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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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101  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Political Figures You Disagree With But You Know Are Good, Well-Meaning People on: June 28, 2016, 10:22:16 pm
Paul Ryan, maybe.
102  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: The Brilliance of Trump on: June 28, 2016, 09:57:30 pm
Since the moment he entered the race, Trump has demonstrated a thorough understanding of the political marketing and the political process in general. His mastery of the art of branding has been demonstrated on various occasions and not only in branding his adversaries, thus eliminating them, but branding and re-branding himself.

Now, Trump is a larger than life person with a 100% name recognition. His image is mostly negative. How then to improve in this area?

Once more Trump shows his political talent and demonstrates his brilliance to all who can see.

In order to improve, he must first destroy his image even more, preferably completely. He must fall so low, that any perceived improvement will be received with praise and accolades. What would be considered a sub-par, even terrible performance for other politicians is lauded as the most presidential appearance of Trump and proof of his abilities to run a disciplined campaign, even proof of his qualifications for the office of the president of the USA. A good example is the speech he gave in Pennsylvania today, which was below average, but for Trump's standards, the standards he himself set, is superb and judged as such by even the most hostile and Trump hating pundits.

Why was this necessary? Simply put, Trump, in his infinite wisdom and self-awareness was all too conscious of his glaring weaknesses. How else to make those same weaknesses look smaller and turn them to strengths, than to first lower the standards by which he would be judged and then improving from that low point there, but still being at the level significantly below his opponent, reap the full reward of his stratagem.


Until this year, I would never have believed the possibility of such a narrative being true.

I really do view Trump as being a person who knows something others don't.  I don't understand why folks don't see this, given what he's done so far.  He's pulled off a hostile takeover of the GOP; how many can say this?  Bernie Sanders didn't take over the Democrats, and he was less out of line with mainstream Democrats than Trump is with the GOP Establishment and Movement Conservative.

Literally the only piece of "privileged" information Trump acted on was that the Republican base is made up of racist anti-intellectuals. Doesn't take a genius to know that. But it does take a sh-tty person to so totally tap into it.
103  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: NBC / Survey Monkey: Clinton + 8 nationally, +6 with Johnson/Stein on: June 28, 2016, 01:38:11 pm
But but but!!!!! Trump's Brexit boost!!!!!!

I think we have to face the fact that Clinton is... well... actually running a very effective GE campaign so far. I love her to death, but I can admit that her campaigns 'til now have never really seemed 100% on-the-ball in terms of messaging or strategy. Lately, she seems so focused and her campaign rapidly responds to new developments on the trail that's I'm feeling really optimistic and energized.

Put her against a Republican rival/bully and she's fantastic.
104  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will Donald Trump lose by double digits? on: June 27, 2016, 12:13:59 pm


If the Democrats couldn't get a 10% landslide in such an extremely favorable year, then they will not get it in 2016, which is much less favorable (See Republican primary turnout).

Your only viable argument here is that 2016 is more favorable to the Democrats than 2008 was or that 2008 was not extremely favorable to the Democrats in truth. Either are losing arguments.

Lastly, several studies and surveys have found increased polarization. Here is one (among many):


Over the past twenty years, the number of Americans in the “tails” of this ideological distribution has doubled from 10% to 21%. Meanwhile, the center has shrunk: 39% currently take a roughly equal number of liberal and conservative positions. That is down from about half (49%) of the public in surveys conducted in 1994 and 2004.

And this shift represents both Democrats moving to the left and Republicans moving to the right, with less and less overlap between the parties. Today, 92% of Republicans are to the right of the median (middle) Democrat, compared with 64% twenty years ago. And 94% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican, up from 70% in 1994.


McCain was a much more traditional Republican candidate. Also there is data showing Obama lost 2-3% just because he was black. So to say it could never happen isn't entirely accurate. Also, it's entirely possible that if the division among Republican elites continues, it could contribute to depressed Republican turnout.

Not to mention, I recall reading that the Obama campaign had huge technical difficulties on November 4th, 2008, which could have impacted BHO's toplines (see here). 2008 was by no means the high-water mark.
105  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: What percentage of white people are racist? on: June 26, 2016, 10:49:54 pm
I agree that it's probably around 50%, but there are obviously varying degrees of racism.
106  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why has Hillary dropped off so much since March/April? on: June 26, 2016, 06:21:31 pm
Honestly, the final map for the Democratic primaries is pretty revealing, I think. It pretty conclusively shows that the runner-up only won small states, never really had a chance, and probably should have dropped out earlier.

