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Republican Nomination: The End Game

This is a continuation of the topic Herman Cain wins Florida straw poll.

This topic was continued by Republican Nomination: The Middle Game?.

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1steve.clason
Nov 21, 2011, 12:18pm Top

With just a few weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses (January 3rd) the race for the Republican presidential nomination is the most competitive it's been in 40 years.

The LA Times has some poll results showing Gingrich in the lead, followed by Romney then Cain but the three are a dead-heat, statistically -- http://www.latimes.com/news/la-pn-gallup-poll-20111121,0,2323406.story?track=rss...

I predict a Romney victory with a weak 3rd Party emerging from the Republican right, followed by an Obama win.

2timspalding
Edited: Nov 21, 2011, 12:33pm Top

I guess I predict the same as you, but without a third-party challenge.

But I'm starting to wonder whether Romney can remain the option "everyone knows will happen" if he doesn't actually happen. I gather he's ramping up in Iowa, but by no means guaranteed to win. If his efforts there fizzle, and goes on to lose New Hampshire—polls show him tied with Gingrich there!—he's going to lose his inevitability.

I propose a write in—Meghan McCain. She's not qualified and legally under age to be president. But, well, is that worse than Cain or Gingrich?

3steve.clason
Nov 21, 2011, 12:48pm Top

Yeah, all Romney needs is one "Perry moment" and things change -- it's very much a contest.

And if we're writing in candidates not even legally qualified, I'll support a Norah Jones candidacy. Or Natalie Portman, who has executive experience.

4lriley
Nov 21, 2011, 12:49pm Top

I think there's a possibility that Ron Paul makes an independent run. Otherwise I agree that Romney is going to be their guy--not that it matters as I don't see a potential winner in the whole republican field even with Obama's lackluster performance.

5Arctic-Stranger
Nov 21, 2011, 1:08pm Top

Paul is retiring soon, and has nothing to lose by a third party run.

On the other hand, he does not seem to me to be a Nadar-like grandstander.

6lriley
Nov 21, 2011, 2:06pm Top

#5--Paul held his own convention last time around. Of course the other republican candidates in 2008 did their very best to make him look like a joke. Not this time however--so who knows. He fits in the republican party though comparatively like Bernie Sanders fits in with the Democrats--a kind of uneasy alliance.

I've voted for Nader twice and did not view him as a joke. The comment about him being a grandstander--like anyone else running for POTUS is not? Gore left me absolutely cold and Kerry wasn't much better. A major issue for me is economic/trade policy--and Gore, Kerry were definitely on the wrong side of that with the so called free traders--and amongst democrats these are the kinds of people who take the labor vote for granted. Being the lesser evil is hardly a positive point. Nader is not an establishment politician but he is no novice either. He's done a lot of great work in the past and there is little debate which side he's on. He's definitely the progressive left unlike most democrats who only lean left.

7timspalding
Nov 21, 2011, 2:43pm Top

Or Natalie Portman, who has executive experience

Jar-Jar! He's "Proud to Be An American Because We'sah Free!"

Paul is retiring soon, and has nothing to lose by a third party run. On the other hand, he does not seem to me to be a Nadar-like grandstander.

He's done it before. He was the Libertarian Party's nominee in 1988.

8JGL53
Nov 21, 2011, 3:18pm Top

The very best clown at clown college is still a clown.

9BruceCoulson
Nov 21, 2011, 4:04pm Top

A clown from clown college would at least know how to make people laugh...intentionally.

10theoria
Nov 22, 2011, 12:10am Top

"America desperately needs a responsible and compassionate alternative to the Obama administration’s path of bigger government at higher cost. And yet: This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners. When I entered Republican politics, during an earlier period of malaise, in the late seventies and early eighties, the movement got most of the big questions—crime, inflation, the Cold War—right. This time, the party is getting the big questions disastrously wrong."

David Frum, "When did the GOP lose touch with reality?" http://nymag.com/news/politics/conservatives-david-frum-2011-11/

11Lunar
Nov 22, 2011, 12:35am Top

#2: If his efforts there fizzle, and goes on to lose New Hampshire—polls show him tied with Gingrich there!—he's going to lose his inevitability.

The winner in Iowa could be anyone's guess, but I don't think there's much room for doubt that Romney will win New Hampshire. Geography is king and New Hampshire is right on the border with Taxachussetts and they've got plenty of Massholes to help weigh the balance in his favor.

As for the idea of a Ron Paul third-party ticket, he's the only one of the nominees who could actually do it, but I'm not so sure I see him following through with it. He's too nice to his opponents to do that. Otherwise, I don't see why he couldn't use the threat of being a third-party spoiler candidate against the Republicans in the general election as leverage to get himself the Republican nomination. He's in a four-way tie among likely Iowa caucus goers, so it's really all up in the air for now.

12timspalding
Edited: Nov 22, 2011, 10:54am Top

they've got plenty of Massholes to help weigh the balance in his favor

Maybe. But I'm a former Massachusetts person(1) and I don't like him. I mean, I like his politics and general sense of not being qualified and not crazy, but I also remember him as governor, so it's going to really take some doubt-swallowing for me to vote for him. I certainly don't think, if he becomes the candidate, Massachusetts will even be in play.

1. Massholes has a particular cultural resonance, and those people aren't the ones moving to New Hampshire

13JGL53
Nov 22, 2011, 2:58pm Top

> 9

I pretty much view Herman Cain as a professional comedian, (this besides his obvious motivational speaker skills).

Rachel Maddow thinks Herman is an art project - an extremely successful art project that deserves a grade of A.

I am going to predict that he will eventually have one of the most successful shows on the Faux Noise network.

14steve.clason
Nov 23, 2011, 11:46am Top

Gingrich made a big gamble on immigration (or bravely stood by a principle, depending...) last night:
"If you've been here 25 years and you've got three kids and two grandkids, you've been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don't think we're going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out. I don't see how the party that says it's the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families which have been here a quarter-century." BBC

That position sets him apart from the field and could help in an election when the unaffiliated voters take part, but I see it hurting his chances at the nomination.

15theoria
Nov 23, 2011, 11:53am Top

Can't wait for the Family Values Debate.

16theoria
Nov 23, 2011, 12:20pm Top

14 > Devil in details:

Philip Klein, Washington Examiner:

"I asked Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond how he would distinguish Gingrich's immigration position from Romney's, and he passed.

“That’s for you to do decide, you can compare the two of them," Hammond said.

I then asked for his response to the Romney campaign's charge that Gingrich's position was amnesty.

“That is inaccurate on its face," he said. "What it’s saying is that first you have to secure the border. Then after you secure the border, you can explore options for reform. What we learned about in the ’06 debate is comprehensive reform will not work. Neither party was able to move forward a comprehensive bill. You have to secure the border that is the top priority. Gingrich has put it in the 21st Century Contract. He says you can do it within one year.”

I asked him to compare this position to conservatives who would define amnesty as legalizing anybody who had ever come here illegally.

“Newt is for a local, community review board where local citizens can decide whether or not their neighbors that have come here illegally should find a path to legality, not citizenship," he said. "Two distinctly different things.” http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/team-mitt-...

17timspalding
Nov 23, 2011, 1:08pm Top

Yeah, I think Gingrich shouldn't be allowed in the Oval Office, except to visit. But I was impressed by his standing up for some limit to the draconian meanness of immigration law.

18JGL53
Nov 23, 2011, 1:59pm Top

> 16

Reagan was the big amnesty guy.

And he was the one who cut and ran in Lebanon.

And he raised taxes.

And he borrowed and spent like a drunken sailor and increased our national debt like a motherf*cker.

Someone tell me again why the present day republican booby bird worships Reagan like he is a god?

19theoria
Nov 23, 2011, 2:02pm Top

Reagan is a RINO for the pitchfork segment of the base. The candidates only bow down to Ronnie in the presence of Nancy.

20RidgewayGirl
Nov 23, 2011, 2:39pm Top

The Republican field is just wacky this year. Only Romney looks the least bit capable and he has those serial killer eyes and doesn't excite anybody.

Gingrich is hampered by all those things he said when no one was paying much attention, like taking poor children away from their parents and putting them in orphanages, where they can learn janitorial skills and exhibit youthful high spirits.

Remember when Bachman looks like the nutty one?

21timspalding
Nov 23, 2011, 2:44pm Top

those serial killer eyes

Weird. I've never heard that criticism. I find his eyes sort of doe-like.

Gingrich is hampered by all those things…

Not so much the things as the undisciplined mind that could throw them out there. I have to say, however, I don't think he was that crazy on that one. It would be better if every state had a functioning and humane foster care system, but there are definitely some today that fail bad enough that orphanages wouldn't be such a bad option. Orphanages are not ipso facto worse than private homes.

But then I'm in Maine, home of the Cider House Rules' orphanages, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England.

Remember when Bachman looks like the nutty one?

She still does. She still does.

22timspalding
Nov 23, 2011, 2:46pm Top

Also, orphanages would be a good solution to the "Bachman Problem." That crazy person has 23 foster children!

23lriley
Nov 23, 2011, 2:49pm Top

Reagan was a natural born politician. I think he did a lot of damage to this country. FWIW I have a left perspective but I also think Clinton did a lot of damage. Whatever. Obama is a little harder to judge for a couple reasons 1) he's current and there's no real distance perspective and 2) the guy he replaced really handed him a bad deal.

The Obama running for POTUS in 2008 was ahead of the game as far as use of technology--as an example raising money off the internet from ordinary citizens. He questioned economic policies--for example free trade policy. His economic team and the policies they've pursued have been more of the same--not really different than Reagan, Bush 1 , Clinton, Bush 2. It's the Milton Friedman democratic slowed down version of the Milton Friedman republican faster version of a railway to hell that has cost the USA--our country--hundreds of thousand of good paying jobs

The Republicans want to stick it to working people big time. They want to wipe out unions, labor standards, environmental standards no matter how. If you can't call yourself a professional--like a lawyer, doctor, CEO they pretty much don't want to hear anything about rights. You're lucky if anyone will pay you to do anything at all so shut the fuck up. Be grateful for what you can get. The Democrats are caught more in the middle. To be elected they depend on labor votes but there's so much money to be had from the corporations that they take those labor votes for granted. This is where Obama is IMO right now. OWS makes both the republicans and democrats uncomfortable because though it leans left there is an internal critique of both parties in general. Personally I consider myself as left but not necessarily voting democratic--so I'm comfortable with OWS. I won't vote republican though.

24DugsBooks
Edited: Nov 23, 2011, 6:04pm Top

#10 EXACTLY MY SENTIMENTS!!! My pitiful to begin with stock portfolio is down 20% since the Republicans killed the good news of a struggling but positive USA economy with their idiotic grandstanding to protect the VERY wealthy. Combined with the woes in Europe you would think they would think of their electorate instead of their cushy corporate campaign contributions. ::edit:: I am a registered democrat, the dems are not flawless but the Republicans seem to relish and exacerbate the economic problems.

I Like this take on the Republican Debates:

26PaulFoley
Nov 28, 2011, 6:57pm Top

23> The Republicans want to stick it to working people big time.

What rubbish. Republicans no doubt think their preferred policies are better for "working people" than yours. You think your preferred policies are better than a Republican's. You both want what's best; you just disagree about what that is. (And most of the time the Republican is more right than you are...but politicians never actually /implement/ the policies they claim to prefer. Republicans /say/ they want less government, but Republican governments expand faster than Democrat ones.) Your belief that everyone who disagrees with you is just plain evil and out to get you is extremely silly. (Both sides are "evil" in the sense that they think it's good to use violence to achieve their goals, but most of them at least have good goals in mind...never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity.)

27JGL53
Edited: Nov 28, 2011, 7:09pm Top

> 26

Instead of evil many many republicans are just plain ignorant yahoos. I'm talking of the republican base here - it's the republican politicians that are evil.

The republicans who are running for their party's nomination for POTUS don't want to stick it to the poor or middle-class, rather they just don't care about the middle-class. The "little people" are just there to be manipulated into voting against their self interests.

The republican party is the party of the rich, the super rich actually, and the multi-national corporations - i.e., all the people keep them swimming in money.

To a great degree the republican party is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers, Inc.

Yeah - to a degree the same is can be said for the democrats. But the democrats have not sold out 100 per cent yet. The republicans have.

This argument for repub/dem moral equivalence is really getting old now, and is a load of crap. The democrats are bad actors in many ways. The republicans are Satan’s minions. And by Satan I mean evil scum like the Koch brothers.

There is no equivalence. Stop trying to sell that boxcar load of crap. No one is buying it.

28theoria
Edited: Nov 28, 2011, 7:14pm Top

26> I'm not sure how stripping the collective bargaining rights and benefits of unionized employees is "better for working people", even in the Republican imagination. Such policies are intended to be good for businesses.

29AsYouKnow_Bob
Nov 28, 2011, 8:31pm Top

#25 "Cain is toast."

Does Not Follow.

Having an affair has never been an obstacle for a GOP presidential candidate. Didn't hurt Reagan, didn't hurt Dole, didn't hurt McCain; heck, the current GOP front-runner is a serial adulterer.

30timspalding
Nov 28, 2011, 11:29pm Top

No, he's toast. This isn't something that happened years ago, with nobody coming forward. This is quite something else. Besides, he's already way down in the polls. He's toast.

Want to bet some money? :)

31AsYouKnow_Bob
Nov 29, 2011, 12:18am Top

I'm not arguing that his fifteen minutes of fame isn't over; but just that his affair with a Real Live Consenting Woman isn't the reason why.

32timspalding
Nov 29, 2011, 12:40am Top

There is a counter argument—a 14-year affair is practically a family value. I mean, sheesh!

33theoria
Edited: Nov 29, 2011, 12:52am Top

31> Republicans only disapprove interracial infidelity, hence Cain's fall, Newt's rise.

34steve.clason
Nov 29, 2011, 11:17am Top

30> "He's toast."

Yep. For many reasons, some good, some bad, he's toast.

And with Gingrich in the running as the family values candidate by an influential group that wouldn't even consider Romney, I'd say the Republican Party is coming unraveled -- things are getting real ugly, at least.

http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/11/22/the-family-leader-narrows-endor...

Jar-jar starts looking better and better.

35BruceCoulson
Nov 29, 2011, 11:48am Top

I prefer Darth-Darth Binks...

36ABVR
Edited: Nov 29, 2011, 12:16pm Top

> 25, 29-34

Oddly, I was in the midst of this exchange when the following popped into my email:

NY Times: Cain Reassessing Candidacy

(Edited to fix HTML)

37RidgewayGirl
Nov 29, 2011, 12:41pm Top

There's something bizarre about a candidate who can survive sexual harassment allegations from several women, but be derailed by a consensual relationship.

The radio guy on when I was in my car says she's a slut and should have kept her mouth shut. No comment to the effect that maybe Cain should have kept it in his pants if he wanted to run for office (or, you know, for ethical reasons), but much about how the woman he had an affair with ruined his life and it was totally not his fault. Sigh.

38BruceCoulson
Nov 29, 2011, 4:01pm Top

It's always the woman's fault; that's been the case since Adam and Eve. We men are pure creatures who are lured into wrongdoing by evil temptresses...

Of course, not blaming the men in these sorts of cases has a lot to do with the above line of 'logic'. If your actions are supported, then clearly you're not to blame.

39JGL53
Edited: Nov 29, 2011, 5:20pm Top

> 33 "Republicans only disapprove interracial infidelity, hence Cain's fall, Newt's rise."

That seems to be the case. This last woman coming forward as Cain's long-time paramour is not even icing on the cake. She's barely the cherry on top.

Cain was dead on arrival after all the blonde victims of his heavy-handed sexual overtures came forward with their stories of horror.

Thomas Dixon warned the republicans about this sort of thing. When Cain turned out to be a "Where de white women at?" stereotype from Blazing Saddles I'm sure most republican whities weren't that shocked.

Cain is toast. BURNT toast.

(Get it?)


40faceinbook
Nov 29, 2011, 7:11pm Top

Really ? Does anyone think Cain is stupid enough to end a 14 yr affair eight months before a run for Republican presidental candidate ?
I don't particuarly like the guy....too much money...too much power...probably very crass when it comes to women. But this last one ? Really ??
Don't like women who wait till a prime time moment to come forward either. Makes it harder for all women who are abused by men in position of power.
and yes, for the most part the accusers were blond...didn't much care for that either. This last one has a history of this kind of thing....in fact a couple of them did. Nothing enrages the Great White Male like the thought of a blond with a Black man. Remember the Obama thing with the blond. Was totally stereo typical and old as the hills but I am sure it sent shutters down the spine of many a good ole boy.

But then, maybe Cain is arrogant enough, if not stupid, to think he could get to the top with all this history behind him.

IMO Cain wasn't serious about this anyway and he may not have cared if this all came out. None of it seems like criminal behavior. A man with power and money being an ass to those who are in under his control is not such a stretch.... especially to women, those temptresses who are always trying to sell that forbidden fruit.

41JGL53
Nov 29, 2011, 7:16pm Top

> 40

I think I pegged it pretty much back at post #13.

Would you disagree?

42steve.clason
Nov 29, 2011, 7:26pm Top

Moving along now to Gingrich, conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post suspects he is not presidential material:
Gingrich’s serial adultery and his current hypocrisy suggest not a immoral man, but an amoral one. Rules, shame, punishment, consistency and transparency are abstractions for him, tools to be wielded against political opponents while his own supposed brilliance and patriotism exempt him from the standards that mere pols must follow. Really, is this a person whose values and judgment you’d trust to manage a charity or hold a leadership position in your church, let alone occupy the Oval Office?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/gingrich-a-gold-medal-in-hyp...

She's a Republican and this is the primary season. Imagine what a vicious Democrat might say. Are there any vicious Democrats?

43AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Nov 29, 2011, 8:09pm Top

steve.clason at #42: Yeah, Newt was in the news today defending Cain - basically asking "What's the problem? *I* certainly don't see any problem here."

Hilarious.

Ridgeway Girl at #37: There's something bizarre about a candidate who can survive sexual harassment allegations from several women, but be derailed by a consensual relationship.

The point was made when the stories of harassment started to surface: the 'base' (Republican primary voters) don't believe "sexual harassment" even exists.

(Edited to add) Ah, here it is, from Slate, back on Nov. 4th: Never Happened: Conservatives aren’t just defending Herman Cain. They’re denying the very existence of sexual harassment.

45timspalding
Edited: Dec 1, 2011, 8:55am Top

the 'base' (Republican primary voters) don't believe "sexual harassment" even exists

Oh, come on, Bob. You don't really believe that. Yes, some conservatives—many Democrats too—are suspicious of claims made against "their" guys which can be described by someone as an unwanted advance. (Please, let's just roll the tape back a bit on history and look what democrats were saying about Clinton's sexual harassment cases, not to mention the impropriety of sexual favors from a much younger, powerless employee.) But, if they believed the allegations, republican voters would hardly be happy with a candidate who shoves someone's head down to their crotch.

Why is this a big deal? Because it's another thing, and because it's not deniable. A 14-year affair isn't an indiscretion. It's not a lapse. It's not a he-said/she-said. It's a second life—a life we didn't know about. It's cuts to a question of character much as Edward's affairs did.

46faceinbook
Dec 1, 2011, 9:59am Top

>45 timspalding:

http://www.answers.com/topic/how-did-franklin-d-roosevelt-s-mistress-affect-his-...

An affair only defines character if we insist on using our personal definition as to what a marriage should be. The contract is between two people, how they agree to observe it is their business, not ours to judge.
Neither party, the wife, not the mistress are claiming abuse or misconduct ? At least not yet...not until the lawyers start circling the scene.

Sexual misconduct is one thing, sexual behavior is another. We seem to be getting the two mixed up. When this happens, it makes it more difficult for those who are the target of sexual misconduct.

47timspalding
Edited: Dec 1, 2011, 10:55am Top

if we insist on using our personal definition as to what a marriage should be

Cain is a Southern Baptist. He has previously expressed "family values" language on many occasions. While it is theoretically possible that he and his wife are swingers, being such would be, at least, hypocrisy. And I don't think anyone really believes his wife is fine with a 13-year mistress. There is, again, a big difference between slipping in one's marriage—family values people are perfectly aware this happens—and having a 13-year mistress.

"Judging" is indeed not something we should do. I have no idea where Cain's soul stands with God. But I'm less inclined to vote for someone who's lead a double-life for so long, because people who lead double lives in one area of their life find it easier to do so in others, and I want the president I elect, not his doppelgänger. Further, I'm terrified that he was so arrogant and unrealistic to think they'd get away with it, running for president. Of course, I also think he's completely unqualified for the job, and ideologically unsuitable too, so my opposition to him is over-determined.

48faceinbook
Dec 1, 2011, 12:01pm Top

>47 timspalding:
I do not support Cain.....not in the least.

Just don't think we should look at the relationship between two adults and make determinations regarding their charaters based on what it looks like from the outside. Is Mrs. Cain having an affair as well ? Did they decide to stay married for financial concerns or reasons of health ? There are all types of situations within a marriage that would make sense in one respect and not another.
Has he been leading a "double" life or is the mistress part and parcle of Mr and Mrs. Cain's life ? We don't know these things.
Had Cain's wife come forward, an outraged partner.....that is one thing..this is different.
As for the Edwards , I liked Mrs Edwards but she was not outraged until it was clear that he wasn't going to be a viable candidate....she knew before he ran. She made a personal decision to keep it to herself. That was her choice. A choice which reflects on her character as well.

didn't like it when they did it to Clinton either. Despite how we might view the Clinton's and their marriage, Chelsie Clinton is a class act....a lot of time and love were invested. Yet we make all kinds of assumptions about how their marriage should be or what it should look like.
"family values" doesn't always mean a marriage as we would like it to be defined as everyone's definition of "family values" is not the same. A man who works 24/7 and invests most of his time making money while spending little time with his children might argue that he is upholding his sense of family values. I see that differently.... at some point time spent with family is more important that money brought to the relationship.

If we are going to start using sexual behaviors as a determining factor as to whether a man is able to do a good job at what he does.......we are going to find ourselves with a whole lot of job openings. Maybe a good idea ? Would free up the job market a bit.

As for the religious aspect....my suggestion would be not to even go there.

49timspalding
Dec 1, 2011, 12:30pm Top

>48 faceinbook:

Some data:
Fox: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/on-the-record/2011/11/15/herman-cains-wife-stands-...
Associated Press: http://newsone.com/nation/associatedpress7/cain-wife-decides-campaign-fate/

I think it's clear they don't have an open marriage. She's out there as someone who "will not be one of those people who will stand up on stage with a smile and knowing that you were wrong. I'm not going to do that." They haven't seen each other since the latest allegations surfaced. I'm betting she makes it clear to him that the campaign's over.

