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Author Topic: Presidential General Election News & Discussion Center
Bokonon
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Scott, to be fair, he tried not attacking (as much), and it put him behind in the polls.

How do you try to reconcile with a group whose mouthpieces assume there is a nefarious trick behind everything you propose?

I mean, he voted for FISA, to keep gridlock from happening, he's made overtures to support faith-based initiatives, he said he'd be willing to talk new drilling if it brings folks to the table about an energy plan. On the one hand, it could be a cynical ploy to move to the middle, on the other, it could be attempts to raise discourse and propose compromise. (Personally, I think it was both).

-Bok

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Darth_Mauve
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Heard two commercials today.

McCain/Palin/Republican Congress--"Vote for us and we'll spend Billions on Stem Cell Research." I'm in Missouri, and a 2 term congressman got kicked out two years ago when he supported a "No Stem Cell" initiative which was also crushed.

Gov. Palin--the Right to Life candidate is endorsing a Pro-Stem Cell Research ad?

Obama/Biden/Democrat--Register to vote before its too late. Go to "Voteforchange.org".

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ClaudiaTherese
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Has there been a proliferation of "Fact Check" (note the capitalization) sites or ongoing commentaries lately? I used to just see FactCheck.org, but it seems to be a popular terminology lately.

Not disagreeing with the trend or criticizing, just a little befuddled. But heck, the more fact-checking that is actually what it purports to be, the better. I am a little worried about keeping things straight for myself now -- I had a good feel for FactCheck.org, but I need to make sense of all these other "Fact Check" references I see and get a feel for them individually.

Or is this all tied back to FactCheck.org, anyway? [Confused]

---

Note: I'm using the quotation marks not as scare quotes to imply these aren't really "facts" or "checking," but to isolate them as terms.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Darth_Mauve:
Gov. Palin--the Right to Life candidate is endorsing a Pro-Stem Cell Research ad?

I bet this is in reference to non-fetal-derived stem cells, e.g., from bone marrow.
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Tresopax
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quote:
Scott, to be fair, he tried not attacking (as much), and it put him behind in the polls.
In fact, he's still under fire from fellow Democrats for not hitting back hard enough at McCain.

Obama has definitely gone overly negative as of late, but he has at least been consistent with his convention speech promise to keep it about real policy and judgement issues, rather than going personal. Obama's campaign seems intent on connecting McCain to the other Republicans, and then arguing that Republican policies have failed in virtually every way, rather than trying to show that McCain is personally corrupt or immoral. They've stepped over that line a few times, but never consistently in a way that would suggest their intention is to do so. I'm still convinced Obama really does intend to raise political discourse, but is afraid that doing so might just allow the Republicans to win, given what happened after the Republican convention. I'm also wondering which direction he'll decide to take in the coming weeks.

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katharina
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I'm against abortion but okay with stem cell research, as long as the embryos aren't created for that purpose.
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Lyrhawn
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Tresopax pretty much summed up my feelings on this one.

Personally I don't blame him. I blame the American people. We're supposed to reward good behavior in politics. Instead we reward bad behavior. McCain went on an unprecedented streak of lies and slander in recent weeks and wiped out a quite large Obama lead until he was leading himself. Obama spent that whole time trying to win on policy disagreements, but when that didn't work, he finally bowed to what Congressional Democrats had been clamoring for and threw out some half hearted attempts to go negative on McCain. Then he quickly returned to more positive oriented ads, like that two minute long ad with him talking into the camera about his ideas.

In my view, McCain has totally folded. He doesn't care about having an election about issues. If he did, he'd talk about them honestly instead of what he's doing now. Obama wants to talk about issues, but every time he does, he seems to slide in the polls, not because people don't like his policies, but because they're falling for McCain's misleading interpretations of his policies and positions.

Should he just take it on the chin and keep the high road, even if that pretty much means forfeiting the election? I guess that's really the main question here when it comes to talking about Obama and what our hopes were for his campaign. I think he's being dragged down by McCain. But ultimately I blame the citizenry. They claim to want better quality civil discussion, and when it's offered to them, they throw their support behind the guy shooting spitballs.

I also agree with Bok, I think his move to the center was half what-Democrats-always-do move to the center to appear more moderate and electable, and half compromise to try and get stuff done. I don't think his actions thus far are going to posion the well with Congressional Republicans. Look at what Republicans are saying. I think it's pretty clear how they already feel about Democrats, so I can't imagine anything Obama says will really have a further effect on them. Besides, what clean well is left to poison?

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fugu13
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Obama's been going negative for a lot longer than a few weeks, in key states. He's only stepped it up recently, but he was running negative ads in the primary, and he was running negative ads not too long after sewing up the nomination.
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Ron Lambert
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Orincoro, I did see the Palin-Gibson interview, and she was poised and confident, and was ready with answers instantly. She does not hem or haw or stutter--she has an answer ready and articulates it clearly. The only time she was taken aback was when Gibson asked her for her take on the "Bush doctrine." Her response, asking what he meant, was entirely proper, because there are at least four Bush position statements that have been labelled by the media as "THE Bush doctrine." Palin did pick one of the actual position statements by Bush that the media has called the Bush doctrine. Gibson smirkingly presumed to correct her by referring to the position statement he had in mind. The only person who came off poorly in that interview was Gibson.
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Humean316
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quote:
Should he just take it on the chin and keep the high road, even if that pretty much means forfeiting the election? I guess that's really the main question here when it comes to talking about Obama and what our hopes were for his campaign. I think he's being dragged down by McCain. But ultimately I blame the citizenry. They claim to want better quality civil discussion, and when it's offered to them, they throw their support behind the guy shooting spitballs.

Shouldn't a real leader be able to find a way to stay above the fray *and* win the election?

It is the easy way out to say that it's the American people because it is not. It is Obama. Just like it was his responsibility to get Clinton supporters to vote for him, it is his responsibility to get the American people to vote for him and to do it in a way he has said he wants to do. If he can't or could not find a way to do that, then he shouldn't be President.

