Done with the Democatic Party

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I'm officially through with the Democratic Party in my country. I'm tired of having one party that wants to fuck me at every turn and another that is more concerned with making a 'grand bargain' so that I only get fucked only 80% of the time instead of doing something about it.

It took me only like 4 tries to realise in Civilization video games that you can't trust the computer AI to do something permanently no matter how much you pay them to do it, unless the game physically forces them to stick at it (like in Civ 4, if you pay a computer to change civics or religion, they'll undo the change the practically next turn no matter how much you pay them ahead of time, unless it's enforced with a timer). This is something that older, highly educated, rich politicians can't seem to figure out.

You can't bargain with Republicans unless it's written in stone forever, and even then it's not guaranteed. They've stated numerous times in Obama's first term their number one priority has been to damage their opposition and ensure they get voted back in and nothing else. Mitch McConnell has filibustered his own bills he's written right after he wrote them for that very purpose.

Compromise is well and good if it sticks, but Republicans tried to turn the double suicide pact of the sequester into a murder Democrats pact the minute it happened. Why, why can't they fucking learn that.

Republicans have STATED OPENLY their idea of compromise is doing exactly what they want. That's their OPENLY STATED objective. Why presume they're secretly fostering better than that? I'm not saying that they have to have a hidden adgenda, but can we fucking stop pretending that if they do it's LESS contentious than their stated one?

And we didn't have to do anything. We had 2 kings and 3 aces. Not the best hand in the universe, but a pretty solid one to bet on. The sequester would had cut welfare and that sucks, but it would had cut the military budget which is something that we'll never ever ever get the Republicans to compromise on. And THAT was already a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. We already came to a fucking bargain to get THAT. Taxes would had went back to their pre-Clinton era rates, for everybody. And that's fine.

Obama could had literally been a stuffed animal and did what he promised in his campaign. All Harry Reid would have had to do is get filibuster reform fucking done and shit would had been fine.

It's WAY easier to lower taxes later than raise them later. Let the Republicans refuse to lower taxes on the middle class, and let's see how that would work for them. Make them OWN their obstruction, instead of giving them convenient excuses so they can't get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, like as if we're afraid of making them look bad when they do bad. And the thing is, Boehner can't go 2 minute without sticking his dick in a beehive on his own, so we wouldn't even have to 'trick' him into owning his stupid mistakes. Why then are we taking the fall for him?

Not to mention I'm tired of the constant pandering to the middle class anyways. Apparently it's fine to raise taxes on the poor but whaa whaa boo boo if you raise it on the middle class. I'm fucking tired of every speech being just exactly how many blow jobs should go to the middle class.

So what did we do instead? Obama decided that instead of just taking his fucking vacation like would had been wise he had to come back and fuck shit up. He's not up for re-election and the constituency has an exactly 30 second memory so nobody would remember if he just turned into a scarecrow for 3 months when the next election isn't for 2 years, if in the end it got shit done[1]. But nope, apparently he decided he was elected to see exactly how many blowjobs Boehner wants and to get them to him as soon as possible.

They 'compromised' on a sequester deal that only existed in the first place as a compromise already because apparently we have a Republican Party who wants to get shit done 100% the way they want and the Bargain Party who wants to compromise on everything even other compromises no matter what. So if a Republican says we should eat all kittens, Democrats will fight for nothing but eating 50% of kittens and that's it. And if the kitten bill comes back again, Democrats would probably fight to get it to 75% so they could meet the Republicans half way from the new base. Grand bargaining! Yay!

So what did we get? Taxes will go up on only people making 400,000 a year, Republicans get credit for giving he middle class a tax break and nobody remembered to lower payroll taxes so that taxes will go up for the poor because fuck them. We gave them that, despite the fact that we would had gotten that and more if we just fucking took a nap for 3 months. And what did we get out of it? The sequester debate will happen in 2 months instead of automatically happening, so that Boehner can use the filibuster to hold the country hostage on the debt ceiling and sequester and we can lose the automatic reductions in the military budget. And what will we get through that hostage negotiation? 50% of the blame when another agency drops our credit rating to AA, and the retirement age for workers will go up, despite the fact that the life expectancy of workers hasn't (yes, life expectancy for the rich has gone up, but they don't worry about retirement ages anyways. Retirement is exactly when they're just like "I have enough shit, I'm cool"). COMPROMISE!

Oh, but our wise congress critters have seen this coming! So they're talking about filibuster reform. Lol, just kidding, they're pushing that off until later too to give Boehner more time to find ways to hold the country hostage.

So, I'm done. I just can't deal with supporting them any more. I have nobody to support, and so I have little to no reason to even watch as this shit unfolds. I refuse to vote for Republicans for so many obvious reasons, but I refuse to support Team Suck Their Dicks. I have one team that wants to fuck me and another that doesn't want nobody's feeling in Congress to be hurt. "Oh no, Boehner cried, somebody get him a teddy and a tax cut for the rich.".

As I said, I'm done with this party. I'll probably lurk here for a while, but I probably won't be coming back to post. It doesn't matter what I think should happen or who I convince or who convinces me here, because apparently even if we win an election all I get to vote for is assholes or blubbering vaginas. I'll just save the fucking gas money driving out. If anybody wants to get a hold of me after I stop lurking, which I round up to be approximately 0 people, my AIM account is suspiciously similar to my user name here.

Edit/Addition:
I'm sorry if any of the language above offends any of you, or seems sexist or homophobic, but at this point I don't even care. If you think that because of the above language that I'm sexist or homophobic then you haven't read anything else I've ever written and I'm not going to be able to change your mind, I guess. Call it a failing of mine or a failing of my upbringing but I don't really have any other language to describe how mad I am at this situation other than that, without just editing it all out to make it as bland and unemotional as possible, like some really crappy USA made for TV edit of rated R movie to make it PG so that the little kid's ears won't burst into fire if they hear a man say 'fuck' after he blows somebody's brains out with a shotgun, because showing nearly unimaginable violence on another sentient human being is fine for children but a single bad word or naked nipple will send them into catatonia.

[1] And if you want proof of this, look no further than to last election, if anybody can still even remember it. Obama was in the lead for months because people didn't like Romney's parade of gaffes. Obama's whole political strategy was to sit back and watch Romney open his mouth to replace the foot every time and it was working. Then suddenly Romney ran the first debate by pretending he was Obama and was for Obama's policies all along and suddenly everybody forgot everything he said for the last year. There's no, NO way that nobody would remember if Obama spent this whole New Years in Hawaii anybody would remember it by 2014. None.

Well, the alternative is sabotaging the republicans like the republicans have been sabotaging everything as best as they can, and nothing gets done. The downsides of that are also obvious. A bad decision is often better than no decision at all, and this compromise is a good example of that.

Besides, it's a democracy. Many Americans want the government to be paralysed and not solve any problems; How else did those republicans get elected? There's only so much of that which can be blamed on the two party system, there's also just a fair amount of Americans out there who don't want things to get resolved.

One of the downsides of democracy is that those also get their way if they create a significant minority, or a majority.

Obama's the worst haggler in history too. If we wants say, to spend 300 dollars on a 400 dollar item, his first bid is 450. Then Republicans will float him a 700 dollar bid, and he'll go up from there incrementally until he reaches about 550. Then Republicans will make him look greedy by framing it as the item being worth 700 and he'll just shrug and go "Shucks!". That's my problem, in a simple but terrible metaphor.

Blablahb:
Well, the alternative is sabotaging the republicans like the republicans have been sabotaging everything as best as they can, and nothing gets done. The downsides of that are also obvious. A bad decision is often better than no decision at all, and this compromise is a good example of that.

Besides, it's a democracy. Many Americans want the government to be paralysed and not solve any problems; How else did those republicans get elected? There's only so much of that which can be blamed on the two party system, there's also just a fair amount of Americans out there who don't want things to get resolved.

One of the downsides of democracy is that those also get their way if they create a significant minority, or a majority.

A large amount of them got elected through gerrymandering. We have a lot of states that have, if you don't look at districts, they have Democratic majorities in voters, but then when you look at districts suddenly they have a lot of Republican house seats. A lot of this came about due to redistricting after 2010 when a lot of Republican governors got elected. So I don't buy the whole "Paralyzing of the government is the true mandate!" stuff that's been going around on the media just because the House kept it's majority.

I'm not asking for Democrats to paralyze the government in reverse. I'm asking for them to make the Republicans own their obstruction. It wouldn't be hard. Even while Democrats were tripping over themselves to kiss Boehner's ass he still fucked up and made a giant mess of himself and his party with his Plan B.

