Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Discussions > Off-Topic Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-06-2006, 01:33 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 21,476
After Nov. 7, U.S. still faces the rude shock of defeat

Immanuel Wallerstein
SF Chronicle
Sunday, November 5, 2006

What difference will it make if the Democrats win one or both houses in Congress?

I should say that I will vote the Democratic ticket. But like a lot of people, I will vote for it primarily as a negative vote against George W. Bush and secondarily against the Republican majority in both houses. I shall do this for many reasons, but first of all because I think the invasion of Iraq was immoral, counterproductive and, in general, a fiasco -- for the United States, for Iraq and for the entire world.

There are many other complaints I have about the current regime -- its attacks on the fundamental liberties of the American people, its retrogressive domestic economic and social policies, and its inept and unwise foreign policy. But Iraq tops them all as a reason. So I shall vote in protest and try to stop things from getting even worse.

But what will a Democratic Congress do that is better?

That is not at all clear. Indeed, one has to doubt that the Democrats collectively have a better foreign policy to offer. The primary problem of the leadership of the Democratic Party is that it believes, at least as much as the Republicans, that the United States is the center of the world, the font of wisdom, the great defender of world freedom -- in short, a deeply virtuous nation in a dangerous world.

Worst of all, they seem to believe that, merely by purging the element of exaggerated unilateralism practiced by the current regime, they will be able to restore the United States to a position of centrality in the world system, and regain the support of their erstwhile allies and supporters, first of all in Western Europe and then everywhere else in the world. They seem to believe that it's a matter of form, not substance, and that the fault of the Bush regime is that it wasn't good enough at diplomacy.

It's true that not all Democrats feel that way, and indeed, for that matter, not all Republicans and independents. But at this moment, those who are ready to take a real look at the fallacies of U.S. policies are a minority -- furthermore, a minority without a clear agenda themselves and certainly without a major political leader to express an alternate view.

So what will happen? It is probably, not certainly, the case that the United States will be forced to withdraw from Iraq before the presidential election in 2008. It is also almost certainly the case that the Republicans will blame the Democrats for "losing" the war, and the Democrats will say it isn't so. But beyond the usual political claptrap, the withdrawal will come as a deep shock to the American people, even if a majority will see no alternative.

One has to put such a withdrawal in the context of wars the United States has fought since 1945. The Korean War and the first Gulf War ended at the starting line. Neither side really won. The most important war for the United States -- in terms of its geopolitical impact, its economic cost and the emotional involvement of the American people -- was Vietnam. And that war, the United States lost. The result has been a deep cleavage in the American people -- about "who" lost the war, and whether the war could have been "won," had other policies prevailed.

The so-called Vietnam syndrome has never been healed. With the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there was a patriotic upsurge among the American people, and the country seemed temporarily reunified. But Bush has squandered all that, and no Democratic president can resurrect it. Withdrawal from Iraq, I predict, will be even more traumatic than the flight from Saigon in 1975. Two defeats will be devastating and also persuasive of the real limits of U.S. power.

There are really only two possibilities at that point. One is that a profound soul-searching occurs that would lead the United States to re-evaluate its self-image, its sense of what is possible in the world system now and in the future, and what kind of values it really believes in. If that happens, maybe forces within the Democratic Party will come forward to incarnate this re-evaluation. Or maybe the whole political framework of the United States and its parties will change to reflect such a re-evaluation.

But, of course, there is a second possibility: that the nation is overcome with deep anger about the "loss" of its primacy, will seek scapegoats (and find them) and eventually move in the direction of gutting the U.S. Constitution and the liberties it presumes to defend. Something like that happened in Weimar Germany. And while the situation is different in many respects, and while I am not predicting in any sense the emergence of a Nazi party, nonetheless it will be a grievous disaster for the United States and the world if the United States moves to any significant degree in this direction.

It is what the United States thinks about itself and does about itself that matters, not only for the United States but also for the rest of the world. For a wounded elephant can indeed go on a rampage.

On the other hand, one can think of times when the rude shock of the kind that a defeat in Iraq would inflict could have the salutary effect of reviving the best in the American tradition -- that of a libertarian, socially conscious people who would once again welcome, in the words engraved on the Statue of Liberty, "the huddled masses yearning to be free."

__________________
cmac

1986 300SDL, 351K
1984 300D, 133K
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-06-2006, 02:04 AM
retmil46's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 344
Like I said before in another thread, no matter who wins on Nov 7th, on Nov 8th our guys will still be fighting in Iraq.

Gotten to the point I can't stomach the BS coming from either side.

I wanted to take the protest vote idea one step farther, and looked to see if any of the third parties listed in this state had platforms that I could vote for without holding my nose.

But it doesn't make any difference, none of them are going to be allowed on the ballot this time round. Last year the third parties won a lawsuit in state court that overturned the previous ballot law as being too restrictive and designed mainly to keep them off the ballot.

But earlier this year, the state legislature simply turned around and passed a new ballot law with even more restrictions than before, just weeks before the cutoff date for being listed on the ballot.

So come Tuesday, it's only going to be Dumbos and Jackasses on the ballot. And the districts are so gerrymandered that in nearly 50% of the "races" for the state house and state senate the incumbents, both Dumbos and Jackasses, will be running unopposed. That's not an election, it's a coronation.

