Quickie

I’m going to be very, very disappointed if we end up electing a man who can’t figure out which button to push.  Since he’ll be the one who’ll have the authority to, you know, PUSH THE BUTTON.

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68 thoughts on “Quickie

  1. I sorta figured this was about Obama, otherwise you would’ve said “woman” who can’t figure out which button to push. That, and the fact that you haven’t shown much interest in the GOP nomination this time around.

    As I’ve said before, I find Obama’s Jesus act unconvincing. His thin record, such as it is, reveals a man who’s adept at being a great opportunist. Say what you will about Hillary, at least she was willing to attend Gavin Newsom’s fundraisers in 2004. Obama not only snubbed Newsom over same-sex marriage, but also told (former mayor) Willie Brown that he’d “prefer” to hold local events in the African-American neighborhoods of Oakland rather than Downtown San Francisco. Although he’s much too clever to say it outright, the implication seems clear. What a lovely thought from the champion of unity and change.

    His supporters have totally drunk the Kool Aid. If Obama becomes the Democratic nominee, he’ll easily win California in November. And I’ll probably vote for the Republican in protest. NDT’s eyes must be lighting up delight right now. LOL.

  2. His thin record, such as it is, reveals a man who’s adept at being a great opportunist.

    Pretty much agree with you on that. The only thing he seems to have done with his offices is to run for the next one.

    NDT’s eyes must be lighting up delight right now. LOL.

    (shrug) I make a habit of not caring very much about for whom people vote versus on whom they waste their money and endorsements.

    What would make ME happy is, regardless of how you voted, if you gave the money you would have given the campaign in question to something like the AIDS Emergency Fund or Positive Resource Center in SF, or the Point Foundation.

  3. Well, in truth, charities and NGOs aren’t that much different from campaigns.

    We both know many of them waste a great deal of resources on useless executives and lobbyists (who are often paid six-figure salaries). I rarely see the money I donate result in anything tangible, in terms of fighting poverty or disease. Of course, it’s probably less wasteful than donating to a political campaign. However, I’m dissapointed when hundred-million dollar charities have trouble operating soup kitchens. That’s more than enough money for those services, and a lot of it seems to get chewed up by bureaucracy.

  4. John, the reason I’ve not said much about the GOP this time around is I’m really not impressed by any of them. I’m not impressed by Hillary, either, but I’m petrified of Obama and this David Koresh-like following he’s built on “charisma.”

    GWB was elected on “charisma.” That’s change? No record of initiating, or even trying to initiate, any policies at all? That’s the kind of change we want?

    And to tell you the truth, if it’s McCain v Clinton I’ll probably vote for Clinton. If it’s McCain v Obama I’ll probably vote for McCain. Although if Huckabee’s the running mate I may have to stay home, and I hate even considering wasting my vote like that.

    But I have a really hard time considering voting for Obama. The man promised the people of Illinois, as part of his campaign for the senate, that he would not use his office as a platform for higher office. One year later, guess what he did? Started running for president. Say what you will about Hillary, she may twist the truth sometimes, but I’ve yet to see such an outright lie (though I’m sure I’m about to be “corrected”).

  5. but I’m petrified of Ron Paul and this David Koresh-like following he’s built on “charisma.”

    Fixed that fer ya. 🙂

    Seriously, though, it is interesting to see the reactions Obama inspires. Every candidate out there is polarizing, except for possibly McCain, but Obama is a unique case. People either love him or hate him, but they do so on the basis of the same lack of information; information which may not exist and, if it does, the Obama campaign seems to be in no hurry to put forth or stress.

    So it can only be assumed that everyone is reacting personally to Obama.

  6. I don’t even give a thought to Ron Paul.

    So it can only be assumed that everyone is reacting personally to Obama.

    Well, you can assume that, but you’d be wrong. It’s a fact that he has claimed to have pushed the wrong button 6 times. So we can assume that he’s a slow learner.

    It’s a fact that he made the pledge I noted earlier, and then immediately abdicated that stance when he recognized his newfound popularity. So was can assume that he’s just saying what people want to hear.

    While I may not agree with some of Clinton’s policies, at least I know what the hell they are. Hope and Change are concepts, not policies, dammit.

    You all follow the piper off the cliff. I refuse.

  7. And any of that justifies comparing him to David Koresh exactly how?

    See, that’s my point. I’m not an Obama supporter and, in fact, voted for McCain in the primary yesterday. Certainly there are issues with Obama, one of them being that he’s still less than forthcoming with his actual proposals to translate hope into action.

    At the same time, that same lack of actual plans means those who dislike him so vehemently must be basing that dislike on something else.

    Well, you can assume that, but you’d be wrong. It’s a fact that he has claimed to have pushed the wrong button 6 times. So we can assume that he’s a slow learner.

    Perhaps, but the understanding is that pushing the wrong button is not all that uncommon. It happens enough that there are rules for it and it can be considered a political tactic. So certainly assume he’s slow, but you have to then assume all other Illinois Senators who hit the wrong button are slow as well.

