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Stalwart
10-13-2014, 05:40 PM
So we are a couple of weeks from the 2014 Mid-Term Elections and it looks like the House will stay under GOP control and that control of the Senate is uncertain. While I don't read too much into the stories from Real Clear Politics, the way they aggregate sources and polls (they don't do their own polls but track a series of polls across the country and from both left and right leaning parties) is very interesting and the numbers are the numbers. Control of the Senate seems to be coming down to a dozen toss-up & leaning states; a lot of modeling shows the GOP has a roughly 60% chance of taking control of the Senate, thereby total control of the Legislative Branch.

Any thoughts on what happens if the Senate flips / if the Senate stays Democrat?

In case you are interested in those toss-up states:
State: Incumbent

AK: Begich (D)
AR: Pryor (D)
CO: Udall (D)
GA: Open (R)
IA: Open (D)
KS: Roberts (R)
KY: McConnell (R)
LA: Landrieu (D)
NC: Hagan (D)
MI: Open (D)
NH: Shaheen (D)
SD: Open (D)

sandsjames
10-13-2014, 07:55 PM
Doesn't matter either way. All (R), all (D), all the same.

Stalwart
10-13-2014, 09:52 PM
Doesn't matter either way. All (R), all (D), all the same.

In some ways they are, in some ways they aren't. Two may be very aligned on one topic and polar opposites on another.

garhkal
10-13-2014, 10:27 PM
Agreed. I do feel we need more Independents running.

sandsjames
10-13-2014, 10:42 PM
In some ways they are, in some ways they aren't. Two may be very aligned on one topic and polar opposites on another.

I think you misunderstand. My complaint is that it's no longer politics, it's business. And that includes (to include garhkal's post) independents. I have no problem with any of them trying to get policies passed, whether, Repub, Dem, or other. No problem at all, even if I don't agree with their politics. It's just now at the point where politicians don't care about what policies they pass, as long as it get's them re-elected. That's what I mean by saying that they are all the same.

efmbman
10-13-2014, 10:47 PM
Doesn't matter either way. All (R), all (D), all the same.

Yeah, over the last few years I have come to the same conclusion. No, it's not because of any one person or a particular party... I just think both parties have a vested interest in keeping the population divided. They each benefit from the dislike of the other party.

I was once told that 40% would vote Democrat, 40% would vote Republican... doesn't matter if it is Hitler v Stalin in the election. That remaining 20% is what the candidates are trying to swing one way or the other. In recent years, it seems that 20% is becoming smaller and smaller as the population becomes more polarized. When that 20% disappears, that will be very interesting.

TJMAC77SP
10-14-2014, 12:11 AM
Yeah, over the last few years I have come to the same conclusion. No, it's not because of any one person or a particular party... I just think both parties have a vested interest in keeping the population divided. They each benefit from the dislike of the other party.

I was once told that 40% would vote Democrat, 40% would vote Republican... doesn't matter if it is Hitler v Stalin in the election. That remaining 20% is what the candidates are trying to swing one way or the other. In recent years, it seems that 20% is becoming smaller and smaller as the population becomes more polarized. When that 20% disappears, that will be very interesting.

Closer numbers actually. It is what Mitt was trying to say.

Stalwart
10-14-2014, 01:58 AM
I think you misunderstand. My complaint is that it's no longer politics, it's business. And that includes (to include garhkal's post) independents. I have no problem with any of them trying to get policies passed, whether, Repub, Dem, or other. No problem at all, even if I don't agree with their politics. It's just now at the point where politicians don't care about what policies they pass, as long as it get's them re-elected. That's what I mean by saying that they are all the same.

yeah ... I missed that point. I would not overtly disagree, having once been told that a Member cannot "win the war if they cannot win reelection." In a sense, yeah ... it is business ...

Stalwart
10-14-2014, 11:59 AM
At the same time, this is nothing new and is the 'way of politics' like it or not. I think most of the politicians I have met have strong socio-philosophical beliefs, but also want to have a job. On one level, there is argument that the framers never intended for a permanent political class in the US, but there is also clear intent that the framers (based on the original method of election for Federal Senators) did not want to leave the Senate to be elected by the gentry. Since the founding of our country, some have sought political office out of a mix of personal, professional and philosophical interests. A really good argument can be made that in the 1770's, many of the Founding Fathers (not excluding their philosophical motivations) also had very tangible financial reasons to pursue a break from the British Crown.

