US Politics



  • Anyone else finding the Donald Trump circus in equal parts entertaining and concerning?
    How is he even in the race?
    Is the any realistic possibility he could be there at the pointy end?



  • His latest:
    http://i.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/70953526/Donald-Trump-dumped-over-blood-remark-about-Foxs-Megyn-Kelly
    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been dumped as a speaker at an important gathering of conservative activists for suggesting that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was tough on him because she had her period.
    Trump was scheduled to deliver the keynote address on Saturday night at a conference in Atlanta organised by Red State, an influential conservative group.
    Red State chief Erick Erickson said he had disinvited Trump from the event because of what he described as "demeaning" remarks about Kelly who was one of three moderators during the first major Republican debate on Thursday night in Cleveland.
    "While I have tried to give him great latitude, his remark about Megyn Kelly was a bridge too far," Erickson said, adding he had invited Kelly, one of Fox's highest profile anchors, to attend his conference in Trump's place.
    Trump defended his comments on Saturday while denouncing politically correct "fools".
    Advertisement
    The Trump campaign issued a statement on Saturday.
    It said: "Mr Trump made Megyn Kelly look really bad - she was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard.
    "Mr Trump said "blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever" meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics.
    "Only a deviant would think anything else."
    During the debate, Kelly asked Trump to respond to derogatory statements he had made in the past about women, calling them "fat pigs" for example.
    Trump tried to wave off the question and dismissed Kelly during a raucous debate performance.
    "And honestly Megyn, if you don't like it, I'm sorry," Trump said. "I've been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn't do that."
    On Friday, the morning after the debate, Trump lashed out at criticism at his performance.
    Erickson said in a Facebook statement that in a CNN interview Trump said of Kelly: "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."
    "His comment was inappropriate," said Erickson.
    "It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong," he said.
    "He is not a professional politician and is known for being a blunt talker. But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross. Decency is one of those lines."
    A variety of Republican presidential candidates have been speaking at the Red State gathering in Atlanta and Trump was scheduled for a prominent appearance.
    Shortly before Erickson's statement, Trump's campaign had just put out a media advisory with the schedule for Trump's appearance.
    The New York billionaire has been riding high in the polls in recent weeks as Republican search for their nominee to face the Democrats' choice in the November 2016 election.
    Carly Fiorina, the business executive who is the only woman running for the Republican nomination and who spoke to Red State on Friday, applauded Trump's dumping.



  • I saw that old joker Roger Stone was running Trump's campaign.



  • Anyone else finding the Donald Trump circus in equal parts entertaining and concerning?
    How is he even in the race?
    Is the any realistic possibility he could be there at the pointy end?

    No. Trump has almost no chance. His favourability ratings are very low.



  • I thought he was polling quite high?
    Which i suspect is different to being in the hunt for the Republican nomination.
    You would think he's singlehandedly destroying the Republican's chances. But, you know, America.



  • Nate Silver (he correctly predicted how all 50 states would go in 2012) believes Donald Trump is the Nickleback of GOP Candidates:
     
    What’s going on? On Twitter yesterday, I likened Trump to the band Nickelback: disliked by most people but with a few very passionate admirers. The best contrast to Trump is Marco Rubio: like a “lite rock” radio station, he’s broadly acceptable but few people’s favorite. Rubio’s favorable ratings are much higher (56 percent) than The Donald’s, and his unfavorable ratings are much lower (16 percent). But only 6 percent of Republicans list Rubio as their first choice.
     
    The Nickelback analogy isn’t perfect. As the Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini points out, the bulk of Trump’s support in polls isn’t necessarily coming from passionate Republicans but rather from “low-information voters” who may not turn out in Iowa and New Hampshire. That doesn’t mean none of Trump’s support is real, however. There’s another factor that helps him: He’s highly differentiated from the rest of the Republican pack.
     
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/donald-trump-is-the-nickelback-of-gop-candidates/



  • Bill clinton encouraged the clown to run and Hillary was a guest at one of his weddings, I wonder what motivated Bill to suggest he run?
     
