Election 2016

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TedBelmont
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Election 2016

Postby TedBelmont » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:32 pm

Because the Daily Show already did the best joke about election seasons starting so far in advance now.

Anyway, my ex-brother-in-law added me to a facebook group for people who want Scott Walker to run in 2016, and while I would normally leave such a group on principle, this has provided an interesting window into the minds of people who would vote for Scott Walker.

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Thad
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:24 pm

Rubio's announced his candidacy. I'm hearing a lot of people say that he, Bush, and Walker are the likeliest to win the nomination; I'm inclined to agree.

There are reasons I think Rubio is at a disadvantage compared to Bush -- he's young and inexperienced, he doesn't have the backing of the party establishment or the big donors -- but those are weaknesses Obama had in 2008 and it didn't stop him from beating Clinton. Also like Obama, Rubio is a good speaker and comes across as likable.

I think his biggest weakness is harping on this "policies of the past" stuff. I really don't see how reminding everyone of the Clinton and Bush Administrations is a good strategy for a Republican candidate. George Bush's name is not a pejorative in the Republican primaries, and Bill Clinton's is not a pejorative in the general.

I mean, it's fucking April 2015, so Rubio's got plenty of time to hire a campaign manager who tells him to shut the fuck up about that shit and run on something that doesn't remind voters that they like his opponents' families. He needs a better platform, but if he finds one I think he's got a shot, and probably a better shot than Walker. My money's still on Bush getting the nomination, but I won't rule Rubio out. I do think he'd be the strongest candidate in the general.

Of course, he faces the usual dilemma of any Republican candidate: he has to appeal to the base in the primary and then pivot and appeal to the mainstream in the general. That's going to be tough to do, and I think it's likely to come down to his stance on immigration. The best thing he can do to get support from moderates and independents in the general election is to take a strong stance in favor of immigration reform, but that's also going to make it pretty hard for him to get the nomination.

(And I don't believe the same is true of Jeb Bush even though he and Rubio are probably pretty much on the same page on that issue. Yes it's a double-standard based on their respective ethnicities, no it's not fair, but I think there's going to be a lot more pressure on Rubio to run on immigration policy than on Bush.)

Making predictions this far out is a mug's game, but at a guess, I see Bush getting the nomination and Rubio finishing strongly enough to be a major contender in four, eight, or even twelve years.

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Mazian
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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mazian » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:01 pm

Thad wrote:Making predictions this far out is a mug's game, but at a guess, I see Bush getting the nomination and Rubio finishing strongly enough to be a major contender in four, eight, or even twelve years.


My guess is that unless he slides in as someone's VP pick, this is going to be Rubio's last stop before the talk show/news commentator circuit, for one very simple reason: he's not running for Senate reelection. This leaves him with no fallback if he doesn't get the nomination, plus it turns what was a safe Republican seat into an open contest - which could have side effects elsewhere, if only because the GOP will have to divert a lot more campaign money into Florida and away from other races. At best, Rubio could mount a comeback by way of the governor's mansion; at worst, he's peaked too early and gets shoved off the stage.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:26 pm

Hadn't realized he was up for reelection this year; that does paint his trajectory a little bit differently.

But a gap between your last term and your presidential campaign isn't exactly unheard of; Reagan and Romney had each been out of office for 5 years when they got the Republican nomination, Mondale had been out of office for 4 when he got the Democratic one. (Granted, those are all governors and Rubio is a Senator, but Obama is the first person to go straight from the Senate to the Presidency since Kennedy.)

I think there's a good chance of his getting the VP nod on a Bush ticket. And I also think that simultaneously running for executive office and a Senate seat is a real dick move (as always, fuck you, Joe Lieberman) and Rubio's making the right call if he's choosing not to run for both.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mazian » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:43 pm

Bush/Rubio would also run into that 12th Amendment restriction on same-state tickets in the Electoral College that caused Cheney to hastily move to Wyoming. (tl;dr version: Florida's electors can only vote for one Floridian at a time, so you could end up with different results for the President and VP.) Not necessarily a problem, but it might put a damper on Rubio's future prospects for state office in Florida.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:33 am

Welp, Bernie Sanders is running. If you were looking for someone to cast a protest vote for in the Democratic Primary, you've got one.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:42 pm

Thor Benson at the New Republic has a piece on Sanders's politics, and notes the differences between a socialist, a democratic socialist, and a social democrat. Sanders is a democratic socialist, though he himself plays fast-and-loose with those descriptors.

Benson quotes Larry Liu in the Penn Spectrum for the gist of the distinction:

When push comes to shove, he is a supporter of a social democratic Scandinavian-style welfare state in the form of better education, healthcare and social service provisions for the general population (Leibovich 2007) rather than the confiscation of companies from the private sector.


I like Sanders. I don't imagine him having any impact on Clinton either in terms of taking many votes from her or causing her to move one inch to the left, but I'm hoping he'll say some things about economic inequality that get headlines and at least get people to think about it.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby TedBelmont » Fri May 08, 2015 5:07 pm

THIS POST REMOVED FOR INSUFFICIENT CONTEXT

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mothra » Mon May 11, 2015 11:14 pm

Jeb Bush would have authorized the Iraq War, even knowing what he knows now:

"News flash to the world, if they're trying to find places where there's big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those."

