# Anti-Incumbent Ferver Takes Toll in Primaries

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Arlen Specter down in flames, and Dr. Rand Paul nominated in Kentucky.

“It’s just a tremendous mandate for the Tea Party,” Mr. Paul said. “It cannot be overstated that people want something new, they don’t want the same old, same old politicians. They think the system is broken and needs new blood.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/us/politics/19elect.html

Yeah the tea party groups are pretty happy, but I think this is really more about anti-incumbency. People are pretty fed up with politicians.

What do you all think?

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What do you all think?

Yay Rand Paul, for starters. If anyone cares to see the difference between the federalist big government big spending/borrowing/printing corporatism republicans and a more realistic, responsible, constitutional free market republican, nowadays called a libertarian, then here's a quick run down of Rand Paul on the issues.

I think the Rand Paul victory helps to distinguish the Tea Party from Fox News and other band wagon hop alongs. The Tea Party has shown their message to be deeper than the Rush Limbaugh's and the Hannity's want to believe it is - or even the bascule's and John Stewart's (see the company I lumped you in bascule?).

I'm excited about a libertarian-republican making through the primary. And with all of the incumbents being thrown out with their dirty bath water, we could be in for an interesting change - real change, this time.

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To extend Obama's recent metaphor (the "toll" part of your title reminded me of it), we're realizing we need to take the keys away from the drivers who keep putting us in the ditch. Or maybe stop giving licenses to those from certain schools of driving. There's too many of them out there riding the brakes, not using signals and texting behind the wheel.

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Yeah the tea party groups are pretty happy, but I think this is really more about anti-incumbency. People are pretty fed up with politicians.

Bingo. We'll see the same in November. It's not even close to being a mandate for the tea party. The tea party barely even factors into what is happening. It's all about removing the people who are in power (whether democrat, republican, or otherwise).

Regardless of that simple truth, all we're going to hear on the news and from rallies for the next several weeks is how the tea party is so successful and representative of the populace. It's slightly nauseating, actually.

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Bingo. We'll see the same in November. It's not even close to being a mandate for the tea party. The tea party barely even factors into what is happening. It's all about removing the people who are in power (whether democrat, republican, or otherwise).

Regardless of that simple truth, all we're going to hear on the news and from rallies for the next several weeks is how the tea party is so successful and representative of the populace. It's slightly nauseating, actually.

So it's not change you can beleive in?

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Maybe we should set a bar for how to judge the Tea Party success in November. Since there are a good number of congresspeople involved in the Tea Party, and a good number who are not, we should figure out who is who and see if Tea Party participants are more likely to have kept their seats than non-Tea Partiers.

It would seem that if we are seeing anti-incumbent fever that it should be a pretty random seat loss in November that only happens to impact Democrats more since they are the majority.

Edit: Actually, I'll amend that... we should simply measure their success based on Tea Party endorsements. I don't think the congressperson needs to be directly affiliated (like attending rallies, and invoking the movement in speeches).

Edited by jryan
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Bingo. We'll see the same in November. It's not even close to being a mandate for the tea party. The tea party barely even factors into what is happening. It's all about removing the people who are in power (whether democrat, republican, or otherwise).

This seems like a strong claim... have you any evidence?

Seems like we have two competing hypotheses in this thread: 1) the election results show voters are anti-incumbent right now 2) the election results show voters moving to a different, tea party-esque, platform.

We've got a problem if the current evidence doesn't appear to exclude either hypothesis.

The problem is that we're too sure that we know what the correct hypothesis is.

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Seems like we have two competing hypotheses in this thread: 1) the election results show voters are anti-incumbent right now 2) the election results show voters moving to a different, tea party-esque, platform.

This is a false dichotomy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

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This is a false dichotomy. The two are not mutually exclusive.

you're the one who says the tea party doesn't matter. It seems to me that you set up the dichotomy. You said it's "all about removing people in power." If it's "all about" one thing, how could it be about anything else?

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The Washington Post had some interesting insights into the situation today:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/19/AR2010051902703.html

Voters sent a clear message on Tuesday: They don't like the way Washington works. But they sent a mixed message on what would make it work better, which adds up to a virtual guarantee that it might be a long time before Washington actually does work better.

