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> Collapse of Big Tents?, Should Political Parties Be ideologically Pure or Represent Diversity?
BoF
post Nov 29 2009, 10:50 PM
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An article in this morning’s Fort Worth Star Telegram brings up an interesting question for the upcoming 2010 elections.

QUOTE
"Both parties in the last 25 to 30 years included liberals, moderates and conservatives," said Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University. "But both are moving away from the diversity. Members of the party who don’t fit the stereotypes are being driven out.

"This is creating conflict for conflict’s sake. It’s a result of moving toward ideological purity in both parties."

<snip>

One example is the Texas governor’s race; some say the GOP primary, pitting conservative Gov. Rick Perry and moderate U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, will be a bellwether indicating how "pure" Texas Republicans want their governor to be.

<snip>

U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco — a moderate who has held his House seat for years, despite a Republican-led redrawing of his district — may be targeted by his own party because he didn’t support the healthcare overhaul.

And at least four strong Republican incumbents — including U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, state Reps. Charlie Geren and Vicki Truitt and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley — face primary challenges from participants in grassroots "tea parties" or conservative talk show host Glenn Beck’s 912 Project.

<snip>

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Denton County was among those opposing a Republican seeking a vacant New York congressional seat, saying that Dede Scozzafava isn’t a true Republican.
http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/1796936.html

Question for Debate:

Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?


This post has been edited by BoF: Nov 29 2009, 10:51 PM
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Maybe Maybe Not
post Nov 30 2009, 12:02 AM
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Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?
Without ideology, there is no reason for a political party. Without lots of support (from people who have at least some diversity of views), no political party will ever gain power. For political parties there will always be tension between ideology and inclusiveness.

Obviously (to me at least) the importance of ideology seems to have been ascendant over the past two or three decades. Whether that pendulum has reached as far as it can before swinging back remains to be seen. I rather doubt it, but eventually it will.

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Raptavio
post Nov 30 2009, 03:57 AM
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QUOTE(Maybe Maybe Not @ Nov 29 2009, 06:02 PM) *
Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?
Without ideology, there is no reason for a political party. Without lots of support (from people who have at least some diversity of views), no political party will ever gain power. For political parties there will always be tension between ideology and inclusiveness.

Obviously (to me at least) the importance of ideology seems to have been ascendant over the past two or three decades. Whether that pendulum has reached as far as it can before swinging back remains to be seen. I rather doubt it, but eventually it will.


In the Democratic party, the opposite has been true more often than not.

There are counterexamples (Lieberman vs. Lamont in 2006) but consider everyone from Jon Tester to Creigh Deeds, Bill Clinton to Blanche Lincoln, Evan Bayh to Bart Stupak. Dems have chosen to build coalitions to regain power. I'd say in the last two years the pendulum has started swinging back - now that the Dems have power, replacing conservatives with stronger progressives seems to be on the table.

The Republicans have chosen a different strategy - they're choosing to ideologically purify without regard for the fact that it's causing a diminishing of their already shrinking party. I'm not sure where it's going to lead.
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Paladin Elspeth
post Nov 30 2009, 04:04 AM
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Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?

Both ways, if it results in the creation of other, viable political parties. I'm getting tired of just chocolate and vanilla. It would be nice to have more of a choice, especially when American interests can not be adequately addressed in either party. Doesn't mean I'm in the mood to be libertarian, though...I like my roads paved and the children in my city educated whether they can afford to attend parochial school or not.

The Republican party is limiting itself in order to attract more people of like mind. It's interesting that Keith Olbermann mentioned that the late Ronald Reagan himself would not have passed their current test of ideological purity. If it results in the demise of the GOP, it's on their own heads.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: Nov 30 2009, 04:12 AM
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Julian
post Nov 30 2009, 12:12 PM
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QUOTE(Maybe Maybe Not @ Nov 30 2009, 12:02 AM) *
Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?
Without ideology, there is no reason for a political party. Without lots of support (from people who have at least some diversity of views), no political party will ever gain power. For political parties there will always be tension between ideology and inclusiveness.

Obviously (to me at least) the importance of ideology seems to have been ascendant over the past two or three decades. Whether that pendulum has reached as far as it can before swinging back remains to be seen. I rather doubt it, but eventually it will.


Only in First-Past-The-Post elections, and particularly in FPTP with only two parties running.

