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Author Topic: Hillary Joins the Race
Pyrtolin
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quote:
e.g. I run a high volume aardvark taxidermy shop in which I only hire people who demonstrate they can stuff at least 3 aardvarks per hour. I am an EOE, but you must be able to do at least 3 an hour. If you can do 4, I will hire you (or pay you more) over someone who can only manage 3. That's a merit-based environment.
And if you live in a society where women generally don't apply for those jobs because they're told it's men's work, so you're hiring men that can just barely make 3/hour instead of women the could easily hit 4 or even 5/hour? How is it merit based if you're picking the low performing low hanging fruit over making a recruitment effort to bring those potential high performing workers in instead?
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TomDavidson
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Interestingly, that's exactly what I would expect of a Walker presidency, but not because I think he's a chameleon; rather, I think he's genuinely opposed to the interests of the people and the rule of law.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
I run a high volume aardvark taxidermy shop in which I only hire people who demonstrate they can stuff at least 3 aardvarks per hour. I am an EOE, but you must be able to do at least 3 an hour. If you can do 4, I will hire you (or pay you more) over someone who can only manage 3. That's a merit-based environment.
I would argue that the 3-per hour is a job prerequisite, and that you may not hire someone who does 4 per hour if someone who does 3.5 per hour is a better stuffer. So already you've got a value judgement -- are you going for the deep discount stuffed aardvark market, or for consistency, or for the upscale precision-aardvark crowd?

Wait...this is just a hypothetical, right? or do you actually...i can't even say it...

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KidTokyo
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quote:
There's also a third and more likely outcome with a "chameleon," that they will change their position to whatever is popular but once they are elected will do whatever pleases themselves and ignore both the rule of law and popular sentiment. That is what I'd forecast from a Clinton presidency based on the previous administration and also from Hillary's own Senate seat.
Yes, it's the chameleons, not the aardvarks, that need to get stuffed.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
There's also a third and more likely outcome with a "chameleon," that they will change their position to whatever is popular but once they are elected will do whatever pleases themselves and ignore both the rule of law and popular sentiment. That is what I'd forecast from a Clinton presidency based on the previous administration and also from Hillary's own Senate seat.

To be fair, both types of candidates would be equally capable of simply lying about what they believe, with the proviso that a 'principled' candidate might have years of political history to vouch for whether he/she has remained consistent to the principles announced during campaigns. With a chameleon it's harder because if their policy changes after being elected they can always say it was to adapt to updated conditions. But none of this addresses what a politician does behind closed doors, which we can only hope involves honesty at least some of the time.
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Seneca
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A known chameleon is more likely to be a liar though because they change their views so often it comes easier for them.
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Wayward Son
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Which brings up the question: is it better to elect a liar who mouths the policies you approve of, or the honest person who stands four-square behind the policies you detest? [Wink]
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D.W.
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quote:
On the one hand if a candidate is a chameleon they can be like a lawyer and represent you no matter what they believe. It's just a job and they'll do it. As an individual this can bite you in the ass since if opinion shifts they will cater to the new idea and not to what you thought they would.
This is why, I would pick the "most chameleon" of the candidates in my chosen party. I already have the shorthand version for better or worse on the two choices. Within that spectrum, I want the one who isn't on some grand plan to revolutionize the system. I am far more democratic than republican, however there are enough points where I differ from the democratic party that a moderate, cautious, chameleon is very desireable.

What Seneca warns against is the risk to that preference. I don't KNOW if she goes with the flow because she's a chameleon who will not make waves, or if she is doing whatever it takes to get into a position of power and then "make her move" whatever that may be. That doesn't concern me much, but it is a risk. As I lean more left than right the risk exposure here is fairly low for me. Even the "worst case scenarios" I can think up, that aren't inherent with ALL politicians, don't seem that bad.

