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Does It Matter Who Wins In November?

Over at his own place, Dave Schuler seems to doubt that it really matters whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins on November 6th:

Regardless of who is elected the U. S. will continue to be interventionist in its foreign policy.

Regardless of who is elected the “Bush tax cuts” will be sustained. There may be some tweaking around the edges.

Regardless of who is elected healthcare costs will continue to rise and healthcare will comprise a larger share of federal spending.

Regardless of who is elected the detention center in Guantanamo will be maintained.

Regardless of who is elected the security apparatus put in place in the aftermath of the attacks in New York and Washington, DC in 2001 will only be expanded.

Regardless of who is elected the non-existent Social Security trust fund will be drawn down at an accelerating rate.

Regardless of who is elected large banks will continue to be subsidized. Small banks will continue to be absorbed by large banks.

Sadly, I think Dave is largely correct here. In fact, I’d add to his list the following:

  • Regardless of who is elected Congress will continue to engage in games and showmanship rather than addressing any of the nations problems
  • Regardless of who is elected the odds that we will ever reach a comprehensive deal addressing long term fiscal and entitlement issues is exceedingly low
  • Regardless of who is elected the powers that have been assumed by the Presidency since the September 11th attacks will continue to expand
  • Regardless of who is elected Presidents will continue to bypass Congress when making decisions to commit Americans troops abroad
  • Regardless of who is elected Congress will do nothing to reassert its Constitutional authority in areas of war-making and foreign affairs
  • Regardless of who is elected the nation will continue to be distracted by irrelevancies designed to increase the short-term political gain of one side or another

And that’s just what I can come up with off the top of my head.

Part of the reason for this is that, except at the margins, there really aren’t as many differences between the two parties as they like to pretend they are, especially once they actually get into power. They both exist for the purpose of expanding that power, which means distracting the public with irrelevant memes and partisan nonsense. Moreover, given the fact that we’re now in an era when outside groups have far more influence over legislators than the party they belong to, the ability of party leaders to restrain their fringe members is far less than it used to be. A prime example of that can be found in the manner in which the entire debt ceiling debacle played out last summer. It was fairly clear that John Boehner would have liked to agree to a deal at several points in the negotiations, but he was unable to do so because he couldn’t guarantee that his own caucus would support it. As a result, we have gridlock, economic nonsense, and a downgraded credit rating. Not to mention a “budget deal” that is little more than smoke and mirrors.

If Barack Obama wins the election, he’s most likely still going to have to deal with a Republican House, and possibly a Republican Senate. That means that the odds that he’d be able to force through an agenda of any kind in the early years of a Second Term. If Mitt Romney wins the election, he will at the very least have to deal with a Democratic minority in the Senate that will be no less willing to use the filibuster and cloture to stop legislation than their Republican counterparts have been. The logical thing to do, of course, would be to compromise, but compromise is now a dirty word in a Congress where partisan polarization is far worse than it has been in quite a long time. Even when it comes to Supreme Court appointments, we’re likely to get medicore milquetoast nominees because that’s all that’s going to be able to make it through the Senate.

On foreign policy, Mitt Romney is unlikely to be any different from Barack Obama on the details notwithstanding his rhetoric when it comes to nations like Israel, Iran, Russia, and China. Unfortunately that means we’d have a continuation of many of the same failed policies of the Bush years that Barack Obama himself has continued to implement. As Dave said, it really doesn’t matter who wins, we’re still going to engage in foolish interventionism around the world whether it’s in our interests or not.

The next seven months are going to be full of sturm and drung. Both sides are going to claim, as they always do, that this is the most important election in history and that the fate of the nation lies in the balance. The truth is far more, banal, though. Regardless of who wins, there’s very little that’s likely to change, and inertia is going to continue dragging us toward whatever faces a nation that fails to address the long term problems it clearly has.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Of course it matters, there are real consequences to any election, and this one seems to have more at stake than usual: primarily, whether or not we maintain the Medicare and Social Security programs as non-privatized.

    Then there is the usual under-appreciated consequence: appointments to the Supreme Court.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 3

  2. J-Dub says:

    Think I’ll head over to The Sturm and Drung for a pint of Guiness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  3. mattb says:

    There’s one big area where it probably will matter: Supreme Court Nominees. Chances are that Justice Ginsberg will step down or otherwise leave the court in the next four years. Likewise Scalia, Kennedy. and Breyer are only a few years younger than Ginsberg. There’s the possibility of a court shift regardless of whose the president if two Cons or two Lib judges step down.

