Obama to Congress: Never Mind Those Voters; Come Die on This Hill with Me!

As members of Congress mull over President Barack Obama’s request for authorization for military strikes on Syria, the response from constituents so far has been loud and consistent: No.

Obama’s message those Congress members? Don’t listen to them. Listen to me! From ABC News:

President Obama today conceded that he could fail to convince the American public to back proposed U.S. military strikes against Syria, but said that members of Congress should vote to approve the action anyway.

"It's conceivable that, at the end of the day, I don't persuade a majority of the American people that it's the right thing to do," Obama said in response to a question from ABC News during a solo press conference at the conclusion of the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

But, Obama said, members of Congress need to consider the lessons of World War II and their own consciences and vote 'yes' to authorize the use of force, even if it means going against the opinion of the majority of their constituents.

What do they have to lose by ignoring the people who vote for them in favor of an ill-formed plan from a second-term president looking forward to a lifetime of easy five-figure dinner speeches?

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  • RightNut||

    Which lesson of WWII supposedly justifies military action against Syria?

    I'm really drawing a blank, and I suspect most Americans are too.

  • From the Tundra||

    Well, the other day it was the MS St. Louis. That didn't work so well, so at this point it could be anything.

  • Brian D||

    Is Obama Godwinning America?

  • Brian D||

    I suppose if he can't win hearts and minds, he can Godwin them.

    Try the veal, tip your servers!

  • Irish||

    They've been desperately trying to compare this situation to the Allies refusal to fight Hitler. Of course, there's no comparison between the two situations since Assad has not invaded any neighboring countries and is no threat to the West.

    Idiotically comparing Assad to Hitler also allows them to call Rand Paul an 'isolationist' and smear him as being some sort of America First Charles Lindbergh figure. It's weird that the Democrats opposed to war in Iraq were never 'isolationists.'

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I remember how I used to roll my eyes at conservatives telling me that I needed to fight Iran using hoary WWII cliches. My, how times have changed -- instead of a sub-literate troll on Free Republic, we have the President of the United States employing this form of argumentation.

    We should be honored.

  • Aresen||

    ...instead of a sub-literate troll on Free Republic, we have the President of the United States...

    There is a difference: Some people believe the sub-literate troll on Free Republic. Nobody believes the sub-literate troll in the White House.

  • Copernicus||

    Remember when we bombed the USSR when Stalin was murdering millions of his citizens? Well, Syria is just like that.

  • Michael Price||

    Well the USSR was part of Eastasia, and we've always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Wait, there were Democrats who opposed the Iraq war 2?

  • Paul.||

    You know who else had a well-formulated plan for war?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Hannibal?

  • CE||

    Cornwallis?

  • Nazdrakke||

    Sun Tzu?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    General Burgoyne?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    General Custer?

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Khan?

  • Long Range Boredom||

    KHAAAAAANNNN?

  • mr lizard||

    The Protoss?

  • ||

    The Cylons?

  • Daily Beatings||

    Xerxes I of Persia?

  • ||

    The A Team?

  • Copernicus||

    General Jack Ripper?

  • Robert||

    It was when most of their constituents were for surrender after Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Russians.

  • Bramblyspam||

    The warmongers have people way too fixated on Munich and WWII. The idiocy that led to WWI seems far more analogous to our current situation.

  • Hopfiend||

    I have never been able to connect one line of rhetoric from this guy to a fact or a concrete action. But it sure sounds nice.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Obama to Congress: Never Mind Those Voters; Come Die on This Hill with Me!

    Shackford! It's high treason to compass or imagine the death or removal of his majesty, King Barry I!

    Death to the traitor!

    "It's conceivable that, at the end of the day, I don't persuade a majority of the American people that it's the right thing to do," Obama said in response to a question from ABC News....

    Fuck the peasants! Give me my war!

    RED LINE!

  • ||

    It really is stunning how much of a condescending fuck you this is. "The people I supposedly represent don't want this, but they just don't get it, so vote for it anyway!"

    I mean, I know he needs to distract from the NSA stuff, but holy shit is this not helping his popularity in the process. He might be tamping down one fire but he's lighting another in the process.

  • From the Tundra||

    See, this is why I don't think he's gonna get away with the rest of the scandals. His petulance, while not affecting the true believers, is making it easier for less insane proggies (and reps who would like to be re-elected) rediscover their anti-war mojo. Once he loses them on this, the rest can fall.

