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Obama supports Blue Dog
June 20, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

Obama, telecoms and the Beltway system. Georgia Rep. John Barrow ran ads accusing his party of wanting to "cut and run in Iraq," and was one of the Blue Dogs to send a letter to Pelosi asking to be allowed to vote to give the President warrantless eavesdropping powers and to give lawbreaking telecoms amnesty (previously). Barrow faces a July primary challenge from State Senator Regina Thomas, whose policy positions more closely match Obama's views and the views of the Democratic base in that district. Despite this, Obama has taped a radio ad in support of Barrow.
posted by joannemerriam (124 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Change You Can Believe In No refunds, no exchanges.
posted by mullingitover at 9:00 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's possible that Thomas is a terrible choice for an unrelated reason.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:04 AM on June 20, 2008


In the last general election, John Barrow, the incumbent, defeated the Republican challenger Max Burns (himself a former congressman) by all of 867 Votes. If any Democrat other than a blue dog/conservative runs in that district, then that district will be represented by a Republican next year. The district was drawn by Republicans by Republicans, and it's a miracle that Barrow has won and held onto the seat that long.
Now whether he deserves it or not is another question. But the question isn't Barrow or a better Democrat, it's Barrow or a Republican.
posted by Dr. Grue at 9:04 AM on June 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Obama's support or non-support of the Telecom Amnesty Travesty Act of 2008 is probably best measured by his vote and/or leadership on the issue1, not by cherrypicking a single special case of second-hand side-effects.

1Which is lacking.
posted by DU at 9:11 AM on June 20, 2008


If the dems play things right, they have a legitimate chance at Georgia in the fall. With Bob Barr potentially splitting the vote, and a huge African American turnout...

Making McCain fight for Georgia would feel really sweet, is all I'm saying.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:12 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd rather have an honest Republican than a stab us in the back "Democrat". Any "Democrat" who votes for the telecom amnesty bill must be primary challenged and if they win the primary I say let them fall to the Republicans. Better an honest minority than a fraud of a pseudo-majority where we keep giving in on every important issue.
posted by sotonohito at 9:23 AM on June 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yes, Obama should totally sell out the rule of law if it's a useful political tactic.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:24 AM on June 20, 2008


I really think this should go in the old thread.
posted by Anything at 9:27 AM on June 20, 2008


Dr. Grue writes "Now whether he deserves it or not is another question. But the question isn't Barrow or a better Democrat, it's Barrow or a Republican."

Doesn't seem to be a lot of difference.
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007) [Phew, we can still fire them for being gay]
  • Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. [Because that's what Jesus said we should do]
  • Rated -10 by NORML, indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance. (Dec 2006) [Yes, lock up those dangerous potheads before they seduce our wimmin']
  • Rated 94% by the NCJA, indicating a "tough-on-crime" stance. (Dec 2005) [Heck, lock up everyone!]
  • Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy. (Feb 2008) [Wouldn't want to hurt the demand for oil, would we?]
  • Voted NO on keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore. (Jun 2006) [Because a little oil slick at the beach never hurt anyone]
  • Voted YES on reforming the UN by restricting US funding. (Jun 2005) [America, fuck yeah!]
  • Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006) [If you have nothing to hide, why should you care?]
  • Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006) [This stuff is too important for you to get involved in]
  • Rated 25% by the AU, a mixed record on church-state separation. (Dec 2006) [can't wait until the president is also the Pastor-in-Chief!]

Is Obama also going to be running spots for Lieberman when he's up for re-election?

mr_roboto writes "Making McCain fight for Georgia would feel really sweet, is all I'm saying."

This is actually quite true, they're currently roughly tied. This means McCain will be fighting for Georgia. Still, this endorsement, combined with Obama's deafening silence on the new wiretapping amnesty bill in the house, really stings.
posted by mullingitover at 9:28 AM on June 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


Now whether he deserves it or not is another question. But the question isn't Barrow or a better Democrat, it's Barrow or a Republican.

Right on, the problem here is first and foremost the strong support for illegal spying by Republicans and (perhaps) their constituents, we can argue how this affects the Democratic Party through fear of losing elections but the whole thing actually centers around the fact that people are misled by the Republican president and officials that illegal spying is good/protects them and that they shouldn't care about their Rights because "that's what the terrrists want." I think it's a tightly wound bundle of stupidity that has largely yet to be unraveled for the public by corporate media.
posted by peppito at 9:30 AM on June 20, 2008


Any "Democrat" who votes for the telecom amnesty bill must be primary challenged and if they win the primary I say let them fall to the Republicans.

While I totally agree with the sentiment behind this, the reality in the southern states (and I live in one -- fuck you very much, Senators Pryor and Lincoln) is that Democrats are electable only if they're at least a bit right of center socially and look strong on defense. It involves a lot of nose-holding for Democrats like me come election time, sure, but if you could see some of their Republican opponents, it might not look like such a trade-off to you.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:32 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Amazing how the decline of America just won't slow down.
posted by Anything at 9:40 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Awww, it's so cute when northern democrats get all chuffed about southern centrist democrats. The party as a whole could learn some humility from these centrists, hopefully Obama will chose Webb for VP and start to turn the south democrat again.
posted by limited slip at 9:48 AM on June 20, 2008


limited slip writes "The party as a whole could learn some humility from these centrists, hopefully Obama will chose Webb for VP and start to turn the south democrat again."

I didn't realize discrimination, the highest rates of incarceration and the highest prison population in the world, militancy, nationalism, antagonizing the international community, and police-state domestic surveillance tactics were centrist. Thank you for today's poli-sci lesson on how the democrats get dragged to the right.
posted by mullingitover at 10:05 AM on June 20, 2008 [10 favorites]


Awww, it's so cute when northern democrats get all chuffed about southern centrist democrats.

"Chuffed" means "happy."
posted by grobstein at 10:19 AM on June 20, 2008


Now let's see ... who is the head Democrat and in charge of the party? Why it's Barack Obama, by virtue of being the nominee for president.

And does he have any power over the party? Considerable ... he was, for example, able to move the bulk of the DNC to Chicago virtually overnight.

So who am I gonna hold responsible if this passes into law? Hummmm....
posted by BlueMetal at 10:22 AM on June 20, 2008


So who am I gonna hold responsible if this passes into law?

By doing what? Voting for John W McSame?
posted by DU at 10:32 AM on June 20, 2008


BlueMetal writes "So who am I gonna hold responsible if this passes into law? Hummmm...."

I like Obama. I've given money and time to his campaign, and I'll surely vote for him. But I agree with you, and I think people who feel strongly about this issue should put a lot of pressure on him. After all, he has made it clear he wants feedback on issues that are important to his supporters. This (civil liberties) is a big one for me, too often overlooked by most Democrats these days. Given the political map, I can see why he supported Barrow, but this issue has to remain on the table.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:35 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


start to turn the south democrat again.

ah yes, the good ol' days of the dixiecrats, when men were men, and white sheets weren't only for sleeping upon!
posted by Hat Maui at 10:37 AM on June 20, 2008


Hat Maui writes "ah yes, the good ol' days of the dixiecrats, when men were men, and white sheets weren't only for sleeping upon!"

Obviously, Obama isn't going to get that sort of support.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:40 AM on June 20, 2008


“In the last general election, John Barrow, the incumbent, defeated the Republican challenger Max Burns (himself a former congressman) by all of 867 Votes.”

