Author Topic: Failure to Grovel  (Read 10563 times)

Pete at Home

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Failure to Grovel
« on: February 12, 2016, 12:09:35 AM »
What's with Ms Clinton's repeated attacks on Sanders for not being sufficiently worshipful of President Obama? First debate she lied by saying he opposed Obamacare (in fact Sanders had far more to do with writing the ACA than Clinton herself.) Now she's generally railing on him for not "supporting" Obama. What is behind this?   Are these empty words just designed to line the most empty headed Obama-fans against Sanders reflexively (did, Sanders didn't sun-port our guy!) or is there any substance?  I'be liked her earlier speeches, but it's starting to feel that her debate statements are riddles with audience cues, cheer here, jeer there ... what do younger out of it if you aren't one of her programmed minions?

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2016, 12:34:04 AM »
She in general is resorting to little more than name-calling to detract from Bernie's support. So far I haven't heard one complaint from her about him that has any substance at all, and her accusation at his campaign about the DNC campaign data issue was gross. I actually view this negative campaigning from her as a good sign, since it means she's taking the competition seriously. The fact that these are her chosen tactics may or may not hurt her public image, but they give me some small amount of satisfaction since it means she feels the need the play dirty and throw the kitchen sink at Bernie. If buying the media and claiming all superdelegates wasn't enough, I like that she must engage in mudslinging as well :)

D.W.

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2016, 10:18:12 AM »
I thought it was equally strange, but then I saw the immediate commentary after.  Apparently that's how you pander for black votes.  Latch onto Obama's coat tails and point out any time Bernie differed in opinion.

Bernie in contrast seems to stay laser focused on a rising tide raises all ships stance on racial problems and, as the title says, fails to grovel.

I'm curious how people pick apart the race issue on this debate. 
The, "given demographic shifts should white Americans be concerned?" (heavily paraphrased) question was a strange moment in the debate. 

I may have to look up the transcripts later to see if Hillary's response was as awkward as I thought at the time. (or worse?)  Bernie kinda dodged that question after Hillary dove in head first.  But then, at the end the moderator kinda forced the issue with Bernie.

Do you think race relations would be better (than present under Obama) under a Sanders presidency?

B:  Yes.

Maybe this is just me being a middle aged white dude but the questions seemed like bait to do something silly and it looked to me like they both stepped in it.

Also the, "I'm no friend of Kissinger" rant was... interesting.  As was the doubling down on the "I didn't vote for the Iraq war" adding "because I didn't believe them". 

As per the previous debate, Hillary's "I'm more practical/realistic" (while I think it's true) comes off as weakness or dishonest compared to Bernie's stated goals.  But, also as in the last debate, I think Bernie looked very weak in foreign policy compared to Hillary.

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 11:05:01 AM »
I can't speak to all of the hair-splitting and nit-picking here, but the contest is not about ideology, but mostly about purity and pragmatism.  I don't disagree with any position Sanders holds, but I don't disagree with much of what Clinton says, either.  They're both trying to play to a perceived difference in their individual strengths.  Sanders is becoming ever more pure and Clinton ever more pragmatic.  I don't think the general electorate is able to distinguish those two things in a substantive way, especially since Sanders wouldn't be able to do very many of the things he's campaigning for and Clinton would try to do less but probably have more success.  Who do you choose, your favorite uncle who praises you at every turn or your favorite aunt who brings cookies every time she visits?  They both love you very, very much.

Pete at Home

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 02:59:37 PM »
But aunt Hillary talks to me like I am a moron, while uncle Bern treats me like a grown up. 

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But, also as in the last debate, I think Bernie looked very weak in foreign policy compared to Hillary

True that!  One might argue we're obliged to put her in office after paying so dearly for her education in foreign policy ....
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 03:02:04 PM by Pete at Home »

D.W.

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 03:12:06 PM »
Haha sadly I do get a, "But I'm qualified, I've paid my dues and I deserve this!  What is WRONG with you people?" vibe from her.  I hope that is an unfair assessment on my part.  The shiny newness for me (in dusty old man form) of candidate Bernie hasn't worn off yet.  :)

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 03:15:51 PM »
But are you ok with Bernie's line that he's going to instigate a revolution, but don't worry, it won't destabilize anything?  Wouldn't you rather have a cookie?  By the time you're done eating it, I promise you'll feel right as rain.

D.W.