The only reason it looks like it wasn't a rout is because the guy was too stubborn to ever see the writing on the wall.
107  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why has Hillary dropped off so much since March/April? on: June 25, 2016, 11:47:21 pm
Possibly that more people have started tuning into the election, and are being much more critical of her. It could be that she's in a bit of a dip right now, as well.

I haven't heard any new criticism of her in the last three months though.  It's all the same stuff.  Emails, wall street donations, Bosnian snipers, Clinton Cash.

Corruption is a serious insinuation. Once it's planted, it endures. Obviously we had to expect she'd get tarred with it in Republican circles, but when the message comes from Bernie Sanders it does real damage where it otherwise shouldn't have really done. Bernie ratcheted it up three months ago.
108  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Donald Trump ran an openly sexist campaign... on: June 24, 2016, 11:09:24 pm
He literally already is running an openly sexist campaign lol.
109  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Hillary supporters, are you worried Trump might get his act together in time? on: June 24, 2016, 07:47:20 pm
I am worried, but only because it's hard not to be. There's always a CHANCE he could win, and that's terrifying.
110  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who wins now? on: June 24, 2016, 06:49:53 pm

In fairness, if the election were a referendum between Trump's platform and Clinton's platform, without either candidate's actual personality on the ballot, I would be very, very concerned about the Trump side winning.

Not exactly. Hillary's would be hundreds of pages long and Trump's would be about eight questionable soundbites.
111  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Brexit's effect on US General Election on: June 24, 2016, 01:21:56 am
It will help Trump. There will be nasty financial turbulence for quite a while, and that will help Trump.

Not if it's mostly isolated to the UK/Europe. It'll be a spectacle to behold that casts real aspersions on empty Trumpist nationalism stateside.
112  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Who wins now? on: June 24, 2016, 01:07:31 am
Well, the same tides that led to the Brexit are also helping to support Trump. If the short-term economic fallout of the Brexit vote is actually bad in a way that dominates the news for some time, Americans might get a little frightened of a similar risky bet on Trump.
113  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sanders "it doesn't appear I'm going to be the nominee" on: June 23, 2016, 07:52:35 pm
I'm just astounded that it is suddenly ridiculous to expect the loser of a primary election to concede defeat and congratulate his opponent. Especially when the win does have meaningful significance for a historically marginalized group.
114  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Bernie Sanders Continues to Spew Hot Air on: June 23, 2016, 02:18:26 pm
Glad to see that you support party unity, Hagrid.

"Party unity" necessarily requires the loser to at least congratulate the winner. Offering a list of demands like some kind of blackmail manifesto, especially when the list actually doesn't contain anything actionable at all, is not a step forward. No one asked him to write this article, and it certainly isn't a step towards reconciliation.

So that's the thing. Hillary has taken on most of his issues. There's not much divide at all. She's fighting for the backing of Bernie's supporters. He's got to face the music and do his part too.
115  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Bernie Sanders Continues to Spew Hot Air on: June 23, 2016, 01:39:35 pm
This time in the Washington Post.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/06/23/bernie-sanders-heres-what-we-want/
116  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Rumsfeld endorses TRUMP on: June 22, 2016, 05:16:59 pm
This will make Green Line very happy!

Indeed!  Trump is trying very hard for my vote today.  It hasn't worked though, yet.

It will though. You basically spent the entire aftermath of Orlando defending Trump's racist anti-Muslim policies.
117  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: TRUMP courting LGBT voters on: June 22, 2016, 11:03:52 am
He has a lot of gay friends. He's probably the least homophobic GOP nominee ever.

lol

Seriously.  I'm not condoning their pandering, but I highly doubt that either Bush, Dole, McCain or Romney are actually homophobic people, BTW.

TBH I think a second-term President Romney probably would have come out in support of gay marriage.
118  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: UT-Dan Jones & Associates/UtahPolicy.com: Trump+9 on: June 21, 2016, 09:36:13 pm
Utah is fool's gold for Clinton.

Yes, there's no way she wins the state. 88% of Democrats are already decided for her, almost all those undecided voters will be Trump voters by November.

