Connecticut Democratic primary

Wow, our votes may matter.

I’m in the awkward position of liking most everyone in the race, though I worry that John Edwards is too flimsy for the job. Obama and Clinton are terrific speakers and embody something drastically different and better even if they say nothing at all.

Bill Richardson is great. I trust that whoever wins the nomination will snatch him up as the vice presidential candidate.

I can’t decide who to vote for, though, because they’re all good. Or maybe it’s just that after seven years of Bush, anyone looks terrific.

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123 Comments

Filed under Democrats, presidential primary

123 responses to “Connecticut Democratic primary

  1. David Jones

    So WH Dad thinks all the D’s are terrific and none of the R’s are worthy. With all due respect, not exactly a shock.

    WH Dad, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard Hillary called a terrific speaker. Barack certainly is, but Hillary falls somewhere short of terrific. Not saying she’s a bad speaker, but terrific, NO

    Maybe someone can explain her claim of 35 years of experience. Wife of the Attorney General of Arkansas, wife of the Governor of Arkansas, wife of the President of the United States, I didn’t realize those counted as government experience. My wife is a banker, so by Hillary’s standards I have many years of banking experience. Can I put that on my resume?

    I actually think she has sufficient experience so I don’t see the need for such a stretch.

    I guess that explains why GWB was elected, he was the son of someone with tons of government experience. If I’m not mistaken, Bush I was a war hero, UN Ambassador, Congressman, CIA Chief, Vice President, President, and I probably missed something. While I said that jokingly, the reality is that it is a key reason for his election, along with incredibly weak opponents two elections in a row.

    My choice is John McCain, and he does have a chance.

    I don’t think it’s a certainty that a third party candidate would help the Republican candidate, especially if Hillary is the nominee. Because of her high negatives it’s a struggle to get her above 50%, but with a third party candidate she could win with less, and she does have a solid base somewhere below 50%.

    A little interesting anecdote. My daughter entered Duke University in the fall of 2005. Al Hunt and Judy Woodruff had a son entering the same class. At a gathering of around 200 parents, Mr. Hunt and Ms. Woodruff were the featured speakers, and needless to say it was primarily political. They took a straw poll of the room, naming all the presidential hopefuls on both sides of the isle, some who eventually entered the race and others who didn’t.

    As they narrowed the list it came down to Hillary Clinton and John McCain, with McCain carrying the room. That was almost 2 1/2 years ago so it will be interesting to see if the race really comes down to those two.

    Rudy’s son also entered that same freshman class at Duke, you know, the antsy one at the speech.

  2. Frustrated

    I expected the libs to like McCain, but was a bit surprised with your choice David.

    Arizona is being destroyed by illegal immigration and yet McCain is pro-amnesty. McCain-Feingold appears to be nothing more than restriction of free soeech on segments of society, while the rest can do as they please right up to election time.

    His policy ideas from the Senate concern me if elected to POTUS

  3. David Jones

    Dear Frustrated,

    Please don’t be.

    McCain is a moderate and so am I. I don’t agree with him on everything, but believe him to be an honorable man with the ability to work with both sides of the isle.

    Then there’s also the process of elimination.

    No need to focus on every candidate, so I’ll look at the serious contenders.

    1) Hillary Clinton–Too liberal and too divisive for my taste. Some of that divisiveness isn’t her fault, but does the country really want to go through that again?
    2) Barack Obama–Much more liberal than Hillary, excellent orator, very likeable, but where’s the beef? An intelligent man, but not yet a man of serious accomplishments.
    3) John Edwards–Very liberal, primary focus of campaign is on class warfare.
    4) Rudy Guiliani–Too much baggage. I do believe he did a good job cleaning up NYC, although don’t understand the credit he gives himself for 9-11. Man of multiple affairs, at least one of which cost NYC taxpayers money. Questionable business dealings! Perhaps the best liberal option.
    5) Mitt Romney–Political expediency is his mantra. He’s liberal when he’s running for Mass. Governor, conservative when he’s running for the Republican nomination for the presidency. I want someone with core beliefs. Does have an impressive resume of accomplishments.
    6) Fred Thompson–His level of interest is questionable since he’s chosen to mail in his campaign. His campaign theme seems to be “I’m the most conservative”. OK!! If you want to be president then go out and work for it. Reminds me of the cartoon character “Droopy Dog”.
    7) Mike Huckabee–I’ve known of Huckabee for a number of years and have always found him witty and entertaining. But his record is very questionable. And if I’m being honest I have to admit that him being a Southern Baptist minister is not a plus for me. And I grew up in Kentucky going to a Southern Baptist church. Don’t like their view of the role of women in society among other things.
    8) John McCain–A very adult position on the future of our involvement in Iraq. Not a question of whether we should have gone (I think no) but what we do now that we’re there. Although I don’t know if any president will ever really get spending under control I believe we have the best chance with McCain. The fact that he doesn’t toe the conservative line, or that I may disagree with him on some things, is not a deal breaker for me. I disagree with every candidate on some things and agree with every candidate on some things.

    One thing that’s good this year is there’s a real choice. We have liberals, moderates, and conservatives.

    And while I referred to the 8 above as serious contenders I think the D’s are really down to Hillary and Obama and that it will be a battle to the end.

    On the Republican side it’s questionable to consider Thompson a real contender, and Giuliani only gets the label because he clings to the contention that, “although I keep getting soundly defeated, I wasn’t really trying in those states”. Less than a clear victory in Florida and he’s history.

    On health care I ask this of my liberal and conservative friends.

    Do you conservatives really believe there isn’t a problem? Do you believe the private sector can fix it on their own?

