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Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the suddenly-the-primaries-become-clear dept.

Republicans 501

Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"

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501 comments

You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890183)

Geez, one of the worst of the Washington Post shill-meisters. And it is Milbank, not Milbanks who has said "that the whole campaign-trail reporting gig is a complete waste of time and borderline fraudulent". How is this /. material?

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (4, Insightful)

Svippy (876087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890203)

How is this /. material?

Because it has 'robotics' and 'Uncanny Valley' in its word cloud. Now you know how to get to front page of Slashdot.

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890507)

Even if both are apparently used with a completely new meaning?

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890717)

Well... that, and a small army of bot accounts to vote your story up the firehose...

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (5, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890807)

you mean Mitt Romney is not a robot?

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890843)

Lexicology matters not... /. has only just now seen the whites of the Rep. nominee's eyes, and this is the first shot of an unrelenting 10-month assault.

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890537)

The creepiness factor is huge, and the buzzwords seemed to do it.

And the who-cares quotient is large enough to cause vehement backlash to Pickens, who's become Slim, rather than Hugh.

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890481)

Because Mitt Romney is the most advanced humanoid robot we have yet designed. The fact that it has made it this far in politics is absolutely stunning, even if it fails the Turing test every once in a while.

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890699)

I'd fuck a robot before I'd fuck Milbank.

Re:You're quoting Dana Milbanks (sic)??? (5, Insightful)

ideonexus (1257332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890937)

I did find the article interesting when it appeared in The Atlantic, but after some thoughtfulness I realize it's very unfair to argue that a human being falls into the Uncanny Valley, and that this article is really just a stretch to find some shred of fresh insight in a Presidential Primary that has dragged on forever through too many debates with a mainstream media that can't look away while viewers are completely over it (sorry for the run-on sentence). Things that fall into the UV are supposed to be "creepy," and Romney isn't creepy, he's just out of touch and it's fair to compare him to the Al Gore of the 2000 election in that respect.

That being said, Republicans seem to be split into the "angry" and "policy" factions. Newt Gingrich is in many ways more liberal than Romney, but Red-Meat-Limbaugh-Coulter conservatives love him because of his in-your-face debate style. He appeals to that anger Fox News and 24-hour conservative AM radio has firmly rooted in so many Americans. That's why I find it hilarious that Limbaugh and Coulter are arguing against him, as it was their rhetorical style that has made his candidacy possible.

I hope Romney wins this so America can have a constructive debate over economic equality. He'll bring attention to the fact that capital gains are only taxed at 15% compared to labor-income being taxed at 30%, and that the reason it's so low is because he personally lobbied against making it more equitable in the 1980s. Evangelical Christians will have to rethink their tax-deductible church donations in the context of Romney's $3 million yearly donations to the Mormon Church. He'll bring attention to the fact that companies like his keep their money in tax shelters overseas and that his consulting firm bankrupted many of the companies they claim to have saved when they had to pay the consulting feeds. He's not creepy, but he is out of touch with what life is like for 99% of voters ("I'll bet you $10,000."), and he'll put a face on the faceless economic issues we need to address in these United States.

Pointless Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890191)

By far the dumbest post I've read on Slashdot.

Re:Pointless Post (2)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890429)

You haven't been here that long.

For me, it was the article shortly after the US invasion about Afghanis retrieving their Commodore 64s out of dirt holes and watching video...it kinda went downhill from there.

My brain isn't working right today, can someone help me out here?

Re:Pointless Post (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890947)

My brain isn't working right today, can someone help me out here?

No, it sounds like JohnKatz has already infected your brain, and sadly there is no cure :(

Re:Pointless Post (1)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891161)

I was trying to remember his name and couldn't. Considered myself lucky for a while and then you come along. Thanks, jerk! (I guess I asked for it, didn't I?)

Religion (3, Insightful)

Framboise (521772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890193)

People strongly involved in religion always let me this strange impression that they are hiding something, as unable to really disclose what they think.

Re:Religion (2)

GillyGuthrie (1515855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890221)

I had forgotten he was Mormon. Isn't that considerably weirder than your average flavor of Christianity? 99% of what I know of Mormonism is from South Park.

