Democrats & Liberals Archives

I Promise: This Is Not About Sarah Palin.

The Democratic Convention carried one basic message: The time has come for us to change our underlying assumptions on policy, and Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the ones to do it. The Republican Convention carried another message: Change is scary, and so are the people offering it. We’re Mavericks and Reformers because we say we are; never mind the evidence. Let us continue to push our agenda and things will get better. We promise!

Joe Biden nailed the Republicans on this. And why shouldn't he? The McCain Campaign doesn't want to run on the issues. Like Rick Davis, one of McCain's staff, said:

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Which is essentially to say that they believe that this campaign is about the candidates' personas.

About them.

But it's not. It's most decidedly not. Not in that way. McCain wants to make this as a referendum on his own legend. That's practically all they were selling McCain on at the convention. He's a POW. Did you know he was a POW? How about that POW experience? Obama doesn't have it! They way they tell it, McCain rose on the third day from the POW camp, and he came back to put country first ever since. Never mind his divorce of his disfigured wife. Never mind his Keating scandal. Never mind the fact that he says one thing about lobbyists to the public then says another thing to the lobbyists by putting them on his staff and his campaign. Maybe he doesn't grant anybody earmarks, but earmarks are nowhere near the limit of influence that a Senator like McCain can wield on behalf of lobbyists and donors. There are plenty of people who went from heroic experiences to less than heroic behavior in the annals of history. Even King David, the guy who heroically killed Goliath, grew corrupted by his power at some point. It wouldn't make him evil, just human.

But even if we forgive McCain his duplicity, we must admit his failure to repent of his deception. When the head of your campaign was running a lobbying firm out of the back of your so-called "Straight Talk Express", before he resigns to run your general election campaign full time, there's something you're not telling people about your real politics.

While studying screenwriting, I was made familiar with the square of oppositions. The first side is Positive, which is to say in no conflict. If McCain were just what he said, he'd belong her. The second side would be Contrary, which is to say only somewhat in conflict. If McCain was perhaps just a little bit more indulgent of Washington's "political reality", we might place him there. The next side is Contradictory, which would have McCain bluntly, unapologetically in favor of the Washington reality, something like Tom DeLay.

The last side, the Negation of the Negation, is the worst. When somebody pretends to be a hero, but is in reality a villain, that's where you place them. It's not that McCain is evil, but in terms of his conflict with America's priorities, he's the worst possilble choice. McCain talks about being a reformer and an opponent of government misconduct, but he regularly commits it, and he surrounds himself with the very lobbyists he takes potshots at. It's easy enough for them to understand; I doubt they have hard feelings. He's just providing the very useful cover for them of being a bought and sold man who doesn't have a reputation for being bought and sold.

Obama has unrolled out much in the way of ambitious policy change, a fifty something page PDF composing a considerable part of it. Rather than run on vague persona, something he could do in a heartbeat, Obama is commiting himself. He's telling the American people what he really plans to do. He can be held accountable on those things, and it was most of what he talked about. Obama laid out a broad range of policy specifics, put himself on the line in his Acceptance Speech.. What did McCain do in his speech? He talked about himself.

McCain has his legend. That, I would offer, is why McCain is running a close second, rather than distant second, in this day and age. But that legend is based on the same kind of politics that got us into trouble, which got us concerned about casual acquaintances rather than concerted association, brief gaffes, rather than long term policy disagreements, going for the man or woman who we could have a beer with, rather than the person who will write the laws and carry out the laws which would benefit ourselves and our beer buddy.

Persona politics is easy. Just control the coverage. Or, better yet, skew the interpretation of those watching by convincing them that the media's out to get you. Maybe both at the same time. Put on a show for people. Get in zingers, throw your voters the red meat. It's politics as an occasional distraction, political differences measured out like the sides in a sports game. But to get things done, we need people who ground themselves in reality, acknowledge the concrete effects of our problems. We don't need people more interested in furthering their legend or the agenda of their party rather than acknowledging and responding to our problems.

This past convention was good evidence of one very important fact: The Republicans cared more for their own morale, and for scapegoating liberals and Democrats for the problems we face right now than they cared for engaging with the American people on the issues that matter. They weren't proposing reforms to help improve the economy, nor dealing with how to leave Iraq. They were waving flags, chanting USA, and booing in all the appropriate places and at all the appropriate targets, but there was little talk of a serious energy overhaul, or upgrading our infrastructure.

The whole message was "Republicans are heros, Democrats are dilletantes who need to be put in their place." But for most of the Bush term, these people dominated every branch of government, and things got worse. Now they're trying to claim that all the problems are our fault. See, admitting to leading the country deep into the wrong direction might demoralize those who they have carefully cultivated to believe that constant message. There would be those who felt betrayed and used after years of being pushed to be smugly confident that the GOP and the Right knew what was best, and everybody else were just wrong.

But reality is telling a different story to people, and some are listening. That is not good news for the Republicans. If McCain wants an election that tosses the last eight years in the memory hole, he's not going to get it. If he wants to see a campaign that just focuses on him, the national hero, well, the national hero is going to have to get down and dirty with the rest of us and talk about what really matters. And we're going to have to like what he has to say.

He did what he had to these past two years to please the party whose nomination he sought. Now he's going to have to tread the fine line of satisfying them, and satisfying everybody else. Obama can satisfy the public simply by being himself. He can be the real maverick, because he's already fought his party and won. McCain's still bowing to the wishes of his party. He can PR blitz the country on what kind of Maverick he will be, but he cannot deliver, because he does not have the political base for it. McCain represents four more years of paralysis before vocal minorites in our political system.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2008 3:18 PM
Comments
Comment #261942
Obama can satisfy the public simply by being himself. He can be the real maverick, because he’s already fought his party and won.

How has he “fought his own party and won?”

I assume that you mean that he won his party’s nomination. But by that logic, every single candidate anywhere who gets on the ballot is a “real maverick” who has fought his/her party and won. It’s absurd.

Obama can satisfy the public simply by being himself? Really? He doesn’t have to actually do anything? Just let us all bask in the glow of his personality?

And who IS the “real Obama” anyway? Does anybody have a clue. Does Obama even have a clue? I have a theory about who he is. Take away the man’s teleprompter and he’s a bumbling, tongue-tied, non-entity.

Here, friends and neighbors, is the REAL Obama.

Watch this video.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 6, 2008 5:16 PM
Comment #261943

Stephen,

I heard the reform that will save the economy in Republican speeches. It is energy independence. As much as you complain about the cost of the war the fuel we buy from other countries costs three times more. And none of it is spent at home, nor does it come home later. For my family that cost is $14 per day, every day, every month, every year.

No amount of other reforms will save us from a failure to solve this problem starting today. Solving that one problem will not cure all our ills, but it would go farther than any other combination of cures.

When the patient is hemorraging you stop the bleeding before you do the heart bypass. On this issue Democrats are not ready for prime time and Republicans are only just now waking up.

If it weren’t for T. Boone Pickens the politicians would hardly bother to talk about it at all.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 6, 2008 5:21 PM
Comment #261952

John McCain was a POW? I hadn’t heard that ;)

Honestly John McCain has turned his POW status into a bad joke. He has used it for an excuse for everything he doesn’t want to deal with. He forgets how many houses he has - “I was a POW” Now he seems to be running on his status as a POW and little else.