In a district which, in the meantime since Barrow was first elected in ’04, had been redrawn to exclude Athens/Clarke County, a very strong Democratic area, while expanding westward to include more Republican-leaning areas. This is a district that will be hotly contested again this year.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 10:53 AM on June 20, 2008


"Chuffed" means "happy."

LOL, thanks grobstein. I overheard this word while my nephew was watching Thomas the Train and assumed, given the context that it was used, that chuffed meant unhappy or displeased. Sounds great when the British say it.


I didn't realize discrimination, the highest rates of incarceration...


Whoa, easy now mullingitover. While I do appreciate your laundry list of complaints and share the same concerns, building our liberal dreamland won't happen over night. It will take time and, OMG!, compromise.

BTW, Nationalism ain't a bad word, jingoism is what you meant to say.
posted by limited slip at 10:54 AM on June 20, 2008


As a citizen of Barrow's district, I can tell you that Dr. Grue is correct.

Look people, the honeymoon is over. Obama seduced some of us, it felt good, but now he has a job to do, namely get elected. It's nothing personal. I'd love to see Regina King in the spot, instead of Barrow, but the South has it's on brand of madness.

This is ugly, but so is politics.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:08 AM on June 20, 2008


limited slip I shouldn't respond to such an obvious troll, but I can't resist.

"Centrist"?!?! WTF is centrist about shredding the Constitution, granting the President dictatorial powers and legitimizing the "we were only following orders" defense that the US explicitly rejected following WWII?

You appear to be thinking that "centrist" means "capitulating to the most insane branch of the right wing in every instance"
posted by sotonohito at 11:08 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Amazing how the decline of America just won't slow down.

The slope, it is very slippery.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:12 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


limited slip writes "While I do appreciate your laundry list of complaints and share the same concerns, building our liberal dreamland won't happen over night. It will take time and, OMG!, compromise.

"BTW, Nationalism ain't a bad word, jingoism is what you meant to say."


What's a 'liberal dreamland' anyway? You mean a land with unimaginable luxuries like liberty for all, sensible macro-scale health care spending and rational military budgets? Like most of the modern world?

Meanwhile, jingoism goes without saying, but I really meant to say nationalism. To paraphrase Stanhope, nationalism only teaches you to hate other countries and to take pride in things you've never accomplished. Nationalism teaches you to outlaw flag burning while you gut habeas corpus from the constitution.
posted by mullingitover at 11:12 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Chuffed" means "happy."

Don't you mean "Chubbed"?
posted by poppo at 11:14 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I agree with you, and I think people who feel strongly about this issue should put a lot of pressure on him.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:35 PM on June 20


To reach his Campaign Headquarters by phone: (866) 675-2008; or by online form: http://my.barackobama.com/page/s/contact2
posted by joannemerriam at 11:16 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


House passes new surveillance law. Thank you so much Democratic Congress.
posted by octothorpe at 11:18 AM on June 20, 2008


Actually, limited slip, one of the definitions dictionary.com gives for "nationalism" is "excessive patriotism; chauvinism." Which was exactly what I assumed mullingitover meant by it. Be a little more careful when telling people what they meant to say, please.

I'm not pleased about this, as an Obama supporter, but I'm on the side of the pragmatists here. I don't think this guy deserves to be called a democrat, but anyone who does is doomed (as far as I can tell) in that district. If we're successful in our broader goal of spreading progressive values, eventually we'll be able to replace this guy with a proper liberal. Until that time, it's something or nothing.

This sounds like "politics as usual", and it is. Mulling's snark about the "change you can believe in" slogan is apt. But all that means is that this is a wake-up call to Obama's supporters. He's a great candidate, and I truly believe he can and will change many of the worst things about Washington. But he can't change everything, much less before he's actually won the presidency. The politics of practicality can't be ignored by anyone who wants to be a serious contender. That's the lesson from Paul, Nader, Kucinich, Gravel, Jackson.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:18 AM on June 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


Troll? Was it the 'liberal dreamland' comment? Come on, I'm just as blue as you are, I've put my vote and money towards Obama, I'm just as blue as the background of this site.

It's amazing how you and others get all bent out of shape when I suggest that the democrats adjust their approach to different regions of the country. Dropping the elitist attitude toward the south would be a great start. You responded with an angry list of Bushs' wrongs. Building a democratic (60/40) majority among the popular vote will include compromising with centrist candidates in the south and other regions, only then we can start to right the wrongs of the previous administration.
posted by limited slip at 11:25 AM on June 20, 2008


Nationalism teaches you to outlaw flag burning while you gut habeas corpus from the constitution.

Point taken, mullingitover, I appreciate your thoughtful response.

but are we allowed to express pride in our great, yet flawed, country? That's what concerns me, that to say anything praising america and the defense of it's interests is somehow bad?
posted by limited slip at 11:36 AM on June 20, 2008


limited slip writes "You responded with an angry list of Bushs' wrongs."

No, that list is property of the republican party, not the president exclusively. Bush is the hood ornament, both in intelligence and significance to the party. He would be powerless without the support of the party.

I don't think you're trolling, just inadvertently insulting people who have different ideas about the difference between centrism and pandering to unsavory elements. Personally, I would love it if the south was actually small-government republican in action. For all their railing against the redistribution of wealth, the region is the fattest pig at the government trough, every single deep south state pulling in more federal money than they contribute. Meanwhile, blue CA and NY get fleeced.
posted by mullingitover at 11:50 AM on June 20, 2008


That's what concerns me, that to say anything praising america and the defense of it's interests is somehow bad?

Everything depends on how you define 'America' and 'it's [sic] interests.' You can't simultaneously praise America for what you claim it represents while simultaneously promoting the so-called defense of American interests in a way that undermines what's most praiseworthy about America in the first place. And America was founded on humanist ideals, not nationalism--it's implicit that a 'more perfect union' isn't the same thing as a perfect one.

And this bears repeating (with an addition of my own):

I'm not pleased about this, as an Obama supporter, but I'm on the side of the pragmatists here. I don't think this guy deserves to be called a democrat, but anyone who does is doomed (as far as I can tell) in that district. If we're successful in our broader goal of spreading progressive values [and demonstrating their effectiveness over time as policy in practice], eventually we'll be able to replace this guy with a proper liberal. Until that time, it's something or nothing.

One of the first orders of business when (if?) the time comes to tackle serious, deep reform should be seriously addressing the problem of congressional district gerrymandering because it's making our process a farce of democracy. Gerrymandering has become such a precise science with the ready availability of demographic data down to the street level that it all but eliminates the possibility of fair competition in many areas (especially at the state level, but that's another issue).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:54 AM on June 20, 2008


limited slip writes "but are we allowed to express pride in our great, yet flawed, country?"
You can feel and express pride in any manner of things, personally I feel pride for the Celtics crushing victory over the Lakers but that doesn't mean that I'm entitled to it. For practically all flag-wavers, the pride in country is really vacuous and indistinguishable from fandom.
posted by mullingitover at 12:07 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dropping the elitist attitude toward the south would be a great start.

We don't hate southerners because we're elitists, we hate southerners because their prevailing political sentiments are bigoted and destructive.

