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#37941 - 06/19/08 08:58 PM Re: Vote [Re: pda]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5969
Loc: 212 land
 Originally Posted By: pda
I think a candidate might be able to be defined be the intersection of the characters of all his supporters, but not by the most extreme views held by any one of them.

Beyond that, you're just playing politics.
I think there were good presidents who had unsavory supporters, yet weren't tainted by them. After Washington, all presidential candidates were political players.
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#37953 - 06/20/08 05:53 PM Re: Vote [Re: oenophore]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
The Two Obamas
God, Republicans are saps. They think that they’re running against some academic liberal who wouldn’t wear flag pins on his lapel, whose wife isn’t proud of America and who went to some liberationist church where the pastor damned his own country. They think they’re running against some naïve university-town dreamer, the second coming of Adlai Stevenson.

But as recent weeks have made clear, Barack Obama is the most split-personality politician in the country today. On the one hand, there is Dr. Barack, the high-minded, Niebuhr-quoting speechifier who spent this past winter thrilling the Scarlett Johansson set and feeling the fierce urgency of now. But then on the other side, there’s Fast Eddie Obama, the promise-breaking, tough-minded Chicago pol who’d throw you under the truck for votes.

This guy is the whole Chicago package: an idealistic, lakefront liberal fronting a sharp-elbowed machine operator. He’s the only politician of our lifetime who is underestimated because he’s too intelligent. He speaks so calmly and polysyllabically that people fail to appreciate the Machiavellian ambition inside.

But he’s been giving us an education, for anybody who cares to pay attention. Just try to imagine Mister Rogers playing the agent Ari in “Entourage” and it all falls into place.

Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times. From time to time, he threw his voting power under the truck.

Dr. Barack said he could no more disown the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than disown his own grandmother. Then the political costs of Rev. Wright escalated and Fast Eddie Obama threw Wright under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have been a workhorse senator. But primary candidates don’t do tough votes, so Fast Eddie Obama threw the workhorse duties under the truck.

Dr. Barack could have changed the way presidential campaigning works. John McCain offered to have a series of extended town-hall meetings around the country. But favored candidates don’t go in for unscripted free-range conversations. Fast Eddie Obama threw the new-politics mantra under the truck.

And then on Thursday, Fast Eddie Obama had his finest hour. Barack Obama has worked on political reform more than any other issue. He aspires to be to political reform what Bono is to fighting disease in Africa. He’s spent much of his career talking about how much he believes in public financing. In January 2007, he told Larry King that the public-financing system works. In February 2007, he challenged Republicans to limit their spending and vowed to do so along with them if he were the nominee. In February 2008, he said he would aggressively pursue spending limits. He answered a Midwest Democracy Network questionnaire by reminding everyone that he has been a longtime advocate of the public-financing system.

But Thursday, at the first breath of political inconvenience, Fast Eddie Obama threw public financing under the truck. In so doing, he probably dealt a death-blow to the cause of campaign-finance reform. And the only thing that changed between Thursday and when he lauded the system is that Obama’s got more money now.

And Fast Eddie Obama didn’t just sell out the primary cause of his life. He did it with style. He did it with a video so risibly insincere that somewhere down in the shadow world, Lee Atwater is gaping and applauding. Obama blamed the (so far marginal) Republican 527s. He claimed that private donations are really public financing. He made a cut-throat political calculation seem like Mother Teresa’s final steps to sainthood.

The media and the activists won’t care (they were only interested in campaign-finance reform only when the Republicans had more money). Meanwhile, Obama’s money is forever. He’s got an army of small donors and a phalanx of big money bundlers, including, according to The Washington Post, Kenneth Griffin of the Citadel Investment Group; Kirk Wager, a Florida trial lawyer; James Crown, a director of General Dynamics; and Neil Bluhm, a hotel, office and casino developer.

I have to admit, I’m ambivalent watching all this. On the one hand, Obama did sell out the primary cause of his professional life, all for a tiny political advantage. If he’ll sell that out, what won’t he sell out? On the other hand, global affairs ain’t beanbag. If we’re going to have a president who is going to go toe to toe with the likes of Vladimir Putin, maybe it is better that he should have a ruthlessly opportunist Fast Eddie Obama lurking inside.

