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Thread: The Most Meaningless Words of Campaign 2008

  1. #1

    The Most Meaningless Words of Campaign 2008

    "Change"

    "Diplomacy"

    "Partisanship"

    "Experience"

    These terms, and many others like them, will (and already have been) thrown around left and right by every single candidate. And evey time the utter these words, I cringe.

    Why? Because they have absolutely and utterly NO meaning when they say them. They are empty words, designed to convince a mostly unthinking, uncaring majority of voters (already a small portion of society as it is) that that candidate is somehow better, without actually saying in any detail WHAT it is that candidate brings or plans in terms of these general amorphous terms.

    This is not a Republican or Democrat problem, it's a Politician, Politics and Ill Informed Ignorant Electorate problem. And I don't see a solution any time soon, sadly.

    So as the coming months grind on (enjoyable as it may be for some of us politicals junkies) remember, most of the words you hear have been carefully and painstakingly crafted to sound big, and say nothing.

    Because as we all know, YOUR candidate is the only one who can "Bring Change to the Fat Cats and Lobbyists of Washington, by engendering non-partisan unity, crossing the isle, combined with a broad reaching effort of Diplomacy, both with our allies and our enemies. After all, we cannot let Big Oil and the Corporate interests defeat the will of the people, and only I have the experience needed to ensure that doesn't happen!"

  2. #2
    pretty pessimistic viewpoint Warfish.

    Change can occur, we do live in a democracy ya know.

    Hard to remember after 8 years of Bush cronism but change not only is possible it's inevitable.

  3. #3
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2304680]Hard to remember after 8 years of Bush cronism but change not only is possible it's inevitable.[/QUOTE]

    Which is why you hear every single candidate, on BOTH sides, claiming they are the one to "bring change". When everyone says it, and doesn't tell you specificly what that change means or is, it is a meaningless word.

    It is political-speak for distancing oneself from an unpopular sitting President. Nothing more.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2304650]"Change"

    "Diplomacy"

    "Partisanship"

    "Experience"

    These terms, and many others like them, will (and already have been) thrown around left and right by every single candidate. And evey time the utter these words, I cringe.

    Why? Because they have absolutely and utterly NO meaning when they say them. They are empty words, designed to convince a mostly unthinking, uncaring majority of voters (already a small portion of society as it is) that that candidate is somehow better, without actually saying in any detail WHAT it is that candidate brings or plans in terms of these general amorphous terms.

    This is not a Republican or Democrat problem, it's a Politician, Politics and Ill Informed Ignorant Electorate problem. And I don't see a solution any time soon, sadly.

    So as the coming months grind on (enjoyable as it may be for some of us politicals junkies) remember, most of the words you hear have been carefully and painstakingly crafted to sound big, and say nothing.

    Because as we all know, YOUR candidate is the only one who can "Bring Change to the Fat Cats and Lobbyists of Washington, by engendering non-partisan unity, crossing the isle, combined with a broad reaching effort of Diplomacy, both with our allies and our enemies. After all, we cannot let Big Oil and the Corporate interests defeat the will of the people, and only I have the experience needed to ensure that doesn't happen!"[/QUOTE]


    Agree to a point.

    It's a reaction to two legitimately different sort of politicians winning in Iowa. Obama --a black liberal with unprecdented crossover appeal-- and Huckabee --a populist social conservative. So now every politican, even the most conventional (Clinton, Romney) have to sell themselves as change agents. In that context, it is meaningless.

    But I do sense that voters are sick of the partisan-bickering BS and want a change from that. Consider Huckabee's response to a question the other night about how he'd beat Obama: All the other GOP candidates said they'd paint him as a liberal, Huckabee said there was no denying the phenomenon with independents and that old left-right playbook wouldn't work. Very different tone than the others.

    We'll see if it holds up, but there's no denying that voters are seeking something different this time around.

  5. #5
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    Virtually every non-incumbent candidate in our nation's history has said they will bring "change.' Look at W's quotes from 2000 - he ran as a "change" candidate. It's boilerplate political fluff. You're right, it is meaningless, but people seem to eat it up.

    Look at why a lot of people seem to support Obama....generalities about "freshness" and "change" and all, not a ton of specifics. Same thing for W in 2000, when he wanted to be a 'uniter, not a divider' and wanted to bring 'integrity' back to the WH and all and be "compassionate."

    Bread and circuses, bread and circuses....

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2304696]Agree to a point.

    It's a reaction to two legitimately different sort of politicians winning in Iowa. Obama --a black liberal with unprecdented crossover appeal-- and Huckabee --a populist social conservative. So now every politican, even the most conventional (Clinton, Romney) have to sell themselves as change agents. In that context, it is meaningless.

