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Yesterday was a fascinating day for me. I wrote a little blog post earlier in the week in which I said President Obama should be fired for putting resources behind medical marijuana prosecutions in California. And then the Internet puked on my shoes. (See my post below for all of the fun.)

It seems some clarifications are in order.

Sorry I Confused Some of You

You can see from the many comments on this blog, and on the other Internet sites that linked to it, that people had very different interpretations of what I wrote. The people with good reading comprehension correctly understood my point: Jailing an American citizen for no reason other than political gain is a firing offense.

The people with bad reading comprehension, and the people who saw nothing but the confused summaries and tweets from those people, interpreted my argument as saying Romney is likely to be softer on drugs than Obama. And based on that misunderstanding, people concluded that my endorsement of Romney was the stupidest opinion in the galaxy. They'd be right if that had been my reasoning.

The fascinating thing here is that I believe the source of confusion is that people literally don't recognize objectivity when they see it. I got a lot of comments along the lines of "You say X is true and then in the same paragraph you say Y." What I actually said is "X is likely to be true, but here's an argument for Y." That's how objective people talk. They make a prediction and then explain why it might be wrong. That's the only way you know all sides have been considered. Partisans and non-thinkers say, "My prediction is 100% certain."

If I were to say the weather in California is good, but today it is cold and foggy, about 20% of readers would say, "Make up your mind! First you say the weather is good and then you say it is cold and foggy! You make no sense!"

Bad Analogy People


The people who aren't good with analogies waded in next, pointing out that President Obama killed U.S. citizens abroad because those citizens were part of a terrorist organization bent on the destruction of the United States. While that situation is worthy of discussion, it misses the central point of my post. There's a big difference between protecting the country and expecting some political gain from doing so versus jailing a small businessman in California for political gain while not even pretending it benefits the country. I expect my president to do some nasty stuff in my best interest. I don't expect him to do nasty stuff to citizens for no reason other than his own reelection interests. The latter is a firing offense.

The Law is the Law

The next thing that fascinated me is the number of people who said President Obama is obligated to pursue legal action against medical marijuana dispensaries in California because the law is the law and we can't have our leaders picking and choosing which ones they support.

To the people who hold that view, I wonder what country you have been living in. In the real world, legal resources are always limited, and leaders at every level of the legal system make choices every day about what is important enough to pursue and what is not.

As I write this, every police chief in every district is looking at his resources, looking at all the work his office is charged with doing, and deciding that something on the order of 50% of what the legal code asks him to do is simply impractical. So he focuses his resources on the 50% that are his highest priorities.

While the law is the law, the more important fact is that the budget is the budget. We elect our leaders to set priorities and act accordingly. The point of my post is that President Obama is using the country's limited resources to shut California dispensaries - possibly the country's lowest priority - for no reason other than political gain. In the process, he's putting a small businessman in jail for 10 years to life. That's a firing offense.

On my side of this debate is a Harvard-trained lawyer by the name of President Obama. During his first campaign for president he promised he wouldn't waste limited government resources pursuing medical marijuana cases. I'm not a Harvard-trained lawyer so I will take his word for it that a president can choose to ignore low-priority prosecutions without violating his oath.

The President Doesn't Personally Put People in Jail

Some commenters mocked me by arguing that the President doesn't control federal law enforcement at the granular level. You can't blame him for every decision made in the field. He's not personally slapping handcuffs on perps. True enough. But in the case of California dispensaries, he authorized the flip-flop in policy from ignoring the situation to going after them. Holding him innocent from the logical repercussions of his policy is like saying history should cut some slack for Pol Pot because he didn't personally kill anyone.

The Lesser Evil Argument

Supporters of President Obama argue that firing the President FOR ANY REASON means accepting a devastating alternative in a Romney presidency. While I applaud the complete dismissal of morality in the interest of practicality, let's take a minute to see if the practicality argument is so cut and dried.

My observation is that voters often - perhaps usually - don't get what they think they voted for. Nixon surprised everyone by getting cuddly with China. Bush Junior turned from isolationist to military adventurer. Obama went from weed-friendly to badass destroyer of state-approved dispensaries. Some fiscal conservatives have blown up the budget while some free-spending Democrats balanced it. If you think you can predict how a candidate will act in office, you might need a history lesson, or perhaps a booster shot of humility.

