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The Democratic Mandate

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PonyExpress, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    I generally stay away from political discussion, but some thoughts have been rattling around in my pea-sized brain due to recent events, so I thought I'd come here to air them out...

    If the Democrats have a mandate from the recent election it is two things: anti-war and ant-corruption. The problem for the Dems is that their main goal is the 2008 presidential election, and the intervening two years could submarine the very issues that propelled them to recent victory.

    If the war in Iraq were to end prior to the 2008 election, and the troops come home, the issue becomes either neutral or a negative for the Dems, who could potentially experience backlash from the fickle electorate. There would be alot of stories about how "we lost the war because we got stabbed in the back at home", and the public would see alot of Arab radicals declaring victory and mocking our nation and troops. It is doubtful allies of the Democratic Party in the press could squelch the impact of such stories and images.

    Also, since the Democrtatic Party is now in power in both houses, it is difficult to play the "anti-corruption" card in the next political cycle; that horse is now out of the barn. A more likely scenario would be the Democrats somehow slipping up and getting painted with a similar brush, since they now head the committees and control congressional patronage.

    However, there are plenty of countermoves the Democrats can play to overcome these potential hazards on the path to power.

    First, they have to make grandiose but hollow statements and resolutions whenever possible about ending the war in Iraq and bringing the troops home, as sop to their base and the public, without really intending to do so. If they can string out such a charade through the next election cycle, they can portray the current President and his party, as well as the office of the Presidency, as the ones obstinately prolonging the conflict- which would be true, although the Democrats would only be offering token opposition.

    In such a scenario, the chief concern of the Dems would be actual "victory" in the war, or "good news" or a "hint of success". Minor victories could be mitigated by negative press, but a major one would be hard to overcome. How the Dems plan to help ensure military or political failure in Iraq will be an interesting aspect of the conflict to monitor. A weak war effort, or the limiting of funds in some general way that could not be painted as a lack of material support for the troops, would be an ideal solution. If the war continues as it seems to be going now, they may not have to do much of anything.

    As far as losing the "anti-corruption" issue now that they have ascended to power... that can be overcome by a series of highly publicized hearings against the sitting administration. This could effectively tarnish the entire Republican Party and its ideology, as well as so distract the administration from executing the war, it could accomplish goal #1 as well, weakening the war effort. This possibility, in my opinion, is what caused President Bush to immediately end Rumsfeld's tenure in the aftermath of his electoral defeat... "Investigatory Committees" will be pursuing Rumsfeld like a wounded animal. Already the Europeans have picked up the scent with their "World Court" case against him.

    How will this play out geopolitically? Now that the "War on Terror" has, effectively, been distilled down to the actual nexus of Islamic Radicalism, Iran, the future of Ahmadinajab's regime is the last act in the drama. President Bush could achieve overwhelming political success by the overthrow of the Islamic regime, likely winning the Iraq war as a byproduct. Such an event would probably mean defeat in the 2008 election for the Democrats, and place a more bellicose president in the White House in 2008, one adhering to Bush's views, which in a sense would seem "validated" to the fickle electorate by the overthrow and potential democratization of Iran. For that reason, it is in the interest of the Democrats to delay such an occurrence until after the election... and it is in the interests of many foreign powers to prevent such an event from occurring at all. A less militaristic (less-"neoconservative") American President is more favorable to the interests of every other Power with ambitions of its own, realistic or no. The Powers one has in mind are the quixotic French, Russia, China and Iran itself.

    With that in mind, it seems likely that Foreign Powers will take every opportunity to delay Iran's call to account over its nuclear program, and leaders of the new Congress, at least temporarily until after the 2008 election, will support such delays. We shall see many calls for "summits", "negotiations", "timelines" etc. all with the principal aim of either preventing or delaying the overthrow of the Iranian regime, which would deprive Buch and his party of a decisive political/military victory against Ahmadinajab prior to the election. Under this line of reasoning we may see a tacit but temporary mutual interest between Iran's Islamic Regime and our own Congress.

    The two main players on the world stage over the next two years will be Bush and Ahmadinajab. The timeline is set, the game is simple. If the Islamic regime survives past Bush's Presidency, they will have won. The reason is, the Republicans will have been deprived of a foreign policy victory before the election, and the Democratic candidate will likely win. The new President, after running on an anti-war platform, will not have the political or ideological will to confront a nuclear, or nearly nuclear Iran with commensurate/decisive force.

    Aiding Ahmadinajab in this two year battle will be (1) the foreign powers just described who fear and dislike American hegemony and militancy more than nuclear Islamic fascism (2) a pacifist democratic congress focused on winning the 2008 Presidential election and (3) an unusually weak and indecisive Israeli government, as demonstrated by the war in Lebanon.

