A Skeptical Progressive Examines Obama's Record, Concludes " Count Me Out"

Update: Now that Ralph Nader has selected Matt Gonzales as his running mate, which I did not know when this post was written, I've written a follow-up here.


Matt Gonzales is a progressive and the former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He's also a former public defender, former Democrat and green party candidate who ran a well-respected and close campaign against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. (Bill Clinton campaigned for Newsom, who won.)

He started thinking he didn't know too much about Barack Obama other than the change meme, so he did some pretty exhaustive research on his voting record. As a result, he says, "Count Me Out." Check out his issue by issue comparison and then his conclusion:

Once I started looking at the votes Obama actually cast, I began to hear his rhetoric differently. The principal conclusion I draw about “change” and Barack Obama is that Obama needs to change his voting habits and stop pandering to win votes. If he does this he might someday make a decent candidate who could earn my support. For now Obama has fallen into a dangerous pattern of capitulation that he cannot reconcile with his growing popularity as an agent of change.

I remain impressed by the enthusiasm generated by Obama’s style and skill as an orator. But I remain more loyal to my values, and I’m glad to say that I want no part in the Obama craze sweeping our country.

I think Gonzales' view is even more telling when you consider who supported him for Mayor in 2003. It wasn't the Democratic establishment, it was the change folks, including: [More...]

....a mix of college students, unemployed dot-commers, artists and activists old enough to remember the 1960s.

As to how he did, running as a Green candidate:

Still, with Democrats representing 54 percent of the registered voters and Greens 3 percent, Gonzalez said his 47 percent showing should send a message to the two major parties that voters will respond to candidates willing to take on the political establishment.

I've already said I don't buy Obama's change meme, and I'm heartened to see Gonzales isn't either. I hope some of Obama's more progressive, educated and youthful voters give it a second and third look.

Comments over 200, now closed. New thread on this here.

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    Gonzales ran a populist campaign in SF (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Prabhata on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:41:26 PM EST
    The Gozales campaign was supported by the left of San Francisco.  Gavin Newsom, the establishment candidate, was to the right of Gonzales.

    I have great respect for Gonzales because he is extremely principled.

    His issue by issue (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by RalphB on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:42:41 PM EST
    comparison is pretty damning.  Doesn't reflect well on either of the remaining candidates to tell the truth.  But then again only one of them is running as a pure agent of change with a new kind of politics :-)

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jgarza on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:44:29 PM EST
    isn't a green party candidate, and that is a bad thing because... ? Someone thought he was to the left of establishment San Francisco democrats?

    Gonzalez = Nader (none / 0) (#160)
    by JJE on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:57:22 AM EST
    I lived in SF during Gonzalez' term as president of the supes.  He shares Nader's penchant for quixotic nonsense instead of real-world politics.

    Did you read the article? (none / 0) (#188)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:12:56 AM EST
    Regardless of what you think of who wrote it he writes an analysis of his voting record. Point I took away is that Obama is not nearly as progressive as most of his followers that I know think he is.

    Bit of a clever mirage really.


    Fair point (none / 0) (#207)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:44:41 AM EST
    Only difference I have on this is that I don't for a second believe:

    a) he truly is like what he represents himself in his campaign (change, different, etc), but more importantly

    b) if he really thinks he can "change the tone," "work with the other side," then I think he is sadly mistaken, because the other side doesn't want to work with him.

    Which really is the main point why I back Sen Clinton.


    Yep, that's the point (none / 0) (#209)
    by JJE on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:46:28 AM EST
    Obama isn't as progressive as Gonzales would like.  Neither is Hillary.  Anyone who doesn't think the workers should seize the means of production is insufficiently progressive for Matt Gonzales.

    Ah yes classy Matt Gonzalez (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:36:49 AM EST
    Well first off he's not much for unity...

    • He refused to meet with Mayor Willie Brown during his first two years on the Board of Supervisors.

    • When the Board put forth a resolution commending San Franciscan Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, for being elected House Minority Whip and being the first woman to hold that position, Gonzalez was the only board member who voted against it.

    And his supporters are just as tasteful calling his opponent a "racist liar".

    Oh and he also helped pen this New Year's message with Ralph Nader -

    "Do you really believe if we replace a bunch of corporate Republicans with a bunch of corporate Democrats that anything meaningful is going to change? This has to stop. It's that simple." That is our simple New Year's message for 2008. Millions of Americans will be watching Iowa and New Hampshire to determine whether the Democrats will propose meaningful change. Hillary Clinton is an unacceptable candidate to large numbers of independents, Democrats, and third party members. As of last June, more than 150 top corporate executives had raised money for Hillary Clinton's campaign. Who Business is Betting On, Fortune Magazine, June 26, 2007. Fortune also reported "safe to swim signs are sprouting up all over Clinton Inc.," and that she touted "what is probably the broadest CEO support among the candidates," even more than Rudy Giuliani. The Nation magazine reported Hillary Clinton's "advisers in her inner circle are closely affiliated with unionbusters, GOP operatives, conservative media and other Democratic Party antagonists." Hillary Inc., June 4, 2007. If Hillary Clinton prevails, millions of Americans will look elsewhere for change, or stay home. It's that simple. Happy New Year. - Ralph Nader, Rocky Anderson and Matt Gonzalez

    You are now the 3rd commenter (none / 0) (#179)
    by JohnS on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:30:49 AM EST
    to go after the messenger, and not the message, GOP-style. Are there ANY Obama's defenders ready to address some of Mr G's individual points?

    Gotta go after the messenger (none / 0) (#215)
    by 1jane on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:52:18 AM EST
    The selection process of folks to quote on this site is a direct reflection of continued efforts to divide Democrats rather than unite them behind  the party that will need to find every vote to crush the Republicans in Novemeber.

    The reason some posters question the messenger is because he is widely regarded as a flake.


    I reitereate, (none / 0) (#226)
    by JohnS on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:14:56 AM EST
    I have not yet seen a single vote or policy issue that  your "flake" questions addressed.



    You know (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:40:21 AM EST
    I wasn't born in the United States. I've lived on both coasts and in both northern and southern California. I choose to live in San Francisco for many reasons. And comments like yours seem to criticize this fair city as being outside the mainstream. We call it leadership. We live our progressive values. Cities like Indianapolis, Chicago, Memphis bus us their homeless on Greyhound buses every week. Do we complain? No, we take them in and we try to help them.

    I proud to be an American, I am even more proud to be a San Franciscan. San Francisco Values are American Values. If the rest of the country were like SF, we wouldn't be in this mess. We preach and live tolerance.

    Obama is not a progressive. It is okay to like him but please don't belabour the point that he is somehow a liberal progressive because those of us who are are rejecting him as one of ours. He is a centrist.

    I love San Fran (none / 0) (#136)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:05:47 AM EST
    one of my favorite cities in the world and I have considered moving there on many occasions.

    But my point wasn't an attack on San Francisco in in any way.

    Matt Gonzales will never vote for a legitimate Democratic nominee for President.  He's a purist who is much too left to be palatable to mainstream America.

    San Fran can be as liberal as they like, God bless them.  However it is not reasonable to except national politicians to reflect San Francisco sensibilities.


    Seem like reasonable questions to me (5.00 / 1) (#225)
    by kenoshaMarge on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:13:53 AM EST
    Matt Gonzalez may or may not be your particular cup of tea. I confess I had not heard of him. But that isn't the point. The point is that he raised some very legitimate questions.

    His article has nothing to do with whether he is or is not going to endorse Raplh Nader. His article is about what Obama has done and how he has voted and what he has said.

    Can we just once have a discussion about Senator Obama that is about Senator Obama? Not but, but, Clinton. We heard that nonsense nonstop from Bush supporters every time anyone criticized him.

    Why did Obama vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act in July 2005? Why did Obama vote to approve every war appropriation the Republicans have put forward? In 2005, Obama joined Republicans in passing a law dubiously called the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) that would shut down state courts as a venue to hear many class action lawsuits. Long a desired objective of large corporations and President George Bush. Why did he do that? And all the other questions raised in the article no matter who the dickens wrote it for crying out loud.

    These are all legitimate questions that voters have a right to get an honest answer to. And saying that Hillary did it too doesn't work. My mother didn't allow us to get away with that remark when we were 10 years old and no adult should even try to use such a childish response to serious questions.

    Can we have one article... (4.20 / 5) (#4)
    by Siguy on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:47:43 PM EST
    Can we have one article on this site that isn't about how bad Obama is? I'm serious. I'm not asking for much. Just one single, solitary article that isn't about how bad Obama is, how Obama isn't building the party, isn't building a bridge directly to heaven, isn't going to beat McCain, is a race-baiter, isn't a real liberal, isn't a real democrat, and isn't tested? And no, I'm not counting articles that are just "this poll says X" (though even those seem to have been gamed against Obama; even when he's doing better than Hillary in them, the focus is always on which specific question he does worse than Hillary on).

    It's your site and you're totally welcome to run it how you wish and to convey your opinions, but talkleft has recently become the default site for instapundit and other conservative blogs when they want the "democrat" opinion. Why is this? Simple, they like linking to you guys because you hate Obama and they want people to think that all Democrats don't trust Obama (hate is a strong word, but I see no other appropriate word given your crusade against him).

    I find it doubly ironic that the same day Obama is criticized on this site by BTD for "not building the party" (based solely on his personal opinion that Obama voters aren't real democrats, just a personality cult), we get this article praising the opinion of someone who left the Democratic party and ran against one of the most liberal wings of the Democratic party in the country.  And in fact, if you read the article closely, this green party candidate is mad at Obama for votes that almost all match up exactly with Hillary's position as well. In other words, he's mad at the Democratic party's positions and Hillary's positions, which makes this a particularly weak measuring stick if we're talking about this as evidence of why to support Hillary.

    I didn't write this long comment to be mean or to ridicule the staff here. You're totally entitled to your opinion and god bless you for putting in all the work you do trying to advocate your positions and moving the liberal message forward, but I really think things are getting out of hand over here, and personally I'm not sure I should continue to come to this site if it's going to become so disconnected into its own echo chamber. Just my personal opinion.

