Serious US Election Thread (read post #2014)

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Bughouse

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Though we're way farther out than the Canadian election thread that Layell posted, I figured might as well make one of these now that debate and primary season has begun. Post whatever thoughts arise to you :)

I'll start for now by just talking about the first GOP debate because, for now, the democratic side is still pretty quiet. To preface this, I'm a fiscal moderate, social liberal. There are moderate GOP candidates that I would definitely consider voting for over the Dem nominee, but quite a few of candidates on stage last night have social or foreign policy views that really repulse me. I'm trying to keep my views out of it though and just assess performance and how I think GOP and independent voters would view their performances. I think I'm independent enough to capture how many independents will think, but I'm probably off in how I think conservatives will view candidates.



My take on last night is that Kasich is going to surge among a lot of the moderates who supported Bush, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him come second or third in NH primary. He came across as the best qualified and most reliable candidate, and the homefield crowd in Ohio went nuts at everything he said. Bush was fine but unspectacular and he still didn't have a good soundbite on the most obvious question about his brother. Rubio looked and sounded surprisingly presidential, and his moment when he talked about focusing on what the candidate can offer for the future, not their past resume, was well spoken and believable.

Walker answered like one would expect Walker to answer, which to say he was decently solid and consistent on his messages, but boring. Huckabee, Trump, Christie, and Paul all acted exactly as you'd expect them to act. All 5 of these candidates' popularity will stay pretty level, though I would HOPE some Trump supporters would defect... I just don't think that will actually happen. Even Huckabee's "kill people and break things moment" won't hurt him. His base is reliably in favor of his more religiously based statements like when he talks about abortion and haven't cared historically about much else that he says. Rand Paul and Chris Christie staying level after last night is very bad for their candidacy with Kasich and Fiorina (from earlier in the night) about to surge past them.

Cruz and Carson (with the exception of Carson's closing statement and when he called out the moderators for ignoring him for a solid half hour at least - or at least that's how long it felt) to me had highly unmemorable answers, and it didn't seem like they got all that much screen time either. It's tough to be memorable in a debate with 10 people on stage when you refuse to get into a big argument with someone else on stage or say anything intentionally inflammatory.

I'm curious about other people's perceptions of last night's debate.
 

Soul Fly

IMMA TEACH YOU WHAT SPLASHIN' MEANS
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You guys are actually taking Trump seriously enough to give him a prime time GOP spot. His election pitch is literally "I'm rich, fuck everyone (here look at my bank statement, to soften the fact that I have the looks and the IQ of a shriveled foreskin)".
Good job giving this histrionic twat the center-stage. That ignoramus couldn't take an executive decision to save his life. What bullshit.

Apart from that, even then the republican side looks a real mess. Walker sounds like the only consistent person with his stance and rhetoric, but he isn't charismatic like Obama nor confrontational and exciting like his republican counterparts, most likely he'll be out of the race unless he seizes some real momentum soon.
Most of the others are busy skirting around the fact that they'll basically turn into right-wing twats about immigration/ foreign policy and economic changes. All of them absolutely can't wait to scrap Obamacare and most state benefits that they can lay their eyes on.
The more dangerous ones are riding on a Trump-esque formula of dramatic declarations, albeit to a lesser degree because unlike Trump they don't have a personal fortune of billions and have to rely on actual donors.

It's sad that the Republican side is so pale of a proper frontrunner that I actually have to resort to taking Trump's case for ~50% of my post, because I really don't want to validate him as a legitimate candidate.
 

tehy

Banned deucer.
i actually listened to the republican debate, but nothing much really stuck in my mind unfortunately... a bit depressing at that.

however, it was nice to see Fox actually step the hell up and ask the tough questions. I wonder how long Trump will last if he keeps getting hammered by his record? I will say that, on his end, it is very refreshing for someone to bring up the pay-for-favors relationship that clearly exists (campaign donations wise).

go kasich though
 

Adamant Zoroark

catchy catchphrase
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I just don't want to see an election between a second Clinton or a third Bush.

