Author Topic: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election  (Read 6756 times)

Paladine

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The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« on: June 12, 2016, 12:04:36 PM »
On one level, I find myself horrified by what's transpired over the past year or so of the campaign. Two odious individuals have risen to the heads of their respective parties. Politics has been openly reduced to reality television; the veneer of civility and gravitas has been stripped away and the sensationalism and vapidity of the process and the candidates have been laid bare in a way that manages to shock and revolt even those of us who have long been disillusioned with American democracy. There is ample reason for alarm: the presumptive Democrat nominee is a walking scandal who has moved almost effortlessly from disgrace to disgrace for the better part of the past three decades, a person who by any other name would surely face indictment and federal prosecution, the epitome of everything that's wrong and everything that's been wrong with Washington Establishment politics for a good long while. The Republican nominee is quite different, but hardly better: a man better suited to the tabloids than high office. If Hillary Clinton is everything that's wrong with American politics, Donald Trump is everything that's wrong with the American culture: arrogant, entitled, wealthy in large part from inheritance and shady dealings, he substitutes bravado for strength, ostentatious displays of wealth for class, blustery rhetoric for a substantive analysis of the issues.

But I do think there's a reason for people of a broad range of political persuasions to be optimistic about what this election portends for our country, even if we are appalled by the "options" before us. The Establishment Consensus, the narrow range of political and philosophical approaches allowed a seat at the table or a voice in the debate, seems to have broken wide open. In both major parties, the energy and organization was in insurgent campaigns whose defining features were a departure from politics as usual, from the narrow range of thinking that has circumscribed American politics in my lifetime and for awhile before that. Candidates like Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and even Donald Trump all offered radically different visions for what the country was and what it could be. Despite a certain measure of despair at the names appearing on the ballot in November, I'm glad to see energy flowing outside the two parties and the tired ideology they both represent; I'm glad to see people of both parties saying that they don't just intend to Support the Nominee, or vote for the next guy in line.

If Trump (or if Bernie Sanders on the Left) represents a departure from politics as usual, then at least it can be said that he departs from a thing worth abandoning. More than at any time in my memory, it seems to me that there are a lot of possibilities before us: we have had credible candidates in people who alternatively advocated a reversion to Establishment politics, a socialist political and cultural revolution, a return to constitutional republicanism, or authoritarian nationalism. If I have some issues with each of those candidates and each of those visions, at least I can find some cause for hope in their variety, in the movement of the public debate beyond the incremental and towards the fundamental. While the latter chafes a bit at my conservative temperament and presumption against radical change, an inescapable fact I think is that what we're doing right now isn't working. To the extent that millions of people of a wide range of beliefs can be united in at least that conviction, it seems to me that we've made some progress.  Now of course there's plenty that I don't like about this election, and I think the bad dramatically outweighs the good. But for my first post back here in a long while I figured that it would be best to start with a silver lining.

D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 09:42:50 AM »
I'm glad someone sees a silver lining in all this.
All I saw was squandered potential.  Well that and seeing how the spectacle of politics/media outweighs the reality of how our government functions (or is suppose to). 

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 10:04:42 AM »
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Candidates like Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and even Donald Trump all offered radically different visions for what the country was and what it could be.
If you overlook the fact that Cruz is fundamentally anti-democratic and Trump is a buffoon, then yes, these three do offer different visions.  I'm amazed that you can hold either of those up for even a faint hope of optimism.  All they indicate is that the Republican voter population is strangely obsessed with overturning the apple cart, regardless of what the person they would choose to do that actually represents.  Consider that if Trump loses the election in the most lopsided polling ever, say getting only 40% of the vote, that will still mean that about 50,000,000 will have pulled the lever next to his name.  That he will get more than a handful of votes makes me feel ashamed of our nation, regardless of what you think of Hillary.

Paladine

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 10:12:46 AM »
"If you overlook the fact that Cruz is fundamentally anti-democratic"

How, exactly?

"I'm amazed that you can hold either of those up for even a faint hope of optimism."

The thing that gives me hope is that people seem to finally be waking up to the fact that our government and much of our broader society is dysfunctional, and that they're willing to consider something other than what has become the usual course of action.

"All they indicate is that the Republican voter population is strangely obsessed with overturning the apple cart"

Not just Republican voters. Millions of Democrats pulled the lever for someone who is literally and openly a socialist. If that's not overturning the apple cart I don't know what is.

"All I saw was squandered potential."

