Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Downside to the Democratic System?

by Nick
I wonder if they can go any further down. Or if it even matters.

13 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

The most interesting thing about this is that the Iraq numbers are so much lower than the terrorism numbers, because he's linked the two in pretty much every single speech he's ever made.

But, it looks like the only thing a lot of people care about when it comes to terror is that there hasn't been another incident here. At any rate, the folks, as Bill O'Reilly would say, just ain't buying it.

5/10/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

Looks to me like what people care most about are the gas prices.

5/10/2006 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Yeah, that's weird. As if "gas prices" was an issue entirely separate from Iraq or foreign policy or the economy. I'm not entirely sure what people want Bush to do specifically on the issue of "gas prices", but I guess he's not doing it.

But, good news as far as I'm concerned.

5/10/2006 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I'm not entirely sure what people want Bush to do specifically on the issue of "gas prices"

He hasn't invaded Iran. Yet.

5/10/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

And he won't. And even if he did, even we Americans aren't dumb enough to think that it would make gas prices go down.

5/10/2006 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

And he won't. And even if he did, even we Americans aren't dumb enough to think that it would make gas prices go down.

I believe the term being bandied about is "strategic bombing." Done in order to prevent Iran from "going nuclear." Lower gas prices would be the side bonus.

Have a friend who just came back from a tour in Afghanistan. Apparently "strategic bombing" involves levelling civilian city blocks to the ground.

5/10/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Well, there's a big difference between strategic bombing and invasion. Not that I'm remotely in favor of either, of course.

But even the bombing I don't think weill happen. I believe that the defining feature of conservative foreign policy is that it's extremely cowardly - it's fun to talk tough, but when push comes to shove it's best to back off and then blame someone else for the failure.

Iraq had no chance of putting up a meaningful fight, or so the thought went, making it the perfect place to invade and pretend that they're serious about kicking ass in the world. Now that that gamble hasn't paid the intended dividends, they have no real answers and instead spend a lot of time blaming the media for not reporting enough good news and pretending that we're only a good week or so away from letting the Iraqi army take over. It's pitiful.

Anyway, I think North Korea is a better comp when it comes to Iran. We'll bluster about for a while, until it's too late, then blame the Clintons and/or Russia/China/UN for letting it get so bad in the first place, and then go looking for the next small fry to pick on. Peru, maybe.

5/10/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

I think it is within Bush's power to issue price freezes, but I'm no economist so I'm not sure what the larger repercussions of that would be, and I'm sure his buddies in the oil business wouldn't like it.

5/11/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hmm ... I dunno, that doesn't sound like a power he has. Seems like that should require an act of Congress.

At any rate, while I find high gas prices annoying, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with them. The problem, as I see it, is that people don't have any alternatives to buying gas in a lot of cases.

Like me, for instance. Carpooling is a nice thought but it's really kind of a joke. I don't know anyone that lives nearby who works even remotely close to where I do. Our bus system, the only public transportation available to get me to work, is laughably inefficient; a bus ride would take over an hour, including a stop of over a half-hour at a "travel center", instead of the 15 minute drive. It's too far to walk, and even if I wanted to walk, there aren't sidewalks for large stretches between here and there (an issue that comes up even if I want to walk short distances). And the roads, of course, are not set up for bicycle traffic.

So basically, I think the problem is that the infrastructure here, and I suspect most American cities, is simply not designed with regard to any mode of transportation other than individual vehicle traffic. It's absurd. This seems to be dawning on people here - we've started a light rail line which is great if you live in the limited areas of town that it services - but we're years away from seriously mitigating the problem, much less solving it.

5/11/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I think the President might have the power to freeze prices, but wasn't the last one to do that Nixon?

And while I'm not arguing with Brian's point, I will say that I do blame the Clinton administration for getting us in the situation we're in with North Korea, and while blaming Clinton is no excuse, it is at least a reasonable thing to say (unlike many other blame games).

5/11/2006 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Jackrabbit Slim said...

Here's some info on Price Controls from Wikipedia. It's not clear from the article what gives the president the power, or whether he has it anymore. Generally it seems to be a bad idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_control

5/11/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Like I was saying. Gas prices.

while blaming Clinton is no excuse, it is at least a reasonable thing to say (unlike many other blame games).

What, like saying Bush was wrong to invade Iraq?

5/11/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Yup, that's also reasonable.

5/11/2006 07:45:00 PM  

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