Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Election Thoughts

I find myself wondering if the Romney campaign is very incompetent or has self destructive tendencies. Does he want to lose?

Ann Coulter has been asking the same question. A Romney spokeswoman defended some of Romney's job destroying activities by saying "At least that unemployed person was able to fall back on Romney Care." Ann Coulter asks if this is the kind of shoot yourself in the foot game the Romney campaign is going to play why should people bother sending money to him? Just call the election for Obama already. Romney Care is Obama Care. Is he for it or against it? If he's for it why is he out on the stump acting like he's going to change it?

And now we have the selection of Paul Ryan for VP. Of course I think Ryan is an awful person, but setting my own personal hostility aside, is this a wise choice in this political climate? One plausible defense of the appeal to Romney Care is that the primary is over. Romney is moving to the "center" to try and win the general election. If that were the strategy then maybe you could understand the defense of Romney Care. But with Ryan you're choosing the very face of the destroy Medicare and Social Security while expanding war and defense faction of the party. Is that a good strategy in a world where the majority of Americans want the reverse? That is they prefer we strengthen Social Security and Medicare while dialing back the war industry.

Even the Ron Paul wing of the party isn't pleased with Ryan. Sure, he's portrayed as some sort of Ayn Rand acolyte, like Ron Paul. But in reality he really only invokes that as applied to the poor. When it comes to war and surveillance that's all out the window. Grow the war machine. Encroach on civil liberties. The Paulites understand this. This is typical Bush like Republicanism. Sky high deficits, enormous corporate welfare, and the talk of being a "deficit hawk" and being "responsible" is only invoked when the hungry, elderly, and sick are being discussed. Is this a winning strategy?

I don't want to vote for Obama. I want to vote my conscience. If Michigan is not in play this will be easy. Romney is doing his best to make this easy for me.

But unfortunately you still can't count Romney out. Apparently he's leading the battle for fundraising. For the most part our elections are simply bought and paid for. We know what the major buyers want. War and global warming. If Romney gets most of the money he should win. When was the last time the one that collected the lesser amount of money actually won? So he may win despite his own incompetence.


Chad said...

I personally think it was risky, but a brilliant move. The Tea Party base has something to get behind now with Ryan on board and they are. Romney understands that the Tea Party has gotten people elected and still are (Cruz in TX). Hell the 2010 swing was the largest in this countries history and the tea party was a huge part of that.

I don't know, in my opinion, this was the best pick by a long shot compared to the list of candidates.

I think your also not factoring in the 'unknowns'. I truly believe that there is going to be a few major revelations/events right before the election that will hurt Obama badly.

Jon said...

Don't you think the Tea Party is already behind Romney? The Tea Party is all about complaining when the poor getting thrown a bone and they're very quiet about war, surveillance, big corporate welfare. The Tea Party is the corporate party, which of course is why they had Koch backing and backing of corporate America. That's Romney already. Yeah, that fits Ryan perfectly, but Romney already has these people. He needs to try and appeal to the other 70% of the population at least a little bit.

The Tea Party was initiated by Ron Paul's supporters. Ron Paul subsequently distanced himself when corporate shills, Palin, and the other big government Republicans took over. It's now standard big government Republicanism. Cut people welfare while growing corporate welfare. Also cut taxes and expand the deficit. Yeah, that's Ryan. Everyone knows his tax cuts will explode the deficit because while he will cut welfare to the poor the welfare for the rich isn't going anywhere on his watch. Standard Bush era government growth and withdrawal of civil liberties. Maybe you like that sort of thing, but you're in the minority. What about appealing to the rest of the population?

On the other hand Romney is offering a further appeal to a wealthy minority. Like the Israel lobby. They say jump and Ryan will ask how high. They'll push for the wars Israel wants. They'll push for more burning of fossil fuels, which of course certain wealthy people want. So it's a trade off. Do you just go all out against democracy and chase money or do you try and appeal to people a little? Romney apparently says screw Americans. The tiny elite with money is all that matters. That may work.

Examinator said...

