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Author Topic: Negativity in Presidential Politics  (Read 3874 times)
angus
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« on: March 03, 2004, 01:08:49 am »
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With all the descriptions of geopolitical identity, the comparisons of Carter in 1980 to Bush in 2004, and constant reminders of polarization by the journalistic class, one might reach the conclusion that we're in for one of the most negative presidential campaigns ever.  In the Democrat Party primary debates a greater amount of time was devoted to descriptions of the legislative agenda of the Bush administration than on candidates' descriptions of their values.  Even on this enlightened forum we relish in the bloodsport of rhetorical attack.  Will the nastiness of the 2004 general election campaign exceed that of the 2000 campaign?
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HoopsCubs
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2004, 01:23:47 am »
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With all the descriptions of geopolitical identity, the comparisons of Carter in 1980 to Bush in 2004, and constant reminders of polarization by the journalistic class, one might reach the conclusion that we're in for one of the most negative presidential campaigns ever.  In the Democrat Party primary debates a greater amount of time was devoted to descriptions of the legislative agenda of the Bush administration than on candidates' descriptions of their values.  Even on this enlightened forum we relish in the bloodsport of rhetorical attack.  Will the nastiness of the 2004 general election campaign exceed that of the 2000 campaign?

Oh, it's going to be ugly man.  Hard core democrats despise the Bush administration.   And Bush's right wing base despise liberals, especially the northeast variety.

In my adult life, I have not seen the country as divided as we are now.

We really do live in 2 Americas, red and blue.  20 years ago Republican friends of mine and Democrat friends of mine could agree on several issues.  Today, we can't agree on anything.

I predict the popular vote will again be close to 50-50, and no one will win the EV count with more than 290.

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MarkDel
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2004, 02:21:42 am »
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HoopsCubs,

You're right, it's much worse than before. 20 years ago I could find common ground with my friends who were Democrats, but not anymore. The strange thing about that...my views have not changed ONE BIT in those 20 years.
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opebo
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2004, 05:05:28 am »
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I hope Bush goes as negative as possible, if it will win him another term.
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Ben.
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2004, 08:37:59 am »
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I really hope that Bush goes negative too... it will lose him the election faster than he misplaced that cumbersome budget surplus... Bush's big advantage is he is generally viewed as a nice and decent guy he goes very negative he loses that... so please go negative... go really negative...  
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2004, 10:43:30 am »
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opebo, I have to agree with Ben here. It's interesting that you're both from Missouri - your state must be about as polarized as any.

In any case, the precious 2-6% of true swing voters want to see the identity and policies of the candidates clarified. Bush doesn't have much work to do there - he's a known quantity, and one that I believe the voters would prefer (in terms of policy) to Kerry.

But he can be perceived by these voters as crass, and caring more about corporations than "regular people". Any nastiness coming out of his campaign will reinforce that perception and turn off the true swing voter (the remaining white male Reagan Democrats who could still vote for a Democrat).

I think the Republicans get this - hence the nice call from Bush to Kerry yesterday, and the call for a "spirited" (on the issues) campaign.

Let the country see the Democrats' anger and the Republicans' patriotism and steadiness.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2004, 11:31:43 am »
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It's gonna be worse...and the poll is unanimous so far... Sad
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angus
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2004, 12:12:37 pm »
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In any case, the precious 2-6% of true swing voters want to see the identity and policies of the candidates clarified. Bush doesn't have much work to do there - he's a known quantity, and one that I believe the voters would prefer (in terms of policy) to Kerry.


I rode my bicycle in today as it is a beautiful warm winter day in the East Bay area.  I'm a contrarian, I suppose, because I agree with this completely.  And, yes, it seems to be the nastiest campaign season ever.  I keep trying to facilitate at every party or lunch gathering, but there's less and less common ground.  I'm not even sure some of these people really believe what they're saying, they just repeat the words because Kerry (or Bush) said it so it must be right.
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Ben.
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2004, 12:16:03 pm »
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I think there is a hell of a lot of common ground between most members of each party... the two reasons is the growing strength of radicals on both the left and the right in defining their party's programs... and added to this the rise in adversarial politics... mostly because its good TV... shame really...  