"Turning the South Blue" is a ridiculous notion. Electing Democrats all over the South doesn't mean a fucking thing if those Democrats are indistinguishable from the Republicans they replaced.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:12 PM on June 20, 2008


limited slip There are subjects on which there can be no compromise, and this is one of them. You either have respect for the Constitution, respect for rule of law, or you don't.

If that means we have to lose that seat then let's lose that seat. Because those "Blue Dog" traitors are accomplishing nothing good for the Democratic party, and they're making the party as a whole look weak. Better we're a truly fighting minority than a pseudo-"majority" that can't actually accomplish any of our goals.
posted by sotonohito at 12:16 PM on June 20, 2008


We don't hate southerners because we're elitists, we hate southerners because their prevailing political sentiments are bigoted and destructive.

Ignoring the south, the fastest growing region of the country, is the end of the Democratic party. Yes, they take in more federal money than the blue states. Yes, some of the inhabitants are backwards and racist, but you can say that about any part of the country. You can't write off an entire section of the country just because they like cheap beer, pickup trucks, and guns. It is this hate and elitism that has lost democrats the last two elections.
posted by limited slip at 12:33 PM on June 20, 2008


One of the first orders of business when (if?) the time comes to tackle serious, deep reform should be seriously addressing the problem of congressional district gerrymandering because it's making our process a farce of democracy.

Absolutely. There must be a simple algorithm to apportion districts based only on equal blocks of population. When that algorithm is defined to general satisfaction, it should be required for use in all redistricting.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:36 PM on June 20, 2008


It is this hate and elitism that has lost democrats the last two elections.

It is? I thought it was being Camelot Dems, or being too far to the left, or some other simplistic thing. Hate and elitism, that's what it was?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:40 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


limited slip: "Ignoring the south, the fastest growing region of the country, is the end of the Democratic party. "

There are enough electoral votes in the rest of the country to win without the south. If the Northeast, Great-lakes and West-Coast all vote Democratic, the south doesn't really matter.
posted by octothorpe at 12:42 PM on June 20, 2008


I don't hate the south and I don't think the Democrats should be ignoring it. But neither can the Democrats afford to pander to the worst parts of the south at the expense of sacrificing their national goals and pissing off the core party.

The south was only Democratic for so long because of lingering resentment towards "the party of Lincoln", not because southerners really had any deep commitment to Democratic ideals. When the anti-Republican resentment wore off they went to their true party.

Democratic efforts in the south should be focusing on GotV among real Democrats and education to the dupes of the Republican party. My suggested motto: "There are only two kinds of Republican: millionaires and suckers"

But the last thing the Democratic party should be doing is turning itself into Republican-lite in hopes of catching a few older southerners who still resent Lincoln.
posted by sotonohito at 12:51 PM on June 20, 2008


Octothorpe

Maybe you'll get enough electoral votes, but what about the representatives from these states? It's no good to have a democrat president while the popular vote of the southern states keeps the dems from having a larger majority in the House and Senate. 50-51 in the Senate is not exactly a recipe for the big changes needed after Bush. Changing the popular vote and eventually turning these states blue is the key.

Kirth Guilty

Call it what you want, they still lost the south by big margins, outside of the cities.

Pope Guilty

Seriously, you hate southerners? Where are you from? It's not that bad down here, I'd be happy to show you around.
posted by limited slip at 12:53 PM on June 20, 2008


Because those "Blue Dog" traitors are accomplishing nothing good for the Democratic party...

This is inaccurate. They disagree on several core issues, but since they're not subject to the republican party whip they can and do back some democratic bills that would otherwise lack the necessary support.

...and they're making the party as a whole look weak.

This is absolutely true, and in my opinion is one of the most understated and underestimated political trends of our time. Just look at Octothorpe's comment: "House passes new surveillance law. Thank you so much Democratic Congress." Now look at the actual vote. 54.9% of democrats voted against it. 99.5% of republicans voted for it.

There is an illusion that this is a "democratic congress", but that is an oversimplification that seems to be playing right into republican strategists' hands. The republicans have absolutely terrifying party solidarity, and they have the numbers and executive support to filibuster and veto whatever they please. And because there are (D)emocrats who share their ideology, they get to actually still pass bills despite being in the "minority".

Except it's almost better for the republicans, because now they're not even being blamed for their atrocious legislation. Lazy journalism paints it as passed by "the democratic congress", which feeds this myth that there's no difference between the parties.

We've seen it before, and we'll see it again, and it drives me absolutely batshit.

And yet, I still land on the side of the pragmatists. Blue dog democrats are a necessary evil, because this is a very conservative nation and it's them or nothing. They help in certain situations, and the damage they do to the party's image has little to no effect on the spread of progressive values. And that is what I care about. I couldn't care less about the legacy and reputation of the democratic party except insofar as they affect the causes I believe in.
posted by Riki tiki at 12:55 PM on June 20, 2008 [9 favorites]


I fear Obama will be America's Tony Blair.
posted by srboisvert at 1:00 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


If the Northeast, Great-lakes and West-Coast all vote Democratic, the south doesn't really matter.

where the hell did you get that idea? show me the math. as far as i know, there's not a single, practical path to the white house that doesn't involve having some southern states come into play. here's a breakdown of some likely winning scenarios on tpm election central. can you point me to some others that support your claim?

as a native-born southerner myself, i appreciate all the south bashing. it's fun. but some of my fellows may not share my appreciation for critical self-examination. and it really doesn't reflect well on whatever political causes you might hope to advance.

I fear Obama will be America's Tony Blair.

i spend my time fearing a much more appalling threat: another republican administration.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:04 PM on June 20, 2008


limited slip wrote "Call it what you want, they still lost the south by big margins, outside of the cities."

That's true everywhere, not just the south. Look at a county by county map of the last election and you'll note that pretty much every county that isn't part of a big city went Bush. Democrats win cities, Republicans win rural areas. If we had true "one person one vote" representation the Republicans would be a tiny minority, but unfortunately we're shackled with an obscene "one acre one vote" system pretty much designed by Jefferson et al to cripple the political influence of cities.

I argue that the Democrats can truly win the south, not the false win of trying to pretend to be Republicans, but genuine victory, by simply telling the truth about the Republicans.

Republicans like to pretend to be the party of macho he-men, in fact they're the party of the nosy church ladies. Democrats are the beer and porn party damnit! National defense? Shit, we *OWN* national defense, which party supports pay raises, college education, and decent health care for the troops? Which party is the only one that has *successfully* intervened in ethnic struggles? Which party is the only one that even tried to get Osama before 9/11?

Law and order? Which party wants to provide amnesty for elitist busybody criminals?

The Democrats don't need to rush to the right to win the south, they just need to be honest, and purge the faux-Republicans from their ranks.

Riki tiki I don't think your view is really all that pragmatic. We gain very little on a few unimportant bills from the traitor "Blue Dogs" at the expense of the entire party being painted as weak incompetents who can't even stand up to the Republicans. The appearance of weakness is vastly more important than a few unimportant votes on forgettable non-issues. Pragmatism dictates that we cut the albatross from our neck before we drown.
posted by sotonohito at 1:17 PM on June 20, 2008


My suggested motto: "There are only two kinds of Republican: millionaires and suckers"

That motto furthers cements the South as solidly Republican. Seriously, the GOP would love it if this motto came into play.