    The two protagonists have vague similarities in that they are both, at least superficially, religious men. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that their religious beliefs are on some level sincere. This is one of three factors working against Ahmadinajab. (1) a President motivated not by political reality but by religious conviction is harder to predict, control, and cannot be checkmated by political influence as long as he possesses military means and the legal ability to use it unchecked. (2) The relationship of the sunni arab oil producing countries with the current administration. They are at risk from Iran and will bring influence to bear to stop his nuclear ambitions. (3) despite the political weakness of the Israeli regime, the hierarchy is aware that Iran's nuclear ambitions put the nation in existential risk. Therefore they will, despite the Hamlet at the wheel, take the necessary action in the end.

    IMO the ideological and religious nature of the current President, as well as his relationships with the Sunni Arab states in the gulf, and the political realities of his own party at home, will compel him to take action against Iran over the next two years, no matter what the obstacles opposing him. The nature of that action can't be forseen... probably an attempt at a coup of some kind. If such an action fails, I believe the Democrats will win the 2008 Presidency, and Iran will go nuclear barring Israeli independent action. If the overthrow of Iran succeeds, then the Republicans will win the 2008 Presidency, to the dismay of many international and domestic observers. Just food for thought.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2006
  2. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Although politics involves the art of winning elections, most politicians also want to do some good. Based on the results of the election, the Democrats have several other issues besides Iraq and corruption, such as minimum wage, stem cell research, and deficit reduction. Other issues that may come in to play are health care, education, global warming, and election reform.

    Bush has had 5 years to win the war on Iraq, but has failed. The new course is not going to lead to an American victory, but will hopefully lead to American withdrawal and international involvement to stabilize Iraq and set it back on the path to some level of normalcy. Bush has already lost this as a political battle, unless he decides to send in a lot more troops and try to actually win the war. At this point, Bush is looking for an alternative, but it's unlikely much progress will be made in the next two years.

    As far as Iran goes, Ahmadinejad was elected for similar reasons that Bush got elected: fear. Just as the fear card is starting to fail here, it will start to fail there, too, once we pull out of Iraq. The US won't attack Iran, because Iran is powerful enough to disrupt the entire oil-producing region, the EU and Russians wouldn't support such an attack, and an attack is unlikely to lead to an overthrow of the government. Of course, the wild card is what happens if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear facilities? If Iran in turn attacks Israel, then all hell will break loose. An Israel-Palestine solution, which the EU is now working on (since Bush is doing nothing), would help cool off that situation.
     
  3. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Just leave Pelosi alone and she will singlehandly ensure a Republican LANDSLIDE in 2008.

    STOP THE WAR NOW IRAQIS AND MUSLIMS HATE US DON'T HELP THEM.
     
  4. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    Last edited: Nov 18, 2006
  5. BelichickFan

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    #24 Jersey

    Patters, the Dems didn't run on any of that crap. They ran on anti war (not that they have a clue how to fix the terror problem), a little stem cell, and a lot of "tired of Republicans and their mistakes". That's it. If they want to overreach and think they're free to start big spending on Health, Education and increasing gas prices for global warming bull, they won't be in the majority long. They weren't elected to start a bunch of new, expensive programs. And heaven forbid that they raise taxes.
     
  6. The Gr8est

    The Gr8est In the Starting Line-Up

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    At the risk of hijacking the thread, I don't think there is any mandate at all for the Democrats. The Democrats have been nay-sayers since the Iraq war began since a "Bush victory" while good for the country and the world, would be bad for the Democrats' political future. I haven't heard much in the way at all from the Democrats about their ideas to fix things, just bashing of Bush and the Republicans.

    Really I think this was the voters lashing back at the Republicans for not doing what they were elected to do, such as rein in government spending.

    What is hopeful to me now is that I am starting to hear discussions about a third party's chance at winning the White House in 2008. If a third party could base a campaign around the fair tax and reining in government I am hopeful they could be a strong candidate in 2008. Hopefully they could be what the Republicans only give lip service to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2006
  7. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Minimum wage and stem cell research were two winning issues for the Dems, though I agree the war and corruption were the major national issues.

    The war may end up a political nightmare, but it hurt the Republicans enough that they might work with the Democrats to come up with a solution, and at least share the blame if the solution fails.

    Actually, I think the elections have been fair, but there's no telling what kind of elections will take place next. The problem in Iran is that the real power is held by the very conservative judiciary and military, and their hold on power has tightened since the Iraq war began. Ahmadinejad is trying to become a regional leader, so his rhetoric is quite extreme, but no more so than Bush's anti-Saddam rhetoric. It sounds more extreme because we strongly disagree with his positions. The question is, does he really want to risk war or is he using these tactics to strengthen Iran's standing in the world and region.

