What Now?

In an act of supreme self absorption, I will and, for myself only, not for Talk Left, answer the following question:

BTD, at what point does TL revert to a "party-line" blog? I'm going to be a refusnik when it comes to Obama, and I know that will become unacceptable here at some point (i.e. advocating sitting out November.)

I have always been a "party-line" blogger in that I have made it perfectly clear that I am a Party-line Democrat and there was never any chance that you would hear the "refusenik" perspective from me. You will not now. But you are welcome to reasonably argue the refusenik perspective, if you do so with respect, for fellow commenters and for the facts.

For me the choice of Barack Obama over John McCain is an easy one. Barack Obama's positions on virtually every issue are precisely mine. John McCain's positions on virtually every issue are precisely opposite to mine. This is a no brainer to me.

I have ALWAYS disagreed with Barack Obama's political style, his Unity Schtick. I have always advocated for Politics of Contrast/Fighting Dems. In some ways that is now a moot point because Barack Obama has been denied the Unity Schtick by the events of the campaign. He is now a Contrast Candidate in rhetoric.

What will my coverage of the election be like? Frankly, the same as before, with one major exception - after Saturday, Hillary Clinton SHOULD no longer be the subject of the most biased Media and blog election coverage I have ever seen. Many people have much to be ashamed of in what they have done in this campaign season. There may be something about that in the near future. Perhaps at another venue.

But I will cover this race as I have always, by providing my honest opinions about political tactics, strategy and events. I am no cheerleader. If I was writing for the front page of a big Democratic activist blog like Daily Kos, I would feel some obligation to be a cheerleader. I have played that role in the past - papering over problems or negatives.

But I am at Talk Left now and, thanks to the generousness of Jeralyn, I have been allowed to write what I think to an audience that mostly enjoys to talk politics and issues.

I became a horserace blogger in 2008 (I like to think that in 2007 I was an issues blogger mostly) and I expect to remain one through the General Election. So to answer the question, what now? More of the same from me at least.

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  • More of the Same? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:41:57 AM EST
    Oh No!!!

    Oh you mean more blogging same, not John "More of the Same" McCain.


    If you continue (5.00 / 13) (#2)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:45:27 AM EST
    to provide an honest assessment and not do what other bloggers will do - papering over problems or negatives - you will be doing a great favor to all of us.  I think people have to be prepared for everything and anything in November.

    I'm looking forward to your posts.

    Thank you.  And obviously, thank you to Jeralyn, too.

    This is where BTD (5.00 / 8) (#33)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:07:34 AM EST
    has been outstanding.

    He has grasped that you can support a candidate without elevating him/her to Messiah status. Indeed, a candidate who listens to constructive criticism can only grow stronger.

    Too bad so many of the Obama cult bloggers never understood these things.

    But then, 12-year-olds are often lacking in maturity. ;-)


    Very well put--and it is so refreshing. (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:13:30 AM EST
    Of course, for the True Believers it made BTD anathema.

    But, reason and fact-based discussion are really interesting.


    Plus he doesn't care (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:20:10 AM EST
    if we disagree with him as long as we're respectful.

    That's the mark of a person with integrity.


    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#206)
    by rnibs on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:28:19 AM EST
    this is the best, level-headed there is.  I only discovered it recently after all of the other blogs seemed to be taken over.  I will continue to read this a my top choice from now on.  Just probably won't post because unfortunately I fall into the refusenik category and won't really have anything worth saying that everyone else isn't already saying.  The honesty and level-headedness here, plus the basic respect is the last best hope of political discourse.  Bravo to Jeralyn and BTD.

    Agree (5.00 / 4) (#145)
    by Athena on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:01:18 AM EST
    Yes, BTD, props for being a rational advocate rather than a fanatic.  And not needing blind ratification of your ideas.

    A number of us "graduated" from DK and went on to higher learning - here and elsewhere.


    If all the Oborg was reason-based like you, BTD (5.00 / 4) (#188)
    by dotcommodity on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:19:15 AM EST
    the Party would not be splitting asunder. Obama would have been just another candidate choice.

    We would only be sad to lose, but instead of the race being ONE GIANT EVIL SPAWN OF SATAN aginst his 18 million thugs suppressing our voices, it would have been:

    what an exciting close race! who will win! hairsbreadth over the finish line! two great historic candidates! we are so lucky!

    YIPPEE! Now on to defeat McCain together...

    Sadly though, from the DNC hiring progressive media hacks like Ed Schultz to trashtalk her, to all the rest of the outrageous Republican dittohead campaign, culminating in the outright theft on Saturday May 31 2008, we are so far beyond mere sadness. But you BTD and Jerelyn, but mainly you, BTD are therapeutic because you alone do not practice those Oborg tactics to suppress our side of the Party.

    As I wrote at the Confluence this morning, and want to say to everyone suffering, here too:

    I wanted to say this morning, thanks to everyone for being some comfort.

    One of the hardest things about this stolen election is being unable to commiserate with our nearest and dearest, because just as there are18 million of us - I admit, (unlike them: who think there is only that one evil Hillary herself opposing the virtuous grass root millions!) there are also 18 million of them.
    And some of us, like me, are married to them. My own dear hubby is a 10 min lurker at dailykos/TPM, then its on to reading newspapers in Thai - a typical low info ( which = low interest in truth) voter.

    So of course he is an Obamatron...I can't even discuss it any more with him. One day I blew up after being subject to the DNC sponsored Hillarybashing by Ed Schultz, and we got into a real fight about it, and I realised he just does not want to know or believe what he considers tinfoily conspiracy theories on my part.

    In 35 years of marriage we have NEVER been on different sides politically: pro Carter, anti Reagan, anti poppa Bush, pro Clinton, pro Gore, pro Dean, tepid Kerry, violently anti Bu$hCheneyRove...then I was drafting Gore (he didn't care) then pro Edwards, but after Edwards flunked debate skills 101 - I switched, he switched only when Edwards dropped..........................

    But since the internet, since the Bush years, I have spent far more time researching a whole bunch of eco political stuff than he has, and we have developed a huge info gap. (My Thai writing skills are zero, too :-))

    For instance, today there is a 600 comment diary at dailykos lieing about her not winning pop vote. Not true. There are 6 different counts for the pop vote, 3 in Hills favour, 3 in Obamas. With/without 4 caucuses, with/without MI.

    My hubby is the kind of person that that diary influences: he sees the lie, doesn't have time/journalistic interest to go read for himself the data on the truth, so swallows lie whole, ingests, moves along...da dum..

    It is sad that we Democrats could be so easily lead astray, just like ditttoheads. This is so tragic. Its the end.

    I do think it is a terrible mistake for us to vote McCain.

    Once Obama loses the electoralvotes as he will in November, I want us PUMAS to repair the Democratic Party from inside. I want her to run in 2012, if the Supers don't grow brains by August. Sadly I think they are as low info as my husband. (Look at Carter thinking she has unfavorables/he doesn't... ;)

    I want to bring back the fairness and honesty wing of the Democratic Party. I don't want to leave and become a stupid Independent like Huffnpuff. I stand for something. It is part of the Party platform. Hillary wants to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Boxer too, Slaughter diaried on it at dailykos.

    So, I am really suffering. I can't condone or allow theft or lies. But I can't stop it. I feel we are so alone.

    When Bush had the election stolen, I was part of a huge movement, and my family and my friends were there for me. My husband does not even KNOW what happened on Saturday. This is so difficult. I am in so much pain...

    September 28th 2007 we lost 500 years of democracy. But what the DNC did to my mental health on May 31st 2008 was really the final straw.

    when do you turn (1.00 / 3) (#207)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:28:27 AM EST

    ditto (5.00 / 5) (#54)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:15:20 AM EST
    all respect and admiration

    Thank you BTD... (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:47:30 AM EST
    I find this interesting.

    I have ALWAYS disagreed with Barack Obama's political style, his Unity Schtick. I have always advocated for Politics of Contrast/Fighting Dems. In some ways that is now a moot point because Barack Obama has been denied the Unity Schtick by the events of the campaign. He is now a Contrast Candidate in rhetoric.

    You think Obama's rhetoric is that of contrast? I think McCain is taking that away from him now. Did you hear McCain's snore-inducing maunderings on Tuesday? Change, hope, believe, new technologies, blah blah blah. It sounded just like Obama.

    Also...I am fairly certain Obama will pick a Republican for VP. The Democrats really seem to think that running as Republican Lite will get you the Presidency, so this is a logical step.

    By contrast (5.00 / 15) (#11)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:54:14 AM EST
    what is meant is "Democratic ideas are right, Republican ideas are wrong."

    It may seem self-evident, but for the majority of this campaign, that simply wasn't Obama's message!


    Exactly (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:58:06 AM EST
    But now his message is all I am right, McCain is wrong.

    Which is precisely the Politics of Contrast.


    exactly (5.00 / 12) (#27)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:02:36 AM EST
    "I" am right.  not my party. not democratic values.
    "I" am right. "I" was anointed. "I" am here to save the country from itself.

    Can I get an Amen? (5.00 / 13) (#55)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:15:30 AM EST
    From Obama supporter Barbara Ehrenreich:

    So yes, there's a powerful emotional component to Obama-mania, and not just because he's a far more inspiring speaker than his rival. We, perhaps white people especially, look to him for atonement and redemption. All of us, of whatever race, want a fresh start. That's what "change" means right now: Get us out of here!
    [emphasis added]

    I threw up a little in my mouth when I read that.

    IAAO - It's All About Obama.


    Heh (5.00 / 7) (#66)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:24:09 AM EST
    When I start talking about the cathartic nature of Obama's candidacy people usually call me names.  Of course, during the primary we saw that not only can individuals prove they're not racist by voting for Obama, so can entire states!  But woe unto those sad, racist places like Kentucky and West Virginia.

    I have white colleagues who used to talk about how much they like Obama, in the exact same loud and proud tone of voice they talk about liking Chris Rock.  The funny thing is, as soon as the scary black preacher came along they scurried away.

    Of course, none of this is truly funny, it's actually quite tragic.


    ...and that, folks, is why so many (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:25:15 AM EST
    are voting the Sen. Obama!!! What a way to run a country!!!

    Oh, gah! (5.00 / 4) (#87)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:42:15 AM EST
    What nonense.  What's sad is that we may see a bigger racial divide before this is over.

    Take off the darn rose-colored glasses!  She of all people has seen firsthand what's going on in this country.  Now she pretends otherwise?


    right (5.00 / 7) (#134)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:57:16 AM EST
    I believe this campaign will set race relations back 30 years.
    honestly I am a little worried about what could happen if (when) he loses.

    Classic (5.00 / 4) (#156)
    by stillife on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:05:09 AM EST
    Just the kind of statement that makes me ashamed to be a liberal.  At least I thought I was a liberal until this election season.

    That sort of fuzzy logic brings to mind one of my husband's favorite sayings: "pointy-headed intellectuals who can't drive their bicycles straight."  I think it might be a quote from George Wallace (ugh) but my husband, who is a very liberal Brit of working-class origins (and who, unlike me, actually likes Obama) uses it to describe a certain type of neighbor we have here in Brownstone Brooklyn who lacks blue-collar skills and common sense.


    race and gender are red meat distractions for Dems (5.00 / 2) (#226)
    by dotcommodity on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:39:23 AM EST
    just like guns and God for Republicans.

    Haven't we lived through 8 years of fascism?!!???! This focus on non policy issues is a ruse to continue the spending-free YOYO policy instead of rebuilding.


    But is he a fighting Dem? (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by lilburro on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:41:56 AM EST
    I think his speech on Tuesday swung in a more traditional direction - he embraced Bill Clinton's prosperity/balanced budget.  It was the most clearly positive thing he has said about Bill Clinton that I've ever heard.

    Maybe he'll become a fighting Dem by default, but I would think being a fighting Dem involves more that that?


    you mean is the (5.00 / 3) (#194)
    by Andy08 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:22:18 AM EST
    first time he did not trash the Clinton Adm.

    I Believe He Will Move Even Further (5.00 / 6) (#196)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:24:43 AM EST
    right during the GE. His campaign just yesterday stressed the importance of attracting independents and Republicans over courting the Clinton supporters.

    During the entire primary season, Obama has run on the Obama brand rather than the Democratic brand. I believe that will continue doing so during the GE.


    His AIPAC (5.00 / 1) (#215)
    by Andy08 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:30:18 AM EST
    speech flip floping on Iran 180 degrees said it all. Time to play
    cowboy now.   I am glad he said it (I was appalled by his previous position) but I don't believe him now.

    His AIPAC (none / 0) (#211)
    by Andy08 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    speech flip floping on Iran 180 degrees said it all. Time to play
    cowboy now.

    could do oppo on McCain (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:50:00 AM EST
    and speculate about his VP picks.

    Romney, (Dick Morris suggests) Lieberman, Crist, Sanford.

    What would each do demographically and should Obama attempt to anticipate the various Mccain VP permutations?