    Your comment is fine (5.00 / 8) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:55:05 PM EST
    and sincere and I appreciate you taking the time to express it -- and doing so civilly.

    I have praised Obama on a few things -- his record as an Ill. Senator reforms for the innocent and his vote against the new gang bill.

    I'm sorry that's all I can find in his actions to praise. I don't go by words.

    I've also said repeatedly neither of them are progressive enough on my issues -- but I'll go with the devil you know over the one I don't, I'm not buying a pig in a poke.

    My objections to Obama are that people are casting him as some sort of liberal when he isn't. He wants to do red states/blue states/we're all the same and I want a fighter not a conciliator and compromiser.

    That's my view and I will continue to express it. If he's nominated, I'll support and vote for him because any Democrat is light years better than a Republcan. But the nominating process is not over and until it is, I'm going to express my views.


    A question for you, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#11)
    by flyerhawk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:58:35 PM EST
    Actually 2 questions.

    Who was the last Democratic fighter win the White House?  FDR?

    What about Hillary makes you think she's a fighter?  So far her campaign suggests that she is anything but.    


    That's because (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:00:40 AM EST
    Everytime they fight, somebody cries racism or they call her shrill.

    Let's assume that's true (none / 0) (#18)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:02:25 AM EST
    how does that support the claim that she is a fighter?

    Implicit in being a fighter is the assumption that you actually win fights occasionally.


    schip is one example. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:05:26 AM EST
    the fact that she's even alive and still in this race right now is another.  i would have given up a long, long time ago.

    there are more but i'm tired.


    Susan Wood of the FDA (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:10:46 AM EST
    would tell you, for another example -- it's out there on the internets; I'm tired, too -- that Clinton is singlehandedly responsible for fighting back against the Bushies' appalling encroachment on the agency's charge in the battle over emergency contraception (crucial in cases of rape, broken condoms, etc.). And Wood states that Clinton was the only member of Congress to get into the fight and save this for women. That would mean, I presume, that the other members of Congress who are candidates did not do so.

    bingo! (none / 0) (#19)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:02:48 AM EST
    or they try and change the subject (none / 0) (#36)
    by hellothere on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:14:22 AM EST
    away from obama and his lack of credentials. hillary can't fight! no, she's a girl. so she stays and takes grief that obama hasn't had to take.

    Did you see or hear (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:48:44 AM EST
    her comments in Cincinnati? Where she said that she had no illusions about how difficult a fight it would be to enact Universal Health Care? And how she was prepared to fight it.

    I am an Edwards supporter but please listen. If you are deaf to what she is saying, how do we get that message across?

    Comments like yours frustrate me because it shows something is not getting across. She is a fighter. She will be more liberal than her husband and she is the only liberal left in the race unless you count Nader. And Gravel technically.


    Trust me I listen (none / 0) (#138)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:09:35 AM EST
    and I have nothing against Hillary.  I have some trust issues with her but I would gladly vote for her in November if she turns out to be the nominee.

    But I think there is an image of Hillary being this incredible fighter for liberalism that I simply don't believe is accurate.

    Paul Wellstone was a fighter.  Russ Feingold.  

    Figthing for popular issues against the Republicans is not indicative of a fighter.  All politicians will do that.


    Except maybe Obama he wants (none / 0) (#140)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:11:58 AM EST
    to compromise in the name of unity

    I fully realize (none / 0) (#158)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:50:48 AM EST
    that to some people the word compromise is about 1 step away from the word treason.  

    But compromise ALWAYS  happens unless you get FDR type Congressional domination or Reagan type populist support.


    Its not that she is a fighter... (none / 0) (#206)
    by Marvin42 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:42:35 AM EST
    ...for liberalism at its most pure, rather that she is a FIGHTER. When facing republicans who have successfully paralyzed progressive democratic ideas by any means they can she is saying she is better qualified to beat them at their own game. Rather than "reaching across and they will just be nice" kind of idea of Sen Obama.

    Maybe Not So Much (none / 0) (#208)
    by kenoshaMarge on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:46:27 AM EST
    Figthing for popular issues against the Republicans is not indicative of a fighter.  All politicians will do that.

    If fighting the Republicans for popular issues is not fighting, what is it? What kind of fighting is considered fighting?

     And saying all politicians will do that is unfortunately simply not true. Wish they all fought for us, but the only thing most of them fight for is enough money coming in to pay for their next election.


    Here are some examples (none / 0) (#224)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:12:07 AM EST
    of issues that require little courage or fight by Democrats.

    1.  Minimum wage - This ALWAYS plays well.
    2.  Tax hikes for the wealthy
    3.  Programs that help children

    Here are examples of issues that Democrats need courage and fight for.

    1. Civil rights legislation that limits the government in law enforcement or national security issues.  Both candidates are pretty mute on this.

    2. Immigration rights.  The candidates have been mixed on this but not exactly moral leaders.

    I know I'll catch some hatin' for saying this (none / 0) (#43)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:20:37 AM EST
    but I really don't think Hillary is a very good politician.

    Yeah, she is a fighter. That to me speaks to one narrow slice of a full political personality. As in every other aspect of life, sometimes you need to fight, sometimes you need to just schmooze, sometimes you need to stroke or pander, sometimes you need to compromise, and the list is longer I am sure. The great politicians (like Bill, for example) felt this in their bones and were able to do it instinctivly.

    In his case, I felt he compromised a bit too much, but as the best president in 40+ years, I can't really complain too much.

    Hillary has some of these skills, but not to the fully developed sense that Bill did, and with too much emphasis on the fighting.

    I think that when confronted with virulent opposition, her instinct is to fight back. Bill's instinct was to do a whole lot else before fighting back, defusing, co-opting, going around the opposition, speaking over thier heads etc. Then if a fight is necessary, get your ducks in a row and do it.

    One can't know for sure, but I sense that Obama is an infinitly better politician than Hillary - perhaps as good, maybe even better than Bill. HE certainly has the smart instinct to make sure he has an army of enthusiastic supporters behind him before even entereing the ring against the Republicans. On that score alone he seems far wiser about politics than Hillary or her supporters are.

    And his emphasis is primarily on speaking to the people, over the heads of the opposition, and engaging them on our side. That is why so many of hillary's attacks have simply bounced off him.

    I should stop now, because the more I think about the Hillary approach, the more I worry about her as CiC, or on the foreign policy stage. Is she going to face the world with the ongoing need to prove to all what a fighter she is? Will she have that deft, nuanced sense of the moment and the full range of tools at her disposal when confronted by an international challange, the way Bill did?

    I do trust Obama more on this regard, and the way he has run his campaign reinforces that.


    tano, nobody's hating you (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:54:40 AM EST
    for this.  but we already know you're for obama.  hillary has been great at working with others in the senate.  top republican leaders, including those tried to demolish bill when he was in office, have praised her for being strong yet also knowing when to compromise.  and as for bill, why do people need to keep being reminded that there was a big conservative movement when he was in office?  sigh.

    thanks kangaroo (none / 0) (#81)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:13:11 AM EST
    I willingly concede that hillary has a good reputation for working in the senate. Which is why I would support her for leadership over Harry Reid. I tried to allude to that in my comment, that she has quite a few skills. But working in the exclusive club, is quite another thing than working on the arena of 200+million voters or on the international stage.

    I spent the entire nineties defending the Clintons out in the real world. Bill was able to walk away with a 65% job approval, although much lower on personal approval. Hillary has never gone over very well with the public at large. Its unfair in many ways, but I can't help thinking that with more intuitve political skill she could have emerged much better. Well, that is the stage she would have to operate on as a president. And she would start off with this reputation, and with the simple fact that, for whatever reason, she rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Add to that less than sterling political skills and I really doubt that it would be a highly successful presidency. And fighting isnt the answer to a lot of that problem (although obviously some things will need to be fought for).

    I am willing to roll the dice with someone who is leaving lots of people awestruck - and I dont mean the awestruckness at his persona, but at his political deftness and skill.


    you say that (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:36:19 AM EST
    "Hillary has never gone over very well with the public at large" and make the same old tired arguments about her not being very good politically, likeable, etc. Two problems with this, imho. First, she is very likeable to lots and lots of people and very politically savvy - especially those who haven't been brainwashed to hate her or have been able to overcome that brainwashing by looking at her objectively. Second, it's the same old blame-the-victim mentality - she has been systematically savaged since the early 90's for no good reason by the right (and now the left) by a concerted propaganda campaign that tells people to hate her, and now we are all just supposed to say "well, we can't help it - she's just not likeable enough". Ridiculous. Why not stand up against it and tell the truth? Everyone who actually knows her likes very very well and this campaign season has been nothing but the same old smear campaign.

    Believe me, Obama wouldn't be very likeable either if he had been subjected to the same decades-long smear campaign. No on can survive that.

    But I can anticipate the usual answers from you all: well, I guess she just deserves it.



    don't forget....... (none / 0) (#100)
    by thereyougo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:31:41 AM EST
    the US Congress is a den of curmudgeons, from Robert Byrd to that awful little man Ted Stevens. The president has to work with these egos. I recall once,when the Rs had the House and Hillary managed to say she worked with Tom Delay, yes the hammer about legislation affecting children's issue. It makes my stomach turn to think she has to find some common ground with that cretin, but she did.

    GWB has a tough time in this Congress because he's not a compromiser after he said  he was, on the stump. He was not a DC insider, remember that? I do.

    They all say stuff they don't mean. Why should Obama's words be any different, but I give you that they do sound better. Although they don't move  me. They remind me of that good ol boy from Texas, all hat and no cattle.

    Obama is a nice guy, I don't begrudge his ground game. He was smart enough to hire smart people, but on words alone, I want to know show me  the money.

    I just started coming to this site for the civility and because it has a sane view of the contests with a Hillary slant that I can't find anywhere else.


    compromise? (none / 0) (#163)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:01:21 AM EST
    hillary has been great at working with others in the senate.  top republican leaders, including those tried to demolish bill when he was in office, have praised her for being strong yet also knowing when to compromise
    Wait... I thought reaching across the aisle and compromising was a bad thing?

