One in 1,784

I spent the weekend ass deep in sheetrock, tile and half-assembled cabinets, attempting to reconstruct my kitchen. While catching up on the blog this morning, I read that TBogg, LGM, DougJ, Mistermix and Balloon Juice commenters are Manichean monsters. Not that this is anything new, mind you: liberals who vote for compromised Democrats (and there is no other type of elected or electable official) are routinely — with cicada-like regularity, one might say — accused of heartlessly casting aside the poor, the innocent victims of pointless wars, the uninsured, the homeless, the mentally ill, women, the LGBT community, people of color, etc., as so many bumps in the road to 270 electoral votes.

Perusing the threads on this topic here and elsewhere, I was struck — as others were — by the resemblance to the arguments I myself advanced in 2000 — back when I was the sanctimonious twit saying that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore. I was wrong. I learned my lesson. In my own defense, all I can say is that the consequences of my casting one of the 1,784 votes in Florida that was the official margin of difference between Bush and Gore were unimaginable at the time, at least to me.

And I’ve regretted it ever since and will until the day I die. Seriously. I number that vote among the worst things I’ve ever done as a human being on this planet, even though I’ve done more stupid and mean things than I care to remember, and despite the fact that my motives in that case were fairly pure.

I don’t expect my fessing up to this and saying I learned my lesson and regret my third party vote in 2000 will change anyone’s mind who is contemplating a similar move in 2012. It’s not only that I remember well my own self-righteousness 12 years ago, though I do. It’s that anyone who can’t draw the blindingly obvious lesson from that debacle — which isn’t exactly ancient history — is probably just not persuadable.

So what should the disaffected liberal do? Well, sack up, for one thing: Ridicule from someone on a blog isn’t exactly a Hellfire missile up the poop chute. Advocate for your goddamn position with facts and figures — at the grassroots level — even if someone is mean to you on a blog! Persuade the people who don’t currently give a shit, which is, sadly, most of the American public. Get involved in politics at the local level, where your voice is potentially louder. All these are good and worthy goals.

Empowering politicians who think the US isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Likud Party in Israel isn’t a good and worthy goal. It wasn’t in 2000, and it isn’t today. Your actions have consequences. Own them. And for Christ’s sake, quit whining about it.

[X-posted at Rumproast]

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

459 replies
  1. 1
    nitpicker says:

    My argument has been this: Yes, we progressives will have to fight Obama on drone strikes, detentions and other rights issues for the next four years, but why would you want aid Romney by tossing away a single lefty vote, thereby opening up an entirely new–domestic!–front in that fight? After all, Romney’s said he’ll do worse than Obama on all the issues people are complaining about and repeal Obamacare, cut Medicaid, etc.

  2. 2
    Raven says:

    We have a really bad Charter School measure on the Georgia ballot and many of my friends are fighting it, in part, by attacking the Obama DOE. Now I know that Obama has no chance of winning here but I’m still not sure undermining him with this is a great idea.

  3. 3
    Palli says:

    “,,,(and there is no other type of elected or electable official)…”
    beg to differ though…Paul Wellstone did serve the American people; Barbara Lee serves now.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    You didn’t miss nothin’. We’ve been at defcon firebagger for days now. Just what is needed a month out from the election. I brought a box of lollipops today, hopefully to pacify the colicky sweethearts, at least till the election is over.

    There just seems to be no bottom to the deep well of Obama sucks as do the Obots of Death.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    Terrific post (as always), Betty. I’ll wax platitudinous here, but it’s appropriate: the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and living and learning is part of life. We all fuck up at times. The important thing is to do your homework going into your decision and to learn from the results coming out of it.

  6. 6
    nitpicker says:

    @Palli: Strom Thurmond wasn’t “compromised” either. He was pretty much evil through and through.

  7. 7
    srv says:

    Perusing the threads on this topic here and elsewhere, I was struck—as others were—by the resemblance to the arguments I myself advanced in 2000—back when I was the sanctimonious twit saying that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore.

    Wah, wah… still a self-righteous twit.

  8. 8
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Well, I didn’t fall for Nader in 2000 — cast a meh vote for Gore in a very blue state where I suppose it didn’t really matter anyway. But I will admit that my spidey-sense failed me on Bush back then: I had no idea how bad he would be, and I didn’t work for his defeat other than voting against him.

    As for Freddie. I don’t really have the patience for a guy who doesn’t understand the difference between people being practical about living in a Manichean system and “Manichean monsters.” He’s a dolt.

  9. 9
    Scott S. says:

    @Palli: By all means, vote for him.

    Wellstone was an awesome human being — seriously, not a speck of snark in that statement — but when the only Pure Uncompromised Liberal Legislator has been dead for almost a decade, it kinda says something, doesn’t it?

  10. 10
    gelfling545 says:

    I have tried (mainly without success) to explain to some more politically naive types of my acquaintance that people who actually get elected have to appeal to more folks than you and that if you want better (in your view) candidates out there you have to follow Kay’s advice about local involvement since this is the nursery of national candidates. This is inevitably met with whines about no time, it’s hard to make an impact, blah, blah blah. It’s much easier to complain on the internet and cast a useless vote (thereby possibly screwing the whole country for the sake of your intellectual purity.)

  11. 11
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    OMFG, you voted for Bush?

  12. 12
    gex says:

    The people who constantly complain about the candidates and the platforms are the first to just say “fuck it” and do something useless or worse, damaging.

    The idea of getting involved in candidate selection and platform development (i.e. participating in politics) is too much to ask. They think trekking to the polls and casting a ballot is the only work of being a citizen in a democracy.

    They are wrong. They will constantly be dissatisfied if they reject the idea of incremental change and refuse to do anything to pressure the parties for new policies.

    If they hadn’t noticed, there is one party that rather specifically works to get people not to vote if they won’t vote for the them. Withholding your vote is rewarding the Republicans, who frankly are the ones who have driven our foreign policy and domestic law enforcement in the direction these abstainers don’t like. Yet somehow behaving exactly how that party would like them to is how they are going to “protest.”

  13. 13
    Marc says:

    Betty, this is exactly right. Thanks for saying it. In 2000 none of us really knew how catastrophic Bush would be. A lot of us knew that he would be bad, but he was beyond merely bad – he did incredible harm to the nation and world that will take a long time to heal. So I don’t want to attack people who, with the benefit of hindsight, made the wrong choices at the time.

    But I get off the boat when they propose to repeat them. I view the 2000 election as the equivalent of a plane crash, one where a half-dozen things all had to go wrong or nothing would have happened. Nader wasn’t the only factor, but Nader contributed. And this is crucial when going forward: you don’t repeat things that you know can lead to disaster. And if you do, don’t be surprised if people get emotional in response.

  14. 14
    Scott says:

    Betty,

    Thanks for saying this. I also committed this sin; I can remember telling people at UF in the fall of 2000 that, “in a country with 31 flavors of ice cream, we should have more than two flavors of political parties.” And I can still remember standing in the voting booth in Gainesville, taking one last moment to reflect, and deciding I’d regret it forever if I vote for Gore. Yeah.

    It’s not so much that I disagree with the point I was trying to make (although a Baskin-Robbins metaphor? Seriously? It’s sad to think that 20-year-old me thought that was good.). It’s that I now live in the real world.

    You are correct, however: You can’t shout someone who is in denial back into reality.

    Best,

    Scott

  15. 15
    jibeaux says:

    Betty, I appreciate your honesty and your owning up to your mistake. Sanctimonious twits are bad, but the ones with self-reflection are better. The ones who can write a novel with Manichean monsters rather than more zombies are the best.

    I don’t know Freddie from a hole in the ground, but

    a graduate student in rhetoric and composition

    explains a lot, and Conor is a straight-up right-wing troll.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    Persuade the people who don’t currently give a shit, which is, sadly, most of the American public. Get involved in politics at the local level, where your voice is potentially louder.

    And don’t be surprised when people hear your arguments and still disagree with you.

  17. 17
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @gelfling545:

    I have tried (mainly without success) to explain to some more politically naive types of my acquaintance that people who actually get elected have to appeal to more folks than you and that if you want better (in your view) candidates out there you have to follow Kay’s advice about local involvement since this is the nursery of national candidates. This is inevitably met with whines about no time, it’s hard to make an impact, blah, blah blah. It’s much easier to complain on the internet and cast a useless vote (thereby possibly screwing the whole country for the sake of your intellectual purity.)

    At least it would be nice if everyone actually voted routinely. That would be a step up from what we have now.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: God, no! Nader. It was a dumb thing to do.

  19. 19
    Political Observer says:

    Wow! TWO polls this morning say this race is within the margin of error! OBAMA ONLY UP BY TWO!

    The race is tightening…and FAST!

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @Raven:

    We have a really bad Charter School measure on the Georgia ballot and many of my friends are fighting it, in part, by attacking the Obama DOE.

    Because, of course, a Republican led DOE would be much friendlier to traditional public schools and hostile to charters than Obama. Do these people even listen to their own arguments?

  21. 21
    Political Observer says:

    And no, the polls aren’t Rasmussen. They’re Politico/GWU polls and Washington Post/ABC.

    Too. Close. To. Call. Get used to it. This is going down to the wire. We’re in for a very long election night.

  22. 22
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Betty Cracker: Oh, shew. Carry on then.

  23. 23

    @Political Observer:

    RELEASE THE TONS OF CORPORATE CASH!

  24. 24
    aimai says:

    Betty, I forgive you. I do.

    I think what pisses me off the most about the purity troll formulation is that it is totally fixated on the Presidency and has nothing to do with the reality of the political issues that are crushing most of the (supposedly) victimized US population. I mean, I agree that the Presidency is a huge prize and that the big pot of money that needs to be captured and controlled is the federal treasury. But in reality most non voters live down in the weeds, in destroyed cities and hollowed out agrarian communities. And they aren’t voting or they are voting against their self interest because they prefer to imagine that the proper role of government is keeping the “others” down and out.

    A vote for Nader, or Obama, or Romney is just one vote out of thousands of political acts of mobilization which need to happen for people to take back their local communities and start to create the public spaces, schools, and ameneties that they actually want and deserve. So the whole “I am not voting for Obama” shtick, if it is not accompanied by the everyday grueling work of electing people dogcatcher and to city council, is just another way of saying, a la Megan McCardle, “I’m too lazy to do one thing and I’m for fuck’s sure too lazy to do two things.”

    aimai

  25. 25
    carolus says:

    Unfortunately, much of the pearl-clutching over the use of drones comes from ignorance.

    If you hate the idea of using drones to execute combat missions, you must, of course, absolutely despise manned aircraft missions.

    Drone warfare, in almost all cases, allows the military to get closer to targets and to more accurately identify combatants from non-combatants. Of course, in any warfare scenario, civilians will become unintended victims–but drones actually mitigate these instances.

  26. 26
    Taylormattd says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: queue one of those sanctimonious assholes, a person so deeply stupid, he cannot learn the blindingly obvious lesson of Florida 2000.

  27. 27
    gex says:

    I love the fact that our template for awesome liberal legislator is a dude that voted for DOMA and DADT.

    But it is an awesome example of how sometimes you just take the hits on your personal issue because of the rest of the picture. I supported Wellstone and the Democratic party even though he and the rest of the party were happy to beat me up to impress the GOP and family values crowd.

    And that’s things that affected me personally. That wasn’t even the abstract, distant threat of Obama sending a drone after you. It seems to me that these whiny abstainers are often straight white men. Everything must center around them. They must, absolutely must, be allowed to dictate policy exactly how they want or they are going to sit in the corner and pout.

  28. 28
    Taylormattd says:

    @Political Observer: is this a person doing a poor job of imitating DougJ trying to troll us?

  29. 29
    sherparick says:

    A couple of articles on who will be our rulers and why I wonder if future elections will mean very much if Romney and the .1% win the upcoming election.

    First, Chris Hayes analyzes the audience for the Mittster’s famous 47% talk and how it fitted their values.

    http://leanforward.msnbc.com/_.....-like?lite

    Then Chrystia Friedland peels back the origin of the 47% meme and alternative universe these guys live in where they are constantly being sucked up to by about everyone they meet. http://www.newyorker.com/repor.....t_freeland

    Note the opening where there is a conversation between Cooperman and Al Gore and Orin Kramer and how they very shy about challenging Mr. Cooperman’s premises and assertions, although refraining from agreement. They might need to touch this guy one day for money or need him in business.

    These guys are very unspecific about what their grievance with Obama is, although I think it does come down to 1. He does not show the deference and brown noising they are now use to and 2. Especially since he is Black and really does not belong in the job.

    (I note the constant references by Cooperman that Obama has “never worked a day in his life.” When Friedland mentions the facts of Obama’s work history to Cooperman, he just ignores it, since he prefers his Fox/CNBC meme.)

  30. 30
    giltay says:

    In Canada, where we have 3 viable parties, this is known as “strategic voting”. It’s usually spat out as a curse by the NDP, Liberal, or Green candidates’ supporters, depending on who is trailing in the polls. (The Conservatives solved their vote-splitting problem by merging the two major right-wing parties.)

    From my point of view, voting strategically is no bad thing, and it’s something we all have to do in a party system. You have to be realistic about what effect your vote will have, because you might just be one of the 1784.

    If a third party wants to be a force in politics, then they have to work hard to be taken seriously. This involves, well, advocating “for your goddamn position with facts and figures—at the grassroots level”, building up your support gradually over decades without compromising your allies in power until you’re in a position to take over from them. We saw this in the ’60s when the NDP supported the minority Liberals in exchange for things like universal health insurance, and today now that the NDP are the official Opposition.

    In the US, I think that means working to become a force in state politics and in the House before taking on anything more ambitious. And caucusing with the Democrats and, yes, making compromises with them and doing what it takes to make the sausage.

    But until that point when a third party can be taken seriously, it’s no good complaining about supporting the better of two candidates in a two-party system.

  31. 31
    Marc says:

    @Political Observer:

    Obama by 9 points in Ohio. Poll commissioned by the Columbus Dispatch, an extremely conservative newspaper whose last endorsement of a Democrat for president was Woodrow Wilson. In 1912.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

    “The most noteworthy number was a national poll from The Washington Post and ABC News. Their top-line number was good for Mr. Romney, putting him just two points behind among likely voters — closer than most other recent surveys.

    In context, however, the poll was not quite as encouraging as it seemed for Mr. Romney. One issue is that the trendline did not improve for him. The Washington Post and ABC News national polls have generally shown fairly strong numbers for Mr. Romney; they had him behind by just one point among likely voters in a poll they conducted just after the Democratic convention, and ahead by two points in their poll before either party convention.

    Although their national polls have shown a very tight race throughout the year, their recent surveys of Florida, Ohio and Virginia had Mr. Obama with big leads there. For that matter, a breakout from their latest national poll showed Mr. Obama with a much clearer lead in swing states than in the country as a whole”

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: You’ll notice that our pet Romney troll forgot to mention that that same WaPo poll found Obama up by 11 points among likely voters in the battleground states.

    VICTORY!

  33. 33
    Dave says:

    If you want national Democratic politicians to support progressive or further-to-the-left policies, then you have to engage at the ground level and get those kind of candidates into office.

    Look at the Tea Party. A bigger bunch of idiots never existed. But they didn’t sit around and whine; they completely took over the base-level of GOP politics. They rewrote platforms, nominated candidates and have forced a good portion of the GOP to dance to their tune. Now the seeds for that may have been there in the Bush years but they made the GOP flip to Full Metal Insanity possible.

    That’s how you change a party’s political stance. As opposed to just insulting other front-pagers, expecting everyone else to acknowledge your brilliance and then taking your ball home in the form of a third-party vote.

  34. 34
    Mark S. says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    RELEASE THE TONS OF CORPORATE CASH ZINGERS!

  35. 35
    Marc says:

    @Mark S.:

    For some reason I imagine Romney just repeating “I’m rubber, you’re glue” and “I know you are, but what am I?” over and over again.

  36. 36
    Political Observer says:

    @dmsilev:

    The Battleground States move AFTER the national poll numbers. And even in the Democrat PPP poll, Obama is up only by four in Ohio.

    DOWN TO THE WIRE, baby.

  37. 37
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Betty Cracker: FYI, while Nader was an awful choice for President, I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with voting for a third party candidate that best represents one’s views.

    Sometimes it will cause a mainstream candidate to lose. Hopefully it happens to Romney this time around.

  38. 38
    Face says:

    @Political Observer: Last time I looked, the winner isn’t based on popular vote, dumbass. It’s all EVs, clown.

  39. 39
    zzyzx says:

    Yeah I can’t get worried when polls that have shown a close race have movement in Obama’s favor. They have a really tight likely voter screen.

    I’ll worry when Romney is up in the vast majority of polls. When even unskewed polls daily tracker is Obama +4 (seriously, it is), it’s hard to get too scared.

  40. 40
    jayjaybear says:

    @Scott S.: Even Wellstone wasn’t pure and uncompromised. He voted for DOMA. He regretted it afterward, but the regret isn’t what counts.

  41. 41
    Marc says:

    @Scott S.: Don’t forget Russ Feingold, who was so simon-pure he voted against Wall Street reform and got beaten by a Tea Partier anyway.

  42. 42
    catclub says:

    @Scott S.: So what is up with Al Franken lately?

    No Paul Wellstone, but a really good one.

  43. 43
    kathleen says:

    I think you should partially forgive yourself for the 2000 vote. Consider: at least the execrable Joe Lieberman did not become vice president.

  44. 44
    dmsilev says:

    @Political Observer: Learn some statistics that require math beyond counting on your fingers, and then I’ll at least consider caring about your analysis.

  45. 45

    This isn’t really related but in a way it is. I think it’s a great piece though, and everyone should read it: a Canadian’s view of the disrespect so many Americans have for President Obama. Not that wingers give a shit about what the rest of the world thinks of us because Merka Fuck Yeah but for the rest of us, it’s quite eye-opening.

  46. 46
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jibeaux:

    “a graduate student in rhetoric and composition” explains a lot

    Indeed. People who have to put food on the table aren’t graduate students in rhetoric and composition. I didn’t study rhetoric and composition, so what’s a synonym for “entitled”?

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @carolus:

    Drone warfare, in almost all cases, allows the military to get closer to targets and to more accurately identify combatants from non-combatants. Of course, in any warfare scenario, civilians will become unintended victims—but drones actually mitigate these instances.

    OTOH, drones have a much smaller footprint than manned aircraft, so they make it much easier to get involved in low intensity warfare. The big problem I see with drones is that they encourage the kind of defensive imperialism that winds up with us dragged into all kinds of conflicts that really aren’t our business. The problem is that’s a much more subtle and sophisticated argument than “ZOMG DRONEZ!” and doesn’t make nearly as good a soundbite.

  48. 48
    beergoggles says:

    It’s probably a good thing that I am so blinded by my hate of regular republicans that not voting (or voting 3rd party) vs. voting Dem would be the difference between 1 vote against the republican vs. 2 votes against them and I will pick 2 votes against them each and every time.

  49. 49
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Palli: We all remember with misty eyes, the administration of President Wellstone.

  50. 50
    Rex Everything says:

    Dispatch from an alternate universe:

    What has President McCain done these last 4 years, you firebagging nitwits who withheld your vote?

    Expanded Bush’s due-process-free detentions into due-process-free assassinations. Waged an unprecidented war on whistleblowers. Sprang into action to not let Bush’s tax cut expire. Slaughtered Muslims at funerals for slaughtered Muslims. The list goes on.

    Don’t you Naderite bastards try & tell me Obama would have done even one-tenth of any of this!

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @kathleen:

    Consider: at least the execrable Joe Lieberman did not become vice president.

    So Cheney was better?

  52. 52
    Jack the Second says:

    Self righteous assholes are six months too late.

    The time for moral purity is primary elections. If you don’t think your Congressman, Senator, President, or Dogcatcher is liberal, progressive, pacifistic, science-loving, civil-rights-minded, anti-corporate, or pot-smoking enough, primary them from the left with the pinkest commie bastard you can find. Even if you can’t bump them off the ticket, that’s when the message will get through that they need to rethink their policies.

