10
   

Is the United States of America a center-right nation?

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 08:20 pm
@blatham,
Oooh..."marque"

Pseudo-Frenchie for "mark."
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 08:47 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
sale con!
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 09:01 pm
I appreciate the point kuvy is trying to make, and his frustration with the inevitable voice of "The Left in America is really the Right," crowd.

What you don't understand kuvy is that this crowd wants to preserve their global perspective which, by their definition, is far beyond the parochial concerns of mere Americans.

You are merely an American leftist and that hardly rises to the level of European Leftist (Especially when it comes to the American Euro-Leftie Wannabes).

No surprise that you have found support from a North American leftie (blatham). Candadian lefties (while a bit more orthodox, still can't match the purity of the Euro-Left).

Now to your arguement:

Whether America is or is not "center-right", it seems to me, is a pointless question.

Clearly certain vocal conservatives would like to assert that despite the Obama victory, America leans towards their positions. It is a transparent, and, frankly, feeble argument.

The reality is that a majority of Americans voted for Obama despite the fact that a great effort was made to paint him as a Liberal.

None of us can tell what people were thinking when they voted, but it is unlikely that the winning margin for Obama are able to quote Chariman Mao.

Obama and the Democrats will attempt to advance their agenda.

Since America is a republic rather than a pure democracy, they may be able to push some objectives through before the American public is able to express it's collective opinion.

If the majority of American voters do not lean to the left, then we can expect a correction in 2010...assuming Obama & Co promote a leftist agenda between now and then.

The notion that a general claim that America is a "center-left" nation is some sort of insidious tactic is just silly.

The people who voted for Obama are not going to to feel intellectually reprimanded by the assertion that the nation is "center-left."

In the classic kuvian world view, the Americans who, somehow, were smart enough to vote of Obama are so stupid as to be swept along by the vague notion that America is a "center-left" nation.

We shall see what we shall see.








Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 09:05 pm
@kuvasz,
Quote:
sale con!


Habla anglais?
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 09:36 pm
So basically what you're saying is that the American public (if it was ground up into a homogenous mush) thinks it's a Winston man but in a blind taste test will go for Gaulois.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 11:05 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Nicely done finn, but please, reread your post because I think that you wrote “center-left” when actually meaning “center-right” in many of your last few statements.

Regardless, you were correct about my exasperation of the pedantry of the first few posts. I was expecting more than fly-by surface analysis of what was presented.

And time will tell about whether Obama will act towards the progressive things he campaigned on, and gets rejected because of implementing them, but if you examine the issues in the light of exit polling results (listed below) in specific areas for government action or social/personal behavior it remains clear that we are no longer in the country of tom delay, rick santorium, or karl rove, while obama's campaign promises are well aligned with what people want.

Democracy Corps polled 2,000 voters November 4-5 and posed several questions as direct contrasts between a conservative approach and a progressive approach, some of which were directly drawn from the arguments made by Obama and McCain. The poll asked which statement "comes closer to your own view, even if neither is exactly right."

http://mediamatters.org/rd?to=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.democracycorps.com%2Fdownload.php%3Fattachment%3Ddcor110508fq1.pdf


Social Security

Quote:
The Democracy Corps survey asked respondents to choose between one statement on Social Security, "We need to reform Social Security and protect it to ensure that it's a safety net the American people can count on," and a second, more conservative statement: "We need to reform Social Security and establish personal savings accounts so individuals have more options." The first statement, supported by 63 percent of respondents, is similar to Obama's proposal to "protect Social Security" and "ensur[e] Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future." The second statement, involving Social Security private accounts, was supported by 35



Health care

Quote:
Regarding health care, the Democracy Corps survey offered a relatively progressive statement, which was supported by 58 percent of respondents: "Our health care system needs fundamental reform, we should regulate insurance companies and give everyone a choice between a public plan or what they have right now." This statement is similar to Obama's proposal for health-care reform, which "[r]equire[s] insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions"; allows individuals to keep their current health-care coverage if they choose to do so; and establishes "a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage." The other statement offered by the survey -- "Our health care system needs fundamental reform; we should give American families more choice by giving individuals a tax credit to choose their own coverage" -- was supported by 38 percent of respondents.



Priorities

Quote:
The Democracy Corps survey also specifically tested many of the policies Obama has proposed, asking voters whether each should be "the SINGLE highest priority, one of the TOP FEW priorities, but not the highest, NEAR THE TOP of the list, in the MIDDLE OF THE LIST, or TOWARD THE BOTTOM of the list of priorities for the new president." If a respondent actually disagreed with an item on the agenda, he or she would presumably place the goal "toward the bottom of the list of priorities." The data demonstrate that the public appears to want action on many of the key pieces of Obama's agenda.