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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2004, 12:33:29 pm »
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opebo, I have to agree with Ben here. It's interesting that you're both from Missouri - your state must be about as polarized as any.

In any case, the precious 2-6% of true swing voters want to see the identity and policies of the candidates clarified. Bush doesn't have much work to do there - he's a known quantity, and one that I believe the voters would prefer (in terms of policy) to Kerry.

But he can be perceived by these voters as crass, and caring more about corporations than "regular people". Any nastiness coming out of his campaign will reinforce that perception and turn off the true swing voter (the remaining white male Reagan Democrats who could still vote for a Democrat).

I think the Republicans get this - hence the nice call from Bush to Kerry yesterday, and the call for a "spirited" (on the issues) campaign.

Let the country see the Democrats' anger and the Republicans' patriotism and steadiness.

Swing voters are not 'Reagan Democrats' or any other kind of Democrat.  The parties are pretty much even nowadays.  Swing voters do not identify with either.
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2004, 12:58:26 pm »
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A lot of swing voters could be accuratly described as "Wallace Democrats"
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2004, 01:01:05 pm »
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I really hope that Bush goes negative too... it will lose him the election faster than he misplaced that cumbersome budget surplus... Bush's big advantage is he is generally viewed as a nice and decent guy he goes very negative he loses that... so please go negative... go really negative...  

Maybe Cheney can handle the negative stuff.
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2004, 05:11:54 pm »
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This will be a campaign of the mighty mudslinging.
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2004, 05:56:34 pm »
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Bush can only win on creating fear about Kerry.
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2004, 08:38:29 pm »
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Bush can only win on creating fear about Kerry.

And creating fear about terrorism helps him also.  Without the presence of fear, Bush has relatively nothing to run on.
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zachman
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« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2004, 08:40:21 pm »
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Yes! Its like the book 1984, he succeeds by creating a prolonged problem.
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angus
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2004, 02:57:27 pm »
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Thanks to all who voted.  Clearly, this wasn't a randomly selected sample, but the results are telling.  

We have 18 votes Yes (100%) and zero votes otherwise.  This is reassuring, and gives me optimism.

First, if anyone had selected no, I'd assume dishonesty, so it says that no matter how much we may disagree, except for the usual smartass remarks, we're all being honest in this forum.  Dave Liep has done an excellent job here, as evidenced by the quality of the users.

Obviously, the third choice is pretty much a tacit admission one thinks negatively.  I whine and moan quite a bit about negativity, stereotyping, and general lack of effort to compromise (appreciate the hypocrisy), but the fact that everyone chose the more serious 'yes' option is at least an admission of negativity rather than an attack.

Good news indeed.  Yes, it'll be a much nastier campaign than last time, or so that's what everyone believes, but not as nasty as it might be.  Read some accounts of the 1876 election, or take a look at C-SPAN programming of those nasty House of Commons debates.  Maybe Bush and Kerry, both respectable statesmen, will come out of this alive.
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« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2004, 03:12:27 pm »
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Thanks to all who voted.  Clearly, this wasn't a randomly selected sample, but the results are telling.  

We have 18 votes Yes (100%) and zero votes otherwise.  This is reassuring, and gives me optimism.

First, if anyone had selected no, I'd assume dishonesty, so it says that no matter how much we may disagree, except for the usual smartass remarks, we're all being honest in this forum.  Dave Liep has done an excellent job here, as evidenced by the quality of the users.

Obviously, the third choice is pretty much a tacit admission one thinks negatively.  I whine and moan quite a bit about negativity, stereotyping, and general lack of effort to compromise (appreciate the hypocrisy), but the fact that everyone chose the more serious 'yes' option is at least an admission of negativity rather than an attack.