    But that was six months ago. Now it’s the general election. Now it is time to close ranks, get out the vote, and elect the least evil politicians money can buy.

  53. 53
    Political Observer says:

    @Face:

    Again, the Battleground State pol.s break after the national polls, not before.

    We could be looking at this thing moving back into Michigan and Pennsylvania by next week, and North Carolina, Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire are slipping away from Obambi. Virginia, too, according to the latest ARG poll where Obambi is only +2.

    Nervous yet?

  54. 54
    ira-NY says:

    The Russerts are good at one thing – self-promotion.

    That “Florida, Florida, Florida” scribbling, after the fact, was haled as some great political insight. Baloney! When Russert wrote that, everyone, including the village idiot, knew that election was down to Florida.

    Russert did not scibble that early in the election evening. He wrote that very late on election night. It did not reflect startling political insight; rather, it was a reiteration of the obvious.

  55. 55
    General Stuck says:

    @giltay:

    Your parliamentarian system is what I would call a ‘real time’ politics model. Ours here in the states is a representative republic. Built for slowness of change, but with more stability from the whims of the mob, with elections on a fixed schedule, and not a lot of recourse to change course but every four years with a new president. It is a contemplative system, with a pretty much static skirmish line for pol battles, for lack of a better term. It has upsides and downsides like every democratic model. Right now, we need some rapid change, but will mostly end up as hurry up and wait, other than screaming into the void to relieve the frustration.

  56. 56
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mark S.:

    RELEASE THE TONS OF CORPORATE CASH ZINGERS KRAKEN!

    FTFY. It seems like Romney’s most likely path to victory these days.

  57. 57
    piratedan says:

    @Political Observer: hate feeding the trolls….

    but chew on this….

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

  58. 58
    negative 1 says:

    @aimai: I agree wholeheartedly. The path to victory for 3rd parties starts at the grassroots level and works up, not the other way around. This is how you generate enough money and volunteers to make larger races possible. Also, by doing it this way you make it possible for the third party candidate you do get in to be POTUS to have a shot in he!l of doing something when they are elected. Let’s say in an alternate universe that Nader (or Bloomberg, or Perot, or pick one) does win – why would EITHER party in congress give them anything to work with? The obstruction that Obama faced would pale in comparison.

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m looking forward to the searing, soul-searching lament that results from Freddie de Boer’s sudden epiphany that every time he eats he is benefiting from generations of exploited labor and enabling corporate profiteering. He’d go on a hunger strike and show us all, except that TBogg might call him a mean name.

  60. 60
    maye says:

    Last week I hung up on just such a person as you describe above. So much for my powers of persuasion. My blood pressure can’t take it.

  61. 61
    eemom says:

    Assault of deceased equine, volume 8 million.

    This blog needs to rename itself All Obsessed With Clueless Twits, All the Time.

    That said, this is in itself is a fine post, Mrs. Cracker. It’s just this fucking TOPIC. omg.

  62. 62
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ash Can:

    the road to hell is paved with good intentions

    No it isn’t. That’s just an excuse to do nothing. “I tried to save all those children, but failed, so I’m going to hell.”

  63. 63
    jwb says:

    @Political Observer: Sure, whatever. But I look at the charts over at Princeton Election Consortium and I see that the probability is higher that Obama will get more than the 347EV that is the current most likely scenario than a Romney win. Take that in: Obama has a better chance at a landslide than Romney has of winning. Invest that UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH in popcorn futures.

  64. 64
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jack the Second:

    The time for moral purity is primary elections.

    This x 100000000000000000.

  65. 65
    nitpicker says:

    @Political Observer: Please keep believing all this. I want you thoroughly convinced you’re going to win, because I want enough wingnut tears to bathe in November 7th.

  66. 66
    MariedeGournay says:

    If it makes you feel any better, Betty, I did the same. Though it was in CT and my motives were more about getting a third party that I’d been heavily involved with during my youth foot in the door nationally. Quite a few of us were not too pleased with ‘they’re all the same’ rhetoric, but were more hoping to show Dems there was a good slice of the electorate they could get if they co opted more liberal policies. At the time, there seemed like a real chance to get a third party taken seriously, but in retrospect my point of view might have been skewed. The sheer amount of Green volunteers locally probably gave me false hope. Alas, it did not turn out too well. It’s been especially hard considering over the years I’ve grown to love Gore more simply as a human being.

    As for now, the situation just seems different as well as the electorate. A good portion of the electorate has gone completely insane and I do not want to give their representatives any more power than necessary. I see the current election in terms of a war of attrition. We need to wear these fuckers down to the point we can just cross the lines and bayonet them.

    Anyway, that’s my spiel. Oh, jibeaux? As a composition teacher “a graduate student in rhetoric and composition ” doesn’t explain a goddamn thing.

  67. 67
    Political Observer says:

    @jwb:

    The TRAJECTORY, the direction, of this race is moving back towards Romney. What matters at this point is where it’s moving, not where it is right now.

  68. 68
    Marc says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Ah yes – “Obama worse than Bush”.

    The only question is whether you intentionally serve the interests of the Republican party or whether you’re simply useful to them without realizing it.

  69. 69
    jwb says:

    @Southern Beale: On the other hand, such disrespect, though greatly amplified in the case of Obama, has been true for pretty much every Democrat since at least FDR.

  70. 70
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t get those who STILL say there isn’t a bit of difference between the two.

    One of the most apolitical people I know told me yesterday that she checked on her voting status – Willard’s 47% comment did that for her.

    1. If you don’t have 6000 dollars for Mama’s medicare – in the first year when she gets the vouceher – you have no business voting for Willard.

    2. If you don’t have 2000 dollars to give in taxes so that Willard and his ilk can pay less than 1% in taxes – you have no business voting for Willard.

    3. If you don’t have the money for Grandma/Grandpa’s nursing home bill – you have no business voting for Willard.

    4. If you don’t have the room in your house or the manpower to take care of Grandma/Grandpa when they get thrown out the nursing home – you have no business voting for Willard.

    5. If you actually think that Americans are ENTITLED TO FOOD – you have no business voting for Willard.

    6. If you know any woman who has received medical care through Planned Parenthood – you have no business voting for Willard.

    7. If you know any woman who is on any method of birth control outside of the rhythm method – you have no business voting for Willard.

    8. If you know anyone who is in the military – tell them to google IRAN – because that is where the Neocons will be sending our troops -if that’s not ok with you – then you have no business voting for Willard.

    Damn, do I need to go on?

    Fuck those who think that President Obama was supposed to deliver them unicorns.

  71. 71
    hep kitty says:

    I have to admire your courage in admitting that. Not that it’s your fault. They were determined to steal it just like the last 2 elections.

    I knew Bush was dumb as a rock and that Gore was brilliant, if “wooden”

    That was enough for me.

    Even so, I was willing to give “dumb as a rock” a chance. I never dreamed, not in a million years . . .

  72. 72
    Paul says:

    @Political Observer:

    Very nervous. Especially since Romney stopped advertising in Pennsylvania a long time ago and is about to do the same in OH.

    I really hope it will get closer so that people like you, the Kochs, Adelsohn (war with Iran guy) will waste more of their precious dollars.

    Good luck!

  73. 73
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Political Observer: FIRST DERIVATIVE, BABY!

  74. 74
    TheF79 says:

    Having read far too many comments on this topic here and at CT, I get the moral position that people can’t vote for Obama in good conscience. I don’t personally view voting as a means for expressing my feelings, but I can at least respect that position.

    The comments that confuse me are the tactical arguments that voting third party will move the Democrats to the left. We have as Betty describes here, a case barely a decade old where third party votes to the left of the Democratic party essentially cost an election, installing a truly awful president. So if the hypothesis is that “A third party vote will send a message to the Democrats that my/our views can’t be taken for granted, and this will move the party to the left,” the direction of the party over the last decade since seems like pretty conclusive empirical evidence to refute that hypothesis. While I think there are good intentions at play here, the general election is just a poor mechanism for communicating dissatisfication with a party’s platform or politicians.

    Then of course there are those who actively want a Romney win in order to blow up the world and usher in the progressive vanguard.

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    Two new:
    Iowa: Obama 48%, Romney 44%
    Michigan: Obama 52%, Romney 40%

  76. 76
    Political Observer says:

    is about to do the same in OH. [citation needed]

  77. 77
    jwb says:

    @Political Observer: Did you look at the historical chart of EV estimator or the meta-analysis? Neither show any sort of regression at this point. When there is a change beyond statistical noise you can get back to us.

  78. 78
    The Moar You Know says:

    I love the fact that our template for awesome liberal legislator is a dude that voted for DOMA and DADT.

    @gex: That information is inconvenient to process, so I’m just going to sit back in a self-righteous stew of my own awesomeness and bash the President some more.

    Kidding, of course. I’ll just take a moment to observe that the only way that Romney wins at this point is by feeding the entire population of both California and New York State into a woodchipper, and rich as he is, he doesn’t have that much money.

    So, yeah. Victory, Unlimited Campaign/Corporate Cash, Nervous Yet?, argle bargle.

    I’m thinking “Nervous Yet?” would be a decent band name.

  79. 79
    Todd says:

    The votes in blue states do matter. Big popular vote margins make electoral college vote stealing a lot procure in term of consequences.

  80. 80
    Political Observer says:

    Obama +1 in new Gravis Marketing poll just out, Romney WITHIN MARGIN OF ERROR!

    Things are really breaking his way. This week is Obambi’s Gettysburg.

  81. 81
    giltay says:

    @Rex Everything: Your dispatch fails to mention the open wars in Iran and Pakistan, the US fighting the War on Terror on four fronts, while the economy back home starts stretching and austerity riots start breaking out.

  82. 82
    Political Observer says:

    @Todd:

    And True the Vote will be out in force ;)

    Conservatives always win in the end. Remember that. The GOP is the master of all they survey at this point.

  83. 83
    quannlace says:

    Too. Close. To. Call. Get used to it. This is going down to the wire. We’re in for a very long election night.

    Wanna explain to me how when the polls show Obama way ahead, they’re skewed? But when one shows it close to tied it’s “OMG Horserace! Suck it, Libs.’

  84. 84
    dmsilev says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Beat me to it. It’s not even true though; if you look at Nate Silver’s Now-Cast, Obama’s win probability has been monotonically increasing for about the last two weeks, and if you average out one-day aberrations, it’s more like increasing for the last month straight.

    So, the first derivative has been Obama-positive for a while. “Fortunately” for Romney, the first derivative is decreasing, due to the curve approaching the 100% mark. Thus, the *second* derivative is clearly in Romney’s favor…

  85. 85
    nitpicker says:

    @Political Observer: There’s no data to support your “state polls follow national polls.” In fact, the opposite is true.

  86. 86
    rlrr says:

    @Political Slobserver:

    I thought that was last week and the week before that, and the week before that…

  87. 87
    Political Observer says:

    True the Vote will show up in an UNPRECEDENTED way, and that’s after all the voter list purges.

    We’re going to win, one way or another. And there’s nothing you can do about it.

  88. 88
    Paul says:

    @rikyrah:

    I remember at one point during the health care debate they were discussing whether to allow the public option for those states who were OK with it. Those states that weren’t would be allowed to say no.

    People on dailykos went nuts claiming it wasn’t good enough. They wanted the public option for all states.

    Well, guess what. Now, NOBODY has it!

    I think people on the left sometimes don’t understand how politics work.

  89. 89
    Cacti says:

    @Political Observer:

    Earn those nickels, Political Derp.

    Dance for us little monkey.

  90. 90
    rlrr says:

    @quannlace:

    When they call OH and PA for Obama, it’ll be over.

  91. 91
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Political Observer: PO, there’s a great chart on Mother Jones (at work or I would find it for you) that shows Obama’s polling among whites by region. The only region he is not within the margin of error is the South, where he’s 20points behind Romney. Obama wasn’t going to win most of the south anyway, so the fact that all these whites are driving the national average to near even doesn’t mean shit when the election is decided by the EC.

  92. 92
    aimai says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Well, the problem with voting third party is that it hardly ever causes the other candidate who is closest to your viewpoint to win. In addition, it apparently never causes your chosen candidate to win.

    So, in a two party system (not a parliamentry system) voting for your third party candidate, whether on the right or the left, either results in a loss for your candidate (insufficient traction) or a win for the party least like your candidate (because your vote drew down the available voting population for your second choice candidate).

    In other words, its always like shooting your preferred positions in the foot. You end up voting against the person you would have the most chance of influencing in office (by offering them your vote next time around) and letting in the person you have the least influence on, the guy who represents the party with whom you have nothing in common.

    aimai

  93. 93
    Scott says:

    Betty, I think he was trolling you.

  94. 94
    hep kitty says:

    I’m not wasting my time on stupid people and I’m not whining about it. Anybody who doesn’t know the difference by now is questionably sentient. I’d have better luck talking to a 5-day old cheeseburger.

  95. 95
    jwb says:

    @Political Observer: OBAMA UP 4 IN 1 OCTOBER UNSKEWED TRACKING POLL. CHANGE of +10 OBAMA IN ONE DAY. THAT’S THE CHRISTIE BUMP FOR YOU. FEEL THE MOMENTUM.

    Now go crawl into a hole and cry yourself to sleep.

  96. 96
    dmsilev says:

    Hmmm, all of a sudden the polls aren’t quite so convincing for Romney and our pet troll has shifted to argument B, the “don’t worry, we’ll suppress enough votes to win” approach. Which is also stupid, but in its own different manner.

  97. 97
    The Moar You Know says:

    Then of course there are those who actively want a Romney win in order to blow up the world and usher in the progressive vanguard.

    @TheF79: You are correct, but where do people get this idea from? IT HAS NEVER WORKED. Not even once, not in recorded history, anywhere.

    I might add that it’s never worked the other way around, either.

  98. 98
    Marc says:

    @Cacti:

    The main thing I wonder: Is it paid by the hour or paid by the word?

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    @MariedeGournay:
    What you’re describing is a different kind of strategic voting. Giving a token protest vote to a third party in a relatively safe state is a perfectly reasonable way of sending a message to a national party that there are votes to be had by getting more ideological rather than more centrist. The difference is whether you’re doing it in a state where a few votes might make a big difference, like Florida, or one where the outcome is all but inevitable, like Connecticut.

  100. 100
    Capt. Seaweed says:

    Burn her! She’s a witch!!

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paul: The missing ingredient is awareness that people with their views, no matter how awesome and righteous those views might be, represent a tiny fraction of the populace. Should it be more? Sure. But it ain’t yet. Get to work, dudes.

  102. 102
    El Tiburon says:

    accused of heartlessly casting aside the poor, the innocent victims of pointless wars, the uninsured, the homeless, the mentally ill, women, the LGBT community, people of color,

    Sigh.

    Quite the opposite. When those of us who are horrified about drones killing children (let me say that again: KILLING CHILDREN) and when we bring that up while discussing Obama, we are skewered and marginalized.

    It is difficult to get too terribly excited about ACA or Lily Ledbetter or gays in the military (all programs that positively effect each and every one of us) when we hear about the certain atrocities and other crimes against humanity and liberal ideals committed by an administration we are all heavily invested in.

    So, it does seem that many of the commenters and front pagers here, while not liking the policies, certainly don’t want to discuss them. I guess the fear is if we continue to bring them up, Obama will lose. Which is ludicrous and so many levels.

    I mean: do want a country where we are all so privileged and cushioned while we continue to terrorize a lot of the Muslim world?

  103. 103
    hep kitty says:

    @rikyrah:

    Fuck those who think that President Obama was supposed to deliver them unicorns.

    I thought that was the underlying mantra of this blog. ?? I wake up this morning and it’s an issue all of a sudden?

  104. 104
    dmsilev says:

    @jwb: The “Unskewed” tracker swung ten points in a single day? Why, did Romney release a video of himself bathing in a tub filled with $100 bills? Or, gasp, is “Unskewed” powered by a blind squirrel and a flatworm who failed 4th grade arithmetic?

  105. 105
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Political Observer: OK, now I know you’re a farce. Otherwise, I’ll just have to hunt you down. Shorter PO: Apartheid, here we come!

  106. 106
    flukebucket says:

    @Political Observer:

    Love it. All week last week I heard how Obama was pulling away and it was just a matter of whether it would be a landslide or just a rout.

    I wake up this morning to be breathless voice of George Stephanopolous advising me that as we get closer to the debate the margin is razor thin!!

    Tomorrow we will be back to a landslide and Wednesday Romney will have slipped into a statistical dead heat!

    What a bunch of bull shit all of this is. It is no wonder the majority of Americans pay it no attention at all.

  107. 107
    Cacti says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It is difficult to get too terribly excited about ACA or Lily Ledbetter or gays in the military

    You could have just stopped right there.

    It perfectly encapsulates the myopia of the internet “progressive”.

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Paul: Watching the Packer game yesterday, the only ads I saw were for Obama and Tammy Baldwin. Anecdotal, sure.

  109. 109
    The Moar You Know says:

    OBAMA UP 4 IN 1 OCTOBER UNSKEWED TRACKING POLL

    @jwb: Looks like Unskewed Polls doesn’t want to be remembered as the “Dow 36,000” of the 2012 election cycle, plus there’s money to be grifted if they’re still around in 2016.

  110. 110
    jwb says:

    @dmsilev: I know, 10 points in one day on a tracker. Hardly possible if they have a decent sample, but that is in fact what was on the website the last time I checked. I have to imagine that the “unskewed” result is backwards (which would still be a+2 gain for Obama in one day), and the folks running the site are, like our own PO, such nitwits that they didn’t notice.

  111. 111
    aimai says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Why are drones considered drastically different from all out war? Definitionally we killed more people in Fallujah than any drone strike. We are killing more people in Afghanistan, children too, than any drone strike. Are those ok? If not, why not? If the drone strike killing X number of children prevents another all out war killing X plus plus children is it virtuous, or not?

    This is an imperial country with a massive war machine. The only way to ratchet it back is to slowly push, push, push on the only party which is at least willing to recognize that all out war is a bad idea. Not voting and putting the full time war party back in power will neither slow the use of drones nor prevent the use of mass bombing of civilian targets (such as Iran). So the utilitarian side of your argument is totally lacking in, well, utilitarianism and the philosophical side is kind of absurd. To punish one party you permit the other to get into power and your message is supposed to read “I oppose drones?” But the message you are sending is “I am apolitical and don’t care about actual results. I just want to keep my own hands clean.”

    aimai

  112. 112
    JWR says:

    “a graduate student in rhetoric and composition..”

    Mental masturbation, pure and simple. A trade in search of an audience.

  113. 113
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Political Observer: PO isn’t telling anyone that his MARGIN OF ERROR is +- 12%

  114. 114
    nitpicker says:

    @Political Observer:

    True the Vote will show up in an UNPRECEDENTED way, and that’s after all the voter list purges.

    Oh, come now, PO, we all remember the precedent.

  115. 115
    giltay says:

    @General Stuck: I don’t think fixed terms make third parties nonviable. E.g. France is a republic with fixed terms—longer than the US—and they have several third parties in the NA and Senate. They’re grouped into left and right around the two main parties, but there are a significant number of them.

    I think it’s mostly inertia and the fact that US elections are so focused on the presidential race, where marginal parties have the least chance of winning.

  116. 116
    burnspbesq says:

    @Palli:

    Paul Wellstone did serve the American people

    Really? I invite you to remind those who have forgotten about all of the important legislation Wellstone developed, introduced, and sheparded to passage and signature by the President.

  117. 117
    Paul says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Yes, they are a tiny,tiny portion of the populace. But these are all part of the people that are active in politics, contacting their congress people etc. Thus, they have a bigger influence than most people. And I assume this is a part of why nobody has the public option today.

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    Nervous yet?

    No. A little sleepy. You, OTOH, sound very shrill. Let me know ehn you’ve convinced yourself of your own BS.

  119. 119
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @aimai: You are exactly right if one’s preferred candidate’s positions can be shown to be maximized in the candidate one does not prefer. However, this is often a subjective exercise and doesn’t take into consideration dealbreaker positions the non-preferred candidate may hold.

