US of A Presidential Elections 2012

GRtak

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Things are getting weird and the elections deserves its own thread.

Republicans race to prove Christian cred


(CNN) -- When Gov. Rick Perry of Texas called for a day of prayer and fasting in Houston, world-famous televangelist John Hagee answered enthusiastically.

"We pray for our governor, Rick Perry," he gruffly proclaimed, "who has had the courage today to call this time of fasting and prayer just as Abraham Lincoln did in the darkest days of the Civil War."

When Perry officially launches his presidential campaign this weekend, he will not be the only Republican candidate to carry the banner of Christian piety. The presidential pre-primary season has not featured so many brave Christian Abraham Lincolns since the days of Abraham Lincoln himself.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty discovered his inner Honest Abe at the Faith and Freedom Conference in June. Heedless of the risks to his campaign, Honest Tim read from the Bible and thundered to the mostly evangelical audience, "We need to be a nation that turns toward God, not away from God!" (Note: My use of the word "thunder" in this context is artistic license. A more accurate but less dramatic rendering would have been, "stated woodenly without apparent emotion.")

Another presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, refers to God so frequently in the context of her political ambitions that you would think He was her running mate. At the Faith and Freedom Conference, she treated the audience to a prayer of her own design:

"Lord, we know there are things we have done in our nation that have not been pleasing in your sight," she sorrowfully intoned, "Lord, we ask your forgiveness for that."

It requires great chutzpah to beg divine forgiveness for the policies of your political opponents.

Not to be outdone by his fellow Minnesotan, Pawlenty countered in July with a six-minute campaign video to prove that he was the most Christian after all. Interjecting tender stories about his wife's peerless piety with cranky condemnations of same-sex marriage, Pawlenty then blinked into the camera and assured voters, "My faith is very important to me, and it influences all that I do, and it informs people about what my values are."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may not be able to boast about Christian values in his personal life, but he has vowed to defend his grandchildren from the imminent threat of "a secular atheist country" or, somewhat inconsistently, political domination by radical Islamists. Gingrich has also promised to resist the fearsome "homosexual agenda" on the grounds that he supports "pro-classical Christianity," a hitherto-undiscovered Christian sect that may be imaginary.

Donald Trump, whose campaign ended before it began, still found time to gallantly sputter, "I believe in God. I am Christian. I think the Bible is certainly, it is THE book." In case people missed the point, he added, "I'm a Protestant. I'm a Presbyterian. And you know I've had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion." (Trump has recently said he might return to the race after all. The country awaits its captain of real estate and reality television with bated breath.)

Even libertarian Ron Paul, who long resisted injecting faith into politics, has waxed Lincolnesque this season. "We have had the Constitution stolen right before our eyes," he drawled urgently, "This is now about whether or not we have the right to worship freely." He later explained, "Congress should never prohibit the expression of your Christian faith in a public place."

The only prominent candidates who apparently lack the courage to promote their faith are the Mormon representatives, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.

"I believe in God," acknowledged Huntsman when pressed. "I'm a true Christian. I am very proud of my Mormon heritage. I am Mormon." He helpfully added, "Today, there are 13 million Mormons. It's a very diverse and cross-section of heterogeneous people."

Fortunately for the budding Lincolns in our midst, very few of those heterogeneous Mormon people live in Iowa.

On Saturday, August 13, Republican insiders in Iowa will vote in the Ames Straw Poll. Although the poll is non-binding, it hints at the candidates most likely to do well in the Iowa caucus.

Though Iowa's electoral vote is small, its early caucus has often transformed the race by undercutting front-runners and elevating underdogs.

Iowa is a swing state in presidential elections, but its Republicans tend to be very conservative and very Christian. In 2008, 60% of Republican caucus participants were evangelical. They selected religious right favorite Mike Huckabee, instantly transforming him from a dark-horse candidate to a formidable challenger.

That 60% turnout is surely a tempting fruit for Republican candidates anxious to follow Huckabee's example. A win in Iowa could launch them on the path to nomination, as happened to Barack Obama, or at least secure a spot at the Republican convention.

Indeed, the political compensation for public displays of faith is so precious that it makes me wonder whether the candidates' zealous efforts to to prove their piety as they race for the Republican nomination might be called calculating or opportunistic. Some might even suggest unchristian.

Consider Matthew 6:5-6:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others ... but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen."

Must be to make sure that everyone thinks Obama is a muslim. :rolleyes:
 

SpitfireMK461

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I don't recall past republicans having to campaign on religion so rigorously.

Then again, this is possibly the craziest set of candidates the country has seen.
 

argatoga

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This is probably going to be as bad as the "I am Regean" crap from four years ago. I'll go and vote for the candidate who will take the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
 

Spectre

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How about we, you know, fire the guy that said he'd get us out of Iraq and win the war in Afghanistan, turns out to have utterly lied, and then got us into a NEW war in Libya without getting Congress' permission, then sat and thumbed his nose at the War Powers Act first?

