Bloggingheads Community

Bloggingheads Community (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/index.php)
-   Diavlog comments (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=9)
-   -   Obama Pessimism (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2041)

Ocean 08-20-2008 07:17 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laurelnyc (Post 88076)
I really don't appreciate your calling Britney & Paris "sluts." They are not sluts --- yes, they have sexy personas, but that does not make them "sluts." Furthermore, I find calling young women who enjoy sex to be demeaning & sexist. Why are female pop stars ridiculed and derided as "sluts," yet young male pop stars are not? It is time that the sexual double standard end!! It is perfectly normal for young people to enjoy sex. People are no longer marrying at 18, so it's obvious that there is more pre-marital sex, but that does not make us "slutty."

Laurel, as much as I may want to agree with you, I must say this has nothing to do with young people having sex. I don't know if these two women are sluts or not, frankly I don't care. I don't like the use of the word slut, since it has a somewhat ambiguous meaning. But if I had to use the word applied to someone, I would easily pick Britney and Paris. The word "slut" doesn't demean them, they demean themselves. They are brainless vulgar exhibitionists who have absolutely nothing to say that would inspire any respect. They represent the saddest stereotype of the empty headed Barbie slut. No, I wouldn't waste a thought trying to defend them. Now, if they ever come up with a somewhat intelligent thought, I would reconsider. So far, no good.

And the same applies to the slutty boys.

Unit 08-20-2008 07:37 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
I'm also a big fan of John and Glenn. However, I find it hard to believe that John can be so easily swept off his feet by a politician. So my question is: John, can you clarify exactly how and through what kind of policies would an Obama presidency be "transformative"? During the podcast you briefly mentioned the New Deal as an example, but I'm sure you know that there are critics on both sides and for some the New Deal was seen as disastrous policy, in practice.

John M 08-20-2008 07:40 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Dear My Georgian Friend Bk,

Quote:

I wonder how many of those draft dodgers who were morally opposed to the war were primarily afraid to serve and their moral opposition to the war was a ruse?
I wonder too! That is why Sen. Lieberman and I are introducing cross-the-aisle bipartisan straight-talk legislation to disenfranchise these traitors and send them back to the Canucks.

If you're scared to fight, why should you be allowed to vote, or even live here?

Obama is a yellow-belly. He claims he was too young to serve in Nam. But do the math. B. Hussein Obama was fourteen years old the year the Vietnam War ended. That's plenty old enough for Junior ROTC. Of course, there was no JROTC program at the Madrassah in Syria that he attended. But that because his mother, an atheist commie, and his Al Qaeda step-dad chose to live in Damascus. They're both dead now, but Cheney assures me he's keeping them on the No Fly list, just in case.

God Bless America,
John

TwinSwords 08-20-2008 07:46 PM

Re: No!: It's "Realism" about Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eastwest (Post 88020)
TS:

I can appreciate why it rankles that Dem cats don't herd very well and continue to call out jive and artifice when it's obvious.

You're right. Dem cats don't herd very well. It's as Brendan said recently:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brendan
It's funny how the wingnuts like to talk about the left as some monolithic body of thought, when it's patently obvious that for the past thirty years at least, when it comes to winning elections, [the circular firing squade has] been our biggest failing.

Note: "the circular firing squad" is my own paraphrase for Brendan's pronoun "this."

EW: It's not that other people don't share your moral purity. It's just that some people feel the frying pan is better than the fire. I'll take three more Clinton-like Supreme Court nominees and one more Clinton-style war over three more Scalia's and three wars of McCain's choosing. I see a big difference there, even if Obama is the empty ditz you say he is.



Quote:

Originally Posted by EastWest
But let's get real: Maybe a few thousand votes (max) would get influenced by Loury's having to laugh to keep from crying in his observations of Obama's pomposity, artifice, and amateurishness. Maybe a dozen (max) would ever be influenced by my own statements in that vein.

I'm sorry if I gave you the impression that I was condemning your influence. I was not. I was, instead, describing your state of mind, and what you appear to be fantasizing about: a McCain victory. I agree with you that you don't have a whole lot of influence. (And neither do I.)