  120. 120
    Soonergrunt says:

    @eemom: What, you can’t wait for me to weigh in a couple of days later?
    Actually, I’ve got a post sitting in the queue right now. I haven’t posted because I’m not sure it’s needed.

  121. 121
    PeakVT says:

    @aimai: So, in a two party system (not a parliamentry system)…

    Actually, the problem is due to first-past-the-post elections. If you look at the UK, you will see the number of seats doesn’t really reflect the popular vote because the country has first-past-the-post single-member districts, and the Liberals end up splitting the vote fairly often (though with which party varies). With IRV or live runoffs, people could vote for a 3rd party in the first round without much worry. OTOH, voting for a 4th or 5th parties still can be counter-productive, as the French left found out in the 2002 race for President of France.

    But we’re not going get rid of the FPTP system nationwide anytime soon, so voting 3rd party in most places for most races remains counter-productive.

  122. 122

    @Political Observer:

    Nervous yet?

    What is it with you and the feelings? (This is how I can tell you’re always the same troll, even when the name changes).

    Why should anyone FEAR a Romney victory? Anger maybe. Deep sadness for a country that decided to let itself be sucked dry by plutocrats, sure. Hatred, for the ones who’ll do the deed.

    But fear? No, sorry. This isn’t a fearful bunch.

    Look, if you want to rhetorically lick your master’s balls in public, that’s your business. But if this urge to instill fear in others is what drives your politics, you are one seriously fucked-up individual.

  123. 123
    Roger Moore says:

    @dmsilev:

    The “Unskewed” tracker swung ten points in a single day? Why, did Romney release a video of himself bathing in a tub filled with $100 bills? Or, gasp, is “Unskewed” powered by a blind squirrel and a flatworm who failed 4th grade arithmetic?

    I think it’s simpler than either of those. “Unskewed Polls” is basically driven by Rasmussen’s numbers: they adjust all the other polls to match Rasmussen’s voter identification and their expected breakdown of independent voters. Now Rasmussen is starting its trademark swing back to reality so it looks good on election day, and that’s dragging all the other “unskewed” polls back to reality too. That can create a huge swing.

  124. 124
    Soonergrunt says:

    @TheF79: The structure of the government and the electoral system we have in this country specifically mitigates against third parties.
    It was designed to foster two large monolithic parties nested in the wings and fighting over the ideological center. Only parties that hold the center (and are thus moderated from their extremes) can maintain power for very long.

  125. 125
    njorl says:

    @Ash Can: Paving the road to hell with good intentions makes the return trip easier.

  126. 126
    RSA says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    I don’t really have the patience for a guy who doesn’t understand the difference between people being practical about living in a Manichean system and “Manichean monsters.”

    That’s a great way of putting it. I’ve always been confused by accusations that people who are acting pragmatically are being Manichean. I blame my lack of a classical education.

  127. 127
    burnspbesq says:

    @Political Observer:

    Umm, dude, there are these things called “electoral votes,” that are kinda consequential in Presidential elections. Among other things, their existence renders national polls largely irrelevant.

    How, pray tell, does your boy get to 270 without Ohio or Florida?

  128. 128
    Baron Elmo says:

    @Political Observer:

    Lemme break it down for ya, nimrod: the popular vote isn’t what will take Romney down, it’s the Electoral College. Here’s how it works:

    1) Romney will hold all the states McCain won in 2008. Of course, that’s only a piddling 173 electoral votes.

    2) Therefore, the election is down to how many 2008 Obama states Romney can flip. So far, the only Sure Things he has in his column are Indiana, that 1-vote district in Nebraska, and probably North Carolina.

    3) Romney has more or less reduced his campaign to eight battleground states: Ohio, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and New Hampshire.

    4) There’s no way in hell that Romney will win New Hampshire.

    5) Of the remaining seven states, Romney is only leading in one: North Carolina.

    6) Therefore, to make it to 270 (spotting him Indiana, North Carolina and the vote from Nebraska), Romney needs to all but run the table with the rest. He can lose Iowa OR Nevada OR Colorado, but if he loses any two of those three, OR he goes down in Virginia, Ohio or Florida, the election is over.

    7) Nate Silver: “…if you had the election today, we think he’d have a 97 or 98 percent chance of winning it. There’s not too much doubt.”

    Still, true believers gotta believe — and trolls gotta troll. Which one are you, laddiebuck?

    (As if we didn’t know already…)

  129. 129
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I personally think it’s just a whole lot easier to decide which candidate you prefer and vote for that candidate. The calculus where we have to decide which candidate we most want to lose and then maximize our votes to the candidate that is most likely to beat that candidate seems pretty convoluted.

    And why is voting for your preferred candidate a bad thing if it will, for instance, cost Mitt Romney Virginia? Should all the voters on the right adhere to our partisan system and therefore give Romney the best shot at beating Obama?

    And where do we draw the line in the future? If John McCain decides to switch parties prior to 2020 and run for President as a Democrat, are we oath-bound to vote for the candidate we voted against only twelve years earlier? After all, Liz Cheney might be the Republican candidate!

    ETA: By the way, I’m not particularly wed to any of my arguments. Just food for thought.

  130. 130
    jibeaux says:

    @MariedeGournay: Oh, it does to me, though.

  131. 131
    Marc says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    We construct our coalitions before the election, not after. It’s not obvious to me that there is any intrinsic problem with doing this – as a sufficiently large and disciplined movement can drag their half of the electorate very far over and still have sufficient allies to carry the day in the general election.

    Of course, this works better for the Tea Party Borg than it does for the Judean People’s Front. Thus the need for the word “large” above.

    And this is why I’m really puzzled by the logic of a Green vote in, say, MA – as opposed to getting Jill Stein to actually win a Democratic primary and get elected to the House or Senate. She’d be a devil of a lot more effective that way. If there is one failing of the current system that does drive me bats it’s that our most liberal states frequently have bland middle-of-the-road senators in places where actual liberals could win a general election.

  132. 132
    Rex Everything says:

    @Marc:

    The only question is whether you intentionally serve the interests of the Republican party or whether you’re simply useful to them without realizing it.

    I just criticized the president for (1) extending the GOP’s tax cut, (2) expanding the GOP’s assault on due process, (3) continuing the GOP’s commitment to international aggression, and (4) escalating the GOP’s war on whistleblowers.

    I could never begin to be as useful to the GOP as the Democrats are.

  133. 133
    Some Dude says:

    @Betty Cracker

    I just wanted to say that understand exactly how you feel. I voted for Nader in 2000 and I still–like you– regard it as the worst thing I have ever done as a human being. And I still feel this way even though I lived in Indiana at the time (where Bush won by 20 points) and that I hedged my fucking stupid ass protest vote by spending weekends getting out the vote for Gore in poor neighborhoods in Benton Harbor, MI.

    I was so fucking dumb because I believed that shit about there wasn’t a difference between Gore and Bush and what Nader was offering at the time wasn’t even radical, it was simply what I regarded as Democratic positions on most issues that would have been completely non-controversial in the 70s.

    I regretted it IMMEDIATELY with the first fucking executive orders signed by Bush and then everything that came after for the next eight months, waaaaaayyyy before Sept. 11 when things got worse than I could imagine in my nightmares.

    I still can’t believe I was so stupid and even though my one vote in Indiana was so far out of the margin for making a difference it still bothers me to no end twelve years later.

  134. 134
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Marc:

    And this is why I’m really puzzled by the logic of a Green vote in, say, MA – as opposed to getting Jill Stein to actually win a Democratic primary and get elected to the House or Senate. She’d be a devil of a lot more effective that way. If there is one failing of the current system that does drive me bats it’s that our most liberal states frequently have bland middle-of-the-road senators in places where actual liberals could win a general election.

    It has to do with the idea that one cannot change the institution and would only be one voice of many, and better to change the system and so on and so on.
    It has no basis in logic. One’s voice must be louder in the House with on 435 members or better the Senate with only 100 Senators than one can be trying to move an entire party of millions of people from within the masses.
    Yes, Jill Stein could be a hell of an effective Senator or Congresswoman. IF that was what Jill Stein was really after. I suspect for a lot of these people, it’s not. They’re really after whatever money they can make without having to actually take responsibility.

  135. 135
    Ash Can says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): You don’t understand the saying. It means that you could be doing harm even if you think you’re doing a good thing, with the underlying notion of having to think things through before you act.

  136. 136
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    @Scott S.:

    Wellstone was an awesome human being—seriously, not a speck of snark in that statement—but when the only Pure Uncompromised Liberal Legislator has been dead for almost a decade, it kinda says something, doesn’t it?

    Yeah, it says Bernie Sanders needs a better publicist.

  137. 137
    El Tiburon says:

    @aimai:

    Why are drones considered drastically different from all out war?

    While the results are the same and on a much larger scale during an “all out war” there are differences.

    When countries are at war, it is a declared action with certain rules of engagement. In the US, starting a war is supposed to follow certain guidelines with the complicit acceptance and willingness of the population via our elected officials.

    Drones are simply tools of terror that indiscriminately kill, without warning, people as they are engaged in their seemingly normal lives. It involves bombing people in countries we are not at war with. So, if you are a person in one of these countries, you live your entire life with the fear that a bomb could kill you or your child at any time. Without warning.

    At least with war, as disgusting and horrific it is, the population of those countries understands it is at war and can therefore choose a course of action.

  138. 138
    Ash Can says:

    @Political Observer: Hey Doug, you’re overdoing it now. Dial it back a little; you’re giving the game away.

  139. 139
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Ash Can: I always took it to mean that intentions are irrelevant, it’s the outcome of actions that really matters.

  140. 140
    Mandalay says:

    @Jack the Second:

    The time for moral purity is primary elections…Even if you can’t bump them off the ticket, that’s when the message will get through that they need to rethink their policies.

    This sounds so worthy and appealing, but has no practical value in the case of the President. The Democrats did not have a 2012 primary, and during his 2008 campaign Obama was hardly promising to persecute whistleblowers, massively increase drone attacks that slaughter innocent people, maintain detention without trial, and authorize the murder of American citizens.

    Had he done so then the Democrats would not have nominated him (though the Republicans might).

    All these attack-Freddie threads remind me of the joke that you don’t have to be able to run faster than the bear, you only have to be able to run faster than your hunting buddy.

    Likewise, many here are arguing that Obama should not have to face criticism for his policies, he only needs to be less evil than Romney and Bush and everything is OK.

  141. 141
    El Tiburon says:

    @aimai:

    Not voting and putting the full time war party back in power will neither slow the use of drones nor prevent the use of mass bombing of civilian targets (such as Iran).

    Why this assumption of not voting? Or an assumption that I somehow support Romney?

    Yes, I will vote for Obama. Yes, I will continue to criticize Obama. Yes, I will continue to believe Obama is tending to do more harm than good with regarding liberal and progressive policies and ideals.

    And yes, I understand a Romney administration will be even more destructive.

  142. 142
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Don’t you get it stupid lib? The polls are LYING! Willard will win every state including Illinois and Hawai’i! UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH will rule the day! The rest will be cheated! BOOK! MARK! IT!!

  143. 143
    Chyron HR says:

    @Political Observer:

    I know you guys think you’re still living in the 50s, but poll taxes, literacy tests, and all your other “vote truing” schemes have long since been declared illegal and/or unconsitutional. Sorry!

  144. 144
    MBunge says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: “And why is voting for your preferred candidate a bad thing if it will, for instance, cost Mitt Romney Virginia?”

    I think it’s a reaction to anti-Obama voting based on…

    1. Obama’s economic leadership looking pretty damn good when compared to austerity-loving Euro goverments.

    2. Obama’s record of more and greater liberal policy achievements than any President since LBJ.

    3. The utter horribleness of Rommey and what the GOP would do if they get back into power.

    When folks who otherwise claim to be on the left say they’re not voting for Obama, I think there’s a negative reaction because if you can’t vote for THIS guy in THIS situation, why have you ever voted for a Democrat before or would in the future?

    Mike

  145. 145
    Scott says:

    @El Tiburon: Then you’re not who she’s talking about.

  146. 146
    WaterGirl says:

    At 18, I voted for Reagon. I just couldn’t believe Robin Atlas, my classmate friend who was telling me about this break-in at the watergate hotel.

    I was sure that if something like that had happened that it would be all over the news. And it wasn’t, not yet. Robin, wherever you are, I hope you forgive me.

  147. 147
    Nickws says:

    @Political Observer:

    We could be looking at this thing moving back into Michigan and Pennsylvania by next week

    “Could be”, eh?

    Christ, that’s some sadass political chestthumping right there. You’re not doing it properly if you have to resort to wimpy qualifications about maybe, coulda, perhaps.

    “Could be.” Huh.

  148. 148
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: “Yes, I will continue to believe Obama is tending to do more harm than good with regarding liberal and progressive policies and ideals.”

    Then you are a moron. I mean, be disappointed because Obama’s not lefty enough? Sure. But before you can reasonably think Obama’s doing more harm than good, you have to come up with some practical alternative that would be better than Obama. For example, there is ZERO reason to believe Hilary would have been any better on any liberal or progressive issue than Obama has been and a very good chance that Hilary or any other President would have failed to get any health care reform through Congress.

    Mike

  149. 149
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    So Cheney was better?

    Frankly, IMO, yes. No one knows what would have happened in an alternate universe where Gore became President, but my belief has always been that had 9/11 happened on President Gore’s watch, the Republicans would have impeached him for some trumped up reason and then President Lieberman would have started World War 3.

  150. 150
    General Stuck says:

    @giltay:

    It’s not all fixed terms. It is also a reflection of the basic political spectrum of a country’s citizens. As well as parliamentarian systems focused on electing parties and not individual people running for office. This country has always had a bifurcated and broad disagreement between two basic regions of the country. I think the founders knew this and gave us a more static republic model. But whatever it is, it has always been a two party country, with very minimal success of third party efforts. And that was true before we had big media existing as gatekeepers to the show.

  151. 151
    El Tiburon says:

    @Cacti:

    It perfectly encapsulates the myopia of the internet “progressive”.

    You know I think the same could be said about people like you.

    You get so excited about these laws that it shuts out the horrific policies that are causing so much terror and harm across the globe.

    In other words, it is hard to get too excited about domestically allowing gays in the military or the ability to marry (which I support 100%) while supporting brutal regimes that kill gays.

    It is hard to get too excited about ACA which could save hundreds of thousands of lives (including potentially that of myself or my children) when we continue to indiscriminately drop bombs on small children in Muslim countries.

    Do you get it? As much as I am grateful for the progress we are making with gay rights and women rights and so on, we must also face head-on the terrible things Obama continues to do.

    Why is this so difficult to comprehend?

  152. 152
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So I’ll ask you the same question I’ve asked several anti-drone single-issue voters:

    The majority of the drones we’re using right now are in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re being deployed to try and prevent Taliban fighters from crossing the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan and attacking the US troops that are stationed in Afghanistan.

    One candidate has a timetable to remove US troops from Afghanistan in 2014, which means that the frequency of drone attacks will plummet since they will no longer need to be used to protect US troops.

    The other candidate plans to cancel that timetable, keep US troops in Afghanistan indefinitely, and start a war with Iran that will probably increase the number of drone attacks.

    So if, as you claim, your most important issue is drones, why are you refusing to vote for the candidate whose policies will reduce the number of drone attacks by the US?

  153. 153
    Dave says:

    @MoeLarryAndJesus:

    Yeah, it says Bernie Sanders needs a better publicist.

    Remember, Bernie voted against money to shut down Gitmo.

  154. 154
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    drones killing children

    The stupidity of people who seem to think that the senseless deaths of innocent civilians in war had never occurred prior to the first drone strike is quite remarkable.

    The question, as I’m sure you understand completely but choose to ignore, is not whether civilians are killed. The question is whether reasonable steps are being taken to minimize civilian casualties. You are entirely free to address the real question. I have no expectation that you will.

    Keep on flinging that shibboleth. Flinging shibboleths seems be all you can handle intellectually.

  155. 155
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It is hard to get too excited about ACA which could save hundreds of thousands of lives (including potentially that of myself or my children) when we continue to indiscriminately drop bombs on small children in Muslim countries.

    45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance. Some of them are small children, or not so small children.

    But as far as you’re concerned, those 45,000 fellow Americans should continue to die every year if it means no more drone attacks.

  156. 156
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    It involves bombing people in countries we are not at war with

    False. Read the AUMF.

  157. 157
    Rex Everything says:

    @Mandalay: Exactly right. The BJ threads and comments have done a spectacular job of bearing out everything Freddie wrote. You bring these things up & you’re basically told not to talk about them (Betty’s “quit whining about it” is typical), that you’re a Republican operative, and that you’re acting from self-serving motives.

    I can’t count the times I’ve seen the argument “become Paul Begala or you’re a traitor” in the past 2 days alone (just not put as concisely as Freddie put it).

    Freddie: Let’s talk about the chain of responsibility with a voter in a representative democracy at one end, and a dead innocent Muslim at the other.
    BJ: No, let’s talk about YOU and Ralph Nader and how your topic should never be aired, you Romneyite drama queen!

  158. 158
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So if, as you claim, your most important issue is drones, why are you refusing to vote for the candidate whose policies will reduce the number of drone attacks by the US?

    Perhaps because he’d rather vote for a candidate who will stop those attacks completely, of which there are two running (Jill Stein and Gary Johnson?)

  159. 159
    El Tiburon says:

    @MBunge:

    But before you can reasonably think Obama’s doing more harm than good, you have to come up with some practical alternative that would be better than Obama.

    Speaking of morons. This is such utter bullshit.

    So, according to you, before I can ‘reasonably’ criticize I must come up with an alternative?

    Do you see how fucking stupid this is? I can’t criticize because Obama is better than the alternatives?

    In other words: STFU unless you got better.

    Such stupidity.

    Le

  160. 160
    shortstop says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, it would be, if he wouldn’t bollocks it up in his usual hamhanded way and end up getting eaten by the Kraken himself.

  161. 161
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    DNFTT people.

  162. 162
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    But as far as you’re concerned, those 45,000 fellow Americans should continue to die every year if it means no more drone attacks.

    False equivalency. If someone doesn’t support the terrible ACA, that does not mean that they want Americans to go without health care. Stop the intellectual dishonesty.

  163. 163
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Why is this so difficult to comprehend

    It’s not at all difficult to comprehend. You’re willing to risk a Romney win, and everything that entails, in order to expiate the guilt that you have bizarrely internalized.

    That, my friend, makes you a monster.

  164. 164
    General Stuck says:

    @General Stuck:

    And almost always when third parties in this country do get some votes, those votes almost always are to the detriment of one of the two parties they most closely align with. I can’t think of a single thing more parties would help with, other than satisfy some personal need of those who would vote for them. And simultaneously, as well as ironically damage the broader cause they seek to promote.

  165. 165
    NR says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, according to you, before I can ‘reasonably’ criticize I must come up with an alternative?

    “Excuse me, Mr. Engineer? That bridge you built? It just collapsed.”

    “Yeah, well, let’s see you come up with a better alternative!”

  166. 166
    shortstop says:

    @WaterGirl: That break-in occurred four years before Reagan first ran for president and eight years before he got the nomination. He didn’t run for governor of CA after 1970, so when did you vote for him?

  167. 167
    NR says:

    @burnspbesq: Shorter burnspbesq: The guy who kills children with a D after his name is better than the guy who kills children with an R after his name because shut up, that’s why.

  168. 168
    Jack the Second says:

    @Mandalay: Were you not paying attention when a Federal inmate won 41% of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic primary? Granted, the President can’t tack towards “not being black”, but if a bunch of racist fucktards can run what was really a very successful primary challenge on a sitting President, there’s no reason people of decent moral conviction can’t aw well.

  169. 169
    Yutsano says:

    @NR: So you’re voting for Willard then.

  170. 170
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    False. Read the AUMF.

    Oh right. Is that the document that says King President can do whatever whenever for whatever?

    If so, then why does the administration not even admit to drone strikes?

    And just because the US Congress is worthless and will not address AUMF (or Patriot Act)does not really make it valid per our discussion does it?

