Warren Forum Transcripts and Follow Up

Rick Warren has made transcripts of last night's faith forum available here. CNN has video links to some questions and answers. Ryan Corsaro observes that John McCain repeatedly violated Warren's admonition not to answer with his stump speech, a tactic that served McCain well. James Fallows doesn't expect McCain to do as well when under pressure in a debate. Adele Stan compares the candidates' approaches to (and definitions of) evil.

On the topic of abortion, it's interesting to note the wording of Warren's question: [more ...]

This is from volume 2, addressed to Barack Obama:


From volume 5, a similar question addressed to John McCain:


Not at what point does a human life come into existence, but at what point does that life acquire human rights? Neither candidate answered that question.

Does a fetus have the right not to lose its liberty without due process? Does the fetus have a right, independent of the mother's, to petition for habeas corpus if the fetus, having committed no crime, finds itself in a prison cell? Is that what John McCain meant when he answered that babies acquire human rights "at the moment of conception"? Is he among those who would lock a woman up at any stage of a pregnancy if she acts in a way that endangers the "rights" of a fetus?

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    It's just another linguistic game (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by dianem on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01:56:52 PM EST
    When does a "baby" acquire human rights. That's sort of a no-brainer, isn't it? A baby is a very young person... of course they have rights. All of the rights that any human person has, including the right to live. The question he should have been asking is "When does a fetus become a baby?". That's a much more complicated question, and by rephrasing it they have taken the complexity out of the abortion issue for millions of people.

    If conception = baby, then killing any form of human life beyond the fertilized egg state without the justification of self-defense is murder, or at least manslaughter. If they actually thought through the implications of this, they would be appalled, but authoritarians don't need to think logically - they can hold contradictory thoughts in their minds without difficulty, as long as the conflicts aren't actually shoved in their faces.

    Same old pro-life argument! (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by hairspray on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:13:42 PM EST
    Life begins at conception, ergo most contraception and certainly abortion is murder. The only question then is who gets sent to jail, the pregnant female or the health care provider.

    That's another linguistic game (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by dianem on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:42:13 PM EST
    "Life begins at conception". This is like "which came first, the chicken or the egg". Sperm and eggs are alive. Not sentient, but certainly they can die, which would indicate "life". Life comes from life. So, whether life begins at conception is a matter for philosophers, not legal experts. But "life" itself does not grant human rights. Even "human life" does not grant human rights. A human cell culture maintained in a laboratory is human and is alive and can even reproduce, given the proper care, but it is not worthy of even the most basic rights. The cells are not "persons".

    But by equating "life" with "conception" with "fetus" with "baby", the framers of the argument reinforce the idea that personhood, with it's concomitant rights,  initiates with conception. This is why pro-choicer's are losing the argument over abortion. There are too many ways of distorting the issue, and contradicting those simple but wrong ideas involves discussion of complex ideas like personhood and biology and legal issues that most people cannot be bothered to understand.  


    Obama and Life Rights (none / 0) (#53)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:08:52 PM EST

    His famous comment about not wanting his daughters punished with a baby seems to have had the video taken down. The link fails on all the web sites I found.

    Sen. Obama - who is vying to be the first black US president - were asked which votes they would take back in their senatorial careers. Clinton cited her vote for the Iraq war; Obama said his vote for Terri Schiavo.

    Emphasis added.

    The web is full of sites by right to life groups, and religious groups that address Obama's opposing viewpoint to theirs.


    Considering the anti-choice's mind set, (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by hairspray on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:37:26 PM EST
    I do think Obama said it right although indelicately. Their position is that a woman must "pay" for her sins by being pregnant and perhaps redeeming herself by giving the infant away. That was the way I saw it in the '50's.  Girls were shamed, altho the boy often went off scott free. In some states the infant's birth certificates were stamped illegitimate What was it other than punishement for the girl who would allow herself the enjoyment of sex?

    Ouch. Good catch (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:08:41 PM EST
    but so bad for women -- and for the men who love them, the children they already may have who need them. . . .

    Btw, if only candidates would look beyond these numbers to learn the context and complexity that could help them toss questions right back -- like how many women seeking abortions already are mothers.  They are not against motherhood.  They have children and love them.  And so do their husbands.

    Classic false premise in this debate (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:12:05 PM EST
    is to use the word baby.

    In the end, when you're talking about a few celled organisms, it's only an issue of religion. Either there is a magical glowing angel that all humans must be willing to die to protect and at a minimum all women must be virtually imprisoned slaves during pregnancy monitored by the state (or their husbands), or it's just a pile of cells with a potential of eventually becoming a person. Of course when things get later the issue becomes something worth discussing. But the pro-lifers don't really see a difference and so the arguments don't need to go into those complexities. In the end, it's a basic human rights question about women.

    Of course with a fundy religious leader (even if a bit moderate in some areas) and two fundy candidates, I'm not sure what anyone was expecting here. Wow, a choice of a (until a month ago) Church of Christ candidate vs. a (recently switched to) Baptist candidate. Pinch me.

    careful (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by hitchhiker on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:19:36 PM EST
    Obama's former church was UCC, which is very different from "church of christ" . . . the UCC as a whole is one of the most liberal denominations.  My own UCC church has long employed gay and lesbian pastors, has lobbied for reproductive rights, has taken stands against military interventions going back to Vietnam, has poured tons of $$$ and sweat into building low-income housing for homeless people.  

    Trinity UCC was a lot of things, but "fundy" wasn't one of them.


    careful? (none / 0) (#15)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:28:33 PM EST
    That's a strange thing to say. Anyway I'm glad UCC is more liberal. That good to know. I just assumed from it's CofC affiliation they were about the same. So do they not follow the concept of following the text of the bible literally? There are a number of fundamentalist churches that are more moderate or even liberal, but are still fundamentalist (i.e., "literal" interpretation). Which is to say, they're still "fundy".

    I doubt that any AA church (none / 0) (#18)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:37:59 PM EST
    really follows the Bible literally, since it supports slavery.

    I think there may be confusion here between the terms "evangelical" and "fundamentalist."  Some can be both, of course.  But there is a difference.  It goes 'way back historically to the Second Great Awakening -- but I shall spare ye that, verily. :-)


    No church follows the bible literally (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by dianem on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:44:52 PM EST
    There is no way, in this day and age, that anybody could get away with things that happen in the old testament.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 0) (#26)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:46:35 PM EST
    So we have to be careful about how we critique and question the faiths and those of faith.

    i wish obama could say what i heard a kid say (none / 0) (#62)
    by sancho on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:42:20 PM EST
    (or a version of it) when asked about churches and faith.

    adult churchgoer: what church do you attend, little girl?

    little girl: we believe in the big bang, ma'am.


