Third Party & Independents Archives

Delusional Hope: The Obama Rapture

Never have so many hoped for so much because of rollicking rhetoric and pulsating platitudes. A tsunami of hope has plunged America into electoral euphoria. In its path is the wreckage of critical thinking about what ails the US and what bold, revolutionary actions are needed. Barry Obama has accomplished semantic alchemy, turning justified but grim distrust and outrage with government and politics into hallelujah hope. But most hope never materializes and is a terrible predictor of reality.

Think about the prevalence of hope: sports teams heading into a championship game, research scientists envisioning a Nobel Prize, people in the criminal justice system awaiting trial, entrepreneurs starting a new business, people starting off on a long-awaited vacation, American Idol contestants, college seniors dreaming of becoming superrich, and all those supporters of Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and other presidential candidates that will not reach the White House.

Hope produces far more losers than winners. Hope is enjoyable until failure hits. But most people do not give up on hope, just move on to the next hope.

Obama hoped that he could tap into the national desire for change from the awful conditions produced by the Bush administration by selling hope to voters rather than his experience and accomplishments. Like a political medicine-man he has succeeded as a compelling seller of hope, better than the best infomercial charlatan.

Like a self-fulfilling prophesy, his proof that hope works is his life story and political campaign. This resembles a con man selling a real estate scheme by showing pictures of his yacht, estate and Rolls Royce. Millions of consumers succumb because of their hope that riches can be obtained by following the quack’s advice and formula. Such false hope succeeds because people buy into wrong or deceitful information. False hope can be revealed through objective examination of the facts, assumptions or promises used by the hope purveyor.

Delusional hope is much more insidious. The trick behind delusional hope is that recipients of the hope message supply their own justifications and rationalizations for taking ownership of the hope. As much as delusional hope comes from the hope messenger, it is also self-inflicted to a large degree. In fact, the hope messenger may be honest and authentic, like Obama, truly believing in his hope message. Those who embrace the hope message have many possible reasons and motivations for doing so.

It may be therapeutic by offsetting depression, stress or anger. It makes people happier, feel good and have something positive to look forward to in an otherwise dismal world. It provides comfort and some sense of security. Delusional hope is exactly like a placebo medicine, producing an apparent positive result without any valid reason for doing so, except satisfying the desire for a positive result.

Obama has produced an epidemic of contagious delusional hope for a population rightfully disgusted with ordinary politics and politicians. Like an excellent magician, people are mesmerized by the trick of promising to turn YOUR hope into HIS success.

What happens if president Obama does not actually deliver any real, substantive changes and reforms in government and public policy? Who will be blamed? Hope-happy Obama or a nation of hope-losers for electing him?

This mass delusional hope befits our delusional democracy with its delusional prosperity. Rather than the usual lies, Obama offers hope for change, as if the ruling plutocracy will fade away and stop using their considerable influence over government to funnel an obscene fraction of the nation’s income and wealth to the richest Americans and corporations.

Money is key to seeing Obama for what he really is – an insider politician. He has backed away from his clear promise to use public financing for the general election, as John McCain also promised to do. His broken commitment results from his ability to raise enormous sums from hope addicts. Besides many small contributors, he has received enormous financial support from a number of business sectors . He provided about $700,000 to other politicians – superdelegates – in to get their support, compared to $200,000 that Clinton distributed. When it comes to money, Obama seems much too much like an ordinary politician.

What is the audacity of hope? The confidence that most Americans will eat the political narcotic – hook, line and sinker. Welcome to the Obama rapture.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at February 22, 2008 9:28 AM
Comments
Comment #246091

I whole heartedly agree with you Joel, but the thing is how do the people who really see the sell outs for who they are choose someone to represnt them when the only choice is to support a sell out? What I mean is that when given the choice between Hillary, Obama, and/or McCain who do you choose to be your sell out?

Posted by: Ayoungmind at February 22, 2008 11:00 AM
Comment #246098
Obama hoped that he could tap into the national desire for change from the awful conditions produced by the Bush administration by selling hope to voters rather than his experience and accomplishments.

What experience and accomplishments? If he had any he’d be out there bragging them.

Obama doesn’t have any qualifications to be President so he has to come up with something that will make folks vote for him. And unfortunately a whole heap of folks are falling for it. And a whole heap more will for for it in November if he’s the Democratic candidate.
Personally I think he’s trying to be another JFK. The only problem is while JFK was able to sell hope to the voters, he had experience and was more qualified to be President than Obama ever thought of being.
Also as I recall, JFK had some substance in his message of hope. I aint seen any in Obama’s.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 22, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #246213

Ron:

Just to add to your point, here is what JFK had accomplished before he ran for President:

After Kennedy’s military service as commander of the USS PT-109 during World War II in the South Pacific, his aspirations turned political, with the encouragement and grooming of his father. Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat, and in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1961

Obama is not even close to beling in JFK’s league.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 23, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #246223

I would make a vastly better president than GW Bush, and I have no experience in government. Experience in government too often means corrupted by government handlers, special interests, and party controllers. The very lack of experience and therefore lack of exposure to the corrupt rampant in our government, is one Obama’s strongest selling points.

