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Author Topic: Changing Opinions  (Read 1820 times)

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Offline Al Terego

Re: Changing Opinions
« Reply #50 on: August 19, 2015, 07:30:55 PM »
Hmm.  I'd say he's made many changes: we have an openly gay military, an end to the Iraq occupation, the first steps toward national health care, a treaty with Iran, an end to the Cuban embargo, just off the top of my head...Bush never would have done any of those things.

I have no particular love for GWB, but some of your information is patently incorrect.

* In 2008 Bush signed the US–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement which included a deadline of 31 December 2011, before which "all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory".  The withdrawal that you mention closely followed the timeline set by the Bush administration.

* The Affordable Care Act is very similar to (and arguably based on) previous bills proposed and sponsored by Republicans in 93, 94, 06 and a bipartisan senate bill in 07.

Nor has Obama had success in everything he's attempted (Guatanamo Bay, for instance) - he's the president, but our government is carefully arranged to check his authority and a huge amount of his political capital was wasted in the health care debacle, from which I don't feel his presidency ever really recovered.  However, yes, the 99% of American government that isn't at the top of the headlines has gone relatively unchanged.  I'm not sure how that counters the notion of a stable system based around two very similar parties who generally struggle to edge just past ambivalence.

Objectively, the erosion of civil liberties continued and expanded under Obama, contrary to his campaign promises.  Which, as a US citizen, should concern you more than the treaty with Iran and the normalization with Cuba.  Just saying...

I am not blasting Obama or the Democrats.  I am just saying that neither of the two parties represents the interests of the voters.

Speaking of which, would you care to comment on the republic/democracy/oligarchy blurb in my previous post?

Offline eBadgerTopic starter

Re: Changing Opinions
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2015, 12:16:22 PM »
* In 2008 Bush signed the US–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement which included a deadline of 31 December 2011, before which "all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory".  The withdrawal that you mention closely followed the timeline set by the Bush administration.

That SOFA was signed in December 2008, after Obama had been elected but before he came to power.  A large part of Obama's platform involved the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, which Bush had resisted for several years.  So yes, you are correct, but I would define that agreement as lame duck politics intended to preempt democratic claims to success, determine policy for the next administration and - with a three year timeline - keep troops in Iraq as long as possible while delaying any repercussions for the withdrawal to land just in time for the next election.  It was a deviously clever political move, but not an indication that Bush agreed with Obama. 

* The Affordable Care Act is very similar to (and arguably based on) previous bills proposed and sponsored by Republicans in 93, 94, 06 and a bipartisan senate bill in 07.

And not much like what Obama was trying to get.  I admit I'm not as well informed on all the history there as I could be, but you're going to have to work pretty hard to show that Bush was serious about universal national health care, I think. 

Objectively, the erosion of civil liberties continued and expanded under Obama, contrary to his campaign promises.  Which, as a US citizen, should concern you more than the treaty with Iran and the normalization with Cuba.  Just saying...

That's a huge statement that requires much more commentary if you want me to take it seriously.  Anticipate a response regarding social support for the sacrifice of individual rights for the illusion of safety. 

I am not blasting Obama or the Democrats.  I am just saying that neither of the two parties represents the interests of the voters.

This is again the elitist claim that voters lack the ability to know their own values, rather than lack any ability to influence political outcomes. 

Speaking of which, would you care to comment on the republic/democracy/oligarchy blurb in my previous post?

The US as an oligarchy?  I would say it's demonstrably not, unless one claims that all elections are fraud, and those articles are being bombastic while hedging all their statements with words like 'most', 'little', and other non-absolutes.  They also don't calibrate based on the degree of disagreement (I believe other studies have shown the general will gets its way on the few times it cares strongly, but not on the many other times that it doesn't). 

Is power unequally concentrated in the hands of a few?  Yes.  Do I feel there is undue corporate influence on government?  Of course.  But none of those things indicate that the people lack any real power in politics, nor counter the notion that the major political parties are designed to be largely inoffensive. 

I brought up the Democracy v. Republic notion because your opinions on our government seem to assume the intention was that routine matters should be determined by the will of the people.  Your linked articles make the same assumption.  I disagree; I believe the people were intended to provide for the general direction of our government and society and to check any real controversy or extreme action.  This is not a micromanagement of individual issues, it is instead framing what issues will and can exist, and is real political power.