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05 November 2008 @ 01:37 pm
Random Election Thoughts That Will Get Me Yelled At  
Just some random thoughts, some in response to others and some on my own.

Yes, I believe this is the start of our ability to move forward as a nation. We need to note the use of the words "spirit of service" and "spirit of sacrifice". We need to note the use of the words "individual liberty" and "self-reliance". We need to stop giving a damn whether one party or the other claims the words and start following them.

Yes, the Democrats have one more chance to say "we won decisively and we're going to do it our way." However, many said that two years ago, and little or nothing got done in those two years. It's time to put up or shut up.

Yes, there was a record turnout voting for this historic candidate. Those same voters repudiated many of the core Democratic values (passing Prop 8 in California is a big one). Why was the energized Obama base not monolithic in terms of its voting (black community overwhelmingly against gay marriage, voters 30 and under nearly 2-to-1 against it)? Does this bode badly for a split in the Democratic Party regarding this issue? Do the same people who were once appalled at Federal action on the issue now change horses and favor Federal action?

No, as a white middle-aged male my choice to vote for Obama was not influenced by him being "half-white", never mind what the CNN commentators spewed out last night. Can't justify your predictions of the "Bradley Effect", guess you gotta come up with something else.

No, I don't think Obama is in the same situation as Jimmy Carter. Chicago Politics does not lead one to naivete, no matter what else you may think of them. Please Gods let him pay attention to those he appoints and keep their hands out of the cookie jar - it's a Red-and-Blue striped one, after all.

Yes, I'm glad the Democrat majority in the Senate is not filibuster-proof. Even though I hate the current reinterpretation that forces a cloture vote for any issue to even come to the floor (you wanna filibuster, freaking FILIBUSTER, don't have a "gentlemen's agreement" that assumes you are going to do so. It's a matter of choosing the battles to spend the resources on, not a matter of blocking all legislation), I believe the filibuster is an important way of preserving the rights of the minority in the Senate. Unlike many, I believe this no matter who is in the majority.

No, the last 8 years have nothing to do with what most who styled themselves "conservative" (or even "Republican") before the mid 80s had in mind. Deficit spending? Invasions? Government regulating personal decisions? Not in MY fiscal conservative brain, but I guess I'm just f**king wrong.

Yes, the last 8 years are responsible for the dim view the world (and many within the US) takes of our position in the international community. Of all things, this is the one directly in the power of the presidency and the current (for a few more months) administration blew it completely.

Yes, the last 8 years were in a large measure responsible for the current economic situation - you're in control, you take responsibility. No, the last 8 years aren't solely responsible for the current economic situation. Deny it all you want, but the mortgage derivatives were created prior to this administration, allowed to be bundled to make them more attractive, and few - Republican or Democrat - thought out what would happen if, heaven forbid, Real Estate prices actually started going down. Those who did were laughed at by both sides and accused of either trying to stifle the choices of the wealthy or trying to keep affordable housing from the middle class. Once the avalanche starts it's too late to put up the snow fences. Greed is bipartisan.

I'm leaving comments open. Please be gentle or, failing that, at least to the point.
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
GreyLadygrey_lady on November 5th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
Umm ... and what part of that should I be yelling at you about? Can't even pick an argument from here.
Bob Laurentblaurentnv on November 5th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Surprisingly, I mostly agree with you. I don't think the current Republican Party would be recognized by 1950's Republicans (or even 1970's Republicans). Democrats have become the party of fiscal responsibility (tax and spend is more responsible than borrow and spend, in my mind).

I am profoundly disappointed in the passage of prop 8. Discrimination of any sort does not belong in MY state's constitution.

I don't think there should be an assumption of blockage when it comes to filibusters. I do believe that a filibuster has to start before the cloture vote should be considered. Even if Democrats had won 58 seats (which the press was calling 60, but Lieberman is certainly not a reliable Democrat), I don't think that would be filibuster-proof. Most bills do not pass or fail on strictly partly lines; I believe the same would be true of an actual vote to end a filibuster.
evilboyrobin on November 5th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, there was a record turnout voting for this historic candidate. Those same voters repudiated many of the core Democratic values (passing Prop 8 in California is a big one). Why was the energized Obama base not monolithic in terms of its voting (black community overwhelmingly against gay marriage, voters 30 and under nearly 2-to-1 against it)?