Now consider Mitt Romney, the most famous chameleon of all time. I submit that a hypothetical Romney presidency would be nearly impossible to predict with any accuracy. In each of his past leadership roles he has morphed into whatever the job required. During the primaries, his job required him to be far right. In the general election we see him drift toward the center, or as his advisor famously said, "Shake the Etch-a-Sketch." It would be naïve to assume Romney wouldn't shake it again once elected, given that even non-chameleon presidents do so.

Romney knows that the electorate is full of idiots and he needs to be a gigantic liar to win their votes. I totally get that. The funniest part is his budget plan that he promises to describe in detail after he gets elected. Dumb people see this as "He has an awesome fiscal plan!" Democrats see it as "He's a liar with no plan!" I see it as "You know I'm a brilliant and experienced turnaround guy. I know how to do this sort of thing. And if I give details now it just paints a target on my back. So chill."

In any event, Congress will be the ones who decide on the next budget. It will probably look similar no matter who gets elected. I don't believe, for example, that a Romney budget would overfund the military. Congress would moderate that, and Romney probably doesn't mean it anyway. Remember, his job today is to lie to get elected. His job once elected is quite different.

I also have no faith in my ability - or yours - to compare Obamacare (essentially a Romney plan) to how healthcare might change under a Romney administration. If you think you know the answer to that question, you're kidding yourself.

Some Democrats say the biggest risk in a Romney presidency involves Supreme Court nominees. But I think we saw after the unexpected opinion from Justice Roberts on the Obamacare ruling that the court has a built-in safety net against being too blatantly partisan and destroying its own credibility in the process.  I think the risk of a conservative-heavy Supreme Court ruining the country by adhering too slavishly (irony!) to the Constitution is low. You might not like some of their rulings, but they probably won't kill you. And if we are being objective, a court with too many lefties would have its own risks.

You're Endorsing Romney to Cut Your Rich Guy Taxes, Bastard!

Some folks suspect that I'm a weasel-bastard who is using the California dispensary issue as a smokescreen for bobbing to the right so I can save on taxes under a Romney administration. There's no defense against an accusation that I have secret motives, but let me describe the economics as I see them.

Over my career, my net worth has moved in lockstep with the overall economy. So whatever plan is good for the entire country is probably the one that helps me most, no matter what my tax rate is. And realistically, given a choice between taxing the rich, including myself, versus taxing people with no money, I don't see a choice. Even Romney knows we can't grow our way out of the problem. He's not an idiot; he's just a guy who needs idiots to vote for him.

So no, I don't see a scenario in which someday I am flying my diamond-encrusted helicopter over the rioting masses of starvation-crazed ex-middle-classers and thinking to myself that things worked out well for me. I don't see the option of living the good life at the expense of the 99%. That's not even a thing. I stopped working to satisfy my personal cravings years ago. Everything I produce and everything I earn these days is for the benefit of others. So I don't mind higher taxes on the rich if it makes sense for the country. With the exception of M.C. Hammer, the rich get richer no matter what the tax rates are. I'm afraid that won't change regardless of who gets elected.


Update:

Where's your evidence that President Obama is enforcing drug laws in California for political reasons alone?

What other reason is there? And remember that your answer has to account for the fact that President Obama has never bothered to explain his unexpected change of policy. Nor has anyone in his administration explained it.

I think it is fair to say President Obama didn't learn anything new about the dangers of medical marijuana in California that he didn't know before he got elected. If he did receive new information, he could simply point it out to defend his change of policy.

Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries after considering all factors from freedom to health and safety to economics. Our prior governor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed a law decriminalizing possession of small quantities of marijuana with a classic summary: "No one cares if you smoke a joint." (It's funnier when you imagine it in Arnold's accent.)

