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Old 02-17-2008, 11:13 AM   #121
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...I think that Obama could would soothe a lot of the fear, loathing, and distrust that much of the rest of the world has toward the U.S.
Great. Now Al-Quaeda won't fear us anymore.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:16 AM   #122
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Part of the "problem" is that Merkins think the President is like Superman or Houdini or some such nonsense...

If we're not willing to do the things we need to do as a country to "change" (ugh...), then it's all just masturbation...
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:03 PM   #123
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If we're not willing to do the things we need to do as a country to "change" (ugh...), then it's all just masturbation...
So you're saying we need a leader who is charismatic, inspirational, and gives good speeches.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:42 PM   #124
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So you're saying we need a leader who is charismatic, inspirational, and gives good speeches.
Heck no! He's just saying forget this election crap and do something guaranteed to satisfy.

Ha
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #125
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I have a question, and I suppose it's just my simple-minded misunderstanding.

What, exactly, does the president do? I mean, I know they've been issuing a lot of executive orders over the last few decades, but what do they do. They can't declare war (although, I guess they can choose to take whatever actions necessary if needed... but Bush even got Senate approval for that). They can't pass laws. They can veto laws but only if they're not popular enough to get a veto-proof majority. They get to make justice appointments and such, but it seems like they still need some approvals for that, right?

Does 100 years of Senate experience or a 64 page action plan really matter all that much if you're president?
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:30 PM   #126
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What, exactly, does the president do?
Sometimes the best way to appreciate the functions of a particular position is to see what happens when it is done poorly.
- Ask 10 Liberals what they think of Reagan's performance as President.
- Ask 10 fiscal conservatives what they think of the job President Bush is doing.
- Ask 10 Republicans what they think of the job Carter did.

After compiling a list of all the screw-ups blamed on these 3 men, a person would have a good basis for writing the job description of the POTUS. And that person would probably be very motivated to vote.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:40 PM   #127
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Sometimes the best way to appreciate the functions of a particular position is to see what happens when it is done poorly.
- Ask 10 Liberals what they think of Reagan's performance as President.
- Ask 10 fiscal conservatives what they think of the job President Bush is doing.
- Ask 10 Republicans what they think of the job Carter did.

After compiling a list of all the screw-ups blamed on these 3 men, a person would have a good basis for writing the job description of the POTUS. And that person would probably be very motivated to vote.
Well, that's a good way to come up with what people think the president does.

But, take Iraq for instance. Those of us that don't want our troops there blame Bush for sending them. However, I recall the Senate telling him that it was ok for him to do it. Further, unless I'm mistaken, I would assume that Bush didn't sit up in bed one night and say "we need us a troop surge over there, that's what we need". I thought generals and senators were also wholly involved in the decision to escalate.

I'm not saying that the president's role isn't important, but how important is the experience any of the current contestants in this here beauty pageant have. McCain has a proven track record as senator, Hillary has white house experience (how much is unknown), Obama has a detailed plan and is a great orator.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:45 PM   #128
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But, take Iraq for instance. Those of us that don't want our troops there blame Bush for sending them. However, I recall the Senate telling him that it was ok for him to do it. Further, unless I'm mistaken, I would assume that Bush didn't sit up in bed one night and say "we need us a troop surge over there, that's what we need". I thought generals and senators were also wholly involved in the decision to escalate.
In addition to these excellent points, it appears that the surge has worked. Won't it be funny if history shows that Bush was an excellent president, if an unpopular ploitician?

Clayton Williams Energy Inc. - Feb 16, 2008, The door to Iraq's oil opens - CWEI - InvestorVillage

Ha
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:31 PM   #129
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I it appears that the surge has worked

Ha
Even if that is true, what good is it to win a war that never should have been started? The fact that we may eventually pacify them does not justify our invasion.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:36 PM   #130
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Won't it be funny if history shows that Bush was an excellent president, if an unpopular ploitician?
Ha
Time will tell - it may just prove you right.
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:42 PM   #131
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Marquette,
You are right. For example, President Bush did not actually fly the aircraft that took the troops to war.

Experience--I think it is important, maybe trumped only by character and the (unquantifiable) quality of being a good judge of other people's character.

McCain: Reportedly he did other stuff before he was a Senator.

Obama: Also did other stuff before he was a Senator, but mostly it was "attend school, get Driver's License." A detailed plan--I guess he's been hiding that light under a barrel.

Hillary: "White House experience?" I guess. She has "White House Experience" like I have "Brick House Experience"-- I've lived inside one.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:06 PM   #132
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Even if that is true, what good is it to win a war that never should have been started? The fact that we may eventually pacify them does not justify our invasion.
I imagine your prospective would change if you were a Kurd or a Shiite living in Iraq. Bad enough knowing that you faced 20 years of living under Saddam's, but knowing that your children and probably grandchildren would be ruled by his sadistic sons, that would drive me crazy.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:32 PM   #133
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Gee, and all this time I thought the war was about WMD's and the threat to America.
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:52 PM   #134
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Here are the unstated rules:

If things are going well in Iraq (e.g casualties are way down, AQ is on the ropes, the legislature is passing important laws to help with economic growth and stability), then we must talk ONLY about how the US first got involved.

If things are going poorly in Iraq, then we need to concentrate on talking about the dreadful state of things there.

It's simple, really!

