Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Something rare... a political post.

Actually not even much of a post; just a link.

This is an interesting take on Sarah Palin with some great questions.


Percussivity said...

After listening to her RNC speech and from everything else I have read, were Palin actually running for President I might consider voting Republican... but alas.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

"Can two walk together without agreement" becomes rather an interesting question when applied to politics and national government. Could Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr "walk together" I wonder? Their disagreements are significant enough that they each are helming different political parties. My gut feeling is they would put those disagreements aside because they feel they agree "on what is important" and the disagreements are acceptable loss. So its an arbitrary thing...casting it as an absolute truth principle, that people cannot work together sans total agreement, is a bit misleading of Baldwin. He thinks the Palin-McCain differences are too significant to be sufferable, but if they were more subtle, like his and Barr's, he would find them acceptable.

He is slightly patronizing, and possibly a bit sexist, with his suggestion that McCain will change and mold Palin into a subservient clone of his movement. I don't think that will happen. If anything, McCain will regret his tactically wise, strategically damaging (for him) choice of an outspoken, populist ideologue for a VP...she will be a thorn in his side as he tries to govern from the center. The Maverick is going to get a taste of what it is like to be on the other side...dealing with a maverick, himself!

And of course, with McCain's age it is very possible he will abstain from the 2012 campaign. Palin represents a new movement in the GOP, which could hopefully mean a rightward shift.

The two party system is a classic target of ire and derision by many, but I for one am a big fan. One party systems (ie Vietnam and China) are a bit unrepresentative, and 3+ party systems can also allow the tyranny of the minority.

Say we have a general split as follows in our populace:

40% favor liberal big govt
60% favor conservative principles

We decide to embrace 3rd and fourth party ideals, for a nice even split:

40% Democratic Party
25% Republican Party
15% Constitution Party
10% Libertarian Party
10% Pat Buchanan is a Toad Party

Had to add that last one in because my math wasn't working. The Democrat party is made up of a thousand splinter groups and separate ideologies, but they hold together tightly as a unified body. Likewise, the Republican party is one that has a good variety of ideologies and opinions, and issues, each holding different priority for different groups and members.

So if one party splinters into factions and the other does not, the unified party holds onto power, even if their views are distinctly representing a minority of Americans.

McCain far from represents my personal ideals and beliefs on the political system...but for that matter, neither does Baldwin or Barr or Paul or Palin. There are no perfect choices in a representative democracy.

Now I've completely forgotten where I started with this...


Percussivity said...

Well I've heard this argument before and it has some validity. However as you said yourself, the Republicans' as well as the Dems' parties contain within themselves a vast array of beliefs and values with many internal contradictions and incongruencies, so to say that for instance a Constitution Party presidency would be tyranical over all other parties is nonsense. I mean it would go against most liberal ideas, but that is about where the nation splits. The Republican party as a whole is conservative as is the CP, so I don't believe Republicans would be dreadfully unhappy on the whole with a CP pres... or the Libertarians for that matter. So because there is so much overlap with the various smaller parties and the two big ones I don't see the huge difference you seem to envision between having 3 or even 4 parties and the two. You would still have the basic, albeit somewhat ambiguous, split between liberal and conservative ideals.

Now in an extreme situation I could see your arument making sense... say perhaps there was only one liberal party at 20% and the other 80% of the nation was split into a dozen basically conservative parties who all voted for their representative. In that case the liberal nom gets the job and runs a country of conservatives. But that is a very unlikely scenario.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Well then we've made the split show a group of Republicans, CP people, and libertarians as all being generally agreed and happy with a certain type of govt. In your case, you mention CP. While I think there is a broad swathe of GOPers that disagree with some of the libertarian tendencies of the CP, and many, many devout libertarians that despise the moralization that the CP represents, in general, yes, those three parties do a good job of encapsulating the "right half" of the country.

So practically...we then split three ways.

The Democrats stay united, and the "left half" of the country wins every election for the rest of our lifetimes.