Among the proposals the survey presented that a majority of respondents considered at least "near the top" of their priorities:

Quote:
"Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making over 250,000 dollars and cut taxes for middle class families and anyone making under 200,000 dollars." Sixty percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama proposed "broad-based tax relief to middle class families" and raising taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 per year and families earning more than $250,000 per year.

"Make health insurance affordable and accessible to all Americans." Seventy-two percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. As noted above, Obama proposed "a National Health Insurance Exchange ... that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage."

"End the war in Iraq responsibly and redeploy our troops from Iraq to Afghanistan." Seventy-six percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama proposed withdrawing troops from Iraq in a way that is "responsible and phased, directed by military commanders on the ground and done in consultation with the Iraqi government." Obama has also proposed "providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan."

"Repeal tax breaks that benefit companies that move jobs overseas." Fifty-nine percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama has said, "I want to end the tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and provide a tax credit for every company that's creating a job right here in America."
"End dependence on foreign oil by 2025 by requiring one quarter of U.S. electric power to come from alternative energy where new investments will create new jobs." Eighty-one percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama's energy plan proposes that "10 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25 percent by 2025."

"Make job-creating investments in America's aging roads and transportation systems and stimulate new economic activity." Fifty-nine percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities. Obama's energy plan calls for "devot[ing] substantial resources to repairing our roads and bridges."


Now, with these things being the priorities/issues that a majority of voters held in 2008 (which fall on the left side of the American political divide), and that dovetail with Obama’s campaign proposals, he apparently has the support of the majority of the voting public to initiate these programs to accomplish these goals.

The “center-right” meme is simply a rhetorical tool or crutch opponents of these programs/actions want to use to fight them or prevent them from happening.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 05:51 am
Robinson on point...
Quote:
A GOP Bridge to Nowhere

By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, November 11, 2008; Page A19

I could make the argument that all is not lost for the Republican Party -- that last Tuesday's across-the-board defeat wasn't an unmitigated disaster. But it would be a pretty dumb argument, and I doubt many readers would take it seriously. The truth is that the Grand Old Party is on a Bridge to Nowhere and may have great difficulty changing course.

The essential problem is that changing course will require turning around and marching, if not sprinting, in the opposite direction. At least initially, this doesn't look like something enough Republicans are willing to do.

What we're hearing instead from Republican politicians, pollsters and pundits is reassurance that the United States is a "center-right nation" with an innate distrust of progressive policies. The problem, these soothing voices say, is that under George W. Bush the GOP strayed from its basic philosophy of limited government and adopted the big-spending habits of the Democrats. Republicans need to rediscover their bedrock principles, this theory goes, and after a few years of rule by Barack Obama and his Democratic enablers on Capitol Hill, voters will come running home to papa.

So much is wrong with this analysis that it's hard to know where to begin...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/10/AR2008111002481.html?hpid=opinionsbox1
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 05:59 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

What you don't understand kuvy is that this crowd wants to preserve their global perspective which, by their definition, is far beyond the parochial concerns of mere Americans.

Yes, God forbid that people who are from and/or live in, say, Canada, the UK, Holland or Germany or Australia or Hungary, would want to "preserve a global perspective". Imagine that they just won't look at a subject, or interpret a term or definition, purely within the framework of US politics. How dare they be so elitist.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 06:19 am
@nimh,
Bunch of bastids!
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  4  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 06:35 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
What you don't understand kuvy is that this crowd wants to preserve their global perspective which, by their definition, is far beyond the parochial concerns of mere Americans.

To remain culturally consistent, you might want to limit use of the term 'parochial', finn, given it's french and latin heritage. Some possible good texan substitutes would include 'insular', 'narrow', 'shallow', "small-minded" and "contented with stupid".

For the last decade plus, republicans have found their spiritual home in Texasness. Hats and cattle, studly main street shoot outs, self-sufficiency (the Lone Star world), speakin that one language that was good enough for jesus, and no book-learnin', thankya. The frontier thing.

And now that this B-grade movie is playing to an empty theatre, what do you recommend? Double down, of course. What is even more frontiery than Texas? There's only one place to turn now...Alaska. Sure won't be gettin' a word like "parochial" rearing its sissified euro commie head up there.
snood
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 07:19 am
@blatham,
No Sirrie. You betcha.
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 07:51 am
kuvasz; I understand your point and have been following this line of thought on think progress. I am hopeful that Blatham is right and the ultra conservatives who pushing this "center-right nation' stuff are playing to an empty audience.