    Unfortunatley, there are a whole slew (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by Radix on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:38:01 AM EST
    of Indies and Republicans that aren't going to except, on mere faith, that Obama is right. He better figure that out quick. And no, repeating over and over again, he was write about the war wont get it done, it just becomes boring.

    Because there are no facts, there is no truth
    Just data to be manipulated.

    Don Henley-The Garden of Allah


    I know! (5.00 / 7) (#20)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:59:43 AM EST
    And I don't believe it will be his message going forward.

    It should be, of course.

    Obama has repeatedly proclaimed that he doesn't care about Clinton Dems and that he will win with his nomination coalition, including Independents and Republicans. He has said that he is going after Indies and Republicans specifically.

    How will he do that? By saying Republican ideas are wrong?


    the obama campaign.... (5.00 / 11) (#46)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:13:24 AM EST
    has never been about an appeal to rationality.

    contradictions don't matter to Obama -- and we've just stepped into a whole 'nother "non-reality based community" with the coronation of Obama.  

    So questions like this are besides the point -- you're still stuck in the reality based community...

    personally, I'm staying the reality based community -- I'm just hoping that the community association will vote to make it a gated community, because when all the A-list bloggerboyz realize what they've done, I want to make sure that we're not over-run by fauxgressives who will demand the mantle of leadership based on their "expertise" and "credibility" (aka their gender and Village connections).


    The press have allowed him so (5.00 / 7) (#120)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:53:52 AM EST
    contradict himself in the space of datys in a way that would have led to anyother pol's extinction.

    So they are in the bag for him.

    However Mccain can come back with media love if he does something like pick Lieberman.  Dick Morris suggested this the other day.  

    Broder would love it. So would Russert.   A demonstration of bipartisanship that Obam acould nopt dare to emulate given the suspicion about him among Clinton voters.


    It was the Mr. Obama Goes to Washington (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by datadriven on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:09:43 AM EST
    Lots and lots of biography, ambiguity on policy. Before his run for the Presidency we had him stumping for Lieberman against Lamont, criticizing Murtha's timetable before the CFR, and "drowning/saving" Dick Durbin on Guantanamo. During the campaign we had the backstage/frontstage inconsistencies by Powers and Goolsbee. Given the absence of a Huckabee/faithy candidate and the cross-heavy campaign in KY, I assume that some new "Unity" position will emerge from the BHO camp on choice/abortion, school funding, or faith-based childcare.

    I think Lieberman might be McCain's pick (none / 0) (#137)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:58:09 AM EST
    (Romney would be more map orientated)  On Unity:  Lieberman on his ticket would gain the media love of someone like Broder or Brookes. It would be done to gain media love.

    Obama couldn't possibly choose a GOP congress critter after the acrimony of the primary. So if mccain makes his bid for a bipartisan ticket (however unlikely that really is) he will regain the straight talk glow so far as the Villagers are concerned.  


    I can' see that happening (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:25:36 AM EST
    McCain already has a problem with his base. To add Lieberman would absolutely slam the door for him. I don't doubt he'd give him a cabinet position. I'm hoping after the GE, the dems will have enough votes to strip Lieberman of everything and throw him to the dogs where he belongs. I wouldn't doubt Lieberman knows he's done in November anyway. That might be why he's jumped on McCain's bandwagon.

    Personally I think that the issue of 2007, (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:47:32 AM EST
    Iraq, still matters. McCain threw down the gauntlet the other day when he said that Obama refused to fund the troops, so it's clear that he's going to have to attack this head on.

    National Security election. (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    That's what it's gonna be.

    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by dk on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:52:05 AM EST
    Everyone always says the election will be about national security/foreign policy, and it never really is.  

    McCain will try to paint Obama as a "tax and spend" democrat.  Whether that sticks, and the price of gas in the fall, will pretty much determine the outcome, in my opinion.


    "Some say that Obama is (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:53:53 AM EST
    in the pocket of big oil" If true, don't look for gas to go down anytime soon, only up. Besides, it really isn't the president who determines these things.

    Well, I think it's clear ... (5.00 / 4) (#200)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:25:53 AM EST
    Obama is in the pocket of someone.  You don't get the kind of fawning media coverage otherwise.

    That's just a fact.


    Actually (5.00 / 7) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:10:45 AM EST
    the price of gas is not going to help Obama. He voted for the Cheney energy bill and McCain did not.

    The price of gas will help McCain (5.00 / 3) (#216)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:30:24 AM EST
    ... thanks to Obama's "anti-pandering" cheapshots at Hillary (which turn out to be empirically wrong-footed as well).

    I agree. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by RJBOSTON on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:11:25 AM EST
    "Show me the money!" This election is going to be about the economy if it keeps tanking.

    Actually, I think (5.00 / 6) (#153)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:04:05 AM EST
    Hillary contributed a really huge element to what this election has the potential of being about. Her genuine caring about the people, the domestic issues, and how this country needs to be strengthened again. It is the economy, again. It is jobs, again.

    Obama makes no decisions based on what the people need. It's all political, and he depends on the experience around him to tell him what to do.


    Yes! (5.00 / 2) (#163)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:08:32 AM EST
    Obama makes no decisions based on what the people need. It's all political, and he depends on the experience around him to tell him what to do.

    In other words, Obama has not yet found his voice.


    His voice (5.00 / 2) (#219)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:31:27 AM EST
    is something he really isn't even looking for.

    He borrows the voice he needs at the moment, and then he delivers his message like a southern preacher. Since that appears to be working for him, why would he exert himself looking for something he doesn't believe he needs? :)


    Obama has no credibility (5.00 / 5) (#168)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:09:30 AM EST
    on those issues. He does not have a record of standing up for women, children and the working class like Hillary does.

    He thinks he is teh awesome on National Security - he said so himself.

    He's going to walk right into McCain's trap.


    Well, the Republicans (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:51:18 AM EST
    won't be able to run it the way the usually do, in my opinion. That just didn't work in 2006, and won't work now.

    Heh! (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by flashman on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:02:06 AM EST
    What else they got?

    They've got Obama's character issues (5.00 / 10) (#169)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:09:33 AM EST
    since he is running on character, not issues.  And that will be a field day for the Republicans.

    Congress is a different animal (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:03:14 AM EST
    than the Presidency.

    "Genius" KKKarl Rove didn't get that, which is why his "The Math" was wrong in 2006. I predict an amazing year for Democrats in Congress - possibly even a filibuster-proof majority, which would be incredible.

    Plus, the media loves McCain more than anyone. McCain will dictate the memos and the media will parrot the talking points.

    Finally - what if Bush attacks Iran or another terrorist attack happens?

    It's going to be a long summer.


    As for... (5.00 / 5) (#91)
    by NWHiker on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:45:09 AM EST
    As for the other terrorist thing, it doesn't even have to be in the US.

    My "poll size" is only about 150 or so moms, so between the ages of (at this point, heh!) 30 and 50, from skating on the edge to wealthy. Most were Dems prior to 2000, some switched then, having totally bought into the "Gore is a liar" meme, but the major mouvement was in 04, right after Beslan. Women who'd been Dems had been planning on voting for Kerry, despite how "Bush had kept them safe", but when Beslan happened... well, they just didn't trust Kerry. Some of them, after the fiasco that's been Bush's second term, could have come back to Dems (some have totally bought the R Koolaid, going from pro-choice to praying for Bush and the souls of the murdered babies today every night with their children... and they don't mean murdered Iraqi children). We haven't had any major list wide (4 lists) discussions on the primary, but privately I've talked with many of these woman, and most are now planning on supporting McCain. They'd have voted for Clinton, largely in part thanks to Bill's legacy of peace and prosperity, but won't for Obama. As one woman told me "Who the heck is he?" These are, perhaps, the "security moms" and they're very very skittish. (Don't get me started on the nomenclature or the silliness of thinking quite that way). Anyhow, I'll add that I knew 02 (Washingtin sniper and war), and 04 were going to come out the way they did, as well as predicting 06. We'll see about 08. So far it's not looking hopeful. As I said, small sample size, but it's been pretty accurate. After Beslan, in September 04, I figured Kerry was in deep trouble, no matter what the polls said.

    Again, the main issue here is trust in Obama's capability to keep their kids safe from terrorists  or whatever. He has small kids, that'll play in his favour... but I'm not sure it'll be enough to overcome the McCain perception of strength.

    I know part of this is OT, but it highlights, I think, part of Obama's problem: by trying to please everyone, and voting "present" and not making any politically tough votes, he doesn't really have any substance: people have projected onto him what they've wanted (anti-war! liberal!) but when comes time for scrutiny... there is, no far, no "there" there, which will not sit well with my little sample size.


    Well, since I'm not religious, (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:08:35 AM EST
    I guess I'm just going to have to have hope. (Yes, that still makes me feel a little ill.)

    BTW, the American people by-and-large disagree with McCain on the issues, including national security. Iraq is the biggest example. Thankfully, Obama voted against funding last year, so he can say that he consistently opposed the Bush policy.


    So? (5.00 / 6) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:13:33 AM EST
    They disagreed with Bush on the issues too and we all saw how that worked out. Obama's disrespecting of the voters is a huge problem.

    So Bush barely won both times (none / 0) (#57)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:15:39 AM EST
    I think Obama can pull it off in a Democratic year like this, just.

    I will certainly be disappointed if he doesn't.


    Yes (5.00 / 8) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:19:48 AM EST
    but you have to take into account that Obama is a worse candidate than either Gore or Kerry and that McCain is a better candidate than Bush.

    Gotta disagree about O's (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:27:49 AM EST
    ability as a candidate.  Granted, he got enormous cover from the MSM which also helped by attacking his main opponent.  

    But in the end he did run a smarter and more disciplined campaign than my experienced and smart candidate did.  Gotta give him that.  No huge blunders (like hiring a Mark Penn) and a consistent and winning campaign theme of Change, vs HRC's less exciting Experience.

    Right now, I'd definitely give him an edge over Gore or Kerry given the very high quality of his defeated primary opponent.  Gore only had to defeat Bradley (zzzz ....) and Kerry ran against two fairly inexperienced guys (Dean, Edwards) both of whom weren't in Hillary's league as a formidable opponent.

    And we'll see how McCain does as a candidate compared to Junior.  The Frat Boy was able to basically stay on message, about the only thing Rove required him to do.  McC has a tougher task -- threading the needle between seeming not to embrace the unpopular Bush while not offending the R base, plus not exploding in anger on the hustings as his reputation in the senate suggests he will at some point.


    Actually (5.00 / 10) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:32:21 AM EST
    I see his primary campaign as a prelude to the general election. I think his primary campaign, while enough to win the nomination, has been extremely damaging to his chances in Nov. Ratcheting up Clinton hatred isn't going to win it in Nov for him. Heck, he had to be pushed over the finish line by the Dem establishment. Do you think that's a positive? I don't.

    Gore and Kerry had a united party behind them. Obama does not.


    Sorry. If we hadn't had the (5.00 / 8) (#94)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:46:07 AM EST
    effed up situation with Michigan and Florida, Hillary would be the candidate right now.

    I'm convinced it changed the course of the whole race - not Obama's supposed smart campaign or hers.


    I absolutely agree that the FL and MI stuff (5.00 / 8) (#147)
    by Angel on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:01:29 AM EST
    changed the dymanics of the race.  The DNC was hellbent on denying Hillary the nomination.  As was the media.  They should be ashamed of themselves, but as we have learned, they have no shame.  This process was a travesty on so many levels it is hard to even know where to begin the discussion.  But the thing that will stay with me forever is the way that Hillary Clinton was treated.  She was vilified and crucified on a daily basis.  And all because she is a strong woman and her last name is Clinton.  I will say it again, if Barak Obama were a woman or a white male he would have never been given the opportunity to have the nomination because of his thin resume.  That is the truth.

    But.. (5.00 / 6) (#123)
    by NWHiker on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:54:20 AM EST
    Right now, I'd definitely give him an edge over Gore or Kerry given the very high quality of his defeated primary opponent.

    But he wasn't able to win against his opponent by any of the major indicators, he only won because of disenfranchisement and the party pretty much selecting him. He will not have that advantage in November. Close enough is not good enough.


    Gore and Kerry (5.00 / 4) (#154)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:04:25 AM EST
    had a lot more substance and experience than Obama. They had a longer record to back up their claims of what they would do as President. And, both had been to Vietnam.

    The Republicans still destroyed both men.

    Obama is going to be a cakewalk for them. Rezko? Wright? Ayers? His wife, Michelle?


    Indeed (5.00 / 4) (#166)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:09:13 AM EST
    And, there are probably some we have yet to hear about.

    The Republicans claim they have had a team of researchers in Chicago who emerged with a huge list of things worthy of attack.

    I wish they would just start releasing.

    Obama's ongoing fear of debating is going to go against him.


    "The Repubs still destroyed both (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:20:25 AM EST
    Gore and Kerry".  