    Or I guess you give validity to the OLC letter okaying torture? Or that the Pres can kill US citizens on his say-so?

  171. 171
    Violet says:

    I signed up for that vote-swapping website that got shut down. The one where people in safe red states could vote for Nader in exchange for someone in a swing state voting for Gore. Then the government said that was illegal. So…I dutifully cast my irrelevant vote for Gore. I know, I know, popular vote and all. Still made no difference to the outcome.

  172. 172
    shortstop says:

    Have to admit I’m mystified by how much enjoyment a lot of people seem to get out of arguing with purity trolls. There’s nothing they want so much as constant attention — they sure as hell don’t want political victory — and I’m disinclined to spend valuable time giving it to them. I know some people can’t get enough of these confrontations, but there’s such a dreary sameness to all of them, and no one’s mind ever gets changed by what’s said here. Must conclude that for some people, the argument is the end, not the means.

  173. 173
    Chyron HR says:

    @NR:

    I don’t need to have an alternative.

    So that line from a few minutes ago about how you just wanted an alternative to the “terrible ACA” was all bullshit. Go figure.

  174. 174
    Dave says:

    @NR:

    False equivalency. If someone doesn’t support the terrible ACA, that does not mean that they want Americans to go without health care. Stop the intellectual dishonesty.

    The fuck it is. Come up with a better alternative THAT WOULD HAVE PASSED in our dysfunctional Congressional system. If you don’t support the ACA, then you may as well be telling people w/o health care to go die in a corner. Because that is all we could get.

    I’ve never seen a cadre of people more committed to making the perfect the enemy of the good.

  175. 175
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Mandalay:

    Likewise, many here are arguing that Obama should not have to face criticism for his policies, he only needs to be less evil than Romney and Bush and everything is OK.

    I haven’t seen anyone suggesting that. I have seen people pointing out that while you may not be completely enamored of this President’s record, his opponent will definitely not be better on your most important issues, and will likely be worse on any number of other issues that are pretty important, and it doesn’t make any sense to risk throwing the election to that guy.

  176. 176
    Mandalay says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, it does seem that many of the commenters and front pagers here, while not liking the policies, certainly don’t want to discuss them.

    This.

    Very few have chosen to address what Freddie actually wrote. It all descends into attacking the messenger, or insisting that Obama-is-not-as-bad-as-Romney-so-shut-up.

  177. 177
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    It’s not at all difficult to comprehend. You’re willing to risk a Romney win, and everything that entails, in order to expiate the guilt that you have bizarrely internalized.

    This is such bizarre logic. So criticism is just not allowed in your little world? And it us lowly little liberal commenters who threaten a second term; not Obama’s gross conduct that involves bombing the shit out of little children.

    That, my friend, makes you a monster.

    And that I am disgusted by the little children being blown apart makes me the monster and makes Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

    Winning!

  178. 178
    different-church-lady says:

    @Political Observer: Has never heard of the electoral college.

  179. 179
    LanceThruster says:

    @Mark S.:

    Kraken some wise!

  180. 180
    aimai says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    If your preferred candidate is the far right guy, Goode, it will “cost Romney Virginia” without getting Goode into office. So its basically a protest vote against the kind of Republican Values and Policies Romney holds that creates an in for the kind of Democratic policies and values Obama holds. Either way if you “preferred” policies are Goode’s “super Republican” policies you lose out. If your third party candidate is Jill Stein, say, you might (possibly) cost Obama the win without in any way furthering Stein’s goals/policies/values since you will end up throwing the election to Romney, her polar opposite.

    There’s something weird to me about voting purity–that is, the kind of voting that presumes that the most moral thing is the solipsistic thing. By definition democracy is not a solipsistic act. Its not a bunch of social and emotional idiots with their idiolect stumbling into a voting booth and pulling the lever for the prettiest color. The entire thrust of democracy is that you look around you and try to figure out what is best for the group, and try to get enough of the group on your side to martial votes, and try to think for the good of the group about how to husband and spend group resources.

    Although to a certain extent some of the founders believed that self interest couldn’t/shouldn’t be canceled out and that voters should vote their separate interests they though that the end result would be a competing marketplace of ideas and a kind of balancing of (for example) agrarian and non agrarian interests. A “winner take all” and a scorched earth approach to the other voters and their interests is incredibly destructive to the entire idea of democratic self government.

    aimai

  181. 181
    shortstop says:

    @LanceThruster: Ooooh, that’s good.

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Perhaps because he’d rather vote for a candidate who will stop those attacks completely, of which there are two running (Jill Stein and Gary Johnson?)

    Oh, sweetie. You’re so adorable and naive. I bet you still call the two major candidates “Republicrats,” don’t you?

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I, too, voted for Nader in 2000. And while it made absolutely no difference here in solid blue California, I’ve regretted that vote ever since because it’s a symbol of how stupid and naive I was to believe that both parties are the same and Gore would have done the same things that Bush did.

    Unfortunately, it looks like you are incapable of learning from experience, which will lead to a sad, hard life of making the same mistakes over and over again.

    False equivalency. If someone doesn’t support the terrible ACA, that does not mean that they want Americans to go without health care. Stop the intellectual dishonesty.

    That’s not the point. El Tib is terribly, terribly concerned about all of the people dying in drone attacks overseas, so much so that he says that he is willing to sacrifice things like health insurance reform if that means the attacks will stop.

    I’m just pointing out to him that it means sacrificing the lives of 45,000 Americans every year. If he’s okay with that in exchange for stopping drone attacks, he needs to say so.

  183. 183
    gwangung says:

    This is such bizarre logic. So criticism is just not allowed in your little world?

    This is a bizarre reading of what he wrote.

  184. 184
    jwb says:

    @shortstop: I’m not really following it—too much melodramatic moral posturing—but skimming through the thread it seems that the purity trolls have now started arguing with each other.

  185. 185
    eemom says:

    1. Thousandth thread on same argument in five days.

    2. People leaping at opportunity to argue with spambot-grade republican troll.

    And yet, HERE I AM.

    [headdesk]

    help. I needz it.

  186. 186
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @aimai: There’s something weird to me about insisting that anyone who doesn’t vote for either mainstream candidate is doing it for “purity” reasons. It’s almost as if the two mainstream parties are subverting the entire Democratic process by pretending to be held hostage by each other.

  187. 187
    El Tiburon says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    I have seen people pointing out that while you may not be completely enamored of this President’s record, his opponent will definitely not be better on your most important issues, and will likely be worse on any number of other issues that are pretty important, and it doesn’t make any sense to risk throwing the election to that guy.

    I don’t think there is any disagreement that Romney would be much much worse on all these issues. Has anyone here said anything to the contrary?

    This is about Obama and why many of us are so disappointed. This DOES NOT MEAN we are going to vote for Romney. It MAY mean some of us may not vote not vote at all. And frankly, I can’t really argue with that stance.

    My criticism comes from a place of wanting to push Obama to do the right thing.

    But to withhold criticism out of fear is very anti-American.

  188. 188
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I see Tom Tomorrow’s gettin’ his firebagger on with today’s Droney The Drone comic. Right on cue.

    Plus that “remember, kids!” approach to ironically-cutesify evil stuff is SO FUCKING TIRED

  189. 189
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @El Tiburon: This DOES NOT MEAN we are going to vote for Romney. It MAY mean some of us may not vote not vote at all.

    Not a dime’s worth of difference.

  190. 190
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: What he actually wrote was that people are mean to him on the internet, and that’s mean. That was “the message.”

  191. 191
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Very few have chosen to address what Freddie actually wrote.

    What Freddie actually wrote is that anyone who doesn’t adopt his black-and-white, Good vs. Evil view of the world is a “Manichean monster.”

    If you don’t get how funny that is, I suspect that, like Freddie, you don’t know what “Manichean” means. Hint: a Manichean would never use phrases like “on balance” or “overall” or “I disagree with that policy, but I like these others.”

    Frankly, people have been kinder to Freddie than they probably should given how stupid the original claims were. If he projected any harder, Prometheus would be showing three times a day in his living room.

  192. 192
    LanceThruster says:

    @shortstop:

    Prepare yourself for the Zingerpocalypse.

  193. 193
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @MBunge: Bunge, when is that not going to be the calculus? The candidates on the right keep getting progressively worse so we’ll always have to vote for whomever is best situated to ensure their defeat.

    Where does that end? When are we free to vote for the candidate we prefer instead of grouping together to vote for the candidate we’re most afraid of?

    We’ll be saying the same thing in 2016 if Christie gets the nom, or Ryan, or whoever.

  194. 194
    different-church-lady says:

    @Political Observer: Back when I hung around on a real estate message board (’06-’08), there was this guy who would once a day post some rah-rah about how great the real estate market was in Las Vegas. When he started, Vegas was already showing signs of softening, and when it collapsed he continued on without missing a beat, as though nothing had happened.

    We never did figure out if he was a paid troll or just and passionate idiot. And we’re never going to figure it out this time either.

  195. 195
    hep kitty says:

    @Citizen Alan: Um, no. I don’t believe 911 would have happened on Gore’s watch. Just, no.

  196. 196
    Tom65 says:

    How many of you purists take part in the process? How many of you do anything more than show up every four years and bitch about the choices?

    I thought so.

  197. 197
    Cacti says:

    @Dave:

    False equivalency. If someone doesn’t support the terrible ACA, that does not mean that they want Americans to go without health care.

    NR is another member of the “noble failure” school of “progressive” politics.

  198. 198
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    OTOH, drones have a much smaller footprint than manned aircraft, so they make it much easier to get involved in low intensity warfare. The big problem I see with drones is that they encourage the kind of defensive imperialism that winds up with us dragged into all kinds of conflicts that really aren’t our business. The problem is that’s a much more subtle and sophisticated argument than “ZOMG DRONEZ!” and doesn’t make nearly as good a soundbite.

    Drones didn’t get us involved in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    And some Balloon Juicers and Glenn Greenwald keep trying to pretend that the US is the only country which has or uses drones.

    And if no country, including the US, should not get involved in conflicts which are not their business, then the UN should be abolished immediately.

    On the other topic of this thread, I cannot believe that Freddie and others are revisiting the pointless idea of the purity of political candidates a month before the election. This seems like an intentional clutching at irrelevance. I could see the championing of more progressive Congressional candidates months ago, when it might matter.

    But this stuff is little more than a feeble cry for attention. Or DougJ is really Freddie.

  199. 199
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s not the point. El Tib is terribly, terribly concerned about all of the people dying in drone attacks overseas, so much so that he says that he is willing to sacrifice things like health insurance reform if that means the attacks will stop.

    You should really stop with your policy of making shit up. I have never said or implied anything like this.

    In fact, I clearly stated that these polices, which I support, “effect all of us positively.”

    What I said was, and pay attention: It’s hard to get too excited about them when at the same time we are bombing little children.

    Is it not acceptable to be happy with the good policies and very upset about the terrible policies?

    But also too: do we accept having AWESOME health care and gays in the military WHILE accept indiscriminate drone strikes? Cant we fight to eradicate the latter while celebrating the former?

  200. 200

    @Rex Everything:

    Let’s talk about the chain of responsibility with a voter in a representative democracy at one end, and a dead innocent Muslim at the other.

    And what about the chain of responsibility with that voter on one end, and several millions of people losing their health insurance, losing their now-legal marriages, and getting bombed in Iran in a Romney administration on the other?

    Several of us have tried to engage on the drone policy. The ponyprogs won’t bite. Because they have no workable alternative.

  201. 201
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Rex Everything: Projection. It’s not just for movie theaters anymore apparently.

  202. 202
    El Tiburon says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Not a dime’s worth of difference.

    Agreed. But I can certainly understand. I’m not saying I agree with not voting, but I do understand.

    Let me ask you: is there a step too far that would prevent you from voting for Obama? I mean, is there anything he could do that would make you stay home?

  203. 203
    hep kitty says:

    This is kinda fun to watch, considering I’ve been on both sides now. Only, thank God I was raised and remained a Dem!

  204. 204
    Cacti says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I mean, is there anything he could do that would make you stay home?

    Start a war with Iran.

  205. 205
    El Tiburon says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    Because they have no workable alternative.

    STOP DROPPING DRONE BOMBS.

    How is that? Is that a workable alternative?

    This is the other infuriating aspect of drone warfare: It does no good. It only makes them hate us more. We will never eradicate Al Queda. We will never eradicate hate.

    We only empower it by doing such stupid shit like drone bombing.

  206. 206
    Suffern ACE says:

    @hep kitty: I also don’t believe that Gore had a pre-existing goal to start five wars in five years already in place. There is no democratic party equivalent of Wolfowitz.

  207. 207

    @El Tiburon:

    STOP DROPPING DRONE BOMBS.

    And then what?

    The remnants of AQ look up at the empty sky, then look at each other and say ‘Awesome! Our work is done here, my brother! Let’s go back to the tent/cave/compound and watch tv! I have Breaking Bad on DVD!”

    How is that? Is that a workable alternative?

    No. Really, it’s not.

  208. 208
    MikeJ says:

    I love how those who have taken up the white man’s burden refer to people in war zones in exactly the same way the anti-muslim freaks do. “It only makes them hate us more” has the same acknowledgement of humanity as “they hate us for our freedom.”

  209. 209
    different-church-lady says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:

    What is it with you and the feelings?

    That’s how PsyOps works, silly.

    Still, can’t figure out why he’d think he has any impact with the tactic by trying to get about a hundred people in an obscure corner of the interweb who aren’t going to change their vote no matter what to start to fret about things. Perhaps he’s doing the PsyOps on himself more than anyone else.

  210. 210
    FlipYrWhig says:

    OK, can we all agree that death sucks, so that we can then go on to discuss what could be done by various proxies to minimize death?

    Because, you know, nimrods caterwauling for attention about how their consciences are uniquely heavily burdened by the idea that someone somewhere is dying when he doesn’t need to be… this whole thing is getting exhausting.

  211. 211
    Woodrowfan says:

    I keep hearing purity trolls saying “I can’t vote for the lesser of two evils, or I am tired of voting for X” Well guess what Binky, it ain’t all about you! It’s about supporting whichever candidate will do the best for society as a whole, or at least do the least damage.

    There’s no real moral difference between the Randoid who votes for the republican who cuts social spending because “they’re all a bunch of parasites” and the Nadarite who refuses to help defeat the same republican because the Democrat isn’t a real Progressive. Well boo-fing hoo. I’m sure the kids who go to bed hungry because food stamps got cut, or the person who loses their spouse to illness because the repukes cut Medicare, or the homeless vet who lives out of a dumpster because the VA budget was cut will all understand that your oh-so-delicate sensitivities couldn’t let you support anyone with less than a 100% pure Progressive record.

  212. 212
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    But I will admit that my spidey-sense failed me on Bush back then: I had no idea how bad he would be

    Hell, we was my Governor and I didn’t see it coming. I mean, I knew it was a bad idea, I was part of the chorus screaming “don’t do it”, but I had no idea just how bad it could get.

    And I still blame Gore and his campaign staff (who, if there was any justice in the world, would never be allowed near another campaign) for the 2000 loss, not Nader or the people who voted for him. It should never have been that close in the first place.

    You want to vote your conscience? Fine. But don’t sit there and claim you’re doing it because there’s no difference between Obama and Romney. Obama may not be that great a friend to progressive causes, but Romney (and the GOP in general) is both [i]qualitatively[/i] and [i]quantitatively[/i] worse.

    There’s an old saying in politics: “first, you win.” It would be awesome if we could get 51% of the people (and more importantly, at least 280 electors) to vote for a progressive President; it would be even more awesome if we could stuff the House and Senate with actual progressives.

    But that ain’t happening this year. It ain’t happening in 2014. It ain’t happening in 2016. If you’re in a state like TX where the likelihood of a GOP victory is over 99% for that particular spot (Prez, Senate, House, state legislature, whatever) or there’s no Democrat in the running, then vote for whomever you want. Otherwise, think for a second. If your vote winds up denying a victory to a guy who may not be your friend and gives it to someone who is definitely your enemy, what exactly have you accomplished?

    And like I said in another thread, electing another GOP administration and have the resulting disaster magically convert Americans to the progressive cause isn’t going to work. It’s taking a page right out of the Romney playbook; sit back and wait for a disaster to happen, then swoop in and say, “told ya so!”

    Somehow, I don’t think that’s gonna work all that well.

  213. 213
    different-church-lady says:

    @Citizen Alan: [blink]

  214. 214
    Soonergrunt says:

    @El Tiburon: I don’t have a problem with criticism.
    But not voting for the guy IS the same as not voting against the guy who’s even worse. And while it may suck to have (as you apparently see it) a choice between bad and worse, that’s the choice you have.
    So you can choose to have bad or you can choose to have worse. But choose you will, and responsible you shall be. Make no mistake.
    The time for the purity tests was during the primaries. Not just for the President but for all the down ticket candidates as well. The next time for purity is the day after inauguration. The time for criticism and complaint is right now.
    But if you aren’t going to go to the trouble of taking over the party step by step, and by so doing making yourself a necessary person to deal with at a point when you would have maximum leverage, if you aren’t willing to do the hard work that comes with taking responsibility for creating the world you would, well then, why should anybody listen to what you have to say?

  215. 215
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    When countries are at war, it is a declared action with certain rules of engagement. In the US, starting a war is supposed to follow certain guidelines with the complicit acceptance and willingness of the population via our elected officials.

    Osama bin Laden was not a country, but he dragged countries into his schemes. So, how should countries proceed when antagonists are not always sovereign nations, but have effectively declared war on other nations? What do you do when nations are used against their will or are willingly complicit in terror operations?

    I know some want to prattle that you just do police work. The reality is that in Pakistan, for example, drones and covert operations have been used because officials there have been revealed to be lying when they said that they would attack known terrorist camps. They have lied about knowing where terrorist leaders are hiding. They have refused to extradite terrorists and instead given them warning of US efforts to capture or kill them.

    Drones are simply tools of terror that indiscriminately kill, without warning, people as they are engaged in their seemingly normal lives. It involves bombing people in countries we are not at war with. So, if you are a person in one of these countries, you live your entire life with the fear that a bomb could kill you or your child at any time. Without warning.

    You give yourself away here. There is not much difference here between drones and missiles and bombs dropped from an airplane, except that drones are by any measure less indiscriminate than other weapons.

  216. 216
    Michael says:

    @El Tiburon:

    While the results are the same and on a much larger scale during an “all out war” there are differences. When countries are at war, it is a declared action with certain rules of engagement. In the US, starting a war is supposed to follow certain guidelines with the complicit acceptance and willingness of the population via our elected officials.

    So, the first problem with this is that the US is in a declared war, and does have the complicit acceptance of the population and elected officials in that. What exactly do you this the AUMF does? It wasn’t a declaration of war on Afghanistan, or Iraq, or for only 10 years…it was an indefinite authorization to use military force against al-qaeda and its co-belligerents. It’s authorization knows no boundaries (nor, for that matter, does conventional warfare; or do you think WWII was fought only in Germany, Italy, and Japan?)

    Drones are simply tools of terror that indiscriminately kill, without warning, people as they are engaged in their seemingly normal lives.

    This is ridiculously inaccurate. The recent estimate, that got so many people enraged, was that ~25% of all drone strikes kill civilians. Do you think that the Middle East is so stock full of terrorists that a 75% accuracy is the result of “indiscriminate” bombing?

    By the way, the conventional warfare of the mid-20th century (pre-drone) is orders of magnitude worse:

    Civilians have borne the brunt of modern warfare, with 10 civilians dying for every soldier in wars fought since the mid-20th century

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10.....3&

  217. 217
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne: See, you’ve phrased this as a two party question and completely neglected what the vanity or hypothetical candidates would do.

  218. 218
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So your issue isn’t really drone bombs, it’s the fact that Al Quaeda is being hunted at all, because any way you do it is going to occasionally result in the death of civilians.

    The only way you’re going to get what you want is to end American empire. All you’ve got to do is organize a rebellion of about 5 million armed citizens to take down the federal government, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands in the process. Easy peezy.