    It’s a fact that he made the pledge I noted earlier, and then immediately abdicated that stance when he recognized his newfound popularity. So was can assume that he’s just saying what people want to hear.

    Since when didn’t a politician just say what people want to hear? Again, this is a pretty non-unique charge. I fully admit I don’t buy into the whole “Change” buzzword usage by Hillary, Obama, Clitt, Fuckabee and even McCain. Even if I did buy it, change just for change’s sake is a bad idea because then you would clearly have to vote for Paul.

    Again, though, show me the frontrunner who hasn’t broken a campaign promise? Exactly, not a single one of them. So why aren’t you applying that metric across the entire board? If you are, then again, we’re back to non-unique and an unexplained, highly-personal dislike for Obama.

    While I may not agree with some of Clinton’s policies, at least I know what the hell they are. Hope and Change are concepts, not policies, dammit.

    Never said I thought they were anything else. I’ve even agreed multiple times that one of the biggest hindrances to Obama’s campaign is this exact thing. But it’s a double edged sword. Do you see what I’m saying in that because those policies aren’t out there, it seems odd that the man can evoke such vehemence on what must be personal issues as there are no political issues on which to judge him?

    You all follow the piper off the cliff. I refuse.

    Oh please, what sort of a cheap shot was that?

  8. And any of that justifies comparing him to David Koresh exactly how?

    Careful, there. Perhaps I should have worded it a bit differently, but it’s his followers that I was comparing to Koresh’s followers, not Obama to Koresh.

    The point of me making those two examples of “fact” vs “assumption” was to demonstrate the logical fallacies of any assumption.

    As for Obama, I’m judging him on the FACT that he has no substantive record, my friend. If you are intent on interpreting that as “personal,” I can’t stop you, but I don’t see it as personal, I see it as logical.

    Put it this way: the fact that there are no political issues on which to judge him is, in and of itself, a political issue. Judging him on his lack of political policies is a political judgement, not a personal one. I don’t know how else to explain that to you.

    Oh please, what sort of a cheap shot was that?

    That last was aimed at anyone choosing to follow him just because of “how he sounds,” (which I think is quite an accurate analogy to the Pied Piper, really)–not directly at YOU, QJ. Hence the “you all.”

  9. Or, to sum up, when you stated this:

    At the same time, that same lack of actual plans means those who dislike him so vehemently must be basing that dislike on something else.

    You were completely wrong. I can certainly dislike someone directly because of their explicit lack of policy statements. Why “must” there be some other reason?

  10. {{At the same time, that same lack of actual plans means those who dislike him so vehemently must be basing that dislike on something else.}}

    I think a “lack of actual plans” is absolutely central to an analysis of Barack Obama’s campaign.

    It’s like having a contractor come to you with grandiose ideas to build a huge mansion. But then he tells you the floorplan and design are a “secret.” And that you have to commit the funding without knowing whether you’ll end up with a Medieval Castle or some ‘post-modern’ cubical monstrousity. Heck, you don’t even know where the bathrooms will be.

    And yeah, as I’ve said before, I’m uncomfortable with Obama for other reasons too. He’s a little too comfortable with those “what would Jesus do” moments (answer: vote for me). And his supporters keep on noting that he’s a member of the liberal UCC and not a conservative Baptist, as if the denomination was the main issue.

    The point is Hillary rarely interjects her personal religious beliefs in this. McCain rarely interjects his personal religious beliefs in this. Ron Paul rarely interjects his personal religious beliefs in this. So, who are the preachers in this presidential campaign?

    Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama.

  11. Barack Obama doesn’t NEED plans or policy statements. He’s black and a good speaker.

    And, if you look at his past record, that’s pretty much been the pattern; I don’t have to perform or do what I promised because I’m black and I’m a good speaker.

    That’s why none of the white males running in the Democrat field had a snowball’s chance in hell. The only thing that has saved Hillary so far is name recognition, an organization that’s been working on getting her elected for eight years, and the fact that her gender allows her to partially blunt the diversity-before-competency mentality that permeates the party.

  12. And that, Jamie, is exactly what Obama is banking on; the fact that most Democrats (or Americans) are more afraid of being criticized as “racist” than they are of anything else.

    The thing to ask Obama point blank would be, “If people think you are less qualified than Hillary, do you, like so many of your supporters and campaign spokespersons, believe that they are racists?”

  13. Jamie,

    If they said “he’s white and a good speaker”, my reaction would be the same. Being a good speaker is important. But if you want to be POTUS by virtue of that alone, I reserve the right to express skepticism.

  14. NDT, no kidding.

    The first reaction to the California results among Obama supporters was “This state is racist. Those Asians and Hispanics voted against him because he’s black.”

  15. Look, all I’m saying is that it seems odd to me to completely rule out a candidate based not on their actual policies but at least partially on the fact that they’re simply charismatic. I’m well aware that Bush was charismatic and that’s what got us to where we are now, but that doesn’t mean charisma is automatically bad. It just feels to me like the kid in high school who was trying too hard to be cool so as soon as anyone liked anything, they immediately had to dislike it, even if they themselves had actually liked it before.

