Democrats & Liberals Archives

Unity of Thought, Unity of Purpose

McCain is backing down from some of his fear-mongering. As my mother tells me, the use of Barack Obama’s full name has backfired on the Republicans, shifting more Hispanic voters to him. Some people would have loved McCain to keep going on the attacks, keep rousing the rabble, but the trouble is, the rousing’s going in the wrong direction! What lesson can we draw from this?

The lesson should be plain: America is beginning to take a rather dim view on certain excesses, and the candidate who can best navigate those waters is the person who doesn't have to pretend (or pretend hard) that they're in tune with America's mainstream values.

The trouble with McCain is that he's judging those values according to Pre-Bush politics. Politics really have changed in America. Obama is the winning Democrat nominee and the leading presidential candidate because he tapped, ultimately, into that emerging politics. It wasn't a gimmick, it was his central strategy: tap the compelling reaction against Republican policies to stir up opposition and move the battle lines back.

Obama doesn't need to tack back and forth with his finger in the wind. He knows the prevailing wind. Because he can create a fairly stable persona, and because that persona matches the mood of the nation, Obama can manuever without creating too much cognitive dissonance. McCain can't, and it's not entirely his fault.

The Republican Party is doing this to itself. The party believed that it had captured the center of the country, and it did, but just barely. This weak connection, this toleration for the sake of expedience is what gave the Republicans their power, but always with Democrats checking that power one way or another, either as Congress during the Reagan/Bush Years, or the President during the first half of the Republican Majority in Congress.

Bush never strayed further than two or three points from the halfway mark. If we look at Bush 43's first term, we can imagine a parabola of Republican power, with the post-9/11 period as the height of recent Republican power. The historical accident of that terrible attack temporarily reversed the decline of the Republican's hold on power.

Unfortunately for them, the Republicans both took this for granted and believed that their dominance was to become permanent. What they were doing instead was building a backlash against Republican politics that might keep them in the wilderness for the next generation.

That backlash is underway, and it's what's making for treacherous sailing for the Republican candidate. The old tactics have worn thin. The old character attacks are having a tough time competing with Obama's strong, powerful call for a focus on the issues, which with the free-falling markets, the obscene absurdity of the regulations, or lack of regulations, help make that an appealing message.

The Republicans might have been able to steer things towards the center, but the internal politics of the party, long set against compromise on most levels, long set on playing off of deep-seated cultural resentments, have made it difficult for Republicans to reach out to the center, and maintain the base at the same time. The very extremity of Rovian Politics, of Cheney-style politics, of appealing deliberately to the politically incorrect (racism and other flavors of malign demagoguery), has guaranteed that moves towards moderation, towards shared consensus against certain prejudices will risk them their base.

The Republicans have been throwing obstacles in their own way; is it any wonder why Obama simply sits there, cool like Fonzie?

The Republicans like to think of the choices being made as daring, but those choices committed McCain in awyas that reduced his options. The choosing of Palin as Vice President is one of them. A bipartisan commission in Alaska has ruled That she unlawfully abused her power. Surprise? No. They knew going in that this was hanging over her head. They simply did not care. That, or they thought they could spin this towards harmlessness.

The national GOP has done this before. Remember Tom DeLay? The man was indicted and he didn't step aside for quite some time. The Republicans have gotten so competitive about winning elections that they will not even let a little thing like criminal charges get in the way of re-election. It could work, but at the end of the day, the reason that folks once were a bit more willing to leave the office behind was that people knew in the parties that the circumstances begin working against you when things like criminal charges start coming your way.

The Republicans have wanted to believe that they could put up ramparts of spin, defensive walls of BS, and defeat any such threat to their power. It's all the liberal media! It's all partisan politics! The trouble is, in the long run, that the people who aren't so heatedly political are going to see a pattern developing, regarding actions where the poltics have little to do with what makes things look bad.

The Republicans have put themselves in a position where they can't be more moderate, where they're forced to defend corrupt and incompetent behavior, and where they are increasingly dependent on unsympathetic, even dangerous fear-mongering and prejudice.

But it's inevitable, that as one demonizes the other side, makes it seem like the other side is set to destroy the country, like its sympathetic to our enemies in a time of war, that the spectre of this decidedly anti-democratic behavior, of a political candidate being brought down by violence rather than countervailing political persuasion, become more likely. When the survival of the country is portrayed as consequent to one candidate winning rather than another, then some may take that absurdity of overheated politics to its ultimate conclusion. Whether that's violence against one man, or violence against many people, the danger of that this rhetoric might incite is present.

The Right Wing has brought up Ayer's repeatedly, but in qualitative terms, are the people who shout "kill him" are no different, people who trust the political system so little that violence against those they disagree with is a plausible alternative. How far will the Republicans push things for the sake of political power? How much damage will they do to the peace and political stability of this country on the way down. When will they start considering their interests and that of the greater public's interest together, and when will they start easing up on their rhetoric for the good of the rest of the country? When will the Republicans prove to the rest of us that they care about more than just their own party's power?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2008 7:26 PM
Comments
Comment #266507

Stephen, I’ve been following all of this on MSNBC this evening, and wondering how it would all shake out.
There has also been a clip released where McCain actually takes the mike away from an attendee at one of his rallys, and corrects her when she says that Obama is an Arab. He actually gets a little curt, and does say that Obama is an American, a citizen and a good family man wanting things better for America, however that he (McCain) wants them in different ways.
So, coupled with the investigation finding and McCain’s recognition of the hate-mongering his campaign is encouraging, I don’t know what to expect. October Surprise ?!?!?!?! Is there more?
The next few days are going to be very interesting, to say the least.