    Huh? (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:53:10 PM EST
    How do you see that the Bible "supports slavery"??? That is, apart from the fact that it was written at a time when slavery was accepted?

    In a similar sense, I suppose that you could say that the Bible supports murder, cirumcision, and rape -- because all those things occur in the Bible.

    It's an old book, written over a period of a thousand or so years, during which time and circumstances changed. And they have certainly changed since. I doubt the Old Testament patriarchs would have given women the vote, for example.

    Have you read the thing?


    What's the best way to handle this question? (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by hitchhiker on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:13:20 PM EST
    We know it comes from a faulty premise (a zygote = a baby), but I think it's a mistake to engage that conversation.

    My own conversations with people who think this way always go in circles  . . .  the best direction for me is something like this:

    Your concern for embryonic life is obviously heartfelt.  Given that embryonic life requires a woman's living body to become human life, I wonder if you'd be willing to explain how exactly you protect embryonic life without coercing living women.

    Shaming women has not been effective.  It seems that if you're serious about protecting embryonic life, you have no choice but to take measures to deal with women.

    Should women be monitored by the state to find out if they're pregnant?  Should pregnant women be kept in special, sequestered communities to make sure they have no access to ways to terminate their pregnancies?

    How far, exactly, would you be willing to go?  Please describe the measure you would be willing to take to protect embryonic life.

    I wish just once a pro-choice candidate would turn the conversation in that direction and not back off until there was an answer.

    Good thoughts. A modern day example (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by hairspray on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:23:55 PM EST
    of what you are talking about is the country of Romania under their leader Coucescu (?) who ran a police state and forced women to bear children. The plan was to increase their population so as to be seen as a formidable ally to USSR during the cold war.  Unfortunately, the country was extremely poor and most of the children ended up in orphanages. But the processes they followed, included documents to prove that reported pregnancies delivered, severe punishments for anyone involved in contraception or abortion, etc. It was a real example of how to run a human rights disaster. It came to light after the collapse of the USSR.

    contraception (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:32:15 PM EST
    another thing that your Romanian example reminded me of, is that the very same pro-life folks tend to be very anti contraception. Even anti contraception that has no issue with abortion (e.g., condom's, the pill, etc.). So what is it these people are really about. And that in the end is how they should be argued with. Because in the end, I think it's about women as property.

    If you ever get (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:49:14 PM EST
    any pro lifer to agree that it is really about controlling women, please tell us.

    Any time I see anyone accuse a "pro lifer" (as opposed to true Pro Lifers) of wanting to control and punish women, the result is usually vociferous denials.  Even when you lay out the many ways women get nothing but scorn and condemnation for their sexual and reproductive choices, they still think there's nothing wrong with it.  For added entertainment, they may wail about the cruelty and unfairness of child support.


    You're right. (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by hitchhiker on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:19:28 PM EST
    That's why I'd leave out all the accusations and interpretations.  But I do think that you could get agreement on:

    a) Embryonic life requires many weeks inside a living woman to become a baby.
    b) There will always be women who --for whatever reason-- wish to terminate their pregnancies.

    And then the question is,

    What are you, who care so deeply about each embryonic life, willing to do to make sure that women don't terminate their pregnancies?

    Specifically, what steps can be taken to protect embryonic life?  It's not about getting them to admit they're scared of sexuality or fear women or whatever . . . I really want to know the answer to that question.  

    If you believe the state has an interest in protecting embryonic life, please name the remedy when embryonic life is in danger.

    To me it's crucial that people advocating full human rights for zygotes be asked to explain what that means in practical terms. I don't think they'll do it, obviously, but for us it's a much better question than the one we keep trying to answer.


    Couldn't they just say (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:24:16 PM EST
    "Make it illegal."

    Make what illegal? (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by cawaltz on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:34:15 PM EST
    Make abortion illegal? So what about conditions for the health of the mother(and pregnancy is ALWAYS a drain on a woman's health and carrying to term always carries inherent risk)? Where are the lines? Abortion folks always want to make this about black or white.

    Republicans have been painting abortion as a primary means of birth control for years. In reality, abortion is a medical procedure that can and is done for far more than one reason.


    I know (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:45:11 PM EST
    My point was not to say I'd agree with that answer, just to say that it wouldn't be that difficult to provide an answer to those questions.

    The point is to make them THINK (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by cawaltz on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:08:30 PM EST
    Alot of the people who oppose abortion do so only because the GOP has controlled the framing and painted this as a one size all issue(Irresponsible women running to the doctor to use this as a means of birth control).

    When you start to bring up rape or health issues all of a sudden support for outlawing abortion drops.

    It also helps at this point to point out the obvious. We are all in agreement that abortion in not the BEST birth control option. The risks for complications during any invasive procedure is always there. What needs to happen is there needs to be other safer and more affordable birth control methods made available(This is also the time to point out that there are folks out there that have done the exact opposite).


    I have a better idea (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:43:09 PM EST
    couldn't they just say, "it's none of our business, and this topic has no place in our government."

    That would be fine too (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edgar08 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:49:22 PM EST
    My point was that for a pro-lifer it would be easy to navigate around those questions.  I made that point poorly.

    only the zealots (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by cawaltz on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:10:51 PM EST
    and you weren't going to be able to convince them anyways.

    We're aiming for the folks in the middle. The ones who agree with allowing a rape victim options or disagree with forcing a woman to play russian roulette when she has a health issue during pregnancy.


    What infurates me about this ideology (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by hairspray on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:53:46 PM EST
    is that less than 30 states mandate that a rape victim be offered the "morning after pill." It prevents a pregnancy after rape. No one can refuse her the prescription but failing to offer it when the victim is in the state of shock without a knowing  advocate is what often happens especially in small towns.  That is how irrational these people are.  I read one personal account of a woman who was raped on Friday night, the hospital she was treated in didn't stock it, she waited until Monday morning to get the prescription at a local pharmacy and when it finally came in she had passed the critical time (I think it was 72 hours) and she did indeed become pregnant.  

    Partly (none / 0) (#21)
    by BernieO on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:41:22 PM EST
    But also a prudish abhorrence of sex for pleasure, not procreation. Also a sexist view of women as existing primarily as brood mares. This is very much at the heart of Catholicism's position on the issue. I am surprised to see that many conservative Prostestants seems to buying into this. When I was a kid it almost exclusively Catholics that had large families and I lived in the Bible Belt region. Now even Catholics rarely have lots of kids but when I knew a lot of families with at least 5. A few had 10 or more and this was in a small parish! My mother was the oddball with only two but she had had four miscarriages and would have willingly had six kids.

