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    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2012
    @JP, Keeper

    I know that the current GOP line-up is one of the (many) reasons why several of my personal, conservative friends are no longer registered GOP. Yes, people realize how fucking crazy they are. Unfortunately, the crazy block are the most frequent voters.
  1.  (10429.2)
    Scanning through this discussion I find it interesting that the on-going wars in the Middle East, and the dynamic that has on the developing Presidential contest, seems to be completely ignored, in favor of horse-race considerations and the occasional allusion to social issues.

    With polls showing the majority of Americans now quite war-weary and eager to call the troops home, the only prominent anti-war candidate is Ron Paul. Anti-war Americans had pinned their hopes on Obama in 2008 and now realize they have been made fools.

    This is the reason that when polls ask voters to choose in a one-off contest between Obama and a specific Republican candidate, Paul generally does as well as Romney (with the other Repubs falling far behind).

    As the wars rage on (or even expand, as in Iran or Syria), and the economy continues to worsen (as I believe it will, although official statistics will be cooked to try and hide it), Obama will have a tough fight on his hands and could well lose, whether the GOP nominee is Romney, or Paul, or someone else.

    BTW I don't expect Paul to run 3rd Party if/when he loses the GOP nomination. Most likely he will endorse another 3rd Party candidate, like he did in 2008. It might be the Libertarian this time, depending on who the LP nominates.
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2012

    If Paul continues to run a strong second or third in any of the major primaries, I expect him to actually show up with his delegates at the nominating convention and ask for them to be seated, and further ask for concessions in the Republican platform. There's going to be a lot of horse trading going on behind the scenes. The mainstream Republican establishment will be desperate to stop a split in the party.

    This likely means that Romney and the party will be forced to advance a platform in the general election that includes more drastic austerity measures than what Romney is currently proposing. What Paul winds up doing, I expect will depends on how much of his platform gets adopted by the party at the convention. Paul has been firm in his intention to exercise a gravitational pull on the mainstream Party in a more "Constitutional" direction.

    However, if Paul does have a strong influence at the convention, this means social conservatives will be the ones left out in the cold. If the social conservatives fail to rally around a single candidate, they will be the ones left without influence at the convention. The result could be a strong shift of the overall Republican platform in a libertarian and smaller government direction, while leaving the culture wars stuff like gay marriage alone.
  2.  (10429.4)

    At the risk of sounding confrontational, I'm curious as to your wording of
    the only prominent anti-war candidate is Ron Paul. Anti-war Americans had pinned their hopes on Obama in 2008 and now realize they have been made fools.

    When Obama brought the soldiers out of Iraq. Reasons or explanations aside, combat troops are out of Iraq. How does that make people who see him as anti-war fools?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2012
    Or the fact that the administration has been continuing talks with the Taliban that were started with Bush's administration to end things in Afghanistan.

    I mean, sure, Obama did the bombings in Libya and then there's that (startling) gray area of Al-Alwiki (sp?) in Yemen but Obama hasn't gotten us involved in any long-standing disputes in the same way that Bush did. Yes, he took military actions but so has every President. There's a difference between "anti-war" and "anti-military".
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeJan 12th 2012 edited
    I think the problem with your defenses is that he's been given FAR more slack. Obama has committed wars on other countries for no real reason (and I'm sorry, but I see no difference between war and "military action." You drop a bomb on someone, that's an act of war), has exponentially increased the amount of drone attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not only is he not put under the fire for continuing the War on Terror, he's given a fucking NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

    At the risk of sounding confrontational, it really feels to me that a lot of the media and the left who were on Bush with every military action seem perfectly fine with those actions when it's one of their guys doing it.
  3.  (10429.7)
    People's problem with Bush was that after the UN said no to the Iraq war he said 'Fuck you, we're attacking them anyway.' The one military action that was initiated by Obama was done alongside and with the full support of the UN and NATO. And re-focusing on Afghanistan as the primary battlefield of the War on Terror was one of his campaign platforms, so anybody who was expecting him to pull all our troops out of there just wasn't paying attention.
  4.  (10429.8)
    I don't believe anyone here sounded "fine" with one of our guys doing it, in fact, we've been unhappy that it's taken this long to end the war in Iraq, though at least we've been realistic in understanding it doesn't happen overnight, especially when you have almost every Republican opposing any form of withdrawal.