You don't get people to change their minds by blatantly insulting them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:20 PM on June 20, 2008


It's amazing how you and others get all bent out of shape when I suggest that the democrats adjust their approach to different regions of the country. Dropping the elitist attitude toward the south would be a great start. You responded with an angry list of Bushs' wrongs. Building a democratic (60/40) majority among the popular vote will include compromising with centrist candidates in the south and other regions, only then we can start to right the wrongs of the previous administration.

The existence of morally repugnant viewpoints on several key issues is not sufficient cause to make us swing our own viewpoints toward those same distasteful positions. At some point, you have to desegregate that lunch counter, and drag whatever states refuse to do so of their own volition kicking and screaming into the next century. It's not elitism, it's taking a stand on matters that should not be compromised.

An unfortunate side effect of taking this stance is that sometimes the Republican party wins national elections; the saving grace to that is that it should now be apparent to anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention that a vote for McCain is indeed a vote for more of the same... that's an expensive self-correction, but it's a correction nonetheless.
posted by Mayor West at 1:22 PM on June 20, 2008


SaulGoodman: If you look at today's Electoral-Vote.com, Obama is winning 317 electoral votes with Virginia and Missouri as the only southern states in his column. Subtract those and he's still got more than 270.
posted by octothorpe at 1:24 PM on June 20, 2008


If we had true "one person one vote" representation the Republicans would be a tiny minority,

I can agree this gives Republicans (or anybody who can run a better populism that'll play in socially conservative rural areas) an unfair advantage.

I don't think it's as pronounced as one acre, one vote, though, and the problem is that without some kind of compromise like this, you run the risk of rural areas becoming nothing but colonies for the cities.
posted by weston at 1:56 PM on June 20, 2008


Obama Supports compromise bill, but he says he wants to take out immunity. Most likely, that won't happen and he'll vote against the bill, but not really stick his neck out. Now that he's the "leader" of the democratic party he'd have no trouble stopping this.

What's obnoxious about this that it's not a compromise between two large constituances, it's a compromise between democratic activists on one side, and telecom lobbyists on another. The vast majority of Americans when asked oppose telecom immunity. But most don't know about it or really care. The whole purpose of the lawsuits was to crack open the wall of silence, so in a sense kicking the republicans out of the whitehouse should accomplish that

But it's still obnoxious that the democrats are more interested in protecting the corporate interests of their lobbyist friends then protecting the constitution.
posted by delmoi at 2:01 PM on June 20, 2008


It's amazing how you and others get all bent out of shape when I suggest that the democrats adjust their approach to different regions of the country. Dropping the elitist attitude toward the south would be a great start.

What the hell does retroactive telecom immunity (or even the Iraq War) have to do with winning southern votes? Absolutely nothing. Do you think Southerners have a fetish for having their phones illegally wiretapped? This is a cave to the corrupt Washington lobbyist culture where corporations wright laws and no one is accountable for anything.
posted by delmoi at 2:03 PM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


weston Ummmm, so instead you think we should let the rural areas bludgeon the cities? What the hell is so wrong about a simple one person one vote system? Do people actually think that the evil Cityfolk will pass laws requiring the poor downtroden peasantry to give their virgin daughters to porn producers or something?
posted by sotonohito at 2:15 PM on June 20, 2008


But it's still obnoxious that the democrats are more interested in protecting the corporate interests of their lobbyist friends then protecting the constitution.

everybody in government is like that now. the real prize isn't elected office, the opportunity to serve: it's getting a sweet gig as a corporate shill later on. i feel sick.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:19 PM on June 20, 2008


Most likely, that won't happen and he'll vote against the bill . . .

Actually, that would be fine. But what will almost certainly happen is that he will fail to get telco immunity out, vote for the bill anyway, and then say "well, sorry, I tried"! (See: Glenn Greenwald). Obama's statement makes it clear he will vote for the bill even if (when) he fails to get telcom immunity out. The position is a huge disappointment to those of us who drank the Kool Aid and thought we had found a true champion of civil liberties. What a letdown.
posted by The Bellman at 3:04 PM on June 20, 2008


This is a classic American-only discussion.

"We need Democrats to compromise"
"That's too much compromise"
"It's that or the worse of two evils"


Et cetera, et cetera.

What you lot need is a proportional electoral system, one that allows something other than an arbitrary dividing line down the middle. All US politics looks from outside like parties playing for the centre line, trying to get just 50.1% of the public to settle for their side.

End result - two parties that mean next to nothing and speak clearly (and in an ultra-managed manner) only to the swing electorates. In this case it's the swing electorate in one seat, and national politics is a sterile aggregation of these local contests (through targetted messaging etc) over a midpoint.

You need to bring in proportional elections and see shifting coalitions, like almost every other democracy. It allows a far more diverse set of ideas to be reflected, is thus more accurately representative, far less depressing for anyone not in the middle n% swing section, and far less divisive.

But sadly of course it's in no Democrat or Republican interests to fix this unusually appalling section of your constitition.

Just sayin.
posted by imperium at 4:06 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, apologies, I thought Article One was more prescriptive. These folks think voter initiatives or state legislatures could generally make the change, at least for the House.
posted by imperium at 4:14 PM on June 20, 2008


For the record, as a northerner, I don't hate southerners. But I hate their culture, since it has magnified the importance of such sterling political figures as George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, and George Bush.

For years I've toyed with the idea of moving south and teaching high school, but I'm not sure how much of an effect it would have. I'm open to other suggestions for ways to try and open their minds.

Without sounding too condescending of course.
posted by A dead Quaker at 4:19 PM on June 20, 2008


Hey imperium, you know who else had proportional representation in their constitution? That's right, the Weimar Republic.

Seriously, I don't think any system of government that gets us close to representative democracy is going to help in the U.S. 50.1% of us are die-hard conservatives (some number of whom are now thankfully disenchanted with the GOP) and 49.9% of us are frustrated moderates and liberals.
posted by A dead Quaker at 4:34 PM on June 20, 2008


Obama's statement makes it clear he will vote for the bill even if (when) he fails to get telcom immunity out.

There's no way he votes for it since it'll get passed anyway. It's an easy soapbox. I still don't think he's taking the right position here -- the situation is not yet beyond salvaging, but we are starting from behind.
posted by spiderwire at 4:42 PM on June 20, 2008


For years I've toyed with the idea of moving south and teaching high school, but I'm not sure how much of an effect it would have. I'm open to other suggestions for ways to try and open their minds.

First you need to move down here and live in the community for at least a year or two so you can understand the people.

Then you need to realize that high school is probably too late. You need to volunteer to teach Sunday School to grade school kids. It needs to be done in liberal church or at least one with liberal stronghold in it so you're not run off. Then you need to teach subtly, say echoing most of principles of the church while slipping in little nuggets of wisdom every now and then.

It helps if you target the children of a popular, well to do family, so any lessons learned will inspire others.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:51 PM on June 20, 2008


I'm open to other suggestions for ways to try and open their minds.

Well, you could donate your money to one of the hundreds of grass roots progressive groups that are doing good work in those states. I don't know about my new neck of the woods but Indiana Equality seems like a good organization, or IYG if you are more Youth/Support oriented. WFHB is one of the few broadcasters of Democracy Now!, and a producer of GLBT current affairs programming, they always need money. Irregular News has directories for all 50 states to get you started. Perhaps even donate money to a local branch of the Democratic party, (not something I'm willing to do, but might as well throw it out there as an option.)