    I’m in full agreement that he hasn’t shown us any substantive policies, but instead of making me vehemently against him, that simply means I haven’t yet had enough information not to vote for him. The reaction to him, though, is astounding. Largely, people who like him, like him all the way and people who don’t, well, don’t. In my opinion, there’s not enough information on the table yet to really support either extreme, but the extremes are all there seems to be and that has to be based on something. Perhaps it’s not inherently him, as I said, but an artifact of the times, but the amount of facts about Obama as a politician seems completely out of whack with the amount of support and derision he’s receiving.

    Besides, if we want to talk about supporter furor, then I feel we have to remember that so far, the only supporters who have actually chased Sean Hannity through the streets like island villagers on a wild boar hunt belonged to Ron Paul.

  16. He’s one step away from becoming President of the United States. I can’t believe we’re doing it again, after everything that has happened. This discourse seems oddly similar to eight years ago. We shunned experienced candidates for the folksy guy we wanted to have a beer with. And now we’re seemingly on the verge of not learning from our mistakes.

    How long would you suggest we wait until deciding he’s slick and vague? January 20th, 2009 on the steps of Capitol Hill?

    A little late there.

  17. This discourse seems oddly similar to eight years ago.

    The big difference being, of course, that Obama is even more of a cypher than Bush was. The evidence on Shrub was there if any one cared to look. Fuck-up till Forty, strings of businesses run into the ground to only be bailed out by Daddy’s money and Daddy’s friends, a popular at the time but questionable legacy as the governor of Texas. If there are specific objections like this for Obama, then please bring them forth. Until then, equating the two is less learning from a mistake and more fear mongering.

    How long would you suggest we wait until deciding he’s slick and vague?

    Decide he’s slick and vague now. Again, though, tell me how that inherently sets him apart from any other candidate running?

    See, this is the exact attitude I’m talking about. Polarization without factual representation. There’s scant evidence to support either extreme position yet, but those positions are being adopted 10 months prior to the actual election and the trenches had been dug last year.

    To answer your fucking snark, as far as I’m concerned, until at least the spring, we’re in the “Let’s see if that dog’ll hunt” phase. Candidates are being tested. If they’re going to start campaigning years ahead, I see no reason to rush into a judgment. Obama can mobilize disparate sets of voters better than any other candidate out there. Mistrust it all you like, but that’s a key element to any successful campaign, I’m willing to wait and see if he comes up with anything of substance to back up his charisma.

    Go ahead and decide about a candidate 10 months before the election and 7 months before Denver. I’m not even necessarily saying you’re wrong, just that from evidence presented I see little justification for hard-line stances on either end of the spectrum. So I’m adopting a wait and see attitude and am bemused by the polarization. With the writers strike destroying T.V. for the rest of the season and summer reruns coming up anyway, this may be the best form of entertainment available until September at the earliest.

  18. Jamie, The reason your opposition seems unhinged is the way you express it ( “koresh.” “petrified”). Why so emotional? At any rate, the voters of Illinois told you yesterday that they like Obama doing what he’s doing – so your outrage over that (in addition to you being from Vermont) also seems unhinged.

  19. No, they’re not all as vague and slick as he is. That’s the big equilvalency wash that the media tries to sell.

    In fact, Hillary’s lack of diplomatic tack is partly why she has never been able to compete with her husband for the affections of the masses. There’s nothing vague about “pay your health insurance or have your wages garnished”, love it or hate it.

    – I know what Hillary’s about (mandatory health care, mixed-economic polices with an emphasis on technology and research, ‘speak softly and carrying a big stick’ foreign policy) .

    – I know what John McCain’s about (pro-war with an emphasis on pre-emptive strikes, practical compromises like the immigration package, campaign finance reform and restrictions upon lobbyists).

    – And I even know what Ron Paul’s about (non-interventionist policies, dismantling government agencies, favors states’ rights and local autonomy)

    With Hillary and McCain, they’ve established themselves in these roles for years. Hence, the term “experience.” I disagree with all these candidates about many issues. There’s no such thing as the perfect candidate. But at least I know who they are.

    I include Ron Paul for a very simple reason. You might think his supporters are crazy, but he’s the newcomer who has articulated his policies very clearly and concisely. So it is possible to express yourself in a short period of time. Obama’s vagueness isn’t because this campaign hasn’t gone on long enough. In fact, I’d argue that this process has dragged on forever. And yet we still know next to nothing about the man. I doubt very much that’s coincidental. It’s his election strategy and he’s welcome to it. I simply find it unimpressive.

  20. Sorry John but you seem singularly uninformed. I spent two seconds going to Obama’s web site (just type in “obama” in your web browser and skip his ‘sign in’ page”, like I did) ” and I saw positions and plans on 21 sets of issues from “Civil Rights to “Veterens”, Just click on the “Issues” tab. Or you can be lazy and repeat the same uniformed demagoguery .