Sorry, to burst ya’ll’s bubble, but, if you want experience in government McCain, Warner or Ted Kennedy are your old school tried and true and indoctrinate. If you want genuine change in the corrupted systems of government, you have to do with someone who has not yet been corrupted by it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 23, 2008 5:49 PM
Comment #246230

David:

Then you have run.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 23, 2008 7:58 PM
Comment #246232

Whoever the next president is, how will the next president be able solve any of the nation’s most pressing problems, growing in number and severity, if the voters forget all about Congress, and saddle the next president with the same incumbent politicians in the same two-party duopoly in the same corrupt, incompetent, FOR-SALE, Do-Nothing Congress, that continually refuses to even remotely address any of these 10+ abuses that have been cheating most Americans for the last 30+ years?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2008 8:24 PM
Comment #246233

We need to also vote out about 468 Congress persons. That will get the #*&%ing attention.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2008 8:27 PM
Comment #246234
This mass delusional hope befits our delusional democracy with its delusional prosperity.
True.

Delusion is definitely part of the problem.

However, as long as we can vote, WE (the voters) have the government that we deserve, since

  • (01) Most voters don’t know that Do-Nothing Congress enjoys 93%-to-99% re-election rates, but most voters continue to reward Congress with very high re-election rates.

  • (02) Half of the voters don’t even bother to vote at all.

  • (03) Most of the voters that do vote blindly pull the party lever, rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians, despite the majority of voters that whine and complain about a corrupt and dysfunctional Congress and give Congress dismally low 11%-to-18% approval ratings.

  • (04) Most of the voters simply can not overcome their blind loyalty to THEIR party.

  • (05) Too many voters are:
    • too complacent, apathetic, and lazy;

    • too blindly loyal to THEIR party, and have abdicated their responsibility to think, and reason, and vote responsibly to THEIR party;

    • too ignorant; that’s no excuse; it merely makes ‘em a good target for abuse;

    • too irrationally fearful of the OTHER party winning seats, so they ALWAYS pull the party-lever (i.e. vote straight ticket), the politicians are experts at fueling the partisan-warfare, and some voters are all too happy to wallow in the circular, divisive, blame-game, distracting partisan-warfare; oblivious to the way the way their politicians distract and manipulate the voters;

    • insane and delusional; after all, what do they call it when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?

  • (06) Too many voters are single issue voters (i.e. I want health care! ). Thus, they are easy to manipulate.

  • (07) Most voters do not even know who their Congress persons are, much less their Congress persons’ voting records.

  • (08) Most voters rather wallow in the petty, partisan-warfare, and demonize and blame the OTHER party, because that is easier then admitting that THEIR own party is really no different than the OTHER party. Both are so corrupt and irresponsible, there is truly no significant difference, as evidenced by their voting records and the decline of the U.S. over the past 30+ years.

  • (09) Most voters can not name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable, but those voters repeatedly reward the same irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

  • (10) Most voters fail to understand these 10+ abuses that have been cheating Americans for over 30 years; abuses that did not all come about by mere coincidence;

  • (11) And in this upcoming 04-Nov-2008 election, too many voters will probably focus only on the office of President and Vice President, continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election (despite Congress’ dismally low approval ratings of 11%-to-18%), and saddle the next President again with the same dysfunctional, irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, Do-Nothing Congress, and the nation’s pressing problems will continue to grow in number and severity, threatening the future and security of the nation, as the U.S. decays into total fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2008 8:51 PM
Comment #246235

Is this about Obama or VOID?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 23, 2008 8:55 PM
Comment #246273
Craig wrote: Is this about Obama or VOID?
It is about mass delusion (Nobody mentioned VOID) …
Joel wrote: This mass delusional hope befits our delusional democracy with its delusional prosperity.

… and delusion which is one of the reasons for 93%-to-99% re-election rates, despite dismal 11%-to-18% (www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1844140220070919) approval ratings in Do-Nothing Congress.

But, if you want to see something about Barack Obama, his voting record alone is reason for concern, but delusion will almost always trump reason and logic … at least, until that becomes too painful … .
Senator Barack Obama (D- IL) 202-224-2854 202-228-4260 (obama.senate.gov/contact/)
Barack Obama’s Voting Record/Statements/Positions:

  • Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006) {A minor?}

  • Supports affirmative action in colleges and government. (Jul 1998){Doesn’t this discriminate based on race?}

  • Tax incentives for corporate responsibility. (Jun 2004) {Tax, tax, tax. How about not taxing corporations at all, since they are merely passed on as hidden, regressive sales taxes to consumers, and doesn’t help competitiveness domestically and internationally?}

  • Close tax loopholes for US companies relocating abroad. (Jun 2004) {Tax loop-holes? How about not giving them subsidies and rewarding them for doing it? How about an end to importing cheap labor? }

  • Voted YES on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005) {Duh !}

  • Some heinous crimes justify the ultimate punishment. (Oct 2006); But, Battles legislatively against the death penalty. (Jul 2004) {So, which is it?}

