logo 
spacer
  

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

If you have an opinion, you should share it! Register Now!

America's Debate hosts the best in news, government, and political debate. Register now to take part in the most civil and constructive debate on the Internet. Join the community, and get ready to be challenged!

Click here to start

> Sponsored Links

Register to remove these ads!
> Balanced Government?, The Star Telegram Thinks So!
BoF
post Oct 23 2006, 10:25 PM
Post #1


**********
Giga-bite: "I catch mice & rats - 2 & 4 legs."

Sponsor
October 2004

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,128
Member No.: 3,423
Joined: August-14-04

From: Texas
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



In a surprise announcement, The Fort Worth Star Telegram yesterday editorially endorsed Democrat Chris Bell for Governor of Texas over Republican incumbent Rick Perry

QUOTE
A solution is available, one that acknowledges the legitimacy of the current legislative conservatism but also recognizes the need for balance in crafting public policy.

Texans should elect a new governor: Democrat Chris Bell.

<snip>

The governor of Texas does not have much power -- just enough to make the Legislature think twice about what it is doing. That's exactly what today's monopolized state government needs.

<snip>

What power the governor has derives from the bully pulpit that the office provides, the ability to veto legislation and the power to make appointments -- with the approval of the Senate. Used judiciously, these can be great powers. If overused, they can become inadequate and ineffective. Even a speech from the governor can be ignored, and a veto can be overridden -- but each still makes the Legislature think just a bit harder before it acts.

<snip>

As governor, he couldn't tell the Legislature what to do on appraisal caps, and there are not enough Democrats in the House or Senate to block passage. Still, Bell could announce his position from the bully pulpit, and Republican legislative leaders would have to consider the possibility of a veto. They would need to gather Democratic support for any proposal to override a veto.

A veto override takes 100 votes in the House. In the 2005 session, the House had 86 Republicans and 64 Democrats. The November election could change those numbers, though not greatly.


http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/editorial/15815361.htm

The Star Telegram’s argument is simple - too much power is in conservative Republican hands. This power, in the editorial board’s opinion, need to be balance. Hence, the endorsement of Bell.
Texas government mirrors national government. Both the Governor, Lt. Governor and both houses of the legislature are controlled by one party – the Republican Party.

Can the paper’s opinion on bringing balanced to state government be extruded to national government.

Questions for Debate:

1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?


This post has been edited by BoF: Oct 23 2006, 10:27 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
2 Pages V  < 1 2  
Start new topic
Replies (20 - 37)
AuthorMusician
post Oct 25 2006, 03:07 PM
Post #21


**********
Glasses and journalism work for me.

Sponsor
November 2003

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,393
Member No.: 297
Joined: December-1-02

From: Blueberry Hill
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

I of course think the country will benefit from Democrats gaining control of Congress. For one thing, Democrats seem to be faster thinkers than Republicans. Demos have called for a time frame regarding the Iraq project, and it has taken years for the Republicans to see that this is something that is needed.

For another, Democrats have been calling for a change in strategy regarding Iraq. Well, years later, Republicans (starting with the President) are no longer chanting, "Stay The Course."

A Democratic Congress will be a lot quicker at seeing how the Republican Congress made huge mistakes along the way and taking actions to rectify the situations.

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?

The chief advantage is to limit power. The primary disadvantage is that government slows down, which might be an advantage. Depends on how you look at this and the specifics of each situation.

When the American people were largely sold on the idea that we are at war, one-party rule made sense. But then the war became something different, and the sense has gone away, at least for the majority of the independent voters.

