Democrats & Liberals Archives

Reality Check On McCain's Rhetoric

How do we beat the [female adult dog]? That was the question, and the term used in actuality would likely be unprintable on the front page of this blog. And after having a bunch of fun at Hillary’s expense, of course McCain gave the standard disclaimer about respect. Recently, McCain took to saying that Obama put his loyalty to his own ambitions ahead of what was best for the country. But of course he wasn’t saying Obama was unpatriotic, just not loyal to his country!

There's a pattern, of course. McCain let's other say mean things, says mean things himself, but then says, surely you can't believe I'm doing this unacceptable thing? McCain is trying to have it both ways, going profoundly negative, but trying not to look like a profoundly negative person.

McCain will go after Obama's message of hope as if it's all vague. Is 59 pages worth of policy prescriptions vague? We could be sure that if he sat down with the reading glasses and went through it point by point, the Republicans would call him a droning lecturer. Of course, when McCain surrogate Bobby Jindal was asked about McCain's big ideas, he wasn't really able to name anything. McCain doesn't need very many pages to tells us what he's promising. It's pretty simple: more of the same. From McCain, we will see the red meat beefsteaks that have been thrown to the Republicans again and again by ambitious Republicans like McCain: overturning Roe v. Wade, continuing the war in Iraq, promising more military adventurism and confrontational behavior, continuing the laissez faire economics, and so on and so forth. It's not as if we're saying anything fundamentally untrue about what he's promising.

McCain's quest to prove that, for the sin of eating or knowing of a certain peppery lettuce like vegetable, Barack Obama was an elitist, was dealt a serious blow when it was revealed that McCain was himself pretty hoity-toity, at least in real estate, socioeconomic class, choice of wife, total fortune and other measures like that. This is the guy whose advisor said that we're having a hard time because we're a nations of whiners in a mental recession. Nobody really screwed up our economy, this UBS bank Lobbyist says, it's just a bunch of people who haven't shot themselves up with enough HAPPY JUICE! I mean, it can't be bad regulation, which let the big banks and financial decision makers utterly screw things up, nor could it be the politicians, either. It must be the unruly mob who's failed to be as productive as their masters wanted them to be, who, being just middle class and poor are too gullible to resist being panicked by negativity.

McCain wants to be seen as the candidate of experience, but when somebody reads The Best and the Brightest, even writes an introduction to it praising it, but then commits many of the same errors in supporting and continuing this war, (just read the book, it's downright sick how many parallels there are between the Johnson and Bush Administrations), then we have to question the value of his experience.

We have to question the value of experience coming from a man who, despite multiple brushes with corruption accusations has done little more than window dress himself with photo-op bills and op-ed, yet still makes trusted advisors out of registered Lobbyists. One even ran his lobbying firm from McCain's bus in the primaries. How's that for a Straight Talk Express? Say one thing and do another.

We have to question experience that leads a man to reverse nearly every hard-won belief he has built up over time in order to become president. How many other professed beliefs will McCain throw to the GOP platform committee wolves so that the party faithful will permit him to be their nominee? I know some might think, he'll just do it to get elected, and then he'll go right back. But if he has Karl Rove or a Rove protege advising him, if his policy is the same sort of single-quarter, short-term thinking policy Bush had under his political handlers, he won't go back until its politically convenient to go back, which may be never, at any rate. Barack Obama is saying the same things to day that he said four years ago, that he said in his books. He means what he says, and says what he means.

Additionally, it's symptomatic of our predicament that we're just counting experience in Washington as experience towards the presidency. How many times did people play the seniority card, telling him "wait your turn?" You can always get lieutenants and subordinates who know the ropes. Obama hasn't won by gradually accreting party influence, but in an explosive growth of political conquest, fueled by a direct appeal to voters rather than the use of party machinery. He might be a relative newcomer, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. The Democratic Party has been a party entrenched in its bad habits for decades now, and unfortunately, all too many have given in to the status quo. But Bush and the Republicans made the Democratic Party one that could no longer tolerate it's political situation, and Obama, with his organizational strength and new message and rhetorical direction is the kind of leader we're looking for.

And the Republicans can't have that. They're too weakened now to allow themselves the luxury of figuring out what went wrong with their party. They want to win an election at all costs, and they will say and do anything to achieve that. Anybody who wishes to make sense of what the Republicans are saying should keep that in mind as they attack anything and everything Obama is or claims to be. Their product is doubt, not new possibilities, fear of change rather than its embrace. They're stalling for time to keep alive a movement for which death would be a mercy, except for those who have ridden it to power.

This is their last chance to keep what they've fought for. What we must remember, as they fight and claw and scratch to avoid this power from being pried from their hands, is that for the last three decades, they've had every chance to vindicate their policy through actions rather than words, and in those three decades, they've come to hate the current order so badly that the Republicans themselves are on the run from their party's bad image. That is what they've literally been told to do. The question is, having failed everywhere else, why do we want to continue failure in the most powerful office in our country? Why do we want to hand four more years to people who have done so much harm with the last few decades?

