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Author Topic: Presidential Election News & Discussion Center 2012 - Inauguration Day!
kmbboots
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Did she not say that about college?
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SenojRetep
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I'll give a personal example. Mitt was the president of the Boston LDS stake. As part of this, he personally administered church programs in areas like Revere, Lynn, Somerville, and Cambridge with Spanish, Brazillian, Cambodian, and Haitian members and lay leaders. He saw first hand the economic challenges those groups of immigrants faced, and volunteered hours of his time helping keep people in homes, get people medical help, deal with drug and other substance abuse issues, and on and on.

You're assumption that you know enough to judge the Romneys as "out of touch" based on the sorts of comments they've made during a grueling national campaign is... I don't know what it is, but I find it disappointing and frustrating.

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kmbboots
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What I have - in fact, what most people who don't know them personally have - are what they say during the campaign and the policies they advocate. That is generally how we judge candidates. It is what campaigns are for. So those of us who haven't hung out at their house get to know what we can about them.

I am sure lots of people who would make terrible presidents play with their grandchildren and volunteer at their churches.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I am sure lots of people who would make terrible presidents play with their grandchildren and volunteer at their churches.

True. And there have been plenty of awful politicians who were "just folks".
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kmbboots
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I am not advocating for "just folks" people to be president. I prefer extraordinary people to be president.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I prefer extraordinary people to be president.

Me too.
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
So those of us who haven't hung out at their house.

Also, for the record, I have never hung out at their house. I've never interacted with either of them socially, outside of noticing them when they attended church meetings. And, since it probably wasn't clear from my comment before, I wasn't a member of the Boston/Cambridge stake when Mitt was Stake President. When we got to MA he had already moved from that position to another volunteer position in the church.
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Rakeesh
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It's a bit difficult for me to understand an argument that the Romneys understand, in a personal way, the lifestyles of so-called 'average' Americans. Or to put it a different way, people for whom 'paycheck to paycheck' is, if not their daily reality, something that's not too far removed from their present?

The college remark is a decent example. For most parents who wish to see their children into college, there are only a few options. Ensure that their child does very well in junior high and high school, ensuring a chance at a scholarship and grants and such. Support their child while they take on serious debt. Or take on major debt themselves. And...those are really some of the only ways quite a lot of people will see their children past the doors of a four year university. Taking a 'loss' by sacrificing accumulated wealth isn't an option for many.

Now all of that said, the fact that the financial success of the Romneys isn't a good reason to bar them from the White House. Actually, other things being equal, I'd tend to want the one who has been seriously successful over the one who hasn't. But they're different. Had Democrats (or at least Rosen) not been so stupid in handling this, it could have been a toothy issue for when Romney inevitably attempts to connect on a personal level with voters.

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SenojRetep
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It still bothers me, Rakeesh. It seems similar to closed-minded Republicans who don't like Barrack Obama because he grew up in Indonesia, or had a Kenyan father, or because he's Ivy League*. He's "different", not "normal", not a "real" American. Some Republicans have taken this to an extremely virulent level, well beyond the relatively benign messaging of the Obama campaign, but at heart it's the same message: "don't vote for him because he's not like you."

I mean, I'm not blind. I know the Romneys are super-rich. They have four houses and a car elevator. They own horses and can afford to send their kids to expensive, private colleges. And I get that their vision could be limited by that. Personally I don't think it is, and I think most of what people draw on when making that inference is specious and driven by self-interested political marketeers.

*Speaking of the maybe inevitability of this ugly side of democracy, Romney's campaign has been dabbling in this same pool, portraying Obama as out of touch because of the time he spent at Harvard. <edit>And if I'm being honest with myself, I did not get similarly outraged over those tactics. We're all, to some extent, owned by our partisan identities.</edit>

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kmbboots
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Again. The problem isn't that the Romneys are wealthy. The problem is that they don't seem to understand - they certainly don't acknowledge - that they are enormously privileged beyond the experience of most people.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
It still bothers me, Rakeesh. It seems similar to closed-minded Republicans who don't like Barrack Obama because he grew up in Indonesia, or had a Kenyan father, or because he's Ivy League*. He's "different", not "normal", not a "real" American. They take this to an extremely virulent level, well beyond the relatively benign messaging of the Obama campaign, but at heart it's the same message: "don't vote for him because he's not like you."
While all of these things share roots in a fear of the other, they don't seem very similar to me aside from that. I'll explain why. First of all, America is supposedly founded on the benefits immigration and new perspectives bring us. We're proud, or at least used to be outwardly proud, of the so-called melting pot. Or at least, we used to be supposed to be proud of it. So attacks on that basis seem a bit out of bounds, especially because I simply don't credit (though that's no reason for you to believe it) that appeals to the Republican base criticizing Obama for his foreign experience are anything but fundamentally racist. Man, you start scratching at that piece of carpet and you won't be long from birthed conspiracies, and I don't see much reason to pretend otherwise. My antagonism to this certainly colors my reactions.

