Patterico's Pontifications

6/19/2012

Andrea Mitchell: We “Didn’t Have a Chance” to Tell the Truth About Romney’s WaWa Comments

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:01 am

Yesterday, JD highlighted some deceptive editing by Andrea Mitchell, regarding Mitt Romney’s comments about buying sandwiches at a place called “Wa Wa’s.”

Here are the WaWa videos in case you missed just how deceptive this was. First, the Big Media version, in which Romney is clueless about the WaWa way of selling sandwiches:

And now, the actual context, in which we get to see that Mitt Romney was making a point — contrasting the convenience of private industry, which results from competititon, with the bureaucracy of the noncompetitive federal government, which causes people to fill out 33-page forms to change their addresses:

Today, Andrea Mitchell deceptively responds to the controversy over her deceptive editing. Her defense: we didn’t have a chance to portray the clip in a fair manner with full context!

When I first heard about this, I went through three stages of reaction:

1. That deception is an outrage!

2. Who cares if Romney didn’t know about WaWa whatever?

3. This is all they got? We’re gonna win, aren’t we?

277 Responses to “Andrea Mitchell: We “Didn’t Have a Chance” to Tell the Truth About Romney’s WaWa Comments”

  1. Ding!

    Wa, wa, waaaaaaaaaa…

    Patterico (906cfb)

  2. the hoochie has no class is the takeaway

    not an ounce

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  3. So, what was their original point supposed to be?

    You’re not qualified to be president unless you regularly dine in automats?

    The idea of a restauraunt that doesn’t have a person who takes your order ain’t exactly new.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  4. Remember, he doesn’t even know what a donut is. He’s just so out of touch.

    Meanwhile, Captain Damn-Those-New-Fangled-ATM’s-And-Their-Job-Killing-Ways talks about how great the private sector is doing while teeing off his hundredth round of golf.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  5. Is it time yet for Campos to resign? What’s this now, 3 deceptive edits in a year? How does anyone take these clown seriously?

    Or is their entire audience the staffs of MRC and Big Journalism?

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  6. It’s only June. There’s still plenty of time for Romney to alienate voters by referring to how many luxury cars his wife drives or asking them to think of their childrens’ trust funds or some shit.

    For the record: Of course this is silly. And biased. And whatever. But Romney is… yuck.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  7. Bill Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection wrote to MSLSD to ask them about this. He got a reply…saying they’d get back to him.

    Anyone know what the current temperature in Hell is?

    creeper (f1f686)

  8. IF your defense is “we didn’t have a chance to do it right”–then maybe you’re flat flippin’ incompetent. You may also be a prevaricating pustulent pontificating pundit as well–but we’ll save the really accurate stuff for another day.

    Comanche Voter (dc4fc0)

  9. Thanks for this post. I like the way Romney talks about States competing and actually agree he is much preferable to the lizard in the WH we have!

    Westie (ece8d5)

  10. Comment by Comanche Voter — 6/19/2012 @ 11:56 am

    Beat me to it, “We didn’t have time to communicate the truth, or a half-truth, even, so we communicated only a little bit of truth and a lot of dishonesty”.

    What would her 8th grade English teacher do with that excuse?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  11. Why;d you chop off the video?

    I had a hard time by the way hearing anything besides the first video but i finally heard the third.

    I’m not sure what was added after “amazing” changes the point. It’s just Romney saying that amazing innovation happens in the provate sector.

    He’s still calling this revival of the Automat amazing. But so what?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  12. I would feel much better about the impending retirement/fade of some of these old incompetent media fossels like Andrea and Chrissie and BaBaWaWa if it were not for the Capeharts and Xtophers and Soledad O’Briens coming up behind.

    elissa (c09f7d)

  13. Sammy– as Patterico stated above, it was the contrast between 33 pages of mandatory govt. forms vs. the simple touchscreen that Romney found amazing. Not the touchscreen itself.

    elissa (c09f7d)

  14. elissa:

    I hate to burst your bubble, but lefty media types never retire. Daniel Schorr went on forever on National Peoples Radio until he died. We will have the worst of both worlds: Rapidly aging goofballs like Chris Matthews and the young and the clueless, like Solidad-brother O’Briens. A sad state of affairs if there ever was one. The only good thing is we have blogs, twitter, etc now to counter these idiots.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  15. Comment by elissa — 6/19/2012 @ 12:22 pm

    Sammy– as Patterico stated above, it was the contrast between 33 pages of mandatory govt. forms vs. the simple touchscreen that Romney found amazing. Not the touchscreen itself.

    I wasn’t able to hear that. Is that on the second video?

    I thought what he found (or said) was AMAZING was the fact that you could order by pressing buttons. Of course soda machines do that too.

    It looked like he thought he was flattering his ausdience with that, i.e: Look what a great thing you have here in Pennsylvania!

    I’d like to see where he mentions government forms.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  16. Pennsylvania, the state with the amazing Wawa system for selling sandwiches, casts 67 votes for Mitt Romney and 5 votes for Ron Paul

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  17. @Sammy– Then if you don’t believe Patterico go over to Legal Insurrection. There is an unedited amateur video about 3:28 minutes long posted there which will clearly give you what you seek to see with your own eyes.

    elissa (c09f7d)

  18. Sammy, I think the reason the video was “chopped off” is because Mitchell and Clizza (sp?) immediately transitioned to a discussion of immigration, dropping the whole Romney Wawa debate. That’s the whole point that we are trying to make. Yesterday MSNBC releases a video deceptively edited to make it look like Romney was wowed by the existence of touch-screen technology in a sandwich shop, when a full picture seems to indicate that he is amazed that the private sector has found ways to bring about efficiencies and cost-savings that are completely alien to the public sector. MSNBC probably owed it to the Romney camp to provide that sort of context; instead, the simply played the whole video this time and let it go without comment or apology.

    JVW (f28a18)

  19. elissa,

    Is that not the second video in this post? On a phone and can’t easily check.

    Patterico (b7c121)

  20. Who chopped what? I put in the embed code from the video I saw at Hot Air.

    Patterico (b7c121)

  21. Patterico,

    Hot Air’s (your second) video does provide the context but to really understand how deceptive MSBNC’s edit was, I’d link Sooper Mexican’s post.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  22. Granted, they were dishonest in their reporting. But if they hadn’t been:

    I’ve never dined at a place with an automated ordering system. I doubt most have.

    I don’t see why this matters, except as a massive distraction.

    The President’s job is to run this government. This government has not had a budget in ages, and is racking up record debt in a way that jeopardizes the stability of the country.

    What matters is which president is going to do the president’s work. Not which president is hip to the newest fad that presidents will never actually use.

    Dustin (330eed)

  23. Patterico–yes. the second vid you posted is exactly the same one as is at Professor Jacobson’s. I just thought that maybe Sammy couldn’t open it here for some reason based on his comments, questions and his challenge to your clear statement about the government forms.

    elissa (c09f7d)

  24. In a typical act of beclowning oneself, Tommy Xtopher is whining that there is nothing out-of-context in the edited clip; this, as Mitchell herself admits that the edit indeed does muddle the context.

    Hacktacular as always, Tommy!

    Icy (85cd5d)

  25. Left unsaid – Andrea Mitchell is insinuating that Mitt Romney is a rich asshole who is unfamiliar with convenience stores. This from a woman whose husband has a net worth estimated at $10 million and who I’m sure is paid a tidy sum in the high six or low seven figures from NBC. I’m willing to bet she doesn’t spend much time at Wawa.

    radar (257ad5)

  26. Why do people refer to Tommy’Xs judgement? It is nototriously blinkered.

    Sarahw (b0e533)

  27. Why does anyone pay the slightest attention to lil’ Tommy Christopher anymore? He’s a nonentity and a proven hack and liar.

    radar (257ad5)

  28. It seems entirely possible that their mea culpa is more douchey that the actions that necessitated said mea culpa.

    JD (a2d320)

  29. Comment by Ipso Fatso — 6/19/2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Listening to Hewitt last night, he made the point that people of the left and/or people distorting news and/or people promoting their own agenda over truth will always be in style (not that those categories are all-inclusive), and there will always be a fight to put forth truth. Perhaps we see this better now than back in the day too many of us believed everything Walter Cronkite said. Our memory of a golden time “when people told the truth” may be partially a delusion of a time that was not so golden after all.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  30. Why does anybody listen to Andrea Mitchell anymore? She said everybody knew Valerie Plame was a low-level CIA employee, then she tried to explain it away by saying she “must have been drunk” when she said that (on air).
    She’s a clown clown clown.

    MayBee (980ebd)

  31. Frankly, I hope some production assistant is responsible and Mitchell & Cillizza didn’t know the context. But neither of them have come forward to say they were scammed, too, so I’m going to assume they knew what they were doing and did it intentionally.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  32. That darn Faux News is ruining journalism. Oh wait.

    elissa (c09f7d)

  33. We’ve had so much evidence of MSNBC’s dishonesty this past year (911 calls Trayvon Martin…), I don’t have the slightest inclination to give them the benefit of the doubt in this. Also, given Andrea Mitchell’s habitual exposure of her partisan underpants, there’s no reason to think this is anything other than more of her sneering condescension for someone on the right. She is a smart woman and took full advantage of an opportunity to manipulate a story to reflect poorly on Romney. Her historical record fully informs current viewers that this is her M.O. If by some chance she claims ignorance, then the onus is on her to prove it.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  34. Comment by Leviticus — 6/19/2012 @ 11:53 am

    So, your choice is to vote for another 4-yrs of incompetence, not vote, or write in Ralph Nader (whatever).

    Even Romney is better than the alternatives.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  35. Vote for the Mormon, not the Moron.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. Comment by radar — 6/19/2012 @ 1:44 pm

    You have to wonder when was the last time AM visited a 7-11?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  37. Politico provides an MSNBC update,

    UPDATE: An MSNBC spokesperson emailed the following at 4:30 on Tuesday afternoon:

    “MSNBC did not edit anything out of order or out of sequence and at no time did we intend to deceive our viewers.”

    Clearly, the only reason they played the fuller version of the tape and responded above was the strong push back MSNBC is receiving.

    And that presents two problems:

    1) If they felt the story they ran yesterday with the edited version was complete, in and of itself and it was indeed, an opportunity of Romney showing how out of touch he was, then upon viewing the full tape, wouldn’t Mitchell as a professional journalist, be expressing a big Uh-Oh, this was a far more serious statement being made and thus offer some further examination of Romney’s exampling of just how able private businesses can keep up with market needs and provide innovative ways to be competitive?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  38. Here.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  39. Dana – it is MSNBC

    JD (a2d320)

  40. Patterico, of course we’re going to win. Some folks who voted for Obama last time won’t vote for him this time. No one who voted against him last time is going to vote for him this time. All he can hope to do is shed voters more slowly, or make it up in fraud and naive youngsters.

    Which brings up a point: Romney ought to be setting up a campaign aimed at young people, pointing out that Obama’s spending and entitlement policies will enslave them with debt and taxes.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  41. Obama’s spending and entitlement policies will enslave them with debt and taxes.

    Yup.

    Dustin (330eed)

  42. Perhaps it is time to add to the cuteness nomenclature category which includes “Faux News” …

    Please permit me to introduce the latest addition to that category :- “MendaciouSNBC” …

    Alasdair (3b4a30)

  43. I don’t know anything about this story, but WaWa is awesome.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  44. I had never heard of a WaWa before. I can’t imagine why it’s named that.

    Obama has lost the mainstream and his hopes for re-election resides with the minority groups that Romney struggles with: Hispanics, African-Americans and women.

    As Rush stated this morning,

    When you don’t own your base, and you’re the president — and you’re an incumbent president, and your base is abandoning you, or your base is getting chilly and they’re not excited — you’ve got problems.

    Especially in June.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  45. The Wawa website says the name is Wawa, not WaWa. It’s a chain of convenience stores that Grahame Wood began in 1964 with the Wawa Food Market. Perhaps he named his store after his father’s Wawa Dairy Farm that had delivered milk to homes in the region since 1902. (The original name came because the region was known as the Wawa, which “takes its name for the Native American word for a Canada goose in flight.”) The website says home delivery declined with the advent of convenience stores.

    It seems like an innovative company. The touchscreen was introduced in 1999.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. 3. This is all they got? We’re gonna win, aren’t we?

    Pretty much.

    Kaitian (da9520)

  47. sandwiches are laden with carbs cause of the high bread content

    no wawa for me thank you I have goals

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  48. “we didn’t have a chance to portray the clip in a fair manner with full context!”

    Let’s see if I can put this INTO context. Andrea is hired by MSLSD, which in turn is owned by NBC, which in turn is owned by General Electric which receives countless millions of dollars in government contracts. Jeffery Immelt is the President of GE and a BFF of Barack Obama.

    radioone (2121f8)

  49. I’m from Oklahoma, middle class. No one here has any idea what a wawa is. Kind of makes Mitchell look dumb, assuming that everyone else must know of the “wawa”.

