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Bloggingheads
01-29-2008, 04:10 AM

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 06:03 AM
How utterly sweet and reasonable.

How utterly depressing.

FF "defaults" to the least-worst (his analysis), Obama, the peddler of hope, opting for faith-based healing of this massively medically-ill body politic and its sheep-herded citizenry.

Why? Because somehow he thinks the unknown quantity can't be nearly so bad as the known.

Where I come from, we have a word for this: naivety.

But it's in fashion. He's just jumping on board with the old pterodactyl Kennedy loser, Ted Kennedy, and Caroline, who claims "He's just like my father and Bobby" (both of whom, being but a small child, she never really knew...).

When this sort of thing passes for political wisdom, one just wants to put the finger way down the throat... and barf.

EW

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 06:58 AM
Clarification:

When I referred to "naivety" (above), there are two strains at work here:

1) Somewhat understandable, but deluded nonetheless: the impression that a fresh face tied to faux-eloquence somehow promises a new day in American politics. Pardon me while I die laughing.

2) The idealism which thinks a still deeply racist nation will be able to elect a black man, no matter how well qualified. Sorry guys, that would be nice, but it ain't gonna happen.

Prediction: If Obama gets the Democratic nomination, McCain will be the next president (if he doesn't die of an anger-induced cerebrovascular accident first).

EW

PS: As much crap as Bill Clinton has gotten for it, he was right in saying that Obama's success down South is no different from the wins accrued by Jesse Jackson. Getting impressive sounding wins with select audiences should not be amazing. But come the big one in November, there's no way, absolutely no way, that Senator Obama can win.

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 08:53 AM
Well... FF may be the best in terms of sounding sweet and reasonable, using rational-sounding sequiturs, and all that, but, frankly, he's just as full of it as the rest of them.

Just a nice little example: His comparing Clinton's use of military force to the reckless leg-lifting-on-every-bush style of George and that famous clown, Reagan. Not so. If anything, Clinton was extraordinarily conservative about going around and knocking heads with weapons. Unfortunate case in point: Rwanda, but how you ever going to get the UN to do anything right. Probably unavoidable use: Kosovo. And all he ever did with Saddam and Qaida was lob a few softballs. Actually, much easier to make the opposite argument.

What's with our heavy-lidded, always agreeable, ever-nodding host? Does he take Thorazine before these sessions and then just groove on the reflections off his monitor? Surprised he didn't call FF on weird assertions like this.

So, yeah, FF may be the "best," alright, but at what? Editing history? Looking to the future with all the vision of somebody with wax paper on his glasses?

Diagnostic: He voted for George in 2000. That says it all. Gore may have been an unappealing pompous wooden robot then, but George W. was always transparently a stubborn, mindless, uneducated fool bound to blow anything he ever laid his head or hands on. And anybody with half a brain should have known that and, if Gore was too nauseating, just should have voted "none of the above" by staying home.

EW

deebee
01-29-2008, 11:04 AM
The fact that Obama is, like Bush was, a Mystery Man is the very reason why I can’t vote for him. With the vast challenges ahead, we should be grateful that we can select someone who has been there and brings a deep grasp of economics and other vital issues to the table.

I agree that Hillary brings along a lot of baggage but there will be few surprises. As I understand it the Chicago Tribune has been hounding. Obama about his close ties to Mr. Rezko and have received few answers from him. When that trial begins next month, Teddy may yet rue his unqualified endorsement.

Also Obama’s debating skills are mediocre and whenever confronted comes across as prickly, peevish and weak. Although admittedly abrasive, Hillary usually turns those situations into shows of strength and resolve and her policy explanations are succinct and impressive. Based on this, I predict that when the Republicans unleash their slime machine against Obama, he will snap like a brittle twig while Hillary will hold up well against them.

Since McCain’s rant of “There Will Be More Wars” is unlikely to resonate with most voters, and Romney doesn’t wear well, I do believe that Hillary has a good chance of winning. If she isn’t the candidate, perhaps there will be a Bloomberg in our future.

bkjazfan
01-29-2008, 12:52 PM
How Obama is generating this successful election campaign is beyond me. Even though I am a news junkie I am still not aware of his accomplishments. Ok, I got it with the "change" rhetoric. Please, don't refer me to some website drawn up by his advisors on his various positions on the issues. Then there is McCain and his seeming lead for the republicans. That's another "headscratcher." It looks like another lesser of 2 whatever vote in late '08.