Don't over estimate the power of the tea baggers. R has a simplistic campaign that is based on marketing negativity....NOT OBAMA!
He is banking his hopes on the disappointment with Obama.
In other words Policy, strategy and focus on USA's real problems...one of which is it's declining status and power in the real world.

Ryan is being touted as an intellectual a counter to Romney's lack of policy understanding .... A President who is gaff prone out of his depth in what really matters with a Over the top VP and his fellow extremists full of a sense of entitlement.... um where have we seen that before?
Americans(USA) think that their attitude of entitlement will carry them through. After all that has served Bush 1 & 2 and originally the Brits so well .....NOT.
I'm with Bill Maher on this one what century is this? I'm not angry or anti USA I'm simply Embarrassed.

Ken said...

I agree with you Jon. I also want to vote my conscience.But I am always disappointed with the choices. No matter which of the two old parties wins the election,the government always becomes bigger,the regulations more onerous.No matter who wins,we will loose-because both sides are for more government,no matter what they say when campaigning. Neither side will stand up for you-for your money,for your freedom, for your liberty,for your family- when the next so called "crisis" arises. The twin parties have become so hopelessly corrupted by power and the perks of governing that our only hope is a third party(hell,four or five for that matter)still too young, healthy, and principled to be infected by their dishonesty and political extortion.

Chad said...

Well - if Romney/Ryan wins the election then I will not be in the minority. I just wish - just for one election they break down the votes into actually earners and takers. You say 70% - okay well let's count the votes of just those Americans who's paychecks actually PAY for all these things we enjoy in this country, let's add up those votes then it would be 70/30 for Repubs - heck there wouldn't be a democrat party. It always bugs me when a poll comes out and the question is do you support healthcare for all? See Chad see 70% said yes they support that when they have no reference, no capital in the answer. Your argument is very similar to when I ask my kids if they want a toy when we go to the store - well yes daddy I want a toy. When I say then you have to clean the dishes to get that toy - then the game changes. When I say you have to clean the dishes and give me half the cost it is a no. Your offering statistics from the mob, I know your happy with it, but what if 70% of the country decided to exile black people - you okay with that, how about if 70% of Americans (this may be true BTW) want Muslims out of this country - you okay with that? You use the mob polls that help your argument, but at least admit they have no capital when voting.

No - some Tea Party members settled on the fact that they had to vote for Romney by default, but there was a good amount (35 in our group of 85) which said they wouldn't vote for Romney period. Some said they'd write in others said they wouldn't vote. After the Ryan announcement only 5 are still out (they say) and donations are way up.

I admit, the Ryan addition to the ticket has pulled me back in - a little more excited and willing to donate and put the work in. Unfortunately or fortunately I guess - the town that we live in is heavily Republican, not shocking since the median is $92k a household so finding someone on the fence is not easy here though.

Examinator said...

Ken & jon
I think the system was set up before technology and as such it is easy to pervert the system .
What we have is two versions of the one goal/ imperative.
I wonder what would happen if
a. All votes in Congress were secret?
like they are in electing the reps and senators.
We might then have a real idea of what was the real strength of a vote.
All the parties would know is the final numbers. So the leaders of the houses wouldn't know who to keep in line....
Corporations would no longer be in a position to know who to bribe/ lobby or even if a lobbied target actually followed through. that would discourage corp money.

B. one of the problems is that the system is set up in an either or scenario (i.e.Only 2 choices) what if in addition to secret ballots there was a third option like in the UN where two alternative are ridiculous....i.e. Abstention.
If you ponder these options a bit I wonder if we might see less of down the line partisanship and a more accurate conclusions. Crossing the aisle would be easy.
So a rep could vote against the party if it adversely affected their district. isn't that the point of a democracy? Just pondering.

Examinator said...