Their victories speak to the broadest trend shaping the political climate, which is voter anger. Voters have lost faith in their politicians, whom they see as a privileged class that has lost touch with the concerns of Main Street. But in today's ideologically polarized environment, left and right are joined only by their disgust with the status quo. What the supporters of Paul and supporters of Sestak want couldn't be farther apart.

That makes sense, but I think the author misses a key point. This isn't just the result of failure by voters to recognize improvement amidst the clutter of conflicting ideologies. It's also the result of the failure of ideological adherents to set aside their differences and find middle ground.

Both ideological extremes would, I'm sure, love to capture this message and wrap it in a thin veneer of "I told you so" examples, followed by reasons why you should vote Democrats/Republican this fall. But they're going to be almost completely wrong in doing so.

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you're the one who says the tea party doesn't matter. It seems to me that you set up the dichotomy. You said it's "all about removing people in power." If it's "all about" one thing, how could it be about anything else?

Fair enough. I was sloppy with my language while posting between meetings and sips of coffee. I should have said, "As a general rule, in my opinion, based on everything I've read and all of the things I've watched on the Sunday shows..." before each of those sentences.

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Hmmm. You may be going through what we did some years ago.

Voters were so sick of the options that when a new party "One Nation" came along they got votes.

Despite being universally derided by both sides of the political fence and crucified in the media, One Nation gained 23% of the primary vote in their first election outing.

This had a number of effects;

1. It removed a lot of deadwood from Parliment as the really poor performing politicians got voted out.

2. Government was, um, "difficult" for one term. Mainly because we had a bunch of new members who knew little of government and had little in common except a dislike of the major parties. The upside of this was that they didn't go along with the "established" ways of doing things and were quite vocal about it. It shook things up.

3. It scared the beejeesus out of the established parties because it was shown to them that they either listen to voters or an alternative party will arise and be voted for.

4. It put the final nail in the coffin of widespread partisanship. While for decades it hasn't been as strong as it is in the US, it did and does exist. However the rise of One Nation showed many supporters on both sides of the fence that they had more in common than they differed. Both sides also realised that they were each disappointed in the performance of their respective sides in Parliment.

One Nation has since virtually vanished, but the lessons it taught our politicians do linger.

The sooner your political powerbrokers on both sides realise that they can no longer depend on the unquestioning partisan support of a large section of voters, the better for the people.

Those behind the scenes work on numbers. They "know" that no matter the policy, X% will automatically support them, Y% will automatically oppose them and Z% are swingers. The demographics are more finely tuned than that, but it illustrated the case.

The smaller X and Y are made and the larger the shades of Z, the more responsive the political parties have to be and the more they have to listen.

Good luck.

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I'll also say yay for Rand Paul. As for the "mandate", they can shove it where the sun don't shine.

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Yeah the tea party groups are pretty happy, but I think this is really more about anti-incumbency. People are pretty fed up with politicians. [/Quote]

Pangloss, yes and as they should be. However any election, off year (Presidential) or not, when the votes are cast, it will depend first, on the economy, then on who is motivated to vote. Aside from that with 160 eligible voters in this Country, what's being portrayed as 'Tea Partiers' (influence) , are for the most part, folks in business or have a vested interest in recent policy.

No it's not incumbency IMO, but how those in office voted or how those wanting an office say they will vote. Then the voters that turn out to vote or don't have an interest in voting (apathy), turn outs this year are very low.

I think the Rand Paul victory helps to distinguish the Tea Party from Fox News and other band wagon hop alongs. [/Quote]

P, I don't understand this comment; Sarah Palin endorsed Paul, is a Fox News Contributor and both Ron and Rand are frequent quest. Rand, may be able to win a local or State/District election, same as his Dad has done, but on the National Stage, he would not do very well. I could take what I perceive as the bad in Libertarian Ideology, with the good, but most folks simply don't understand how the US Government Works. Obama is currently getting a quick education.

The problem is that we're too sure that we know what the correct hypothesis is. [/Quote]

ecoli; There are two conflicting reasons for what's currently going on. From the left, not all are happy because actions (policy) is not what they expected (wanted more) and from the center to right a whole lot more then they expected. Both working against the incumbents and/or what 'want to be' actually say.

