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I know your "admiration" is proclaimed with tongue in cheek.  There is little that is admirable in Washington these days.

 

The problem is "safe seats", the primary result of gerrymandering.  Certain politicians, who have no fear of losing the next election, are free to say and do whatever they please.  There are entirely too many of these idiots loose in the nation's capital.  Their home districts continue to inflict their idiocy on the entire nation and the world.  The state of Texas can elect a Republican idiot just as easily as San Francisco can a Democratic one.

 

Gerrymandering should be against the law.  Actually, it is illegal, but the safe seat politicians can ignore the law with impunity.

 

While many are quick to place the blame for the shutdown/meltdown on one party or the other, they are both to blame.  Politics in America has deserted leadership in favor of winning points over the opposition at all costs.

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It baffles me that the US have established such a fragile system, dependant on good behaviour of its participants, that its functioning could be derailed single handedly by an individual who can't possibly foresee all consequences of their actions.

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The US constitutional system is broke. This isn't the first time this deadlock has happened but it is potentially the most serious. The problem is the US constitution is inherently designed to allow this to happen - to set itself at loggerheads with itself - and no-one saw the need to build in effective controls to unwind all these tensions when they build up like this, which are caused by political antipathy and personal vanity, corrupted by vested and personal interests, all playing to the media monster. After 237 years the rickety old crate needs a major overhaul.
 

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It baffles me that the US have established such a fragile system, dependant on good behaviour of its participants, that its functioning could be derailed single handedly by an individual who can't possibly foresee all consequences of their actions.

Can't possibly foresee all the consequences, can't be bothered to care about consequences, or is so ignorant as to think there will ultimately be no consequences?? :P

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The US Constitution was made under high ideals of a "limited" Republic akin to Rome or the Great Britain at the time :P

 

The problem is that we grew and the voter franchise grew in response to have everyone represented in our government, even the nutcases. Then, we started forming political parties, which President George Washing was fervently against, but he was overruled by others like Jefferson and Hamilton.

 

With political parties, you get all the problems of gerrymandering, rotten borough, and rigged electorates. You will not have a Democrat elected in the rural districts of South Carolina, nor will you have a Republican up in Boston, Massachusetts :(

 

After that, it just becomes a time bomb.

 

Early on the Republicans at least had some sense in not trying to appeal towards the lowest denominators, but after 2008 and a reorganization or the party structure with Tea Party movement influences, it is ugly.

 

To sum up all thie politics, here's how the Republicans and Democrats will look in a million years:

 

Republicans in a million years

Vorlon.jpg

 

Here is the Democrats in a million years:

Shadows.jpg

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I think all members of Congress should have to run at large in their state just like Senators so that members have to actually represent the diversity in their states instead of the select districts tailor made to reelect them.   This single idea would take gerrymandering and throw it out the window.  

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The US constitutional system is broke. This isn't the first time this deadlock has happened but it is potentially the most serious. The problem is the US constitution is inherently designed to allow this to happen - to set itself at loggerheads with itself - and no-one saw the need to build in effective controls to unwind all these tensions when they build up like this, which are caused by political antipathy and personal vanity, corrupted by vested and personal interests, all playing to the media monster. After 237 years the rickety old crate needs a major overhaul.

 

 

That's not the problem.  The problem is that we have a group of extremists (The Tea Party) who really don't have anything to lose by provoking a crisis.  They're not tied to Wall Street, so defaults and campaign contributions from the financial services industry don't matter.  All they have to do is rile up their old, white, mostly male voters with hateful rhetoric, block minorities from voting, gerrymander the districts in their states, and then sit back and enjoy sabotaging any compromise moderate Republicans may try to make.  They represent the worst of our population: selfish old people who have exploited this country for their entire lives, and are determined to keep doing it until they're carried off to their graves. 

