Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama for president

We ought to keep on the track we are on,” said Republican former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Thursday.

The former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff praised President Barack Obama because he saw “the president get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war, and did not get us into any new wars.”

Like many in America’s military, Powell thinks that going a few years without starting any new wars is a Good Thing.

Powell also praised Obama for his economic leadership, for stabilizing the country amid “chaos” and “very, very difficult straits”:

When he took over, the country was in very, very difficult straits. We were in the one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos, we had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment peaked a few months later at 10 percent. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing, the housing was start[ing] to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising.

Powell is less impressed with his own party’s nominee:

“One day he has a certain strong view about staying in Afghanistan but then on Monday night he agrees with the withdrawal, same thing in Iraq. On almost every issue that was discussed on Monday night, Governor Romney agreed with the President with some nuances. But this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign. And my concern … is that sometimes I don’t sense that he has thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have.”

Powell also said that he has given close consideration to Romney’s domestic policies. “As I listen to what his proposals are especially with respect to dealing with respect to our most significant issue, the economy, it’s essentially let’s cut taxes and compensate for that with other things but that compensation does not cover all of the cuts intended or the new expenses associated with defense.”

 

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  • http://www.blogger.com/home?pli=1 Coleslaw

    Yeah, but that’s just because they’re both black. Ish.

    I need to stop channeling John Sununu. I think I just lost ten IQ points.

  • hidden_urchin

    May your sacrifice not be in vain.  Perhaps your criticism will act as a troll repellant since I have no doubt some of them seriously think that.

  • guestPoster

    I’ve already seen a lot on the far-right calling Powell a traitor (for daring to have an opinion) to the party which ‘gave him’ the power he now enjoys.  Which I think is telling, that they feel he didn’t earn his way to his current position, but that it was a handout he should be eternally thankful for.

    As to the other poster, re: Obama winning electoral college but not popular vote, that seems unlikely (partly because the most populated areas trend blue, and partly because it’s only ever happened 4 or 5 times in the country’s history).  THAT being said, I currently support the national popular vote initiative, where states would give all electoral votes to whomever won the popular vote (and would only do so once enough states had signed on to decide the election themselves), and would continue to support that regardless of any outcome of this election, since it would mean that presidential candidates would have to court voters in all 50 states, plus some territories, and not simply cater to the whims of a small number of people ‘lucky’ enough to live in a swing location.

  • aunursa

    since it would mean that presidential candidates would have to court voters in all 50 states

    In that scenario, why would a presidential candidate devote more than minimal resources to the states with smaller populations … when he could get much more bang for the buck concentrating on the highest population centers?

  • gocart mozart

    They will campaign in California and New York and not in Wyoming and South Dakota (What?  They don’t do they now.)  What’s your point again?

  • aunursa

    They would campaign in some different states than they do currently.  It is not the case, as was suggested, that a decision based on the popular vote would cause them to campaign in all 50 states.

  • fraser

     One of the arguments I’ve read over the years in favor of the Electoral College. I have no strong opinions on the topic I’m afraid.

  • thatotherjean

    It’s good to see that Colin Powell finally bought back the soul he sold while working for the Bush administration.  I’d say something about John Sununu’s contention that Powell is supporting Obama because they’re both black, but my irony meter broke when I heard that.

  • Mrs. Clinton

    Yes! It’s great that Colin (the fake Republican) is supporting our great military leader that let 4 Americans die in Libya. Powell should be proud!!And oh ya the economy is doing just great the last 4 years too isn’t it Colin. Face it! Blacks stick together no matter what! And don’t call Powell a Republican!! he supported the other black guy last election and voted for him- he’s NO Republican! Just glad we will have seen the last of both of them after this election!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Fucktons of US soldiers and Iraqi civilians dead: Bush’s fault. Obama hasn’t got us all the way out but he’s made progress. Economic meltdown: Bush’s fault. Obama hasn’t got us all the way out but he’s made progress. And by saying that “blacks stick together no matter what”, are you implying that you are voting for the white guy because he is white like you?

  • Mrs. Clinton

    Yes! What progress??? Are you a idiot?? Look at the economy, gas prices the 6 trillion dollars the fricken inexperienced black guy  has added to our debt. More soliders have been killed in Afganistan under this moron then were under Bush! You just don’t hear about it because of the Liberal press protecting their wonderful black president! What about Libya Ellie???? Speak up Ellie!! Soon the two moron’s (including the bumbling Biden- Mr. Gaf a minute) will be gone and we can get this country on the right path again! One more thing Ellie! There still killing civilians in Iraq- more then they killed when we were over there. Do some research Ellie!!!

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yes, because mainstream media outlets owned by BIG FUCKING CORPORATIONS THAT WOULD MAKE FUCKTONS MORE UNDER ROMNEY THAN OBAMA are completely biased in Obama’s favor.

    Go to MaddowBlog. Every so often they repost a chart of job gains and losses, color-coded red for Bush and blue for Obama. The red part of the line gets steadily further below the zero mark, and then it changes to blue, and there’s an arrow pointing to where Obama’s stimulus package took effect, and strangely enough the line shoots back up after that. Obama might not have created a whole lot of jobs, but he kept a whole lot of jobs from being lost, and that is worth something.

  • Lori

     

    Look at the economy  

    Yes, let’s look at the economy. It’s in far, far better shape than it was when Obama took office.

     

    gas prices the 6 trillion dollars the fricken inexperienced black guy  has added to our debt  

    You appear to have gotten yourself worked up into such a tizzy that you missed a comma.

    -The president does not control gas prices.

    -Oh look, Mrs C is a racist. Color more surprised

    -Most of the our debt is still the result of Bush’s wars and Bush’s tax cuts for the rich, which Republicans in Congress insisted on extending. The fact that W is sitting out this election by visiting Mitt’s money in the Caymans doesn’t change that.

     

    More soliders have been killed in Afganistan under this moron then were under Bush!   

    I’m going to ignore most of the ways in which this is deeply stupid and just focus on the numbers.

    The total number of US soldiers killed in Afghanistan is still less than half the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq. Add up all the soldiers killed in Bush’s wars while he was in office and you’ll find he has abut 3 times as many dead US soldiers on his side of the ledger as Obama does. This is not a line of argument that you want to pursue.

     

    What about Libya Ellie???? Speak up Ellie!!  

    What about Libya, Mrs C? What about it? Speak up and share with us the details of your conspiracy theory about Libya.

    Also explain why you and your fellow right wingers are all up in arms about the deaths of 4 people in Libya while conveniently discounting all the Americans killed on Bush’s watch?

