Obama: Not a Flip Flop; Just a Lie

Politicians change their positions all the time, but when somebody repeatedly makes promises about something he claims it is central to his ideology and then breaks his promise for the money, that is more than a change and more than a flip flop. Obama is the first candidate since Watergate to reject spending limits. His only real bipartisan act so far is to behave like Richard Nixon.

Democrats and their media allies are spinning like mad. They say that Republicans will not control 527 groups. Of course they are legally prevented from communicating with them and – unlike Obama - they are following the rules. Besides, the biggest 527 groups are those associated with the moveon.org/Soros group. They are already attacking McCain. Maybe Obama should say something. But he won’t. Because he is …

Obama is also running away from his pledge to debate McCain anytime anywhere. He knows that McCain’s real honesty and independence will trump the Obama artificial flavors. So his people dodge the challenge.

Obama has promised to go to Iraq. I bet he doesn't. He will think of a good lie to cover his tracks. He is an excellent lawyer and will run us in circles with the meaning of words like "promise" and maybe "is".

Obama does well in choreographed events. It is no surprise that his first big break came from Ophra. He follows the same marketing strategy. He is not so much a candidate as a product. He was afraid to face Hillary (who he could easily dismiss with the help of the media) and he is afraid to face McCain w/o his cheering section and his planned events. The Obama handlers are limiting his exposure keeping him in staged events, where they can carefully managecrowds, keeping inconvenient or unattractive people out of the picture.

Obama is trying to win the old fashioned way. He want to buy the election. Nobody has been in this position since the 1970s. He will not take any risks. He will spend twice as much money as McCain to keep his message controlled on paid media and the MSM will protect his flank. He spent much more than Hillary, which is how he kicked her butt, despite her earlier advantages.

I guess the change you can believe in is big money, choreographed events, safe positions and a good looking, but hollow candidate.

Posted by Jack at June 20, 2008 1:44 AM
Comments
Comment #256096

Jack,
This is a non-story. Both campaigns made it clear weeks ago that they will not be using public financing.

It’s pretty funny to see Republicans crying for limits on campaign spending. I’d be a lot more impressed with this touching newfound dedication to limits, but I can’t help but notice, the GOP has only become in favor of it because the public is disgusted by their stands on issues and the corruption, making the GOP unable to raise much money. Events in Phoenix have to be cancelled due to poor attendance. Phoenix! For crying out loud, that’s McCain’s backyard!

Criminy, this guy is worse than Dole.

Now it’s just getting pathetic. McCain is begging to bask in Obama’s limelight by pleading for debates. I can just hear McCain: ‘Let’s do, um ten- yeah, ten debates! C’mon. How ‘bout it. Please. Pretty please. Ya gotta help me, man. You doh’t understand. I need some attention, bad. Just a sec, I gotta take care of something. HEY! You kids get off of my lawn! (Shaking fist and doing old man dance). No wait, come back, I’ll be in favor of anything you want, anything at all. Let’s drill coastlines! Torture? I’m good with it now.’

‘Buddy, can you spare a crowd?’

Posted by: phx8 at June 20, 2008 2:36 AM
Comment #256101

Phx8

McCain has pledged NOT to break the spending limits. No candidate has done that since Nixon, and Nixon was before the laws took effect. Obama is the first to break the limits. He lied. Plain and simple.

Re debates - Interesting take you have and you are acurately reflecting the Obama position. Why take the risk of actually talking to voters and letting the see you clearly, when you have piles of money and a suberb image control to feed the public only what you want them to see.

I have never been a big fan of finance reform and I think McCain made a mistake when he sided with Democrats to pass it. It shows the bad faith of the Dems, however, that they who always claimed to love the reforms throw them off when they get piles of money.

McCain has made the mistake of being truly independent. Obama has taken the safer route of letting his image makers paint an independent false portrait of him. My guess, unfortunately, is that Obamas deceit will pay off. But serious Democrats should be a little ashamed of him and themselves.

Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2008 3:26 AM
Comment #256102

phx8…. an “attaboy” for you ! ;)

Jack, Jack, Jack……I said this the other day and will repeat it…there is a great smell of fear in the air, or at least in the air over the red column.

Posted by: janedoe at June 20, 2008 3:29 AM
Comment #256105

Jack,
Why you are quick to point out that Obama has elected out of public finance, you make his point for him by pointing out that he is the first candidate to do so since President Nixon.

No, Senator McCain once again shows that he is a dollar short and a day late as he waited until Senator Obama announcement to declare that he would have to accept public finance due to the lack of the GOP to raise funds.

In fact, from an Independent Point of View I would say that since Senator McCain holds the longest time as the Republican Nomination for President. Senator Obama is standing by his word due to the fact that when Senator McCain was asked at the same time by the same group the same question he flat out refused to answer the question.

Or do you think Senator Obama should of gave the Senior Senator McCain until November 3 to make up his mind first?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 20, 2008 4:27 AM
Comment #256110

Gee, such a big deal over spending limits. It really is funny how it’s a big deal for the Cons now that they’re the financial underdogs….

But to be honest about it, I think Obama made a mistake. Why? Because this set a precedent, and as the great wheel turns, there will (unfortunately) be a point in the future when the Republicans will gain in power once more…and then when they have the financial advantage, the Dems will be the ones crying out for spending limits…and the Cons will point to Obama. The wheel turns.

But Obama’s decision is NOTHING compared to McCain’s flip-flop on torture, because there’s something I’d like to ask the Senator (whom I really do hold in high regard):

“Senator McCain, did you give the information the Viet Cong wanted when they were torturing you over that five-year period? And assuming you did not, then why do you think that our probably more humane methods would be any more effective in extracting the information we want from the detainees?”

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 20, 2008 5:23 AM
Comment #256117

Jane

Yes. I believe Obama has a better than 50% chance of winning. I know that makes you feel good and I understand that. But he is dishonest in his own - and the Democrats – stated convictions.

He will buy the election with his command of the media. He is afraid to debate in an open forum. He is doing exactly what Dems – unjustly BTW – accused George Bush of doing in 2000.

He has surrendered the moral high ground. I know it doesn’t matter to his fans. But just as Democrats abandoned the idea that each vote counted during the primaries, they now give up the idea of public funding of elections. Anything to win.

I have never been that craven and I feel virtuous, if sad because my man may lose.

Henry

Both McCain and Obama made the pledge last year – more than one time, very publicly. Since McCain is a man of his word, he didn’t feel it necessary to repeat it a thousand times. But when Obama revealed himself to be very slick and handsome liar, McCain merely reiterated his long standing position.

Glen

I personally think public finance law is a bit silly. But Democrats claim to believe in it. And I believe in keeping your word. Obama lied. I am just calling a skunk a skunk. I understand all the spin. I understand why he did it – the money. I understand it will help him win. He is just another politicians and a sleazy one at that.

I understand now that Dem don’t care at all about campaign finance, just as they do not care about counting every vote. They use these issues to pretend to be honest.

What really amazes me is NOT that Obama did this, but that the Dems are so gleeful about his dishonesty and betrayal of THEIR cherished principles.

Re McCain and N. Vietnamese (not the Viet Cong BTW) five years they tortured him, not to get information. There is a big difference between a POW like McCain and a terrorist mastermind of 9/11. Sorry you cannot understand that.

Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2008 7:26 AM
Comment #256119

Jack,
Why you are right about both Senator McCain and Senator Obama making the claim, seeing that McCain has held the Republican nomination for months and has used privately raised money during that time. As a Man who looks at Ones’ Actions verses His Word, like President Bush in 2000 and 2004 I cannot see Senator Obama given up his distinct advantage to Senator McCain or the Republican Machine.

True, $80 Million dollars starting now is probably not enough money to carry one through to the election in November; however, as a political move I do find it interesting. For in 4 plus months will it even make a difference? Go American Politics!

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 20, 2008 7:45 AM
Comment #256121

Jack-
Barack Obama’s discouraged big money donors from contributing to the 527’s, and actively lobbied those contributors to give to the campaign and the national committee, rather than fund the outside groups. That’s Obama’s position.

McCain’s position is essentially to shrug with a smile and say that he can’t control the 527’s. He has yet to send the same message to his contributors that Barack Obama has.

Meanwhile, McCain not only acted as if he never intended to take public financing, but in fact used them as a hedge against failure in his campaign. He promised the bank that gave him the mentioned loan that he would seek public financing if he failed to win the primary, essentially turning public financing into a taxpayer bailout of his campaign debt.