Or you can continue to play armchair pundit which will certainly make you feel good, but probably won't change a damn thing.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:59 PM on June 20, 2008


But I think I just revealed my bias that until the Democrats offer some real leadership on GLBT issues, I'm going to be directing my activism dollars and time to organizations that will, I dunno, actually represent me come next February? I really think that progressive Democrats find themselves in the same bind as the Log Cabin Republicans, in the position of holding their nose and kissing ass every time something like this happens. My advocated alternative is to just buy the nosegay on election day, and spend the energy and money locally.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:23 PM on June 20, 2008


The Democrats currently enjoy a 37-seat majority in the House; we can afford to lose Barrow.
posted by aaronetc at 7:27 PM on June 20, 2008


For the record, as a northerner, I don't hate southerners. But I hate their culture, since it has magnified the importance of such sterling political figures as George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, and George Bush.

That same culture gave you rock and roll and jazz and the blues and some of the best literature the world has ever seen. That same culture gave you Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and the Southern Poverty Law Center. That same culture hasn't magnified the importance of those people you listed, the Republicans did that, including a whole lot of Yankees.

Be sure you really know something about the culture you hate. Just sayin'.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:33 PM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


It will be uncomfortable for some of us, but the Democratic Party is now the Big Tent party - there is room for pro-life democrats, gun rights democrats and defense hawk democrats, because they will be in the minority, and represent a minority that has, up until now, felt alienated by the Democratic Party. The Dems will toss the Blue Dogs an occasional bone, but this will result in a party more in tune with the will of the people... and the Big State dems will utterly dominate the agenda once they force more goopers out.

Let me repeat... with a larger majority, the "Librul Democrats" will rock the block. Now is where they build and consolidate power. That means catering to the Blue Dogs. Wise up, lefties... playing the game is important now. Once the game is won, then the new game will be to shift priorities our way. Think in terms of decades, not months.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:50 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously, I don't think any system of government that gets us close to representative democracy is going to help in the U.S. 50.1% of us are die-hard conservatives (some number of whom are now thankfully disenchanted with the GOP) and 49.9% of us are frustrated moderates and liberals.

Well, the whole point is that you get that only when dividing people into two groups. The parties naturally try to grab different demographic chunks out of the same pool and naturally each party is going to take positions that net them 50% of the vote. With more parties, you wouldn't have that.
posted by delmoi at 7:53 PM on June 20, 2008


Let me repeat... with a larger majority, the "Librul Democrats" will rock the block. Now is where they build and consolidate power. That means catering to the Blue Dogs. Wise up, lefties... playing the game is important now. Once the game is won, then the new game will be to shift priorities our way. Think in terms of decades, not months.

Right, but once again what does retroactive immunity have to do with that? Is granting telecoms companies retroactive immunity something a lot of red-state voters care about? I mean, what the fuck?

There is no constituency out there who really wants telecom immunity.
posted by delmoi at 7:56 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


delmoi: There is no constituency out there who really wants telecom immunity.

Which is why conservatives have been framing this as a "war on terra" measure:

"With today’s strong bipartisan vote in the House, we are one step closer to ensuring Americans’ civil liberties are protected while giving the intelligence community the legal authority they need to listen in on foreign terrorists abroad" -Christopher Bond (R-MO) vice-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

It's the same story that's been happening from the start of this administration. Drop the t-bomb enough times, and the Republicans can force the Democrats to compromise on anything.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:46 PM on June 20, 2008


Obama lost his shine for me with this fisa caving bullshit, but that shit the right was spinning about him being a commie was too good to be true.

limited slip You can't write off an entire section of the country just because they like cheap beer, pickup trucks, and guns. It is this hate and elitism that has lost democrats the last two elections.

That has got to be some of the most stupid and offensive shit I have read on this website. Who the fuck here is writing off people because of what they drink, drive or shoot? The south is fucked up because they have been unwavering in their support of an imperialistic agenda both at home and abroad, which is in direct violation of the principles of the declaration of independence and the bill of rights. Stop with the bullshit whining about how Merlot drinking northerners who condescend to you and take some god damn responsibility.

middleclasstool
George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, Trent Lott, and George Bush... That same culture gave you rock and roll and jazz and the blues

Are you from Iceland or some shit? You think these people and things come from the same culture?
posted by afu at 10:30 PM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


The sparkle is bound to wear off Obama, but it's not like there's a better alternative. The system doesn't allow for it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 PM on June 20, 2008


I think a lot of realistic lefties have been expecting this sort of thing. Not on this particular issue, per se, but just that Obama, the figure of great change, will inevitably show a degree of allegiance to the entrenched power structure in Washington. This is the reality of electoral politics at the federal level. Progressives have to organize to push the Democrats towards truly progressive policies. One of the key things that makes Obama a great candidate is his reliance on a grassroots activist network. A lot of his constituency is highly politically active. With an Obama presidency the grassroots (us) will play a significant role in shaping policy. Obama is accountable to us.
posted by flotson at 11:35 PM on June 20, 2008


I tried to warn MeFi Obama supporters, but they just wouldn't listen. Instead, like the Muslim women who recently tried to get on stage with Obama and were refused, the MeFi Obama people tried to discredit point of view.

Maybe now they'll start seeing the light, as their candidate won't be able to hide under cover of a fawning press, or Hillary's skirt.

Here's the irony. IF Obama gets the big prize, he will govern pretty much the way Bill Clinton did, with very similar policy affinities. That would be just desserts for all the Progressive Left democrats who think Obama's another MLK (*that'll* be the day!)

Heck, he's already turned the knife a few times on Hillary, hiring her ex-campaign lead (Doyles).

"Different"? Looks like a lot of well-meaning Democrats have been suckered, again.

Obama is a kind of Kerry-Dukakis combo, with a large potion of Bill Clinton's money pals as a part of his secret sauce.

This is going to be fun to watch, because a large segment Hillary's supporters (me included) - *millions* of them, will never vote for a guy like Obama. THis is all about cultural affinity - it's not about policy differences, not at base; that's what Obama and his supporters have failed to understand.

This will be a *hard* lesson for them, because either McCain will win, or Obama make a dramatic turn for the center if he gets elected. Then, maybe, instead of worrying about a President receiving fellatio from an intern, they'll have limo cruisers to write about.Barack, can we see those cell phone records?

We're going to be regaled with Obama introducing the race card, without mentioning his opponent, just like he did with Hillary.

Yup, it's going to be a "different" campaign alright - a lot different than the "different" campaign that Obama promised.

Remember, I warned you.
posted by MetaMan at 1:22 AM on June 21, 2008


pretty much designed by Jefferson et al to cripple the political influence of cities

Well, of course. He was a Virginian first, an American second.

Gotta keep them slave boats filled. Wouldn't want them Northerners to get rich off the backs of those dirty, thieving immigrants they seem so happy to extend citizenship to.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:56 AM on June 21, 2008


That same culture gave you ... the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Sure, after it gave us southern poverty. And you can have Bill Clinton back; thanks anyway.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:34 AM on June 21, 2008


Are you from Iceland or some shit?

The quote I replied to above addressed hating Southern culture. Southern culture produced both Trent Lott and rock and roll, yes.

Sure, after it gave us southern poverty.