50faceinbook
Dec 1, 2011, 1:11pm Top

>49 timspalding:
Very well could be....none of our business none the less.

This is still a "she said"....."he said" situation....not all that happy that the media has decided who is right and who is wrong. OR that it is any of our business.

Guess what it all comes down to is mud slinging about sex and personal issues. Obviously, I don't want a criminal in the office of President or Vice President (although we've had a few of those, with far greater consequences to our country than the actions of those who had sexual indiscretions) but I do not like the media madness that can now determine what kind of job a person is able to do as puplic official based on enuendos, lies and or dirty little truths about their personal lives, especially sex....something most people will lie about anyway, both to the good and the bad.
This attitude led to the whole Clinton debacle, which to this day, I think was a set-up and led to a further decline in the respect of the office of Presidency. Clinton was not a bad President....he may have been a bad husband but then again, he is still married......who are we to say ? Hillary would be the ONLY judge of that.
Kennedy would have never been President if we had the media then that we are experiencing now. Some may be O.K. with that but it goes both ways....I'm sure there were just as many on the Right as on the Left who were not squeaky clean.

When it comes to the sex lives of our leaders ,we seem to be looking for saints rather than statesmen . We didn't pay much attention to Cheney's affiliation with Halliburton or the crimes he committed prior to taking office....if he would have had an affair that somehow was leaked, he may not have made it that far.
Although there are no words to articulate how much I wish that would have been the case, I seriously believe that it should have been his propensity to commit immoral acts around his business dealings that were most important, not his sexual life. His "character flaws" had a far more destructive effect on me as a citizen of the U.S.A. than Clinton's did.

An aside : The thought of Cheney having an affair is mind boggling ! At least someone having an affair is viewed by another human being as worthy of affection, not sure Cheney could pull it off. ;)

51timspalding
Dec 1, 2011, 1:24pm Top

Cheney having sex at all was a health risk, and should have been considered a national security issue.

52faceinbook
Dec 1, 2011, 1:35pm Top

53Arctic-Stranger
Dec 1, 2011, 2:25pm Top

ALL public figures lead some kind of private life that few people know about. That said, the private life does not have to be an affair, or anything sordid. Imagine the Alaska politician who secretly likes opera, and spends Sunday's with Verdi. Or the minister who always votes in one direction, but never talks about politics because they don't think they should mix religion and politics. Or the Boston liberal who likes to secretly go hunting in New Hampshire (and who, for the sake of argument, has public positions on gun control that does not conflict with his secret hobby).

I have known a few ministers or politicians who were pretty open about everything in their lives, but not many. But most of the "secrets" are pretty boring.

The problem is when the secrets are in conflict the with public persona. If I hunt in secret, but push to ban all guns, that is a problem.

And if I present myself as a "family values" type guy, but have an on-going affair (I am more than willing to over look a lapse) then there is a major problem. However, as a minister and chaplain I got to go behind a LOT of private curtains in my time, and one thing I learned is to not judge people for their actions. (Almost everybody has rational reasons for almost everything they do--rational to them anyway, and if you understand the full content of their lives, you can usually see their reasoning.)

But my reasons for not voting for Cain have nothing to do with his affair. I don't like his politics. That he is in this mess I find more convenient than anything.

54BruceCoulson
Dec 1, 2011, 4:18pm Top

I think it's the hypocrisy, more than anything else, that annoys people.

Keeping secret your love for opera because your constituents will draw unflattering conclusions is sad; but not per se hypocrtical. (Sad in the sense that I understand why our hypothetical subject feels it is necessary, and even agree with their reasons; but has to hide a part of themselves.)

Staying 'in the closet' because you're afraid of the repercussions is a personal decision.

But condemning a behavior, while continually practicing it in secret, is blatant hypocrisy; a stance which says "Do as I say; not as I do."

55steve.clason
Dec 1, 2011, 6:05pm Top

54> "I think it's the hypocrisy, more than anything else, that annoys people."

I've been wondering about that. A 2010 article in Esquire (http://www.esquire.com/features/newt-gingrich-0910) has this:
He {Gingrich} asked her {his second wife, Marianne} to just tolerate the affair {with his now-third wife}, an offer she refused.

He'd just returned from Erie, Pennsylvania, where he'd given a speech full of high sentiments about compassion and family values.

The next night, they sat talking out on their back patio in Georgia. She said, "How do you give that speech and do what you're doing?"

"It doesn't matter what I do," he answered. "People need to hear what I have to say. There's no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn't matter what I live."

Gingrich is a hypocrite as a matter of principle -- yet, there he is, leading the polls. So, I wonder if hypocrisy isn't a middle-class values that's disappearing as fast as the middle-class. We get it from political, business, and religious leaders, and it's the very stuff of television (consider "reality" shows and advertising). The response to politician X is a hypocrite is more likely "Duh" than "OMG".

(Q: How can you tell if a politician is lying?
A: See if he's moving his lips.)

Even though I share the disgust at hypocrisy, I suspect it just marks me as last year's man.

56faceinbook
Dec 1, 2011, 6:46pm Top

Why is it that we insist on our candidates proclaiming to have "family values" in the first place. Not saying that the way a candidate conducts his personal life isn't important but we've elevated that principle to a level that, given the life style of our current society, is almost impossible to achieve.

It seems as if we keep expecting to hear something from these people so that we can then hold them up as hypocrits.......Gingrich doesn't have to "say" anything about his track record in so far as family goes, the evidence is there, why then does he feel he has to ??

I think it is hypocrital to hold someone to a standard we ourselves are not willing to live up to.
Though, family is important I'm not all that sure that the way one conducts their family life is always indicative of one's talents and/or abilities. In fact some of the most talented individuals are horrible at relationships.

If we want clean, we need to insist that candidates have never been divorced, are not gay (as the life style sometimes lends itself to youthful behavior that may be objectionable) and of course married. Otherwise we will be dealing in shades of right or wrong and tons of hypocrisy.

Again, criminal behavior is one thing, messing up one's relationships is another.

57steve.clason
Edited: Dec 1, 2011, 7:03pm Top

56> "Why is it that we insist on our candidates proclaiming to have "family values" in the first place."

I'm not sure WE do. The Christian Right is part of the Republican core and THEY insist on it, so candidates seeking their support are motivated to proclaim their allegiance to values they may not hold. It's not our hypocrisy that matters -- it's theirs, and we are justified in expecting a candidate for political office to do what he says he's going to do. Because we vote for them and not the other Shmoe because of what they say they're going to do.

Edited so it makes sense.

58faceinbook
Dec 1, 2011, 9:00pm Top

Well, the Christian Right is going to find itself in dire straights this coming election...it they walk away from Cain cause he cheats on his wife, they can't very well vote for Gingrich now can they ? Or will they grant Gingrich a pass for some hypocritical reason ?

59prosfilaes
Dec 1, 2011, 9:13pm Top

#45: I think the article in #43 makes its case. You can argue there's a difference between the speakers in the article and the "base", but they didn't seem to pick uninfluential speakers. I don't think you can argue they really believe in "sexual harassment"; they don't go as far as to deny it in theory, but they're pretty clear that in practice, if you claim sexual harassment, you're a liar.

republican voters would hardly be happy with a candidate who shoves someone's head down to their crotch.

Which steps into the assault range. That Republicans would not be happy with a candidate who engages in assault is a good thing, but hardly talks to the sexual harassment issues.

60timspalding
Dec 1, 2011, 9:32pm Top

Right, but what was alleged was more like assault.

61steve.clason
Dec 1, 2011, 11:12pm Top

58> "...it they walk away from Cain cause he cheats on his wife, they can't very well vote for Gingrich now can they ?"

Gingrich repented. From McClatchy:
Larry Morris, 61, an evangelical Christian from West Des Moines, said he recently decided to support Gingrich after concluding that he had "truly repented" and been forgiven. "We are told and we believe that when we repent God remembers our sins no more," he said.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/11/29/131696/gop-conservatives-confront-a-dilemm...

And then:
"What I read into it was, he wasn't denying the allegation, but it didn't involve sexual harassment so it didn't rise to the level of being discussable," said Land. "Mr. Cain is running as the family values candidate, and when you're the family values candidate, you better understand you are asking to be judged by a different standard."


As sinners, they are very different, and before you scoff, remember that (same source) "Evangelical voters are expected to cast about half the votes in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses." "Family Values" are a real part of the US political environment whether we like it or not.

62SimonW11
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 5:21pm Top

56> "If we want clean, we need to insist that candidates have never been divorced, are not gay (as the life style sometimes lends itself to youthful behavior that may be objectionable)"

would you like to reconsider that, after all hetrosexual life styles sometimes lead to youthfull behaviour that may be objectionable, and gay life styles vary just as straight people do. not every gay man spends his time in bath houses any more than all straight men attend wife swapping parties.

63Lunar
Dec 2, 2011, 6:33am Top

#58: Or will they grant Gingrich a pass for some hypocritical reason ?

Gingrich's skeletons came out years ago, so no shock value typical of breaking news. Time wounds all heels.

64faceinbook
Dec 2, 2011, 8:37am Top

>62 SimonW11:
Didn't phrase that very well
Perception is all.....what young straight men do, though similar if not the same as homosexual men, is viewed differently.
A single straight man will not bring to mind the same perceived "horrors" as a single homosexual man. Though the conduct of the second may be far worse than that of the first.

Guess I was just pointing out the propensity of the FAR Christian Right to worry about a matter such as sexual orientation.

>63 Lunar:
Yes Gingrich's baggage is "old" news but it is the "same" news none the less.

I still don't believe that the affair's and marriages of Gingrich will be his Waterloo come election time. His $500,000.00 charge card bill from Tiffany's is going to be more problematic ! This issue is not so "old" and it seems the new wife enjoys a life style that will keep this type of thing current.

65RidgewayGirl
Dec 2, 2011, 10:57am Top

Considering how Fox has been talking about Barney Frank, I suspect an absolutely celibate gay man would be more difficult for the Republican party than a serial adulterer, as long as said adulterer were a middle-aged white guy.

66timspalding
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 12:43pm Top

an absolutely celibate gay man

Since when? His sexual scandal raised some questions about him too. Cain has not admitted allowing a prostitute he had hired to live in and then serve other clients out of his home. No doubt much of the hatred toward him is ultimately about being gay, but that's a doozy of a misstep.

67theoria
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 12:58pm Top

Apparently, Newt has "one strike" of marital infidelity left, then he's done. Cain's extra-marital affairs can be finessed as at least showing "commitment": after all, he maintain his affair for 12 years. Hello Mitterand!

The real problem for Republicans is that they've branded themselves as the Family Values Party and pontificate about this ad nauseum. When individual politicians fail to live up to these lofty standards, the fall is, or should, be very steep.

From the outside looking in, however, "family values" is a bogus category, it has no meaning apart from being a weapon in one's arsenal of political rhetoric. The value of family values is purely instrumental, it has been an effective stick with which to beat Democratic politicians about the face; it is a virtual truncheon that leaves no physical mark, but symbolically scars the body of the victim of the attack with the stigmata of iniquity. The media (the so-called 4th Estate watchdog and defender of the Truth) laps this stuff up because two word phrases make excellent sound bites and can fit comfortably into 5 minute discussion segments. Family values entrepreneurs have proliferated and can be produced as "experts" on a moment's notice. Politicized conservative Christianity is big business, ever since the likes of Schlafly, Robertson, and Falwell first drew blood in their battles against modernity. This bubble has lasted over forty years and shows no signs of bursting.

68timspalding
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 1:41pm Top

however, "family values" is a bogus category, it has no meaning apart from being a weapon in one's arsenal of political rhetoric

I'd disagree. For example, allowing gays to adopt and marry would be a "family value." I think you'd agree, if you weren't too busy trying to win an argument by denying that concepts have meaning that any monkey from Mars could see can indeed have meaning. As often in political and religious discussion, "that's meaningless!" is not actually the superlative of "I disagree."

69BruceCoulson
Dec 2, 2011, 2:14pm Top

The problem with a lot of terms being used in today's speeches is that they are poorly defined (undoubtedly intentionally). 'Family Values' is a term that people interpret in many ways. Letting gays get married? A family value, promoting formation of families. Preventing gays from getting married or adopting? A family value, preserving the sanctity of marriage and maintain healthy, stable families.

The problem is not that these phrases are meaningless; it's that they have entirely too many meanings.

70faceinbook
Dec 2, 2011, 2:35pm Top

>69 BruceCoulson:
Good point. Tried to say the same thing in a different way. "Family values" mean different things depending as to who is interpreting what those values may be and where one places their priorities.
Given the number of scenerios that constitute a "family" today, the phrase has lost a generic meaning and tends to be viewed through a lens of personal beliefs.
Should judging a person's JOB performance based on what you believe his FAMILY performance be a valid part of the political process ? Criminal behavior is one thing but the he said she said is pretty personal and open to all kinds of garbage that is really not productive to solving the issues we are facing as a nation.

Lawerence O'Donnell spent almost 20 minutes with Herman Cain's mistress last evening.....I got so sick of it I turned to Jon Stewart for the rest of the news, as to me, they are about equal. I simply do not care about Cain's love life.....he was a very successful business man, he obviously wasn't missing in action when it came to doing his job. Don't really care for him and I don't think he is qualified to be a sitting President but the whole muck digging and news flashing was not how I formed my opinion.....in fact, when this stuff happens, I tend to form a negative opinion on the ones who are throwing out all the accusations. Would bet most anything I own that those who are pointing the longest and shouting the loudest are the one's who have the most in their own closets.

71theoria
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 2:49pm Top

69> It's an empty signifier (to use the jargon) that can be filled with whatever reference that gives one a perceived advantage at any moment in the ideological struggle. It also has meaning -- an observable, invariant one -- as a discursive weapon to which people respond (like dogs respond to a dog whistle). Beyond that, I'm doubtful.

72Arctic-Stranger
Dec 2, 2011, 2:55pm Top

Two months ago my girlfriend had to meet my son in Seattle as he was flying back from North Carolina, so he could get back in time for school. (His previous flight was cancelled, and since he was an unaccompanied minor, he could not change airlines. She was flying that same day, changed her plans, and flew him back.)

She had her daughter with her.

As she was landing she thought, "Here I am, with my boyfriends son. At the airport are my boyfriend, to meet me, his wife to pick up their son, and my daughter's girl friend."

Family values. As Gingrich does, but not as he says.

(I am still married so my wife will have insurance benefits, although she recently found a job *hurrah* and we can get on with our separate lives.)

73WordMaven
Dec 2, 2011, 3:11pm Top

33> The woman who came forward with news of the 12-yr affair with Cain isn't a white woman; she's a light-skinned black woman. There's nothing "interracial" about it.

Womanizing has nothing to do with race. Clinton, Cain, Gengrich, Mitterand, the list is endless. Liars are of every stripe as well: dems, republicans, you name it.

It's not about "family values." It's about the candidate's character. Talk is cheap, but our actions define our character. So if a man lies to and cheats on the person he's closest to (spouse), he'll lie to all the rest of us. Yes, we all lie at some time for some reason or another, but why would you want to vote for someone who you know already and up front is constitutionally incapable of honesty?

74Arctic-Stranger
Dec 2, 2011, 3:18pm Top

We really don't want our politicians to be honest with us. We elect people and re-elect people on the basis that they will not be totally truthful.

We can end the deficit and not raise taxes or mess with entitlements.

You can have good government and almost no taxes.

We are winning the war on drugs.

We can preserve your civil rights, and keep you protected from all things you don't want to see or experience.

As a politician, I can fix everything.

I will never do anything you do not like.

75theoria
Dec 2, 2011, 3:29pm Top

74> yes to all that.

73> I stand corrected, thanks.

76faceinbook
Dec 2, 2011, 3:45pm Top

>73 WordMaven:
The "front runners" were blonds....the one's who started complaining about Cain's behavior.

More upset that Cain gave money to someone without telling his wife than the lie about the sex. That speaks more about his character than the alleged affair. At least to me it does.

Statically, many people will lie about sex. They will exaggerate or they will minimize. That is why they used Monica against Clinton....a sure fire way to get him to "lie" under oath.

Would rather have a lie about sex than a lot of lies about "weapons of mass distruction" As far as I know neither Cheney nor Bush was caught in a lie about their sexual lives. But then, it doesn't seem to have been all that important. I don't think that the Left is as concerned about that in the first place.
Some may be, but not to the point of trying to impeach a sitting President. Would suggest that the pat answer "He lied under oath" not be toted out at this point in time.
We can't even get anyone to make Cheney and Bush take an oath about their lies.

Just looks silly to start pontificating about liers after the 2000 thru 2008 administration....Really !

Sex is personal and unless there is some type of misconduct, should be between the consenting adults who are directly involved. If some one mistreats you at work....best to report it immediately, if you don't, you look like the string of blonds who started whistle blowing on Cain years after the incidents. Sad but true !

77BruceCoulson
Dec 2, 2011, 4:29pm Top

I'm not entirely sure that 'personal character' has that much to do with professional qualifications for a job. I'm sure we can all think of people whose personal actions were dubious or even reprehensible; and yet were quite capable (and acknowledged as such) in their professional service.

Just as the reverse can also be true; someone can have a sterling personal moral character, and yet be terribly wrong in their professional actions.

78steve.clason
Dec 2, 2011, 6:07pm Top

We all knew Gingrich's senior staff quit in June, but I, for one, didn't get that he hadn't built things back up. From the Associated Press (via Google News):
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gPqhCf-mOvB8BLSgzGs54hd5ThLw?d...

"Although his team says fundraising has improved in recent weeks, Gingrich trailed during the most recent July-through-September fundraising quarter. He raised roughly $807,000 in contributions during that period, while Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry brought in more than $14 million apiece."

Besides money, he's also way behind in hiring staff and recruiting volunteers, putting him at a severe disadvantage, unless his strategy of plugging in to the Tea Party organization structure and trying to do as much as possible via Twitter and Facebook can pay off.

No doubt contributions have picked up, but the serious people with serious money aren't going to give him any unless they think he can win both the nomination and the election, and in the election, when the independent voters become decisive, he's really vulnerable from many angles. Romney is vulnerable too, but mainly to the accusations that he's not really conservative (accusations which are true -- he resides center-right) and that he's not really a Christian (yes, many evangelicals believe that Mormons are not Christians, more than believe that Catholics are not Christians), and those issues are salient only to conservative voters.

79Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 2, 2011, 8:44pm Top

"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works," the former House speaker said at a campaign event at the Nationwide Insurance offices. "So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57335118-503544/newt-gingrich-poor-kids-d...

80timspalding
Dec 2, 2011, 9:38pm Top

So, what Republican can get into the race now? Anyone? Who has the stature to do it? Because I think the situation is so desperate for many republican voters that they'd be willing to sweep a legitimate, non-crazy and qualified non-Romney into the convention on write-in votes alone.

81steve.clason
Dec 2, 2011, 9:39pm Top

79> I listened to the whole thing yesterday and thought at the time that he raised a decent idea, not great, but something worth exploring a little, but delivered in way that way that seemed calculated to cause offense.

Obviously he was pandering to a Iowa campaign audience, but did he think that no one else would find out what he said? Some pundit somewhere said "Sooner or later Newt is going to do something Newt-ish and then it will be all over for him, too" (or words to that effect). This isn't going to do him in, but it's the kind of thing that's going to keep big donors away. Doesn't the man have ANY self-control.

82Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 2, 2011, 10:05pm Top

I normally don't like Borowitz much at all, but this is pretty funny.

83theoria
Dec 2, 2011, 11:13pm Top

Does Gingrich think removing child labour laws will reduce unemployment? Or is this another trial balloon like the one he floated in the mid-90s about removing poor children from their families and placing them in orphanages? What a risible lot the Republicans are offering this time around.

84AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Dec 2, 2011, 11:34pm Top

Well, in Gingrich's example, child labor has the added benefit of hurting (mostly unionized) school janitors.

So it's really a very clever twofer.

85DugsBooks
Dec 3, 2011, 12:43am Top

On Cain.... I think his biggest mistake is announcing he is withdrawing from the presidential race before his "face to face" with his wife. The secret service body guards will not be there during the face to face!!!

86steve.clason
Dec 3, 2011, 12:44am Top

The DesMoines Register has a poll with Cain at a toasty 8%.

http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/12/02/iowa-poll-cain-support-in-iowa-...

87SimonW11
Dec 3, 2011, 2:20am Top

88SimonW11
Edited: Dec 3, 2011, 2:49am Top

So many left wing opinions on the republican candidates, could a right winger voice a personal preference and a prediction.

89faceinbook
Dec 3, 2011, 8:48am Top

>81 steve.clason: Nothing excites the Far Right like the thought of kicking someone when they are down. Strange phenomenon but works most every time. Poor OR sick, doesn't seem to matter much.

>82 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
Yep, you can lie about most anything up to and including "smoking guns" and "mushroom clouds"....you will be forgiven. Lie about your sex life ? You are toast ! All about priorities I guess.

Voters have moved past Gingrich's sexual behavior but as I said before, he is going to run into a wall when it comes to his elitist attitudes and life style. Unless of course he has an affair between now and Nov. 2012.

What is amazing is the fact that I do not believe most of the blow back is coming from the Left. The Right is self destructing in a grand manner.....on public television. Something that tends to happen when one is unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions and try to change course.....they seem intent on promoting 1980's politics in the 2000s, with the camera's rolling. Prior policies have failed so spectacularly...how on earth do they think people are going to "fall" for the same failed policies ?
Those who are participating in OWS are the "in your face" evidence that this is NOT going to work. It appears that instead of actually "getting it".....the Republican's are going to start doing what they do best, assume that the people out there are A. Poor B. Stupid C. Unclean and D. Easily dismissed. (just watch how you say things and we can fool them again ? Not so much) Don't think it will work this time.

>88 SimonW11:
As I think balance in everything is important, it saddens me to see a lack of a popular principled Republican in the race, however, if one reflects on how the Republicans have acted since 2000, it is not so surprising. Who would want to step into the lion's den they have created ? Would have to be someone very very special cause it is not going to be easy to deal with all of the ire that has accumulated since Obama took office while trying to please a voting base that HATES Obama for everything and anything. They have kind of boxed themselves into a corner.... as nothing much has been mentioned in the media about the positive accomplishments of this administration, no suggestions of making any of Obama's policies better is going to fly, they have to promise to destroy everything Obama has done, which is quite radical.
It is a mess ! I grew up in a Republican household. This is not the Party that my dad and I often had heated discussions about....this Party would make my dad feel rather ill, I believe.

90AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Dec 3, 2011, 9:49am Top

Oh, Herman Cain...
So, the guy is caught out in accusations of numerous sexual irregularities.
And there are what? say, easily A MILLION PLACES to give a speech in this country...

So where does Cain pick to give a speech denying his sexual irregularities?

Noplace but Hillsdale College.

And what is Hillsdale College MOST famous for??? (Heck, what's the ONLY thing that Hillsdale is famous for?)


Does nobody on his staff have a long-term memory?

You couldn't write comedy like that. It'd be like Gingrich giving a speech at Tiffany's to deny that he's an elitist; or maybe Romney going to Nauvoo to talk about how mainstream LDS is. (Or maybe Bachman giving a speech about anything at a mental health clinic.)

91steve.clason
Dec 3, 2011, 12:01pm Top

88> "So many left wing opinions on the republican candidates, could a right winger voice a personal preference and a prediction."

If that's a question, SimonW11, I'd welcome a stated preference. And not everyone slamming this thread is left wing, but we do loosely unite around disdain for the crop of Republican candidates. Or have up 'til now.

92theoria
Dec 3, 2011, 12:43pm Top

93theoria
Dec 3, 2011, 1:46pm Top

The Cain wreck touched on all the right Tea Party Republican themes: disdain for public service, anti-intellectualism, media bashing, disgust for political elites, claim of victimhood status, God, the Good Wife, pundits.

He's out, but he has a new website.

94timspalding
Edited: Dec 3, 2011, 1:54pm Top

What website?

Ah. Got it. Sad. I wonder what becomes of him. Talks for money, I suppose.

If it's not Huntsman's turn, can we start a write-in campaign yet?

95JGL53
Edited: Dec 3, 2011, 1:55pm Top

> 92

There's another youtube video about Herman explaining that, among his many knowledge bases, he is a accomplished rocket scientist.

Too bad he couldn't keep his rocket in his pocket.

96theoria
Dec 3, 2011, 1:58pm Top

95> I wonder if he knows 'plan B' is a 'morning after pill'.

97JGL53
Dec 3, 2011, 2:04pm Top

> 96

I think plan B for Herman will be to cash out and fade ever so gently into the sunset - except, of course, for the five figure "motivational" speaker's fees. He and George Bush, Jr. and Zig Zigler all might become great buddies in time.

98faceinbook
Dec 3, 2011, 2:08pm Top

>90 AsYouKnow_Bob:
Since I view Cain's entire campaign as a piece of performance art....the choice of setting for his speech is spot on ! If you think about it. Probably was HIS choice.

99JGL53
Edited: Dec 3, 2011, 2:10pm Top

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/03/herman-cain-suspending-presidential-cam...

You puts your right hand in,
You puts your right hand out,
You puts your right hand in,
And you shake "it" all about,

You do the hokey pokey
and you turn yourself around
That what it's all about.

Bye-Bye, Herm. You were only an Avis to Bill Clinton's Hertz, but we will never forget you.

100DugsBooks
Dec 3, 2011, 2:13pm Top

I hope Cain had that "face to face" meeting with his wife while he still had Secret Service protection.  I hear this is his new non- campaign theme song, My Wife by The Who

101theoria
Dec 3, 2011, 2:31pm Top

twitterfeed:

"Plan B: for unwanted Presidencies"

102faceinbook
Dec 3, 2011, 2:43pm Top

What the Right needs in a candidate for 2012

1. Someone willing to dismantle everything and anything accomplished since 2008 and "redo" it.
2. An individual with no sexual past....a eunuch would be idea. Although a few adopted children and a dog would be beneficial.
3. A card carrying member of the "Regan Fan Club" preferably has a picture of the man hanging somewhere in his private residence.
4. Must have proven record of inflexability....show no weakness and offer no compromise.
6. Future candidate must abhor the death of the unborn but feel benevolence for those who feel compelled to own sub machine guns so as to "protect" themselves.
8. Must show a dedicated desire to preserve the "sanctity" of marriage no matter what his own circumstances, single, divorced or miserably partnered as the sanctity of marriage is more about sexual identity than anything else.
5. Flag pin must be firmly attached to lapel in full view. Displaying a well worn Bible now and again may be of some assistance to electability
7. Must proclaim Chirst as his Saviour yet show little or no humility (must NOT under any circumstances "bow" to anyone we currently disagree with, not even on THEIR territory...a cold shoulder and stiff response is always most productive) as this can be viewed as a sign of weakness.

Any additions ?

Good Luck !

Personally, I wish Cain hadn't caved. He just emboldened the circus that is our media.

103theoria
Dec 3, 2011, 2:53pm Top

8. Track record as a Job Creator, not to be confused with The Creator of Us All.

9. Would imprison Ben Bernanke sans writ.

10. Valid birth certificate

104lriley
Dec 3, 2011, 3:01pm Top

Many thanks to Herman for all the entertainment over any kind of substance that his candidacy was.

105faceinbook
Dec 3, 2011, 3:03pm Top

>104 lriley:
:) Indeed !

106steve.clason
Dec 3, 2011, 6:36pm Top

Huntsman has made a really mean and very funny ad attacking Romney -- Obama could just change the ending and "re-purpose" it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=EhyMplwY6HY

I think I like Hunstman -- is he bat-shit crazy in some way I don't know about?

107timspalding
Dec 3, 2011, 9:24pm Top

I think I like Hunstman -- is he bat-shit crazy in some way I don't know about?

No, but he does speak excellent Chinese (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V-6fye8its&feature=related). Sadly, among much of the Republican electorate, an intellectual and cultural accomplishment like that is a hinderance, not a help.

108Makifat
Dec 3, 2011, 9:37pm Top

102
Displaying a well worn Bible now and again may be of some assistance to electability

An autographed copy would be particularly impressive to the base.

Flag pin must be firmly attached to lapel in full view.

Again, having one permanently embedded in the forehead would be even better.

107
At the risk of inducing mega cognitive dissonance in my friends on the right, I'll say that I might well vote for Huntsman, in the unlikely event that he becomes the nominee.

109Makifat
Dec 3, 2011, 9:38pm Top

107
Two words: Manchurian Candidate.

110timspalding
Dec 3, 2011, 11:34pm Top

Two words: Manchurian Candidate.

Exactly. I mean, there were people saying that about John Fucking McCain! They're going to say it about Huntsman.

111Arctic-Stranger
Dec 4, 2011, 1:38am Top

LOL!

Ok for the republicans on the thread, who are not happy with the current crop, if you could wave a magic wand and get someone nominated, who would you run against Obama?

Or, if you prefer, would you rather he have to deal with the economy, hoping that in four more years it will be able to recover under a republican?

112timspalding
Dec 4, 2011, 1:45am Top

Maybe Christie.

113lriley
Dec 4, 2011, 8:40am Top

It was obvious Cain was in over his head. Cut out all his philandering and you still had a guy who needed help finding Lybia or Uzbekistan on the map. His idea dealing with foreign policy kinds of questions were to flub them all off with jokes and basically the center point of his campaign--his 9-9-9 plan was a joke as well. Very little clue about anything else.

Bachmann and Santorum could almost be described as Christian Shariya-ists. Santorum as an incumbent got destroyed in his last Senate election in Pennsylvania. Whatever makes him think he has any shot at all after that? Bachmann is just bat guano crazy.

Paul at least has a coherent agenda. It may be wrong but at least sense can be made of it. I actually like some of his hands off approach to foreign policy.

Gingrich and Romney are both absolute phonies--their contest more like a high school popularity contest.

Not that I'm happy with Obama either. Personally I'm at the point where I'm voting third party or just not voting the presidential part of the ballot.

Anyway the Republicans don't have very much to choose from that isn't tainted like sour milk. Giuliani? hah--Romney, Gingrich territory.
Trump?--he can be articulate but the idea of a businessman as a serious candidate a la Cain is not really a good one. I suppose Pawlenty or Huckabee would be a step up from the current field. Jindal? Kasich?--who I hate but he's smart. And then there's Christie but really I don't see him as presidential material. Palin?

The one that might excite the base and bring the party together would be Colin Powell but that ain't happening either.

114faceinbook
Dec 4, 2011, 9:16am Top

Not much to choose from. Heard the Donald Trump is going to be moderator of the next debate ? First thing that comes to mind : "Is Vegas coming to the debate or is the debate going to Vegas ?"
Sadly, this is not the image the American people will take seriously during this economic times.

>113 lriley:
"The one that might excite the base and bring the party together would be Colin Powell but that ain't happening either."

I like Powell but he was so missused by the Bush administration, I doubt he would want anything to do with The Power's That Be. The whole lead up to the war would be under a microscope. Again !
Thus far most of the damage to the Party has been internal. The Dem's have been pretty quiet.
It is a mess of their own making. Will take someone very strong and very different than the norm to project an image that is believable. The bar has been pretty high.....
The Republicans need someone who is younger, a person who does not give an impression of the excess that was, in part, responsible for where we find ourselves (Christie.....Gingrich.....Romney they all have problems in this area)
Don't think that Paul Ryan was that bad of a choice. Don't agree with a lot of his policies but as a person, he appears to be unassuming and moderate in his life style.
But, again, he didn't want anything to do with it.

115lriley
Dec 4, 2011, 12:13pm Top

A major problem for both parties but more so for the republicans is the fundamental critique put forward by OWS linking american political power and wealth. To raise the vast amounts of cash to compete for a major political office one almost has to be somewhat corrupt--has to have a degree of cynicism to go along with overriding ambition and a colossal ego. Trying to retain personal integrity is a major roadblock.

Anyone who has watched Gingrich for any number of years--even if they're strongly conservative has to know he's as sleazy as it gets. For someone on the right side of the spectrum he's what at best could be referenced as a 'lesser evil'. Romney's business career left him very wealthy but his fortune comes from a predatory nature--buying up and destroying other businesses and selling off the associated jobs. These two-IMO-- have very bad character flaws.

116Lunar
Dec 4, 2011, 9:17pm Top

#115: To raise the vast amounts of cash to compete for a major political office one almost has to be somewhat corrupt--has to have a degree of cynicism to go along with overriding ambition and a colossal ego.

There are also some after-effects to this upon the media when it comes to campaign season. Back in 2008, a local radio show host in New Hampshire was fired, not for any particular political bias, but for the fact that he was in general anti-politician. The station had trouble selling ads in his timeslot to political campaigns of either party, so Gardner Goldsmith had to go. Just an anecdote, but it's enough to get someone wondering how much of the media landscape is shaped by the financial incentives created by these big budget campaigns coming in every 2-4 years.

117lriley
Dec 5, 2011, 4:14am Top

#116-And that's where the split comes between the general public and those few with access. There's been two protest movements since the bailouts--the tea party--from the right which has more than less been co-opted by the republican party and OWS from the left which hasn't been co-opted by the Democrats--at least not yet. And basically that's the 99.something something %.

And it's funny we can't find a policeman or even an investigative unit when the big banks are defrauding the public. We can find loads of them however--decked out in kevlar, with two foot long truncheons, shields, face shields, with tear gas, pepper spray and with rifles firing rubber bullets when some politician gets the notion to break up a protest no matter whether it's violent or not.

And the oddest thing--is we have a president who pretty much everyone agrees (whether they like him or not) is a pretty sharp cookie but he seems oblivious to it all.

118faceinbook
Dec 5, 2011, 8:37am Top

>117 lriley:
I think if you were to connect the dots on many of the Tea Party events, you would find that some of it was funded by big money. Rachel Maddow did a segment on it and she pointed out how many of the groups that proclaim themselves as "grass roots" in one way or another, are funded by big money interests....
It makes sense. The Tea Party was organized, official type signs and flags were evident. OWS did not start out as a "funded" movement.

The President has been mute about the whole thing. Not sure why that is but, if his thoughts match mine in any way, I would say one of the first things that came to mind was: "What the heck to you expect is going to happen ?"
Not sure what I would do if I were him, again, the situation is so dire that it wouldn't take much to have a full out riot, which would set the stage for a "police state". If Obama were to validate the protesters, the potential for violence against the police becomes an issue. If he goes the other way ...... same thing. There is no good way out of this. We are beginning to look like those we consider our enemy !

119RidgewayGirl
Dec 5, 2011, 10:18am Top

Obama is not, at this point in time, leading. He's a great orator when he chooses to be, and this might just be a time to go orate a bit. The presidency is an office that holds much less actual power than some of the Republican candidates seem to think it holds, but it is a bully pulpit like no other.

It is fun listening to what some of the candidates say they would do as soon as they were in office, many of which are things not in the President's power to enact.

Of course they know that they can't, for example, arbitrarily cut representatives' salaries, but it plays well to the people who don't know that. I do wonder who can remain ignorant of the small detail that it's Congress who passes laws, even ones relating to taxation after all the bombastic posing this year, but there you go.

120steve.clason
Dec 5, 2011, 11:48am Top

"It’s too late now for Trump to run as a Republican, but he told Lauer that he would consider running as independent once this season’s run of “Celebrity Apprentice” concludes on NBC."

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-trump-gingrich-20111205,0,745163.stor...

So, we've got that going for us.

121timspalding
Dec 5, 2011, 12:19pm Top

I wonder who Bloomberg would take more away from?

122lriley
Dec 5, 2011, 1:48pm Top

#118--In the recently passed Senate bill S.1867--the military can arrest anyone anywhere in the world and hold them indefinitely without trial--which is more or less what the Bush administration has done in Gitmo--only without legislation backing it up. Now they have it and I have to wonder how this comes to be in a country presided over by a so called 'progressive' president? It seems to me we are moving towards a police state.

But to go back to your question of Obama's silence on the OWS demonstrations--he is looking at the same things the rest of the country is?--I would hope. I don't know how anybody could look at the ex-marine getting shot in the head at almost point blank range by a teargas canister and not think this is fucked up and that wasn't really a violent demonstration until the police (who were all decked out for it) made it into one. And again with the pepper spraying at UC Davis. Really how much would it cost Barack to come before some camera and say--'You know, this overreaction is more than enough. We don't need to see cops beating up and abusing people who are not really threatening anyone'.

123RidgewayGirl
Dec 5, 2011, 2:22pm Top

lriley, I wonder the same thing.

Nice to know that a run for the presidency is less important to Trump than Celebrity Apprentice. I'd say that alone disqualifies him.

124theoria
Dec 5, 2011, 8:03pm Top

Romney can kiss the southern and midwestern primaries goodbye. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKzezH3-k7c

125steve.clason
Dec 5, 2011, 9:49pm Top

124> OMG. He should just cede to the Gingrich/Trump ticket now and save himself further embarrassment.

126Makifat
Dec 6, 2011, 2:23am Top

125
Gingrich/Trump?

To paraphrase Conrad:

"The Hair-er......The Hair-er!!"

127faceinbook
Dec 6, 2011, 11:06am Top

>123 RidgewayGirl:
Well, he is going to apprentice 10 little poor kids after all.......think of what this could mean for the 99%er's !

What a dog and pony show :0

129Makifat
Edited: Dec 6, 2011, 3:12pm Top

It strikes me that the inevitable Mr. Romney will be needing a Tea Party-friendly running mate: perhaps someone who has stayed away from the taint of Washington, has a certain (to some) charisma, and can weep at the drop of a hat.

ETA: And, as financial genius and urine bottler Howard Hughes used to say, you just can't have too many Mormons.

130Makifat
Dec 6, 2011, 3:14pm Top

What I mean is - they're clean; they're reverent; they know how to keep a secret...

131JGL53
Dec 6, 2011, 3:28pm Top

Willard Mitt Romney is a mormon is the same sense that Michael Jackson was a jehovah's witness.

Or that Nixon was a quaker.

132Makifat
Dec 6, 2011, 4:42pm Top

Every harlot was a virgin once.

133JGL53
Dec 6, 2011, 6:47pm Top

If hypocrisy is hereditary then Willard should have kept his magical underwear on 24/7 starting at puberty.

Speaking of religious affiliations I wonder if most Catholics are proud to welcome Newt into the fold? It's not like his face just reeks sincerity, is it?

134prosfilaes
Dec 6, 2011, 7:25pm Top

#128: So Gingrich is being ripped into for having made sane statements in the past. Why does that not make me feel good for the future of the Republic?

135JGL53
Dec 6, 2011, 7:46pm Top

> 134

Beck HATES sanity. It's like kryptonite to him.

Whatever Gingrich was in the past he has now become Romney's brother from another mother. Both of them tend to take three or four positions on every major issue, sometimes changing from one hour to the next - not even waiting for the next day to flip and flop.

So which is worse - a totally sincere nutcase like a Bachman or a Santorum, or a person who has no values or convictions whatsoever except fulfillment of ambition - power, money, prestige - like the two A-holes now leading in the republican polls?

Obama is seeming more so the “lesser of evils” with each passing day.

136timspalding
Edited: Dec 6, 2011, 8:20pm Top

Speaking of religious affiliations I wonder if most Catholics are proud to welcome Newt into the fold? It's not like his face just reeks sincerity, is it?

I dislike him, but I frankly can't see that this was an insincere move. Turning Catholic doesn't win him any points. I find it believable that, having married a Catholic choir singer, he he was drawn into it.

I enjoyed this quote:
"Listening to 'Amazing Grace' being sung in Chinese at Mass in Beijing was a beautiful experience, and worshipping with believers across the world opened my eyes to the diversity and richness of the Catholic Church."
True in a sense, but Amazing Grace is historically pretty alien to Catholicism. It's author was an evangelical Anglican, and, in America, it's mostly associated with low-church, evangelical settings. It's a beautiful piece, and my church among others periodically does it. But it's not a sign of Catholic universality.

I gather his canonical situation is a rather wiggly one. His first marriage doesn't factor in because the woman he married is now dead—although she wasn't dead when he remarried, of course. His second marriage--in the eyes of the church--wasn't a marriage at all because it was his second wife's second marriage too! Thus, his third marriage is no barrier to receiving the eucharist.

I'm sympathetic to Catholics who divorce and remarry. There are so many Catholics out there who've struggled with this. A relative of my wife's spent years before she could successfully annul her first marriage—which was to a paranoid schizophrenic!—and remarry in the church. There's something very distasteful about a man on his third marriage—a man who admits he cheated on wife number 1 with number 2 and on number 2 with number 3 having smooth sailing in this regard.

137Makifat
Dec 6, 2011, 8:40pm Top

There's something very distasteful about a man on his third marriage—a man who admits he cheated on wife number 1 with number 2 and on number 2 with number 3 having smooth sailing in this regard.

At least we have laid to rest the cruel liberal myth that he broke the news to one wife while she lay cancerous in a hospital bed. I feel so much better about him now.

138Lunar
Dec 7, 2011, 12:22am Top

#135: Obama is seeming more so the “lesser of evils” with each passing day.

Sorry, even if I squint I don't see it. All I see is right-wingers bitching about Obama's middle name and left-wingers bitching about Romney's first name.

Now, Obama being seen as a lesser of two evils may be a goal you're pursuing, but that doesn't make it true.

139lriley
Dec 7, 2011, 8:16am Top

The problem I have with the lesser evil analogy--is you're being asked to make a choice between worse and even worse. Instead of strychnine let's try the arsenic. Well--you choose evil--even the lesser evil--then expect to get evil.

I guess I'm not much of a masochist. Personally I'm going to turn that scenario down--or off. No doubt we're going to wind up with one or the other anyway but don't expect any help from this quarter. This is why I've voted for Nader twice in 2000 and 2004.

140JGL53
Dec 7, 2011, 1:19pm Top

> 139

Oh, so you're an idealist? Well, that's a choice. So, then, we can agree to disagree.

Have a nice day.

141lriley
Dec 7, 2011, 2:07pm Top



#141--The longer I live it seems the more irrelevant the solutions these two parties offer as antidotes to the policies each of them pursue. We're not fixing shit. We're spinning our wheels and the politicians on both sides are paid off by the corporations to maintain a status quo. Admittedly the democrats are better than the republicans but the Obama I voted for has kept the wars going, kept the patriot act, bailed out the banks, watches the police of the nation riot on the streets. The Obama I voted for talked about taking a hard look at free trade agreements--we continue to bleed jobs. He continues to push free trade agreements.

Truthfully I find a lot more to hope for from the OWS movement than from the democrats. They seem to have more fight in them anyway.

As to who wins in 2012?--Does the right think that they can? with Gingrich? or Romney? As for New York state where I'm from--do you really think there's a chance that those electoral votes are going to go to one of those two clowns?

142faceinbook
Dec 7, 2011, 3:16pm Top

>139 lriley:
Voted for Nader a couple of times myself...however NOT in 2004, I thought it was important to unseat Bush. Was a train wreck waiting to happen !
Voted for Ross Perot as well.

Obama was the guy on the play ground who was picked on.....the geeky guy. The one who walked away, went indoors and earned extra credit.....probably went on to some high paying job somewhere after graduation.
In Obama's case, he became President, however, his prior behavior didn't teach him how to deal with the bullies and he doesn't have the power that most people seem to think he has. He can't even appoint anyone to any positions that would be of benefit to him.
It is a mess.
And those who set this up have just as royally screwed themselves. They are left with a Vegas type dog and pony show that has no substance what so ever. Evoking the likes of Regan who presided over issues in the 80s as an example of how to do what ? What is relevent today that was the same in the eighties ? Nothing

Don't think another Obama administration is looking at an "evil" so much as looking at someone who isn't a bully being forced to deal with a Congress full of bullies. Not sure the next president will fair any better no matter who it may be....the stage is set for this garbage.
Started with Clinton and the dress. Was a can of worms that was best left unopened. The idea behind that whole debacle had nothing to do with "right" or "wrong" and everything to do with gaining total control. Unfortunately most Americans seemed to love it. Could not get enough of the trial, the scandle, the total destruction of respect for the highest office in this country.
Keith Olbermann, whether you liked him or not, was the only reporter who refused to report on the story. Put his stack of papers on his desk and said that we were acting shamefully and nothing good would come of it.
Would have thought we had learned something BUT, then comes Herman Cain, another in a long line of finger pointing and accusations and what not over personal sexual behaviors....
Seems to me we have more things to worry about than that ! Should have recognized Bush as having an addictive personality.....a super ego...... that got us in far more trouble than Clinton's sexual behavior.

We can"t expect much but evil when we insist on focusing on "evil" as we decide to define it. Which, at this point in time, is anyone who doesn't think the same as we do. You are either with me or you are with the terroists...no middle ground, no other options.

144jjwilson61
Dec 7, 2011, 5:31pm Top

So much for the only rational Republican.