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2016, 03:25:41 PM »
I DO like being handed a cookie compared to being told I'll get all the cookies I could ever want if only we win the lotto...   :)


But yes, I'm OK with a political revolution.  Honestly I think he's only about 8-16 years early. 

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2016, 03:28:23 PM »
But are you ok with Bernie's line that he's going to instigate a revolution, but don't worry, it won't destabilize anything?  Wouldn't you rather have a cookie?  By the time you're done eating it, I promise you'll feel right as rain.

I'm sure you're being as accurate with your use of the word "revolution" here as you are with your use of the word "socialist" when you mention Bernie.

I'd just like to reiterate that it is impossible for Bernie to have the scope of inside classified information on foreign affairs that Hillary has since she had higher clearance. If he did know as much as her it would actually signify a massive security breach, and so we're left with the tautological statement that she is more filled in on foreign affairs than he is. Duh. She'd better be, since that was her job. I personally wouldn't call Bernie's foreign policy statements 'weak' but they are decidedly cautious because he knows he can't match Hillary directly in ability to cite particulars that he's not been briefed on. Since a new President is briefed on all of these things anyhow I view the point as moot. The point that does matter is not how many fancy facts a candidate can recite but rather what the candidate's general philosophy is on dealing with foreign nations. I think Bernie having voted against Iraq speaks volumes as compared to he and Hillary squaring off in talking about Syria, which doesn't say very much at all. However I think Bernie has been hinting that he's against regime change in Syria, even though he won't state this directly (for good reasons), and if so then he wins the foreign policy debate as far as I'm concerned.

D.W.

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2016, 03:34:52 PM »
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The point that does matter is not how many fancy facts a candidate can recite but rather what the candidate's general philosophy is on dealing with foreign nations. I think Bernie having voted against Iraq speaks volumes as compared to he and Hillary squaring off in talking about Syria, which doesn't say very much at all.
The first debate I listened to the "I voted against Iraq" smacked of "I told you so" but he never mentioned WHY.  Maybe at the time he got into why?

Last night however he added, "Because I didn't believe them."  Now that point (though I'd like to hear him expand on it) may actually speak to something worth mentioning.

You are right that we should expect her to have the experience and for him not to.  It has a lot more to do (for me) with how he speaks about it.  It's no small task to project leadership from a position of ignorance.  But that's the hoop that must be jumped through.  The, "my judgement is better" refrain backed up only with the Iraq vote, does nothing for me.  Maybe it's enough for a large bunch of the voting citizenry? 

The whole negotiating with our enemies / hostile parties conversation came off as both sides trying too hard to twist the other's position.  For me that was the low point of the evening.  Then again you can't spend all night going, "I agree."  :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2016, 03:36:54 PM by D.W. »

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 03:40:58 PM »
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I'm sure you're being as accurate with your use of the word "revolution" here as you are with your use of the word "socialist" when you mention Bernie.
Uh, you realize that Bernie predicates his campaign on a call for something called a "political revolution", right?  Also, I have pointed out that nobody in this country knows what socialism is, and I suspect that includes Bernie if he calls himself a "democratic socialist", which is an oxymoron.
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I'd just like to reiterate that it is impossible for Bernie to have the scope of inside classified information on foreign affairs that Hillary has since she had higher clearance. If he did know as much as her it would actually signify a massive security breach, and so we're left with the tautological statement that she is more filled in on foreign affairs than he is.
OK, I think you're saying that Clinton is the only candidate in either party who can speak with authority on foreign affairs and national security matters.  But that shouldn't stop any of the others from calling for carpet bombing or "wiping out" these or those, or prescribing which foreign leaders we should or shouldn't support, or even telling us how to deal economically with Mexico, China, India or Europe.  Of course they can, but even if they don't understand what they're saying we can still pick the one whose rhetoric we like the best.  No nation building, y'all.

(That reminds me, I heard the Malheur insurgency called y'all Qaeda this morning.  Kinda works...)

D.W.

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2016, 03:51:41 PM »
The y'all Qaeda thing has been going almost from the start.

I just read one that had me chuckling. 

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...the Cruz campaign told CNN that Trump was throwing a "Trumpertantrum"

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2016, 04:09:50 PM »
OK, I think you're saying that Clinton is the only candidate in either party who can speak with authority on foreign affairs and national security matters.