    To my liberal friends I ask, do you really believe the more socialistic health care systems around the world are delivering better health care? Do you really believe the answer is a multi-gazillion dollar government program?

    On to illegal immigration, with emphasis on illegal.

    I ask my conservative friends if it’s realistic, both logistically and economically, to expel 12 million plus people from our country?

    To my liberal friends I ask these questions. Do you really believe illegal imigrants are doing jobs that no one here legally will do? Isn’t the reality that they’re doing those jobs at a salary that no one here will do? Doesn’t this drive down wages of those at the lower end of the earnings scale to the benefit of big business and to the benefit of the consuming public? Isn’t the reality of illegal immigration that it’s an exploitation of millions looking to provide a better life for their families? Why don’t the liberals want tougher border enforcement?

  4. turtle

    1) Hillary Clinton–Too liberal and too divisive for my taste.

    Clinton is perceived as a liberal, but aside from healthcare (a biggie, for sure) she is the most conservative among the D candidates. She is certainly the most hawkish.

    Some of that divisiveness isn’t her fault, but does the country really want to go through that again?

    “Some”?! Hillary hatred was manufactured by a well-financed right-wing character assassination machine that’s been at it going on 15 years now. No she’s not the most graceful or affable individual, but the smear campaign against her has been grossly unfair. Give her credit for being tough enough not only to have endured the Clinton years, despite all, but to have become a well-regarded senator from New York and a serious contender for the nomination. And let’s put this BS to rest that it’s largely Hillary’s fault that she’s a polarizing figure. I agree with you, though, that perpetuating our divisive politics by electing a president that half the country hates is not an appealing prospect.

    More to come.

  5. turtle

    Oops, sorry for the formatting whopper. The second graph should not be in italics.

  6. turtle

    OK for starters on Obama and the “where’s the beef?” meme (AKA “he’s too inexperienced”), I offer the following article from The New York Times.

    An excerpt:

    Mr. Obama did not bring revolution to Springfield in his eight years in the Senate, the longest chapter in his short public life. But he turned out to be practical and shrewd, a politician capable of playing hardball to win election (he squeezed every opponent out of his first race), a legislator with a sharp eye for an opportunity, a strategist willing to compromise to accomplish things….

    By the time he left Springfield in 2004, he had built not only the connections necessary to win election to the United States Senate but a record not inconsistent with his lofty rhetoric of consensus building and bipartisanship.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/us/politics/30obama.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  7. David Jones

    If you don’t think Hillary is liberal then you must have missed her Christmas commercial.

    It’s OK if you like liberal, but I don’t.

    Is she more conservative than Obama and Edwards? Well yes, they’re ultra liberal and she’s just liberal. This is the woman who suggested starting the government giveaways at birth if you recall.

    I acknowledged that the divisiveness isn’t all her fault, but certainly a great deal of it is. She’s not some Tammy Wynette innocent victim.

  8. turtle

    I missed Hillary’s commercial. But I did catch the great Republican panderfest on Fox the other night. It would have been funny except that half those guys as president would be a hair-trigger away from bombing Iran. So I’ve got to ask you admirers of John McCain: are you OK with opening up yet another front in the war on terror?

    The fact that he doesn’t toe the conservative line

    In his quest for the presidency McCain’s been on his knees to the very people who slimed him in South Carolina in 2000. He had moral authority on the issue of torture, but ultimately he, like Arlen Specter, who flat out said he thought the Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional, surrendered to the Bushies and voted Aye. So much for core beliefs.

  9. LXD

    See who your neighbors are donating to at fundrace.org (now part of the Huffington Post web site). Also, Hillary & Obama both would bomb Iran. And they both pander to evil corporate lobbyists. Hillary actually took more money from pharmaceuticals than Nancy Johnson! And Hillary was corporate counsel for Wal-Mart as well as sitting on their board. I’m not crazy about Edwards, but at least he would try to shut down K Street.

  10. turtle

    Well, your Aunt Louise might bomb Iran depending on the circumstances. Let’s just say that:

    Any of the Republican candidates, with the exception of Ron Paul and possibly Mike Huckabee, would be more likely to bomb Iran than any of the Democratic candidates.

    Hillary would be more likely to bomb Iran than Obama (who has also been insistent about cracking down on K Street) or Edwards.

    I like that Edwards keeps Gilded Age corporate malfeasance on the agenda, but his rhetoric does not match up with his Senate record.

    He regrets his vote on the authorization for war.

    He regrets his vote to normalize trade relations with China.

    He regrets his vote on the 2001 bankruptcy bill.

    And so on.

    You get the impression that Edwards largely disavows his time in office. It may be that he has genuinely metamorphosed since his Senate term, but it’s hard to reconcile the talk with the walk.

    I do need to find out more about what his Center for Poverty has accomplished on behalf of the poor.

  11. O.P. Taylor

    So turtle, is it safe to say the more liberal the candidate the more you like them?

    I have a question for you and I mean this as a serious question. Is there anything the government shouldn’t provide or guarantee for all citizens? Food? Housing? Clothing? Education K-12? College Education? Masters or Doctorate? Health Care? Retirement income? Transportation? Child care? Entertainment? Recreation? Access to the arts?

    I’m trying to understand where you believe the government’s responsible ends and the individual’s responsibility begins.

    You’re probably already aware of this, but you’re too partisan to be taken seriously. Even when conceding a negative point about a Democrat you have a need to take a jab at some Republican or all Republicans, causing you to lose all credibility.

  12. turtle

    So turtle, is it safe to say the more liberal the candidate the more you like them?

    If that were true I would be backing Dennis Kucinich instead of Obama.

    I have a question for you and I mean this as a serious question.