Posted by: janedoe at October 10, 2008 9:34 PM
Comment #266508

Stephen,

Perhaps they have started now? We can only hope…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 10, 2008 9:40 PM
Comment #266510

I applaud McCain for finally saying no to this nonsense. However, he gets no gold stars for Palin, and allowing this venom in the first place. Poor judgment, led by his desire to win. A seemingly repeated pattern of his.

Posted by: googlumpugus at October 10, 2008 9:43 PM
Comment #266513

AND Palin goes down in flames as the investigation concludes that she was abusive of office power… oh my jesus.

such a great choice!

Posted by: HORSE at October 10, 2008 9:54 PM
Comment #266514
AND Palin goes down in flames

<pessimism>In a sane world, yes. Unfortunately, the GOP has been complaining ever since she was nominated that the investigation (which is conducted by more Republicans than Democrats) is just a partisan witch hunt.

The people at the rallies who are calling Obama a traitor and terrorist and calling for his murder are going to see this as an indictment of the liberal media and the elites, and not anything wrong with Palin.</pessimism>

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 10, 2008 10:10 PM
Comment #266516

LawnBoy-
I think you should put first. ;-)

janedoe-
I’m convinced that the Arab comment’s going to come back to haunt him, because the way his answer is constructed, you might think that he thinks an Arab (essentially any Arabic-speaking person) is automatically a person of bad character. It’s like “No, he’s not an Arab, he’s a good family man who loves his children. Nothing to be afraid of!”

The trouble with being politically incorrect for so long is that you fall out of the habit of selecting your words and meanings carefully.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2008 10:17 PM
Comment #266517

Lawnboy-
sorry, the computer trashed the “end pessimism” tag. There goes that joke.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2008 10:19 PM
Comment #266518

Stephen

When will the Republicans prove to the rest of us that they care about more than just their own party’s power?

I have to believe that by now they recognize their moral standing with regard to public opinion. It is my opinion that this current attempt at sleaze campaigning is nothing more than a last hurrah for them. They realize that their abject failure centers largely on lack of accountability and years of self serving policy making. To accept responsibility for their actions would surely guarantee a loss next month. Clinging to their lack of values and pretending that they were with the best of intentions at least gives them a shot at retaining control. As I said, one last hurrah, a shot in the dark if you will. I doubt they will ever fully recover to the ultimate powerhouse they were for six years. Their inadequacies have insured that our world will never be the same again for any of us. That will not be quickly forgotten.

Posted by: RickIL at October 10, 2008 10:21 PM
Comment #266520

A note on the Bill Ayers situation. The prosecutor on the case has come forward to denounce the kind of implications that Mccain has been making about Obama’s relationship with the man.

An interesting note: he essentially says at the end of his letter that the reason Ayers and others got off was that the evidence against them was gathered illegally. One can only ask what former terrorists Bush’s policies are going to do that favor for in the future…

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 10, 2008 10:33 PM
Comment #266524

Apart from the fact that Obama-supporters don’t like it, and aside from what Stephen’s mother tells him, what evidence is there that there is some kind of public “backlash” against those who raise questions about Obama and his past?

Stephen’s point about Obama following the prevalent political winds to his advantage are correct, but it takes no political talent or wisdom whatsoever to determine what those political winds are. Absolutely any presidential candidate who was not part of the incumbent party, Democratic or Republican, would have benefited from the recent market collapse. It so happens that we currently have a two-term Republican president—so fairly or not, he gets the blame, and the opposing candidate reaps the political benefit. If you don’t believe it, ask Jimmy Carter.

Extrapolating from the predictable ebb and flow of political fortunes to make sweeping statements about the public’s attitude toward Republican “character attacks” and the fortitude of Barack Obama is just silly. Do Democrats not make character attacks? Had anyone ever witnessed such a spectacle before the notion first occurred to Republicans? Please.

If, as seems probable at this point, we are going to have a Democratic president, you Democrats are going to come to face-to-face with political realities that you’ve been happily insulated from for so long now that you seem to have forgotten they exist.

Fairly or not, you will find that when political instability occurs anywhere in the world, a good many will fine a way to blame Barack Obama. Iran is almost certain to become a nuclear power during the next few years, and short of war, there’s probably not a damn thing anybody can do about it. Political and economic sanctions will be thwarted by the likes of Russia and China, but guess who the world will blame? That’s right. Barack Obama.

We’ve had a Republican in office so long now that many seem to have forgotten that they were burning effigies of Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on the streets of Europe and calling them blood-thirsty imperial war mongers before anybody ever heard of George W. Bush. Many have forgotten or don’t even know that they’d been chanting “Death to America” for decades already in the middle east.

Hurricanes? Economic problems? War, pestilence, terrorist attacks? Mad-cow disease, childhood obesity, contaminated pet-food? Acne, heartburn, existential angst? All Obama’s fault from now on. Enjoy it!

Now, undoubtedly Obama, as president, would simply blame George Bush for the existence of all these intractable problems. But if that works for a little while, it ain’t gonna work for long, because you know what? The public would be looking at a Democratic-controlled congress, a Democratic president, and believe you me, those of us who are Republicans will be egging them on just as you guys did for the past eight years.

And you know what? Sometimes the blame placed on your doorstep won’t be fair. It will be pure political spin, but as the party in power, you won’t be able to spin out from under it any more than George Bush was able to. Them’s the facts of life. Maybe some of your mothers told you as much.

Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 11, 2008 12:26 AM
Comment #266528

Leadership is not about collecting a dim with following that says into the microphone, Obama is an Arab, embarrassing the leader into correcting her because he has so enflamed their passions against his opponent that his followers have lost their wits entirely. Other followers have chanted Bomb Obama. Off with his head. Kill Him! Obama is a Terrorist.

McCain is responsible for the increasing numbers of such comments at his rallies. If he understood leadership and had good judgment, he would never have embarked on this deceptive campaign against Obama to inflame passions instead of rational choices.

And that is the long and short of it. McCain does NOT have an appropriate sense of judgment nor leadership skills capable of leading a country of people. It has been obvious for quite awhile now, but, many are slow to disbelieve and many others refuse relevant information preferring belief - that is, Right up until McCain’s bad judgments catch up to him and he has no choice but to tell his followers they are wrong and Obama is a person who can be trusted.

If McCain is incapable of avoiding these kinds of self-made traps of destruction to his own campaign, what would his judgment be like as president dealing with far more complex issues and far more nefarious adversaries than Barack Obama? Disastrous, is the word you should be looking for.

Obama is far from having all the answers to America’s needs, but he knows what he doesn’t know, and that insures his judgment seeks relevant and pertinent information before making judgments. That’s one of the fundamental differences which separates Obama from McCain, and makes Obama the clearly superior candidate in this race.

Oops! Did I just say a person of color was superior to a white man? Live with it!

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2008 2:52 AM
Comment #266529

Loyal Opp, McCain has divided the GOP in a way that no other Republican having run this cycle could, or would have. When George F. Will writes McCain has lost his head, and stops just short of endorsing Obama, the GOP is floundering, and there is no getting around it.

When McCain’s own followers BOO McCain’s comments about Obama being a decent American, that campaign and Party have created the kind of disunity Democrats never could. It is now very likely that if our country were attacked, Obama would still win this election. That is how badly McCain has trashed McCain in the eyes of sentient voters who seek to vote on rational criteria rather than enflamed passions stirred by others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2008 3:01 AM
Comment #266530

Palin has apparently impaled Palin in the bipartisan report released last night stating that Palin abused her office and violated the public trust in the troopergate affair.

Appears hubby Palin chose to avoid perjury risks and offered testimony that helped impale Palin upon her own actions. Palin the Impaler. And McCain’s judgment to not vet her before choosing her says what about McCain as potential president?

Self-destruction seems to be a contagious affliction within the Republican Party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2008 3:05 AM
Comment #266532

>Large barracudas have been known to eat young barracudas.

We should have seen this financial meltdown coming…oh, that’s right, Obama did see it coming. He even wrote warnings to Bernanke and Paulson.

We should have seen this political party meltdown coming…oh, that’s right, Obama did see it coming. That’s why he found it unnecessary to become an attack dog, and was able to run a much cleaner campaign.

Unless the world comes to an end, we will soon have a much saner administration in Washington. Only time will tell if it will be a successful one or not, but one thing is for sure…it had better be one of inclusion. If it is not, all indications are that third-world coup leadership is in the offing. Palin/mccain has set the stage for that already.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 11, 2008 4:43 AM
Comment #266533

The barracuda thing was from Wikipedia…somehow that got lost in the submission.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 11, 2008 4:45 AM
Comment #266538

Stephen

The retired Federal prosecutor is an Obama loyalist. No one ever tried to link Obama to any bombings. It is a question of judgement.

How about if Albert Spears, who spent 20 years in jail and paid his debt to society, became friends with Obama or McCain? Just because he re-habed himself, so what?

The difference, as I see it, is that Spears was at least contrite, while Ayers isn’t and wasn’t.

McCain’s bitch (and mine) is about judgement. No one ever said that Obama was a bomber in cahoots with Ayers,for Pete’s sake.

As for the negative strategy…next week he will move onto another topic. While the CNN poll has Barry pulling away, C-SPAN/Reuters shows a tightening.

Regan didn’t pull away from Carter until the weekend before the election…and there is still plenty of time left here.

McCain will be ok. He is still within spitting distance, which at this point is amazing.

I remember watching the Superbowl last January. Deep into the 3rd quarter people were saying that the Pats were going to put it away any second now. But the Giants keep hanging around. At the end,they pulled it out. Right now, McCain is still hanging around. He like being the underdog..remember that.

By the way, I watched MSNBC last night. Mama mia…what crap.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 11, 2008 7:14 AM
Comment #266539

LO,

“Many have forgotten or don’t even know that they’d been chanting “Death to America” for decades already in the middle east.”

Perhaps if Carter had turned the Shah over to the Iranian people our relationship with Iran would be quite different now.
Perhaps if decades old American policy in the Middle East had not been to support the worst of the worst leaders, instead of the people of those countries, things would have been very, very different.
Perhaps IF Obama is America’s next President he will actually work to change those policies that have put the world (not just America) where it is today.

If we assume that American President is the leader of the free world we must also assume that there will be folks that don’t want to follow his lead.
We must also assume that they do so, in part, because of where America is leading them, and the means we use to go in that direction.
Oh, and BTW, we can’t just kill all who oppose us.

Republicans (including Mr. Bush) have often cited the Clinton policy of deposing Saddam, yet don’t care to also include that this policy was to support those within Iraq that wished to do so, not for America to invade Iraq.

Democracy is a funny thing.
It cannot be imposed from the outside. People have to want Democracy bad enough to die for it in order to make it work.
If America cannot understand that fact what separates America from those we oppose?

