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October 22, 2012

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"Jersey Shore" and "Real Housewives" are top-rated television shows. Young Americans are more interested in what Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears are up to than the U.S. Congress and its deplorable inability to accomplish anything.
Yes, Americans are that stupid.

You speak as if the office of President of the United States is relevant.

The corporate owned congress and supreme court are in charge.

The President is only their TV spokesperson.

I agree with AZREBEL
and
Romney had no choice as the LDS LLC insisted.
It will be the days of Billionaires and Cults.
Maybe the next president will be a scientologist?

I believe the turnout results among the younger demographic(34 and under)will be strong this election year. We'll show up for the President. Besides, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears were so 5 years ago! Seriously, I forgot Paris Hilton even existed and I Googled her to see what was up...ChrisInD, you might be consoled a bit to learn that her new show tanked and was cancelled; she blamed the OWN network:
http://www.aoltv.com/2011/06/07/paris-hilton-blames-oxygen-for-new-shows-low-ratings/

You might be further encouraged by the news that Jersey Shore will also cease to exist because of falling viewership. I discovered that bit of info while learning about Hilton's popularity decline. Perhaps you aren't giving young Americans enough credit.

PhxSunsFan,
i thought about Paris Hilton's declining popularity and Jersey Shore's cancellation after posting. I realized I was being too negative, and that perhaps both of those developments are signs that America is on the right path.
Never mind. Most people don't study the candidates running for elected office or research the issues that the candidates stand for or against. Voters in this country tend to vote for someone simply because the candidate has an "R" or "D" after his or her name. If that's not a stupid decision, then you tell me what is. Anyway, I supported Obama four years ago. Turns out, he's been the best Republican president since Reagan. I'm not wasting my vote again. This year, I'll cast my vote for a fringe party candidate.

The two-party system is evil...blah blah blah. It is unfortunate that a vote for a "fringe" party candidate is in fact a wasted vote: one likely to favor Romney. Which is the greater evil is in the mind of the voter, no doubt. It is a true example of a catch-22. If we never vote for a different candidate outside of the current system that system may never change. Yet if we do vote for a candidate outside of the current system we may in fact entrench our nation in an even deeper pile of shit.

PhxSunfan is right. Don't waste that Colorado vote. Obama is a cautious incremental politician. Romney is a risk taker in the tradition of successful financiers. Take risk but allocate the risk to other people's money not your own.

In this case, tax cuts for the wealthy and hope that this will result in more growth. If not, the downside falls on the 99%.

"Hilton and Spears are so 5 years ago"

Encouraged? Really?

I have three words for you:

Honey Boo Boo

Honey Boo Boo has killed the "reality" show franchise -- she's the last horrible gasp along with Snookie's bastard.

I'm glad I voted for a third party candidate. I don't think I wasted my vote at all! Why support a failing system? Will Obama's or Romney's offspring go out to fight yet another war on behalf of Big Oil and Israel? And why has the Libertarian candidate avoided the Democracy Now! debates (he lost me there)?

I still think the polls are rigged for the horse race and ratings. The presidential race was over after Romney got the nomination.

I'd be interested in Jon's prediction about the Electoral Map and how it plays out. Yes, the "low information voters" are dumb enough to put Romney in office . . if the electoral results will support it. Interesting that Mitt didn't get the Salt Lake paper's endorsement because of his chameleon-like changes.

"I'm glad I voted for a third party candidate. I don't think I wasted my vote at all! Why support a failing system?" -eclecticdog

Even though I was too young to vote in 2000, I remember hearing the same arguments then. How that work out for us?

I still have faith in the processing and decision power of the minds of millions of voters - collectively. Individuals in the mass may be idiots, but large, independent, and diverse groups generally make good decisions - at least better than those of smaller,insulated and homogeneous ones. If we lose faith in the ability of Democratic electorates to make reasonable choices for themselves, what reason do we have left to resist the oligarchic project of the Right? Aren't we admitting they are right that we should be ruled by an elite, rather than the mass electorate?