    John Anderton (4603b6)

  50. Andrea Mitchell
    goes hard left to fend off their
    attacks on Greenspan

    Colonel Haiku (da1b7e)

  51. “When you don’t own your base, and you’re the president — and you’re an incumbent president, and your base is abandoning you, or your base is getting chilly and they’re not excited — you’ve got problems.”

    Dana – Watch for President O’Blameless to begin forgiving student loans and home mortgages before the end of August by Executive Order, due to Republican obstructionism and racism.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  52. those damn student loans
    sound of things falling apart
    the Next BIG Bubble

    and daley… RACISTSISTA!

    Colonel Haiku (da1b7e)

  53. I can’t trust woman
    who looks like Harry Shearer
    in a bad blonde wig

    Colonel Haiku (da1b7e)

  54. If by some chance she claims ignorance, then the onus is on her to prove it.
    Comment by Dana — 6/19/2012 @ 2:27 pm

    I think she already has, over and over again…oh, that’s not exactly what you meant? ;-)

    36.Vote for the Mormon, not the Moron.
    Comment by SPQR — 6/19/2012 @ 2:43 pm

    Have you copyrighted that yet? Begun printing bumperstickers?

    (The original name came because the region was known as the Wawa, which “takes its name for the Native American word for a Canada goose in flight.”) DRJ

    That makes sense. Yes, they have Wawa brand dairy products, etc., and I always thought the dairy business preceeded the chain of stores.

    “Wawa” or something like that also can mean “bus” in Spanish, I think for those of Puerto Rican ancestry. No idea how that came to be. Of course, that may not be the spelling or even the original pronounciation if the term originated in PR and I’m familiar only with the streets of Philly version.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  55. Meanwhile missing the point of the exercise;

    The failed Fast and Furious operation attempted to selling thousands of guns to arms dealers along the U.S.-Mexico border to trace them to leaders of drug cartel. However, many of them showed up in crimes scenes, including where U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in a shoot out.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/18/holder-issa-set-for-critical-meeting-on-fast-and-furious-documents-contempt/#ixzz1yHqincU5

    narciso (494474)

  56. Holder offered to brief Issa and the committee? Really? That was his idea of good faith?

    JD (a2d320)

  57. You can’t make this up, can you JD,

    narciso (494474)

  58. uh uh uh uh uh
    worst press conference evah!
    soporific mess

    Colonel Haiku (bb79e6)

  59. Watch for President O’Blameless to begin forgiving student loans and home mortgages before the end of August by Executive Order, due to Republican obstructionism and racism.

    Hmmm … aren’t those owed by contract to private parties? Outside of bankruptcy, Congress probably couldn’t do that, so how could the President?

    Or am I just being racist and obstructionist again?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  60. If the Europeans need help restructuring the EU to form a more perfect union of diverse and autonomous states, I have a humble suggestion for a template. Although they may want to ignore the many scribblings made in the margins.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  61. “So, your choice is to vote for another 4-yrs of incompetence, not vote, or write in Ralph Nader (whatever).”

    - AD-RtR/OS!

    Um. Yep. I’ll write in someone. You say voting for someone I actually believe in is throwing my vote away. I say voting for someone you absolutely don’t believe in is throwing your vote away in a far more defeatist fashion.

    Fifty million votes for “No” would be significant progress, I think. Ground-breaking, in fact.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  62. Alls I can say is thank God for new media, amiright?

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  63. SPQR and MD, if we shorten it ti
    “Vote Mormon, not moron” I think we have something there.

    Gazzer (de5d05)

  64. I say voting for someone you absolutely don’t believe in is throwing your vote away

    It’s all a matter of priorities and urgency. I think beating Obama is what I believe in, and an urgent goal.

    Dustin (330eed)

  65. I know a SIGNIFICANT number of leftists who are voting third party. The wars, the patriot extentions, civil liberties… My best friend is trying to decide between green party and Gary Johnson. I know he’ll never vote republican, so I’m pushing him towards Johnson.

    As for me, I still haven’t decided. I’m loving how Romney is not McCain, but he’s still… Romney. I want to hear more about his plans for the fed, because I think that’s the only thing left that can sway me to vote for him.

    So for other libertarians/anarcho-capitalists, is sending a message worth it when for more years of Fast and Furious is the result? Do we compromise to slow it down?

    /soapboxoff

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  66. Fair enough. But i don’t think there’s ever going to be another election in this country where the stakes aren’t high enough to justify that mentality for anyone who is inclined to it in the first place. Why do we have sh*t candidates? Because we accept them. Our fault.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  67. Elections are always about sending messages. The message a vote for Romney or Obama says is “do whatever the f*ck you want, except change your party registration.”

    Leviticus (102f62)

  68. *sends. sorry.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  69. Barack 0bama
    takes one more thumb in eye from
    Vlad teh Impaler

    Colonel Haiku (bb79e6)

  70. THey treated Larry Graiwotz (sic) who infiltrated
    the WU, and gave the feds, chapter and verse, on Ayers plans,

    narciso (494474)

  71. You know what would be fun. Get tape on Andrea Mitchell and edit it to make her look really bad and post it on utube. She could say racist stuff, be pro nazi whatever. Get her a taste of her own medicine.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  72. I should say give her a taste of her own medicine.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  73. Get tape on Andrea Mitchell and edit it to make her look really bad and post it on utube

    no editing required…

    Colonel Haiku (bb79e6)

  74. Because we accept them. Our fault.

    I know what you mean. And Romney isn’t my ideal candidate by a long shot, but thats why we vote in the primaries. I just kinda wish all 50 states had their primaries on the same day, no bs straw polls, just straight up vote, and then go from there. Everyone but Ron Paul had dropped out by the time I got to vote. How is that right? My choice was the guy who’s going to win, and the guy no one is voting for. Yay, democracy. And now, there’s the one who is actively destroying the country, a guy who is pretty good but doesn’t quite seem to get it, and a pothead whose whole campaign is “c’mon, man…”

    I mean, Gary Johnson climbed Mt F**king Everest, but he still can’t campaign against Barry and Mitt.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  75. Get tape on Andrea Mitchell and edit it to make her look really bad

    No editing necessary.

    Dustin (330eed)

  76. Heh. Cross posted with Haiku.

    But yeah.

    Dustin (330eed)

  77. But i don’t think there’s ever going to be another election in this country where the stakes aren’t high enough to justify that mentality

    You’re right. And it’s extremely frustrating. And I know, in my gut, that this system is not going to fix the major problem I want government to resolve (spending).

    No good answers.

    Dustin (330eed)

  78. You know what would be fun. Get tape on Andrea Mitchell and edit it to make her look really bad and post it on utube. She could say racist stuff, be pro nazi whatever. Get her a taste of her own medicine.

    Comment by Ipso Fatso — 6/19/2012 @ 6:26 pm

    Except who on the right would be dumb enough to attempt to pass it off as news?

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  79. I was at the speech in the second video … it was at the Cornwall Iron Furnace in Lebanon County, PA. It was a unique event for our community, because as far as I can remember, no Presidential candidate has ever deemed us sizable enough to be worthy of a visit. The WaWa reference was a bit hokey, but it really wasn’t much more than his trying to connect with the local population. It also did relate to what he said in terms of the Federal government versus private industry. To say that he was amazed by the automation is a misrepresentation of both content and intent of the remarks.

    Sue (e344bf)

  80. putin must have showed
    0bama how teh hog eats
    ALL teh cabbage

    Colonel Haiku (bb79e6)

  81. I have abstained or voted 3rd party in the past.

    To some, especially “younger” folk (whatever that is)*, it may seem that the problem with Obama is that he is just another politician instead of being the “above a politician” that he promised.

    But in President Obama we have someone who:
    - includes as his mentors a Communist Party USA leader, a radical author, a blatantly racist pastor, and “former” domestic terrorists
    - rarely bothered to vote as a state legislator, except to promote the infanticide of “unwanted” babies
    - is in the process of gutting our military, in spite of national defense being a prime responsibility
    - has ignored the Constitution repeatedly in ignoring the role of Congress and direct court orders
    - can’t even own up to his record- he started his presidency saying a federal stimulus would boost the economy and “spent” $800 billion or so extra, has refused to pass a budget, and now has the gall, nerve, hubris, chutzpah, to claim he has been a paragon of fiscal responsibility by slowing spending…

    if Romney is no better than this, I suggest you do not wait until November and the election, but start looking now for a new country of residence, or better yet an island unclaimed by any other country and start a new one.

    *(How many president’s will it take ’til they know, that some are far worse than others…) apologies to Mr. Dylan

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  82. I await your posting of a copy of the 33-page change-of-address form for a participating Medicare physician.

    Think you can do it?
    (I mean in honest fashion.)

    There is no such thing.
    But, hey, that’s the Romney way. All B.S. and ZERO, NADA, ZIP actual facts.

    Love watchin’ him squirm on what to do with Hispanic kids who’ve been here since early childhood and now are ready to enter our best universities, but-for.

    Come on, Patterico, post that 33-page document you aver in order to hold this b.s. post up in the air.

    BTW, I’m not gonna hold my breath.

    Larry Reilly (f71d77)

  83. Next time Mitchell is on camera, she needs to be cream pied in the face.

    PCD (a251da)

  84. “Come on, Patterico, post that 33-page document you aver in order to hold this b.s. post up in the air.”

    Larry – You waste of human protoplasm, it is Romney’s claim, not Patterico’s claim in the video. Are you too drunk again to understand the difference?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  85. “sandwiches are laden with carbs cause of the high bread content”

    A nice pastrami sammich has all the basic food groups in one neat little package: carbs, red meat, fat and salt.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  86. I can’t even understand what Larry’s trying to say. Is Larry asking to be a co blogger here? Why is he coming up with post ideas for someone he doesn’t even agree with?

    There are a variety of free blog websites, Larry. No one’s stopping you from explaining what you’re trying to say. It’s weird to demand someone else do it, but I guess everyone has their hand out these days or Obama wouldn’t be president.

    I tell you what, Larry: post a 33 page post explaining why Obama’s policies, from spending to Obamacare to cash for Clunkers, have destroyed prosperity and jobs. Fair’s fair.

    Dustin (330eed)

  87. Comment by Larry Reilly

    Hey, Larry, why don’t you join Obama on the golf course? He needs someone to hold his balls.

    Chuck Bartowski (e1fdd9)

  88. “Come on, Patterico, post that 33-page document you aver in order to hold this b.s. post up in the air.”

    Larry – Which form is the correct one for a change of address and how many pages is it? Please provide a link.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  89. Come on, Patterico, post that 33-page document you aver in order to hold this b.s. post up in the air.

    BTW, I’m not gonna hold my breath.

    Come on, Larry, post that document you aver is less than 33 pages in order to hold your B.S. comment in the air — whatever that means.

    Are you sure you won’t hold your breath?

    Patterico (906cfb)

  90. If it makes you stop exhaling your hot air everywhere it might be a worthwhile exercise.

    Patterico (906cfb)

  91. Mary, I did a cursory search, you are not worthy of much more, and it produced a 28 pager that medical pros must fill out to get reimbursed by Medicare
    http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/cms855i.pdf

    Gazzer (de5d05)

  92. And this from Breibart.

    This similar form (CMS 855B) for changing the address of an entire clinic or group practice is 48 pages long.

    Gazzer (de5d05)

  93. Actually, I clicked through and it’s 49 pages.
    http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/CMS-Forms/CMS-Forms/Downloads/cms855b.pdf

    Gazzer (de5d05)

  94. Why do we have sh*t candidates?

    Because we have abdicated the principle of “self government”, and turned the government over to a group of rent-seekers, and their agents.

    It is time to throw the money-changers out of the temple.

    Remember though, in the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is King.
    Hopefully, we will find that one-eyed man (hint: He’s doubly associated with Utah).

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  95. get out of this temple you stupid money-changers we don’t want your kind here

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  96. “But in President Obama we have someone who:
    - includes as his mentors a Communist Party USA leader, a radical author, a blatantly racist pastor, and “former” domestic terrorists
    - rarely bothered to vote as a state legislator, except to promote the infanticide of “unwanted” babies
    - is in the process of gutting our military, in spite of national defense being a prime responsibility
    - has ignored the Constitution repeatedly in ignoring the role of Congress and direct court orders
    - can’t even own up to his record- he started his presidency saying a federal stimulus would boost the economy and “spent” $800 billion or so extra, has refused to pass a budget, and now has the gall, nerve, hubris, chutzpah, to claim he has been a paragon of fiscal responsibility by slowing spending…”

    - MD in Philly

    - A Communist Party USA leader and a “radical author”? Oh my stars! Unprecedented horror!
    - According to Obama, he voted over 4,000 times in the Illinois Senate. What makes you think he “rarely bothered to vote”?
    - We spend more money on defense than the next twenty greatest military spenders combined. Maybe our military could use a little of that fiscal conservatism I hear so much about on this site.
    - Just like every other President for the past 45 years, including (wait for it) George Bush.
    - Won’t argue with you there. You know who else has a hard time owning up to his record? Mitt Romney.

