Obama Vanquishes the Clinton Noise Machine

I thought the Clinton machine would bash Obama into oblivion. It was so good at destroying Republicans. I had learned to fear and respect the Clinton capacity to spread doubt, fear and loathing. How did Obama avoid the fate of Bob Dole or Newt Gingrich? The media. A compliant media was the oil that ran the Clinton destruction machine. But today the press is in the tank for Obama. The machine can’t run w/o snake oil.

It has gotten so bad that Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor admits that Fox News is the most fair and balanced when it comes to election news. When a Democrat has to go to Fox News for a fair shake, you see how much Obama Kool-Aid the rest of the media has guzzled down. Their sugar swoon makes Obama nearly immune to Hilary’s attacks.

A good case study is the Wright scandal. Hilary though for sure the media would crucify Obama for his association with Wright’s nutty racists sermons. A Republican caught in a similar situation would have bled all over the front pages for many days. But NOOO. Obama gave one speech and all was forgiven. Hilary had to bring up the subject herself and look petty. Never do your own hatchet work, Hilary.

The same goes for Obama’s shady dealings in Chicago real estate. Hilary knew that if a Republican had been involved with guys like Rezko it would have been on every show and analyzed to death. She waited for the storm, but almost no rain fell on Obama. Again, the Hilary folks had to do the deed themselves and even then nobody paid much attention.

Most frustrating for Hilary must be that the media has made Obama the presumptive Democratic nominee. They report endlessly that super delegates should vote with their districts … when it suits Obama, but when Richardson, Kennedy & Kerry support Obama it takes a bit of detective work to understand that they are voting AGAINST the will of the people of their districts. In other words, when Obama wins a district, the super delegates should vote for Obama and when Hilary wins a district the super delegates should vote for Obama. The media has made Obama the default option and Hilary is the sore loser. Either way she loses.

The Democratic contest is a tie. Neither candidate can win with only delegates fairly won. The Obama/media solution is that whoever has the most won delegates should get the super delegates too. BUT consider the other idea. What is Hilary wins the most popular votes. This is a real possibility. That is why Obama supporters want her to get out now, before all the votes are counted.

If Hilary wins the popular vote – or if the contest is called off before everyone votes, and/or if Florida & Michigan voters are disenfranchised - and Obama wins because he has more but not a majority of delegates … what does this look like to you? That’s right. This is just like the 2000 general election and Hilary = Gore while Obama = Bush.

This is sweet. After having to put up with Democrat innuendo and BS for eight years, they finally did it to themselves. They put their own eye out with that pointy stick of conspiracy they have been waving carelessly around. The Clinton machine smacked into the Obama faith healing magic and the result was a tie election. No matter which Democrat emerges from the mud fight, neither candidate can be any more legitimate than George Bush was in 2000. The too close to call election will be decided by rules, just like the 2000 race.

I think the 2000 result was legitimate, BTW, but most Democrats do not. That is sweet too. I savor it. Our country may get stuck with four years of hokum (I think Obama has a good chance of becoming president), but I have the small consolation of watching the Democratic self licking conspiracy ice cream cone melt in the heat of reality.

Posted by Jack at April 4, 2008 3:00 PM
Comments
Comment #249842

Jack:

Something’s really stuck in your craw?

Spit it out (again and again and again) why don’t you.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 4, 2008 3:26 PM
Comment #249844

Womanmarine…..nothing is stuck in Jacks craw….he is just enjoying himself watching Democrats sinking in their own Quiksand

Posted by: Dave at April 4, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #249846

I agree with Jack. It’s almost worth losing the election just to be able to watch all the dancing.

Posted by: BOHICA at April 4, 2008 4:43 PM
Comment #249847

The thing that gets missed alot, and I think it will be brought up later in the year, is that the convoluted, unecessarily complex and ultimately unfair management of how the Democratic party currently chooses its candidates is a prime example of how they would govern, and have governed, when elected into power.

In that regard, it doesn’t really matter which candidate gets the nomination, the damage that this party has done to itself will be a political point made in the campaign.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 4, 2008 4:51 PM
Comment #249848

Well Said.

I’ve found that most Obama supporters freeze up over his open lie that he first came out with on Wright…that he had never heard right speak any of those hateful, bigoted words. A day or two later with people speculating on how soon we could prove Obama lied…..he flip flopped and said of course he had heard this stuff. He got caught out and out lying!

And Obamabots still bill him as something different. Apparently something different meaning the liar they support is different from the liar they don’t support.

Posted by: Stephen at April 4, 2008 4:52 PM
Comment #249850

Our country may get stuck with four years of hokum (I think Obama has a good chance of becoming president), but I have the small consolation of watching the Democratic self licking conspiracy ice cream cone melt in the heat of reality.

At this point our country has suffered through and survived over 7 years of Bush nonsense. What is another 4 years of hokum? I am glad though that you are having fun. It is apparent that you are a person who is able to rise above the gloom and doom of your own party by rejoicing in the struggles of others. A trait by the way which is great for avoiding depression. ;)

I heard on NPR the other day that the larger percentage of democrat voters are enjoying the race and are looking forward to placing their votes. It seems that all this business about going through the process actually makes them feel as though they have a say in something. The cone may be melting but it is only because we are taking our time enjoying every last bit of it. Why rush a good thing?

Posted by: RickIL at April 4, 2008 6:19 PM
Comment #249851

The previous post #249850 was directed at Jack. Sorry, the result of hurrying.

Posted by: RickIL at April 4, 2008 6:21 PM
Comment #249852

For Libs it’s “Do as we say, not as we do”. Us filthy God fearing, oil gulping, war mongering conservatives stole their 2000 election by going to the courts. Libs will avoid that unfortunate outcome by doing what they do best, changing the rules in their favor at the last moment and calling it a victory for the great unwashed (those unfortunate souls they must forever nurture care for and protect from our evil influences. BAHHH…. BAHHH go the sheep.

Posted by: Jr at April 4, 2008 6:57 PM
Comment #249854

This article is pure spin and hyperbole. The media was all over the Pastor quotes and attacks like flies on dung and for nearly a week. The media has covered all 3 candidates very adequately, including McCain’s faux pas overseas and his eloquent speech on the economy no doubt written by a new high caliber speech writer.

Obama weathered the storm by not stooping to his rival’s tactics. Smart long run move on his part. McCain and Obama have both pledged a clean fight if they face off in the general election and I think both may just be good to their word. Same cannot be said for Clinton IMO.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 4, 2008 8:14 PM
Comment #249857

Rhinehold, didn’t the Dems go through changing their rules in 1968 and 1988 for similar reasons? I agree with your point, this goes a lot towards how in trying to create party equity (between the big guys and the little guys) their socialist approach to party elections has turned against them.

Posted by: Edge at April 4, 2008 9:29 PM
Comment #249858

This is an idealized vision of Obama’s appeal, as seen from somebody who needs the other party’s candidate to be a flash in the pan.

Look deeper, though, and know what you face.

First, he employs a distributed strategy, which uses the web and the voters own initiative to quickly expand his campaign’s rank and reach.

Second, he’s created a distributed network of relatively low dollar donors who, owing to their small donations can be returned to again shortly there after, without coming anywhere close to the legal limits.

Third, he’s a genuinely talent candidate, with the kind of real charisma, presence, and force of personality you rarely see. Obama is not a Dukakis, a Gore, or a Kerry. He is more like Clinton in his ability to work a crowd, but with one important difference.