    Only when you do it all the time (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:06:39 AM EST
    not just when it benefits the Majority of Americans.  Personally I don't know how far Obama is willing to go on his unity theme but I would remind him sometimes he reminds me of the way Lieberman speaks.  He is all about bi-partisanship also.

    I think... (none / 0) (#173)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:14:53 AM EST
    ... that the Obama comparison to people are funny.

    Lets see... Obama has been compared to...

    Bush II

    Yet people completely ignore the fact that Obama has a strong progressive (for a Democrat) voting record and none of the four above do.

    Obama is pragmatic.  He sees a need to compromise and work with various groups.  But his voting record does not look anything like Lieberman, Nixon, Reagan, or Bush.  

    The comparisons break down immediately.  


    Exactly.... (none / 0) (#204)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:38:01 AM EST
    ...that is why Bill Clinton compromised because he was dealing first with a do-nothing Democratic Congress and then when they were thrown out he was forced to find consensus with Repubs in order to get anything done. Believe me, I am all for compromising when it's necessary, but not just to make sure that everyone is happy because then you make no one happy.

    Did You (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:58:04 AM EST
    read Matt Gonzalez' piece? It disassembles Obama's credentials as a progressive.

    Obama is cut from the same cloth as Richard Nixon. Their politics are different but their tactics are the same. Krugman alluded to this in his piece two weeks ago. I've written about it extensively on the blog that I contribute to onegoodmove.org

    Read my Crossing the Mara-Mara piece and my Seizing the Moment piece.

    How many warnings do you need? How can I get you to take a deeper look at Obama? You may like his politics but it is fair to say that he is NOT a progressive. Will you admit that?

    I do enjoy reading your pieces. But I don't buy that argument of speaking to the people and circumventing the opposition because he caves in again and again. He also panders everywhere he goes. The guns in Boise, his religion in South Carolina, Reagan in Reno, ethanol in Iowa, driver licenses for illegals in LA, no border fence in Texas, against NAFTA in Ohio. Recognize the pattern.


    no, i don't buy it for a second (3.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:41:26 AM EST
    He is the most effective progressive politician we have seen in a long time.

    Drivers licenses, anti-border fence, anti-NAFTA are all progressive positions. Whats wrong with his postion on guns in Idaho? You criticize him for note explaining the need for gun control on the South Side of Chicago when reassuring the people in Idaho that he doesnt want to take their hunting rifles away? Is this a serious complaint? Whats wrong with reaching out to religious people? And him being the left's version of Reagan is exactly why I support him. He understands exactly how to do for us what Reagan did for the right.

    I scanned through you Mara Mara piece, and I dont think it captures things very well. The baiting mob, for instance which you see as applicable to lynch mobs, Tony Blair and Barack Obama. Well sorry, but all you are doing is giving a fancy name for group enthusism. You could have added Adolf Hitler and Boston Red Sox fans. And to the point here, any candidate's enthusiastic core beleivers could fit into such a category. Any category that large loses any effectiveness at making discriminating points. Maybe it comes down to you being uncomfortable with large numbers of people actually being excited about one of our candidates? As an aside, I certainly wouldn't mind a string or electoral success like Tony Blair had.

    The saints and devils comment (Obama has more of the latter) I dont take seriously either. I doubt you have done much of a quantitative anlysis and surely you understand that lots of people would call that the other way.

    It strikes me that you are seizing on a few very petty complaints, asserting that they are somehow different than what goes on in every campaign, probably in every democracy, and making out like they are telling markers of some deep psycho-social disorder. Is this the first campaign that you have ever watched?

    And the Barnum effect? "Couch things in general enough terms and they can apply to anyone"? Sure, there are parts of the message which are intended to appeal to everyone. Is this such a strange phenomenon from one who wishes to persuade as many as possible? Can this not be found in the speeches of every politician ever born? But his policies, including those that are mentioned in every stump speech are quite specific in terms of appealing to one group of people. Ending the war - some dont want to do that. Health care -some dont care. Shifting tax policy - some winners, some losers. A new energy policy based on green tech - not popular with the petro crowd. And the whole range of issues that are not at all popular with government minimalists. How can you claim that he doesnt lay out a particular governing philosophy?

    And the "Forer effect"? Oh, he makes people hopeful about the future. Dangerous. He invites them to be politically involved, to make demands on their government. This is bad?

    Sorry I dont have the time tonite to give you a full review of your thesis, and sorry to be rather blunt. You seem like a very educated person who is searching out all manner of fancy terms to expess some generalized dislike of the guy. I dont really come away knowing what your core problem with him is, since the various charges dont seem to cohere, and I dont think many of them have much validity anyway. High-brow namecalling, if I had to put it on a bumber sticker.

    Maybe you could give me a more pointed, brief argument to motivate me to study it closer.


    I would be (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:05:52 AM EST
    happy to take this conversation at another point in time. It's two am in SF and my BF is calling me to bed.

    Briefly here is the beef on the guns in Boise. He goes to Boise and draws 17,000 people. He tells them that "there are a lot hunters in southern Illinois and that he is not going to take their guns away." Fine. Fair enough. But I don't know where you live but I live in San Francisco and guns are a problem in our fair city. Guns are a problem in many cities of any size across America. A 15 year old gay boy was killed last week by a 14 year old with two gunshots to the head inside the school's computer lad in Oxnard, California. Go to Philadelphia or Baltimore or Detroit and listen to their problems. Obama had the perfect opportunity to tell the good folks up in Boise that while guns in rural America are fine in urban America we need a solution to take them off our streets. He wasted an opportunity to lead and instruct on an issue. People are listening to him so why just tell them what they want to hear, tell them what they need to hear.

    The problem with your three examples is that he has flip-flopped on those issues even as the campaign evolves. And they are not progressive positions. He was against licenses in Iowa where immigration is a negative issue. He voted for a fence in the Senate. And his comments on NAFTA run the gamut.

    That Crossing the Mara-Mara piece has been updated and will be submitted to a journal on history. I am a historian. I do think that the cultist behaivour has died some and that's a good thing. He is not a demi-god. He has flaws.

    There are two questions I asked of Obama supporters: Name one of his accomplishments and name one thing that makes you uneasy or uncomfortable. Most can't do either. Isn't that a problem?


    well, to an intellectual, maybe (2.00 / 1) (#126)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:29:06 AM EST
    why do you think people voted for Bush? Because they felt more comfortable having a beer with him. Or Reagan - they wanted Carter out, Reagan seemed acceptable, a friendly guy, and they voted for him. Why did Bill win? There was a recession, Bush seemed out of touch, and Bill was Mr. Empathy. He listened, he seemed to care.

    We do not elect political leaders based on the score they recieve on some test. This is a lesson I learned over many painful years. They dont even vote for the person they agree with sometimes. In 1984, I saw issue polls that showed that Americans agreed with Mondale on every issue in that campaign, and he lost in historic landslide.

    This is human nature at work. You needn't reach down to make insulting comparisons with dictators or unsavory pols in the past. All successful politicians, no matter how benificent, only achieve office by connecting with people on levels that are hard for intellectuals or policy wonks to understand.

    To be frank, people dont really have a clue as to what the best policy would be on any issue. Most of them know it. Some think that they do, but how many are really well trained in political economy or governmental administration, or the details of foreign policy?
    Almost no one. And of those that are, there is as full a range of opinions on candidates as in the general population.

    People look to leaders for trust, and some level of connection to something inside of themselves. If they see something of themselves in the candidate, they will tend to vote for them. No sensible politician will give a lecture on the need for gun control in Chicago when addressing hunters in Idaho. They dont care what you are going to do in Chicago. They want to know what you will do for them, whether they can trust you not to change their lifestyle. As long as you are not lying to them, there is no problem with telling them simply what you will do for them.

    Yeah, its late. I'll check it out some more if I have time...


    People voted for Bush (none / 0) (#149)
    by BernieO on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:24:47 AM EST
    because the media trashed Gore and gave Bush a pass. Once the public got to know the real Bush they hated him. Anyone who knew much about him was not surprised. He has always been a dishonest loser.
    Anyone see the CTV report about Obama's campaign secretly reassuring the Canadian government that he was not going to do anything about NAFTA,that his tough stance was just to win the nomination?

    wait for it.... (none / 0) (#151)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:28:25 AM EST
    that will just be hillary's fault. he's actually a great guy, a real uniter.

    Is Obama Progressive? (none / 0) (#113)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:18:53 AM EST
    To Facta Non Verba,

    Re. Obama's "pandering", nice list. Let's add: Nuclear Power in Illinois. It's used a lot there and, best I can tell, Obama's all for it.

    Let's not forget Love Canal and Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl.

    Sorry for the yelling, but aside from the accidents and potential terror targets, nuclear waste is here forever and it can't be safely stored into perpetuity.



    Very well said. (none / 0) (#90)
    by halstoon on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:29:00 AM EST
    I think Obama has that same instinct Bill did, and that is why I think he'll actually get more progressive reform through. Yes, he may address things using an uncomfortable vocabulary for the Left, and he may not be as liberal as a Green, but in the end he will be a good president, someone we look back on and are glad we were here to see it happen.

    I think you are right (none / 0) (#178)
    by fladem on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:30:34 AM EST
    and it has been the big surprise of the primary season.

    As a tactical politician, there is little evidence over the last year that Hillary is very good.  The simple truth is her campaign has been slow to respond, timid, and resistent to change when the circumstances demanded it.

    When the season began I thought one of Clinton's strengths would be that she and her team had been there before and would do well when the shooting started.  In fact, they have consistent misjudged the electorate, their finances and lost most of the tactical changes with Obama.


    all you can find? (none / 0) (#45)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:22:32 AM EST
    • Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act
    • Obama-Lugar non-proliferation
    • Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton teamed up to introduce legislation aimed at helping hospitals to develop programs for disclosure of medical errors
    • Various bills on relief for Hurricane Katrina, including aid for kids and a ban on no-bid contracts by FEMA
    • Improve mine safety (S 2803)
    • Increased breast cancer funding (S 597)

    Etc etc.  I'm sure we all kind find more if we care to use google to do it.  Here is one such compliation, with bill numbers so someone could find the actual text of the bill, etc.

