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The Dangers of One Party Rule

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the also-rans dept.

Politics 569

Marxist Hacker 42 writes "Now that the Politics section is up and running, I can submit this story. Back in February, The American Prospect ran a speculative article on The Danger of NeoConservative One Party Rule. A quote: 'Benjamin Franklin, leaving the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, was asked by a bystander what kind of government the Founders had bestowed. "A republic," he famously replied, "if you can keep it." There have been moments in American history when we kept our republic only by the slenderest of margins. This year is one of those times.'"

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So true (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217324)

Everyone in the United States should think very carefully about the past four years, and also remeber what the United States was like before the current administration. Once you've come to your conclustion, start telling everyone you know to vote Kerry. This is serious.

My two discussion questions (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217332)

I think they were edited out because this is Politics, not Ask Slashdot (and yes, I promise to pick my topics more carefully in the future).

Will this lead to a Stalin-like hard right rule in the United States, and the warned curtailing of rights that a single, right-wing party is feared to be? Or will it be neoconservative utopia, ushering in an era of low taxes, small government, trickle down economics, and an end to labor law disputes?

trickle-down economics (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217385)

Mac-Brother's comment on trickle-down economics:

Yes, the money trickles down. But it gushes up.

Re:My two discussion questions (4, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217398)

Trickle-down economics? Grow up. They don't work, and never have. The whole concept of trickle-down economics was just a feeble excuse to cut taxes for the wealthy.

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217548)

I was just expressing the two most outlandish views of what might happen- and who knows, Bush might defy history if he gets his hands on all three branches, or at the very least, you won't be allowed to say that trickle down doesn't work anymore.

Re:My two discussion questions (-1, Troll)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217439)

You guys on the left just love to exaggerate, and I'm not sure if it helps you.

I mean, Stalin means the Gulag! Stalin means farmers being executed for not giving up all their food to the State!

I personally guarantee you that George Bush is not Hitler, or Stalin, and the simple act of saying he is, or might be, is ridiculous.

I think any government that wants to survive would wind up curtailing civil liberties in the name of capturing Al Queda and friends. I really doubt that John Kerry, should he become President, would do much different from Bush on this question one way or the other.

The only thing we would gain from John Kerry is a government that's a slave to France, and I don't know if that's an improvement even in civil liberties terms.

Under whatever leader we wind up with, you will not be prevented from comparing him to Hitler, or marching for hours screaming at the top of your lungs that he's evil. None of those rights are in any danger today. Not even the right to make a complete fool of yourself.

I belong to a pro-Bush protest organization, and I enjoy making a complete fool of myself sometimes, so relax. Neither of us are going to be prevented from expressing our views.

D

Re:My two discussion questions (3, Insightful)

FlyingOrca (747207) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217486)

You guys on the left just love to exaggerate [...] The only thing we would gain from John Kerry is a government that's a slave to France

Wow, if you guys on the right don't exaggerate, I guess it's gonna have to be Bush. But I'm thinking you might do it, too.

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217534)

Of course we exaggerate, although the exaggeration you cite was meant as a joke.

But we don't call our opponents Hitler, Nazis or Stalin.

That we leave to you.

D

(I did get a good chuckle out of your comment, so perhaps we can be friends).

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217552)

But we don't call our opponents Hitler, Nazis or Stalin.

It's possible you don't have to when your heroes belong to the same party that filibustered for segregation and blamed 9/11 on abortions.

Hoo-ah!

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217576)

But we don't call our opponents Hitler, Nazis or Stalin.

Well, that wouldn't really make a lot of sense... I mean, they were RIGHT WING nuts.

Re:My two discussion questions (1, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217536)

You guys on the left just love to exaggerate, and I'm not sure if it helps you.

The truth is somewhere between the extremes- my questions list the extremes.

I mean, Stalin means the Gulag! Stalin means farmers being executed for not giving up all their food to the State!

Stalin also meant an end to party politics in Russia- effectively the one party state with him at it's head and all others executed or done in. That was my thought as to where a lock on all three branches might lead. Get past your prejudices and think for a second.

I personally guarantee you that George Bush is not Hitler, or Stalin, and the simple act of saying he is, or might be, is ridiculous.

Stalin and Hitler weren't Stalin and Hitler before they were elected and their parties got a lock on all three branches of government either.

I think any government that wants to survive would wind up curtailing civil liberties in the name of capturing Al Queda and friends. I really doubt that John Kerry, should he become President, would do much different from Bush on this question one way or the other.

Now that is likely very true- but now let me ask you- if either side, Democrats or Republicans, were faced with al Qaida AND was able to get a lock on the Judiciary, the Legislature, and the Executive Branches, would that be better or worse than the same government having a political lock on only 2 out of the 3?

The only thing we would gain from John Kerry is a government that's a slave to France, and I don't know if that's an improvement even in civil liberties terms.

We'd also get a President that would be facing a hostile Congress that would slow down his agenda considerably.

