Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Election 08 Debate: Realistic Changes, possible or not?

On Wednesday, I posted my first question to the debaters/advocates:

What would your candidate or party of choice be able to realistically change once in office.

Dennis Kucinich campaign volunteers Annie Jacobs and her dog Annie, left, and Mary Lee Gorman picket outside NBC studios in Burbank, Calif., protesting NBC-Universal's plan to exclude Kucinich from debates taking place on MSNBC in Las Vegas Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. A lower court order that Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich be included in a MSNBC candidate debate Tuesday was tossed out a few hours before the debate by the Nevada Supreme Court.(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Betmo (Dem)
considering that we only can go up from here- any of the democratic contenders would be a significant change from the status quo. My thought is- the democratic president could immediately reinstate the constitution that they will have sworn to uphold (although kucinich is the only one who clearly states that he will). They could immediately close- not just guantanamo but- all of the secret prisons america is paying for around the world. The three front runners contend that they will begin to withdraw the troops from iraq within their first year- and they would have voter support from that- but perhaps not corporate support. Ideally, they would just declare 'mission accomplished' and start the transports a rollin'. Realistically, they could start pulling out small percentages of the troops by year's end. Diplomacy and working to repair the damage done by the neo cons- the democratic president will have olive branches thrown at them. Domestically, good grief what a mess! I have no idea what they could do with the mess we are in because corporate america and lobbying is still such a big player. The president has to work with congress- who actually passes the budgets and makes the laws- and well, even with a democratic congress- there will still be obstructionists from both sides in there.

Robbie (Indep)

As an Independent, this is a hypothetical question. As of today, the best candidate to bring change to America hasn't declared his candidacy. He is standing on the sidelines and putting out feelers whether or not he can win the election. He's worried he's too short to be President of the United States, and if he were elected, he would be the first president in modern history to take the oath without a First Lady at his side. Regardless of these perceived shortcomings, Michael Bloomberg offers the best chance to bring change to this country. He appeals to both parties because he's a social liberal but has the financial sense to keep things in balance. He's also pro-business, but he's in favor of helping businesses as long as they do things for the common good, something that has been sorely lacking in America for the past seven years. With Bloomberg in charge, I expect buzzwords like "compromise" and "accountability" to be in vogue in Washington. He has a track record of working with Republicans and Democrats to get things done, and since he took office six years ago he proved he's a better mayor than his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. I expect him to have the same success if he's elected president. What I really like about Bloomberg is that, unlike politicians in both major parties, he's not afraid to put his reputation on the line and take risks. For example, one of his campaign pledges when he was re-elected as mayor was to reduce poverty in New York City. He's abandoning the method that's been used for over forty years to measure who is poor in favor of a modern approach that takes into account several more factors. He also took an unpopular stance with gun owners and spearheaded the fight against illegal guns. These risky moves made Bloomberg unpopular with certain single-issue constituents, but you can't deny the fact he's changed New York City for the better. During his time in office, Bloomberg took a $3 billion deficit and turned it into a $6 billion surplus. He also earned an award for the nation's most improved urban school district, and a lot of his success is due to his business acumen. In a political world where Republicans and Democrats prefer name calling ("tax and spend" and "tax cuts for the rich") to results, Bloomberg managed to improve the quality of life through smart budgeting. Yes, he spent more money than any mayor in the past thirty years but he spent it wisely on things that would help everybody. With the improvements in public schools, the park system, and lower crime rates, can anyone say New York was better off before he became mayor? We need to convince Mayor Bloomberg to throw his hat in the ring and run for president. Forget historic firsts. Bloomberg is the politician America needs to clean the mess the Bush administration will leave behind when their Reign of Error ends next January. He can improve our quality of life, balance the budget, and restore diplomatic relations with those we have alienated. Working Americans, especially those who exercise their right to vote, deserve a real opportunity for change. Of all the candidates in both parties who peddle "change" as this week's buzzword, Michael Bloomberg is the only one who has produced measured results.

Rogel (Libert)

Ingrid decided to “cut to the chase” and start this debate with a simple concrete question - in practical terms what would your candidate is going to actually do when, or if, elected. This is a worthwhile challenge - to start the discussion not from the big ideas and the vision but from the last and the most crucial step - what are the next president is actually going to do. What are the most important things, the essence of his, or her, carrier that after all the compromises and defeats are those that make the hardship of political carrier worthy for these candidates. For Ron Paul supporter this is an easy task, since Ron Paul is very clear about his agenda, goals and practice. And unlike all other candidates he is very consistent, and doesn’t modify his ideology based on focus groups and survey.

Ron Paul promise to do much less, and the sooner the better. In a world where every candidate explains how He, or She, will do more for us. In a society that increase its dependency on the government for every decision, including covering our mouth when we are sneezing, Ron Paul is the only candidate who is offering a different approach. An approach that suggest that the strength of our society is based on our individual freedom, not on central planning, and that our self interest is best served when not coerced by the government. Ron Paul, in his somewhat peculiar way, is the only one reminding us that freedom, which all praise and some are busy spreading around the world, is freedom from government - any government.