Boehner basically tried to commit suicide with Plan B, and Democrats were basically back flipping over themselves to save his ass for no real reason other than they're giant pussies. And I'm tired of it. I'm just asking for the Democrats to stop jumping in and taking 50% of the blame for shit like Plan B. That's not too hard.

He literally strung himself up and kicked the table from under him and they tore themselves up cutting the rope to keep him from swinging on his own rope, at which point he proceeded to strangle them with it. And it happens every. Single. Time.

See, the sequester coming up was already born of Compromise. It was a shit deal for them then too, but Democrats got 50% of what they wanted and Republicans got 50% of what they wanted, and so you could say it was one of the few true compromises they've been able to pass through and only could do so then due to writing it in stone.

And what happens? Republicans are like "Whaa, compromise with us again even though we have no real political power to do shit about this!". Literally, if Congress and Obama was sucked into a vortex of time for 3 months, then that 50/50 compromise would had gone through. But nope, we can't have that. Republicans got 50/50 and whined for Democrats to come back to the table a second time even though they had no power to do shit about it any more because this one was pretty much set in stone, and what happened? Democrats automatically adjusted their stance to give Republicans 50% of what they wanted, making the deal 75/25. For no reason.

And what did they get out of it? Jack shit, because all the promises in the world don't mean shit if it's not set in stone because I will bet you any amount of money that pending Boehner's removal from his chair or a literal act of god, or the Grinch growing his heart 3 sizes in one day, the Republican party will hold the fiscal ceiling hostage again to get that 75/25 popped back up to 87.5/12.5.

Again, I'm not asking for the Democrats to become terrible assholes and falsely portray Republicans as villains. They fucking do that themselves by talking. All I'm asking for is when Boehner goes up on stage and drops his pants and shits right in the open mouth of an orphan that Harry Reid isn't there to give him an excuse for why that's acceptable, and Obama doesn't cave and sign a bill to allow it 50% of the time.

So do you have any plans to support a third party or just give up on influencing how the country is run altogether? People giving up on choosing between the lesser of two evils and backing a party that actually represents their views is exactly what is needed to reinvigorate democracy in the USA.

Personally I'd involve getting in touch with your nearest Socialist organisations.

Overhead:
So do you have any plans to support a third party or just give up on influencing how the country is run altogether? People giving up on choosing between the lesser of two evils and backing a party that actually represents their views is exactly what is needed to reinvigorate democracy in the USA.

Personally I'd involve getting in touch with your nearest Socialist organisations.

I'd considered it. I'd mostly been voting Democratic Party because 'in theory' they do fairly well represent what I want. I mean, as much as you can ask for in a party. Obviously even in a system with 100 parties nobody's going to 'perfectly' fit me, unless they make the 'Party of Damien Granz'.

My problem is less their general meaning or intentions or promises and just their utter lack of a spine and their inability to play 'the game' of politics. Democrats might have good ideas, but they are shit at politics, straight up. I guess they think they have to be 'above' the game or something, which would be fine in a utopia where ideals mattered only and results were an afterthought, but I'm tired of that.

They seem to be stuck in a time when political parties might hate each other, but they were both working in good faith based on what they thought was good for the country, even if they didn't get what they wanted entirely. That isn't the case though. And it's not even a secret. That's basically the stated agenda of the Republican party. I'm not talking about some back doors conspiracy theory bullshit. I mean this is what they prepared ahead of time to say on live television on CNN with a straight face.

A sane person, at least one that didn't agree with their policies would see that and be like "Ok, they're no longer working in good faith in negotiation and just trying to destroy me like an enemy". Even if you don't stoop to their level and do that same stuff back, you at least would make sure they fight for their compromises and own up to their obstruction.

Instead, Democrats are stuck in a mindset where they think the Tea Party are 1980's Republicans. So when senatorial candidates go on TV and basically say "I'm willing to fuck the system to get my way", they just kind of like.. don't hear it.

They act like they have some sort of bizarre form of Stockholm Syndrome or something, like they act like a young lady who got date raped at prom or something and convinced themselves that it's their own fault and build this elaborate system to cover up the mistakes of their abuser to keep the fantasy going. But the fantasy is bullshit.

Again, if you love Republican policies, then I guess them doing everything in they can even if it tanks the global economy is great.

I'm not trying to debate the specifics of policy if one side is right or not. I'm just tired of having 'my' side be fucking straight up cowards and suckers. Obama didn't learn a motherfucking thing during his first term. It's infuriating to me.

But I felt like I had to back him, really. I mean, I know that you say that if everybody voted third party then it wouldn't be this way. But I didn't really like any of the other parties more, except maybe the Green party. I'm not done with the party because their goals are terrible. I'm done with them because every time Boehner raises his voice they flinch and do the dishes like a battered wife.

So I'm not particularly sure what other party I'd even take. And the problem too is that, REALISTICALLY, voting for a third party is basically voting for Republicans, and I dislike them enough to avoid that.

So.. I get what you say about how giving up is basically giving up on influencing things altogether. But I guess I feel that I don't really have a choice, and not just because the two parties are the same. Like I feel like even if we win elections it doesn't matter because of gerrymandering or some shit, and even if we win seats, it doesn't matter because of filibuster and even if we can get reform for that it doesn't matter because we don't want an orange shit ball to cry more.

Quite understandable, being the lesser of two evils doesn't cut it forever. Obama talks a big game and probably means well, but he doesn't actually get things done. So those who care more about results than pretty words will eventually be done with him.

Overhead:
Personally I'd involve getting in touch with your nearest Socialist organisations.

The OP hardly expressed being attracted to the extreme-left radicalism now did he? So that's bad advice.

For moderate people, there's much better alternatives. That new Justice Party for instance had a lot of points that make sense, and they have a Green Party with similar views too.

Imperator_DK:
Quite understandable, being the lesser of two evils doesn't cut it forever. Obama talks a big game and probably means well, but he doesn't actually get things done. So those who care more about results than pretty words will eventually be done with him.

Yeah. I get the impression that he means well, but he's really a 1980's era Republican in a political world that's gone so bat shit that the right wing is Democrats to contrast the Crazy As Shit right wing that started up in earnest circa 2000.

He's very hawkish, but he does so in the 'best' way he knows how, by committing robots to a war and planning long term. In that sense, again he's a bad politician because the American People don't really want to 'win' wars or save money doing it, those that are pro-war want to build a flag on the skulls of their inhuman enemies, and sending the terminator to do all this shit quietly doesn't satisfy their blood lust no matter HOW effective it could get.

And those people who don't like these conflicts no matter HOW little of our GIs get killed, OBVIOUSLY aren't happy either.

That's just a sort of point that he doesn't 'get' modern bullshit news pundit sphere politics, really.

He seems to think that if he'll just do his job well everybody will come around, but it never works. And he's the worst haggler in the history of Earth hands down. When it comes to haggling with the GOP he's like Peter Griffin playing blackjack.

The thing is though he gets a LOT of shit done and gets VERY little credit for it, but it doesn't earn his party any votes because it just kind of slides out silently like a fart in a crowded elevator. And for every time he gets something done he spends 2 more times trying desperately to woo the Republican party because he LOVES compromise like it's a goal and ideal in and of itself and not a method to a goal.

Then the Republicans shove that up his ass every single time.

Blablahb:

Overhead:
Personally I'd involve getting in touch with your nearest Socialist organisations.

The OP hardly expressed being attracted to the extreme-left radicalism now did he? So that's bad advice.

For moderate people, there's much better alternatives. That new Justice Party for instance had a lot of points that make sense, and they have a Green Party with similar views too.

I'm not even sure where I'd label myself, so please don't bash Overhead for guessing 'incorrectly' to something I'm not sure has an elegant label or answer, please.

He's (She's?) meaning well by trying to inform me of alternatives, and I do appreciate that, and the information he brings, even if I don't agree with those parties can be helpful, because I do like to hear what the other 'sides' have to say.. when they're not being frothing at the mouth crazy or talking about how I should be sterilized or put into concentration camps. I might had disagreed with the 1980's era Republicans, but at least they weren't basically Snidely Whiplash twirling a mustache tying a woman to a train tracks, and would be willing to get shit done even if it didn't get done exactly how they wanted.

I've often felt that I'm not entirely sure that Capitalism works without somebody to exploit. I mean, it's easy to sit here in the west or in America having partially won the womb lottery and look at all this splendor and shit and be like "This system is perfect", but I'm not sure if that's because of the aforementioned womb lottery win, or if it actually is good. And I'm not convinced in a world with nuclear weapons that we'll be able to sit on this pile of luxury forever. Eventually it'll come to the situation where EVERY nation, no matter HOW crazy or HOW small or HOW poor is going to have the bomb (or something worse), and there won't be no situation where we can sit around and have slaves pick our fruit and build our ipods while we convince ourselves that capitalism has NO downsides.