Under whatever leader we wind up with, you will not be prevented from comparing him to Hitler, or marching for hours screaming at the top of your lungs that he's evil. None of those rights are in any danger today. Not even the right to make a complete fool of yourself.

Haven't tried to join in an anti-Bush rally at any of his appearances, have you? (of course not, your next paragraph says that you are PRO-Bush). Just a hint- when Kerry's in town, you're likely to get as close to him as you want. When Bush is in town, your counterparts on the other side aren't allowed within 1/2 mile of the route or 3 miles of the actual appearance location. This has been enforced even in such liberal right-to-free-speech towns as Portland, OR. In fact, we had a very neat comparison of the two out here a few weeks ago. Bush traveled in secret, his route unknown until a few minutes before, tying up traffic wherever he went, and Sunset High in Beaverton was swept by Secret Service Agents before he arrived for anybody who didn't sign a loyalty oath, who were sent down to Evelyn Schiffler Park, across from my house. Kerry, on the other hand, gave out his route ahead of time so that he didn't cause traffic tie ups, and held his speech in Waterfront Park in Portland, and all were welcome.

I belong to a pro-Bush protest organization, and I enjoy making a complete fool of myself sometimes, so relax. Neither of us are going to be prevented from expressing our views.

I already have been twice- but the courts have OK'd free speech zones, so there's nothing I can do about it.

Re:My two discussion questions (2, Informative)

thentil (678858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217546)

The only thing we would gain from John Kerry is a government that's a slave to France

This, of course, is just as trollish as the "Bush is Hitler" trolls...

Neither of us are going to be prevented from expressing our views.

You aren't paying attention and/or your media is being ... 'selective'. Most recently, there were the protesters in NYC [commondreams.org] who were jailed, and held even after a judge ordered their release. Or the story of reporter Ana Nogueira [democracynow.org] , who was arrested in Miami while covering a protest. Or even something as common-place and accepted as "Free-Speech Zones" [amconmag.com] ...

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

PatHMV (701344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217694)

Depends on how you define "protestor". Protestors who block the public streets, attack police, purposefully coat themselves with scents which will cause explosive dogs to alert, these are not legitimate protestors exercising their right "peaceably to assemble".

And on the caption of the woman being comforted, it says there was concern because her daughter was going into labor back in Austin while she was in jail. Well, if she was that concerned about her daughter in Austin, what was she doing in New York City to begin with?

As for the "Free Speech Zones", those were in front of the Democratic Convention, in the Democratic-controlled city of Boston, practically the home town of Senator John Kerry. I didn't see such limited zones in front of the Republican convention in New York City, which has a Republican mayor and a Republican governor. Kind of shoots down your tin-foil hat conspiracy theory, doesn't it?

slow down cowpoke (5, Insightful)

spreer (15939) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217560)

I was with for your first three sentences. The left often engages in hyperbole. No one rational here thinks Bush is in any substantial way like Hitler.

Then I get to sentence four. I am not giving my civil liberties up, even a little bit, not because of Al-Qaeda or for any other reason. I'm probably the nine-millionth person to quote Ben Franklin on this, but "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

And then I see sentence five: "The only thing we would gain from John Kerry is a government that's a slave to France." And your credibility is shot.

a) Do you honestly think that?
b) If so, why?
c) What the hell?

spreer

Please don't confuse this guy with the "left." (2, Informative)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217676)

Read his proposal for genocide [slashdot.org] from this thread [slashdot.org] . I know he calls himself "Marxist Hacker" but Stalinist would be closer to the truth (though even Stalin didn't want to kill as many people as this guy advocates).

In response to your comments, I'm sure you're aware that calling John Kerry a "slave to France" is equally as inane as calling Bush Hitler.

Sigh.... I don't know why the hell I expect intelligent political discussion on slashdot anyway....

Re:Please don't confuse this guy with the "left." (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217967)

I try to tell you guys- genocide is only half the story, and both genocide and surrender are taken from historical examples of how to deal with terrorism.

funny (1)

jefu (53450) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217750)

I thought your post was serious till I got to the "slave to France" bit. Then I realized that it had to be a put on - nobody literate enough to write could be that stupid.

Re:My two discussion questions (3, Funny)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217771)

a slave to France

Ah...slave to fashion, to fine wine, to cheese, to fine taste and wonderful women who know what a man likes ...(sigh) ...or... !!BUSH!! ... sometimes slavery aint so bad.

Sera

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217787)

What's amazing is that you can reply to a post that suggests conservativism may lead to anything between a hard-right Stalinism and a neoconservative utopia, and you somehow only bother to read the first half and perceive it as an entirely negative attack by a lefty? Those are some impressive blinders you have on.

