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Debates Forum

  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    09 Sep '11 14:41
    During the next 25 years, one of the following scenarios will likely take place:

    1. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, the President will suspend the Constitution and rule by decree indefinitely.

    2. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, a group of military and/or corporate interests will stage a coup, suspend the Constitution, and rule by decree indefinitely.

    3. A state of perpetual deadlock will result in a completely dysfunctional government. The nation will break apart and descend into civil war.

    4. A state of perpetual deadlock will result in a completely dysfunctional government. The nation will peacefully break apart and form separate nations.

    The only thing that cannot happen is that things will continue as they currently are. So, which of the four above seems most likely, or are there more scenarios I've overlooked?
  2. Subscriber Sleepyguy
    Reepy Rastardly Guy
    09 Sep '11 14:51
    Did you lose your rose colored glasses?
  3. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    09 Sep '11 15:02
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    Did you lose your rose colored glasses?
    No, I've been predicting civil war for quite a while now.
  4. 09 Sep '11 15:11
    Originally posted by rwingett
    No, I've been predicting civil war for quite a while now.
    I believe that none of those scenerios will happen.

    Given the fact that most suggestions by are government would only make things worse, I happen to believe that perpetual gridlock is an excellent outcome and I would actually vote for gridlock if given the option.
  5. 09 Sep '11 15:35
    Originally posted by quackquack
    I believe that none of those scenerios will happen.

    Given the fact that most suggestions by are government would only make things worse, I happen to believe that perpetual gridlock is an excellent outcome and I would actually vote for gridlock if given the option.
    Does this gridlock you advocate include the federal government failing to pass a budget? Appoint judges? Does it also extend to state and local governments? Just curious, not meaning to be critical.
  6. 09 Sep '11 15:40
    Originally posted by rwingett
    During the next 25 years, one of the following scenarios will likely take place:

    1. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, the President will suspend the Constitution and rule by decree indefinitely.

    2. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, a group of military and/or corporate interests will stage a coup, suspend the Constitution, and ...[text shortened]... So, which of the four above seems most likely, or are there more scenarios I've overlooked?
    Yes, the Mayan calender is correct, and we see total destruction by "natural" causes..... Volcano would be my first guess.....
    Coming Dec. 2012......
  7. 09 Sep '11 15:48
    Originally posted by rwingett
    During the next 25 years, one of the following scenarios will likely take place:

    1. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, the President will suspend the Constitution and rule by decree indefinitely.

    2. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, a group of military and/or corporate interests will stage a coup, suspend the Constitution, and ...[text shortened]... So, which of the four above seems most likely, or are there more scenarios I've overlooked?
    The government has been dysfunctional for quite a while. Nobody in the government understands the full effects of legislation they pass. They adopt a "let's just crank her up and see what happens" approach. This is great on a very local scale (say 2000 people or so) but horrible on a national scale because of the sheer numbers. Things are much more easily managed between smaller groups of people.
  8. 09 Sep '11 15:50
    Originally posted by Sleepyguy
    Did you lose your rose colored glasses?
    President Obama broke my rose colored glasses. Is it okay that I just used the the presidents name and the word colored in the same sentence?
  9. 09 Sep '11 15:53
    Originally posted by JS357
    Does this gridlock you advocate include the federal government failing to pass a budget? Appoint judges? Does it also extend to state and local governments? Just curious, not meaning to be critical.
    My preference would be for the gridlock to merely stop increases/changes in new spending and taxation legislation. I'd like for there to be predictability and rarely do i prefer new legislation to the old. It seems to me like spending is out of control and since no one wants to make cuts gridlock may be the best hope of stopping new spending ideas.

    It would be nice to have a budget but since we run a perpetial deficit, have so many items off the balance sheet and make changes virtually instantaneously, the value of a budget for the country seems far less important than it would for a person or business.

    I would like to have fewer govenmental employees in general (not necessarily federal judges). Politics should not determine whether judgeships are filled -- if the government cannot hire because of politics it is yet another reason to decrease the scope of government.
  10. 09 Sep '11 16:07
    Originally posted by rwingett
    During the next 25 years, one of the following scenarios will likely take place:

    1. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, the President will suspend the Constitution and rule by decree indefinitely.

    2. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, a group of military and/or corporate interests will stage a coup, suspend the Constitution, and ...[text shortened]... So, which of the four above seems most likely, or are there more scenarios I've overlooked?
    I think #3 is most likely. The civil war will likely revolve around racial factors begining in the Southwest.

    The likely outcome after several decades will be three or four separate nations with racial and cultural identities.
  11. 09 Sep '11 16:15
    Originally posted by quackquack
    My preference would be for the gridlock to merely stop increases/changes in new spending and taxation legislation. I'd like for there to be predictability and rarely do i prefer new legislation to the old. It seems to me like spending is out of control and since no one wants to make cuts gridlock may be the best hope of stopping new spending ideas.

    ...[text shortened]... t cannot hire because of politics it is yet another reason to decrease the scope of government.
    I don't expect to sway you, but your comments demand a reply. IMO, the Republican agenda is gridlock and an ignorant public that votes against their own interests.

    From today's (Sept 9) SF Chronicle, Jon Carroll's column:

    Quote:
    The Internets are buzzing about Mike Lofgren's takedown of the Republican Party published by Truthout, the left-wing rabble-rousing website. The news here is not that Truthout doesn't like Republicans; it's that Mike Lofgren is a Republican who worked for 28 years as a legislative aide to various GOP members of Congress.