**************************
In 2002, Congress spelled out what the war was (to be) about :
(from Wikipedia: Rationale for the Iraq War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Iraq's noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 cease fire, including interference with weapons inspectors.
  • Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, posed a "threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region."
  • Iraq's "brutal repression of its civilian population."
  • Iraq's "capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people".
  • Iraq's hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the 1993 assassination attempt of former President George H. W. Bush, and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War.
  • Members of al-Qaeda were "known to be in Iraq."
  • Iraq's "continuing to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations," including anti-United States terrorist organizations.
  • The efforts by the Congress and the President to fight terrorists, including the September 11th, 2001 terrorists and those who aided or harbored them.
  • The authorization by the Constitution and the Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism.
  • Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.
#3 is germane to clifp's point. Whether AQ was in Iraq before the war or not, there's agreement that some are there now that deserve our attention.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:20 PM   #135
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I disagree. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can erase the stain of our illegitimate action in invading a country that never did anything to us. Good, bad or indifferent progress notwithstanding.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:38 PM   #136
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Marquette,
You are right. For example, President Bush did not actually fly the aircraft that took the troops to war.

Experience--I think it is important, maybe trumped only by character and the (unquantifiable) quality of being a good judge of other people's character.

McCain: Reportedly he did other stuff before he was a Senator.

Obama: Also did other stuff before he was a Senator, but mostly it was "attend school, get Driver's License." A detailed plan--I guess he's been hiding that light under a barrel.

Hillary: "White House experience?" I guess. She has "White House Experience" like I have "Brick House Experience"-- I've lived inside one.

Since McCain is like 500 years old, I'm guessing he did other stuff. How important is it? As Commander in Chief, I would think actual honest to goodness military experience is very helpful... at least, if we're planning to go to war some more. He's co-sponsored legislation with the other side of the aisle. Does that get him points for being a centrist? However, he also has a reputation as being abrasive and not easy to get along with... that might be an issue as "leader of the free world".

Obama has prior experience to being a US senator. He was a state senator and he's been involved in civil activism before that. The information on his website is about as as detailed as we're going to get from him at this point. It's not actionable, but it's more than he's been getting from the majority.

Since Hillary won't open the records of her involvement, we'll never truly know how much she did when Bill was in power. However, I distinctly remember listening to Rush go off on how she was too involved in running the country.

However, none of this has gotten me any clearer a picture on how much it really matters. As an example, suppose Obama wants to raise taxes. It's not like he'd just snap his fingers and taxes are higher. I suppose he could signal that he's not going to veto a tax hike. He could ask someone to propose a tax increase bill. It would take the other clowns we elected to actually follow through with it, though.

Both Obama and Hillary say they have a plan for universal health care. What makes their odds of getting it passed as president any better than as senators since all legislation starts with them? (My school house rocks memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think he was just a bill on capitol hill)
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:09 PM   #137
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You've convinced me. Because he is not a dictator with unlimited power, who we choose as President is of no consequence. I urge you to follow through on your observation and waste none of your time in voting for a candidate. I hope others who have studied the issues to a similar depth will make the same decision to avoid wasting their time in exercising the franchise.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:17 PM   #138
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You've convinced me. Because he is not a dictator with unlimited power, who we choose as President is of no consequence. I urge you to follow through on your observation and waste none of your time in voting for a candidate. I hope others who have studied the issues to a similar depth will make the same decision to avoid wasting their time in exercising the franchise.

Ahh, so I ask how our system works and, rather than trying to help me out or at least point me to a useful resource, you try and come off as condescending as possible.

Are you just trying to be a jerk or do you not understand well enough to explain it to me :confused:

I did hit up the ol' Wikipedia and found some information:

Powers of the President of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

President of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Still, that's no more detailed than what I learned in school...
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:45 PM   #139
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I'm not trying to be a jerk. I'm having a tough time understanding your point. The Constitution spells out the role of the President and the function of the Executive Branch (he runs that) as well as the Judicial and Legislative Branches. If you've read that document (or, alternatively, listened to Schoolhouse Rock) then you know what the POTUS does. I'm sure you understand that the President largely sets the agenda for the country, and if he is successful in convincing Congress to see things his way, that they will pass the legislation he/she wants. Or, he/she can appeal directly to the public, which can put pressure on Congress, and result in legislation. And, the POTUS makes judicial appointments, which affect our lives in countless ways. And, the President promulgates executive orders which can affect which laws get enforced and how, and can influence policies below the level impacted by laws. And he/she can appoint either effective or ineffective people to run huge government agencies and to represent the US as Ambassadors overseas. Some people think that is important. And, the President sometimes travels directly to foreign countries and meets with their leaders, sometimes these meetings result in important agreements. And, the President is the only person empowered to sign treaties on behalf of the United States--these treaties are agreements between the US and other nations/international bodies. Some people think this is important. That and more--it's in the 'ol Constitution.

Anyway, it's nothing personal. I'd urge anyone who doesn't believe the job of President is important or doesn't know what it entails to stay home on election day. It's really a civic duty.
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Old 02-18-2008, 12:03 AM   #140
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I disagree. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can erase the stain of our illegitimate action in invading a country that never did anything to us. Good, bad or indifferent progress notwithstanding.
I agree that it was a bad idea to push the idea of WMDs as the reason for invading Iraq.

I agree that Rumsfeld coerced the crap out of his staff to reduce the number of soldiers to a politically (Rumsfeldically?) acceptable number. I guess that's what we get for letting Navy Reserve O-6 aviators be SecDefs.

I agree that Bush & Cheney started their term wanting to go into Iraq for all the wrong reasons and just begging for an excuse.

But I think the military was getting pretty darn tired of the embargo, the SOUTHERN WATCH duty, the lingering POW/MIA/KIA questions, and the Al Queda training camp found in Iraq by SF during the invasion. When Saddam started playing games with WMD that he didn't know he didn't have, I think the UN and the armed forces had been flouted enough. I'm not sure how many people have to die, and over how long a period, before imperialism is an acceptable response.

I bet the administration is hoping that no one stumbles across any WMDs in the next few months. And I bet that all Democrats are praying nightly for George Bush's continued good health...
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