ever see a debate between a religious zealot and someone like Hitchens or Dawkins? you know in advance who's going to win. just like you can personally have full confidence that you are in the right when debating a true believer. assuming you are well informed, it's a forgone conclusion that you will destroy any argument that your religious opponent can offer, because it's all hogwash, right?
i see the same parallel between President Obama and Mitt Romney. i have yet to hear a strong, cogent argument for why Romney should be elected. i hear about the dour state of the economy, but any reasonable person knows that it was an inherited calamity. any reasonable person can see that we're slowly working out of it. furthermore, any reasonable person would know that raising revenues is paramount to helping get out of this mess. so positions that Romney hold, such as cutting taxes further do not hold up to scrutiny.
just like religion, the ideas of Romney and his party are built on a false premise. they share an orthodoxy against raising taxes, they promote individual liberty while trying to eliminate it for women and homosexuals, they espouse bootsrtrapping individual responsibility while ignoring that far too many Americans don't even own boots. what's worse, they talk about new wars like Democrats talk about rights. yet their parties Presidential ticket has no foreign policy experience, so they turn to the same neo-cons who got us into 2 long wars, one of which we are still mired in.
all of this makes me confident heading into the debates. first off, debates are often won on personality and there it's a no contest. Obama is undisputably likeable, whereas Romney is not. second, just like an Atheist vs. a Believer, all the best arguments are on Obama's side. it's easy to lose a debate when you're arguing an unwinnable case, but when the best speaker with the best ideas goes up against a poor speaker with a losing hand, it's a slam dunk as to who will emerge the victor.
i now that Politics and Atheism do not go hand in hand, but since the GOP has become the Grand Theocratic Party, a defacto Faith Based organization (as Howard Fineman put it) it should concern all Atheists that are opposed to a Theocracy. for that reason alone i will proudly scream OBAMA/BIDEN 2012! i can't wait for the debates!!
This is also the country that re-elected Dubya. I don't know how reasonable the electorate is but, Obama definitely has the likability going for him.
@matthew - I'm sort of with Susan Stanko on this one. You mentioned that any "reasonable" person being able to analyze the current state of the economy, the reasons for it, and the lack of a cogent plan to improve it on behalf of team Romney. My trepidation comes from my lack of belief ("faith" if you will) in the "reasonableness" of the American voter. Susan is right in that George W. was re-elected; notwithstanding his track record and obvious lack of ability. This is, after all, the country where a majority of citizens don't know there are 3 branches of government. Where they believe David Barton's version of Christian American history, and yet don't know the country we fought in the revolutionary war. Where over 40% of the citizens don't have a clue as to what is in the Bill of Rights, and couldn't pass a basic citizenship test. H.L. Mencken put it best when he said, Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
And the only reason why I am seconding Susan and Pat's statements is because THEY SAID IT FIRST AND BEAT ME TO IT!
If we had an educated and engaged electorate who were at least peripherally versed in the issues and interested in maintaining and understanding of where things stood, I think it's dubious at best that we'd even have Romney as a candidate. Indeed, the whole of the Republican party would likely be a very different animal from what it currently is. But so long as the likes of Faux Noise and Rush Limburger continue to garner viewers and listeners and such people insist on their skewed and uninformed or misinformed points of view, the likes of Dubya and Willard will continue to get attention and support.
i agree with everything that Susan, Pat, and Loren have said. however, let me state that i believe that rational people are still a slim majority of Americans. sure, some rational people will vote for Romney, just like some irrational voters will go for Obama. so there i hope it evens out. i have no doubts it will be close, probably no better than 52% of the electorate, but the polls are showing that Obama is surging ahead as the conventions have wrapped up. what better case for rational undecided voters could be made than Clint Eastwood vs. Clinton.
God I hope ...erm ... I meant Gee I hope Obama wins and hopefully by a healthy margin cause anything 'close' will cause all of us grief from the zealots that be.
Matthew, I did see today where the President got a slight jump in the polls. Same as Mittens did after the Repub. convention. Those bumps are as predictable as the summer solstice occurring in June. Things will settle down in a week, I suspect it will be a dead heat again. Then, the pollsters will talk about the "undecided" voters. I mean, if you're still wondering by now, I think you fit into H.L. Mencken's quote.
But, let's say the President is re-elected. He still has Congress to deal with. The same obstructionists he has dealt with since taking office. Right now, congressional approval is at an all time historical low - 90% disapproval rating. Which is probably slightly lower than the popularity of John Wayne Gacy or Jeffrey Dahmer. How much you want to bet, that as disgusted with Congress as the electorate is, the overwhelming majority of incumbents will get back in. I'm giving odds. And, these will be the same people voting for President.
I'm not as confident as you that Obama will win. You assume US voters are basically logical. I learned they aren't when Nixon won AFTER being caught in Watergate.
What passes for political debate isn't debate anymore, it's messaging, rhetoric, spin, manipulation.
Republicans can steal this election too. There's widespread voter disenfranchisement and biased redistricting. Corporate money is unlimited. Mass media are owned. Voters have a history of voting against their self interest.
(Agreed about disowning the "screwed"-as-bad innuendo! I wholeheartedly agree with Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy that "sex is nice and pleasure is good for you"; protecting yourself and your partners is simply sensible and responsible.)
The actual point I wanted to make is that part of the political manipulation is redefining people's "self-interest"... especially, in the case of Republicans, selling ordinary voters the story that they're all about to become rich (if only the eeevil Big Government gave up its handouts and micromanaging and regulating, leaving our unelected corporate government freer to prey on us....).
I just heard Romney's diatribe on religion. This man is insane. This should set him back another four or five points in the polls. Americans can put two and two together and get four. (OK, maybe four and a half.) They know the GOP plans on abortion, for example, and they see a theocrat running for the presidency. The only possible conclusion is that he will operate obliviously vis-a-vis the 1st Amendment.
I am worried just how long Willard Romney would last after Election Day.
agreed, Ryan is the scarier of the two. as a Dominionist that would send a powerful signal. combine that with their screeches for war with Iran and it's a Dominionists wet dream.
frankly, the Republicans are becoming the child-like party. they have no good arguments left and their defense of them is equally incoherent. they act like little kids who know grown up words, but there's no substance behind them. i keep hearing that Romney needs to go further right - is there any further he could go?