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Thread: 2014 US Mid-Term Elections are just about here

  1. #1

    2014 US Mid-Term Elections are just about here

    So I get to hold my nose and vote for some incumbents. Definitely get the "lesser of two evils" analogy. Bill Haslam for governor. Not a fan of his, I need to check out his opponent, Charlie Brown, to see his qualifications but I doubt his record will inspire me to vote Democrat for an executive position. We'll see. Lamar Alexander for senate because omg everything will be so much better if Republicans win the senate. Or that's what they say. Odds are I'll be madder if they do then now because I expect this crap with Reid running the senate. Listening to Bohner is bad enough but McConnell too? Gag me with a spoon. Blackburn for house. Hate her the least but I'm skeptical none the less. Seems full of platitudes. Some amendments, a ballot measure to sell wine in non-liquor stores, mayoral race, etc. Actually, if it weren't for the [state] constitutional amendments, I might sit this one out.

    Any local or national races or issues that you have passion for? Apathy? There are several races across the country that I'm interested in. Where the voters will have a clear choice and perhaps don't just have to vote for the lesser evil.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  2. #2
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    Various seats will change hands, and that's all the change you can expect. Save your time. Stay home.
    >>untie shoes

  3. #3
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    Republican, Republican, Republican. Glad to see we're sticking to the issues and voting for the best candidate with the best credentials.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antony View Post
    Various seats will change hands, and that's all the change you can expect. Save your time. Stay home.
    Exactly.

    Vote Democrat, vote Republican, it doesn't matter. The same brutally oppressive extractive Plutarchic policies will be written and followed so it doesn't really matter. Even f the politicians weren't all terrible corporate welfare neoliberals regardless of party, the appointees and civil servants have their own agendas and no elected official has the actual power to change anything.

    In the western world it's a choice between regular raspberry Kool-aid and extreme blue raspberry Kool-aid. He only difference is the color. Same flavor, same product, and same amount of cyanide.

    Hail Satan.

  4. #4
    That's why I'm thoroughly unexcited by my choices. I'm actually considering voting for Democrats as a protest vote. I do not want Democrats to retain control of the Senate or gain control of the House but I also despise the Republican leadership at this point. There's no substantive difference between them. I do feel it would be neglectful of me to fail to show when there are four state constitutional amendments and a mayoral race on the ballot though. I also believe that the three races I mentioned in the OP are locked up anyway so even if the Democrat opponent brings something positive to the table, they're bound to lose.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    In a recent dissent from a Seventh Circuit court decision denying an en banc rehearing on Wisconsin's voter ID law, Judge Richard Posner wrote that voting is "a low-reward activity for any given individual." This probably belongs in a hall of fame for judicial understatements.
    If you think the waiters are rude, you should see the manager.

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  8. #8
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    I just moved, and haven't had time to get caught up on local politics. I don't feel like it's a good idea to vote with out understanding what's going on. All this "get out the vote" BS is just a transparent attempt to get more votes for a given candidate. If you don't know or don't care you should stay the hell home.

    Lately, the platform issues have been stupid and irrelevant as well.
    Last edited by Obi_Kwiet; 10-28-2014 at 08:53 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I don't feel like it's a good idea to vote with out understanding what's going on. All this "get out the vote" BS is just a transparent attempt to get more votes for a given candidate. If you don't know or don't care you should stay the hell home.
    Voting is an important part of being a responsible citizen, it doesn't matter who you vote for or how well you understand the issues, vote vote vote.

    - everybody

  10. #10

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    I don't see why gerrymandering is so bad. It's like county-sized art projects.
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  11. #11
    ALL GLORY TO THE CONTEST WINNER

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    Plus it's such a funny word.

    Wangdoodles.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Voting is an important part of being a responsible citizen, it doesn't matter who you vote for or how well you understand the issues, vote vote vote.

