Like a F*rt in a Phone Booth

Hillary will be hangin’ around a bit longer than some people think polite. Or is it Obama who is wearing out his welcome? The Democratic “people” seem to have chosen both and neither as their candidate. Who knows? The “will of the people” is notorious difficult to define and measure. Even when you get a good look (the last time we saw it clearly in a presidential election was way back in 1984) it changes.

I feel some limited sympathy for the poor Dems. Some of them really believe that Republicans stole elections out from under them and that Dems are supposedly more vituous. Now they see that things are just more complicated. Think of those robots in Star Trek; the contradictions overload their one-track briains until smoke comes out of their ears.

The fact is that any measure of the will of the people is flawed. At best, we can find rough maps of the territory and certainly not the territory itself. Usually it is worse than that.

Consider the Democrat dilemma. Obama is leading in elected delegates and Hillary cannot reasonably be expected to catch him. BUT nobody will have a majority (i.e. 50+%) of the delegates. BUT there are super delegates. They are supposed to exercise their experience and judgment. Should they simply vote with their States? What if they perceive that the opinion in their state has changed? The Obama lustre is diminished with revelations of his Canada end run and Chicago politics as usual. Maybe the people of the super delegate’s district have changed their minds. After all, the caucus or election back a few months ago measured the theoretical “will of the people” at that only one point in time. People change their minds. It gets even worse for the Dems. What if Hillary has a majority of the votes, but Obama has a plurality of the pledged delegates? Who then can rightfully claim the will of the people?

Supporters of both Obama and Clinton think the other candidate should just bow out gracefully. Not much of a chance for that. They will hang around like f*rts in a phone booth and stink up the election.

We mitigate the mood swings in the will of the people and our imperfect measurement of it with our representative institutions. A president is in office for four years. Swings of popular opinion during that time do not change that. Our institutions work well most of the time and are generally accepted, except when they are most needed – when elections are very close or even statistical ties. It is especially bad when no candidate wins a majority and the different methods of choosing the winner point in opposite directions. This happened in the presidential election in 2000 and helped create the inter-party acrimony we are still living with today.

It looks like it is going to happen in the Democratic nomination this year only this time the bitterness will be the exclusive property of the Democrats. This will not end well. As a partisan, I take some consolation in the fact that I am reasonably confident that my man John McCain will beat whichever beat up street fighter emerges from the Democratic convention. But we will be stuck with four more years of bitter Democrats. No matter which side wins the nomination and no matter how much the wounds are self inflicted, they will feel disenfranchised (one of their favorite words) and will displace their vitriol onto us again.

John McCain is a great American who has worked constructively with Democrats for a quarter century. I have confidence he will do that as president. But the lefty Dems are going to be too wounded and angry to accept friendship. They are drifting farther and farther from reality and have set up unreachable expectations. It will be nasty for all involved.

Let’s try this on for size. If Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton is elected in November, he/she will be my president and I will consider him/her the legitimate winner. I will respect the results because I have confidence in the basic integrity of the American system and the core decentness of a majority of my fellow Americans. There is no condition I can foresee that would make me change my mind. If it is a close call, I will respect the rules of election in place the day before the election. I ask my Democratic friends to join me in this pledge right now, before the passions of the time start to act on all of us.

Posted by Jack at March 6, 2008 2:37 PM
Comments
Comment #247195

Jack,

It’s hard not to be embarrassed by the Democratic primary process as it was exposed this year. It almost seems designed to make it impossible for a candidate to convincingly win the nomination when he or she has a strong opponent.

It is frustrating to see Clinton fight it out when it is almost impossible for her to catch up with Obama on the pledged delegates. Plus her tactics are getting nastier. She has all but betrayed her party by implying that McCain would be preferable to Obama. It must be fun for Republicans to watch.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 6, 2008 2:55 PM
Comment #247197

Woody

I dislike Hillary, but she has a point. Obama does not have a majority of the delegates and may well NOT win the majority of the vote. There is a good chance Hillary will score more total votes in the end.

It is similar to the 2000 election scenario, where the official counting measures disagree. Hillary is playing the Gore role while Obama is Bush. The irony is that much of the trouble is causes by Florida again.

This will of the people thing is harder than people think.

It is fun to watch, but I am not completely content. The bitterness we have seen from 2000 will just get a new life. I prefer that John McCain beats the Dem fair, square and decisively. If a large number of Obama or Hillary supporters just stay home and grumble, it will not be a satisfying win.

Posted by: Jack at March 6, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #247198

Woody,

Although I canno0t speak for Republicans, I can speak for myself. First, let me say I have no dog in this fight between Hillary and Barak. I believe either one would make a formiable opponent for McCain.

But, the two of them need to start talking about issues and answers, not who is going to answer the phone at 3 a.m. I sort of figured when she announced that Hillary could, and would, run on a prograqm of logical, reasoned, informative discussion. And, she did unril she fell behind. The the gloves came off and she went down the path of low, dirty fighting. If she wants to win, she needs to start emphasizig what she can do for the country that neither Obama or McCain can. Obama needs to stop talking about change and tell us how he will change things. More specifics from each candidate. Otherwise, I am afraid the Democrats are once again poised to snatch defeat frolm the jaws of victory, and, IMHO, the country will be poorer for it.

Posted by: Old Grouch at March 6, 2008 3:18 PM
Comment #247199

woody

that’s your party, my friend…big tent and all that.

Give Hillary a break. She is toughening up Obama for the “main event”…kinda like a sparring partner.

If what she has said has hurt his feelings…just wait until he matches up against the varsity.

By the way…I have a sneaky feeling (and the Eagle is always spot on in his feelings), that there is more to this Muslim denial than meets the eye….I think the best is being saved for later on,to tell you the truth. Remember, it isn’t once being a Muslim that is now at issue…rather the denial of it, I think.

Hillary has been vetted,remember that. This guy hasn’t. All everyone did was quote from his own book.

Brandeis said “sunlight is the best disinfectant”…didn’t he?


On the new blue column post of Ray’s I said that the more things change, the more they stay the same….oh so true with the Red team….

Posted by: sicilian eagle at March 6, 2008 3:19 PM
Comment #247205

Jack,

I don’t even know how you define “total votes” in this mixture of states hold primaries, caucuses, or both. Some people got to (legally) vote twice, so do you count both votes? They may be more primaries in Michigan and Florida. You could diddle with the math in a lot of ways.

The only measurement that makes any sense in this primary system is delegates, and that is where Hillary cannot realistically catch up without a non-democratic intervention from the superdelegates.

I don’t think you need to worry about the Democratic being sore losers. Sore winners, maybe. :)

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 6, 2008 3:43 PM
Comment #247209
Now they see that things are just more complicated. Think of those robots in Star Trek; the contradictions overload their one-track briains until smoke comes out of their ears.
OK. I have to admit, I actually laughed out loud at that one (having seen most (if not all) Star Trek episodes and movies).

The Democrat candidates are now going to spend a LOT of money tearing each other down, while McCain builds up his campaign war chest.

A few days ago, I wouldn’t have bet 2 cents on McCain’s chances of winning the election.

But the dysfunction in the Democrat party is threatening to sabotage yet another presidential election?

Amazing.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2008 4:50 PM
Comment #247219

Jack, I think it is refreshing to see a hotly contested primary race, as opposed to the GOP’s process of electing the next in line loser from the last race, with a few exceptions.

Mitt Romney will no doubt be the next in line for 2012-16, depending on duration of the next president. No contest, just line up behind the last loser.

And though Republicans would fantasize about Dem’s for the losing nominee staying home in Nov., I think the actual Dem turnout in Nov. will overwhelm the GOP turnout. Dem’s alternative to voting for whomever the nominee is, is to let another Republican hold onto the White House, and that just isn’t going to be justified in any fashion by Democratic voters or the majority of Independents who have had quite their fill of GOP leadership.

State and Local races are shaping up to be a windfall for Democrats as well. If there ever was such a thing as a Red-Blue electoral map, it is going to heavy on blue November’s election results.

I am glad for that. My concern is whether America’s future can improve its prospects significantly under Democratic rule, or whether they will match the horrible record of GOP rule. Time will tell.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 6, 2008 5:16 PM
Comment #247224

If Obamawan doesn’t get the nomination there will be hell to pay from the MoveOn.org crowd who is the primary funding source for liberal politicians. Since I receive and read their emails and newsletters I understand their hatred and loathing for anyone and anything with which they disagree.

Some of you would have us believe that the party will come together after the Denver convention and be all unity and love. Your big tent is ripping and tearing and the winds of disunity and defeat are being sown by your leaders as we speak. It will get worse, much worse before August.