    Another straw man, I'm afraid (none / 0) (#90)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:10:59 PM EST
    Listen, you'll have to beat up on a lot of others besides the "prudish" Catholic Church. Have you ever lived in a Hindu country?  I have.  I guess they're "prudish" too.  Don't even bring up the Muslims.  Or the Jews.

    The point is: I'm afraid you're not going to find much historical support for your p.o.v., in any of the world's major religions or societies. Maybe the Greeks, or later Romans, but that's about it, as far as I know.

    This doesn't invalidate your p.o.v. -- a zillion people and ancestors aren't necessarily right -- but at least get your thinking straight.


    Obviously, any pregnant woman (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Fabian on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:39:10 PM EST
    would be entitled to full state support because the state must do its utmost to protect the health of the "baby".  And of course, once the baby is born, this support must continue so long as the mother is a competent parent.

    He!!s, if the government is going to insist it has a responsibility to protect the most helpless, I expect it to be 100% proactive, not selectively proactive.

    The reality is that any intrusive measure is too unwieldy (and expensive) to be applied, unless it is applied selectively.  Then it becomes unfair.


    and don't forget that they'd have to (none / 0) (#8)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:18:24 PM EST
    monitor all women of child bearing age and test every month to see if there was a new citizen to be protected. Of course even more important is the potential for a new male citizen to be protected since women obviously have less rights and worth. That's exactly the right approach to put it on them to ask how far they would go, and what should be done.

    Garry Wills has an interesting book (none / 0) (#17)
    by BernieO on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:35:46 PM EST
    "Head and Heart: American Christianities". One of the things it addresses is the Catholic Church's historic stance on abortion and when and why it changed to its present position of equating an embryo with a fully formed human being (God breathes a soul in at conception, hardly a scientific concept). Wills' other books on religion got a lot of attention from mainstream media but this one has been ignored. Too bad because it has some very interesting information and ideas. (The only place I have read about it was in the LA Times in an article about how abortion is not really a religious issue.)

    That wn't work (none / 0) (#29)
    by dianem on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:51:00 PM EST
    Fundamentalist authoritarians have no problem with the idea that women who abort should not be punished, even though they are technically "murderer's" in their eyes. Women are victims who are led into sin by the evil abortionists who seek to make a profit out of the death of babies. Yes, this conflicts with the idea that women who get pregnant are sinners who should be punished by society. Authoritarians have no problems holding different and conflicting thoughts in their minds at the same time.

    You've been dealing with the wimps (none / 0) (#59)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:23:08 PM EST
    if that's worked for you.

    My experience has been that these people are perfectly willing to imprison any and all women they perceive to be endangering the life of a child - keep in mind they really think of zygotes as children fully formed - and so in their minds punishing the mother for any perceived threat is a no-brainer.


    What about miscarriages? (none / 0) (#96)
    by Christy1947 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:28:04 PM EST
    Alot of women have them. Is the premise of the pro lifies that every woman who has a miscarriage should be investigated and prosecuted to see if she did anything that contributed to the miscarriage so she can be prosecuted for manslaughter?

    My experience has been that they'd (none / 0) (#111)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 03:10:30 PM EST
    definitely support investigations of miscarriages.  These are people who have to have someone to blame when anything happens.  It has to be somebody's fault.

    This illustrates why this whole debate always goes (none / 0) (#86)
    by Upstart Crow on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:04:32 PM EST

    One of the posters above noted that the anti-abortion people don't recognize that most abortions are for married women, already mothers. (That's why "adoption" is not a solution for them.) This is why the anti-abortion folks always lose at the voting booth -- because there is a silent group of married working women they don't "see" -- they cling to their stereotype of pregnant teens.

    Similarly, you make this kind of point as if, until abortion was legalized, the women of America were forced at gunpoint to bear children. In fact, this was in my own lifetime; I can assure you that that was not so.

    No one is talking about state monitoring -- that's a straw man.  But they are talking about restoring things to what they were before the 70s. In that world -- in an admittedly idealized picture -- children were seen as a "good," not a punishment, and men were proud to be fathers and women longed to be mothers. (Idealized, conceded, but with a grain of truth at its root. I remember the women of my mother's generation.)

    If both side make some attempt to understand the other side -- something positive might happen. But throwing out stereotypes and straw men only entrenches people in their own P.O.V.


    Oh, good, it's banality week (none / 0) (#110)
    by katana on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 11:37:21 AM EST
    If both side make some attempt to understand the other side -- something positive might happen.

    Is this satire?  Are you channeling Stephen Colbert?  

    I'm not even a little bit interested in understanding the people who gave us Operation Rescue, the Lambs of Christ, Eric Rudolph, James Salvi, Michael Griffin, Paul Hill, or James Kopp.    And, yes, in my experience, in the end, "pro-lifers"  are pro-murder so long as the victim is somebody who threatens, or destroys, a fetus.

    Some years ago, I worked as an escort at a reproductive-medicine clinic.  My job was to help patients get past the screaming, spitting, pathological demonstrators who wanted to prevent those patients from getting any kind of treatment, including abortions.

    One of the more joyful days of my life was when an Operation Rescue demonstrator (an off-duty cop, as it happened) tried to smash a young patient in the face with his bleeding-embryo placard--and her grandmother stabbed him in the scrotum with her umbrella and I rammed my kunckes into his windpipe as he slid to the ground.  Unhappily, he lived.  

    In that world -- in an admittedly idealized picture -- children were seen as a "good," not a punishment, and men were proud to be fathers and women longed to be mothers.

    This, of course, is the funniest part of your post, and that's saying something.  Or perhaps I misunderstand you; perhaps it's not comedy you're channeling but science-fiction; perhaps you've convinced yourself that this planet is another planet, a planet that only a generation ago boasted proud fathers and docile mothers, rearing their sweet, adorable, wanted little children in their modest home with a white picket fence, a station-wagon in the driveway and a cute, smiling Sambo statue on the front lawn.

    As Simone Signoret once said, 'Nostalgia ain't what it used to be'--especially when it's drivel.  


    Christ and conception.... (none / 0) (#107)
    by p lukasiak on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:24:59 AM EST
    We know it comes from a faulty premise (a zygote = a baby), but I think it's a mistake to engage that conversation.

