Romney would obviously be even worse for this, but yeah - this is what you get with a 2 party system. It just gets worse and worse. My only hope is that once Republicans lose this one, then by 2014 or even 2016 they reform the party, and the libertarians inside the party get to heavily influence the platform towards more civil liberties, and attack the Democrat Party on it at the next elections, so they can win on it. Other than that, I'm not sure how you'll get either the Democratic Party or the Republican one to start caring about this again.
To make the argument that civil liberties were a key focus of the Obama 2008 campaign, you should be able to provide a Google News search query from (say) July-October '08 that demonstrates that fact. I just tried to find one and couldn't.
We are (mostly, and myself included) social liberals on HN, and Obama was the liberal mainstream candidate in 2008, so I think we tend to project things onto him that aren't really there. Obama is first and foremost a pragmatist. Closing Gitmo was worth less to Obama than getting health care passed.
Also, I'm here to provide a counter-point to your assertion that most people on HN are social liberals. I'm not, yet I live in one of the most socially liberal neighborhoods in the country (save SF neighborhoods?).
I agree with you that closing Gitmo wasn't a priority for him in office, and that health care was the priority. Unfortunately, that's why we're 2+ years behind in fixing this economy. He is so fixated on ideology than pragmatism (in his words) that the economy just slipped his mind.
*edit: pronoun change
From the "Security" section of his main "Blueprint for Change" (http://blatantreality.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/obamabl... p. 71):
>Reaffirm our Values: Obama and Biden will restore respect for the rule of law and America’s values. They will: reject torture with- out exception or equivocation, including so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding; restore the Rule of Law by closing Guantanamo and restoring habeas corpus; and provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track down terrorists without undermining our Constitution or civil liberties.
Similar statements are made in other 2008 campaign documents, and with more detail.
Before you object, I do realize you're saying two different things here: (a) that it wasn't one of the "main" things he ran on, and (b) that promises to restore civil liberties "weren't really there" except in liberal imaginations. I can accept the first, but the second is completely untrue.
I don't object to this on a technicality. I object to it on the substance.
Oh, spare me. Barack Obama has explicitly targeted, and killed, American citizens in drone attacks, something even Bush never did. This is public knowledge. I count myself a hawk in matters of Islamic terrorism, but I am also a libertarian and this is beyond the pale. There has to be a bright line in these killings, and American citizens must never be targeted for execution by some politician just because they think they should be dead. This is why we have courts and due process. Suddenly however, all the people who were so deeply, deeply, concerned about waterboarding have been silent about US citizens being eliminated on presidential orders.
As for your claim, evidence? He did no such thing, because he knew that as soon as the prisoners were released most would go right back to killing again (or do you think that they were mostly innocent?), as indeed several who were released already have. Even his Mainstream Media toadies wouldn't be able to cover that up.
Instead we have seen a massive gunrunning operation intended to give weapons to Mexican drug cartels, conducted by Eric Holder, Obama's chief law enforcement officer, that has resulted in the murder of four innocent Americans and who knows how many Mexicans. The legal term for this is "accessory to murder". Holder has perjured himself before Congress on this and Obama and his media has done nothing but support him. What is your stand on that?
Obviously they were innocent by the very definition of it in the US system: innocent until proven guilty. Obviously if we could prove them guilty we wouldn't need Gitmo, we'd try them in criminal court. We didn't because we had nothing on them.
Also, your "went back to killing" is an assumption. How do you know they were killing before? I would expect that, once released, the people who were illegally kidnapped would seek some action against those that destroyed their lives and held them against their will for years.
* He promised to end torture and rendition, and did so, AFAIK. +1
* He made a good faith effort to close Guantanamo, and failed. Let's call this a wash. 0
* He promised to revist the Patriot Act and implement "real and robust" oversight of the new powers it granted. This one's complicated, but PolitiFact seems to call it a wash. 0
* He promised to "eliminate" warantless wiretaps specifically, but hasn't done anything to accomplish this. In fact, he's signed reauthorizations of the Patriot Act twice without any change in the wiretapping sections. -1
* He promised to "restore habeas corpus". In reality, he's claimed the right to not only imprison foreigners without that right, but also American citizens. -1
* Not only that, but he claims the right to kill American citizens without trial. This isn't breaking a specific campaign promise, since even Bush didn't claim this (AFAIK), but I'm including it anyway. -1
In sum, aside from torture, he's ranged from a disappointment to a disaster on civil liberties. And I love the guy otherwise.