I will say that based on my experience on Capitol Hill, there are many good people that work there, some with a Member's pin and some on the staffs. Some like the trappings that the office or the proximity to power provides & some grow to like the trappings more than the work; but again ... I don't see that as a new thing in the last 20, 30, 40, 50 ... 100 years.

Rainmaker
10-14-2014, 06:59 PM
So we are a couple of weeks from the 2014 Mid-Term Elections and it looks like the House will stay under GOP control and that control of the Senate is uncertain. While I don't read too much into the stories from Real Clear Politics, the way they aggregate sources and polls (they don't do their own polls but track a series of polls across the country and from both left and right leaning parties) is very interesting and the numbers are the numbers. Control of the Senate seems to be coming down to a dozen toss-up & leaning states; a lot of modeling shows the GOP has a roughly 60% chance of taking control of the Senate, thereby total control of the Legislative Branch.

Any thoughts on what happens if the Senate flips / if the Senate stays Democrat?

In case you are interested in those toss-up states:
State: Incumbent

AK: Begich (D)
AR: Pryor (D)
CO: Udall (D)
GA: Open (R)
IA: Open (D)
KS: Roberts (R)
KY: McConnell (R)
LA: Landrieu (D)
NC: Hagan (D)
MI: Open (D)
NH: Shaheen (D)
SD: Open (D)

Not much will change either way. Because, There's maybe a couple of degrees of separation between the 2 parties at most.
Anytime, you have a supreme court that rules corporations have the constitutional right to bribe politicians (as long as they call it a campaign donation) then you'll have a corrupt system.

"Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”- Mark Twain.

Rusty Jones
10-14-2014, 07:30 PM
Personally, I think that the mentality that "both parties are the same" is really both pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-philosphical bullshit. As if the person stating it believes themselves to have transcended the options that the "mere mortals" subject themselves to.

Measure Man
10-14-2014, 07:36 PM
Anytime, you have a supreme court that rules corporations have the constitutional right to bribe politicians (as long as they call it a campaign donation) then you'll have a corrupt system.

It becomes an even bigger problem in local elections:

The Chevron "hand-picked" and funded challenger's $1.3M campaign purse compared to the incumbent's $22,000...in Richmond CA.

Chevron got tired of the mayor being a pain in their ass about clean-up and zoning, etc. for their refinery, so they decided to try and buy and new mayor and city council.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/west-county-times/ci_26703743/chevron-unleashes-campaign-spending-influence-richmond-election

sandsjames
10-14-2014, 09:07 PM
Personally, I think that the mentality that "both parties are the same" is really both pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-philosphical bullshit. As if the person stating it believes themselves to have transcended the options that the "mere mortals" subject themselves to.

Again, I just want to point out that I'm not referring to the policies of the parties. Those are definitely different and it's easy enough to vote one way or another based on those policy choices.. I'm talking about the people of both parties (in general, especially in anything other than local elections) putting policy secondary to appearance. That's all. It's just about having no faith in the political system itself.

Stalwart
10-14-2014, 10:06 PM
Again, I just want to point out that I'm not referring to the policies of the parties. Those are definitely different and it's easy enough to vote one way or another based on those policy choices.. I'm talking about the people of both parties (in general, especially in anything other than local elections) putting policy secondary to appearance. That's all. It's just about having no faith in the political system itself.

Do you think the system is fundamentally different than it was in the 1960's? In the 1930's? In the 1860's?

Stalwart
10-14-2014, 10:14 PM
Basically right now you have some minor differences on social issues. But, on economic issues, there is virtually no difference.

I would disagree, primarily because of my time on the Hill, there are some D's and some R's who are on far different ends of the social spectrum.

Economically, I would agree that most won't (if they can vote anything to prevent it) let the financial system totally fail. But economically (think revenue / taxes) there is again some very, VERY different opinions on the best way to fund the government.