Without, I assume, any doubt Ron Paul is unique in his resistance to the War in Iraq. Unlike the other candidates President Paul will end the American military presence in Iraq. He will not reduce the forces, nor will he keep military advisers - He will simply bring them home. It is important to make this distinction, because it is much larger and much more comprehensive than the war in Iraq alone. President Paul will bring American troops back home not only from Iraq but also from Korea, Japan, Europe and many other locations around the world. It is because one of the cornerstones of his agenda is that being empire, or superpower, is not in our best interests. We can develop this practicality and philosophical and historical base of Ron Paul’s non-interventionism but the bottom line is clear - the US will seize from being and imperial empire. In addition it is also important to note what President Paul will not do - He will not attack Iran, nor any other country that doesn’t attack the US.

The war in Iraq is not the only war that President Paul is going to end. Another war that we are fighting for decades is going to end - with our civil liberties as a casualty and our jails full, not proportionally with poor and African-Americans. A war we should have never declared will be finally ended - the war on drugs. Together with ending the war on drugs Paul administration will repeal other laws that harmed our civil liberties such as the Patriot Act and The Military Commission Act, that suspended the Habeas Corpus.

The budget freed by ending our imperial aspirations, and from ending wars such the war on drugs will than be used to ease phasing out the social entitlement such as the bankrupting social security. We can, and probably will, debate about the harm of government wealth distribution and the evil of the welfare state. This is going to be an important debate. However it is important to understand that Ron Paul plan is to phase these programs over long period of time. It is unfair to eliminate Social Security for those who paid for decades and have no other options now - and therefore they should not be effected by a decision to hand pension and retirement decision back to the individuals. Therefore the money that used to fund wars will be used to support social security for the transition period.

Try to envision a government that doesn’t try to run the world, nor doesn’t it trying to run the economy and above all doesn’t trying to run your life.Liberty and Freedom were the American promise, it is time we start fulfill it.



Blogger James said...

I haven't found my candidate because there does not seem to be anyone with the courage to do what is required to change the course of this country. I would say that Michael Bloomberg [see Robbie’s post] may be the closest, because he is the most independent. i.e. wealthy.

What can my candidate realistically change? Number one is to use the most underused tool of the Bush administration, veto. My candidate would veto every bill presented with fiscal earmarks. He would announce this up front and clearly. Since Congress refuses to accept any restraint on spending, and instead allocates amount far in excess of what even the bloated federal bureaucrats request, the President must take action.

This one action would throw all of Washington into a fit. Congress would likely not be able to override such a veto, as they would not want to have to justify all of the special interests they have to bribe to get reelected.

The question was, “What would your candidate or party of choice be able to realistically change once in office?” Getting rid of legislative earmarks using presidential veto is concrete and would change the culture of Washington dramatically. I can see some needed items being delayed, including funds for the military and social programs. Better that than allowing the funding process to run rampant and waste taxpayer money.

While not the question asked, I also think President Bush should be more aggressive in supporting and defending the Constitution [see Betmo’s post]. The majority party is currently running very short, some measured in seconds, congressional sessions to prevent Bush from using recess appointments to fill key administrative positions. This action (by Democrats) is probably unconstitutional. Bush should make recess appointments regardless. This would likely result in a Supreme Court ruling. Involving the Third Branch is preferable to the present situation where Bush is just letting it happen. Bush’s actions are not “supporting and defending,” they are abdicating.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

ps..that is 'James' as in, my husband James who finally got to comment like he wanted to several days ago!!
ps Robbie, apparently, Bloomberg was in Austin today (did not know that until the 10pm news) and checking with a third party/independent ballot expert here in TX. If he were to try to run in TX, he'd have from March 12th till early May to get some 74,000 or more signatures (don't remember the exact number)to get on the ballot here. TX is pretty bad about this and this rule is of course totally undermining anyone else from joining.. ok, the libertarians seem to always manage but I think they just want to run to show that they are using their 'right to run', as opposed to having a clear, and smart political strategy. If libertarians AND independents were to work together, they could upset the status quo of the two party system..
but..that's my opinion..
wish I could work on a campaign, I'd work for Bloomberg in a heart beat!

10:17 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

the problem with the third branch- especially the supremes- they seem to be lock step with the current administration and the right- who hijacked the republican party. they have proven time and again in various rulings over the last 7 years- that they are quite content to let bushco have their way. i doubt you could count on them to make a decision in favor of the american people- indeed, our entire government has failed us badly.

10:31 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

ingrid- 74,108 if he is running as an independent :)

10:33 PM  
Blogger Zee said...

I took a deep breath - long article for my attention span Ingrid, but I made it.
Bloomberg is the kind of guy I would vote for as well. I live 3 hours from "his" city and have some sense what was going on there the last few years - so far so good.
As for the other contenders ... I would probably trust a McCaine more than a Hillary or a Obama - if he just wouldn't be on the edge of being senile.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:57 AM  
Blogger scott said...

obama was one of the leaders of the million man march with farrakhan and al sharpton.

free burma and tibet.

9:13 PM  

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