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Lyrhawn
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Ron -

Her answers were non-answers. To be fair, that's what most politicians give. And it wasn't NEARLY as bad as the awful interview she had with Hannity.

quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Obama's been going negative for a lot longer than a few weeks, in key states. He's only stepped it up recently, but he was running negative ads in the primary, and he was running negative ads not too long after sewing up the nomination.

Quantity? Quality? Ratio of positive to negative?

How many and how many times? Where they factually true or slanderous falsehoods? How many was he running in comparison with positive ads in the same areas?

Media reporting on those kinds of specifics is lackluster at best. Quality reports I usually get from places like Factcheck.org. Quantity is almost impossible because no one has a list out there that has all the ads, the number of times they were shown, and where. And same with the ratio. It all comes down to an overall impression that people get, unless you have numbers saying otherwise.

Using southeast Michigan as an example, we've been utterly bombarded with ads in the last few months. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. Obama ads have only been coming here in decent numbers in the last few weeks, but we've been getting McCain ads for months. The majority of McCain ads are negative, and the majority of the negative ads are either outright lies or insincere misdirection of facts. Obama's ads started off talking about policy and then skewed negative and have since waffled back and forth. I'd say the majority of them have been positive, and of the negative ones, maybe half are falsehoods or distortions. In other words, I don't think either of them are perfect, but one is demonstrably worse.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Humean316:
quote:
Should he just take it on the chin and keep the high road, even if that pretty much means forfeiting the election? I guess that's really the main question here when it comes to talking about Obama and what our hopes were for his campaign. I think he's being dragged down by McCain. But ultimately I blame the citizenry. They claim to want better quality civil discussion, and when it's offered to them, they throw their support behind the guy shooting spitballs.

Shouldn't a real leader be able to find a way to stay above the fray *and* win the election?

It is the easy way out to say that it's the American people because it is not. It is Obama. Just like it was his responsibility to get Clinton supporters to vote for him, it is his responsibility to get the American people to vote for him and to do it in a way he has said he wants to do. If he can't or could not find a way to do that, then he shouldn't be President.

I disagree. That totally absolves the American people ANY responsibility to civic duty.
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Ron Lambert
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The reason campaigns do not stay nice is because each candidate is compromised by various factors, and it is proper and necessary for these to be pointed out. Usually, one candidate's foibles are outweighed by the worse foibles of the other.

It would not be proper or responsible for Americans to decide on whether to make Sen. Obama the president, without knowing about and dealing with the fact that he was a member for 20 years of a church that has been teaching the Black Liberation Theology, he was associated in several significant ways with the self-confessed and unapologetic terrorist, William Ayers, and he made several real estate deals with Tony Resko, who is under indictment and being tried for alleged shady dealings. Obama also has for one of his key campaign advisors--the one who headed his committee to search for a vice presidental running mate--Jim Johnson, who was the former CEO of Fannie Mae.

It may be negative to discuss these things, but they must be discussed. This is part of the necessary "vetting" process. It has had to come in accelerated, condensed form, because Sen. Obama is so new to the scene.

Sen. McCain, on the other hand, has been in the public eye for decades, and it is hard to find anything negative to say about him that has not been said before, and fully dealt with in most people's minds.

Gov. Sarah Palin, of course, is new, even newer than Obama. But the army of snoops sent in by Democrats to try to dig up dirt on Palin, have not really found anything substantive, except to suggest there may have been something irregular in her forcing from office a police commissioner. The facts of the case do not prove she was guilty of any wrong-doing. All Democrats have is innuendo and suggestion of ulterior motives. The review probably will not go any further, now that it has been taken over by partisan Democrats, and most of the principals in the case have refused to respect the subpoenas. Now it will have to go the Alaska legislature to vote whether to enforce the subpoenas, and that is unlikely to happen ever, let alone before the election.

Aside from that, Democrats have dug a deep grave for themselves by their uncalled-for and grievously intemperate insults, which lead voters to react against the insulters. To Palin's credit, she has shown that she has a thick skin, and has not been whining about these way out-of-bounds attacks. This is the course of wisdom, because this has caused all those attacks to rebound back onto the heads of those who tried to insult her.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
It would not be proper or responsible for Americans to decide on whether to make Sen. Obama the president, without knowing about and dealing with the fact that he was a member for 20 years of a church that has been teaching the Black Liberation Theology, he was associated in several significant ways with the self-confessed and unapologetic terrorist, William Ayers, and he made several real estate deals with Tony Resko, who is under indictment and being tried for alleged shady dealings. Obama also has for one of his key campaign advisors--the one who headed his committee to search for a vice presidental running mate--Jim Johnson, who was the former CEO of Fannie Mae.

It may be negative to discuss these things, but they must be discussed.

It's only negative when you intentionally mislead people with that information. What you're trying to do is guilt my association. He worked for a very short time with Ayers, he wasn't in a basement somewhere working on bombs with him, he was working on a community outreach program. His real estate deals, all two of them, with Rezko, had to do with him buying his house, and then buying a small strip of land next to his house that was sold by Rezko's wife for a pretty big profit. In other words, neither of those dealings were particular "deals" for Obama, he paid at least, if not above, market value for them. That's been debunked at least twice on Factcheck.org, among other places. And Johnson's role in the Obama campaign, other than helping look for a VP, is sketchy at best. He himself said a few months ago that he offered some advice to Obama on financial matters, and that apparently makes him a "key campaign advisor." It doesn't matter if Obama took the advice, or how much of it was given, apparently.

So yes, these things will come up, and that's fine, but it's when they are misrepresented to try and portray a negative image that you cross the line between fair point of contention and outright negative slander.