    Also, are you taking time to wipe the spittle off your keyboard Mrs C? You could really do some damage if you’re not careful. You should also be careful about over-using a single key the way you do. Pretty soon you’re not going to be able to type the number 1 at all!!!!1!!!!!

  • Lori

    Did you remember to pick up your white hood from the cleaners so you’ll be ready for the election Mrs Clinton?

  • aunursa

    There is now talk of the possibility of a split decision: Mitt Romney will win the popular vote, but Barack Obama will win the electoral college vote. 

    I expect that most of you would be delighted with just about any outcome that results in the re-election of President Obama.  Beyond that, how would such a split decision affect your view of the Electoral College in general?  If you think that presidential elections should be decided by a popular vote, would you continue to favor that change for future elections?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Five percent chance of Obama winning the electoral college but not the popular vote. One percent chance of the reverse. Seventy percent chance of Obama winning both. (Numbers from FiveThirtyEight, which someone as poll-obsessed as you should be checking daily.)

    Yeah, not particularly worried about the electoral college right now. Much more worried about the fact that Romney’s son owns a company intimately involved with electronic voting machines, which, as I have said in this space before, are absurdly easy and inexpensive to hack without access to the proprietary schematics and code.

  • aunursa

    I understand that the likelihood of a split decision is low.  My question is — if it did happen, how would that affect your opinion of the Electoral College vs popular vote for future elections?

  • EllieMurasaki

    If it actually happens, I’ll get a lot more vocal in support of the idea that the electoral vote for a House district goes to the presidential candidate who won that district and the electoral votes corresponding to the senators go to the winner of the state as a whole. But until then it’s not worth worrying about.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    It appears two states already do that. OMG, the wiki article on the Electoral College makes it sound like way more of a mess than it appears to be in practice. 

    I’m not fond of the fact that the process has a national effect but is not practiced uniformly among the states. Seems way open for a few states to screw everyone over. In this election, there are GOP-controlled swing states; I’m not sure of the process, but could there be a way for such a state to go blue but the sneaky bastards in charge send faithless electors?

  • Morilore

    I’m not fond of the fact that the process has a national effect but is not practiced uniformly among the states. Seems way open for a few states to screw everyone over. In this election, there are GOP-controlled swing states; I’m not sure of the process, but could there be a way for such a state to go blue but the sneaky bastards in charge send faithless electors?

    If faithless electors really do, in the 21st century, flip the result of this election in whichever direction, which would occur long after everyone else had settled in to the expected result, the constitutional crisis that would generate would destroy the College.  That wouldn’t be like the split decisions of the past, in which the Electoral College changes things in a well-established way.  It would be seen, accurately, as a betrayal of the democracy that every American learned about when she was four years old.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-McDonough/100001260964707 Bill McDonough

     Actually, that’s exactly what Electors are empowered to do. They are not strictly beholden to vote for who they were sent to vote for. The Electoral College exists to allow for the possibility of ‘Oh my god, how did this person put one over on that many sheep?’

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    could there be a way for [..] the sneaky bastards in charge send faithless electors?

    As I understand the usual process, each party appoints its electors, and the electors from whichever party gets the most votes are chosen. So there is some defense against this built into the system.

    But, sure, it’s possible in principle to bribe or blackmail or threaten or hypnotize the electors to vote for the opposing party’s candidate (or for a third party candidate, or for some randomly selected citizen, or whatever), or to carefully insinuate a deep-cover agent into the opposing party and manipulate events so they get chosen, or something along those lines.

    I don’t consider it worth devoting effort to addressing, personally.

  • Jim Roberts

    Are you referring to Tagg Romney supposedly owning Ohio voting machines? Snopes has your back:

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/romney/votingmachines.asp

  • EllieMurasaki

    I don’t know that I trust a company representative to tell the truth about the company’s activities when a lie would look better, regardless of what the company is or is supposedly doing. But the bit about Ohio voting machines being Scantrons or similar rather than the touchscreen I used when I voted in the 2008 Pennsylvania primaries, that does make a difference, yes.

  • AnonaMiss

    I’m actually in favor of the electoral college, because I take the threat of the tyranny of the majority seriously. I do think each state needs to overhaul the way it assigns its delegates though.

    I know your original comment was intended as a dig at the Bush vs Gore controversy, but I thought I’d weigh in anyway since pro-electoral college Bush-haters are so rare in the discourse. (As opposed to pro-electoral college bush-haters, which are par for the course.)

  • aunursa

    I know your original comment was intended as a dig at the Bush vs Gore controversy

    I don’t understand this point.  My original comment was not intended as a comment on the 2000 election.

    (I was a supporter of Al Gore in the 2000 election, and was very disappointed in the ultimate outcome.  However the result didn’t affect my view of the Electoral College.  I am conflicted on the matter.)

  • AnonaMiss

    I’d apologize for misunderstanding, but since your original question contained the assumption that our opinions on the electoral college could change (presumably from ‘anti’ to ‘pro’) if the electoral college was what stood between the nation and a Romney presidency… I don’t think I’m the one who needs to apologize.

    Honestly though, our voting system in this country is woefully out of date, and needs to be updated in light of the progress we’ve made in game theory in the past 300 years. Not that I trust any of our politicians to do that fairly or properly.

  • aunursa

    My assumption is that opinions on the electoral college could change based on a split decision.  My question was intended to determine whether those opinions would change.

    Dave’s answer suggests that the opinions of Republicans to the E.C. could change based on an adverse split.  Is it that much out of the line to wonder if the opinions of Democrats might change based on a favorable outcome?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Dave’s answer suggests that the opinions of Republicans to the E.C. would be affected by an adverse split. Is it that much out of the line to wonder if the opinions of Democrats might be affected by a favorable split?

    It is perhaps worth pointing out that I didn’t suggest that any of the folks on this site who endorsed a 2000 split decision favoring Bush, if indeed there are any, would change their position if a 2012 split decision favored Obama. I merely asserted that some people would, which I think is obvious.

    It is equally obvious that some folks who rejected the 2000 split decision will no doubt change their position in 2012 in that case. But it is perhaps rude to suggest that the people you’re talking to might be among them.

  • aunursa

    it is perhaps rude to suggest that the people you’re talking to might be among them.

    I did not assume or suggest that people here will no doubt change their position on the E.C. in case of a favorable split decision.  I asked whether their position might be affected by such a split.  The very fact that I asked politely would seem to indicate that I was wondering and not assuming.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     (nods) Nor did I assume you were assuming. Though in retrospect I arguably suggested it, which was perhaps rude of me. I apologize for the rudeness. 