  21. Tommy, positions aren’t policies. I’ve been to that website several times and have seen only a bit of substance. Lets take some examples from his civil rights positions:

    – “Obama will reverse the politicization that has occurred in the Bush Administration’s Department of Justice. He will put an end to the ideological litmus tests used to fill positions within the Civil Rights Division.”

    If he’s talking about the U.S. attorneys scandal, it didn’t have anything to do with civil rights. It was about politicization of investigations around pre-existing crimes (pressure to target Dems, etc.)

    The second charge is vague, since I wasn’t aware the Civil Rights Division had an employment scandal. Although it’s sometimes hard to keep up.

    – “Obama will work to overturn the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that curtails racial minorities’ and women’s ability to challenge pay discrimination. Obama will also pass the Fair Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.”

    The federal government doesn’t have standing to challenge that ruling. At best, an Obama administration can file a FOC brief in favor of overturning the decision. Second part is substantive.

    “Obama will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice’s Criminal Section.”

    How? Will he increase penalities for such crimes? Will he include new categories like sexual orientation and disability?

    “Obama will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.”

    It’s already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race under federal law. What federal incentives? And how does he intend to measure “racial profiling” without a legion of researchers fanned out across the nation? Who’s going to pay for it?

    “Obama believes the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.”

    Substantive and concise. This can easily translate into legislation.

    “Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote.”

    The first part is substantive. The second part is basically fluff, “accurate and full information” is debatable. Is he going to create a bureau of government information / propaganda?

    “Obama will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society. Obama will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates.”

    If he’s talking about federal prison, then it might be possible. The vast majority of detainees are held in state prisons, however. Thus, this does nothing to help them.

    “Obama will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.”

    He doesn’t have that authority. Congress and the state legislatures layout the penalities, and judges have discretion to decide whether jail time is appropriate.

  22. So, after all those pages of speeches, we have one or two pieces of workable legislation.

    – Voter fraud is an issue that won’t get anywhere with Congress for a variety of reasons (they can’t agree on what it is, some of them encourage it).

    1- Equal Pay for Equal Work

    2- Cocaine and Crack Disparities

    And can you imagine how the “Nancy and Harry” Congress would tackle these tough issues.

    1. If “work” is measured as time on-the-job, the Republicans will certainly argue that simply equalizing work without taking into account performance is a recipe for disaster. If “work” is measured as productivity, the Republicans will say that’s subjective and can lead to all sorts of lawsuits.

    2. Fortunately, the judiciary seems mostly on Obama’s side on this one. But Republicans will still argue that there are reasons for classifying processed coke as a stimulant, while maintaining that the crack form has no medical value. There will be amendments to stiffen penalties for coke rather than lower them for crack. And if those amendments pass, the Democrats might vote against it themselves.

  23. And before we get off on McCain and Hillary’s websites are just as unclear.

    Remember, we actually have a long legislative record with those two (obviously longer for McCain).

    McCain has co-written numerous pieces of legislation over the years. You can look at landmark laws that has his name attached to it. These include the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Act, Consumer Broadband Deregulation Act, and so forth.

    Even with Hillary, there are policies she helped draft in her husband’s administration. So, we can go back to the proposed “Health Security Act of 1993” and see how her policies have changed or not. And if so, we can track those changes in meaningful ways. That is, we have a tangible record of how these ideas were developed. We can compare her new health care bill with the old one.

  24. That’s the big equilvalency wash that the media tries to sell.

    Are we actually going to play that game? The same game played throughout the 90s by the far right? “It’s the media’s fault”? I didn’t much like it then and I don’t like seeing it coming back like bad 80s fashion.

    Isn’t there just the slightest chance I might have developed this opinion on my own; that I might have looked at DADT, the vote on the Iraq war, the utter lack of any progress on a national health care system and think that perhaps Hillary gives more lip service than a Thai ladyboy.

    Do you realize how offensive your cliched response to a cliche is?

    I’ll give you Ron Paul, though, but chiefly because he started crazy and has been bringing the crazy for the last 37 years.

    I include Ron Paul for a very simple reason. You might think his supporters are crazy, but he’s the newcomer who has articulated his policies very clearly and concisely. So it is possible to express yourself in a short period of time.

    “Newcomer”? He entered politics by his own admission in 1971. He was elected to the House of Representatives from the 22nd district in Texas in 1978, winning reelection in 1980 and 1982. He even ran for Senate in 1984, but lost. He first ran for president in 1988 and, obviously, lost. He went back to Congress in 1996, giving him the distinction of being voted into Congress three times as a non-incumbent. He kept his seat through the 1998 and 2000 elections. Throughout all these terms, he sponsored and cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation and was one of the first modern Congressmen to actually champion term limits as well as suggest Congressional pay modification. He has published 6 books and reports as well as several articles outlining his political and economic principles and how he would achieve them. Paul has been refining, polishing, developing and packaging his message, positions, plans and platforms since the early 70s, whereas McCain has only been in politics since 1982 and Clinton can only be considered to have been in politics (by her own reasoning as her time as first lady counts) since 1977 when Bill was made Attorney General of Arkansas. How the hell can you call Paul the “newcomer”?

