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(The New York Times)   Slip Sliding Away: American decline and democratic dysfunction damages the luster of democracy in the world   (nytimes.com) divider line 109
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3770 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Mar 2014 at 1:17 AM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-15 09:52:13 PM
Is it just me or does the headline have nothing at all to do with TFA?


Do not underestimate how much of a fool Putin will make of himself in Crimea this weekend - in front of the whole world - and how much this will blow back on Russia, whose currency and stock markets are getting hammered as a result of Vladimir's Crimean adventure.

This bears repeating.

/Putin just doesn't want Europe to get those extra 5 armies...
 
2014-03-15 10:01:05 PM
Maybe Democracy wasnt that lustrous to begin with.

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on whats for dinner."
 
2014-03-15 10:02:14 PM
America is simply no longer the bastion for democracy. It has very little to do with our foreign policy, except that our debt and economic problems at home combined with the demographics of an aging population have meant we must slowly decline militarily or face imminent ruin.

Very very little of America's decline is Obama's fault. He didn't put us in two wars or start a "war on terror". He didn't tank the economy. He didn't cause massive inflation in healthcare. He didn't start the war on drugs. He didn't promote trickle down economics. He didn't pass the oxymoronic No Child Left Behind. He didn't pass Citizens United. OK so his energy policy still relies heavily on oil and gas, but it's a work in progress. Instead he's at home fighting fires and political battles many of which are rooted in either heavy partisanship or racism, or maybe simply both. And obviously in the short term he's working hard on promoting Obamacare.

All of these things have disturbingly focused this article on a president when they should focus on the Kick the Can Congress which is nearly responsible for every mess we are in that doesn't involve a guy named W. You want to blame the guy at the top, fine. But it's simply small minded.

Obama is a pragmatist, so you're seeing IMO the sweet spot of passive diplomacy (Syria, Egypt) combined with strongarm tactics (drone strikes, killing Bin Laden, troop surge, Libya) combined with the occasional threat of force (Russia, China, Iran). I don't think any of these policies is bad.

To imply that it is some terrible weak combination of the three because it seems inconsistent is simply stupid. It's actually quite economical. Stay allied with Europe - Ukraine. Don't get involved in another foreign war or escalate the arms race in the Middle East - Egypt, Syria. Topple bad leaders where it is feasible - Libya. Don't piss off the big military threats, China and Russia, but don't give them too much ground either. Mostly ignore the small time players - Venezuela, Iran, North Korea.

But most of all don't send any more troops home in body bags.
 
2014-03-15 10:09:31 PM
Holy crap, I agreed with something Thomas Friedman wrote.  Where's my fainting couch?
 
2014-03-15 10:45:59 PM

Frederick: Maybe Democracy wasnt that lustrous to begin with.

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on whats for dinner."


No. Wolves and sheep do not have brains capable of understanding self-governance.
 
2014-03-15 10:58:06 PM
When this doesn't end in WWIII as it would have if McCain, Romney or Bush were President, no one will acknowledge it but we won't be radioactive.
 
2014-03-15 11:27:31 PM

gnosis301: Frederick: Maybe Democracy wasnt that lustrous to begin with.

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on whats for dinner."

No. Wolves and sheep do not have brains capable of understanding self-governance.


Yeah. Don't anthropomorphize animals. They hate that.
 
2014-03-15 11:35:34 PM
How to save the American democracy: abolish primaries.

Both parties are getting progressively extremist, so nothing gets done.
 
2014-03-15 11:39:10 PM

fusillade762: gnosis301: Frederick: Maybe Democracy wasnt that lustrous to begin with.

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on whats for dinner."

No. Wolves and sheep do not have brains capable of understanding self-governance.

Yeah. Don't anthropomorphize animals. They hate that.


You guys realize you're just inviting Bronies here, right?
 
2014-03-16 12:04:49 AM

Mugato: When this doesn't end in WWIII as it would have if McCain, Romney or Bush were President, no one will acknowledge it but we won't be radioactive.


This is mostly the same way I feel about healthcare. No one will realize Obamacare is better when they run into a situation in which they get treatment and recover but had they not had insurance or a preexisting condition, they would have had two choices: to die or to eventually declare bankruptcy, or perhaps simply have worse outcomes or quality of life.

That Obamacare is the reason they will not die or be destitute or have better quality of life will never dawn on most people. EVER.
 
2014-03-16 12:44:32 AM
They call it "power" because it s wielded by the powerful.
 
2014-03-16 12:45:37 AM

Banned on the Run: Both parties


Two?  And here I thought we had one and a half.
 
2014-03-16 01:04:49 AM
President Obama as a man who doesn't appreciate what a merciless, Hobbesian world this really is. He's a Pollyanna - always looking for people's good side.

