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Is it too early to joke about the Lincoln assassination?: Political Discussion
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Dec 20th 2007

The election is less than a year away, and political discussion here is bound to start somewhere, so let's make a thread for it so that people who want to participate can, and those who don't want to/are infuriated by the discussion/have nothing to say don't have to see it. The religion thread is insightful, interesting, and astoundingly respectful of different viewpoints, so I have no reason to believe that this will be any different.

So my first post is this: I am just amazed that Mike Huckabee, who by some accounts is soft on meth dealers and at one point advocated that AIDS patients be isolated from the rest of society, is a near-front runner in the Republican party. How did that happen?

Dec 20th 2007

By default. There's no one else who excites the GOP base - especially in Iowa where the Republican Party is dominated by the Religious Right.

  1. Giuliani supports abortion rights, has marched in Gay Pride parades and been photographed in drag (several times), hangs out with indicted sleazeballs and defrocked pedophile priests, and apparently was a bigamist for a while (seems to have married Wife #3 before finalizing the divorce of Wife #2). Basically, he wouldn't have a political career if it weren't for 9/11.

  2. Romney used to be pro-choice and pro-gay rights when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts, but has totally flip-flopped on both issues, and others (immigration, health care). Now he says all the right things, but many conservative Republicans don't know if they can trust him.

  3. McCain is making a bit of a come-back, but true social conservatives have never believed he was really one of them. Also, he'd be the oldest man ever elected if he won.

  4. Thompson is an Empty Suit, and seems to be boring himself with his own campaign. He should have stuck with Law & Order.

  5. Ron Paul is a libertarian, not a real conservative. And the GOP base doesn't like his views on Iraq and "security issues".

  6. No one else has a snowball's chance in hell.

Keep in mind, these are the words of an active, liberal Democrat. But this is what I'm hearing from the conservative pundits, so I think it's accurate.

Dec 20th 2007

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Dec 20th 2007

The Republicans (I'm one of them) aren't really happy with any of the candidates, so they keep switching to different ones, then they find out stuff they don't like, then switch to another one.

Personally I like Fred Thompson, but he's not getting much traction. I don't know why. I think he doesn't come off well on TV, which is surprising because he's BEEN on TV as an actor. I also like John McCain, who is probably the most qualified of the bunch, but for some reason the conservatives have written him off.

On the Democrat side, I was very impressed with Joe Biden in one of the debates I watched. People were arguing about 9-11 and who was at fault and he stepped up and, instead of piling on Bush or Bill Clinton, said "let's forget about who did what ten years ago, let's figure out what to do going forward!" He seemed to give straight answers that were not calculated to give the best response.

As a New Yorker, I was against Hillary as senator, but I can say I have not been disappointed with her. But her debates have been awful. Her response to the licenses for illegal aliens question where she supported both sides in two minutes was a terrible example of politics gone bad.

Barack seems like a quality guy, someone I'd like to have dinner with. But on the issues, we're pretty far apart. And how did it happen that people like he and Hillary are frontrunners because they've been in the senate one term, while we really experienced people like Bill Richardson and Joe Biden running way behind?

John Edwards is a joke, to me. He's one of the richest guys running (and acts it), but plays up how evil rich people are destroying the country. He's trying to pit the lower class against the upper class.

Dec 20th 2007

Joe Biden rocks! At the start of the campaign I was supporting Obama (whom I still like) but every time I heard Biden speak I'd think, "Damn! This guy ought to be president!"

I'll be caucusing for him on the 3rd, but I can't be too vocal about it. I'm the chairman of our precinct's caucus and have to run the whole meeting, so that means I have to try to be an honest broker.

Dec 20th 2007

To speak up in Huckabee's defense... he didn't say that AIDS patient thing recently. He said it like fifteen years ago. He was kinda ignorant about AIDS kinda late in the game, and it was a weird thing to say, but fifteen years ago it was still horrific and not very treatable. I just looked it up, and AIDS was the leading cause of death for men from age 24 to 44 that year.

I'm not saying I'm voting for him, but that's one unfortunate thing he said and it is unfortunate that people are harping on him for it.

Dec 20th 2007

Yeah, just imagine all the unfortunate things all of us have said, even just around here. If any one of us were running for office, our campaigns would blow up.

Dec 20th 2007

I'm not saying I'm voting for him, but that's one unfortunate thing he said and it is unfortunate that people are harping on him for it.

I think this is one of the pitfalls of being in the lead in a race, isn't it? Everything you ever said or did is scoured for any potential dirt that can be used against you.