    Is he a liberal?  I dunno.  The ProgressivePunch site you pointed us to had him with an 89 lifetime rating, and HRC with a 91 lifetime rating.  I think that's pretty much a wash.

    Now -- if you want to argue

    He wants to do red states/blue states/we're all the same and I want a fighter not a conciliator and compromiser.

    I think that's a decent argument to make, and a good discussion can be had.

    But, alas, I don't think the tone of much of what on here is a reasoned discussion of that.


    Interestingly, the article linked here (none / 0) (#49)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:30:55 AM EST
    by Jeralyn addresses some of those very bills, yet doesn't find the results as favorable. All a matter of perspective, or the devil in the details, etc.

    hmm... (none / 0) (#156)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:45:50 AM EST
    My objections to Obama are that people are casting him as some sort of liberal when he isn't.
    Jeralyn... I am really curious how you ignore the fact that almost every progressive organization that does rankings of Senators has Obama as more progressive than Clinton. I know... you have the one organization that shows the opposite, but that is the outlier when looking at all of the rankings.

    Obama is a progressive Democrat.  I don't think that means that he is a true progressive (Dennis Kucinich may be the only true progressive in the Dem party).  

    But to pretend, or at least imply, that he is not as progressive as Clinton is pretty silly.


    "Pig in a poke" (none / 0) (#220)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:04:50 AM EST
    I love that phrase.

    siguy, (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:01:12 AM EST
    there are many, many sites and blogs that conduct no critical analysis of obama.  you should go to those if you don't want to hear the truth just because it makes you feel uncomfortable.  TL balances out much of the egregious pro-obama/anti-clinton msm and blogosphere bias.  it isn't TL's job to make everybody happy.  and you know, they're actually doing you a favor.  it's better that obama supporters--who, judging from your comment, have grown dangerously accustomed to the obama rules--get used to facing some fair competition, sooner rather than later.

    Lots of blogs (1.00 / 2) (#22)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:04:46 AM EST
    provide that sort of negative analysis of Obama.  Places like RedState, Instapundit, Powerline, TownHall, and Malkin are more than willing to provide Obama's shortcomings in great detail.

    Sometimes it seems to me that you guys think that everything goes because other blogs are worse.  The actions of others do not condone your actions.


    There is a difference... (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by kredwyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:10:21 AM EST
    between critical analysis and negative a**hattery a la Michelle and Red State.

    need i remind you that we are in (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:12:24 AM EST
    a democratic primary?  the democratic candidates should be addressing democrats' concerns in a democratic primary.  i don't see how conservative blogs' criticism help us achieve those ends; in fact, they only serve as noisy distractions.

    You weren't talking about that (none / 0) (#40)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:17:56 AM EST
    You were making the argument that it is GOOD for Obama that he gets attacked by Jeralyn because, well, I have no idea why you think that is good.

    I realize that many of you think that Obama supporters are all naive people and that Obama is just getting lucky with his favorable press coverage.  But it may be possible that neither of those points are accurate.


    it is good because (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:01:58 AM EST
    that way, they affirm their commitment to democratic principles.  that is what you do in a democratic primary.

    I think it's good (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by badger on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:15:23 AM EST
    because I believe that whoever the candidate is, people need to stand up for progressive principles and make sure that Democratic candidates know that our allegiance is based on those principles and their implementation, not on charisma, charm, hope, or vague promises of change.

    There are entirely too many blogs at the moment where, if the choice is between principle or Obama, the choice is always for Obama and the principle is abandoned. That isn't the kind of political system I want to participate in or be governed by.


    btw, (none / 0) (#77)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:03:57 AM EST
    neither of those points are accurate imo, at least the way that you phrased them.  you have a way of jabbing people rhetorically.

    But you are free to "attack" ...... (none / 0) (#211)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:47:55 AM EST
    ....Hillary here. Especially since you seem to define "attack" the way I would define "criticize." Why is it a problem if Jeralyn is critical. It seems you are playing by Obama rules, unless you are also willing to castigate TPM and DKos and HuffPo for attacking Hillary, by whatever definition is acceptable to you.

    This is one of the things I find most scary about some (note I didn't say all) Obama supporters. It seems like they won't be satisfied if I simply vote for Obama. I have to love him too, and I just don't.  Not at the moment. Simple as that.


    I don't give a hoot (none / 0) (#94)
    by tree on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:41:34 AM EST
    about conservative sites problems with Obama, and but I DO want to hear progressives and liberals criticisms of both Obama and Clinton. So to say that I can go to wingnut sites to hear rational arguments on the candidates is just ludicrous. I've been to a lot of pro-Obama sites and most of them just go for group-think, and my what a great orator he is, and don't I want change, but there is little or no real analysis of his record. Thanks Jeralyn for linking to MG on this. I wish that in depth analysis like this would have been available months ago. Why can't the mainstream press do analysis like this, on either candidate?

    The result so far for me is that the differences between the two candidates are minor on issues, and for the most part I lean towards Clinton's take on things more than Obama's. But even if it were a toss-up, I've got no assurance from looking at Obama's record that he would follow through on any of the issues if he sees any kind of obstacle. That's what makes me prefer a Clinton candidacy.  


    A stellar article and a stellar site.... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jerry on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:05:42 AM EST
    That Instapundit links to it bothers me not at all.  Every post of Jeralyn's is thoughtful and principled, and I am happy for Instapundit readers to be exposed to it.

    There are plenty of Obama sites out there -- I am very happy with the posts on TL especially when they dig up gems like this!

    Standing in the middle of the road just gets you run over.


    Thank you (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:09:23 AM EST
    That's much appreciated.

    And for the record, Instapundit and other non-Democratic sites have always linked to TalkLeft, saying it is rational and civil,  even though they disagree with my views.


    Just so you know (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:15:25 AM EST
    Jeralyn, I respect your sincerity and I don't believe you are trying to impugn Obama.  

    It does disappoint me somewhat that you are pretty one-sided on the issue eventhough you readily admit there isn't that much difference between the two.  


    Flyerhawk's Comment to Jeralyn (none / 0) (#55)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:41:12 AM EST
    Flyerhawk, I respect your sincerity but, on the whole, I find the tone of your upstream comment to Jeralyn a tad patronizing.

    I didn't (none / 0) (#61)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:49:00 AM EST
    I think he meant it.

    Btw, remember when (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:16:50 AM EST
    "skeptical progressive" was a redundancy?

    Thank You (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:03:09 AM EST
    This is a great site. The discussion is lively and oh so civil. I like many others am a refugee from the Huffington Post, TPM and DailyKos (not so much in my case, I never really cared for it). I contribute on onegoodmove.org but the emphasis there is different than the straight up politics here. You do wonderful work. Thank you.

    Charles Lemos
    San Francisco, CA


    I Second That Emotion (re. Jeralyn) (none / 0) (#92)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:35:10 AM EST

    I couldn't agree more, especially with your high regard for Jeralyn's journalistic ethics, eloquence, and infinite patience with keeping the dialogue within bounds.

    She consistently does it better than anybody out there.



    I don't "hate" Obama ... (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by cymro on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:32:39 AM EST
    ... I want the Democratic party to pick the candidate best qualified to (a) beat McCain and (b) be a president who fights for the Democratic principles we believe in.

    That's the purpose of the primary race, isn't it. And that race is still going on, despite a lot of spin from the media and Obama supporters to the contrary.

    And I have serious doubts that Obama is that candidate, on both counts. But there are very few blogs or sites where this point of view is not shouted down by yahoos. So I'm grateful for TalkLeft as a haven of sane and rational discussion of the issue that I care about. Facts are our friends, lets get the truth out there.

    So deal with it, because it's just a drop in the bucket. If Hillary's supporters were over-reacting to every ridiculous, biased, negative comment about Hillary with the degree of sensitivity shown by a lot Obama supporters, the Obama-cheerleading blogs would have been shut down by the sheer volume of posts responding to negative articles and statements about Hillary.

    TalkLeft does a small amount to balance that flood of anti-Clinton rhetoric. That's wonderful. I want to do everything I can to encourage Hillary NOT to drop out of the race unless and until someone has not a majority but a plurality of the delegates. And I would not be surprised if that does not happen until we get to the convention.

    In which case, saner and wiser heads can broker (i.e negotiate) the best ticket for the Party. That will be a very good thing, not a problem, as some people claim. Because we don't need another Republican President, or a Democratic president who is not really qualified to do the job, and ends up setting Democratic causes back by another 8 or 12 or 16 years until we can get our act together again.

    And at this stage in the race, any GE ticket that is not the result of that kind of negotiated arrangement will do a lot more to divide the party than will a few Clinton supporters posting their points of view on TalkLeft.

    So please don't come here telling us to go away and hide. We are entitled to our opinions, and we have no intention of biting our tongues just because it bothers you. It's our Democratic preogative, you know.


    well said (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:39:49 AM EST
    and as to this:

    So please don't come here telling us to go away and hide. We are entitled to our opinions, and we have no intention of biting our tongues just because it bothers you. It's our Democratic perogative, you know.

    You won't be shushed here, don't even think about it. I can't read all the comments posted on this site, but everyone is free to email me to tell me about a comment that deprecates, denigrates or attacks them or their views -- it will be deleted.


    Jeralyn, how does one email you? (none / 0) (#57)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:43:53 AM EST
    the address is on the menu (none / 0) (#62)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:49:38 AM EST
    at the top right of the site.

    yes, how should we go about (none / 0) (#63)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:52:10 AM EST
    emailing you about a comment?  (Do we use "tl at gmail" ?)

