Cautiously optimistic thanks to Idzik.
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Stony Brook
Today's politics, OUR contribution, and a Challenge.
I started this post as a reply to Frequent Flyer in another thread.
However, by the time I got to the end, I decided that the message was
off-topic of that thread to I decided to make a new one. Let's see how
many of us are willing to take the challenge and do it seriously.
The original reply was regarding the presidency not being an "entry level position".
Most of the pro-Obama arguments I've seen posted here are that he
follows a liberal or democrat (not the same thing) agenda and that
the poster in question favors that agenda. Rarely do I hear an argument
that he's the most skilled democrat available for the position since he
simply is not. His last budget was voted down 0-414 in the house
(not one vote from either side of the aisle) and also garnered zero votes
in the senate. No matter what you think of his agenda, he is unable
to bring congress on board, an essential skill for the president. Same for
his jobs act, same for everything since the 2010 election. Sure you can
try to blame republicans and in some cases you're right. However,
GREAT presidents rise above this. Reagan and Clinton faced majorities
from the opposing parties in BOTH houses. Yet, by being persuasive
and skillful in dealing with congress, they moved the country forward.
As an American public, we have become really shallow voters. We will
allow a single fact to sink a candidate. As a result, we are drawn to
inexperienced candidates since we are unable to retrieve info from their
past, but able to be swayed by the picture they paint of themselves.
Every person, including a politician, has made mistakes. The best of
us learn from those, and develop a clear vision and a skillset in leading
people toward our vision. However, in the voting booth, we allow
rhetoric to define any politician ONLY by their single mistake. Making every
seasoned and skilled leader un-electable. So we can only vote for people
with so little experience that they are not ready for the presidency. We
gauge them by our perception of their unrealized potential and hope that
they excel in on-the-job-training, or "entry level" as Frequent Flyer put it.
No politician in my lifetime has painted a better picture of themselves than
our current president. But let's face it, he ran for president as a first term
senator, prior community organizer, with his only proven skills being
oratory...with literally NO legislative record of success. He also published a
memoir BEFORE having made any great accomplishments. We all hoped for
the best, but we've found that without a super-majority in the senate and
majority in the house ZERO legislation he proposes gets votes. After that
it is pretty hard to take seriously that he offers anything but a clear vision
that many of us here approve of (and many not).
I believe that if Pres O had spent enough time in the senate to become a
PROVEN and EFFECTIVE [B]legislator[/B], that given the bully pulpit of the white
house he could have steered the country to his agenda rather than become
the president of HYPE and BLAME. Is a sense, his failure is OUR FAULT since
we put a promising politician in power before he had honed ANY skills in
being a chief executive. I know, many disagree with his agenda, but I'm
talking about effectiveness, not policy.
Now I look to the other side. The first thing that pops out to me is that
many Republicans desire EXACTLY THE SAME blank canvas in the current
deliberations for VEEP. Behold the less-than-one-term senator who has
NO MAJOR LEGISLATION as yet to claim as his own, yet has already
published his memoir featuring a look into his ethnic heritage.
(I'm describing Senator Rubio...strikingly similar.) He's also a gifted
speaker with a clear ideology and similar age. WAKE UP! Maybe this guy
might some day have the skills for VEEP or even PRES, but please, please,
please, let him learn to be an effective member of government before
you hand him a top spot.
Worse still, the top of the R-ticket is TRYING TO BE A BLANK SLATE! We
seen more extraordinary events, at a higher level, and with unprecedented
frequency in the past weeks. We have an AG coming up for contempt-of-
congress. We have TWO (count 'em, two) instances where the white house
is publicly choosing to change the law of the land through selective
enforcement of laws. We have invocation of executive privilege on an
investigation of the DOJ. We have the supreme court ruling 3/4 items
in the AZ law unconstitutional. Finally we have a nominee for president
asked to weigh in on these issues and we get...PLATITUDES:
"Um, states should be able to defend their borders."
(non-answer to opinion on ruling)
"I would make a permanent law."
(non-answer to whether the POLICY was sound)
It goes on and on....
Often we blame "today's politics". Study history: slander, distortion, lies,
name-calling, media bias, large money advertising...NONE of these are new.
What's new is that WE THE PEOPLE (ensconced in our electronic echo
chambers) now fall for this crap so thoroughly (even eagerly) that NO ONE
with an actual record or an actual OPINION has a prayer of being elected.
We're careening toward the economic cliff (unbiased CBO statement) and
we've not passed a budget in three years (longest period on history). For
me, the current administration has proven that it can't govern. I believe
this is a reflection of inexperience at governing and its not getting better
with time. The challenger has shown me nothing and is trying to position
himself as a blank slate onto which we can paint a rosey picture. These
afre the people WE (yes, us) put in contention for the highest office in
Try this: Many of us here favor one candidate over the other. Try playing
it in reverse:[list][*] Construct a serious argument in favor of the candidate you oppose.[*] Construct a serious argument against the candidate you support.[/list]If you can't accomplish these tasks, then I have news for you. Your opinion
is shallow since no one is a perfecly good or perfectly evil choice for pres.