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Jethro Tull -- "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me"

Welcome to the weekly open thread for policy discussions by DK Elections regulars. While the main Daily Kos Elections blog, an official subsite of Daily Kos, is strictly a policy free zone for discussions of politics and elections only, it can sometimes be hard not to bring up policy issues when talking about particular candidates or topics. In addition, some of us might like to have a thoughtful discussion with other regular commenters at DKE on issues of policy when most of what we usually talk about pertains to elections. Thus, this open thread and the group blog Daily Kos Elections: Policy will provide a forum to talk about issues without derailing DKE Live Digests for those who just want election coverage and debate. Feel free to follow this group and if you would like to publish a diary to the group blog page, just PM me about becoming a contributor.

So what issues are you interested in talking about?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm a voice in the wilderness... (0+ / 0-)

    ...allowing internet poker.

    You could solve the impulsive problems by requiring a 30 day waiting period between financial deposit and play.

    And yes I know there are a thousand issue much more important.

     

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:20:06 AM PDT

  •  2 simple issues. (0+ / 0-)

    1) regaining a House majority.
    2) Maintaining a majority in the Senate.

    Without 1 and 2, we're going nowhere.

    That means fighting Republicans and beating them.

    Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:29:56 AM PDT

  •  After seeing the diversity of opinions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jncca, James Allen

    in previous policy threads, I was interested in seeing what political labels you all apply to yourselves, beyond just "Democrat".

    For instance, do you identify as progressive, liberal, leftist, socialist, moderate, centrist, populist, or any other common general labels?

    You can also describe yourself by your Political Compass scores, which adds an additional socially authoritarian/libertarian axis to the traditional economically left/right scale.  Most people in America seem to fall in one of two corners, that of authoritarian/right and libertarian/left, but there are many exceptions.  Personally I think there should be one additional axis as well, that of foreign policy dove/hawk.  That would better describe a unique politician like Joe Lieberman, who was socially libertarian, economically moderate, but extremely hawkish on foreign policy.

    There are other things one can consider...which typical Dem goals are paramount to you, and which ones make you shrug?  Which policies that have reached Dem consensus do you actively disagree with?  Which Senator/Representative is most like you in political positions?

    •  I consider myself a liberal but not a progressive. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, James Allen, Gygaxian, KyleinWA, Mark27

      That is because I consider economic issues far far more important than anything else.  Even social issues such as abortion and gay rights I view mostly in terms of economic.  I'm pro-choice because forcing pregnant teens (usually from poorer backgrounds) to give birth limits their economic mobility, and the gay rights issues I care about the most are civil unions and anti-discrimination legislation because they relate to economic opportunity.

      I do make an exception for the environment, an issue I care about quite a bit as well.  

      On three axes (as you describe, and as I like to describe them as well), I am liberal economically, libertarian socially, and centrist on foreign policy, supporting intervention in humanitarian situations but not invasions of other countries that haven't attacked us nor regime change just because we ideologically dislike the leader of another country.

      One Democratic goal I don't really care about are gun control.  I think the best form of gun control is investing in our inner city communities to reduce crime and advance opportunity.

      A couple areas where I tend to disagree with Democrats but not fully agree with Republicans either are education, immigration, and crime, where I'd say I hold rather idiosyncratic views on all three issues.

      I'm also rather protectionist, which even many liberal Democrats are not.  

      There is no senator or representative who perfectly espouses my positions, but Sherrod Brown is a liberal with a strong focus on economic issues rather than things like abortion, amnesty, or gun control.  I'm probably more passionate about the environment than him but otherwise I'd guess we agree on most things.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:00:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's suprising to me how much I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

        despite the fact that I emphatically call myself "progressive" and not "liberal". Your stuff about gun control, foreign policy, and liking Sherrod Brown the most could have been ripped from my mouth, and I'd consider myself relatively economically protectionist as well (someone who's written REALLY good stuff on that is Ha-Joon Chang, especially his book Bad Samaritans).

        "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

        by gabjoh on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 02:17:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, different people often use different (0+ / 0-)

          terms for the same thing.  I consider liberals those focused most on reducing economic inequality, while progressives get distracted by things ranging from guns to abortion to affirmative action to immigration.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:09:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Progressive" means different things (0+ / 0-)

            in different places, too. Especially in the Bay Area.

            24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

            by kurykh on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 11:50:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The reason I don't call myself a "liberal" (0+ / 0-)

            is because to me it implies a trust in government that I do not have (although the reason I support most things considered in the "mainstream" as government programs is because of my much greater distrust of private corporations). And with the exception of guns, I don't consider any of the other things you mentioned to be distractions so much as supporting characters in the cast of issues, so to speak.

            "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

            by gabjoh on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:14:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  On the state or local level (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KyleinWA, sacman701

      I am more conservative.  Jerry Brown is almost exactly the same as me ideologically (except on high-speed rail), and I very much admire him.  I consider myself liberal in my presidential/congresional votes, center-left in my statewide votes, and centrist in my local votes.  I would definitely consider voting Republican for governor in California, although not against Jerry, and I will support a moderate Republican over a liberal Democrat in mayoral races (such as the recent San Diego election), although I prefer a moderate Democrat like San Jose's Chuck Reed to either.

      21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      politicohen.com
      Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

      by jncca on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 12:02:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll go first (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Gygaxian

      In one word, I describe myself as a liberal.  In a short phrase, I'd describe myself as very liberal, near socialist, but extremely libertarian in social matters, and a strong non-interventionist in foreign policy.

      On political compass I get around -9.5 on both scales.

      Typical Dem goals that are very important to me: actively shrinking income inequality, promoting equality for women, minorities, and LGBT people, expanding access to healthcare, making voting easier, giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, and generally helping those who have less power in this country.

      Dem goals that make me shrug: gun control.  I just don't think gun control laws do much to make people safer, but I don't buy the NRA spin about less laws making people safer either.  Ultimately I think the gun problems in this country go beyond what most of the proposed laws can address.

      Dem policies I disagree with: for this category, I don't disagree so much as simply go a lot farther than the Dem party does.  For instance, I think all drugs should be legalized, with the dangerous ones (coke, meth, heroin) only available in small doses from government buildings.  More generally, I disagree with laws that seek to correct behaviors deemed immoral or unhealthy...I don't think that should be the business of the government.  I'm also a lot further into foreign non-interventionism than the Democratic Party.  I think one of the best things America can do is to stop meddling in the rest of the world and just let other countries sort themselves out without America immediately wanting to influence outcomes and insert itself into civil wars.  Also, I'm a strong opponent of the surveillance state and think the Democratic Party has erred in continuing these Bush era policies.

      Senators/Representatives whose policies I identify with: Brian Schatz, Barbara Lee, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Alan Grayson (minus his controversies), Keith Ellison, Steve Cohen, Tammy Baldwin, Al Franken, Jared Polis, Kristen Gillibrand.

      •  Not a whole lot of politicians I identify with (0+ / 0-)

        Obama and Hillary Clinton are two of them.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:43:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My Top Political Priority Will Always Be...... (0+ / 0-)

        ......issues related to class and income inequality, which I noticed was the first thing on your list of "Dem goals important to you".  The most important thing the Dems are doing right now, in my opinion, is putting the heat on the chronically offending low-wage employers who are not only hurting the recovery by paying wages so low commensurate to their profits, but are forcing taxpayers to foot a de facto subsidy of public assistance to their undercompensated employees.  It would be nice if an even finer point was made on this issue as many in the public don't get the breadth of this dichotomy when conservatives propagandize about "makers vs. takers", but the issue is nonetheless getting more ink than it has in memory, and is being backed up policy-wise with a push for a substantial minimum wage increase.

      •  I think I've said this before, (0+ / 0-)

        but I would much rather America continue meddling in the world.

    •  Authoritarian socialist (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      This is where I am on the political compass.  About as far left as it gets on economic issues.  Fairly authoritarian as well.  The phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" is a fairly accurate description of my views.

      Economic Left/Right: -9.88
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 1.62

    •  left-wing conservative Democrat. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, Gygaxian, KyleinWA, jncca

      I tend to be around the mainstream of Dems in how that turns out, but like you and jncca I don't care much about guns. On the environment I thought I was an environmentalist where I grew up, in a conservative rural area, but compared to people I've experienced since then in Eugene and Portland, I guess I'm much more moderate. I think I tend to be for slow progress, which can manifest itself in ways like how, while I've never been against gay marriage, I just didn't think it should be a priority until the last few years because it wasn't popular enough until a critical mass of millenials joined the voting population. Ultimately in cultural issues I believe in preserving traditional culture and society, but I think that self-determination for individuals is a more compelling interest.

      I've moderated a lot in recent years generally, but I am still very communitarian in economics. I'd really hesitate to call myself a socialist since I think my views are more classically conservative in inspiration. That's why I have the weird label I give myself. I believe in a strong, though not unnecessarily large, state. I believe in mutual obligation. I believe humans are irrational. I don't believe that there is a particular direction to history. I don't really like Locke, or Rawls, or Marx, and only some limited parts of J.S. Mill.