That, the fourth factor, is that he is genuinely creative in his approach. He survived and became the frontrunner eventually despite losing primaries in the mainline Democratic Strongholds, where Clinton had the institutional advantage. What’s more, he’s used the proportional system to his advantage, keeping Clinton’s leads, even in her strongholds, within single digits, a feat he might pull off once again with Pennsylvania. An Obama Twenty points behind when the polls start coming in is invariably much closer, if not winning, when the votes actually are cast.

You don’t beat the Clinton Machine by being an interesting flake. You beat them by having a much better run operation, and an exceptionally good understanding of the system.

Anybody who underestimates this candidate does so at their own peril. Clinton thought she had him on Super Tuesday, won California, New York, New Jerrsey, and Massachussetts. The significance of Obama’s lead is that it is built on states not traditionally thought of as Democrat safe havens.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 4, 2008 10:00 PM
Comment #249859

Obama shows the potential to be something most of us have not seen in our lifetimes- a truly great president.

Issues are important, but it’s not his stands on issues that give him potential to excel.

His organizational strategies are impressive, no doubt about it. Personally, I’ve always thought a candidate’s ability to create and run a large, extended political campaign provides an excellent showcase of their political and organizational abilities. But once again, it’s not the organizational strategies that suggest such oustanding possibilities.

It’s the talent. The charisma. It’s the ability to lead, to instill confidence, to bring out the best that America might still be able to offer.

Contrast that with the heart of Republicanism: the fear, the War on Terror, the deep rooted lack of confidence in America, the belief in force, the reliance upon violence, the profound contempt for Constitutionalal rights.

But this thread is about Obama, so let’s consider just one attribute: his ability to write his own speech. Imagine that! We’re so used to mediocrity, our expectations are so low, why, the idea that a candidate might write their own speech is completely off the radar. We’re so used to actors playing the role of president, or stumbling through memorized stock phrases, that we can hardly even comprehend a potentially exceptional presidential candidate.

Of course, potential is just that- potential. Given the dreadful results of the past administration, it would seem to make sense to give that kind of potential a chance to swing into action.

Posted by: phx8 at April 4, 2008 11:27 PM
Comment #249861

Phx8 & Stephen

You are right that he is extremely talented and attractive. You are also right about his ability to use the Internet to raise money and awareness of his candidacy. I don’t mean this as disrespect, but he is the Oprah candidate. Oprah has achieved phenomenal popularity by speaking to people’s dreams and aspirations. She has developed a well oiled machine with a fanatical fan base and a cult of personality. It is a kind of mass personalization that works well with today’s society and technologies.

It is an impressive process but it is value free. It depends on personalities and public relations skills more than issues. It is powerful precisely because of the mass personalization. Everybody looks at this and sees what he/she wants to see.

What is the core of all this hype? In Obama’s case it is a very far left species of liberalism. You guys like that. I don’t think it works for America. My goal, in my small way, is to cut away the cult and personality and the Oprah chorus to reveal the issues, positions and substance below. In order to do this, I first must identify the process that is currently obscuring them.

When/if we scrape away the hype, we will still disagree about the issues. I do not believe a bigger an more intrusive government is the solution to our problems. I do not believe the Federal government CAN fulfill the sorts of promises the Dems are making for it. I mean that from a management and organizational point of view. A bureaucracy by definition cannot be innovative. We do not want to empower lower level bureaucrats to make innovative decisions because we rightfully demand that they follow – not create – the laws and regulations. Beyond that, non-market systems lose the information contained in prices. The market – in Stephen’s terms - is distributed. Individuals make autonomous distributed decision coordinated by market mechanisms. It is not a process government can successfully mimic and the bigger government gets the worse it does. It is not a matter of honest politicians or competent officials.

A good example of the misguided hype comes not from Obama but from Hilary. She said she will appoint a poverty czar and ask him every day “what are you doing about poverty.” She will accept no excuses, she says. Great. Do you know what causes poverty? Does anybody really know how to address the complex of behaviors that cause it? If it was just about money, we would have solved the problem years ago. But in the 1960s we declared war on poverty. Poverty won and many of the government programs made the situation for the poor worse.

Posted by: Jack at April 5, 2008 12:33 AM
Comment #249865

Jack,
“Speaking to people’s dreams and aspirations” is a good way of putting it. Obama articulates those dreams and aspirations like no one else, and it is a remarkable talent. But those dreams and aspirations are not, as you suggest, “value free.” They are not staged photo ops, and they are not mere smoke and mirrors either. Obama is both a creator and a product of our time. The fact is, “people’s dreams and aspirations” are a motivating part of liberalism.

The same could be true of conservatism. But this is not the time, and there is no conservative candidate capable of articulating what is best. The values which make conservatism worthwhile have been, as General Haig once said, “subsumed in a vortex of criticality.” For now, they have been overwhelmed by a tidal wave of Bushco incompetence. (I think the best part of conservatism is represented by the Libertarians- the Republicans seem to be completely out of ideas). Anyway, as the GOP candidate, McCain is stuck with the legacy of the failures of the Bush administration, and he cannot articulate a worthwhile alternative. That doesn’t mean McCain is evil, or no worthwhile alternatives exist to liberalism. It is a reflection of his limited ability to articulate, lead, & inspire.


Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2008 1:30 AM
Comment #249866

Jack said: “Oprah has achieved phenomenal popularity by speaking to people’s dreams and aspirations”.

Quite right. And the greatest power any President has at his disposal to move the nation this way or that, is the Bully Pulpit, where Obama’s skills and talent shall be maximized. The Great Communicator was the moniker of Ronald Reagan, and Obama has that same talent for his generation.

As for the value free reference and issues. Jack, open your eyes man, the issues are framed. Obama is quite aware of the issues as anyone who is paying attention is well aware. Obama neither lacks issues nor direction in addressing them.

All Obama lacks as a candidate is the expertise and divergent perspectives which any president can summon to his aide to become maximally informed before acting as the Decider. Obama however, is no GW Bush. Obama will not decide and then cherry pick experts to support his decision. Obama by his own understanding and words has demonstrated the willingness and ability to summon expertise and then marshal both the people and the experts toward the best available solution. His campaign, as Stephen D. points out, amply demonstrates this.

One last skill. Obama has the ability and agility of a fencer and judo expert politically, in his ability to keep his strengths in reserve so that his opponent learns them by falling upon his rapier point, and to move just enough at the right time to allow the opponents weight and strength to become the opponents new found weakness.

He has had the incredible sense to allow Hillary Clinton to exercise her powers of political tricks to the point exposing them to the public and resented by growing numbers of previous supporters. Such sense, talent, and skill will be needed in copious quantity in dealing with the Congress by the next president, and Obama is the only candidate with that skill and finesse.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 1:36 AM
Comment #249868

Jack let’s look at conservative values.

1) Limited power of government.
2) Fiscal responsibility, pay as you go.
3) Foreign intervention only when strategically mandated and only for purposes of self-defense from imminent attack.
3.1) Foreign engagement through enlightened example, and invitation to others to emulate us for the purpose of achieving our demonstrated rewards for such exemplary action.
4) A military that meets the nation’s needs, not a military which dictates the nation’s needs.
5) States rights on issues which do not threaten the internal tranquility of the several states.
6) Responsibility through oversight and holding persons to account for their actions affecting the public at large or neighborhood.
7) Adherence to the common meaning and intent of the U.S. Constitution wherever, and whenever, such meaning and intent shall suffice the nation’s posterity.

Not an exhaustive list, but, covers most of the big traditional conservative values (i.e. predating the Gingrich/Bush Jr. bastardizations).

