# The I's have it

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Gallup today released it's final pre-election poll. The headline tomorrow will be the continued enthusiasm gap and the overall lead favoring the GOP. But I found something much more interesting in this story from Politico:

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44468.html

Among all registered voters, Republicans have only a 4-point lead in the latest Gallup survey. But the poll found that the likely turnout of voters will include 35% of Americans identifying as Republicans, 32% as Democrats, and 32% as independents.

Both parties will win support from more than 90 percent of their based voters, Gallup reported. The election outcome will be shaped by a huge GOP leaning among independents, who favor the Republican candidate by 59 percent to 31 percent, Gallup found.

In other words, it's really just business as usual for Republicans and Democrats. GOP voters are a little more mobile at the moment, but not that much. The tale of the tape here is the vast increase in independent voters, and their inclination to vote against incumbents.

This should be heartening for Democratic supporters, because it means that they're not really favoring Republicans per se, it just means that they're fed up with not being listened-to. Democrats have NOT been responsive to centrists. Democrats have NOT compromised. Democrats have NOT put the welfare of the country over ideology. And the result of that error is that they're about to be replaced.

Now Republicans will find themselves in exactly the same boat, with exactly the same problem. They cannot continue to do nothing and stall Obama, because they will be in charge and just as responsible for fixing problems as the President and Democrats are.

So what will happen in two years? I predict that the President will be re-elected, and that an EVEN HIGHER number of House and Senate members will be thrown out of office. This year may break the record set in 1922 -- if the economy hasn't turned around I'll bet we break it again in 2012.

What do you all think?

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Democrats have NOT been responsive to centrists. Democrats have NOT compromised. Democrats have NOT put the welfare of the country over ideology. And the result of that error is that they're about to be replaced.

These are the kind of indefensible blanket statements which really make me hate even attempting to participate in these forums. Democrats compromised on the stimulus. Democrats tried to compromise on healthcare and the Republicans balked. The only way Democrats could get anything done with all the Republican feet dragging was a party line vote.

To use the most disgusting of blanked categorization fallacies which you absolutely seem to love to use Pangloss, the Democrats are getting thrown out because of a deliberate misinformation campaign by "the right", Pangloss.

I really think I'm about done here. I tried to participate again, but it seems that when I try to spell out the facts, they are endlessly nitpicked to death, points I make go on deaf ears, and in general the horrible wrongdoings and information being actively spread by the Republican party are overlooked, or worse, condoned. Meanwhile "the left" and Democrats are practically villainized.

My only consolation is that the political logjam we'll see in the next two years might be enough to convince Joe Sixpack that the Democrats were actually accomplishing things and voting Republicans back into power was a horrible idea. I hope this helps Obama get re-elected. Of course Joe Sixpack could continue the present trend of retardation and blame Obama for the political logjam voting Republicans back into power created.

All in all American politics remain a clusterfuck and the country continues to place ideology over facts, including the moderator of this forum. This election is more a reflection of the problems with the voting public than it is with the Democrats themselves.

Edited by bascule
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All in all American politics remain a clusterfuck and the country continues to place ideology over facts, including the moderator of this forum.

Oh, I'm placing ideology over facts, am I? Is that what I was doing when I voted for Barrack Obama over John McCain in 2008? Is that what I was doing when I voted for John Kerry over George W. Bush in 2004? Is that what I was doing when I voted for a Democrat for Senate in 2008? Is that what I was doing when I voted for a Libertarian dweeb who's name I can't even remember for the House in 2008 because he was the only other name on the ballot besides my 6-term Republican representative?

When's the last time you voted for a Republican, bascule?

You come back and start a partisan rant and then you bash me for stating my opinions, and by and large I took it, not because I had to but because I LIKE having you here. But I don't know what to tell you -- I won't shut my mouth just because you don't like what I have to say. I will promote a diversity of opinions on this forum, even if it means having to continue to start threads from a conservative perspective and fight for the few conservative posters we have.

I hope you stick around.

My only consolation is that the political logjam we'll see in the next two years might be enough to convince Joe Sixpack that the Democrats were actually accomplishing things and voting Republicans back into power was a horrible idea. I hope this helps Obama get re-elected. Of course Joe Sixpack could continue the present trend of retardation and blame Obama for the political logjam voting Republicans back into power created.

What I think you're missing is that that's the ONLY possibility. It's not even remotely conceivable that Republicans can cut taxes and cut spending. It's simply not going to happen. We might as well expect a copy of the Encyclopedia Galactica, containing the sum total of knowledge of every sapient species in the universe, to drop into our laps tomorrow. They're GOING to fail, and the people are GOING to turn out congress in even higher numbers next time.