It's time to start over, even if it means taking a little risk. For far too long, Republicans have played upon our fear of change. Now it's time to let the change they've feared for so long come to pass.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 7:36 AM
Comments
Comment #259574

>It’s time to start over, even if it means taking a little risk. For far too long, Republicans have played upon our fear of change. Now it’s time to let the change they’ve feared for so long come to pass.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 07:36 AM

Stephen,

You be right about this pending change. As I watched the first night of the convention last night, these impressions came to fore:

Flowing like a brook to a stream…

That’s how I felt on the first night of the Democratic Convention. At first, when Mrs. Pilosi spoke, it was as if I was a leaf, floating in a little rill where some rocks formed a barrier. I was fearful of being caught on a rock and being held there. Politics as usual, I told myself…why am I sitting here listening to this stuff?

But then ‘O’s sister, Maya opened the rill into a brook somewhat wider and calmer. She was eloquent without being pretentious, and brought the Obama family a little closer to the surface. I was beginning to see that the water was clearing and cooling.

The junior Jackson, caused some ripples and a tiny waterfall, but it only made my float downstream more interesting. Teddy narrowed the stream and the water flowed faster for a while, but the calming pool that was Michelle Obama, did the trick, especially the little eddy of family insight came about with the video appearance of the man himself.

After I got out of that spinning whirlpool, I began to float into an unknown territory, but although it was into the unknown, I moved on without trepidation, and even with a little hope that in front of me was a stream, river or even a majestic lake, perhaps a reservoir of calming and peaceful, all-encompassing brotherhood. A brotherhood where America became an America I could once again take pride in.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 11:36 AM
Comment #259578

Stephen

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

As the polls in Florida and Ohio “float” to McCain, and as Clinton voters swing to the right side, how can John possibly still be in the hunt?

Answer: He’s in there against a 24 carat, off the rack at WalMart suit.

Plus, the surge worked. :)

All style, zero substance.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at August 26, 2008 12:33 PM
Comment #259580

se,

You must be one of them there elitists…whatchu got aggin Wally-World suits?

The surge worked? Against what? What if all the necessary troops (the kind who were trained in post operatioal recovery) had been sent in to begin with? Oh, that’s right, that would have required a little pre-planning, which is against Republican rules of war.

The surge worked? Why was it necessary in the first place? If Cheney/Bush had been an honorable man to begin with, the surge would not only have been unnecessary, but why would you ‘surge’ against a peaceful settlement?

Your post is an EMPTY suit. No style…no substance…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 12:52 PM
Comment #259581

Well said both of you. I actually have found it kind of sad the way McCain has sold himself out. I understand the sense of desperation he must be feeling to not only get passed over in 2000 by a bumbling idiot that drove his party into a ditch but to have his last shot at the presidency be such an uphill struggle due to the slipping of the Republican brand.

That being said, man, he has really gone over the deep end. He has become everything he has said he was against, the politics of personal destruction, pandering to his party’s extremists, and using his military experience as an excuse to not have to answer tough questions, to excuse cheating, and to cover mistakes. His appearance on Leno’s show the other night:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q37O08IJstQ
when he couldn’t even poke fun at himself and help to diffuse the “I can’t remember how many houses I have” flap. He had to once again drag it down with the I was a POW excuse. As I have said before, no on should question his sacrifice. Being in that situation and coming out of it with any senses in tact is remarkable but to use it as an excuse or a way to wiggle out of a tough situation that has absolutely nothing to do with being a POW is outrageous and sad.

As to the convention last night - Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama were spectacular. Nanci Pelosi - not so much.

Posted by: tcsned at August 26, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #259582

dude….it’s getting clearer all the time to see why Mary stayed for 40+ years… ;) I have to say, reading your post made me realize that I had some of my own questions. I have supported, and will contine to support Obama all the way, but will do it with no question or doubt now. Anything from now on will only support my decision,


Sic eagle,

All style, zero substance
change “all” to “no” and that sums up your post. It’s funny to watch when someone scores against your side, that you just start throwing out meaningless, rhetorical crap to grab attention. Funny how fear does that, huh?!?! Posted by: janedoe at August 26, 2008 12:59 PM
Comment #259583

marysdude

It must just break your heart that Patreus was right all along, huh?

Why even Joe, once he got done plagerizing a speech from that British Labor minister,and insulting the entirer Indian sub continent with his 7-11 crack, realizes this…despite the fact that he said that it didn’t work.

Credit Ted Kennedy, Jack Murtha, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi for empowering the insurgents…they read, you know.

What a crew.

Betch McCain steals this one…with the Mitt man as his mate!

Posted by: sicilian eagle at August 26, 2008 12:59 PM
Comment #259586

Stephen

Good article!