Dec 20th 2007

just imagine all the unfortunate things all of us have said, even just around here. If any one of us were running for office, our campaigns would blow up.

My campaign would focus on a "Boobs and Nards--In Your Butt" platform.

Dec 20th 2007

My campaign would focus on a "Boobs and Nards--In Your Butt" platform.

I think that could work in your favor. Might even swing the vote in your favor, if people I've known/dated in the past are an accurate indicator of the voting public. And I think they are.

Dec 20th 2007

I think this is one of the pitfalls of being in the lead in a race, isn't it? Everything you ever said or did is scoured for any potential dirt that can be used against you.

It is, but I like to think we NAers are a cut above the general public, and can discriminate against real instances of troubling philosophies and throwing everything at him to see what sticks.

Hillary's boobs are the only ones in the race. Is it apples to apples to compare them to Obama's nards? Those are the only set I would think would have any power to sway anyone. And don't go saying I'm hot for Obama. He's just the youngest, and therefore the least lemony.

Dec 20th 2007

Indeed, all the old dudes in the race need to form the Lemon Party. Their constitutiency would be a smaller one, but very dedicated.

Dec 20th 2007 edited

He was kinda ignorant about AIDS kinda late in the game, and it was a weird thing to say

That's exactly it. It's just...weird. Fifteen years ago I was just out of college, and even I as a non-politician wouldn't have thought that AIDS was so communicable that patients should be isolated. It just sounds odd.

Dec 20th 2007

Indeed, all the old dudes in the race need to form the Lemon Party.

I would absolutely vote for Liz Lemon.

Now I want to make a VOTE LEMON PARTY bumper sticker. The logo involving a piece of citrus, of course.

Dec 20th 2007

With engaged, elevated political discourse like this bouncing around the internet, I feel that our democracy is safe. ;-)

Dec 20th 2007

I think it was President Ben Franklin, or maybe Carrot Top, who said "Give me liberty, or give me jokes."

Dec 20th 2007 edited

With engaged, elevated political discourse like this bouncing around the internet, I feel that our democracy is safe. ;-)

Except for the threat posed by Canada.

Dec 20th 2007

Actually, the Lemon Party idea is far less preposterous (and gross) then some of the stuff I read on "real" political blogs - both sides.

So bring on the Old Dudes!

Dec 20th 2007

Thank you, LT, for creating yet another wonderful thread. We needed this one.

Jinx and maybe Brian, this question is for you: What the heck did Hillary do that pissed all the NYers off? There is some serious Hillary hate going on in this state and it's not just coming from the republicans. I ask because I'm curious. I've never seen such vehement opposition...well, I shouldn't say that. I'm surprised at the level of vehement opposition aimed at someone other than our current president.

Dec 20th 2007 edited

Fifteen years ago I was just out of college, and even I as a non-politician wouldn't have thought that AIDS was so communicable that patients should be isolated. It just sounds odd.

That's just it, though. You were just out of college and had been getting AIDS awareness "training" since high school. He was relying on the media for information. Who knows what they were reporting. I remember many hysterical headlines on magazine covers in the late 1980s... people were predicting wildly inflated death counts and projection. Arthur Ashe, who'd gotten the disease from a blood transfusion, was sick but hadn't died--he'd just gone public that year, in fact.

Edited to add that I don't usually harp on AIDS topics, but I wrote a research paper on it for a college health class and knew what information to post for effective point-making, even if I didn't remember and had to go look it up again. It went pretty quick this time around. Thank you, Internet.

Dec 20th 2007

Hillary is and always has been one of the most polarizing figures in American politics. While I'm pretty conservative in most of my views, I work with many pinko nutjo-- I mean liberal types, who despise her for her record on Iraq and the sense that she's pretty far to the right for a Democrat and way more committed to the cause of Hillary than any other cause. Meanwhile, most Republicans think she's just to the left of George McGovern. More recently her initial support for drivers licenses aroused a lot anger. Illegal immigration is the biggest lightning rod in the country right now.

Dec 20th 2007

My mother called me the other morning to say she had the oddest dream--she'd dreamed that she was going to vote for Hillary because at least she'd be getting two presidents for the price of one. She is not a particularly loyal democrat if she is even a democrat (I actually don't know), so it's really funny that she had that thought.

Dec 20th 2007

And how did it happen that people like he and Hillary are frontrunners because they've been in the senate one term, while we really experienced people like Bill Richardson and Joe Biden running way behind?