I mean, I don't know. I just feel like most of the Republican candidates have horrible social policy (especially Donald Trump,) and most of the Democratic candidates have horrible economic policy (especially Bernie Sanders - then again, most of the Republicans aren't much better on economic policy.) John Kasich honestly seems like the most appealing candidate for the GOP side and honestly, it's sad that Bernie Sanders is the most appealing for the Dems. If Kasich gets the GOP nomination (which doesn't seem likely at the moment,) I'd have no problem voting for him.

If it comes down to Clinton vs. Trump, I'm not voting. I'm not going to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. But seriously, I can't believe we've gotten to the point where people are taking Donald Trump seriously as a candidate. Has the GOP really sunk that low?
 

UncleSam

Leading this village
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What a clown car lol

If the Republicans want to have any chance of winning the election they need to clear out at least half of these candidates (and it barely even matters what half) just so that people can actually hear what they have to say. I also wish they had a true moderate candidate, because even the ones who look more reasonable (Kasich, Walker, Bush) are just run of the mill GOP Establishment types. I will say that I think people holding Bush's brother against him are incredibly dumb; if YOU went to a job interview, would you want to hear that your brother fucked up that job previously? Would that be a fair question? Because I sure as hell don't think it would be. If you want to hate Bush there's a million better things to get on him about that don't make you sound close-minded and of depressed intelligence quotient.

I really wish the Democratic frontrunner wasn't Hilary Clinton, because I think she would be just an abysmal president. Her record looks worse every day (though a lot of that is Republicans making a mountain out of a molehill - the problem is that Hilary refuses to acknowledge there was a molehill in the first place, which I guess is understandable but makes her look even more out of touch with reality). In any case I do blame her to some extent for Benghazi (I blame establishment government workers for the e-mail stuff a lot more than I blame Hilary for basically just downplaying what was a minor issue that congressional Republicans have blown out of proportion), and I'm not sure I've heard one insightful or inspiring remark from her about what she's going to do to improve, well, anything. She has been pretty much just attacked Republicans which is incredibly lazy and not what I want to see from a president (if she gets elected she will have to work with these people for at least 2-4 more years before the gerrymandered Republican districts from 2010 get re-drawn and the Republicans lose their iron grip on the House), and apart from that she just looks like a standard Democrat in terms of social issues and foreign policy, and I'm not a big fan of how that foreign policy has worked out for Obama (and I think that social issues are only important for a president in as much as they impact SCOTUS nominations down the line, which admittedly might be a big difference later but it's a lot harder to quantify how big of a deal that will be in the immediate future). I like Bernie Sanders a lot except for the fact he's expressly a socialist economically, but at least he's proposing a solid plan of action for how to make Americans' lives better. I don't think his economic plan will work, but it is refreshing to listen to someone who actually believes what they are saying and who isn't misrepresenting himself based on who is listening; I could see voting for Bernie Sanders if I'm confident that a GOP house majority will hold some of his economic policies in check (though voting for someone hoping they don't get a lot done doesn't sound like a great plan, it might be the strongest realistic option).

The fact that politics are so polarized resulting in essentially no realistic moderate options is very disappointing to me, because the two parties keep making the same mistakes over and over and don't get punished for them because the only real alternative is the other party.
 

Asek

Banned deucer.
Very much looking forward to donald trump becoming president. With him in charge, we will either witness the states become the greatest nation in the world again, or look on as the country burns behind the mexican wall
 
Politics are quite fascinating to watch unfold. I paid a lot of attention to the last election, and look forward to the 2016 run. I am mostly liberal, but want to see a competent Republican candidate emerge to challenge the Democratic nominee (probably Clinton). From the first debate, Kasich really struck me as temperamental and passionate. He gave a great answer about the daughter same sex marriage scenario. I hope he continues to impress in the next debate.
I was secretly impressed with Carson's composure in his responses, though I would never vote for him; I don't think he ran over on a single response iirc.
Jeb Bush was disappointing to an extent. At least he is advocating high standards for education.
 