    Yep, and it's pretty easy to do when both men decided to sit back and let it happen.

    Neither turned out to be a fighter, though both talked loudly and often about Fighting For Us.  Right.

    Neither too had the sort of keen political instincts, and self-confidence to go with those instincts, that other successful Dems have had (Bill, JFK, FDR) -- instincts, for instance, sufficient to withstand idiot pollsters bogus conclusions about swings, or instincts strong enough to tell a Bob Shrum to forget about the money issue and that he'll have to start responding Right Now to the SwiftBoaters, etc etc.

    Gore listened to Shrum, Brazile, Karenna and Tipper -- all softies or very flawed/incompentent advisors.  Oh don't get me started about 2000 ...


    Hee! (5.00 / 4) (#208)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:28:31 AM EST
    I agree so strongly about the SwiftBoating thing and Gore and Kerry listening to those stupid consultants.

    Yet...Obama has already allowed himself to be defined in my view. He is so young and inexperienced that he hasn't seen it yet.

    But the "Obama Hates America" meme is going to destroy him.

    Sorry to be a downer. I have thought this way since the Wright video came out and it's only gotten worse now IMHO.

    We can agree to disagree of course.


    Indicators schmindicators, (4.00 / 0) (#164)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:08:41 AM EST
    he won by taking just enough votes in primaries and caucii to get him the needed delegate edge and thus the win.  Taking advantage of the situation as he found it, he simply did a better job than HRC's team in cobbling together enough delegates.

    Of course, I've already noted how he was enormously aided in the PR war with the massive assist from the MSM, and it was in that battle that he prevailed with many SDs.  

    This HRC backer has no problem accepting that he won fair and square, using and exploiting to this advantage the MSM's help.

    It might well be tougher in the GE given the media will not be out to tarnish his opponent.  We'll see how that plays out.

    But right now I see him with much more of a sharpened killer instinct than either Gentlemanly Gore or Kautious Kerry.  That's what I want to see in a Dem going up against the dirty knife fighters on the other side.  That's my view of it right now anyway.  


    He ran a great campaign except.... (5.00 / 3) (#205)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:28:06 AM EST
    ...for those times when he was under pressure. He didn't perform well in several debates. There were numerous gaffes that would have been highlighted and underlined three times over had they been done by Kerry or Gore or Clinton. While he was under the most scrutiny and pressure, the voters seemed to turn more towards his opponent. Although the media and the party leaders circled around him. So yes I will give him credit for getting those key allies on his side. But if they weren't enough to get him more than a 51% win among Democrats, I worry about the GE.

    Well see (none / 0) (#65)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:22:35 AM EST
    I think Obama probably starts with a 5 pt national advantage over Kerry. That should be enough.

    Actually (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:27:59 AM EST
    he is starting BEHIND Kerry. That's why I'm not hopeful for Nov. And that's before the GOP 527's have even started on him.

    Also (5.00 / 8) (#82)
    by stillife on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:39:29 AM EST
    Obama has genuine baggage, whereas Kerry did not.  Repubs won't have to make anything up to swiftboat Obama.  He's a GOP 527 dream come true.  

    right (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:59:22 AM EST
    no time to google but wasnt Kerry about 15 points ahead at this point?

    Kerry ahead of Bush by 15 at (none / 0) (#179)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:14:00 AM EST
    this point?  Maybe, but so what.  Nat'l polls well before Nov are meaningless, let alone those months before the conventions and before the Veeps are picked.

    Far more relevant is what kind of bounce we get coming out of Denver -- in 2004, Kerry got only a negligible bounce, iirc, if any.  Then what our candidate does to follow up on said bounce.  Recall that Dukakis got a huge bounce -- then decided the smart thing to do was remove himself from the campaign trail and go back to Boston to show people how he could competently govern.  Stupid stupid ...


    thanks to pruple heart bandaids (5.00 / 2) (#217)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:30:31 AM EST
    you think that won happen this time?

    Very little bounce (5.00 / 1) (#218)
    by cmugirl on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:31:23 AM EST
    Repubs convene the very next week, so any bounce will last 4 days.  Obama's speech is the Thursday before Labor Day - people will not be watching TV (and it's also the start of college football on TV).  After the Repubs meet, it's eight weeks until election day and in the meantime, they will get their own bounce.

    I think Obama can pull it off in a Democratic year (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:25:50 AM EST
    Six months ago I was inconceivable that a Repulican could win the WH. Now I'd put the odds in their favor. Unbelievable. Experience and issues seem to have nothing to do with the presidential elections. Just look at GWB. He had neither and won. It's all perception of who is the more likable! A guy you want to have a beer with. Scary isn't it. And by now everyone must know that the MSM has had a lovefest with McCain for years.

    I dont think (5.00 / 7) (#75)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:31:06 AM EST
    the war issue is so cut and dried.
    it is going to be hard to go up against a guy who stuck by what he believed in the face of pretty amazing pressure to change his position.
    he stuck and he won.  I dont think Obamas win is the biggest upset of this election.  I think McCains win was.  a lot of people thought Obama would win even if I did not.  almost no one thought McCain would win.  I would have bet 100 bucks against him without blinking.
    when McCain starts talking about what could  happen as a result of a hasty withdrawal, well, I just dont think it will end up being an issue in the way Obama supporters expect.

    Obama is going to have (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:48:37 AM EST
    to keep promising to end the war (although, sadly, I don't think he will - too much invested over there to do that).

    exactly right (5.00 / 3) (#112)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:51:37 AM EST
    he will keep saying it and most people will not believe it.
    I do not.

    The war issue is not cut and dry (5.00 / 3) (#176)
    by AX10 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:13:26 AM EST
    at all.
    This is where Hillary's moderate stances would come in to assist in a positive manner.
    If we never went to Iraq, Al-Quieda would not be there.  But we did go into Irag and they are there now.  It is reasonable to stabilize Iraq before any pull out.  It would take a few years, but it can be done.  We will not be in Iraq forever.  We most likely will be out by 2013 as McCain has indicated.

    Counterpoint (5.00 / 5) (#83)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:40:05 AM EST
    The American public also disagrees with Obama on raising the capital gains tax and raising the cap on SS. During a time when the economy sucks are they going to be willing to accept any new taxes? Kerry was unable to convince enough people that raising taxes on the "rich" would benefit them. We will have to see if Obama can do better.

    Also, on Iraq, the polls have been pretty consistent over a two, two and a half year period on what type of action should be taken to end the occupation. 1/3 are for immediate withdrawal and 2/3 are for other actions (maintain current troop levels, stay with reduced troop levels, increase troop levels etc.) So there is a great deal of confusion and various POV among people. There are still quite a few people, even those who were against the war from the get go, who are stuck in the "pottery barn" mind frame.

    IMO Obama's greatest risk is in the area of national security. His lack of experience and record may allow Republican frames to more easily take root since Americans do not have past knowledge to counterbalance the Republican attacks.  


    and lets not forget (5.00 / 5) (#96)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:46:32 AM EST
    for all the insults and name calling on "progressive" blogs, McCain is a known and TRUSTED guy.  a patriot and war hero.
    republicans may be able to destroy war heros but I dont think Obama campaign will have the same success for some reason.  if only because the MSM will not allow it.
    anyone who thinks the "third term" thing is going to fly is just delusional.  everyone knows Bush and McCain hate each other and McCain only backed him for the same reasons Hillary will now back Obama.
    its not rocket science.

    Differences between heroes (5.00 / 3) (#158)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:06:04 AM EST
    McCain's hero status is unmatched by any other politician. My thinking is it is simply out of bounds to even consider attacking his military service.

    it was being done on this site (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:25:43 AM EST
    yesterday.  unstable and dangerous.

    2006 (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:11:55 AM EST
    was a congressional election not a presidential election. National security really isn't an issue outside of Presidential elections.

    Nat'l security just won't (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:20:23 AM EST
    be the huge issue it was in, say, 2002 -- not with the backdrop of a tanking economy and the middle class increasingly concerned about home values and high gas prices.

    Plus we've had 8 yrs of a lot of terra fearmongering on the part of Junior's admin and a war in Iraq people are sick of.  Emotional appeals to frighten people about Obama as CinC will likely be of limited utility.

    Of course, it would also be helpful, to preempt the bogus terra scares, if major Dem surrogates with NS cred (Biden, Clark) would get out there starting in the summer and loudly talk about the curious way terra threats seem to pop up with frequency right around the time of Dem conventions and fall presidential elections.  


    Here's (5.00 / 10) (#70)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:27:01 AM EST
    what people ignore: McCain won't have to convince people that Obama is unsuitable to be President, all he has to do is raise enough doubts so that people won't vote for him.

    Obama voted for the Cheney energy bill so that dog won't hunt.

    I think all those issues will work well for Dems in congressional and senatorial races. I just don't see them working for Obama in the Presidential race.

    My prediction: Huge amounts of ticket splitting with people voting for McCain for President while voting Dems downticket.


    While a lot of Obama voters (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    don't vote downticket at all, from what we've seen in states studied, such as Texas.  So I wouldn't count on winning those contests, either.

    The Obama campaign style to win the nomination simply has been too divisive to count on winning in the general election.


    National (5.00 / 8) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:01:41 AM EST
    security is a huge problem for Obama. He hasn't dealt with it so far and I don't know that he will.

    If Hillary had been the nominee this election would have been about the economy. McCain vs. Obama is going to be about national security.


    Are the positions of Sen. Obama (5.00 / 9) (#6)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:48:49 AM EST
    really yours, or is it that the policies of Sen. McCain aren't. Personally, the only issue I see that Sen. Obama is for, is the issue of himself and how it affects him. I believe that if it were in his best interests, he would be a reb. lite (which he may be). He seems to take every side with every issue, including pro-choice, iran, iraq, nafta. Please tell me where I'm wrong.

    Republican Lite - Exactly (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by talex on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:55:17 AM EST
    I don't know who Armando has been watching. When in front of a Dem crowd he has spoken in broad vague terms. When in front of the Fox News crowd he has been more explicit in respecting Republican ideas and their policies.

    It will be interesting to read over the coming months the case that Armando and Jeralyn will try to make for Obama. And no, that he is not McCain is not enough.


    His announced posiitons (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:56:42 AM EST
    are almost precisely mine.

    You see I am a Centrist. I believe Obama is a Centrist.

    In Obama I think you will see more disappointment from the Left Wing than you will from me, if they care about their issues.

    I'll give you one example. Barack Obama was touting his sponsorship of a resolution calling for the Iran Revolutionary Guard (IRG) being labelled a terrorist organization. During the Kyl Lieberman  (K-L) brouhaha, many Left bloggers were outraged at Clinton's vote in favor of a resolution that did just that. Obama did not vote on K-L. But I was familiar with Obama's sponsorship of the previous revolution calling on labelling the IRG a terrorist state and I pointed out Obama's hypocrisy in trying to make hay on K-L.

    It wa snot the position that bothered me, it was the unfair attack on Clinton that bothered. In theory, it was the ISSUE that bothered the Left blogs. So, in theory, they should be disappointed in Obama's position on the IRG.

    I am not disappointed with Obama's position on the IRG. I support it.


    Being a Centrist is fine. I am (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:01:55 AM EST
    too in many areas, however, when you are running for president and you speak to one group in the morning and one group in the afternoon and on the same subject you boldly swing left, then right, that is not being a centrist. When you do this all the time on all issues you are being wishy-washy (a presidential term). As for me, don't tell me what you think I want to hear, tell me the truth as you see it, then let me decide!!!

    I expect to see him move pretty hard (5.00 / 6) (#139)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:58:38 AM EST
    to the right and stay there once Clinton is really out of the race.

    What will happen over at the transference blogs will be interesting to see when that shift occurs.  I'm now thinking of them as tranference blogs because I have read all kinds of conflicting descriptions of who Obama is that are so obviously born out of what the writers want to see in him.  If on a given day they need to think of him as a liberal he is one.  On another where they want him to be center or right he is.  Then there are the "he is the greatest, sweetest, bestest guy in the universe" diatribes which are so over-the-top that they should really be classified as satire.  I don't mean to be harsh, but the reality is that these candidates aren't perfect - they are mere mortals like the rest of us.

    I got a preview of what might happen when the shift occurs in a diary yesterday criticizing the AIPAC speech.  Many comments were posted that essentially said "Criticizing the Democratic candidate is absolutely forbidden."  My favorite snarky comment in response to one of the people calling the diarist a traitorous troll for writing the diary said something about it being time to start the show trials and re-education classes.  Yeah, it made me laugh out loud.  Dark humor appeals to me.


    That's a good example (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by dk on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:03:29 AM EST
    but to take that further, how do we know what Obama's stated position on the IRG really is?  Yes, he had the earlier resolution.  But later, when he saw that it was politically expedient at a critical point in the campaign to deny that position, he did.