The really sad thing is that you can see on his face that he doesn’t want to do that that he doesn’t like to talk about it but he really, REALLY wants to be president and his handlers have convinced him that he is going to loose unless he does. It’s also sad because any one who got treated the way he did doesn’t deserve to have it turn into a bad joke - but he’s doing it to himself.

The more he talks about his POW experience the more I become convinced that he learned the wrong lessons from it. He learned that torture is a reasonable thing to do to your enemies or those you even suspect of being your enemies. He learned that safety trumps freedom and it’s ok to sacrifice some of our freedom’s for some false sense of safety.

Micheal Moore, a favorite of conservatives everywhere, was on Larry King (who is really out to lunch these days) and made a great analogy about the surge. If your kid spills milk on the floor and goes and finds the right size cloth to wipe it up. He wipes it up and says “WOW! what a great job I did wiping up that spill.” Well, duh! You spilled it, don’t act like a hero because you cleaned up your own mess.

Why don’t I take the analogy way too far. The problem is that McCain/Bush tried different size cloths for 5 years to clean up the mess, or rather kept trying the same size cloth time after time and getting the same results. THEN, he tries a different size cloth and that combined with the fact that they paid off some of the spill and problems between two factions of the spill had pretty much homogenized their area of the spill thus making clean up much easier. Finally, they use a larger cloth and the spill seems to be a bit smaller certainly containing the spill though internal issues threaten to make the spill burst over the edges of the cloth. With the spill in this condition they claim that the spill is gone that we have won the battle of the milk they spilled - they think should be congratulated for cleaning up to the state that it is in. They have certainly been congratulating themselves to no end.

L.O. - Obama fought his own party by beating Hillary Clinton in the primary. It was easily the hardest fought primary race in my voting life. He went through 20 debates. He went up against the Clinton’s political machine and won. Love or hate the Clinton family but I don’t think anyone underestimates (or misunderestimates) their political skill or that they are the establishment of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: tcsned at September 6, 2008 6:25 PM
Comment #261953

Loyal Opposition,
Give it a rest. No one buys the talking point about Obama being stupid. He graduated from Harvard with honors and was president of the Harvard Law Review. Stupid people do not accomplish that. He wrote two books, and he writes many of his speeches. In most of his appearances, he is articulate and obviously highly intelligent. His meetings with European leaders left all of them expressing admiration for Obama.

If you want to criticize Obama, be honest. Are you a one-issue candidate, with Obama on the wrong side of your issue? Then say so. That is a legitimate reason. Do you owe personal loyalty to a candidate due to familial relation? Fine. But insisting upon talking points which are obviously untrue just makes everyone suffer from the mind numbing onslaught, as if the election were a boxing match, and America itself were taking a beating after the bell with a flurry of rabbit punches and shin kicks and head butts and taunts so dumb they result in possible brain damage, and so actually cause the physical dumbing down of the nation, until not even the cries of voters for mercy can stop it, and sobs of despair fill the air, begging for the election to be over, just to end the suffering.

Posted by: phx8 at September 6, 2008 6:26 PM
Comment #261956

Anything to avoid discussing the issues… sigh.

Interesting factoid:

In 2008, the US economy has lost roughly as many jobs as the total population of Alaska.

Posted by: phx8 at September 6, 2008 6:40 PM
Comment #261959

phx8, but still net positive with the Bush administration. Or are you just blaming job loss on Bush and not job creation.

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jobs_created_during_U.S._presidential_terms

Posted by: Honest at September 6, 2008 6:51 PM
Comment #261960

LO-
This is your idea of a guy who can’t do well without a teleprompter? Or perhaps this one?

You should be concerned that your candidate can’t make a decent speech with a teleprompter. Obama not perfect, talking off the cuff, but I think using one video as evidence of a shattering inability to extemporize is spreading the evidence pretty thin.

The real Obama is a guy who is okay to good speaking without notes or teleprompters, and is fricking brilliant with them. He can be witty and engaging, conversational and human. He’s not like McCain, who bores people though two thirds of his speech, gets a bit interesting towards the end, and verbally begins to flail at the end like a swimmer who can no longer hold his breath.

And really, don’t tell me your people weren’t reading off of teleprompters. This seems to be your newest bit of mythology, devoted to making your speaking skills look more real. Well, I’m not stupid. I see the words on the panes of the glass near the podium. It would be fairly interesting to see your people do without them on a long speech, but I bet it wouldn’t look pretty! (in all honesty, that could be said of most politicians who don’t have a cast-iron memory or notes handy)

Lee Jamison-
The US Department of energy estimates that at best we will see a $1.44 off a barrel near the end of the decade after next from the exploration of the biggest potential find of them all in ANWR, if things go right(defined as the 1 in 20 long shot in terms of greatest supply. If they don’t, it could be a dollar or less off the barrel. Literally, you will only see cents off the dollar because of new drilling.

The reason this stuff is so damn expensive is that there’s not enough of it, and what we’re buying we’re getting from overseas with a weak dollar.

Now you can wail and flail about how we need to get this going immediately, but if your solution is more drilling, then you will have to wait for additional survey work, the drilling, the pumping, and the reaching of peak supply to get that precious $1.44, if the the 1 in 20 longshot in terms of predicted supply comes about.

Whatever environment we ruin, doesn’t come back, and neither will the oil. We might want to have that wilderness around later on.

The low hanging fruit for energy independence is efficiency and conservation. That, we don’t have to wait on the development of some oil field over the next decade for. Meanwhile, the technology to increase efficiency exists, and can go to work pretty much immediately.

The interest in conservation is not new, and Pickens is interesting not for his novelty, but for his profession. It would be best for us to start the transition now, before we bleed away the strength to do this relatively easily. The worse our problem with fuel prices become, the more difficult it will be to apply resources to getting this changeover going. Rather than procrastinate further, we should get to it now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #261961

Honest-
Below a certain rate of job creation, due to population growth, a net positive may in fact be an effective negative.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2008 6:59 PM
Comment #261966

Honest,
You really don’t want to go there, unless your goal is Republican humiliation.

Under Bush, the US economy has created about 5 million new jobs in 7.5 years.

Under Jimmy Carter, the US economy created over 10 million new jobs in just 4 years.

Those stats are based upon non-farm payroll numbers, which are the generally accepted measure, and ignore the fact that the US had a smaller population under Carter than Bush- in other words, it’s even worse than it looks.

Or would it be more fair to compare Bush with Clinton. Ahahahahha. Just kidding.

To put it into perspective, the current economy should be adding at least 150,000 jobs per month just to stay even with population growth. The situation is even grimmer than it looks, because the prospects for the remainder of Bush’s term of very poor for all of us. The US government stepped in and officially took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That means the Treasury will absorb even more debt, which will in turn effect interest rates, the falling dollar, commodity fueled inflation, and so on.

McCain’s economic program appears to be nearly identical to the Bush program we have just endured. McCain would be the oldest first term president ever elected, he was a two pack a day smoker for most of his life, and he has suffered recurrent bouts of the most dangerous form of skin cancer. No one knows what his VP wants as far as an economic program goes, and that probably includes the VP herself.

