What will scare the heck out of McCain

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AuthorTopic: What will scare the heck out of McCain
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #25
quote:
Originally written by madrigan:

We were discussing the definition of "politics," not the definition of "democracy." In a democracy, the individuals in the government are elected to serve the people. At Microsoft, employees are hired to serve Bill Gates. It is the exact opposite of a democracy. Do you not see that difference? Seriously. Bill Gates can fire any employee he wants. George Bush cannot "fire" a citizen. It is completely different.
Bill Gates doesn't have absolute control over his company. If Bill Gates doesn't like an employee, he can fire him, but Bill then has to face the consequences of that action: other employees will have to be made to work harder to make up for the loss of the fired employee's productivity, they'll feel less secure in their jobs, and so on. Likewise, citizens don't have absolute control over George Bush. If George Bush doesn't like a citizen, he can grab a gun and shoot him (or, more likely, order someone else to), and he then has to face the consequences of that action. The difference in consequences is one of degree, not of kind.

If you want my opinion, it's that democracy is all a bunch of idealistic claptrap on the part of its supporters and cynical manipulation on the part of its leaders. If George Washington had declared himself King of America, I don't think a damn thing would be different in the average American's life today -- or at least, the differences we'd observe wouldn't follow any predictable pattern.

[ Wednesday, May 07, 2008 09:10: Message edited by: Thuryl ]

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Thuryl:
What, are you now saying that office politics only counts as politics if you work for the government?
That is a colloquial use of the word. Any dictionary definition will indeed use the word "government" in it.
quote:
Kelandon:
Check the intro to the Wikipedia article on "Politics" to see how standard this is.
Despite it being against my better judgement, I went to wikipedia as you requested. The first thing I noticed in the introduction was a big, glaring [citation needed]. Well done.

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Shaper
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quote:
Thuryl again:
The difference in consequences is one of degree, not of kind.
How is dealing with disgruntled workers not a different kind of consequence from punishment for murder? What are you talking about?

[ Wednesday, May 07, 2008 09:42: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by madrigan:

The term in question is not "political system." It is "politics."
That, too, is defined broadly.

quote:
A definition of either of these terms which erases the differences between Microsoft and the United States is not broad, it is vague. It is not standard practice among political scientists to use vague definitions. It is standard practice among political scientists to define terms in ways that enhance understanding. A definition of "politics" or "political system" that does not allow us to distinguish between a corporation, an office, a country, and a group of friends at the movies would never be utilized by any political scientist.
You're just factually wrong, but your reasoning is also flawed, which is more interesting. "Politics" is defined so broadly by political scientists in order that other terms can then be differentiated from it. Within that broad class, "governmental politics" can be defined as a particular category.

There are useful reasons for broad definitions. (And they're broad, not vague, because they are inclusive, not unclear.)
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Despite it being against my better judgement, I went to wikipedia as you requested. The first thing I noticed in the introduction was a big, glaring [citation needed]. Well done.
Continue reading and notice the multiple citations that follow. The point here is that many (cited) political scientists do define "politics" this broadly (as evidenced by the later citations), not that the Wikipedia article is right or perfect.

[ Wednesday, May 07, 2008 11:56: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Warrior
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

[quote=madrigan]
[qb]The term in question is not "political system." It is "politics."

That, too, is defined broadly.

quote:
A definition of either of these terms which erases the differences between Microsoft and the United States is not broad, it is vague. It is not standard practice among political scientists to use vague definitions. It is standard practice among political scientists to define terms in ways that enhance understanding. A definition of "politics" or "political system" that does not allow us to distinguish between a corporation, an office, a country, and a group of friends at the movies would never be utilized by any political scientist.
You're just factually wrong, but your reasoning is also flawed, which is more interesting. "Politics" is defined so broadly by political scientists in order that other terms can then be differentiated from it. Within that broad class, "governmental politics" can be defined as a particular category.

There are useful reasons for broad definitions. (And they're broad, not vague, because they are inclusive, not unclear.)
[/quote]The usefulness of inclusivity diminishes as it increases past a certain point. I've mentioned a few times on this thread that there are multiple definitions of these terms. Where we differ is on the usefulness of the overarching, very broad definition you seem to favor that includes this vast range of groups and organizations. I say it's useless. You don't. Oh well.