Even bigger and more lavish federal spending programs will spew forth from their mouths in an attempt to buy whatever remaining votes are left. McCain will use their very own attacks on each other to defeat the eventual bloody nominee. I’ll believe HC is out of the race when I see the photo of her with the wooden stake in her heart.

Posted by: Jim M at March 6, 2008 5:54 PM
Comment #247228
My concern is whether America’s future can improve its prospects significantly under Democratic rule, or whether they will match the horrible record of GOP rule.
That’s a safer bet.

Just based on track record alone, the nation’s pressing problems and these abuses will most likely continue to grow in number and severity (as they already have for over 30 years).

And a major reason for it will be too many voters, too focused only on choosing the next Presidente, that still continue to reward Do-Nothing Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

Incumbency rates may fall a bit more, as some more Republicans are likely to be ousted (as they did in 2006), but not nearly enough incumbents (in both parties) to send a loud and clear message to Do-Nothing Congress.

_______________ Senate ___________________________House_____
Congress_Years____Total__Dem__Rep_Other_Vacant__Total_Dem__Rep__Other_Vacant _ Party-Seat-Retention
97th __ 1981–1983 _ 100 _ 46 __ 53 __ 1 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 242 _ 192 _ 1 ___ 0 _____ 91.2%
98th __ 1983–1985 _ 100 _ 46 __ 54 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 269 _ 166 _ 0 ___ 0 _____ 94.8%
99th __ 1985–1987 _ 100 _ 47 __ 53 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 253 _ 182 _ 0 ___ 0 _____ 96.8%
100th _ 1987–1989 _ 100 _ 55 __ 45 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 258 _ 177 _ 0 ___ 0 _____ 97.6%
101st _ 1989–1991 _ 100 _ 55 __ 45 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 260 _ 175 _ 0 ___ 0 _____ 99.6%
102nd _ 1991–1993 _ 100 _ 56 __ 44 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 267 _ 167 _ 1 ___ 0 _____ 98.3%
103rd _ 1993–1995 _ 100 _ 57 __ 43 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 258 _ 176 _ 1 ___ 0 _____ 98.1%
104th _ 1995–1997 _ 100 _ 48 __ 52 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 204 _ 230 _ 1 ___ 0 _____ 88.2%
105th _ 1997–1999 _ 100 _ 45 __ 55 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 207 _ 226 _ 2 ___ 0 _____ 98.7%
106th _ 1999–2001 _ 100 _ 45 __ 55 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 211 _ 223 _ 1 ___ 0 _____ 99.3%
107th _ 2001–2003 _ 100 _ 50 __ 50 __ 0 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 212 _ 221 _ 2 ___ 0 _____ 98.7%
108th _ 2003–2005 _ 100 _ 48 __ 51 __ 1 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 205 _ 229 _ 1 ___ 0 _____ 98.1%
109th _ 2005-2007 _ 100 _ 44 __ 55 __ 1 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 202 _ 231 _ 1 ___ 1 _____ 98.7%
110th _ 2007-2008 _ 100 _ 49 __ 49 __ 2 ___ 0 ____ 435 __ 233 _ 202 _ 0 ___ 0 _____ 93.1%

But it would be great to be proven wrong.
If enough voters would oust a large number of incumbent politicians in BOTH parties, Congress might pull its head out ?

Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2008 6:15 PM
Comment #247229

Jack,
I’m sure you meant it as a compliment when you said Obama was playing the role of Bush in this primary. I see Obama’s role as Gore’s, who, after all, DID capture a majority of the votes:).

Quote from Republican speechwriter Peggy Noonan; “The Democrats continue to not recognize what they have in this guy (Obama). Believe me,republican professionals know”

That explains why you guys are beside yourselves with impatience to denounce Obama. Hillary did not make any change to the delegate ratio In Tuesday’s primary. I think it will become evident when Obama wins the next two races by large margins, and the superdelegates continue to hemorrhage away from Hillary, that Obama is unstoppable.

Posted by: steve miller at March 6, 2008 6:18 PM
Comment #247240

Jack,
I’m sorry, but I didn’t get the significance of the title. Were you refering to Hilary hanging around in the election phone booth,in hopes of cleaning up 8 years of crap, Obama’s obvious brown coloring, or the stench eminating from the Bush Whitehouse? Perhaps it’s that shiite eating grin you’re wearing as you deride the Democrats with pseudo intellectualism for a surplus of good, qualified candidates rather than the leftovers of the dinosaur doo-doo offered by Republicans. I just can’t decide. So many good choices. No wonder the Republicans are just staying home this year.

Posted by: googlumpus at March 6, 2008 10:37 PM
Comment #247241

Jack-
A Fart in a Phone Booth? Well, you know what they say: he who smelt it, dealt it.

Truth is, as frustrating as the battle is, it’s essentially been sending Democrats all over the country, setting up infrastructure for their campaign.

Think about that. Already, a Survey USA poll has set out that either candidate could win in an election against McCain, and they haven’t even started the GE campaign in earnest.

Speaking of campaigns, Jack, have you heard that Hillary’s NAFTA attack’s backfired on her? Seems one of her staff actually called to give the exact message she accused Obama of giving to the Canadians.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 6, 2008 10:42 PM
Comment #247248

Stephen, if either Democratic candidate wouldn’t be setting up infrastructure around the country at this stage anyway, then they’re brain-dead.

Do you think McCain isn’t getting around to setting up infrastructure around the country because he’s no longer fighting for the nomination? Where’s the advantage for the Democrats here?

If Obama or Hlllary had already wrapped up the nomination, would they not be setting up campaign infrastructure around the country yet?

To prepare for fighting a general election, everybody needs to be doing that at this point. And it’s a certain disadvantage, not an advantage, to have to do that when the money and talent of your party is still being split with other candidates. And when much of that money and talent is still being used to attack members of your own party.

Also, don’t forget that this situation requires you to spend money and set up infrastructure in places that you’d be stupid to prioritize in the general. Obama and Clinton will now be spending resources they could otherwise have used for the general election trying to win Mississippi, for example. Do you think the Democrats have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning Mississippi in Novermber?

And they’ll even be fighting over and spending money in places like Puerto Rico, which has a pretty significant number of delegates and which doesn’t even get to vote in the general election. What’s the wonderful advantage to be enjoyed by the Democrats in setting up campaign infrastructure, buying ads, and in general wasting money in Puerto Rico?

I admire that you’re trying to look at the bright side here, but that argument has holes big enough to drive a tractor trailer through.

Posted by: Liam at March 7, 2008 12:03 AM
Comment #247249

Woody

You put your finger on the problem of measuring the will of the people.

The best thing (for me) about this Democratic civil war is that it brings home to them the real world problems of counting. On many occasions, I have tried to explain that elections are statistical processes. They measure the will of the people, but are not themselves the will of the people. The Dems have sanctimoniously responded that we not only need to count every vote, but also somehow divine the intent of the voter. Now they see that it is not possible.

What about the voters in Michigan & Florida? The Dem parties in those states broke Howard Dean’s rules, so do you punish the millions of voters there? Isn’t this disenfranchisement on a monumental scale? It is not the small potatoes accusations about some individuals being unable to find the polling places Maybe Obama and Clinton can pay for a revote.

David

The problem is not the hotly contested race. The Democratic dilemma is that neither of their candidates can get a majority of elected (or caucus) delegates. The Dem rules make this impossible in this kind of close election. The additional permutation is the disenfranchisement of millions of voters in Florida & Michigan. Democrats are doing in spades all those things they - without basis - accused Republicans of doing in Florida or Ohio. They are getting an education on the real world of elections and it is healthy. My only concern is that they will not take the lesson and instead just get more grumpy and embittered.

Re November – we will see then. I watch the news most days and the opinion polls generally show McCain beating either Clinton or Obama. Dems just assume they will win because they are enthusiastic and feel entitled. They are enthusiastically fighting each other that doesn’t translate into the fight against the opposition.

The Dems will probably increase their leads in both the House and the Senate. They control these already and nobody is really impressed with their accomplishments. If you want more of the same, vote for them in November again.

Steve Miller

A plurality and a majority are not the same. The BIG problem with recent elections and especially with 2000 and now among Dems is that NOBODY got a majority (more than 50%) That is why we have all these machinations. My Gore analogy is meant simply to illustrate that point. In 2000 neither candidate won more than half the votes. This meant that we had to use the rule of the elections to decide the issue, which we did. The system worked, but it made people angry. I suspect this is what will happen among Dems.

Googlumpugus

It is simply an old (you can tell how old by the anachronistic phone booth) saying for someone who hangs around longer than he/she should. Like a f*rt in a phone booth.

Stephen

I never understood that smelt it dealt it saying.

This guy is meeting his girlfriends father when he accidentally lets one fly. It stinks – bad – but the father just yells at the dog. “ROVER” he says.