She's the only one who can speak with the authority behind whatever classified secrets she knows, for sure. She isn't the only one can can confidently and accurately say various things about foreign policy, but compared to her all other candidates have had nowhere near her level of security clearance and inside information. I'll put an "except" in here: except for Jeb, who although he technically shouldn't have similar insider information I'm reasonably confident he has it anyhow from his family. There would be little point in Bernie, for instance, trying to go toe to toe with Hillary in citing information on the ground in Syria; if he hasn't been briefed then he doesn't know it. But he has plenty of leeway to speak about foreign relations in general and how the U.S. should be interacting with foreign governments.

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But that shouldn't stop any of the others from calling for carpet bombing or "wiping out" these or those, or prescribing which foreign leaders we should or shouldn't support, or even telling us how to deal economically with Mexico, China, India or Europe.

Yep. I know why they say such things but I don't think it's really appropriate for candidates to outline military courses of action prior to ever receiving a real briefing from the Joint Chiefs and intelligence, to say nothing of various diplomats, etc etc. However I think we can lay the blame for this kind of out-of-line claim about what they'll do at the feet of the political process as it stands now and how much of a media circus it is. Any candidate who tried to maintain a measured and cautious approach to making outlandish claims would be blown away in no time due to not making enough of a splash. You need to be a walking meme now to get attention, and merely being reasonable and intelligent won't do it any more. Of course this kind of environment encourages the Trumps out there just as much as the carpet-bombers and the "punch Putin in the nose" types.

I do think in general you've been right in your assessment that this election has been to some extent a race to the bottom, but as we're seeing now that downward race is not limited to the GOP. Now that the mudslinging campaign is underway we can see the civility drip away slowly. Heck, even Bill is getting into the ring now for a few punches.

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2016, 04:29:24 PM »
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I'll put an "except" in here: except for Jeb, who although he technically shouldn't have similar insider information I'm reasonably confident he has it anyhow from his family.
Really?!  Wouldn't that be a gross violation of national security laws?  If he solicited any information like that or discussed anything his wanton brother spilled to him over a glass of beer, they both would go to jail.
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However I think we can lay the blame for this kind of out-of-line claim about what they'll do at the feet of the political process as it stands now and how much of a media circus it is.
In other words, they're bragging and gossiping about things they don't really know enough about, hoping to get people to like them.  Pretty pathetic.
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I do think in general you've been right in your assessment that this election has been to some extent a race to the bottom, but as we're seeing now that downward race is not limited to the GOP. Now that the mudslinging campaign is underway we can see the civility drip away slowly
I fully expected and predicted here that would happen not long ago.  It will only get worse until things settle out as far as where things will stand going into the conventions on either side.  I also heard today that the remaining GOP candidates are all trying to be "nicer", particularly Ruboto (to borrow his new nickname).  They're all realizing that have to stand in counter to and opposition to Trump, which they say they will do by using good manners. Even Trump is going to work against his image, as he announced today he isn't going to curse or call anybody a pussy from now on.  This all remains to be seen (and heard) as the needle spins and spins....We're not done yet.

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2016, 04:35:07 PM »
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I'll put an "except" in here: except for Jeb, who although he technically shouldn't have similar insider information I'm reasonably confident he has it anyhow from his family.
Really?!  Wouldn't that be a gross violation of national security laws?  If he solicited any information like that or discussed anything his wanton brother spilled to him over a glass of beer, they both would go to jail.

Heh, good joke. I'm sure the FBI will be knocking on his door any time now. But seriously, it would be naive to the extreme to suppose that only elected officials are privy to high level insider information.

Pete at Home

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2016, 06:54:08 PM »
But are you ok with Bernie's line that he's going to instigate a revolution, but don't worry, it won't destabilize anything?

I'm late to the whole political debate, having been turned onto choice Bernie material by my lover's kid. One of the reasons I hang on Ornery is to share what I know and get filled in on what I don't.  You are right that such a statement would give me pause. Please cite.

What I have read from Bernie is here's my position, and here's  what we can work out with moderate Republicans (who at least respect him).

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2016, 10:11:01 PM »
Here:
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"The revolution is possible -- you are the revolution! -- and this time, the revolution will literally be televised," said the Vermont senator.

Here:
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But Bernie Sanders is not Barack Obama. Sanders’ theory for fixing the broken political system is post-Obama, taking into consideration Obama’s failure while posing a new answer. Sanders doesn’t talk about bringing the two sides together through the sheer force of his fetching personality. He doesn’t really speak of Democrats and Republicans as the two sides. He campaigns on a promise to turn the whole thing upside down, to create a grassroots “political revolution” that will give him the mandate to bring working- and middle-class people together to overwhelm the “billionaire class” into submission. He doesn’t want to heal, he wants to upend—and his voters, even after witnessing all of Obama’s failures to bring the country together in his own way, love Bernie for it.