At least he's being honest?

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Tue May 12, 2015 2:39 am

That's the sort of thing that a Democrat could tie around his neck, cudgel him with in every debate and every campaign ad, and just use to absolutely wipe the floor with him. Mixaphorically speaking.

Except the Democrat who's going to be running is Hillary Clinton.

"At least she's being honest" is a sentence you're not likely to hear too many people say when they talk about her stance on the Iraq War.

Well, stances. Plural.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Fri May 15, 2015 12:53 pm

Jeb's been totally dancing around that Iraq response, now.

In fairness, when he says he misunderstood the question, I think he's telling the truth; his answer was (I'm paraphrasing) "I would do it again, and so would Hillary Clinton, might I remind you, because of the intelligence we had at the time." The only way that response makes any sense is if he didn't catch the "if you had known then what we know now" qualifier.

(Of course, he IS a Bush, so "He just said something stupid" is a perfectly likely explanation.)

Good call on reminding everyone of Clinton's vote, though; that's the smartest move he can make, as far as making it harder for Democrats to criticize him on his views on the war.

That aside, though, he's been clumsy as fuck around the whole question and it's not doing him any favors. (Which isn't going to do any real damage to his candidacy, of course, because it's May goddamn 2015, and nothing anyone says right now is going to determine the election in a year and a half.)

Evanier breaks Bush's changing responses down a little.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mothra » Fri May 15, 2015 2:32 pm

Yeah, the sense I got from it is that he had a prepared response for criticism of the Iraq War and said it without registering the "knowing what we know now" bit. He just launched into it.

It's a bit hard to swallow when you look at the interview and see that the question posed to him was literally, "Knowing what you know now, would you have authorized the invasion?", but for some reason I completely believe him when he said he thought he was answering a different question. I mean, he was, basically. Fox was probably supposed to softball him the exact question they generally told him they would, rather than a slight variant that would've required some kind of measured thought.

Seeing him talk, he so completely carries that air of classic Bush dumbassery:

Image

I want to say I can't even imagine him as president of the United States of America, but welp, I lived through 2001-2009.

Thad wrote:Good call on reminding everyone of Clinton's vote, though; that's the smartest move he can make, as far as making it harder for Democrats to criticize him on his views on the war.

I would honestly love to see the republicans take Hilary to task over the Iraq War, since it's a serious leadership scenario and the public would be very interested to hear if she'd even be able to take a different path in a similar situation. I feel like they're not going to go that route, since the Iraq War is also fertile ground for criticism over conservative leadership. Plus they probably wouldn't want to offend the military leadership.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Brentai » Fri May 15, 2015 3:20 pm

News flash to the world, if they're trying to find places where there's big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.


That statement turned out to be way more true than he bargained for, didn't it?

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Sharkey » Mon May 18, 2015 4:07 pm



Finally, the voice of common sense for a hip new generation of wig-wearing ganguro cartoon characters!

I do want to make a response video, but a parody would be frame-for-frame identical, and an argument would be like that time I got in a fight with a squirrel and everyone in the park was staring at the crazy person.

Image

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mothra » Mon May 18, 2015 4:48 pm

I like how she ends it by alienating everyone who identifies as a democrat, and thus could possibly be thinking of voting for Hillary.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Tue May 19, 2015 1:42 am

Mothra wrote:I like how she ends it by alienating everyone who identifies as a democrat, and thus could possibly be thinking of voting for Hillary.

That and repeats the single talking point that got Romney in the most trouble in the last election. But I guess it's okay as long as the candidate himself doesn't say it?

But, y'know, it's got Dinesh D'Souza's name right on it. Preaching to the choir is kind of his thing. He's not trying to win anybody over, and never has; he just wants to whip up the base and make money while doing it.

Given that I do not foresee this video resulting in a single additional vote against Clinton, and D'Souza's felony conviction for campaign finance violations means there's one fewer Republican vote than if, you know, Dinesh D'Souza were not a convicted felon, I think this still puts him in the red.

But again -- this oughta raise a few bucks for the Not Hillary campaign. Especially if he illegally reimburses the donors!

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mothra » Tue May 19, 2015 5:28 am

Oh wow, I didn't even notice D'Souza's name on it. This suddenly makes a lot more sense.

I think the most frustrated interview I've ever heard was David Corn on NPR trying to have an actual conversation him as he awkwardly forced his way from talking point to talking point. That guy has made a career out if being a professional troll.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Thad » Tue May 19, 2015 8:32 pm

Image

My only gripe is with that last line about it being a "new addition"; Kerry was pulling that shit in 2004 and Clinton in 2008. It's only new to Republicans, who are just now catching up with the Democrats' decade-plus of bullshit rationalizations.

Evanier's linked a few articles responding to those who would like to rewrite history -- revisionist historians is what I like to call 'em -- and pointing out that no, motherfuckers, there was ample evidence that the case for war was bullshit back in 2002 and 2003.

Josh Marshall: Sorry. Iraq Wasn't a Good Faith Mistake. It Was Based on Lies.

