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the problem of sorting politicians by the issues should be easier

Politics has never been my thing. I know how I stand on the various issues, but I just don’t care enough to go searching through the huge number of potential candidates to find the one who most closely represents my views; I certainly don’t care enough to volunteer my time on behalf of any one of them. Instead, I generally take my guidance from trusted friends who do care enough, and who I know have politics close to my own.

Right now their zeitgeist is leaning towards Obama as a presidential candidate of choice. Unless something changes dramatically, he is probably who I will end up voting for. Is he ideal? No. Is he better than Bush? Infinitely.

I don’t know how the rest of you choose the candidates you support. I know that some people really do care enough to do all the research, but I suspect that the majority choose their candidates the same way that I do. That’s good enough for me; I just ask one thing of you: find someone you support, by whatever method, and vote for them. I hate the thought that the people I support lose out because of apathy on the part of apathy among my peers.

Incidentally, so far as I can tell, most people are acting like Bush is a lame duck already. Wouldn’t it be better to remove him from office now and end the annoyance? I suspect that our government doesn’t allow votes of no confidence; though I would gladly vote against Bush, I seem to recall some sort of civics lesson indicating that those votes are only ever held Somewhere Else. It’s too bad. I suspect that impeachment is the only way to get rid of him, and impeachment requires High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Unfortunately for America, incompetence, no matter how massive, is not a high crime.

Then again, there is always room for precedent. Do you suppose that it might be possible to hold some sort of referendum against Bush anyway? Or is this just my latent political enthusiasm overwhelming my common sense?

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Comment by anonymous
2007-01-18 07:07:58

Well, the legal definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is somewhat vague. One district judge was impeached for “chronic intoxication”.

This article goes into more depth about the legality of impeaching Bush on these grounds, and also points out we’d have to impeach Cheney too if we wanted anything to change. But hey, president Pelosi wouldn’t be so bad!

- Explodicle

Comment by coriolinus
2007-01-18 07:46:19

I like the article’s point that a fixed-term presidency is really not what we want. I think a better system might work as follows:

The president and vice-president are elected on a single ticket.
The president and vice president may remain in office a maximum of eight years, after which time they may no longer hold any federal position.
Elections for the president and vice-president are held no later than four years after the previous election.
At any time, a supermajority of Congress can schedule a presidential election between one and six months in the future.

This way, we don’t need to change the rules for impeachment–it can remain a penalty for criminal behavior. At the same time, we don’t have to stay stuck with a government that the whole world hates–we can just schedule the next Presidential election early, which will replace not just the President but the Vice and the entire Cabinet.

Of course, these reforms will happen about the same time we get rid of the Electoral College…

Comment by silversliver
2007-01-18 10:52:36

I like this idea. I can think of a few states unlikely to go for such an amendment, but I know a lot of people who would support it.

I try to do the research on candidates, but I tend to rely on friends who are even more inovolved and atuned tan I am to know who’s in the field. At least two PA primary candidates for Senate were pimarily going on word-of-mouth for publicity, and since I don’t go to the local party meetings I had to hear from a friend who does. National elections are a lot easier to research in many ways.

My ideal Democratic ticket right now would be Edwards & Obama (no particular preference for which is Pres/VP). I think they’d make a great team. I’d love to see Obma/Kucinich, but I know that wouldn’t fly with middle America. ;)

Comment by jjlc
2007-01-18 11:32:12

But middle America will be okay with someone who thinks abortion is okay so long as any part of the baby is still in his or her mother?

Comment by silversliver
2007-01-18 11:50:26

That I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure a ticket with Kucinch on it is very likely to be rejected out of hand because he’s a pretty radically leftist, even for most Democrats.

I think that Edwards and Obama might be able to bring people together in a way that they might prioritize fixing other things about the country (Iraq, poverty, immigration, repairing our relationships with allies, etc.) over banning late-term abortion. I think they might also be able to relate more accurately the traumatic and medically necessary intervention it usually is instead of holding up the minute number of women who have truly elective late-term abortions. Especially since I’ve been hearing of cases where doctors have been reluctant to remove dead fetuses and closing their practices for fear of reprisal.

Comment by coriolinus
2007-01-18 12:38:02

It’s hard for me to get excited about abortion right now. There’s a war being horribly mismanaged. The nation is running a huge deficit. Our global reputation may be the worst it’s been since the nation was created. I see more and more people prioritizing religion over reason. It just feels like the current abortion law is good enough for the moment; while it could use some tweaking, it’s just not a high enough priority. Does Middle America feel the same way I do? Only the pollsters know for sure.

I hope that Joe Public prioritizes the issues the way I do–I honestly think the other issues I listed here are all more important than abortion right now. If it turns out that abortion is a hot button issue still? That’s democracy; there’s not much I can do about it from this soap box.

Comment by coriolinus
2007-01-18 12:40:24

What would you think of a Obama/Clark ticket?

Comment by silversliver
2007-01-18 12:53:30

That would be pretty cool too. Having a veteran commander leading the war effort/withdrawl would be very good from many angles, and his other politics are pleasantly moderate from what I remember.

Comment by jjlc
2007-01-19 07:01:02

I understand that not everyone feels that way, but for me, people killing my children is always going to be the most important issue.


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