusion?
  2.  (10429.3)
    @nelzbub: I'll inevitably touch on the politics leading up to the election, but I'm pretty much doing whatever strikes my fancy as Wednesday hits. I had already started a strip about monster-mash-ups before I saw Santorum running up Mitt's backside in Iowa.
  3.  (10429.4)
    Anyone care to put their digikudos where their mouth is and call it?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012
    @Horrible Warning Si

    Well, at this point there's the three options broken down into unsurprising stereotypes:
    1. Romney is getting the votes of party establishment, business backers, and those liberals would probably characterize as 1%-ers
    2. Santorum is getting the Religious Right/evangelical vote
    3. Paul is getting the smaller, but still pretty mobilized, Libertarian/original Tea Party vote

    As previously noted Romney or Paul going after Santorum has some issues but pretty much everyone expects Romney to get it? The reason is that Santorum's messages are often a bit crazed, extremely negative, and he doesn't have much of a political history and Paul is, well, Ron Paul. Hell, Ron Paul won the Iowa straw poll months ago and hardly got mentioned in the press while most of the focus was given to people who lost. The thing I find funny is that the GOP establishment is obviously pushing for Romney, to the point where they're on television talking about him as if he's already finished the Primary, while still acknowledging that the GOP base really doesn't want to vote for him.

    At this point it's too early (case in point, Mike Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa Caucus and McCain got fourth but ended up the nominee regardless) and a lot could happen. With the Carolinas coming up I expect to see a probably similar break down as this time with Romney possibly slipping to a close third behind Paul (because of his money and Mormon backgrounds).

    At the moment though the Dems are salivating at the hope that Santorum gets it because nothing will motivate an apathetic Democratic/liberal voter to go in like their mediocre candidate running against someone they hate. If Santorum gets it I expect San Francisco to see record number votes. Best scenario for the Dems is Santorum takes the nomination and Paul jumps ship and runs as a third party. The GOP would have to pull off something amazing, or the Dems would do their magical "pull defeat from the jaws of victory" move, to beat Obama.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012 edited
    @Horrible Warning Si:

    I'm going to say Romney, with either Gingrich or Santorum as running mate, gets the nomination. I'm also just going to throw out there that Obama gets re-elected. Obama in the White House has been disappointing, but Obama on the campaign trail could rally up a lot of the support he's lost. Really, as well, Obama isn't doing a whole lot worse, approval-wise, than Clinton was in '96. I know, very different circumstances, but that's my prediction nevertheless.

    Because, really, as much as the left has been disappointed with him, they'd be actively terrified by the prospect of anyone the Republicans are running getting into the White House, even the relatively sane and reasonable Romney. They'll go back to Obama because the only other choice is not voting. Along with that, Obama might have won himself friends among the moderate hawks (I know, that sounds like an oxymoron, but stay with me) for his willingness to drone-bomb anything and everything that looks like a threat. One of my conservative friends said that they thought "Obama when he's pissed off is scarier than Bush ever was," and they said it like it was a good thing.

    What'll be interesting is how much Obama chooses to reach out to the Occupy crowd, considering how much those two seem to be on opposite sides a lot of the time. And if Obama doesn't, will Ron Paul (who will almost certainly drop out of the Republican race and run third-part) decide to give it a try? Could, in a weird friggin' twist of fate, Ron Paul actually steal voters from Obama? That's what gets me reaching for the popcorn bucket, personally.

    That, and how will this affect Congressional elections in 2014? Would an Obama win trigger another neocon/Tea Party surge, or would it rally the left and get some more moderates and (gasp) liberals into the Senate and House? Or would the same guy in the White House mean the same guys in Congress?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012
    Also, just one more quick thought then I promise I'll shut up for a while.

    I mean, I'd love to have a beer with the guy but Biden as Pres? Heeeeeeeeeeeeeell no.

    You're right, Biden is cranky, emotional, and not the most populist guy the Democrats could hope for. Then again, Obama was all the things Biden isn't, and he... well... and he...

    Fuck it. Biden in 2016!
  4.  (10429.8)
    "...and Paul jumps ship and runs as a third party."


    Also, I'm intrigued. What's the street-level consensus in Mericky about the whole concept of the 3rd party? I get the impression (mostly from imported yank-comedy shows) that the "two party system" is routinely mocked. Would Joe Bloggs ever vote for a Donkeyphant?
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012 edited
    Si, (and I know I'm breaking my earlier promise, BUT) the issue with a viable third party in America is, as has been previously stated, most parties have to go through a vetting process to even get on the ballot in most states. Plenty of people have heard of the Green Party because they've managed to do just that, as have the Constitution Party and the American Independence Party, but most others have a lot of trouble drumming up the support for such a thing.