Well... that is, unless President Obama manages to score a real economic recovery.

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Oh, I'm placing ideology over facts, am I? Is that what I was doing when I voted for Barrack Obama over John McCain in 2008? Is that what I was doing when I voted for John Kerry over George W. Bush in 2004? Is that what I was doing when I voted for a Democrat for Senate in 2008? Is that what I was doing when I voted for a Libertarian dweeb who's name I can't even remember for the House in 2008 because he was the only other name on the ballot besides my 6-term Republican representative?

You can trot that out as if it makes you fair and balanced like Fox News, but voting for Kerry over Bush and Obama over McCain doesn't impress me whatsoever.

When's the last time you voted for a Republican, bascule?

I actually ended up voting for Doc Miller, but that's more indicative of how screwed up our local politics is:

http://electdocmiller.com/home

Edited by bascule
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These are the kind of indefensible blanket statements which really make me hate even attempting to participate in these forums.

I was under the impression that the compromise that Pangloss is claiming is nonexistent is why our healthcare bill blows.

To use the most disgusting of blanked categorization fallacies which you absolutely seem to love to use Pangloss, the Democrats are getting thrown out because of a deliberate misinformation campaign by "the right", Pangloss.

More or less.

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Democrats compromised on the stimulus. Democrats tried to compromise on healthcare and the Republicans balked. The only way Democrats could get anything done with all the Republican feet dragging was a party line vote.

I completely agree with the above statement. A party line vote was a given from the get go after the 2008 election. If it wasn’t clear after the election it was certainly clear throughout the process. I don’t think it should have been a surprise to Democrats that Republicans want the country going in a different direction.

So the Democrats knew they were going to own the bills they created. So why didn’t they just forget about attempting to create bipartisan bills and create bills that would convince independent voters to vote for them? Instead they created lousy bills that became law. Even Democrats and progressives hate them. Now Democrats and progressives are attempting to blame Republicans and Fox news. What a joke. Independents aren’t buying it.

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You can trot that out as if it makes you fair and balanced like Fox News, but voting for Kerry over Bush and Obama over McCain doesn't impress me whatsoever.

I actually ended up voting for Doc Miller, but that's more indicative of how screwed up our local politics is:

So... to summarize, you're saying that voting for Democrats half the time is not enough, Republicans are screwing up the country, anybody who thinks otherwise is being hoodwinked by Fox News, and you're frustrated and can't understand why not everyone agrees with you.

Now Democrats and progressives are attempting to blame Republicans and Fox news. What a joke. Independents aren’t buying it.

Indeed.

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So... to summarize, you're saying that voting for Democrats half the time is not enough, Republicans are screwing up the country, anybody who thinks otherwise is being hoodwinked by Fox News, and you're frustrated and can't understand why not everyone agrees with you.

Yes, then you patronize him and are surprised when he gets annoyed at you.

Cut it out, everyone. We're only 7 posts into this discussion and people are already getting uncivil, in nasty personal ways. If you have a problem with anyone, take it to me. Flaunting it in public just makes things worse.

Ok, I apologize.

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All the Republicans I know always vote republican and all the Democrats I know always vote democrat... every time. This is only what I've noticed, but it seems that partisanship isn't an interesting trend in the US politics, it actually IS US politics. I know SO MANY people that don't even know what conservative or liberal means, they don't know who their state's senators are, etc. All they know is they are a Republican/Democrat and they take that to the poll. The small amount of Independents always have the deciding vote because no one else cares. When they do care it's because they think it will affect their bank account. Boo American Voter, Boo.

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All the Republicans I know always vote republican and all the Democrats I know always vote democrat... every time. This is only what I've noticed, but it seems that partisanship isn't an interesting trend in the US politics, it actually IS US politics. I know SO MANY people that don't even know what conservative or liberal means, they don't know who their state's senators are, etc. All they know is they are a Republican/Democrat and they take that to the poll. The small amount of Independents always have the deciding vote because no one else cares. When they do care it's because they think it will affect their bank account. Boo American Voter, Boo.

That's very true, and that's why I posted those stats from Sunday's Gallup Poll. At the moment it appears that 67% of the American public is going to cast an "automatic" vote for their usual party. The remaining 32% are casting aside the usual party affiliation and trying to change the system. Those numbers aren't completely reliable, but I think they support your point.

Right now that's hurting Democrats almost exclusively, but in two years who knows? I'd love to see the rejection rate double, triple, quadruple -- whatever it takes to get the message across.

BTW, an hour ago I saw Debbie Wasserman-Schultz standing on a street corner holding a sign and waving at passers-by. She didn't have to do that; her Republican opponent has almost zero chance of winning. Maybe the message is already getting through.