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217520)

With Bush and the Republican Party? I'm banking on the first scenario to be most likely. He's already looking at re-activating the draft [wikipedia.org] in March of 2005, and has pushed hard for the PATRIOT Act to stay right where it is (prosecuting Americans and not terrorists no less). Peroutka might be seen as more extreme, though I see his extremism being right of libertarian and not right of authoritarian so he gets MY vote. (Not to mention I've met him face-to-face and he's a REALLY nice and genuine guy. I don't know that I'd be able to say the same after meeting either Bush or Kerry.)

Re:My two discussion questions (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217575)

In the case of either Bush or Kerry wining by a large margin and my vote not being worth a damn anyway, I'm with you- he's at least the least objectionable of the third party choices (Nader's back on my ballot, but after his supporters copied names out of the phone book to get him there, I'm not very supportive of him).

Re:My two discussion questions (5, Informative)

craigtay (638170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217946)

Anyone can edit Wikipedia.org.. and guess what, someone has. Here is the real story on "re-activating the draft": http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docid=200 - Craig

FUD (0, Redundant)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217852)

No more info needed.

Please... (2, Interesting)

avalys (221114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217333)

If there's one thing I've learned in my (admittedly relatively short) life, it's that things are never as bad (or as good) as others would have me believe.

Am I upset about the direction our country is heading? Of course. Do I think we're in danger of "losing" our republic? Hell no.

Re:Please... (1)

dameron (307970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217357)

Am I upset about the direction our country is heading? Of course. Do I think we're in danger of "losing" our republic? Hell no.


Well said Cicero.


-Patrick

Re:Please... (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217620)

Did you READ the article?

Losing our Republic, as in getting overrun by foreigners?
No. Maybe. I can see extension of current policies landing us in a Depression within a decade, given other influences in the world.

Losing our Republic, as in half the population getting no effective say in national policies for the rest of my life? (I'll qualify that by saying for the next 30-40 years.)
Actually, No to that, too. I think it will only be that way for the next 20-30 years. I'll be a feeble old man when the pendulum swings.

Forget NeoCons, it's the NeoCon Goths.. (2, Funny)

dameron (307970) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217341)


Wolfowitz scares the hell out of me [dailyhaiku.com] , and it's not just his policies but also his aversion to sunlight.

-dameron

Utter Crap...... (1, Offtopic)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217362)

One of the things I was reviewing was how much damage was done during the Clinton administration. The civil rights violations, while more subtle, added up to being more telling in my mind. A perfect example is the so called Assault Weapons Ban that sunsets Monday. The gutting of the United States Intelligence community and military is another.

We are screwed either way we look at it. There are no great choices right now, only the lesser of two evils. And that certainly is not Kerry.

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217370)

At least the Assault Weapons Ban sunsets. Do you think Bush's next two appointees to SCOTUS will?

Supreme Court Appointees? (0, Troll)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217435)

Yep, they don't live forever. The problem we have with the Supreme Court right now is that they are making new law at times, not measuring law as compared to the Constitution. Rowe versus Wade is a perfect example. There is no way you can suggest abortion is a right. There is nothing in the Constitution (Bill of Rights, etc) to suggest it is. We need more conservative members on the Supreme Court, thought that is what the democrats want to block. They want to consider the Constitution a "living document" and changeable by their wims.

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217540)

The justices might not live forever, but their rulings sure will.

And the constitution is a living document, which is partially why it's lasted so long. Remember stuff thing about, you know, amendments?

You could argue that the "wims" (sic) of the judicial branch is a perversion of the meaning of a "living document", but that's how the system works right now. Checks and balances.

Simply claiming that "there is nothing in the Constitution to ... suggest [abortion] is [a right]" doesn't make it so. That's not what the the Supreme Court decided, and now it's the law of the land. Deal with it. Make an amendment. Something other than complaining about a decades-old court ruling.

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217572)

Amendments require a plurality of Congress. That's the point, so we're not subject to the whims of a few men (or women).

Interpreting the law can only get so creative before it is out of bounds.

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (1)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217607)

No, it is not a living document. It is a legal document. The rights it represents are God given, not changable as to the whims of men. They need to be preserved at all costs.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/mar01/scalia140 31301a.asp [jsonline.com]

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217628)

The rights it represents are God given, not changable as to the whims of men. They need to be preserved at all costs.

That'd be why we have the amendment process written into the thing, right?

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (2, Insightful)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217671)

Nope.... may I suggest reading the Federalist Papers? You have to read the process and rational to understand it.

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (3, Insightful)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217693)

The rights it represents are God given, not changable as to the whims of men.

Actually, men had to fight for those rights. They weren't "given" to them by any one/thing.

Re:Supreme Court Appointees? (1)

Asgard (60200) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217706)

Not making any comment on the abortion aspect, but in general I thought the idea was that the Constitution said what rights were reserved for the State and Federal governments, with the implication that all other rights were reserved for the people. Didn't one of the founding fathers comment that the Bill of Rights might wrongly imply that only specific rights were granted to the people?

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217566)

Do you think Bush's next two appointees to SCOTUS will?

Why the Hysteria? You have nothing to worry about [geocities.com] .