145theoria
Dec 7, 2011, 5:31pm Top

The anti-science position is a pre-requisite for Republican candidates, he's just late to realize that necessity. I wonder if he'll hold firm on evolution.

146lriley
Edited: Dec 7, 2011, 6:18pm Top

142--Obama has definitely got to get away from people like Geithner who represent the neo-liberal economics of the 1%. That is critical for me. Krugman, Stiglitz fine. Geithner not fine. The multi-national investment bank friendly shit has got to stop. That is the one way he could get me to change my mind. His economic policy is not really different from other administrations economic policy going all the way back to the Reagan years. The so-called free traders have gutted this country's manufacturing and industrial base. And they don't care. They got rich doing it. Both Romney and Gingrich have taken great advantage of it as well.

145-the republicans aren't anti-science when it comes to the war industry or when it comes to pharmaceutical companies. Give them enough $ and they'll believe almost anything you want. The dems are much more sensible but also very capable of modifying their points of view for $. Seriously for a party linked to the working people of this country they are not irredeemable like the GOP but they do need a real kick in the ass.

147theoria
Dec 7, 2011, 6:43pm Top

148Lunar
Dec 8, 2011, 12:40am Top

Looks like Romney is joining Ron Paul and John Huntsman in skipping Donald Trump's gameshow/debate. The idea is that Trump is going to award one of the candidates with his endorsement at the end of the performance.

149Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 8, 2011, 2:45am Top

Why am I having flashbacks to The Running Man?

150SimonW11
Dec 8, 2011, 2:50am Top

146> I think you are confusing science and technology Iriley

151lriley
Dec 8, 2011, 4:08am Top

technology is at least science related.

152faceinbook
Dec 8, 2011, 9:47am Top

>149 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
Maybe Stephen King should host a debate ?

153steve.clason
Dec 9, 2011, 1:42pm Top

With Perry and Bachman declining the invitation to debate ("Where's the loyalty?" he asks) The Donald is unsure whether or not the Dec. 27 debate will go on. I suspect not even The Donald is such a ratings-magnet that a fake debate between Gingrich and some non-starter moderated by Gingrich's running-mate (in the interest of clarity, I made that up) will generate enough profit to make it worthwhile.

It adds to the freakshow, though, so I hope it goes on.

On a different matter, why is it so hot, and what are we doing in this handbasket?

NPR: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/12/09/143441511/as-candidates-decline-w...

154theoria
Dec 9, 2011, 4:30pm Top

At present, the debate will feature Trump and Gingrich talking about their six wives. And Santorum.

155Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 9, 2011, 5:05pm Top

Santorum, of course, will be talking about the sanctity of marriage and the homosexualist attempt to impugn the same.

156timspalding
Edited: Dec 9, 2011, 5:24pm Top

>154 theoria:

Reason #1 against a Gingrich/Trump ticket. The Saturday Night sketch... I can just see it.

homosexualist attempt to impugn the same

I dislike the man, but I think he's got a pretty good case for being impugned himself. Imagine if someone on the left fringe running for president—Kucinich, for example—were Google-bombed by hostile conservatives so that "Kucinich" was some sort of term for frothy shit and semen. Just imagine that situation, and how the left would respond.

157StormRaven
Dec 9, 2011, 5:27pm Top

156: Santorum brought it on himself by acting like a jackass bigoted homophobe.

158timspalding
Dec 9, 2011, 5:29pm Top

>157 StormRaven:

I hear you. I still think it's very dirty pool, and unworthy of people who ought to know better.

159Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 9, 2011, 5:33pm Top

The Google bomb precedes the run for the presidency by quite some time, no?

160Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 9, 2011, 5:34pm Top

'02 or '03?

161StormRaven
Dec 9, 2011, 6:36pm Top

159: Yes, considerably so. This wasn't something that was just cooked up too derail his nonexistent chances at the Republican nomination.

162BruceCoulson
Dec 9, 2011, 6:43pm Top

Santorum's new message is that universal health care is completely unnecessary:

http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/santorum-no-one-has-ever-died-because-they-...

163StormRaven
Edited: Dec 9, 2011, 9:44pm Top

One thing that should be pointed out is that if Santorum hadn't made it a big deal by asking Google to hide the pages that talk about the redefined meaning of "Santorum", far fewer people would know about it.

164AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Dec 9, 2011, 9:12pm Top

I dunno: the right did a pretty good job of besmirching the word "liberal".

Years before Dan Savage, Santorum's peers in the Senate were already mocking the name:
Three weeks into his Senate term, Kerrey said something like " 'Santorum'? Yeah, that's Latin for 'asshole' ."

165Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 9, 2011, 9:06pm Top

Is it just me, or is anyone else wondering whether Obama is a citizen?

167SimonW11
Dec 10, 2011, 5:19pm Top

Discussing controversial classroom subjects such as evolution and global warming, Santorum said he has suggested that “science should get out of politics” and he is opposed to teaching that provides a “politically correct perspective.”

http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2011/12/09/santorum-parents-not-obama-know...

168faceinbook
Dec 13, 2011, 1:59pm Top

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-election/8946252/The-Republicans-in...

At least we are providing a source of entertainment for someone !

169theoria
Dec 13, 2011, 4:48pm Top

168> The Auschwitz reference is remarkable, even for Gingrich.

170BruceCoulson
Dec 13, 2011, 5:13pm Top

Perhaps Gingrich felt that comparing himself to Christ, saving the planet for Christianity, would be taken the wrong way...

It's clear that Newt thinks of himself as indispensible; absolutely necessary for the continued survival of the Republican Party and, by extension, the United States.

171theoria
Edited: Dec 20, 2011, 6:20pm Top

"Obama’s job-approval rating is now at its highest since March, excluding a temporary bump after the killing of Osama bin Laden: Forty-nine percent approve, and 47 percent disapprove.

Perhaps more important to the battle over the payroll tax cut, Obama has regained an advantage over Republicans in Congress when it comes to “protecting the middle class.” In the new poll, 50 percent say they trust Obama on this issue, compared with 35 percent who choose the GOP — a major change from last month, when the two sides were more evenly matched on the question.

On taxes, Obama has improved since early October, while public trust of the GOP has slipped. Forty-six percent now side with Obama on the issue, and 41 percent with Republicans in Congress. Independents now side with the president on that front by a 17-point margin, 49 to 32 percent." http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-job-approval-ratings-show-signs-of...

172faceinbook
Dec 20, 2011, 7:36pm Top

>171 theoria:
Obama may be getting a benefit from comparisons ......the alternatives are so very unappealing !
Obviously the Republican candidates are not coming up with any brilliant solutions for our current situation. Why make a change if nothing is going to change ?

173lriley
Dec 20, 2011, 9:50pm Top

#172--to me it's like Obama has done a shit job--but the Republican nominees are promising that they're going to try and do worse.

175lawecon
Edited: Dec 28, 2011, 2:29am Top

~169

I don't know. I just had one of our "regulars" tell me in another thread that Jewish interest in the holocaust and negative reaction to Nazis was "emotive." Of course, he was trying to justify his own raving rants and probably implying that those he disagreed with were Nazi-like, but even so......

176theoria
Dec 28, 2011, 3:40pm Top

twitter feed:

GingrichIdeas Newt Gingrich Ideas
Use a shrink ray on poor people so they don't have to eat as much.

177Jesse_wiedinmyer
Dec 28, 2011, 4:00pm Top

Make poor people's kids work as janitors to pay for their schooling.

Oh, sorry. That one actually happened.

178theoria
Dec 28, 2011, 4:14pm Top

The thing about working as janitors was in his newsletter but he didn't write it.

179faceinbook
Dec 28, 2011, 6:02pm Top

Yes indeed......Gingrich admits that he said what he said but advises that "if you believe what I said than you are wrong"

180RidgewayGirl
Dec 28, 2011, 8:13pm Top

Yep. If you quote Gingrich, in context, on certain issues, then you are only doing so as to unfairly discredit him.

I'm just gobsmacked that this former speaker of the house and Washington wheeler-dealer gets to run as an outsider just because he now says he is.

181faceinbook
Dec 29, 2011, 9:21am Top

The attention span of many American's seems to have been compromised ! They forget, hear what they want to hear and think that someday, they too will have their own reality show :0

182lriley
Dec 29, 2011, 2:25pm Top

#181--At the family thanksgiving dinner I overheard one of my sisters (from another room) waxing poetical over Gingrich--how intelligent he was blah! blah! blah!--and it was as if he just came out of nowhere--some obscure guy who would make a great leader. I remember saying to myself that her and her husband are going to vote republican anyway--it just struck me as odd that she has really no idea that this guy's hypocrisy has been in full public view for decades and there are still people who are going to vote for him that don't have a clue who he is--what he has done. And these are not stupid people--they are doing well--he's built a small technology company on his own with maybe 15-20 employees. But even so--it is ignorance and Newt depends on that. They watch sitcoms, they shop, they eat out, they socialize with similar people in their age group who more than less share the same 'values', 'tastes' and 'ideals'. It strikes me that there are hundreds of thousands, millions of similar people and as passionate as they'd like you to think they are about 'politics' they really know very little at all--and it's mostly because they don't take the time to really listen to what's being said by whom and what it means--or how a bill gets written up and passed. Lot of people just rely on sound bites etc.

183timspalding
Jan 1, 2012, 11:51pm Top

I can't believe it. Santorum is surging. Does ANYONE think he wouldn't fall if there were another week or two?

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/01/politics/iowa-caucuses/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

184Lunar
Edited: Jan 2, 2012, 12:12am Top

I was skeptical that Gingrich's numbers would fall, but fall they did. Santorum benefits from the neglected Jesus vote, which would never go for Romney or Paul, but it stands to reason that Santorum's numbers would decline once people had enough time to check out the number one google result under his name.

185timspalding
Edited: Jan 2, 2012, 12:21am Top

Evangelical Christians going for a Latin (Tridentine) mass Catholic? Life is weird. Weirder, surely, is that Santorum's chief claim to fame lies in losing an incumbent Pennsylvania seat to a Democrat—and not narrowly but by EIGHTEEN POINTS!

186AsYouKnow_Bob
Jan 2, 2012, 12:29am Top

Weirder, surely, is that Santorum's chief claim to fame lies in losing...

You mean his SECOND claim to fame.

187steve.clason
Jan 2, 2012, 1:29am Top

A pro-Romney PAC is pouring millions into Iowa for ads and phone calls attacking Gingrich and Paul--I suspect Santorum is "surging" only because he's a not-Romney who also isn't Gingrich or Paul. The political opinions of those 150,000 poor Republicans are such a target for manipulation right now I doubt anybody can tell what's going to happen when the caucuses convene except with a lucky guess.

188timspalding
Jan 2, 2012, 1:40am Top

The NYT had a good article on the PAC's ads. I have to say, I applaud them. They didn't say anything untrue about Gingrich, and if indeed Romney's position in the polls would suffer if he says true things about Gingrich's failings, well, I'm glad he has some cover.

Non-coalescence helps Romney, for sure. But I wonder what happens if Romney wins weakly over a divided field of social-conservatives who have been tested and found wanting. I don't think it impossible someone else might jump in, late as it is.

189Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 2, 2012, 1:47am Top

I know people that are still crossing their fingers for Bachmann.

190timspalding
Jan 2, 2012, 1:53am Top

Is Christine O'Donnell still available?

191Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 2, 2012, 2:20am Top

Maybe Christie will run?

Whatever happened to Jeb Bush?

192timspalding
Jan 2, 2012, 2:25am Top

193Makifat
Jan 2, 2012, 2:45am Top

Maybe Christie will run?

Too late. Slim down, get a tan, wait out a second Obama term. Patience.

Whatever happened to Jeb Bush?

Out in the alley, kicking himself. The taint of his brother's name, which one might imagine has held him back, pales in comparision to the present field of circus freaks. Again, it's too late to get into the game.

194prosfilaes
Jan 2, 2012, 5:19am Top

#192: Mr. Taft, what's your stance on Native American and African-American rights?

195steve.clason
Jan 2, 2012, 10:13am Top

#188> "The NYT had a good article on the PAC's ads."

L.A. Times, too, less focused on Iowa: http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-money-election-20120101,0,5556629.story?track=...

A brief exchange with a Republican cousin in Iowa made me realize that since I am an unaffiliated voter two states away who rarely turns on the TV, he and I hold in common almost no information regarding the candidates. He is getting hammered with -- what? It's not information, much of it, but trying hard to be. Is there a word that encompasses information, propaganda, spun stories, and outright lies?

196Makifat
Jan 2, 2012, 10:27am Top

Is there a word that encompasses information, propaganda, spun stories, and outright lies?

Bullsh!t

197steve.clason
Jan 2, 2012, 11:19am Top

#196> Heh. But I wanted to include accurate information.

So maybe "messages". Folks in Iowa, especially registered Republicans likely to attend the caucuses with land-line telephones and local television reception are receiving many times (dozens? hundreds?) more political messages than me, who only get them when I seek them out. The demands being put on their critical capacities, if they even have them engaged anymore, must be stalling them out. And we're only talking about 150,000 people likely to attend the caucuses, so it's a pretty high dollar per vote ratio. And this is the PRIMARIES.

198Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 2, 2012, 7:10pm Top

Doug should be happy to know that there's a candidate willing to talk candidly about race -

Answering a question about foreign influence on the U.S. economy, the former Pennsylvania senator went on to discuss the American entitlement system - which he argued is being used to politically exploit its beneficiaries.

"It just keeps expanding - I was in Indianola a few months ago and I was talking to someone who works in the department of public welfare here, and she told me that the state of Iowa is going to get fined if they don't sign up more people under the Medicaid program," Santorum said. "They're just pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That's what the bottom line is."

He added: "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."


199steve.clason
Jan 2, 2012, 9:02pm Top

Rajiv Sethi posted an interesting take on Santorum's surge on Naked Capitalism today, making a case that after an apparently flawed CNN/Time poll from December 28th inaccurately put Santorum in third place in the contest with 16% of the vote (other polls had him at 9-10%), a significant population desperate for a viable non-Romney took that mistake to reflect an actual surge in support for Santorum, making him appear more viable than he actually was and leading to an actual increase in his popularity from around 10% to 22% in another highly regarded poll released Sunday.

I'm not doing the article justice, but the point being made is that a flawed poll wrongly portraying an increase in popularity caused an actual, in-fact increase in popularity from an electorate desperate for ... a popular candidate. The analysis was done with almost no regard for any candidate's position on issues, focusing solely on poll numbers.

The whole thing is here and it's much better than I'm describing it:
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/01/rajiv-sethi-self-fulfilling-prophecies-an...

200timspalding
Edited: Jan 2, 2012, 9:07pm Top

I can believe it. All the candidates benefit from feedback loops of success and failure. That's a feature, ultimately, not a bug, although obviously it's a problem if people have bad data.

That said, I think a Santorum surge was almost inevitable. EVERY single "conservative" candidate has now had a surge—in the order Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, Santorum. We have a really fatal mismatch between what people want and the quality of the candidates that fit that description.

201SimonW11
Jan 2, 2012, 10:19pm Top

propaganda encompasses information spun stories and outright lies.

202Lunar
Jan 3, 2012, 12:01am Top

#197: But I wanted to include accurate information.

Crap sandwich?

203StormRaven
Jan 3, 2012, 9:14am Top

We have a really fatal mismatch between what people want and the quality of the candidates that fit that description.

Maybe it is no accident that the candidates that best fit the "true conservative" template are unelectable dicks.

204faceinbook
Jan 3, 2012, 10:20am Top

205steve.clason
Jan 3, 2012, 2:59pm Top

#200> "We have a really fatal mismatch between what people want and the quality of the candidates that fit that description."

Yeah -- we don't seem to be able to raise a candidate anybody anywhere on the political spectrum wants. Here's a good review of Obama's disappointments in the London Review of Books, occasioned by a review of two recent biographies of his parents: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n01/jackson-lears/a-history-of-disappointment.
From the moment he announced his staff and cabinet appointments ... it was clear that Obama meant to play by the same Washington rules that created the policy disasters he inherited from George W. Bush. Obama had retreated into politics as usual. He never looked back. One did not have to be a sentimental utopian to be disappointed.

Jar-jar looks better and better. Is it that people we might want to govern us don't want to be in politics or that politics turns people into the kind we don't want governing us?

206theoria
Jan 3, 2012, 3:10pm Top

Politics as usual looks pretty good as compared to the pre-emptive strike idealism of the new American centurions' variety or an evangelical Christian crusade to re-make US culture.

207StormRaven
Jan 3, 2012, 3:23pm Top

205: Anyone who thinks that the inhabitant of the Oval Office is not going to be immersed in politics up to their eyebrows is simply fooling themselves.

208prosfilaes
Jan 3, 2012, 10:11pm Top

#25: Is it that people we might want to govern us don't want to be in politics or that politics turns people into the kind we don't want governing us?

We frequently want things out of politicians that are simply undeliverable, with different people desiring contradictory things and respond with unlimited abuse, up to and including death threats to them and their family, when they fail to deliver. The American presidency probably puts more non-physical demands on a person then any other job in the world; there's more consequences from failure, more knowledge that needs to be understood and more complex social relationships, both foreign and domestic, that need to be handled and more people demanding contradictory things from you, then probably any other job on Earth. It's easy to take cheap shots at them, but so often they seem like just that.

209theoria
Jan 3, 2012, 11:48pm Top

Romney versus Santorum. Maybe Trump jumps in.

210Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 9:34am Top

Santorum? I'm laughing so hard, I think I peed my pants. Does this barrel even have a bottom?

211theoria
Jan 4, 2012, 10:00am Top

Ron Paul's "We're all Austrians now" might represent the bottom of the barrel.

212rcss67
Jan 4, 2012, 10:06am Top

Must be the worst list of candidates in living memory. Only Romney is electable by the wider electorate? Or is this just an outsiders view?

213Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 10:14am Top

211
I don't know about that, but they've surely been Balkanized.

214faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 10:14am Top

>212 rcss67:
It appears that way. However, nobody has started hammering on his Mormanism yet.
Not a Romney fan but I do not relish the thought of a coming election where the opposition will be degrading a guy for his faith. WRONG...just wrong !

215Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 10:17am Top

214
I may be wrong, but I just can't see the democrats hitting him on this. It's more the fundy types on the right who have a problem with it. I imagine the dems will hit him more as a ruthless corporate pirate.

216rcss67
Jan 4, 2012, 10:19am Top

maybe but if you are always going on about your faith then you have brought it into the public domain and its fair game. If republicans want to drape themselves in the flag and brandish the bible or book of mormon then they deserve a going over. Surely anyone brave enough to be an atheist and run as a democrat would get worse?

217Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 10:22am Top

Anyone professing atheism wouldn't get nearly this far in this country.

218steve.clason
Jan 4, 2012, 10:22am Top

#209> "Romney versus Santorum. Maybe Trump jumps in."

Santorum's going to run out of gas and we'll be back to Romney v. non-Romney for a while. Trump might do something weird.

219rcss67
Jan 4, 2012, 10:22am Top

Some quotes from Santorum in a British newspaper. He seems VERY right wing
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/04/history-of-rick-santorum-iowa

220rcss67
Jan 4, 2012, 10:25am Top

is atheism the last taboo then? or would a gay person have even less chance?

221steve.clason
Jan 4, 2012, 10:32am Top

#219> "He seems VERY right wing "

He is. His natural constituency (maybe his only constituency, but that remains to be seen) is the socially-conservative Christian right, which constitutes a much higher percentage of Iowa caucus participants then of the US population as a whole -- they're not insignificant, nationally, but they're not 65% of the electorate.

222faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 10:33am Top

216>
Not so sure Romney is guilty of that. He seems to keep his faith more to himself than the other candidates. I may have missed something but what I know of Romney is more about his business success than anything else.
Santorum and Bachmann....both come across as faith first, Romney doesn't fit into that catagory.
Gingrich has a catagory unto himself. not sure what one would call it, other than pure BS...I'm Catholic now and wasn't before....I married for better or worse.....three times. don't watch how I act, listen to what I say and if you believe THAT, well you are wrong. Goofball......

It is interesting to see Romney and Santorum as the top two.........the Republican Party really is divided by the Tea Party. Pretty safe to say that Romney is a typical Republican candidate while Santorum fits the Tea Party agenda. How are Santorum voters going to make the leap and vote for Romney in a general election ? or visa versa ? Should be entertaining.

223theoria
Jan 4, 2012, 10:34am Top

The Republicans' talent is second or third rate. The Party was set to become the Party of the Bush family gene pool until George W. bungled. With Jeb on the sideline and corporate Republicanism under siege from Tea Party insurgents, the current campaign has turned into a struggle over identity in which proving that one is a "true Conservative" is the key stake. Identity politics is always narcissistic and self-destructive (just ask the Democrats). Why would a Republican politician like Christie want to enter a race in which he'd have to think hard about how to answer a question about evolution?

224faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 10:34am Top

>218 steve.clason:
Trump does something weird on a daily basis........it is called a "hairdo"

225rcss67
Jan 4, 2012, 10:36am Top

How would Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt go in the current party? Lincoln was a bit of a flip flopper and Teddy almost a socialist by current standards

226faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 10:39am Top

>220 rcss67:
IMO , An athiest would have a better chance at election than a homosexual. As far as I know, the fear that "athieism" may be catching is far less than the fear that homosexuality is something that can be transmitted from person to person.
Just my opinion.

227theoria
Jan 4, 2012, 10:39am Top

225> Roosevelt would fit the profile of a socialist based on what Republicans today state about Obama. However, they are keen on war, so Lincoln might have been welcomed (assuming the southern secessionist states could be labeled "terrorists").

228steve.clason
Jan 4, 2012, 10:40am Top

#220> "is atheism the last taboo then? or would a gay person have even less chance?"

Interesting question. I think declared atheism would essentially disqualify a candidate from consideration by any serious people who put together election campaigns. Being gay would not disqualify you but could keep you from winning. My congressman is openly gay, though there aren't many.

229Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 10:49am Top

The prevalent national myth remains that this country was founded as part of God's great plan. It is almost ingrained in our psyche that we are destiny, Reagan's shining city on the hill. It will take a while for that dream to tarnish. I can't imagine the stewardship of God's chosen people being handed over to an atheist anytime soon.

Gay, however, is probably more mainstream than we suspect. The media has done a good job of portraying safe gay people (i.e., people who are "gay", but don't appear to have ever actually engaged in sex, like most homosexuals on situation comedies). Leather guy, no. Nice clean cut young man in a tasteful sweater? Possibly.

230theoria
Jan 4, 2012, 11:27am Top

Bachmann bows out gracelessly.

231faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 11:51am Top

>228 steve.clason: & >229 Makifat:

I think we like to feel that we've come along way regarding public opinion regarding homosexuals but we thought we had in so far as racial issues as well and look at the backlash that came when we elected a Black President.
I live in a rural, primarly Republican, area and one of the main topics of whispered converstation at the town board Christmas party last year was about one of the waiters who was gay. You would have thought we had a space alien waiting on our table.
did not go for a repeat performance this year.

One can "fake" their religion much easier than their sexuality. Not sure why either one matters but I think it would be a close call between "gay" and "athiest"

232timspalding
Jan 4, 2012, 11:55am Top

IMO , An athiest would have a better chance at election than a homosexual. As far as I know, the fear that "athieism" may be catching is far less than the fear that homosexuality is something that can be transmitted from person to person.

I think a agnostic atheist could finesse it provided he was respectful of religion--"I respect religion and the religious heritage of this country, but have myself never felt called to it." An atheist who voiced a positive atheism—I believe there is no God!—wouldn't stand a chance, I think. A homosexual would start with built-in support on the left, but a lot of hatred on right.

233faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 1:31pm Top

>232 timspalding:
One could say the same regarding a homosexual as well. May very well depend on the presentation.

234timspalding
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 1:48pm Top

>233 faceinbook:

Well, homosexuality doesn't have any opinions about others' beliefs, except for a plea for acceptance. A homosexual does not think a straight person is wrong. (The fantasy of the family-values set, of course, is that homosexuality is proselytic.) Ditto agnostic atheism. Positive atheism does—as of course do most religions.

As evidence that we will probably get an agnostic atheist before a homosexual, look to other countries—lots of agnostic atheists, only one homosexual so far (the Icelandic PM). Also, agnosticism and atheism are growing phenomena. Homosexuality seems to have a ceiling.

235Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 4, 2012, 2:46pm Top

(The fantasy of the family-values set, of course, is that homosexuality is proselytic.) Ditto agnostic atheism.

Not so sure about that. I consider myself more agnostic than atheist. That doesn't mean I don't find more to disagree with the more religious someone is.

How does Congress fare in the coming elections? All 435 seats in the H.O.R. with 17 Democrats retiring and 9 Republicans doing the same. 33 Senate seats, with 10 of those being Republican and the balance being Democrat or Independents that vote with the Dems?

236Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 4, 2012, 2:47pm Top

And given what we've seen in the past, I'd still say that an openly homosexual candidate probably has a better chance than an openly atheist one.

237Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 3:19pm Top

236
A sexless one. A theoretical homosexual, if you will.

238Makifat
Jan 4, 2012, 3:38pm Top

239faceinbook
Jan 4, 2012, 5:45pm Top

>234 timspalding:
Yes....what you say is true. Not sure how to say this......Did you perchance see film The Birdcage ? It would make a difference if the person in question was like the Robin Williams character or more like the Nathan Cane character.
In other words...being gay is one thing, actually appearing to be gay is another.

240steve.clason
Jan 4, 2012, 5:50pm Top

#215> "I may be wrong, but I just can't see the democrats hitting him on this."

I hope you're right, but I suspect there'll be anonymously-funded PACs hammering away on Romney's Mormonism if he's nominated. No official committee will, because Democrats are nice.

241Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 4, 2012, 6:05pm Top

In other words...being gay is one thing, actually appearing to be gay is another.

Well, it's fine if they do whatever they do and all. They just can't rub it in your face by holding hands and the like.

Don't ask, don't tell.

If I can't see the fnord, the fnord can't hurt me.

No official committee will, because Democrats are nice.

Well, not to mention the fact that Obama's faith has been pretty low-key and anti-sectarian to begin with. It's not a hot-button issue within the party.

242theoria
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 6:29pm Top

The Republican Party seeks a monopoly over three issues: religion/morality/values, warfare/foreign policy, and taxes (opposing them). The Democrats don't bother to contest the first, because no Democrat will be considered an equal to a Republican who professes the love of God, even a Mormon. On the second, Obama is as hawkish as any possible Republican opponent (save "bombing Iran"), and the Republicans resent it. They may overplay their hand on this, promoting bluster where Obama has achieved results. (For example, in debate Obama could ask a Romney or Santorum for a specific date on which his administration would "bomb Iran" if that nation did not abandon its nuclear program). On the third, the Tea Party Congress bungled away this advantage over payroll taxes. The mantel of "job creator" will be crucial to Republicans. It will be a matter of massaging the contradiction between two arguments they often make: that a President can create jobs; that government cannot create jobs. If economic conditions continue to improve, they will have lost their single best argument against the bureaucratic socialist.

243Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 4, 2012, 6:28pm Top

Whilst all the while, Paul's valid points about civil liberties will be thrust to the background.

244AsYouKnow_Bob
Jan 4, 2012, 7:46pm Top

Here's a thought: had Bachmann bowed out last week, much of her support would have gone to Santorum.*

And Santorum would have been the clear victor of Iowa.

* At least: more of her supporters would pick Santorum than Romney.

245Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 4, 2012, 7:51pm Top

The most vocal Bachmann supporter I know is now behind Perry.

246PaulFoley
Jan 4, 2012, 7:57pm Top

only one homosexual so far (the Icelandic PM)

And Belgium. (And NZ, a decade before Iceland...first transsexual MP, too).

(I don't know what an "agnostic atheist" is supposed to be -- they're just different words for the same thing)

247Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 4, 2012, 10:45pm Top

agnostic atheist

I know quite a few people who would disagree with that.

248MiriamVanScott
Jan 5, 2012, 11:55am Top

If Obama and his team think they can win with the talking points "it could be worse" and "we've created jobs for 20+ months straight" they're facing a huge uphill battle, no matter who the GOP nominee is.

249theoria
Jan 5, 2012, 3:37pm Top

248> True, arguing on the basis of hypotheticals is a losing proposition. What will matter is whether Team Obama's model of "public investment" is more persuasive to independents than the Romney/Santorum model of lowering corporate tax rates and de-regulation. Obama has a slight advantage of being able to run against an historically unpopular and dysfunctional Congress. I doubt Romney or Santorum are in a position to do this without losing support from the influential Tea Party segment in Republican politics.

250Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 5, 2012, 4:04pm Top

#248

I dunno. It seems that about all they have to do at this point is sit back and watch the Republican party implode. And the Republicans are doing quite a bit to oblige them.

251timspalding
Edited: Jan 6, 2012, 11:22pm Top

Here's a thought: had Bachmann bowed out last week, much of her support would have gone to Santorum.

I'd bet 99%. But I think Romey would still have gotten what he needed out of Iowa. Remember, Mike Huckabee won it; Pat Robertson almost won it! The eventual nominee doesn't need to win it. He just needs to do credibly in the establishment "bracket."

Now, if you combined Perry, Bachman and Santorum, you'd be closer to a meaningful upset. Add Gingrich and you'd have one. But then again, Bush came in third in 1988 and McCain came in fourth in 2008!

Romney outperformed.

252timspalding
Jan 6, 2012, 11:27pm Top

Romney leading in South Carolina.
http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/06/politics/gop-presidential-race/index.html?hpt=hp_t...

"Catching Romney in South Carolina, however, may prove to be a slog for his Republican rivals. A CNN/Time/ORC International poll released Friday shows 37% of likely GOP Palmetto State primary voters backing the former Massachusetts governor, compared with 19% for Santorum, 18% for Gingrich, and 12% for Texas Rep. Ron Paul."


If he wins SC, it's over. Not how Santorum plus Gingrich is still a squeaker against Romney.

On the other hand: CNN: "Cain names endorsement date"
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/06/cain-names-endorsement-date/

The question is, did she agree to be his date?

253rcss67
Jan 7, 2012, 2:03am Top

maybe someone will discover Romney's illegitimate black baby in SC? ;-)

254rcss67
Jan 7, 2012, 4:38am Top

http://www.economist.com/node/21542427
interesting article on santorum, and for non americans read the comments to get some idea of what the outside world think of him

255steve.clason
Jan 7, 2012, 11:37am Top

#254> Thanks for the link. I see Santorum's star fading quickly once his fringe positions on social issues drift into common knowledge. Large Republican donors have to be placing their bets increasingly on Romney for the big one in November, now, and should be averse to funding attack ads on the guy they're going to end up supporting.

Unless I'm wrong (and I'm never wrong), third-party grumblings will bubble up after SC.

256MiriamVanScott
Edited: Jan 7, 2012, 1:21pm Top

Be careful about what the 'experts' predict ---- after Obama and the Dems' big win in 2008, the chattering class declared that the GOP would be a 'permanent minority' party that likely would be out of power for a generation.

Ooops --- it was just a year later when Chris Christie won in 'bluer than blue' New Jersey and Mass. elected a Republican to "Ted Kennedy's" senate seat, then came the historic GOP gains in 2010 not only in national elections, but in state houses all over the country.

The ONLY certainty in politics these days is that anything can happen!

257theoria
Jan 7, 2012, 4:27pm Top

"Rick Santorum called President Barack Obama's education goals an agenda of "hubris" on Saturday, saying he is "outraged" that the president thinks "every child in America should go to college."

"The hubris of this president to think that he knows what's best for you (...) This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those that think they know how to run our lives," the former Pennsylvania senator said in a forum at St. Anselm's New Hampshire Institute of Politics." http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/07/santorum-obamas-education-stance...

258timspalding
Jan 8, 2012, 9:27pm Top

He added: "I don't want to make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money; I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money."

Santorum claims he was mistranscribed, and I think he has a good case.

See http://www.mediaite.com/online/did-rick-santorum-really-talk-about-making-‘bla...
Did Rick Santorum Really Talk About Making ‘Black People’s Lives Better’ With ‘Somebody Else’s Money?’

"A review of a clearer version of the video, however, casts serious doubt on whether Santorum actually said “black people’s lives.”

CBS News has posted a cleaner version of Santorum’s remarks, and it seems as though Santorum did not actually say “black people’s lives,” but rather, that he stumbled in mid-sentence with a verbal tic that sounded like that.

“I don’t want to make…mmbligh…people’s lives better” is what it sounds like to me, although CBS News also transcribes it as “”make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

Given the preceding context, in which he talks about the government trying to get more Iowans enrolled in Medicaid, the former explanation makes much more sense than the latter.

The Santorum campaign has still not returned our request for comment.

Here’s the CBS clip. The viewer can judge, but even as an LGBT-friendly liberal, I’m inclined to give Santorum the benefit of the doubt here.

259steve.clason
Jan 9, 2012, 11:59am Top

#258> I think you're right, but I also think the point is moot.* Not only has that horse left the barn, but also (I don't mean to offend anybody so I'm trying to tiptoe) much of Santorum's core constituency wouldn't recognize the mis-transcription as racist, or if they did, they would simply agree with it. He has little hope of attracting support outside of that constituency, so people offended, now wrongly-offended, weren't going to support him anyway.

It's still a shame it happened -- I don't think there's any reason, aside from an apparently false news story, to think that Santorum is a racist, and that's a nasty accusation to make about anybody.

* According to the famous American philosopher Joey Tribiani this would be a "moo point", or a cow's opinion -- something that doesn't matter.

260barney67
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 12:03pm Top

Santorurm was my pick from the beginning. Good Italian social conservative. But I thought he never had a chance to win, which he really doesn't. It was always Romney because he is closer to the center, and everyone campaigns from the center -- in the general election -- in order to appeal to the most voters.

This is something primary voters never seem to understand. Don't vote for the purity candidate. Vote for the one nearest the center because he has the most chance of winning the general election. Thus, G.W. Bush was a good candidate and so was McCain.

Obama campaigned from the center, smiled a lot, made a lot of promises he couldn't keep, spoke well, but when elected he governed from the left. We shouldn't be surprised that there aren't radical changes from one president to the next. I consider that a good thing. I'm suspicious of revolutions. It's easy to say, as an outsider, that you want big changes but that's not how things work.

261Makifat
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 12:36pm Top

257
Obama's point (which Santorum misses in his willful ignorance) is that for Americans to compete in the world market, American high school students ought to be educated enough to be "college ready", even if they choose not to go. Not a bad goal. Santorum's typical appeal to the anti-government paranoids suggests that jackbooted thugs will show up and demand that your children be college educated against their will. It is disheartening that there will be those who fall for this nonsense hook, line, and sinker, but it appeals to the anti-intellectual resentment of some of those on the right.

258/259

Santorum's statement/mistatement needs to be seen in context, coming on the heels of Gingrich's foot-in-mouth comment:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57353438-503544/gingrich-singles-out-blac...

262timspalding
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 12:46pm Top

needs to be seen in context

I think the sentences before and after it are the more appropriate context. Within that context it doesn't make sense as "black people." Your context seems to me to be more in the way of analysis.

263theoria
Jan 9, 2012, 1:23pm Top

261> Santorum's typical appeal to the anti-government paranoids suggests that jackbooted thugs will show up and demand that your children be college educated against their will.

Irony: When the other candidates convey this perspective, they only advance Ron Paul's cause (albeit losing cause).

264SimonW11
Jan 9, 2012, 1:29pm Top

260> I dont see Obama as governing from the left.

265jjwilson61
Jan 9, 2012, 2:06pm Top

260> In what way did Obama campaign from the center and govern from the left? The right seems most upset about Obamacare but that was one of his campaign issues. Getting out of Afghanistan? Guantanomo? Issues that he has not delivered on his campaign promises. So what then?

266Makifat
Jan 9, 2012, 2:45pm Top

262
Yes, I'm referring to the broader context of the Republican field. I'm happy to take Santorum at his word, but it is interesting that Gingrich felt the need to make his own statement regarding blacks and welfare in the wake of the Santorum dust-up. Apparently he felt that Santorum had hit upon a topic that he thought would have resonance with potential supporters.

267faceinbook
Jan 9, 2012, 6:13pm Top

>265 jjwilson61:
Many on the Left are just as upset with Obamacare. Most liberals were hoping for a single payer system. Obama promised to do something about healthcare, his solution was middle of the road. Everyone was ticked....a lose lose situation for Obama.
Not certain where people get the idea that he is an iron fisted Liberal who is unwilling to compromise and is ramming his agenda through Congress. Wish sometimes he was !

268theoria
Edited: Jan 9, 2012, 6:35pm Top

Many on the Left are just as upset with Obamacare. Most liberals were hoping for a single payer system. Obama promised to do something about healthcare, his solution was middle of the road.

Those "liberals" must have missed the 70 debates he had with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in 2008. Clinton and Edwards were for a single payer system, Obama opposed it. His solution was always to maintain private health insurance, which he said was an ingrained American value (or something like this). These liberals' expressions of "disappointment" are as infantile as those of conservatives who view any Republican politician left of Attila the Hun as a RINO.

269timspalding
Jan 9, 2012, 11:33pm Top

Clinton made some friendly noises about single-payer, but she did not run on it. She ran on non-single-payer, in fact. (See http://projects.washingtonpost.com/2008-presidential-candidates/issues/candidate...). This isn't surprising. Single-payer is well outside the mainstream.

270tomcatMurr
Jan 9, 2012, 11:52pm Top

google 'santorum'

271Lunar
Edited: Jan 10, 2012, 3:02am Top

#265: In what way did Obama campaign from the center and govern from the left?

I believe deniro meant to say (or should have said) the wilsonian left... which is the same as the neocon right, but whatever.

#211: Ron Paul's "We're all Austrians now" might represent the bottom of the barrel.

Huh, what? How is that the bottom of the barrel? In fact, when Jon Stewart covered that speech it was to say "Holy $h!t, those Ron Paul people are creepily well-informed to cheer at that reference. We had to look it up on Wikipedia."

#271: google 'santorum'

Oh, no you didn't!

272faceinbook
Jan 10, 2012, 8:49am Top

>268 theoria:
Of course insurance is an "ingrained" American value. Insurance companies generate huge amounts of profits. Profits which are made in an industry that sells it's product based on a fear factor. Any insurance is sold based on fear. Insurance companies are doing well.
Same way we elect our government....

Obama did not run on single payer but the Left was "Hoping" for a single payer.......it will come eventually, much like the Republican party, Americans can sit back and watch the healthcare system undo itself....

273MiriamVanScott
Jan 10, 2012, 9:54am Top

Hmmmm, if America goes to a single payer system, then where will Canadians, Europeans and the rest of the world go when they need serious medical care?

274jjwilson61
Jan 10, 2012, 10:07am Top

273> You mean where would the *rich* Canadians etc, go to get advanced medical care. The answer is that the rich will always be able to get superior medical care. I'm more concerned about how the rest of us are going to get minimal health care.

275SimonW11
Jan 10, 2012, 11:03am Top

273> well a lot come to us in the uk though we are a bit pricey we tend to go to spain portugal or the old eastern block countries, if we are looking for stuff on the cheap, we rarely venture outside europe though I am told canada has a good rep (I am excluding the USA since you seem to think it will stop providing severices to overseas patients,) I understand that canadian doctors are reluctant to deal with american insurers but that might change under your scenario.

At the moment from what I recall the people from the US seeking healthcare outside the US was creeping up to overtake the people from abroad seeking health care in that country, but there will always be exceptions and the all western countries seem to have world centres of expertise in some aspect or another of medicine. generally within the EU reciprocal arrangements between state heathcare systems are growing, and most countries have plenty of private practicioners and private insurance schemes, so if a system was for some bizzare reason set up in america that disallowed private schemes and practioners, i guess those pratictioners would move to europe, but really I dont see an american scheme however universal ending either private insurance or private practices. It did not here in the UK and we have one of the most universal systems around.

276faceinbook
Jan 10, 2012, 11:29am Top

Please do not mistake my observation as to the direction of our medical care as a desire to see it go that way.
It will go that way because we will force it to. It is much like the Wall Street debacle....opperating in ways that are unsustainable. Unless someone decides to make positive changes, it will be forced into change.
Despite what the government will allow or not allow, what they fund or do not fund. The power still lies with the people to make a change. I do not see this happening.

Health care will become a two class system......one for the rich and one for the rest of us. Those on the top will be making plenty of money but the top will be small......the rest will get what they get. Sound familiar ?

277barney67
Jan 10, 2012, 11:40am Top

271 -- No, you misinterpreted me. I do believe Obama has governed from the left. Health care being the most obvious example.

Wilsonian left is not equal to neocon right. I have much sympathy with neoconservatives but do not consider myself Wilsonian. The neoconservative position is a response to the war on terror started by militant Muslims. Not Wilsonian. Pre-emptive strikes will likely be necessary. One can't, in a nuclear, terrorist age, simply wait to be attacked. But the point is moot because we are already at war, have been for decades at least, and will be for decades at least. We just weren't fighting back.

Neoconservatives and others on the right criticized the removal of troops from Iraq. But it is also true that the opposing view, removing them, had support on the right and left. There is an isolationism, what I consider dangerously naive, on right and left regarding the Iraq issue and the Iran nuke issue. See Ron Paul, esp., and his followers.

Speaking of…might sound strange, but as a conservative I have no faith in Austrian economics. Doesn't matter, because you could never get the Democrats in Congress to accept it, let alone all the Republicans.

I don't want to argue these points. Just clarifying where I stand.

Like Santorum said in the last debate, I do see a role for government.

278theoria
Jan 10, 2012, 9:15pm Top

Irrealist libertarianism on display in Ron Paul's victory speech for a second place finish.

279Lunar
Edited: Jan 11, 2012, 1:23am Top

#273: Latin America has been getting interesting insofar as medical tourism goes.

#277: Like Santorum said in the last debate, I do see a role for government.

Sure, like regulating the frothiness of santorum residue. But not for propping up dictators and insurgent groups so that we can cross our fingers in the hope it won't backfire again.

#278: At least you didn't bother to misquote anything this time. But doubling his support from the previous NH primary is no small feat.

280PaulFoley
Jan 11, 2012, 5:14am Top

I have no faith in Austrian economics

Is it the case that you don't "have faith" in logic, or that you believe there's an error in the Austrian application thereof? (In which case, would you mind very much pointing it out, please? ;))

Doesn't matter, because you could never get the Democrats in Congress to accept it, let alone all the Republicans.

The world works the way it works, regardless of who "accepts it" and who doesn't.

281Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 11, 2012, 5:16am Top

#280

Would you care to elucidate what you mean by the question? I'm a bit confused here...

282Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 11, 2012, 5:17am Top

If the world works the way it works, then why do we have people who try to get others to accept what they believe, but for the fact that the world works the way the world works?

283Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 11, 2012, 5:18am Top

But the point is moot because we are already at war, have been for decades at least, and will be for decades at least. We just weren't fighting back.

What's the casualty count on that war?

284Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 11, 2012, 5:19am Top

Feel free to include freedom and other ideas amongst the dead.

285prosfilaes
Jan 11, 2012, 6:36am Top

#280: Is it the case that you don't "have faith" in logic

Humans are not ideal spheres in simple harmonic motion, and things are always more complex then we'd like. Even in simple sciences, like chemistry, we have wonderful ideal gas laws, that fail for common substances at common temperatures, like hydrogen oxide below 100 C. You can make whatever models you want, but they're going to be wrong in some cases, and more often than not if you swear by logic instead acknowledging that. Even if the models were roughly correct when they were formulated in the 1970s, I don't know that the events since then haven't amounted to a phase change. I'm certainly skeptical of any brand of so-called scholarship that doesn't think that question should be asked.

Not to mention that chemistry isn't self-referential. To model economics, you have to take into account the spread of theories of economics and their effects on the people who accept them. I don't think we have a theory of idea transmission strong enough to really model that even today.

286PaulFoley
Jan 11, 2012, 9:28am Top

Even in simple sciences, like chemistry, we have wonderful ideal gas laws, that fail for common substances at common temperatures, like hydrogen oxide below 100 C.

And you're suggesting that the failure of your model is failure of logic? The fact that your gas model fails means that...the moon could turn into an elephant on alternate Mondays?

The problem is with your model. Austrian economics eschews modelling for exactly that reason...it's Keynesians and the like who fall into that trap (Friedman even wrote that the less realistic the model, the better!)

Even if the models were roughly correct when they were formulated in the 1970s, I don't know that the events since then haven't amounted to a phase change.

Two plus two was four when I left school, but I don't know that events since then haven't amounted to a phase change...is it still true? Will it still be true next year? (Can you be certain?)

287jjwilson61
Jan 11, 2012, 9:57am Top

Which economic model you adhere to is largely a matter of faith or maybe philosophy. There is little empirical evidence to support any of them.

288PaulFoley
Jan 11, 2012, 10:24am Top

No.

