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  1.  (10833.1)
    @Finagle, Mister Hex:

    Why limit the patches to just filibusters? Make it the new congressional uniform!

    Hm, actually, that would make for a great piece of collage art. I wonder if anyone's done anything along those lines...


    Off the current topic, and sparked by that last thought, does anyone else find it interesting that we're getting close to the election and we've yet to see any new truly iconic art like we saw in the last election? I've seen Fairey's HOPE poster crop up (in the "Wake The Fuck Up" video, for example) but it seems like a lot of the iconic images are actually coming not from artists but from Internet culture (the R MONEY picture, "I'm Rick Perry And I'm A Douchebag," and so on). That's kind of interesting to me as an art historian. (It's admittedly probably not that interesting to anyone else.)

    Also, why ISN'T Reid forcing filibusters? Is he/party leadership afraid that the Republicans will effectively spin this as left-wing obstructionism? I mean, are they really that nervous about their own ability to spin a story?
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2012 edited
     (10833.2)
    Democrats won't force the filibuster because they believe that if Republicans gain control of the Senate, they will provide the same courtesy to the Democrats. There is something to be said about learning from your mistakes. Democrats have made the mistake of thinking that Republicans will at some point provide them them the same courtesy.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2012
     (10833.3)
  2.  (10833.4)
    Democrats won't force the filibuster because they believe that if Republicans gain control of the Senate, they will provide the same courtesy to the Democrats.
    I think there are more Dems that could actually maintain a filibuster than there are Republicans. The thing about the filibuster is that all the same rules for having the floor apply: you can't sit down and you can't eat or drink anything other than water. Can you imagine John McCain standing upright for long enough to effectively block anything?
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2012
     (10833.5)
    Can you imagine John McCain standing upright for long enough to effectively block anything?


    I can't picture him sitting through a filibuster, much less trying to perform one.
  3.  (10833.6)
    @Scribe:

    That seems too simple to me, though. I mean, it's plain to all of us here, certainly, and presumably most Democrats in general, that playing nice with the Republicans is not going to inspire them to behave courteously back. I can't believe that someone like Reid, who has managed to get elected to office multiple times presumably through some sort of political strategy, could make such an obvious error of judgment, unless he's erroneously assuming that playing nice will allow the party to sway middle of the road "Both Parties Are Equally To Blame" wishy-washy voters.

    But... maybe he actually is just deluding himself, and I'm overestimating Democratic Party strategic thought. I don't know.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2012
     (10833.7)
    That seems too simple to me, though. I mean, it's plain to all of us here, certainly, and presumably most Democrats in general, that playing nice with the Republicans is not going to inspire them to behave courteously back. I can't believe that someone like Reid, who has managed to get elected to office multiple times presumably through some sort of political strategy, could make such an obvious error of judgment, unless he's erroneously assuming that playing nice will allow the party to sway middle of the road "Both Parties Are Equally To Blame" wishy-washy voters.

    But... maybe he actually is just deluding himself, and I'm overestimating Democratic Party strategic thought. I don't know.


    Reid barely won his last election. Nevada is purple, and Reid has to pander to the masses of a semi-redneck state. But Reid is, also, a believer in decorum. He hates when the senate deviates from gentlemanly traditions, but willingly bends over and grabs his ankles when Republicans break from tradition. Well, maybe willingly is a bad term, he just looks like he's willing since he doesn't want to upset his electorate.
  4.  (10833.8)
    Ah. Well, that makes more sense, then, in a depressing sort of way, thanks. Man, no matter how cynical I think I've become, it's apparently never quite enough.
  5.  (10833.9)
    What can you fine folks tell me about Gary Johnson?

    Are there skeletons in his closet, or is he actually a nice guy?
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.10)
    Probably a fine guy. Not a snowball's chance in hell he'll ever be elected as a Libertarian. His party is also full of buffoons, Randians and free-market absolutists. As the article points out, at best he will cut some votes away from Romney and make an Obama win easier.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.11)
    Gary Johnson: Nader for Republicans.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.12)
    What can you fine folks tell me about Gary Johnson?

    Are there skeletons in his closet, or is he actually a nice guy?


    My biggest problem with libertarian candidates is that they place more emphasis on fiscal issues over social issues, and even some of their stances on social issues are a bit outlandish. Sure, the American Libertarian party wants to legalize weed, but they also want businesses to be allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.

    He is for school vouchers, lower taxes, legalized marijuana, privatizing prisons, same-sex marriage and is pro-choice.

