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Old 09-07-2012, 11:31 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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I'm pretty sure this is actually the most important election in my lifetime.

Forum's pretty slow today. Allow me to speed things up with a super-wide view of the current political landscape.

You can thank me later.

I never like the idea of saying "this is the most important election of my lifetime" because it feels to hyperbolic. The only time I actually felt that way was during 2004 in the middle of the Bush presidency, but the Bush presidency gave way to the Obama administration, which is starting to unwind a bunch of the things I considered the Bush administration to have screwed up (the wars, the recession, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, Medicare's financial unsustainability). So it's pretty clear I overreacted in 2004. If only I had been a ChiefsPlanet poster then so you all could mock me for it.

All the other elections just seemed to be very important, because you can do a lot of things in 4 years when you've got the White House on your side.

The reason I think this election is so important, however, is because I don't think this election is about the next four years. I think the next decade of policy rests on this election's shoulders.

Obama was and is a game changer, politically. He represents the nation's fresh breath of anti-neoconservativism that the nation felt it needed in 2008 after Bush. Obama is unabashedly liberal, but incredibly charismatic and likeable (hardcore conservatives don't feel this way, but I assure you the polling has always suggested that everybody else does). The moment we elected him to was huge, as well, putting him right behind the 8 ball with the wars and the economy, a situation which clearly set him up for an extremely difficult four years.

If he is able to win reelection, it's possible that this country could face a true electoral realignment of Reagan proportions (or maybe even greater) within the next decade, the realignment that Rove so desperately wanted for Bush in 2004 but failed to achieve. I'm talking about a realignment that fundamentally changes the way the vast majority of the population views these two political parties.

I've written about this a lot on this forum, but I predict that no matter who wins the election in 2012, unemployment will drop like a rock in 2014 as the job openings/job applicant mismatches start to vanish and the pool of applicants adapt to all the job openings. Again, this is despite Obama or Romney being President.

But assume it is Obama. Then you're talking about, at the conclusion of 2016, a presidency that would have presided over a gradual but successful recovery from the worst recession in our and our parents' lifetimes, withdrawals from both wars in the Middle East, the killing of OBL, the passing and now implementation of full healthcare reform, and at least three SCOTUS judges... Even without Republican cooperation in Obama's second term, all these things would happen, with the only significant question mark being the unemployment situation, which I do believe will recover like gangbusters in a couple years.

If all these things happen, the contrast of the past two decades will be unbelievably stark in 2016: you can do it the Democratic way, like the charistmatic and successful Obama and Clinton admistrations did, and preside over successful economies and sane foreign policy, or you can do it the Republican way, like... George W. Bush.

Combine that with the demographic changes this country will be going over the next decade (Texas could genuinely become a swing state by 2020, for starters), and I believe we could be facing a realignment.

I think this would be especially likely if Hillary were to run in 2016. Barring a complete shitfit, she couldn't lose, running on the records of Obama and Clinton, who would both extensively campaign for her, giving her a 3-to-1 advantage over whomever the Republicans trot out. Thinking of what she could accomplish in the wakes of what these two Presidents have laid for her in terms of policy foundations, is mind boggling.

The Republican Party, in the face of this, would absolutely have to evolve from their current exclusivity, their current regressive tax policies, and embrace something more inclusive, more moderate, and less reactionary. More conservative, less reactionary regressive. And then you'd finally have the post-Boomer conversation about the true value of liberalism and conservativism that this nation has lost since the Vietnam war embedded the Boomer population in a decades-long culture war. This development would change the entire dynamic, and provide those weird things like "hope" and "change" that we've ridiculed for five years.

On the other hand, what if the Republicans win? Romney/Ryan '12.

Most of Obama's accomplishments would obviously be trashed. Healthcare reform would either be outright repealed, or simply not enforced and de-fanged until it could no longer accomplish much of anything. The Democratic goal of bringing back the Clinton tax rates for the wealthy would be a thing of the past; in fact, Romney and Ryan would move the offensive forward, attempting to bring their tax rates down even lower. The landmark regulations for the financial industry passed under Obama would almost certainly be neutered to the point of irrelevancy, in particular Consumer Protection.

But even more than his policies, the idea of what Obama represented would be defeated. The idea of providing more for the less fortunate, for collectivism and the social safety net, would suffer irreperable harm as Romney and Ryan get to benefit from an employment boom in 2014, something they will understandably take credit for and the public will understandably reward them for, embedding in the public psyche the idea that regressive policies somehow accounted for all of this, and cementing trickle-down economics as vindicated once and for all.

And while Ryan seems very green now, assuming Romney wins reelection, Ryan would be a powerful candidate under this philosophy in 2020 running against whomever the Democrats could put up. By then, barring any huge screwups or scandals by the Romney administration, the conversation between conservativism and liberalism would almost certainly vanish, and instead be between conservativism and libertarian regressivism.

You're talking about two radically different futures for the next decade-plus, one with generational realignment possibilities in my opinion.

All of it sparked from one election.

That's why I think this could be the most important election in our lifetimes.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
This is what people do who don't have an answer to a question and are afraid to admit they don't' have an answer.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:11 PM   #92
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philfree View Post
O.K. there are some things in Obamacare that are good and that's one. So is the ability to keep insurance on your kids till there 26 or whatever it is. Did we have to agree to a government mandate to for that to happen?
Yes, we did.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:12 PM   #93
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by SNR View Post
Kind of hard to do that when he acts like "libertarian regression" = D000000M

He seems to believe the country will rebound in 2014 regardless of who's president. Even if Romney undoes all of Obama's handiwork from the past 4 years.