    Last weekend I had a bunch of family over - diehard dems - and not one of them tried to defend him on this. He may have actually managed to shoot himself in the foot (finally)

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    He mentioned WWII, Epi. Isn't that enough to get you revved up for another war?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Epi's warboner is widely known for its flaccidity.

  • ||

    The Viagra isn't working! I asked the doctor for some Cialis to see if that worked better. I have to fill the prescription after work.

  • tarran||

    Be careful, if your warboner lasts more than four hours you should check with a doctor. He can clear it up by showing you a film of Rosie O'Donnell interviewing John Bolton.

  • Michael Price||

    Thanks for that image, now I don't have take a woman out to dinner, since there's no point tonight.

  • CE||

    The people who've seen the classified intelligence we can't show you are pretty sure that chemical weapons were used, and feel like it was Assad who used them. So let's start bombing!

  • ||

    What do they have to lose by ignoring the people who vote for them in favor of an ill-formed plan from a second-term president looking forward to a lifetime of easy five-figure dinner speeches?

    Hell, what does Obama himself want to get out of bombing Syria? Beats the hell out of me.

  • From the Tundra||

    Alpha-male for a day.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He gets to avoid talking about the NSA for awhile.

  • ||

    And it's working. Damn well.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I hope Snowden and Greenwald are waiting this out and still have more information to share.

  • ||

    I have a sneaking suspicion they will. It's what I would do. Just keep dribbling out more releases every time Obama manages to reduce the NSA pressure. Ah, just the thought of it makes me smile.

  • Number 2||

    Remember: Obamacare Exchanges, the very core of Obamacare, are due to be open and fully operational on October 1... No one really expects that this will happen ... military action beginning, say, September 30 would certainly distract attention...

  • larry hammond||

    Any debate over Syria (even one he loses badly) is better than people talking about the IRS, NSA and Benghazi among other topics.

  • ||

    Don't forget Hemisphere.

  • larry hammond||

    Sorry, there are too many to remember. I am sure I left off at least 6 other impeachable offenses, but who is even counting at this point?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Any debate over Syria (even one he loses badly) is better than people talking about the IRS, NSA and Benghazi among other topics.

    I'm not sure about this. The longer the Syrian debate goes on, the more cluster-fark like it appears. I watched part of his Q&A today, and it was really embarrassing (more embarrassing than usual). He seems to be doing some type of slow unwinding very publically. I'm starting to think this is going to end very badly for him.

  • larry hammond||

    I would like to think you are correct, but I think Syria will be forgotten with the next mass murdering dictator that comes into the media's brief and ever moving spotlight. More likely this all blows over, everyone (general public) forgets about the very real and ongoing scandals and keeps voting D. Not that I love the R, but voting D is a suicide pact these days.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Hell, what does Obama himself want to get out of bombing Syria? Beats the hell out of me.

    Saudi gold.

  • Michael Price||

    I think you mean Raytheon gold.

  • Trawn||

    The voters' views only matter when they agree with me. If they say that they want less immigration and I want more, their views don't matter.

  • Irish||

    Since you brought immigration into a post that has nothing to do with immigration, I'm going to make an educated guess.

    Hi, American!

  • Hyperion||

    The mask is fully off now. This is what you voted for, America, a guy who considers his best interest ahead of all 300 million Americans, who he apparently considers subject to his divine will.

    Go ahead, congress critters, throw yourselves upon that sacrificial alter.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    This is what you voted for, America

    Make sure you include the people who sat idly by and refused to vote for his only viable opponent.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Gary Johnson?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Gary Johnson?

  • ||

    Ah yes, this is why Tulpa deserves to be Red Shreek.

  • ||

    I love that you used the weasel word "viable". Comedy Gold Tulpa.

    1 Million votes didn't decide shit, but then, you knew that already.

    Oh, and if Romney was a "viable" candidate, more republicans would have showed up at the polls.

  • Tman||

    Did you guys talk about the latest news from the SMART POWER BRAIN TRUST, US Ambassador Samantha Power?

    Obama team thought Iran would not tolerate Bashar Assad's use of WMDs

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/.....le/2535328

    The Onion can't even parody these guys anymore. Amateur hour is no longer an apt description. I would prefer the Presidential Cabinet of the closest DC Middle School over these fucking morons.

    I say we get nuked in the next two years. I'll be surprised if it takes longer.

