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AK_WDB
After a thankfully slow start to the presidential campaign season, it's finally getting in gear. There's been one debate (albeit with mostly B-side candidates), and Newt Gingrich is expected to announce his candidacy today. Near-certain candidates include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum. Less certain ones include Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman, and Michele Bachmann.

Here's a very short primer on some of the candidates' strengths and liabilities (though what some would consider flaws, others might like!) What does ADT think of the presidential field? Everyone's voice is welcome here - though if you're a known Democrat and begin forcefully advocating Donald Trump, we reserve the right to question your motivation. tongue.gif
Dr. Roffles
would probably support if they won the nomination: Jon Huntsman, Mitch Daniels, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul.

would possibly support, possibly not: Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty

would not possibly support: Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump
Captaink
QUOTE (Dr. Roffles @ May 11 2011, 01:43 PM) *
would probably support if they won the nomination: Jon Huntsman, Mitch Daniels, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul.

would possibly support, possibly not: Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty

would not possibly support: Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump

Id swap pawlenty and paul....but that's just me
AK_WDB
Ron Paul's support of abolishing the Federal Reserve is pretty much a deal-breaker for me. I think it's very dangerous to let politics influence monetary policy.

The Economist has an interesting article on Tim Pawlenty, calling him a "placebo".
VarsityBoy
Huntsman, Daniels, Romney in no particular order.

lolcandidate: Gingritch
Research Monkey
This election will be an absolute mockery. This is the limpest field of greasy "Washington insiders," Bible-thumping social conservatives on wife #3, and contrarian policy lemmings I could possibly imagine. The one guy with any ideologically consistent views with any tangible philosophical background is also completely batshit insane. Unless somebody else comes out of nowhere, the GOP is even more useless than previously thought. I'm mildly interested in Gary Johnson's candidacy, but I doubt that will become anything.

Now, I'm not posting as a raging liberal trying to instigate the opening salvo a debate here, I'm legitimately concerned, because a Republican candidate doesn't really need to go all that far for me to be willing to seriously consider him. I really only require the following stipulations:

-The Supreme Court has ruled on Roe. It has ruled on Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The issue is dead and buried, and if you try to reanimate the corpse for your own political purposes, you're a manipulative reactionary whose thirst for power must exceed your stupidity, although functions of each may approach infinity.
-I don't want to bend over backwards for Israel, Taiwan, or any of the various dictatorships we prop up for our own political purposes, and I don't want any sort of morality or value based foreign policy. I want calculated, timely best responses to issues that must be addressed and a non-interventionist course otherwise.
-The rights of individuals must not be infringed on the basis of sexual orientation. FDMA is clearly unconstitutional and petty, the Federal government has no business in such matters, and don't ask, don't tell is a load of horse smurf.
-Firearm proliferation is a serious issue. That's all I need to hear, honestly. A Republican legitimately concerned that guns do indeed kill people.
-Military spending is not untouchable, nor should it be.

These are really all that I need to be confident that a candidate is reasonably like myself, and someone I could possibly vote for. The rest is easy!

-Stop talking about "job creation," as this simplistic algorithm for success and advocate sound economic policies that boost the nation's long-run potential for growth and secure it from exogenous shocks and our own missteps. You can be business friendly without being a mindless populist.
-Let's lower taxes. When we can. Which isn't now.
-The environment is everyone's business. Saying you don't want to impose environmental regulations on businesses is the weakest pro-business platform ever, but that seems to be as far as Republicans want to go to suit their detractors on both issues. Drive innovation with incentives, and promote pure public goods.
-Let's talk about...say, internet regulatory issues. Where's the debate on relevant issues from people who have taken the time to educate themselves on the topic?

I don't see myself voting Republican this term, but by all means, my vote is very much achievable by them. Promises of addressing the issues of the last election (chiefly among them health care reform) have been insufficiently lived up to, and I still am an advocate of the policies that I advocated a few years ago. But, I have a wide range of concerns about the future that I don't see being addressed from either side, and my vote is entirely up for grabs.

I could be underestimating the Republicans, but I don't see this going beyond comparing their respective social conservative credentials. I see no innovation, no ingenuity, and no spark coming from this election.
blondie13
*Disclaimer: I'm a moderate, so I nit pick potential candidates like crazy.

Newt Gringrich- Can't see myself supporting him. Guy just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't know very much about his ideas compared to some of the other candidates, but I'm just not a fan.

Mitt Romney- I kind of like him...I think he's really down to earth and I love his stance on abortion because it's pretty much the same as mine. Yet gay marriage is my most leftish position and he's very right on that...which is unfortunate.