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217606)

Funny how he entirely reversed that behavior once he got into office and stopped reading newspapers, isn't it?

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217396)

The gutting of the United States Intelligence community and military is another.

I can't speak about the intelligence community, though I will note that Bush & Co. have consistently given the CIA short shrift when making their decisions. However, I can tell you with certainty, having been in the service during most of the Clinton administration, that the idea the military was "gutted" during that time is bullshit of the purest ray serene.

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217502)

I doubt you served at all then. With relatives who did serve during that time, they reported that F-16 readiness dropped from over 90% to less than 77%. Training for pilots and crews was severely cut back to the point that commanders were complaining the crews would not be able to respond appropriately to an emergency, were it to present itself. Commanders were also censored for complaining about that fact. Army divisions dropped from 18 to 10. The total military budget was cut by how much? I could go on, but what would be the point. There was a darn good reason that a lot of military personal refused to salute Clinton. He was not worthy of that respect.

Sorry, sunshine, wake up and smell the reality.

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217613)

With relatives who did serve during that time, they reported that F-16 readiness dropped from over 90% to less than 77%.

So, like, if the Soviet Union came back and regained the power it had at its height - without us realizing - we might have been in trouble?

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217644)

No, but when we were attacked and our own planes were used as weapons, we had a process that was not trained to keep up and could no longer keep up with the needs of the moment.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217664)

Now that's the first real defense I've heard for NOT meeting those jetliners in the air. I'm glad I asked for this story today!

Re:Utter Crap...... (1, Interesting)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217820)

(9:11 A.M.) A few minutes later, the F-15's receive orders to head to Manhattan for combat air patrol, and they do that for the next four hours. At no point are these pilots given permission to shoot down any airliners. Nash points out that even if he had reached New York City before Flight 175, he couldn't shoot it down because only the President could make that decision. [Cape Cod Times, 8/21/02] During this time, President Bush is reading a book about a goat to 18 second-graders.

(Reference [alamedanet.net] )

The process you talk about starts and stops with the man in the classroom. Some reports indicate that Cheney gave the go ahead... tough shit. He isn't in the chain of command and nobody would listen to him, because they know his place is in the shitter with every other civilian.

By the time Bush's handlers got their act together, it was too late.

Don't trash the military because they have to accept this guy as CIC. They were in the air and waiting for orders.

Check out this timeline [alamedanet.net] and realize that what should have been done was canceling the photo op and taking care of business. Pay particular attention to what each person did at 8:45.

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217631)

Readiness ratings are based on the Pentagon's "two war" doctrine that proposes extraction from peacekeeping missions, retraining on home bases and deployment to two full size full-scale conflicts e.g., the Pacific and Europe. There's a lot of speculation that such "readiness ratings" are political ploys to get more funding from Congress and cast those who vote against it as unpatriotic. The Cold War is over, and I think if you're going to spend money on security, spend it on intelligence, where it's needed, not on expenditures that are questionable when the biggest threats now are a couple of guys who can't get down with bluejeans and Coke. These problems aren't fixable with a tank, but they're preventable if we know about it.

As for military personnel: you salute the Commander in Chief and I don't give a damn if you're the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Presidents are selected by the citizens of the United States of America and you serve at the pleasure of the President. And you don't need a reason past that.

Re:Utter Crap...... (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217705)

I doubt you served at all, ever. You sound like an utterly typical chickenhawk conservative who thinks he knows everything about the military because he knows some guy who knows some guy who says ... etc., but who never had the guts to wear a uniform himself. You, and Dick Cheney, can go fuck yourselves.

sincerely,
Daniel Dvorkin
former SSgt, USAF
USAR infantryman 1987-1989
USAF medic 1989-1997

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

Nagatzhul (158676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217837)

I am assuming you would include Bill Clinton there as well?

But there are other ways of serving other than wearing a uniform. And there are other ways to learn things other experiencing them directly. But you sound like a person who has limited himself too much to actually understand that.

Re:Utter Crap......from you.... (1)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217941)

Wow ...

What crap - In essense you said "I have never been in the military - but I know better because of that fact." Incredible, you have raise hubris to a new height - insulting a verteran because you have no military experience. Vote Bush, he is a moron draft doger as well.

Sera

Re:Utter Crap...... (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217485)

Please point me to any reference that the military was gutted under Clinton's watch.

Re:Utter Crap...... (4, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217510)

I beg to differ, and I suspect many others will, too. I'll ignore Assault Weapons, and not compare that to other rights we're losing now. I'll ignore the Intelligence and military, and not compare that to the environment, and other issues.

I'll settle on fairness and contention.

For 6 of 8 years, we had a balanced Supreme Court, a President from one party, and the House from the other. I don't remember, but I believe the Senate might have been Democratic, but not strongly so. All in all, it was a balanced government. NOBODY played "winner take all!" Incidentally, the Republicans kept a tight rein on Clinton's Judicial appointments.

