The inexorable pull of reality...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by blackfox, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #1
    From NYT:
    Yes, I realize I have may be overly opportunistic considering recent history and the fact that the GOP has further cemented it's position of power in Washington, but do any of these potential scandals have legs?

    I know that BushCo. is masterful at the art of spin, but at some point reality cannot be ignored, right?

    Weigh in all ye cynics and idealists alike...
     
  2. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #2
    I doubt it. Look at how Iran-Contra was handled. The GPO knows how to circle the wagons.
     
  3. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #3
    My opinion: In terms of the political repercussions, it's not a question of spin, it's a question of convincing the public that this is something that affects them. That is to say, if the Democrats want this scandal to "stick" and tarnish Bush's second term, they need to find a way to frame it (again, with the framing!) so that the average American cares. (Again, let me reiterate that I'm talking about the possible political implications for Bush & Co., not the legal implications).

    The article mentions some other notable scandals that (for better or worse) were easy for the public to wrap their heads around. Nixon hired some guys to break in to the DNC headquarters? Yes, robbers are bad, check. Clinton has being, um, "serviced" by an intern in the Oval Office? Yep, cheating on your wife with a girl half your age is bad, check.

    But consider some other Presidential scandals, like the Iran-Contra business. Do you really think the average American can explain to you what that was all about, and why it was bad? I think the same is true of the issues surrounding Halliburton. I'm not downplaying their significance; I'm just saying that people probably aren't going to connect with it all that easily.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    They can matter if they are investigated in a high-profile and public manner. In the case of Nixon, the details surrounding Watergate were highly complex, arcane even -- but the nation was held enthralled because the hearings were broadcasted live on TV every day for months on end. And ultimately Nixon was held to account. But today, lacking a special prosecutor law and with Congress entirely in the hands of the President's party, we can be sure that any effort to raise the stakes on these potential scandals will be effectively sandbagged.

    Somebody recently mentioned the Valerie Plame incident, a probable felony almost certainly committed by a senior official in the White House. This is a perfect example of a issue that could bring down a presidency in a place and time where the opposition has any access to power at all. Instead it will vanish under the waves of secrecy and shameless political expediency which is our government today. Just a few years ago, far more attention was given to "who killed Vince Foster," a work of pure political fiction, than anyone is paying to the Plame incident. So we don't have to cast our minds back very far to see how much has changed, and not for the better, in terms of presidential accountability.
     
  5. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #5
    I expected the responses so far, and I feel largely the same way.

    Still, I look at the Halliburton issue in particular and can't help but think that properly framed by the Democrats, the issue could have some traction with voters. With the recent Enron and WorldCom scandals, voter's patience is slim with corporate malfeasance. If it was brought up without explicit reference to Cheney and the Administration, it may garner public interest w/o being open to the dismissive charge of partisan attacks from the GOP.

    Once the ball is rolling, so will heads.
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #6
    The people deserve more than "politics"; they deserve the truth that they are supposed to serve.


    Sorry but it sounds like you are lowering yourself to the lowest common denominator. We as a people should be beyond that in "mass". Keep in mind the people were concerned about Iran-Contra, otherwise many of the hearings would never have seen the light of day. IMO, the GOP was able to spin it away from Reagan. IMO. Reagan was the "fool" to many other participants. Much like most since Nixon. Though IMO Clinton suffered much more than his deed with Monica. It was only because many of the other allegations were hard to prove, or unfounded. The GOP wanted to bring Clinton done at any cost. The DNC has not learned the lessons to do the same with GWB. Though history and God (since GWB is so into God, will).

    Today we watch as the "new" GWB is promising a better bipartisan engagement. Yet the "mice" (not the "rats") are leaving the ship. I think we are seeing a Soviet era "purge" (and I am old enough to remember that) of those that don't tote the "party" line. What is disappointing is that 1/2 the nation is forgetful of that. The other half because of GOP measures, are worried about "living up to the American Dream" of a home and car that is three to four times their income. While the companies that give those loans are protected by the GOP, who demand responsibility from the consumer. Should not businesses be responsible to themselves and shareholders not loaning money to those that pose a risk at going at the higher income potential? We are supposed to be a nation of the people, not the corporation.

    People should connect without the "spin" to Haliburton. For it is their tax dollars that pay for the GTWB "Pioneers". I live with some solace that I will not see history drag the mid '90's till at least 2012 through the mud. It is hard for those of us that see "history" as "now". And feel responsibility to provide a positive legacy for the future.
     