    The irritating thing is that I don’t like Obama at all. At all. I think he’s totally spineless. But the notion that there’s some major difference between Obama and Romney (or between Obama, Romney, and any other successful politician)… I don’t think it’s accurate.

    Sorry to be tetchy.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  97. Didn’t have a chance? What are you nuts? You had all the chance in the world.

    I wish when Obama is voted out we can get ride of these lying SOB’s in the news media too.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  98. Hopefully, we will find that one-eyed man (hint: He’s doubly associated with Utah).

    Comment by AD-RtR/OS!

    Queue that troll who kept yammering on about John Huntsman.

    Dustin (330eed)

  99. I wandered on over to the Health and Human Services page and typed in “change of address form dentist.”

    The first item that popped up is a 54-page PDF: http://www.hhs.gov/pia/hrsa_pia_summaries_fy12_q2.pdf

    I have no idea if it’s the correct form or not. That’s not the point. The point is it’s a 54-page form as the first hit.

    I’m sure my 79-year-old mom is going to negotiate the government Web sites easily when the wonderful Obamacare rules take effect.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  100. Ag see my posts a few lines up. Ditto.

    Gazzer (de5d05)

  101. Thanks Gazzer. Here’s another point Larry doesn’t get. We can do searches for forms, sure.

    But medical professionals have access to forms that we don’t through Medicare and Medicaid. I can’t say there is a 33-page form. Maybe Romney is telling a lie or his source is doing the same.

    He, and his source, may be telling the truth, though. It’s not outside the realm of possibility.

    So, let’s uphold Romney to telling the truth. Let’s uphold Obama to telling the truth.

    I have no problem with scrutiny upon Romney. Let’s scrutinize Obama to the same standard.

    How about that, Larry?

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  102. Andrea “A-for-A-hole” Mitchell.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  103. Her retraction was as dishonest as the initial lying story.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  104. I bet she gets the next Pulitzer.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  105. Ag the 58 pager I linked says it is specifically for clinics/doctor facilities that want to move or open another branch. Mary seems to have disappeared for now. Shame…

    Gazzer (de5d05)

  106. BTW, I’m not gonna hold my breath.
    Comment by Larry Reilly — 6/19/2012 @ 7:48 pm

    – No guts, no glory, Mawy!

    Icy (1db54b)

  107. Her retraction was as dishonest as the initial lying story.

    Yeah, but if Dan Rather had done the same, he’s still be at CBS.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  108. Comment by Leviticus — 6/19/2012 @ 8:59 pm
    - A Communist Party USA leader and a “radical author”? Oh my stars! Unprecedented horror!
    – How about “a cause for concern.” Is that reasonable?

    - According to Obama, he voted over 4,000 times in the Illinois Senate. What makes you think he “rarely bothered to vote”?
    – He voted YES on spending taxpayer dollars and killing babies, NO on anything resembling fiscal responsibility, and PRESENT when he wasn’t sure what Marx would do.

    - We spend more money on defense than the next twenty greatest military spenders combined. Maybe our military could use a little of that fiscal conservatism I hear so much about on this site.
    – OR, perhaps true fiscal conservatism should involve only spending for defense.

    Icy (1db54b)

  109. Leviticus-

    Are you listening and thinking on this or reacting?

    The United States that I grew up in only a few decades before you, and that I learned about in school (however incomplete), was not a nation with values consistent with Marx, Stalin, Kruschev, domestic terrorists who blew up people with bombs, and people who write books dedicated to Lucifer whose primary nature is to deceive and grab power for himself. Obama’s Communist mentor was from the day when you could be jailed in the USSR for not clapping long enough when Stalin entered the room, when Kruschev pounded his shoe to describe how they would crush the US (perhaps as one would crush a cockroach).

    If you think a president with that as a background is no big deal there is not much more to say.

    Our total spending as a % of GDP is going up while defense is going down. The reason we spend so much more than others is because everybody else looks to us for defense. The world does expect us, if not to be the world’s police, to be the world’s “state highway patrol”. when a tsunami devestates Indonesia, who has a navy big enough to help, saudi arabia?, Iran?, Egypt?, India? Who is looked to to help fight piracy off of Somalia, Canada? Sweden?

    If only Britain and France had maintained a little more spending on the military from 1920 to 1940 perhaps 10′s of millions would not have had to die. would have been a bargain.

    And please point out the specific instances where George W. Bush ignored the Constitution.

    Leviticus, we have had respectful though disagreeing discussions in the past. I do not consider your dismissive response as respectful. perhaps you’re having a bad day and are blowing off steam.

    I have many things that must be done today, don’t expect me to comment for another 12 hours, FWIW.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  110. “Leviticus, we have had respectful though disagreeing discussions in the past. I do not consider your dismissive response as respectful. perhaps you’re having a bad day and are blowing off steam.”

    - MD in Philly

    I respect you. I do not mean for my response to be disrespectful. But my day was fine; I wasn’t blowing off steam. You think that the things you listed make Obama far worse than Mitt Romney. I do not.

    I seriously doubt that Obama wants to craft a country in the image of Stalin or Kruschev’s USSR. You look at his associations with these people and see mentors; I look at them and see stepping stones. If they were mentors, their ideas would have influenced his policy-making. Where was the fight for a single-payer system? What kind of Communist settles for a measly public option? It just doesn’t bother me. I would be bothered if Obama weren’t familiar with Marxism – setting aside its perversion at the hands of the Soviets, Marxism is one of the preeminent tools of modern social analysis. So I don’t think a president with that background is a big deal; and maybe there isn’t much more to say on that point.

    On your second point: I think we could probably manage to maintain our level of defense aid to the rest of the world and simultaneously manage cuts to other defense spending and simultaneously manage to not “gut” our military. We spent $350 million on Indonesian tsunami aid; we spend about 1.5 trillion dollars a year on our military.

    On your third point: I view the use of signing statements to ignore the express intent of Congress as a violation of the Presentment Clause and an unconstitutional line-item veto. What violations of the Constitution are you holding against Obama that couldn’t also be held against Bush?

    Again: plenty of respect for you, and appreciation for the history of shared interaction on this site. But I disagree with you on this.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  111. We “Didn’t Have a Chance” to Tell the Truth …

    Shouldn’t we, as conservatives welcome these sorts of honest admissions from the press?

    We didn’t have a chance…

    Yeah, hon, we know. You chose to work for Pravda.

    Steve57 (c441a6)

  112. What violations of the Constitution are you holding against Obama that couldn’t also be held against Bush?

    – Such as?

    Icy (9f6107)

  113. @ Leviticus,

    I seriously doubt that Obama wants to craft a country in the image of Stalin or Kruschev’s USSR. You look at his associations with these people and see mentors; I look at them and see stepping stones. If they were mentors, their ideas would have influenced his policy-making. Where was the fight for a single-payer system? What kind of Communist settles for a measly public option?

    I want to understand you clearly: what do you mean by “stepping stones”? To me, that infers a means to get from point A to point B. Is that what you mean, and if so, from where to where?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  114. Leviticus 114 in reply to MD:

    You look at his associations with these people and see mentors; I look at them and see stepping stones

    Exactly right. And the real scandal is that, in his mileau, a Communist Party USA leader, a radical author, a blatantly racist pastor, and “former” domestic terrorists could be steppingstones. (except maybe for the first, the old Communist, whom he didn’t have to go seek out and who may not have done much for him)

    The best proof that they didn’t represent his beliefs was what happened at the Harvard Law review when he was its editor. Obama was a compromise choice, selected after many ballots. The “conservatives” who put him forward sized him up right.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  115. Obama was mainstream, or maybe wanted to be both mainstream and supported by the radical establishment. His being black helped him get support from the radicals at Harvard.

    The real scandal is that associating with the Rev. Wright could help Obama in Chicago politics. Obama, by the way had a chance to draw the boundaries of his state Senate district in 2002 – he chose to include the richest portion of Chicago in it.

    Bill Ayers also helped Obama (raise money) and that he could help him is almost more of a scandal than him getting help.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  116. Comment by Dana — 6/20/2012 @ 10:07 am

    from where to where?

    From a poor college graduate to the United States Senate. (after that they couldn’t help him any more, but only hurt him)

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  117. Leviticus:

    Marxism is one of the preeminent tools of modern social analysis.

    !???

    Marxism is stupidity. Although someone who attended college during the 1980s and took social sciences/humanities courses probably couldn’t avoid exposed to some of it. What is sometimes called vulgar Marxism is the idea that people do everything for money. The “proof” confuses the fact that people hate losing money (at least without cause) with the idea that people will do anything to gain money.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  118. The Joyce Foundation and the CAC was his executive experience, the former organized the gun control initiatives, that would flower in F&F, the latter
    looted the Chicago public schools to enrich his
    Ayer’s lefty cohorts.

    narciso (8bfa44)

  119. The radical establishment mainly helped Obama go from being a “community organizer”(one of many entry level positions of many different kinds that he could have gotten in many different places) to the Illinois State Senate.

    The really tricky part was getting to the United States Senate from anon-mainstream Illinois State Senate seat.

    Earlier, he had tried to displace a Black Panther as a member of the House but discovered he couldn’t – there was too much loyalty.

    Sammy Finkelman (cd2969)

  120. Axelrod pulled that trick, with a little help from his pals at the LA Times.

    narciso (8bfa44)

  121. ________________________________________________

    Where was the fight for a single-payer system? What kind of Communist settles for a measly public option?

    It’s naive or disingenuous to assume that the gut instincts of Obama aren’t quite liberal and further to the left than where he’s willing to go — or has to go — given the complexity of the system’s checks and balances, and overall tactics that even he is forced to accept. However, I’d accept your assumptions about Obama if he had been dealing with a Congress that was predominantly made up of ultra-liberals and he still didn’t want to — among other things — take the single-payer route. But I have no doubt that the only reason that Obama’s inner-leftism isn’t allowed free reign is mainly because of obstacles similar to this.

    Washingtontimes.com, May 2012:

    President Obama’s budget suffered a second embarrassing defeat Wednesday, when senators voted 99-0 to reject it. Coupled with the House’s rejection in March, 414-0, that means Mr. Obama’s budget has failed to win a single vote in support this year.

    Republicans forced the vote by offering the president’s plan on the Senate floor.

    The White House has held its proposal out as a “balanced approach” to beginning to rein in deficits. It calls for tax increases to begin to offset higher spending…

    ^ However, I do admit that even ultra-liberals with money (Hello, Hollywood! Hello, George Soros!) will have slight twinges of some ideological moderation — but only on occasion — due to the phenomenon of limousine liberalism. But overall, ultra-liberals can be so amazingly two-faced and philosophically schizoid, that they’re more than capable of convincing even themselves that they’re not…two-faced. So they’ll vote like a socialist/communist, but then take their money and toys, and run off to a protected bubble in some distant part of their society or world.

    Mark (22baad)

  122. “Where was the fight for a single-payer system? What kind of Communist settles for a measly public option?”

    Leviticus – Heh!

    Given the threats and intimidation tactics Obama had to use to get Obamacare passed and the outright bribery for votes from his own party that enabled it to squeak by, it is outright lunacy to believe he could have gone further than the existing unpopular bill and achieved a single payer system. Outright lunacy is, however, an enduring characteristic of the far left.

    What he did get, if it survives the SC challenge, is a “stepping stone” on the road to single-payer that will be very tough to dismantle.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  123. Thank you, Sammy Finkleman, but I prefer to hear Leviticus clarifiy his comment. My personal reaction was not dissimilar to yours, but it’s possible I’m missing something so I’d like to hear from him.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  124. “I want to understand you clearly: what do you mean by “stepping stones”? To me, that infers a means to get from point A to point B. Is that what you mean, and if so, from where to where?”

    - Dana

    From nowhere to somewhere. From obscurity to power. Obama was cultivating the kind of contacts that could raise him to prominence in the world of Chicago politics. He used them. He has no allegiance to them or their ideas. Why would he? He doesn’t need them anymore.

    That’s what I hold against Obama, by the way – against Obama and all politicians. Preeminent violators of the Categorical Imperative.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  125. Good thoughts from Sammy. I think there’s significant value in Marxism as a lens through which to view the socioeconomic world – provided that it’s grounded in a more comprehensive normative worldview (which I’ll explain if it strikes people as counterintuitive). Communism might be stupidity (maybe) and the Soviet “dialectical materialism” was certainly stupidity (and hypocrisy to boot) but I think there can be value in Marxism.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  126. “But overall, ultra-liberals can be so amazingly two-faced and philosophically schizoid, that they’re more than capable of convincing even themselves that they’re not…two-faced. So they’ll vote like a socialist/communist, but then take their money and toys, and run off to a protected bubble in some distant part of their society or world.”

    - Mark

    Kinda like the self-styled conservatives that will whine endlessly about unsustainable spending levels while squawking with outrage whenever anyone talks about cutting their Social Security.

    Neither side has a monopoly on cognitive dissonance. No matter how many times I make that point, you don’t seem willing to acknowledge it.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  127. “Kinda like the self-styled conservatives that will whine endlessly about unsustainable spending levels while squawking with outrage whenever anyone talks about cutting their Social Security.”