    Additionally, I have a hard time believing certain social issues would have gone as far as they did if McCain had been elected. The most obvious one, outside of health care, is the repeal of DADT.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  4. DMan says:

    Every election some people tend to think they are clever declaring “it doesn’t matter who wins.” Just because you can list some things you believe won’t change regardless of who wins doesn’t mean the election doesn’t matter.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 1

  5. pylon says:

    The commenters are correct.

    It does matter. It matters for the ACA (whichever way SCOTUS goes).

    It matters for financial regulation.

    It matters for foreign policy (the one area where the president wields a lot of power).

    This post strikes me as being either a Romney supporter’s anticipation and rationalization of an Obama win (oh, well, it doesn’t matter anyway) or an attempt to convince people to support the policyless and pandering Romney because he won’t take us as far to the right as he’s been advertising in the nomination contest.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 1

  6. Rick Almeida says:

    Analysts who don’t understand the idea of effects at the margins aren’t worth reading.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    Of course it matters. This is the usual bs one sees if one side or the other decides the die is probably cast. Doug says it doesn’t matter who is elected president and then proceeds to list a series of issue where either presidential power has been enormously expanded or would be crucial in the process of resolving these issue in a particular way (although it may not be one that is to Doug’s liking). As it happens I do somewhat buy into the narrative that the next four years are going to be fairly important in shaping both the future direction of the country and for that matter the future of the Republican party (as Doug rather contrarily argues in another thread).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  8. JD says:

    As others have stated, who wins the election is crucial for one reason=appointments to the Supreme Court. For many of the other issues stated, yes, the two are closer than we would like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. anjin-san says:

    Does it matter? Well, the Clinton years were a pretty good time for America. Clinton is an extremely bright, to the point where he was able to think his way through highly complex problems – he is also vastly talented politician, he had the skills the office demands.

    Enter Bush 43. Not very bright, not very talented, and arguably a semi-figurehead for powerful men with their own agendas. Things started to go downhill fairly quickly, and eight years later the President left office with the country mired in a crisis of historic proportions.

    Nope, no reason to think it matters. I am sure there are many on the right that believe this and are prepared to argue that a Carter reelection would not have made a difference for our country.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  10. wr says:

    This is the same game the right played in 2000. Politics doesn’t matter, things really run on their own, so you might as well elect the likable guy you want to have a beer with instead of the well-meaning stiff. Because in terms of what they’ll do, they’re the same.

    Eight years later, our economy was on life support thanks to massive tax cuts for the rich and two wars fought — one for no reason at all — and not paid for, environmental and workplace regulations were being rolled back, a massive security state had been erected, banks had been allowed to loot and pillage wherever they wanted… Need I go on?

    The fact that the Dougs of the world are rolling out this nonsense so early just shows they realize what a loser of a candidate they have.

    Or maybe that’s too cynical. After all, Doug will never want an abortion. He doesn’t work in a dangerous industry. He’s undoubtedly got health insurance and gets paid enough to save for retirement. So to him, maybe nothing really will change. Would a Republican win seriously hurt the poor and middle class? Of course it would — but that ain’t Doug, so really it doesn’t matter.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 4

  11. gVOR08 says:

    This takes me back seven years. I was disappointed that W Bush won, but I didn’t think it would be a big deal. We survived Reagan. HW hadn’t been all that bad, although he really did have the worst economic numbers of any post WWII president. Up ’til then. I mentally made a list much like the above and said W won’t make any big changes, he’ll be just another do nothing, pro-business Republican. Not good, but not disastrous. Boy howdy was I wrong. Turned out the election of 2000 had big consequences.

    2008 also had big consequences. Hate to argue counterfactual history, but it’s hard to see how McCain would have been better on the economy than Obama. Remember his ‘suspend the campaign and return to Washington to deal with the crisis’ farce. The only way to argue McCain would have been better is that had McCain proposed stimulus the GOPs in congress might have gone along with it, in contrast to the knee jerk oposition to anything Obama proposed. Not a case I think any R wants to make. More likely we’d have gone down the ‘expansionary austerity’ path that’s not working so well for the Europeans.