Seriously?

The same guy that has absolutely no problem giving direct orders for drone strikes, attacks on a compound in a Pakistani city, and (this one's for you Republicans out there) a willingness to sign executive orders that, while largely symbolic, are red-meat trollbait to enrage a powerful and well-organized domestic opposition?

That guy? a Pollyanna?

If I've got one bone to pick with Obama, it's that he has shown absolutely zero interest in sharing the political capital he had in 2009 and 2013 with state-level dems. For a president that's idiotically compared to Karl Marx, I still believe he's actually well to the right of Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, without the urge for touchy-feely things like Reagan's amnesty or Nixon's EPA.

Friedman always has an interesting observation, then charges off wildly on a tangent, never quite looking back to see if his train of logic originated at a point behind him, and the destination is ahead.
 
2014-03-16 01:19:10 AM
Democracy isn't the problem. Unregulated capitalism is the problem.
 
2014-03-16 01:23:13 AM
Too drunk to unxerztand headline.
 
2014-03-16 01:25:22 AM
Because they detect Obammy's weakness!
 
2014-03-16 01:25:29 AM

Banned on the Run: How to save the American democracy: abolish primaries.

Both parties are getting progressively extremist, so nothing gets done.


Okay, I'm calling bs. How have the Democrats been progressively more extremist? I'm sure there are state-level nutters around, but they've been overwhelmingly less insane than the Republicans by any measure.
 
2014-03-16 01:25:42 AM
The first step is admitting that a constitution written by slaver-owners, living on stolen land, and that treated women like property, was not actually handed down by God.
 
2014-03-16 01:26:28 AM
Yeah, you gotta have luster.
 
2014-03-16 01:28:12 AM
I told people from the beginning that he was just another Chicago politician, and that's what we got.
 
2014-03-16 01:28:13 AM

Frederick: Maybe Democracy wasnt that lustrous to begin with.

"Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding on whats for dinner."


encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
MISS ME YET?
 
2014-03-16 01:28:17 AM

bdub77: Mugato: When this doesn't end in WWIII as it would have if McCain, Romney or Bush were President, no one will acknowledge it but we won't be radioactive.

This is mostly the same way I feel about healthcare. No one will realize Obamacare is better when they run into a situation in which they get treatment and recover but had they not had insurance or a preexisting condition, they would have had two choices: to die or to eventually declare bankruptcy, or perhaps simply have worse outcomes or quality of life.

That Obamacare is the reason they will not die or be destitute or have better quality of life will never dawn on most people. EVER.


If we can pass a law that makes doctors tell women seeking abortions all the details about their fetus, we can pass a law that requires doctors to say "Thanks to Obamacare your insurance covers that now."
 
2014-03-16 01:28:55 AM
Thanks Mr. President.
 
2014-03-16 01:32:12 AM

BobCumbers: Thanks Mr. President.


Which one?
 
2014-03-16 01:32:27 AM

whither_apophis: bdub77: Mugato: When this doesn't end in WWIII as it would have if McCain, Romney or Bush were President, no one will acknowledge it but we won't be radioactive.

This is mostly the same way I feel about healthcare. No one will realize Obamacare is better when they run into a situation in which they get treatment and recover but had they not had insurance or a preexisting condition, they would have had two choices: to die or to eventually declare bankruptcy, or perhaps simply have worse outcomes or quality of life.

That Obamacare is the reason they will not die or be destitute or have better quality of life will never dawn on most people. EVER.

If we can pass a law that makes doctors tell women seeking abortions all the details about their fetus, we can pass a law that requires doctors to say "Thanks to Obamacare your insurance covers that now."


Probably. And while it would theoretically benefit the party I usually vote for, I just dislike the idea of requiring doctors to say anything which they don't feel is relevant to the patient they're treating. Just because the other side does it doesn't make me willing to do it.
 
2014-03-16 01:32:48 AM
Mr.. president of the United States Mr. Obama was the best republican or bribable candidate
running during the election period, plus he has the hottest first lady in the history of the country.
I wish that she would feed me her lunch.
 
2014-03-16 01:33:04 AM

fusillade762: Is it just me or does the headline have nothing at all to do with TFA?


Do not underestimate how much of a fool Putin will make of himself in Crimea this weekend - in front of the whole world - and how much this will blow back on Russia, whose currency and stock markets are getting hammered as a result of Vladimir's Crimean adventure.

This bears repeating.

/Putin just doesn't want Europe to get those extra 5 armies...



You mean Not At All?

Putin does not *care* about his Stock markets. They did this to him when he took over part of Georgia. Nobody cared, and it bounced back.

When he finishes absorbing Crimea, they will bounce back.

Kiev and Poland will continue to look over their shoulder, and wonder who will be next.