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So the Democrats knew they were going to own the bills they created. So why didn’t they just forget about attempting to create bipartisan bills and create bills that would convince independent voters to vote for them?

Because they lack the proverbial balls of the Republicans, and the kinds of changes which actually solve the country's problems tend to piss off independent voters. Look at the changes Clinton passed to improve the massive budget deficit left by GHWB... tax increases and spending cuts, passed with a party line vote. 8 years later the country's budget was (arguably) balanced, and 8 years of Dubya completely destroyed all of that effort.

The Republicans would've filibustered, whined, and pulled as much procedural logjamming around a Democratic healthcare bill intended from the start to be passed along party lines, much like the Democrats pulled around the Medicare Modernization Act. But instead the Democrats actually tried to compromise. Is the lesson here that trying to compromise is bad? My take is it's practically impossible to compromise with Republicans. I think the Democrats do a much better job of compromising in general, but rather than admit this fact, independents tend to always view the two parties as being equal in all regards and look at those who would try to convince them otherwise as being biased. It's much like Fox claims they're fair and balanced and many people actually believe it. CNN is liberal biased and Fox is conservative biased, not one more so than the other.

Another problem with the Democrats is the "Big Tent" issue. The Democratic Party is larger than the Republican Party but also more fragmented, whereas the Republican party, at least at the beginning of the decade, was much more homogeneous and able to shove through the types of legislation they desired, even though much of it would prove to be disastrous. Of late the Tea Party has somewhat fractured the Republican Party, and while the two groups agree on a lot of things the Tea Party tends to be a bit crazier and thinks more reasonable, mainstream Republicans aren't going far enough. These people want to make major changes to the country I think would prove disastrous. And yet conservatives generally view the changes that even moderate Democrats want to effect as disastrous.

I also don't have a lot of respect for independent voters... while I don't feel like the Democratic party comes anywhere close to representing me, I've thrown my lot in with them because they're the only thing in this country that can advance the status quo towards the kinds of goals I find admirable.

Instead they created lousy bills that became law. Even Democrats and progressives hate them. Now Democrats and progressives are attempting to blame Republicans and Fox news. What a joke. Independents aren’t buying it.

What other "lousy bills" did they create? While I'm not entirely happy with the healthcare bill they created, I now recognize it's a step forward and in the end it will save money while providing healthcare to millions more Americans.

As far as I can tell, all this election shows is that the Republicans and other conservative interests have done a great job "keeping fear alive" to borrow a phrase from Stephen Colbert. The 24/7 cable networks (namely Fox) and ubiquitous attack ads constantly highlight the nation's problems, and the fearful independents are ready to vote out the Democrats because of it. The Democrats have made the only progress we've seen in years on issues like the deficit, and yet they're being voted out of power because "the national debt is huge" and "spending is out of control". While the natural reaction seems to be if the country is facing problems to vote those in control out of power, the Republicans did a great job between 2001-2004 keeping the general public afraid that if independents were to vote Democrats into power we'd have another terrorist attack.

So... to summarize' date=' you're saying that voting for Democrats half the time is not enough, Republicans are screwing up the country, anybody who thinks otherwise is being hoodwinked by Fox News, and you're frustrated and can't understand why not everyone agrees with you.[/quote']

Let me put it this way: if you took the same candidates and transplanted them into a European country, it'd be a landslide victory for the Democrats. I feel Europeans are generally more culturally advanced than us and America is lagging behind. I am frustrated about this because I am an American, own a home here, and don't see fleeing to Europe as a particularly appealing solution, but in comparison to other first world countries America is an extremely conservative nation and I feel the rampant conservatism here has been detrimental to the country. My only hope is that as the older generations die off a more liberal America will emerge. It's clear from the Rally to Restore Sanity there is a very energized base of young people in this country, who are more connected and generally have a better understanding of its problems than the older generation. The Rally to Restore Sanity was much larger than Glenn Beck's rally and generally drew younger people instead of older people. The juxtaposition between the two is pretty telling to me. Among the particular brand of younger person who enjoys attending or watching the Rally to Restore Sanity I think there's almost a universal sense of the deleterious effect Republican (and Fox's) fearmongering are having on this country, and how the Republicans and Fox are practically one and the same.

It's not really that the people attending Tea Party rallies or Glenn Beck's rallies are in any stupid, ignorant, or generally fail as people. It's more that they haven't grown up with tools like the Internet, don't do their due diligence on the information they receive, and are generally more susceptible to fear and intimiation as mechanisms of control by those in power. If there's a phrase which describes what I'm thinking of here it's probably "informational hygene," I just think liberals in general are much better at it than conservatives. Conservatives are generally more susceptible to fear and intimidation, and these are tools that serve not only to convince people that there are terrorist boogeymen out to get them, but that the changes that Democrats are trying to effect will negatively impact Joe Sixpack at home.