  • Arresi

     Yeah, I’m not sure how I feel about the Electoral College either.

    I remember around 2000 there was an article in a popular science magazine (Discovery maybe), about voting systems. Can’t remember all of it, although there was a comparison to baseball innings. But it convinced me that a straight popular vote wouldn’t really change things for the better, and in the absence of true electoral reform, I’m sticking with tradition. And I managed to believe that it was an acceptable system through Bush, so I figure I can manage to believe that through Obama or Romney.

    I am sort of surprised that you supported Al Gore in 2000, and are supporting Romney this year. Or have I misunderstood you? Is there a policy or issue in particular you vote on? (I wouldn’t have thought Gore and Romney would have many positions in common.)

  • Lori

     

    I am sort of surprised that you supported Al Gore in 2000, and are
    supporting Romney this year. Or have I misunderstood you? Is there a
    policy or issue in particular you vote on? (I wouldn’t have thought Gore
    and Romney would have many positions in common.) 

    He became a Republican during Bush 2’s first term.

  • aunursa

    I voted for Dukakis, Clinton twice, and Gore.  Since then I voted for Bush, McCain, and now Romney.  I vote for the person — not the party — and will be voting for some Democrats next month.

  • Lori

    The fact that you claim to vote for the person, not the party and voted for Bush and Romney just makes it so much worse.

  • aunursa

    Don’t blame me.  I’m not the one who nominated the alternatives Kerry or Obama.

  • Lori

     

    Don’t blame me. 

    Oh, I blame you. And this:
     

    I’m not the one who nominated the alternatives Kerry or Obama.

    is why.

  • AnonaMiss

    Aunursa – I am genuinely curious, what is it that you dislike about Obama so much that it would motivate you to vote for Mitt Romney instead?

    If you choose to answer, please avoid the use of the phrase “Chicago politics”. I’m from Chicago, and the reality that cliche touched upon died before I was born. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_big_idea/2012/07/mitt_romney_s_campaign_is_attempting_to_link_barack_obama_to_the_corruption_of_chicago_style_politics_of_a_different_era_.html

  • aunursa

     I would rather not discuss that here at this time.  If you’re interested, you can email me at aunursa (at) comcast (dot) net.

  • Arresi

    That’s a fairly uncommon voting record (as far as I know), and I am curious as to what lead you to those particular candidates. Most policies tend to be party-affiliated, so is it a particular attitude or approach to politics that you favor? 

    (I enjoy studying politics, and I’m always curious about voter choices, but free to tell me I’m being nosy.)

  • aunursa

    You can email me at aunursa (at) comcast (dot) net.

  • wendy

    I was a supporter of Al Gore in 2000 and disappointed in the ultimate outcome, but I still support the electoral college. 

    My anger that year was directed at Jeb Bush, Kathryn Harris, the Brooks Brothers Riot, Ralph Nader, the Palm Beach butterfly ballot, the Supreme Court (not necessarily in that order)… but not at the EC. 

    I like that the agricultural and wilderness states have a slight extra weight to their votes, so as to not be entirely at the mercy of The Biggest Cities. (also, as a cultural matter, I like that most states’ votes register as a block.)

  • EllieMurasaki

    What’s your opinion of the thing Maine and Nebraska do where the winner of a House district gets one electoral vote and the winner of the state as a whole gets two additional electoral votes? Assuming House districts aren’t horribly gerrymandered (yes, I know), that would preserve the cultural-unit thing you like, in fact would enhance that characteristic because Houston would no longer be lumped in with rural Texas, but it would also have electoral results better reflecting the popular vote and would reduce the impetus to focus on states with lots of electoral votes to the detriment of states with few.

  • wendy

    I don’t much like it, but part of my “the United States are not the interchangeable states” federalist philosophy is that there’s no reason they should care how I feel. I don’t live in either of those states, I’ve never visited either of those states, I’m unlikely to ever visit either of those states, so, short of violating Constitutional Rights, each state is absolutely entitled to be idiots or assholes or just wrong in whatever ways their residents find acceptable. 

    (I’m the last remaining liberal Republican — I’m voting Obama, but I would weep with joy if we could get another Eisenhower). 

  • EllieMurasaki

    (I’m the last remaining liberal Republican — I’m voting Obama, but I would weep with joy if we could get another Eisenhower).

    Interstate highways and desegregation? Assuming no appalling beliefs on the part of NuEisenhower, I’d vote for him.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Hell, the reincarnation of FDR would be enough for me. XD

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I generally agree, but I think there ought to be a mechanism for redrawing state lines. I actually don’t like the idea of going to a popular vote instead of the electoral college, because of a whole bunch of things that are related to tyranny of the majority (Our current system makes places like Ohio disproportionately important, but a straight popular vote would mean that candidates would only campaign in the biggest cities, as you get more votes from one rally in new york city than from a dozen events in small midwestern towns), but our current set of states is based as much on accidents of geography and jockeying to manipulate 19th century slavery laws as on organizing regions according to localized variations in needs, goals and values.

  • aunursa

    I shared your anger.  You should also be angry at Vice President Al Gore, who failed to win his home state of Tennessee (by 51%-47%), and who refused to allow President Clinton to campaign for him in Arkansas and New Hampshire.  Clinton continued to enjoy high job approval ratings in both states; his influence might have swung Ark. or N.H. to Gore.  Any one of those states would have put Gore over 270 without Florida.

  • gocart mozart

    I don’t understand your point?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You know, surprise, surprise, countries like France and Germany manage to elect Presidents without havimg Electoral Colleges.

  • delurker

     Shut the fuck up, Donny.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    If I get to ignore all logistical issues surrounding accurately and verifiably counting votes, I am in favor of nationwide elections for federal offices being decided by nationwide popular vote, and have been for a couple of decades now.

    I would remain so if a split decision favored Obama in 2012, though I’d probably be less likely to talk about it for a while in that case.

    That said, I don’t think I could resist the urge to make fun of the inevitable cascade of people in that case who endorsed the result of the 2000 split decision but would nevertheless fulminate about how a 2012 split decision invalidates the election and means the President isn’t really their President.

    I also don’t consider it likely.

  • Morilore

    Well, yeah.  A bad system accidentally leading to an outcome one favors doesn’t miraculously transform into a good system.  But if the system was “popular vote” from the start, I think the campaigns would have calibrated their entire messages differently.

