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CrowEpistemologist

Epistemology, Metaphysics and Ethics trumps Politics: vote Obama

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In the leaked "47%" video, the most telling piece is actually at the end, where Romney talks about the tiny percent of independents who have to be convinced, and often (in his view) vote simply on how they like the guy. We saw him make this belief concrete during the convention, with the attempts to show that he was a nice guy. It seems as if he's decided that the country will blame Obama for where we are (hence his "are you better off than 4 years ago?" question) and that he will simply be the average decent guy with executive experience who people will turn to. I suppose it is possible, but I doubt it. In my opinion, people take better to a person who has convictions and is at least a wee bit aggressive about them.

I think Romney's better hope of winning is to craft his "product position" more clearly, instead of trying to be all things to all people.

There are two times when polls have swung slightly in Romney's favor. Once was when he finally stopped being wishy-washy for the duration of one debate, and got aggressive with Gingrich. The second was for the week after Ryan joined his ticket -- a person with a clear message (at least, what passes for one these days).

For sure Romney does not stand for or push "stupidity". The nutters in the party already like Santorum. The folks who want a fighter even if he is strongly and explicitly neo-con and religious, already like Newt. If Romney loses badly, some of the Republicans who supported him might decide that the next time they should field someone more like Gingrich or Santorum -- both much worse than Romney.

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I have a rather complicated point to make here, no doubt.

I don't think the point is overly complicated, and you could be right. You are basically hedging your bet on "backlash" against what you perceive to be the less appealing parts of the Republican party. But my intuition tells me that Softwarenerd's interpretation of the "backlash" theory is more likely. I also think it more likely that the Democratic party changes for the better if Obama is defeated. I never thought I would hope for a day when the Clintons regained control of their party.

But the thing is, when it comes to backlash theories, all we have is our intuition. A feeling. Nothing substantive or objective or significant by which to judge one backlash theory over the other. That's why I don't think it is a good idea to vote based on it.

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But the thing is, when it comes to backlash theories, all we have is our intuition. A feeling. Nothing substantive or objective or significant by which to judge one backlash theory over the other. That's why I don't think it is a good idea to vote based on it.

Well, that's all we have here across the board. You're going to vote on that (and advocate the same) one way or another whether you like it or not. Nobody has facts here that tell you exactly what's going to happen in the next four years for sure.

Hence my view is the long view--what is better for us in the long run. I think I can be more certain about what will happen to the philosophical outlook and overall cultural approach to politics than I can about specific policies, mostly because the real delta in the latter will be so small.

***

As for the Republican backlash, I think we're already seeing it. Voices like Bill Cristal and Peggy Noonan are questioning what is happening--and you need to listen to that in the context of knowing that they are probably screaming on the inside because they know they can (and will) affect the election.

Now as for the answer to this, I think it's too early to tell. They haven't lost yet. I agree there's no guarantee and my theory certainly depends on a lot of hope, but I don't see any hope otherwise, so what the hell. Obviously when it comes to fruition one way or another I can adjust my models. However, a strong victory for the current strategy, to me, will reinforce the current status quo, which is a bad one. Disrupting it enables the possibility it will get better (and worse, sure, but I don't think any worse than now).

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Read an article published this morning, called 'Why I refuse to vote for barack obama.' The author lists his three main dealbreakers about Obama. Not surprising, the first two are about Obama's foreign policy & attitude towards constitutional rights: 1) US drone attacks on Pakistan, 2) Obama's kill list & his record of killing American citizens, 3) Obama's commitment to send US forces to war in Libya without Congressional approval.

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Democrats might be honest with their welfare state ambitions, but they are certainly the most dishonest bunch when it comes to international relations... I mean having initiated two World Wars and all...

Bush gets a lot of rap for getting involved in Iraq and Afghanistan but his administration did it rather honestly and even conceded the lie/mistake about WMDs.....

Obama's administration invaded Libya sneakingly, through proxies, and is currently expanding that invasion throughout Africa and the Middle East (Niger Azawad, Sudan, etc). AfriCom is the way Democrats have to wage war in Africa without having to bear the responsibility in front of the World.

