Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Vote Goat 2008: The Debate 001

Since throwing my hat into the ring, I have received your support, some praise, and some jeers. It's been quite a ride. But there is one thing bothering me.

NO DONATIONS. Come on, people! These presidential bids don't fund themselves.

I've also been talking to many of you, and some of you have come to realize that I am a hopeless hippy-drippy with slush for brains who is almost certainly voting for B. Rock Obama.

None of you whom I have talked to have disagreed with me more often, or more hilariously, than Riggstad.

I made a lemur image for Riggstad. He's a good fella. And being able to disagree with one another without being disagreeable inspired both of us.

Why not debate?

So the ground rules are simple.

1) Each of us prepares five questions. The questioned party gives their considered answer. After this, the asker is allowed a rebuttal. Finally, the questioned party gives a final answer.

2) We must at all times try to be very partisan.

3) We must at all times try to be funny.

4) "Nuh-uh" and "Yuh-huh" are appropriate rebuttals. (Also acceptable: "Your mom.")

Obviously, this will be an ongoing series. Anybody taking us seriously will be arrested.

I'm a gentleman, so I let Riggs go first. Here we go.

Riggstad Question 1:

The last 8 years, this country has seen... the worst attack on our country. A very unpopular war. A huge and growing deficit, unemployment, unprecendented gas prices, the worst mortgage crisis in history, famine (OK, maybe not famine), and the largest of our financial institutions going bankrupt and needing to be bailed out by the government.

That said, how does beating LeBron James (which he did, btw; that's pretty phat) in a game of horse qualify Obama to be president?

Julius_Goat Answers

OK, first of all, Obama beat LaBron and that isn’t getting major ink? That’s just a travesty. I bet LaBron would break McCain’s kneecaps in half, then posterize him for all eternity. You want to beat McCain in Horse? Hook shots, baby. Add to that the fact that we know that HORSE is the true test of poker skill and every single degenerate should be screaming “YES WE CAN” in their ghey chat boxes right now.

But there has been nothing really, and I know. I’m obsessive. So how bad is that? Palin caps a moose and every red blooded redstate male swoons and throws out their Viagra refills, but Bama busts Bron Bron and can’t pick up the female vote?

That’s sexist.

As for qualifications, it is the most pressing and pertinent question facing Obama, and the one that, should he properly answer it, will win him the presidency.

There has been a lot of ink spilled about experience, and I think with good reason, but I believe we must go to the root of the issue: WHY do we value experience?

I submit that we value it because experience, at it’s best, leads to better judgment when facing hard decisions and tough experiences. Experience in live play makes you a better live tourney player, one hopes, because you have faced certain tough experiences before.

Unless, of course, you are a lemur.

Sometimes experience leads to the kind of contemplation and learning that results in prudence and judgement. Sometimes, it merely leads to old age.

In my opinion, somebody who has watched the tragic unfolding of events that you detail in your question, should have learned something from supporting the policies that led to or exacerbated many of these horrid results. Instead, he talks change out of one cheek while filling the other with promises to keep the same damn Bush policies as before.

This is not prudence.

On the other hand, one can have little experience and still have good instincts and judgement. We see this at the tables as well, though less often. Sometimes a young guy comes in and, having devoted his whole short life to the game, manages to show the old guys a thing or two.

Barack Obama’s vision of a United States unified by a common goal, his clear intention to modify failed policy or scrap them completely, and, yes, his ability to inspire by his words, all make him easily the more qualified candidate to my way of thinking. I have no doubt that he will make mistakes, but I have little doubt that he will make less than the guy who wants to make the same mistakes we’ve already made.

Riggstad Rebuts

As always, the left answers the question by pointing to the right. No press? I bet McCains knee caps break. Who cares? LeBron let Obama win because his agent told him how much money he would lose to the tax increases on the “wealthy” imposed by an Obama white house. Hoping for a little back scratch I guess.

The “root” of the issue with experience is not why we value it. There is no question of why we value it. “At it’s best”, is the best you can up with? At its best it instills confidence in ones ability to make the hard decision. To choose based on past experiences, and not sheer popularity. Past experiences that have proven which decisions create desired results versus those that we just don’t know what will happen.

Experience is often brushed away by those who don’t have it as not being important or on the top of the list of most desired attributes. But who would you choose to stake in the WSOP ME for 10k of your own money? The player who has played in it the last 10 years and has multiple cashes? Or would you go with the internet pro who hasn’t played one live hand of poker in his life? This is your last 10 thousand, and your house depends on it.

