Let the flame wars begin!




  1. LibertyLover says:

    #61, it is proper and logical

    A further comment on this.

    I was tasked at one time with writing a program for a lawyer to help him with his cases. After about four months of trying to nail him down on specifications, I exclaimed, “James, that isn’t logical!” I swear, it was like trying to code the rules for Fizbin.

    His reply, and one that has stuck with me since, was, “The law isn’t logical. It’s historical. If it was logical, I’d be out of business.” I guess that’s why Spock was a scientist and not a lawyer 🙂

    That’s part of the problem we have today, I think. Precedent on top of precedent, whether it’s logical or not. And each precedent is biased on personal opinion which can never be logical. Case in point — SCOTUS; Liberals interpret something one way and Conservatives the other way. How many 5-4 rulings have we had lately?

    If you want logic in these types of situations, you need a baseline. IMO, that baseline is the individual. Our government is supposed to be for everybody. If one person is neglected without redress, it is a failure (did I say that already?).

    to do the most good for the most people

    I’m a CERT member (Community Emergency Response Team). During casualty drills, our first order of business is “to do the most good for the most people.” That means letting someone die who might take too much time to save. It is a personal opinion, based on certain facts that non-doctors have to evaluate, as to whether we mark someone dead or not.

    That’s why I asked earlier, “Who decides?”

  2. Breetai says:

    Ahh Republicans and Democrats, It’s like choosing between McDonalds or Burger King when what you need to do is go home and make a salad.

  3. LibertyLover says:

    #65, I’m copying and pasting that one . . .

  4. chris says:

    #61 Correcting myself: “French ‘life, liberty, and property’” the French used ‘life, liberty, and fraternity.’ The First Continental Congress used ‘life, liberty, and property’ in the Declaration of Colonial Rights.

    Possibly when dealing with an external tax collector, the King, property was more important…

    #62 Whatever Jefferson’s personal views, as I obviously don’t know enough to challenge your Ronald Hamowy, many of the other framers DID feel that personal property rights should take a backseat to the Gov’s ability to tax that property. Could be the phrasing provided enough wiggle room for everyone to believe it meant what they wanted it to.

    I’m open to other suggestions besides ‘government’ on, “Who would make this decision?” There don’t seem to be many other options out there.

    #63 Yeah, I think everybody posits a deeply flawed system. The actual incentives for public representatives often lead them to act for narrow interests(the ones that pay, or have other methods for mobilizing support) at the expense of everyone else.

    I do sympathize with the conservatives’ view of the limited exercise of government power. It’s similar to [b]managers[/b], or today’s fashionable( and even more pompous) [b]leaders[/b]. A substantial minority of managers can’t manage, and only a very few can actually lead. Assuming a decently cooperative work environment, most managers should sit down and shut up.

    Sadly, that doesn’t mean you can do away with them entirely. Somebody has to make the decision.

    I also agree with the old saw “those that can do DO, and those that can’t TEACH.” For every wonderful teacher that opened my eyes to the world there were 10x that were simply phoning it in. I’m talking here about k-12, and I live in one of the 10 richest counties in the country. I doubt it gets better where local tax receipts are less.

    The modern right is too pure by half. Tuning out because the system isn’t squeaky clean ignores that the system is going to keep going. Now it is dirty AND unwatched. Not good.

    I don’t think you need to embrace the dirty reality, but at least look it in the face.

    #64 The person in the hot seat makes the decision. If they make the wrong decision they need to be held accountable. Nobody accidentally gets into power unless your last name is Kennedy or Bush.

    #65 That’s funny, but suggests that there is an obvious solution that we are missing because we buy into an ideological program.

    Please enlighten me.

  5. bobbo, words have meaning says:

    Ha, ha. Quite so.

    “It” is nothing like the choice between Burger Franchises. And LL is going to copy and paste it.

    What do you suppose either of them sees? Not even a platitude, just completely vacant empty metaphor of no application. I only guess it allows for one’s own complete projection–you know, going home to make a salad is the same as not choosing between the two choices available.

    Empty calories.

  6. LibertyLover says:

    #67, If they make the wrong decision they need to be held accountable.