I may be too ignorant to vote: Who are Spears, Hilton and Honey Do?
Are they on the ballot as write-ins?
My write in candidate, Chapo, is the 40th richest person in the world and reportedly still lives in the country where, Carlos Slim Helu, the world’s richest human being, also lives. Must be rough for these two living in a third world country? But they probably do not have time to watch American reality shows, as they are reality shows. I have opened a special under garment outlet so you will be in style after the election. Do you think Ken and Barbie do it with their special underwear on? Is Scientology the next big winner? I find it amazing that the US may soon have a president with strong roots to a religious nut job that was an epileptic weed smoker.

Jon Talton:

I don't see how it ends well. Is America stupid enough to make this choice?

Maybe. But probably not. I haven't see the stat for the number of undecided, unread, overfed votes who watched last night's debate. But Romney came off like a pressing, sweating, babbling, dead-trees encyclopedia salesman with his foot stuck in everyone's door. I mean really... Who out there didn't think or say, "STFU please" with an emphasis on "STFU" part during one of Romney's various tumultuous run-ons?

It was all very unbecoming. And did you hear that ridiculous phony giggle he did when Obama started his conclusion? It was sinister in a animatronic comic book sort of way.

So I don't see how the debate helped him. But maybe I am over-crediting American intelligence here, and the ability of John Doe to spot a con man by the way it revs its motor mouth. In two weeks we will know...

But if it is any consolation....

It might not matter all that much. Because an extraordinary amount of stuff has to go right just to "save half-the-day" from global warming. Any chance of saving the entire day is out of the question now. With the latency effect of the carbon already in the atmosphere --and much more to come -- misery, war, and death is pretty much a done deal for multibillions of your species. Even the geoengineering choices are starting to look like hopeless temporary fixes in various models.

Again for emphasis: To save even half-the-day a lot of things are going to have to break correct for Homo insapiens from here on out. Including the election of Obama. But also including a whole hell of a lot of other unlikely things. Such as the massive supercooperation of your species on a supranational scale.

I don't think you bums are capable of that. And probably never were. At best your species is mostly small tribe thinkers overladen with biases and prejudices that basically evolved living from meal to meal. Your future will resemble that past...

Stick a fork in civilization as we know it. This 7 billion+ thing is going to crash well within your lifespan. Except for the fighting, it's over children. You're cooked in a steaming pot of your own baking...

Back to the caves with you!
Enjoy the soot in your soup...

"The sky is falling, the sky is falling", . . . . my, oh my.

morecleanair,
So far, Obama has an Electoral College edge. The EC has many detractors, but it also has some virtues. For another post. But it it's an EC tie, then the election goes to the Tea Party House.

Koreyel, is the dude! Great post!
I thing the cave dwelling goat herders are going to be the survivors.

I guess I should not be surprised if the cult guy gets elected after all, for four years we have had a pot smoking commie republican.

Just to be fair going back in electoral college history I thought the folks that were responsible for the New Testament were under the influence of some kind of greek goddess gold snort.

Have Faith? Me too. That the human species will screw it up.
And I am not of the opinion there is a god, that cares.
Humans are termites eating the house they live in.

pSf, maybe someday we'll see Kooks and Wimps fail to hold onto the two-party tango. Until then, its grit and bear it. Hearing the conversations around the office hear today, yep, we really are that dumb.

Jon, Thanks for the Atlantic magazine piece on electronic voting fraud. I think I have posted over here for a long time that the Republicans would cheat to win. And the boys with the gold own the machines and the techs to make it happen.


This election will determine whether we remain a Democracy or whether we take a giant, and perhaps, irreversible step toward Theocracy.

Vote for freedom and Democracy.


Regardless of whoever wins,we are going to see this country torn apart by the financial cliff negotiations.Obama has said there will be no sequestration and Romney has promised two trillion dollars more for defense.Either one will be lucky to break %50 in the voting and we may likely have another popular vote loser as president.Neither will have a mandate to bring Congress to a reasonable compromise and they will chew up another two years without a plan to stabilize the economy.