    I think that question is a little disingenuous. I don’t think of liberalism as ever more government encroachment, if that’s what you mean. I’m wary of any undue concentration of power whether it’s the government or the private sector. I do think the government should counteract the excesses of the free market and further the cause expressed by America’s core principles: equality, liberty, and justice. In addition, there are many services, obviously, that only the government has the organization and resources to administrate, and because government is accountable to citizens, I think that’s a good thing. You were kidding about the arts, right?

    Now that the Bush adminstration has hocked our country to China and other foreign powers, corrupted our government institutions, ignored the perils of climate change, and embroiled us in a bloody and expensive conflict that has stoked anti-Americanism worldwide, and with a recession looming, I think we’re in a moment when a strong and active federal government is critical to the future viability of the republic. If I’m hostile to the Republican party, it’s because of the party’s incalculable damage to the nation these past seven years. Nevertheless, Obama is right, and we must move on.

    If by holding this view you think I have no credibility, well OK.

  13. LXD

    The last I heard, Obama said he wanted to work with K Street lobbyists, not shut them down like Edwards. That’s definitely DLC (republican light) policy. But if Obama has changed his position, that’s good.

  14. turtle

    Well, Obama has quite a few lobbyists supporting his campaign (as Edwards pointed out during that Vegas debate). He doesn’t accept campaign contributions from them, or from PACs, however.

    I doubt Obama means to “shut them down” like Edwards, but he’s inveighed against lobbyists and “special interests” all along.

  15. O.P. Taylor

    turtle,

    Still don’t know where you believe govenment responsibility ends and individual responsibility begins.

    It’s really a simple question. What should the government provide and what must I provide for myself. The question is not disingenuous and we can drop the word liberal if you wish. I just want your opinion. If you choose not to answer the question I’ll move on.

    I agree that certain services can only be delivered by government, but my list didn’t include any such services.

  16. turtle

    O. P. Taylor,

    I’m not interested in trying to determine some artificial point on a laundry list where the individual and the government should part ways. If you want to debate issues, fine. David Jones identified enough of them to keep us chattering until Election Day:

    To my liberal friends I ask, do you really believe the more socialistic health care systems around the world are delivering better health care? Do you really believe the answer is a multi-gazillion dollar government program?

    Now that’s a fair question.

  17. EJ

    Intersting non-answer

  18. Art Halloran

    So the turtle has retreated into his/her shell!!!

    And to think, all this time he’s/she’s attempted to create the illusion that he’s/she’s some kind of intellectual.

    And yet, the simplest of questions prove too much for him/her to handle.

    This is not uncommon among those who fancy themselves as intellectuals. When presented with real world questions the Ivy wilts.

  19. turtle

    I fancy myself many things, but an intellectual is not one of them. Funny that you would think so.

    Still I’m game for a health care debate. Why not kick off with David Jones’s question:

    Do you really believe the answer is a multi-gazillion dollar government program?

    The short answer: Yes.

  20. C. Gull

    turtle,

    I believe Kucinich would have your support if he had a legitimate chance to win. True of False?

    You would choose Kucinich over any of the Republican candidates. Yes?

    You want to debate health care, then let’s start with this question. What country’s health care system would you use as a model? Michael Moore seemed quite fond of Cuba’s system. I’m guessing you don’t buy into that, but there must be some country that you believe has put together a really good, if not perect, system.

  21. Cynic

    OK, so you want govt funded health care.

    let’s see Medicare just cut payments to docs (at least to some) 8%, others less. Really encourages them to see medicare patients. This has been the way Medicare handles things over the years, cut payments. Sorry you can’t run a practice when expenses go up and payments go down. This is why Medicaid and Husky have problems in the State as well, compensation stinks. Let’s bring this to everyone.

    I suppose you also want universal early childcare?

    Of course you probably also want 6mos paid maternity leave for both parents.

    You can fill in the rest of the list.

    How do you propose to pay for all this? How much are you Turtle, willing to pay in taxes to fund all of this. 30%, 40%, 70%, 80%?

    As to your comment on Kucinich, I would like to assume that O.P. was referring to sane candidates.

  22. O.P. Taylor

    turtle,

    What do you believe the top tax bracket should be, the one for the very wealthy?

  23. LXD

    Don’t mind EJ, he’s a science denier.

  24. Chalenois

    Germany and Japan both have excellent gov’t sponsored health programs.
    At least in the case of Germany, the plan involves 3rd parties (insurance companies) but their profits are capped (Yikes!, what a concept.)
    My father broke his arm while vacationing there in November, the hospital bill which was inclusive of ALL services rendered and a follow-up visit came to 167 euros, less than $300…and he was out of the ER in less than 2 hours.

  25. C. Gull

    Thank you Chalenois.

    That gives us a good starting point for a debate.

    I’m not familiar with the health care systems in either country or how those systems impact the overall economy. I will do some research.

  26. turtle

    No, I wouldn’t vote for Kucinich even if he were a viable candidate, because I’m not voting exclusively on how closely I agree with the candidates’ positions.

    For example, I think in the richest country in the world everyone should have access to health care; however, I’m voting for Obama, whose healthcare plan has been slammed by universal healthcare advocates for not including mandates. Americans are extremely concerned about rising healthcare costs and in theory support expanded government involvement in healthcare, but due to scaremongering about “socialism” universal healthcare is a hard sell. Also, as we all know, big pharma and the insurance companies are going to raise holy hell no matter what plan is introduced.

    Anyway, I guess Obama is being pragmatic. His previous experience with healthcare legislation is described in the current New Republic, but the article is behind a subscription wall. Ezra Klein excerpted it here:

    http://tinyurl.com/3xeee6

    What country’s health care system would you use as a model?