We also have very little way of verifying, beyond leaked information, that the administration has behaved consistently with its policies and if it has, how well (not just with regard to rendition but torture as well).
So I would place it more as a +0.5 or generously, +0.75.
Your -1 on "killing Americans without trial" is an allusion to the NDAA. The NDAA is a smoke-and-mirrors issue; the problem isn't Obama's NDAA, but rather the 2002 Bush AUMF, which is still in effect. NDAA's enemy combatant language limits the powers already granted to Obama by the AUMF.
Obama also appointed Sotamayor and Kagan to the Supreme Court, but that doesn't fit nicely into a message board narrative about civil liberties.
It is a drastic overstatement to call Obama a "disaster" on civil liberties.
Restrictions, huh? Do you think those might be related to the NSA storing and processing everything that happens on the Internet?
I sure am glad there are restrictions in place though!
 Yeah. Who knows. Let's just not go there.
Beyond the aforementioned platform changes, you can see, for instance, the last section of the following:
or perhaps the section "2008 Campaign Event" on this page:
Of course those are just two sources, but it's a pain to search Lexis-Nexis. Google News, AFAICT, has a much less comprehensive archive available to search.
If we start making these guys all one term Presidents maybe, just maybe, they might know who they are beholden too.
So anyone is better than the current guy and so and so on.
So I am quite willing to put up with four years of Romney if it means a message is being delivered. I am quite willing to get him out as fast too.
The corporate sponsors of our government, the true problems in our system, would love to be able to stand up a new placeholder every cycle, to decry the excesses of the last, run on reform and have absolutely no illusions about gathering power for themselves, or see no benefit in doing right by the people casting the votes.
Reverse that SC decision, you harm speech like Michael Moore's.
To your other point, there would be no corporate sponsors if we didn't concentrate the government's power in Washington by forgetting we can solve local problems using local government, and if Washington actually let businesses compete fairly and not creating artificial barriers to entry, such as license fees, over-burdensome regulation, frivolous patents and high taxes.
The problem isn't just corporations, which BTW, except for monopolies, are a net benefit to society (otherwise they just disappear). The problem is that we vote for corrupt politicians who corrupt our laws and interfere with the market killing off bad corporations.
James Madison said "If men were angels, no government would be necessary." The corollary is that government is not comprised of angels, therefore we can't expect it to be necessarily better than corporations.
I do agree that not voting in corrupt people (and really punishing those who are shown to be corrupt; not just reading a letter in Congress). More importantly, move the power and influence closer to the people. I have far more sway over my mayor than I do over the President, and I'd trust him with more of my money.
That seems backwards. If reversing that SC decision would harm speech like Michael Moore's then it would make sense to say that without "Citizens United", there would be no Michael Moore.
EDIT: maybe not dangerous per se, but definitely unqualified.
That I did in 2003, for the Governor of California. That was a mistake, and I own that.
this sounds like a political opinion not corresponding to any established facts.
Going back to Carter:
Carter: Governor of Georgia
Reagon: Governor of California
H.W. Bush: Ambassador, CIA Director, Vice-President
Clinton: Governor of Arkansas
W. Bush: Governor of Texas
Obama: 4 years of 1 Senate term, 2 of which he spent running for president.
Second, the list you sent me to includes things such as - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Crush_Video_Prohibition_.... I'm not sure that qualifies as "extremely productive"
He said when he took office that we absolutely had to pass the stimulus bill, and if we did it would keep unemployment from going over 8%. You might have noticed, that since then unemployment has in fact never been under 8%. We have the weakest recovery in recent history, with a jobs report last Friday that said 400K people were so discouraged they gave up looking for a job.
George W Bush recklessly spent eight years enacting some of the most irresponsible and cruel policies in decades, and as a result, in combination with a general trend of banking deregulation over the past thirty years, more than tipped the scales to cause the second worst economic disaster in US history.
