By on June 20, 2014

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Exterior

As campaign season rolls out, politicians are appealing to their constituents — or at least, trying to appeal to them — by appearing to be on their level, including their choice of vehicle that they otherwise may have traded in for a Lexus or Mercedes a long time ago in their political career.

Bloomberg reports candidates are trading in their luxury rides for image-building vehicles such as Chevrolet Silverados, Harley-Davidson Road Kings, Toyota Prii, or — if vehicles in general would negatively affect their campaigning — the Shoe Leather Express. The strategy is meant to bring an air of humility on the campaign trail, which is needed to counter the charge that those who work on Capitol Hill are out of touch with the people they represent.

Aside from those who already see this tool through a cynical lens, vehicular appeal can have its drawbacks. In his failed bid for presidency, 1988 Democrat nominee Michael Dukakis turned up in a tank to appeal to those who heavily support the military. While the tactic worked for British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and despite his service in the United States Army, the photo-op turned into a tool for opponent George Bush’s campaign, lambasting Dukakis for looking silly.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

144 Comments on “US Politicians Appeal To Base Through Humble Vehicles...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Obama and his gangster 300C, did BTYS vote for him?

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Norm you sound like you have hemi envy, or is it just pigment envy.

    • 0 avatar
      Rod Panhard

      Mr. Obama drove the 300c as a community organizer in Chicago. It was appropriate in a town full of players that is known for Democratic machine politics. Before he publicly announced his intentions for presidential candidacy, he sold it and acquired a Ford Escape hybrid.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Actually, Obama worked as a community organizer the 1980s, and 300c wasn’t introduced until 2004, so clearly it doubled as a “Back to the Future” time machine. It probably really wowed people back in 1987.

        And, of course, no Republican would EVER buy a big, bad V-8 powered vehicle that looks baaaad and uses way too much gas. Not a chance!

        That, or you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Stupid. When I run for Supreme World Leader, I will do so from a CTS-V, a ZO6, and an F-150 Raptor, as a fist full of large throbbing ‘Murican genitalia shaken angrily towards the diesel-driving communist weenies abroad. F Yeah!

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    Western-state congresscritters use a similar tactic when they fly home from DC each weekend. The runway at National Airport is too short for big jets, so most flights to the west require a two-leg flight. The congressmen/women are known to fly first class for the first flight out of DC, and then fly coach for the second flight into their home districts, as they know that flight will be filled with their constituents. The order is reversed on the trip back to DC the following Monday.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’m happy to report that the Maine delegation is above such silliness. I have flown in F from DC to Portland with all of them on many occasions – once with all four on the same flight! They work hard, and they deserve to fly in comfort, whether it is the airline upgrading them due to VIP status, or by actual miles flown status, if they aren’t just paying for it.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “They work hard” my ass. They bloviate and self promote and bicker for cameras and then take lavish “fact finding” vacations to exotic locales. Hell, even I with my moderately stressful corporate drone 50-60hr week desk job don’t work that “hard” just time consuming and mentally taxing. Sometimes I go out and tour one of our manufacturing sites where I wander around like a chucklehead in a suit while men and women sweat and grind out the crap we have them build in unheated/air conditioned plants; THOSE guys work hard. Not some Washington douche.

        • 0 avatar
          RangerM

          If you feel guilty about it, then you could always quit your desk job.

          Seriously, if you weren’t doing your “desk job”, would those without your skills be able to do their manufacturing job? I doubt it. The administration side of the business as just as necessary as the operations side, because action without planning is chaos.

          I’m sure many idealists go to D.C. with noble intentions, but the system (as it is now) is of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the bureaucrats.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @S2k Chris

          That may be true of your state’s congress people, but it is not true of mine. We have a long history of sending excellent people to Washington. They have earned my respect.

        • 0 avatar
          gummaumma

          Work hard or not, do they do travel a lot. And sitting in coach is increasingly a miserable experience with the leg and seat room. If I traveled that much for work and was a big dog in my office, I think I would deserve the same.

      • 0 avatar
        DeeDub

        Maine is close enough for direct flights, so there’s no way to know whether they’re actually above such silliness.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      @Deedub – actually the issue with Reagan National is not the runway length. There is a 1,250 mile limit to flights departing Reagan in an effort to avoid taking traffic away from Washington Dulles. It’s a similar idea to what goes on in New York with La Guardia and JFK or in Dallas with Dallas Love and DFW (although the Wright Amendment’s impending repeal will change the situation there). At 7100 ft long, the runway is plenty long for 737s and A320s to fly transcon. In fact, Boeing flew a 787 into DCA a few years ago on its PR tour.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    When my representative willfully drives a 1999 Caravan with rusted rocker panels, only then will they convince the constituents around here that they are an “every man”.

    • 0 avatar
      koshchei

      They may also want to downsize from a 7000 square foot plantation to a bungalo in a non-gated subdivision.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “When my representative willfully drives a 1999 Caravan with rusted rocker panels…”

      That’s what Rob Ford drove in his mayoral campaign, I believe.

      • 0 avatar
        koshchei

        Wasn’t it a Chevy Venture? In any case, it magically transformed into an Escalade a few months after he was elected. His house was stopped from transforming from a bungalow into a mansion on illegally appropriated public land by pesky reporters though.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The best choice of all–not a pickup truck, but a Jeep Wrangler. Let the people know you are REALLY down to earth.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      Congressman Poe drove a Wrangler for years. Even when he was a Judge. Of course, he has the personality to suit it. Wonder if he still drives one.

      I would love to see a Houston pol show up in a DeLorean since it’s locally (re)made. Or maybe one of those Hennessey creations.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Vulpine – Jeeps are the new poser vehicle. Something had to replace the Hummer.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        No, pickup trucks are doing that. The Jeep Wrangler is still as capable as it always was–more so, actually. Though I admit more people are driving it than ever did before. On the other hand, nothing says “Conspicuous Consumption” than a fully dressed-out pickup truck that does nothing more than carry its driver and maybe… sometimes… the driver’s family.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Vulpine – trucks do not get used for their true purpose but Jeeps have become the image vehicle for hipsters and wannabe down to earth types. Capability has nothing to do with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I bought my Jeep for its capability first–I got tired of getting stuck in the snow when a blizzard came through. I believe the desert southwest has also seen a huge influx of new Jeepers. And yes, even trucks go out there. But it’s the TRUCK that has become the status symbol–as noted by a Presidential pickup truck selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction JUST because a President had owned it.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Do you actually know any trucks like that? I mean really? Or are you just making an assumption?