Yeah, a lot of that too. :(

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 10:27:31 AM »
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The thing that gives me hope is that people seem to finally be waking up to the fact that our government and much of our broader society is dysfunctional, and that they're willing to consider something other than what has become the usual course of action.
Which is more the reflection of the other?  The government represents the people (and for some their view of the Constitution), not the other way around.  I frankly think most people don't give a rats ass about the Constitution, only their personal interests.  Whichever candidate will advance or support those, s/he's their choice.  Except, of course, if you want to elect a Republican who will gut social and legal protections, promote predatory business practices and curtail social services that will help you stay healthy and secure -- that would be all of the potential candidates on that side, some far worse than the others.  I haven't heard anyone attack Sanders for the principles he supports, btw.  Feel free to be the first.

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Not just Republican voters. Millions of Democrats pulled the lever for someone who is literally and openly a socialist. If that's not overturning the apple cart I don't know what is.
He's not a real socialist, which I'm sure you know.  He's a lot closer to a 1960's type liberal, but with a much narrower focus.

Paladine, I am not so much arguing with you personally, as I've read you posts for many years and appreciate your honestly held opinions (even though you are so often totally wrong-headed!).  If it were possible to form a coalition that bridged the divide between the unhappy factions on both sides of the political spectrum I would welcome a sincere discussion with you.  Ornery is too much about tit-for-tat, but I don't know where else would be better.  If you or anyone knows of a physical place where that sort of discussion might be taking place over the next few months, I have the time and interest to travel there for that.

D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 11:19:38 AM »
I think where I would suggest there is a difference between apple cart flipping is that with Sanders, he told everyone what he wanted to do with those apples.  With Trump I get the impression (and I am undoubtedly biased) that others helped flip the cart just to spite the establishment.

Both sides wanted to send a message to the establishment.  One seemed to be a positive message (if more left than many wanted) and the other seemed entirely negative wrapped in a token layer of patriotism.

Yes, it was informative to see the extent that both sides would go to protect the establishment.  Yes, it was informative to see how monumental an influence the media now holds in the process.  While education CAN be the first step towards fixing things, I'm not quite ready to call it a "good" thing.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 12:41:47 PM »
Both sides wanted to send a message to the establishment.  One seemed to be a positive message (if more left than many wanted) and the other seemed entirely negative wrapped in a token layer of patriotism.

Keep in mind, in 2014 it was widely reported, at least among "the Right Wing Media" that the powers that be in Washington basically declared war on the Tea Party during the primaries and were doing everything in their power to crush it. I'm 99.9% certain that "a lot" (but not necessarily most) of the support for Trump is a very direct consequence of the Republican "Establishment" doing the political equivalent of unzipping and taking a whiz on much of their grass roots support base. They're seriously pissed off, after having been pissed on by their own side, and more than happy to gleefully burn down the GOP political establishment around their ears if they can pull it off because of that.

Which is why Trump being a terrible candidate made him a "good pick" in their mind.

That is what I keep re-iterating. Trump wasn't getting a lot of the (early) support he received because they felt he was a strong candidate that would accomplish much of anything they truly support. He received that support because he's such a train wreck waiting to happen that the hope is there won't be much of a GOP establishment left to effectively fight back against their own "Grass Roots" in the future. Putting the Democrats through hell in the process is just an added bonus.

D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 12:54:30 PM »
I agree with that assessment.  Because of this, not totally unpredictable, outcome the Democratic party was essentially given permission to do whatever the heck they wanted and place anyone in the White House.

Seeing this, those not particularly enthusiastic with "their party's" (if they didn't see themselves as independents) establishment, threw support to Bernie.  All of the unrealistic goals seemed possible.  All the cautions for patience or moderation were seen as cowardice or pandering by those with no intention to push for progressive goals.  Why place the "safe bet" when the other side essentially conceded before the game ever started?

Now the question is will this election be the triggering of the Democratic version of the tea party revolt that made Trump a viable candidate?  Will we get someone less qualified and with less lofty goals as Sanders next go around just so the voters can stick it to the establishment?  Will they try to do so THIS election rather than waiting for the next?  Will they risk a Trump presidency to prove a point that they are not to be ignored?

The GOP antics were a gift and instead of accepting it the Democratic party was forced to face it's own flaws, and may leave the gift on the table because of it.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 01:02:03 PM by D.W. »

Paladine

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 03:51:24 AM »
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The government represents the people (and for some their view of the Constitution), not the other way around.  I frankly think most people don't give a rats ass about the Constitution, only their personal interests.  Whichever candidate will advance or support those, s/he's their choice.

