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Old 07-14-2007, 11:25 PM   #131
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

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I've stayed out of this thread for a week or so, but in reading it tonight, I have to say to Dan, Mosca, Preacher, Tony and several others -

Thank You for keeping this thread respectable and for being the gentlemen you all are.
No problem. It's better then seeing all out flame wars.
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:04 AM   #132
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

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I've stayed out of this thread for a week or so, but in reading it tonight, I have to say to Dan, Mosca, Preacher, Tony and several others -

Thank You for keeping this thread respectable and for being the gentlemen you all are.
Thanks HTG - I continue posting on this thread because I enjoy reading the thoughtful responses of other posters (specifically those you note).

OTOH - only 8 days to training camp, when we can again focus on the subject that initially brought us to the forum.
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Old 07-15-2007, 08:43 AM   #133
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

I say, huge PUBLIC props to Dan for finding and sharing source material. That raises our discourse to an entirely different level. This is in addition to the private rep I've given him.

For me, these discussions are never about being right or wrong. They are about putting my ideas out there to see if they can stand the scrutiny of someone else's logic and point of view. If my ideas are strong, I should be able to defend them against an unexpected tack, something I either didn't think of, or didn't know about. It's like verbal football; pick the thread, plan the words, organize the paragraphs, and run the post; then see what matchups come out of it, see how my words were parried, see how counter arguments are justified, and then decide how to best defend what I wrote, or adjust what I previously thought to account for something that I think is more reasonable. Yes, sometimes I've had my opinions changed by these discussions; that is always good, to get worthy ideas from others. Because in the arena of ideas winning isn't measured by how well you beat down the other guy (no matter how much some of our pundits on both sides might want you to believe); it's measured by how well your ideas evolve.

The level of political discourse here at SF is by far the highest I've ever seen in a forum where politics isn't the theme. That's because opposing points of view here aren't the enemy; they are the tools for the evolution of our own thoughts. And huge props to the moderators and the administration for recognizing this and keeping it safe and on track.


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Old 07-16-2007, 06:15 PM   #134
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

HTG....

Thanks... It is amazing what happens when adults discuss things... Heck, this thread shows a lot of emotion, but there sure is a difference between emotion and flaming...

Thanks all....



Oh yeah... and about JFK...

JFK would feel like an orphan today... as would Reagan.

In my opinion, Reagan and JFK were closer to each other, and further away from both parties as they are known today.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:34 PM   #135
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

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HTG....

Thanks... It is amazing what happens when adults discuss things... Heck, this thread shows a lot of emotion, but there sure is a difference between emotion and flaming...

Thanks all....



Oh yeah... and about JFK...

JFK would feel like an orphan today... as would Reagan.

In my opinion, Reagan and JFK were closer to each other, and further away from both parties as they are known today.
Preacher - with respect to your view that is shared by many of us that we are living in a time of voting against rather than voting for something (although I am waiting to see if Obama, the only likely suspect for me, is capable of making the leap across our current divides), Peggy Noonan once again nails it in the context of a column in which she seems to have moved from despair to disdain regarding the President whom she previously supported so adamantly.

Americans hire presidents and fire them. They're not as sweet about it as they used to be. This is not because they have grown cynical, but because they are disappointed, by both teams and both sides. Some part of them thinks no matter who is president he will not protect them from forces at work in the world. Some part of them fears that when history looks back on this moment, on the past few presidents and the next few, it will say: Those men were not big enough for the era.

But this is a democracy. You vote, you do the best you can with the choices presented, and you show the appropriate opposition to the guy who seems most likely to bring trouble. (I think that is one reason for the polarity and division of politics now. No one knows in his gut that the guy he supports will do any good. But at least you can oppose with enthusiasm and passion the guy you feel in your gut will cause more trouble than is needed! This is what happens when the pickings are slim: The greatest passion gets funneled into opposition.)

We hire them and fire them. President Bush was hired to know more than the people, to be told all the deep inside intelligence, all the facts Americans are not told, and do the right and smart thing in response.

That's the deal. It's the real "grand bargain." If you are a midlevel Verizon executive who lives in New Jersey, this is what you do: You hire a president and tell him to take care of everything you can't take care of--the security of the nation, its well-being, its long-term interests. And you in turn do your part. You meet your part of the bargain. You work, pay your taxes, which are your financial contribution to making it all work, you become involved in local things--the boy's ball team, the library, the homeless shelter. You handle what you can handle within your ken, and give the big things to the president.

And if he can't do it, or if he can't do it as well as you pay the mortgage and help the kid next door, you get mad. And you fire him.