A more proportional voting system could result in many more parties, and more candidates, because there would no longer be the need to build huge coalitions of large numbers of disparate views to be able to secure electoral advantage.
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AuthorMusician
post Nov 30 2009, 04:12 PM
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Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?

It's false equalization to cast what voters are telling their conservative Democratic representatives to do and what the Republican Party is doing.

Because the Democratic Party does not put up litmus tests for ideologies, it allows blue dogs into the tent. The blue dogs are really Republicans who ran as Democrats in conservative districts. Nice little trick there. However, when it comes to health care reform, even the public option, the majority wants it even in conservative districts. And so you get actual voter backlash.

The Republicans on the other hand ignore what the majority wants. They are attempting to tell the majority what it wants. It's the difference between preaching and listening. It's the difference between dictating and serving. It's the difference between being paternalistic and egalitarian.

It's also the quickest way to shrink the Republican Party. Besides living in denial and having arrogance that goes all the way up and doesn't quit, the rip tide of racism is dragging the party way, way, way out to sea. The thing about rip tides is you can't detect them until it's too late. The metaphor fits the current Republican Party.

Something that has been quite apparent over the past few election cycles is Republican hyperbole. If you're for something that benefits people, you must be socialist. If you're against Republican policies, you must be anti-American. If you're not a certain brand of Christian, you must be an atheist. If you're for science over myth, you must be a humanist (however defined). It goes on and on, an extreme form of black/white thinking.

Then there's the very old trick of blaming everything on Democrats while taking all the credit. In the Information Age, the trick falls apart quickly. Sticking Bill Clinton with the responsibility for 9/11 did not work. Sticking Obama with the economic meltdown of 2008 isn't working either. Meanwhile, it'll be fairly easy to show Republican criticism as illogical the more time that passes. Of high importance is that Democrats don't need to make stuff up out of the blue. Exaggerating job growth from the stimulus was a mistake. It was called out right away. I don't think we'll be seeing much more of that -- it doesn't help credibility and isn't needed.

In a nutshell, propaganda has become obsolete.
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aevans176
post Nov 30 2009, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Nov 30 2009, 11:12 AM) *
Then there's the very old trick of blaming everything on Democrats while taking all the credit. In the Information Age, the trick falls apart quickly. Sticking Bill Clinton with the responsibility for 9/11 did not work. Sticking Obama with the economic meltdown of 2008 isn't working either. Meanwhile, it'll be fairly easy to show Republican criticism as illogical the more time that passes. Of high importance is that Democrats don't need to make stuff up out of the blue. Exaggerating job growth from the stimulus was a mistake. It was called out right away. I don't think we'll be seeing much more of that -- it doesn't help credibility and isn't needed.

In a nutshell, propaganda has become obsolete.


I almost laughed out loud on this one... seriously? Are you not kidding here?
We can't blame Bill Clinton for anything related to 9/11, and the economy has nothing to do with Obama?
Propaganda has become obselete?

I totally disagree, and your post is literally my evidence.

AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.

The reason this is relative is basically because this thread is about "big tent" parties, and you're blaming the Republicans for being this... while writing drivel like this:

QUOTE(am)
It's also the quickest way to shrink the Republican Party. Besides living in denial and having arrogance that goes all the way up and doesn't quit, the rip tide of racism is dragging the party way, way, way out to sea. The thing about rip tides is you can't detect them until it's too late. The metaphor fits the current Republican Party.


This seriously is exactly what this argument is about.

I think there is more big "tent" politics now, and on both sides of the aisle, than ever in history. It seems that the realization for democrats is that (for now) they're in power... so Republicans are wrong.

When the pendulum swings (and it will... ), the opposite will be true.
QUOTE(PE)
Both ways, if it results in the creation of other, viable political parties. I'm getting tired of just chocolate and vanilla. It would be nice to have more of a choice, especially when American interests can not be adequately addressed in either party. Doesn't mean I'm in the mood to be libertarian, though...I like my roads paved and the children in my city educated whether they can afford to attend parochial school or not.


This is exactly where we all should be. I think the political system has become more like people rooting for one team or the other, and having baseless arguments based upon false loyalties. It would be great to have some diversity...

QUOTE(raptavio)
The Republicans have chosen a different strategy - they're choosing to ideologically purify without regard for the fact that it's causing a diminishing of their already shrinking party. I'm not sure where it's going to lead.