    I don't think that people truly understand the relationship between Christ's nature (son of God and son of man) and the whole abortion debate.  Jesus was "Jesus" from the moment of conception, because of the nature of that conception, and he was "baby Jesus" from the moment of conception.

    In other words, the use of the word "baby" to describe the unborn is not merely a rhetorical device, but intrinsic to many branches of Christian theology -- including Warrens.  To complain about Warren's use of the word "baby" is to miss the point entirely -- both candidates chose to attend a forum in which the questioner would assume the "babyness" of a zygote.  

    The "correct" answer to the question would have been a reference to "birth" being the starting point in the bible for determining when a child becomes an adult -- and that the bible does not recognize the concept of "human rights" as such for the unborn.  Then hedge that point by saying that does not mean that the bible does not recognize that the unborn has rights, but that those rights are different from that of those who are "born".


    Isn't this the very question Coloradans (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by Anne on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:18:38 PM EST
    will be weighing in on in November?  I've been appalled about it since I first heard it would be on the ballot, but I haven't seen it get much coverage anywhere.

    In my opinion, it's just another end run on reproductive freedom, and one more way to further erode Roe.

    I continue to find it ironic that the same people who champion reduction of government regulation on business and commerce, even as it relates to consumer safety, are the people who want the government involved in the most personal aspects of people's lives.  Taxes bad.  Consumer safety regulation, bad.  Clean air and water laws, bad.  Fair wage laws, bad.  Who you can marry, whether you can have children or not - oooh, that's gooood, goood stuff.  As is torture, warrantless surveillance (might catch someone having sex with the "wrong" person, you know!), and the death penalty.

    I don't get it, really I don't.

    ah, to be yet again (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by cpinva on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:19:42 PM EST
    the bubble buster!

    bluntly, i don't want to know why public policy is grounded in morality, that's not the government's job. any time it attempts it, it fails miserably. like the man said, you can't legislate morality.

    what i want to know is what overarching public good is served by that proposed public policy, not how it ties in with anyone's religious beliefs.

    for that very reason, i believe sen. obama had no business appearing at this event. let the republicans play the religious rubes, that's what they do.

    I think the media are using this as a wedge issue. (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by WillBFair on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:43:04 PM EST
    They know they have a looser in the republican party. So they're changing the subject from the repubs disastrous policies on the economy, national security, health care, taxes, global warming, the mortgage crisis, etc...
    And what better way to change the subject than with abortion, maybe the only issue that trumps everything in their core voters' minds.  

    The simple answer to the question is: (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    "When it becomes a baby."

    Neither a zygote nor an embryo is actually a baby.

    Saddleback Church Q&A Session (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by ItalianBob on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:17:27 PM EST
    I find the entire event obscene and bordering on illegal!
    How dare either presidential candidate give a forum to some Evangelical Minister who should have no more importance in the political scene than I do. Separation of Church and State should be protected at all costs in the United States and that would include not answering questions that are strictly about American Government not religion.
    A woman's Right to Choose is guaranteed in this country and the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Under the Law quarantees the right of all people to marry, Gay or Straight and neither of these issues should be swayed by the Religious Right.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#93)
    by flyerhawk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:15:32 PM EST
    Rick Warren is important because millions of people respect him.  

    This has absolutely nothing to do with the separation of Church and State.  

    A woman's right to choose is not guaranteed.  It is currently protected by 2 court cases recognizing her right to choose.  Get the wrong Supreme Court and they can be overturned.  


    When is an egg a chicken? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Prabhata on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:43:20 PM EST
    I don't know why pro-choice people don't use the Bible to make their argument.  Life begins when the child breathes on his own.  Life ends when the body doesn't have the power and will never get the power to breath on its own.  The breath of God is what gives life to plants and animals.  A fetus has life like a body that's attached to a breathing machine.  Without the mother's body maintaining life support, the fetus dies.

    When Obama used the words (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by Bluesage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:43:22 PM EST
    Partial Birth Abortion I just wanted to slap him.  This is a term made up by the religious right and republicans and beat into the public consciousness by their media.  This is very rare and is not something women seek because they want an "abortion".  This is done only for severe medical necessity, generally for the life of the mother.  Obama fell right into that trap because, as usual, he wants to be everything to everyone and equivocates on every issue.  It seems he has no firm positions on anything.  

    I disagree with just about every position McCrazy has on the issues but, damnit, he has positions and he's not afraid of them.  Last night he was much more personable that Obama who just looked and sounded like a cold fish.  Could we please get a primary do-over?

    The primaries are over. (none / 0) (#98)
    by TChris on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:07:52 PM EST
    And if you think a "primary do-over" will produce a different line of thinking on abortion, remember:

    I have said many times that I can support a ban on late-term abortions, including partial-birth abortions, so long as the health and life of the mother is protected.

    Hillary Clinton, senate debate, Oct. 8, 2000.

    Obama's position on abortion is just as firm and just as nuanced as Hillary's. It is, for all practical purposes, identical.

    If McCain can articulate his simple-minded position more concisely than Obama can describe a nuanced position, that does not convince me that voters will choose McCain despite their disagreement with his positions.


    TChris - It's sad that (none / 0) (#105)
    by Bluesage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:12:26 PM EST
    We are in such bad shape that snark is no longer easily recognized.  I'm not an idiot and know there will be no do-over.  But I also know that we are in trouble with Obama and would not be in this shape if the DNC had not dragged this lightweight over the finish line.  Forgive me but as a 40 year Democrat I'm pretty ticked off about this situation.

    Phrased this way, the ? is even more chilling--and (none / 0) (#1)
    by jawbone on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01:49:15 PM EST
    thanks for pointing this out.

    Ground rules for JM don't refer to stumping (none / 0) (#5)
    by Pianobuff on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:12:11 PM EST
    ... not being snarky, I'm just not seeing in the transcript where Warren set up these ground rules when he brought McCain out, so I'm not sure how McCain can be criticized for repeating what he has said before.

    Actually, there seem to be very few ground rules set up for McCain.

    Having said that, there is one specific question (on education) where Warren specifically says he doesn't want to hear a stump speech on education but that's all I'm finding so far...  Seems like a pretty vapid criticism, unless better eyes can find this where I've failed.

    I did count 13 "my friends", however.

    Too bad the transcript (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by jen on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:55:55 PM EST
    didn't include the "ums" and "uhs". Course that would have made it as thick as a bible. LOL!

    An old party game.... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Pianobuff on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:00:23 PM EST
    Back in my youthful partying days, we plsyed this drinking game....

    On weeknights from 11-12 I believe, WPIX(11) in New York would play back to back episodes of the Odd Couple.  For every beer that Oscar popped we would have to chug one ourselves.  