McCain appears to want America to “stay the course” of failed American policy. Obama appears to want to change that course.
I wouldn’t presume to say that Obama has the answers.
I will say that we cannot continue the way we are.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at October 11, 2008 7:55 AM
Comment #266540

se,

Do YOU want mcain to win this election?

Would you actually rather see Palin/mccain take over the White House than Obama/Biden?

Do you honestly believe we’ve been traveling down the right road in the right direction?

Do you really believe we should have to blackmail other countries into backing our nation building moves in the world?

Can you honestly say that less regulation and oversight had nothing to do with the economic meltdown?

Is it really your opinion that mccain’s race baiting and mob incitements are the best way to win the presidency?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 11, 2008 8:32 AM
Comment #266541

LO-
She was relating the news, and those came across in polls. The evidence is favorability ratings. McCain’s unfavorables have been rising steadily.

But if you want another number that tells the story, try the national polls themselves. They haven’t even moved.

Obama’s skill hasn’t been in judging or in his decision to follow those trends. It’s pulling them off within a complex party that still has a significant following for those abiding by the old paradigm.

As far as blame goes?

If you want to waste your time and energy trying to drag down Obama with you after the election, be my guest. The public, though, is seeing through it. What they see in the Republicans are a party that seems incapable of taking responsibility of its actions, or treating policy questions as policy matters, and not just in terms of permanent campaign politics.

As it is, I think Americans will mostly give Obama a break on the initial conditions he comes into office facing. I think if you’re following the worst president in modern times, any improvement in the situation by you will get you some credit. It won’t be fun to be president for the next four years, but I’m sure that if he extends his cool and judgment to his first term that he displayed in his campaign, he’ll be a popular president.

SE-

The retired Federal prosecutor is an Obama loyalist.

If that is true the way you mean it, it still begs the question: why would he be? If we’re on the subject of judgment, then we have to ask why a person who prosecuted members of the Weather Underground would feel comfortable supporting Obama to begin with.

Whether Ayers is contrite or not, his decades on the run have made a bourgeois college professor out of him, a settled family man. That’s the guy Obama knew, along with the many Republicans and civic leaders on that board.

Like I said early about judgment on the other thread, Obama would have had to be psychic and paranoid about a casual acquaintance on the board to see this one coming.

In contrast, McCain has had a long friendship with G. Gordon Liddy, convicted Watergate Burglar. He was deeply involved with Charles Keating and did his absolute best to get Keating what he wanted out of Washington. I know you’ll likely bring up the fact that he was let off with a slap on the wrist for that, but that doesn’t change the investment his wife and father-in-law made in Keating’s real estate dealings, the rides on his jet, the campaign financing that Keating gave him.

It’s funny, but wasn’t the whole point of Campaign Finance Reform that McCain learned his lesson with Keating, and so contritely hoped to cleanse Washington of that money? But now, if you ask them, he did nothing wrong with Keating, was exonerated, and was picked because they needed a Republican. They won’t, however tell you that Keating sat in on meetings with the other four where they pressured Bank Regulators and internal investigators to lay off of Keating’s S+L.

That kind of disparity between the story as first told, and as it now runs is what folks in the movie business call a plot hole.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 11, 2008 8:34 AM
Comment #266543

SE

So the Ayers question is only one of judgement? If that is the case who has McCain has no foot to stand on.

What demonstrates a bigger lack of judgement; Obama serving on a board with Ayers or McCain’s selection of Palin?

Palin is a complete hack, a joke, even more of a partisan hack than Bush II.

I was leaning towards McCain before he selected her. After watching her for 2 weeks I had no choice but to change my vote. I did this for two reasons. McCain’s first substantial decision was to pick Palin, he has proven he lacks judgement for that reason. Secondly, the US would be the laughing stock of the world with Palin as a President if anything happend to McCain.

I am horrified of the prospect of a Palin presidency. 8 years of Bush has been a disaster, and I actually voted for him in 2004. Palin would be worse than bush.

I am also so disgusted in the current attacks against Obama that I almost donated money to his campaign this AM. I have never given a penny to any political party or campaign. The spectacle of the McCain/Palin rallies are horrible to watch. They play to the fears and ignorance of their audiences; If the crowds that attend these rallies represent the average US citizen god help us. The level of ignorance and fear that is being displaced really discourages me about the ability of this country to get out of the mess we are in.

We are facing the worst economic crisis since the depression. We are facing the worst energy crisis ever. We are in debt as a nation and it is only getting worse. In order to meet these challenges we are going to have to come together as a country and use our intelligence to overcome these problems. If our national intelligence and education is reflected in these McCain/Palin rallies we have no chance solving our problems.

Are the people chanting their hate and violent messages at these rallies not domestic terrorist? They are not better than the person in the middle-east who chants death to america and burns the flag. In my opinion they are worse, they are americans doing this in should know better.

DCC

Posted by: DCC at October 11, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #266545

DCC

Are the people chanting their hate and violent messages at these rallies not domestic terrorist? They are not better than the person in the middle-east who chants death to america and burns the flag. In my opinion they are worse, they are americans doing this in should know better.

A well stated piece. I would suspect that they would pull out the old double standard, meaning that their threats are not the same because they are good god fearing Americans. What is really scary is that most would actually believe that.

Posted by: RickIL at October 11, 2008 10:34 AM
Comment #266548

Marysduse:

You asked:
Do YOU want mcain to win this election?
Answer: Of Course. The Eagle is a conservative Republican and agrees with most all of the platform. Barak is a Socialist.