    He's against universal health care and wants to slash medicare, medicade and social security spending, but I bet he won't lay a finger on the bloated military budget.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.13)
    Gary Johnson: Nader for Republicans.


    I never understood what people have against Nader. He is one of the few honest politicians left in this world.

    People blame him for Gore's lost, but let's be honest - there were 7 presidential nominees on the Florida ballot, three of which were left of Gore and all three received enough votes, more than the 600 that Gore lost by, to offset Gore's balance, yet Nader always gets the blame.

    The argument, and I really believe this argument holds merit, is that the people who supported Nader probably would not have voted at all. I voted for Nader, and if he wasn't running that year, I would have sat out the Presidential vote and just went for the one senate seat, my rep and governor.

    The only person Gore can blame for losing that election is Gore. He ran a horrible campaign and his positions were barely left of Ronald Reagan.
  6.  (10833.14)
    the people who supported Nader probably would not have voted at all.
    Some of them, sure. But I know enough Nader supporters in swing states who held their nose and voted for Gore even with Nader on the ballot (because they were afraid of throwing the election to Bush) that I'm pretty sure there were at least 600 of them in Florida who would've voted for Gore if Nader wasn't on the ballot. They don't all subscribe to the notion that not-voting somehow accomplishes something. I don't "blame" Nader personally for the outcome, and I support his (and every other "third" candidate) being in the race, but I do acknowledge that the outcome would've been different if he hadn't been.
    but I bet [Johnson] won't lay a finger on the bloated military budget.
    Well, he won't because 1) he won't be elected, and 2) Congress actually legislates the budget, so it wouldn't be up to him even if he was. But if you're talking about his positions, Johnson says that he'd ask for it to be cut in half... for what that's worth.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012 edited
     (10833.15)
    Pleased to see that electoral-vote.com now shows Obama polling 347 to Romney's 191. This looks to be better than he was doing this time four years ago (although at that point there were 3 tied states).

    @Keeper
    Also, why ISN'T Reid forcing filibusters? Is he/party leadership afraid that the Republicans will effectively spin this as left-wing obstructionism?

    That may not be why, I don't know, but I absolutely guarantee it would happen. It's very hard to go wrong when your entire style of government is based on trying to prove that government is bad.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.16)
    but I do acknowledge that the outcome would've been different if he hadn't been.


    I just can't buy into it. I truly believe that the onus is on Gore. He lost by a lousy 600 votes, and if you can't convince 600 people to vote for you, then you're not much of a politician.

    Whether or not voting actually accomplishes anything, well that is a whole separate topic that I could rant on about for hours.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.17)
    You're being absurd. He convinced half the voting population of the United States to vote for him. Millions of votes. The 600 he lost by would have easily been there if Nader hadn't run.
  7.  (10833.18)
    Five Thirty Eight has the electoral votes at 320.1 to 217.9, and they give Romney about a 15% chance of winning. They don't comment on this overtly in their most recent article, but there seems to be a basic assumption on their part that, like many have said, this is the Democrat's race to lose. All of the points that Romney can score to catch up involve something going wrong for Obama rather than something going right for Romney.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.19)
    You're being absurd. He convinced half the voting population of the United States to vote for him. Millions of votes. The 600 he lost by would have easily been there if Nader hadn't run.


    Here's the problem, it is one of those things that just can't be proven. In one big way, Nader helped Gore. Nader managed to register many young voters who probably would not have voted at all. One school actually researched this and discovered that nearly 1 percent of all of Gore's votes came from those that were registered by those supporting Nader, but voted for Gore. This isn't all that uncommon, but it is when it happens from a 3rd party candidate. When I registered to vote, I was registered by a Republican group, even though I had no intention of ever voting Republican. Just don't claim a party affiliation and they will gladly turn it in.

    Let's, also, not forget that Clinton carried 31 states in his last election, Obama carried 28, and Gore only carried 20. When your party is averaging over 25 states, then you have no excuse when you only carry 20. And many of the states that Gore lost but other Democrats carried happened to be states where Nader was not even on the ballot.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeOct 1st 2012
     (10833.20)
    @Scribe -

    Whatever. Third party candidates pull from the available pool of likely voters. This was well demonstrated with Ross Perot, and then again with Nader. Electoral college voting is a zero-sum game - someone's win is always somebody else's loss. Any "successful" "third-party" candidate sucks votes from one party or the other, or both. Votes aren't like dollars, you can't just print them up. I'm not quite sure who you're being an apologist for, but the point remains:

    Gary Johnson will suck votes away from the libertarian wing of the Republican party.

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