    Sorry Doug, Mitt Romney would prove to be a champion of the 0.1% and no one else.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 2

  12. Hey Norm says:

    It does matter…because of the Supreme Court…if for no other reason.
    So yeah…even if everything on your list is correct…you are still wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  13. Rob in CT says:

    I basically thought this in 2000. Boy, was I wrong.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  14. Hoyticus says:

    Who is elected does matter. As they say the difference between bad and worse is more important than good and better. Overall, I believe that Obama has a better or at least a less ideological understanding of political economy both international and domestic. On foreign policy he’s still a liberal (I mean this in terms of IR theory) which irks me, however Romney is clearly a liberal as well, only his rhetoric implies a much more aggressive liberalism a la Bush the Younger. On civil liberties both are horrendous and will likely do nothing about the bloated security apparatus. Both are captured by plutocratic moneyed interests so that’s essentially a wash, but Romney’s background would imply he’s more receptive to lobbyists. The main issue is that Romney is an amorphous politician that simply says whatever audience he’s in front of wants to hear. Again, this isn’t just on Romney or Obama, the problem is that Americans generally seem uninterested in self government. I mean that Americans either don’t care or are disturbingly uninformed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  15. Let’s back up and remember that both parties are running the clock until after 2012, hoping for a better position in the game. They both want to govern from majorities. We’ve seen this before.

    GWB ran as a moderate, and a “compassionate conservative” in the general election. The dynamic that came out of his election, and the congressional shift, were far different than was advertised.

    This is the unknown factor with Mitt. Where the heck is he really coming from? Does he want to govern as real Mitt? Is that the same as Mass Mitt? Or will he bring in the same clods who took the GOP from fiscal responsibility to “deficits don’t matter,” and from isolationism to neocon nation building?

    IMO it is an unreasonable risk.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  16. (Actually there is evidence that the same clods are in the wings … we have new tax cuts to further expand the deficit, and we have saber rattling with Iran. Great, huh?)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. Ellen Martel says:

    Agree with what other people have said. I’d add that there are five Dems from conservative-ish states that are up in ’14 and would be looking for some bi-partisan cred going into their reelections. It’s easy to imagine a block of Hagan, Warner, Landrieu, Begich, and Pryor voting with a Rep senate on a water-downed version of the Rep agenda. Without a Dem president there as a fillibuster stop some pretty conservative stuff could get passed.

    With Romney as president Scalia and Kennedy both retire and are replaced with younger conservative justices and lock in a Rep dominated Supreme court for another generation. Ginsburg has had serious health problems. If she needs to be replaced you could get a 6-3 conservative court for a generation that could roll-back the social safety net, expand corporate power, and solidify the security state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  18. PJ says:

    The commenters call it. It clearly doesn’t matter.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Doug’s skeleton in the closet revealed – he was a speechwriter for Nader 2000!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. anjin-san says:

    @ Doug

    Elections don’t matter. You support no one. Both sides do it.

    Why do you write about politics?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  21. Gustopher says:

    I mean this in the best of all possible ways, but goodness gracious that was a stupid post.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  22. Hey Norm says:

    @ Ellen Martel…
    And overturn Roe v. Wade…the foremost goal of today’s conservative movement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  23. Nightrider says:

    It isn’t just the Supreme Court; other federal judges matter too. And agencies make real-world differences. Will we have a DOE pushing for greater energy efficiency, or not? A Dept of Interior and EPA protecting the environment, or not?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. Scott F. says:

    @Hoyticus:

    Both are captured by plutocratic moneyed interests so that’s essentially a wash, but Romney’s background would imply he’s more receptive to lobbyists.

    So true. And this isn’t just true for Obama and Romney, but the parties they represent.

    That said, there is a significant difference between feeble resistance and willing compliance. There’s no good reason to make it easier for the plutocrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  25. grumpy realist says:

    Doug, you’re not female. Get a clue, please.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  26. Hey Norm says:

    Gustopher at 11:30am wins.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. Moosebreath says:

    Fun game — can anyone play?

    Regardless of who is elected, the social safety net will be gutted to make room for more tax cuts for the 1% — no not really.

