Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Promise

We tell folks they’re equal in this country. We tell them that when they work their hardest, they’ll succeed, that America is a country where our progress is built on our merits, not merely on our birth. We tell them that color or gender don’t matter, only the content of one’s character. At least that’s what we tell people. For the last few decades, in the wake of the Civil Rights movement and Women’s liberation, we’ve still nominated and elected only white people. The conventional wisdom has been that this is all that was possible.

What a sorry state of affairs: officially equal, but unofficially ruled out from the get-go.

We can talk about equality and fairness, colorblindness, and things like that, but until those principles guide our actions, affect our actions, we cannot truly claim those as our virtues. Now that is not to say that our choices as candidates should be geared with a specific eye towards putting the ethnicity or gender first. Rather, it is to say that we should no longer discount candidates because of gender or race, because as both Democratic Candidates have demonstrated, especially the winner, the virtues we look for in our candidates exist within candidates of all types. America, and the Democratic party in particular, is relaxing about the old prejudices, and a new generation is writing a groundbreaking chapter in America's racial and political history.

I look forward to having our field of candidates become just like America: a melting pot, power shared between people of all kinds, the way it was meant to be.

I look forward to the promise of equality being kept, the promise that it is the quality of the candidate, not the nature of their appearance or gender that determines their chances in an election.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2008 5:26 PM
Comments
Comment #254459

Stephen, get off your silly high-horse and stop pontificating. I am sorry if you have only recently changed your views on race and gender, and please understand that most of us are light-years ahead of you on these non-issues.

Are liberals only now becoming enlightened because they have an Arab-American candidate? As for President Bush, with numerous non-white persons in his current and previous cabinet, Obama is not likely to break any new ground there either.

Posted by: Jim M at June 4, 2008 7:31 PM
Comment #254462

Stephen, this is a momentous page in American history, one due a place in future American children’s history books. And it was obvious that when this day came, it would be the Democratic Party that would turn that page.

It has been a long time coming, and many have sacrificed much including their lives to insure this day would come. We should all note this election as one of America’s finest advances into the fulfillment of that pledge in the Declaration of Independence.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 4, 2008 7:36 PM
Comment #254467

So… Democrats gender politics, which “minority” you gonna choose : black (Obama) or elderly (Mc Cain), women not being a minority had to give up… But ! But ! But ! what his their political program ? Democrats, what (not about about high class genders), what about social class struggle ?

Posted by: chperret at June 4, 2008 7:55 PM
Comment #254469

I am not ashamed of being white. I’m ashamed that people like me would win because we’re white and male. I’m by no means ashamed to be an American, and find this fulfillment of that promise, in the Democratic Party’s first non-white nominee, to be all the more reason to be proud of my country. Only here in America is something like this possible, and Obama’s supporters know this.

As for a world without the White Race, a world without America? I would mourn a world without America, and think it was good that our nation came about. But the White Race?

It used to be that people thought of race in terms of nations and tribes. Folks talked about an English race, an German race. The notion of Whites as a global, distinct population is a product of 18th and 19th century notions of science. In truth, there is no real genetic category for whiteness. It’s genetic variation, of course, but it’s more geographic than related to skin color. That is to say, a black man from Ethiopia or Kenya has more in common genetically with an Caucasian from Saudi Arabia, than they do a black person from Namibia.

Similarly, a white person from Spain has more in common with a North African from Morocco, than with a true “Caucasian” (That is, resident of the Caucusus mountains in Russia.)

The the truth of the matter is, what we call races are actually very intermixed to begin with. So all this is, is a cultural dispute.

I am not ashamed to lay down that. caucasian doesn’t mean much in the long run. American means more.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2008 8:14 PM
Comment #254474

Us liberals have an Arab-American candidate!?! COOL! I’m looking forward to a Japanese-American candidate ‘an a Eskimo ‘an a Hispanic ‘an a female Indian (Like from India) ‘an a Mayan and anybody who isn’t a white warmonger.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at June 4, 2008 8:35 PM
Comment #254477

Stephen please stay on that high horse as long as you please and dwell in the moment. It is not everyday that one can say they were part of such important and momentous history. I am considerably older than you and can say that I am proud to be part of a movement of people that have ignored the color of this mans skin in favor of his talents and inspiration. While I am sure that this event will serve to further fuel the flames of racism for a minority, it is my hope that it might also serve to make transparent the dangers and foolishness of debilitating cultural bias to any who are willing to see it.

Posted by: RickIL at June 4, 2008 8:51 PM
Comment #254480

S.D.,theories on the history of ethnic distribution? BHO is where he is because he has a level of ambition, that few others of any ethnicity have had before him, and others have encouraged and promoted him. He appears to be a completely different person, dependent on where he is, and who the people are around him. With more exposure, this will become more apparent to more people, and he will become more of a question mark than a promise.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 4, 2008 9:00 PM
Comment #254487

ohrealy-
Not ethnic. Ethnic can often be defined by language. For example, when we talk about an Arab, we’re talking about somebody who speaks a language. I’m talking about genetic similarity.

As for Obama’s behavior? You’ve been continually predicting his failure, and so far, he’s managed to beat those low expectations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 4, 2008 10:53 PM
Comment #254492


Stephen: Just once I would like to here you give recognition to the part that racism played in Obama’s victory. Did the black Democrats switch in droves from Clinton to Obama because of his superior policy positions? If so which policies would you site as the deciding factors.

Posted by: jlw at June 5, 2008 1:16 AM
Comment #254495

jlw,
Are you suggesting the massive black voter turnout at the Iowa caucuses delivered Obama his first victory? Because the campaign strategy that won the nomination for Obama depended upon a better message, and concentrated on small, delegate-rich caucus states that Hillary ignored. Only one of the first four primaries offered a substantial black population to support Obama, and that early in the process, many people regardless of race still supported Hillary as the ‘inevitable’ institutional candidate.

The Democratic primaries were about as free of racism and sexism as possible, considering the momentous nature of a competition between a woman and a black man for the nomination, and the heated nature of the competition, due to its length and the closeness of the contests.

Hillary Clinton, for all her faults, was a tremendously strong candidate. Her primary strategy should have worked. In most years, it would have worked. She would have succeeded, & been the nominee.

It is a tribute to the extraordinary candidacy of Obama that he won. He was a superior candidate with a superior message & organization & strategy.

It had nothing to do with racism. If you really want to blame a group, blame young people. They organized on the internet, contributed money in small amounts that collectively added up to big amounts, and showed up to vote in droves. The college towns carried Obama in a huge way.

The sheer number of voters Obama and Hillary inspired to show up and make their voice heard is astounding.

The days of fear and terror are coming to an end. Americans are discovering a renewed sense of purpose and confidence. There is hope.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2008 1:37 AM
Comment #254499

phx8,

You are avoiding reality. 90+% of an ethnic group voting in lockstep, and telling pollsters that they voted for the person because he was black, can not be ‘poo-poo’d away. It doesn’t make his win less of a win, it is just a reality that a statistically extremely large percentage of black people voted for Obama, much more than statistically matches with other voting blocks.

And it is probable that had he not gotten that support, he would not have beaten Hillary.

Again, you choose to ignore it, but the reality is there. I don’t know if it will have any effect on the general election, I suspect not. But it sure did on the primary election.

It’s the same kind of mentality I see when I watch shows like The Weakest Link or Survivor, etc… Anything that requires the contestants to vote others off. Invariably the white male is looking at who would be their biggest rivals and get rid of them, while the women will vote the men off thinking ‘at least a woman will win’.

I think the mentality is abhorrant and ridiculous, considering that racism is an illogical concept to begin with. But I don’t ignore that it exists out there…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 2:56 AM
Comment #254502

Rhinehold,
I applied for “Survivor.” I’m still waiting for the call.

A group of people voting as a bloc because they share common interests, based upon their ethnicity or whatever, is not necessarily racist.

For example, black vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. The Democratic Party recognizes the need for affirmative action as a way to address the lingering effects of slavery, prejudice and injustices suffered by blacks. The GOP has a history of rejecting affirmative action, and pursuing the Southern Strategy, and this is not lost on the black population. The previous head of the RNC apologized for pursuing the Southern Stragegy, nevertheless…

Consider where the two parties have stood concerning the Confederate Flag.

I don’t think voting as an ethnic bloc necessarily constitutes a racist voting pattern by blacks. Like any identifiable group, they are voting for what they perceive to be in their best interests.

Furthermore, how do you break down the situation faced by black women?

It would be a better world if affirmative action was no longer necessary, or if people did not vote in identifiable voting blocs. Perhaps Obama’s run for the presidency will go a long way towards putting some of the uglier aspects of the American racial legacy to rest. I look forward to the day when racism disappears. We’re doing better. We’ll keep improving.

But I don’t think racism got Obama to where he is today; just the opposite- it was an obstacle to be overcome. The periodically deleted posts on Watchblog give some idea of just how much racism is still out there.

To his credit, McCain is trying to run a decent campaign. It’s not easy, given the nature of his fringe support. Being decent doesn’t mean he can’t be competitive or throw a little chin music here and there. Still, I think Obama and McCain will run campaigns that leave the country in a better place, which is a pleasant expectation given the nature of Bush/Cheney/Rove politics.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2008 3:30 AM
Comment #254503

Stephen,
I wonder how many Americans from the 60’s and 70’s believe that they would see this day in their Lifetime? For having grown up listening to My Community Elders and Peers even I am shocked by the Natural course of Human Events that has permitted My Democratic and Republican Citizens to see the need for Political and Societal Change. The question is can either side give up their dream of being Kings and Queens?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 5, 2008 3:45 AM
Comment #254507

The promise has already been kept. You can see that by the very fact that the Obama family got a great education and got rich through their merits in our great country and then won the nomination of a major party.

You are implying that he has to WIN the presidency for the promise to be kept. I plan not to vote for Obama. I LIKE the idea that he is part African and his biograhpy is appealing. But he is too darn liberal and not experienced enough. I will cast my vote based on the content of his character. The promise has been kept. In fact, it is very racist to imply that he should be cut extra slack.

Congratulations to the United States of America. Now on to the next challenge.

David

Don’t praise the Dems too much. Republicans would have nominated Colin Powell had he chosen to run. And Republicans names the first black Secretary of State and the first black female Secretary of State.

BTW - would you feel so elated if Condi Rice was nominated?

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2008 5:21 AM
Comment #254510

Jack,
If the promise has been kept than why is not Every American Citizen Economically Viable and Financially Independent by Self-Supporting means?

Yes, Senators Clinton and Obama have made another hurdle seem smaller for many; however, to say that this is the best world that can be built by the Children of the 21st Century. I say to My Elders and Peers that you need to ask your children who in Society do you want to call inhuman.

Now,you might want to think long and hard before you answer that question keeping in mind that no where in the Founding Documents of America or Humanity does it say you have the Unalienable Right to be clothed. For remember the story of the Emperor with no cloths. I wonder what the Democratic and Republican Citizens are going to do when their Leaders cannot find even a single Viable Political Solution to the Issues facing America and Humanity in the 21st Century.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 5, 2008 7:03 AM
Comment #254511

Jack, Colin Powell would, in all liklihood, receive my vote if the values and pragmatic thinking that governed his previous career were evident in his campaign and intentions for White House policy. Condi Rice would NEVER have received my vote, though I respect, for the most part, her job as Secretary of State since undertaking that new role.

It was politically expedient for the GOP to try to compete with the Democratic Party on race by bringing some tokens into the public eye. Newt Gingrich was brilliant in recognizing that the GOP could no achieve the majority in government as a the discriminatory Party they were previously. Pres. Bush even found Condi Rice indispensable as a loyalist to his failed presidency. A major growth event for GW Bush, I am sure.

But, Republicans embrace of minorities was never anything more than a political strategy. Which is why 90% of African Americans continue to support Democrats. They know racism when they feel it in economic policy, law enforcement, and diminished opportunity as in New Orleans under Republican governance. Ironic that the White rural base of the GOP is itself a minority don’t you think?

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 7:09 AM
Comment #254513

jlw, your comment reflects a gross misunderstanding of what racism is. Let me give you an example. If America’s laws did not preclude foreigners from becoming president, and a Russian born and raised were running against an American born and raised candidate, there is no doubt Americans would vote for the American born and raised candidate.

That would not be a result of racism against Russians. Voting for persons one can identify with is not racist. Voting AGAINST someone because of their race IS racist. Your comment:

Just once I would like to here you give recognition to the part that racism played in Obama’s victory. Did the black Democrats switch in droves from Clinton to Obama because of his superior policy positions?

completely lacks this crucial understanding of just what racism is. Voting for a milestone in racial equality by voting for Obama is not the same as voting against Hillary because she is White or a woman. African Americans have demonstrated time and again a willingness to vote FOR a white person if their causes and goals would be best served by that vote.

Racism is an act against a person because of race. It is not an act of racism to vote for a person because of a hunger centuries old to achieve equality of leadership in the White House. Pun intended.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 7:19 AM
Comment #254514

jlw,
Which policy was it that drove 95% of the Black population and many of the White Voters to become Obama Supporters?

Well, not wanting to talk for the over 18 Million Voters let me say in My Personal Opinion. I do believe that it is the fact that Generational Change is the only way America is going to get out of the rut built by the Democratic and Republican Leaders of the past 30 years.

Why, probably because more and more Americans are realizing that their Jobs do not mean nothing to the Elite of Society. Give one there and take two from over there if that will square the books of the Global Corporations and makes me money.

And why I know your Grandparents and Parents raised you better than that, even the McCain Supporters are going to have to face the fact that the Political Winds of Change are beginning to blow throughout society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 5, 2008 7:41 AM
Comment #254515

jlw-
The Clintons were long supported by black voters, to the point that Toni Morrison famously called him “the first Black President”. It was their attempts to minimize Obama’s impressive performance that backfired, and led people to think that the Clintons didn’t respect them.

I think it’s very disrespectful of these people for you to allege that their votes were an expression of negative racial prejudice. These people loved the Clintons for quite some time. But in this election, they got quite a bit disillusioned by the Clinton’s words and actions.

And then you have this magnetically charismatic candidate who has a serious shot at being the first true black president, a person who’s not stuck in the mold of identity politics that traps so many of the other candidates of their race.

Women voted for Hillary because they wanted to see a woman president. Was that sexist? No. They weren’t voting that way because they hated men, at least not for the most part. They were voting for her because she gave them pride, gave them a chance to break the barriers before them.

White males will never be short of candidates for high office, never be short of the chance to see somebody like them in office. We have no real experience with being shut out from participation, shut out from representation. We should get off our high horse on this.

Rhinehold-
There has never been a non-white president, much less a black one. Hell, there hasn’t even been a vice president who wasn’t a white guy. Now these folks have a chance to see one that they and millions of others beyond their race feel comfortable voting for, a candidate who has more than just the novelty of his race going for him. There have been other black candidates who never got this far; being black has never been a guarantee for being voted for by blacks.

It is Barack’s other virtues that make him the prohibitively exclusive choice of blacks in America, not his color alone.

Jack-
If he did win the presidency, it would be an extraordinary symbol of equality. But damn it if having him as a nominee isn’t a good start!

However, if we have to wait another forty years to see another nominee who’s not a white guy, then the promise is not totally fulfilled. I want to see, next time, a field of candidates that is as diverse as America is. If we can manage that on a regular basis, break out of our previous habit, then the promise will be fulfilled on a regular basis. non-whites and women don’t have to always win, but they should be given a chance to compete, and should not be discouraged from running.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2008 7:46 AM
Comment #254522

Stephen-wonderful post and as usual when the right has nothing to say they attack. Please over look Jim and his comments. You have the freedom and right to post whatever you want to post.

I am excited and pleased with the support that Barack has received from Americans. I see nothing wrong with the majority of black/african-americans voting for him. Is this not what most white people have done for hundreds of years-voted for white people only and insured that only white people could run for office and for a while only white people could vote.

I am taking the chance of waking up the rabid anti clinton people but here goes. I am disheartened by the treatment that Hillary has received and only wished that Americans were as ready for a female president. IMO the treatment she has received as a woman by some americans and the media has been disgusting. The comments I have heard from other americans and the use of sexist language by so called political commentators has led me to believe that sadly our country still sees women as fodder for ridicule.

As an american I am excited and proud of the democratic party but as a woman I am saddened and disappointed that we could not show equal respect for the other candidate running irregardless of whether one agrees with her politics or not.

Posted by: Carolina at June 5, 2008 9:04 AM
Comment #254524

Stephen,

I didn’t say it was his being black that made him popular, I said that it was the large group of black voters who, through their own admission, were voting for him singularly because of the color of his skin, that put him over the top of beating Hillary.

It is no doubt that they wouldn’t have been told by the media that THIS black candidate was electible had he not done as well as he did in Iowa. I watched hours of commentary that night about it. I also saw the interviews with the black voters saying that finally they could vote. Not that they felt his best represented their views, but that since he was black they could actually go to the polls and vote, not having done so before…

You can stick your head in the sand and try to make it look like I’m saying something other than I am, but unless we accept reality for what it is we are going to keep going down the road and what kind of ‘change’ is that?

Living in the world of reality is not something that Democrats and Republicans are exceptionally good at though, is it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 9:46 AM
Comment #254525
I see nothing wrong with the majority of black/african-americans voting for him.

Of course you don’t, being racist is something you save for your opponents to be called, not accept exists on your own side, isn’t it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 9:48 AM
Comment #254526

Carolina, permit me to offer a slightly different take on this situation. I don’t think Hillary received any shabbier treatment for being a woman than Obama received for being Black. I have heard the comments and innuendo aimed at both.