Rainmaker
10-14-2014, 10:17 PM
Do you think the system is fundamentally different than it was in the 1960's? In the 1930's? In the 1860's?

Rainmaker thinks it's cyclical. We've always had the solution. A constitutional republic strikes the balance between the anarchists that want no government on the far right and socialists that want excessive government on the far left. We live in an era of low morals. we elected corrupt politicians and they appointed corrupt judges.

Rainmaker
10-14-2014, 10:20 PM
I would disagree, primarily because of my time on the Hill, there are some D's and some R's who are on far different ends of the social spectrum.

Economically, I would agree that most won't (if they can vote anything to prevent it) let the financial system totally fail. But economically (think revenue / taxes) there is again some very, VERY different opinions on the best way to fund the government.

maybe some. maybe not enough. Rainmaker not sure how much they can do about it. other than the Pauls and maybe Elizabeth Warren. I think most of them are not too interested in re imposing Glass Stegall or anything that would change it. they are all getting filthy rich off the status quo.

sandsjames
10-14-2014, 11:04 PM
Do you think the system is fundamentally different than it was in the 1960's? In the 1930's? In the 1860's?I wasn't alive then, so I can't say for sure. What I do know is that it wasn't as easy for the most corrupt to be able to reach the masses with their lies, so people had to rely much more on their local reps and actually had personal relationships with their local reps. Were they trustworthy? Probably not.

Measure Man
10-14-2014, 11:21 PM
I wasn't alive then, so I can't say for sure. What I do know is that it wasn't as easy for the most corrupt to be able to reach the masses with their lies, so people had to rely much more on their local reps and actually had personal relationships with their local reps. Were they trustworthy? Probably not.

The idealist in me keeps hoping that one of these days a social media revolution will be key to launching a true grass-roots campaign that will elect some poorly-funded, but creative, inspirational and tuned-in candidates...and effectively end the campaign-funding paradigm.

So far...I think social media has mostly served to increase polarization though, as people generally only read and share what they already agree with, which seem to be things that demonize "the other side"...without caring whether it is accurate or not (mostly not), etc.

We have so many ways of getting information nowadays...seems to me the big-dollar TV ads and billboards, junk mailings, etc. should be going the way of the dinosaur.

sandsjames
10-14-2014, 11:32 PM
The idealist in me keeps hoping that one of these days a social media revolution will be key to launching a true grass-roots campaign that will elect some poorly-funded, but creative, inspirational and tuned-in candidates...and effectively end the campaign-funding paradigm.

So far...I think social media has mostly served to increase polarization though, as people generally only read and share what they already agree with, which seem to be things that demonize "the other side"...without caring whether it is accurate or not (mostly not), etc.

We have so many ways of getting information nowadays...seems to me the big-dollar TV ads and billboards, junk mailings, etc. should be going the way of the dinosaur.

I hope you're right. I know it's a completely different thing, but I think about the pop stars who have become huge because of a video that goes viral. I'd like to think that someday the same thing will happen with politics.

BENDER56
10-15-2014, 03:47 AM
Personally, I think that the mentality that "both parties are the same" is really both pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-philosphical bullshit. As if the person stating it believes themselves to have transcended the options that the "mere mortals" subject themselves to.

I have a different take on this -- it isn't so much that the parties are the same, per se, it's that people who aspire to positions of power are all the same, regardless of their political parties. And that is to say, they're all self-serving, narcissistic, psychopaths. People who acquire power only want two things; to keep power and to get more of it. They're hard-wired different than the rest of us normal people. And they don't give a crap about us either, unless they can use us to achieve their two goals.

MitchellJD1969
10-15-2014, 03:41 PM
I have a different take on this -- it isn't so much that the parties are the same, per se, it's that people who aspire to positions of power are all the same, regardless of their political parties. And that is to say, they're all self-serving, narcissistic, psychopaths. People who acquire power only want two things; to keep power and to get more of it. They're hard-wired different than the rest of us normal people. And they don't give a crap about us either, unless they can use us to achieve their two goals.

I agree competely. Its all about power.