As for Palin: She said in her interview with Hannity that SHE was the one who called for an investigation! Now that it's actually going forward, she doesn't want anything to do with it. And there are plenty of things to find fault with her for, other than her dismal lack of knowledge on major national issues challenging the country. Her whole earmark mantra is a good one for starters. Alaska has been a national leading porker under her leadership, and keeps selling that "thanks but no thanks" line about the bridge to nowhere even when it's been debunked as an untruth several times over. There HAS been a lot of crap thrown out there about her, but to bundle it up with the perfectly fair points and call it ALL baseless attacks is an attempt to whitewash perfectly legitimate beefs people have with her. I think you're better off addressing them than pretending she's a perfect angel.

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Chris Bridges
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quote:
Sen. McCain, on the other hand, has been in the public eye for decades, and it is hard to find anything negative to say about him that has not been said before, and fully dealt with in most people's minds.
Untrue. The previous John McCain, who voted for deregulation, who shunned religious Right leaders, who publicly despised political attack ads, who didn't want Roe v Wade overturned, who opposed Bush's tax cuts, who was against torture no matter who was doing it, who did not support ethanol, who opposed off-short drilling... that guy's been vetted pretty thoroughly. But this new guy we've been seeing the last few months? I don't know who he is at all. Which is too bad; I could have voted for the McCain from a few years ago. I respected him.

Edited to add: I have no problems with a politician who changes his/her stance based on new information or new understanding of the situation. I expect it. And in some of these examples, McCain has said just that. But I have big problems with a politician who tries to imply that the new position was really the one he/she held all along, despite evidence to the contrary, and the new McCain has been guilty of that.

[ September 19, 2008, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: Chris Bridges ]

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Primal Curve
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He's McCain's reanimated corpse. Little did you know that Palin is a master of the dark arts.
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kmbboots
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Ron, now that Senator Obama's connection to Rezco has been explained, would you like the opportuity to address the Keating Five?

That, at least, has some bearing on how a candidate might think about financial crises.

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Chris Bridges
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Or his (and Bush's) position on urging people to channel some of their Social Security money into "personal accounts" to be invested on Wall Street with firms such as, say, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch...
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Chris Bridges
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Apparently McCain's economic acumen is being slammed again, this time by those tree-hugging liberals at the Wall Street Journal.

quote:
In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help. Mr. McCain is sounding like a candidate searching for a political foil rather than a genuine solution. He'll never beat Mr. Obama by running as an angry populist like Al Gore, circa 2000.

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lem
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quote:
All Democrats have is innuendo and suggestion of ulterior motives.
That's my favorite line. Thank God Rush and Hannity would never stoop so low.
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kmbboots
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We can't actually know the "facts of the case" as it is a fact the Gov. Palin is blocking the investigation. Which is enough of a fact to be damning.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
The reason campaigns do not stay nice is because each candidate is compromised by various factors, and it is proper and necessary for these to be pointed out. Usually, one candidate's foibles are outweighed by the worse foibles of the other.

It would not be proper or responsible for Americans to decide on whether to make Sen. Obama the president, without knowing about and dealing with the fact that he was a member for 20 years of a church that has been teaching the Black Liberation Theology, he was associated in several significant ways with the self-confessed and unapologetic terrorist, William Ayers, and he made several real estate deals with Tony Resko, who is under indictment and being tried for alleged shady dealings. Obama also has for one of his key campaign advisors--the one who headed his committee to search for a vice presidental running mate--Jim Johnson, who was the former CEO of Fannie Mae.

It may be negative to discuss these things, but they must be discussed. This is part of the necessary "vetting" process. It has had to come in accelerated, condensed form, because Sen. Obama is so new to the scene.

Sen. McCain, on the other hand, has been in the public eye for decades, and it is hard to find anything negative to say about him that has not been said before, and fully dealt with in most people's minds.

Gov. Sarah Palin, of course, is new, even newer than Obama. But the army of snoops sent in by Democrats to try to dig up dirt on Palin, have not really found anything substantive, except to suggest there may have been something irregular in her forcing from office a police commissioner. The facts of the case do not prove she was guilty of any wrong-doing. All Democrats have is innuendo and suggestion of ulterior motives. The review probably will not go any further, now that it has been taken over by partisan Democrats, and most of the principals in the case have refused to respect the subpoenas. Now it will have to go the Alaska legislature to vote whether to enforce the subpoenas, and that is unlikely to happen ever, let alone before the election.

Aside from that, Democrats have dug a deep grave for themselves by their uncalled-for and grievously intemperate insults, which lead voters to react against the insulters. To Palin's credit, she has shown that she has a thick skin, and has not been whining about these way out-of-bounds attacks. This is the course of wisdom, because this has caused all those attacks to rebound back onto the heads of those who tried to insult her.

See? He keeps lowering the bar, now its "well the american people will obviously not vote for barack obama now!" Saying Aha! with all the zeal and misplaced ferocity of a paper tiger.

You KEEP DOING THIS saying "he won't get elected now!" as if it was only now that something was dug up on him besides the fact that you've been saying this "damning" discarded and debunked evidence in some recycled form or another again and again as if by some stretch of ones deluded imagination that it will some kind of impact on the natural and inevitable course of events.

First it was "he won't get picked in the primaries" then "the supers won't go fr him" then constantly in retreat but declaring victory is that the best you can do?

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dabbler
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"Black liberation theology"
quote:
John C. Green, a professor of political science and a senior fellow with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, said scholars do not consider black liberation theology to be racist. But it can appear that way to outsiders.

“A black empowerment theology could be seen as having a racist element because it isn’t neutral in regards to race,” he said. . .
Obama responded to criticism about the church’s tenets in a February 2007 interview with the Chicago Tribune.

“Commitment to God, black community, commitment to the black family, the black work ethic, self-discipline and self-respect,” Obama said. “Those are values that the conservative movement in particular has suggested are necessary for black advancement. So I would be puzzled that they would object or quibble with the bulk of a document that basically espouses profoundly conservative values of self-reliance and self-help.”