The Democrats do not leverage fear and intimidation nearly to the level the Republicans (and by extension Fox) do. Karl Rove lead a campaign of playing off people's fears and despite some very terrible things happening to the country and some truly awful legislation being passed, they retained almost complete control of our national government for some six years.

I don't know what else to say besides the Republicans seriously fucked up our country and the Democrats have done a decent enough job of trying to put it together, and as a result they're being voted out of power and the Republicans are being voted back in. It's a bit like a battered wife finally leaving and finding a decent enough boyfriend who's willing to take care of her and help her recover, only to have her go back to her abusive husband.

Edited by bascule

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For what it's worth, I think Keith Olbermann jumped the shark when he claimed the same of Jon Stewart for the Rally to Restore Sanity and his round-the-board criticism of 24/7 cable news. Attracting 200,000+ people to a rally with multiple satellite rallies around the country is the opposite of jumping the shark. I think the 24/7 cable news channels and all of their contributors, including Olbermann, should take a step back and examine what they're doing and the effect it has on the country. They're just injecting vitriol into the debate. CNN is substance-free bullshit, MSNBC is little more than a feel good pat on the back for liberals, and Fox wants you to fear what liberals are doing to the country and that terrorists want to rape your children and blow up your dog.

Is it odd that the people behind what's billed as a comedy program seem to have the most pragmatic view of the media's effect on this country? I guess the service The Daily Show and The Onion provide is a form of satirical meta-analysis of the news media, one that is only funny if you understand the shortcomings of news media outlets.

Edited by bascule
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Because they lack the proverbial balls of the Republicans, and the kinds of changes which actually solve the country's problems tend to piss off independent voters.

This I agree with. Well, with the exception of the changes that would make you happy. The changes that Republicans want would piss off independent voters as well. Thats democracy for you. Changes generally happen very slowly.

Look at the changes Clinton passed to improve the massive budget deficit left by GHWB... tax increases and spending cuts, passed with a party line vote. 8 years later the country's budget was (arguably) balanced, and 8 years of Dubya completely destroyed all of that effort.

I think the Democrats do a much better job of compromising in general ….

Lets not forget that GHWB went along with the Democrats and broke his no new taxes pledge. The Democrats then used this as a weapon against him to put Clinton in office. Ever wonder why Republicans dont make deals with Democrats?

Another problem with the Democrats is the "Big Tent" issue. The Democratic Party is larger than the Republican Party but also more fragmented, whereas the Republican party, at least at the beginning of the decade, was much more homogeneous and able to shove through the types of legislation they desired, even though much of it would prove to be disastrous.

Other than the disastrous part I agree with the above. The Democratic party seems to be cobbled together from a diverse group of single issue voters. The Republicans have their single issue voters as well but not as many and most of those are opposed to their counter parts in the Democratic party (e.g. abortion). The Democratic party also seems incapable of dismissing any one of these single issue groups. Take animal rights groups like PETA. Sure you can find individuals in the Democratic party that will call their views extreme, but not the party. This gives the impression that the Democratic party isnt really genuine in expressing its true values.

Of late the Tea Party has somewhat fractured the Republican Party, and while the two groups agree on a lot of things the Tea Party tends to be a bit crazier and thinks more reasonable, mainstream Republicans aren't going far enough. These people want to make major changes to the country I think would prove disastrous. And yet conservatives generally view the changes that even moderate Democrats want to effect as disastrous.

With regard to the disastrous comments I think you are getting a little melodramatic. One mans boon is another mans bane. The tea party in my opinion is a party in name only. There is very little true organization. Generally these are people that feel like they pay for government with little in return. They simply want less taxes and less government regulation. They feel like government regulation has painted the country into a corner. We now have a long list of cant dos that is keeping our economy and country down. They just want it stopped.

I also don't have a lot of respect for independent voters... while I don't feel like the Democratic party comes anywhere close to representing me, I've thrown my lot in with them because they're the only thing in this country that can advance the status quo towards the kinds of goals I find admirable.

I agree with the above but throw in with the Republicans. Majority representation in both houses of congress matters a lot. Independents just create gridlock. I would rather have the Democrats have their way for a time to see if their path works out. I dont think it will, but if Im wrong the country is in a better place so Im happy. If I'm right the country sees the error of its way and corrects course.

What other "lousy bills" did they create? While I'm not entirely happy with the healthcare bill they created, I now recognize it's a step forward and in the end it will save money while providing healthcare to millions more Americans.

