Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Quaker State

Where it's all turned to guns and roses. And where being "soft" is the worst insult you can hurl at someone. It's as if some Republican operative has controlled this nominating process for the Dems. Like some evil puppet master seized the strings about two months ago. It couldn't be worse. I am sick with worry that the Democratic Party has insured a Republican victory in November
by making both candidates look desperate, nasty and out of step.

What do you think? Does any of it matter as we possibly head into a Depression? Should we be looking for a Roosevelt instead of any of these candidates?

24 comments:

Josephine Damian said...

I nominate Ted Turner for Prez and his ex, Jane Fonda for Vice Prez.

How's that for some political pot stirring? lol

Seriously, I've seen the pundits all point out the fact that the Republicans are none too happy with maverick McCain and they just won't show up to vote in November..... let's hope.

Either way, it's going to a long night watching the Pennsylvania results.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't think I can bear it. I may have to sit it out.

Precie said...

Spin doctors aside, Obama and Clinton are so similar on paper it's almost funny. Almost.

pattinase (abbott) said...

They're near replicas on paper. In real life, not so much.

Todd Mason said...

Too much, though, Patti. He certainly seems more gracious, but the lack of policy difference is still quite a problem for some of us.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So are you saying by voting third party you're helping things out? You're electing McCain the way I see it. Third party votes gave us Bush for eight years. Pragmaticism over ideology for me. There will be no other choice in my lifetime.

John McFetridge said...

"Pragmaticism over ideology for me."

To me, this is the most significant shift in my lifetime.

As for the two democratic candidates being similar, it seems to make sense that they would have the same goals, that they see the same issues in the same way - they're in the same party afterall.

so, their ideology is the same, of course. It's that pragmatism where the big differences come in. Or "implementation," as my policy analysts friends say.

Sure, we all know what we want, but there are many different ways to get there. Who's the best one for that?

pattinase (abbott) said...

That comment was directed toward Todd's idea that it is better to vote for a candidate that perfectly shares you ideology but can never win than to vote for one who may not be in keeping with your ideology but can win. That's why I would never vote for a third party candidate at this point in time. Both the Dems are close enough for me; I just prefer one to the other.

John McFetridge said...

"That's why I would never vote for a third party candidate at this point in time."

Would you ever? It's a very tough decision.

In Canada we have a three party national system. Really though, we have a centrist party that has no real ideology and leans as far right or left as the mood of the country swings. It's a compromise system that has serious flaws and a few benefits, but only works if people can accept voting for a party that doesn't form the government, but represents their ideology.

That system is starting to break now because the left and right wing parties are starting to make big ideological compromises to get elected. I can only guess that ideology really has lost a lot of its importance and getting elected is all that matters.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The liberal party in England has had some success getting people elected, but for now, I think the US is a long way from it so choosing the better party if not candidate is the only choice for me. I can't imagine a viable third party any time soon.

Todd Mason said...

Well, of course, Patti, third parties did not give us Bush. The Supreme Court and Jeb Bush's cronies fave us Bush, and John Kerry's ineptitude gave us Bush back. And I didn't say I was going to vote for someone who actually might represent me better, though I tend to when I can, and my vote by itself is more important to a minor candidate than it ever is to a major candidate, but I did say that they both stand for the same things that Nancy Pelosi stands for...let's make noise about putting the government off the kelptocracy track, let's occasionally throw a few sops, such as the inadquate Min Wage rise, and let's go about business as usual otherwise...only selling the nation to the wealthy in a less blatant way than the Kleptopubs do. That might be the best we can hope for at the moment...we have a responsibility, however, not to pretent that that is the Jubilee.

I think that's what Precie was getting at, in part. It sure is what I'm getting at.

I am disappointed that anyone would claim that a vote not for the Democrat is a vote for the Republican...but that is always the arrogant Dem line, the kind of arrogance that keeps losing the elections for the Democrats when they lose (as they did not in 2000, but Gore allowed himself to lose).

But that doesn't mean that I'm so well-represented by Cynthia McKinney that I might not vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. It's not, however, a happy choice nor predicament.

It sure would be nice to be able to vote for a good US equivalent of a good Canadian New Democrat.

Todd mason said...

John, US parties, even less than Canadian parties, which are less so than most European parties, are not overwhelmingly ideological, so much as Status Quo election machines. The more rightwing and hierarchical tend to drift to the GOP, the more vaguely egalitarian and centrist to the Democrats, but that's about it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess my additional years has allowed me to put aside any idea I would ever happily vote for a candidate. If I like their politics, I often don't like them personally (see the Gorman book). My husband vows not to vote for Hillary no matter what. I could never do that because here policies are more in line with mine than McCains's. I will always vote for the better policies even if I hold my nose. And even if there not all that good in the scheme of things.

TM said...

I tend to agree...I don't like Gravel the person all that much, but the platform was pretty good. Meanwhile, in 1992, Clinton was not a particularly good alternative to Bush, nor was Perot...they did say mostly the same sorts of things, under different wrappers (No, I'LL give business everything it wants with Even More alacrity!).

I haven't liked both platform and candidate a lot since Sonia Johnson for the Citizens/Consumer Party in 1984, but neither I nor she could vote for her as Virginians, so I voted with irritation for Mondale.