      "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

      by James Allen on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:06:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reminds me of Gore Vidal (0+ / 0-)

        He described himself as one of the only true American conservatives.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:24:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I generally identify myself, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      as my Twitter profile shows, as a pragmatic, partisan, progressive Democrat. I also sometimes think of myself as a "big-government liberal".

      My political compass scores are in my signature, but I don't think that the quiz accurately portrays my beliefs. Since I'm not very religious, it seems to think that I'm substantially more libertarian than I am (and, as you know, I'm not libertarian at all). The quiz puts me in the lower-left quadrant, but I should probably be in the upper-left.

      My foreign policy beliefs don't correspond neatly to either Democratic or Republican orthodoxy. On foreign policy, I'm neither a liberal nor a conservative, neither a hawk nor a dove. I don't have one overarching doctrine, instead I generally look at situations on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action.

      For me, the most important issues are the environment, spending/taxes, health care, and immigration, in that order. The main issues that I don't really care about are capital punishment and most urban-related issues. As for Dem-consensus issues that I disagree with, well, I think you all know that.

      I have not yet found a politician whose political positions are all exactly in line with mine. I'm sure there are a few out there, but none that I know of.

      (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

      by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:15:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I feel like an easy way to describe you is a (0+ / 0-)

        liberal Bloomberg, but that just shows how there isn't anyone who actually is identical to you.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:38:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do occasionally think of myself (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gabjoh

          as like Bloomberg on almost everything except economic beliefs, where I'm much closer to, say, Bernie Sanders.

          (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

          by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:12:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Inconsistency (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, Gygaxian, gabjoh

      My personal philosophy is a mish-mash. I'd describe my economic views as social democratic (specifically cooperative socialist, worker control of means without state control).
      My social views are conservative/libertarian (i.e. the imposition of my moral views is a terrible basis for public policy but I fundamentally don't care and I think we're wasting a huge amount of white working class support by focussing on it).
      On international issues, I'm internationalist and I waver between pacifism and interventionalism (think Canadian Forces).

      social democrat (with a small d) the point of politics is policy not power

      by octaviuz on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:20:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My political views have transformed (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, Gygaxian, James Allen, jncca

      radically over time. I was a partisan nine year old Democrat and vocal critic of Bush of during Middle School, to the point where some of my teachers used to ribe me about it (this was back when I lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas). Leading up to 2006, I was really obsessed with contesting the south and with populist economic views, even though I considered myself pro-life, pro-civil unions and relentless pro-gun and moderate on the environment; it was an ideology tailored to how I thought Democrats could still compete in the South.

      By 2008 I had become staunchly pro-choice, having had to deal with the bizarre and illogical arguments of the pro-life movement, and, from my involvement, seen how rife with misogyny and double-standards it was. Simiarly I became more supportive of civil unions, but was hesitant to push for it more fully given public support at the time and my feelings that civil unions were a less controversial way to assign most of the same rights. I was more a standard progressive on economic issues by then, not protectionist by any means, but a strong supporter of less neo-liberal, Fair Trade agreements, and had become a burgeoning environmentalist. I was extremely civil libertarian, and anti-military interaction.

      But now, I'm at a third and much more comfortable and mature stage of my beliefs. The defining aspect of my belief system now is pragmatism, not leftism, though I take a very leftist oriented perspective to any issue I deal with. I'm a relatively pro-union, pro-capitalism, Keynesian, who is open to a lot of pro business policies (like a hiring tax cut for corporations). I'm a supporter of state security and believe the public is getting fed a steady stream of sensationalized mush that's out of context and often tailored by the radical libertarian movement, a stream which the government can't really counter too convincingly without revealing too much sensitive information. I'm a big time interventionist, and I've made some really harsh personal attacks on those like my German friend who even attack the wildly successful intervention in Bosnia. I'm still environmentalist, but I find the environmentalist movement ridiculous and often short-sighted, particularly in their over-the-top vocal opposition to Obama's sensible "all options on the table" policy to controlling immediate energy costs and energy supplies while giving alternative energy industries more time to come to maturity.

      So I like to consider myself a pragmatic leftist, as a term, and hold many views well to the right of the increasingly radical, reflexively leftist ideology on Dkos (which is more and more frustrating, because it seems like the site is filling up with leftist versions of Tea Partiers and of libertarians, when it used to mostly just be mainstream Democrats and liberals, and I think this is yet another part of the tea party's marring of all American politics; radicalizing the mainstream of Democratic grassroots politics).

      "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

      by ArkDem14 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 01:41:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So Where Did You Spend More Growing Up? (0+ / 0-)

        Arkansas or Louisiana?

        •  South Louisiana is my childhood home (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mark27

          Northwest Arkansas was where I spent my early teen years. And North Louisiana was where I spent my high school years.

          "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

          by ArkDem14 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 05:06:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I generally indentify as a progressive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      Since I tend to hold social and economically progressive views.

      I've been questioning that identification recently though, as I have a odd collection of views.

      My most important goals are universal healthcare, clean energy (but not the environment), minimum wage, LGBT rights, civil liberties (including ending the war on drugs and combating crap like FISA), and criminal justice reform. I also am intellectually interested on ethnic issues.

      I don't care all that much about gun control (and hold the same views as jncca on it), I'm meh on immigration (though I absolutely support the DREAM Act and some reform), and I can't be bothered to care about... the issues I can't remember.

      I am pro-choice, but owing to my religious views, I'm intensely uncomfortable with abortion, though I understand the necessity of Roe v Wade. I'm profoundly pro-LBGT and support marriage equality.

      I guess I see myself as a pragmatic progressive populist. I am concerned with economic views as well, but I find it a bit harder to express myself on that. You could consider me a Mormon Bernie Sanders or Sherrod Brown, though with a great concern for civil liberties.

      Also, I think we should break our alliances with Saudi Arabia right now and encourage Iran to reform and eventually become our ally. I see Saudi Arabia and their support of extremists to be a terrible threat to the Middle East.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:55:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What about your religious views (0+ / 0-)

        makes you uncomfortable with abortion?

        I'm honestly curious. I've never felt that abortion is related to religion.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:18:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I'm a Mormon (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          And I find the idea of abortion for any other reason besides rape, incest, nonviable fetus/mothers life in danger to be slightly repulsive, based on my understanding of life and my religious beliefs. I understand why a teenage mother who had consenting sex would want an abortion, and I'm okay with that, but I'm uncomfortable with the idea of getting rid of a fetus for "any reason", as some pro-choice people want. I get that people usually don't want to get rid of a fetus, and usually have to, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.

          However, I'm completely okay with birth control pills, condoms, etc. Put that on every street corner, make adoption far easier, make companies offer paid maternity leave, etc. I also think that the war on drugs is what leads to a lot of abortions, as those who are in prison for drug offenses can't take care of their potential kids. If we stop the drug war and release non-violent drug felons, it'll at least make it easier for families to take care of potential kids.

          And I try not to judge anyone who has an abortion; I don't want to be like the anti-woman "pro-life" types. I'm just personally uncomfortable with the idea of abortion for non-life saving situations. It probably makes me a hypocrite, but oh well.

          I hope this rambling made sense.

          Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

          by Gygaxian on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:50:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not trying to criticize or judge you (0+ / 0-)

            but could you elaborate on this part:

            my understanding of life and my religious beliefs.
            This is the part that I'm most interested in. After all, I'm taking a class on Mormons right now, and I'd certainly like to know more about Mormon beliefs.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:10:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, Mormons believe life begins at conception (0+ / 0-)

              And the LDS Church itself only allows for exceptions within the circumstances I mentioned before. Some right-wing Mormons are more extreme than the church leadership (a Mormon state representative from Utah once tried to criminal miscarriages in order to ensure abortions didn't happen).

              Overall though, Mormons tend to have a generic "religious right" view on abortion; not overly extreme and not especially moderate. The LDS doctrine that states that children/infants under eight years of age automatically go to heaven (I don't know why specifically eight years old beyond the phrase "age of accountability) doesn't seem to play a role in this shared religious right view at all.

              Personally, I'm a bit more moderate, because I understand that some circumstances can mean that you may need to abort to ensure you have enough money to put food on the table (though I still prefer adoption), and the idea of going back to the bad old days of back-alley abortions disgusts me. I'm still queasy about any non-life threatening abortion, but I've made my peace with it.

              Oh, and go ahead and PM if you want to ask any further questions about Mormons.

              Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

              by Gygaxian on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:54:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  its easy to be queasy about it (0+ / 0-)

            I read the case on partial-birth abortion last week and Kennedy graphically describes the procedures.

            "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

            by James Allen on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:25:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, if the fetus can survive outside the womb (0+ / 0-)

              I'm pretty much against abortion in that case except if it's threatening the life of the mother or in the case of rape and incest (though again, I want to empower adoption in that case).

              But I'm surprised no one asked me to clarify my other views.

              Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

              by Gygaxian on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 12:57:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  There's a huge amount of overlap (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          James Allen

          between religious views and opposition to abortion in this country.  Pretty much every major Christian denomination is strongly opposed to abortion and that message gets filtered out through the churches and pastors.  As for why they are specifically opposed to abortion, I'm sure they have their reasons, even if they are as flimsy as their reasons for opposing homosexuality.  But that's just what it is.  Religious belief is a huge driver of the pro-life movement.