Tim Pawlenty- Personally, I like the guy. I could see myself supporting him. I mesh up with a lot of his stances. However, his stance on gay marriage is a deal breaker. I don't think I can justify voting for someone who supports an amendment saying marriage is only between a man and a woman due to my beliefs on the issue...especially after watching my uncle marry his partner of 14 years in Washington, D.C. last year.

Ron Paul- He doesn't get me enthusiastic, but I would support him. He's a smart man and he doesn't blatantly oppose any of my most important views.

Rick Santorum- No. No. No. HELL NO. His views on Homosexuals make me absolutely sick. No one that hateful should be allowed in the whitehouse. Ever.

Mike Huckabee- Just not a fan of his stances on most social issues, so I really couldn't support him.

Sarah Palin- I honestly may be the first to say I don't mind her as a person. However, as a political candidate, she is both too inexperienced and uninformed for my tastes. That and (sexist as is sounds) I feel that most women don't belong in the Whitehouse. I just know that most women I know would get too crazy one week out of every month to handle things like foreign policy with grace. And she's on the brink of menopause, meaning that there's potential that moodiness would go from one week of the month to ALL THE TIME.

Mitch Daniels- I liked his truce on social issues until the planned parenthood dealio. Yes, it makes sense as a political maneuver to get republicans to like him...but come on. Anyway, if he could focus back on economics and fixing the economy like he wanted to initially, I could see myself supporting him.

Jon Huntsman- He's not horrible. His social views are definitely more conservative than mine, but not to the point where I would completely oppose supporting him. I definitely want to see more of him in the future.

Michele Bachmann- Personally, I think this woman is batsh*t insane. Read what I said about Sarah Palin and then apply it to Bachmann. No. Way. In. Hell.
Stanley Tree
Daniels is my number one for the Republicans, I saw him on a couple of interviews and he's very mellow about his beliefs, not one of those "my way or the highway" ideologies. Hunstman, Romney are the next two with Ron Paul a legitimate candidate this time around because his ideas for government reduction are now being touted as legitimate instead of making him look insane (although he still very likely is insane). Romney is the best in terms of the politician look, but that's not going to be a strength going against Obama.

Gingrich winning would be the worst possible thing to happen to America. Almost cause a shutdown in the late 90s, pushed for the most partisan platform possible in his time as House leader, tends to overreact, and has slang wifes like crack. He's just like Tom DeLay to me.

Bachmann, Palin, and Huckabee are absolute no's for many reasons. Bachmann is blindly Tea Party/upper-crust Republican, Palin is Palin, and Huckabee stated his top platform would be abortion which as RM pointed out is ridiculous.

I think all of this is moot; even before B killed S, I thought Obama would have no problems because of his large campaign treasure chest, the epic fail of Republican state legislators (less so in National gov), and the improvement in jobs we are currently seeing (240k plus in private sector last month most since '07 I believe) that will continue throughout next year. The only roadblock is oil; if it continues to go up (just started going down I think?) and settles at an insane price, it might cost him dearly although it is not at all his fault.
Research Monkey
QUOTE (blondie13 @ May 11 2011, 12:41 PM) *
That and (sexist as is sounds) I feel that most women don't belong in the Whitehouse. I just know that most women I know would get too crazy one week out of every month to handle things like foreign policy with grace.


It would be a little excessive to mention every historical female head of state from Cleopatra, Wu Zetian, and Margaret I to Sirivamo Bandaranaike, Isabel Peron, and Maggie Thatcher, but lets suffice it to say that Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Argentina, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, India, Costa Rica, Brazil, Germany, Iceland, Bangladesh, Croatia, Australia, Slovakia, and Peru are actually doing reasonably right now, and are presently all led by women.

I don't mean to attack you in a way that discourages you from posting here, because I'm really glad we have new members that being fresh ideas all the time, but I am really afraid that when India can elect Indira Ghandi and Pakistan can elect Benazir Bhutto (hell, in the 1980s, too...we were still coming to terms with Geraldine Ferraro), people in the United States are still uncertain about the ability of women to lead. I am no feminist, but the fact that Yulia Tymoshenko can overcome such great institutional obstacles to democracy in Ukraine, Tansu Ciller was able to successfully modernize the Turkish military and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo could successfully overhaul the Philippine economy seems to prove to me that Helen Clark and Violeta Chamorro weren't necessarily bad choices either. I don't think it's really fair to look at Khaleda Zia or Gro Harlem Brundtland any differently than a comparative male leader, and I certainly don't buy that Han Myeong-sook or Hanna Suchocka were any less successful than their male counterparts would have been.