I could argue that American interventionism is necessary or beneficial to international trade, but still Republicans do it honestly, Democrats invade and kill while receiving Nobel Peace Prizes at the same time.

The election of a half German half Kenyan individual is also symptomatic of horrific racism in the Democrat Party. In Dixie it's almost a cliche that patrons of the NAACP are the children or grand children of KKK members.

Who is Obama's Public Relations team kidding?

/////

Isn't Mitt Romney a HUGE improvement from G.W.Bush? He didn't do bad in Massachusetts as a Mormon in one of the most Liberal states. Actually the religious sect he belongs to is the most American of all religions, it is indigenous, and it has proven to work as a better social adhesive than other Christian sects or otherwise other collectives.

He's not even from Utah or the Corridor, so he's used to living among non Mormons just fine, which he proved in Mass.

His parents are Mexicans from the very unique settlements in Canada and Mexico that formed to escape Federal intervention on local affairs.

We all know that most of what candidates say is regulated by their Public Relations think tanks. I find it forgivable that Ryan had to concede Ayn Rand in exchange for the Religious vote. America is still a Christian country, and if you ever been to a predominantly agnostic country, you might just find some little value in the fact that Americans counter Materialism with Spirituality (as bad as it sounds).

For the sake of America's preeminent position and honor in the World, elect a real American, Mitt Romney, and not an elitist poseur who leads a campaign to finally terminate America's blessed exceptionalism. Globalization is inevitable, electing a Conservative will slow down that process, and that is beneficial for America.

If you want to further my own and Brazil's interest go ahead and vote Democrat.

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Read an article published this morning, called 'Why I refuse to vote for barack obama.'

Is someone following Gary Johnson on facebook?

I read that article also. It was the first time I heard any allegation of the US specifically targeting Al Awlaki's 16 year old son (who hadn't seen his father in two years, so the story goes). Does anyone know any more about this? If it is true, it could be the worst thing I have ever heard about an American administration.

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You caught me, but I see I'm not the only one. :-)

I remember hearing this view on blogs: that it was too much of a coincidence for al-alwaki's son to be killed right after his father, that the government knew he was going to be in that location and specifically targeted him, etc. The whole situation does seem fishy, especially since the administration wouldn't comment on it, but these attacks were supposedly premeditated- "his son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." I guess you're always going to get Obama haters who look at any government action and automatically assume the worst possible motive (ie: Obama wanted to make an example of al-alwaki & his family). Whether that's true or not will be hard to prove.

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Is someone following Gary Johnson on facebook?

I read that article also. It was the first time I heard any allegation of the US specifically targeting Al Awlaki's 16 year old son (who hadn't seen his father in two years, so the story goes). Does anyone know any more about this? If it is true, it could be the worst thing I have ever heard about an American administration.

Really? Bush was accused of masterminding 9/11. Wouldn't you consider that worse?

Edited by Nicky

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Crow, earlier I said I’d respond to your post in this thread. I’ll discuss each bullet point about McCain, and add Romney into the mix. I hope it doesn’t get too convoluted.

* You don't think McCain would have done FaF or some equivalent? Why? Sounds like a shenanigan either could have pulled.

Actually, GW Bush’s ATF pulled a similar stunt known as “Wide Receiver.” Except in their case, they were cooperating with the Mexican government. When they lost track of the weapons they discontinued the operation as a failure.

I never would have predicted another administration hiring someone incompetent enough to allow a repeat of this failure, let alone allowing the operation to be altered in a way that probably violates international weapons-trafficking agreements (Mexican authorities were never notified of Fast and Furious). This is a level of stupidity that has to be seen to be believed, and could never have been expected (by Romney or Obama). You might give Obama a pass by saying that Holder may not have been aware of the incident, except that Obama invoked executive privilege to “doc block” the ensuing investigation. That is an admission that Holder – and probably Obama – had knowledge of it.

* Healthcare: sounds like spitting hairs to me. Both are 1000% committed to socialized healthcare--and recall we had this all along before any "reform".

You speak about socialized healthcare as if it’s a floating abstraction untethered from particular policies. I’ll grant you that Republicans and Democrats agree on the basic principle that it is the government’s responsibility to provide healthcare. But the different proposals reveal differences in the degree to which they hold to that principle, differences in other principles that each party holds, and still further differences in practical outcomes for the rest of us.

