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Old 09-07-2012, 12:31 PM  
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 09-10-2012, 04:59 PM   #286
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I pity you and your life that you can so callously dismiss fellow Americans.

You should be ashamed of yourself.
lolz
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:13 AM   #287
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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If serious I'd be grateful for the recipe. My grandmother's people came over from the Boot, I loves me some Italian.
Sent. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out!
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Old 09-11-2012, 12:15 AM   #288
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I pity you and your life that you can so callously dismiss fellow Americans.

You should be ashamed of yourself.



You missed the point of the story. It's about the irony and apparent obliviousness with which you regularly do that which you suggest shouldn't be done.



I suspect that it's stated with confidence because you don't understand how full of holes your arguments usually are. But I'm open to the possibility that you do recognize this and you've just learned that if you say something with confidence you can sometimes bluff your way through.


Typical Pat.

Good stuff.

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Old 09-27-2012, 09:54 AM   #289
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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Some agreement that this election could have an effect on the Republican party that could reverberate for a decade at least.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/colum...e-gop-20120927

How a Romney Loss Would Impact the GOP
Look for a sharp right turn away from the party establishment and its chosen candidate.
By Reid Wilson
September 27, 2012 | 6:00 a.m.

Today, the media and their pollsters are to blame for Mitt Romney's political troubles, according to Romney's fans. But if Romney does lose this year, blame will quickly shift to the Republican presidential nominee himself, his shortcomings, and his ability to articulate a conservative vision for the country. And the fallout from a Romney loss has the potential to reverberate through the Republican Party for a decade.

Had you told any Democratic political strategist a year ago that the unemployment rate in September 2012 would stand at 8.1 percent, he or she would have thrown up their hands in despair. President Obama, conventional wisdom held, would be headed to certain defeat.

But six weeks from Election Day, the picture is very different. Obama's approval ratings are on the rise, positive economic news hints at a recovery in the housing market and a slightly brighter jobs picture, and state-by-state polling shows Obama ahead of Republican nominee Mitt Romney in virtually every battleground state by significant margins. Even the dreaded enthusiasm gap, which showed Republican voters more likely to head to the polls than Democrats this year, is fading as more Democrats tune in.

Conservative pundits have blamed a complicit media; even pollsters are suspect. Every poll's sample composition is scrutinized for the slightest perceived irregularity. But if Romney does lose, Republicans will be forced to contemplate how their candidate blew the best opportunity to defeat an incumbent president since 1980. And while anger focuses elsewhere now, the blame will surely shift to Romney himself, and his backers within the WashingtonWashingtonPopulation (2010): 6,724,540Registered Voters: 0.00% R, 0.00% D, 0.00% I Governor: Gov. Christine Gregoire (D)Senators: Sen. Patty Murray (D), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) Read Full Almanac Profile Republican establishment, if he comes up short.

One can imagine the thought process: Romney, the moderate MassachusettsMassachusettsPopulation (2010): 6,547,629Registered Voters: 11.30% R, 36.50% D, 52.20% I Governor: Gov. Deval Patrick (D)Senators: Sen. John Kerry (D), Sen. Brown (R) Read Full Almanac Profile flip-flopper, was insufficiently clear in articulating the views of the conservative movement and allowed his own shortcomings to distract from the cause, both of beating Obama and of advancing the agenda.

The blame game has already begun in some quarters. "There are a lot of elitist Republicans who have spent several years telling us Mitt Romney was the only electable Republican," conservative blogger Erick Erickson wrote on Tuesday. "They conspired to shut out others, tear down others, and prop up Romney with the electability argument. He is now not winning against the second coming of Jimmy Carter. They know there will be many conservatives, should Mitt Romney lose, who will not be satisfied until every bridge is burned with these jerks, hopefully with the elitist jerks tied to the bridge as it burns."

The schism within the Republican Party began during George W. Bush's administration ("They think the conservative movement will give them a pass just as the movement did with No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, Harriet Miers, TARP, etc.," Erickson added, ticking off Bush's greatest hits). The tea party movement, with its antispending message, stood in contrast with Bush's big-government conservatism, a virtual rebuke of party leadership, which the activist class believed had lost its way. If Romney loses, that rage at the establishment — Erickson's "elites" — will only grow.