That makes sense, but I think the author misses a key point. This isn't just the result of failure by voters to recognize improvement amidst the clutter of conflicting ideologies. It's also the result of the failure of ideological adherents to set aside their differences and find middle ground. [/Quote]

Pangloss; This sort of statement drawn from the Washington Post article, is disturbing. Take the 'Health Care Bill'; Democrats and their base (unions/social activist) wanted and Republicans and their base (Conservatives) wanted it left up to the States, with guide lines for cost and accessibility mandated by Congress (which is still Government Control). Repeal, the cry of the 'Tea Partiers' and Republicans, does not imply compromise, or should it, IMO. Most people, voters to politicians, have specific ideas for most all issues, most could be answered with a yes or no, with no room for compromise. To emphasize this point, in any given year, there may be a thousand or more 'Bills' proposed or passed by the House (the peoples place to speak), yet very few ever are reach the Senate Floor, much less the Executive.

It put the final nail in the coffin of widespread partisanship.[/Quote]

JohnB; Your comments are interesting and I'd be guessing, but think your talking about the demise of the last Conservative Control of Parliament....

However the US, does not operate under the Parliamentary System and wide spread partisanship has always been part of our system. This stems from our Constitution (operation of a governance) and more importantly the 'Bill of Rights' (limited central control over the States). Where we have seven States with only one House Member (you Parliament) they each have equal voice in matters that concern the total, in the Senate. Those States (Nations) are never going to compromise their sovereignty or maybe 20 others for the sake of compromise.

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That makes sense' date=' but I think the author misses a key point. This isn't just the result of failure by voters to recognize improvement amidst the clutter of conflicting ideologies. It's also the result of the failure of ideological adherents to set aside their differences and find middle ground.

[/quote']

Pangloss; This sort of statement drawn from the Washington Post article, is disturbing. Take the 'Health Care Bill'; Democrats and their base (unions/social activist) wanted and Republicans and their base (Conservatives) wanted it left up to the States, with guide lines for cost and accessibility mandated by Congress (which is still Government Control). Repeal, the cry of the 'Tea Partiers' and Republicans, does not imply compromise, or should it, IMO. Most people, voters to politicians, have specific ideas for most all issues, most could be answered with a yes or no, with no room for compromise. To emphasize this point, in any given year, there may be a thousand or more 'Bills' proposed or passed by the House (the peoples place to speak), yet very few ever are reach the Senate Floor, much less the Executive.

I think you're wrong. The reason people seem to have immutable opinions is because society has built up this tremendous vested interest in THINKING that we do. The media, politicians, and entertainment all revolve around the concept of fixed positions that never change. They're all wrong. None of those institutions is correct in that assumption, and every single time a poll comes out, on any subject, it proves them wrong.

You're also wrong in saying "nor should it". This country is at its best ONLY when it IS finding common ground. Why? Because finding common ground is the ONLY way to find solutions in a large democratic political body. The ONLY way.

Only.

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This is not evidence of my point, but it certainly reinforces the commonality of my thinking in the posts above (and the thinking of Pangloss, as well, from what I can tell... that this is more about anti-incumbency than tea party success):

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged
This country is at its best ONLY when it IS finding common ground. Why? Because finding common ground is the ONLY way to find solutions in a large democratic political body. The ONLY way.

I appreciate the point you're driving at, but I don't know... Sometimes common ground leads to little more than sub-optimal solutions. Sometimes, you really DO need to avoid common ground... sometimes you really DO need a strong decisive leader to drive forward with the best solution.

Friedman had a good column on this a while back.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/opinion/22friedman.html

But while our culture of imagination is still vibrant, the other critical factor that still differentiates countries today — and is not a commodity — is good governance, which can harness creativity. And that we may be losing. I am talking about the ability of a society’s leaders to think long term, address their problems with the optimal legislation and attract capable people into government. What I increasingly fear today is that America is only able to produce “suboptimal” responses to its biggest problems — education, debt, financial regulation, health care, energy and environment.

Why? Because at least six things have come together to fracture our public space and paralyze our ability to forge optimal solutions: 1) Money in politics has become so pervasive that lawmakers have to spend most of their time raising it, selling their souls to those who have it or defending themselves from the smallest interest groups with deep pockets that can trump the national interest.