  219. 219
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @aimai:

    This is an imperial country with a massive war machine. The only way to ratchet it back is to slowly push, push, push

    Absolutely correct.

    on the only party which is at least willing to recognize that all out war is a bad idea.

    Here is where I beg to differ. I don’t think we gain much by pushing on the less militaristic and imperialist of the two major parties. A little bit yes, and most especially during the primaries, but during a general election the voices of anti-imperialist liberals are too few in number compared with the number of low-info voters in the middle who are happy to go along with running an American Empire as long as the body count stays low enough to not interupt their TV viewing.

    The real leverage we have is with the other party, the GOP. Not by supporting them, but by doing everying we can to bury them. Because if they keep losing elections, and losing them badly, they will seek for something to change in terms of their policy so as to appeal to more voters in the middle of the political spectrum. And one of theose possible moves to the middle the GOP could make would be becoming less imperialistic. There are already voices on the Right calling for this (c.f. Larison for one) so this isn’t a fantasy. But it won’t happen if we keep having close election such that the GOP thinks all they have to do is to field a more appealing candidate, package their existing policies in a slicker manner, and suppress a few more votes. The only route to a less imperialistic GOP runs thru electoral fiasco. And if the GOP moves leftwards on foreign policy that will put more pressure on the Dems to move left as well than we can manage thru mere exhortation.

  220. 220
    Michael says:

    BTW, I am no blessing the “fight terrorism on a war model” approach morally or ITO of effectiveness; far from it, I believe in the law enforcement model myself. I’m simply engaging with the reality that (1) that approach has, thus far, won the day in the arena of public opinion; (2) that approach has been explicitly authorized by Congress; and that (3) the drone program is probably the most effective way to prosecute that model while limiting casualties to civilians and US troops alike.

    My semi-educated guess is that the drone war has been easier on civilian populations than any war since the days when armies simply lined up on opposite sides of a big field and shot at one another.

  221. 221
    different-church-lady says:

    @Rex Everything:

    Let’s talk about the chain of responsibility with a voter in a representative democracy at one end, and a dead innocent Muslim at the other.

    OK, fine, let’s talk about it:

    President Obama = dead people overseas.

    President Romney = dead people overseas.

    President Stein = dead people overseas.

    President G. Johnson = dead people overseas.

    Happier now?

  222. 222
    NR says:

    @Yutsano: Can you read? Check comment #158 again.

  223. 223
    Yutsano says:

    @NR: :: pauses ::

    So…you’re voting for Willard then. Even if you feel like you’re not…you are.

  224. 224
    taylormattd says:

    @MBunge: “Then you are a moron”. Why yes, yes he is.

  225. 225
    Cassidy says:

    Wow. These purity arguments are so new and original. I haven’t heard them before. Maybe not voting and helping the crazy, RW assholes win is a good idea. Because Obama uses drones.

  226. 226
    NR says:

    @Dave:

    Because that is all we could get.

    Only because that’s what the Democratic leadership decided.

    It was totally within their power to pass Medicare for all. They chose not to do so, because it would have meant the end of obscene insurance company profits. And now thousands of people will suffer and die for that decision.

  227. 227
    The Moar You Know says:

    There are people using the term “drone” in this thread, but what they mean is “magical evil device I don’t understand and don’t like”, because the only difference between a drone and an artillery shell lobbed from a gun over the horizon is the artillery shell will almost be guaranteed to kill a fuckton more innocent people than any drone attack could.

    Resume your whining at will.

  228. 228
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @different-church-lady: And then, when you get right down to it, buying an iPhone = dead people overseas, and buying pants = dead people overseas, and buying soda = propping up Big Corn and the medico-industrial complex = dead people very close to home. Everything we do takes place under the shadow of death and despoliation. I have a strong suspicion that no one who professes to be losing sleep over drones would admit to losing sleep over the dozens of choices he makes every goddamn day that through a similarly circuitous route result in oppressive systems and dead innocents. Why not? Because they don’t really think about it the way they claim to when they get all worked up in the blogosphere.

  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Michael: In the days when armies simply lined up across a field from one another, the also tended to live off the land. This meant that local populations starved. There also tended to be a significant amount of general pillage, mayhem, and rape inflicted on civilians. War is never good for the local populations.

  230. 230
    The Moar You Know says:

    It was totally within their power to pass Medicare for all.

    @NR: Last I counted it couldn’t muster 50 votes in the Senate. Please explain how, under such circumstances, legislation can pass.

  231. 231
    Face says:

    Kinda hard to tell in Afghanistan who the fuck is “civilian” and who’s not. And I’m guessing there’s degrees of civilian-hood in those tribal peeps, in that while not active fighters, many are active supporters of the resistance.

    Should they die for this? No. Dont I long to protect them? Not really.

  232. 232
    Brachiator says:

    @giltay:

    In Canada, where we have 3 viable parties, this is known as “strategic voting”. It’s usually spat out as a curse by the NDP, Liberal, or Green candidates’ supporters, depending on who is trailing in the polls. (The Conservatives solved their vote-splitting problem by merging the two major right-wing parties.)

    But in Canada you still ened up with the Harper government. How could such a thing have happened?

    What power do the various non-conservative parties have under the current government?

  233. 233
    Michael says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: True true.

  234. 234
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Moar You Know: Yup. The argument is way too transparently stupid if not for the sinister sci-fi overtones of the word “drone.” No one says anymore that archers are terrorists because they have no compunction against firing wildly and the arrow might come down in the wrong place.

  235. 235
    Karmakin says:

    ABQ is more or less right. The actual goal here is cultural change, or at least it should be. The unfortunate reality is that things such as drone strikes represent something much bigger. And that bigger thing is that most Americans (most people really) value the lives of their family and friends more than the lives of people they don’t even know…or even more are different from them.

    As such, there’s a very real motive for long-term thinking parties/politicians to do active things about terrorism, as if (god forbid) another attack occurs, people WILL be looking for someone to blame. And very few politicians want to be the one left holding the bag.

    Thus, drone strikes and the like.

    Now, if you want to change this, you have to change the culture. You have to reduce the differential between the level of concern between other Americans and people on the outside. That’s the ticket right there. And to be honest, I do think it would be a good thing myself. But it’s not an easy thing, by any reach.

    But not voting/voting third party. What does that do? Quite frankly, it serves to move the parties to the right. It means that the left is not a reliable voting block and as such why try to cater to them?

  236. 236
    taylormattd says:

    @Yutsano: Don’t bother responding to him.

    The vast majority of his posts involve (1)deliberately mischaracterizing arguments of those who aren’t Obama deranged, and (2) deeply stupid simplifications for the purpose of eliminating significant differences between Democrats and Republicans.

  237. 237
    Punchy says:

    So who’s the first to open the Soylent Brown factory in the Middle East?

  238. 238
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @The Moar You Know: He will go in a circle on this, but basically what he means is that an entity of uniform opinions called The Democrats should and could have acted in the way he likes, and because they didn’t, it must be that they didn’t really want it at all, and probably cooked it all up just to raise his hopes then spite him personally.

  239. 239
    taylormattd says:

    @NR:

    It was totally within their power to pass Medicare for all.

    Lol. Fuck you are dumb.

  240. 240
    El Tiburon says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    All you’ve got to do is organize a rebellion of about 5 million armed citizens to take down the federal government, resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands in the process. Easy peezy.

    Or, I can continue to voice my displeasure on this somewhat influential blog and hope that enough voices will push to end the madness.

    That sounds like a plan to me.

  241. 241
    different-church-lady says:

    @Face: Maybe if we could make drones that could see their papers before targeting them. I think Arizona is already working on it. SYNERGY!

  242. 242
    different-church-lady says:

    @taylormattd: I was considering writing a full-fledged rebuttal to his statement, but I think you’ve covered it better than I would have.

  243. 243
    burnspbesq says:

    @Yutsano:

    Don’t you get it stupid lib? The polls are LYING! Willard will win every state including Illinois and Hawai’i! UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH will rule the day! The rest will be cheated! BOOK! MARK! IT!!

    Oh, right. How silly of me to think otherwise.

  244. 244
    NR says:

    @Yutsano: Wow, I had no idea that votes for Jill Stein were going to get added to Romney’s total. Do you have evidence that this is going to be the case? If so, you should take it to the media, because this is a serious case of election fraud we’re talking about.

  245. 245
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon: Oh, yeah, no doubt a few dozen people speaking out is all it would take.

  246. 246
    Suffern ACE says:

    What is the purpose of the drone strikes? Are we o.k. with that purpose or objective?

    ETA: Because since we’re not getting anywhere in the discussion on drones, and everyone agrees they are bad, perhaps we should change the topic awhile and discuss what they are supposed to be accomplishing.

  247. 247
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Karmakin:

    But, but … cultural transformation could take DECADES. I want my pony NOW!!!!

  248. 248
    Svensker says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Where does that end? When are we free to vote for the candidate we prefer instead of grouping together to vote for the candidate we’re most afraid of?

    In this world, probably never. Or until you can nominate someone who has a chance of winning (in other words, see first sentence).

  249. 249
    1badbaba3 says:

    Why does it take almost three hours, and over 200 comments for the OMFG DRONES!! Obama bashers to even mention al Qaeda? Perhaps if you were as doggedly vocal in opposition to them instead of the sitting President it might make more sense. As it is, you’re just telling part of the story over and over and over and over…

  250. 250
    Dave says:

    @NR:

    Only because that’s what the Democratic leadership Lieberman and Nelson decided.

    I fixed that because it is a critical point. The Democratic Leadership didn’t torpedo Medicare for All. Two Democratic Senators did. I agree that the ACA, compared to Medicare for All or a more robust public option, is not that great. But the ACA, compared to doing nothing, is fucking fantastic.

    But because Obama couldn’t get these two asshats to vote this way, I should complain about him and the ACA? Obama is limited by the dysfunction in Congress. Blaming him for that is like blaming him for water being wet.

  251. 251
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @El Tiburon: Posting on a blog = doing nothing.

  252. 252
    NR says:

    @taylormattd: Look, I know that not everyone is a blind, unthinking Obama loyalist like you, but you’ve got to stop getting so upset about that. Just accept that some people are going to think for themselves even if you’d rather not. You’ll be happier all around.

  253. 253
    burnspbesq says:

    @NR:

    Shorter burnspbesq: The guy who kills children with a D after his name is better than the guy who kills children with an R after his name because shut up, that’s why.

    Shorter NR: There are no principled arguments in favor of my position, so I’ll just shoot the messenger.

  254. 254
    El Tiburon says:

    @Brachiator:

    So, how should countries proceed when antagonists are not always sovereign nations, but have effectively declared war on other nations?

    Probably not by invading other random countries. Probably not by invading countries period.

    Look: we are giving WAY TOO much credence to these terrorists. To put it simply we were Punked on 9-11 by some dudes with box cutters and a very simple plan. We don’t need drones and bombs to fight terrorism. We will not win. We are guaranteed to lose that battle.

    Do you people really believe that dropping these bombs is the panacea for that which ails us?

    Again: we will never ever defeat terrorism. It is impossible. It can’t be done.

  255. 255
    jeremy says:

    @Mandalay: First of all the president said he would use drones to go after terrorists and he was pretty clear when it came to foreign policy. And who are you to tell and assume that Obama wouldn’t have won the democratic primary if he had stated it (which he did). Hillary who was a hawk and Obama were the only ones left standing. Democrats were against the Iraq war but not against targeting Al Qaeda which you seem to have no issue defending a terrorist organization.

  256. 256
    hep kitty says:

    @Suffern ACE: Indeed, long may he burn

  257. 257
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So criticism is just not allowed in your little world?

    Of course not. There are large parts of your critique of Obama that I agree with. The difference between you and me is that I know when to shut the fuck up, grit my teeth, and do the right thing.

  258. 258
    MBunge says:

    @El Tiburon: “Do you see how fucking stupid this is? I can’t criticize because Obama is better than the alternatives?”

    Again, you are a moron.

    Can you criticize Obama? Sure!

    Can you say he’s doing more harm than good to liberal and progressive policies? Not unless you can come up with a way to do more good than Obama.

    Not all criticism is the same. There is reasonable criticism and there’s unreasonable criticism.

    Saying Obama has a stupid and counter-productive drone attack policy is reasonable.

    Saying the guy who got DADT repealed, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, saved the country from a depression and passed health care reform after two generations of occasionally spectacular Democratic failure on the subject is “doing more harm than good” to liberal and progressive polices is not reasonable.

    Mike

  259. 259
    NR says:

    @Karmakin:

    But not voting/voting third party. What does that do? Quite frankly, it serves to move the parties to the right. It means that the left is not a reliable voting block and as such why try to cater to them?

    You have it exactly backwards. If the left is a reliable voting block, there is no need to cater to them. The Democrats have already made this calculus, as demonstrated over the last four years. And they were right: They passed the Heritage Foundation’s health care bill and extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and the left is currently out there giving the Dems their full-throated support.

    Only by showing the Dems that they can’t take progressive votes for granted will we change their behavior.

  260. 260
    Svensker says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    There are people using the term “drone” in this thread, but what they mean is “magical evil device I don’t understand and don’t like”, because the only difference between a drone and an artillery shell lobbed from a gun over the horizon is the artillery shell will almost be guaranteed to kill a fuckton more innocent people than any drone attack could.

    My bet would be that most of the anti-drone folks (me included) don’t think we should be lobbing artillery shells, either.

  261. 261
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Shorter NR: There are no principled arguments in favor of my position, so I’ll just shoot the messenger.

    This is rich coming from the person who recently wrote this:

    That, my friend, makes you a monster.

    How is that black pot you are sitting in?

    Too funny.

  262. 262
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Or, I can continue to voice my displeasure on this somewhat influential blog and hope that enough voices will push to end the madness.

    John and Yoko’s bed-in for peace had a helluva lot more eyeballs than this blog. You need a lot more than vocal concern to arrest a war machine. You need a government that’s in mortal terror of its citizens. But you can’t get 50,000 concerned citizens to take up arms against the government, let alone 5 million.

  263. 263
    Cassidy says:

    Probably not by invading other random countries. Probably not by invading countries period.

    Hells yeah! And while we’re at it, let’s go back and not let all those Jewish people die in that Holocaust thing. And next stop: the beginnings of America and ending slavery. And…wait? We’re not using a time machine. This is only hindsight and has nothing to do with current reality because Obama hasn’t invaded any countries deliberately or randomly? Well, fuck. Had me excited too. Dick.

  264. 264
    NR says:

    @burnspbesq: Stopping the killing of children is an excellent principle in my book. It’s sad that you don’t feel the same.

  265. 265
    jeremy says:

    @Dave: And even though a public option was not in the final bill the president got more done on health care than any other president in history. The Bill is in place and it can be expanded down the road to include a public option. Social Security and Medicare were compromised bills that were not the programs they are today. Because like FDR, and LBJ they knew that you can’t get 100 % all the time. You have to work for incremental change and moving the ball forward. It took decades until Medicare was enacted but liberals even back then complained. Nothing is ever good enough for the emo-left because they like to attack and criticize and do nothing. At least the tea party conservatives try to get things done for their side.

  266. 266
    Yutsano says:

    @FlipYrWhig: The French did consider English archery “cheating” however, although not quite the same thing.

    @jeremy: NO! NO! NO! MUST BE PERFECT NAOW OR I SHALL BE DISAPPOINTED AND NOT VOTE EVER AGAIN!!

  267. 267
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NR: Show me a living politician of any party who says: “Wow, all those people who didn’t vote for me and didn’t contribute to or work for my campaign, I better listen to them.”

  268. 268
    NR says:

    @Dave: It wasn’t Lieberman and Nelson that stopped Medicare for all. The Democratic leadership never brought it up for a vote, never pushed for it, never even discussed it. In fact, when people showed up at the initial Congressional hearings on health care to advocate for single-payer, the Dems had them arrested.

    Those were all actions of the party leadership, not a couple of wayward Senators.

  269. 269
    El Tiburon says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    John and Yoko’s bed-in for peace had a helluva lot more eyeballs than this blog.

    Are you telling me that my dream of changing the world via comments on this blog are not going to get the job done?

    Well, lift my hat, I’m going back to bad.

  270. 270
    hep kitty says:

    @different-church-lady: Yeh, that really worked back in ’04 – all those thousands of people marching on Washington, etc., that nobody ever saw.

  271. 271
    Cassidy says:

    Only by showing the Dems that they can’t take progressive votes for granted will we change their behavior

    Is preening a fall color? Does hipster purity ever go out of style or is that the new black?

  272. 272
    NR says:

    @jeremy:

    And even though a public option was not in the final bill the president got more done on health care than any other president in history.

    What he got done was a bill that funnels billions of dollars from American citizens to corporate profits. That’s money that could have and should have been used to pay for life-saving medical care.

  273. 273
    gwangung says:

    @NR: This is a stupid, shallow and IGNORANT comment.

  274. 274
    Svensker says:

    @NR:

    Those were all actions of the party leadership, not a couple of wayward Senators.

    So the answer to that is to a) stay home and sulk; or b) elect Republicans because they are so much more amenable to single payer?

    What’s your plan?

  275. 275
    El Tiburon says:

    @Cassidy:

    Hells yeah! And while we’re at it, let’s go back and not let all those Jewish people die in that Holocaust thing.

    Oh Jesus. In context of fighting terrorism. Or other silly wars such as Vietnam or Grenada.

  276. 276
    NR says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Once again, you have it exactly backwards. Those are exactly the kind of people that politicians have to figure out how to court.

    The people who show that they will vote for you no matter what you do because “the other guy is worse” are the ones you don’t have to pay any attention to.

  277. 277
    jeremy says:

    Look some of you emo lefties(far left) are as bad as the right wing nuts . You guys have overlapping points of view with conspiracy laden minds, anti-government views, and a point of view that it totally out of the mainstream.

    Look Obama is a center left democrat and the democratic party since it’s beginning has always been a center-left party. Not some monolithic far left party. We live in a country with different ideas and point of views. If you can’t deal with that then move to a country with a dictatorship.

  278. 278
    Dave says:

    @NR: It damn well was Lieberman and Nelson who stopped it. Here is just one, ONE, story on it

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12......html?_r=0

    Lieberman and Nelson came right out and said they wouldn’t vote for any bill that had Medicare for All. So your contention is that since Reid didn’t hold a vote he knew ahead of time wouldn’t have passed, the whole leadership is complicit?

    If that doesn’t fucking sum up the Progessive Purity Brigade right there. Better to hold votes that will fail and get nothing than get some of what you want because then you can pat yourself on the back that you, YOU, stood tall against the tide of history.

  279. 279
    Cassidy says:

    @El Tiburon: So…you don’t want to go back and try to stop the Holocaust? What a dick.

  280. 280
    NR says:

    @Svensker: My plan is to vote for a party that actually supports single-payer.

  281. 281
    artem1s says:

    @El Tiburon:

    At least with war, as disgusting and horrific it is, the population of those countries understands it is at war and can therefore choose a course of action.

    do you seriously think Bin Laden polled the people of Afghanistan before 9/11?

    there is no such thing as a clearly defined war anymore, or a clearly defined battlefield. war has gone global.

    Al Qaeda was in Pakistan and abetted by their military. How do we invade a country that has command control of nuclear weapons in the field? Whose civil government and military don’t talk to one another or cooperate?

    We tried to fight them from Afghanistan and it has been a miserable failure. And even if it wasn’t they would have (did) just up and move somewhere else. It’s not possible to fight an enemy with no allegiances to any sovereign nation by conventional means.

    We need to find a different way to deal with military conflict. And drones aren’t going away anymore than nukes or bio-weapons. We might have a chance to develop a dialog on some internal checks and balances with this President. No way that is happening with Cheney’s pals.

  282. 282
    Mandalay says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    But not voting for the guy IS the same as not voting against the guy who’s even worse.

    This is just false. We can agreee to disagree on many things, but not on facts: “not voting for the guy” IS NOT the same as “not voting against the guy who’s even worse”.

    The time for the purity tests was during the primaries.

    Says who? Where does this rule come from? Besides, there was no 2012 primary; Obama’s nomination was a done deal.