    •  Aw, the political compass test (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, Audrid

      Thanks for the link. Haven't taken it since I was 18 or 19. I scored Economic Right 4.75, Social Authoritarian 1.69, a shift of at least a full point to the economic right and two points to the social libertarian.

      Mind if I play as a Republican? I consider myself an all around conservative (social, economic, foreign policy). I also would consider myself leaning towards the tea party label, but while I support their goals I think they make a lot of stupid political moves that ends up hurting them and conservatives all around.

      Republican goals that are more paramount to me are (not in order) healthcare reform, budget deficits, the pro-life movement, anti-drug, social security reform, and the growing use by the population for welfare programs.  

      Republican issues that I am not really into is tax reform (sure I would like lower taxes, but not until the budget is taken care of and social security has been fixed so it won't be ending before my generation can even have access to it). I disagree with most Republicans on gay issues and free trade.

      I would say a Senator and Representative most like me are Tom Coburn and Jaime Herrera Buetler.

      Age 26, conservative Republican, Washington State's Third District.

      by KyleinWA on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 03:50:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'll bite (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Skaje, Audrid

      I identify as an Eisenhower Dem. In the 50s or 60s I probably would have been an Eisenhower Republican. I used to identify as an indie until the national GOP went completely off the rails. My compass score is in my sig line. On foreign policy, moderate. I was initially on the fence about the Iraq war but would have opposed it if I had known how bogus the WMD allegations were. I don't object to drone strikes per se, and I mostly support free trade.

      As for Dem goals, reforming health care to control costs and increase access and reforming an unenforceable immigration policy are important. I strongly support the ACA, except for the employer mandate which I would repeal. Trying to increase unionization makes me shrug.

      A Dem policy I disagree with: I would raise the minimum wage to $8 or $8.50 and index it for inflation. I think jumping to $10.10 may be disruptive, but we'll see.

      Not sure about specific issue positions, but my basic worldview is probably similar to Mark Warner's.

      SSP poster. 44, CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

      by sacman701 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 04:18:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why would you do away with the employer mandate? (0+ / 0-)

        Also, it seems to me like indexing the minimum wage to inflation would be a far more effective reform than increasing it time to time. Also, it'll probably be less controversial because its costs to businesses only become significant in the long run.

      •  I'm along the same lines (0+ / 0-)

        I certainly classify myself more liberal than progressive but my opinions in general are quite diverse. I guess that stems from having a view on each issue independently rather than having an umbrella ideology that means I must believe something.

        For instance, I'm sensitive to conservative arguments on guns and abortion. I support collective bargaining rights but have concerns that unions are too quick to strike. Economically I believe throwing money at a problem can be counterproductive but at the end of the day we are all in it together and must act accordingly.

        Since I work in health and social care I believe I have a good perspective that enables me to see a place for both the public and private sector in administration. Insurance is right for some people and not for others.

        On foreign policy I'm anti-dumb wars rather than anti-war per se. For example, I supported the Gulf War and Afghanistan, oppossed the Bush invasion of Iraq, agreed with Clinton on the Balkans and with Obama on Syria but not Libya. I think he is handling Ukraine about as well as he can.

        I also identify most with the likes of Warner and Bill Nelson in general but not always. I believe the Democratic Party is one of if not the greatest political institutions in the world because it is inclusive and tolerant of a wide variety of views.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:55:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Always Considered Myself a Left Libertarian..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, gabjoh

      The only actual politician I know who embraced such a label is former Minnesota legislator Tom Rukavina.  Even outside of the lawmaker realm, we're probably not a large demographic, but I still suspect we're underrepresented on a ratio of left libertarian voters versus left libertarian lawmakers.  It's beginning to pose a larger and larger challenge to somebody like myself as modern liberalism is making a hard pivot towards busybody paternalism that I can't abide.

    •  Broader Profile..... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      I cut my last one short since I was following that special election debacle.  Looks I should have forgot about that mess and finished my initial thought on here....

      I already said I identify myself as left libertarian....left on economic matters and libertarian on personal freedoms and social issues.  Despite embracing the "libertarian" tag to an extent, the movement tends to be most strongly defined by law of the jungle economics, which I soundly reject.  With private sector compensation plunging to historic depths, the "every man for himself" premise of Randian libertarianism is a particularly delusional fit for the times.  In political debates, this contrast often puts me on the same side of one issue with someone who I will fiercely oppose on the next issue.  I wish there was more of this dynamic in our political discourse.

      Democratic goals most important to me......income inequality, strengthening labor unions, civil rights, gay rights, health care, institutionalized respect for people of all backgrounds and beliefs, and religious liberty.

      Democratic goals that make me shrug....gun control (I'd like to see some of the measures enacted into a law but it's a case-closed loser on the political battleground, now more than ever)....emissions reductions (it's a worthy goal but not if it requires unilateral disarmament that deindustrializes America and simply moves a higher concentration of polluting industries to unregulated nations).

      Democratic goals that I disagree with....immigration...I am nuanced on this issue and agree with the publicly debated bullet points of immigration reform such as a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, but am much more wary and uncertain about the legal immigrant quotas being raised to a level (36 million over 20 years....effectively the population of Canada) that I don't know if the economy can absorb without enlarging the domestic and foreign-born underclass and undercutting wages......and of course everybody knows my position on sin taxes and other personal freedom issues which the Dems are driving me legitimately nuts over.

    •  Honestly, I don't really know. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      Maybe you all can help me figure it out. :)

    •  My economic views actually aren't very American (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen, Skaje

      I tend to favor the German social capitalist model, which is based off of ordoliberal principles. There should be sufficient state intervention to foster fair competition and to harness the full benefits of market forces. Business and labor are collaborative through work councils rather than confrontational in the Anglo-American model. There is a robust safety net, but not to the extent of the Nordic model. Universal healthcare in some sustainable form is a must.

      Of course, since this isn't getting implemented in the United States anytime soon, I see Keynesianism as a tolerable but subpar substitute.

      A bit tangentially, I view the market and market forces as a means to prosperity rather than an end. Markets are not free-standing structures and ideologies, but are embedded in society. The "free market" is inherently amoral; its externalities can run counter to human survival, morals, and values.

      If you could indulge in some rambling, I don't understand this aversion to state intervention in the economy. How else did the Asian economies take off and transform the world's poorest countries to developed nation status in a single generation? These countries couldn't pull themselves up by the bootstraps; those bootstraps were gnawed to string during wartime famines.

      On social issues I'm kind of libertarian, though my personal conduct can be quite conservative. Same-sex marriage, pot legalization, sexual conduct, your usual run-of-the-mill issues, I take the liberal side. I do favor banning hard drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine, due to both their harm and the costs to the safety net that I favored above.

      On abortion, I think it should be legal at all times, but I also agree with Hillary Clinton's call that abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare." Then again, as a man, I feel it is inappropriate to decide what women should do or not do with their bodies, which was why I took great offense at the DKE poster who advocated "strongly encouraging" pregnant teens to get abortions.

      To be honest, I don't know what to think about capital punishment. Right now, I oppose it in the United States, because there is simply no way to implement it fairly and judiciously here. However, in more homogenous countries with capital punishment such as Japan and Taiwan, I'm more ambivalent.

      I view the Second Amendment as permitting handguns but also permitting regulation. Just as the First Amendment doesn't allow people to shout fire in the crowded theater, the Second Amendment does not give carte blanche to guns. Regulations should enforce gun responsibility, and guns unnecessary for self-defense or hunting (semi-automatics, for example) should be banned. If God forbid tyranny does strike, your gun will not defend you against martial law anyway.

      Given the above, I would call myself a progressive, when the rubber hits the political road my policy preferences peg me as a pragmatic progressive.

      24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

      by kurykh on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 10:55:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  State intervention in the economy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen

        may be more effective in developing countries than developed countries.

        The steps which governments can take to strengthen the economy of developing countries are proven to work. However, it's difficult for governments in developed countries to pick the winners and losers, in terms of the sectors of the economy. All the "easy-hanging fruit" have been picked during development.

        Case in point: the industrial policy of the East Asian Tigers is way less successful now than it was ~30 years ago.

        Also, I don't view Keynesianism as an alternative to the social capitalist model, it can be part of the social capitalist model which guides the state's actions during economic slowdowns.

        On your point about conservative personal conduct vs. libertarian social ideology, I had a discussion about this recently. I said I'm a libertarian on social issues, but later mentioned that I can't abide watching South Park because of the crude humour. My interlocutor asked if there's a contradiction there, to which I replied essentially what you said.

    •  One goal I strongly advocate for, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      but isn't really in mainstream political discourse, is for the right of people to commit suicide.

    •  Here's "In which I disqualify myself for office" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      I usually score in the mid to upper 9s on both metrics on the political compass score which would place me as very, very left-wing, but there are a few areas where I'm not libertarian at all and in general I don't know if I'd describe myself as such. I don't know if I've ever posted it on this site or anywhere since no one ever asked me, but my ideology is democratic socialism and I'd probably make Bernie Sanders look like a moderate with the bills I'd introduce in congress, but like him I believe in pragmatism over the purity troll crap I always encounter by the rabble who call themselves socialists and advocate for 3rd parties.

