Author Topic: Will our opinions change by May 2017?  (Read 10345 times)

Greg Davidson

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Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« on: April 07, 2016, 11:29:37 PM »
Here's a political question for all of us. If you generally support Democrats, can you name any tactics that President Obama has used while in office that you believe are unfair? If you support the Republicans, can you name any tactics that Republicans used in Congress to oppose Obama thst you believe are unfair?

This should be a good test of where the balance of partisanship vs. principle is for all of us, and particularly interesting a year from now when party control may be different from the status quo/

Seriati

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 10:04:34 AM »
I think Republicans forcing government shut downs are both stupid and unfair.  I don't believe that the administration has been willing to make honest compromises, but its hard to be sure because the Republicans have been unwilling to put the compromises on the table and make him decline them.  It's an unfair tactic, but increasingly understandable in a world where information flows instantly and compromises cost you big with your base.

D.W.

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 10:15:46 AM »
I think Obama set a dangerous precedent of trying to executive action his way around obstructionism.
I think the Republicans set a dangerous precedent of blocking things for political points rather than party goals/ideals at the cost of the country.

It's one thing to stick to the core tenants of your party and do everything in your power to achieve those goals or to repel what you view as a siege upon them.  It's another to treat the opposition as the enemy and do everything you can to weaken them or alienate them because you can't show weakness or acknowledge their may be common ground some of the time.  When both sides are afraid to break the "irrational hostile opponent" narrative, we can't get *censored* done, even when both sides might agree on a particular problem.

I've said before that when two travelers want to go in opposite directions the compromise is not to go in one direction more slowly.  I get standing still as the middle ground.  It shouldn't have to spill over into every single facet of governance though.  The idea (IMO) is you move on the things you do agree on.  You don't bicker because they refuse to come to your position on the things you disagree on.

rightleft22

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 10:20:22 AM »
When Obama took power the GOP vowed to obstruct anything that the administration put forward regardless of the merits. The goal was not to participate in governance for the good of the American people but to prepare the way for the next election cycle.

Too many carrier politicians believing that what is good for them must be good for the Party which will be good for American people. The goal become not good governance but winning and career.

Of course if the GOP win and end up facing the same type of obstructionism they will cry of the unfairness of it all.   

It is my opinion that the roots of the obstructionism by the GOP was racism and that much of Trumps support is generated from that subconscious ID.

Seriati

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 10:35:56 AM »
The point of this thread was to criticize your own side, not to make  disputable allegations on the other side.  If you need to qualify something go ahead, I certainly did.  It's pretty false to assert that nothing got done, that no compromises were made and that every decision was opposed.  The more accurate assessment is that there was less agreement, and almost no ability to make "grand bargains" where each side gave up something material.  You should consider though, that grand bargains in the past have been derided by both sides for the "important" things they gave up.  When you have a divided country you have to accept that neither side gets its own way completely.

rightleft22

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 10:46:17 AM »
Before Obama took office the GOP stated categorically that it would oppose anything that his administration would attempt to achieve.  This was the tactic I was referring to and which you asked for

They were not shy about proclaiming there opposition to Obama without regard to policy.
And many were not shy in proclaiming that their Goal was to insure that the Obama administration failed. Not that America succeed but Obama fail. They were very black and white statements and intentions

Oh and I am Conservative
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 10:54:53 AM by rightleft22 »

Seriati

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 10:54:56 AM »
So you're a big Republican supporter?  Is that your claim.  Again, the point is to reflect on your own side, we're all very free with our critiques of the other side.

And irregardless of your claim, there's nothing unique or special about the political rhetoric used by the Republicans, it's been used by the Democrats as well.  The only difference seems to be the insistence that its some evidence of anything nefarious rather than party business as usual.  Or of the completely unsupportable and offensive assertion that people's legitimate policy differences are tied to some form of simpleminded racism rather than logic. 

rightleft22

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 01:00:27 PM »
I am a Social Conservative  so today the label Democrat or Republican doesn't really fit anymore.

That said the Republicans should be my party but they have strayed to far. Not just Policies but more so in method. There tactics disgust me. 

Even though both sides use questionable tactics in my view the GOP are far more regimented about it. That the Democrats and Republicans might resort to the same tactics is a stupid validation or negation of the argument, any argument.

The difference as I see it, is that obstructionism for the GOP was not rhetoric but as stated intention/tacit that became fundamental to every decision they would make while Obama was in office.
It was a calculated decision intended to create a environment where they might win the next time.