  25. QJ, I ignored your “fucking snark” comment above for a reason. But since you seem eager to interject inappropriate personal attacks into this discussion, I will say that I’m not the one who’s becoming emotionally unstable. Moreover, for a person who called Ron Paul supporters “island villagers on a wild boar hunt”, you sir, have a lot of cajones to talk about my comments about media bias – a subject that has been documented by scholars as diverse in views as Chomsky and Lichter – as “offensive.”

    And as far as the people outside of Texas are concerned, Paul is a newcomer. I certainly haven’t heard of Ron Paul before this election cycle, and I doubt any of my neighbors here in Los Angeles knew who he was. But he’s certainly a household name now, even though his support is limited to a limited core constituency.

  26. An even better example, John.

    Obama will also pass the Fair Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.”

    One, the President does not pass legislation.

    Two, he’s about forty-five years late.

    The problem is that Obama, as well as Hillary, doesn’t want “equal pay for equal work”; he wants it to be mandated that a difference in pay between a man and a woman is automatically considered to be discrimination.

    Or this:

    “Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote.”

    We already have harsh penalties for voter fraud. But notice how Obama says nothing about enforcing laws against voter fraud or developing means to prevent it, like requiring proof of citizenship and identity to register and vote.

    In short, snake oil. He’s assuming that people know nothing about existing law and are stupid enough not to realize that harsh penalties are meaningless without enforcement.

  27. Well John, at least that’s a start of a useful discussion because you have cited examples of policies and proposed legislation, you than critque. That is the way a political discussion should go, nonetheless it belies your prior unsourced charges.

    (fyi, on another topic- the Justice Dept employment scandal involved potentially illegal questions concerning loyalty to the President for Justice hirers and was unconnected with the US Atty firings, although that info came out during those hearings).

  28. (nonetheless it belies your prior unsourced charges.)

    In what way, I still don’t see any concrete plans or experience. What we have is a lot of idealism and some thin references to advocacy.

    Most of the “positions” cited above are either outside of the office’s competence or – as NDT pointed out – snake oil. Out of all that, we’ve been able to discern one piece of potentially doable legislation.

    I’m pretty sure most voters do not care about the particular issue of experience that much. In fact, I’d suspect many would prefer a candidate with less baggage than a Hillary Clinton or John McCain – who both have made many enemies throughout the years. I know many Republicans who are less than thrilled about him.

    However, the idea that you can’t criticize a presidential candidate without having someone screech expletives and/or imply latent racism does not sit well with me. And you know, Hillary’s people does it with gender and age too. I don’t appreciate that either. Being an older woman does not mean you’re above criticism, especially when you’re running for the highest office.

    (And come on the boar hunt line was funny.)

    If any of the Congressman’s supporters were here, I’m sure we’d have a few differing opinions on that. And whatever you might think of their methods, they were raising serious concerns about whether a Republican debate should include all Republicans still in the race. Paul did have 6 convention delegates at the time.

  29. But since you seem eager to interject inappropriate personal attacks into this discussion, I will say that I’m not the one who’s becoming emotionally unstable.

    Ha! Um, okay. So since I tend to respond with snark to someone who throws snark at me and then suggests that I’m incapable of making judgments about political entities on the basis of my own investigation and am merely a media puppet, I’m emotionally unstable?

    Gosh, and here I was thinking it was because I didn’t get enough hugs as a child. BREAKTHROUGH!

    Glad to see, though, that we’re ratcheting this up from general snark to personal insult.

    Moreover, for a person who called Ron Paul supporters “island villagers on a wild boar hunt”

    People chasing Sean Hannity through the street and actually taking video of it where you can hear them say, “We’re going to get arrested for this.” Island villagers? Check. Wild Boar? Check.

    My point was never that there isn’t media bias. My point was that its a snobbery to say that it definitively controls all perception, particularly when that perception differs from your own.

    The rest of your comment answers nothing. What you initially charged is that Ron Paul is a newcomer who has effectively packaged his message in “a short time”. I pointed out, “No, actually, he’s been packaging it since 1971 and even a brief previous Presidential campaign under his belt.” To turn around and say in response, “Well, we here in Los Angeles don’t pay attention to anyone from Texas,” is not very complimentary or encouraging as to your well-formed view and again whiffs of snobbery.

    The ironic thing is that, generally, I agree with you that Obama is long on buzzword and short on specifics.

  30. And whatever you might think of their methods, they were raising serious concerns about whether a Republican debate should include all Republicans still in the race. Paul did have 6 convention delegates at the time.

    Wait, so I point out that in fact Paul has been involved in politics since 1971 and that, generally, I don’t form my personal political opinions solely on the basis of Fox news and don’t like it when they are dismissed as such and I’m emotionally unstable.