  • Do not lower drinking age from 21 to 18. (Sep 2007) {You are old enough to be drafted, vote, and die, but not drink?}

  • Smokes cigarettes now; smoked some pot in high school. (Feb 2007); Admitted marijuana use in high school & college. (Jan 2007) {Both bad habits.}

  • Pay “master teachers” extra, but with buy-in from teachers. (Aug 2007) {Funny! While the Master Cheaters (Congress) give themselves a raise almost every year (9 times between 1997 and 2007) }

  • Sends kids to private school; but wants good schools for all. (Jul 2007) {Really? By undermining public school with private schools?}

  • Nuclear power ok if we safeguard against waste & terrorism. (Sep 2007) {Make a mental note: Mistakes happen (e.g. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, etc.)}

  • Barack stated that he is willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Il & Hugo Chavez. (Nov 2007) { }

  • Barack Obama’s Immigration (grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=IL&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=1162) Report Card: D- (and he wants drivers’ licenses for illegal aleins).
  • Invest in our relationship with Mexico. (Sep 2007) {Translation: please send us more cheap labor, so that we can continue to despicably pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits.}

  • Focus on corruption to improve African development. (Oct 2006) {How about focusing on corruption in our own FOR-SALE, do-nothing, irresponsible government?}

  • Money is the original sin in politics and I am not sinless. (Nov 2007) {No kidding, and we are supposed to be impressed with that honesty?}

  • Ok to take $5 donations from drug company employees. (Sep 2007) {Cha Ching!}

  • Create “Google for Government” to track government spending. (Aug 2007) {CAGW.ORG does that too, and Barack Obama scored a very low 30% on the Pork-Barrel Score Card; however, it is better than Hillary’s dismal 14%; but both are pathetic.}

  • Campaigns last too long & cost too much. (Aug 2007) {Funny! And the 2008 campaign started over a year in advance.}

  • Say he doesn’t take PAC money or federal lobbyists’ money. (Jul 2007) {FactCheck: no lobbyist money, but does take money from bundlers who lobby. Clever, eh? (Jul 2007)}

  • Lobbyist influence comes from access, not money. (Oct 2006) {Really? And who if forcing them to accept the money?}

  • Tackle insurance companies on reimbursement system. (Oct 2007) {Hmmmm … the problem is too many middlemen (i.e. insurance companies); if government is going to provide healthcare, they had better eliminate one of the unnecessary middlemen: insurance companies.}

  • Government healthcare like members of Congress have. (Sep 2007) {Whooooohoooo! That would be wonderful. And how about a cu$hy retirement system too? And a raise every year? And some other cu$hy perk$ like Do-Nothing Congress has?}

  • Increase competition in the insurance and drug markets. (Aug 2007) {Good luck.}

  • Give people the choice to buy affordable health care. (Jun 2007) {A choice? What choice? Government meddling, greedy insurance companies (unnecessary middlemen), and obscene gouging by greedy hospitals, free medical coverage, and welfare for 32% of illegal aliens is part of what is driving up costs. Not to mention that 27% of all incarcerated in Federal prisons are illegal aliens (source: Page 2 GAO-05-337R)}

  • Take on insurance companies; drive down health care costs. (Jun 2007) {Well, which is it? Obama is all over the place.}

  • Address minority health needs by more coverage & targeting. (Mar 2007) {Based on race?}

  • Health care tied to balancing costs and taxes nation wide. (Jun 2006) {Nevermind that Congress gives itself a raise 9 of the last 10 years for the fine job they are doing, have excellent healthcare, and cu$hy pension systems. Hypocrites.}

  • Believes health care is a right, not a privilege for the few. (Sep 2004) {That’s debatable, since someone has to pay for it. Who? With a $9.2 Trillion National Debt? With $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching? With a $450 Billion debt in the PBGC pension system? With hundreds of billions in unfunded liabiliites for Medicare? For a war in Afghanistan? And an unnecessary war based on lies and exaggerations in Iraq? With a REGRESSIVE tax system? etc., etc., etc.?}

  • No need to mandate coverage; just let people afford it. (Jul 2007) {Sure. It’s magic! Don’t pay any attention to the massive debt and greedy insurance companies behind the corporate-welfare and pandering curtain.}

  • America cannot sanction torture; no loopholes or exceptions. (Sep 2007) {So, why is torture tolerated? Hasn’t a law been broken? Then why isn’t someone held accountable? Where are the impeachment proceedings? Not to mention Article V is being violated too.}

  • Support veterans via the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act. (Aug 2007) {Interesting. Nevermind Congress giving itself 9 raises in 10 years, cu$hy perk$ and benefits while our troops go without armor, adequate medical care, and promised benefits.}

  • Register women for draft, but not for combat. (Jul 2007) {Really? The draft? To go fight more unnecessary wars? Draft for what? Iraq? }

  • Address the deficiencies in the VA system. (Jun 2007) {Absolutely! Right after Congress gives itself another raise, and some more cu$hy perks, and unfair incumbent advantages. }