    - everybody
    I think this attitude exists to artificially inflate how well the establishment represents the people it governs. I mean, when people are literally saying, "your vote doesn't matter, it matters that you vote", what else that possibly mean?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I think this attitude exists to artificially inflate how well the establishment represents the people it governs. I mean, when people are literally saying, "your vote doesn't matter, it matters that you vote", what else that possibly mean?
    The reason the olds get more political representation is because they vote more than young people, if young people want better representation they need to start voting more and somehow the politicians will not interpret this as a mandate for business as usual

    - an idiot who still believes in democracy

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    - an idiot who still believes in democracy
    Featured ISB thread: The Never-ending Story Thread^2

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I don't feel like it's a good idea to vote with out understanding what's going on. All this "get out the vote" BS is just a transparent attempt to get more votes for a given candidate. If you don't know or don't care you should stay the hell home.
    I've been saying this for years. I remember always hearing, "you can't complain if you didn't vote." **** that. There's a number perfectly legitimate reasons not to vote for a particular office, issue, or even at all. Here's two no-brainers:

    1) No candidate for the office is one you can support, know enough about, or suitable.
    2) You are not informed on a particular issue or are unsure of or don't understand the consequences of a certain proposition or amendment passing or failing.

    I hate voting for judges. Unless you are prepared to go through the steps to retrieve, review, and research every and any decision they've rendered or review cases they've tried, there often isn't much to go from. I've tried to find if there are groups that advocate or oppose a certain judge and then based on my agreement with the positions of that group tried to come to a decision. That's haphazard, though, as I've seen groups I support endorse politicians I oppose because they were "right" on one issue.

    I was in a waiting room for awhile today and got to see some political adds. It's been some time since I've seen any since I don't have cable (or sat) and rarely watch any broadcast TV. There's an amendment proposed here that pertains to abortion. I find it ironic that in order to make plain that an issue is not to be considered to be protected by the state constitution, in other words not in the constitution, you have to put it in there with an amendment. And it was pretty disgusting to see how ads treat this amendment on TV. The pro-amendment says it's all to protect women's health because, apparently, clinics in Tennessee are not particularly well overseen so a disproportionate number of mishaps occur. Well, this amendment doesn't [directly] address that. The anti- group says the amendment doesn't make exceptions for rape or incest. Well, the amendment doesn't make anything except to say that the people, through representatives/senators, decide issue pertaining to abortion. Both of these ads have glimmers of truth. Those that want to pass laws regulating clinics that perform abortions don't want them ruled by judicial activists unconstitutional so they need the bill passed and those that want to ensure a woman can get an abortion due to rape or incest [and of course anytime they want one] are afraid of the possibility that this amendment empowers the legislature to pass laws that don't allow that. Still, those are second and third tier concerns and those debates can be had then but even if this amendment isn't passed those laws can still be passed and, considering what SCOTUS's history is, it's likely anything considered "anti-abortion" gets thrown out anyway.

    Bah, I would say that I don't even know why I'm rambling on about this but I know why. Other than my wife, there are few others I have to discuss issue like this with (and, really, who wants to talk to their wife?). Besides, I'm doing my part to keep conversation going here. Don't blame me when this place dies!
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  16. #16
    ALL GLORY TO THE CONTEST WINNER

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The reason the olds get more political representation is because they vote more than young people, if young people want better representation they need to start voting more and somehow the politicians will not interpret this as a mandate for business as usual

    - an idiot who still believes in democracy
    Interestingly, in Scotland a lot of people are much more clued up on politics in the aftermath of the referendum, and in the last week the Scottish Labour Party has essentially collapsed. There was a poll released today for the general election in May showing Labour losing all but 4 of its seats, and the SNP gaining 48. It's not going to be anywhere near that extreme, but it's a nice thought.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    I don't feel like it's a good idea to vote with out understanding what's going on. All this "get out the vote" BS is just a transparent attempt to get more votes for a given candidate. If you don't know or don't care you should stay the hell home.
    JAM the vote!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baconfish View Post
    Interestingly, in Scotland a lot of people are much more clued up on politics in the aftermath of the referendum, and in the last week the Scottish Labour Party has essentially collapsed. There was a poll released today for the general election in May showing Labour losing all but 4 of its seats, and the SNP gaining 48. It's not going to be anywhere near that extreme, but it's a nice thought.
    Unfortunately, in the other 90% of the country, UKIP are expected to pick up a lot of votes. So while everyone might be tired of the status quo and voting for alternatives, what we're liable to get is the same rightwards march of the Overton window, only faster.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    The reason the olds get more political representation is because they vote more than young people, if young people want better representation they need to start voting more and somehow the politicians will not interpret this as a mandate for business as usual

