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US politics have never been so toxic? Exaggeration or accurate?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
    Exaggerated but somewhat true.

    Here's a column today by a Progressive on it:

    http://www.arcamax.com/politics/from...bank/s-1734862

    I won't quote from it, it's not necessary.

    Instead, what I would point out is that the Progressive wing of the Democrats has taken control of that party. They ran wild when they had control of Congress starting with Obamacare rammed down the public's throats on a purely party-line vote. Progressives were almost giddy with excitement at being in control. Then they lost control and the Republicans took over.

    The Democrats and their Progressive wing became obstinate obstructionists to everything the Republicans did. They even obstructed what remained of their own moderate portion of their party. Harry Reid stopped virtually everything from coming to a vote in the Senate. Nancy Pelosi refused to work with Republican leadership.

    So, the more Conservative wing of the Republican party pushed back. They too entrenched and stopped trying to talk to the other side. Now, Progressives, like Dana Milbank, are bemoaning the loss of Progressives to get some of their agenda advanced because the Republicans have stopped giving in to them.
    They want to claim this is all the Republican's fault. It isn't. It started with their own intransigence and spread that venom to the opposition. What galls the Progressives is that their opposition isn't supposed to simply say "NO!" and refuse to compromise, they're used to them compromising and Progressives getting some of what they want each time until they completely get what they want.

    So, in typical Progressive fashion they label the opposition with smears, insults, and pejoratives. Conservative Republicans refusing to compromise become "Extremists" or as Milbank labels them, a "Politburo." There's some humor in that actually. The Left where Communism lives using "Politburo" a Communist term to describe a Right Wing political group.

    Anyway, in politics extremism usually starts on the Left and is in turn met with extremism from the Right. Left to its own, the Right is too disorganized, too disparate in views, and all-too-ready to fight within its ranks to produce a solid front of extremist views that need opposing. Only the Left does that.
    The irony is that everything you talk about the Progressives doing is exactly what the Progressive in the article blames Conservatives of doing. Perhaps such views aren't objective fact but far more relative than you might imagine?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
      The irony is that everything you talk about the Progressives doing is exactly what the Progressive in the article blames Conservatives of doing. Perhaps such views aren't objective fact but far more relative than you might imagine?
      Look at just the history of the US Congress since Obama has been in office. The obstruction started on the Progressive Left with Obamacare almost from day 1 of Obama taking office and has progressed to where it is today.
      It is as I described. Extremism on the Left begot extremism on the Right. I'm not making excuses for either side or a judgement on the validity of either's position.
      But, the Left is wrong when they say the Right is the problem. Both are wrong, starting with the Left and ending with the Right.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
        Look at just the history of the US Congress since Obama has been in office. The obstruction started on the Progressive Left with Obamacare almost from day 1 of Obama taking office and has progressed to where it is today.
        It is as I described. Extremism on the Left begot extremism on the Right. I'm not making excuses for either side or a judgement on the validity of either's position.
        But, the Left is wrong when they say the Right is the problem. Both are wrong, starting with the Left and ending with the Right.
        "Extremism on the Left begot extremism on the Right."

        I think maybe that's part of the issue: you're still blaming "the Left", even when pointing at the flaws of "the Right". When your point of view is that the left is the Alpha and Omega of the political problems facing the nation, the font from which all discord flows, then of course you're going to slot all new information into a frame of reference that suits those observations.

        Not even saying you're wrong, either. Solely that its ironic, because such a view point is pretty much exactly what many on the left possess towards conservatives. And when both sides are accusing their opposites of the same transgressions, it makes me believe they're both wrong.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
          "Extremism on the Left begot extremism on the Right."

          I think maybe that's part of the issue: you're still blaming "the Left", even when pointing at the flaws of "the Right". When your point of view is that the left is the Alpha and Omega of the political problems facing the nation, the font from which all discord flows, then of course you're going to slot all new information into a frame of reference that suits those observations.

          Not even saying you're wrong, either. Solely that its ironic, because such a view point is pretty much exactly what many on the left possess towards conservatives. And when both sides are accusing their opposites of the same transgressions, it makes me believe they're both wrong.
          It started somewhere to get to where it is today.

