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      CommentAuthordmclaney
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (48.1)
    Seems to me that logic takes all the emotion out of the political process. Well, that and I don't believe those are the only reasons to cast votes for a potential president. To each his own.

    I'll stick with Pedro and continue looking for the bubbles below the surface. Somewhere down there someone has to be swimming. Either that or it's another idiot looking to pull the stopper...
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      CommentAuthorStarrah
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2007
     (48.2)
    I think Dan is spot on, actually. I live abroad and my friends here are from all over the world, and whenever America's fuck-ups come up in conversation, I can't help but feel some personal responsibility, even though I did vote for the other guy. "America" is the same as "Bush" to most people I meet. I'm supposed to be "a representative of my country" here in Japan, and when a colleague or friend starts to talk politics with me, I usually just get uncomfortable. Saying "I hate Bush" usually gets equated with "I hate America," and then I sound like a flakey ex-pat.

    I admit I sort of ran away from it all by moving to Japan, at least temporarily. And maybe if I feel guilt about anything, it should be that. But I'll vote absentee, and I'll be voting for a better face to put to my home (and the tiny, shriveled, starved idealist chained in the dungeons of my head will feel a little hope that the newbie can actually make some positive change).
  1.  (48.3)
    If the question is "why vote", the answer is appointments


    This is an essential truth for me as well, and the main reason I vote democrat for president no matter what sort of creature rises up to take the nomination. The president elect will almost never be the person I would want, but I will take any warm body that will generally be in shooting distance of my values on cabinet, regulatory heads, ambassadors and judges.

    Kerry, neck-bolts and all, would have given us two moderate to liberal justices. (Probably three, it is an open secret Stevens wants to step down and is holding tight for a democrat to replace him. 31 years now...)

    Perhaps I have a depressingly pragmatic view, but those bench appointments last a long time. The Bush presidency will be in the ground many years and we will still be dealing with Alito.
    • CommentAuthorDRomigh
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (48.4)
    Am I sticking my neck out too far by saying that none of the candidates from either party strike me as particularly well-suited to the job? (Not that they ever are, I realize.) As a veteran, I'd be pro-McCain, but I think he's too long in the tooth. Rudy is too polarizing, and none of the rest seem up to the task. Obama hasn't been serving at the national level for very long, and strikes me as having a lot to learn about how politics works in DC. Hillary, I'd vote against just on general principal (cos she's a Clinton).

    The best idea I've seen yet for a ticket was a cover piece in Time magazine touting a Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger ticket.
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      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (48.5)
    I was into Paul for a while, but now I'm more considering Kucinich--he's not as bad-crazy, doesn't have any doners from Stormfront, and it would be cool to have a hot-ass First Lady for once.
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      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (48.6)
    I am waiting to see who ends up actually running for President. No third party candidate has announced yet, and they won't until the primaries are over and the two major parties have selected their candidates. I would look for Jesse Ventura to throw his hat into the ring, Ron Paul will run as a Libertarian, and I am curious to see who actually wins the nominations. If Obama wins in Iowa by a large enough margin, he may build enough steam to role through NH and should win South Carolina. Unity '08 is the party I am currently keeping my eye on, they could prove to be the spoiler for both parties.

    I desperately want a third party candidate to win, but it will never happen until a third party gets serious. Every third party attempts to capture an entire branch of government by running for the executive branch, but it will not happen until the lay the groundwork in Congress and begin to capture House and Senate seats.
    • CommentAuthorart4899
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (48.7)
    I live in Berkeley where there is a ground swell of support for Ron Paul all around us. I can't help but think that these Berkeley folk are simply latching onto Ron Paul's unambiguous anti-war language without really looking at what he'd like to do on Day 2. Some of the highlights include withdrawing from the UN, stricter border controls and no welfare for immigrants, abandoning nearly all government agencies including the National Endowment of the Arts, among others. Not really in line with the Berkeley crowd.
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      CommentAuthorwill_butler
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007 edited
     (48.8)
    I'll be voting Libertarian again, which is my default position. I voted for Kerry last time, as I hate Bush so goddamn much, but the election went all pear-shaped anyway, so I might as well try to help the Libertarians qualify for federal matching funds with my vote.

    With that said, I hate politics like a poison.

    Will
    • CommentAuthorStitchy
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2007
     (48.9)
    Kucinich is honestly the most sane of them all. Even if he had a shot in hell of winning it wouldn't matter much though. Too many self righteous fools and lobbyists with their hands so deep in the pockets of politicians they've forgotten what their fingers look like.

    The whole system needs to be thrown out and/or totally overhauled. When something is diseased beyond repair it needs to be put down. Many of our systems and policies have outgrown their usefulness. They were designed for a time when volume was manageable. With a larger population, changing technology and changing demands we need new systems. Most people just want to take the old systems and amend them. That's short sighted and can only work so long. I'm afraid that "sticking with what works" just won't work in this context because, obviously, it's not working.
    • CommentAuthordcasino
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
     (48.10)
    On the Democratic side, the smart money is on Hillary floundering early on against Obama, whose numbers are on their way up. However, there's so little time between the end of the early primaries and Super Tuesday that there almost certainly won't be time for him to capitalize on his gains with the money and volunteers he needs to run in what - 15 states now? - at once. She can pull it out, but it'll be damaging. Read: same old, same old. Early money and organization wins, as McCain found out in 2000.
    The Republican side is quite a bit more interesting. Giuliani is on his way down, and Romney has been rendered obsolete by Huckabee's ascendence (his whole point was that he wasn't Giuliani, and even if he wasn't an evangelical, he was willing to pretend that he was). The difference between this race and the Democratic one is that Giuliani doesn't have enough of a lead over the rest of the field to wait out early losses. We could easily see a mixed Super Tuesday, turning into a dogfight for delegates in the later states that no one thought would be important. If that gives us the first consequential convention since Kennedy, all the better.
    So, the bigger issue: is any of this going to make a difference? In the short term, sure: the next president (so long as it isn't Giuliani) is going to have a very different perspective on executive power than the current one. However, in the long term, there's no question that whatever happens now, future presidents will inevitably come back to the precedent Bush has established: they've been doing it since Andrew Jackson, and they're not about to stop now. I'm with Stitchy, in that patches on the Constitution aren't enough: we need a new convention, and soon.