Well, I think it would polarize a basically dis-enfranchised base to come back to "Conservative Values" (not arguing about gay marriage, but fiscal responsibility for instance). There are millions of 30-something and upwardly mobile Americans who could care less about the Republican party as it stands today, but would never associate with the Democratic party either.

QUOTE(maybemaybenot)
Without ideology, there is no reason for a political party. Without lots of support (from people who have at least some diversity of views), no political party will ever gain power. For political parties there will always be tension between ideology and inclusiveness.


Sure. The biggest problem many of us have with this, however, is there tends to be a "one size fits all" party line on both sides of the aisle. For instance, Democrats and Republicans alike tend to have homogenous voting trends on things like the war, the economy, gay marriage, abortion, taxation, etc.

If there were candidates that at times "rode the fence", and had ideas on both sides of the aisle, they're prevalent in US politics.

What seems to sell these days (regardless of what running dog liberals or republicans what to think) is picking a "team", and wearing that "shirt" for every "game"...


This post has been edited by aevans176: Nov 30 2009, 04:51 PM
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London2LA
post Nov 30 2009, 05:42 PM
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There is a real conflict between having just two ideologically narrow parties and having a representative government. No "pure" candidate from either party can possibly represent the people of their district who will have a much broader range of views and at the same time remain 100% true to principal. Representatives need to be able to step outside of their own ideologies if that is what is required to do the jobs they were elected to do.

The zealots in both parties that are trying to jettison non-pure members have a distorted view of government, they see elected members as representing the party rather than the people that voted for them. Having moderates and purists in the same party is fine since thats what the electoral map looks like.

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Ted
post Nov 30 2009, 06:08 PM
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Question for Debate:

Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?


To be ideologically pure would mean that all members of that “party” all agreed on all issues.

This is clearly not the case nor does it imo need to be the case. The more diversity in the party the more it will appeal to a broad group of citizens.

That said unless the Party positions are clear (and they never are) then people may belong to a party even though they don’t agree with many of the positions (or actions) of the Party.

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Raptavio
post Nov 30 2009, 06:19 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 10:26 AM) *
AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.


Off-topic, but: That's a flat-out lie. Thanks.

QUOTE
QUOTE(raptavio)
The Republicans have chosen a different strategy - they're choosing to ideologically purify without regard for the fact that it's causing a diminishing of their already shrinking party. I'm not sure where it's going to lead.


Well, I think it would polarize a basically dis-enfranchised base to come back to "Conservative Values" (not arguing about gay marriage, but fiscal responsibility for instance). There are millions of 30-something and upwardly mobile Americans who could care less about the Republican party as it stands today, but would never associate with the Democratic party either.


There are, true. But how many of those would be attracted to the message promoted by the ideological purists within the Republican Party? The Palin-Huckabee wing?

Party building on a national scale is a game of tens of millions, not of millions. The GOP's strategy looks to be seeking out a very pure but very small core.
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Ted
post Nov 30 2009, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Nov 30 2009, 01:19 PM) *
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 10:26 AM) *
AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.


Off-topic, but: That's a flat-out lie. Thanks.

QUOTE
QUOTE(raptavio)
The Republicans have chosen a different strategy - they're choosing to ideologically purify without regard for the fact that it's causing a diminishing of their already shrinking party. I'm not sure where it's going to lead.


Well, I think it would polarize a basically dis-enfranchised base to come back to "Conservative Values" (not arguing about gay marriage, but fiscal responsibility for instance). There are millions of 30-something and upwardly mobile Americans who could care less about the Republican party as it stands today, but would never associate with the Democratic party either.


There are, true. But how many of those would be attracted to the message promoted by the ideological purists within the Republican Party? The Palin-Huckabee wing?

Party building on a national scale is a game of tens of millions, not of millions. The GOP's strategy looks to be seeking out a very pure but very small core.

I think the same can be said for the Democratic Party. How many are in the Pelosi/Reid wing.

How many are as far left as Pelosi and Boxer?

The approval for the public option strongly pushed by them is not that popular even among Democrats.

I see independents moving right after being disappointed by the far left direction of the Dem Party (and this administration) in the last year
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aevans176
post Nov 30 2009, 11:14 PM
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QUOTE(Raptavio @ Nov 30 2009, 01:19 PM) *
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 10:26 AM) *
AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.


Off-topic, but: That's a flat-out lie. Thanks.