For what it's worth, this didn't used to be me. For pretty much my entire adult life I've cared more about the Constitution and government according to the proper form and means than I have most outcomes; I still have a strong sort of affinity for limited government and rule of law. Unfortunately, as time's gone on I've come to see that you're basically right here: pretty much no one else, especially on the Left, is particularly interested in following the Constitution. People want what they want, and they'll take it if they can get it at the state level or at the federal level, by executive order or legislative action or judicial fiat or administrative decree. And if everyone else is going to ignore the thing, then I'm increasingly having a hard time seeing why I should handcuff myself to it.

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   I haven't heard anyone attack Sanders for the principles he supports, btw.  Feel free to be the first.

Sure. You don't make things easier or better for the common man sending more and more money, power, and control over his affairs to Washington. Sanders claims to be for the common man, but what he proposes is ultimately to concentrate money and power in the hands of an oligarchy, which then (we hope) will use that money and power to create things that are nice for common people. It's actually very much analogous to the trickle-down theories you'll see on the Right, just with coercive governmental power behind it for good measure. What we should be looking to do is to figure out how to empower local people and communities, not to make them ever more dependent on governmental or corporate beneficence.

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Paladine, I am not so much arguing with you personally, as I've read you posts for many years and appreciate your honestly held opinions (even though you are so often totally wrong-headed!).

I'm quite a bit changed since you last heard from me, actually. I've grown more suspicious of capitalism, democracy, republicanism, and a great many other things.

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If it were possible to form a coalition that bridged the divide between the unhappy factions on both sides of the political spectrum I would welcome a sincere discussion with you.  Ornery is too much about tit-for-tat, but I don't know where else would be better.  If you or anyone knows of a physical place where that sort of discussion might be taking place over the next few months, I have the time and interest to travel there for that.

Well, drop me a message if you're ever around New Jersey and we can meet up for a beer. ;)

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 08:44:17 AM »
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Unfortunately, as time's gone on I've come to see that you're basically right here: pretty much no one else, especially on the Left, is particularly interested in following the Constitution.
AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

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Well, drop me a message if you're ever around New Jersey and we can meet up for a beer.
Ditto for Ann Arbor.  There are a few other Republicans here (I don't often see them, but I've heard), so you won't feel totally isolated.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 03:16:36 PM »
For what it's worth, this didn't used to be me. For pretty much my entire adult life I've cared more about the Constitution and government according to the proper form and means than I have most outcomes; I still have a strong sort of affinity for limited government and rule of law. Unfortunately, as time's gone on I've come to see that you're basically right here: pretty much no one else, especially on the Left, is particularly interested in following the Constitution. People want what they want, and they'll take it if they can get it at the state level or at the federal level, by executive order or legislative action or judicial fiat or administrative decree. And if everyone else is going to ignore the thing, then I'm increasingly having a hard time seeing why I should handcuff myself to it.

I've decided it's a borderline natural cycle for societies to ultimately progress to some form of oligarchy/aristocracy where power ends up concentrated in the hands of a select few while the many are left out of the process.

Eventually the oligarchy and aristocracy will disconnect from "the masses" and become so fixated on maintaining their status quo and defense of their own respective interests that they will gidlock the system of their own accord. Which brings on the inevitable collapse of that system. (As they, perhaps foolishly, believe they won't be ones to fall when the existing order comes tumbling down)

At which point the process begins all over again, with a greatly diminished Aristocracy after the dust settles. Allowing the system to grow and act more dynamically for a time, until the next round of gridlock occurs. You need only look at most of the history of Europe to watch that basic story play out over millennia. The exception to some extent, was when a new market opened up that was so large that it took centuries for it to be "fully exploited" so far as the market was concerned.

One option going forward is to hope another comparatively vast new market(Space) opens up "soon," or prepare for things to start getting a bit more Medieval around here on good old Planet Earth. Only instead of Barons, Dukes, Earls, Kings, and Emperors, we're dealing with Corporate CEOs and high-level politicians.

Fenring

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 03:41:19 PM »
I've decided it's a borderline natural cycle for societies to ultimately progress to some form of oligarchy/aristocracy where power ends up concentrated in the hands of a select few while the many are left out of the process.

It's a natural cycle for either corrupt or lazy systems. I think there are ways to set up real checks on oligarchy but to date no society has had the wherewithal to implement them. I think some tried and found out very quickly that they had to turn to foreign bankers to finance wars that could otherwise not be waged, and that pretty much ended the matter.