Therefore, I don’t think Hillary lost to Obama because she was a woman. I think she lost to Obama because Obama’s support demographics and message had slightly more advantage for winning Americans over than Hillary’s did. Let me elaborate.

Obama’s support demographics gave him an advantage in the earlier primaries in the more educated and densely populated states of the Eastern Seaboard and Mid-West suburban areas, plus of course, the Black vote. This gave him momentum which continued, though diminshingly, as time went on due to his Change message in a campaign in which Americans are desperate for change, not just from Bush and Republicans, but from the status quo politics of politicians saying what they will do for us to get our vote.

Hillary’s message from start to very near finish was full of references as to what SHE would do for voters. Obama’s message from start to finish was what we as Americans can do together for ourselves and the future. It is to many a subtle difference. But, one I believe that gave Obama a slight advantage as his message was not status quo for campaigning.

On policy direction, there were but few differences between the two candidates. But, in their view of how those policies were to implemented and goals accomplished, there was a very large difference because of that subtle distinction between their message. Americans intuitively know one person in the White House is not going to solve our problems. Thus, when Obama reiterated again and again that the effort must involve all of us working together toward a different way of getting things done, it rang more true and less politically rhetorical.

And I believe, this difference is going to be the edge that will permit Obama to easily beat McCain in November, despite the electoral college map which bodes for a very close and tough race. The people will have a choice between a top down management style candidate, John McCain, and a bottom up management style candidate in Barack Obama. This difference is going to register with independent voters, and handily in Obama’s favor, I believe.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 9:52 AM
Comment #254528

David,

The problem is that the bottom up management style is in place in the House of Representatives, not the office of the President. They are very different roles. All of the things Obama mentions as wanting to do he could be, and would have better success, in doing as a Senator, not as President.

The President has to make decisions and act upon them quickly. He can’t poll the American People, who will never have the proper amount of information, to make those calls. That is why the person in that role has to be someone who can act independantly, have good judgement and have experience enough to know all of the issue and outcomes of those decisions. The President executes the laws, not makes them, which is what congress is for.

IMO, Obama should have stayed in his role as a US Senator for a longer period of time to be able to show everyone that he has the ability to act independantly and decisively. Voting ‘present’ don’t seem to me to be a sign of someone with that temperment.

But, that doesn’t mean that the American Voter will agree with that view, it also doesn’t mean that they will make the best decision. Your point may hold up, people may want that in a president and vote for it, whether it is in their true best interests or not. That will be on display in a few months…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 10:04 AM
Comment #254540


“We tell folks they’re equal in this country. We tell them that when they work their hardest, they’ll succeed, that America is a country where our progress is built on our merits, not merely on our birth. We tell them that color or gender don’t matter, only the content of one’s character. At least that’s what we tell people.”


If you are telling people that, Stephen, You are lying to them. We are NOT equal in this country and should not be. We SHOULD have equal opportunity in this country and I agree we don’t have that. The reasons for this are highly debatable. There’s a HUGE difference in being equal and having equal opportunity. For example, I have seen your picture on your web page and you have a hell of a lot more hair than me. To be equal, you would have to shave your head to match mine since mine won’t grow any more. We are fortunate to have equal opportunity in this case and you can keep your hair and If I want to I can try Rogain or something of the sort.

I also tell people that if they DON’T work their hardest that someone will come along and do a better job than them. I also tell them to do things they are really passionate about and find a way to make it pay. It’s much easier than work.


Since I view your premise as totaly flawed, I’ve dismissed the balance of your post.

Posted by: BOHICA at June 5, 2008 11:38 AM
Comment #254541

Many on the left don’t understand the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 11:40 AM
Comment #254542

Carolina-
Hillary’s main problem is that she was more intent on making herself the winner of the campaign, than the winner of folks hearts. She expected loyalty, but did not give it, expected concession, but did not give it, expected respect, but did not give it.

I don’t know whether this is a problem with the advice she was given, or a certain attitude towards being competitive. But overall, it cut down on her ability to portray herself as a figure who transcended the politics and the powerplays.

I have a catchphrase I’ve used often throughout the campaign: Winning at all costs is often winning at high cost. I’m sure you’re familiar with Social Darwinism, the belief that those who are most ruthless, red in tooth and claw, are the ultimate winners. This has inspired many to take on such ruthlessness. The trouble is, from an individual and collective standpoint, is that ruthlessness is not always a plus for survival.

The animal in the wild that consumes resources without regard for the limits of the environment might gain temporary advantage, but starve soon after. The animal that always gets in fights, and never backs down might enjoy temporary advantages, but will also get injured and even killed more often. Some might have looked at Hillary’s proud refusal to back down, her tenacious, aggressive approach to politics and cheered her on, but in the end, her aggression and competitiveness drank up her resources and alienated potential recruits to her side.

There’s a good evolutionary reason for restraint. Creatures that are too aggressive get injured and killed more. Creatures that try for every advantage, but do not properly consider risks don’t live long enough to reproduce.

And a politician who doesn’t choose risks properly, who is either too timid, or too careless, who doesn’t recognize limits, will lose and lose badly at some point.

Hillary, I think, got the worst of both worlds. She was too aggressive on the political side, fighting every fight instead of choosing her battles. On the policy side, though, she was far too cautious, taking policy positions that made it difficult to put herself forward as the candidate of change.

So take heart: she didn’t lose because people were sexist. In fact, she got most of her support from the folks we would assume would be prejudiced in that respect. She lost because she didn’t employ the right strategy. She lost on the merits, which means that she or somebody else can win on the merits later.

Rhinehold-
They didn’t vote for him because of the color of his skin, but because he’s got a decent shot to be president, and they want to be a part of giving him that decent shot.

More to the point, he won on more than that. He won with the support of Democrats of all kinds from one side of America to another. He didn’t reject anybody’s help. If you want to make this into a specious argument over affirmative action or “racism”, go ahead, but Obama would have never won as a black candidate had he represented the kind of identity politics you try to paint him with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2008 11:46 AM
Comment #254546

Stephen,

Specious? I don’t think we are talking the same language at all…

He garnered ~45% of the white vote and 90+% of the black vote. When asked in exit polling, those black voters said that the reason they voted for him was because he was black…

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand why you think pointing that out, as a factual event, is ‘specious’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 11:53 AM
Comment #254547

What kind of ‘identity politics’ am I trying to paint him with again, Stephen? I don’t think I’ve said *ANYTHING* other making a point that a group of individuals chose to vote for a candidate because of the color of his skin and that takes some of the positives away from the fact that a black candidate is being nominated. I also pointed out that had those individuals not made that decision, it is likely that Obama would be seeking a VP spot now…

I don’t think I mentioned Obama representing any kind of identity politics… Like to paint with a wide brush much?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 11:59 AM
Comment #254556

David Remer wrote:

“It was politically expedient for the GOP to try to compete with the Democratic Party on race by bringing some tokens into the public eye.”

(emphasis mine)

TOKENS?????? National Security Advisor is a “TOKEN” position????? Secretary Of State (4th in line for the presidency) is a “TOKEN” position?????

You claim to be against racism, and yet you denegrate two powerful, responsible, intelligent, well- liked people simply because they are black?

I will NOT let you get away with such an off-handed comment like that.

I suppose you also thought Madeline Albright was a “TOKEN” woman in the Clinton administration, huh?

I should just let this go, but it is so typical of elitist rhetoric.

Posted by: Jim T at June 5, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #254557

Henry

Every American will never be financially independent and economically viable. I am not financially independent. Almost nobody I know is financially independent. Most of us are currently economically viable, but we won’t always be that way.

Interestingly enough, both Hillary and Obama ARE financially independent.

If you consider that the promise, we will never achieve it, cannot do anything about it and it is not worth worrying about it anymore than you might worry about the sun becoming a supernova.

We can make the world better, but we cannot make it perfect. Attempts to perfect humanity have lead to gulags and concentration camps. Better to achieve something good than try to achieve something perfect.

David

I wish I could be a token. Not a bad thing being Secretary of State and a multimillionaire. Let me be so cursed, and may I never recover.

Stephen

I think you will soon see other black nominees and presidents. Racism is just not very strong anymore. Obama’s nomination is sufficient to show that.

Please don’t take this as an attack on Obama, but consider his lack of experience and previous national office. If Colin Powell was the nominee, you could argue that his experience trumped his race. With Obama, there is no obvious reason to vote for him besides his ideas and personality. If racism were a major factor, that certainly would not be enough.

BTW – there are lots of cultural factors that affect outcomes. Consider this. People of German descent make up around 25% of the American population (and have for around 200 years). People of Irish descent make up almost as many. If you look at the presidents of the U.S., there have been many of Irish (or Scotch Irish) descent. German? I think we have only Eisenhower. Why is that? It is impossible to tell the difference physically between these two nationalities and both are well assimilated.

There have also been many presidents from Ohio and Virginia. None from Wisconsin or the upper midwest. If we wanted to make a big deal about this, I am sure we could concoct some bogus theory of discrimination.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2008 12:28 PM
Comment #254563

I just googled Obama’s family. He evidently is evidently mostly of Irish descent on his American side, so he is right in line with previous presidents.

Posted by: Jack at June 5, 2008 12:46 PM
Comment #254565

Jim T, a token is defined as a minority representation, and in no way impugns the character or performance of a token representative within a different majority group.

You might have at least looked up the definition of the word ‘token’ before revealing your ignorance of the term in public venue. Your tirade has no relevance whatsoever as it is based on a lack of education of the language used.

Let me help you out, as you are may not be inclined even now to pursue your own education.

Token:
# Something serving as an indication, proof, or expression of something else; a sign: “Tears are queer tokens of happiness” (Eugene O’Neill). See synonyms at sign.

# Something that signifies or evidences authority, validity, or identity: The scepter is a token of regal status.

# A distinguishing feature or characteristic.

# One that represents a group, as an employee whose presence is used to deflect from the employer criticism or accusations of discrimination.

I see nothing in these definitions to imply any defect in the characters of the African Americans selected for the Bush Administration. An education is a terrible thing to waste.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 1:00 PM
Comment #254570

And, why again isn’t Obama a token, David?

BTW, where is your proof that Condi and Powell were put in place, or used, by the Bush administration to deflect from criticisms of discrimination again? Other than your ‘superior’ knowledge on the subject I mean…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #254572

Rhinehold said: “Many on the left don’t understand the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome…”

And many on the right don’t understand that equal opportunity is political nonsense. People do not have equal opportunities in America by a long shot. Our opportunities are enhanced and limited by an infinite number of variables including genes, parentage, heritage, education, neighborhood, role models, affluence to mention just a few.

Equal opportunity has a very specific LEGAL meaning which politicians on the right and left would just as soon ignore entirely in order to pander for votes.

Legal Definition:

1) n. a right supposedly guaranteed by both federal and many state laws against any discrimination in employment, education, housing or credit rights due to a person’s race, color, sex (or sometimes sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age or handicap. A person who believes he/she has not been granted equal opportunity or has been outright sexually harassed or discriminated against may bring a lawsuit under federal and most state laws, or file a complaint with the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission or a state equal opportunity agency.

2) adj. a term applied to employers, lenders and landlords, who advertise that they are “equal opportunity employers,” subtly suggesting all others are not, even though they are required by law to be so.
Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #254575

Rhinehold, because the Democratic Party has been open to promoting African American candidates for decades, several already as presidential nominees as well.

The Democratic Party has a process built into their Party’s apparatus to bring forward minorities into positions within the Party, on their Committees and as delegates. They give preference to minorities within their Party.

Rhinehold asked: “BTW, where is your proof that Condi and Powell were put in place, or used, by the Bush administration to deflect from criticisms of discrimination again?”

What a dense question? If you will note, the definition has multiple meanings, NOT ALL OF WHICH need to apply for the word to be used appropriately. DUH! Hope that answers your question. If not, let me be blunt. The GOP had a serious race relations problem in the 1990’s and still does. That problem was partly addressed by the Bush Administration and quite intentionally.

Doesn’t mean the Bush Administration didn’t ALSO give deference to qualification, which in Condi’s and Powel’s case, they obviously did. Rumsfeld is quite another story, however.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #254576

Rhinehold said: “Many on the left don’t understand the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome…”

And many on the right don’t understand that equal opportunity is political nonsense. People do not have equal opportunities in America by a long shot. Our opportunities are enhanced and limited by an infinite number of variables including genes, parentage, heritage, education, neighborhood, role models, affluence to mention just a few.

Equal opportunity has a very specific LEGAL meaning which politicians on the right and left would just as soon ignore entirely in order to pander for votes.

Legal Definition:

1) n. a right supposedly guaranteed by both federal and many state laws against any discrimination in employment, education, housing or credit rights due to a person’s race, color, sex (or sometimes sexual orientation), religion, national origin, age or handicap. A person who believes he/she has not been granted equal opportunity or has been outright sexually harassed or discriminated against may bring a lawsuit under federal and most state laws, or file a complaint with the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission or a state equal opportunity agency.

2) adj. a term applied to employers, lenders and landlords, who advertise that they are “equal opportunity employers,” subtly suggesting all others are not, even though they are required by law to be so.
Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 1:28 PM
Comment #254577

Oh, so because they focus on a person’s race, that means that they aren’t using those individuals to deflect from accusations of racism….

Interesting.

So, which definition are you using then? I had assumed the last one, but since you say it isn’t, I am curious which of the others you meant in this case.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #254578

I’m pretty sure I said ‘equality of opportunity’ and not ‘Equal Opportunity’…

English is such a hard language for those of us who are just not smart enough to support Obama I suppose.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 1:32 PM
Comment #254579

Rhinehold, try the first two definitions quoted. This free educational tutorial endeth here. If you wish to continue the service, send a e-check for $50 for the second lesson :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 5, 2008 1:34 PM
Comment #254582

David Remer wrote:

“You might have at least looked up the definition of the word ‘token’ before revealing your ignorance of the term in public venue. Your tirade has no relevance whatsoever as it is based on a lack of education of the language used.”

More elitist verbiage in an attempt to deflect the “sneer” when using the word “TOKEN”.

David also wrote:

“An education is a terrible thing to waste.”

Just more elitist tripe designed to “put me in my place” for DARING to question those back-handed remarks about Colin and Condi.

Everyone here who is not an elitist just remeber:

Condi Rice is a TOKEN (sneer implied)…and
Colin Powell is a TOKEN (sneer implied).

David, answer a question. Would you call Colin or Condi a TOKEN to their face? Would you?

Posted by: Jim T at June 5, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #254583

But, as I stated before, doesn’t Obama then match that same criteria and is therefore a token as well? This is the first time a black man has been the nominee of a major party, right? Isn’t that a token of something, using your definition that you intended…

Or, and excuse my ignorant non-Obama-supporting self here, isn’t it more likely that there is a feeling of superiority in painting a group of people you disagree with as one way while deflecting any criticism of another group of people you agree with, even though reality may not line up with what the proposed perception being offered up is?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 1:51 PM
Comment #254589

Rhinehold-
You’re taking an approach that implies that Blacks for some reason shouldn’t be voting in such high numbers for Barack Obama, that somehow they’re discriminating against Clinton by not voting for her.

The trick is, a person can have more than one reason to vote for one candidate. We have three sets of reasons. The first is Obama’s ethnic character. You imply something sinister about this, but if you really think about this, this is no different than any occasion where a minority has jumped at having a candidate who represents them when they have the chance. Black people never before had a leading candidate to get behind that looked like them in the mirror. Having never had the serious opportunity to elect someone of their race to the office, they’ve decided that now is the opportunity, and now is the time to do it.

But he’s not their candidate for that reason alone. Another set of reasons pertains to the alienation of his people by his rivals. The Clintons did things, intentionally and unintentionally, that put divisions between them and black voters. Bill Clinton essentially told voters after South Carolina that Obama only won because black voters in that state were suckers for black candidates, belittling Obama’s success, and the voter’s sophistication of reasons for going for Obama at the same time. He made the same mistake as you.

Which is to neglect that there are plenty of complex reasons for going for Obama. His early victories and his incredible performance on super tuesday, and his successful maintenance of his lead thereafter, speak to a great deal of political skill. With Democrats of all colors sick of being outplayed, Obama’s skill makes him an attractive candidate. His intelligence, eloquence, and charisma also help, since Bill Clinton was the last candidate who had some skill in that regard. Additionally, Obama’s a creative politician who successfully overturned the 16 year dominance of the Clinton’s DLC faction.

To put it another way, being black is a bonus, an exciting bonus, but not the only reason Blacks vote for Obama. They’re smarter than that, and I wish people like you would recognize that rather than treating them like dumb automatons herded to the polls by only Obama’s race.

BOHICA-
Mister, I’m obviously not referencing equality of skill or ability. I believe some people are born better able to do certain things. I don’t believe, though, that such inequality correlates with a person’s gender, race, or other qualities of that kind.

Additionally, I believe that people also have their own share of learnable skills, that we are not stuck simply with what we are born with. Great skills can emerge from people, even if nature gives them a disadvantage. An example? James Earl Jones was naturally a stutterer. He, obviously, has become known for having quite the opposite quality, for the high quality of his voice. Many others, just like him, can build on other natural gifts, correct or work around natural deficits, and use man’s inherent ability to learn to move past those who have their gifts, but don’t do much with them.

At the end of the day, I believe in egalitarian standards because I think that while inherent abilities are present, and man is a teachable species, that sometimes those who consider themselves wise or privileged to power will throw up arbitrary obstacles to people’s advancement, thereby cutting off the potential, and America’s gain from that potential.