    Regardless of who is elected, access to abortion and contraceptive services will be curtailed for those unable to pay to go long distances to areas where it is safe and legal — no not really.

    Regardless of who is elected, Wall Street will be encouraged to take risks where the profits are kept by them but the losses are spread among all of society — no not really.

    Just because the issues which matter to a Randian utopian like Doug are not at stake, that doesn’t mean nothing’s at stake.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  28. george says:

    It matters less than who wins the Superbowl, but more than who wins the World Series … like those, its about the team you identify with winning and little else – except more people are interested in the Superbowl than in politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  29. David M says:

    It matters for the Supreme Court and foreign policy as a president can have a pretty big impact in those areas. I’d also be concerned with how much more damage the GOP could do, with majorities in both house and the presidency.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Does it Matter Who Wins in November?

    I actually lost IQ points reading that headline.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  31. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug, I’ve got to give you credit for appealing to the 50% of Americans who do not bother to vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  32. Joseph Mucia says:

    I think we should look at this from an historical perspective. Are you asserting that who won past presidential elections did not matter or that this particular election won’t matter when compared to previous ones?

    I’m all about analyzing and understanding that organizations and institutions are bigger than the individuals in them and can have an agency independent of their constituent parts, but it seems to me it matters a lot to your argument and how people will respond to it if you elucidate whether this is a new phenomenon or an historical one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  33. @wr:

    For the billionth time, Mitt Romney is not my candidate and I will not be voting for him. Get that through your head, ok?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  34. MBunge says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Get that through your head, ok?”

    Doug, do you think everybody else is stupid or does it ever occur to you that the way you write about Romney and this race may not reflect your avowed indifference/opposition to his candidacy?

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  35. LaurenceB says:

    I voted Libertarian in 2000 because I thought Bush and Gore were pretty much the same. And I lived in Florida. Fool me once… I won’t get fooled again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  36. anjin-san says:

    Doug, do you think everybody else is stupid

    Sometimes it seems that way. A lot of bright people feel that way when they are young, most, but not all grow out of it at some point in their 20s. Of course the same is true of a libertarian world view.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  37. David M says:

    @LaurenceB: That’s pretty valid whether you would have voted for Bush or Gore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  38. G.A. says:

    lol, yup, I still hate giving a bunch of libs a bunch of thumb ups!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  39. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Your lips say no, but your eyes say yes, yes, yes!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  40. Drew says:

    Prf atylor was saying something the other day about how the comments section was helpful…….?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  41. Tlaloc says:

    Part of the reason for this is that, except at the margins, there really aren’t as many differences between the two parties as they like to pretend they are, especially once they actually get into power.

    Yep. We have two parties with a dime’s bit of difference and a great ability to magnify those differences into blood feuds. What we don’t have are any real options. America is effectively a single party plutocracy and has been for all of my lifetime at least.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  42. Tlaloc says:

    It does matter. It matters for the ACA (whichever way SCOTUS goes).

    The democrat enacted republican health plan is your evidence that it matters whether we elect republicans or democrats?

    Seriously?

    It matters for financial regulation.

    No it doesn’t, neither party is going to do anything to actually fix the mess of our financial markets. You’d know that if you’d payed attention the last 6 years. If the wall street and housing market melt downs aren’t enough to motivate real reform (and they weren’t, apparently) nothing will.

    It matters for foreign policy (the one area where the president wields a lot of power).

    Yes, exactly! Bush wanted a surge and then a long slow draw down from Iraq but we elected the dems so we got…a surge followed by a long slow draw down in Iraq. Feel free to name all the things President McCain would have done differently than Obama. It won;t take long.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  43. An Interested Party says:

    It seems like the people who believe in the theory that it doesn’t matter who wins in November are those who will never get the president that they would like…Doug will never see any Libertarian or even any libertarian-leaning candidate win the White House nor will Tlaloc ever see a truly liberal progressive win the presidency…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. Scott O. says:

    If Mitt Romney wins the election, he will at the very least have to deal with a Democratic minority in the Senate that will be no less willing to use the filibuster and cloture to stop legislation than their Republican counterparts have been.

    I’m not so sure about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  45. Tillman says:

    If Barack Obama wins the election, he’s most likely still going to have to deal with a Republican House

    The certainty here is disturbing.