Cresselia~~

Junichi Masuda likes this!!
I just don't want to see an election between a second Clinton or a third Bush.

I mean, I don't know. I just feel like most of the Republican candidates have horrible social policy (especially Donald Trump,) and most of the Democratic candidates have horrible economic policy (especially Bernie Sanders - then again, most of the Republicans aren't much better on economic policy.) John Kasich honestly seems like the most appealing candidate for the GOP side and honestly, it's sad that Bernie Sanders is the most appealing for the Dems. If Kasich gets the GOP nomination (which doesn't seem likely at the moment,) I'd have no problem voting for him.

If it comes down to Clinton vs. Trump, I'm not voting. I'm not going to choose between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. But seriously, I can't believe we've gotten to the point where people are taking Donald Trump seriously as a candidate. Has the GOP really sunk that low?
Hillary doesn't look very capable to me, but I generally don't like Republicans neither.
Republicans are very hostile towards foreign countries, and won't hesitate to offend other countries. (Not to mention, having war is an ok to them)
Hillary seems too emotional and not rational enough, plus she spends too much on clothes.
But of course, the feminists would vote for her even without the capability, because she can play the gender card.
 

toshimelonhead

Honey Badger don't care.
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You beat me to it Bughouse lol. Honestly I have no problem with Hillary as a presidential candidate; the Clinton years were some of the most prosperous times the United States has had economically and we avoided getting dragged into any dumb wars for an extended period of time. I would be content with more of the same during the next 8 years.
 

Soul Fly

IMMA TEACH YOU WHAT SPLASHIN' MEANS
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You beat me to it Bughouse lol. Honestly I have no problem with Hillary as a presidential candidate; the Clinton years were some of the most prosperous times the United States has had economically and we avoided getting dragged into any dumb wars for an extended period of time. I would be content with more of the same during the next 8 years.
Wait what? The Afghanistan and Sudan Missile Strikes? Battle of Mogadishu? Operation Deliberate Force, and threatening and bombing of half of Yugoslavia (also the first time a democratic country decided to invade and attack a sovereign nation)? Operation Desert Strike, and starting that wild goose chase of accusing Iraq of possessing WMDs (the one that justified sending that country back to the stone age in 2003-4)? Including the bullshit move of Bombing a vital Pharamceutical factory because it wqas "suspected" of producing biological WMDs. Not to mention rampant unaccountable civilian murders as collateral and direct damage.

That guy did every daft thing that Bush followed through with.


Also an economic bubble before the late 00's crash was the most economically prosperous time. You don't say.
 
I'm an outsider but I'd like to see Bernie win...if he decides to actually introduce more people to himself. As for the Republicans damned if you do damned if you don't Trump is royally fucking with their chances, but at this point it is best to push him into a Third party candidate and rally behind a solid Repub..thinking to keep him on the bus and hoping he somehow vanishes into thin air is like introducing a Piranha into a school of fish and thinking it will eat itself to death.
 
Full disclosure: I'm a dual US / [other place] citizen; I consider myself a social democrat. I'm not interested in arguing about politics as such.

I'll try to explain briefly why those on the left mistrust the Clintons. Bill Clinton participated in the political "triangulation" of the democratic party; that's one of the big reasons that the U.S. has a right party (the GOP) and a center party (Democrats) with no real left party. Granted, the GOP lurched rightward in 1994 and has continued, so maybe my dislike of the Clintons should be moderated a bit. One of the things that annoys me most about the Clintons is that they betrayed the left on numerous occasions (medicaid block grant, DOMA, DADT, NAFTA) and with the exception of NAFTA apologized for these idiocies after these were so politically unpopular that it was safe to hand wave them away. This is what annoyed me; Clinton made terrible choices, knew they were bad, and didn't apologize until it didn't matter.