We need every person with that kind of potential that we can get, and we should suit our labor, educational, and judicial policies towards that end. Give everybody the chance to succeed, and nobody an excuse or reason to fail. Equality of opportunity, so that those better than equal to others in their skills won’t be wasted on lives of undeserved mediocrity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2008 2:07 PM
Comment #254591

How many ways do we want to have this?

When the campaign started Obama wasn’t black enough, now because 90% of blacks voted for him they are considered racists.

Unbelievable.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2008 2:18 PM
Comment #254593

Rocky,
Rhinehold is using the definition in an unconventional way. Normally, ‘racism’ is a pejorative term in which an ethnic group considers itself superior, and discriminates on that basis, often motivated by the emotion of hatred. Rhinehold is not using the term in that sense. However, the negative connotation remains attached. Therefore, everyone who votes as a bloc based upon race, ethnicity, culture, and so on, and identifies that as their motivation, is ‘racist.’

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2008 2:38 PM
Comment #254594
You’re taking an approach that implies that Blacks for some reason shouldn’t be voting in such high numbers for Barack Obama, that somehow they’re discriminating against Clinton by not voting for her.

No, I am not. I’m taking statistical analysis and direct quotes from exit polling to explain a reality.

All other groups voting in the primaries, between two individuals that are not that very far apart on their poltiics, voted across a nearly even split. Except for black people who voted over 90% for one candidate over another. Statistically, this points to something… It is not imagined or something I am cooking up, it is reality. The fact that when questioned in exit polling, the overwhelming majority of those who did vote said that they were voting for him because, as a black man, he could best understand their needs.

Because he is black.

You imply something sinister about this, but if you really think about this, this is no different than any occasion where a minority has jumped at having a candidate who represents them when they have the chance.

I am not implying anything ‘sinister’ other than it is by definition racist. Voting for someone because of the color of their skin is wrong, its racist and I don’t see the point in not pointing that out just because the people who are doing it are black. That would be equally as racist…

But he’s not their candidate for that reason alone. Another set of reasons pertains to the alienation of his people by his rivals. The Clintons did things, intentionally and unintentionally, that put divisions between them and black voters. Bill Clinton essentially told voters after South Carolina that Obama only won because black voters in that state were suckers for black candidates, belittling Obama’s success, and the voter’s sophistication of reasons for going for Obama at the same time. He made the same mistake as you.

I’m sorry, but Bill Clinton, who was considered the ‘first black president’ did no such thing. Donna Brazile *SAID* that he did, but all he did was what I am doing, pointing out that a section of the black community is making their choice based upon the color of another person’s skin. I’m sorry, but there is no way to defend that, it is what it is. That they want to be able to defend it and say it is a noble thing, this decision making based on race, is little different than the backwoods mullet wearing hillbilly voting against someone because of the color of their skin…

I don’t remember the media being ashamed to talk about those people…

To put it another way, being black is a bonus, an exciting bonus, but not the only reason Blacks vote for Obama. They’re smarter than that, and I wish people like you would recognize that rather than treating them like dumb automatons herded to the polls by only Obama’s race.

Oh dear, ‘people like you’. You mean people who are opposed to the use of race as a deciding factor in choosing a representative?

Stephen, the black voters said that they were voting for him because he was black. And then you want to tell me that they aren’t? The statistics show that a large percentage (certainly not all, of course) are voting for him because he is black. And you want to continue to tell me that the statistics are wrong? I’m not saying there aren’t other reasons for voting for him, the fact that he pulled around 45-55% of the vote of any other racial or gender group tells us that he was a positive choice for nearly half of them, but not an overwhelmingly obvious choice… Except for roughly 30% of black voters that found ‘some reason’ to vote for him instead of Hillary…

But, what I’m more curious about is what you meant by ‘people like you’? What exactly are you implying with that comment, Stephen? Are we really to the point where pointing out the obvious is going to get me, an unabashed non-racist (believing that there is no such thing) labelled a racist much like your party has torn apart Bill Clinton, who was the champion of race relations and ‘friend to the black people’ simply because we point out that at this point and time this is occuring?

Please elaborate because I don’t want to take your meaning the wrong way if I somehow misunderstood…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 2:43 PM
Comment #254595

Rocky, phx8,

First, I did not call anyone racist. Please give me the quote where I said that they were racist…

I said that they were voting for someone based upon the color of their skin, which is wrong. It is their right to do, but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

I’m assuming that by defending it you are ok with women voting for women, asians voting for asians and, of course, white people voting for white people. In which case, if 90% of the white people vote for McCain in the general election, are you going to consider that ‘racist’ or negative in any way?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #254596

phx8,

Rhinehold doesn’t support Obama and just wants to stir the pot.
The fact that even though Obama is mixed race, and blacks perhaps might see him not just as black, but as a candidate that was more suited to their beliefs was rejected.

After Rhinehold accused some of “saving” the term racist only for those that don’t share the same ideology, I can only wonder if his motivations were so altruistic.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2008 3:04 PM
Comment #254598

Rocky,

subtle accusations?

Typical. And the precise reason why we are not about to leave behind this idiocy of racism anytime soon…

A small hint, Rocky, there is no such thing as ‘race’ except in the minds of those who continue to propogate it. The external changes of our DNA through epigenomes have proven this.

It’s a shame that ‘some people’ can’t let it go.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 3:20 PM
Comment #254599

Rhinehold,

I haven’t accused anyone of anything.

In my view there is only “race” on this planet.

That is the human race.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2008 3:24 PM
Comment #254604

Then why are you defending a human being choosing to elect someone based on the color of their skin?

Remember, I am not saying that it is the only reason someone could choose to vote for Obama or that all black people did. But there is a statistically large group that appears to have done so, even if we ignore the exit polling that said that they did.

And that is their choice. I disagree with it and find it wrong, but I am sure that there were some white people that voted against Obama for precisely that reason as well. And I disagree with them equally.

But my point was that without that occurring, it is likely that Obama would not be the candidate now.

As we both agree that there is no such thing as race, and it shouldn’t be used as a factor in our society, where is our disagreement?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #254607

Rhinehold,

Grow up.

The ideologically pure society you envision doesn’t exist, here or anywhere else.
How many Catholics voted for Kennedy?
How many Evangelicals voted for Bush?
Ideology doesn’t matter whether it be the color of the skin, the gender, or the religious belief of the candidate.
Who cares how it happened?
It was Hillary, and her aides that chose to make race an issue.
Obama seems to have taken the high road, and for that he should be admired.

I have said many times here that I haven’t made my decision on who I will vote for in November.
As far as experience goes, I don’t care if Obama was flipping burgers last year, if I think he will do a better job leading the country I’ll vote for Obama.
If McCain can pull his head out of his ass, and show me he is the guy I would have voted for in 2000 I’ll vote for McCain.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2008 3:57 PM
Comment #254608

Rhinehold,
“I’m assuming that by defending it you are ok with women voting for women, asians voting for asians and, of course, white people voting for white people.”

Of course there is nothing wrong with that, because there is no hatred behind it or discriminatory intent, no assertion of superiority over another group. People may vote that way because they assume, rightly or wrongly, that they share commonalities based upon race, gender, religion, and on. A black voting for a black, simply because of race, does not fit the definition of ‘racism’ in the sense we usually use the term.

However, if a black voted for a black because that person wanted to ‘get whitey’ or something of that nature, it is racist, because the intent is discriminatory and motivated by hatred.

“if 90% of the white people vote for McCain in the general election, are you going to consider that ‘racist’ or negative in any way?”

No. But if the votes were motivated by hatred of a black candidate, that would be racist. The last time I looked at a poll, somewhere around 10% of Americans will do just that.

Furthermore, there is a long political history which resulted in today’s situation. The GOP pursued policies and strategies which the black population perceived to be aimed at them: the Southern Strategy, phrases like ‘states rights,’ support for flying the confederate flag, opposition to civil rights legislation & affirmative action, opposition to making MLK Day a holidy, and so on.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2008 4:05 PM
Comment #254610

Rhinehold-
Obama’s candidacy is not some mundane event in racial history. No other candidate of color has ever achieved the nomination of a major party, much less of the Democrats, which for much of its history supported racist policies that denied people like him their civil rights.

No major party has nominated a black man to be president in the entire history of this party. Given this fact, we must reexamine what that vote means, among black voters.

Is his racial status important for them? It is. But in a historical sense, in the sense that he is a highly qualified candidate who has convinced folks beyond their own minority community that he can win on the merits. Their thought is not typically “I’ll vote for this guy because I like white candidates less than black.”. Rather, their thought is “I’ll vote for this guy because he’ll take us that much closer to real-world equality with the rest of Americans.”

This is people wanting respect, wanting to see something that has never happened before occur. This is why I can sympathize with women who wanted Hillary to win, but not with White men who state that Obama’s race is a problem with them.

This is not prejudice at work, this is folks trying to stand as equals through a candidate that they are smart enough and sophisticated enough to achieve the first that so many of the other candidates who had his skin color failed to achieve.

Obama proved himself to be a formidible candidate before the black community committed to him. If your argument is that their racially motivated selection shows that a significant portion of his support is not based on the merits, then you are wrong. His support in the black community is little different in its beginnings than the support he has gotten elsewhere. The only difference is, many of these people also have a stake in his candidacy in what it symbolizes for them as a community.

Long story short, they’re voting for him because he makes them proud, not because they hate or seek supremacy over white candidates. This is no different than somebody voting for a candidate because they’re from your home-state.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 5, 2008 4:41 PM
Comment #254611
Grow up

Nice.

The ideologically pure society you envision doesn’t exist, here or anywhere else

You’re right, of course. I apologize for trying to reach beyond us now and identify where we could do better.

What religion you are is something you make a consious decision to believe in, it is not something you are born into, like your gender or your color of skin. To say that either says anything about you as a person is illogical. To choose to vote for someone based on those things is also, IMO, illogical. Equating one’s religious views and their color or gender is to completely miss the point, which it appears that you have.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 4:48 PM
Comment #254612

I’m sorry we disagree, phx8. There is something wrong with judging anyone based on the color of their skin. And that is what you are advocating, which suprises and saddens me. :/

the Southern Strategy, phrases like ‘states rights,’ support for flying the confederate flag, opposition to civil rights legislation & affirmative action, opposition to making MLK Day a holidy, and so on.

While I’m not a republican (or ever have been one), that list tells only part of the story…

Let’s not forget Jim Crowe laws and post Civil War life in the south that were a result of Democratic policies, as well as the assault on the black community at the begining of FDR’s reign.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 4:53 PM
Comment #254615

It is truly a historic day in America when the “inadequate black male” managed to hoodwink enough white people to vote for him and hand him the democratic nomination for president. I’m truly loving the idea.

I love that all those evil black people coming out to vote for Obama are all racists. Can you imagine that? If we elect a black president in November, we’ll only have done so because of the racist vote? I love it!

If the Libertarian party had any sense, they would totally nominate a charismatic black man the next election cycle and ride this wave into the future. You know what they say - my friends “once you go black, you can never go back” ;-)

Posted by: Nikita at June 5, 2008 5:21 PM
Comment #254616

Rhinehold,
That’s true, at one time Democratic policies regarding blacks were abhorrent. Parties change and so do people.

Oh, come on, Rhinehold, I am not advocating anyone make judgments solely based upon appearances. Many people are woefully uninformed when it comes to casting their vote. There are bound to be black people who vote for Obama because he is black, without knowing anything else. They make assumptions, and seek their own self-validation through Obama’s success. Identification of an individual with a group based upon race is not racism in and of itself, because it’s not motivated by hatred or a sense of superiority to another group.

Would the world be a better place if we had no racial or sexual or ethnic divisions? Of course. As Americans, we’re working on it, and that’s something we can be proud of. We’ve come a long way. And we still have a ways to go.

Lol. I have time, and no one’s discussing Iraq or Global Warming. There are some huge developments with a security agreement between the US & Iraq which Bush is trying push through by July 31st. He may use the agreement to declare Victory with a capital ‘V’. And the GOP is in the process of killing Global Warming legislation in the Senate…

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2008 5:25 PM
Comment #254617

Jack,
Not only can every Human on Earth be made economically viable and financially independent, but you will find that it is your Inherent Best Interest as a Human to do so. No, do not believe me, but ask the Children of the 21st Century what they think of a Citizen who is not willing to invest in their Inherent Best Interest to be a Civilized Human.

Yes, a lesson many parents are going to find hard to take, yet one the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s need to get a grip on. That is unless you are willing to tell your Grandchildren that I am allowed to Rule the World.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 5, 2008 5:27 PM
Comment #254620

Stephen Daugherty:

You penned a nice article and stirred up generally good debate. Well done. I agree in whole with your initial post.

Phx8:

I tend to lean towards Rhinehold’s views on the role race played in the nomination. Although there were many factors in Senator Obama’s win including tactical mistakes on Senator Clinton’s part, IMHO racially motivated voters made the difference. Please note that I stated racially motivated. I have read and can accept your definition of racism connotating hatred and/or discriminatory intent. However, IMHO anyone that gives or takes away from someone their rights or earned opportunities soley based on race, sex, sexual orientation, disability et al is committing a wrong. Intent is a hard thing to prove, and almost impossible to apply in a uniform manner.

Posted by: submarinesforever at June 5, 2008 5:51 PM
Comment #254622

Rhinehold,

“You’re right, of course. I apologize for trying to reach beyond us now and identify where we could do better.”

Please.

Don’t go Messianic on us now.

“What religion you are is something you make a consious decision to believe in, it is not something you are born into, like your gender or your color of skin. To say that either says anything about you as a person is illogical. To choose to vote for someone based on those things is also, IMO, illogical. Equating one’s religious views and their color or gender is to completely miss the point, which it appears that you have.”

Was there ever a time when you posted a response that you gave any effort at all not to appear condescending?

People are people.

Whether a voter aligns with skin color, or gender, or religion, it’s all ideology.
All people vote for candidates they believe think like they do.

Illogical or not, it’s what people do.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2008 6:40 PM
Comment #254627
Was there ever a time when you posted a response that you gave any effort at all not to appear condescending?

Well, I don’t remember telling someone to Grow Up and then tell them that they were condescending… I guess we can take that for what its worth.

All people vote for candidates they believe think like they do.

OH, I didn’t realize all black people thought alike. I had thought we had left that nonsense behind, apparently not.

Maybe we aren’t as enlightened as we had hoped. :(

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 10:21 PM
Comment #254628
I love that all those evil black people coming out to vote for Obama are all racists.

Another shining example of not engaging a brain before typing.

No one said anything like that in this thread, that you want to create a straw man and feel superior to it says more than what you wrote…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 10:23 PM
Comment #254630
And the GOP is in the process of killing Global Warming legislation in the Senate…

I hope they don’t. Then, when we lose the last remaining of our manufacturing jobs overseas it can be placed on those who deserve the blame, the Democrats.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 10:25 PM
Comment #254631
Not only can every Human on Earth be made economically viable and financially independent

You’ve finally shown that nothing you say is worth reading, congrats.

Not only is this the most asinine statement I’ve ever read, but it takes work to read it because the grammer is atrocious.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 5, 2008 10:27 PM
Comment #254634

Rhinehold,

“Maybe we aren’t as enlightened as we had hoped.”

I can only hope you are using the royal we.
Maybe you should get out a little more.

I never said that “black people thought alike”. I said that people vote for candidates that they believe think like they do. Maybe that’s just too subtle.
Conversely, why would people vote for candidates that didn’t think like they do?
That, would be illogical.

Perhaps this is merely a projection of yours to explain why Obama garnered so much of the black vote.

Posted by: Rocky at June 5, 2008 11:18 PM
Comment #254638
I never said that “black people thought alike”. I said that people vote for candidates that they believe think like they do. Maybe that’s just too subtle.

And when people vote for someone because they are the same color, they are expressing the belief that they think the same way they do because of the color of their skin…

It’s not subtle, it’s what those voters said in the exit polls. I’m not trying to ‘figure out’ why 90+% of blacks voted for Obama, they told us why. I’m trying to explain it to people who want to say there is nothing worrisome about that.

You can’t say you want people to ignore the color of someone’s skin and then say it is ok for them to do just that.

That you can’t see the duplicity of what you are defending is not unusual.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2008 12:09 AM
Comment #254640

Rhinehold,

I’m not defending anything!

All I’m saying is that it is what it is, and to get your panties in a bunch trying to figure it out is a colossal waste of time.

Look, I’ve been all over the world, I’ve met people from all walks of life, and personalities aside, we humans are virtually all the same. We all have the same basic wants, and the same basic needs.
Hopefully I am stating the obvious when I say that people in this country will align themselves with the candidate that they belive gives them the best opportunity to be heard, be they black, white, man, woman, whatever.

That blacks decided to align themselves en mass with Obama isn’t that surprising, nor is it truly wrong.
That women decided to align themselves with Hillary is exactly the same thing.

What truly matters is that people came out in droves to vote for the candidate of their choice. Both Hillary and Obama fought hard to be the candidate.
History has been made, let’s move on.

Posted by: Rocky at June 6, 2008 12:30 AM
Comment #254642

But you say that women decidedto align themselves with Hillary. But they didn’t, not at that rate. THAT was my point that for all of the talk about this moving up past racial biases, it really didn’t.

Had Obama won because he appealed to the majority of people because of his ideals and positions, that would be one thing. But to know that he won because a large group of people voted for him because of his skin color makes the event not quite as exciting to me. It is apparently an obamagasm for his followers who don’t want to see it, which is predictible.