In this election, as much a break from the current admin as possible is necessary...but, again, let's not pretend, nor allow others to pretend as much as possible, that in effecting that likely break, that we are bringing in a particularly good new broom. I will point to our previous Democratic Presidents...Clinton and Carter. Neither were other than of the center-right, neither furthered the interests of working people, neither did much if anything to build the Democratic Party as a progressive force. Pretending otherwise, not to be a broken record, is not only self-deluding, but pernicious, dagnerously so, for all of us.

TM said...

I tend to agree...I don't like Gravel the person all that much, but the platform was pretty good. Meanwhile, in 1992, Clinton was not a particularly good alternative to Bush, nor was Perot...they did say mostly the same sorts of things, under different wrappers (No, I'LL give business everything it wants with Even More alacrity!).

I haven't liked both platform and candidate a lot since Sonia Johnson for the Citizens/Consumer Party in 1984, but neither I nor she could vote for her as Virginians, so I voted with irritation for Mondale.

In this election, as much a break from the current admin as possible is necessary...but, again, let's not pretend, nor allow others to pretend as much as possible, that in effecting that likely break, that we are bringing in a particularly good new broom. I will point to our previous Democratic Presidents...Clinton and Carter. Neither were other than of the center-right, neither furthered the interests of working people, neither did much if anything to build the Democratic Party as a progressive force. Pretending otherwise, not to be a broken record, is not only self-deluding, but pernicious, dagnerously so, for all of us.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And I have never understood why African-American revered Clinton (until lately) when it was he that cut the safety net even after it was clear he'd be re-elected.

Todd Mason said...

And was busy doing so beforehand. Or why poorer whites did, well, since they, in even greater numbers, suffered from Clinton Admin depredations. I suspect it's because he came from more modest circumstances than any Prez since LBJ, and because he was manifestly comfortable with African Americans and poorer Euro Ams, even while cheerfully messing them over, while not trumpeting that fact quite as readily as Bushes do (Bushes: "How dare you suggest that my class warfare isn't simply Rewarding the Best People?" The Folk Who Don't Think Too Hard About It: Hey, Sounds Good To Me...I'm gonna win the lottery soon, after all, and that Other Guy Just Wants to Give My Taxes to Junkies.)

TM said...

Well, that was forgetful of me...Nixon also came from modest circumstances, but was comfortable with no one. But was a hero of sorts to Bill Clinton. Presumably, to HRC to some extent, too, as a Young Repub.

John McFetridge said...

Ha, we in Canada would also like to see a good New Democrat again. The last leadership race they had pretty much put this idea of ideology vs. electability front and centre and I, for one, think they made a mistake and went for electability. It's why the NDP has lost so much momentum to the Green Party.

But, I grew up solidly in the working class and I think it's a bit of a leap to think that people of modest means are any more supportive of government programs than people of the middle class. In fact, the poorer you are the more you have the government in your life and familiarity really does breed contempt. For a lot of people, the safety net is as much a trap as a safety (I can remember being far more pissed off at those people trying to 'help' me pay my tuition than thankful and it made everybody unhappy and resentful and we went our seperate ways - sure I may have cut off my nose to spite my face, but these things tend to get emotional and people don't always make rational decisions - especially if the rational decision makes them feel bad).

There's a whole new approach to economic theory lately called "irrational economics," and in an odd way it makes more sense and fits more with human history than a rational approach.

TM said...

Well, there's nothing irrational in resenting a bureaucracy that treats you like a burden, or worse, when it's supposed to be serving you.

And the institutional support of liberal politicians for bad bureaucracy, whether actual or perceived, doesn't help their case with working people, either, no.

It was kind of interesting, for example, that among people who needed health assistance--nurses to check on them, at least, since they were and are severely disabled physically--that, in Massachusetts, for example, perhaps till recently, Democrats tended to default toward institutional housing, Republicans toward home healthcare visitation...when while the latter is harder to oversee, the former entirely too easily devolves into inhumane warehousing, which is almost always that much worse.

When a government program, or a government-controlled program, of home visitation would probably tend to work best.

John McFetridge said...

That home care-institutional care example is excellent. the kind of thing I've seen so many times in so many different ways and for a lot of people it simply comes down to faith - which system people have faith in.

Like so many things in life....

pattinase (abbott) said...

As someone in the throes of this sort of situation now, nothing is clearcut. It might have been nice to have had my parents remain at home, the constant worry about just the occasional visit from a worker would undo me. There is no good across the board solution to this one. The only sure thing is that good care unbelievably costly.

Todd Mason said...

Indeed. A good program also allows for in-house care, when possible, for longer stretches. But, there's no two ways about it, it's expensive: labor-intensive and needs a Lot of dedication...and everyone burns out, including the families (I hadn't even thought of older folks, so much as as my oldest friend's situation with her youngish, but polio-survivor and wheelchair-dependent, now ex-husband, and his predicaments throughout his life...he got it just before the Salk vaccine).

Though I should've remembered, and sorry about that.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Once I take you into my inner circle, I confer the noblest of sentiments on you. If that doesn't make sense, it's because I just had my prescriptive glass of wine. Kidding aside, I know what you mean. How could an anarchist-socialist-libertarian not be a gentleman?