          My view is expressed on observation of historical precedent rather than simple finger pointing. As others have pointed out, the Left is loathe to take blame for their mistakes. You find that in humor, you find it in writing, and you find it in history.

          Of course, none of that resolves the problem and it isn't going to get resolved until more moderate voices are once again the majority.

          A big part and cause of this problem is the entrenchment of the two parties in politics. With no other outlets or means of winning major elections, the radicals on both sides have had to move into the two major parties.
          Now, it has become like much of European politics have been for decades, a coalition governing body within Congress.
          Because of things like the perpetual filibuster rather than the historical one, or the process of bringing legislation to a vote only when the party leadership allows one, and all the other restrictive rules making any one representative or senator little more than a cog in a political machine, Congress is gridlocked all the time now.
          The need for a majority of votes to already be in the bag for a piece of legislation to go to the floor of either house requires both parties to compromise within themselves with the radical minorities of their party.

          That the Left beat the Right to doing this isn't something new. Nor is the reaction by the Right to start doing it too.

          The only difference between the two I see is that the Right can tolerate some degree of compromise within Conservative to Moderate values while the Left is intolerant of anything outside it's own views.
          It isn't that the Right won't push for extreme positions, but rather that they are not so doggedly dogmatic about it that they end up in hateful intolerance like the Left does. That makes it just a matter of degree without solution.

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          • #20
            In 1928, the Democrat Party nominated Governor of the State of New York Al Smith as their presidential candidate. Al Smith was an old-time progressive: some of the programs credited to Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the great Depression were actually initiated by Al Smith a decade earlier. Had Smith won the '28 election, he'd have been the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office. Smith opposed Prohibition, and was a lifelong member of Tammany Hall.



            The "toxicity" so decried by the OP is nothing new. In fact, it's not even novel. The only thing remotely surprising is that the same brew of ignorance and bigotry can still sway opinions to nearly the same level that it did a century ago.
            I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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            • #21
              Comrade T.A. Gardner to begin his journey to true enlightenment

              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              Exaggerated but somewhat true.

              Here's a column today by a Progressive on it:

              http://www.arcamax.com/politics/from...bank/s-1734862

              I won't quote from it, it's not necessary.
              I've read it and can't for the life of me see what your concern could be.
              It's little more than a slightly centre-left slanted news/commentary on the change in GOP House leadership. Very mild and reasoned, no hysterics.
              How is it an example of toxicity?

              On the other hand your long-winded vent finishing with:
              Anyway, in politics extremism usually starts on the Left and is in turn met with extremism from the Right. Left to its own, the Right is too disorganized, too disparate in views, and all-too-ready to fight within its ranks to produce a solid front of extremist views that need opposing. Only the Left does that.
              is general in content and simply points out that both sides can be obstructionist.
              Extremism starts on the left??? Got some easily identifiable examples in a US context?
              I'm sorry mate but I get the impression that if the progressive democrats just rolled over and supported the conservative GOP agenda you'd think them pathetic and weak.

              Do you think US politics would be so much better if there weren't any progressives to mess things up all the time?

              If you don't, then just:

              Give me some examples of a progressive issues or causes you think are worthy of support (eg: universal health care?, gun control?, less gung-ho foreign policy?) or ones that were worthy of support in the past (eg: ending prohibition, ending isolationism, destroying fascism, Civil Rights, getting out of Vietnam, destroying Nixon, freedom of expression, feminism, sexual liberation).
              Come now my good fellow stretch your wings and fly!

              Regards lodestar

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                I've read it and can't for the life of me see what your concern could be.
                It's little more than a slightly centre-left slanted news/commentary on the change in GOP House leadership. Very mild and reasoned, no hysterics.
                How is it an example of toxicity?
                It is by US standards. It's not by European ones. You have to take it in the context of the society it originated with.

                On the other hand your long-winded vent finishing with:

                is general in content and simply points out that both sides can be obstructionist.
                Extremism starts on the left??? Got some easily identifiable examples in a US context?
                The quickest and most clear is simply major universities:

                The Left in universities does this:

                http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may...tives-20130519

                It's becoming increasingly apparent that conservative speakers aren't welcome on college and university campuses.

