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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  10:56:22  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm suddenly interested in Herman Cain for few reasons. (I don't mean interested in voting for him - gawd no! I mean interested in contemplating whether he could pose a real threat to Obama in the next Presidential election.) I am rather bummed out that Trump and Huckabee dropped out since they helped split the crazy votes (Trump attracting Tea Baggers and Huckabee attracting conservative Christians) but I found neither one of them to be electable in a general election. Then Fox News had there little Republican debate which the media seems to think Cain won, and now a bunch of grassroots conservatives are excited about Cain. An acquaintance of mine on FB is one of those excited, and posted this info about Cain as a candidate: http://www.scribd.com/full/54720250?access_key=key-116s073qo20a9wqx7gv4 I think the average voter would find him sounding pretty sensible. When he speaks, he seems genuine, confident, and sounds like he has a sort of common sense wisdom, which appeals to anti-intellectuals.

There is a lot of talk of racism among grassroots conservatives, and if that is true, it would certainly be a huge block for Cain since he is a pretty dark black man. But I am a little skeptical of how widespread or influential racism is among conservatives. I know a lot of racist posters and remarks and such can be found, but I don't know how much of that happens because it is an easy way to attack a politician who is really hated because he's perceived as being not on their side. In other words, if Obama were very overweight, I'm sure there'd be all sorts of fat slurs, but would that mean the political right hates him partially because he is fat?

My big question is, do people think Herman Cain is potentially electable, either in the Republican primary or in a general election? Could he be the right's Obama? (I don't really have an opinion yet either way.)

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  11:04:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's another link from CNN: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504943_162-20060614-10391715.html about the new, growing support for Cain.

I've already seen some liberals online dismissing this saying Cain is "nothing special" and just a "token black candidate." I'm not going to pretend that his race plays no role in his getting noticed and rising in popularity. But so did Obama's. Race alone doesn't cut it. Just like Obama was popular because he was a promising Democratic candidate who also happened to be black, Cain looks to be what the grassroots conservatives want in any candidate. He is unsoiled by many years in politics, he's a successful business man, has all the right stances on issues, and I already mentioned how he sounds confident and like he has a sort of folksy wisdom when he speaks (which makes intellectual and liberals cringe, but grassroots conservatives eat that shit up.) More and more I'm thinking the man is a contender. Eesh. Hope I'm wrong.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  20:44:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cain is a well spoken man. One of the few moderates out there.

However, the Republican primary debate was called "Good Luck M*therf**kers" by the Daily Show with Jon Stewart for a reason.

The debate, that Cain ended up winning, came on the same week that Obama had Osama Bin Laden killed. The big boogieman has fallen and the Republicans will be hard pressed to use their normal Democrat=peacenik wimps argument.

Faux news has resorted to criticizing who Obama invites to the White House in order to try to throw mud on him.

If Cain is the primary candidate, he will not have the support of the bug-lovin crazy right crowd. But he will have significant support from the moderates (who are pretty sick and tired of the lunatic fringe running politics) who are Republicans. If he shows well in a debate against Obama, he could be elected. As long as it doesn't degenerate into a "who's blacker" argument. (Doubtful that this angle will be played up.)

I think he has a hard row to hoe because of the racist portion who won't vote for him, the lunatic fringe who won't vote for any moderate, and the star makers of the Republicans have some serious issues with a candidate that reaches out to others instead of pandering to a fickle "Gawd based" base.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
Edited by - Valiant Dancer on 05/17/2011 20:44:49
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  21:20:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Um, Val, in what sense is Cain a moderate? He puts it all in pretty language, but the man is basically in favor of shrinking social security and Medicare/Medicaid and other forms of welfare, yet spending even more money on the military, drilling in Alaska, breaking up teachers' unions and giving away public school funds to private schools in the form of vouchers, all kinds of deregulation, overturning Obama's very modest health care reforms, not to mention being on the side of social conservatives on all sorts of issues (against legal abortion and any funding for groups like Planned Parenthood even when the money goes exclusively to non-abortion services, and supported the Defense of Marriage Act . He's even stated and later defended his statements that he wouldn't hire a Muslim and then support anti-Sharia laws with the insistence that sharia law could slowly creep into American law and take over.