  • We are currently inspecting 3% of all incoming cargo. (Oct 2004) {UUhhmmmm … what about the borders? But then, Barack wants to give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens?}

  • Voted YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006) {Yet, they have destroyed tapes? Yet, no one is accountable.}

  • Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006) {Interesting. }

  • Barack says we need to tone down the rhetoric on illegal immigration, because some illegal aliens are being persecuted. {That’s not good and most people are don’t want persecute people people merely looking for work, but where is the compassion for thousands of Americans being murdered and harmed by illegal aliens every year?}
    • Where is Barack Obama’s compassion for U.S. citizens that go without healthcare and access to ERs because ERs and hospitals are over-flowing with illegal aliens (of which many don’t pay)? Is this fair to U.S. tax payers? 84 hospitals closed in California due to Illegal Aliens (www.michnews.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/178/8693)

    • Where is the compassion for the truly needy U.S. citizens that can not get help because of limited resources, because 32% of illegal aliens receive welfare ?

    • Where is the compassion for the illegal aliens being lured here for sub-minimum wage jobs, creating an under-paid, under-class (practically slavery) ?

    • Where is the compassion for displaced American workers and the outrage at the greedy employers of illegal aliens ?

    • Where is the compassion for the U.S. victims and survivors of crimes perpetrated by illegal aliens and tax payers the pay the high costs of incarceration, deportaiton, law enforcement, and trials (29% of all incarcerated in federal prisons are illegal aliens), and the crime rates are rising? Are all illegal immigrants sexual predators or murderers? No, of course not. Most just see better opportunities offered by America. But, per capita, illegals commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes. We also shouldn’t fail to mention their contribution to illegal drug and gun trafficking, adding to America’s crime problem.

    • Where is the compassion for U.S. Americans who’s lives have been changed forever by illegal aliens that spread disease ? One illegal alien in Santa Barbara, California infected 56 other people with tuberculosis as reported on April 24, 2004, by the Santa Barbara Press-News, “Anatomy of an Outbreak”. Because illegal alien migration into the USA continues unabated for the past 20 years, we now have 16,000 new cases of incurable MDR tuberculosis in the past five years. We suffer 7,000 new cases of leprosy. We tolerate 100,000 new cases of hepatitis “A” in our society. Chagas Disease, which affects 14 million South Americans and kills 50,000 annually, streams across our borders as unchecked thousands of them enter our society. If your child goes to public school, they could be exposed, as thousands already have been?

    • Where is the compassion for the people murdered every day by an illegal alien (Source: GAO-05-646R based on study group of 55,322 illegal aliens over a 57 year period)?

    • Where is the compassion for all of the people that do not want to see a repeat of 11-Sep-2001, which was perpetrated by several illegal aliens; 18 of the 19 terrorist hijackers on 11-SEP-2001 possessed state-issued and/or counterfeit drivers’ licenses or ID cards and ALL 19 had obtained Social Security numbers (some real, some fake). Those terrorists very simply tapped into an enormous market for fraudulent documents that exists because 12+ million people have successfully breached our borders and now reside here illegally. Their presence has spawned widespread document and identity fraud that threatens our ability to distinguish illegal aliens from U.S. citizens and legal foreign residents. Yet, Barack Obama wants to give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens? And Hillary isn’t sure?

    • Where is the compassion or all the victims in South Carolina (one-simple-idea.com/CrimeRatesByState2003_Per100000.jpg) which had the highest rate of violent crime (excluding D.C.) of any state in the U.S. and it is partly due to crime by illegal aliens. In fact, South Carolina is submitting a Constitutional amendment with regard to illegal immigration (which denies citizenship to offspring of an illegal alien).

    • Where is the compassion for the U.S. tax payers net losses of over $70 billion per year due to all the numerous problems stemming from illegal aliens?

    • Where is the compassion for the 2.3 million displaced American workers?

    • Where is the compassion for all of the U.S. policemen murdered by illegal aliens? On 13-Nov-2005, Brian Jackson, a Dallas policeman was shot and killed by an illegal alien, Juan Lizcano. Lizcano had become drunk and went to the home of his ex-girfriend to threaten her. As the police pursued Lizcano after he fled the woman’s home, he shot Officer Jackson, who died later in the hospital. Officer Jackson was remembered by his fellow police as someone who loved his job and always went the extra mile. In Denver, Colorado, an illegal deliberately ran over a Denver polceman in a school cross walk “breaking his legs along with severe internal injuries. This is not anectdotal. This tragedy has occurred over and over in many cities across the U.S. These are crimes that should have never happened.

    • Where is the compassion for all of the thousands of homicide victims ? (estimated 3.6 to 12 or more homicides per day (the number keeps rising)!). Even if the lowest estimate (3.6) is used, the rate is twice the norm. If it is 12 homicides per day, that is 6.7 times more homicides.