Re:Religion (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890265)

Eh, most Christians will try to claim their "weirder", but only because they completely ignore their own weirdness. You don't really have a strong leg to stand on to make fun of people who wear "magic underwear" when you ritually eat crackers that you pretend are the flesh of your 2000 years dead savior.

Re:Religion (2)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890333)

And then you get the weird and crazy left overs like scientology.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890629)

Basic mormonism is really way out there in and in a way may well be a peer of scientology as to its roots/beginning.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890727)

You should probably recognize that South Park is not actually equivalent to a course in comparative religion. I would actually say, as a general rule, if the majority of your knowledge about a given subject comes from a cartoon, you should probably keep your mouth shut about it.

Re:Religion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38891033)

Most of my knowledge comes from ex-mormons and people that know ex-mormons. I also read and viewed research conducted on the origins of said religion of 'latter day saints' but this was some years ago. Over the years public TV has aired a number of neutrally charged but informative shows about it. Base mormonism is kooky and not at all in line with modern society (I mean come one, what do you expect? It seems to have been based on the stolen text of a science fiction story by a politically charged/biased writer.). The mormon church however very good at blending in (adapting core teachings) when it became politically important to do so. The roots and peculiar circumstances of the scriptures are fascinating but no more than the start of any other religion -- it is just newer with elements that we can easily identify with so its beginnings seem more kooky. However when set in appropriate historical context is it not really any more kooky than the origins of more 'established' religions and is about on par with the start of scientology. South Park just added their own take on an old well researched and overly commented upon topic -- and this AC has not actually seen that particular South Park episode. It is probably high time that I did.

Re:Religion (3, Informative)

Rolgar (556636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890907)

Only Catholic and Orthodox Christians (and according to polls, only half of the Catholics) believe that the host (think about what that word means) becomes Jesus. The Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants and every other variety of Christian reject that particular teaching. They believe it's only a symbolic presence, so they what they consider the the most outrageous of orthodox teachings as well.

Re:Religion (1)

jasenj1 (575309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890367)

Yes, it is. And it's not really Christianity. I'll save the details, but mainstream Protestant and Catholic denominations do not recognize LDS as "Christian". It is heavily based on the same teachings, but there are some core foundational differences. To those who think Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Jews, Muslims et al. are all worshipping pretend fantastical delusions, the differences don't really matter, but they are there.

Mormons have "be wholesome" as a very strong teaching of what it takes to be a good Mormon. And Romney is pretty high up in the Mormon religious hierarchy. He is modeling good Mormon behavior.

- Jasen.

Re:Religion (4, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890509)

Except that Romney is doing it wrong.

Being a "vulture capitalist" who makes millions of dollars by ruining the lives of others, destroying viable companies as part of a firm whose mantra was "strip and sell", is not wholesome.
Dodging taxes and exploiting loopholes is not wholesome.
Supporting a party with racism as a key platform plank is not wholesome.
Supporting a party that wants to go to war with the world and waste lives is not wholesome.

Whether you are pro-choice or not, the LDS Church is not pro-choice, and yet Romney was pro-choice as governor, vehemently so. So that would not make him a "wholesome Mormon modeling good Mormon behavior."

The problem with Romney is he's not wholesome at all. He's a stellar example of what's wrong with the Republican Party today - an amoral, evil asshole who's wearing a Fred Rogers suit.

Re:Religion (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890767)

Of course, many Catholics claim that Protestants are "not really Christianity", either (and vice-versa).

I will say one thing about Mormons... of all the people I've met of different religions, Mormons were by far the nicest and most genuine people. They actually try and live the tenants of their religion. I'm an atheist, but if I had to pick a religion to follow because I wanted the culture, I'd pick being a Mormon. I hate alcohol anyway. :)

They're not perfect of course (their support of California's Prop 8 is particularly troubling), but overall having Romney be a Mormon is a positive in my book, compared to, say, Santorum who is a full-blown religious wack job.

Re:Religion (5, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891041)

Yeah, but we're a rather cynical nation and have trouble believing anyone actually is that nice and genuine. It creeps us out. When someone is nice to me, they're usually looking to either sell me something or screw me over. Did you see how Romney did better in Florida when he started being a dick to Gingritch? That's familiar territory for us. That's our comfort zone. If Romney can manage to be a huge asshole for the next 46 states, he should have no problem taking the nomination.