    You guys do an awesome job.  And it is indeed unrealistic to expect you to find each offensive comment and delete it.  But those of us (I am one) who wish there were fewer offensive comments would love to put our effort where are mouths are, and help alert you to them.


    either gmail or aol (none / 0) (#67)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:56:23 AM EST
    and its talkleft at both

    and think of November (none / 0) (#10)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:58:30 PM EST
    I think you raise a good point.  Let's not forget that come November we have to make sure a Dem wins.  And, sadly, the rantings here are becoming such that some Dems, here, are saying they won't vote for the other Dem in November.

    It'd be nice if we could contribute, even just a little bit, to the healing that is going to have to happen.

    Let's build up our candidates by building up our candidates, as opposed to over-the-top-trashing of the other.


    No author of this site (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:03:00 AM EST
    has said they won't support Obama if he's the nominee. To the contrary, we will. As for commenters, they don't represent TalkLeft, their views are their own.

    It's clearly stated on every page of TalkLeft (bottom right):

    TalkLeft is not responsible for and often disagrees with material posted in the comments section. Read at your own risk.

    I do not mean to imply (none / 0) (#47)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:27:34 AM EST
    ... that the authors of this site have done so.

    What I am saying is that a number of commenters have, and it'd be nice if we saw articles of a more balanced nature, and, hopefully, some of the commenters will tone back the trash-talk a bit.

    (I will also note that, not you, but another author of this site wrote on this blog that if I didn't like it here I "could get the hell out."  Coming from an author, that's not particularly conducive to productive discussion.  OTOH, I am happy that the comment was deleted a short while after)


    Heh (none / 0) (#51)
    by kredwyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:33:11 AM EST
    I suspect that author was being...well...that author.

    thanks (none / 0) (#69)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:57:47 AM EST
    ... it takes some getting used to (not that I think anyone should get used to it -- heck, I teach my kids not to speak that way, even to an enemy).

    But I can't think of any place else in the last 10 years that someone has said that to me.


    ehyah... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kredwyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:12:57 AM EST
    Not quite sure who you got into a scuffle with, but you'll find that some of our more acerbic kindred are...well...who they are.

    And if it was who I think it might have been, I want that person in my corner when it comes to the upcoming mental street fight known as Campaign '08.

    As for the past 10 years...are you new to the intertubes? Cause it's far more civilized now than back in the days of the wild wild usenets.


    Uh (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:07:34 AM EST
    The one experience I'll obsess over for the next two years or longer with or without my vote for Obama is Obama Supporters, yes, Obama Supporters recommending a diary at DailyKos.com where the author there said there was a legitimate reason not to vote for Clinton in the general election.

    If you're not sure what recommending a diary  means, it means you think that what the author wrote has value and that everyone who visits dailykos.com, including those who don't post comments, see it.

    The time for building up is long since passed.

    One of the things you can do here to make a cynical Clinton supporter start believing in the Obama campaign is say that every single one of those Obama supporters who supported someone saying "Don't vote for Clinton in the General Election" were wrong.  That such behavior is bad for the party.

    In your opinion.

    Anyway, there's just some background on the loyalty/tearing down/building up issue.  You may not be aware of it, but others have different experiences and we're just human beings.

    We have emotions.   We know when we'er being had.

    This situation can be corrected over time, I think.


    Send Some Love to EdgarO8 (seriously folks) (none / 0) (#101)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:34:29 AM EST
    Again Edgar8,

    I find your experience so relatable (sp). And you never seem to blow your top or get all righteously indignant, etc. We could learn from you.

    Please stick around.


    I think there was one earlier (none / 0) (#12)
    by Edgar08 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:58:49 PM EST

    And I remember I was at another blog that obsesses about Clinton and how horrible she is, and I tried to make a similiar plea, you know, blogging can be fun, and create a community, and there's a lot of good information, but no one likes to see their candidate vilified 24/4.

    I was called a whiner.  They called the "waaahmbulance."  I believe they even posted a neat picture of a baby crying or something.  So I had to come to a conclusion that whatever community they were trying to build didn't want me in it.

    So you can take some solace that at least you're not being attacked for expressing something that might have some legitimate value.  This is a blog that's supposed to focus on legal issues, afterall, but then again it's the closest primary any of us are likely to see in our lifetimes between two historical candidates, so it's kind of big news too.


    I don't see (none / 0) (#16)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:01:10 AM EST
    how that diary even relates to Obama.  His name isn't even mentioned.

    That's the point (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:09:00 AM EST
    The person I was responding said he wanted to see a diary that wasn't about Obama.

    Experience at Other Blogs (none / 0) (#99)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:22:32 AM EST
    Edgar 08,

    I'm so sorry that such crappy stuff happened to you at other blogs. I found your story touching and funny - but not funny at your expense.

    I hope you're finding it better at Talk Left.

    Personally, I'm prone to a 'give what I get' approach and I've gotten pretty steamed at times.

    Your tone seems sincerely civil and I commend you for that.  


    I adore Edgar08 (none / 0) (#137)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:08:01 AM EST
    This is the only place I can go (none / 0) (#148)
    by kenosharick on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:24:37 AM EST
    and not be viciously attacked for supporting Hillary. All the other liberal blogs may as well be run by the Obama campaign. Can't we please have ONE place?

    Could there (none / 0) (#161)
    by tek on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:58:14 AM EST
    be equal coverage of Hillary's positives on all the hundreds of other liberal blogs?  No?  Well okay then, there are hundreds of other blogs who are All Obama All the Time.  I find it offensive that Obama people come to this site and try to change it to an Obama site because you evidently can't stand that anyone is supporting Hillary.

    Not surrogates (2.00 / 1) (#114)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:23:47 AM EST
    John Amato, Josh Marshall, Arianna Huffington, and Lawrence O'Donnell are not surrogates for Barack Obama. You can not tie what they say about Clinton to the Obama campaign. Put it this way, would you be comfortable with saying Taylor Marsh is a Clinton surrogate and all her words reflect the Clinton campaign?

    ah yes (none / 0) (#6)
    by Tano on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:51:30 PM EST
    I really think Obama should take advice from a former Democrat about how to win an election, based on that guys experience in San Fran.

    I wonder how Mr. Gonzalez would do in Ohio?

    How did Mr. Obama do in California? (nt) (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:58:51 PM EST
    actually, the Bay area (none / 0) (#21)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:03:04 AM EST
    was his strongest region.
    But hey, maybe you are right! You think Hillary will be taking his advice?

    Those who chose not to learn from history ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by cymro on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:41:25 AM EST
    ... are condemned to repeat it. Not appreciating the truth of this observation is a common failing among the young.

    sorry, i am missing your point... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:45:57 AM EST
    I was agreeing with your comment that (none / 0) (#65)
    by cymro on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:55:02 AM EST
    I really think Obama should take advice from a former Democrat about how to win an election, based on that guys experience in San Fran.

    I hope he will not be persuaded otherwise by his many youthful, energetic, but somewhat unworldly supporters. Are you one of those? Or are you wiser?


    hehe, I gues I have to leave it (none / 0) (#75)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:02:09 AM EST
    to others do decide if I am wiser.
    Young? Well, I am younger than Hillary, lets leave it at that.

    disgusting and revealing (none / 0) (#139)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:09:37 AM EST
    and should be deleted btw

    And, interestingly, Halstoon (none / 0) (#203)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:37:29 AM EST
    is exactly the same age as you? (Dr. Molly, see Jeralyn's tip re Tano and Halstoon -- spend your time elsewhere.)

    as I wrote in the prior thread (none / 0) (#7)
    by A DC Wonk on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:53:45 PM EST
    He neglected to say where HRC stood on most of the instances he cited -- at least up to the point where I got fed up by his selective criticisms.

    E.g., the first votes he mentions are:

    Since taking office in January 2005 he has voted to approve every war appropriation the Republicans have put forward, totaling over $300 billion. He also voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State despite her complicity in the Bush Administration's various false justifications for going to war in Iraq.

    Isn't that also true of HRC?

    Obama voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act in July 2005

    I couldn't find this actual vote.  Did HRC vote differently?

    And in March 2006, Obama went out of his way to travel to Connecticut to campaign for Senator Joseph Lieberman who faced a tough challenge by anti-war candidate Ned Lamont.

    HRC also supported Lieberman in the primary!  She didn't endorse Lamont until after Lamont won the primary.  Same with Obama.

    So, on all these issues (I stopped reading after this far) Obama and Hillary are the same.  So, that's a strike against Obama?  

    And, FWIW, Lamont is campaigning now for Obama.

    So -- I don't get it.

    PS: Why does the author leave out other stuff, like, say, that Clinton actually co-sponsored the most recent bill that would make flag-burning illegal.

    FYI (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kredwyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:07:54 AM EST
    Skepticism of one |= automatic support of the other.

    There are many folks out there who are skeptical and questioning of both candidates.


    Hillary's Not the Subject of the Article (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by sumac on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:18:05 AM EST
    Nor is she running on a campaign of "change."

    If the change meme is a big part of your campaign, yet when it comes time to vote, you step in line with the old establishment (ie: Hillary), then those evaluating you have a right to take into consideration what you do as well as what you say.

    The article does not say that Hillary is better than Obama.


    She's not running on a campaign of change? (none / 0) (#68)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:57:35 AM EST
    I didn't know that.

    Actually Senator Clinton has campaigned as a (none / 0) (#89)
    by Rigelian on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:27:05 AM EST
    change candidate.  Her message wanders a bit, but she has made this argument.  

    It was about Obama, not Clinton (none / 0) (#9)
    by vj on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 11:57:36 PM EST
    The author didn't say he was supporting Clinton, did he?

    And I doubt he will (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:10:27 AM EST
    especially since Bill cammpaigned for his opponent in CA during the Mayor's race.

    Boo Yah (none / 0) (#82)
    by blogtopus on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:14:52 AM EST
    You nailed the #1 reason this guy is legit. He obviously has some past history with the Clintons -- he has no reason to support Hillary by 'bashing' Obama.

    The author was looking for new ideas (none / 0) (#14)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:00:22 AM EST
    and didn't find them in the candidate claiming to represent them. Maybe you could ask the author to write about Clinton in his next article.