2) The gerrymandering of political districts means politicians of each party can now choose their own voters and never have to appeal to the center.

3) The cable TV culture encourages shouting and segregating people into their own political echo chambers.

4) A permanent presidential campaign leaves little time for governing.

5) The Internet, which, at its best, provides a check on elites and establishments and opens the way for new voices and, which, at its worst provides a home for every extreme view and spawns digital lynch mobs from across the political spectrum that attack anyone who departs from their specific orthodoxy.

6) A U.S. business community that has become so globalized that it only comes to Washington to lobby for its own narrow interests; it rarely speaks out anymore in defense of national issues like health care, education and open markets.

These six factors are pushing our system, which was designed to have divided powers and to force compromises, into the realm of paralysis. To get anything big done now, we have to generate so many compromises — couched in 1,000-plus-page bills — with so many different interest groups that the solutions are totally suboptimal.
We just get the sum of all interest groups.

Similar comments this morning here (VIDEO): http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/vp/37301324#37301324

Edited by iNow
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I think you're wrong. The reason people seem to have immutable opinions is because society has built up this tremendous vested interest in THINKING that we do. [/Quote]

Pangloss, we're not discussing, 'what's for dinner', in most cases very important and lasting issues, most having little or no common ground to the opposition. For starters, the current underlying issue, not being discussed is BIG Government versus Smaller, less intrusive on States Federal Government. This going back to TARP, the 2009 Budget, Stimulus 2009 or the dozens of amendments or additional emergency bills, even yesterdays 'Financial Reform Bill' (which some are suggesting will authorize take over of ANYTHING deemed to big to fail) are all major intrusions into your very lifestyle for years to come, probably generations thereafter. Not only do ALL American's have a "vested interest", but those unborn Americans. The US Debt, passed the 13T$line this weekend (was 8T$ at fiscal year end 2008), while the GDP is stagnant at a little over 14.5T$. The media, politicians, and entertainment all revolve around the concept of fixed positions that never change. They're all wrong. None of those institutions is correct in that assumption, and every single time a poll comes out, on any subject, it proves them wrong. You're also wrong in saying "nor should it". This country is at its best ONLY when it IS finding common ground. [/Quote] If polls were taken with the same people, educated in history and politics and all those people perfectly honest, there would be very little change, but here again were not talking about 'personality contest'. Do you really think Limbaugh to Beck, Obama to Clinton, or myself to iNow or bascule, have changed in attitudes on issues of importance. No, nor should they if they are true convictions, or should the politicians, media or any average Joe/Jane. I'm not going into it here, but in explaining the differences between and Democracy Parliamentary System and the US Representative Republic, to John, what one fear always has been, is when those that Govern, impose the view of the minority on the majority and the question then, WILL the system for checks work....yet to be determined. Why? Because finding common ground is the ONLY way to find solutions in a large democratic political body. The ONLY way. [/Quote] Sometimes the best solution to a problem is to leave it alone (no solution), especially on domestic issues, where States are in charge to begin with. It worked pretty well for 150 years and could work for another few generations... Maybe, sometimes desired results for reason, generates the problem to begin with, it's not unheard of. If you get some time read up on the 1920 Deflationary period (recession/depression) and THEN review the Great Depression and what's happened over the past 3 years. There is a thread in there...for a moderate. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites I appreciate the point you're driving at, but I don't know... Sometimes common ground leads to little more than sub-optimal solutions. Sometimes, you really DO need to avoid common ground... sometimes you really DO need a strong decisive leader to drive forward with the best solution. Friedman is always interesting, even when he's stepping in a mess, like he did over that gas tax thing last week. I think that interesting post rests on a premise that, as you say, "optimal solutions" need to be found and implemented. What if we started instead from a premise that we should work toward a common goal? If we look at solutions as a long-term process rather than an immediate resolution not only do we eliminate most of the disagreement, but we actually achieve success at the same time. I think we used to be a lot better at doing that, but our ever-increasing pace of growth and development combined with our growing desire to be instantly gratified at every turn have undermined our ability to get along. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged Pangloss, we're not discussing, 'what's for dinner', in most cases very important and lasting issues, most having little or no common ground to the opposition. For starters, the current underlying issue, not being discussed is BIG Government versus Smaller, less intrusive on States Federal Government. This going back to TARP, the 2009 Budget, Stimulus 2009 or the dozens of amendments or additional emergency bills, even yesterdays 'Financial Reform Bill' (which some are suggesting will authorize take over of ANYTHING deemed to big to fail) are all major intrusions into your very lifestyle for years to come, probably generations thereafter. Not only do ALL American's have a "vested interest", but those unborn Americans. The US Debt, passed the 13T$ line this weekend (was 8T$at fiscal year end 2008), while the GDP is stagnant at a little over 14.5T$.