    After a while, we knew which episodes were the "deadliest".  

    I wonder if a "my friends" or "um uh" game during the debates would get a similar result.


    Please (none / 0) (#11)
    by robrecht on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:22:01 PM EST
    Despite the plural use of human rights, I'm sure he was really talking about the right to life.  Perhaps also the current issue of lethal harm to an unborn fetus in the commission of a crime.

    It's mildly offensive to ridicule this sensitive moral issue for so many people as an issue of a fetus petitioning for habeus corpus:

    Does the fetus have a right, independent of the mother's, to petition for habeas corpus if the fetus, having committed no crime, finds itself in a prison cell?

    You need to look up some cases (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:40:33 PM EST
    of crazy DAs doing just about that.  There have been cases in my state of women jailed for drinking while pregnant, etc.  I put nothing past the crazies.

    Actually, I think I have heard of such a case. (none / 0) (#27)
    by robrecht on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:49:01 PM EST
    Is that what you think Warren was referring to?

    Don't know what's in Rev. Warren's head! (none / 0) (#51)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:07:26 PM EST
    But as TChris and I are in the same state so have seen some of these cases, I bet they could be a reason why it rang warning bells for us.

    And of course, we are in the so-called "progressive state" of Wisconsin.  Heaven knows how bad it is in the rest of the country.


    In effect the answer is yes. (none / 0) (#57)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:20 PM EST
    A big part of the anti-abortion movement is centered around creating rights for zygotes - rights that would outweigh the rights of the mother I might add.

    John McCain Did Answer (none / 0) (#12)
    by creeper on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:23:01 PM EST
    the question of when human rights begin.

    This from CBS News, link here:

    Presidential contenders Barack Obama and John McCain differed on abortion Saturday, with McCain saying a baby's human rights begin "at conception," while Obama restated his support for legalized abortion.

    There went my vote for McCain.  "None of the above" will work just fine.

    I think Fallows is wrong about pressure (none / 0) (#13)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:23:28 PM EST
    given what I've seen in the primary debates (how horribly bad Obama performed), how well (well, how OK) McCain has done in his town-hall routines, and how bad Obama is without a prompter in general, I tend to think McCain has much less to worry about. I think this is the reason Obama has run away from debates with McCain. As good as Obama is at tele-prompted speeches, he's the opposite at anything else. McCain is horrible at speeches, but better than Obama at the rest. IMO

    Here is Taylor Marsh's take on last night (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by BernieO on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:45:18 PM EST
    She is supporting Obama but this was her take on his performance:

    Final thoughts: Obama could have had policy answers ready to help push forward why Democratic policies are grounded in humanity and morality, which proves why he'd be a much better president. Instead he offered his standard word fogs without any goal whatsoever, much like he did in the primaries where Clinton regularly cleaned his clock. McCain came with policy talking points and a goal. Our guy better get a debate drill sargeant in and do some work, because so far there's no evidence he's going to best McCain in them. Obama's hour is now, minus the Clarence Thomas answers, completely forgettable. Not good. McCain even got in an answer on Georgia and Russia, which folded into freedom and energy issues. Minus the ridiculous, ad nauseam "my friend" belches, quite a performance for the neocon McCain. Why do you want to be president? I can't remember Obama's answer. McCain's came in a sound bite: "I want to inspire a generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self-interest." Obama better game up.


    I agree more with (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by rjarnold on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:04:47 PM EST
    Kevin Drum's take:

    The CNN talking heads all thought the big difference between the two was that McCain came across as direct and forceful while Obama came across as thoughtful and nuanced, but that's not quite how it struck me.

    For better or worse, Obama seems to have chosen to treat this event as sort of an intimate evening with Rick Warren -- that just happened to be nationally televised. McCain, by contrast, treated it as a straight campaign event: he had his stump speech talking points ready, and he was eager to cram as many of them into his 50 minutes as possible.

    I don't know if this was a good decision on Obama's part, but I don't have any doubt that he'll choose a much more direct speaking style at his three face-to-face debates with McCain. This is why I think comments about how Obama will need to "lift his game" this fall are off base. This wasn't a preview of his debate style, it was just a look at his style in a different setting.

    no, this wasn't a (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:32:45 PM EST
    "preview" of his debate style.  It was a continuation of what he did all throughout the Primaries, namely long-winded answers which never settled on a specific point and which no one could remember afterward.

    I keep getting the sense that Obama's campaign is having difficulty getting him to sit down and actually do the work (debate prep, etc) he needs to do to win.  

    The only way to kill those "uh"s and "um"s is to practice endlessly responses that are clear, concise and direct.  The first time he's on a stage being watched by the Nation to see if he lives up to the Hype -- not sure how big last night's audience was, but his "first impression" for some may have already been set -- and he utters an "uh" or an "um" and rambles on without offering a clear answer, he's done.

    But it's becoming obvious Obama would rather sit for yet another magazine cover or go off to Hawaii for two weeks.


    Obama's spontaneous answers (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:09:17 PM EST
    are very lawyerly -- that is, a lawyer who's conducting a negotiation and is resisting any clear commitments in the contract.

    As I think it was Grace said yesterday, being a President is about making decisions.  It's important to consider all the aspects of a decision beforehand, but at some point you just have to commit.  That's what's missing from all this 'nuance'.  A commitment to an answer.  The wait-and-see how a situation plays out, or until the polls or someone else tells you what to decide doesn't work.  And when economic times are bad and the world political situation is iffy, folks don't want to hear a review of the issue, they want to know what's going to be done.  It's all back to strong and wrong bests weak and right.

    You know what the counter to that is?  Strong and right.


    God love 'em, (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:13:15 PM EST
    but most Americans, if they had to choose, would go with an answer that is quick and concise (even if they disagree) than with one that is complex to the point of being drowned in the weight of it's own words.

    We, as Voters, have neither the time nor the patience to hear someone pontificate on the complexities of an issue when the question could be answered with a simple "yes" or "no".  

    Of course, most -- if not all -- situations are too complex for "yes" or "no" (and most Americans understand and appreciate that), but we tend to have the attention span of a fruit fly and lose interest easily when a politician goes on and on and on and on.

    I suspect there will be a round of applause when Obama finally answers a question simply, directly and with a Yes or a No.  

    Not that that will win him the Election -- I feel people are already forming their negative first impressions of him as a GE Candidate which can be seen in the softening of his support in the Polls --, but who wants to listen to him continue this love affair with his own voice for the next four years?