Of the 3 candidates running, Obama is most predisposed to alignment with the majority of those principles, not all, but, the majority.

If you wish, I can outline each candidates referenced positions in relationship to those values.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 5, 2008 1:51 AM
Comment #249881

Phx8

I don’t have any trouble with speaking to dreams and aspirations. You cannot accomplish anything w/o enthusiasm and dreams. That was how Ronald Reagan achieved so much. However, dreams need to be grounded in reality. I don’t find much of that in Clinton or Obama yet AND I don’t find very much difference between Clinton or Obama in policy, only style.

David

He is advocating a bigger and more intrusive government. That is his dream. He has a big government proposal for every problem, except foreign policy (see below). He correctly diagnoses some serious problems with the economy etc and then proposes the wrong solution.

I know we disagree about the Iraq policy, but I also do not like the Obama defeat and run strategy. He seems to be backing away from it a little and now is looking more … like Bush. Sometimes responses to problems are determined by the terrain, not want you dream it should be like.

Since you want to outline the candidates, what is Obama’s plan for reducing the size of government? What is his plan to address entitlements? Those are the two biggest domestic challenges for the next president. I know what Obama has proposed in foreign policy, so I expect we will be fighting the Middle East for a long time to come.

BTW - where does Obama stand on global warming? What specific solutions does he propose?

Posted by: Jack at April 5, 2008 5:54 AM
Comment #249882

Say,David R. Remer,why is it that when Obama makes a speech,everyone,or at least the Media and Liberals, gushes about how eloquently he handled it,while when McCain makes a speech,you assume it’s an”eloquent speech on the economy no doubt written by a new high caliber speech writer”. You are the master of the Italian supository,you know,the innuendo. Or do you have proof the speech was written by a speech writer? Just curious.

Posted by: t-bone at April 5, 2008 6:18 AM
Comment #249885

t-bone-
Few politicians write their own speeches. Even Obama, in a election like this, doesn’t write most of his speeches So unless evidence comes forward, it is not unfair to assume that McCain did not write his speech himself.

On the other hand, Obama wrote the major speech he gave on Wright himself, a speech so impressive even hard right Republicans gave him good notices. Is it therefore unfair to compare Obama favorably to McCain? To compare natural eloquence to prepared?

Jack-
The assumption that there’s little rationality in your opposition is an unfortunate error. People gravitate to Oprah because she’s positive in a daytime market that’s typically a wasteland of negativity. Obama succeeds along similar lines.

Obama is not a hardliner. He’s not a firebreather. He’s a consensus builder, a guy whose first speech of national notice drew notices for its expansive, inclusive tone. He may start further to the left in his views, but that’s not a disadvantage in a country trending left, and with his rather friendly, rather than confrontational style of politics.

What is substance here, or with any politician? They’re communicators, negotiators. You’re positing that substance is experience, a long track record. But it’s not. Substance for a politician is judgment. You can have long experience, and spend it just making political gestures in public as if you’re some kind of maverick, and then agreeing with the party four-fifths of the time.

I would offer that it can be very easy to confuse a long cultivated image with substance. I believe McCain’s image as a maverick, as a legislator with integrity, is just such a cultivated image. He has basically taken the Bush positions, and pandered to the Bush constituencies in an effort to take Bush’s place. Obama seems more like a political force of his own. That to me indicates that he has real substance. Of course, you never know with any candidate. Some people assumed that being governor of Texas constituted executive experience. In reality, the position’s a figurehead position, and Bush was poorly prepared for the responsiblities of a strong executive national government.

As for your economic views?

In theory, information flows smoothly in a market, allowing the distributed decision makers their chance to come up with their own appropriate solutions to their problems. The reality is not so smooth. Information is not always passed along, and appearances in terms of what works and what doesn’t can be deceiving. The economy did not merely turn dark and nasty overnight. This was developing for some time.

You assume rationality in a purer form than it actually exists in. You assume that irrational exuberance and what people feel doesn’t guide people’s decision making. People are not always dumb, but even the brightest among us can be fools. We can be pressured by the sight of others making economic decisions that seem profitable, and feel like jumping on the bandwagon. People should be wiser, but what should be done doesn’t change the reality of what is done, what the temptations of the economy are. Of course, we learn better from experience, and often make the right decisions when well-informed. In some cases it’s necessary for people to take hard experience and turn around and prohibit the kind of behavior that caused it. In others, it’s necessary to supplement people’s best judgment by making sure they get the information they need, rather than it being horded and hidden by those looking to manipulate the markets by keeping them ignorant of crucial information.

It’s difficult to sum up what a government should do in specifics, but generally, governing the economy is about allowing people a certain level of freedom, and then moderating the excesses, rather than letting the system fly apart. Since the economy is as complex as it is, not cleanly distributed, not with ideal, perfectly informed actors, the best approach is to find those places where behavior becomes naturally pathological, and combat those.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2008 10:47 AM
Comment #249886

Stephen,guility until proven innocent? Proof is unnecessary?
“A lie told often enough becomes truth” Vladimir Lenin.

Posted by: t-bone at April 5, 2008 10:56 AM
Comment #249887

t-bone-
What proof do you have that McCain wrote his own speech? Speechwriters are employed by most politicians, since not all have a strength in that particular area. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Are we wrong, though, to be impressed by people who do write their own speeches, and manage to come up with impressive ones?

By the way, the presumption of innocence is a legal standard. We’re not obligated in common discourse to offer proof when a practice is common knowledge and common practice is known.

Jack-
McCain Surrounds himself with these lobbyists, who lobby for these corporations. He supported Airbus in recent legislation concerning defense appropriation, over an American company. A number of Airbus lobbyists work for him. How does this square with his public image?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2008 11:07 AM
Comment #249888

“genuinely talent candidate, with the kind of real charisma, presence, and force of personality you rarely see” or the political equivalent of the Marlboro man? He is being packaged by David Axelrod. When Howard Wolfson tries to package H, it doesn’t work because we already know her. O is an unknown quantity, being sold with the audacity of hype.

“has the ability and agility of a fencer and judo expert pol”, no that’s David Axelrod again. That’s why the speeches need to be shorter, otherwise the flights of fancy take over.

the Oprah candidate, has a lot to do with lighting like Mapplethorpe photographs.

Jack, thanks for poverty won, LOL

Posted by: ohrealy at April 5, 2008 11:23 AM
Comment #249891

Obama is an echo chamber reflecting back to his audience its deepest desires and wishes. Since his audience is mostly liberal democrats, those desires are bigger government, more social programs, less individual freedom, and more government regulation.

A parrot with a good voice could be taught to do the same. Hillary, while feeding much the same pablum to the hungry babes, is a known entity and can’t be given the benefit of doubt. Her acoustic echo chamber has a shrill ring to it while Obama’s has that mellow and pleasing sound.

Regardless of the sameness of message, Obama’s parroting sounds more real and sincere.

Where would either of these candidates stand in the polls and primaries were it not for the cross-over votes by Republicans seeking to disrupt the democrat nominating fiasco?

As democrats demonstrated in helping Republicans nominate John McCain, republicans are helping dems make the poorest choice.

Posted by: Jim M at April 5, 2008 12:08 PM
Comment #249892

ohrealy-
Obama’s appeal is that there seems to be a real person to many people, underneath the political handling. He doesn’t seem so carefully contrived, embodying and inhabitating the story he tells, rather than seeming like somebody who’s engaged in the usual Kabuki dance of catchphrases. I get the sense that he is more likely to do as he says, or at least do something about what we’re suffering through than the others.