Re:Religion (5, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890395)

I had forgotten he was Mormon. Isn't that considerably weirder than your average flavor of Christianity? 99% of what I know of Mormonism is from South Park.

Tough call. Mormons have the reputation of having multiple wives. The sad part is that Newt has had more wives than Mit.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890431)

Seems a bit strange focusing on what comedians say are the beliefs of any particular group. Wouldn't it be better to ask the group itself? In this case, you can find their beliefs explained at mormon.org.

-anon

Re:Religion (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890543)

Except that no, Mormonism is much like Scientology in that they keep a large laundry list of things "not to be discussed with outsiders."

If you look at their wiki [fairmormon.org] you'll see the following disclaimer plastered all over:
"Important note: Members of FAIR take their temple covenants seriously. We consider the temple teachings to be sacred, and will not discuss their specifics in a public forum."

The moment a religion starts trying to hide what it says from you, that's when you realize they're up to no good.

Re:Religion (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890757)

Comedians are by and large the most honest group of people you can find. It's not funny if it's not true. Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Louis CK, Jon Stewart. These people speak more truths than any holy man.

Re:Religion (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890665)

No, standard Christianity is every bit as weird as Mormonism. People have just grown up around it, so it gets a pass.

Re:Religion (2)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890917)

I think mormonism is actually worse. While it's tough to compare different strands or craziness, mormonism isn't like scientology - brand new bullshit. It takes christinanity and adds even more nonsense to it. Recent nonsense, from the 1800s. So, interms of weirdness, I figure A+B has to be greater than A (for non-negative values of B, in case someone is thinking about being a jackass).

Re:Religion (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890931)

it's tough to compare different strands OF craziness

Re:Religion (2)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890943)

No, standard Christianity is every bit as weird as Mormonism. People have just grown up around it, so it gets a pass.

Which one is standard Christianity exactly?

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890961)

Way to over generalize. Mormons want multiple wives. The Christian Bible frowns on divorce since it considers a marriage sacred as in "let not man put asunder". If you consider that weird and just as creepy as Mormonism then I can't help you.

Also, Mormons don't talk about certain aspects of their religion. True Christianity derives it's teachings from the Bible alone. None of it is hidden. Any Christian faith that hides additional dogma are cults and not fundamentalists. Again, if you consider that weird and just as creepy as Mormonism then I can't help you.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38891101)

Both religions worship invisible beings and ritualistically eat one of their gods.

Come one, everyone knows Christianity is/was a great slave religion. Maybe it needs improvement!

Re:Religion (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890799)

99% of what I know of Mormonism is from South Park.

Then you know all you need to know.

Theologically, Mormons are the Muslims of the West. They're like every other religion, except with a double-extra draught of crazy. But then they became this country club for rich extra-white people with secret stuff that outsiders must not know. They begrudgingly gave up their extra wives around 1900 and begrudgingly allowed black people to have souls more than half a century later. They have wonderful teeth and if you find a mormon girl who has strayed they will do very dirty stuff. This last bit I found out when I was a postdoc at land grant school out West. [note to wife in case she's reading this: this was more than a decade before we met]

Most of the above is gleaned from rumors and South Park (except the bit about the lapsed-LDS girl and dirty stuff) because I've only met like two Mormons in my life. I have so little in common with Mormons that I seem to have existed in a separate plane of reality from them. Perhaps I just avoid crazy people. Or maybe Mormons avoid crazy people. I was going to say that perhaps I avoid people who wear magic underwear, but I know that's not true, since I've still got a pair of drawers that I've had since college because I think they're lucky. So maybe Mormons are not that crazy.

I used to not care about Mitt Romney, until I heard a serious biographer of his say in an interview that Romney will occasionally cut up for his family or friends by doing a spot-on impersonation of Michael Jackson singing Billie Jean. Apparently Mitt knows all the lyrics and can do a great moon-walk. Does the One Glove thing. Ever since I heard that, I am scared to death of the man. Whenever I see him on TV I start to hyperventilate and have to run out of the room.

Re:Religion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890445)

I was going to say exactly this. I've found with Mormons in general that until you get to know them they exude a borderline-creepy sort of artificiality. I suspect it's got something to do with their almost pathological inability to publicly treat people with disrespect, even when deserved.