The stimulus and health care are enough. How many trillions does it take before you think its real money? This step forward comment is to my point about not being genuine. I really think those that pretend to support health care know the current bill is unworkable. They really cant wait for it to fail so that they can have what they really want. A single payer system. I personally wish they would have just went nuclear and jammed that through. Too bad they dont have balls. I think people would have hated single payer and tossed it out quick. But we won't know because of the lack of Democratic courage. Another reason to vote the bums out.

As far as I can tell, all this election shows is that the Republicans and other conservative interests have done a great job "keeping fear alive" to borrow a phrase from Stephen Colbert. The 24/7 cable networks (namely Fox) and ubiquitous attack ads constantly highlight the nation's problems, and the fearful independents are ready to vote out the Democrats because of it. The Democrats have made the only progress we've seen in years on issues like the deficit, and yet they're being voted out of power because "the national debt is huge" and "spending is out of control". While the natural reaction seems to be if the country is facing problems to vote those in control out of power, the Republicans did a great job between 2001-2004 keeping the general public afraid that if independents were to vote Democrats into power we'd have another terrorist attack.

Stephen Colbert and John Stewart are just pushing their sarcasm stick. My hat is off to them because its been a good payday for them, but I dont take them seriously.

Let me put it this way: if you took the same candidates and transplanted them into a European country, it'd be a landslide victory for the Democrats. I feel Europeans are generally more culturally advanced than us and America is lagging behind.

Maybe you havent noticed. Things arent going too good for liberals and progressives in Europe lately.

I am frustrated about this because I am an American, own a home here, and don't see fleeing to Europe as a particularly appealing solution, but in comparison to other first world countries America is an extremely conservative nation and I feel the rampant conservatism here has been detrimental to the country.

I wouldnt give up on America if I were you. I have been just about everywhere and wouldnt trade it.

My only hope is that as the older generations die off a more liberal America will emerge.

Obviously you havent spent much time with the older generations. The FDR generation, their children, and the Baby Boomers in the main are the bulk of liberals or progressives in America. They go and the county becomes more conservative.

It's clear from the Rally to Restore Sanity there is a very energized base of young people in this country, who are more connected and generally have a better understanding of its problems than the older generation. The Rally to Restore Sanity was much larger than Glenn Beck's rally and generally drew younger people instead of older people. The juxtaposition between the two is pretty telling to me. Among the particular brand of younger person who enjoys attending or watching the Rally to Restore Sanity I think there's almost a universal sense of the deleterious effect Republican (and Fox's) fearmongering are having on this country, and how the Republicans and Fox are practically one and the same.

Those young people are going to have to pay for all those entitlements. What until they start paying real taxes. Then we will know just how progressive they are.

It's not really that the people attending Tea Party rallies or Glenn Beck's rallies are in any stupid, ignorant, or generally fail as people. It's more that they haven't grown up with tools like the Internet, don't do their due diligence on the information they receive, and are generally more susceptible to fear and intimiation as mechanisms of control by those in power. If there's a phrase which describes what I'm thinking of here it's probably "informational hygene," I just think liberals in general are much better at it than conservatives. Conservatives are generally more susceptible to fear and intimidation, and these are tools that serve not only to convince people that there are terrorist boogeymen out to get them, but that the changes that Democrats are trying to effect will negatively impact Joe Sixpack at home.

Now here I think your wrong. Like I said above, the Tea party people dont see much direct benefit for the taxes they pay. Its not obvious to them. They see government getting in the way of things they want to do. Like destroying roads on public lands. They see government stopping development that they want that would also create jobs.

The Democrats do not leverage fear and intimidation nearly to the level the Republicans (and by extension Fox) do. Karl Rove lead a campaign of playing off people's fears and despite some very terrible things happening to the country and some truly awful legislation being passed, they retained almost complete control of our national government for some six years.

Maybe you should find a youtube of the LBJ daisy commercial against Goldwater. Both play the game. You just agree with one side.

Edited by waitforufo
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The stimulus and health care are enough. How many trillions does it take before you think it’s real money?

The job creation and subsequent effect on the economy contributed to increased tax revenue and decreased stimulus. Is the concept "you have to spend money to make money" lost on you? The stimulus has worked to increase jobs and restore consumer confidence. This is good spending.

What's bad spending? Starting an expensive war in Iraq. That's what Republicans did.

According to the CBO, the healthcare bill will also save money in the end. You can look at the immediate spending and frown on it, but at least there's a plan. I look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the lack of a comprehensive plan/exit strategy, the over a trillion dollars spent on them, and go... that's bad spending, and that doesn't even include the moral component of the deplorable things the Republicans did.