    In other words, to me, that whole IRG issue is a sign that he's going to make both centrists like you, and the self-described progressives (though, frankly, I disagree with that categorization; in my book I think you're more liberal than they are even though they would disagree) unhappy.


    In fact (5.00 / 6) (#44)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:12:25 AM EST
    He never took any other position on the IRG.  It was the blogs who criticized Hillary for her IRG position, not realizing Obama had the same position.

    He chose something else from the bill to criticize Hillary for - an issue that no one had ever brought up with respect to K-L, but since he knew he couldn't use the IRG, he had to find something else.  It was pure political opportunism.

    It always cracked me up to see people on the blogs write lengthy essays about how declaring the IRG a terrorist organization was the most irresponsible act of all time.  By the way, it wasn't just Hillary who voted for K-L, no fewer than 10 Senators who voted against the Iraq war voted for K-L.  Really one of the worst manufactured issues of all time, simply because no one really understood what they were criticizing.


    Right Vote (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Athena on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:49:01 AM EST
    I completely supported Hillary's vote.  The IRG is a terrorist organization.  But Obama has laid a trail of utter hyprocrisy that will come back at him.

    I don't know - IRG won't hurt him with (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:04:32 AM EST
    Republicans.  The question is whether or not his lefty supporters will be able to tolerate what's to come on many fronts.  Obama's positions are pretty far right for my tastes which is why I never really was motivated to jump on his band wagon.  A lot of lefties whose previous stated positions were similar to my politics seemed to think he was just pretending to be more conservative than they would like him to be.  I don't think he is pretending so I'm not going to be disappointed by him, but they might be.  We'll see.  Of course, Obama knows that at this point I and others like me have no other choice but to go with the flow, so he's not likely to worry about losing our votes once the primary deal really is over.

    I think (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:06:48 AM EST
    the larger problem for Obama in the general election is that he has tried to have it both ways on every issue. His primary rhetoric is going to come back to haunt him in the general. McCain has a huge opportunity to keep the Hillary supporters from voting for Obama by constantly reminding everyone of his rhetoric.

    What I thought was strange... (5.00 / 4) (#52)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:14:37 AM EST
    was that he reiterated that position (re: guard==terrorists) at the AIPAC meeting...where he opposed K-L during the campaign.

    We had some huge storms here yesterday...lost power, cable, and wireless access.


    I agree with you on those points. (5.00 / 9) (#53)
    by TomP on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:15:10 AM EST
    I pointed out at the time that Obama favored declaring the IRG a terrorist organization.  Yes, he sponsored a similar bill, and he said it after Kyl-Lieberman.  Obama has a very "nuanced" position (he opposed one aspect of K-L, but not the core) and then he managed to miss the vote.

    Both Clinton and Obama were wrong on that, although Obama was verbally better on one aspect.

    Unlike you, I oppose declaring the IRG a terrorist group.  I'm with Nancy Pelosi and Jim Webb on that one.  Obama is wrong on it.  So was Clinton.

    It was just like the flag burning bill.  Many bloggers condemned Clinton for supporting the statute that likely was unconstitutional and opposing the constiutional aamendment.  It was an example of her trinagulation and old politics.  Yet Obama voted the same way!  You never heard that.  

    The hatred of Hillary Clinton by some really bothered me on a moral level.  It was wrong.  So were the vicious attacks on supporters of Clinton by some bloggers.

    Something deeper was going on when on most issues, Obama and Clinton were quite similar. Fron the perspective of an Edwards supporter who was to the left of Edwards on some things, I saw both Clinton and Obama from a different perspective.

    I think what was happening was gender, race, and a weird sort of ageism.  Clinton was demonized by the media and by bloggers.  She was turned into a cartoon, a villian into which people projected hate and fear.  The phony RFK comment outrage was the worst of many things.

    I'm not saying Clinton was perfect or that her campaign was.  She hit Obama hard. But the carricature of her was absurd.

    I also see you as a centrist, which may be why Edwards' positions, especially on trade and economic populism, bothered you.  And Obama is a centrist. And so is Clinton.

    As your name says, it's a big tent.  Better than McCain.

    I think Talk Left is a good place.  I enjoy the diversity of views here.  


    I think you need to refine (5.00 / 6) (#130)
    by desert dawg on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:56:00 AM EST
    what you mean by centrist, and define it in terms of both foreign and domestic policy.  One can argue that the party of FDR would stand for a strong--even interventionist--foreign policy.  One could never argue that a candidate that supports tort reform, believes that self-policing, rather than regulation, is the solution to the housing crisis, thinks Social Security is in crisis, has economic advisers that think single payer health care is a mistake and  that free market solutions are best, and who advocates a health care policy that perpetuates the status quo and in fact would make universal health care impossible, is in any way in tune with traditional Democratic values, and by those, I mean values that support the ideals of the New Deal and which believe that government may not be the solution to everything, but is the solution to runaway corporate misbehavior and greed.  

    You have often said you don't see a dime's worth of difference between the two candidates' policies. On this you are wrong.  Maybe it's time you focused on domestic policy and the vast differences between the Democratic Party of the past and the New Democratic Party of Reid, Pelosi, Brazile, and Obama.  

    The single most important issue for the Democratic Party of the past was the working man and woman.  It's the same constituency that Obama has shunned and which has shunned him. And it's the same constituency which will benefit least and be hurt most by his neoliberal/libertarian prescriptions.

    Perhaps Obama will be able to rejigger the map, register more AA's, and put in play some states that have been in the red column.  Great.  Maybe that will mean he'll do some good, or maybe he'll just appoint more justices like Roberts, whom he came this close to voting for.

    But what about those 18 million "invisibles"?  Either you believe they're just a Clinton rhetorical flourish, or you believe they're real.  

    Denial of access to the courts, denial of health care, denial of the chance to form unions, denial of retirement benefits, denial of the ability to make a decent living--these are the issues that matter most to a majority of Americans.  

    The Revolutionary Guard? Not high on my list--or theirs.


    which version of FDR? (none / 0) (#204)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:27:39 AM EST
    pre or post Pearl Harbor?

    I'm a centrist too (5.00 / 5) (#143)
    by davnee on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:59:52 AM EST
    And frankly I want a dash of hawk in my foreign policy stew and a dollop of free trade in my economic policy pie.  etc. etc.  But I respected Hillary Clinton where she was more boldly progressive on economic policy or regulation than I might be because she was very up front about it and always willing to make an argument for why she was right.  And she had me convinced on health care and social issues.  There is no mystery to an HRC presidency.  You know the change you will be voting for.  You might agree to disagree on some of that change, but at least you know what you are getting.  Not so with Obama.  He's a true pig in a poke.  He's talked out of so many sides of his mouth on so many issues that his mouth has got to be octagonal.  And of course he has no reliable record.  What really do we make of the present votes in IL or the rampant vote skipping in Washington or the dissembling about his past positions a la the questionnaire dustup?

    As to Obama/McCain, I look at it as two pigs in a poke, one that leans left and the other that leans right, but either can land you in some surprising and unexpected places.  If one pig is reliable and experienced and the other pig is not, and the experienced pig also has far superior character, then it makes it a tough choice even if you lean left.  At least it makes it tough for me.


    I too am a centrist but am an unafilitated voter. (5.00 / 2) (#225)
    by kimsaw on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:38:23 AM EST
    The bigger issue for me is that Obama chose not to vote on Kyl-Lieberman so he could make hay. I don't believe any thing Obama says. These are just a few examples of my distrust of Obama's words and policies:

    I don't trust his relationships with anti-white rhetorical pastors, nor do I appreciate the use of his church,its constituency and religion for political convenience.

    His race speech was a history lesson, identified the problem and offered no solutions.

    His position on UHC is meant not to challenge Republicans,and it may offers some change, but accomplishes little to address the problem as whole to everyone's medical and economic benefit.

    His walking back from no preconditions to meeting with the enemy at AIPAC in an effort to make himself more appealing to the Jewish community.

    Obama's politics are a matter of convenience not conviction, forget triangulation, he covers it all, he's a political parallelogram.


    I get a feeling that McCain (none / 0) (#201)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:26:36 AM EST
    will stick with the centrism actualluy and block any way for Obama to occupy that space.

    Lieberman can accomplish that.  Also it might drive Obama's black or propal supporters mad that Holy Joe is on that ticket.  
    The GOP could then attack the dems for antisemetism and reiterate the narrative that Obama represents the antiwar extremists that punished good old bipartisan Joe Lieberman.  And look how they treated poor old Hillary Clinton too.

    boohoo moderate Dems vote for McCain/Lieberman 08.

    narrative always narrative.


    Off hand, Choice, Irag and Iran (2.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:50:07 AM EST
    I think zfran is (4.62 / 8) (#13)
    by dk on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:55:22 AM EST
    essentially right.  As for choice, he made clear he thinks women should consult their pastors before making a decision (i.e. women are not responsible to make one one their own), "many" pro-choice activists fail to see the morality in the choice, and he himself is not certain of his own views about abortion.

    On Iran, he abstained from Kyl-Lieberman.

    On Iraq, he has personally voted to fund the war ever since he entered the senate.

    I'm not saying that McCain's views are even worse on those subjects, but I just wish people would stop insulting the intelligence of others by not speaking the truth.


    I meant to write (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by dk on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:56:32 AM EST
    "I'm not saying that McCain's view aren't even worse on the subects."  That's what I get for going with the double negative!  :)

    Obama is pro choice (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:11:25 AM EST
    to say otherwise is repeating poor spin.

    Supports a Woman's Right to Choose:
    Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

    On Iraq, he has called for a phased withdrawal and introduced legislation calling for the removal of all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008.

    "The days of our open-ended commitment must come to a close," Obama said in his speech. "It is time for us to fundamentally change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back.

    Refusing to sign Kyl-Lieberman is a good thing, IMO.

    You may not like him, you may prefer Hillary, but lets not insult people's intelligence by distorting his record.


    re: the republican guard thing... (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by kredwyn on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:18:05 AM EST
    But before AIPAC Wednesday, Obama called for isolating Iran via financial sanctions and boycotting firms tied to the Revolutionary Guard, "whose Quds force has rightly been labeled a terrorist organization."

    I agree that he probably does (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:30:49 AM EST
    have these opinions, however, I have read other opinions he has stated to the contrary. His own foreign policy advisor said on the campaign trail he says one thing and in reality he will do something different once he's in office. He says the repub. "use scare tactics" yet he is using roe v wade as a wedge..In the morning in Ore. he said Iran is not a threat, that afternoon in Montana he said Iran is a threat. Please take everything with a grain of salt, he is not salt of the earth imo.

    I take everything any politician says with a (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:47:52 AM EST
    grain of salt- including the Clintons (and that is not a slam).

    I am a moderately left wing Democrat. I am partisan. I therefore prefer ANY Democrat to ANY Republican (Lieberman is questionable as a Democrat). I have never knowingly voted for a Republican (Florida has non-partisan local elections. PHFFT).

    Two of my favorite Democratic politicians were considered slippery and insufficiently liberal- FDR and WJC. Both made some bad mistakes. Both had their hearts in the right place and did the country more good than harm.  Whether Barack deserves the same affection remains to be seen and will not be known for awhile. I was cautiously optimistic about Bill in 1992.


    It is my opinion (5.00 / 5) (#100)
    by Jeannie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:47:56 AM EST
    that Obama is a product of marketing. Are the opinions and beliefs on his website actually his? I get the impression that someone wrote all his opinions for him and he may or may not have read them. In debates and speeches he only gives surface points. Does he really have stands of his own? There is no passion for pro-choice, anti-war, health care, global warming, etc., etc. His passion seems to be not for issues, but for promoting himself.....
    I would like to be proven wrong.....

    Let Them Eat Hope (5.00 / 6) (#121)
    by Athena on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:54:04 AM EST
    He's a theme guy - hope, change - moods.  He's flexible on the issues.  The left will find that out and have to live with that.  Let's see if they're serious about anything.

    Hillary's details and understanding of their importance got her this far.  But it's real and not manufactured.  She understands what governance is really about.

    To the CCs, bread and butter don't matter.  But for the rest of America - well, let them eat hope.


    That's it exactly. (5.00 / 4) (#113)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:51:46 AM EST
    Obama has more positions than an ergonomic chair.

    I just don't believe anything he says. When Samantha Power said his Iraq withdrawal plan was only a "best-case scenario," I freaked out. What is he really planning to do? Then there was more of that contradictory stuff with the Iraq war ("I was against it before I was for it before I was against it again"), voting "present" so many times or "pushing the wrong button" (?????), the notes that weren't his notes on the handgun issue, Kyl-Lieberman, etc. etc. etc.

    He is not trustworthy.

    Is Hillary? Yes, by default. Everything she says and does is picked to pieces by the MSM. She is the most honest politician you can imagine because of that.

    Is McCain? Hell no. McCain is an Extreme Flip-Flopper. But then, he will never get my vote.