          Even my lawyer neighbor uses his bed on occasion that I see. I have another neighbor with a scratched up bed I have never seen load anything. Obviously, he has loaded things to scratch up the bed, but he is four houses down and I never have seen it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Yes, Landcrusher, I do. There are three different full-sized trucks in my neighborhood all wearing permanent one-piece fiberglass tonneau covers that have never once been removed or even lifted since they moved into the neighborhood. They didn’t even carry any personal furniture or other gear in the trucks–choosing instead to rent a U-Haul for the purpose. If they do carry anything, it’s never anything big enough to make owning a pickup truck a necessity.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Vulpine, Landcrusher: At least when my dad owned a 1997 3/4 ton diesel Chevy pickup with matching fiberglass tonneau cover he had the good sense to do two things. 1 – He bought it used and took advantage of depreciation. 2 – He actually hauled things that you didn’t want blowing out of the bed like wood mulch.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            That’s kinda creepy how much you watch your neighbors.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Second floor, street-side windows and to be bluntly honest, I don’t TRUST half of my neighbors. Any unusual noise gets my attention. Meanwhile, as a writer I simply have no need to go anywhere else on a regular basis.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I assume that Blackwood owners did not haul much.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – “I bought my Jeep for its capability first”

            I’m sure most pickup truck buyers say the same thing.

            BTW – almost all small to mid-sized SUV’s will get you through the winter.

            The truck as a status symbol….. really?

            I’m sure that there are those that think that.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            More than a few believe that, Lou. The vehemence in some arguments against ‘lesser’ vehicles like compact pickup trucks pretty much proves that.

            As for the “almost all small to mid-sized SUV’s will get you through the winter” is inherently false UNLESS you add the AWD qualifier. I drove a Saturn Vue, 2WD for six years and while it served its purpose, when a big storm came through, I was pretty well stranded until the snowplows came through and on the rural road I lived, the plow might not come through for two days after the storm. It didn’t help that in some cases electricity would be knocked out for those same two days, which meant the only advantage we had was a propane heater that didn’t rely on electricity to operate. In other words, we needed something that was high enough to push through sometimes 16″ of snow or more and could put power to every wheel–the Vue couldn’t do either.

            I’ve moved since then, but now the plow has a habit of building a wall in front of my parking area, meaning I don’t even have room to make a run at getting over it. The Wrangler has managed to make that task easy not forcing me to shovel down to pavement to get out. I cut the snow bank down to about 9″ and the Jeep climbs over the rest with no problem. Any other “small to mid-sized SUV” would require me to dig through some of the hardest ice–and I’m getting too old to appreciate the effort. That said, I also have to admit the new Renegade has my interest, even though it doesn’t quite have the same ground clearance. My pickup truck? Parked until the snow is gone simply because it’s one wheel drive. I’m not stupid enough to even try driving in snow and ice with that rig.

      • 0 avatar
        dantes_inferno

        +1

        Hummers, Jeeps and super-sized pickup trucks – the official vehicles of Little Dick Johnson.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Personally if I was in the politician’s boat, I’d be looking at what factories and suppliers were in my district. If it is multiple I might be cold and calculating enough to just pick the one with the largest # of employees.

    Got the district with the Alabama Hyundai plant? Drive a Sonata. Smyrna, TN? Altima. Princeton, IN? Highlander. Etc.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Amusing, since it’s easy to spend in excess of $50,000 on a Silverado. Dukakis did look silly in that photo. If he hadn’t looked silly — and like he didn’t belong — the negative ad campaign never would have succeeded. Dukakis had this “why is my campaign consultant making me do this?” look.

    There is nothing inherent in the job of a Representative or a Senator that makes it a “do-nothing.” If the holder of the office chooses to make the job that way, then the electorate should vote him/her out.

    Lots of people gripe about “excessive” Congressional pay. But the realty is that a Congress persons’ salary qualifies them to buy an efficiency apartment that is reasonably close to the Capitol. If they have a family, living here on their salary is out of the question. One of the reasons Congress is so “dysfunctional” is that relationships between Members is nothing like what it was 30 or more years ago. It is interpersonal relationships that allow people to compromise and get things done, rather than engage in stupid theatrics like “shutting down” the government. And the reason for that is the Members don’t live here; they commute home. Some even just sleep in their offices.

    I’m not suggesting a pay raise sufficient to allow Members to participate in the Washington real estate market without having to spend two hours a day commuting. However, the military’s solution to housing problems for its people — “quarters” — actually would make sense. “Quarters” would be provided to Congress persons and their families as part of the job. There is a large federal tract of land at Bolling Air Force base across the Potomac from Reagan airport that could be suitably remodeled. Bolling Air Force base hasn’t landed aircraft in 50 years; it houses random government office.

    A dedicated transportation link with Capitol Hill could pretty easily be set up, and security would be already built-in.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      “There is nothing inherent in the job of a Representative or a Senator that makes it a “do-nothing.” If the holder of the office chooses to make the job that way, then the electorate should vote him/her out.”

      Exactly this. I have great respect for the people my state sends to Washington, and they do their jobs properly. I find it VERY sad that Olympia Snow recently choose to retire because of all the BS in Congress. That was great loss to this country as a whole, never mind my own small state.

      We get exactly the Government that WE elect into office.

      I think they should be paid more – government pay at all levels is not competitive with private employment, which leads to us not having necessarily the best people, AND leaves them more vulnerable to outside interests, AKA the revolving door to K Street. But I like your idea of government provided quarters too. Then again, if you are rich and buy yourself a seat, you probably should not get paid at all… So perhaps there should be a needs test. Let them fill out a financial aid application!

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      ‘There is nothing inherent in the job of a Representative or a Senator that makes it a “do-nothing.” If the holder of the office chooses to make the job that way, then the electorate should vote him/her out.’

      We did. His name is Eric Cantor. After spending the last four terms essentially ignoring his local constituents and becoming a national figure, said local constituents finally had enough and voted him out. Even though I’d been voting against the guy every chance I could get for the past six years for just that reason, it took until now for my fellow residents to get equally angry and do something about it.

      No politician is safe if his constituency gets angry enough. Unfortunately, it happens all too seldom.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Politicians are like diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yeah, Eric Cantor wasn’t right-wing enough, I guess…

        Next up: Bernie Sanders, closet Republican.

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          Wrong. Eric Cantor was a politician who ignored the voters in his district. He wasn’t running for re-election, he was running for Speaker of the House and national political figure.

          His constituents got rather tired of that, deciding to put a political nobody in his place on the campaign promise that he’d have regular office hours throughout the district, and would be there himself during those hours to meet with the constituents.

          I’ve been getting a good laugh with all the comments from people who do not live in the VA 7th Congressional District who know why Cantor lost. In a district that is SO gerrymandered Republican that four years ago, during a little gathering of non-Republicans, I was offered the chance to run against him on the Democratic ticket.

          Yeah, that’s how desperate the Dems were. And how good a chance I would have had.

          Until this year, when the voters finally got fed up with being ignored.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Syke, You make me think of the old adage: “The biggest problem with politics is we only elect people who actually WANT the job.”

          • 0 avatar
            dantes_inferno

            > Until this year, when the voters finally got fed up with being ignored.

            +10

            Virginia voters successfully employed the GRIP method this voting cycle.

            GRIP = Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians.

            Let’s hope GRIP starts to spread across the country!

