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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:03 AM

Politicalcompass.org claims that there is almost no difference between Obama and Romney

This is a US election that defies logic and brings the nation closer towards a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state.

The Democratic incumbent has surrounded himself with conservative advisors and key figures many from previous administrations, and an unprecedented number from the Trilateral Commission. He also appointed a former Monsanto executive as Senior Advisor to the FDA. He has extended Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, presided over a spiralling rich-poor gap and sacrificed further American jobs with recent free trade deals. Trade union rights have also eroded under his watch. He has expanded Bush defence spending, droned civilians, failed to close Guantanamo, supported the NDAA which effectively legalises martial law, allowed drilling and adopted a soft-touch position towards the banks that is to the right of European Conservative leaders. Taking office during the financial meltdown, Obama appointed its principle architects to top economic positions. We list these because many of Obama's detractors absurdly portray him as either a radical liberal or a socialist, while his apologists, equally absurdly, continue to view him as a well-intentioned progressive, tragically thwarted by overwhelming pressures. 2008's yes-we-can chanters, dazzled by pigment rather than policy detail, forgot to ask can what? Between 1998 and the last election, Obama amassed $37.6million from the financial services industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. While 2008 presidential candidate Obama appeared to champion universal health care, his first choice for Secretary of Health was a man who had spent years lobbying on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry against that very concept. Hey! You don't promise a successful pub, and then appoint the Salvation Army to run it. This time around, the honey-tongued President makes populist references to economic justice, while simultaneously appointing as his new Chief of Staff a former Citigroup executive concerned with hedge funds that bet on the housing market to collapse. Obama poses something of a challenge to The Political Compass, because he's a man of so few fixed principles.

As outrageous as it may appear, civil libertarians and human rights supporters would have actually fared better under a Republican administration. Had a Bush or McCain presidency permitted extrajudicial executions virtually anywhere in the world ( www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/047/2012/en ), expanded drone strikes and introduced the NDAA, the Democratic Party would have howled from the rooftops. Senator Obama the Constitutional lawyer would have been one of the most vocal objectors. Under a Democratic administration however, these far-reaching developments have received scant opposition and a disgraceful absence of mainstream media coverage.

Democratic and, especially, some Republican candidates, will benefit massively from new legislation that permits them to receive unlimited and unaccountable funding. This means a significant shift of political power to the very moneyed interests that earlier elections tried to contain. Super PACs will inevitably reshape the system and undermine democracy. It would be nave to suppose that a President Gingrich would feel no obligations towards his generous backer, Sheldon Adelson, one of the country's most influential men. Or a President Santorum towards billionaire mutual fund tycoon, Foster Freiss. (Santorum emerged as the most authoritarian candidate, not the least for his extreme stand against abortion and condom sales.) Or a President Paul, whose largest single donor, billionaire Peter Thiel, founded a controversial defence company contracting to the CIA and the FBI. Last year it was caught operating an illegal spy ring targeting opponents of the US Chamber of Commerce. In our opinion the successful GOP contender, Romney, despite his consistent contempt for the impoverished, was correctly described as the weather vane candidate. He shares another similarity with Obama. His corporate-friendly health care plan for Massachusetts was strikingly similar to the President's "compromise" package. The emergence of the Tea Party enables the 2012 GOP ticket of unprecedented economic extremity to present itself as middle-of-the road between an ultra right movement with "some good ideas that might go a bit too far" and, on the other side, a dangerous "socialist" president.

The smaller non-Tea parties provide the only substantial electoral diversity virtually unreported in their Sisyphean struggle against the two mountainous conservative machines. Identity issues like gay marriage disguise the absence of fundamental differences and any real contrast of vision. Since FDR, the mainstream American "Left" has been much more concerned with the social rather than the economic scale. Identity politics; issues like peace, immigration, gay and women's rights, prayers in school have assumed far greater importance than matters like pensions and minimum wages that preoccupy their counterparts in other democracies. Hence the appeal of Ron Paul to many liberals, despite his far-right economics. Paul, unlike Romney, would have delivered a significant crossover vote from Democrats.