    Dan
    • CommentAuthordcasino
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007 edited
     (48.11)
    <blockquote>I desperately want a third party candidate to win, but it will never happen until a third party gets serious. Every third party attempts to capture an entire branch of government by running for the executive branch, but it will not happen until the lay the groundwork in Congress and begin to capture House and Senate seats.</blockquote>

    We'd all like to see more political diversity, but the problem with third parties in the US is structural: no one's going to vote for a third party when they're all running for just one seat. Historically, the most successful third parties are those that have run for the big prize, as at least their ideas get adopted by the major parties.

    Dan
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      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
     (48.12)
    <blockquote>We'd all like to see more political diversity, but the problem with third parties in the US is structural: no one's going to vote for a third party when they're all running for just one seat. Historically, the most successful third parties are those that have run for the big prize, as at least their ideas get adopted by the major parties.

    Dan</blockquote>

    I don't agree with that. In modern politics it would be quite easy for a third party to capture seats in the House, and possibly Senate seats in less populated states like Wyoming. If you look at the broad political spectrum of the House, you will notice that there are many who are Republicans and Democrats in name only. Liebermann lost the primary to another Democrat, but won as an independent. The trick that any third part runs into is the ability to run more than one campaign at a time. A third party needs to pick and choose their districts carefully. Issues that affect the west coast are not always the same issues that affect the east coast or the heartland. Third parties will always fail due to their inability to organize.
    • CommentAuthorMycroft
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
     (48.13)
    I'm sure I'll vote for whatever loser the Dems nominate. Almost certainly Clinton/Obama, or Obama/Clinton. Unless one or the other takes their primaries mudslinging too far.
    Unless the republican candidate offers a tax rebate again. I'm more than willing to have my vote bought.
    • CommentAuthordcasino
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
     (48.14)
    I don't agree with that. In modern politics it would be quite easy for a third party to capture seats in the House, and possibly Senate seats in less populated states like Wyoming. If you look at the broad political spectrum of the House, you will notice that there are many who are Republicans and Democrats in name only. Liebermann lost the primary to another Democrat, but won as an independent. The trick that any third part runs into is the ability to run more than one campaign at a time. A third party needs to pick and choose their districts carefully. Issues that affect the west coast are not always the same issues that affect the east coast or the heartland. Third parties will always fail due to their inability to organize.


    You're right that we've seen some third party wins for the House and the Senate. I would argue, however, that those gains don't come from a third party successfully competing against one of the major parties, but rather displacing them as the second major party. Lieberman won as the de facto Republican candidate, just as Bernie Sanders wins as the de facto Democrat. In all cases, there's still just two major parties, as there will be whenever there's single-member districts. The question is if any single third party can gather support from enough districts to compete on a national basis, and I don't see how - or who. Their best hope, I think, is to get fusion ticket laws in more states, so that a minor party can nominate the same person as one of the major parties, and threaten to withhold their votes to get influence.
    • CommentAuthordcasino
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007
     (48.15)
    I'm sure I'll vote for whatever loser the Dems nominate. Almost certainly Clinton/Obama, or Obama/Clinton. Unless one or the other takes their primaries mudslinging too far.
    Unless the republican candidate offers a tax rebate again. I'm more than willing to have my vote bought.


    Clinton/Obama is a possibility, but Clinton would be a fool to accept a slot as VP. By the time the presidency opens up, she'll be too far gone to take the nomination, and she'll have less influence there than as a big state Senator.
    And no one's going to give a tax rebate next year - at least for any of us plebs. Best we can hope for is the removal of the AMT, or an extension of the Bush tax cuts. Either way, we'll wind up paying for it all eventually - unless you're old enough to not worry about it. In that case, take the money and run, my friend.

    Dan
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      CommentAuthorZachary Cole
    • CommentTimeDec 2nd 2007 edited
     (48.16)
    Best we can hope for is the removal of the AMT, or an extension of the Bush tax cuts.


    Ugh. Continuing tax cuts is great in principle, but I'm sure that, at some point, China is going to hold the gun of loan repayment to our heads and we'll pay the money we owe them. Its why I've never understood Washington Republicans--many of them, even far too many of the fiscal conservatives, bitch endlessly about "needless" programs like the NEA (which he spend far too little money on) and social welfare programs, but sign off on a trillion dollar war and propose building a fence on the U.S. border (!!).

    - Zachary -
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      CommentAuthorJohn Smith
    • CommentTimeDec 3rd 2007
     (48.17)
    Bloomberg/Hagel. It's not too late, Mike. C'mon, please.

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