This is what drives me NUTS about the current state of American two-party politics. The Democrats have moved so fucking far to the center and the Republicans keep moving to the extreme with the popularity of nutjobs like Trump and Palin, that someone like Cain appears to be a moderate, and a huge percentage of the country actually believes that Obama is a hard core liberal!

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  22:15:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox

Um, Val, in what sense is Cain a moderate? He puts it all in pretty language, but the man is basically in favor of shrinking social security and Medicare/Medicaid and other forms of welfare, yet spending even more money on the military, drilling in Alaska, breaking up teachers' unions and giving away public school funds to private schools in the form of vouchers, all kinds of deregulation, overturning Obama's very modest health care reforms, not to mention being on the side of social conservatives on all sorts of issues (against legal abortion and any funding for groups like Planned Parenthood even when the money goes exclusively to non-abortion services, and supported the Defense of Marriage Act . He's even stated and later defended his statements that he wouldn't hire a Muslim and then support anti-Sharia laws with the insistence that sharia law could slowly creep into American law and take over.

This is what drives me NUTS about the current state of American two-party politics. The Democrats have moved so fucking far to the center and the Republicans keep moving to the extreme with the popularity of nutjobs like Trump and Palin, that someone like Cain appears to be a moderate, and a huge percentage of the country actually believes that Obama is a hard core liberal!


Obama's health reforms were not modest. It saddled the insurance companies (who were getting 3% profit) with additional record keeping and MLR targets which greatly impact the level of service they can give because you can't spend that much on staff (non-medical expendatures). Huge new panels of six digit salaries to study why doctors are getting out of the business. Making a pitance for rural healthcare. Punishing DME manufacurers. And shielding big pharma with no real benefit to the health providers except arbitration for malpractice and healthcare exchanges.

He repeats the rank and file talking points about shrinking entitlement programs (with no real plan), deregulation, military spending, drill baby drill (spill baby spill), abortion, DOMA, and the like. He's a cagey businessman. You get votes by telling the extremes what they want to hear. When you get in, you do what you need to (throwing the occassional token gesture bone to the extremists), improve the economy and move on.

Never said I'd vote for the guy, just that he is a moderate.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2011 :  23:07:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Valiant Dancer

Obama's health reforms were not modest.
No, they weren't. They were essentially identical to the Republican response to Clinton's proposals. marf is wrong in thinking the Democrats have moved to the center, because they've moved all the way to where the 1990s Republicans were. From a European perspective, we have a far-right party and an extreme-right party (and in the Tea Party, a lunatic-fringe-right party), with no centrists or liberals to be found.

This is why dismantling Medicare or Social Security are proposals that are actually being taken seriously by a not-insignificant proportion of our legislators (with the lunatic voters saying "keep government out of Medicare!" because they're lunatics). This is why only a small minority would commit to something like single-payer health insurance, and national health care got no play at all (and the crazies screeched about the formation of "death panels" when corporate health insurance has them already). This is why the EPA is being disemboweled, Sesame Street is on the chopping block and consumer-protection agencies are nearly toothless.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Why not question something for a change?
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  06:26:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Val, the health care reforms are "modest" is that they aren't actually changing much about the overall system. There are some good aspects and some bad. Obama has admitted as much - he seems to have pushed it through just to get something done. He has advocated making changes to solve the problematic aspects rather than scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch. Of course what really needs to happen is that we have scrap our entire approach to health care in this country and adopt a system that ensures that everyone has access to decent health care. Frontline had an excellent special comparing various approaches to health care around the world. Of course so many Americans seem to pride themselves so much on both ignorance of other countries as well as maintaining that America will not be like Europe, even in ways that Europe is clearly superior. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

You have made an argument that Cain is just giving lip service to the extreme right, but you haven't provided evidence that his true values are moderate. Can you elaborate on that assumption?