Good news indeed.  Yes, it'll be a much nastier campaign than last time, or so that's what everyone believes, but not as nasty as it might be.  Read some accounts of the 1876 election, or take a look at C-SPAN programming of those nasty House of Commons debates.  Maybe Bush and Kerry, both respectable statesmen, will come out of this alive.

Kerry survived Vietnam, he should be able to make this. Wink And Bush...well, I won't say why I think he'll survive this, since I don't want risk accusation of being negative... Wink
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angus
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« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2004, 03:31:48 pm »
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"Anyone who runs is a viet cong.
 Anyone who stands still is a well-trained viet cong."
                   --From Full Metal Jacket

Bush survived vietnam too.  The smart way.

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« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2004, 03:33:58 pm »
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Bush can only win on creating fear about Kerry.

...by exposing Kerry's voting record.  A record that is certainly something to be fearful about.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2004, 03:34:47 pm »
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"Anyone who runs is a viet cong.
 Anyone who stands still is a well-trained viet cong."
                   --From Full Metal Jacket

Bush survived vietnam too.  The smart way.



Yeah, but I meant psychological survival, and I don't see his psyche getting tested by joining the National Guard instead of fighting in Vietnam.

"How can you have a peace sign on your jacket and born to kill on your helmet?

- I think I was trying to say something about the dualism of man, sir. You know, that Jungian thing."

Also from Full Metal Jacket.
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angus
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« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2004, 03:51:25 pm »
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Gustaf,

Some people need to kick cats to prove that they are a man, others need to kill gooks.  I see nothing noble and honorable about that.  I am the odd republican that would be much less likely to vote for someone who volunteers for an unpopular imperial war of choice and then, 30 years later, has his henchmen go after the guy who made the smart choice to avoid that nastiness.  I see from your sig file that you supported Iraq.  I did not.  That is not my brand of conservatism.  Nevertheless, anybody that says Bush is wrong for wanting to live is ed in the head.  The same survival instinct that made him join the Guard maybe is what is causing the doctrine of Pre-emption.  I'll have to think about that.   But, I'll not brainwash myself into thinking that Kerry is somehow nobler because he knows how to kill, up close and personal.

You should check out "Reflections of Evil" by Damon Packard.  It's a very low budget irreverent film about consumerism in the USA.  Lots of ripped-off footage.  He was sued by Spielberg, Lucas, FOX news, and many many others.   Violent language, mind you.  Very violent.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2004, 04:01:40 pm »
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Gustaf,

Some people need to kick cats to prove that they are a man, others need to kill gooks.  I see nothing noble and honorable about that.  I am the odd republican that would be much less likely to vote for someone who volunteers for an unpopular imperial war of choice and then, 30 years later, has his henchmen go after the guy who made the smart choice to avoid that nastiness.  I see from your sig file that you supported Iraq.  I did not.  That is not my brand of conservatism.  Nevertheless, anybody that says Bush is wrong for wanting to live is f**cked in the head.  The same survival instinct that made him join the Guard maybe is what is causing the doctrine of Pre-emption.  I'll have to think about that.   But, I'll not brainwash myself into thinking that Kerry is somehow nobler because he knows how to kill, up close and personal.

You should check out "Reflections of Evil" by Damon Packard.  It's a very low budget irreverent film about consumerism in the USA.  Lots of ripped-off footage.  He was sued by Spielberg, Lucas, FOX news, and many many others.   Violent language, mind you.  Very violent.

I didn't support the Vietnam War. I do find it hypocritical and distasteful to without hestitation send other people to die while never being prepared to do so himself. I of course wouldn't vote for someone just b/c he fought in a war, that would be ridiculous.
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2004, 09:04:20 pm »
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 The smart way.



what smart way? c'mon, if he was a dem you would go haed on him for this one
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angus
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2004, 09:10:45 pm »
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fair enough dunn.

anyone watching deborah norville just now?  There talking about the new Bush commercials.  "Exploitation of tragedy."  Man, it's gonna get nasty.  

What, did Michael Jackson just endorse John Kerry?!
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