    Which reminds me of an old joke about Bill Clinton.
    his press secretary comes into his office and says 
    "Mr president i need to know what you're going to do about the upcoming abortion bill?"
    'look, just pay it and find out how much she wants to keep from going to the press about it."



  • Bill clinton encouraged the clown to run and Hillary was a guest at one of his weddings, I wonder what motivated Bill to suggest he run?
     
    Which reminds me of an old joke about Bill Clinton.
    his press secretary comes into his office and says 
    "Mr president i need to know what you're going to do about the upcoming abortion bill?"
    'look, just pay it and find out how much she wants to keep from going to the press about it."

    I think it was quite shrewd of old Bill, at best Trump gets the Republican nomination and Hillary walks it, and at worst Trump turns the Republican candidate race into - well what it is now, and likely Hillary walks it.



  • I think it was quite shrewd of old Bill, at best Trump gets the Republican nomination and Hillary walks it, and at worst Trump turns the Republican candidate race into - well what it is now, and likely Hillary walks it.

    Either that of he repulses the GOP so much that he has to run as an I dependant and does what Ross Perot did to Bush when Clinton won.



  • Yep. He's just a shit stirrer and once he has finished ripping into the republicans he will go independent and crack jibes about the democrats.
    He's kind of like Winston Peters with money.



  • Hillary won't walk anything, if the Democrats put her up then it will likely be a Republican President.
    So many skeletons, it will be a massacre.


  • Banned

    I've always found Trump to be a repulsive blowhard, but damn its refreshing to see someone up there being honest and totally themselves. I thought he'd killed himself with his McCain comments, but he's just going from strength to strength. Logic would dictate that he'll fade away but people seem so disgusted with politicians these days that he may have tapped into something huge. Add that to his very high name recognition and popularity of his series and he may hang around for a while yet.
    I doubt he'll run as an independent. He's probably not nearly as rich as he says he is and he'd need hundreds of millions to even get a double figure vote.
    What I don't understand is why Clinton is apparently such an unstoppable force. She has more baggage than a gridiron team.



  • Trump took a big jum this month in this poll http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html
     
     
    I thought Hillarys numbers had been trending downwards and the way the stuff about her and her home computer being drip fed to the press probably isn't helping much. Biden was making noises about running last week, probably just trying to see if he can attract enough money to run a campaign.
     
    Is anyone else following the Labour leadership campaign in the Uk? They threw a hard left weirdo who doesnt even want the job into the mix for "diversity"  and he's leading the poll by a decent margin at the moment. If he wins Labour can kiss the next election goodbye, he basically has the same policies as the NZ greens but thinks the hordes of illegal immigrants trying to bash their way into the Uk at Calais at the moment should be allowed in along with "free " tertiary education ,huge tax increases and the usual spendthrift  and anti law and order nuttiness leftards are famous for .


  • Banned

    Good site that. Interesting approval numbers for Obama.
    Can the Democrats really not do better than Clinton, Sanders and Biden?



  • Good site that. Interesting approval numbers for Obama.
    Can the Democrats really not do better than Clinton, Sanders and Biden?

    Apart from briefly after each of his election victories Obama has never had a positive net approval rating.



  • Nate Silver (he correctly predicted how all 50 states would go in 2012) believes Donald Trump is the Nickleback of GOP Candidates:
     
    What’s going on? On Twitter yesterday, I likened Trump to the band Nickelback: disliked by most people but with a few very passionate admirers. The best contrast to Trump is Marco Rubio: like a “lite rock” radio station, he’s broadly acceptable but few people’s favorite. Rubio’s favorable ratings are much higher (56 percent) than The Donald’s, and his unfavorable ratings are much lower (16 percent). But only 6 percent of Republicans list Rubio as their first choice.
     
    The Nickelback analogy isn’t perfect. As the Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini points out, the bulk of Trump’s support in polls isn’t necessarily coming from passionate Republicans but rather from “low-information voters” who may not turn out in Iowa and New Hampshire. That doesn’t mean none of Trump’s support is real, however. There’s another factor that helps him: He’s highly differentiated from the rest of the Republican pack.
     