    Ron Paul supporters literally chase down a Fox commentator in the street, in a mob-like setting, where one of them actually remarks on how they’re going to get arrested for their actions, and they’re “raising serious concerns” for a candidate you couldn’t be bothered to know bubkiss about before 2007?

    Okay, well, that certainly paints a picture.

  31. (suggests that I’m incapable of making judgments about political entities on the basis of my own investigation and am merely a media puppet, I’m emotionally unstable?)

    Yes, if you came to such an unlikely conclusion from a comment about the media in general. I was saying “they’re all the same anyway” is often employed by the media. And that’s not coincidental. They know exactly what they’re doing because they’re smart folks.

    So, not everyone who employs the tactic is clueless. Evasive, yes. Clueless, no.

    For the record, I was suggesting that you knew of the greater complexities, but deliberately chose to simplify because you wanted to make that particular point. I’ve debated you enough times to know you’re not a lightweight.

    (To turn around and say in response, “Well, we here in Los Angeles don’t pay attention to anyone from Texas,” is not very complimentary or encouraging as to your well-formed view and again whiffs of snobbery.)

    There are 535 members of Congress. Most of them are merely part of C-SPAN scenery outside of their constituency. An informed person generally knows the officers: Speaker, Majority Leader, and Minority Leader.

    I certainly didn’t know who Sen. Larry Craig was until last year either. Can you name all 53 of California’s house delegation without google or wikipedia? If not, welcome to the club, fellow snob.

  32. (Ron Paul supporters literally chase down a Fox commentator in the street, in a mob-like setting, where one of them actually remarks on how they’re going to get arrested for their actions, and they’re “raising serious concerns” for a candidate you couldn’t be bothered to know bubkiss about before 2007?)

    He wasn’t a candidate for president before 2007. You wrote a lot, and said very little.

    (Okay, well, that certainly paints a picture.)

    Yes, it does.

  33. Unless you count that 1988 campaign as a Libertarian, which went the way of Harry Browne’s higher unsuccessful run years later. He clearly had a bigger audience this time around. And he delivered his message in a way that I, someone who didn’t know who he was, can gauge what he’d do as president.

    I don’t agree with most of it, but that was never the point.

  34. “However, the idea that you can’t criticize a presidential candidate without having someone screech expletives and/or imply latent racism does not sit well with me.”

    Huh? What are you talking about? No one is doing that, here.

    “(nonetheless it belies your prior unsourced charges.)In what way?”

    “Snake oil” and “vaugue” are not a reasons; they are a sound bites.

    You belied your assertion that “lack of plans is essential” because you than later had to admit there are plans you just don’t like them.

  35. ((You belied your assertion that “lack of plans is essential” because you than later had to admit there are plans you just don’t like them.))

    I was careful to note that those are positions, not plans. Plans are concrete. Positions are “I want such and such.”

  36. And the reason why we have to even rely upon this website so much is because Obama has very few laws attached to his name. Otherwise, he could simply say:

    “I wrote the Voting Fraud Reform Act of 2005, and that was a good step forward. But now, we need to do more. And here’s how I plan to improve on what I did specifically…”

    That seems far less vague to me than “I want voting fraud reform.”

  37. I certainly didn’t know who Sen. Larry Craig was until last year either. Can you name all 53 of California’s house delegation without google or wikipedia? If not, welcome to the club, fellow snob.

    The difference being I’m not suggesting that any of them are new to the political game or discounting 37 years of politicking simply because I haven’t heard of all of them before.

  38. I’m not discounting his long service. Nor am I discounting Obama’s long service in Illinois.

    I’m merely saying I’ve gotten more from Paul because he’s very open about his plans.

  39. It also depends on how you define “political game.” At the local and state-level, you have politicians like Richard Daley, Willie Brown, and Rudy Giuliani who were (or are) at the top of their game within their respective spheres. However, that doesn’t mean those particular experiences are relevant for a productive presidency.

  40. I’m not discounting his long service. Nor am I discounting Obama’s long service in Illinois.

    But effectively you are. Paul has had 37 years to learn how to package, many times coming from the outside. Obama, at best count, has had 10. To say that Paul is the “effective newcomer” that Obama has to live up to is to discount 27 years of campaign and political experience. To me, that calls into question the the timeline by which you seem to be judging Obama.

    That’s where we seem to differ: that timeline. You and many others, for a reason I don’t fully understand, have decided to cut him off at a point I consider to be, if not early, then certainly early-middle in the campaign cycle. I am unclear on why this is a rush situation, particularly given the alignment of delegates in the Democrat party and the fact that nothing is going to be decided until August in Denver.

    What I want to understand is that reason. Admittedly, Obama’s been campaigning since February of 2007, but if Paul is a newcomer, then so is Obama. He’s had a year to generate buzz and it’s worked. We all saw, running on issues and plans and, indeed, records is a quick way to get ignored. Just look at Richardson.