Yes, history has been made. Nevermind the details, move along and quickly put those details behind us so we don’t have to think about them.

How very American.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2008 12:44 AM
Comment #254643

And, btw, the final line in the article is the point I am trying to discuss.

I look forward to the promise of equality being kept, the promise that it is the quality of the candidate, not the nature of their appearance or gender that determines their chances in an election.

I look forward to that too, it is obvious though that we aren’t quite there yet.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2008 12:46 AM
Comment #254645

“It’s the same kind of mentality I see when I watch shows like The Weakest Link or Survivor, etc…”


Anybody else see the irony in the above statement?

Posted by: Cube at June 6, 2008 12:56 AM
Comment #254646

So, Rhinehold, here we are, exactly where we started.

I have no more understanding as to why you feel the need to psychoanalyze why a black person would vote for a black man.
I understand even less why you feel it would be wrong if I was black to vote for a black man that I thought would give me a better voice in government specifically because he is black.

So far your best retort has been “how American”.

Have a lovely evening.

Posted by: Rocky at June 6, 2008 1:14 AM
Comment #254649

Rhinehold, why such a strong response to what was obviously a light-hearted post? Did you fail to see my smiley face? Perhaps your response to me is “another shining example of not engaging a brain before typing.” - (Awesome line BTW, may I borrow it?)

What I’m getting from various comments in this thread is whites voting against black man = blacks voting for black man = racism. And that’s what I responded to.

I apologize profusely if that was not one of the things that you and other posters on this thread were arguing about. I consider myself duly chastised and humbly resume my lurking.

Posted by: Nikita at June 6, 2008 1:37 AM
Comment #254651

Henry

I am working on this. When I become financially independent, I will try to help others do the same.

Posted by: Jack at June 6, 2008 1:46 AM
Comment #254663

Jack,
Why I do not have children myself, I do believe that any Education Reform from the Democratic and Republican Presidential Candidates should require at least 4 years of Personal Finance and Investment. Maybe than America will see a sharp decline in High School Students. However, you need to ask your Local School Broad Members why they have not done that yet.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 6, 2008 7:32 AM
Comment #254666

Rhinehold-
I noted counter-examples of other black candidates who got nowhere. Obama is getting the solid support he’s getting because people believe he is a capable candidate. Even black voters are making that calculation. How many black candidates did they turn down because they didn’t feel that person could win?

What you’re missing here is that this is a cultural event. You’re all for nominal equality, but all things being equal, it’s been over two centuries since this nation’s founding, and over four decades since black people were truly able to vote for anybody, much less somebody like them, and this is the first time since that point that they have a candidate who has the risen beyond identity politics within a minority community to be competitive as the nominee of the Democratic party.

The sense among people in the African American community is that this is a historic opportunity. Already, history has been made, and I don’t think there is an ounce of malice in black men and women having thrown in their lot with him.

But why do they have the sense that this is a historic opportunity? Because they see people who don’t have common cause with them, racially speaking, getting behind this candidate as well. And they aren’t blind to the merits that other people see in Barack Obama. It is precisely Obama’s cross-racial appeal that inspires the hope among people in African-American Communities that he has the chance, and that they should support that chance all the way.

In other words, even when his racial status is a motivating factor, it still comes back to this merits as a candidate. People aren’t trying to get him elected despite his quality as a candidate, they’re trying to get him elected because of his quality as a candidate. And that is why I do not believe the support of him on the racial basis is inconsistent with what I said above.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2008 7:53 AM
Comment #254669

I do think this is an historic election. That said, I’m wondering when, in modern America, we’ll elect a non-millionaire?

Posted by: googlumpus at June 6, 2008 8:25 AM
Comment #254672

googlumpus,
Can you tell me why the Founding Fathers of America made so the President of America had to be a Self-Made Man (Economically Viable and Financially Independent). Note: Check out that History.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 6, 2008 8:34 AM
Comment #254673

Rhinehold said: “The problem is that the bottom up management style is in place in the House of Representatives, not the office of the President. They are very different roles.”

You completely missed what was communicated about bottom up, Rhinehold. Changing the corruption in Congress won’t happen from within Congress, nor can 1 president in the White House legislate it away. Obama is talking about the voters putting the pressure on their representatives to clean up their act or face the consequence at the polls. That is bottom up.

I was not saying or even implying that Obama should pull day laborers off the street to make foreign policy decisions.

Obama’s paradigm however also applies to the White House decisions inasmuch as he will bring the best and brightest to advise him prior to decisions in which their is time for consultation, and he, UNLIKE Bush, will take their facts and research and incorporate those into his decisions. Not like Bush who would fire them for bringing facts contrary to Bush’s prejudged ideologies about what should be, instead of what is.

America needs Obama’s paradigm, objective pragmatic solutions which maximize the pros and minimize the cons of a given challenge. Where he needs to be ideological, he will be, as demonstrated at AIPAC, where he committed unequivocally to the security and alliance with Israel. But the ideological position of McCain and Bush regarding American hegemony over the entire Middle East is not Obama’s calculations of maximizing the pros and minimizing the cons, for he knows, as do a majority of Americans and the world, that American hegemony over the Middle East has costs which will far outweigh any realistically achievable gains.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 6, 2008 8:42 AM
Comment #254674

googlumpus asked: “That said, I’m wondering when, in modern America, we’ll elect a non-millionaire?”

Obama is working on that very issue. His rejection of PAC and Corporate lobbyist money and now his call edict to the DNC to do the same, and his challenge to the GOP to do the same, is an enormous down payment in that direction. If funding for elections is to come from the America’s individual citizens instead of wealthy powerful vested corporate interests, the door is opened just a bit for a candidate without substantial means to fund a successful bid for the White House.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 6, 2008 8:45 AM
Comment #254691

“What does it say of the democrat delegate system when its winner would loose the presidency if an election were held today, yet its loser would win it?”

Very interesting editorial in today’s NY Times. For the full story go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/opinion/06tyson.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Posted by: Jim M at June 6, 2008 11:38 AM
Comment #254706

Jim M, it says there is a radical difference between the primary election period and the general election period post primary. The primary season is the introduction period of candidates to the people, and the selection based on that introduction.

The general election is the choosing among the best candidate each party was able to muster up, or, for many, the least worst. An entirely different type of election activity and purpose. Polls in the primary historically have shown to be worthless in predicting the general election.

National poll day before yesterday has Obama beating McCain by 2%. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing in terms of the outcome in November. It’s a snap shot in time, 5 months out from the actual election, an eternity in political time dimension.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 6, 2008 2:02 PM
Comment #254711
Voters see a clear distinction between the two leading candidates on the issue of Iraq. Eighty-one percent (81%) say Obama is more interested in getting troops home from Iraq than finishing the mission. Seventy-four percent (74%) say that McCain is more interested in finishing the mission (crosstabs available for Premium Members). An earlier survey found that 52% of voters say getting the troops home is the higher priority.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Obama while 42% offer a negative assessment. Thirty-two percent (32%) have a Very Favorable opinion, 28% Very Unfavorable (see daily results).

McCain is viewed favorably by 55% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 43%. Those figures include 18% with a Very Favorable opinion of the Republican hopeful and 20% with a Very Unfavorable opinion (see daily results).

Forty-three percent (43%) of voters say McCain is a better leader than Obama while 38% hold the opposite view. When asked which candidate has personal values closer to their own, 43% name McCain and 42% say Obama (crosstabs available for Premium Members).

Forty-four percent (44%) trust McCain most when it comes to economic issues and managing the economy while 40% prefer Obama. On national security issues such as the War in Iraq and the War on Terrorism, 51% have more trust in McCain while 37% prefer Obama

This data is more poignant because it gives view to the why’s and wherefore’s of what is going on in the campaign and what each candidate needs to focus on.

From this data it doesn’t appear a ‘landslide’ is in the works, as has been suggested by some of the cult members here…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2008 2:24 PM
Comment #254713

Rhinehold,
Yes, “landslide,” you heard the prediction right. And no, I am not a cult member. That is insulting, and implies my support is based upon an irrational religious belief. Of course, you did not directly refer to me. It’s vague, directed at “some” cultists. I’ve seen that device used before by Bush and Cheney and Rove, the insulting and unsubstantiated references to “some” people.

“Some” cult members? How Republican.

Of course, I know you’re not a Republican. Please do me the courtesy of not making oblique references to my belonging to a cult.

Besides, I’ve already sent my tithings to the Church of Obama, and if my status as a Grand Imperial Source of Funds is revealed, future answers to my prayers will be jeopardized, and the promised “change” will not occur.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2008 2:44 PM
Comment #254727

S.D., it seems to me you should devote some effort to getting another black candidate elected to the Senate. If Adama leaves the Senate, it’s going to be all white again. It’s pretty amazing that only Mass and Illinois have ever elected a black senator in over 100 years.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 6, 2008 4:32 PM
Comment #254728

I believe Barry has outfoxed himself by promoting the belief that he can fix all of our country’s problems with a wave of his outstretched hand. One can almost hear the voices swelling in unison shouting…St. Barry…St. Barry at the Denver convention.

Over the primary season I have watched the swooning crowd lavish Barry with what resembles an adoration mentality. Obama as savior is a disaster waiting to happen when the average folk begin to understand he is mortal and making mistakes. His past mistakes have already taken a toll and his future mistakes will rob him of his halo.

The flim-flam man always does well until the crowd figures out that it’s all smoke and B.S. and then the tar and feathers come out.

Even the illiterate and financially unwashed will come to understand that the enormous sums proposed by Obama to be spent are simply magical thinking.

When mom and pop, kneeling before Obama as he promises them something for nothing, discover that he plans on robbing them of their retirement by increasing the tax on long-term capital gains to 28%, sending millions of jobs and trillions of dollars overseas due to his global warming cap and trade scam, and digging into everyone’s pockets to pay for more huge government social programs there will be hell to pay.

Posted by: Jim M at June 6, 2008 4:35 PM
Comment #254734

Jim M, what you describe is the present under GW Bush, and the product of the Republicans for last 7 years. If that is what Obama is about, nothing will change from the present.

But, change is coming. Obama won’t wait 6 years to find his budget veto pen. Haven’t you even listened to the man or visited his web site? Or, is this just juvenile prejudice against anyone the Democratic Party might put forward? Sounds like the latter to me, since you offer not a single quote or evidence to back up your conjectures.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 6, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #254735

phx8, 54% to 46%, Obama, is how I read November’s outcome at this point in time. That is a landslide by the latter half of the 20th century’s presidential election measure.

But, a lot can happen in 5 months.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 6, 2008 5:01 PM
Comment #254737

Actually, it appears to be worse, David.

Not only will he spend the money already being spent on Iraq, before he brings the troops home and stops spending THAT money, on a hire the unemployed at our expense scheme, he will then add additional programs on top of what is already being spent.

Not one time have I heard of him mention balancing the budget, but to even attempt at balancing instead of paying off any of the debt, he will have to raise taxes beyond what the economy will bear. We already spend 48% of the income generated in this country through Washington…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2008 5:17 PM
Comment #254742

In the first reply on this subject, I see “Jim M.” is still claiming that Obama is an Arab-American.

Does he really think he’s fooling anyone? Does he really think we’re so stupid to believe that just because someone got stuck with a name that is very common in the Middle East and East Africa, that someone MUST be Arab-American.

He’s posting a falsehood…and if I were a betting man, I’d wager much that he KNOWS he’s posting a falsehood. But since I cannot prove he knows he’s posting a falsehood, I cannot call him a liar.

And I have to bear in mind that some people think that telling outright lies is okay in the sight of God…never mind that many of those same people claim to be kind, loving, honest Christians….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 6, 2008 5:38 PM
Comment #254743

To Mr. Remer -

Republicans embrace of minorities was never anything more than a political strategy. Which is why 90% of African Americans continue to support Democrats. They know racism when they feel it in economic policy, law enforcement, and diminished opportunity as in New Orleans under Republican governance.”

Well said, David, and absolutely true.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 6, 2008 5:42 PM
Comment #254744

“Or, is this just juvenile prejudice against anyone the Democratic Party might put forward? Sounds like the latter to me, since you offer not a single quote or evidence to back up your conjectures.”
Posted by: David R. Remer at June 6, 2008 04:59 PM

Sorry DAvid, that doesn’t wash. The evidence for what I say comes from Barry’s own mouth. President Bush has reduced taxes. Congress has increased spending. Even the simple can understand this. Obama’s veto pen, that’s a laugh. Why don’t you take the candy out of your ears and just listen to his gross spending and increase taxes plan which he calls “only fair”. Tell me David what is fair about robbing folks of their retirement funds, robbing corporations of their legal profits, and robbing every working American of their earned incomes to prop up the “worthy” in the name of fairness?

I wonder what other “fairness” issues and plans this would-be plunderer has up his sleeve.

His veto pen, if used at all, will be used to slash military spending and and our efforts to curb terrorism.

Posted by: Jim M at June 6, 2008 5:43 PM
Comment #254746

Glenn said, “In the first reply on this subject, I see “Jim M.” is still claiming that Obama is an Arab-American.”

Glenn, I admitted my deception in the “Obama’s Luck” thread as comment #254693. I was disappointed that only you and Rocky commented as I thought more on this blog would be concerned with race/ethnicity in their candidate.

ONce again I will ask, if Barry was Arab-American would it make any difference, and if so, why?

Posted by: Jim M at June 6, 2008 5:53 PM
Comment #254747

Well Jimmy,

Frankly no it wouldn’t make any difference to me.

Posted by: Rocky at June 6, 2008 5:58 PM
Comment #254748

Cult Members. Yep. The moment Democrats start getting confident in their candidates, they become cult members, right?

Some on the right love being called Dittoheads, repeating faithfully the words of their favorite prophets, Rush, Hannity, and Coulter. They fiercely defend their politicians, fiercely defend the standard talking points.

We get together and support a candidate, and we’re cultists. If we’re cultists, what are the Republicans, who have set up a system to defend multiple such candidates?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2008 6:17 PM
Comment #254755

Stephen,

When the Republicans support a candidate (or elected official) blindly against rational thought, speak of his policies in ways that are contrary to what the candidate himself says, rejects the valid issues others raise even though it makes them hypocrites and generally don’t really know much about the candidate they are supporting except he is a ‘dynamic speaker’, then yeah, I call them Cult members too.

There are those who support Obama because they agree with his positions and understand what he wants to do. That’s fine. But when rationality goes out the window or the only reason given to support him is ‘he’s a dynamic speaker’ or ‘he is full of charisma’ to the point of appointing him ‘do not wrong’ status… Well, those guys are cult members.

And yeah, I see it on both sides, though not in the Republicans lately…

Think supporters of Reagan defending him even when he did wrong things. Wouldn’t you call that cultish behavior?

Posted by: rhinehold at June 6, 2008 7:34 PM
Comment #254759

David,
I’ll qualify the prediction of a landslide more specifically:
56% - 44% ratio, Obama to McCain
300 electoral votes
58 + Senate seats D
297 + House seats D

Third party candidates might affect the popular vote, especially as the outcome becomes more and more certain to the public at large.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2008 7:48 PM
Comment #254763

Rhinehold-
Keep context in mind: Democrats have been going for very “electable” candidates with the charisma of old growth forest lumber. So when we talk about charisma we’re essentially saying we don’t have to pretend this guy is exciting.

But that’s not the only reason I go for somebody. I’d say Edwards is also charismatic. But that wasn’t enough. Democrats like myself are looking for a leader going our way. We saw the success of the 50 state strategy. He supports that. We find him bluntly confronting the Republican talking points, rather than laying down in their path to get run over.

We’re not looking for an issue specific candidate, rather, we’re looking for a guy whose supporting the broad thrust of today’s rising progressive movement, which he does, but also, somebody who has the analytical skills and the teachability to confront the issues in the way that Bush’s incurious methods failed to.

We’re not merely focused on the politics here; unlike the Republicans, Democrats have a vested interest in government that works. When we come up to somebody and say “We’re the government and we’re here to help, we’d like folks to say “Thank God.”, not run away screaming. Some criticize Obama as having only a speech, namely that 2002 speech, but we should keep in mind that the speech in question correctly predicted the consequences of our invasion.

We’re also interested in a candidate whose politically creative. This is not unimportant, given how strong a hold the Republicans have on the terms of the debate. We need somebody who can judo throw the idiocy the Republicans who left behind over his shoulder. We also need somebody who can change the map.

The reasons for Democrats to like Obama go deeper than some irrational cult of personality. We’re not pushing this guy out of naivete. We’re pushing him because he looks like the guy to get us results.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2008 8:41 PM
Comment #254766

Stephen,

*YOU* may be wanting that but I’m sorry, there are a large number of people who don’t realize that Obama is for things like expanding the role of government in our lives. Instead, they think he is dynamic and that is the extent of it.

But further are the ones who are so invested in Obama, even if they got into supporting him for good reasons, who will become unhinged if anyone questions his experience, competency, judgement, etc. The moderators at a debate were nearly keelhauled because they had the audacity to question Obama. His supporters, the more unhinged and cult ones, then went on to lambast Disney for daring to put on this character assassination of a debate!

That is not rational. That is cultlike behavior Stephen and while I know you support him and his ideas of expanding the role of government into our lives and punishing businesses for existing and proving jobs for people, there are others who are firmly in the Cult of Obama status. And unlike other groups of supporters of other candidates, this one is very large, comprising mostly of people who are not political at all, but who buy into the rhetoric (and yes, it is rhetoric). Young people, black people who have never voted before because there has never been a black candidate before, etc. Read the twitter feed of Dave Winer for example. A very smart person who invented RSS feeds, he’s firmly in the cult. Nasty things being said about Hillary, calling Bill a racist, insults and venom thrown on anyone who dare question their leader…

It prevents rational discussion. There are people who I used to be able to discuss politics with that I just can no longer do so because they become insensed if I dare say a negative thing about Obama. Just the fact that I am not an Obama supporter causes them to not want to talk to me anymore. It’s beyond the norm.