The medical marijuana dispensaries have now operated long enough that we can see their impact.  So far, it seems that dispensaries raise tax revenues, reduce crime in their neighborhoods, and help a lot of patients find relief. Dispensaries also keep their customers away from shady dealers who might offer more harmful drugs. The dispensaries probably have no appreciable impact on supply. Illegal marijuana is easy to obtain just about anywhere.

The trend toward full legalization of medical marijuana is accelerating all over the country for the same reasons that swayed Californians. I see no reason the trend will reverse. Does it make sense to send someone to jail for a crime that will likely become a non-crime during the jail term? What kind of leader devotes resources to that?

Have you ever met someone who smoked a lot of marijuana, as President Obama did when living in Hawaii, while simultaneously holding the view that the people who sold it to him should go to jail? I don't know the exact answer to my own question, but I'm guessing the number is near zero.

Now let me confuse the readers coming over from Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Gawker, Mediaite.com, and some of the other Low Information Voter sites. I'm going to display something called "objectivity." It involves discussing the odds that I might be wrong. It does not mean I just changed my mind. It means I'm attempting to consider all sides. Here goes. . .

There is some chance - I think a very small one - that President Obama has a non-political reason for cracking down on California's medical marijuana dispensaries, although I can't even imagine what reason a liberal  ex-stoner  with a budget problem might offer. If he chooses to tell the public his reasons, I will happily reassess my opinion. But keep in mind that one of my neighbors down south is about to go to jail for ten years to life because of President Obama's decision to devote limited Federal resources to prosecuting dispensaries. When a president doesn't offer reasons for jailing Americans, you have to call that a firing offense. (Saying he is following the law isn't a reason. Federal resources are limited and citizens expect their leaders to ignore low priorities.)

In summary, if President Obama is devoting limited federal resources to go after marijuana dispensaries for no reasons other than political gain, including, for example, attracting campaign funding, he should be fired. If he has a reason for jailing a small businessman, and he chooses not to share it, that too is a firing offense.

Why do you keep ignoring third-party candidates?

The best way to fire an incumbent president who is running for reelection is to vote for the only candidate with a realistic chance of beating him. If a voter switches from Obama to Romney it causes a two vote difference: one less vote to Obama and one more for Romney. Moving one vote from President Obama to a third party candidate is a one vote difference in the competition between President Obama and Romney.

And frankly it makes a stronger statement to endorse Romney since I disagree with most of his stated policies. It underlines the difference in importance between a true firing offense and policies you believe would be less desirable than the alternatives.

If my endorsement carried any weight whatsoever, I'd consider backing a third-party candidate. But no one will change opinions based on what I blog about. So I have the freedom to write whatever has the most entertainment value for me, with the hope you'll enjoy the show too.

You're crazy when you say a good reason to believe Romney won't be a disaster as president is that he's lying about what he would do in office.

I'm betting that a chameleon will stay a chameleon. That's his history. He adapts to whatever situation he's in. The alternative is to believe a candidate for President will do all the things he promises during the campaign. How has that worked out for you?

Update 2:


Single issue voting is stupid

I agree. One must always look at the big picture. That's why I'm glad O.J. Simpson got acquitted of criminal charges for allegedly murdering his ex-wife. He only had one bad day. You also have to consider his football records.

When Bill Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid," I took that to mean the economy is just one issue among many. I don't know how else to interpret that.

I also think Nixon got a bum deal with that Watergate thing. That was just one mistake.

If President Obama decides to give our nuclear codes to Iran, let's agree to count that as one mistake that should be weighed against all of his good work. For example, there's the time he recycled, and the time he could have lied but didn't. So that's two good things versus one bad thing.

[sarcasm off]

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU???!!! OF COURSE ONE ISSUE VOTING MAKES SENSE IF THE ISSUE IS BIG ENOUGH!

I think we're all on the same page now. So let's focus on whether the one issue I raised in my offending blog post - that President Obama is effectively sending a guy to prison for no reason other than political gain - and see if that crosses the line for you. Do you want to live in a world where your President can incarcerate citizens for no reason beyond political gain?

Now you might say President Obama is just doing what the law requires when he puts resources behind closing marijuana dispensaries. I dismissed that argument above. (Summary: We expect our leaders to focus their limited resources on high priorities. To willfully do otherwise for political gain, and put people in jail in the process, has to be a firing offense in a free country.)