The reason the legislature gave for imposing even more restrictions? They wanted to avoid a "crowded" ballot, saying that too many choices would be confusing for voters.
__________________
Just say "NO" to Ethanol - Drive Diesel

Mitchell Oates
Mooresville, NC
'87 300D 212K miles
'87 300D 151K miles - R.I.P. 12/08
'05 Jeep Liberty CRD 67K miles
Grumpy Old Diesel Owners Club
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-06-2006, 02:11 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 21,476
And the same guys claim they're champions of democracy.

Unfortuately, voting for a third party now just tends to empower the major party least like the one you're voting for.

Preference voting would be good but I can't see the existing power structure ever helping that to become law. Sort of a catch 22.
__________________
cmac

1986 300SDL, 351K
1984 300D, 133K
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-06-2006, 02:12 AM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by retmil46 View Post
Like I said before in another thread, no matter who wins on Nov 7th, on Nov 8th our guys will still be fighting in Iraq.

Gotten to the point I can't stomach the BS coming from either side.

I wanted to take the protest vote idea one step farther, and looked to see if any of the third parties listed in this state had platforms that I could vote for without holding my nose.

But it doesn't make any difference, none of them are going to be allowed on the ballot this time round. Last year the third parties won a lawsuit in state court that overturned the previous ballot law as being too restrictive and designed mainly to keep them off the ballot.

But earlier this year, the state legislature simply turned around and passed a new ballot law with even more restrictions than before, just weeks before the cutoff date for being listed on the ballot.

So come Tuesday, it's only going to be Dumbos and Jackasses on the ballot. And the districts are so gerrymandered that in nearly 50% of the "races" for the state house and state senate the incumbents, both Dumbos and Jackasses, will be running unopposed. That's not an election, it's a coronation.

The reason the legislature gave for imposing even more restrictions? They wanted to avoid a "crowded" ballot, saying that too many choices would be confusing for voters.

Yep. Right on all accounts.

Mike
__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-06-2006, 12:16 PM
retmil46's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 344
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
And the same guys claim they're champions of democracy.

Unfortuately, voting for a third party now just tends to empower the major party least like the one you're voting for.

Preference voting would be good but I can't see the existing power structure ever helping that to become law. Sort of a catch 22.
Yep, that's the problem. As long as everyone thinks that they're "wasting" their vote on a third party, nothing will change.

But the third parties don't seem to be helping themselves either. Of the 4 in this state - Libertarian, Constitution, Green, and Socialist - all of them had items in their platform that were so far "off the beaten path" so to speak, that they'd never have any hope of becoming a force to be reckoned with, even if all things were equal.

And no, Socialist wasn't even a real consideration, I checked out their platform just for s###s and giggles. First page of their website starts playing the "Internationale" and has articles singing the praises of Fidel Castro. It's a wonder that the good ol' boys from the local KKK hasn't paid their headquarters a visit.
__________________
Just say "NO" to Ethanol - Drive Diesel

Mitchell Oates
Mooresville, NC
'87 300D 212K miles
'87 300D 151K miles - R.I.P. 12/08
'05 Jeep Liberty CRD 67K miles
Grumpy Old Diesel Owners Club
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-06-2006, 02:46 PM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 21,476
The fringies do tend to show up in the "third party" scene all right.

I read a proposal years ago that sounded interesting. Each state would have one senator and 50 other senators would be elected at large. IOW, everybody could vote on one "at large" senator, so that groups with only 5 to 10% of voter clout nation wide could have a senator or two in DC.

Look for it shortly after pigs fly.
__________________
cmac

1986 300SDL, 351K
1984 300D, 133K
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-07-2006, 10:38 AM
mikemover's Avatar
All-seeing, all-knowing.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,514
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Look for it shortly after pigs fly.
Yep.

That's about as likely to happen as the line-item veto, term limits for Congress, the FairTax, medical marijuana on the federal level, and a few hundred other things that actually make sense.

But I'll keep running my mouth about it anyway.

Mike
__________________
_____
1979 300 SD
350,000 miles
_____
1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
270,000 miles
_____
1994 E320
not my favorite, but the wife wanted it

www.myspace.com/mikemover
www.myspace.com/openskystudio
www.myspace.com/speedxband
www.myspace.com/openskyseparators
www.myspace.com/doubledrivemusic
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-08-2006, 02:07 AM
retmil46's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 344
One pig may have at least been taxiing for the runway.

The Dumbos in Congress actually did give Clinton line-item veto power his last year or two. Apparently it had been part of their "Contract" they swept into power on. I remember listening to a news story where Bill actually used it to veto some spending items, but just some small-potato stuff that wouldn't upset either party. Not too long afterward, the Supreme Court decided that giving the Prez line-item veto power was unconstitutional.
__________________
Just say "NO" to Ethanol - Drive Diesel

Mitchell Oates
Mooresville, NC
'87 300D 212K miles
'87 300D 151K miles - R.I.P. 12/08
'05 Jeep Liberty CRD 67K miles
Grumpy Old Diesel Owners Club
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-08-2006, 04:25 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
Renaissance Dude
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 21,476
It was ironic as hell that Clinton, a dem, got it after Reagan lobbied for it big time w/o success. And more ironic that it got taken back.

__________________
cmac

1986 300SDL, 351K
1984 300D, 133K
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page