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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 09-08-2012, 08:01 PM   #181
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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69
Then he isn't affected.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #182
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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Then he isn't affected.
We'll see. My mom will certainly be affected because she's 63.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:04 PM   #183
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Um, you're confused dude.

My point is that Obamacare didn't require 60 voters.. if it had, it wouldn't now be law. They "cheated" and used reconciliation to get it passed illegally. So, now that the Dems have opened that door, I expect the GOP will abuse it as well.

The R's aren't forcing anything. Reid is a complete scumbag and won;t let any bills past the front door for fear of people having to actually vote on something... anything. The GOP Senators have ZERO say in the matter. ZERO. If they gain even a simple majority, that all changes drastically.

I'm not advocating here... just laying out what will happen if the GOP gains a majority in the Senate (which I would put at about 60/40 odds right now). And of course, it would take a major miracle for them to lose the House.
Correction: if the GOP simply gets 50 seats (or 49 + the independent in Maine) and Romney wins.. they would have the tie-breaker.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:06 PM   #184
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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We'll see. My mom will certainly be affected because she's 63.
No, the changes they are proposing are for people under 55.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:08 PM   #185
DaneMcCloud DaneMcCloud is offline
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No, the changes they are proposing are for people under 55.
Who? And there is absolutely no guarantee of anything.

And just watch: Social Security will become insolvent and regardless of who controls the House, Senate or Presidency, taxes will be raised across the board make up for the FICA loss.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:15 PM   #186
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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Who? And there is absolutely no guarantee of anything.

And just watch: Social Security will become insolvent and regardless of who controls the House, Senate or Presidency, taxes will be raised across the board make up for the FICA loss.
We're not that far off on how we think.

Of course there isn't a guarantee of anything but dems refuse to address the problem. At least Bush tried to help out younger Americans by allowing them to invest 2% of their payroll tax. Obama starting Obamacare with the SS/Medicare cliff approaching was just criminal. All for votes.

Do you think the 2% cut in the payroll tax was smart seeing the impending cliff?
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:18 PM   #187
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And just watch: Social Security will become insolvent and regardless of who controls the House, Senate or Presidency, taxes will be raised across the board make up for the FICA loss.
At current rates, with NO changes and a stagnant economy... SS won't be insolvent for at least another 20 years. It's a fun political scare tactic but it just isn't TRUE that it's on the brink right now. I'm not saying we don't need major changes, but even a few MINOR tweaks could extend that another 20+ years. AND all of this is predicated on NO further recovery of the economy.

Let's not go all Henny Penny on this subject. The sky is definitely falling, and the sooner it is addressed the better, but it's not falling tomorrow.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #188
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Um, you're confused dude.

My point is that Obamacare didn't require 60 voters.. if it had, it wouldn't now be law. They "cheated" and used reconciliation to get it passed illegally. So, now that the Dems have opened that door, I expect the GOP will abuse it as well.

The R's aren't forcing anything. Reid is a complete scumbag and won;t let any bills past the front door for fear of people having to actually vote on something... anything. The GOP Senators have ZERO say in the matter. ZERO. If they gain even a simple majority, that all changes drastically.

I'm not advocating here... just laying out what will happen if the GOP gains a majority in the Senate (which I would put at about 60/40 odds right now). And of course, it would take a major miracle for them to lose the House.
I'm not confused. reconcilation wasnt used to pass Obamacare. They got 60 votes or it wouldnt have passed. Tney used reconcilation to pass the amendment.

From a fact check website:
Here is what happened. After a year of deliberation and wrangling, the Democratic-controlled House and Senate each passed a different version of health care reform in 2009. On November 7, the House passed its version of the bill on a 220-to-215 vote. On December 23, the Senate voted 60 to 39 to end debate on the bill, eliminating the possibility of a filibuster by opponents. The bill then passed on a party-line vote of 60 to 39 the next day.


Soon after the Senate passed the Affordable Care Act, Scott Brown was elected to take Ted Kennedy’s seat and the Democrats consequently lost their filibuster proof 60 votes in the Senate. Consequently, the most viable option for the proponents of comprehensive reform was for the House to abandon its own health reform bill, and instead approve the Senate-passed bill. They knew they could not get an amended bill passed by the Senate since they would not have 60 votes to end a Republican filibuster. However, a number of House Democrats who had reluctantly backed the president on health care reform didn’t like a number of provisions in the Senate version of the bill such as a provision that would have provided a higher rate of Medicaid reimbursements for Nebraska – the so-called “Cornhusker Kickback” that was designed to win the support of Democratic senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska.