For nearly 4 years, we've had a balanced Supreme Court, and a President and both Chambers of Congress (aside from a few months, after Jeffords) from the same party. Many of us feel that the Right Wing has been playing "winner take all" these past years, acting like they have a popular mandate when they have a slim majority. The Democrats have kept some rein on Bush's Judicial appointments, though either 188 of 198, or 198 of 208 have been confirmed. Now we hear of the "nuke" option coming so they can confirm on simple majority, increasing the "winner take all" feeling. Then we're on the verge of several Supreme Court retirements, and it would seem that the Court will go Right Wing in the next 4 years, conceivably for most of the rest of my life.

Oh, and at the State legislatures BOTH parties are Gerrymandering, consolidating their Congressional districts and cementing the composition of Congress. At this point the Republicans are more successful at it, though both are guilty.

Given the Congress we have right now, and are likely to have after elections, a Republican President is the greater evil. That's not a comment on Bush or Kerry, that's a comment on the present and future composition on the Hill.

Going into the 2000 elections, any number of studies cropped up about how the country was best off when the President and Congress were of opposite parties. I tend to agree.

Why Democrats lose (1, Flamebait)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217372)

Democrats have been losing because the Gore and Kerry are wooden bores.

The solution is not to field a wooden bore. We Republicans did that with Bush Sr and Bob Dole and were trounced soundly, and deservedly so. Now it's your guys' turn.

Kerry spent his whole convention talking about bravery and Vietnam even though he didn't think Vietnam was such a brainy scheme at the time. In other words, he lied, either now or while testifying about his experiences.

At least when we talk to George W Bush, we know where he stands, and we know he'll do his level best to keep his promises.

I can't even tell what John Kerry is promising, it seems to change every other day.

Bush's a better candidate. Get over it, and for God's sake find someone half-decent in four years.

D

PS The US is sufficiently divided that I don't buy the allegations in the article that Republican dirty tricks are going to keep the House and Senate in Republican hands. We're a divided nation, tending right at this point. That's Democracy.

Re:Why Democrats lose (2, Interesting)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217402)

A question- if we're tending right as you say, then how can the House and Senate fail to stay in Republican Hands? In fact, how can the Democrats hope to survive the next 4 years at all? What would stop Bush from calling for a third continenetal congress to reconsider the Constitution itself once the neocons have a lock on all three branches of Government?

As you say, we're a divided nation- and nations in division have a tendency to go totalitarian in this world.

Re:Why Democrats lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217529)

Do you suppose you're being a tad bit paranoid?

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217683)

Entirely possible, but even paranoids have their enemies. In the last 4 years, I've been sent to the Free Speech Zone cages twice, had my entire livelihood ripped away for two years, and dealt with four robberies. NOTHING like this happened under Clinton. So am I paranoid? Or just reacting to stuff that has already happened in an attempt to predict the future and avoid it happening again?

Re:Why Democrats lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217697)

How are your robberies related to a republican being president?

Your livelihood was ripped away, I assume you mean you were laid off and couldn't get a job? That's the bubbles fault.

And the Free Speech Zones are not something that are unique to republicans, so I still see no reasoning behind the paranoia.

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217437)

At least when we talk to George W Bush, we know where he stands, and we know he'll do his level best to keep his promises.

I can't even tell what John Kerry is promising, it seems to change every other day.


Who's [americanpr...action.org] the [democrats.org] flip-flopper [upi.com] ?

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

drivers (45076) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217452)

Democrats have been losing because the Gore and Kerry are wooden bores.

I attended my district's Democratic caucus back in the Spring. I voted for Dean at the time, but most of our delegates to the County convention ended up being for Kerry, and then even the people who were for Dean switched Kerry. They said they thought Dean was too angry. Not that they didn't agree with him, but that they thought Kerry was more likely to win. They intentionally chose the boring one as a safe bet. If my caucus was any indication of the rest of the country, it's stupidity on a national scale.

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217592)

They intentionally chose the boring one as a safe bet.

Dullness is OK. It can be good. Nice, quiet, dull, who wouldn't want that in a president compared to what we've had for the last 12 years? But Gore and Kerrey are malevolent in their dullness.

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217649)

Democrats have been losing because the Gore and Kerry are wooden bores.


That isn't why the dems have been losing. The lose because they aren't willing to lie, cheat and steal to "win at all costs".

They aren't playing dirty enough to match the 'pubs. Until they are willing to get in the mud and kill, just like the enemy... they will never defeat them.

Kerry didn't learn the right lessons in Vietnam... when someone kicks you in the balls, your job is to rip the other mf's balls off. And, when he doubles over... you snap his neck... and when he falls to the ground you gut him... then you take the parts and spread them far and wide to make sure nobody every gets the entire picture.

There is no kill like overkill. Any thing less is insufficient.

Until the dems are willing to go house to house killing the offspring of their enemy... they will continue to lose. (They don't have to actually do it... they just have to be willing.)

Because that is the kind of enemy they face.