Hillary’s biggest problem is that she can’t sell herself past her base. Democrats will vote for her, but who else? You have to play the same old edge of the swing-states game with them for her to win. Obama’s campaign, on the other hand, has room to be ambitious. He hasn’t had the conventions beaten into him, and that’s not unimportant to a public that perceives the rest of Washington as having become beholden to a dangerous degree of group think.

The public has long ago said that it’s more important to reduce the deficits than keep taxes low. They tired of this war three years ago. They’ve sickened of the Bush doctrine and the rather undiplomatic diplomacy that’s come to represent the orthodoxy of toughness in Washington.

Washington seems to be in its own dreamworld. Part of Obama’s appeal is that he has taken the lead in jumping onto the bandwagon that people have been, out of political timidity, staying off of in Washington.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2008 12:52 PM
Comment #249894


Republicans are laissez faire, caveat emptor capitalists and the Democrats are compassionate conservative capitalists. I don’t think the corporations are very worried about the Democrats being to compasionate. The candidates have all been screened and found acceptable. none of the candidates represent more than a minor inconvience to corporate plans such as the North American Free Trade Union.

Posted by: jlw at April 5, 2008 1:45 PM
Comment #249895

Stephen

You assume wise government bureaucrats can make better decisions than the people can for themselves. People can be irrational. So can bureaucrats. There is NO rational solution. Government has a definite role to play, but that role is limited by organizational problems, not to mention values of free choice. It is generally better to let people make choices about the things that are their business and many things people do are none of the government’s business.

I think we should let people choose what they think is best for them and let them enter into voluntary agreements as much as we can. I need government to provide security, rule of law etc. I really CAN make most of the other life choices myself. I am sorry for people who want to be told what to do.

Re Airbus

McCain very honestly and at great potential political cost tried to save the Federal government a lot of money. That action showed his integrity. It is easy to talk about making hard choices, much harder to actually make them.

Re lobbyists in general

How does McCain gain from the supposed relationships? Presumably he should be loaded with cash, both personally and his campaign. Neither is true. Corruption usually requires … corruption.

Re Obama’s appeal to non-Dems – let’s see about that. He is kicking Hilary’s ass among Dems, but even there not so much. They are almost identical in the popular Democratic votes. Significant % of the Democratic supporters of Hilary claim they will not vote for Obama in November and the reverse is also true. If he cannot unite Democrats, I am not sure he will unite the country.

Posted by: Jack at April 5, 2008 4:36 PM
Comment #249896

the two Democrats raised 60,000,000 in March. I know this from a comment I heard on the news about “poor” Hillary only raising twenty of it.
$60,000,000. Average donation to Obama: $94.00.

Republicans in general and Jack in particular have fully hung their hats and hopes on the Democratic race for the nomination somehow “destroying” the party.
Republicans have nothing to say about the world THEY have created, no talk about the future beyond assuring their base that they won’t change a thing if the voters don’t change a thing.
You guys are hanging by the thinest thread, you know that, don’t you?

P.s The Clinton “machine” smashed Bob Dole “into oblivion”? I remember the ‘96 campaign very well. I don’t remember the Clinton’s and their campaign having anything but kind words for the man.
Re: Gingrich. I don’t want to think about the man or how he was treated. He’s an ass and about as phoney as a human being can be. He could have run, he thought about running, why do you think he was unwilling to put himself out there for examination? It wasn’t to spare us, although he certainly did!

Posted by: charles ross at April 5, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #249897

Charlie,
The GOP has essentially no platform which they’d care to advertise. In that respect, it resembles the Bush presidential campaign of 2004. McCain may be unconfortable with swiftboating Republican strategies, having been on the receiving end of one of the dirtiest smear campaigns ever. But whether McCain wants it that way or not, the GOP campaign strategy will rely upon character smears.

What else should the GOP do? Advertise “100 years in Iraq”? Pump their fists in the air about giving taxpayer funded government contracts to Airbus?

This is the same GOP that grew federal government by leaps and bounds. Half of the jobs created have been government jobs. They pretend they favor smaller government, but cannot wait to squander trillions upon Iraq, defense spending, and the Military Industrial Complex. And what’s really funny is that they call social spending a waste, and military spending a good deal!

So there will be a lot of character smears coming from the GOP. What else can the GOP do? They are intellectually and morally bankrupt. And that makes a bad campaign platform.

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2008 5:20 PM
Comment #249902

One of the biggest absurdities we’ve had hammered down our throats during this election season is that Barack Obama is some especially potent candidate because of his ability to seduce Republican voters in the same way that Reagan seduced Democratic voters.

This is utter, absurd nonsense contradicted by all polls and based entirely on anecdotes about so-called Republicans at Obama rallies—stories largely spread by the Obama camp themselves—and the swooning fits of a handful of pundits that some might consider “conservative.”

Couple that what the hard-left (amply represented on this blog) wants to believe—that an extreme hard left politician is successfully masquerading as a moderate, enjoying mass appeal and is poised to deliver all of their liberal fantasies—and what we have on our hands is a mass delusion.

What makes it so ridiculous is that there REALLY is a candidate with such cross-over appeal—not among the chattering classes but among flesh and blood voters.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at April 6, 2008 12:07 AM
Comment #249906

“One of the biggest absurdities we’ve had hammered down our throats during this election season is that Barack Obama is some especially potent candidate because of his ability to seduce Republican voters in the same way that Reagan seduced Democratic voters.”

Then why are there more articles in the red column on Obama than McCain? Seems to me that if your candidate had anything, anything at all, to run on the red column could be extolling the merits of McCain. Instead all you guys can do is find fault with the opposition. Show us what you got repubs, be proud of the job you have done this past 7+ years and run on your record. Hahaha fat chance huh?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 6, 2008 1:43 AM
Comment #249917

J2t2

Re articles about Obama in the red column, since I wrote most of them I think I can give the definitive answer.

Obama is very fascinating from a PR/communications point of view. His policies are pretty much standard liberalism and when you READ his speeches they are not very different form those of Hilary Clinton. But he has a very telegenic personality and wonderfully choreographed events. I am very much impressed by this. He even vanquished the Clinton machine. That is why I write about him. I am trying to understand his appeal and writing and responding helps me do it.

Re bipartisan appeal – the last president with truly bipartisan appeal was Ronald Reagan. He carried almost 59% of the vote and 49 out of the 50 states. If Obama can do that, I will consider his appeal broad, but no Democrat in my lifetime has won that many states and no Democrat since Jimmy Carter has won even 50% of the vote.

Re the last 7 years, I am forward looking. I supported McCain in 2000, since I thought he had better experience and judgement, and do so again in 2008. If McCain had been elected in 2000, I believe we would be in a better position today. The things I like about McCain that are different than Bush is his stance on global warming and greater willingness to use multilateral diplomacy. Beyond that, since George Bush began following a plan in Iraq – starting in late 2006 - that was more like McCain advocated, the situation there has seen astonishing improvement.

So we will run gladly on the John McCain record and his vision for the future.

Posted by: Jack at April 6, 2008 11:32 AM
Comment #249925

Jack
First, I advocate that people be constantly involved in their government, that they keep a constant eye on things.

If you look at DailyKos, you’ll see that these aren’t people who trust their people in Washington implicitly. They keep track of votes, and give readers the contact info of congresscritters to make their wishes known.