What Chad seems to be advocating is his usual Malthusian plutocratic nonsense.
What he doesn't realise is that the Tea party (sic) represents a very small % of US citizens. At 500-400k or even 2 million, out of 300 million it is a frightening small.
In reality the biggest minority (well shot of 50%) are bound by their collective ignorance and fears... that make up the rump of the conservative voters mind set.
If one reads up on the myriad of warring tea party factions a cage of feral cats at the pound offers more agreement.
The reality of today is that the voting public are becoming more factionalised than they were say pre 50 years ago. Education for the so called liberals and wealth for the so called Conservatives are the primary factors. In essence the US voters are actually made up of a bewildering range of different groups and opinions...In short the two party system and the nature of power distribution via voting has gone past it's Use by date. i.e. The range of choices in all elections are appalling and subject to deliberate distortion of democracy and reduction in people's right the latter being the trade mark of the so called conservatives.
i.e. liberals strive for more inclusion....conservative want to exclude.

Jon said...

Yeah Ken, I pretty much agree with everything you've said.

I think the difference between you and me is this. What do we do right now in order to eventually get to the point where we can have small government, or possibly no government?

The state has created the corporate entity. We should expect corrupt government in these conditions. Corporations want profits, and when corrupting government officials or growing the government serves those purposes we should expect that this is what will happen.

What about environmental destruction? Take countries with governments that are very weak with respect to corporations. Say, Ecuador. Chevron does a simple calculation. Is the government strong enough to extract penalties that harm our profits if we pollute? In Ecuador the answer was no. So incredible envioronmental destruction was profitable, so that's the policy that was pursued. That's totally rational from the perspective of the corporate goal, which is profits.

In the US the government still is somewhat beholden to the public. You can do some polluting, but you can't go crazy, like BP. BP worked very hard to stop that spill. Why? Our government is stronger and capable of extracting penalties. So it served their profit interest to stop the leak as quickly as possible.

With that back drop the question to you is this. Corporations want profits and will pursue them regardless of the cost in human suffering. On these conditions what possible entity can serve as a check on their ability to induce suffering?

I don't like the answer either, but you can see what it is. It's the government. Why? Because the government still is SOMEWHAT susceptible to public pressure. Corporations are not. They are tyrannies. It's not one person one vote. He that has the most dollars gets the most votes, and people with dollars want more dollars.

Is government susceptible to corruption, usually from the same corporations seeking profits? Of course. But at least there remains a possible mechanism for the public to have a voice with government. When we dismantle these corporations with their immense concentrated power then we can talk about diminishing or possibly dissolving governments. But if you do it now while leaving the corproate entity intact you turn us into Ecuador. You can swim in the lake, but you'll be covered in oil when you get out.

Jon said...


It's tough to say what the vote would look like if we tallied by dollars rather than persons. As you know there are a lot of rich Democrats. Buffet, Gates. Apparently in '08 white people without a college degree preferred McCain by a large margin (17 points), whereas those with a college degree preferred Obama (9 points).


People with more education tend to make more money.

More fundamentally I disagree with your idea of what it means and "earner" and a "taker." Mitt Romney doesn't work, but migrant tomato pickers do. A lot of Apple stockholders don't work, but the Chinese factory workers can sometimes put in 17 straight hours. Who's the earner and who's the taker? In your world the guy that sits at home collecting the checks is the "earner", whereas the garment worker chained to her desk and denied bathroom breaks is the "taker." For me it's the reverse.

When the King owned all the land and demanded the serfs send him a major portion, who was the earner and who was the taker? The King got most of the income. The King used that income to provide government services. Does that mean the serfs should not have a voice because they don't really pay anything? Only the King does? The King is living off of work done by the serfs.

And the word "mob" is a very common term used by those that prefer tyranny to democracy. Since the majority of people want it this makes them a "mob." The King would refer to rebelling serfs as a "mob." I refer to them as "people."

Chad said...

Ex - It may be nonsense in your mind, but I recall a sweeping vote in 2010 for Republican which was spearheaded by the Tea Party Movement. And as Jon appropriately outlined elections tend to be about money and the Tea Party Movement is very well funded and capable of making a major difference. If the Tea Party is such a minority, I wonder why Romney (other than money) made sure the ticket was filled by a so called Tea Party guy?

Chad said...

JC - I appreciate the info, but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I would like a break down by votes between the Private Sector and Public Sector then to be more direct. For those of us (including you BTW) who are taxed intially to allow salaries for public employees to issued.