Obama takes office and within weeks manages to take enough steps to stem the brunt of this disaster, restoring the banking industry and the general health of the economy, pushing back at the damage done by 30 years of decline with a good five or six years of intense irresponsibility at the end. Unemployment stays a point or two higher than what everyone hoped, despite the fact that the opposition party has taken historically unprecedented steps (see http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/12/breaking...) to unconditionally block any positive action the president might take, an unheard-of development that nobody anticipated.
Overall, if unemployment is your vector, the job creation records of George W Bush ("qualified") vs. Obama ("unqualified") could not be in more stark comparison: http://www.pensitoreview.com/2010/10/11/obama-created-863k-j... (Obama Has Created 863K Jobs in 2010, More Than Double Average Annual Creation under Bush)
This is your evidence that Obama is "unqualified", yet George W. Bush, largely responsible for the whole mess and virtually unopposed during his entire two terms is considered as "qualified".
This is an entirely policiticized point of view.
Politifact says that statement is "Mostly False". He never made that claim.
He did very explicitly and repeatedly say it would save or create 3-4 million jobs. As the unemployment rate shot well above their predictions for even the not passing the bill case, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they were wrong.
Right, we gained jobs from the low point, and we still have less jobs than when he became President. Color me unimpressed. The unemployment rate went from 7.2% straight to over 10%. I don't know what BS they come up with for "saved" jobs, but the stimulus was a failure from pretty much any possible viewpoint.
Obama, 7 years state senate, 4 years Senator of the State of IL, 4 years President of the United States.
Romney, 4 years Governor of MA.
So I guess by your metric this year you're voting Obama?
As far as time before president, I will take 4 years of governor over 4 years in the senate and any amount of time in the state senate.
Your also conveniently forgetting about all of Romney's time in the private sector running multi-billion dollar businesses and saving the Olympics. I count that experience ever so slightly higher than "community organizer".
Oh that other comment of yours seemed to indicate they were important.
"Going back to Carter: Carter: Governor of Georgia Reagon: Governor of California H.W. Bush: Ambassador, CIA Director, Vice-President Clinton: Governor of Arkansas W. Bush: Governor of Texas Obama: 4 years of 1 Senate term, 2 of which he spent running for president.
Again, not to defend Obama specifically, but anyone who ends up on the (D) or (R) ballots for POTUS has unquestionably passed a hardcore test of their organizational and leadership skills, and likely their budgetary skills as well.
That's as true for GWB as it is for Obama, of course.
FWIW, his budgetary skills aren't too impressive. #justsaying
I am not sure how you come to this conclusion. Is it something he said, or history of his actions, or a general attitude against the Republican party, or something else?
They would like a war with Iran, and we all know things get even worse during war time, when it comes to to civil liberties. And last but not least, Romney can not be trusted, so it's irrelevant even if he says he is pro-Internet freedom (btw he said recently he wants to ban porn or something like that) or pro-civil liberties.
Ridiculous. I understand the perspective that civil liberties online are under a constant assault by the government, but no reading of the actual facts could lead someone to the informed belief that Obama's DOJ and NSA are worse than Bush's, or, for that matter, Clinton's or Bush I's.
The Patriot Act is bad. But it's not unprecedented. And, personally, I don't find it notably worse than the war on drugs.
Considering the role of the President properly, including the ways in which certain latitudes of movement (i.e., the ability to fulfill campaign promises or advance new agendas) are circumscribed by congressional action, I don't think asserting that he could have done X were it not for Y is really something that falls in the whether-you-believe-it-or-not category. Not everything in reality is there for you to believe or not believe.
The President does not have the power to just operate in total freedom, doing as s/he will with the office. The President can advance an agenda, attempting to build congressional support, but then has to pretty much wait to see what happens. Where that agenda requires Congress to take it up and act, it's rather disingenuous to blame any sitting President.
Moreover, there is a vast disconnect between the structure and operations of government and the People's perception of its structure and operations. When a sizable majority elects a presidential candidate based on the promises made in his/her platform, [I think] they actually expect to see those promises fulfilled. Unfortunately for the voters, the President doesn't really have the actual power to fulfill most (if not all) of them. This is especially frustrating when one sees a historical moment that could be capitalized upon, but is then reacted to with all manner of obstructing and filibustering that the ousted party can muster (such as that of the GOP focused on their goal of making President Obama a one-termer).
