Obama’s Long Politics.

What I took from Obama’s State of the Union is a political strategy for the next ten or fifteen years.  Much of what he said he wanted to accomplish are things Republicans simply cannot yield on.  I think to some extent he picked out positions they detest.

He knows these issues are popular with the public.  He wants Republicans to turn him down.

Bill Clinton was interested in finding common ground with Republicans.  Governors instinctively do this.  Clinton’s strategy may have been a popular during his time, it is not necessarily a good strategy for today.

The redistricting strategy of Republicans, putting like minded voters in the same Districts, gave them the House for the next several years.  But, I think Republican big thinkers never intended for these House seats, held by intellectual lightweights, to become the face of the Party.  Obama likes this face.

When Obama forces Republicans to turn him down on social/religious issues like immigration, gays, birth control and abortion over and over again, the Party cannot get off square one.  It can easily hold onto a majority in the House, but it is increasingly harder to win broad elections like the Presidency and Senate seats.

Democrats figure they can remain a few points ahead in the political game by holding onto the Presidency and the Senate. Remaining ahead by a few points for a long time probably is better than being ahead several points for a short time.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_big_idea/2013/02/obama_s_sotu_the_president_dares_republicans_to_oppose_his_grand_plans.html

Red River Freethinkers meeting, Sunday, Feb. 17, 1 PM, Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave N., Fargo.   Visitors welcome.

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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27 Responses to Obama’s Long Politics.

  1. Michael Ross says:

    “But, I think Republican big thinkers never intended for these House seats, held by intellectual lightweights, to become the face of the Party.”

    Intellectual lightweights as oppsed to intellectual heavyweights such as Nanci Pelosi and Harry Reid?

    I sometimes think we search high and low, long and hard to find the most inept, incompetent, bungling idiots to send to Washington fix problems they don’t begin to comprehend and have now power to deal with anyway.

    • entech says:

      In the state where I live, there is a strife between the teachers and the Government over — money. It is a liberal Government (economic liberal, in your terms Republican, kindof) one of the ministers has been touting performance based pay, saying it was wrong that the best teacher and the worst were paid the same (not true, as well as seniority teachers and all civil servants are ‘graded’ and movement to a higher grade is discretionary) amusing letter in the paper about the incompetent ministers that get paid the same as the productive ones (many of the first few of the second).

      The concept of payment by results is popular for imposing on others but not for members of parliament – many realise that if it were fairly implemented they would have to pay to keep their jobs.

      Interesting when the history of the current opposition is sighted, there is no difference.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        entech 6:06 re: Imposing stardards of performance on teachers, preachers and politicans.

        So many politicans here think in the same way. Evaluation of performance is good in many ways, but evaluation of the evaluators is even more important. I think of teaching as an art, like politics and preaching, and, for that matter, running a business, where there is no fool proof way to judge.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 5:29 “Intellectual lightweights as opposed to intellectual heavyweights…”

      Probably, it would have been better for me to put, “in my opinion intellectual lightweights”. My definition of lightweight would be the cast of Republican characters who ran early in the last primaries. They all discussed three topics, anti gay marriage, anti abortion and “I am the most Christian of all”. They tossed in that any government spending is bad, except inserting government where they want it, abortion and gay marriage.

      What’s your definition?

      • Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

        I’m not going to defend the genius of Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid but on a relative basis the Republican member of the House have set a very low bar. The place is overrun with science deniers and magical thinkers.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          sea 2:28 Good point, treating evolution and creationism as equals is about as anti intellectual as a politian can be. To think, we had a recent President of the United States who said such a thing is scary.

          • bill says:

            Why Jon? You’ve never heard of intelligent design. I find human beings are extremely arrrogant when it comes to their understanding of their place in the universe. We occupy a space in the universe smaller than a fraction of the particles that make up a molecule, and yet people like you have the arrogance to state there is no divine creator. Well, let me tell you bub. If you think this all happened by chance you’re truly shallow in your thinking.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            bill 3:26 “I find human being are extremely arrogant when it comes to their understanding of their place in the universe. We occupy a space in the universe smaller than a fraction of the particles that make up a molecule..arrougance to state there is no divine creator.”