    In that scenario, why would a presidential candidate devote more than minimal resources to the states with smaller populations … when he could get much more bang for the buck concentrating on the highest population centers?

    And yet, under the current system, the “swing states” that people care about tend to be states with higher populations anyway, don’t they?  I mean, Montana is not likely to ever be considered vitally important even if it does turn purple.  Ohio and Colorado are both swing states, but we always hear about Ohio because it has more than twice as many votes.  Does the electoral college system really solve the problem it is purported to solve?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     What the electoral college system does, the way it’s usually implemented, is arrange it so that there’s no additional benefit for a larger plurality of the votes in a state. The difference between 50% of Ohio and 95% of Ohio does not affect the election.

    Consequently, the electoral college encourages candidates to campaign for a smaller percentage of the population in a larger number of states. That doesn’t make Montana vitally important, but it makes Montana more important than it would otherwise be.

  • Lori

     

    The difference between 50% of Ohio and 95% of Ohio does not affect the election.   

    The misunderstanding of Romney’s “surge” would seem to indicate that some folks don’t understand this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-McDonough/100001260964707 Bill McDonough

    “Does the electoral college system really solve the problem it is purported to solve?”

    Yes. The Electoral College does not purport to solve any sort of ‘you get more bang for your buck campaigning where your voice reaches more people’ problem. If that was really considered a problem, the Constitution would include a prohibition against standing on a stage, instead of in the middle of the crowd.

    The Electoral College solves the problem of ‘this guy is so manifestly unfit to be President that the only reason he’s even in the race is because he’s a good liar, and the majority of humanity are idiots’. In the event that Electors feel they cannot, in good conscience, vote for the fellow they’re pledged to vote for, they can change their mind.

    It’s not tyranny that the Electoral College is in place to oppose, it’s corruption on a scale we’ve still not seen in this country – and idiocy on a scale we’re getting frighteningly close to seeing.

  • http://politicsproseotherthings.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel

     I’ll trust 538 over you. And currently its projecting about a 1.5% gap in the popular vote.

  • Beroli

    I expect that most of you would be delighted with just about any outcome
    that results in the re-election of President Obama.

    Close enough.

      Beyond that, how
    would such a split decision affect your view of the Electoral College in
    general?

    It wouldn’t. The fact that the broken system came out to my benefit would not cause me to stop considering it a broken system.

      If you currently think that presidential elections should be
    decided by the nationwide popular vote,

    Yes.

    would you continue to
    favor that change for future elections?

    And yes.

  • gocart mozart

    Liberals will continue to support abolition of the electoral college.  Conservatives will advocate a retroactive ex-post facto abolition of the electoral college and try to have Romney forcibly installed as president.  Any other questions? 

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I expect that most of you would be delighted with just about any outcome that results in the re-election of President Obama.

    Both parties have narratives in place to deny the legitimacy of a narrow win. The Republican party has been pushing the voter fraud narrative, while the Democratic party argues voter suppression and tampered voting machines. 

    I will accept the outcome of the election. I would prefer the president be re-elected. But I would only be delighted if he ran up the score enough to make the prepared voter fraud narrative look absurd on its face. 

    Beyond that, how would such a split decision affect your view of the Electoral College in general?

    Fluke cases of the popular vote being different than the electoral vote aren’t enough, on their own, to justify overhauling the system. 

    The structure of the E.C. is set at a federal level, and would be difficult to change.

    The rules regarding awarding electors to a candidate are set state-by-state, and might be easier to change on a procedural level, but difficult to shift in practice. 

    The federally-defined structure protects low-population states, but hurts mid-sized states. It’s a mixed bag, but overall it works to ensure that rural states have a voice.

    The state-level standard of “winner-take-all” is a strong factor in the dominance of the two-party system in the U.S., and also has the side effect of lowering voter turnout. It’s at the state level where I’d rather see changes made to move us away from the “Red State/Blue State” mythology & strategy. 

  • Madhabmatics

    Yeah, I don’t think being against the Electoral College is very partisan. For every blue person in a red state who knows that their vote literally doesn’t matter because the majority of their state is red (and that is the only thing that matters), there is a red person in a blue state who knows the exact same thing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Let’s not forget the people whose party identification is green, yellow, or white…

    (Green is obvious. Yellow, Constitution, I believe. Seen white as variously Independent and unaffiliated. What’s Libertarian?)

  • Antigone10

    Even if it elects the guy I want (ish) the Electoral College is still a dated mess that gives far too much power to low-population states.  I can’t speak for liberals in general, but I wouldn’t cry any tears over its dissolution.

    Now, of course, before we get on that particular hobby horse, here’s a list of things worse than the Electoral College:

    1) Campaign finance reform is a non-starter, and Bernie Sander’s Amendment to fix that seems to be going no where.2)  Voting only on one day, and only on a weekday, provides disencentives to people to vote (the odds of a singular vote effecting anything are low and over a long-term aggregate- the calculation of losing an hour+ of work are easy to calculate with a dollar amount).
    3) Our winner-take-all elections and election districts lead to a two-party system that represents pretty much no one.
    Of course, those are just the main structural issues.  In another forum, I’d go into wonky-detail of not only the flaws in the political system, but the social system around it.

  • aunursa

    I agree with you about (2).  I think that voting should be a 2-day event held during the first Saturday-Sunday weekend in November.

    I don’t however, favor early voting … to the extent that some citizens vote several weeks before Election Day.  Among other things, it means that in making their decision, early voters will not have access to potentially criticial information like the presidential debates and major events in mid- and late-October.  Other than for specific cases such as a voter is out of the country, away from home for an extended period, or otherwise unable to vote during the regular period, I’m wondering if there is a reason why we should have more than one-week period for early voting.

  • EllieMurasaki

    potentially criticial information like the presidential debates
    Critical if and only if one has not been paying attention, or in the (wildly unlikely in a politically polarized climate such as this) event that the candidates are substantially similar on most points. I’ll give you October Surprises, but not the debates.

  • aunursa

    Many voters do not pay attention until October.

    And while the debates will not make a difference for confirmed voters like you and me, they can and do affect the decisions of many undecided voters.  I’ll spare you a citation of the opinion polls that showed definite and potentially decisive movement that occurred (apparently) as a result of each debate.

  • Lori

     

    Many voters do not pay attention until October.   

    Presumably those people won’t vote until later in the process then. Having early voting available is not the same thing as making it mandatory.

    Or they’ll start paying attention earlier because they can vote earlier.

    Or they’ll vote without ever paying attention at all. Some of them are doing that now. In fact one of our major parties counts on that. I see no logical reason to assume that the availability of early voting will change the numbers to any significant degree.