  • RightNut||

    "Or, if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran — itself a victim of Saddam Hussein's monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 — to cast loose a regime that was gassing it's people," she said.

    Iran was against chemical weapons being used on the Iranian military, not against the use of chemical weapons in general. Not rocket science, but somehow lost on Obama and his advisers.

  • Irish||

    These 'humanitarian' intervention type people really are like a mirror inverse of the neocons. Just like the neocons, the humanitarian interventionists have a staggering number of failures on their ledger, yet that never leads them to rethink their assumptions or their theories.

    Samantha Power seriously believes that fucking Iran, a nation which has explicitly stated that it would like to gain nuclear weapons in order to kill all the Jews, would somehow be so horrified by the murder of 1500 Syrians that they'd put a stop to Assad's chemical program.

    If neocons believe that the Middle East is always one bomb away from freedom, the humanitarians think that it's always one debate or conference away from peace.

  • Tman||

    The level of complete ignorance is not only staggering but incredibly terrifying considering these are the people currently in charge.

    I don't even.

  • CE||

    You know who else had a lot of red ink in her ledger?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Is that a menstrual euphemism?

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Ethel Rosenberg?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Lizzie Borden.

  • Rich||

    Michelle Williams?

  • buddhastalin||

    That only works for ledger in her red ink.

  • Goldwin Smith||

    These 'humanitarian' intervention type people really are like a mirror inverse of the neocons

    Duh. Weren't the original Neocons disgruntled Cold Warriors? And they owe a lot to Woodrow Wilson.

  • ||

    Not to mention the biggest international BACKER OF TERRORISM.

    Seriously. They must be retarded.

  • Killazontherun||

    No one believes Assad did it but Washington DC and some in Paris. It was a suburb where it occurred. The suburbs are counter revolutionary territory. Has Assad lost any support from them as would logically occur if he bombed his own supporters?

    It is the suburbs in the Middle East that Al Qaeda wishes to wipe out as it is the western lifestyle of the suburbs that is the focus of their hate.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Amateur hour is no longer an apt description.

    How about "Talent Show at the State Home for the Developmentally Disabled"?

  • ||

    Maybe they should go on America's Got Talent?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    When was the last time congressmen lost their seats following Obama?

  • RightNut||

    2010

  • From the Tundra||

    2010?

  • Brandon||

    This would be a downside of term-limits in Congress. How many of these megalomaniacal psychos would happily be voting for this next war if they, like Obama, didn't have to worry about re-election again? Not a huge downside, granted, but a consideration.

  • Irish||

    I'm opposed to term limits for exactly this reason. A desire to keep their job is the only thing that provides any check on politicians.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep.

    Even that asshole McCain wouldn't be acting so fucking crazy is he was going to run again.

  • ||

    The upside of term limits is that it would put an end to the political class and we would not have so many megalomaniacs in there to begin with.

  • ||

    Ding ding ding.

    It would somewhat limit the desirability of the position.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I think you've got to go all the way back to Woodrow Wilson to find a more self-absorbed shithead in the White House.

    -jcr

  • LynchPin1477||

    But, Obama said, members of Congress need to consider[...]their own consciences

    I actually agree with this. If Congress did nothing but blow with the winds of public opinion they'd we'd basically just have a direct democracy. Having principles means support unpopular positions, sometimes. Of course, there are practical reasons for not going against the will of a majority of the country that go beyond elections, and if my representative's principles conflict with my own, then I'm free to vote them out of office.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    True, but Obama is simply asking Congressmen to uncritically agree with and vote for his case as presented -- not anything on the order of what you're suggesting.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Sure, there was a reason I cut out "the lessons of World War II" and "and vote yes" (as if the only way their consciences could go was towards a yes vote).

  • CE||

    But we have the technology now to just switch to direct democracy. We could even do it by Congressional district. Why not switch, and save the pension and office costs?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Direct democracy would be a terrible, awful idea -- potentially even worse than what we have now.

    Our political structure should have built-in insulation between our rights and the popular perception of said rights.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Well, at least in theory, representatives are supposed to be able to give the time and thought necessary to make an informed decision on an issue that people with other full time jobs and interests can't. I'm well aware that we don't have such representatives, but I truly believe direct democracy would be worse.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yes, look what voting by TV remote has done to television programming. Apply that to policy decisions.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Except in politics you only have the ability to change the channel every 2-4 years and we all wind up having to watch the same show anyway.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Given what these people's consciences usually tell them, I think the country would be better off if they were corrupt vote-whores.