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Old 07-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #136
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

AD...

Great post.

Let ask you a question about this entire issue (voting against, instead of for).

It seems to me that during the cold war, the issue of national defense was at the forefront of every election. Thus, whoever the president is, there was a belief that if the unthinkable happened, the president would order nuclear retaliation.

Today, we have no such overarching fear. Thus, secondary issues have become primary in elections, and the fear of making the opponent look weak or unable to govern is not an issue in the post-cold war America.

Or is it simply the fact that with all the press coverage, with all the games that are played... Good, strong candidates simply don't want to get into the national spotlight... thus leaving it to people who seek the position out of weakness... such as a drive for power, drive for credibility, or a drive to fill an internal need of some kind.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:24 PM   #137
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

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AD...

Great post.

Let ask you a question about this entire issue (voting against, instead of for).

It seems to me that during the cold war, the issue of national defense was at the forefront of every election. Thus, whoever the president is, there was a belief that if the unthinkable happened, the president would order nuclear retaliation.

Today, we have no such overarching fear. Thus, secondary issues have become primary in elections, and the fear of making the opponent look weak or unable to govern is not an issue in the post-cold war America.
When our country was founded was the purpose of our founding fathers/government much more than protecting our new country? I would say no. I think we are being lulled into complacency because nothing major has happened in our country since 9/11. Personally, if you don't think of "the unthinkable," & plan for it happening, you are inviting disaster. IMO I think we have the same "overarching fear" if not more, than we have ever had. Apparently I don't represent the majority.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:40 PM   #138
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

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AD...

Great post.

Let ask you a question about this entire issue (voting against, instead of for).

It seems to me that during the cold war, the issue of national defense was at the forefront of every election. Thus, whoever the president is, there was a belief that if the unthinkable happened, the president would order nuclear retaliation.

Today, we have no such overarching fear. Thus, secondary issues have become primary in elections, and the fear of making the opponent look weak or unable to govern is not an issue in the post-cold war America.

Or is it simply the fact that with all the press coverage, with all the games that are played... Good, strong candidates simply don't want to get into the national spotlight... thus leaving it to people who seek the position out of weakness... such as a drive for power, drive for credibility, or a drive to fill an internal need of some kind.
Preacher - As usual, insightful observations and a good question. I agree that national defense was always a front burner concern in the "postwar/Cold War" elections until 1992, although it sometimes was social issues (1968) or payback for a particularly bad Administration (1976) that turned certain presidential elections. Cynics would argue that because the defining principle of the Republican party was "anti-Communism," once Communism went away the GOP thought it could not win on domestic issues, prompting the decision to take the legitimate threat of Al Queda and conflate it into an eternal "war on terror."

As for the negative nature of current campaigns, nastiness is not unique to political contests of our era. However, while political realignments start with voters voting against an incumbent party (Hoover in 1932/Carter in 1980) they are cemented by voters deciding they want to vote for the new incumbent rather than simply against the other party (FDR in 1936/Reagan in 1984). When parties are closely balanced and cannot take major risks, elections turn on more trivial concerns. When parties have power to burn or nothing to lose is when ideological breakthroughs are developed by the majority (New Deal) or minority (1964 Goldwater campaign) party.

While events are ripe for the incumbent Presidential party to be trounced in an extinction level event election in 2008, for politics to then proceed to a more positive state based on then voting in subsequent elections for the new incumbent party, IMO the Democrats will need to nominate someone who is a break from the past and address broad issues of economic angst that incorporate such matters as trade with China, immigration, and perceived economic inequality. I think those various symptoms of profound economic uncertainty will combine in future years to be an issue that will dominate politics for some time to come as the U.S. adjusts to no longer being the only big dog in a multi-polar world. In response to the point raised by GBMelBlount, protecting the economic well being of citizens can be just as important as military defense and is not a new concern (GBMelBlount - if you doubt me on this, check out the debates between Jefferson & Hamilton on the role of the federal government in promoting economic growth - Hamilton won that debate). It all depends what you regard as "national security."

With regard to who that realigning candidate may be, suffice it to say it will not be Hillary Clinton. So in answer to your question, I think political discourse will be petty and divisive until a new majority is nailed down by a President with the clout to deliver voters who, like Reagan and FDR, positively adopt his views. Peggy Noonan thinks we may be some time off from that; the only current candidate I see who might cobble together a realigning majority starting in 2008 is Obama. However, I still cannot figure out whether he is (to use a Texas put down), all hat and no cattle.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:39 PM   #139
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

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Preacher - GBMelBlount, protecting the economic well being of citizens can be just as important as military defense and is not a new concern (GBMelBlount - if you doubt me on this, check out the debates between Jefferson & Hamilton on the role of the federal government in promoting economic growth - Hamilton won that debate). It all depends what you regard as "national security."
Great point AD, I couldn't agree with you more.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:02 AM   #140
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Default Re: White House, Cheney's Office Subpoenaed

AD... Thanks for that response... It made me think, which is always a good thing.