I like this... well, because it's not a lie, and it proves my point.
Why?
Well, because it shows that there are some major "Big Tent" ideas that people (factual or not) won't acknowledge.
During the Clinton Administration;
- World trade center was bombed, no major action was taken against the Terrorists responsible (until recently)
- the Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia were blown up, Clinton treated it as a police action
- the embassies were blown up in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam
- The USS Cole was bombed
- A military training center in Riyadh was bombed in '95
(this is all from memory... so there might be more, and if you need links we can do that too...)

Thing is that none of these attacks were really adequately investigated or used as a catalyst to go after Terrorism until 9/11. That's just a fact. Even Louis Freeh (the FBI director) discussed this in detail in his book (My FBI).
http://www.amazon.com/My-FBI-Bringing-Inve...g/dp/0312321899 Pick it up... it's a good one.

Ever heard of Dick Morris? Would you consider him as a credible source? He worked for the Clinton's for years and was even the Clinton campaign manager in 1996. Another book that discussed these instances and the Clinton stance in detail.

What about Robert "Buzz" Patterson's book, Deriliction of Duty? He has some corroborating evidence and anecdotes as well.

The fact is that the Clintons never saw terrorism as a significant national threat until it was too late. Could one argue that congress should've done more? Sure.

However- the funny thing about this debate is that people on both sides of the aisle have some STAUNCH ideologies, and often alliances that are literally laughable.

I'll never understand the far-right's love of GW and more than I see why uber-liberals think Slick Willy is a saint. Raptavio, you really did make my point.

Many, if not most people in the US "root" for a political party as opposed to espousing the ideas and understanding their impacts on the US.
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AuthorMusician
post Dec 1 2009, 01:19 AM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 12:26 PM) *
QUOTE(AuthorMusician @ Nov 30 2009, 11:12 AM) *
Then there's the very old trick of blaming everything on Democrats while taking all the credit. In the Information Age, the trick falls apart quickly. Sticking Bill Clinton with the responsibility for 9/11 did not work. Sticking Obama with the economic meltdown of 2008 isn't working either. Meanwhile, it'll be fairly easy to show Republican criticism as illogical the more time that passes. Of high importance is that Democrats don't need to make stuff up out of the blue. Exaggerating job growth from the stimulus was a mistake. It was called out right away. I don't think we'll be seeing much more of that -- it doesn't help credibility and isn't needed.

In a nutshell, propaganda has become obsolete.


I almost laughed out loud on this one... seriously? Are you not kidding here?
We can't blame Bill Clinton for anything related to 9/11, and the economy has nothing to do with Obama?
Propaganda has become obselete?

I totally disagree, and your post is literally my evidence.

AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.

The reason this is relative is basically because this thread is about "big tent" parties, and you're blaming the Republicans for being this... while writing drivel like this:

QUOTE(am)
It's also the quickest way to shrink the Republican Party. Besides living in denial and having arrogance that goes all the way up and doesn't quit, the rip tide of racism is dragging the party way, way, way out to sea. The thing about rip tides is you can't detect them until it's too late. The metaphor fits the current Republican Party.


This seriously is exactly what this argument is about.

I think there is more big "tent" politics now, and on both sides of the aisle, than ever in history. It seems that the realization for democrats is that (for now) they're in power... so Republicans are wrong.

When the pendulum swings (and it will... ), the opposite will be true.
QUOTE(PE)
Both ways, if it results in the creation of other, viable political parties. I'm getting tired of just chocolate and vanilla. It would be nice to have more of a choice, especially when American interests can not be adequately addressed in either party. Doesn't mean I'm in the mood to be libertarian, though...I like my roads paved and the children in my city educated whether they can afford to attend parochial school or not.


This is exactly where we all should be. I think the political system has become more like people rooting for one team or the other, and having baseless arguments based upon false loyalties. It would be great to have some diversity...

QUOTE(raptavio)
The Republicans have chosen a different strategy - they're choosing to ideologically purify without regard for the fact that it's causing a diminishing of their already shrinking party. I'm not sure where it's going to lead.


Well, I think it would polarize a basically dis-enfranchised base to come back to "Conservative Values" (not arguing about gay marriage, but fiscal responsibility for instance). There are millions of 30-something and upwardly mobile Americans who could care less about the Republican party as it stands today, but would never associate with the Democratic party either.

