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Thread: The Politics of Fundraising

  1. #1
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Default The Politics of Fundraising

    Keith presented the argument on another thread that efforts to pass hate crime legislation protecting gays was more about raising money than it was about adopting legislation and that was the reason nothing was happening. In my response, I noted that the NRA, among others, routinely uses issues in the same manner.

    At a time when most Americans seem to favor a reduction in the volume of political debate and an increase in overall civility. it seems that groups from the political extremes on both the left and the right are raising the volume even higher and even putting forward the specter of civil war.

    How much of this is simply about fund raising? In a New York Times story based on ten internal memoranda that it received, the paper reports that conservatives are planning major attacks on any candidates put forward by the Obama administration to replace Souter even though they know that they cannot win and that the balance of the Court will not change with the appointment of another liberal to replace Souter's liberal vote. They write:

    "While conservatives say they know they have little chance of defeating Mr. Obama’s choice because Democrats control the Senate, they say they hope to mount a fight that could help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats."

    How much of our political debate is fueled by just this type of concern? How legitimate do you believe it is to battle over everything simply to fuel partisan coffers and keep emotions high? Are the resulting debates ones that improve communication and strengthen democracy, or ones that simply polarize for narrow purposes and undermine the strength of our country? Is a scorched earth policy that destroys our country preferable to seeking middle grounds that are supported by the middle two thirds of our population?

    The NY Times story is at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/us...7conserve.html.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Keith presented the argument on another thread that efforts to pass hate crime legislation protecting gays was more about raising money than it was about adopting legislation and that was the reason nothing was happening. In my response, I noted that the NRA, among others, routinely uses issues in the same manner.

    At a time when most Americans seem to favor a reduction in the volume of political debate and an increase in overall civility. it seems that groups from the political extremes on both the left and the right are raising the volume even higher and even putting forward the specter of civil war.

    How much of this is simply about fund raising? In a New York Times story based on ten internal memoranda that it received, the paper reports that conservatives are planning major attacks on any candidates put forward by the Obama administration to replace Souter even though they know that they cannot win and that the balance of the Court will not change with the appointment of another liberal to replace Souter's liberal vote. They write:

    "While conservatives say they know they have little chance of defeating Mr. Obama’s choice because Democrats control the Senate, they say they hope to mount a fight that could help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats."

    How much of our political debate is fueled by just this type of concern? How legitimate do you believe it is to battle over everything simply to fuel partisan coffers and keep emotions high? Are the resulting debates ones that improve communication and strengthen democracy, or ones that simply polarize for narrow purposes and undermine the strength of our country? Is a scorched earth policy that destroys our country preferable to seeking middle grounds that are supported by the middle two thirds of our population?

    The NY Times story is at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/us...conserve.html.
    I think the Clinton Administration took the government to new dysfunctional heights and many tax payers have had it with the incompetence in DC. People are mad and no one knows how much longer it will perk before it blows. The current administration is taking this country to financial ruin at breakneck speed. A middle ground will not be found because there is no compromising on the big issues that divide us.

    It is a USA of us vs them.

    Who wants to follow the Democrats to a 3rd World USA?
    Last edited by Franco; 05-18-2009 at 05:36 PM.
    Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery. Calvin Coolidge



  3. #3
    Senior Member subroc's Avatar
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    It appears te republican have learned their lessons well from the democrats. every issue was a hate President George W. Bush issue wrapped around a fund raiser.

    Who cares.

    We join our partisan organizations, nra, aclu, whatever, with the hope they will use their partisan efforts to work for issues we care about.
    subroc

    Article [I.]
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Article [II.]
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Et tu, Yardley?