    On the Resko decision yesterday, (5.00 / 4) (#126)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:55:01 AM EST
    Obama said "that is not the person I know"...haven't we heard that before. Rev. Wright, Trinity, Fr Mike....amazing, isn't it!!

    I am sure Bill and Hill felt the same (none / 0) (#141)
    by Molly Bloom on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:59:28 AM EST
    way about Jim MacDougal.

    I do not apply my skepticism selectively.

    And as I said before (because some will not see it), I think Bill did the country more good than harm.


    By all means, (none / 0) (#189)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:19:30 AM EST
    don't forget Susan.

    Yes, real "justice" was done.  

    We fared way better under Clinton.  Some people just refuse to admit that.  Luckily for him, he was followed by Bush, so his detractors got a clue.


    He Is Pro-Choice (5.00 / 5) (#108)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:50:23 AM EST
    But he is not a champion.  He's one of those Dems who likes to have it both ways.  He mostly votes the right way (although often times that is not his first instinct, he wanted to vote to confirm John Roberts), but he also likes to pander to the right-wing in his talking points and there is a disconnect between what he says and his positions.  He has said that women should have "some control" over their bodies (thanks, Barack!).  In addition to his present votes (spare me that BS story from Planned Parenthood of Illinois that makes no logical sense but people took without applying any critical thinking), he has lectured pro-choice forces on the need to acknowledge the tough moral issues of abortion  ("The mistake that pro-choice forces have sometimes made in the past, and this is a generalization so it has not always been the case, has been to not acknowledge the wrenching moral issues involved in it," he said) and said that abortion is "never a good thing."   As I said, his initial reaction was vote to confirm Jogn Roberts and he had to be told that would be bad for his prospects of winning a democratic nomination and then he lectured liberals (he loves lecturing liberals) that they should not be angry at Democrats who voted to confirm Roberts.  In a display of democratic tactical brilliance he went on national television and criticized the Democratic-led filibuster of Alito the weekend before it's scheduled to take place (which kind of makes this rumor sound true and which reminds me of his rush to cave on Iraq timelines using the right-wing playing chicken with the troops meme).  

    As zuzu has pointed out, Obama's position on reproductive rights are mostly good, but as Obama himself has said words mean things, and his love for couching his position in conservative rhetoric when he talks about it, combined with his bipartisan instincts he's shown regarding his votes, do not reassure me and make me suspicious of how committed he really is.

    So, yes, he is pro-choice, but he's no champion.


    Committed To A Pro-Choice Agenda? (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:39:55 AM EST
    I wonder. Will he do an end around on choice if he sees some political advantage? I definitely don't trust that he wouldn't throw this issue under the bus if he thought it helped him in any way.

    Voting Record (5.00 / 4) (#125)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:54:58 AM EST
    Obama's vote in favor of the patriot act was a wake up call to me that he definitely was no progressive. Then when he advocated school vouchers and faith based initiative programs, he lost me completely. The icing on the cake came in his interview where he extolled the wonders of Ronald Reagan. And still there are people that believe he is the most liberal and progressive member of the Senate.

    The problem is the term "consistent" (5.00 / 6) (#213)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:29:25 AM EST
    because he has not been a "consistent champion of reproductive choice."  He has waffled on several votes at the state and Congressional levels that were crucial.  

    Or perhaps by that he means that he consistently likes to champion issues, looking good, but that's far different from coming through on the votes.

    And he says that "babies are punishment" for bad girls.  And his solution is abstinence education.  Both of these are dog-whistles to anti-choicers -- as well as being appalling statements in themselves.


    Agreed (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:16:24 AM EST
    On Iran, he was campaigning rather than showing up in the Senate the day of the vote. In a later debate, he criticized Clinton for her vote, but Kennedy, Kerry, et al, voted the same way Clinton did. He said he would have voted "Nea", though I would expect that to change depending on who he is talking to.

    On Iraq, he is on record having said in 2004 that he agreed with the way Bush was handling the war, felt he was doing a good job and progress was being made, and that he didn't know how he would have voted had he actually been in the Senate at the time. (In my personal world, I've never known anyone who started out in true opposition of the war change their mind along the way.)

    I'm only now starting to look seriously at McCain, so can't speak to much. My interest in him as an alternative to Clinton is that I know he is not a favored Republican because he doesn't follow their policy line close enough. I also believe he can be controlled for four years with a bigger, better majority of Democrats in the House and Senate. Pelosi and the weaker members need to go, but they need to be challenged for their spot on the ballots by a stronger democrat first.


    If you do not show up for a vote (5.00 / 4) (#199)
    by BarnBabe on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:25:51 AM EST
    You have no leg to stand on in critizing another's vote. Voting Present or not showing up is a cop out. Hillary might have voted for K-L, as did Obamas friends, and right or wrong, it was a vote. As a President, you can not go out of town when there is something critical or say you just do not want to deal with it. Showing up to vote is leadership.

    Keep up what you're doing. (5.00 / 11) (#14)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:55:30 AM EST
    IMHO, of the bloggers who have been around for some time, you and Jeralyn are among the few who have their credibility intact.

    Voting for Obama? (5.00 / 11) (#21)
    by Moishele on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:00:04 AM EST
    This is going to be a hard one. To me what has happenned to the Democratic party has been more like what happened to the Republicans-  the party simply forgot what it was all about, and the fringe took over.

    I wonder how things might have turned out if Republicans had risen up and cut their extremists off at the knees? I feel fairly certain some 4K+ American soldiers would be alive today if they had.

    My parents were party activists. I met my DH at a voter registration rally. He was an organizer for Students for McGovern. Our children are all politically active. It's in our blood. I was always so proud of what the Democratic party stood for. But now I just don't know.

    With Democratic candidates I have always been able to see their love of country and their concern for its people. I look at Obama and all I see is his love of Obama. I don't like feeling this way, but his campaign has done nothing to change my mind, and their treatment of the Clintons and all that they stand for has been reprehensible. And in many ways their treatment of what the party stands for has been reprehensible. Hopefully things will happen to change my mind.

    I agree (5.00 / 10) (#22)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:00:37 AM EST
    with almost everything you say.  heres the problem for me.
    I could do almost anything but vote to purge the party of the people and politicians I care about most and who I believe have to most to offer the country.
    I wont do it and that is what I believe a vote for Obama is.
    they mean to purge the party of those horrible Clintons and their supporters and I wont help.

    Agree again. (Do I sound like Obama parroting (none / 0) (#195)
    by Angel on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:23:42 AM EST
    Hillary? ha!)  Dean, Pelosi, et al and the media want to bury the Clintons once and for all and I will not be a party to that.  So I will be sitting this election out when it comes to the top of the ticket - unless Hillary is the VP nominee, which I don't think Obama will offer her.  If he doesn't offer it to her it's just one more reason for me to stay home in November.

    Honesty is the key (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:07:33 AM EST
    One main aspect of your site that I appreciate is your ability to look at issues without rose colored glasses. All politician are open to suspect. Now that the MSM (as well as several high profile web sites) have been totally corrupted it's encouraging to know that there are still a few places out there where the facts matter. Thank you

    Big thanks to Talk Left.... (5.00 / 6) (#34)
    by Tess on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:07:41 AM EST
    BTD, I've so enjoyed and learned from your reporting and analysis! The same goes for Jeralyn.  

    I especially enjoy and learn from the difference of opinion. Hey, that's when you can REALLY learn something and make informed choices. I didn't and don't come here for a fan club tea party.

    I am a huge Hillary supporter. I've been smitten with her since taking my then teenage daughter to hear her speak at a luncheon in Denver many moons ago.

    I've learned more about myself and the political process during the last months from reading TL than I would have ever imagined.

    A week ago I didn't think I could ever cast a vote for Obama.  But, I'll dust myself off and head on to the next ballgame. :)

    Creativepart, This is about more than (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:09:16 AM EST
    idealogy and party for me. I have done my homework. I believe that if you believe that Sen. Obama will stick to dem principles that you believe in, vote for him. However, please be well-informed (other than his website)and not be swayed by the rebel-rousing speeches. If he is a centrist as BTD says, then listen for the middle position. He doesn't have one. He takes the position of anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is documented. That's wishy-washy and not exactly dem. principles!@

    BTD, re: FISA legislation, where it seems Reyes is (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:10:19 AM EST
    going to give Bush what he wants (that lovely telco immunity stuff):

    1. Obama has said he would fight telco immunity, even support the Dodd filibuster. Will he do anything now, or is it politically important that he not stir that up again? To protect his national security cred?

    2. Will Obama try to get his supporters in the Senate to back his stand? Thinking especially of Rockefeller, but he would need to lead people to new stands to back up his prior commitment against telco immunity, etc.

    3. Do we really know his stands on lots of issues?

    4. What do you see as his political/Senate actions in the near future (between now and convention, then convention to election)?

    bottom line (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:11:36 AM EST
    one can respectfully argue that mccain would be a better president given that positions  on issues alone are simply not sufficient to make such a determination?

    If the answer is yes, ok.

    If the answer is no, I think that is totally ok too!

    But either way there should be an answer.

    Charming (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:13:15 AM EST
    I'd love to respond in kind, but site rules prohibit me from suggesting what you can rename yourself to.

    pfft (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:13:51 AM EST
    great minds

    it really galls you people (5.00 / 6) (#48)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:13:31 AM EST
    that this blog and others like it exist doesnt it?
    it really messes with the whole fantasy island thing doesnt it?
    it make me happy to know that.  thanks for sharing.

    After watching election 2000 & 2004, (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by cosbo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:14:15 AM EST
    i've actually come to the conclusion, that elections are not won on the issues. For the most part, people think that all politicians are the same. From what I can see, elections are won based on toxicity levels of the candidate...how effectively can smears stick, toughness, and trust. Voters don't always vote rationally. Especially with the presidency. They vote for who makes them feel safe.

    Of course presidential elections (5.00 / 6) (#67)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:24:30 AM EST
    are not won on the issues.

    If they were, no Republican would ever be President.

    I mean, their platform is basically "Lies, Injustice and the Politburo Way - plus we're gonna take all your money and kill a whole bunch of people!"

    Now, does that sound appealing to you?


    That's a ologal is violent platform. (none / 0) (#210)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:29:14 AM EST
    The Vikings and Normans used it.  The Victorian British used it too.

    That's a logical if violent platform. (none / 0) (#214)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:29:57 AM EST
    The Early American settlers used it.

    "Feel safe" can also refer (none / 0) (#78)
    by brodie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:36:10 AM EST
    to economic security -- and McC is going to have a difficult time convincing key middle class swing voters that he would do a better job at turning around the economy than fellow Repub Bush.

    Doubly difficult since McC has conceded that economics is not his strong suit.

    Otherwise, yes, too many on these lib political boards place far too much emphasis on itemizing and then parsing the various issues.  Only a few will matter, and only then in the broad stroke sense of them as they affect the average voter.

    Personal characteristics of the candidates do matter a lot.  And here it's a matter of defining yourself the way you want people to perceive you and then defining your opponent in the negative ways you want to apply.

    With Gore and Kerry, they both basically sat back and let the oppo define them.  Amazing, but true.  

    Since O has been smart enough to keep Bob Shrum away from his campaign, well I like his chances of doing far better in this area.


    It's true that Gore & Kerry... (5.00 / 3) (#202)
    by cosbo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:26:47 AM EST
    let the oppo define them. The problem with Obama is that he's giving them much more to work with than either Kerry or Gore. Hell, he's given them more, combined. All his nutty associates and words praising them are not going to suddenly disappear.

    Yes, it's going to take a lot of money (5.00 / 4) (#231)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:49:18 AM EST
    to beat back the ads that will come easily for the GOP.  All this talk of issues, character, etc., comes down to whether Obama will be able to sell himself to the voters via ads, as democracy is run these days.  As a recent U of Wisconsin study showed (see report in jsonline.com in last couple of days or search for it in my earlier comments), what it took for Obama to buy the nomination was an unbeatable edge of delegates won during an 11-day ad sprint ending in  mid-February, a 5-to-1 rate of outspending Clinton.

    The obvious questions then, if the hype about his fundraising is to be believed, include why he didn't keep up that rate of outspending?  He still outspent Clinton 2 to 1 for the three months since, but even that rate wasn't enough for him to win those races.   He still outspent at that rate and yet we saw historic losses of 20, 30, 40 percent and even more by a near-nominee, even on the night that he proclaimed himself the nominee.

    Bygones, but then the question becomes what will it cost him to beat McCain?  A 5-to-1 outspending rate again?  But that's what it took just to beat another Dem, so it could cost a lot more to beat a Republican, and to do so nationwide (or at least in a lot of states at once, since some are simply gone for him, after Wright, bitter-clinggate, Pfleger, etc., as well as because Obama wouldn't even be bothered going to those states).