    What about those whose "consciences" whisper "humanitarian intervention," "single-payer," and "crush the corporations"?

  • LynchPin1477||

    Well we're supposed to have a Constitution that protects individual rights. That hasn't always worked, but opinion poll voting isn't likely to be any better. It highlights the importance of everyday, liberty-loving people taking the time and effort to keep people on the side of liberty.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I am growing skeptical of the idea that violation of constitutional rights is the result of Congresspersons disregarding their consciences and caving in to popular pressure.

    Where was the popular pressure to protect incumbents with censorship in the name of "campaign finance reform"? It was the *supporters* of these laws who made the greatest protestation about how they were following their consciences.

    Where was the popular pressure to renew the Patriot Act (which itself had been sitting in a Justice Dept drawer for years)?

    It is one thing to say the public was indifferent and/or ignorant, but that's not the same as saying there was a groundswell of popular demand for all these policies, to which our rulers reluctantly yielded against their best judgment. These laws *are* their best judgment!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The Japanese Internment was very popular in California and other states on the Pacific, as were many Constitutional violations. Just about every expansion of suffrage has been the result of, or led to, some popular abuse of common liberties.

    I would rather not trade one tyranny for another, and popular sovereignty, checks and balances, and any other principle for establishing who will rule in a government should all be subordinate to outcomes of that government (in terms of institution and preservation of liberties over the long term), rather than becoming an end unto themselves.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Just about every expansion of suffrage has been the result of, or led to, some popular abuse of common liberties.

    I am not sure about this point.

    Probably the low point of suffrage in the nation was right at the Founding, and our nation was arguably at the low point of respecting common liberties. For one thing a huge chunk of the adult population was enslaved and a little more than half were denied really basic occupational and property rights.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Abolition of property extension (Jackson's election and Indian removals)
    Direct election of Senators (income tax and
    Women voters (Temperance movement & Prohibition)
    Min voting age 18 (It would be difficult to list the stupidity and damage done by this one continuing to today)

    Not to say that all these restrictions were justified, but by and large they came coupled with specific liberty-destroying agenda items which wouldn't have been possible without the voting blocs that were realized. (The major apparent, and highly positive, exception appears to be the 14th Am expansion of the right without regard to race.)

    Probably the low point of suffrage in the nation was right at the Founding, and our nation was arguably at the low point of respecting common liberties.

    This seems dubious. I can only think of two areas where the nation at inception was broadly unfree, slavery and various common religion-inspired legislation. (I would include any limitations to women's property and occupational rights under the "common religion" category.) The repeal of both of these blemishes to freedom had very little to do with expansion of the franchise, I will note.

    At any rate, I would rather examine which franchise restrictions lead to freedom, than simply assume that everyone in a republic is equally qualified to safeguard our liberty (which seems far from obvious).

  • Calidissident||

    "Direct election of Senators (income tax and"

    Not sure what the "and" was supposed to be. Some of your examples seem to be examples of correlation much more than causation, and this is one. The Seventeenth Amendment passed (obviously) after the Sixteenth Amendment. The amendments may have both been goals of a common political movement, but that doesn't mean the income tax was caused by the direct election of Senators. And considering that the state legislatures were the ones who practically begged Congress to pass the amendment, and then approved it themselves, I find the common refrain from many that the Seventeenth eliminated a substantial check on the growth of government to be highly dubious.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Many of your examples seem unpersuasive to me. Take your last one. Doubtless there is legislation we would both agree is stupid following the extension of the vote to those above 18, but where is the proof that these voters 'made the difference' in these laws becoming law? The Jackson one is also very questionable (there were greater and more viscous 'removals' of Indians in times before and after the extension of the vote to those with lower property qualifications).

    But more to the point, it is more than a bit striking to dismiss real, 100% chattel slavery of one in ten of the population and the institutional violation of the most basic occupational and property rights for over half of the entire population with the phrase 'I can only think of two areas where the nation at inception was broadly unfree.' Income taxes and Prohibition certainly rankle, but they pale by far to chattel slavery of a tenth of the population and depriving over half of the population of the most basic economic rights.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    They're easy to dismiss not because they're trivial reductions to human liberty, but because franchise extension was not terribly relevant to the end of slavery or the reduction of (for lack of a better term) "moralizing" laws and because other areas of public policy can be examined in their absence. I'd argue that (especially from the Civil War onwards) the US was significantly more free than it is today apart from those restrictions. I also believe that extension of the franchise (particularly to those without property and to the very young) played a role in our becoming less free.