Disagreeing with me about earners and takers from a fundemental standpoint is irrelevant and not argument point. The arguement that Mitt Romney doesn't live up to what you consider 'work' is also irrelevant - your changing the argument. I could make an arguement that you also do not work, you do not build anything with your hands (labor), your not designing anything original, you only recieve a paycheck because your 'ideas' are put to pratical use and then someone else makes those things with their hands and no how - so you are very much like Romney. I too am the same - I sell products that I do not make, I sell products and make money from mills and people I will never meet in my lifetime. Romeny's contribution may only be money, it may be a knowledge of industry, it may be just the relationship with other partners, but his contribution is every bit as equal as yours Jon. From a compensation standpoint it is not equal and we can have a legit arguement - which I may even agree with you about - on what is a sensible and reasonable compensation package for his involvment, but that is not the discussion point here.

Earners are taxed - that initial tax - regardless if it is 14% like Romney or over 37% in some cases - that taxed income is used to pay salaries for the public sector. From those salaries given to the public sector by the earning group they spend money, buy homes and their taxes (which really is just the Private Sectors money anyhow) is once again re-taxed to be then given back to the public sector again. Again - I am not arguing the importance of teachers, but the starting point of all money is with the earners and that is the voting breakdown I would be most interested in.

Jon said...

Let's take a slave plantation. The owner gets the money. The slaves do the work and essentially keep a portion of it (they build the houses that they live in, they till the soil and create the food and get to eat a portion). On that plantation maybe I'm the guy designing the plow. What's the owner doing? He's doing nothing, but he gets most of the resultant money. Then he gets a bill from the IRS and sends a large chunk. This makes him the earner in your mind. Earners are taxed, takers are not. So the slaves are the takers and the slave owner is the earner. Your pity is for him because he had to send so much. All decisions the government might make should not include slave involvement.

This is not irrelevant to the argument. Your argument is that only earners should have a say, not takers. But you have reversed the earner and taker. The slave is the earner. He wasn't taxed but the only reason the owner has money is because the slave worked.

Chad said...

The counter arguement - which is valid - is that without teachers, firefighters, police officers and such we could not and would not live in a society that would allow the earners to make money - I agree with that completely. My issue/concern is very basic - when the 'people' as you said come together as one voice in a vote doesn't the level of contribution matter? 18-24 year olds in college who have been indoctrinated from Pre-school that the progressive mentality is good will mostly vote Democrat - we know this. You have a President/party using the pulpit to tell the students I want to give you free education. Well hell yes Jon they are going to wave the Obama flag and scream yes sir may I have another. You have President/party saying HEALTHCARE FOR ALL - yes sir says the young person with no job and with no income I want that too! You have a President/party who has allowed 99 weeks unemployment, a President/party that is telling people we will take care of you from cradle to grave. I am just shocked that the democratic party doesn't win 90% plus of the elections with that platform.

The Democratic/Progressive party has built an incredible voting block of people - obviously around 50% or more at this point. Of which it would shock me tremendously if less than 75% of that group were not people in the public sector, recieving gov't hand outs or students who do not have a job and who are not contributors at this time. Of the 25% of people who are earners, I am guessing 75% of those folks are in a Union.

I don't have an ounce of proof of any of it so you can tell me I am wrong, but I don't think so Jon.

With that said the Constitution is clear - one citizen, one vote and that is the way it should be. If the citizens in this country vote for democratic rule then so be it, but they best be prepared for the fall out and aftermath. There is between 70 and 120 Trillion dollars of unfunded liabilities depending on what report you read in this country. One day the bill for all those promises will come due and then we are going to be in deep doo - doo.

Chad said...

JC - Slavery has been abolished for years and I do not know of anyone with a hand plow any longer sorry.

Well I know that you didn't get the chance to read my next entry.

The Constitution is clear - one citizen, one vote.

Chad said...

Also - I will re-submit, you also do not make anything - you are not the person who builds anything. You use your skills to design something sure, but your not physically put something together and therefore you reap the rewards from the laborist as well - same as the owner.

Jon said...