    Agreed. And I feel we are holding them accountable now by refusing to give them more money.

    That’s funny, but suggests that there is an obvious solution that we are missing because we buy into an ideological program.

    Please enlighten me.

    I’ll weight in. Start thinking outside the two-dimensional solution space. The two major powers have managed to screw things up. Perhaps we need to look at something besides the Democrat and Republican platforms.

    Let’s think outside the square.

  7. bobbo, libertarianism fails when its tuchstonoe values become DOGMA says:

    gibberish.
    Beneath contempt.

    Deal with the reality that evereyone else is.

    Here’s a two dimensional harpoon to your whale of a fantasy: define “them” you think deserve punishment and how withholding money accomplishes that in any manner.

    What we have here is a 12 year old that has never left his treehouse.

    Reviewing…………reviewing………. nope, don’t think I’m being petty at all.

    Get real kiddies.

  8. chris says:

    #70 I think diluting the Dems and GOP with new parties would be a great thing, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen.

    Nader killed the third party movement for those that lean left. End of story. He probably could have played kingmaker, and even he couldn’t it would have led to a much greater voice for third parties.

    Personally, I think the tea party is fairly artificial. There is a lot of message coordination that looks a lot more like the GOP rather than anyone actually going rogue.

    There is an objective way to see if this supposition is correct. The GOP is really good at freezing their uncooperative offspring out of the money game. If you see a tea-party candidate in the general where they draw sharp distinctions with the GOP, then I’m wrong. I suspect the tea party is going to to turn into a standard pep-rally. It’s the flirtation with something different before heading back to the old standby.

    Thinking REALLY outside the box… there used to be powerful unions. They covered more of the working population and were more openly embraced by the Dems. Not as much of a factor anymore.

    Religion could play a greater role, but in America most churches have already picked their political representatives by party. That’s kind of set. If you’re following someone for moral reasons it’s hard to change immediately, however much the other side might offer. It offends the non-political, most, of the members who are there because they do believe. The political end of ALL the major religions, IMO, are as dirty as anything inside the beltway. They are trafficking, and profiting mightily off of, the free labor provided their true believers. At least a pimp is obviously a pimp.

    The internet is an obvious organizing platform, and I can’t really analyze right now. Longer term question.

    Maybe foreign governments should more try to influence our political process. We do it plenty to other countries, and turnabout is fair play. If all of the non-insane governments got together and compared notes on policy outcomes we’d all be a lot better off.

    Direct democracy via internet… I always liked the idea of people determining where their taxes go by allocating to different types of expenditure. The debt payments ought would be mandatory of course! Who would be silly enough not to pay their bills when they can afford to do so and not doing so would result in nasty consequences? 🙂 I do think this is possible. Sell the policies directly to the people and let them choose.

    Who could do that job? Google could knock it out in a weekend, Microsoft would cause governance to cease completely every few days until they could get it back together, and Oracle would somehow end up patenting the Constitution.

    The guilds from historical Germany, as I suggested earlier, might be an option. Similar to unions. They play for their team, as Bobbo suggests in #60. They can’t reasonably be expected to make good decisions in the national interest.

    Maybe it will be flash mobs. That’s what I think happened with Obama. He was sold very well to a lot of people who are generally uninterested in politics. These new people provide excitement, without a discerning eye, that pumped up rallies. The Obama operatives intentionally played symbolism in a way only the GOP had done previously. That suggests to me that we are going to have a lot more of the high-expectations\low-results type of characters.

    Still thinking about other alternatives…

  9. bobbo, libertarianism fails when its touchstone values become tenets in a Dogma that corrupts the language of common discourse says:

    Chris–the dynamic of third party movements is pretty well understood: their issues are co-opted by the D’s and R’s. That is all the more locked in with the Citizen’s United Decision effectively giving our politics over to the Corporations.

    Direct democracy doesn’t work. The mob is too easily moved by emotions. Turmoil and upset, greed and corruption is the normal state of affairs. All we can hope for is an accident or personality of the moment to push our politics in the right direction and for inertia to hold it there for a while.