But I don't know what would fill that gap either. Can capitalism work? Is there a moderate position that will make it work, more or less, for everybody even if there's fewer people that live like kings? If so, I'm fine with it. I have no problem with capitalism PER SAY, in and of itself.

But at the same time, I'm open to the idea of true Socialism too. And I don't mean bullshit watered down 'Let's Call Obama a Socialist even though if it was 1980 he'd be a Republican' Fox News kind where you call anybody that leans more left than a table with its right legs sawed off a socialist.

So his(her?) information is still helpful.

That said, with the limited information I have as a person, 'in theory' the Democratic Party fit well enough, if they ever found any testicular fortitude and didn't act like a beaten dog. Maybe my standards are just very low, though, too.

Welcome to the fold, brother. Live our pain. I gave up on Democrats myself a long time ago. Being the lesser evil doesn't mean much when the greater evil has its way with you at will. At this point, I'm really hoping the Republican party implodes and we get a more radical left party with a set of balls to challenge the Democrats. It'll never happen, but I can dream.

Damien Granz:
snip for length and sanity's sake

Welcome to the world of "Republican" support! Seriously reading your post, if you cut out "Democrat" and inserted "Republican" (minus some of the sequestration stuff- Im honest enough to admit I have no idea what that is/was supposed to be) you'd sound like the majority of Republicans in America. How does it feel to know your party is the only true, noble one, defender of all that is good and right in the world, only to have them cower like scared children every time a "hard" decision comes around? Sucks dont it, especially when youre only "Democrat" because the other option is being married to Satan.

Blablahb:

Overhead:
Personally I'd involve getting in touch with your nearest Socialist organisations.

The OP hardly expressed being attracted to the extreme-left radicalism now did he? So that's bad advice.

For moderate people, there's much better alternatives. That new Justice Party for instance had a lot of points that make sense, and they have a Green Party with similar views too.

What a socialist party encompasses can vary completely from organisation to organisation both in terms of their ideology and how effective they are. That said, most socialist parties would be advocating many aims that are familiar to democrats as ones they wish their party would implement.

Damien Granz:
But I don't know what would fill that gap either. Can capitalism work? Is there a moderate position that will make it work, more or less, for everybody even if there's fewer people that live like kings? If so, I'm fine with it. I have no problem with capitalism PER SAY, in and of itself.

But at the same time, I'm open to the idea of true Socialism too. And I don't mean bullshit watered down 'Let's Call Obama a Socialist even though if it was 1980 he'd be a Republican' Fox News kind where you call anybody that leans more left than a table with its right legs sawed off a socialist.

If you're fine with Capitalism, Socialism isn't for you at the moment. It's not a watered down form of Capitalism with greater focus on equality, it's a completely different ideology that would aim to set out economic and social relations completely differently.

Just going by what you've said, and I might be off mark, it seems like you know of Socialism and you've thought a bit about Capitalism but haven't really gone through an in depth analysis of it as of yet. At some point you should read up on different ideologies. Obviously I'd say to make sure it includes the various forms of Marxism, but also read up on social democracy, libertarianism, free-market capitalism and what have you. It could help define your view of what you want your political party to be and if there are any alternatives or if the Democrats really are the lesser of all the evils.

I can sympathize with your frustrations. Although my situation is different, as a Canadian, I can understand how annoying it can be to see a party who has the power to do something, willingly sit back and take shots from the other side.

In our case, we have a majority government that has the support of just short of the 40% mark of the country, among those that actually bother to vote or give a shit about where the country is going. Most of the vote on the other 60% is split between the NDP and the Liberal parties, and both, after Jack Layton's death and the Liberal's loss of the official opposition title, have gone further right of their former positions in an effort to attract some of the voters who are supporting Harper's Conservatives. Jack Layton was the first to get things right in a long time. In the last election before he died, he ran on a campaign calling for reasonable dialogue, engagement in politics by the public, and cooperation between parties. He was the first in a long time to use witty and optimistic campaign ads rather than the typical fear-mongering attack ads the Conservatives and the Liberals continue to favour (the Conservatives especially, who continue to use them despite there not being an election for several years yet). In Layton's own words:

Jack Layton:
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one - a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world's environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don't let them tell you it can't be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.

This is what Canada needs. Politicians who treat the people as allies in making the country better. Not merely as another vote, nor as walking ATMs for realizing personal ideals in spite of their unrealistic nature and long term damage. Canadians need to start giving a shit about how the country is run and taking responsibility for what they can do. Not out of some short-sighted notion of "small government = better", but because a country cannot become better without individuals and society working together in a symbiotic relationship.

That message, however, was lost on every single party except for the Green Party, who have only one seat in Parliament. Instead, we have a small tyranny with Harper's group representing corporate interests and pushing giant omnibus bills that destroy what the international community most admired about our country. First Nations rights, environmental legislation and enforcement, food inspection, science, peace-keeping, our stance human rights, Canadian ownership of our own resources, etc., are all being thrown aside for Tory beliefs that are about as grounded in reality as the existence of the Tooth Fairy. The Liberal Party is stuck in a leadership race with a brat riding on his father's coattails who is all too willing to bend to whatever end that will give him votes. The NDP has moved to a centre position, continuously bending over to Tory attack ads rather than continuing where Jack Layton left off by fighting to get Canadians fired up again Why are they not releasing positive ads to counter the negative ones? Why are they not having a dialogue with the people themselves? Why are they even trying to reason with the Tories, who are so ridiculously anti-intellectual that one would have better luck making peace between Christopher Hitchens and the Pope?

I suppose the idea is that they must play it safe and not appear so radical that the Tories have enough material to release another slew of attack ads. However, if that is the case, then the previous attack ads were already successful, for they shut the opposition up, and reaffirmed infamous Canadian apathy once again. This country's psyche is ridiculously broken. One cannot appear passionate without fearing being perceived as 'radical' and 'dangerous', blinding us from realizing the real dangers behind the stupidity of doing things such as muzzling science and bending over for countries such as the US and China. I cannot believe how many people I have encountered who dismiss the "Idle no More" movement out of hand without realizing the implications of their own apathy and why such a movement is necessary. Canadians are not treated as rational adults, but children to scare into doing what 'Daddy and Mommy' want, and too many have become content with that role.

Both the people and the government are ridiculously irresponsible, each hoping the other will bother to fix problems that have become cancerous in our nation.

Brett Dumain:

Damien Granz:
snip for length and sanity's sake

Welcome to the world of "Republican" support! Seriously reading your post, if you cut out "Democrat" and inserted "Republican" (minus some of the sequestration stuff- I'm honest enough to admit I have no idea what that is/was supposed to be) you'd sound like the majority of Republicans in America. How does it feel to know your party is the only true, noble one, defender of all that is good and right in the world, only to have them cower like scared children every time a "hard" decision comes around? Sucks don't it, especially when you're only "Democrat" because the other option is being married to Satan.

I'm not here to give you advice on what to do about the Republican party's take over by the Tea Party or the resulting stupidity that's come about it. That's your own guy's business. I wasn't really even more or less talking which politics are 'better' or 'worse' though it's probably clear which I'd personally prefer. My point wasn't, and I'd stressed this to the point of beating a dead horse I think, that I'm upset with the overall goals of the party, even if they're vastly imperfect. Again, maybe because my standards are low.

If you have problems with your party it's probably because it's become crazy and answers to the Tea Party and people like Grover Norquist, or maybe because it hasn't answered to them hard enough for your tastes, I don't really know or care, but I think it a bit disingenuous to say that it's because Republicans don't know how to play politics or have a spine.

If Republicans shy away from explaining their policies on things it's because their decisions, like lowering taxes on the mega-rich or dismantling social security are inherently unpopular and they know it, and they still want to do it, so they don't make a lot of noise about it. But it's not because they're afraid of Democrats.

Because I remember 2 very different responses from the parties on an unpopular president, when the tables got reversed. When Bush was unpopular, up until near the end of his second term where Republicans were busy throwing his ass under the bus as hard as they can to gear up McCain as their new champion, a lot of talk got thrown around about how you're a traitor and unpatriotic and shit if you don't just shut the fuck up and do what he says. You don't question the commander. He's the decider.

Strange how that shit faded immediately the second Obama won his first term. Even 'pro' Obama networks are generally more negative of him than positive. Yes, they were more negative of Bush than Obama, but that's to be expected. Fox News has not once ever said a single good thing about Obama. Even the fucking mustard he puts on his sandwiches is subject for fucking interpretation. Imagine the shit storm that would had came from the right and the pundit sphere if they suggested Romney was in some way illegitimate as a candidate.