As for the elections being dragged out - that would be the media's fault. They keep dragging it out more and more.
 
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argatoga

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I'm all for kicking Obama out of office over the Libya affair. The Constitution requires Congress to ratify wars, which Obama did not recieve. But the U.S. needs to "bring democracy" to the world by killing its poorest people.
 

Spectre

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I'm all for kicking Obama out of office over the Libya affair. The Constitution requires Congress to ratify wars, which Obama did not recieve. But the U.S. needs to "bring democracy" to the world by killing its poorest people.
You forgot to add facilitating arms sales to the cartels and rebels in Mexico (Gunwalker/Fast and Furious) and apparently running guns to the leftist forces in Honduras (Operation Castaway). Those are primary casus belli - we've bombed people for less, and now we're doing it. F'ing idiots in power right now.
 

LeVeL

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I'll go and vote for the candidate who will take the U.S. out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wait, do you mean to tell me that being in a war for no reason at all is not helping the deficit?? :p More and more people are realizing that Obama is beyond terrible. Trouble is, there are about 50 republican candidates and none of them really stand out (except for the tea partiers - they stand out but not in a good way), so if you don't want BHO to get reelected, it will be tough to pick a candidate to vote for. Hopefully most of these "candidates" will back off before the primary.
 

argatoga

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Last time I voted third party. If more people would do that instead of "picking the lesser of two evils" we'd be better off.
 

ninjacoco

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This whole holier-than-thou dog and pony show makes me sick. It's everything that's wrong with Christianity and the Republican Party all rolled up in one big nasty, mess. Am I the only Christian left here who's deeply offended by the willingness of politicians to use the name of God for personal and political gain? Surely not, but if that's the case, the rest of us sane folk need to step forward and make ourselves heard. I do not care how religious (or not) my politicians are because it simply does not matter. The USA is not, should not be, and should never be a theocracy. I don't care if you worship pants in your spare time as long as you're competent at what you've been elected to do. Your private life--and that should include your religion--is none of my business.

Sadly, that's what I see a lack of in this round of candidates: sanity and competency. Obama doesn't know what he's doing, and the crop of candidates stepping forward to challenge him look just as depressing. Don't beat me over the head with "I'm a Christian! See?!"--tell me what you're actually going to do to fix this country's issues with debt, unemployment, and the other things that actually have an impact on other peoples' lives. Newsflash: your personal walk with God does not have any effect on my ability to find employment.

I rarely post in this section, so I'll quietly slink back to lurking now--this has just been a major nuisance to me for quite some time. I'm tired of fools like Perry forgetting where the line is between "church" and "state." We're free to worship (or not) as we please because no one system of belief is institutionalized in our government. Change that, and we lose parts of that freedom.
 
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jmsprovan

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I usually despise Family Guy, but they have it spot on in this

[video=youtube;0YOh-rpvjYg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOh-rpvjYg&feature=player_embedded[/video]


Seriously the Republican "contenders" are batshit stupid, evidenced from the debate they had the other day:

 

jmsprovan

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I'm all for kicking Obama out of office over the Libya affair. The Constitution requires Congress to ratify wars, which Obama did not recieve. But the U.S. needs to "bring democracy" to the world by killing its poorest people.
You are not technically at war. The president only needs the express authorisation of Congress if he is putting boots on the ground, because the funding has to be authorised separately (unlike using the Airforce). He could (if he wanted to) send soldiers anyway, but without congress they would have no food or ammunition.
 

Dogbert

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How about we, you know, fire the guy that said he'd get us out of Iraq and win the war in Afghanistan, turns out to have utterly lied, and then got us into a NEW war in Libya without getting Congress' permission, then sat and thumbed his nose at the War Powers Act first?
Iraq: Combat operations ended this month last year. 50,000 troops are still there just to make sure the insurgents don't go around killing everything in sight, like they did when Bush withdrew everyone from Baghdad in 2009. The full withdrawal of troops is scheduled for this December.

I'm almost positive you knew all of this already, though, so I'm not sure why you're trying to spin it like Obama hasn't done anything at all and is a "liar".


Afghanistan: Troop levels are officially going to be at 50,000 by 2012. I'm not sure how else to speak to that, since you said "win the war".


Libya: I'm sorry, there is a clear difference between "got us into a NEW war" and "protecting civilians as part of a clearly worldwide effort", bearing in mind that we aren't there to force a regime change. The money being spent in Libya right now was already apportioned for use, anyway, so this technically hasn't cost us taxpayers anything more.

And really, you're going to fault the President for joining a humanitarian effort without asking Congress first? The same Congress that we just witnessed almost utterly fail at preventing the country from going into default? The same Congress with a sub-15 percent approval rating? It did take him being clever within the scope of the War Powers Act, yes, but I don't really blame him with this Congress. If he (or we) asks them anything these days, it doesn't get done.
 