Given that fear of the other is the wellspring of so very, very many things about humanity I'm not really sure how reasonable it is to say two things are similar because they share that ultimate motive.

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Lyrhawn
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Senoj -

The problem too is that Romney plays into the narrative so often that it's not just the Democrats feeding it. Romney started it himself and the Democrats picked up and ran with it.

Romney keeps making stupid comments about firing people, having tons of cars, calling himself middle class and more. He's trying to be the everyman and it's utterly ridiculous because he's just so far outside the financial concerns of the average American. His blase attitude toward his own wealth suggests how disconnected he is.

I don't think, though, that he's some kind of robot monster. Your post about how he's a normal guy who plays with his kids does nothing to thwart what I'm saying, because at no point has anyone argued that he doesn't love his family, just that he doesn't really understand what it's like for a modern family, right now, to struggle financially.

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kmbboots
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Lyrhawn, well said. I would add one thing. In addition to not understanding what it is like for a modern family to struggle, he doesn't seem to understand that he doesn't understand. If he would at least acknowledge that much, it would be a step forward.
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advice for robots
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Holy cow, if he ever came close to such an acknowledgment the Obama campaign would roast him until he was bubbling.
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kmbboots
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"My family has been extraordinarily fortunate. I can only imagine the difficulties that families in the middle class are having. Here is how I want to make things better for them..."

Not sure what would be so roastable about that. It reads considerably better than, "I know what it is like to be poor because I had to sell some stock (that was given to me) when I was in college."

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah. That's not really politically feasible.

If he'd just stop making such boneheaded comments, I'd at least give him the benefit of the doubt on knowing that he doesn't know. But he just keeps spewing them out unprovoked and without warning, like an elitist jack in the box.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
"My family has been extraordinarily fortunate. I can only imagine the difficulties that families in the middle class are having. Here is how I want to make things better for them..."

Not sure what would be so roastable about that. It reads considerably better than, "I know what it is like to be poor because I had to sell some stock (that was given to me) when I was in college."

Here's how that sounds:

"Hi, I'm Moneybags Mitt and I don't understand your problems at all. However, despite not understanding them, I've created a series of policies designed to solve them. Now, how's about voting for me?"

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Vadon
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
Holy cow, if he ever came close to such an acknowledgment the Obama campaign would roast him until he was bubbling.

"Every day of this campaign, I am out in the streets of America, meeting Americans and hearing their stories. I've seen the tragedy that this President's failed economic policies have brought against hard working Americans. I am told, daily, of the struggle people face. [Give specific anecdotal examples relevant to the rally-location.] I know that I do not face the same financial worries as many Americans in my personal life, but I make an effort every day to learn the difficulties Americans face so that on day-one of my Presidency, I can begin to solve the hardships Obama has brought against Americans and pave the road to prosperity. He claims to understand your struggles, but he is cooped up in Washington, listening to lobbyists who pretend to know what you face. I don't listen to those who claim to represent you, I listen to real Americans, who face real adversity, who want real solutions. I listen to you."

I think there's a way to spin it.

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advice for robots
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I agree. Portraying himself as someone in touch with average Americans hasn't been a comfortable fit for Romney. He shouldn't bother. It just makes people mad.

ETA: In reply to Lyrhawn above.

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advice for robots
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Vadon, nicely worded, but I still think people would get hung up right where he admits he doesn't understand people's financial worries. It would be a sound bite played over and over in Obama's ads. Romney can't afford to throw a lob like that.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
I agree. Portraying himself as someone in touch with average Americans hasn't been a comfortable fit for Romney. He shouldn't bother. It just makes people mad.

ETA: In reply to Lyrhawn above.

I think the bigger problem is that it does nothing for average Americans who would probably vote for him anyway, and totally pisses off Americans who aren't likely to vote for him.

That's a net negative. You don't lose anything when you fail on any given issue to connect with your base, but when you galvanize the opposition, you're in the red.