    Personally, I've supported decisions that the current president has made, and had a little faith that he'd do what he said he would. Seeing that offensive military action is done in Iraq, it seems odd to still attempt to paint this president as a war president. If you're a complete pacifist, I understand the confusion, because pacifism is completely unrealistic in this day and age.

    And if you don't see our actions in Libya as anything other than an attempt to achieve a necessary resolution while avoiding putting American boots on the ground, then I don't know what it would take to meet your approval. Is it that we remove our military from every foreign country, and never involve ourselves in other countries' affairs? I don't live in a world where that is possible. Sure it sounds great, but we don't live in a peaceful world. I'd like to live there, but that doesn't just make it happen. We don't exist in some sort of vacuum, that if we leave everyone alone, everything will turn out fine. Perhaps that was possible once, but not anymore.

    No, Obama isn't perfect. I agree with you there. I also don't have access to the man's intelligence reports. I can only briefly fathom why he's made some of the decisions that he's made. I can't play armchair president with him about how to end a war. I know that he's doing it; Iraq is evidence of that. I hated what the Bush administration was doing, because it was obvious what the American people wanted, and it was obvious that the administration could care less. Ending the wars wasn't even on the table with them. Now that it is, I can give a little more leeway.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2012
    Discrediting a rival by pointing out he can speak French?

    Is that really a viable tactic in the States? You'd only see something like that in the Daily Mail over here, and no-one takes them seriously...
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2012
    @Jay Kay

    I think we'll have to agree to disagree with your definition of an "act of war".

    He has gotten flack for continuing things like GitMo, indefinite detention, and a host of other issues on left-wing blogs and news sights. He's also removed waterboarding from the list of things Bush said were acceptable and made the military go back to the Army field manual for interrogating captured enemy soldiers and enemy combatants, he complied with the withdrawl from Iraq that Bush agreed to with that country and removed our combat prence there, and has been working toward decreasing our presence in Afghanistan in a way that won't A) completely fuck Afghanistan because us going in there in the first place created a problem and B) that won't make it seem like it was a complete waste of time (and, in many ways, it wasn't; Al'Queda as it existed in that country before Obama no longer exists).

    I think your problem at the center of your "the left seems fine" argument is that you're lumping everyone who is liberal together in one bunch while not hearing what everyone who might be considered part of "the Left" is actually saying, because the people you are listening to are apparenlty not the same I'm listening to. Some people in the left are fine with what he said, others aren't, just like some people in the right didn't like the wars Bush got us into while others on the right were. Sweeping statements are flawed statements.
  5.  (10429.11)
    @flaybo you'd be surprised. There's a rather strong anti-foreign mentality within the conservative base, particularly in small towns and rural areas in the southeast where those ads are targeted, and French has long been associated with cultural elitism.
  6.  (10429.12)
    @ Flabyo Sadly, the "he can speak French" charge was one used repeatedly by conservatives against John Kerry in the 2004 election. Also, the conservative howls when the French opposed the Iraq invasion led to such idiocies as renaming French fries "freedom fries" in the Congressional lunchroom.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2012
    Santorum, Perry, Huntsman, and Gingrich all not going to be on VA's ballet.

    The theme of this election needs to be Yakkity Sax.
  7.  (10429.14)
    @ government spy

    The withdrawal of American troops from Iraq happened on a timetable and under rules arranged by the civilian/collaborationist Iraqi government and the Bush Administration. In the weeks before the withdrawal, the Obama admin pleaded with the al-Maliki government to extend the liability-exemption agreement (making US soldiers exempt from personal legal liability for their actions there) which would permit a residual force to stay. Obama was denied.