Namazu
01-29-2008, 06:39 PM
Where I come from, we have a word for this: naivety.
I give Frank credit for being, well...frank. Bob's argument, if you can call it that, seems to be based on whatever he thinks a majority of Obama's advisers said 5 years ago about Iraq (oh, and that electing a black guy will make other people nicer to us). Perhaps someone could ask Rosa Brooks if she still thinks Obama is the Messiah next time she's on; some might consider that a qualification for higher office. While Hillary is untested (and underqualified) as a leader, she has a track record of issue-specific political positioning that makes her the lower-beta choice. I'd like to see more Democrats on bhtv man up and admit that they're sick of the Clintons and willing to--yes--roll the dice on Obama as the price of keeping them out of the White House.

Wonderment
01-29-2008, 07:16 PM
Speaking of naive and idealistic vs. realistic and self-interested, I've been getting interested lately in the WWED question: What Would (Will) Edwards Do? when faced with the moral dilemma of choosing Clinton or Obama.

If Edwards remains at 10% or so, he could be the King Maker down the road to Denver.

Given cabinet-level inducements from both Obama and Clinton, would Edwards go with his conscience and values (thus supporting the more progressive, antiwar candidate and the one who will finally stab the old Segregationist South in the heart), or will he just sell his soul to whichever candidate offers him the best deal? Could Hillary buy him as VP or AG?

A similar moral choice is facing Bill Richardson as an endorser, although the stakes are much lower. Also, BR has not distanced himself from Hillary to the extend Edwards has, so it's easier for him to rationalize whatever decision he makes.

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 10:55 PM
Regarding Namazu's:
I'd like to see more Democrats on bhtv man up and admit that they're sick of the Clintons and willing to--yes--roll the dice on Obama as the price of keeping them out of the White House.

Well, sure, I imagine most Karl Rove-type tricksters, snickering up their sleeves, chuckling at another term or two wreaking fiscal devastation, would be more than happy to see large sectors of the Democratic base drink the Kool-Aid of Obama dreams, only to roll around in agony as those dreams die early next November.

What a bright idea!

EW

TwinSwords
01-29-2008, 11:09 PM
Regarding Namazu's:


Well, sure, I imagine most Karl Rove-type tricksters, snickering up their sleeves, chuckling at another term or two wreaking fiscal devastation, would be more than happy to see large sectors of the Democratic base drink the Kool-Aid of Obama dreams, only to roll around in agony as those dreams die early next November.

What a bright idea!

EW

So, what's your political orientation? Liberal? Conservative? Democrat? Republican? Ron Paul?

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 11:22 PM
Wonderment:
What Would (Will) Edwards Do? when faced with the moral dilemma of choosing Clinton or Obama.

So odd you see this as a "moral choice" as if the Clintons were satanic and Obama the Messiah. Edwards would make a decent VP to either one of them, but that choice is simply a matter of political calculus and the degree of stomach Edwards might have for four years of being third dog pulling the Clinton sled, or second in service to Obama (the latter ticket being unelectable, though). We're not talking about some good-evil dichotomy here.

Seems so odd so many folks buying into the analysis that lots of political experience (and manifest ability to play that game really well) is somehow "evil," thus preferring to put up Snow White against the down-and-dirty Republican machine.

Opting for Obama, likable though he may be, is no different than voting for somebody like Ralph Nader.

For the choice to be validly cast as a "moral" one, one has to instead look at what hangs in the balance at the prospect of the economically brutal effect at home and politically disastrous effect abroad of four more years of Republican rule.

EW

Wonderment
01-29-2008, 11:33 PM
So odd you see this as a "moral choice" as if the Clintons were satanic and Obama the Messiah.... We're not talking about some good-evil dichotomy here.

Well, you are exaggerating my position, but I do think a significant moral decision of our time was to support the war in Iraq or not. Clinton did; Obama didn't. Edwards also voted for the Iraq war authorization, but he made a huge deal about apologizing and repenting. I believed him. That is why I especially wonder if he would ever compromise with the unrepentant Clinton, who he knows is more hawkish and more two-faced than Obama.

Opting for Obama, likable though he may be, is no different than voting for somebody like Ralph Nader.

Again, this seems to me to be a reckless exaggeration. Ralph Nader had absolutely zero chance of being elected POTUS. Obama is currently beating the leading Republicans in the polls and at the very least is a highly competitive candidate.