            In all due respect, I think you have it backwards. Those who believe in the divine creator think man is here to rule over all the other beings and to use the environment for his own benefits. It is nonreligious people who see man as only one of the various animals that has evolved.

          • bill says:

            We are the dominant species on this planet. Whether or not you believe in a divine creator is irrelevent. I do. But besides that we are the dominant species so we get to rule over and decide the fate of the planet. Whether or not it was given to us divinely or evolutionary, we run the show.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            bill 11:23 “..we run the show.”

            That’s what it says in the Bible.

      • bill says:

        That’s because they know what’s right for this country and are trying to prevent people like you from destroying it.

  2. bill says:

    What obama wants is a western european style society. Extremely high taxation of everyone. Social programs for everything. This will crush innovation, entrepeneurship, and creativity. Goodbye USA. Hello USSA.

    • Jeffrey Eide says:

      Wow, that was clever, a reference to communism.
      I contend if you spent more time (or any at all) in the Western European countries you so easily use as a derogatory term, you might understand how much higher the standard of living is there. Those countries have their shortcoming, as all do, but being able to provide a greater access(and often free) to education, healthcare, while subsidizing art and science on an unprecedented level… Yeah, innovation is doing wonderfully in Western Europe.

  3. kay syvrud says:

    This nation is a nation of Wimps who want to live under destructive socialist/marxist policies of the present president…..51 % of theREAL lightweights re elected a destructive person who is only interested in destruction of our nation.
    Read Victor Hansen’s piece in NATIONAL REVIEW today “The decline of America” and see history coming to life once again.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Buffalogal 4:51 “Read Victor Hansen’s piece in NATIONAL REVIEW today, “The Decline of America”…

      I sure that is an interesting article. Interesting, too, is an article in the Mother Jones we received today. It’s about Florida, where the Tea Party has control of the State’s government. Sick children are held in nursing homes because the State will not accept Federal money for them to receive care in their homes. A Democrat in the Florida legistlature said, “We defecate in the water we drink because we don’t want government control. At the same time we offer 18 bills on whether a woman can have an abortion.”

      • Jeffrey Eide says:

        Not to mention the intricately convoluted ways the party tries to interfere with voting rights, I wonder which party fights for less government control….

  4. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Jon, I think you’re on to something. During Obama’s first term, he tried to compromise on things and generally the Republican’s only goal was to see him as a one term President.
    Now the tables have turned, and he’s seeing no hope of anything much moving forward, so he’s going to position the Republicans as a bunch of narrow minded buffoons with a conspiracy theorist mentality of the commies and socialists taking over the country.
    They’ll win house seats in the red neck districts, but this will keep them out of the senate and the Oval Office.

  5. entech says:

    OOPs, someone is going to get thrown out of the club.
    Equating Intelligent Design (ID) with a Divine Creator (DC) is simply correct incorrect, almost fell into that same trap – the connection is so obvious. ID is not based on any ideas of religion or even postulates a DC.

    ” Intelligent design” is a theory of the origins of life that suggests that intelligent causes best explain the origin of living systems and their features. The theory is based on the empirically-testable assumption that systems which exhibit high-information content are more likely the result of an intelligent design rather than undirected natural causes. Simply put in lay terms, living things are too complex to have happened by chance and there was likely some intelligent cause involved in their origins.