    There is nothing Sen. Obama was (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:15:57 PM EST
    asked last night that he hasn't been asked before. He should know his own positions, even if they change, including why he is running for president.

    I can't help but think (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:26:43 PM EST
    that his campaign is fighting -- and losing -- an uphill battle getting him to hunker down and actually rehearse for these things.

    One wonders how much time was spent preparing for this Forum during his time in Hawaii (when he wasn't body-surfing, of course) or in the day or so after he got back.

    He doesn't seem like a real workhorse to me and, for the debates and forums like this, he absolutely HAS to be.  

    A charming smile, a string of "uh"s and "um"s and an answer which circles the runway but refuses to land isn't going to cut it when you're trying to (still) convince Voters you're up to being President.  Especially if your Opponent has decades of work and experience behind him.


    I'm starting to think, (none / 0) (#80)
    by Grace on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:50:47 PM EST
    given Obama's non-telepromptered speech style, we, we, we, ah, ah, ah, should be happy, um, um, um, that, that, ah, ah, ah, there will only be three debates.  



    When Obama said early on that he was (none / 0) (#91)
    by hairspray on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:11:46 PM EST
    not a "hands on" person and was going to be the  conceptual person, I said "Oh.Oh"  With as thin a resume as he has, it won't work.  His presidency will not be marked by a flurry of activity.  He will be responding to whatever comes inview at the last minute.  Not good.

    yeah (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:23:00 PM EST
    I'm sure him insisting he'll be the "conceptual person" and not, you know, be the "hands-on" one (a euphemism for he's not going to actually work?) is really going to fly with the majority of Voters who DO work and are frightened by the problems our Country is facing and have grave doubts about his ability to handle the pressure.

    In fact, I wonder how effective a commercial could be made of that quote?  

    You know, having people show up to work and insist, as they sit in their chairs and read the paper while sipping their coffee, that they're the "conceptual person" just like Barack Obama while you're the "hands-on person" who has to do the work he tells you to do?



    Kevin (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:35:02 PM EST
    Drum is wrong here. Obama has had literally months to come up with a more direct speaking style and has failed to do so. Nothing in this area is going to change over the next few months. Obama is going to get thrashed in debates with McCain just like he did with Hillary. You take his teleprompter away and he collapses.

    Oh my. EVERYTHING is part (none / 0) (#55)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:10:14 PM EST
    of the campaign now, Mr. almost-nominee Obama.

    Oh, and there are no more intimate evenings for you.   Everything can end up on tv and/or youtube.

    Why in the world you want the job of being the goldfish in the world's most visible goldfish bowl, Mr. Obama, who knows.  But if you want it, start swimming to stay afloat.


    I thought Sen. Obama's answer to (none / 0) (#34)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:05:21 PM EST
    why he was running for president was a now "canned" answer as he couldn't quite phrase it when that young girl asked it of him on the campaign trail. Sen. McCain didn't even hesitate to say why reaching all the way back in his life.
    One other point mentioned above and someone please correct me if I'm mistaken. When Sen. McCain started the questions and answers, I believe he, unlike Sen. Obama, was not told to please not use "stump" speeches as answers. He may have been told before and during (I believe something was said during), but not up front at Sen. Obama had been. McCain, imo, came off as refreshing, and what I remember, Sen. Obama hemmed and hawed a lot.

    In the transcript (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Pianobuff on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:14:30 PM EST
    I saw one reference to refrain from a stump speech on a specific question about education but that was it for McCain.

    I agree with you that his answers were sharper - my guess is that both knew there were lots of questions so McCain on many tried to simply get to the point as quickly as possible.  My impression of Obama was that if he was asked what time it was he would have given instructions on how to build a watch.  There are some that would prefer that style.


    McCain's Answers (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:37:34 PM EST
    Allow him to be concise.  He belives life starts at conception, what else is there to say.  He thinks Taxes should be not raised, and spending is the problem- done.  He thinks we should win wars not lose them PERIOD.  The simplicity of his thoughts is what allows them to be short answers.

    Obama's problem was that it was he (none / 0) (#50)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:06:45 PM EST
    over-explained his positions - at least that is how he came off to me.  He also tends to bury the lede when he talks extemporaneously.  He needs to edit out some of the thinking out loud stuff he seems to do at times.

    Ha. Yes, he's not being paid (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:42 PM EST
    by the quarter-hour now.  Sounds like meetings I've had with some lawyers.  And all too many academic meetings.  And don't even ask about meetings when some of the profs had Ph.D.'s AND J.D.'s.  I just made sure to bring sustenance for a protein jolt by hour four or so. :-)

    Someone needs to tell him that he's (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:28:15 PM EST
    not defending his thesis - that he just needs to try to convey a few ideas and positions in hopes that he and they will be warmly received.  

    We're starting to see (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by chel2551 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:44:24 PM EST
    the same criticisms of him in the blogosphere that many of us had from the beginning, aren't we.

    He will not commit to a position.

    I can't vote for a person who plays it safe, because I don't know what he might do once elected.  Crystal ball predictions by his supporters are not going to cut it for the voters.

    He's in trouble.  It's the middle of August, and he continues to disappoint.

    The experience/confidence issue is becoming more obvious.


    One would hope that his campaign (none / 0) (#83)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:54:24 PM EST
    prepared for the time when the shiny new thing would morph into a real person in the eyes of the electorate.  I get the feeling that they are counting on him keeping his "it girl" status throughout this race which is very scary to me.

    I think they think that all he had to do last night was show up.  That doing something "unexpected" is enough to keep him popular, but he has to do more than that now.  He is in a different race with a different opponent and he is treating McCain as if he is the same as Clinton.  

    The reality is that it is a totally different audience now and a totally different - much more cut-throat - opponent.  Fundamentalists aren't going to be wildly impressed that a Democrat comes to talk with them - that's the part that might get their attention - but there is a lot more work to do after that to actually engage them.  

    The most devoted Obama fans will never concede that Clinton did Obama a favor by staying in the race and putting him through the paces, but I think she may have given us a better chance by doing so.  

    The thing is that old v. new is not good enough for a national campaign directed at the plurality of voters.  In the context of a Democratic primary, it works, but when you get outside that group old and new start to mean very different things.

    Obama's camp needs to adjust and stop relying so heavily on stunts like this one - that's all this was - they argued that Obama was going to reach out and connect with these voters, but he did NOT deliver on that front - the best that most of the devoted can say about his appearance is that he "held his own" last night - but that's not good enough if you're pulling stunts - you gotta pull it off - stand out - he didn't do that.  He didn't connect.