                Last month, in the span of a few days, student protests disrupted a presentation by Karl Rove at the University of Massachusetts and one by Rand Paul at Howard University. That same week, former Bush administration official Robert Zoellick withdrew as a commencement speaker at Swarthmore College, while Obama critic Ben Carson did the same at Johns Hopkins.
                That's the LA Times, hardly a Conservative newspaper.

                Contrast that with Bernie Sanders invited... note that invited... to speak at Liberty University, one of the more Right Wing Conservative universities in the US:



                I use this example because it illustrates the difference dramatically. Conservatives are not invited and if by some slim chance they are, they get run off campus on a rail.
                The Right is reacting to the Left in Congress for the same reasons.

                I'm sorry mate but I get the impression that if the progressive democrats just rolled over and supported the conservative GOP agenda you'd think them pathetic and weak.

                Do you think US politics would be so much better if there weren't any progressives to mess things up all the time?
                No, I think things would be much better if moderates could get an agenda forward. The Right wants to dismantle government. The Left would love a dictatorship. Neither is the answer.

                If you don't, then just:

                Give me some examples of a progressive issues or causes you think are worthy of support (eg: universal health care?, gun control?, less gung-ho foreign policy?) or ones that were worthy of support in the past (eg: ending prohibition, ending isolationism, destroying fascism, Civil Rights, getting out of Vietnam, destroying Nixon, freedom of expression, feminism, sexual liberation).
                Come now my good fellow stretch your wings and fly!

                Regards lodestar
                Universal health care? There is ZERO reason for government to be the primary or only provider of health insurance or health care. In the US look at the botch FEMA has made of flood insurance. They are now the sole provider of that.
                Why not explain that wonder of socialized medicine in Britain, the NHS. It's the largest employer in Britain and 5th largest in the world, right behind McDonald's and Walmart both of whom are much more successful. Does Britain, with the economy of California really need a health service that bloated and inefficient to serve its population?
                That speaks volumes to the inefficiency of Progressive ideas on social services.

                Gun control? The Progressive ideal for gun control is confiscation. That doesn't work worth a $H!+ anywhere it's been tried.

                Feminism? What's so great about it today? Maybe it's the man bashing. Calling all heterosexual sex rape maybe?

                Progressives didn't get the US out of Vietnam, they got us into it to a large degree. They also got us into Kosovo because Progressive Europe couldn't take care of its puny neighbor on its own.
                Same goes with Libya. Militarily, today Europe has been emasculated. Europe is no longer a major military power and is in fact heavily dependent on the US for protection.

                Across the board Progressivism has been a fail and been a fail for more than a century. Heavy handed government simply doesn't work. On the other hand, Right wing Libertarianism doesn't work either. We need a government with a light touch that isn't vested in growth and bureaucracy like it is today.
                Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 12 Oct 15, 17:30.

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                • #23
                  I would say that both points of view have a grain of truth to them.

                  On one hand, anybody who has seen political cartoons from the 1800s (seriously, look at them) would not doubt that dirty personal politics is nothing new in the USA. And this had consequences-I'd go as far to say that the "consensus" of the mid 1900s is really the exception, not the rule, for a variety of reasons. As ugly as this current era is, it still isn't Civil War levels yet, with Senators being caned in the chamber.

                  However, there are two things somewhat unique to this current era:

                  1) The practical effect this has in policy. Nasty politics or flat-out corruption didn't prevent Congress from getting results in the past. The level of dysfunction in Congress has never been this high.

                  2) The level of polarization. Specifically, the lack of willingness to admit that the other side has a point whatsoever(and both sides are guilty of this), and the sheer lack of effort by many media sources to hide their own biases. Lot of factors behind this, but the rise of the 24/7 press is one of them: George Bush Senior in his A&M interview explained this better than I could. The mainstream media has less and less pull, and it is responding to this by becoming more and more like the "off the grid" sources that people are increasingly getting their information from.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Combat Engineer View Post
                    Toxic is the norm in US politics. Read up on what the "Founding Fathers" did to each other... nasty stuff. We get burst of civility occasionally, but nasty is the norm.
                    yeah, I seem to remember that a couple of guys named Hamilton and Burr didn't especially care for each other...

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