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That's not the problem.  The problem is that we have a group of extremists (The Tea Party) who really don't have anything to lose by provoking a crisis.  They're not tied to Wall Street, so defaults and campaign contributions from the financial services industry don't matter.  All they have to do is rile up their old, white, mostly male voters with hateful rhetoric, block minorities from voting, gerrymander the districts in their states, and then sit back and enjoy sabotaging any compromise moderate Republicans may try to make.  They represent the worst of our population: selfish old people who have exploited this country for their entire lives, and are determined to keep doing it until they're carried off to their graves. 

 

That would suggest the optimistic hope they will die out over the time? We thought that about communists, it's 24 years since the revolution and they still are third (now sometimes even second) biggest political force in the system. It seems that the vote is inherited in the families. So how do you get rid of them? I have seen articles where businesses are trying to fund a challenger to a Tea Partier in their district but it still did not look likely they would succeed.

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It seems that the vote is inherited in the families.

 

You're right, paya - just like religious beliefs are inherited, and so it goes on and on ... :(

 

I am surprised that W_L and Mark Arbour don't accept that "After 237 years the rickety old crate needs a major overhaul". It seems they have no remedy. I have to say that if Britain had essentially the same constitution as it did in 1776 we would be completely disfunctional too - Britain's constitution is unrecogniseable from what it was then ... it's called "keeping up with the times" and modernising :P

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You're right, paya - just like religious beliefs are inherited, and so it goes on and on ... :(

 

I am surprised that W_L and Mark Arbour don't accept that "After 237 years the rickety old crate needs a major overhaul". It seems they have no remedy. I have to say that if Britain had essentially the same constitution as it did in 1776 we would be completely disfunctional too - Britain's constitution is unrecogniseable from what it was then ... it's called "keeping up with the times" and modernising :P

 

What constitution?

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Here's something that will boost Paya's admiration of US politicians even higher.

 

From the New York Times: Politicians’ Extortion Racket

 

President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. seemed to score big in 2011 using the milker tactic in connection with two bills: the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act. By pitting their supporters in Silicon Valley who opposed the bills against their allies in Hollywood who supported the measures, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were able to create a sort of fund-raising arms race.

 

In the first half of 2011, Silicon Valley had chipped in only $1.7 million to Mr. Obama’s political campaign. The president announced that he would “probably” sign antipiracy legislation — a stance that pleased Hollywood and incensed Silicon Valley. The tech industry then poured millions into Mr. Obama’s coffers in the second half of 2011. By January of 2012, Hollywood had donated $4.1 million to Mr. Obama.

 

Then, suddenly, on Jan. 14, 2012, the White House announced that it had problems with the antipiracy bills and neither passed. “He didn’t just throw us under the bus,” one film executive and longtime supporter of Mr. Obama anonymously told The Financial Times, “he ran us down, reversed the bus and ran over us again.”

 

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Psychology 101

If you start with a cage containing five monkeys and inside the cage, hang a banana on a string from the top and then you place a set of stairs under the banana, before long a monkey will go to the stairs and climb toward the banana.  As soon as he touches the stairs, you spray all the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while another monkey makes an attempt with same result... all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put the cold water away.

Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.  The new monkey sees the banana and attempts to climb the stairs. To his shock, all of the other monkeys beat the crap out of him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted.
 
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys, replacing it with a new one.  The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment...with enthusiasm, because he is now part of the "team".

Then, replace a third original monkey with a new one, followed by the fourth, then the fifth.  Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.
 
Now, the monkeys that are beating him up have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs. Neither do they know why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

Finally, having replaced all of the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys will have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, not one of the monkeys will try to climb the stairway for the banana.

Why, you ask? Because in their minds...that is the way it has always been!

This is how Congress operates... and this is why, from time to time:
ALL of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME.
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What constitution?

Should I send my man at you? :P

 

Guess paya spared you a savaging from Westie :lol: Every country has a constitution, even rickety ole Britain. What we don't have is a codified constitution like the US - it simply evolved over the centuries. It means less business for greedy lawyers and less grief from squabbling politicians - which has to be a good thing :P

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