But the founders were very clear that no system can exist free of corruption/tyranny/oligarchy without constant vigilance and refusal to allow entrenched bureaucracy from forming. This means never really having an easy status quo, and requires the population to be willing to risk it all to do battle with the state when it begins to cater to oligarchs. Right now the people are absolutely unwilling to do this; power isn't taken, it's given.

JoshuaD

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 04:11:26 PM »
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Well, drop me a message if you're ever around New Jersey and we can meet up for a beer.
Ditto for Ann Arbor.  There are a few other Republicans here (I don't often see them, but I've heard), so you won't feel totally isolated.

I've been toying with the idea of setting up another OrneryCon here in the North East. There are a bunch of people I've come to know well from here (some still active, some not) who might enjoy an afternoon together.

Paladine and I drove out to msquared's OrneryCon in 2005(?) and it was a good time. It was only a small group, but I'm still glad I went.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 04:17:01 PM »
But the founders were very clear that no system can exist free of corruption/tyranny/oligarchy without constant vigilance and refusal to allow entrenched bureaucracy from forming. This means never really having an easy status quo, and requires the population to be willing to risk it all to do battle with the state when it begins to cater to oligarchs. Right now the people are absolutely unwilling to do this; power isn't taken, it's given.

Uh, I'm pretty sure what's being seen with Donald Trump is a shot across the bow for "The Establishment" in Washington. I think a majority of the population is fully aware that we are dealing with an entrenched and rather pernicious Oligarchy. Trump's success, as well as the showing of Bernie Sanders were likely both reflections of that. The Republican voters just seem to be further along in the process of realizing what they're up against, and they're not happy about it, as such the voter revolt went further with him.

October will be a very interesting month, to say the least. Who wins in November will likely make it even more so. 2018 is going to be an "interesting" year to see to see if the respective Party Machines have properly digested and understood what happened this year. They'll probably have another chance in 2020, but if they blow it that time, it's probably not going to be pretty.

"We tried it your way, and discovered the system is hopelessly rigged. We tried it our way to send you a message, you utterly failed at understanding it. Redress, it seems, isn't possible under the current system..."

Fenring

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2016, 04:24:53 PM »
Uh, I'm pretty sure what's being seen with Donald Trump is a shot across the bow for "The Establishment" in Washington. I think a majority of the population is fully aware that we are dealing with an entrenched and rather pernicious Oligarchy. Trump's success, as well as the showing of Bernie Sanders were likely both reflections of that.

Right, and it only took, what, a CENTURY for this to happen? And even then it wasn't on principle but was a backlash against the oligarchs screwing up and showing their hand in 2008. If they were superior technicians the s**t should never have hit the fan and things would be status quo like normal. So while I agree with you that awareness is higher now and that's good, I don't believe it's due to the population suddenly turning into soldiers for democracy. I think it's mostly outrage over systemic failure.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 04:25:25 PM »
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"We tried it your way, and discovered the system is hopelessly rigged. We tried it our way to send you a message, you utterly failed at understanding it. Redress, it seems, isn't possible under the current system..."
I think if Clinton wins, the DNC will dodge the bullet in 2020. I think she'll be left-ish enough for the disaffected parts of the electorate that would participate in the Democratic primaries will be relatively quiescent. The GOP (if it still exists) will be even more of a train wreck than this year.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 01:07:41 AM »
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"We tried it your way, and discovered the system is hopelessly rigged. We tried it our way to send you a message, you utterly failed at understanding it. Redress, it seems, isn't possible under the current system..."
I think if Clinton wins, the DNC will dodge the bullet in 2020. I think she'll be left-ish enough for the disaffected parts of the electorate that would participate in the Democratic primaries will be relatively quiescent. The GOP (if it still exists) will be even more of a train wreck than this year.

I think Clinton is the "business as usual" candidate, and most of the voter base isn't going to be happy with that while the Republicans are busy with internal mayhem. Meanwhile the angry voter block that normally goes Republican is just going to become more enraged. I'm almost hoping that by some fluke the Republicans/right wing side of things manages to obtain enough voter support that it's the lefties who flip out in a violent manner first, but we'll see.

I do know that I wouldn't take a bet against rioting in the event of a Trump win at this point.

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2016, 03:48:44 PM »
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I think she'll be left-ish enough for the disaffected parts of the electorate that would participate in the Democratic primaries will be relatively quiescent.