    So, say it will take a 10-to-1 rate of outspending the GOP.  Or an 8-to-1 rate or even a 7-to-1 rate.  Can he come up with the bucks to do it, and if so, why did he cut back so much for the last three months and lose?  Can he come up with the bucks from his half of the Dem voters, at least those who were not just Dems for a day, if the other half of the Dem voters -- much of the Dem base -- doesn't donate, as many of us will not do?

    And Obama has only a third of what Clinton has -- and is not turning over -- for the GE.  Let's see how much McCain and the GOP 527s have. . . .


    Yeah BTD! (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:15:30 AM EST
    It's great that you are going to look at things honestly. I did the same thing you did in 2004---cheerlead and ignore the facts. I learned my lesson but I think lots of other Dems did not learn these lessons.

    oh, and BTD. thanks for the answer... (5.00 / 6) (#60)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:18:16 AM EST
    the problem won't be you... it will be all the Obots that will wind up taking over here, just as they've done elsewhere.  Anyone who does not follow the party-line will be attacked, and you and jeralyn won't have the time to keep all of them in line.

    I feel like I'm in a theatre, watching the final performances of a great production of some Sondheim masterpiece.  The end is near, the final curtain will descend, and the next production will be a less than inspired revival of Godspell...

    Since TL will soon be (or is) an Obama Blog (none / 0) (#79)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:37:09 AM EST
    shouldn't the Obots be posting here?  Heck, I hope they post here in large quantities just like they do at DK.  Perhaps somebody should post a message at DK and tell them it's open season for Obama supporters to post whatever they usually do in the comments on Talkleft.

    That is where you are wrong (5.00 / 4) (#93)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:46:03 AM EST
    We have always, to the best of our ability, enforced, indeed STRICTLY ENFORCED, our commenting rules. We will continue to do so.

    You're a puzzling one, Armando (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by The Other Steve on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:20:21 AM EST
    I have ALWAYS disagreed with Barack Obama's political style, his Unity Schtick. I have always advocated for Politics of Contrast/Fighting Dems.

    And I always agreed with you on that too.

    I just think it's funny because Obama is the one who embraces that style, versus the blur the differences approach of the DLC.

    If you watch Obama in action, you'll see he is doing that even now.  Displaying and highlighting the contrast with John McCain.  What's most impressive, is not just his humor, but how he will go headlong into an argument rather than trying to avoid it.  The avoidance issue was the problem with Kerry, Gore, Dukakis and so on.  They were afraid of saying something that might offend someone, somewhere.

    You can't contrast if you are afraid of contrast.

    You are arguing (5.00 / 4) (#73)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:29:22 AM EST
    he was always using that style? then you do not respect the facts.

    true... (5.00 / 5) (#114)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:52:06 AM EST
    but since September, Obama's biggest selling point has been "I'm not Hillary" -- while he maintained the facade of being the "unity candidate", when he announced that he would go after Hillary in the next debate, the relentlessly positive (and rather boring) tone of ALL the campaigns of Clinton's competition went south -- but none went further south than Obama's.

    (I was really angry at Edwards from a tactic point of view for ganging up on Clinton with Obama -- Edwards didn't realize that there could be only one "anti-Hillary", and that his proper target should have been Obama.)


    quite wrong (none / 0) (#157)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:05:16 AM EST
    Clinton made the error. She could have insructed her precinct capatains i nIowa to switch 505 of her vote to Edwards.

    That would have meant that Obama came in second and Clinton could recover in NH quite comfortably.
    Her strategists in Iowa knew she was going to lose to either Edwards or Obama.  In Iowa a vote for Edwards may well have been just as good for Clinton as a vote for Clinton.


    Huckabee winning Iowa was a boon to (none / 0) (#165)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:08:58 AM EST
    Mccain of all people and he drove right through the results that Romney and Huckerbee got.  

    Clintron didn't realize how potent Obama could be after he won iowa.

    I'd love to interview them and see why they fought so hard for every vote in Iowa instead of really thinking about this question:

    Should they have assisted Edwards in Iowa to beat down Obama?

    teh debate was ephemeral.  They had control of the Hillary voters  at the caucus and could have neutralized Obama in Iowa.  

    The Obama people were petrified that she was going to do so.  They ranted and raved about how a vote for Edwards was a vote for Clinton.


    This is a minor point, but please (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:37:09 AM EST
    tell me about Obama's humor. I am not familiar with it.

    its not that different from (5.00 / 8) (#85)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:41:48 AM EST
    John Kerrys humor.  and we all know.  no one can tell a joke like the Kerry.

    Thanks. I'm still laughing..... (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:44:23 AM EST
    out loud, too!!

    'Tis a puzzlement... (5.00 / 5) (#77)
    by lentinel on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:34:49 AM EST
    I appreciate the honesty of your statement, BTD.

    I can't advocate anyone refusing to vote. It is a personal decision based on personal feeling.

    I can, however, say that the extent to which I have been sickened by what you have called, "the most biased Media and blog election coverage I have ever seen" has at least greatly dampened my enthusiasm for participating in this process.

    In my view, a large part of this bias is misogyny, pure and simple.
    The media and the blogs were rampart participators in this scourge of sexism and racism directed at Senator Clinton, but the Obama campaign bears some responsibility for it as well.

    So it is difficult for me, at least for now, to consider voting for someone who, best case scenario, watched this go down and said nothing.

    What Now? (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by deebee on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:38:53 AM EST
    For me What Now? is no longer supporting the democratic party.  This election process has shown the underside of the party that I did not know existed...  Policy or specific candidates are not most important to me.  How can a party that behaves this way consider itself DEMOCRATIC..,  better named the CAUCUS party for the creative class and a few others?

    It needs to be reformed and reformed now.  

    Thanks BTD (5.00 / 10) (#84)
    by cdalygo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:41:21 AM EST
    We will continue to disagree - though hopefully always respectfully.

    Here's why I will remain a refusenik or PUMA.

    The Democratic Party has failed to deliver any meaningful opposition to Bush over the last few years. This election rewarded those in leadership at that time (Pelosi, Reid, and Daschle.) More importantly the Party destroyed any vestiges of integrity on May 31, 2008 (that includes halving Florida, not just stealing Michigan's votes). Now it has humiliated Senator Clinton into an early concession when any other race would have gone to the Convention.

    Combining that with Obama's lack of preparation and willingness to toss aside all those who oppose or (now) simply embarrasses him results in a powder keg. It will literally leave those of who believe in one person, one vote with nowhere to go. It rewards a candidate who engaged in scorched earth tactics of racism and sexism. Most damningly it elevates a candidate who feels no loyalty to any platform or policy because he literally owes no one. They created the victory for him out of thin air for him.

    I want a meaningful opposition party. How - and with whom - that occurs is my next step. Though I will continue to support Senator Clinton and those democrats smart enough to have stood with her.

    Numbers Game (none / 0) (#222)
    by squeaky on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:36:19 AM EST
    The Democratic Party has failed to deliver any meaningful opposition to Bush over the last few years
    .  Seems to me that it is Americans who are to blame. We have not voted for enough Democratic candidates.

    My guess is that even if there were just 10 more Democrats in the Senate, average ones iow centrists like Hillary or Obama, you would not  be able to make your claim above.

    Boycotting the Democrats is not going to help change your stated problem.


    Things I can't get out of my mind (5.00 / 11) (#95)
    by JavaCityPal on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:46:16 AM EST
    I can't shake some of the Obama factors:

    His supporters are verbally violent, and he knows it.

    Donna Brazile, on more than one occasion, has said if Obama doesn't get the nomination, "there will be blood".

    Palestine, Hamas, and who knows who else, are using the internet to garner support for Obama. What will they feel comfortable doing should Obama be in charge?

    Obama is rude, dismissive, and arrogant with the people of this country. He doesn't understand the domestic issues outside of South Chicago, and he shows no interest in finding out.

    Like GWB, he will be the "decider", and his friends will be treated first. His earmarks to Father Pfleger fly in the face of his "special interests and earmarks" arguments. He definitely pays his debts with taxpayer money.

    He can't speak to his policies without a teleprompter reminding him what they are that day. I don't believe a word he says.

    His casual need to lie about the littlest things, and his absolute intent to lie about the biggest.

    I do not believe his intent is honorable for the American people. I do believe he and Michelle are devoted followers of the preachers of the TUCC.

    The reports that his representatives at the caucuses were less than honorable, and the likelihood the results were gamed.

    He won't stay in a job long enough to become efficient before he's on to his next ambition. I see him sitting in the WH writing his next book.

    Hard work isn't his mantra. And, what needs to be done in the country right now needs someone willing to do the work.

    His inexperience isn't something that can just be ignored. He has absolutely no leadership background. If he wants to claim his campaign team, that is not the kind of leadership we need. They don't even scrub their own web site of the violent threats against Senator Clinton.

    His efforts to claim the Clintons, Ferraro and anyone who won't vote for him are racists. His efforts to claim the Clintons have said things against him that had absolutely nothing to do with him. His efforts to destroy the legacy of the Clinton administration, which is the only administration this party has had reason to boast about for decades. He boasted Reagan instead.

    You said it (5.00 / 4) (#170)
    by Stellaaa on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:10:12 AM EST
    but the thing they have for them is the other guy is so much worse, so they think they will win based on that.  Whereas, we just wanted a better candidate for once.  

    sounds fine to me (5.00 / 4) (#97)
    by boredmpa on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:46:38 AM EST
    I won't vote for obama, but i'm a policy geek, so I am fine with the horse-race coverage.

    And BTD, do you see any avenue for primary/caucus reform coming from this?  I just can't see it, at all, and that's a huge problem.  

    I feel similarly about bond measures on the ballot in SF.  They end up on there (partly) because they are the most desirable and the rest of the city has limited performance/control...so the corrupt aspects grow and are nurtured and rarely get cut because you can always shift things around and go to the voters for kittens and libraries and parks and teachers (oh my!).  

    How does one support reform when the only option is to sacrifice your own interests for the sake of indirect political pressure and or indirect protest?

    No I do not see (5.00 / 5) (#98)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:47:45 AM EST
    a reform of the system coming from this.

    Well (5.00 / 4) (#107)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:50:22 AM EST
    Maybe if Obama loses.  Certainly not if he wins.

    The New Hampshire issue will be front and center again in 2012.  Carl Levin is already warming up.


    Oh, you meant the primary system. (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:55:36 AM EST
    It needs changing all right, but I'm not optimistic it'll be done in a way that prevents meddling.

    More likely if Obama loses (5.00 / 2) (#110)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:51:26 AM EST
    Another irony in his campaign promises. (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:52:29 AM EST
    It will be business. as. usual.

    All these supposed feel good reasons fro voting for him were just excuses not to vote for her.  There was never any indication that he'd do anything he claimed.

    Hope and change.  Pffft.  


    and just to clarify (none / 0) (#178)
    by boredmpa on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:13:56 AM EST
    I will say that pay-as-you-use is essential for many things, it's just I don't think that sending regular maintenance, salary increases, and some minor improvement bonds to voters creates a very health policy system.

    it's too easy to game.  sigh, im becoming bitter living in this city.


    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#101)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:48:09 AM EST
    The unity schtick means whatever the listener wants it to mean, as you just demonstrated.  When Obama talked about working together with Republicans of good will, I don't think it was implied (it certainly wasn't expressed!) that "we're going to work together with Republicans to defeat the Republican agenda."

    The listener is left to imagine that when we all unify around a good, common-sense solution, the solution will be exactly what the listener wants it to be.

    He Has Also Promised (5.00 / 4) (#127)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:55:11 AM EST
    A return to the foreign policy of "Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and John Kennedy" because Republicans are right about national security 2/3 of the time.

    Oddly (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by Steve M on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:55:21 AM EST
    your comment said "unity of the people against the GOP."

    This is the second time this morning you've disowned one of your own comments just to find a comeback.  It's not the sign of a strong argument.


    They win beacause they gear the party round the (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:14:17 AM EST
    policy sadly our policies and primaries are geared toward uplifting the careers of our senior representatives.

    What will replace the vacuum (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:50:06 AM EST
    once occupied by the Hillary hate?

    What makes you think there will be a vacuum? (5.00 / 8) (#183)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:15:39 AM EST
    The hate will continue on. No matter what she does to support Obama, it will not be good enough. If he is elected and she pushes UHC in the Senate, she will be criticized for trying to undermine him.

    honestly? (none / 0) (#220)
    by boredmpa on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:32:47 AM EST
    On the ONN channels, the attacks will, sigh, focus on psychoanalyzing the angry white *&^!s and why they won't vote for obama.  It will be even more nauseating than before.

    I think the misogyny/attacks will move immediately to michelle whenever possible.  Her negatives will be compared with hillary, etc etc.  Even with hillary off the stage.  perhaps that won't happen til the GE/527 time. i'm honestly surprised it hasn't happened to donna as well.

    All of that will play well into the narrative of a disconnect with "working class" and white voters and start a narrative of "why can't he close the deal" (now that the deal is closed).  Worst case is that all the stations start seeing him as too disconnected and having poor judgment.  I don't see the mainstream media attacking him as just-another-pol and I don't see them attacking McCain either.  The attacks have been saved for the women and the ex-dem-presidents.