    - an idiot who still believes in democracy
    The real issue, other than the mathematically dictated two party system, is that the two available platforms are asinine. The most competitive two voting blocks are the only ones that will get to participate, so only the two largest homogenous political platforms get representation. Unfortunately, the best way to get a large, homogenous political platform is to focus on a very small number of dumb irrelevant issues, and appeal as strong as possible to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Take Obama Care. It's either hurr de durr socialism, or hurp derp evil insurance companies. No discussion about how the old system has massive government spending that was extremely ineffective, no discussion about effectiveness of proposed regulations and quality metric implementation. And don't forget having to hear non-economists debate about largely irrelevant policies they don't fully understand to morons who don't understand at all but think they do. Or any issue where the debate implies a simple dichotomy between more and less regulation. That really ticks me off.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recusant View Post
    Unfortunately, in the other 90% of the country, UKIP are expected to pick up a lot of votes. So while everyone might be tired of the status quo and voting for alternatives, what we're liable to get is the same rightwards march of the Overton window, only faster.
    I really can't wrap my head around people thinking that they're different, not realising they're just the 80s supertories.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi_Kwiet View Post
    The real issue, other than the mathematically dictated two party system,
    only because FPTP and a few rigged referendums.

    is that the two available platforms are asinine.
    aka neoliberal

    The most competitive two voting blocks are the only ones that will get to participate, so only the two largest homogenous political platforms get representation.
    There aren't two voting blocks, there's one. There's the "voting bloc of people who are not being represented by their government".

    The rich people we're all afraid of taking over have already won. There is only one party and one platform in every western country. The only difference between the parties is how much they're willing to allow gay marriage, which, news flash, really isn't as big a deal as some people think it is.

    Small business starts are at a historic low. Wage growth is below inflation. Public interest in these issues is met with nothing except violent reprisals from an otherwise non-responsive government.

    The parties aren't competitive or different and they don't need to be because the governments of the west no longer represent their citizens.

  22. #22
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    Do you vote, then, Jon? Or do you not bother? You've never struck me as being like Freelancer... is your response to these observations you're making to say **** it, and just live your life? Do you think there's any way to change the state of affairs as you see it, aside from revolution? And if you think that's the only way, will you be a part of it?

  23. #23
    I've always thought that the widespread mythology of voting exists because the alternative (namely, that individuals are pretty much--and mostly always have been--completely powerless to change the course of history in a meaningful way that doesn't also benefit some rich guy even more in the process) is too bitter a pill to swallow.

    In a way, just regurgitating feel-good narratives about your civic duty to do the selfless thing and participate against your own self-interest, etc. is a lot easier to do in 5 minutes of thought from your day than it is to have a serious discussion about where political power and legitimacy comes from.

    Combine that with the false choice between Douche and Turd, and you've got a recipe to placate pretty much every (supposed) intellectually engaged or informed voter.

    What the elites have figured out is that voting isn't an effective local-to-global principle. If it seems that you're doing a lot of good by pushing harder along some local gradient in the direction of positive change, it might be because you've redefined success to be relative to low expectations.

    Could there still exist a rational reason to care? Perhaps people are, more than anything else, concerned (guilted, from conditioning?) about spreading too much cynicism. Too much cynicism seems like it could grant a broad license for the elites to **** us all even harder.

    Then again, I'm not sure voters (by and large) could get much more apathetic and uninformed than they already are (witness the ability to reliably drum up popular support simply by pushing hot buttons*).

    * Although this kind of mass psychological manipulation is probably as old (if not older) as society itself.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 11-01-2014 at 12:13 AM.

  24. #24
    I've voted in past elections; it felt good.

    The strange thing is, by going to the polling booth do to so, it felt especially good.

