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Author Topic: Murrican Politics Megathread 2016: There Will Be Hell Toupée  (Read 843065 times)

FearfulJesuit

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Murrican Politics Megathread 2016: There Will Be Hell Toupée
« on: January 07, 2015, 08:41:28 pm »

Well, the new Congress is safely installed on Capitol Hill after the midterms, and you know what that means- presidential campaign season is just around the corner.

With that comes a new politics thread- our old one is 680 pages long and nearly two years old, and I think it's safe to say it's time to retire it.

The usual rules apply, of course. (There's really only one- don't be overly inflammatory- and I'm fairly lenient with arguments. Just don't make Toad step in.)

The last thread wandered all over the place, mainly since- to nobody's surprise- Washington spent most of the last two years mainly sitting on its ass doing nothing. While I'm not sure we can expect a whole lot better for the next two years (OK, we can hope the newly GOP-led Congress will put a few constructive proposals on the President's desk- but who are we really trying to kid?), we'll also have the spectre of the presidential election scheduled for November 8, 2016, which should provide plenty of entertainment and speculation, since neither side has an incumbent in office to nominate. The first GOP primary debate is in September, just eight months from the time of writing, and I imagine the Democrats aren't going to postpone their own infighting for too much longer. Then the actual primaries begin bright and early in January 2016, about a year from now. (I'll be gone for much of this, since I'll be spending the 2015-2016 academic year abroad, likely in the Baltic Sea region.)

Without further ado, let's meet the candidates! I've tried to compile a fairly comprehensive list on both sides of potential candidates and running mates. Since it's still quite early, some of these folks are likely to drop off the presidential radar in the next few months, while others will appear from nowhere, ascend to dizzying heights, and then vanish into the ether as quickly as they had appeared. (Anyone remember Herman Cain? Anyone? Anyone?)

In the Democratic Corner

Hillary Clinton is far and away the clearest front-runner for the Democratic nomination. First Lady during her husband's administration from 1992-2000 and then Senator from New York State for a long stretch of the Bush II years, she very narrowly lost the Democratic nomination to Obama in 2008 and then became his Secretary of State.

Pros: Guaranteed to have gobs and gobs of campaign money to spend from her PAC Ready For Hillary, which counts among its donors such luminaries as Warren Buffett. She's widely popular with the party's centrist wing and American moderates more generally, has both foreign - and domestic-policy credentials, and leads every single hypothetical GOP nominee when polls are conducted. (Of course, who knows how much they tell us this far out from the election...) If she runs, the GOP is going to have a very hard time snatching victory from her.

Cons: The Democrats' left wing find Hillary insufficiently progressive and cozy with corporate interests, and too hawkish on foreign policy- especially given her vote to go to war in Iraq in 2003.

Joe Biden is the current US Vice President, and remains somewhat popular despite a charming-to-cringey tendency towards gaffes and a job that requires him to do...not really very much of anything. 

Pros: Sitting Vice Presidents have as close to an incumbency advantage as there is in a wide-open race, and have historically done well. Definitely not a dumb guy, and likely to appeal to a wide swath of primary voters if they can be persuaded not to vote for Hillary (he's a bit further left than Hillary, but not as far left as, say, Warren.)

Cons: Biden rarely appears in the public spotlight except to put his foot in his mouth. He's also Obama's right-hand man, and Obama's disappointed (or outright aggravated) enough Americans on all sides that this could be a liability.

Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts since 2012, is the darling of the Democrats' left wing and has been spending much of her term going after bankers who were involved in the 2008 financial crisis.

Pros: You want a fight over income inequality? Warren will deliver.

Cons: She doesn't actually seem all that interested in running- having gone so far as to say she won't if Clinton runs- and may project an image of "left-wing loony" in states that aren't Massachusetts. (There was something of an incident last year when it transpired she claimed to be part Cherokee on a college application, which turned out to be completely unsubstantiated.) Watch her carefully for a VP pick, though.

Martin O'Malley was the governor of Maryland until a few days ago when he was replaced by a successor (having been unable to run due to term limits, if I recall correctly.)

I really don't know very much about O'Malley, so I'll wait for the news stories to start running in if/when he runs, or let mainiac have his say.