So the guy thinks he can get away with it. The dog is getting blamed. He lets another one out. “ROVER”, the father says louder.

The guy does it one more time and the father say, “ROVER get away from that kid before he sh*ts all over you.”

I don’t know who (Obama or Clinton) should play the dog or the kid. McCain is clearly in the father role.

Re Dem infrastructure – all their guns are aimed at each other. They are setting up Maginot lines and you recall what happened to the original Maginot line.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2008 12:16 AM
Comment #247254

“By the way…I have a sneaky feeling (and the Eagle is always spot on in his feelings)”


I hope you are right, about your feelings anyways. As I recall, you were pretty adamant in your predictions for the last elections.

Posted by: Cube at March 7, 2008 2:53 AM
Comment #247257

Jack misspoke: “The Democratic dilemma is that neither of their candidates can get a majority of elected (or caucus) delegates.”

False. One will end up with more delegates than the other and by any definition of the word, that is a majority. Likely, what you meant to say, was that neither candidate is now capable of reaching the nomination threshold delegate number, without the super delegates chiming in. That is a true statement. But, then, the super delegates have always been in this equation ultimately.

Just as the caucus delegates were an integral component of the Texas Primary and won’t be announced for some time yet. Obama may just have evened up delegate count in Texas, though Hillary won the primary only delegate count.

Jack said: “My only concern is that they will not take the lesson and instead just get more grumpy and embittered.”

Sounds more like your wish, than your concern. You sound like Gov. Crist oh so concerned about those poor Democratic voters in Florida not having their votes counted in the primary. Talk about acting, he should win an Academy Award for his performance this week. How did he stand on counting the Chads in 2000? Oooops!@

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 3:17 AM
Comment #247259

So Ohio decided to give the Clintons a chance at a 3rd strike. Stike 1: NAFTA, Strike 2: Iraq, Stike 3? I can’t wait for this disaster.

No wonder their jobs got shipped to countries where the workers are a little smarter. How do you vote for the same person that you claim, cost you your job?

Women I’m sorry but I don’t get it. If Hilary was running as a Divorsee, who kicked her cheating husband to the curb, then sure rally behind her and chant her on. But to give this perv Bill a reward by putting him back in the white house? My god he stuck a CIGAR in Lewinsky’s genitals. Nancy Polisi will be the perfect 1st Woman President of the United States Of America when she runs in 2016. You can honestly say she did it on her own merit and not her infamy. If you can’t see that this is Bill’s loophole to get back in the white house I just don’t see what you guys are looking at.

Posted by: Andrew Stone at March 7, 2008 3:27 AM
Comment #247263

David

You are right. The one of the candidates will get a majority of the elected delegates, but it will not matter. The Democratic party has set up a system whereby the party apparatchiks get to tip the balance.

And what about the millions of voters in Michigan and Florida disenfranchised by the Howard Dean rules? Don’t these votes count? Dems make a federal case when some fool cannot find the polling place. These millions of people found the polling places and cast a vote. What about them?

We Republicans are simpler people. Our candidate is the one with the most support. We don’t give such a powerful role to the party bosses, as Dems do.

It is Democratic hypocrisy not to notice this glaring contradiction. All this talk they do about counting every vote and disenfranchisement is as hollow as their talk about public financing of elections or Obama’s duplicity on NAFTA. It is easier to talk than to do. That is what the Dems are learning.

Re grumpy – I am just sure Democrats will find a way to blame people like me for their cheating ways. They are good at shifting the blame. If they would honestly address their anger, it would not be a problem, but they won’t.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2008 4:12 AM
Comment #247268

SE

By the way…I have a sneaky feeling (and the Eagle is always spot on in his feelings), that there is more to this Muslim denial than meets the eye….I think the best is being saved for later on,to tell you the truth. Remember, it isn’t once being a Muslim that is now at issue…rather the denial of it, I think.
Oh for the love of all that is good in this world will you please either get informed or stop beating this dead old horse? His full name is Barack Hussein Obama Jr., named after his father, who was born Muslim but was an athiest by the time he met Junior’s mom. So do you really believe this drek or are you just parroting it for laughs?

Jack,

Jack Jack Jacky-boy, you poor deluded soul, it’s time to take off those rose-tinted glasses and fess up to reality: McCain can’t beat ANY Dem, especially Obama. Of course, I can hear you now…. “polls mean nothing, polls can change”. Yes they can. And imagine the polls after this little internal catfight is done, when Your Man gets caught between the rock of his maverick nature and voting record and the hard place of the religious conservative base, and the Dems take up the “100 years in Iraq” chant. It won’t be pretty, no matter how much you think the Hanoi Hilton hardened your boy up. Stop drinking the Kool-aide, man. It may be yummy, but the aftertaste’s a killer.

Posted by: leatherankh at March 7, 2008 9:44 AM
Comment #247271

Liam-
The Survey USA poll breaking down how the Democratic Candidates fare in the states has Obama’s percentage against McCain at 41 to his 54. Obama’s campaigned back from worse, and in this election, we’ll be seeing better than average turnout from the Democrats, and less than stellar turnout from Republicans.

As for McCain setting up infrastructure? I doubt it. First, in many of these places that he’s going, the infrastructure already is there. The Republicans have done that long before, and there are many places where it is better established. Not odd, considering they’ve been the party of the establishment for quite some time now.

Second, McCain doesn’t really have the money to spend on that, and neither does his party. He only got 12 Million in donations, to Barack’s 55 million, and there’s no indication that Obama’s going to be hurting coming into the Convention Season. The Republican Party’s not doing that well financially speaking, and if Obama’s the candidate, he’s going to be carrying a bunch of folks in the red states on his coat-tails.

As for general election? Well that hasn’t started yet, and the historic primary election the Democrats have been having has generally stolen the limelight. McCain’s win is old news, and he can’t really single out one person or another just yet. He’d look like a fool giving too much attention to a candidate who doesn’t win.

Right now, the Democrats are demonstrating an intimidating amount of political strength, especially Obama, who wins many of these Red States handily, and who, if the election where held today, could poach quite a few Red and Swing States from the Republicans. Does it matter that its not a done deal yet? No. We’ll be getting the majority of the Press and attention for some time to come, even if President Bush decides to tap dance on the Capitol steps with the Congressional Republicans.

Jack-
This is not a civil war. This is nowhere near as bad as the Reagan/Ford fight or the 1968 election was. We didn’t see the incumbent president get handily defeated in a primary, have a candidate get assassinated, riots in front of the convention, and a massive split within the party. The people who vote for Clinton will likely vote for Obama, especially against a Republican like McCain.

As for this:

The best thing (for me) about this Democratic civil war is that it brings home to them the real world problems of counting. On many occasions, I have tried to explain that elections are statistical processes. They measure the will of the people, but are not themselves the will of the people. The Dems have sanctimoniously responded that we not only need to count every vote, but also somehow divine the intent of the voter. Now they see that it is not possible.

It’s a figure of speech. But not an empty one. The deal with Michigan and Florida is that they broke the rules and held primaries despite explicit instructions not to. This is not punishing the voters, but the state parties. Moreover, if we’re talking about Disenfranchisement, what about Obama or Edwards Voters? Their candidates, following the rules the party set down, took their names off the ballots. Is it fair to those voters that Hillary gets her votes, though she didn’t have to compete with anybody else? Nobody’s going to sit still for a seating of delegates that were not honestly competed for. They will go with a revote, a primary or caucus of some kind. The question is, just who pays for all of this. One wonders, whether the governors calling for voters votes to count are willing to fork over the money to do so.

As for farts, the person who complains about a fart is often the person who let it out. Typical politics these days among the Republicans. You lose a war, and it’s our fault.

As for Democratic Infrastructure, these guns aren’t fixed emplacements. Democrats are in this campaign to determine who’s best to kick your butt. Additionally, unlike the Maginot Line, there’s depth behind the frontier. Once we determine the candidate, the march will begin.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2008 9:56 AM
Comment #247272
What about the voters in Michigan & Florida? The Dem parties in those states broke Howard Dean’s rules, so do you punish the millions of voters there?

I have already written about this issue a lot. The delegates should certainly be seated. The problem is that in Michigan it was somewhat of a sham election, as Clinton was the only major candidate on the ballot. In Florida, the candidates agreed not to campaign. There seems to be a growing agreement that there should be a revote. The only question is who pays.

(By the way, you could say the the GOP half-disenfranchised these voters, as they lost half their delegates.)

Re your accusation of Democratic hypocrisy on the superdelegates, many Dems ARE criticizing the system. A lot of us didn’t even realize what a crazy system we had. I predict the superdelegates will be eliminated for the next cycle.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 7, 2008 10:08 AM
Comment #247273

Stephen,

Just read your comments on the election. Great minds think alike.