So we’re not advocating some wise bureaucrat making the decision. We’re advocating that people get involved in government, keep track of what it’s doing, and government in turn does what is asked of it. If in the course of consequences, we find that it’s not working properly, we put the pressure in a different direction.

McCain very honestly and at great potential political cost tried to save the Federal government a lot of money. That action showed his integrity. It is easy to talk about making hard choices, much harder to actually make them.

Not too much harder if the compensation is right!

EADS’ interest in the tanker deal is evident in the political contributions of its employees. From 2004 to 2006, donations by its employees jumped from $42,500 to $141,931, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So far this election cycle, company employees have donated $120,350. Of that, McCain’s presidential campaign has received $14,000, more than any other member of Congress this election cycle.

(EADS is Airbus’s parent company). Now you might want to paint this as globalism at its best, but Airbus benefits from European’s protectionist policies. So, as usual, Globalization means we drop our defenses while other countries like Japan and China get to keep theirs strong.

But you ask how McCain benefits? Contributions to his campaign. He gets to stay in power longer. So, McCain sells out American jobs to overseas corporations protected by protectionist policies. Have a nice time explaining the integrity of that to voters.

As for those percentages that claim they’ll vote for McCain? I wouldn’t put too much stock in that. Wait until the general election rolls around, and you’ll find many of those people having reconsidered their hasty promise.

In general, I think you’ve bought into the McCain mystique. You’ve bought into this notion about him as this maverick patron saint of reform, when he’s voted with his party four out of five times, flip-flopped on his major issues, and surrounded himself with the very people he publically denounces as foes of purity in Washington politics. McCains middle of the road appeal depends on him being a straight-shooter, but like Bush, all he really is, is somebody who’s mastered the fine art of looking honest while pumping sunshine up folks back ends.

LO-
Chattering classes, eh? I know young voters talk on their cell phones a lot but…

Seriously, I think you’re reflexively painting your candidate as the working man’s candidate, even though he married rich and has been in congress for longer than many young voters have been alive. Here’s a pointer: McCain has surrounded himself, like the Republican Party, in a shell of the chattering class. They are pundit-driven. Fact is, at FOXNews and other conservative outlets, you could toss a rock over your shoulder and probably hit a columnist, a pundit or a journalist who does more advocacy than investigation. Until very recently, Jack was posting think-tank articles on a regular basis. Just what the hell do you think the Think Tanks are? Yes, they are Bastions of the Chattering Class.

It benefits the Republicans more than anything else. You always have some learned scholar on hand to promote the latest batch of hackery apologetics for the current Republican proposals or policies, always have Limbaugh and his ilk trying to sell people on policies that really run dead counter to their interests.

Your party needs it to survive in its current state, to convince people that deep deficit spending, especially in a time of war, is responsible spending. They need that to convince people that wishing for the magic market fairy to come along and make them a pony is the proper attitude towards regulation. They need that to convince people that with the surge already permanently below it’s highest level, and peace in Iraq dependent on the good will and good sense of leaders who have displayed little of both, that we can still win.

Republican dominance has depended on a long history of the Republican Chattering classes convincing people that they were the antidote to the troubles of the sixties and declines of the seventies. They were doing fine right up to the point where they more or less reproduced those failings, and then piled the failings of the roaring twenties on top of them.

At that point, Republican policies were put to the test, and were found wanting.

Obama’s appeal is that he represents a fresh start, the first major figure of 21st century politics that responds to the concerns and the opinions of people now. And selling that will be much easier than selling impossible, discredited dreams of returning to America’s mid-twentieth century sensibilities.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 6, 2008 2:09 PM
Comment #249927

Stephen

I have supported for President since 2000. It is not a new infactuations.

Your EAD example is more than silly. McCain received $14000 from employees. Maybe I am just not so concerned about money, but that doesn’t seem like enough money to make much of a difference. My wife and I will be giving him $4600. Under your calculations, I can expect to be Ambassador to France. Sweet. I always thought it was harder than that.

How much did Obama get from employees of oil companies?

Posted by: Jack at April 6, 2008 2:28 PM
Comment #249934

“learned scholar on hand to promote the latest batch of hackery apologetics”

The think tanks funded by Coors, Scaife and others, produce the chatter that is approved by their funders. This process began long ago when the Nixon administration was demanding “equal time” for their viewpoints. Right wing newspapers sprung up on some college campuses, providing a supply of journalists that followed in a stream that eventually led to Murdochland.

Posted by: ohrealy at April 6, 2008 3:56 PM
Comment #249951

Jack wrote: “I thought the Clinton machine would bash Obama into oblivion. It was so good at destroying Republicans.”

Jack, do you even realize what a contradiction of reality and history that comment reflects? Repubublicans acquired the White House and total majority control of Congress in the wake of the Clinton machine in 2000. The Clinton machine has been largely absent and inert, and definitely without any political power, during the reign of Republicans in our government until 2007.

No. In your typical topsy turvy spin machine way, you attempt to reverse reality and history to serve your own political misinformation objectives.

It was Republicans themselves, and no one else, who destroyed public confidence in Republicans. Actions spoke vastly louder than words, and it was Republican office holder actions which destroyed Republicans in the eyes of the public.

An unnecessary and ill-conceived and managed war.

A completely botched federal response to Katrina which remains botched to this day.

A promise of milk and honey for all trickling down from the heavens of Republican supply side economics, which proved to do little more than engolden the corporations taking jobs overseas and the wealth investors in them.

Falling educational standards and quality.

Failing government control of deficits, debt, and foreign balance of trade.

And of course, an utter and nearly complete disrespect and end run around the U.S. constitution via a flawed interpretation of the words ‘unitary executive’, which referred to our Founders discussions on whether the White House should seat a tribunal of 3 presidents, or just one. The unitary executive concept NEVER had anything to do with granting the President extra-Constitutional power over the other two branches of government. NEVER, EVER, except in the creative crooked and deceptive minds of Republicans in the White House.

I could go, but, this is a blog, not a book. If you want to find fault for the demise of the GOP, look in the mirror, Jack, and your uncritical and unanalytical vote to reelect GW Bush. That’s where the responsibility lies.

Republican voters were supposed to elect their best and brightest, their most honest and respectful observers of the Constitution, and their most capable of representing the interests of America, the nation, and all her people, not just millionaire investors and corporations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 6, 2008 11:34 PM
Comment #249953

David

The Clinton Machine didn’t have any reason to roll from 2000-2007. I recall how good it was in the 1990s. Maybe it got rusty. I don’t say that they did anything to Republicans during the last seven years. Clintons are not much interested in the general situation. They protect themselves.

Actually Bush and the Clintons seem to have got along fairly well.

Re the past seven years. I supported McCain in 2000. I believe the country would have been better off if he had been elected back then. His positions on global warming and multilateral diplomacy are much closer to mine and his strategy for winning in Iraq is much better than the Bush/Rumsfeld plans followed until late 2006.

Posted by: Jack at April 7, 2008 12:46 AM
Comment #249961

Jack-
First problem, logically speaking: McCain has accept over 400,000 dollars in PAC money. Obama’s accepted 250 dollars, if that. The rest are individual donors.

The second problem is as I noted in this comment: The McCain campaign has accepted more money from those related to energy companies than Barack Obama, and his are all individual donors, which raises the possibility that they’re giving of their own free will.

The third problem for your notion of things is that Obama’s getting much more money from individual donors giving below 200, from retirees, from teachers. So if money equals influence, the energy companies haven’t been able to give him a single PAC dollar, they’re drowned out by others, and your own candidate is much more heavily invested in those interests than others are.