    Leviticus – You are assuming the two groups are the same without showing any proof. I’d like to see some Venn Diagrams.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  128. Start at the junction of AARP membership and libertarian party affiliation.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  129. Leviticus above said that we’re spending $1.5T/yr on Defense.
    I would be interested in where he gets that number.
    The last number I came up with was the Budget Request for FY-2011 by Defense of $708.2B, which included $159.3 billion for OCO* requirements.

    *Overseas Contingency Operations (their term)
    http://comptroller.defense.gov/defbudget/fy2011/FY2011_Budget_Request_Overview_Book.pdf

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  130. Conservatives, by and large, do not belong to AARP!

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  131. Leviticus – A major problem on entitlements is that people have heard the big lie that there is no funding problem from Democrats for so long that too many actually believe it. When actually asked questions about it, there is a willingness to consider change. Witness the 60% figure from the WSJ poll from March 2011 below:

    “WASHINGTON— Less than a quarter of Americans support making significant cuts to Social Security or Medicare to tackle the country’s mounting deficit, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, illustrating the challenge facing lawmakers who want voter buy-in to alter entitlement programs.

    In the poll, Americans across all age groups and ideologies said by large margins that it was “unacceptable” to make significant cuts in entitlement programs in order to reduce the federal deficit. Even tea party supporters, by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, declared significant cuts to Social Security “unacceptable.”

    At the same time, a majority supported two specific measures that lawmakers might employ to shore up the shaky finances of the main entitlement programs.

    More than 60% of poll respondents supported reducing Social Security and Medicare payments to wealthier Americans. And more than half favored bumping the retirement age to 69 by 2075. The age to receive full benefits is 66 now and is scheduled to rise to 67 in 2027.

    Depending on how they are structured, those two changes could eliminate as much as 60% of Social Security’s underfunding, according to experts. Support for the two ideas in the poll is “impressive,” said Chuck Blahous, one of the program’s public trustees and a former Bush administration official. “I wonder if [public] receptivity is increasing………..”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704728004576176741120691736.html

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  132. Leviticus,

    No political party is exempt from hypocrisy. The point is that Obama and the Democrats want a fair, just society with equality of outcome; while Republicans want due process and the rule of law with equality of opportunity. You may like the sound of the former but it doesn’t work.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  133. DoD Budget $ in Billions:
    (OCO = Overseas Contingency Operations)

    FY 2011 Actual:
    Base — 528.2
    OCO — 158.8
    Total – 687.0

    FY 2012 Enactment:
    Base — 530.6
    OCO — 115.1
    Total – 645.7

    FY 2013 Request:
    Base — 525.4
    OCO — 88.5
    Total – 613.9

    FY 2012-2013 Change:
    Base — (5.2)
    OCO — (26.2)
    Total – (31.8)

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  134. Kinda like the self-styled conservatives that will whine endlessly about unsustainable spending levels while squawking with outrage whenever anyone talks about cutting their Social Security.

    – Uh, excuse me, Mr. Law Student, but that IS “their” Social Security. It is THEIR money. If the government had not taken it in the first place there would be no need for any citizen, conservative or otherwise, to ‘squawk’ for what is OWED to them.

    Having studied Marx, I’m sure you can picture our SS contributions as going to The Collective, from which our individual portions are doled out under the control (and whims) of a Central Committee. Thing is, here in da USA it’s still OUR money — individually.

    Personally, I’m 20 years away from retirement; and when that time comes will I be “squawking” for my benefits? Effing right I will be! It’s MY money, not theirs. I earned it, they — at the point of the gun called Rule of Law — took it from me. The agreement under said Rule is that when I reach a certain age they will start giving it back to me, and you had damn well better believe that I will be holding them to account for their end of the agreement.

    I am not asking the government to give me anybody else’s money; I am demanding that they give me my money . . . or better yet, stop taking my money in the first place.

    Icy (9f6107)

  135. If you zeroed the DoD budget entirely, you’d not cut Obama’s budget deficits in half.

    SPQR (3944f2)

  136. Leviticus,

    You say Obama has no loyalty or need for them any longer, however, his decision making in politics reveals that he was certainly influenced by his stepping stones. So, while he may not be loyal to them as a party or need them to propel him any further, perhaps equally worse is that he is a product of their core political views.

    One only has to ask, what system seeks to ensure an equal outcome for all?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  137. RR’s Supply-side Economics was derided as Trickle-down Prosperity.
    Socialism IS Trickle-up Poverty, and it sucks far more people into poverty as the government confiscates more and more of the individuals’ worth;
    whilst Trickle-down Prosperity (i.e.: Capitalism) allows those people – who wish to work hard and save – to escape the chains of that poverty.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  138. DRJ @ 139:

    Sorry for my mistaken “1.5 billion” statement. I checked back; got my columns mixed up and cited total world defense spending. Your numbers are correct. Thanks to AD for catching the mistake as well.

    re: 138, DRJ, I don’t think the Democrats care one lick about a fair, just society with equality of outcome. The two parties share 48 of the 100 top political donors. Given that, I find it hard to believe that they represent radically different agendas.

    Dana,

    I disagree that Obama’s political agenda reveals that he was significantly influenced by his stepping stones. Unless you’re talking about a shared will to power, but if you’re talking about substantive policy choices then I disagree with you.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  139. Is it just me, or is Leviticus arguing that during his formative years Barack Obama was thoroughly schooled but learned nothing?

    Icy (9f6107)

  140. The two parties share 48 of the 100 top political donors. Given that, I find it hard to believe that they represent radically different agendas.

    Your conclusion isn’t logical. It’s logical to conclude that most of the donors want something from both parties. That doesn’t mean both parties want the same thing.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  141. DRJ,

    My disbelief (not conclusion) is logical if I assume that corporate donors would not continue to donate to the parties if they weren’t getting something they wanted for their donations. If I then assume that a given corporation will want more or less the same thing from either party (which doesn’t seem unreasonable, given that the corporate donor’s interests are the same in either case), it leads me to believe that corporate donors are getting more or less the same thing from one party as another (given that they continue to donate to both parties at a similar clip). Which is in keeping with a disbelief that the parties represent radically different agendas.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  142. 1. Donors only contribute because it gets them what they want, X.
    2. Donors want X regardless of which party is in power.
    3. The same donors contribute similar sums to both parties.
    ———- (therefore)
    4. To a similar degree, donors get what they want from both parties.
    5. Donors get the same thing from both parties.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  143. ==It’s logical to conclude that most of the donors want something from both parties. That doesn’t mean both parties want the same thing.==

    A well stated distinction, DRJ. While it may sound cynical, one of the biggest reasons that corporations contribute concurrently to both parties (nationally and locally) is that they know they could be squeezed out from communication and any influence if they bet on the wrong horse.

    elissa (46be39)

  144. “The two parties share 48 of the 100 top political donors. Given that, I find it hard to believe that they represent radically different agendas.”

    Leviticus – I’m not sure you can true the conclusion you desire from that simple statement. Unions are absent from the top 100 donors to Republicans, plus, the donations you list may or may not be entirely driven by corporate management. It is unclear from the link you provided.

    Take a look at the following disclosure and link from Pfizer for an example of what I mean:

    “Pfizer Political Action Committee and Political Contributions Report

    The Pfizer political action committee, Pfizer PAC, is a nonpartisan organization that provides opportunities for employees to participate in the American political process. The Pfizer PAC is an employee-run organization with a steering committee made up of Pfizer employees from around the country. When choosing to make a contribution to a candidate, the Pfizer PAC considers candidates’ views on issues that impact Pfizer and its employees as well as the presence of Pfizer facilities or employees in the candidate’s district or state. The PAC steering committee reviews and approves all recommendations for PAC contributions on a monthly basis.

    Pfizer’s procedure that limits Pfizer colleagues’ campaign and election activities during working hours also restricts the use of Pfizer resources to support federal and state candidates, political parties and political committees.”

    http://www.pfizer.com/files/investors/corporate/2011_pac_report.pdf

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  145. My disbelief (not conclusion) is logical if I assume that corporate donors would not continue to donate to the parties if they weren’t getting something they wanted for their donations
    – Nothing is guaranteed. You cannot say that corporate donors only contribute when they know it’s a sure thing they will get what they want. Landslide election results prove that theory wrong; partisan votes in Congress prove it wrong.

    If I then assume that a given corporation will want more or less the same thing from either party (which doesn’t seem unreasonable, given that the corporate donor’s interests are the same in either case)
    – Why do you assume that they “want more or less the same thing from either party”? Maybe, knowing that the political philosophies of the two parties are actually quite different from one another, they are looking to get different things from each of them, and are really just making sure they have a dog in the hunt regardless of who wins.

    it leads me to believe that corporate donors are getting more or less the same thing from one party as another (given that they continue to donate to both parties at a similar clip).
    – Okay, so here is where I’m going to give an example that makes it look like I agree with you, BUT pay close attention to the context:
    Obamacare
    Corporations (those outside of the insurance and health providers industry, anyway) gave to the GOP hoping that it would be defeated.
    Corporations also gave to the Dems, and what happened after Obamacare was passed? Exemptions for corporations.
    Corporations gave to both parties, and either way got “more or less the same thing from one party as another”; right?

    Which is in keeping with a disbelief that the parties represent radically different agendas.
    – The GOP opposed Obamacare, the Dems supported it. how much more “different” could it be? That when it came time to satisfy their corporate donators, the Dems capitulated on their own expressed principles says a lot about them . . . doesn’t really say anything about the opposition, though.

    Icy (9f6107)

  146. “While it may sound cynical, one of the biggest reasons that corporations contribute concurrently to both parties (nationally and locally) is that they know they could be squeezed out from communication and any influence if they bet on the wrong horse.”

    - elissa

    The inverse of that is they think they’ll have influence if they bet on the right one (so they don’t bet at all, they just give to both). That means a group of corporate donors are shaping the policies of both parties to fit their interests.

    I’m not claiming that they’re fully successful in making one party and exact duplicate of the other, just that the disparities between the two parties aren’t as great as they’d like us to believe.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  147. “That means a group of corporate donors are shaping the policies of both parties to fit their interests.”

    Leviticus – On a local level it can be quite different. I no longer follow it because it does not affect me, but during the 1980s and early 1990s when I was, if you were caught contributing to the other side, you could forget about doing business with the City of Chicago.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  148. ==The inverse of that is they think they’ll have influence if they bet on the right one (so they don’t bet at all, they just give to both). That means a group of corporate donors are shaping the policies of both parties to fit their interests.==

    I’m sorry, I’ve read it four times. I really don’t know what this paragraph is trying to say.

    elissa (46be39)

  149. Leviticus:

    I’m not claiming that they’re fully successful in making one party and exact duplicate of the other, just that the disparities between the two parties aren’t as great as they’d like us to believe.

    If you’re right that the parties are basically the same, why are so many donors willing to give money to one party or the other, or to both? You must believe that most donors give out of ignorance or because they benefit from government favors/graft. Which is it?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  150. Leviticvs is ignoring me. Or blocking me.

    Whatever.

    Icy (9f6107)

  151. daleyrocks,

    I buy that. Some places are partisan bastions, no question. But in most places, business is a stronger interest than conservatism or liberalism. The supremacy of business accounts the bulk of hypocrisies on both sides of the aisle, I think.

    elissa,

    What I mean simply is that if businesses didn’t think that their donations bought them influence, they wouldn’t donate to anyone at all – setting aside, of course, those rare corporations that vote on the basis of convictions unrelated to business, which goes to the point made by DRJ.

    DRJ,

    I believe a lot of individual people give money out of ignorance, yes. (Wouldn’t you say that a lot of people who gave money to Obama in 2008 did so out of ignorance, out of half-formed sentiment and uninformed excitement?). I also think that a lot of people give money on the basis of convictions not related to ignorance (i.e. the illusion that they’ll shape policy) or a desire for government favors – for example, a conviction that the other side is evil.

    I don’t think businesses gives money out of ignorance. I think businesses gives money because Business shapes policy… because businesses give money (and because Business can be collectively accommodated). For businesses to continue that beneficial cycle, they have to continue giving money, and they do.

    Icy,

    I’m not ignoring you. I’m trying to carry on four different conversations at once (which is hard), and DRJ’s questions take precedence almost as a rule. And I had soccer practice.

    I assume that businesses want more or less the same thing from both parties because I assume that businesses have one primary interest: increase profit margins. What business wants from both parties is the furtherance of policies which will increase those profit margins by as much as possible. On an instance-to-instance basis, Business might not get as far with one politician as another; but I think we’d disagree as to how often that correlates with party affiliation.

    To be continued. Gotta get groceries.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  152. R.I.P. LeRoy Neiman

    Icy (9f6107)

  153. ________________________________________________

    Communism might be stupidity (maybe) and the Soviet “dialectical materialism” was certainly stupidity (and hypocrisy to boot) but I think there can be value in Marxism.

    Ultra-ultra-liberalism (ie, Communism) MAY be stupid?! And there CAN be value in ultra-ultra-liberalism (ie, Marxism)?

