Demo-craven

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Jackass, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Jackass
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    Jackass Active Member

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    I dont usually post in these sections..but thought this was interesting....

    http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/10076.htm
    >
    > DEMO-CRAVEN
    >
    > November 6, 2003 -- AT first glance, the memo just looks like Politics 101
    > - the work of a Democratic staffer advising his colleagues on how to gain
    > partisan advantage over the Republicans. But there's a reason why the
    > document that leaked on Tuesday from the staff of the Senate Select
    > Committee on Intelligence is creating a firestorm in Washington.
    >
    > Some Democrats desperate to stay on offense in the war over the Iraq war
    > have now revealed just how nakedly and cynically partisan their line of
    > attack against the Bush administration has been.
    >
    > The document lays out a Machiavellian strategy for the committee's
    > Democrats to gull, use and then turn on the committee's Republicans.
    >
    > It's a fascinating and clever piece of political strategizing. It says, in
    > essence, that Democrats should con the committee's chairman, Sen. Pat
    > Roberts (R-Kan.), into cooperating with an aggressive political fishing
    > expedition.
    >
    > Democrats should "pull the majority along as far as we can on issues that
    > may lead to major new disclosures regarding improper or questionable
    > conduct by administration officials . . . The fact that the chairman
    > [Roberts] supports our investigations into these offices and co-signs our
    > requests for information is helpful and potentially crucial. We don't know
    > what we will find, but our prospects for getting the access we seek is far
    > greater when we have the backing of the majority."
    >
    > Oh, and they'll do some leaking to reporters, even without proof of
    > administration wrongdoing. "We can verbally mention some of the intriguing
    > leads we are pursuing," the memo says - meaning that as part of their
    > strategy, Democratic staffers are already anticipating the phone calls
    they
    > will make to Walter Pincus of The Washington Post and Seymour Hersh of The
    > New Yorker with all kinds of unsubstantiated innuendo.
    >
    > All the while, as they act as though they are working in a bipartisan
    > fashion with Roberts and the Republicans, Democrats will be preparing to
    > declare the committee's efforts invalid and politicized. The Democrats,
    the
    > memo says, intend eventually to "castigate the majority for seeking to
    > limit the scope of the inquiry."
    >
    > Let's try to follow the logic here. Democrats on the committee are already
    > planning to invalidate an investigation in which they will serve as active
    > participants. Sounds nuts, until you find out that what they really want
    to
    > do is give themselves political cover to "launch an independent
    > investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to
    > usefully collaborate with the majority."
    >
    > The purpose of such an "independent investigation" is purely and simply to
    > trash Bush in time for the election: "We can pull the trigger on an
    > independent investigation at any time - but we can only do so once. The
    > best time to do so will probably be next year." Next year, of course,
    being
    > the election year.
    >
    > "We have an important role to play in the revealing the misleading - if
    not
    > flagrantly dishonest methods and motives - of the senior administration
    > officials who made the case for a unilateral, preemptive war," the memo
    > concludes. "The approach outline above seems to offer the best prospect
    for
    > exposing the administration's dubious motives and methods."
    >
    > Welcome to the world of the prejudged conclusion, in which the purpose of
    > the investigation is not determining the truth but "exposing the
    > administration's dubious motives and methods."
    >
    > In practical terms, these Democrats have now screwed themselves. Pat
    > Roberts now knows what his colleagues across the aisle intend, and what
    > Democratic staffers want to do to him. He has no reason hereafter to serve
    > as front man for the Democratic fishing expedition.
    >
    > But there's a more disturbing aspect to this story than the revelation of
    > cynical Democratic partisanship. The structure of the Senate Select
    > Committee on Intelligence is unique, in part to ensure that staffers and
    > senators do not misuse the classified material to which they are given
    access.
    >
    > That kind of thing happened during the 1970s, when House and Senate
    > committees really did damage to the nation's intelligence capacity. The
    > Senate Select Committee was created in the wake of those fiascoes to try
    to
    > insulate both senators and staff from the temptation to politicize
    > intelligence.
    >
    > The structure was meant to create a bipartisan approach. As a result,
    > senators who belong to the Senate's minority party actually have nearly
    > equal power with the senators in the majority, and - unlike any other
    > Senate committee - the ranking minority senator actually has the authority
    > to run the committee when the chairman is away.
    >
    > With a few exceptions over the years, the Senate Select Committee has been
    > an oasis of reason in an increasing polarized and partisan Washington. Not
    > any more. In their desperate hunger to destroy George W. Bush, they have
    > destroyed the oasis.
     
  2. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Hmmmmm..... figures. Is anyone at all surprised?
     
  3. Aquarian
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    no more suprised than I was at the ken starr fishing expo. Time to clean both dem's and republicans out of office and get some folks in there that work together for the good of the country.
     
  4. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    :clap:
     
  5. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    yes, and you should run for local offices. Both of you.
     
  6. AmericanLiberal
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    AmericanLiberal Rookie

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    :clap: I wholeheartedly agree. Unfortunately, partisan polarization in this country is growing by the month. The latest Pew poll shows the largest gap between Republicans and Democrats in Presidential approval and social values for at least 15 years.
     
  7. X.P. Alidocious
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    Well, you know what they say - power corrupts.
    I don't think getting rid of the current parties
    would solve the problems for long.

    There are a lot of people who switch over to third parties
    or declare themselves independent out of disgust.
    Their party doesn't represent them fully or
    party members are corrupt.

    Well, America now stands for a lot of things I don't
    stand for, and it's full of a lot of corruption, but
    I won't leave it. I love it and I'll do my best
    to make it the best that I can. And that's
    what I think we ought to do with our parties.