Obama practices as he preaches.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2008 10:24 AM
Comment #249962

Jack, you speak in code: “re: the last seven years, I am forward looking” and “I supported John McCain in 2000”.
Is the translation of that code something like: “I too, like %80 of all Americans, am appalled by what has happened over the last seven years as a result of Republican control of Government”.

I know it is difficult to admit mistakes, but you and other conservatives on this board are never going to evolve if you cannot take that first step: admitting you were wrong about your endorsement of many of the policies pursued by this adminsitration. You will never acquire the good judgement required of all voting citizens if you are unable to turn around and examine the past before “looking forward to the future”.

Posted by: charles ross at April 7, 2008 10:26 AM
Comment #249966

Stephen

Thanks for the update. Your link shows the following.

Energy and Natural Resources
Obama - $862,030
McCain - $807, 852

I also found the section on Lawyers and Lobbyists
Obama - $13,805,333
McCain - $ 4,201,665

Thanks again. What were you saying about taking more money?

Charles

Some of the policies followed by the Bush Administration did not work well. Others did. Among those that did not work well were those relating to global warming, mulitlateral diplomacy and the Iraq War pre-surge. All those things McCain has also identified as wrong. So we (McCain and I) are admitting they were wrong and proposing better solutions.

The more evolved among the Dems can understand nuance, change and choice.

Posted by: Jack at April 7, 2008 11:07 AM
Comment #249977

Directly after the 2004 election the Daily Mirror in Britain ran the following headline: “How could 59,054,087 people be so dumb?” It was accompanied by an unflattering photo of w (does a flattering photo of this man even exist?)
All that we know now about w and his policies were clearly in evidence at that time. You voted for him, Jack, with no mysteries, all the evidence clearly in hand. You put him in power. Take ownership of the world that this administration has created: the poor economy, accelerating inflation, unforgivable deficits reflected in sky high energy prices that fund our enemies, thousands of Americans dead and injured, and a level of disrespect, and even hatred, that has developed for the United States that would allow a major British newspaper (Britain is our closest ally) to publish headline above knowing full well that the vast majority of their readers would be in agreement .
“Some of his polices … did not work well” (????????)
Ya think??

Posted by: charles ross at April 7, 2008 11:44 AM
Comment #249991

Jack-
Energy/Natural Resources? Yes he has more on that, but Oil-Gas has an almost double lead.

Meanwhile, Obama is The top recipient of money from those employed in the alternative energy industry, and from employees of Utilities. Those are included in the totals for the sector. Your mistake was selecting the sector rather than the industry, where you’ll find my information was accurate.

Regardless, these are all individual donations.

Moreover, I dug up something very juicy while looking through the sector and business totals. McCain has accepted more than five times the money from Lobbyists than Barack Obama has. And the word is, Barack Obama is actually refusing money from registered lobbyists. So it seems, Barack Obama is living up to McCain’s rhetoric better than McCain is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2008 2:05 PM
Comment #250003

Stephen

I don’t understand. The source YOU gave me said that Obama got $13,805,333 from lobbyists and lawyers. That is thireen million eight hundred five thousand three hundred and thirty-three dollars Obama got from lawyers & lobbyists. That seems to be more than nothing.

I know you want to make a strong distinction between lawyers and lobbyists, but they are not in a very different business.

Posted by: Jack at April 7, 2008 3:49 PM
Comment #250023

Jack-
You’re missing the distinction between industry and sector. Hopefully you’ll have better luck with this link. Speaking of links (and hoping this works), look what I found when I looked into his 2000 campaign: Look who the number two biggest supporter of McCain was during his last presidential bid. Yes, Lawyers.

Lets dispense with the bull. John McCain’s not some maverick, he’s a showman, a politician, one who doesn’t live up to his own standards. People make ad hoc efforts to rationalize these realities, but the truth of McCain is that he puts on this show so that people like you can glowingly describe him as different despite his generic relationship with Washington.

Thus your rather strained argument that there’s no difference between a lawyer and a lobbyist. In all actuality, lobbying is a paid, legally defined field. A number of lawyers are indeed part of the field, but that could be said of Novelists, too, and they’re still a distinct field doing distinct things.

When it comes to lobbyists, McCain seems to have more of a soft spot for them than Obama does, by a five to one margin. Lawyers are another matter, but given the Republican’s rather tortured (sometime literally) take on the law and the constitution, I can’t blame most self-respecting lawyers for jumping to Obama’s defense, rather than supporting a man who’s undoubtedly going to continue the John Yoo tradition of stretching the constitution to fit any and all needs of the president, no matter how plainly illegal.

Like everybody else, they’re looking for better, more honest leadership. McCain wants to look like he’s qualified on that count, but he’s not.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2008 12:07 AM
Comment #250031

Stephen

Obama takes piles of money from lawyers and lobbyists, much more than John McCain, not quite as much as Clinton. Trial lawyers evidently love Obama

This is one of those bottom line things. Obama got nearly $14 million from lawyers and lobbyist. All the commentary that comes before the bottom line doesn’t change that.

Democrats seem to have a problem with the bottom line. How many times have I had to explain to you guys that something didn’t happen only to get long arguments as to why it shoulda/woulda/coulda?

Lots more things can happen than do happen. What DID happen is Obama got about $14 million from lawyers and lobbyists. McCain got much, much less.

You guys always make a big deal about this money thing. We have another bottom line here. It depends on what the man does. Money is neutral and fungible.

So here is the next bottom line. Obama and Clinton make earmarks that reward contributors. McCain does not. We can argue about what the coulda/shoulda/woulda done, but we don’t have to because we know what they DID.

Posted by: Jack at April 8, 2008 7:09 AM
Comment #250082

Jack-
Lawyers and Lobbyists is the sector label. Industry wise, almost 99% of that sector’s money for Obama comes from the lawyers. Given that your candidate wasn’t too proud in his last Presidential election to have them as his #2 funding source, I think it’s hypocritical to lambast Obama over it as a McCain supporter, both now, and in 2000.

In this light, your choice of which industries are acceptable as donors seems to be similar to the criteria of the Clinton Campaign about which states are significant: largely based on which one you win with.

Meanwhile, when we leave aside the lawyers and their employees (industry totals for this cycle include employees in the sector, as well as their employers.), McCain the Patron Saint of Lobbyist Bashing somehow manages to get five times the money from Lobbyists (or their employees) that Obama does.

That’s the bottom line, and you hem and haw trying to spin your rhetoric around those incontrovertible facts.

I’m not going to defend Clinton here, but Obama has done much better than your candidate in refusing lobbyist money, in running a campaign financed more by the general public than the special interests (400,000 plus dollars from PAC for Saint McCain, 250 bucks, if that, for Obama), and in not absolutely surrounding himself with the best and brightest of K Street. I mean, unless McCain is a senile old man who can’t read a resume, then he knows many of the people he’s hiring are the folks he’s suppose to be reducing the influence of, rather than enhancing.

The bottom line is not earmarks. There are much less obvious ways to do the lobbyists bidding. Earmarks are window dressing, meant to convince those who don’t know how to dig deeper. I don’t know how you support 90 or 80% of what your fiscally irresponsible, industry bought fellow party members support, and somehow stay clean. When caught he gives that as an excuse, but the reality is, he makes these choices and could live with them just fine if he weren’t boasting about his straight-talk, lobbyist-busting appeal.

The bottom line is McCain’s selling himself as better and more moderate than his fellow Republicans, untouched by the corruption, but he’s none of that.