I think you're wrong here as well.

All of what you say is important, I agree. But it simply does not form a logical basis for what you want. It doesn't constitute a valid argument for voting Republican, it doesn't constitute a valid argument against Democrats in general, and it doesn't even constitute a valid argument against "big government." (I'm reacting to your post exactly the same way I react to bascule's categorical rants against Republicans, because it's exactly the same thing.)

The problems you speak of are simply not the result of bad ideological reasoning. They do not come about as a result of a general philosophy that's wrong. They come about because of specific mistakes in specific instances, and these mistakes can be just as easily made by Republicans as by Democrats, and that's the way the world actually works.

The great irony of the current economic mess is that EITHER side can right the ship and put us back on course, and yet could be prevented from doing so by an opposition that thinks it more important to prove the other side wrong than to fix the country. But we can't do anything about that because the vast, overwhelming majority of this country has yet to learn that this is the case and how to deal with the problem of stalwart ideologies.

Do you really think Limbaugh to Beck, Obama to Clinton, or myself to iNow or bascule, have changed in attitudes on issues of importance. No, nor should they if they are true convictions, or should the politicians, media or any average Joe/Jane.

I think you're wrong.

I've seen iNow and bascule change their minds, on issues both large and small. I know I've changed my mind on quite a few issues. And that's just the stuff we post here on SFN. No, I don't think I've ever seen you change your position on an issue. But is that actual logic or just stubborn ego? I think I'll just suggest instead that it's an insufficient number of discussions.

And I think your premise is wrong. Being stubborn about an issue in the face of logic and ignoring a means forward toward your goal is not an example of "true conviction". It's something else. Something bad.

Sometimes the best solution to a problem is to leave it alone (no solution),

(nod) That's the stalwart-conservative way, all right.

How's that working out with regard to immigration?

Abortion?

Taxation?

You're good with all those, eh? Standing pat, holding the line, no need for change?

No, I don't think so.

Edited by Pangloss
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The great irony of the current economic mess is that EITHER side can right the ship and put us back on course, and yet could be prevented from doing so by an opposition that thinks it more important to prove the other side wrong than to fix the country. But we can't do anything about that because the vast, overwhelming majority of this country has yet to learn that this is the case and how to deal with the problem of stalwart ideologies. [/Quote]

Pangloss; I rather doubt either the Rep or Dems, have what it would take to reverse the current economic ship, but one side did give it a shot in 1994, 96 and 98. Before that you had a 40 year stretch of a Democratic Controlled Congress and any compromise to get ANYTHING involved giving more than receiving, very much like Bush 43 faced in his last two years.

I've seen iNow and bascule change their minds, on issues both large and small. I know I've changed my mind on quite a few issues. And that's just the stuff we post here on SFN. No, I don't think I've ever seen you change your position on an issue. But is that actual logic or just stubborn ego? I think I'll just suggest instead that it's an insufficient number of discussions. [/Quote]

I'd really need a topic, but I've followed both pretty close for some time, however I rarely post on subject, political/legal or historic subjects that I have no convictions in, or even generally when I agree with a comment.

Hopefully, to be true to those convictions, your won't find anything I've said here much different than expressed anyplace else, frankly back 30-40 years if not longer on specific beliefs. I won't address the differences between "stubborn" and "true convictions" but in politics, I'll support for any person who is stubborn to his/her true convictions anytime, if I can agree on the most important. Hillary Clinton comes to mind, if it had been Clinton/McCain in the 2008 elections and going way back I did vote for JFK.

