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  1. Micael's Avatar
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       #1  
    Let's kick this off right now.

    Here's a view from .

    I gotta say, he's got fire and he makes some great points. I'm not from Florida, so I can't vote for him, even if I wanted to.

    What do you feel will be the key points and winning platforms for the different parties in the coming elections?

    Feel free to unviel and endorse your favorite candidates here, even if they've not yet thrown thier hats into the ring.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  2. Micael's Avatar
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       #2  


    June 6, 2010
    Democrats Skip Town Halls to Avoid Voter Rage
    By JEFF ZELENY
    BEL AIR, Md. — The reception that Representative Frank Kratovil Jr., a Democrat, received here one night last week as he faced a small group of constituents was far more pleasant than his encounters during a Congressional recess last summer.

    Then, he was hanged in effigy by protesters. This time, a round of applause was followed by a glass of chilled wine, a plate of crackers and crudités as he mingled with an invitation-only audience at the Point Breeze Credit Union, a vastly different scene than last year’s wide-open televised free-for-alls.

    The sentiment that fueled the rage during those Congressional forums is still alive in the electorate. But the opportunities for voters to openly express their displeasure, or angrily vent as video cameras roll, have been harder to come by in this election year.

    If the time-honored tradition of the political meeting is not quite dead, it seems to be teetering closer to extinction. Of the 255 Democrats who make up the majority in the House, only a handful held town-hall-style forums as legislators spent last week at home in their districts.

    It was no scheduling accident.

    With images of overheated, finger-waving crowds still seared into their minds from the discontent of last August, many Democrats heeded the advice of party leaders and tried to avoid unscripted question-and-answer sessions. The recommendations were clear: hold events in controlled settings — a bank or credit union, for example — or tour local businesses or participate in community service projects.

    And to reach thousands of constituents at a time, without the worry of being snared in an angry confrontation with voters, more lawmakers are also taking part in a fast-growing trend: the telephone town meeting, where chances are remote that a testy exchange will wind up on YouTube.

    For incumbents of both parties facing challenging re-election bids, few things receive more scrutiny than how, when and where they interact with voters. Many members of Congress err on the side of being visible, but not too visible, and make only a few public appearances while they are back in their districts.

    In New Hampshire, where open political meetings are deeply ingrained in the state’s traditions, Representative Carol Shea-Porter’s campaign Web site had this message for visitors: “No upcoming events scheduled. Please visit us again soon!”

    Ms. Shea-Porter, a Democrat, attended a state convention of letter carriers on Saturday, but she did not hold a town-hall-style meeting during the Congressional recess. In 2006, when she was an underdog candidate for the House, she often showed up at the meetings of her Republican rival, Representative Jeb Bradley, to question him about Iraq.

    In Iowa, where voters also are accustomed to coming face to face with elected officials, Representative Leonard L. Boswell, a Democrat, provided few opportunities for voters to see him last week. His itinerary included a groundbreaking for a new law enforcement center and a renaming ceremony for a Des Moines post office.

    In Maryland, where Mr. Kratovil endured considerable heckling last year over the health care legislation, which he ultimately opposed, he did not hold any large gatherings with voters. After returning from a visit to Afghanistan, he held two events with veterans before arriving at an evening discussion here at the credit union in Bel Air, north of Baltimore.

    “It’s dramatically different this break than it was in August of last year,” Mr. Kratovil said in an interview after he finished speaking about financial regulatory legislation. “At town halls, there was a group of people who were there to disrupt, purely politically driven, not there because they wanted to get answers or discuss the issues.”

    Mr. Kratovil said seeing voters in their workplace, or in casual settings like soccer fields, actually provided a broader sampling of public opinion than simply holding formal town-hall-style meetings, which often attract only political activists.

    An examination of public schedules for dozens of members of Congress last week showed that more House Republicans held open meetings, including several in a series of forums called America Speaking Out, which is intended to help write the party’s agenda if it wins control of Congress in November.

    The anger that erupted at meetings last summer — focused, particularly, on the health care legislation — helped draw attention to Tea Party activists. A year later, some of the images are resurfacing once again and will almost certainly be used against lawmakers in television advertisements over the next five months.

    Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat who has represented a wide part of southwestern Virginia for 28 years, has often encountered fierce criticism during his sessions with voters. But he said it was worth listening to the critiques, which often sound nearly identical as he travels across the 23 counties of his district.

    “Obviously the town meetings are magnets for people who have a political agenda, but it’s worth putting up with the talking-point-induced political dialogue to get good ideas,” said Mr. Boucher, who was one of the few Democrats last week who did hold a wide-open meeting, which took place Saturday at the high school in Floyd, Va.

    “I guess I’m old-fashioned,” said Mr. Boucher, adding that he preferred visiting with voters in person, rather than communicating with them through “tele-town-hall” meetings, a sort of conference call that can include thousands of homes that has been on the rise since the technology was first used in 2006. “I have no plans of changing my approach to this.”

    Representative Tom Perriello, a first-term Virginia Democrat, held 21 open meetings last August during the heat of the health care debate. He said that each of the sessions lasted an average of five hours, often ending well after midnight.

    “We thought that the best strategy was to let people talk,” Mr. Perriello said. “It was important to stay until people had everything off of their minds.”

    Not last week. The meetings were traded for other stops in Mr. Perriello’s central Virginia district, including an elementary school that received broadband Internet through the economic stimulus plan. He also dropped by several businesses, hoping to take the pulse on what he said were the chief issues for his constituents: jobs and the economy.

    Without so many lengthy meetings on his agenda, he said he had more time for impromptu encounters with voters. Constituents who were following along received updated information on Twitter, including this bulletin just before lunchtime one day: “Now stopping for a hot dog at Moore’s Country Store!”

    (lol - cowards)
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  3. #3  
    Sounds smart to me. Avoids the publicity-hungry minority of T*bagging flakes that want to monopolize any reasonable discussion by making sure it can't take place.
  4. Micael's Avatar
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       #4  
    It's called being "disconnected" in most circles, David.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  5. groovy's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Sounds smart to me. Avoids the publicity-hungry minority of T*bagging flakes that want to monopolize any reasonable discussion by making sure it can't take place.
    No, this is how you make sure reasonable discussion doesn't take place:

    FOXNews.com - Conservative Speakers Widely Shunned at Graduation Ceremonies

    Oh yeah, I forgot, it's Faux News so it must be a lie. There's another way to make sure reasonable discussion doesn't take place: ad hominem.

    Mob Rule on College Campuses - SFGate
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    No, this is how you make sure reasonable discussion doesn't take place:

    FOXNews.com - Conservative Speakers Widely Shunned at Graduation Ceremonies

    Oh yeah, I forgot, it's Faux News so it must be a lie. There's another way to make sure reasonable discussion doesn't take place: ad hominem.

    Mob Rule on College Campuses - SFGate
    Have you stopped to consider that intelligent people might not be interested in what Sarah Palin and Tom Tancredo have to say?
  7. groovy's Avatar
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    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by davidra View Post
    Have you stopped to consider that intelligent people might not be interested in what Sarah Palin and Tom Tancredo have to say?
    Have you stopped to consider that intelligent people know what a straw man looks like? Aside from being fallacious, your argument falls flat when you consider the protests. They leave no doubt what this issue is about.

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