Truly, anyone who votes for McCain would be voting for a third Bush term, and why anyone would want to do that, I really could not say.

Posted by: phx8 at September 6, 2008 7:38 PM
Comment #261968

Stephen,

The point of drilling American resources is not its impact on the cost of a barrel of oil. It is the number of those barrels of oil we must pay someone else to provide. When I paint a mural it does not change the cost of murals worlwide, but the cost of one mural comes home to my house. Same thing applies here. Reduce the bleeding not the value of blood.

The next step is then, as you say, conservation. But on the same day we should be pushing forward as we are in Texas with wind resources and by any available means to develop solar. Less than a year ago Scientific American published an article showing how we could eliminate our need for imported oil with solar alone. Let’s be agressive in pursuing those resources. With the right relationships with our neighbors and well developed infrastructure we can benefit from the fact that it is possible for energy to flow out of America as well as in.

All of this requires a real will to win. It means we tell people who have invested in power plants that use natural gas that they won’t reap as much return as they had thought they would because that will be a resource we divert to transportation needs to replace oil. Eventually we show sufficient courage to do the same, for environmental reasons in the case of coal-fired power facilities.

Will coal become worthless? Not hardly. That will be a resource for the replacement of natural gas and oil in the production of plastics. Really clean coal is the coal we never burn.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 6, 2008 7:55 PM
Comment #261974

phx8

Truly, anyone who votes for McCain would be voting for a third Bush term, and why anyone would want to do that, I really could not say.

I think the most current reasoning from the right as to why we should vote for McCain is that he now realizes the damage his party has done. That he has self proclaimed himself and Shoot’em up Sarah a two man, yeah I said man, Rambo assault team with the good ‘ol boy network in their scopes. That would be the good ‘ol boys they now work for. Somehow they are going to over throw their handlers and in the process rescue us from themselves. Talk about a paradox. Sounds like a twilight zone script to me.

Posted by: RickIL at September 6, 2008 8:24 PM
Comment #261976

phx8 yes let’s go there and spend 100 posts throwing in comparisons, a Dem Prez with a Rep Congress, Dot.com and Al Gore inventing it .. therefore creating the economy Clinton oversaw. Let’s compare a President’s ability to grow the economy versus Congressional. I thought it took both the prez and congress?

I can take any single year of Clinton, Bush Sr., Carter and get the same result.

You threw out 800,000 jobs lost as a negative. So I pointed out you were wrong if you look in context of his administration.

Fact is Bush has overseen economic expansion during his term.

I remember reading Greenspan’s book (btw Greenspan most admired Clinton’s approach to the economy) in it he pointed out that many of the policies he put in place with congress were in fact working by the time the election hit. So Reagan benefited. Plenty examples of overlap exist.

So we can either slice it as Presidents’ have overlapping economic impact or they don’t.

I’ll go with the overlap, even given the fact that the majority of Bush’s two terms has seen positive economic growth and income expansion.

Posted by: Honest at September 6, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #261977

Honest,
Who benefited from positive economic growth? I’m not sure that can even be said to be true. Most people would look at GDP as a measure. Some would look at the stock markets. By the first measure, large corporations benefited, chiefly through outsourcing; the wealthiest 1% benefited; and other than that, virtually no one else.

Income did not expand. Real income, which factors inflation into the equation, shows a decline for 80% of Americans. Bush tax qualities redistributed wealth, with the richest 1% doing magnificently well, and everyone else suffering. The suffering is worse that it seems, since the redistribution was accomplished by borrowing. And guess who will get stuck with the tab?

From what little McCain says about the economy in his speeches and on his website, it seems he wants to continue the Bush policies. He wants to continue programs of privatization and deregulation, even as taxpayers prepare to take the hit for the failures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Deregulation and privatization have been catastrophes, and all of us are closing our eyes and pretending we can’t slide into another depression. Bush’s policies and McCain’s policies have been proven failures. Stay the course? I can’t imagine a worse prescription.

Posted by: phx8 at September 6, 2008 9:30 PM
Comment #261978

Lee Jamison-
There’s no point in pumping in more blood if the wound are still open. You need to stitch up the arteries and veins that were cut, suturing them with fuels and energy sources that are domestic and renewable.

I’ve long read the science magazines on this subject. It’s part of why I’m dubious about some of your fellow Republican’s claims about the unreadiness of the technology. Our refinement on a nano-scale level of shaping silicon and other semiconductors has yielded us powerful electronics, but also has vastly increased the efficiency of solar panels.

The trick, I would say, is to use this period in our history, when fossil fuels remain relatively cheap for us, to boldly begin the transition to renewable sources, whether they’re fed off of natural energies or biofuels. Societies like ours stumble the worst when we hit a point where our old resources become so scarce that the economics that depend upon them break down.

If we develop things now, make this our moonshot, we can avoid or minimize the economic disruption. If we don’t economics and probably nature as well will make the transition a much worse ordeal, a casting out of our nation from eden.

I think the Democrat’s plan is much more aggressive. The whole canard about drilling more oil to fix the problem with gas prices is just meant to distract from that, distract from what probably is more of the same.

The truth of the matter is, we will have to relearn how to use energy, and that will be a challenge. We can either meet it head on, or we can lay down amidst the comforts of a infrastructure that cannot be sustained long term, and which will not become easier to part with as things go along.

But if people as different as you and I can agree on the need, then I think there’s some potential for progress here. Energy conservation and the quest for renewables is not a liberal or a conservative issue, it’s an American priority.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2008 9:34 PM
Comment #261980

tcsned,

It’s worse than that. The Sunni’s mopped us the milk. While the surge helped, like Mom, the Sunni’s did the heavy lifting.

Posted by: googlumpuugus at September 6, 2008 9:50 PM
Comment #261989

The fact is that moving toward sustainable and renewable fuels over the long term is something that majorities agree on, both on the political right and the left, although both sides are using this issue in one way or another to gain political advantage over the other side.

There may be different reasons for wanting this, but who cares? Whether for environmental reasons or to escape the need for dependency on foreign sources, the goal is the same. Arguments about man-made global warming, etc, are secondary issues that get hyped out of proportion by both sides as they try to gain political advantage.

The feeling among Republicans, in case anyone hasn’t figured this out yet, is that Democrats are trying to use the energy issue as a pretext for advancing their other political goals—namely expanding government control over all sectors of our economic life.

By way of analogy, think of how Democrats often accuse Republicans of using 9-11 to expand executive authority, diminishing civil liberties, etcetera. (I’m not trying to stir up these issues right now—just using them as an example of how some people feel).

The same thing, we feel, is being done by Democrats—using a crisis (in this case energy) to piggy-back other parts of their agenda into law.

Large-scale regulation, substituting government programs for private initiative, expanding state authority into both individual and corporate decision-making—all of these are things that Democrats wanted LONG BEFORE we all began talking about the need for alternative fuels. And so we distrust them and their motives when they use energy as a reason for demanding all of the things we know they already want. Especially when massive government involvement, we feel, is the first solution proposed to solving these problems.