So who cares? If the economy recovers, it recovers. Why is it such a shitfest when the OHNOESLIBERTARIANREGRESSIVERICHPEOPLEEATBABIES president resides over it?
I don't think I was arguing that it would be a shitfest, necessarily.

I was just arguing that the conversation we'll be having as far as a decade into the future could be radically different based on this one election.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #94
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
Without a mandate or some other incentive to carry coverage continuously, forcing insurance companies to insure those with pre-existing conditions would destroy the insurance industry. Without that incentive/mandate, many healthy people would just wait until they needed health care to buy coverage and the costs of sick people wouldn't be able to be spread across as many healthy people driving the cost of premiums through the roof.
Well said.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #95
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Originally Posted by philfree View Post
People aren't going to pay for their insurance until they need it.
Then I'd say those are pretty crummy people.

It's just like the people that sign up for car insurance just before renewal time, then drop it immediately afterwards.

Irresponsible, selfish cowards.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:29 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The piece is an argument as to the relative importance of this election.

You just see the world in red and blue. That's why a piece like that comes across as nothing more than rah rah partisanship.

That's the soup you swim in.
Sure, I'll admit to being partisan. Surely you aren't excluding yourself from such an ailment, right?
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #97
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Sure, I'll admit to being partisan. Surely you aren't excluding yourself from such an ailment, right?
I would call myself ideological, more than partisan.

I'd also call myself pragmatic.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:43 PM   #98
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No "I'm Pretty Sure This Is The Most Important Erection In My Lifetime" parody thread?

Oh the burstlessness of it all.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:19 PM   #99
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What Direckshun is saying is he wants others to pay for his healthcare. That's why it's important.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:21 PM   #100
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Wish I had more time to respond, perhaps later. But I appreciate your analysis. It is an important election. I am convinced that the republican establishment did not believe Hillary would come up short. Once they realized what they were facing in Obama fear consumed them. While they may have disagreed with Colin Powell publically, they understood that Obama was indeed a 'transformational' leader. They understood Obama was bold enough and was sharp enough and was personable enough that they could easily be marginalized when time is now critical. The shifting demographics, ironically made much worse with Bush failing to control illegal immigration, is a freight train rolling over the party. It is now or never for them and that is why they went down the ugly roads of birtherism/racism, show me your papers Pedro, voter suppression, obstruction. I don't think they calculated the visibility these tactics would receive. It then became apparent that all this still might not be enough and thus they concluded that even overt lies were less damaging than the truth if backed by big bucks. This strategy may still end up working it is hard to stop transformational movements. They could not have forseen things like losing the foreign policy debate even though Bush's failures were so dramatic. Resurrecting the culture war demonstrated an incredible degree of disconnect too. That just made it all the harder for them. I think they became desperate. I don't think they could handle an almost Mount Rushmore type democratic president leading us forward in dramatic new ways. It was too much for them. Through obstruction they probably will succeed in preventing the nation from realization of what could have been promising for the country. But the strategy is backfiring and they are destroying their party. I think obstructionism will finally die in January. They have no choice now but to play the same game with transformational change. They have to accept this because that is what the country wants. I'm not sure where they will find that leader. The GOP must defend many senate seats in 2014 and beyond. the Senate may well slip away for some time. If senator Reid believes its already to late and the Democrats keep the senate he may well change the Filibuster rules. That will allow transformational change to occur, and that will resonate with the people. Reid will no longer have to worry about the potential boomerang of tinkering with the filibuster rules. The ONLY way out for the republicans now is to give up the culture war they cannot win, AND they MUST get all of their representatives and senators to rescind the Grover Norquist blackmail pledge. They have to rid him of the cancer he is. That would restore their capacity to make their case to the people, let the chips fall, act rationally when the facts change, and restore statesmanship to national leadership. The ideology war for the GOP has been lost.
You sound way to articulate than the rest of us shit heads.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:24 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
What Direckshun is saying is he wants others to pay for his healthcare. That's why it's important.
If he doesn't have health insurance, that's already happening anyway.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
If he doesn't have health insurance, that's already happening anyway.
That shouldn't be happening either.

If you mean the emergency room—then he still gets the bill no? That's still due to govt mandates.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #103
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
That shouldn't be happening either.

If you mean the emergency room—then he still gets the bill no? That's still due to govt mandates.
You can walk into any ER in the state of California - legal or illegal - and they cannot refuse service, whether it's a broken bone or a heart transplant.

Who do you think pays for those services when people are uninsured?
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:06 PM   #104
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I disagree. If Romney wins he wont get anything done. The Dems will fillibuster everything in the Senate just like they did to Obama. When Romney gets tired of not getting anything done, he will move his positions just like he always had in his past history.

The only part worrying me is the Supreme Court nominess. If the conservatives get a strong 6-4/7-3 majority they will go after every single social agenda that they have and tear this country apart.

My biggest vote was for Ronald Reagan. Jimmy Carter had to go. Who knows where we would have been if Carter had been re-elected.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:10 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
You can walk into any ER in the state of California - legal or illegal - and they cannot refuse service, whether it's a broken bone or a heart transplant.
I know that.

Quote:
Who do you think pays for those services when people are uninsured?
I would assume it gets passed on to those who do pay even if in inflated rates for a box a kleenex in their hospital room. That doesn't mean an ER still doesn't send the bills to some who use the ER and use a collection service on them if they don't pay. They still do that from my experience.

Like I said, THAT shouldn't be either. And THAT is also due to a govt mandate. Mandates drive up costs. That shouldn't be either.

Obamacare is not going to end a lot of people using an ER because there's not enough doctor's to supply the increased demand curve from it.
They will be going to ERs still. You can't increase demand without increasing supply.
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