    France, for starters.

    To my liberal friends I ask, do you really believe the more socialistic health care systems around the world are delivering better health care?

    David? I think rich people in the US probably get the best healthcare in the world (although I could be wrong). On the other hand:

    http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=640980

  27. turtle

    turtle,

    What do you believe the top tax bracket should be, the one for the very wealthy?

    95%

    Next question:

    turtle,

    Do you believe small farmers should be ruined by a death tax?

  28. Cynic

    But Turtle, you havn’t said what you are willing to pay for this stuff. It’s always nice when someone else is paying the way.

  29. turtle

    I see in the paper that President Bush has again called on Congress to make his tax cuts permanent.

    By the time the Bush tax cuts have taken full effect, people with really high incomes will face their lowest average tax rate since the Hoover administration.

    Source: Paul Krugman

    The [Congresisonal Budget Office] study…found that the wealthiest 20 percent, whose incomes averaged $182,700 in 2001, saw their share of federal taxes drop from 64.4 percent of total tax payments in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year. The top 1 percent, earning $1.1 million, saw their share fall to 20.1 percent of the total, from 22.2 percent.

    Over that same period, taxpayers with incomes from around $51,500 to around $75,600 saw their share of federal tax payments increase. Households earning around $75,600 saw their tax burden jump the most, from 18.7 percent of all taxes to 19.5 percent.

    Source: The Washington Post

    Yes, I think the very wealthy should pay more taxes.

    Now I have a question for you:

    Do you think it’s acceptable that 47 million Americans are uninsured although the US spends more on healthcare than other industrialized nations, who provide health insurance to all their citizens?

    Source: National Coalition on Health Care

  30. Cynic

    Anyone walking into an emergency room will be treated. so emergency coverage is there.

    Subtract out those that chose not to purchase insurance, because they don’t think they’ll get sick and don’t want to spend for either regular coverage or HSA Coverage.

    Next subtract those who are between jobs and don’t want to take Cobra.

    Then subtract those that qualify for programs like Husky and choose not to sign up.

    Next subtract the illegal immigrants

    The number will be far lower than your 47million you like to quote.

    You still haven’t stated what percent of your income you think should go to taxes.

  31. turtle

    Anyone walking into an emergency room will be treated. so emergency coverage is there.

    Do you think this policy, which burdens emergency rooms and drives up the cost of healthcare, is acceptable?

    Subtract out those that chose not to purchase insurance, because they don’t think they’ll get sick and don’t want to spend for either regular coverage or HSA Coverage.

    So that’s the reason people choose not to buy insurance. Yet: National surveys show that the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage (Source: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation).

    Your other assertions also depend on rank speculation.

    The number will be far lower than your 47 million you like to quote.

    Do you think there’s a serious healthcare problem in this country? Yes or no?

    If your answer is no and you think the status quo is A-OK, there’s not much point in having this conversation.

    But: you would be mistaken.

    You still haven’t stated what percent of your income you think should go to taxes.

    It would depend on the value I got for my taxes. Our taxes in West Hartford are high, but we think we get good value, so even though we are squeezed we are OK with the bargain. You can see where this is going.

    But my premise isn’t my personal threshold of pain. The skyrocketing cost of healthcare is forcing the issue, and that is a fact.

  32. turtle

    An extenisve video interview with Obama by the San Francisco Chronicle editorial staff can be accessed at the following link (sfgate.com):

    http://tinyurl.com/2mqqlz

    This interview may be of interest to people across the political spectrum; no msnbc histrionics here.

  33. turtle

    turtle here with the daily Obama pitch. Last night I came across a very good piece on the healthcare crisis. It is the most straightforward, clear, and humane explanation I’ve encountered.

    The author:

    Harold Pollack is a public health researcher at the University of Chicago, where he teaches in the School of Social Service Administration and chairs the Center for Health Administration Studies. He holds a doctorate in public policy from Harvard University. He has published widely at the interface between public policy and public health, mainly in the arena of HIV prevention and substance abuse. He has served on three expert committees convened by the National Academy of Sciences.

    The link:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/17/145552/062/938/438416

    http://tinyurl.com/yw8nsn

  34. I think the question everyone is asking is when will Edwards get out. Every day he’s in the race, he takes votes away from Obama. Hillary has her base of support and is the candidate of the establishment Democrats.

    I’d like to see Obama win the nomination. Personally, four years of Hillary Clinton would tear the country apart. She is about as polarizing as it gets. She knows it, her party knows it, and its the last thing this country needs.

    Obama is certainly more liberal, but he’s more optimistic and upbeat. That actually does matter in Washington. Better to be met with a question mark than instantly a divider and hated by the oppostion party.

    If McCain gets the nomination, some Conservatives will pull hard for Hillary and may even stay home at the polls. They feel that two years of Hillary would give Republicans huge gains in Congress. I agree with that assessment, particularly since Pelosi and company have managed to do NOTHING since taking the House. If it weren’t for Senator Reid, Democrats wouldn’t even have an opposition voice in Congress at all.

    Obama at least represents a new point of view, a new perspective, a new everything. And he doesn’t come with eight years of baggage. The Clinton run is about power, not much else. Personally I think dynastys are a bad idea – whether they are Bushes, Clintons or Kennedys, or Adams. The only decent set of related Presidents were the Roosevelts.

  35. turtle

    If that doesn’t beat all!

  36. LXD

    The only progressive Democrat is Kucinich. But the media won’t give him air time (which should be a violation of election laws). Obama and Hillary are business as usual. Neither tried to impeach Bush or end the war, so what do they *really* stand for?