As if government intrusion and regulation on a massive scale will somehow bring into existence technologies which so many of our best minds are ALREADY working on in the private sector. And as if increasing domestic oil production will somehow inhibit or slow the development of alternative fuels instead of just buy us time and ease the economic suffering of Americans in the interim.

Democrats, who always pride themselves on nuanced thinking and avoidance of easy black-and-white solutions, are actually trying to present us with black-and-white, either-or options when it comes to energy. Either the government has to take over energy (and by extension the economy) or no solutions will ever emerge. But of course that’s what they say—it squares ever so nicely with their desire for massive government control.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 7, 2008 12:08 AM
Comment #261994

LO,

I don’t see Obama talking about massive government control to solve our energy problems. Examples?

Posted by: Max at September 7, 2008 12:47 AM
Comment #261995

Max, I didn’t even mention Obama in my last post, but since you ask, his “cap and trade” plan for greenhouse emissions, his insistence on government programs for “weatherizing homes,” getting a million hybrid cars on the road (as if the government should control what cars we buy and drive and how we build our homes if those aren’t our own consumer choices made for our own reasons) and his desire to throw up every possible obstacle to increasing domestic oil production are all examples of intrusive government involvement.

Not to mention his wish for “windfall profits” taxes on oil companies which will do nothing but make US companies, which already work on tiny profit margins, unable to compete with foreign oil producers who will not be subject to any laws passed by a Democrat Congress and signed into law by Barack Obama.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 7, 2008 1:00 AM
Comment #262007

I just saw the clip of Obama on Bill O’Lielly’s show and heard what the right has been trumpeting as Obama’s flip-flop on the surge.

Wrong. He has not changed his opinion on the surge - he said exactly what he has been saying all along. The surge has been a part of things that reduced violence on the street but has done nothing to reach a political settlement. The surge doesn’t vindicate the Iraq war as a sound policy. We have had unfit leadership for 8 years, we can’t afford another day of it much less 4 years. We can’t afford to keep throwing lives at the problems in Iraq when they inevitably turn for the worse again. Most of all, we can’t afford to make another mistake like Iraq ever again. We can’t afford a McCain presidency.

We can’t let someone take charge of our government that believes that starting a war like the Iraq war was a good thing, a wise course of action, and ultimately a pattern for future decisions. On the biggest decision of out times McCain was wrong and Obama was right. Anyone who sees war as anything other than absolutely the last resort isn’t qualified to be president.

Posted by: tcsned at September 7, 2008 7:43 AM
Comment #262010

Honest-
Economic expansion has grown more and more top-heavy, more and more riddled with bubbles of false expansion. It makes for a volatile economy, of which less and less benefit is seen by the vast majority of people.

Greenspan and the others did something spectacularly foolish: they kept the economy from going through its natural periods of contraction, or at least slower growth. Sounds like a good thing, until you realize that this doesn’t afford the economy the ability to breathe properly, to relieve itself of deadweight debt. Go long enough, and you could end up creating a huge economic backlash.

Like the one we’re going through right now. Presidents and Congresses have impacts in how they manage the laws of our economy and the condition of our money supply. If they try to keep that engine in overdrive forever, they can break that engine.

The growth in jobs during Bush’s terms has not kept up with population growth, and the average person’s economic strength has gone down. Inflation has returned, and there’s great uncertainty as to what investments are worth.

So, his economic impact has been fairly bad.

LO-
Always the politics. Has it occured to you, in all these years of Republicans being mildly power, that most liberals are fairly compromising on questions of big government?

Your average liberal is not enchanted with deficit spending or harsh taxes, government waste or corruption. But we’re also not closeminded about government intervention.

You claim that this is all to advance some agenda. I don’t doubt that we’ll be implementing other elements of our agenda alongside, but that’s not conspiracy, merely what happens when there’s a changing of the guard.

In the meantime, the economic costs of our addiction to oil, and the environmental costs of carbon emissions are demonstrably real. To further your political agenda, your party has muddled the discourse in the public with pseudo-science, and spurious claims that seem to link additional drilling with a reduction in fuel costs.

That assertion, implicit or explicit, is wrong on the evidence. We don’t have the reserves to get off of foreign oil, much less put a serious dent in gas prices. You folk are selling them, at best, on foolishness, and worst on lies.

You’ve mollycoddled and subsidized the industries involved, and have pushed their talking points for decades. The time has come, and in fact came a long time ago to acknowledge the reality and face the facts.

The Government’s role will not be simple, but its one that can’t be neglected. The current system rewards behavior that is hurtful to our economy and our interests overall. In the end, we need to better than we’ve been doing, and the Republicans are dragging their feet.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2008 9:34 AM
Comment #262011

Well I will admit to being somewhat slow at understanding the whole economics thing. Money has never been my area of expertise. With that said I think the last few years of privatization without gov’t oversight has shown just how incapable big business is in doing the right thing. My understanding is that the primary focus for big business is making money for their investors no matter how it is done.

Surely there is a middle ground here someway to meet the needs of both. I feel that Barack offers a much better and appropriate means for insuring that everyone’s needs are met and that business does business in a moral and ethical manner and that there be consequences when this isn’t done. Surely it is obvious that unregulated capitalism helps no one but the investors and the business and leaves the rest of us out. If the only way to insure that corporations do the moral and honest thing is to regulate them so be it. If a child displays inappropriate behavior you either provide consequences and monitor the child’s behavior in the future or you do nothing and create a monster.

I think it has been proven over the last few years that big corporations won’t do the right thing unless someone monitors what they do.

This whole idea that has been spouted by the republicans for years now that gov’t is inefficient and can’t get anything done so privatization is the way to go is inaccurate and misleading. Bush has proven this to be wrong. Anytime we start talking in absolutes then there isn’t anyway to meet in the middle.

Posted by: Carolina at September 7, 2008 10:35 AM
Comment #262012

phx8, you are right when you look at 2000-2008, I had never seen this report. Page 5

http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf

Stephen, what impact does 12 million imigrants have on this? Worse or better? Just jumped in my head, so I guess I will say it supports the income discussion that phx8 pointed out and the link shows because Americans will not take the lower paying jobs.

Your Greenspan did us a diservice statement is interesting. Greenspan loved Clinton, seemed to dislike Bush (his words in his book) so if Greenspan was wrong and Clinton supported him do I draw the conclusion that Clinton set-up our future economy to have problems? Is Bush simply living with poor decisions made by the Clinton administration. I don’t believe it is that simple, but I don’t see the value of blaming one administration over another, it is always a blend.

And if you look at page 5 above, you could correlate it with previous periods as cyclical. Certainly it is going up right? Is that Bush’s fault that it is now heading into positive terriory. His administration had a hand in it.

Posted by: Honest at September 7, 2008 11:05 AM
Comment #262016

I’m amazed that ‘drilling for more oil’ is still being touted as a ‘stop gap’, temporary fix’, ‘intermediate solution’ or as McPain seems to think, ‘the end-all to energy problems’.

I know the the word conservative means adhereing to the status quo, but how can it not be obvious to everyone that we’ve been drilling for oil for 150 or so years, and the result has been:

1. It has made us dependent on oil to the point that it is now called addiction. When was the last time addiction was thought to be the solution to anything?

2. It has assisted in the polution of our water, air and soil so that we can no longer depend on nature without chemically treating everything we depend on for life’s sustenance.

