The Obama Lesson: Deeds Beat Words

Throughout his first term, pundits said Obama was ruining his political fortunes with unpopular policies. He won anyway. And there’s a lesson there.

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President Obama started his term by passing a politically toxic stimulus bill. Next, he oversaw a politically toxic auto bailout. He then spent an agonizing year on a politically toxic health reform bill. His approval ratings dropped, the Tea Party erupted, and as he continued to do controversial things—on gay rights, on immigration, on Iraq—pundits continued to accuse him of political malpractice.

Well, he won anyway. And there’s a lesson there.

The lesson is: DO STUFF!

It is no secret that I think Obama had a tremendously productive first term; the subtitle of my book was “The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era.” But this is a lesson for Republicans, too. Most politicians spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy fretting about the political consequences of their policies, which is understandable, because politicians who don’t get reelected become ex-politicians. But in the end, your reelection might come down to a waiter with an iPhone at a Florida fundraiser, or your opponent’s silly comment about “self-deportation.” So you might as well do what you think is right while you’ve got the power to do it. When you finally get the keys to the government car, drive it.

Obama is a politician, but he really did make it a point of pride that his administration would focus on getting the policy right and letting the political chips fall where they may. Sometimes that turned out to be dumb. For example, his stimulus cut taxes for 95% of Americans, but less than 10% of them noticed it, because his economists recommended giving them a few dollars a week through reduced withholding instead of writing them fat checks as President Bush had done. His chief of staff at the time, Rahm Emanuel, complained that the president was denying himself an “Ed McMahon moment,” the squeal of Publishers Clearinghouse pleasure that would accompany a check from Obama, and he was right.

For the most part, though, Obama’s focus on policy led to a lot of policy change. His $800 billion stimulus became a national joke, but it launched a quiet clean energy revolution, dragged our medical system into the digital age, launched the most ambitious education reforms in decades, and saved the country from a depression. The political smart set warned that Obama was committing political suicide by focusing on health care instead of jobs and letting his reforms languish in Congress for months. But he plowed ahead, and achieved the longstanding Democratic dream of near universal health insurance.

(PHOTOS: Election 2012: Photos from the Finish Line)

The original rap on Obama was that he was a words guy, but he turned out to be a deeds guy, better at achieving than marketing his achievements. He’s done a lot, from Wall Street reform to student loan reform to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and quite a bit of it was politically risky. He took more political risks in Afghanistan and Libya and the fight against al Qaeda. He criticized that white cop who arrested Henry Louis Gates, regulated coal plants in swing states, and dropped his opposition to gay marriage. And what were the consequences? A 50% approval rating in a 50-50 nation, even though unemployment remained high throughout his term. Would he would have been any more popular if he had punted on health reform, as so many pundits advised?

There’s no way to know for sure. But one thing is sure: if he had punted on health reform, tens of millions of Americans would remain uninsured. Instead, he did stuff. And now he’ll have a chance to do more stuff.

222 comments
judg2101
judg2101

This article articulates why I voted for Obama twice even though I'm a Registered Republican (or RINO to the RW group). He keeps his focus on what is best for all Americans. He's a smart, hard-working, dedicated family man. Ironically, he embodies what the Right values: family, fidelity, education, physically fit, athletic, compassionate, funny, spiritually minded. Too bad he wasn't a Republican...the Right would have put him on Mt Rushmore & the Left would have tolerated him.

superlogi
superlogi

"So you might as well do what you think is right while you’ve got the power to do it. When you finally get the keys to the government car, drive it."  

I imagine both Hitler and Stalin had the same idea.  Unfortunately, not only did it bring ruin to millions of people, it inevitably destroyed their respective countries.

AbigailEarle
AbigailEarle

Oh my goodness, I have no words to describe how backwards this article is.  He gave more speeches than actual reforms.  He is all lips and no triceps.  He should probably visit a TMJ-masseuse, 'cause he's a wee bit too weak to massage it with his own arms.  Might want to double check your speech-reform ratio.  Just saying.  :)

SamuelYap
SamuelYap

Obama could have done much more, had the outdated GOP given him a little slack. The question is, if the GOP does not give him this slack - and it seems they won't - can Obama pull a rabbit out of his hat, and accomplish what he envisions to do? Perhaps the better solution would be to extinguish the GOP majority in Congress, and sit back to see real progress zoom in. The tragedy of the situation is that economic progress is just so doable if only everybody will pull in the same direction, and put Nation first before Party and political ambition.