    The problem seems to be that the Democrats and the Republicans, in their quest for more votes, have done a fantastic job of absorbing all kinds of political ideas into their platforms, even ones that directly oppose their original dogmas (I'm looking at you, runaway defense budget Republicans). As soon as an idea or movement becomes popular, one of the two parties go for it and swallows it, often without chewing. Look at what happened with the Tea Party - in the beginning, the TP was as pissed off with the Republicans as they were with the Democrats for their mismanagement of the federal budget, but over time, enough Republicans managed to woo the TP into becoming neocon shock troops (which, by the way, a lot of Tea Partiers are pissed as hell about). These groups then become factions within the party, who will bicker and fight and gnash their teeth at one another during peacetime, but when the other guy makes a move that none (or even just most, or the most vocal) don't like, they'll band together and go-go-gadget party line.

    So, if a movement pops up to the left of the American political center (which is nowhere near the center of, say, Canada, Britain, or the majority of Europe), it'll probably get swallowed by the Democrats: this is why the party of Truman and Kennedy can now tolerate being associated with vocal socialists. On the other hand, if it pops up to the right, the Republicans will buy them flowers and roses until they join them: and that is why the party of Eisenhower spends every bit of pocket lint they come across on the military and intelligence budget.

    What if something pops up in the center? Well... that's a tricky path to walk, especially in America. You'll get accused (as everyone even a little bit moderate in American politics has at one point) of "flip-flopping" on the issues, even if your actual stance never changes, just because you get some of your ideas from the right, and some from the left. America, on the whole, is very much a "you're either with us or against us" kinda place, though this was not always true. We're suspicious of people who aren't willing to take a stand... or who are willing to take a stand all by themselves. Which is kind of weird, for a culture that espouses independence as much as we claim to.

    To paraphrase Churchill: "The Two-Party System is the worst form of Democracy in the world... except for all the others." Or, at least, that seems to be the general consensus.
  5.  (10429.10)
    judging by the activism of his base, Paul would probably turn out to be one of the most successful third party candidates in history if he goes that route. His percentage of the popular vote might even make it into the double digits. As for the all important electoral college vote, well, here are the numbers. The last time a third party candidate picked up an electoral college vote was 1972, when John Hospers managed to grab one. At no point in US history has a third party candidate won the election. The last major shift in parties was during the 1850s, when the Whig party essentially disintegrated over the slavery issue and reformed as the Republican party, with proslavery Whigs ending up in the short lived Constitutional Union party. The first election with the Republicans involved went to the Democrats, and by the second one, the Whigs ceased to be a party, the Republicans became the second party, the Democrats experienced a temporary split, and we went to war within a year.

    The street level consensus is that as bad as the two main parties are, voting for a third party generally has a negative effect. Democrats generally credit the presence of a popular third party candidate (along with minor election fraud) with the defeat of Al Gore in 2000. The idea is that, in a winner take all election, any candidate that peels away the hard core or extreme of a given major party's base inevitably gives the win to the opposing party (e.g. a strong Green candidate = Republican victory, strong Libertarian candidate = Democrat victory). as such, voting for a third party is considered by many to be the same as either throwing away one's vote or voting for the main opposition.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012

    The Tea Party was always, nominally, Republican even if they were just as cranky at their party as at the Democrats; they were Ron Paul's followers from the start and were appropriated, as was the Tea Party idea, by the establishment and the Koch brothers to, as you say, be turned into shocktroops but it wasn't like they weren't probably leaning in that direction anyway. Would he have as much success at getting the Occupy crowd? Maybe, but right now the Republicans are cast as the do-nothing, change-nothing, big-money party and so while he might get some of the Occupiers who lean more Libertarian, I don't know if he'd peel off enough to significantly balance out the greater number of votes he'd take from the Republicans, which would mean a net win for Obama.

    @Si and ahnnon

    I think it's likely. Will it have any chance of success or any chance of impact? No and that's debatable.

    I know that people always throw around the 2000 Florida loss and blame it on Nader but when you look at the numbers, there were probably more Dem-registered voters who didn't vote in Florida than the total ballots cast for Nader in that state. With that in mind, if people had gone in and cast a vote then there wouldn't have been an issue.

    Now, I definitely see Ron Paul running as a third party candidate being like Ross Perot, who was the most successful third party candidate in my lifetime in that he was getting large, and favorable, press coverage as well as being involved in the Presidential debates until he flamed out, quit the race, and then rejoined a few weeks later (never recovered from that). Could he have won? No, but if he'd stayed through to the end he could've possibly caused something along the lines of that happening more frequently.
  6.  (10429.12)

    Romney to take the nom, but not quickly or smoothly. It definitely won't be a tie by the time it reaches the convention, though. Santorum will poll well in the south, but ultimately not well enough, and he won't get near the VP slot either - that'll be Christie or Jeb Bush, I'd imagine - someone who brings something Romney doesn't without alienating the floating voters too much. Paul will fade away fairly quickly now - his best shot was in winning Iowa and trying to build some momentum.