Believe me there are alot of us, confused by that one, and wondering what that means.
wyld_dandelyon: dragon readingwyld_dandelyon on November 5th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
I wonder if it means that the Government needs to recognize that this fight is happening largely because "marriage" is being defined differently by different major religions, and, in the interest of keeping the proper separation between church and state, get out of the "marriage" business, per se.

This could easily be done by the government issuing ONLY civil unions. "Marriage" then becomes a term that the couple can use or not use, according to their own religious beliefs. Like today, if they want their new family sanctified by their religion, they can go talk to their clergy about the issue. So some religions won't recognize all legal unions as marriages--so what? The Catholic Church has never recognized anyone's second marriage unless the other spouse has died, and this has not caused any difficulties whatsoever to society as a whole. (Well, not since some king started a new religion so he could re-marry, anyway.)

I'm not sure everyone would like this solution, but it would mean all legally-joined families will have identical rights and responsibilities, without letting some people feel that the government was recognizing one set of religious beliefs over another.
(no subject) - bedlamhouse on November 5th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wyld_dandelyon on November 5th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - msminlr on November 6th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wyld_dandelyon on November 6th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - msminlr on November 6th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wyld_dandelyon on November 10th, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - foxnoir on November 6th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wyld_dandelyon: dragon readingwyld_dandelyon on November 5th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
I agree with the people who have said that the Republican party has been hijacked, though I suspect it was not by the religious right per se, but rather by people who were happy to use the religious right's button issues to keep them in power. Either way, it has made the Republican Party's main hallmark in recent years a rhetoric against people who aren't "just like us".

I agree that the word "conservative" used to be applied to fiscal issues. It used to mean "let's be responsible with the taxpayers' monies", a sentiment that many who could be called "liberals" (including me) think matters A LOT. (I'm tired of the stereotype that all people with "liberal" positions on social issues are fiscally spendthrift.)

The word "conservative" is rarely used that way any more, however; now "conservative" means a particular brand of Christian social values (unless, of course, you add a modifier--as you do in your post, you mention your "fiscal conservative brain".

Greed isn't bipartisan--it's human. People of any political party or none will have that temptation, and politicians and bankers are certainly not immune.

Unfortunately, I suspect that so long as so many voters focus on stuff like preventing some people from marrying instead of on the government using reasonable restraint in spending and making sure that our fiscal institutions are run responsibly and fairly, then politicians of all parties will get away with ignoring fiscal responsibility issues.

More to the point of your frustration, if people voting for Republicans mostly care more about "conservative" social issues than "conservative" fiscal policy, Republican politicians will not be able to be relied upon to be _fiscal_ "conservatives" no matter how much they trumpet themselves as "conservatives".
the girl with a patch of sky on her arm: gold heartsvixyish on November 5th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Well said, both you and Bill.

I too am tired of the spendthrift stereotype; I too have questions about prop8 (though as I've said elsewhere, I think it's largely a panic reaction to a change that's already in progress; the avalanche has started and the pebbles are desperately trying to vote in laws to hold it back.) I too am wary of that greed and that cookie jar.

Still, people are talking, and people are thinking, and people are rolling up their sleeves.

Allow me to share my hope for all of us. :)
markbernsteinmarkbernstein on November 5th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC)
Back atcha, my friend.

First, I got this from an ABC news article:

Obama told MTV he believes marriage is "between a man and a woman" and that he is "not in favor of gay marriage."

At the same time, Obama reiterated his opposition to Proposition 8, the California ballot measure which would eliminate a right to same-sex marriage that the state's Supreme Court recently recognized.

"I've stated my opposition to this. I think it's unnecessary," Obama told MTV. "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that's not what America's about."


So Obama's opposition to Prop 8 was pretty damned weak. It's no surprise to me at all that many who voted for him also voted for 8.

And who ever said that everyone who voted for Obama is part of one monolithic whole? Hell, Bill, you just said that you voted for Obama, and I know you sure don't consider yourself as being in lockstep with "core Democratic values".