    Leviticus, you definitely have to be one of those on the left who emotionally is willing to give far too much benefit of the doubt to, say, extremists like a Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro or — most certainly — variations of ultra-liberals like Jeremiah Wright, etc, because, well, such people’s hearts are in the right place. Because such folks’ do-gooderism CAN have some value. Your biases are the origins of the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    “Kinda like the self-styled conservatives that will whine endlessly about unsustainable spending levels while squawking with outrage whenever anyone talks about cutting their Social Security.”

    Neither side has a monopoly on cognitive dissonance.

    Icy’s reply above to the specific matter of SSI notwithstanding, yes, there are pockets of the right where people will talk the talk but won’t walk the walk. But being two-faced, or showing cognitive dissonance, is a characteristic that pours out of far, far more liberals than conservatives, if only because the left automatically is foolish about harsh reality (ie, they’re naive) and indifferent to the concept of common sense. Most importantly, they think that having a big heart and big compassion — or an ideology that’s supposedly predicated on such biases — immediately absolves one of stupidity, dishonesty, insincerity, greed and, most ironic of all, heartlessness.

    Mark (03a3fc)

  154. “Your biases are the origins of the phrase “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.””

    - Mark

    People always chuck that canard around. What type of intentions am I supposed to have if not good ones?

    Leviticus (102f62)

  155. ____________________________________________

    What type of intentions am I supposed to have if not good ones?

    And such a phrase is a “canard” when the world over the past several decades has seen the horror and tragedy of the Soviet Union, the PRC, North Korea, etc, referring to regimes that rallied around the notion they were for the common man, for the benefit of the proletariat, for healthcare and employment for all? That their intentions were beautiful and noble. Even Hitler’s Third Reich had the wonderful word of “socialist” contained within its title.

    Ratcheting down the extreme examples a few notches, in this society alone we have the examples of the “Great Society,” or the “War on Poverty,” where liberalism has reigned supreme — and has been reigning supreme for decades — and the results are symbolized by the debacle of a Detroit, Michigan. Or a society that is no less dysfunctional today than it was well before that road was paved with a thick layer of good intentions.

    Mark (03a3fc)

  156. On your third point: I view the use of signing statements to ignore the express intent of Congress as a violation of the Presentment Clause and an unconstitutional line-item veto.

    On the contrary, presidential signing statements have the same legal status as legislative history. Courts look to legislative history to help them decide what Congress might have been thinking when it passed a bill, how the majority voting for it understood it. In exactly the same way, a presidential signing statement lays out how the president understands it, and what he was thinking when he approved it. He’s as much a part of the legislative process as Congress is. In effect he’s a third house of Congress, and his opinion is as important as those of the other two houses. And since he’s only one person rather than all the separate people who made up majorities in each house, his intent is easier to determine than theirs.

    The president also has an independent right to determine the constitutionality of laws, and a duty not to enforce laws that are unconstitutional. He can use signing statements to declare that he regards some section of the bill he’s signing as void, because it’s unconstitutional, or else that he understands it in a non-obvious way that makes it not contradict the constitution. Or he may simply say that his signature should not be taken as a concession that the provision is constitutional.

    Milhouse (312124)

  157. Leviticus – When I was helping to direct contributions for a large corporation, they went mainly to trade associations rather than individual politicians.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  158. I want to understand you clearly: what do you mean by “stepping stones”? To me, that infers a means to get from point A to point B. Is that what you mean, and if so, from where to where?

    I think Leviticus means that 0bama cynically used Marxists and terrorists to gain power, while not actually agreeing with them. I remember Bill Bradford making a similar argument about David Duke; people were saying that his renunciation of the Klan was insincere, and Bradford asked how we know that his original joining of the Klan was sincere. Instead, he argued that Duke is more likely to be not a committed racist, but a cynical politician who joined the Klan when it was useful for getting ahead in local politics and then renounced it when it became a hindrance in his attempt to break into state politics.

    Milhouse (312124)

  159. Start at the junction of AARP membership and libertarian party affiliation.

    What information do you have about that? Have you seen any statistics? Or are you just guessing?

    Assuming for sake of argument that there is a significant overlap, and you’re not just guessing, I still don’t see its significance, because AARP membership doesn’t mean endorsing or agreeing with its political activities, any more than union membership means that. A person can join the AARP or a union for the benefits, while opposing its political position and resenting the portion of membership dues that goes towards that.

    Milhouse (312124)

  160. “And such a phrase is a “canard” when the world over the past several decades has seen the horror and tragedy of the Soviet Union, the PRC, North Korea, etc, referring to regimes that rallied around the notion they were for the common man, for the benefit of the proletariat, for healthcare and employment for all? That their intentions were beautiful and noble. Even Hitler’s Third Reich had the wonderful word of “socialist” contained within its title.”

    - Mark

    So… you’re not going to answer my question?

    Leviticus (102f62)

  161. Uh, excuse me, Mr. Law Student, but that IS “their” Social Security. It is THEIR money. If the government had not taken it in the first place there would be no need for any citizen, conservative or otherwise, to ‘squawk’ for what is OWED to them.

    Having studied Marx, I’m sure you can picture our SS contributions as going to The Collective, from which our individual portions are doled out under the control (and whims) of a Central Committee. Thing is, here in da USA it’s still OUR money — individually.

    But it isn’t. You have no legal entitlement to it. There is no contract obligating the USA to give it to you. The taxes that were taken from you are gone; spent. The money they give you is taken from current taxpayers.

    Milhouse (312124)

  162. The agreement under said Rule is that when I reach a certain age they will start giving it back to me, and you had damn well better believe that I will be holding them to account for their end of the agreement.

    There is no such agreement, and you knew or ought to have known that before you ever paid one cent in social security taxes. The government stopped making such claims in the 1950s, and the Supreme Court ruled that way in 1960.

    Milhouse (312124)

  163. Is it just me, or is Leviticus arguing that during his formative years Barack Obama was thoroughly schooled but learned nothing?

    Yes, and he’s saying the same is true of all or most politicians.

    Milhouse (312124)

  164. Milhouse at 162,

    Wow. Ok. Seems like that might have some perturbing implications for the separation of powers.

    You’re more or less spot-on at 164, though.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  165. I agree that the President has a role in the legislative process. I’m not categorically opposed to signing statements or anything like that. But I worry that allowing the President to interpret the law as he sees fit with a signing statement and then proceed to enforce it as he sees fit – even in derogation of clear Congressional intent – leaves Congress without sufficient means to preserve its Constitutional prerogative.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  166. I’ve been in a hot car all day and I’m tired, maybe that has something to do with it.

    I am finding too many issues being put into play without resolving any of them before going into the next, with shoot from the hip rebuttals that only give the appearance of making a point.

    One example, you give expense incurred by US military for Indonesian tsunami as 360 million or so. What’s your point, that 360 million is not much comapared to hundreds of billions? Did that 360 million include the costs of designing, building, maintaining, and staffing the aircraft carriers and other ships involved, or is that $360 million simply the cost of a little extra fuel used and cost of donated supplies on top of the enormous amount of money and resources invested in making the US Navy?

    Leviticus, you can do better logic than claiming Obama can’t be a real communist because he didn’t go after a bigger take-over of health care than he did. First, many would claim (including barney frank) that ObamaCare will almost necessarily demand an eventual single payor system once all of the implications start falling into place. But more important, if someone does not kill every person they met toady does that prove they are not a serial killer? No. Does a MLB player going 0-for-4 batting in one game mean they can’t hit? No. If the raccoon in my drive does not attack and bite me does it mean that it isn’t rabid? No. Just because a politician doesn’t attempt and accomplish everything you would expwect of an “X” to do, it doesn’t mean they aren’t an “X”.

    If Obama wants to look at all of those peoiple as “stepping stones” and not “mentors”, let him declare where all of those people, including unrepentant Ayers and co were wrong in what they did. otherwise, the path he is on is astill a path in a wrong direction.

    As far as donations… the fact of the matter is we are in the USA in 2012. Anyone else in the USA in 2012 probably fgeels a need to have some kind of working relationship with whoever happens to be in power.

    We observe things, we make inferences, we make more observations. Sometimes we make observations through a lens which essentially dictates what we will see. You think all politicians are essentially the same, you see how they raise money in similar ways, hold press conferences, etc., etc., and focus on what you see as similar and minimize the differences, and you convince yourself they are all the same and it makes no difference. Then, nihilism takes over. If there really is no difference and nothing really matters anyway, then being a nihilist is a good thing because you don’t waste your time thinking about things that are really an illusion and don’t make any difference anyway.

    So, while we say that those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it, we also say that items in history were exceptions, or don’t apply anymore, or the wrong lessons were learned, etc., etc. Appeasing Hitler had nothing to do with WW II, and even if it did that doesn’t mean that appeasing tyrants aren’t the way to go anyway. Just because one “civilized country like germany fell to the rule of a madman doesn’t mean it might happen again. just because history is a recurrent story of the strong preying upon the weak there is no reason to think that a nation needs to keep a national defense. Just imagine all the people…

    You are supposed to have good intentions, the point is, if you want to understand the point and not simply make a witty retort, is that having good intentions doesn’t guarantee anything good to come as a result. Good intentions need to be followed through with wise thinking and just methods, and sometimes you can’t get there from here in this world.

    You scoff at the idea that the left looks at things in terms of equal outcome and the right in terms of equal opportunity. Well, many people think that is a good point. Those who think “social justice” means “everyone gets a (“fair”/”equal”/”just”?) share” by ‘spreading the wealth around” are looking at securing equality of outcome, everyone gets a similar standard of living (except for those of us who are special and run everything), where others think insuring equal opportunit is important, but the person working hard and accomplishing things deserves more of a reward than the person sitting back and sucking off of the success of others.

    No, I don’t know what the point is.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  167. Leviticus, you’re ignoring the extent to which political donations can be a sort of protection payment, that companies feel they have to pay in order not to get molested. Take the case of Microsoft, for example. They didn’t see the need for lobbyists until they got their legs broken; that made them see the light and they hired some lobbyists and started spreading money around. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean everyone they pay demanded it; once a company has learned its lesson it will pay protection money voluntarily as a preemptive measure, even to people who had no intention of extorting anything. Think small businesses and the local constabulary.

    Milhouse (312124)

  168. Or we could bring up the Auto Task Force, and how they closed GOP owned dealerships, even the viable ones, and kept others open,

    narciso (8bfa44)

  169. Milhouse at 162,

    Wow. Ok. Seems like that might have some perturbing implications for the separation of powers.

    On the contrary, that’s what the separation of powers is about. Each branch has an independent duty to the constitution, and thus a duty to interpret it. The courts interpret the constitution only for themselves, not for the other branches. This is not a new concept; Jefferson, for one, explicitly wrote and acted on this. So if the president believes a law is unconstitutional, in other words not a law, he must not enforce it even if the courts think it’s fine.

    If he believes a law is constitutional, but the courts disagree, he can keep trying to enforce it, so long as doing so doesn’t involve entering a courtroom. If it’s a criminal law, enforcing it means prosecuting offenders, and the courts will dismiss the charges. If it’s a tax, people can refuse to pay it and enforcement will once again mean going to court where the IRS will lose. And people can sue for malicious prosecution, theft, etc., and win. So as a practical matter it’s difficult to enforce laws that the courts consider unconstitutional, but if the president can figure out a way to do so while staying out of court, I believe he has the right to try.

    Milhouse (312124)

  170. MD in Philly,

    I feel like you’re being unreasonable. I’m not shooting from the hip; I’m trying to carry on too many conversations at once. It goes with the territory.

    I’m not being nihilistic, either. Not at all. Just because I think all politicians are essentially the same (and, more importantly, that the two parties are essentially the same) doesn’t mean I don’t think that we need to do anything about it. To the contrary: I think we need to do something about it as soon as possible. I’m sure you’ve heard me make those reform arguments before.

    I disagree with your assessment of Obama as some kind of sinister anomaly. He’s a powerful politician; nothing more, nothing less.

    I don’t think you’re fairly characterizing my arguments.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  171. Here’s a great idea for a story:

    =================================

    “Andrea Mitchell was fired today for her flagrantly deliberate attempt to misportray a statement by Presidential candidate Mitt Romney as an example of him being “out of touch” with the people instead of what it really was. Despite follow-up attempts to suggest otherwise, that she clearly intended such a misportrayal was amply demonstrated by her “lead in” comment about the piece, suggesting this was Romney’s “supermarket scanner moment”, an allusion to a similarly inaccurate meme pushed during the first Bush administration in the lead-up to the 1992 elections.

    MS-NBC, already under fire for being by far the the most blatantly partisan network, realized that even by their exceptionally low standards, Ms. Mitchell had crossed a rather clear line.

    A spokesman for MS-NBC network executives said, “This was clearly Ms. Mitchell’s ‘Dan Rather’ moment, and, if CBS can fire a long-time, once-respected TV journalist such as Dan Rather for blatantly partisan efforts, we hardly see how we can do any less with Ms. Mitchell’s equally specious efforts. We wish Ms. Mitchell success in future ventures, but they will not be with us.”