The GOP’rs scurry around making controversy out of nothing. Then they sit back let that controversy fester and leave it up to their man to exclaim with shock and disdain against the very message his minions propagated. Their entire campaign strategy is based on the creation of a negative perception of the other guy. They lay in wait in their hive, they gather, scheme, twist and mold to build combs of negative half truths and false doubt and waves of fear of the unkonwn. When most convenient they force those newly created fears and doubts onto the public in order that they might prey on those who have no clear vision. All this just to keep the main focus off their own weak and failed positions. They are relying on organized chaos to muddle the minds of voters in hopes that they can pull the wool over the eyes of the easily swayed once again. Sometimes I think they would gladly eat their young in order that they might maintain power while having done nothing to earn it, because they have nothing to offer.

I find their insolent arrogance and lack of decency a bit troubling. I guess maybe that is what happens when one no longer can claim integrity, credibility or proper direction.

Posted by: RickIL at August 26, 2008 1:09 PM
Comment #259588

se,

Mitt is said to be fairly sharp, for a Repug. If he agrees to run with McPain, so much for sharp…

Patreus may have called the tune, but why was he singing in the first place? No one can tell me an honorable reason for being there…no one can tell me why, if we were going to go in there we didn’t go with enough troops (properly trained) to do the job. The so-called ‘surge’ was an unnecessary joke.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #259594

It seems like folks like SE think that if they repeat that the surge is working it will become fact. The “surge” as this escalation has been called has been one factor of why less people are dying - along with paying off the Sunni militias and the fact that most of the ethnic cleansing had already been accomplished in the Baghdad neighborhoods that were a focus of the Iraqi on Iraqi violence. It still hasn’t come any closer to the political reconciliation that will produce long term results.

What can’t be more wrong is saying that any dissent in this country helps the enemy. This is among the lamest arguments an American can make. What is this country supposed to be about? What does the First Amendment say? Sure they read, SE but you know what? They can also see how they can kill some people and make people in this country toss out our Constitution and try to get the American people to act like scared sheep. “Keep in your houses and let the GOP get the bad guys” - hogwash, utter hogwash. It’s right up there with “they hate our freedom”

Posted by: tcsned at August 26, 2008 1:37 PM
Comment #259599

SE-
Obama polls pretty well against McCain. It’s just that McCain is pretty popular himself. he’s even… GASP! Thud…

A celebrity. More times on the tonight show than Dr. Phil and Pamela Anderson. He’s sold himself as a brand for the last eight years. Most people have a favorable rating for him.

But people see more substance, more issue-orientness in Obama, and for good reason: he’s actually dealing with the issues. This upstart has equal favorability rating among independents, and the general public, and they split independents clearly.

McCain’s problem is that he only maintains his numbers because people assume he’s different from the other Republicans. The better they know McCain’s positions, the worse it will be for McCain. That is, unless McCain goes the Hillary route and swiftboats Obama. But the Democrats won’t let that happen twice.

On the subject of the surge? It didnt’ work. The violence is down, but not in a way that prevents it from breaking out. Whent he al-Sadr peace broke down recently, casualties and violence themselves surged. Only a fragile peace, engineered largely by the Iraqi’s themselves, keeps things together.

Three points should be made obvious by that: first that the surge was intended to allow us to leave. Yet it hasn’t, in no small part because it didn’t satisfy its political objective: reconciliation. We can’t turn our backs without things unravelling, so we don’t have a true victory.

Secondly, our forces were struggling to handle the violence, even at their most elevated levels. Only when the Iraqis voluntarily stopped fighting us, whether by their own cease-fire or out of respect for our large bribes and common hatred for AQI, did the casualty numbers drop for us and others. We weren’t the ones who made peace, they were. This raises the possiblity that our presence might not even be useful in that regard. We’re like a bike brake attached to a sports car.

The only thing we do is prop up a government that doesn’t have the strength to rule over its own nation. Seeing as how our forces are permanently on the decline there, we don’t have the manpower to stick around forever coddling them, nor can we protect them if things get seriously screwed up there.

As for empowerment of the insurgents? We Democrats complained quite openly of something you guys implicitly acknowledged with the surge: that there were never enough soldiers. You are the ones who had us in the pathetic routine of playing terrorist whack-a-mole, our insufficient troops going from city to city only to have the town we just left erupt once more in violence.

In very real terms, it is the Republican war policy that empowered the insurgents, by failing to put enough forces in the country soon enough to discourage such dumb ideas as rising up in arms. Now, if you look at the political situation in Iraq, you’ll see those bastards are the ones in control. They’re keeping their militias. They’ve become what one milblogger calls “enemies with benefits”. You guys capitulated worse than you ever accused us of capitulating, appeasing our enemies to keep them quiet so they wouldn’t ruin the “success” of your surge. But that is no recipe for peace in Iraq long-term, and no recipe for victory in any real terms.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 2:12 PM
Comment #259600
No one can tell me an honorable reason for being there…

Sure they can, you just refuse to listen. Reminds me of one of my favorite BNL songs:

“I can’t hear a thing…
‘Cause I’m not listening…”

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 2:13 PM
Comment #259602

Thanks, janedoe, but I think Mary is still around because she thinks she can turn me around and make me into a better man…she’s kinda stubborn…doesn’t know when to quit…

You have influenced me at times, so if this entry of mine influenced you…well, we’re even.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 2:30 PM
Comment #259603

>No one can tell me an honorable reason for being there…
>Sure they can, you just refuse to listen.


Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 02:13 PM

Rhinehold,

Huh?

When you talk, this is what I hear:

Yes we invaded another country, but we did it for good cause, i.e., WMD…but, when we could find no WMD, we invaded because Saddam was in cahoots with al Qaida…but, when we could find no evidence of that cooperation, we invaded because Saddam was a do-baddy, who need to be replaced…but after Saddam was dead and had been replaced, and that did not help we invaded to democratize Iraq. Of course, by democratizing Iraq, we had to UNdemocratize the USA. Did I miss anything? Did I hear it all okay.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 2:46 PM
Comment #259605
Did I hear it all okay

Nope.

When you talk, this is what I hear:

I know, because that is what you want to hear. Nothing I’ve stated has changed since 2003. Why Bush went or why Congress ok’d it was not what you mentioned. I’ve detailed it more than once, but of course you choose to hear what you want, which, of course, makes debate highly unlikely.

It is also why most people who would be jumping on the bandwagon to support Obama are sitting on the sideline, the treatment that the majority of Americans are being given by the anti-Iraq war contingent of the left, basically telling them that their views at the time were unhonerable. That kind of rhetoric is hard to get around. It is one thing to say that we handled the war horribly (and I was one calling for the withdral of troops in 2005) and telling them that they were wrong for supporting the action to begin with. But the left, like yourself, want to wrap it all up in a non-negotiable biscut and shove it down our throats.

And then wonder why Obama is tied at this point of the race?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 3:10 PM
Comment #259606

Rhinehold - I have not heard your reasons for supporting the war but I have heard most of the popular ones - especially the shifting reasons coming out of the GOP as one after another gets shot down based on facts. If someone has a good reason I would certainly be open to it but as of yet I have not heard one.

I agree it is a separate matter about how atrociously the war was handled. Preemptive warfare should be the topic of debate as far as I’m concerned. If this model is accepted it will mean a lot more wars and a lot more unintended consequences.

Is it right for this country to attack another who may have provoked us but has really done nothing to warrant a full-scale invasion and occupation when this country really poses no threat to us? I used to try that “I hit my brother because he looked like he was going to hit me so I hit him back first” arguments. My Mom was smart enough not to buy it neither should we as a country.

Our military should be around to defend the country, we have a Department of Defense not a Department of Offense. America has never lived up to the ideals this country was founded on by starting a war - nor have we had much success except for the Mexican War in 1848 - though it was still an act of naked aggression and was just as wrong as our invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: tcsned at August 26, 2008 4:14 PM
Comment #259607

tscned,

Most of the reasons I gave in 2004 are still on the site http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/001765.html.

But you made a few assertions that not everyone agrees with.

First, that Saddam was of no threat to the US. He was IMO for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was his support of international terrorism, his attacks on US planes, his torturing of US journlists and the knowledge that he was planning on attacking us (again) with terrorists after 9/11.

Second, you say we should not use the military for other than our own personal interests, but Bush has not been the first one to do that. We have, for years, used our ability to put down wrongs around the globe, including Kosovo. I can debate whether or not we should, but we do and Iraq was one such instance, the link details out just some of the autrocities committed there.

But most importantly, the condition in Iraq caused by the sanctions was of the International Communittee’s making. Allowing it to conttinue as long as it did, killing as many children as it did (reports are over 500,000 under the age of 5) and our turning our backs on Iraqis attempting to overthrow Saddam after our urging that they do so put us in a very responsible position that we could not just turn away from. Aruging that we should is akin to saying we can do and say what we want without having to defend the consequences of those actions.

History of Iraq didn’t start in 2003. The US, and even moreso the UK, were directly responsible to the conditions in Iraq as they were in 2003. Not attempting to fix what we broke before we even invaded to remove Saddam (which is what I supported, not occupying) was IMO wrong, which is the same reason I supported Clinton when he wanted to do the same thing in 1998 and the Republicans stopped him then.

There are more reasons as well, I could go down a looooong list. And I admit that others may not agree with them. But I do not tell them that they were unmoral viewpoints, only that I disagree with them and list the reasons. It’s a shame that those who opposed fixing the problems in Iraq that we helped create can’t give the same respect back to those they oppose.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 4:28 PM
Comment #259609

McCain says in his book that he wanted to be president it was his ambition. How is that different that what he is saying about Barack.

McCain just recently sent his wife to Georgia(not the state) to check out how things are and to report back. Excuse me!! Is that the best he could do-send in the aging barbie doll. Can you imagine if Barack had asked Michelle to go do the same thing.