Ayers
quote:
Deborah Harrington, president of the Woods Fund, a philanthropic organization in Chicago, said Obama was a director from 1994 through 2001. That overlaps Ayers’ time as a director by three years. It also means Obama served with Ayers for the final months of 2001, after Ayers made his comments to the New York Times.

Ayers, now a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (not English as Obama stated), is still on the seven-member Woods Fund board.

When you say "Sen. McCain, on the other hand, has been in the public eye for decades, and it is hard to find anything negative to say about him that has not been said before, and fully dealt with in most people's minds." it's not something you can prove. I have several following items that are similar to your concerns with Obama: Guilt by association. What if I contend that the concerns you have of Obama have been "fully dealt with in most people's minds"? Neither of us can prove either of those statements nor do I think any of these accusations are particularly important.

Hagee endorsed McCain in 2/08
quote:
Hagee's endorsement of McCain on Feb. 27, 2008, set off several rounds of controversy. The day after the endorsement, the Catholic League called Hagee an anti-Catholic bigot and lamented McCain's connection to him. The Catholic League monitors anti-Catholic bias and emphasizes Catholic teaching on abortion and other moral issues. It pointed to a video of Hagee in which Hagee discusses the Book of Revelation and the Catholic Church. Hagee clearly uses the words "Antichrist" and "false cult" as he discusses the Catholic Church, the Crusades and the Holocaust.
Reed and McCain
quote:
Reed is the former executive director of the Christian Coalition and currently a principal of the political consulting company Century Strategies. He was credited as a key operative in George W. Bush's sharp-elbowed effort against McCain in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary in 2000. McCain, in turn, chaired the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2006 when it investigated and unveiled Reed's deep personal and business ties to Abramoff, a lobbyist who pleaded guilty to three felonies.
McCain hired lobbyists to work for him until this May
quote:
The McCain campaign’s ties to current or former lobbyists has been well documented in recent weeks. Disclosures about some of those ties — including clients they have served — led to a handful of departures from the campaign. The highest profile casualty was former Rep. Thomas Loeffler, campaign co-chairman and national finance committee co-chairman. Loeffler is a lobbyist and founder of the Loeffler Group, a multimillion-dollar lobbying operation that, according to Houston Chronicle reports last year, has included clients such as AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Port of Houston, Southwest Airlines and Toyota Motor Co. The firm also has represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on trade issues.
In response, the McCain campaign on May 15, 2008, instituted a “conflict policy” — the campaign will not keep any federal lobbyists on its payroll. Period. . .
But the campaign is still thick with former lobbyists, some who left or took unpaid leave of absences from their lobbying firms just before joining the campaign.


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T:man
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The number of posts is the year the first whale shark was caught.

Edit: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh I was off by ten years.

[ September 19, 2008, 08:27 PM: Message edited by: T:man ]

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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No it isn't.
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T:man
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Oops not found but caught. By Charles Thompson.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Orincoro, I did see the Palin-Gibson interview, and she was poised and confident, and was ready with answers instantly.

Fine. If that's what passes for good interview skills with you.

Personally I like politicians that at least appear to be using their brains.

There was a funny moment between Bill O'Reilly and David Letterman, when O'Reilly was attempting to bully Letterman into answering "yes or no" to the question: "do you want us to win in Iraq." To the prompt: "it's a simple question," Letterman responds: "No, it's not a simple question, because I am thoughtful."

Did it ever occur to anyone that Ron might be a campaign troll of some kind? Maybe self-appointed? I mean, I don't think a person speaking his conscience could be so steadfastly ignorant of reality.

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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
My point was that 'trickle-down-economics' has become a code phrase for liberals the way 'liberal media' has for the GOP. Using the term is meant to invoke partisan feelings, not for the purpose of clarifying policy.

The term describes specific policies, and suggesting that it's become some kind of catch-all for any and all economic policies that a liberal or liberals might disapprove of is wrong. While the term might be seen as derrogatory, mis-using it trivializes the very real reasons that many liberals decry the policies it does describe.

And while there are perfectly valid reasons to dislike the bankruptcy legislation Biden has supported, most people wouldn't describe it as legislation rooted in "trickle-down economics": it isn't tax-related, and I doubt even its proponents are suggesting it benefits any bottom lines other than the credit companies'.

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by T:man:
Oops not found but caught. By Charles Thompson.

No.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
... even its proponents are suggesting it benefits any bottom lines other than the credit companies'.

Presumably, it would help stockholders and other investors. Indirectly, this would include a fair number of pension plans and so forth.
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Strider
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Both candidates answers to the Sciencedebate 2008 questions.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I'm against abortion but okay with stem cell research, as long as the embryos aren't created for that purpose.

And Republicans will constantly harp on the notion that human lives are being destroyed for research, when thousands of embryos are being disposed of at fertility clinics when couples simply don't want them anymore. That practice is not going to go away, and it could provide all the embryos needed for research.

That's the part of the Republican rhetoric that really drives me insane. The fact is that a certain number of embryos are created by clinics, and not all of those are implanted. If excess embryos are used for research, rather than simply being disposed of, what good comes out of that? What moral right as been served by that? The idea that using excess embryos would present a "slippery slope," because the purpose for their creation could eventually be driven by the needs of research, seems to me to contradict the Republican logic on issues such as privacy, in which "slippery slopes" don't seem to exist.

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Humean316
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quote:
I disagree. That totally absolves the American people ANY responsibility to civic duty.
Actually, your justification absolves Obama of any responsibility to be a leader because if people start to vote for McCain because of his negative campaign, then it's not Obama's fault, it is the people's for stupidly buying into McCain. It's like those sci-fi fans of Firefly or BattleStar Galactica who are convinced that the only reason more people didn't like the show was because they didn't understand it or get it. The people of this country have no obligation to believe in or support Obama nor do they have any obligation to buy into a type of campaign. The onus is and should always be on the politician to convince us that he or she would good for America and that we should vote for them.