    It's gonna be concern trolling, surrogate jacerating, and 527 land all the way to Nov.


    WNYC just had call-in segment just for black voter (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:52:30 AM EST
    reactions to Obama getting the Dem nom.

    Most were so happy, overjoyed that a black man had done something like this. His stands were not mentioned, or if they were it was to say that he should say and do whatever is needed to get himself elected. That was mostly in response to one or two callers who were upset that it had been Hillary Clinton and not Obama who had commented on the Sean Bell verdicts and that Obama had to be coaxed into saying anything about the Jena, TX, teenagers.

    One caller said he hoped Obama would not be elected president as he did not want to see a black face as leader of US imperialism. Definitely an outlier sentiment.

    One woman feared his nom win, and possible general election win, would actually slow down improvements in attitudes towards blacks, by  giving white people and any racists a get away from charges of racism card. She feared they would think that since they voted for a black dude, no one could call them on any racist attitudes. But most callers were ecstatic that a black man had won and thought it marked amazing improvement in black standing in this country.

    How will Obama campaign? Govern? How will he handled the race issues that may come up, that are inherent?

    Should be interesting.

    Obama Himself Has Said (5.00 / 4) (#160)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:07:08 AM EST
    African Americans have gotten 90% of the way there on civil rights.  On this issue, he's either a liar or an idiot (I'm guessing the first).  But if white America takes his elevation as a sign black America has achieved full equality, I wouldn't expect Obama to do anything to disabuse them of that notion.

    I do think that the joy of African Americans is the one good thing in Obama's nomination.  I hope it lasts.  I do not think the summer and fall are going to be good to him.


    One call-in black radio show (none / 0) (#146)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:01:19 AM EST
    host said on CNN the other day on the subject of Hillary being the vp choice, he said 99% of his callers rejected the idea because "if Hillary were the vp Obama would have to hire a food taster." Nice, huh!!!

    Racial Equality (none / 0) (#167)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:09:18 AM EST
    I guess the black media and call-in shows are no more representative of black America than the white ones are of white America.  According to polls, African Americans have repeatedly been one of the groups of Democrats most willing to vote for the other candidate (Clinton) and to support a Unity Ticket.  

    most AA (none / 0) (#172)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:11:46 AM EST
    know who their friends are.  and they know the Clintons are their friends.

    the outlier is a perceptive chap! (none / 0) (#148)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:02:12 AM EST
    Deep down in the basements of the DIA and CIA they are running the numbers on how much they will be able to get away with once they have a black figurehead to hide behind.

    His candidacy could be couterintuitive mana for certain hardliners.


    I've got a question (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by melro on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:57:05 AM EST
    I just ran across this on Yahoo's front page.
    How can this happen? We haven't even held a convention yet and Obama's people are taking over the DNC?

    Obama strategist Paul Tewes, who ran the Illinois senator's successful Iowa campaign, is taking over the DNC and was at party headquarters Thursday meeting the staff.

    ...and so it begins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (5.00 / 3) (#149)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:02:21 AM EST
    That is simply not what Obama was saying (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:58:20 AM EST
    And it is not respecting the facts to argue otherwise I have quoted his words chapter and verse in my posts on this and will not do so again.

    BTD, I hope your criticism ... (5.00 / 3) (#150)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:02:31 AM EST
    will include Obama's rhetoric.

    He really needs to avoid using what many came to call "the exclusionary 'we'."

    He used it again in his speech on Tuesday.  It may have helped him build a "movement." (Whatever that means.)  But it's alienating.

    And now that he's on the big stage, he needs to reach out to people who will vote for him, but aren't interested in joining a movement.

    I agree with Obama on many issues.  But his "movement speak" is about as appealing as a sardine sandwich that his been sitting in the sun for three days.

    what now? (5.00 / 4) (#159)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:07:04 AM EST
    someone just posted this in the previous closed thread.  I think it merits a chance to be commented on:

    one of his senior advisers assured me Tuesday night [Obama was not] going to spend a lot of time in the next few months wooing Clinton supporters whose feelings may be hurting. . . . Anita Dunn said. "But in the months ahead, he must appeal not just to the constituency groups who favored her in the primaries, but those he wants in the general election, and that includes independents and Republicans . . . Obama has become the Macy's of Chicago when they took over Marshall Fields. They also were not going to try and woe the Field's customers and they are tanking here.


    this is going to get interesting.

    glad you're here, (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by sancho on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:10:42 AM EST
    btd. thanks too to jeralyn, for making it happen.

    sometimes it might be helpful if you addressed those of us who have been so turned off by obama and reassure us as to why he is worth voting for.

    at this point i am skeptical of his ability or his desire to promote democratic values in a significant way. just to choose one example, i like some others am not confident he wont sell out roe v. wade--i understnad him to be threatening us with the issue now and thus "playing" with an issue that no dem. nominee should play games with. (my wife's comment about this move of obama's is that he is like the typical guy who insists that women and owmen only are always responsible for providing the contraception.)

    i want to  be persuaded to like him as a dem. candidate (as opposed to voting him b/c he his called the dem candidate) and i hope you can help with that.

    i look forward to your posts!

    Classy as usual. (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:12:09 AM EST

    madamab, I would advise you to..... (5.00 / 2) (#186)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:18:11 AM EST
    ...ignore this poster because in my opinion he or she is a thread hijacker and will continue to try to engage you in an endless back and forth that will do nothing to advance the topic at hand. I discovered this the hard way myself and had many of my posts rightfully deleted yesterday in the process of doing so.

    madamab and all of us (5.00 / 1) (#212)
    by dotcommodity on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:29:20 AM EST
    please do not respond. They have their blogs/the entire media.

    Please don't fight them here. Go fight them over there.

    I could not stand it if TL becomes overtaken by them like dkos has. If you feeel feisty put in a couple good whacks over there where you will reach millions of them.

    But, don't lets destroy our last strongholds, or I will send you the bills for my PTSD !

    And don't ever mention there that theres more of us than Hillary44 or whatever dumb site they pretend is where we are...


    i only aspire to be like you (1.00 / 3) (#177)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:13:46 AM EST
    so if I am not classy let's see, that makes you, the poster chitlin.

    Now we see if the hillary haters can overcome (5.00 / 3) (#175)
    by esmense on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:12:55 AM EST
    their addiction.

    I wondered what the media and blogs would do once Obama was the officially nominee and they didn't have a reason to beat up Clinton anymore. Yesterday, I checked TNR, The Atlantic, TPM, and guess what? None were focused on Obama, his campaign, what a potential Obama admininstration might look like. No, they were still beating up on Clinton, or, in some cases, both Clintons. Today, they are still beating up on Clinton.

    Give they give it up?

    I'm beginning to think Hillary hating is an addiction the Hillary haters, especially in the political media, are going to have a very hard time over-coming. Which is unfortunate because it makes it very difficult to see Obama clearly and get a handle on who he is, how he would govern and, most especially, how much actual enthusiasm there is out there for his possible presidency (and how committed it is), as opposed to mere hostility toward Hillary or hysteria at the idea of a woman leading a major party and/or the nation.

    In my Washington state caucus, most of the new Obama supporters were middle aged men. Rather than speaking positively for their candidate, they all ranted against Hillary, "Billary" or "the Clintons." I wondered at the time, what happens to Obama's campaign when Hillary is out of the picture? Does it collapse? Do the Billary haters lose interest, wander off to McCain?

    Clinton should take a long vacation after her endorsement on Saturday -- get out of the country and away from the media. And force the media to focus on Obama.

    We need a chance to see if this is a candidacy that can stand up on its own two feet -- or, if the energy, heat and hysteria has always been more about defeating the first "serious" female candidate, or diminishing the power of "the Clintons" within the party, than about nominating the strongest, most experienced, competent and electable Democrat.

    Maybe if Kos wants to (5.00 / 3) (#182)
    by hitchhiker on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:15:10 AM EST
    escape from time to time from his cheerleader mode, he will secretly post here.

    It must be tedious to keep holding a single set of perspectives.

    I will cover this race as I have always, by providing my honest opinions about political tactics, strategy and events. I am no cheerleader. If I was writing for the front page of a big Democratic activist blog like Daily Kos, I would feel some obligation to be a cheerleader.

    Thanks again and again, BTD and Jeralyn, for this island, where you don't get kicked off for not having large enough pom-poms

    well said (5.00 / 1) (#187)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:18:49 AM EST
    I've been very happy with your posts and discussions. I think honest open discussions of these issues is everything.

    I think it's pretty clear that Obama is a politician through and through, surprise surprise. I'm not 100% of any of his real opinions on anything to tell you the truth. But given the party he is in, I suspect he will hold onto the positions he has espoused. And in the end, all politicians are this way.

    I'll be very interested in arguing and yelling about all sorts of strategies and issues and the like through the general. At the end of the day I'm a Democrat. I'm very upset at the left blogs and media and Obama campaign and party elders for the trash they've spewed. I'm not sure I'll ever forgive any of them that. But I think Hillary is very smart and capable and will find her way through it one way or the other. I think she may very well take the Ted Kennedy path to service and be one of our greatest Senators. Time will tell.

    Thanks to you and Jeralyn for a great blog for me to blather on in, it's been just great.

    question (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:22:13 AM EST
    what will  you call triangulation when Obama does it?
    oh and if you think its not coming check out what his campaign says:

     "But in the months ahead, he must appeal not just to the constituency groups who favored her in the primaries, but those he wants in the general election, and that includes independents and Republicans . . "

    what will you call that?  bipartisanship?

    Truthiness rots policy (5.00 / 5) (#209)
    by lambert on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:28:45 AM EST
    That's why Obama's policy promises are worthless.

    All that's important is what the Village wants.

    That's why the Village is behind him.

    "Look at the website" really means the website is worthless and the action is elsewhere.

    When the time comes - AND NOT BEFORE - (5.00 / 1) (#223)
    by RonK Seattle on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:36:25 AM EST
    - I will present a set of consequential progressive arguments for supporting McCain over Obama.

    (This will not include any assertion that McCain is fit to hold the office.)

    The time has not yet come.

    Obama and his Kennedy connections, symbolism: (5.00 / 2) (#229)
    by jawbone on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:44:37 AM EST
    Chris Smith in New York Magazine writes about "The Honorary Kennedy," meaning Obama, saying that while Obama welcomed the Kennedy assistance early on, now he needs to leave that behind bcz Bobby Kennedy esp'ly is too connected with helping the poor and downtrodden. Needs to "shake off" Kennedy connection, per Axelrod.

    Breaking the hold of the Kennedys on the Democratic Party is a way to go forward:
    "One of the problems the Democratic Party has is that it is still living off the legacy of someone who's been dead for almost 45 years," says Bob Shrum, the longtime Democratic strategist who has been one of Ted Kennedy's closest advisers for decades. "Clinton could have renewed that legacy, but some unfortunate events intervened. Obama has the capacity, potentially, to do that--to reinvigorate the country's sense of mission for a new time."

    However, per another commenter on this WNYC discussion, Michelle Obama is cultivating a 1960's Jackie fashion look, so the symbolism is there to work on one age group, but other than that, Obama has his own agenda. Speaks very little about poverty, period. Symbolism, but not substance. And Obama not doing well with those RFK connected with and wanted to work for.

    Brian Lehrer brought up danger of discussing Kennedys in connection with Obama: bcz of attack on Hillary, speaking of the Kennedys, particularly the dead Kennedys, might trigger assassination attempts on Obama. (No one mentions that that the only substantive threat was against Hillary, but, hey.) Author said he actually thought about this in writing his article.

    Give me a break. I mean Obama himself chose to announce his run in Springfield, IL, to bring to mind Lincoln. And Lincoln was assassinated, so Obama was trying to bring that to mind? I am so sick of these MCM flash mobs.

    Playing into their hands (5.00 / 1) (#234)
    by lgm on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    I have ALWAYS disagreed with Barack Obama's political style, his Unity Schtick.

    Running a partisan campaign plays to Republican strength.  They're the masters of partisan.  It's also a recipe for deadlock, especially in the Senate.  

    Obama has had plenty to say about the issues, particularly health care and Iraq.  His strategy seems to be to campaign on these issues rather than on party lines.  Huge majorities are with him on the issues.  A smaller majority identifies as Democratic.  Getting people to focus on issues rather than party could be a good strategy.

    Republicans will be able to block health care reform if they do not see a national consensus for it.

    Be ready for a turn to the right, (5.00 / 2) (#236)
    by HenryFTP on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:12:44 AM EST
    as I don't entirely agree that Obama will remain in Contrast mode as BTD suggests. Paul Rosenberg over at OpenLeft had a very shrewd insight yesterday into one of critical ingredients to Obama's success:

    [H]e appealed to the desire for radical change, without offering radical substance, thus not trigger Versailles' enmity. Quite the opposite, he endeared himself to Versailles by echoing their longstanding bipartisan CW--under his own "post-partisan" brand.