QUOTE(maybemaybenot)
Without ideology, there is no reason for a political party. Without lots of support (from people who have at least some diversity of views), no political party will ever gain power. For political parties there will always be tension between ideology and inclusiveness.


Sure. The biggest problem many of us have with this, however, is there tends to be a "one size fits all" party line on both sides of the aisle. For instance, Democrats and Republicans alike tend to have homogenous voting trends on things like the war, the economy, gay marriage, abortion, taxation, etc.

If there were candidates that at times "rode the fence", and had ideas on both sides of the aisle, they're prevalent in US politics.

What seems to sell these days (regardless of what running dog liberals or republicans what to think) is picking a "team", and wearing that "shirt" for every "game"...


Seriously, what did the GWB admin do about terrorism before 9/11? Absolutely nothing. In fact, the first months of that administration were all tied up with NOT doing anything the previous admin was doing.

Seriously, when did the economic meltdown occur? Everyone knows it was in 2008 and that it was a long time coming. What did the GWB admin do about it? Threw up its hands and said you guys handle it. Here's a passel of money for yah. No strings, no oversight, nothing but pure giveaway.

Seriously, the Republican Party seems to believe in no repercussions. It wants to believe that politics and sports are synonymous, that people are still apathetic and stupid.

Nope, wrong on both counts. After people were hit square between the eyes with two wars that have hurt and continue to hurt a lot of people, and a financial meltdown that hurt everybody, after swallowing whole the lines of "free trade/open markets" along with "GWoT" there's a whole lot of skepticism going on. There's some for the Democrats but a whole lot more for the Republicans who brought us to where we are today.

Your pendulum cannot swing back. It broke off and went skittering way over yonder. The Republicans blew the mid-mid term Congressional elections. It'll blow the 2010 chance too with its New and Tighter Contract on America, aka the Litmus Test for Real Republicans that Reagan could not have met.

Republicans and extremism is becoming synonymous.

The good news is that extremism won't be establishing public policy. The bad news is . . . well, maybe there isn't any from a public policy point of view. The sheepskin disguises are off.

This post has been edited by AuthorMusician: Dec 1 2009, 01:20 AM
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Raptavio
post Dec 1 2009, 01:27 AM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 05:14 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Nov 30 2009, 01:19 PM) *
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 10:26 AM) *
AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.


Off-topic, but: That's a flat-out lie. Thanks.



I like this... well, because it's not a lie, and it proves my point.
Why?
Well, because it shows that there are some major "Big Tent" ideas that people (factual or not) won't acknowledge.
During the Clinton Administration;
- World trade center was bombed, no major action was taken against the Terrorists responsible (until recently)


Lie. All but one of those responsible are languishing in SuperMax prisons and will not see the light of day until they die.

QUOTE
- the Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia were blown up, Clinton treated it as a police action


Irrelevant. This was a foreign attack on foreign soil. This was not sovereign US territory, despite the fact that 19 US servicemen were amongst the 372 killed.

- the embassies were blown up in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam
- The USS Cole was bombed


And the government put al Qaeda in the crosshairs and endeavored to end them. Every effort was met with scoffing by the Republican majority in Congress, at the time. In fact the outgoing Clinton administration gave very specific warnings and recommendations to the incoming Bush administration which were utterly ignored.

QUOTE
- A military training center in Riyadh was bombed in '95
(this is all from memory... so there might be more, and if you need links we can do that too...)

Which killed 5. Again, foreign attack on foreign soil. Four were arrested, tried, convicted, and executed.

QUOTE
Thing is that none of these attacks were really adequately investigated or used as a catalyst to go after Terrorism until 9/11. That's just a fact.

"Adequately" is weasel words - they were obviously investigated because those responsible in each case except the al Qaeda attacks were brought to justice, either ours or other nations' justice. And how do you go after "Terrorism?" We can go after people, not abstract concepts. We lose thousands every year to homicide. Should we "go after Murder"?

QUOTE
Ever heard of Dick Morris? Would you consider him as a credible source? He worked for the Clinton's for years and was even the Clinton campaign manager in 1996. Another book that discussed these instances and the Clinton stance in detail.

I would consider that prostitute toe-sucker as credible a source as Ann Coulter. He has no credibility whatsoever and routinely destroys credibility on the altar of his own grudges and thirst for publicity. He is a serial liar.

QUOTE
However- the funny thing about this debate is that people on both sides of the aisle have some STAUNCH ideologies, and often alliances that are literally laughable.