    • Where is the compassion for all of victims of crime by illegal aliens?
  • Barack says comprehensive immigration solution includes employers & borders. (Nov 2007) {Really? The borders are near wide-open. Yet Obama is concerned that only 3% of cargo coming into our ports is not inspected?}

  • Undocumented workers come here to work, not to drive. (Nov 2007) {Really? Then why are they? Have you looked at the statistics of illegal aliens arrested for drunk driving and homicide via drunk driving? Visit VictimsOfIllegalAliens.com to the numerous Americans killed annually by drunk driving illegal aliens.}

  • Yet, Barack Obama supports granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. (Nov 2007) {Nothing like despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, eh? Besides, most Americans will reward Congress with 95% to 99% re-election rates anyway. Schmucks!}

  • Give immigrants who are here a rigorous path to citizenship. (Jun 2007) {You bet! That’s tens of millions of Democrat votes! Duh! We need to get that amnesty passed before Nov-2008 !}

  • Extend welfare and Medicaid to immigrants. (Jul 1998) {32% of illegal aliens receive welfare}

  • Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. (Jun 2007) {The SHAMNESTY BILL which was defeated.}

  • Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007) {Interesting. So, we must print everything in 50 different languages?}

  • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006) {You bet! Need to keep the inflow of cheap labor to keep wages depressed. Besides, those immigrants will become good little Democrat (one-simple-idea.com/VoteDemocrat.gif).}

  • Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006) {Yep! Nothing like pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. }

  • Owes unions who endorsed him; that’s why he’s in politics. (Oct 2006) {Cha Ching! So how have the unions been helped lately? By selling out American workers almost daily?}

  • The wealthy should pay a bit more on the payroll tax. (Oct 2007) {A bit more? Warren Buffet’s income tax rate on $46 Million is 17.7% but the income tax rate on his secretary making $60,000 is 30% ? The tax curve is regressive due to a myriad of tax loop-holes for the wealthy. Just ask Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S.}

  • No privatization; but consider earning cap over $97,500. (Jul 2007) {Duh! And how about getting rid of the REGRESSIVE tax loop holes ?}

  • Voted NO on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security. (Mar 2007) {Figures. Keep plundering the surpluses.}

  • Hopes to remove all troops from Iraq by 2013, but no pledge. (Sep 2007)

  • Obama said invade Pakistan to get al Qaeda. (Aug 2007)

  • Voted to fund war until 2006; now wants no blank check. (Nov 2007)

  • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006) {Wonderful. Especially with the 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching and $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from the Social Security system. But, it buys votes, and the voters will reward us for all of it anyway with 95% to 99% re-election rates.}

But, whoever becomes the next president is, how effective will the president be if saddled with the same FOR-SALE, corrupt, Do-Nothing Congress that refuses to address the nation’s pressing problems, growing in number and severity?

At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2008 10:20 AM
Comment #246276

Craig, d.a.n. is on a roll. Don’t get in his way, you’ll just get flattened.

Joel,

The entirety of your argument is thus: Obama promises change, Obama is a politician, all politicians lie, so therefore Obama is lying about changing things. I follow your links and all I find is proof that 1) Obama has a 91% transparency rating for donations, 2) that a good chunk of his donations come from lawyers (he used to teach constitutional law) and from Chicago (where he lives), and 3) that he’s gotten over $12 million, his largest single chunk, from individual donors and nearly nothing from agribusiness, energy, labor, or defense contractors. Follow the money, as the saying goes, and it leads me to a pretty decent fellow. For future reference, the point of hyperlinks is to support your claims, not to give those who disagree with you extra ammo. :-)

L

Posted by: leatherankh at February 24, 2008 11:05 AM
Comment #246293

RALPH NADER should be supported by sane progressives, independents and all others. He is the only true change agent that is honest and trustworthy.

Posted by: Joel S. Hirschhorn at February 24, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #246315

Good. I think I’ll be voting for Ralph Nader.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2008 4:02 PM
Comment #246320

… depending on his position on illegal immigration, which looks better than Hillary’s, Obama’s, or McCain’s, but is still a bit too nebulous at the moment.

… more …

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2008 4:54 PM
Comment #246331

The ground game that Obama has played shows precisely what he means by hope. We’re not talking hope as a passive wish for things to become better, but the active, motivated struggle for things we are told are out of our reach.

In short, America doesn’t feel like passively accepting the status quo, and Obama is succeeding because many people feel he’s capable of changing it. His multiple come-from-behind victories show him to be a competitive political player with impressive skills to turn the odds in his favor, which is what people want in a reformer.

That’s what people want: somebody out there effectively pushing the kind of change they want, and which others have failed to push. Obama would have been a much weaker candidate had his party done better to change things in the last year. But with establishment Democrats brought to standstill by their own caution and the obstruction of the Republicans, People are angry, but at the same time looking for solutions. They’re not merely looking for agreement, they’re looking for somebody who can bring together unlikely coalitions to win. They want somebody even better than Clinton at that.

Americans will not turn to third parties or help them much until they have experience of the superior governance of the different parties. Or, put another way, until you know that you can get good government out of a green or a Libertarian, you’re not going to be so quick to put them in higher office.