If this is McCain’s attitude towards public financing, then it’s no wonder that negotiations for public financing failed, and Obama opted out. When you see aces up somebody else’s sleeves, you don’t sit down and play poker with them.

If you’re looking for the typical politician, the one who’s accepted as much PAC money and lobbyist donations as he could get his hands on, who leads a national political committee that has done the same, look to McCain, because there you have him. In the meantime, those of use who value action above words will look to Obama.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 20, 2008 8:36 AM
Comment #256126

Jack,

It’s easy to say you won’t go over the financial limits if you can’t raise any money.

Posted by: Rocky at June 20, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #256128

Jack didnt McCain agree to public financing early on as a way of securing loans made to his campaign? Really the only option he had at the time but its now coming back to haunt isnt it. Your not really suggesting that because McCain has showed such a lack of financial discipline that Obama put constraints on his campaign to even the playing field are you?

Obama on the other hand has been able to cover the costs of his campaign without the borrowing of funds and subsequent agreements required by the banks. So it seems that this borrow and spend habit of McCains is something we as voters should be conscious of as we make our decisions. On the other hand we see Obama’s pay as you go approach has put him in a much better position financially.

It would seem to me that Obama would need a lot more money to fight off the repub smear machine that will continue to spill out lies and insults. McCain probably wont have to fight the repub smear machine to the same degree that Obama has been forced to fight and may not need the same amount of funds to fight off the viscious lies and slanderous statements the repub smear machine is so famous for.

I guess you can spin this as a veracity issue but to me it boils down to a fiscal responsibility issue and it appears that in typical repub fashion McCain has screwed the pooch on this one and is now trying to drag the rest of the candidates down with him, again much like the repubs in general.

What really should be done is to relegate the repub party to minority party status should they not be able to campaign enough to make a viable 50 state showing and let them jump through the hoops they have helped create for other parties trying to field a candidate for POTUS.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 20, 2008 10:39 AM
Comment #256134

Jack -

The NV tortured McCain, but NOT to get information? That’s certainly possible…but I think that’s HIGHLY unlikely. In fact, so would McCain. Here’s what HE said in an account printed by an Australian newspaper:

“The soldiers took me into an empty cell, set me down on the floor still on the stretcher and placed a blanket over me. For the next few days, I drifted in and out of consciousness.

My interrogators accused me of being a war criminal and demanded military information. They knocked me around a little and I began to feel sharp pains in my fractured limbs.

I blacked out after the first few blows.

I thought if I could hold out, they would relent and take me to a hospital.

But on the fourth day, I realised my condition had become more serious. I was feverish and losing consciousness for longer periods.”

——-

And you seem to think there’s such a great difference between terrorists and McCain - what, you think the terrorists are not every bit as HUMAN as the former POW? They are still subject to the SAME strengths and the SAME weaknesses as is McCain, as are you and I.

Yes, McCain had military and family tradition, political belief and religious faith to keep him strong. Do you somehow think that the terrorists, being even MORE deeply steeped in their own religious beliefs, having at in many cases MORE combat experience than McCain (remember this is not Afghanistan’s first war), and having familial and religious traditions at least as strong as McCain’s, and after having watched their own nation and families unjustly (in their eyes) attacked, and having been whisked half a world away to be tortured by those they consider satanic heathens, you still believe that they are somehow incapable of the SAME courage and fortitude that kept McCain strong?

Yeah, that’s certainly a conservative mindset - “they can’t be like us”. I’ve seen the same mindset many, many times before - among racists. I’m NOT calling you a racist…but I AM saying that you apparently have NOT learned that while times and cultures may differ wildly, in the BIG picture, PEOPLE differ but little.

As if courage and honor and religious/family traditions were only Western values….

And perhaps you should research what was already known as early as WWII on BOTH sides - if you want RELIABLE information from prisoners, be NICE to them.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 20, 2008 11:02 AM
Comment #256137

Jack, Obama has made a perfectly legal decision to change his mind and reverse his pledge to accept government controlled public financing. He has chosen grassroots controlled public financing instead.

It is a flip-flop. It is a reversal of a pledge used to garner support. But it was a perfectly legal decision. And a smart one from his supporters point of view. Obama still refuses PAC and Lobbyist money, and has instructed his party to do the same regarding his campaign, unlike his opponent.

McCain on the other hand, at one point tried to have it both ways, take public financing money and then private financing afterwards. That is clearly illegal, as he quickly found out. But, it was McCain who helped write the law he attempted to violate.

You really want to compare these two candidates on this issue, Jack? By all means, go ahead, but, do it in a full disclosure and factual way, as I have done.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 11:36 AM
Comment #256138

What typically happens is that Republicans continue to raise money beyond what the public pays for, and give that money to 527’s, organizations like the “Swift Boat Veterans” to campaign on their behalf. Since corporations do most of the funding of these organizations, Republicans usually end up being much better off than Democrats in terms of funding their campaigns. McCain has already started holding $90,000 dinners, and giving this money to 527s.

On the other hand, 99% of Obama’s money comes from regular folks who have made donations of a hundred dollars or less.

If anyone has expectations of buying an election, I would say it’s the corporations giving to 527s in huge sums.

Posted by: Max at June 20, 2008 11:49 AM
Comment #256143

Oh, and McCain should know that public financing won’t stop 527s from smearing someone - it happened to him. I’m told that O’Bama met with McCain about limiting use of 527s, but McCain wouldn’t.

As far as lying. I would call this looking at the field and changing your mind. Lying is hyping shoddy evidence of WMDs to con support for a war. You don’t need to tell us what lying is Jack, we’ve seen nothing but the last 8 years.

Posted by: Max at June 20, 2008 12:03 PM
Comment #256146

phx8,

Funny !

I do think Obama broke his word, but it’s doubtful his supporters will care one bit, since:

  • a larger percentage of Obama’s funds come from small donors;

  • a smaller percentage of Obama’s funds come for $2300 and $4600 donors;

  • it is a definite (perhaps historic) difference than many past elections where most of the money came from a very few wealthy (i.e. in year 2002, 83% of all federal campaign donations came from only a tiny 0.15% of the weatlhiest voters);

  • how hypocritical is it for Republicans to only now be whining about campaign finanace?

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2008 12:13 PM
    Comment #256147

    From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:

    McCain Breaking the Law in Plain Sight

    By Josh Marshall

    I mentioned earlier today that it was quite a thing to see John McCain denouncing Barack Obama for breaking his word on public financing when McCain himself is at this moment breaking the law in continuing to spend over the spending limits he promised to abide by through the primary season in exchange for public financing. (By the FEC’s rules, we’re still in the primary phase of the election and will be until the conventions.)

    I want to return to this subject though because this is not hyperbole or some throw away line. He’s really doing it. McCain opting into public financing, accepted the spending limits and then profited from that opt-in by securing a campaign saving loan. And then he used some clever, but not clever enough lawyering, to opt back out. And the person charged with saying what flies and what doesn’t — the Republican head of the FEC — said he’s not allowed to do that. He can’t opt out unilaterally unless the FEC says he can.

    The most generous interpretation of what happened is that McCain’s lawyer came up with an ingenious legal two step that allowed him to double dip in the campaign finance system, eat his cake and spend it too. But even if you buy that line, successful gaming of the system doesn’t really count as strict adherence. And the point is irrelevant since the head of the FEC — a Republican — says McCain cannot do this on his own.

    Like everything that has to do with campaign finance, the details are a little … well, detailed. But they’re worth understanding. Last February in this episode of TPMtv, we explained just how McCain cheated the campaign finance laws …
    TPMtv: Campaign Finance Deformed

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 12:21 PM
    Comment #256148

    Rocky

    Yes it is.

    It is Obama who is the liar, however. Nobody since Richard Nixon has done what he did..

    Stephen

    See above. It is not extraordinary to stay within spending limits. Every candidate since Watergate has done it. Obama is the lying exception. It really is not about McCain. Obama didn’t lie to McCain. Obama lied to the American people.

    Re 527 – I have seen several ads against McCain from the 527s like moveon.org. Have you seen many anti-Obama ads so far? That is just another of Obama’s lies.

    We now have conclusive proof that Dems care little about campaign finance or counting every vote. What do you guys still believe in?

