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Lieberman is on the way out, it seems.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, I don't think we've seen all Lamont has to offer. His competition was Lieberman, who supported the war to the very end, despite a drastic percent of Connecticut voters being in opposition, so they fought him on that angle. He embraced the administration as much as any Democrat could have, so they fought him on that. This wasn't so much a battle about Ned, but about Joe, and the piss-poor job he's been doing.

Lamont's got a lot more to him than simply being anti-war, however. He's got strong stances on equal opportunity/civil rights, not to mention being a teacher who feels strongly about education (both strong issues of mine).

What I find ironic is that, in the news today, there are alternating stories - TIME is saying the Republicans are relishing Lamont's victory as an opportunity to paint Dems as "isolationists" ... which in itself is funny, coming from the party of Mr. Bush... but CNN has a story talking about how the Lamont upset signals the shifting mood of the US voter.

Fucking media.

CNN wrote:
Most Americans believe the GOP-controlled Congress has been a failure and say they plan to vote for Democrats in November, according to a poll released Wednesday.

Fifty-three percent of registered voters polled by Opinion Research Corp. for CNN said they were supporting Democrats, while 40 percent said they were leaning Republican. The remaining 7 percent either planned to support another party or had no opinion.


TIME wrote:
From Washington State to Missouri to Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates found themselves on the defensive Wednesday as the Republican Party worked ferociously at every level to try to use the primary defeat of Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut to portray the opposition as the party of weakness and isolation on national security and liberal leanings on domestic policy. Doleful Democrats bemoaned the irony: At a time when Republicans should be back on their heels because of chaos abroad and President Bush's unpopularity, the Democrats' rejection of a sensible, moralistic centrist has handed the GOP a weapon that could have vast ramifications for both the midterm elections of '06 and the big dance of '08.

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Sojobo



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
Systemic ideal of representational legislation is that the legislators must ostensibly represent. By nature of the system, that's how they get and keep their seats.

The conclusion I draw from this (and if it seems unnatural to you, please tell me) is that the election of a Representative should be a simple matter of finding the guy most effective at polling his constituency and reporting his findings. Any personal political and ethical opinions should be completely irrelevant.

But... has that ever been the case? Doesn't the package deal you get from a candidate's platform pretty much declare that his politics are key to the election process? Does anyone run on a platform of "I'll do whatever you [the voters] tell me to do."?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't go the reductionist route and parse it to simple pollwhoring, however the very idea behind a representative democracy is that once the official in question no longer represents the will of the constituency, the constituency can find a new and more accurate representative for the next term.
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Sojobo



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yes, a reduction to specifically polling is pretty crude. I should leave it more vague, like "has more fingers (thumbs count!) on the pulse of her constituency.

But the point (really more of a question) remains the same. Is representation by reflecting mass public opinion better than representation by expert advocacy? Why?

Let's say Sam gets elected to some sort of office in Colorado. Do we want him making policy decisions based just on public opinion? or based on his well-informed personal opinion? I would certainly prefer the latter.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats an interesting line of thought but not terribly applicable to the current situation. Lets not forget Lieberman is riding this Iraq war thing all the way down.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sojobo wrote:
But the point (really more of a question) remains the same. Is representation by reflecting mass public opinion better than representation by expert advocacy? Why?

Something tells me that this isn't a question about Lieberman but representative democracy in general. After all, where is Lieberman's expertise?
Ideally the public would reflect the most accepted expert advocacy by pubic education and pedagogy as well as healthy doses of both skepticism and curiousity, i.e. we should be working on an informed public opinion if we want things to go well. However the basic idea is that people form the most basic authority upon which the elected government draws its power, and thus the state of the public's education and mindset is not the most critical issue when set against whether or not they actually have a majority opinion on an issue. As constructed in the US, in theory we should also have a system of checks and balances regarding the creation, interpretation, and execution of laws, as well as protection from tyranny of the majority in cases where the basic rights of the minority are in question. However I personally feel that we have a voting public that is largely undereducated in certain areas, and to compound the problem voter apathy is a continuing problem, which leads to the voters as often as not being the ones who care most passionately about the talking points brought up during campaigns.
My how I do ramble.
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Sojobo



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Something tells me that this isn't a question about Lieberman but representative democracy in general. After all, where is Lieberman's expertise?

It's certainly not about Lieberman's qualifications as a candidate, but it is connected to the reaction against Lieberman.

If the purpose of a representative is to act in accordance with public opinion, then Lieberman failed by supporting the war in Iraq, and deserves the scorn being heaped upon him. If representatives are intended to have a fair degree of autonomy, then he shouldn't, in Kilgore's words: "be faulted for doing what he thinks is the best thing for this country simply because he risked his job by doing so."