I'm going to end this diatribe now, but please, the world is changing fast. Human beings can do incredible things, male and female, and no one can reasonably be discounted or restricted from consideration on that basis.
blondie13
Research Monkey, I'm not trying to be backwards and I understand what you're saying. I also am not going to argue against your points, because I agree with them completely. There are great woman leaders in many countries and I'm certain there always will be. There are also great woman leaders within the United States, especially in places such as in the Senate. And please note, I said MOST women. I wouldn't trust most men in the white house either, but there are a larger amount of them running and a higher likelihood that out of those candidates one will be suitable, just because of the sample space. It takes a very special type of person to lead a country, be it woman or man. You have to have a thick skin and deal with things well, as well as be charismatic and stick to your guns. You can't let your emotions get in the way. Many women do find that hard to overcome, and I've seen women similar to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann in my community who have made hormone fueled choices which they later regretted. It can be mastered, but the women who are currently running have not proven that they will not let that get in the way. And that's more or less what I meant. I personally would have backed Hillary Clinton, looking back on it, in the last election. She stands out to me as a woman who's got it together/doesn't let her emotions get in the way. And if Olympia Snowe was ever to run for president, I would be all over that. I don't want a woman president for the novelty of having a woman president, I want a woman president who stands out among the crowd, handles herself with grace, and takes on the men without flinching.
Stanley Tree
Minus the nationalist calls, I agree Merkel has been pretty great.

Props to the Japanese Prez (or PM?) for giving up his salary until their crisis is finished btw.
Stanley Tree
In terms of economics, politics, no meaning whatsoever; for solidarity with the people during a time of immense crisis, it's pretty smart and generous. Yea he doesn't make much money probably, but it shows he's willing to show his job isn't done or fulfilled until he gets the country back on track.

Solidarity in itself is pretty significant, especially now for Japan. If they didn't trust the Prez and government, it could be a complication of epic proportions.
dizzyizzy
QUOTE (debator @ May 11 2011, 05:34 PM) *
^ugh, that's such a meaningless gesture.


You know who else knows it's a meaningless gesture? This guy:

Roger Goodell did the same thing, and people are still pissed at him.


Anyways, not Palin or Bachmann, I like Mike, but not necessarily his policies, and, uh, I haven't done my homework yet. I just wanted to post that picture.
tryingtothinkagain
^Sometimes I don't think people who look like that should be allowed to continue to exist.

/my politics
AK_WDB
Research Monkey, although you say you'd be willing to vote for a Republican, the content of your post suggests you'd pretty much only vote for a Republican who's exactly like a Democrat (except perhaps on some economic issues). A Republican candidate "doesn't need to go that far" to get your vote? Let's go through your statements.

QUOTE
-The Supreme Court has ruled on Roe. It has ruled on Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The issue is dead and buried, and if you try to reanimate the corpse for your own political purposes, you're a manipulative reactionary whose thirst for power must exceed your stupidity, although functions of each may approach infinity.

Sorry, but the issue is not "dead and buried". We just had an abortion debate, so I don't really want to start another one, but Supreme Court rulings do not end all discussion (as I'm sure you would agree in the case of Citizens United). It is a serious social problem that so many American women feel the need to terminate their pregnancies, and it is a serious question whether or not unborn babies have human rights. The dream of ending abortion is fundamental to a coherent conservative philosophy, even though Republicans differ on the best policies to achieve it. Asking Republicans to give up that issue is like asking Democrats to give up on universal health care: it makes a mockery of the core values the party stands for.

(Incidentally, I used to feel the same way you do: that I'd never vote for someone who wanted to overturn Roe. But I've come to realize that very intelligent and informed people, even up to the level of Supreme Court justices, can profoundly disagree on this.)

QUOTE
-I don't want to bend over backwards for Israel, Taiwan, or any of the various dictatorships we prop up for our own political purposes, and I don't want any sort of morality or value based foreign policy. I want calculated, timely best responses to issues that must be addressed and a non-interventionist course otherwise.

I think every candidate would probably say they support "calculated, timely best responses", but once you're president, figuring those out is actually a pretty difficult task. However, I would also be inclined to support a more non-interventionist Republican, and I think you'll start to see them differentiate themselves on this later on in the campaign; none of them have really talked much about foreign policy beyond trite and petty criticisms of President Obama (which are to be expected).

QUOTE
-The rights of individuals must not be infringed on the basis of sexual orientation. FDMA is clearly unconstitutional and petty, the Federal government has no business in such matters, and don't ask, don't tell is a load of horse smurf.