Re:Religion (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890761)

I've found with Mormons in general... their almost pathological inability to publicly treat people with disrespect, even when deserved.

Mitt does not have that problem. He is regularly disrespectful to his political foes. His son Matt doesn't have that problem, propagating lies like the "birther" myth, likely at the request of daddy big bucks.

No, I think Mormons are just as big of jerks as anyone else. The core of Mitt's weirdness is a combination of religious secrecy and political pandering. He is so worried about telling the person in front of him what it takes to get elected, while trying to maintain a distance between them that the end result is unsettling.

Re:Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890715)

Eh, I don't know. I've known a few religious crazies but uber-devout Mormons come off as being stranger (to me anyway) than equally devout (keeping in mind that "devout" doesn't always mean "utterly blind adherence")members of other religions. Maybe it's the magical underwear?

Seriously though, there is something off about him. Beyond my disagreements with some of his stances.

Re:Religion (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891131)

What you're feeling is disgust. Whether it's because you believe that he actually believes all the "I will eventually become a god and own my own planet and all of my many wives..." silliness, or because you don't believe he actually believes it and only pretends to be "a man of faith" to score political points, like every other candidate. Doesn't matter which. The point is that your response is normal. Embrace it and move on.

Best Canidate... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890201)

RON PAUL 2012!!

Fake Mitt Romney (4, Funny)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890209)

Speaking of uncanny appearances, Endorse Liberty (a PAC that supports Ron Paul) put out some web ads featuring other politicians, including "Fake Mitt Romney". One of the first things he says is "I'm Fake Mitt Romney, which makes me a lot like the real Mitt Romney". You can see it here [youtube.com] .

Capt obvious says : (3, Funny)

gx5000 (863863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890231)

You mean in person he comes off as a hypocritical crook, you don't say ?

Re:Capt obvious says : (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890735)

He is acting and he is patently not very good at it. He just needs a good coach on masking dishonesty with manufactured sincerity.

John Jackson (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890271)

He kinda reminds me of the futurama guys:

John Jackson:"It's time someone had the courage to stand up and say: I'm against those things that everybody hates."
Jack Johnson:"Now, I respect my opponent. I think he's a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said."
John Jackson:"I say your three cent titanium tax goes too far."
Jack Johnson:"And I say your three cent titanium tax doesn't go too far enough."

Already seen this movie (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890311)

I guess the Men In Black need to improve the technology for their prosthetics and vocoders.

The US is f*cked, presidentially (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890313)

The whole presidential campaign process in general is shaping up to an unfortunate dramatic comedy of a cast of misfits. Do these individuals really represent the US population?

Re:The US is f*cked, presidentially (1)

stjobe (78285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890411)

Not yet, but one of them will. Sadly.

Re:The US is f*cked, presidentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890643)

No. No they won't.

Re:The US is f*cked, presidentially (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890625)

No, because Republicans have sacrificed virtue for "electability" as have the Democrats. So rather than voting in the primary for people who really represent their beliefs, they vote for someone who is "electable" in the process getting someone who doesn't represent their beliefs at all.

Re:The US is f*cked, presidentially (1, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890997)

None of the forerunners are electable though...the primaries seem to keep throwing out some of the most insane people the Republican party has to offer. I mean, shit...Ron Paul IS kind of crazy but he looks perfectly normal next to the crazy fucks they have running right now. I mean think about who they had going here...Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry...who the hell really wants to vote for any of those people? Seriously...all this primary has proven to me is that Republican primaries produce insane candidates and that the insane fringes of the Republican party seem to be dictating who gets the nomination. I do not believe that party is actually THAT fucking crazy.

Re:The US is f*cked, presidentially (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890911)

It's the Republican version of The Breakfast Club. You have the homophobe, the serial philanderer, the robot, and your crazy uncle. Surely everyone can relate to at least one of them.

Re:The US is f*cked, presidentially (5, Insightful)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890919)

No. Every election cycle, I take a look at the candidates and think "Are these the best of the best? Can't we do better?" The answer to both is a big NO.