If you think the one issue I'm talking about is drug policies, and you believe both candidates will have similar policies, then of course that one issue should not sway your decision. But that isn't the one issue I'm focusing on.

My one issue involves President Obama jailing a citizen for naked political gain. You can argue whether my facts and assumptions are correct, but I don't think you can dismiss it as just one issue among many. Jailing a citizen for no reason other than political gain has to be a firing offense. I'd like to believe every citizen agrees on that point.




 
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+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
@mhlong47

Wait, are you suggesting that Scott was saying that no police department in the country wastes resources? You clearly did not understand Scott's point. AT ALL. He was simply saying that resources always have to focused on higher priorities. Nowhere did he say that every police chief focuses on the BEST priorities.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
>As for your argument that "Everything that a politician does is more or less for political gain", as I said this defeats the point of using this as a means of selection. To put it another way, if every politician should be fired for jailing people for political gain, and people are jailed under every President, and everything a politician does is for political gain, then every President should be fired. That's not helpful.

But the issue isn't just that the president imprisoned somebody for political gain, but rather that he was instrumental in the imprisonment of somebody who did not harm anybody, for political gain. And yes, I would argue that any president that was instrumental in imprisoning somebody unjustly, especially hypocritically, should be fired.

You might be right in that we can't prove that the president's administration imprisoned somebody purely for political gain, but again, considering that we are talking about a politician here, and no other rationalization make sense, it is quite logical to come to that conclusion and quite naive to avoid that conclusion.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
@tkwelge

If someone makes the assertion that a politician is doing something for "naked political gain", it is not at all unreasonable to say "show me the gain". Your response of "errrrr, it might be something behind closed doors" is hardly compelling.

As for your argument that "Everything that a politician does is more or less for political gain", as I said this defeats the point of using this as a means of selection. To put it another way, if every politician should be fired for jailing people for political gain, and people are jailed under every President, and everything a politician does is for political gain, then every President should be fired. That's not helpful.
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
Scott you wrote -

As I write this, every police chief in every district is looking at his resources, looking at all the work his office is charged with doing, and deciding that something on the order of 50% of what the legal code asks him to do is simply impractical. So he focuses his resources on the 50% that are his highest priorities.

What if his highest priorities are politically driven. You would think cops could spend more efficient time looking for perps of serious crimes instead of sitting in cars with special telescopes looking for unbelted drivers and passengers. Many times they're doing it strictly for $$$$, often like the IRS (who have shifted their investigations of tax fraud from the wealthy to the middle-class) they are going after less well off citizenry who can't afford high priced lawyers who tend to drag the process on for years. That's an attack on the middle-class and it wasn't authorized by any president, it was decided by expediency and a drive to collect more cash with a little more expense. I find looking for the average citizen to be a criminal is not only expedient but politcally driven. In the sense of getting more cash. And a huge waste of limited resources. Are you telling me that having a cop sit for hours looking for seat belt usage and ticketing those unlucky is a good management of limited resources?

I've been called for jury duty 9 (or maybe 10 now) times and have sat on 6 trials with more possibly in 2 weeks. When the cases get involved, back in the jury deliberation room, we begin looking for flaws in testimony. If we can find 1 (yes exactly 1!!!!) we toss out the entire testimony because we are unable to verify and validate any of the rest, so the assumption is, if the witness was incorrect once, they will likely be incorrect a whole lot more (just like those police wasting taxpayer money looking for unbelted drivers). And we totally discard every shred of any other testimony they made. Finally when we are down to unshakeable testimony by a person on each side, we then weigh that limited testimony and make a decision. That's how it's worked. Therefore, based on that once paragraph I know something about, I have to discard the rest of your piece. I don't know about Romney future stance on drugs (it has to be harder if he is a true Mormon, if he's lax, then it shoots a whole in his whole Mormon upbringing - on a side note I had some friends who stopped at a small restaurant in Utah and the waitress confused caffeine with nicotine assuming they're both drugs - I guess we'll find out if he's elected), nor do I know anything about how the process worked to a law enforced from the President's desk to a jurisdiction in California and what all went on. I'd sure like to know, but most of the parties, I have no doubt, will never tell. I do know the police around here are often forced to waste their time on trivial work because the chance of income is greater, not the chance of reducing serious crime.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
@Aengil