    J2t2

    Every politician since Richard Nixon has stayed within the spending limits. Obama is the exception. Many Obama voters were not even born the last time anybody did what Obama is doing. That is the issue, not what other candidate coulda done.

    Glen

    Like John McCain, I am opposed to such torture. My point was that the NVC was NOT trying to get information. They were just torturing for the fun of it and in attempts to create terror.

    I think you are getting a little overwrought in arguing with yourself about this torture thing. Maybe you should consider whatever attitudes you have that makes you think like that. Emerson said that a man’s view of the world is a confession of his own character. You are not speaking for me.

    Personally, I am a chickenshit and I would not rely on myself not to spill the beans under torture. That is why I hope to avoid the whole thing. On the other hand, I would never think of planning some of those horrendous crimes our enemies carry out.

    David

    Obama is a clever lawyer. He made a perfectly legal decision. He is allowed, under the law, to lie and break his word in this case. He is allowed to be dishonest. Yes, he is technically legal. You guys have Karl Rove beat for sure.

    BTW – I saw on the news this morning that independents slightly favor John McCain over Barack Obama. How come most of our middle column independents seem to love Obama so much?

    When George W Bush considered – considered – exceeding the spending limits, liberals and independents were all over it. Now Obama has done what nobody since Nixon dared and it is just okay.

    Max

    You are abysmally factually wrong. Most of Obama’s donors are small time. Most of Obama’s money comes from big donors and bundlers. Of course you remember what bundlers do. Remember when Al Gore went to that Buddhist temple and got piles of money from people who supposedly lived in poverty? A bundler collects piles of money from his rich friends. Then he gets lots of poor guys to give a couple dollars. The average contribution is very low.

    Simple math. What is the average of the following 1 + 10 + 100 + 6 + 30 + 50 + 5 + 4600 + 60 + 25? Lots of donors. Who contributed almost 95% of the money?

    Obama has 1.5 million donors (he claims) out of a country of 300+ million. So around
    0.05% of Americans have made contributions. This is a HIGH number by historical standards, but it is not very many in the great scheme of things.

    Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2008 12:27 PM
    Comment #256150

    “Straight Talk Express”? Yeah, right, sure:

    New Questions Over McCain Campaign Chief’s Ties to Ukraine

    It seems that McCain Campaign Chief Rick Davis’s own lobbying company, Davis-Manafort, has been working hard in the Ukraine — on the wrong side of the Orange Revolution. And that it’s rather hard to believe that McCain didn’t know anything about any of this, since McCain and Davis’ foreign lobbying company was actually sharing the same office space.

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 12:39 PM
    Comment #256151

    Author of McCain/Feingold: Obama Smart To Opt Out Of Public Funds.

    One of the principal authors of the most significant campaign finance legislation since Watergate said he was neither “outraged” nor “surprised” with Barack Obama’s decision to forgo public funding in the general election.

    Norm Ornstein, a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and substantial contributor to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act — also known as the “McCain-Feingold” campaign finance legislation — said on Thursday that Obama’s move was “pragmatically the right decision to make,” and that, if the Senator had not chosen that path, “I would have sued him for political malpractice.”

    “What I told a bunch of people a few weeks ago,” said Ornstein, “is that while it would be nice if he decided he felt honor bound to stay within the system and take the money, if he did so I might join a group of people who sued him for political malpractice. When you have the ability to raise the kind of money that he could raise and do it without selling your soul to spend all the time between now and the election on fundraisers, your goal is to win an election and not turn your back on the people voting. There will be outraged editorials and McCain will be justifiably pissed. But it was pragmatically the right decision for him to make.”

    Personally, I don’t think that McCain has a right to be “justifiably pissed”, since he himself has totally gamed the campaign finance system during the primary — indeed he has broken the law and is currently thumbing his nose at the chairman of the FEC.

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 1:10 PM
    Comment #256154

    Jack:

    Obama has 1.5 million donors (he claims) out of a country of 300+ million. So around 0.05% of Americans have made contributions. This is a HIGH number by historical standards, but it is not very many in the great scheme of things.

    1.5 million donors, 90% of whom have donated less than 100 dollars to Barack Obama’s campaign. Since this is a completely unprecedented number of small money donors giving to any American political campaign in our nations history, it is in fact “very many in the great scheme of things.”

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 1:21 PM
    Comment #256155

    Jack-
    Has the leadership of John McCain led any Republican group to shut down its 527 group? Has McCain actively discouraged their funding?

    Finally, Do 45% of his donations come from people donating less than 200$, bundled or not? Do 72% of his donors give less than the maximum per period?

    No on all three counts. The actions of Obama’s organizations speak for themselves. Obama banned lobbyist and PAC money from his own campaign and from the DNC. Obama has discouraged contributions to the 527, even lead a major 527 from last election cycle to shutter its doors. He gets almost half his money from those paying less than 200. McCain gets almost half of his from those paying 2300 or more.

    And McCain gamed the system so if he lost the primary, the taxpayers could pay back his loan, a move the FEC would have declared illegal, if it were in operation. McCain could not opt in and opt out without breaking the law, but that’s just what he did, and he did in fact spend more money than he legally could, having accepted that financing.

    My feeling here is that you’re trying to sow a silk purse from a sow’s ear, then hand it to us and tell us its Gucci. McCain talks the talk, but Obama walks the walk. He might not be accepting public financing, but with the way McCain was duplicitously employing it to get his own ass out of debt, McCain has far less claim to virtue on that subject, taken as a whole.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 20, 2008 1:32 PM
    Comment #256164
    Jack wrote: How come most of our middle column independents seem to “love” Obama so much?
    Perhaps most voters don’t “love” Obama, as much as they dislike McCain?

    The problem is that John McCain is as bad (if not worse) than G.W. Bush (43).
    McCain is wrong on:

    • Iraq; John McCain can not explain how putting our troops in harm’s way in Iraq is making the U.S. safer, nor explain away that there are probably much better ways to make the U.S. safer without forcing our troops to risk life and limb for nation building and policing in Iraq; if McCain is truly fearful of terrorists following us back from Iraq, then securing the borders and enforcing immigration laws might ought to be a primary focus, eh? Especially since 18 of the 19 perpetrators of 11-SEP-2001 (some who were illegal aliens and/or had violated several immigration laws), possessed 13 state-issued drivers’ licenses and/or 21 ID cards (source: www.9-11pdp.org/press/2004-12-03_factsheet.pdf), and all 19 hijackers had obtained Social Security numbers (some real, some fake; source: www.cis.org/articles/2002/back1202.html).

    • taxes; McCain wants to make the regressive tax system permanent where the wealthy pay a smaller percentage of federal taxes, such as Warren Buffet who paid 17.7% in federal taxes on $46 Million while his secretary paid 30% on $60K ;

    • and the economy (despite having read Greenspan’s book);

    • illegal immigration (but so is Obama), but Obama always was, and McCain flip-flopped after 26 years in Congress; McCain voted for the first shamnesty of 1986;

    Only one of those things is sufficient to sink McCain’s campaign.

    Just based on campaign donations alone, McCain is in trouble. While a larger percentage of all of John McCain’s donations come from $2,300 and $4,600 donors, he’s still woefully behind. Unless Obama shoots himself in the foot (again), he’s got it wrapped up. What does that all say about the Republican party, in spite of all the Democrat gaffs, dysfunction, and in-fighing?

    As for flip flops … none of the politicians have much room to talk. Thus, it’s always a bit comical when one politician (or party) is calling the other a flip-flopper, unethical, etc. It’s a race to the bottom.

    Regardless of who the next El Presidenté is, perhaps voters should not forget about Congress and potentially saddle the next president with the same, FOR-SALE, do-nothing, corrupt, and incompetent Congress?

    Unfortunately, it appears too many voters are going simply pull the Democrat party-lever, and Republicans are likely to lose 30 or more seats in Congress.
    Better yet, do what the voters did in year 1933, when they ousted 206 incumbents from Congress (i.e. 44% of the 467 that were up for re-election).
    Unfortunately, simply letting the two-party duopoly in the do-nothing Congress will hamper the next president’s ability to get anything done.
    One way to avoid that is to send a loud and clear message to all Congress persons.
    After all, Congress has record low approval ratings.
    So why repeatedly reward them with perpetual re-election?
    If you feel like you must vote Democrat or Republican, why not consider a challenger?
    Otherwise, Congress maintains their high re-election rates and their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies, and the president will face grid-lock (as usual), and voters will face the consequences (of which we are only now seeing the tip of the iceberg).