I agree with you that experience is lost on some. Sometimes prudence and good judgment are the results of such experience. And sometimes it is lost on the incompetent

We have seen what lack of experience has brought the last 8 years. Bush had almost zero experience with Foregin Policy. Do we want to do that again with yet another candidate who has almost zero experience? I thought we wanted to get away from the same?

riggstad: You assert that McCain talks change out of one cheek, and fills the other with promises to keep the same policies. Everyone knows he only has one cheek that can be filled with anything while the other is filled with puss and a swollen gland. Your point is hurtful and childish. I thought we were done with the name calling after the lipstick on a pig comment?

There is no doubt that good instincts and judgment are good attributes to have. But core competencies cannot be had without solid experience. Good Judgment is ok when sitting at a 2/5 table at the Venetian. And great instincts may even win you 5 buy-ins at the 20/40 limit tables over at Caesars. But when it comes to defining threats against our nation, and which way we will steer the countries economy in order to regain the faith and confidence of not only our citizens, but those of the world, experience is what will count.

Instincts and judgement alone will lead to the gamble more often than not in tight spots. I doubt we want that again. You say so yourself.

Finally , you speak of Obama’s vision of a United States unified by a common goal. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even your own party has marked differences on how things should be. If you can’t unify your party, how do you unify a country?

Julius_Goat's Final Answer:

I will address the vision of unity first.

First of all, it isn’t my party. I’m not a Democrat. I’m simply not supporting the Republican.

Second, of course there are differences between people in the Democratic party. There are differences between people, period. The point is not that we have differences, the point is that we stop focusing on them so damned much and focus on our common purpose.

The winning method since at least 2000 has been to shine a light on our differences, to create fear based on those differences, and to exploit that fear on election day. That’s why, in my opinion, we have all this talk of “elitism” as a bad thing, all this false outrage at mockery of small towns that frankly is not there.

Unity is not the same thing as lock-step robotic precision agreement on all issues. It’s a messier and more beautiful thing than that. And there can be unity, not just between factions within the Democratic party, or between Democrats and Republicans, but between all of us.

We have more in common than we have in difference. We really have forgotten this as a nation I think, during this Red vs. Blue madness. The divisiveness of the discourse.

I think Obama himself said it better than I possibly could when he accepted his nomination.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough
choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out
ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight
years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has
also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And
that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our
insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public
life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional
values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas,
then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to
run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

Next, the experience thing.

The root of things matters. By “root” I simply mean “reason.” I think that reason for a thing is usually important when discussing the value of that thing. Therefore, I must disagree that looking to the root of our value of experience is not in itself valuable.

I guess you see McCain with multiple cashes. I don’t. We can get into that in the future.

Would I stake the multi-cashed pro who had played the WSOP ME for ten years over the newbie internet pro? You bet. But I would stake the newbie internet pro over a guy who had played the WSOP ME for ten years if he kept busting out on the same boneheaded play, and was announcing his intention to double-down on his failed strategy.

And that is what we are talking about. A guy who took 300 bb all in with an inside straight draw and is still trying to tell you why it was a good play. You compare Bush to Obama. That’s hilarious. So, McCain voted with Bush, wants to keep Bush’s policies, both domestic and foreign, but Bush’s record should be a cautionary tale to us . . . about Obama, who disagrees with those policies, who in fact has been against them and wants to take us in a different direction. And the reason for this strange conflation? Both of them lacked experience. Hands played. It appears that you equate Bush’s failings not to his policies, or his judgment, or his inability to change course based on new information, but to his lack of days he’d put in prior to taking the big job. Now, before 2000, Bush had been a governor of one of the largest states in the union, in population and land mass, for six years. That I must assume equates to you lack of experience to hold the presidency. I’ll just hold on to that one for a later question, perhaps. Just tuck it into my pocket here.

So, success is not a factor of the decisions you make, but how long you’ve been around? I am not following the logic. Wrong is wrong. Stupid is as stupid does.

You can look at Obama and say that the Office of the Presidency is not an entry-level position. Fair enough. It’s also not a retirement watch to be gifted to the guy who’s been around the longest.

And I think McCain has got 467 sunflower seeds packed in there.


Julius_Goat's Question #1:

How do you address the growing speculation that John McCain actually died in November 2003, and is now a Muppet being animated by Pixar and the Jim Henson Corporation?

Stay tuned . . .


RaisingCayne said...

Quality stuff here. Lookin' forward to the next question.

(Hope you're both keeping the "your Mom" rebuttal for when you really need it!)

muhctim said...

The old guys that used to hang out in the balcony. . .nah, it couldn't be. . .but then again, it would answer a lot of questions.

Julius_Goat said...

Muhctim, I believe that he is their father