These guys are the survivors of a weird winnowing process. Egotistical enough to believe they should be president, connected enough to get support, organized enough to run, stubborn enough to stick with it, and with not too many skeletons in the closet. Can speak well and doesn't appear overtly crazy or hideously ugly.

A couple of those talents are useful as president, but there isn't a 1:1 correlation.

Makes you sort of wonder if the way candidates were chosen in a smoke filled back room wasn't an improvement. I almost wish we could elect a couple committees to go and recruit a presidential candidate each for the whole population to then vote on. Call them the hypothetical R and D committees.

Nothing uncanny about it... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890341)

He's a smarmy rich douchebag who made a fortune by wrecking companies. Yet he wants to pretend he's "one of us."

Romney (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890379)

And what is the technical link to a blog like this? Does ther 'Atlantic' suddenly think Mitt is a robotic clone? Is he running under Apple IOS? Maybe they think he still uses Windows ME on his home computer? I don't know what the heck the purpose of the article is? At least - compared to Obama, the guy ahd a real job and has some real experience. Steve Jobs was weird too.

really? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890393)

>> Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, ..and it has nothing at all to do with the fact that anything he says is inherently untrustable, and that he is only self-serving like the worst used car salesman?

Vote Paul.

Wait ... (1)

Keyslapper (852034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890409)

Are you saying Mitt Romney is a robot planted to take over the country?

I knew it!

Laugh (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890427)

The truth is finally coming out. Willard Mitt Romney is really just another alias for R. Daneel Olivaw [wikipedia.org] . Just like on Trantor, some are finally beginning to suspect.

More that he has the most hated traits (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890435)

1. He is white
2. He is male
3. He is religious

The traits that people have been unconsciously force-fed hatred against for a lifetime.

So what? (2, Interesting)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890439)

As a non-American who lived in the USA for 10 years, I find it amusing that you guys worry so much about your presidential candidates' private lives.

I remember the presidential blowjob incident. The SAME people who thought Clinton was a great president decided he was no good anymore because he screwed an intern.

Now we find out Mitt Romney is a dork when he's off the limelight. So fucking what?? Is he able to get the job done should he get elected?? If you think so, vote for him.

Finally, does your boss worry and judge you based on what you do in private, off the clock?? How about your customers, co-workers, subordinates, etc.??

No, no, and no, right? Then why the fuck do you care about the candidates' private lives.

Disclaimer: like I said, I'm not America, no longer live in the US, don't vote, don't care.

You're a moron (4, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890475)

The reason he was impeached wasn't sex. It was because:

1. He lied under oath. We call that perjury and it's a felony.
2. He lied under oath in a trial where he was having to account for unwanted sexual advances on a woman.
3. As a matter of law, we try to make at least a half-assed attempt to protect women from aggressive, unwanted sexual advances.
4. Felonies are actually named as a basis upon which a President can be impeached.

If he had just admitted the truth, there was nothing the system could have done to him because it was a civil trial and Presidents cannot be impeached for purely civil matters.

Re:You're a moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890555)

And you're a moron if you really think that that's the reason they tried to get rid of him no matter how.
You probably also think Al Capone was punished for his tax trickery...

Americans... you will believe EVERYTHING. ^^

Re:You're a moron (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890635)

"As a matter of law, we try to make at least a half-assed attempt to protect women from aggressive, unwanted sexual advances."

You're talking about Herman Cain, right? Because Lewinski sure seemed like she wanted to do all that stuff. In fact, she tried to hide it.

Oh right, it's about "principles" and not the facts. I forgot to wear my derp-hat.

Who's the moron? (5, Informative)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890697)

BZZZT!!! Bullshit.

We don't call lying under oath "perjury." We call lying under oath about something material to the case at hand "perjury." Clinton did lie under oath in a deposition about Whitewater to questions that had not a damn thing to do with the case, therefore not perjury. If you go back and check, he was completely acquitted of that charge--even by several Republicans.

Also, even if he were eventually found guilty, felonies are not named as a basis upon which a President can be impeached. "High crimes and misdemeanors" is the basis. Clinton had an affair. Stop trying to conflate that with giving away our nuclear codes to China.

By the way, you might want to know that as a matter of law, we do not prosecute people because of consensual sex.