The anger within the activist class has already caused political casualties, from UtahUtahPopulation (2010): 2,763,885Registered Voters: 0.00% R, 0.00% D, 0.00% I Governor: Gov. Gary Herbert (R)Senators: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R), Sen. Mike Lee (R) Read Full Almanac Profile 's Bob Bennett to IndianaIndianaPopulation (2010): 6,483,802Registered Voters: 0.00% R, 0.00% D, 0.00% I Governor: Gov. Mitchell Daniels (R)Senators: Sen. Richard Lugar (R), Sen. Dan Coats (R) Read Full Almanac Profile 's Richard Lugar sen. Richard Lugar Republican Indiana Read Full Almanac Profile . It has also forced incumbent Republicans to change their tune, in hopes of avoiding the same fate. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sen. Mitch McConnell Republican Kentucky Read Full Almanac Profile , the picture of the Republican establishment, has hired Rep. Ron Paul's campaign manager — one of the party's best field operatives, to be sure, but one who brings tea party credibility to a candidate clearly worried about his right flank in the meantime. Aides to Sen. Lamar Alexander sen. Lamar Alexander Republican Tennessee Read Full Almanac Profile have polled TennesseeTennesseePopulation (2010): 6,346,105Registered Voters: 0.00% R, 0.00% D, 0.00% I Governor: Gov. Bill Haslam (R)Senators: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), Sen. Bob Corker (R) Read Full Almanac Profile 's Republican voters several times, and they are notably relieved every time Alexander scores high approval ratings there. In the House, the most conservative wing of the Republican conference has gone from occupying the fringes with little influence to dominating the party's agenda.

If Republicans do lurch to the right, history suggests they will be vindicated in the near-term. The mid-term election under a second-term president is typically disastrous for the incumbent party as the six-year itch takes effect. Even if Republicans can't win back the Senate this year, their chances against the Democrats swept in by the Obama wave in 2008 will be strong.

By 2016, Republicans searching for a presidential nominee may incorporate two lessons from the previous two election cycles into their decision: 2012 will hint that moderates unable to articulate the most conservative vision can't win nationally, and 2014 will show conservatives can win. That would seem to buoy any of the more conservative candidates who might run for president — and Rick Santorum has already shown up in IowaIowaPopulation (2010): 3,046,355Registered Voters: 31.20% R, 33.40% D, 35.40% I Governor: Gov. Terry Branstad (R)Senators: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R), Sen. Thomas Harkin (D) Read Full Almanac Profile twice since dropping out of the presidential race to campaign for other Republican causes.

The reinvention of the Republican Party that has been underway since the end of Bush's term is far from complete. Romney's loss would make the violence of the internal struggle all the more dramatic; it would steal influence from those arguing for a middle path, and hand influence to the conservative factions already on the ascent.

We ain't seen nothing yet.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:00 PM   #290
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Some agreement that this election could have an effect on the Republican party that could reverberate for a decade at least....
If Romney loses the tea party will be, rightly, put in their place--as the lunatic fringe. The Republicans will be left to search for the prophet to lead them out of the wilderness--just like the Dems did in 1992 behind a fellow named Bill Clinton. Government should be about consensus, compromise, and majoritarian politics; not about division, ideology, and fringe politics. Unless the GOP understands that, their days in the wilderness will continue.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:12 PM   #291
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Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
If Romney loses the tea party will be, rightly, put in their place--as the lunatic fringe. The Republicans will be left to search for the prophet to lead them out of the wilderness--just like the Dems did in 1992 behind a fellow named Bill Clinton. Government should be about consensus, compromise, and majoritarian politics; not about division, ideology, and fringe politics. Unless the GOP understands that, their days in the wilderness will continue.
Its not like Romney is a teabagger guy. I think the teabaggers will continue to be an influence at the state and especially district level where they will continue to drag the party right with threats of running primaries against and sometimes beating R incumbents.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:15 PM   #292
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Its not like Romney is a teabagger guy. I think the teabaggers will continue to be an influence at the state and especially district level where they will continue to drag the party right with threats of running primaries against and sometimes beating R incumbents.
I agree, but the tea party types have force Romney to move hard right....which, in the general election, reduces his appeal with swing voters of independent and moderate leanings. Even if you get past his out-of-touch dull rich guy persona, the pandering and flip-flopping on nearly every issue he's done sour many true moderates.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #293
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Sent. Enjoy and let me know how it turns out!
Made your sauce yesterday. Very very flavorful. I substituted turkey sausage which I know may be a sin but after soaking up the sauce it was fan freaking tastic.
Thanks much for sharing.
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