Second, I'm very, very happy that concerns about a possible Bradley Effect turned out to be unfounded. But I wasn't positive they were until the returns came in. Bradley happened. So have poll discrepancies in other campaigns where race was a factor. It's wonderful that we've apparently moved past such things, but bringing it up before the election as a possible factor didn't strike me as indefensible. I do, however, agree that any statement about Obama being "half-white" is idiotic. (Didn't hear it myself.)

Finally, and bluntly, I'm getting tired of hearing about what conservatism used to be before Reagan. (Yeah, you said the mid-80's. I moved it earlier. Borrow-and-spend started with Reagan.) If that's the true face of conservatism, why aren't those conservatives running the Republican party, instead of the current collection of crooks and nutjobs? I know it bothers you that the repudiation of the last eight years (for that's what this is, in great part) is being regarded by some as a repudiation of conservatism. But the people directly responsible for those eight years call themselves conservatives, and always have. If your brand of conservatives doesn't want to be associated with that crew, then somebody better start doing something to reclaim the word.

(And I, for one, would be thrilled beyond measure if this loss shakes up the GOP to the point where your brand of conservatism takes control again. It would give me a genuinely tough choice, the likes of which I haven't seen since my first Presidential election in 1976.)
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on November 5th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
Finally, and bluntly, I'm getting tired of hearing about what conservatism used to be before Reagan. (Yeah, you said the mid-80's. I moved it earlier. Borrow-and-spend started with Reagan.) If that's the true face of conservatism, why aren't those conservatives running the Republican party, instead of the current collection of crooks and nutjobs? I know it bothers you that the repudiation of the last eight years (for that's what this is, in great part) is being regarded by some as a repudiation of conservatism. But the people directly responsible for those eight years call themselves conservatives, and always have. If your brand of conservatives doesn't want to be associated with that crew, then somebody better start doing something to reclaim the word.

The problem lies in making pragmatic solution-oriented thinking into an emotional issue that people can write songs about and get incensed in favor of. Until someone figures out a way to make the democratic process less susceptible to sound-bite adrenaline tags like "They are killing babies" and "They are oppressing women", then I'm afraid the extremes on both sides will continue.

I am very pleased with the way Obama conducted his campaign and hope it bodes well, but I am very much afraid that it is simply because the negative and shrill Republican campaigning became a parody of itself. At the local level here in Indiana, the Democrats were just as negative and nasty as the Republicans. If you add in the factor that the demeaning of the current "conservatives" takes place in the entertainment media, it makes it look like an intellectual issue while the emotional portion is simply hidden.

Parties/groups go with what works. Asking why the Reagan revolution had to swing so hard to the religious right when he was winning against a fairly weak president is like asking why Clinton had to swerve so far to the center to be elected in the wake of Bush I - because it brought in people who would not normally have been energized. An attempt to swing back to the progressive side - and the non-emotional side- caused Gore to fail.

If anyone has ideas on how to require people to think about the issues rather than just react to the rhetoric, I'm willing to hear it.

(And I, for one, would be thrilled beyond measure if this loss shakes up the GOP to the point where your brand of conservatism takes control again. It would give me a genuinely tough choice, the likes of which I haven't seen since my first Presidential election in 1976.)

It may very well happen - for all that the Democrats were counted out since the Republican victories of 1994, for all that the Republicans were considered to be irrelevant to congress for those 40 years the Democrats were in power, for all that a revolution comes along every 20 years or so that energizes a base - there's also times when the party in power forgets why it got there and begins to try simply to preserve its place. When that happens, goals fragment and ego takes over, imploding the organization and forcing a rebirth in some way.

One only hopes they don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
(no subject) - markbernstein on November 5th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bedlamhouse on November 5th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - markbernstein on November 5th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mysticfig on November 6th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blaurentnv on November 6th, 2008 08:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - starmalachite on November 6th, 2008 08:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
zencuppa on November 5th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
Contra dance?
Ummm . . . On a totally different topic, did you get my email about coming over to take you and Brenda contra dancing?