I may never be able to convince you of it, but seriously, ask people who are not Obama supporters what they think of the typical Obama ‘Cult Member’ and see what their response is.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 6, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #254769

Rhinehold-
I think that most people who are voting for him most decidedly do want more help from their government.

You’ve got this strange little argument here that rests on the assumption that no sane, normal, or average person would want more government involvement with their lives. Therefore, you reason, the only way Democrats and Liberals could get ahead is by being stealth candidates in that regard.

I’m sorry, but if you got that impression from any Democrat this season, especially Obama, then you haven’t been paying attention. They are most decidedly backing a reversal of the trends started with Reagan. What’s more, people want that. They’ve had it up to here with government that won’t govern.

As for rationality? People are emotional creatures. When they have issues they care about and candidates they come to appreciate, objectivity goes by the wayside. To what degree is an open question.

You’re not going to convince much of anybody with this cult talk who isn’t already in opposition. To most of us, it’s an insult. I came to support Obama because I think he has the political skills to carry out the policies we need carried out.

But of course, you’re going to run over that with this cult rhetoric and back over it twice, because the point of using that rhetoric is to poison the well on the ability of Obama’s supporters to think for themselves and support him as a candidate of their own free will. You characterize black support for him as motivated by racism against whites, rather than recognizing that people might have a legitimate impulse to invest themselves in a candidate who can fulfill their dreams long deferred. You characterize Liberal support for him as cultish and/or naive, rather than face that he and them might be strategically simpatico on a strategy that could lead to overwhelming defeats for the GOP.

When I wrote of this promise of equality, my intention was to highlight the historic nature of this event. But maybe some would rather history stand still, and have power stay where it has been. Fortunately, events have a life of their own. As do successful campaigns. You want to talk about a cult, but a cult does not defeat the Clintons. Good quality strategy does that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2008 11:04 PM
Comment #254772

“poison the well”, please S.D., do you know the history of that expression?

The strategists were the ones who created your candidate. You keep getting this backwards. He is a fictional character, who walks into a room, looks around at the crowd, and then decides who he is going to be that day. “the quality of the candidate” has been manufactured as a prodeuct promotion.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 7, 2008 12:10 AM
Comment #254775

Jim M -

Would it make a difference if Obama was indeed Arab American? Many who answer that question publicly with a politically-correct answer might be lying.

I’m not one of those people.

I’m white, retired military, and from the deepest of the Deep South, and I was racist for many years until I had the opportunity to live among foreign cultures and observe firsthand the differences in culture. In many ways I found our culture morally superior…but in just as many other ways I found the other cultures morally superior.

I also found that qualities such as honor, integrity, and courage (and their attendant opposites) have nothing at all to do with the color of one’s skin or the culture in which one was raised.

This is not to say I am incautious in my trust of others who may hail from a culture not my own. However, I also know that I have walked in the streets of Bangkok, Nairobi, Manila, and Dubai with less fear and apprehension than some times that I have walked the inner cities here in America.

Moreover, I am not entirely concerned about the violent tendencies of some within the Muslim world, for in my studies in history I have found that Islam is NOT the most violent of the major religions. Actually, historically speaking, among deity-worshiping religions, the religion that has killed more people than any other in the name of God is…mainstream Christianity. And FYI, I am Christian and have been a deacon in the Church for the past decade.

So in other words, though you may feel incredulous that I would not feel uncomfortable with an Arab-American presidential candidate, I can assure you that if I felt that I could trust him or her.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 7, 2008 12:58 AM
Comment #254791

Stephenl said “In my opinion Stephen D is a slave to left wing propaganda and that’s why he worships Obama without reservation. Stephen is most likely very young and possibly educated by our “modern liberal educators”.Well, if these are the minds our public schools have created, then we will get the “leadership” we deserve.”

Stephen if you want “slavish worshipping and propaganda” you need to look to the far right. This link will show you why public school is so desperately needed in this country and far right educators at their finest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac&feature=related

Posted by: j2t2 at June 7, 2008 5:55 AM
Comment #254793

j2t2,
Great capture of Reality. However, seeing that the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leadership of America are bound to protect the Unalienable Right of a Human to be Ignorant and believe that we live in a Finite World. Is it any wonder that many Learned and Unlearned Children are forced to believe that All Books of Knowledge are right?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 7, 2008 7:27 AM
Comment #254802

ohrealy-
There’s deep irony in your implication. Whatever the history of the phrase, I’m employing the standard meaning of the phrase in the the field of rhetoric.

Rhinehold’s use of the word “cult” is meant to instantly associate an image of mindless conformity and irrational obedience with Obama supporters, and thereby bring into question any rational reason a person like me might provide for favoring him as a candidate.

Others have talked about Obamabots, or things like that, again, imputing mindless conformity to their followers. Again, they’re trying to poison the well, which is to say, pre-emptively cast doubt on the arguments that we make by employing ad hominem arguments to diminish the other person’s standing.

Obama doesn’t strike me as a consultant created candidate. He strikes me as somebody who made specific choices in his life, leading him to follow certain ambitions. That’s part of how he can get up on stage and connect to people the way he does. He really believes what he says, and that can be a huge advantage over a candidate who simply repeats talking points.

The profiles of him do not show a passive candidate, but an active leader who encourages initiative from his supporters. He doesn’t have the kind of passive regard for institutions that such candidates have. If he were such a passive sock-puppet, wouldn’t he have ditched Rev Wright from the get go? Only a man truly in charge of his own organization could do that. Anybody else would be told to ditch the liability pronto.

Do you think such a passive shill could have written the “more perfect union” speech? Could have delivered it the way he did?

Obama does not strike me as a svengali-ed dupe. This is the guy who had the political strength to maintain a relatively clean campaign and win against the very tough Clinton machine, the establishment candidate. No empty suit could defeat Clinton.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2008 10:31 AM
Comment #254812
No empty suit could defeat Clinton.

Why do you say that?

Please list out all of the tough and hardfought campaigns that Hillary has been in and won.

In her senate win, she was losing until her opponent dropped out of the race because of cancer…

Its a self-fulling prophecy, Stephen. Obama is great because he beat a tough opponent, we know that opponent was tough because she put the great Obama through a tough campaign.

And you wrongly accuse me of something I have not done. Clearly there are a large group of followers that Obama has that do display a cult like quality. In no way have I stated that all Obama followers are in that group or that there are not valid reasons to be an Obama follower without displaying those properties. In fact, I’ve made that statement twice and you ignore it.

No, instead you would rather characterize me as saying that no rational person could possibly support Obama, in an attempt, it seems to me, to deflect the valid criticisms I have of trying to debate Obama with people in a rational manner.

I’ve detailed specific examples, both public and personal, with these types of people. And I am not alone, I see people who I discuss politics with as well who are frustrated by the phenomenon that is allowed to continue, and be exploited, by the Obama campaign. It is hard to have rational, valid discussions about qualifications and beliefs about what would make a good president when you are attacked for daring to speak out against ‘the great one’.

As for ‘relatively clean’ campaign, he promised to run a fully clean one, not a relatively clean one. He went back on that promise. Does that speak to his character in your mind or do you forgive him because the end justifies the means? Or do you not see it? There are a few ways to answer that question, and how you answer it will be a good indicator of whether or not you are in the cult…

And yes, cult is the appropriate and accurate term to use to discuss those people. Just as there were equally rabid and irrational supporters of Ron Paul, and many here, including you I believe, made reference to those supporters. Did you do so to ‘poison the well’ or to make valid reference to something you saw?

I can, and desperately want to, have rational intelligent discussions about Obama with his supporters. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. But instead we get people like VV who has drank so much koolaid that it is becomming nearly impossible to do so. I don’t feel that way from you, which is why I still continue to debate Obama with you.

It’s just an attempt to stop bashing my head against a wall…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 12:45 PM
Comment #254813

Rhinehold -

You posted: “You are avoiding reality. 90+% of an ethnic group voting in lockstep, and telling pollsters that they voted for the person because he was black, can not be ‘poo-poo’d away. It doesn’t make his win less of a win, it is just a reality that a statistically extremely large percentage of black people voted for Obama, much more than statistically matches with other voting blocks…I think the mentality is abhorrant and ridiculous, considering that racism is an illogical concept to begin with. But I don’t ignore that it exists out there…”

You said you wanted a rational discussion about Obama, and yet you seem to infer that the fact that the vast majority of African-Americans are voting for Obama is somehow racism.

My question is, can you blame them? Any middle-aged African-American can tell you stories of what life was like when everyone and everything seemed to tell them that they were second-class citizens not worthy of the same rights and benefits of whites. A co-worker of mine remembers the day that she asked a couple of Mormon missionaries if black people could go to heaven. Their reply was, “Yes, black people will go to dog and cat heaven.”

I remember my black co-workers cheering when O.J. was declared not guilty - it took a while before I realized that they were cheering not so much because they thought he was innocent, but more that it was proof to them that a black person wasn’t automatically guilty in America.

So can you blame them at all for the hope for the real racial equality that they see in the very real possibility of a president Obama, even if he’s only half-black?

I can’t, because their support of Obama isn’t racism…it’s hope.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 7, 2008 1:31 PM
Comment #254816
You said you wanted a rational discussion about Obama, and yet you seem to infer that the fact that the vast majority of African-Americans are voting for Obama is somehow racism.

Not the ‘vast majority’, just the statistacal offset… I have stated repeatedly that it is clear that around 30 percent, or so, are voting for him because he is black. They have even admitted so during the exit polling interivew.

My question is, can you blame them?

Yes and no. I’ve already stated (it would be easier if people read what is written and not what they wanted to read into what is written) that they have every right to do so. What I want to point out is it is NOT a victory for the end of racism in America, it is just a symbol of one type of racism. voting for or against someone because of their race is still wrong.

I also wanted to point out that had that group of people NOT voted for Obama because of the color of his skin, he would most likely not have won the election. The notion that Obama is sweeping up everyone under his blanket of hope is not accurate. Middle-class Americans, and small town Americans, are not interested in the expansive government and increased loss of liberty that they will recieve under his administration and are not following along with the crowd. Even in his own party he had a much harder time of it than, say, Kerry did 4 years ago. And had he not been able to pull such huge, statistically skewed, numbers, he would not have succeeded.

Feel free to think I am wrong or ignore the numbers and what they mean. But in doing so, by sticking your head in the sand, you are more likely to be disappointed when the realization is no longer possible to ignore…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 2:39 PM
Comment #254818

S.D., in your discussions of your favorite candidate, you are talking very often about the quality of his performance as an actor. As I keep saying, I like him, but the more I see of him, the more difficult it becomes to support him as a Presidential candidate, and half the Democratic party has had the same problem. I will stick will Carol Moseley Braun’s original assessment of him. Thank you for the response.
I’ll stick with “ethnicity”, the only races that interest me, have jockeys on horses.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 7, 2008 2:48 PM
Comment #254819

Rhinehold, “voting for or against someone because of their race is still wrong.”

In your opinion, as you see what is happening. African Americans voting for African Americans is precisely how civil rights in this country has come so far in the last 40 years. Was it wrong! Perhaps from your caucasion perspective. But, then just being a caucasion saying it is wrong for Blacks to vote for Blacks because they are Black has racial undertones as well.

Other things being equal, it is NOT in my opinion, wrong for Blacks to vote for a Black American. The more multi-racial our politicians become, the further back in history American can leave its Jim Crow era. Black Americans helping elect Barack Obama is an advancement in American racial progress.

To be caucasion and deny that fact is also a racial prejudice, extant. With an equal opportunity government populated by multi-racial representatives, America proves she is less and less a racially divided and prejudiced nation. That is not Wrong, as you put it. That is very right. And only achievable if Black Americans DO vote for Black Americans who are qualified for the positions they run for.

There is no credible or evident case to be made that Obama is not qualified to become president. Ergo, it cannot be wrong for Black Americans to vote for Obama because he has African American heritage.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 7, 2008 2:55 PM
Comment #254821
African Americans voting for African Americans is precisely how civil rights in this country has come so far in the last 40 years.

No, people becomming enlightened is how civil rights have advanced. Your statement is ridiculous on it’s surface.

But, then just being a caucasion saying it is wrong for Blacks to vote for Blacks because they are Black has racial undertones as well.

This goes even beyond the first one. So, since you think I am white (I have black in my blood too, like Obama, btw) it is RACIST of me to question the motives of someone else’s actions?

This is precisely why racism in ths country still exists. People thinking like this…

There is no credible or evident case to be made that Obama is not qualified to become president. Ergo, it cannot be wrong for Black Americans to vote for Obama because he has African American heritage.

David, thanks for helping me make my points… We are still a long way to go before people are judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Maybe one day, but definately not today, especially when the ones saying they are enlightened and ‘for’ racial equality still display that type of racist view.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 3:15 PM
Comment #254823

ohrealy-
Actor? Well I don’t mind having somebody up there who can emotionally draw people. You can pretend like that’s something we’re above, but that’s how we’ve lost several elections. Intelligence and judgment are not separate from emotion. And emotion is not seperate from intelligence and judgment.

Which leads to the other side. I want an actor in the pragmatic sense of the things, and that’s not unconnected. I want somebody who can go out and change things, not merely have them be the same. I want somebody who can pull off different choices, not merely go through the motions of trying to help, but then falling back to the status quo.

We’ve been trying to exist as half a party, with an incomplete agenda, reserving ourselves, inhibiting ourselves, avoiding leaders who could inspire us so we wouldn’t be manipulated. And meanwhile, the Republicans took us apart and took the lead where we would not.

We were trying so hard not to make any mistakes, that we just couldn’t stop making them. You can’t lead with just the intellect. You have to lead people heart and soul, and let yourself be lead. If we can’t do that, the people who can and will do that, will win.

I think it points to just how lost we eventually became that it took the Republicans essentially self-destructing for the tide to turn.

This notion of an empty suit is a means of poisoning the well when discussing his undoubtedly powerful ability to relate to people. If you can’t argue against what he says or how you say it, you can argue that he’s all surface.

Trouble with this argument, especially in a presidential campaign, is that there’s just no way to prove or disprove it. It’s an impression, and nothing more. The guy who wrote that speech in Pennsylvania doesn’t seem like that. No empty suit would have dared put themselves on the line for that. You could argue that he was just saying the right words or whatever, but he chose to make the speech about things that were in and of themselves controversial, third rails that could have easily made his problem worse if he had mismanaged them.

No Svengali of a campaign manager would have gone for that. People who work on appearances tend to try and avoid such complications and complex issues from the start. They sever ties immediately with people, they don’t give them second chances. They circumvent charged issues, they don’t meet them head on. They make excuses for failures, rather than admitting them.

I cannot prove to everybody’s satisfaction that Obama has great depth, but I can speak to my own impressions, having watched politicians on both sides of the aisle for all of my adult life, and much of my early years. Empty suits don’t take the kind of risks that Obama does. When you’re looking for safety, you don’t do things original, you follow well-tred paths, and you don’t rock the boat.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2008 4:25 PM
Comment #254828

Rhinehold:

I can, and desperately want to, have rational intelligent discussions about Obama with his supporters.

This is transparently false. Your stock in trade in this blog is to constantly attack Liberalism, Liberals, and the Democratic Party in general. And everyone in this column knows it. You decided long ago that you would do nothing but throw poisoned darts at Barack Obama and all of the people who support his race for the presidency in this blog. Thus rational, intelligent discussions are the very last thing you actually want to have with Liberals, Democrats and any of the people who are supporting Obama’s candidacy.

But instead we get people like VV who has drank so much koolaid that it is becomming nearly impossible to do so.

First of all, this seems like a clear violation of this blog’s rules for participation. You are personally attacking me in a thread I haven’t even left a comment in, until now.

Secondly, this is pure bullshit. I’m far from what anyone who is interested in being honest would want to call a “kool-aid drinker.” That goes for the Democratic Party, and for Obama, even though I’m supporting him. In fact, I was formerly accused in this blog of being a secret “Drudge-ite” because I’m never afraid to level criticism on any Democrat whose actions I strongly disagree with. This is because I have always been more loyal to my own liberal principles, as well as to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, than I am to my political party — even though I am definitely a member.

I was an Edwards supporter whose second choice was Obama at the beginning of the Democratic primary. As Edwards campaign began to falter, I started listening more carefully to what Obama had to say, and looked more closely at his platform and policies, and was favorably impressed. I then read his books, and that is when I knew with certainty that Obama really was the best choice among all of the Democratic candidates — even though I am quite a bit farther to the left than Obama is.
While I’m willing to give money and work my ass off to get him elected our next president, contrary to what I’ve been called, I am not a “cult member” who believes for a minute that this man possesses any God-like attributes.

Indeed, the way in which Obama has admitted to making mistakes, and tells us that he is certain to make more in the future happens to be one of the reasons I think he’s the best person to lead this country forward. Because the American people desperately need a president that they can put their trust in. Some who is accountable to them, willing to be honest and who is not afraid to admit they are capable of making mistakes, especially after all these years of Bush Administration dishonesty, arrogance, and total lack of accountability.