tonyt
tonyt

The electorate in its wisdom ensured the President's win meant that all his progressive policies including the health care Act remains in place and to be implemented. However it also ensured that the unpopular GOP led House is still such a House, to ensure costs are controlled. Hence the mandate of the electorate is for Obama and the GOP to work together to achieve these twin objectives. The electorate also perceived in its wisdom that by keeping the status-quo intact, more jobs would be created through the health care industry which is a substantial part of the US economy, and manufacturing, through policies already in place, and further policies are not really necessary. No more expensive wars that puts boots on the ground! Hence Obama already has a great legacy in place.

bsginc
bsginc

@TIMEIdeas oh, you mean we passed the federal budget?

Barachhim
Barachhim

Strange comments! I didn't read them all but as a Conservative Christian reading some of that made me cringe!  I think the biggest issue (or virtue) is that Obama doen't toot his own horn enough to make people see all that he's done. I don't know about walking on water either because "they" are already trying to call him the anti-Christ which he's obviously quite the opposite considering what he does for those in need, taking from the rich (or trying to---they hold on pretty tight!), and the work done to stop a depression, end wars...the list goes on (which is why he won the Nobel Peace Prize early on). But I think (well know) that stems from the color of his skin (obviously), concervatives...well old school concervatives (faaaaar Right concervatives), really hate change or anything different and most believe in white supremicyO_O (yeah I said it). So my question is how the heck can you be a leader if you don't like change? Well you can't, you don't and you lose...while the rest of us are moving forward!!!!

curt3rd
curt3rd

@DonQuixotic Did you pick your name after watching the show Newsroom.  Another example of you not having an original thought.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

To all the Republikkkans now pretending that Obama "has to move to the center."-- the nation has just largely rejected your obstructionism.

curt3rd
curt3rd

The problem with this article is the writer is assuming everthing that Obama has passed is good for this country.  Also, like most media outlets, he convenietly leaves out all his failures and cover ups like cutting the budget in half, fast and furious, lying about Benghazi,, ect. 

markblumberg
markblumberg

Where are people like PauliG, Rod Burkett, and Kevin Groenhaggen today so we can gloat?

lctoscano
lctoscano

He did it, He fought it. Nobody put him easy, but The World needs more.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

"I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed." —Mitt Romney

Truthteller
Truthteller

Another glistening accomplishment?  Telling people after the previous election that "you don't go to Las Vegas" for your corporate meetings, etc.  The result:  Las Vegas still grappling with double digit unemployment.  Thanks a bunch, Barry!

QuarkHadron
QuarkHadron

" Deeds beat Words"

And stupid trumps all.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

Of the 312 million Americans, 74 million are under 18.  Of the remaining 238 million, subtracting the 117,437,072 ballots which have been accounted for so far, it would appear something like 120 million Americans did not express themselves.  One wonders how they are reacting today.

superlogi
superlogi

@SamuelYap True, had the GOP House been more submissive, he could have doubled or even tripled the stimulus as his mentors Marc Zandi and Paul Krugman have advocated and instead of just chugging along toward fiscal disaster, we'd already be there.  And, instead of borrowing 10% of GDP to juice the economy, we could have borrowed 20%.  No doubt that would have increased our economic return from a measly 1 dollar for every five borrowed, to at least 2 for every five.  Unfortunately, instead of having our children paying back $16 trillion in debt, they would be looking for roughly $20 trillion plus the extra vigorish.  Oh well, it's only paper, right?

superlogi
superlogi

@tonyt In it's wisdom?  You mean, in its dependence on big government and its promises to them.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

No, I don't even watch Newsroom because I don't like Sorkin-esque writing, I just like Don Quixote.  I hardly think that someone who puts numbers for letters in their name can call someone else out on originality, Curt.   

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

@curt3rd Everything that the President passed is good. As for the budget, don't forget that Republicans passed the same spending plan.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@curt3rd 

Thank god we have you to remind us of all of this.  Quick, re-open the polls!

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@markblumberg  

Gratifying, is it not, to see the spokesmen for the "party of responsibility" so visible to take responsibility for their party's failure.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@markblumberg paulie's been AOL since the storm. He probably has more important things on his mind than sowing aggravation around here. 

gibbous42
gibbous42

Stupid is when one party continuously insults and demeans everybody that is not in that party and still expects to get ellected!