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      DC Bruce, Representatives who fly in to Washington DC on Monday, sleep in their office, vote NO, and fly home Thursday evening are doing what their voters want them to do. A significant number of voters want someone to cut spending cold-turkey to levels where the budget balances and don’t mind shutting down the federal government for months if necessary to get the job done. In terms of cars, the problem is representatives that start out with a Ford F-150, trade it in on a GMC Yukon, and then go totally native and start driving a Range Rover Sport. That’s the vehicle history of Rep. Pete Sessions of Dallas. When he started his political career, Pete would have had the political good sense to buy another GMC Yukon, maybe a Denali, with it’s ties to the Arlington GM plant. Now after 17 years in congress he carelessly follows the spending patterns of his 2nd wife.

  • avatar
    thats one fast cat

    They don’t all trade ‘em in for looks.

    Senator Burr (R-NC) drives a beat to hell 70′s VW Thing; half the time the top is down when it is raining. Hilarious when parked in front of the Senate.

    My kind o’ guy.

    Also a big call out to Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), a well known collector of cool cars. Independently wealthy BEFORE he came to Congress, he tools around town in a sweet Ferrari 550M.

    Let the eat cake.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    It’s all about fiscal responsibility, gents!

    I’ve got several members in my family who, though retired and wealthy, will keep ONE CAR for themselves and make damned well sure it reaches the magical 200k mark, or more, before getting a new one. These aren’t old blue collar workers who have built a little nest egg and have retired, but made large 6 figure salaries and put all of their children through ivy league schools.

    One of my uncles in particular is likely one of the most conservative bastards who walks on the face of the Earth. Love the man, and respect him dearly, but when dealing with him, I do expect a good chewing out if I’d spend money on anything considered mildly ostentatious.

    How conservative is he? Literally, if I didn’t buy my “new” shirt from a thrift store, I’d better pull out a spreadsheet and show him where those funds came from.

    Now if this came attitude would be carried over into Capital Hill, this country may be a better place. Instead we’re up to our eyeballs in debt and- what’s that? China OWNS us?

    I’m expecting an outcry in t-minus: 5, 4, 3…

    I’ve heard from more than one source that driving through DC will result in the sightings of many a late model luxury car. That’s putting it lightly. Rightfully so, considering three of the highest income per capita counties are in VA, surrounding DC.

    Let me wrap this up: if your a representative of the people, driving a humble vehicle won’t hurt your credibility. Yes, that Malibu might be a better choice than that new 5-Series BMW.

    …and somewhere, a democrat is stretching their income to buy a 3rd luxury vehicle.

    (BA-dum-CHING! Thank You, thank you! I’ll be here all week!)

    If you pillage, plunder, and strangle your own finances, I damned sure don’t want your grubby mitts on my nation’s funds.

  • avatar
    Wraith

    “I drive what you drive. Unlike that *other guy*.” I wish everyone saw these tactics for what they were. But I guess they wouldn’t be doing this if it didn’t work on some percentage of the voting public.

    What a candidate drives doesn’t influence my opinion, one way or another. Drive what you like, drive what works for your needs. If you’re still driving what you had before you decided to run for office, I don’t care.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    It is stupid to try to look like one of the peons you want to represent unless you happen to be from that class.
    People are stupid but not that stupid. (At least I hope they aren’t that stupid).

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      We’re in the second term of Barrack Hussein Obama’s reign here.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        So glad that rankles you, CJ…

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @CJinSD – and I’m sure the fact that Hillary will most likely be the next Commander in Chief will really get your blood boiling.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          In a sick way, I think it actually is a boon to him. That way he can simply blame everyone else for what’s going on, and “argue” that his way is better. He can be as venal as he wants, and doesn’t have to “prove” anything that he proposes will work better. Perfect situation for a blowhard.

          Of course, we forget that when politicians actually do things “his” way, we get things like the Iraq war, which will definitely go down as one of the worst epic fails in American history. Maybe that’s why Obama opposed the war to begin with…

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Stop living in a vacuum. Oxygen deprivation isn’t doing good things for your brain.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            That’s pretty much the history of Fox News in the 2000s. They raised to prominence on Clinton-hating and slowly lost ground by the mid-2000s as their brand of Conservatism took over the Republicans and only with the loss of Congress in 2006 and then the election of Barack Obama in 2008 did Fox’s ratings rebound.

            This is the history of any group who wants outlandish demands and knows that no political actor will implement them because they’re both bad and political suicide. This is why the Right-wing talking heads prefer to never be in power, it’s easier to gripe than to recognize their theories are such bull that if they were ever implemented they would trash the economy and society as a whole.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Xer,
            That’s an interesting bunch of nonsense. Do you ever watch Fox? Do you ever have any doubts that correlation doesn’t equal causation? Even when it challenges your world view?

            You do realize that most of a Fox programming is editorial and opinion? Unlike their competitors, they admit that..their highest rated shows are not the news, though their news is the highest rated and most accurate. It’s amazing how lock step the competition is in burying stories like the recent lost email story.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            LC –

            Do I ever watch Fox? Sure, once in a while, you need to know your enemies and when duplicate coverage is on (State of the Union) I’ll usually flip over to prepare for inevitable remarks.

            Do you ever have any doubts that correlation doesn’t equal causation? Yes? I’m a logical intellectual, so there isn’t much to say on the matter. If you want to debate it further there have been a slew of articles written on why Fox News lost ground and then regained it in 2008. Now it’s losing ground again due mainly to demographic death. The fact that you’re a partisan in favor of Fox is really irrelevant to the argument of why their ratings fell. They’ve had higher ratings than CNN & MSNBC for years too if it makes you feel better though if we look at unique page views the left dominates the internet as a whole.

            Even when it challenges your world view? I would ask you the same thing, champ. But that’s the best part about my job, I get paid to know this information so when I bicker with random strangers on the internet I’m not terribly worried. Then again most of my fellow professors think I’m insane for still commenting on the internet and sharing my knowledge because it’s much more difficult to explain issues to the general public. But I can’t resist, I love the back and forth.

            You do realize that most of a Fox programming is editorial and opinion? Sure though I would point out that the ‘competitors’ still admit that their opinion shows are opinion as well. Unless you mean the one research study that concluded that MSNBC using a panel of analysts is ‘editorial’ vs. a single-member news desk. That is a flawed study in practice because the endless studies around Fox News and accuracy show that their viewers are the least informed. Not to mention that the editorial and opinion shows are the main thrust of their programming strength.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Correlation means correlation, period. It’s fine to bet on correlation, but not to be fooled by it. Governments shouldn’t be betting.

            I asked about Fox because the usual talking points are to talk about bias and then quote their editorial, or the in house idiot, O’Reilly.

            I see Fox’s bias all the time, but I see as much or more on the other networks and sources.

            I don’t think the ratings mean anyone is more truthful, but I doubt I have to laugh at the usual lib pokes at Fox. It’s fine to disagree, but the idea that the broadcast news or CNN are somehow better is just failure to realize their biases.

            Lastly, the right v left thing can be convenient, but the variety of views today makes it more misleading in most cases than it is helpful. The comments on this page alone show that.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            I’m still not sure what you’re talking about in relationship to correlation vs. causation…but I’ll digress.