But you are correct that this is more about representative democracy in general, and I agree with you that education is probably the lion's share of the problem.

Even with a well-informed populace, though, there would still be a real gap between the understanding of most people and that of a man whose job it is to research and understand the nuances of complex issues and form policy.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Degrees of autonomy are that, degrees. It's a spectrum, I suppose, between the thoughtless job of simply mouthpiece for the majority and convictions-maverick, doin' what they think needs doin' regardless of what people think. Of course the latter leads to things like, you know, Bush, and the former leads to things like... actually I can't think of a particularly good example.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

what it comes down to, i think, is whether the representative can convince his electorate that his opinion is a valid one (in cases where he has a strong stance that is not that of his constituency). and more and more people are convinced that staying the course in iraq (and staying the course on a lot of the bush policies that lieberman has gone along with) is _not_ the best choice.

yes, a lot of people are ignorant (and that includes a lot of representatives). but there exists the possibility to educate them, or at least get them going in another direction. a representative has the power to do that - through speeches, mailings, etc.

lieberman differed from his constituency on some major issues, and he failed to convince them that his stance was correct. ergo, he is out.

and i hate to be in the 'my party above all' group, but with the way the republicans are running the country, unfortunately, the only way to succeed seems to be in getting democrats elected even over third parties. (and i have long held that we need stronger third parties to actually get some things accomplished around here).

so yeah - i rather hope people persuade lieberman to drop the pretence - since it seems unlikely that he will keep his seat. i really doubt that enough republicans will vote for him over the republican candidate to offset the democrats that have already chosen his opponent.
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timmccloud



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:35 am    Post subject: Re: lieberman more like LIEberman am i rite ... wait, .. Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
Ha ha, Lieberman is so totally going to Bull Moose the Democrats.

Way of the world. A two-way split will give the seat to the Republican contender, even with a safe margin of plurality.

It's because we don't use instant runoff voting, which is in and of itself because we're retarded.


Maybe not Sam, the GOP may still lose. Some interesting articles today from some relatively big news orginzations:

The washington post - Jury Out on Lieberman Effect

Tim Magazine - Why the GOP May Not Gain from Lieberman's Loss

There may be hope.

But I agree about the instant runoff voting. I lived in Australia, I've seen it work, it really makes sense. That's why it will never happen here...
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Marik



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:27 pm    Post subject: it will happen Reply with quote

I count on the Democrats to again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not entirely optimistic about the way the Dems seem to be running this campaign, and a little more solidarity wouldn't hurt them (or at least the appearance of solidarity - like using more effective framing. Why did they ever stop using "Republican culture of corruption"? It was great), but also remember that the Republican majority is a relatively recent phenomenon. They've got a chance.
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Drui



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Moore wrote:
Friends,

Let the resounding defeat of Senator Joe Lieberman send a cold shiver down the spine of every Democrat who supported the invasion of Iraq and who continues to support, in any way, this senseless, immoral, unwinnable war. Make no mistake about it: We, the majority of Americans, want this war ended -- and we will actively work to defeat each and every one of you who does not support an immediate end to this war.

Nearly every Democrat set to run for president in 2008 is responsible for this war. They voted for it or they supported it. That single, stupid decision has cost us 2,592 American lives and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Lieberman and Company made a colossal mistake -- and we are going to make sure they pay for that mistake. Payback time started last night.

I realize that there are those like Kerry and Edwards who have now changed their position and are strongly anti-war. Perhaps that switch will be enough for some to support them. For others, like me -- while I'm glad they've seen the light -- their massive error in judgment is, sadly, proof that they are not fit for the job. They sided with Bush, and for that, they may never enter the promised land.

To Hillary, our first best hope for a woman to become president, I cannot for the life of me figure out why you continue to support Bush and his war. I'm sure someone has advised you that a woman can't be elected unless she proves she can kick ass just as crazy as any man. I'm here to tell you that you will never make it through the Democratic primaries unless you start now by strongly opposing the war. It is your only hope. You and Joe have been Bush's biggest Democratic supporters of the war. Last night's voter revolt took place just a few miles from your home in Chappaqua. Did you hear the noise? Can you read the writing on the wall?

To every Democratic Senator and Congressman who continues to back Bush's War, allow me to inform you that your days in elective office are now numbered. Myself and tens of millions of citizens are going to work hard to actively remove you from any position of power.

If you don't believe us, give Joe a call.

Yours,
Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
www.michaelmoore.com

P.S. Republicans -- sorry to leave you out of this letter. It's just that our side has a little housecleaning to do. We'll take care of you this November.

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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I supposed to be all cooshy with Moore now?
And why should I support Hilary Clinton as a potential president?
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