The bottom line is, McCain is not only a hypocrite, but his opponent beats him at his own professed game. You wonder why the Republicans are crossing over for Obama.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 8, 2008 9:18 PM
Comment #250095

Stephen

re Repulicans for Obama. Opinon polls regularly show McCain and Obama getting about equal support in the presidental election. If large numbers of Republicans are going for Obama, it must mean that most independents and some Democrats are going for McCain.

re sectors giving money, you assume some sorts of people are just dishonest and their money is polluted. I do not see it that way, however if you do lawyers and lobbyists go for Obama.

Trials lawyers love Obama because they know there will be a lot more business for them suing people if Obama gets his way. There will be no tort reform anywhere near Obama.

Yes, Obama is beating Republicans at the money raising game. McCain has promised to go with public financing. Democrats claimed they were for that too … until NOT doing it benefited Dems. How much more hypocritical can you get than Obama saying he favors public finance and then going back on his word when it no longer benefits him.

Earnmarks, which Obama favors, is an obvious way to reward contributors and cronies. You say there are other ways, and you are right. Do you have any evidence that any of the candidates (besides Obama) has done this? BTW - the fact that someone talks to someone is not evidence of anything. There is a bottom line here too.

Posted by: Jack at April 9, 2008 6:50 AM
Comment #250102

Jack-
If McCain can’t get a solid lead on two Democrats distracted by a heated primary slugging it out against each other, how’s he going to do in the general election?

re sectors giving money, you assume some sorts of people are just dishonest and their money is polluted. I do not see it that way, however if you do lawyers and lobbyists go for Obama.

I know why you keep on emphasizing the sector name. You know that when you say lawyers and lobbyists, and point out the amount, the quality of the amount as a whole gets implied for the part. You want to make Obama look as if he too accepts a lot of money from lobbyists.

Except he doesn’t. Your candidate accepts five times more money from Lobbyists as an industry. Since fighting the lobbyists and the special interests is supposed to be his bag, this is problematic for him.

Data from fundraising shows that much of his recent fundraising from individual donors is from high dollar donors, who the law will not allow to donate more. Meanwhile, forty percent of Obama’s individual donors donate less than 200, meaning they can keep donating at that same amount quite a few times before they’re tapped out. It also means that ordinary people own more of a stake in him than any special interest. He’s free to challenge the orthodoxy in a way which McCain, surrounded by the protectors of vested interests, is not.

Meanwhile, McCain’s tried to weasel out of the whole Public funding thing, even as he needles Obama over his pledge.

And what about the special interests? It’s plain. Obama’s not accepted PAC money, McCain has.

Obama’s running a purer campaign than him. Earmarks are your red-herring, your distraction. You bring these out to deflect attention his real relationships with lobbyists, his doing of their will, and his altogether less than stellar peformance in living up to his high standards. Obama had one of the ten lowest amounts of earmarks in the Senate. But more to the point, he helped sponsor the legislation that lets folks know what these earmarks are for and who they’re from.

The bottom line is, the facts paint less of a pretty picture that your party’s propaganda. He’s a hypocrite trying to ride to the presidency on his puffed up reputation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2008 8:44 AM
Comment #250121

Stephen

I don’t think people who contribute $200 are more vituous than those who contribute $2000.

I can point to many Obama earmarks (and he has only been in a couple years) and sweetheart real estate deals. You keep on talking about McCain. Do you have ANY examples in REAL legislation where you can indicate that lobbyist money made the difference? If he is doing their will, there should be at least a couple concrete examples.

Let me say a word re lobbyists. I am a small forest land owner. I want to protect my land from predatory government and city kids who don’t understand forestry, but like to look at my trees and think they are their own. I belong to the Virgina Forestry Association. We have a lobbyist (only 1). His job is too keep us small landowners informed re changes in legislation that might affect us. This gives us an opportunity to weigh in on the issues that affect our land, our trees and the natural communities that depend on them. I pay $50 a year to VFA. For that, I get advice, tree farm support, educational programs and “my” lobbyist. He is doing good and honest work. I don’t know if he gave any money to McCain, but if he did that is good.

Posted by: Jack at April 9, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #250127

Jack-
Virtue of the contributors doesn’t enter into it. The virtue of having numerous small donors are as follows:

1)He can tell special interests to go to hell, and they know it. The same goes for the rest of the political elite.

2)The number and distribution of them makes it harder for him to get hyperfocused on the interests of the few, and easier for him simply to move with his political movement.

3)This kind of system encourages involvement, rather than discouraging it. If average people have a greater stake, then people see that they can have their stake as well.

McCain pushed through rules changes that encouraged greater media consolidation which is what the lobbyists he’s been closely associated with have pushed. He recently backed the Airbus deal, having Airbus Lobbyists on his Payroll, and he backed deregulation of cruise liners, which was a major issue of the lobbyists he was dealing with. Those are just the ones I remember of the top of my head. If you’re pushing such rules changes, Earmarks are nothing.

As for lobbyists? I’m realistic about them. They’ll be around. But their involvement in certain areas carries conflicts of interest for a candidate. Obama is refusing their money, not taking PAC money. Because of this, he’s free to go for or against them with less conflict of interest. He doesn’t have to weigh whether he’s going to lose lobbyist money and PAC help when he’s supposed to be looking at things with clearer eyes.

You seem fine with corruption and hypocrisy, except when you perceive in your opponents. I want a higher standard over all. God knows it might do the Republicans a bit of good to get better in touch with their constituents.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2008 1:22 PM
Comment #250142

Stephen

Do you know how fundraising works? Nobody can contribute more than 2300. Firms cannot contribute at all. The people who gain influence are bundlers. They get lots of donors to give through them. It makes the bundler’s work harder if he has small donations, but the bundles are what counts.

Re lobbyists - it is not corruption if they try to inform their constituents and give information to political leaders. I am glad to have my forestry guy watching my interests.

Re Airbus - McCain did the right thing in asking for a new bid. He should be praised for that. There is absolutly no reason to believe there was anything but honest good faith on his part.

You know that a man’s view of the world is a confession of his personality. I generally see people are honest unless I have REASON not to and I don’t accept association as guilt. You see things differently.

Posted by: Jack at April 9, 2008 4:11 PM
Comment #250169

Jack-
Thank you very much, I do know how it works. 2300 for each election, one for the primary, one for the general.

Barack Obama gets a lot of his money from bundlers, but also a lot online, direct from voters. Obama gets about 40% of his donations from those given less than $200.

Meanwhile, McCain gets slightly less than a quarter of his donations from that field. The numbers are unmistakeable. The effect of this demographic shift are plain to see in the other numbers. If we look at the proportions of who gets what from where, McCain gets almost half his donations from from those contributing 2300 or more. McCain has more lobbyists bundling checks for him, by the way, than were on the Giuliani and Clinton Campaign combined.

Regarding lobbyists, I have nothing against people informing others. Misinformings a problem in my book but you don’t have to be a lobbyist to be a liar. However, when the amount of money a lobbyist pays to a candidate leads him to ignore or mislead his own voters concerning an issue, that is corruption. There’s supposed to be a certain measure of feedback at work here, and lobbyists, when their influence gets too great, can interfere.

I think Americans might have prefered to keep defense jobs in country. By that logic, even if the taxpayers pay a little more, they get the money back. But the real question is whether McCain was as objective as he could have been. That page I posted that had McCain’s connections shows that many current and former Airbus lobbyists number among McCain’s staff. At the very least, these people have divided loyalties.