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2008 1:50 PM
    Comment #256166

    I’m disappointed that Obama has decided to forego public funding. A lot of people have worked hard over the years to promote clean elections and public funding is a big element of that.
    On the other hand, Republicans are such a bunch of liars who will say and do anything underhanded to achieve and maintain power. They will spin the facts, accuse the other party/individual of the the very same thing that they are guilty of (witness the accusation that Kerry really did not earn his medals, an accusation made to cover up the fact that w deserted his military obligations, not once, but twice!) or just make up outright lies to achieve their purpose. You don’t believe me? Ask John McCain, he experienced that firsthand in the South Carolina 2000 primary.
    I am disapointed in Obama but can’t blame him ‘cause he knows what is coming and how expensive it will be to counter it.

    Posted by: charles ross at June 20, 2008 1:57 PM
    Comment #256168

    There is moral high ground in politics? News to me.

    I find it funny that Jack compares McCain’s stand on spending to Nixon. I thought he was having enough trouble differentiating himself from Bush. Now he has to differentiate himself from Nixon? Man, Republicans can’t win for losing.

    Seriously, I think this is an issue. I don’t fault a candidate for spending as much as he can to win. It’s a war of ideas and money sells ideas.
    As I recollect most Republicans, Jack included have previously railed against McCain Feingold and cry about restricting freedom of speech. What needs to happen, in my opinion, is a restriction on selling of influence and profitability for dissemination of political ideas. That won’t come from spending limits.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at June 20, 2008 2:10 PM
    Comment #256172

    Charles,
    I feel the same way. Given the opportunity, I think both Obama and McCain would reform campaign financing, because it’s pretty obvious the current system needs to be fixed. But right now they’re in the thick of a run for the presidency, and given the stakes, it’s extremely difficult for McCain or Obama make the changes we’d all like to see.

    I’m on a mailing list for some of the hate mail that’s being circulated about Obama. Yesterday, one listed George Will’s “questions” for Obama, but that piece was standard boilerplate Republican hackery, complete with the usual inaccuracies, such as George Will’s assertion that China was drilling for oil off the FL coast. Sigh. But the other e-mail was extremely racist, really nasty stuff. Well, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    I really think Obama will win in a landslide, and that’s a good thing, because the Democrats are far more likely to enact campaign finance reform than the GOP. In the meantime, Obama will need every penny. If the landslide comes to pass, it might include supermajorities in the House and/or Senate. So there’s room for a lot of optimism.

    But while there is the standard political posturing that will be taken by the GOP, Democrats and liberals need to brace themselves. The hatred being directed at Obama is much worse than anything ever seen by Kerry or even Clinton. This time, the hatred is not merely political, or resentment of the Clinton’s success; it is a deep seated, deeply felt irrational hatred. And count on the GOP, FOX, and the 527’s to do everything possible to stoke that hatred.

    Posted by: phx8 at June 20, 2008 2:23 PM
    Comment #256174


    “There is moral high ground in politics? news to me.” News to me to.

    You don’t have to take your shoes off to count the number of politicians that don’t tell lies. Nor do you have to do that to count the number of politicians that don’t make campaign promises that they either know they can’t keep or have no intentions of keeping. Anyone who has been through a few political campaign wars should know this as fact.

    Posted by: jlw at June 20, 2008 2:29 PM
    Comment #256177

    Phx8

    Nobody is going to enact REAL finance law. The Democrats have just shown that they don’t care re the issue if they are in the money.

    And those 527s -the most prominent is moveon.org. They have been attacking McCain. I have seen no independent tv ads attacking Obama. Most of that anti-Obama hate is left over from the Dem-on-Dem mudslinging from the Hillary Clinton times. I told you at the time, but did you listen…

    If you don’t believe me, check out the anti-Hillary hatred on the blue side of this blog, before somebody takes it down.

    The best things we could do is let the parties get as much money as they can raise AND then make them sign each ad. The 527s sneak around too much AND the Dem attack machine is sneakiest of all.

    d.a.n.

    The point is that independents don’t hate McCain or support Obama to a great extent. Only here on Watchblog. In polls McCain often beats Obama among independents, sometimes not, but it is close.

    Posted by: Jack at June 20, 2008 2:39 PM
    Comment #256179

    “Most of that anti-Obama hate is left over from the Dem-on-Dem mudslinging from the Hillary Clinton times.”

    Not at all. Most of Hillary’s supporters have come over to Obama, and in polls Obama has opened @ 6% lead over McCain. Of course, it’s only June. There’s no question, there are fringe elements on the both the right and left who are over the top. But the difference this time is that we are looking at a “fringe” element of the right which constitutes perhaps 5-10% of the population.

    I know the identity of the guy who generates the hate mail, or at least he’s a source for promulgating it. He’s a wealthy retired white male, and he is very much a conservative Republican. I also know some of the people on the list, mostly wealthy white retirees. The second e-mail includes such timeless ethnic witticisms as “wazzup mutha-*****.” It’s pretty bad.

    Posted by: phx8 at June 20, 2008 2:56 PM
    Comment #256181

    Jack:

    Obama is a clever lawyer.

    Yes, Thank Goodness. We need someone with an intelligent brain in their head running this country, for a change. The very last thing we need is another idiot puppet like Bush. That’s what McCain will be if he wins, since it’s really obvious that he isn’t very smart or clever, or well informed. In fact he has now taken on almost all of the same positions as the Neocons — these are the people who will be pulling his strings for years to come, just as they’ve pulled Bush’s strings to do their bidding.

    He made a perfectly legal decision. He is allowed, under the law, to lie and break his word in this case. He is allowed to be dishonest. Yes, he is technically legal. You guys have Karl Rove beat for sure.

    Good. Since McCain refused to rein in the 527’s, it’s definitely Rove and Company we know we’ll be facing. We need all the money we can get to fight off the dirty tricks that are sure to come at the end of the general election season, the way they did for Kerry. Obama holding onto all that small donor cash he’s collected means Democrats will now stand much less of a chance of being Swiftboated at the last minute this time around. Obama is doing exactly what he has to do.
    When Democrats win in November, we can return our focus to the issue of enacting some real Campaign Finance Reform.

    Now Obama has done what nobody since Nixon dared and it is just okay.

    It’s a lot more than just okay, it is entirely necessary and prudent. Btw, since you keep mentioning “since Nixon” I think folks need to understand that the laws regarding public finance went into affect in 1976.

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 2:57 PM
    Comment #256185
    Jack wrote: d.a.n. The point is that independents don’t hate McCain or support Obama to a great extent. Only here on Watchblog. In polls McCain often beats Obama among independents, sometimes not, but it is close.
    Think so? Close don’t cut it.
    • How do you explain the fact that Obama has raised 2.7 times more money than McCain (remember, 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money)?
    • How do you explain the fact that a larger percentage of Obama’s total donors are making donations under $200 (that also implies many more voters support Obama)?
    • How do you explain the fact that even Hillary raised 2.2 times more money than John McCain? That is, what caused the huge flight to the Democrat party? HHMMMmmmm … it definitely appears that the Republican politicians have royally screwed the pooch. That wouldn’t be so painful if it weren’t for such strong partisan loyalties.
    • How do you explain ALL polls placing Obama ahead of McCain?
    • How do you think McCain can win when he opposes the majority of Americans on Iraq?
    • How do you think McCain can win when he tries to paint rosier-than-reality pictures of the fragile peace in Iraq? e.g.: thinkprogress.org/2007/03/27/ware-mccain-iraq/
    • How do you think McCain can win when he can’t explain putting our troops in harm’s way for nation-building and policing Iraqis is making the U.S. safer (i.e. when better ways exist)?

    So, “the point is” who really has the most votes? McCain or Obama?

    And it doesn’t look like McCain has the votes (or money).

    McCain’s position on Iraq alone will lose the election for him. But, maybe McCain find a way to waffle his way over to convincing Americans that he wants to end the nation-building and policing the Iraqis indefinitely (e.g. 100 years)?

    I’m not a fan of either candidate since I have a hard time giving my vote to any politician that chooses to pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes (and McCain voted for the 1st shamnesty of 1986).

    The point is, none of the numbers look good for McCain.