Quote:

Originally Posted by EastWest
BHTV forum is a miniscule puddle in the great sea of electoral politics read almost solely by perhaps a hundred little minnows who think they're sharks and, as with your post, assume they're chatter is somehow consequential even though, of course, it's not, not, not.

I think your estimate of the number of readers is probably way low. There are almost certainly at least 10 times as many readers as posters. But as for the non-numeric aspects of your statement, I agree: most of the people here are engaged in inconsequential chatter. There may be an exception or two.



Quote:

Originally Posted by EastWest
So you can breathe a sigh of relief. If Obama didn't act like a pompous air-head, people like Glenn wouldn't call him out for it. The ball's in his court (again).

Well, actually, the ball's in the media's court, and the media has decided that it wants McCain to be our next president.


Quote:

Originally Posted by EastWest
We'll just see if he keeps dancing and pirouetting for the cheerleaders or gets down to the business of keeping the ball in play.

I'm quite sure you would be bashing him no matter what he did. I think you know it, too.

John M 08-20-2008 07:55 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

I really don't appreciate your calling Britney & Paris "sluts." They are not sluts.
Thank you, Laurel! Only the liberal pro-porn anti-family, anti-life culture would portray two wholesome American gals like Paris and Britney as "s-word."

Ms. Spears and Ms. Hilton are fine Americans. The Hiltons are contributors to my campaign, and Britney has assured me that no one in her family going back 8 generations has ever voted for anyone, much less a Democrat.

Our red-blooded American troops overseas ADORE Britney and Paris, and a member of our glorious Armed Forces would never admire a slut (pardon my French) or besmirch our uniform by even thinking dirty thoughts about a white girl.

Here's some straight talk: The point of that ad was to show that Obama is too old to be president. He doesn't get the younger generation. The kids today like to drink lots of American beer, buy stuff at the mall on 30 different Visa cards, and pierce their private parts with flag pins.

B. Hussein Obama is out of touch. I may be chronologically older but I'm way cooler. Have you heard me imitate the Beach Boys? Ba-ba-bomb Iran. That's not old, it's retro, baby.

God Bless America, Laurel.
Thank you for your support!
John

TwinSwords 08-20-2008 08:06 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Xelgaex (Post 87987)
It's in the clip I linked to. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkOADdNSr-o (Maybe I should have left it as an address in my original comment instead of making it a hyper-link using "Here's") Listen from 1:48 to 2:00 into it. It didn't come up in the diavlog, but it was in the Morning Joe show that they were talking about. For a little bit when I read your comment, I was afraid that I was just remembering it from the morning I watched it, and it wasn't in the clip. So I had to listen to it again.

I think the reason that I mentioned it when John and Glenn didn't is because when I was watching Morning Joe, I remember thinking that you could mistake the column for the Tower of Pisa. (There is a shot where the camera is tilted so the column looks to be leaning.) But I didn't see anything in there that looked like the Washington Monument. So it stuck in my mind.

Okay, my mistake. I should have rewatched it before posting, but I had one foot out the door and didn't have time. In any event, thank you for saving me the trouble of re-watching the entire thing now by providing the point in the tape when he made his erroneous remark.

I, too, heard this live when it happened, and while I didn't remember the Washington Monument mistake, I did realize he was mistaken about the Leaning Tower of Pisa. But really, so what? Who cares? It's an innocent mistake. It's a stupid yet meaningless error on his part.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Xelgaex (Post 87987)
I also remembered it because I had heard the argument "Why two promiscuous white women?" before I saw him on. And it does make sense that the campaign might have chosen Paris and Britney for being "famous for being famous" as the Republicans were arguing but that they had the added benefit of being associated with sex. So it was a kinda weird experience watching an argument that I sympathized with being made to look silly by my own side.

Well, yeah, I wish our spokesmen and -women were perfect, too, but as you know, they're almost all highly imperfect. Still, you're doing the work of the wingnuts if you let a silly mix up like that put you off someone who is trying to accomplish the more important job of exposing the gutter politics practiced by St. McCain.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Xelgaex (Post 87987)
(Sorry for going so long about this. But tone is so hard to get right on the net. I didn't want to seem like I was attacking you.)