    Ms. Mitchell’s spokesman only had one thing to say, that “The piece was ‘fake but accurate’.”

    =====================================

    I truly look forward to hearing this story in some form or another.

    O Bloody Hell (8e2a3d)

  172. I wasn’t able to hear that. Is that on the second video?

    Amazingly, DUH, you idiot.

    Rather clearly, and this would be obvious if you’d even read the text of the commentary around the videos in this thread, to wit:

    And now, the actual context, in which we get to see that Mitt Romney was making a point — contrasting the convenience of private industry, which results from competititon, with the bureaucracy of the noncompetitive federal government, which causes people to fill out 33-page forms to change their addresses

    Are you literacy challenged, Sammy?

    The deliberateness of this hoary lie was exemplified by Mitchell’s intro, combined with the exceptionally “perfect” fade out of the speech which made it sound as though the “It’s amazing…” comment wasn’t directed at the FOLLOWUP comments that got silenced and cut…

    This is no different from the screw-job attempted — quite successfully — 20 years ago against Bush Sr., but failed this time because the internet has been capable of getting out THE FACTS long before the lying meme got any traction.

    And I concur with Patterico:

    3. This is all they got? We’re gonna win, aren’t we?

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  173. I’m not shooting from the hip; I’m trying to carry on too many conversations at once.

    That would explain it, it does kind of look the same and have the same effect.

    Perhaps you are not being nihilistic, but if one only has options A and B, and you want C, you’ll get A or B, which looks like the same thing that will happen if one is simply nihilistic.

    Sorry if I’m mischaracterizing your arguments while I feel you are misunderstanding mine.

    Whether an anomoly or not, I do think that Obama is sinister on the basis of how is background was obscured or ignored, the very atypical colleagues that we have managed to find out, his megalomania and narcissism, the kind of people he appoints (eg Holder).

    If he is not an anomaly, then it is proof there is a God that we are not more troubled than we are. Also, if he is the norm and not an anomaly, I am going to go completely nihilistic, because there is no way any of us peons will ever make a change. Even if we think we are making a change, we will just be deluded. I guess The Who had it right all along, meet the new boss, just like the old boss…

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  174. misunderstanding perhaps under appreciating would be a better term.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  175. I wasn’t friends with Holder, like the Toensings were, but we saw his handiwork down in Miami, and we know he orchestrated the Marc Rich pardon,

    narciso (8bfa44)

  176. Where are the Toensings now, what would they say, and what was their motivation?

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  177. Friendship, like what Ken Starr did for Dan Moldea, and we know how that worked out.

    narciso (8bfa44)

  178. “Perhaps you are not being nihilistic, but if one only has options A and B, and you want C, you’ll get A or B, which looks like the same thing that will happen if one is simply nihilistic.”

    - MD in Philly

    We have a plethora of options. If enough people voted for C, we’d get C. The problem is that there are structural impediments which discourage people from voting for C – from voting their true preferences – in the first place. Those structural impediments fly in the face of good republican government; they need to be removed.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  179. The Founders built in structural impediments because they wanted to limit government (and majority) power. It should be hard for government to reach a consensus.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  180. Right, we’ve seen the pitfalls in parliamentary politics, like with the events in Greece,

    narciso (8bfa44)

  181. Those structural impediments fly in the face of good republican government; they need to be removed.
    Comment by Leviticus — 6/21/2012 @ 7:23 am

    I’m sure you have written about them before and are not necessarily inclined to write about them again, at least now and here. I’m not against working towards reforms (in general principle), but when one is constrained by outside forces to make a decision today, then today’s circumstances are what one deals with.

    We have a fundamental difference that I’m not sure is resolvable. You think Obama is just another politician and it doesn’t make any difference who gets elected until some serious fundamental change is made. I think that while there may be many important changes that can and should be made (in the abstract, anyway), some choices are worse than others in the midst of what we are faced with at the moment. You think Obama is just another politician, I think his world view/perspective and personal character are acutely dangerous to our country. I think there is already ample evidence for my view, either you don’t see the evidence the same way, or think GWB and Romney are just as bad because of evidence you see that either I am not aware of or that for whatever reasons we percieve the information very differently. I’m now in my early 50′s. In the last 35 years I’ve gone through phases of when I thought certain things mattered, when I thought things didn’t matter because they were all the same, thinking some things did matter after all, to sure hoping some things matter because at least some of the options seem untenable. Maybe over time some of your views will change as well.

    Maybe I just prefer people that lie well enough I can’t catch them at it. That certainly is one view, cynical as it would be.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  182. On the positive side, I guess the fed govt has the power to tell me what I can plant in my garden if it wants to according to the Wickard decision (am I correct on that), and we have still survived.

    Of course, if the vote was ever extended down to 4 year olds… “Elect me, and no one will ever have to eat broccoli again if you don’t want to…” (or, elect me and you won’t have to work more than 1 hour doing chores around the farm a day…)

    One thing that would be worse than having unfair parents is depending upon the govt. to tell your parents what they need to do to be fair. Humans were meant to have society, culture, people living in relationships where things were learned, not to be looked at as a massive blob of human protoplasm to be ordered about by a central government that thinks it knows best.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  183. ____________________________________________

    Just because I think all politicians are essentially the same (and, more importantly, that the two parties are essentially the same)

    Leviticus, not sure if you’re being sincere when you make that claim, because, after all, you do have very liberal biases. If you truly believed what you say, you’d have a history of splitting your ballot on election day. But I have a hunch — and, yes, I could be wrong — that isn’t exactly the pattern you’ve displayed when plucking out the chads on your card.

    However, you’ve mentioned in this thread that you feel some sympathy for ultra-liberalism (ie, Communism), so maybe everything that is even slightly to the right of the ultra-left appears to be one and the same to you. Then again, the current figurehead or symbol of the left, Obama, is a mess and if one could align him or herself with that character without feeling mindless and blind (or dumb), you perhaps would happily say he was very different from other politicians, rightists in particular.

    Mark (03a3fc)

  184. ________________________________________________

    So… you’re not going to answer my question?

    Leviticus, if you’re referring to your intentions, (ie, “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result”), they don’t necessarily have to be predicated on that which is good, as much as that which will satisfy your gut biases.

    The very concept of goodness or “good” aligned with “intentions” leans in a generally liberal (ie, do-gooder) direction, and I don’t think most people would perceive the different concepts of “sensible” and “logical” as just as closely aligned with “good intentions.” IOW, far more liberals won’t flinch at the notion of their being led around by “good intentions,” while far more conservatives would pause and think “wow, if that phrase is the foundation of my philosophy, that makes me sound naive and foolish—and not too sensible.”

    Mark (03a3fc)

  185. ==You scoff at the idea that the left looks at things in terms of equal outcome and the right in terms of equal opportunity. Well, many people think that is a good point. Those who think “social justice” means “everyone gets a (“fair”/”equal”/”just”?) share” by ‘spreading the wealth around” are looking at securing equality of outcome, everyone gets a similar standard of living (except for those of us who are special and run everything), where others think insuring equal opportunit(y) is important, but the person working hard and accomplishing things deserves more of a reward than the person sitting back and sucking off of the success of others.==

    This has been the underlying philosophic difference between the two major parties for generations. It is economic in basis but its tension continually colors or at least shades most aspects of American life, all the way down to such minutiae as to whether or not every player on every kiddie soccer team in every league deserves a trophy.

    elissa (d2529c)

  186. mom said trophies are just another thing you have to dust

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  187. Better we teach them the Achilles-slide at a young age, I suppose – that they might earn the lone trophy, reserved for winners. Never too young to learn that its all about winning, I suppose.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  188. Leviticus–or how about this? NO trophies at all perhaps– if merely teaching safe skills, sportsmanship, the value of teamwork, and having fun outdoors is what we should be going for with athletes at a young age?

    elissa (d2529c)

  189. Leviticus – Or how about Barcky’s personal motto I saw somewhere – There is no God and his prophet is Marx. That makes him the same as all the other politicians I support, you betcha.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  190. His strongest childhood influence was Frank Davis, a Marxist, in college, the likes of Chapman and Boesche, Said, in Chicago, Wright and Pfleger, adn Ayers at Harvard, Ogletree, and at least two founders of Critical (Marxist) studies, Bell and
    De Unger.

    narciso (8bfa44)

  191. Someone recommended the memoir, “Life and Death in Shanghai” by Nien Cheng before we went to China. I don’t see how anyone can read it without it being life changing. It is a revelatory book about the intentions and the ultimate nightmare of the Cultural Revolution. As the class warfare in our country has been fomented and is heating up of late, I have thought much about the messages in this book.

    elissa (d2529c)

  192. MD in Philly,

    I recognize that there may be the rare politician who inquires only of his conscience and constituents, and responds only to them, and in that order – a politician who, in Burke’s words, sacrifices his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, prefers their interest to his own.

    I think that politician is rare to begin with, and made more so by the structural impediments* I mentioned earlier. So when you say that I believe “it doesn’t make any difference who gets elected until some serious fundamental change is made,” I must unfortunately say that you are right. I still don’t think that’s nihilism or defeatism. I think of it as acknowledging the magnitude of the challenge ahead.

    *as you suspect in 187, I have written about these impediments before. I’d be happy to send you the stuff if you wanted to read it (it’s my undergraduate honors thesis, ~35 pages double-spaced).

    Leviticus (e923df)

  193. “Or how about Barcky’s personal motto I saw somewhere – There is no God and his prophet is Marx.”

    - daleyrocks

    Captain What’s-Your-Source saw Obama’s “personal motto” “somewhere.” Color me undone.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  194. “Color me undone.”

    Leviticus – Heh. I thought you’d like that one.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  195. You scamp.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  196. L-

    You refer to “serious fundimental impediments” that in your opinion must be changed. I know you put a great deal of thought into your honors thesis. For those of us who will not have the time/opportunity to read it in its entirety could you offer some key bullet points or an executive summary just to get a flavor of it?

    elissa (d2529c)

  197. Comment by Icy — 6/20/2012 @ 3:26 pm

    Like many others, Barry is Credentialed, but not Educated.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  198. I always wanted to read it too. I know the jist of it from Leviticus’s comments, but I’ve always been interested is a more fleshed out discussion.

    I have to admit, despite the great wisdom in our slow to act government, we actually are in great need of a major overhaul to spending that is so unlikely to happen in our current system. I suspect changing the system to get the reform wouldn’t be a very good idea, but something’s gotta give.

    Dustin (330eed)

  199. “That means a group of corporate donors are shaping the policies of both parties to fit their interests.”

    Donations are what ensures that your phone call is answered, and that your appointment will be scheduled.
    You still have to present an argument to advance your position, a position that doesn’t conflict with a basic tenant of the office-holder.
    And, why are “corporate donors” distinct from multi-gahzillionaire individual donors – other than corporations cannot donate to political candidates?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  200. _______________________________________________

    “Andrea Mitchell was fired today for her flagrantly deliberate attempt to misportray a statement…

    Only in an alternative universe. Only in a world of journalism where the idea of “who, what, when, where, how and why?” hasn’t become so twisted and misshapen — so easily rationalized away depending on the whims and biases of reporters and editors — that I bet the writer below would have twisted herself into a pretzel to claim just the opposite of what she has stated if she were instead dealing with the exact same crime (ie, no difference in the motivation for the crime), but the background of the assailants and victims were reversed.

    Chicagotribune.com, Mary Schmich, June 2012:

    A dozen or so teenage males went on the prowl near North Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s toniest shopping district. They attacked five people, ages 20 to 68. Their loot included a backpack, a wallet, a bike, an iPad, a BlackBerry and an iPod Touch. The cops quickly arrested five alleged assailants, at least three of them from the South Side, and vowed to find the rest.

    If you’ve followed the story — and who hasn’t? — there’s another fact that you also know, but it’s one you haven’t read in the Tribune or seen explicitly stated by most of the official media: The young men were black.

    “Shame on you and the Chicago Tribune for your politically correct crap when doing these type of stories,” one reader emailed several Tribune writers. “This is a diverse city and when you don’t physically describe them, we don’t know who to protect ourselves from.”

    Another reader wrote: “I can’t imagine that if a gang of white teenagers went to the South Side of Chicago and began attacking African-Americans including a 68-year-old that the race card would be left out of your coverage. … I see a media double standard here.”

    So why would a news organization avoid a fact? This fact? I’m ambivalent about the omission of the attackers’ race in the news accounts, but I think I would have decided to leave it out too.

    Race alone doesn’t predict or explain behavior. Just because this mob was young and black hardly means that all young, black people in groups are a violent mob. Knowing the race of these attackers is no form of protection. And yet race is an aspect of what happened Saturday night.

    ^ If the MSM ends up withering away, due mainly to the Internet and changing economy, will the populace necessarily be so much less well informed?

    Mark (03a3fc)

  201. elissa, Dustin,

    I’ll try to get some bullet points together in the next couple hours. Bear with me.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  202. No worries, man!