    So it would be fair to say that he knows what he's talking about. What he's talking about is not exactly new, but it is a succinct (despite its length) statement of what has happened to the Republicans, why it happened and how the Democrats - or indeed, patriotic Americans of all political orientations - completely missed the point and thus the boat.

    The whole thing can be found at links.sfgate.com/ZLCR.

    The nut graf, as we say in journalism, of his introductory section goes like this: "It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant."

    The unpleasant part: We're pretty much screwed.

    It is tempting to just let the rest of the column be quotes from the piece, but let me bite off one little section and talk about that:

    "A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.

    "A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters' confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that 'they are all crooks,' and that 'government is no good,' further leading them to think, 'a plague on both your houses' and 'the parties are like two kids in a school yard.'

    "This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s - a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn ('Government is the problem,' declared Ronald Reagan in 1980)."

    I plead guilty to being deeply cynical. Nothing in the presidency of Barack Obama has done much to change my view, while the Republicans' taking the world economic system hostage merely plunged me more deeply into political despair. (We should not let that carry over into our personal lives, or we'd all be zombies.)

    So go ahead, Jon Stewart, make fun of Congress. Hell, even make fun of Fox News. If people were to stop watching Fox, probably they'd stop watching TV news and start watching that show where the guy kills the rodents. So we get more of what Lofgren calls "low-information" voters ("ignorant" is another word for that) who will hear through the low-information grapevine about Obama's plan to Islamify America.

    (Although, gotta say, the number of minarets going up in the left-wing bastion of the Bay Area is minimal. If that's Obama's plan, he's failing at that too. Also he's failing to soak the rich, despite Republican claims to the contrary.)

    If people get out of politics, if people stop paying attention, stop even voting, then government really is left to the crooks and the liars. They will be abetted by large corporations, to whom the Republicans have long since sold their soul. The eternally debated question - how can the Republicans get people to vote against their own economic interests? - is answered simply enough by Lofgren: They lie.

    He is pretty sure that the Republicans in Washington, including most of those running for president, don't even believe that stuff they're putting out - that's what makes the whole enterprise so deeply cynical.

    So it's on us. If we turn away in horror, then our tax money will go to solidify a dual theocracy/kleptocracy such as the world has never seen before. If we pay attention and fight, with information and action, then at least there's a chance. But man, is that mud deep.

    Everything you think is happening is in fact happening. No need to adjust your brain.

    Unquote.

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/08/DD121L1BVM.DTL#ixzz1XTKv0OXX
  12. 09 Sep '11 16:42
    Originally posted by JS357
    I don't expect to sway you, but your comments demand a reply. IMO, the Republican agenda is gridlock and an ignorant public that votes against their own interests.

    From today's (Sept 9) SF Chronicle, Jon Carroll's column:

    Quote:
    The Internets are buzzing about Mike Lofgren's takedown of the Republican Party published by Truthout, the left-wing rabble-ro ...[text shortened]... e.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/08/DD121L1BVM.DTL#ixzz1XTKv0OXX
    I don't really like either party or much of what they propose. But if you don't like gridlock the solution is probably to not just blame one party but honestly access the causes of things whether or not you like the "truth"

    Instead, people (probably because they are struggling and feel they are less able to compromise) look at a situation and blame one party. Republicans types tend to think that Democrats want unlimited spending and redistribution and want the succesful to fund everything. Democrats think Republicans just say no, want to just block all of their ideas and have only been in power because they simply fool the public.
  13. Subscriber FMF
    a.k.a. John W Booth
    09 Sep '11 16:46
    Originally posted by JS357
    I don't expect to sway you, but your comments demand a reply. IMO, the Republican agenda is gridlock and an ignorant public that votes against their own interests.

    From today's (Sept 9) SF Chronicle, Jon Carroll's column:[...]

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/09/08/DD121L1BVM.DTL#ixzz1XTKv0OXX
    Interesting read. Rec'd.
  14. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    09 Sep '11 16:52
    Originally posted by rwingett
    During the next 25 years, one of the following scenarios will likely take place:

    1. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, the President will suspend the Constitution and rule by decree indefinitely.

    2. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, a group of military and/or corporate interests will stage a coup, suspend the Constitution, and ...[text shortened]... So, which of the four above seems most likely, or are there more scenarios I've overlooked?
    A mixture of (3) and (4) is possible, with some states or groups of states breaking away peacefully, and other states attempting to do so but either break apart themselves or experience some civil unrest up to and including shooting. The federal government, being gridlocked as you say, will experience confusion, with conflicting orders being sent to the military and the military deciding for the most part to abstain from acting. Think the Soviet Union in 1991.

    But then, quickly after the crisis, there will come a recognition that the chief problem lies with the political structuring of the nation as given in the Constitution, which makes no allowance for proportional representation and completely severs the executive branch from the legislative branch so that they are constantly at odds. A new "Constitutional Convention" will come together to model the U.S. along the lines of one of the better functioning parliamentary governments in the world, such as that found in Germany, which is a federation much like the U.S., but enjoys proportional representation thanks to its constitution which largely was drafted by the Allies (read: the U.S.) at the end of World War II.
  15. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    09 Sep '11 16:57
    Originally posted by rwingett
    During the next 25 years, one of the following scenarios will likely take place:

    1. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, the President will suspend the Constitution and rule by decree indefinitely.

    2. Using some "national emergency" as a pretext, a group of military and/or corporate interests will stage a coup, suspend the Constitution, and ...[text shortened]... So, which of the four above seems most likely, or are there more scenarios I've overlooked?
    Hey, you've been here 10 years now. Congratulations.