  37. C. Gull

    I’m no fan of Bush, and I’m no fan of Hillary or Obama, but the fact they didn’t try to impeach Bush doesn’t prove a lack of progressive credentials, it’s only proves that Hillary and Obama are sane.

  38. LXD

    So they are sane for NOT impeaching Bush? You’ll have to explain that one. There are more reasons to impeach Bush than there were for Nixon and Clinton combined. Here are 20 reasons from the impeachbush.org web site to get you started (there are also several books of the same topic).
    1) Seizing power to wage wars of aggression in defiance of the U.S. Constitution, the U.N. Charter and the rule of law; carrying out a massive assault on and occupation of Iraq, a country that was not threatening the United States, resulting in the death and maiming of over one hundred thousand Iraqis, and thousands of U.S. G.I.s.

    2) Lying to the people of the U.S., to Congress, and to the U.N., providing false and deceptive rationales for war.

    3) Authorizing, ordering and condoning direct attacks on civilians, civilian facilities and locations where civilian casualties were unavoidable.

    4) Instituting a secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States through the National Security Agency.

    5) Threatening the independence and sovereignty of Iraq by belligerently changing its government by force and assaulting Iraq in a war of aggression.

    6) Authorizing, ordering and condoning assassinations, summary executions, kidnappings, secret and other illegal detentions of individuals, torture and physical and psychological coercion of prisoners to obtain false statements concerning acts and intentions of governments and individuals and violating within the United States, and by authorizing U.S. forces and agents elsewhere, the rights of individuals under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    7) Making, ordering and condoning false statements and propaganda about the conduct of foreign governments and individuals and acts by U.S. government personnel; manipulating the media and foreign governments with false information; concealing information vital to public discussion and informed judgment concerning acts, intentions and possession, or efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction in order to falsely create a climate of fear and destroy opposition to U.S. wars of aggression and first strike attacks.

    8) Violations and subversions of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, both a part of the “Supreme Law of the land” under Article VI, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, in an attempt to commit with impunity crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes in wars and threats of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and others and usurping powers of the United Nations and the peoples of its nations by bribery, coercion and other corrupt acts and by rejecting treaties, committing treaty violations, and frustrating compliance with treaties in order to destroy any means by which international law and institutions can prevent, affect, or adjudicate the exercise of U.S. military and economic power against the international community.

    9) Acting to strip United States citizens of their constitutional and human rights, ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to counsel, without charge, and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention, based solely on the discretionary designation by the Executive of a citizen as an “enemy combatant.”

    10) Ordering indefinite detention of non-citizens in the United States and elsewhere, and without charge, at the discretionary designation of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Defense.

    11) Ordering and authorizing the Attorney General to override judicial orders of release of detainees under INS jurisdiction, even where the judicial officer after full hearing determines a detainee is wrongfully held by the government.

    12) Authorizing secret military tribunals and summary execution of persons who are not citizens who are designated solely at the discretion of the Executive who acts as indicting official, prosecutor and as the only avenue of appellate relief.

    13) Refusing to provide public disclosure of the identities and locations of persons who have been arrested, detained and imprisoned by the U.S. government in the United States, including in response to Congressional inquiry.

    14) Use of secret arrests of persons within the United States and elsewhere and denial of the right to public trials.

    15) Authorizing the monitoring of confidential attorney-client privileged communications by the government, even in the absence of a court order and even where an incarcerated person has not been charged with a crime.

    16) Ordering and authorizing the seizure of assets of persons in the United States, prior to hearing or trial, for lawful or innocent association with any entity that at the discretionary designation of the Executive has been deemed “terrorist.”

    17) Engaging in criminal neglect in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, depriving thousands of people in Louisiana, Mississippi and other Gulf States of urgently needed support, causing mass suffering and unnecessary loss of life.

    18) Institutionalization of racial and religious profiling and authorization of domestic spying by federal law enforcement on persons based on their engagement in noncriminal religious and political activity.

    19) Refusal to provide information and records necessary and appropriate for the constitutional right of legislative oversight of executive functions.

    20) Rejecting treaties protective of peace and human rights and abrogation of the obligations of the United States under, and withdrawal from, international treaties and obligations without consent of the legislative branch, and including termination of the ABM treaty between the United States and Russia, and rescission of the authorizing signature from the Treaty of Rome which served as the basis for the International Criminal Court.

  39. turtle

    Obama and Hillary are business as usual. Neither tried to impeach Bush…

    Articles of Impeachment must be passed by the House. There’s no incentive for Senators Clinton and Obama to kickstart the process, especially since they’re running for president.

    I do agree with you, though, that Bush and Cheney should be impeached.

  40. LXD

    You are correct. And Kucinich is trying to impeach Cheney right now with HR333. You’d think Clinton & Obama would at least advocate for impeachment as a way to illustrate how evil the republicans are. Even a mention of HR333 would be nice.

  41. turtle

    Neither would have much credibility taking up the impeachment banner. Hillary is a liberal hawk who has pretty much accommodated the Bush administration’s imperial agenda, so good luck trying to play the righteous opposition at this point. Not to mention the specter of Bill’s own impeachment drama. It would be ludicrous.

    Obama is running on unity, and impeachment is divisive, so no go there, either.

  42. C. Gull

    Thank you Paul Begala and James Carville.

  43. O.P. Taylor

    LXD and turtle, you must be town committee left wingers.

    LXD, what kind of person makes an idiotic statement like “how evil the republicans are”. You’re very illustrative of what’s wrong with politics in this country.

  44. I don’t know Turtle. Seems your guy Obama isn’t getting a fair shake. Nothing like a two against one battle that he seems to have to face each day against Clinton and Clinton. I can’t remember the last time that a former President went on such a rampage of angry, hateful attacks against a primary opponent.