    But I do sense that voters are sick of the partisan-bickering BS and want a change from that. Consider Huckabee's response to a question the other night about how he'd beat Obama: All the other GOP candidates said they'd paint him as a liberal, Huckabee said there was no denying the phenomenon with independents and that old left-right playbook wouldn't work. Very different tone than the others.

    We'll see if it holds up, but there's no denying that voters are seeking something different this time around.[/QUOTE]

    Obama is a Paint-by-Numbers liberal with neither a single fresh, new or bold idea. He just talks about being above partisanship, while his boy Axelrod does the dirty work for him. It's a tried and true tactic...try to be above the fray and let your staff do your dirty work for you. I know you support the guy, but get real.

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    [QUOTE=bitonti;2304680]pretty pessimistic viewpoint Warfish.

    Change can occur, we do live in a democracy ya know.

    Hard to remember after 8 years of Bush cronism but change not only is possible it's inevitable.[/QUOTE]

    rrriiiggghhtttt...because the change that was promised in 11/06 has come to fruition...:rolleyes:

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2304714]Obama is a Paint-by-Numbers liberal with neither a single fresh, new or bold idea. .[/QUOTE]

    5ever you talking about Obama is like me talking about Russian ballet. you don't really have the first clue of his platform, nor do you care.

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    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2304704][B]Virtually every non-incumbent candidate in our nation's history has said they will bring "change.' Look at W's quotes from 2000 - he ran as a "change" candidate. It's boilerplate political fluff. You're right, it is meaningless, but people seem to eat it up.[/B]

    Look at why a lot of people seem to support Obama....generalities about "freshness" and "change" and all, not a ton of specifics. Same thing for W in 2000, when he wanted to be a 'uniter, not a divider' and wanted to bring 'integrity' back to the WH and all and be "compassionate."

    Bread and circuses, bread and circuses....[/QUOTE]

    How very true.

    Aside from Bill Clinton's '92 campaign slogan of "It's the economy, stupid" I also remember him constantly boasting that it was "time for a change."

    Another thing I laugh at is that candidates always claim we're "at an important crossroads in our nation's history" during each election cycle.

    It's bullsh*t that both sides love to spoon-feed to voters. The only candidate that could truly bring change would be an independent. One who isn't obligated to tow the party line. Democrats and Republicans will only mean more of the same.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=jets5ever;2304714]Obama is a Paint-by-Numbers liberal with neither a single fresh, new or bold idea. He just talks about being above partisanship, while his boy Axelrod does the dirty work for him. It's a tried and true tactic...try to be above the fray and let your staff do your dirty work for you. I know you support the guy, but get real.[/QUOTE]

    To what, then, do you attribute his support among independents and Republicans in Iowa and NH? He got more Republican votes in Iowa than Rudy Giuliani did.

    It's not that he never throws an elbow (politics is a dirty business, and in Chicago, where he comes from, its dirtier than most places), but has their even been a primary frontrunner as favored as Hillary toppled by a more positive campaign? Not a single negative ad has been run.

    Beyond that, you should take a look at his track record in Illinois (many bipartisan criminal justice initiatives) and in the Senate (cosponsored significant lobbying reform with McCain) for evidence that the guy is a true coalition builder.

    I'm a supporter, as you note, so don't take my word for it. Here's a WaPo column about his record in Illinois from the editor of Washington Monthly:

    [QUOTE]Judge Him by His Laws

    By Charles Peters
    Friday, January 4, 2008; A21



    People who complain that Barack Obama lacks experience must be unaware of his legislative achievements. One reason these accomplishments are unfamiliar is that the media have not devoted enough attention to Obama's bills and the effort required to pass them, ignoring impressive, hard evidence of his character and ability.

    Since most of Obama's legislation was enacted in Illinois, most of the evidence is found there -- and it has been largely ignored by the media in a kind of Washington snobbery that assumes state legislatures are not to be taken seriously. (Another factor is reporters' fascination with the horse race at the expense of substance that they assume is boring, a fascination that despite being ridiculed for years continues to dominate political journalism.)

    I am a rarity among Washington journalists in that I have served in a state legislature. I know from my time in the West Virginia legislature that the challenges faced by reform-minded state representatives are no less, if indeed not more, formidable than those encountered in Congress. For me, at least, trying to deal with those challenges involved as much drama as any election. And the "heart and soul" bill, the one for which a legislator gives everything he or she has to get passed, has long told me more than anything else about a person's character and ability.

    Consider a bill into which Obama clearly put his heart and soul. The problem he wanted to address was that too many confessions, rather than being voluntary, were coerced -- by beating the daylights out of the accused.

    Obama proposed requiring that interrogations and confessions be videotaped.