3. It has contributed to global warming (the green house effect) to the point that our very existance is, if not in jeopardy, at the very least, threatened.

4. It has caused our leaders to believe that going to war, killing and being killed, is preferable to losing even a drop of it.

5. It is straining relations between Russia and the United States, Venesuela and the United States, China and the United States and India and the United States, and virtually all the Middle East and the United States.

Oil, as an energy source, can be replaced with less expensive renewable energy systems, if, and only if, we dedicate our national resourses toward that end. We cannot do that if we continue to depend on oil.

Our economy is in ruin, to some degree because of oil. Every indication leads us to believe that even if we authorized oil companies to begin drilling today, it would take several years for that oil to pay off, and then it would only pay off to oil companies. In our global economy, we cannot stop oil companies from selling the oil they drill on the world oil market. That would reduce, even more, any benefits felt by the American people, and that new oil would contribute even more to the sorry state of the ecological world we live in.

For once, let’s be brave…let’s venture into the world of entrepreneurship and begin a competition in the energy field. You free-marketers out there should agree that if there are several companies doing the business that you are interested in, your best bet is not to compete on their playing field, but rather to develop a competing product that they haven’t thought of yet. That’s what entrepreneurs do, isin’t it?

Let’s gamble on a sure thing…it is a sure thing because oil hurts us, and oil is running out…how much surer can we get that renewables is the future?

Let us stop this one-way mad dash to oblivian.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 7, 2008 12:31 PM
Comment #262017

Standing ovation for dude !

Posted by: janedoe at September 7, 2008 12:42 PM
Comment #262019

janedoe,

No ovation…I forgot, once again, to run the thing through my spell-checker…drat!

Posted by: Marysdude at September 7, 2008 12:45 PM
Comment #262021

dude, I just try to read fonetikly and it duzzent matter.
It amazes me how we can be technologically advanced and so retarded in its’ application. Their should be no fear in implementing these technologies, and it probably has nothing to do with fear, except those who fear losing their kickbacks from the status quo. Some will say that it takes so long to get anything going, but we don’t get anywhere by standing still.

Posted by: janedoe at September 7, 2008 1:19 PM
Comment #262031

dude

Let’s gamble on a sure thing…it is a sure thing because oil hurts us, and oil is running out…how much surer can we get that renewables is the future?

Logic says to me that renewables should be the future. Republicans will tell us that drilling combined with researching alternatives is the answer. The problem with that analogy is that the only time republicans give alternatives any merit is at election time. Once the elections are over alternatives get put promptly on the shelf in the interest of big oil. What is really telling is the fact that the republican legislature wants nothing to do with the comprehensive energy plan that provides a path for both. I am guessing that the problem with the plan as republicans see it, is that it is formed around an idea that our dependence on oil will be greatly reduced over the time of that plan. Not good if you are invested heavily in oil, or oil is invested heavily in you.

Posted by: RickIL at September 7, 2008 4:46 PM
Comment #262032

dude

No ovation…I forgot, once again, to run the thing through my spell-checker…drat!

Still worthy of an ovation dude. My hat is off to ya. I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser. It has an option under tools to engage spell check as I go along. I haven’t used IE with any regularity for a few years now, so I don’t know if it has the same or not. I used to think I was a pretty damned good speller until I started using firefox. Man was I wrong.

Posted by: RickIL at September 7, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #262036

I think you also need to download the most current service paks to get either browser to work well. If you have the wrong word spelled correctly, even firefox can’t help you.

I saw an ad for Mark Kirk , the neighboring Rpblcn congressperson today, talking about alternative fuels. He is probably what the Rpblcns will look like after W.

An aside on “the bridge to nowhere” controversy, it occurs to me that there have been hundreds of “bridges to nowhere” built in Florida. After the bridges were built, the real estate on the other side of the bridge became more valuable for development. That would be the point of the bridge.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 7, 2008 5:29 PM
Comment #262039

Honest-
Partisan blame, I feel, oversimplifies the problem. Clinton was a much better regulator than Bush, but Bill still allowed many “reforms” that set up some of the problems we face now.

It’d the difference between an imperfect economic leader who gave too much slack to the free market fundamentalists, and a disastrous economic leader, who essentially added new problems and put others into overdrive.

Failure may be an orphan, but it’s not an immaculate conception. Democrats and Republicans had a part in this. Republicans, though, were motivated to keep the problematic policies going even further, not to let off, even when things seemed to be going wrong.

As for Greenspan, he probably loved Clinton better because he made his job easier. For all their political differences, Clinton reduced deficits, a big plus in Greenspan’s book. Still, Greenspan and Clinton helped plant the seeds.

The trick of what low interest rates have done is make borrowing very easy and very favorable. Hence, a lot of debt build-up. An occasional slowdown allows people to consolidate somewhat, to do more paying down of debt than additional accumulation. Catch things up a bit.

It also serves the purpose of putting pressures on businesses that test their quality. Easy economic times sometimes make for a lot of fragile business plans.

We’ve been letting this crap go on for so long that a lot of weak businesses have managed to hang on. Now, regulations could have filtered out many of these bad plans ahead of time, prevented speculations from creating market and commodity bubbles. But this administration has encouraged both problems: hyperextension on debt, non-robust businesses practices.

Result: a sensitive market that’s responding harshly to small problems, problems that compound to further trouble.

We might have avoided that without Bush, but with Bush things have gotten much worse.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2008 5:49 PM
Comment #262040

it occurs to me that there have been hundreds of “bridges to nowhere” built in Florida. After the bridges were built, the real estate on the other side of the bridge became more valuable for development. That would be the point of the bridge.
So your saying that our tax dollars where used for them in the way of earmarks? And that its ok for our money to be spent that way to benefit the few in the top tax brackets?[the people wealthy enough to hire a lobbyist or buy a politician]
Firefox has a great built-in spell checker - windows service packs has not a thing to do with or to it though. The thought that folks still use ie stumps me though lol. — Savage

Posted by: A Savage at September 7, 2008 5:50 PM
Comment #262046

But if people as different as you and I can agree on the need, then I think there’s some potential for progress here. Energy conservation and the quest for renewables is not a liberal or a conservative issue, it’s an American priority.

Stephen, Well said. In defense of dilling, it is, again, about reducing the tremendous foreign trade deficit we suffer by our dependence on foreign sources. It is certainly not a solution to that dependence. It is more of a palliative.

I’m all for the “moon shot” approach. The trouble in both parties (and don’t pretend Democrats don’t have rich friends they protect and coddle on the sly) is that people have lots of capital invested in legacy and fossil energy sources and they want their politican friends to make sure they make money with them.

It is we, the rest of us, who have to stand up to that kind of lobby with our own insistance on a future that favors the people at home more than the people who make their money overseas. Energy independence hurts people who are heavily invested in foreign ownership of American resources.

Think about it. That 700 billion dollars a year we send elsewhere doesn’t just stay there. It comes back and buys our land, our companies (note how many pharmaceuticals are now foreign owned), our real estate developments. As those slip from our hands our power, even through the action of government, to regulate their behavior is diminished.