It happens I am involved in the production side in my line of work. I design the product and in some cases travel to the production facility to assist in the development of the production line. This has meant travel overseas and within the continental US.

But let's assume I didn't do that traveling. For a lot of the programs I work on I am not involved in setting up a production line. What I usually do is analysis. I determine if the electronics will fail thermally, fail in vibration due to stress, or if the electromagnetic noise characteristics are poor (will a radio interfere with other electronics in the vehicle or will the radio be susceptible to electronic noise from other components in the vehicle). I identify if these problems may occur prior to the prototype build of a product, and if my analysis indicates that they will I help other designers modify their designs to mitigate these potential problems.

Are you suggesting that this is not a productive activity? If I don't wake up in the morning and do my job the radio in your car might break. Or when you turn the radio on it may interfere with another component, causing that component to fail. It's obvious that this is a productive contribution.

What happens if Romney doesn't get out of bed in the morning, as I do? Does anything change? Would a radio fail? Would a product overheat? No. In fact nothing would change. If Romney died and his body wasn't discovered for week this wouldn't slow productive activity. However if I died and there was no replacement for me products would actually suffer.

Romney doesn't do anything. He gets money because he lives off the surplus value generated by people like you and me. This is why I think you have it backwards when you say he is an earner and poorer people that actually work for a living are takers. Romney needs the working poor. The working poor don't actually need him. In the same way the slave doesn't really need the slave owner. He could do it without him. In fact the owner is a parasite, leeching off the productive contribution of the slave.

Chad said...

I am not buying what your selling sir - sorry.

Your making assumptions that can not be validated with any hard data. You can not honestly and objectively determine his value and you certainly have no idea how many hours the man worked either.

Examinator said...

You still don't get it....look up the word gerrymander

This technique is as old as 'democracy' its self. Even the ancient Greeks did it. Although the name came from a Brit... Gerry Mander. MP
Simple math tells you that their raw numbers are comparatively small in comparison to the population.
it is WHERE they are that is important.
i.e. they are a much larger proportion of the actual membership of the Republican party. Therefore they have a proportionally larger effect on the PARTY.
To get elected as a Republican candidate they need to "feed the chooks (chickens)' (Aussie term).

Every one

In the Republican/corporate world the board actually control have the power.
Look at Bush 2 who actually drove that White House? Hint it wasn't Bush.
By and Large he was out of his depth and driven by others.

It is naivety on LSD to assume that the PREZ has free hand in picking who he wants in the white house that is done by back room deals as part of support of the party. There is a lot of 'horse trading' and "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours".
The actual little man input "in the party" is relatively small. i.e. have you ever tried to run for power in a local branch? By the time you get to some height you are already beholden to a raft of 'war lords'. Trying to reform a party is nigh on impossible.

2010 happened because people were disappointed with Obama. And the idea of the little man influence influenced enough to make changes.
But that is temporary. 2011/12 no TBagger Prez candidate got even close to winning the nomination. I picked Romney on day one , because of his support in the powers that be (PTB) including the money people.
Addelston despite his loot got trashed.
Strategically the congressional elections are a different animal to the Prez.
Koch Bros want a congress that is beholden to them having succeeded in doing that they really want to a Prez they can keep in check from doing too much that might harm their interests.
The (PTB) need the tea bagger party minority to ensure they can maintain the momentum of 2010 “Not Obama” i.e. the WIN (the power etc) is everything....Policy is merely the expendable promises to get there.
NB The same sort of pressures/ restrictions exist for OBAMA.(any prez)
The system is the problem.
As for the 'mob' a wonderful emotive manipulatable term (devoid of precise meaning) to entrench the self righteous us and them prejudice.
If one looks at the founding fathers they were the rich and powerful (ruling elite) that thought that like Plato's 'Republic' philosopher elites they were 'best' (sic) to rule the “ignorant common man” to provide the labor THEY needed. Hence education to the people must be expensive and limited. See Chomsky for a more detailed education philosophy.

Its not that we need a small government per se it's that we need a better functioning one. The current one is too easily corrupted by those with personal Axes to grind (interests to further at the cost of everyone).