      In short I want the Star Trek version of society. Capitalism does not exist, economic activity is undertaken for the benefit of not only the self, but society as well and the two are not mutually exclusive. In doing so I love a lot of the policies in effect in Scandinavia, but one where I'm admittedly on the very far left is this:

      When it comes to children and their being raised and educated I ascribe to Marx's "control of the means of production." I'd like to see an end to the family entirely and the divisions it causes with children being completely raised by the state with many adults being employed full time as professional parent-educators or what have you. Doing so would eliminate class inheritance, would eliminate favoring certain individuals (family, co-ethnics) at the expense of society at large, and would encourage the socialization of children so that they value community and the state as well as themselves. It would also make preventing child abuse much easier as all parenting would be reviewed by the state and thus the public. It would also solve the demographic crisis in countries like Japan and Europe whereby most couples only have one child (and those countries don't want immigrants)

      Basically my ideal world and the policies I'd support because they are politically acceptable are in different worlds, which is why I'd be the most left-wing member of congress if elected but would have a voting record similar to Barbara Lee, who votes for all the major Dem priorities over Republicans. I can't stress enough how I despise Naderism and purity trolls.

      •  These are some really interesting views (0+ / 0-)

        I agree that there are problems with how children are raised, but I don't think that the solution to those problems is to get rid of the family. Essentially, I think that your preferred outcome (children who are not indoctrinated by their parents and who value community) would be amazing, however, personally, I value my family a lot and I would never want to get rid of it.

        Also, as a huge fan of Star Trek, I would love to see that society actually happen. Who knows, maybe in 2061 we'll make contact with some extraterrestrial species. According to Star Trek canon, that first contact is one of the major events that causes humans to come together and wipe out poverty, injustice, and selfishness.

        Star Trek is truly extremely progressive.

        (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

        by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 03:47:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do have to say (0+ / 0-)

          the economics of star trek/the Federation are not entirely clear. "economic activity is undertaken for the benefit of not only the self, but society as well" doesn't seem very much in line with Scotty buying a boat in movie 4, Tom Paris needing someone to pay off his bar tab in Caretaker, or how officers on Deep Space Nine can get hold of rare latinum to pay for things outside of Federation control. I think while there is discussion about money not being used, there has to be some form of compensation given for people to use as a form of currency. Probably a way for the Federation to feel good about itself by casting off the "evils" of the past by saying they don't use money anymore, but also still needing some form of incentive to have a productive society.

          Age 26, conservative Republican, beautiful WA Third district, WA LD-19

          by KyleinWA on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 04:17:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well the Ferengi use latinum, (0+ / 0-)

            and so Federation officers have to use it when dealing with the Ferengi, but it seems that human society on Earth during the Star Trek time doesn't have any kind of money. Certainly Starfleet officers and engineers don't seem to be paid.

            (-8.38, -4.72), CT-02 (home), ME-01 (college) "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." -Spock

            by ProudNewEnglander on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:08:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I was thinking in the broadest sense (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not a trekie by any means, but I do like the movies with Jean Luc Picard, aka Patrick Stewart, particularly Fist Contact. Those are the ones where they seem to clearly describe a post-capitalist (rather than Marxist or whatever) form of economic system.

          •  The existence of money (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stephen Wolf, KyleinWA

            in the Star Trek universe is pretty inconsistent.

            Also, with replicators how can there be any meaningful scarcity of any good that can be replicated?

          •  With resources no longer being scarce (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SaoMagnifico

            One would presume that scarcity would surface not in terms of inputs, but rather in terms of time, namely the time one has access to a replicator, and the opportunity cost from what else that replicator could have been used for. We know from Deep Space Nine that large-scale industrial replicators are valuable and hard to reproduce, as the Federation is providing them to Cardassia after the Klingon invasion, so presumably access must be rationed. And at the point at which it is rationed, some form of prices is probably the most efficient system for allocating replicator access, even in a universal welfare state where those prices are just used for book-keeping purposes.

            What does seem plausible to me is that replicators have transformed the economy to such a degree that prices and money are largely irrelevant for everyday consumer goods, so the average individual on Earth who simply wants food(replicated), housing(can be mass replicated), and entertainment/media(easily shared digitally) never has to come into contact or use money. But if one wishes to access things that are limited such as interstellar transport, housing on a colony world where replicators are scarce, or something that requires a larger replicator than would fit in a home(ie. a boat) then one gets in line. This would explain why the "no money" rule seems to vanish the further one gets from Earth and the more esoteric the item involved.

            At the same time, it would make sense that the Federation Government, which still has to deal with scarcity(should it build one Galaxy Class Starship or five Defiant-Class vessels) would probably have a system of measuring costs, such as "Federation Credits" if only to be able to produce a budget that could actually be examined and commented on.

            •  Well-reasoned explanation... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BenjaminDisraeli

              And one that makes sense, inasmuch as the granular details of a science-fiction universe as loosely written as Star Trek can make sense.

              I would also submit that perhaps the individual proclivities of Federation member species and Federation-aligned worlds may factor into things. It's made explicitly clear that Earth abolished money years ago; it is probably safe to assume that Earth and its innermost or oldest colonies (Luna, Mars, Alpha Centauri, Terra Nova, probably Venus, etc.) don't use money, at least at the micro level, but probably Federation worlds close to the Ferengi Alliance regularly use currency for trade and commerce with the neighboring power.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:51:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  How do you feel about the Israeli kibbutz model? (0+ / 0-)

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:11:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I identify as a pragmatic progressive... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Audrid, Skaje

      In my signature, and I think that holds.

      My political ideology can be summarized as this: I believe in an accountable and reasonably transparent state that provides for its people, safeguards their right to be free, and respects their opinions on all matters otherwise.

      In terms of more specific ideological stances, I'm socially libertarian and strongly motivated by a belief in fundamental human equality of opportunity, and economically liberal and in favor of a strong safety net (for what I see as similar reasons: people should have the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own merits).

      On foreign policy, I'm a liberal interventionist for humanitarian reasons. Isolationism holds little appeal for me -- and while I do believe American military power was thrown around far too readily during the Cold War and the decade and a half that followed, it's hard to see apathy toward a crisis like Syria as anything other than a reactive aversion to the excesses of the Bush administration. I think military action outside developed or semi-developed countries is generally ill-advised, as misadventures in Somalia, Vietnam, and more recently Afghanistan have shown us, but I think it's abhorrent to stand by in a crisis situation where we are capable of committing military force at little risk to American service personnel and with minimal risk of collateral damage in a way that could actually make a positive difference (I mention this because while the idea of airstrikes against guerrillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or horsemen in Darfur is borderline ludicrous, American aviators have been busting tanks, artillery, and airfields since World War I).

      I believe in the NATO principle that an attack on one is an attack on all, and would extend that to our allies in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, and the Philippines as well. I favor closer ties with Latin America, even if that means rapprochement with less-than-savory governments in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and eating a few slices of humble pie over our bygone hegemony in the Americas. I also believe we should continue to deepen our special relationships with Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand -- and Ireland, too, if Dublin is interested -- as well as with English-speaking countries in the Caribbean.

      I generally favor free trade with countries that conform to liberal standards on treatment of labor, and while I'm broadly supportive of the idea of a Trans-Pacific Partnership, I am leery of the idea of closer trade ties with countries that rely on sweatshop labor. On a related note, I think the abuse of workers in the Northern Mariana Islands is one of the most appalling institutions in the modern-day United States, and it's shameful how frequently it is overlooked as a human rights violation in our own country.

      In terms of domestic wedge issues, there are a couple I've really gone back and forth on. When I was younger and still under the influence of the Catholic Church, I was against abortion, but I consider myself ardently pro-choice these days. Gun control is a stickier wicket; I used to broadly oppose it, and after Tucson, I began gravitating more toward the belief that it is necessary. But nowadays, I can't help but see it as a political loser -- and especially considering how limited an effect "viable" gun control proposals would have on the scourge of gun violence in this country, I don't really think it's worth pursuing in most cases. On marijuana, I am decidedly in favor of full legalization and regulation as a substance little different from alcohol and tobacco (although, as I've mentioned before, in an ideal world I would like to see high-caffeine consumables regulated in a similar way). On gay rights, I strongly support full marriage rights and oppose efforts to legalize discrimination against gay individuals and couples. On immigration, I favor a path to citizenship for longtime undocumented residents with no felony convictions and a history of paying taxes. On domestic surveillance, I have to admit I generally shrug; I've been operating under the basic assumption that corporations and governments have been conducting low-level monitoring of electronic communications and internet usage for years, so the Snowden leaks didn't really faze me. (And on the subject of Snowden, I suspect he was groomed by the Russians from the beginning and would like to see him face trial in the United States; even if he did act entirely on his own, I think it's disgraceful that he and his allies [Assange, Greenwald, etc.] maintain the fiction that the United States is the root of all evil and countries like Russia and Ecuador that actively suppress free speech and silence independent media are somehow paragons of virtue.)

      My number one ideal political development is an expansion of voting rights, including the option to vote remotely in a secure way (either by mail or online) and necessitating a swift end to voter suppression laws and tactics adopted by Republican officials. That number one is closely followed by a legal prohibition on the practice of gerrymandering and the investiture of redistricting authority in independent commissions. A close number three is the (re)institution of laws to get the money out of politics, especially in terms of campaign finance reform.