    This reminds of the day after the presidential election when many of the RTF liberals were posting about how we should put aside all of our differences, reconcile, get behind our new president, etc. ad naseum. All of which was funny, particularly given that a few of those folks were the same people who made the most vile of comments about Bush, Republicans and RTF posters they didn't agree with. And now, here we have the New York Times, and presumably Yardley, wringing their hands that the GOP/Conservatives aren't going to passively roll over and play dead while Obama inserts whatever leftist, legislate-from-the-bench judge he wants. The same people who were telling everyone who'd listen that opposing your president in a time of war was the highest essence of patriotism would now have you believe that opposing a sure-to-be liberal hack Supreme Court nominee is, to borrow just some of Yardley's labels, "partisan," "scorched earth," "polarizing," and "undermining the strength of our country." Why if I didn't know better, Yardley, I'd swear you were questioning someone's patriotism.

    I don't agree much with you politically, but up until now I didn't really think any of your positions to be self-serving or hypocritical.
    Last edited by Hew; 05-18-2009 at 06:08 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    Et tu, Yardley?

    This reminds of the day after the presidential election when many of the RTF liberals were posting about how we should put aside all of our differences, reconcile, get behind our new president, etc. ad naseum. All of which was funny, particularly given that a few of those folks were the same people who made the most vile of comments about Bush, Republicans and RTF posters they didn't agree with. And now, here we have the New York Times, and presumably Yardley, wringing their hands that the GOP/Conservatives aren't going to passively roll over and play dead while Obama inserts whatever leftist, legislate-from-the-bench judge he wants. The same people who were telling everyone who'd listen that opposing your president in a time of war was the highest essence of patriotism would now have you believe that opposing a sure-to-be liberal hack Supreme Court nominee is, to borrow just some of Yardley's labels, "partisan," "scorched earth," "polarizing," and "undermining the strength of our country." Why if I didn't know better, Yardley, I'd swear you were questioning someone's patriotism.

    I don't agree much with you politically, but up until now I didn't really think any of your positions to be self-serving or hypocritical.
    I actually tried pretty hard not to describe the issue as a liberal or conservative issues but as a liberal and conservative issue.

    It seems to me that we have moved to a point where opposition to the "other side" is a tactical imperative that is independent of what actions are taken by the other side. The purpose of the opposition is not to win concessions on an issue but to stymie the other side and mobilize partisan support and money without regard to issues.

    Compromise is not an objective because it would lessen the volume of conflict and reduce the amounts of money and power accruing to those who profit from the conflict. If the Obama administration today adopted the entire McCain platform, I suspect that there would be no abatement whatsoever in the volume of debate, only a shifting of the starting point for the arguments.

    If I were going to fix a date for the beginning of our current nihilistic approach to partisanship, it would be the Congressional campaigns of 1996 and the subsequent impeachment of Clinton. In fact, I believe that the extent of the anger against Clinton was more a product of his fiscal conservatism than his liberalism, because that threatened a core segment of the Republican alliance. The GOP responded by redefining itself primarily as a culturally conservative party and abandoned its more libertarian and fiscally conservative components.

    Unfortunately, no matter how you view the beginnings of the dispute, I believe that ending it in a manner that reestablishes a more constructive approach for finding our political center (measured by the will of the people and not the will of the extremes) is essential to the survival of our country. I believe that a scorched earth policy by either political extreme is in fact unpatriotic because it is fundamentally anti-democratic.

    Personally, I had a problem with Bush's original election because he wasn't elected, but I was more than willing to put that aside as Gore did. There was no question that Bush was elected in his second campaign with a strong majority of both the popular and electoral vote (albeit smaller than Obama's). I believe Bush was one of the worst Presidents in our history as a country, but he is no longer President. When he was President, he was my President as well as yours. I opposed almost all of his policies, but I never suggested secession or any other approach for opposition other than at the ballot box.

    I don't believe that it is anybody's duty to agree with our President or our Congress. However, I believe that it is our patriotic duty to commit to a democratic process for resolving disputes and to commit to the rule of law in how we manage our disputes internally for the sake of our children and our children's children. The strength of our country derives not from the decisons we make, but from the process we follow in making those decisions. That is what our Constitution and our revolution were all about.

    By the way, I would love to see the comments that I made that were vile.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    My comments are in bold...