    Dustin (330eed)

  203. elissa,

    I know Leviticus will address this himself but from prior discussions, I believe he espouses the abolition of electoral districts and the implementation of a system of proportional representation. His concern is the two-party system, not our system of government. He fully supports Madison’s democratic theory and principles of American government — personal liberty, the separation of powers, majority rule (provided it does not violate the public interest or the rights of political minorities), and republicanism.

    I think Leviticus is particularly concerned about single-member districts and views proportional representation as a better mechanism than single-member districts to make our popular government function. He may be right.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  204. Sorry. I didn’t see Leviticus’ comment 207 before posting my last comment.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  205. Proportional Representation is a recipe for dis-function and instability.
    Our system may not result in the perfect democracy, but it was never intended to; as the Founders feared the mob and its tendency to run roughshod over the Rights of Minorities.
    That is why we are a Republic!

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  206. Proportional representation by party works so well for places like …. Greece.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  207. My biggest concern about proportional representation is that it can give fringe groups and extremists too much influence in government.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  208. Thanks and take your time, Leviticus. I know that doing a compressed version of most anything runs a risk of diminishing the whole so I appreciate that you are willing to do it. I admit that sometimes it seems your comments and reactions to things are contradictory from thread to thread. I am hoping that getting a better feel for your over-arching philosophy may make that less puzzling.

    elissa (d2529c)

  209. I like the idea that a group has to meet a certain threshold before they have any pull.

    I wouldn’t like there to be a single Klansman screaming idiotically.

    On the other hand, I do think some of the current stalemate between the two parties is more dysfunctional than I like, even if some dysfunction is a great speed bump for government growth.

    Perhaps if there were a five percent support threshold + PR, that would help a bit.

    Dustin (330eed)

  210. “I admit that sometimes it seems your comments and reactions to things are contradictory from thread to thread.”

    - elissa

    Interesting. I can definitely see that. Do you have an example that springs to mind?

    Leviticus (e923df)

  211. a foolish consistency is like when your dog says I love you on command it’s very sweet but sometimes you have to wonder if it’s always sincere every single time or if it’s just become a thing

    happyfeet (a55ba0)

  212. The Bullet Points of my primary political position:

    • The United States is founded on a system of separated powers and checks and balances which limit the potential of substantive approaches to representation, and necessitate a descriptive conception of representation. Representation is having someone in a legislature who “thinks, feels, reasons, and acts” like you do.

    • The current two-party system has significant descriptive failings: most simply, “constituents” no longer believe that their “representatives” think, feel, reason, and act like normal people. Systemic moderation of party platforms fails to provide a voice for the more radical slices of the political spectrum, and the institution of the geographic district ensures that significant portions of the American population are descriptively disenfranchised in any given election cycle.

    • These descriptive failings stem from a number of competitive failings: barriers to party entry in the form of a “wasted vote” mentality and prohibitively high electoral thresholds, collusive market division between the two parties, and cost advantages associated with incumbency. Entry barriers – the most significant competitive failings of our system – are inextricably tied to the two-party system.

    • THUS: If we wish to correct these competitive failings, and in so doing increase descriptive representation, we must institute a system of proportional representation which does away with the competitive impediments inherent to the two-party system. This PR system should have the following characteristics:

    1. Nationwide, at-large election, which minimizes electoral thresholds and provides for the greatest number of parties (providing in turn the greatest opportunity for a citizen to find a descriptive representative).

    2. A Hare quota for seat allocation, which is equitable in its treatment of large and small parties, allocating to a party a share of seats equal to its share of the popular vote.

    3. Open list ballots, which allow voters to rank-order the candidates put forth by a given party, and in so doing express a more specific descriptive preference.

    • In instituting these changes to our electoral system, we may make significant improvements to its representative capacity, and bring it into closer alignment with the consensus democracy envisioned by the Framers of the Constitution.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  213. I agree with Happyfeet’s point.

    Dustin (330eed)

  214. And, in recognition of how much is wrapped up in that first bullet point, an elaboration:

    re: Evaluative Criteria in Madisonian Governments

    1. In the United States, the preservation of the rights of political minorities takes precedence over adherence to the will of a political majority. This truth is evidenced and enshrined in the Constitution – in the separation of powers and the system of deliberate checks and balances on the three branches of government.

    2. If “every popular government is faced with the choice between … the establishment of effective majority-rule, or the protection of individual and minority rights,” and we live under a Constitution explicitly designed to protect individual and minority rights, then we cannot expect effective majority rule under our system.

    3. Effective majority rule is a key component of a substantive conception of representation, which holds that representation is a function of legislative outcomes: the winning side of a legislative battle is represented, and the losing side is not. Without a guarantee of effective majority rule, a given system will have intermittent periods of unacceptably low substantive representation.

    4. However, effective majority rule has no bearing on a descriptive conception of representation, which holds that representation is a function of ideological resemblance: an individual is represented if they have there is someone in a legislature who “thinks, feels, reasons, and acts” like they do, and this form of representation – this recreation of the society in the legislature – can be accomplished where effective majority rule cannot in a Madisonian system.

    5. THUS: if we wish to improve our representative capacity and simultaneously maintain our tradition of separated powers and systemic checks and balances, then we must discard a substantive view of representation in favor of a descriptive one, and seek to maximize the ability of our system to provide constituents with representatives who “think, feel, reason, and act” as they do.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  215. Leviticus #218 – how do you square “consensus democracy” with “In the United States, the preservation of the rights of political minorities takes precedence over adherence to the will of a political majority. This truth is evidenced and enshrined in the Constitution – in the separation of powers and the system of deliberate checks and balances on the three branches of government.”

    Is the latter not, by definition, undemocratic ?

    (FWIW, the US checks and balances are among the stronger and more elegant aspects of the US political system, IMNSHO)

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  216. “Is the latter not, by definition, undemocratic ?”

    - Alasdair

    I think the protection of minorities in spite of the will of the majority is undemocratic, yes; I don’t have a problem with that.

    As your first question, I’m not sure you cansquare “consensus democracy” with the protection of minority rights because I’m not sure that you can square any democracy with the protection of minority rights (which is why so many people on this site are so fond of correctly pointing out that this is a republic, not a democracy). What I’m talking about is building a more representative, discursive legislative body and (by proxy) a more representative, discursive republic.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  217. In other words, I don’t want “consensus democracy” or parliamentarianism because I don’t want democracy. I want to preserve the republican aspects of our system of government.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  218. Then you picked the wrong candidate, Obama is all about a plebiscitary hegemony over all institutions,

    narciso (8bfa44)

  219. Let me be a little more clear on that last point: I use “democracy” in the sense that Aristotle used it, as a corruption of polity (where the many rule for all, as opposed to ruling for themselves). I use “republican” in the sense of the American Republic: referring to our particular constitutional structure, meant to evoke a strong belief in checks and balances and the separation of powers.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  220. narciso,

    I’m not sure America’s the sort of society where a plebiscitary hegemony could flourish. One of our most redeeming qualities is our contrarianism.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  221. Leviticus #223 and #225 – whatever balance of meds you were on when you wrote that, as long as you are sincere about it, try to keep to that balance …

    Of course, it does mean that you won’t be supporting any Obama-type candidates…

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  222. One of our most redeeming qualities is our contrarianism.

    No it isn’t!

    Dustin (330eed)

  223. that’s a term of my own divising, but it explains most of his worldview, he despises the courts and
    the Congress, has an animus against any real dissent, from a person or institution, and prefers
    administrative over statutory policy.

    narciso (8bfa44)

  224. narciso #224 – Obama has no interest in plebiscitary hegemony – he just likes hegemony where *his* wishes are fulfilled …

    Obama has more interest in plebiscitis – he seems to believe that an inflamed plebe vote is a good thing, not a problem … (or should that be plebitis – that inflamed plebes are a good thing ?)

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  225. “Obama has no interest in plebiscitary hegemony – he just likes hegemony where *his* wishes are fulfilled …”

    - Alasdair

    Yeah. That’s my objection to the applicability of your term, narciso.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  226. Well I could use, another word, but that would seem trite

    narciso (8bfa44)

  227. Leviticus – With respect, your vision seems to be a product of the instant gratification generation. If you don’t see a candidate who thinks and acts like you to support, rather than seeking out one and helping to elect them, you want to replace the system so you can virtually guarantee someone who thinks and acts like you is in Congress.

    That was Obama’s solution to the issue of 30 million uninsured Americans. Trash the entire system most people are happy with.

    I’m not with you on your thinking. Short cuts R-Not-Me.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  228. “That was Obama’s solution to the issue of 30 million uninsured Americans. Trash the entire system most people are happy with.”

    - daleyrocks

    If you think that “most people are happy with” our current two-party system, you are deluding yourself.

    Beyond that, what I want is not just a candidate who can accurately voice my policy preferences; what I want is a system where my political polar opposite of a next-door neighbor and I can have our policy preferences accurately voiced at the same time. A district system precludes that. A non-district, multi-party system facilitates it.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  229. “you want to replace the system so you can virtually guarantee someone who thinks and acts like you is in Congress.”

    - daleyrocks

    And what’s wrong with that, by the way, if I can a few hundred thousand people who agree with me (re: Dustin’s threshold caveat)?

    Right now we have a system premised on submission. I don’t like that.

    Leviticus (e923df)

  230. Leviticus,

    If you think that “most people are happy with” our current two-party system, you are deluding yourself.

    The Roper Center includes two polls (ABC/WaPo December 2011 and NBC/WSJ January 2012) that show about 1/3 of Americans think the 2-party system is broken or needs a 3rd party. That’s a significant number but it’s still a minority. What the polls show is that most people think the 2-party system can work with some improvements.

    In addition, I still disagree that America’s political parties are alike, and I think this Pew Research poll generally supports my position.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  231. “And what’s wrong with that, by the way, if I can a few hundred thousand people who agree with me (re: Dustin’s threshold caveat)?”

    Leviticus – I like a system of geographic representation. What you described in terms of rank ordering candidates, essentially a “Dutch Auction” election, potentially eliminates that system and takes away the voice of a lot of communities. You may not like the representation you have, what is wrong with working to change it, rather than trashing the system? Why do you need to tear down a system that has been in place (no technical arguments please) for more than 200 years merely for your instant gratification? Do you believe you are the first person to reach your age and question our political system? Do you believe you are unique?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  232. “Right now we have a system premised on submission.”

    Leviticus – I have no idea what you are talking about. In 2010, Joel Pollak ran against my Congress Loon Jan Schakowsky and got almost 40% of the vote. I thought that was freaking great for what was supposed to be a very safe seat.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  233. DRJ,

    I didn’t mean to claim that a majority of Americans want to reform the two-party system. I was just objecting to what I thought to be a flippant characterization of our current state of affairs. And, to be fair: 1 in 3 is a remarkably large bloc. How hard is it to get 1 in 3 Americans to agree on anything? And what are the long term prospects of a system when 33% of the people under it deny its basic legitimacy?

    daleyrocks,

    You fight for what you want and I’ll fight for what I want. If my convictions peter out over time you can have a self-satisfied laugh.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  234. “If my convictions peter out over time you can have a self-satisfied laugh.”

    Leviticus – I’m not trying to laugh at you. I’m stating my thoughts and you are stating yours. I’m merely indicating I’ve heard ones similar to yours before, in fact from one of my kids who is about your age.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  235. “Why do you need to tear down a system that has been in place (no technical arguments please) for more than 200 years merely for your instant gratification?”

    - daleyrocks

    Why did the Framers? They weren’t being represented. I think there are a lot – a lot – of Americans who aren’t being represented. Why should we keep the two party system if it provides inadequate representation? There’s great danger in treating tradition as an end in itself.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  236. Leviticus – there is a remarkable similarity between the Obama Administration’s approach to governing and Lord North’s Cabinet’s (George III’s Privy Council) approach to governing … I am reasonably certain that your/Obama’s side does *not* want to go there ! (grin)

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  237. There’s great danger in treating tradition as an end in itself.

    There’s also great danger in Change for the sake of change. Just look at the Obama Administration.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  238. That was Obama’s solution to the issue of 30 million uninsured Americans. Trash the entire system most people are happy with
    I thought that was a reference to the health care system, not the two party system.

    At the moment I don’t care if it’s a one, two, or seventy five party system. There seems to be a lack of commitment to the same rules such as being honest, both among many politicians and the media industry that “makes or breaks” the politicians to some degree.

    In the 70′s there were Democrats that differed on things from the rest of the party, and there is the ongoing struggle between the “conservative” and not-so-conservative wings of the repub party. I think things started taking a nose dive with the partisan destruction of Robert Bork then the Dems refusing to allow Bob Casey Sr., then gov. of PA, to speak at a national convention because he was pro-life.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  239. While I’ve been away from the computer there’ve been a lot of good comments responding to Leviticus and quite a rigorous discussion. A big question I have about a PR matrix would be: why would we assume that any candidates elected that way would be any more “normal”, or genuinely believe in what they say they do, or are any more likely to keep their campaign promises than our current party-centric pols are?