The way to wage war on America and have a prayer of winning is to use our appetites against us. It’s just been on the back of my mind for a while.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at September 7, 2008 7:07 PM
Comment #262054

ohrealy

An aside on “the bridge to nowhere” controversy, it occurs to me that there have been hundreds of “bridges to nowhere” built in Florida. After the bridges were built, the real estate on the other side of the bridge became more valuable for development. That would be the point of the bridge.

Have you been reading Carl Hiaasen? If not you might enjoy checking him out. I like to think of him as kind of an environmental John Stewart who writes fiction based on the vulgarities of Florida Politics.


I downloaded the most recent version of Firefox a short while back and it was an improvement over my previous version. I also like all the add ons that can be incorporated.

Posted by: RickIL at September 7, 2008 9:00 PM
Comment #262055

An appropriate analogy would be giving a heroin addict more heroin to help cure his addiction. Perhaps we can start growing our own poppy fields and coca plants and that will stop illegal drugs from being imported.

The problem isn’t the supply or flow of oil its the fact that we as a nation, as an economy are addicted. Only two ways to end addiction substitute something else and taper off of the bad stuff or cold turkey. The former is the only viable option in our economy anything else would be as disastrous as doing nothing.
We need to be weaned from big oil and now.

Posted by: NapaJohn at September 7, 2008 9:15 PM
Comment #262057

You rightys can keep putting that needle in your arms the rest of us want rehab.

Posted by: NapaJohn at September 7, 2008 9:33 PM
Comment #262059

NapaJohn, heroin is actually a very bad analogy because it’s not something that’s necessary for anybody’s survival—in fact, the opposite is true.

Our entire economy, including how crops are grown, processed into food, and then delivered to our supermarkets is currently dependent on fossil fuels.

You can wish that this wasn’t so, but for now it is. Our economy would collapse and literally millions would DIE if we suddenly didn’t have access to fossil fuels.

I agree that the situation should be changed—in fact, pretty clear majorities of all parties feel the same.

But for now, the fact is that for every barrel of oil that we don’t produce ourselves, an additional barrel of oil will have to be purchase from foreign sources. Countries, incidentally, which don’t care nearly as much about the environmental impact of drilling as we do.

Think globally. Act locally.

Seems that I’ve seen that bumper sticker on many a Prius parked at the local organic food store. It seems that some liberals don’t even believe their own bumper stickers anymore. What’s the world coming to?

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 7, 2008 9:52 PM
Comment #262061

This is completely off topic and this post of mine may disappear as a result, but I’m sorry, I still feel the need to ask…

Are any Watchblog editors going to do an article on how “law enforcement officers” and “The Department of Homeland Security” in St. Paul mistreated, tortured, preemptively rounded people up, and used gas and concussion grenades on protesters and innocent bystanders all around the RNC convention? Or how they were targeting medics who were only trying to help people during all of the chaos? And how these thugs were rounding up journalists, photographers, and videographers who were documenting what they were doing?

I think it’s an extremely serious topic (not to mention an outrage) that has for the most part been ignored by our media — a fact I find more than a little bit frightening.
Naturally, it seems to be up to those of us who blog to get the word out to America over what went on there.

Some blogs are already focused on what took place. Here’s a good link with some good info:
Sadism, Cruelty, Torture In The Twin Cities: Professional Cultural Norms For US “Law” Enforcement
Lots of links to further reading at the bottom of that page.

To try to bring this back to the topic of this article, let me just add that this kind of ‘Change is scary, and so are the people offering it.’

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 7, 2008 9:58 PM
Comment #262063

LO,

Heroin is not necessary…unless you are the one addicted to it. Oil is necessary for our very survival, that is why we need to get off that dependancy immediately. Cold Turkey IS the answer. Forget about drilling, which will still take too long and do us more damage than good. Begin, right now, with the moon-shot for renewables. We can actually have that problem solved and folks using them before the first oil from fresh drilling is sellable.

Again I say…getting more oil will ONLY profit the profiteers, it will NOT help ‘we the people’ in the slightest. I’m not against profit, I’m not against oil companies making unconscienable net profits, I’m against wasting time and money on the production of something that will ultimately hurt us and will do us NO good.

Let’s start NOW, by saying no to oil companies and saying YES to researchers of renewables. Let’s be entrepreneurs, Let’s sieze the day.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 7, 2008 10:22 PM
Comment #262064

Veritas, the violence inflicted upon innocent bystanders, convention delegates, and media members by these anarchists is the real story.

You might have pointed out that these so-called “medics” that claim to have been attacked were not legitmate health care providers working for the city but demonstrators themselves.

I can’t understand why left-wingers insist on behaving this way. Do they actually believe that lighting fires, smashing windows, turning over cars, and assaulting both citizens and police officers makes people want to vote for Barack Obama? What are they thinking?

Exaggerating and hyping their victimhood comes right out of their propaganda playbook, and nobody buys it. I notice that your link is not from a legitimate media source but a left wing activist site.

If anything, they HURT their goals by acting like this. I’m sure that Barack Obama would never countenance behavior like this and that he’s in no way involved, but I can’t help but wonder if the American public doesn’t blame him at some level and if the actions of these criminals which are (fairly or unfairly) associated with the face of leftism aren’t in part to blame for something like the new Gallup poll that’s going to be widely released tomorrow.

I find it remarkable that the Gallup poll shows a ten point McCain lead. And that this is a full SEVENTEEN point turn around by McCain in a single week, considering that Obama was up 7 points in their last poll.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 7, 2008 10:32 PM
Comment #262065

Stephen:

I couldn’t disagree with you more on your charactorization of the Republican convention. I do agree with you about your convention.

The theme of the Republican convention was the need to reform Washington. Not so much on policy but on how goverment works. Corruption, earmarks, special interests. The theme of McCain and Palin is that they are the agent of change for what Americans want, which is for government to work for the people instead of special interests. The premis is that they can do it because they have a record of reform where as Obama has a record of talking.

I know you don’t want to talk about Palin, but you on the left are getting out campaigned. Since this is a polical war, and since McCain is a war hero, it is safe to conclude that he knows a thing or two about military tactics.

It is not always the best trained and equiped army who wins. (obviously or we would not have defeated the British).

You one the left, have taken McCain’s bait hook line and sinker. First of all, you got over comfident. (Try to explain the Berlin thing). That was exactly the time when McCain struck with his ads. “The One”.

Then McCain’s ads went after Obama with quotes from Hillary and Joe Biden. I heard so many on the left say they could hardly waid for McCain’s VP pick so they could do the same thing.

This is like the Star Trek movie the wrath of Khan, when they are in a nebula and Spock looks up and tells captain Kirk that Khan is using two dimentional thinking. That is what Obama is doing right now.

I think they already had the Palin pick chosen when they placed the ads about Hillary and Biden.

I think McCain had decided long ago to launch a surprize attack. The previous ads were used to set you up.

As soon as Palin came out, the left thought it was a joke. Of course the left doesn’t think it’s a joke at all.

Actually, the left doesn’t understand they they are playing two dimentional while McCain is playing three dimentional.

The whole thing about ‘Change’ is a strategy. Conventional wisdom thinks that McCain was going to attack Obama’s weakness, “experience”. Wrong, McCain is going to attack Obama’s strength “change”. He probably has had this planned for months.