The definition of marriage is absolutely the federal government's business; a nation with 50 different definitions is untenable due to the problems arising from Article IV. As you know, I think there's a conservative case to be made for same-sex marriage, as well as a civil-rights one - but particularly after reading this article, I think there's also a case that federal legal recognition could be counterproductive. Regardless, even though I support same-sex marriage, I'd rather vote for a candidate who opposes it while recognizing the importance of marriage as an institution, instead of one who is indifferent to whether his government supports traditional families. (Mind you, "support" and "impose" are different, and some politicians stray too far toward the latter.)

QUOTE
-Firearm proliferation is a serious issue. That's all I need to hear, honestly. A Republican legitimately concerned that guns do indeed kill people.

What is "firearm proliferation"? I think all Republicans would agree that guns are dangerous in the hands of gangsters and murderers, but most would see harsher criminal penalties as a deterrent preferable to stricter gun laws that also keep guns away from law-abiding citizens.

I think I've run out of quotes, so I'll respond to the rest of your post in a follow-up. To be clear, my point is not so much that you are wrong on these issues (in fact, I think you're at least partially right on all of them), but that you seem to be expecting Republican candidates to take a large number of positions in direct conflict with their philosophy, both partisan and personal.
Stanley Tree
There's only one segment who wish to keep talking about abortion, and that's the religious right. That to me is not an issue anymore, just something Republicans can talk about to fire up that base. Reagan ran on platforms of trying to end abortion, and nothing got done. It can be a talking point and something we can discuss, but it hasn't been on the government plate since the Courts shut it up, so to say it's still an issue would put it on par with the debt ceiling, immigrant babies turned citizens, unemployment, and all the other salient issues. Which I think is wrong.

It's kind of like decriminalizing marijuana for the left: a great talking point to rally a bunch of people, but nothing will change about it for a long time if ever.
AK_WDB
Second part:
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 11 2011, 11:36 AM) *
-Military spending is not untouchable, nor should it be.
-Stop talking about "job creation," as this simplistic algorithm for success and advocate sound economic policies that boost the nation's long-run potential for growth and secure it from exogenous shocks and our own missteps. You can be business friendly without being a mindless populist.
-Let's lower taxes. When we can. Which isn't now.
-The environment is everyone's business. Saying you don't want to impose environmental regulations on businesses is the weakest pro-business platform ever, but that seems to be as far as Republicans want to go to suit their detractors on both issues. Drive innovation with incentives, and promote pure public goods.

Here is where I agree with you more. Republicans should recognize all four things you list here, and not doing so is silly. (I left out the Internet regulation part because I know zilch about it.) However, for each complaint about Republicans that you give here, I can give a corresponding one about Democrats:
- Social Security and Medicare are not untouchable, nor should they be. (And those things are a much higher portion of the budget than the military.)
- Exact same thing: Democrats obsess about "job creation" as much or more, even though it's not the government's job (heh) to guarantee everyone a job.
- Let's recognize that corporate and capital gains taxes are detrimental to the economy instead of just shortsightedly insisting "the rich can afford to pay more".
- Let's stop assuming that ANY policy intended to protect the environment is a good one, and recognize that some environmental regulations dramatically fail a benefit-cost analysis.

QUOTE
I don't see myself voting Republican this term, but by all means, my vote is very much achievable by them. Promises of addressing the issues of the last election (chiefly among them health care reform) have been insufficiently lived up to, and I still am an advocate of the policies that I advocated a few years ago. But, I have a wide range of concerns about the future that I don't see being addressed from either side, and my vote is entirely up for grabs.

Your post essentially says the following: "I'll consider voting for a Republican if his positions are 100% perfectly in line with my own; if not, I'll vote for the Democrat, even if his positions/record are no better." That makes no sense. I voted for Obama in 2008 despite knowing I disagreed with him on health care; I paid the price when I saw his health care bill passed, but I'm not going to demand that he agree to repeal it in order to gain my vote this time around. What I need to say on that issue is either (1) the health care bill is such a blunder that Obama has automatically lost my vote to the Republicans, or (2) the health care bill is a negative mark, but depending on the qualities of the Republican candidate, I may still vote for Obama.
Research Monkey
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 08:14 AM) *
Research Monkey, although you say you'd be willing to vote for a Republican, the content of your post suggests you'd pretty much only vote for a Republican who's exactly like a Democrat (except perhaps on some economic issues). A Republican candidate "doesn't need to go that far" to get your vote? Let's go through your statements.


My statement is almost a blatant lie, it mostly just means that I'd like to see an economic conservative/social libertarian candidate that doesn't need to be anointed by the religious right.
VarsityBoy
BeeTeeDub I'm surprised no one's talking about Christie. Also iirc Huckabee Barbour is not going to run (lol irrelevance). Newt however just announced.
Research Monkey
QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ May 12 2011, 10:17 AM) *
BeeTeeDub I'm surprised no one's talking about Christie.