Sorry, Mark-Paul Harry Gosselaar and James William Van Der Beek, Jr. are on one show together tonight! What were we taking about??? ;-) Sorry, you know us "young Americans!" These two fellows are my "dream husbands!" Let's go gays!

I just wanted to scare koreyel! ;-)

There are those that watch and those that do it.

JMav: "PhxSunfan is right. Don't waste that Colorado vote. Obama is a cautious incremental politician. Romney is a risk taker in the tradition of successful financiers. Take risk but allocate the risk to other people's money not your own."

I am so tired of hearing this garbage. I voted for Obama four years ago convinced that he really was a different type of politician -- one who wasn't just a skilled and eloquent orator, but who would actually walk the walk. Boy, were we duped. (Before you all gang up on me as a turncoat, let me declare that I am a staunch liberal who supports social welfare programs; a smaller, more efficient military; and tough government regulation of corporate America, especially the banking industry).
Just because I choose to vote for a third-party candidate does not mean that I am "wasting that Colorado vote." If I vote for a Republican or a Democrat, then I truly am wasting my vote, because it doesn't matter in the end. Nothing will change. No matter who wins, we will still get the same government.
Despite his promises of "change", Obama is nothing more than an extension of George W. Bush. For instance:
* Obama promised to close Gitmo; it remains open.
* Obama promised to withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan; while the U.S. did exit Iraq, nearly 68,000 troops remain in Afghanistan, and both Obama and Romney have repeatedly refused answer questions about whether America will have a long-term presence in Afghanistan. That's because we will.
* Despite pledges to the contrary when he was a candidate, the Obama administration is busting medical marijuana dispensaries.
* Not one person has been brought to trial for 9/11.
* Obama approved a 4-year extension of the Patriot Act in May 2011, and in fact, we're under more surveillance now than we were under W.
* Forget counting on the Obama administration to hold the banking industry accountable for its crimes; not one top finance exec has been brought to justice since Obama took office. Furthermore, financial-fraud prosecutions by the DOJ have dropped to 20-year lows, and are down 39 percent since 2003 (according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University), when fraud at Enron and WorldCom were big news.

Don't tell me I'm wasting my vote. So long as the status quo remains in effect, so are you if you vote for either Romney or Obama.

ChrisInDenver the Romney campaign loves you. A third party vote in a battleground state is a vote for Romney.

The Chris in Denver & jmav issue sounds like,
I am telling you what to do?
These arguments are old hat.
I believe voting is a personal issue and no one actually knows how I marked my ballot since I was old enough to vote 50 years ago.

Get a free pound of weed, vote Chapo for President,

When a new schmuck is elected President, he goes to DC, surrounds himself with "insiders who know their way around Washington".

Then another schmuck is elected President and he surrounds himself with "insiders who know their way around Washington".

Then the next schmuck is elected President and surrounds himself with "insiders who know their way around Washington".

And on, and on, and on, and on.

Notice the trend? Notice the problem?

The D.C. swamp takes in the new renter and surrounds him with all the local vermin.

Be sure to get your tetanus shot, Mr. New President

Hey AZREBEL,Petro,eclectic dog wanta do coffee Saturday?

I'm down with you, ChrisInDenver!

cal, coffee and a free pound of weed is doable.

Hey eclectic, I'd take some of that herb, but I'm in public service (firefighter), and I swore it off a long time ago.

Coffee sounds good, cal et. al. And I'll take up the slack on the herb, if it comes to it.

(Dear NSA/FBI/HSA: These are jokes. I'm generally more circumspect when it comes to actual illegal activity.)

"Southern theocracy" = I grew up in the South and spent part of my adult life in the South. I have NEVER experienced a theocracy in the South like I have being trapped in the Mormon-theocracy that is Arizona for the past decade.

Get a kilo of Lebanese hash, vote for Nasrallah.