I'll never understand the far-right's love of GW and more than I see why uber-liberals think Slick Willy is a saint. Raptavio, you really did make my point.


No. You see, there's an ocean of difference between saying that Clinton didn't do enough and claiming he did nothing and let bin Laden go over a golf game. The latter are lies, plain and simple. Saying he didn't do enough is a matter of opinion and certainly fodder for reasonable debate. And OBTW, I was not a Clinton fan. But I am a fan of the truth, which was not evident in the statement of yours which I accurately characterized as a lie.

There are two kinds of ideological polarization. One is irrational adherence to one group. The other is irrational enmity towards the opposition.

This post has been edited by Raptavio: Dec 1 2009, 01:29 AM
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Ted
post Dec 1 2009, 03:22 AM
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QUOTE
And the government put al Qaeda in the crosshairs and endeavored to end them. Every effort was met with scoffing by the Republican majority in Congress, at the time. In fact the outgoing Clinton administration gave very specific warnings and recommendations to the incoming Bush administration which were utterly ignored
.

You need to watch the Road to 9/11 again. Clinton did squat. And even missed chances to KILL bin laden at least twice.

And the FBI screwed up to – it leader Freeh didn’t believe John O’Neil when he laid it out for him – he left the FBI.
Bush blew it too but Clinton bears most blame – bay far.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_P._O'Neill

This post has been edited by Ted: Dec 1 2009, 03:23 AM
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Dingo
post Dec 1 2009, 06:45 AM
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QUOTE(BoF @ Nov 29 2009, 02:50 PM) *
Question for Debate:

Is public policy best served when political parties are ideologically pure or represent diverse points of view?

Well good rigorous debate seems far more appealing than boot clicking conformity. The trouble is that debate can lead to gridlock at which point either anarchy or the heavy hand of the big guns move in to bring order and whatever.

The democrats are more the party of diversity but it doesn't seem to be a very robust diversity. They seem somewhat pathetic in power and in their futility spend a lot of time shooting at each other.

The republicans on the other hand seem highly unified around the leadership of a bunch of low level shock talk ideologues named Limbaugh and co. Does anyone doubt that Limbaugh is the most influential republican in America? Do you see any republican representative calling him out? Not a chance.

The republican unity has a powerful simplicity to it. Just say no to anything the democrats propose except throwing money at the military.

Their 2010 election strategy appears to be keep the talk shockers and Faux News happy and they will send them recruits.

Looking at the polls, it may work.
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Maybe Maybe Not
post Dec 1 2009, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 11:26 AM) *
Maybe Maybe Not: "Without ideology, there is no reason for a political party. Without lots of support (from people who have at least some diversity of views), no political party will ever gain power. For political parties there will always be tension between ideology and inclusiveness."


Sure. The biggest problem many of us have with this, however, is there tends to be a "one size fits all" party line on both sides of the aisle. For instance, Democrats and Republicans alike tend to have homogenous voting trends on things like the war, the economy, gay marriage, abortion, taxation, etc.

If there were candidates that at times "rode the fence", and had ideas on both sides of the aisle, they're prevalent in US politics.

What seems to sell these days (regardless of what running dog liberals or republicans what to think) is picking a "team", and wearing that "shirt" for every "game"...
I agree with most of what you say here aevans176, but I'm not sure what you mean about candidates riding the fence being "prevalent" in US politics. I was accepting the idea that such politicians are becoming less and less prevalent within the two major parties, and that this isn't a good thing.

Are you saying you see lots of such Republicans and Democrats? That, in fact, there is not a trend toward ideological purity at the expense of bipartisanship and independent thinking?
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CruisingRam
post Dec 1 2009, 04:24 PM
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QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 03:14 PM) *
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Nov 30 2009, 01:19 PM) *
QUOTE(aevans176 @ Nov 30 2009, 10:26 AM) *
AM, while no one specific person is to blame for 9/11 (excepting the terrorists), we were attacked 6 times under Clinton's watch and nothing was done to stop the terrorists. IN FACT- Clinton had a chance to take Bin Laden and cared more about watching a golf game.


Off-topic, but: That's a flat-out lie. Thanks.