What? You're basically making the argument that it is illogical to believe that a politician does things for political gain unless it can be absolutely 100% proven. I find this to be a shockingly naive opinion. Everything that a politician does is more or less for political gain. That is clearly the most probable explanation for Obama's actions, ESPECIALLY the considerable lack of any other explanation. Again, "political gain" doesn't necessarily mean "votes." It can also mean winning a secret deal behind closed doors to further ones own political career. You make it sound like we're just picking this whole "politicians doing things for political gain" thing out of our hind quarters, and that is sheer nonsense.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
If the argument is that Obama is jailing this person for political reasons, it logically should have to be shown how Obama benefits from it politically. I don't think it has. Quite the opposite if anything, there have been numerous reasons showing why it hurts him, and the very existence of this argument is an illustration of that too.

And I don't think simply saying "Well, I can't think of any good reason for doing it, therefore I get to pick a bad reason and insist it's that" is the way to go.

Without that evidence, you have an argument that can be applied to any President ever. It's easy to find someone being prosecuted and argue it's "for political reasons". You can apply it to Obama's Presidency. You could also apply it to Romney's governorship. But if your basis for selection can be so broadly applied it can disqualify every candidate, it's not much of a basis for selection.
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
I don't mind you wanting to fire Obama for jailing people for political gain, and I do belive he has done so. What I do mind is that you will go with someone who is going to jail the same people, and also jail other people for political gains. It ruins youre statement. If the 3rd party candidates who favor letting these people go get enough votes, at least one of the 2 major parties must pick up on it eventually and something could be done. Giving youre vote to the guy who would put his own children in jail for politacal gain to protest the jailing of people for political gains is simply illogical.
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
"If my endorsement carried any weight whatsoever, I'd consider backing a third-party candidate."

I find this very depressing. It's almost worse than not casting the correct vote for a third party because it denies that any of us can have any influence or enlightenment on each other, which is obviously not true and although you like to mock your insignificance of course you realize that you do attract some media attention and have an admirable ability to make people think with your writing.

While I almost totally agree with you on this whole firing offense issue, voting for Romney is undeniable naive. Even if one were to believe that he hasn't committed a firing offense yet, it is practically inevitable that he will once he is president, just like any candidate from the two parties has and will. I almost feel like you have to know that nothing is going to change or be fixed until there is the dramatic turnover that would come from a third party, but you are afraid that any such talk would cause the mainstream to relegate you to a fringe opinion.
 
 
-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
>You also mentioned Obama's past experience with drug use should let him know that marijuana isn't particularly harmful. My personal experience with (former) drug users is that this often isn't the case, and although I don't want to base my argument on my anecdotal evidence, I don't know of solid data on the topic, and if anecdotal evidence is all you have, it makes sense to go with that.

See, but this argument still makes Obama a hypocrite, because even if his experience made him think that all these drugs are actually bad, he should then have immediately thrown himself in prison. You can't send people to prison for things that you got away with and pretend that you're not a hypocrite.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 21, 2012
@dugforhearth

Wait, but the issue is that the president's administration put somebody behind bars for no explainable reason. You argue that because there could be some secret reason, we should give obama the benefit of the doubt. It doesn't work that way. When Scott says "political reasons" that doesn't just mean to win votes. "Political reasons" includes the sort of back door intrigue that is common place in politics. So even though he can't win votes from this move, there is probably some other inter office politics going on here within the government.

And your analogy doesn't stand up, because I can think of a million reasons why Scott could hold this opinion. None of the alternatives reasons for Obama's actions make sense. He can't actually think that weed is evil, because if he believed that, he'd throw himself in jail for his own actions, or else he'd be a hypocrite.
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
I agree on single issue voting if the issue is important enough.

What I don't agree with is the assumption that because you can think of no other reason Obama must be putting people in reason solely for political gain. The main reason being because I do not see him getting any political gain out of it.