Sep 8th: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/08/c...d_n_708765.html

Yesterday: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-roo...g-for-president
VarsityBoy
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 12 2011, 06:18 PM) *
QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ May 12 2011, 10:17 AM) *
BeeTeeDub I'm surprised no one's talking about Christie.


Sep 8th: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/08/c...d_n_708765.html

Yesterday: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-roo...g-for-president

ah.
AK_WDB
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 12 2011, 09:14 AM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 08:14 AM) *
Research Monkey, although you say you'd be willing to vote for a Republican, the content of your post suggests you'd pretty much only vote for a Republican who's exactly like a Democrat (except perhaps on some economic issues). A Republican candidate "doesn't need to go that far" to get your vote? Let's go through your statements.

My statement is almost a blatant lie, it mostly just means that I'd like to see an economic conservative/social libertarian candidate that doesn't need to be anointed by the religious right.

Which brings me to my quibble with your last statement: that this primary is all about burnishing social-conservative credentials. I think the religious right is going to have far less influence on this election than in previous years. What are the salient issues of the day? The economy, the national debt, entitlements, and to a lesser extent, foreign policy. Of course that could change before 2012, but compare this to 2004, when all the analysts said Bush won on "God, gays, and guns". The balance between fiscal and social conservatism has shifted dramatically toward fiscal, largely thanks to the economic crash and the fact that people have finally woken up to the deficit problem. This is one thing I actually like about the Tea Party; they've helped shift the focus.

That said, I certainly wouldn't mind a better dialogue on social issues. People aren't giving much thought to them; all I hear is "it's bad so it should be illegal" or "it's good so it should be legal". Abortion, drug legalization, gay marriage, etc. deserve much more nuanced analysis.

Also, you have such a candidate: Gary Johnson.
blondie13
QUOTE (VarsityBoy @ May 12 2011, 12:17 PM) *
BeeTeeDub I'm surprised no one's talking about Christie. Also iirc Huckabee Barbour is not going to run (lol irrelevance). Newt however just announced.


Christie was pretty intent on not running for quite some time. There's been buzz he would run for about a year or more now but he kept insisting he had no interest.
blondie13
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 12:47 PM) *

That said, I certainly wouldn't mind a better dialogue on social issues. People aren't giving much thought to them; all I hear is "it's bad so it should be illegal" or "it's good so it should be legal". Abortion, drug legalization, gay marriage, etc. deserve much more nuanced analysis.


That's what bugs me sooo much about debating social issues, especially in the county where I live. No one has good reasoning as to where they stand, yet they are passionate about their beliefs. I don't understand how someone can be passionate about something yet be unable to defend their position. wallbash.gif Sometimes, even if I agree with these people, I play devil's advocate and debate with them just to show them how ridiculous they're being.
Research Monkey
Going to post more substantively later in response to your points, Will, but

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 10:47 AM) *
Also, you have such a candidate: Gary Johnson.


QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 11 2011, 12:36 PM) *
I'm mildly interested in Gary Johnson's candidacy, but I doubt that will become anything.


Indeed, he meets the requisite criteria, and I do hope he proves that he can debate, but I'm not so optimistic that the days of the religious right dominating the scene are over. I think even more dangerously, the religious right is gatekeeping the mainstream candidate flow out of the Republican Party, and that gives us clowns like Huckabee and Santorum dressed up as legitimate contenders.
Research Monkey
I would say "gotta love Dan Savage," but that would be massively inappropriate given the thread's content.
AK_WDB
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 12 2011, 11:07 AM) *
Indeed, he meets the requisite criteria, and I do hope he proves that he can debate, but I'm not so optimistic that the days of the religious right dominating the scene are over. I think even more dangerously, the religious right is gatekeeping the mainstream candidate flow out of the Republican Party, and that gives us clowns like Huckabee and Santorum dressed up as legitimate contenders.

I'm not saying the religious right has no influence, and I think you're probably correct that they will prevent Johnson from being a serious contender. But:
(1) The religious right is not just some shadowy group of elites who have hijacked the Republican Party. The reason religion and social issues are important to the party is because they're important to a large segment of actual voters, and while you (and to a lesser extent I) may believe those voters are wrong and/or uninformed, the party can't be expected to just ignore them.
(2) Gary Johnson is most definitely not "mainstream"; he is an extreme libertarian. I'm not sure what you mean by "mainstream candidates", but conservative views on religion and social issues are actually very common, and I would argue that someone like Huckabee or Santorum is actually much closer not only to the average Republican, but to the average American in general, than Johnson is.