    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/donald-trump-is-the-nickelback-of-gop-candidates/

    On the low information voters point. There was a poll that looks at who voters second favourite candidate was. Of the Trump supporters the second favourite candidate was Jeb.. the man with the second highest name recognition in the lineup.
    But of course that makes no sense as Trump is meant to to be the anti Bush candidate
     
    It's also interesting how alike the populist candidates in both parties are. Trump and Sanders have similar views on trade and their solution to every problem is a stronger government with a godlike leader (themselves) smashing every problem with centralised force. The Constitution and legislature don't seem to have any role



  • Apart from briefly after each of his election victories Obama has never had a positive net approval rating.

    The suprising thing about his numbers is that they are so static. Even popular presidents like Reagan dipped under 50% approval and got it back up.



  • Trump's support is VERY high... which is to say, about 25% of decided registered Republicans. (= a small sample size and still not much of a chance; most Americans are on summer vacation, and the real election campaign that lasts 14 months only begins after Labor Day (month from now). Americans are NOT really paying close attention.)
     
    The thing about Trump is -- he has huge name recognition; and he won't back down and apologize for anything. The Rule of Thumb in American politics is when you make a blunder or inexcusable mistake, you apologize, act contrite, beg forgiveness, and America loves the Underdog and Redemption Song, blah-blah. Not with Trump, he won't play the game. So the GOP campaign has come down to Fox News (establishment GOP) vs. The Donald, which is what that first debate basically was, and every time Fox News declares him dead & buried, his polling numbers go up. There are a lot of Fed-Up Republicans, and they are supporting him, if only as a Big F.U. to the party establishment (what some call populist nihilism). Same reason they want to throw House Speaker John Boehner (R) off a cliff.
     
    So, if you're asking if Trump's scorched earth campaign strategy is good or bad for the party, it depends on whether you enjoy the spectacle of the Republican Party shooting themselves in the feet again. They are the dysfunctional gang who can't shoot straight, so awful that even Marco Rubio appeared like a mature voice of reason during the debate. And he's a pathetic neocon boyclown.
     
    Plus... every day the GOP "leaders" pound the war drums on Iran, and every day that AIPAC-pwned Democrats such as senior Senator Chuck Shumer join them, Obama looks like the lone voice of sanity in American politics. I've not had a lot of kind things to say about him the past six years, but he looks like a super-genius compared to the bubbleheaded blowhards looking to take his job.
     
    Edit: Adding -- if you haven't checked out the "Trump is a False Flag Candidate Engineered by Bill Clinton," there are a lot of stories that make you go Hmmmm, which might have been the reason behind Fox News debate panel's very first question, directed at Trump, about whether he would he would support the GOP's eventual candidate or go rogue third-party. Many Republicans are convinced that Trumps candidacy is to sabotage the Republican Party. Like I said, whether this is a good thing depends on whether you believe the GOP needs to blow itself up and begin anew. I reckon Trump is terrific for this reason. An Idiot Leader for Idiocracy.



  • Good site that. Interesting approval numbers for Obama.
    Can the Democrats really not do better than Clinton, Sanders and Biden?

    Jim Webb could take Hillary down. He has the credentials that could swing a LOT of Republican votes his way (Vietnam veteran who served as Reagan's Secretary of the Navy) who looks like a guy's-guy that appeals to GOP voters (best-selling author about warriors). And he could carry the Democrat anti-war vote, especially with the registered Dems who still can't forgive Hillary for Iraq, nor will accept Bernie Sanders who is an economic populist but like Hillary has a foot planted firmly in the dark side of foreign policy. Sadly for Webb, he has dick-all campaign money (AIPAC and the Defense Lobby won't support him, because he prefers diplomacy to a shoot-first foreign policy) and the networks refuse to acknowledge his candidacy. 
     
    Having said all that, Webb has joined Chucky & the neocons and stands against Obama's Iran Deal, so it's difficult to say if he's a serious candidate, even if he is sitting lower than 1% in the Dem polls..



  • He doesn't back down from a scrap...