I've been doing some organizing for Bernie Sanders because he's very much a "what you see is what you get" politician which is so rare in American national politics. I like his political opinions/positions; they've been amazingly consistent for so long that it almost seems like this Sanders guy has some strongly held principles or something.

As of right now any GOP candidate will have serious structural hurdles to reaching 270 electoral college votes (vs Clinton) so I'm taking them quite a bit less seriously than Clinton/Sanders/O'Malley. They can't realistically take PA; it isn't a swing state any more. Ohio is looking more and more distant since 04. The upper Midwest isn't reddening in national elections. Even little NH is looking a bit blue lately. What's even worse for the GOP is that the Democrats are actively bringing GOP states into play: Virginia and North Carolina come to mind. Maybe oodles of shady cash can stem the bleeding in some of these areas.

Out of the GOP candidates running I think Bush has the best shot but watch out for Kasich. Keep in mind that the primary process forces Republicans in particular to cater to the fringe of the party so if Kasich "takes" he'll quickly veer to the right like Romney in 12. Then he'll etch-a-sketch when the general comes.

I've started viewing the GOP as an elaborate practical joke which is sort of sad; that being said, Democrats need to remember that the liberal coalition won't be engaged unless the nominee has some lefty street cred.
 

Bughouse

Like ships in the night, you're passing me by
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Full disclosure: I'm a dual US / [other place] citizen; I consider myself a social democrat. I'm not interested in arguing about politics as such.

I'll try to explain briefly why those on the left mistrust the Clintons. Bill Clinton participated in the political "triangulation" of the democratic party; that's one of the big reasons that the U.S. has a right party (the GOP) and a center party (Democrats) with no real left party. Granted, the GOP lurched rightward in 1994 and has continued, so maybe my dislike of the Clintons should be moderated a bit. One of the things that annoys me most about the Clintons is that they betrayed the left on numerous occasions (medicaid block grant, DOMA, DADT, NAFTA) and with the exception of NAFTA apologized for these idiocies after these were so politically unpopular that it was safe to hand wave them away. This is what annoyed me; Clinton made terrible choices, knew they were bad, and didn't apologize until it didn't matter.

I've been doing some organizing for Bernie Sanders because he's very much a "what you see is what you get" politician which is so rare in American national politics. I like his political opinions/positions; they've been amazingly consistent for so long that it almost seems like this Sanders guy has some strongly held principles or something.

As of right now any GOP candidate will have serious structural hurdles to reaching 270 electoral college votes (vs Clinton) so I'm taking them quite a bit less seriously than Clinton/Sanders/O'Malley. They can't realistically take PA; it isn't a swing state any more. Ohio is looking more and more distant since 04. The upper Midwest isn't reddening in national elections. Even little NH is looking a bit blue lately. What's even worse for the GOP is that the Democrats are actively bringing GOP states into play: Virginia and North Carolina come to mind. Maybe oodles of shady cash can stem the bleeding in some of these areas.

Out of the GOP candidates running I think Bush has the best shot but watch out for Kasich. Keep in mind that the primary process forces Republicans in particular to cater to the fringe of the party so if Kasich "takes" he'll quickly veer to the right like Romney in 12. Then he'll etch-a-sketch when the general comes.

I've started viewing the GOP as an elaborate practical joke which is sort of sad; that being said, Democrats need to remember that the liberal coalition won't be engaged unless the nominee has some lefty street cred.
You greatly misunderstand political theory if you think the Dems are centrist and the GOP is right. If that's the case, the Dems would win every election. They don't. They're centrist in the scheme of the world, but Dems are decidedly left in the American populace.
 