And by the way, he WAS impeached because of sex. You can try to dress it up any way you want, but that's it, period. They tried to get him on Whitewater, and they couldn't. He was completely acquitted of all of those charges, too. Maybe you don't remember so well what happened during those days, but I sure as hell do. The Republicans made some shit up and hauled him in to give a sworn deposition under oath about Whitewater. Once he got in the room, they started asking him all sorts of sordid, slimy questions that didn't have a damn thing to do with the case at hand. Everyone in that room--especially Bill Clinton--knew that the testimony would be leaked and that it had zero to do with any actual crime. It was character assassination, pure and simple. Hell, they knew they didn't have the votes to actually find him guilty, so the end goal wasn't really to remove him from office, either. The point was to get Ken Starr's report out to the public and put all of the salacious details on people's televisions; to distract the public from REAL issues.

Clinton was by far one of the best presidents we've ever had. Eight straight years of relative peace, no messy expensive international entanglements, budget surpluses, record low unemployment, booming economy with little inflation, etc. Had the Republicans not conducted their little smear campaign, there's no way come hell or high water Al Gore could lose in 2000, it would have been a Reaganesque landslide. They were desperate, and as a result, Clinton for a couple of years had a very hard time carrying out his duties as President. I kinda wish he had been able to focus on things like, I dunno, say, Osama bin Laden, instead of having to testify about where someone consented for him to put a cigar.

So stop being such a tool and persisting with this bogus "but he lied under oath, waaaah!" bullshit. He was impeached due to sex, and it was nothing but a Republican ploy to take the White House in 2000, end of story.

It was the Paula Jones Law suit (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890787)

The deposition that Clinton lied about having sex with Monica Lewinski was for the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. I would think having sex with an intern would be material to this case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Jones

As with Nixon it was not the crime but the cover up. Only Nixon is synonymous with being a crook and Clinton is not.

Re:Who's the moron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890815)

It's more than that. It comes down to business ethics. The CEO/President/Owner/etc. should NOT engage in sexual activity with an unpaid employee. Trust me...if the head of a hospital was caught banging an unpaid med school intern...IN the hospital...it would result in the loss of his job. Clinton's sexual escapades were well documented and...frankly...resulted only in political embarrassments. It wasn't just about sex but about abuse of power and position. To paint it any other way is completely disingenuous...

Re:Who's the moron? (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890967)

You dare post facts here? Prepare for a hoard of tri-corner hat wearing goons to pummel you with nonsensical ravings and coordinated mod bombing from a collection of attack accounts.

Re:Who's the moron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38891001)

Damn Well Put. Wish I had mod points... (or bothered to log in)

Why not say "Objection - irrelevant"/"no comment"? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891053)

We call lying under oath about something material to the case at hand "perjury."

If it's not pertinent to the case, why was it asked, let alone answered?

Re:So what? (2)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890521)

"The SAME people who thought Clinton was a great president decided he was no good anymore because he screwed an intern." What? No. The people who were after him were the REPUBLICANS, who never wanted him to be president.

Yes they do, actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890655)

Finally, does your boss worry and judge you based on what you do in private, off the clock?? How about your customers, co-workers, subordinates, etc.??

Actually, they do; hence why background checks include Facebook now.

Many companies will terminate you or at the very least talk to you if you do things in public that reflect poorly on the ompany - within the law of course. I remember reading about employees of a company started by an ex-Oracle executive getting into trouble for their behaviour - quite innocent - outside of work. And this was before Facebook.

Secondly, the Mormon chruch was founded by a con artist. It was formed in the 19th Century so there is a record - written record - of the founding, the founder, and his background.

I think anyone who follows a "religion" that is founded by a con-artist is either quite stupid, horibly misguided, or somehow involved in the con.

Gold tablets that were given to him by God and then taken away when someone waented to see them? And the precepts of the church are something a horny frat boy would come up with.

The older religions at least have the excsue that their founding was shared verbally and there was distortion and embellsihment - but something that was created in the age of the printing press? Please.

Re:So what? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890747)

I really don't think anybody's views changed. The people who thought he was a good President before hand still thought he was good.

The people who thought the blowjob was mattered at all (to people other than his family anyway) didn't like him in the first place.

Of course there are a group of people who don't like that he lied about it - but the sex had nothing to do with that.