At first I was all for Barack keeping this a clean fight and not stooping to the lowness of the GOP but it is costing him and he will lose if he doesn’t get out there and sling some mud.

A friend called me today to tell me she saw a business van/truck (can’t remember which)Poly Vinyl Fibricators with this written on the back of the business vehicle: Barack Hussein Obama-The AntiChrist.

McCain has done nothing to stop this kind of slander. To me this shows whose ambition is stronger. McCain will obviously sell his soul to win this nomination.

I am sick of all this. I went into Costco today and they had 4 of their tvs tuned to fox news. I asked them if they were trying to make a political statement and if they would mind changing them to another station. Which they did. I had the same issue with a doctors office and sent a letter to the office manager but the waiting room tv is still on fox news.

The corporate media control is everywhere. Am I paranoid-YES with good reason.

Every democrat has got to get out there and challenge the GOP or Barack will not win.

McCain is a skunk. and I am PISSED!!!!! I can barely watch TV now because of the unfairness.

Posted by: Carolina at August 26, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #259611
At first I was all for Barack keeping this a clean fight and not stooping to the lowness of the GOP but it is costing him and he will lose if he doesn’t get out there and sling some mud.

You are aware that Obama has been doing this already himself, right? As you say, you are ok with that, just letting you know.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 4:42 PM
Comment #259612

I spelled fabricators wrong.

One last thing. I am sick to death of hearing the surge worked. Tom Brokah(however you spell his name) even brought it up with Nancy Pelosi on Sunday. Asked her why democrats can’t admit that the surge worked. Asking the question that way presupposes that it has worked so even the media (corporate controlled) are spouting off the GOP talking points. I would like one reporter to recognize this and to ask a republican the question the PURPOSE OF THE SURGE was not met why can’t the republicans admit this.

Posted by: Carolina at August 26, 2008 4:46 PM
Comment #259613

Carolina,

And you’re getting your unbiased news from where, again?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #259614

Rhinehold - The link was broken but I looked through and read some of the things you said. I have to say, your reasons are a lot more reasonable than the ones that we were fed by the government. I agree with a lot of what you say. We let the Iraqi people down when Bush I didn’t support the Shiite uprising and gave Saddam the authority to use his helicopters to put it down. I agree that the sanctions the UN imposed sanctions took a horrendous toll on the people and especially the children of Iraq. Your reasons were all honorable - preventing further human suffering is about the only honorable excuse for getting involved in a war.

I misspoke a little, I don’t think that our military should be used only in defense of our borders - that we owe it to the people around the world to help out to stop genocide, invasions, human rights catastrophes, etc. Though I hesitate even here when I look at how effective killing people to stop someone from killing people usually turns out to be. It unleashes a Pandora’s Box of consequences that often turn out to be worse than the situation was before the war.

That being said, if the unintended consequences of an action, even with good intent, are to make matters worse then it is not worth the sacrifice of our military and Iraq’s innocent civilians. I could see these consequences coming a mile away as I’m sure you did. Where it seems we differ is whether that risk was worth it - a legitimate point of debate.

The trouble with this debate is that it was not allowed to happen and the country was not given the information to make an informed decision. The Bush administration threw up excuse after lame excuse and I really doubt that their intentions were and are as honorable as yours. In fact, we have been guilty as a nation of many of the things that Saddam did to his people as listed in your article. We have lost the moral high ground because of wallowing in the mud of oppression, granted not on the same level as Saddam’s abuses.

I still fall back to what the Dalai Lama once said - that war and violence only produce more suffering not solutions.

Posted by: tcsned at August 26, 2008 5:01 PM
Comment #259615

Rhinehold-
I think you’ve gotten more of the RW’s version of what our rhetoric said than what it really said.

We’ve never claimed that most Americans had dishonorable intentions. At least half of us supported the war, and I am among them. What we first did was protest the fact that we hadn’t been told the truth and/or that the administration had been so reckless and careless with the intelligence. Then, as a loyal opposition, we critiqued the way that the war was being led. As it became obvious that the worst had happened, we decided enough was enough.

Obama is saying we need to be as responsible getting out as we were irresponsible getting in. Saying so is a critique not of Americans, but those who create the policy that got us in there. McCain is still saying we need to win this war, then get out. Peace with Honor, a virtual replay of things before in Vietnam.

This is not the majority position. McCain is still pushing a war that most Americans disagree with.

McCain hits Obama on being a celebrity, the implication being a personal, subjective one. Obama hits McCain on being a near perfect sycophant to Bush on the issues, which, as we get closer to the election, he has indeed increasingly become, the documentable daylight diminishing between them.

The question is how each candidate is trying to win: one will critique the other on what they have done, the other will try to defame the other on some vague quality in hopes of poisoning their opinion of them.

And how much has this worked? For all the effort they’ve put in, not much.