He does not campaign on it. It does not help with his base. It is not a significant issue. It is unlikely that the people who are strongly influenced by anti-marijuana efforts will vote for Obama anyway.

I assume that Romney paid you money to post this argument because I can think of no other reason why you would do it. And if I cannot think of another reason, there must not be another reason.
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
@Kingfisher

If you're right then Scott must be getting more entertainment from this blog than even you realize. Anyone remember the last time he updated his blog twice on a Saturday?

Somehow, though, I dont think thats it. I dont think Scott gets quite that much enjoyment from all this. It also doesnt explain why there are so many good arguments for Obama that he hasnt answered while at the same time he still endorses Romney. No, the more likely explanation is that he genuinely cares about this issue and cares about it so much that even though he hasnt yet been able to answer all of our objections he also cant bring himself to say 'good point, I'll have to rethink that'.

He'd rather spend his weekend coming up with answers to the points he hasnt answered yet.
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
Mr. Adams,

Thanks for the posts. I feel for you: in your land, there appear to be idiots coming out of the woodwork. I just might imprison half of these commenters for lacking an ability to comprehend a simple thesis.

(You must have a permanent facepalm
 
 
Oct 21, 2012
@ethergnat

yes and also a republican said the info he was getting around the time of Susan Rice was consistent with a protest.

the idea itself is garbage. the reason obama rescinded "mohomed vid' theory is not that new info came in. its because the public simply didnt believe the story.

now you and the obama admin want to tell me that experts couldnt see thru this fog of war, but the publics shoot from the hip judgment is correct weeks before obama's experts? that the real evidence wasnt discovered until 2 weeks after the event? thats just not believable.

obama didnt change his story cuz it was wrong, he changed it because he was drastically losing credibility with voters.

and that republican that said he got reports saying it was a protest that turned violent, where did he get that info? i think you can figure it out.

obama has the highest security clearance and access to information. whatever that informational supremecy gained him 14 days after the event was probably a lot like the informational supremecy he had on day 1, and certainly like the information he had on day 5 when susan rice paraded around.

or maybe obama was just ambivalent on day 1, and didnt push for answers. he waited till day 13, or maybe when he asked to get to bottom, ppl didnt jump! those lazy intell guys waited 2 weeks after the nice man obama asked them to get it right.

personally i find these alternate theories nonsense. there is just no way in hell that obama didnt know it was terrorism for 2 weeks. he was highly interested in the subject and is very powerful.

he actively deceived the public for political gain. he wanted to cover up an event that voters would blame him for (another successful 9/11 terror attack). one thing he has succeeded in doing, is changing the narrative. benghazi is NOT about USA being attacked on 9/11. the debate never goes there. victory obama media team (and benghazi terrorists).

The article you referenced says that the evidence was fragmentary and conflicting. Which makes a "Terror" stamp 2 weeks after the fact look very weak. Fragmentary and conflicting info doesnt magically congeal 14 days after being gathered. If anything, the passage of time just further removes certainty of evidence. evidence is most strong the second its gathered.

how does conflicting evidence passage of time brew up a magic "Yes it was terror, and no it wasnt the video"? such sudden clarity and certainty!

The primary motive of the author was to defend the CIA, not analyze accuracy or timeline. he is a CIA apologist. the obama admin is throwing intell community under the bus too, all to stir up drama and avoid the origin of the story.

Maybe you could propose a timeline and world in which Obama didnt do anything wrong, and I could try my very hardest to see it. Obviously i will be rather inept at manufacturing such a world myself since i want to believe bad things about him, but i WOULD like to try to see your perspective. personally im suspecting it will take copious amounts of 'benefit of the doubt', which in todays political climate just means gullible. You wouldnt try to tell me Obama is a saint would you? i really cant buy that pov for a guy whose college days were an orgy of drug abuse.

i mean i know im not 100% honest, and even I'VE never done cocaine. (just imagine how deceptive actual cocaine users are)
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
I really do love this conversation. I think I'll continue by calling out Scott specifically in this.