    See Comment below Re: Flag Burning (none / 0) (#53)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:36:44 AM EST

    That's Lamont's problem (none / 0) (#144)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:36:37 AM EST
    Hillary was the one that gave him funds to help him against Lieberman not Obama.  But I'm not Lamont so I don't know why he is backing Obama.

    Not true (none / 0) (#145)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:57:36 AM EST
    Obama endorsed Lamont and donated money to Lamont on the very next day after Lamont won his primary.

    That's not what I read at the time (none / 0) (#147)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:07:19 AM EST
    back in 2006 I must have missed that one.  Please give a link if you have one.

    well, let's just say that (none / 0) (#35)
    by cpinva on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:13:52 AM EST
    sen. clinton isn't the one running as the great agent of "change and hope", sen. obama is.

    PS: Why does the author leave out other stuff, like, say, that Clinton actually co-sponsored the most recent bill that would make flag-burning illegal.

    there's nothing inherently wrong with that approach, and it clearly appeals to a fair chunk of people. of course, to be blunt, almost any change from the present group would be welcome.

    as well, the article isn't about sen. clinton it's about sen. obama, and the perception he's pushed during the primary season vs. the author's perception of his actual senate record. i'm not certain how this makes it a "bad" post about sen. obama, other than that his supporters disagree with the author's conclusions.

    sen. clinton certainly isn't my ideal candidate, but as jeralyn noted, i'd prefer the devil i know to the one i don't.

    Flag Burning (none / 0) (#52)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:35:13 AM EST
    It's continually fair to re-iterate that she co-sponsored legislation to prohibit flag burning in a context what would incite a crowd to violence, and create and unsafe situation for the rest of the public.

    Think burning a flag at a 4th of july parade.  

    I have to admit.  I support that.

    It sets precedent also for eliminating hate that masquerades as free speech.  Like burning a rainbow flag at a gay pride parade.  In my view that's not free speech.  That's hate.

    It's an interesting issue to debate, constitutionally, I'm not sure it would hold up, but I do know no one ever debated that legislation on it's merits.  If they did, I never saw it.

    She voted against a flag burning amendment to the constitution as every one knows, by now.




    you don't need a law against flag burning (none / 0) (#60)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:47:32 AM EST
    to prosecute someone for inciting a riot.

    If only the civil liberties lawyer (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:00:04 AM EST
    had seen it that way. But according to Huffpo (6/28/06), it's another case in which Obama and Clinton voted the same way: "It wasn't just Hillary. Kerry, Biden, Boxer, Durbin, Kennedy, Leahy, Levin, Lieberman, Obama, and Shumer all also voted against the amendment but for the criminalization bill." Yet somehow, Arianna found this reason to devote the entire piece to the awful Hillary.

    Hey Tano - Way To Rate Comments (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:09:31 AM EST
    I don't know if it's proper protocol to discuss comment ratings here, but I just wanted to say that I thought nobody was reading my posts.

    Then I looked at the ratings and saw that you've given a rating of "1" to all of my past few comments. I was happy to see that I was in good company since you also gave BTD ratings of "1" on the same thread today.

    Not surprisingly, you gave ratings of "5" to your cohorts. I also give high ratings to the folks who make sense to me - but I generally don't go around lowballing people who I find disagreeable.

    Still, I find it encouraging that somebody is reading these things of mine.


    oh boy (none / 0) (#84)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:18:44 AM EST
    i didn't know you could tell who's rating whom.  i don't even look at the ratings; i thought they don't matter here?  regardless of who's doing it, though, the 1-star/5-star thing is just a small example of the sort of zero-sum approach that makes me feel really uncomfortable.

    Kangeroo re. Comment Ratings (none / 0) (#96)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:56:44 AM EST
    To Kangeroo,

    Yeah, I didn't know you could track who's rating who either. I just stumbled across it. And it kinda bites.

    Here's how it works: Just click on any bloggers Name. It will then take you to a page where you  can click on that person's Info  Comments  Stories  Diary  Ratings. The Ratings button will show what ratings that person has given to specific comments. For instance click on my name at the top of this post and it'll take you there.

    The other day somebody was talking about ratings and said that if your comments are being rated low (i.e. ratings of "1"), your comments are automatically moved further down the page.

    It's open to mischief, unfortunately. But at least it's transparent.


    Ratings move down the page (none / 0) (#168)
    by carolyn13 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:06:47 AM EST
    It depends on how you set the controls displayed on the top of the thread. I have mine set as nested, ignore ratings, oldest first. That way no comment moves out of its order.

    The convention here has been to give fives to those comments you strongly agree with or find amusing and to reserve ones for comments that step over the line in some way, like insulting another commenter. For instance, I've handed out a single one to a comment that seemed to me to imply that another commenter was racist.

    The only perk to being highly rated and achieving trusted user status here is the ability to see comments that have been low rated into hidden status and attempt to rescue them by rating them a five.


    You know (none / 0) (#182)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:48:21 AM EST
    I never really paid attention to the ratings thing.  I've never been a Kos person and most of the blogs I post on don't have ratings enabled.

    Hidden comments (none / 0) (#201)
    by carolyn13 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:35:16 AM EST
    I want to clarify that mention of hidden comments. You must get rated a zero to have a comment hidden. I'm not sure how someone gives a zero rating. Mention of the zero rating is in the trusted user guidelines but you probably have to be a trusted user for a certain time period to use it. It doesn't happen often so nobody should worry about it.

    Really, ratings here are more about bucking up your own team, kind of a social thing. Otherwise they don't matter.


    Zero Ratings Are Disabled (none / 0) (#212)
    by squeaky on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:47:59 AM EST
    At TL.  Ratings are more a nod yes or headshake no here.

    I agree with you (none / 0) (#237)
    by carolyn13 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:47:46 AM EST
    about the nod however some people take getting a one badly so my feeling is that ones should be handed out sparingly. Though I'd say, in our present environment, getting a one is a badge of honor. It means you are a fighter. ;)

    gee, sorry (none / 0) (#86)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:22:42 AM EST
    I thought 1 meant awesome!

    It was awesome when I accused you of trolling ... (none / 0) (#103)
    by cymro on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 02:41:02 AM EST
    ... according to the pair of "1" ratings you gave me for my posts on that subject.

    I'm glad you appreciated having it pointed out -- I'll be sure to do it again if I think it's needed. But next time give me a "5" please, now that you know how the system works.


    Not if they show up in court (none / 0) (#71)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:59:37 AM EST
    And claim it's free speech.

    people can claim whatever they want (none / 0) (#76)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:03:41 AM EST
    free speech is not a defense for inciting a riot.

    Did he vote Hillary? (none / 0) (#44)
    by catfish on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:21:00 AM EST
    I don't see that. But it's a thorough piece.

    How supporters behave (none / 0) (#48)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:28:01 AM EST
    can and often do reflect on the candidate.  There's a natural inclination to make that association.  

    For instance, when I myself (either sincerely or to prove a point) have said I would not vote for Obama in the General Election, none of my fellow Clinton supporters supported my opinion on that, and a few have told me to just shut up.

    Some have also understood the point I'm trying to make and then they also tell me to shut up.

    Why?? because they know my behavior reflects on the candidate they support.  There's a natural inclination to make that association.

    yes, there is . . . . but (none / 0) (#59)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:46:55 AM EST
    but sometimes people get frustrated, or lash out, or say things they don't mean, or wish they hadn't clicked on the "Post" button so quickly.

    And, furthermore, every candidate has some crazy-off-the-deep-end supporters who say stupid things.

    You're right, of course, that a person should realize that his/her own actions reflect, to some degree, on the candidate.  But we also know that many commentators on many blogs go too far overboard -- especially in places that aren't moderated.

    For what it's worth: me and my wife support (and voted for) different candidates.  And we were both happy to do so, and supported the other's decision.  We have civilized discussions about it, and we realize reasonable minds can disagree over which candidate is better.  

    Our view is that both candidates are really superb in an outstanding way.  Each has different strengths, however, and how we voted comes down to how we weighted those strengths.

    But mostly we are almost pinching ourselves that the Dems have two fantastic candidates running, both historical, and we'd be proud and happy to vote for the other.

    So, if that reflects on the candidates at all, then, well, it reflects well on both Obama and Clinton.  I hope you (and others) indeed reach that conclusion.

    Bottom line: we have two shining lights here and one of them is going to run against someone who wants to continue the eight years of darkness we've had.  I don't know if I can take it much longer.  (And, um, Justice Stevens is 84)


    I am not into me tooism (none / 0) (#125)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:09:34 AM EST
    but yes I agree with you wholeheartedly. I won't vote for Obama either. I will either write in Edwards or vote for Nader. If Clinton pulls it out, it would be an honour to vote for her.

    I've arrived at a static -- for now -- position (none / 0) (#127)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:59:17 AM EST
    There is a potential Obama could earn my vote.

    Can I me too, too? (none / 0) (#143)
    by kenoshaMarge on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:29:44 AM EST
    not only that (none / 0) (#131)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:44:27 AM EST
    but it is perfectly legitimate to not want to be associated with a group that behaves that way and that also excuses any and all bad behavior towards another democratic candidate. if the only way to be heard on these issues is to divorce from the candidate, so be it.

    The question, though (none / 0) (#146)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:00:29 AM EST
    in trying to judge what "a group" thinks, is that you're only hearing from the loudest in that group.

    Look, polls say that 80% of Obama supporters would vote for HRC, and 80% vice versa.

    If that's the case, then, clearly, most supporters  are comfortable with the other candidate.

    Are there extremists?  Are there folks who trash talk?  Of course.  They're there in every group.  But generalizing to the group from a small selected biased sample often leads to erroneous conclusions.


    Let Me See If I can make this more clear (none / 0) (#197)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:23:53 AM EST
    Lets say you logged on to a blog that CLAIMED to support Democrats, and on the front page you saw the big bold headline, "I WIll NEVER VOTE FOR OBAMA IN THE GENERAL ELECTION," and then proceeded to read a long diatribe against Barack Obama.