Pete at Home

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2016, 11:24:22 PM »
What I get from that is that Obama reached for a revolution that half the country opposed, and mostly failed.  On that I agree.  Sanders says that he'll work better with moderate Republicans against the Billionaires' interests, and I think he can pull that off.

Two years ago I would have agreed with you on socialism, but now I'm wondering if the word has ever meant anything, given what it means in Sweden.  Can anyone explain to me why denmark is considered Socialist but Hong Kong is not?  Yet neither has government owning and operating the manufacturing industry, which is what I thought socialism was.  Hell, even the People's Republic of Frigging China has privatized manufacturing, and still considered socialist.

Pete at Home

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2016, 11:42:47 PM »
Good article.  Thanks!

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2016, 01:09:18 AM »
Here:
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"The revolution is possible -- you are the revolution! -- and this time, the revolution will literally be televised," said the Vermont senator.

Bernie has uttered countless times the statement that he wants to try to bring about a social and political revolution in the U.S., and he is 100% clear with no possibility of misunderstanding that he means by this that he wants people to become more politically active in demanding proper representation from their Congressmen. He means nothing about initiating a new political system, and everything about people taking the old political system seriously again. It's about making people care; that's the revolution. Harping on the word "revolution" as if it means toppling industry or rewriting the constitution is a standard but flimsy smokescreen.

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url=http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2016/02/bernie_sanders_grassroots_revolution_isn_t_interested_in_barack_obama_s.html]Here[/url]:
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But Bernie Sanders is not Barack Obama. Sanders’ theory for fixing the broken political system is post-Obama, taking into consideration Obama’s failure while posing a new answer. Sanders doesn’t talk about bringing the two sides together through the sheer force of his fetching personality. He doesn’t really speak of Democrats and Republicans as the two sides. He campaigns on a promise to turn the whole thing upside down, to create a grassroots “political revolution” that will give him the mandate to bring working- and middle-class people together to overwhelm the “billionaire class” into submission. He doesn’t want to heal, he wants to upend—and his voters, even after witnessing all of Obama’s failures to bring the country together in his own way, love Bernie for it.

The article has some cogent points but fails utterly to comprehend Bernie's campaign purpose. It strings together individual facts seemingly in sequence but fails to ever make sense of them. Here's a good example of this, where its logic cannot match its narrative:

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Sanders’ theory implies that once the masses have banded together to overpower the political prowess of billionaires, corporate interests, and “establishment economics,” what they will demand is a series of leftist reforms like single-payer health care, free public higher education, a federally mandated living wage, breaking up the too-big-to-fail banks, and a shift away from a hydrocarbon-based energy system. But it does not entertain the idea that once the palace has been raided and billionaires are sent fleeing, a significant chunk of working and middle-class people might still disagree with his policy proposals.

Bernie's central point is that politics and campaign finance are corrupt, and that this prevents any realistic change no matter who's in power. He says that a 'revolution' (i.e. different way of doing things) is needed to begin to fix this. The article fixates on particular policy proposals (such as free tuition or higher minimum wage) and wistfully wonders what will happen if, after this glorious revolution, those things are not actually what the people want. This dodges the entire issue, which is that at present it doesn't matter what the people want since they're not properly represented. Bernie personally believes in things like free tuition, universal health care, and so forth, but his belief in those things does not mean he can make them happen or even wants to force it down everyone's throats; indeed Bernie has stated repeatedly that he actually cannot accomplish these things unless the political system begins to change for the better. Can you name another candidate (including Obama) who's made such an admission of reality? The point is that regardless of whether the people really do want free health care or not, they need to be able to affect the political process first before whatever they believe will be listened to. This means campaign finance, it means rules about lobbying, and it means making alterations to how Wall Street operates (the latter of which even Hillary claims to agree with). These issues being addressed will make possible subsequent movements led by the will of the people.

