Saturday, August 25, 2012

Listen to the Candidates Themselves

I don't know whether the Citizen's United case went the right way or not, but I do think it is unfortunate either way.  I just don't see the ability for those with massive financial resources to inundate the media with "partisan stuff" as a net positive in any way, shape, or form.  The decision has made things worse than ever, in my opinion, and that's a bi-partisan position (thus the McCain-Feingold Reform Act).

[By the way, this is why (as I've said before) the old, "vote for a Republican so that we can have anti-abortion judges" is a bait and switch, not nearly as slam-dunk as we often pretend.  There are far more consequences for the Clarence Thomas type judge than the reversal of Roe vs. Wade that has never come. Agree or disagree with the type of decisions this kind of judge makes, but don't pretend it's about abortion. So far it's not been about abortion at all but entirely about things like this Citizen's United decision.]

That is all preface and aside.  My point is that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the superpack commercials.  It should not be trusted on either side.  If we want to know what the candidates stand for, we should listen to what they themselves are saying and the advertisements that they themselves approve.

Are they themselves saying false things? Almost certainly.  But it seems to deteriorate even more the further you get from the individual candidate. I'm resolved not to hold Romney or Obama accountable for anything in the ads of their superpacks, only for what they themselves say in the ads they themselves endorse because, frankly, their own superpacks turn me off to them.

Did Citizens United go the right way?  I don't know.  But I refuse to be the dupe of these superpacks.  I'll enact campaign finance reform on my own--and intelligence--by ignoring them.

16 comments:

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Ken,
We just went to see "2016, The Movie". I thought it was well done, and researched. (Wim thought it could've been more partisan ;-)!) I highly recommend it!

The thrust of the movie was how Obama's personal history affected the development of his ideology and is affecting his governing, policy ideals, and the dangers they make for America's future. D'Souza accomplished those goals, I think! The main danger in Obama's "world" is about wealth inequality and America being the epitome of that injustice and how his foreign policy decisions are understood within this paradigm, leaving other decisions up for question.

As to the Constitution, people will disagree philosophically. Some will take an internationalist stance, thinking that essentialism is not important for human identification, while others will take an essentialist position as to human identity. The thing that makes America Great is the fact that America makes room for both positions philisophically, because of our "ideals" (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and our belief in individual rights.

Corporations have made things harder for the small business owner to compete, when it is to the avantage for the corporation to undermine small businesses. I think an IWU graduate in business did a study on Wall Mart about that subject.

What is considered "fair or just" has to be real laws within a nation that protect the individual and hold government accountable. Otherwise, power determines what is "right", and haven't we seen enough of that in recent years in our government? (Government can also "bend over backwards" to protect "minority rights", which end up demoralizing and causing reverse discrimination. It is a hard balance between tensions that provide and protect liberty and justice for all...)

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The movie also showed Obama makng a speech saying there was no difference between Islam and our culture! Does he believe in equality for women, or not? How can you hold to multiculturalism and also approve of "equal rights"? is it the collectvist's view of "equal rights", such as "racial groups", "gender groups", "worker (Unions)/corporation groups", etc.? It seems that that was the initial argument for corporations as "persons", then government could be "in bed" and there could develop crony capitalism, without government accountability...those in government being another group with "protected rights"....arguing for an expansion of government power and paying off corporations with "public monies" (TAXES)! In Obama's Book, he says the government should tax 100 percent and give back each according to his gift....is that not socialism/communism? Remeber Obama appealed to the "evangelical vote" in his 2008 campaign, because I believe he wanted to use evangelicals for government purposes....(that is my speculation...). The real need is for government to understand and prevent a nuclear holocost. It hasn't been promising since Obama's undercutting our ability to defend ourselves. Other countries maintain their power, while Iran is a real threat...you should hear what a Middle Eastern expert said in the movie!

John Mark said...

I saw 2016 as well. I reserve judgment at this point but--not surprisingly--I did find myself in sympathy with D'Souza, and intrigued to say the least.

Still, this goes against the point Ken is making; listening to the candidates themselves. (I know, Obama is seen speaking in the movie, I won't take the time to address this).

Drudge Report calls it the Anti-Obama movie, and I think that is how anyone who disagrees with it in whole or part will view it; partisan propaganda.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

John Mark,
I could agree with you if you had said that from the beginning, D'Souza had a particular way to frame Obama's "mind" as formed by his experiences. He presents a pretty compelling case by interviewing people that had direct contact or knowledge about Obama's associations and associates.

Don't you believe that one's academic mentor affects how one percieve a particular academic subject? The framing of the subject as well as the subject itself has become important in postmodernism. This is how people communicate in speaking to an audience, isn't it?

The movie was portraying Obama's experience as his primary "interpretor" of life and all that Obama dreamed that "should be". It is a postmodern view, where people's perceptions are "framed" by their cultural "baggage".