    The thing is that this whole episode illustrates just why a Hillary Presidency is just simply a bad idea. Back to the power trip game. I don’t know where you stand, but a number of my friends who are Democrats are so ticked off about what they’ve seen (angry attacks, short memories, fund raising tactics, voter fraud (in NH), playing the gender card, the MLK-race debacle, crying and playing the victim role, and all of the unpleasantness) that they just might sit home on election night because in their heart of hearts, they don’t want to see Hillary in there for 4 or 8 years.

    I don’t think the Republican field is “wonderful”, but I have to say that Hillary is such a polarizing figure that I almost have to vote for the GOP candidate just so we don’t have 4 or 8 years of this mean spirited crap. Oh its great TV drama, but its more Clinton crap.

    And some one aught to get Bill Clinton into an anger management class. Since he’s hell-bent on interjecting himself, he’d better toughen his shell because the jabbing with Obama over his record is mild – if he sticks his nose in the general election, he’s liable to get it bit off by any of the top three GOP contenders who aren’t likely to hold back. Time for him to go off and help Bono with a charity event.

    Time for him to get lost and leave Obama alone. In fact, if I were Obama, I’d start exposing the Clinton’s over calling the kettle black on all this lobbyist, fund raising deal. The Clinton’s are special interest whores.

    Just when we thought we might get a election based on issues, and the Clinton mud machine is in full throttle. How disappointing for our Country.

    They’ve succeeded in damaging Obama, probably to the point where he can’t make a come back. I hope Obama tells them to take their make nice-nice when the primaries are over and shove them. What the Clintons have done is typical, but unacceptable and well below board.

  45. turtle

    Well, Obama has a pretty nice victory tonight in South Carolina. In honor of Obama’s trouncing of Hillary we got to watch Co-Candidate Bill Clinton on MS-NBC give a speech in Missouri. Seems fair.

    Lots of people are disgusted with the Clintons’ tactics of late. Even an ex-president of NOW in Chicago, Lorna Brett Howard, has switched her allegiance to Obama over Hillary’s dishonesty:

    But I expect Democrats will chill out by November. If Hillary wins the nom I’ll vote for her (joylessly), since I’ve lost all respect for John McCain and at least Hil might get some movement on healthcare and No Child Left Behind. I haven’t figured out yet who the non-cartoon version of Mitt Romney actually is. My expectations are low, however, that Hillary will end the occupation of Iraq any time soon. By the way, during any of the 2,654 debates so far did anyone question the candidates about what they intend to do about Israel/Palestine?

    Obama’s got the mo now, and it’s pretty exciting. Caroline Kennedy’s op-ed is already up at the Times website. It’s called “A President Like My Father”. Oh my!

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2dpc8n

  46. turtle

    Here’s a link for those of you keeping score:

    The Clinton Attacks Obama Incident Tracker!

    http://clintonattacksobama.pbwiki.com/Incident+Tracker

  47. Chalenois

    I saw (actually heard from the overflow room) Hillary this morning. I think she’s been working with a voice coach; her voice sounds less harsh and her tone varies a great deal while she speechifying.

    There were no surprises with the content of the speech. There is a link to it at WNPR’s website.
    http://www.cpbn.org/?q=node/3070

    After the speech and then taking a number of audience questions, Hillary came to the overflow room to shake hands (yes, I got a lucky handshake). This was a little surprising because there had been no security checks to get into the overflow room. The secret service guys were on super high alert, heads darting everywhere, but maybe they’re always like that.

    All-in-all I’m glad I went, although I’m not sure that it’s convinced me to vote for Hill.

  48. turtle

    I’ll say this for Hillary: she made a stop in Hartford.

  49. Manda

    Wow! You guys are right on top of things, aren’t ya? I’ve found myself educated by following your banter and yet, unfortunately, I must ask some (perhaps stupid-sounding) questions of the two of you. Please help me out here, won’t you?

    I understand the competition for the presidency is basically between Clinton and Barack at this point. It’s a sad thing because I feel it robs us, the American people, of actually having a candidate that actually gives a crap about US, rather than about WINNING. I think it’s high time we got someone in the position who really and truly upheld the meaning of our Constitution and what our forefathers were trying to accomplish when they wrote and signed that document. I also feel we, the people, have lost control of our own government and are subjected, like lab rats, to their personal whims and desires.

    I’m not a radical really. I just feel we need to ‘take the power back’.

    John Edwards should be a prime candidate, right up there with Clinton and Barack, but he’s not. I don’t really understand WHY. Can someone tell me? Maybe my question reflects the fact I haven’t been up to par on the whole thing, and I don’t know Edwards’ history. But he seems to mirror the solutions to the problems I want for my country, and yours. So what’s the problem? Is there something I’m missing? Something I’m not aware of? Why is his approval rating so low here in Connecticut?

  50. Cynic

    Maybe it’s because they’re not sure if Edwards can be believed. Remember, while he was throwing slime at Walmart, he was also trying to get them to supply him with an X-Box for his kid. Then when caught he blamed it on an employee.

    So much for helping the little guy he claims to support.

  51. A vote for Edwards is a vote for Hillary.

    Edwards comes across as meaner than mean. I watched his performance where when talking his trial lawyer talk in reference to businesses and industries, he uttered the words “we need to go after…” and “I’ve been going after…”. He also uses language that paints him as incredibly inflexible. This isn’t typical rhetoric of Democrats, so its no wonder why he doesn’t resonate with his own base. He also doesn’t come across as passionate, but angry and challenging.