    Why there hasn’t been a knee jerk reaction against corporations after the 2008 Crises is beyond me. THats why I think we will have to suffer the inflation and cuts brought on immediately by our credit downrating when the debt ceiling is not raised.

    We can day dream about solutions outside of the box, by definition: those that aren’t coming. or–stick more to home with the cartoon leading the thread.

    As amply demostrated–why talk theory when reality is so resolutely avoided?

  10. LibertyLover says:

    #71, For the most part, I agree with you about the 3rd parties.

    The Tea Party, despite its name, it not really a 3rd party. Its goal is to influence the GOP (and perhaps the Dems). Unfortunately, religo-facists found the movement’s ideals to their liking as well. Sometimes I wish they would stay off of our side.

    When it became apparent that the Tea Party was not some fad, the GOP tried co-opting it. It didn’t work out too well except to make the average Joe on the street think the GOP WAS the Tea Party.

    In actuality, quite a few of the GOP are Tea Party, not a majority but it is a non-trivial amount. The GOP’s refusal to increase the debt limit is all Tea Party. Proof of this lies in the fact Boehner wanted to raise the limit. His freshman class, mostly Tea Party Republican’s, swore to screw him if he didn’t get on board. Since then, most of the GOP has come over to that mindset.

    The same with the no tax increases.

    Whether that is an artificial stance or not, it was driven by the Tea Party.

    Paul Ryan’s healthcare bill is not Tea Party. You hit the nail on the head about freezing out rogues. Gingrich slammed this healthcare plan (as he should have — but don’t take the comment as support for Newt) and immediately the GOP establishment crawled all over him and forced him to rescind his statement. He’s been sliding downhill since.

    Sarah Palin’s coronation as the Queen of the Tea Party was pure media hype. Sarah Palin is a moron and most people with half a brain recognize it.

    Unfortunately, if you don’t pay attention to what is actually happening in this country, you would think the GOP and the Tea Party were one in the same. We are making inroads in the GOP with plans to remake it so it doesn’t look so much like the Democrats, but it will take a few more elections. It’s just not widely known because the media receives so much money from the two major parties through advertisement and such. It’s hard to bite the hand that feeds you.

    Direct democracy via internet

    I have to strongly disagree here. Mob rule never works. Part of our problem is the 17th amendment.

    AFA letting the people determine where their tax dollars go . . . it would be very hard to build budgets based on the changing whims of the mob. And when Congress votes to cut off funding to something and then the President decides to do it anyway (see ACORN), then you know we have other issues other than budgeting, too.

    Guilds

    I did some research on them after you pointed them out. They didn’t do Germany much good . . . I have to agree with you about that not being a good alternative, either (and Bobbo if he said that).

    Still thinking about other alternatives…

    And that’s really all I can hope for. Sticking to the party line, whether Democrat or Republican, is not the answer. Too long the people of this country have listened to them and it’s led us here.

  11. chris says:

    Who says we never agree on anything…

    #72 Bobbo- “Direct democracy doesn’t work.”
    #73 LibertyLover- “Mob rule never works.”

    I’m not too sure. Could be more about establishing a proper cutoff, like a super-super-majority. The Iraq war was hated by the polar extremes on both ends of the political spectrum, but for very different reasons. How about if 70% of people want something it just gets done? The last time that I saw public outrage really change policy was the “Do Not Call List.” Take the case of Ireland’s voluntary assumption of private bank debt by a lame duck government when this was absolutely counter to public sentiment. This will damage them severely for decades.

    Right now public sentiment is broadly ignored and things don’t seem to be getting better. At least it’s an idea.

  12. chris says:

    Here is another one, but a bit fantastical. It’s from a guy named Daniel Suarez who wrote two books: Daemon and Freedom.

    He posits an automated system that is set up to make a best-for-all decision and then runs automatically. I can’t describe it as well as the guy himself, which you can see here:

    http://fora.tv/2008/08/08/Daniel_Suarez_Daemon_Bot-Mediated_Reality

    The first book, Daemon, is about breaking down the current model. The second book, Freedom, is about what takes its place.