            Second, when you describe me a liberal then claim that left vs. right is too narrow I have to call it irony. Yes, the spectrum is pretty wide, there are corporatist, social conservatives, green liberals, social liberals, etc… But when they come down to it they stand behind certain candidates and share coalitions. So the argument that somehow you’re an unique snowflake is irrelevant in the practical world.

            As for failing to recognize bias? I’m pretty sure the studies that prove that Fox News is less accurate than the other news networks make a point. But again, you agree with Fox so your own biases show through.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Oh, I know you are on the left, but I don’t pretend to know all your beliefs because of that. By now, you are being foolish by still making claims about my beliefs.

            Furthermore, I don’t claim to be unique, just apparently rare enough that people like you miss the mark on a regular basis. Actually,I’m not that rare, your generalizations are just lazy and stupid.

            What isn’t ironic is that after I call O’Reilly a fool, you say I agree with Fox. It’s both expected and tragic instead. I rarely watch anything on Fox than the news. When I catch the other shows I usually find them pretty ridiculous. My fave is Krauthammer. I agree with him a lot.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Landcrusher: While I will note that we tend to disagree on many points, I agree whole-heartedly with this one:
            “Lastly, the right v left thing can be convenient, but the variety of views today makes it more misleading in most cases than it is helpful. The comments on this page alone show that.”

            I would also add that another’s comment about “only people who want the job become politicians” exemplifies the issue we have in this country. I have a personal opinion on this that maybe some would support–that taking political office should be done in the same manner as taking jury duty; you get called for the office and have to hold it for two years maximum; never again to hold that specific office, though you may get called to take a different office on some later date. This includes all offices up to State Representative in the House of Congress. From that point on, the Senate votes on present or past Representatives to replace a State Senator and votes only on present senators for President. These offices to be held for a maximum of 8 years, then never again held by the same person.

            This concept would eliminate the “professional politician” and ensure our government is Of the People and By the People.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Vulpine,
            A serious discussion on how to change the system is surely due, but they mostly don’t happen because no one seems to think that anything drastic will change until something drastic happens. Then we get a bad change, rinse and repeat.

            At least we found some common ground though. :)

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          “People are stupid but not that stupid.” It seems like a pretty silly thing to have said if you expect people to elect that psychopath.

          • 0 avatar
            koshchei

            Which psychopath?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            CJinSD – you appear to have misquoted me. I was referring to the fact that people should be able to see through the electoral PR BS of showing up in a working class vehicle to try to win votes. That is no different than seeing a candidate in a plaid shirt and work boots but the heaviest thing the dude ever lifted was his dick.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Viewed as too moderate, certainly too headstrong, and too incompetent as evidenced by the stint as Secy of State.

          The extremes on each side don’t prefer moderates and the overlords do not want a headstrong CIC, this is apparent by the current and previous weak minded Presidents. If they are smart, the overlords will select another weak minded President without the baggage of the Clinton and Bush dynasties, and play them an an extreme to one of the two sides. I can hear the propaganda now: “let’s start over America”.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Agree or disagree with him politically, but I think the last thing you could ever call Obama is “weak minded.” Weak minded folks don’t graduate with honors from Harvard Law and edit their law review.

            I’d say that if anything, the VERY mixed record of the Obama years (and the Bush years, to a lesser extent) are the direct result of deeper, more systemic and fundamental flaws in our government that go a LONG way beyond the White House. We’re clearly for sale by the highest bidder, and that’s the main problem. We could resurrect Abe Lincoln and the problem would still remain.

            And I’m with you – I’d be disappointed by a Bush-Clinton rematch in 2016 (assuming Bush even wants to run and would be elected, which I think isn’t likely). Same old crud…though, honestly, I’d vote for Hillary just to make sure that the SC doesn’t get stacked with more Thomas/Alito/Scalia ideology-bots. These were the morons who brought us Citizens United (i.e., “corporations are people too, my friend.”), which I think will go down as one of the ten worst SC decisions ever – maybe even top five.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      We spend more money on public care (per beneficiary) and more money on public education (per student) than any other nation. People think we aren’t spending enough. Pay-as-you-go defined-benefit pension plans are illegal in the private sector. PAYG defined-benefit is how Social Security works. If you try to reform SS, you get called a senior-killer. Since Canada and Mexico don’t fund their military forces, the US military is responsible for protecting the massive, resource-rich North American continent. We spend less than Russia on military (% GDP). Consumptive oil imports of $200B per year, and we allow ourselves to have a light-duty vehicle fleet with 25mpg.

      Perma-stupid is the default setting for the American electorate.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @TW5 – Incorrect. The USA spends the most per capita on military. Russia is #24 on the list. Canada is 19th.
        The USA chooses to follow in the footsteps of the British Empire. Military bases all over the world protect those in North America how?

        Decades of piss poor foreign policy is part of the problem. The doctrine of “any enemy of our enemies is our friend” has failed miserably.
        Any more myths you care to post?

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          Most international agencies rank the US below Russia in military spending as a percentage of GDP, which is the relevant measure, since military protects territory, treasure, and citizens. Furthermore, spending is 50% lower today than it was during Kennedy’s presidency.

          When the Keystone XL is finally finished, and Canada starts exporting its black gold around the world, what navy will be securing the shipping lanes? Royal Canadian Navy and it’s 15 surface vessels?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            An interesting side note, there are lots of Republican voters and politicians who would like to see our allies put up more of there own defense while we scale back, but these types continuously get the most harassment from the left rather than offers of compromise.

            Call someone a racist on Monday, a loon on Tuesday, and then don’t expect them to vote with you on Friday with neither apology or concession. Of course, this gets followed by calling them partisan ideologues on Sunday (in spite of that being an oxymoron) because they wouldn’t vote for a bill that wouldn’t accomplish the mutual goal anyway.

            Meanwhile, the UAW is now competing with a bazillionaire hedge fund operator on a crusade against the internal combustion engine for who can suck up to the Democrats the best.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @TW5 – and where does that Keystone XL pipeline go exactly?

            And you think that all of those US navel ships are there to protect shipping lanes from those godless commies?

            What happens if the USA wanted to shut down China or some other country?

            You blockade oil routes.

            Canada has plenty of oil for its own needs and other than the typical cheap Walmart sh!t that comes over on a boat will it really hurt us to get imports shut down?

            Nope – the USA has a huge military to protect what it views as its own interests.

            Nice try…… BTW……. ever been to another country and asked the locals what they thought of all of that altruistic USA military protection that they have??????

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @TW5
            Your comment fails to recognise the fact that the “other” in the trade deal is also seeking protection of the very same trade route.

            So, why is there a need to double up on securing the same trade route for the same trade?

            I think you are looking to simplistically at the military of the US and how it interacts with other forces.

            Why does the US need to protect the trade routes in and out of China? Wouldn’t the Chinese also profit from the protection that you think the US is offering?

            Then if the Chinese lose out because of the lack of trade as well as the US, why would the Chinese disrupt this trade? It doesn’t make sense. Somehow I don’t think a small nation would be a risk, or even the Japanese.

            The US military is more about its sphere of influence. The US military is more a part of the political machine than anything else.