Actually you don't have to. Because Harry Reid suggested it briefly and they had a shit storm about it, when it came to Romney's taxes. But when it comes to Obama's birth certificate, he could probably exhume his parent's corpses to DNA test them against samples found in Hawaii, and Fox News would have a big thing about how the DNA doesn't look right to their 'expert' panel of nobody important.

That's not cowardice. That's almost straight up arrogance against reality.

There's plenty of reasons to dislike your own party. Maybe they're too conservative, maybe not enough. Maybe you dislike how underhanded they are, maybe you think they should be more so because the ends justify the means. But cowardice sure as shit isn't one of them, at least not in the case of standing up to democrats.

Republicans can't even conceive of Democrats as a legitimate party opposed to them. That's pretty much the definition of arrogance.

Overhead:

Damien Granz:
But I don't know what would fill that gap either. Can capitalism work? Is there a moderate position that will make it work, more or less, for everybody even if there's fewer people that live like kings? If so, I'm fine with it. I have no problem with capitalism PER SAY, in and of itself.

But at the same time, I'm open to the idea of true Socialism too. And I don't mean bullshit watered down 'Let's Call Obama a Socialist even though if it was 1980 he'd be a Republican' Fox News kind where you call anybody that leans more left than a table with its right legs sawed off a socialist.

If you're fine with Capitalism, Socialism isn't for you at the moment. It's not a watered down form of Capitalism with greater focus on equality, it's a completely different ideology that would aim to set out economic and social relations completely differently.

I guess.. I'm not really attached to any single ideology except what works. And it doesn't even have to be perfect, but it should at least attempt to be decent. But I'm looking at laissez faire capitalism and plutocracy and I'm not seeing a lot of difference between them and aristocracy. That's not very suitable to me. And it doesn't seem sustainable in the long run. But I'm honestly not sure what would 'replace' it or even how much of it's broke.

Overhead:
Just going by what you've said, and I might be off mark, it seems like you know of Socialism and you've thought a bit about Capitalism but haven't really gone through an in depth analysis of it as of yet. At some point you should read up on different ideologies. Obviously I'd say to make sure it includes the various forms of Marxism, but also read up on social democracy, libertarianism, free-market capitalism and what have you. It could help define your view of what you want your political party to be and if there are any alternatives or if the Democrats really are the lesser of all the evils.

There's a lot of good points in a lot of different ideologies, but I'm not entirely convinced that any one of them is 'best'. That said, I'm not under the illusion that a mix of bullshit and good ideas is automatically 'better' because somehow mixes of ideas are better.

So I might not know what is best, but I sure as shit can point out things that are just right up broke. Like I might not be a doctor, but I think I can point to a bone popping out of somebody's shin spurting blood and be like "That don't look healthy".

If that even makes sense?

Hap2:
I can sympathize with your frustrations. Although my situation is different, as a Canadian, I can understand how annoying it can be to see a party who has the power to do something, willingly sit back and take shots from the other side.

I'll admit, that.. and this might make me sound like a very stereotypical 'dumbass' American, I don't know a lot about Canadian politics.

Hap2:
In our case, we have a majority government that has the support of just short of the 40% mark of the country, among those that actually bother to vote or give a shit about where the country is going.

Yeah, that's one of the 'strengths' of a 2-Party system, and one of the reasons why we in America don't tend to vote third party, and vote for the 'lesser' of 2 evils like people said, is to avoid specifically this situation.

But that's really relative, that's like saying that resistant to pain in tooth decay is a 'strength' of alcoholism. That doesn't make alcoholism good, and it doesn't mean there aren't better ways to deal with your teeth.

Hap2:
Most of the vote on the other 60% is split between the NDP and the Liberal parties, and both, after Jack Layton's death and the Liberal's loss of the official opposition title, have gone further right of their former positions in an effort to attract some of the voters who are supporting Harper's Conservatives. Jack Layton was the first to get things right in a long time. In the last election before he died, he ran on a campaign calling for reasonable dialogue, engagement in politics by the public, and cooperation between parties.

As far as I can see though, your 'dysfunctional' dialogues tends to be our 'functional'. Our campaign season is just straight up fucked.

Hap2:
He was the first in a long time to use witty and optimistic campaign ads rather than the typical fear-mongering attack ads the Conservatives and the Liberals continue to favour (the Conservatives especially, who continue to use them despite there not being an election for several years yet).

I guess that's one of my problems with people, in general. I always hear from roughly 10,000% of people that they hate negative ads, that they don't work on them, and that they have a negative view of the guy that airs them. They SAY that they hate them.

Then when the ads come out, suddenly that right up changes about swiftly. Positive ads nobody pays attention to even though 100% of everybody wants positive dialogue, but negative ads fill seats in voting booths.

So I think that at least A LOT of people are goddamn liars when they say they hate negative ads.

Hap2:
In Layton's own words:

Jack Layton:
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one - a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world's environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don't let them tell you it can't be done.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.

Yeah, something like that I don't frankly think would work here for very long. Again, EVERYBODY says this is what they want to hear. And polling says most of them are lying motherfuckers.

It's like how everybody claims to hate several popular movies. I've seen, for example, maybe like 4 people that said they enjoyed the Prequel Star Wars movies. And yet despite that they sell so many of those goddamn things they never ever ever leave being sold in stores and stuff. So apparently a lot of people are liars. Stuff like that. And I guess, it too, bothers and depresses me a bit.

It's like how everybody I've never even HEARD of says they "Hate all these Call of Duty!" games and how they're over saturated and wanting something NEW or FUN... and then the games break all sorts of sales records. Etc.

Hap2:
This is what Canada needs. Politicians who treat the people as allies in making the country better. Not merely as another vote, nor as walking ATMs for realizing personal ideals in spite of their unrealistic nature and long term damage. Canadians need to start giving a shit about how the country is run and taking responsibility for what they can do. Not out of some short-sighted notion of "small government = better", but because a country cannot become better without individuals and society working together in a symbiotic relationship.

Yeah, that's very true, and true here too.

Hap2:
That message, however, was lost on every single party except for the Green Party, who have only one seat in Parliament. Instead, we have a small tyranny with Harper's group representing corporate interests and pushing giant omnibus bills that destroy what the international community most admired about our country. First Nations rights, environmental legislation and enforcement, food inspection, science, peace-keeping, our stance human rights, Canadian ownership of our own resources, etc., are all being thrown aside for Tory beliefs that are about as grounded in reality as the existence of the Tooth Fairy. The Liberal Party is stuck in a leadership race with a brat riding on his father's coattails who is all too willing to bend to whatever end that will give him votes. The NDP has moved to a centre position, continuously bending over to Tory attack ads rather than continuing where Jack Layton left off by fighting to get Canadians fired up again Why are they not releasing positive ads to counter the negative ones? Why are they not having a dialogue with the people themselves? Why are they even trying to reason with the Tories, who are so ridiculously anti-intellectual that one would have better luck making peace between Christopher Hitchens and the Pope?

I don't know, really. I wish I had an answer other than negative ads fill seats faster than positive. Or, if not that, they fill seats adequately enough that being honest isn't worth the price when you can just pick up a pile of shit and throw it for free.

Hap2:
I suppose the idea is that they must play it safe and not appear so radical that the Tories have enough material to release another slew of attack ads. However, if that is the case, then the previous attack ads were already successful, for they shut the opposition up, and reaffirmed infamous Canadian apathy once again.

Yeah. This is how I feel too. It's like Democrats seem to think that Republicans will run out of shit to pretend to be upset about. But they don't even need realistic shit. This whole birther issue is massively stupid. It came out of basically nowhere, and has no basis in reality, but it didn't matter a bit.

Democrats seem to think that, if they become inoffensive enough to Republicans that they can saint themselves out of attack ads, or saint themselves into real compromises or something but it's not realistic. They don't see a mistake and build and attack ad. They build an attack ad and try to pin anything to it as a mistake.

I mean, shit, Hilary Clinton had a fucking blood clot in her head and a concussion and they made that shit out as if she was some sort of Al Qaeda terrorist and shit because she wasn't around to testify on whether or not the President screamed "TERRORIST" fast enough or not in a completely unrelated manufactured scandal. They don't have to look for real shit. You can't out saint their ability to generate mud even if none is around.

Join usssss...

join the Independants. I went through something kinda similiar with the Republicans back in the summer of 2011 during the debt crisis in the US. I was actually a moderate republican, although I did agree with the democrats on certain issues.