No problem. I appreciate that you would make the effort to be clear, and I agree with you: tone is difficult to convey, especially with emotional subject matter and the natural human inclination to find offense in any little thing.

TwinSwords 08-20-2008 08:11 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by radmul (Post 88006)
Here is a link to the video in which he claims there are shots of the Washington monument and the leaning tower. In point of fact it is the victory tower the location of the speech.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTIIPblBcYM

Thanks for the link. My mistake. Still, I think it's a stupid mix-up that has nothing to do with larger and largely correct point that Herbert was attempting to make.

Remember, this is Pig Man Scarborough's show. Articulate liberals don't get seats on his set. You understand why Alan Colmes was chosen to be the House Liberal on Fox News: Because he's weak and ineffective. That's the kind of liberal that conservatives have been putting on television for decades.

This is about the level of challenge that conservatives can stand:

http://www.ci.san-ramon.ca.us/Parks/...s/tee_ball.jpg

TwinSwords 08-20-2008 08:18 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Namazu (Post 88000)
I don't think Clarence Page is a Republican.

Oh, oof, stupid mistake on my part RE Page. The problem is that when I realized you were making excuses for (or, denying, really) the last 40 years of Republican racism, I kind of tuned out the rest of your post.

But yes, I know Bartlett, and I heard all about his preposterous "it's the Democrats who are the real racists" thesis when it was still a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

And despite your suggestions to the contrary, I'm well aware that the Democratic Party was the party of white supremacists before Republicans stole that franchise from them in the 1960s -- long before many of the people who are reading this were even born.

If you want to condemn the Democratic Party's historical racism, I'll be the first to join you. But those days are long past, as you are most certainly aware. During the 1960's the Democrats became the party of civil rights and racial inclusiveness, and this was the political calculation that shifted the solid Democratic south to the solid Republican south. It's what lead to the steady migration of racists from the D party to the R party.

Of course, this doesn't mean that every Republican is a racist. Far from it, especially if you're talking about the Republican rank and file: your brother, my uncle, the guy down the street. But even the non-racists in the Republican Party all have something in common: either ignorance of the true character of their party, or a willingness to abide racism in the name of other political objectives. For example, a lot of racially indifferent people will vote for the Party of Racism if it means they can get their taxes cut.

graz 08-20-2008 08:41 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 88090)
But yes, I know Bartlett, and I heard all about his preposterous "it's the Democrats who are the real racists" thesis when it was still a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Don't forget his bhtv appearance:
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9394
The comments are interesting too.

graz 08-20-2008 08:55 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John M (Post 88081)
If you're scared to fight, why should you be allowed to vote, or even live here?
God Bless America,
John

Did I hear you clearly today on the campaign trail, when you agreed with the town hall participant who called for a new military draft?

John M 08-20-2008 09:12 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Dear My Friend Graz,

Quote:

Did I hear you clearly today on the campaign trail, when you agreed with the town hall participant who called for a new military draft?
That was quite some time ago, Paisano My Friend Graz, so I can't quite remember what I said.

But I'll give you some STRAIGHT TALK about where I'll be heading on Day One as Commander-in-Chief. I've got a date with Obama bin Laden, Graz. I'll be bringing him back, dead or alive from the Gates of Hell!!!

http://www.freewebs.com/raxeswar/Gat...0hell11111.jpg


God Bless America,
John

grits-n-gravy 08-20-2008 10:05 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John M (Post 88085)
Our red-blooded American troops overseas ADORE Britney and Paris, and a member of our glorious Armed Forces would never admire a slut (pardon my French) or besmirch our uniform by even thinking dirty thoughts about a white girl.

That explains why sexual assaults against women in the military is an epidemic. Rather than 'thinking dirty thoughts' those red-blooded american patriots are about doing dirty actions. Sexual assaults in the military

tarajane 08-20-2008 10:27 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by olmeta (Post 87914)
Cancel all the other Obama / race in America commentators scheduled for upcoming diavlogs. These guys are in another league.