            It’s kind of ridiculous to expect everyone to have the military hardware the US has, ie, you comment regarding the size of the Canadian Navy. For one thing you wouldn’t be here beating your chest on how great the US is if more militaries were as large as the US’s. So this makes you comment regarding what everyone else is achieving militarily as null and void. You are just having a wank.

            The US controls trade via it’s economic influence. But, it’s economic influence is slowly waning. As this wanes so does it’s capacity to afford a large military.

            This lack of military spending is evident by the way in which the US is now concentrating on SE Asia and less in the EU and Middle East.

            Just read some history books and look at how great powers evolve.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Lou_BC: “BTW……. ever been to another country and asked the locals what they thought of all of that altruistic USA military protection that they have??????”
            Ever been there and ask they WHY they feel that way? I have. And almost universally it has been that the American soldiers carry such a superiority complex that they simply won’t relate to local mores. When I spent time in Germany–and admittedly this was over 30 years ago–if an American serviceman got caught doing something against local law or just being an idiot enough to bring in the police, that serviceman almost always argued back with, “We beat you in the War; I don’t have to listen to you!” I’m pretty sure similar comments are made by American servicemen even now with, “We beat you…”, or “We saved your a**”.

            You really have to wonder why other countries–even our allies–dislike us?

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          “@TW5 – Incorrect. The USA spends the most per capita on military. Russia is #24 on the list. Canada is 19th.”

          Spending as a percentage of GDP != Spending per capita. Please reread this several times.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You lost me, and I’m not planning to retread until your cryptic message comes to the surface. GDP and per capita are not the same.

            Not sure what gets changed by adding an exclamation mark.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Landcrusher: He doesn’t know the keys to get the “does not equal” (≠) symbol.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @JD23 and TW% – it is deceptive to post military spending as a ratio to GDP. Russia has a large military and a low GDP. They have to spend more in relation to GDP to keep pace. Russia’s GDP is considerably smaller than that of the USA. If we look at GDP per capita Russia’s is 17,884 per person. The USA is 53,101 per person.
            If we look at GDP alone the USA has 8 times the GDP.
            People especially politicians will pick the numbers that give the emotional impact that will get them what they want.
            The ruling class in the USA loves to keep people’s amygdalae (fear centre) stimulated. Keep everyone afraid of everyone else and it is easy to rule the populace. It makes it real easy to pass legislation like the Patriot Act. That is no different than keeping the right hating the left and vice versa.
            Communist Russia and other powers have collapsed because totalitarian rule focus’s the fear and hate on the ruling class. As a tool to retain power, it is much more effective to keep people afraid and hating each other.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If I were to run for office I would want a humble vehicle that was also functional. An old panel van would do nicely. I would also want my would-be constituents to know that I’m a “giving” person, so I would write “free candy” on the side. How could I lose?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, everyone always says we should have a multi-party system, but I don’t think the “Creeper Party” will gain a whole lot of traction.

      • 0 avatar
        koshchei

        You’re confusing the traction of the candidate with the traction of the person he’s keeping in a dry well in his basement. It puts the tick mark on the ballot or it gets the hose again…

  • avatar
    slow kills

    When a pol legitimately has held on to a reasonably modest car for several years, it shows a bit of sensibility and thrift.
    When a millionaire runs out and buys a new car worse than their previous one, it shows chicanery and foolishness.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I will vote for anyone driving a pristine silver ’63 Riv, as long it’s not a Nazi or Ann Coulter.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Wut would I do without muh identity politics?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      http://tinyurl.com/oghc3oz

      ‘Murica!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I don’t know, your siding part and parcel with the party that seems desperate to sell Americana even though they’re supporting pro-corporate agendas and social conservatism that infringes upon the rights of Americans.

      If we’re going to complain about ‘identity politics’ lets be careful because you live in the largest glass house on the block.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        That’s not really the usual use of Identity Politics, Xer, and you know it. That’s a big stretch.

        Aside from the “no we are not, you are” bit, what’s the big anti rights push from the right supposed to be? Feel free to make up all the rights you like, so folks can get a good idea of your thought processes.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Well technically the right uses ‘identity politics’ as more subtle attack on the idea that race voting occurs. Except that 70% of Latinos vote for the left which is right on par with the average divergence of a social group. If you want to get into the idea that Black Americans vote for Democrats due to their race I would point you to the COUNTLESS books that disprove this argument. The right has made no effort to court them at a federal level so what is there to be said on the matter?

          By the way, identity politics are about your social identity defining what you vote for, whether it be race, sex, sexual ID, or any number of social factors. The difference is that the Right has put great effort into courting white male voters and has reaped those rewards. It just so happened to be a critical failing now that demographics have made that population less critical to victory.

          ‘Make up all the rights you like’ is an asinine remark to make. I would be careful as well since the right to marry amongst same sex couples is becoming the law of the land. Just as miscegenation has become over the anger of the right, slavery before that, and Jim Crow in between, all supported by the right, all fell by the left.

          PS: Don’t even try and use the party labels to divert from the fact that these were conservatives who fought against these reforms.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            The right uses identity politics as a label for the tactic used by the left. That’s pretty much the end of it among conversations on the right. You just made the rest up.

            The right courts white males? Which right specifically, and how?

            I wasn’t being asinine, and you of course made one up. People don’t have a right to marry. They have a right of association and contract. Why anyone wants the government involved in their mating and living agreements is beyond me. Only a minority of a minority – the religious and social conservatives really care that much about the marriage issue. It would have been a polite compromise by both groups to allow for civil unions, but instead they had to run around making a big mess that will cost billions of dollars and upset everyone because both sides have a sick need to tell other people how to live and think. A pox on both their depraved houses.

            Since you realize the parties involved in overturning slavery I won’t rub it in. The blatant propaganda among historical authors on the subject is just sad. They usually just resort to we are right and you are stupid in the end. Their were folks from all sides involved in the perpetuation of slavery and many of them try to take credit for ending what they were perpetuating by using the government power to favor themselves at the expense of others. It’s amazing that always gets left out of the official history or sidelined as unimportant when it was really the central theme. The northern states picked on the southern ones relentlessly, and only decided to make their fight about slavery after the fact. Sure, many southerners were afraid of losing their property and being impoverished. Thus secession.

            What always tickles me is the hypocrisy of the left on the subject of secession. How quickly they claim the war settled it. Might makes right for a lefty, only when he has the power.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            LC – Seriously, this is not Xer the Professor, this is Xer the person who is getting tired of this tactic. If you dislike the reality of the situation, tough luck. I’m not ‘making up’ anything. Just because you’re either too bias, too stupid, or too enamored with your own views to accept that the world doesn’t revolve around your point of view doesn’t make my research and the work of others invalid. I understand you’re a blank face on the internet, but I’m handing out peer-reviewed answers and your response has become ‘nu uh!’ which is childish at best.