    And as others have pointed out here, Obama has doubled-down on the war in Afghanistan (more US soldiers have died there now during Obama's term than in the entire 8 years of the Bush administration), expanded it into Pakistan, has rained fiery hell on Yemen and Libya and seems primed to do more of the same in Syria and Iraq. Innocent men, women and children are being blown to bits every day with weapons my taxes paid for, and I want it to stop NOW, dammit, not when it's convenient for the neocons. And a lot of other people, in both parties, third parties, and independents, feel the same way I do about this.

    Most of those who felt this way in 2008 voted for Obama. If they still think this is a vital issue, they won't vote for him in 2012 if they see a viable alternative on the ballot.

    However, I don't think the GOP will nominate Paul. Whether Paul endorses the GOP winner or not, he will most likely retire from active politics, and let his son Rand carry on in his stead.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJan 13th 2012 edited
    I remember the 'freedom fries' thing, my favourite counter for that at the time (which was when I was a snarky student) was to point out that the US would've *lost* the war of independence if the French hadn't decided to help you dick over the Brits...

    I just find it stunning in this world where global politics is dominant that the fact he might be a bit more 'in' with Europe is seen as a bad thing...

    (interestingly, that BBC link is currently tagged as the 'most read' story on the BBC news site...)
  8.  (10429.16)
    @ScottBieser: So you're saying that if Paul did get the Republican nomination you would vote for him over Obama purely on his anti-war stance (a stance that he would actually have little power to enact, as Congress could block reductions in the US military through budget measures, the same way they've been able to prevent the closure of Gitmo under Obama), and ignore his utterly, utterly batshit domestic agenda?
  9.  (10429.17)
    As far as Ron Paul goes, I have to say that I found this article quite illuminating.

    (was typing on my phone, but now I got pissed off)

    But what's funny is that while people can post detracting statements against the President, most liberals I know can accept that our president is not perfect. We realize that improvement is needed. Again, I'm not happy with everything the man has done, but I'm not willing to let a Republican back in the Oval Office. There is not a single anti-war Republican candidate that is actually electable.

    From my experience, Ron Paul supporters can't accept criticism of their candidate, everything is a biased attack against the man. I think he has a few decent ideas, but that they're outnumbered by his ridiculous platform of isolationist ideas. The concept he's running on benefits a very small group of people, and I'm not one of them. I like that Ron Paul is anti-war. He's been consistent with that from the beginning. I also like his stance on the war in drugs. But that isn't enough. To vote for Paul would be voting for a world where we just have to hope that corporations do the right thing just because it's the right thing to do, and that's something corporations have shown they won't do. The man is against the Civil Rights Act, the EPA, the Dept. of Education, should I go on?

    And don't get me started on Rand Paul. The man is willing to shut the government down anytime he doesn't get what he wants. Some governmental services are needed 24/7. He expects me to go to work and not get paid until him and his co-Partiers tantrums are over. Really? I'm supposed to work without pay for the good of the people, and you consider yourself anti-socialist? Thanks, Rand.

    Some people think that our two party system is screwed up. Maybe it is. Or that our government is inefficient. Ok, I can agree with that. But I want to deal with the way things are, not the way I wish things were. I have to work with the system as-is, and I can't understand people that, if they can't get everything they want, then they want to tear everything down. I am a realist. I used to want to change everything. Now I work to do what I can; what is reasonably possible.

    A third party candidate won't work. Sorry. It won't. We're too lazy for an actual revolution. It will not happen. You have to work with what we got. To me, that means voting for the guy who doesn't want to privatize my job. That's how simple it has come down for me.
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2012
    @ GovSpy-A sensible and realistic point of view.
    As much as I feel a revolution is needed you're right to be sceptical about it ever occurring and it is far better to spend your energy to "do what I can: what is reasonably possible."
    Cheers for your thoughts and I hope the bastards keep their privatising hands off your job.
    @ everyone- you're running second only to Al Jazeera as my most sensible source of information regarding politics over there, many thanks.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2012

    Thanks, but please remember that we each have our own biases.
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2012
    My feeling is that despite all his flaws, Paul is still the only decent, rational, and least harmful candidate currently running right now. That sad fact is why I feel the political system of this country is completely and utterly fucked.