Speak up now, so I can plan accordingly (i.e. kid schedule, etc.) :-)
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on November 5th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Contra dance?
I don't see an email, though I thought I had replied to one at some point.
Re: Contra dance? - zencuppa on November 6th, 2008 02:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
Robautographedcat on November 5th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Can't yell at you. I more or less agree with you on your substantial points. But we've already had that conversation, so you knew that.
kizoku42kizoku42 on November 5th, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
"Yes, I'm glad the Democrat majority in the Senate is not filibuster-proof. Even though I hate the current reinterpretation that forces a cloture vote for any issue to even come to the floor (you wanna filibuster, freaking FILIBUSTER, don't have a "gentlemen's agreement" that assumes you are going to do so. It's a matter of choosing the battles to spend the resources on, not a matter of blocking all legislation), I believe the filibuster is an important way of preserving the rights of the minority in the Senate. Unlike many, I believe this no matter who is in the majority."

I'm a little torn on this one as the Republicans got into power by opposing everything and then claiming the Democrats "couldn't get anything done." I'm afraid they'll try to hamstring the government again. On the other hand, if they have to take the responsibility for opposing bills that has its points too.
sweetmusic_27sweetmusic_27 on November 5th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
What you say makes sense; no yelling here.

Even if I didn't agree with you, so long as folks are thinking and not just clinging to fear, unfounded cliches, and the idea that things boil down to yes and no and right and wrong, I'm happy.
Becca Leatherschirosinger on November 5th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
*yell, yell, yell*

Is that better?

(Wanna build some train stuff in February? Or March? Or April?)
Steve Simmonsscs_11 on November 6th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Those same voters repudiated many of the core Democratic values (passing Prop 8 in California is a big one). Why was the energized Obama base not monolithic in terms of its voting . . .
I've seen this comment or similar from a lot of folks. Those people are mistaking anti-Bush for pro-Democrat.

Obama's single most persuasive point was establishing McCain as effectively identical to Bush for the last eight years. He knew it, too, running ad after ad on the point and hammering that message home at every opportunity. People on both sides of the aisle are sick of Bush. By effectively equating Bush and McCain, Obama made people thing they'd get another four years of the same with McCain. I think that's why even a Republican stronghold like Indiana went for Obama.

The core Republicans are still Republicans; the core Democrats are still Democrats. Many (most?) of the votes for Obama were for Obama. But a significant number were a repudiation of the current Republican administration by both the middle and the remaining moderate Republicans. I think that number is what made the difference in the election.

Expecting those same folks to suddenly become Democrats is simply naive. And no, I'm not saying you were naive; you asked it as a simple question. But I've heard it from folks on radio and TV, and seen it in a number of folks ljs today. They need to remember: neither a vote for Obama nor a vote against Bush means the voter is suddenly a Democrat. If the Dems want to win those voters for the long term, they need to shape up and do a better job than they did in the last two years. They've now got a significant majority in each house of Congress; let's see them deliver. If they don't, they'll get turned out again just like a few years back.
Bill Suttonbedlamhouse on November 7th, 2008 07:22 pm (UTC)
Just got back to this.

As I said to markbernstein, I wasn't assuming that all Obama voters are monolithic holders of the Democratic Party's core values. I was concerned that certain demographics that are assumed to be the party's core hold a belief so widely divergent from that core.

It is the kind of thing that starts out small but if it can't be reconciled it leads to a split within the party that can spill over into other issues.

Not immediate, but it is something smart party officials need to be investigation rather than simply taking for granted.
Elizabeth McCoyarchangelbeth on November 6th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
...why should I yell at you? Especially when I'm nodding at Yes, I'm glad the Democrat majority in the Senate is not filibuster-proof. so very much.
(Deleted comment)
SingedCatsingedcat on November 6th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
Speaking of getting yelled at,,,

Way to say, Bill.

I am sorry to see California reverse on this issue, but it may be something that needs to NOT be put to a popular vote. Rights of minorities can't be guaranteed that way. Sometimes leaders have to say "I know this is not popular but we have to stop doing it, it's wrong and nothing in our stated ideals supports it." Easy for me to say, of course.

Sadly, there is not a lot of evidence that Obama, for all his good words, will be that guy. How he responds to this will say something about hi presidency.