Brian Schweitzer was governor of Montana from 2004-2012.

Pros: Wildly popular in his native Montana, with approval ratings consistently about 60%. Schweitzer was governor of a flyover state that hasn't voted Democrat in a presidential election since 1992, and has a fairly folksy and down-to-earth manner. If the Dems want to make inroads among working-class whites (which there's been some muttering about), he'd be a good pick. Seems to be solid on education and healthcare (having previously announced his intention to establish single-payer healthcare in Montana, which never went anywhere, alas.)

Cons: Fairly weak on environmental issues (though what did you expect- the guy's from Montana) and guns (ditto). Schweitzer's name recognition is low, and he's made a few remarks that are unlikely to endear him to more traditional liberals from the coast.

Jim Webb is a former Senator from Virginia and Secretary of the Navy under Reagan.

Pros: Has an aura of integrity that's fairly rare among modern politicians. Webb is a Vietnam vet and a professional writer, which may have something to do with it. Considered running in 2008.

Cons: May not be far left enough for the Democrats' partisan wing. (I think? It's hard to find a good rundown of his positions...)

Lincoln Chafee is a former Senator and Governor of Rhode Island.

Pros: Was basically the last Rockefeller Republican (the Maine senators excepted), then left the GOP in 2007 over its extremism, and switched to the Democrats in 2013. Known for moderate social liberalism on issues like abortion, the death penalty and same-sex marriage, and fiscally somewhat conservative, though of the old school don't-spend-what-you-can't-pay-for variety, not Reaganite supply-side nonsense.

Cons: Well, he did flip parties. I'm having trouble finding anything particularly damning other than that, honestly, other than that he probably won't make it out of the primaries because he's up against Hillary. Oh well.

And the GOP...

Jeb Bush was governor of Florida from 1998 to 2006, and this week's frontrunner for most likely GOP nominee.

Pros: Fairly moderate for a Republican, for what that's worth (someone make me a version of my avatar with Nelson weeping.) Has a lot of popularity with Hispanics in Florida, which looks good for electability, since the GOP can't afford to lose Hispanics as badly as it has been (27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012). Has marketable (if dubious) fiscal conservative and education credentials, supports immigration reform, and is the first major GOP candidate to kinda sorta give the green light to same-sex marriage, having said that the country should let the courts make the decision and abide by it.

Cons: You remember George W.? Yep, Jeb is his younger brother. Amazingly, the scion of dynasty Bush might be too liberal for GOP primary voters, too, especially since he's been heard criticizing the general direction the GOP's been moving in in the last few years. Like his older brother before the 2000 election, Jeb has nearly no foreign-policy experience, and we all know how well that turned out for George.

Like Bush, Marco Rubio is from Florida- though as Senator, since 2010- and is probably best placed in the moderate-ish wing of the party, as he's a member of the "Gang of Eight" that tried to get immigration reform passed (to no avail). Other than that, he's pretty much your standard economically-conservative/socially-conservative Republican. He's young and charismatic, though, and might be able to wiggle himself into a veep nomination if the primary voters won't choose him to head the ticket.

Rick Santorum- Senator from Pennsylvania from 1994 to 2006- is also back in the running, inexplicably, after a near defeat in 2012 at the hands of Mitt Romney.

Pros: If you want a candidate who'll tilt at the windmills of gay marriage and contraception long after the rest of the country has moved on, Rick Santorum is your man. He's also relatively reasonable on some economic issues, because his base of support as Senator was the coal-mining country of central Pennsylvania, which is historically union country.

Cons: His last name is a byword for- well, Google it. He's also spouted off a bit of racially-charged rhetoric. He might be able to win the primary if he keeps his foot out of his mouth, but the general election would be a cakewalk for pretty much any Democrat but- just maybe- Warren.

Chris Christie is the incumbent governor of New Jersey.

Pros: Has actual bipartisan credentials- a rarity in the modern political arena, especially for a Republican- and has drawn electoral support from minorities. Christie basically has a reputation as someone who'll get things done regardless of whose votes he needs to do it, and in an era when Washington can't vote on a resolution to save its life, that's surely going to be listened to.