What I wonder however, is if this particular group of citizens is now to fractured to truly see a unifying candidate? In the Democratic party, right now there seems to be 4 truly dividing factors.

1. War in the Gulf. Those who hold to the U.S. pulling out now demands that the people they elect on that platform perform. Right now, the DNC is experiencing a lot of kick back for not delivering a date for a pull-out. There are rumors starting that the Democrats may lose the next presidential election because this group will stay home if their man or woman is not nominated. While there are a number of people from all over the political spectrum that agree with the sentiment, the demand to establish a date and pull out pushes the candidate too far to the left for many.

2. Abortion. Any nominee from the democratic party must be pro-abortion, if a candidate is against the war in the gulf, but also against abortion, he or she is unelectable as a democrat. There are a number of Christians that will not vote Democrat for this reason alone... that may cross over otherwise.

3. Enviromentalism. There is a strong Green streak in the party that demands allegience to what many in the middle or the right would call radical enviromentalism. These people are probably in agreement with the first two issues, but any candidate MUST hold on to the enviromental doctrines of Global warming, Kyoto treaty, etc.

4. Labor. This is a fascinating group. They want... demand protection and almost always vote democrat, however, Reagan was elected in part because of Labor. Enviromentalists will at times be at odds with this group.

The GOP isn't quite as fractured... but the fractures run much deeper

1. Laissez-faire There is a strong segment of the GOP that wants government to completely stay away from business... or personal lives. They want no social change driven by government and consider the tax code as social engineering. This group has been around a long time, as is known as the Rockefeller Republicans, also known now as the Rhino's because if this is the primary drive for a republican, they usually don't care much about other issues. These are also known as the "country club republicans." Interestingly, this group is dying out in the party. While the belief of lower taxes and laissez faire govt. stays with most GOP'ers, it is not the main and driving force of the others listed here.

2. Abortion. This group DEMANDS the GOP to ALWAYS put up a pro-life candidate. Because this group is very strong within the party itself, it prohibits Rudy Giuliani from ever making it out of the primaries, and will cause a revolt in the party... and possibly a third party if a pro-choice republican ever made it to a general election for president. Some of these people ONLY vote GOP, ONLY because of abortion.

3. Law and order republicans... These are the ones that yell and scream about our laws being obeyed... such as border issues, SCOTUS overstepping its boundaries, etc.

2 and 3 will sometimes cross... but there is a distinct difference, and the demand for the candidate is different.

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Here are seven different groups that drive politics in our country. The problem is that the way we are currently set up, a candidate has to play towards one or the other of these groups. If they play to the left, it isolates the middle... If they play to the right, it isolates the Rhino's of their own party.

Thus, it seems the problem may be that politicians have learned that instead of playing gumby, and stretching to reach all sides, they should point out to the other party the parts of the candidate that his or her counterparts DONT want. SUch as, Rudy is pro-choice, Clinton thinks she is above the law (whitewater). blah blah blah...

So how do we back away from this current problem? The divisions run deep, and will continue to run deeper, especially because the house and senate are up for grabs every other election now.

BTW... I doubt Obama will be a person to draw the nation together. His ties to his church will really hurt him if he makes it into the general election. His belief on abortion will not allow staunch GOP'ers to vote for him, or elected GOP members to work with him, because they will lose thier base. Rudy will have the same problem in the GOP. Hillary will draw out a major negative vote, as Clinton fatigue still exists. Thompson from the GOP seems to have a strong draw among the Reagan GOP, but he runs smack in the face of the democrat abortion group and labor...

So who do we look for? There is no one that can draw together the country. What it will take... and this is very sad to say, is a major attack and sustained war/rebuild against a single enemy a la WWII.

I just don't see that happening, nor do I wish for it.

What else may turn the tide? Who knows. I just know I am sick and tired of it...

Heck... I haven't even started into the additional issues of the internet, talk radio, podcasting, and the creation of the Super-states in the geo-political make up which is changing the entire political dynamic both within the country and in international politics.

ARGHHHH... Now I have a headache....

When does training camp start!!!

Last edited by Preacher; 07-18-2007 at 04:12 PM.
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