289prosfilaes
Jan 11, 2012, 11:41am Top

#286: Two plus two was four when I left school

And yet two liters of water plus two liters of ethanol don't make four liters of liquid; they make 3.88 liters of liquid. Math is easy, but its connection to reality is slippery. The concept you can investigate reality through pure logic has long since been exploded. Reality is messy.

291Carnophile
Edited: Jan 16, 2012, 7:12pm Top

>285 prosfilaes: To model economics, you have to take into account the spread of theories of economics and their effects on the people who accept them. I don't think we have a theory of idea transmission strong enough to really model that even today.

Indeed. The formation of expectations has been a big topic for decades. We're certainly not "done" with it, natch; no one says we are. (Heaven forbid, then what would we do for paper topics?)

>287 jjwilson61: Which economic model you adhere to is largely a matter of faith or maybe philosophy. There is little empirical evidence to support any of them.

Roughly half the field is empirical. Here's a link to get you started. Again, no one is saying that we're "done." But to imply that economists' beliefs aren't disciplined by data is just silly.

292Carnophile
Jan 16, 2012, 7:10pm Top

>289 prosfilaes: And yet two liters of water plus two liters of ethanol don't make four liters of liquid; they make 3.88 liters of liquid.

Well, I can't vouch for how other people use words, but when I say "Two plus two equals four" in the context of, say, litres of liquid, I just mean mentally aggregating them. Or if you like, shoving two litres of water closer to two two litres of ethanol on the shelf. This is hardly mathematics; it's just counting.

To take another example, with which Paul Foley sems to be more conversant than anyone else in Pro & Con: Relativistic physics. If you're going south at 0.75 lightspeed relative to me (as measured by me) and Paul is going north at 0.75 lightspeed relative to me (as measured by me), you won't measure your velocities reltive to each other at 1.5 c, but something less. This doesn't refute the notion that 0.75 + 0.75 = 1.5; it just means that the relevant operation is not addition.

293prosfilaes
Jan 17, 2012, 1:31am Top

#292: it just means that the relevant operation is not addition.

That's the point. For at least a couple millennium, that you could simply add velocities was not only considered fact, it was considered obvious, pure logic. Paul wants to feed us the line that his brand of economics is based on logic and thus is obviously true. (See #280.) I don't know much about the Austrian school of economics, but I do know that if they're patting themselves on the back about how obviously logically true their theories are instead of building models (#286) and comparing them to the real world, then they're full of nonsense.

294PaulFoley
Jan 17, 2012, 7:20am Top

That's the point. For at least a couple millennium, that you could simply add velocities was not only considered fact, it was considered obvious, pure logic.

And it still is ... if you're going 50mph to the north and I'm going 50mph to the west our approach/separation velocities don't add to 100mph either. It's just addition of vectors with an extra component that wasn't considered in the 19th century. {Actually, vector addition isn't such a simple and obvious procedure, either ... }

I don't know much about the Austrian school of economics, but I do know that if they're patting themselves on the back about how obviously logically true their theories are instead of building models (#286) and comparing them to the real world, then they're full of nonsense.

There's one big difference between economics and physics: Physics is concerned with a subject that exists independently of people, and we can only know about it what we learn through the senses; therefore modelling and never having certain knowledge -- there's always the possibility we didn't/couldn't notice things, like the need for that extra vector component when adding velocities. The subject of economics, on the other hand, is one about which we have direct internal knowledge: purposeful action. All of economics is built up from the logical consequences of the "assumption" of purposeful action (not the reasons behind said action; you can model and study that, but that's psychology, not economics). That's not an assumption you can dispute (doing so would be a purposeful action!)

See Rothbard's "In Defense of 'Extreme Apriorism'".

295faceinbook
Jan 17, 2012, 8:43am Top

http://prospect.org/article/evangelical-ballot-stuffing
http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2004/957
http://www.bradblog.com/?p=9069

Could this be the reason Republicans are so positive that there is wide spread election fraud ?? Seriously ? Who is most likely to participate ?

They are so intent on "new" laws to prevent this stuff and seem unable to govern themselves. It would appear that the Party of less government needs "big brother" to watch over them a bit !

296jjwilson61
Jan 17, 2012, 10:28am Top

294> All of economics is built up from the logical consequences of the "assumption" of purposeful action

Seriously? Is a spending spree purposeful? I think that it's been shown that man's economic behavior isn't rational, so why should I believe any logical consequences from that?

Or do I not understand what you mean by "purposeful action'?

297theoria
Edited: Jan 17, 2012, 12:26pm Top

Despite endorsements from von Mises and Franz Ferdinand, Ron Paul's USA-Austria Anschluss train hit a brick wall in last night's debate. Too often he broke off into tangents that brought out the crazy. When he's not facing a crowd of true believers, his idee fixe appears brittle and, in performance, he comes off as an ideological crank.

298StormRaven
Jan 17, 2012, 12:33pm Top

That's not an assumption you can dispute (doing so would be a purposeful action!)

Prove it.

299Carnophile
Jan 17, 2012, 1:53pm Top

Prove it.

Well, he did say it's an assumption.

-----------

More to the point, I don't see fundamental differences between Austrians and conventional theorists. Austrians start with assumptions and derive conclusions by verbal logic. Mainstream theorists start with assumptions and derive conclusions by mathematical logic. In a fundamental sense, what's the difference?

It seems to me that they all either sink or swim together, or the mainstreamers have the edge, in that math lacks some of the weird tripwires that verbal reasoning has. E.g., it's a lot easier to equivocate unintentionally about the phrase "purposeful action" than about, say, the phrase "Lyapunov function."

301PaulFoley
Jan 17, 2012, 6:47pm Top

Prove it.

Prove what? That your saying "prove it" was a purposeful action? Do you think otherwise? Perhaps your muscles just twitched, while you happened to be near your keyboard, and random muscle twitches happened to quote my words and spell out "prove it" afterwards, and then hit "Save message"? I suppose it's possible ... which would only prove that your particular post wasn't a purposeful action, not that purposeful action doesn't exist ... but it seems unlikely.

302StormRaven
Edited: Jan 17, 2012, 7:52pm Top

Well, he did say it's an assumption.

Ah, but what I asked him to prove was that disputing the assumption of purposeful action was by necessity purposeful action.

His response has been to sputter ineffectually.

303PaulFoley
Jan 17, 2012, 7:32pm Top

Seriously? Is a spending spree purposeful? I think that it's been shown that man's economic behavior isn't rational, so why should I believe any logical consequences from that?

Obviously a spending spree is purposeful. And I don't know what you mean by "rational" -- rationality is the connection between beliefs and desires and behaviour: a man who wraps tinfoil around his head to stop Martians beaming murderous thoughts into his brain is rational because he believes there are Martians trying to beam thoughts into his head, he believes that tinfoil can block Martian thought-beams, and he desires not to be affected by said thought-beams. Whether they actually exist or not is beside the point. All behaviour is rational. When people go talking about other people being "irrational," they mean something different: "He's not doing what I (think I) would do," or "he's not doing what he 'should' do according to some calculation" (this is what "man's economic behavior isn't rational" probably means -- doesn't match up with some economic model -- which is the problem with modelling behaviour! It's not the subject man who isn't rational...and it's not Austrians who have a problem with his behaviour, so I don't understand why this argument keeps being brought up against Austrians in support of non-Austrian methodology against which it actually does represent an argument! Feels like living in backwards-world.)

Despite endorsements from von Mises and Franz Ferdinand, Ron Paul...

You know Mises died in 1973, right? A little early to have endorsed anyone's 2012 presidential campaign, I would have throught...

Austrians start with assumptions and derive conclusions by verbal logic. Mainstream theorists start with assumptions and derive conclusions by mathematical logic. In a fundamental sense, what's the difference?

Austrians start with correct assumptions and therefore derive correct conclusions. "Mainstream" theorists start from false assumptions (see Friedman on how "the less well the assumptions relate to reality, the better"), or work backwards from statistics, so if they reach correct conclusions it's purely by accident.

304lawecon
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 12:17am Top

~294

There's one big difference between economics and physics: Physics is concerned with a subject that exists independently of people, and we can only know about it what we learn through the senses; therefore modelling and never having certain knowledge -- there's always the possibility we didn't/couldn't notice things, like the need for that extra vector component when adding velocities. The subject of economics, on the other hand, is one about which we have direct internal knowledge: purposeful action. All of economics is built up from the logical consequences of the "assumption" of purposeful action (not the reasons behind said action; you can model and study that, but that's psychology, not economics). That's not an assumption you can dispute (doing so would be a purposeful action!)

==========================

Usually things you can't dispute are tautologies and tell you nothing about reality. But let's assume that this is some sort of "analytic synthetic" proposition a la Kant and Mises.

So you know how humans act by examining your "inner states?" So you are rich? Well, you must be. You can look at the thousands of potential and new products and ask yourself "Do I like this or not. Do I like it better than what has been widely available for sometime previous." That tells you the apodictically certain truth about that product, doesn't it? (Excuse me, I now have to go pick up that linguistic philosopher and that psychologist that have been rolling around on the floor and dust them off.)

305prosfilaes
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 12:52am Top

#301: which is the problem with modelling behaviour!

Maybe you don't know what we mean by economics. It's the study that's supposed to tell us what the exchange rate is going to be between the yen and the dollar is going to be in February. And that sort of depends on whether the Japanese decide to officially exchange yen for dollars on a 1:1 basis or if they decide to return to the isolation of the Edo period or if they decide to replace the Yen with the Electro (because Power Grid is just that awesome a game.) If you claim that those are unrealistic, now you've started modelling behavior.

Austrians start with correct assumptions and therefore derive correct conclusions.

2500 years of science--or at the very least, the 400 since Galileo--have taught us that's wrong. Dangerously wrong. It doesn't matter how satisfied you are with your assumptions, the only way to know that you have correct conclusions is by testing them. The vast majority of "correct" conclusions derived from "correct" assumptions have gone down when actually tested.

Heck, computer science should be able to work from correct assumptions to correct conclusions; it's working in a purely logical annex to the real world. And yet the great Donald Knuth once wrote "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." And he later said that there were in fact bugs in that code.

#299: More to the point, I don't see fundamental differences between Austrians and conventional theorists. Austrians start with assumptions and derive conclusions by verbal logic. Mainstream theorists start with assumptions and derive conclusions by mathematical logic. In a fundamental sense, what's the difference?

To the extent that's they don't test their conclusions, they're both wrong. And I'm not really arguing against any brand of economics; I'm arguing against Paul's assumption that we can say it's logical therefore it's right.

#301: see Friedman on how "the less well the assumptions relate to reality, the better"

I don't know what you're trying to prove with this quote. What I'm hearing from this quote is that there are those among the economists with the quote-mining skills and thus honesty of the creationists.

306PaulFoley
Jan 18, 2012, 2:17am Top

So you know how humans act by examining your "inner states?"

I know that they act, I don't claim to know how they're going to act (the latter is the subject of psychology, not economics).

You can look at the thousands of potential and new products and ask yourself "Do I like this or not. Do I like it better than what has been widely available for sometime previous." That tells you the apodictically certain truth about that product, doesn't it?

Well, I suppose so: it tells me that I like it...

Maybe you don't know what we mean by economics. It's the study that's supposed to tell us what the exchange rate is going to be between the yen and the dollar is going to be in February.

Well, if that's what you mean by economics, you might as well give up now. A crystal ball would serve as well, and is cheaper and easier.

2500 years of science--or at the very least, the 400 since Galileo--have taught us that's wrong. Dangerously wrong. It doesn't matter how satisfied you are with your assumptions, the only way to know that you have correct conclusions is by testing them. The vast majority of "correct" conclusions derived from "correct" assumptions have gone down when actually tested.

Demonstrating that you don't understand the scientific method, or how or to what it applies. Do physicists spend a lot of time testing whether two plus two makes four, in your world?

307prosfilaes
Jan 18, 2012, 2:46am Top

#306: Well, if that's what you mean by economics, you might as well give up now.

You could always try explaining what you mean by economics.

A crystal ball would serve as well, and is cheaper and easier.

If a crystal ball is as reliable as your economics, then why do we care about your economics?

Do physicists spend a lot of time testing whether two plus two makes four, in your world?

No--that's math. Physicists study physics in my world, and they spend a lot of time testing physics in my world. Physicists who don't test their theories don't get tenure in my world.

There are some who start from "correct" assumptions and therefore have "correct" conclusions, like astrologers.

308PaulFoley
Jan 18, 2012, 5:07am Top

If a crystal ball is as reliable as your economics, then why do we care about your economics?

You're the one who wants economics to predict the future, not me. Austrian econ (which is not what I was comparing to a crystal ball) is 100% reliable, but doesn't claim to do magic. Your "economics" (which is what I was comparing to a crystal ball) may claim to do magic, but it doesn't work ... so the right question is, why should we care about your economics?

No--that's math. Physicists study physics in my world, and they spend a lot of time testing physics in my world.

And all of rests on a foundation of mathematics, which they don't bother to test because ...?

Physicists who don't test their theories don't get tenure in my world.

See above on the difference between physics and economics.

There are some who start from "correct" assumptions and therefore have "correct" conclusions, like astrologers.

One problem with that: astrologers don't "start from correct assumptions". (And I'm pretty sure you know that, so what was the point??)

309lawecon
Jan 18, 2012, 7:05am Top

~306

So you know how humans act by examining your "inner states?"

I know that they act, I don't claim to know how they're going to act (the latter is the subject of psychology, not economics).

========================

So, you know a definition schema that turns around the term "act." And of what use is that knowledge, exactly?

Here's a suggestion. Take a volume like Human Action, which claims to build up from such an "axiom" to all sorts of other propositions about the world - e.g., the wholly unrelated concept of comparative advantage. If you don't know about elementary logic get a text on that and read it first. Then take Human Action paragraph by paragraph and see if you can trace out the inferences. Hint: You won't be able to, because they aren't there. All that is there is the intellectual equivalent of "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat."

===========================

Maybe you don't know what we mean by economics.

============================

OTOH, I wouldn't bother about this if I were you. This person obviously doesn't know the difference between Economics and International Finance.

310StormRaven
Jan 18, 2012, 8:33am Top

Well, I suppose so: it tells me that I like it...

Maybe. Studies have shown that people's preferences don't work the way Austrian logic concludes they do. But that's just silly empiricism. Don't let it get in the way of your "starting with assumptions and proceeding from there".

311StormRaven
Jan 18, 2012, 8:35am Top

Austrians start with correct assumptions and therefore derive correct conclusions.

What do Austrians conclude about the effect of incentives upon worker output?

312PaulFoley
Jan 18, 2012, 9:51am Top

Studies have shown that people's preferences don't work the way Austrian logic concludes they do.

Studies have shown no such thing. But since you misinterpret (I think deliberately) and don't understand what "Austrian logic concludes", how could you know?

313StormRaven
Jan 18, 2012, 10:00am Top

Studies have shown no such thing.

Closing your eyes to evidence that undermines your logical model. Good job. You're a very good little Austrian.

314Carnophile
Edited: Jan 18, 2012, 12:58pm Top

>294 PaulFoley: I've read the Rothbard essay you linked to (must admit I skipped most of the footnotes). Here's a quote:
(People) have some ends, and use some means to try to attain them. This is Mises’s Fundamental Axiom, and it is this axiom that gives the whole praxeological structure of economic theory built upon it its absolute and apodictic certainty.
Regarding the apodictically obvious axiom that people choose means to satisfy ends...

So does Austrian theory prove (or assume) that sneezes, heartbeats, and the digestion of food don't exist? Or do Austrians call those things "purposeful action"?

315Carnophile
Jan 18, 2012, 12:55pm Top

>305 prosfilaes:
Austrians start with assumptions and derive conclusions by verbal logic. Mainstream theorists start with assumptions and derive conclusions by mathematical logic. In a fundamental sense, what's the difference?

To the extent that's they don't test their conclusions, they're both wrong.

"All models are false." It is to be hoped that some of them are helpful in organizing one's thinking. I know of no mainstream theorists who say, "I have a model; its conclusions are certainly true." That's not really the point of modeling.

-----------
The Friedman thing, iirc, was something like this: Professional pool players don't know classical mechanics, but we can predict the shots they make by modelling them as if they did. That they really don't isn't relevant. I don't think Friedman ever said the more false, the better.

316Carnophile
Jan 18, 2012, 1:02pm Top

>303 PaulFoley: Austrians start with correct assumptions and therefore derive correct conclusions. "Mainstream" theorists start from false assumptions...

Is there some reason Austrians don't start with apodictically certain assumptions and use mathematics to go from there? (Or do they, and I'm just not aware of it?)

317Carnophile
Jan 18, 2012, 1:07pm Top

I'm confused about the Austrian position on a statement like this:

"Women like romantic comedies more than men like romantic comedies."

Is the idea that this has no basis in reality, or that it does, but it's not economics, but "empirical psychology" or whatever? If it's the latter then a whole host of "methodological disputes" really are just terminological disputes.

318SimonW11
Jan 18, 2012, 2:17pm Top

I believe his point is astronomers test their assumptions and astrologers don't.

319prosfilaes
Jan 18, 2012, 3:21pm Top

#308 (Paul): I see you dodged the invitation to explain what you mean by economics.

You're the one who wants economics to predict the future, not me.

I think most people want economists to predict the future. It's like meteorologists; they don't have to be perfect, but they have to try. We pay the guys who tell us that 1890 had two more hurricanes then previously thought because they help the guys who tell us that Hurricane Alberto isn't going to hit New Orleans this year.

Austrian econ (...) is 100% reliable

100% reliable at what? Telling me what the stock prices were yesterday? Telling us we're in a depression?

Here's another question I'm afraid you'll dodge. If Austrian economics doesn't make predictions, what does it mean for it to be 100% reliable? If it does, what predictions are you saying it's 100% reliable at?

why should we care about your economics?

I don't have an economics. But economists who treat their work as a science, if their theories don't fit reality, they go back to the table and reanalyze their theories and assumptions.

And all of rests on a foundation of mathematics, which they don't bother to test because ...?

What an interesting question, and what a shame it came up in this environment. Shoving the question to the side, when physicists deal with reality, they test.

See above on the difference between physics and economics.

If you don't like the comparison between physics and economics, stop bringing it up. You can swear up and down that you can magically intuit how an economic system works from first principles, but physics is an excellent example of how the world is more complex then you think.

320PaulFoley
Jan 18, 2012, 9:36pm Top

So does Austrian theory prove (or assume) that sneezes, heartbeats, and the digestion of food don't exist? Or do Austrians call those things "purposeful action"?

No...those things are not purposeful action, are they?! So how are they relevant? The existence of purposeful action doesn't imply the non-existence of non-purposeful events ...

321PaulFoley
Jan 18, 2012, 10:18pm Top

Closing your eyes to evidence that undermines your logical model. Good job.

I'm not closing my eyes to anything. No such "evidence" actually exists; only your misinterpretation (because you don't bother to understand what you're talking about). That you think it's evidence doesn't make it so.

Is there some reason Austrians don't start with apodictically certain assumptions and use mathematics to go from there? (Or do they, and I'm just not aware of it?)

Of course they do ... where mathematics is relevant (Rothbard was a mathematician before he got into economics). I don't know why people think Austrians are opposed to mathematics...but when there are no numbers, equations aren't much use.

Here's another question I'm afraid you'll dodge. If Austrian economics doesn't make predictions, what does it mean for it to be 100% reliable? If it does, what predictions are you saying it's 100% reliable at?

It does make predictions; it just doesn't make the kind of impossible predictions you demand. Economics can say, with 100% certainty, that, say, a rise in minimum wage will lead to higher unemployment, all else being equal. It cannot say that a $0.30 rise in minimum wage will lead to a 0.2% rise in unemployment, or whatever ... nor, of course, can non-Austrians, whatever they pretend. Nor can anybody guarantee that all else is the same; Austrian econ doesn't say you can't have a rise in minimum wage along with a fall in unemployment -- of course you can...because other factors can change as well. Non-Austrians try to gather these statistics and work out a theory that explains them, but in order to interpret the statistics (or even know what statistics to gather) you have to already have a theory, otherwise they're just random numbers. You can't see an event -- a rise in minimum wage along with a fall in unemployment -- and extract any information from that that isn't already embedded in the theory you're using to isolate and interpret the data ... attempting to find such events and they say "hey, look, this data disproves your theory" (like StormRaven with his misinterpretations of Dan Ariely) just demonstrates that the person saying it doesn't understand either the theory he's arguing against or the scientific method per se. (The "evidence" you would need would be that unemployment wouldn't be even lower if the minimum wage hike hadn't happened -- and you can't gather statistics about events that never happened!)

But economists who treat their work as a science, if their theories don't fit reality, they go back to the table and reanalyze their theories and assumptions.

The Austrian school is the only one that does treat economics as a science. You don't understand the scientific method. Like I said, physics is entirely based on mathematics, but physicists don't go around "testing" whether two plus two is four, or decide to "go back to the table and reanalyze their theories and assumptions" when "two liters of water plus two liters of ethanol don't make four liters of liquid." That would be grossly unscientific; but that's exactly what you demand of economists!

I don't think Friedman ever said the more false, the better.

In fact, he said almost exactly that (I tried to look up his actual words, but this SOPA blackout is getting in the way).

but physics is an excellent example of how the world is more complex then you think.

Physics is an excellent example of how the world is much simpler than you think.

322StormRaven
Jan 18, 2012, 10:25pm Top

The "evidence" you would need would be that unemployment wouldn't be even lower if the minimum wage hike hadn't happened -- and you can't gather statistics about events that never happened!

The problem with this is that you can set up tests to study this sort of thing, and it turns out that the Austrian conclusions just don't hold true when examined using real people. Closing your eyes to the empirical data doesn't make your theory stronger, it just makes it irrelevant.

323PaulFoley
Jan 18, 2012, 11:36pm Top

The problem with this is that you can set up tests to study this sort of thing

No; the problem is that you don't even understand what I'm saying, so you don't know whether tests can be done or not (obviously, they can't...you'd need a way to see into alternate realities...without influencing them--which implies that there's no way to see into alternate realities!) There are no studies where "it turns out that the Austrian conclusions just don't hold true when examined using real people." There may be studies which you interpret that way, but that's just you misinterpreting (and how can you expect to be able to tell whether a result "agrees" with "Austrian conclusions" or not when you don't know what "Austrian conclusions" are? There are "studies which show that two plus two isn't four" too -- prosfilaes says two litres of water plus two litres of ethanol makes 3.88 litres of liquid ... should I interpret that as evidence that mathematicians throughout the ages are "irrelevant" and basically lunatics clinging to wrong ideas? Or would that be a misinterpretation? That's exactly what you're doing! Do you interpret my continuing belief that 2+2=4 as "closing my eyes to the empirical data", disbelieving prosfilaes's assertion, or something? FTR, I do believe prosfilaes!)