And no getting the job done isn't the only criteria people care about. Some people think that. Other people consider things like character and would prefer someone they trust to not deceive them more than someone who is better at doing the job.

Of course my subordinates (and boss, though subordinates is the equivalent when you are comparing with others relations to the President) would care if I was getting blowjobs from other subordinates. In fact significant numbers of people would consider it abuse of power and want me to lose that job even if I was the best person at doing the work involved.

Re:So what? (1)

Conchobair (1648793) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890753)

You sound Italian.

Re:So what? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890803)

Finally, does your boss worry and judge you based on what you do in private, off the clock??

Sadly, it is becoming increasingly more common for employers to worry about their employees' private lives. That's why a Social Media Background Check is rapidly becoming a necessity when hiring workers. And this really isn't new, but it's more common with the technology. For example, do you smoke? Employers have long discriminated against smokers, mainly because they didn't want to pay the higher healthcare premiums.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890991)

> Finally, does your boss worry and judge you based on what you do in private, off the clock??

Sadly, yes. Employee drug testing; HR departments that scan Facebook and Twitter.

> How about your customers, co-workers, subordinates, etc.??

Customers, yes. Co-workers and subordinates, not so much.

Political spam (0)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890495)

Screw the author. There's nothing here that isn't simply political crap.

Leaked drafts of Romney's acceptance speech (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890503)

"Barack Obama is a socialist. He's trying to overhaul this country along the lines of Europe." (pauses while boos fill the hall).

"That's right, my friends. Now, Europe is a nice place to visit - I spent about five years there in France during the Viet Nam War. Bonjour, tout le monde! Comment allez-vous aujourd'hui?" (pauses, but is met by silence)

"And Switzerland is a great place to park your money for tax purposes, but I've found we have a better tax shelter right here in the Cayman Islands!" (pauses again.. scattered nervous applause)

"Not that I ever had much money in those accounts, contrary to what the elite liberal press has suggested. Maybe $30 million or so at the peak. But I am not going to apologize for being a successful businessman, I've created a lot of jobs during my career. There's Everett " (points to the someone in the crowd) "Everett worked for the printer we used at Bain Capital for the private equity contracts." (sustained applause)

"I'm going to repeal Obamacare. I'm going to win the debates - when the President starts in with one of his outrageous Keystone Cops statements I'll turn to him and say, Ten Thousand Dollar bet, Barack?"

"And when November comes, we're going to put Obama's dog on the roof of the car " (cheering starts to build) ".. and we're going to take it for a spin on the highway for a few hours, and then we're going to close down the union plant that built the car!" (wild cheers and cries of "Mitt, Mitt")

He's fake and establishment (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890517)

The man's top ten donors are all Wall Street blue blood institutions, he's the inspiration for Obamacare and more. The more conservatives get to know him, the more they start to think it doesn't matter if Obama wins because Romney not only shares the same core issue positions, but has the executive experience to quite possibly be even more "effective" in the ways they want to prevent. This race has become a case of the Republican primary voters and RNC once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. If they had drafted Rand Paul (not Ron Paul) or someone with similar values, Obama would get clubbed like a baby seal in the debates and polls.

Re:He's fake and establishment (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890929)

I think this is the only time I'm ever going to agree with you. Romney and Obama hold the same corporatist positions on anything that matters.

Romney Most Qualified (5, Interesting)

footNipple (541325) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890557)

Here we go. The hard and heavy wheels of destruction are starting to turn. Inevitable I suppose.

IMO, Romney is, intellectually and experientially, the most qualified candidate for US president that we've seen in the last two centuries. I'm not sure what kind of president he'll end up being, but he is certainly qualified for the role and infinitely more qualified than the current US president.

FWIW, I had the opportunity to work in fairly close proximity to the man back in 1994. Back then I got the distinct impression that he was generally the smartest guy in the room. But what really stands out in my memory was a meeting where various topics of quantitative finance were discussed...in detail. He was very comfortable with partial differential equations. :-)

Re:Romney Most Qualified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890751)

This is another problem with our electoral process. People mistrust intellectuals.