    One can see similar processes in Europe, especially (where the Socialist and fascist movements were much stronger than in the US and largely embraced by lower middle class/unemployed, poor, or young voters).

    I am definitely open to hearing an argument for why universal suffrage is better for liberty than other systems -- my bigger problem is that this seems to be taken for granted, and that Americans have erroneously credited democracy (and not their uncharacteristically free system) with their stability and prosperity, leading to some extremely poor messianic attempts to spread democracy without a fundamental understanding of what makes it work so well in the US.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Wow, I have had a bit too much to drink. I have no idea what was going to go in the brackets with direct election of Senators, Cali; sorry. I do believe that the effects of franchise extension go beyond the immediate, though -- take a look at who young people vote for, their stated reasons, and their policy preferences -- they are incredibly economically statist without having the slightest clue or experience in creating wealth.

    Look at the criminal levels of ignorance among voters who are unemployed and the very young. It is very easy to manipulate a homeless person to vote for you if you offer them a warm meal and some shelter. I don't see how people who don't know what they're voting for or why could be said to be providing meaningful consent or enlightened input. Voting is a trust that we grant people to keep the republic steady; it shouldn't be a mechanism by which the ignorant choose a demagogue or by which one segment of the population oppresses or steals from another segment.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -take a look at who young people vote for

    You mean like Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, both of who won first-time voters and under-29 voters by big margins? I think your generalities are lacking here.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Voting is a trust that we grant people to keep the republic steady; it shouldn't be a mechanism by which the ignorant choose a demagogue

    One more thing on this. Are you aware that Obama won the most educated voting blocs (graduate degree holders)? In 2008 he won several of the 'wealthier' income blocs, including the wealthiest ($200,000 and over). How do these facts fit into your theory?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -I'd argue that (especially from the Civil War onwards) the US was significantly more free than it is today apart from those restrictions.

    This is exactly what I find so striking though, saying 'apart from chattel slavery and 'moralizing laws' which prevented over half the population from having basic rights (among other things) the US was significantly more free than it is today' is akin to saying 'apart from the Holocaust, religious persecution in Germany is worse today than it was in 1942.'

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'm pretty sure that after the Civil War and the amendments that followed we didn't have much in the way of slavery...

    As for occupational/property rights for women (I believe that's what you're getting at), I am quite certain that they were enacted at roughly the same time in developed parts of what could be called the Western world, regardless of the franchise's availability to people without means. Again, I don't see the relevance to these areas of public policy with respect to universal vs qualified franchise; their removal seems to have had nothing to do with the extension of the franchise. In contrast, many current and past restrictions on freedom are readily attributable to the expansion of the franchise to the indigent (New Deal, anyone?) and to the young.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The relevance of both those law and slavery is this: you suggested a relationship between the extension of the franchise and respect for liberty, so I pointed out that at the time in our nation when the franchise was most restricted respect for liberty was at its lowest. That would seem an odd fact for your general statement to live with. Now you want to talk about post-Civil War, which is fine, but you still have that rather inconvenient fact (for your theory) sitting right there like an 800 lb gorilla.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't think it's inconvenient at all. To the extent that we can tell, restriction of rights for blacks was no more popular among the poorer classes in the US than among the wealthy; in the case of women's suffrage it was generally less popular among the poor than among the wealthy.

    This is fairly consistent with voting tendencies in other countries, as well.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Reagan or HW '88's blowout election results -- elections far outside the norm -- are not dispositive. Even if one assumes that the election of either gentleman was a good thing, young people voted for both in much smaller margins than the general pop and for much different reasons. I voted for Reagan in 84; did I have a clue what I was voting for? Hell no, and neither did anyone else I knew who was my age.

    Young people have only a very superficial understanding of how life works and what is important and have almost no stake in society -- especially one where there is no draft. As a general rule, this means that such voters are ignorant and their life experience (such as it is) doesn't make up for that shortfall in knowledge or thought. There are exceptions, but that is the general rule.