In all though, I don't think people are really thinking that it'd be a good thing to split government. I do think that many more people are sick of the same old dodgeball politics that the present one-party government constantly delivers than there were two years ago. This might result in a split government, which would be an effect stemming from the cause.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Oct 25 2006, 03:08 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
CruisingRam
post Oct 25 2006, 03:30 PM
Post #22


**********
Elite Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 7,934
Member No.: 927
Joined: July-25-03

From: Hawaii
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Other



1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

Well, when you have competant statesmen in all forms of goverment, you usually have a pretty smooth running machine, for the most part, as smooth as a representive democracy can be, like when the dems controlled both houses pre-Nixon, or, if you have a president that is an honorable person, like with eisenhower, who did great things with the dems, such as building our road systems. It is when you get completely opportunistic and incompetant ideologues like we have had in power since 1980, and culminating with the complete republican takeover in 2000 that we get the stupidity we see today. So, it has been fine in the past, it is only when republicans totally take over we seem to have a problem LOL- though Carter was pretty bad, it is nowhere near as bad as under GW. I actually wish for a complete Dem takeover by 2008, because I think it would signal a well needed shift back to the center, and hopefully, the dems won't become some power mad christian theocracy leaning extremists that we have today, I am hoping.

Blackstone's near laughable quote at the beginning is the best reason for getting rid of the repubs- because some poeple are actually silly enough to believe those kinds of things. I wish I had a better way to put it- but no amount of evidence, in hundred's of posts, have convinced Blackstone to see reality, and when it is pointed out how illogical and wrong a quote may be, he changes the subject, and refuses to adress his own quotes directly- and this has been the hallmark of the entire republican power- talking points, don't adress reality, say it louder the next time, and whatever you do, don't admit to being wrong! The entire republican power base is based on fear mongering, and very little reality.

The American would have benefitted from some balance in rule, though I think the Dems, when in power, for the most part, allowed more dissent within the ranks and checked themselves most of the time, with thier own inner party divisions. It is the lack of dissent within the party, until very recently, that has made us need this check and balance again. The American public would benefit if not one single republican we re-elected again, and a new party took it's place.

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?

Moving to the center would always be the great advantage- extremism is very, very difficult when you have a plurality of goverment.

This post has been edited by CruisingRam: Oct 25 2006, 03:33 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Blackstone
post Oct 25 2006, 03:42 PM
Post #23


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,978
Member No.: 5,539
Joined: October-13-05

Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(Vermillion @ Oct 25 2006, 08:49 AM) *
Study after study, by seperate agencies, including the IISS and the unified American Intelligence community have stated unequivocally that the US presence in Iraq has made international Al qaida stronger.

"Has made". In other words, according to them, the genie's out of the bottle. So does that mean the genie will go right back inside after we leave? Is that a logical conclusion? You haven't even said so yourself yet.

QUOTE
QUOTE

As the missive from Zawahiri shows, al-Qa'ida apparently does not consider it a distraction.


Firstly, that is not a missive from Al qaeda, that is from 'Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia', or Al qaeda in Iraq as the group is popularily known: the small and strategically irrelevant organistion operating in Iraq.

No, Zawahiri (who, by the way, is still alive) is al-Qa'ida, as in, the mothership. And he doesn't consider al'Qa'ida in Iraq strategically irrelevant.

QUOTE
Secondly, forgive me if I do not take as Gospel the opinions of the now dead Zawahiri on his importance in world affairs. The fact is that they form a miniscule percentage of the Insurgency. The Fact is that they have no influence with the rest (over 98%) of the insurgency

No influence? That assertion could stand some scrutiny. They form a part of the Mujahideen Shura Council, which is an umbrella group of at least six Sunni insurgent groups, including al-Qa'ida. This past Friday they staged military parades in a string of Iraqi towns:

QUOTE(AP)
Like the audacious show of force by up to 60 insurgents in the city of Ramadi on Wednesday, the latest parades — including two less than a mile from U.S. military bases — were staged in support of an announcement this week by a militant Sunni Arab group that it had created an Islamic state in six of Iraq's 18 provinces, including the capital, Baghdad.

The declaration was made Sunday by the Mujahedeen Shura Council — an umbrella organization of Sunni insurgent groups that includes al-Qaida in Iraq — in a video posted on the Internet.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
However, if YOU place great stock in what Zawahiri had to say, it might interest you to know that ANOTHER thing Al Qaeda leadership had to say was that the best thing the US could do for Al Qaeda in Iraq would be to 'Stay the course'. Seems they believe that the US staying in Iraq is the best thing that could happen to them, and that was said more recently than the Zawahiri letter (http://thinkprogress.org/2006/10/04/qaeda-letter-iraq/).