    Aye, there's the rub. (none / 0) (#88)
    by chel2551 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:06:00 PM EST
    The thing is that old v. new is not good enough for a national campaign directed at the plurality of voters.

    McCain is only perceived as Bush-lite by democrats.

    Democrats aren't going to vote for him.

    But are they going to vote, in large enough numbers, for Obama?

    If he doesn't start to prove that's there's more to him than the (D) after his name, people will not fill in the top spot at the polls or just stay home.

    How in heck did this happen?  How did the Democrats allow this to happen after Bush?!


    I think people got caught up in the romance (none / 0) (#109)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 09:41:38 AM EST
    of an historic campaign and gave very little thought to the practical realities of what to do to keep the relationship going after that falling in love stage cooled.

    The NYT has an article today (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by nycstray on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 04:57:59 PM EST
    that he is being asked to do just that by a group of Dem leaders. {sigh} Can we have Hillary back now?

    as I said earlier (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:21:48 PM EST
    (perhaps on another thread), if these Dem Leaders are speaking publicly -- instead of anonymously -- to The Times about what Obama needs to do to win this thing, those Internal Polls must be showing some truly frightening numbers.  Or they're taking their case public because they've gotten little to no response from Obama's Campaign or the DNC.  

    I have a hard time imagining these Leaders were happy with Obama body-surfing in Hawaii while McCain shook hands and continued endearing himself to voters.

    Thing is, if they REALLY want to win in November, they'll have the SDs back the woman who can do it.  Asking Obama to move away from "Hope" and be more specific is a bit like asking a tiger to change his stripes, isn't it?

    If it happens, it'll be glaringly insincere as well as not quite believable.  Voters will feel like they're being hoodwinked and bamboozled to get their votes and, on the heels of a, um, disappointing few months, Obama's already in danger of having most voters just throw in the towel completely and either stay home or vote for McCain.


    Time's gettin' short (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by Valhalla on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:35:31 PM EST
    The two conventions, and then two months is all that's left.

    That this group of prominent Democrats are willing to speak on the record to NYT is really an indication of trouble in paradise.  If they could get the message across privately they'd certainly go that route.  Is it buyer's remorse?  Desperation?  A bit of blowback for snubbing Rangel and Clark?  Finally dawning on some folks that the New Coalition doesn't really include them either?  (I welcome them under the bus but sorry, they have to spend some serious Time Out section time before they're allowed to join the fun the rest of us are having).  Or that the New Coalition doesn't actually have specific policy goals?  Signaling an SD revolt?  (yes, I wish).


    an SD revolt (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:45:12 PM EST
    isn't necessarily a fantasy.

    When General Clark and Charlie Rangel end up with knives in their backs, whose to say that Obama or the DNC will keep any of the promises made to these SDs in exchange for their support and betrayal (in some cases) of the Clintons?

    I so strongly suspect this Nomination is not in the bag for Obama.  In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if there have been groups of SDs quietly switching back to Clinton as they see what kind of ineffectual, tone deaf candidate Obama is.

    Any PAC money they'll lose will easily be made up for when Clinton hits their district as the Nominee.  And while Nancy Pelosi is easily replaceable (with single digit approval ratings), Hillary Clinton with her 18 million votes and undoubted political power really isn't.


    Oh my!!! You're making my knitting (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:46:50 PM EST
    needles twitter!!!

    sorry 'bout that (none / 0) (#87)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:04:45 PM EST
    Is that a good thing?  :-)

    It's just this constant gut feeling that the majority of SuperDelegates DO want to win in November and are less open to the urgings (or threats) of people like Pelosi, Dean and Brazile in continuing to support this guy.

    They've seen his poll numbers drift downward, they've seen his ineffectual stumbling in the face of a candidate like McCain and they've seen him get socked with a nothing ad like Celebrity.  What's going to happen when the REAL stuff hits the fan?  How will Obama's numbers hold up to THAT when they wobbled downward when he was compared to Paris Hilton?

    If he's the Nominee, we lose, the US loses, the Dems lose and those SDs who are up for re-election may find themselves dragged down with him.  

    Self-preservation is stronger than Donna Brazile threatening a temper tantrum.


    Amazing, at this juncture (none / 0) (#72)
    by chel2551 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:34:28 PM EST
    if these Dem Leaders are speaking publicly --

    Yes, trouble.  BIG trouble.

    We're now facing the dem convention, and there is no unity in the pony stable.  

    How will the dems pull victory from apparent defeat?


    how will the Dems pull victory (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:40:39 PM EST
    from apparent defeat?

    They won't.  Not with Obama as the Nominee.

    But that's what the Super-Delegates were created for.  A situation exactly like this.  

    They weren't created to be bought off with PAC money and they weren't created to please the current leaders of the DNC or the Democrat Party.  They were created to right the occasional "wrongs" a primary can create, namely a candidate who "won" the Primary but is in real and obvious danger of losing the Election.

    And it's not like these SDs don't have someone to turn to, right?  Just go with the one who finished the Primary Season strong and won States like CA, NJ, PA, OH, FL as well as a majority of the Popular Vote!  The one who didn't HAVE to have the DNC drag her across the Finish Line.

    Duh!  Seems like an easy decision to me.


    Yet, just today, (none / 0) (#89)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:07:50 PM EST
    But that's what the Super-Delegates were created for.  A situation exactly like this.  

    They weren't created to be bought off with PAC money and they weren't created to please the current leaders of the DNC or the Democrat Party.  They were created to right the occasional "wrongs" a primary can create, namely a candidate who "won" the Primary but is in real and obvious danger of losing the Election.

    A panel of empty talking heads went on and on about how Obama caved in letting Hillary have her name on the ballot, and if she was to do this correctly, she would have her name withdrawn before the roll call vote. One went on to say her future in the party will be dependent upon her behavior at the convention and whether or not she comes out looking like a team player. Heh!!

    Shouldn't the team players be in the Cabinet, and the POTUS actually be a Leader?!!? Just thinking.


    after the Primary Season (none / 0) (#94)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:17:37 PM EST
    I doubt very strongly that many people listen intently to what the media has to say.

    In fact, I believe there's a collective rolling of the eyes and a reaching for the remote once the CDS begins.

    Despite their best efforts to tear her down, people STILL voted for her in historic numbers and gave their guy loss after loss after loss.  If that doesn't puncture the frighteningly large egos of these Network-funded gasbags, I don't know what does.


    More hypocrisy, isn't it (none / 0) (#85)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:01:21 PM EST
    I have a hard time imagining these Leaders were happy with Obama body-surfing in Hawaii while McCain shook hands and continued endearing himself to voters.