(It'll probably be Iran nuking Isreal, but by then WW3 will have started.)
 
2014-03-16 01:39:35 AM
I'm drunk and don't care about the headline or article but this is a good song.
NOFX The Decline
 
2014-03-16 01:42:26 AM

bdub77: Very very little of America's decline is Obama's fault.


It's actually Obama's fault we've had such shiatty Congresses last four years.

Remember, in his first year, Obama had both houses, including a supermajority in the Senate.  He could have got a reasonable, effective health care plan passed, that would have met his campaign promises, with very little trouble, if the plan had been a modest change focusing on improving the old system.  Instead he tried to go to point Z in one fell swoop, pushing through this socialist uber-goverment power-strike of a health care plan, that was just too big of a change, and it scared people.  It ended up be watered down to probably worse that what he could have got if he'd just been reasonable from the start.

But, more importantly, it seemed to confirm everything the Tea Party was saying about how the government wants to take over, leading to thier success in the ensuing election.  You know the rest of the story.
 
2014-03-16 01:43:27 AM

TheZorker: Kiev and Poland will continue to look over their shoulder, and wonder who will be next.


Gah, say Kiev and Warsaw or say Ukraine and Poland.
 
2014-03-16 01:46:17 AM

mr0x: TheZorker: Kiev and Poland will continue to look over their shoulder, and wonder who will be next.

Gah, say Kiev and Warsaw or say Ukraine and Poland.


He's already IN the Ukraine, so it's either 'The Rest of Ukraine'... which is basically Kiev.
 
2014-03-16 01:47:28 AM
BARACK OBAMA is surely the first president to be accused of acting in foreign policy like Pollyanna, John Wayne and Henry Kissinger in the same month.

Whoa!  Hold on there hussie!  John Wayne won WWII,  John Wayne won the west.  John Wayne won a whole lot of other stuff which I could come up if I Googled the fugger.  Hell, John Wayne freed the Japanese Greisen Formula girls before anyone had any idea that grey hares were not worth eating.  That tells you a whole lot about sex with Japanese girls mind you.

Hell John Wayne stopped George Kennedy from sanctioned tigers.

So don't ever fugg with John Wayne.
 
2014-03-16 01:52:07 AM

aerojockey: bdub77: Very very little of America's decline is Obama's fault.

It's actually Obama's fault we've had such shiatty Congresses last four years.

Remember, in his first year, Obama had both houses, including a supermajority in the Senate.  He could have got a reasonable, effective health care plan passed, that would have met his campaign promises, with very little trouble, if the plan had been a modest change focusing on improving the old system.  Instead he tried to go to point Z in one fell swoop, pushing through this socialist uber-goverment power-strike of a health care plan, that was just too big of a change, and it scared people.  It ended up be watered down to probably worse that what he could have got if he'd just been reasonable from the start.

But, more importantly, it seemed to confirm everything the Tea Party was saying about how the government wants to take over, leading to thier success in the ensuing election.  You know the rest of the story.


Oh for fark's sake, it's been five years.  Can we retire this stupid meme yet?  Liberals wanted a real health care plan.  Instead, the Administration went with the tried and true Rahm Emanuel Third Way BS of taking the Republicans' plan, passing whatever fragments they could get through Congress and declaring victory.
 
2014-03-16 01:54:57 AM

Mugato: When this doesn't end in WWIII as it would have if McCain, Romney or Bush were President, no one will acknowledge it but we won't be radioactive.


But I want my superpowers NOW

/thanks Obama!
 
2014-03-16 02:24:13 AM
Isn't Thomas Friedman (aka https://www.google.com/search?q=mustache+of+understanding) just considered a sycophantic suck-up to the NY elite similar to David Brooks?
 
2014-03-16 02:26:09 AM

aerojockey: this socialist uber-goverment power-strike of a health care plan


mybullshitmeter.com

If you have not noticed that the death panels insurance companies are still in charge, then you need to turn off Fox Propaganda.
 
2014-03-16 02:26:44 AM

SquiggsIN: We haven't had a democracy in almost a century.  We're a bought and sold corpocracy these days.


Nah. The first nadir of corporatocracy was in the 20s. FDR's New Deal, Eisenhower's Great Compression and LBJ's Great Society pushed it as far as we've ever been in the opposite direction. But with the Southern Strategy, the Powell Manifesto and the constant rightward march of the Democrats over the last thirty five years - just barely slower than the gallop of the Republicans - we've pissed it all away.
 
2014-03-16 02:34:41 AM

bdub77: All of these things have disturbingly focused this article on a president when they should focus on the Kick the Can Congress which is nearly responsible for every mess we are in that doesn't involve a guy named W. You want to blame the guy at the top, fine. But it's simply small minded.


lol

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the cognitive dissonance of the common liberal.
 