And if Obama says he is going to bring about a new kind of politics and then fails to do so because the campaign got too hard, then lets hope he never has to deal with anything else that's difficult. Let's hope for instance that he never has to deal with a question of torture when things get difficult or McCain won't be the only one who has something in common with Bush.

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Darth_Mauve
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McCain's pro-Stem Cell ads don't sound much like his answer to the Science Debate that Strider linked to.

Ron, you have an interesting take on the election. I believe that you are repeating the dream-spin of the Republican party very well.

Your above argument seems to be, "Yes, mud slinging is bad, but it is necessary. Especially since we have all this juicy mud on Obama--list it all again to drive it into our heads."

However, any attack on Senator McCain's history (infidelity, adultery, etc) and we are reminded that he is a great patriot and to attack him is to be unpatriotic, while slinging any speck of mud at Governor Palin is just Sexist.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Humean316:
quote:
I disagree. That totally absolves the American people ANY responsibility to civic duty.
Actually, your justification absolves Obama of any responsibility to be a leader because if people start to vote for McCain because of his negative campaign, then it's not Obama's fault, it is the people's for stupidly buying into McCain. It's like those sci-fi fans of Firefly or BattleStar Galactica who are convinced that the only reason more people didn't like the show was because they didn't understand it or get it. The people of this country have no obligation to believe in or support Obama nor do they have any obligation to buy into a type of campaign. The onus is and should always be on the politician to convince us that he or she would good for America and that we should vote for them.

And if Obama says he is going to bring about a new kind of politics and then fails to do so because the campaign got too hard, then lets hope he never has to deal with anything else that's difficult. Let's hope for instance that he never has to deal with a question of torture when things get difficult or McCain won't be the only one who has something in common with Bush.

I fundamentally disagree. You have a top down approach, I have a bottom up approach. It's the people's job to look past whatever the candidates might be saying at any particular moment and get absolutely as much information as they possibly can to make the best, most informed decision. If all you are ever going to do is bury your head in the sand and listen to a few attack ads here and there before making your decision, then it isn't Obama's or McCain's fault that you made the decision you did, be it right or wrong. It's yours for not doing your job as a citizen.

It's Obama's job, I think, to tell us what he wants to do and why, to defend his previous actions, and to tell us why he thinks what McCain has done or wants to do is wrong. That's McCain's job too. It's OUR job to find the truth, and then make the best decision we can. That doesn't mean that everyone with a full grasp of the truth will choose Obama, that comes down to a difference of ideology. But the number of people I run into who say they aren't voting for Obama because of some made up piece of crap reason is truly staggering. It renders me momentarily speechless every time I hear it. Those kinds of things aren't Obama's fault, they are the fault of the people who believe them without even bothering to check them out, and the people who started those lies in the first place.

On the part I put in italics up there: You're right, they don't. They DO have an obligation to factchecking though. And for that matter, both campaigns have an obligation to telling the truth. Your position seems to be that if one side breaks that obligation and starts lying, that that's just too damned bad for the other side, just suck it up, and if you can't beat it, you deserve to lose. I rarely say this on Hatrack, but that's just stupid. I also think the onus is on the candidate to tell us why he or she is best for the job, but that's not nearly the whole story. You keep stopping when assigning duty right at the point where the citizen has to do any work at all.

People who act like you think they should are the reason why the Founders created the electoral college: It was because of their blinding fear of stupid people.

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Humean316
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quote:
Your position seems to be that if one side breaks that obligation and starts lying, that that's just too damned bad for the other side, just suck it up, and if you can't beat it, you deserve to lose. I rarely say this on Hatrack, but that's just stupid. I also think the onus is on the candidate to tell us why he or she is best for the job, but that's not nearly the whole story. You keep stopping when assigning duty right at the point where the citizen has to do any work at all.
No, my position is that I don't care if McCain went negative first, if he wants to start lying then that's his problem, but Obama has promised a new kind of campaign and politics. That position isn't justifiably thrown out the window because the campaign got hard and McCain started to outright lie, in fact, that's when real leaders and people of vision stand up and find a way to rise above the fray, win over the people, and maintain that which they hold dear.

The reason I compared it to torture was for one reason, we no longer are a country that can say we do not torture innocent people because though we didn't when times were easy, when times got tough we tortured people. It's is freakin easy to say that we don't torture people when it won't prevent a terrorist attack, but it is another thing all together to say that we don't torture even when it would greatly benefit our nation.

You don't get to be the candidate of change and hope, and then, when things get tough and close, throw those things out. That's not the way it works because in my experience we aren't defined by how we act when things are perfect, we are defined by how we act when they are at their worst. A true leader is one who can win over people without doing the very thing he or she is fighting against.

quote:
I also think the onus is on the candidate to tell us why he or she is best for the job, but that's not nearly the whole story. You keep stopping when assigning duty right at the point where the citizen has to do any work at all.
I said that the people of this country have no obligation to believe in or support Obama and that the onus is always on the leader to prove that he is good for America. What about that is stupid?

More to the point of course, the reason I brought up Firefly and BG is because part of the problem in holding the American people accountable as you do is that you must assume that you are right, and that if given the facts, people will vote for Obama. The same goes for BG and Firefly, the arguments for those shows always revolve around the notion of responsibility or intelligence in television, and then, they go one step further in claiming that if people understood the dynamics of the show, they would enjoy it. The same principle applies for how you look at the American people because, though I never said that the American people are devoid of responsibility, you will claim that part of that responsibility goes to understanding the lies and treachery of John McCain with the underlying assumption that if they don't come around then they aren't doing their jobs. And that my friend is where we fundamentally differ because I don't just talk a good game, I walk it. I believe the American people aren't stupid and if they fail to come around to Obama, then Obama is the one who did something wrong.

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Blayne Bradley
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The longer this campaign goes on the more I am utterly convinced in the nessesity of the Electorial College as well and I was against it at first to boot since it eliminates the value of the individual vote.