Firefighter Chris In Denver, I am a retired cop and at 72 have yet to try an illicit drug however since we are discussing the upcoming (joke) voting: at 72 it seems to me that Chapo, Eduardo Guzman , head of the Sinaloa cartel seems to be as good a business person as the current candidates and he certainly understands war and foreign policy. He sells his product world wide at a huge profit. Not many can afford to buy and build a zoo at home so his grandson dosent have to travel.

Annalisa, e-mail Benson at the Arizona Republican he can probably help you get excommunicated.

Nasrallah, was that 2 keys for a grenade launcher? My barber is from Lebanon, nice Catholic dude.

Petro U left DEA out of we are joking.

Actually I thought the most important vote in Arizona was for picking five folks to represent the Water Conservation District.

Plus there is Hope we will get rid of a Flake.

Petro U left DEA out of we are joking.
Rats!

I have been time starved lately and won't be able to address this column or most of the comments until at least tomorrow. However, this did stand out:

ChrisInDenver: "Don't tell me I'm wasting my vote. So long as the status quo remains in effect, so are you if you vote for either Romney or Obama."

Yet, you will be wasting your vote, since you cannot elect a third party candidate. The question then, becomes: are Romney and Obama identical (they aren't, not by a long shot), and if not, who do you hurt by voting for a third party? The answer has to be Obama insofar as you identify yourself as "a staunch liberal" and your vote won't be going to Obama, which means that your vote won't cancel out the vote of a staunch conservative who holds his nose and votes Romney.

You don't get it. The choice isn't between ideals: it's between what is actually being offered.

I have been time starved lately and won't be able to address this column or most of the comments until at least tomorrow. However, this did stand out:

ChrisInDenver: "Don't tell me I'm wasting my vote. So long as the status quo remains in effect, so are you if you vote for either Romney or Obama."

Yet, you will be wasting your vote, since you cannot elect a third party candidate. The question then, becomes: are Romney and Obama identical (they aren't, not by a long shot), and if not, who do you hurt by voting for a third party? The answer has to be Obama insofar as you identify yourself as "a staunch liberal" and your vote won't be going to Obama, which means that your vote won't cancel out the vote of a staunch conservative who holds his nose and votes Romney.

You don't get it. The choice isn't between ideals: it's between what is actually being offered.

I have been time starved lately and won't be able to address this column or most of the comments until at least tomorrow. However, this did stand out:

ChrisInDenver: "Don't tell me I'm wasting my vote. So long as the status quo remains in effect, so are you if you vote for either Romney or Obama."

Yet, you will be wasting your vote, since you cannot elect a third party candidate. The question then, becomes: are Romney and Obama identical (they aren't, not by a long shot), and if not, who do you hurt by voting for a third party? The answer has to be Obama insofar as you identify yourself as "a staunch liberal" and your vote won't be going to Obama, which means that your vote won't cancel out the vote of a staunch conservative who holds his nose and votes Romney.

You don't get it. The choice isn't between ideals: it's between what is actually being offered.

eclecticdog
ck ur email

I wish I still lived in Phoenix. But only because I want to join Cal, Petro, AzReb and eclectic for coffee. If you cats wanna make up to the mile-hi city, the java's on me. Jon, you're always welcome here.

Emil, I get it -- x3. One return works just fine.

You must have skimmed my long entry above, instead of reading and digesting. Lemme break it down for ya: Obama has been the best Republican president since Reagan. He offers nothing different from Mittens. We're still at war, the banks are still fleecing the nation, we still maintain a military larger than every other nation on Earth, combined; and unemployment remains at 8%. The only difference between him and Romney, other than the obvious, is that Romney wears magic underwear and we presume Obama doesn't.
I am familiar with Romney. I lived in Boston when he was governor of Mass. He wasn't anything special -- he was not charismatic and he changed course on issues routinely -- so I would never vote for him.
Emil, you don't get it. Politicians only tell you what they think you want to hear while their campaigning; once they win the election, everything changes. Romney and Obama have been bought and paid for by Corporate America. That's why Obama has been such a sell-out. And you've bought into it. You're either blind or gullible.