I think this is a turnout issue, and possibly a wedge issue with some lower-income independents. And at this point I don't know what he can possibly do to thwart it unless he starts selling sob stories from his early married days, but I'm not entirely sure those stories even exist.

You're right though. Whenever Romney tries his aw shucks "I'm just like you!" routine, I cringe. He needs to change the subject, because that just isn't going to happen.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
WASHINGTON -- Poor women who stay at home to raise their children should be given federal assistance for child care so that they can enter the job market and "have the dignity of work," Mitt Romney said in January, undercutting the sense of extreme umbrage he showed when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen quipped last week that Ann Romney had not "worked a day in her life."

The remark, made to a Manchester, N.H., audience, was unearthed by MSNBC's "Up w/Chris Hayes," and aired during the 8 a.m. hour of his show Sunday.

Ann Romney and her husband's campaign fired back hard at Rosen following her remark. "I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work," Romney said on Twitter.

Mitt Romney, however, judging by his January remark, views stay-at-home moms who are supported by federal assistance much differently than those backed by hundreds of millions in private equity income. Poor women, he said, shouldn't be given a choice, but instead should be required to work outside the home to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits. "[E]ven if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work," Romney said of moms on TANF.

Recalling his effort as governor to increase the amount of time women on welfare in Massachusetts were required to work, Romney noted that some had considered his proposal "heartless," but he argued that the women would be better off having "the dignity of work" -- a suggestion Ann Romney would likely take issue with.

"I wanted to increase the work requirement," said Romney. "I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, 'Well that's heartless.' And I said, 'No, no, I'm willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It'll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.'"

Regardless of its level of dignity, for Ann Romney, her work raising her children would not have fulfilled her work requirement had she been on TANF benefits.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/2012/04/15/mitt-romney-mothers-welfare-moms_n_1426113.html

Somethings never change.

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Blayne Bradley
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Hey look at that partisan congress go!

Funny how for the last few years the "socialist" democratic congress has actually moved to the right.

Article

Article has some foot in mouth bs moments but otherwise its been the GOP moving rapidly to the right.

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SenojRetep
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CNN piece on Romney's work as an LDS Bishop. I know the Catalanos, the main subject of the piece, quite well. Also, the organist playing at around 1:25 is my wife. The stock footage was filmed during my ward's church services last Sunday (I'm never on camera, though, even peripherally).

Fanboy bonus, Judy Dushku (interviewed starting at 2:30) is the mother of Eliza Dushku. Eliza was a member of the Romneys' ward growing up (including while Mitt was Bishop), until she stopped coming to church in her mid-teens.

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pooka
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Eliza Dushku was Mormon?
:mind blown:

Now I keep thinking of that outfit she wore on the episode of Doll House where she broke her leg riding the motorcycle. It reminded me so much of something from one of my brother's anime shows.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
Eliza Dushku was Mormon?
:mind blown:

Katherine Heigl, too. And Amy Adams and Ryan Gosling and Paul Walker and Aaron Eckhart. All of them have confirmed growing up Mormon, but have since stopped identifying with the church while still expressing some degree of affection for it (or what, growing up in Logan, UT we would have called "Jack Mormons").
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SenojRetep
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President Obama, from the White House Correspondent's Dinner last night:
quote:
What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? The pit bull tastes delicious.
My question: how does he know the hockey mom doesn't?
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Rakeesh
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I can think of half a dozen ways to answer that in the theme intended without actually thinking about it, heh.
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BlackBlade
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Somebody remind me why politicians think they know how to manage our economy?

Apparently politicians need 'bailouts' too.

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Lyrhawn
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For the sake of focusing the various political discussions, I'm resurrecting this thread.

Don't feel constrained to post here if you'd like to start a different thread or what not, but I've seen a few different ones pop up and some of them derailed, so if anyone wants to keep it in one all inclusive place for the last two months, feel free to post here.

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Rakeesh
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Wait a second, you weren't intimidated by the sheer power of Romney into not resurrecting this thread?
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Parkour
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My romney thread is going to get shut down and I'm going to get laid off and appear in attack ads about how you are definitely not the change we can believe in.
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Parkour
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son of a

parks i am logging you out for serious

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Lyrhawn
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I was thinking about buying all your political threads, making them take out big loans, and then pocketing the profit as I watch them collapse in misery.
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Orincoro
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In what way would that not constitute, purely in moral terms, theft?
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Rakeesh
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Because it just wouldn't shutup! It's capitalism which by nature is good, and also just what Jesus wanted. Rich, powerful, self-interested capitalism.
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Lyrhawn
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If the free market wanted those threads to survive, they would.
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Lyrhawn
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Couple decent speeches last night.