Now I hate both parties and will side with the lesser evil on a per basis. Dont like the republicans because the Tea Party has radicalized them, dont like the Democrats because they are irresponsible and they want more bereuacracy/bigger government when the government cant even handle the duties that it currently has. That and the Democratic Party has run New York State straight into the ground, which considering all of what the state has is a pretty difficult thing to do, but by god they found a way to screw it up royally somehow.

I would love a "centralist" party to emerge. Hate to sound like an old fogey, but I wish for the old(er) days when republicans and democrats actually worked with one another more or less and didnt have this "100% victory or death!" attitude that they both have. What both parties need to understand is that AT BEST they only represent half of the country. Having a bill that only caters to one party is in my eyes immoral.

Ryotknife:
Join usssss...

join the Independants. I went through something kinda similiar with the Republicans back in the summer of 2011 during the debt crisis in the US. I was actually a moderate republican, although I did agree with the democrats on certain issues.

That's kind of what I mean, with the debt crisis. They held the country hostage and got what they wanted + the sequester, which was 50% of what they wanted anyways. Now they're going to hold the debt hostage to get the last 25% of what they didn't want wrung out of it.

You might be angry because they went crazy with it, but I'm angry on the other side because my 'guys' just sorta let it happen and are letting it happen again because they don't want to offend nobody.

Ryotknife:
Now I hate both parties and will side with the lesser evil on a per basis. Don't like the republicans because the Tea Party has radicalized them, don't like the Democrats because they are irresponsible and they want more bureaucracy/bigger government when the government can't even handle the duties that it currently has.

I know you're saying "It's irresponsible to grow the government when the government is failing to do the things it currently is trying to do", but that's kind of the goal of the Tea Party in general is to make the government dysfunctional, so they can point to it and go "Yeah, it's dysfunctional, better just give this shit to the rich to fix".

They campaign that the government can't do anything right so you might as well deregulate everything and let Wall Street take it over, then they make it impossible to do anything in the government with this horse shit. Then they say shit like "It's Obama's fault the government didn't create enough jobs", because nobody said they had to be fucking consistent. "Government doesn't create jobs, but it's up to Obama to create MORE jobs than he's already created!" was basically their whole debate strategy.

I about lost my shit when Romney interrupted Obama saying "Government doesn't create jobs!" over and over again during the third debate RIGHT AFTER he blasted him for not doing enough to create jobs. I thought I was in the fucking Twilight Zone.

Again, because that's a self fulfilling prophecy when a radicalized Tea Party drives the government to a halt every time it has to tie its fucking shoes.

I mean, it'd be easy for me to say that you can't run if every time you try to walk I sweep kick your legs. But that doesn't mean you have to give up on going places. Maybe you can punch me and tell me not to be a douche?

Ryotknife:
That and the Democratic Party has run New York State straight into the ground, which considering all of what the state has is a pretty difficult thing to do, but by god they found a way to screw it up royally somehow.

Again, if the whole economy is turning sour, the fact that New York lost a bit too doesn't surprise me a bit.

Ryotknife:
I would love a "centralist" party to emerge. Hate to sound like an old fogey, but I wish for the old(er) days when republicans and democrats actually worked with one another more or less and didn't have this "100% victory or death!" attitude that they both have. What both parties need to understand is that AT BEST they only represent half of the country. Having a bill that only caters to one party is in my eyes immoral.

Yeah, but that's the point of my complaint is that, if you have a side that doesn't give a shit about getting anything done, then you really can't keep compromising 50% of the way. Like.. crazy ass Tea Party people are going to work any bill at least 50% their way, so there's no reason to give them an additional 50%. You know?

Damien Granz:
snip

the economy in NYS has been declining long before the recession hit, since early 2000's at least. Hell, the city of Buffalo has been declining for over 100 years! The state government has never lifted a finger to help it. In fact, everything they HAVE done has hurt buffalo and the rest of the state. The major companies in cities of Buffalo, Rochester (where the firefighters were killed), and I believe Syracuse (the Syracuse Orangemen if you follow basketball) were declining long before the recession hit.

Actually funny story. Most of NYS (in particular Buffalo) was actually LUCKY when it came to the housing collapse. Our economy was so bad to begin with that when the housing market collapsed....nothing happened. If anything things seem to got a little bit better when the recession hit for a little while.

Why? because the local democrats dont care about NYS, all they care about is New York City. Why is that? Because the city is overwhelmingly democratic. So long as they secure NYC, their job is secured. NYC also funnels money from the rest of the state to themselves, they get an overwhelming amount of money, far more than they put it from places that can barely support themselves as it is. If NYC became its own state they would be bankrupt within the year. While its true that republicans only care about republicans, democrats only care about democrats as well. Both sides paint a pretty picture of themselves, but in my eyes they are both dishonest self serving A holes at the politician level.

In Western NY, we have the Niagara Falls hydro plant and a Nuclear power plant (we actually have quite a few nuclear power plants in the state, which are kinda rare in our country). Lots of cheap electricity. Guess what? We have one of the highest electric rates IN THE COUNTRY. Only Hawaii I believe has more expensive electricity. But NYC electricity is signifcantly cheaper. Why? Because all of that "cheap" power goes to NYC, not to the local areas.

NYS gets taxed to hell, extremely anti-business, one of the highest fuel/utility rates in the country (despite our abundance of some of those resources), and with little to nothing to show for it. The only positive thing i can say about NYS is that we dont (usually) have any natural disasters compared to just about anywhere else in the country, and our food is pretty darn good. If the rest of the country became like NYS, honestly I would leave the US. And yes, I blame the democrats for how the state is. They solely ran the state into the ground, no one else is to blame, and im not one to usually point a finger solely at X president or Y party. In fact I like Obama compared to Bush. Overall i would say that Obame is a "meh" president.

I am not really against socialism as a concept (lets just say i have an open mind to it), but it has to be done right. Our government is so inept and incompetent (at the middle/top levels) that any socialist reform is going to backfire like a mother effer and make things so much worse.

Another funny story. I spent a year down in the State of Alabama for work, dealing mostly with dams. In the past, a portion of their budget would go towards "dredging" the river (essentially carving a channel in the river so it is deep enough for transport boats to use. The rivers have a lot of soot). However, recently the government decided to use that money instead to make parks....even though most of the state is freakin wilderness, people own so much cheap land that each house basically IS a park, and these parks are built in places where there are barely any people around for 100 miles. Then they act all surprised when the transports stop coming down the river and using the locks and wonder why their budget keeps getting smaller and smaller as the state has less and less money to use. And this is technically at the federal level, not even at the state level.

Final Note: although it is true that the republicans went crazy first with the "victory or death" mentality, the Democrats seem to have adopted it as well. Just look at this recent fiscal event. the Repubs were much more reasonable this time around than last year when they were obstinate sons of Bs. While the Democrats were very reasonable in 2011, they are significantly less so now. It would be nice if both parties went through their obstinite phase at the same time rather than staggering them....

Before I start on the topical part of your reply, I'd like to point out that real funny thing is that, your complaining earlier about New York state becoming a shit hole in 2000? Your state had Republican state leadership from 1995 till 2006. You recall governor Goerge Pataki? And New York City? This supposed "free card" that you've claimed was supposedly keeping Democrats in office in the governor's mansion during a time when they had a Republican governor? It's had Republican leadership since 1994 up until now. That's Guiliani and Bloomberg.

Also, your supposed model of fiscal sensibility that's the stable eye in a storm of job losses elsewhere that's been good despite the state not lifting a finger for it and New York City turning to shit? Buffalo? Democratic leadership since 1966.

Seems like your assessment of who fucked up your state is a bit off.

Ryotknife:

Final Note: although it is true that the republicans went crazy first with the "victory or death" mentality, the Democrats seem to have adopted it as well. Just look at this recent fiscal event. the Repubs were much more reasonable this time around than last year when they were obstinate sons of Bs. While the Democrats were very reasonable in 2011, they are significantly less so now. It would be nice if both parties went through their obstinate phase at the same time rather than staggering them....

How are Democrats being the stubborn ones now, exactly? Especially if you're saying they were reasonable in 2011, and I assume you mean on the debt ceiling deal?

You realize where this 'recent fiscal event' came from right? It came from that 2011 deal, which shouldn't had been a crisis in the first place. Do you even know what the fiscal ceiling is? It's not a budget, and it's not even meant to be a budget debate. It's a dubiously legal piece of bureaucratic tape out of the bowels of 100 years ago. It was an inappropriate time to hold a debate at all on the issue to begin with.