Unless Romney endorses Johnson and campaigns hard for him in Utah.
119  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump's Trump University deposition has apparently been leaked on: June 21, 2016, 10:53:45 am
Glorious. This will be in the news for days.
120  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton & Trump VP news LATEST: Castro, Kaine, and Warren asked to submit info on: June 21, 2016, 12:52:59 am
Or Warren just flat-out preferred Clinton and Clinton wanted her to stay out so she could help unify when Bernie inevitably became too curmudgeony to do it himself.
121  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Sen. Jeff Merkley booed after urging Democrats to unite behind Clinton. on: June 19, 2016, 10:29:18 pm
Let's be honest, it's not like the Clinton supporters here can accept that the primaries are over either.

That's because, unfortunately, we need these f-cking idiots.
122  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: White BernieBros force their way into NE Latino caucus, try to force out chair on: June 19, 2016, 06:54:40 pm
At the end of the day, Bernie is at least partially accountable for enabling this bullsh-t.
123  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Nate Silver: Dear Media, Stop Freaking Out About Donald Trump’s Polls on: June 19, 2016, 03:41:07 pm
I mean, I often wonder if Trump was the 0.01% chance that happened.
124  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Should Sanders be given a speaking slot at the DNC if he refuses to endorse on: June 19, 2016, 12:43:44 am
As a young PUMA, I have to say that the Busters probably are more scary than the PUMAs were for Obama's supporters in '08.

I was 16 in 2008. I pretended the issues mattered to me because that's what I needed to project, but in reality... I really just *liked* Hillary. I believed Obama wasn't up to the job (and I still think I was right and that it took the guy far too long to grow into his responsibilities, but I digress Tongue). So I supported McCain. In hindsight, if I had actually been an intelligent person, I probably should have gotten over myself and realized that Hillary's values were not John McCain's values. But I couldn't, because I was young and stupid and didn't really understand what was at stake in politics.

Most of Hillary's other supporters, though, were older. They'd been through it all and knew that it just made sense to support Obama in the end. PUMAism didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, draws most of his support from young people who are more likely to not really understand why voting for Hillary is the right thing to do come November. That's what's a little bit scary. They're political n00bs who, like me in 2008, think they know everything.

Didn't you support Romney in 2012 because you were still upset over Obama owning Hillary in 2008?

I'm sure that was part of it. I let my id steer my ego, so to speak. I always thought of myself as more of a centrist, and at that time I let my instinctual anti-Obama feelings compel me to go down the Republican rabbit hole. But in so doing I did still "believe" what I believed. I could defend my reasoning on most things and I trusted my arguments. So I don't regret supporting Romney and I still think he would have been a decent president.

Even now, I have a green avatar for a reason. It's just that when a candidate is so completely inflammatory, all the good "hard" policies in the world would not be able to undo the "soft" damage that would result from the despicable rhetoric. And as someone who came to terms with some things about myself over the last two years or so, I'm definitely more keenly in tune with what the consequences of divisiveness can be. Coming out definitely complicated my political identity a lot and made me face up to the harder truths about which side I wanted to be on. Add onto that the fact that Trump's "hard" policies aren't good at all (he has no f-cking idea what he's talking about), and it's not surprising that I'd have few good things to say about the Republican Party in its current form.

So back to that green avatar... I'm still pretty right-wing/hawkish on foreign policy, believe in free trade, think raising taxes is a bad idea, and am pro-pipeline/drilling/fracking/etc. On the other hand, I'm mostly pro-affirmative action, hate Republicans' approach to the school system, support amnesty, am increasingly okay with Obamacare even though I think the timing of the whole thing was shi-tty, am obviously for gay rights, support sensible gun control that the GOP isn't even willing to budge on, can engage on topics around race without being a total dingus (white conservatives who advocate colour-blindedness and think they're being "progressive" are literally the worst), and am pro-union.

But when one side decides it's an electoral strategy to begin defying logic in general, the half of me that would have otherwise been inclined to support that side gets a hell of a lot less enthusiastic. I'd add that Romney has proven this cycle that he's not one of the complete and total dopes, so I take a bit of gratification from that.

Anyway, yeah. If y'all think psychology doesn't play some role in role politics (and how politics shapes identity), I don't know what to say. I will readily admit that I am partly a product of my post-facto adjustments to decisions I have chosen to make based on gut. Maybe it doesn't make me the most reliable partisan or give me a strong ideological core, but now that I know a bit more about who I am (or at least want to be), I can feel things "locking in" in a way that they weren't before. And I did not completely go over to the other side, either. The GOP just eliminated itself from contention. I hope one day there'll be a time when I can actually have a real choice.
125  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump is in big polling trouble on: June 18, 2016, 11:53:24 pm
Thanks for this insight.
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