I could be wrong but now that the election is finally over it is like no one is paying attention to the news and politics in general and just waiting for Obama to become president. Sort of like politics fatigue. I know the feeling and I am right in there with them.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 08:24 am
A related meme (to the "we are a center-right nation") is the "Obama/Dems don't have any mandate arising from the election". They function propagandistically in pretty much identical ways. I saw the bit of video below last evening and it's a hats off for Matthews in this case...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvp-IiYMHSo&eurl=http://crooksandliars.com/
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 09:08 am
@blatham,
I also find it interesting how some interested parties spin this as "a victory for Obama, now a wholesale move to the left." (I think that's a verbatim quote from your video.) Hello? Did they look at the shift in Senate seats from 2004 to 2008? Did they look at the shift in House seats? They're as significant as the shift in votes for the presidency, for Mill's sake!
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 09:14 am
Came across a blog post you might like, Kuvasz, Blatham et. al. -- roughly saying what you're talking about too, and it's got lots of links to click through to.

Trying to deny the Obama mandate
Xyre
10 November 2008
Lambchop
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 10:17 am
@kuvasz,
I'd say we're center-centrist. Hee!

Seriously, in American politics today, it seems that whichever candidate is better at playing to the middle is the one who wins; which is why McCain lost. Too far to the right. Too far in any direction will probably cost you the election.

Obama is actually a moderate liberal (which is why the comments about him being socialist are just silly).

If we plotted this on a point scale, zero being the ultimate conservative and 100 being the ultimate liberal, I'd put Obama at about 75.

I'd put McCain at 12.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 10:24 am
@Lambchop,
Quote:
. . . in American politics today, it seems that whichever candidate is better at playing to the middle is the one who wins . . .


Word.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 12:57 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas
Yes. As I noted here or on another related thread, Brent Bozell was claiming two weeks ago that Obama's policies were "socialist" and then, a day or two after the election, he was claiming that Obama has no mandate to move left because he "ran as a Reaganite".

This is all just the propaganda exercise of trying to shape/control the narrative. Consistency is found in that fact and not in the 'arguments' or claims themselves which are commonly as directly contradictory as Bozell's above (or as counter-factual as the electoral points you just raised).

The fundamental premise of the modern conservative movement is, as I said somewhere earlier, that it is only their ideas about governance which are truly legitimate for America. But that premise is inextricably tied to their claims or assumptions regarding what form of goverance americans really want (otherwise they must present themselves as authoritarian, uncaring about majority opinion). So they must invalidate any electoral or polling result which suggests a rejection of their political philosophy.



0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 01:23 pm
@nimh,
nimh

Thanks. Even Tom Brokaw at NBC has parroted this "center-right nation" meme post-election.

As I mentioned somewhere, I've just picked up Annenburg's Kathleen Hall Jamieson book "Echo Chamber". It's really very good and I hope lots of other folks order it up.

Obama has a lot of challenges to face. But one of them is this rightwing media universe. I fully believe his sincerity (and I share his conclusions) re the destructive divisiveness of american politics as it has been conducted. Somehow, the operations or consequences of this beast has to be surmounted or mitigated.
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 03:48 pm
@nimh,
ninh said
Quote:
Yes, God forbid that people who are from and/or live in, say, Canada, the UK, Holland or Germany or Australia or Hungary, would want to "preserve a global perspective". Imagine that they just won't look at a subject, or interpret a term or definition, purely within the framework of US politics. How dare they be so elitist.


sorry fellow, its you showing your personal elitism. simply put, the subject at hand is based purely on american politics by definition, you insist on making it global. its not.

using a macro-system set of equations (read global) for a micro-system (read national) acheives nothing of consequence on the micro scale. it has nothing to do having a "global perspective," because the analysis is not based upon global definitions but national ones. you might as well attempt to define quantum electodynamics using newtonian physics. all that you are doing is pushing on a rope and write reams of inconsequently equations as you have in your posts so far. insisting that having a "global perspective" in discussing a "national situation" is in itself both a non-sequiter and arrogant in attempting to push such a perspective when it has no consequence to delevopment of the issue.

on the other hand, you can start your own thread on the center-right nature of the american political scene in relief of a global perspective, because that is not the topic i initiated here. i will chime when you do, and likely will agree with you, but right here you are attempting to stick a round peg into a square hole.

i await your new thread.

btw good link nimh!
and sweet jesus i'm watching tv as i type and the republican continues to talk about how america is a center right country.
0 Replies
 
 

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