I know the last few decades have sort of softened the reality of this, but people want folks in government who work with them and for them, not against them. If they have little basis to trust that this will happen, appeals to policy positions or ideological principles will fall on deaf ears.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2008 6:43 PM
Comment #246348

Stephen:

And the fact that he is the least qualified candidate from your party in modern history? Does that have any bearing?

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 24, 2008 11:43 PM
Comment #246355

Joel Ron and Craig why is it you didnt seem to mind that Bush had only 5 years of experience as Govenor of Texas when he first ran for president and claim Obama has no experience after 8 years in the Illinois senate and 3 in the US Senate?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 25, 2008 1:37 AM
Comment #246363

Craig Holmes-
More qualified than George Bush, who only spent six years in the Texas Governorship before he became President. Obama’s spent going on twelve years in both the Illinois State Legislature and the national legislator, and put through whole reams of legislation in that time.

Meanwhile, on the experience question, There is nobody running who will have ANY elected executive experience of their own. Even McCain has only been a legislator. Additionally, at the end of the day, their kind of experience seems to be the kind that keeps us coming back to the same misjudgments. McCain’s strategy, it seems, is to run the second Bush administration.

Experience isn’t worth much if the people don’t seem to learn much, or learn the right things from it. When experienced people can’t seem to get their heads around a problem, you get somebody with fresh ideas and approaches in. If his administration is as well-run as his campaign then I have little doubt that Obama will not have too much of a learning curve to deal with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2008 7:30 AM
Comment #246375

Where are Hilary’s supporters?

I hate to be the one to say this
But isn’t this all so typical?
If you vote for Obama, you are voting for the boys club in Washington.
Nothing is changing there!
Women used as stepping stones for others success.
Obama wouldn’t be up there if Hilary wasn’t up there. The only reason he’s here is because a bunch of men in Washington who don’t want a strong intelligent qualified woman in the white house got together and brainstormed how to stop her. Their solution…get a person who will take the minority votes away from her, and cut into her female voting base.
Couldn’t be a white male, she’d win for sure.
Can’t find another qualified woman….She’s the only one!!!
Has to be a black man. Oops, “he’s not black enough”. A minority man who was raised by a single mom. Double wammy!! And we’ll groom him for this soul purpose. Say all the same things Hilary is saying, but make them sound better. Be charming, inspire people with your ideas, have a dream, remind them of MLK. Yeah, that will do it.
Obama is a puppet.

I saw Ann Coulter saying she’d vote for Hilary
They called her a “Hilary Girl”
Not a Hilary supporter, or a Hilary believer or a Hilary woman, a Hilary “GIRL”
HELLO! Girl implies: immature, uneducated, ruled by illogical emotions etc etc.

Ladies, you do not have to defend or justify your reasons for voting for Hilary. You don’t even have to tell people you are voting for her. It’s none of their business! Its your freedom and right to choose who you want to. Even if you are voting for her just because she’s a woman and you want to see a women in the white house so be it! You aren’t making a bad choice!

Remember when she came charging in to the white house as first lady wanting to do so many things and they told her to shut up and sit down, your just the presidents wife, you can’t have that much power!!!

Since then she has worked to prove that she is qualified to have that much power. She has refined her goals, objectives and means to a degree that we can be sure she will be able to accomplish them.

Why is that so scary for people? Why are they all so hell bent on taking her down?
Why would you vote for a handsome charming inexperienced man who came out of nowhere to challenge her?

Has he been put in a position to defend his family?
The press has attacked both bill Clinton and Chelsea for supporting her!
And Ann Coulter is called a “Hilary Girl”
How many times did I see Hilary biting her tongue during the Texas debate. There are so many things she could say but didn’t because she would be slammed for it, accused of pulling the “sexist” card, or it would be mis-contextualized and turned against her.

My father said years ago….”Hilary is unelectable”.
When I asked him why, he said ”just because” . Well isn’t there any reason in particular?
“There are to many people in Washington who don’t want her there”.
Interesting.

They don’t really want a minority there either but it’s the lesser of the two evils and the only way they can stop her.
Obama would be wise to choose her as his running mate.
If he chooses a white man what’s stopping them from having him shot so they can get back to normal “white male boys club”
Minorities will vote for him because they think having him in the white house will represent them, Equalize things etc
Wake up!
The only one who is going to shake things up is Hilary.
They might push her buttons, but they won’t be pulling her strings
Obama has been carried on the shoulders of a bunch of white men who don’t want Hilary elected.
Hilary has worked her but off and earned the right to win.

Posted by: Melissa at February 25, 2008 11:32 AM
Comment #246378

Melissa,

While Hillary may get the support of more BIG money donors (e.g. more $4600 donors than Obama and McCain combined), she gets less support from the majority of voters and the majority of voters making smaller donations (of $200 or less).