    ...
    "His comment was inappropriate," said Erick Erickson."It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him. But I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong," he said.
    "He is not a professional politician and is known for being a blunt talker. But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross. Decency is one of those lines."
    A variety of Republican presidential candidates have been speaking at the Red State gathering in Atlanta and Trump was scheduled for a prominent appearance.
    ...

    Donald J. Trump 
    ‏@realDonaldTrump 
    23 hours agoNew Jersey, USA
    Small crowds at @RedState today in Atlanta. People were very angry at EWErickson, a major sleaze and buffoon who has saved me time and money

    ...
     
    Carly Fiorina, the business executive who is the only woman running for the Republican nomination and who spoke to Red State on Friday, applauded Trump's dumping.

    Donald J. Trump 
    ‏@realDonaldTrump 
    7 hours agoNew Jersey, USA
    I just realized that if you listen to Carly Fiorina for more than ten minutes straight, you develop a massive headache. She has zero chance!



  • I'm very interested in the republican primaries - only because real change in America is only likely to come out of a moderate republican given any democrat is going to be smeared beyond repair.
     
    Through the first debate John Kasich seemed the most apt. I knew a little about him as governor of Ohio with it being just across the river but the more i hear the more I like.
     
    Trump genuinely was in the top 3 candidates up there in my estimation and to say he is deeply flawed is an understatement.



  • I'm very interested in the republican primaries - only because real change in America is only likely to come out of a moderate republican given any democrat is going to be smeared beyond repair.
     
    Through the first debate John Kasich seemed the most apt. I knew a little about him as governor of Ohio with it being just across the river but the more i hear the more I like.
     
    Trump genuinely was in the top 3 candidates up there in my estimation and to say he is deeply flawed is an understatement.

    I'm (genuinely) interested in what real change you're wanting/expecting in America?



  • I'm (genuinely) interested in what real change you're wanting/expecting in America?

    I'm interested too, the power the president has to effect any real change does have it's limits . I wouldn't bother saying gun control, I'm on a few forums based in the states and people who I've talked to for ages and respected become quite irrational when they post pictures of their ar carbines and pistols they keep for home defense and you ask why they are against background checks to keep guns out of the hands of the sorts of nutters they claim to be protecting themselves against . I say this as someone who has a few firearms of his own-it's pretty odd.



  • The Chuckster doing everything he can to extract an apology from The Donald on Meet the Press this morning. Off-the-cuff remark about Chris Wallace is priceless.
     



  • This is one terrifying election for the States. On one side you have Hillary who has her skeletons. But on the other side, a whole range of nutjobs. I'm not convinced Scott Walker is even human.
     
    But if the GOP swing a win somehow, all US women need to abandon ship, cos those men have some seriously fucked up ideas about health and science.



  • Hillary won't walk anything, if the Democrats put her up then it will likely be a Republican President.So many skeletons, it will be a massacre.

    I'm pretty sure all those skeletons are out.
     
    Thats the thing with Hillary, you'd be hard pressed to find mud that hasn't already been thrown. She's a poor candidate, but people 100% feel they know what they are getting. The murky financing - that was out in 1994, the Bill cheating? 1992 etc. And EVERYTHING was tossed at her when she lost to Obama. Thats why the shit thats being tossed now is farcial - her email accounts. Really, thats the best dirt they have. Benghazi got smeared 2 years ago & even Michael Bay won't do more damage there. Plus you have to directly attack Hillary, not Bill, cause americans fucking LOVE Bill.
     
    Someone like Rubio should beat her, but the Republican primaries will be such a shitstorm that he may have to tack WAY right, and all that will cost him in the election. And as above, if Trump runs as an independent its game over.

    Nate Silver (he correctly predicted how all 50 states would go in 2012) believes Donald Trump is the Nickleback of GOP Candidates:

    Silver said on a reddit AMA last week he was putting Trump at 2% to win...
     
    https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/3fwxdm/i_am_nate_silver_editorinchief_of/
     
    "Yeah, let's talk a little bit about Trump for some reason the premise that because his polls didn't change mid-July and early August that anything has been proven one way or another. I think if you look at what we at FiveThirtyEight have been saying is that the chances are very low that Donald Trump will win. Like 2%. One reason is once you get all those candidates on the debate stage then there are many different stories out there. Most voters aren't political junkies, and other people will start to become more prominent. When you start talking to real voters his numbers decline. All the historical evidence suggests that he's not a Ronald Regan."