You are right about them being deceitful Seneca, but that's mostly because of the negative flip-flopper label. Anyone changing their mind in the current environment is seen as a coward or an idiot. Never thoughtful or humble. It's almost as big a political sin as not committing 100% to one extreme position or the other. [Wink]

[ April 17, 2015, 06:53 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Which brings up the question: is it better to elect a liar who mouths the policies you approve of, or the honest person who stands four-square behind the policies you detest? [Wink]

The liar obviously! Then you at least get a chance at getting what you want. Even a liar tells the truth some times or stays close enough to it to spin the reality into further opportunities to pull another lie off convincingly. [Wink]
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Seneca
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Except it's not just a matter of getting what you want or not, there's also the danger of them doing horrible, damaging and illegal things which is more likely with a chameleon.

But even if they gave you some things you wanted, is it worth the corruption and additional crimes that are likely to come along with a chameleon?

Also, even if you buy that Clinton will deliver on her promises, she has been implicated in so much corruption and so many scandals, with a nation of 300+ million wouldn't it be better and safer just to ear on the side of caution and pick someone promising the same stuff as Clinton but without all her baggage?

[ April 17, 2015, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
with a nation of 300+ million wouldn't it be better and safer just to ear on the side of caution and pick someone promising the same stuff as Clinton but without all her baggage?
Hell, in a nation of 300 million people, I am confident that you'd have a decent chance of finding someone more qualified to be president than any major candidate endorsed by either party by throwing a rock into the crowd at Lollapalooza.
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D.W.
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You don't have to look very hard to find all those things true of non-chameleons as well.

I would say the dedicated steadfast, achieve my goal at all cost, is the bigger risk for all of those things.

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Seneca
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
You don't have to look very hard to find all those things true of non-chameleons as well.

I would say the dedicated steadfast, achieve my goal at all cost, is the bigger risk for all of those things.

No, if someone is committed to principles and those principles include obeying the law and the Constitution then you have it backwards.
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D.W.
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Oh, I didn't know any unicorns were running! Thought we were talking about chameleons. [Smile]
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Seneca
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Never said anyone was perfect, it's all about probability. You are simply more likely to get corruption and lawlessness with someone like Clinton as compared to others.
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KidTokyo
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quote:
On the one hand if a candidate is a chameleon they can be like a lawyer and represent you no matter what they believe. It's just a job and they'll do it.
As a lawyer, I must take exception to this (oh, I know, I can hear the eye-rolls from a thousand miles away -- the lawyer considers himself above the politician! Like a fly looking down on a dog turd, har har har har....)

But seriously, a client can fire an attorney any time. The attorney is bound by a strict ethical code to represent the client's best interests, and cannot make substantial changes to their strategy without consulting the client first.

A politician can zig and zig with near impunity, and most of the time their biggest "clients" are extremely wealthy and influential.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
No, if someone is committed to principles and those principles include obeying the law and the Constitution then you have it backwards.

That's a non-starter, because no president will claim or even really believe that they're violating it.

Perhaps what you mean here is someone who is committed to interpretation of the Constitution that happens to align with how you want others to interpret it won't be likely to contradict your interpretation of it?

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hobsen
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Fenring, I can speculate that some previous careers are more helpful to Presidents than others. But the number of Presidents is probably too small to draw any statistically reliable conclusions. Particularly since I believe the job of being President has changed markedly since, for example, 1940. In that year, if I remember correctly, 40% of workers were still employed on farms. And to go farther back, I should say it is ridiculous to say Barack Obama has the same responsibilities as did John Adams.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by hobsen:
Fenring, I can speculate that some previous careers are more helpful to Presidents than others. But the number of Presidents is probably too small to draw any statistically reliable conclusions. Particularly since I believe the job of being President has changed markedly since, for example, 1940. In that year, if I remember correctly, 40% of workers were still employed on farms. And to go farther back, I should say it is ridiculous to say Barack Obama has the same responsibilities as did John Adams.