What I think really supports McCain’s near tie with Obama is his long-term good image from the American people. He’s been out there for more than several years as a major figure. However, there is an open question as to whether McCain’s supply of goodwill can long stand a deeply negative campaign.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2008 5:26 PM
Comment #259617

You know, if all of us Democrats think we are going to easily win the election against John McCain, and we all feel the American people are so unhappy living here, and are so fed up with the Republicans, why do we bother writing anything at all negative about John McCain? What’s the point, we all know Obama will win in a landslide, we all know that the United States will become a utopia, a paradise og hope and change after November 5th. All of this McCain bashing tells me one thing…you are scared dtiff that McCain will win because the Democratic party chose the wrong candidate, the candidate speaking tonight with the initials H.C. should be the nominee, and every knows it’s too late to fix the mistake. Well, this is one Democrat who is not falling for it, I am voting McCain come November 5th. We, as a party, voted in the weaker candidate, Hillary was right, now we are seeing the rewards of choosing the man with the silver tongue. How on this earth can John McCain be 1 to 2 points behind in every poll with the shape that this nation is in? It is unbelievable that we Democrats blew it again. Once again, the left wing of the party gets their way, and the majority of the party loses out.

Posted by: Maxcroft Squire Muhldoon at August 26, 2008 5:29 PM
Comment #259620

Max,

Not scared of McPain…scared of the hate machine he has released…with a cororate media, and a Rovian mindset, it behooves us to hit back as hard and as fast as we can. Your side has little honor, as is emphasizes by that van, Cosco TVs and Doctors office TVs listed above.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 6:02 PM
Comment #259623

RickIl wrote:

Their entire campaign strategy is based on the creation of a negative perception of the other guy.

The Republicans don’t have to create a negative perception of Obama, the leftists are doing it for us.

Joe Biden on Obama;

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy … I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos: “You were asked is he ready. You said ‘I think he can be ready, but right now I don’t believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.’” Sen. Biden: “I think that I stand by the statement.” (ABC’s, “This Week,” 8/19/07)

“And, look, Tim, if you tell me I’ve got to take away this protection for these kids in order to win the election, some things aren’t worth it. Some things are worth losing over. That would be worth losing over. Hundreds of lives are being saved and will be saved by us sending these vehicles over which we are funding with this supplemental legislation. And I want to ask any of my other colleagues, would they, in fact, vote to cut off the money for those troops to protect them? That’s the right question. This isn’t cutting off the war. This is cutting off support that will save the lives of thousands of American troops.” (NBC’s “Meet The Press,” 9/9/07)

“Having Talking Points On Foreign Policy Doesn’t Get You There.” (“Biden Lashes Out At Obama,” ABC News’ “Political Radar” Blog, blogs.abcnews.com, 8/2/07)

Biden On Obama’s Leadership On Iraq: “I Don’t Recall Hearing A Word From Barack About A Plan Or A Tactic.” (Jason Horowitz, “Biden Unbound: Lays Into Clinton, Obama, Edwards,” The New York Observer, 2/4/07)

And this is his VP pick?

Posted by: Kirk at August 26, 2008 6:31 PM
Comment #259626

“the Dalai Lama once said - that war and violence only produce more suffering not solutions.”

tcsned, similarly, some political activists pave the way for their opponents to be elected. On the convention, I liked Michelle last night, but I must have missed the part about her father’s job being political patronage. He was a precinct captain in Chicago, his real job was to get out the vote. The rest of the locals who spoke looked clean and bright and were articulate, but I’m glad I didn’t have to watch them making any sausages.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 26, 2008 7:39 PM
Comment #259631

Kirk,

Cheney/Bush said much worse about McPain during there primary season, and later McPain hugged the little devil. Now McPain wants to emulate him…go figure…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2008 8:45 PM
Comment #259634
I think you’ve gotten more of the RW’s version of what our rhetoric said than what it really said.

No, I just listen to the comments I get here from self-avowed Democrats. Heck, just look at the comment I responded to, that there was ‘no honerable reason’ for being there. Look at the wringer any Democrat who supported the war was put through, look at what they did to Lieberman.

I don’t have to get the comments from anyone but the Democrats, Stephen. Nice attempt to deflect (again) though.

one will critique the other on what they have done, the other will try to defame the other on some vague quality in hopes of poisoning their opinion of them.

So, which one is which then? Is calling your opponent ‘too old’ a valid critique on what they’ve done or an attempt to defame the other in some vague uality in hopes of poisoning other’s opinion of him’?

You can SAY that Obama is staying above the fray, but the fact is different. In fact, the DAY he claimed that McCain was hitting below the belt he released, targetting small markets, some pretty vile rhetoric himself. That he, or rather his supporters, want to claim he is still taking the high road reminds me of when they defended him for doing the same against Hillary when she got close to knocking him off. It’s getting tight? Well, better get to dirty politics.

Whatever it takes, principles be damned. Not taking public funds would be more advantageous, so lets backtrack. The polls are saying drilling? Ok, I’ll change my mind. Strategic reserve? Not now, well may now.