Spending money is not in and of itself bad. If that's your take, the entire concept of investment is fundamentally flawed. The stimulus, among other things, is an infrastructure investment in America, and that belies the immediate effects of creating jobs and revitalizing consumer confidence. Out of the stimulus our city is receiving the money needed to expand our light rail system and extend it to reach the destinations people need to make it more worthwhile, in addition to repairs to our streets and you are most likely seeing a similar thing where you live. These are things that generally benefit the economy, business, job creation, etc, and thus tax revenue and therefore contribute to decreasing the deficit. Spending isn't bad if it makes money in the end.

My only personal complaint about the stimulus is that it didn't go far enough, and that was largely as a compromise with Republicans, which goes back to the earlier issue about how Democrats don't have the balls to fist their ideas down Republicans throats with a party line vote. But of course, by doing so they alienate independent/"centrist"/conservative-but-not-Republican voters, which was Pangloss's complaint. There's really not a lot the Democrats can do to make the majority of the country happy, even if their actions improve the national welfare, because your average Joe Sixpack voter is too myopic to appreciate what they're doing.

As for me, I can't wait to ride on the light rail routes that were built with stimulus money and am very happy to see the nation in general recovering from a recession/despression created by years of a Republican hands-off approach to Wall Street. I just wish the Republicans were open to voting for Wall Street reform and preventing the financial crisis from happening again, but instead more Republicans are about to be voted into power thus rendering any kind of Wall Street reform practically impossible, as the Republicans seem dead set on repeating the same mistakes.

Edited by bascule
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It's clear from the Rally to Restore Sanity there is a very energized base of young people in this country, who are more connected and generally have a better understanding of its problems than the older generation. The Rally to Restore Sanity was much larger than Glenn Beck's rally and generally drew younger people instead of older people. The juxtaposition between the two is pretty telling to me. Among the particular brand of younger person who enjoys attending or watching the Rally to Restore Sanity I think there's almost a universal sense of the deleterious effect Republican (and Fox's) fearmongering are having on this country, and how the Republicans and Fox are practically one and the same.

Bascule, if you could clear up some points for an Aussie? The Beck rally was for the right wingnuts, I think we can all agree on that. However, Jon Stewart has continually stressed that his rally was apolitical. On that basis, the only thing a comparison shows is that there are more moderates willing to go to a rally than there are extremists willing to go, I would have thought that this was a good thing.

Now, I might have missed reports in the US media, but why do you seem to be assuming that the majority of people at the Stewart rally are liberals? Because they're young? (The youngest ever elected politician in Australia is a conservative, elected earlier this year at the ripe age of 20) Is there a particular reason that there can't be young, moderate conservatives attending? Were there polls taken on the day as to how people voted? With a crowd that large, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume (unless there is research to show otherwise) that the crowd consisted of 1/3 liberal moderates, 1/3 conservative moderates and 1/3 independent moderates?

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Bascule, if you could clear up some points for an Aussie? The Beck rally was for the right wingnuts, I think we can all agree on that. However, Jon Stewart has continually stressed that his rally was apolitical. On that basis, the only thing a comparison shows is that there are more moderates willing to go to a rally than there are extremists willing to go, I would have thought that this was a good thing.

Point taken...

Now, I might have missed reports in the US media, but why do you seem to be assuming that the majority of people at the Stewart rally are liberals?

Because his show very clearly has a liberal bias and appeals to a liberal demographic, and I'm making the assumption that the majority of people who attended are in The Daily Show demographic.

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Because his show very clearly has a liberal bias and appeals to a liberal demographic, and I'm making the assumption that the majority of people who attended are in The Daily Show demographic.

I watch it whenever I can, mostly on the web, but I'm not a liberal. If he were current affairs or serious opinion, then you might be right, but his show is comedy. He's funny, and therefore appeals to a wider demographic than a serious show does. While your second assumption, that those who attended the rally were from his viewing demographic is sound, your first, that these must be predominantly liberal is not.

Yes, the show has a liberal bias, but it starts from the moderate liberal position. All this means is that it is slightly funnier to the left than to the right. Liberals might find 85% of the jokes funny where conservatives find 75% of the jokes funny. (Talking about moderates here, not the extremes.) The thing is that you are assuming that what, 90%? of his demographic is liberal and therefore 90% of the people at the rally were liberal. What if the split were 60/40? Would that mean that the 40% of people there who vote Republican think "there's almost a universal sense of the deleterious effect Republican (and Fox's) fearmongering are having on this country, and how the Republicans and Fox are practically one and the same."