McCain’s 2008 policy was based on eliminating the employer deduction for health coverage. I know that you’re fond of speaking of WWII policies as if they have limitless inertia and can never be changed. But McCain was seriously proposing to eliminate this relic. It’s a proposal that Paul Hsieh supports, and it would have served to give individuals more control over their healthcare. Now, to offset this McCain proposed adding tax credits for the purpose of buying healthcare. That’s even further implicit support of the principle that individuals should have control of their healthcare. Allowing insurers to sell across state lines was another aspect of McCain’s policy. This is of particular interest to me because it is actually a legitimate use of the interstate commerce clause. It would have put even more control back into the hands of individuals.

Now, McCain would offer even more tax credits to low-income people who couldn’t afford insurance, and that sure is redistributive. I also think he’d have been willing to sign off on an individual mandate if push came to shove. But on balance that is much better than Obama’s policy, both in practice and in principle.

Romney’s campaigning on issuing waivers to states and pushing congress to repeal Obamacare. After that, what he proposes actually does look a little like Obamacare to me. But there are significant differences: He opens up insurance across state lines, eliminates the individual and employer mandates, enacts tort reform, and expanding the role of health savings accounts. That is significantly better than Obama’s proposal, for reasons similar to those that make McCain’s better.

* Foreign policy in general -- rational people can disagree about this... here I don't find anything sinister about Obama on FP. I find there to be a lot of trade-offs in that area and I don't pretend to know all of the answers. The Republican gibberish that Obama "apologizes for America" or whatever is crap.

Do you still feel the same after the last couple of weeks?

* I don't know much about the Black Panther thing (link?) -- but what the Repubs are doing with the "voter fraud" fraud is really awful and scary.

I assume you are referring to the “Repubs” pushing voter ID laws. Democrats say they oppose this because it amounts to a poll tax- even in places that issue photo IDs for free. I think voter ID laws are good policy. If that is awful and scary to you, then I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you enter a bar or cash your paychecks. Oh, the guff you must give the bouncers and clerks. If you weren’t referring to voter ID, please let me know.

Here is a link to the latest on New Black Panther Party the voter intimidation case. Do your own google video search if you want to see the altercation. In short, club wielding NBPP racists were intimidating voters and poll watchers. Obama officials fought to dismiss this case, which was about a direct attack on the foundations of representative government (and a hate crime, for what that’s worth). Again, I would expect every administration to prosecute such a violation with serious vigor. That Obama’s didn’t is a really bad mark against him. In fact, I think this could be Obama's own kooky religion at work; the Reverend Wright brand of Black Liberation Theology.

* The abortion issue is more important to me personally than all of the mere money issues as the ones about money are matters of degree whereas that issue is either/or.

I’m on your side here, but this seems to be about degree also. The Supreme court has definitively rejected a blanket federal ban on abortion. But they seem to be open to allowing states to their own non-blanket limits.

* Taxes? Would McCain want to run the deficits necessary to cut taxes? Really?
Maybe. I’ll take deficits due to tax cuts instead of deficits due to increased spending any day.

* Energy: don't know much about that expansion, again, link?

If you’re not interested in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpTIhyMa-Nw, skip to 2:15 for Obama’s admission that he wants to bankrupt coal producers. I recommend watching the whole thing. During the course of the video Obama basically pledges to make his cap and trade system more punitive to coal producers than every other cap and trade proposal, as part of an ideological crusade against coal. Some polium plants in my home state are closing, in part because of the rise of fracking. But the influence of increased EPA regulations cannot be dismissed, especially considering that the natural gas that fracking produces is perceived to be cleaner than coal.

You can’t dismiss the evils of this video just because he hasn’t yet succeeded in imposing his suicidal cap and trade system. In the video he said that he wants to take coal off the table, “as an ideological matter.” In the meantime, he’s wasted hundreds of millions on failures like Solyndra. McCain supported cap and trade due to political expediency, and Romney seems to be against it.

Edited by FeatherFall
: Added link to the thread into which I said I would place my response.