      Above all else, though, in practical terms: any Democrat > any Republican in a federal race. And that usually trickles down to the state and local level, too. That's my lodestar in American politics. After all, there's no hope for any positive improvement in anything when Republicans are running the show.

      Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 07:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ukraine: Let me get this over with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabjoh

    It pops up on the DKos Elections subthreads a lot. So I wanted to express to that crowd my opinion (which is pretty different from theirs).

    First there is the stunning hypocrisy of John Kerry and Barack Obama, the infuriating, oblivious hypocrisy of every single damned statement they've made regarding this crisis. Like this article here:

    http://consortiumnews.com/...

    However, if one were to take up Secretary Kerry’s challenge and just look at the Twenty-first Century and “G-8, major-nation behavior,” which would include the United States and its major European allies, you’d still have a substantial list of U.S. violations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and others. France and Great Britain, two other G-8 countries, have engaged in military interventions as well, including France in Mali and other African conflicts.
    This is the same story I'm getting from people on the ground and with close ties to the country:
    Yet, it has been the Post, Times and other U.S. news outlets which have led the way in developing a propaganda narrative at odds with the known reality. For instance, the violent February clashes in Kiev are now typically described as the Ukrainian police having killed some 80 protesters, though the original reporting had that death toll including 13 policemen and the fact that neo-Nazi militias were responsible for much of the violence, from hurling firebombs to shooting firearms.

    That history is already fast disappearing as we saw in a typical New York Times report on Wednesday, which reported: “More than 80 protesters were shot to death by the police as an uprising spiraled out of control in mid-February.”

    The rule of law was violated by violent protests, initiated by neo-nazi militia groups (the same groups that spearheaded the theft of military weapons and the coup). Some people here are kidding themselves that Yanukovich's being a corrupt asshole justified a constitutionally illegal removal of the President, and put in a constitutionally and democratically illegitimate government.

    The Maidan political movement itself is broader, but they have clear ties to the fringe right, and what's more, this armed and fanatical fringe rejected the internationally brokered agreement signed by all parties, that would have Yanukovich step down at the end of the year and new elections be held. The Maidan people signed a treaty promising to incorporate all parties into their government and then immediately excluded all the pro-Russian parties, and people here still find them trustworthy or respectable?

    The current government isn't honoring some basic treaties, has already revoked Russian language rights to the outrage of the country's eastern provinces and especially breakaway Crimea.

    The faux outrage of the U.S. is so laughable it's beginning to piss me off, because I despise hypocrisy more than anything. Russia has numerous valid pretenses for intervention, especially given the U.S.'s stinky involvement in this ouster of a pro-Russian government. The U.S. is now loudly screaming that Crimea shouldn't be allowed to exit the Ukraine whose fissions we have helped exacerbate, and that this illegitimate government is totally legitimate. Meanwhile, Russia sees a potential civil war right on its border, involving Crimea which is an essential military center for Russia, and an important trade center with its shipping and pipelines. Thus Russia's political alliances are threatened, as are its strategic military and economic assets in the region, and we expect Russia to take no involvement when they have ample legal justification to do so, not even including the potential for discrimination against the ethnic Russians who are the majority of the population in Crimea and many of the other eastern provinces of Ukraine. Please. This is pathetic. I'm embarrassed for my country and the sort of baffling rhetoric we're making against Crimea even voting to leave Ukraine. It's so stupid, such a stupid sticking our nose in things that do not concern us again, and this time doing it is needlessly and recklessly antagonizing Putin, who we need on the table to help deal with both Iran and Syria.

    So I can't proclaim to know why Obama is picking a needless and hypocritical fight with the person he most needs at the table to deal with his two most pressing international diplomatic issues. I've never been one to call Obama consistent or foresighted though.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 02:05:45 PM PDT

    •  My view of foreign policy is Machiavellian (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Allen

      There is one all-important principle in diplomacy: self-interest. All foreign policy and international relations revolve around this concept, and all nations of any stripe operate with this notion in mind.

      So all this talk about democracy or national sovereignty or peace or any other high-minded humanitarian principle is a tool to further this end. Nations will muddle their past, contradict themselves, overwhelm opposition, commit espionage, outright bribe, pretty much do anything to ensure their own survival and enrichment. Consistency in principle is a tool to gain legitimacy and leverage, a tool that can be bent at a whim. In diplomacy, just like in war, it doesn't matter who's right but who's left.

      I'm jaded when it comes to American foreign policy, mostly because no nation in the world has clean hands, especially the United States.

      24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

      by kurykh on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 07:40:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mine is fairly Machiavellian too, (0+ / 0-)

        Which is partly why I don't see the wisdom Obama's course of action.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Tue Mar 11, 2014 at 11:56:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I totally disagree with Machiavellianism in the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ArkDem14

        I think our foreign policy should be for the good of humanity even if in reality it's just for the opposite: us. I'd love for the planet to eventually have a world state even if it takes several hundred years and importantly several global crises, but in effect I'd want the United States to do what will help the interests of the peoples for which it intervenes. In recent cases like Iraq and Afghanistan it has done the opposite so I would be very, very reticent toward direct action in Ukraine but rather focused diplomacy toward Russia.

        However there are so many fucked up parts of our foreign policy and German effective foreign policy that blaming and sanctioning Russia are incredibly hypocritical. For instance why the hell are we still embargoing Cuba but having full trade relations with Vietnam? Why is it okay for Germany to run the EU as its imperialistic monetary policy arm and fuck over countries in the periphery all so it retains its export advantage and low inflation?

        All that said I've loved dissecting Machiavelli's writings. They were and still are brilliant in how they just lay out ruthless pragmatism.

        •  I should be more clear (0+ / 0-)

          I agree that foreign policy should be conducted for the good of humanity. But what I'm describing is more realpolitik; foreign policy is conducted in this manner. Foreign policy is often like defensive driving; you have to be on the lookout for rogue actors and deal with them accordingly.

          24, D, pragmatic progressive (-4.50, -5.18), CA-14. DKE folk culture curator.

          by kurykh on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 10:57:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My point was that this (0+ / 0-)

            is bad and incompetent realpolitik. The U.S. gains nothing from this course of action, and pushes away a critical part of major diplomatic solutions for Syria and Iran, and worst yet, the Neocons seem to be in charge of this and Obama and Kerry are happily riding their bus. It's a problem to for any Democrats goal of seeing the party develop an independent and coherent foreign policy philosophy, even at the most general level. Instead, we see yet another in a long line of instances where Obama simply grabs a hold of the Bush foreign policy and follows its cues without a whole lot of alteration.

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 05:52:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think the U.S. gains nothing... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wadingo

              From demonstrating a commitment to its allies in Eastern Europe. The U.S. hasn't threatened a military response, despite the wishes of certain actors (including the neocons you mention, led by Sen. McCain), which I think is wise. I think it's appropriate for the U.S. to take the position it has; it's a shame we can't do more to protect the Ukrainian people, but if Putin is really crazy enough to send in the tanks, President Obama's options are limited.

              Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

              by SaoMagnifico on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:20:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This isn't a matter of protecting the Ukrainian (0+ / 0-)

                people. It's matter of letting the people decide what they want: and if that's staying in an unconstitutional government run by a lying and deceptive party with neo-nazi ties and anti-Russian sentiments in a country with substantial Russian minority, then so be it. The U.S. is bitching that the people of Crimea aren't to be allowed such a choice.

                So many here just don't realize how deeply and intrinsically tied together Ukrainian nationalism and anti-semitism are, especially in the use of the Holodomor narrative and the deep history western Ukraine's nationalists have had with fascist sympathizes.

                "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:38:05 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Umm, and you think the vote was free? (0+ / 0-)
                  •  I don't think it was highly compromised no (0+ / 0-)

                    Had many Tartars not boycotted it, it would not have been so lopsided, but the reason they boycotted it and the U.S. has been working to illegitimize it, is that both these groups are keenly aware that they could not win the vote.

                    Russia's military presence was more, in my mind, about stopping Ukraine from preventing the vote from happening and bolstering their local allies, and there appears to be an exaggerated since of the extent of this military presence (beyond that already in Russia's Crimean military and naval bases).

                    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                    by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:14:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with you (4+ / 0-)

            I'm in favor of humanitarian intervention under certain conditions (namely: not open-ended, supported by credible local elements, last viable option to prevent atrocities, under circumstances in which American power can be projected efficiently and with minimal risk of collateral damage, and with international support). I also generally favor self-determination, even when it goes against legal principles; that's why I don't really have a problem with Crimea joining Russia, except that I think the presence of Russian troops and the wording of the referendum are coercive elements that interfere with the Crimean people's ability to express their will in a democratic manner.

            I'm also a pragmatist, though, and I generally default to pro-United States and -allies positions. That doesn't make me enough of a realist to shrug my shoulders at brutal U.S.-supported dictatorships, past and present (even President Kennedy was appalled by the likes of the Batista regime in Cuba, and well he should have been), but it's enough to make me rather unsympathetic to the Russian argument of "because Kosovo and Afghanistan, we can do whatever we want and the United States should just shut its face". I am a patriot, and I don't see any level of moral equivalence between a representative democracy with an independent press and guaranteed rights to self-expression and a semi-fascist petrostate that quashes individual liberties and operates at the whim of a dead-eyed dictator and a circle of oligarchs and mob bosses.

            Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:29:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  3...2...1... (0+ / 0-)

      FLAME WAR!!!

    •  I agree with you 100% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      You've more or less stated my opinion on the matter.  A democratically elected President was overthrown by a right-wing, ultra nationalistic coup.  I could easily see Ukraine's future looking a lot like Greece, with the far-right running the streets.

      •  It reminds me of Egypt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wadingo

        You can't just go around toppling democratic governments and expect people to sit back without response. That being said I don't believe Putin is acting in responsible manner either. President Obama is well within his rights to speak out and indeed he must. As usual with foreign policy it is a difficult situation without right or wrong answers.

        "What do you mean "conspiracy"? Does that mean it's someone's imaginings and that the actual polls hovered right around the result?" - petral

        by conspiracy on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 11:32:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The "right-wing, ultra nationalistic coup" thing.. (4+ / 0-)

        Is Russian propaganda. Participants in the Euromaidan spanned the political spectrum from pro-Western liberals to right-wing nationalists; the former are now leading the interim government.

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:17:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Svoboda, the group with neo-Nazi elements, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico, Audrid

          was only given the following positions in the government: Vice Prime Minister (akin to a Vice-Vice-Vice President in the US), Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food and Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine. That's 3 fairly weak, fairly non-ideological departments in the bottom of the Ukrainian cabinet's food chain (so to speak). The Prime Minister now, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is actually of Jewish roots so I find this talk of neo-Nazis controlling Ukraine to be a little silly. The most powerful positions, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Justice, Health, etc, are all headed by Pro-Western experienced politicians or center-left Activist leaders.

          On the whole the Ukrainian government today is nominally center-right (fiscally conservative, socially doesn't care, pro-Western values) while the Kremlin is right-wing (fiscally conservative, socially conservative, pro-Statist values) in a most repugnant fashion. Let's not forget that the man most likely to become the new President, Vitali Klitschko, is thoroughly Western and is one of the more progressive (in the American sense) candidates in Ukraine or Russia.

          22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

          by gigantomachyusa on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:59:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're missing the big one - Defense (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChadmanFL

            Which changes things substantially.

            I will agree with you that Klitschko is the best choice (among the mainstream parties) to become the next President - part of his appeal, for me, is his party's refusal to take cabinet seats in the government with the fascists Svoboda in it.

            "Pillows, but no sleep / Feathers, but no birds." | Pro-transit young black urban progressive (not liberal) | SSP/DKE | -9, -7.79 | NJ-05 | Yard signs don't vote. | $15 and a union!

            by gabjoh on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 03:07:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As I've read it, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SaoMagnifico, ArkDem14

              Ihor Tenyukh was only given that position because 1) He was the commander of the Navy for a few years (lots of military experience) and 2) he is deeply nationalistic and hates the Russians. One of the new government's major concerns was that the military hierarchy was full of generals and officials who were pro-Russian or open to bribery, giving away gov't secrets to the Kremlin, etc. Considering that many Ukrainian military leaders in Crimea defected and joined the Russians gives credence to Yatsenyuk's concerns in wanting a fiercely pro-Ukrainian in head of the Defense Ministry.

              It should be noted that Tenyukh is just the acting Minister of Defense until they can find another candidate to take the mantle (which is why I didn't note him as an official cabinet member). It's akin to Panetta staying until they confirmed Hagel.

              Lastly, Svoboda itself has several different wings: the anti-elitist populists who shun the excesses of the main party leaders, the ultra-nationalists who think Kiev has sold out to Moscow and the far-right xenophobes and racists. Tenyukh is more in the 'ultra-nationalist' vein which isn't bad when the government is concerned with loyalty at the highest levels. So I wouldn't take Tenyukh as proof that neo-Nazis are in control of Ukraine. It's a lot more complex than that.

              22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

              by gigantomachyusa on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 06:38:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  For anyone running with the Kremlin's "Nazi" Line (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SaoMagnifico

          Its worth noting which side, well, the actual European Nazis and Fascists are on......

          Shaun Walker sends us details of this unusual referendum eve press conference in Crimea:

          I’ve just come back from a rather bizarre “press conference” of international observers for the referendum. It was 45 minutes before there were any questions, as the six people present mainly went on political rants against US hegemony in the world. All said the referendum in Crimea was legitimate.
          Bela Kovacs, an MEP from the far-right Hungarian party Jobbik, said that everything he had seen on Saturday conformed to international standards and he expected the vote to be free and fair.
          He said there were no British observers at the referendum. The BNP’s Nick Griffin “really wanted to come, but we persuaded him not to”, he said. He added that Griffin planned to stand for president of the European Commission: “Just wait until you see what he has planned,” he said.
          Serge Trifkovic, a Serbian-American writer, was the most entertaining, speaking in extraordinary metaphor and railing against the west.
          “What is sauce for Kosovo’s goose is certainly sauce for Crimea’s gander,” he said, to the dismay of the Russian translator. When asked if he had been paid to attend, he said that if he were looking for money he would have approached the CIA. The observers, he said, were “as poor as church mice”.

          http://www.theguardian.com/...
          •  Reading about certain members of Putin's circle... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BenjaminDisraeli, ArkDem14

            Is rather illuminating as well. The New York Times took note of the meteoric rise of openly fascist Russian revanchist Aleksandr Dugin into the annals of power and influence. Story here.

            Another person who has been swept into the mainstream is one of Mr. Prokhanov’s former protégés, Aleksandr G. Dugin, who, in the late 1990s, called for “the blinding dawn of a new Russian Revolution, fascism — borderless as our lands, and red as our blood.”

            Virulently anti-American, Mr. Dugin has urged a “conservative revolution” that combines left-wing economics and right-wing cultural traditionalism. In a 1997 book, he introduced the idea of building a Eurasian empire “constructed on the fundamental principle of the common enemy,” which he identified as Atlanticism, liberal values, and geopolitical control by the United States.

            And another story from about five years ago on Dugin. That piece here.
            Throughout the 1990s Dugin repeatedly eulogised, covertly or overtly, inter-war European and contemporary Russian fascism.   His programmatic articles "Left Nationalism" (1992) and "Fascism - Borderless and Red" (1997) offer the most explicit apologies for fascism.  In May 2009 they were still openly accessible on the IEM leader's official websites.

            While Dugin now often poses as an "anti-fascist", he, at other times, went so far to frankly acknowledge the relevance of the Third Reich as a model for his own ideological constructs like in his seminal analyses "Conservative Revolution: The Third Way" (1991) and "The Metaphysics of National Bolshevism" (1997). Moreover, a number of these articles from the 1990s are now available in Western languages. Some of them have been repeatedly quoted in Russian and Western language scholarly and journalistic analyses of Dugin and his movement.

            As late as March 2006, when he was already a full member of Moscow's political establishment, Dugin publicly admitted in a KM.ru online conference that his ideology is similar to that of the inter-war German brothers, Otto and Gregor Strasser. In that interview, the transcript of which was re-produced on IEM's website, Dugin introduced the Strasser brothers as members of the anti-Hitler branch of German left-wing nationalism. He "forgot", however, to mention that the Strassers were once themselves National Socialists and played an important role in the rise of the NSDAP in the late 1920s. Subsequently they did indeed oppose Adolf Hitler, but did so first from within the Nazi party.

            So Russia just wanting to stop neo-Nazis rings absolutely false here. Like Russian accusations of "anti-Semitism", it's a case of "good for me but not for thee".

            Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

            by SaoMagnifico on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 09:39:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh that's one of Putin's great lies (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SaoMagnifico

              One that he enoys using quite a lot, and that's that he works to marginalize the neo-nazi element in Russia when really he has fed it and co-opted it to be firmly under his control.

              "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

              by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:42:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Svoboda is only part of the coalition (3+ / 0-)

        government. They aren't the main actors. I don't want to minimize Svoboda's ultra-nationalism but they have attempted to moderate over the last decade. When I was last in Ukraine they seemed more like a normal political party not much different from say UKIP in the UK. They still do disturb me, however.

        Also it should be noted that the three main leaders of the coalition government Tymoshenko, Yatsenyuk and Turchynov are all native Russian speakers. They learned Ukrainian only after the entered politics. Turchnyov is also a Baptist. Neither of these three are fascists in any sense of the word. Nor are they ultra-nationalists.

        Also the vast majority of those at Euromaidan would not describe themselves as Svoboda followers and certainly not fascists. LGBT activists, feminists, Jews, Muslims, Tatars and immigrants protesting at Euromaidan. And I think its a disservice to them to characterize them as fascist.

        I guess my views on this are now known :)

    •  My thoughts (3+ / 0-)

      However, if one were to take up Secretary Kerry’s challenge and just look at the Twenty-first Century and “G-8, major-nation behavior,” which would include the United States and its major European allies, you’d still have a substantial list of U.S. violations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and others. France and Great Britain, two other G-8 countries, have engaged in military interventions as well, including France in Mali and other African conflicts.