            I mean you even get excited about the fact that Democrats were the white man’s party in 1865. Except that any historian worth their salt would also point out the Republicans in 1865 were Whigs on the right welded together with abolitionists on the Left. By 1900 the parties had become more divergent with the Republicans more focused on right-wing issues and the Democrats split between Northern FDR/Al Smith Liberals and Southern Conservatives. After the 1968 Election the Southern Conservatives joined the Republicans and helped themselves to basic control of the Republican party by calling upon the western Goldwater types to back them while driving out center-right Nelson Rockerfeller types. The history is literally plain as day. Only the Right-wing historians who can’t get a post at an university who write propaganda books attempt to rewrite history in another direction.

            Then you make the truly imbecilic claim that the north was ‘badgering’ the south somehow even though the South had control of the Federal Government right up until the election of Lincoln. In fact it was the South who’s fear of more free states and the Republican platform of Free labor that prompted them to secede in an attempt to protect their slavery which had allowed them to maintain their agrarian society. Quite frankly the North was the textile capital of the world in that time but couldn’t win the Federal congress or Presidency because of the 3/5ths clause that rewarded the South with an unfair advantage.

            Please, LC, go read up your history because what you’re spouting if fool’s talk. No historian with any prominence would promote that view and frankly the ones that do are laughed off the stage. I’m done replying with this. You were corrected, you refused to acknowledge, time to save my breath and enjoy my Friday evening.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Right, because history departments are known for their diversity of views which they used to show by occasionally giving tenure to someone on the American Right (since we are now talking about the 19th century, it’s worth noting that all the modern west is really on the left). Go ahead and disagree, just remember men like Captain landcrusher actually did things to protect your right to do so while you support laws to squelch discourse).

            We all know the plans the North had to oppress the South. It was all about fairness and rainbows and abolition which they got around to immediately… Oh wait, they didn’t did they. And that peer reviewed comment about the White Man’s party when that was all that was in either party at the time. Love how they so quickly ensured the women got the vote… Oh darn it again! Peer reviewed used to mean something, but that ship sailed. You are as concerned with the truth and the preservation of the Academy as the yanks were about blacks, which is to say if everything else is lined up you may get around to lip service.

            Get over yourself. The world doesn’t revolve around the academy’s opinions masked as truth. My views are as valid as yours if not more so. Make your own case rather than relying on appeals to authority if you can.

            If the parties and coalitions of the war period don’t matter, then they don’t matter. Or they do. Make up your mind instead of trying to have it both ways. No one in either party supports racial slavery, but you guys seem to be pretty hit and heavy on virtual slavery to the state to me. You just don’t want to call it that.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            LC, you don’t need to be a liberal professor or a conservative professor to know that Xeranar is saying is pretty much spot on.

            Historical truth is historical truth, and it doesn’t matter if the teller is liberal or conservative…unless, of course, you WANT your history served up with a certain bias, which is where mind-bogglingly stupid crap like “Democrats are the party of slavery because the party supported slavery in 1860″ comes from.

            Or, if we want to go down that road, then we can call today’s Republican party a “more regulation / progressive” party, since it was mainly Republicans who engaged in trust-busting, labor reforms, and anti-monopolistic activities around the turn of the 20th century.

            Then was then, this is now.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            FreedMike,
            Most of history is not fact at all. We may know a battle was fought on a certain day, how many died, who won, etc.

            Why the battle was fought, who provoked the war, what led to the disagreements, which side committed the worst atrocities, etc. These are the things that fill history books. And, they are mostly interpretation. Just like we all disagree with what’s going on in the news today.

            When you hear a professor explaining that your paper is nonsense, and not written at a college level while you sit there and “but, but, but” and then force him to relook at where you footnoted, what your sources were, and that you did not make it up, THEN you will realize that history is mostly not fact. (My grade was changed from a “charitable” D to a very grudging B+ because my professor did not agree with the professors whom I quoted.)

            The reality is that history is a lot like poli sci with a false veneer of certitude.

            I agree that today’s parties are not yesterday’s parties, but I note that Democrats are only usually willing to agree when the matter at hand is ugly for the Democrats. Xer stepped over the line with his “White Man’s party” nonsense. He was hoping to have it both ways and while I am sure he got it from some other scholar, it’s clearly made up BS. The reality is that people each have their set of beliefs and reasons for choosing parties. I might not realize an unfair stereotype of the Democrats when I see one, or even make one, but I don’t double down when it’s called out. That’s just stupid.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            LC – I’m going to keep it simple because you really don’t get it. What I told you here in this thread is exactly what the consensus history is. Sure, it’s open to a certain amount of interpretation. But that’s when majority views become logical, if 90% of the field agrees with this interpretation it may still be wrong but you can’t seriously try and claim it is without a huge series of objective evidence to change it.

            In fact the Democrats were openly about the ‘White Man’s Party’ at the time and then the Conservatives of that era slowly drifted away to the point that the Northeast was basically FDR/Al Smith Liberals by 1920 and Republicans were between the last of the TR Progressives and pro-business conservatives. In the South the republican party was almost exclusively black with some liberals and conservatives while the Democratic Party was split between Conservatives and populists. When the populists largely turned into segregationists to save their political careers the Conservatives put the clamp down on the Democratic party completely in that region. But by 1968 those Conservatives voted in the Republican primaries and were shifting to that party because the 1964 Voting Act meant that blacks could vote in the primaries and would actually be able to send delegates to state conventions and hold local and state public office.

            These are all known facts. Simple research will uncover it.

            If you want to be blunt about it, the Republicans by the 1970s were Goldwater small government westerners, Southern Segregationists, and Northern pro-business moderates. By the end of the 1990s the Pro-business moderates were largely gone replaced by corporatist players as the power of wall street increased dramatically. If you dislike that the Conservative movement in this country is welded together between racists, small government types, and corporatist movements, well I have answer for that except tough luck. The world isn’t so rosy when you look at it from a factual perspective. It doesn’t mean liberals are without warts but I’m not obligated to explain them anymore than I already did since they pale in comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            So, here is what’s funny. When you made the white man’s party comment, I immediately overreacted because I thought your next move was to quip about how now the Republicans are the white mans party. I had never heard the term, honestly. Funny thing though, your progressive buddies are actually trying to do that! It’s all over the web in places rational people avoid. So, sorry for misunderstanding and overreacting and accusing you wrongly, but apparently, it’s really a thing. I have to put up with voting with the righteous right, but you have to claim those guys. Sorry dude.

            As for the history, quick research showed my beliefs are not unfounded, just outdated since the Reds took over the Academy. Sorry, but these days, I don’t care if 100% of professors agree, I call BS. Call me when at least a third of your peers vote Republican. Until then, I properly call bias. The harassment had been started, and after the split, the Southerners were right to feel threatened. The plan was to move all the tax burden away from the industrial north to the agrarian south

            Lastly, moderate business types didn’t leave the GOP IIRC. And, the Dems are full of corporatists.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I guess there was at least one guy in the audience for “12 Years a Slave” who was cheering for the plantation owners.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            PCH,
            You want to explain that remark? It sounds reprehensible.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Ron Paul, I believe drives a 1996-ish Buick Lesabre. If here were to be elected president, it would most likely replace THE BEAST.