And this goes directly to why I have argued so frequently with Clinton’s supporters — because I think it’s obvious that there has been a lack of honesty, and a clear tendency with the Clintons to not be willing to admit to their mistakes. Mistakes such as NAFTA where a lot of empty promises were made in order to pass that legislation, and where all it has meant was that an enormous number of Americans would lose their jobs so that corporations could get rich on the backs of workers in the third world. Mistakes such as voting for the Iraq War without even reading the NIE, and then being unwilling to admit that this ignorance and neglect of responsibility was a very serious and grave error of judgement that has lead us to the disastrous quagmire we are in right now.

After what this country has been through over all these years of Bush Administration lies, failure, and incompetence, we need good leadership now more than ever. I think it’s clear that Obama is the right person to lead this country because he has demonstrated the intelligence, honesty, humility, and all of the necessary skills which are needed to govern wisely. For thinking this, I and many others have been continually insulted by those who will without a doubt be voting for the McSame Old Thing in November.

So really, what else is new?

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 7, 2008 5:06 PM
Comment #254833

Yes, I attack both liberal and conservative here. Because I used to be a liberal until the party took a quick turn to the left and met up with the progressives that wouldn’t know individual liberty if it bit them on the ass, much like Obama. So yes, I do have a personal grudge against the current Democratic party for selling their souls and playing politics with people’s lives for so long.

I didn’t vote for Bush and won’t be voting for Mccain. I won’t be voting for Obama either.

VV, we have talked Obama in the past and I was attacked by you or daring to question things about him that need questioning. And it was those attacks that have put me further away from supporting him than towards it. Good Job!

Oh, and nevermind all of the independants who are wary of voting for someone who has been groomed by the Chicago political guard and has ties to people that many are wary of. You don’t need to convince them, just keep bashing them over the head with how great Obama is. Nevermind the details, they’ll fall in line, won’t they?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 5:37 PM
Comment #254834

Rhinehold-
Why do I say that? Because anybody who wanted to unseat Clinton as the inevitable nominee had to take on the establishment of the party, and win by untraditional means. He had to rewrite the rules.

He couldn’t depend upon the mainline contributors, who belonged mostly to Clinton, so he relied on individual donations to a far greater extent than any other candidate out there. He had to bring his campaign to states where party infrastructure was thin on the ground, and make his mark there. In establishment states, he had to keep her delegate totals low. This was no self fulfilling prophecy. He had to do extraordinary things to win.

Cults tend to be highly centralized. Obama’s support is anything but that. Instead of seeking a narrow ideological base, his basic strategy is to have supporters form their own groups on their own initiative, which Obama later comes along and coordinates.

You describe our behavior in subjective terms, hold up a few as representative as the many, and then call that evidence.

You’re frustrated about the phenomena Obama’s riding towards the top. Well, the Republicans and the right had their opportunity to deal with these things, to cut off this groudswell before people got so fed up that they ruled your people out as an option, and even rebelled against elements in the Democratic Party who stood aside for your people.

You can’t expect people to wait around forever while your politics proves itself right. Barack Obama is a product of the frustrations of the average American overwhelming the influence of the Right’s rhetoric and ideology. You folks had your opportunity to prove yourselves right, and you either proved yourselves wrong, or so mismanaged things that whether you might be right one day became secondary to your screwup in the present moment.

In that spirit, let me let you in on a little secret: calling somebody a liberal isn’t going to work anymore. Complaining about how far to the left they are won’t help you. All the fearmongering and baiting you fellows try will only try people’s patience. The right wing’s standard slanders have been drained of their meaning by nearly a decade’s worth of overuse, and all the credibility destroying screw-ups of this past administration.

People are not through punishing the right, and many people are signing up with Obama, in part, because they are intent on changing the balance of power in Washington. Believe me, barring some incredible turnaround, 2008 will be a horrifying year for the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2008 5:58 PM
Comment #254838
You folks

?

I’m sorry, but I think your rant was meant for someone else, Stephen…

I am a liberal, at least what a liberal used to be before it was twisted. I did not vote for Bush and have ben unfailingly appauled by his lack of ability. He has failed the US so many times it is beyond counting, yet I do defend him against the more ‘unhinged’ accusations and suggestions, because I understand that people are people.

However, I would like to make a point, Stephen, one that I’ve been trying to make and you keep ignoring. Obama had a hard time getting DEMOCRATS to vote for him. Even when it was inevitable that he would be the nominee, many of the superdelegates are keeping quiet on supporting him and over half of the voters in the remaining elections actively voted against him. Take out the statistical anomolies of the black voting for black mentatility that some displayed, and he most likely loses.

Do you think that is going to translate well into the general election? When there are already many on record in his own party saying some pretty negative things about him? And not just Hillary, mind you. Between that and just letting Donna Brazile out to stump for him will put many people who are not alrady decided off of voting for him.

I remember the same thoughts coming out of the 2004 primary season, how Liberalism finally was going to have its day and the Evil One was going to be defeated. Granted, Kerry’s support was not very strong with ‘the masses’, but they were still the masses of Democratic voters, not undecideds, socialists, libertarians, greens, etc.

So, we are basically at an impass. I say that we cannot in any way predict November’s outcome because there is a lot left to play and as it stands now it is way to close to call. You say that this is just the beginning of the landslide that will no doubtedly be coming, liberals unite, all is going to be well with the world, we are going to finally beat Bush! (except he isn’t running)

I guess we have to leave it at that.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 6:16 PM
Comment #254846

“having watched politicians on both sides of the aisle for all of my adult life”, S.D.? A month older than young? Here is another nice version of Forever Young: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQi8wEHMm5Y

Seriously, do you actually believe what you write, or is this an assignment or practice for a job spinning for political candidates? I wish you all success with that, but hang up the well-poisoning crap. You actually don’t seem to understand some of the things you write about. Please do more research before writing.

I picked Denis from Cork over Big Brown for sentimental reasons, but if he doesn’t win, I won’t be crushed. I have other interests. I’m here in my candidate’s home town, with someone who went to high school with her. She has been a hard working person her entire life.

Your candidate spent a lot of time stoned instead, complaining about not getting a spot on a basketball team, because obviously no one can tell or smell anything when you are exempt from criticism. Did he ever even do anything useful that wasn’t self aggrandizing?

The final horses are making their way into the starting gate. And they’re off!

Posted by: ohrealy at June 7, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #254857

WOW!

“I am a liberal.” That’s what Rhinehold says above. Does that mean he’s FOR things like Universal Health Care and gay marriage?

Or is he referring to, say, the Southern Democrats of the sixties and earlier, some of which who were every bit as racist as their Republican counterparts?

Also, he says that Obama even has a hard time getting Democrats to vote for him. Gee, I was a delegate for Hillary in my region in Washington state, and there sure were a lot of Democrats voting for Obama - that’s why two-thirds of the Democrats here voted for him and NOT for Hillary…but at least nearly all of us agreed that we had two great candidates, and we would vote for whichever one won the primaries.

But lest anyone suspect that I’m making untoward suppositions about Rhinehold’s posts, let me make it perfectly clear that the oh-so-very-Christian conservatives never lie and always stand up for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

My apologies to the moderator of this forum. I violated the “don’t critique the messenger” premise of your forum. I just couldn’t resist…but I’ll try to abide by the premise in the future. I won’t always succeed, but I’ll try.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 7, 2008 7:44 PM
Comment #254860
“I am a liberal.” That’s what Rhinehold says above. Does that mean he’s FOR things like Universal Health Care and gay marriage?

Gay Marriage yes. If you peruse my writings here you will see my views in whole, not what you imagine them to be.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/004478.html
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002789.html
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002174.html

Universal Healthcare provided by the government? No. Any plan that takes property from one person to give to another is immoral. There are a myriad of other ways to solve the issues we have with Healthcare without giving the federal government more power into our lives, and this one would be a doozy. From being able to tell us what we can and can’t eat to taxing people for being overweight, the intrusions are ghastly.

You might also find that I wrote a post in 2005 calling for the US to pull troops out of Iraq immediately.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002865.html
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002529.html

Also, he says that Obama even has a hard time getting Democrats to vote for him. Gee, I was a delegate for Hillary in my region in Washington state, and there sure were a lot of Democrats voting for Obama - that’s why two-thirds of the Democrats here voted for him and NOT for Hillary…but at least nearly all of us agreed that we had two great candidates, and we would vote for whichever one won the primaries.

That doesn’t change the fact that it was nearly a 50/50 split, even when Obama was considered unbeatable. Democrats still voted against him and many ‘superdelegates’ refused to come out and support him and end the race much earlier, before some of the damage over the past month or so was done.

It’s called being able to look at the facts, not just assume the world is as you want it to be.

But lest anyone suspect that I’m making untoward suppositions about Rhinehold’s posts, let me make it perfectly clear that the oh-so-very-Christian conservatives never lie and always stand up for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Not sure why you included this admission. I’m an athiest (Taoist), but I’m glad you got that off of your chest if you feel you need to… I don’t agree with your statement though…

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/003085.html
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002905.html
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002772.html

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 7:59 PM
Comment #254865
“I am a liberal.” That’s what Rhinehold says above. Does that mean he’s FOR things like Universal Health Care and gay marriage?

Gay Marriage yes. If you peruse my writings here you will see my views in whole, not what you imagine them to be.

I had included a post with too many links, I’ll just give one link with just the archive numbers:

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/004478.html
002789
002174

Universal Healthcare provided by the government? No. Any plan that takes property from one person to give to another is immoral. There are a myriad of other ways to solve the issues we have with Healthcare without giving the federal government more power into our lives, and this one would be a doozy. From being able to tell us what we can and can’t eat to taxing people for being overweight, the intrusions are ghastly.

You might also find that I wrote a post in 2005 calling for the US to pull troops out of Iraq immediately.

002865
002529

Also, he says that Obama even has a hard time getting Democrats to vote for him. Gee, I was a delegate for Hillary in my region in Washington state, and there sure were a lot of Democrats voting for Obama - that’s why two-thirds of the Democrats here voted for him and NOT for Hillary…but at least nearly all of us agreed that we had two great candidates, and we would vote for whichever one won the primaries.

That doesn’t change the fact that it was nearly a 50/50 split, even when Obama was considered unbeatable. Democrats still voted against him and many ‘superdelegates’ refused to come out and support him and end the race much earlier, before some of the damage over the past month or so was done.

It’s called being able to look at the facts, not just assume the world is as you want it to be.

But lest anyone suspect that I’m making untoward suppositions about Rhinehold’s posts, let me make it perfectly clear that the oh-so-very-Christian conservatives never lie and always stand up for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Not sure why you included this admission. I’m an athiest (Taoist), but I’m glad you got that off of your chest if you feel you need to… I don’t agree with your statement though…

Again, too many links:

003085
002905
002772

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 8:05 PM
Comment #254866

Oh, and I love the backhanded suggestion I am a racist, it just goes to help prove my point…

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 8:06 PM
Comment #254868

j2t2,

My point being far left does not hold the answers, far right doesn’t hold the answers. Left vs right, right vs left. Nothing of value gets done while radicalized foot soldiers go out on blogs and pump propaganda.

Meanwhile, Senators in Washington become millionaires AND the budget is not balanced. Medicare is a massive train wreck coming down the track. Medicade is not fixed. Social security is not fixed, Massive illegal immigration continues and folks wonder where their job went? And democrats demonize free trade and are trying to figure out how to tax our economy to death to “save it from global warming” while China is passing us in pollution and may pass us economically if the anti business crowd have their way.

It’s time to build carbon free nuclear generators, drive battery powered cars using carbon free electricity from our nuclear generators, and ACCEPT The fact that we NEED the energy to live the life we all want to live.

Posted by: Stephen at June 7, 2008 8:24 PM
Comment #254873


Rhinehold: The attacks have not been reserved for independents alone. Apparently there are only two kinds of people now, the faithful and the evil ones. The retoric reminds me of the philosophy of a religion which has waited 2000 rears for it’s deliverance. The viciousness reminds me of the philosophy of the radical element of a religion which has been prominently featured in world events of late.

Stephen D.: I have no objection to your melting pot senario. I wish we were all the same color and shade so we could end that particular instigator of human fear and hate. Obama’s color has nothing to do with my objections. His healthcare plan and some of his other positions do. IMO, his universal healthcare plan is a sellout, written in the same vein as the prescription drug plan.

“power shared between people of all kinds, the way it was meant to be.” This is the source of my rejection of my party. The Democratic Party has no use for the Constitutional vision that power resides in the people and their government. The Democratic Party has become the liberal half of the enablers of POWER. They have done their part to allow the government to be a tool, an instrument used by POWER to further it’s own objectives.

I am sorry, I lack faith because I know that
Obama and the Democrats will adhere to the role that has been assigned to them, with little or no deviation.


THE HUMAN’S RACE Sweatshop Union

Inside the place where we hide our face
And try to fake out fate with the faith we place
Inside a world wide race where the humans chase
For more than what we’re given

Inside the place where we hide our face
And try to fake out fate with the faith we place
Inside a world wide race where the humans chase
And try to take things from the living

In the end, we learn that we cannot avoid our fate and if there truely is a God Almighty, we will find out that our faith was misplaced.

Posted by: jlw at June 7, 2008 8:32 PM
Comment #254876


Stephen: Free trade is one of the illusionary concepts meant to deceive the people, It is like globalization or universal healthcare. The Democrats don’t object to free trade, Their claim that they are for fair trade rather than free trade is just another illusion to deceive the people.

Free traders are the ones who sent our manufacturing jobs to China. Free traders are the ones who are bringing the tainted , polluted goods back to this country from China. Free traders are the ones who have opened our borders and welcomed the illegals with open arms. Free traders would love to build you many carbon free nuclear plants so they can double your electric bill.

Posted by: jlw at June 7, 2008 8:59 PM
Comment #254878

Rhinehold-
Edwards had a hard time getting voters to vote for him. Dodd did. Biden did. Richardson did. Figured correctly to account for Caucus states, Barack Obama had no more trouble getting Democrats to vote for him than Clinton did. In fact, less. Tell me the contest was close. It was. But don’t kid me by saying that the guy who got the most Democratic Party votes in party history is having problem getting Democrats to vote for him.

And don’t tell me the guy who managed to sandbag Hillary Clinton is a lightweight. This is a guy who successfully blunted Hillary’s dominance in the establishment states, and essentially cut an easy victory out from under her with an eleven state winning streak. After that, Obama successfully kept her victories relatively small in the states that matter, even while he was getting pummeled over the “bitter” comments, and over Wright. Indiana, which was suppose to be up there was a near draw, and North Carolina was a double digit victory, when some had been predicting single digits.

After that, it became virtually impossible for her to win. She could hype and bluster all she wanted to, but the only thing she could do was embarrass him a little.

As for liberalism itself? The real way in which it’s gone off track has been this relentless attempt to push GOP principles on the party, making them into Republican lites. We could not purify the liberal legacy by rejecting it.

ohrealy-
I’m old enough to have lived through the Clinton years. Even when I was young, I was better aware of politics and geography than the average kid. I saw news reports about Halabja and learned about chemical weapons before I was out of Elementary school. I knew a lot of geography early on. I was not one of those kids who couldn’t locate Kuwait or Malaysia on a map.

If you want to insult my intelligence, be my guest. But I’ve been following politics for the last twenty years, and have written about it since before the last election. And you what I like about Obama? There’s very little I have to spin about him.

At this point, I don’t care about inexperience, because all the experienced politicians I’ve seen lack the political courage, for the most part, to directly confront the Republicans. I don’t have to pretend he’s got a decent personality, charisma to spare, I don’t have to defend him against people who say he’s a crook.

Hell, I don’t have to spin about him taking PAC Money or Lobbyist money, because he doesn’t! That wasn’t the case with our friend John Kerry. I agree with him on so many of the crucial issues, and I honestly believe he’s much more ahead of the curve on the issues that matter to Democrats like me, who have lived the Bush Nightmare in great detail, than any of the other candidates.

What bugs me are people who simply repeat the same tired talking points. Obamabot. Cult. Reverend Wright. Rezko. He’s a big liberal. So on. So forth.

You don’t think I field a dozen of these screwballs a day? You think I don’t know how the game is played?

The last twenty years in my life have been a rather distasteful education in just how far thing can go when a Democracy stops serving the people and people just serve themselves. What I’ve also learned to watch out for, though are people who use unsubstantiated slimes, innuendo and insults to further their political side.

That’s why I’m not exactly receptive to your style. Not that I doubt the authority of age, but I distrust the authority of gossip and scandal-mongering.

jlw-
I also distrust simplistic politics. I don’t expect politics to ever be completely redeemed. Power, and those who abuse it are never far from each other. However, it’s something that can be ground away at, discouraged. You have to be persistent, though, and that takes faith that, even by small steps, you can rollback the corruption of the system. Corruption feeds best on passivity, on people who simply do not get in the way. I intend to band together with others to get in the way. My aim, with Obama, is to put in place the best possible candidate. If he proves untrustworthy, he earns a one term presidency, and we trade up for another one. Bit by bit, like frost in rock, we force our way into the cracks of the system, and break it open. If we don’t get as insanely passive as we have been for the last forty years, we can manage something.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2008 9:26 PM
Comment #254880

jlw I suppose some people have “exported” our jobs.

I remember a story of the Wal-Mart telling a product maker to set his shop in China or they would buy from someone else who did and put him out of business.

But in general, you can’t “stop” globalization because sooner or later someone in China will say “hey, I can make that cheaper over here and sell it over there”. And so it goes.

I for one am not afraid of that. If you take away global trade you would get a global depression and collapse our economy.