Most candidates are talking about what they intend the country to be like. Bernie's goal, however, is to put the country back in the hands of the people, not in his own hands. He doesn't want to autocratically decide which policies should be implemented. He wants the public will to inform what should happen, rather than the private will of a few select power players such as happens now. It is within this context that the article ends up being an intelligently written but highly uneducated piece of writing, where concepts aren't employed to pair with facts as presented. When the article makes the bizarre declaration that "he doesn't want to heal, he wants to upend" it runs riot with a failure to define what "heal" and "upend" are literally supposed to mean in this context, and just make Bernie sound like a rampaging bull. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I'm thankful to Al for providing the most pertinent quote possible in demonstrating that an article such as this can simultaneously be erudite and yet bereft of knowledge. The status quo is about Democrats and GOP both beholden to the same special interests and fighting amongst each other such that the people lose and these special interests always win. Bernie's solution is not to upend any sacred bond of trust but rather to re-establish trust between the voters and their government.

Pete, I hope this helped answer your question a little.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 01:14:19 AM by Fenring »

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2016, 09:23:53 AM »
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He says that a 'revolution' (i.e. different way of doing things) is needed to begin to fix this.
Just taking this one sentence, which summarizes what you think he means by that word.  How does that differ from what Trump or Cruz say they will do, for example?  Aren't they proposing a "revolution" on their own terms, too?  Didn't Reagan lead the Conservative Revolution?  What about the "Gingrich Revolution", which is tied by name to what was sometimes called "Republican Dysfunction"?  If everybody is pounding the table and calling for a revolution, look at what those revolutions have accomplished or what they promise they will bring about.  Everybody promises a "different way of doing things" if only they are elected.  Sanders is the first Democrat (ok, not quite, but he's running as one) to call for a revolution in a party that is historically defined over the same time period by progressive gradualism.

With that in mind, Sanders' goals are clearly stated, but what are his proposals to make them happen?  That's why I can agree with what Sanders says he believes, but agree more with what Clinton says she will do.

Pete at Home

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2016, 12:07:50 PM »
Gingrich was merely the architect of the Gingrich revolution.  The Foreman was Clinton, who actually bragged as his legacy of "ending welfare as we know it" and implementing Gingrich Ian welfare as we now know it. 

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2016, 05:31:38 PM »
Your splitting hairs again.  We are talking about what people say about themselves or how they describe the scope and impact of their objectives.  You're forgetting about the Contract With America, perhaps, which promulgated radical positions that were intended to alter the way government worked significantly, mainly by eliminating services and reducing eligibility for federal assistance.  CWM backers and proponents described it at the time as revolutionary.  Sweeping Gingrich and his efforts under the carpet of Clinton's superior political skills doesn't diminish the extreme positions he put forward.  Ironically, many provisions of the CWM were passed, including some affecting many of the 95 (mostly social) programs that it promised to eliminate, but the budgets for those programs increased under Republican House control instead.

Pete at Home

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2016, 06:10:56 PM »
Gingrich was merely the architect of the Gingrich revolution.  The Foreman was Clinton, who actually bragged as his legacy of "ending welfare as we know it" and implementing Gingrich Ian welfare as we now know it.

Al: "Your splitting hairs again."

I don't think so.

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You're forgetting about the Contract With America, perhaps, which promulgated radical positions that were intended to alter the way government worked significantly, mainly by eliminating services and reducing eligibility for federal assistance.

And part of that Contract with America, the parts I describe, we're Clintonically repackaged and sold to America as "ending welfare as we know it." Including mandates that break up African American households to maintain eligibility for housing.

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Sweeping Gingrich and his efforts under the carpet of Clinton's superior political skills doesn't diminish the extreme positions he put forward.
Of course it doesn't.  Nor does the fact that Clinton whored his considerable political skills to promoting Gingrich's ghastly programs does not make the programs less ghastly.


Bernie might have passed some of that stuff in compromise but he would not have whitewashed it.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2016, 06:14:33 PM by Pete at Home »

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2016, 06:52:49 PM »
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He says that a 'revolution' (i.e. different way of doing things) is needed to begin to fix this.
Just taking this one sentence, which summarizes what you think he means by that word.  How does that differ from what Trump or Cruz say they will do, for example?  Aren't they proposing a "revolution" on their own terms, too?  Didn't Reagan lead the Conservative Revolution?  What about the "Gingrich Revolution", which is tied by name to what was sometimes called "Republican Dysfunction"?

This is what I'm talking about with regard to you throwing around the word "revolution" sans context and asking what the difference is between one 'kind' of revolution and another. I already told you the difference, which is Bernie's primary focus on campaign finance reform and banking reform. If you think these topics were central to Reagan or Gingrich then you have a point, but otherwise you're mixing apples and oranges and using the word "revolution" as a false comparison between all of them. It is either a fact or it isn't a fact that campaign finance and lobbying make change impossible. If it's a fact then any other so-called revolution other than cleaning up politics is irrelevant and won't work.