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd 

Who gives a shit; people who doesn't participate have absolutely no input in anything. There were people in line for 7-9 hours. They count.

bobell
bobell

@Marky Probably with shrugs.

NPC
NPC

But I do call you out, Donnie, for the pseudo intellectual you are - as Curt rightly points out, the obvious flaw in the article is its assumption that outcome doesn't matter, any deed is good. The author's right, however, that The One has consistently executed on his agenda from Day 1, albeit a Marxist one. This will continue at breakneck pace in the upcoming resolution to the `fiscal cliff' challenge, when taxes are raised significantly, but meaningful spending cuts (never to be realized) are "promised" for the future, on the basis that austerity is not the "right course" for the economy "at the present time."  You see, Donald, that outcome furthers the twin objectives of (i) punishing the "rich" and (ii) continuing to flood the system with out of control entitlement and similar dependency-based debt financed spending, ultimately leading to worthlessness of the dollar and insolvency of the system. Which system will be replaced by marxist-socialist insitutions which guarantee a "living wage" in exchange for state-sponsored housing, food, healthcare, transpotation, communication, etc. Duh.   

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd  Their VOTES count(ed).  They, themselves, count for no more nor any less than any other American.  Voting is not a requirement for citizenship.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

@NPC Define Marxist and then we can have a conversation about how the President is not a Marxist.

gibbous42
gibbous42

I don't see how Obama is a Marxist. He has essentially brough 30 million new paying customers to the insurance market. If her were a Marxist, the govt. would have the customers not the Insurance Business.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NPC 

How am I a pseudo-intellectual, exactly?  Also, you don't seem to understand what a Marxist is.  If you did you wouldn't be calling Obama one when he's been so very corporate friendly.  Please tone down your hysteria and hyperbole, the sky is not falling.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @QuarkHadron 

Yes, keep telling me how intelligent you are oh wise one.  We're all so honored you grace us with your presence.  It's nice to see you've stopped pretending to be Benevolent Lawyer though; I wonder when someone else will hurt your feeling so much that you'll start that childish tantrum all over again.

Rusty is an exception to the rule not the proof, stupid does not trump all.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

Actually, you could have said "I don't think"...and, stopping right there, you would have finally expressed a reality.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @QuarkHadron   And yet AGAIN you fail to see the point.

I know perfectly well who Rusty is.  And I know what you are: you are among the dullest-witted people who post on this blog.  Second only to Oblivious.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic

Impotent rage, possibly from being banned before.

I find it funny that he's accusing us of obfuscating and being mindless when he can't even argue for how a non vote matters. It's a simple test. Can we have a constitutional republic without votes?

Yes or No?

And all he can say is  - do I have my constitutional rights if I vote or no....

Over and over. Without votes, no republic. Which makes the idea of having constitutional rights hypothetical in as much as the sound of one hand clapping. 

He can only have his right to not to vote if others do.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

Nobody is surprised that you're a petulant child Besch.  I predict it won't be long before you're banned again.  

I'll let you have the last word now since I'm sure it will help you sleep tonight.  Bye.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

"You seem to be caught up on the idea that MrO and I are suggesting that they quite literally lose their right to free speech. We're not, don't be stupid, we're simply pointing out that it's hypocritical to complain about the direction your government is going in when you can't even be bothered to vote once every two years."

MrObvious
MrObvious

 @Marky_D_Sodd

Oblivious, in his own words: Who gives a shit; people who doesn't [sic] participate have absolutely no input in anything."

Sure sounds to me as though you are suggesting that people lose their right to free speech, or anything else, if they don't vote.

Really? It suggests that if you don't vote you can't decide the representation of how our republic function.

So let me explain since you're being dense.

I vote. Enough of 'me' decides who represent 'us'. Enough of these representatives decides to change one of our 'rights'. Such as you no longer have the right to free speech. OR that you're now required to vote.

Your free speech rights might be a natural right to you but with enough representation in our political system it can be changed IN the Constitution.

See? Voting matter. You not voting doesn't. But none of it removes your rights until someone votes to do so.

Maybe, if you could spend a few minutes thinking before you start posting, you could avoid getting twisted up in your own panties.

If only you could lead by example.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

You are reading figurative points as literal.  You know you're doing this but you don't care.  I repeat, grow up.  I know I should expect someone who likes to pose as other people to be so sophomoric, but you continue to surprise me.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

Besch, do you understand what it means when someone is being facetious?  Grow up.  You don't need to act like the new troll on the block just because the herd had thinned.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd 

Actually, YOU said it: "Who gives a shit; people who doesn't [sic] participate have absolutely no input in anything."