At the risk of sounding dismissive, I'll leave it at saying that calling that view of Southern poverty grossly oversimplified and inaccurate is a huge understatement. Also, the SPLC is a civil rights law firm and anti-hate group organization.
posted by middleclasstool at 5:08 AM on June 21, 2008


grossly oversimplified and inaccurate

Ah, the irony!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:53 AM on June 21, 2008


IF Obama gets the big prize, he will govern pretty much the way Bill Clinton did, with very similar policy affinities.

You mean with balanced budgets, radical declines in poverty rates, and not getting the US into intractable wars?

Cool.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:32 AM on June 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Say, MetaMan, who do you offer as an alternative to Obama? Or are you saying the choice is between an awful candidate (Obama) and a horrendously awful candidate (McCain)?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 AM on June 21, 2008


Say, MetaMan, who do you offer as an alternative to Obama?

Cynthia McKinney?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:36 AM on June 21, 2008


*rolls eyes* Here we go again...

Claimed voting (because ideally, citizen voting records are as private as fucking or crapping, but with considerably less potential for fun) has become something of a political shibboleth on the left. A proxy indicator of tribal membership that allows keyboard warriors to feel good about acting as a party whip.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:56 AM on June 21, 2008


Southern culture produced both Trent Lott and rock and roll, yes.

Trent Lott is rock and roll.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:56 AM on June 21, 2008


Chuffed means "glad". I know- it sounds like it should mean "pissed-off".

Ralph Nader is always right. There is no difference between the two parties at this level of government. Maybe that's why you Democrats hate Ralphie so much - because he reminds you of the reality.

Obama could not have gotten this far if the ruling class saw him as a threat to the status quo. If he were, he would already be in the Kucinich/Paul/Nader "kooky outsider" bin at your local MSM election coverage store.
posted by Zambrano at 2:55 PM on June 21, 2008


....who do you offer as an alternative to Obama? Or are you saying the choice is between an awful candidate (Obama) and a horrendously awful candidate (McCain)?

I would still like to see Hillary as President; she's far from perfect, but when compared to the other two front-runners, I see her passion for policy and long history of liberal accomplishment more comforting than Obama or McCain.

I know MeFi is "Obama territory" and that Hillary is fair game here; so be it. Just be aware thata the voter impulses that Obama appeals to right now will disappear *if* he wins the big prize.

Frankly, I just don't see that happening, because, as I stated above, this election cycle is far more about cultural affinity than the last one.

Add to that the continuing decline in America's hegemony.

Whomever the next Prez is, s/he'll be gone in 2012. America is in for significant hurt and structural readjustment. Voters will not forgive the suffering they have to go through as we adjust. Politicians are going to take heat like they never have before.

Obama is a masterful posturer, and a great orator. He's very adaptable, in order to assure HIS survival. That's what worries me about him.
posted by MetaMan at 7:20 PM on June 21, 2008


Zambrano, what you said.

I'd forgotten about Nader.

Zambrano is right; embedded power likes Obama, or he wouldn't be where he is.

When I listen to people like Nader, or Jim Hightower, they make so much sense, but they've been marginalized by the media (part of the power structure).
posted by MetaMan at 7:52 PM on June 21, 2008


_Prohibits the president from superseding surveillance rules in the future.
FIND OUT NEXT WEEK!
posted by acro at 8:03 PM on June 21, 2008


I would still like to see Hillary as President

And I'd like a circus pony.

Now how about a real answer?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:57 PM on June 21, 2008


IF Obama gets the big prize, he will govern pretty much the way Bill Clinton did, with very similar policy affinities.

And this is why you, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, would rather see John McCain become President and undermine absolutely everything she and her husband have fought for over the years. You want to see a Supreme Court that upholds Roe V. Wade? Yeah, McCain will surely put into power a court that will outlaw abortion explicitly in every state, county, and locality throughout the entire United States of America.

Are you in favor of some sort of approximation of Universal Healthcare? McCain will completely destroy any notion of that, and may, in fact, destroy Medicare itself. He doesn't need it, so obviously no one else does.

Do you favor war with Iran? Because I guarantee you that McCain will have us there by his second term.

You and your supporters' blind hatred puts us all at risk of destroying this country's vitality for at least a generation. Certainly for the rest of our lives. But hey, your candidate didn't make office. Boo fucking hoo. Neither did mine. Suck it up, deal with it, and realize we have only this (slight) chance to make things better, rather than worse.

Or you could stew in your hatred, and allow our country to fall to the fascists. Because the candidate you hate would rule pretty much like the candidate you chose to support, by your own admission. It's your call.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:42 PM on June 21, 2008 [5 favorites]




Those of us who support Hillary and not Obama are not all stewing in hatred or motivated by hatred.

When you wave the SCOTUS flag, I'd like to point out that once he got what he wanted from them, Obama seems to be headed to the right on issues that matter to his supporters - FISA/telcom immunity, NAFTA/free trade, he promised to accept public financing for the general election and then did a 180. Universal health care is my biggest issue this election and Obama's plan is not universal, one of his advisors helped kill UHC in the early 90s, and he ran "Harry and Louise" ads against Hillary's UHC plan during the primaries. I don't trust him to do anything positive about this. What I see is a pattern in which Barack Obama only stands for what is politically advantageous for Barack Obama.

Why should I trust him to keep his word on the matter of the Supreme Court?

I don't want McCain as POTUS whatosever, but I don't want Obama either. Let's see how many more people he disappoints on the way to Denver, maybe by then the Democratic Party won't want to nominate him.
posted by citron at 9:03 PM on June 22, 2008


Because the candidate you hate would rule pretty much like the candidate you chose to support, by your own admission. It's your call.

Not at all. Let's look at this. John McCain (who I will not vote for; nor will I vote for Obama) has been an against-the-grain Republican for his entire career. He's not a Bush Neocon, nor is he a flaming right-wing religious nutcase.

John McCain is not George W. Bush. To turn this around a bit, it's more the hatred of the so-called Progressive Left for the Clinton way of governing that got us here.

I sat by and actually watched the Democratic Party - a party that I have supported my entire life - actually *reassign* the votes of residents in Michigan, and use other machinations to deny others their say in the past primary election.

I sat by and watched Barack Obama let the MSM accuse bona fide liberals who have a sterling record of civil rights engagement, racists.

I sat by and watched Barack Obama - without a peep - let the MSM and many others engage the most egregious sexist attacks, and direct them at his opponent.

Barack Obama says one thing, and does another. John McCain has done that, as well.

I'm not afraid of John McCain; nor am I afraid of George W. Bush. I *am* afraid of Barack Obama, who by his very actions has shown that he is little better than the reverse mirror image of George W. Bush.

Do you really think that after this campaign, and watching Obama sit by while everything he purports to stand for is violated and used on his behalf, without his saying a word, is someone that I'm supposed to trust?

Aside from my objections, there are massive cultural affinity disconnects that Obama and his people have accentuated. They have illegitimately used race as their shield, and in doing so, brought the ugly specter of racism forward in a way that they could manipulate furing the Democratic primary, but that will backlash against them in the general election like blowback nobody here can even begin to imagine.

In no way do I want to see Barack Obama in the White House. He is simply not to be trusted, and he has clearly shown that he stands only where it is advantageous for him to stand. This is to be expected of all politicians, but rarely have I seen or experienced a politician with such a massive disconnect between actions and words.