Your link does not show that at all. What it shows is that the main Qa'ida leadership was urging Zarqawi to "stay the course". The fact that they don't want Zarqawi giving up in Iraq does not, by any remote standard of logic, mean that they'd be happy if we just left Iraq. It shows that, contrary to your own assertions, their leadership does not consider al-Qa'ida "strategically irrelevant" in Iraq.

QUOTE
How do you reconcile that with your insistance on 'staying the course'?

How do you reconcile the premise of that question with what I've said?

QUOTE
QUOTE
Even if that were true, there's a reason why insurgencies in other societies don't merit our attention. Why would we care about an insurgency in Iraq if it's a completely intrernal matter?


A rhetorical question with little actual link to the topic is not an answer. Firstly, its obvious the US DOES care about the insurgency in Iraq and NOT JUST the miniscule Al Qaeda section of it: The last several major operations, including massive operation Enduring Freedom were directed against regional insurgent stronghold, in which there were NO confirmed Al Qaeda presence whateoever. They were fighting the over 98% of the Iraqi insurgency which is NOT Al qaeda. That would appear to destroy your claim that Al qaida is the 'primary reason the US is fighting over there'.

No, it wouldn't. When you have an enemy to fight, it also behooves you to fight to support your ally.

This post has been edited by Blackstone: Oct 25 2006, 04:04 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Delvy
post Oct 25 2006, 04:38 PM
Post #24


****
Contributor

Sponsor
October 2006

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 81
Member No.: 5,892
Joined: February-22-06

From: Diss, Norfolk, UK
Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: None



1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

Yes. It would provide some form of brake on an administration that has been allowed it's head too much. When all 3 branches of government are in the grip of any one party to the extent that the US seems to have been for most of the last 6 years, or certainly that is how it has seemed from my external, then dangerous things can happen. The checks and balances so carefully built into your political and judicial systems become almost non-existant in what is, to all intents and purposes, a one party state.

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?
The founders deliberately attempted to create a system with checks and balances in order that fair government be robust and ensured in the future. There are some very solid and sensible reasons why they did this, at least one of which is to stop the rule of a tyrant. Some of the regimes that the US has the biggest issue with are one party states.... thumbsup.gif

A balanced or split power share should provide you with a consensus method of government. This will stop less radical changes and makes the status quo more likely. At the moment that seems a sensible change for the US.

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
CruisingRam
post Oct 25 2006, 10:02 PM
Post #25


**********
Elite Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 7,934
Member No.: 927
Joined: July-25-03

From: Hawaii
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Other



Yes< I would like to add- in the case of the republican full rule- there has been a demonstrated effort to take down FURTHER checks and balances- a classic case would be the Patriot act, and it's attempt to circumvent the idea of the search warrant. So, with the extreme right wing tilt we have had, we have also had a hard run to end institutional checks and balances along with balances found in Democratic rule of dissent within the party. Another example would be LBJs supremecy over the lawmakers of his time, but I still think that was at least framed within the rules of Congress, which he knew so well. I don't think LBJ tried so hard to get rid of the checks and balances so much as he tried to use them to his advantage.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Vermillion
post Oct 26 2006, 02:18 PM
Post #26


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,547
Member No.: 2,065
Joined: December-23-03

From: Canada
Gender: Male
Politics: Slightly Liberal
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 25 2006, 04:42 PM) *

"Has made". In other words, according to them, the genie's out of the bottle. So does that mean the genie will go right back inside after we leave? Is that a logical conclusion? You haven't even said so yourself yet.


You are imposing a set term on what has been clearly defined as an ongoing process. As the US remains in Iraq, International Al qaida gets stronger, period. They get stronger because the US is no longer fully engaged in the war on terror (being overcommitted to this sideshow) and because it provides a powerful recruitment tool to the organisation. These facts have been confirmed and reconfirmed by several studies, and are not in dispute.