You asked:
Would you actually rather see Palin/mccain take over the White House than Obama/Biden?
Answer: Yes

You asked:
Do you honestly believe we’ve been traveling down the right road in the right direction?
Answer: That depends on what you are asking. On the war, yes. We won. Period. In 1 year or 2, the same will go with Afganistan.

You asked:
Do you really believe we should have to blackmail other countries into backing our nation building moves in the world?
Answer: Depends. I would blackmail Pakistan to get Bin Laden. You wouldn’t?

You asked:
Can you honestly say that less regulation and oversight had nothing to do with the economic meltdown?
Answer: Blame it on Bush. The Democtats were without sin,right? Credit default swaps. A shadow banking system by corrupt individuals. We need a Federal prosecutor her. People shuld go to jail including Dodd, Frank, Paulson, Cox, you name it. The Mighty Eagle would throw the whole lot of them in jail. Abject greed cuts across party lines.

You asked:
Is it really your opinion that mccain’s race baiting and mob incitements are the best way to win the presidency?

My answer:
This is the most interesting. It’s a matter of percentage point pickup. This week it’s mob incitements. Next week it will be Wright. If McCain gets within that 5% margin of error,he will steal this thing. Obama’s white vote is soft.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and both candidates are spraying ammo everywher with a lot of collateral damage. That’s politics. Not for the feint of heart. The next 3 weeks, the RNC will drop a 1/4 BILLION on TV ads. Think they will be warm and fuzzy?

Posted by: sicilian eagle at October 11, 2008 11:04 AM
Comment #266549

DCC

She has more value…much more value…than Biden offers to Barry.

Even though energy cost are off the highs right now, that single issue(energy) is the singlest biggest threat to our national security.

Palin has an inate understanding of that issue.

Right now, she plays the part asked. She is cutting her political teeth but seems to be an extraordinary fast read learner…

Bill Clinton..also a small state governor..had no internationial experience either.

As far as your horror…there are mean spirited folks under that tent on the left too,you know.

John McCain is a war hero. He served this country for over 2 decades in the military. Tow decades.

While Barry was blowing weed and getting radicailzed, McCain was getting over Hanoi Hilton. He has experienced the fog of war and warriors are reluctant to commit afterwards.

There is a connection between Ayers though. The relationship may have gone back to Barry’s NYC days, in which case Barry lied. It will be sorted out this week I am told.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 11, 2008 11:13 AM
Comment #266550

Eagle,

Please define what a socialist is in your mind and how Obama is one and how McCain is not?

From an economic standpoint, as a matter of policy, I do not see enough of a difference between Obama and McCain to call one a socialist and one a capitialist.

You can throw the term out there all you want to create fear, uncertainty and doubt; sadly enough most on the right will take your bait out of ignorance of what the term means and that it is being misused to describe Obama.

Terms like socialist, capitalist and communist exist along a spectrum of economic theories, they do not exist as sinlgle points on the spectrum.

To me McCain and Obama are very close on the economic spectrum. McCain wants to rewrite mortgagaes and get people whole with goverment money. That is socialistic. That does not make him a socialist.

DCC

Posted by: DCC at October 11, 2008 11:21 AM
Comment #266551

She has more value…much more value…than Biden offers to Barry.

Even though energy cost are off the highs right now, that single issue(energy) is the singlest biggest threat to our national security.

Palin has an inate understanding of that issue.

Right now, she plays the part asked. She is cutting her political teeth but seems to be an extraordinary fast read learner…

Bill Clinton..also a small state governor..had no internationial experience either.

As far as your horror…there are mean spirited folks under that tent on the left too,you know.

John McCain is a war hero. He served this country for over 2 decades in the military. Tow decades.

While Barry was blowing weed and getting radicailzed, McCain was getting over Hanoi Hilton. He has experienced the fog of war and warriors are reluctant to commit afterwards.

There is a connection between Ayers though. The relationship may have gone back to Barry’s NYC days, in which case Barry lied. It will be sorted out this week I am told.

Eagle

She has more value…much more value…than Biden offers to Barry.

Maybe on the campaign trail but not once either ticket needs to govern. She will be useless. Biden has a deep understanding of how congress works; a deep understainding of foriegn policy; and relationships around the world.

Even though energy cost are off the highs right now, that single issue(energy) is the singlest biggest threat to our national security.

Palin has an inate understanding of that issue.

She does? please demonstrate any example of this. She has not brought a single idea to the table.

So did Dick Cheny and Bush. Look where that experience got the nation.

Right now, she plays the part asked. She is cutting her political teeth but seems to be an extraordinary fast read learner…

Any one of average intelligence could memorize talking points; she sounds like a parrot. She has clearly demonstrated that she can not answer hard questions if asked; she is a deflector and does nothing but sticks to her talking points.

Bill Clinton..also a small state governor..had no internationial experience either.

You are correct. But he had intelligence on his side. By the way, I voted for Perot in that election, not clinton.

While Barry was blowing weed and getting radicailzed, McCain was getting over Hanoi Hilton. He has experienced the fog of war and warriors are reluctant to commit afterwards.

There is a connection between Ayers though. The relationship may have gone back to Barry’s NYC days, in which case Barry lied. It will be sorted out this week I am told.

McCain is a hero, I voted for him in the primary.

Not sure why “blowing weed” should disqualify anyone; doing blow seemed to be ok if you are a Bush.