    The fact is, unless you’re advocating for some sort of pre-voting quiz that people have to pass in order to prove they’re informed enough to vote (which, no) then early voting really has nothing to do with the level of information that people apply to making a decision. Yes, some total game changer could happen between the day I place my vote and November 6th (although I have no idea what that would be—see above), but it’s equally true that a total game changer could happen on November 7th. In fact in Romney’s case it’s more likely than not, considering that he flat refuses to tell us any details of most of his policies  until after the election. In light of that reality concern about early voting seems over-blown at best, or worse a weird form of paternalistic vote nannying.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > In light of that reality concern about early voting seems over-blown at
    best, or worse a weird form of paternalistic vote nannying.

    I would say that even worse than that would be concern about early voting is because it provides a mechanism for the sorts of voters to vote who can’t necessarily take time off from work to go to the voting booth near where they live on a weekday.

  • Lori

    I considered that, but decided in favor of being less confrontational. It’s day 26 of the work marathon, I have really limited energy and I didn’t feel right about potentially stirring the shit and leaving other people to deal with it.

  • Antigone10

    To sound somewhat cynical, I suspect it wouldn’t matter one iota.  My husband will be flying the day of the election, so he already mailed in his vote.  Short of Divine intervention on behalf of Romney* or Obama murdering someone on television his vote is not going to change.  There are very, very few “undecided” voters.  The debates are political theatre.  They provide no new information on about the character, policies, or abilities of a person, other than an insight into how they’re going to handle press questions and if they can suck it up and act civil to their opponent**.   And it’s pretty rare for something so massive to happen in October to swing an election.  

    Honestly, sometimes I think the British system of “Eh, the election is whenever the hell we feel like it” has it’s benefits.  At least you don’t have to listen to political ads for weeks on end.

    *And possibly not even then.  If god is really, interventionist, and cares about US politics and says to vote for Romney because his policies are godly, I’m going to assume God’s a dick and still vote against him, and I suspect my husband is as well.**Hell, for all I know, Obama and Romney actually love hanging around each other and eat barbecue with their families every Saturday and the antipathy they seem to have for each other is about as real as WWE rivalries.

  • Lori

    Short of Divine intervention on behalf of Romney* or Obama murdering someone on television his vote is not going to change.  

    I’m with you on the divine intervention. My first thought about Obama murdering someone on television was “Who?” That was 99% a joke.

    Mitt Romney is a deeply, deeply horrible person who would make a terrible president is what I’m saying. I’m not sure what Obama would have to do to cause me to vote for Romney, but I feel confident that whatever it is, Obama isn’t actually going to do it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     I’m increasingly worried that no outcome of this election could be good for America. If Romney wins, the republicans will destroy America as a side-effect of their policies. If Obama wins, the Republicans will destroy America out of spite. (Think I’m  out of line?  The official position of the GOP is “It doesn’t matter how much it hurts america; we must do everything we can to stop Obama from ever succeeding at anything.” Businessmen have gone on record putting a gun to the economy’s head, threatining to close up shop and fire their employees if Obama wins. They would rather burn the world down than let the Democrats make it better)

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     To quote a very smart friend of mine: “For a two-party system to work, we need a Loyal Opposition.  What we’ve got right now is an Arsonist Opposition.”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    More and more recently, it feels like every GOP pronouncement ends with an implied “Or the hostage gets it.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Trigger warning: sarcastic discussion of torture

    I’m with you on the divine intervention. My first thought about Obama
    murdering someone on television was “Who?” That was 99% a joke.

    Back around 2005, the blogger known as The Poor Man brought us the “Bind, Torture, and Kill Wilford Brimley” limit.  Unfortunately, the original seems to have been lost to the sands of time (something to which we long-time Slacktivites can relate), but I found the main description quoted in a comment elsewhere:

    BTKWB (the President’s [Bush] approval ratings the morning after he pre-empted
    Monday Night Football in order to Bind, Torture, and Kill Wilford
    Brimley for his own sexual gratification) has generally been taken to be
    somewhere in the 32-36% range, depending on the theoretical models
    used, and depending on if he uses up the MNF timespot completely, or
    just pops in during halftime.

  • D9000

    Even Britain now has (barring Government collapses) fixed elections; every 5 years from 7 May 2015 on; the PM no longer has the power to call one when they feel like it. And we get ‘party political broadcasts’ instead of ads. They are really dull.

  • Antigone10

    I’ll take “really dull” over “really annoying”.  And dammit- I learned about foreign governments in college- they really shouldn’t have the right to change them now that I’ve been out for a few years.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Canada is the same; I think Stephen Harper brought in a four-year election law limit.

  • P J Evans

    Electoral College is still a dated mess that gives far too much power to low-population states

    It’s my understanding that that was the intention: to keep the large-population states from drowning out the small-population states.

  • Antigone10

    Yes, and?  I disagree with the founding fathers on many things, this is just one on the list.

    One person, one vote.  The low-population states already get more than their fair share of representatives in the legislation (check out the numbers of representatives per state, then divide by population- it’s enlightening, not to mention the fact that each state gets the same amount of senators) they don’t have to pull the executive on top of it.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The low-population states already get more than their fair share of representatives in the legislation

    How do you propose to correct this without saying the smallest states get no representation in the House at all?

  • Lori

     

    How do you propose to correct this without saying the smallest states get no representation in the House at all?  

    The most obvious way would be increasing the size of the House by giving larger population states more Reps. The object being to have the number of constituents that a given official represents closer to equal. If you look at the number of people represented by Adam Schiff, who was my Rep when I lived in California, vs the number represented by Martin Stutzman, my current Rep, the difference is quite significant. And I don’t even live in a low population state (IIRC Indiana is 15th).

  • EllieMurasaki

    Obvious, yes. Workable? Four hundred thirty-five is a bit big already if we want each representative to have their say rather than collecting in variously sized groups, deciding that the group speaks with a single voice, and collectively yielding their time to their group’s designated speaker.
    I’m actually kind of partial to the idea that ten registered voters constitute a level one assembly, and they elect a representative from among their number to speak for them at the level two assembly of ten, who elect a representative from among their number to speak for them at the level three assembly of ten, etc etc and whoever gets elected by the topmost assembly is President, and the higher number assembly one belongs to the more time one is expected to devote to politics, and at some point it goes from ‘hobby’ to ‘part-time job meant to supplement full- or other part-time job’ and at some other point it goes from part-time job to full-time, and once one’s high enough for it to be a part-time job, the pay goes up with the level assembly to which one belongs. But that would be an epic restructuring of the system, and it would expect actual weekly political participation from every registered voter, and either alone would make the idea unworkable for the foreseeable future.