    Narrow Obama win come November, but it's so close almost any kind of negative (for him) event could swing it the other way.
  7.  (10429.13)
    @Ren I agree that the 2000 election was decided more by democrats who failed to vote in droves, and that Nader's candidacy had little, if anything, to do with the results. On the other hand, more than a few people I've spoken to over the years place a great deal of weight on his presence as contributing to Gore's downfall. In reality, if every Nader vote had gone to Gore instead, odds are very slim that the result would have been different, and Perot's substantial 8.4% of the popular vote still wouldn't have given Bob Dole a popular majority, much less the presidency in 1996. the idea that third parties hurt the big two is an errant perception that tends to have the real effect of depriving viable third party candidates of votes that they might otherwise get and contributes to the increasing stagnation of political discourse.

    edited to fix a decidedly Faulknerian sentence.
  8.  (10429.14)
    They'll go back to Obama because the only other choice is not voting.
    I actually think we'll see a much lower voter turnout this year than in '08. The young liberal voters who formed Obama's base in '08 are the ones who are the most disillusioned with him, and between Health Care Reform not being as sweeping as everyone hoped, the amount of time it took to repeal DADT, not vetoing NDAA (even though it wouldn't have accomplished anything to do so, but that's a whole other conversation), and potentially SOPA/PIPA, I'm afraid the prevailing opinion in the 18-25 voter bracket is going to be 'We turned out in droves for this guy last time, and he wasn't much better than the previous guy. And the other guys are worse, so fuck it. I'm staying home.'
  9.  (10429.15)

    Ron Paul will support the Republican candidate. His organization will learn from this and re-emerge under Rand Paul in future elections, with similar results.

    Romney will claw and scratch his way to the nomination, and will choose a younger running mate from the southern states, someone like Marco Rubio.

    Republicans will keep the House (although while probably giving up a few seats) and astonish everyone by retaking the Senate.

    Obama will narrowly win re-election, after a series of new Occupy protests allow him to cast Romney as being part of the Wall Street establishment. The charge will stick. The debates will be a draw, as neither candidate seriously wounds the other or performs very poorly. For the fourth time in a row, there will be record voter turnout.

    Obama's second term will be full of Congressional hearings and talk of impeachment. Obama's cabinet members and staffers will flood the exits and tell-all books will sell millions of copies.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012

    The debates will be a draw, as neither candidate seriously wounds the other or performs very poorly.

    I'm not certain about that. If there's one thing that can be said about Obama, it's that he did very well in the debates against McCain and delivered some pretty brutal cuts, some of them seemingly off the cuff. Romney's off the cuff remarks (like the $10,000 bet) get him into trouble so I'd say that while Romney wouldn't nearly as beaten up by Obama as Perry (because having those two debate would just be cruel to the governor), I'd put my bet on Obama and not because I'm a liberal.
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012 edited
    @Si -

    For the primaries and the election:

    Romney bleeds for the first six weeks or so as Santorum and Paul worry his flanks for a while, then drop out after the big states get locked up for Romney.

    Paul may run as a third party candidate. If he does, that is worse for Obama than for Romney. As I pointed out in my last post, the Republican youth who skew towards Paul do so heavily in the under-21 demographic...that is also Obama's base as well. Ron Paul would suck the socially liberal, fiscally conservative part of the Democratic party out of the room as a third party candidate, do no better than 20% of the pouplar vote, and achieve nothing except be another Nader.

    If Paul doesn't run, Obama wins by 5% or less, but still wins.

    #Third Parties:

    The one thing I'd like to point out is that although we're set up for a two-party system, everyone needs to keep in mind it doesn't have to be THESE two parties.

    The Democrats and Republicans have performed magnetic pole shifts at least one in history. At one point the Republicans were 'classic liberals' who promoted the freedom of the emergent middle class citizen over the Democrat's entrenched political and social interests especially in the South.

    I don't predict a third party will be successful. I do predict, though, that there will be a bloody and prologned fight for the character of the Republican party as it strives to define itself as more than anti-socialist and anti-federalist and anti-immigrant. Demographics look ugly for the continued future of the party as it exists now.

    What is entirely possible is for the Republicans to re-emerge as a populist, anti-federalist, libertarian party, leaving the Christian right essentially disenfranchised and ceding the rich folks and the hawks and the big-government conservatives to the Democrats...again, which is where they came from in the first place.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2012

    I don't know if Obama was all that popular with Republican 18-25s back in 2008. Do you have any data on that?

    Re: party-shift - Last big shift was in the late sixties. A bunch of southern Democratic senators switched to the Republican party and several northern Republics went Dem. I believe the issue at hand was the idea of segregation and it being banned (Strom Thurmond was one such senator).
  10.  (10429.19)
    Si- I'm calling it now- Obama beats Romney at roughly 60% overall voter count. Couldn't really say how the electoral college goes, though.
  11.  (10429.20)

    Valid points. I'm trying to guess the MOST LIKELY OUTCOME, and knockout punches in Presidential debates are actually pretty rare.

    I suppose Obama got some cuts at McCain, but I don't really remember anything sticking out. Mostly I remember seeing one guy looking calm and in control while the other guy lost his temper and his place. That works with a crazy like McCain. The same tactic will not work with Romney.