    ” Religion” on the other hand has been variously defined. The U.S. Supreme Court said in the late 1800′s that “the term ‘religion’ has reference to one’s views of his relations to his Creator, and to the obligations they impose of reverence for his being and character, and of obedience to his will.” Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333, 342 (1890).
    A typical dictionary definition usually defines “religion,” as does the American Heritage College Dictionary (3rd ed.), as “[belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe; a system grounded in such belief and worship.”

    http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/E%20Richardson%20is%20ID%20religion.htm

    Essentially ID says some things are too complicated to have evolved and that there was likely some intelligence involved. They don’t usually say “evolved” because they don’t like to draw attention to the fact that their only interest is anti evolution. It can be presented quite reasonably, as a possibility and I must agree it is possible, but, in my mind the possibility is diminishingly small.

    bill @ 3:26 is saying that there is a DC. You can’t have it both ways :
    a). ID is independent of any source of this intelligent, could be Brahman, Scientology and so on, at least thousands of them.
    One of the most popular for a long time in Europe and (apparently) most of the early American leaders was called Deism, this postulates a creator that created and then left the universe to its own device, going off with better things to do, or, having completed creation sat back as an observer (some theologians suggest that there is a better world to come, perhaps we are one of the early, failed, experiments.

    b). Religion requires a DC. The most common religion of people writing to this blogg has a creator called God, mostly this is a three part God, a complicated trinity.

    These two views are incompatible.

    I would like to correct one point about the amount of space we take up, and that space is the sum total of all the particles in all the molecules that make up our body, it is impossible to take up less space than a small part of the space occupied by our body, but in spite of your fuzzy explanation (indicating generally fuzzy thinking) I think what you are trying to say, and with which I agree, an individual human being is only a tiny part of the entire universe, even a tiny part of the tiny part of everything that we know about. To me this is cause for humbleness, I look out in awe at all I can see, knowing it is not all that there is, in awe, in wonder and amazement that I can comprehend enough to ask the question about where it all started, how it evolved, where it is going? The hardest question to imagine is where is it going, does it all have a purpose?

    So being a tiny part of the entirety, capable of observing and imagining and speculating about it all is more than enough for this tine brain of mine. There were some people in the early days of humanity that did the same speculations on less knowledge, they worked out a scheme that had themselves at the centre of everything, they invented a creator and creation that was just for them, made in the imagine of the creator and with dominion over all of it. Some people (a shockingly large number in fact) find it impossible to let go of this egocentric and solipsistic vision of self, deep down they know it can’t be true, that they would feel totally inadequate if they let it go: they project all of this onto people have move forward and say that they are the arrogant ones, the ones that recognise that they are a tiny part of the universe are arrogant and those that are the centre of and the reason for creation are the humble ones. Really :lol:

    • James says:

      Hey wow! you can cut and paste. You really spent that much time on a friday night putting together such a vacuous argument?

      • entech says:

        Cut and paste, yes it was in italics and cited.

      • Jeffrey Eide says:

        I really hope you have a better rebuttal than to resort to ad hominem attacks and briefing through a comment without actually reading it.

        James, I really would like to hear your point of view, please share it with us.

        • entech says:

          Jeffrey, Thanks for the comment, actually you made me read it all again. You give James to much respect by referring to his rubbish as a rebuttal – actually my comment was directed to Bill. It was Bill who somehow equated Intelligent Design with a divine creator.

          I think James just gets bored every now and then and throws in a couple of lines of rubbish for fun. It would be nice if he had a point of view and would share it.

          James says: February 14, 2013 at 12:34 am
          ” … I can see Bill won that argument as your only response is to insult. …”.
          What is that old thing about pots and kettles?

          • Jinx says:

            Entech, I believe the Feb 14 comment by James was to me…..as if winning any arguement with Bill or others like him is the purpose of a Freethinker!!

            I refuse to engage in any serious exchange with such pigheaded anti-intellectuals who believe this is about winning anything.

            I believe the intent of Jon (Jon, feel free to correct me) on this site is to exchange truth and ideas as well as question the status quo of anything “that has always been that way.” I have learned a lot by reading the posts of Jeffery, Mac, Entech, Jon and others.

            I need proof that relies on sound methodology and the scientific method in order to believe in ghosts, god, fairies, and other such figments of human imagination in order to believe in them. So far, not one speck of evidence esists to prove the above exists and that includes a god. Intelligent Design is not supported by any evidence as specified by the Scientific Method therefore it is completely worthless.

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