Federal Campaign Donations:

  • Candidate’s ___ # $200+ _ %Donors __ # $2,300+ _ %Donors _ # $4,600 _ %Donors

  • Name: ________ Donors __ upto $200 _ Donors ____ $2300+ __ Donors ___ $4,600

  • ________________ ________ ___________ __________ _________ ________ _______
  • Clinton, Hillary ___ 57,975 ___ 12% ___ 19,949 _____ 63% _____ 7,411 ______ 33%

  • Obama, Barack __ 69,628 ___ 26% ___ 16,259 _____ 43% _____ 1,964 ______ 10%

  • McCain, John ____ 27,205 ___ 22% ____ 6,183 _____ 45% ______ 731 _______ 9%
  • Despite the fact that 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money, this may be one of those times (the other 10%) that the candidate that spends the most still fails to win.

    Hillary’s chances are looking worse and worse, but there are still 8 months left, and maybe her wealthy BIG money donors can spread around enough money to change it? However, what does it say when Hillary has more BIG money donors (more than Obama and McCain combined) and Hillary is still behind?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2008 11:47 AM
    Comment #246384

    j2t2
    I never claimed Bush qualified for the job. And never voted for him.
    And the fact is no one running this year Democrat or Republican is qualified for the job. And most of them have more experience than Obama.

    Melissa said: The only reason he’s here is because a bunch of men in Washington who don’t want a strong intelligent qualified woman in the white house got together and brainstormed how to stop her.

    When a women runs that is strong, intelligent, and qualified the men in DC just might support her. But we gotta have one running first.

    I find it interesting that Hillary is behind in the primaries and folks want us to think it’s because the men up in DC don’t want her in the White House. Hell it looks to me like the voters don’t want her in the White House. And the it’s the Democrat voters at that.
    They very well might have put Obama up to running against her. But it’s the voters that are rejecting her.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 25, 2008 12:37 PM
    Comment #246390

    Stephen and j2t2:

    The fact that you are even considering state legislative experience is proof enough that experience is a clear issue.

    Show me a positive example of state legislative experience being a great thing to develope national experience. Where are your presidents to show?

    On the other hand there are many many expamples of two term govenors. Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter etc etc.

    Experience as a govenor of a state has proven over time to be a qualifier for president in both parties.

    Congress has also been a place where future presidents get experience. Johnson, Kennedy, Truman, Nixon come to mind.

    Never in our history has state legilative experience been considered a qualifier for the presidency.

    Being qualified, does not imply becoming a good president. Nixon is a great example. Bush II was qualifed easily by historical norms, Obama is not.

    His either lack of qualification, or as you are doing using state legislative experience as a qualifier for the presidency is a new thing.

    Never before in modern history has a first term Senator been considered qualified. I think for good reason. First elections are many times a fluk. Reelections are for real. Getting reelected to a national office is showing that you belong on the national state.

    So you are arguing that state legislative experience is a legitimate qualifier for President. I disagree. State Legislators do not deal with national issues, (like defense!!)

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 25, 2008 1:32 PM
    Comment #246395

    Stephen:

    Actually you made a good point about Bush’s qualifications. He had a pretty thin resume’ as well. I was thinking he had served two full terms as Govenor. What I will say for Bush II is that he won reelection overwelmingly in 1998.

    That makes Hillary’s case well in lumping the two together.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 25, 2008 2:35 PM
    Comment #246442

    Melissa-
    That’s a lot of argument, but not a lot of substantive premises to back it up.

    In particular, that Hillary has earned the right to win. No, she hasn’t. Nobody can, as a matter of fact: there is no “right to win”. A right is something that can be compelled on behalf of the holder of that right.

    Hillary’s not shaken much of anything up. She tried winning by campaigning and claiming victories in the typical big states, but her campaign failed to anticipate that it would face somebody who would have both the motivation and the organization necessary to make those wins anything but definitive. Subsequently, he’s campaigned in and won nearly every state.

    Hillary cannot compel people to vote for her. It doesn’t help her that many of the things she or her surrogates have said have helped to reinforce a picture of her as a hungry powerseeker.

    What she’s suggested goes beyond the kind of things where sexism might account for the annoyance and dislike. People, when confronted by surrogates talking about using superdelegates to shape results should things not go as planned, aren’t exactly thrilled or reassured about her as a candidate. If Obama had suggested it, it probably wouldn’t go over any better.

    You don’t earn the right to win, you just earn the victory. Blaming her losses on sexism is a rationalization of political misfortune that has more to do with a tin ear for appropriate political strategy, and her less aggressive approach in confronting and changing the establishment.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2008 11:40 PM
    Comment #246445

    Craig Holmes-
    Except he’s got six years on her in elected office. Besides, experience hasn’t been the attraction Clinton wanted it to be. Truth is, the experience people really are concerned with is their own; that is, what they’ve had of the last eight years.

    In their experience, Hillary’s kind of politician have acquiesced to too much, let the Republicans run roughshod over them even with majority control. People have little patience for those not putting the brakes on Bush’s runaway trainwreck of an administration.

    As for your points about legislative experience? I don’t know exactly what the future holds. But given what so many experienced people did over the past few years, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. He seems to have a more advanced, more dynamic approach to politics, which to be honest with you, I’ve been waiting to see out of somebody. I like the way that Obama can take a poll that seems written in stone and defy it successfully.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2008 12:01 AM
    Comment #246483

    Stephen:

    Well, you are definitely putting your faith in words and ideas instead of logic and performance.

