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Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.


United States Third Presidential Debate

 
The last two years are when the Republicans gained more control of Congress and began their earnest campaign of 'stop Obama from accomplishing anything, no matter what'.

The Republicans have their "we will never back down or compromise, so there!" idiots. The Democrats have theirs too (hello, Nancy Pelosi!). Obama had a chance to do something right, from the beginning. McCain had the right idea - you have to forge a bipartisan agreement on a number of important issues then move forward on those. Disagree on other issues. Obama said he would, and was knifed in the back by Pelosi and others who refused to work with the Republicans. And that was the end of it. Attempt failed, divided government coming up.

Now, Lord Ben mentioned that swing voters usually go against the incumbents in a time of economic uncertainty. And that brings me to a weird idea: did McCain choose Palin to appease the right wing of his own party, or to throw the election, so he wouldn't be the president in the recession? I thought it might have been possibly at the time, but I thought it may have been his decision. With the Republican party choosing Romney (and Ryan as running mate - who on earth thought *that* would be a good idea?), I'm starting to wonder if the party didn't force Palin on McCain, and choose Romney *in_order_to* lose the elections. They did not want to be the party to be tainted by the fallout from the recession.
Conspiracy theory? Am I nuts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savayan View Post
The last two years are when the Republicans gained more control of Congress and began their earnest campaign of 'stop Obama from accomplishing anything, no matter what'.
We could get into his history of refusing any sort of bipartisanship that wasn't some version of "Republican's cave, I win" but it veers off topic. Most presidents don't have the kind of overwhelming support from both houses that Obama had and they don't rest against this handy excuse so much. It's not the House and Senate's job to cave to the Presidents demands. He bears equal blame for there being no middle ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muggie2 View Post
Now, Lord Ben mentioned that swing voters usually go against the incumbents in a time of economic uncertainty. And that brings me to a weird idea: did McCain choose Palin to appease the right wing of his own party, or to throw the election, so he wouldn't be the president in the recession?
No, at the time of the election it was widely believed that he'd be President for 8 years. Mostly because the economy was in the shitter and after 4 years it was "guaranteed" to be much better than where it was at the time. Then he went about focusing on Obamacare and the Stimulus, both of which were unpopular (though possibly the stimulus was popular at the start until the "shovel ready" wasn't and was mostly just a big cash hand out to political allies then the huge "one time" spending was continued under baseline budgeting) and had critics arguing that it would weaken and delay recover instead of helping it along, which has largely proven to be accurate.

I'm of the belief that had he sat on his thumbs and done nothing major we'd be in a better position than we are now.

Shouldn't the people in congress carry most of that blame?

I've never understood why presidents carry so much of the weight for the behavior of a whole other part of the government. Our system is supposed to be 'checks and balances', so if the president is the one driving the ship of congress (whether they have support or not), how is that a check or balance?

To spell it out, I think we need to blame congress more for their own screw ups. Leadership in congress is terrible, cooperation in congress is terrible, the delegation of work in congress is terrible. We have (and I would be hard pressed to define how long we have had) an atrocious congress. This won't change much if Romney gets elected, it would just be the same trash going the opposite direction (say no to everything the republicans say!).

EDIT: I guess I'll add that we almost got there. I remember before election season gained full steam, a lot of news was reporting on how unpopular congress was. We were constantly getting poll numbers about THEIR approval rating. Instead of remembering that now, when a lot of those people are also running elections, instead of focusing on which of those senators and representatives did what, we trace all of the strife back to the president. We try to blame every woe of the country on one person, and pretend that this one particular vote will fix the whole of the government. Considering many of us know our vote is effectively useless (I live in Washington, the election will be called before my state's votes are counted), focusing the conversation this much does nothing to help voter turnout. Of course, all of this is off topic. I find it more interesting than talking about the debate itself (which will be pointless).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merdle View Post
This won't change much if Romney gets elected, it would just be the same trash going the opposite direction (say no to everything the republicans say!).
Possibly, but his record as Governor in Massachusetts would dispute that. He has a record of being willing to work with both sides to accomplish things. As well as all other Presidents in my lifetime who have been able to work things out with Congress and find compromise over things. History has shown that to be the case. Even the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 otherwise known as "Bush Tax Cut" got through a divided Congress and passsed 62-38 despite the Republicans having only 49 people in the Senate. Republicans gave in to some of the things they wanted and Democrats got some stuff they wanted and while it was predominantly passed by Republicans it still had bipartisan support and got through.

I'd be very surprised if he didn't eliminate any of the tax cuts for the rich, etc in return for getting what he wants in other areas. I fully expect to be thrown under the bus repeatedly under President Romney. But I've seen how disastrous it is to have a President who doesn't compromise with Congress.

Back to foreign policy:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...ving-bing-west

His information is unsourced so it's likely from confidential sources (as is nearly every article about Benghazi) as nobody else reported on it. The author is a former Assistant Secretary of Defense so it wouldn't be unusual for him to have an inside scoop on what happened.

Europe, for reasons I cannot understand, seems to think Americans care what Europeans think about America. When I'm told how much everyone else loves Obama, I always ask, "And how many of these people are voting in US elections?" Nobody asked me my opinion on Hollande, Merkel, or Cameron, I really and truly don't understand why I should care what anybody else's is about American politicians. I say this because the politicians we elect should be fighting for us, and doing what is in the best interest of America and Americans. If they step on some toes along the way and America is still better off for it, fine.

That being said, America is a much more conservative country than people seem to realize. Yah, we have a few Green Party members on this forum, a couple Socialists too, but I hate to say it: This is the fringe of American politics. When issues like gun control come up, politicians know that gun rights are sacrosanct in America, and to tread lightly. If they want to change anything, they have to somehow try to sneak it in. True, on some social issues, America is starting to match the rest of the world. But even this is a slow transformation, and by no means will lead to an identical state to those nations which are "similar" to the US.

As far as Congress goes: The American people elect Congress. Those they want out will be tossed out every two years, with some lingering for six, those they want in will make it in. As was said earlier: The sudden loss of Congress for Obama in 2010 was a direct referendum on his policies. Obama had the government in the palm of his hand from '08 - '10, and the people didn't like it. I've read on here a few times now that the republican party is on the ropes and will soon disintegrate. I don't see it happening in any of the foreseeable future, (which means after Hillary finishes up her term as a president in 2020) but if it does, I'd expect to see the libertarians take over as the 2nd party.

What you saw was the congress of that time being able to work together. It is not the power or responsibility of the president to be a member of congress. It is only with modern presidents that we expect them to outline the plans and votes of congress, and to intervene in congress. This is not their job, and it could probably be argued that it isn't good to see them take it as their job.

The congress is divided, and the people within that congress are strictly opposed on what they want to allow. This is likely more the fault of John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi than it is Obama or in the future Romney. Why are they not blamed now despite being the leaders of their respective parties?

Also, bringing up Romney's Massachusetts record to talk about what Romney would do now is suspect, considering he has changed how he leads for his presidential election. I can't try to look back at the past Romney for leadership when the current Romney seems to lack any of past Romney's traits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Ben View Post
I'm of the belief that had he sat on his thumbs and done nothing major we'd be in a better position than we are now.
Numerous leading economists (including Nobel prize winners) disagree with you. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/0...not-even-close

Regardless, I don't think Romney's gonna do well in this debate. Obama did pretty well in the last one, and foreign policy is his strong suit this election - hard to argue with the man that liberated Libya, killed Bin Laden, ended the war in Iraq, and was sitting president during the largest movement towards democracy in the Middle East ever. Don't mind those drone strikes.




 

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