They are my absolute favorites -- I love the way they listen to and respond to one another.

bjkeefe 08-20-2008 10:36 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 88080)
I'm also a big fan of John and Glenn. However, I find it hard to believe that John can be so easily swept off his feet by a politician. So my question is: John, can you clarify exactly how and through what kind of policies would an Obama presidency be "transformative"? During the podcast you briefly mentioned the New Deal as an example, but I'm sure you know that there are critics on both sides and for some the New Deal was seen as disastrous policy, in practice.

I'd recommend watching the past diavlogs between John and Glenn. Minor reason: John has stated that life is too short for him to read comments, so you're unlikely to get a direct answer. Major reason: His views have been an interesting evolution to watch, and he's answered your question in a number of ways over the course of those conversations.

Unit 08-21-2008 01:12 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Well, as I said, I've followed all of their conversations. This last one seemed a bit over-board with romanticizing the influence of the presidency. But maybe it's just me...

bjkeefe 08-21-2008 01:26 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Unit:

Quote:

Well, as I said, I've followed all of their conversations.
Didn't see where you said that. But okay.

Quote:

This last one seemed a bit over-board with romanticizing the influence of the presidency. But maybe it's just me...
No way to settle that. For the record, I happen to agree with John that the president can serve as an incredibly powerful and affective symbol.

ahaan 08-21-2008 04:03 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote taken from John around 19:30.

"Yes, Barack Obama is not as qualified as a great many people and he would be kind of a gamble...."

Did anyone else react to this comment?

I have watched many of the John/Glenn diavlogs, and am aware that the above comment sprung from Obama's Clarence Thomas comment, but I had a hard time with this off the cuff remark by John.

Kerry didn't do it. Was he more qualified?
Gore didn't do it. Was he more qualified?
Bush did it TWICE....was/is he more qualified?

John said he likes to get into people's heads. I'd like to get inside John's and ask, so you agree with the Clinton/McCain supporters that Obama isn't qualified....why are you supporting him? Because you have no choice? Or do you really believe he is the better candidate?

harkin 08-21-2008 07:09 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
John's little stump speech at 25:15 would make a nice ad for someone with no command or executive experience running for mayor (or better, city councilman) of a small town. That he is presenting it as a resume for President of the United States really shows the difference between the hopity hopity change change crew looking for a powerful symbol instead of a leader, and those of us seeking a bit more.

I'm still curious though as to Glenn's thinking Hillary Clinton had much more experience in being a leader. If anything all she did was prove less savvy regarding commandeering the caucuses.

John: Regarding B Herbert's logic: it's not just sloppy, it's also incredibly slow. It took him 16 years to realize that the Clinton's were dishonest, shameless and buyable.

But as bad as Herbert's logic can be, it's still a bit of a push to psychoanalyze his supposed self-hatred ('not as good as white people'), which appears to be what you're doing. That was a cringe-inducing moment.

Glenn: Leaning Tower of 'Pisa', not pizza.

Eastwest 08-21-2008 07:36 AM

Re: No!: It's "Realism" about Obama
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 88083)
I see a big difference there, even if Obama is the empty ditz you say he is.

I'm quite sure you would be bashing him no matter what he did. I think you know it, too.

Hmmm. I of course do agree that McCain would be a complete disaster. I don't think anybody has any basis for knowing what Obama would be.

Clarification: No, I don't think Obama is what you call "an empty ditz." Au contraire: He's a very cunning operator whose been lusting for power for quite a few years now. Anyone whose read the more recent info on his Chicago history (per the in-depth New Yorker article and the related interviews, as, for instance, with Terry Gross), would understand this.

One of my larger beefs with him is precisely what Biden leveled against him early in the Primaries, i.e. that he's adequately smart, just not experienced and wise enough yet. In short he's still politically (and I think, personally) still rather immature. Even with just another four years in the US Senate, he'd have been a lot more convincing.

As for your conclusion that I'd be bashing him, no matter what, that's not true. I don't want McCain and in fact fear McCain. I'd choose BO, even as "green" as he is, even knowing it's a massive gamble.