    The President must be someone that doesn’t threaten companies and entire industries. Or declare war on the private sector. The private sector doesn’t take kindly to dictation from Washington – not every company is a bad company. In stark contrast, Barrack Obama talks about what he would like to do and presents ideas outside of regulate and punishment. Hillary, for all of her political experience, hasn’t said much of anything except why she thinks she more qualified than Obama.

    If there is a fairy tale in all of this, its Hillary’s claim of 20-something years of experience. She’s getting rather dull and old. Her facial expressions during the State of the Union tell the tale all too well.

    The GOP is hoping she gets the nomination. An Obama nominee would be full of surprises and would come without angry divisive rhetoric. Hillary is the power politics of old, Obama represents youth, energy and liberal ideas. Obama is the wildcard.

    The Clintons just don’t like to be challenged. They really think this nomination is Hillary’s God given right. That’s the pathetic part.

  52. LXD

    O.P Taylor, you’re saying Republicans are NOT evil? Now that is idiotic, especially in a Democratic thread. Why don’t you run along and join your Freeper buddies.

  53. LXD

    Now that Kucinich dropped out, there are no people left in the Democratic wing of the Democratic party. I guess it’s time for whdad to start a Green party thread. The remaining Dems are pretty bad. At this point, if Kucinich is not still on the ballot (despite dropping out), I guess I’ll vote for Edwards.

  54. turtle

    Manda,

    The primaries are your only chance for you to vote for your preferred candidate. While I would like to encourage everyone participating in the Democratic primary to vote for Obama, I think if you like Edwards, you should vote for Edwards.

    I think it’s high time we got someone in the position who really and truly upheld the meaning of our Constitution and what our forefathers were trying to accomplish when they wrote and signed that document.

    I am opportunistically going to mention here that Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for several years (and earned among the highest student evaluations in his department). So at least we know he’s read the thing.

    John Edwards should be a prime candidate, right up there with Clinton and Barack, but he’s not. I don’t really understand WHY. Can someone tell me?

    Well, for one thing there’s been something of a media blackout on him. Perhaps his crusade against corporate America has something to do with it (despite the occasional bone thrown to “good” corporations); also, TV news is such infotainment that the media creates narratives for melodramatic effect above all. The media have been having a bang-up time (and doing a dismal job) with the Obama and Hillary show, and Edwards just ends up playing an extra.

    Also, Edwards’s campaign isn’t nearly as well financed as Obama’s and Hillary’s. And I agree with what King said above about categorically dissing the private sector. After all, it’s a huge and vital part of the country. Further, there’s a gap between Edwards’s rhetoric and his brief career in the Senate, so for some he has a credibility problem.

    Policy-wise the Democratic frontrunners are pretty similar. Yes, they have this or that healthplan and this or that strategy to get out of Iraq. But basically they have the same agenda.

    I signed on to Obama’s campaign from the start because I thought there was no way Hillary Clinton could win a general election. Now I’m not so sure, but there are other good reasons to vote for Obama besides electability.

    He has good ideas about trying to forge a new coalition that would support his initiatives and ameliorate some of the deep divisions that have developed over the years because of the culture wars and polarization and so on. Now I am a highly partisan person but the politics that have characterized the past few decades are not good for the country, and it seems like Obama is a man for the moment. He inspires people to thoughtful patriotism and civic duty, and gives people hope when there is much to despair about.

    People worry about his experience, but he’s actually had quite a but of legislative experience both on the state and federal levels. Yes, he had barely served time in the US Senate before running for president, but I think that was at the behest of Democratic party players who begged himt to run.

    Also, Hillary voted to authorize the president to go to war. Since the invasion of Iraq was one of the worst policy blunders in American history, I think she should be held accountable for that vote.

    Thanks for asking!

  55. turtle

    oops–quite a bit. Sorry for that and any other typos.

  56. Now that Edwards is out, who will you vote for now?

  57. LXD

    Not that any of us would know by watching corporate media, but I discovered that Mike Gravel is still running and is on the ballot in Connecticut! And, if you check out his web site, he is all in favor of impeaching Bush & Cheney, even though he is a senator. http://www.gravel2008.us/

  58. turtle

    Rumor has it that Obama may visit Connecticut on Monday:

    http://ctlocalpolitics.net/

  59. LXD

    It looks like all 8 candidates from both parties will be on the ballot, so you can vote for your favorite, even if they’ve dropped out. If you are unaffiliated and want to vote in the primary, you have until noon Monday to go to the Registrar of Voters in person to change your affiliation. It’s too late to change parties or to do a mail-in change from unaffiliated.

  60. West Hartford Needs a Dog Run!

  61. How foolish is it to vote for someone who’s dropped out of the race? Why go all the way to the polls to vote for someone who’s removed himself from nomination and doesn’t stand a chance of winning? If you can’t find a reason to vote for either Hillary or Obama, then why bother? The race is between on those two, so why not be brave enough select one by process of elimination, by what you like or don’t like out of the two remaining candidates?

    You would think that people would take this serious enough to realize that by voting for withdrawn candidates, that they are skewing the results, and indirectly supporting the establishment’s candidates.

    Or are you trying to claim a protest vote? What good will it do? Why don’t you just write in Mickey Mouse then? Except in the general election which allows write in candidates (perfectly fine although still a waste), they should find a way to block out or move candidates who have withdrawn from the primaries.

  62. Chuck Coursey

    I’ll be voting for Barack Obama on Tuesday because I am tired of the divisive political environment in Washington and believe he is the best candidate to bring folks together for a common good. I know this sounds a bit idealistic, but I’ve always preferred candidates who work effectively, in a bipartisan manner, to get the job done. He’s the one who can do this. It’s time to move forward, not backward.