I will vote my conscience in this coming election, and breathe easy as I leave the polling booth. Millions more will join me, and go about changing America in a way that denies the cultism that surrounds the black hole consciences of candidates like Bush and Obama.
posted by MetaMan at 10:09 PM on June 22, 2008






MetaMan, couldn't have said that better myself. I was horrified enough when George W Bush was selected in 2000, little did I think 8 years later we Democrats would be trying to nominate our own George W Bush..

Speaking of which, the conservative Evangelical author who wrote the extremely sympathetic biography "The Faith of George W Bush" wrote another biography this year: "The Faith of Barack Obama".
"For Obama, faith is not simply political garb, something a focus group told him he ought to try. Instead, religion to him is transforming, lifelong, and real," Mansfield writes, going on to compare Obama favorably to Christian Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who he says erected a "wall of separation" between their religion and their governance.

By contrast, "Obama's faith infuses his public policy, so that his faith is not just limited to the personal realms of his life, it also informs his leadership," Mansfield writes.

The book is published by Thomas Nelson, the world's largest Christian publisher. It's due out August 5. "The Faith of Barack Obama" is expected to retail in Christian outlets and the Wal-Mart chain of stores, as well as secular bookstores. A motivational speaker and former pastor, Mansfield is the author of several books on faith as well as the co-author of former House Republican powerhouse Tom DeLay's 2007 book "No Retreat, No Surrender," a defense of his tarnished legacy sprinkled with fierce attacks on his opponents and on liberal causes.
posted by citron at 11:43 PM on June 22, 2008


MetaMan, couldn't have said that better myself.

I believe you.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:39 AM on June 23, 2008


As well as I think it works, the problem with the flagging mechanism on MeFi is that it mostly catches one-liner trolls and obvious shilling. Meanwhile, windy irrational anti-Obama tirades get the benefit of the doubt. That's probably for the best, in the interest of open and balanced discourse. After all, MetaMan isn't an employee of the republican party, paid to go on forums and instill doubt about Obama... as far as I know.

There's a lot of reverence here about Obama, to be sure. That's a perfectly normal reaction to the tone of his time in the limelight so far: his speech at the 2004 convention was the first time I'd been inspired by a politician in my adult life. His response to the Wright "scandal" hit all the right notes, soberly addressing the issue and rising above it at the same time. Every interview, every speech, every debate I see gives me more, not less respect for the man. The man, mind you, not the politician.

And here's where the story twists, because the die-hard Hillary supporters and the conservatives alike seem to conflate our respect for Obama the person with our opinion of Obama the politician. It plays nicely into the "cult of personality" narrative they have going... we're not informed voters with a cautious optimism, we're brainwashed! We're naïve, misguided utopian fools who are being suckered by a con-artist. But at the same time, we craftily conspire to surpress dissent on "ObamaFilter" threads so that poor underdog Hillary can't have her fair due.

It's a convenient way to dismiss our advocacy without having to face us on level ground. It's the same withered, flimsy excuse for "debate" that has dominated modern political discourse in the United States.

So let me put it to you in no uncertain terms. Obama is a politician on the national stage, a United States senator. We harbor no illusions: he didn't ascend to political prominence on a golden throne, carried by cherubs and virgins. He plays the game, and he plays it well. He has made and will continue to make political compromises toward the ends he seeks, which just goes to show that he's a smart politician who may, possibly, actually, achieve real change. I almost entirely agree with his vision for America, so I think that's a Very Good Thing.

In the meantime, you're welcome to doublethink all you like about how the man who won enough public support to defeat the Clinton campaign in the primaries is unelectable. Or how someone with so little political aptitude apparently controls the media puppet strings and "let" them slander poor Hillary and other "bona fide" liberals. Or how he'd govern like Bill Clinton, and how Bill Clinton was a great president, but you'd never vote for him for president. Or how you're not "scared" of George Bush, and Obama is just like George Bush, but you are scared of Obama.

You're welcome to think and say those things because no one on MetaFilter buys it who isn't selling it themselves. Maybe you'd have better luck with such baldly self-contradictory rhetoric on another site, but around here you just seem to be embarrassing yourself.

For the record: no, I have no affiliation with the Obama campaign other than having given him my caucus vote.
posted by Riki tiki at 4:28 AM on June 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm not afraid of John McCain; nor am I afraid of George W. Bush. I *am* afraid of Barack Obama, who by his very actions has shown that he is little better than the reverse mirror image of George W. Bush.

What the hell does this even mean?

I sat by and watched Barack Obama let the MSM accuse bona fide liberals who have a sterling record of civil rights engagement, racists.

I sat by and watched Barack Obama - without a peep - let the MSM and many others engage the most egregious sexist attacks, and direct them at his opponent.


Ah. You're still smarting from the primaries, in which huge amounts of racist and sexist claptrap were hurled (every so often) by the two candidates and (much more frequently) by the Republican bloc and their media shills. So, the MSM are now directly accountable to Obama, is that your thesis? That Fox News gives one tiny little shit how outraged the Democratic candidates are over their neverending stream of bullshit, and will stop when asked nicely? I mean, this is a patently absurd point you're making, and I suspect I'm just buying into the troll, but I'm sincerely curious as to what you would have liked him to do about the smears in the media, directed at him or at Hilary.
posted by Mayor West at 6:57 AM on June 23, 2008


So the take-away I'm getting from this is:

The USA is well and truly fucked. Neither candidate is worth a good god-damn, and both candidates are going to utterly destroy what remains of the US.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 AM on June 23, 2008


Congratulations, fff, you win the prize for realizing things! It will serve you well.

*Hands fff a Political Cynicism.*
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:49 AM on June 23, 2008


Congratulations, fff, you win the prize for realizing things! It will serve you well.

five fresh fish always just says whatever he thinks will make Americans feel the most suffocated by hopelessness. He's reliable like that. I think it's a hobby of his.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:38 AM on June 23, 2008


Better suffocated by hopelessness than fooled by false hope.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:44 AM on June 23, 2008


There'll always be haters, that's the way it is. Cue the wedding march and break out the birth cigars.

Better hopeful and slightly disappointed than choose the war starter and get even more war than could have been expected.

Better to choose the guy who you know can't be as great as he seems but is still pretty awesome, than choose the guy who seems like he could really be devlish inside, and hope that he doesn't go to that dark place inside himself. Talk about false hope - there's the false hope.
posted by cashman at 9:17 AM on June 23, 2008


You must be assuming that the hopelessness is not equally false.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:18 AM on June 23, 2008


That was for Tim.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:19 AM on June 23, 2008


You know, not buying Obama's "Hope" and "Change" lines isn't the same thing as thinking McCain is better.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:30 AM on June 23, 2008


Better suffocated by hopelessness than fooled by false hope.

What an excellent point. Hey, let's tackle how many angels can fit on the head of a pin next! /kidding

But really, given a choice between:

1) A candidate who consciously chooses to brand himself as a champion of hope and progressive political reform, and who stresses the importance of every American playing a role in helping to ensure a better future for America (even given that, by necessity, that candidate may occasionally fall a bit short of living up to his expressed ideals); and...

2) A candidate who consciously chooses to brand himself as the only man who can be trusted to protect America from a faceless, ever-shifting demonic menace that perpetually threatens to destroy our very way of life, who warns that we are entering a time of generational war in an epic struggle between the forces of good and evil, and emphasizes that America's leaders must be given wide latitude to abandon even the most long-standing and cherished of our national ideals and cultural values in order to more effectively wage that war...