ChrisInDenver, I don't think you understand and are either blind or gullible. Mitt and President Obama are not the same; with Mitt as president you can be assured that any remnants of a social contract will be destroyed. Any hope of withdrawing U.S. forces from the Middle East will likely evaporate and expansion of the Military Industrial Complex will grow exponentially. That's just for starters...

Hey, no sweat PhxSunsFan. Politics is a very polarizing subject in this country. Political differences of opinion seem to offend people everywhere, from the loyal readers and commenters of Rogue to Congress. My intention wasn't to dissuade anyone from voting for Obama, but to explain why I won't be casting my vote for him a second time around.
So, maybe I am blind or gullible or both. No, not gullible -- I'm not falling for the bullshit a second time around. I would argue that anyone who re-elects a pol who breaks promises is gullible. But, no offense to anyone! I just want a real, honest leader who won't sugar-coat the issues. Tell me what I DON'T want to hear.

It sounds like you don't want to hear the truth regarding the dichotomous vote for a third party candidate: you are not only voting for said candidate but also for Romney. That is the plain truth. Obviously no one is changing your mind. Hopefully voters who share your narrow and cynical view are not so numerous that the election is handed to Romney...especially in Florida. I don't want a repeat of 2000 to happen again.

You say some things that have dissuaded you from voting for Obama again are his administration's prosecution of medical marijuana dispensaries and not bringing corrupt financiers to justice. Under Romney, those injustices will seem trivial.

PhxSuns, I was hoping w/ my last comment we could drop this debate. I'm not closed-minded; if anything, I take my time to research the issues and/or candidates before I make up my mind. I'm sorry if my decision upsets you, but it's my decision -- not yours. Please do not attack me.

Perhaps you should have refrained from calling Obama supporters blind and gullible. I don't take issue with you "attacking" us for our vote, but rather for the ideas and reasoning presented by you regarding the topic of discussion at hand. I will leave it at that.

Chrisindenver

Thanks for the offer, but no thanks.

I spent a week in the Denver airport, one afternoon.

Someday you can join us for coffee down here.

My personal record for waiting for a flight at the Denver airport is 7 hours.

Thank goodness for beer.

Emil,

What is a person without ideals?

What is a person without ideals?

What is a person without ideals?

Gary Johnson 2012, 2016 2020

phxSUNSfan....

You've heard the wonderful phrase "High Broderism"? It's normally applied to pundits who use a "a pox on both their houses" as their main cognitive crutch.

I'd like to suggest such a thing for the naive electorate who thinks that voting for the lesser of two evils is somehow a distasteful moral choice. And they'd rather squander their vote on a third-party-nobody-candidate full of bloated, dulcet promises that they will never have the chance to fail on.

I made the argument before on why one is morally obligated to choose "the lesser of two evils". That such a choice isn't one to be shucked for the glib fantasies of a third party toilet flush. And that citizens in a democracy should be eager to support the lesser of two evils because a small step in the correct direction is better than a large step the wrong direction.

That argument is nearly impenetrable to logical refutation. So I suspect "naive electoral High Broderism" is a manifestation of some fundamental emotional fantasy in third party voters. That is: they are so nobel they won't dare contaminate their purity by voting for a "lesser evil". They won't dirty themselves that way.

It's a convenient contrivance...

Because after all, many of them believe in the immediacy of global warming yet continue to "eat cow" and "drive everywhere". Many of them "loathe corporations" yet are totally fed and clothed by them. Which is all to suggest: In the real world they lend themselves to that which they condemn all the time.

Which means two things: 1) Logic won't change their emotional position. 2) They are going to milk their third- party hobbyhorse because it makes them feel good.