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 20, 2008 3:32 PM
    Comment #256187

    So OBama changed his mind. Gotcha. How do you feel about McCain breaking the law to finance his campaign? How do you feel about McCain flip flopping on issues like oil drilling and government eavesdropping?

    Posted by: Max at June 20, 2008 3:34 PM
    Comment #256196

    Jack-
    Yeah, we’re in the money, 45% of it from people giving less than $200. It turns out that relying on millions of small donors is a good way of getting financing.

    The irony is, in this day and age, is that we’re doing better by going the purer route. No PACs, no Registered Lobbyists, just individual donors. And if the big wigs get pissy about an issue when he’s president, he can tell them to screw themselves.

    As for sneakiness? We don’t have to be sneaky. We have a good, honest fundraising mechanism we don’t have to worry about.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 20, 2008 6:20 PM
    Comment #256198

    phx8

    The hatred being directed at Obama is much worse than anything ever seen by Kerry or even Clinton. This time, the hatred is not merely political, or resentment of the Clinton’s success; it is a deep seated, deeply felt irrational hatred. And count on the GOP, FOX, and the 527’s to do everything possible to stoke that hatred.

    Most of us would expect nothing less of the GOP. Their backs are to the wall and they feel deeply threatened. They will do whatever necessary, regardless of sleaze factor, in the interest of survival. They have no new outstanding credible issues to run on. They have nothing in the form of new ideas to offer. They are stuck in the past with eight years of failed policy leading their way.

    Their 527 groups will be popular with that percentage of people who suffer with racial and liberal issues. The other 75% will ignore them for what they are. Hate and fear induced republican propaganda.

    Nothing new here. The only difference is that the republicans are on the losing end, and they simply do not want to except that reality. The silly rants we see here in opposition to Obama’s financial decisions are testament to just how desperate the republicans are.

    Posted by: RickIL at June 20, 2008 6:29 PM
    Comment #256208

    Jack asked: “BTW – I saw on the news this morning that independents slightly favor John McCain over Barack Obama. How come most of our middle column independents seem to love Obama so much?”

    Could it be that we don’t twist and bend in the wind with each poll like John McCain on the issues, Jack? It is a rhetorical question.

    Or could it be that when one has a choice between two candidates who are vastly different in their approaches and policy positions, it makes the personal decision relatively easy, depending on personal values and preferences.

    Are you seriously suggesting that Center Column writers should change allegiance due to the polls showing Independents “slightly” favoring McCain in SOME states? Independents means not following the crowd, Jack. Independent! Look it up. Great word. Founding Fathers had a lot to say about it. I suspect getting familiar with the definition and meaning would be good for you, Jack.

    Certainly help prevent you from making comments like the one quoted above. :-)

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 9:02 PM
    Comment #256217

    Jack -

    You wrote “Like John McCain, I am opposed to such torture. My point was that the NVC was NOT trying to get information. They were just torturing for the fun of it and in attempts to create terror.”

    Did you NOT see where I posted a quote from JOHN MCCAIN where he said the NV DID torture him for information?

    Sheesh!

    And did you check the reference of the most successful of the WWII interrogators who said the reason they were so successful was that they were NICE to their captives? Why were they able to get good intel when the ones using brutal methods did NOT give good intel?

    Easy. Someone - almost ANYone - who is tortured will say absolutely ANYthing just to make it stop, NO MATTER HOW UNTRUE.

    That goes for you and for me and just about everyone else. Brutal methods do NOT reliably give good intel. We learned that in WWII…and have since forgotten it.

    Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 20, 2008 10:06 PM
    Comment #256218

    pdx8, I mean phx8, thanks for the laughs. I guess the opposition doesn’t like to have the tables turned on them. Rpblcn spin doctors have their work cut out for them. Personally, I am already tired of the news coverage, and I think the public will tire of the unending election long before November.

    Posted by: ohrealy at June 20, 2008 10:16 PM
    Comment #256226
    Besides, the biggest 527 groups are those associated with the moveon.org/Soros group.
    Re 527 – I have seen several ads against McCain from the 527s like moveon.org. Have you seen many anti-Obama ads so far? That is just another of Obama’s lies.

    Jack,

    Moveon.org’s 527 arm has not been active since 2005. Also, they announced today that they are permanently retiring their 527 arm. That means that all their donations will come from small individual donors for the 2008 election cycle. Obama/ Moveon.org will be running the first TRULY publicly funded campaign in modern history.

    Posted by: JayJay at June 21, 2008 1:14 AM
    Comment #256230

    ohrealy,
    Will the public tire of the election before November? That’s a good question. Right from the start, this election was for the Democrats to win or lose. One poll is showing Obama with a double digit lead nationwide. As the campaign progresses, and McCain’s inability to conduct a coherent campaign become more pronounced, along with his inability to raise money, the lead for Obama will become pretty large. The media likes a horse race, and I really don’t see there being much of one by the fall. However, Obama’s supporters, including me, are highly motivated. They are enthusiastic, and they smell blood in the water.

    In a way, I see McCain as somewhat similar to Colin Powell. Both were good men who got caught being team players for a team that was horribly wrong, demonstrably wrong, obviously wrong. McCain and Powell backed Bush. They supported that team, when they should have known better, when they should have followed the guidance of their own internal compasses, and withdrawn their support. For that, their reputations and their political careers will suffer.

    And after all the shouting, I think it will be obvious that it was not just Bush who was so wrong on so many issues, and so appallingly inept, corrupt, and disconnected. Cheney will receive much of the blame, as he should, along with other Neocons such as Libby, Addington, Yoo, Rumsfeld, Feith, and so on, and of course, Rove. What a bunch of chuckleheads. What a bunch of liars.

    McCain should have known better.

    Posted by: phx8 at June 21, 2008 1:27 AM
    Comment #256236

    phx8, maybe McCain is running to make amends?

    That’s your chuckle for the day. Someone said I had no sense of humor, and I felt obligated to prove it. :-)

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 1:45 AM
    Comment #256237

    Phx8

    Most Hillary supporters may have come over to Obama, but the mud they slug back when they were mortal enemies is still flying around. They threw it up. Don’t blame us. I defended the Clinton legacy right here on Watchblog and many on the left attacked me for it.

    VV

    McCain nor Obama cannot LEGALLY reign in the 527s. A clever lawyer like Obama knows that. You should read up on the laws.

    I see clearly that partisans Dems love money and don’t complain as long as they have it. I understand that. Just don’t ever again give me any crap about money in politics or counting every vote.

    Maybe you heard the story about the man who asks a woman if she would sleep with him for $1 million. She says “yes.” He says, “How about $10?” She replies, “What do you think I am?” He says, “We know what you are; we are just haggling over price.”

    Sounds like a Democratic thing to me.

    Stephen

    Have you ever run a business? Think about it like this. You have 100 customers who spend a couple dollars each and a couple customers who spend 100s of dollars. You are fond of all of them, but you really depend on the bigger ones and you take care of them better. Yes Obama has a big donor base. He has gotten about 0.05% of the American people to send him some money. This is twice as much as anybody else. But it still is not a landslide. We can compliment him on his money making abilities w/o swooning over his popularity for doing it.

    RickIl

    We have not seen the Republican hatred. What you have is left over from the Hillary hatred. She and her helpers made up most of that stuff. Democrats planted those seeds and now they have to deal with the weeds. Don’t blame us. Your guys did it.

    David

    If independent means not following the crowd, why are so many in the middle column doing just that? I am probably the most independent writer around here, if you define that trait by not following the crowd.

    Glen

    You are really arguing with yourself. I understand that most interrogation techniques do not involve torture. I don’t think torture – as a reasonable person would define it – works most of the time and it is rarely appropriate.

    You want to get into some kind of torture argument, but if you believe torture is good or bad, you might have to talk to yourself.

    Jayjay

    Moveon.org is running an anti-McCain ad right now. If they told you they are out of the business, they are lying. Or maybe they just figured out a new way to do their deceit. Liberals are good at that. They change the name but do the same low down things.

    Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2008 1:51 AM
    Comment #256238

    David,
    McCain’s campaign slogan: “It won’t happen again.”

    Or

    “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

    Or

    “Hey! You kids get off my lawn!”

    Posted by: phx8 at June 21, 2008 1:54 AM
    Comment #256244
    If they told you they are out of the business, they are lying.