  • Lori

     

    Four hundred thirty-five is a bit big already if we want each
    representative to have their say rather than collecting in variously
    sized groups, deciding that the group speaks with a single voice, and
    collectively yielding their time to their group’s designated speaker.  

    A surprisingly high percentage of Reps get through their whole careers without ever sponsoring a significant piece of legislation and speak on the House floor only very rarely, so I think it’s safe to say we already have the group thing going on. The question is whether making that a bit worse, or at least more obvious, is worth it in order to give citizens a more level playing field when it comes to access to their Rep.

  • P J Evans

     As I understand it, they’ have to build a new chamber for the House to meet in. The current one literally doesn’t have space for more members; that’s why it’s been set at 435 for years.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     They can squeeze in the Senate during joint sessions.  And that room’s got a high ceiling. We can install swings for the new representatives.

  • Lori

    I understand why people don’t want to get into doing a remodel of the Capital, but just letting it ride is really not a workable plan long-term. The disparity in constituents per Rep is only going to get worse and at some point (possibly a point we passed a while back), we effectively have very large numbers of people with no representation at all simply because they live in a state with a large population.

  • Anton_Mates

     How do you propose to correct this without saying the smallest states get no representation in the House at all?

    Even Wyoming would currently get a representative in the House under a proportional system, wouldn’t it?  I mean, they deserve 8/10 of one, by my math, and you’d presumably round that up.

    Or you could bundle each of the smallest states together with its smallest neighbor, and give them joint representation.  Wyoming with Montana, the Dakotas together, Vermont with New Hampshire, Alaska with…screw it, Hawaii.  None of those pairs have such a population imbalance that their representatives could afford to completely ignore the smaller state.

  • Antigone10

    There is the option of increasing the size of the representation of the larger stage.  However, I am content with the current set-up of representatives, because they DO need to have some representation.  I’m not sure that anyone in California would care if we can have pesticides measured in liters instead of gallons so farmers can get their pesticides from Canada (for instance- that’s one of the pieces of legislation that I remember ND sponsoring).  But if they have an outsized influence on legislation, I want to be able to have an equal influence on the president.

  • Katie

     I’m in favor of abolishing the Electoral College, so I’d be fine with that kind of split decision, since it would open up the possibility of getting Republicans on board with efforts to abolish the Electoral College.   

  • Anton_Mates

    I’d rather the electoral college be killed, and we switch over to a ranking system.  I felt that way pre-Bush v. Gore and I’ll continue to  feel that way even if electoral weirdness gets a Democrat in at some point.

    In that scenario, why would a presidential candidate devote more than minimal resources to the states with smaller populations … when he could get much more bang for the buck concentrating on the highest population centers?

    Even if this worry pans out, it doesn’t seem to me like more people would be disenfranchised than are currently, due to the swing state thing. 

    But I’m not sure it would pan out.  For one thing, how much of a political campaign’s effect is based on a candidate’s physical visits these days?  I have no expertise whatever on that point, but I would think that broadcast/mailed advertising and regionally-relevant speeches/interviews are more important.  And those can be directed at a widely-spread population about as easily as they can be directed at a closely-packed one.  (Door-to-door leafletting might be harder in rural areas, but then, gas is usually cheaper there too.)

    Also, given the urban/rural political divide, the highest population centers might not be worth very much attention anyway; they’re too blue-committed.  Candidates would be going for “swing areas,” which are…I dunno…suburban?

  • Fusina

    Based on just the comments in this posting, I think we can discount Sununu’s remark as baseless. My initial reading of said comments would indicate one of my major problems with Romney, in that some of what he says makes George W. seem like a raging intellectual.

  • frazer

    I favor abolishing the Electoral College.  The “tyranny of the majority” concern applies when a majority is trying to restrict the rights of a minority (blacks, gays, vegetarians, whatever).  It does not apply in this situation.  We have Congress to reflect the interests of the states.  The President (and VP) are the only candidates every American votes for, and I think every American’s vote should carry the same weight, and the candidate who gets the votes of most Americans should win.

  • Carstonio

    While Sununu touts the evil menace of black solidarity, George Will insists that Obama only won in 2008 because of white liberal guilt. Apparently racial favoritism is bad only when people who aren’t white get the benefits.

  • AnonaMiss

    …What? 

    IIRC, George Will endorsed Obama in 2008.

  • Carstonio

    Sorry, I misspoke – I was talking about this year’s election. I’ve corrected my post. Anyway, here is Will talking about Obama:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-romney-running-out-of-clock/2012/10/01/55922ea4-0bec-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html

    That Obama is African American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC’s excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up. Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake in choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation’s heart, if not its head.

  • fraser

     Because as we know, white Americans have always been charitable when assessing black performance.

  • MaryKaye

    I argued against the Electoral College in high school (I was on the debate team) and I have not changed my mind in the interim.  An Obama EC win would not change it either.  I don’t believe that the EC is useful in limiting anyone’s power, and it’s very clear that it disenfranchises a lot of voters (I was a Democrat in Alaska when I was in high school, and it was clear to me that when I was old enough to vote, my vote for President was never likely to count).

    Low voting rates are a huge problem in the US–democracy works better when people vote–and it is very demoralizing to be told “Your huge efforts to rally other voters make NO DIFFERENCE unless you can obtain a majority in your state.  49% voting for X in your state means no more than 0%.”  At least in a direct vote, my vote would count–not for much, but it would count.

    I don’t think that’s a partisan issue.  Democrats in red states and Republicans in blue states equally should have more way to make their voices heard than they do.

    (Affiliation statement:  I vote predominantly D but am voting for a Republican for one state office because he seems vastly preferable to his opponent.)

  • MaryKaye

    As a follow-up:  Bush II’s first win *did* change my views, in that it moved “EC decision against popular vote” from the category of “bad thing that is extremely unlikely to happen” to “bad thing that DOES happen.”  This made the problem seem more urgent.  A repeat in 2012 would make it seem even more so.  So in that sense, yes, it wouldn’t change my judgment that the EC is bad, but it would add still more impetus to change it, even though I voted for Obama (yes, past tense–my state votes by mail).

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    It’s nice to see that Powell is in favor of Obama getting us out of the quagmire that he helped put us in.

    (NO I’M NOT BITTER AT ALL, REALLY.)