    I’m now expectantly waiting for Obama’s campaign to shift into a more informative style as he knows exactly who his competition will be. He has to show himself and his plans/programs as distinct from Hills, McCain and possibly Huckabee, but I doubt it. If he doesn’t do that and with relative quickness, I’m more than willing to agree he’s a fishy candidate and not support him, but you seem to be privy to some sort of information that positively rules out such a campaign shift. I want that information if it exists and, so far, no one’s been able to supply it.

  41. It also depends on how you define “political game.” At the local and state-level, you have politicians like Richard Daley, Willie Brown, and Rudy Giuliani who were (or are) at the top of their game within their respective spheres. However, that doesn’t mean those particular experiences are relevant for a productive presidency.

    That’s a pretty non-unique, catch-22 argument, though. It almost sounds like you’re saying the only person qualified to be President of the United States is someone who’s already been the President of the United States.

  42. ((But effectively you are. Paul has had 37 years to learn how to package, many times coming from the outside. ))

    Where I disagree is that most of those 37 years – with some notable exceptions as I’ve already noted – were not spent packaging for this. As a lawmaker, Paul was relatively low profile because he often clashed with the Republican leadership. And many of his proposals were buried on arrival in committee. But, in terms of a physical record, I will concede that his is considerably longer than Obama’s. Unlike McCain though, he has never had his name attached to any particular achievement (or spectacular blunder, as the case maybe depending on one’s opinion).

    That’s not saying Paul’s service is irrelevant to the people of his district. He wouldn’t continue to win elections otherwise. But its application is somewhat limited. I would say the same of Obama’s service in the Illinois Senate. Not irrelevant, but of limited application.

  43. ((It almost sounds like you’re saying the only person qualified to be President of the United States is someone who’s already been the President of the United States.))

    Well, it’s a constitutional impossibility to do it more than once, but that’s certainly a pitch many incumbent presidents make.

    It’s simply impractical to make such a demand of a new field, and I recognize that. Though there are ways to cultivate those qualities without actually having the bully pulpuit of the presidency. As I said before, I think McCain certainly has. Over the years, he has chosen his fights carefully emphasize his presidential stock, if you will.

    I think Bill Richardson tried to bring those managerial “policymaker” qualities to the forefront as well, but he was less successful at gaining traction. Obama could’ve built it up had he waited a few years. But he chose a different path, and it’s apparently working for him (just not with me, personally).

  44. Where I disagree is that most of those 37 years – with some notable exceptions as I’ve already noted – were not spent packaging for this.

    Even only considering election campaigns, this still feels off. You’re saying Paul is a relative newcomer, despite running around 16 campaigns for national office. Whereas Obama has run three, one for a state office.

    In any event, this all boils down to the cut-off point for candidate consideration which, to me, still seems inexplicably arbitrary. I have not once said I wasn’t willing to be convinced. Indeed, I’m looking for as much information as possible from both sides. Neither side seems to be offering it, though, so I remain undecided and confused by the criteria others are using to make their decisions.

  45. Nancy Pelosi basically ran 2-3 contested campaigns before becoming Speaker. For her House seat, the only time she has actively campaigned was in 1986. After becoming Minority Leader in 2002, she led the Democrats to a humiliating defeat. In 2004, the focus was on the presidential race, and she was relegated to the sidelines. In 2006, she led the Democrats to victory, but only by doing absolutely nothing (controversial). All her re-elections have been barely contested, and during presidential election years she’s irrelevant.

    So, here’s a politician with 22 years under her belt in Washington. And I appreciate her public service to the nation, as I have said about the others. But if for some strange and inexplicable reason she actually wanted to run for President, I’d consider her green.

  46. But if for some strange and inexplicable reason she actually wanted to run for President, I’d consider her green.

    This is the last thing I’m going to say on this. It all reverts back to the question of timeline. You must acknowledge that Paul and Obama are not running the same campaign and that different campaigns employ different strategies and the timing of those strategies is generally different as well. I again do not understand what information is being used to decide that Obama’s campaign, which in terms of securing a party nomination has been far more successful than Paul’s, will not at any time in the next 7 months develop a more policy-specific strategy now that there are fewer targets to set oneself apart from.

    It is wholly possible Obama won’t develop that transparency, but at the same time I’ve seen no conclusive evidence pointing to that outcome. Thus, I have to ask myself exactly what piece of evidence is known to sane, rational, politically-well informed people who’s opinions I generally respect that is causing them to write Obama off with a degree of certainty more appropriate to July or August?

  47. Boy, go away for awhile and see what develops.

    Look: Tommy, QJ, my opinion is neither uninformed nor unhinged. The fact that Obama refuses to put out policies that we can examine makes me wary, but not too badly. What makes me petrified of him, as I said before, is that no one is calling him out on his lack of policies, and those who say, “Wait a second, what are your policy proposals?” are trounced by the waiting mob.

    I repeat: Hope is a concept, not a plan. Let’s see a plan. Evidently the American people are a lot dumber than I believed. One can be an optimist AND a realist at the same time. Just because a speaker is motivating doesn’t mean he’s the right person to lead.