So, a new President enters the office, flying into the White House from the lofty heights of the People's surging will, and then Congress decimates the euphoria by thinking that they can go back to politicking and just ignore that the People voted not just for the candidate, but for the candidate's platform. In this way, the onus is really on the President's party to move forward with legislation that embodies the platform. To this end, the Democratic Party did a poor job.
Of course, this cuts both ways and is a difficult reality. Voters expect to see a President's platform promises fulfilled, and rightfully so. But as far as those who didn't vote for the platform are concerned, it's a tough road that carries with it all manner of Tocquevillian tyranny-of-the-majority concerns. Were Romney-Ryan to win, I sure as hell wouldn't want to see the whole of Congress hunkering down to draft legislation that mirrors the GOP platform, because I find most of it to be utterly atrocious and unconscionable (particularly where social issues are concerned). I want Congress to resist rolling us back to pre-1964/1972 America.
Obviously, the President can reverse EOs from prior Presidents. This, I think, would be an excellent thing for Presidents to actually spend significant time doing. Not just the occasional reversal that we typically see. They could be undoing all the damage wrought by their predecessor insofar as the people have voted with a clear enough mandate for his/her platform as it relates to being opposed to certain prior presidential actions. This is why Gitmo is such a sticking issue (to me, at least).
But where the platform consists of items that require legislation, the President is much more hamstrung to fulfill these promises--which then makes for great, but utterly useless, campaign fodder for his adversary in the next election cycle.
All that said, presidential actions that speak louder than words (or platforms), are another matter entirely. President Obama's actions have, on the whole, brought America back into considerably better standing with the world community than it was under Bush. I've seen quite a bit of press in Europe given to discussions about how much more preferable Mr. Obama is to Mr. Romney. There are plenty of presidential actions that have nothing to do with certain legislative actions--and yet the typical election cycle inevitably focuses on presidential actions that relate to legislation instead of fulfilling the job of being the executive.
In regards to your last point, I will say flatly that I do not care about our perception in the eyes of the 'world community', I merely care about the reality of our situation. I think anyone other than Bush would have 'elevated our standing' with the rest of the world much the same as Obama (bonus 'progressive' points if not white or male). I don't consider much of the rest of the world such a great place that we should be concerned about appeasing them with politics they get to muse about and we have to live with.
You really should. The perception the world has of America has a great and fundamental impact on the "reality of our situation". We do not exist in a vacuum, and the worse we appear in the world's eyes, the more difficult things can become.
> I think anyone other than Bush would have 'elevated our standing' with the rest of the world much the same as Obama (bonus 'progressive' points if not white or male).
This is pretty much nonsense. McCain & Palin would not have elevated our standing in global perceptions, but eroded it further instead. World perception does not have to do with whether or not the President is white or male, either. It is built atop the content of ideas and the policies we follow. This is a rather ridiculously cynical view.
> I don't consider much of the rest of the world such a great place that we should be concerned about appeasing them with politics they get to muse about and we have to live with.
Nobody said anything of the sort. Hate to break it to you, though--as much as you don't consider the rest of the world such a great place that is worth being mindful of in our political decision-making, they feel exactly the same way. And they far outnumber us, friend. I think the world would quite unanimously declare the same sentiment:
We don't consider America such a great place that we should be concerned about appeasing it with politics that it gets to muse about and we all have to live with.
In regards to your second statement, you are likely correct. In comparison to McCain/Palin, Obama definitely improved the perception, if not the reality. And I am cynical, because that is the only reasonable response to American politics at this point.
And in regards to the third, so be it. They shouldn't have to worry about how we perceive their leaders. If they do, it's only because we have the world's most powerful military and both Democrat and Republican alike have shown willingness to use it.
But I realize that reality prevents that, so I don't go around saying I can do it.
Are you saying that politicians are so out of touch with reality that they don't know what they promise is impossible?
Or are they being intentionally misleading?
What are you really asking? Do you honestly think Obama didn't want to close Guantanamo?
The fact is, when Ron Paul (or someone like him) says he will close Guantanamo Bay, you know they will close it, by executive order if need be. Obama was content to make an attempt and either change his mind or give up. As such, I have either changed my mind about him or given up. Doesn't really matter which - intentions mean nothing in politics at this point.
> Are you saying that politicians are so out of touch with reality that they don't know what they promise is impossible?