(nod) That's the stalwart-conservative way, all right.

How's that working out with regard to immigration?

Abortion?

Taxation?

You're good with all those, eh? Standing pat, holding the line, no need for change?

No, I don't think so. [/Quote]

For the record, I supported Immigration under Reagan, supported Immigration as proposed by Bush 43 (did not support Eisenhower policy (mass deportation), would support the woman's right to abort to the third trimester and think these thoughts have been expressed here, but certainly elsewhere, where I have occasionally receive some flack. Taxation, is a different story, in that my life was spent in the business world and understand what tax "CODES' can do for or against business and while we're at it am an agnostic, but support all religions and speak out for them when the heritage of this country is involved. Using the term 'Constitutional Conservative' has meaning to me (conviction)...

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Pangloss; I rather doubt either the Rep or Dems, have what it would take to reverse the current economic ship

What do you think the odds are that they can right the ship while the opposition is hammering away at them, determined to see them fail?

one side did give it a shot in 1994, 96 and 98

This implies that the other side never has, which I don't agree with. It also implies that the economic successes in the 1990s were entirely the work of Republicans, which I don't agree with either. I also don't think you can credit those successes to Democrats. The credit has to go to both sides. They had to reach agreements, find common ground, create and pass legislation, and they had to do it together.

The fact that neither side can seem to bring itself to recognize that that was a team effort is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

I'll support for any person who is stubborn to his/her true convictions anytime, if I can agree on the most important. Hillary Clinton comes to mind, if it had been Clinton/McCain in the 2008 elections and going way back I did vote for JFK.

And in my opinion you'll be wrong. I won't belabor the point, and I'm always happy to see respect going across the aisle -- good on you for that. But applauding the other side's stubborn convictions and then proceeding to beat it into submission isn't what I think will move this country forward.

I know you feel otherwise, and ultimately we'll just have to agree to disagree. I suppose in a sense that makes me stubborn too -- I'm stubbornly defending my belief that compromise is the best way. I guess that makes me a bit of a hypocrit.

For the record, I supported Immigration under...

In other words, you agree with me, then, that conservatives seek change too. I'm glad we agree.

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jackson33. The One Nation thing was 12 odd years ago. While they did gain most of their support from established conservatives, quite a bit came from the left as well. All the major parties got scared.

There are major differences between our systems, but a biggy is that you guys seem to give your politicians a free pass and then wonder why they don't respond to the electorate.

For 8 years, everything was Bush's fault, and for the next 4 it will be Obama's.

Yet every piece of legislation passed has gone before and been voted on by both the Lower and Upper House. So unless the President is in fact a Dictator, then your politicians bear some responsibility too for poor ideas and legislation.

Why is it always the fault of Bush (for example) when for the last few years of his Presidency the Democrats controlled both Houses? The buck might stop at the Presidents desk, but he ain't the only one making the decisions.

From the outside it is painfully obvious that your politicians can and will do whatever they bloody well like because the partisanship and concentration on the Presidency will mean that the President will get the blame.

They know that they will not be judged on how they behave or vote, but on how closely they are identified with the current President and how popular he is.

Until such time as politicians at meeting are met with shouts of "We don't care what the President says, we are here to talk about you and your voting record", the situation won't change.

The various States not wishing to give up Sovereignty is a different issue.

However, if you apologise profusely and ask very nicely, I'm sure that Her Majesty will welcome you back and install a good Governor until you build a civilised government for your nation.

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I know you want steak for dinner, Pangloss. But I really want you to eat wall paper paste. Surely we can compromise...

Merged post follows:

Consecutive posts merged

By the way, when discussing compromise between conservatives and progressives, I like to point out that given the progressive view of America's borders it would seem that they can't even agree with me on the SHAPE of the country.