Dave, sadly I think you make some good points. I like to think that maybe you are exaggerating a bit, but you probably aren't. Maybe I just need to keep some optimism or else I'll just give up.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 05/18/2011 06:37:00
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  09:09:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox

Dave, sadly I think you make some good points. I like to think that maybe you are exaggerating a bit, but you probably aren't.
At a time when some Libertarians say, with a straight face, that a centrist like Clinton was an "uber-Liberal," I don't think I'm exaggerating at all.
Maybe I just need to keep some optimism or else I'll just give up.
There is some hope. The craziest stuff isn't generally being said by 20-year-olds. The nutjobs on the right are going to be dying off soon (of natural causes, just to be clear).

Part of the lunacy has been from a nostalgia for a time that never was. The anti-"elite" rhetoric is prompted by a fake remembrance of people and families pulling themselves out of the mud by their own bootstraps, nevermind all the public infrastructure that allowed many or most of them to live a decent life. "Why should I have to pay for blah, blah, blah?" they ironically write in emails sent over the Internet as they ride a suburban commuter bus down an interstate highway patrolled by state police past a county sewage treatment plant. People like to think they could do it all on their own, but it's a romantic ideal that few can live up to, and even fewer have.

(A lot of them won't admit it, but their motto really should be, "I got mine, everyone else can fuck off." Remember that as you examine the legislation these people are trying to pass.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  10:49:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How nutty are Republicans right now? So nutty that Gingrich is called an "embarrassment to the party" for having the nerve to say that replacing Medicare with vouchers is "too radical" a proposal.

(While I agree that Gingrich is an embarrassment, it's not because he wants change to come more conservatively - in smaller increments.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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podcat
Skeptic Friend

435 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  13:35:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send podcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, Gingrich is making a pre-emptive strike to limit his damage from that:

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/gingrich-any-ad-which-quotes-what-i-said-sun

Or, to quote Senator Jon Kyl's office: "Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement".

“In a modern...society, everybody has the absolute right to believe whatever they damn well please, but they don't have the same right to be taken seriously”.

-Barry Williams, co-founder, Australian Skeptics
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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  14:48:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by podcat

Actually, Gingrich is making a pre-emptive strike to limit his damage from that:

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/david/gingrich-any-ad-which-quotes-what-i-said-sun

Or, to quote Senator Jon Kyl's office: "Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement".
Hell, I see this as an unconscious effort by the GOP to reduce the size of their tent. I just hope that enough moderates and independents see that there is no longer any room for them there. Reasoned dissension from radical ideas should be encouraged and welcomed. It should not be an embarrassment. Pathetic.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  17:15:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think the whole thing is hilarious. I'm very sure there aren't many Republicans in the house who would vote for the Ryan budget if they knew then what they know now. But they did vote for it and now they're screwed. Now they have to defend it. The tea party members of congress are holding the rest of the republicans hostage. And the Republican haven't figured out yet that the Tea Party nutters are not really Republicans. There will be no negotiating with those folks. And in the long run, that's good for the democrats who will look a whole lot better to those independents that voted Tea Party last time around.

Gingrich never had a chance anyway. But the way things are shaping up, no one will. Unless whole of the Republican party bends over for the Tea Party, as they have been doing, and they can bring the majority of indies along, which is unlikely if they keep going after popular programs, they will lose their majority in the House. And they will lose the presidency. What we are witnessing is the Republican party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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podcat
Skeptic Friend

435 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2011 :  23:29:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send podcat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rachel Maddow's take:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#43070999

“In a modern...society, everybody has the absolute right to believe whatever they damn well please, but they don't have the same right to be taken seriously”.

-Barry Williams, co-founder, Australian Skeptics
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2011 :  09:48:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by podcat

Rachel Maddow's take:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#43070999
Yup. She pretty much nails it.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Valiant Dancer
Forum Goalie

USA
4826 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2011 :  18:19:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Valiant Dancer's Homepage Send Valiant Dancer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox

Val, the health care reforms are "modest" is that they aren't actually changing much about the overall system. There are some good aspects and some bad. Obama has admitted as much - he seems to have pushed it through just to get something done. He has advocated making changes to solve the problematic aspects rather than scrapping the whole thing and starting from scratch. Of course what really needs to happen is that we have scrap our entire approach to health care in this country and adopt a system that ensures that everyone has access to decent health care. Frontline had an excellent special comparing various approaches to health care around the world. Of course so many Americans seem to pride themselves so much on both ignorance of other countries as well as maintaining that America will not be like Europe, even in ways that Europe is clearly superior. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/

You have made an argument that Cain is just giving lip service to the extreme right, but you haven't provided evidence that his true values are moderate. Can you elaborate on that assumption?