At least we have easially hackable voting machines, any any smart kid who likes Linux can hack those things the world will be a better place, who better to trust your future to then the best and the brightest? Oh wait, thats right apparantly the best are "elitist" and that we should be run by pig farmers who "understand" the common people's woes.

There's a reason why Lenin evolved Marxist theory to include the party as the fundamental vangaurd of the revolution, the people as energetic and well intentioned they may be are generally too uneducated and disorganized to do any good past a few violent outbursts here and there.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
A true leader is one who can win over people without doing the very thing he or she is fighting against.
Really? Funny, because McCain is doing exactly that. He's doing the same things he railed against Bush for doing eight years ago. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, he's changed, seemingly, almost his entire ideology on a huge swath of issues, and his tactics have gone from honorable maverick to despicable party insider. And his punishment? A massive bump in the polls.

You're dealing in theoretical abstractions. I'm referring to a real live example right before our eyes.

quote:
I said that the people of this country have no obligation to believe in or support Obama and that the onus is always on the leader to prove that he is good for America. What about that is stupid?
In theory, I agree with you. In practice I think that's naive. The first part I absolutely agree with, regardless. The second part is only PART of the relationship between the citizenry and their candidates for high elected office. If you don't ask anything of the people, then you place the almost the entire election into the hands of the two people running for office, and trust in their ability to be honorable and fair. The problem with that is, when one side chooses to break that trust, the other guy can lose pretty easily while sticking to it. And in your theory, that means he "shouldn't be president." I don't agree.

quote:
More to the point of course, the reason I brought up Firefly and BG is because part of the problem in holding the American people accountable as you do is that you must assume that you are right, and that if given the facts, people will vote for Obama. The same goes for BG and Firefly, the arguments for those shows always revolve around the notion of responsibility or intelligence in television, and then, they go one step further in claiming that if people understood the dynamics of the show, they would enjoy it. The same principle applies for how you look at the American people because, though I never said that the American people are devoid of responsibility, you will claim that part of that responsibility goes to understanding the lies and treachery of John McCain with the underlying assumption that if they don't come around then they aren't doing their jobs.
I'll refer you to my last post. You seem to have skipped right over the part where I said that isn't what I think. In fact I specifically refuted that.

If you think the people have a responsibility, I'm curious to see what you think it is. Thus far you've placed all the responsibility on the candidates and none on the people voting for them.

quote:
And that my friend is where we fundamentally differ because I don't just talk a good game, I walk it. I believe the American people aren't stupid and if they fail to come around to Obama, then Obama is the one who did something wrong.
I think a great deal of the American people are either lazy or lacking in judgment. A lot of them just have a different ideology than me, and know perfectly well all the facts but come to a different conclusion than I do, that's fine, I think they're wrong, but that's fine. Those aren't the ones I take issue with. It's the ones who say they won't vote for Obama because he's a Muslim, and the dozens of other lies and misrepresentations that are out there. I don't think it's all one way or the other. Obama hasn't done everything right. And I'm sure there are more things in the future that I won't be pleased with that he'll do. Is he doing the absolute best job he could? Maybe not. But if he loses, I don't think that will be the reason why.

My real problem with the way you see things? It's a system that rewards bad behavior. It's a way of thinking that actually works best when the American people pay the least amount of attention. It's the type of thinking that leads a nation in decline, decades after the fall began to say "our leaders led us astray!" to which I would respond "then you should have demanded better leaders."

PS. I have no idea what the "I don't just talk a good game, I walk it line," has to do with anything, who you are referencing, or what "game" you're talkig about. I take it to be a vague swipe at me, but you'll have to elaborate if you want me to get it.

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Saephon
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I'm going to have to side with Lyrhawn in this little mini-debate, mostly because I just have a fairly pessimistic view of the electorate and politics in general. I do think there are a lot of stupid or lazy people in this country, and while I've always been intrigued by Obama's "new politics", a part of me knew it this country is not ready for it. I'm honestly surprised he's come as far as he has without throwing dirt in someone's face.

He's not the perfect candidate, and I know there are a couple things about him I don't like, but at the end of the day, I'm not really concerned with "sending a message." That goes for both Obama maintaining pleasantries in a dog-eat-dog world, as well as myself writing in a vote or staying home altogether.

Every day I look around me at America and come to the conclusion that we can't afford to lose, but send a message, because barely anyone is going to hear that message, and personally I'd rather do what I can to improve this country now, even if it means not having what I really want right away. Now if some people honestly think both candidates are exactly as bad as each other, that's fine. I won't argue with you if you come to the conclusion that your vote isn't helping then. As for me, I've got a feeling Obama will make some improvements, so I'm doing what it takes to get him in office: voting for him.

I hope he does what it takes to get in office, with a minimum of fighting dirty. If that proves impossible, I'll forgive him. I'd rather win the political battle than the ideological one, and I have nothing against anyone who disagrees with that stance.

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Samprimary
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I hate to doubt Ron's seven thousandth consecutive revelation that the liberals have surprisingly yet again lost the election for sure this time but

quote:
Today's Polls, 9/19

Let's not equivocate too much here. Over the course of the past several days, there has been a rather dramatic shift in this election toward Barack Obama. Our trendline estimate, which is engineered to be fairly conservative, registers the swing as equaling roughly 4 points over the course of the past week.

Changes of this velocity are unusual outside of the convention periods and the debates, especially in close elections. It took John McCain about 60 days and tens of millions of advertising dollars to whittle Obama's lead down from roughly 5 points at its peak in early June, to the 1-point lead that Obama held heading into the conventions. Obama has swing the numbers that much in barely a week.