The question I would ask isn't what skill set Presidents used to have, or which skill set would produce a good President. Rather, I would ask which skill sets could make a good President. After all, if a person of certain virtues becomes President then those virtues would shape what kind of Presidency they would have. I suppose you listed "administrative experience" as an important skill to have. Is it?

What would happen if a Joe off the street who had no administrative experience and no connections to lobbyists or politicians became President? Would he automatically be a bad one? What if he was quite sharp, a good problem solver, and preferred common sense over far-flung theories. Would this make him worse, or would it just mean the tenor of his Presidency would be rather novel and a change of pace? My guess is the latter. There are enough advisors, specialists, generals and helpers to brief him, make recommendations, and to fill in the gaps.

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TomDavidson
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One might argue that the President is already too beholden to the bureaucratic -- and unelected -- class of professional advisors, specialists, and generals (past and current) who make their living in the capital.
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ScottF
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Not much of an argument that. Even Joe off the street would need baseline exposure to political careerists just to learn where the pencil sharpeners are kept. That exposure would begin the tainting process that's now accepted as the norm. Not sure there's any way around it, as long as humans remain involved.
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Greg Davidson
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From my perspective I see it as a little arrogant to under-estimate the capability it takes to be President. Let me take as an example President George W Bush. You all know I think that he made some very bad decisions. At the same time, I know he has skills and capabilities that I lack, and that I suspect that everyone on this site lacks. Have any of us ever given nationally televised state of the Union speeches, or led cabinet meetings, or done any one of the hundreds of things a President does that could go horribly wrong? How many of us have had to make dozens of executive decisions affecting millions every day? Outside of Hollywood fantasies, I don't see this as an easy task.

It's also easy to just say "they all suck" or "they all lie", but seeing as these same sort of comments similarly apply to almost all politicians ever, maybe it is our standards that are a bit unrealistic.

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NobleHunter
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On the other hand, being lazy and oblivious would make all those responsibilities a cake walk. Dozens of decisions? Just sign off on whatever the expert asking suggests. Nationally televised speech? If you don't think about the audience, it's not that much different from present to your high school class. Cabinet meeting? Same diff.

Granted no one that lazy or feckless could actually become President in the current environment. I guess I mean to highlight that it's the context and consequences that makes what the President does so fraught. Aside, perhaps, from oratory, there isn't a driving need for a President to be exceptional in the day-to-day skills.

I'd say his primary stats would be Constitution and Charisma. Wisdom and Intelligence are nice but not entirely necessary.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
I'd say his primary stats would be Constitution and Charisma. Wisdom and Intelligence are nice but not entirely necessary.

I'd say the need for constitution is on the downturn these days [Crying]

I disagree about wisdom. Intelligence, and especially being part of the educated elite, is often construed as being an important job qualification, and I agree that this is not at all important for a President to have. That being said, he can't be a dummy either. But I would put a far higher stock on wisdom than you do, and actually would put it at the top of my list above any other job qualification I'd like to see. You may be right that a President can get away without it, but we were mentioning what traits might make a good President, not one that could merely 'get through' a term.

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NobleHunter
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Yes, Wisdom is critical for a good President. Probably moreso than any other attribute. Everything else can be mitigated by a good staff, but they can't help if you're too rock-headed stubborn to listen to them.
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Greg Davidson
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To listen to them... Or at times to oppose them. That's the tricky part. Bay of Pigs and then the Cuban are two examples when the experts were wrong.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
To listen to them... Or at times to oppose them. That's the tricky part. Bay of Pigs and then the Cuban are two examples when the experts were wrong.

That's why it's more important that the President be a good person than savvy or connected. The more connect the President is the more he/she will be beholden to support associates, agendas and so forth. Just saying "no" to people you are in bed with can be hard.
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Greg Davidson
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Personal characteristics influence the ability of a President to disagree with, or push back on, their advisors and those they are beholden to. Both Roosevelts were good at this. Obama was a rarity in recent decades in having a much more significant portion of his funding come from small, independent contributors that other candidates from either party.

I don't expect to see that this time around.

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