You do wrong to presume that Sanders' appeal was all about his leftiness.

Many of us like him for being HONEST.

Hillary's camp has done more election rigging than presidential races of the last combined 40 years.  She's lied to our faces about Sanders' position, and actually smirked on camera when caught in the lie. 

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 05:06:04 PM »
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Hillary's camp has done more election rigging than presidential races of the last combined 40 years.  She's lied to our faces about Sanders' position, and actually smirked on camera when caught in the lie. 
It takes a certain kind of extreme dislike and prejudice towards her to make that statement.  Would you say she is worse than Ted Cruz in that regard?  Is she worse than Trump?

DJQuag

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2016, 05:52:18 PM »
I agree, Paladine. I've appreciated both the Sanders and Trump campaign successes precisely because they've shown that a growing portion of the electorate are unwilling to settle for the establishment status quo. It's also why I'm so salty over HRC being our next president; not only is she a hawk who is extremely likely to get us involved with more BS abroad, the dictionary might as well have her picture next to the term status quo.

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2016, 08:18:02 PM »
Would you be happy with either of them as President?  What do you imagine would happen in their first term?

DJQuag

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2016, 08:26:36 PM »
Jesus Christ. Is anyone around here ever allowed to just say that they don't like Hilary Clinton without you chiming in with some version of "B-b-but TRUMP."

We freaking get it. Trump is worse. Most of us even agree with that statement. We're allowed to also dislike Clinton.

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2016, 09:10:46 PM »
I didn't get the phrase "...so salty..." when I read it.  I think I do now...

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2016, 09:09:02 AM »
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Hillary's camp has done more election rigging than presidential races of the last combined 40 years.  She's lied to our faces about Sanders' position, and actually smirked on camera when caught in the lie. 
[snip Al's unsupported motive inference against me]. Would you say she is worse than Ted Cruz in that regard?

No, I wouldn't say that, assuming you mean lying about opponents' position, or smirking when caught in a lie.

If you meant doing more election rigging than presidential races of the last combined 40 years, I can't think of a reason to say that, but I can't think of a reason to say it isn't true either.  To my knowledge Ted Cruz is not a candidate and has not engaged in the widespread election rigging that Hillary's camp has.

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2016, 09:20:02 AM »
If Hillary Clinton is everything that's wrong with American politics, Donald Trump is everything that's wrong with the American culture: arrogant, entitled, wealthy in large part from inheritance and shady dealings, he substitutes bravado for strength, ostentatious displays of wealth for class, blustery rhetoric for a substantive analysis of the issues.

True.  To take a tangent, though, isn't it weird that Donald Trump's approval among internet users of the People's Republic of China is higher than those in the United States?

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/politics/china-trump-fans/
fortune.com/2016/05/30/donald-trump-popular-china/
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/2016-donald-trump-china-foreign-policy-asia-beijing-213876

not to mention his queasy bromance with Putin.

Al, I'm not voting for Trump.  Do you don't even deny that Trump is probably Hillary's straw man? Kodos to her Kang?

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2016, 09:41:51 AM »
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To my knowledge Ted Cruz is not a candidate and has not engaged in the widespread election rigging that Hillary's camp has.
Well, since he didn't get past the primary his underhanded tricks only were targeted to deceive primary voters.  There was Bush Jr's planted rumor that McCain had an illegitimate black child, which was devastating to his primary campaign in SC.  Nixon and Reagan also come to mind for undermining their opponents and putting US servicemen's lives in jeopardy, but they weren't unique in that regard, only manipulative and dishonest.

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Al, I'm not voting for Trump.  Do you don't even deny that Trump is probably Hillary's straw man?
We've had that discussion, too.  I said it's highly unlikely, yet another conspiracy theory, but given his flamboyance and outrageous statements, not completely out of the realm of possibility.  I must say, though, that if you want a President who can get things done behind the scenes, wouldn't that scenario be a big plus for Clinton if true?

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2016, 10:06:02 AM »
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To my knowledge Ted Cruz is not a candidate and has not engaged in the widespread election rigging that Hillary's camp has.
Well, since he didn't get past the primary his underhanded tricks only were targeted to deceive primary voters.  There was Bush Jr's planted rumor that McCain had an illegitimate black child, which was devastating to his primary campaign in SC.  Nixon and Reagan also come to mind for undermining their opponents and putting US servicemen's lives in jeopardy, but they weren't unique in that regard, only manipulative and dishonest.