Now Obama is redoing his campaign trying to figure out how to defent the “change” mantra.

Guess what? McCain is already ahead of Obama on this and is probably getting ready to pivot again. The simple tactic is to keep Obama off balance by shifting tactics until right before the election.

Right before the election get ready for the knock out blow. Watch how just when the news media and Obama think they understand the new campain how the campaign will suddenly shift. Look who is the agressor and who is reacting. You are on the defensive. McCain is planning to keep you there on the back of your heals until November.

The vetting process for Palin is perfect for all of this. McCain planned to have it as a surprize attack. If they had gone in and asked all the questions the press wanted, it would have leaked and the element of surprize would have been gone. They vetted, but in a non traditional way.

Who is going to win? I call it a tossup. It’s a toss up because you should be winning by a landslide but are being beated by superior tactics.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at September 7, 2008 10:34 PM
Comment #262067

What’s the difference between Dick Cheney and Sarah Palon? LIPSTICK!

Posted by: R Duncan at September 7, 2008 10:44 PM
Comment #262070

Craig, you’re 100% correct.

The McCain campaign, which had been flat on its heels for months, has given an absolutely stunning performance over the past few weeks. It’s been breathtaking.

First there were those celebrity ads, and then, right after Obama’s convention speech, that ad with McCain congratulating Obama. And then the Palin announcement the next day, followed by Palin’s introduction and convention speeches, followed—BLAM—by McCain’s speech, in which McCain again complimented Obama while simultaneously co-opting Obama’s change and hope message.

I think it would be somewhat naive to believe McCain is going to keep eating Obama’s lunch like this. Obama is too resourceful, and the media is in his back pocket, but even if McCain finally loses, this recent week of his campaign has been a small gem.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 7, 2008 10:55 PM
Comment #262076

> Obama is too resourceful, and the media is in his back pocket,

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at September 7, 2008 10:55 PM

LO,

Aren’t you ashamed of yourself? This idiocy about the so-called liberal media has been disproven for so long only kindergartners still use it. The media is only interested in creating conflict, and conflict don’t care which side you’re on.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 7, 2008 11:36 PM
Comment #262077

LO:

Veritas, the violence inflicted upon innocent bystanders, convention delegates, and media members by these anarchists is the real story.

No it isn’t. Read the article.

You might have pointed out that these so-called “medics” that claim to have been attacked were not legitmate health care providers working for the city but demonstrators themselves.

Lying Bullsh*t. But what if they were demonstrators? You righties really no longer believe in the First Amendment to the Constitution, do you?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Instead, you support a police state.

I can’t understand why left-wingers insist on behaving this way.

“Law Enforcement Officers”, or more correctly, “Homeland Security” arrested ANYONE who got anywhere near them. Look at the links on the bottom of the article I linked to. When a former FBI Agent calls what they were doing frightening, everyone with a brain in their head has to know that something completely HORRIFIC was going on in the streets of St. Paul.

Exaggerating and hyping their victimhood comes right out of their propaganda playbook, and nobody buys it. I notice that your link is not from a legitimate media source but a left wing activist site.

I hope you realize that this kind of Neocon Authoritarian Fascism in America isn’t ultimately going to win. There are so many more real patriots that love the Constitutional ideals that this country was founded upon than there are people such as yourself (judging by the majority of your comments here), who continually praise and support their complete destruction.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 7, 2008 11:38 PM
Comment #262117

Lee Jamison-
For my part, I think the policy concerns won’t get taken care of unless we as a nation put pressure on the government to make sure that happens. I think part of that has already begun to happen.

We need people to realize that this is urgent. I think this false promise of drilling is meant to be a distraction by those who don’t want the focus of our economy taken off of fossil fuels. It’s more of the same, repackaged as our salvation, which it can’t possibly effect.

This is an infrastructural problem. by 2030, I have no doubt that oil will be much, much more expensive, and if we’re still dependent on it, we’ll be in trouble.

LO-
Actually, it’s not a bad analogy at all. The assumption you make is that the oil is a necessary lifeblood. But, in fact, it’s not. Energy is.

Energy is what we need, what separates us from the pre-industrial society we once were. Though once what we could mine or pump from the ground was our only option, our technology has evolved to the point where it’s realistic to change over.

Even as things are now, fossil fuels are not necessary, just relatively convenient. You’re right that if that energy just disappeared right now, we’d be in trouble. However, we’re already experiencing that to a certain extent. Every time a storm comes through the Gulf of Mexico, people hold their breath. Every time a war starts in the Middle East, people hold their breath. As China and India start burning more of the oil, we pay increasingly more for it.

And thereby, increasingly more for what we transport by it. We will reach a point, or perhaps already have reached it, where it’s simply cheaper to seek other sources of energy.

On the subject of the rioters, it was very minimal, and most of the people who ended up arrested weren’t these anarchists. Your people approached your security with the same indiscriminate disrespect for free speech, the press, and civil liberties that you approach the nation’s security with. You even jailed reporters and people videotaping the event. Just what were you afraid of?

Nobody can be sure that the people who did inflict the violence were FOR Obama. If they were, I have no problem disclaiming them. Protests without incidents do serve my party and my candidate’s interests better. If they weren’t? Two options then remain: if they were just punks stirring up trouble, I’d wave to them as they were hauled off to jail. If they are Agents Provocateur… I wouldn’t put it past those who organized the Brooks Brothers Riot to intimidate vote counters.

You’re hyping minor incidents. You the folks whose leading pundits were wishing for rain and riots in Denver to disrupt our proceedings. The incidents at your convention were mild by comparison to what you were wishing on us. Poor you. If you had gotten what you were wishing on us, with glee and joy, you would have really had something to whine about.

I’ve got a campaign that’s taking the long view. It’s not trying to win every news cycle, win every gallup tracking poll. It’s going out there and it’s signing people up. Last time, your side had the good ground game, and it won. This time, your side’s ground game just isn’t even there. You have three debates and two months worth of campaigning to do. So:

a) Will that advantage last long past the convention?

b) Will that advantage in National Polls translate into victories in individual states?

c) Does a likely voter poll measure the impact of the voters Obama is signing up, or does it miss many of them, especially among the less landline dependent younger generations?

I’m not going to dispute that you’ve gotten your bounce. That much is obvious. But such a bounce, such a lead, does not decide elections.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 9:04 AM
Comment #262118

Craig Holmes-

The theme of the Republican convention was the need to reform Washington. Not so much on policy but on how goverment works. Corruption, earmarks, special interests.

Every message should be interpreted in its proper context. We will provide that context: McCain, to gain his nomination, has shed every bit of Maverick Spirit he ever had. 90% agreement is not being a Maverick, it’s being a sidekick.

That was the other elephant in the room at that convention, what they explicitly did not talk about: nothing about Bush, nothing about the last eight years, and very little about the issues.

If anybody is relying more on fluff, and less on stuff, it is the McCain campaign. They are running what may be an effective media campaign at times, but that is not a stable basis for victory. The fact that they’re having to hide Palin away for a week to get her up to speed, and that they’re having to be so uptight about who they let interview her shows the weakness of their newscycle-dominated approach. They picked somebody who they couldn’t just let hit the ground running.