Also, what was the board that Obama and Ayers served on together? The annenberg (sp?) board. Guess who is a big supporter of McCain, Annenberg, the same one that thought it was OK to have Ayers on his board.

And let’s not forget the Keating 5.

DCC

Posted by: DCC at October 11, 2008 11:34 AM
Comment #266555


Dcc said:
Please define what a socialist is in your mind and how Obama is one and how McCain is not?

Eagle says: Acorn and that ilk. He has a 2 decade record of hyper extreme left liberalism, and birds of a feather flock together.

McCain is more centrist. I prefer centrism that leftism.

The bailout is sociliam,in my view, and I wrote last week that I was against it. I don’t think McCain has a choice here. They are all throwing stuff against the wall…because no one has a clue really…to see what sticks.

Actually, I like Berlusconi’s arguement this morning..freeze all markets for a time…as the best idea. Trouble with that is that all credit comes grinding to a halt.

Anneberg GIFTED that money. Barry and Ayers gave it mostly to non-traditional “educational” places.

Have you read any of Ayer’s stuff? Go to sweetness and light and browse thru his complete background.

Maybe you should reconsider: Is the philosophy of Harry Reid, Jack Murtha, Chris Dood, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Arianna Huffington, Micheal Moore, Puff Daddy, Madonna, Whopie Goldberg, Matt Damon, Nancy Pelosi, Ben Affleck, Bill Maher your philosophy? If so, stick with Barry.

Me? No way I want to even be in that paragraph with that flock of nasties.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at October 11, 2008 12:51 PM
Comment #266556

“Oops! Did I just say a person of color was superior to a white man? Live with it!”
Posted by: David R. Remer at October 11, 2008 02:52 AM

Some folks must declare their non-racists bonafides in print and others don’t see the need to be demonstrative about it. It makes me wonder who Remer, in his question and answer, was referring to! Surely, no one on this blog…but then, who else reads this stuff?

The questions Marysdude asks in #266540 sound like many polling questions; word questions in such a fashion that any answer will get the result you want. I wonder if she ever thought about a new career doing CNN polling.

Posted by: Jim M at October 11, 2008 1:03 PM
Comment #266557

From Marysdude- “Is it really your opinion that mccain’s race baiting and mob incitements are the best way to win the presidency?”

This string is predicated on a lie. McCain has never race-baited. He has never instigated the kind of vitreol being described here, and the vicious innuendo stating otherwise is simply the flip side of the more vociferous, but unauthorized, Republican attempts to breathe some fire into what many see as a somnambulent campaign.

Believe me folks, as this post proves, there is prejudice enough to go around.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 11, 2008 1:15 PM
Comment #266559

Trouble for Palin:

Subcontractors, “buddies” of her husband, helped him build their two story, 3700 square foot house for free.

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2008 1:25 PM
Comment #266561
Dcc said: Please define what a socialist is in your mind and how Obama is one and how McCain is not?

Eagle says: Acorn and that ilk. He has a 2 decade record of hyper extreme left liberalism, and birds of a feather flock together.

McCain is more centrist. I prefer centrism that leftism.

Eagle,

I’m curious how to interpret your claims about Barack being a socialist. Is it that you are so unscrupulous that you would apply a negative label to someone to whom it doesn’t apply if you think it might help you electorally? Or is it that you are so uninformed that you just don’t know what socialism is?

I think it’s the latter, and your statement here confirms it. There’s a difference between being a liberal or leftist and being a socialist. Socialism is a specific economic ideology (actually, a spread of them), and your conflating the specific technical term with your reflexive disdain for those you don’t like shows that you don’t know what it means.

Heck, maybe you don’t care, either.

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 11, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #266562

Lee, he may never have initiated the rants, but his act of ignoring them makes him just as guilty.
In fairness, he did speak up yesterday to the “lady” calling Obama an Arab. A little too little….a little too late.
And you’re actually right…..the prejudice is pretty obvious, but I’m not sure you’re pointing in the right direction.

Posted by: janedoe at October 11, 2008 1:37 PM
Comment #266563

phx,

Do you have a citation for that? And was it when she was serving in an official capacity?

Posted by: LawnBoy at October 11, 2008 1:37 PM
Comment #266564

phyx8, do you mean that house that she reports her per-diem charges through…from…for….???
What is it they say again? When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging! Or maybe it’s the one about glass houses and stones….
My guess is that it wasn’t completely free. Wonder what spots in the Alaska legislation they were promised?

Posted by: janedoe at October 11, 2008 1:41 PM
Comment #266569

Acorn and that ilk. He has a 2 decade record of hyper extreme left liberalism, and birds of a feather flock together

I am not an expert on ACORN, but they appear to be a social organiztion that is around to help low income and minorities, I am not sure what is socialist about that. Please be moe specific.

Pure capitalism or pure socialism taken to the extreme are not good. As in nature, any extreme will not last. Equalibrium is a concept that can be applied as well to economics as it is to physical science. Put another way, the pendulum can only swing for so long to either extreme before it returns to the middle.

Believe me, I am a capitalist. I believe transparent markets that are free function best. But sometimes markets breakdown and become inefficient when their is fear or asymetric information. That is where we are today; the credit market has failed for a lack of trust. When markets fail, especialy one as large as the global credit market, the only institution large enough to have an impact is government; end of story. I am not sure I would call it socialism, the government is not running any corporation; it may take non-voting, short-term equity stakes, but it is not nationalizing the corporation.

The bailout is sociliam,in my view, and I wrote last week that I was against it.