QUOTE
And he doesn't consider al'Qa'ida in Iraq strategically irrelevant.


I'm sorry, I am forced to repeat myself. I don't care what the opinions of the leadership of Al qaida are of their own global self-importance, nor should you. What I prefer to examine is hard facts and figures, and that Is what I have been trying to get you to exaine for about 5 posts now.

QUOTE

No influence? That assertion could stand some scrutiny. They form a part of the Mujahideen Shura Council, which is an umbrella group of at least six Sunni insurgent groups, including al-Qa'ida.


Did you read your own link?

"On January 15, a spokesman of Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq, announced the formation of the "Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen fi al-Iraq" (Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq or Mujaheddin Consultative Council), apparently a coalition of al-Qaeda and five even smaller insurgent organisations. This was apparently an attempt at regaining support. (...) It is speculated that the group was dominated by Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda in Iraq and that his death has dealt a severe blow to the unity of the Council."

QUOTE
This past Friday they staged military parades in a string of Iraqi towns


Yes, they did. Up to 60 millitants!

As I said, at less than 2% of the Insurgency, they are stregically irrelevant to the future of Iraq.


QUOTE

No, it wouldn't. When you have an enemy to fight, it also behooves you to fight to support your ally.



OK, That's It. I give up.

I have asked you, in simple, polite and open terms to PLEASE explain and justify your counter-factual assertions. You make them frequently, and yet seem singularily resistant to explaining or justifying them in any way.

You have stated that "Al Qaida is the primary reason the US is fighting over there (In Iraq)", an obviously counter-factual statement, and yet despite pleas in FOUR subsequent posts you have refused to justify or explain with anything but flippancy or avoidance.

You have stated that pulling out would "hand victory ot Al qaida in Iraq", an obviously counter-factual statement, and yet despite pleas in FOUR subsequent posts you have refused to justify or explain with anything but flippancy or avoidance.

Al Qaida in Iraq is a strategically irrelevant, miniscule (LESS than 2%) portion of the total insurgency, and one opposed bitterly by large sections of the Insurgency. It is obviously not the reason the US invaded (you admit that), and you have never even tried to explain how it is the 'primary reason the US is fighting over there' now. The fact is the numbers of this group (never estimated at over 1000) are so small that if they dissapeared tomorrow the OVER 98% of the Insurgency which has no relation to Al qaida would be utterly unaffected.


I am at a loss. What should have been a two-post aside (one question, one answer) has derailed the thread as I re-ask and re-ask, and you avoid and prevaricate. I don't think I was being unreasonable. Asking people to explain or justify counter-factual assertions, especially ones they repeat again and again, is commonplace here. YOU do it all the time.

But since I can't compell you, and continuing to ask the same question again and again will inevitably strain my efforts to keep this polite, I surrender. Apparently everyone but Blackstone has to justify and explain their assertions, even when those assertions are completely at odds with the facts. I won't bother asking again, because as experience has shown, what would that accomplish?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Blackstone
post Oct 26 2006, 04:22 PM
Post #27


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,978
Member No.: 5,539
Joined: October-13-05

Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(Vermillion @ Oct 26 2006, 10:18 AM) *

QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 25 2006, 04:42 PM) *

"Has made". In other words, according to them, the genie's out of the bottle. So does that mean the genie will go right back inside after we leave? Is that a logical conclusion? You haven't even said so yourself yet.


You are imposing a set term on what has been clearly defined as an ongoing process. As the US remains in Iraq, International Al qaida gets stronger, period. They get stronger because the US is no longer fully engaged in the war on terror (being overcommitted to this sideshow) and because it provides a powerful recruitment tool to the organisation. These facts have been confirmed and reconfirmed by several studies, and are not in dispute.

You're still avoiding a very simple question that I've tried to get you to answer a number of times now (yes, I know how hard that is to believe, given how much you love to falsely accuse me of doing that): Will they get weaker if we leave?

QUOTE
QUOTE
And he doesn't consider al'Qa'ida in Iraq strategically irrelevant.


I'm sorry, I am forced to repeat myself. I don't care what the opinions of the leadership of Al qaida are of their own global self-importance, nor should you.