  • avatar
    George B

    A politician needs to be conscious of appearances. The trick is to choose vehicles that impart a generally positive image on the politician in the eyes of their voters. The new Silverado at the top of this article probably doesn’t convey the desired positive image unless 1) it’s built in the district or 2) the politician has an occupation where that pickup makes some sense. It’s better for a politician to drive an old vehicle with some connection to work with a better image than that of being a politician.

    Texas Railroal Commission candidate Ryan Sitton shows how to use a personal vehicle in a political ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuvtE_wfhc8

    His pickup truck emphasizes his hands-on experience in the oil and gas industry and general frugalness.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    The huge amount of moral equation arguments in this thread make me recognize how ideologically people are divided and desperate to find a ‘one up’ on each other.

    Who really cares what a candidate drives, they aren’t going to drive it onto the Senate Floor and do doughnuts, the carpets too nice. I care strictly about their policy and agenda goals but the fact that we even talk about their vehicles is effectively how mostly rural politicians use identity to impart a sense of goodwill so they can avoid discussing their policies. When a politician shows up in a truck in their political ad I pretty much know they lack substance and are trying to sell ‘Americana’ to the people because that’s the answer told to them even as they sell out the people they’re supposedly trying to help.

    Also, I don’t care if they fly first class or coach, I don’t care if they go on a fact-finding junket with a million dollar resort. Their indulgence is a non-existent drop in the bucket compared to the policy changes that if implemented would change the government for the better. But by trying to force them into the mold of some ‘every man’ identity the voters don’t really want leadership, they want an idiot to have a beer with.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      This type of blank-check enabling of the political class is contributing to the growing mess. That kind of opulence shows no sense of restraint in the face of obvious financial shortfalls that the taxpayer will be forced to bear. (Then again, spending as much as you can during deficits is supposed to cure the economy, amirite?)

      Taxpayers tend to care about what Congress drives because they subsidize their leases. The every man condemns Government excess because they have to pay for it whether they like it or not. It might sit alright with you to lavish your personal political warriors with the wealth of the nation so they can more effectively wield their swords of power to fulfill your political agenda, but the rest of us who prefer ethical representation will continue to push back against unscrupulous uses of public resources.

      • 0 avatar
        RangerM

        “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

        ― Winston Churchill

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Deficit spending is a regular part of the accepted Keynesian Economic model and has been done effectively and routinely over the last 80 years. In fact, most of the economists felt that the TARP spending didn’t go far enough and amounted to a band-aid on what could have been a quicker recovery. But I don’t expect you to agree with me, Danio because at the end of the day you’re not an economist. You’re barely able to handle the very concepts being presented here because you made a joke about an accepted economist adjustment strategy

        Now for Ranger, when Winston Churchill can claim to understand a damn thing about American Economics, he can be quoted with seriousness. I appreciate he had a good sense of how to fight a war but you realize he was ousted shortly after the end of the war because he couldn’t get the economy out of the gutter. But you’re the same ilk who likes to argue that taxing corporations increase pricing across the board.

        So while I appreciate the lay men discussions, I’ll be sure to take it with a grain of salt and pray you didn’t go to college where they actually taught economics.

        • 0 avatar
          RangerM

          Let it go, X.

          Keynes only advocated short term deficit spending in very specific ways; and said the way to destroy a country is by destroying its currency (through unfettered spending).

          I don’t expect you to agree, though. It wouldn’t befit someone of your stature to stoop to an engineer’s level.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            You’re trying to quote Keynes to me? You do recognize that what you advocated for a day before actually was Austerian/Monetarist policies. So you’re trying to say that TARP which is the definition of short-term deficit spending wasn’t enough you’re not proving anything. Then you focus on the currency which feeds back into your monetarist view point which has zero to do with Keynes, since deficit spending doesn’t mean that the currency will be destroyed, in fact he makes little consideration on the topic.

            Alas, your final pithy ad hominem is cute, but why don’t you stick to your engineering and leave politics to the big boys? I don’t come to your workplace and claim to know better, so why don’t you do the same?

          • 0 avatar
            RangerM

            You win the last word game, X.

            That appears to be what’s important to you.

            (it’s not what’s important to me)

            BTW, I didn’t quote Keynes. I paraphrased. Here’s what Keynes said verbatim,

            “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            And the final remark ends up being an obtuse idea from Keynes that had nothing to do with your previously stated agenda or my own. No context is better than some when you’re talking it seems, Ranger.

            Keynes also said: In truth, the gold standard is already a barbarous relic.

            I would be careful in what you’re arguing in the future as well. Keynes actually wasn’t against inflation, in fact he wanted a floating currency. So unless you’re going to make an elongated argument about the economic status of deficit spending and refute most economists with some revolutionary ideas, you’re going to be at a loss.

          • 0 avatar
            RangerM

            (almost got me to break my own rule)

        • 0 avatar
          JD23

          “So while I appreciate the lay men discussions, I’ll be sure to take it with a grain of salt and pray you didn’t go to college where they actually taught economics.”

          Where did you earn your degree in economics?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            The Bodine School of Economics and Estate Rocketry.

          • 0 avatar
            RangerM

            In Krugman-speak, he didn’t earn it, it was given to him.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            PhD Political Science, Focuses on Race, Labor, Economics. University of Pittsburgh.

            Where did you earn your’s?

            As an aside, when you can tell me what your economic theory position is, then I’ll atleast care to hear you out. From what Ranger and the others have prompted here they’re mostly monetarists mixed with Austrians. A group I thoroughly disagree with and have been discredited repeatedly.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Xeranar your earlier comment partially quoted “you need to know your enemies” does shine some light on why there is a huge political rift in the USA.
    I’m not trying to single you out but am trying to point out what is obvious:
    Each side views the other side as the enemy and each side believes their side has the moral high ground.

    Ultimately it is an emotional debate and one can never counter emotion with logic. Both sides will point out that the other side is on the illogical and emotional side.

    I definitely am out of my element if I were try to debate politics or economics with you or many other bloggers on this site
    .
    My entire career has been tied to dealing with people suffering from varying degrees of emotional, physical and/or spiritual distress.
    I have learned that we do not search for truth, we search for validation.
    Our senses impartially provide data to our brain but our brains are far from impartial. People deny they are dying of a heart attack all of the time.
    One will not correct the mess one’s country is in if one cannot see the other side’s point of view and the emotions tied to that point of view.

    Pure logic does not work.

    I love these debates because I see them as a way to learn and more importantly to understand others.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Lou, I’ll be honest with you, my personal morality has zero to do with my deeper political identity. I guess you can get me on the issue of race because it does become an issue of morality in some respects simply because racism can be practical for a certain class of people who can exploit it for their gain. But my economic views are focused solely on the rational practices and attempts to help everybody.

      I don’t think I’m morally better than conservatives, my outlook is populist and those who oppose me are my enemy, they are anti-populist and make an effort to stop me. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect them, but it means I don’t need to listen to their agenda especially when my own position is based in factual knowledge.