Jon Stewart specifically went down the apolitical road. The rally wasn't about Democrats or Republicans. The rally was about the moderates being heard over those who want to politicize everything and loudly paint their opponents as the root of all evil. Yet you're painting the rally as a "win" for liberals that somehow demonstrates the Republicans are the root of all evil. The rally wasn't for your position, it was against it, just as it was against the position of Beck.

When the rally was announced, Stewart made the point that 20% of the loudest were trying to control or prevent the dialogue that would allow the other 80% to come to compromises they could live with by constantly denouncing the "other side" as false, untrustworthy, comparable to Hitler, etc, etc. Which group do you honestly see yourself in? The 20% or the 80%?

Just as a point on Fox. I've worked for, met and talked to Murdock and he really doesn't give two hoots about politics. He's in business to make money. If Fox is the way it is, it's because it's successful the way it is and makes money. If an overt liberal bias would have made more money, then Fox would be a "Liberal" network. Murdock is quite happy to own competing newspapers or networks and let them go for each others throats. Why should he care? He makes money no matter who wins. So don't blame Fox for it's demographic, blame the demographic for Fox.

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My only consolation is that the political logjam we'll see in the next two years might be enough to convince Joe Sixpack that the Democrats were actually accomplishing things and voting Republicans back into power was a horrible idea. I hope this helps Obama get re-elected. Of course Joe Sixpack could continue the present trend of retardation and blame Obama for the political logjam voting Republicans back into power created.

It is quite interesting to consider the idea of a fiscally conservative legislative branch coupled with a strong and idealistic executive branch. Really the last two years were just an artifact of anti-Bush/neocon backlash on the basis of economic disenchantment. If people wouldn't react to their dissatisfaction with the attitude of replacing the old with its opposite, the pendulum wouldn't have swung so far in the fiscal-liberal direction in the first place. Now that people have gotten the economic stimulus they rallied for, they're not happy to see the bill so they're going to once again try to reverse directions.

The reason this combination of fiscally conservative legislative and progressive executive can be good, however, is that it challenges people to make changes without doing it for the money. In other words, it is time for people to make personal and professional choices to achieve the goals of less energy dependence, more efficient and better economic practices, etc. (all the things that Obama has preached) . . . to make those things happen because they are directly beneficial; not because there's money in it. There may actually be money in it ultimately, but without direct stimulus funding, the immediate goal will no longer be the carrot.

edit: going green on a budget? yes we can!

Edited by lemur
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I watch it whenever I can, mostly on the web, but I'm not a liberal. If he were current affairs or serious opinion, then you might be right, but his show is comedy. He's funny, and therefore appeals to a wider demographic than a serious show does. While your second assumption, that those who attended the rally were from his viewing demographic is sound, your first, that these must be predominantly liberal is not.

Yes, the show has a liberal bias, but it starts from the moderate liberal position. All this means is that it is slightly funnier to the left than to the right. Liberals might find 85% of the jokes funny where conservatives find 75% of the jokes funny. (Talking about moderates here, not the extremes.) The thing is that you are assuming that what, 90%? of his demographic is liberal and therefore 90% of the people at the rally were liberal. What if the split were 60/40? Would that mean that the 40% of people there who vote Republican think "there's almost a universal sense of the deleterious effect Republican (and Fox's) fearmongering are having on this country, and how the Republicans and Fox are practically one and the same."

Jon Stewart specifically went down the apolitical road. The rally wasn't about Democrats or Republicans. The rally was about the moderates being heard over those who want to politicize everything and loudly paint their opponents as the root of all evil. Yet you're painting the rally as a "win" for liberals that somehow demonstrates the Republicans are the root of all evil. The rally wasn't for your position, it was against it, just as it was against the position of Beck.

Another point to consider: the rally was conceived on and largely promoted through the predominantly liberal social media web site reddit.com.

I'm not saying you're wrong but my best guess is the crowd was predominantly liberal.

When the rally was announced, Stewart made the point that 20% of the loudest were trying to control or prevent the dialogue that would allow the other 80% to come to compromises they could live with by constantly denouncing the "other side" as false, untrustworthy, comparable to Hitler, etc, etc. Which group do you honestly see yourself in? The 20% or the 80%?

I certainly think I succumb to the vitriol and see the country through what Jon Stewart described likened to a fun house mirror of the sort that makes you ugly. If I'm a bit overzealous, mea culpa.

Just as a point on Fox. I've worked for, met and talked to Murdock and he really doesn't give two hoots about politics. He's in business to make money. If Fox is the way it is, it's because it's successful the way it is and makes money. If an overt liberal bias would have made more money, then Fox would be a "Liberal" network. Murdock is quite happy to own competing newspapers or networks and let them go for each others throats. Why should he care? He makes money no matter who wins. So don't blame Fox for it's demographic, blame the demographic for Fox.