    The Republicans won the House in 2010 riding on both a Tea Party wave and a predictably-depressed turnout for midterm elections, and their presence in Congress has been both obstructive and polarizing towards achieving national solutions for national problems. You think the Republicans are really going to keep the House?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. Tillman says:

    When I say “certainty,” it’s less what you’ve specifically written and more that everyone seems to be writing it without taking those caveats in mind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. Hey Norm says:

    The worlds most important corporate financier made a funny!!!
    So impressive…a regular rennaisance man/woman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. anjin-san says:

    I actually lost IQ points reading that headline.

    Very good.

    When you are setting up tee balls for Tsar, it is time to take a good look in the mirror…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  49. Clarence says:

    Wow, most of these comments are serious on the stupid.

    1. Many argue the SCOTUS matters. However, there’s a good chance that, as the post states, no one of any real ideological extremism, either left or right, will be able to pass through congress. On top of that, Justices rarely decide important Constitutional cases. More to the point, the current court is divided into two partisan blocs that “legislate from the bench” for the left or the right depending on which way the fifth Justice goes. None of these goofs is really about reigning in government power (except maybe Clarence Thomas) so no matter which “side” wins the government gets more power to do this or that with very rare exceptions.

    2. As has been pointed out, foreign policy will almost certainly be nearly exactly the same no matter who wins. The Neo-cons have been in control of America’s foreign policy since arguably at least the second Clinton administration. Though the purported reasons for intervention have changed, the policy is still interventionism on a massive scale.

    3. It’s quite obvious that many of the goofs here don’t care about things such the total destruction of habeas corpus by the NDAA, but it’s a “big deal” that some poor woman somewhere can’t get a government freebie for an abortion. This takes the “personal is political” and “voter self interest” to such ridiculous extremes that I have a hard time taking such people seriously. Oh, the Lilly Ledbetter Act!
    Since this kind of political pandering will make little to no difference in most people’s lives, I hearby award such goofs a Silver Star sticker to proudly display on their refrigerators.

    4. The US currently faces a crisis of confidence in its currency that seems only to get worse and worse as the deficit continues to expand. Whether “modern monetary policy” or “austerity” is the way to go, we will never know because there is absolutely no political will to deal with the debt crises. Even the banks, who in our crony capitalist system have been bailed out to the tune of trillions, don’t really want to risk having their political servants deal with THAT. So, at some point, there will be a crisis.

    5. The person arguing regulation will be significantly better under Democrats than Republicans is a total shill. Just look at WHO is in Obama’s treasury department as an example. We will get no significant regulation of the financiers in this country so long as they own both the political parties.

    6. Health care. Since the current “mandate” is a joke (and sets a very bad Constitutional precedent that will be easily abused in the future anyway, though no one HERE, I’m sure gives two craps about the Constitution) full of nothing but give aways to the private insurance industry and isn’t tied in any way, shape, or form to a “single payer” system or a “public option” or even expanding medicare, look for the real crisis -which is cost that destroys access to private plans and the fact we tie so much of the healthcare to employment – to only get worse and worse.

    The main point is that the two parties have a few social issues on which they differ (and even that is not absolute), but they differ hardly at all on big structural issues of how the country is governed or taxed. Sadly, they DO differ on what rights they want to take away from us, but not in what rights they want to grant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  50. An Interested Party says:

    I see another person who will never get his preferred ideologue as president has joined us…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  51. Eric Florack says:

    Not when Romney is the candidate it doesn’t.
    AS I’ve said for the last year.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  52. An Interested Party says:

    And another…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. Doug, I generally find myself nodding my head at what you write, but I don’t think you made your case here

    http://www.samefacts.com/2012/04/barack-obama/the-presidential-election-matters-a-lot/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  54. Joe R. says:

    @al-Ameda:

    and this one seems to have more at stake than usual: primarily, whether or not we maintain the Medicare and Social Security programs as non-privatized.

    Surely you can’t believe this. Bush talked about it and was quickly whipped into submission by public opinion. Romney hasn’t even mentioned it, and if he does, the same will happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  55. Joe R. says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I basically thought this in 2000. Boy, was I wrong.

    What would have been different? The Iraq War, that every Democrat but Feingold voted for? The tax cuts that have since been extended by Obama? Medicare Part D? Guantanamo (still open)? Medical marijuana arrests (still happening)?