No, I think the vast majority of voters more reliably fall into this camp, actually. Politicians are quite aware that they make unfulfillable promises, knowing much of it is (likely) impossible, but they do it because it has become the expectation in American elections that politicians campaign on issues, and they have to choose issues they think will resound strongly enough with the voting public.
> Or are they being intentionally misleading?
Well, to a certain extent--that extent being to the full degree to which they make unfulfillable promises--yeah, if I was being pedantic about it. I don't think they are completely misleading in that I am certain many candidates do believe strongly in certain issues and are genuinely interested in "fighting" politically for those issues.
With congresspersons, I don't think this problem is as acute as it is with presidents. They make promises that are legislative in nature, and can actually deliver (or be criticized for not delivering).
Unfortunately, campaign promises were adopted into the popular election of presidents, and I think are detrimental for voters and the presidents themselves. Presidents operate within relatively (and sometimes heavily, depending on the political climate) circumscribed spheres of influence. Yes, presidents can (and do) suggest an agenda and even outright offer legislation to Congress, and work to spend political capital to the advancement of that agenda. But, ultimately, Congress has the authority, power, and responsibility where lawmaking that affects the People is concerned. But presidents seem (from the opposite aisle) to receive a lot of unwarranted blame for congressional actions--and then the congressional actors go on to spend many more terms in office.
Where I do believe politicians are being intentionally misleading is on the campaign trail, specifically where contenders take on incumbents and criticize them for mostly legislative actions that are beyond their control, instead of for executive actions. If Mr. Romney wants to attack Mr. Obama for the ways in which he is executing the law, or representing the policies of the nation to other heads of state, etc., okay. But when he attacks the President for things that happened in Congress, it is fundamentally misleading. It leaves people confused about the structure and organization of government, effectively perpetuating the same cycle.
These are, of course, my private political beliefs, and not at all relevant to the thread. They are the kind of thing you get, as opposed to details of the actual bill we're ostensibly discussing, when ask someone on a message board thread to "man up and quit defending" a candidate for office.
And, my opinion on who/what is destroying our "republic with each passing minute" is much different than yours, but that's why we live here. :)
I agree, this convo has completely diverted from the original thread topic, but my comment was in response to your comment about civil liberties, etc. I'm happy to listen in to the other stuff, but when you venture out into other political philosophies, be prepared to debate. I don't care how smart you think you are :).
But, I stick by my original statement of, "man up and quit defending him." My gut tells me you're somewhere in-between, like I am, but only you can answer that...
My mindset qualifies as "in between" on the Internet, but I am probably about as close to a mainstream Democrat as you could find in the real world.
What choice is there? The republican party has gone bat shit insane and no one believes in third party voting.
They had a caucused supermajority in the Senate from:
July 8th, 2009 - August 25, 2009
September 25, 2009 - February 4, 2010
Or about 4 months to make any change he wanted (that the caucus which included Joe Lieberman, an extreme defense hawk, and Arlen Spector who just switched parties, approved).
Oh? What about everything related to civil liberties going severely downhill since Bush? Take the NSA "spy center" in Utah we're all aware of by now. How's that for Change You Can Believe In?
Now, why is it that whenever there's a post about the US government being up to no good, you are all over the place defending the government or making things seem less serious, or like this time, just mixing things up?
Are you some kind of perception management agent or what?
Last time there was a post that um.. required your intervention, the thread was like half-full of your posts. Seriously. What the fuck? What are you doing?
Everyone who lives in reality knows you've got quite a police state going on over there. Everyone knows your government is totally owned by Wall Street and other elites . Everyone knows your police force is full of thugs that tase people to death for fun. Countless Americans have had their houses fraudulently foreclosed on by the banks.
America is swirling down the drain. What the hell are you trying to accomplish here on Hacker News by trying to polish the turd of reality?
 Well, except for Ron Paul and a couple of other people.
I'd like you to watch this video and see if you might fall into this category. I know that I frequently do.
Would you define reality as what the media is telling you or do you have experience living in America? I'm just not sure, but your post implied that you don't live here and get many of your facts from the news. That doesn't give an accurate representation of life in America.
Nope. Quite the contrary. I'm aware that the main stream media is mostly just a tool for controlling the masses. The issue here was tptacek always rushing in to defend The Establishment in whatever is happening.