Posted by: Woody Mena at March 7, 2008 10:11 AM
Comment #247279

Leatherankh,
Thanks for the poll numbers. BTW, go back to that site and read the article “hillary’s kamikaze mission”. Wow!!

Jack,
Please forgive my “majority” statement. What I meant, of course, is that Gore had more voters vote for him than did Bush. The ONLY way Hillary wins this is by subverting the primary electon process via superdelegate subterfuge. Sorry, but there it is.

Posted by: steve miller at March 7, 2008 11:53 AM
Comment #247282

This certainly is going to be the most interesting election cycle in quite some time. There are good things and bad things about both parties.

Republicans: It’s good that McCain has wrapped up the nomination and can start fundraising and organizing for a late summer-early fall fight with whoever comes out of the Democratic Convention as the candidate.

It’s also bad that he has wrapped up the nomination, as the dog fight in the Democratic party will push him and his campain further and further back from the spotlight…all the way back into media oblivion. If the dog and cat fight in the Democratic Party continues through the convention (which it is expected to do, barring some “death blow” mistake), people in September will be asking, “Uh, and now WHO is the Republican in this race?”

Yes, whoever emerges as the winner from the Democratic Convention will be bloodied and battered, but their name recognition will be greatly enhanced while McCain may well be forgotten.

Democrats: It’s good that this horse race is continuing…focusing the media spotlight on those campains, enhancing name recognition and interest, however (and this is a MAJOR however), Democrats are walking very close to the political precipice.

If Obama wins the delegate count and popular vote and then is denied the candidacy by the superdelegates, it WILL be 1968 all over again. Al Sharpton has already promised that. If Michigan and Florida’s delegates are seated at the last minute in a move perceived as a Hillary campain tactic…after already being denied by the DNC…all bloody hell will break out. Count on it.

(By the way, a Michigan and Florida “do-over” having to be paid for by the candidates, and to top that having to spend like crazy to campain there really isn’t fair. Shame on you Howard Dean. Get up off that wallet. If you want a “do-over”, the DNC should pay for it. It’s the ONLY fair option.)

All in all, the Democratic nominee should (should, mind you) come out of the convention in much better shape than when they went in…unless the Hillary machine pulls one too many “back room” tricks. If the DNC moves away from fracture…if they play it “straight up”…look for a very strong Democratic candidate. If the DNC jerks around with numbers, proceedures and delagates, look for McCain to be much, much stronger after the convention.

Posted by: Jim T at March 7, 2008 12:24 PM
Comment #247299

Jack, good point on superdelegates, and I agree.

As for Obama’s duplicity on NAFTA, you are probably getting the news late, but, that duplicity is Clintons, not Obama’s. Obama’s man denied the allegation from the gitgo, and now the Canadian officials are indicating it was Clinton, not Obama, giving the assurance that their campaign deceptions about altering NAFTA are not to be taken seriously.

Hope this helps bring you up to date on this breaking story.

Posted by: David R. Remer at March 7, 2008 1:31 PM
Comment #247304

Leather

Polls do not mean much at this point. But I seen recent polls (Gallup, LA Times & Rasmussen) show McCain beating both Obama and Hillary. It will be a hard race, but I am reasonably confident that our side will win. The Dems are passionate these days, but passion often fails. It will be fun to watch.

They are passionate because they hate Bush and are strongly anti-war. Bush is not running again. McCain has been at odds with Bush on many occassions. The hatred will not completely transfer. As for Iraq, it is already moving in the right direction. This will be more apparent in Novemeber. The hard core war opponents won’t change their minds, but others may move over.

This is probably high tide for Obama, as his free ride is coming to an end. I think as people see more of Obama they will come to understand that there is not much to see.

Stephen

Yes the local Democratic Parties broke the rules. But the PEOPLE of these states are paying the price and they are being disenfranchised. The cavalier attitude Democrats take to this massive disenfranchisement shows that they really do not care about that issue except as a club to use against Republicans.

Woody

You know why they have super delegates? It was another silly attempt to create perfect equality and like most utopian schemes it leads to real troubles in the real world.

Steve Miller

I just think we need to make a distinction between majority and plurality. Winning with a plurality less than the majority usually causes trouble because MOST people voted against the “winning candidate”. The Electoral College was set up to break these kinds of tie elections. In 2000 it worked according to plan. I understand why Dems feel angry, but EITHER decision would have been controversial and either candidate would have had a majority of the voters vote against him.

It may be only me, but I think of the will of the people as representing at least half of the total participants. When we cannot get to that level, we have institutions that decide the outcome. I have no problem with that as long as we follow the rules agreed on before the contest. In the current Dem dilemma, there is no way any candidate will win a majority of the delegates through election or caucus. They have set up a system that MUST be decided by party apparatchiks. What does that say about the guys who created such a system? It is exacerbated by the disenfranchisement of voters in Michigan and Florida. It is just a mess and I am happy it is a Dem mess.

Posted by: Jack at March 7, 2008 1:50 PM
Comment #247325
riots in front of the convention, and a massive split within the party.

The convention is not here yet…

http://www.recreate68.org

This is not a minority effort… I will be curious to see what actually happens in Denver, especially since it is extremely unlikely that the candidate will be in place by then.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 7, 2008 5:25 PM
Comment #247330
The ONLY way Hillary wins this is by subverting the primary electon process via superdelegate subterfuge

I hate to break this to you but she is not ‘suberting’ the process, she is following the rules that are set out by the Democratic Party. If you don’t like it, talk to Howard Dean, not Hillary Clinton…

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 7, 2008 5:47 PM
Comment #247334
As for Obama’s duplicity on NAFTA, you are probably getting the news late, but, that duplicity is Clintons, not Obama’s. Obama’s man denied the allegation from the gitgo, and now the Canadian officials are indicating it was Clinton, not Obama, giving the assurance that their campaign deceptions about altering NAFTA are not to be taken seriously.

That’s not how I am reading this at all, it seems to me that both Hillary and Obama’s camps are equally guilty. Obama’s man may be denying it, but there *IS* a memo that depicts a conversation that was the basis of the report.

As I read it now, Ian Brodie made an offhand comment that Hillary’s camp had made assurances. But the reporter doing the investigation did not stop there and found there was a memo written by a Canadian diplomat that described a conversation between Austan Goulsbee and diplomats at the Canadian Consulate. Austan says the memo doesn’t accurately depict the conversation, but that the conversation took place at all is pretty damning IMO.

When Mr. Obama’s campaign and the Canadian government denied the allegation, a leaked document was obtained by The Associated Press written by a Canadian diplomat. It chronicled a conversation between Obama economic adviser Austan Goulsbee and diplomats at Canada’s Chicago consulate.

The Obama aide has challenged the wording of the memo and says it characterized the conversation unfairly. A government official said that memo was initially e-mailed to over 120 government employees.

So what it seems to ME is that in typical DEMOCRAT fashion, hypocrisy reigns supreme.

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 7, 2008 6:06 PM
Comment #247343

Woody Mena-
This is the idea that I had.

Jim T-
Your final analysis isn’t off.

Jack-
They weren’t even real primaries with candidates campaigning. Hillary’s name being on the ballot is accidental at best, a violation of her agreement not to campaign at worse. The very act of allowing it to count would be a disenfranchisement of those voters who might have gone for other candidates had they had the chance.

This is a matter of genuine concern for us, for me, even though the results of such primaries might not benefit my candidate. One lesson your people never learned was that how you attain power is important to whether really retain hold of it, or have any decent use of it.

As for pluralities, it doesn’t necessarily prevent them, it just translates them to a different language. In close campaigns, the 2000 campaign being a great example, it can actually confound things.

Rhinehold-
There are some who might want to try that, but it’s unlikely under most circumstances. Today’s youth are not motivated in that manner. They’re invested in the process. You might get some serious anger if Hillary attempts to take the nomination by political chicanery, but the Democrats aren’t the major focus of Democrat’s anger.

As for hypocrisy? Folks are having trouble establishing who said what, and who was qualified to say anything in the first place. Nobody can even establish whether real conversations took place. It may turn out to have been a leak by the Conservative PM meant to interfere with our election. If you want to build condemnation and excoriation on top of that kind of politically motivated factually questionable leakage, be my guest. It’ll make winning arguments easier for me.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at March 7, 2008 7:19 PM
Comment #247345

Stephen,

Austan is not denying that he spoke to the Canadian Consulate. Why was he doing that for? That he protests that his words were taken out of context does not excuse his going out to have the conversation to begin with, don’t you think?

Or, as long as you can try to find a smidgen of factual confusion do you try to use it to excuse the whole affair?

And of course, there is the Hillary is a Monster thing… I wonder about Obama’s ability to pick good advisors. Isn’t that one of the main knocks on Dubya?