Now, I'd like to suggest that folks wake up and smell the coffee a little more. This is not just me going off for no reason. Here's a little article by Carla Marinucci in yesterday's SF Chronicle that gives you a rationale which you needn't so directly identify with my seemingly chronic disapproval of BO's approach to campaigning (and this one doesn't even touch on the "pivot-to-the-right" and at least half a dozen other errors about which I was sounding off a few weeks ago):

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&type=politics

There's still time for BO, but not much, so he better quit fooling around and start shooting real bullets and avoiding McCain's traps. Hopefully Biden (much more savvy, infinitely wiser, and possessed of a great sense of humor with which he can tear McCain's nuts right off without even batting an eye) will show him a model of how to proceed. I only worry that BO will be too proud to learn. (Smarts mean nothing if you're not willing to learn.)

Just a brief quote from the above article:

"A national poll released Wednesday by Reuters/Zogby showed McCain beating Obama 46 to 41 percent, an advantage that also shows that voters now see McCain as stronger on economic issues. The latest poll erased the strong seven-point advantage held by the Democrat just last month. Other polls had the race statistically tied."

Cheers,
EW

Eastwest 08-21-2008 07:55 AM

Re: No!: It's "Realism" about Obama
 
PS: Also, it would be helpful if Obama could grow a pair of his own.

A large sector of older swing voters frankly get a scent of "wuss" off the guy, wonder if he's a eunuch, and are scratching their heads about whether he's the type of fellow who will pick up a club and go hunt heads if that's what actually needs to be done. He's just not very convincing and this could cost him 10% right there.

EW

TwinSwords 08-21-2008 08:50 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 88092)
Don't forget his bhtv appearance:
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9394
The comments are interesting too.

Ah, yes, that old gem. Good catch. And you're right: the comments are interesting.

laurelnyc 08-21-2008 09:24 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 87980)
It's true he mixed it up with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it's not true he said it was the Washington Monument. Why are you claiming he did?

Yes, he did mention the Washington Monument. On Morning Joe, he said that both the Leaning Tower of Pisa & the Washington Monument appeared in the beginning and he saw them as some insidious phallic symbol. He looked absolutely ridiculous since everyone knew that the monument was the Berlin Victory Tower and if anyone was to blame for the "phallic" symbolism, it was the Obama campaign for holding his speech in front of it where thousands of cameras would be present to photograph him in front of it. I'm amazed that anyone agrees with Herbert's twisted imagination regarding the "phallic" imagery's "hidden" meaning.

TwinSwords 08-21-2008 09:59 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laurelnyc (Post 88126)
Yes, he did mention the Washington Monument. On Morning Joe, he said that both the Leaning Tower of Pisa & the Washington Monument appeared in the beginning and he saw them as some insidious phallic symbol. He looked absolutely ridiculous since everyone knew that the monument was the Berlin Victory Tower and if anyone was to blame for the "phallic" symbolism, it was the Obama campaign for holding his speech in front of it where thousands of cameras would be present to photograph him in front of it. I'm amazed that anyone agrees with Herbert's twisted imagination regarding the "phallic" imagery's "hidden" meaning.

I will agree that his silly (yet meaningless) mistake about the monument was latched onto by wingnuts as an excuse to discredit the rest of his analysis. It was a dumb, but ultimately pointless, mistake. Nevertheless, it's the central focus of the response from people like yourself.

mathfuzzy 08-21-2008 10:10 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Thank you John Glenn for your insightful conversations!
MathFuzzy

bkjazfan 08-21-2008 11:16 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by grits-n-gravy (Post 88072)
You might ask the same question of those draftees who served against their moral reservations. Were they cowards for not opposing the draft and taking whatever consequences that may befall such persons?

Do you know some draftees that went against their moral reservations? Probably not. I knew plenty of draftees but none that fit your category.

John

Namazu 08-21-2008 11:35 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TwinSwords (Post 88090)
when I realized you were making excuses for (or, denying, really) the last 40 years of Republican racism

Really, I don't know where you get this stuff. I'm not sure about 40 years, but Reagan's demonization of welfare mothers contained a transparent appeal to racism, and I'm old enough to have voted against him for that very reason. Your thinking will be sharper if you drop the ad hominems and read carefully before you respond.

TwinSwords 08-21-2008 11:43 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Namazu (Post 88140)
Really, I don't know where you get this stuff. I'm not sure about 40 years, but Reagan's demonization of welfare mothers contained a transparent appeal to racism, and I'm old enough to have voted against him for that very reason. Your thinking will be sharper if you drop the ad hominems and read carefully before you respond.