I’m sorry Stephen, but your portrayal of Obama as being anything other than another politician, as his former friend Rev Wright called him, is ringing hollow.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 8:52 PM
Comment #259638
I have to say, your reasons are a lot more reasonable than the ones that we were fed by the government.

Thank you.

That being said, if the unintended consequences of an action, even with good intent, are to make matters worse then it is not worth the sacrifice of our military and Iraq’s innocent civilians. I could see these consequences coming a mile away as I’m sure you did. Where it seems we differ is whether that risk was worth it - a legitimate point of debate.

I agree and a debate I don’t mind sharing for upcoming events in the world. I, for one, would certainly think twice about supporting an action like this unless it seemed worth it. Luckily, right now, there are none atm that I think we are that responsible for and must bear the brunt of cleaning up. I think we should have been in Rwanda years ago, but it should be led by the French and other Europeans, along with the UN, before we but in substantial support and I don’t see that happening.

But that is the really the point I have been trying to make here for years, you are the first person on the left that accepts the point and is willing to move beyond the rhetoric. Normally I just get told that I’m ignorant, a closet neo-con, evil, unhonerable, etc. It has been a sticking point for me because I think had the left not used that rhetoric, they would have put forth a better candidate in 2004 and we probably wouldn’t have had the second Bush term. Unfortunately, they just alienated a large percentage of possible voters and allowed the right’s scare tactics to work to their advantage.

I still fall back to what the Dalai Lama once said - that war and violence only produce more suffering not solutions.

The Dalai Lama is a great man and I am glad to have seen him speak in person last year. The problem is that there are times when we need to stand up to oppression with force. Let’s debate those times, not attempt to demonize people who we disagree with on where the line is.

Stephen,

BTW, you mention that Bush is in opposition with the majority on the war now which is an example of how they are not good leaders, but when Saddam was against the war when the majority was, you claim that to be leadership.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 9:10 PM
Comment #259646

Kirk

And this is his VP pick?

Biden was Obama’s opponent at the time. Candidates take different positions in the interest of furthering their cause. It is called politics. There really is no need to read any more than that into it.

Posted by: RickIL at August 26, 2008 10:15 PM
Comment #259648

Oh, and another BTW, I just re-read my comment to Stephen where I said ‘saddam’ instead of ‘Obama’. That was not intentional, I had just wrote a long comment about Iraq and Saddam, purely an errant brain cell misfiring at the wrong time. I apologize for the mistake, the brain cell has been severely chastized (a good beer takes care of that nicely, god I love Grolsch).

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 26, 2008 10:24 PM
Comment #259654

Rhinehold-
Now what could that comment have meant? This is the problem that sometimes arguments in politics get into, when people get conditioned to believe the other side is malicious from the outset.

A lot of people honestly believe that we’ve exhausted our means of taking care of Iraq militarily, that all that’s really left for a military occupation like ours is further trouble and humiliation, that the decent thing to do for the Iraqis and ourselves is to admit that we failed and quit that failure, not compound it and make more needless casualties out of our people and theirs trying to prolong our inevitable reckoning with that.

You turn it into a malicious insult against those who once thought or still think that there was an honorable way out, expanding the time frame and reading in malice that I can tell you is doubtful to be there.

I don’t think you do it on purpose, that’s just been the default assumption of the RW.

Yes, there are plenty of obnoxious Obama supporters. Plenty of obnoxious McCain supporters too. The internet is the breadbasket of anonymous obnoxiousness; if you wish to find a crop of any group’s most socially graceless crowd, you are bound to find them there.

I never said that Obama is above the fray. But what Obama is, is more well rounded as a candidate. He’s not relying solely on negative ads and negative messages about his opponents to win. There is a yin-yang balance to his campaign, and something broader and greater than just wearing away the other candidate’s electability to his message.

Obama is a politician. But he’s a better politician, both in character and in quality. You talk about public funds, but what about McCain’s duplicitous use of the potential of matching funds for his campaign as collateral for a private loan to his campaign? If that is what McCain does with public financing, essentially saying that he would have stuck the taxpayer with the bill had he lost, then Obama is well served by going with his vast pool of small donors, rather than trust McCain to play by the rules.

What rings hollow is the continuous effort on the Right to scare people about Barack Obama, because that is all about selling McCain as the absence of old scary Obama in the White House, rather than of McCain as an engine of productive change.

As for Obama being against the war when the majority was? No, Obama spoke up when folks were airing ads dissing triple amputee war heroes as confederates of terrorists and tyrants. I remember those poisonous times, and they are part of what motivated me to seek an end to that period. But as good as that was, it was his Keynote address in 2004, which laid out to me precisely the kind of unity and breadth of vision I had wanted and Bush had never delivered, coupled with the incredible start his campaign came off with in the primaries that lead me to become a supporter.

What ultimately drew me was that I was thinking many of the same things, and was glad to see somebody else who not only wanted those things, but had the political savvy to make them a reality. I never saw Obama as a messiah, just a politician with great potential.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 27, 2008 12:03 AM
Comment #259672
You turn it into a malicious insult against those who once thought or still think that there was an honorable way out, expanding the time frame and reading in malice that I can tell you is doubtful to be there.