  13. chris says:

    #72 “Why there hasn’t been a knee jerk reaction against corporations after the 2008 Crises is beyond me.”

    Easy: Obama. He was presented like Gold Bond medical powder. Got any kind of problem with government\modern society\general boredom? Just sprinkle some Obama on it! Sadly, like most universally applicable products, there was a lot of fluff involved. That’s how that inflection point got missed. Things really could have changed. Maybe for better or worse, but real change. Now… not so much.

    #73 “if you don’t pay attention to what is actually happening in this country, you would think the GOP and the Tea Party were one in the same. We are making inroads in the GOP with plans to remake it so it doesn’t look so much like the Democrats, but it will take a few more elections.”

    As I said in #71, only time will tell. If people are still talking TEA party a few elections from now it is a real thing. If it fades away, that is because the GOP won’t cannibalize their own brand on a long term basis.

  14. LibertyLover says:

    #74, I used to favor super majorities but you only need look at CA to see what it does to an economy if not handled properly.

    In order for the Democrats to get their taxes through they had to do things they never would have thought they could do. The same with the Republicans. What they ended up with was an economy that couldn’t get anything done. I have to agree with Mr. Fusion on super majorities for taxes increases.

    Now . . . if you wanted a super majority on EVERYTHING . . . Hmm. That might work. I would like to see at a minimum 2/3 but would prefer 90%. And once the vote was made, it was good for 4 years unless fraud could be shown to have influenced the vote.

    #76, Easy: Obama. He was presented like Gold Bond medical powder. Got any kind of problem with government\modern society\general boredom? Just sprinkle some Obama on it!

    Holy Moly! You nailed it, hoss.

    only time will tell.

    Agreed. I’m not of the opinion it is a done deal. But I’ll keep pushing my Senators and Representative. I’ll let them know I’m still watching . . .

  15. bobbo, libertarianism fails when its touchstone values become tenets in a Dogma that corrupts the language of common discourse says:

    #76, Easy: Obama. He was presented like Gold Bond medical powder. Got any kind of problem with government\modern society\general boredom? Just sprinkle some Obama on it!” /////

    A meaningless rhetorical statement of no value whatsoever. Chris–its obvious you are thinking of something that statement is derived from, but meaningless rhetoric should be avoided. LL–amusing how many meaningless statements you grab for. Never heard of guilds? What are you, some kind of 12 year old idiot savant with a computer? Read that as a compliment==but you too should avoid the sounds good but is actually meaningless rhetoric that swamps our political and popular culture.

    Who knows what Obama would do if he had a free hand? Doesn’t matter because the Obama record is more about his caving to Republican pressure than it is any other metric.

    All to our harm.

  16. chris says:

    #78

    Nope, that’s all me. I might have unconsciously gotten it from somewhere, because I read hundreds of articles on RSS feeds each week. If you can find similar I’d tell you honestly if that site is in my reading list.

    Obama was the incredible productized President. The level of salesmanship surrounding him was second to none. Bush was branded in the same way, but his inability to speak marked him as a boob. I’ve heard he was a capable manager… maybe his advisers were confused. there’s a movie reference in there…

    I’m just feeling playful today.

    Obama gets no credit in my book. He doesn’t understand momentum or random opportunity. Sure, he’s obviously very intelligent, confident, and cool. Maybe he was so good at counter-punching in his political assent that he never needed to risk trying to move things ahead. When you make the decision on your own, rather than in reaction, the personal danger is much greater.

    Bush II would have been fine if he’d only done Afghanistan. The necessity would have given him cover, no matter the result. Iraq was his call and he blew it badly. There is NO way history will be kind to him. Nobody reads anymore, though…

    Obama would have needed to play against type to move in strongly and clean up the banking sector immediately upon entering office. Everything was waiting on his move. He chose to shuffle some little stuff around, and that established the tone ever after.

    In many things that followed the administration caved on the important stuff as an initial bargaining position. I’ve seen it repeatedly. It’s just something that’s in the air.

  17. chris says:

    #77

    I was thinking more in the sense of a public veto. Yeah, CA proves that needing public acquiescence to originate policy is a VERY BAD idea. Listening to massive public outrage to stop policy move *might* be a good idea.