    At any rate, I am trying (and failing, evidently) to argue the point that any form of government is not self-justifying but instrumental to the purpose of obtaining liberty. Young people shouldn't mindlessly be granted the vote because "it's their right"; they should be given the vote because we have a reasonable expectation that they will employ it judiciously to preserve and expand our freedoms. There is no right to oppress another human being with the franchise, and that mentality has led to irreparable harm here and (especially) abroad.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Even if one assumes that the election of either gentleman was a good thing, young people voted for both in much smaller margins than the general pop

    Did they?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -many current and past restrictions on freedom are readily attributable to the expansion of the franchise to the indigent (New Deal, anyone?)

    Were there property qualifications in the US that were lifted right before the New Deal?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    No, but the poorer (and the very rich) elements of society voted for the New Deal in far greater proportions than other parts of society. It is fairly self-evident to see how allowing the destitute to vote in elections where candidates can promise these people resources introduces a quandry, can you not? If your children are hungry odd are you are going to prioritize their well-being over your abstract idea of rights -- that is laudable to a degree and could even be seen as a marker of good parentage, but problematic when it comes to determining what should or should not be undertaken in a republic.

    If as you see it your continued existence depends on an anti-liberty policy, then you will likely vote against that policy -- it's simply human nature. Mitigating that circumstance should be of interest, I think.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, that is quite the time lag going on there (abolition of property qualifications circa 1830-40 lying mostly dormant for a hundred years before bubbling up to cause the New Deal in 1932) ;).

    With all due respect I think your generality to just be riddled with holes from a historical perspective. Obama is, with good reason, seen as a threat to liberty and so his election and re-election are seen as very problematic for those who love liberty. One way of thinking that has become popular is to start to question the groups that seemed to vote for him (remember, even for groups that had huge numbers for Obama there were many individual members of those groups who voted otherwise-denying votes to any groups as groups would hit them and be, I suggest, a very unlibertarian way to think of this), and ask whether these groups are deficient in some way that should preclude them voting.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think this is wrong because for one thing, as noted, it is ahistorical. Young people voted for Obama this time, but they voted for Reagan decades ago. Who knows what will appeal to them next time? It is not a given they will always vote for the left (or right). The same can be said of other groups (Asians for example, or Hispanics).

    It is also problematic because it has to many counterexamples. As you concede, the most educated and very wealthy often break for the most 'statist' candidates. So much for theories about property and educational qualifications.

    But here is my most important 'beef' with this line of thinking. I do not start with your premise, that the vote is something that 'we' can 'bestow' on those we find 'worthy.' It is the right of the governed to control the government. Anything else would be declaring it is ok for some to rule over others in the name of 'liberty.' I think eighteen year olds should vote because eighteen year olds have to pay taxes, become draftable, and are held accountable to the laws of our nation as adults, etcetera. To deny them a say while ruling over them is unconscionable. And I apply this to poor people, the uneducated, the highly educated, what have you.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    16-year olds are also held accountable to the laws of the government without being able to vote -- how is that relevant, provided that the laws are just? Suppose that I am arrested for theft, or rape -- should I have to prove that I had some say in forming or consenting to those moral norms before it becomes appropriate to punish me for violating them? I think not!

    I think it's worth making sure that those who can't vote are insulated from what voters can compel (f.e., non-voters can be made exempt from the income tax and from the draft). It is equally important to make sure that the people operating government (this includes voters) are of good character and can be counted on to responsibly exercise their civic duties as electors. As with jury duty, having judicious voters is a public service to the persons affected. This doesn't mean having idiotic/immoral restrictions (gender or race based), or even having restrictions at all if the whole pop can be counted on to do their duty. Cat's already out of the bag in the US, but we can at least refrain from the travesty of foisting on Afghanistan a system where a 92% illiterate, fundamentalist, and illiberal pop is expected to exercise this duty.

    I believe that everyone has within themselves the capacity to be a good voter, but sadly many people choose to forgo that responsibility. Identifying who these people are before they can cause electoral damage is worthy in principle, albeit difficult in practice.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Here's where I'm coming from: right now in Argentina, we have a situation where Christine Kirchner (a fascist who makes Obama look like John Adams) seeks to lower the voting age to 16 in light of the gains her party would make. Scum like the racist Andrew Jackson have likewise supported extensions to the franchise as ways to expand their power base. I would not want to have a pool of jurors that have a material interest in a murder trial sentence someone to death regardless of the evidence; I also wouldn't want jurors who can't or won't educate themselves on the facts of the matter before rendering a verdict. Why would I pretend such things that comprise a bad juror make for a good voter?