Of course, we never really were entirely outside of gravitational field of the conventions, and probably at least half of this bounceback for Obama is merely the more-or-less inevitable consequence of McCain's convention bounce ending. But the fact is that Obama is in a stronger position now than he was immediately before the conventions. We now have him winning the election 71.5 percent of the time, which is about as high as that number has been all year.

from 528
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dabbler
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Five Thirty Eight is what Sam's citing. [Smile]
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Samprimary
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Ironically, it looks like my citation is +/- 10 points. We'll call it margin of error.
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Humean316
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quote:
Really? Funny, because McCain is doing exactly that. He's doing the same things he railed against Bush for doing eight years ago. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, he's changed, seemingly, almost his entire ideology on a huge swath of issues, and his tactics have gone from honorable maverick to despicable party insider. And his punishment? A massive bump in the polls.
He certainly is doing the same thing. Doesn't make what Obama is doing right though. In fact, when the other side does something wrong, the good leader or good side is the one that stays true to it's principles and does the right thing in the face of enormous pressure. And that's my point because at this point how the hell are we supposed to tell the good from the bad? In 2004, I voted for the lesser of two evils, but in this election I had hoped that I wouldn't have to do that. That's why I worked on Sen. Obama's campaign, I thought that maybe this would be different, that maybe when it came down to it, I would be able to tell the difference between the good side and bad side. I can't do that anymore because Obama has decided to rid himself of the ideals that I thought made him different than the rest.

And the thing is, I am really tired of voting for the lesser of who gives a crap. I really am.

quote:
In theory, I agree with you. In practice I think that's naive. The first part I absolutely agree with, regardless. The second part is only PART of the relationship between the citizenry and their candidates for high elected office. If you don't ask anything of the people, then you place the almost the entire election into the hands of the two people running for office, and trust in their ability to be honorable and fair. The problem with that is, when one side chooses to break that trust, the other guy can lose pretty easily while sticking to it. And in your theory, that means he "shouldn't be president." I don't agree.
Yeah, I wouldn't want to put too much pressure or hold to too high a standard the person who is going to be President of the United States. If I did we might actually get a decent one and what silly person would want that...

If you are going to trust in the American people, if you are going to be idealistic and hope for the best of humanity, then you can't abandon that ideal when things get tough. What you have to do is trust that that guy who breaks the trust, who runs the dishonorable campaign, will be defeated by the better nature of the American people and by their own sense of responsibility to duty. If you are really going to be idealistic, then trust that the American people *will* do their duty without resorting to the tactics of the other side.

When that's a major part of your platform, and you seemingly throw that away, then no you shouldn't be President because you lied to me when you said you trusted in the American people.

quote:
Those aren't the ones I take issue with. It's the ones who say they won't vote for Obama because he's a Muslim, and the dozens of other lies and misrepresentations that are out there. I don't think it's all one way or the other.
Sounds like a good reason to go negative--because the other side is calling you names.

quote:
My real problem with the way you see things? It's a system that rewards bad behavior. It's a way of thinking that actually works best when the American people pay the least amount of attention. It's the type of thinking that leads a nation in decline, decades after the fall began to say "our leaders led us astray!" to which I would respond "then you should have demanded better leaders."
Actually, my approach demands better leaders because I hold them accountable. The real difference between us is not about politics, it's what we hold most dear. While you want to win, I want win by doing it right. I want my leaders to be held to an extremely high standard, and if they don't meet that standard, I want that to be known. You claim that McCain went negative, got a bump in the polls, and thus, Obama is justified in going negative and abandoning part of his message because the American people are stupid. I believe that McCain went negative and got a bump in the polls, but that the answer to that is never to give up on those principles that make us the good side.

We *are* a nation on the decline, and though you claim you would tell me that we could have demanded better leaders, you certainly aren't doing that in Obama's case. Your way of thinking indicts the American people for being stupid when they disagree with you and allows our leaders to be hypocrites, liars, and completely incompetent if it means winning. I remember too when you damned Hillary Clinton for that ideal, but more than that, how am I supposed to tell the difference between McCain and Obama when they look so much alike these days?

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
What you have to do is trust that that guy who breaks the trust, who runs the dishonorable campaign, will be defeated by the better nature of the American people and by their own sense of responsibility to duty. If you are really going to be idealistic, then trust that the American people *will* do their duty without resorting to the tactics of the other side.
Ah, see that's where I think we really lose cohesion. In at least the last 30 or 40 years of presidential politics, and frankly, a good long time before it, the American people have shown that they will react positively towards dishonest tactics. I should say, they say they hate it, but when it happens, they don't punish the guy who does it. We saw it when Kerry tanked after the Swiftboaters got ahold of him, we're seeing it now, and I could give you a dozen more examples that range from the year 2000 to the year 1800 (yep that's right, I'm pulling Jefferson out on you).

The American people have shown a two century long record of NOT living up to the trust you say we should have in them. When they start demanding better behavior and stop rewarding it, in other words, when they start acting like you think they should and like I think they should, then I'll give them more of my trust. Something like that that has been lost must be earned back, and I'm not willing to sacrifice this election to test a trust that the people of this country broke 200 years ago. It's too important. I'm idealistic, probably a good bit more than I should be, but I'm also realistic too. I find a balance between them.

quote:
Sounds like a good reason to go negative--because the other side is calling you names.
Name calling can lose an election. Trivializing it like that is your attempt to make Obama look silly, but to me it makes you look like you don't understand presidential election politics and the effects simple words have on people.

quote:
Actually, my approach demands better leaders because I hold them accountable. The real difference between us is not about politics, it's what we hold most dear. While you want to win, I want win by doing it right. I want my leaders to be held to an extremely high standard, and if they don't meet that standard, I want that to be known. You claim that McCain went negative, got a bump in the polls, and thus, Obama is justified in going negative and abandoning part of his message because the American people are stupid. I believe that McCain went negative and got a bump in the polls, but that the answer to that is never to give up on those principles that make us the good side.
I disagree. I think your system weeds out the principled and allows the lowest common denominator to sweep into power using the most baseless, sleezy tactics they can come up with. McCain is bringing a gun to a knife fight, and you're solution is to have Obama let himself get shot at 20 paces using the naive notion that the people will step in to take the bullet. I love the idea, really I do, and like I said, I support it in theory, but it just doesn't work.

