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Our One-Party Democracy?





deanhills
I found an interesting article by Thomas Friedman of the "New York Times" exploring his theory that currently the US has a One-Party Democracy. He had some interesting comments including that perhaps a one-party autocracy led by an enlightened group of people would be better off. Do you think his views are relevant?

Quote:
Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. Chinas leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Our one-party democracy is worse. The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying no. Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; hes a centrist. But if hes forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.

Look at the climate/energy bill that came out of the House. Its sponsors

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/opinion/09friedman.html
Roald
There has been a lot of writing through the ages about the idea of having a group of enlightened people lead a country. But this creates a government that has no feeling with the people. Just look at China: they have an enormous economy but most of the inhabitants are very poor.

But yes this is the weakness of every democracy: division of power.

Quote:
The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying no. Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; hes a centrist. But if hes forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
I wholeheartedly agree here.
ocalhoun
Roald wrote:

Quote:
The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying no. Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; hes a centrist. But if hes forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
I wholeheartedly agree here.

Personally, I suspect the Democrats are trying too hard to use the power they have now, which is why you have Republicans saying 'no'. How can they not, when legislation is put forward that they had no hand in writing, and any suggestions of theirs about what should be in it are ignored?
liljp617
Roald wrote:
Quote:
The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying no. Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; hes a centrist. But if hes forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
I wholeheartedly agree here.


Replace Republican with Democrat and Democrat with Republican....and you have the story of the political scene each time the recent "losing" party suddenly starts "winning." This is nothing new. People thought Bush was dumb and a horrible decision maker (I'm not going disagree), but it's no secret that plenty of people were hoping for him to screw up every time he put something forward.
deanhills
liljp617 wrote:
Roald wrote:
Quote:
The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying no. Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; hes a centrist. But if hes forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.
I wholeheartedly agree here.


Replace Republican with Democrat and Democrat with Republican....and you have the story of the political scene each time the recent "losing" party suddenly starts "winning." This is nothing new. People thought Bush was dumb and a horrible decision maker (I'm not going disagree), but it's no secret that plenty of people were hoping for him to screw up every time he put something forward.
Looks as though each now get 8 years instead of 4, and possibly it is highly likely with the disarray in the Republican leadership camp, that the Democrats are likely to get 8 years.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
the Democrats are likely to get 8 years.

For the presidency, probably.

For congress though... I'd look for a major reduction in Democrats in congress at the next election, a slight increase in Republicans, and a surprising increase in third party congressmen.

While the poll numbers for Democrat congressmen have fallen significantly, Republican congressmen haven't seen an increase in poll numbers to make up for it. That makes room for different parties, like Libertarian. I'll be watching the next congressional election very closely.
Alaskacameradude
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
the Democrats are likely to get 8 years.

For the presidency, probably.

For congress though... I'd look for a major reduction in Democrats in congress at the next election, a slight increase in Republicans, and a surprising increase in third party congressmen.

While the poll numbers for Democrat congressmen have fallen significantly, Republican congressmen haven't seen an increase in poll numbers to make up for it. That makes room for different parties, like Libertarian. I'll be watching the next congressional election very closely.


That would probably be the best possible outcome.....fewer Democrats and Republicans and
more third party people elected. As for the fact that Republicans won't help Obama on Health Care
why would they? He is putting forward ideas that they fundamentally disagree with! It's kind of
like asking why the Democrats in Congress would not support Bush. Of course they wouldn't, they
did not agree with him! And when the Republicans put forth ideas, they are rejected by the Democrats (because after all, the Democrats disagree with the Republican's ideas.) Not that the Democrats need any Republican support, they have the votes to pass anything they want. To place blame on the Republicans for ANYTHING is pretty disingenuous in my opinion. The Democrats have the largest majorities in Congress in recent memory.....even a filibuster proof senate! And they have the presidency as well. If they can't get done what they want.....it's ALL on them!
handfleisch
The Republicans are in "disarray", putting it mildly, because they presided over one of the most disastrous eight year reigns in memory, and they and the conservative movement now are allowing their party to be ruled by extremists and whack jobs like Limbaugh, all of FOX agitprop inc., Michele Bachman, etc.

But maybe the "one party" scenario is not so scary, since the Democrats have almost zero unity and can hardly agree with each other on anything, and Demo congress is not supporting Obama consistently, and a lot of Democrats are conservative and/or siding with big business just as much at the Repubs. So in effect there is a lot of voices and give and take inside the Democrats, albeit just about all center-right, for better or worse.
Alaskacameradude
handfleisch wrote:
The Republicans are in "disarray", putting it mildly, because they presided over one of the most disastrous eight year reigns in memory, and they and the conservative movement now are allowing their party to be ruled by extremists and whack jobs like Limbaugh, all of FOX agitprop inc., Michele Bachman, etc.

But maybe the "one party" scenario is not so scary, since the Democrats have almost zero unity and can hardly agree with each other on anything, and Demo congress is not supporting Obama consistently, and a lot of Democrats are conservative and/or siding with big business just as much at the Repubs. So in effect there is a lot of voices and give and take inside the Democrats, albeit just about all center-right, for better or worse.