... And I'll choose the perhaps not quite perfect hope-y guy every time. Branding campaigns may not always deliver on what they promise from a product, but they can tell you an awful lot about what the people behind the products think they're supposed to be delivering. And I hardly even want to be in the same room with the people that think I'm interested in buying that second product.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:28 AM on June 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


they can tell you an awful lot about what the people behind the products think they're supposed to be delivering

Branding campaigns tell you what the people behind the products want you to think they're supposed to be delivering.

And for fuck's sake because I don't believe in Obama doesn't mean I believe in McCain. I'm a political atheist.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:35 AM on June 23, 2008


Branding campaigns tell you what the peopl behind the products want you to think they're supposed to be delivering.

That's exactly what I said. They tell you what the people behind the brand think you want to hear--which indirectly tells you a lot about how well they really understand where the market demand is, or should be. And sure, there are outlying cases where branding is used so deceptively you'd never have gotten the foggiest idea what you were really signing up for, but that's relatively rare, and willfully dishonest branding campaigns are usually pretty obvious, if you're paying attention.

For instance, years after his grandfather Prescott threw his financial muscle behind Hitler and played a key role in a failed attempt to replace American democracy with a fascist military state to bring America out of the Great Depression, Bush ran as a "Compassionate Conservative."

So, in an age when conservatism is almost universally identified with illiberal causes such as the promotion of big business political interests, the expansion of the military industrial complex, hawkish defense policy, the drive to privatize public resources and eliminate government regulatory functions, and the promotion of Christian faith-based morality as an alternative to science-based social programs, President Bush, the candidate, promised to deliver a blatant oxymoron. And with the exception of one crucial syllable, he delivered.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:39 PM on June 23, 2008


five fresh fish always just says whatever he thinks will make Americans feel the most suffocated by hopelessness.

Hey, no. I'm all for Obama: I think he's a real shot for bringing the US back around. He's kind of like an American version of Pierre Trudeau: traveled, erudite, big-thinking. With Obama as President, I think there's a very good chance of repairing the past eight years of damage Bush caused to America's image on the world stage. A chance of getting the international community to work with America instead of telling it to go bugger off. And, too, a chance that the social situation inside the US will be drastically improved: for far too long, the US has allowed the rich to get richer at a pace an order of magnitude greater than that for the middle class, let alone the poor.

MetaMan seems to figure all is lost. Mind, he also figures Obama would be worse than Bush, which is such blatant insanity that it completely moots any other points he might be trying to make. But still, if one were to believe him, then yes, all hope is lost for America.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:02 PM on June 23, 2008




MetaMan and citron seem to work nicely as a team.
posted by imperium at 2:07 AM on June 24, 2008


weston Ummmm, so instead you think we should let the rural areas bludgeon the cities?

No. I don't think I implied any such thing, and I don't think anybody has a convincing case that's actually happening, hyperbole aside. Even through the regional electoral filters, populous areas still have a much greater influence than rural areas do, it's simply only roughly proportional instead of strictly proportional.

Do people actually think that the evil Cityfolk will pass laws requiring the poor downtroden peasantry to give their virgin daughters to porn producers or something?

You're either wielding crazy or contempt with that statement, and it neither represents my views nor helps yours.

As it happens, there are resource issues between less population dense areas and large cities. One large visible example would be Western water rights. Vegas and LA have a lot more people than my home state of Utah, but that doesn't mean that their interests alone should dominate or determine the use of the Colorado.

What the hell is so wrong about a simple one person one vote system?

Because interests are regional as well as individual.
posted by weston at 9:19 PM on June 24, 2008


John McCain (who I will not vote for; nor will I vote for Obama) has been an against-the-grain Republican for his entire career. He's not a Bush Neocon

McCain's main problem may or may not be that he's a Bush neocon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnb2IrsU1Cg

But he sure looks like he supports the Bush neocon foreign policy.

I sat by and actually watched the Democratic Party - a party that I have supported my entire life - actually *reassign* the votes of residents in Michigan, and use other machinations to deny others their say in the past primary election.

I've yet to see a non-crazy argument that the responsibility for any issues with MI and FL didn't rest firmly and squarely with the state parties, but I'm open.

I'm not afraid of John McCain; nor am I afraid of George W. Bush.

However, I'm entirely certain a non-crazy argument will not come from someone who makes this statement.

After all, MetaMan isn't an employee of the republican party, paid to go on forums and instill doubt about Obama... as far as I know.

Whatever's going on, I think it's pretty clear that MetaMan has a particular agenda and is willing to argue crazy to push it.
posted by weston at 9:23 PM on June 24, 2008




This is where someone says "No shit Gov. McClatchy? Who'da thunk it!"
posted by sotonohito at 11:13 AM on June 26, 2008








Obama did not vote yes or no on a bill that would allow certain victims of sexual crimes to petition judges to seal court records relating to their cases.

Obama also voted present on a bill to impose stricter standards for evidence a judge is permitted to consider in imposing a criminal sentence.

On the sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the lone present vote in a 58-to-0 vote.

Mr. Obama’s campaign said he believed that the bill violated the First Amendment. The bill passed 112-0-0 in the House and 58-0-1 in the Senate.

He’s a total phoney. He wants to execute people who rape children, but he doesn’t want their records sealed?

Obama said the Supreme's handgun ruling matched his assessment of the gun issue.

A day earlier he criticized the high court for striking down the death penalty for child rapists, putting himself squarely in the camp of those who support the rights of individual states over the federal government — a stance more often touted by Republicans.

So, he's in line with the Alioto decision - and we're supposed to trust this guy!!??

He's a master dissembler, and so lacking a strong moral center that he could be the worst thing that happens to a nation that *needs* someone with a strong, measured moral code.
posted by MetaMan at 1:44 AM on June 28, 2008


So, he's in line with the Alioto decision - and we're supposed to trust this guy!!??

Actually, we don't give a shit who you think we should trust.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:39 AM on June 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, circus ponies aside, who do you offer as a alternative, MetaMan? The only other apparent option is McCain, and that dottering dumbfuck would destroy the US completely.

Enlighten us, please, as to the third option, the one that is going to pull the US out of its economic tailspin and regain its position of trust and authority on the global stage.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:00 AM on June 28, 2008


MetaMan writes "He's a master dissembler, and so lacking a strong moral center that he could be the worst thing that happens to a nation that *needs* someone with a strong, measured moral code."

Like McCain. At least McCain doesn't plaster his makeup on like a trollup.
posted by mullingitover at 12:26 PM on June 28, 2008


MetaMan writes "A day earlier he criticized the high court for striking down the death penalty for child rapists, putting himself squarely in the camp of those who support the rights of individual states over the federal government — a stance more often touted by Republicans."

Yes, touted when it helps them in their core mission of helping their base persecute minorities, homosexuals, and libruls. When it runs afoul of that mission, they really could care less.

The republicans are way outside their defensible boundaries of small government with responsible spending--they are responsible for the biggest deficit increases in history (and, when democrats finally take charge and start sorting thing out, they'll cry 'omg see they're raising your taxes!'), the most expensive entitlement in history, and with cases like gonzo v raich and gonzo v oregon, they're demonstrating that they really don't give two shits about states rights.
posted by mullingitover at 12:43 PM on June 28, 2008


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