Posted by: Rhinehold at March 7, 2008 7:37 PM
Comment #247359

Rhinehold, since you mention hypocrisy, it’s quite interesting to watch the liberal Democrats who support Obama making the same arguments that they’ve dismissed and ridiculed from conservatives over the years now that those arguments further their own agenda. Here are some examples.

1: The Clintons are corrupt cheaters who only care about their own power and have no regard for rules.

2: The rules for elections shouldn’t be rewritten after the fact. Not to benefit an opponent of Obama. No way! But okay if it’s done by a Democratic Supreme Court in the state of Florida.

3: If people can’t establish with 100% metaphysical certainty who said what and when (Obama’s aides and the Canadians) then we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Tell it to Scooter Libby.

4: Aides who screw up are a bad reflection on their leader. Good for Michael Brown and Bush after Katrina but not for Obama’s aids who call Hillary a monster or who make questionable statements to foreign leaders.

How their tune has changed!

Posted by: Liam at March 7, 2008 10:39 PM
Comment #247363

Jack,

You wrote:

The Obama lustre is diminished with revelations of his Canada end run
That lie has already been debunked but keep spreading it as if you don’t know that. Even if it were true, I would hope that Obama would reassure Canada. He should he do that now - openly. Our problem with NAFTA is not with Canada…

You wrote:

Maybe the people of the super delegate’s district have changed their minds.
If there were decisive evidence of that, I think that it would be appropriate for super delegates to use their super power to reflect that.

You wrote:

This happened in the presidential election in 2000 and helped create the inter-party acrimony we are still living with today.
You are rewriting history again. The inter-party acrimony started with Republicans playing politics with endless - pointless investigations of the Clintons for petty political gain. As a result the Democrats in foolish bipartisan unity allowed the special prosecutor law to lapse so that it would not used to cripple a Regime in the way that the two faced Republicans had used it against the Clintons. Now when we actually do need a special independent prosecutor to do real investigations about serious matters involving a corrupt Regime, we do not have one.

You wrote:

If Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton is elected in November, he/she will be my president
If John McCain is elected, I will match your pledge. Problem is Bush was not elected in 2000. He was appointed. The rules that existed the day before the election were not honored.


Posted by: Ray Guest at March 7, 2008 11:26 PM
Comment #247365

Stephen

The thrust of my post is that it is very difficult to figure out the “will of the people”. I have known for a long time that our selection processes are imperfect and that they cannot be perfected. But they can be made better. The irony is that Dems have been demanding a technical perfection that is unattainable and now they just throw out the votes of million of people w/o much thought.

The Dems are disenfranchising more people by ignoring the voters in Michigan & Florida than the total number of votes they have wrongfully accused Republicans of doing in the last presidential elections.

I might say that one lesson your people never learned was that how you attain power is important to whether really retain hold of it, or have any decent use of it.

The problem for your people is that you set up a system that allows both candidates to legitimately claim to have won. This was done to try to perfect an imperfectable process.

You will have to redo the primaries in Michigan & Florida. Good luck with that. Democrats are getting what they deserve.

Liam

This is what I really enjoy. The Dems are saying exactly the things they said were untrue when they heard them from Republicans. Is Karl Rove in charge of the Democratic Party now?

Hillary Clinton’s team says that Barack Obama is like Ken Starr. Obama’s folks call Hillary a monster. Both Democratic contenders are correct, BTW.

Ray

I love this

“Obama should reassure Canada” – yes he should. He should reassure Canada that the silly things he says to get elected are not the things he will do as president. My HOPE for Obama (and I believe it is a realistic hope) is that he won’t really do all those dumb thing he is promising the credulous on the campaign trail.

Re Super delegates – I am merely pointing out the trouble with the system. I really cannot know if Dems in particular places have changed their minds on Obama. Neither can the Super delegates. The Dems have created a system that lets apparatchiks decide the election. The Democratic Party is comfortable with that, the people not so much.

Re the special prosecutor – the Dems used that law to pester popular Republican presidents such as Ronald Reagan. They misused it. The Republicans also misused it and Dems realized it was a monster. If Dems can figure out a way that it can apply only to Republicans, they will keep it. Otherwise they don’t want it. Giving a person a mission to find something on a person and giving him big piles of money is generally a bad idea.

Re 2000 election – Bush won the initial count in Florida. Then he won the recount. That was the procedure before the election. Of course you could count in various ways until Gore came out on top, but why would you stop with that particular count?

During the election in 2000 I thought Dems were just being dishonest. Now I see it goes deeper. Many Dems just have a pernicious mindset when it comes to elections. They like to parse, redo and create weird scenarios where nobody can legitimately win. They are doing to themselves now what they did to us in 2000, so I no longer see it as partisan – just Democrat.

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2008 12:05 AM
Comment #247378

Jack,

Yes, Bloomberg, USA Today, and Rassmussen have polls showing McCain leading…. by 2, 1, and 1 points respectively, well within the margin of error in any poll. On the other hand, Obama is up by 9 in the Cook poll, 10 in the AP-Ipsos, 11 in the Post, and a whopping 12 points in CBS/Times. Little hard to cherry-pick your data in this day and age, which is why I use sites like RCP…keeps me honest. ;-)

L

Posted by: leatherankh at March 8, 2008 8:51 AM
Comment #247390

My hope is that the August Demo convention will draft big Al Gore and leave BO and HC in the dust bin of history. Al has everything a dem could possibly want in a candidate and it would be fun to see him strutting around again and spewing his pseudo-science nonsense. His VP could be Dennis the Menace and together they could make history by loosing all 50 states to McCain.

Posted by: Jim M at March 8, 2008 1:01 PM
Comment #247392

What has this blog become? All Barrack-Hillary, all the time? What about the economy? Isn’t it going just great!! All the sacrifices we have made for the sake of growth, huge fiscal deficits, huge trade deficits, a weakened dollar with the resulting burden of high inflation on the consumer. At the end of it all, we have no growth!! On Friday there was our president on stage, trying his best to explain the inexplicable.
As thrilling as it is to endlessly rehash, on this blog, who called who what name when, don’t you all think that, at the end of it all, it is just an issue-avoidence-tactic employed by the regulars? What sincere argument, what new bit of the trivial could possibly be of interest that would justify the last twelve subjects on this site being about Barack-Hillary?

Posted by: charles ross at March 8, 2008 1:24 PM
Comment #247396

Leather

Aggregating the polls does not make them more accurate. At this point the electorate is very much fluid and none of the measures really count. At this point, you need not cherry pick but merely understand that all the polls are provisional.

Try this poll. It showed Dukakis with a 10 point lead over Bush. The NYT speculated that people were leaving because of deep doubts about Reagan policies. Or try this one from May 1992.

My guess is that the faith healer Obama will plunge faster than Dukakis & Perot. Nobody knows anything about him. It is unlikely anybody’s real life can measure up to the hype. Hilary managed to punture him with one unoriginal add. Now we learn that he lied on NAFTA and Iraq (BBC just carried an interview with his now former FP advisor, where she explained that withdrawal didn’t really mean pulling out any time soon) He is still walking on water to some of his fans, but his ankles are getting wet.

Posted by: Jack at March 8, 2008 2:11 PM
Comment #247398

Charles

The economy was very good from 1995-2000 & from 2003-2007. It was bad 2001-2 and okay 1992-4. Now it is about at the 1992-4 level. During those time we have had all the permutations of parties: All Dem 1993-4, mixed 1995-2002 & 2007-now and all Republican 2003-7. It follows various cycles that are not closely coorelated to politics, as you can see. Since politics is the big issue today, we are talking less about these things.

Beyond that, President Bush is not running in this election. Nobody in his adminstration is in the race. This is the first time this has happened since 1952. Dems enjoyed bashing Bush and we enjoyed defending him, but that fight is taking on a kind of Peloponesian War character (i.e. ancient history) and less fun. I know that some Dems will want to bash Bush forever, as many of my Republican friends continued to bash and blame Clinton, I never thought that was worth the trouble. I enjoy history but plan for the future.


Posted by: jack at March 8, 2008 2:23 PM
Comment #247403
Charles Ross wrote: What about the economy?
Very good question.

Especially with so many not-so-rosy economic factors, the falling U.S. Dollar, massive debts, deficits, trade deficits, inflation, energy vulnerabilities, 2 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the federal government growing ever larger to nightmare proportions, etc., etc., etc.

Too many voters think the next president will save them.
Unfortunately, who ever the next president is, the president won’t be able to accomplish much when most voters continue to saddle the next president with the same corrupt, FOR-SALE, do-nothing incumbent politicians in Congress; repeatedly rewarding the incumbent politicians in Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

So, the problem continues because …

  • two-thirds of the voters will always reward THEIR incumbents with re-election,

  • and the other third, who actually decide the elections, still choose to reward too many incumbent politicians with re-election, as evidenced by Congress’ cu$hy 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
Therefore, things only get worse; not better … for a while.