    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    It seems to me that we have moved to a point where opposition to the "other side" is a tactical imperative that is independent of what actions are taken by the other side. The purpose of the opposition is not to win concessions on an issue but to stymie the other side and mobilize partisan support and money without regard to issues. Right. When Democrats ushered the verb Bork into our contemporary lexicon that was good. When the Democrats "lynched" Clarence Thomas that was good. Because those were, of course, principled positions. When the Republican base fights tooth and nail against Obama's choice (who, per Obama himself, will be someone who's more about empathyprudence than jurisprudence) they will obstructionists who are undermining the country so they can enrich themselves financially. That about cover it?

    Compromise is not an objective because it would lessen the volume of conflict and reduce the amounts of money and power accruing to those who profit from the conflict. Sorry, but I wouldn't want anyone negotiating for my country, my business, my sports team, whatever, with their objective being compromise. Compromise is a negotiated result that everyone can live with; not an initial objective. And particularly so in politics. Show me a politician whose goal is compromise and I'll show you a chump. You mentioned before that you somewhat liked the pre-Reagan GOP. No wonder...they were chumps that lost most of the time. They were walked all over by the Democrats for 40 plus years. You want to trace the roots of current political nihilism...go no further than the Reagan era where the GOP ceased to be the lovable losers who were content to sit on the back bench getting whatever meager crumbs the Dems deigned to toss their way. Go no further than Tower, Bork, and Thomas. If the Obama administration today adopted the entire McCain platform, I suspect that there would be no abatement whatsoever in the volume of debate, only a shifting of the starting point for the arguments. Perhaps. But how's there a whit of difference between that and your all-but-guaranteed support of whatever Supreme Court nominee that Obama offers up? The inevitable is going to happen...many people on this board will reflexively bash whoever Obama nominates, and like Newton's Third Law, you will reflexively defend the nomination...no matter how much said nomination wants to take your guns or rule by empathy rather than the law.

    Unfortunately, no matter how you view the beginnings of the dispute, I believe that ending it in a manner that reestablishes a more constructive approach for finding our political center (measured by the will of the people and not the will of the extremes) is essential to the survival of our country. I believe that a scorched earth policy by either political extreme is in fact unpatriotic because it is fundamentally anti-democratic. Of course, by "a more constructive approach to finding our political center," you mean, "whatever Obama decides."

    Personally, I had a problem with Bush's original election because he wasn't elected, ah yes, some of that "constructive approach" you mentioned, right? but I was more than willing to put that aside as Gore did. There was no question that Bush was elected in his second campaign with a strong majority of both the popular and electoral vote (albeit smaller than Obama's). I believe Bush was one of the worst Presidents in our history as a country, but he is no longer President. When he was President, he was my President as well as yours. I opposed almost all of his policies, but I never suggested secession or any other approach for opposition other than at the ballot box. I've never suggested secession. I guess that gives me carte blanche to disagree with Obama and still maintain my patriot status.

    By the way, I would love to see the comments that I made that were vile.
    You weren't in the group of previous hypocrites with vile accusations that I mentioned. I tried to differentiate you with the "et tu" part. Sorry if that's what you inferred. Your discourse is always civil.

    Of late, though, your positions (or lack thereof) are tinged with hypocrisy. Starting with this thread where you put forth the notion that it's not healthy for the country for anyone to oppose Obama's Supreme Court nominee, and of course, any opposition is rooted in bringing in money and not principled. I don't recall you being so keen on compromise when Bush was president. Two years ago we couldn't get you to shut up (figure of speech) about Gitmo, the Patriot Act, torture, etc. Now you won't say a peep about them...which is odd given that Gitmo is still open, the Patriot Act is no different today than 6 months ago, Pelosi is eyebrow deep in "torture," some/many/all prisoners will receive military trials, prisoners at Bagram are being denied the constitutional rights that you wanted for Gitmo prisoners, and we're rendering prisoners to third world sh!t holes for interrogation rather than sending them to Gitmo. So as you grasp for ways to end our harmful political nihilism, please don't forget to look in the mirror.