Santorum, I agree, is a crank. But my views of Huckabee have actually become much more favorable this election. He's certainly more conservative than I am on social issues, but at least he articulates real ideas about them, which (as I was saying before) is important. And Huckabee's main issue with the "party base" seems to be that he once raised taxes, which is not a problem with me - I'm kind of in favor of that whole fiscal responsibility thing.
Widget!
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 01:04 PM) *
(2) Gary Johnson is most definitely not "mainstream"; he is an extreme libertarian. I'm not sure what you mean by "mainstream candidates", but conservative views on religion and social issues are actually very common, and I would argue that someone like Huckabee or Santorum is actually much closer not only to the average Republican, but to the average American in general, than Johnson is.


This is because the average American sucks.

/troll
Research Monkey
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 01:04 PM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 12 2011, 11:07 AM) *
Indeed, he meets the requisite criteria, and I do hope he proves that he can debate, but I'm not so optimistic that the days of the religious right dominating the scene are over. I think even more dangerously, the religious right is gatekeeping the mainstream candidate flow out of the Republican Party, and that gives us clowns like Huckabee and Santorum dressed up as legitimate contenders.

I'm not saying the religious right has no influence, and I think you're probably correct that they will prevent Johnson from being a serious contender. But:
(1) The religious right is not just some shadowy group of elites who have hijacked the Republican Party. The reason religion and social issues are important to the party is because they're important to a large segment of actual voters, and while you (and to a lesser extent I) may believe those voters are wrong and/or uninformed, the party can't be expected to just ignore them.


The religious right is not a shadowy group of elites (like those ones that control the media, the Fed, the Democratic Party, and ESPN's broadcasting choices), it's a group of vocal and determined voters who place a common philosophical whimsy above all else when voting. As such, they act a lot like a group of elites in the lack of deliberation and diversity in opinion inherent in them.

When I think "the religious right" I don't see a group of secret Pope-hatted (now a word) old guys underground ritually sacrificing a virgin to divine policy positions. I don't think of self-serving and corrupt career politicians, and I don't think of easy to hate icons of evil like Jerry Falwell. I think of ordinary, good people who just happen to be completely smurfing nuts. Like my aunt and uncle. Two of the kindest people I'll ever meet, and really incredible people, except...I wouldn't trust them to run the country. There are a lot of proof here that I feel justifies that, but I'll avoid getting too personal on a public webforum. What I'm saying is, I know how the religious right thinks and they vote as a group of nice, generous, passionate people tragically misguided in numbers.

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 12 2011, 01:04 PM) *
(2) Gary Johnson is most definitely not "mainstream"; he is an extreme libertarian. I'm not sure what you mean by "mainstream candidates", but conservative views on religion and social issues are actually very common, and I would argue that someone like Huckabee or Santorum is actually much closer not only to the average Republican, but to the average American in general, than Johnson is.


Sure, but I think we can all agree that the median voter theorem is a political liability more than it is a success of democracy.
Stanley Tree
I agree whole-heartedly with your sentiments about the Religious Right. In the Deep South, the Religious Right is king; it's not the majority of Republicans or citizens in any state, but as you said they control pretty much all national and state-wide elected officials. The influence of the upper-crust Republicans is felt the hardest here; they have this lack of informed decision because whatever the top level of RR people believe is good is what the rest of the RR believes.

The RR will ultimately be a huge factor in who runs for the Presidency, but the more influence they have the less likely the Republicans will win.
michelangelo
I would have voted for Huntsman, up until he seemed to forget whether or not he was Mormon. At least Romney didn't run from his religion.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,...2071003,00.html
Widget!
QUOTE (michelangelo @ May 15 2011, 10:35 PM) *
I would have voted for Huntsman, up until he seemed to forget whether or not he was Mormon. At least Romney didn't run from his religion.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,...2071003,00.html


Being reticent about his degree of faith in the LDS church means he has forgotten whether or not he's a Mormon?
Research Monkey
QUOTE (michelangelo @ May 15 2011, 10:35 PM) *
I would have voted for Huntsman, up until he seemed to forget whether or not he was Mormon. At least Romney didn't run from his religion.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,...2071003,00.html


Faith is not a binary attribute. Indeed, it seems like half the GOP primary process consists of parading around one's faith as deeper than everyone else like a bunch of drunken fratbros comparing respective anatomical endowments. I'm sure every time he goes near a temple for the next year will be documented on camera, so I think you will be able to judge for yourself whether or not he's "Mormon enough."
AK_WDB
In the wake of Huckabee's announcement that he isn't running, Intrade lists the most likely nominees as Romney (26%), Pawlenty (18%), Huntsman (12%), and Daniels (11%). Meanwhile, the Tea Party squad of Palin, Trump, Gingrich, and Bachmann all rate in the 4-5% range. The leading four candidates are all perceived by the media as both more "establishment" and more moderate than the Tea Partiers, and in this case, perception pretty much is reality, even if the differences are mainly superficial.