    If I had registered to vote by mail (which I ultimately will the year I remember to change my registration in time for the next election), I actually sense that I'd be less motivated to do so. Since the gesture of going to the polling booth is gone, what is left? I send in a piece of paper which has effectively no chance of making a difference in the outcome.

    This is how I know that my habit of voting is based on rationalization of some acquired cultural habit and not on a rational deduction.

  25. #25
    Finally, there's also the whole problem of my use of the term "the elite": specifically, the problem of associating the problems of a complex social system to "them". I try not to think of any particular group being culpable. Stuff just happens, people are motivated to manipulate the political system for some specific gain, and everybody else gets to feel good about being small, inconsequential cogs in this massive machine, despite almost never being among the select few who truly benefit, and almost always being occupied by contentious issues which weren't even significant issues for those with the real power anyway.

    I could conceive of the theoretical existence of a society in which the voting populace really do get to live their lives in a mostly provincial way, and then periodically cast their ballots after an evening of abstract and philosophical discussion, ultimately inducing an enlightened collective election outcome, resulting in the greater good for all. But when I say it like that, it starts to become how obviously silly it is!

  26. #26
    OTOH, there is a lot of good work done by certain legal groups like the EFF, ACLU, etc., and the grassroots efforts to petition or lobby sympathetic congresspeople to act as a voice for the people.

    But in almost every case, the system is so obviously stacked against using the political system in a responsible and non-corrupt way. Why should voting matter all that much (not just locally, but globally) in a system in which Nancy Pelosi attended MORE than 365 fundraisers in 2011?
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 11-01-2014 at 12:17 AM.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    But in almost every case, the system is so obviously stacked against using the political system in a responsible and non-corrupt way. Why should voting matter all that much (not just locally, but globally) in a system in which Nancy Pelosi attended MORE than 365 fundraisers in 2011?
    Not that I've read all that you've posted here but I'm pretty sure I haven't read anything else by you that I agree with more.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  28. #28
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    I will be voting anti-incumbent. All political offices should be limited to one term and a ban on running for another political office while you're currently seated in one. Not a total fix by any means, but would be a good start if you really consider the implications. Until then, the best I can do is use my vote towards that means and hope others do the same.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    But in almost every case, the system is so obviously stacked against using the political system in a responsible and non-corrupt way. Why should voting matter all that much (not just locally, but globally) in a system in which Nancy Pelosi attended MORE than 365 fundraisers in 2011?
    Career politicians meet with lobbyist/contributors everyday. It's their priority because they only have 4 years to secure their job. It's all about keeping their job and nothing about their civic duty to serve in the capacity of the office they hold. A broken system. Vote anti-incumbent and let's show them that it's a pointless way to spend their time. This piece has to be fixed before congress can ever effectively legislate for the people.

  30. #30
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    The problem with voting anti-incumbent is that inexperienced legislators don't understand how to do their jobs. The last dude's chief of staff leaves a transition binder on their desk and that's pretty much all the guidance the system gives them.

    New pols are dunked in an uncomfortable, insecure position. Establishment folks, the civil servants, donors and lobbyists, are more than happy to take advantage, reach out and offer support and advice in exchange for a little collective harm.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 11-01-2014 at 12:39 PM.

  31. #31
    I've also heard that new politicians "lose" most of their friends, once these friends and extended family realize that the most likely reason for a given phone call is to ask for money.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    Any local or national races or issues that you have passion for?
    I can't vote in my home state of Kentucky anymore but I'd like to see Grimes oust McConnell. I'm not excited about her as a candidate, but you literally can't do any worse than him.
    ? :)

  33. #33
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    I was eagerly anticipating my opportunity to vote against John Kasich, but then I had something of a change of heart.

    Kasich said here about 10 days ago that he thought Republicans should stop trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, because their reasons for doing so are always either political or ideological, ignoring the fact that it helps a ton of people. He continued, that despite the fact that he doesn't like the ACA, he doesn't see it being repealed any time soon. I thought this was one of the more wonderfully reasonable things I had heard come from a politician in quite a while, so I thought to myself, "You know, with an attitude like that, Kasich getting reelected might not be that bad."