    Using conventional weapons, I don't think we could take Iran. We can't even get control of Iraq, and Iran is far more organized than Iraq. I think it would be a disaster if we used military force there.

    The hope is that if we withdraw, then certain groups, like Al Qaeda lose their raison d'etre. This would create a better climate for negotiations between the main factions, and if all went well would allow for a peacekeeping force.

    Most people in the region want stability. If the Palestinians recognized Israel's right to exist, the main cause of the anti-Israel crowd is taken away. I think one reason for Ahmadinejad's rhetoric is to keep the area radicalized. If the US leaves and the Israelis and Palestinians make peace, then the region will liberalize.
     
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Exactly, it's an anti war mandate and nothing else except a little bit on small issues like minimum wage and stem cell. The biggies, there's no mandate at all.
     
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Dem strategy was to run on issues of local importance with corruption and Iraq at the top of the ticket. Where appropriate, Dems used the minimum wage and stem cell issues in the same way that Republicans used gay marriage to get out the vote. CNN exit polls showed that health care was an important issue to many people, and I've read elsewhere that global warming and education are issues that win more support than oposition, though that is course without any proposals on the table.

    The Dems won't raise taxes except maybe on the very rich. Just as the civil rights era ushered in a more inclusive form of conservativism, the Reagan era has ushered in a more fiscally prudent form of liberalism.
     
  10. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Fine but the Dems didn't propose any actual solution so there is no mandate for it. The people saying something is an issue has nothing to do with a mandate for changing health care on a Democrat whim when they proposed absolutely nothing.
     
  11. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There's a mandate in the sense that people won't be as scared of considering solutions as they once were. The broad mandate is for Democratic-type issues, a return to focusing on the quality of life at home and an end to the war in Iraq. Corruption is not strictly a Democratic issue, but clearly many voters wanted to punish the Republicans, so it represents and opportunity and requirement for Dems to try to make Congress honest.
     
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Well Hillary's National Health Care plan 10 years ago was as popular as SS reform was 4 years ago. So the Dems winning gives them as much of a mandate for Nationalized Health care as it gave Bush for Privatizing SS. The people, for better or worse, don't want either and the Dems had better not think they do and ram it down our throats.
     
  13. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The democrats don't give a f-ck about anything except DESTROYING GW BUSH.

    The sight of George Bush living in the White House and knowing that this little bow legged mumbling ex drunk has got the job that they would sell their childrens souls for has driven them all insane, nothing in the history of our country has done more to make the democrats look like a gang of f-cking retarded morons than G Bush has.

    The smartest thing Bush could do now is get of Iraq today, cut and run, surrender, those "Scum People" in the middle east hate us, f-ck them, America should never try to help them again they are worthless sh!t, end the war, let the Pelosi gang of circle jerkers handle them, send Chuck Schumer over there to "negotiate" they will slit his grinning throat, Bush tried, the Muslims, the Iraqis and the Democrats stuck a knife in his back for it, these filthy f-cking lying slobbering democrats all voted for this war then when they saw there were no WMD's they blamed it all on Bush, they believed in the WMD's, they wanted the war, they wanted Saddam gone then they turned and betrayed America and the Hated Bush.

    Todays democRAT party are a party of filthy slimey back stabbing pus skunks, America just put them back into power, now live with it, you deserve the f-cking scum.
     
  14. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BF, well she certainly will have to frame the issue better than she did last time. I think the American people will consider national health care if a good model is put forth, especially now that they see health care is costing more and more, even if they have insurance.

    Harry Boy, Bush has already destroyed himself. It didn't even take a Democratic agenda to destroy him. He's going down as the worst president in history, and that's saying something, considering all the losers we've had in that office over the last 230 years.
     
  15. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I don't think so, National Health Care is as much a non starter as Privatized Social Security. Everyone knows SS is headed for a disaster too, but no-one wants to change it.
     
  16. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    History suggests if the US withdraws under current conditions, Islamic radicals will appear vindicated as liberators instead of vilified as criminals. This will whet the appetite of their supporters, as it has done with the Hezbollah in Lebanon, who appear on the verge of overthrowing the Siniora regime after their recent strategic victory and Israeli withdrawal. A withdrawal of the US will likely bring the liquidation of moderate elements by radical militias and the disintegration of the country as a political entity, since Turkey may involve itself in Kurdistan as well. The aftermath will probably herald a nuclear Iran, whose leader will appear in the eyes of his party to have achieved a remarkable military, political and religious success against the US. The consequences of such a success will be an expansion of Iranian power in the Middle East, and eventual open war with the Israelis. A nuclear Iran will probably win that war. The destabilization of the oil market that many fear from US meddling in Iran, will become worse if the US does not intervene. Abandonment of Iraq now means abandonment of power and influence in the Middle East for the forseeable future. US influence and credibility on world events, dependent on its willingness to use military power, will be curtailed. China and Russia's influence will increase, as they continue to offer Pakistan and Iran, respectively, nuclear power as collateral for political influence.