    Using our current president just as a example, being from IL and knowing his history and his voting record I knew he would generally promote policies way more to the left than I was comfortable with (which was why he did not receive my vote). Still, once elected had he kept his campaign promises– about being realistically non-partisan, and having an open transparent ethical administration, and keeping the lobbyists and special interests at bay, and living his speechifying about bringing us together black and white, red and blue– he would have had my respect. As it is, he lied about most everything, and is now seen by many (including some former supporters) as merely a run of the mill, garden variety, power hungry pol who is not even all that good at politics.

    I’m wondering how PR would eliminate or mitigate that sort of promise vs. performance problem with respect to elected officials?

    elissa (d2529c)

  240. Hard to do it with Reps with a 2 year term, but I think it would be good for any 4 or more year office to have a mandatory yea or nay vote after 2 years, assuming we could have a voting system that worked. I think that way people who promise one thing then do another would have to justify themselves while their turncoat ways were fresh in everyone’s memory.

    But again, in the short term I think Obama is different than the typical politician and he need to be voted out.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  241. “I’m wondering how PR would eliminate or mitigate that sort of promise vs. performance problem with respect to elected officials?”

    - elissa

    That’s the perfect question, and I’m glad that you and MD are getting at it.

    There are two answers: an operational answer and a more philosophical answer. I’ll start with the operational answer:

    Geographic districts almost always lead to two-party systems. It’s one of the closest things to a rule in political science, known as Duverger’s Law.

    The problem with two party systems is that they promote what is known as Wasted Vote Effects – this idea that “if I vote for the third party guy, I’m just throwing my vote away.” We saw plenty of Wasted Vote Effects on this site as Mitt Romney crept closer and closer to securing the Republican nomination; “he’s not my first, second, or third preference, but a vote for anyone else in the general will be a vote wasted.” It’s a vicious cycle: once voters recognize that two dominant coalitions have formed (invariably a center-right and a center-left coalition, as we see in the US), they internalize Wasted Vote mentality; once they internalize Wasted Vote mentality, they begin giving their votes to their preferred major party, even when they are immensely dissatisfied with it. This in turn strengthens the party’s center-right/left monopoly; this in turn increases Wasted Vote Effects; etc. etc.

    The problem with Wasted Vote Effects is that they undermine political accountability; if you are disinclined to vote for anyone but the anointed designee of your preferred major party, that guy can more or less do what he wants. Between Wasted Vote Effects, incumbency advantages, and unscrupulous gerrymandering, many representatives run no risk of losing their position. Without the threat of being thrown out of office, they no longer have a pressing reason to respond to the will of their constituents.

    The advantage of a proportional system is that it increases accountability (and therefore responsiveness) by providing viable alternatives to the two major parties. If you don’t have to win a plurality to win some measure of representation – some voice in a legislature, even if it’s not the dominant one – you are more likely to vote your true preferences rather than succumbing to Wasted Vote mentality. When a diverse array of people start voting their true policy preferences in a proportional system, you get a diverse array of parties represented in a legislature, typically distributed at fairly regular intervals along the Left-Right spectrum. And when you have a number of viable alternatives to your current party or representative (and when your party or representative realizes this, realizes that you can hop to another party a few ticks right or left if he’s unresponsive to your political preferences) then you get greatly increased political responsiveness and accountability.

    In the current system, you are taken for granted. What are you going to do if they ignore you – vote Democrat? That doesn’t work in a proportional system; if the libertarians can get 15% of the seats in the House when enough Republicans defect in dissatisfaction, realizing that they can get effective representation elsewhere, the Republican Party has to make substantive response to their constituents in order to prevent that defection.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  242. On second thought, the logic behind my more philosophical answer is flawed, so I will not give it. Bwa hahaha!

    Doesn’t affect the argument above, though.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  243. “Why should we keep the two party system if it provides inadequate representation?”

    Leviticus – You are the one claiming inadequate representation. Not everybody agrees with you as DRJ’s comment shows. Why change everything for a minority of whiners?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  244. You don’t have to. We’ll either change it ourselves or we won’t.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  245. If you feel adequately represented, good for you. Talk to me when Obama gets sworn in for a second term next January.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  246. I’m sympathetic with the Tea Party’s philosophy and methods, Leviticus, so I support working through the system to elect local, state and national representatives. The way the Tea Party worked to elect conservatives in 2010 is a good example, but I know not all elections will go my way.

    Hopefully conservatives (especially Romney) will be successful in 2012, too, but if not then I’ll keep working to see conservatives elected in the future. That’s how life works, and politics is just a part of life.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  247. I care about what will happen in Feb of 13, whether you do or not, Leviticus. That is the main issue for me.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  248. Not to mean that you don’t care, but that I think it will make a huge difference whether Obama or Romney is president. Romney wasn’t my #1 choice, but President Obama is about my last.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  249. ==Talk to me when Obama gets sworn in for a second term next January.==

    Well, if that happens I’ll probably not be talking to anybody that day because I’ll be in the middle of a bender. But all joking aside, is there a particular reason you believe that Obama will be the one elected rather than Romney? It’s early of course, but with the current polling in several bellweather states, the languishing economy, and the unforced errors by the administration and the Obama campaign, my political antennae are sort of picking up vibes in the other direction.

    elissa (d2529c)

  250. Talk to me when Obama gets sworn in for a second term next January.

    Teh Lonely Guy… he’s in for a long, lonesome spell…

    Colonel Haiku (059d70)

  251. elissa,

    I have no idea who will be elected. It could go either way. Just making a point to daley about how fleeting political confidence should be in modern America.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  252. “I have no idea who will be elected. It could go either way. Just making a point to daley about how fleeting political confidence should be in modern America.”

    Leviticus – There was no confidence in any of my comments because I realize I have no personal control over the ultimate outcome. To believe otherwise is nuts. I am also not happy with my current representation, but was encouraged that with a strong enough effort, even so called safe seats can be flipped. So no, I am in no way ready to give up on the system and the success of the Tea Party, although not a formal party, should give you pause in your conclusions about the two party system and the similarities between the parties.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  253. _____________________________________________

    Talk to me when Obama gets sworn in for a second term next January.

    Quite honestly, if I despised the United States and liked the idea of it being a society in indefinite decline, I’d relish it becoming as liberal as possible. So I’d want what has happened to nations like Venezuela or Argentina, or France, happen to this country.

    In a similar vein, if one dislikes and spitefully envies New York City (and they’re not of the left), they’d have secretly wished for the usual-suspect Democrats to become mayor back during the time when Rudolph Giuliani was managing things. Although that town’s current Michael Bloomberg is a liberal, it would have been more of a joke on New York if a plebeian, Occupy-Wall-Street leftist from the ranks of an uber-blue-state political hierarchy instead had become the mayor over the past few years.

    Mark (3d897d)

  254. “the success of the Tea Party, although not a formal party, should give you pause in your conclusions about the two party system and the similarities between the parties.”

    - daleyrocks

    The Tea Party is as clear an indictment of the two-party system as you’re going to get. My hope for the Tea Party is that it came to bury the two party system, not to praise it.

    Leviticus (102f62)

  255. Lots of little tents as opposed to a couple of big tents, huh, Leviticus.

    elissa (d2529c)

  256. Not to mean that you don’t care, but that I think it will make a huge difference whether Obama or Romney is president. Romney wasn’t my #1 choice, but President Obama is about my last.

    Comment by MD in Philly

    I agree. Romney at worst will be an average president like Bush 41. And hell, it’s certainly possible he’ll surprise me and be a lot better. Obama is worse than Carter. It’s a huge, huge difference. This is a no-brainer for me.

    But that doesn’t mean Leviticus is on the wrong track. It’s not like he’s hoping for change for the sake of change. Something is very broken about politics in this country. I don’t think it’s our system so much as our culture, which no longer sees itself as one link in a long chain of Western Civilization, caring greatly about what we’re building for our kids and grandkids.

    Even in a PR system, I think the 52%ers would muck it up.

    Dustin (330eed)

  257. Dustin, I think Leviticus has paid attention, has thought a lot about the subject of representation, and has offered some serious things to consider and evaluate. What appears to be his basic premise is what I, (and clearly several others here) do not buy, though– that under the current system both major parties are “the same” and so it doesn’t ever really matter who wins. I can agree that both parties contain some stars and some scumbags, and that both parties are often subject to abuses with respect to fundraising and pressure from special interests. I can agree that neither party ever fully satisfies its constituents–not even close.

    But philosophically and down to their core they are just very different. The two parties were born from two different places. Their goals are different and their essential approaches to life, governing, society, our place in the world, the role and size of government, and the expectations/responsibilities of citizenship are different. Therefore the other pieces of Leviticus’ picture are harder to digest when his premise for needing the change feels so “off”.

    elissa (d2529c)

  258. Yeah, I more or less agree with you, Elissa.

    The parties aren’t the same.

    Though I do think some in both parties reach for the same expedient political mushy middle. It does matter who wins because this is merely a tendency and because there are individuals in these parties. Romney is a lot more competent than Obama. Even if they agreed on all things, he would be a better leader. But also, they have different priorities and basic solutions, as you’re saying.

    Dustin (330eed)

  259. his premise for needing the change feels so “off”.

    That’s the part that feels right to me, actually. We are in deep trouble as a country, and our government is so dysfunctional that the solution would have to be pretty major. My view is that the solution is to somehow reacquire a sense of stewardship for the next generations via a more robust education system (That explains western civ) and also basic things like church and values. I don’t see how PR fixes this problem except by breaking deadlocks… and the 52% is still around so it’s unclear if that’s a good thing.

    Dustin (330eed)

  260. “The Tea Party is as clear an indictment of the two-party system as you’re going to get.”

    Leviticus – I disagree. It shows what can be achieved within our current system as opposed to scrapping the current system and starting over as you suggest. You are taking away the wrong message.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  261. we just need one little party what tactfully refrains from raping our economy

    just the one

    we can call it the Jessica Fletcher party cause number one good old Jessica never raped a fly she just solved mysteries and number two I think it’s very mysterious how ungodly screwed our little country got so fast

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  262. Mr. Feets – Your shovel-ready high speed rail is no longer shovel-ready and looks like the little high speed engine that couldn’t.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  263. 218-
    Absolute Horse-shit!
    The Founder’s conceived a Republic, not a “consensus democracy”.
    What Leviticus wishes for is a complete re-write of the Constitution, and the creation of a Social Democracy on the Euro model, where the State’s would be reduced to administrative sub-divisions of the The State. I imagine next, would be the advocacy of the appointment of Governors by The President so that they would more faithfully administer the policy of that President.
    Absolute Horse-Shit!

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  264. The Tea Party is as clear an indictment of the two-party system as you’re going to get. My hope for the Tea Party is that it came to bury the two party system, not to praise it.

    If that is your read on the TEA Party, you have no understanding at all as to how splinter groups have effected the body politic throughout this country’s history, and why they a subsumed by one party or the other to the betterment of the whole.

    Get out of Law, we already have a Breyer, we don’t need another.

    AD-RtR/OS! (2bb434)

  265. we have a brayer
    in fact we’ve many brayers
    strike that poorly phrased

    Colonel Haiku (8be704)

  266. The Tea Party is as clear an indictment of the two-party system as you’re going to get. My hope for the Tea Party is that it came to bury the two party system, not to praise it.
    Comment by Leviticus — 6/21/2012 @ 8:08 pm

    In one way I don’t think the Tea Party had/has anything to do with political parties; I thought it had to do with people just being fed up with the majority of Washington being stupid and not listening…
    I mean, all that the people wanted from Arlen Specter was that he had read a bill that he was to vote on. One would think that there was a time when not reading the legislation you were voting on would be reason to kick someone out.
    It’s like being in a PhD program in American lit and wanting to get by with only reading the Cliff’s Notes version of Moby Dick.

    I agree with the other good comments above. Perhaps with more political parties the press would be less inclined to lie on behalf of one of them, but then again the problem is the lack of integrity, not the lack of party choices.

    Years ago (but within my lifetime), I read in the Op-Ed pages of the Philly Inquirer a piece which originated in the NYT. It said the answer to America’s problems was another John Wesley, who they gave credit for saving Britain from a civil war.

    Really. I read it several times and pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

    MD in Philly (f0e1bd)

  267. good work done by the blogger, keep up the work going.http://www.jogosdopicapau.org

    Brenda (80e559)

  268. MD #273 – is that not the function of Op-Ed page articles, to be different from the Editorial stance, and create interest ? (grin)

    Given the period of his Life, 1703-1791, I’m not sure a claim of him as preventing Civil War flies except as does a brick … just offhand, 1715, 1745, and 1776 spring to mind as internal strifes for the United Kingdom …

    Now, this aspect – “Wesley contended that a part of the theological method would involve experiential faith. In other words, truth would be vivified in personal experience of Christians (overall, not individually), if it were really truth. And every doctrine must be able to be defended rationally. He did not divorce faith from reason.” – are words to live by – and we would be much better off if our current Administration had even heard of them …

    Alasdair (528b3b)

  269. Ack !

    The comments re-numbered, somewhere before #272 …

    (mutter, grumble)

    Alasdair (528b3b)


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