    Thinking specifically about Iceland and Greece. In both cases their governments decided to voluntarily take on big debts by bankers, and faced united public opposition to those moves. The Irish government went ahead anyway and made the deal. I’m betting Iceland comes out better by far. We will see.

    The US ought to be pushing debt out to longer maturities, rather than flirting with a strategic default. There was a dramatic fall in the average bond maturity in 2000-2002. I remember, vaguely, that this was by choice to get lower financing costs. Right now we should be doing exactly the opposite: push the debt maturity as far out as it will go. Then tighten up collection of Estate Taxes, aka Death Taxes. Baby Boomers decided to give themselves tax cuts while implicitly planning to partially rely on gov’t benefits (average case). We can just expense it and collect on the other end.

    Even in that case you still end up hosing the rich. I can live with that. Income\wealth inequality has increased dramatically since the 1980’s, due largely to GOP led tax policy. Before you disagree, please tell me which income quartile benefits almost EXCLUSIVELY from the change in capital gains rates.

    Sure, I’m advocating passing on debt to our children, but only to the extent we can’t raid the estate of our parents. Terrible stuff.

    If you want to get really twisted, also consider that debt with longer maturities is going to be more likely to be around for a debt revulsion. Then the government can buy up, and retire, its own long term debt at good rates. The CHEAP buy on debt improves the balance sheet, and then new debt issues will be on better terms.

    Oh yeah, I’m saying the US Gov’t should be pulling the same kind of moves that any successful private company does. Use every available lever to get itself the best deal.

    Speaking of, in regards to actually defaulting on debt( which wouldn’t ever happen, just a unilateral restructuring of debt): I am not opposed to that by any means.

    In Greece default is probably the way to go. Even though our debt-to-gdp levels are similar many of the other details are very different. It could be a good idea for us at some point, but not now. Our back is not against the wall. Not going to be like that for a long time. That moment will NEVER come if we tax closer to expenditures, averaged over a long period.

  18. chris says:

    From me:

    “Maybe he was so good at counter-punching in his political assent” should be ascent

    “Thinking specifically about Iceland and Greece.” More specifically I was thinking about Iceland and IRELAND. You know, Ireland could be translated as ANGRY-land. To be fair, they often have really good reasons to be angry.

  19. bobbo, aint technology grand says:

    Chris–what examples of Obama being “productized” can you produce? I can’t think of any.

    I like to think of myself as part Irish although its not true at all–but Ireland refers to one of its three founding Goddesses. Nothing angry about it.

    Beautiful land too if you ever get a chance to visit.–any and every part will give you a new appreciation of “green” even if you have been to the Amazon, Congo, Prince Edward Island, and New Zealand. Yes, a very special kind of green.

  20. chris says:

    #82 Ire = Anger… I obviously don’t think that is literally\historically true, just a play on words.

    As to Obama being “productized,” yeah I can think of a lot of examples. First, let me say that it’s a slightly BS word. Second, I see you slipping back into the word police role. Happy to indulge though.

    The Obama campaign was operating on a lot of levels that Dems usually don’t too well on. Remember the profusion of Women-for, Republicans-for, Independents-for signs. This was a lot more varied than Dems usually do, both to show Obama noticed\valued the groups in question as well as showing he was universally applicable to all groups.

    Obama & Wife were also very eager to associate themselves with the image of JFK. Obama most obviously did this by playing his youth, style, promise, attractiveness while using Teddy Sorensen’s words. Michelle was actively styling herself as Jackie at the same time. Ted Kennedy added the official family seal of approval. Every Democratic candidate relates themselves to the party heroes, but this was a direct appropriation of the Kennedy mantle.

    Obama’s message discipline was outstanding. He picked the appropriate branding concept to fit the times, and never strayed too far from that. There was a lot of joking that from the Democratic convention in ’04 until being elected that he gave exactly one speech, just switching out the backdrops.

    Obama was never a guy with some timely ideas, he was more… a symbol, an idea, an essential element in the historical continuum… a product.