Re:Romney Most Qualified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890783)

nice to know you have a huge asshole from which you can draw your whooper opinions. Most qualified candidate for US present in the last 2 centuries? I don't even have to debate this ridiculous statement because I know you aren't familiar with most people who ran for president in that time. LOL you are such a tool. Then again, your presidential qualifications seemingly include "comfortability with PDEs" LOL,

Re:Romney Most Qualified (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890881)

I had the opportunity to work in fairly close proximity to the man back in 1994. Back then I got the distinct impression that he was generally the smartest guy in the room.

Are you telling us that you and Romney shared an office?

Re:Romney Most Qualified (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890971)

Yes Romneys qualified. He's had years of experience plundering companies for his own personal profit. Now he can bring that experience to the whole country! Bain Capitol anyone?

Reptilian Shape Shifter (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890571)

Oh, you'll laugh about it, until you meet one. You'll sense it, deep in your brainstem, that you're prey.

What's left must be the truth (3, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890583)

If Romney is in the uncanny valley, let's eliminate the impossible and what's left must be the truth. He clearly is not a corpse, and let's face it, zombies are fictional, so he must have some sort of prosthesis. Not a prosthetic hand, but perhaps a prosthetic forehead.

Re:What's left must be the truth (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890905)

...let's face it, zombies are fictional

That will upset Christians. Zombie Jesus is a cornerstone of their system of myths.

What bothers me (4, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890599)

Even before Iowa, people were claiming Romney was "electable". WTF? Why is a guy who couldn't beat a 100 year old loser in 2008 "electable"? More important, when has the "electable" candidate actually WON?? McCain was electable, and so was Bob Dole. On the other side, John Kerry was electable, and I'm pretty sure Hilary was more electable than an unknown 2 year Senator with a foriegn name.

Re:What bothers me (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890719)

Yep. I'm sorry but I'm not voting for Obama, Santorum, Gingrich and I'm certainly not voting for Romney. I don't want a president like the last 10 that we have had. When was the last time we actually had an anti-war candidate from the democrats? When was the last time we actually had a free market candidate from the republicans?

If the Republicans choose Gingrich, Santorum or Romney as their candidate, I'm not voting for them. If the democrats have Obama as their candidate I'm not voting for them. Instead I'll actually vote for a worthwhile candidate (either Ron Paul or whoever the Libertarian party runs)

Sociopath (2, Informative)

jduhls (1666325) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890649)

He is a sociopath like most folks who seek power.

why romney cannot win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38890709)

Y'know that little thing called Occupy Wall Street? It will take exactly 2 milliseconds after/if Romney gets the nomination for OWS to realize that Romney IS Wall Street. He makes over 20 million a year in carried interest. How the hell can he possibly relate to a regular person with an income like that?

Letterman said it best... (5, Funny)

jfruh (300774) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890739)

...when he said Romney looks like "the guy who plays the American president in a Canadian movie."

Neil Stephenson (3, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890743)

As usual reading Neil Stephenson is spot on for the average geek: Interface [amazon.com] is about a slightly 'enhanced' presidential candidate that is the _perfect_ shill for big business.

Weird (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890873)

And here I always thought Mitt Romney was a muppet [wikia.com] , at least according to the Daily Show.

News from 2013 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890913)

"The audience at the inauguration were puzzled by the beginning of President Romney's long-anticipated speech, in which he simply intoned: 'Attention all planets of the solar federation: we have assumed control, we have assumed control, we have assumed control..'"

Awkward (2)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38890915)

equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness

I wonder, what is his slashdot id?

Re:Awkward (1)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891143)

I wonder, what is his slashdot id?

2

I wouldn't sweat it (5, Funny)

seven of five (578993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891055)

Mitt cannot harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to be harmed.

Uncanny? That's not the uncanny part.... (3, Interesting)

RobinEggs (1453925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38891135)

What's really uncanny is the two or three editorials per day about Romney's massive electability problems. And I only read one mainstream outlet; this story suggests other papers are doing the same thing. All this babbling about his problems and how he can't possibly win, and meanwhile he's, you know....winning. At least the nomination, and he probably has as good a chance as any against Obama in the general election.

I don't like Romney at all, but I'm still profoundly unsettled by this desperate meta-campaign to convince people he can't win. Are news outlets delusional? Are they trying to shape public policy by falsely prophesying some inevitable result? It just plain creeps me out.
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