And McCain is surrounded by them. Even if they quit their day jobs, they still have their connections. Also, you miss something very important. While having lobbyists for your special interests is not necessarily a bad thing, the politicians in Washington are supposed to weigh all our interests, and decide on the right thing, not merely what’s convenient to contributors or in the interests of former lobbyists who now advise from inside rather than outside.

This isn’t about guilt by association. This is about avoiding quid pro quos, avoiding the appearance of impropriety. Is that a concern for you? Or more precisely, is that a concern for your candidate?

McCain talks about the formalities, but does he observe the spirit of the law at the same time? He neither refused PAC money before, nor refused it now. He relies heavily on big money donors, while in the same category, Obama relies for less than a third of his funding.

In effect, Obama’s contributors, by a strong majority, contribute under the legal limit for a single campaign, and about two thirds of those contribute so little they need not even report it!

It dilutes the compromise of the bundled donations, dilutes the necessity for him to tread so lightly around these people. Barack Obama’s proved more the true maverick in this Presidential election than McCain, and these fundraising methods give him much more room to manuever politically. McCain can complain about the corrupting influence of Washington on policy, Obama can do something about it with less fear that he’ll come up short the next campaign.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 9, 2008 9:38 PM
Comment #250195

Stephen

You keep on “proving” your case by inuendo. McCain has sponsored hundreds of bills. Surely you could find a clear case.

I have studied the Airbus case. You may understand that all these sorts of things are transactlanitic affairs and many of the Airbus jobs will be in the U.S. and many Boeing jobs would have been in Europe. Beyond that, the process is important.

McCain objected that the USG was paying millions more than it needed to becuase of a one-bid contractor. He asked that it be rebid so that more than one company could apply. Professional, career level bureaucrats, using clear rules decided on the winner.

If you believe hundreds of career civil servants and the rules approved by Congress in a systems with oversight by elected official, reported on by the CBO etc is corrupt, please give some evidence. You will be the first person to do this.

You have nothing to go on except you dislike of McCain. This is not enough. Being a lobbyist is not illegal or immoral. Talking to a lobbyist is not illegal or immoral.

McCain is an honest man who you are trying to hit with inuendo and guilt by association.

BTW - what does Obama propose to clean up Washington. Is he in favor of tort reform? How will he slow the growth of government? Does he even advocate any policies that will help balance the budget? We know that Obama will be able to walk across the water of the Potomac, but what will he do after that?

Posted by: Jack at April 10, 2008 1:47 AM
Comment #250293

Jack-
I linked to plenty of evidence. You call it innuendo, but when your candidate’s public position is to get lobbyists and special interests out of politics, it’s fair game to bring up his greater amounts of lobbyist money. Hell, it’s fair game to bring up the fact that he accepts that money, period. Are we using a unified standard? No. But McCain sets himself apart. The question is whether he sets himself apart in deeds as well as words.

He could have said, “no PAC money.” He could have accepted public matching funds for primary. He could have gone Obama’s route and made small donors his emphasis.

He could have said, “lobbyists will not be involved in my campaign.” That would ensure that nobody could accuse him of having conflicts of interest with these people. No quid pro quo, no putting them in positions of power once elected.

Is it innuendo to expect somebody to live up to their professed ideals?

Let me tell you something about that Airbus deal: to have McCain staff his campaign with Airbus Lobbyists, whether it actually leads to anything or not is foolish. It undermines the appearance of legitimacy for the deal. The mere presence of those lobbyists in his employ leads people to wonder whether the Airbus people simply had an inside track with him.

You keep on emphasizing that lobbyists are not necessarily evil, and that the law allows them to talk with lawmakers. Granted, but nonetheless we want our officials, if they govern us well, to make their decisions on the merits, not merely because somebody has the right connections, or somebody contributes handsomely to a re-election campaign.

What else point would there be to McCain-Feingold, or any campaign finance reform, otherwise?

McCain is not honest. He complains publically about the state of corruption in Washington, tries to pin others down about it, yet turns around and uses the promise of accepting public funds if loses as collateral for a loan to his campaign.

Or put another way, he entered a plan to pay the bank back taxpayer dollars if he failed to win the primary. Not his own money, not that of his campaign, but our money. And surely, the system was not intended to be used as collateral for candidates taking out loans on their own.

And all the while, as he had made these promises, he conducted his campaign as if he were not going to accept such funds. He’s flirting with the limit right now, trying to avoid political exposure over his ambiguity over accepting matching funds, trying to avoid the catastrophe of going up against Barack Obama and his fundraising machine under a restrictive public system.

This doesn’t seem like honest behavior to me. It seems like the behavior of somebody who wants approval for himself, but knows his actions would not meet with most folk’s approval. He’s got something to hide.

He’s got a coterie of lobbyists around him. Not illegal, or necessarily immoral, but it’s an ethical problem for somebody expected to listen to all sides. If you have lobbyists as insiders, will they not set the agenda in their clients and former client’s favor? It’d be naive to expect otherwise. Maybe you like government being about the scramble of advocates to attain key positions of political power, or getting pre-emptive consideration of their agenda, but I don’t. I want lobbyists at arm’s length from our government. I want them more concerned about what we think or want, than what these lobbyists and special interests want.

I don’t expect a tiger to change their stripes. If you put a petroleum lobbyist or somebody like that in charge of the EPA, they’re not typically going to shed their past associations and views, and they’re going to be friendlier to former colleagues. Even the obvious, intuitive expectation would lead the average person to think that this fellow won’t carry out his office impartially or accountably. And if he confirms that with his actions?

We want government accountable, responsible, and communicative with the people. We want to be in the loop, we want to be listened to. Lobbyists have every right to lobby, to present their special interests to the politicians. But it is hateful to the average person to see those advocates get in the way of what needs to be done, to see the opinion of the few in a Republican arbitrarily overwhelm that of the many.

Your positions seem to ignore this problem altogether. And you have to ignore it to justify McCain’s actions, to rationalize the cognitive dissonance between that and the views he espouses. I don’t have the problem of having to apologize for the discrepancies between what Senator McCain says and what he does.

I don’t think Obama’s a saint, but I think he’s done better than any other candidate on this matter. He’s put himself in a position where he’s less beholden to the special interests. He hasn’t saturated his campaign with lobbyists, or accepted PAC money. I believe I have more reason to trust Obama than you have to trust McCain.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2008 9:21 AM
Comment #250831

I guess since so many Americans are taken by the Senator from Illinois, one can look forward to having his associates like Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Terrorist but College English Professor Byers and Reverend Farrakhan in the White House. As for Obama’s comments that “Cause President Clinton pardoned 2 members of the weather underground”, that somehow it is Sen. Hillary Clinton’s fault, did not make sense to me and shows his ignorance that is supported by many Americans. In my view, Sen. Clinton is not responsible for her husband’s actions as President. She is only responsible for her actions. In Obama’s case, he chose to associate with known terrorist as a paid board member. There is a difference.

At least in an Obama White House, visits by Wright, Farrakhan and Byers will be entertaining. White American males will finally hear first hand from these Obama associates about their fore fathers acts as slave owners. And the rest of Americans will hear about the persecution that past Black Americans lived through. Perhaps then, Black Americans will get the pay back they seek and will finally be paid back spiritually or whatever appeases this ethnic group for past acts to their fore fathers. Then maybe Black Americans will start thinking of themselves solely as Americans as is the norm with most other ethnic groups.

Posted by: Dr Hubert, Lt Col, USAF Retired at April 17, 2008 5:17 PM
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