    Well, of course his statements lit a fire under a lot of his constituents, who said they would never vote for anyone who supported obamacare. A few days later, Kasich reversed course, saying that the liberal media twisted his words (despite running direct quotes of his statements in context), and that he believes the ACA should be repealed immediately, as it is an unmitigated disaster. He went on to say that parts of it might work if they're a part of a NEW BILL that is totally nothing like obamacare, which will be drafted once republicans take control of the senate. His base rallied around him and now he's projected to win big.

    The politicians aren't the problem. The people they represent are.

    You cannot lose if you do not play. Stay home on election day.
    >>untie shoes

  34. #34
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    Please don't stay home Antony. While Kasich has not been the worst governor ever, and he made that statement about the ACA, his retraction shows that he is as spineless as the rest of the GOP. And the regressive move to raise the sales tax and expand what services are taxable under it was one of the worst decisions I've seen in this state. Fitzgerald isnt perfect either, but IMO, he's been good for Cleveland, and will probably be good for the state. I don't know who the Green Party woman is. Never heard of her.
    My girlfriend paid a lot of money for that tv; I want to watch ALL OF IT. - JM

  35. #35
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    It doesn't matter who gets elected. All that matters is that the same types of people are pulling the strings on both sides of the aisle. It doesn't matter if the speaker of the house is John Boehner or Nancy Pelosi, the game remains the same, every time you vote for a politician going they'll change things, you set yourself up for disappointment, but you cannot lose if you do not play.
    >>untie shoes

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    Both sides are demonstrably not the same. Democrats may not be the most optimal party, and they're just as susceptible to corruption as anyone else, but the outcomes when they're in power are demonstrably better than when the GOP is in power.

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/0...-rhetoric.html

    Democrats even do war better.

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/1...-wage-war.html

    (note: I'm using a single source because the data presented is handy. Also, hes libertarian leaning, but hates the current GOP. In the past he has supported the GOP.

    Also, also, check out his theory of how we're really in the 8th phase of the American Civil War. Spoiler: The South is winning. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/0...civil-war.html)
    My girlfriend paid a lot of money for that tv; I want to watch ALL OF IT. - JM

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ford View Post
    Both sides are demonstrably not the same. Democrats may not be the most optimal party, and they're just as susceptible to corruption as anyone else, but the outcomes when they're in power are demonstrably better than when the GOP is in power.

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/0...-rhetoric.html
    That's not really fair. It just looks at the president, not who controls the legislative branch and the budget. It fails to acknowledge the policy changes require some time before their effects are felt on the economy. Really what you are seeing is GOP administrations roughly lining up with recessions, and higher government spending, and Democratic administrations lining up roughly with booms and lower spending, which is how it should be. Most of that is probably due to the fact that the GOP has lines up more with the current recession cycle a little better than the Democrats, but that's probably mostly luck. The chairman of the fed has a much bigger direct impact on the economy, and he doesn't usually change with the president.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brin
    "Likewise “Congress controls the purse strings” is a silly excuse. The GOP controlled Congress both for 6 years before Bill Clinton left office and for 6 years after. Yet the 2nd Derivative was negative in the first six and swung sharply positive the very instant a GOP president replaced him, and Clinton could no longer veto the annual Supply Side Voodoo Economics Bill, opening our arteries to the (non) "job-creator caste."


    Note that this article is about the rate the budget deficit goes up or down, not the economy as a whole. (Which is currently doing pretty darned good right now btw. Stock market is up, consumer confidence is up, unemployment is down. Which is usually pretty good for the party in power during a midterm, but this year, we're seeing more conflict. hrm. I wonder why?)

    Outcomes matter. This is why I won't vote GOP. No matter what they say they want for the country, the exact opposite tends to happen.
    My girlfriend paid a lot of money for that tv; I want to watch ALL OF IT. - JM

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ford View Post
    Which is currently doing pretty darned good right now btw. Stock market is up, consumer confidence is up, unemployment is down.
    Because FIRE burned to the ground, taking the household debt service rate with it. Please don't pretend Obama and the Democrats had anything to do with it.

  40. #40
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    because


    and that money has to go somewhere, so

    Last edited by Jon`C; 11-02-2014 at 08:46 PM.

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