I like this... well, because it's not a lie, and it proves my point.
Why?
Well, because it shows that there are some major "Big Tent" ideas that people (factual or not) won't acknowledge.
During the Clinton Administration;
- World trade center was bombed, no major action was taken against the Terrorists responsible (until recently)
- the Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia were blown up, Clinton treated it as a police action
- the embassies were blown up in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam
- The USS Cole was bombed
- A military training center in Riyadh was bombed in '95
(this is all from memory... so there might be more, and if you need links we can do that too...)

Thing is that none of these attacks were really adequately investigated or used as a catalyst to go after Terrorism until 9/11. That's just a fact. Even Louis Freeh (the FBI director) discussed this in detail in his book (My FBI).
http://www.amazon.com/My-FBI-Bringing-Inve...g/dp/0312321899 Pick it up... it's a good one.

Ever heard of Dick Morris? Would you consider him as a credible source? He worked for the Clinton's for years and was even the Clinton campaign manager in 1996. Another book that discussed these instances and the Clinton stance in detail.

What about Robert "Buzz" Patterson's book, Deriliction of Duty? He has some corroborating evidence and anecdotes as well.

The fact is that the Clintons never saw terrorism as a significant national threat until it was too late. Could one argue that congress should've done more? Sure.

However- the funny thing about this debate is that people on both sides of the aisle have some STAUNCH ideologies, and often alliances that are literally laughable.

I'll never understand the far-right's love of GW and more than I see why uber-liberals think Slick Willy is a saint. Raptavio, you really did make my point.

Many, if not most people in the US "root" for a political party as opposed to espousing the ideas and understanding their impacts on the US.


I think a big reason that the republican party is failing is because the "tent" they gather folks under are based on lies, outright lies.

www.snopes.com is your friend, again, Clinton jailed most of the first towers bombers, the Cole investigation over "whodunnit" was completed in January of 2000 (couldn't have done anything in his presidency anyway)

If you have to base your entire ideology and political aspirations on a lie, how long will it last?

You have the swift boat liars- pure fabrication
then you have the Klinton Khronicles- again, pure fabrication, heck the preacher even had to lie about who made it.

Your tent right now is encompassing teabagger and birthers, the two biggest groups of mouth breathers in the nation.

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/clinton.asp

I guess the next two questions- can republicans read, and do they know how to look things up and verify if the lies they are telling are in fact, lies? rolleyes.gif

If the ideology is so good, why do they have to make things up? hmmm.gif
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post Dec 1 2009, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE
If the ideology is so good, why do they have to make things up? hmmm.gif - CR -


There's a touchstone for failed ideology. When ideology and reality conflict, ideology is wrong. That's why the Democrats of 1980 didn't go way over left as a reaction but instead sought out a middle ground. The Republicans have taken the way-over-right direction. There's no middle ground, no chance of compromise, no attempt at improving conditions for the electorate as a whole.

Ideology only sounds good if you ignore reality. Or, as pointed out, reshape reality (aka make up stuff).
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aevans176
post Dec 1 2009, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Dec 1 2009, 11:24 AM) *
I guess the next two questions- can republicans read, and do they know how to look things up and verify if the lies they are telling are in fact, lies? rolleyes.gif

If the ideology is so good, why do they have to make things up? hmmm.gif


Look... this is literally an absurd, and off topic rant. Cruising Ram and Raptavio and Author Musician... a few men in jail doesn't mean that the Clinton administration took terrorism seriously. It goes to note that no additional measures of note were given during his administration, and we were continuously attacked during his administration.

Also... CR... you used SNOPES as your source? Jesus Christ... if we want a debate about Clinton and terrorism, start one. However, the snippets of partial information on that site are extremely near-sighted.

But I digress... the sources are great and easily accessible for all three of you, but it's not a lie at all. You may disagree, but putting absurd (and unsubstantiated) claims that aren't debateable (like "that's a lie") does nothing for a point or a debate.

That being said...

Let's start with the Director of the FBI's thoughts on Clinton and terrorism. Remember, Louis Freeh is a dedicated public servant ... and a democrat.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/16/politics/16cnd-freeh.html
QUOTE(nytimes article)
Mr. Freeh, appearing on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" to promote a book he has written, repeated his assertion that the Clinton administration had failed to grasp the scope and severity of the threat of terrorism and had botched the investigation of the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, which took 19 American lives.

Mr. Freeh said the administration had failed to press Saudi Arabian leaders for F.B.I. access to suspects in the bombing and - when it appeared that Iran might be behind the attack - had mishandled a letter of protest to the Iranian president in a way that needlessly infuriated both the Saudis and the Iranians.


