Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is a compromise?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Dealageddon! - A Compromise Without Revenues
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The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Dealageddon! - Angry Tea Party
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"Government is not perfect, but some people wish it were better, not gone." Amen.

And here's Stephen Colbert's take on this.

I've been meaning to comment about this "compromise," but Stewart and Colbert get to my biggest problem with it. This was likely necessary, because the Republicans held a gun to America's head. But,... why did they have that opportunity?

For two and a half years now, Barack Obama has persisted in misunderstanding his Republican opponents. He's not only bent over backward to appease them, he's unilaterally abandoned his - and the entire Democratic Party's - best political positions.

Last fall, he refused to tie the extension of the Bush tax cuts to raising the debt ceiling. You know, that's why we need to raise the debt ceiling. To a great extent, the Bush tax cuts are responsible for our enormous debt, and extending them sure didn't help matters any!

And before last November's election (in which the Democrats got stomped), Congress refused to separate tax cuts for the rich from tax cuts for the middle class. That was so stupid I just couldn't believe it. And where was Barack Obama, who's supposed to be leading us?

I know that the Republicans were sure Barack Obama would fold in this negotiation, because that's what he's done in every negotiation. Typically, he starts out giving the Republicans half of what they want - as a good-will gesture, I suppose - as well as adopting Republican talking points. (Hey, even if you sound like them, they're never going to accept you.)

And then, once the negotiations start, he "compromises" by giving the Republicans everything else they wanted. As I say, this has become a pattern. So who really expects Barack Obama to stand firm on anything? Now we hear that he'll stand firm in 2012. Yeah, right.

The fact is, despite the ridiculous "socialist" label Republicans keep slinging around, Barack Obama is far more conservative than I'd like. So I'm not really sure if he believes in Democratic values at all. I wonder if he'd be more comfortable as a moderate Republican - if the Republicans still had moderates, I mean.


Chimeradave said...

Is it too late for us to run in 2012? You run for president and I'll be your vice-president.

WCG said...

I don't know about you, John, but I'm not qualified to be president.

And supporting anyone other than Barack Obama would just guarantee a Republican victory - a Republican that would make George W. Bush look good in comparison.

But I appreciate the thought. :)

Chimeradave said...

As to your first point, are you over 35 and an American citizen? Then you're qualified.

And as to your second point, why would I support Obama when I've been nothing but disgusted with him for four years? If there is a better alternative, I will support him or her. I don't care if they end up getting 6 votes or millions of votes.

I'm still convinced that the only hope for our country is a four party system. If millions of voters abandoned Obama for a new more liberal political party it would be a good thing in the long run. Even if we lost, the next Democrat wouldn't be able to play the same games.

WCG said...

So you're saying that all of the Republican candidates for president are actually qualified to be president? I disagree.

Like them, while I may be technically qualified - qualified per our constitutional requirements - I'm not really qualified to be president. We need an elite president, not just any old citizen.

And you should support Obama because the alternative is far, far worse. Did you like the George W. Bush presidency? Because Ralph Nader fans gave us that. No, they weren't the only cause. But if they'd voted for the better candidate, instead of throwing their vote away on a third party, we wouldn't be in this mess today.

And finally, our system of government is set up in such a way that a two-party system is the only one that makes sense. If you support a third party, it's just the same as voting for the candidate you hate the most. If you won't vote for Obama, you might as well vote Republican. It will have the exact same effect.

Europe is different. Most European countries have a parliamentary system, and multiple parties work OK there. Not to say there aren't problems. Both parliamentary and presidential systems have problems, just different ones. But you can't look to Europe for an example in this! We have a different system of government entirely.

But John, even the far-right in America was smart enough to realize that a third party would be suicide. Surely progressives are smarter than that! Especially when we have their example right in front of our eyes!

Instead of starting a third party, and throwing every election to the Democrats, the far-right worked hard to take control of the GOP. If progressives ever hope to take back the Democratic Party, they must do the same.