Soul Fly

IMMA TEACH YOU WHAT SPLASHIN' MEANS
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[LINK] Donald Trump had the best policy idea of anyone in last night's debate -There, I said it. (Vox)

Looking back at talking points of the debate one thing stuck out to me, as I mentioned in the previous post about how all candidates were disastrous on their public policy stance, especially healthcare. And since Obamacare happened this will become a major talking point for this election. This time around, health will probably eclipse all the usual poll planks (foreign policy, tax agendas, etc). This article observes the various GOP candidates' stance on the issue, and unsurprisingly finds them everywhere between inadequate to awful. Even Kasich, whom you all have generally given a wider berth.

"Most journalists seem inclined to give their plaudits to Kasich, who, to his credit, did give an extensive and fluent answer on a public policy question. But it was purely a question about state policy in Ohio. We learned that Kasich feels governors should accept the Medicaid expansion dollars offered under the Affordable Care Act. But as president, would he repeal the Affordable Care Act? Would he enact the further Medicaid cuts enshrined in various House GOP budget proposals?

Nobody knows."

We however did have an unlikely winner in this department- Mr. Donald Turd himself, who demonstrated a fluent understanding of the single pay system and an bizarrely uncanny insight into its nuances for the American healthcare system. I still think he's a joke but it would be nice to see the other GOP candidates strenghthen their stance upon this issue, instead of skirting about it.
 
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Chou Toshio

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I can't believe in an hour 40 no one talked at all about technology. We live in a totally different world now than in 2008 when Obama was elected-- and while the issues discussed are entrenched in America's political discourse, none go without impact of cloud, mobile technology, social inter connectivity, automation, robotics, AI, IoT, etc.

Having any discussion around military/security, education, job creation, energy, or the economy seems ridiculous with people too stupid to know how to make these faculties smarter.

These guys got asked repeated questions about cyber terrorism, and they respond with increasing numbers of troops and airplanes... Shoot me now.
 
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Bughouse

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I can't believe in an hour 40 no one talked at all about technology. We live in a totally different world now than in 2008 when Obama was elected-- and while the issues discussed are entrenched in America's political discourse, none go without impact of cloud, mobile technology, social inter connectivity, automation, robotics, AI, IoT, etc.

Having any discussion around military/security, education, job creation, energy, or the economy seems ridiculous with people too stupid to know how to make these faculties smarter.

These guys got asked repeated questions about cyber terrorism, and they respond with increasing numbers of troops and airplanes... Shoot me now.
Remember 2012's "horses and bayonets?"
 

BenTheDemon

Banned deucer.
I watched both GOP debates and was actually entertained by the prime time one, because they all, in my opinion, made asses of each other, especially Christie and Rand Paul's little feud about security vs privacy and Donald Trump's statement basically saying that he bought every candidate there.

I've been a Democratic Socialist since I've been 18 years old, and right now neither the GOP nor Hillary Clinton have come anywhere close to persuading me to not vote for Bernie Sanders, whom I believe is the only logical candidate to improve our country.
 
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UncleSam

Leading this village
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walker is not a reasonable candidate. stop saying that you morons
Most people saying he is 'reasonable' mean that they could reasonably see him becoming president of the united states in 2016. There's a very good chance he wins the nomination and also a decent chance he would beat Hilary head-to-head. He is not a reasonable person when it comes to a lot of things (mostly social issues), but it is a mistake to underestimate how dangerous his candidacy is, and he looks like a president (which sadly means quite a bit in the US).

Personally I can't imagine voting for Walker even if Hilary is the Democratic nominee; I think Hilary would be a terrible president but I'd have to see Walker propose a really strong, clear economic platform for him to have any chance of convincing me that his batshit crazy social policies are worth stomaching. There's no chance I'd vote for him over Sanders or any of the other Democratic nominees. That being said I suspect that the Democrats' lack of a moderate candidate will come back to bite them in the general election every bit as much as the Republicans' refusal to accept moderates in their primaries; it's just a question of which nominee's appeal to his or her base will come back on him/her worse.