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Romney's promise to get rid of the mandate is bullshit because it cannot be reconciled with his promise to keep the pre-existing condition portion of Obamacare. Long story short (and Romney knows this long story since he implemented it in his state), you can't have one without the other. It has to do with the logic of the system, risk pools, etc. (Anyhow, you were talking about a floating abstraction...?)

While I'm not sure of the other items, I have a sinking feeling they have the same problem: that you weave a tangled web when your basic premises are free healthcare yet you want to make a government-run system slightly less government run. It's reminiscent banking "deregulation" which half deregulates leading to even bigger disasters because the basic premise of the government providing the ultimate backstop stays in place.

As for foreign policy, yes, I do feel the same way now. More so: Romney is criticizing Obama for making moves that he himself would most definitely make.

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Crow, it isn't necessary to reconcile the absence of an individual mandate with mandated coverage of pre-existing conditions. Don't get me wrong; it's bad policy - but it's not worse than keeping both mandates. I don't think it is constructive to accept a short-term budget fix at the cost of accepting a law that fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and the citizen. If deficits do couse some sort of disaster, would you rather have a government that is accepting of the notion that they can force you to buy any service or product, or one that isn't?

Your ability to evaluate foreign policy is suspect. It sounds like you haven't heard Romney's statements in the wake of the embassy attack. The way you speak with certainty about moves Romney would "definitely" make, without providing examples or support, indicates a lazy approach to this topic.

Edited by FeatherFall
grammar

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Crow, it isn't necessary to reconcile the absence of an individual mandate with mandated coverage of pre-existing conditions. Don't get me wrong; it's bad policy - but it's not worse than keeping both mandates. I don't think it is constructive to accept a short-term budget fix at the cost of accepting a law that fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and the citizen. If deficits do couse some sort of disaster, would you rather have a government that is accepting of the notion that they can force you to buy any service or product, or one that isn't?

Your ability to evaluate foreign policy is suspect. It sounds like you haven't heard Romney's statements in the wake of the embassy attack. The way you speak with certainty about moves Romney would "definitely" make, without providing examples or support, indicates a lazy approach to this topic.

I think you missed the point. It's physically impossible to reconcile the absence of an individual mandate with coverage of pre-existing conditions. If you didn't do both, people would simply wait until they were sick to get insurance coverage, basically making a mockery of the entire concept of "insurance" and blowing up it's financial structure.

Like I said, this is a somewhat wonky point that only people who understand the policy understand: like Romney understands since he implemented Obamacare in his home state.

So Romney's Obamacare solution is a lie. He cannot implement that, and he knows he can't. Hence my theory that he doesn't even want to win anymore--he knows his single biggest promise of the campaign is a logical impossibility.

I have heard Romney's statements and I have seen the criticisms of those statements from his right flank. Second-guessing the president on complicated, tactical matters of defense drops every pretense of reasonable decorum. It's perfectly true that in this short-term context we cannot (and, for reasons of national security should not) know all of the details of the situation. Taking a hard-line stance is not necessarily the best thing for our country. If a robber breaks into your home you may be advised to not immediately inform that he should be severely punished for his transgression--you might rationally make all kinds of moves to lessen the potential threat to your values, including deception and appeasement. These physical tactics are not the same as moral sanction.

Romney knows this too. He knows that "blow the shit out of all of them" or even, "tit for tat no matter what" is not a policy which is in the best interests of our country and the actual solution is far, far more nuanced. Yet, knowing this, he criticizes a sitting president in a most un-nuanced, populist fashion in the hopes that nobody will care to understand the situation and will just go with his top-level bad-sounding thingies.

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It sounds like you don't understand the healthcare policy yourself, so here's a news flash: Obama's individual mandate incentivizes people to go without insurance until they are sick, too. The tax "penalty" is capped below the premium costs of qualifying insurance plans. The mandate won't dent the deficit, so it won't fix anything either. It will just make taxpayers poorer and broaden the government's role under the interstate commerce clause. Have you poked around Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine?

I'm interested to see those right-flank criticisms of Obama's foreign policy. Links? Maybe the Neville Chamberlain approach is best.

Edit: I'm also interested to hear what you have to say about the New Black Panther Party and Obama's energy policy (you know, bankrupting coal) after taking a look at those links.

Edited by FeatherFall

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