Can you please provide some citations/examples? I'm not sure a new NSA datacenter is enough evidence of "everything related to civil liberties going severely downhill."
Vetoing the NDAA, which passes every year, would have involved not paying soldiers. In the United States, it's the legislative branch, not the executive, that gets to decide the terms on which we pay people.
It seems both did.
what they're mad about is that Obama did not VETO the NDAA in order to RESCIND the authority that the executive ALREADY HAD from the AUMF.
You say it like there's nothing wrong with the authority to detain citizens at will because it was already in place.
Also, what I said about your behavior is accurate. You always do spring into action whenever bad things The Establishment does are discussed.
Why is that? For example in this case, it doesn't really matter that the AUMF had already "legalized" something that just should not happen at all. The point is that nasty shit is afoot. It's irrelevant exactly how and when your government "authorized" itself to do it.
Vetoing the NDAA, which passes every year, would have involved not paying soldiers.
Your "defense" budget could certainly use a hefty cut, but then you might have (even more) trouble maintaining your global Empire.
But surely they could work around this issue if they wanted to de-authorize the government from shipping any old innocent bystander (or unharmonious troublemaker, as the case would be) off to Guantanamo on a whim.
See also: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/iraq-war-on-terror/t...
If you do have an opinion about the bill, will you consider reading it?
Lieberman-Collins “Cybersecurity Act of 2012:
"Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011" aka CISPA:
This link is about an Executive Order, which I cannot find a link to the text, but this is getting there: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/241/3026867/White-House-draf...
Now that we are all on the same page, let's debate it.
There is a good article at Political Compass: http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012
(Also, take the test, you'll be surprised.)
I've read it. I don't think it'll be as easy as these comments make it sound.
1) Some of the questions simply don't make sense, i.e. "Multinational companies are unethically exploiting the plant genetic resources of developing countries." The what resources?
2) It completely conflates personal beliefs with those I would want to see forced upon society at large.
3) Some of the questions have totally ambiguous interpretations in terms of the two given axes. If I agree with "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", does that make me more or less authoritarian? What about "Abstract art that doesn't represent anything shouldn't be considered art at all"?
Also, the points assigned to famous political figures are totally arbitrary. Neither Hitler nor Hu Jintao have taken this quiz, so the author is simply making up answers for them.
Many agrarian cultures have a history of seed sharing and seed saving, which Monsanto seed (and lawyers) prevents. Over time, the poor nation of Elbonia's farmers cannot plant anything _but_ Monsanto seeds (as they have no uncontaminated seed banks, and their Monsanto crops are sterile). At that point, the country is entirely dependent on a multinational corporation in order to grow food. They have no seeds (genetic resources for plants) with which to plant new crops, to breed with other plants to make disease or drought-resistant hybrids, and in general a collection of diverse breeds of that particular plant are in time replaced with a single breed.
Some would argue that this sort of behavior is unethical and abhorrent. There are frequent stories from farmers of being bullied by Monsanto, which makes this an even easier opinion to hold.
Others point out that without GMO seeds, it would be very hard for some of these countries to plant __enough__ crops to feed themselves, regardless of diversity. From a standpoint of feeding a planet, that argument seems to carry some weight as well. It's a complex issue.
As for 1), it is indeed terribly worded, my guess they refer to companies patenting DNA sequences and then requiring a payment for the exported food,nbut obviously there are multiple interpretations. May be it's worder this way on purpose. :)
Democratic is an adjective. Thus, it modifies nouns like president, party, congressperson, senator, carl-the-carpenter ... they're all democratic [insert noun], not democrat [insert noun]. When using the noun form, it is democrat. But nouns do not modify nouns. So we never, ever, ever say "democrat president". We say Democratic president.
It's apparently confusing because republican is both a noun and an adjective. But democratic and democrat are distinct.
Mr. Obama is a Democrat. [noun]
Mr. Obama is a Democratic president. [adjective]
> In political circles it is thought that a Democratic president could never have been the first to go to China because they would have been accused of supporting communists. Only a Republican president could do it because he was insulated from attacks from the right.
> In political circles it is thought that a Democrat could never have been the first to go to China because they would have been accused of supporting communists. Only a Republican could do it because he was insulated from attacks from the right.
Judging on the government that America currently has, and recently had, I am starting to wonder if the American People really are so bad as to truly deserve that....