 No wonder Paule never had any problems slapping you down.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

Yes or no: does the constitution or any law require that a citizen vote?

Again - ARGUE for HOW we can form a constitutional republic without votes.

Then feel free to argue how it can be formed without anyone voting.

Yes or no: does refusing to vote relieve any citizen of any rights granted to him by the constitution?

Who said that it did? I certainly didn't. On the other hand who will protect your constitutional rights without the government? That's a straw man argument.

You can't have constitutional rights without the foundation of the republic to protect them. And you can't have a republic without voting for the representation of it.But fee free to split hair about the one thing you're not obligated to do but can't form a republic without.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious 

Oblivious, in his own words: Who gives a shit; people who doesn't [sic] participate have absolutely no input in anything."

 Sure sounds to me as though you are suggesting that people lose their right to free speech, or anything else, if they don't vote.

Maybe, if you could spend a few minutes thinking before you start posting, you could avoid getting twisted up in your own panties.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

"You seem to be caught up on the idea that MrO and I are suggesting that they quite literally lose their right to free speech. We're not, don't be stupid, we're simply pointing out that it's hypocritical to complain about the direction your government is going in when you can't even be bothered to vote once every two years."

"Fortunately, constitutional rights and privileges are not contingent upon your opinions.  NO ONE forfeits ANY rights simply because he does not vote. You are being stupid."

Thank you for proving my point Besch.  You really are being deliberately obtuse for the sake of arguing.  I'll stop the one way conversation right now so you can enjoy your own angry, ineffective impotence.  You know exactly what we mean, stop pretending like you don't.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious 

So you admit your assertions are only opinions.  Fortunately, constitutional rights and privileges are not contingent upon your opinions.

NO ONE forfeits ANY rights simply because he does not vote.  You are being stupid.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd 

Yes or no: does the constitution or any law require that a citizen vote?

Yes or no: does refusing to vote relieve any citizen of any rights granted to him by the constitution?

The end.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

My assertions of other people's opinions, Besch.  If someone doesn't vote then they're not taking part in their government, and they forfeit the right to whine about its direction due to their own laziness.  Heck, people could vote for themselves - anything is better than doing absolutely nothing and then whining about it later.  It's a simple thing to understand and I'm beginning to think you're being deliberately obtuse.  You seem to be caught up on the idea that MrO and I are suggesting that they quite literally lose their right to free speech.  We're not, don't be stupid, we're simply pointing out that it's hypocritical to complain about the direction your government is going in when you can't even be bothered to vote once every two years.  Our government is by the people and for the people.  If it's not by the people, how can it be for them?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

Whether a consitutional republic can or cannot exist without votes is not and was not the issue. The issue was YOUR assertion that anyone who does not vote has no rights to criticize government.

Baloney - make one single argument how our constitutional republic can exist without votes.

You are wrong. The rest of your verbiage is just flummery and smoke that you are blowing out your butt.

So far the only argument I've read from you about HOW you can have our constitution without votes and how NON votes counts is an argument about me and Don.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd 

Whether a consitutional republic can or cannot exist without votes is not and was not the issue.  The issue was YOUR assertion that anyone who does not vote has no rights to criticize government.

You are wrong.  The rest of your verbiage is just flummery and smoke that you are blowing out your butt.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

Besch

No matter how hard you try - you cannot separate the fact that without votes there is no constitutional republic.

The constitution spells out what is required in order to form the governing body. And currently only people who vote can do so. Run around the tree all you want but you'll always come back to the fact that it requires votes to determine the political make up of our republic.

None votes don't count. They get no electoral votes, no congress critters, no judicial nominations and they can't decide who sits on our supreme court.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious  

Again, you are obfuscating!!!  This must be your favorite passtime.

I am not asking you to prove the opinions of others.  I am asking you to prove YOUR opinions, YOUR assertions.  And, consistently, you cannot do it.  You have no more idea of logic that Oblivious does. 