Of course a huge part of realizing your full responsibility as a citizen in a Democracy, of being a true adult in the real world, is making the moral compromises necessary towards a better future. Almost always that means fulfilling one's moral "duty" and choosing the lesser of two evils. Such choices might not make one "feel good". But they are utterly necessary and lead us forward...

The "third party" rocking horse? It's for infants, sucking their thumbs and going nowhere fast. They don't want to play in the real world. And thankfully, Florida/Scalia/Bush-Gore doesn't happen all that often. Thus their childlike naivety causes no regression towards the "greater evil". And their rocking and sucking causes no general harm...

Outstanding Koreyel!

AZREB, I assume you did your research and so the rumor that Johnson belongs to Romney’s boys is not credible?

Borderism not Bowdlerism?

Koreyel, I agree outstanding!
High Borderism, and your discussion here is extremely tight and logical. However to me it seems that Chris is voting from a moral “high ground” not necessarily tight in logic. I will not try and refute your points but offer that possibly the whole deal of human existence is “absurd”. So if I live my life always making moral compromises will that lead (me) “forward” (whatever that might be) and will I have a better future ( I kinda like my past). Or are the moral compromises I am to make for the good of everyone? My reality is that no matter where I live on the planet I have to make choices, like if I had supported Lenin instead of the Tsar or Sadam Hussein rather than George Bush would I have had a better life?


Just to make a historical point, Abe Lincoln was a third-party candidate.

There are many moral compromises that we have to make every day. Often these are called contradictions, hypocrisy, or "just the way things are". I have to drive much further than I would like to as there is no reasonable mass transit between home and work. So I burn gas to save time.

But, I will no longer support the Kooks or the Wimps at the national level. The game is rigged and its now a very thin veneer of democracy. Obama will turn his back on Social Security, will continue his drone wars, will crash the Iranian economy, support the fascist state of Israel in all it does, and continue picking our pockets in favor of the rich and corporations. If that's your "moral duty" you can have it. Logic, in the argumentative and philosophical sense, should turn one away from making the bad choice of "lesser of two evils" when other choices are available. I will not be a lemming.

I'll go back to sucking my thumb, but its better than sucking ass.

@koreyal, you frequently get it right by me, and I understand the logic, the math, the realpolitik, and I concur that when it gets tight (in a swing state), a sensible left-leaning person should probably throw Obama a bone. But this...

Because after all, many of them believe in the immediacy of global warming yet continue to "eat cow" and "drive everywhere". Many of them "loathe corporations" yet are totally fed and clothed by them. Which is all to suggest: In the real world they lend themselves to that which they condemn all the time.

...is a hell of an ironic way to chastise folks for being vote purists. The "driving cow-eaters" are being "practical" and "realistic," eschewing Quixotic and economically self-defeating behavior, much like those who feel that their vote is wasted if it isn't cast upon one of the two "vetted and serious" candidates.

Anyone want to see the ugly side of this debate, get yourselves over to one of TBogg's threads (like this recent one,) where his "adult" minions attempt to savage the hippies.

Eclectic dog maybe you should skip coffee.I dont want to be sitting next to U when the Israel drone's you.

Petro as usual I am going to have you explain you and Boggs in smaller words.
Makes me sad that Soleri is not here.

Speaking of boning, I see Colin Powell is still trying to make it right.

Speaking of boning, I see Colin Powell is still trying to make it right.

There's something tragically Shakespearean about Powell, isn't there? I picture him in shredded garments, shaking his fist at the howling winds, ever haunted by his failed bid of fealty to power.

Sad man.

Once a proud man
Now a skin carcass minus bones.
He needed a better education
like rolling bones against a wall in Harlem

"You've heard the wonderful phrase 'High Broderism'? It's normally applied to pundits who use a "a pox on both their houses" as their main cognitive crutch."