      None of those interventions absent Iraq were illegal under international law. Yemen and Pakistan were done through the support of the national governments (even if Islamabad remains wholly opposed to the use of drones). Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and the rest of the major African conflicts were all authorized either through the UNSC or through the UN Charter (in the case of Afghanistan). Russia's invasion non-invasion of Ukraine is holistically illegal under every facet of international law.


      The rule of law was violated by violent protests, initiated by neo-nazi militia groups (the same groups that spearheaded the theft of military weapons and the coup). Some people here are kidding themselves that Yanukovich's being a corrupt asshole justified a constitutionally illegal removal of the President, and put in a constitutionally and democratically illegitimate government.

      This statement is pretty much all hyperbole. Yanukovych was ousted by a parliamentary vote of no confidence. Yanukovych was actually willing to kill hundreds of protests in order to hold onto power. His legislative supporters in the Party of Regions, however, were more pessimistic and fled the capital fearing a deterioration of the security situation in Maidan. That eventually allowed the opposition to have a majority quorum and led to a simple vote of no confidence like in any other parliamentary system. I don't think it helps to hurl around the "Nazi" word, especially considering both the Russian and Ukrainian governments have far-right elements in government. Is Svoboda radically right-wing? Sure. But why paint an entire movement under one brush given United Russia also harbors far-right nationalists as well.

      The Maidan political movement itself is broader, but they have clear ties to the fringe right, and what's more, this armed and fanatical fringe rejected the internationally brokered agreement signed by all parties, that would have Yanukovich step down at the end of the year and new elections be held.

      The opposition politicians agreed with the armistice. But as in every revolution, the losing side only agrees to these negotiated settlements when it has already lost. In this case, Yanukovych expressed support for the agreement only after he had escalated the situation by enacting ultimatums and passing laws stifling free speech. Any negotiation must be grounded in restraint and Yanukovych couldn't claim to be looking for a peaceful resolution while authorizing police brutality. Any proper armistice would have entailed a ceasefire. Yanukovych seemed to be asking for peace with one hand and violence with another.

      The current government isn't honoring some basic treaties, has already revoked Russian language rights to the outrage of the country's eastern provinces and especially breakaway Crimea.

      Does that justify the Russian invasion? Gambia just stripped English of its official status. Can we invade them now? While the repeal of the language laws was shortsighted, I don't get why this justifies Russian aggression. What basic treaties are you speaking of? The only treaties I see broken were the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the Helsinki Final Act, the 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership and 1997 Sevastopol Basing Agreement. And all those were broken by Russia, not Ukraine.


      The faux outrage of the U.S. is so laughable it's beginning to piss me off, because I despise hypocrisy more than anything. Russia has numerous valid pretenses for intervention, especially given the U.S.'s stinky involvement in this ouster of a pro-Russian government.

      I don't think "but America invades countries too!" is proper legal justification for Russia to invade a sovereign country in contravention of every major international law. If there was a humanitarian disaster or imminent genocide (whatever the Kremlin is peddling these days), there are structures and processes in place through a myriad of international organizations that would provide a codified legal avenue for Russian recourse in Crimea. That Russia chose not to pursue legal avenues through not just the United Nations Security Council but the OSCE and other European security organizations and courts shows that the Kremlin knew there was no legal justification for invading Ukraine.

      Meanwhile, Russia sees a potential civil war right on its border, involving Crimea which is an essential military center for Russia, and an important trade center with its shipping and pipelines.

      Guantanamo is a major military center in Cuba but that doesn't give Washington the right to invade Cuba. We have bases in Okinawa but, again, that doesn't give us the right to invade Japan. Russia has a naval base in Sevastopol and that very fact is not reason enough to invade Sebastopol's parent country. "An important trade center" is a major slippery slope. If we justify military invasions based on the mere interest of maintaining trade links, then any country can invade based on the flimsiest economic argument. I understand that Russia is upset that Yanukovych was ousted legally, but Moscow's interest in Ukrainian pipelines and shipping routes is not proper justification for invasion.

      Thus Russia's political alliances are threatened, as are its strategic military and economic assets in the region, and we expect Russia to take no involvement when they have ample legal justification to do so, not even including the potential for discrimination against the ethnic Russians who are the majority of the population in Crimea and many of the other eastern provinces of Ukraine.

      What legal justification? Please link to me one treaty, statute, memorandum, agreement, or communique that in any way, shape or form gives Russia the legal wherewithal to invade Ukraine if their preferred government loses power. Russians are only the majority in Crimea and even there only constitute 58%. That leaves 42% who are Ukrainians and Tatars who are not too thrilled about being illegally annexed (which we all know is Step #2 of the invasion). Donetsk is the second most ethnically-Russian Oblast in Ukraine and is only 39% Russian. So the ethnic Russian majority is only limited to Crimea and sporadic towns in eastern Ukraine but not to any other Oblasts.

      This is pathetic.

      It's never good to pepper your arguments with exasperation. All that does is allow you to vent your anger but really gets us nowhere in understanding the disagreements we may have. I understand your claims of hypocrisy and certainly the US is no angel in all of this. But the merits of Russia's invasion lie in international norms and values and none of those are on the side of Russia right now.

      22, Male, Latino-Spanish, OK-1 (Tulsa: The Art Deco and Cultural Gem of Green Country!); "I believe our nation is the most American country the United States has ever known." -Stephen Colbert, 2012

      by gigantomachyusa on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 10:37:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And as for the language law... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gigantomachyusa

        The acting president refused to sign off on its repeal and the Rada dropped the bill. Russian is still co-official in eastern Ukraine and Crimea under Ukrainian law.

        Pragmatic progressive. Oregonian, Cascadian, and American. Keeper of the DKE glossary.

        by SaoMagnifico on Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 12:52:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Basic Treaty = (0+ / 0-)

        The agreement the Maidan had just made in the EU brokered agreement to include pro-Russian parties in their parliamentary majority. They didn't.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:44:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The remaining Party of the Regions MPs... (0+ / 0-)

          .... all voted for Yanukovich's removal. The Acting PM and the Acting President as well as Yulia Tymashenko and Vitali Klitschko are all native Russian-speakers. Yatsenyuk, moreover, is of Jewish descent. The acting government has also appointed numerous former Yanukovich allies and oligarchs to governorships in the Ukrainian provinces.

    •  On the hypocrisy charge... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gigantomachyusa, jncca, SaoMagnifico

      ... I disagree firmly with what you've said. But this is one that keeps popping up — because the U.S. has done things that are illegal under U.S. law, it's okay for Russia to do it.

      The argument that the US has no right to criticize Russia because the US invaded Iraq is a logical fallacy. If your position is that the US violated Iraqi sovereignty it doesn't follow that it's alright for Russia to violate Ukraine's sovereignty. Yes, great powers often act hypocritically, and it's fair to point this out. But the logical response isn't to disregard US actions when they are correct. If this is your standard for how the US should conduct diplomacy then the US should have done nothing to promote free elections in Poland, for example, since we had failed to support free elections in the Congo or Vietnam. Of we should have done nothing to oppose Britain, France, and Israel during the Suez Crisis, since we had backed the coup against Mossadeqh in Iran. Or in the UK, Churchill's position against Hitler should have been disregarded, since he was an archimperialist who also backed brutal suppression in India.

      But if you still feel like the US is too hopelessly compromised to criticize Russia, then there are plenty of more credible critics. Russian actions have drawn universal condemnation, including from virtually everyone who opposed the Iraq War as well.

      In addition, whatever your views about the legitimacy of the Kiev authorities, that doesn't justify a Russian invasion. Instability doesn't give countries a right to invade their neighbors and seize territory. Territorial integrity, and the notion that territorial changes cannot happen by force, are the keystones of the post-WW2 security order. Critics of US policy to Russia keep bringing up a Mexico hypothetical, but I would hope most of us would agree that any such invasion would be illegal and one that we on the left would oppose.

      Lastly, even if your view is that Crimea should be allowed a referendum on its independence or a union with Russia, it should be fairly obvious that a flash referendum under a Russian military occupation following a 16-day campaign doesn't exactly constitute a free and fair vote.

      •  Where's your (0+ / 0-)

        evidence of a Russian military occupation? That's hyperbole too. There hasn't been any confirmative report of anything beyond marginal Russian military involvement, saber-rattling, and the presence of armed local Russian militia groups in Crimea. If you have some legitimate, recent sources confirming some kind of Russian military invasion, I want to read it, because as of last week, those were tenuous claims at best.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 06:47:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do you consider legitimate sources? (0+ / 0-)
        •  Russia themselves say that their troops (0+ / 0-)

          are in Ukraine.

          If you think that there's only marginal involvement, you haven't been looking.

          •  I consider that pretty marginal (0+ / 0-)

            They openly declared they were sending troops to airports and some other critical areas, and have now started expanding their feelers since the vote, but I don't see that as constituting a full-blown military occupation, especially not with the local support, including aforementioned militia groups, and the support of much of the Crimean based Ukrainian army and navy.

            "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

            by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:07:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So if China were to land paratroopers (0+ / 0-)

              in SFO, LAX and JFK, you'd consider that something less than an invasion?