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217712)

At least when we talk to George W Bush, we know where he stands, and we know he'll do his level best to keep his promises.

You're nuts. Did you listen to his acceptance speech in New York? Half the shit he promised are liberal ideas that he promised before he was elected in 2000. Education, health care; promises he immediately reneged on in 2001 in his rush to give handouts to the rich. The only promises he will keep are the promises he made behind closed doors to his buddies in the oil business.

You're right, though, we do know where Bush stands. More tax cuts for the wealthy, more preemptive wars, more terrorism, fewer civil liberties...

Re:Why Democrats lose (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217813)

You post to Slashdot and you think Al Gore is a "wooden bore?" Have you ever seen Futurama? That's him - his daughter was A WRITER for the show!

If you blindly accept the picture the media (encouraged by the right) painted of Gore, a joke became a sterotype - Al Gore is a hilarious guy, if you look past the soundbites on the nightly news.

Not sure. (3, Insightful)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217381)

I'm not entirely sure if there was a Democratic Senate, House and President that they wouldn't do the same. The issue is not that the political authorities are asserting power, because yanno, it's politics. The problem is that the Republicans are more aggressively pushing their agenda [than normal] without much opposition.

Of all the political quotes I could use here, I'm going to use Dr. Ian Malcolm via Jurassic Park: "Life finds a way." What I mean is, if a majority of people in four years find their life is worse, they vote Bush out. They vote a Democratic congress. People have phenomenal capacity. If you think the people are voting for all the wrong reasons, go back to 11th grade: all men are created equal. People have the right to vote for Bush on an uneducated opinion just as much as people have the right to vote for Kerry.

(For the tin-foil crowd, no, I don't think elections will be made illegal or term limits extended in the next four years. Sorry.)

Often times in a democracy, other people win.

Re:Not sure. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217431)

(For the tin-foil crowd, no, I don't think elections will be made illegal or term limits extended in the next four years. Sorry.)

Do you have some objective evidence to support that, or is it just a strongly held belief? Plus, if you read the article, the fear isn't so much that the Republicans will control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency- we've had that for four years already, and while they HAVE abused the power somewhat, the Judiciary is still keeping them in check. But with three more judges set to retire in the next 4 years- Republicans could concieveably have a lock on all three branches of government. Does your supposition hold up under those circumstances?

Re:Not sure. (1)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217535)

Do you have objective evidence to support that it won't, or is it just a strongly held belief?

It's hard to find objective facts for future events, but we can look at trends: we've had a ratified Bill of Rights since 1791 and been independent since 1776, so yeah, I think it would be prudent to say that it won't all come tumbling down in four years. Of course, I don't know for sure, and neither do you.

We have a pretty good form of term limits; they're called elections. And I have faith in Americans to oust who they believe to be tyrannical or even those they think are ugly. We did it in Concord and we'll do it again. Maybe not this year, but legally winning an election -- and a discussion of the electoral college is for another time -- means the other guys get to take a seat for four years. It sucks, but that's the way it is. If you don't like it, I'm not the one to talk to, at least not this election cycle.

I call it the way I see it, and this is sour grapes. And I'm a liberal Democrat.

Re:Not sure. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217595)

Ok- so it's a belief held on the past. I would point out, however, that never before have we had *both* a group of people dead set against civil liberties *and* that group of people having control of all three branches of government. Perhaps you're right and the Democrats will win in the House and the Senate, preventing such a disaster from happening. But perhaps you're wrong too- and without the judiciary on our side, there's literally NOTHING left to protect the Consititution and the Bill of Rights if the neocons choose to do away with it.

Re:Not sure. (1)

PatHMV (701344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217652)

I don't accept your premise that Republicans are "dead set" against civil liberties. The left keeps shouting that, but the actual evidence of it is in very short supply (evidence that the law is substantively that different than it was before the Patriot Act). There are legitimate differences of opinion over details, but that doesn't mean that all those who support the Patriot Act, for example, are against civil liberties.

Re:Not sure. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217707)

My personal evidence:

1. Free Speech Zones- who ever heard of caging protestors beofore W was in office?

2. Geneva Convention "shortcuts" in the prisons.

3. Overtime laws revoked.

4. Support of unionless workplaces

Those are my personal four- and only one is tangenitally linked to the Patriot act, but all 4 have been getting quite strong in the last 4 years.

Re:Not sure. (1)

Dr. Transparent (77005) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217907)

Oh man. I love the implication that the only way someone could vote for Bush is if he/she was "uneducated" in their opinion.

Slashdot: where all the misfits went to find a friend.

Good ol' Benji (2, Insightful)

u-238 (515248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217391)

"There have been moments in American history when we kept our republic only by the slenderest of margins. This year is one of those times" quipped Franklin, only moments before attending a Hell-Fire orgy followed by an all expenses paid (by the American tax payer) trip to the most expensive hotel in France, during which he induldged himself in the most expensive wines, cheeses and prostitutes.