Cons: The more uncharitable pundits would describe him as a bully, especially after last year's infamous Bridgegate scandal, in which his transportation department created a massive traffic jam near a district that stubbornly refused to vote for him. Primary voters also might not much care for bipartisan credentials when it involves compromising with Democrats.

Ted Cruz is the Senator from Texas since 2012.

Pros: Cruz is widely hailed as a hero by Tea Party Republicans for standing up to...pretty much anything Barack Obama has ever proposed, tried to pass, or so much as whispered about. Famously delivered a 21-hour filibuster in which he read "Green Eggs and Ham" during last September's government shutdown in an attempt to get Obamacare defunded, before quietly voting for the spending bill anyways. If Democrats support it, he will fight tooth and nail to kill it. Also wants to abolish the IRS for some reason.

Cons: Does anyone other than the Tea Party faithful actually want Ted Cruz to be the world's most powerful man?

Rand Paul is the current Senator from Kentucky, serving with Mitch McConnell.

Pros: Rand is basically the younger version of his father Ron- yes, that Ron Paul- and tries very hard to have a somewhat more normal reputation. He's much more in line with the GOP hardliners' agenda, except that he's not quite as much of a warhawk, but does well at not sounding quite as kooky.

Cons: His inner circle of campaign support consists mainly of his father's old supporters. He's better at not conjuring up images of Ayn Rand-reading stoners with Bitcoin rigs running in their parents' basements...but not that much better.

Mitt "Mittens" Romney is the former governor of Massachusetts.

Pros: Has money like you wouldn't believe, plus campaign infrastructure from his 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Cons: Nobody really liked Romney- in 2008 he lost the primary to McCain, and then in 2012 he won the primary mostly because the various factions couldn't agree on anyone else to run, before losing the general election to Obama. He's got a reputation as a rich, out-of-touch, callous (Google "47%") vulture capitalist, and if people rejected him the last couple elections it's hard to see why they'll vote for him this time.

January 30th, 2015- Romney has bowed out.

Sarah Palin is the former governor of Alaska and was John McCain's running mate in 2008.

Pros: Has experience being on a presidential ticket. That's pretty much it. Her positions are fairly conservative when you can figure out what they are, and she has some residual support from the base.

Cons: It was pretty clear from the week he picked her that Palin was only going to hurt McCain's campaigning, due to her inexperience with anything not having to do with energy policy (find the 2008 vice-presidential debate on YouTube if you want a laugh), her endless (and completely obvious) attempts at avoiding questions, and her endless gaffes. She's also probably tarnished the name of Alaska for the next decade or two.

Scott Walker has been governor of Wisconsin since 2010.

Pros: Won three elections to the governorship in a state that hasn't gone red on the presidential level since 1984, including the only recall vote in American history where the governor wasn't removed from office. He's also got a reputation for getting stuff done, although much of that stuff has been cutting public-service pensions. Charismatic and good at not sounding like a nutjob despite being quite conservative.

Cons: Cuts public-service pensions. Very socially conservative, although that may be more of an issue in the general election than the primary.

  "Nobody builds walls better than me"  "Why doesn't he show his birth certificate" Donald "The American dream is dead" Trump is a multi-billionaire real estate mogul and perennial presidential candidate with a legendary level of narcissism.

Pros: Could finance an entire campaign entirely out of pocket. Mildly conservative to moderate socially.

Cons:  "Nobody builds walls better than me"  "Why doesn't he show his birth certificate" Donald "The American dream is dead" Trump's ego is notable even among politicians; he has alternated running for president with hosting reality television shows about himself and writing books with titles like "Nobody builds walls better than me"  "Why doesn't he show his birth certificate" Donald "The American dream is dead" Trump: How To Get Rich for more than a decade now. He's worse at flip-flopping than Mitt Romney, which is something of an achievement, and has made major campaign donations to everyone from George Bush to Ted Kennedy.  "Nobody builds walls better than me"  "Why doesn't he show his birth certificate" Donald "The American dream is dead" Trump spent most of Obama's first term haranguing about birth certificates and has a shady past with regard to racial issues, which didn't stop Ron Paul from forming an enduring (and endearing) cult of personality. Also an anti-vaxxer.