Koreyel, never heard of the phrase until now. Sounds like that term would also apply (in a slightly different way) to Mike Stauffer, the idiot running against Arpaio and Penzone. He says that Arpaio needs to be replaced and cannot be allowed to remain in office. Yet with an incredibly tight race between Penzone and Arpaio, he refused to drop out of the race. More info on Stauffer:
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2012/09/joe_arpaio_mike_stauffer_a_republican_can.php

http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/LaurieRoberts/172595#protected

"I'll go back to sucking my thumb, but its better than sucking ass." -eclecticdog

You'll be doing more than both if Romney is elected. Don't forget to buy some knee pads.

Phxsunfan, follow the money

Knee Pads?

and the difference between FLDS INC and LDS LLD?

R U willing to Compromise

for whose morality

The man that pronounced Albert Camus dead was Dr. Marcel Camus apparently no relation
just another absurdity

vote how ever you want
while U still can
It's just a matter of time before the two theocracy's go to war

Cal, I have no idea what you are talking about.

that's OK
I do

Mr. Talton wrote:

"I can't think of a presidential candidate in my lifetime who has held so many different and conflicting positions. Not evolving or changing one's mind when the facts change, but cynical shape-shifting to close the deal. Anything to win. Even if this doesn't reveal a dangerous sociopath, we must ask: Who is this man?"

Good question. It might be suggested that his tenure as governor of Massachusetts could provide the answer: certainly that is the claim by some mainstream pundits. To some extent this is true; however, as governor Romney faced a different set of circumstances, alliances, enemies, and restrictions on power than he would face as President.

The legislature of Massachusetts has a Democratic Party majority in both the state House and Senate. Public unions are very strong in Massachusetts: teachers are among the most unionized -- something worth considering when he brags about the condition of public education in Massachusetts; as are the facts that public education there was ranked #1 both before and after Romney was governor; that per pupil spending there is second only to New York state despite (not because of) Romney's public sector and union bashing; and that (as a result of higher spending) the ratio of pupils to teachers is more favorable, resulting in lower class sizes because there are more teachers.

Similarly, Romney eschewed tax increases as governor, but was happy to make use of revenues raised by tax increases enacted just before he entered office, as well as himself enacting various and sundry fee increases (including fees on real-estate transactions, driver's licenses, mental health counselor applications, etc.) and closing some tax loopholes as well (which increases the target's effective tax rate, even though it doesn't raise the nominal rate). By avoiding progressive income tax increases, the overall effect was to increase, by stealth, the revenue burden on the middle and working classes rather than on the upper class, much less on the top 1 percent to which Romney belongs.

Romney's attitudes as a businessman are those of a follower of Ayn Rand; these filter through into his political life (witness his comment about the 47 percent), but as a political pragmatist he is a chameleon who blends into his environment to the extent required to attain and consolidate power. The makeup of Congress after the next election might well be decisive in determining which side Romney shows.

ChrisInDenver raised some significant issues and doubts, common on the political left (but misguided). The key to voting is, first of all, to understand that the only actual choice is between Obama and Romney -- nobody else will be elected this term; second, to examine how Romney fares versus Obama on the criteria used by Chris in criticizing Obama; and finally, to examine both candidates outside these criteria (which are, as we shall see, fairly narrow).

Chris is upset because: Obama promised to close Gitmo but didn't. He promised to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but some fraction of U.S. soldiers ("advisors") will remain in both countries. He has failed to decriminalize marijuana. He has supported the continuation and (in some cases) expansion of the national security state. The Justice Department under his administration has failed to prosecute economic crimes to the satisfaction of many on the political left (and not only there along the political spectrum). Obama also rejected civilian criminal trials for those accused of plotting and/or carrying out 9/11 related acts of terrorism.

Now then: from Chris' point of view, would Romney do better, the same, or worse than Obama on these issues?

Romney clearly has strong neo-conservative tendencies where national security and foreign policy are concerned. He wants to beef up military spending and military presence (at the expense of social spending); his foreign policy philosophy is aggressively interventionist, in Iran, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere. His attitude toward civil liberties is that they must clearly take a backseat to national security (as defined by him); and Romney has far more aggressive notions of domestic national security, if his campaign rhetoric is to be taken at face value. Romney is certainly in no hurry to prosecute bankers.