Ya, I think that kind of show that BOTH parties are in a bit of 'disarray' as neither one can
really seem to figure out exactly which direction they want to go......
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
But maybe the "one party" scenario is not so scary, since the Democrats have almost zero unity and can hardly agree with each other on anything, and Demo congress is not supporting Obama consistently, and a lot of Democrats are conservative and/or siding with big business just as much at the Repubs. So in effect there is a lot of voices and give and take inside the Democrats, albeit just about all center-right, for better or worse.
Good point! Probably Obama's major No. 1 constraint, being those to the left of the Democratic Party who are unhappy with him steering the centre course. I'm also wondering about Hillary Clinton and whether he regretted her appointment. This may have been forced on him.
handfleisch
Alaskacameradude wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
The Republicans are in "disarray", putting it mildly, because they presided over one of the most disastrous eight year reigns in memory, and they and the conservative movement now are allowing their party to be ruled by extremists and whack jobs like Limbaugh, all of FOX agitprop inc., Michele Bachman, etc.

But maybe the "one party" scenario is not so scary, since the Democrats have almost zero unity and can hardly agree with each other on anything, and Demo congress is not supporting Obama consistently, and a lot of Democrats are conservative and/or siding with big business just as much at the Repubs. So in effect there is a lot of voices and give and take inside the Democrats, albeit just about all center-right, for better or worse.


Ya, I think that kind of show that BOTH parties are in a bit of 'disarray' as neither one can
really seem to figure out exactly which direction they want to go......


Essentially the Democrats have always been in disarray. There's a positive side to it -- democracy is messy, slow, unruly on one hand and compromising on the other, and that's what the Democrats are. It's frustrating at times, but preferable to the single-message talking-point totality the Repubs had while ramming through disastrous policies which has left them a shipwreck of a party.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Essentially the Democrats have always been in disarray. There's a positive side to it -- democracy is messy, slow, unruly on one hand and compromising on the other, and that's what the Democrats are. It's frustrating at times, but preferable to the single-message talking-point totality the Repubs had while ramming through disastrous policies which has left them a shipwreck of a party.
Come off it Handfleisch. Both parties have had their up and down cycles. In 2000 the Democratic Party was in complete doldrums and worked itself up to something meaningful slowly but steadily by 2006. The shoe is now on the other foot. The Republicans are in the doldrums, but are certain to work themselves up again, and possibly more speedily than the Democrats have, given the Democrats current spending frenzy.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Essentially the Democrats have always been in disarray. There's a positive side to it -- democracy is messy, slow, unruly on one hand and compromising on the other, and that's what the Democrats are. It's frustrating at times, but preferable to the single-message talking-point totality the Repubs had while ramming through disastrous policies which has left them a shipwreck of a party.
Come off it Handfleisch. Both parties have had their up and down cycles. In 2000 the Democratic Party was in complete doldrums and worked itself up to something meaningful slowly but steadily by 2006. The shoe is now on the other foot. The Republicans are in the doldrums, but are certain to work themselves up again, and possibly more speedily than the Democrats have, given the Democrats current spending frenzy.


Come off it? Are you joking? You obviously are divorced from reality. There is almost no comparison between the things you are comparing. But whatever, have fun out there.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Essentially the Democrats have always been in disarray. There's a positive side to it -- democracy is messy, slow, unruly on one hand and compromising on the other, and that's what the Democrats are. It's frustrating at times, but preferable to the single-message talking-point totality the Repubs had while ramming through disastrous policies which has left them a shipwreck of a party.
Come off it Handfleisch. Both parties have had their up and down cycles. In 2000 the Democratic Party was in complete doldrums and worked itself up to something meaningful slowly but steadily by 2006. The shoe is now on the other foot. The Republicans are in the doldrums, but are certain to work themselves up again, and possibly more speedily than the Democrats have, given the Democrats current spending frenzy.


Come off it? Are you joking? You obviously are divorced from reality. There is almost no comparison between the things you are comparing. But whatever, have fun out there.
How is it possible for the Republican Party to have been in power for 8 years if the Democratic Party had been the stronger one at the time? When Bush came into power, the Democrats were struggling. When Obama came into power the Republicans are struggling. When the one is up, the other is down. There are up and down cycles in both parties. So it makes sense that the Republicans will work on getting their act together. They are in the doldrums right now. However, they will most probably get stronger in exactly the way the Democrats did, when the Republicans blundered. Guess that makes sense when you only have two real parties around, both of them thriving on one another's weaknesses.
handfleisch
Here's a portrayal in comic strip form of why Democrats in charge is not so horrendous -- mainly because they don't act like Republicans.
coolclay
It always boggles my mind how simplistic human beings really are. I mean in politics and other social interactions you observe the same behaviors as between a group of 5 year olds. "I'm not going to talk to you because you aren't in my party and voted against me", and all the other petty BS that takes place every single day. If our politicians actually tried to work together for the common good, how much better off we would be. I am not saying they are not out there though. For example Rep. Snowe, and Rep. Collins of Maine are truly bipartisan and work together for the common good.

Regardless it's true there really is very little difference between the parties now. Most of our modern day "neocons" are pretty much just dems disguised as republicans. Which is sad really because there are so few paleocons still in office that truly represent traditional conservative values.
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