For the choice to be validly cast as a "moral" one, one has to instead look at what hangs in the balance at the prospect of the economically brutal effect at home and politically disastrous effect abroad of four more years of Republican rule.

That may be true, and that's why Hillary can wiggle her way rightward without insulting away too many progressive voters. We do have our limits, however.

Eastwest
01-29-2008, 11:40 PM
Re Wonderment's:
So, what's your political orientation? Liberal? Conservative? Democrat? Republican? Ron Paul?

Don't have much patience for these sorts of categorizations which simply enable the "packaging and dismissal" of nuanced discourse. But, if we must get down to brass tacks, I'm interested in:

1) Keeping proto-fascists, potential theocrats, war-mongers, and arrogant bullies out of the seats of power;

2) Introducing certain aspects of First-World civilization to this savage system (Biggest case in point: Universal Health Care);

3) Using genuinely respectful international diplomacy steered by enlightened self-interest (in the largest, big-vision sense of the term) in dealing with other countries, civilizations, and semi-civilizations;

4) Preserving and enhancing routes for the poor to enter the middle class, whilst protecting the middle class from being choked into the poor-house by aristocrats and political oligarchs; and

5) On religious grounds (Buddhist), I'm socially conservative, but feel it's unethical to push religious ideas (beyond consensus level ethics vis-a-vis killing, stealing, lying, etc.) onto people who do not share my beliefs.

So, I think "uncategorizable" is the genuine answer to your question.

EW

Eastwest
01-30-2008, 12:10 AM
Re Wonderment's:
Well, you are exaggerating my position, but I do think a significant moral decision of our time was to support the war in Iraq or not. Clinton did; Obama didn't.

Well, actually, I remember that time very well. We were all, Congress and citizenry alike, being subjected to an overwhelming din of lies coming from all levels of government, being understandably cowed by the then only-very-recent 9-11 horror, Condi's calling forth visions of mushroom clouds, and being subjected even to the very convincing politically-prostituting lies of a previous "Black Hope" I once so admired (Colin Powell), giving us a very powerful UN presentation on all of the supposed bio-warfare apparatus of Saddam. (And, btw, Colin Powell really can be quite eloquent in a seasoned manner transcending the greeny baby-face faux-eloquence of the as-yet-unseasoned Obama.)

So, in short, yes, Clinton was fooled, but I can't blame her a bit. We were all lied to on every level. What's more, that authorization did not constitute a vote for war. George was still supposedly bound to pursue diplomacy, but of course he had no intention to do so. We only found out later from Richard Clarke (National Security Specialist who walked out of the White House) that Cheney, Bush, Condi were dead-set on extirpating Saddam from the moment they walked into the White House, well in advance of 9-11, no matter what lies were required to accomplish it.

So, anyway, this is an endless argument, which pursued would take me into an iteration of how well Obama can dance with political pretense, but I'm already over-long. We'll just have to agree to disagree...

On this:

Obama is currently beating the leading Republicans in the polls and at the very least is a highly competitive candidate.

Well, I understand your hope, but it's not realistic. I remember drinking from "Whites Only" drinking fountains in Dallas as a child. I've also watched very closely this issue of the smiling face of deep-seated racism. The polls, I'm sorry to say, really don't tell you squat anymore. Completely setting aside the Bradley effect (which really will show itself in spades in November, if it comes to have a showcase to demonstrate its power), the advent of cell phones and the demographic they represent (which are nearly entirely unreachable by pollsters) now make polling a justifiably ridiculable industry.

I can understand your naivety, but it's still naivety. If Obama goes to the general, he will have his derriere kicked into the next county by the uncompromisingly vicious Republican dirty-trick-ridden attack machine. (It will make the "savvy" political gaming of Bill and Hillary look like nursery-school patty-cakes.)

It is for this reason that I characterize a vote for Obama as being on a par with a vote for Nader. This is not distortion. This is realism. Realism hurts some times. We'll just have to get used to that, but there's no excuse for not learning from it.

EW

Wonderment
01-30-2008, 12:52 AM
Well, I understand your hope, but it's not realistic. I remember drinking from "Whites Only" drinking fountains in Dallas as a child. I've also watched very closely this issue of the smiling face of deep-seated racism.

He doesn't have to win Dallas, just in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

If Obama goes to the general, he will have his derriere kicked into the next county by the uncompromisingly vicious Republican dirty-trick-ridden attack machine. (It will make the "savvy" political gaming of Bill and Hillary look like nursery-school patty-cakes.)