    And then, not only not, come to find out, all the Clinton supporters you know on that site recommended the post, or gave it "5s" or whatever, however you want to describe, you see Clinton supporters, in big numbers, promoting that person's hateful diatribe.

    And then, when you do speak up and say "Hey, you know, that might not be right," guess what all these Clinton supporters say:  "This person has a right to say what they want, and not only that we feel it needs to be made clear, and everyone needs to see how divisive Obama is.  That's why we promoted that post."

    I made a suggestion above.  All any Obama supporter had to do is finally just say it:  "It was wrong for Obama supporters to promote people saying they wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general election."

    And then things start to change.  Until then, we have to assume you, or anyone else, believes it was right.


    check the major media coverage today. (none / 0) (#70)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:58:28 AM EST
    much of it is about obama--and of that extensive coverage of him, NONE of it is negative.  please, don't begrudge us TL.

    I have no problem (none / 0) (#132)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:52:34 AM EST
    with TL being pro-Hillary.  

    Oh, please (none / 0) (#72)
    by A DC Wonk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:59:42 AM EST
    I can fully distinguish between critical analysis and trash talk.

    (Or, perhaps you misunderstood.  I wasn't saying that the article by that Green was trash talk, I was referring to some of the comments around here)

    ok, sorry--i misunderstood. (none / 0) (#80)
    by kangeroo on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:13:04 AM EST
    i haven't seen any trash-talk around here, although i've seen a few posts deleted by jeralyn and/or btd for various reasons.  speaking of which, i'm grateful that they moderate.

    Wow! (none / 0) (#91)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 01:29:37 AM EST
    I know Matt very well. I worked on his campaign for Mayor, for City Supervisor and we knew each other at Stanford. I haven't seen him in probably two years. After his loss to Gavin Newsome (he with whom Obama won't share a camera with), Matt choose to leave the political scene and do his own thing.

    I am glad that he and I still think alike. I supported Edwards, I can support Clinton, I cannot support Obama. I am headed for Nader unless there is a Clinton miracle.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    what is it about Obama you can't support? (none / 0) (#154)
    by tsackton on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:38:17 AM EST
    I have to admit, that while I can easily see why some Democrats clearly prefer one candidate over the other, I fall solidly in the 80% of people who would be happy voting for either in the general (although I'm supporting Obama in the primary).

    I have never quite understood what it is that people see in Obama that makes them say they can't support him. Is it his style? Is there some issue that him and Clinton diverge on so much that it is a dealbreaker, even against McCain?

    Obama supporters are just as bad in this regard - I've never been able to figure out what actual, substantive issue those who say they won't vote for Clinton have with her.


    It's (none / 0) (#165)
    by tek on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:03:34 AM EST
    his CHARACTER.  Actions speak louder than WORDS.  Barack Obama constantly says things that are very offensive to traditional Democrats and to women.  

    Don't be fooled (none / 0) (#112)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:17:25 AM EST
    He's not supporting Hillary. If you see my post above he clearly has gone out of his way to smear her too. This is plain and simple a piece written to help boost Ralph Nader.

    Actually, as a Nader supporter (none / 0) (#119)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:46:56 AM EST
    he'd probably much prefer seeing Hillary get the nomination.

    If Hillary Clinton prevails, millions of Americans will look elsewhere for change, or stay home.

    It's that simple.

    He's expecting millions of Americans to look elsewhere for change if Hillary is nominated...like maybe to Ralph? Obama's just too likely to attract all those disaffected voters to the Dems instead.


    Totally agree (none / 0) (#121)
    by dwightkschrute on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:53:32 AM EST
    He clearly has ulterior motives in ripping Obama.

    Maybe Jeralyn will (none / 0) (#123)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 04:00:25 AM EST
    add an update. :D

    Matt and I (none / 0) (#118)
    by facta non verba on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 03:44:46 AM EST
    are Edwards supporters. True, I will vote for Nader unless Clinton is the nominee but Matt is an independent free spirit. He always been that. I've never met anyone more principled.

    You got duped. (none / 0) (#223)
    by halstoon on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:10:54 AM EST
    He's Nader's running mate. Hardly independent.

    i dont know (none / 0) (#128)
    by Tano on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 05:02:58 AM EST
    what does he say?
    Is there an official explanation?

    The Armed Services Committee (none / 0) (#129)
    by glennmcgahee on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:34:21 AM EST
    Obama's head of the Armed Service's Committee and we haven't heard much about his work on that. Maybe, its because he ignored his duties on that committee while Afganistan has gone in the dumper. He's held no hearings at all. Why? Because in the 2 years he's been the head of it, he's been too bust running for President. I'd say that he should have relinquished his role there if he couldn't do the work he was supposed to do, but it looked good on his resume. Again, all talk.

    what? Obama isn't even on (none / 0) (#152)
    by tsackton on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:31:47 AM EST
    the Armed Services Committee:

    This week's attack (none / 0) (#153)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:37:13 AM EST
    is that he didn't did anything while heading the apparently now critically important European subcommittee on foreign relations.  According to some here his failure to hold hearings is the reason why we are struggling in Afghanistan.

    Yep, it's great to see (none / 0) (#169)
    by JJE on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:08:13 AM EST
    "progressives" taking their cue from Lou Dobbs.

    Much better than taking (none / 0) (#171)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:14:04 AM EST
    their cue from Drudge

    Actually, Dobbs took his cue on this (none / 0) (#194)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:22:34 AM EST
    from the debates, from MSNBC -- as he wondered why he hadn't heard about this before, apparently in some anger that he hadn't been handed an easy news release on it. It was a revealing statement about the current state of journalism in this country. After all, studies dating back to the 1920s suggest that journalists used to rely on PR pros for only about 80% of what was in the papers then. Now, their reliance on having news handed to them apparently is up to 99% of what we see in newspapers . . . and 100% of what we see on tv. And studies also show, of course, that the vast majority of Americans entirely rely on tv for "news."

    You keep referring to Obama Rules (none / 0) (#134)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 06:58:22 AM EST
    as an attempt to excuse anything bad from the pro-Hillary side and condemn anything bad from the pro-Obama side.

    There is critical analysis of Obama here, and on other sites.  There are also nasty smears.  Some posters here are unrepentant about there willingness to attack Obama by whatever means necessary.  

    We see what we want to see.

    Uh (none / 0) (#142)
    by BrandingIron on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 07:21:22 AM EST
    Obama won Alameda County, too (where I live).  But for the rest of it I believe you're correct.

    Still not quite correct (none / 0) (#193)
    by spit on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:20:01 AM EST
    he also won Yolo and Sacramento counties (Yolo is the home of Davis, which dominates the county and is full of students, and Sacramento county is dominated by urban Sacramento, which is very liberal). There are a few others, too -- some of the sierra counties with a lot of indy-left voters, etc.

    He lost most of the state was the point, and I don't disagree with it, but I add this for the sake of correct information. Here's the  LA Times map that shows where each won and lost, and by how much.


    It is too late to stop (none / 0) (#150)
    by kenosharick on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:27:44 AM EST
    the Obama juggernaut. The media will probably turn on him soon, however. (after he has the nom)

    That is already happening (none / 0) (#166)
    by Salt on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:05:21 AM EST
    and the target seems to be the un American character of Mrs. Obama and her lack of pride in the country statement, Farrakan endorsement reporting Senator Clinton challenge to disavow, Obama's minister and church 3 editorial comments, Mrs Obama speaking with raised closed fist photo on front page, the lapel pin no longer being worn a cartoon of Mrs. Obama ripping it off and stomping on the lapel pin, the association with the weather underground supporter news, and now the photo in Kenya garb article of Obama camp claiming smear by Clinton.  And thats just the mainstream media in the last two weeks.  Fear of racial strife is also in some communities an effective group grudge grievance all too easily played unfortunately, this can be  a concern in Mo., Ohio, and IL. Ind. Mich and Pa to name some States with old sad histories in this area.

    And as  mentioned in this article there is no clear record Obama can fall back as fact to thwart these relationships.


    Re Pandering (none / 0) (#155)
    by scnative on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:41:04 AM EST
    I am a 50'ish dem from a mostly red state, . It strikes me as highly ironic that someone would decide to vote for Hillary because the other candidate supposedly panders. As much as I admire some things about her and wish for a more winning woman presidential candidate, her votes for the Flag Burning Amendment and the Iraq war among others, make the charge of "Barack the Panderer" a hard sell.

    She voted against (none / 0) (#186)
    by echinopsia on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:10:49 AM EST
    the flag burning amendment, as did Obama. She voted FOR the flag desecration legislation (Durbin amendment) - and so did Obama.

    Can we get this straight please? It's not hard.

    Neither voted for a flag-burning amendment to the Constitution. Both voted for legislation that bans desecrating the flag as intimidation (like cross-burning) or incitement to violence.

    Their votes are identical, but only Hillary's is held against her and misrepresented.

    Obama Rules again.


    You don't know (none / 0) (#242)
    by echinopsia on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:13:43 PM EST
    if that's what you think. She didn't vote "for war" anymore than she voted "for a flag-burning amendment."

    You have to look at the language of the bills in question, instead of taking anti-Hillary rhetoric at face value. It is more complex and nuanced than what you say.

    And BTW, I find it more than passing strange that people are using this one vote, which she has said she regrets (and which Obama has admitted he does not know how he would have voted on before he started claiming he was always consistent), to nullify all the good work she has done for liberal causes all her life - which is, even if you want to grant Obama the same good liberal record (which I don't) - 15 years longer than Obama's.


    What took him so long (none / 0) (#157)
    by Salt on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:47:30 AM EST
    many of us made this determination back when it mattered.

    You know... (none / 0) (#159)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:54:03 AM EST
    ... the exact same article could be written about Hillary Clinton.

    But probably with more "un-progressive" examples.

    Don't get me wrong, as I have said before, I don't find either candidate to be true progressive.  And I don't find either candidate to be much different from each other.  Obama is to the left of Clinton on a few issues, Clinton is to the left of Obama on a few issues, and on the rest they are almost identical.  

    But this one-sided article against Obama is quite funny in that it attacks Obama for not being a progressive, and then doesn't even mention the fact that Clinton has very similar examples.