    As one of the Unity Ambassadors noted above, I think he will revert to trying to "transcend partisan politics."

    I have found this sort of talk troubling, even when I supported Obama, although I have to concede that it does play well to the Broderite Versailles Villagers. I remain utterly convinced that we will revert to the lawless and reckless behavior of the past seven years if we don't hold the Republicans accountable for what they've done in their contemptuous treatment of the Constitution, their wrecking of the economy, and their catastrophic foreign policy so detrimental to our national security.

    I think the savagery the Clintons are still enduring in the media today is the signal that they are going to be kicked to the curb, as BTD so aptly says, along with a lot of folks here.

    When Bill Clinton is made the unacceptable face of the Democratic Party by the Party Leadership itself, it's not because he's George Wallace or Richard J. Daley -- it's because he's a divisive leftist. It works in old-fashioned conventional DC power struggle terms as well, and so much the better for it.

    It will be interesting -- neither Carter in 1976, nor Clinton in 1992, ran quite so audaciously an "anti-Washington Establishment" campaign as I think Obama is planning. With Patty Murray on the Veep list, the Obama team may continue to lump the "polarized" Nineties (that terrible time of peace, prosperity and balanced budgets) with the awful Aughts -- with a promise to bring the country back to, say, "late morning in America".

    His governing philosophy may well be different, and I hope I'm very wrong about the campaign he plans.

    As for me... (5.00 / 1) (#239)
    by chopper on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 12:26:47 PM EST
    As for me, I was completely enthralled with the political process, enamored with Hillary's confidence, experience, sophistication, and so many other great qualities. I was excited about seeing the first female president, especially Hillary Clinton.

    I liked Obama in the beginning, before I knew anything about him.  I was impressed by his speech a few years ago.

    But, the more I learned about him the more I disliked him.  I don't like all his ties to radicals - the racist preachers, Farrakhan, the Chicago crooks, Rezko, the Iraqi criminals, and Ayers, the terrorist bomber of US sites.

    But, what really turned me against him was his efforts to block the FL & MI votes, his collusion with the DNC, his goons stealing caucuses, his surrogates trying to throw Hillary out, trying to make the Clintons look like racists, his refusal to debate after the really bad one, his two-faced lies on just about everything including Hillary and her agenda, and the way he, his surrogates, the DNC, and the media continually savaged Hillary.

    And, he and the DNC taking half of Hillary's FL & MI delegates, but leaving him with his South Carolina delegates intact even though SC broke the same rule.

    Obama having the nerve to ask for and get any MI delegates when he wasn't even on the ballot.  And, claiming ALL the uncommitted which meant he hijacked the votes of people who voted for Mike Gravel or any of the other candidates who were not on the ballot.  

    It was his strategic decision to take his name off to gain favor in Iowa.  It worked, he won Iowa. He should have accepted the MI loss along with the IA gain.

    And, of course, the cherry on top was taking the 4 MI delegates directly from Hillary.

    I call it corrupt politics which makes him no better than any other politician.

    I congratulate Hillary for running a clean and honest campaign. And, for winning the People's Votes, the only honest numbers.

    After all of that, I am thoroughly disgusted and have no more interest in politics or in voting.  Let the chips fall where they may.

    I think dissent is still fine and healthy... (1.00 / 1) (#237)
    by mike in dc on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:21:34 AM EST
    ...up until about 10 seconds after the end of Obama's acceptance speech on August 28th.  Then, we're all in this together through Election Day, as we need to be in order to maximize our chances of success.  After that, win or lose, we're all free to openly disagree again.  

    Refusenik! Had forgotten about that. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:56:58 AM EST
    Love it-Thanks, BTD.

    Paul Lukasiak's phrase (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 08:59:18 AM EST
    Not mine.

    yeah... (none / 0) (#28)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:02:43 AM EST
    but at least you spelled it right! ;-)

    A 'Centrist" accepts the positions (none / 0) (#104)
    by zfran on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:49:12 AM EST
    of anyone who takes the middle road. Most presidential candidates do take a more middle road to get the nom, then switch back. So, because it's a repub. thing, doesn't make it a bad thing, a centrist could agree with it. Both parties have an extreme wing to it. Extreme is also in the eyes of the beholder, and I don't care for what I see.

    2nd Try (none / 0) (#115)
    by Media Browski on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:52:11 AM EST
    As someone who worked in DC as a communications guru and policy analyst during the 90s, I am more enamored of Barack's message of transcending party politics and the 24/7 campaign.  It was a terrible time for many of us who were simultaneously defending the Clintons and being left to carry water for them when they triangulated us, their base.  The politics of contrast and fighting often results in just that: contrasts and fights when we need solutions.

    Barack's message, one that BTD by his very name should be interested in, is more appropriate during a time when the Bush administration has left the US cynical, and seeking a change from the excesses of the past 25 years.

    And I really hope you can find it in your heart to not delete me this time.  It's depresssing to see you so resistant to alternate points of view.  Especially when I'm in the Big Tent too.

    I loathe the word (5.00 / 6) (#119)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:53:34 AM EST

    They all do it, for God's sake!!


    People who claim to transcend (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by andgarden on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:54:17 AM EST
    party politics are both transparent frauds and (typically) poor politicians.

    Obama seems to be changing his tone (wishful thinking. . .), and that is good.


    Obama supporters had better come up (5.00 / 5) (#142)
    by pie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:59:44 AM EST
    with some new talking points if they want to win over voters.

    The old ones are full of phony baloney nonsense, something I hope to see continually criticized here.


    Maybe It's Good (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by BDB on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:03:06 AM EST
    I hate his Unity schtick, although I believe that's who he truly is, he's too comfortable with couching his position in conservative rhetoric to be otherwise.  But I'm not sure how much he can change it now.  I can already see the McCain ad:

    "Remember when Barack Obama told you he was a different kind of politician.  One who believed that"


    "Well, that was the old Barack Obama.  Today's Barack Obama says"


    "That's change we can believe in, Senator?  Sounds more like you're just another politician."

    "Vote for John McCain.  He'll always give you straight talk."

    People think Hillary hit Obama hard, they have no idea what's coming.  His unfavorable ratings have climbed considerably in the wake of Wright and Bitter-Cling and Hillary was kind to him on these issues compared to what the Republicans do.  John McCain said the other night that America doesn't know Barack Obama.  I have a feeling the GOP has a plan to introduce us all to their version of him.

    If he's limping now, by the time November comes he's going to be on a stretcher.  The only question is whether the national mood will be such that it will carry that stretcher across the finish line.  


    I did not delete you (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:56:33 AM EST
    But I am not at all sure that your comment is ON topic.

    Please respect the rules of the site. In my experience with you so far, you have been utterly disrespectful of the site and its rules.

    Here is how it works, outside of Open threads, the authors of the post get to pick what you get to talk about. You want to impart your views to us, and that is fine, but the way this stie works, and we feel it is imperative to maintaining a modicum of order and civility, is that comment must be strictly on topic.


    Hay David, how are all the Broders? (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Salo on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:17:39 AM EST
    guru.  Love it. Indian conman.

    Why the long face? It used to be round. (none / 0) (#124)
    by Ellie on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 09:54:27 AM EST
    I've never been horse-race oriented before but I've never been in the thick of this kind of primary before.

    I've supported individual candidates' campaigns (and issues, like human rights and peace movements, from within NGOs), and after 2000 and throughout the Bush admin, more activist in media watch groups and govt watchdogs.

    2006 put me more on the sidelines and I had about a year of "bloggo silence" in the comments sections because I wanted to be conscientious about not using other people's space, particularly affirmatively Democratic sites, to hang out and carp about the party.

    I was vocal here to find out about candidates and after Sen Clinton won my vote, to be vocal about her. Very vocal. :-)

    Now I'll follow the Obama/McCain race until the convention after which, I hope, the official Dem nominee is one who can win the White House and govern best there.

    I won't be here to Dem-bash but definitely be tuned in TL to hear BTD's and Jeralyn's insights and throw my $0.03 into the comments, though less often than the going troll rate. And before anyone begs me to put that in writing, NO.

    Dude, (none / 0) (#144)
    by madamab on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:01:09 AM EST
    personal insults don't fly here.

    You'd think you would have learned that by now.

    You mean... (1.00 / 1) (#152)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:03:41 AM EST
    ...like calling people 12 year olds?

    That was about specific bloggers (5.00 / 4) (#162)
    by Cream City on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:07:34 AM EST
    and not about all supporters.  Are you going to argue that a sector of bloggers has not behaved disgracefully?  

    I'm not going... (none / 0) (#230)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:46:17 AM EST
    ...to split hairs.  I don't frequent these blogs, so I don't know how they behaved.  However, I don't doubt that there has been disgraceful behavior on both sides.  

    It strikes me as a tad silly to get upset when someone calls you childish when you are calling others that.  


    that should have read (none / 0) (#180)
    by esmense on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:14:01 AM EST
    "CAN they give it up?"

    Hillary (none / 0) (#192)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:22:02 AM EST
    You know, you mentioned that Hillary should not be the subject of the left blogs or the media. Ha. I'm not sure they can let go.

    But that will be interesting all by itself. Certainly Hillary wants to be relevant, and will likely not actually release her delegates (just in case), but really she will be out. So we'll see what coverage she gets. And we'll see how they accept any campaign help she offers.

    Onward to VP guesses....

    W.O.R.M. is alive and well LOL (none / 0) (#203)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:27:33 AM EST
    Wow, so we're still going to get the worm treatment through out this race. I certainly hope this blog at least will call BS on that stuff and say it like it is. Criticism of even your candidate or party is a good thing.

    i hate to break the news to (none / 0) (#221)
    by cpinva on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:34:56 AM EST
    you BTD, but the media bias will continue, it will merely shift to barack obama. it's already started. they just wanted clinton out, because she could actually beat mccain in nov., they know obama is the weaker of the two.

    they'll do to him what they did to gore and kerry, and have far more salacious material to work with.

    Why did he praise Bush I and Reagan... (none / 0) (#228)
    by Maria Garcia on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:42:17 AM EST
    ...foreign policies? He never said that he would try to turn people away from the GOP in the early days. In fact, he encouraged them to just be DEMS for a day in order to vote for him. It was never against the GOP, it was post partisan, whatever that means.

    Reply to Capt Howdy (can't repy in thread?) (none / 0) (#232)
    by Media Browski on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:54:14 AM EST
    You Said:
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:22:13 AM EST

    "what will  you call triangulation when Obama does it?
    oh and if you think its not coming check out what his campaign says:
     "But in the months ahead, he must appeal not just to the constituency groups who favored her in the primaries, but those he wants in the general election, and that includes independents and Republicans . . "

    what will you call that?  bipartisanship?"

    That's not triangulation.  Triangulation is saying you support view X (say the Cong. Dem's position) and not view Y (Cong. GOP position) and then doing something else entirely, undercutting both.

    Bravo! (none / 0) (#233)
    by Lupin on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 10:54:16 AM EST
    No one would expect any less from you, Armando.

    I feel towards Sen Clinton the way I felt towards Sen Kennedy in 1980 -- and I have no doubt the career ahead of her will still be brilliant.

    Pro-choice/ The right passion (none / 0) (#235)
    by Oceandweller on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:11:11 AM EST
    I am pro-choice and despite having helped women to have actually abortions in a painfree manner since 1976 that tells you my job and my age, I still dont feel passionate
    in fact if you tlk to those of us who actually been there done that for real in real life we are most certainly pro-choice and as such we are passionate about choice any right to choose but to be passionate at being prochoice has always seem to me a disregard for what is really prochoice about- failure of contraception
    there is no choice without well understanding of contraception
    I know what I have been doing, what I am still doing and will be doing for the next 10ys, and I accept the load of being held responsible
    Sen Obama in his expressions has very well described my very own feelings and emotions about being a prochoice
    and he is right about the absence of passion because there cant be passion in exercising to sanction a failure
    Rather I want him to be passionate about teaching real decent science and genetics and evolution in any school in the US

    Obama puts someone in charge of Howard Dean (none / 0) (#238)
    by gabbyone on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 11:37:02 AM EST
    Looks like now that Howard Dean has manipulated the DNC for Obama to win the primary for him.....Obama doesn't him trust to oversee the rest.

    WASHINGTON - Barack Obama is keeping Howard Dean as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, while bringing in one of his top strategists to oversee the party's operations.

     Obama made changes at the party headquarters his first order of business as the presumed presidential nominee. Campaign adviser Paul Tewes was dispatched to help lead the changes Thursday, with Dean still as the chairman.

    Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Obama appreciates Dean's hard work to grow the party

    I always preferred your issue pieces, (none / 0) (#240)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Jun 05, 2008 at 05:47:15 PM EST
    but that's just me.