All I know for sure is that this guy is no liberal goo-goo. Republicans keep calling him naïve. But naïve is the last word I’d use to describe Barack Obama. He’s the most effectively political creature we’ve seen in decades. Even Bill Clinton wasn’t smart enough to succeed in politics by pretending to renounce politics.

NYTimes editorial 6/20/2008


Edited by alicex4 (06/20/08 05:53 PM)

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#37954 - 06/20/08 06:31 PM Re: Vote [Re: alicex4]
pda Offline
addict

Registered: 08/30/01
Posts: 621
Loc: Bergen County NJ
Careful there - this is a column by neocon David Brooks that appeared on the op/ed page of the NYT. That is not a NYT editorial.

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#37956 - 06/20/08 07:47 PM Re: Vote [Re: alicex4]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5969
Loc: 212 land
From the above editorial:

Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times.

Using this website, I looked up Obama's US senatorial voting record. Where he voted yea or nay, I largely approve. But I was appalled to find so many bills upon which he didn't vote. There wasn't even one vote in which he was paired for or against, a means by which one who couldn't attend a vote could be on record as being for or against. I'm getting second thoughts about the guy.
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#38026 - 06/26/08 09:38 PM Re: Vote [Re: alicex4]
Daniel Offline
veteran

Registered: 05/23/01
Posts: 1515
 Originally Posted By: alicex4
The media and the activists won’t care (they were only interested in campaign-finance reform only when the Republicans had more money).


That's absolutely not true. I care. But I think that to participate in public financing for the presidential campaign would itself be a sham because that system is no longer sufficient to the task. First, there's no longer enough money in the system to run an adequate campaign. Second, more private money would just flow to party committees and 527 organizations, so the election would no longer be a fair fight with public funds. While I'm disappointed that we don't have a good public finance system, it's hard for me to come down too hard on candidates who choose not to participate in a system that is so flawed.

Obama is a co-sponsor of a "clean elections" bill that would provide real public financing of congressional races along the lines in place since 2000 on the state level in Maine and Arizona (and in Connecticut as of this cycle). McCain has not supported it, even though it operates in his home state. Consequently, for my purpose of getting real public financing in place, I think it's better for Obama to do what he thinks is necessary to win in order to increase the chances of changing the system for the better. While I think it's unfortunate that such a decision involves opting out of the public finance system this time around, my mixed feelings are overcome by the inadequacies of the public system and the necessity to win in order to fix the problems of that system--which is less likely to happen if McCain wins.

Not my ideal solution, but politics does not take place in an ideal environment.

For information on the "clean elections" Maine/Arizona model, check out www.publicampaign.org.

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#39692 - 09/12/08 03:38 PM YOTE REPUBLICAN [Re: learningtolead]
d-elvis Offline
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Registered: 04/26/00
Posts: 3650
Loc: Central PA
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#39696 - 09/12/08 04:28 PM Re: YOTE REPUBLICAN [Re: d-elvis]
Mim Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/00
Posts: 999
Loc: Gunks
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#39697 - 09/12/08 04:44 PM Re: YOTE REPUBLICAN [Re: d-elvis]
alicex4 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/05/00
Posts: 3400
WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN? [9.9.08]
By Jonathan Haidt
(JONATHAN HAIDT is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion and how they vary across cultures. He is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.)


...the second rule of moral psychology is that morality is not just about how we treat each other (as most liberals think); it is also about binding groups together, supporting essential institutions, and living in a sanctified and noble way. When Republicans say that Democrats "just don't get it," this is the "it" to which they refer.

http://edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

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#39702 - 09/12/08 07:49 PM Re: YOTE REPUBLICAN [Re: alicex4]
oenophore Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/24/01
Posts: 5969
Loc: 212 land
VOTE REPUBLICAN

I'd love to -- if Ron Paul were on the presidential ballot.
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#39782 - 09/16/08 04:00 AM Re: YOTE REPUBLICAN [Re: oenophore]
acdnyc Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 208
Loc: NYC/Kerhonkson
"living in a sanctified and noble way."

Republicans live this way?
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