              •  That's an idiotic and facetious comparison (0+ / 0-)

                That ignores a vitally important logical point that was essential what my entire comment said: local support. The support of the local government, a strong majority of the local population, and by extension, Crimean security forces and the far less legitimate but still present (and represented several times as Russian troops), local Russian militia groups. I'm fine with arguing the point, I enjoy it even, but it's far too much trouble to respond to strawmen or syllogisms that work by misrepresenting or ignoring my actual point.

                I think I will more carefully reiterate several different things. But it's just a longer comment, and I think it would be better placed in next week's policy thread, so I am holding off for now.

                "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:19:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You might want to step away from the insults. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sapelcovits, ProudNewEnglander
                  •  It's an insult to someone (0+ / 0-)

                    To ignore what they actually say and try to argue with them. A silly comment is a silly comment and I don't generally refrain from calling them out especially when they require me to waste time. Read what people have to say more carefully, and don't throw out vindictive and irrelevant strawmen to argue with them. It's not an insult to call someone out for being facetious in how they respond.

                    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                    by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:10:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You tried to argue with other posters here (0+ / 0-)

                      after ignoring 99% of their comment, c.f. gigantomachyusa's  or liberalpragmatist's comments above for instance.

                      Don't try to paint yourself as the victim here. Calling something idiotic is an insult, no matter how you may try to justify it.

                      •  Not when it was idiotic (0+ / 0-)

                        And I read liberpragmatist and gigantomachyusa's comments several times and enjoyed them. They were however, very detailed comments that I had missed from a few days ago, and I didn't have time to really respond to them in their entirety, so I made select responses and was, (see my comment about planning to clarify some things in a longer comment come the next policy thread since this one is about to be outmoded so to speak), thinking about how to respond more in depth.

                        I'm not painting myself any certain way, and certainly not as the victim. There is a difference between explaining yourself and playing the victim card you know. Let it suffice for me to say that when you make idiotic comments, I will call them idiotic if they require some sort of response from me.

                        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

                        by ArkDem14 on Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding gerrymandering and the VRA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Wolf

    my con law II professor seems pretty certain that the remaining vestiges of the VRA dealing with how districts are drawn are going to be eliminated over the next several years. In that  scenario, nonpartisan redistricting reform becomes paramount, given how Stephen Wolf's diary showed that without them Republicans can eliminate a number of Democratic districts.

    "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

    by James Allen on Wed Mar 12, 2014 at 05:09:13 PM PDT

    •  As disgusting as that is it wouldn't surprise me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gygaxian

      Scalia and his band of merry men have shown they don't shy away from advancing the Republican party cause and he in particular has shown his hand as a "thoroughgoing racist." However that's the sort of case that might encourage congress to act even in a bipartisan manner since it only wins Republicans a dozen seats without it but makes them look like racist pieces of shit in the process. Having no VRA districts would literally be rebooting Jim Crow in the Deep South and the national media would likely eviscerate them for it given how racial it would be.

      I think the key is to hope Hillary is reelected and either he or Kennedy pass away while she's in office since I can't foresee any of the 5 of them retiring under a Democrat. That may be morbid, but let's be serious this is a political body where lifetime appointments have become the norm and Scalia, Alito, and Thomas have done tremendous harm by being right-wing partisans on the court.

      •  They wouldn't eliminate all of them (0+ / 0-)

        They'd have to keep at least two in Georgia, one or two in North Carolina, one in Florida, one in Virginia, possibly one in South Carolina, and possibly one in Tennessee as well (represented by a white guy, though).  That's 4 to 7 VRA Black districts.  It'd look bad but it would never get down to zero; some states are too hard to crack completely.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 12:15:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a compact map in Virginia would get a district (0+ / 0-)

          close to majority in the Newport News area, but not enough. Without even a requirement protecting against retrogression, there would be nothing necessitating it.

          On the other hand I think she was estimating it would happen a little too quickly. Why would the court have more VRA redistricting cases within 5 years? Wouldn't it be much more likely within 8 years?

          "I join Justice Ginsburg's dissent in full." - Clarence Thomas in Philip Morris USA v. Williams

          by James Allen on Thu Mar 13, 2014 at 07:57:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would have to think (0+ / 0-)

        that shame would prevent Republicans from eliminating the last Democrats from Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.  Considering the delegations would certainly go all-white after that, it would look really bad.

        Then again, shame didn't stop them from any of their other ridiculous gerrymanders in NC, PA, OH, or elsewhere.  But those only eliminated white Democrats.  If they start targeting Bennie Thompson, Cedric Richmond, Terri Sewell (and potentially Jim Clyburn, David Scott, and Sanford Bishop), I think the outcry would be serious.

    •  I think this is about more than redistricting (0+ / 0-)

      If anything I think the consensus both within the elite, and within the judiciary, is that gerrymandering has gotten so much worse that something should be done, even if they aren't sure what it is. Breyer has indicated if he could reverse one decision it would be Vieth, the 2004 case that stated that partisan voters were not a protected class.

      Its just that anything that happens will likely have little to do with race, and the gutting of the remainder of the Voting Rights Act's racial components can fully coexist with that. If there has been something of an increased discussion of gerrymandering within legal circles, there seems to have been a much greater turn against "positive discrimination" on the basis of race. This has been going for sometime, even Obama alluded to it in 2008 when he referenced the absurdity of his daughters receiving preferences for University admissions. Positive Discrimination has always existed in a legal grey area, justified by legal expediency, and the suggestion that such policies have corrected imbalances that economic preferences cannot, or that economic or other preferences are too difficult to implement. But as institutions have been forced to make racial preferences ever more complicated, partially in response to conservative legal pressure, they have lost whatever comparative advantage in simplicity they had over an effort to look at the economic backgrounds of applicants. Furthermore, there has been increasing evidence(or suggestions depending on whether you buy it) that many of those who benefit from the policies actually suffer from over-promotion.

      While this is a wider trend in elite opinion, it places the VRA in a similarly problematic position. The VRA's Constitutionality has always been a similar compromise with expediency, and its major justification, even on this site, seems increasingly that its elimination would make partisan gerrymandering worse, not that the presence of its clauses relating to redistricting necessarily accomplish its stated goals. If assumes that gerrymandering is either not a legal problem, or a different legal problem(with a different solution), its unclear what the justification for keeping those clauses in effect are, since their main use now is as a proxy for other, more effective, restrictions on gerrymandering.

      Notice that this argument may not apply to things like voter id. But I think even Center-Left judges are going to have a harder time justifying some parts of the VRA going forward.

  •  The most corrupt city in America - Hampton, FL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian, gabjoh

    The sad story of tiny Hampton, FL has been all over the national news of late.  This little city of 477 people is frequently cited as the most corrupt in America.  That's saying something in a state known for widespread corruption.  Here's a rundown of some of Hampton's peculiarities.

    - It has had as many as 19 police officers for a city of 477 people, or about 1 per 25 residents.  That's a ridiculously high number by any standard.

    - The most recently elected Mayor Barry Layne Moore is sitting in prison for selling oxycodone.

    - About 20 years ago the city annexed a 1,260 strip of nearby highway 301 for apparently no other purpose than to use it as a speed trap.  Check out the link below to see the city boundaries.  That annexation of highway 301 is a masterpiece in gerrymandering.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/...

    - Speaking of that annexation the city doesn't seem to have any legal records of the annexation to begin with, so most likely it was done illegally.

    - The police force used that tiny strip of highway to issue $616,960 in tickets between 2010 and 2012.  An astonishingly high amount for a town of under 500 people.

    - Much of the money collected in speeding tickets was used to buy either on unnecessary police force upgrades, such as assault weapons and state of the art police vehicles.

    - The city clerk was overpaid by $9,000 and city employees charged another $27,000 unaccounted for.  There was also a tab of $132,000 run up at the BP station next to City Hall.

    - Outside of policing itself the only other required function of the city was managing it's water supply.  But somehow about half of the city's water pumped in over the years simply "got lost."  No idea how that's even possible.

    - When residents of the Hampton would complain to City Hall about how poorly the town was run the water to their homes would often be cut off according to complaints to the Sheriff.

    - When state auditors questioned the city clerk about the large sums of missing cash they were told most of those records were "lost in the swamp."

    - The city clerk often demanded water bills be paid in cash.  When she received the cash it was simply tossed into a large bag.  The police force often took money from this bag to use for "drug busts."  

    - In total a state audit of Hampton's books found 31 instances in which local rules or state or federal laws were violated in ways large and small.  The city may soon be disbanded by the Florida legislature and become unincorporated due to the prolonged, widespread corruption.  

    - What's especially sad is the fact that this is a poor, rural city where upwards of 25% of the population live in population and has a fairly low median income of under $25,000.  With as much as $1 million missing the city's residents have literally nothing to show for it.

  •  I figured out another way to describe myself (0+ / 0-)

    (Didn't want to overload the conversation upthread about it, so posting here)

    One of my family lines comes from a French-Canadian family that fought in the Upper Canadian Rebellion, and I've always been interested in the exploits of the Haitan revolutionaries and Simon Bolivar in South America and so forth. I'm also in favor of political reform for the sake of reform, and I find the idea of tolerating corruption to be distasteful. Finally, I'm eager to overthrow (via ballot box, of course) the established order of politics.

    So I guess you could call me a modern-day colonial revolutionary.

    Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

    by Gygaxian on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:37:25 PM PDT

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