Zxc
10-15-2014, 03:54 PM
The overarching beliefs and policies of Democrats and Republicans are actually extremely close when you view them against independent parties and foreign national parties.

That being said, I don't think re-election should be possible--it should be a one-time stint (length debatable) where they have no reason to focus on anything but the issues instead of party alliances.

Rusty Jones
10-15-2014, 04:10 PM
The overarching beliefs and policies of Democrats and Republicans are actually extremely close when you view them against independent parties and foreign national parties.

That being said, I don't think re-election should be possible--it should be a one-time stint (length debatable) where they have no reason to focus on anything but the issues instead of party alliances.

I'm not a big fan of our form of democracy ("constitutional republic," in our case), because when doing the "right" thing and the "popular" thing are not one and the same and the two conflict; the incentive is in doing the popular thing.

I think that making only possible to do one term would actually alleviate some of that. The one term would likely have to be longer than four years in order finish whatever they start, but when they know that there is no reelection, then there's no disincentive for choosing the right thing over the popular thing.

Zxc
10-15-2014, 04:19 PM
I'm not a big fan of our form of democracy ("constitutional republic," in our case), because when doing the "right" thing and the "popular" thing are not one and the same and the two conflict; the incentive is in doing the popular thing.

I think that making only possible to do one term would actually alleviate some of that. The one term would likely have to be longer than four years in order finish whatever they start, but when they know that there is no reelection, then there's no disincentive for choosing the right thing over the popular thing.

I forget the name of the principle or theory that states it, but some believe that if Congress operated more similarly to Jury Duty it would be more effective--essentially random people, plucked from their typical life to serve, only excluded for major problems or biases--but without the incentive to 'hold' that position for the long-term

BENDER56
10-15-2014, 04:30 PM
I forget the name of the principle or theory that states it, but some believe that if Congress operated more similarly to Jury Duty it would be more effective--essentially random people, plucked from their typical life to serve, only excluded for major problems or biases--but without the incentive to 'hold' that position for the long-term

If they pay me whatever it is that congresscritters get, I'd do it. The beach will still be here when my term is up.

efmbman
10-15-2014, 04:48 PM
I agree competely. Its all about power.

Why else would Obama and Romney spend a combined $1 billion for a job that pays $400K a year?

Measure Man
10-15-2014, 04:54 PM
I forget the name of the principle or theory that states it, but some believe that if Congress operated more similarly to Jury Duty it would be more effective--essentially random people, plucked from their typical life to serve, only excluded for major problems or biases--but without the incentive to 'hold' that position for the long-term

LOL...that might make a good movie.

Of course, we'll need to debate whether or not one must have a photo ID to serve in Congress.

sandsjames
10-15-2014, 06:07 PM
LOL...that might make a good movie.

Of course, we'll need to debate whether or not one must have a photo ID to serve in Congress.

I'll get in contact with RFD about that one.

Rainmaker
10-17-2014, 09:26 PM
I'm not a big fan of our form of democracy ("constitutional republic," in our case), because when doing the "right" thing and the "popular" thing are not one and the same and the two conflict; the incentive is in doing the popular thing.

I think that making only possible to do one term would actually alleviate some of that. The one term would likely have to be longer than four years in order finish whatever they start, but when they know that there is no reelection, then there's no disincentive for choosing the right thing over the popular thing.

Agree with Term limits. But, don't think they really give a damn about doing the right thing or even doing the popular thing for that matter. It Seems The only thing they're much concerned with is lining their own pockets.

I'm not a big fan of NY Times fish wrapper. But, came across this editorial yesterday and found it worthy of consideration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/22/opinion/politicians-extortion-racket.html?_r=0

The author gets into how the political shakedown game goes. Money always flows to power first and not the other way around. The problem is not with the constitutional republic. The problem is that we (as a people) have elected and then tolerated a shit bag political class and they've stacked the courts with corrupt federal judges and officials. The people are the last check in the system of checks and balances. The constitutional republic is intended for a moral people. In my opinion we don't have that right now. you can't have a society were anything goes. Anarchy leads to dictatorship. we need a sea change in this country where we start throwing these bastards in both parties out and demanding removal of these parasitic judges or it's going to get worse.... much worse.