    But if the GOP swing a win somehow, all US women need to abandon ship, cos those men have some seriously fucked up ideas about health and science.

    Thats the tack right bit, you literally have to say batshit madness to win the Republican primary, then you have to spin what you said to win the presidency. Since the Tea Party came in, thats almost impossible. Guns, womens rights, immigration. On all of those to win the primary you have to tack so far away from the majority of americans its not funny.



  • ...[T]hen you have to spin what you said to win the presidency. Since the Tea Party came in, thats almost impossible. Guns, womens rights, immigration. On all of those to win the primary you have to tack so far away from the majority of americans its not funny.
     
    It's always been that way, certainly well before a Tea Party. The primaries have always been purity contests, meaning the candidates on both left-and-right have to prove their ideological bona fides. (Obama defeated Hillary because of registered Dems turning their backs on Hillary's "original sin," a.k.a. "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.") So the candidate has to tack hard to the partisan flank (even extreme) of the party, meaning any appearance of "compromise" is viewed by the party faithful as weakness and suspicion. Once that is in the rear-view mirror, then the winning candidate has to go to a general election by abandoning the policy positions of the primary contests and caucuses and re-invent themselves as a "centrist" who can deal with "both sides of the aisle." The election is about creating the necessary illusion at the appropriate time. It's been that way forever.



  • It's always been that way, certainly well before a Tea Party. The primaries have always been purity contests, meaning the candidates on both left-and-right have to prove their ideological bona fides. (Obama defeated Hillary because of registered Dems turning their backs on Hillary's "original sin," a.k.a. "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.") So the candidate has to tack hard to the partisan flank (even extreme) of the party, meaning any appearance of "compromise" is viewed by the party faithful as weakness and suspicion. Once that is in the rear-view mirror, then the winning candidate has to go to a general election by abandoning the policy positions of the primary contests and caucuses and re-invent themselves as a "centrist" who can deal with "both sides of the aisle." The election is about creating the necessary illusion at the appropriate time. It's been that way forever.

    Yep, but since the Tea Party came in how far right the Republicans need to tack is so much further than how far Left the Democrats need too.
     
    In the past to win for the Repubilcans you had to want to deport illegals, now you have to want guard towers & a wall, and to send back children born in the US. Same on guns, used to be OK just being pro guns, now you have to support concealed & open carry...  
     
    Mitt Romney tried to be bland enough to stay electable, but that really just meant he couldn't even rely on his core
     
    Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren might push Hillary way over this time, tho' I can't see Warren running, she'll just snipe from the sidelines.



  • Yep, but since the Tea Party came in how far right the Republicans need to tack is so much further than how far Left the Democrats need too.

    I'm not sure who or what the Tea Party is, and I'm pretty sure the Tea Partiers themselves don't know either. The movement was born out of Ron Paul's underground grassroots movement, his money-bombs, and then quickly co-opted (practically hijacked) by Fox News into something else to neutralize the most dangerous man in American politics and deliberately astroturfed to known racists and rednecks. So while there is ideological crossover (Constitution, taxation and "The Fed"), you also have some incredibly conflicting ideological views within that group.
     
    This wikipedia section on Tea Party Foreign Policy is perfectly illustrative. Ron Paul being on the same team as Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin is laughable. They were opportunists who perverted the message of the original protesters. (This stuff happens, and it wouldn't surprise me to see Hillary pathetically trying to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street message for herself attempting to neutralize Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren while she's shoveling wheelbarrows of cash from Goldman-Sachs into her campaign coffers.)
     