Given the dominance of the Tea Party and "anti-establishment" sentiment in the recent political climate, I find it hard to believe these four candidates will remain the front-runners. Not only do they lack strong Tea Party support, but they are all viewed as either amorphous (Romney and Pawlenty) or soft-spoken and low-key (Huntsman and Daniels). There is a big opening for someone with a clear, forceful message and a loud voice - a description which both Gingrich and Bachmann fit well. Palin and Trump are mostly celebrities, inferior to the other two in both intellectual substance and speaking ability, but either one could make a comeback if they get the right publicity. But I'd put my money on Gingrich and/or Bachmann rising considerably in the polls and the Intrade ratings. Gingrich in particular is a very interesting candidate about whom I have much to say, but perhaps I'll wait a bit.

I am very skeptical of Jon Huntsman's chances of getting the nomination, although I personally find him an attractive candidate. Maybe I'm missing something - after all, he was a very popular governor of Utah - but I don't see how very many Republicans are going to get super-excited about a guy who served in the Obama administration and shies away from expressing conservative positions. Where is his base? He can't even count on Mormon voters, since Romney is in the race too and much better known. His base will be moderates who are tired of vitriolic partisan rhetoric, but they are (1) not a high percentage of the primary electorate, (2) unlikely to get all that fired up, and (3) have several other choices, especially Daniels. The only way I could see him winning is if he somehow manages to drive all the other "moderate" candidates out of the field and split the Tea Party vote, but I don't see how he'll do that.
Autumn Comet
Trump won't run for president
Well, we can count on the primary to be slightly less insane. The comments below the article are pretty hilarious.

Crow
Mr. Gingrich appears to be taking it in the pants so far. I don't see this ending well for him.

AK_WDB
Mr. Gingrich needs to quit dicking around. Going to criticize Paul Ryan's Medicare plan? Then tell us how you'd do it better (hint: the Mitt Romney model is not a good place to start).

I do expect Gingrich to come up with a good health care plan though, and provided he does, I won't begrudge him that gaffe too much.
Crow
^ Still not looking good.

Given that I'm a history major, I think it would be pretty cool to see a former history professor go at this. I'm actually digging him more than I thought I would, but he's going to get eaten alive if he maintains his current trajectory.
AK_WDB
QUOTE (Crow @ May 20 2011, 02:42 PM) *
^ Still not looking good.

Given that I'm a history major, I think it would be pretty cool to see a former history professor go at this. I'm actually digging him more than I thought I would, but he's going to get eaten alive if he maintains his current trajectory.

Gingrich is an academic and a man of ideas, no question about it, and he's probably thought up more serious and novel policy ideas than all the other candidates combined. That's what I like about him. But his strident anti-Obama rhetoric is a bit much to handle, and I have to admit that his three marriages bother me too; I'm a little bit more of a "values voter" than I used to be.

For the record, though, I agree with him that immigration reform needs to happen, although I might not have phrased it the way he did.
Research Monkey
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 20 2011, 04:42 PM) *
]
and he's probably thought up more serious and novel policy ideas than all the other candidates combined. That's what I like about him.


This much I understand.

QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 20 2011, 04:42 PM) *
]
Gingrich is an academic and a man of ideas, no question about it,


On this one, you give the man far, far too much credit.
VarsityBoy
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ May 21 2011, 02:51 AM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 20 2011, 04:42 PM) *
]
Gingrich is an academic and a man of ideas, no question about it,


On this one, you give the man far, far too much credit.

ayep
AK_WDB
VarsityBoy - many apologies, I was trying to post a reply to your post, but accidentally edited your post instead. wallbash.gif So I had to delete it, otherwise it would have been my post under your name.

I was saying that I'm very much a policy voter and think personality politics are generally useless, but in this case, "values" overlap with policy because Gingrich claims to have socially conservative principles and his history makes me wonder how well he actually understands those.
Stanley Tree
If you look at the last time Gingrich was powerful, he decimated the party with his hard-line forcefulness and overcontrol of the House. He can't deal with criticism, he is a foundation of vitriol and he doesn't handle power well. He's also a lightning rod, he finds power in storms but is useless to help control it.
AK_WDB
"Decimated the party" in what sense? The Republicans maintained control of Congress and took back the White House (though the excessive spending and debt of the Bush years hardly represent my vision for the party, nor Gingrich's, I suspect).