    I get somewhat melancholic when I am a bit inebriated and am probably making even less sense than usual, but it saddens me that my children are growing up under the shade of a society that even now has restricted so many of the freedoms that I didn't even think to treasure when I was young. Many of these are freedoms that they will never experience, and that they can at best appreciate only abstractly. Oppressing the people who vote for these restrictions is not the answer, but neither is it seemly to allow them to continue on their current course.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I'm not against increasing restrictions to voting in some ways - but note that all arguments used to decrease voter participation seems to be the same logic for increasing regulations on speech or the press.

    Which is - would you really just let "anyone", no matter how stupid, corrupt, etc, to just say "anything" they want? Print any idea they want?

    Additionally, there's a theory called selectorate theory, which, among other things, claims to prove (thru game theory and historical research) that more corrupt governments, defined as those government spending most of the government largesse to fund cronies versus spending on the public, will be more likely to exist as the ratio between voters & all citizens declines.

    & it seems believable even without the full proof as it seems intuitive - political leaders use their power/resources to "help" those that elected them. The fewer responsible for it, the more likely they are to be paid off directly.

    Having said that - I still agree restrictions may be useful given polls showing things like 40% of Americans unable to name VP...

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not pretend that there is something inherently magic about the number 18, just that if we are going to hold 18 year olds accountable as adults in the ways we are discussing then I think they have a natural right to have a say (your example of not making them targets of the income tax, draft, etc., would suffice for my theory).

    You have some thought provoking points here. I guess ideally we would have more educated voters. But I do not think any of the qualifications we are talking about here can, in practice (and perhaps even in theory: when something is repeatedly impossible in practice perhaps it should be rejected as flawed in theory too [see, communism as liberals argue it]) work to that effect. People with property can be full of avarice which could lead them to support policies violating other's rights. People with high educations can embrace liberty violating ideas. And conversely groups that might seem suspect in their exercise of the franchise now have in the past supported the more liberty embracing side. So it just does not work.

  • ||

    You do understand that when TIT says educated, he's not referring to schooling right?

    Cause you referred to "highly educated voted for Obama" a couple times and I think it's safe to say that none of those people were "educated voters".

  • LynchPin1477||

    True federalism would also help with this. If the voters of Vermont or Massachusetts really want to drive out corporations and go towards single payer, I'll shake my head and call them idiots, but at least I won't have to live with their stupid decisions. And if I happened to live in VT, or MA, I can move to some other state a lot more easily than I could move to whatever fantasy world has an all-around better record on liberty than the U.S. does.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    In theory yes, but historically the record of 'true federalism' in the US is pretty terrible.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The Lesson of World War II is - don't compare every f***ing conflict to World War II.

    Consider all the ill-advised interventions based on that analogy.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Come Die on This Hill with Me!"

    Hey, it worked for Obamacare. Obamacare looked like it had gone down in flames but Pelosi got enough congressmen to fall on their swords for that Obamanation and now we're stuck paying the tab.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, that's the thing about pyrrhic victories.

  • ||

    Priceless.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    Yeah, well, Jing Jang Jow Jow also says that dogs can't look up.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    DON'T THESE OBSTRUCTIONISTS KNOW THAT OBAMA HAS A MANDATE?!

  • RightNut||

    The Teathugikkkans have apparently infiltrated the UN and are obstructing Obama's righteous agenda there as well!

  • Long Range Boredom||

    I'm actually amazed that they keep running with the World War II analogies. Do they just assume that everyone is historically illiterate and any whisper of 'Hitler' will make them come around? In which case, congratulations, you have the debate abilities of an internet troll.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is one of the more foolish analogies, used for its supposed emotional resonance. Syria today is far from Nazi German 1939.

    It is not even Fascist Italy 1939.

    It is a tired ploy of the desperate.

  • BuSab Agent||

    It actually works though if you cast the US in the role of Nazi Germany 1939. As Qaddafi and Hussein found out, appeasement doesn't stop invasion.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    In the heart of the warmonger it's always Munich in 1938.

  • 4thaugust1932||

    In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes.

  • ||

    If Obama is so hot to invade Syria, I'm sure the federal government can find him a plane ticket, a helmet and a rifle SOMEWHERE...

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