    The Tea Party does not have a single uniform agenda. The decentralized character of the Tea Party, with its lack of formal structure or hierarchy, allows each autonomous group to set its own priorities and goals. Goals may conflict, and priorities will often differ between groups.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement#Agenda
     
    Historian and writer Walter Russell Mead analyzes the foreign policy views of the Tea Party movement in a 2011 essay published in Foreign Affairs. Mead says that Jacksonian populists, such as the Tea Party, combine a belief in American exceptionalism and its role in the world with skepticism of American's "ability to create a liberal world order". When necessary, they favor 'total war' and unconditional surrender over "limited wars for limited goals". Mead identifies two main trends, one somewhat personified by Paul and the other by Palin. "Paulites" have a Jeffersonian approach that seeks to avoid foreign military involvement. "Palinites" favor a more aggressive response to maintaining America's primacy in international relations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement#Foreign_policy
     
    Those positions are radically different. So, while we think of politicians sucking up to the "hard right," it's not always clear what & who these people are. (Is it Michael Savage or is it Alex Jones??) Sean Hannity is a blockhead who embodies establishment hawkish neocon GOP and yet sells himself as a ruggedly independent-thinking populist Tea Partier, and millions of registered GOP voters might actually believe him. It doesn't make any sense, and as far as some political operatives are concerned, that might be the whole point, to castrate dissent and protect the status quo..



  • I'm (genuinely) interested in what real change you're wanting/expecting in America?

    I get what you are getting at, change is certainly not easy in the USA as jegga points out you have no legislative power - but you do control the public agenda to a large degree. The change I would like to see in American in no particular order; a far more healthier environment for political discussion, a long term path to reducing debt, lobbyist/fundraising reform including a significant reduction in the house and gun control. Providing a path to any of those is bloody difficult.
     
    I really think to deal with any issue of substance or to make any significant or memorable change though a candidate is going to have to abandon the idea of having a two term presidency. I truly don't understand the fixation with abandoning all ambition and policy in order to seek reelection - the incremental benefit seems incredibly low. Obviously, Obama had major hurdles with the house and senate that meant he couldn't exactly get his agenda through in exactly the way he wanted - however I don't think anyone could say he died on any hills during his presidency either.
     
    I will say that the next term could be very interesting given there are 4 supreme court justices 75+ (two democrat appointments, two republican) - so we could see an ideological shift depending on how that cookie crumbles. If a republican were to appoint more ideologues to replace all democrats and getting functional gun reform by overturning McDonald vs Chicago would be out the window.



  • Obviously, Obama had major hurdles with the house and senate that meant he couldn't exactly get his agenda through in exactly the way he wanted - however I don't think anyone could say he died on any hills during his presidency either.

    It was nothing out of the ordinary. The Legislature often gets elected to stop the Presidents agenda - Pelosi, Gingrich, O'Neil etc. The tactics used by those previous Congresses are also comparable.
     
    Some Democrats like to pretend its not a co-equal branch (much like the Republicans did when they had the Presidency) but as a deep thinker on this subject once said 'elections have consequences'
     
     
    It's also worth noting Obama had two years at the start of his Presidency where he could have done what he wanted



  • It was nothing out of the ordinary. The Legislature often gets elected to stop the Presidents agenda - Pelosi, Gingrich, O'Neil etc. The tactics used by those previous Congresses are also comparable.
     
    Some Democrats like to pretend its not a co-equal branch (much like the Republicans did when they had the Presidency) but as a deep thinker on this subject once said 'elections have consequences'
     
     
    It's also worth noting Obama had two years at the start of his Presidency where he could have done what he wanted

    Yeah, but if he went hard how much would have been overturned when he became a one-term president and a republican president replaced him. Kind of a strawman argument but it did seem like he was going gently, gently when his support and power to effect change was at its peak. Aside from gun control he has tangled with some huge policy changes though. Don't they call healthcare and insurance the 'third rail' of US politics? electrified!!



  • It was nothing out of the ordinary. The Legislature often gets elected to stop the Presidents agenda - Pelosi, Gingrich, O'Neil etc. The tactics used by those previous Congresses are also comparable.
     
    Some Democrats like to pretend its not a co-equal branch (much like the Republicans did when they had the Presidency) but as a deep thinker on this subject once said 'elections have consequences'
     
     
    It's also worth noting Obama had two years at the start of his Presidency where he could have done what he wanted

    I agree. I do think however the co-operation and rhetoric between the branches had devolved considerably since the Clinton administration. Those two years at the beginning of the administration also was the worst possible timing in regards to the GFC - very difficult to do a great deal of social reform when there was so much uncertainty in the electorate at that time.
     