  21. LibertyLover says:

    #80, Even in that case you still end up hosing the rich. I can live with that. Income\wealth inequality has increased dramatically since the 1980′s, due largely to GOP led tax policy. Before you disagree, please tell me which income quartile benefits almost EXCLUSIVELY from the change in capital gains rates.

    I’ve been looking through the posts The Voice made wrt the effective tax rates. He’s right if not off a percentage or two. It doesn’t matter.

    One thing I posted shows the rich are currently responsible for twice their “fair share” of taxes, percentage-wise. Is that not enough?

    That being said, I am not sure what difference it makes in how you restructure the taxes. The fact of the matter is we’ve spent ourselves into a hole. Any bankruptcy lawyer will tell you that it is time to cut back and restructure your debt (as you pointed out).

    The politicians we elect are not keeping a tidy house. They can’t appoint anyone who might actually know what they are doing due to the political wrangling that goes on just to get them appointed. In the end, whichever of the two major parties is in charge is going to make their own decisions anyway, based on what is going to get them re-elected.

  22. LibertyLover says:

    #80, I was thinking more in the sense of a public veto. Yeah, CA proves that needing public acquiescence to originate policy is a VERY BAD idea. Listening to massive public outrage to stop policy move *might* be a good idea.

    I think this same thing could be accomplished simply by repealing the 17th amendment.

    The Senators were originally tasked with watching out for State’s Rights. Now they are just a longer term version of the House of Representatives.

    One was responsible for listening to the mob. The other was supposed to be a check to ensure the federal government didn’t get too greedy.

    Now they both listen to the mob.

    From The Federalist No. 62

    [The Senate] is recommended by the double advantage of favoring a select appointment, and of giving to the State governments such an agency in the formation of the federal government as must secure the authority of the former, and may form a convenient link between the two systems.

    […]

    Another advantage accruing from this ingredient in the constitution of the Senate is, the additional impediment it must prove against improper acts of legislation. No law or resolution can now be passed without the concurrence, first, of a majority of the people, and then, of a majority of the States.

    He then goes on to explain why it is bad to have a “continual change of opinions” controlling the legislature. Too much to quote.

    Why bother to create a third branch of the government when we already have the means to prevent faulty legislation from being passed in the first place?

  23. LibertyLover says:

    #80/#84, When I wrote, “It doesn’t matter,” I meant changing the tax code doesn’t matter based on what The Voice wrote.

  24. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas. says:

    #83–chris==yes, always the word police, in the nature that we all should be.

    The examples you give do not display the attribute of being productized which you characterized as being “He was presented like Gold Bond medical powder. Got any kind of problem with government\modern society\general boredom? Just sprinkle some Obama on it!”

    You present a totally different issue.

    You continue the empty rhetoric with: “Obama was never a guy with some timely ideas, he was more… a symbol, an idea, an essential element in the historical continuum… a product.” ///

    Timely ideas is exactly what Obama presented ((note the conflict with the apposite notion he is the cure for everything?????)): Stop the War in Iraq when everyone else was for it. Sounded good to me.

    Reform Healthcare. Sounded good to me.
    Close Gitmo. Didn’t really care.
    Lets stop acting like cowboys on the world stage. Sounded good to me.=====etc.

    All candidates become a symbol or an idea. Nothing new/different there.

    “an essential element in the historical continuum…”–empty rhetoric.

    Well you got communication skills. Spiff up your substance and you will go far. Or not. Depends on the substance. Ha. ha.

  25. chris says:

    #87

    You’re conflating two different things I said, in effect trying to make me defend a connection YOU make.

    I compared the way Obama was oversold to Gold Bond in #76 and called him productized in #79. Those are two different things even though they go to towards the same theme. The first deals with the content of the message, and the second deals with stuff that goes into making the image.

    The sales machine surrounding Bush II was also very polished. His operatives were wonderful at setting the stage. Then W would get up and obviously lack basic command of both language and issues.

    “All candidates become a symbol or an idea. Nothing new/different there.”

    That’s true, but the relationship of the essential qualities of the candidate and the sales machine are going to vary from case to case.