Some of this was obvious to anyone who was paying attention. Some was only obvious to reporters covering the story who were steeped in the details. And some was only obvious to government officials who in the nature of things controlled access to information. But in the tightest concentric circle of information, at the White House, it was obviously all a crock at the time.

While it is true that "WMD" was a key premise for the war, the sheer volume of lies, willful exaggerations and comically wishful thinking are the real story.


As a member of "anyone who was paying attention" -- and one who was 18-19 years old during the runup to the war -- I've always found it extremely insulting when Democrats pulled this "But we couldn't have known!" bullshit.

Well, yes, you could have known. Because I knew. I was just some kid with an Internet connection, and you were a goddamn United States Senator.

And while I'll grant that Senators (and the press) were privy to details I wasn't, I think it's extremely clear that they also weren't asking the same questions I was. The questions they should have been asking were "Is this evidence conclusive?", "Is this source reliable?", "What do the people who favor going to war have to gain by lying?", "Are these people who have wanted to go to war with Iraq for decades and would accept any possible rationale to push that agenda?", and "What are the consequences if this information is wrong?" The questions they were asking seem, mostly, to have been along the lines of "Will this help me get elected President?" Or in the reporters' cases, "Will this help me keep my access to the White House?"

It is very important to remember that before we invaded, Saddam Hussein actually did allow inspectors back into the country, thus undermining the key argument for following through with the threat of invasion in the first place. But the critical point is that we didn't invade Iraq because we had "faulty" intelligence that Iraq still had stockpiles of sarin gas. The invasion was justified and sold to the American public on the twin frauds of the Iraq-al Qaeda alliance and the Saddam's supposedly hidden nuclear program. As much as the White House and the key administration war hawks like Vice President Cheney tried to get the Intelligence Community to buy into these theories, they never did. And to anyone paying attention, certainly anyone reporting on these matters at the time, it was clear at the time this was nonsense and a willful deception.


Judith Miller's been making her "It Was An Honest Mistake" book tour, and did about as well on The Daily Show the other week as she could under the circumstances. She's not wrong that there were people in the intelligence community worried about Saddam's stockpiles chemical weapons. She's just wrong about pretty much everything else.


Matt Taibbi: Forget What We Know Now: We Knew Then the Iraq War Was a Joke

I don't believe that most of the otherwise smart people who supported the war back then, from Hillary Clinton to the editorial boards of our major newspapers, bought any of this. What did happen is that a lot of people got caught up in the politics of the situation and didn't have the backbone to opt out. They didn't want to look weak, un-American, or "against the troops," at least not in public, so they sat out the debate and got behind the president.

That's why the lambasting of Jeb Bush by all of these media voices grinds a little. At least plenty of Republicans sincerely thought the war was a good idea. But I know a lot of my colleagues in the media saw through the war from day one.



And, for a little bit of balance, Jonathan Chait: Was the Iraq War a Crime or a Mistake? Yes.

The trouble is that critics like Krugman are also presenting the crime-versus-mistake question in mutually exclusive terms. “The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that,” argues Krugman. This case unwittingly abets the Bush administration’s defense. After all, if the debate is whether the intelligence was manipulated or flawed, the Bush administration can supply plenty of evidence for the latter. The Bush administration was the victim of bad intelligence, but also the perpetrator. Its defense lies in pretending that those two things cannot both be the case.


Chait (who, as Taibbi points out, said "I don't think you can argue that a regime change in Iraq won't demonstrably and almost immediately improve the living conditions of the Iraqi people" in 2003) acknowledges, as Marshall does, that there were intelligence sources who overestimated Iraq's weapons capabilities (though he uses the "WMD" blanket term which, as Marshall points out, is bullshit, as it doesn't strike a clear distinction between the chemical weapons Saddam had in the 1980's and the nuclear weapons he absolutely did not have in 2003), but also points out that this fact has been trotted out as if it negates allegations that the Bush Administration lied about Iraq's weapons capabilities.

This is how the dodge works. Step 1: Prevent a Senate report from looking into whether the administration lied. Step 2: Ignore the existence of the report that did show the administration lied. Step 3: Pretend that an intelligence failure and a deliberate effort to cook the intelligence are mutually exclusive. It was a mistake, therefore it could not have also been a crime.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Mothra » Fri May 22, 2015 6:56 pm

Some new and exotic flavors of dumb coming from the Rand camp on Obamacare:


With regard to the idea of whether you have a right to health care, you have realize what that implies. It’s not an abstraction. I’m a physician. That means you have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. It means that you’re going to enslave not only me, but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants who work in my office, the nurses.
Basically, once you imply a belief in a right to someone’s services — do you have a right to plumbing? Do you have a right to water? Do you have right to food? — you’re basically saying you believe in slavery.

I’m a physician in your community and you say you have a right to health care. You have a right to beat down my door with the police, escort me away and force me to take care of you? That’s ultimately what the right to free health care would be.

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Re: Election 2016

Postby Brentai » Fri May 22, 2015 7:05 pm

What I want to know is who broke into all the police officers' homes and forced them to help you break into his home.

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