Simply stating that someone is "factually wrong," or that "political scientists disagree with you," does not constitute an argument. I don't find your actual argument convincing, and also, I can't remember the original topic of this thread. I think it was something about Ron Paul.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Continue reading and notice the multiple citations that follow. The point here is that many (cited) political scientists do define "politics" this broadly (as evidenced by the later citations), not that the Wikipedia article is right or perfect.
No, none of the citations in the introduction link to political scientists, just free dictionaries. Try again.

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Warrior
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:


If you want my opinion, it's that democracy is all a bunch of idealistic claptrap on the part of its supporters and cynical manipulation on the part of its leaders. If George Washington had declared himself King of America, I don't think a damn thing would be different in the average American's life today -- or at least, the differences we'd observe wouldn't follow any predictable pattern.

I agree that it wouldn't follow any predictable pattern. I disagree that it wouldn't make any difference in people's lives. You're right insofar as certain norms have to exist in a country before democracy can function. But democracy, and voting, change those norms in unpredictable ways, often taking them in directions they could not have taken without the democracy and the electoral system.

Authoritarian governments do not act, domestically, the same way that democratic governments do. There are bastards in democratic governments, of course. But in a democracy the norms are different, and the norms change in different ways than in a dictatorship.

I admire your cynicism on this topic, because I used to share it, but not everybody who is idealistic about democracy is spouting claptrap, and not every leader in a democracy is a cynical manipulator.
Posts: 67 | Registered: Thursday, March 6 2008 08:00
...b10010b...
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I probably shouldn't post when it's 4 o'clock in the morning and I'm in a bad mood.

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Raven v. Writing Desk
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I heartily enjoy it when you do, Thuryl.

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Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Off With Their Heads
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

No, none of the citations in the introduction link to political scientists, just free dictionaries.
My point, yet again, is simply that it is defined this way regularly. I could cite my Poli Sci 2 professor four and a half years ago and dig up the materials which did this, but quite frankly, I don't care enough.

quote:
Originally written by madrigan:

Simply stating that someone is "factually wrong," or that "political scientists disagree with you," does not constitute an argument.
I'm not arguing with you; I'm correcting you.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
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For what it's worth, this country is a republic, not a democracy. You won't find it referenced in the Declaration or Constitution as a democracy, it is just a system of governing that has congealed over the life of the country.

At this point, there are two powerful camps, each representing 10% of the populace. The other 80% has to pick one or the other. That is the failing of the two party system that favors party over participation. As to how to fix it, there are a good dozen suggestions in front of at least the DNC for their August meeting. I hope they pick the one which moves to 6 regional primary dates. That will provide a more sane experience for both the candidates and the voters. As to the question of participation, I believe it should be an open primary, with an opportunity for all to vote, regardless of party affiliation. Only thing is you only get to vote one ballot.

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Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Jumpin Salmon:

The current system elects a polarized candidate.
McCain is about as moderate as Republicans come. Obama is fairly extreme, but, well, the people seem to prefer him to his more moderate opponent.

And Kelandon, for someone who doesn't care, you sure do whine a lot.

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
...b10010b...
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

McCain is about as moderate as Republicans come. Obama is fairly extreme, but, well, the people seem to prefer him to his more moderate opponent.
Extreme by the standards of his political party, you mean, which is more or less exactly the problem.

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Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:

Extreme by the standards of his political party
What is that supposed to mean? Obama has a very partisan voting record, which would mean he's exactly where he is supposed to be by his party's standards.

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Warrior
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Politics is the practice of convincing other people to believe what you believe and therefore to do what you want them to do.

Salmon:
I don't believe that either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party literally represents anyone. They each

have basic platforms -- the Democrats want to govern, while the Republicans favor plutocratic recklessness -- but does either party really represent anyone in particular? Even whatever candidate happens to be running for whatever office at any given time?

As for primaries: I still believe we should have a 3-day weekend-long national primary. Problem solved.