So what is the alternative? Re-enact the non-response from the government on the eve of the great depresion? Just so you can proclaim you are not a socialist? Most peolple who understand why the market collapsed during the last two weeks now, for the most part, agree that it was caused because Paulson let Lehman fail. If one institution failing can cause some much pain what would it look like if dozens failed? What would that cost you as a taxpayer in the form of FDIC payouts? In the form of massive unemployment insurance.

This is a very complex, non-linear problem. Simple thinking is not going to solve anything; calling someone a socialist becasue the voted for the bailout is not helpful.


Eagle -

I would also like to hear how you think that Sara Palin, being the energy expert as she is, is going to help us out of our current energy crisis when Bush and Cheney, who had many times the expirience level, led us into this?

DCC

Posted by: DCC at October 11, 2008 2:13 PM
Comment #266571

Another reason to rue the selection of Palin:

As governor, Palin at times bonds church and state

An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate’s record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.

Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 11, 2008 2:34 PM
Comment #266572

http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-10-08/news/the-book-of-sarah/1

The part about the house is on page 5. As mayor, Palin blocked the public filing of building permits. Nice. She might get away with it. No one will name the subcontractors. Yet. But there’s bound to be a paper trail somewhere.

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2008 3:05 PM
Comment #266577

This stuff is nonsense.

The article itself says that Palin’s so-called “promoting of religious causes” consisted of appearing at churches when she’d been invited to do so by those churches in her capacity as the Governor.

Do you want to tell me that you’ve never seen a politician appear or speak at a church before? Bill Clinton made appearances at churches throughout his presidency, and the article even says that this is routine behavior on the part of elected officials.

As for subcontractors helping the Palins build their house, I love the use of the word “subcontractors” and the placement of “buddies” in quotes.

As if a blue-collar worker like Palin’s husband, who has himself worked in construction, wouldn’t have any construction worker buddies who’d pitch in and help him build his house. Unless there’s a whole lot more to that story than a bunch of blue-collar workers pitching in on a project together, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

Posted by: Loyal Oppostion at October 11, 2008 4:16 PM
Comment #266578
vowing from the pulpit to do her part to implement God’s will from the governor’s office.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 11, 2008 4:22 PM
Comment #266581

LO,
I’m sure Todd Palin’s contractor “buddies” would be proud to take credit for helping build the house. He worked seasonal jobs- salmon fishing in summer, the oil business in winter, and full time child care as well- and in addition he and his “buddies” knew how to install the electrical, plumbing, carpets, windows, roofing, and the rest. Is it possible? Sure.

And of course, there’s no way that multi-million dollar sports complex that was erected near their house could have anything to do with it, you know, the one where donors to the GOP & Palin received those fat construction contracts, there’s no way that could be involved.

Nah. Just a coincidence. Happens all the time. How many people on this site have ever had contractor “buddies” work for free and help build their $522,000 house? Practically everyone, I bet. Why, Loyal Opposition, I bet if you check the back yard, there’s probably a contractor doing some free work on a retaining wall right now! Oh my! Someone at the door. My neighbor owns a construction company. I’ll be some of his people are going to offer to build an addition on the house for me this Saturday afternoon, no charge!

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #266586

phx8,

I’m only a professional artist, albeit one who has worked on several construction projects.. I can do every single one of those things- and have.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at October 11, 2008 6:08 PM
Comment #266587

SE-
Let me take a wild swing at this socialism thing: it’s what you call anything you want to politely imply is communism. But the sort on John Birch definition of communism includes, ironically enough, the moderate capitalist system that got us through the entirety of the Cold War.

This is where you folks have your problem, and why McCain is having such a hard time maintaining his lead. Maybe you can call all these people “a flock of nasties”, but many people, not just Republicans, agree with them, like them.

As things have changed on the political scene, people have found themselves more and more on your party’s bad side. That hasn’t endeared them to your party. As your people have increased the nastiness, you’ve only alienated and angered people further, people who think all this controversy is just more of the same distracting BS. The Republican’s corrosive politics are now eating away at McCain’s support. But of course, having gone there, people are not going to forget what he, Sarah Palin, and their surrogates have been saying.

And neither will supporters like you. But your reactions will be opposite. Independents and Moderates within both parties will remember just how corrosive you have been, and dislike you for that. Folks further on the right and the hardliners will be troubled by the relenting of McCain on these matters, and will lose morale and commitment to McCain in some numbers

Democrats have had their share of concern over whether Obama isn’t being hard enough on McCain, or whether he’s getting too negative. But Obama has enough positive campaigning and reasonable substance to his negative campaigning to where he can nestle himself in a nice, moderate niche where his criticisms are taken seriously and respected, and are germane enough to the issues at hand that folks don’t think he’s trying to change the subject. Note how Obama’s focused on the policy decisions, especially the economic ones, that got us in this mess.

McCain’s problem is that he can’t focus on substance without having the wind blow that particular fire back in his face. He can’t change the history of the deregulation stance he’s taken, nor make people forget how long he denied there was a problem. McCain’s record contradicts him, makes his attempts to go one way or another problematic.

There’s a reason Obama’s support is around ten in most tracking polls: People know what he stands for, and mostly, they like it. Having been put through eight years of Bush, they have become jaded about character attacks and Rovian politics, and it alienates them more than it gains McCain support.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 11, 2008 6:16 PM
Comment #266588

Lee,
Do you spend your free time doing the same for “buddies” at no charge?