    As I read it I think his complain (none / 0) (#164)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:03:00 AM EST
    is more on the fact that Obama is selling himself as an agent of change but in reality he is not.   That's the way I read the article, I make no judgement on the merits or lack merits of his views it after all his opinion and nothing else.

    That's fair... (none / 0) (#170)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:08:52 AM EST
    ... though I am not sure that the "change" that Obama is running on is about having more progressive policy.  

    I wish it was.

    But I don't think that is an accurate analysis of the change that Obama is referring to.


    You're missing the basic premise (none / 0) (#172)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:14:23 AM EST
    of the article. It's right up there, up front. (And I think I may have seen the sort of article you seek on Clinton . . . try searching a well-known, large, orange blog for starters.)

    No. (none / 0) (#176)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:19:50 AM EST
    You're missing the basic premise
    I get the basic premise.

    And unless he is not going to vote for Clinton or Obama, his basic premise breaks down really, really quickly.  And that may be the case that he won't vote for either of the Dem candidates.

    Maybe Nader is going to name him his VP today.

    And I think I may have seen the sort of article you seek on Clinton
    I never said such articles about Clinton didn't exist, did I?

    Actually, yes, you did say (none / 0) (#183)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:49:47 AM EST
    such articles did not exist, by your verb choice: "could be." Cheers.

    If you say so... (none / 0) (#184)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:52:31 AM EST
    I love arguing about semantics.  That is always fun.

    And "could be" does not mean that something similar has not already been written.


    Fly, children's health care (none / 0) (#162)
    by Cream City on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 08:59:43 AM EST
    is not to be dismissed, as you do everything about one candidate's work for this country. And with every email like this from you, it is necessary to remember that it is not your candidate's fault that he has supporters so ardently against true progressive successes such as SCHIP. Get out of yourself and get to a children's hospital near you -- as I have had to do too often, unfortunately -- and talk to parents and staff to see the difference that health care coverage has made for many families. Then look at even a few of the children's faces and see who has truly brought "hope" to them, who has truly helped to "change" their lives -- and especially those who now will live. And they will grow up to be far more empathetic for the experience, I can tell you. See, experience does matter. Get some.

    DIGG it (none / 0) (#180)
    by glennmcgahee on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:31:33 AM EST
    People, if you like this article, digg it. Get the word out. Don't let Rovian tactics cause us to lose again. This is what gave us 2 terms of George Bush.

    Over 180 comments (none / 0) (#181)
    by JohnS on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:47:03 AM EST
    and not one has yet addressed a single point that  Matt Gonzales addresses.

    Not really true... (none / 0) (#185)
    by mindfulmission on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    ... but I will address it here.

    Obama's votes are factual records.  There is no question that he has voted in ways that I don't like.

    I also don't think that he, or any other Democratic presidential candidate, will ever be progressive enough for Matt Gonzales.  

    I don't believe that Obama is going to usher in a new leftist/progressive era.  But I don't believe that any Democrat will do that, other than Dennis Kucinich.  

    Further, I do think that Obama, overall, has a more progressive voting record than Clinton.


    Any thoughts on these... (none / 0) (#190)
    by JohnS on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:15:42 AM EST
    from Matt Gonzales' research:

    Obama believes US forces (approximately 60,000 troops) must remain in Iraq to stabilize the region.
    he has voted to approve every war appropriation
    voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State
    voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act
    campaigned for Senator Joseph Lieberman  (challenger: anti-war candidate Ned Lamont)

     Obama voted with the GOP to pass Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA):  "Opposed by most major civil rights and consumer watchdog groups, this Big Business-backed legislation was sold to the public as a way to stop "frivolous" lawsuits. But everyone in Washington knew the bill's real objective was to protect corporate abusers."

    Obama sponsored National Medical Error Disclosure and Compensation Act of 2005: requires hospitals to disclose errors to patients and  apologize,  then limits patients' economic recovery.

    Obama came out against a bill that would have reformed the notorious Mining Law of 1872, which allows mining companies to pay a nominal fee, as little as $2.50 an acre, to mine for hardrock minerals like gold, silver, and copper without paying royalties. In addition to allowing  American taxpayers to reap part of the royalties, the billObama opposed would have provided a revenue source to cleanup abandoned hardrock mines, which is likely to cost taxpayers over $50 million, and addressed health and safety concerns in the 11 affected western states.

    Obama is a big supporter of corn-based ethanol.  Corn is an energy-intensive crop to grow and ethanol  isn't a major improvement over gasoline when it comes to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

    Obama opposed single-payer bill HR676, sponsored by Congressmen Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers in 2006 that would have established a national universal health insurance program.

    The AP reports that, "In his 2004 Senate campaign, Obama said the US should pursue more deals such as NAFTA, and argued more broadly that his opponent's call for tariffs would spark a trade war."

    Obama joined GOPers in voting to build 700 miles of double fencing on the Mexican border.

    I have never bought the change meme (none / 0) (#196)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:22:55 AM EST
    either except to say that those who think it is the change they are looking for.......I don't think this candidate is about THAT change people so please look closely here because there are all sorts of changes possible.  Make sure you are getting the changes you want before you toddle off into CHANGELAND!  Bookmarked Gonzales......and I took your candidate quiz you put up awhile back, by issue and candidate stance I came up Edwards first and Clinton second.

    A comment by Facta non Verba was deleted (none / 0) (#199)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:34:30 AM EST
    because of a long url that skewed the site. I am reprinting it here:

    Obama won just six counties: Humbolt, Tahoe, Marin, San Francisco, Ventura and Santa Barbara. He lost the other 53 counties.

    Matt Gonzalez is not some guy in San Francisco. He is a former candidate for Mayor who won 47% of the vote running a campaign that was grass roots and truly progressive. Gavin Newsome won 48%. Matt was the President of the Board of Supervisors and he represented a district that is mixed racially. SF is only 8% African-American but his district was easily twice that. He is well-liked in San Francisco. Matt attended Stanford Law School. He eschewed working for big name law firms, instead he worked in the Public Defender's Office.

    Here is a bio:

    And how you do answer the other really popular San Francisco treat, Gavin Newsome? Obama won't allow his picture to be taken with Newsome. If this is unity what does disunity look like?

    Newsome gave us gay marriage or is at least trying. But as January 1, 2008, 49 square miles of the United States has Universal Health Care. Newsome did that. SF has a universal health care insurance program. That's leadership. He has been at the front of transportation issues, labor issues. He is a progressive and yet Obama won't have his picture taken with him. Why?


    Thread cleaned of (none / 0) (#202)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:35:41 AM EST
    sniping and attacks

    You said Green party was irrelevant Jeralyn (none / 0) (#214)
    by Independence33 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 10:51:59 AM EST
    Funny how a Green Party member starts attacking Barack Obama and now they are progressives who we should listen too. Jeralyn said in a story written not to long ago that Ralph Nader was egotistical and wrong for running for President as a third party Green candidate. This San Francisco Board of Supervisors (huh?) from the green party starts saying things bad about Obama and we should all listen. From his time in the senate if you look at his votes on Washington Posts website you will see one vote that is out of step with what a majority of Democrats did and I hope that we can concede on this website that if there is a chance for a progressive agenda to happen we as Democrats are the ones pushing it. That vote was on the CAFA bill. This is a legitimate concern and something I have always known about Obama going into supporting him. If there is a defense to be made for this vote it would be that Illinois was a particularly bad state for torts and the situation was getting out of control. Trial lawyers were getting paid huge checks and making millions when the plaintiffs were only getting small coupons if anything at all. This bill is not good as a whole and I wish that he had made another decision or looked to internal Illinois courts to fix the problem. This is still not something that disqualifies him as a progressive to me and seemed to be a vote about his constituency and not his philosophy. Other than this you are looking at statements and innuendo, not concrete votes on a national scale. The Iraq stuff is debatable but I still think these quotes have been pulled out of context and his votes were made to protect the troops. I support Obama but I do not see him as perfect in any way. What I do know is with the choices we as Democrats have, Obama is our best bet for a progressive agenda, period.

    Hah (none / 0) (#227)
    by spit on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:15:47 AM EST
    of course it's time to unite, as long as we all unite the way you'd prefer.

    I'm not one of the people who actually thinks an extended primary is bad for the party. I do think some of the over-the-top vitriol on the blogs is bad for the party, but that's certainly not going to be calmed through the tactics you've employed in this comment.

    Who are we supposed to vote for? (none / 0) (#231)
    by Independence33 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:25:49 AM EST
    Once again I understand this frustration with Obamas record but tell me who I should vote for that is going to stand up for at least some of my beliefs. I completly disagree with him on the death penalty and CAFA and other things including his appeals in a religous setting, but I just dont see a better alternative. I do agree with him on so many other things that far out way my disagreements. Iraq, health care, foreign policy,the enviroment, taxes,immigration, college tuiition assistance, education, ethics reform, civil rights are all things I think he is moving in the right direction in. He may not go as far as I would like but I still dont see a legitimate candidate that is more in line with progressive democratic views.

    Let me see (none / 0) (#234)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:34:00 AM EST
    who else has an almost Identical voting record in those issues?
    Does the Hillary Clinton Ring a Bell?

    Yes, such a "skeptical" neutral observer (none / 0) (#236)
    by s5 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 11:41:30 AM EST
    I live in San Francisco, and I voted for Matt Gonzalez when he ran for mayor. Make no mistake, he is part of the "both parties are equally to blame" Nader / Green party coalition. He doesn't believe in electing Democrats.

    Oh and hey, just as I was typing up this post, I heard the news that he's running as Nader's running mate.

    Jeralyn (none / 0) (#241)
    by s5 on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:02:13 PM EST
    I think it would be appropriate to disclose that Matt Gonzalez is running as Nader's running mate. There's a difference between an candidate piece written by anyone and one that was written by a competing candidate running in a different party.

    New Post on Nader and Gonzales (none / 0) (#244)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 28, 2008 at 12:31:38 PM EST
    is here. Comments here are now closed.