Clinton is much more vulnerable to Republican dirty tricks than Obama. They can pretend Obama is a Muslim or that he had an affair with Paris Hilton, but it's all make believe. Hillary really has many skeletons in her closet, while Obama -- as far as we know -- has very few. A couple of lines of Coke in college is not enough for a successful smear campaign.

TwinSwords
01-30-2008, 12:52 AM
Don't have much patience for these sorts of categorizations which simply enable the "packaging and dismissal" of nuanced discourse.
LOL, good description. And thanks for the answer. I'm not sure I would characterize it as "uncategorizable," but far be it for me to give you a label you don't accept for yourself -- especially since other positions you might take could mitigate whatever conclusions I'd draw from your 5 bullet points.

Eastwest
01-30-2008, 01:25 AM
Re: TwinSwords:
I'm not sure I would characterize it as "uncategorizable,"
Please, please, please, don't be bashful. I'd love to hear you categorize it. I'll help you a little more: No, I don't: drive a Volvo, eat brie, enter a Starbuck's unless dragged against my will, own my own home, or even watch TV (except, of course, for BHTV, which is an entirely different story)...

In fact, I don't even own a TV, and for the most part, have never permitted them anywhere near me anytime in the last 40 years.

Also, I'm fully over-employed (usually, about 60 hrs/wk) and am paid absolutely nothing, but yet have no savings, and own nearly nothing.

So, help me out: categorize that, OK?

EW

Namazu
01-30-2008, 01:26 AM
Well, sure, I imagine most Karl Rove-type tricksters, snickering up their sleeves, chuckling at another term or two wreaking fiscal devastation, would be more than happy to see large sectors of the Democratic base drink the Kool-Aid of Obama dreams, only to roll around in agony as those dreams die early next November.
Probably, but I don't think it requires much imagination to see Hillary handing the Democratic party a blown opportunity of historic dimensions, dwarfing the 2004 fiasco. Against a McCain/Guiliani ticket, I'm not sure she even wins a straw poll among college-educated self-identified feminist pro-choice Democrat baby boomer women I know. I'm neither a Republican nor much of a McCain fan, but I'll enjoy a good laugh at the expense of a party that anoints someone with sky-high negatives as their "electable" candidate. Keep something with an indication for agony in the medicine chest.

Eastwest
01-30-2008, 01:44 AM
Re: Wonderment's:

He doesn't have to win Dallas, just in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

You don't get it. The racism I'm talking about extends from New York to Seattle and is present in every city, town, and country burg in between.

But, let's just agree to disagree. I'm getting amazed at my own tediousness on this thread. Apologies to all. Signing off to some future diavlog.

EW

piscivorous
01-30-2008, 01:52 AM
Re Wonderment's:
So, in short, yes, Clinton was fooled, but I can't blame her a bit. Perhaps she was listening to her husband and his advisers when she was gathering all that valuable experience from eight years as spouse in chief.

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John
Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

TwinSwords
01-30-2008, 02:01 AM
Re: TwinSwords:

Please, please, please, don't be bashful. I'd love to hear you categorize it. I'll help you a little more: No, I don't: drive a Volvo, eat brie, enter a Starbuck's unless dragged against my will, own my own home, or even watch TV (except, of course, for BHTV, which is an entirely different story)...

In fact, I don't even own a TV, and for the most part, have never permitted them anywhere near me anytime in the last 40 years.

Also, I'm fully over-employed (usually, about 60 hrs/wk) and am paid absolutely nothing, but yet have no savings, and own nearly nothing.

So, help me out: categorize that, OK?

I have enjoyed your posts. They are funny, well-written, insightful, and provide (I think) an interesting perspective. So, I'm glad you've started posting here, and I hope you post more. I think I could learn a lot from you.

I do think you're a bit rude, but you're not going to hurt my feelings.

I don't want to categorize you because, for one thing, I don't want to offend you. And, for another, I'm not qualified to categorize you. The reason I asked if you could clarify your position was because you seemed to be firing randomly in all directions. That's a pretty unusual thing to see in our polarized world. Most people are proud of their category, and won't hesitate to tell you right away where they stand.

But, as you know better than me, there are a few people in this world who don't fit neatly into any of the predefined buckets. Based especially upon your second list of characteristics, you do appear to be one of those.

And yeah, Starbucks is gross. Too sweet.

TwinSwords
01-30-2008, 02:03 AM
Re: Wonderment's:



You don't get it. The racism I'm talking about extends from New York to Seattle and is present in every city, town, and country burg in between.