You bring a billion Chinese up to our standard of living and there will be all sorts of things we can make and do for them that will enrich us. I see globalization as a good thing.

I’d rather trade with China than trade nuclear attacks with China. Mao was building the bombs and was seeking the missles to put the on because he was eager to defeat the US in a nuclear war (Kill 200 million or more of us in trade for say half of china) and after that war he figured he would have free reign in the world.

Better to trade.

Posted by: StephenL at June 7, 2008 10:06 PM
Comment #254882

“You bring a billion Chinese up to our standard of living and there will be all sorts of things we can make and do for them that will enrich us. I see globalization as a good thing.”

Stephen how do you do this when your trade agreements do not have any environmental or labor standards? I would also find it hard to claim this in the intent when the country is a led by a totalitarian regime.

“I’d rather trade with China than trade nuclear attacks with China. Mao was building the bombs and was seeking the missles to put the on because he was eager to defeat the US in a nuclear war (Kill 200 million or more of us in trade for say half of china) and after that war he figured he would have free reign in the world.”

Isnt this called appeasement? To trade with China because we are afraid of them seems rather strange asit has made them stronger and us weaker. But this still doesnt explain the huge trade defict we run in this Country as well as the large Chinese investment in our dollar. Seems Mao is winning the battle without the bombing.


Posted by: j2t2 at June 7, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #254887
Edwards had a hard time getting voters to vote for him. Dodd did. Biden did. Richardson did. Figured correctly to account for Caucus states, Barack Obama had no more trouble getting Democrats to vote for him than Clinton did. In fact, less.

I’ve already gone over that, but once again there were many outside forces that helped him. From getting a statistically large number of votes from the black community (I am like you, one day I would LOVE for people to not see color, but obviously they still do) to the primaries in Florida and Michigan not being held in a way that could accurately count those voters to beating Hillary who, in her own right, has not had much of a challenge in her past either. Does this take away from his win? No, he still won and that is no easy feat. But it is not ‘the most amazing election in our history’ by any stretch of the imagination.

Tell me the contest was close. It was. But don’t kid me by saying that the guy who got the most Democratic Party votes in party history is having problem getting Democrats to vote for him.

Remember, Stephen, Bush got the most Americans to vote for him than any president in history… What does that tell us? That there are more Americans or that he is a great leader? Or, more accurately, this election wasn’t over after Super Tuesday like most others so Democrats in states normally ignored had a reason to get out and vote. You can try to spin that how you want, but objectivity has a different view to it.

And don’t tell me the guy who managed to sandbag Hillary Clinton is a lightweight

You again give way too much credit to Hillary in order to pump up Obama, IMO. I never, for once, thought Hillary had a chance… Very few people wanted Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton… But I am actually amazed that she was able to almost win. It says a lot to me knowing how most people I know feel about her…

Indiana, which was suppose to be up there was a near draw.

Where did you figure this? Remember, I live in Indiana. You know, Indiana, right next to Illinois? It was always close in Indiana on the Democratic side of it for a variety of reasons. The only ones thinking that Hillary was going to win by double-digits in Indiana were those who didn’t live here.

As for liberalism itself? The real way in which it’s gone off track has been this relentless attempt to push GOP principles on the party, making them into Republican lites. We could not purify the liberal legacy by rejecting it.

Let me ask you Stephen. Do you consider individual liberty an important thing? Or just something that should be looked after once everyone is living their lives the way the majority sees fit? I’m really curious how your brand of liberalism views what I consider very important to human beings, being able to live their lives as they see fit, not as other people vote for them to live it. This is obviously not a ‘conservative’ view, or GOP view, as they have no trouble doing the same thing, so I am curious why you think the Democrats should be expunging this ideal from the party like they have been doing for decades.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 11:14 PM
Comment #254888

“If you want to insult my intelligence”, S/D, I apologize if you felt that I have ever done that. I was merely contrasting your prior professions of youthfulness with your current professions of experience and knowledge.

“I’ve been following politics for the last twenty years”, which would be at least 20 years less than me. I remember the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK asassination, the MLK asassination and aftermath, and the RFK asassination, on the last day of school of my junior year in high school. I remember the Vietnam War, the Watergate Hearings, the Arab Oil Embargo, and the whole history of the conservative movement during that period and beyond into the period when you began following politics. I also remember the history of the progressive movment in that era, when programs were begun which were later sabotaged or eliminated when the opposition came back into power. LBJ probably thought he had killed the Rpblcn party in 1964, but it began to revive in 1966 with a somewhat less conservative group, who were later repudiated by those responsible for bringing the Thatcher revolution to this country.

“people who simply repeat the same tired talking points”. I think you might have meant to say people other than me (S.D.) there. Nothing is more tired than being told about someone’s virtues as opposed to anything useful that they might have done with their life except give a speech, on the quality of which you and I disagree. This is a part that confuses me about your statements, since you are actually a writer and should be able to see through much of what your candidate says, or perhaps you choose not to, in order to continue promoting him, for the greater good of all.

“unsubstantiated slimes, innuendo and insults…gossip and scandal-mongering” I guess you don’t believe that you’ve barely begun to hear anything like that yet, but you will later. Since you lived through the 1990s, I would think you would be more wary of a repeat of what happened before. The people that the Democratic party are up against have not been destroyed, and generally stop at nothing in the pursuit of power. The era of the Bushes will seemingly end in about 226 days

Posted by: ohrealy at June 7, 2008 11:19 PM
Comment #254889

The balance of what I just posted here:

My knowledge of history tells me that your candidate is more likely to keep the same process in motion than even McCain, and will be bad for the Democratic party in the long run, if he managed to get elected, which I can not see occuring in any scenario other than mass hypnosis of the population. His only advantages are the economy, and an elderly opponent who makes Reagan in 1980 look young.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 7, 2008 11:22 PM
Comment #254894
His only advantages are the economy, and an elderly opponent who makes Reagan in 1980 look young.

Forty-four percent (44%) trust McCain most when it comes to economic issues and managing the economy while 40% prefer Obama.

41% of voters believe that Obama is too inexperienced to be President while 30% say McCain is too old.

Uhoh.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 11:33 PM
Comment #254896

BTW, Great article here: Thinking About America’s Socialist Revival

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/thinking_about_americas_social.html

Interesting quote:

Drawing from the late political economist Jude Wanniski, this competition between capitalist and socialist economic systems is nothing new or surprising, and is as old as representative democracy itself.[1] Voters are constantly declaring their preference between the two. Simply put, when good capitalism goes bad, voters choose good socialism. One must accept that while good capitalism is superior to the best socialism, good socialism can be better than really bad capitalism.
Posted by: Rhinehold at June 7, 2008 11:55 PM
Comment #254916

Rhinehold,
Great catching of the Political Correctness sought by the Founding Fathers of America. So let me add that the “Magic Bullet” sought by America and the rest of America is how do you make the two good forces of the argument and have them so interwoven that one can not tell them about. Sort of like a Prefect Marriage between the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders and Their Citizens.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 8, 2008 8:34 AM
Comment #254940

Rhinehold-
Why should African Americans have passed up their first serious chance to get a qualified, capable African American candidate nominated for the sake of your stringently politically correct definition of racism? Those who believe this is lightning in a bottle don’t want to pass up a once in a lifetime chance. Those who believe he’s breaking a barrier once and for all don’t want to be the folks who have to say, “I didn’t vote for the first black president.”

Speaking of history, I have attended, in my home state, both a Precinct Caucus and a State Senate District Convention where such record numbers of people attended. This was more than just an interesting election. It is historic. I believe it represents part of a break with the political trend of the last four decades.

But its also historic because it takes the Democratic Party in a new direction, away from the Clinton’s conservative Democrat faction, the Democratic Leadership Council. Obama represents a change in attitude for the party leadership, and the significance of that should not be underestimated.

The difficulty of pulling this off should also not be underestimated. This was an unknown candidate with a funny, foreign name, against a known one, the famous wife of a popular president. This was a challenger to the establishment against the seemingly inevitable candidate.

The fact remains that events that were once mostly inside baseball for the average person became fairly important. In my neighborhood, where once folks had to go to other neighborhood clubhouses to vote, where the last precinct convention hosted only the precinct chair of the party, we had sixty people in the final vote. It wasn’t merely the fact that the elections weren’t over on Super Tuesday, it’s the fact that they really cared about things, and most importantly, that they felt like going out for the Democrats.

I think you’re reading your expectations on to others. You might not have thought Clinton had a chance, but she was the presumptive front-runner right up until Iowa knocked her down a couple pegs and the draw on Super Tuesday brought her up short on her electoral plans. As for Indiana, polls had her up by several points, if not more. People were expecting North Carolina to be close. His performance there exceeded expectations.

Regarding liberalism, I’m all for individual liberty. I don’t ignore, though, as some do, fundamental constitutional liberties. Those are the core of my approach. I am not dogmatically committed to regulation or deregulation. I believe that government must regulate or deregulate towards the public good, and that if we preserve constitutional liberties, we will be better able to redress the grievances and correct the mistakes.

As a liberal, I take FDR’s lead that government should try to help the average person actively. Else, what is a government for? I do think, though, we have to take benefit from years of scientific and sociological study on how people interact.

If you read back through my archives, you’ll find that I have an interest in theories about critical thresholds, about small world theories, and how they influence underlying political dynamics. I don’t want the Federal Government doing all the heavy lifting. I want it acting as a catalyst, acting as a moderating force, rather than as a determining force. I don’t believe government should tend to be heavy handed. It should be firm on what it does prohibit, firm where it does apply its power, but they should work to make compliance as easy and regular as possible.

Civilization cannot endure without order, but the wisest government understands that the best order is neither easy, nor always self organized. We do need leadership. What kind is the question.

ohrealy-
I would say that the last several years are as historical as what you lived through as any. From 9-11 to Bush’s intransigence on the war, the last few years have been nothing short of historic in their import. I’m well aware of the history of both parties through those years you mention.

What’s tiring for me is that I’ve heard much of the same things my entire life. This politics for you is a recent development. For me, it’s what I’ve seen my entire life, what my generation has been drowning in for as long as we can remember. We don’t remember leadership that wasn’t on permanent campaign.

Obama’s got more than a speech. A speech didn’t win him the nomination. What he’s got is a general platform that appeals strongly to those who feel that the current political climate is reinforcing everything that’s going wrong. Experience doesn’t matter, because to be frank, we’re dealing with novel circumstances.

Had other Democrats been more willing and more active in creating a broad based coalition to stall the disasters going on, Obama would not have had his opening, nor would people have been as willing to discount his inexperience. As it is, though, What they do like and what they do want is somebody who will take up the causes of the disaffected mainstream in America whole-heartedly.

As for the rest? Look, I know that many in the Republican Party are willing to go to great lengths to win. Our passiveness in the face of that has been important, but I don’t think copying that attitude is a good idea. It wrecked the Republicans in the end, because in the end, they spent a lot of political capital essentially trying to do damage control on what they had ruthlessly pushed through the Executive and Legislative branches, a losing proposition. We don’t need to make their same mistake, we just need to defend ourselves solidly, limit our offense to making distinctions of substance, and ultimately letting their ruthlessness corrode and collapse their support.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2008 2:03 PM
Comment #254954

S.D., there is a level of unreality that has permeated politics in the era when you came of age. People keep talking about their political theory, which is unrelated to the objective reality. The opposition have consistently acted as though the federal government was their enemy, as seen so often here at Wblog, even when they were getting exactly what they wanted, and complaining about the results, and not getting enough of what they want.

This is the first election cycle in which the Democratic party has adopted this level of unreality, which may be familiar to you, but looks to me like we are trying to become the people whose thoughts are controlled by others.

We have had a problem ever since Carter in dealing with the petro-electoral nexus. No one has had the political will to do what has been necessary for 30 years. People are too frightened of a future that doesn’t look familiar.

Your candidate would not be able to do much either. Is he willing to have GWBush arrested, and sent to the Hague? Is he willing to demand an impeachment hearing on Scalia, who equivocates on torture? Is he willing to demand the removal of members of the FCC who are screwing us all? There is much more that needs to change, but most likely your candidate can only make superficial changes.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 8, 2008 4:16 PM
Comment #254961

If you were taking his rhetoric at face value, you would know that the last thing Obama is promising is that he alone will be able to make things happen. And from what I’ve observed, he’s right.

The Republicans, even with the wreck of a party they have, were capable since 2006 of making themselves the most obstructive senate minority in American history. Now, I don’t blame the Democrats for that directly, but I think if the Republicans had been forced to carry out more of these filibuster threats, rather than our leadership in the Senate just taking their word for it, this obstructionism would have been much more difficult.

Now I was overjoyed to see the Democrats take back Congress, but dismayed and, frankly, embarrassed to see how little good that did, and how much the Democrats still capitulated.

Confronted with questions like yours, given the last two years, my response is that I am going to make damn sure that if Obama doesn’t put his heart and soul into what he’s doing, he will hear from me or people like me. Go look at Daily Kos for a while, and you’ll see that Democrats of my generation and faction are not passive, not going for Obama because he’ll be some kind of savior. We’re trying to get people in there who are both capable and willing to fight back.

But there’s more than that. It isn’t an odd occurence among the Netroots Left to see contact lists and complaints when something like the recent attempt to create FISA immunity for the telecom companies that sold us out with Bush’s illegal wiretapping. Go through some of the Netroots sites, and you’ll find we’ve got our government under the microscope.

In other words, we’re not simply going to allow anybody, even Obama out of our sight. But he realizes this. He understands the change in many Democrat’s attitude toward government, and he’s cooperating with it, rather than attempting to get around it.

Obama’s following us, we’re following him. It’s not a one way relationship. He’s a favorite of many in the netroots because he’s responded with iniative to our major complaints: Democrats that fold like cheap suits, Democrats that don’t act like Democrats, Democrats that embarrass us with their behavior.

We’re not after likely. We’re not after somebody who’s going to acknowledge the political realities. We’re after somebody who makes his own luck, who helps the party make it’s own luck, rather than settle for the BS things have become.

Obama will find his constituents are not easy to please, but if he works hard, he’ll find us willing to back him. We understand, and he’s spoken to the effect that the complexities of turning a country back from this four decade course will not be easy. But then, if we wanted easy, we would have turned to Clinton.

We want somebody who’s prepared to take on the tough job of helping us turn this country back. What’s the alternative? What’s the good of giving into despair? We can either sit back and wait for our decline to play itself out, or we can fight to make America great again. Which would you prefer?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2008 7:43 PM
Comment #254965

Stephen Daugherty,

Thank You. Spot On commentary there! What you are describing is truly it in a nutshell. This is why with Obama’s candidacy, the (conspicuously) operative word is WE.

No more free rides in Washington DC. We aren’t going to allow that. Those who are supporting Obama are in fact demanding a government that works for a change. And works for US — you know, all the non millionaire and billionaire Americans who have been getting ignored, ripped off and screwed with for far too many years.

This is why these ignoramuses that keep trying to use the word cult on us are so stupidly and completely off the mark. A generational sea change in attitude toward government is occurring right under their noses, and they’re busy napping. I don’t know about you, but personally I’m glad that so many seem to believe that the same old stale, sadly worn, and utterly outdated tactics and rules all still apply, when in fact, they no longer do.

It’s also rather telling that so many of Clinton’s former supporters keep claiming they’ll either not vote or write in Hillary’s name (which they know can only help McCain), will vote third party (which they know can only help McCain) or are actually so angry, infantile, racist and/or brain-dead, that they actually plan to go and pull the lever for McSame (who really does represent the complete antithesis of Clinton’s entire platform) in November.

And all of these people are calling US the “cultmembers”?!
This strikes me alternately as sad, pathetic, or totally hilarious — depending on my mood.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 8, 2008 9:05 PM
Comment #254980

Veritas Vincit-
I approach the way I deal with these people on a strategic level. So, they’re calling us a cult, right? What are the defining qualities of a cult?

Centralization for one. Obama’s campaign is factually known to be rather decentralized. So, I say to them, if Obama’s campaign is so cultish, why does Obama give people so much room to act from their own initiative?

Rather than try to win an is/is not argument, I break the point down to testable points. Then it becomes a question of whether I’m right or not. When you add the right rhetoric on top of that, you can have a rather powerful argument on your side.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2008 11:28 PM
Comment #254986

Stephen, VV,

Yes, that’s what said, anyone supporting Obama is in a cult…

*rolls eyes*

BTW, I did put Veritas Vincit in that group because I have yet to see him post one single negative thing about Obama. I have seen him defend every thing that Obama is accused of with the same rhetoric, even when it turns out later to be wrong, and then ignore that it was ever used. Those are the kinds of things I talk about. Oh, and the viciousness of the attacks on anyone daring to speak against him, however validly.

So, what you say, VV. Any negatives of Obama that you see?

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 9, 2008 12:43 AM
Comment #254987
Yes, that’s what said, anyone supporting Obama is in a cult…

*rolls eyes*

BTW, I did put Veritas Vincit in that group


I honestly don’t give a rats ass what you think of me. If you want to call me a cult member, go ahead. I’m completely used to being on the recieving end of all kinds of ridiculous and baseless insults on blogs at this point. I’ve been called everything from a socialist, to a terrorist sympathizer, to an America-hater, etc., etc., etc.
It’s nothing new, and it’s all BS.

because I have yet to see him post one single negative thing about Obama.

This is false. I have previously written that I didn’t think that Obama’s heathcare proposal is as good as Edwards’ was, and I still feel that way. I’m hoping that if Obama is elected that the implementation of a healthcare plan will end up moving further in the direction that Edwards plan was going to take us in. And it is entirely possible that it could. I also think that Hillary Clinton might be a good pick for the cabinet position of Secretary of Health and Human Services since she seems to have a real passion for addressing this issue.