I would rather hash out these internal disagreements within conservatism in the primary, and then make the fundamental decision between left and right in the general election. Paul did it right and I applaud him...he went to the bastion of the right in this country (the GOP) and instead of splintering he campaigned within it. He did lose, but at least he was working within the party to bring it back rightward. The other option is to simply abandon the GOP, which dwarfs the splinter cell factions on the right fringe, and labor on as an eternal minority. People's minds have to be changed before a party can gain power. This year McCain isn't my first choice, but he does represent a much "righter" choice than the extreme left of the other major candidate, and choosing between the two, I choose McCain. Third parties in the general election, unless supported by such a huge groundswell of support such as does not remotely exist this year, have the practical effect of splintering support for their general ideology (right or left) and enabling the other side to gain power. Perot and Nader, chief examples.

It'd be like doing away with primaries, and submitting all candidates to the general election without a nomination. The major party that submits the fewest nominees would invariably win. Thus the need for a primary election, which is a great place for people to fight for a rightward shift in the Republican party. Likewise the left. Nader was an ideological choice for a lot of Greenies, but many are soured and resentful that he essentially ensured that Gore lost to Bush in 2000.

Perhaps there is a better idea or system for handling 3rd parties in the general election, but practically, I don't see any good way of doing it myself. Simply wishing everyone to jump ship simultaneously and run to another party, in sufficient enough numbers to defeat a powerfully united liberal ticket, is a first class ticket to an Obama administration come January.

Percussivity said...

That is the key there I think... CPers are willing to let the Dems into office with the hope that it will cause the Republican party to get its head out of its ass. I don't know any CPers who truly believe that they will win in November. As I commented above... had the Republicans chosen a true conservative I would be MUCH more likely to vote Republican even though CP is a better fit. Of course I don't want Osama Obama in the White House, but it will not be the end of the world (and if it were, even better for us) and often to make a difference, things have got to get shaken up.

Percussivity said...

Another thought roughly along those lines... I don't personally want to contribute to giving McCain a possible mandate were he to (unlikely thought it might be) win by a landslide. A President can do a hell of a lot with a mandate (like say anything over 50% of the popular vote). My vote would be saying I agree with your platform and you can use my vote as proof that the majority of America also agrees with your platform.

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

Fair enough...that is a reasonable strategy. One that I think Limbaugh himself even flirted with there for a while...he was initially very hostile to the McCain nomination.

But, if the conservative wing abandons the GOP, it could also cause the GOP to shift leftward to replace the void with easily bought-off centrists and independents. "Teaching them a lesson" in November might not work out the way we plan, come 2012, and the assumption that the GOP will come sulking back with its tail between its legs, finally ready to go all states-rights on us, is a bit of an unknown and rather a gamble, with a big price-tag of a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, and a Democratic presidency for at least four years, passing who-knows-what-kind of legislation (especially now that the bar has been set so high by spendiferous Republicans, the Dems will have to show that THEY are truly the party of entitlement spending!), and appointing liberal idjits to the Supreme Court.

And yes, of course, there is the Assault Weapons Ban.

Nic, praying for a grandfather clause.

Percussivity said...

Believe me I understand! And I have the same fears... I enjoy getting a huge tax return every year. It's rough having principles :-P

(And no, I insinuate nothing... [insert unecessary ass-kissing comment to ensure you know your opinions are appreciated and respected])

The Irascible Neufonzola said...

No worries, politics is anything but principled, so my principles would be absurdly out of place if applied to political decisions! :D

The Angry Coder said...

Whooooa! The GOP left the conservatives, not the other way around! As I move forward to "throw away my vote" for Baldwin this fall, I'll also be sending the GOP an email stating that I will/did not vote for them because they pulled a bait and switch with Bush and then brought out a liberal as their candidate. As long as we keep voting for the "right lizard", nothing will change the increasing liberalization of the "conservatives".

And I disagree that the primaries are about hashing out all the ideas. They were 100% about picking a "winning candidate"-regardless of that persons positions. The actual principles and ideas are gone from both parties and now they are just pandering and strategizing for votes. The 3rd parties at least have thier brains engaged, and they are growing!