So when you said in your first paragraph that we're being distracted from the "war on terror", what exactly are you referring to with that phrase? I always kind of assumed that we were at war with al-Qa'ida. Is there a different terrorist organization you have in mind that has a much greater "global importance" that we've been missing out on all this time? Because if we are at war with al-Qa'ida, it does behoove us to at least take into account what they consider to be their own strategy. Pretty basic, don't you think?

QUOTE
Did you read your own link?

"On January 15, a spokesman of Zarqawi's al-Qaeda in Iraq, announced the formation of the "Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen fi al-Iraq" (Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq or Mujaheddin Consultative Council), apparently a coalition of al-Qaeda and five even smaller insurgent organisations. This was apparently an attempt at regaining support. (...) It is speculated that the group was dominated by Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda in Iraq and that his death has dealt a severe blow to the unity of the Council."

QUOTE
This past Friday they staged military parades in a string of Iraqi towns


Yes, they did. Up to 60 millitants!

Yes, I did read my links, how 'bout you? The AP story (side note: the original link to that went defunct, but it's hosted here, and the whole thing does make for some interesting reading) states, "Like the audacious show of force by up to 60 insurgents in the city of Ramadi on Wednesday...." The 60 fighters you mentioned were from an earlier parade in a single city. This has now spread to multiple locales. And the fact that they could parade openly in these towns, without being attacked, and without the locals feeling bothered by them, suggests either that they're not as opposed by the rest of the insurgency as you say, or that the parts of the insurgency that are opposed to them are limited in their ability to strike at them.

QUOTE
QUOTE

No, it wouldn't. When you have an enemy to fight, it also behooves you to fight to support your ally.



OK, That's It. I give up.

Nice try at pretending my answer was unreasonable or something. I directly answered a point you raised. You noted that we're fighting other insurgents, and concluded that that "destroys" my argument that al-Qa'ida is the primary reason why we're fighting over there. My answer explains why that conclusion does not follow. If you don't have an answer to that, fine, but snarky replies like that aren't a substitute for an answer. It's just a way of saying, "Ha ha, my position's more popular than yours, neener neener."

QUOTE
I have asked you, in simple, polite and open terms to PLEASE explain and justify your counter-factual assertions. You make them frequently, and yet seem singularily resistant to explaining or justifying them in any way.

Apart from the fact that it's hardly "polite" to ask such obviously loaded questions like that one, I have been backing up my argument, this entire thread. All you have to do is reply to some of it, accurately. But instead, you just make inaccurate comments (like the one about the 60 fighters), refuse to answer simple questions about the nominally accurate comments you do make, and then follow it all up with snarky strawman questions like "How do you justify your counterfactual assertions?"
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
nighttimer
post Oct 26 2006, 05:24 PM
Post #28


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Sponsor
February 2007

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 4,660
Member No.: 504
Joined: February-16-03

Gender: Undisclosed
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



Ask not for whom the snark tolls. It tolls for thee. rolleyes.gif

I enjoy a good tautological steel-cage death match as much as the next guy, but could someone please explain to me what the hell this has to do with the original questions posed by BoF?

QUOTE(BoF @ Oct 23 2006, 06:25 PM) *

Questions for Debate:

1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Blackstone
post Oct 26 2006, 06:49 PM
Post #29


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,978
Member No.: 5,539
Joined: October-13-05

Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(nighttimer @ Oct 26 2006, 01:24 PM) *
could someone please explain to me what the hell this has to do with the original questions posed by BoF?

1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

Perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought it might be reasonable to assume that in answering that question, it might help to actually examine the effects that Democratic control would have on our policies. In order to do that, I figured one might want to look at their stances on a given question of policy. Was I assuming too much?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
nighttimer
post Oct 26 2006, 07:07 PM
Post #30


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Sponsor
February 2007

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 4,660
Member No.: 504
Joined: February-16-03

Gender: Undisclosed
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Undisclosed



QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 26 2006, 02:49 PM) *

QUOTE(nighttimer @ Oct 26 2006, 01:24 PM) *
could someone please explain to me what the hell this has to do with the original questions posed by BoF?