I think what has happened is that Democrats seem to have cottoned on to the idea that nationwide elections are about personality and not experience. They tried going the experience route last time, and ended up with a shitty candidate who had been in the Senate forever. In fact, they've gone the experience route the last two times, and the first time ended up in a much closer race with a candidate who should probably have been blown out of the water. I have little patience with Democrats who complain about election-stealing or the evil effect of Ralph Nader, because, honestly, Al Gore probably should have kicked the shit out of George Bush. Bush was bad on television, relatively unknown, should easily have been portrayed as a nepotism case and radicalized way right of most of the country. The Gore campaign was unable to do that.

George W. Bush was no more experienced than either of the Democratic frontrunners (you'll note there's no such thing as the "Democrat Party") when he ran for President, with two terms as governor in a state in which the governor is essentially a figurehad, and a lot of experience as a CEO at failing companies. The Democrats seem to have looked at this and said, "Screw it, let's go with personality." At least sort of. Unfortunately for them, the candidate they've locked onto is Hillary Clinton, who is a disaster candidate, if you ask me. Depending on her opposition, I'd vote for her, but a large subset of the population hates her just as much another large subset hates George W. Bush. With the Republican field in disarray and the party in general reeling, nominating Hillary Clinton would be the easiest way for the Democrats to lose this election, and I think a lot of them are finally warming to this idea.

If I had a vote in the Republican primary, I'm not sure I'd be able to vote. McCain would be the one who appealed to me best, but the last guy that old who we had in office was essentially non compis mentis by the time he got out of office, and that scares the shit out of me. But everybody else scares the shit out of me in other ways. If I had a vote in the Democratic primary, I think probably Bill Richardson would be my guy, mostly because I like people with executive (as opposed to legislative) experience, but also because he's the western-most candidate, and I sometimes feel like everything east of the Rockies is a foriegn country.

The truth is, really, that I haven't been paying very close attention. I don't belong to either major party, so I have no vote in the primary, and besides, by the time the primaries come to Oregon, the candidates will, for all intents and purposes, already be picked. Unless John McCain gets nominated, I'll likely find myself voting for a Democrat I don't care very much about simply on an Oh-God-not-THAT-guy basis. Even then, it won't matter, because nobody needs Oregon's electoral votes, and the state has become so solidly blue in the last decade or so that there's really no point in campaigning here.

Dec 20th 2007

What the country needs right now is a good-hearted, sensible lookalike with smart friends who runs a temp agency.

Do you think Ron Paul is "the next" Ross Perot? ("The next" is mine... I haven't heard the media use it because I don't know if he is.) Or is he just another Howard Dean? It is impossible lately to tell who is taking who seriously, because everyone is talking about everyone else. News is just gossip and the Internet equalizes information to the point where I basically discount everything.

Except none of the other candidates have a blimp. Not even Ross Perot.

Dec 20th 2007

If I had a blimp, could I run for President? I belong to the Sloth and Indolence Party. We don't have a candidate yet -- we'll be getting around to that eventually.

Dec 20th 2007

New Yorkers feel (or felt) that Hillary was a carpet-bagger...not a native New Yorker, she just came here to be Senator so she could have that on her resume when she ran for president.

I just have to add...I don't like Howard Dean and disagree with him on everything, but I totally don't see what was so bad about "The Scream". I saw absolutely nothing wrong with it, and it's a shame that something like that can derail someone's campaign.

Dec 20th 2007

But he was this grass roots guy that had fantastically enthusiastic followers. He seems more "legitimate" to me than Ron Paul does, and I'm not sure exactly what I mean by legitimate because I don't want to call Ron Paul a crank, but was the media taking Dean's campaign more seriously? Or has Ron Paul's Internet association worked against him in the "serious" press?

These quote marks seem disparaging, but I am just trying to indicate that the words I'm picking are standing in for words I haven't pinned down yet.

For all that Howard Dean was purportedly a one-state wonder, there have been other candidates who really only had the support of one state. Was it Dukakis? No one made fun of him just for running.

Dec 20th 2007

I saw absolutely nothing wrong with it, and it's a shame that something like that can derail someone's campaign.

I agree. It's like, just because the media think it's weird and makes a big deal of it, suddenly, it's a big deal. He was just getting his audience all psyched up.

Dec 20th 2007

but I totally don't see what was so bad about "The Scream". I saw absolutely nothing wrong with it, and it's a shame that something like that can derail someone's campaign.

Ditto. Watching it played over and over and over again, I thought, "What is the big deal there?" If anything, it made me respect him for being so animated and enthusiastic.

Dec 20th 2007

I belong to the Sloth and Indolence Party.

Will Kevin Malone be your running mate? Will you have double-fudge brownies at your rallies and events? If so, I will vote for you.

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