But, let's just agree to disagree. I'm getting amazed at my own tediousness on this thread. Apologies to all. Signing off to some future diavlog.

EW

That was certainly different. :-D

JLF
01-30-2008, 10:53 AM
A Third Party candidate becoming president simply ain't gonna happen . . . at least not in our lifetimes. And if by some miracle it did come to pass, that president would be the most impotent president in our history, attempting to get whatever program he espoused through an almost unanimously hostile Congress, composed of members of the two parties he dissed to become president. Bad as it might seem, the two party system is the horse we rode in on and the one that will carry us out.

harkin
01-30-2008, 05:58 PM
Listening to Fukuyama drone on and on with his defeatest attitude makes me want to coin a phrase, 'wet-noodle Republican'.

Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann could use this as whacking material.

uncle ebeneezer
01-30-2008, 07:25 PM
EastWest, welcome to our esteemed forum. As Brendan noted in another 'vlog, I too enjoy your posts and find lots of interesting stuff in them. But I have to disagree with you on Hillary vs. Obama. I don't want to get into every detail of their differences as far as policy goes, especially since I don't see them being all THAT different on the whole. But your argument about Obama's electability in the General is precisely the thing that I would point to if I was focussing my aim on Hillary. I don't think there's any way she will be able to beat McCain. And here's why I think that:

I am an Independent who is truly sick of old politics as usual and desperate for a change. Most of the people I know fall into the same camp. Left-leaning Independents. According to polls, we are the main force that has made Obama a viable contender. And the problem for Hillary is that many of us will not vote for her. Hillary supporters will undoubtedly vote for Obama rather than McCain, but Obama supporters and other Ind/rep fence-sitters will not. Hillary has the great disadvantage of having a whole bunch of people who simply will not vote for her. I can't see myself voting for McCain, so I will probably just vote for Hillary if she is the Dem nominee, but I know many life-long liberals and Independents who tell me that they would either consider voting for McCain, 3rd party or simply stay home. These are the people that will likely determine the course of this election.

Whether Obama supporters are naive or not for buying into his message of change is a matter of opinion. But many could argue that the people who think the Hillary has any chance of beating McCain are drinking Kool Aid of their own. Obama has a stronger pull among Independents and Moderate Reps., AND does not stir up the GOP to anywhere near the level that the mere utterance of the C-word "Clinton" will. The GOP attack machine will be suped up for another shot at Hillary, and the Reps who are somewhat ambivalently considering sitting this election out (as they did in 06) will be instantly mobilized by Hillary's nomination.

My personal take on it is that I have a tough time taking Hillary's "experience" serious. Until I see what exactly her role was as First Lady in both Arkansas and the White House, I give only credit to her personally for what she's done in the Senate...which is about the same as what Obama has done. Surviving in the White House in the 90's doesn't win me over as far as convincing me she would be a good president. And then there's the whole Iraq vote which to me is a pretty good yardstick for gaging her judgement.

Anyways, I just think your prediction that Obama can't beat McCain isn't as much of a no-brainer as you contend. I can see McCain Independents actually going for Obama, but not Hillary. This would seem to be one of Obama's greatest advantages in the General.

piscivorous
01-30-2008, 08:42 PM
My primary concern with Obama is his apparent naivety . A good example of tis was evident in his reply to President Bush's State of the Union Address. He goes on about how one side of the room stands and applauds and the other doesn't.Then goes on to say (paraphrased) "wouldn't it be nice if we had a president where both sides of th isle cold stand and applaud?"

While I agree this would be nice, as the extreme partisanship of the current is destructive, but to think that the right side of the isle will get up and clap for the talking points of a president from the left is either delusional or a sign of credulity. Neither of which the country can't afford at this particular point in time.

TwinSwords
01-31-2008, 03:23 AM
While I agree this would be nice, as the extreme partisanship of the current is destructive, but to think that the right side of the isle will get up and clap for the talking points of a president from the left is either delusional or a sign of credulity. Neither of which the country can't afford at this particular point in time.

You're right, it's unrealistic, but for a variety of reasons it may be good strategy to express the wish, and good leadership to set that as a goal.

War is a terrible thing; civil war worse; there's room in our discourse for reminders that we are all on the same side, in the grand scheme.

You only need to dip a toe in the right wing community sites, forums, and blog comments and you will be inundated with conservative calls for the violent end to liberals and liberalism. And it's getting worse every year.