Congress makes the budget (which is the normal time to debate on what should or shouldn't be bought or taxed, you know, BEFORE the money is spent), and enforces that the Executive branch use the treasury to pay for the budget they just passed. That is to say, Congress decides 'this money is being spent here' then has the Executive branch cut the check, out of money that Congress collected (or in the case of Bush, neglected to collect). That's the time to hold a debate, before the money is spent. However, after Congress has spent all that money, the Executive Branch needs extra permission from Congress to actually borrow money to pay for its outstanding debts, if those debts (that again, Congress authorized) goes over a certain amount.

This is the 'debt ceiling'. It's a, or was a routine bureaucratic process that frankly makes no real fucking sense to have around because telling the Executive Branch it can't borrow money to cover the money that it forced the Executive Branch to spend in the previous year is basically writing the Executive Branch a check that it plans to bounce then forcing it to take it to the bank. It's retarded that it could even happen. It's basically like telling the President to spend 200 dollars out of a treasury they declined to fill, then telling him he can't borrow money to pay the cost of what he just spent. Which is otherwise known as 'defaulting on your loan' which is otherwise known as 'the end of the economy as we know it'.

So holding it hostage for appropriations in the next year's budget is, frankly a shit hole thing to do, wouldn't you think?

But that's the thing that Democrats compromised on that you called them 'very reasonable' about. So you thought they did good there, right? Ok. Well because the 'debt ceiling' isn't an actual budget discussion, those spending changes are (or were) coming into effect right NOW. Those very same changes you called 'very reasonable'. Along with an automatic expiration of tax cuts that would allow the budget to begin to slowly become a semblance of balanced, because we can't bring in revenue in any other way than have shit expire automatically due to Boehner's bullshit.

The compromise they came to for a budget 'crisis' that shouldn't even had been in the first place, was called the sequester, and was as close to a true compromise a hostage negotiation can get to.

That's what the 'fiscal cliff' is. You called it 'very reasonable' in 2011, but suddenly it's not now? What gives.

So instead of just doing NOTHING and letting that compromise reached in 2011 happen on its own, oh no, we had to enter back into talks to avoid these HORRIFYING CUTS that Boehner thought it prudent to downgrade the credit score of the whole country to achieve in the first place. And for what? We caved in and gave the Republicans more of what they wanted. HOW is that being obstinate? Seriously.

And what did Democrats get out of it? The sequester that was the compromise from 2011's bullshit 'crisis' gets to be amended as collateral during 2013's bullshit fiscal ceiling crisis, so that Boehner can hold the county ransom to make that sequester even sweeter for his team! Horray! Because apparently it's Democrats who were being obstinate? Yeah. That makes perfect sense.

I'm done. That was seriously the last straw. And I ain't even mad at you for it, because it's a politician's job in letting you know what they've done for you, and they're too fucking polite or cowardly or some shit to do it. That's specifically what this thread is about and why I'm done with politics at least with this party.

Your post is the perfect example for the reason why I fucking can't stand the Democrats and I'm so tired of them caving in on everything.

They give the Republicans the key to the whole fucking house and cellar and then they whimper in a corner and let Republicans fill people like your head with so much bullshit you don't know where the fuck any of these budget debates are coming from to the point where you're applauding and cursing the same motherfucking bill at the same time, and they've got you blaming imaginary Democratic mayors or imaginary Democratic governors for fucking up your state, because they know you're not going to fucking look it up and Democrats are surely too fucking cowardly to fucking challenge any of it.

Enjoy the thread, anybody else that happens upon it. Thanks for letting me vent on the subject. See the none of you who care on AIM.

Damien Granz:
snip

the Democrats were acting reasonably in 2011. Getting something done was more important than trying to push their own particular agenda (to a degree). They tried to push bipartisan bills, but the repubs at the time wanted nothing to do with any kind of compromise, even shooting down a proposal made up from both repubs and democrats. Either party has a right to push their agenda, but at a certain point they have to...know you....get the government to do something eventually when our country is at stake with a set timelimit.

The EVENT is not what is reasonable or obstinate, it is how the parties REACTED to said event that is important. Listen, people make mistakes. How you react to your (plural form) mistake is more important than MAKING a mistake. At least to me, maybe im just kind hearted. In 2011, repubs reacted poorly. Now in 2012, democrats reacted poorly by taking a page from the 2011 republicans. repubs this time around reacted a little bit better, im not saying their reaction was ideal but it was a fair shake better than their reaction from 2011. It pissed me off when repubs did it in 2011, it pissed me off when dems did it in 2012. I was hoping for the dems to be the voice of reason in the government now that the Tea party has lost their faculties, but apparently the Dems want to jump into the insane asylum with them. And in the end who wins? certainly not the country nor its people....thats for dang sure.

It is starting to sound like your hatred for the republican party is becoming so great that it is now spilling over into the democratic party for not hating them more. It's...kinda scary to be honest >_>

The debt ceiling and fiscal cliff is nothing more than a failure on the government's part (that includes both parties). Keep in mind im a centralist. I have no loyalty to either party anymore, and will side with the lesser evil on an individual basis.

Didnt see the first paragraph up there about New York, just kinda read the part after your quite. Anywho. The whole Buffalo under Democratic leadership since 1966 kinda proves my point. Buffalo was not a "stable eye", our economy has been in a state of recession for DECADES, a state WORST than what people are suffering currently in the recession.

Our unemployment levels pre crash is where the nation unemployment level is NOW in the recession. Buffalo's unemployment is almost at 12% (national at 8%). So why did the housing crash not affect NYS as much? because most of the state was already in an economic state that is WORSE than the recession that most of the country experienced BEFORE the recession hit.

Also, during the past few decades here in the state, we have had increased taxes, stricker gun control laws, expensive gas and utilities, rampant politcal correctness causing racism, cigarettes taxed to hell, and smoking banned from all public places. What part of that sounds republican?

Anywho, its good to get some of that steam out of ya. thumbs up for you.

Damien Granz:
DEMOCRATS SUCK! POLITICS SUCKS! I'M SO ANGRY!!!

You're angry. That's good.

...erm, yeah, to start off, there's a time for being calm and reasonable, and there's a time for swearing and stomping. Trying to pull someone out of a burning home is not a time for calm and reason. You need every ounce of strength in every fiber of your body, regardless of where that strength comes from.

Get angry. Get furious. Get so pissed off that you want to punch kittens. And then go track down your local representitive and scream at him. About how angry and frustrated you are. About how poor of a job you're doing. About everything you're worried about.

We need more people to do this. Congress as a whole needs to have someone talk or shout or scream some sense into them. We need to let them know that we're PISSED. We need to send them mail, and e-mail, faxes, telegrams, singing telegrams, and whatever else we possibly can. Let them know in every way possible.

So get together with a bunch of your friends and come up with a plan. Picket your local congressman's office. Hand out leaflets. Just talk to people on the street. But use that anger to do something. Don't just sit on it and stew.

If you live anywhere near Springfield, IL, I'll help. 'cause I'm pissed too.

Damien Granz:
snip

If I'm understanding this correctly, you're upset the cliff deal didn't go better, and are blaming Democrats for its mediocrity? I'm told that any deal that leaves both sides unhappy was likely a good one in a bad situation. I don't know how true that is, but we Conservatives pretty much figure the deal was somewhere between a joke and a conservative disaster, raising taxes and getting virtually no cuts in return.

I write, a pox on both their houses until they really do something about debt, interest, and entitlements. If all of government were to vanish tomorrow, we'd still spend more than we take in because at this time we cannot afford entitlements. We're in the red. As boomers retire, it will get even worse.

Common sense says we need cuts (raise retirement age to 72) and increases (social security cut off raised from current [$80K?] to $250 K. I think we'll get neither but brinksmanship instead.

About the only good thing I can write of Democrats: on military matters, I think they can get away with things the right would never dare (water boarding, targeting and killing American nationals abroad). That's something I guess.

Don't stop voting, just be sure to vote in primaries! Usually there are some decent candidates on offer. Unfortunately most people only vote for A or B in the general election, and they're stuck with whoever got picked in the primaries.

Gorfias:
Common sense says we need cuts (raise retirement age to 72) and increases (social security cut off raised from current [$80K?] to $250 K. I think we'll get neither but brinksmanship instead.

What sort of common sense would that be? It's excessively low taxes and tax cuts that got the US into this mess in the first place. Raising the retirement age is also an illogical example of that, because raising the retirement age is effectively a social spending cut, because you postpone pension obligations. And 72 is excessively high. Many people don't even live to see that age; the US life expectancy is 78 and only 75 for men, and you can expect that number to lower drastically when the effects of the obesity epidemic begin showing.

Pensions sure need reform, but just bumping the age to 72 is extreme. Instead, make it so that income from additional pension plans counts against social security, so people who can sustain themselves from a private pension plan don't also get money from state pensions.