    Jack,

    I didn’t say that moveon.org was out of the business, I said they no longer have a 527 arm. You claim that they are a 527. They have not operated as a 527 since 2005. That is more than a name change, it is a different way of funding their activities. All their donations now come from small individual donors, just as Obama’s campaign does. They no longer accept donations from large special interest donors such as labor unions. My point is that you said moveon.org is a 527, when it is not. BTW, don’t act all holier-than-thou, Cons are the undisputed masters of “deceit” and “low down things.”

    Posted by: JayJay at June 21, 2008 2:39 AM
    Comment #256245
    I see clearly that partisans Dems love money and don’t complain as long as they have it. I understand that.

    What you don’t understand is that WHERE the money comes from is extremely important to us. We love the clean, small donor money we’ve been collecting during this campaign, and we despise the corporate/lobbyists money that the GOP likes collecting. Obama has enormous piles of the former, while McCain is very busy scrounging around for the latter.

    Just don’t ever again give me any crap about money in politics

    Oh I will. We all will. Because as I said, where the money comes from is vitally important. It’s the difference between “a government of, by and for The People, as opposed to a government of, by, and for the Corporate Global Imperialists who are destroying our nation.

    or counting every vote.

    We’ll keep giving you crap about that too — wherever it happens to apply that votes aren’t being counted. Or, when people are being illegally taken off the voter rolls, or wherever Republican election stealing/rigging shenanigans on election day happen to crop up.

    Maybe you heard the story about the man who asks a woman if she would sleep with him for $1 million. She says “yes.” He says, “How about $10?” She replies, “What do you think I am?” He says, “We know what you are; we are just haggling over price.”

    Sure, everybody has heard that old joke. And to apply it to this election, McCain would be the woman, while Obama is the Man. :^)

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 21, 2008 2:54 AM
    Comment #256251

    VV

    So money gathered MOSTLY from big donors, but with lots of small donors kicking in, but still making up 0.05% of the U.S. population makes it okay to buy elections?

    How much of Obama’s money comes from donors making contributions of $100 or less?

    I explained above. Obama has lots of small donors, but most of his money comes from big donors. It is simple math to understand. Take a look at this chart of $2300 contributors. Or even this one of $4600 contributors. Obama wins in both categories.

    Of course, there is no reason to believe small donors are more virtuous. Especially if they are bundled. The bundler gets the influence. If you or I give the maximum of $4600 to our candidate, do you really think that buys much influence. But if a bundler puts together 10000 donations of $200, we are talking real money and real influence.

    Either you understand this or you don’t. Obama understands; some of his fans don’t.

    You can play with percentages. If I give 50% of my total income and Bill Gates gives 5% of his, which would you rather have? If you were a political candidate, who do you think you would invite on the bus first?


    Re counting votes - you guy threw out votes from Michigan and Florida. I agree. You followed the rules. Just like we did in Florida. You are certainly no better and it looks like worse on counting votes.

    Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2008 5:14 AM
    Comment #256260

    Jack, I think you miss the fundamentals of the issue entirely. In a democracy, government is supposed to be influenced by all the citizens wishing to be heard. Individual donors contributing amounts insufficient to elevate them to the position of bribing influencer, is in perfect keeping with democratic principles.

    Large sums contributed with an implied quid pro quo based on the sum’s capacity to be remembered and associated with a face, or name of an organization seeking an agenda not shared by the majority of the people, is contrary to democratic principles.

    Hence, PAC and Lobbyist contributions in large sums are potentially corrupting of democracy. Whereas, a capped limit sum contributed by 100’s of thousands or millions of individuals attaches no face nor individual’s preference for influencing policy on a particular issue in their favor to the exclusion of benefit for others.

    Obama is on the righteous side of this argument precisely because he refused the PAC and Lobbyist money for individual limited donations. It commanded respect by individual donors. McCain has individual donors too.

    But, McCain’s fund raising preferences include PAC’s and Lobbyists, which a vast section of the public views as corrupting. Which puts McCain on the unrighteous side of this argument and in the vulnerable position of having no choice but to accept the government public funding as opposed to grassroots public funding.

    Of course it doesn’t help that he is running as a Republican who agreed with Bush on 95% of the issues last year. The country is lost faith in Bush and those whose views and policies resemble or reflect those of Bush’s.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 8:06 AM
    Comment #256265

    David

    Fundamentally, Obama has enough bundlers and big donors to make that difference. What he has, if you look at the numbers, is a bunch of little guys AND a good number of big ones.

    The little ones can be safely ignored. The big ones have their power magnified.

    Besides, the problem with money in politics has NOT be that there is a tit-for-tat. The problem is that big money drives all the debates. It is still doing that. Obama dares not change his position on Iraq, for example, in spit of radically different circumstance on the ground, because he fears the reaction of the moveon.org folks.

    In the middle blog, a true independent Joel Hirshhorn has explained the Obama trickery here and here.

    Let me quote - Indeed, despite all the hoopla about huge numbers of small contributors to Obama, he has also relied on exactly the same kind of big, wealthy supporters as the other candidates. As the Washington Post noted in the article Big Donors Among Obama’s Grass Roots: “Seventy-nine ‘bundlers,’ five of them billionaires, have tapped their personal networks to raise at least $200,000 each. They have helped the campaign recruit more than 27,000 donors to write checks for $2,300, the maximum allowed. Donors who have given more than $200 account for about half of Obama’s total haul, which stands at nearly $240 million. …The list includes partners from 18 top law firms, 21 Wall Street executives and power brokers from Fortune 500 companies.”

    Obama is not different from other politicians except that he is the first real politician of the Internet age. Soon all politicians will have that kind of system. It is a lot like I-Tunes, in that it taps the long tail of the internet for small purchases, while still making the big bucks on the best sellers.

    I recently bought a copy of Boxcar Willy’s “Wreck of the Old 97” from I-Tunes for $0.99. Boxcar Wily is like an Obama small donor. I bet I-Tunes is more interested in some of the bigger names, but if they were as dishonest as Obama, they could claim Boxcar Willy’s “Old 97” and the “Beatles Greatest Hits” are equally importnat to them.

    Obama has proven as dishonest as any other. He is the first politician since Richard Nixon and Watergate to break campaign spending limits. Think about that.

    Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2008 9:31 AM
    Comment #256271

    Jack, your are relying on a false opinion not even backed up by evidence of Joel, just because his opinion is negative toward Obama. When he says:

    “Indeed, despite all the hoopla about huge numbers of small contributors to Obama, he has also relied on exactly the same kind of big, wealthy supporters as the other candidates.”

    He is wrong! They aren’t the same. That is an empirical fact, Jack. Obama has no PAC or Lobbyist big donors. McCain does. But, your comments continue to make it clear that facts are not important when it comes to prejudice against all things not your brand of GOP.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 10:34 AM
    Comment #256277

    Jack


    We have not seen the Republican hatred. What you have is left over from the Hillary hatred. She and her helpers made up most of that stuff. Democrats planted those seeds and now they have to deal with the weeds. Don’t blame us. Your guys did it.

    I beg to differ Jack. I was responding to phx8 in his statement that he is on a republican based email list which has been spewing forth hate on a regular basis. I have personally received spam emails denouncing Obama as a muslim and just another n-gger. I have seen voters interviewed from your home state who claimed that they would never vote for a man whose name is Hussein. These are just a few of the incidents which just happen to pop up here and there when convenient. I may not be as sharp as a lot of people on this blog, but I am not entirely naive. Most of this reeks of past republican smear tactics. It now is just dished out in different ways which can not be directly tied to the powers that be. I am not saying that every person who dislikes Obama is a republcan. But it would take a fool to believe that the vast percentage are not.

    As for your rants of foul by way of Obama’s decline of public financing, well I find it all too convenient and self serving. Obama did not absolutely commit to public financing. McCain attempted, out of a realization that the money would not be coming forth in droves for the republican party this year, to get Obama to commit early on. Obama stated that he would be willing to sit and negotiate those terms if and when the time arrived. Well from what I understand negotiations were attempted and that neither side was conducive to terms. Now the GOP’s backs are against the wall and McCain is squirming around trying to figure out how he can buck McCain Fiengold without looking like a hypocrite. It seems his principles are only important when advantageous.