324Lunar
Jan 19, 2012, 1:18am Top

#322: The problem with this is that you can set up tests to study this sort of thing, and it turns out that the Austrian conclusions just don't hold true when examined using real people.

As far as I am aware, Austrian economics has in practice been more of a historical science than an experimental science. But neither have I ever heard of empirical evidence contradicting Austrian economics. Well, there was this one study I did hear about, but it's conclusions were gotten by having the experimenters impose their value system upon the participants. It's kind of hard to disprove the role of goal-seeking in economics by ignoring the goals of the individual in question.

325prosfilaes
Jan 19, 2012, 6:47am Top

#321: Economics can say, with 100% certainty, that, say, a rise in minimum wage will lead to higher unemployment, all else being equal.

And physicists can tell you with 100% certainty that air pressure will be constant across a continuous volume of air, all else being equal. If you're worried about hurricanes, that's not good enough.

(The "evidence" you would need would be that unemployment wouldn't be even lower if the minimum wage hike hadn't happened -- and you can't gather statistics about events that never happened!)

That's what statistics was created for! You can't both give a person a drug and give them a placebo at the same time. So you give a lot of people drugs and placebos and use statistics to handle the fact they aren't the same people. If you want to know whether minimum wage hikes tend to increase unemployment, then use statistics to evaluate whether in fact unemployment tends to go up after minimum wage increases.

Again, trusting anyone who says my theories can't be tested but are self-evidently true is a fool's game.

physicists don't ... decide to "go back to the table and reanalyze their theories and assumptions" when "two liters of water plus two liters of ethanol don't make four liters of liquid."

If they believe that simple addition is appropriate for combination of liquids, then they should reanalyze their theories.

326jjwilson61
Jan 19, 2012, 7:39am Top

Mathematics isn't an assumption, it's a tool. An assumption would be that the speed of a falling object depends on it's weight which seems true to most people. Physicists actually tested that assumption and found out it was false. If Austrian economics rests on the assumption that people will act logically then any conclusions that it draws will be false.

327StormRaven
Jan 19, 2012, 8:12am Top

But neither have I ever heard of empirical evidence contradicting Austrian economics.

What does "logic" tell you about people's propensity to cheat? Would you think that people would cheat more if the potential financial reward for doing so were greater? If so, you would be wrong. Cheating appears to be almost completely unaffected by the potential financial reward.

329faceinbook
Jan 19, 2012, 11:53am Top

>327 StormRaven:
"Cheating appears to be almost completely unaffected by the potential financial reward."

Cheating is a character flaw......see post #328 !!!

330Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 19, 2012, 12:00pm Top

It's not cheating if it's an open marriage. Unfortunately, that didn't seem to be one.

331theoria
Jan 19, 2012, 12:03pm Top

"The fact that I asked my wife for permission to cheat shows I can work with Congress." -- N. Gingrich

332StormRaven
Edited: Jan 19, 2012, 12:09pm Top

Cheating is a character flaw......see post #328 !!!

Interestingly, cheating is a flaw that studies seem to show most people have. Given the opportunity, it seems that most people will cheat, but just by a little bit.

(At least when money is concerned. I haven't seen anything about marital infidelity)

333faceinbook
Jan 19, 2012, 12:31pm Top

>330 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
Must have been "open" in Newt's mind !

>331 theoria:
Obviously cheater's often fail to understand how their behavior may appear to others. In fact, so much so that they think their behavior can be spun into a positive.

>332 StormRaven:
Would agree.....however, it would seem that some will "cheat" a bit and others will elevate "CHEATING" to an art form, with money and/or infidelity.

334theoria
Jan 19, 2012, 12:34pm Top

333> #331 is not a real quote :)

335barney67
Jan 19, 2012, 1:16pm Top

Democrats defended Clinton. I distance myself from Newt's rotten behavior. Of course, Santorum was my pick from the beginning, when he started near the bottom. From getting 1% of the vote early on, he may pick up steam, esp. with the Newt revelation and with Rick Perry dropping out. But I never expected Santorum to beat Obama. I leave that to Romney.

Those of us who sympathize with social conservatives understand that society has a moral foundation, not an economic one, that must be tended to lest the country fall into decay. As I look about me on a daily basis, I see a lot of people, I mean a lot, who live without a moral sense. Their behavior is guided by looking out for number one or by "as long as it's legal, I can do it."

For this belief, seeing one's life in moral categories, Santorum and I are called extremists and much nastier things.

336Makifat
Jan 19, 2012, 2:28pm Top

Those of us who sympathize with social conservatives ...

And yet, for all your moral clarity and strength of character, you just can't bring yourself to call yourself a "social conservative". C'mon, buddy, screw up the courage, take a stand, get off the fence!

I see a lot of people, I mean a lot, who live without a moral sense.

Or perhaps their sense of morality just isn't as simplistic as yours.

337Makifat
Edited: Jan 19, 2012, 2:32pm Top

Santorum and I are called extremists and much nastier things.

That's it. Now I have to go Google "deniro".

338Makifat
Jan 19, 2012, 2:32pm Top

Now, Ayatollah Khomeini. There was a guy with a sense of moral clarity.

339timspalding
Jan 19, 2012, 2:49pm Top

>335 barney67:

I can't stand the logic that, because conservatives talk about values somewhat more than liberals, their pecadillos are fair game for the most vicious attacks, but when someone on the left misbehaves it's nobody's business. I mean, it's not like you couldn't find 1,000 quotes from Clinton about how important his family was to him.

Similarly, as much as I dislike Santorum, the nastiness against him is truly amazing. Just imagine how people would be reacting if one of the contenders for the Democratic nomination—Obama, say, or Clinton—had their first Google hit be a disgusting neologism. Heck, I admire Savage for his anti-bullying campaign, but something is very wrong with his picture and others' when he is also the motive force behind such a monstrous campaign of bullying and incivility.

340StormRaven
Jan 19, 2012, 2:54pm Top

As I look about me on a daily basis, I see a lot of people, I mean a lot, who live without a moral sense. Their behavior is guided by looking out for number one or by "as long as it's legal, I can do it."

And yet, by almost any measure you care to use, society is better off now than it was in the "good old days". Crime rates? Much lower than in the past. Teen pregnancy? Lower. And so on and so forth. It seems like the empirical evidence is against the notion that as the society has become more secular, it has "fallen into decay".

341StormRaven
Jan 19, 2012, 2:58pm Top

Just imagine how people would be reacting if one of the contenders for the Democratic nomination—Obama, say, or Clinton—had their first Google hit be a disgusting neologism.

A neologism that predates Santorum's run for the Republican nomination by a considerable amount.

something is very wrong with his picture and others' when he is also the motive force behind such a monstrous campaign of bullying and incivility.

People react badly when someone compares them with pedophiles and zoophiles. Santorum is simply reaping what he sowed. As a man so concerned about bringing Biblical values into public discourse, this should be perfectly okay with him.

342Makifat
Jan 19, 2012, 3:05pm Top

340
You should visit deniro's neighborhood. It's apparently a cesspool of depravity. One day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the sidewalks....

343timspalding
Jan 19, 2012, 3:56pm Top

A neologism that predates Santorum's run for the Republican nomination by a considerable amount.

No, that's a fair point. But he was a Senator then, and the neologism's supporters continue to campaign for it. If they had second thoughts, there are many ways to show it.

Santorum is simply reaping what he sowed.

I disagree with his position on the topic, for sure, but the logic of hatred is that everyone reaps more than they sow.

And yet, by almost any measure you care to use, society is better off now than it was in the "good old days". Crime rates? Much lower than in the past.

I think this needs to be argued point-by-point. There are clearly wins on both sides of the ledger, and much depends whether you think the "Good Old Days" are the Hoover, Eisenhower or Carter administration. For example, the murder rate is higher now than it was from 1950-1967. The high-point since 1950 was in 1980. It has declined since then.

344prosfilaes
Jan 19, 2012, 4:34pm Top

#335: Those of us who sympathize with social conservatives understand that society has a moral foundation, not an economic one

That's one of the conservatives' most tiring arguments. Liberalism has a strong moral foundation; feed the hungry, give shelter to the shelterless, heal the sick, protect the powerless, forgive those who have transgressed against us and lead them back into the fold, do not be quick to judge others but instead accept them for who they are.

(For the life of me, I do not understand how so many people who proclaim their Christianity could read the Gospels and not hear those messages screaming out at them. Maybe they just like the Old Testament idea of feeding juvenile delinquents to the bears better.)

Instead what does Santorum offer? He wants to tear apart one of the closest couples I know because they're the same sex, he wants to poke around in another's bedroom to see if their bondage tape is just being used for board games*. He wants to make sure the sick and poor stay that way.

(* No, seriously, it holds packs of cards that don't have boxes together very well without damaging them.)

As I look about me on a daily basis, I see a lot of people, I mean a lot, who live without a moral sense.

I know that I look around my world and see good people, that it's been a long time since I ran into someone who I might claim lives without a moral sense. I wonder if the difference might say more about you then about people.

345Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 19, 2012, 4:36pm Top

Similarly, as much as I dislike Santorum, the nastiness against him is truly amazing. Just imagine how people would be reacting if one of the contenders for the Democratic nomination—Obama, say, or Clinton—had their first Google hit be a disgusting neologism.

Just imagine how people would be reacting if one of the contenders - Savage, say - had their sexual orientation compared to pedophilia or homosexuality.

346barney67
Jan 19, 2012, 4:49pm Top

The nastiness comes out…

347StormRaven
Jan 19, 2012, 4:54pm Top

The nastiness comes out…

Yep. Post 335 was pretty nasty and really dragged down the thread. The posts after it were much better though.

348lriley
Jan 19, 2012, 4:56pm Top

This idea of 'having a moral compass' seems to me to be saying that 'I'm at least better than most of the people around me' and there's no real way to prove that but I suppose it makes the person stating it feel better about him/herself. The sanctimonious 'I am an asset to society--you--maybe not so much'. Ideas about hierarchy. 'I'm in charge' or 'I'm an expert'. The social critique that comes from the right or conservatives very often seems way too inflexible for my blood. We are all flawed in some respect--that's why it's best to tolerate the differences between us--at least make an attempt.

349Makifat
Jan 19, 2012, 4:56pm Top

344
I know that I look around my world and see good people, that it's been a long time since I ran into someone who I might claim lives without a moral sense. I wonder if the difference might say more about you then about people.

Hear, hear.

Today's prize goes to prosfilaes. Phone lines are closed.

350Makifat
Jan 19, 2012, 4:57pm Top

348
Tolerance is for the weak.

351theoria
Jan 19, 2012, 5:01pm Top

If a politician like Santorum, Gingrich, or Bachmann trumpets his/her (and her Party's) monopoly over "family values" (or "morality") and fails to live up to them, s/he's probably going to be criticized for hypocrisy. This is a normal human response to behavioral inconsistency. I see no way around this other than for these politicians to show more humility and tolerance towards others who don't share their positions on contentious issues (abortion, same sex marriage, birth control, etc.).

352theoria
Jan 19, 2012, 5:02pm Top

350> yes, i forgot about that.

Kill them all!

353faceinbook
Jan 19, 2012, 5:47pm Top

>334 theoria:
Does it matter ? He did say that if people believed what he said than they were wrong. (Can't recall the exact situation) He also said that his cheating could be attributed to how much work he did for his country.
By the time he is done with this campaign....there will be enough "real" quotes to publish a small book......much like they did with the wit and wisdom of Bush.

>335 barney67:
Don't know many liberals who defended Clinton's behavior...what they did NOT like were individuals like Gingrich and his ilk pointing a finger and insisting that the man be impeached.
Most conservative values and morals seem to be about sex...who should have it..... when they can have it.....those who should not have it......age limits....gender specifications.....who can practice birth control and how, then come the rules about how to deal with the consequences of sex....THAT too is a biggy.
How on earth can someone like Gingrich define what marriage is ? Or determine who should be "shamed" for not adhering to the bonds of marriage ? Geez.

When it comes to financial morals.... conservatism seems to be more about "winner takes all" "Greed is good" "he who dies with the most wins" and "I did it in the name of job growth" Right !! Nothing conservative about capitalism as it is a mad grab for the most one can get their hands on.

354PaulFoley
Jan 19, 2012, 7:35pm Top

If you want to know whether minimum wage hikes tend to increase unemployment, then use statistics to evaluate whether in fact unemployment tends to go up after minimum wage increases.

Which tells you precisely nothing, because you can't isolate other factors. (You can maybe use those statistics to find out what other factors are involved, in a particular instance, given that you know the minimum wage increase raises unemployment!)

If they believe that simple addition is appropriate for combination of liquids, then they should reanalyze their theories.

Yes, but they reanalyze their theories about the application of addition to combinations of liquids; they don't go back and rethink addition itself! Unexpectedly finding such a thing is interesting precisely because we don't have to go back and rethink addition: it means we're going to learn something about the properties of liquids (or whatever). If we had to worry about whether it was something to do with the properties of numbers, science would never get anywhere.

If Austrian economics rests on the assumption that people will act logically then any conclusions that it draws will be false.

Why do people keep thinking it has anything to do with people "acting logically" (for some definition of "logically" that has nothing to do with people)?

Would you think that people would cheat more if the potential financial reward for doing so were greater?

I wouldn't expect that...you might have...but that has no bearing on anything we're talking about...

Those of us who sympathize with social conservatives understand that society has a moral foundation

That's what makes almost all Austrians libertarians. Economics is a value-free science; it just tells you "if you do A, B will result"; it doesn't have anything to say about whether doing A or B are good or bad. Your "moral foundation" allows you to determine whether or not you want B, and therefore whether A is good. The problem is when pretty much all of us ("conservatives", communists, libertarians, ...) agree that B is bad, and therefore we should conclude "don't do A"; but people who don't bother about economics think you can do A and get some other result.

355timspalding
Jan 19, 2012, 8:13pm Top

Deniro: Those of us who sympathize with social conservatives understand that society has a moral foundation, not an economic one

prosfilaes:That's one of the conservatives' most tiring arguments. Liberalism has a strong moral foundation


I'm not sure Deniro aimed that at liberals. I took it as an argument against economic conservatives, as opposed to social ones.

For the life of me, I do not understand how so many people who proclaim their Christianity could read the Gospels and not hear those messages screaming out at them.

For what it's worth, while he's got the standard anti-government piece in place, he's definitely not a libertarian on economic issues. These distinctions do not, perhaps, seems very important from the left, but, on the right, the difference between--say--Paul and Santorum is notable.

Just imagine how people would be reacting if one of the contenders - Savage, say - had their sexual orientation compared to pedophilia or homosexuality.

Santorum's opinion of gays is deplorable, certainly, but it's not directed at some specific individual or candidate. I don't like the argument it either, but a lot of Americans find it convincing that, if one particular perversion--for that is what they think it--is allowed, all will be. One should undermine this argument—change minds. I don't see that coining a term for the "frothy mixture of semen and shit" after your political opponent moves the dial toward acceptance.

s/he's probably going to be criticized for hypocrisy

Right. But when a democrat praises family values and carts his wife and children around from campaign stop to campaign stop, shouldn't they also be subject to such scruitiny?

Don't know many liberals who defended Clinton's behavior

No, the standard response was that it wasn't anyone's business. LibraryThing wasn't around then, but see past threads on Edwards.

356StormRaven
Jan 19, 2012, 9:30pm Top

Of course, Santorum was my pick from the beginning, when he started near the bottom.

More like leaking out of it.

357theoria
Jan 19, 2012, 10:02pm Top

Romney lays another egg in tonight's debate.

358prosfilaes
Jan 19, 2012, 11:54pm Top

#354: Which tells you precisely nothing, because you can't isolate other factors.

That's information in and of itself. If there is no correlation between minimum wage hikes and unemployment large enough to be seen through the noise, then the correlation between minimum wage hikes and unemployment must not be very strong; you can increase the minimum wage without concern of a large effect on unemployment. (If this were not true, you could isolate the pattern statistically.)

If we had to worry about whether it was something to do with the properties of numbers, science would never get anywhere.

I agree with that. Mathematics is sui generis, however; any attempt to use that as an analogy to justify using logic to build up economic "fact" isn't going to fly with me.

359Lunar
Jan 20, 2012, 12:31am Top

#327: What does "logic" tell you about people's propensity to cheat? Would you think that people would cheat more if the potential financial reward for doing so were greater? If so, you would be wrong. Cheating appears to be almost completely unaffected by the potential financial reward.

It tells me that your error is no different from the study I alluded to in which the experimenters imposed values upon their subjects (ie. assuming that monetary gain was the only goal-seeking behavior at play).

360PaulFoley
Jan 20, 2012, 1:00am Top

any attempt to use that as an analogy to justify using logic to build up economic "fact" isn't going to fly with me.

*shrug* That's your problem. It's not my job to convince you of anything. But if you don't have a with logical implication being valid in the particular case of mathematics, why do you have a problem with it being valid per se?

361SimonW11
Jan 20, 2012, 4:12am Top

355>I don't see that coining a term for the "frothy mixture of semen and shit" after your political opponent moves the dial toward acceptance.

Well it certainly would not move Santorum towards acceptance, but what would.

It was I think intended to convey how offensive they found Santorum's views and in that it succeeds admirably.

If you do not occasionally let people know that you are offended and do so loudly they will walk all over you.

362faceinbook
Jan 20, 2012, 8:27am Top

>355 timspalding:
At this point in time, I consider myself leaning more towards the liberal than the conservative. I think if you perused the threads you would find that I spoke up against the attack against Herman Cain and his marriage debacle, also do not think that Romney's religion should have a bearing on his run for president....he doesn't seem to tote it out at every turn and insist that it be the law of the land.
Gingrich is harder....he was one of the loudest finger pointers when it came to Clinton...it isn't Gingrich's lack of moral fiber when it comes to marriage that is most at odds with me....it is his level of hypocrisy and arrogance.
He had a major blow up last night about the press and the media...daring to question him about his marriage or his exwife's comments....yet he was willing to question another man about a stain on a dress in front of the entire nation..... Gingrich = Hypocrite !!!
Personally never defended or condemed Edwards...don't think it was our business....don't think the late Mrs Edwards was squeaky clean in that deal either...she knew but she wanted to be first lady....did this make them both unable to perform the duties of job as president and first lady ? Not really sure but it wouldn't be the deciding factor for me.

First words out of my mouth when the Clinton thing started "This is a can of worms we do NOT want opened" The Right jumped on it like vultures. And it seems that the loudest of them had their own issues to deal with.
Hate hypocrisy.....one could say we are all guilty of it to some extent but usually the loudest and most arrogant are the worst.

What is with Conservatism... the Religious Right and sex ?

363theoria
Jan 20, 2012, 9:36am Top

The Republican Party heads toward Newtageddon, thanks to the deft questioning of Juan Williams and John King. However, it is not just Santorum who has a clue: Newt Gingrich might be a good debater by American standards (i.e. the standard according to which ad hominem carries the day), but he’s constitutionally unfit to be President. The general electorate and Republican establishment knows this as well. What then explains the ineptitude of the establishment candidate? Why are Tea Party pitchforks not aimed at the gut of the Freddie Mac "historian"?

364Carnophile
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 9:44am Top

Paul, I can hardly believe that you're serious about the statistics thing. The objection that there are always relevant factors we don't know about - so that stastitics tell us nothing - is simply silly. If true, it would nuke, e.g., all of medicine. Do we have any reason to think that bed rest and plenty of fluids are better for getting over a cold than injecting 120 cc's of arsenic into the patient? Surely we do. Surely we can learn something from statistics.

There are theorems about this, which buttress common sense; a lot of them amount to the unbiasedness of certain estimators asymptotically (i.e., as you get more data). And while the first wave of these types of results decades ago made lots of simplfying assumptions that may have been hard to swallow, recent work is VERY general.

365prosfilaes
Jan 20, 2012, 2:25pm Top

#360: But if you don't have a with logical implication being valid in the particular case of mathematics, why do you have a problem with it being valid per se?

Because if logical implication worked in the real world, the Greeks would have figured out science long ago. Because "logical implication" is wrong in mathematics all the time, which is why first-order logic and Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory was created. Because mathematics is frequently a bad fit for the real world; Euclidean geometry is correct conclusions drawn from perfectly good assumptions, and yet doesn't fit the real world.

366lriley
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 2:37pm Top

FWIW--a couple of lower level Clinton aides sequestered (so to speak) all the FBI files of congressmen/women and Senators right after Clinton first came into office. You almost have to admire the chutzpah (but it's better if you don't). All the shenanigans going on with Bill (and to a much lesser extent Hilary)--all of his fingerprints all over an assortment of would be scandals and they (as in the Republicans) decide to drop everything but the investigation into his sex life. Why was that? I never really understood. They absolutely loathed the man but as they moved forward--Clinton's biggest detractors started dropping by the wayside. Holier than thou types such as Dan Burton and Henry Hyde--turns out they had mistresses in the background as well. What about Newt?--who lost his speakership around the same time (another scandal) to be replaced by Robert Livingston who lasted something like 3 whole days as speaker of the house--before he resigned because--oh, yeah, he was fucking around too. It seems to me (remembering those FBI files) that Bill had the goods on all these people right from the get go and the more they pushed him the harder they got slapped down. And the problem for conservatives--even run of the mill conservative voters is they have to be willing to look in the mirror at themselves or even who they are voting for if they're continue to try and keep this high moral ground of theirs staked out--and that's something that has blown back on them quite often.

I consider myself a progressive--though not someone who votes democratic very often. I will not pull the lever for any republican though. There are a number of reason but a prominent one is I consider them anti-labor. I never voted for Clinton--did not like him and I did not like how he handled his scandals--he'd rather lie to the American public than tell the truth. In my book that's disrespectful. He'd been better off not saying anything.

367Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 20, 2012, 3:01pm Top

It was I think intended to convey how offensive they found Santorum's views and in that it succeeds admirably.

If you do not occasionally let people know that you are offended and do so loudly they will walk all over you.


It may be worth noting that Savage has agreed to retract his neologism provided that Santorum retracts his comments.