Yours is a system that probably everyone will agree with, on paper. When you put it to practice, there's no accountability, because the only ones who can hold him accountable are the American people, the same people who gave McCain that big bump in the polls. If that trust you think the people deserve was really there, he never would have gotten the bump to begin with.

You're right, there is a difference between us when it comes to principles, but I guess I'm different than a lot of Obama supporters to begin with. I was never involved with the cult of personality that follows his wake, and I was never enamored with the idea of him being some icon of change that would wash over politics and create a new way of doing things, so to me, this has far less to do with him betraying stated princples over how he runs his campaign. I still like a clean campaign, and I think he's doing far better than most in his shoes would, than others in the past have, and whole orders of magnitude better than McCain, but that's not my chief concern. My highest concern is for the future of this country, and I think one of the candidates will set us back, and one will move us forward. If the better candidate has to compromise some of his stated preferences for how he would have liked to run the campaign because doing it his preferred way will lose him the election to someone with no problem throwing mud, then that's fine with me, to a point. If he sunk to McCain's level, or to the level that Clinton did in the primaries, he'd still get my vote, but not my full throated support, defence, money or any other sort of allegiance.

quote:
We *are* a nation on the decline, and though you claim you would tell me that we could have demanded better leaders, you certainly aren't doing that in Obama's case.
Sure I am, but you're stating an opinion, not fact. I think Obama would be a demonstrably better leader than McCain, so he's my choice. If you go back to the primary, I was leaning towards Obama, but was totally okay with almost all the rest of the field winning the nomination. When it came down to Obama and Clinton I initially felt that no matter who got the nod, the Dems were in great shape this year. But as Clinton fell further and further behind, she lashed out with unfounded, McCain-like attacks against Obama. My support for her evaporated into nothingness, but what happened? She climbed against him in the polls and eked out some end of the race victories in some big states. Yet another example of your theory not working in practice. You could argue that Obama won because Clinton didn't go negative soon enough. If she had, she might have won.

quote:
Your way of thinking indicts the American people for being stupid when they disagree with you and allows our leaders to be hypocrites, liars, and completely incompetent if it means winning.
If you want to keep putting words in my mouth you are free to do so. I trust the average reader of Hatrack is more ably equipped than the general population to discern truth from lies. I've said it twice now, but let's hopefully make this the last time: I don't think the American people as a whole are stupid. I think most of them are perfectly able to understand what's going on, but that the majority of them don't take the time to understand. Hell, barely a majority take the time to even vote, let alone understand. This particular argument has nothing to do with whether or not they agree with my own personal ideology. Seemingly few people do. I would ask you to please stop attributing that position to me.

quote:
I remember too when you damned Hillary Clinton for that ideal, but more than that, how am I supposed to tell the difference between McCain and Obama when they look so much alike these days?
I damned Clinton for much the same reason I'm damning John McCain. Tactics. Her underhanded low blows were off base and unfair. If you can't win on the issues, you shouldn't win at all. And looking at the issues, if you can't tell the difference between McCain and Obama, then I don't think YOU are paying much attention either.
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Chris Bridges
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How do Americans react to sneaky underhanded crap like this?

quote:
Republican Mailing Leaves Florida Voters Confused

A new mailing from the Republican National Committee and the McCain campaign to Florida voters has Democrats saying they're the victim of dirty tricks. They say that at the very least, the mailing is meant to confuse voters in this battleground state. Republicans say Democrats are making much ado abut nothing.

Lifelong Democrat Marilyn DiMauro of Naples was surprised to get a letter recently from Republican presidential contender John McCain.

"I thought, well that's strange, because I'm a Democrat. And when I opened the envelope, there was a card that said I was listed as a Republican with my registration number. So I immediately got my Democratic card, and the registration number was not the same," she says.

She thought the mailing — labeled "Party Affiliation Voter Registration Card" — was a little fishy — especially when she found out two of her friends who are Democrats had received the same thing but a Republican friend had not.

The article goes on to explain that the card comes with a letter, signed by John McCain, stressing repeatedly that the card needs to be filled out and sent in. The Republican campaign says it is intended to ease confusion, but judging by the worried calls coming in it seems intended to cause it. No sign yet that a Republican got one of these, and any process that can extract all that personal information and somehow miss, consistently, the party affiliation seems awfully suspicious.

I may have gotten one of these, I dunno, I reflexively pitch any and all political mail I get, regardless of the source. But this is the sort of thing that makes me hate politicians, or at least their campaign people.

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Blayne Bradley
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shouldn't that be considered fraud?
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Lyrhawn
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From that same article

quote:
Democrats this week filed a lawsuit to stop Michigan Republicans from challenging voters at the polls using home foreclosure lists
Some people at work were talking about this a couple days ago. I hadn't heard anything about it, by which I mean I haven't heard anything that substantiates it as a proposed Republican tactic. But the buzz is certainly circulating about it.
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Chris Bridges
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Lose your house, lose your vote

quote:
State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”

One expert questioned the legality of the tactic.

“You can’t challenge people without a factual basis for doing so,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a former voting rights litigator for the U.S. Justice Department who now runs the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington D.C.-based public-interest law firm. “I don’t think a foreclosure notice is sufficient basis for a challenge, because people often remain in their homes after foreclosure begins and sometimes are able to negotiate and refinance.”

As for the practice of challenging the right to vote of foreclosed property owners, Hebert called it, “mean-spirited.”


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Chris Bridges
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quote:
shouldn't that be considered fraud?
I doubt it can be proven fraud; the people behind it can claim (as they have) that they sent this out to Republican voters and some must have gotten sent to Dems by mistake. You would have to prove intent, and that's tricky to do.

I definitely think it should be considered fraud, considered so by all voters who should take this sort of thing into account when deciding what party deserves their vote.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Shouldn't a real leader be able to find a way to stay above the fray *and* win the election?
No.
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