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

Besch, you're asking me to prove voter opinions.  I can't quantify people's feelings, merely point out the natural direction the thought process takes them.  The only person who's arguing in absence of logic is you.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

I'm not saying they do, and I'm not suggesting they lose their rights.  My god you're just arguing in circles.  People can chose not to vote; the dissatisfaction they feel in their government is their own doing.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious 

You are being silly.  It is not possible to prove a negative.  You made a positive assertion.  I asked you to prove it.  You can't, so you resort to pettifoggery to conceal your inability to prove your point.  You are not arguing logic, you are arguing.  And logic has nothing to do with your argument.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

And you can't prove that voters that don't vote are not being lazy.  See how this works?  You're asking for something that's impossible to prove with data - I'm arguing logic.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious 

And, again, you are wrong.  There is no constitutional or legal requirement for citizenship that a citizen vote.  Nor is voting in any way tied to any other relationship, including criticism, that a citizen may undertake with his government.

You are raising phantom issues...the sort that appeal to Oblivious...which you cannot support, much less prove.  

People who decide, for whatever reason, not to vote, do NOT surrender any of their constitutionally protected rights.

End of story.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious 

No.  We're simply pointing out that people that don't vote have no right to complain about the direction their government heads in.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

You want me to give you evidence on why people that don't vote, for ANY candidate (not just D's and R's, there are alternatives) don't care about their country?  I can't quantify laziness Besch, I can only point it out.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

Again, more of your mindless obfuscation. We are not talking about atheists/atheistic states. We are talking about the USA. 

much as the RIGHT to worship "god" is not an OBLIGATION to worship "god".

Can you let that sink in???

Besch - your a logical mess.

The US makes religious observations a RIGHT, not a REQUIREMENT. It makes voting a RIGHT, not a REQUIREMENT. Paying taxes is a REQUIREMENT.And ours is NOT a democracy. It is a Republic. And if voting were a requirement for our government to exist, the constitution would have made it a REQUIREMENT.

I'm sure that would explain how our government exist then once the term of say a congress critter is up.

Without any votes how can the republic continue functioning? Spend a little less time arguing against me and arguing for your own logic.

Basically - without votes. No republic. With or without constitution.

Whether you are able to understand it or not, refusing to vote on principle IS an influence. The fact that you don't like that is almost as important as what Richard Nixon ate for breakfast.

Whether you are able to understand it or not unless people vote it doesn't really matter - 'cause we would stop functioning as a constitutional republic.

The fact that you think that not voting is as important as voting is quite telling.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious  I am aware of your assertion...and I am aware that it is only an assertion.

 I have asked you for cites, authorities, etc., to support that assertion.

And again, we do NOT have a democracy.  We have a Republic.  The founding fathers were very clear about that.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

Undoubtedly, you would say that those people whose religious convictions prevent them from participating in the political system, including voting, should not be allowed to be American citizens with full rights or say-so in those matters which their religious persuasions do allow them to participate.

That is why we, as a REPUBLIC, have a constitution: to protect us from people like you.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

"You're assuming that all of those millions of people refused to vote out of principle"

"Refusing to vote, on the principal that choosing between evils, is a valid response. And again, they have as much say as anyone. And by not voting, many have said it."

Besch, I'm making the assertion that few IF ANY of them did.  American politics have become far too hostile and divided for that to be the case.  Anyone who chooses not to vote at this point (for anyone, and there are plenty of alternatives) simply doesn't care about our Democracy or can't be bothered to take part in it.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd   Again, more of your mindless obfuscation.  We are not talking about atheists/atheistic states. We are talking about the USA.  Can you let that sink in???

The US makes religious observations a RIGHT, not a REQUIREMENT.  It makes voting a RIGHT, not a REQUIREMENT.  Paying taxes is a REQUIREMENT.

And ours is NOT a democracy.  It is a Republic.  And if voting were a requirement for our government to exist, the constitution would have made it a REQUIREMENT.

Whether you are able to understand it or not, refusing to vote on principle IS an influence.  The fact that you don't like that is almost as important as what Richard Nixon ate for breakfast.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious   No, actually, I assumed nothing of the sort, and you DID put those words in my mouth.  What I said was "Refusing to vote....is a valid response..."  

I did NOT say it was the ONLY valid response, and I did NOT say that each and every person refusing to vote was using that as his reasoning for not voting.

So, maybe....focusing would help?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

More of your mindless obfuscation. We are not IN China, and we are not talking ABOUT China. We are talking about what is and is not a legal requirement in the US. The RIGHT to vote is not an OBLIGATION to vote, much as the RIGHT to worship "god" is not an OBLIGATION to worship "god".

Besch

I'm sure there are no atheist that state any claim in having a say so about how some people conduct their religious matters.

One important principle of a democratic system is the ability to vote. You can't call it a democratic system if that ability doesn't exist. Yet somehow you're arguing for 'influence' in a democratic system by standing completely outside it in protest.