AI Wessex

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 04:58:02 PM »
Here's a political question for all of us. If you generally support Democrats, can you name any tactics that President Obama has used while in office that you believe are unfair? If you support the Republicans, can you name any tactics that Republicans used in Congress to oppose Obama thst you believe are unfair?

This should be a good test of where the balance of partisanship vs. principle is for all of us, and particularly interesting a year from now when party control may be different from the status quo/
Not to be (utterly) contrarian, but there used to be more of a clear line between politics and governance, and the larger one's constituency over which one has authority the greater the need to sacrifice tactics and strategies of politics for those of governance. 

It's clear that Republicans have governed more politically than they should, and there are some instances where Obama has pushed his personal agenda, which you could call politics, more than he should have.

But the difference between politics and governance now compared to "how it used to be" is that there isn't much of a difference on the GOP side.  That's evidenced by their one-sided social agenda that is more exclusionary than inclusive.  The Dems have their social agenda, too, but because their base spans more racial, ethnic and religious categories they are biased more toward inclusiveness than away from it. 

I'm confused by which Party is less diverse economically.  Democrats favor funding social programs, which aids people in the bottom tiers of the economic system, and Republicans favor businesses, which sell to everyone.

But I'm also willing to believe that the good old days that I remember so well and so fondly never really happened at all.  Every President brings an agenda into the office and does as much as possible to see it into legislation and policy.  That's not politics, but its fruits.  Neither LBJ nor Nixon was more "political" then the other, but they pulled the country in opposite directions.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2016, 06:22:57 PM »
Foreign policy - In recent years, we have come to a point where one Party in power in Congress has written letters (with 47 Senate signatures) to a foreign leader with the explicit intent of undermining ongoing negotiations with the President, and inviting another national leader to address Congress about this same international agreement without the agreement or notification of the President.

I find the actions of Congress to be wrong, and I will oppose them in the future, regardless of which party has the Presidency or control of Congress.

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2016, 09:22:15 PM »
To be fair, if the Congress feels there has been regular encroachment on their domain by the executive maybe they feel it's fair play to try to fight back against moves that tread on their turf. Which isn't to say that the Presidency has magically created the problems we see in the Congress, but it is entirely plausible that both branches create feedback that causes problems for each other and makes the problem worse.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2016, 02:21:36 AM »
I have trouble with the formulation of "if the Congress feels", because that depends on their self-reflection and you don't get special privileges because you are feeling moody or irrational..

You don't have 47 Senators from the opposition party signing a letter to a foreign leader in the middle of a negotiation to try and undermine the Presidenct's diplomacy. You don't invite a foreign leader tio address Congress to undermine the President's diplomacy.

This should be a no brainer. When Bush was in power, the assertion was that the President deserved so much respect that it was disloyal to even criticize him from abroad.

Seriati

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 01:38:01 PM »
You don't have 47 Senators from the opposition party signing a letter to a foreign leader in the middle of a negotiation to try and undermine the Presidenct's diplomacy. You don't invite a foreign leader tio address Congress to undermine the President's diplomacy.

This should be a no brainer. When Bush was in power, the assertion was that the President deserved so much respect that it was disloyal to even criticize him from abroad.
Except they were absolutely correct.  The President has no power to negotiate a treaty without their approval.  Did I miss where he brought the treaty he negotiated to the Senate?  Oh no, he did exactly what I said he would, he negotiated a treaty and relabeled it as something else and purported that it was binding on the United States.  Where is your outrage over that?

TheDeamon

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2016, 03:44:10 PM »
Except they were absolutely correct.  The President has no power to negotiate a treaty without their approval.  Did I miss where he brought the treaty he negotiated to the Senate?  Oh no, he did exactly what I said he would, he negotiated a treaty and relabeled it as something else and purported that it was binding on the United States.  Where is your outrage over that?

Yeah, getting 40+ Senators to sign a letter saying they don't support a particular treaty/agreement is a pretty strong indicator that as per the Constitution of the US(toilet paper as it may be), that agreement isn't worth the paper its written on so far as the US in concerned.

Even with Congressional support however, Obama has shown in recent years that the paper may not be worth much anyhow, as Ukraine found out.

That being said, the US has a long standing habit going back decades of signing international treaties/agreements and never passing it on to Senate, as they know that as soon as that happens, the Senate will vote it down, regardless of which party is in control.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 03:54:03 PM by TheDeamon »

NobleHunter

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2016, 03:53:56 PM »
Quote
Even with Congressional support however, Obama has shown in recent years that the paper may not be worth much anyhow, as Ukraine found out.
The US fulfilled its agreements with Ukraine to the letter. The agreement was just particularly toothless.