    I know it’s impossible to stare into the crystal ball and see the alternate universe, but I it will take an argument I haven’t seen yet to convince me that President Gore’s term in office would have been significantly different.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  56. Joe R. says:

    @Hoyticus:

    but Romney’s background would imply he’s more receptive to lobbyists.

    Please explain in a way that means other than “more receptive to lobbyists that I disagree with.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Barry says:

    @DMan: It is a staggerly stupid article by Doug, isn’t it?

    Doug, do you remember how we were told that Bush was a ‘CEO President’, who’d have ‘Wise Men’ to guide him? (like Dick Cheney and Colin Powell?)

    Doug, do you really think that a GOP Congress would block anything right-wing or that the elites want?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  58. Buckeye says:

    @Moosebreath:

    I want to play too:

    No matter who wins, the public will be distracted by social issues that the politicians and their owners don’t give a rat’s ass about (such as abortion, LGBT, civil rights, birth control…) and they will continue to follow the same exact economic agenda such as:

    Continuing free trade agreements that only favor the rich
    Continue lowering taxes for the rich and creating new and better loopholes to abuse.
    Continue to manipulate the inflation indexes to make it look like inflation is stable while it continues to disproportionately hit the poorest Americans
    Continue to reduce access to adaquate, affordable health care for the average citizen
    Continue to increase local regressive taxes and fees on the average citizen

    And while we worry about Romney’s Mormon agenda and whether Obama is a secret muslim, either one will continue to :
    Pass laws that allow the government to spy on US citizens without warrants
    Submit to body cavity searches for aledged minor infractions of the law.
    Kill American citizens without trial or even a grand jury indictment
    Deny Habeus Corpus (and therefore all civil rights) to anyone accused of being a terrorist whatever that word means.
    Allow police to get away with near lethal violence on our children for excercising what used to be considered an unalienable right to assemble.
    Allow banks to steal billions of dollars out of our pensions that we worked hard for our whole lives while imprisoning poor citizens for possessing a weed.

    And while we speculate about whether Obama lied about his birth certificate or whether Mitt cheated on his taxes, both men will stay silent about :

    the lies that sent us to war and got thousands of poor and middle class young men and women killed.
    The lies told daily on supposedly serious news channels (and not just Fox)
    The fact that it is perfectly legal for government officials to lie to citizens but it is a felony offense to lie to a federal offical.
    It is acceptable to commit federal crimes and atrocities but it is a jailable offense to blow the whistle on those that do.

    Yes there is a difference in who we elect. We get to choose who is going to bend us over and stick it up our rears. Wow, what a priviledge.

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  59. Paul says:

    What would matter is that if Obama loses because progressives, liberals and Democrats sit this election out, it would be a wake-up call to the Democratic party to nominate a candidate that keeps his or her word and represents Democartic progressive values. Obama is none of the above and should be shown to the exit.

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  60. Barry says:

    @anjin-san: “Why do you write about politics? ”

    It’s standard Villager propaganda, to make a bad candidate look less bad.

    Remember 2000? Lots of assurances about how it wouldn’t make a difference, that Bush would be surrounded by ‘wise men’, etc.

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  61. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Doug, then why did you write such a bone-headed post?

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  62. Barry says:

    Doug: “If Mitt Romney wins the election, he will at the very least have to deal with a Democratic minority in the Senate that will be no less willing to use the filibuster and cloture to stop legislation than their Republican counterparts have been.”

    Look at the Bush II administration and tell me that. Fillibusters grew like mushrooms starting 2006, and are currently at levels never before seen.

    This is a matter of simple fact. At this point, Doug, it’s not a matter of analysis but of you ignoring what’s actually happening.

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  63. Barry says:

    @Paul: Otherwise known at the ‘Nader 2000′ strategy.

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  64. Sam Penrose says:

    Fascinating. Not a single mention of “climate change” or global warming” on this page. Guess it must be a hoax, because if it weren’t a hoax there is no way it wouldn’t be worth mentioning.

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  65. Joy Woodcock says:

    When Doug Mataconis stated this fact : “and inertia is going to continue dragging us toward whatever faces a nation that fails to address the long term problems it clearly has.” Every bell rang out and light bulb lit. That he had spoken the truth, with it’s inevitable consequences if not heeded.

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