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2008 6:26 PM
Comment #266589

Lee,
On a more personal note, what kind of art do you do? I’m finishing the great American novel even as we speak. Well, ok, maybe not necessarily ‘great.’ But I’ve worked on it for a long time, it’s nearly done, and I’m very happy with it. It’s literary science fiction, very original and different, yet hopefully readable and entertaining, and written in my own voice. It will undergo a critique just before Thanksgiving, then a final draft. We’ll see what happens.

Posted by: phx8 at October 11, 2008 6:36 PM
Comment #266614

Good article, Stephen.

The rightie responders are defending the indefensible here. But, what the hell else is new, eh folks? After all, in the past many of these same people were also the types who vociferously defended Bush and Cheney and their whole boatload of thuggish and criminal operatives and aides.
So it all sort of makes sense — in a truly sick and twisted way.

Now they’re trying to ignore, or in some cases actually defend, shameless and despicable bigotry, racism, idiocy, violent threats, and the real potential for the murder of Senator Barack Obama that is currently defining the GOP on the campaign trail.

They should be so embarrassed and completely ashamed by this fact! But standing there in the sh*thole remains of their blown-up party (much like the remains of one of those neglectfully unarmored vehicles they’ve forced our troops to get killed in during their illegal, mistaken, disaster of a War and Occupation in Iraq), Republicans don’t seem to have enough sense to feel any remorse over what they’ve come to stand for: Complete Stupidity and Appalling Ignorance, as well as Blatant Racism and Mob-Induced Violence. Yet rather than forsake their loyalty to the now utterly discredited Republican brand name, many of their followers prefer to act like this isn’t truly happening, or alternately, as though this should be celebrated and something to be proud of.

In the eyes of such fools and ignoramuses the majority of Americans who are currently standing on the left and supporting Barack Obama — the “Terrorist” and “Socialist” — are also “Terrorists” and “Socialists.” (As if Americans who actually hold socialist beliefs don’t have a right to their political viewpoints and to live and think and organize however they wish in this nation.) Basically, that makes all of us on the left worthy of constant disdain and a barrage of insults at best, or violent threats or even extermination at worse. Because according to them, only their own narrow-minded, rightwing-fascist republican political stances can be considered “Good Christian” and “Patriotic American.”

You know, if it wasn’t so bat-sh*t crazy and scary, and so very reminiscent of the Nazi Era, the incredibly heavy irony of it all might be sort of funny…

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at October 12, 2008 4:11 AM
Comment #266615

Btw, some good commentary from Frank Rich in the NYT: The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at October 12, 2008 4:13 AM
Comment #266627

VV,

You are right about the good commentary…but, Jesus! That’s scary stuff. I did not see the use, by Palin, of Westbrook Pegler, as a source for rhetoric before. I didn’t even know who he was. But, now I see where she’s coming from, and it ain’t Alaska…

Posted by: Marysdude at October 12, 2008 10:40 AM
Comment #266633

Just a bit of an aside, it appears that the nation’s favorite hockey mom is losing her status….fast! More than half the crowd jeered and booed her when she dropped the puck for the Fliers game…..and that determination was from an independent writer.
All together now…………….booohooooo
It is so true, that what you sow, so shall ye reap. Do you like it Sarah honey babes????

Posted by: janedoe at October 12, 2008 1:28 PM
Comment #266988

What Obama and the Democratic Congress do not understand

The Democratic Congress thinks that a good economic strategy is printing more American currency (i.e., money). Understanding Senator Barack Obama’s tax plan and the Democratic Congress printing money so easily is important to America’s long-term world economic standing. Also, American’s must understand the implications of Obama’s violation of FCC rules when he hired ACORN for $800,000 to help him win his political race. Let us not forget that it was ACORNS influence in Washington that led to the recent $700 billion bailout. One has to wonder if Obama was a good ACORN implant within the US political system.

Understanding the US military and troop movements is important for all Americans. Soon under an Obama Administration, the Pentagon will have to exist on a fixed budget while our enemies gain strength because with limited funds, the US Military execution may force a real world crisis due to not having the operational funds to keep its forces on full alert. Obama clearly does not have any idea of the implications of the duties of the Commander-in-chief (CINC). Obama’s troop movements are not simply an emotional topic that he made his career up in 2002, but one that will have serious long-term effects even when Obama moves troops out of Iraq. First, the US will pay for all the short-term costs for transportation, equipment shipments and refurbishment of closing installations. Then, once Obama starts moving more American forces into Afghanistan, the same costs will exist for the Pentagon.

What Democratic politicians always fail is that in Europe, citizens get fully entitlements including medical and dental coverage because they have the highest tax rates on this earth. European citizens on the average pay 65% of their wages in taxes including the highest gas taxes at the pump. Although I am not rich by any means, as a lifetime student I understand economics 101. What Obama does not understand is that taxing those that make $250K that own small businesses will have to lay off employees and raise the price of their products solely to pay the increased Obama taxes. Once Obama initiates his social programs, no one can imagine the real long-term impact that his administration will have on America. Also, soon the Chinese financial markets will own the United States (US) especially once Obama turns the US into a social state. The US will find it difficult to borrow monies from an ailing credit market including China that will put enormous pressure on the Pentagon and all Americans.

Posted by: Doc Rene at October 15, 2008 7:19 PM
Comment #267595

Stephen:

I offer my apologies for not getting back to you last week. We had some problems at work that led me to a 90 hour effort at work. It probably was for the better, my differences in opinion with you on this are very minor and would probably end up as a tangent style discussion. Again thanks for answering my question ealier and nice job on the article.

Posted by: submarinesforever at October 20, 2008 5:04 PM
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