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    First response upon reading the title before I read anything else:

    The racists out there will say that it’s just because Colin Powell is Irish.

    [Added] American of Irish decent intended to be understood in that usage of “Irish”, he is not actually from Ireland himself.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    We also get a nifty new euphemism for “is lying through his teeth” out of this endorsement.

    Then Cain, who hadn’t thought through these issues as thoroughly as he should have, said, “Gee Lord. I don’t know where Abel is.”

  • Steve

    An interesting consideration in the possibility of the electoral college split is that the existence of the electoral college ITSELF may play a role in the split, if it were to happen. In other words, in some very safe blue states, fringe Democratic voters are less motivated to vote because they know Obama will get the EV’s of their state. If it were a nationwide popular vote, these voters might be more easily motivated.

    Now, the obvious response is that the same thing happens for supporters of Romney, but I read somewhere the other day the current projections are this would more likely depress voter turnout for Obama. But I do not have data to back that up…something about fewer, bigger states with wide margins of victory for Obama?

    If this is true…and if Obama narrowly won the EV and narrowly lost the popular vote, the arguement is that if voters knew it was the popular vote that mattered, more people in those safe blue states would have turned out for Obama and he likely would have won the popular vote.

  • LL

    I vote in Texas. I vote even though – Texas being dominated by Republicans at almost every level – my vote doesn’t “count” in the sense that I can vote for Obama extra enthusiastically, but Texas will probably still go 60% (at least) Republican. This makes me kinda mad when I think about it. I’m guessing it would require a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Electoral College, which means it probably isn’t gonna happen anytime soon. And I doubt either party is eager to encourage their states to distribute electoral votes proportionally, the way Maine and Nebraska do. They benefit too much from the way it’s done now. 

    I think getting rid of the Electoral College at the very least would make more people more interested in the outcome, since their individual vote would count more so than being part of a blob of similar votes. I don’t think it would result in a wildly different outcome than what we get with the electoral college, though I could be wrong about that. Voter turnout in 2008 was only 61%. I further doubt we’d see 30% or even 20% more voters if there was only the popular vote, but again, I could be wrong. 

    Having said that, I think the fears of majority rule are silly here. If we accept the majority vote in the other public offices, I’m not sure why it would be more troubling in the case of a presidential election. In some ways, senators, for example, are even more influential than presidents, and can serve much, much longer, since they are not subject to term limits. Racist Strom Thurmond was a senator for 48 years. He was a senator long after he should have been replaced by someone who didn’t need an assistant to wake them up to vote on bills in Congress. 
    And there are 50 state legislatures that are at least as influential in our daily lives as the president, if not more so. Like this awesome news today from Texas:

    “Today’s ruling affirms yet again that in Texas the Women’s Health Program has no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform or promote abortion. In Texas we choose life, and we will immediately begin defunding all abortion affiliates to honor and uphold that choice,” Perry said.

    That happened with a Democrat in the White House. At the state level, Republicans are free to impose their ignorant beliefs on the rest of us without nearly as much interference from the secret Muslim Socialist Obama. 

    Obviously, the office of president is important, but there are 535 people sitting a few blocks away who are also quite powerful and influential, unfortunately. I would like Obama to serve a second term, I think Romney would be a shitty president, but if Obama’s going to have to deal with the same group of assholes in Congress that he does now, he’s not going to be allowed to be any more effective than he has so far. That’s why off-year elections are so important. And the Republicans know it. I don’t think most of the Republican leadership gives a shit about abortion or gay marriage, but they are happy to pretend to, to leverage the power of ignorant numbers of voters who have been trained by Karl Rove et al to believe that both of those things are the most important issues facing America today.

  • fraser

    Since no-one else has brought it up, I must say the no-new-wars argument is one I find laughable. Drone war in Yemen. Involvement in Libya. Possible assassinations/cyberwar against Iran.

  • Gryphios

    I guess Powell doesn’t consider Libya a “war” either.

  • MaryKaye

    The evidence in Washington State seems to be that early (mail) voting increases turnout.  Whether it increases or decreases voter informedness is much harder to measure.  I miss going to the polls, because it was a chance to hear “how’s turnout in my precinct?” and it just felt like a little citizenship ritual in a way that mailing the ballot does not. But I probably do a better job voting because I can take all the time I want, information sources laid out in front of me, and won’t encounter a last minute “Wait, what?  That wasn’t in the votor’s pamphlet!” surprise that has happened to me a few times with in-person voting.  On balance I support mail voting.

    It is a mistake to vote before you have the information you need, but I think it’s up to the voter to determine when that is.  I certainly don’t think the debates were essential to my decision.  I came to the conclusion some time ago that there is not enough correlation between what Romney says and what does to make listening to him productive.  And if we want to know what Obama will be like as President, good or bad, we have 4 years of him being President to work with–how could a debate possibly compete with that kind of evidence?  I mean, that is the gold standard of job performance.  I am voting for the person who passed the ACA and sent the drones.  I know that already.  Unless he goes off the rails in the meantime–and that could happen after *any* voting date–I have the information I need.

  • Daughter

     MaryKaye, do you mind if I ask who the Republican is you voted for? I lived in Massachusetts for a long time and I voted on occasion for Republicans for state and local offices, because I knew who they were and what they stood for.

    However, I’ve only been in WA state for a few years, and don’t have that long term knowledge. And at this point in U.S. history, I feel like I can’t trust any Republican to be who they say they are when they are campaigning, given what’s happened in other states (specifically Ohio, my home state).  I wish I could take Republicans at face value and vote based on their character and platform, but my trust level is so low, I went straight Dem ticket.

  • Lori

    To provide a bit of levity to counter the annoyance of racist jerks and the fact that talking politics tends to be a bit stressful, I give you video of baby sloths:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2012/10/fauna-the-overwhelming-cuteness-of-baby-sloths/264159/

  • Don Gisselbeck

    But how can we prove to the world we don’t have small dicks if we don’t start more wars?

  • Lori

     Go nudist?

  • christopher_young

    But how can we prove to the world we don’t have small dicks if we don’t start more wars?

    Elect/appoint a government entirely composed of women?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    An idea that has been growing in popularity in the U.S. lately is that the most virulent homophobes, the ones who are constantly talking about how awful and icky and important gay sex is, are themselves closeted and queer.

    I have no idea if this is true statistically, though it’s not implausible; on balance I’d expect gay sex to be more important to gay people than straight people. True or not, though, the popularity of the idea has an interesting potential side-effect of  making overt homophobic behavior less popular. If I don’t want people to think I’m queer, and being overtly anti-gay makes people think I’m queer, then I won’t be overtly anti-gay.