The movie had a strong message about the importance and value of fathers and how they set an example or not to emulate. I couldn't help but think that this, too was of importance to Obama. So, there did seem to be one "side agenda". Fathers as being important. (If framed by Obama's focus on the African American community and single mothers,)

I did not see it as partisan, because The movie only presented the facts of our deficit since Obama took office, the actual events in foreign policy. The only partisan part of the movie was the presentation of his promises and the lack of fulfillment of those promises from the 2008 campaign. Yes, the movie did "interpret the American people" and their "hopes and dreams" for their future in 2008. But, are those not facts? Isn't it true that our economy has gone "downhill" since his bailouts and interventions? How are facts partisan?

Angie Van De Merwe said...


I will grant you that D'Souza did start by acknowleging striking similarities between his background and Obama's. Were the differences in political philsophies about perception alone, the innate difference of their brains or how the two found their support or who supported them? This is what Obama meant, wasn't it, when he said that business isn't built alone. Interdependence is a fact of life in some sense. Such information, again is not partisan.

How does this information connect to Ken's asking us to listen to the candidates? How we "hear" what is said, might tend to be selective hearing...and how does hearing/understanding come about?

Ken Schenck said...

All history is interpretation, even one that quote the person. Did Obama appear at the end of the movie and say, "Hi, I'm Barack Obama, and I approve this interpretation" or would he? Can anyone doubt that this movie was produced to discourage people from voting for him?

I haven't seen the movie, but the tactic seems all too familiar. Rather than focus on what the candidate is going to do, which is the only thing that matters, reveal some hidden truths about who they supposedly are, usually with some label that causes everyone to rent their clothes. "What further need of testimony do we have?"

Angie Van De Merwe said...

WHAT has Obama DONE? THAT was addressed!! and it wasn't pretty. The foreign policy gone awry and the inconsistancies, too, were highlighted. We are in terrible straits as to our deficit. And it has increased much more under Obama as well as the unemployment, and people on welfare and food stamps. That is not helping prosper the nation. It is disadvantaging the nation based on some "ideal" of the "global".

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The Winston Churchhill bust was sent back to England! Liberation theology is something that he believes. Anti colonialism is something is holds to. So, Resentment, Resistance, Revolution, and Reorientation is the means to an end and that is setting people free. It is a radical liberal ideology that gives to terrorists in the name of fairness, while dismissing our friends/allies. It is a change, however, not one that America had hoped for....

Ken Schenck said...

I seem to recall that we were in the largest downward economic spiral since the Great Depression when he took office. The deficit is horrible, but clearly the economy is in much better shape today by far than when he took office.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Are we to disadvantage the intelligent so that things will be fair to everyone. This is the same philosophy in our schools! We can't discrimnate...That same principle is being applied to our nation, as to its priviledged status and the use of resources. Since we use more we are taxed more by the U.N....each according to his ability and each according to his need...This does not use man's natural bents toward incentive to promote the best performance....unless we want to promote performance under threat of punishment!!!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57400369-503544/national-debt-has-increased-more-under-obama-than-under-bush/

Ken Schenck said...

That's exactly the sort of rhetoric I'm talking about in this post Angie, voting for or against someone because a Christmas ornament has Mao on it. Now we know what he really stands for, someone sent a bust of Churchill back to England.

Angie Van De Merwe said...







This column by ACRU General Counsel and Senior Fellow for the Carleson Center for Public Policy (CCPP) Peter Ferrara was published February 17, 2012 on Forbes.com.

President Obama's budget released Monday embodies his policies for economic growth and recovery. The document, including the President's accompanying budget message, makes those policies quite clear. If you think the key to economic growth and prosperity is increased government spending, financed by increased tax rates on job creators, investors and small business, with sustained record deficits and soaring debt, then President Obama is your man. If you think that is nuts, then what the budget says to you is your only choice is to get him out of office.
http://theacru.org/acru/obamas_budget_the_decline_and_fall_of_the_american_economy/

Ken Schenck said...

Absolutely the deficit has increased, primarily because of the bailouts and stimulus. We can argue over whether they helped turn the Great Recession around so quickly or not. But we can't argue that they were an unRepublican economic move. Ryan voted for and strongly supported Bush's stimulus. The deficit is not because Obama is a reckless spender but because of extraordinary tactics made to try to stop the economic free fall.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

There is a website where you can compare what has happened since WWII to our economy! No bias here! A fellow from CATO talks about it!

http://www.cato.org/multimedia/video-highlights/daniel-j-mitchell-discuses-reaganomics-vs-obamanomics-fox

John C. Gardner said...

Debate over read issues such as assistance for the poor, a path to a balanced budget, tax reform, basic research, educational reform and help for the working classes is necessary. We need compromise but not on essentials of morality and virtue(See Aquinas, and other virtue ethicists

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