I recognize that what Hillary's camp has done to Sanders is significantly less vile than Reagan's behind the scenes collaboration with Khomeini when running against Carter.  So what?  Hillary isn't running against Reagan.  So bringing Reagan up in this context is as ridiculous as it would be to defend Bush Jr (glad you're OK with using pet names for presidents) by saying that at worst he just borrowed a tactic from Thomas Jefferson's playbook against John Adams.  As for Nixon, really?  You defend Hillary with comparison to Dick Nixon?

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2016, 10:10:22 AM »
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I must say, though, that if you want a President who can get things done behind the scenes, wouldn't that scenario be a big plus for Clinton if true?

Why would anyone want a president whose credentials are ability to get undefined "things" done "behind the scenes?"  The qualification completely subverts the constitutional notions of limited government and separation of powers.  I respectfully submit that we've had more than enough undefined government action behind the scenes.  I for one would like to cut back on the blank checks.


Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2016, 10:16:51 AM »
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We've had that discussion, too.  I said it's highly unlikely, yet another conspiracy theory, but given his flamboyance and outrageous statements, not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Yes, we did have that discussion some 8 months or so ago, but some of your more recent caveats led me to wonder if you'd come around to my point of view on that conspiracy theory.  (Note that I use italics rather than church lady "scare quotes."  Here, my theory is literally a conspiracy theory and so is the theory that Obama Bin Laden conspired with the 9/11 hijackers to smash planes into the world trade center.  The historical Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was also a conspiracy.  So was the plot to kill Lincoln.)

I apologize that my question didn't acknowledge the earlier discussion, because I recognize that it's annoying to be hounded for a position answer that you've already provided someone.  What I should have asked is, "have you changed your mind" on x.  Thank you for replying, in this case, without malice.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2016, 10:18:53 AM by Pete at Home »

D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2016, 10:40:28 AM »
First, I'm glad that the Kang and Kodo election episode is burned permanently into brains other than my own.  Second, while at first the theory that Trump was a pawn of (or gift to) Hillary was just an amusing "what if" thought experiment.  But now?

I think it's far more likely that this was a publicity stunt by Trump to stay relevant and stroke his own ego.  That said, I'm more convinced every passing day that he has ZERO interest in winning.  If you think to yourself, "What could I say to tank this campaign and NOT be murdered by a mob of vengeful people I've trolled for a year... what would I do next?" 

Now write down your answer in front of some people and seal it in an envelope.  Watch the news for a week or two.  Next show your family or coworkers what you wrote down and sealed away.  They'll think you are some sort of prophet or magician.

So is he doing this FOR Hillary?  I doubt it.  I do think he is spoiling this election for the Republicans however.

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2016, 11:17:48 AM »
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Yes, we did have that discussion some 8 months or so ago...
I'm not going to go look for it, but we had that discussion in the past couple of weeks...

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As for Nixon, really?  You defend Hillary with comparison to Dick Nixon?
Absolutely.  Nixon had more than his share of outrageous deceptions. Here's one that directly affected servicemen in Vietnam, and there are records for many others that can be found online.

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So is he doing this FOR Hillary?  I doubt it.  I do think he is spoiling this election for the Republicans however.
Why would he do that?!?


D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2016, 11:34:52 AM »
Because he does NOT want the job.  He wanted the attention.  I think he's as shocked as any of those who don't support him.  I think he's conflicted between wanting to keep riding the fame train as long as possible and terrified he may actually win.

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2016, 09:37:44 AM »
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but we had that discussion in the past couple of weeks...

[/quote]

I've only been back a week, Al.

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I'm not going to go look for it,

In most contexts that would be reasonable, but here, where you've accused me of "lying", that comes off as pusillanimous and passive-aggressive.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 09:43:21 AM by Pete at Home »

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2016, 11:01:38 AM »
More like 6-7 weeks than a couple, but the discussion of him tanking for Hillary begins with a post by you.

DJQuag

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #34 on: June 19, 2016, 04:33:56 PM »
http://www.mediaite.com/online/how-the-dnc-and-media-conned-us-into-clinton/

Title is extreme, but the information within gives credence to what people have been saying all along.

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2016, 05:26:00 PM »
This DNC primary has been like a communist election. Sure you can vote. But you only get one real candidate.

The one thing nobody can deny is that at least the people got a choice with the Republican candidates. Absolutely despite everything the party did to choose our candidate just like the DNC has gotten away with doing, but our grassroots were stronger than the Party. That wasn't the case with the Democrats. And it's sad. I'd much rather have Trump / Bernie because even though policy wise I probably disagree with Bernie the most, at least we could undercut the establishment elites so either way would be a victory for the American people.