1. Would the American people benefit it Democrats gained control of one or both houses of Congress?

Perhaps I was mistaken, but I thought it might be reasonable to assume that in answering that question, it might help to actually examine the effects that Democratic control would have on our policies. In order to do that, I figured one might want to look at their stances on a given question of policy. Was I assuming too much?


Yes, when it appears that instead of pointing out specific and verifiable examples of proposed policy changes by Democrats should they regain control of Congress what has instead occurred appears to be the continuation of a debate that began in another (now-closed) thread.

I haven't even seen the word "Democrat" mentioned in the serve-and-volley of last few posts between yourself and the other gentleman. Could you please make the correlation? unsure.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
BoF
post Oct 26 2006, 08:38 PM
Post #31


**********
Giga-bite: "I catch mice & rats - 2 & 4 legs."

Sponsor
October 2004

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,128
Member No.: 3,423
Joined: August-14-04

From: Texas
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



Nighttimer is correct. The focus on this thread is about the pluses and minuses of divided as opposed to unitary government. It's really government 101.

If this thread continues to be a convenient landfill for dumping the remnants of the closed topic "What do We Do Now," I respectfully request that the mod close it. Otherwise, I would appreciate sticking to the topic, which could be debated in a historical and/or theoretical way as well as current issues. In more than two years on this board, this is the most blatant case of thread hijacking I've seen. down.gif

In my opinion, changing the distribution of political power in this election is more paramount than specific issues. So far, I think the only "real argument" against balanced government is avoiding gridlock," but as DTOM observed, gridlock might be a good thing. Political scientist James MacGregor Burns wrote about this problem 40 years ago in a book entitled The Deadlock of Democracy. It's still worth reading.

http://www.academy.umd.edu/home/index.htm

This post has been edited by BoF: Oct 26 2006, 11:36 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
aevans176
post Oct 26 2006, 09:39 PM
Post #32


********
Millennium Mark

Group: Members
Posts: 1,931
Member No.: 3,607
Joined: September-13-04

From: Plano, TX. Sweater vest and Volvo hell.
Gender: Male
Politics: Conservative
Party affiliation: None



QUOTE(BoF @ Oct 26 2006, 03:38 PM) *

In my opinion, changing the distribution of political power in this election is more paramount than specific issues. So far, I think the only "real argument" against balanced government is avoiding gridlock," but as DTOM observed, gridlock might be a good thing. Political scientist James MacGregor Burns wrote about this problem 40 years ago in a book entitled The Deadlock of Democracy. It's still worth reading.

http://www.academy.umd.edu/home/index.htm


The issue I have with James Macgregor Burns' ideas about avoiding gridlock is that leans (in my mind) on the "mechanics of governing" (as coined by Robert Samuelson). The funny thing about many candidates is that they really appeal to what the media and voters "want to hear" as opposed to being candid and realistic leaders. Having a campaign making comments that tell the truth as near as they can doesn't bode well for election, and furthermore pushes candidates towards similarity in campaign promises than it does difference. So, in essence, it renders mechanics of our government useless.

Having a two party system would probably work better if US public education taught more about how our government should really work, so voter understanding and expectation lead to a more honest campaign. For the most part, at least as of late, people make unrealistic claims (such as no changes in eligibility or benefits cuts on social security). Do voters know or care about the difference? Generally not. Leadership in the nation should have a more prevalent impact on voter opinion as opposed to opinion having such a stark impact on the actions of leadership. Elected officials are paid to know more about the environment, foreign affairs, the economy, etc. However, seemingly elections on both sides of the fence are an exercise in placating interests.