Dave, sadly I think you make some good points. I like to think that maybe you are exaggerating a bit, but you probably aren't. Maybe I just need to keep some optimism or else I'll just give up.


No, marf, they aren't. I've read the legislation. There are far reaching items with nothing to do with healthcare as well as significant new burdens on health care insurers. MLR goals which, if missed, require premium refunds. Unrealistic MLR goals which thus far has caused health insurance companies to shed significant numbers of customer service staff. Big pharma gets a big pass..... again. Seniors are also impacted with the closing of Medicare Advantage plans to new members and significant Medicaid changes.

Perhaps I'm a bit jaded on this whole thing, but in my 22 years working in healthcare, I know we have the best care anywhere. Some things do need to change, such as the ERISA malpractice carveout for HMO's. The availability of diagnostic testing equipment is superior. Rural healthcare has been lagging but the government has been trying to address that through subsidies to rural hospitals and greater reimbursement rates.

Some of Cain's proposals are somewhat moderate. His reworking of SS has some merit. Splitting the money taken in between the standard "bank account" that currently exists and a 401(k) type plan that people can direct where to go. (no early cash outs, government overseen directed investment in typical 401(k) products) His fair tax provision is something that has been touted by Republicans (it does disproportionately hit the poor) but he isn't as mouth-frothing as Ron Paul.

Cthulhu/Asmodeus when you're tired of voting for the lesser of two evils

Brother Cutlass of Reasoned Discussion
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/25/2011 :  18:58:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Val wrote:
No, marf, they aren't. I've read the legislation. There are far reaching items with nothing to do with healthcare as well as significant new burdens on health care insurers. MLR goals which, if missed, require premium refunds. Unrealistic MLR goals which thus far has caused health insurance companies to shed significant numbers of customer service staff. Big pharma gets a big pass..... again. Seniors are also impacted with the closing of Medicare Advantage plans to new members and significant Medicaid changes.

Perhaps I'm a bit jaded on this whole thing, but in my 22 years working in healthcare, I know we have the best care anywhere. Some things do need to change, such as the ERISA malpractice carveout for HMO's. The availability of diagnostic testing equipment is superior. Rural healthcare has been lagging but the government has been trying to address that through subsidies to rural hospitals and greater reimbursement rates.

Some of Cain's proposals are somewhat moderate. His reworking of SS has some merit. Splitting the money taken in between the standard "bank account" that currently exists and a 401(k) type plan that people can direct where to go. (no early cash outs, government overseen directed investment in typical 401(k) products) His fair tax provision is something that has been touted by Republicans (it does disproportionately hit the poor) but he isn't as mouth-frothing as Ron Paul.
Okay, you're sort of all over the place. Nothing you stated in the first paragraph convinces me that the health care reforms are dramatic or making us worse off. Big Pharma gets a pass, so that ain't worse. What you said about MLR goals is some speculation and some which just causes me to shrug since I don't see how it is better when people can't get insurance because they can't afford it or have a pre-existing condition. My argument is that our system for distributing health care is broken. It doesn't cover everyone by a long shot, and the access that any given American has to health care can change radically based on personal financial circumstances, where they live, their age, and other things they can't help.

We only have the best health care for those who have access to it. Our quality of health care per capita is not rated highly relative to the rest of the industrialized world because the people who don't have access because of costs and circumstances drag it down. And the cost of our health care per capita is much higher than anywhere else in the world. Again, my argument is that our system is already fucked up beyond all recognition, and the reforms that went into the place just rearrange things a little, rather than make things worse or much better.

As for your paragraph on Cain, you still haven't answered my question about why you think he is really more moderate despite his public stances on issues. His advocating a fair tax provision that disproportionately hits the poor seems to lend credence to the idea that he is NOT a moderate.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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