Jay

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Am I the only Christian left here who's deeply offended by the willingness of politicians to use the name of God for personal and political gain?
:wave: What you typed (and I cut) is exactly how I feel, I WANT my government and my religion to be far far away from each other also. Anyone who thinks otherwise should read up on the history of England up until the rule of Henry VIII.
Christian anarchy is the route I went, Steph. Look it up, see what you think. :)
 

nomix

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It's always fascinated me that while the US has no national religion, you can't get elected without being outwardly religious. Prefrably protestant.

While Norway, a nation where the constitution demands that a certain number of the cabinet is a member of the State Church, generally speaking couldn't care less about religion in politics. It's a private thing here, and I know of several powerful Norwegian politicians, including the Prime Minister, who are actually quite christian. But it's never made a point of. If anything, talking too much about God in public will alienate you from the electorate, except in very religious parts.

Just find it funny.

Obama has disappointed me. But he's an improvement over Bush, and I can see no republican candidate better suited to be in the Oval Office. There might very well be democrats better suited, but they won't challenge an incumbent president, and they won't get nominated anyway.

Edit: As for Libya, if he wanted to get Congress onboard, he should just have held a speech and said "Whatever happens, I will never, ever go into Libya". Then the GOP would make sure there were 200 000 troops there by the end of the week.
 
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WillDAQ

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How about we, you know, fire the guy that said he'd get us out of Iraq and win the war in Afghanistan, turns out to have utterly lied,
Texan BS as ever, lets look at troop numbers: Getting out of Iraq, check. Focusing on winning in Afghanistan, check. Just because it isn't on Fox doesn't mean it isn't happening.


and then got us into a NEW war in Libya without getting Congress' permission
Invading somewhere which actually wants to be liberated, the bastard.

If this election does go to the Republicans at least we'll be able to dust off the old "America is run by an idiot" jokes.
 

jasonof2000

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Wait, do you mean to tell me that being in a war for no reason at all is not helping the deficit?? :p More and more people are realizing that Obama is beyond terrible. Trouble is, there are about 50 republican candidates and none of them really stand out (except for the tea partiers - they stand out but not in a good way), so if you don't want BHO to get reelected, it will be tough to pick a candidate to vote for. Hopefully most of these "candidates" will back off before the primary.
I really wish Obama got a set of balls for his birthday, the way he constantly caves is really pissing me off. However at this point I see no other choice than him. All the Repub candidates bother me to some extent.
Bachman is a homophobe, is WAAYYYY too social conservative for my taste and I think she is flat out crazy. I also despise the Tea Baggars so I won't vote for any of their favorites, I have no desire to associate with racist, fat baby boomers.
Pawlenty is boring and really stands no chance.
Herman Cain stands no chance and I don't think he likes to read (the whole small bill thing, idiotic), plus Godfathers Pizza is terrible.
John Huntsman has been doing horrible in the debates so far.
Santorum... About the only thing I like about him is that he pissed off the gay community enough that they came up with an awesome definition for his name. He stands no chance, oh and in Iowa he is giving out home made jelly at his tent, combine that with above definition, awesome.
Romney, I MAYBE can see voting for him but I really don't like what he did at Bain Capital, I feel that is the type of business experience our executive branch can do without.
Rick Perry, no, no, NO! I will not vote for someone who said Texas should leave the union. I also will not vote for that type of holier-than-thou-I'm-better-than-you-Christian. Also last time we had a Texas governor we wound up in two unpaid for wars and the rich pay virtually no taxes.
Sadly my dream candidate will never run (Colin Powell), perhaps I'll write his name in anyway.

Last time I voted third party. If more people would do that instead of "picking the lesser of two evils" we'd be better off.
I did that during the Bush vs. Kerry election. I think I voted either Green or communist that year, note I am not actually a communist I just ticked the box because it was a Florida absentee ballot and those don't usually get counted and both those guys bothered me.

Obama has disappointed me. But he's an improvement over Bush, and I can see no republican candidate better suited to be in the Oval Office. There might very well be democrats better suited, but they won't challenge an incumbent president, and they won't get nominated anyway.
Anyone would of been better than Bush. Actually what interests me the most is where were these "fiscal conservatives" when Bush was digging the US into a deeper and deeper whole and where was their outrage when Chaney said "deficits don't matter"?

You are not technically at war. The president only needs the express authorisation of Congress if he is putting boots on the ground, because the funding has to be authorised separately (unlike using the Airforce). He could (if he wanted to) send soldiers anyway, but without congress they would have no food or ammunition.
Most of the assets are in theater already and most of what we are doing at this point is refueling and command and control so it isn't like this is a hugely expensive venture.
However what interests me is that Europe wanted this to be their show, however they can't do it without American tankers and C&C equipment.
 
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