I like to use the last great President, Ronald Reagan as my example. Public opinion of Mr. Reagan was often very poor. His military spending, economic policies, etc were regarded as ineffective at the time. History has told us that these actions had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our nation and the world. If an elected official would earnestly make an attempt at doing what's best for the nation at all times, and voters would still re-elect him/her, we'd have a successful two-party system.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
AuthorMusician
post Oct 26 2006, 10:14 PM
Post #33


**********
Glasses and journalism work for me.

Sponsor
November 2003

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,393
Member No.: 297
Joined: December-1-02

From: Blueberry Hill
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



QUOTE
Having a two party system would probably work better if US public education taught more about how our government should really work, so voter understanding and expectation lead to a more honest campaign.


Can't. Too busy teaching to the test.

QUOTE
For the most part, at least as of late, people make unrealistic claims (such as no changes in eligibility or benefits cuts on social security).


Or the billions of dollars shoveled into the war that was supposed to pay for itself. Doesn't help when the President points at T-bills and T-bonds and says they're worthless paper. Even in the dim minds of voters, it fires off a response like, "Okay, just turn them all over to me and I'll take care of them." In fact, I'll take all of the government's IOUs and thereby collect something like 40 billion annually through interest payments.

Sure would solve my retirement woes.

QUOTE
Do voters know or care about the difference? Generally not.


Maybe the voters are getting it. We'll see. I see the difference, I think, between something and something else.

QUOTE
Leadership in the nation should have a more prevalent impact on voter opinion as opposed to opinion having such a stark impact on the actions of leadership.


Okay, so convince me of whatever. The present leadership has done a dismal job of that because, well, the ideas don't make any sense or aren't really ideas in the first place--they're slogans. Some of the poor ideas, like SS reform, are actually attempts to privatize more government functions, a plan that has already failed in health care. Thank goodness the privatization cons stayed off the USPS. I'm sending out book queries now and would hate to pay Fed Ex rates.

QUOTE
Elected officials are paid to know more about the environment, foreign affairs, the economy, etc. However, seemingly elections on both sides of the fence are an exercise in placating interests


I believe your hero, President Reagan, used the term special interests. Yep, and we need new leadership that will legislate against the huge lobbying system that has taken over the Republican party since President Reagan's time. I don't think the Republicans are motivated to do this. Who else might get a swag at it? Well, maybe moderate Republicans who are really concerned about this country, and those other guys over there in the present minority.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Blackstone
post Oct 26 2006, 11:08 PM
Post #34


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,978
Member No.: 5,539
Joined: October-13-05

Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(nighttimer @ Oct 26 2006, 03:07 PM) *
Yes, when it appears that instead of pointing out specific and verifiable examples of proposed policy changes by Democrats should they regain control of Congress what has instead occurred appears to be the continuation of a debate that began in another (now-closed) thread.

Well, maybe that's part of the problem in general with this issue. It's hard to pin the Democratic Party down on what their "specific and verifiable" position on Iraq exactly is. The closest we've come is this position statement (scroll to the box at bottom and click on the "Iraq" tab):

QUOTE(DP)
Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.

Insist that Iraqis make the political compromises necessary to unite their country and defeat the insurgency; promote regional diplomacy; and strongly encourage our allies and other nations to play a constructive role.

Hold the Bush Administration accountable for its manipulated pre-war intelligence, poor planning and contracting abuses that have placed our troops at greater risk and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.

Aside from the last (which isn't really a policy position and has little if anything to do with where to go from here), I don't see what's so different here from the administration's own position, and certainly don't see anything that should put so much distance between the rest of the Democratic Party and Joe Lieberman, who seems to have been persona non grata among them even before he declared himself an independent. So it makes me wonder what their real position is. To some extent, I don't have to wonder, because individual Democrats, including some of the most powerful ones like Nancy Pelosi, have been advocating something quite beyond what's in that position statement:

QUOTE(NewsHour)
JIM LEHRER: What would you say to those who profess confusion over the Democratic view on this? Congressman Murtha has said, four square, set a deadline; get the U.S. troops out. And you at first -- well, what is your position now? Do you support the Murtha position personally?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Yes, I do, but that is not the position of the Democratic Party. But let me be clear about what Mr. Murtha said. Mr. Murtha talked about strategic redeployment.

So there's that phrase again. It means, basically, withdrawal from Iraq. Refusing to fight al-Qa'ida there. And that's what I've been arguing is not sound policy, and will likely not be good for the American people.