    All of these reasons are why the current President will not withdraw from Iraq, in addition to the further political cost to his party of admitting failure. Personally I do not believe the inner leadership of the Democratic Party will withdraw either, because they are aware of all the things I have just said. They are most likely manipulating the anti-war sentiments of their own base and the weariness and fickle nature of the electorate at large to affect a political sea-change. If they are in fact sincere, withdrawal from Iraq would likely herald the diminution of American power world-wide, and possibly a greater war in the future. Some people in this country may embrace the decline of American world power... but I prefer to think they have been subjected to widespread propaganda that has distorted the actual geopolitical situation.

    As bungled as the Iraq war has been, it has clarified the nature of the "terrorist" enemy which at one time seemed so amorphous and fluid. The source of Islamic radicalism, in its most dangerous incarnation, is Iran. The cost in treasure and human lives of the Iraq war, in historical terms such as the Civil War, WW I, WW II, Korea, and Vietnam, has not been prohibitive. The enormous wealth of this country, the influence artistically, economically and politically, is built on a tragic foundation of human bones. That is the inescapable nature of world power.


    There is no such thing as power without tragic loss.To be pure and virtuous, on a geopolitical scale, means to be under the control of others less scrupulous than one's self. The best we can hope for is a reasonable attempt at morality by our leaders on a world stage populated for the most part by despots, criminals and mass murderers. Great leaders of this country, such as Lincoln, FDR and Truman have been aware of the tragic nature of their office, and accepted a mantle of personal sin in order to procure long term peace, power and prosperity for the population at large. No great leader is immune from having to make this tragic choice... not even Democrats. If a Democrat wins the 2008 presidential election, he/she will be faced with tragic choices similar to the ones Bush faces today... but likely on an even grander scale.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2006
  17. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Let me begin by saying Frauders calling Iranian elections "fair" is quite typical of a liberal. Afterall, when mental midgits in Florida can't fill out a ballot correctly, it's voter fraud dammit! However when a radical islamic fundamentalist terrorist nation like Iran, who is run by a "Supreme Leader" who hand picks a board of radical clerics, who then personally decide which puppets to pony up for an "election", killing any and all candidates they don't like, it's a "fair" election. Too funny.

    Pony Express, I must say, that your points are some of the more informed I've seen in here since I've joined. You have a very good grasp of both the politics, and the purpose of US policy in the ME. I pretty much agree with alot of what you say. I've maintained that there will never be peace between Israel and Palestiine in my lifetime. It's not about land, it's about an absolute hatred. If people actually researched the the history of the region, from the time of the Romans to the formation of the Israeli state, they'd see that land is not the issue. Unfortunately, people only know what they're told on TV. It's why I understood in 2003 why the Iraq war was being prosecuted. Geopolitical change in the ME is a risky attempt at permanently altering the landscape of a region of the world that constitutes 90% of its problems. You are indeed correct that nothing will be done until 2009 at the very least. The reasons you put forth are accurate. The dems don't care about lives as much as they care about a 2008 presidential victory. Therefore, they need the status quo, and will only make token changes that suits them politically. A pull out in Iraq = a major victory for Iran. Iran has had its hands in everything ME for a few decades now. Few know that Iran was the creator of Hezbollah & Hamas. Iran has been puppeting violence, and undermining governments in the ME for over 20 years. They are the #1 provider for the shi'ite militia's in Iraq. Iran is salivating at an Iraq pullout as it would mean a puppet government akin to Syria and Lebanon. Scary stuff.

    As for Iranian nukes. I'm not sure there is anything we can do to stop them. Israel may choose to act, but such action would be seriously inflamatory to the region. To attack IRan, Israel would have to fly over foreign airspace. If they chose to fly over Iraq, with or without permission, The US would be viewed as having been complicatory. I'd love to see a coup, but I'm not sure there is a strong enough underground with which one would be successful.
     
  18. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress In the Starting Line-Up

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    So far, it appears political events are moving along much as anticipated.
     
  19. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    PonyExpress, that is the most intelligent, well-thought-out proposition I have ever read on this board.
     
  20. Triple-T

    Triple-T Practice Squad Player

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    Eek. That's some serious political cynicism.

    Mostly I agree, but I just can't believe that the US could intervene militarily in Iran and not turn it into a bigger debacle than Iraq. If the US could actually overthrow the Iranian government and have a stable one in it's place by the 2008 election, I would think it would have to be done in such a covert manner that the Republicans could never claim credit. That would pretty much undermine your premise of Republican intent.

    If we do intervene and it does go poorly, I think that would be the official start to WWIII. I'm definitely not looking forward to that.
     

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