Re:Good ol' Benji (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217963)

He got the French to back us, which was what counted. If he wants some wine and whores for it -- hey, I say that he's more than earned it.

Compare to the highway workers that stand around on that same dollar scratching their asses...

Left Wing Propaganda (1, Flamebait)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217408)

Ummm.. I am stunned that this would even be accepted by an article reviewer. From their own description: "The American Prospect was founded in 1990 as an authoritative magazine of liberal ideas..." I'll stick to objective journalism versus obvious partisan information thank you.

Re:Left Wing Propaganda (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217453)

Do you disagree with the facts presented in the article, or are you simply disregarding it because of the source?

At least they're honest about their partisanship, which is more than you can say for most "objective" media sources.

That's fine by me (4, Insightful)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217562)

I prefer my information presented with an obvious and admitted slant. It's much easier to take in the grains of salt that way. What really peeves me is when a news source tries to pawn itself off as being impartial or balanced when it really isn't. I can totally deal with bias if you'll just be upfront with it.

Re:Left Wing Propaganda (3, Insightful)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217588)

I'll stick to objective journalism versus obvious partisan information thank you.

Please tell me where to find this "objective journalism". I haven't seen any in over a decade, if ever.

Re:Left Wing Propaganda (1)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217660)

Quick!

Shoot the messenger!!

This is the most important election ever! (2, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217430)

Have you *ever* seen a presidental election where somebody *didn't* say that this was the `most important election ever!' ?

I haven't. At least, I don't think so. Somebody's always saying that.

Re:This is the most important election ever! (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217732)

Yeah ... 1976.

I miss Jimmy Carter.

Of course, I miss his brother Billy even more....

Re:This is the most important election ever! (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217875)

Who said that in 2000?

I pine for the day.. (1, Troll)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217451)

that /. can get back to the "News for nerds" part. This bitching and vote-mongering is hardly "stuff that matters." Our country is hardly different from where it was four years ago, except that we have an economy that has a firmer foundation than an extremely volatile bubble (which was put firmly into place by the economic policies of the Clinton era). We're just as arrogant as ever, we're just as whiny, and we still demand everything while giving nothing. It hasn't changed a bit.

So tell me. Why does it matter who we vote for? The American culture isn't going to change at all. We're still going to be just as damn greedy as we used to be. We won't be humanitarian much at all... just like we weren't really under Clinton.

The problem isn't the leaders that we elect, even though they are the easiest to blame. The problem is ourselves, and our reluctance to do anything about it.

A Heat Sink is a Good Thing. (5, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217585)

I pine for the day... that /. can get back to the "News for nerds" part. This bitching and vote-mongering is hardly "stuff that matters."

True, but I think the editors have made a brilliant stroke by creating the "Politics" section. It's a heat sink.

The heat generated by a power transistor is an inevitable part of its operation. Unfortunately, it tends to degrade the component's operation, to the point where it's no more than a two-legged* blob of molten silicon. To prevent this, we use a Heat Sink. The transistor can then function normally, with the waste heat dissipated somewhere other than the silicon.

Slashdot generates heat, too, in the form of strong opinions that don't actually contribute to the discussion at hand. Post a story about the next release of Knoppix, and someone will say something about the government supporting/restraining Open Source, then someone will say something about the current administration, and pretty soon you're looking at a hole in the screen where a discussion used to be.

The Politics section is Slashdot's heat sink. People like me who have strong opinions can vent them here, where they don't affect the articles in the Games, Science, and Apple sections. The heat is inevitable, but you can at least make sure it doesn't interfere with your performance.

* I know transistors have three connections. I'm thinking of the power transistors where the body is the ground connector. And Bush sucks, by the way.

Re:I pine for the day.. (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217623)

that /. can get back to the "News for nerds" part. This bitching and vote-mongering is hardly "stuff that matters."

You're right. I'm sick of it, too. I'm going to filter out "politics" on my home page right now.

Re:I pine for the day.. (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217730)

And I pine for the day when we can...then the discussions in politics will be all strong opinion and none of this "politics doesn't matter to nerds" nonsense from the few who haven't lost a job to a younger guy from India lately.

Re:I pine for the day.. (1)

Dr. Transparent (77005) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217921)

If we were as humanitarian as you desire, what would that look like? From my perspective this country has been amazingly generous. I'm trying to understand what you see as the ideal.

Re:I pine for the day.. (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217943)

Our country is hardly different from where it was four years ago, except that we have an economy that has a firmer foundation than an extremely volatile bubble (which was put firmly into place by the economic policies of the Clinton era).

How very unpolitical and nonpartisian of you.

Help America Vote Act? (1)

flabbergast (620919) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217455)

From the article: Reform legislation, the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), may actually facilitate Republican intimidation of minority voters and reduce Democratic turnout.