    There obviously is much wrong with the campaign process and the way it is financed. I suggest it needs a vast reform. Republicans had six years in which they could have effected true reform. They had the numbers and a sitting president that signed everything they presented into law. They did nothing of real consequence. McCain Fiengold as I see it did little in the way of reform. It did little more than open the doors for more creative and underhanded ways to finance campaigns. They passed a bill that they knew was not perfect and would change little in the way of monetary returns. Imo this is an issue in which the legislation needs to be perfect. There is little room for compromise. It is an area in which no degree of monetary influence should be allowed to creep into in any fashion. I very seriously doubt there is a politician out there that has the balls to effect such legislation.

    I would be willing to bet everything I have that if the situation were reversed McCain would do exactly as Obama is doing. Until real reform is enacted campaign tactics will not change, no matter the party involved. Now in the heat of battle is not the time to expect some sort of code of honor commitment simply because it is what would work best for McCain. You are taking us for fools Jack if you believe we would lay down so easily and lessen the challenge for your man.

    Posted by: RickIL at June 21, 2008 11:30 AM
    Comment #256281

    David, well said.

    Jack, what David said.

    RickIL:

    I may not be as sharp as a lot of people on this blog,

    I think you are every bit as sharp. In fact, I always look for your posts here.

    I would be willing to bet everything I have that if the situation were reversed McCain would do exactly as Obama is doing.

    Of course he would. And Jack knows this as well. He’s just smearing Obama because he thinks it will benefit McCain to paint Obama’s amazingly successful grassroots driven campaign in the worse possible light. Indeed, if the situation were reversed, all the Righties would be here crowing about it, rather than carping and whining and trying to ignore the fact that McSame has broken the law gaming the public financing system during the primary, and is up to his neck in corporate/lobbyist/special interest money.

    Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 21, 2008 12:28 PM
    Comment #256289

    VV, David et al

    George W. Bush did not in 2000 when he was raising the big bucks. NO candidate since Richard Nixon has chosen to break the spending limits.

    I don’t blame him for doing it. He wants to win and he knows the big bucks will almost certainly buy him the victory. I have never been a big fan of public financing, but all of you and almost all Dems have been. Now it makes no difference to you because your man is doing the buying.

    We had the same easy attitude toward counting all the votes, when Hillary was winning the popular vote and Dems threw out half the votes from Michigan and Florida. At least the Democrats of the Old South counting slaves as 3/5ths.

    Obama lied about his promise not to break spending limits. He betrayed the principles of public elections you guys claim to hold dear. The Democrats threw out the votes of thousands of people in Michigan and Florida. And you don’t care at all. That speaks louder than the rationalizations you are all writing now.

    Posted by: Jack at June 21, 2008 1:58 PM
    Comment #256292

    Jack-
    More than two thirds of Obama’s donors give less than the maximum. That may not be perfect, but its progress, and it means that people have good reason to believe his more their candidate than that of the special interest. He knows he can tap them again, just as long as they’re not too disillusioned with his leadership. He also knows this gives him more political capital to resist the special interests.

    He’s refused PAC money, and money from federally registered Lobbyists. If you want to define populism by taking public financing, then that’s every candidate since Nixon, and I hardly think that’s a common denominator among those folks.

    You want to bring Obama down to McCain’s level, which is highly ironic since McCain’s supposed to be the paragon of this sort of reform. If you’re making these kinds of arguments, I think you’ve already lost on this issue. You’re essentially conceding that he’s a fraud on every level so you can make the argument that Obama isn’t a perfect angel on this subject. You argue numbers, but ignore proportions.

    But of course, you won’t admit that. All you’ll do is try to turn it around, and make some weak argument that McCain, who was going to use public financing to cover his private loans, is more honest than Obama.

    Obama, with his system, has been able to tell the special interests to play the game on his terms. No money from lobbyists, no money from PACs. McCain has yet to show half the guts in campaign finance that Obama has. When is this going to stop being about McCain’s accumulated reputation, and start being about what he does and says here and now?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 21, 2008 2:26 PM
    Comment #256296


    Jack: Hell must have frozen over. In my opinion you have gotten to the heart of the matter. Why allow states that the Democrats need to win chose the candidate when red state liberals can caucaus their candidate to the nomination. Those voters in Michigan got what they deserved,right?

    It is widely accepted that Texas was the state that provided the straw that broke the Clinton back. How many electorial college votes will Texas deliver to Obama? None!

    Many of Obama’s supporters, including many in the mainstream media, portrayed Clinton as evil or as representing every thing that is wrong with the Democratic party. I am in agreement with the what’s wrong with the Democratic party part. However, if you compare Clinton’s platform with Obama’s, is there really that big a difference? IMO, Obama will follow in their footsteps, follow their leadership example.

    Now all is forgiven, Barrak will pay Bill and Hillary to campaign for him and in return Barrak will get the Clinton big donor list to go along with Kerry’s.

    How do Obama and his followers plan to overcome their negative, denegrating remarks about Hillary supporters? By using Bill and Hillary and by trying to buy the election with a sum that will exceed a half a billion dollars.

    Never mind all the attacks on Republicans for not playing the game fair, for buying elections. The Democrats have the money now and they are not concerned with Obama’s reniging on promises, they are going to play the game the way the Republicans taught them to play it.

    What about all that braggadodio about 45 percent of Obama’s donors giving 200 dollars or less? When all is said and done, that money will represent 25 percent at most of his total take and even less of the Democratic party’s take.

    While it is possible that it has happened in the past, I can’t recall a time when Democrats had more money than Republicans to spend on an election. The Republicans have no choice but to put most of their money into trying to hold on to the executive branch, with a candidate that is trying to run by hanging onto Bush’s coattail. That’s how much more money the Democrats have this time.

    Could this be because of all those small amount contributors? I think not. Could it be that the big money donors see the writing on the wall, that the nation is fed up with Republican rule? I believe that is one part of the two part equation. Could the second part of that equation be that while the liberal Democrats will throw a bone or two down to the workers and the poor, for the most part, they have become a part of the Washington insider club and do their part to maintain the statis quo? Yes indeed, I believe that is the second part of the equation.

    Many liberal Democratic politicians like Obama may claim to be progressives but they are not. Don’t vote for liberals, vote for progressives if you truely believe in change.

    If you believe in the statis quo then vote for your favorite conservative or liberal politicians.

    If you truely believe in change, change that will be for the better of all Americans and possibly the world, vote for anyone that isn’t a liberal or conservative. Send a message to the enablers of the statis quo. We are not going to disenable them in the short term but, perhaps we can begin the process of getting the train wreck back on the tracks and headed in the right direction.

    Posted by: jlw at June 21, 2008 4:00 PM
    Comment #256300

    jlw, delivering the next President a Congress made up of 35% new Freshman would completely alter the policy and political landscape in D.C., in response and deference to those voters who made that happen. That is why Vote Out Incumbents Democracy and similar organizations makes so very much sense today.

    The Parties and their politicians exist for majority status and reelection. Attack their incumbency, and they will pay the greatest diligence attempting to appease those responsible for pulling the legs out from incumbencies.

    The power of the vote is not to elect, it is to UnElect incumbents. Even half-wit politicians are smart enough to rig their own reelection. When the voters awaken to this fundamental truth about democracy and their power as a united group of disappointed voters, the voters and democracy will take control of government, and not the other way around.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 21, 2008 5:14 PM
    Comment #256307

    jlw-

    Jack: Hell must have frozen over. In my opinion you have gotten to the heart of the matter. Why allow states that the Democrats need to win chose the candidate when red state liberals can caucaus their candidate to the nomination. Those voters in Michigan got what they deserved,right?

    No, they didn’t. What they would have deserved was the chance to vote for all the major candidates in a contest they knew counted, that people would have campaign seriously in. This notion that what they deserved would have been for the Democratic party to flip-flop and let a largely symbolic primary with only one major candidate’s name on the ballot stand as representing their will is just self-serving BS.

    Short of a revote, a compromise was necessary, both to unify voters in that state, and to fairly compensate for the unfair obstacles that the extraordinary circumstances put in the voters way. That’s what happened. It wasn’t what the voters deserved, but it was better than the alternative. Those who voted for Hillary were not the only ones who deserved fairness.

    Texas was a breaking point because Hillary failed to exploit it or Ohio sufficiently to throw Obama to the mat. Obama kept Hillary’s victories small, while taking one undefended election after another in blowouts that added to his net delegate gains, while keeping her gains low. Hillary let him back her right to the wall. When she finally does start contesting primaries once again, it’s too late.