368faceinbook
Jan 20, 2012, 3:26pm Top

>366 lriley:
He should have been honest, I will agree. However, sex is one thing that most men will lie about. That is why the conservatives chose that particular cross to hang him on. Conservatives I know will be quick to remind me that the reason Clinton was tried in front of the entire nation was because he "lied" under oath....it was the lie. Didn't seem to bother these same people when Bush said that he "didn't take oaths" and then went and lied about weapons of mass destruction....the sex lie was worth destroying a bit of respect for the office of presidency....the war lies were not.
IMO the whole Clinton debacle was a trap. No accident that Linda Tripp and Monica Lewinsky became friends....none of it was an accident. They knew their man. Doesn't say much for Clinton's role as a husband but will still contend that how a marriage is defined should be between the two partners. Once we put standards of behavior on others....we leave ourselves open for blow back.
We all witnessed the moral indignation of a "questioned" Newt.... he who doesn't think that sort of thing belongs in a debate....I didn't think that sort of thing belonged in the life of a sitting President. If he wasn't showing up for work, fair game but the way it was handled.....opened a nasty can of worms.
And Mr. Gingrich was front and center when that can was opened !

What I can not seem to get an answer to is why a sex scandle was/is so all fired important and the fact that Mr Romney has overseas accounts to hold his wealth, at a time when so many are flat lining or slipping financially is of lesser importance. Amazes me that an entire voting block can look the other way on what IS important and focus on something that doesn't really matter much at all except to those personally involved. (Herman Cain's affair ....seriously ?)
Why is lack of conservatism in one's sexual behavior a "red flag" while a lack of fiscal conservatism is seen as a "good thing" , an American value.
To me, this is mind boggling...conservatism is conservatism...if one's nature is to be conservative it would seem that this would be reflected in all of their affairs....how do we get to pick and choose where we will choose to be so.
Maybe the Right needs to redefine themselves....pick a new name, something that doesn't look as hypocritical....might help the entire party. They were not fiscally conservative from 2000 to 2008, most of them are not fiscally conservative on a personal level and whether or not they are conservative in their personal relationships is really none of our business...it doesn't matter.

369lriley
Jan 20, 2012, 4:58pm Top

#368--Gingrich has always been a hypocrite. Always too smart for his own good. Bill Clinton is flawed the same way--maybe just not quite as bad. This candidacy of Newt's seems always to have been headed for disaster. Just a matter of time before it blows up. There are so many skeletons in his closet that once that closet door just peeks open--there's no closing it again. More and more shit is going to fall out. His past is catching up with him.

Romney is still in the driver's seat. The Cayman Island bank accounts thing is just par for the course. He's the GOP's version of John Kerry--just not liked as much by his own part as Kerry was by the Dems. I think he gets the nomination and then gets killed when a good portion of the Christian right either stays home or finds a 3rd party candidate to vote for.

Paul speaks unpopular truths about foreign policy and nation building and has got even less chance of bringing all the elements of the republican party together.

Santorum possibly could bring most of the elements together but his fundamentalism is going to drive away millions of independent voters.

Really---it's a bad field. Every single one of them is going to get torn apart for any number of reasons. The GOP does not have a compelling candidate that I can think of who can bring the party together and appeal to those independent voters who will be crucial to who gets elected.

Beyond that the agenda of the party in many states have deliberately alienated many who tend towards conservative viewpoints--whether it be log cabin republicans, hispanics, union workers etc.

370Makifat
Jan 20, 2012, 5:08pm Top

Isn't it odd that right here in the middle of the primary season the Political Conservatives group is like a ghost town? Apart from deniro's fraternal affection for little Ricky, doesn't anyone have any enthusiasm for any of these candidates?

371faceinbook
Jan 20, 2012, 5:41pm Top

>370 Makifat:
A party fractured beyond repair. How can they possibly come up with a candidate who is representative of everything they stand for when what they stand for is so all over the place ? No clarity what so ever....

372prosfilaes
Jan 20, 2012, 5:52pm Top

#354: That's what makes almost all Austrians libertarians. Economics is a value-free science; it just tells you "if you do A, B will result"; it doesn't have anything to say about whether doing A or B are good or bad. Your "moral foundation" allows you to determine whether or not you want B, and therefore whether A is good. The problem is when pretty much all of us ("conservatives", communists, libertarians, ...) agree that B is bad, and therefore we should conclude "don't do A"; but people who don't bother about economics think you can do A and get some other result.

The problem with that is, the bear dances. Some of the most powerful economies in the world are Japan, Germany and the Nordic states, and none of those are as libertarian as the US is. Maybe you don't like the tradeoffs Sweden has made for their society; maybe you don't think they would work for the US. But telling me that it can't work doesn't persuade me, because it obviously does.

373lriley
Jan 20, 2012, 6:40pm Top

The right's hatred of Obama is palpable. I'm not pleased with Obama myself but when the republican front runner Romney shows up at this large meeting hall in South Carolina and about 100 people show up (and you can see almost acres of open space) it gives you the idea that despite the palpable hatred for Obama there's no real enthusiasm for the republican front runner. And if not him--then who? I can remember going to see Nader in 2004 in Corning NY on the eve of the election (NY-29th congressional district almost always goes Republican) at the Hilton and there were at least 300 people there and he had (though I voted for him) no chance.

374faceinbook
Jan 20, 2012, 7:12pm Top

>373 lriley:
Watching Chris Matthews....Eugene Robinson speculated that the reason Newt Gingrich keeps coming back is because he represents the seething anger that is primarly on the Right.
Gingrich can get nasty and he plays well with an angry Republican base.
Which ties in well with their hatred of Obama.

Thought it was a good point.

President Gingrich ? Lord help us.

Don't think so, know too many Republicans who do not like him at all !

375PaulFoley
Edited: Jan 20, 2012, 8:52pm Top

Paul, I can hardly believe that you're serious about the statistics thing. The objection that there are always relevant factors we don't know about - so that stastitics tell us nothing - is simply silly. If true, it would nuke, e.g., all of medicine. Do we have any reason to think that bed rest and plenty of fluids are better for getting over a cold than injecting 120 cc's of arsenic into the patient? Surely we do. Surely we can learn something from statistics.

I don't have a problem with statistics; just this attempted use. Assuming you didn't know injecting arsenic was a bad idea, how much could you learn by injecting arsenic into one patient? He dies, but, absent other other tests, you can't know if it was from the arsenic or something else...maybe the arsenic prolonged his life for a few minutes before something else killed him...maybe more arsenic would have saved him. To get useful statistics (or anything worthy of the name "statistics") you need to inject arsenic into a significant number of people. Raising the minimum wage, etc., is a one-time event ... and you can't even keep the patient in bed where you can watch him until the effect is established -- which could take a long time to trickle through -- if you can even get proper data (everybody doesn't register their employment status with the government, people work illegally, etc.) If you tried to do enough tinkering to actually get hard stats, people would react to that in ways that would screw up your attempt. And the other issue, of course, is that you can't even get the data on things that didn't happen -- there might be no drop in employment, but there might have been a rise in employment that didn't happen: there's no way to see that (hence the need to look into alternate realities).

Because if logical implication worked in the real world, the Greeks would have figured out science long ago.

That doesn't make sense. You can't "figure out science" using pure logic.

Because "logical implication" is wrong in mathematics all the time, which is why first-order logic and Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory was created

That makes even less sense. Logic's wrong all the time (which is false), therefore use more logic? "First-order logic" is just a minor extension of the propositional logic known to the Greeks -- if the latter was ever "wrong", the former would be too: the one includes the other. (And higher-order logics are extensions of, not replacements for, first-order logic.) What set theory has to do with this is anyone's guess.

Euclidean geometry is correct conclusions drawn from perfectly good assumptions, and yet doesn't fit the real world.

That's part of why you can't "figure out science" using pure logic. But you had to insert the qualifier "Euclidean" in there -- geometry per se seems to apply to the real world (not that's any particular a priori reason to think it should!)

Some of the most powerful economies in the world are Japan, Germany and the Nordic states, and none of those are as libertarian as the US is

Huh...really? Depends what aspects you look at, and when. The Soviet Union lasted 70-odd years, too, much of it with people raving about how great its economy was compared to the US, etc. Don't hear much of that now.

376lriley
Jan 20, 2012, 8:07pm Top

#374--Gingrich is adept at offering phony solutions to the perceived problems (of the moment) of the right. His contract with America revolved around term limits for career politicians. Republicans signed on board to do no more than 8 years in the House and very few of them actually (when push came to shove) lived up to it--at least if they hadn't been voted out by that time. Gingrich himself cannot give it up. He's the same as ever. He teases--that is part of his appeal.

377Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 20, 2012, 8:20pm Top

Euclidean geometry is correct conclusions drawn from perfectly good assumptions, and yet doesn't fit the real world.

It's a very reasonable approximation to most of it, however imperfect it may be. Hence why it's still taught in schools.

378Lunar
Jan 21, 2012, 3:37am Top

#372: Some of the most powerful economies in the world are Japan, Germany and the Nordic states, and none of those are as libertarian as the US is.

Actually, according to rankings of economic freedom, they're all pretty much in the same ball park. You have to be wary of folk depictions of how "socialist" or "libertarian" countries are relative to eachother. Even Canada ranks as more "libertarian" than the US, so this old song and dance about the US being a libertarian cesspool relative to stereotypically "socialist" countries isn't particularly teneble.

379lriley
Jan 21, 2012, 4:10am Top

#378--how exactly would you qualify that?

380prosfilaes
Jan 21, 2012, 5:45am Top

#375: That doesn't make sense. You can't "figure out science" using pure logic.

And economics is just another science.

The Soviet Union lasted 70-odd years, too, much of it with people raving about how great its economy was compared to the US, etc. Don't hear much of that now.

Shouldn't you take your own medicine? You're telling us how statistics or case studies can't show something, but suddenly when an example goes your way, you're willing to cite it? That's cherry-picking, and that's about as anti-factual as you can get.

I don't see continuing this discussion being much more productive. I live in a world with an incredibly complex economic system, yet one we can tease out the dependencies thereof with human reasoning backed up by hard evidence. I live in a world where anyone who tosses out some "logical" argument gets forced to compare it to the evidence.

I live in a world where perhaps it is true, usually, that increasing minimum wage increases unemployment; but sometimes it may push money into a system that helps get an economy rolling and decreases unemployment, and sometimes it may decrease social unrest that is starting to build to levels that can tear an economy apart. I live in a world where it's not good enough to say that increasing minimum wage increases unemployment, where we want to know by how much and where, whether it's a permanent or temporary effect.

I don't see how you can say that increasing minimum wage has an effect on unemployment large enough that we should be concerned that can't be measured by statistics. Either economics is so simple and the patterns should be easily noticeable, or it's very complex and patterns are hard to pick out, in which case what's going is probably a lot more complex then you think and may be completely counter-intuitive.

381margd
Jan 21, 2012, 8:52am Top

> 14, 16, 17

Gingrich's more nuanced position on immigration might help him beat Romney in states like Florida, and maybe even MI , where Gov. Snyder (R) favors admitting folks educated in our universities, etc. (Local ethnic media has taken note.)

http://ipr.interlochen.org/ipr-news-features/episode/17754

382PaulFoley
Jan 21, 2012, 9:09am Top

And so we're back to square one...

"Pearls", as lawecon puts it.

383faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 9:25am Top

Here is a thought as to some of the issues with the Republican party at this point in time.
The party on the Right has positioned itself to be noncompromising. They will never find ONE person to represent all they, in their franctioned state, stand for. Hence they keep swinging from one candidate to another based on the issue at hand.

Noticed that at any given debate, they will boo and hiss at something a candidate says, then cheer and clap at the next sentence out of his mouth. The problem is that in order to form a clear concensus for a front runner, voters on the Right will have to make some compromises....they have had four years of digging in their heals, this will be difficult.

Choice of the future presidential candidate will probably come down to which issue is at hand at the very end of the primary.
Never going to find one person that fits their agenda in all ways.

384Carnophile
Jan 21, 2012, 10:38am Top

>375 PaulFoley:
Minimum wages at the federal and various state levels have been raised many times. There are also other countries to look at.

In any case, even if there were just one case of a min wage being raised, that would justify an objection that there wasn't enough data. That's very different from saying that the method would be useless given enough data.

385RidgewayGirl
Jan 21, 2012, 11:04am Top

383. Republicans are very good at closing ranks once a decision is made. Once they choose a candidate, they'll all claim to have been behind him from the start and anyone who says differently is a member of the cultural elite.

Although how Gingrich, with his background, can claim to not be a member of the cultural elite, is astonishing. But he's so smart, he no longer has to worry about cognitive dissonance. All his beliefs are both justified and true, even when they directly contradict each other.

Eh, I'm just cranky. We were bombarded this week with the most hateful statements imaginable. I love living in a state where everyone thinks you must be 1. a virulent racist who 2. hates everyone less well off than oneself. Endless phone calls about how, since we all agree that basic human decency is a bad thing, and since Obama is the great socialist Islamist secularist (no condradictions there), America will be doomed unless candidate x is chosen. Also, candidate x is the only one who can bring unity to Washington and end the homosexualization of the military. Sigh.

386MiriamVanScott
Jan 21, 2012, 11:28am Top

None of this really matters, since in the end it will all come down to numbers: the price of gasoline, the unemployment rate, the foreclosure trendline.

If the economy is doing well (waaaaaayyyyy better than it is now) then Obama will be re-elected. If it's about the same as now or worse, whoever has an "R" beside his name will win a chance to try to turn those numbers around.

387RidgewayGirl
Jan 21, 2012, 12:09pm Top

Not entirely. The Republicans in Congress have done an effective job of portraying themselves as the do-nothing party who values partisanship over action. They haven't made a case that they care about ordinary Americans. And now they're jettisoning the social values part of the platform.

388faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 12:36pm Top

>386 MiriamVanScott:
I'm not so sure about that....the Republican lawmakers have proven to be against compromise even at the expense of it's own voting block....there is a lot of ammunition available when it comes to number crunching. Some of their recent actions are not going to look good in a general election.
I think they would do better if they had someone, "anyone" who had showed any real interest in the American people, enough so as to try and work with the current administration when all hell broke loose.

>387 RidgewayGirl:
What is amazing about this stance is the fact that only two candidates can be held up in the light of "social values"
Santorum and Paul.....
Gingrich is a cheater and he lies, Romney is hiding something about his wealth and has proven to care more about the values of capitalism than his fellow citizens.
Neither Santorum nor Paul seem to have a chance....so once again the Right appears to be talking out of it's rear end in so far as "social values"

Had a friend who made a statement after the Gore vs Bush debacle....he quoted someone, can not recall who, and said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" He advised that we just sit back and watch the show......well, it has been quite a ride ! and it continues..

389SimonW11
Jan 21, 2012, 2:20pm Top

How can Rick Santorum oppose all abortion in all cases when terminating a pregnancy saved the life of his own wife?

390faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 2:50pm Top


>389 SimonW11:
Where did you get that information ?

Because an abundance of hypocrisy becomes evident when you try to hold others to standards you feel are appropriate for "them".

391theoria
Jan 21, 2012, 3:02pm Top

I assume Santorum would be comfortable if his wife had died. According to his beliefs, we should trust in God to pick and choose who lives and who dies.

392faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 3:06pm Top

>389 SimonW11:
http://www.examiner.com/progressive-in-portland/did-rick-santorum-s-wife-have-an...

I suppose one could split hairs here and argue over what type of abortion was performed. Chemical vs. procedural, maybe in his mind these are two different things ?

Regardless....stand by my comment in #390 It is easy to expect certain behaviors in others....it feels very different when something affects you personally.

393faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 3:11pm Top

>391 theoria:
Hm-m-m, Mr Santorum would have been left raising the rest of the kids on his own. Given a choice as to whether God should have his wife or he should keep her, my guess would be that it didn't take him long to decide.

394Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 21, 2012, 3:11pm Top

Morning after pill?

395prosfilaes
Jan 21, 2012, 3:16pm Top

When it comes down to it, the Republicans still have to be successful at promising change. Can Romney (aka Mr. 1%) really get up there and promise that he won't be business as usual?

396RidgewayGirl
Edited: Jan 21, 2012, 3:18pm Top

I wouldn't hol dSantorum's actions when faced with such a heartbreaking situation against him. It does show he's human. I do have a much more serious issue with his hateful (and, in my opinion, unchristian) views of people different from himself.

397StormRaven
Jan 21, 2012, 3:24pm Top

396: Yes, it is a difficult situation. But Santorum wants to make the choice he made in that situation illegal for everyone else. If he had walked the walk of his convictions, then he wouldn't be a hypocrite. But he didn't, so it is perfectly legitimate to hold his hypocrisy against him.

398faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 3:28pm Top

>394 Jesse_wiedinmyer:
Forgot....don't think Santorum is a big fan of any kind of pill ... his wife had her last child at the age of 48. The child is severly disabled due to the advanced age of the mother.

Not nice really...I don't know them....don't know what their private life is like.
on the other hand, I do know about disabled children and I know that they are usually on Federal disability until they become adults at which time they will go on SSI......the government funds a lot of their healthcare needs and also provides programs for these children. Might not be something the Santorum's will make use of but then, if they are keeping the good of the child in mind, there are some amazing programs for the child.

399faceinbook
Jan 21, 2012, 3:30pm Top

>360 PaulFoley:
I don't hold his decision against him either....not at all. What I do hold against him is the fact that he doesn't feel that anyone else should have the freedom to make the same decision.

401PaulFoley
Jan 21, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Minimum wages at the federal and various state levels have been raised many times. There are also other countries to look at.

But other things are different in each case. To go back to your "arsenic for a cold" analogy, this is giving arsenic to one patient for a cold, another patient for a heart attack, another for meningitis, etc.; it doesn't tell you anything about the efficacy of arsenic for a cold (in this case it'll certainly tell you that arsenic kills your patients, but that's just because you picked something so obvious. Try raising minimum wage to $1000/hr and see if you can hide the effect.)

That's very different from saying that the method would be useless given enough data.

Not if the means of gathering the data alters the data. If minimum wage were changed every Wednesday in an attempt to get a lot of data on the effect of minimum wage, I suspect you'd get even less useful data than if you just change it once a decade or whatever. (It's not like you get no data, anyway; you can certainly see the link between min wage and unemployment in your stats; but there are always people running around denying it exists, coming up with crazy explanations for how the opposite could happen, etc. -- see prosfilaes, above -- arguments that rely on the stats being no good, while at the same time arguing vociferously that the stats are everything. It's really incredible.)

402theoria
Jan 21, 2012, 6:30pm Top

400> Awesome. Serial adulterer and his libertine, current spouse at the head of the Party of Family Values.

403prosfilaes
Jan 21, 2012, 6:38pm Top

#401: To go back to your "arsenic for a cold" analogy, this is giving arsenic to one patient for a cold, another patient for a heart attack, another for meningitis, etc.; it doesn't tell you anything about the efficacy of arsenic for a cold

If it's a universal truth that raising the minimum wage raises the unemployment rate, then pattern should be consistent in all of them. If it's like giving a drug to one patient for a cold and another for a heart attack, then we should expect different results from raising the minimum wage in Colorado and in France. Either it's universal or it's not.

there are always people running around denying it exists

Obviously people working from correct assumptions to correct conclusions. If you have that, what do you need with stats?

coming up with crazy explanations for how the opposite could happen

Of course. Economics is so trivial that nothing unexpected and counter-intuitive is ever going to happen.

404RidgewayGirl
Jan 21, 2012, 7:55pm Top

402- Well, she does have plastic hair now, so clearly she's reformed. Or sex with Newt turned her hair that color.

405theoria
Jan 21, 2012, 8:13pm Top

404> I don't want to think about Newt having sex, thanks :)

Still, Newtageddon moves one step closer.

406Makifat
Jan 21, 2012, 11:14pm Top

I can only assume that if they were both on board for an "open marriage" with the previous wife, then they are still operating under that premise. Which would make a Gingrich White House something akin to an East Coast Playboy Mansion. Think of the key party possibilities!

Instead of "First Lady", would Callista be known as "First Lady Among Many"?

407AsYouKnow_Bob
Edited: Jan 22, 2012, 2:00am Top

#400: That's simply astonishing. They're now saying that a history of serial adultery is now a qualification for the American presidency?

By Fox's metric, then, Wilt Chamberlain could have been our greatest president.

408margd
Jan 22, 2012, 5:02am Top

Gingrich, no paragon of beauty himself, is reported to have dismissed wife (#1?) as something like "not pretty enough to be First Lady"... With exception of John Huntsman, all these candidates seem to exhibit a streak of meanness--to dogs, the unemployed, blacks, gays, women, immigrants, etc.

Bush-Cheney, McCain-Palin, Romney, Santorum, Gingrich--surely the Republican Party can do better by America??

409lawecon
Edited: Jan 22, 2012, 8:54am Top

"With exception of John Huntsman, all these candidates seem to exhibit a streak of meanness--to dogs, the unemployed, blacks, gays, women, immigrants, etc."

Let's see: the guy who is putting all of his time and resources (or at least all of his time and his supporter's resources) into gaining an office where he commands the largest armed forces in the world and the largest nuclear stockpile in history, where he can make his citizens disappear into permanent incarceration without even mentioning that fact to other people, who can order the seizure of all your property today, with you having to go to court to prove that you and your property are innocent of any and all wrong doing to get it back, that guy, "exhibits a streak of meanness."?

Golly, who would have thought? And what office is John Huntsman running for?

410timspalding
Jan 22, 2012, 3:22pm Top

Dogs?

411Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 22, 2012, 3:30pm Top

Romney...

Famously strapped his dog in a carrier to the roof of his car on one of his moves.

I'll dig for the link.

413lawecon
Edited: Jan 22, 2012, 4:34pm Top

~ 410-12

Yes, that is the one I would have chosen to focus on as well. Cruelty to dogs. Very important, as opposed to trivial things, like tyranny to citizens and one's fellow human beings more generally.

414RidgewayGirl
Jan 22, 2012, 4:54pm Top

Well, he's lost the ASPCA lobby with that one.

415Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 22, 2012, 4:54pm Top

#413

Obviously, love is a pie and cruelty bounded.

416Carnophile
Jan 22, 2012, 7:04pm Top

>401 PaulFoley:
The problems mentioned in your first paragraph can be solved by getting enough data. This is why they test new meds on a large number of people.

Regarding the second paragraph: Ha! Yes, it would be a very different situation if they changed it every Wednesday! There are ways of dealing with that, though, too. (E.g., studies with many countries.)

417timspalding
Jan 22, 2012, 7:28pm Top

I think we may want to restart this as "Republican Nomination: The Middle Game"

418Jesse_wiedinmyer
Jan 22, 2012, 7:35pm Top

Republican Nomination: The Crying Game?

419timspalding
Jan 22, 2012, 7:44pm Top

There! I made a continuation.

I'd lurve to hear analysis, rather than flippancy, spleen and an inevitable interpersonal escalation. I'm not holding my breath on that!

This topic was continued by Republican Nomination: The Middle Game?.

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