    But if you aren’t going to go to the trouble of taking over the party step by step…why should anybody listen to what you have to say?

    So by that logic only the opinions of party activists are worth listening to? Wow.

    Some of the responses on these meta-threads on what Freddie said really bolster his arguments.

  283. 283
    burnspbesq says:

    @NR:

    Stopping the killing of children is an excellent principle in my book. It’s sad that you don’t feel the same.

    Fine. Then explain what other tools we have in our TOE that can be deployed in ways that kill less children than drones. Because we’re still going to be attacking people who are within the scope of the “enemy,” as defined in the AUMF.

    Take your time. I’ve got all day.

  284. 284
    El Tiburon says:

    @MBunge:

    Saying the guy who got DADT repealed, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, saved the country from a depression and passed health care reform after two generations of occasionally spectacular Democratic failure on the subject is “doing more harm than good” to liberal and progressive polices is not reasonable.

    Fair enough. I should have stated clearly in regards to foreign policy.

    I’ve stated clearly several times that policies state above are positive and effect us all positively. No argument there (I continue to have my doubts on ACA as progressive/liberal) but be that as it may – it does not change the argument that while ending DADT is very good or guaranteeing equal rights for all is of course very very good – continuing to do what we are doing in Muslim countries is of such a serious proposition that it tends to mute to some degree these other policies.

  285. 285
    Seanly says:

    @rikyrah:

    this.

  286. 286
    Yutsano says:

    @burnspbesq: Isn’t it fascinating how NR is just so CONCERNED with killing children overseas but the thousands who die from lack of healthcare in the US he just shrugs off because Obama is worse than Willard?

    @NR: So, once again, you’re voting for Willard. You are so thick and disingenuous I don’t know how you dress yourself in the morning.

  287. 287
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Because we’re still going to be attacking people who are within the scope of the “enemy,” as defined in the AUMF.

    In total, what’s a rough guess for how many are so defined?

    Take your time.

  288. 288
    jeremy says:

    @NR: NR you are ignorant. I’m not going to waste my time with you because you are a wing nut. That bill while imperfect will save millions of lives. And by the way did you even mention the medical loss ratio which requires insurers to spend more on healthcare or pay back individuals and businesses if they don’t meet the regulation. Also Medicare which was a boon for private insurers and private hospitals( shifting billions of dollars for the medical industry) and continues to be. But it has saved lives and helped seniors. So are you against Medicare ??

    Are you against Food Stamps which millions of Americans depend on to feed their families but is a boon for business shifting billions to the Food/Supermarket industry ????

    I’m sorry but you don’t know anything and it clearly shows.

  289. 289
    burnspbesq says:

    @NR:

    What he got done was a bill that funnels billions of dollars from American citizens to corporate profits. That’s money that could have and should have been used to pay for life-saving medical care.

    Fine. Go explain to the millions of people who can finally get affordable health insurance that they’re actually worse off than they were before the ACA was enacted, and see what their reaction is.

    Man, I would give my left nut to live in your parallel universe.

  290. 290
    jeremy says:

    @NR: NR you are ignorant. I’m not going to waste my time with you because you are a wing nut. That bill while imperfect will save millions of lives. And by the way did you even mention the medical loss ratio which requires insurers to spend more on healthcare or pay back individuals and businesses if they don’t meet the regulation. Also Medicare which was a boon for private insurers and private hospitals( shifting billions of dollars for the medical industry) and continues to be. But it has saved lives and helped seniors. So are you against Medicare ??

    Are you against Food Stamps which millions of Americans depend on to feed their families but is a boon for business shifting billions to the Food/Supermarket industry ????

    I’m sorry but you don’t know anything and it clearly shows.

  291. 291
    NR says:

    @Dave: Check the date on that article. December of 2009. Check the date Obama was sworn in. January of 2009.

    If you don’t think there was anything that could have been done in those intervening eleven months to change the votes of two Senators, you’re incredibly naive. There are all kinds of tools that party leadership has to pressure wayward members, not to mention the fact that if the Dems had been out there building support for Medicare for all, it would have been more difficult to oppose it.

    The bottom line is, we’ll never know what would have happened because the Democratic leadership was against anything that would reduce insurance company profits from the get-go.

  292. 292
    El Tiburon says:

    @artem1s:

    How do we invade a country that has command control of nuclear weapons in the field?

    Do you see what you are doing here? Now, not only is it acceptable to invade, but it is expected.

    This is serious madness. This is what is becoming the divide in this entire debate. Many of us don’t want to invade and bomb countries – even if they have terrorists. It doesn’t work and there are other ways to combat these threats.

    And many of you now accept invasions and drones and indefinite detention and torture as acceptable US policies.

  293. 293
    Corner Stone says:

    @artem1s:

    do you seriously think Bin Laden polled the people of Afghanistan before 9/11?

    This is 100% mind boggling. I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean or refute. Or why it could even be considered as a relevant response in any forum.

  294. 294
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I don’t have to guess. They’re defined in the legislation.

    Thanks for dumbing down the conversation, though.

  295. 295
    El Tiburon says:

    @artem1s:

    How do we invade a country that has command control of nuclear weapons in the field?

    Do you see what you are doing here? Now, not only is it acceptable to invade, but it is expected.

    This is serious madness. This is what is becoming the divide in this entire debate. Many of us don’t want to invade and bomb countries – even if they have terrorists. It doesn’t work and there are other ways to combat these threats.

    And many of you now accept invasions and drones and indefinite detention and torture as acceptable US policies.

  296. 296
    jeremy says:

    NR you are ignorant. I’m not going to waste my time with you because you are a wing nut. That bill while imperfect will save millions of lives. And by the way did you even mention the medical loss ratio which requires insurers to spend more on healthcare or pay back individuals and businesses if they don’t meet the regulation. Also Medicare which was a boon for private insurers and private hospitals( shifting billions of dollars for the medical industry) and continues to be. But it has saved lives and helped seniors. So are you against Medicare ??

    Are you against Food Stamps which millions of Americans depend on to feed their families but is a boon for business shifting billions to the Food/Supermarket industry ????

    I’m sorry but you don’t know anything and it clearly shows.

  297. 297
    burnspbesq says:

    @NR:

    If you don’t think there was anything that could have been done in those intervening eleven months to change the votes of two Senators, you’re incredibly naive

    Not when one of them is Joe Lieberman.

  298. 298
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @burnspbesq: Children are killed by resource mining and environmental toxins, but NR still turns on his lights every day. Diabolical.

  299. 299
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @NR:

    @Svensker: My plan is to vote for a party that actually supports single-payer.

    And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the lives that it saves and Americans growing accustomed to the idea of health-care as a right, you’ll eventually get to vote for that party.

  300. 300
    carolus says:

    @ El Tiburon:

    Drones aren’t indiscriminate weapons; they are precision weapons. A good example of an indiscriminate weapon is a mine.

    I think much of the heartburn concerning drones is about a fundamental shift in technology that allows for combat to be conducted from an air-conditioned quonset far behind the lines.

  301. 301
    Cacti says:

    @NR:

    If you don’t think there was anything that could have been done in those intervening eleven months to change the votes of two Senators, you’re incredibly naive.

    Lieberman opposed a public option more or less to wave his ass at the left wingers who mounted the primary challenge against him.

    Nothing was going to change his mind about sticking a shiv in those that “betrayed” him.

  302. 302
    NR says:

    @Yutsano: Once again, I am not voting for Romney. I don’t know how many times I have to say this before it penetrates your thick skull.

  303. 303
    grandpa john says:

    @gelfling545:

    it’s hard to make an impact, blah, blah blah.

    Well this I do know, it’s a hell of a lot easier to make an impact if your party controls state and local government, as a lot of folks who sat on their asses and let republicans gain control of their states are finding out.

  304. 304
    Dave says:

    @NR:

    If you don’t think there was anything that could have been done in those intervening eleven months to change the votes of two Senators, you’re incredibly naive.

    Right, because there is no body of politicians that is more susceptible to pressure than the US Senate. Especially two Senators who weren’t running for re-election.

    Boy, you are really working hard to blame Obama for this, aren’t you?

  305. 305
    different-church-lady says:

    Buncha things:

    1) I’ve got a half baked theory that one of the many reasons drones hold an extra emotional charge over previous technology of warfare/killing is that they kill specific, identifiable people. It’s a micro version of “one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic.” In a weird way knowing that three kids and the sister of the bride got accidentally killed by a drone holds more emotional sway than if half a village got wiped out with conventional ordinance but you don’t know the biographical basics of even one of them.

    2) In light of that, I still cannot understand why drones are the hot-spot. Drones or no drones, people are going to die in a war zone. To make drones the line in the sand is intellectually futile — death is baked into conflict, and to have detailed arguments about how that death is inflicted amounts to rearranging deck chairs. I’m a lot more receptive to arguments against our overall involvement in Afghanistan in general than I am to those that focus on drones because I know that the former are not attempting to yank my emotional strings.

    3) The entirety of this thread, whether its about drones or voting, strikes me metaphorically as people who are playing the board game Risk without comprehending that they do not have an unlimited number of pieces with which to play. You have to actually move those “armies” around the board, and moving them to one place takes them away from another; nor do you get to magically teleport them wherever you want. In real life there actually are tradeoffs to any given political stance, and figuring out the permutations is a very complicated process. Pretending it’s simple does not erase those complications.

    ACA = more people live. Afghanistan = more people die. You don’t get to choose which of those is important because they’re both important and they will remain so no matter what you think. All one can do is (a) decide how one will use their single vote and (b) speak one’s mind about one’s beliefs. I think it would be refreshing if people would stop presenting (a) as though it were the only justification for (b).

  306. 306
    Cacti says:

    @carolus:

    Drones aren’t indiscriminate weapons; they are precision weapons

    The carpet bombing of Dresden is an example of indiscriminate use of air power.

    And that was in WWII, the last “good war,” with FDR at the helm.

  307. 307
    NR says:

    @burnspbesq: We have plenty of tools at our disposal that don’t involve dropping bombs on innocent civilians. Is this really even a question?

  308. 308
    different-church-lady says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Probably not by invading other random countries.

    I’m pretty darn sure Afghanistan was not chosen at random.

  309. 309
    jeremy says:

    @Cacti: Exactly. I read several accounts where a group of conservative democrats were fighting like hell to stop a public option. At that point it came down to votes and bypassing a filibuster. A public option couldn’t even get through reconciliation because it can only be used for things already on the budget. People like NR are ignorant and don’t understand how government and society in general works. He is like a big baby who wants everything but doesn’t want to work for it.

    And his remarks about ACA being a boon for business with little regard for the lives and success in Mass. shows he is not serious. FDR’s New Deal programs made money for business, the Great Society programs made money for business. Especially Medicare and medicaid and it continues to till this day. So like I said before are you against these programs or for them NR ???

  310. 310
    Svensker says:

    @NR:

    My plan is to vote for a party that actually supports single-payer

    My plan is to make $10,000,000 by selling nude photos of myself.

  311. 311
    NR says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Go explain to the millions of people who can finally get affordable health insurance that they’re actually worse off than they were before the ACA was enacted, and see what their reaction is.

    This statement proceeds from the premise that our only choices were the ACA or nothing. Since that premise is false, the statement is meaningless.

    Despite what the Democrats would like us all to believe, there were other, better options. I wanted Medicare for all–a system that people would have been vastly better off under than the ACA.

  312. 312
    Corner Stone says:

    @burnspbesq: Jesus Christ.

  313. 313
    NR says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the lives that it saves and Americans growing accustomed to the idea of health-care as a right, you’ll eventually get to vote for that party.

    Actually, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it will be even harder to get single-payer in the future than it would have been in 2009, because it hands a shitload more money to the private insurance companies and entrenches them even further in the system than they were before.

  314. 314
    cckids says:

    @Political Observer: Nevada? Seriously? President Obama had over 11,000 people show up last night, to an outdoor rally in Vegas, waiting all day in temps over 95 degrees.

    Last week, when Romney was here, they barely filled a 2700 seat indoor, air-conditioned room. Enthusiasm gap much?

    Nevada is going blue. I suspect most of the other swing states will as well. You are a deluded moron.

  315. 315
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker:

    What’s your plan?

    My plan is to move to Canada.

  316. 316
    Soonergrunt says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Or, I can continue to voice my displeasure on this somewhat influential blog and hope that enough voices will push to end the madness.

    Now I KNOW you’re trolling.

  317. 317
    Cacti says:

    @jeremy:

    And his remarks about ACA being a boon for business with little regard for the lives and success in Mass. shows he is not serious. FDR’s New Deal programs made money for business, the Great Society programs made money for business. Especially Medicare and medicaid and it continues to till this day. So like I said before are you against these programs or for them NR ???

    Don’t forget, Food Stamps and WIC programs make money for grocery stores and the commercial food industries.

  318. 318
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Svensker: Simple. A couple of constitutional amendments that change the way the government is organized and the way that national elections are staged and judged and we’re there!

  319. 319
    Cassidy says:

    This statement proceeds from the premise that our only choices were the ACA or nothing. Since that premise is false, the statement is meaningless.

    Wow.

    Despite what the Democrats would like us all to believe, there were other, better options. I wanted Medicare for all—a system that people would have been vastly better off under than the ACA.

    BECAUSE SHUT UP! THAT’S WHY! ARGLE BARGLE!

  320. 320
    Corner Stone says:

    @carolus:

    Unfortunately, much of the pearl-clutching over the use of drones comes from ignorance.

    Sorry but the discussion regarding drones is about a policy, not a tool.
    Even though you and others keep throwing your delicately gloved hands into the air, shaking your coiffed heads slightly side to side and declaring, “Oh, drones! Better than ordnance or troops!”

  321. 321
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My plan is to move to Canada.

    You, too? Awesome! I’ve got some great tips, all you have to do is ask.

  322. 322
    Dave says:

    @NR:

    Despite what the Democrats would like us all to believe, there were other, better options. I wanted Medicare for all—a system that people would have been vastly better off under than the ACA.

    And if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

    Of course there are better options. With almost every single thing the government chooses to do, there are better options. The problem is that the 535 individuals in Congress tend to take a lot of those options off the table. So you take the best you can get.

    But that isn’t good enough for you. So somehow it’s Obama’s fault we don’t have Medicare for All and magical ponies. Because when you don’t get 100% of what you want, it may as well be 0%.

  323. 323
    jeremy says:

    @Corner Stone: Move to Canada then and you will find out that it’s not going to be the utopia you think it is. Hell the conservative government there which won another election is already implementing there agenda and Canada’s medicare program is having fiscal issues like the one here. Nothing will ever be good enough for some people.

  324. 324
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @NR:

    Actually, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, it will be even harder to get single-payer in the future than it would have been in 2009, because it hands a shitload more money to the private insurance companies and entrenches them even further in the system than they were before.

    You do know that Canada, which employs a single-payer system, contracts healthcare services from private organizations, right?

  325. 325
    Corner Stone says:

    @carolus:

    Drones aren’t indiscriminate weapons; they are precision weapons.

    A bullet is a precise weapon as well. It just depends on how it’s used.
    This discussion isn’t about a tool it’s about a policy.
    Please try to understand that one day.

  326. 326
    Paul says:

    @NR:

    Yes, there were better options. The votes were not there. I am happy for the first time in my life to be able to be covered despite a pre-existing condition. And this in despite of the naysayers on dailykos etc who wanted all or nothing irregardless of the 30 million or so people who has a pre-existing condition.

  327. 327
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker:

    My plan is to make $10,000,000 by selling nude photos of myself.

    I’ll pitch in the first dollar. I’ll take one complete set, please.

  328. 328
    Michael says:

    @El Tiburon: I haven’t seen anybody on this blog defend indefinite detention or torture.

    Of course, part of the problem is a fundamental disagreement on reality on that point. I look at the record and see a President who has been fighting a system of indefinite detention since he took office, but has been hamstrung at every step by the two other co-equal branches of government on that matter. I see a President who ended torture.

    His critics on the left see his failure to close Gitmo as an “embrace” of indefinite detentions. His use of MCs to end detention and resolve the legal matters (when left with no other options because Congress has effectively closed the courts to Gitmo detainees outside of habeas review – which Congress also tried to do) are somehow a piece of this embrace of indefinite detentions. And despite an executive order banning torture and no more reports of torture, his critics are convinced that, in fact, the US does still indeed torture.

    So of course, I defend his record on those issues, because I think he has advanced the cause of ending both of them. And in case you’re curious, I am currently taking a class in law school that is about nothing BUT detention at Gitmo, taught by a lawyer who represented detainees.

  329. 329
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR: Yeah, you know, I used to have that point of view.

    That was before the Massachusetts system saved my fucking ass last year.

    Am I totally happy with that system? No. But am I happy that I am not bankrupt right now, the way I would have been without it? You fucking bet I am.

  330. 330
    NR says:

    @Cacti:

    Don’t forget, Food Stamps and WIC programs make money for grocery stores and the commercial food industries.

    And Medicare makes money for doctors. So?

    I don’t have a problem with private enterprise making money when they’re contributing something of value. I do have a problem with handing money to a bunch of useless middlemen who take 20 cents out of every dollar for profit while adding no value.

  331. 331
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Cacti:

    The carpet bombing of Dresden is an example of indiscriminate use of air power.
    And that was in WWII, the last “good war,” with FDR at the helm.

    That same war also saw the use of incendiaries dropped on Japanese cities followed by a second wave of bombers dropping HE to kill the firemen.

  332. 332
    Corner Stone says:

    @jeremy: Nuh-uh!

  333. 333
    Mandalay says:

    @carolus:

    Drones aren’t indiscriminate weapons; they are precision weapons…I think much of the heartburn concerning drones is about a fundamental shift in technology that allows for combat to be conducted from an air-conditioned quonset far behind the lines.

    I think that the problem is that drones are portrayed as precision weapons, yet they repeatedly kill innocent people. We are given an expectation (fostered by those in power IMO) that drones can target the guilty and not harm the innocent, but that is not what is happening. In contrast, as you correctly point out, we have no expectation that mines are weapons of discrimination in any way.

    Is it fair to state that drones are precision weapons that are being used very poorly sometimes?

  334. 334
    Michael says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh please, the “its about the policy, not the tool” line is a total dodge.

    Where in this thread, or on this blog in the last week, has anyone made a clear, cogent argument that the War Model is an effective model for fighting terrorism?

    I haven’t seen it anywhere.

    Instead, drones are being used as a boogey man – they kill kids! – to cloud what could be a legitimate debate.

  335. 335
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    So, just checking, you are saying the opposite of what Freddie is saying. Freddie is saying that, as far as he’s concerned, drones are more important than anything else that has happened in the last four years, including ACA and DADT, so he is voting against Obama despite everything else that’s been done.

    You’re saying that you are angry about drones, but you are willing to weigh everything in the balance and decide based on that, not just on a single issue that really bothers you.

    Congratulations, you, too, are a Manichean monster just like the rest of us. So what are we fighting about, again?

    (Also, I didn’t get a chance to ask earlier, but I hope the little shark is doing well with his pneumonia.)

  336. 336
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael:

    I haven’t seen anybody on this blog defend indefinite detention or torture.

    Lolwhut?

  337. 337
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Could you give us an update on your son?

  338. 338
    NR says:

    @Paul:

    Yes, there were better options. The votes were not there.

    And here it is again, the assumption that “the votes” are some kind of holy edict written in stone that cannot ever be changed.

    The votes weren’t there because the Democrats never tried to get them.

  339. 339
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael: No, your bullshit, “we could be having an effective policy debate right now but *harrumph* some people won’t let us!” is a total fucking dodge and a lie.
    The only people who fixate on the tool aspect of the drones are the ones who then immediately transition into, “Well then, you want to endanger troops or drop clusters?! Huh? Well, do ya?!”
    Get off.

  340. 340
    Michael says:

    @Mandalay: I think that the problem is that drones are portrayed as precision weapons, yet they repeatedly kill innocent people. We are given an expectation (fostered by those in power IMO) that drones can target the guilty and not harm the innocent, but that is not what is happening. In contrast, as you correctly point out, we have no expectation that mines are weapons of discrimination in any way.