Speaking of mindless. Your example of taxes highlights that; there are states where they don't pay a certain tax.

And the constitution says that our government can levy taxes - not that it has too.

Again - in order for a democratic system to exist people HAVE to vote. Otherwise it isn't. But a democratic system does not exist because people pay a specific tax or not.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @DonQuixotic @MrObvious 

"Actually, I asumed nothing of the sort. You have chosen to put those words in my mouth."

Yes you did.  Right here:

"Refusing to vote, on the principal that choosing between evils, is a valid response. And again, they have as much say as anyone. And by not voting, many have said it."

I would feel comfortable saying that the majority of Americans that don't vote are just too lazy to do so or don't care.  They have no right to voice any opinion about the direction the country is going in because they can't be bothered to participate in it at all.  Voting is a responsibility, not a right.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd  m More of your mindless obfuscation.  We are not IN China, and we are not talking ABOUT China.  We are talking about what is and is not a legal requirement in the US.  The RIGHT to vote is not an OBLIGATION to vote, much as the RIGHT to worship "god" is not an OBLIGATION to worship "god".

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

the law requires citizens to pay taxes and obey the law; it does not require citizens to vote. You don't like that? Get a constitutional amendment going.

People in China can't vote but they do pay taxes.

Paying taxes is not some kind of shoe in instead of a persons civic duty.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@markblumberg @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious   "inactivity, laziness, lack of education"...   Perhaps in your family and/or social circles.  I think it would be a bit presumptuous for you to assume that your pronouncements are in any way universal truths.  Either way: the law requires citizens to pay taxes and obey the law; it does not require citizens to vote.  You don't like that?  Get a constitutional amendment going.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @DonQuixotic   Again, Oblivious, you assume facts not in evidence.  I have no interest in what a semi-literate buffoon like you thinks about anything.  It was you who challenged me, not I challenging you.  Was someone holding a gun to your head?  Or could you just not resist yet another opportunity to make a fool of yourself?

markblumberg
markblumberg

@Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious : The idea of choosing between evils is a bogus coverup for inactivity, laziness, or lack of education. People who don't see the difference between a president who supports Roe v. Wade and a candidate who would overturn it and appoint conservative judges to change the social direction of this country for a generation don't understand the system and or the need to vote. Maybe they should best stay out of it then.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@DonQuixotic @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious   Actually, I asumed nothing of the sort.  You have chosen to put those words in my mouth.

I would be interested in reading whatever cites, authorities, sources you may have that led you to the conclusion that "its far more likely" they were lazy.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic

A lot of those people were to busy watching Honey Boo Boo. It's kind of trite to argue for influence in our political system when you can excuse your lack of participation as a 'protest'.

As trite as Besch thinking acting like an arrogant spelling nazi somehow will make me care more about his juvenile nonsense.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious 

"Refusing to vote, on the principal that choosing between evils, is a valid response."

You're assuming that all of those millions of people refused to vote out of principle, when it's far more likely they didn't care or were lazy.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@Jaylex @Marky_D_Sodd @MrObvious   That is of course true.  But assuming a max of 20 million non-citizens who are of voting age...an arbitrary number...that leaves 100 million who didn't vote when they could have.  

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

And whether you like it or not, anyone who pays taxes in ANY amount has "skin in the game".  You are a self-centered narcissist.  And say what you will about Rod: he at least understands how to construct English sentences.  "...incarnationS ARE tiring...yours ARE as..."  All those years in 3rd grade were wasted.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

It's possible that there is more then one person in the world who use phrases like republikkkans and that have a juvenile need to lash out when someone disagrees with them or spend more time correcting spelling and grammar...but whatever.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

Besch - I really don't care what you say. Your obnoxious need to add invective as a measure to debate is well worn out.

Stick with one ID btw - Rods many incarnation is tiring and yours is as well. But I guess it's kind of telling that the person who argue for people standing on the sideline as people who have skin in the game is also the person who changes IDs as often as rightwingers change their underpants.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@MrObvious @Marky_D_Sodd   Repeating your idiocy does not make it true.  Refusing to vote, on the principal that choosing between evils, is a valid response.  And again, they have as much say as anyone.  And by not voting, many have said it.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Marky_D_Sodd

One wonders how they are reacting today.

Voting is not a requirement for citizenship.

No but honestly - if you don't participate, then don't expect to have much of a say so in how this country is run.