    In the same spirit, I think maybe we need to start popularizing the idea that only men with very small dicks start wars.

  • Lori

     

    In the same spirit, I think maybe we need to start popularizing the idea that only men with very small dicks start wars.   

    I’ve got to vote against this. I do tend to think that a high percentage of people who are homophobic for a living are closet cases, but I think it’s a bad idea to make to big a deal about it as a way of discouraging homophobic speech because it tacitly supports the notion that being gay is something to be ashamed of. Good goal, harmful way of achieving it.

    Similarly I think the shaming we do over supposedly inadequate penis length is a pretty rotten thing and I don’t feel comfortable with reenforcing it, even to achieve a goal I agree with.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     > it tacitly supports the notion that being gay is something to be ashamed of.

    I agree that it can; I’m not sure it needs to.

    For example, I’m not sure that replying to homophobic remarks with some variation of “Oh, hey, I didn’t know you were queer. Cool. You know, there’s this guy in my office you might hit it off with; he’s into that same ‘overcompensating with overt homophobia’ kink that you’re into. I’ll give you his email address, you two would make a nice couple” necessarily communicates that being gay is something to be ashamed of, tacitly or otherwise. Especially if it’s said by an unashamedly out gay man.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I really hope there’s a ‘not’ you left out somewhere in there…

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Where would you expect it to go?

  • EllieMurasaki

    “I’ll give you his email address, you two would make a nice couple” necessarily communicates that being gay is not something to be ashamed of, tacitly or otherwise.”

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     “I’m not sure that replying [..] “I’ll
    give you his email address, you two would make a nice couple”
    necessarily communicates that being gay is something to be ashamed of,
    tacitly or otherwise.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Oh. Parsing issue. Sorry.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     No worries.

  • Lori

    Possibly true. I think most of the time, especially coming from straight folks, it’s not really going to work though. I’d definitely file it under “use with caution”. Which is too bad in a way because I love a good “hoist with his own petard” as much as the next person. (Actually, more. It’s pretty much my favorite flavor of schadenfreude.)

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Actually, that’s exactly what Electors are empowered to do. They are not strictly beholden to vote for who they were sent to vote for. The Electoral College exists to allow for the possibility of ‘Oh my god, how did this person put one over on that many sheep?’

    I believe they *are* beholden for all practical purposes now.  The original purpose was the idea that not every citizen could follow the presidential election (no television, news takes weeks to arrive), but they *could* pick the guy who *did* follow the election… I think.

    Oh. Parsing issue. Sorry.

    To be fair, it was a rather difficult parse.

  • aunursa

    Your reply reminds me of scene in the Star Trek episode “I, Mudd” in which Mr. Spock uses illogic to cause a pair of androids to malfunction.

    Spock [to Alice 27]:  I love you.
    Spock [to Alice 210]: But I hate you.
    Alice 210: But I am identical in every way with Alice 27.
    Spock: Yes, of course.  That is exactly why I hate you. Because you are identical.
    Alice 27 and Alice 210 both freeze.
    Spock: Fascinating.

  • aunursa

    Mitt Romney is a deeply, deeply horrible person

    That doesn’t tell us anything about Mitt Romney, but it does tell us a great deal about you.  Even his political opponents respect him as a person.  Even President Obama and Vice President Biden agree that “There’s no question Mitt Romney is a good man.”  Only someone so deranged and consumed with hatred would suggest otherwise.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Are you serious with this?  Jesus.  So it’s impossible for reasonable people to disagree on whether or not someone is a good person?

    And if calling Romney a horrible person says that a person is deranged and consumed with hatred, what does that it say about someone who calls a person deranged and consumed with hatred?

    What a nasty thing to say to and about Lori.  You should feel bad.

  • Lori

    What a nasty thing to say to and about Lori.  

    By his own standards aunursa was saying more about himself than he was about me.

    Even if he wasn’t, I tend to be of the opinion that you’re known as much by your enemies as by your friends and if he’s going to force me to pick one I’d rather have him in the first category than the second.

    You should feel bad.   

    Never gonna happen.

  • Antigone10

    Obama and Biden have to say that for political purposes.  In fact they may even believe it.  So?  I consider someone who wishes to deny my closest friends health care,  someone who is trying to keep me from having reproductive health care (maybe, I don’t know, he keeps going back and forth) and someone who doesn’t like gay marriage, again affecting my friends lives, a deeply horrible person.   Not to mention someone who calls me, and practically everyone I know, a “taker”.  This isn’t theoretical  this isn’t a game, this actually has actual consequences in the actual world.
    I don’t understand that “well, you hold deeply horrible political beliefs, but you’re still a good person”.  No- your philosophies drive your actions, and your actions determine whether or not you are a good person.  If your philosophies are mean-spirited, then your actions are going to be mean-spirited.  Reasonable people can disagree on the best way to accomplish aims.  But not against the aims themselves.  I have seen nothing to suggest that Mitt Ronmeny considers some of the biggest problems of this country problems (inequality both socially in economically, lack of medical access, et cetera).I’m not consumed with hatred.  I don’t hate him.  I don’t wish him harm.  I just don’t want him to be able to perpetrate harm against me and others.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RAPF5V3YPOUWAZGAJ2VCQM76Q Alicia

    Do you really consider Barack Obama all that great a judge of character anyway? He has the privilege of knowing that nothing Romney will do in the future if elected will have any material impact on himself or his family, because he’s rich. It’s easy to take that detached, “OK, you’re trying to pass laws that will hurt me that doesn’t make you a bad person” if you’re pretty sure that you won’t actually be hurt. Most people don’t have that luxury though so I wouldn’t cite the opinions of people who do in this case as “proof” that Romney is so obviously a good person that you have to be “literally” crazy not to think that.

  • Lori

    God, you’re an asshole.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    He has the privilege of knowing that nothing Romney will do in the
    future if elected will have any material impact on himself or his
    family, because he’s rich.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, Obama is cognizant of this to the point where he’s been tweaking Romney about it. He’s also said, “and folks like me should pay some more in taxes” (paraphrased).

    He knows he’s rich and moreover he knows that his duty is to aid the poor, not just sit there and gloat about how much more $$$$$$ he can pull down on a speaking tour.

    Incidentally, I had occasion to run across Obama’s victory speech. He looks so zestful and fresh in those images, almost like he really believes that by the force of his will he can make the USA a better place.

    Republipoops sure put paid to that. Have y’all seen how many grey hairs he’s gotten in just four years?