WTF are you talking about? Do you keep forgetting that I was calling for us to pull out of Iraq in 2005? That I admit that the surge appears to be working, but it was the mismanagement of the war by Rummy that has us still there. Just because I defend that the decision to go was not unhonerable (remember what started this branch of the discussion, Stephen.) does not do any of that except in the minds of those who can’t tell the difference.

I’ll even help with the link http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/002865.html

Quit playing the politics of the duopoly, us against them, if you aren’t with us you’re against us. It gets old and only infuriates those of us who don’t wish to swollow the left’s agenda whole with a smile without even the courtesy of a reach around.

I never said that Obama is above the fray. But what Obama is, is more well rounded as a candidate. He’s not relying solely on negative ads and negative messages about his opponents to win. There is a yin-yang balance to his campaign, and something broader and greater than just wearing away the other candidate’s electability to his message.

That’s your opinion, not fact. Try to remember that when talking to others who do not see what you seem to see. They may not like being told what to think.

You talk about public funds, but what about McCain’s duplicitous use of the potential of matching funds for his campaign as collateral for a private loan to his campaign?

See, this is what I mean. You think *MY* candidate is bad, why just look at that other one over there. WHEW, at least he’s not as bad as that guy. Please…

I could list out a whole litany of things that would challenge your view of Obama, and have some, but they won’t phase someone who has already made up their mind. In today’s political atmosphere, you’ll just do what you always do and point me to your ONLY opponent. Only he isn’t and unless people allow others to think that there are other opponents, you get that luxury.

You say you found someone who sees things like you do. Great. FOR YOU. But the ones that I found are told that they aren’t allowed in the debates, aren’t viable. Aren’t worthy to be allowed to be part of the political debate, simply because they are not part of the entrenched duopoly.

I see Obama as nothing but a lesser version of Clinton. Less experience but a great speaker. If that is what you want from a candidate, someone who says the right things but has no history or examples of IMPLEMENTING those things, feel free to support him. But don’t support him by comparing him to the opponent. Stand him up on his own.

Except, that’s harder to do, isn’t it?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 27, 2008 2:04 AM
Comment #259778

“The internet is the breadbasket of anonymous obnoxiousness” when they don’t support you candidate, but where else would you get Noam Chomsky on Iraq, war crimes, and how we are helping Iran:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biyK7NgdCDA

Something about honey and bees from “Johnny Appleseed” by Joe Strummer?

Posted by: ohrealy at August 27, 2008 5:34 PM
Comment #259786

well i don’t know but one thing for sure that Joe Biden has now been officially introduced as Barack Obama’s Vice Presidential selection, well i was thinking that it was Hillary but Joe is good too and it makes them strong…i just see this video in pollclash

Posted by: Jacque Denise Yap at August 27, 2008 6:45 PM
Comment #259788

Rhinehold

I see Obama as nothing but a lesser version of Clinton. Less experience but a great speaker. If that is what you want from a candidate, someone who says the right things but has no history or examples of IMPLEMENTING those things, feel free to support him. But don’t support him by comparing him to the opponent. Stand him up on his own.

You certainly are entitled to your opinions as to what makes a candidate viable. I think what you are not getting is that in this particular situation we do not all share the same perception of what skills will make a leader who is good for our country at this time. For many of us what we need more than anything at this point is a person who can possibly end the divisiveness built of partisan hatred that exists in government today. As I see it Obama gives us our only chance at reforming a dis-functional government. As an outsider he can look beyond those partisan hatreds and reach out to those on all sides without fear of extrication from any particular established group of power brokers. He recognizes that unity in government is what is needed to take us into the future. Imo his lack of membership in the insiders club, his intellect, excellent education, insight, judgment, decency, recognition, organizational and communication skills plus perceived genuine desire add up to the necessary experience that renders him more than adequate to perform the job at hand. With respect to those qualifiers he does by my standards stand on his own.

As I see it there is one absolute that affirms my position. McCain as president will carry on those partisan divisions insuring another four years of ineffective backwards thinking governance. Republicans have demonstrated quite clearly that they are incapable of compromise or looking beyond the old.

Posted by: RickIL at August 27, 2008 7:19 PM
Comment #259910

Rhinehold-
Duopoly. That’s a term that means a lot to you, but not much to other people. It’s a nice fighting word, but fighting words are not always the best choices for a persuasive argument.

The decision to go to war was taken from Americans, when the Bush administration went to war having intentionally stacked, distorted the evidence, creating the illusion of consensus to push a skeptical public into a war there was otherwise no great cry for. That wasn’t honorable. Americans had honorable intentions, but their leaders manipulated them. This sales job on the surge, given what I know, seems little better.

It’s time to face the truth, to own the failure so we can get beyond it without looking back.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 28, 2008 11:40 PM
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