Lt. Sullust:
Unfortunately, I've met too many people who I don't believe would ever vote for any politician since they've already closed their minds to politics. Because politicians must do what they must do to get elected, and then must do what they must do to pass legislation for the consituencies they represent... these people have become turned off -- permanently. Even Barack Obama will not bring these people to their senses. They've apparently resigned themselves to the will of the uneducated masses and the corporations who control too much of our lives. Nothing will get them to vote or become active.

As for the Democratic nominee: He was chosen a good many weeks ago, it's just that Sen. Hillarious and her supporters did not want to admit it. They still don't want to admit it. A small portion of her supporters are Republicans who plan to vote for McCain in November. (They've admitted it in exit polls.) Most of the rest will get over their tantrums after 'all the dust settles', as they say. I wouldn't worry about it.

Tullegolar:
You're kidding, right? First: Chucky is not now, nor has he ever been, a Moderate Republican. Lincoln Chaffee was a Moderate Republican. Olympia Snowe is a Moderate Republican. Chucky is a Conservative and always has been, but he's also a walking identity-crisis, the Republican equivalent of a Centrist. I'm not really sure he knows himself exactly who he is.

As for Obama: He's hardly "extreme". He's about as liberal as you can get in a national electorate that has been convinced (with the Centrists' help) that liberal=bad, but he's not a strong liberal like Kucinich. For example: Obama is not against the death penalty. He does not publicly support same-sex marraige. Obama has not promised to pull our troops out of Iraq immediately. (He's proposed a "phased withdrawal" which, I suppose, could mean anything.) I also believe he hasn't taken nuclear weapons "off the table" -- although I believe it's safe to assume he does rule out the use of nuclear weapons in any situation whatsoever. Still: Unilateral nuclear disarmament is a liberal position.

I also believe he eats meat.

In respect to the party platform: You're right that Obama's pretty on-target. But does this mean that you believe that the Democratic Party's platform is "extreme"?

[ Wednesday, May 07, 2008 23:49: Message edited by: Clavicle ]
Posts: 178 | Registered: Saturday, March 8 2008 08:00
Shaper
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McCain has a very moderate record for a Republican. You're right that he is no Chaffee, but as far as presidential candidates go, he is the most liberal Republican since Teddy Roosevelt.

As for Obama, I don't care whether or not he eats meat, the guy is a political liberal.

[ Thursday, May 08, 2008 00:11: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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Shaper
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[BROKEN LINK]

[ Thursday, May 08, 2008 10:04: Message edited by: Lt. Sullust ]

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Lt. Sullust
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Shaper
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Heh, maybe the Dems elect extreme candidates, but look how moderate McCain scored. Oh, and I totally voted for Arlen Specter a few years ago, best vote I ever cast. Hope he doesn't die.

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Lack of Vision
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Heh, maybe the Dems elect extreme candidates, but look how moderate McCain scored. Oh, and I totally voted for Arlen Specter a few years ago, best vote I ever cast. Hope he doesn't die.
You sir, are a very silly man. Silly because you've bought into a media-driven narrative that McCain is a moderate. He isn't. He's just been inconsistent over the years. He was against the Bush tax cuts, then he was for them. He was for campaign finance reform before he was against it. As near as I can tell, he just doesn't care about domestic issues very much. He certainly doesn't care about them enough to educate himself or even vote based on a coherent philosophy of governance. That doesn't make him a moderate - it makes him clueless.

McCain does, however, LOVE war. He's consistently supported every war he possibly could, while piously saying he hates war. And yet, time and time again, war is his first resort. He thinks of diplomacy as some kind of weak version of cohersion. He talks about how awesome national sacrifice is. I've met plenty of guys like him. They well and truly believe being the warrior is life's highest calling. Fine as far as it goes, and perhaps the attitude you need to have to rise up the ranks of the military, but dangerous and delusional when it comes to actual foreign policymaking.

In many ways McCain would be an improvement over Bush. He asks for accountability in a way that Bush would never ask. His minimal concern for domestic policies allows him to be idiologically flexible in a way Bush never could be. For these two reasons alone, he'd be better than Bush (heck, a fraking waffle maker would be better), but make no mistake - when it comes to matters of war and peace, the guy is the equivalent of a cross between a hermit and a rabid wolverine - best left alone and far away from others.