As Jack says …

Jack wrote: It follows various cycles that are not closely coorelated to politics, as you can see.

So, when will it end?
Most likely, only when doing the same thing over and over finally becomes too painful.
That is human nature.
Unfortunately, that often happens too late, as with two of the highest (of several) periods of the highest anti-incumbent voting in America (after the Civil War and the Great Depression).

Posted by: d.a.n at March 8, 2008 5:07 PM
Comment #247416

D.a.n., there is no good reason whatsoever to believe that if things became “too painful” as a result of reelecting lousy incumbents that good, responsible, and effective politicians would suddenly appear and do anything differently.

For one thing, if our leaders in government mirrored the will of the people exactly, it would still be corrupt, irresponsible, and ineffective because quite frankly, the “will of the people” is for politicians who will indulge the people’s irresponsible desires.

We the people are not perfect angels getting screwed over by our government. Rather, the government is a reflection of our collective desires. You talk about getting rid of incumbents when you really ought to talk about getting rid of the people. But where would that leave us?

For example, virtually everybody belongs to some “special interest group,” and they want government to serve their interests at the expense of everybody else. Minorities and unions, for example, all want their special treatment. As do corporations and all the people who work in the industries that that those corporations work in.

In any case, anybody who is actually serious about curbing the problems of incumbency really only has one solution with any chance of success.

Term limits. Just as Newt Gingrich proposed in the Contract with America. But since liberals like yourself didn’t think of it first, they’ll never support it.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at March 8, 2008 11:18 PM
Comment #247420

d.a.n.

The economic cycles will never end and trying to get politicians to end them is only silly. They are not correlated with politics.

The only things politicians can do to help is address the entitlement crisis. President Bush tried to do that and was completely slapped down. No candidates now are even seriously talking about it. In fact, Obama and Clinton are advocating adding even more entitlements that we cannot pay for.

The promises Clinton and Obama as simply appalling pandering aimed at people who should know better. Unfortunately, as LO observes, people ARE getting the politicans they want. Their actions are speaking louder than their words. Voters buy this crap politicans are selling.

What would an honest politician tell people?


The economic cycles will never end and trying to get politicians to end them is only silly. They are not correlated with politics.

The only things politicians can do to help is address the entitlement crisis. President Bush tried to do that and was completely slapped down. No candidates now are even seriously talking about it. In fact, Obama and Clinton are advocating adding even more entitlements that we cannot pay for.

An honest politician would tell the people that government’s effect on the economy is long term. He/she would tell them that government programs are more likely to cause harm than good to the economy. He/she would explain that manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of technological changes (just as agricultural jobs did) and that they will never return, no matter how much we try to punish Mexicans, Canadians or Chinese. He/she will understand that high gas prices are caused by high demand and that the best way to address that is through a carbon tax that will RAISE prices even more in the short term. He/she will acknowledge that no matter how wealthy the country becomes, people will still feel dissatisfied and that this is a race without a finish line. AND he/she will know that ultimately happiness and success is mostly a matter of what people do for themselves. Government can help create the conditions of prosperity, but people must make it. Americans are entitled to the pursuit of happiness, but not many people will attaint it on a sustainable basis.

No politician who told the truth would ever win an election.


Posted by: Jack at March 9, 2008 12:38 AM
Comment #247450

Jack,

“He/she would explain that manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of technological changes (just as agricultural jobs did) and that they will never return, no matter how much we try to punish Mexicans, Canadians or Chinese.”

Really?
Jobs are leaving this country because it is much cheaper to manufacture goods overseas and ship them back to this country than it is to pay an American to do the same job.
Jobs are leaving this country because companies don’t want to add American taxes to their bottom line.
Jobs are leaving this country because stockholders are demanding a higher profit for the same goods, without adding any more worth to those goods.
American goods of higher quality are more expensive to manufacture here in America than the same goods of lesser quality manufactured overseas. Americans would rather buy three widgets of less quality made somewhere else than one better quality widget, made here in America, that would last longer than the three combined, because we only look at the original cost.
Americans also got greedy in their demands for higher wages with out the understanding that shit flows downhill.
Please explain to me why an American car like the Chevy Corvette for instance, that cost much less than $10,000 in the ’60s now costs more than 5 or 6 times that much.
I refuse to believe that “technology” is the sole reason for the price increase.


“He/she will understand that high gas prices are caused by high demand and that the best way to address that is through a carbon tax that will RAISE prices even more in the short term.”

Is the “demand” for gas truly 10%-20% greater than it was a mere 2 or 3 years ago, or have the suppliers, who BTW haven’t bothered to significantly upgrade their facilities in the last 30 years, just decided to take the cash, and hedge their bets against a possible switch to a non-carbon based fuel in the future?
I doubt seriously that the “demand” for gas is the reason that the price per gallon in the area I live has been raised nearly 40 cents in the 6 weeks.
I would hazard a guess that this all comes back to what I alluded to above, Americans couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the future, and only truly think in the short term.

Posted by: Rocky at March 9, 2008 11:23 AM
Comment #247461

Rocky

Good to have you back

Manufacturing jobs are declining worldwide. While it is true that American labor has priced itself out of some occupations, technology has had a much larger role. Manufacturing is bigger in the U.S. than it was in the early 1990s. It just doesn’t take many workers to make things anymore.

The agriculture model is a good one to look at, but just think about the factories of your youth and then factories today.

I worked at a cement company back in the 1970s. It employed dozens of unskilled workers to load bags, unload RR cars and do general warehouse work. The place is still there and it moves more cement through than when I worked there, but there are now only two full-time workers. Machines do some of the thing I used to do. They redesigned other tasks completely out of existence. For example, they no longer get any cement by rail car. It all comes in big boats and unloads in hours what it took us many days to do.

The two guys still working at the plant make more money, have higher level skills and don’t have to destroy their bodies and minds with jobs that can be done by machines.

Or look at an auto plant. You see pictures from the 1960s with hundreds of guys. Today you see hundreds of robots. These types of jobs are never coming back and no politician can do anything about it unless he/she wants to go back to the 1960s. I recall the work from those days. It sucked. Most of the work was repetitive and mind numbing. Machines have taken away much of that crappy work, leaving us with more skilled and better jobs. Yes, some of the really crappy work - like sewing together running shoes - has moved to China or someplace else. Do we really want to keep those jobs? It is easy to get them back. Just outlaw the machines we use and we will all be back breaking our backs.

Re gas prices – I think we need to pay more for carbon based fuels to encourage conservation and alternatives.

Re refineries – it is very difficult to build a new refinery for environmental and regulatory reasons. You are right that prices are higher because of limited refining capacity, but that has little to do with the greed of big companies.

BTW - $10,000 in 1965 adjusted for inflation today is 66191.69. Everything cost more now - and we make more money.

Posted by: Jack at March 9, 2008 3:06 PM
Comment #247470

Jack,

Thanks.

For the last 7 weeks I have been in Florida where I have been working on a job site that will remain nameless. I also experienced the beginnings of “spring break”. More on that later.
As for the job, I can only say that true American craftsmanship seems dead. Nobody cares about doing a job they can be proud of, and oh, BTW, they want to be paid premium wages for this shoddy work.
I have been told I expect too much of the other trades. The truth is that I expect them to do their jobs in a way that will facilitate my doing my job correctly, and in a timely manner. My portion of this “7 week” job realistically shouldn’t have taken more than 2-3 weeks, yet because I had to babysit other trades I was paid more than I should have been.
Frankly I would rather go in, do my job, and get out.
Unfortunately, over the last several years, the above seems more and more the case. My employer must now figure the lag time of the other trades into the amount of money he charges the end client, and, sadly, the result is a more expensive product for all of us.

I don’t expect perfection, but I don’t want my best effort thwarted by some one else’s half-assed job.


As for “spring break”. This was my first experience with spring breakers, and I hope it will be my last.
If these “children” are the future leaders of our country, things are only going to get worse. Our “children” are ill-mannered pigs who wouldn’t know a trash can if it bit them on the ass.
We, all of us have made them that way. We expect nothing, and, oh, BTW, that is exactly what we’re going to get.

Back to the politics at hand.
How can we realistically expect more effort from our representatives than we expect of ourselves? Someone on one of these threads stated those that we elect are merely a reflection of who we are as a people.
I couldn’t agree more.
We, us, the people of America, have put this country into the position we are in.
We have no one but ourselves to blame.
It is we who have put out the half-assed effort, and we have the half-assed results to show for it.