    Isn’t it kinda of interesting that the left is the side that is full of faith in unknowns? Here you are on the left putting all your might behind someone’s words with few deeds. That is a lot of faith.

    Actually I am surpized someone hasn’t written a column about that fact. You are the born again side right now. You are operating on faith, not sight. You have faith in someones words even though there is no proof by his life that he can accomplish what he is saying.

    Liberals are the people of faith this time around.

    Wow life has some strange twists.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 26, 2008 2:49 PM
    Comment #246484

    Stephen:

    You know what would be really ironic for me would be to see Athiest for Obama. I have Hope!! You know the people that are opposed to people who live their lives by faith, and then are willing to jump on Obama’s faith in hope campaign.

    To have this come fromt the left is so ironic.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 26, 2008 2:55 PM
    Comment #246515

    It is somewhat problematic for Hillary trying to use the “EXPERIENCE” issue against Obama when that McCain has many more years “experience” than the two of them combined. Not that I’m a fan of any of the presidential candidates (all have lousy and/or nebulous voting records/positions on illegal immigration, border security, enforcement of existing laws to prosecute illegal employers, fair trade policies, monetary policies, fair taxation, upholding the Constitution, fiscal responsibility, and addressing several other abuses of the last 30 years), but if I had to list the candidates from least unacceptable - to - most unacceptable, this would be it for me (as of 26-FEB-2008):

    • (1) Ralph Nader: (least unacceptable)
      • ontheissues.org/Ralph_Nader.htm#Immigration
    • (2) Barack Obama:
      • ontheissues.org/Barack_Obama.htm#Immigration

      • grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=IL&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=1162
    • (3) John McCain:
      • ontheissues.org/John_McCain.htm#Immigration

      • grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=AZ&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=33
    • (4) Hillary Clinton: (most unacceptable)
      • ontheissues.org/Hillary_Clinton.htm#Immigration

      • grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=NY&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=896
    That’s just my opinion (ranking as of 26-FEB-2008 subject to change as more information becomes available).

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2008 10:41 PM
    Comment #246523

    Craig said “Where are your presidents to show?
    Never in our history has state legilative experience been considered a qualifier for the presidency.” Maybe not in and of its self Craig, but I didnt make that claim did I.

    BTW the greatest pesident of the past century, Franklin Delano Roosevelt served in the state senate prior to a stint at the dept. of defense on his way to the presidency.
    Who nows Craig maybe we get good, fair and outright awful presidents from Govenors and the truely great ones from those with state senate experience.

    Posted by: j2t2 at February 27, 2008 12:01 AM
    Comment #246547

    j2t2:

    FDR also was former assistant secretary of the Navy for seven years (international experience), a former VP candidate (1920)(national experience) and Governor of NY (1928-1932).

    I would think that many presidents have state senate experience (Jimmy Carter), it’s where they get their toe in the water.

    That is how I feel about Obama. He certainly has some presidential stuff in him. He just has no exerience. It’s like taking a promising med student and handing him the scalple and telling him Go Ahead!! Lots of talant there, but not ready for prime time.

    Posted by: Craig Holmes at February 27, 2008 10:51 AM
    Comment #246784

    Craig,
    I think, as Stephen Daugherty has noted, that much can be gleaned from the campaign the man has been running; eschewing pac and lobbyist donations, highly organized and effective, raising funds from individuals, delivering a focused and very beleivable message of no more of the same old.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and predict Barack Obama to make a great president. He is showing the kind of leadership I have not ever, up to this point of my life, seen.

    Posted by: steve miller at February 29, 2008 5:08 PM
    Comment #246884
    If you want genuine change in the corrupted systems of government, you have to do with someone who has not yet been corrupted by it.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 23, 2008 05:49 PM

    Obama trained as a lawyer! Did he mow lawns, front groceries, do interior trim?
    He’s in it and used it from his very beginning! He has no experience in anything not associated directly with the government. Let’s ask him how a young man is suppose to make a living under his presidency.



    They’re not merely looking for agreement, they’re looking for somebody who can bring together unlikely coalitions to win. They want somebody even better than Clinton at that.
    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2008 06:43 PM

    Which Clinton are you talking about, Stephen Daugherty? Maybe we need a Rodham for president. Just to make sure we know who we’re talking about.


    …and put through whole reams of legislation in that time.

    !!! Better check Session Sine Die, Stephen Daugherty! Obama’s proposals are just titles to bills. I’ve seen many “waiting their day” and they have no substance whatsoever. Obama’s bills have no body at all. They are a bill with a title. A blank slate…

    Posted by: Weary Willie at March 1, 2008 6:53 PM
    Comment #248127
    Obama has accomplished semantic alchemy, turning justified but grim distrust and outrage with government and politics into hallelujah hope.

    Rather reminiscent of FDR’s election. Amazing the power of hope.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 16, 2008 1:27 AM
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