    For all the DNC, Obama-camp, and media whining for Hillary to get out of the race so they could begin the desperately necessary process and focus of campaigning against McCain, it causes one pause to see him take a 10 day vacation at this point in time.

    Then, this entire primary has been reason to step back and re-examine what is logic.


    ten days on the beach for Obama (none / 0) (#92)
    by ccpup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:14:15 PM EST
    was ten days where McCain shook hands with voters, made them laugh, listened to their concerns and responded appropriately, raised a bit more money and did what politicians are supposed to be doing before the biggest race of their life:  convince people to vote for him.

    Not sure what his campaign schedule was, but safe to say it was rural and blue collar voters with some women and independents thrown in for good measure.  And, no, there probably wasn't a palm tree or a drink with an umbrella in it in sight.

    Hard to get any serious face time with or answers from Obama when you're battling waves and can't catch him 'cause he just body-surfed out of your grasp.

    And I just can't escape those Dem Leaders turning to The Times to air their worries over how he's campaigning (or not, in this case).  That's HUGE and shows that all is not well under the ol' radar.


    Of course, he never did a thesis or diss. (2.00 / 0) (#84)
    by Cream City on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:55:24 PM EST
    If he was the sort of professor who had a Ph.D. or even a master's degree, he might have faced some fierce editing and criticism.  Believe me, those can be transformative experiences.  And they sure can tighten our writing.  So can the experience of publishing these days, with tighter and tighter limits that force us to focus our thoughts.:-)

    Interesting that Obama also never has even written a law review article -- so that Harvard Law Review changed the rules after him and required it.  It's not clear how many briefs he has had to write in his line of legal work.   Nor is it clear whether he hit some of those judges who refuse to accept briefs over a specific word length.  I have heard stories. . . .


    Of course he was a professor (none / 0) (#100)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:41:35 PM EST
    At one of the best law schools in the country.  Maybe just a little credit is deserved?

    I think you are missing the point. (none / 0) (#102)
    by tree on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:49:22 PM EST
    If he'd had to defend a thesis or dissertation, he might have been forced to learn the skill of speaking concisely. That's CC's point.

    I find his speeching style refreshing (none / 0) (#103)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:50:34 PM EST
    So do most people I know, but we do support him, so I guess we have our bias

    That is speaking style :) (none / 0) (#104)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:50:57 PM EST
    Sam, you get to the point (none / 0) (#106)
    by Cream City on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 12:43:26 AM EST
    better than Obama does.

    No, Hillary had that style. (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by chel2551 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:06:24 PM EST
    At the time, Obama supporters said they were were bored or criticized/attacked her relentlessly for imagined "crimes," instead of having to address the fact that she had the experience and the confidence and the gravitas to be president.

    Obama does not have any of that.  


    Really? (none / 0) (#31)
    by cawaltz on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:57:01 PM EST
    Considering his words on late term abortion I'm not as sure.

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by cawaltz on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:20:28 PM EST
    which is EXACTLY why if he does not have an individual on the ticket that has been at the very least a vocal advocate of choice I won't vote for him. If he chooses a person who professes to be anti choice and is on record as approving of the abyssmal "partial birth travesty" I will not only not vote for him, I'll campaign against him. I'll be darned if I'll sit by and watch them erode my daughter's rights.

    People may say this is an extreme view. I say extreme is giving parental rights to RAPISTS. I say extreme is forcing a woman to go through the stress of pregnancy against her will. I say extreme is limiting the ability of women to get contraception. Extreme is already happening. it's time to fight back.


    I'm not confident he would (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by JavaCityPal on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:41:56 PM EST
    even if it didn't have a political price.

    There's now (none / 0) (#71)
    by tek on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:28:12 PM EST
    only one answer with abortion.  Women must make the choice and it must be available.  Then, preventions like the morning after pill must be readily available.  Anti-abortionists always talk about this issue as if every fetus that is aborted would have come into the world and been a middle class child from a functional nuclear family.  Not so.  There's nothing worse than being born to a woman who doesn't want a baby.

    Did (none / 0) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:43:31 PM EST
    anyone else see Andrea Mitchell reporting that the Obama campaign is accusing McCain of cheating? Are they really this stupid? McCain could answer the question because he has spent literally years campaigning and answering these kinds of questions. Obama has never even ran a campaign before so it wasn't surprising to me that, according to the pundits, he bombed.

    It seems ... (none / 0) (#99)
    by TChris on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:22:26 PM EST
    that McCain didn't arrive until a half hour after Obama's interview started, and thus wasn't in the "cone of silence" during that time, creating the potential that he heard some of the questions asked of Obama.  McCain denied that he heard any questions, and the Obama campaign isn't making anything of it.

    For their part, an Obama spokesperson told CNN's Mike Roselli they are not pursuing whether McCain heard any of the other questions. They say they assuming McCain had the same information they did.

    Anybody else find it rather (none / 0) (#101)
    by zfran on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:43:17 PM EST
    a coincidence that the "next day" after all the talk and all the reviews and perhaps re-watching the tape of the show, this article comes out? If Obama had been absolutely brilliant (and of course, brilliant is in the mind of the listeners), then we wouldn't be hearing from the likes of Ms. Mitchell. It's always someone else's fault, never the Sen. from IL himself. If Sen. McCain heard some of the first questions (and that's a big "if" which I do not believe), he didn't hear all of them and still was very good. Says alot about both of them.

    Rick Warren (none / 0) (#108)
    by ItalianBob on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:54:22 AM EST
    The man is about as important as giving the last rights to a dying person! Warren and his hypocritical followers are insignificant in the real world of politics and true Constitutionalists will not give them the time of day.
    Why do Evangelicals need to continue to fight to take away someone's rights rather than look in the mirror at their own transgressions? Right Wing Politicians toe tapping under bathroom stalls, Elected Consrvative politicians trying to seduce young people in their charge, Evangelical Ministers preaching about sin and then being caught with women who are not their spouses. Oh Yes, let's make sure a Woman's Right to Choose does not happen and let make sure Gays and Lesbians can not marry and receive the full protection of the law. As for the suggestion that a Woman's Right to Choose is not protected in this country, that is what Supreme Court decisions do, they guarantee rights just as if they were constitutional amendments.
    If the Religious Right would read the constitution, they would stop their ridiculous preaching about what is morally right because the 14th Amendment is very clear, "EQUAL Protection Under the Law", not a set of laws for the wealthy bigots who pretend to be people of faith and then do everything in their power to take away rights of those who don't follow their value system. What Hypocrits!