    That said the Obama presidency was a luke-warm disappointment and I think he will reflect ruefully that he didn't go for broke in the first term.



  • I read Mark Bowdens book about killing Bin Laden not long ago , that was a huge call on Obamas part and a massive part of the decision was made with the Iranian hostage disaster ending Carters presidency .



  • I agree. I do think however the co-operation and rhetoric between the branches had devolved considerably since the Clinton administration.

    Clinton was impeached and the government was shut on Reagan with incredible regularity. These battles are the same as they always were and the inertia was deliberately built into the system.
     
    There's a tendency for political commentators to claim the decisiveness has never been so bad. The problem is US political commentators were saying the same things 20, 30, 50 & 100 years ago. The only ones that were right were the guys that said it ~150 years ago



  • Clinton was impeached and the government was shut on Reagan with incredible regularity. These battles are the same as they always were and the inertia was deliberately built into the system.
     
    There's a tendency for political commentators to claim the decisiveness has never been so bad. The problem is US political commentators were saying the same things 20, 30, 50 & 100 years ago. The only ones that were right were the guys that said it ~150 years ago

    I can see your point, but I think the electoral college was significantly more fluid we have seen once moderate states like Kentucky, Tenessee, Georgia and even Texas have gone progressively more and more off the reservation (Virginia in the opposite direction). If you look at Clinton vs Bush in 1992 a clash Clinton won with a 6% lead in the popular vote there were 17 states with a margin of under 5%. By Obama vs Romney where Obama prevailed with a 4% lead in the popular vote only 4 states had a margin of less than 5%, 17 were under 10%. Whereas 66% of the union was within a 10% in 1992.
     
    I don't see any catalyst bringing in any swing states outside the same set we have had since 2000/4.



  • I get what you are getting at, change is certainly not easy in the USA as jegga points out you have no legislative power - but you do control the public agenda to a large degree. The change I would like to see in American in no particular order; a far more healthier environment for political discussion, a long term path to reducing debt, lobbyist/fundraising reform including a significant reduction in the house and gun control. Providing a path to any of those is bloody difficult.
     
    I really think to deal with any issue of substance or to make any significant or memorable change though a candidate is going to have to abandon the idea of having a two term presidency. I truly don't understand the fixation with abandoning all ambition and policy in order to seek reelection - the incremental benefit seems incredibly low. Obviously, Obama had major hurdles with the house and senate that meant he couldn't exactly get his agenda through in exactly the way he wanted - however I don't think anyone could say he died on any hills during his presidency either.
     
    I will say that the next term could be very interesting given there are 4 supreme court justices 75+ (two democrat appointments, two republican) - so we could see an ideological shift depending on how that cookie crumbles. If a republican were to appoint more ideologues to replace all democrats and getting functional gun reform by overturning McDonald vs Chicago would be out the window.

    I honestly wasn't actually getting at anything - I was just asking. 🙂
     
    Do you think a moderate Republican would have any chance of getting any of that done?



  • Not sure what any of that has to do with 'co-operation' between the branches?
     
    The electoral college tends to appear static for many years, then shift, and then appear static again. So called firewalls do fall. It's not unusual.



  • Yeah, but if he went hard how much would have been overturned when he became a one-term president and a republican president replaced him. Kind of a strawman argument but it did seem like he was going gently, gently when his support and power to effect change was at its peak. Aside from gun control he has tangled with some huge policy changes though. Don't they call healthcare and insurance the 'third rail' of US politics? electrified!!

    I don't know if that's how it would've played out given there really wasn't any quality candidates putting their hand up in the last election - from either side.....



  • I don't know if that's how it would've played out given there really wasn't any quality candidates putting their hand up in the last election - from either side.....

    True, especially as that candidate would need broad appeal in addition to hardcore republicans to knock Obama off his perch.
     
    Given the shit-fest of US politics I'm astounded that anything actually gets passed. A lot of things have to line up right to give a president an environment to actually make changes.


Log in to reply