    Oppose the corruption inside. Fight it. Use your
    influence to try to mold your party into
    what it should be. Do your best to clean
    your party up before you think of leaving.

    But if it's rotten to the core and nothing you
    do will ever save it or point it towards change,
    well, then perhaps it is time to give up.

    I'm not ready yet, though :)
     
  8. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    a belated welcome to the board from me, AmericanLib and XP.

    XP,
    What do you recommend for "fighting corruption from the inside"? My problem with the political parties is that they are both beholden to big business, and as a result, there is no real difference in policy between the two. I am decidedly on the "left" of the political spectrum, but to my eyes, Clinton was no better than Bush, and i'm not at all convinced that the war in Iraq wouldn't have materialized under Clinton. (Even if he didn't have a penchant with spouting senseless drivel; his penchant was for telling lies and looking sincere.)

    It seems to me that even before any serious reform of the parties can take place, the preferential position of corporations in American Politics must be seriously reduced. Enron was a perfect example: they were receiving unprecedented aid and lifting of environmental and interstate trade regulations under Clinton, but as soon as Bush was elected, Enron was getting presidential invitations to come hang at the whitehouse, and it wasn't until their unraveling started to become public that politicians on both sides of the aisle started to distance themselves from Enron.

    Apart from that, the two party system is a matter of tradition that developed well after the drafting of the Constitution, and I am not at all convinced that a two party system is the best to serve a nation so plural in its diversity. How can two parties represent such a variety of views and needs? It's impossible; the two party system turns interest away from local interests and consolidates power at the federal level. Meanwhile, despite the rift between Republican and Democratic voters, nothing changes in politics, and while people who have a false sense that by voting for the candidate of the other party could fix things they don't like about a current administration, in reality that sense of change is just an illusion. The only aspect which changes is into whose pockets flow the profits. Meanwhile, outsiders who have a real vision for change aren't taken seriously because they don't have the clout of the traditional power syndicates.

    Obviously, I'm not advocating "giving up", as I see almost infinite potential for rectifying the problem, an abandonment of the two party system and Corporate influence as it has developed of the last 150 years couldn't be farther from a call to "give up", to the contrary, a more powerful call for Americans to participate I cannot imagine.
     
  9. X.P. Alidocious
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    Thanks for the welcome :)

    In answer:
    Look at Howard Dean's quick rise to the top. His campaign made use of the Internet and appealed to more of the common
    people than most of the other candidates did. That's one way
    to fight. Support candidates in the party who do stand for
    what you believe in. Fund them if you can, at least campaign
    if you can't. Write letters. Make phone calls. Have debates.
    Write editorials. Keep speaking out.

    Businesses role extends only as far as the public lets it.
    Anyone can run for president. The public tends to vote for
    the best funded candidates, because they've got the
    glamour and because it's easier to get information on them.

    But with the internet, you can make information readily
    available to a lot of people - and popularity itself gets
    people air time and TV time. The media will cover whatever
    it thinks will be big - that's in the public's hands.

    The Federalist Papers, written by James Madison, will
    explain to you why we have and need a two-party system.
    The idea was really there from the time of founding.
    You should be able to find a copy online.

    Having multiple parties seems less effective to me.
    If you look at places like Macedonia and Sweden,
    I think you'll see what I mean. In order for one
    party to get enough votes to win, it must make
    consessions to radicals who would not be elected
    by sensible people. The results are usually not very
    pretty, and the general population is not represented
    half so well as it would've been in a two party system.

    A two party system ensures that the majority in a
    country is represented, while allowing for some
    debate. Major parties do not, however, have to
    make radical concessions.

    Madison explains things better than I can, though.
     
  10. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    Aw, jeez, XP... you're not gonna make me read all 85 of the Federalist Papers, are you? Do i only have to read the ones Madison wrote? That, at least, would narrow it down to 15. Or should we include the ones whose author is in question, between Hamilton and Madison? That would probably double my assignment to 30... :D

    Why do I get the feeling I'm being cowed in with the "radicals"?

    I don't know ANYTHING about politics in Macedonia, so I'm not going to bring it up. But I have been paying close attention to Sweden, and their politics in general. So, if sensible people wouldn't vote for the "radicals", how come they get elected? Oh yeah, they get a percentage representation, just like they get a percentage of the votes. Makes sense to me. Actually, that's how it works here in Spain too. And according to you, ANYONE can run for president in the US (assuming, of course, they get the Repub or Dem nomination... I guess you meant anyone could run for the party nomination...) What then is to prevent a radical from running in the US? Frankly, I'd say we GOT a radical for president. It's funny: here in Europe, they joke how there's two political parties in the US: one representing the "right", and the other, the "far right". Accept nobody laughs when someone tells it because everyone recognizes it as the truth.

    But we should only have two presidential candidates?

    Doesn't that just make it way too easy for big business to get in bed with BOTH candidates: seems like they win either way. And how are we supposed to prevent it? As soon as they sign on to a party, (i.e. receive all that fundraising power...) they are irrevocably in the bed. They owe owe owe, and there's no getting around it.

    My post is sounding a bit further out than I actually am. I think the only help for our country is convincing lots of average joes to run for political office. I plan to participate if I ever get around to coming back, and get established enough that a few people around might recognize me. Something small, like the education board, or something. I think that's where the people start taking it back. For the people, by the people... what a grand ol' dream. When the people are voting for real people, then I'll be satisfied. And if that can be accomplished in a two party system, well that's just fine with me. Of course, Dean getting the dem nod would be a good step in building my confidence. Getting to watch him tapdance in Washington would be the next step, though of course, I reserve judgement 'till the end of his four years. But hey, we're already so far off in hypothetical land, I'm going to go ahead and click my ruby heels... before I start wanting to see what Ralph could do in Washington.
     

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