So tell me, are Trump and Cruz arguing to remove private finance from campaigning and reforming Wall Street in any significant way? If not then you're talking about another subject, which is rhetoric about change while still being beholden to the special interests; i.e. no real change except aesthetic.

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2016, 09:05:20 PM »
Bernie has his kind of revolution, and they have their own.

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2016, 09:39:01 PM »
Bernie has his kind of revolution, and they have their own.

You did understand my point, right? If Bernie is right (I think he is) then any other kind of change won't do anything due to the current political structure. If this is a fact then there is therefore no 'other kind' of revolution other than making possible any kind of revolution at all. It's like looking at an impenetrable locked door and one guy says he suggests getting the key to this door, while others talk about trying to walk straight through it or repainting it. Any plan other than finding a way to unlock the door simply isn't a plan at all. If you like the door then fine, leave it or adorn it; if not then it has to be opened to allow for any kind of person to walk through it. It's not even a partisan issue, it's a pure question of systemic physics.

AI Wessex

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2016, 06:27:00 AM »
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It's not even a partisan issue, it's a pure question of systemic physics.
That metaphor cuts both ways.  We're not talking about a physical process, but an airy thing of words being slung around by people trying to convince voters that words have an immutable quality and are the tip of what will be an iceberg of resolute action if the speaker is elected President.  In other words, the candidates run on like that sentence and at the end of the day the bottom line is that all of the things they say about themselves are nothing but metaphors and imagery, like "cuts both ways", built on emotion rather than a system of any kind of physics.  In other words, there's no there there except the hopeful belief in the hearer's mind that maybe there is.  In yet other words (there are so many to choose from!), the candidates themselves are metaphors (if not caricatures), action figures (if not puppets of moneyed others) wanting you to Feel the Bern, Make America Great Again, Pope Ted (that one is mine), and the briefest one yet connoting all things possible, just plain Jeb! 

Last night's GOP debate got out of hand, or more accurately they let the dogs out and they tried to rip each other to shreds, so rather than physics what the debate shows is that what politics is is ain't bean bag.  That's, count 'em, lots of words with no fixed meaning that could be used as 5 different parts of speech and three transitive verbs in a row!  Wow, with talk like that I coulda been a contenduh!  Thinking about that makes my head spin, you know, like, it's making a revolution.  A revolution can be explained with physics.  The candidates (the real ones, I mean) aren't really talking about a revolution; they're talking about a metaphor.

Fenring

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Re: Failure to Grovel
« Reply #28 on: February 14, 2016, 01:26:55 PM »
Al, you're right that the mechanism by which politicians make decisions is basically their own imagination and will. This isn't a mechanistic process but a human one, which can involve lies, fantasy and caricature. However what isn't a fantasy is the system to which I'm referring, which - more specifically - is the system of incentives towards these politicians. Any of them can reject incentives, of course, but nature suggests that most of the time an incentive will be taken if offered, especially when dealing with someone who has a far greater chance than average of being an amoral power player who will take whatever offer will yield the biggest payoff. If a voter says he'll vote for a candidate if he does X, and then a corporate lobbyist says he'll pay the candidate a million dollars to do Y, which in turn will fund campaign advertising that will yield 50 votes, why in the world would the candidate do what the one voter asks for when he can generate income to create 50 votes? All he has to do to achieve this is to sell out on a few key votes in Congress and the price is payed.

But it's even worse than this reward-based incentive setup. In reality if a Congressman refuses to sell out not only does he not get his payoff but they will fund his opposition instead, and even worse, if the DNC or RNC are backing the lobbyist then if you don't play ball you'll have your own party against you as well. Good luck getting anywhere in politics under those conditions; you pretty much would have to run as an independent. I wonder what kind of Senator could get elected as an independent...hmm....

I think a lot of politicians who aren't entirely amoral write this off as needing to first get into office by any means necessary, and once they're in office they'll be in a position to do some real good which can offset the few bad things they had to do to get there. I bet this mentality is quite common, and an easy trap to fall into. It's easy to see how alluring it might be to suppose that you can do good from the inside without realizing that you'll still be unable to achieve anything there unless you continue to play ball and vote how you're told. Even to propose legislation that's been carefully crafted for you in think tanks, where much legislation comes from. Eventually you learn that you might be able to squeeze a little principle in every now and then but overall you are bought and paid for.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2016, 01:30:21 PM by Fenring »