D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #36 on: June 19, 2016, 07:18:57 PM »
To save anyone a click, the smoking gun in this case was a memo that referred to HRC instead of "our nominee" or some other neutral language before voting or debates ever started.   ::)

While I'm inclined to be of the same opinion of the author, the "proof" while slightly embarrassing is hardly a big deal. 

DJQuag

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #37 on: June 19, 2016, 07:46:44 PM »
Look a bit closer. The real smoking gun is not only that, but that the DNC was actively working to support Clinton, to aid her in the media regarding scandals and her financing and whatnot, and did nothing of the sort for Sanders.

They coronated their nominee a year ago, and not only is that not their job, but they've been lying about it the entire time.

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2016, 07:48:46 PM »
No offense, but reading the linked article indicates a single "strategy" letter by an unknow sender at a very early stage in the campaign before Sanders began to thrust himself forcefully into the public eye.  There's no indication of what "strategy" emails were sent at any later stage in the campaign and nothing about targeting Sanders, only the eventual GOP nominee.  Why is everybody getting so excited over so little?  Last May there was a fairly solid assumption that Clinton was going to be the candidate.

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They coronated their nominee a year ago, and not only is that not their job, but they've been lying about it the entire time.
As for an early provisional coronation, maybe, but if you have no later memos you don't know what was being said after Sanders became more recognized and potentially viable.

This is damning?

D.W.

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2016, 09:01:30 PM »
Well it does show they knew early on "their candidate" was flawed and would need some spin and media help.  But that's about as obvious as Hillary being their pick from the start.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2016, 09:52:45 PM »
Would you be happy with either of them as President?  What do you imagine would happen in their first term?

Trump would either cease being so flamboyant and move to political center, which I think is his true color, and likely be a 1 term President regardless.

Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised to see him either resigning or being impeached in his 1st year in office.

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2016, 01:20:32 AM »
More like 6-7 weeks than a couple, but the discussion of him tanking for Hillary begins with a post by you.

Thanks for the link.  Thing is, that's the very quote from you that led me to believe that you'd changed your position on my conspiracy theory.

I think we're past that, now.  If he wanted to taint the election and tilt it her way he would have gotten out by now.  I think he's really beginning to believe that Pinocchio can actually become a real boy.  How exciting?

I thought you were saying that you found it plausible that they were originally in on it together, but now he's really believing that he's a viable candidate.

Hence my question was not a lie, but a good faith question as to whether you'd changed your original view that it was a highly unlikely conspiracy theory.

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2016, 01:23:19 AM »

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As for Nixon, really?  You defend Hillary with comparison to Dick Nixon?
Absolutely.  Nixon had more than his share of outrageous deceptions. Here's one that directly affected servicemen in Vietnam, and there are records for many others that can be found online.


No question Nixon had more than his share of outrageous deceptions.  I was saying that while Clinton's dishonesty disquiets me, that your comparison of her to Nixon is AFAIK unfair to her.

Fenring

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2016, 01:34:06 AM »
No question Nixon had more than his share of outrageous deceptions.  I was saying that while Clinton's dishonesty disquiets me, that your comparison of her to Nixon is AFAIK unfair to her.

It's funny you should say that. I've come to believe that the melodrama about the horror of Nixon's actions has been largely overblown, and that his chief mistake compared to other politicians was to make a major gaff in his awareness of being recorded. Yes, he committed illegal actions, but unless I'm rather mistaken I suspect Hillary's already surpassed his standard of wrongdoing (and I don't mean the email scandal). That's just my opinion, of course, but times have changed since Nixon stepped down. I think a lot of crazy s**t has gone down since then that's much worse than what he did.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2016, 02:24:42 AM »
No question Nixon had more than his share of outrageous deceptions.  I was saying that while Clinton's dishonesty disquiets me, that your comparison of her to Nixon is AFAIK unfair to her.

It's funny you should say that. I've come to believe that the melodrama about the horror of Nixon's actions has been largely overblown, and that his chief mistake compared to other politicians was to make a major gaff in his awareness of being recorded. Yes, he committed illegal actions, but unless I'm rather mistaken I suspect Hillary's already surpassed his standard of wrongdoing (and I don't mean the email scandal). That's just my opinion, of course, but times have changed since Nixon stepped down. I think a lot of crazy s**t has gone down since then that's much worse than what he did.