I'm not saying that Rupert Murdoch is purposely architecting News Corporation for the purpose of advancing conservatism/Republicans. Ailes and Kristol are another story.

Edited by bascule
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Another point to consider: the rally was conceived on and largely promoted through the predominantly liberal social media web site reddit.com.

I'm not saying you're wrong but my best guess is the crowd was predominantly liberal.

I realise that I'm looking at this from the outside and there was nil media coverage down here. It's quite possible that the crowd was predominantly liberal, but there is a world of difference between a 95%-5% split and a 60%-40% split. The first would have confimed (I think) your initial statement, but the second invalidates it. I think we should be careful about reading too much into something where there is little more than supposition and assumption to go on.

I certainly think I succumb to the vitriol and see the country through what Jon Stewart described likened to a fun house mirror of the sort that makes you ugly. If I'm a bit overzealous, mea culpa.

No sweat. It's when you can't see yourself getting overzealous (people like Beck) that you have a problem. I'm a great believer in the concept of constantly doubting my beliefs. Those that doubt can be talked to, those who are 100% certain in the rightness of their beliefs cannot. Doubt is required for dialogue. (I could prove it, but I'd need a blackboard. )

I'm not saying that Rupert Murdoch is purposely architecting News Corporation for the purpose of advancing conservatism/Republicans.

I know, but it doesn't seem an uncommon belief from what I see around the web, so I thought I'd throw it in.

Cheers.

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No sweat. It's when you can't see yourself getting overzealous (people like Beck) that you have a problem. I'm a great believer in the concept of constantly doubting my beliefs. Those that doubt can be talked to, those who are 100% certain in the rightness of their beliefs cannot. Doubt is required for dialogue. (I could prove it, but I'd need a blackboard. )

I disagree. Doubt just enables people to accept a certain level of bs when it's politically pragmatic to do so. Reason allows people to have different interests and views but still understand each other's point of view WITH CERTAINTY, without automatically compromising their own. This leads to a more rational and less emotional or pragmatic compromise that makes no one happy by trying to piece bits of different proposals together without any rationale except that interests should be balanced.

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Just as a point on Fox. I've worked for, met and talked to Murdock and he really doesn't give two hoots about politics. He's in business to make money. If Fox is the way it is, it's because it's successful the way it is and makes money. If an overt liberal bias would have made more money, then Fox would be a "Liberal" network. Murdock is quite happy to own competing newspapers or networks and let them go for each others throats. Why should he care? He makes money no matter who wins. So don't blame Fox for it's demographic, blame the demographic for Fox.

Interesting post.

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lemur, sorry I don't get it. I was refering to doubt as in the self doubt concept of "I may not be 100% right on this", which allows for dialogue and exchange of ideas and concepts. Anybody who believes that they are 100% right on a topic has no interest in dialogue as they feel they have nothing to gain.

Pangloss, why interesting, I would have thought it obvious. News media is a business, it exists to make a profit. I'm surprised that so few Americans seem to understand this.

There is however a deeper factor. Programming is decided not just by Program Managers, but by advertising. Advertisers choose which shows they want their ads in and are willing to pay a premium for that. Advertising influences the way a network develops it's programming. Put simply, what do you do if there are more advertisers wanting to advertise in a given show (let's say someone like a moderate Glen Beck) than there are spaces to sell? You can jack up the price, or have another similar show on a different part of the network. Similarly, if a network had an extreme right wing show that brought in $100k of revenue and an exteme left wing show that brought in$20k, what do you, as management do? There is only one answer that is fiscally defensible. Dump the left wing show and get another right wing one.

Advertisers watch their sales and show ratings very closely and move their advertising to shows that give them the best sales response. That is all they are interested in, not politics. In current affairs and commentary type shows, the shows are driven by the advertising revenue and the advertising revenue is driven by the people who watch the show.

Think of any programming, say the rise and fall of "Reality" shows. One came along, it went big and the advertisers jumped on the bandwagon, therefore there were suddenly heaps of reality shows. As soon as the numbers started to drop the advertisers went elsewhere and funds dried up. So there are few reality shows now. Look at a newspaper and aside from the "classifieds" section, look at the amount of ads in various sections. It varies depending on the popularity of the topics on the pages.

People can complain about "media bias" all they want, but the media is simply giving them what they want. People prove this by buying products advertised on the shows. Why did "Stargate" last so long? Because people watched it and the revenues were up. Why did they bring back Bobby in "Dallas" and make the whole dream sequence garbage? Because revenues dropped and they wanted them to rise again.

It's accepted that Hollywood is a business is out to make a profit, why do people think news media isn't?

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