There are probably a dozen other GOP members who could make, if not the presidential nominee, at least the vice-presidential- these are just the main ones. There's really no telling what's going to happen- I would bet money that we'll see at least one of those mentioned above on the ticket, but not necessarily both, and not necessarily as the presidential nominee. Unlike with the Democrats, there's no clear front-runner- Jeb Bush is just the most talked-about at the time of this writing.

As always, there's space for a third-party run. In fact, I would go so far as to say 2016 might be a better-than-usual year for it- there's no incumbent running, discontentment with the two main parties is running sky-high, and political polarization (mostly on the right, but on the left, too) is alienating the country's moderates. However, nobody's popped out of the woodwork yet, though if someone starts making noise, I'll add them.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2016, 01:41:42 am by FearfulJesuit »
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Mephansteras

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 08:48:55 pm »

PTW
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Arcvasti

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 08:49:11 pm »

Silly FJ, Bay12 doesn't have elections, the Toad is God-Emperor until midnight at the well of souls. :P

In all seriousness, PTW. Politics are interesting when they're not mine.
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RedKing

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 08:53:38 pm »

I've been a fan of Schweitzer's for several years now. And I don't know that I'd say he's weak on environmental issues. The guy is a bona fide environmental engineer (M.S. in soil science). He also called bullshit on BP when a pipeline spilled into the Yellowstone and BP tried to claim it was a minor leak. And he's pushed alternative energy pretty hard. Wind power generation in Montana has soared, and he's backed expansions of solar and hydroelectric. Where he gets some flak is in promoting coal as well (hey, Montana is sitting on huge deposits of coal, it's kinda his job to promote that). He's sometimes seen as too cozy with mining interests, but again Montana is a big mining-dependent state economically.

He's also of Volga German heritage, which is an additional plus in my book. The guy is a popular Blue governor in a deeply Red state, that says a lot about electability. I remember another guy named Clinton that had that kind of resume as well....



And speaking of Clintons and Bushes, if it comes down to Hillary vs. Jeb then I'm not voting or I'm voting 3rd party. Fuck dynasties, this isn't Crusader Kings.
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 08:54:20 pm »

inb4 never finishing the OP

And also put me down for "wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton to save America". Fuck her, she's the worst type of politician we have.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 08:56:56 pm by MetalSlimeHunt »
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nenjin

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 08:55:35 pm »

in b4 remembering how politically apathetic I've become.
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FearfulJesuit

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 08:56:09 pm »

inb4 never finishing the OP

It'll happen. I'll finish it tomorrow morning as a distraction from packing.

Actually, no, you know what? Screw you, I'll go finish it now.
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MetalSlimeHunt

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 08:58:14 pm »

inb4 never finishing the OP

It'll happen. I'll finish it tomorrow morning as a distraction from packing.

Actually, no, you know what? Screw you, I'll go finish it now.
Public shaming confirmed as effective motivator for plebs, bring on the welfare reform!
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nenjin

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 09:03:44 pm »

Also I'd just like to state that we have an election thread a year in advance of the actual elections; we're as bad as the media.
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Its kinda silly to complain that a friendly NPC isn't a well designed boss fight.
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Sindain

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 09:05:04 pm »

PTW
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penguinofhonor

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 09:07:55 pm »

Also I'd just like to state that we have an election thread a year in advance of the actual elections; we're as bad as the media.

No, the media started their 2016 coverage two years ago.

Also...
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Arcvasti

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 09:14:39 pm »

Also...
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I read that as:

"I'm ready for hilarity"
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Frumple

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2015, 09:29:01 pm »

The little red bit at the core of the website address is amusingly subtle in its innuendo. I like that. Heart of a republican, flesh suit of a democrat.*

I can see hillary being elected and a xenomorph wearing a carnage symbiont just ripping its way out from inside her and going on a rampage.

Hell, I'd actually be mildly inclined to vote for that...

*E: Ha, and I just noticed it has white on the very end. Racial commentary, too! Damn, if that was intentional it's pretty slick.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 09:31:41 pm by Frumple »
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Remuthra

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2015, 09:38:45 pm »

PTW.

Cryxis, Prince of Doom

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Re: Bay12 Election Megathread- 2016 Edition
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2015, 09:40:40 pm »

I like how the OP states "in the Democratic corner" but nothing for the republicans.
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