    This seemed likely to stop the beatings, but the bill itself aroused immediate opposition. There were Republicans who were automatically tough on crime and Democrats who feared being thought soft on crime. There were death penalty abolitionists, some of whom worried that Obama's bill, by preventing the execution of innocents, would deprive them of their best argument. Vigorous opposition came from the police, too many of whom had become accustomed to using muscle to "solve" crimes. And the incoming governor, Rod Blagojevich, announced that he was against it.

    Obama had his work cut out for him.

    He responded with an all-out campaign of cajolery. It had not been easy for a Harvard man to become a regular guy to his colleagues. Obama had managed to do so by playing basketball and poker with them and, most of all, by listening to their concerns. Even Republicans came to respect him. One Republican state senator, Kirk Dillard, has said that "Barack had a way both intellectually and in demeanor that defused skeptics."

    The police proved to be Obama's toughest opponent. Legislators tend to quail when cops say things like, "This means we won't be able to protect your children." The police tried to limit the videotaping to confessions, but Obama, knowing that the beatings were most likely to occur during questioning, fought -- successfully -- to keep interrogations included in the required videotaping.

    By showing officers that he shared many of their concerns, even going so far as to help pass other legislation they wanted, he was able to quiet the fears of many.

    Obama proved persuasive enough that the bill passed both houses of the legislature, the Senate by an incredible 35 to 0. Then he talked Blagojevich into signing the bill, making Illinois the first state to require such videotaping.

    Obama didn't stop there. He played a major role in passing many other bills, including the state's first earned-income tax credit to help the working poor and the first ethics and campaign finance law in 25 years (a law a Post story said made Illinois "one of the best in the nation on campaign finance disclosure"). Obama's commitment to ethics continued in the U.S. Senate, where he co-authored the new lobbying reform law that, among its hard-to-sell provisions, requires lawmakers to disclose the names of lobbyists who "bundle" contributions for them.

    Taken together, these accomplishments demonstrate that Obama has what Dillard, the Republican state senator, calls a "unique" ability "to deal with extremely complex issues, to reach across the aisle and to deal with diverse people." In other words, Obama's campaign claim that he can persuade us to rise above what divides us is not just rhetoric.

    I do not think that a candidate's legislative record is the only measure of presidential potential, simply that Obama's is revealing enough to merit far more attention than it has received. Indeed, the media have been equally delinquent in reporting the legislative achievements of Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, both of whom spent years in the U.S. Senate. The media should compare their legislative records to Obama's, devoting special attention to their heart-and-soul bills and how effective each was in actually making law.

    Charles Peters, the founding editor of the Washington Monthly, is president of Understanding Government, a foundation devoted to better government through better reporting.[/QUOTE]

    [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303_pf.html[/url]

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=sourceworx;2304744]How very true.

    Aside from Bill Clinton's '92 campaign slogan of "It's the economy, stupid" I also remember him constantly boasting that it was "time for a change."

    .[/QUOTE]

    Clinton only did a fraction of what he hoped to do, of course, but, if memory serves, the economy was pretty damn good during his tenure, no?
    Last edited by nuu faaola; 01-07-2008 at 11:38 AM.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2304759]Clionton only did a fraction of what he hoped to do, of course, but, if memory serves, the economy was pretty damn good during his tenure, no?[/QUOTE]

    Yes it was.

    But did that have as much to do with his policies as it did the dot com boom and corporate dishonesty?

    I'm not taking credit away from him, but you do have to consider that the economic boom during his tenure was not exactly on solid footing.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2304759]Clionton only did a fraction of what he hoped to do, of course, but, if memory serves, the economy was pretty damn good during his tenure, no?[/QUOTE]


    Yes thanks to the Republican controlled Congress keeping him in check. Did he not try to raise taxes at first and was put in his place?

    Now this time, if Hillary or Hussein get in and with the Dems controlling congress...It's too scary to imagine.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=EtsFan;2304785]Yes thanks to the Republican controlled Congress keeping him in check. Did he not try to raise taxes at first and was put in his place?

    Now this time, if Hillary or Hussein get in and with the Dems controlling congress...It's too scary to imagine.[/QUOTE]

    Both Bush I and Reagan raised taxes at times during their presidencies. Sometimes its necessary.

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2304650]"Change"

    "Diplomacy"

    "Partisanship"

    "Experience"

    These terms, and many others like them, will (and already have been) thrown around left and right by every single candidate. And evey time the utter these words, I cringe.

    Why? Because they have absolutely and utterly NO meaning when they say them. They are empty words, designed to convince a mostly unthinking, uncaring majority of voters (already a small portion of society as it is) that that candidate is somehow better, without actually saying in any detail WHAT it is that candidate brings or plans in terms of these general amorphous terms.

