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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-09-12 03:51 PM
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America's Hope Against Hope
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Project Syndicate / Op-Ed
Published: Sunday 9 December 2012

The Republicans should not have been caught off-guard by Americans interest in issues like disenfranchisement and gender equality

After a hard-fought election campaign, costing well in excess of $2 billion, it seems to many observers that not much has changed in American politics: Barack Obama is still President, the Republicans still control the House of Representatives, and the Democrats still have a majority in the Senate. With America facing a fiscal cliff automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the start of 2013 that will most likely drive the economy into recession unless bipartisan agreement on an alternative fiscal path is reached could there be anything worse than continued political gridlock?

In fact, the election had several salutary effects beyond showing that unbridled corporate spending could not buy an election, and that demographic changes in the United States may doom Republican extremism. The Republicans explicit campaign of disenfranchisement in some states like Pennsylvania, where they tried to make it more difficult for African-Americans and Latinos to register to vote backfired: those whose rights were threatened were motivated to turn out and exercise them. In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and tireless warrior for reforms to protect ordinary citizens from banks abusive practices, won a seat in the Senate.

Some of Mitt Romneys advisers seemed taken aback by Obamas victory: Wasnt the election supposed to be about economics? They were confident that Americans would forget how the Republicans deregulatory zeal had brought the economy to the brink of ruin, and that voters had not noticed how their intransigence in Congress had prevented more effective policies from being pursued in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Voters, they assumed, would focus only on the current economic malaise.

(Cont....) http://www.nationofchange.org/america-s-hope-against-ho...
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-09-12 06:17 PM
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1. Mein Kampf was a Blueprint for the 30's
That Gang that DeMint hangs with has it as required reading.

There wasn't an Internet in 1929 where people could get together and figure out who the real crooks were and still are. Economic hard times always have been a fertile environment for authoritarian types to convince the populace that; only they have the solutions.

It didn't work this time. People wised-up quickly.

In the long run, the Third Reich didn't work out well for Germany or the Planet. The survivors of the Reich moved to America and set up shop here, hoping to give it another shot. Bush Gang were naturals to suit their agenda.

We came really close this time.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-12 12:28 AM
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2. "beyond showing that unbridled corporate spending could not buy an election"
How does Stiglitz figure this? He gives no analysis so we don't know.

However, he just seems to assume that a Republican's losing an election automatically means that money does not buy elections.

This is 1970's political thinking, which does not work in 2012.

In 2008, McCain ran under McCain Feingold, while Obama spent $.75 billion, much more than McCain. Obama won.

Granted, Bush had soured people on Republicans; change was perceived as necessary; Obama was likeable, McCain picked Palin, etc.

But, Obama was also inexperienced, young, the first African American to get the nomination of one of the major parties, McCain was a war hero, etc. So, no one can say that Obama's spending did not make a difference in 2008. For one thing, great campaign advisors--which he had--cost money.


This time, both major Party candidates spent a billion on their fucking campaigns.


If one candidate had spent $5 million in 2012 and the other had spent $1 billion, which candidate do you think would have won?

Maybe spending does not guarantee you an election win, but just try running without money.

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-10-12 08:14 AM
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3. Stiglitz is on record of being in opposition to Citizens United.
Corporate spending could have bought the election if the GOP had a better candidate, if Obama had not gotten Bin Ladin, if various GOP nutters had not expressed their dismay that some women would rather not carry their rapist's child to term, demographic realities and many other smaller factors. I'm sure Stiglitz understands that we "overcame" corporate spending due to special circumstances.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-12 11:03 AM
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4. Did we overcome corporate spending, though?
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-12 04:42 PM
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5. No, we did not.
The President spent plenty of corporate money also. We must have publicly financed elections, end of story. That or violence. I don't like it that my nation has been taken over by corporations.
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-12 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Politicians have few choices
Individual contributions can't compete on the same level as unlimited Corporate Money.

I agree. There needs to be strict controls on Campaign Spending.
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