Scott, I don't think politics is that important to you. If I had to classify you I'd call you an 'experimental libertarian futurist'. I don't think you Endorsed Romney in such a public fashion because you really think he would do a better job at leading the country, I suspect that you think, as I do, that as far as your life is concerned, these men are functionally the same. So why bother?

Well, you have as much as admitted that you bother because it is very interesting and entertaining to see how people will react to certain things. You called your predictions in the first post, and have been reporting on your experimental findings as they come in. Well done.

I have one beef, that in your reports you have a real selection bias. That is, you only are reporting the findings that fit into your hypothesis. Namely, that "people disagree with me because of X,Y,and Z" These are the bulk of the results, but I think you miss out by also not considering the outliers.

A great experiment isn't one in which you end with "That's what I thought", or even "Eureka!", but rather with "That's odd". My advice to you, and all the other debaters here, is to look through the comments again, and look not at the responses you expected, but at the ones you didn't. There are enough of them to be really interesting. People are complex, hardly anyone sees the world exactly as you do, but hardly anyone has no common ground either.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
@language

Given your claim that the Obama administration knew it was terrorism and was attempting to cover it up, how do you explain this story from yesterday's Washington Post?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/benghazi-attack-becomes-political-ammunition/2012/10/19/e1ad82ae-1a2d-11e2-bd10-5ff056538b7c_story.html
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
@Scott Adams

I don't have an issue with you thinking Obama's actions are a firing offense. If you had stopped there things would have been fine. What I can't comprehend is how you get from there to endorsing somebody who was stated in no uncertain terms he will aggressively do the same exact thing. "Vote for Romney, maybe he's lying!" You've completely lost your mind.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
Adams didn't approve my comment on the "firing offense" post*, but let's try again:

An O win will be terrible for the U.S., but a Mitt win will be worse. And, I'm talking about on issues that are much more important than the main one in his two posts.

A Mitt win will result in policies that will help the wealthy at everyone else's expense even more than has been happening for the past few decades. It will reward the GOP for adopting fringe ideas (the 47% thing isn't a gaffe, it's what many GOP and most TPers believe).

An O win will result in policies that are also bad for the U.S., but it might result in the GOP realizing that being the party of RichieRichAndTheRandroid isn't a winning idea and decide to become a more mainstream opposition.

If Adams has objections to various policies, then there's an easy way for someone like him to deal with them. For years I've been promoting two plans that would help: a plan for real debates, and a plan to really press politicians on issues. You can find both of them in the Take Action block on every page of my site. Adams could easily put either one of those together if he doesn't like one specific policy.

For instance, if Adams can developer an argument against an Obama policy, then he can develop questions designed to reveal the flaws in that policy. He then finds an experienced questioner to really press a politician on those questions, on video for Youtube. If Adams can show that a pol is pushing bad policies, it's less likely they and others will continue to push those policies.
 
 
+23 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 20, 2012
@whtllnew

"are you really saying here that a Romney presidency would be good because we have no idea what he'll be like as president?"

No; he is saying that we don't know it will be bad or even conservative; that Romney is neutral; therefore it is not as risky as it seems to fire Obama by hiring Romney.
 
 
Oct 20, 2012
Allow me to comment on my hallucination of what Scott was saying in his "Firing Offense" posting:

If the incumbent (President, Congressmen, Senator) has done some you fundamentally disagree with, for entirely political reasons, then it's time to vote out the incumbent by voting for the other guy (or maybe the 3rd guy).

So, for example, let's say you feel strongly pro-abortion, and your congressmen is also pro-abortion, but he routinely votes for abortion restrictions and reduced funding, because he think it will get him some right-wing votes. Fire him.

Let's say you're fiscally conservative - meaning you want to balance the budget, by some combination of raising tax revenues and reducing spending. Your Senator says he wants to do the same thing, but keeps voting in favor of tax cuts, while adding $billions in ear-marks to get people to vote for him. Fire him.

Let's say you favor legal, medicinal marijuana - and the President (who admits to smoking it, and using other drugs, without any consequences) decides to prosecute people who sell it, in states where his supporters are in favor of it being sold. Fire him.
 
 
 
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