    This is not a Republican or Democrat problem, it's a Politician, Politics and Ill Informed Ignorant Electorate problem. And I don't see a solution any time soon, sadly.

    So as the coming months grind on (enjoyable as it may be for some of us politicals junkies) remember, most of the words you hear have been carefully and painstakingly crafted to sound big, and say nothing.

    Because as we all know, YOUR candidate is the only one who can "Bring Change to the Fat Cats and Lobbyists of Washington, by engendering non-partisan unity, crossing the isle, combined with a broad reaching effort of Diplomacy, both with our allies and our enemies. After all, we cannot let Big Oil and the Corporate interests defeat the will of the people, and only I have the experience needed to ensure that doesn't happen!"[/QUOTE]

    Part of the problem is the "lap-dog" media. They dumb down the story lines to ensure better ratings. The other problem is that some of these candidates are full of sh*t when it comes to change (see Hillary and Romney).

    I do believe that Obama will attempt to "cross the aisle" and try to bridge differences that have been fractured from the Clinton and Bush disgraces. And how am I certain of this? Because Republican politicians appearing on Fox News brought this point up several times (Iowa Republican on Hannity and Colmes show and interview with McCain as well). They basically disagreed with Obama's political views(shockingly) but each said he has always worked hard to foster compromise and progress.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=bitonti;2304729]5ever you talking about Obama is like me talking about Russian ballet. you don't really have the first clue of his platform, nor do you care.[/QUOTE]

    What exactly is his platform? Take from the rich with the exception of himself and setup a socialist country which is doomed to failure. This is a Democracy and a Republic I would rather be dead then live in a Socialist State!

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=MnJetFan;2304801]What exactly is his platform? Take from the rich with the exception of himself and setup a socialist country which is doomed to failure. This is a Democracy and a Republic I would rather be dead then live in a Socialist State![/QUOTE]

    Wow.

  18. #18
    Part of the reason some, such as Obama, seem to be merely mouthing certain words is that they are (he is) stealing them from others.

    From the Boston Globe:

    Obama borrows from Edwards
    January 5, 2008 01:19 PM
    By Sasha Issenberg, Globe Staff

    NASHUA, N.H. -- After beating John Edwards in Iowa on Thursday, Barack Obama has decided to join him -- repeatedly poaching his opponent's themes, language, and even jokes.

    "We shouldn't just be respecting wealth in this country -- we should be respecting work," Obama told an overflow crowd in a high-school gym today.

    Edwards's 2004 presidential campaign was centered around the idea that the Bush administration had launched a "war on work" through tax cuts that offer incentives for investment over labor. "Hard work should be valued in this country, so we're going to reward work, not just wealth," Edwards said in accepting his party’s vice-presidential nomination at the Democratic’ convention in Boston. In this campaign, he has sharpened his populist rhetoric, railing against greedy corporate CEOs who are waging war on working people and the middle class.

    Since arriving in New Hampshire Friday, Obama has borrowed Edwards's favorite verb by bragging that he had "fought" as a community organizer and civil rights lawyer, and conceding that "insurance companies and drug companies will not give up their profits" -- which Edwards asserts repeatedly to ridicule Obama's talk of conciliation. Obama repeatedly invoked those interests, as well as "big oil and big insurance," common villains in Edwards speeches.

    For months, Obama has been telling crowds, "I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change."

    Edwards gave a similar spin to his short political resume when he announced his candidacy in September 2003, declaring, "I haven't spent most of my life in politics, but I've spent enough time in Washington to know how much we need to change it."

    The two candidates share a common strategist -- David Axelrod, the mastermind of Obama '08, helped launch Edwards '04 –- and now a common goal of standing as the reformist outsider against Hillary Clinton.

    Even a new Obama laugh line -- joking about pharmaceutical ads that "have all these people running around in the fields and stuff" -- evokes an anecdotal staple of Edwards's 2004 "Two Americas" stump speech used to ridicule the marketing budgets of pharmaceutical companies.

    "I love the ads," Edwards said then. "Buy their medicine, take it and the next day you and your spouse will be skipping through the fields."

    Obama wins the biggest response when he punches up the Edwards observation with a slyly racy kicker. After observing that the ads are so vague they do not identify the drugs' function, Obama jokes, "Actually, I know what one of them does."

  19. #19
    "I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring real change to Washington......I'm asking you to believe in yours." -Obama




    Wow, man thats deep. Hey pass the bong and lets do a shot of Haffenreffer once a minute until we get totally blasted.:rolleyes:

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=chicadeel;2304829]"I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring real change to Washington......I'm asking you to believe in yours." -Obama




    Wow, man thats deep. Hey pass the bong and lets do a shot of Haffenreffer once a minute until we get totally blasted.:rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

    Well, in fairness, Oprah has vouched for him.

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