House Speaker Pelosi made a deal to get the reluctant Democrats to go along with passing the Senate version of the bill. If they would vote for the Senate bill, then the Democratic leadership agreed to immediately introduce and pass separate legislation under Budget Reconciliation amending the Affordable Care Act to address those members’ grievances. The House passed the Senate bill on March 21, 2010 by a vote of 219 to 212. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by Obama on March 23, 2010.


Pelosi then introduced the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
to make changes to the Affordable Care Act. The Democrats used reconciliation to pass the amendments. On March 26, 2010, the Senate approved the amendments, 56 to 43, and the House passed them, 220 to 207. Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 into law on March 30, 2010.


So Obamacare—The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—was actually passed in normal fashion without the use of Budget Reconciliation. However, Democrats did use Budget Reconciliation to amend the Act shortly after it was signed into law.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:01 PM   #189
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So Obamacare—The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—was actually passed in normal fashion without the use of Budget Reconciliation. However, Democrats did use Budget Reconciliation to amend the Act shortly after it was signed into law.
This doesn't change the fact that it was backdoor illegal politics. Reconciliation was never meant to be used in this fashion. It was bullshit and you and everyone else knows it.

NOW, that being said, since the Supreme Court ruling... it's actually much easier to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare.. or if not repeal, to gut the bejeezus out of it. Fact is, if Romney wins AND the GOP gets a majority of the Senate... Obamacare is gone. Just like a MAJORITY of Americans want it to be.

I certainly hope this happens, because I'm having NO PART in it either way. I feel it's an illegal and unjustifiable law and as such I will refuse to participate.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:06 PM   #190
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This doesn't change the fact that it was backdoor illegal politics. Reconciliation was never meant to be used in this fashion. It was bullshit and you and everyone else knows it.

NOW, that being said, since the Supreme Court ruling... it's actually much easier to use reconciliation to repeal Obamacare.. or if not repeal, to gut the bejeezus out of it. Fact is, if Romney wins AND the GOP gets a majority of the Senate... Obamacare is gone. Just like a MAJORITY of Americans want it to be.

I certainly hope this happens, because I'm having NO PART in it either way. I feel it's an illegal and unjustifiable law and as such I will refuse to participate.

Either way you are going to participate. Like it or not.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:39 PM   #191
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Fact is, if Romney wins AND the GOP gets a majority of the Senate...
I don't think there's a chance in hell of either happening, let alone both.

Obama would need to **** the dead corpse of Romney's mother in Prime Time to lose.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:44 PM   #192
AustinChief AustinChief is offline
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Either way you are going to participate. Like it or not.
Well, not really. Remember, I live in Texas... and I'm self employed. I could just refuse to pay the "fee." Good luck collecting it. I have a feeling that you'll see quite a few small business owners chose the same route. Yeah, the Feds can withhold tax refunds.. but that's easy enough to get around when you are self-employed. Now, if they change the law to make it enforceable... you're gonna see some SERIOUS blowback.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:47 PM   #193
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I don't think there's a chance in hell of either happening, let alone both.

Obama would need to **** the dead corpse of Romney's mother in Prime Time to lose.
I'd say the Senate is going GOP.. or VERY VERY close. It very well could be a true 50/50 split. So, it will all come down to Romney/Obama which right now is FAR TOO CLOSE to call. Anyone trying to "call it" right now is fooling themselves. We'll now a WHOLE lot more after the jobs report in October (and a full month of ramped up campaigning has taken effect)... until then, we are just guessing.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:04 PM   #194
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I'd say the Senate is going GOP.. or VERY VERY close. It very well could be a true 50/50 split. So, it will all come down to Romney/Obama which right now is FAR TOO CLOSE to call. Anyone trying to "call it" right now is fooling themselves. We'll now a WHOLE lot more after the jobs report in October (and a full month of ramped up campaigning has taken effect)... until then, we are just guessing.
I have a difficult time grasping that concept. I'll use this forum as an example. Virtually the same people are as deeply committed to their roots as previous and take offense when others question it to the same degree as 4 years ago.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:08 PM   #195
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I'd say the Senate is going GOP.. or VERY VERY close. It very well could be a true 50/50 split. So, it will all come down to Romney/Obama which right now is FAR TOO CLOSE to call. Anyone trying to "call it" right now is fooling themselves. We'll now a WHOLE lot more after the jobs report in October (and a full month of ramped up campaigning has taken effect)... until then, we are just guessing.
I just don't see it that way.

Dems will vote for Dems, R's for R's. It'll all come down to the Independents, which typically tend to be more educated and socially "liberal".

When Romney and Ryan are asked their opinion on abortion during the debates, they'll lose some women voters, along with Independents.

I see this race shaping up exactly as the 2008 election.
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