    I don’t think your first sentence states two mutually-exclusive propositions. Precision weapons can and often do kill innocent people, either because their level of precision, while, wasn’t high enough to prevent inaccuracies, or because they were being targeted at the wrong person in the first place.

    But again, as I noted earlier up this thread, the worst estimates of drone civilian casualty rate, that just came out, mark them as 40 more accurate than the 70+ years of warfare that preceded them. Consider that.

    Is it fair to state that drones are precision weapons that are being used very poorly sometimes?

    It’s beyond fair; its absolutely, 100% true.

  341. 341
    Svensker says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’ll have to come to Canada to get it, big boy.

  342. 342
    jeremy says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: You can’t tell him anything because he will not listen and he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    Some people act like Canada and Europe are some grand perfect socialist countries who are anti-business when that is so far from the truth. They may have socialist programs like we do and more but they still have capitalist systems.

  343. 343
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Mandalay: “So by that logic only the opinions of party activists are worth listening to?”
    That is precisely the case. The candidates can either kiss the asses of random blog commenters or they can kiss the asses of people who can seriously harm or help them. Since they don’t have enough time or energy to kiss ALL the asses, they have to be kind of selective. Guess which group gets their asses kissed and which one doesn’t?
    I don’t know why this needs explaining to anyone who is older than 15.

  344. 344
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @NR:

    The votes weren’t there because the Democrats never tried to get them.

    So how would President NR have gotten two guys who weren’t running for re-election, one of whom spoke at the Republican convention and the other who was in bed with health insurance companies, to change their votes?

  345. 345
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Freddie is saying that, as far as he’s concerned, drones are more important than anything else that has happened in the last four years, including ACA and DADT, so he is voting against Obama despite everything else that’s been done.

    I thought Freddie was saying people on both sides of the argument play cheap-ass rhetorical games.

    I’m not necessarily saying he was right about that, I’m just saying I think that was his main point.

  346. 346
    Corner Stone says:

    @Svensker: I actually am supposed to be in Toronto fairly soon. Ok, I’ll take a dollar’s worth! *

    *Anyone remember that old joke about “a dollar’s worth”?

  347. 347
    Steve Finlay says:

    Gary Johnson is the only good presidential candidate. Obama’s good actions are more than outweighed by the utter disregard and destruction of human rights and the rule of law. He did not invent that, however; the United States lost the rule of law a long time ago.

    It is bizarre that Americans are practically forced to vote for Obama because Romney is the face of a party which is literally a monster from hell. So you cannot vote for a good candidate because of the necessity of keeping the monster out.

    In other countries, third parties can and do rise successfully and change the political landscape. The United States system is petrified: This appears to be impossible. The important question is – why? I don’t think it is because of something uniquely stubborn or closed-minded about Americans. I think it is something in the structure of the policital system.

  348. 348
    jeremy says:

    @NR: Yeah and some of those private entities/doctors/hospitals are over charging and at times committing fraud in the medicare system. But you say that it’s perfect and fine but ACA is bad. WOW ! You really are delusional and will twist and turn to make excuses.

    I thought you were against business making a profit but now you are for it ??? Which one is it ?

  349. 349
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: That would probably be easier if people would talk about the actual policy and not the weapon system.

  350. 350
    Michael says:

    Those were some devastating, non-substantive responses from Corner Stone.

  351. 351
    ThresherK says:

    @dmsilev: Scrubbing in a bathtub full of benjamins?

    I understand the latest secret Romney recording catches Mitt screaming “If this is anyone but Scrooge McDuck, you’re stealing my bit!”

  352. 352
    Cassidy says:

    Gary Johnson is the only good presidential candidate.

    Warn a borther before you do the comedy routine. You almost ruined my employer’s computer.

  353. 353
    shortstop says:

    @Cassidy: It’s funny that you picture him as a hipster. I picture him like this.

  354. 354
    Paul says:

    @NR:

    I followed the health debate about as closely as anybody. The GOP had decided on day 1 not to cooperate. On top of that you have people like Lieberman, Nelson etc who was against the public option.

    Obama/Pelosi tried to get the votes. They just weren’t there.

  355. 355
    Michael says:

    @Soonergrunt: Thank you. My point exactly. “Drones kill CHILDREN” doesn’t advance the debate at all, because all war kills children.

  356. 356
    John says:

    Bush’s official margin in Florida was 537, not 1784. Where is 1784 coming from?

  357. 357
    cckids says:

    @El Tiburon:

    And that I am disgusted by the little children being blown apart makes me the monster and makes Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner

    You are sounding exactly like the anti-choice people, whose every voting decision is based on WHO IS KILLING THE INNOCENT.

    If that is the only thing that matters to you, by all means, vote accordingly. The rest of us look at the whole picture, factor in reality, and vote accordingly. Priorities differ.

  358. 358
    rachel says:

    @Steve Finlay:

    In other countries, third parties can and do rise successfully and change the political landscape. The United States system is petrified: This appears to be impossible. The important question is – why? I don’t think it is because of something uniquely stubborn or closed-minded about Americans. I think it is something in the structure of the policital system.

    Why? Because due to the way the US legislative and executive branches were designed, the various factions that the citizenry is made up of caucus before the election. In parliamentary systems, they caucus after.

    In neither case do you get even close to 100% of what you want.

    ETA: the only time the parties change are when a faction leaves one party and joins the other (Dixiecrats) or when one party totally breaks apart (Whigs).

  359. 359
    Cassidy says:

    @shortstop: I’m giving him the benefit of youth? I don’t know. Maybe I’m unfair to hipsters. I tend to associate them with anything contrarian for the sake of contrarian even if all available evidence says otherwise. OTOH, I’m also insinuating he wears skinny jeans and those are fightin’ words.

  360. 360
    jeremy says:

    @Soonergrunt: You can’t tell some of them anything because they are idiots. I have no time for people who have little regard for facts and history. They throw up FDR (who I admired faults and all) and talk about how great he was but forget that he made mistakes and compromised. He passed a very compromised Social Security bill that was eventually expanded and improved over decades after he left office, he was scared to tackle universal health care and civil rights, he saved the financial industry and was called a sell out, he put millions of Japanese Americans in interment camps, expanded executive power, and was responsible for approving bombings in WW2 that killed tens of millions of people. But Obama is the most horrible president ever ? Yeah okay. How about socialist Bernie Sander voting to keep GITMO open, supporting definite detention, and voting against civilian trials ??? But it’s Obama’s fault ? Yeah okay.

  361. 361
    Paul says:

    @Steve Finlay:

    Gary Johnson is the only good presidential candidate. Obama’s good actions are more than outweighed by the utter disregard and destruction of human rights and the rule of law. He did not invent that, however; the United States lost the rule of law a long time ago.

    Everybody is a good presidential candidate until they are in office and actually have to make decisions. Gary Johnson is the poster boy for this.

    BTW – President Obama has been an exceptionally good President. He has had to fight an opposition party that don’t recognize him as our President. Hell, even his own party has tried to ruin his Presidency. When Obama tried to close Gitmo, his own party went against him. Bernie Sanders was one of the traitors who wanted that embarrassment to remain open.

  362. 362
    carolus says:

    @Cornerstone:

    A bullet is a precise weapon as well. It just depends on how it’s used.
    This discussion isn’t about a tool it’s about a policy.
    Please try to understand that one day.

    Sadly, no. Once a bullet is deployed (fired), there’s no calling it back or altering its target.

    Regarding policy, you’re on firmer albeit still shaky ground. In any war, the rules of engagement may vary. For example, does one target civilian population centers or only military installations? The use of landmines, an indiscriminate weapon, is a matter of policy.

    In the case of drones, these weapons are more precise for a number of reasons: greater surveillance time, closer proximity, multiple layers of decision-making, etc. that simply aren’t available via other weapon systems.

    Are mistakes made? Yes. Are the number or frequency of those mistakes greater than with other weapons? No.

  363. 363
    giltay says:

    @General Stuck: But … we don’t elect parties, either, we elect individuals. Up until just recently, we didn’t even put parties on the ballots. And for quite a long time (including before confederation), there were just two viable parties, and various third parties only showed up later. And we’ve been through 20 years of quite radical change, due to changing demographic, economics and party scandals which really have nothing to do with a parliamentary system.

    I see the development of a two-party system as more accidental (in the sense that it wasn’t deliberately planned for) than inevitable. While it’s true that there are historical factors that led to its creation and maintenance, I don’t believe for a moment that this couldn’t change.

    @Brachiator: Harper happened because of (a) the growing population of the Canadian West driven by oil who were (b) dissatisfied with what the central Canadian elite had been giving them, plus (c) the implosion of the Liberal Party in Québec after the sponsorship scandal. (Quick primer: After Québec narrowly voted Non in a referendum to separate from Canada in 1995, the Liberal government ordered pro-federalist propaganda to be made. Only the money went to their cronies and not many ads were actually made. This was the subject of a Royal Commission in 2005, and the Liberals were disgraced. They still haven’t been forgiven, and the Liberal leadership melted away—three successive leaders have been lacklustre.) The work of the late Jack Layton in Québec to encourage people to vote NDP when they vote federalist meant that people sick of the separatist/racist/populist Bloc Québécois didn’t have to vote Liberal. (The Tories have never had much of a foothold in Québec, which usually leans left.)

    There’s been some talk about robocalls directing people away from their polling places and even voter fraud (in a particularly close race in Toronto) being factors that led to the Tory majority, but I’d be surprised if those caused the win. (I am furious about the robocalls, though. Misleading voters like that is tantamount to treason.)

  364. 364
    jeremy says:

    I think that some on the far left have about as much hatred for Obama as the right wing. They blame Obama for everything and act like U.S. history started 01/2009. It’s funny because when you go around the world and read polls from other countries Obama get’s more love from people who are not even his fellow citizens. Some people in this country are crazy, ungrateful, and really ignorant.

  365. 365
    Paul says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    You do know that Canada, which employs a single-payer system, contracts healthcare services from private organizations, right?

    And not only Canada. Countries like France and Switzerland among many others do the same. These people seem to be so anti-business that arguments don’t matter.

    Hell, even “socialist” Sweden has private insurance companies.

  366. 366
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    So how would President NR have gotten two guys who weren’t running for re-election, one of whom spoke at the Republican convention and the other who was in bed with health insurance companies, to change their votes?

    __
    If they didn’t vote the right way, threaten to shoot them with drones, obviously.

  367. 367
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Perhaps because he’d rather vote for a candidate who will stop those attacks completely, of which there are two running (Jill Stein and Gary Johnson?)

    Right now, Republicans are panicking that their voters might vote for Johnson or another third-party candidate because they know that any vote that’s not for Romney helps Obama.

    I’m still not sure if the problem here is that you’re too stupid to understand this basic dynamic of voting, or if you’re an out-and-out Republican ratfucker who’s trying to convince naive lefties to vote third party because you know it will hurt the Obama vote.

    @NR:

    The people who show that they will vote for you no matter what you do because “the other guy is worse” are the ones you don’t have to pay any attention to.

    Yes, that’s why Republicans cater to the evangelical vote and pass laws that will make them happy — because they don’t have to pay any attention to them.

    Your ignorance of how voting works is becoming more embarrassing the more often you comment. Hint: you don’t become a powerful voting block whose vote needs to be courted by refusing to vote. You do it by voting consistently and making yourself indispensible.

  368. 368
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    So much as to do with the myth of the Phoenix.

    It’s the thought basis of the black-clothed “anarchists”, the “drown the government” right and the protest vote liberals.

    “If we just destroy what exists then something pure will rise from the ashes.”

  369. 369
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I thought Freddie was saying people on both sides of the argument play cheap-ass rhetorical games.

    I know that Freddie demonstrated that fact by using a cheap-ass rhetorical game to claim the side he disagrees with is full of Good vs. Evil thinkers unlike himself, who knows he can’t vote for Evil.

    I’m not sure that playing the same cheap-ass rhetorical game counts as criticism of it.

  370. 370
    NR says:

    @Paul: If you followed the health care debate closely, then you probably saw that from the very beginning, Obama made it clear that his top priority was to protect the profits of the big insurance companies. Everything else was secondary to that–both for Obama and for the rest of the Democratic leadership.

  371. 371
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, that’s why Republicans cater to the evangelical vote and pass laws that will make them happy—because they don’t have to pay any attention to them.

    Good lord, you are dense.

    Why don’t the Republicans ever run a pro-choice candidate for president?

    Because the evangelicals would never vote for such a candidate. Duh.

    The evangelicals get catered to precisely because they have let the Republicans know that they cannot take their votes for granted.

  372. 372
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne: I had an inkling to point that very thing out myself, but it didn’t get to the front of my mind before I hit the submit button.

  373. 373
    Paul in KY says:

    @Marc: I am on record at Salon & Steve Gilliard’s old website (also the ALT.FAN.TOLKIEN forum) saying how terrible he would be.

    You may persuse their archives to confirm.

  374. 374
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR:

    If you followed what other people were saying about the health care debate closely…

    Fixed that for you.

  375. 375
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR:

    The evangelicals get catered to precisely because they have let the Republicans know that they cannot take their votes for granted.

    And look at how well it’s working out for them.

  376. 376
    MBunge says:

    @NR: “Obama made it clear that his top priority was to protect the profits of the big insurance companies.”

    Okay, let’s assume for a moment that’s a fair and accurate description of the situation. It’s not, but let’s assume.

    IT WORKED! By following that approach, the President got real, meaningful health care reform through Congress. He accomplished something 2 generations of Democrats had failed at, including Bill and Hilary Clinton, who couldn’t even get a Democratic Congress to vote on their health care proposal.

    If Obama had tried it his way and failed, it would be completely legitimate to rip him a new one. When he does something that every other Democrat of the last 40 years had failed at, it’s really not.

    Mike

  377. 377
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ’m still not sure if the problem here is that you’re too stupid to understand this basic dynamic of voting, or if you’re an out-and-out Republican ratfucker who’s trying to convince naive lefties to vote third party because you know it will hurt the Obama vote.

    How come “passionate liberal with a shallow, cynical understanding of reality” isn’t one of the options?

  378. 378
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @NR:

    Why don’t the Republicans ever run a pro-choice candidate for president?

    Why don’t the Democrats ever run a candidate who supports privatizing Social Security? Or striking down the Civil Rights Act? Or decreasing funding for education?

  379. 379
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I think at the Presidential level there is, as the Electoral College makes it 100% likely that the President will be either the Democratic or the Republican nominee (so you need to vote for one of them, no matter how much it pains you).

    At lower levels, you can win with 34% of vote.

  380. 380
    Soonergrunt says:

    @JustAnotherBob: The only way that actually works is if the fire consumes everyone and everything.

  381. 381
    different-church-lady says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: I’m sure the answer you’re going to get on at least numbers 1 and 3 will be, “THEY ARE!”

  382. 382
    Paul in KY says:

    @kathleen: Instead, one of the few more excreable people (Darth Cheney) did become VP (or P).

  383. 383
    different-church-lady says:

    @Paul in KY:

    At lower levels, you can win with 34% of vote.

    Repeat that often enough and then there’s a realistic chance a new party or movement can start to capture enough of the presidential vote to have an effective impact. Get some actual votes in congress and a new party could could actually affect real legislation.

    But sadly too may folks on the intertubes seem to be operating under the illusion that the franchise was designed to give one a means of personal expression, rather than a real-life decision about who their leaders will be.

  384. 384
    Soonergrunt says:

    @NR: And who actually has a significant amount of power because they control a large part of the party infrastructure over there?
    That would be the evangelicals, who’ve fought, struggled, lost, and kept fighting for control of their party for DECADES until they became a force that could not be ignored.

    Which kind of gets back to the point I was making earlier.

  385. 385
    Ruckus says:

    @Dave:
    Shorter,

    “I’m going to hold my breath till I turn blue!”

  386. 386
    Paul says:

    @NR:

    Your posting is just not telling the truth. You apparently are not aware that Obama made one of his priorities that at least 80% of premium dollars are spent on quality health care, not administrative costs like profits, CEO salaries and marketing.

    You do realize that this does REDUCE the profits of the insurance companies.

    If you don’t think that was enough, then you and the rest of the people on the left should have done what the tea baggers did, ie organize and vote. We simply did not have enough voters on our side in 2008, whether you can see that or not.

  387. 387
    Suffern ACE says:

    @MBunge: “Obama made it clear that his top priority was to protect the profits jobs of the big insurance companies.”

    Good god. I assume that you didn’t get one of those checks in the mail from your health insurance company this year. Lots of people did, because those companies were determined to have collected too much in premiums and had not payed out enough in claims. So basically, those companies were TOO PROFITABLE under the new law and were REQUIRED TO RETURN PROFITS to their policy holders.

    We’ve capped profits at health insurers. We’ve told them what they can cover. We’ve told them that they can’t keep profits and send them to their CEOs. Heaven have mercy that someone should have a profit at all. You may think that that profit is too high. But protecting profits is not exactly what the bill does. In fact it caps profits at a much lower level than what the industry saw before the bill.

    Gee. That would appear to be a step towards eventually turning the insurers into something new. But until the entrails of the last health insurance company employee are used to strangle the neck of the last DLC leaning democrat, there is no justice worth talking about.

  388. 388
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Aren’t blinders a wonderful thing? It means you can lead that horse to water, easier, but you still can’t get the fucker to drink.

  389. 389
    Betty Cracker says:

    @NR: Which is why the insurance company lobbying groups spent millions of dollars opposing healthcare reform. Crafty devils!

  390. 390
    Fort Geek says:

    @Political Observer: Sounds like how Davros is always screaming that he will not be defeated…just before The Doctor defeats him.

  391. 391
    Brachiator says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Probably not by invading other random countries. Probably not by invading countries period.

    We invaded Pakistan to kill bin Laden. You were, of course, against this.

    Look: we are giving WAY TOO much credence to these terrorists. To put it simply we were Punked on 9-11 by some dudes with box cutters and a very simple plan. We don’t need drones and bombs to fight terrorism. We will not win. We are guaranteed to lose that battle.

    I thought that thousands of people were murdered while just going about their daily lives.

    I have no idea why you think that murder and mayhem only count if some Doctor Evil does it through some insanely complicated and sophisticated plan.

    Also, like so many people, you insist on filtering terrorist’s objectives through your values instead of listening to what they actually say.

    So, the current crop of terrorists don’t say, “Don’t invade our country.” They say, do not have any bases or embassies in Islamic countries, do not back any country or regime that they perceive to be non Islamic, do not have any diplomatic, economic or military ties to the nations in the Middle East, Pakistan or India. And of course, end all ties and support for Israel.

    Do you support this? Yes or no. It’s a simple question.

    And if you believe that terrorism is inevitable, is your solution that the US play defense and only try to detect and prevent attacks?

    And so, do you believe that it is preferable that innocent people here be deliberately killed by terrorists than that the US ever try to capture or kill terrorists outside the US?

  392. 392
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Sorry but the discussion regarding drones is about a policy, not a tool.

    The fuck it is. If it were, the discussion would be dedicated to figuring out ways to tighten oversight, check and balance presidential authority, create more stringent rules of engagement, that sort of thing. I don’t think I’ve seen that happen once. Instead we get antic emoting about how Killing Is Bad and we totally shouldn’t do it. Really, wow, dude, never thought of that before.

  393. 393
    NR says:

    @Paul:

    You do realize that this does REDUCE the profits of the insurance companies.

    No it doesn’t. The vast majority of insurance companies were already operating within the 80% threshold.

    But they did get 50 million new people forced by law to give them money, which greatly INCREASES their profits.

  394. 394
    NR says:

    @MBunge:

    When he does something that every other Democrat of the last 40 years had failed at, it’s really not.

    No other Democrat had ever tried to force people by law to give money to private corporations. Obama was the first.

  395. 395
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paul: NR doesn’t listen, and if he does he will simply say that even 20% is too much profit, and something better would have been super easy to accomplish if The Democrats just wanted it enough, or tried hard enough, or cast the right LBJ Magic Arm Of Twisting spell or something.