I was reading the article and I came across this. Searching for it leads to here [fec.gov] and here [lwv.org] amongst the millions google returns. I don't understand how Republicans can use this to intimidate minorities. I could see point #3 from the second link "Develop a statewide, centralized, electronic list of all eligible voters" could be viewed upon as an attempt to exclude but then the next bullet point states "Ensure that ID requirements are fair and nondiscriminatory."

I know nothing about HAVA. Could someone comment on this?

Re:Help America Vote Act? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217754)

My main problem with HAVA is it institutionalizes the inaccurate voter purges that led to thousands of minorities being unfairly excluded from the voter rolls in Florida. HAVA makes such purges nationwide. Read this essay [thenation.com] for a quick rundown; search the web for "HAVA" and "disenfranchisement" for much more.

I REALLY hope (1)

Mc_Anthony (181237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217499)

This site does not become another leftist hate fest...

Libertarians may not like Bush, but not "left" (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217920)

This site has a lot of vocal fans of libertarianism as well (which are socially liberal, politically conservative). They're likely to dislike being called "leftist" -- though I suspect that since the Bush administration has been socially conservative, politically liberal, they're unlikely to be huge fans at the moment.

There is something more dangerous than (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217509)

1 party rule, and it is happening as we speak, and has been happening for a while: The constitution is set up assuming that all 3 branches of the government would be constantly suspicious of what the other ones are doing. However, with the solidifcation of political parties, this isn't happening. Everyone is just toeing the party line, and that is dangerous. The supreme court justices aren't supposed to like the president, congress isn't supposed to depend on the president for inspiration for legislation. The president isn't supposed to just sign everything that his party passes. (I can't seem to think of one veto that George W. Bush has had overrided) That to me is dangerous, it signals that the checks and balances are erroding.

Sigh politics.... (1)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217518)

So does anyone know why, if I have both politics sections in the prefs dialog checked for exclusion, this appears on my front page? (And why there are two in the first place?)

Correction . . . (2, Interesting)

Dausha (546002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217698)

For the past sixty years the United States have been tilting heavily in one direction, and now that they are snapping the other way, people assume that we'll end up with a one party system?

What do you call the Democrat control of both houses of Congress for as long as they did--almost 30 years? How close were we to a one-party system then? And you complain only because for the past decade the Republicans have been on the rise.

Even if the Republicans do gain control of all three Branches, they won't have it perpetually. Just as the power swing has now gone Left to Right, it will swing Right to Left. But, what you haven't noticed is that Leftward swings have moved this country further than the Rightward.

Re:Correction . . . (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217746)

RTFA- They admit we've had one party control at least three times in the past, and they compare the current administration to those times.

Re:Correction . . . (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217828)

For the past sixty years the United States have been tilting heavily in one direction

In what direction would *that* be?

You imply that it is the left, but the US is and has been (for *at least* the past sixty years) one of the most right-winged first world nations around. The "Democrats" in the US would be what is considered very conservative in most of Europe and also in Canada and AU.

Re:Correction . . . (1)

Dr. Transparent (77005) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217886)

And in that time we've maintained the best quality of life on the planet.

I've got $20 for every socialist who can prove to me that they've voted before if they promise to never vote again.

Two-party rule ain't so hot either... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217714)

There is little variation between the two parties on the major issues, such as environmentalism and actual social change to a less repressively boring, materialist society. Both parties also swear by the Christian God. Most NeoCons are either rabid Christians or rabid Jews. Could two-party rule be effectively one-party rule? I think so.

We Already Have It (2, Insightful)

tom's a-cold (253195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217734)

The Republicrats (or is it the Demopublicans?) differ on most fundamental topics so little as for it to be irrelevant. That is the essence of Clintonian triangulation. It existed long before it had that name and has been used by both parties. The Republicans want to launch neo-colonialist wars and enslave those of us back here in the Heimat (sorry, homeland). The Democrats want to do it more slowly, and to try to smile benevolently rather than sneering while doing it. But this is mainly a difference of style, not substance. Neither questions their corporate masters. And neither accepts limitations on state power in times of crisis. The only difference is which corporations get their snouts into the public trough first.

relativity (0, Flamebait)

ir0b0t (727703) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217758)

I suspect the comparison between the current administration and Hitler would not seem at all far-fetched to defendants in the criminal justice system facing sentencing under the federal sentencing guidelines.

Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10217879)

I don't remember hearing any complaints when the Democrats held all 3 offices of the government... All I heard was cheering and applause about how this would usher in a brand new utopian ideal government for the US. (That would be Clinton, '92) Oh.. but it's a "neoconservative" one party government... that's bad.

2 out of 3 (1)

TRACK-YOUR-POSITION (553878) | more than 9 years ago | (#10217900)

Second, electoral rules have been rigged to make it increasingly difficult for the incumbent party to be ejected by the voters, absent a Depression-scale disaster, Watergate-class scandal or Teddy Roosevelt-style ruling party split.

Well, judging by how things are going, we can look to the future and be reassured: two out of three ain't bad. No trifecta, but not bad.

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