And that’s to say nothing of their total lack of a ground game. Obama is registering voters across the country. His people are working the ground all over the place.

Yes, McCain can talk about change, but what change? Did he stage a rebellion within his party? No, just a rebranding. They haven’t changed their positions much at all. He is doing exactly what he has accused Obama of doing: selling himself on his persona, selling change as some vague thing that he, the savior, will grant upon us all through mean undisclosed.

The Right Wing has this awful habit of simply rationalizing their mistakes until everybody thinks they’re winning. It’s worked sometimes, but its also progressively ratcheted down the quality of their leadership, and ultimately people’s patience with them.

McCain is only enjoying the advantages he’s enjoying because he has built a very powerful persona. The question is, does that translate into actual wins in the needed states in November, and can that survive contact with reality?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 8, 2008 9:25 AM
Comment #262132

It seems to me that McCain is trying to say he is reforming process not policy. A more honest version of George W. Bush - I thought that Bush was supposed to bring honesty and integrity back to Washington - we see how that worked out. More corruption than any administration since Grant - probably even more than Grant. He’s keeping the same old faces, using the same old tactics, really just putting lipstick on the pig and hoping people will want a kiss.

The GOP faithful has puckered up and kissed the pig as they are expected to do. The Dems need to be more effective at stripping the makeup off this pig that it is just the same old ineffective, dirty, corrupt pig that we have had to look at for the last 8 years.

Posted by: tcsned at September 8, 2008 11:22 AM
Comment #262143

Stephen:

If anybody is relying more on fluff, and less on stuff, it is the McCain campaign. They are running what may be an effective media campaign at times, but that is not a stable basis for victory.

It has been in the past. What Democrats have to understand is that the Media is in the hands of a few corporations, and all of them are working for the GOP. Selling their propaganda, pushing their themes, and repeating their talking points. Which means that McCain and Palin can lie their asses off, just as the Republican Party always does, and get away with it completely. It means when the GOP can cage voters and do everything they can to try to rig and steal this election, and the media isn’t going to talk about that.

If Democrats really want to win this election, we have to acknowledge how vitally important our ground game truly is.
That means every single one of us.

If we want to win we have to be the kind of community organizers that the Republicans just laughed and sneered at during their convention. Get involved. Talk to people. Register voters. Canvass neighborhoods.

Remind your fellow citizens that McCain has been voting with Bush. Has been supporting what he’s done for the past eight years every step of the way. Clearly explain how his platform is really just more of the same.

Remind them that McCain has promised this country “More Wars” and is going to bring back the draft.

Remind them that our dollar is steadily becoming more and more worthless due to the Neocon-Republican approach to the economy.

Remind them that the middle class hasn’t and won’t get a break with four more years of their leadership. Ask folks if they think they can afford that for themselves and their kids.

Tell them your story, and ask them about their own story. Gear what you tell them about Obama’s platform and policy positions to what is most important to them — and always tell them the complete truth. People get enough lies coming out of their televisions, they don’t need nor deserve to hear any from us.

But seriously Democrats, the outcome of this election is really up to all us.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 8, 2008 12:29 PM
Comment #262159

>Remind them that McCain has promised this country “More Wars” and is going to bring back the draft.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 8, 2008 12:29 PM

VV,

We can sure do without the wars, as I’ve said on more than one occasion. This dishonorable fiasco is enough for the time being. We should get out of Iraq, into Afghanistan, and finish this mess as soon as possible…we can’t afford to do anything less, and it is the honorable thing to do.

But, perhaps I’ll hedge on the ‘don’t bring back the draft’ implication of your post. I look at the mercenary bunch we call our ‘all volunteer force’, and weep. We even have to hire outside contractor mercenaries just to supplement our uniformed service…I weep again…perhaps the draft is just what we need. It might keep imperialists from starting stupidities like Iraq, if Daddy or Mama is a big-wig Republican somewhere???

Posted by: Marysdude at September 8, 2008 1:46 PM
Comment #262160

>But seriously Democrats, the outcome of this election is really up to all us.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 8, 2008 12:29 PM

VV,

I believe what you say…for the first time in 68 years, I’m volunteering at my local Democratic Campaign Headquarters. All I’ve ever done previously is write ‘Letters To The Editor’ of local newspapers. This one is too serious to let slip away for lack of personal involvement.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 8, 2008 1:50 PM
Comment #262178

Dude, excellent news! I’m very glad you agree with me.

Regarding the idea of bringing back the draft, I agree that our military has been stretched too thin by the Bush Administration. But the reason why it is in such bad shape is very important to keep in mind. This administration lied us into an unnecessary war. I have to say that when I’m talking to people and have mentioned the distinct possibility of John “More Wars” McCain being elected to people who have children old enough to be drafted, well, it makes a definite impact on them. Folks don’t like the idea of their kids being forced to go off and get wounded or die for no valid reason.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at September 8, 2008 3:06 PM
Comment #262224

RickIL, I’m familiar with Hiaasen, but rarely read fiction. My next door neighbors in FL were Team Rodent transplants from Cali. She put up with a lot of illegal crap from WDW because she needed the health insurance for her children. Hiaasen barely scratched the surface on that.

On firefox, make sure you download the servicepaks. I have one computer with, and the other without. On the one without, firefox won’t download from youtube, so I have to use IE.

Marysdude, you should be glad about the bad economy, it’s all BHO has going for him, and it looks like more bad in the next 2 months. If you’re not that cynical, and want to build for the future, volunteer for the Green Party instead.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 8, 2008 7:41 PM
Comment #262257

>Marysdude, you should be glad about the bad economy, it’s all BHO has going for him, and it looks like more bad in the next 2 months. If you’re not that cynical, and want to build for the future, volunteer for the Green Party instead.

Posted by: ohrealy at September 8, 2008 07:41 PM

ohrealy,

My wife and I live now on a fixed income…you understand that I don’t give a rat’s patootee who’s in charge if the economy’s going right. I’m a Democrat by choice. I honestly believe the ‘me first, everyone else second’ mentality of the Republican party is bad for our American economy, and thus it has been proven through Nixon, Reagan, BushI, and Cheney/Bush.

If you are right about this up-coming election and McPain/Palin do upset the apple cart…I’m not sure, but I think Mother and I may find ourselves in a refrigerator box somewhere under a bridge. This s**t is no joke to me…just call me a different kind of cynic.

The Green party is a good party, but I don’t have the time to wait for it to catch up with the rest of America…ideals are my cup o’ tea, so to speak, but when starvation beckons, ideals fly right out the window.

Now, let’s get serious about ending this travesty in Iraq, let’s go get ben Ladin and get out of Afghanistan, let’s quit spewing nonsense about drilling oil for our future and start the moon-shot program for renewables, let’s get someone in high office that can generate good feelings toward America among nations, and let’s straighten out this economy so that people like me and my wife can quit worrying about whether we’ll eat or buy medicine.

I don’t think the Greens are equipped with the horsepower needed for all that. And, I know very well that the Republicans won’t…wouldn’t even if they could…it would strain their relations with all the oil lobbyists, the NRA and some frikkin church somewhere.

Posted by: Marysdude at September 8, 2008 11:30 PM
Post a comment