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    Jeff,
    There you go again, trying to have a reasonable discussion and what do you get, a bunch of predictable uber partisan responses. To answer your questions:
    How much of our political debate is fueled by just this type of concern?
    I am not sure but it seems to me that the extreme left and right are moving farther apart and the center is moving forward. Obama is pissing off both extremes.
    How legitimate do you believe it is to battle over everything simply to fuel partisan coffers and keep emotions high?
    It has worked in the past, but I do not believe it will work as well in the future. The extreme right is 20% and the extreme left probably a smaller percentage. It seems the most money is in the middle. Throw in a issue or two to appease the extreme of your choosing and you are good to go for funding.
    Are the resulting debates ones that improve communication and strengthen democracy, or ones that simply polarize for narrow purposes and undermine the strength of our country?
    The latter. Look at the narrow issues that truly polarize. How important are they in the grand scheme of things?
    Is a scorched earth policy that destroys our country preferable to seeking middle grounds that are supported by the middle two thirds of our population.
    Not to me.

    Booty, Still blaming Clinton I see. That's great default strategy. Do you really want to compare the facts on eight years of Clinton vs Bush on the economy, jobs, size of government, size of the deficit, size of the debt, or government performance during disasters, etc? Yes, yes, I know, I know he messed around with an intern, lied about it, and was impeached.

    Hew,
    This would be off topic but could you please post some examples of what you consider to be "vile" statements about Bush and then let's directly compare them to the type and quantity of what some of us might consider to be "vile" statements made on one of many threads posted here every day against past democratic Presidents, current leading democrats, the democratic party, "liberals", and for that matter, anyone that voted for one. You seem awfully defensive about this given the content of most threads these days. From what I recall, there was no room to question, much less criticize Bush policies without being resounding being labeled a "HATER" as was done in this thread already. Funny, all these comments about President Obama lately and I don't see any "liberals" calling folks "haters".
    On the judge issue, nice throw back to Bork and Thomas, I thought we were supposed to be looking forward (oh, that's right that only applies to review of the Bush administration policies). Yes, about judges, should we compare the record of approval of judges at all levels during the Bush presidency versus the Clinton presidency. I believe the obstructionists will be obvious and it is not the democrats in the overall scheme of things.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hew's Avatar
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    Again, my quotes in bold:
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry V View Post
    Hew,
    This would be off topic but could you please post some examples of what you consider to be "vile" statements about Bush and then let's directly compare them to the type and quantity of what some of us might consider to be "vile" statements made on one of many threads posted here every day against past democratic Presidents, current leading democrats, the democratic party, "liberals", and for that matter, anyone that voted for one. You seem awfully defensive about this given the content of most threads these days. I guess that might have a shred of relevence to the discussion if I have made or defended baseless/vile charges from either side. I haven't. So your point would be what...? From what I recall, there was no room to question, much less criticize Bush policies without being resounding being labeled a "HATER" as was done in this thread already. Funny, all these comments about President Obama lately and I don't see any "liberals" calling folks "haters". Hmmm. I missed the word "HATER" in this thread. I did a search for the word on RTF. Curiously enough, in the first 25 posts with that word in it, only four were from POTUS Place, and three of the four times it was written by you...complaining that someone somewhere was being called, <<gasp>>....a HATER. Speaking of "awfully defensive...." Btw, I searched my posts for "hater" or "haters" and both times came up with:
    "Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms" You addressed your post to me when you put, "Hew,..." in it. Perhaps next time you address me directly you could assure that what you write actually has some relevence to me. Thanks.
    On the judge issue, nice throw back to Bork and Thomas, I thought we were supposed to be looking forward (oh, that's right that only applies to review of the Bush administration policies). Yes, about judges, should we compare the record of approval of judges at all levels during the Bush presidency versus the Clinton presidency. I believe the obstructionists will be obvious and it is not the democrats in the overall scheme of things. During your self-imposed exile you must have missed the discussion on that very topic a week or two ago. Pssst....your commonly-parrotted talking points were found lacking.
    BTW, like Yardley, you were rather vocal when it was Bush who was doing the "eavesdroppin," committing the "torture," and denying poor terrorists their constitutional rights. Now that Obama's doing the same things you've been awfully quiet as well. Very curious.

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