Everyone took away lessons from Tricky Richard(I assume the more correct form would be censored by the forum).

If crazy/questionable stuff is going down, you don't have the President directly involved, ideally you even keep the "handler" outside of the White House for that matter, as the Reagan Admin discovered to their dismay. The Obama Admin has exemplified nearly perfect execution on both counts. The hatchet men may still be their appointees, but they provide fairly solid firewalls between what they're up to, and the rest of the Admin. So it is an Administrative problem involving rouge employees when their scandals do break.

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2016, 06:21:27 AM »
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Quote from: AI Wessex on April 28, 2016, 09:00:42 PM

[Wessex:] I think we're past that, now.  If he wanted to taint the election and tilt it her way he would have gotten out by now.  I think he's really beginning to believe that Pinocchio can actually become a real boy.  How exciting?

[Pete:] I thought you were saying that you found it plausible that they were originally in on it together, but now he's really believing that he's a viable candidate.

Hence my question was not a lie, but a good faith question as to whether you'd changed your original view that it was a highly unlikely conspiracy theory.
Ok, now I understand why you thought that.  I was just posing the hypothetical rather than saying I thought (and still don't think) it was the case.  If it ultimately turns out that it really was true, it would be the most monumental fraud in the history of democratic elections.  The only way to commemorate it would be to name the world's largest fungus after Trump in honor of his unconstrained sense of entitlement and unstoppable drive for attention.

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I've come to believe that the melodrama about the horror of Nixon's actions has been largely overblown...
That was over 40 years ago. Rather than overblown, the public awareness of the scope and scale of his actions have faded.  He was a sick man, brilliant perhaps, but his intellect and patriotism were subservient to his unstoppable urge for power and control.  Politics (and government) worked differently back then, so when the "opposition" had the goods on you they let you know privately (aka blackmailed you, like gentlemen) to get you to do what they wanted rather than bleat it out over the airwaves as is done now to poison public opinion against you.  Make no mistake, the list of bad things we know about that he said, thought and did is alarming.  He resigned to save his reputation from being destroyed by the revelations that hadn't been made public, not out of a sense of honor or dignity toward the office.  To his dying day he believed that if the President did something, it was therefore legal.  His only regrets were that he got caught.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 06:32:50 AM by AI Wessex »

Fenring

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2016, 01:27:43 PM »
He was a sick man, brilliant perhaps, but his intellect and patriotism were subservient to his unstoppable urge for power and control.

I know you don't share this view, but if character assessment (rather than legal evidence) is what you're after then I think this describes Hillary to a T.

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Politics (and government) worked differently back then, so when the "opposition" had the goods on you they let you know privately (aka blackmailed you, like gentlemen) to get you to do what they wanted rather than bleat it out over the airwaves as is done now to poison public opinion against you.

Not politics, media. In politics what you described is still the norm. The mudslinging through the media tactic is when an accusation is slippery and they're hoping to make something or anything stick. The real goods never come out to the public (intentionally), and deals are made in private. That's why I sometimes say that the general complaints against Hillary are not the ones I'm concerned with, even though they stand the best chance of having some public effect. No one on either side of the political fence is going to call her out for a wrongdoing from which both sides benefitted.

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His only regrets were that he got caught.

Yeah, he was totally unique in that regard. /s

AI Wessex

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2016, 01:44:18 PM »
As if by plastering the same epithets on two people that makes them indistinguishable...

Pete at Home

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2016, 02:17:46 PM »
No question Nixon had more than his share of outrageous deceptions.  I was saying that while Clinton's dishonesty disquiets me, that your comparison of her to Nixon is AFAIK unfair to her.

It's funny you should say that. I've come to believe that the melodrama about the horror of Nixon's actions has been largely overblown, and that his chief mistake compared to other politicians was to make a major gaff in his awareness of being recorded.

That may very well be true, but as to a case that one can make by indisputable evidence, Nixon looks worst to me as far as lying and being smug about it.

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Good Thing About the 2016 Presidential Election
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2016, 02:27:05 PM »
Nixon would have gotten away with it if he had today's media carrying his water like they do for the Clintons and Obama. Proof? Rhodes and Gruber gave us the proof. It's amazing when adults revert to a child like mentality and just blurt suddenly blurt out the truth despite themselves. Most of the proof against the Clintons was taken to the grave by the long line of people who died right before they could reveal it. "Clinton body count." About the best thing you can say for Hillary is that she knows how to get away with it; like a don.