Criticize Obama all you like, but within reason. A Republican president, given the complete and utter lunacy that's taken control of the GOP these days, would be a complete disaster for America. They'd probably have you wishing for George W. Bush again.

Teaching Obama a lesson by abandoning him would (1) not work, (2) destroy the Democratic Party (without establishing a viable alternative), and (3) send America reeling into defeat and disaster.

I really hope that progressives are at least as smart as the Tea Party!

Chimeradave said...

I don't see what qualifications a President needs. I think he/she needs to be able to stand up for what they believe in. Obama certainly doesn't do that unless what he really believes in is the Republican agenda.

Obama seemed like a qualified candidate, but after 4 years with him I'd rather elect someone that's never set foot in Washington before.

I don't understand why four parties wouldn't work that's basically what we already have today we just don't consider it that. We have The Tea Party the most conservative party, then the Republicans, less conservative then the Tea Party, then we have the Conservative Democrats like Obama, and then you have Liberal Democrats or Progressives. There is already a huge split but like parents that stay together for the kids both Parties are staying together despite the fracturing.

I don't understand why Europe's system is so different and why four parties wouldn't work in America. You are right 3 parties is unbalanced.

WCG said...

Think about it, John. If liberal and conservative Democrats split up, then you'd have half as many votes for each candidate. The Republicans would crush them.

And if you had four parties, for "balance," the winner would be the side which most ignored the new party. I mean, whichever side split up the most, would lose. (Ideally, you wouldn't want any of your supporters to switch to a new party, because that would give you the very best chance to win.)

Parliamentary systems are different, because the executive is chosen directly by and from the legislative branch. Therefore, you can have multiple small parties that form loose coalitions.

Of course, parliamentary governments tend to fall regularly, requiring new elections, because the small parties in the coalition are also rivals. There are advantages and disadvantages to both systems.

But for better or worse, we've got a presidential system. Our executive is chosen directly by the people. There's a real reason why America has two and only two major political parties. Any people who decide to form a third party are just cutting their own throats.

Even the right-wing Tea Party types knew that much, and they're not exactly rocket scientists! So I'm just astounded whenever I hear a progressive start to talk about the Green Party or something. Isn't this stuff taught in school anymore?

Chimeradave said...

Bill said- (Ideally, you wouldn't want any of your supporters to switch to a new party, because that would give you the very best chance to win.)

And do you know how that would be accomplished in a 4 party system? By going towards the middle of the political spectrum. Conservative Democrats would be forced to be a little less conservative or they'd find themselves starting to lose elections and the same would happen if a progressive got "too far out there" according to his constituents. But, the kinds of people that wouldn't have long political careers are people like Obama that promise the Progressives one thing and deliver another. Then it's no problem because there's a Progressive candidate we can throw our weight behind.

The conservative end of the spectrum is no different. The Tea Party is getting stronger I think and I don't see how it won't continue to take on a life of it's own. I think more and more you're going to hear the more central spectrum of the Republican party saying things like, "Well, I'm not a Tea Party member, I don't support that idea." You heard it in the very clips that started this all, Boehner got them the deal and the Tea Party turned their noses up at it. Obviously the two factions are becoming fractured.

WCG said...

It still wouldn't work, John, because anyone who didn't do this would have a huge advantage. That's why we don't have four political parties already. Our system makes two, and only two, political parties optimal. Anyone who tries to start a new party is just guaranteeing a loss for their own side.

Furthermore, you wouldn't really gain anything. If you were in the progressive group, you'd still have some people too conservative for you and some too liberal. So what then, split into eight political parties? No matter what, if you're going to work with other people, you won't get your own way all the time.

And I wish I could see the GOP fracturing, but I don't. Republicans are far more inclined than Democrats to follow the leader, to march in lockstep. It's hard enough getting Democrats to all face in the same direction, but Republicans are natural followers. The Tea Party has a firm lock on the GOP, and I don't see the moderates abandoning the party over that.