Forgive me, ST, if I'm skeptical that the welfare of the Republican Party is your top concern. But that's not to say you're wrong if you think Gingrich would be a bad president; I just haven't made up my mind, and I don't have to yet.
JSC
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 21 2011, 12:57 AM) *
"Decimated the party" in what sense? The Republicans maintained control of Congress and took back the White House (though the excessive spending and debt of the Bush years hardly represent my vision for the party, nor Gingrich's, I suspect).

Forgive me, ST, if I'm skeptical that the welfare of the Republican Party is your top concern. But that's not to say you're wrong if you think Gingrich would be a bad president; I just haven't made up my mind, and I don't have to yet.

I don't know if he would be a bad president, but I know he would be a bad candidate (and likely never get to be president). He has good favorables, to be sure, but his unfavorables are through the roof. The Dems could mail it in if Newt got the nomination.
zzzptm
He'd collapse like a house of cards in a debate with Obama. Obama's got smoove on his side. Gingrich is too earnest.

The Republicans need a candidate that doesn't appeal to only the 21 percenters. Unfortunately, that would mean they'd have a Democrat running under their banner, for all intents and purposes.
Stanley Tree
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 21 2011, 05:57 AM) *
"Decimated the party" in what sense? The Republicans maintained control of Congress and took back the White House (though the excessive spending and debt of the Bush years hardly represent my vision for the party, nor Gingrich's, I suspect).

Forgive me, ST, if I'm skeptical that the welfare of the Republican Party is your top concern. But that's not to say you're wrong if you think Gingrich would be a bad president; I just haven't made up my mind, and I don't have to yet.


Decimated may be too strong of a word, but he setback the Repubs hxc when he was Speaker of the House. The Reps had a huge national mandate off the heels of Clinton's failed healthcare plan, so the fact they lost seats in both the next two elections (with Gingrich being replaced by his own party before the '98 elections) and my opinion that the Contract With America was a big joke says that either Gingrich lost it or Clinton beat him. Either way, Gingrich got pwnd.

It seems clear to me that the Reps have to elect someone more moderate than Gingrich. They're already going to get the Religious Right no matter what happens, but they need someone to attract the ever-increasing independents that isn't living on a platform of abortion, guns, immigration, or any social issues because independents are not usually socially conservative (the typical conservative fiscal, liberal social person seems to dominate the independents). Also, it seems like one thing that just about every American hates is the vitriol and divisiveness of today's politics; if we had Gingrich as prez, it would be worse on a scale of magnitudes. That's my favorite part of Obama, he doesn't implement party baiting and partisanship near as much as he could (minus Healthcare). He's pushed some foundational ideas of the Democratic Party through, but he hasn't made every battle about who will win the partisan interests of the politicians. He's been much more about making sure America is better off than it was without proposed legislation.
AK_WDB
Gingrich is not a candidate especially associated with the religious right; in fact, many people think that's where he'll have problems in the primaries because of his marital history. Nor is Gingrich's platform focused on abortion, guns, or a hard-line stance on immigration; see the link Crow posted a few back. I'm actually really digging the fact that this campaign is likely to be about deficits, entitlements, and other fiscal/economic issues (though that will come with a corresponding deluge of stupid "job-creating/job-killing" rhetoric).

I agree with you about Obama, and that's largely why I voted for him in 2008; it was all about tone. But if you look under the surface, many of his criticisms of conservative positions are equally wrong, even if they're phrased more nicely. Also, when he says he's willing to work with Republicans, he usually seems to mean "I'm willing to sit down and talk about why my positions are better, but not to accept any of yours." So I feel like I may have given him too many points for that, and in 2012 I'll be voting more strictly on policy.
AK_WDB
QUOTE (debator @ May 21 2011, 02:29 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 21 2011, 12:00 PM) *
he usually seems to mean "I'm willing to sit down and talk about why my positions are better, but not to accept any of yours."

i'm sorry, have you been asleep for six months?

I suppose you're referring to the tax cut compromise? You're right that Obama conceded to Republicans there, because he basically had no other choice except to let the tax cuts expire for everybody (which is the option I would have preferred, but wouldn't be good for his re-election prospects).
VarsityBoy
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ May 21 2011, 05:32 AM) *
VarsityBoy - many apologies, I was trying to post a reply to your post, but accidentally edited your post instead. wallbash.gif So I had to delete it, otherwise it would have been my post under your name.


As much as I hate identity theft that would have been hilarious.


Though you don't get away without a loladmin
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