Guys, no one has the experience necessary to be President, and the belief that America should be run as a corporation is nonsense.
Americans are people, not products, and an eye on the bottom line is more of a detriment than a plus, in my humble opinion.
Being a Governor isn’t any more of a qualification than being a shoe salesman.
Being a Senator isn’t any more of a qualification than being a dog catcher.
I thought we elected people because they thought like us. That they had a clear vision of where this country needs to go, not because they would give us everything, and anything we asked for.

Posted by: Rocky at March 9, 2008 5:33 PM
Comment #247475
Loyal Opposition wrote: d.a.n , there is no good reason whatsoever to believe that if things became “too painful” as a result of re-electing lousy incumbents that good, responsible, and effective politicians would suddenly appear and do anything differently.
Not true.

Repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with re-election isn’t going to make them more responsible is it?
Also, the pain and misery usually comes after things become too painful, as evidenced by America’s highest anti-incumbent voting periods (i.e. Civil War and the Great Depression).

Loyal Opposition wrote: For one thing, if our leaders in government mirrored the will of the people exactly, it would still be corrupt, irresponsible, and ineffective because quite frankly, the “will of the people” is for politicians who will indulge the people’s irresponsible desires.
True. Voters are culpable too.

And repeatedly rewarding irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates simply makes the corrupt politicians more corrupt.
Power corrupts.
Voters should stop doing that, and many incumbent politicians will get get the message.
And if the replacement politicians don’t get it, vote them out too.
That is what the voters were supposed to be doing all along.
But, too many voters are irresponsible too.
Unlike many that only blame the politicians, or the OTHER party, or the price of rice in China, it is obvious to me that the voters are culpable too.
And therefore, the voters have the government that the voters deserve.

Loyal Opposition wrote: We the people are not perfect angels getting screwed over by our government.
That’s true. I agree with that 100%.

That is why I always say: “the voters will have the government that the voters deserve”.

Loyal Opposition wrote: Rather, the government is a reflection of our collective desires. You talk about getting rid of incumbents when you really ought to talk about getting rid of the people. But where would that leave us?
Nonsense. I never said get rid of people.

I’m merely saying that repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians isn’t working. It it?
The logic is sound, but it is up to the voters.
Why wait (as in the Civil War and the Great Depresssion) until it is too late to avoid the painful consequences?

Loyal Opposition wrote: For example, virtually everybody belongs to some “special interest group,” and they want government to serve their interests at the expense of everybody else. Minorities and unions, for example, all want their special treatment. As do corporations and all the people who work in the industries that that those corporations work in.
True. And there will eventually be painful consequences for those excesses.
Loyal Opposition wrote: In any case, anybody who is actually serious about curbing the problems of incumbency really only has one solution with any chance of success. Term limits. Just as Newt Gingrich proposed in the Contract with America. But since liberals like yourself didn’t think of it first, they’ll never support it.
I’m not against term limits.

However, what are the chances of that when most voters repeatedly reward Congress with 93%-to-99% re-election rates, and Congress continues to blatantly violate Article V of the U.S. Constitution (among other Constitutional violations) for a Term-Limits amendment.

Jack wrote: The economic cycles will never end and trying to get politicians to end them is only silly. They are not correlated with politics.
Jack, I meant the end of the Corruption portion of the cycle (and a progression to the next stage of the cycle with increased responsibility).

Of course the cycle continue, and never meant that politicians could eliminate the cycle.

,-(1) Corruption, oppression,
| (2) courage, Responsibility, rebellion,
| (3) liberty, growth, abundance,
| (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility
| (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,
` - - return to step (1)

That should have been obvious, and what is silly is trying to twist it into something else.

Jack wrote: The only things politicians can do to help is address the entitlement crisis.
Not true.

The are many things the politicians would address, if they wanted to.
There is not a lack of good ideas and solutions.
The problem is that Congress is where good ideas go to die.
And too many voters make it worse by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians for it.

Jack wrote: President Bush tried to do that [entitlements] and was completely slapped down.
Please. That’s trully silly. He wanted to privatize it. The least Bush (and Congress) could have done was stop plundering the surpluses and cut the massive spending, borrowing, money printing, and waste. $12.8 Trillion has been borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching.
Jack wrote: No candidates now are even seriously talking about it. In fact, Obama and Clinton are advocating adding even more entitlements that we cannot pay for.
We agree on that.

Healthcare would probably be more affordable and less of a crisis if the following abuses and problems were addressed.
More vast entitlement systems at this time is equally irresponsible, when the nation is already facing the following serious problems:

  • $9.4 Trillion National Debt, with over $1 Billion per day in INTEREST alone on the National Debt (never higher, and never larger as a percentage of GDP since after World War II);

  • $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching (never worse, and if combined with the $9.4 Trillion National Debt, the total federal debt has never been worse ever, including as a percentage of GDP);

  • the PBGC pensions are $450 Billion in the hole;

  • state and local governments have over $6 Trillion of debt;

  • the nation-wide personal debt is over $20 Trillion (never worse ever; and never worse as a percentage of the $13.86 Trillion GDP since the Great Depression);

  • there are hundreds of billions (possibly trillions) of unfunded liabilities for the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;

  • the nation-wide debt is over $48 Trillion (almost half of the Nation’s total net worth; never worse since the Great Depression);

  • but 80% of Americans only own 17% of the Nations total wealth (never worse since the Great Depression); only 2% of all Americans owns most of the wealth in the nation a trend that has been worsening since year 1976, and has never been worse since the Great Depression;

  • the U.S. Dollar has been falling fast against all major international currencies for the last 7 years; the U.S. Dollar has been falling fast against all major international currencies for the last 7 years; we’ve had incessant inflation since year 1956;

  • illegal immigration has never been worse, costing middle class Americans an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion in annual net losses; there is also the untold cost of crime by illegal aliens, who are encouraged to commit more crimes by being anonymous, and repeatedly arrested, released, and deported over and over and over;

  • taxes are more regressive now than they have been for many years; we don’t need higher taxes; we need fair taxation; (what a few people have said about my tax plan);

  • the monetary system has two problems:
    • the issue of usury, which is moral issue

    • a mathematical flaw; it is a pyramid scheme (a 9-to-1 fractional banking system) and all pyramid schemes are doomed to eventual collapse; where will the money come from to pay the INTEREST in the $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to reduce the PRINCIPAL of $48 Trillion of debt; and the Federal Reserve is creating more money to bail out banks, as if we can borrow and spend our way out of debt;

  • Unemployment is rising since Dec-2007 (101,000 lost jobs in the last few months); finances are contracting; Jobs are going to China (1.3 Billion people), and India (1.1 Billion people), and Asia;

  • Jobs are leaving the country in droves; here’s a law firm that teaches corporations how to avoid hiring Americans;

  • Incomes have been falling since year 1967 (when also adjusting for more workers per household, more government debt, more taxes, and more regressive taxes, more illegal immigration; job displacement, and replacement jobs paying less than previous jobs, etc.);

  • The wealth disparity has been growing worse since 1980, and has never been worse since the Great Depression. The wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population has 40% of all wealth in the U.S. (up from 20% in year 1980; never worse since the Great Depression). The wealthiest 10% of the U.S. population has 70% of all wealth in the U.S., and 80% of the U.S. population has a mere 17% of all wealth in the U.S.

  • Education is declining in quality while rising in cost; causing climbing property taxes (and tens of millions of illegal aliens is exacerbating the situation);

  • Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Once again, part of the problem is government meddling, the growing corpocrisy, corporatism, and other manifestations of unchecked greed. Health Care Solutions are needed (one-simple-idea.com/HealthCareSolutions.htm). If many of these problems list here were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressures on the healthcare system, and make healthcare more affordable.