2014-03-16 02:39:53 AM

Banned on the Run: How to save the American democracy: abolish primaries.

Both parties are getting progressively extremist, so nothing gets done.


Instant runoff voting would go a long way toward breaking the two-party stranglehold on this country. Of course that's why they'll never let it happen.
 
2014-03-16 02:40:00 AM
The most important thing we could do to improve the prospects of democracy in the world "is to fix our democracy at home," said Larry Diamond, a democracy specialist at Stanford University. "The narrative of American decline and democratic dysfunction damages the luster of democracy in the world and the decisions of people to feel it is a model worth emulating. That is in our power to change. If we don't reform and repair democracy in the United States, it is going to be in trouble globally."

There remains a disturbing misconception among Americans that Democracy is the best possible political system and the only viable option for other countries to improve themselves. The President's job is not to proselytize at the rest of the world. His job is to keep our country stable and safe from insurrection or attack by outside forces, and if possible, promote sustainable growth for us.
 
2014-03-16 02:41:06 AM
Obamacare will crash and burn just like Bill Clinton's subprime mortgage market. It literally can't do otherwise. The crash will come quite a bit further into the future than it would have if we'd gone full single-payer, but the Democrats hope to prop it up until they can get a Democrat congress (to pull out the riders and extensions propping it up) with a Republican president (to get buried in the crash).

/it's an incredibly effective tactic
//as long as you only care about winning elections, not rebuilding the damage you do
 
2014-03-16 02:54:22 AM
The strings of the old world ensnare the aspirations of the new one.

We know so much more about the way that our government can be used or abused we really should get to work on constitution 2.0.  Of course with nuclear weapons and toxic spills a revolution of the classic sort is quite undesirable, I don't see the people of power and influence being willing to just give it up for the sake of a better founding document.  And if they don't want it, you can be sure it won't happen without blood and misery.  Let us hope our government is not so corrupt that it is incapable of cleansing itself, because if the people have to come in and do it directly it won't be pretty for anyone anywhere.
 
2014-03-16 02:58:47 AM
Obama has been a Kissingerian realist

As if you needed more data on why Friedman is a total buffoon. Obama is the opposite of a realist. He's a naive, effete, clueless fool who thinks he can use his personal magnetism to get world leaders to ignore their interests, and Putin knows it.

How to stop - or slow - Putin
By Charles Krauthammer

The alternative to passivity is not war but a serious foreign policy. For the past five years, Obama's fruitless accommodationism has invited the kind of aggressiveness demonstrated by Iran in Syria, China in the East China Sea and Russia in Ukraine. But what's done is done. Put that aside. What is to be done now?

Obama is not the first president to conduct a weak foreign policy. Jimmy Carter was similarly inclined - until Russia invaded Afghanistan, at which point the scales fell from Carter's eyes. He responded boldly: imposing the grain embargo on the Soviets, boycotting the Moscow Olympics, increasing defense spending and ostentatiously sending a machine-gun-toting Zbigniew Brzezinski to the Khyber Pass, symbolizing the massive military aid we began sending the mujahideen, whose insurgency so bled the Russians over the next decade that they not only lost Afghanistan but were fatally weakened as a global imperial power.
Invasion woke Carter from his illusions. Will it wake Obama?
 
2014-03-16 03:04:50 AM

Lee Jackson Beauregard: If you have not noticed that the death panels insurance companies are still in charge, then you need to turn off Fox Propaganda.


Uh, yeah, that's my point, genius.  They took the socialist stuff out to get it through the Democrat-controlled Congress.  If Obama hadn't proposed a plan that was too radical for his own party to pass when they had filibuster-proof majorities, the Tea Party wouldn't have made such big inroads and farked things up for the next four years.  Obama blew it.  Obamacare is pyrrhic victory as best.
 
2014-03-16 03:20:18 AM
We can still lust after the blind justice and the Statue of Liberty, right? She's tough, and she's a harbor chick.
 
2014-03-16 03:21:10 AM
power to the people?

the end of the cold war seemingly brought an end to any illusion of entitlement or opportunity to the american working class. I've been working 25 years now and maybe those commies were right all along.
 
2014-03-16 03:21:44 AM
[youdon'tsay.jpg]
 
2014-03-16 03:33:01 AM
scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net
 
2014-03-16 03:41:23 AM

SquiggsIN: Most people who use conservative and liberal as insults don't have much of a clue to the definition of either word.


Amen.  I vacillate between whether or not I see myself as a liberal conservative or a conservative liberal.  I'm thinking the latter.
 
2014-03-16 03:55:15 AM

TheZorker: It'll probably be Iran nuking Isreal, but by then WW3 will have started


Look how stupid you are.
 
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