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
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Shaper
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I'm silly because I bought into the fact that he has a moderate voting record? What is wrong with you?

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Lack of Vision
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Profile #45
quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

I'm silly because I bought into the fact that he has a moderate voting record? What is wrong with you?
My argument is that he has an inconsistent voting record, not a moderate one. A moderate voting record would be the voting record of a person with a moderate philosophy on governance. McCain's votes don't follow a moderate's pattern. They don't really follow a pattern at all.

Come on man - focus - logic isn't that hard.

EDIT: To quote from Apocalypse Now:

Willard: They told me that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound.
Kurtz: Are my methods unsound?
Willard: I don't see any method at all, sir.

[ Thursday, May 08, 2008 05:30: Message edited by: Masked Man of Inscrutability ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Shaper
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Did you not click the link Sullust posted? He has a moderate voting record! You say he's just inconsistent? Moderates have to be inconsistent because of how polarized the legislation is! It's not like there's all this moderate legislation out there for them to vote on, it's a matter of swinging both ways.

And McCain does have a moderate stance on governance. He believes that the federal government should be small (conservative) yet also with plenty of power vested in it (liberal).

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Posts: 2156 | Registered: Thursday, August 24 2006 07:00
Law Bringer
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

He believes that the federal government should be small (conservative) yet also with plenty of power vested in it (liberal).
This could also be considered an oligarchy.

—Alorael, who's kidding. Kidding! Please, Homeland Security internet monitors, don't believe that this is any disparagement of the great American political machine!
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Lack of Vision
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quote:
Originally written by Emperor Tullegolar:

Did you not click the link Sullust posted? He has a moderate voting record! You say he's just inconsistent? Moderates have to be inconsistent because of how polarized the legislation is! It's not like there's all this moderate legislation out there for them to vote on, it's a matter of swinging both ways.

And McCain does have a moderate stance on governance. He believes that the federal government should be small (conservative) yet also with plenty of power vested in it (liberal).

By your definition of moderate voting record, a monkey randomly pushing the senate voting button would also have a moderate record. That is, to say the least, an infantile way of declaring a person a moderate.

Also, it is silly to say that McCain thinks the Federal government should be small. He says that, but aside from for seriously small potatos stuff like the infamous bridge to nowhere, he never says what part of the Federal government is too big and he would reduce (and just saying "spending" is a dodge, about half the budget is in mandatory spending SSA and Medicare+Medicade. And he's said he'd INCREASE defense spending).

Broadly speaking, 2007 Federal spending fell into three major buckets -

Medicare + Medicade - 23.1%
Social Security spending - 20.1%
Defense (not counting Iraq and Afganistan) - 19%

And John McCain has said he wouldn't touch those. He would, in fact, increase defense spending. Which means that he's already signed up for about 2/3 of the Budget (not taking into account the war spending). He said he'd look at reducing NASA's budget. Well whoopde-Frakin'-do, NASA accounts for about .4% of the budget. So even if he killed off the whole agency, he's doing next to nothing. Straight talk!

But you don't need to take my word for it, why not listen to it straight from St. John of Arizona:

At the Baton Rouge debate, McCain spoke as though he had always supported Bush's tax cuts, saying, "I think it's very important that we make the Bush tax cuts permanent. I voted to make them permanent twice already."

It is true that McCain voted in 2006 to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. But he was against the cuts before he was for them, and his statements in the debate dismiss that fact. McCain voted against both sets of Bush tax cuts, in 2001 and in 2003. And on NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2004, McCain stated that he did not support extending all the cuts, though he did go on to say that he would make the so-called "middle class" tax cuts permanent.

Or you could just watch him contradict himself on youtube here.

Edit: Added discussion of Federal Budget

[ Thursday, May 08, 2008 07:07: Message edited by: Masked Man of Inscrutability ]

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Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?
Posts: 186 | Registered: Thursday, February 27 2003 08:00
Shaper
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You do realize he's pandering to the conservatives now that he is at the forefront of the Republican party, don't you?

Would you be so kind as to give me your definition of a moderate while you're at it?

And how is saying he would decrease spending a dodge? It's what conservatives do.

[ Thursday, May 08, 2008 07:10: Message edited by: Emperor Tullegolar ]

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