QUOTE(BoF @ Oct 26 2006, 04:38 PM) *

Nighttimer is correct. The focus on this thread is about the pluses and minuse of divided as opposed to unitary government.

No, that's what the second question asks. The first question simply asks if a Democratic takeover of Congress would be good for the American people, and that's what my posts have been addressing. Certainly if someone had asked if continued Republican control of Congress would be good for the American people, we'd be suffering no shortage of opinions about Iraq as well as a whole host of other issues.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
BoF
post Oct 26 2006, 11:25 PM
Post #35


**********
Giga-bite: "I catch mice & rats - 2 & 4 legs."

Sponsor
October 2004

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,128
Member No.: 3,423
Joined: August-14-04

From: Texas
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 26 2006, 06:08 PM) *
QUOTE(BoF @ Oct 26 2006, 04:38 PM) *

Nighttimer is correct. The focus on this thread is about the pluses and minuse of divided as opposed to unitary government.

No, that's what the second question asks. The first question simply asks if a Democratic takeover of Congress would be good for the American people, and that's what my posts have been addressing. Certainly if someone had asked if continued Republican control of Congress would be good for the American people, we'd be suffering no shortage of opinions about Iraq as well as a whole host of other issues.


Then would you kindly give us your considered opinion on the second question? In case you've lost track, I'll repeat it.

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Blackstone
post Oct 26 2006, 11:49 PM
Post #36


*********
Advanced Senior Contributor

Group: Members
Posts: 2,978
Member No.: 5,539
Joined: October-13-05

Gender: Male
Politics: Undisclosed
Party affiliation: Independent



QUOTE(BoF @ Oct 26 2006, 07:25 PM) *
Then would you kindly give us your considered opinion on the second question? In case you've lost track, I'll repeat it.

2. What specific advantages or disadvantages do you think balanced or split government has over one party rule?

I just got through looking over the forum rules, and I didn't see any requirement that members answer every debate question that's asked on a given thread. The respondents, therefore, are free to choose which one(s) they want to answer, and I've made my choice. The reason for my choice is that the considerations from the first question, to me, so completely outweigh the considerations from the second as to make them largely irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
BoF
post Oct 27 2006, 12:07 AM
Post #37


**********
Giga-bite: "I catch mice & rats - 2 & 4 legs."

Sponsor
October 2004

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,128
Member No.: 3,423
Joined: August-14-04

From: Texas
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 26 2006, 06:49 PM) *
I just got through looking over the forum rules, and I didn't see any requirement that members answer every debate question that's asked on a given thread. The respondents, therefore, are free to choose which one(s) they want to answer, and I've made my choice.


You are entirely correct Blakstone. smile.gif You will notice that I asked, not demanded, that you grace us with your opinion. I think the second question is more important, historically and in the long run.

The pros, as I see them, are reducing hubris though competition and facilitating developing ideas through the competition between two parties. Again, the negative may be gridlock, but as DTOM said, this could also be a plus.

This post has been edited by BoF: Oct 27 2006, 12:08 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
BoF
post Jan 1 2007, 03:34 PM
Post #38


**********
Giga-bite: "I catch mice & rats - 2 & 4 legs."

Sponsor
October 2004

Group: Sponsors
Posts: 6,128
Member No.: 3,423
Joined: August-14-04

From: Texas
Gender: Male
Politics: Liberal
Party affiliation: Democrat



This thread onme I think was blatantly hijacked, has been cited as evidence in another thread.

http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/index...st&p=203661

Despite the arguments, whether on topic or not, the American people opted for divided or balanced government on November 7th. Democrats now control Congress and the Presidency is in the hands of Bush for two more years.

This post has been edited by BoF: Jan 1 2007, 04:29 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

2 Pages V  < 1 2
Reply to this topicStart new topic
2 User(s) are reading this topic (2 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

  
Go to the top of the page - Simple Version Time is now: April 8th, 2020 - 09:38 AM
©2002-2010 America's Debate, Inc.  All rights reserved.