Let's go back to your initial post, to which I hastily responded after concluding that your intent was to deny that the Republican Party has a history of pandering to racists.

What was your point in that post? To be specific, (1) For what reason were you promoting the Bartlett interview, and (2) What "gaps in my education" were you referring to?

Bonus question: Are ad hominems okay when you lob them?

Wonderment 08-21-2008 03:12 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Do you know some draftees that went against their moral reservations? Probably not. I knew plenty of draftees but none that fit your category.
Not only have I known MANY draftees who went against their moral reservations and who later deeply regretted going, but I also have met many enlisted men and women who've gone to Iraq reluctantly, with grave moral doubts, and who have come back to become anti-war activists.

It's true that most draftees got sucked into Vietnam before they had a chance to realize what happened to them -- drafted at 18, poorly trained for a few weeks, and dropped in the jungle with a rifle.

But many, especially as the war dragged on and resistance to the draft and the inhumanity of the war grew, hated themselves for going.

The Vietnam War was built on child abuse of American boys. We were indoctrinated in high school to think it was our duty to be a man and submit to the military, and the draft preyed on immature adolescents who lacked the education and worldly sophistication required to reflect on the propaganda and reject it. College kids, of course, beat the system and were mature enough to make more rational decisions in their 20s when they became eligible.

I took my draft physical after college (and had a dozen ways of beating the system by then). But as a result of moving around a lot, my address at the time was DC. I reported for the exam in a building full of black boys, many of whom were 17 years old, pre-registered for the draft, still in high school. They would be rushed through like cattle, approved as fit, and subsequently get their report-for-duty orders immediately after they turned 18. It was horrifying.

John M 08-21-2008 03:22 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Dear My Friend Grits,

Quote:

That explains why sexual assaults against women in the military is an epidemic. Rather than 'thinking dirty thoughts' those red-blooded american patriots are about doing dirty actions. Sexual assaults in the military
Here's some straight talk: Boys will be boys. There's always a bad apple in the bunch. Also, homos in the service have deteriorated morals. The poor straight kids feel they have to prove they're not gay nowadays, so they go overboard sometimes.

Buy 99.99% of our service men and women are red-blooded heroes. That includes the blacks and the Mexicans too.

It's like that so-called Abu Grey thing. One or two bad apples in the bunch and it got spread all over the Internet. The liberal media had a field day.

Dont' believe everything you see in the press, my friend.

God Bless (not damn!) America,
John

Jay J 08-21-2008 04:06 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Not sure if anyone has made this point or not, but I agree with John on Obama's Thomas comments.

The reason I agree is that the criteria I use for judging a presidential candidate are more broad than what I would use to judge a supreme court nominee.

I agree that Obama has all the qualities that John listed, and many of these are qualitative, while the skills we need from a supreme court justice are more narrow. That being the case, it doesn't seem like too much to ask that we have supreme court nominees who have an abundance of the skills or qualities we look for in a Supreme Court Justice. After all, the President has the pick of the litter of the legal community.

As for presidential candidates, a more general approach seems warranted, and by this standard Obama is the best one, by my lights. If all other things were equal I would prefer someone with more experience, but all other things are not equal, hence my support for Obama (which started early in the primary process).

And because Obama's aiming for the Presidency it seems OK for him to speak freely about what he thinks of the Supreme Court and its current make-up.

Obama may or may not have made a tactical error (from a political point of view) in talking about Thomas in that way, but from where I sit Obama didn't say anything out of line or even hypocritical. We can speculate about Obama versus Thomas, but for me the question has more to do with supreme court nominee versus presidential candidate, and how broad or narrow a skill set we're looking for relative to these positions.

Unit 08-21-2008 06:59 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
What were the presidents with a lot of symbolic influence? Reagan, JFK, FDR? In each case I wonder if the romance is more due to the narrative after-the-fact, rather than the real causes of change within the society.

bjkeefe 08-21-2008 07:45 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 88241)
What were the presidents with a lot of symbolic influence? Reagan, JFK, FDR? In each case I wonder if the romance is more due to the narrative after-the-fact, rather than the real causes of change within the society.