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2016, 04:25:13 PM »
Quote
Even with Congressional support however, Obama has shown in recent years that the paper may not be worth much anyhow, as Ukraine found out.
The US fulfilled its agreements with Ukraine to the letter. The agreement was just particularly toothless.

Out of curiosity what do you mean by this? What specifically was the U.S. bound to do that it did, and what was the real course of events in Ukraine such that the U.S.'s involvement was in accord with its obligations?

NobleHunter

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2016, 04:48:49 PM »
There was a treaty (the Hungarian agreement?) whereby Ukraine would give up its nuclear weapons and Russia and the US would respect its territorial sovereignty. In the even that Ukraine's territory was violated, the other parties were obligated to complain to the UN Security Council.

Russia invaded Crimea so the US complained to the Security Council. Since Russia has a veto, the SC did squat. The US had no legal obligation to militarily defend Ukraine or take otherwise effective action to make Russia back down. The US had explicitly avoided any such requirements so as to avoid the possibility of a direct confrontation with Russia.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2016, 11:05:45 PM »
Quote
Except they were absolutely correct.  The President has no power to negotiate a treaty without their approval.  Did I miss where he brought the treaty he negotiated to the Senate?  Oh no, he did exactly what I said he would, he negotiated a treaty and relabeled it as something else and purported that it was binding on the United States.  Where is your outrage over that?

The Iran Deal was not a treaty, it was an executive agreement. Most foreign commitments made by the United States since well before the Civil War have been executive agreements, and they are binding by international law:

"A 2009 study published by the University of Michigan found that 52.9% of international agreements were executive agreements from 1839 until 1889, but from 1939 until 1989 the ratio had risen to 94.3%"

http://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/9780472116874-ch1.pdf

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2016, 04:02:22 AM »
There was a treaty (the Hungarian agreement?) whereby Ukraine would give up its nuclear weapons and Russia and the US would respect its territorial sovereignty. In the even that Ukraine's territory was violated, the other parties were obligated to complain to the UN Security Council.

It wasn't just about Ukraine's borders, but also about its independence and sovereignty. There is also an article about refraining from employing economic coercion against the Ukraine. That ties in with what you mention:

Quote
Russia invaded Crimea so the US complained to the Security Council. Since Russia has a veto, the SC did squat. The US had no legal obligation to militarily defend Ukraine or take otherwise effective action to make Russia back down. The US had explicitly avoided any such requirements so as to avoid the possibility of a direct confrontation with Russia.

By complaining to the UN as you mention the U.S. may have fulfilled that particular obligation, but had it already contravened the agreement itself? When seen as a reaction rather than as an unprovoked action Russia's move into Crimea begins to make more sense. I'm not disagreeing with you that the agreement was toothless, but was Russia really the first to break it?

NobleHunter

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2016, 10:28:52 AM »
I hadn't heard anything about violations other than the invasion.

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2016, 11:04:23 AM »
I hadn't heard anything about violations other than the invasion.

It all comes down to who was behind or at least aided the coup in Ukraine in February 2014. If there was no Western involvement then it does seem that the annexation was the first move, in which case I would agree with your assessment. If there was then Russia would have been responding to a direct threat over its presence and base in Crimean Sevastopol, which it had just re-leased for 25 years. It was a real mess.

Seriati

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2016, 11:07:24 AM »
Quote
Except they were absolutely correct.  The President has no power to negotiate a treaty without their approval.  Did I miss where he brought the treaty he negotiated to the Senate?  Oh no, he did exactly what I said he would, he negotiated a treaty and relabeled it as something else and purported that it was binding on the United States.  Where is your outrage over that?
The Iran Deal was not a treaty, it was an executive agreement. Most foreign commitments made by the United States since well before the Civil War have been executive agreements, and they are binding by international law:
There's no such thing as binding international law.  US law is binding on the US, and our obligations in international law are only binding to the extent they are binding under US law.

That said, most executive agreements are actually made under other authorities specifically granted to the President by Congress, and not contrary to the express will of Congress.  Once again, this President is an autocrat and gets a pass for it because he's on the "left" side of the issue.

So, it goes back to my original question, are you specifically okay with a President executing treaties, calling them something else, and purporting they are binding in direct contradiction of the Constitution's balance of powers?