    They relied too much on the politics of mass media perception, underestimating the reciprocal nature of politics in today’s web-interactive environment. Tuzla’s an example of that. Tje clear lesson of that and other foul-ups is this: you’d better be on solid factual ground before you start telling big exciting stories, because you can be damn sure somebody’s going to follow up, and when they do, millions will quickly catch the virus of information that spreads.

    On the question of funding, you’re reading the figures incorrectly. That number, dealing with those contributing less than 200 dollars, represents the proportion of the donations, not the donors. So when we talk about 45% here, we’re talking 45% of the total fundraising.

    There are big money donors seeing the writing on the wall, but I think that 45% IS the writing on the wall. This is somebody who has some serious grassroots support behind him. Nobody wants to be caught on the losing side of that kind of election.

    As for your logic about the insiders club?

    You know, that’s just what I hate about today’s political thinking: fatalism breeds complacency and complicity. Good reform politics is about being clever, relentless, and ever hopeful. If you lose heart or lose guts, you will lose, period. You will need folks on the inside. The question is, how do they think about their political survival. We’re the ones who can make a difference in that regard. People want real change, and if they are kept informed, and if they keep informing the politicians of what they want, then you will see much more headway achieved on the subject of our government’s redemption. Politicians are like a liquid that changes shape to fit a container. What kind of container do we make of ourselves in regards to their ambitions?

    We are like an army here, and army doesn’t merely clash and contend with the other side. No, the good strategists find those places where the opponent has some part of their operation that’s critical, like communications, supplies, manpower, equipment, and attacks that.

    In confronting our political problems and our political rivals, we must be mindful of the kind of support they need, and focus our efforts on that. If we just start from this big ass notion of a suddent change of party, with no prelude or preparation, we’ll lose, because we aren’t really stringing together the objectives necessary to get to the big objective, to get from here to there.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 21, 2008 9:48 PM
    Comment #256311


    David R. Remer: I understand what you are saying. I just don’t have faith that replacing 35% of our elected politicians each election cycle will produce the results that you expect it to do. For instance, who do we replace them with: a)liberals, b) conservatives, c) moderates, or d) all of the above. I don’t believe we truely have a real choice anymore with a two party system dominated by special interests which is hell bent on keeping it that way.

    It’s like the old saying, where there’s a will there’s a way. I believe that the will and the way is firmly under the control of the two parties and their special interest masters. The people do not have the means to control the will and the way because they are very divided about what reforming the government means.

    Here is some of my ideas about what a truely reformed government should be doing.

    I want my government to do whatever it takes to create the best education system on this planet, one that truely does leave no child behind.

    I want my government to do whatever it takes create a system of full employment with the wages that will lift all of our citizens out of poverty if they are somewhat frugal and the unscrupulous capitalists can’t take advantage of them to grab more than their share of the wealth.

    I want my government to do whatever it takes to maintain a healthcare system that is second to none and is completely accessible to all irreguardless of their ability to pay.

    IMO, if the wealthier members of our society are forced to pay a disproportionate amount for healthcare, they will demand that the healthcare system stresses prevention above all else. A healthy mind healthy body approach even if it is harmful to the capitalist mantra of overindulgence. I believe they will also demand cost control even if it means giving up some of their more lucrative investment opportunities.

    I am sure that at least half if not more of the voters don’t share my idea of what good governance is or what our government should be doing. Be that as it may, I would rather join the ranks of those who know that their vote doesn’t count than continue to vote for politicians who don’t share my vision or are willing to compromise it away.

    As far as I am concerned, there has been far to much compromising already.

    Posted by: jlw at June 21, 2008 10:23 PM
    Comment #256318


    Stephen D. I can’t respond to your comments at this time but, I’ll be back.

    Posted by: jlw at June 21, 2008 11:23 PM
    Comment #256364

    Stephen

    I do NOT define populism (not a good term BTW) by NOT taking Federal money.

    The two things I fault Obama for is breaking his word and breaking spending limits. I don’t much care where he gets his money. I care how he is using it and abusing the electoral system in a way nobody has done since Richard Nixon.

    Jlw is certainly right re the voters in Michigan, Florida AND Texas.

    Consider Texas. We all know that Hillary got the most votes in Texas. Yet Obama got as many electoral votes. Sort of like cheating.

    Poor Hillary. Dissed by the cool crowd. The cool man trumps the brainy woman in the Dem camp all the time.

    Posted by: Jack at June 22, 2008 1:55 PM
    Comment #256392


    Stephen D.: I tried to find a news article that I read concerning Michigan and Florida That predated the compromise by a day or two. For me, that’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack especially when dealing with the yahoo search engine.I couldn’t relocate the article so i’ll paraphrase and you can take it or leave it.

    As we all know, the Clinton campaign prety much went broke. Obama was getting most of the small donors and many of the big donors were sitting on the fence waiting to see which way the wind was going to blow. The article dealt with a few of these unnamed big donors.

    They were concerned about a big fight at the convention over seating the delegates from Florida and Michigan. These donors were willing to finance a revote in those states and made the offer.

    The Obama campaign refused the offer, demanding a compromise instead. I imagine they did this because they virtually had the nomination locked up so why bother risking giving Clinton a couple of big insignificant wins to crow about. It was a good strategy but not a win for democracy.

    As to Texas and Ohio, you say Clinton failed to exploit her opportunities. Clinton won the popular vote in Texas and she won the Ohio primary by 10.1 percent which is a pretty significant victory so, what we are really talking about is the caucaus. IMO, the caucaus situation is less a Clinton failure to exploit than liberal professional exploitation of low worker class participation in the caucaus process to shore up their control of the Democratic party.
    In other words, we will run things and make promises to the workers to get their vote.

    I listened to Obama’s speech in, I believe, Flint Michigan. He chastized the unemployed bluecollar workers, we can’t bring back the factories and the jobs. so, what’s his plan to create jobs. Let,s work together to rebuild the manufacturing base. Is that an example of liberal double talk or what?

    We can’t hide behind a wall in fortress America. Interpretation, your getting more illegal immigrants wheither you like it or not. Comprehensive immigration reform, definination legalized illegal immigration and more wage suppression.

    I have heard several different versions of where most of Obamas money came from. Yours is fine with me, I have confidence that your right. While 1.5 million contributers might be historically significant, it really say’s more about the American peoples willingness to support the politicians than it does about Obama’s prowess.

    Obama supporters try to make aq big deal out of his not accepting PAC money or lobbyist money. Is Obama going to be a one man government. Has the Democratic party refused that money? Are liberal politicians accepting lot’s of that money? Aren’t the deals being set up for the big change over in congress?

    As to my logic about the insiders club, it is right on. The payments to campaigns, the bribes, the compromising away of progressive ideas has been going on all my life. The demands for change has always and will continue to be given lip service by the politicians. When all is said and done, money talks louder than votes. Are you planning to send a message with your vote or are planning to vote a straight Democratic ticket?

    The American people have given Congress a clear message on the war. They were ignored. A clear message on S.S., it wasn’t ignored. A clear message on illegal immigration and it was ignored. Should the American people vote every liberal out of office for supporting illegal immigration?

    Posted by: jlw at June 22, 2008 5:11 PM
    Comment #256405

    Jack,
    IMO the Republicans are missing the point of Obama opting out of the current public finance system while the Democratic Leadership is missing a perfect chance to take on the Status Quo of America.

    For why the Left and Right fight over the words, America suffers from the lack of our Leaders to reach out in all 50 States and not just those states that the Talking Heads call Red, Blue, and Purple. True, in the past the 527’s have forced us to watch attack ad after attack ad; however, if the Democratic and Republican Pundits seriously wants to make this election about change than again IMPO Senator Obama did the right thing by retaining his ability to campaign in All 50 States.

    Therefore, I have to wonder if My Republican Pundits are raising this question out of fear that Obama may win by breaking with the Status Quo of both parties. Or that the “Blame and Smear Game” perfected by Rove and Company will no longer make Senator McCain able to stay above the Remarks of the GOP 527’s.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 22, 2008 6:56 PM
    Comment #257227

    “LobbyDelegtes.com is a great tool, I have contacted all my State Delegates for free through email, I have come accross another tool from the same company www.statedemocracy.org its also free and I can contact my lawmakers, apply for an absentee ballot & voter registration and on election day I can locate my polling places. Great tool…. use it”

    Posted by: Kathy at July 28, 2008 7:28 AM
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