Btw, I’m a Her, not a Him.

I have seen him defend every thing that Obama is accused of with the same rhetoric, even when it turns out later to be wrong, and then ignore that it was ever used.

Yes, I have defended Obama over a lot of stupid accusations that aren’t based on any real facts in evidence. So much that has been leveled against him during this primary has been based on the kind of petty bullshit and Rovian-Republican smearing that so many of us are heartily sick of, because we know it has absolutely zero to do with policy or the ability to govern.

Those are the kinds of things I talk about.

Yes, I know you do. Unfortunately.

Oh, and the viciousness of the attacks on anyone daring to speak against him, however validly.

Validly? I think not.
Viciousness? Nah, that’s just merely my disgust you’re feeling come through in some of my comments.

So, what you say, VV. Any negatives of Obama that you see?

A few. His healthcare proposal could be a lot better than it is, as I just mentioned. Also, I think that in the process of Obama trying to let folks get to know him better, i.e. that he’s a Democrat that believes in Jesus and draws strength from his faith, that it once more injected religion into our politics in a way that I’d really prefer to see this country move away from. As a firm believer in the idea of separation of church and state, I don’t think that the topic of a candidate’s faith should be obsessed on the way it has been.
I also don’t think it helps our national political discourse in any way to allow people like Rev. Wright, or Rev. Hagee, or Rev. Parsley to receive so much media attention. Because none of what they have to say, indeed none of what the vast majority of religious leaders have to say, seems truly relevant when we’re talking about government leadership. In my view this is only a distraction — and an overly emotional one at that — which takes away from the kind of intelligent, in depth discussions on government policies and positions this nation should actually be having.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 9, 2008 2:21 AM
Comment #254992

Stephen:

Obama’s campaign is factually known to be rather decentralized. So, I say to them, if Obama’s campaign is so cultish, why does Obama give people so much room to act from their own initiative?

Absolutely. Anyone that is claiming that Obama is running a some kind of a “cult” rather than a very unique political campaign powered by We the People, doesn’t know what they’re talking about at all. Maybe if they watched this video they’d realize how ridiculous this accusation really is.


Rather than try to win an is/is not argument, I break the point down to testable points. Then it becomes a question of whether I’m right or not. When you add the right rhetoric on top of that, you can have a rather powerful argument on your side.

Interesting. I don’t have the patience, nor do I want to take the time to do all that. But good on you for doing so.
I tend to just lay out my opinions in order to share them. If people don’t like or agree with those opinions, I’m not going to let it bother me.

Perhaps because you do approach replying in this manner you seem to be currently getting a pass on being called a “cult member”, while I definitely am not. :^D

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 9, 2008 4:21 AM
Comment #254993
Anyone that is claiming that Obama is running a some kind of a “cult”

For about the tenth time, no one is suggest that Obama is running a cult. We are suggesting, however, that there are those who are acting as if they are in one.

What do you call the people who were ready to boycott Disney because Obama was asked questions while in a debate that they didn’t like, or wanted to string up the two guys asking questions? I’ve given other examples.

People are emotionally invested. And while some think it is a good thing, it does present a problem. All ability to talk rationally about his candidacy goes right out the window with a large grouping of those people.

You can say it doesn’t exist and those people aren’t giving his candidacy a bad name, but you wouldn’t be correct in that assessment.

Posted by: Rhinehold at June 9, 2008 5:10 AM
Comment #255000

VV

A generational sea change in attitude toward government is occurring right under their noses, and they’re busy napping. I don’t know about you, but personally I’m glad that so many seem to believe that the same old stale, sadly worn, and utterly outdated tactics and rules all still apply, when in fact, they no longer do.

Well said VV. We have GW and his lockstep minions to thank for building such a cautious and un-trusting voter base. They so readily abused the system with such disregard for the concerns of others that they made it nearly impossible for the citizens of this country to not take notice. The culmination of their policies have evolved so negatively that the republican party is viewed by most as totally unreliable and incompetent.

It is imperative that the leaders of this country come to terms with accountability. It is our responsibility as voters to insure that accountability is enforced be it at the polling booth, support of policy, or through legal actions. We must as a voting society remain vigilant and hold our legislators and executive to the highest degree of the law. It is time that they learn that it is the interests of this country that come before their own. If they can not abide by that reality they should be allowed no place in government. It is my hope and belief that Obama will actively pursue the induction of transparency, honesty and accountability into government.

When looking at the big picture I can not imagine a close race. Old republican tactics will no longer wash with the American people. They have been over used and come from a party that currently lacks credibility. I see only a slim number of blind partisan voters supporting such tactics. The rest of us are simply disgusted with and tired of such slanderous and sleazy methods.

It is indeed a time for change in government.

Posted by: RickIL at June 9, 2008 10:15 AM
Comment #255005

VV great link. Although Obama wasnt my first, or second or third choice I’ve come to see why he has come as far as he has. I wouldn’t worry to much about this weak minded attack on the “cult followers” of Obama, afterall what else do the Repubs and Libertarians have to work with, certainly not track records or issues.
What I find most ironic is the parties of extreme beliefs and bizarre behaviors (repubs and libertarians) talking about cults, I can hardly keep from laughing as its the pot calling the kettle black IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 9, 2008 12:07 PM
Comment #255028

S.D., ITA on the do nothings in Congress. It would be insane to retain the current leaders in either house after the next election. They should have obstructed W more, at least on the debt.

One of the things you are underestimating is the simplicity of election issues for many people. For one segment of the electorate, there is now, has always been, and always will be only one election issue at stake, and that is the tax rate that they pay. The opposition has played into this to such a ridiculous extent, that we now have a 9 trillion plus debt, and small prospects that debt service will not be a major part of our budgets for many years to come.

Another issue that is even more significant is familiarity. This ties back into the tax issue, since the same people will balk at voting for unfamiliarity, if they think that means higher taxes. Did anyone was ever quantify the extent to which Dukakis’ name affected his prospects. Your candidate needs to look more like he has shared experiences with more of the population.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 9, 2008 5:01 PM
Comment #255057

Rhinehold-
The real problem with using ad hominem arguments is that in polite society, one can and often is forced to make ridiculous qualifications to one’s insults, with the intentions of avoiding unsympathetic appearances. If Obama’s not a cult leader, then where’s the cult? Cults are inherently defined by their leaders. They are also defined by their being high hurdles to entering into them.

Obama did not put very high hurdles to that. He didn’t require things of people, people did things of their own free will. It’s rhetorically convenient to dismiss Obama’s supporters as sheep, but it’s not accurate. It’s more accurate to describe it as a movement, especially given its size and strength.

And yes, not everybody is reasonable or rational when they make their arguments. But since when has any political party been without its blowhard, without its hard feelings and angry words? You’d practically have to be a cult to have everybody smiling with blank eyes.

On another note, Would you like a flower in the name of cosmic peace?

ohrealy-
What do you do on taxes?

Point out that the endless record deficits are part of what’s making everything more expensive, from gas to groceries.

Tell them that they’re not really getting tax cuts as long as we’re deficit spending, just deferred taxes which effectively go up.

Tell them that we’re essentially giving billions to our industrial competitors to open up factories that take away their jobs.

As for his name? Good heavens. He beat everybody that had a nice Anglo-Saxon name, and one guy who had a Eastern European name, to boot. I think worrying about such trivial matters is half of what has taken this party into the wilderness. If you keep people’s attention on what’s important, you won’t have to worry about paltry distractions.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 9, 2008 8:22 PM
Comment #255059

Henry,

Sorry about the delayed response.

I failed to note the provision of the Constitution requiring wealthy executives, but clue me in.

As to why I think the presidency in modern times has to be rich, is due to the party system and special interests.

Jackson, Lincoln, and Grant weren’t particularly wealthy, as I recall. Jefferson died broke, although, all the founding fathers were aristocrats. But then they accepted slavery, as well. I don’t find them infallible. But again, I was referring to modern times, say the 20th century. Please spare me the mob rule speech.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 9, 2008 8:44 PM
Comment #255068

googlumpugus,
To be fair to My Democratic and Republican Pundits and so Grandmother does not yell at me in My Personal Opinion the Founding Fathers of America were and are Aristocrats just because it would be wrong to let a Charlatan like me hold the most powerful Office in the Land and build an Uncivilized World.

That being said, until Americans turn the page and start working together to instruct their Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders of America on all three levels of Government & Society on how to build a Better World for the Children of the 22nd Century than the Status Quo of the Hierarchy of Society and Your Parents will always when the Debate of Right vs. Wrong. Be it Unalienable Right or Not!

So, one of the Questions of Enlightenment that I have to ask My Peers and the Children of the 21st Century is: Why the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leadership in America is actually Politically Unalienable Correct given their combined Ideology, are you willing to allow Every Human on Earth invest in Building a Beter World or do we continue on in “The Race to the Bottom” this November.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 9, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #255070

Grant was broke he made some bad investments and Had a mouth and throat and tongue full of cancer and wrote a fine book. Jefferson enjoyed the finer things of life but what a great talented man he was. Lincoln without equal.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 9, 2008 10:43 PM
Comment #255073

Rodney,
Former President Jimmy Carter was a Peanut Framer in the Mid 70’s at a time when America needed a certain kind of a Head of State. Former President Regan was elected in 1980 because America needed a certain kind of a Head of State. And why not all Presidents in America have or will be equal, it is up to “We the People” every 4 years to elect the next President of the United States of America based on what “We the People” know to be Unalienable Right and not just because Political Associations. At least that is My Personal Opinion on why America gets the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders of America.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 9, 2008 11:50 PM
Comment #255076

Right Henry, I voted for both Jimmy carter and Ronald Reagan , but also i admired jerry ford ;) I try very hard not to let pure Ideology sway or blurr my judgement, my independent nature I suppose ,I embrace both parties Democrats for social and environmental ,Republican for fiscal and the power of the Individual and when they were and hope someday back in conservation again, I believe in “we the people” and i still believe in America .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 10, 2008 12:41 AM
Comment #255079

Oh henry, “photographic memory of mine” I apologize about my comment on your Mirror’s in space a few years ago, I have a degree in Optics and axis is everything! even 1 degree off axis and we have a bad day on mother earth..

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 10, 2008 1:28 AM
Comment #255093

Henry,

While I agree the founding fathers were aristocrats, and definitely of the opinion that the masses could not rule themselves. One must remember that literacy was by no means widespread.

The frontier required more strong backs than strong minds. Black slaves and indentured servants bore the largest share of that work.

Jefferson and the Magna Carter expounded great ideals, but the genesis of the Revolution was founded in a rich class unwilling to pay exorbitant taxes and countenance unfair trade. While Adams and others roused the rabble using fictions like the Boston Massacre, the country was founded on a wealthy class seeking greater wealth and autonomy. Liberty rang true to an enslaved population, but it was a hoax in it’s origin.

To Washington’s credit, he chose to respect yielding power to others, as did most of the founder’s, but the rabble were never allowed real power. America’s ideals, as stated in the Constitution and Declaration, were important to progress in the world, but they were implemented by fallible men. Men who did what they thought best, whether it followed a Constitution or not.
Washington led a campaign against revolutionary soldiers up in arms over unfair taxation and failed payments by the Continental Congress, Jefferson hired pirates and signed the Louisiana Purchase without authority to do so. Neither allowed blacks or Native Americans their inalienable rights.

We have moved beyond those days, but are still stuck with a largely aristocratic government, paid for by the wealthy. None of this is Constitutional or in the spirit of our Declaration. We no longer kick blacks or Native Americans around to the extent we have in the past. Now it is simply the poor and working poor, and those we colonize, who bear the brunt of the abuse. The world understands that lie. It’s Americans who often have difficulty with that reality.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 10, 2008 8:12 AM
Comment #255109

Rhinehold:

What do you call the people who were ready to boycott Disney because Obama was asked questions while in a debate that they didn’t like, or wanted to string up the two guys asking questions?

Since that ABC debate with Gibson and Stephanopolus was practically empty of issues that matter to the American people, and rather focused on a huge number of tabloid-style questions, I’d call the people who reacted negatively to that debate thoroughly disgusted by our media and angry that they have been failing to do the job this country expects them to do.

Btw, it looks like I’m going have to take back one of those negatives you asked me to provide in order to take me out of “cult” status.
It appears that Obama has the good judgment to now be partnering with Elizabeth Edwards on Healthcare. Since Elizabeth is the one who did all the in depth research and number crunching for John’s excellent proposal during the primary, I’m confident that Obama will end up with a much better plan than the one he’s already put forward.

RickIL, thanks. Excellent comments.

j2t2, my thoughts exactly.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 10, 2008 11:29 AM
Comment #255133

S.D., you are once again over-estimating the strength of your candidate’s lead, perhaps by adopting a mindset that a “victory” has already happened, when that is premature. I am talking about the general election prospects of a candidate with a slim plurality in primary elections this year. Please don’t bother explaining again how wonderful the caucuses were. I think I understand more about IA than you ever will. It’s basically a suburb of IL, with a safety college on every block.

On the c-word and the k-word, people are actually being overly polite and too politically correct with the use of those terminologies, not seeking to offend, or violate the rules. I have said before that much of what others post in praise of your candidate, sounds like it comes with blue pajamas and little red books. I believe that will be the view of your candidate by the majority of the elcorate in November.

Thanks again for the responses.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 10, 2008 3:54 PM
Comment #255165

Googlumpugus,
Without getting into a history lesson from hell, each generation of Americans and their Two Party Political System( today Democratic and Republican)must find a Proper Way to use their Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders to discover a Better World for their Children’s Children. Why I do not know or care; however, just as My Elders and Peers will not let me cross certain lines of Societal Prudence. I know that the Children of the 21st Century will shot me if I even attempt to take a step on their side of the Creek of Faith.

Now that being said, let me ask you if the Status Quo Democratic and Republican Leaders’ Argument of Labor and Management still apply in a Service Based Economy or should the Debate of Society be between that of the Consumer and Corporation?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 11, 2008 3:39 AM
Comment #255185

Henry, I’m trying to understand what you are getting at, but I can’t.

I have no idea what, “I know that the Children of the 21st Century will shot me if I even attempt to take a step on their side of the Creek of Faith.” means.

I think both issues of labor and managment and consumers and corporations have validity.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 11, 2008 11:44 AM
Comment #255207

googlumpugus, That person’s posts seem to be translated from another language, not very well.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 11, 2008 3:02 PM
Comment #255268

Googlunpugus,
Why the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s had the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights to build a “Better World” than their Parents, so does the Children of the 21st Century (Those Citizens under the age of 30) have the same Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights to build a “Better World than their Parents.

And why this Child of the 70’s may hold the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights to have My Personal Opinion about what is needed to build an Unlimited Sustainable Society. You will have to ask My Elders and Peers why as an American Layman I am limited to the Political Debate of Building a Better World with the Learned and Unlearned of Society understanding of the Common Knowledge and Common Sense of Man. Sorry!

ohrealy,
Being Politically Independent I do not hold the same Argument of Logic and Reason as My Elders and Peers willingness to accept the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leadership Ideology that we live in a “Limited World” As such, I realize that it may be hard for some to know the Proper Argument given to Every American and Human by Our Ancestors and Forefather to explain Our Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights as Men and Women.

So, check with your local judge if you do not believe that I am Politically Correct; however, do not be surprised by the fact that as An American Layman Citizen I do have the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights to have My Personal Opinion about the Founding Documents of America and Humanity. For I do believe that you will find the answer Enlightening.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 12, 2008 12:38 AM
Comment #255319

Henry,
Apparently English is a second language to you. Rather than attempt to be overly flowery in your language, perhaps simple direct phrases may better achieve your goal of communication.

A. Civil and Constitutional rights are essentially synonymous. One will do. How have those changed? The same rights that existed in the 60’s, exist today. Please explain how you believe those build a better society. Perhaps you meant they have a duty to do so.

b. Who or what is limiting you politically and why?

Posted by: googlumpus at June 12, 2008 3:18 PM
Comment #255393

googlumpus,
I take it that you did not live through the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s and 70’s.

So, let me ask you if I can take away your generations’ Civil and Constitutional Rights to build a Better World than your parents and grandparents?

As far as the Who or What, let me ask you if you believe that a 10-year-old Child can ever be more right then their parents in the eyes of your Grandparents and the Courts of Law?

After that, go talk to David Remer or a Judge about forming your own Unbreakable Argument that can explain the Whole of Human Knowledge and Wisdom about why the Devil of Civilization will not let me take over his job.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 13, 2008 4:11 AM
Comment #255504

Henry,

I was born in 1957. I remember the march on Selma and Dr. King well, even if I was a child.

I never avered taking away anyone’s rights. What are you refering to? Please be direct. Your attempts at asking questions to illicit respnses don’t make any sense.

I am not of the opinion that we live in a “better world”. We gain technology, and we gain some scientific understanding of our world, but that doesn’t make it better in my mind. My grandparents are dead. My grandmother use to respond to statements about the good ol’ days with the question “what good ol days?” She raised a family during the Depression.

So a 10 year old child is limiting you politically? How about an answer rather than a BS dance?

Your babble about David Remer, a Judge and the Devil makes zero sense. You sound like someone trying desperately to sound profound, but you simply sound more like the ravings of a schizophrenic.

I’m patient and am willing to engage you in discussion, but not in a game of verbal ping pong.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 13, 2008 11:39 PM
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