Who's right? Clinton or Freeh? I'll say that the lack of resources caused a six year gap between the attack and indictment (1995 attack, 2001 indictments). Whether you believe Freeh or Clinton, one can definitely argue that it was not a priority of anyone to either pursue the other attackers or sentence the one in custody. Furthermore, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Cruising Ram, it does go to note that a life time democrat and a highly regarded public servant (not just some Republicans) believe that Clinton was soft on terrorism.

Remember... I'm making a point. Liberals believe that Clinton did a great job on terrorism and it's relative to the Big Tent ideology. This isn't about what GW did (I can argue similar incompetency about GW), and please remember that you'll rarely if ever find me defending GWB.

More lies? Should we talk about the USS Cole??...
From Wikipedia... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Cole_bombing
QUOTE(wiki article)
By May 2008, all defendants convicted in the attack had escaped from prison or been freed by Yemeni officials.[14] However, on 30 June 2008, Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, legal advisor to the U.S. Military tribunal system, announced charges are being sworn against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian citizen of Yemeni descent, who has been held at the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since 2006. According to the Pentagon, the charges have been defined as "organizing and directing" the bombing of the USS Cole. The charges still must be approved by a Department of Defense official who oversees military tribunals set up for terrorism suspects. The Pentagon will seek the death penalty.[15]


So... Clinton did what to get these men extradited? The bombing happened in October 2000. The one man they have in prison is still hanging around... over 9 years later. There are other men are still out there making bombs I guess...

Clinton allowed us to be attacked by ostensibly one organization in 1993, 1995, 1998, and 2000. The only justice brought by the US was during the GWB administration during 2001...

Look- I'm not claiming that George Bush did anything better. I'm not. I never said that... so no more absurd and unsubstantiated claims.

All I'm saying is that people believe what they want, even in the face of facts... no offense guys, but this is a great example.

Want more- and a new debate about the Clintons?

People also believe that Clinton did great things with the economy. They believe that somehow he created a budget surplus that GW spent... not true either.
Here are the figures... (open the second link for the easiest view)

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/#usgs302a
http://web.archive.org/web/20070101033553/.../historical.pdf

Now... the immediate knee jerk response would be that GW took office in 2001, creating this deficit. WRONG, I'll head that off at the pass. His first budget would've been enacted in '01, affecting fiscal '02... funny enough, one thing to note is that federal revenues INCREASED during Clinton's terms, which of course come from taxes.

So, the funny thing is that Clinton left in 2001, and of course by then the budget was already more than income. Also something to note is that debt carried by the public were at an all time high during his presidency and individual income taxes reached an all time peak during the Clinton administration.

Also what people really don't understand is that prosperity in terms of a cyclical economy is that there isn't an immediate affect on the overall health of an economy based upon governmental intervention, and furthermore there is only a marginal propensity for legislation to make a difference.

Use the current administration's attempts to infuse cash into the economy as a logical barometer. Nothing changed immediately, even though this began during the last administration. Much of the economy is dependant upon you and I...

Funny enough, revenues as a % of GDP during Clinton's terms were the highest in history... again- taxes...

Where did the biggest budget cuts come from? Oh- defense. Perfect. Clinton cut the defense budget to less than ever (as a % of GDP) in US history (recorded).

Finally, the vast majority of people who spew this rhetoric (good or bad) understand


So let's be frank. The same ideology IS AND WILL BE TRUE for Obama and the Bush administration.
People are going to sit around and fight for a candidate (i.e. your posts about Clinton) regardless of the facts.



QUOTE(maybemaybenot)
I agree with most of what you say here aevans176, but I'm not sure what you mean about candidates riding the fence being "prevalent" in US politics. I was accepting the idea that such politicians are becoming less and less prevalent within the two major parties, and that this isn't a good thing.


Yeah... I mistyped... I think there are few and far between politicians who don't carry a party banner and follow the "line".

I think it's evident in this board, on nightly news, and in nearly every election. Those who faulter or waiver don't win or are libertarians who don't carry the "democrat or republican" brand (and $ backing) to get elected...

I wonder if there ever will be a return to "moderate" politics. I would venture to state that the way the parties are acting now... no time soon...

This post has been edited by aevans176: Dec 1 2009, 10:50 PM
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