NobleHunter

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2016, 11:20:51 AM »
It all comes down to who was behind or at least aided the coup in Ukraine in February 2014. If there was no Western involvement then it does seem that the annexation was the first move, in which case I would agree with your assessment. If there was then Russia would have been responding to a direct threat over its presence and base in Crimean Sevastopol, which it had just re-leased for 25 years. It was a real mess.
Sounds like you read too much RT :p

I strongly doubt the West had much to do with the coup. Almost certainly not on the level of government action. Though it was a real mess.

Seriati, I haven't seen anything claiming the Iran deal is binding in the same way that a treaty ratified by Congress is. The closest I've seen it get is that by the time a GOP president is around to cancel it, the deal will have progressed too far for the US to unilaterally reverse it.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 11:24:06 AM by NobleHunter »

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2016, 11:40:52 AM »
Sounds like you read too much RT :p

Russian controlled media likes to wrap up their propaganda in truth rather than to tell blatant lies. I'm sure lies get mixed in, but frankly I sometimes think there is more truth in their stories than to what American media puts out. American MSM peppers in lies and misdirection to muddy the truth, while Russian media peppers in true statements to muddy their lies. It's just different tricks, but I can sometimes learn more about a situation by reading RT than by reading CNN. Obviously you have to read both sides before making a determination. But I hope you're not saying that America 'would never' participate in regime change in weaker nations.

NobleHunter

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2016, 11:58:24 AM »
I just don't see much of a reason for the US to do it. Russian influence in Ukraine was annoying but hardly worth risking what actually transpired. I also think Ukrainians had sufficient reason to throw the bums out without international encouragement.

The MSM struck me as preferring simply not to mention anything inconvenient. Their intent is to only report based on reliable sources, then imply anything they don't report isn't reliable information. Active lies can be falsified and are much more dangerous to their business models (except for Fox News). Lies by omission can be justified by judicious use of "newsworthy" and an excess of skepticism.

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2016, 12:35:26 PM »
The MSM struck me as preferring simply not to mention anything inconvenient. Their intent is to only report based on reliable sources, then imply anything they don't report isn't reliable information.

I would rephrase this to say that they are only inclined to report based on sources where the likelihood of the information being proved false is low. Since investigative journalism is on the wane most major media stories about international events are just based on information fed to the media by the pentagon or the white house, or based on what politicians and insiders are saying. Facts on the ground is a thing of the past. Since it's unlikely that an insider will ever personally admit to having told something untrue you have media acting as a rumor mill where you'll rarely have something 'exposed' as false and yet there is much falsehood floating around.

I've seen plenty of blatant lies in the news, where I'm quite sure that the editors in chief knew they were lies but also knew their ass was covered and wouldn't be accountable for it. When the White House feeds you a story you don't have to worry about vetting the information, you can just repeat it and let the White House take the heat if it's not true. I've seen enough of bureaucracy to know that the primary aim is nothing more noble than to make sure you can't get in trouble for what you do. Integrity rarely has anything to do with it. If you're covered, it's a go.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 12:37:35 PM by Fenring »

NobleHunter

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 12:39:16 PM »
Has anyone ever told you that you can be really depressing sometimes?  ;)

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 12:42:49 PM »
Has anyone ever told you that you can be really depressing sometimes?  ;)

That's funny, I think of myself as an optimist  :D

Think of it as a variation on "the truth is out there." But it takes effort to find.

DJQuag

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 03:37:13 PM »
Sounds like you read too much RT :p

Russian controlled media likes to wrap up their propaganda in truth rather than to tell blatant lies. I'm sure lies get mixed in, but frankly I sometimes think there is more truth in their stories than to what American media puts out. American MSM peppers in lies and misdirection to muddy the truth, while Russian media peppers in true statements to muddy their lies. It's just different tricks, but I can sometimes learn more about a situation by reading RT than by reading CNN. Obviously you have to read both sides before making a determination. But I hope you're not saying that America 'would never' participate in regime change in weaker nations.

RT is one of Putin's major tools. Whatever gets put on English RT, is specifically designed as propaganda for the West, and nothing else. The Russian language RT? That's just straight up old timey propaganda that would have any outsider scratching their heads in disbelief that anyone could believe it.

Fenring

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Re: Will our opinions change by May 2017?
« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2016, 04:03:32 PM »
RT is one of Putin's major tools.

No doubt about that. When the truth is employed for purposes of propaganda (one of Putin's preferred methods) you have to sift through it for data while not being hoodwinked by the narrative you are supposed to believe. Sometimes RT has said things I wondered about, which Western press didn't cover or said something different, and I later learned that RT had been right. I wish things were simpler and I could just believe one source and not another.