  • Average savings rates in the U.S. have been negative since 2005, which have only been negative for over a full year once before for one year, when Americans were struggling with huge job layoffs during the Great Depression;

  • Average home equities fell below 50% (a 16 year low);

  • Home foreclosures are at record levels. Greedy banks are raising bank fees, fines, and Adjustable Rate Mortgages to usurious double digit rates. Predatory lending and fraud are part of the problem. Since year 2006, home ownership has fallen for middle-income and lower-income people. Currently, home ownership is in a record plunge, and the 4th quarter of 2007 saw the biggest one-year drop (1.1%) since tracking began in year 1965, as current mortgage problems and rising foreclosures take their toll, and more and more people find themselves with upside-down mortgages in which their homes are worth far less than the debt owed on the home;

  • Stock market volatility (which is a lagging indicator of economic instability);

  • Gold spiked to $988 per ounce;

  • Oil spiked to $106 per barrel; and the U.S. also has a very bad situation with urban sprawl and long commutes (also see book: Sprawl Kills - written by Joel S. Hirschhorn, coFounder of FOAVC)

  • Energy vulnerabilities, despite the Department Of Energy’s (D.O.E.) $28 Billion annual budget;

  • Incessant government bloat and waste, growing to nightmare proportions; there are now more jobs in government than all manufacturing; trade deficits are at record levels; we can’t only be a nation that consumes (spends and borrows), but has no manufacturing or industry … eventually, we will be crushed by the debt; the U.S. is borrowing $3 Billion per day; what do Americans expect if they keep selling each other out, and repeatedly reward the irresponsible incumbent politicians for all of it with 93%-to-99% re-election rates? For example, did you hear last week that the U.S. Airforce (7-Mar-2008) awarded a major portion of the contract to build airborne refueling planes to a European maker of Airbus planes (delivering a major blow to Boeing Co.);

Jack wrote: The promises Clinton and Obama as simply appalling pandering aimed at people who should know better. Unfortunately, as LO observes, people ARE getting the politicans they want. Their actions are speaking louder than their words. Voters buy this crap politicans are selling.
I agree that those three statements completely
Jack wrote: What would an honest politician tell people?
The truth would be a good start.
Jack wrote: An honest politician would tell the people that government’s effect on the economy is long term. He/she would tell them that government programs are more likely to cause harm than good to the economy. He/she would explain that manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of technological changes (just as agricultural jobs did) and that they will never return,
That’s part of it.

But we don’t need to be giving subsidies, pork-barrel, and corporate welfare to corporations either … especially those moving jobs out of the U.S.

Jack wrote: … no matter how much we try to punish Mexicans, Canadians or Chinese.
Punish?

Wasn’t it you Jack that wrote about Misplaced Compassion (www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/005410.html) ?
How are our trade policies punishing China, Mexico, or Canada?
No, we don’t need to punish any trade partners who are engaging in fair trade practices.
But what is truly despicable is the politicians pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes.

Jack wrote: He/she will understand that high gas prices are caused by high demand …
In part.

Another reason for high fuel prices is the falling U.S. Dollar (which has been falling since 1999: one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.htm).

Jack wrote: … and that the best way to address that is through a carbon tax …
Yikes!

Now you sound like a tax-happy Democrat.

Jack wrote: … that will RAISE prices even more in the short term. He/she will acknowledge that no matter how wealthy the country becomes, people will still feel dissatisfied and that this is a race without a finish line.
High prices will lead to new technology. If the severely bloated do-nothing government wants to help, it should use some of the trillions it gets in tax revenues for research and development (maybe part of the Dept. Of Energy’s $28 Billion annaul budget, eh?).
Jack wrote: AND he/she will know that ultimately happiness and success is mostly a matter of what people do for themselves.
The problem is not so much what NEW things government should do.

The problem is these 10+ abuses government should stop (abuses of the last 30 years that did not all come about by mere coincidence):

  • (01) STOP Lawlessness and corruption; enforce the laws and uphold the U.S. Constitution; stop pardons that put politicians above the law;

  • (02) STOP starting unnecessary wars; 7 wars in the last 90 years (about 1 war every 13 years); and stop the fear mongering and lies as an excuse to start wars; especially with wide open borders and thousands of Americans being killed (VictimsOfIllegalAliens.com) annually by illegal aliens;

  • (03) STOP all pork-barrel, graft, bloat, peddling influence, waste, and other abuses of power (e.g. such as Congress giving itself 9 raises between 1997 and 2007);

  • (04) STOP illegal immigration which is costing tax payers an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses; that could buy a lot of health insurance!; WageStagnation + CheapLabor = BigProfits; politicians are despicably pitting Americnas and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes; as for homeland security, it should be noted that more Americans were killed in the past 3 years by illegal aliens than all U.S. troops killed in Iraq in the last 5 years (since March-2003); also, the perpetrators of the 11-SEP-2001 attacks were illegal aliens, 18 of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 11-SEP-2001 possessed state-issued and/or counterfeit driver’s licenses or ID cards and ALL 19 had obtained Social Security numbers (some real, some fake). Those terrorists very simply tapped into an enormous market for fraudulent documents that exists because 12-to-20 million illegal aliens have successfully breached our borders and now reside here illegally, and anonymously. And that anonymity breeds more crime, when illegal aliens are repeatedly arrested, released, and deported, over and over. GAO-5646R Report indicated that a study group of 55,322 illegal aliens had an average arrest record of 13 arrests per illegal alien.

  • (05) STOP election problems; election fraud, stop blocking access to ballots; implement common-sense election reforms, and give voters a printed verifiable receipt of their vote;

  • (06) STOP the borrowing, spending, and growing the massive $9.3 Trillion National Debt; stop plundering Social Security surpluses ($12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent, leaving
  • (07) STOP abuse of the monetary system; inflation and force the Federal Reserve and government to target ZERO inflation and stop excessive money-printing;

  • it pay-as-you-go with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching);
  • (08) STOP regressive and unfair taxation;

  • (09) STOP the misinformation and ignorance. An educated electorate is paramount. Ignorance is not an excuse or defense. An ignorant electorate will be abused and exploited. There are many things that most Americans are unaware of:
    • What causes inflation?
    • Why is the U.S. Dollar falling?
    • Why are incomes stagnant since 1967 while GDP has increased (despite more workers per household and a disappearing 40 hour work week)?
    • Why is the tax system called progressive, when it is actually regressive?
    • Why the occupation of Iraq? Oil?
    • Why rampant illegal immigration? Who profits from it?
    • Why aren’t existing laws enforced?
    • Why so much debt ($48 Trillion nation-wide)?
    • If economy is so great, why an economic stimulus package? What are they nervous about?
    • Why the constant consumerism and encouragement to spend, spend, spend?
    • Where will the money come from to pay the interest on that debt, much less the money to reduce the principal debt? What is a pyramid-scheme?
    • Why does a tiny 1% of the U.S. population own 40% of all wealth (up from 20% in year 1980)?
    • Why is the wealth-disparity gap larger now than ever before since the Great Depression?
    • Why are some things not taught in public schools (e.g. monetary theory)?
    • How is it that 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are VASTLY out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of all voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more). There are two classes in this country. One class derives concentrated power from its concentrated wealth. The other class has power only in numbers, and that power is largely ineffective due to their inability to mobilize through organization (such as merely not re-electing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians).
    There are many questions, and a person does not need to know all of the answers to know that these many abuses did not all come about by mere coincidence.

  • (10) STOP the unnecessary middle men (i.e. government and insurance companies) and fraud in the healthcare system; stop killing 195,000 per year by medical mistakes and adverse drug reactions; also, if the 9 problems above were adequately addressed, it would reduce the pressures on the healthcare systems and make health care more affordable and attainable;

Jack wrote: Government can help create the conditions of prosperity, but people must make it.
True. And that ain’t likely to happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
Jack wrote: Americans are entitled to the pursuit of happiness,
More could if the severely bloated government would get off their back and stop those 10 abuses above.
Jack wrote: … but not many people will attain it on a sustainable basis.
Not if they shirk their duty and become irresponsible voters, and repeatedly reward irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.
Jack wrote: No politician who told the truth would ever win an election.
That’s debatable. And cynical.

But “read me lips” … a politician is not likely to get re-elected by lying.
But it may depend on what the meaning of “is” is.

Posted by: d.a.n at March 9, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #248352

I like to listen to a podcast called “left right & center” which is actually a radio show. I think it’s out on public radio somewhere.

In any case, there are two very strong and literate progressive liberals on this show. They often help to set the progressive liberal agenda and both are strong supporters of Obama over Hillary. one moderate democrat and one solid conservative commentator also on the program. It gives me a good look in particular at what real left wing progressives are saying and standing for.


At this time they feel Hillary has the edge. This dirty property deal in Illinois, the racist paster, the lying (pandering?) about NAFTA, and even flipping a little on Iraq has all brought Obama down. Hillary is starting to make her case to the super delegates.

Her case being that Obama is falling, she is carrying the big states, she can win the general election and Obama can’t win by running on “change”. If she pulls out a solid win in Pennsylvania and does somewhat well after that she will fight all the way to the convention. IF she Winds up with the Florida votes or gets a Florida/Michigan redo and wins…..she has a solid case for the super delegates to pick her.


The dem convention is about 2.5 months or so before the election. These two could be going at each others throats all the way to the convention. Tearing themselves apart right up until just a few weeks before the actual general election.


This is nasty and it could be very damaging to the democratic party. Already we are seeing all sorts of dirt coming out on Obama. He’s lost the high ground and it’s far from over. And progressive liberals are acknowledging Hillary seems to have taken some sort of advantage at this point.

“A stink that doesn’t go away”? Be careful, you may be talking about the democratic party nominee for the White House.

Posted by: Stephen at March 18, 2008 3:22 AM
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