Gorfias:
Common sense says we need cuts (raise retirement age to 72) and increases (social security cut off raised from current [$80K?] to $250 K. I think we'll get neither but brinksmanship instead.

I do not understand this at all. Why are you opposed to higher taxes (especially on the wealthy), yet you are willing to basically steal tens of thousands of dollars from regular people?

People need to see democrats are working with the political atmosphere as of the moment and it's working. Majority of the country blames republicans for the fiscal cliff, the recession, and for putting the breaks on everything that passes through congress. So the general public is not so out of touch with reality that they can't see what's right in front of them, if there is a similar consensus during the midterm democrats will take back congress which I believe makes no fucking sense in terms of political history(I could be wrong about that) and at that point you can throw the whole party under the bus.

So while I think everybody considered liberal would look at the healthcare debate and the first two years of Obama's administration as weakness I doubt anyone can call the recent months weakness on behalf of Obama or democrats.

Blablahb:
Well, the alternative is sabotaging the republicans like the republicans have been sabotaging everything as best as they can, and nothing gets done. The downsides of that are also obvious. A bad decision is often better than no decision at all, and this compromise is a good example of that.

Besides, it's a democracy. Many Americans want the government to be paralysed and not solve any problems; How else did those republicans get elected? There's only so much of that which can be blamed on the two party system, there's also just a fair amount of Americans out there who don't want things to get resolved.

One of the downsides of democracy is that those also get their way if they create a significant minority, or a majority.

As damien said a bit of why republican are elected is redistricting and of course fear that Obama is the anti christ. So far though people look at his as the calm leader in a sea of tribulation and it won him the presidency and strengthened democrats hold on congress.(albeit not enough) Now an important point the only reason we have a such a fucking horrible head ache in regards to this congress is the filibuster. A tool designed to stop a piece of legislation while a legislator pleaded his case... that isn't what's happening anymore. It's now filibuster... alright lets move on to the next item up for business then, a rule needs to be changed in congress regarding the filibuster because obviously the minority has too much power without having to work for it.

dmase:
Now an important point the only reason we have a such a fucking horrible head ache in regards to this congress is the filibuster. A tool designed to stop a piece of legislation while a legislator pleaded his case... that isn't what's happening anymore. It's now filibuster... alright lets move on to the next item up for business then, a rule needs to be changed in congress regarding the filibuster because obviously the minority has too much power without having to work for it.

It's indeed a little strange that such things still exist in the US. It's the only parliament I'm aware of where you can stall things to a point where it becomes impossible to legislate with a majority.

I mean, I've seen some sad hours long hairsplitting in the Dutch parliament too, like when they needed 45 minutes to explain to some socialist how postal codes work, but if you want to really force something through you can, and there's a parliament leader who can shut people down if they go on and on.

Blablahb:

dmase:
Now an important point the only reason we have a such a fucking horrible head ache in regards to this congress is the filibuster. A tool designed to stop a piece of legislation while a legislator pleaded his case... that isn't what's happening anymore. It's now filibuster... alright lets move on to the next item up for business then, a rule needs to be changed in congress regarding the filibuster because obviously the minority has too much power without having to work for it.

It's indeed a little strange that such things still exist in the US. It's the only parliament I'm aware of where you can stall things to a point where it becomes impossible to legislate with a majority.

I mean, I've seen some sad hours long hairsplitting in the Dutch parliament too, like when they needed 45 minutes to explain to some socialist how postal codes work, but if you want to really force something through you can, and there's a parliament leader who can shut people down if they go on and on.

This is how I understand the problem the original filibuster was meant for the person that activates the filibuster has to stand at the front of congress and plead his case for hours no stopping except for food and bathroom breaks. At some point it was changed so that all discussion ended at the end of the congressional day or time. Here is the problem, you can plan something worth an entire day of discussion the next day another senator does the same thing with a different line so on and so forth. However if you make it so the congressional day doesn't end until after the bill has been voted on(meaning the filibuster ended) then a senator has to stand the whole goddamn time giving their prepared remarks and then start reading from a phone book ala mr. smith goes to washington(a great movie).

The early 1900's congressmen could get away with this but now we have cspan and can here every word someone utters. I wouldn't want to explain to my constituents why I had to start reading from a phone book because I couldn't come up with a good rebuttal. Or if you decided to repeat the same shit over and over it makes you look pathetic.

Edit: I take how it works back, if you get 41 votes for a filibuster in the senate then the filibuster is then "invisible", no one has to speak really but if pushed I guess they would be forced to of course it could take a very long time to get through 41 senators, which is why they choose to just move to the next order of business.

Welcome to resistance, my friend.

Blablahb:

Gorfias:
Common sense says we need cuts (raise retirement age to 72) and increases (social security cut off raised from current [$80K?] to $250 K. I think we'll get neither but brinksmanship instead.

What sort of common sense would that be? It's excessively low taxes and tax cuts that got the US into this mess in the first place. Raising the retirement age is also an illogical example of that, because raising the retirement age is effectively a social spending cut, because you postpone pension obligations. And 72 is excessively high. Many people don't even live to see that age; the US life expectancy is 78 and only 75 for men, and you can expect that number to lower drastically when the effects of the obesity epidemic begin showing.

Pensions sure need reform, but just bumping the age to 72 is extreme. Instead, make it so that income from additional pension plans counts against social security, so people who can sustain themselves from a private pension plan don't also get money from state pensions.

I gave 72 as and exammple and 250K as well (I'm told by a Conservative accountant if we just raised the min. from 80K to 110K, we'd be back in black.

But my point is, compromise. Things have changed. Change social spending accordingly. People live longer, the retired to worker ratio has changed, acknowledge that.

Skeleon:

Gorfias:
Common sense says we need cuts (raise retirement age to 72) and increases (social security cut off raised from current [$80K?] to $250 K. I think we'll get neither but brinksmanship instead.

I do not understand this at all. Why are you opposed to higher taxes (especially on the wealthy), yet you are willing to basically steal tens of thousands of dollars from regular people?

Going from $80K to $110K (or $250K) would raise revenues for this program. I am not against that.

Gorfias:
I gave 72 as and exammple and 250K as well (I'm told by a Conservative accountant if we just raised the min. from 80K to 110K, we'd be back in black.

The min? Not sure what you mean by that, but generally when things need cutting you start with the maximum of something.

Gorfias:
But my point is, compromise. Things have changed. Change social spending accordingly. People live longer, the retired to worker ratio has changed, acknowledge that.

It's pretty clear that the US social spending will need to be increased, true. Not just because of changing circumstances but also because of the underfunding now.

On the bright side a lot of that can be expected to pay itself back now. Currently the US lack of social spending is damaging society as a whole, resulting in problems. For instance like the high incarceration rating. Spending money on rehabilitation would change that, and lower prison spending.

Lack of education means lower labour productivity, meaning lower wages, less taxes and so on.
Lack of healthcare means health problems get worse, means big bills later on.

That sort of thing.

Blablahb:

Gorfias:
I gave 72 as and exammple and 250K as well (I'm told by a Conservative accountant if we just raised the min. from 80K to 110K, we'd be back in black.

The min? Not sure what you mean by that, but generally when things need cutting you start with the maximum of something.

You got me, you are right. Max, not min. I think they stop taking Social Security money from you at $80K. They should change that to $110K (per my accountant).

It's pretty clear that the US social spending will need to be increased, true. Not just because of changing circumstances but also because of the underfunding now.

I have read that things were so bad in 2008, for the first time, it went in the red, something actuarially it wasn't supposed to do for a few more years.

Currently the US lack of social spending is damaging society as a whole, resulting in problems. For instance like the high incarceration rating. Spending money on rehabilitation would change that, and lower prison spending.

Lack of education means lower labour productivity, meaning lower wages, less taxes and so on.
Lack of healthcare means health problems get worse, means big bills later on..

That raises some of the biggest arguments of our time. Some argue that big government is what is causing social destruction. But, on topic, do you think the left should give up on the Democratic party? More specifically, do you think the Democratic won, lost, or other regarding this latest fiscal cliff thing? As a right winger, I think the whole thing is a joke, and the left has largely won the country.

Gorfias your accountant is either a dumbass and should be fired or stealing from you if he's honestly telling you things like the payroll tax cut off is 80k. For FY 10+11 the cutoff was $106,800 and was $110,100 for FY 2012. You're either being taken for a ride or you've left your finances in the hands of an incompetent who will get you into trouble with the IRS.

edit: In fact the last time it was $80,000 was FY2001 at $80,400.

Gorfias:
You got me, you are right. Max, not min. I think they stop taking Social Security money from you at $80K. They should change that to $110K (per my accountant).