      I fully know I could bring out the tables, explain the mathematics behind the raising the minimum wage or unionism and it will do nothing to the true believers because you’re right, we want validation. The problem becomes and this whole OP topic exemplifies it is that this debate is purely emotional and subjective. Some people will argue it is an example of ‘waste’ which is a definitive example of subjective ideals. I had a person cry foul I drove a V8 Panther in my youth because it somehow discredited my own identity which makes no sense whatsoever.

      At the end of the day Lou, I’ll compromise on some issues but in our current political climate there is less reason to do so because the right has driven straight off the cliff in terms of their positions. Government shutdowns is devastating to the economy and some people are happy that it happens. Once you understand the government at a fundamental level you have to accept that when some people want to see the world burn you need to stop them first.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I have to say, I find these debates very informative. I certainly don’t begin to understand higher economics.

    I did learn basic economics at a very young age. If you make a Hundred dollars a week, and spend a Hundred and Ten, unless you find a way to increase your income, sooner or later its going to bite you in the butt.

    I would have to think that large, and small business would need to adhere to such principles.

    I’m sincere when I ask, what makes governments any different? Is carrying a huge debt, and its interest, acceptable because its all for the common good?

    Can anybody answer that?

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Can anybody answer that?”

      Certainly not I. I went to the same school as you, steel mill campus.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “what makes governments any different?”

      A national government can print money. You can’t.

      A government can benefit from overall improvements in the economy by taxing it. You can’t do that, either.

      “If you make a Hundred dollars a week, and spend a Hundred and Ten, unless you find a way to increase your income, sooner or later its going to bite you in the butt.”

      If a government can help you to increase your earnings (through spending), then it will be able to increase its earnings, too (by taxing it.)

      Governments that control their currencies are not like a household. In the case of the US or Canada, the federal governments don’t resemble a household, although local and state/ provincial governments come closer because they can’t print money.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        What PCH said plus,

        If a government abuses this free lunch they can fall back on the ability to change laws and taxes.

        A government has an army and police force.

        If nothing goes wrong, the leaders take credit and reap rewards, but unlike your family, if it fails there aren’t usually big repercussions for them.

        Pure and simple, they pass on their mistakes to you, Sucka!

  • avatar
    mikey

    Back in the 80′s the unions supported the far left NDP. So we go to this political BBQ. It was family friendly, kids and dogs and lots od descrete and well hidden Beer. I hade my then 18 year old daughter with me.

    So the candidate that’s running is manning the grill, and shaking hands. The dude has got Levis on, and a CAW Tee shirt. Brother, this and brother, that. I didnt here any F bombs from him. By the same token, he didn’t speak like the Lawyer that he is. I guess he is just another working dude Eh ?

    Well a working dude that speaks fluent French, and is also a Rhodes scholar. The son of a carrer diplomat. He had travelled, and been schooled though out the world. The guy could sit down at a piano, and play just about any tune you wanted.

    Well, the guy won the election. So when he shows up on the news with his 1500 dollar tailored suit on. My daughter says “that can’t be the same guy that was flipping burgers for us”.

    She learned a little politics that day.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @mikey – that is the best comment on this blog to date.
      As much as Xeranar wants to deny the emotive component of politics and how one’s emotions temper perception, it is all about connecting with voters on those levels. Politicians just like TV commercials try to give us what we want. We want validation and the good one’s sell that in spades.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    Any politician who owned solid performance iron with 3 pedals (Mustang GT, Corvette Z06, CTS, M3, etc…) AND mocked his critics by calling them kill-joys weenies, would get a $1000 check from me.

  • avatar

    I don’t particularly care what cars or trucks they drive, but before I vote for someone I want to know if they can solder an electrical joint and frame a squared 2X4 wall. I’m pretty sure that nobody who currently attends cabinet meetings in Washington can do either of those two things even if you spotted them the hint that squaring a wall has something to do with diagonals. We’re ruled by the faculty lounge, and it ain’t the engineering department. Like a great man once said, paraphrased, I’d rather be governed by the first 2,000 names in the local phonebook than ruled by the faculty at the local college.

    How many people in Washington would feel culturally comfortable at a custom car and hot rod show?

    FWIW, many of the people newly elected to Congress in 2010 and 2012 had actually done something, like running small businesses or being medical practitioners, before going into politics.

    I’m not sure it really matters since the bureaucratic state seems to be run for the benefit of the people running the bureaucratic state. They’re special and different rules apply to them. Anyone want to try to tell the IRS that you can’t produce records due to a hard drive crash?

    How many of you with kids have told them at one time or another, “That’s not even a good lie”?

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Folksy anecdotes are fun, not very accurate…but fun.

      Just a quick run down of Congressional leaders:

      Republicans

      Maj leader: Kevin McCarthy – Deli Owner, BA in Business, MBA.
      Maj Whip: Steve Scalise – BA Computer Programming minor Poli Sci
      Maj Dep Chief Whip: Peter Roskam – HS History/Civics teacher & lawyer
      Conference Chair: Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Family owned fruitstand worker – Unaccredited BA Pre-law, MBA
      Conference Vice-Chair: Lynn Jenkins – CPA
      Conference Secretary: Virginia Foxx – PhD in Ed, ran a Nursery & Landscaping business
      Campaign Committee Chairman: Greg Walden – BS in something (unstated), Ran & owned Radio stations
      Policy Committee Chairman: James Lankford – BS Sec. Ed, MA Divinity, Worked for a Baptist congregation.

      Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi – BA Political Science, politican
      Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer – JD, Lawyer/Politician
      Assistant Democratic Leader: Jim Clyburn – BA History, HS Teacher
      Caucus Chairman: Xavier Becerra – BA Economics & JD, Lawyer
      Caucus Vice-Chairman: Joseph Crowley – BA Political Science, Politician
      Campaign Committee Chairman: Steve Israel – Bachelor’s Degree, PR Firm owner
      Steering/Policy Committee Co-Chairs: Rosa DeLauro – BA & MA, PAC Director
      Organization, Study, and Review Chairman: Mike Capuano – BA & JD, Lawyer
      Senior Chief Deputy Minority Whip: John Lewis – BA/MA Divinity, Activist
      Chief Deputy Minority Whips: Maxine Waters – BA Sociology – Head Start teacher, Garment Factory Worker, Telephone Operator

      I even did some light searching through non-leadership roles. I know Elizabeth Warren (D – Mass) taught at Harvard, I’m sure a few of the lawyers have taught law school but the long and short of it is there aren’t many local professors swelling in the ranks of congress.

      Business week has a great infographic to illustrate the point even better.

      If you shove the education along with the Government service sector together they still don’t out number the business people and lawyers.

      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-10/the-113th-congress-by-the-numbers

      So whoever told you that folk tale, I hope you didn’t pay money for it…

      • 0 avatar

        How many of those JDs and PoliSci majors can solder?

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          I don’t know, how many engineers understand due process, constitutional privacy, or how legislation to handle environmental concerns work? Not to mention labor laws, economic controls instituted through the Federal Reserve and the tax code.

          It’s as simple as that. You want to base your vote and subjective opinion of legislators on an irrelevant skill to their work that’s fine. But don’t try and make it an objective judgment that means anything upon them as legislators.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India