If Romney loses the election, it would hardly be devastating for mainstream Republicans. During a second term of Obama, they would no doubt continue to frame the debates.


From Politicalcompass.org

Just like to know what you guys think, sounds like a suspiciously glass half-empty angry rant. I'm not sure if their famous "what is your political compass?" quiz is even very accurate.

If this has been addressed before then I would like to see the earlier threads about it.

17 replies, 1715 views

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:05 AM

1. Which Romney?

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:08 AM

2. Must be moderate Romney.

Not severely conservative one.

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Response to HooptieWagon (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:33 AM

16. and on which day did they do the benchmark?

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:13 AM

3. Everyone is like Romney

at one point or another in his campaign.

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Response to AlGoreRhythms (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:25 AM

7. Not me. No matter what face he had on..he's always a sociopathic, pathological Liar.

Some people tend to gloss over that. Not you. The corporatemediawhore$$$$$ did, though.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:19 AM

4. I'm a heterosexual white male with a good job. For me, there's little difference. That is privilege.

On the broader world political scale that political compass grades on, they are somewhat close, in the sense that the governable range in American politics is typically narrow. Interestingly, both are probably in terms of personal beliefs somewhat to the left of how they ran.

But, anyways, my main point is that being able to say "there's little or no difference between Obama and Romney" is an enormously privileged position.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:18 AM

5. How about when it comes to energy, education, and foreign policy?

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:57 AM

9. +1

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Response to Recursion (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:12 AM

13. What's weird about it though,

is how some of the positions both sides support are things damned near everyone hates. Free trade agreements are wildly unpopular with just about everyone, yet both parties love them.

So doing what you can get support to do only goes so far.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:23 AM

6. Sounds to me like freaking Bullshit. their eyes are glued shut.

No thanks for spreading the Ignorance.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 03:28 AM

8. The same except when it comes to ... well, pretty much every important issue today.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 04:26 AM

10. Two words: Supreme Court

No matter what you may want to make of policy, how about this:

Obama will appoint justices like Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Romney would have appointed justices like Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.

That's only "no difference" if you think there's no difference between a blue whale and a mosquito.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:48 AM

11. Interesting. Thanks! n/t

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 06:57 AM

12. What liberals did Paul appeal to?

They gloss over Paul's social conservatism: Paul is anti-choice, doesn't give a rat's ass about GLBT people, and generally hates anyone that isn't a white Christian male, just like every other vile Republican toad. Being pro-marijuana legalization does not a social liberal or moderate make.

Freedom of religion, freedom to marry who you choose, and bodily autonomy are civil liberties too. I'd rather have all of those than have a minority Democratic party howling from the rooftops over their loss.

Give that test a shot, by the way. Some of it has absolutely fuckall to do with politics. I still can't figure out which way thinking astrology was bollocks pushed me.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:18 AM

14. So true.

Obama is right-of-center, despite what RWNJs like to believe.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:32 AM

15. "I'm not sure if their famous 'what is your political compass?' quiz is even very accurate."

I've completed it a couple of times a couple of years apart (well into the "Gandhi quarter" each time, though with some interesting variations over time), and I'm very skeptical about it.

Expecting yes/no answers to some of their questions, which are a quite glib, is facile, and sometimes they're based on assumptions that I don't agree with. I could easily answer the opposite way on some of the questions if I were allowed caveats and a more detailed explanation of what I think.

I'm not aware of either Romney or Obama having completed the quiz, so their "results" are presumably cobbled together from public information, stump speeches etc. This won't necessarily reflect their underlying ideologies. In the case of Romney, whiich public statements would you rely on anyway? heh.

It's a fun exercise, like you'd find in the pages of a pop magazine, but hardly scientific, so I take all this with a big pinch of salt.

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Response to Arcana (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 07:54 AM

17. This line of thinking was going to be my consolation prize if Obama lost.

But also - part of my "sell" of Obama to my Romney supporting friends...

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