Depends on what level of spending that is. It's about twice the median income here so that should be the richer part of the middle clas. So that should be okay.

Still one thing needs to be there though: healthcare. Because health insurance is far more expensive in the US and doesn't cover a lot, you can expect the average person's medical costs to be much higher. Cutting off all services would create a gap between income groups where they're not rich enough to pay the bills themselves, but not poor enough to rely on the government to finance the necessary medical care.

It's an issue that's too important (and damaging to society if done wrong) to leave any gaps in.

Gorfias:
I have read that things were so bad in 2008, for the first time, it went in the red, something actuarially it wasn't supposed to do for a few more years.

That can't be right? I mean, the US budget had a major deficit under Bush too. And before that. Late in Clinton's administration it came close to a balance according to this graph.

But in principle, there's nothing new under the sun about the US budget, while social spending does exactly what it can be expected to do with the aging of the population and the worsening of various problems caused by underspending on government services.

I mean, to name an example, the lax food regulations in the US is a direct contributors to the obesity epidemic, and that costs hundreds of billions directly and indirectly. Small government back then means more healthcare spending now.

Gorfias:
That raises some of the biggest arguments of our time. Some argue that big government is what is causing social destruction. But, on topic, do you think the left should give up on the Democratic party? More specifically, do you think the Democratic won, lost, or other regarding this latest fiscal cliff thing? As a right winger, I think the whole thing is a joke, and the left has largely won the country.

I've never heard of any decent argument about that 'big guvernment' stuff though. It ussually remains rather vague, or hinges on assumptions that aren't true, like 'without government healthcare, people would finance their own' to paraphrase someone here. While the whole problem is those people can't. So I can't really take that one seriously. Through my study on the other hand I've seen many examples of problems that were caused by small government conservatism in the US.

Two good examples:

-spatial planning. Spatial planning in the US is mostly free market driven and heavily aimed at facilitating that, and not at restrictions. Want to build a low-density gated community suburb? We'll let you. But that has created vast dependency on cars, meaning fuel dependency for the US as a whole, more traffic accidents etc. Basically letting the builders and project developers make money as they desired, created new problems that show now. There's whole books written on the problems caused by US spatial planning, so I can't go too deeply into that.

-Lack of market regulations. Because of the gap between rich and poor and because you used to be allowed to discriminate against people (redlining in mortgages f.e.) it has helped create ghettos. To put the connection between the issues very shortly, the free market created ghettos, ghettos create problems, and the taxpayer ends up paying for adressing those problems, like higher police spending because of more crime.

So basically, that's why I think it's not a good idea to go for more small government conservatism like the republicans want. History in the US has shown that you end up paying more for fewer value that way. Increasing spending in a time of a deficit may seem like a bad move at first glance, but if you look at the problems the US as a society is facing, I think that investment will more than pay off if made now.

Blablahb:

Gorfias:
You got me, you are right. Max, not min. I think they stop taking Social Security money from you at $80K. They should change that to $110K (per my accountant).

Depends on what level of spending that is. It's about twice the median income here so that should be the richer part of the middle clas. So that should be okay.

FICA taxes are 6.2% of the first $113,600 of wage income in 2013 and 0.0% for every dollar above that see my previous post for the past few years and for when it actually was $80,000. This is the social security tax Gorfias is talking about and it is highly regressive since as you being to earn more money you pay a lower and a lower effective rate .

It was 4.2% for the previous 2 years due a temporary stimulative measure taken by the Obama administration that was written to expire on Jan 1st this year. That it wasn't extended and allowed to expire as it was written is one reason why Damien is angry.

dmase:
People need to see democrats are working with the political atmosphere as of the moment and it's working. Majority of the country blames republicans for the fiscal cliff, the recession, and for putting the breaks on everything that passes through congress.

No, they don't, the majority of the country blames 'congress' or 'government', as vague entities. Polls done very recently have put the favorability of 'congress' as less than cockroaches, which I'm not saying is a valid unbiased scientific poll, but it's still funny, to me. But that doesn't matter because not all congressmen or women are the same. That's part of my problem, I guess. People know that shit is terrible, but they're too misinformed generally to know who or what is to blame for any one specific thing.

It's like, if you take polls of people of any single portion of the Affordable Care Act, then everybody's for it. But if you take a poll on how much people like the act itself as a whole, then suddenly everybody's against it. It's because they don't really know what the fuck is even in it.

dmase:
So the general public is not so out of touch with reality that they can't see what's right in front of them, if there is a similar consensus during the midterm democrats will take back congress which I believe makes no fucking sense in terms of political history(I could be wrong about that) and at that point you can throw the whole party under the bus.

So while I think everybody considered liberal would look at the healthcare debate and the first two years of Obama's administration as weakness I doubt anyone can call the recent months weakness on behalf of Obama or democrats.

Again, they have to 'take back' congress by margins far greater than 50%, and I don't think that's going to happen. Obviously it didn't because we had this year's elections. We had states like Pennsylvania where Democrats carried the state by 5 points and still only got 25% of the seats in the House of Representatives. That's a pretty fucked up situation, and it's not one that is even fair to just say 'we can vote our ways out of this'.

But when Republicans call the fact they didn't lose as many house seats as was physically possible, they call that a 'mandate' by the American people that Republicans get their way and Democrats are like "Okayface.jpg" and start to compromise with them on everything even shit that's automatically going to happen.

Gorfias:

Damien Granz:
snip

If I'm understanding this correctly, you're upset the cliff deal didn't go better, and are blaming Democrats for its mediocrity? I'm told that any deal that leaves both sides unhappy was likely a good one in a bad situation. I don't know how true that is, but we Conservatives pretty much figure the deal was somewhere between a joke and a conservative disaster, raising taxes and getting virtually no cuts in return.

You write this as if the Republican party was entitled to some concession from an automatically expiring tax break. So you're upset that you didn't get better concessions? That's a fucking joke.

If you didn't get a better deal out of it, it's because Republicans literally brought jack shit to the table, nor were they in a position to. That's why I'm mad at Democrats, in the first place. Republicans conceded jack shit.

If you're mad at Republicans then you're kind of fucking crazy, because they literally had no hand to play except tears, tiny tiny tears. And despite that they still got half the tax increases that we frankly fucking need cut out and got to kick this sequester down the road to be held hostage this year.

The fact you got ANY deal at all, good or bad, was Democrats caving for no real reason. It'd be like if I, right now, said that for you to continue to live in the house or apartment in you could arbitrarily pay me 100,000 dollars. When I don't know you and I'm not your banker, I don't have a machine gun or anything to back it up and in no way in any position to make those demands and you're not going to get jack shit back for it. And when you give me 5,000 bucks for my empty bullshit threat, I complained that I didn't get as much as I wanted.

Then the whole community called you stubborn for your brinkmanship with me.

Gorfias:
I write, a pox on both their houses until they really do something about debt, interest, and entitlements. If all of government were to vanish tomorrow, we'd still spend more than we take in because at this time we cannot afford entitlements. We're in the red. As boomers retire, it will get even worse.

Saying that we can't afford earned benefits is like saying that we're too poor to eat so we're just going to stop eating and waste away. Then wonder why we make less money when we literally can't get to work because we're dying.

One, earned benefits are things people have worked for already, so cutting them is basically theft pure and simple, so that the rich can get more of their own tax breaks.

Two, if you want there to be less welfare placed on the backs of the middle class, fight for worker's rights and unions to give them pay and hours enough so they can be self sufficient with their jobs, so they aren't reliant on food stamps and shit.

It sounds great on paper to just 'get rid of' paying for workers and shit, in the sense that you're cutting costs, but when a company can fuck their workers, it just ends up passing that payment back onto you. If you want to stop paying for it yourself make sure that businesses can't fuck over everybody they come in contact with. And if you're not willing to do that, either fucking deal with high taxes or a debt.

Gorfias:
Common sense says we need cuts (raise retirement age to 72) and increases (social security cut off raised from current [$80K?] to $250 K. I think we'll get neither but brinksmanship instead.

Common sense fucking how? Blue collar workers aren't living longer, so raising their retirement age doesn't make any sense. Our longevity is falling way behind other industrialized nations. Saying that we'll save money on retirement age by making the age requirement so high that most people won't live to see it isn't a fix for it any more than just making the retirement age 1,000 years old.

Gorfias:
About the only good thing I can write of Democrats: on military matters, I think they can get away with things the right would never dare (water boarding, targeting and killing American nationals abroad). That's something I guess.

Are you saying that the right never dared to do any of these things? You are certifiably nuts then.

But hey, at least when Obama breaks the fucking Geneva convention he doesn't fucking rack up a trillion dollar bill for it and get thousands of our GIs killed. So there's that.

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