  7. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #7
    F*** framing! Voting is much more than a right, it is a privilege. And a privilege requires responsibility to know the issues. This may be '50's or 60's values; but that is how I was raised. And as the times have changes, so have I. How else could I support McCain over GWB? People need to start looking at their own opinions, verses what they see on TV.
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #8
    More of the reason that we need an Independent Counsel, to investigate any wrong doing within the Government. IMO, the GOp is afraid only becuase they know that GWB could be held for war crimes in a world court.
     
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #9
    TV has taken the place of individual opinion. It tells you both sides of every story and you pick one or the other, usually the opinion belonging to the guy who screamed louder.
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    Nobody in either party seemed to have much appetite for renewing the independent council law after the Ken Starr debacle. It was probably something which should have been mended, not ended -- but if there's one thing Republicans and Democrats can agree upon, it's that they prefer not to have their activities too closely scrutinized.
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #11
    Or IMO, just one side of the story, or in the least slanted towards one side or another. The case for war in Iraq is a case in point. Did we really "hear" about the lies?
     
  12. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #12
    And for that reason we need an Independent Council that might be able to operate outside of the "politics" of the the current Parties in control of the White House and Congress/Senate. Looking at the "sins" of Regan, GHWB, Clinton, and GWB; they should be held accountable for their actions before the people in the least (God will be the final judge).
     
  13. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #13
    I'm not arguing with anyone on that point; I was just stating the situation as I see it.

    The people were at least aware of it (if not concerned about it) because they saw the hearings on television every day. But I stand by my previous claim that the average American didn't really understand what was going on. I don't mean that you didn't know what was going on; I just mean that if you were to go pick five people off the street and ask them pointed questions about the various dealings involved in Iran-Contra, many couldn't have answered them (although there's a much better chance that they knew the name of that cute secretary of Ollie North's, and hey, do you think there was something going on between them?)

    And I don't think you can chalk it all up to "spin", although I'll concede that's a big part of it. But consider situations like the "Jaywalking" segment that Jay Leno does on the Tonight Show sometimes. If you haven't seen it, it basically involves his going out on the streets of Los Angeles (or wherever it is that the Tonight Show is filmed these days) and asking people basic current events questions (e.g. "Who is the Vice President?"). Now granted, the people who actually know the answers to these questions probably end up on the cutting room floor since they don't offer a lot of comic value. But realistically: how many people do you think could accurately answer a question like, "What is Halliburton accused of?" And if they can't answer the question, is that because of spin, or is because they just don't care?

    Do you believe that they will?
     
  14. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #14
    Now, you may be on to something here, if there's some way to link Halliburton (in peoples' minds) with the other companies you mentioned.

    I'm not recanting my previous position, by the way. ;) I guess maybe Martha Stewart is the most recent example of someone going down due to the (as you put it) "slim patience with corporate malfeasance". I think that a lot of people (perhaps subconsciously) linked Martha and her empire with other large corporations like Enron, and were thus glad to see her get what was coming to her -- but I'll bet you that the average Joe (or Jane) couldn't explain to you what she was actually convicted of. ;)
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #15
    IMO, people will only be concerned about the "issues" that concern them. The foremost, both real and imagined is "safety". To a agree 9-11 showed the nation what a "threat" could do to the nation. I know that I made decisions based on the first 30 to 60 days after the "attack". In my case they were done without the benefit of forward thinking. I might be better off if I had not acted on the "short-term". But the "short-term" is what most of us that are near or over 40 have. I'll admit that I thought we we were in Depression Era II.

    We as a people should hold accountable to any those that spend our tax dollars. Whether Haliburton miss spent money or not, we should be concerned. I am tiered of hearing from those that felt that tax dollars should or not have been spent here or there. it is only after they pushed the lever that they are concerned IMO.
     
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #16
    She seems to be benefitting from the mantra, that that "greed is good". Which seems to be the mantra of the GOP in general.
     
  17. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #17
    It would just be the work of the "liberal media."

    I think that some people have bought into the trickle down theory and are supporting this thuggery as they feel it will filter down to them at some point. So they really wouldn't care.

    For others it is a lack of attention concerning anything outside of their immediate wants or needs. And since scandals are going on all the time it is really nothing new.

    It would have to be an extraordinary scandal, but the number of people willing to turn their heads in partisan support lately is disturbing.
     

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