I liked Deval Patrick's energy (though he had some factual issues).

Michelle Obama gave what might be the best political speech of the last half decade. Impressive stuff.

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BlackBlade
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Her delivery was a bit halting, but it was a good theme, and more importantly I believed that she believed her words.
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Tarrsk
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Michelle's speech was great.

Julian Castro was impressive as well, I thought. Although I have to admit I laughed at John Hodgman's tweeted joke about how the 2016 Dem convention will feature a keynote speech from "Esperanza Hitler-Borg."

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Ron Lambert
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Is this the place to bring up the observations/criticisms that the mention of "God" was taken out of the Democratic Platform? Not only Fox News Channel, but also ABC News, has commented on this. ABC in fact asked if this meant the party had become "Godless." Even Fox did not go that far, they just kept asking why mention of God was left out.

The head of the platform committee, Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, tried to deflect this criticism (in the interview I watched) by first attacking Fox News Channel Network, and then by calling attention to the section of the platform that speaks favorably of faith-based organizations. But you would think it might have occurred to someone on the committee that leaving out the 2008 platform's mention of "God-given potential" [of everyone] would invite negative comment. Booker also said that platforms really don't matter that much. After all, he said, Romney does not agree with portions of his party's platform about denying abortions to victims of rape or incest. But that of course begs the question of why bother with a platform at all if it does not mean anything? At least Romney stated his disagreement.

A second criticism of the Democratic platform is the fact that the previous reference to Jerusalem being the capital of Israel was left out. By way of contrast, when Romney visited Israel recently, he explicitly affirmed that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. President Obama may speak glibly about America remaining an ally of Israel, but I think it is a pretty safe bet that the Israelis know who is really a friend of Israel. The only question I have about this is why so many American Jews still tend to vote for Obama and the Democrats.

A third criticism is that unlike the 2008 platform, the 2012 platform does not name Hamas as a terrorist organization that should be "isolated" "until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israelís right to exist, and abides by past agreements."

Link to ABC News article: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/democrats-shift-language-on-israel-remove-god-given-from-platform/

[ September 05, 2012, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Xavier
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As an atheist Democrat, I'm thrilled at the exclusion (whether its calculated or not).
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kmbboots
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As a Catholic Democrat, I am fine with that exclusion as well.
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Darth_Mauve
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Ron, these are political parties, not Religions. I understand that some on the right get confused by that fact.

As for Jerusalem, except for some evangelical belief that it sounds the way of the second coming, why should the US care what the capital of another country is?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
why should the US care what the capital of another country is?

You must be joking. There are tremendous political implications, and I have trouble believing you don't know that.
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Darth_Mauve
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You are right Rivka. It is important to the US Government.

It is important to our foreign policy.

There are tremendous international political implications.

There are tremendous implications for the future of Israel, and for whatever non-Israel goverment/state/people live in Jerusalem, but why is it important to the average US citizen or US Political Party.

Certainly support for Israel is important--especially to Americans who are Jewish or Arabic. That could be in the platform.

But why should we put in an American political party's platform something about how another country settles their dispute with their neighbors. You, Israel, want Jerusalem as you God-granted capital. They, the Palestinians or Arabs in Jerusalem want it as their nearer-historically accurate capital.

If, heaven forbid, the Israeli population, tired of war, elect a government that is willing to trade Jerusalem as the capital for a true peace, why should American Democrats stand in the way.

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TomDavidson
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I think there are tremendous political implications for Israel. I think it's ridiculous that Americans should care.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
You, Israel, want Jerusalem as you God-granted capital. They, the Palestinians or Arabs in Jerusalem want it as their nearer-historically accurate capital.

Way to mis-state and oversimplify.
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Ron Lambert
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One correction: It was Senator Dick Durbin (Senate Majority Whip) I heard interviewed on Fox News Channel who got so defensive at the question why the word "God" was left out of the Democratic platform, and reacted by attacking the network, then tried to say that platforms don't matter that much, anyway. (They've been playing snippets of that interview repeatedly on Fox.)
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Ron Lambert
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Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East, and for that reason alone is crucially important to our foreign policy. Israel from its very creation as a recognized modern nation has enjoyed the recognition and support of the USA. To turn away from that long established policy in the least degree is a real cause for concern, and calls into question the basic judgment and faithfulness of the Obama administration.
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