Maybe some of these candidates will move back towards the center after the primaries are over (ie they have to appeal to their bases first to win the nomination, then to the general public afterwards), but it's just really depressing how large of a gap there is between Hilary (who is probably the most 'moderate' Democratic candidate) and...I don't even know if there's a potential Republican candidate who anyone in their right mind would designate as 'moderate'. Kasich? Not really but he's less crazy so I guess that counts?

I feel like this is going to be a 'pick your poison' election; I also think that Democrats are vastly more confident in their chances than they ought to be, and should be prepared for a much tougher fight than four years ago (much less eight years ago). The fact that Clinton is leading Bush by only 2 points in 'Democratic strongholds' like Minnesota show that a LOT of the states that Democrats want to be ushering in uncontested to the blue column in 15 months are not going to be pushovers in reality (Bush isn't even the strongest opposition candidate either). If Democratic voters realize how tight this is likely to be and start to batten down the hatches, I think that the eventual nominee (whoever it ends up being) will have a MUCH better chance. Hardcore Republicans may be crazy, but they aren't stupid; they know not to emphasize opposition to gay marriage, abortion rights, or climate change. They know these are losing issues and that their best bet is for people to forget about them leading up to the election; if Democrats can manage to emphasize issues like these while proposing a comprehensive economic plan to balance the budget without massively increasing taxes, THEN the Democratic false-confidence wave we are seeing currently will be justified. A lot of people who abhor additional taxes are willing to stomach them from a candidate if the government indicates that it is also willing to make tough choices on cutting spending at the same time. What people don't want to see is the government using increased taxes as a band-aid to allow for further spending increases which will put the national debt in an even worse position.

I can't believe in an hour 40 no one talked at all about technology. We live in a totally different world now than in 2008 when Obama was elected-- and while the issues discussed are entrenched in America's political discourse, none go without impact of cloud, mobile technology, social inter connectivity, automation, robotics, AI, IoT, etc.

Having any discussion around military/security, education, job creation, energy, or the economy seems ridiculous with people too stupid to know how to make these faculties smarter.

These guys got asked repeated questions about cyber terrorism, and they respond with increasing numbers of troops and airplanes... Shoot me now.
This so much. I've yet to hear a candidate say 'We should be investing more in government labs', they are all too worried about the here and now and how to fund welfare programs and new military bases without increasing taxes (much). 45 years ago Americans were creating the internet and landing on the moon. Nowadays it is much more likely to see new, experimental technology developed in other countries while Sony gets hacked by Kim Jong Un and friends and Microsoft gets hacked by groups with names like 'Lizard Squad'. I have yet to see one candidate with a truly forward-looking agenda; a few provide solutions for the here-and-now, most just waffle and provide nothing, but none are talking about what America will look like 20 years from now.
 

Cresselia~~

Junichi Masuda likes this!!
I can't believe in an hour 40 no one talked at all about technology. We live in a totally different world now than in 2008 when Obama was elected-- and while the issues discussed are entrenched in America's political discourse, none go without impact of cloud, mobile technology, social inter connectivity, automation, robotics, AI, IoT, etc.

Having any discussion around military/security, education, job creation, energy, or the economy seems ridiculous with people too stupid to know how to make these faculties smarter.

These guys got asked repeated questions about cyber terrorism, and they respond with increasing numbers of troops and airplanes... Shoot me now.
Maybe no one's intelligent enough?
Politicians in most countries are clowns anyway.
 

MikeDawg

Banned deucer.
Whoever wins the democratic nom is going to win the presidency; the Republican party is an absolute mess.

Unfortunately, front-runner hilary is pretty much a republican, and the only reason she is so popular is because of the "woman for president!!!" push. Bitch was even against gay marriage before homophobia became uncool. Not to mention the fact that she is loaded, full of scandals, can't hold on to a belief for more than a few months, pro most of the things that the democratic party is against (like Iraq war).

Bernie please :( we can do a lady next time (when a better one comes around).
 
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