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What do you think the odds are that they can right the ship while the opposition is hammering away at them, determined to see them fail? [/Quote]

Pangloss, a Better question; How bad could the projected deficits be if they had not been "hammering away". Good grief, they just passed another jobs bill, admittedly adding 140B$over the next ten years. This with both the hammering and Pay-Go. What's actually happened is another welfare program. This implies that the other side never has, which I don't agree with. It also implies that the economic successes in the 1990s were entirely the work of Republicans, which I don't agree with either. [/Quote] Yes it does and I'll give credit where due. Clinton also changed his dialog and went along with the Republicans, gaining a second term. Congress holds the authority over the purse strings and can shut down any program, including the Vietnam War. In other words, you agree with me, then, that conservatives seek change too. I'm glad we agree. [/Quote] I have no idea what you believe, but you apparently have no idea what the main stream Conservatives are asking for. Shut off the Southern Border, somehow register as many illegal's as possible (this would include an estimated 500K Irish in NYC 'Bloomberg' or the estimated 30+% that are here overstaying one of many legal entry means and just stay), giving them the opportunity to gain citizenship, make illegal entry a felony and enforce it thereafter. Most go onto prosecuting employers, but this is where I differ. Maybe 5 Million Households through out the Country hire illegal's (knowingly or unknowingly) every years and would be subject to any National Law designed to punish employers. JohnB; Very well presented post and one of the few I'll respond to while agreeing with much of the content. I'm not sure Blair and/or Brown, were wrong in blaming the US (especially it being Bush/Obama) but the US and her Capitalism Infrastructure is fairly well represented around the Industrialized World and have influence. However I don't have a solution, since the World seems to want to us the US$ as it's base currency, further I'm not sure this helps the US.

The various States not wishing to give up Sovereignty is a different issue. [/Quote]

No, in the US it's all about State Sovereignty verses Federal Authority. I know your not tied to the Euro, but if you were, would favor 'Bailing Out Greece' or maybe the others that will follow.

However, if you apologise profusely and ask very nicely, I'm sure that Her Majesty will welcome you back and install a good Governor until you build a civilised government for your nation. [/Quote]

Well if the 'Checks' in our system don't work (elections/legal action) or they do and we just continue on the same path, I'm afraid "Her Majesty" or King Charles (will take 20 years to settle) won't even want the remains...

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Pangloss, a Better question; How bad could the projected deficits be if they had not been "hammering away".

There's a difference between partisan bickering and constructive criticism.

Good grief, they just passed another jobs bill, admittedly adding 140B\$ over the next ten years.

Doesn't that answer both your question and mine about the value of "hammering away" at them? They're ignoring you and doing it anyway, because that criticism isn't constructive, it's merely intended to be obstructive and deconstuctive and intended to produce failure at any cost. The fact that it made no difference when Dems had 60 seats doesn't help Republicans look good, you know -- it merely underscores the fact that Republicans have nothing better to offer and will fare just as poorly if put back in charge.

I have no idea what you believe, but you apparently have no idea what the main stream Conservatives are asking for.

My point is that conservatives are not really "conservative". Conservatives are every bit as "progressive" as liberals, just on a different political vector. They seek progress in a specific ideological direction, they measure that progress over time against benchmarks of where they think society should be, and they express anger and frustration when that progress is not achieved.

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jackson33, you appear to be under a misapprehension. I'm not tied to the Euro because is some 12,000 miles away. I'm an Aussie, not a Pom.

No, in the US it's all about State Sovereignty verses Federal Authority.

We have similar arguments, however the difference is twofold.

1. We are a Federation of States that combined to form a Nation, whereas you are a Union of Independent States. TBH, it's something I still sometimes have trouble getting my head around. To me, you are a Nation or you aren't, the quasi inbetween is difficult to understand.

2. While we argue here a bit about Sovereignty, we argue more about responsibility. For example, rather than argue who has the "right" to control Healthcare, we argue about who will be "responsible" for it. If responsibility is split, as it so often is between the State and Federal Govs, then exactly who is responsible for which part? It creates a subtle difference in the argument.

If the Feds want control of something, they do so in the full knowledge that if it goes belly up, they are on their own. State govs, even those controlled by the same party, will not help them. Rather than argue who has Sovereignity in an issue, we argue about who is willing to be hung out to dry if it goes wrong.

Avoiding blame is often more important to a pollie than any "State Rights".

Our systems are very different and the US will ultimately have to solve it's problems on it's own. It is not up to us to tell you how to run your government or how to structure your society. All that the rest of us can do is say how things work in other Democracies and maybe there will be something that the US will find worthwhile.

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