In short, Romney can be expected to perform significantly worse on balance among these criteria, and certainly no better in any single criterion.

Outside these criteria, Romney has vowed to empower American corporations and the wealthy via tax cuts; to offer judicial nominations protecting the right to one-dollar, one-vote; and to repeal Obama's healthcare reform law, which will only begin to take full effect in 2014, assuming that it isn't sabotaged by a Republican president and congress; and to cut social spending.


The issues with Obama that I listed are just a few of those that I have with his presidency so far. No one here doubts that Romney would be a colossal disaster as POTUS -- myself included -- but I am simply too dissatisfied with Obama to vote for him again.
Anyway, Emil, I appreciate your points. Always interesting to read what you have to say.

"Remember, his job today is to lie to get elected. His job once elected is quite different."

http://www.dilbert.com/blog/entry/interesting_day/

I usually don't go to the Adams Blog on Dilbert, but out of the blue there I am and this touches on a few of the things brought here. Adams wrote a post saying Obama should be fired for enforcing federal drug law against CA marijuana dispensaries (speculating that is only for political gain -- there's no war like the drug war!). It since went viral and this is his response.

Chrisindenver, Since George McGovern and Jerry Brown are not running for President, the choice is between Lenin and Stalin!

Is Logic god or does your gut have a voice. It's your vote to cast Chris, do what you want with it.

You can't tell me I don't have integrity.

"cal Lash" wrote (to ChrisInDenver):

"Is Logic god or does your gut have a voice?"

If Mitt Romney is elected he's going to have an awful belly-ache. But it will be too late.

I don't think Chris lacks integrity. I think he lacks the ability to fully envision the consequences of his voting strategy. So, he's cutting off his nose to spite his face. This act of protest will give him a short-lived sense of empowerment, but since he (like other Americans) is subject to the political environment he exists in, he can look forward to at least four years of being punched in the gut should Romney take the presidency; more likely he'll feel the fallout for years after Romney leaves office, because of events set in motion during his tenure.

Chris, before you listen to the advice (and the false dichotomies) of "cal Lash" you might remember that by his own admission he is a registered Republican. He's too guileful to argue directly for Romney, but anything he can do to encourage dissatisfaction and apathy among Obama supporters is good for his cause. He thinks you're stupid and easily manipulated. I don't. You have until November 6th to change your position and to encourage others to vote Obama as well.

You all are too kind to me

Emil, the irony in my decision is that I do understand the consequences that it could have in this election. Yes, it could mean Bush-Kerry II. But I also believe strongly that the Democrats are too weak to make a difference anymore. Like Jon said, they won't destroy the nation like the GOP will simply because the contrary would mean compromising on an issue.
The Democrats have become so weak, it seems like GOP knows it can conquer them regardless of who has the presidency or majority in Congress.

By the way, if you guys keep it up, I'll change my vote to Ron Jeremy in defiance. Then my vote really won't matter.

ChrisInDenver wrote:

"I also believe strongly that the Democrats are too weak to make a difference anymore. Like Jon said, they won't destroy the nation like the GOP will..."

So, NOT destroying the nation is identical to destroying it? I don't get it.

But we don't have to resort to hyperbole like "destroying the nation" to make sense of this. Are you really saying that you see no significant difference between the policies of Obama and his predecessor, or think that the country would be largely the same today had McCain been elected president?

I think the main difference between those on the right and those on the left, is that the former KNOW there is a big difference between Obama and a Republican, and between his policies under a Democratic congressional majority and the policies of a Republican president under a Republican majority; whereas lefties have become myopic and unable to see differences smaller than those between (say) Nixon and McGovern.

Mr. Magoo was amusing as a cartoon character, but not much fun to share the road with.

Chris
I shouldn't intrude in the comments. But living in Colorado, your choice carries profound implications it would not in Arizona or Washington. If you support the Tea Party, then continue on.

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