    In spite of excellent branding, we got to know Bush II(communication deficit) and Palin(intelligence deficit) very quickly. Clinton was entirely too undisciplined to create a proper brand, although his mind\heart seemed to be in the right place(not going to mention the other bits). People found him personally endearing or infuriating, depending, but always from the personal perspective.

  26. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas. says:

    Chris–“in fairness” it is YOU who have conflated the two. You defended the first point by making the second. Deft, but observable.

    Clinton established himself very early as compassionate: “I feel your pain.” and later as a workaholic, triangulator, and slippery.

    If YOU have not conflated the two, then tell me again (ie–once, the “first time”) how Obama was “oversold” as the solution to all problems? Just like Gold Bond or otherwise?

  27. chris says:

    # 89
    “”in fairness” it is YOU who have conflated the two. You defended the first point by making the second. Deft, but observable.”

    Nope, they were different points entirely. You accused me of cribbing a nice zinger from some other source and I denied intentionally having done that( although leaving open the possibility I might have done it unconsciously). End of issue one.

    Then you seized on the use of a single word: productized. For political candidates I would define it as the use of symbolism, message discipline and individually targeting the pitch to different groups. The end result is an easily comprehensible and salable product. Maybe branding is a better word for it, but I like choosing my own words even if I do so imperfectly. It still looks obvious in the original context, and in the longer explanation I provided in response to your challenge. Let me make it clear, again, that an advanced marketing campaign that tells people BOTH how to THINK and FEEL about a product doesn’t have anything to do with the content of the claims being made or the truthfulness of those claims. End of issue two.

    And now to the content of Obama’s claims. I’d dispute your notion was an ideas man, Hillary was much more detailed in her policy proposals. Obama’s tone through both the primary and general was that he was the calm adult in a room of squabbling children. This appealed mightily to the core of his base in the early primaries: college kids. The best example of that tone was doing the Jay-Z style brushing off of his shoulder in one of the primary debates. Rather than respond to an attack it was acceptable enough to just look cool.

    The specific method to appear ready to confront problems was to describe them in detail. This suggested that current pols were too dense or busy fighting to understand the policy landscape, something that is absolutely not the case.

    The media played their part, as well. I’m not sure if the reason for that was true belief, happiness at the ad buys, or assurances that Obama was no actual threat. Maybe all of the above.

    Simply looking at approval polls will show a dramatic shift in perception in Obama’s first year. He lost 20% approval by December of ’09, and it has been largely static since.

  28. bobbo, we think with words, and flower with ideas. says:

    chris–at #78 I said: “Chris–its obvious you are thinking of something that statement is derived from, but meaningless rhetoric should be avoided.” I don’t see any accusation of “cribing” there–read just what it says. When what you post doesn’t make any sense or does not seem supported, it may still have some valid root idea that it is proxy for and just got garbled/confused in traslating “idea” to words.

    You might have cribbed, but I was thinking you had an idea all your own that just wasn’t getting out. But our discussion is now lost in words. Better to give it a fresh start on another thread.

    The truth “normally” will out itself. Or not, if you get captured by dogma.

  29. chris says:

    “But our discussion is now lost in words.”

    You do that, not me. You pick one word out of pages of material and harp on that. If you’ve got a better formulation I’m happy to hear it. In the absence of that I don’t want to hear that my ideas are malformed in an unspecified way.

    I don’t always have the time or energy to post on DU, but I do read it fairly often even if I’m not actively involved. Recently I’ve noticed that you are being more direct with people and taking on their ideas head-on. That’s all to the good.

    As to the way candidates are positioned on issues and presented to the pubic… it does go back to real stuff that I’ve seen. Politics is the local industry where I live and work. People would be really surprised how much agreement there is among the ideological extremes, except for the occasional fanatic. You might only get to that over a Single Malt or Straight Kentucky Bourbon, and then there is usually an element of sadness that commonalities just won’t sell.

    On my end I should be looking earlier at what kinds of things I can source easily enough and what is nearly impossible to source. Then I can just acknowledge something as a disagreement and step off.

  30. bobbo, you can think----or decide not to----- says:

    It takes two to harp-and I was quite specific.

    Keep posting, you have a fresh voice.


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