  396. 396
    NR says:

    @Betty Cracker: The reason that the insurance companies fought the bill so hard is that by doing so, they were able to strip it of all real reform.

    If they’d just started out by saying “Hey, whatever happens is fine with us!” the way the left did, things would probably have turned out very differently.

  397. 397
    lou says:

    You know, if people were really serious about not having to compromise their pure liberal principles (and how does that differ from the Tea Party’s rigid ideological purity), then you would work like hell to get school board members, county commissioners, city council members, state legislators and even dogcatcher elected.

    You don’t start with the presidency. You start with the local elections. The rightwing branch of the Republican party understands this. That’s how they became powerful. Unless and and until liberals start from the bottom up, that’s the way it’s always going to be.

  398. 398
    different-church-lady says:

    @NR:

    The reason that the insurance companies fought the bill so hard is that by doing so, they were able to strip it of all real reform.

    OK, so what you’re saying here is that Obama created a bill that kowtowed to the insurance companies that they then had to oppose so they could get rid of the stuff that wasn’t in there because Obama didn’t want it to be in there.

    Good. Glad we got that cleared up.

  399. 399
    Paul says:

    @NR:

    And God bless for him for that. Despite people like, I am now for the first time going to get coverage for my pre-existing condition. I will HAPPILY pay money to a private corporation to get coverage. I’m glad you don’t have to deal with crap like this.

  400. 400
    shortstop says:

    What would happen if all the people-hours spent repeating the exact same arguments with NR — who is, he’s proven time and time again, simply impervious to all facts that don’t fit his cherished narrative — were put toward GOTV work for Obama among audiences who are not immune to reality?

  401. 401
    different-church-lady says:

    @shortstop: What, and have to leave my desk?

    It ain’t a lot, but I consider it a small luxury that this year I’ll be canvasing for Warren in my home state instead of going across the border to help shore up NH.

  402. 402
    Steve Finlay says:

    Paul, that’s a good point. Given the ridiculous behaviour of the Republicans and many in his own party, it’s somewhat amazing that Obama was able to do anything at all.

    Rachel, I think there must be more to it. Factions within parties can (and I think do) still argue with each other after an American election, just as they can after a parliamentary election. A member of the US House of Representatives actually has a lot MORE freedom to oppose his party than a member of parliament has in Canada.

    I know that “first past the post” isn’t to blame for the freeze-out of third parties in the US. Canada and Britain have “first past the post”, and third parties have successfully become viable options in both countries.

    Maybe the problem is that in the US, the voter has to cast so many different votes all at the same time, and the federal parties operate at ALL levels of government. Up here in Canada, when there is a federal election, I cast ONE vote: a vote to select the member of parliament for my riding. That is about the same as voting for the representative for a congressional district in the US. But I don’t vote for the prime minister, for senators, for local politicians, for judges, for district attorneys, or for dogcatchers. There are votes for local politicians, but they happen at other times, and the federal parties don’t participate in those elections.

    In the US, the federal parties participate at all levels, right down to the municipal, so the “barrier to entry” for a third party is massive. In Canada a third party can focus on the national level only, and doesn’t have to spend time and resources at the provincial and local levels. Then, because the votes happen all at once, a lot of voters will just not have the time and energy to think individually about all of them, and will pull the lever for a “straight ticket” vote. And THAT is guaranteed to freeze out any third party.

  403. 403
    shortstop says:

    @different-church-lady: That will be fun. Stick it to ’em, girlie.

  404. 404
    Brachiator says:

    @giltay:

    Harper happened because of (a) the growing population of the Canadian West driven by oil who were (b) dissatisfied with what the central Canadian elite had been giving them, plus the implosion of the Liberal Party in Québec after the sponsorship scandal.

    Thanks for the info on the political background to the Canadian elections.

    It also seems as though there is some interesting stuff here about the central Canadian elite vs the other parts of the country.

  405. 405
    Paul says:

    @NR:

    But they did get 50 million new people forced by law to give them money, which greatly INCREASES their profits.

    Which of course explains why the insurance companies fought tooth and nail to defeat ACA, and which also explain why they had their employees fill up the despicable townhall meetings to defeat ACA.

    Since, according to you, the CEO’s of these insurance companies voluntarily are saying no to extra profits, shouldn’t you demand they get fired?

  406. 406
    different-church-lady says:

    @Paul:

    Since, according to you, the CEO’s of these insurance companies voluntarily are saying no to extra profits, shouldn’t you demand they get fired?

    IOEDCWRDI: It’s only 11-dimensional chess when Republicans do it.

  407. 407
    Paul in KY says:

    @Citizen Alan: I think you are selling VP Gore short. He would have been all over Afganistan & (IMO) would have had Bin Laden & Mullah Omar’s heads on pikes before the Repubs knew what hit them. Two can play the ‘war president’ card.

  408. 408
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael: “Woah!”
    /Keanu

  409. 409
    Corner Stone says:

    @Soonergrunt: Sigh. You know damn good and well that the discussion of the overarching policy gets immediately reverted to minutiae by people who hate talking about drones.
    But hey, what exactly is our ME policy regarding terror, terrorists, suspected terrorists and collateral damage?

  410. 410
    Brachiator says:

    @NR:

    If you followed the health care debate closely, then you probably saw that from the very beginning, Obama made it clear that his top priority was to protect the profits of the big insurance companies

    Well, no.

    It seems to be more important to you that insurance companies be abolished and that their profits be eliminated than that health care and access to it be improved for millions of people.

  411. 411
    Chrisd says:

    The national Democrats reliably split the difference between the liberal position and whatever lunacy the Republicans are currently advocating. We finally get the Heritage Foundation’s 1991 individual health insurance mandate, but only after the political culture has rotted to the point where Romneycare is too liberal for Republicans. Voting the “lesser of two evils” means tacking to the right instead of lurching. The direction is the same.

    I suspect no one here faults any moderates for rejecting Obama, despite Obama’s relentless centrism, because moderates are allowed that luxury. The left, on the other hand, is required to vote Democratic regardless.

    Yeah, well, whatever. Jill Stein 2012.

  412. 412
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Well…maybe it’s what we should be talking about then.

  413. 413
    Paul in KY says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: I do think you can ‘hunt’ them in a different manner, but it would be much more expensive & would cost more deaths among highly trained American servicemen.

  414. 414
    Corner Stone says:

    @carolus: Hey Soonergrunt, Michael, FlipYrWhig et al?
    You see what I’m talking about? Please read Carolus’ response linked here. Perfect example.

  415. 415
    Paul in KY says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: Horse head in the bed?

  416. 416
    Michael says:

    @Corner Stone: You’ve been busy ridiculing and ignoring everyone who suggests this.

  417. 417
    Paul in KY says:

    @different-church-lady: You have to have your party’s representatives in the House to be able to vote for their candidate if no one gets the 280 number.

  418. 418
    Mandalay says:

    @Brachiator:

    Do you support this? Yes or no. It’s a simple question.

    I see what you did there.

    First just let us know whether you have stopped beating your wife (Yes or no. It’s a simple question.)

  419. 419
    Cassidy says:

    THREAD NEEDS MORE PURITY! For CS, NR, and all the others.

  420. 420
    Yutsano says:

    @nitpicker: Let’s get this puppy to 500!!

  421. 421
    gwangung says:

    The national Democrats reliably split the difference between the liberal position and whatever lunacy the Republicans are currently advocating. We finally get the Heritage Foundation’s 1991 individual health insurance mandate, but only after the political culture has rotted to the point where Romneycare is too liberal for Republicans. Voting the “lesser of two evils” means tacking to the right instead of lurching. The direction is the same.

    And why is that culture rotted, hm? It couldn’t possibly be that this is where voters are, is it? And that YOU did nothing to affect it, hm?

    Feh.

  422. 422
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: Is that an example of a good response or a bad response? I don’t have any problem with it. I don’t have any problem with someone saying that drone attacks have killed innocent people. They do! I don’t have any problem with someone saying that we should use them less or not at all. Fine, bring it on. That’s probably right. I really would like to hear what kinds of actual oversight would make things better. And I bet “Obots” and “Firebaggers” would agree on 95% of them.

    But the “Why oh why must I be the only one who cares deeply enough about poor dead children?” rigmarole is like the civil liberties equivalent of those ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan and the limping animals.

    (And of course “So you just want to give in to the terrorists?” is roughly as cheap in its own right.)

  423. 423
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael: No I haven’t you buffoon. I’ve been ridiculing the people who keep putting forth that formulation in some way, when the god damned truth is quite simple.
    Please see my comment from yesterday in the “Protest” thread.

  424. 424
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: Actually, I don’t know that damn good and well.
    I see somebody post something about drones being used to kill people on the other side of the world and how evil that is. I honestly don’t recall any elaboration on that point, even when specifically asked for it, but I’m sure that it’s happened. I don’t watch the blog all the time.
    Sometimes I pay attention to my wife and kids. Would that they wouldn’t always get in the way of blogging, but they’re pretty selfish that way.

    I’ll put up a thread later where we can talk about foreign policy specifically as it relates to the “war on terror”*. Shoot me an email (I’m at work at the moment so I can’t build a post) with some ideas about framing the discussion, and I’ll use it.
    What questions do we as engaged citizens ask or should we be asking? What answers should we be looking for?
    What is the role of the military in addressing common national security challenges?
    What is the role of the military in this specific national security challenge?
    What other departments or agencies should address these issues?
    Hell–what constitutes a national security challenge?

    I could go on and on, but I have to take a monitor to the Emergency Room now.

    *A construct I’ve never liked as it makes war against a tactic, and not a base cause and therefore is an open ended commitment to use weapons to resolve problems whenever they present themselves whether or not they are the appropriate tool.

  425. 425
    Chrisd says:

    @gwangung:
    You don’t know anything about me.

    But you want an example of how to rot a political culture? Branding Obama’s policies as liberal.

  426. 426
    different-church-lady says:

    @Paul in KY: On the presidential level I don’t see that happening any time soon. But to have influence over the dynamics and debates on the issues, you don’t need to actually get elected — you only need enough mass (say, just for yucks, 34%).

    Sorry Mr. Nader, but 5% ain’t gonna cut it.

  427. 427
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Chrisd:

    The national Democrats reliably split the difference between the liberal position and whatever lunacy the Republicans are currently advocating.

    Well, first of all, “the national Democrats” is not a monolithic bloc, although NR et al enjoy pretending they are in order to reinforce the belief that it’s all a rigged game and all politics is kabuki.

    But, second, there’s kind of a reason for that, and it’s because southern Democrats started to flee to the Republican side, and Democratic strategists scrambled to come up with ways to salvage the Democratic name in the South, ending up with a business-friendly, less-than-liberal template. Those guys could win races liberal Democrats couldn’t. Thus “the national Democrats” learned that they had a decent shot at a majority if they brought together moderate-to-center-right technocrats (Clinton, Gore, Mark Warner) with old-line liberals. Democrats “split the difference” between the liberal side of the party–much the better side ideologically for me and most of us–and the conservative side of that same party, which occupies the same niche business-minded socially tolerant Republicans did in the 1970s.

  428. 428
    different-church-lady says:

    @Corner Stone:

    when the god damned truth is quite simple.

    The “truth” is simple. The god damned truth is never simple.

    Don’t make me drag out that quote from the O’Reilly/Letterman debates. Letterman’s administration was a catastrophe, but O’Reilly’s would have been even worse.

  429. 429
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: When you’re ready, will you deign to favor us with the simple god damned truth? Because otherwise you’ll be stuck for a week in one of your meta loops when you just keep pointing out obliquely how ridiculous everyone else is.

  430. 430
    General Stuck says:

    Christ, not again. This stupid thread, and those many that came before it, always remind me of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, flipping that lamp on and off, staring into the abyss. I’m bored, normally. But not that fucking bored.

  431. 431
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    But, second, there’s kind of a reason for that, and it’s because southern Democrats started to flee to the Republican side, and Democratic strategists scrambled to come up with ways to salvage the Democratic name in the South, ending up with a business-friendly, less-than-liberal template.

    There’s a book called Southern Cross, IIRC, that covers the history of revivalist Christianity in the South from the Great Awakening through their embrace of slavery. The parallels to what you’re describing are intriguing.

  432. 432
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Cool, sounds intriguing.

  433. 433
    Michael says:

    I love that I get called a buffoon in a post that’s supposedly refuting my point about ridicule/insults.

    I looked at the link, not sure what I’m supposed to gather from it. How about you re-read all my posts in this thread and tell me where you disagree with me on drone policy and Mid-East policy generally.

    You accuse me of dodging the debate, and yet, I’ve laid out my cards, and nobody has bothered to respond to them. There’s something apparently less interesting about debating War Model/Law Enforcement model than insulting anybody isn’t MORALLY OUTRAGED because CIVILIANS

  434. 434
    Michael says:

    Also, going back to CS’s first response to my post, I never suggested that “some people won’t let us have a real policy debate,” I’m suggesting Obama’s critics do not seem at all interested in having a real policy debate.

    I have yet to see any of the critics respond in a positive manner to any post/poster that is interested in a real debate. Instead, its inflammatory language, appeals to emotion, etc.

  435. 435
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael: Are you referring to your post #216?

  436. 436
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Michael: Been here long? This is the Tao of Corner Stone. If we say the problem is that no one wants to have a real debate, he’ll say the problem is that claims about what a real debate should look like are themselves a deflection, a kind of running out the clock to spare Obama from criticism. But he won’t say it directly, he’ll just start acting vague and snippy.

  437. 437
    Corner Stone says:

    @different-church-lady: I happen to look back fondly on the Letterman Administration.
    All in all, I can think of at least 10 good reasons it was successful.

  438. 438
    Corner Stone says:

    @Michael:

    I am currently taking a class in law school

    Oh. I see.

  439. 439
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Yes, yes. You and the other cocks will crow long and hard about wanting a debate. Then when it’s attempted we’ll all be told what we should be talking about, really, not this other thing.

  440. 440
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Don’t be ridiculous.

  441. 441
    Michael says:

    @Corner Stone: I take it this is supposed to be mocking. Not that I care.

    Post 220 sums up my thoughts on drones succinctly.

  442. 442
    Michael says:

    If you weren’t so busy insulting/dismissing me, I think you’d find that we actually agree on a lot.

  443. 443
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Corner Stone: When it sparks to life the debate does, indeed, often degenerate. Which is too bad.

    But, you know, if we’re really doing this, it’s not even clear what “the debate” even is. Is it “what’s to be done to stop suspected terrorists?” or “given that drones exist and can be grievously misused, what’s to be done to make that misuse zero or close to zero?” or “given that the American government continues to do various indisputably awful things, how much responsibility do we bear for those if we voted for the guy at its head?”

    ETA: What debate do the disputants even think they’re having?

    The way some people want to hash it out, you’d think the starting point was “given that Obama cackles while bathing in the blood of innocents, how ought we best advance the demise of murderous American hegemony?” or “given that terrorists will kill you tomorrow if we do nothing, why do you want to do nothing?”

  444. 444
    Michael says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I’ve read this blog (and commented intermittently) for years, but I usually just ignored CS, so this is a first!

  445. 445
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Sooner indicated at #424 he would put up such a thread at some later point. Let’s see how that goes.

  446. 446
    Michael says:

    But, you know, if we’re really doing this, it’s not even clear what “the debate” even is. Is it “what’s to be done to stop suspected terrorists?

    I think this is where you start.

    “given that drones exist and can be grievously misused, what’s to be done to make that misuse zero or close to zero?

    I think this is a second-order consideration that only really matters after you’ve answered the first question you asked, and drones somehow fall within that answer.

    “given that the American government continues to do various indisputably awful things, how much responsibility do we bear for those if we voted for the guy at its head?”

    I don’t see profit in this discussion at all without a lot of context that is likely going to be missing, both historical and counter-factual.

  447. 447
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: And I will this evening.

  448. 448
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @FlipYrWhig: And I did recall correctly.

    Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt “In the span of a century, Evangelicalism began adopting Southern values, and a sect that had earlier preached against slavery and violence began defending both slaveholding and succession from the Union and the use of force in these ends, if necessary.”

  449. 449
    NR says:

    @Chrisd:

    The national Democrats reliably split the difference between the liberal position and whatever lunacy the Republicans are currently advocating.

    Actually, it’s more accurate to say that the national Democrats reliably split the difference between the centrist (or even center-right) position and whatever lunacy the Republicans are currently advocating. The liberal position isn’t even allowed into the debate–the Democrats see to that.

    The health care bill is a perfect case in point. The liberal position–Medicare for all–was never even discussed. The centrist position–a public option–received only tepid support and was quickly “compromised” away in favor of the Heritage Foundation’s bill.

    We’ll see this again after Obama is re-elected and he pursues his “Grand Bargain” with the GOP on Social Security and Medicare. Mark my words, not only will Simpson-Bowles be Obama’s starting point for those negotiations, it will be the furthest left position allowed in the debate.

    And when whatever wretched “compromise” emerges from those negotiations is put into place and begins the dismantling of the New Deal, people here will cheer about it, because Obama Gets Shit Done, and after all, it wasn’t exactly what the Republicans wanted, so it must be good.

  450. 450
    General Stuck says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    And I will this evening.

    It won’t make any difference. Obama haters, and other assorted clowns will again ventilate the warm pus betwixt their ears, and pretend they care about living things. So much that it hurts their teeth, and makes them gasp at the brutality of it all, . Then go back to playing Task Force Ranger pumping their joystick like nothing ever happened. Internet noise.

    And all of it. a ground floor apartment inside John Cole’s id

  451. 451
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Cacti: He should stay on that MRA site he faps to all day.

  452. 452
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Marc: Jill Stein is not a politician, period, hence the Green Party clown show.

    There is a liberal Dem ‘caucus’ so to speak in Mass, but they don’t hold REAL ULTIMATE POWER due to the corrupt machine.

    Maybe in the end thanks to Scottie Brown we will see a resurgence of the R’s in Mass as the holder for FYIGM and racists. Then we could have real D’s in power in Mass instead of corporate sellouts, gladhanders, and conservaDems.

    Meh. Never happen.

  453. 453
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Another Halocene Human: MRA?
    The Michigan Reading Association?
    The Magnetic Resonance Angiography?
    The Mountain Rescue Association?
    The Marketing Research Association?

  454. 454
    Brachiator says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism:

    Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt “In the span of a century, Evangelicalism began adopting Southern values, and a sect that had earlier preached against slavery and violence began defending both slaveholding and succession from the Union and the use of force in these ends, if necessary.”

    Another book to add to the pile of interesting reads. Thanks for this.

  455. 455
    Rex Everything says:

    Don’t feel so bad, Betty. If you hadn’t done that horrible deed, Nader would still have gotten 1,783 votes and GWB would still have won stolen the election.

  456. 456
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Michael: My feeling is that drones may be a good way to deal with known terrorists on the verge of doing something awful, but a poor way to deal with suspected terrorists just going about their lives. So there need to be practices in place that ensure against itchy trigger fingers and err on the side of caution. And I don’t think that currently they’re being used willy-nilly, but they may well be being used too freely anyway. Gotta go but that’s my starting point.

  457. 457
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @NR: Then join the Labor Party.

    Btw, the Labor Party figured out a few years ago that they would be more effective not by taking on the electoral system and trying to primary Democrats or get their own guys on the ticket, but by engaging in single-issue advocacy. Take the GLBT movement. Single issue advocacy for years and years resulted in gains, resulted eventually in a significant # of glbt politicians AND their agenda becoming part of the Democratic party platform. On the evil side, same thing has worked for Norquist and the Kochs with the GOP. Blacks also engaged in single-issue advocacy for decades… and now freedom rider John Lewis is a US Rep. The coalition and grassroots building happens first… then the media war… take it to people door to door… and then you gain real political power.

    The Labor Party advocates on a grassroots level for single payer healthcare, aka Medicare for all. You ought to get involved.

  458. 458
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Soonergrunt: I hope you’re funnin’, but MRA stands for Men’s Rights Activists.

  459. 459

Comments are closed.