From my own experience, I can tell you that Reagan had a lot of symbolic impact while still in office. Not on me so much, but I had no choice but to acknowledge how much he did for a lot of other people.

I'd say the same about JFK, from close second-hand experience. My parents, grandparents, and others of both generations talked about him glowingly, and in terms of what they felt in response to specific speeches and events. That is, I'm sure some of the retelling was improved by being passed through the filter of reaction to his assassination, but the way they talked about what he meant in these specific ways suggests there was something there during his life, too.

Can't say from personal experience about FDR, except for a couple of decades-later stories about the fireside chats from my older relatives, but I've read a fair amount of history about that period, and I'd have to say that he had it going on, too. In fact, in his case, the passage of time seems more to have worked against him -- there seem to be a lot more right-wingers bent on castigating his memory these days than I ever heard about before.

Unit 08-21-2008 08:37 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Brendan,

it's not a question of right-wing vs. left-wing. Once you strip FDR's rhetoric and focus on the actual policies, especially the economic ones, they are deemed disastrous by modern day standards. And I'm not talking about social security etc.., the heritage we are saddled with today, I'm talking about policies that were supposed to have an immediate effect on the people at the time. What he did, he gave some good speeches, while forcing farmers to slaughter their pigs, burn their crops, etc...roused the masses, while prolonging the recession, etc...

JFK was cut short, but take Reagan. He was a good speaker sure, but when you say "I had no choice but to acknowledge how much he did for a lot of other people" I become skeptical. How can one person, even as powerful as the President do much for other people? What about the millions of people that did al lot for each other in the eighties. Why do we feel the urge to concentrate all of the merits and all of the blames on this one person?
You might say that they stir society in various directions. Do they? Or are they just very good at riding the tide, feeling the pulse of the nation etc...

bjkeefe 08-21-2008 09:00 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 88263)
Brendan,

it's not a question of right-wing vs. left-wing. Once you strip FDR's rhetoric and focus on the actual policies, ...

We were talking about the president as symbol.

Quote:

JFK was cut short, but take Reagan. He was a good speaker sure, but when you say "I had no choice but to acknowledge how much he did for a lot of other people" I become skeptical. How can one person, even as powerful as the President do much for other people?
Same answer.

And, as I think I said earlier, there's no way to settle this, no way to "prove" one side or the other, so maybe we ought to end it here.

Unit 08-21-2008 09:28 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Sure we can stop here. Good to talk to you.

bjkeefe 08-21-2008 09:53 PM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit (Post 88272)
Sure we can stop here. Good to talk to you.

Likewise. Don't be a stranger.

SwingStatements 08-22-2008 04:53 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Glenn Loury's support for the Clinton 'Fairytale' fairytale is particularly disingenuous, as Clinton's 'Fairytale' argument against Obama's "I'm against dumb wars" argument is, in fact, ad hominem circumstantiae. As a seasoned academic, Glenn Loury would recognize this were he able to distance himself from his obvious affections for Hillary Clinton. Of course, that last sentence was ad hominem, but my argument that Bill Clinton's 'Fairytale' fairytale was ad hominem is not.

SwingStatements 08-22-2008 04:57 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Of course, no argument holds greater sway in the american imagination than the ad hominem fallacy. If only the recognition of rhetorical fallacy were part of our primary curriculum.

bjkeefe 08-22-2008 05:22 AM

Re: Obama Pessimism
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SwingStatements (Post 88322)
Of course, no argument holds greater sway in the american imagination than the ad hominem fallacy. If only the recognition of rhetorical fallacy were part of our primary curriculum.

Good point. I'd add that it works both ways: this has become the retort of first resort of far too many people these days. No matter how legitimate the criticism, if a person is involved, you're likely to hear it.

Classic example:

Person A: Global warming is false. Here, read this (link). It proves it.
Person B: That's an op-ed written by someone working for Exxon. Hardly credible.
Person A: AD HOMINEM!!!1!

Eastwest 08-23-2008 02:23 AM

Finally: Cause for Optimism - Biden
 
Finally: Cause for Optimism - Biden

EW


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:39 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.