    Lots of people are motivating. Hitler, Koresh, Rev Moon, I could go on with the extreme examples, but they make the point, dammit!

    And Tommy, if the people of Illinois jumped off a bridge I wouldn’t follow them either. Not without a PLAN for landing safely. And I’m not willing to blindly put my trust in someone who just talks a good game, and that’s IT.

    Lack of evidence of policies is itself evidence of a lack of planning. NOT what I want in a president. A liberal version of George Bush (100%sound byte, no substance) is not what I want in a president. And quite frankly, the blind trust that the majority of Democrats seem to be putting in Obama for NO REASON AT ALL is PETRIFYING.

  48. Tommy, QJ, my opinion is neither uninformed nor unhinged.

    I never said your position was uninformed. What I said was I don’t understand the rush to judgment with the scant information any of us have. If you’ll notice, I very loudly said that I was mistrustful of Obama because of the lack of hard policy information over on The Malcontent. My point is that it seems like you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too. He hasn’t been forthcoming on the details, fine, that’s an issue, but to react to that with such vigor is pretty much doing the exact same thing that you charge his supporters with and which you claim is “PETRIFYING”.

    And wow, those are your examples? Really? Hitler, Koresh, Rev Moon? Not Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Meir, Jefferson, Lincoln? Hell, not even Richard Simmons, Bobby Knight, Tony Robbins, or Zig Ziggler? You’re setting up a very specific comparison with your choice and I don’t understand why you feel that comparison is apt.

    I would also offer that Obama supporters, by and large, do have a reason for following him. At present, the majority of them have felt disenfranchised the past seven years. They feel that Clinton lied to them in the late 90s and the Republican party as a whole has been lying to them since 2000. They’re being offered something they haven’t had since 1992, and while I’m in complete agreement with you that hope is a concept not a plan, it’s a mistake to discount the power and pseudo-tangibility of concepts. If Obama is incapable of translating his hope into concrete plans and then communication that transition to his supporters, I can’t imagine they’ll all stay with him. However, at the same time, it make legitimate sense for Obama to have campaigned on a concept up to this point and not given detractors (namely other Democrats) a chance to blow holes in him since last February.

  49. Well, being unware of a mob that trounced someone, I don’t know what you are refering.

    On another matter, you claimed he broke a promise to the people of Illinois. I am not aware of such a promise but regardless, my point is its between him and the people of Illinios. And again with the ‘unhinged’ comparisons. They are ‘unhinged’ because they don’t appear to have a relationship to reality (ie. not hinged).

  50. there is that Ron Paul supporter mob story that QJ tells

    Crazed Libertarians proved even they can mob and chased Sean Hannity through the street, catching it all on camera phone, because Fox wasn’t going to let their boy play. How can I NOT repeat that story?!?

    Through. The. Fucking. Street!!

    That’s comedy gold if you’re not the one being chased.

  51. I am not aware of such a promise but regardless, my point is its between him and the people of Illinios.

    If it’s indicative of character and the man is running for POTUS, then it’s between him and all Americans.

    Not Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Meir, Jefferson, Lincoln?

    Er, no, they all had fairly concrete policies, not just concepts. That’s where the comparison breaks down. Those who continue to point to Obama and compare him to MLK do them both a disservice. (And to head off the inevitable question, those who say MLK had “a dream,” not policies, would do well to consider how MLK diverged from Malcolm X in the application of force.)

    And I can’t help but wonder what’s keeping me immune from the mass hysteria I see around me.

    He hasn’t been forthcoming on the details, fine, that’s an issue, but to react to that with such vigor is pretty much doing the exact same thing that you charge his supporters with and which you claim is “PETRIFYING”.

    FINALLY, YOU GET IT.

  52. FINALLY, YOU GET IT.

    I’ve always “gotten it” when it comes to the unclear practical policies of B. Obama’s Amazing Magical Mysterious Hope Tour And Oddity Emporium. What I still fail to understand is the early-onset fear of the campaign and that, while his supporters may be acting out of line with the available information, so, then, are his detractors.

  53. *sigh*

    Well, I thought you got it.

    What I still fail to understand is the early-onset fear of the campaign and that, while his supporters may be acting out of line with the available information, so, then, are his detractors.

    No, QJ. Hillary knows exactly what she has the potential to fuck up. Obama can’t have that same knowledge. Yet he continues with the “all aboard, step right this way” attitude that has no basis in reality.

    Congratulations to anyone who hasn’t had the optimism drummed out of them in the last 8 years. I, for one, am not willing to just blithely extend my vote to someone who’s not proven he has a clue about anything except a bunch of grand theories.

    How about a lazy metaphor?

    Someone gave him a fish, and he made himself famous talking about the glories of fishing, the beauty of the different types, colors, and flavors of fish that make up this wonderful sea of ours.

    But no one taught him how to fish, and he’s taught no one else, and sees no need to, even as his followers starve.

  54. Pingback: Pushing Buttons « Artsmonkey’s Weblog

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