    Several of us will be canvassing for Senator Obama in West Hartford over the next five days. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact:

    Jordan Burke
    (860) 729-4632
    http://www.ct.barackobama.com
    jburke@barackobama.com

  63. LXD

    To The King,
    The reason I’m voting for Kucinich, despite his having dropped out, is simple. It tells those still in the race that they have work to do in order to gain my support. Whether you agree with this thinking is irrelevant. And since this is a free country, until Patriot Act IV takes effect, I’m going to fill in the bubble for Kucinich. If you hate freedom, you could move to China. I hear they shoot pro-democracy protesters there, so you should feel right at home.

  64. David Jones

    To my friend Chuck Coursey,

    I share your idealism, but I’m not optimistic.

    Whenever someone sincerely works with those on the other side of the isle they are eaten by their own. John McCain is under fire from the Republican establishment for this very thing. When Joe Lieberman got too cosy with the Republicans he became the least liked Democrat in CT.

    I’m a Republican and will not be voting for Obama. I can’t in the primary and I won’t in the general election. But I understand his appeal. I do believe he has the demeanor to bring people together, but his ideology will prevent this.

    Civility isn’t enough, you have to move in the direction of the other side while asking them to move in your direction. Obama is extremely liberal, and unless he’s willing to govern as a moderate he can’t possibly bring both sides together. And if he acknowledges now that he plans to govern as a moderate he can’t possibly win the nomination. At this very moment, in an attempt to secure the nomination, John McCain is trying to convince the Republican base that he’s a true conservative, yet it is clear to me that his instincts are to reach out across the isle, something I applaud.

    I certainly see the appeal of Obama, he clearly has leadership qualities, but if he plans to push a liberal agenda, AND HE IS VERY LIBERAL, I just don’t see how he brings the country together.

    Too often people see bringing the country together as convincing those idiots on the other side to see the light and share my enlightened point of view.

    I will be supporting McCain for many of the same reasons Chuck is supporting Obama.

    Something I find interesting. It would appear there are now four candidates with a chance of being president. And each one would be a victory against discrimination, although Obama and Clinton are certainly knocking on bigger doors.

    1) Racial
    2) Gender
    3) Religious
    4) Age

    What one person sees as compromise, another person sees as an abandonment of core beliefs.

    But this is a very interesting election.

  65. To LXD:

    I’m sure Hillary and Obama will hand-wring all night long wondering why they didn’t get your measily vote. I feel the same about the Ron Paul crowd, but the difference is that Ron Paul doesn’t seem to know any better – he should have dropped out the day after he made a fool of himself during the Fox debate.

    Based on your writings, I think you have more in common with Chinese politics than I do. Oh and good luck with your impeachment plans. Maybe you and your malcontents can find 100 other ways to ensure nationwide divisions. Or waste hours and millions investigating this one or that one. Aren’t we done with all of this. Did you learn nothing from the wasteful Clinton impeachment hearings? Then on the other hand, if I was really self centered, I guess I’d welcome you to make this congress a complete DO NOTHING congress – not that Nancy Pelosi has done much anyway.

    You could learn a thing or two from Chuck Coursey. His rationale for supporting Obama seems reasonable to most of us. Fresh face, fresh ideas, and isn’t the establishment’s pawn. I’d be willing to bet that a President Obama would actually be much better received by the GOP than a Hillary or Kucinich President, or even an Edwards. And even Republicans admit that Hillary would unify the fractured GOP, particularly with McCain as the nominee.

    Obama v McCain is the wild card race of a lifetime. There are no guarantees here for anyone, and conservatives could very well sit at home and let McCain fall flat on his face.

    David, this campaign cycle is hard to gauge. Its as if its being conducted in an alternate universe. Obama, Hillary on one side, and John McCain running to the center to win nomination, and shutting down the conservative legacy.

    In our book, a McCain nomination is about as left as you can get for a party on the right. On almost every conservative issue, and you’ll find McCain on the wrong side, tax policy, immigration, campaign finance, Iraq, etc, etc. I hate to say it, but an Obama Presidency and a Democratic congress could acheive much, but a McCain Presidency and a Democratic congress could probably accomplish quite a bit as well.

    You give us Hillary in the White House, and you’ll find that Washington will become the most divisive battlezone in the history of this country. The Honeymoon will last 30 seconds. And you’ll find her to be the greatest comeback asset in GOP history ever. Her face will be the best fundraising posterchild ever.

    How her and McCain have gotten this far is beyond most of us. It’s simply amazing just how much opposition parties are hoping for McCain and Hillary to get the nomination. But the reasons are oh so different.

  66. Chalenois

    I agree with The King about Hillary…I really believe that if she wins the nomination it will only galvanize the GOP and get their candidate elected.

    I am beginning to think that we will have a 4-way race in November:
    Obama
    McCain
    Nader
    Bloomberg

    Wouldn’t that be wild?

  67. LXD

    The other bad thing about Hillary is what happened with the last Clinton. Dems lost the congress and a bunch of governorships. We certainly don’t want that again, although even with the majority they aren’t doing much.
    And “The King”, if Obama and Hillary don’t want my “measily vote”, they won’t get it. Pretty simple really. And comparing a Bush impeachment to the Clinton impeachment is a stretch. If you don’t know the differences in their crimes, I feel bad for you. I will agree that Pelosi is worthless and would even say that the congress is indeed already a do-nothing congress.

  68. turtle

    David thinks Obama is too liberal to work with Republicans; Obama’s opponents from “the left” think he is too willing to work with Republicans to be a true liberal. Yes this accusation is fired off routinely from the irony-free Hillary camp.

    Joe Lieberman infuriated Democrats by embracing neoconservatism and the invasion of Iraq, among other things. Is there anyone here who still insists that neoconservatism is anything but a discredited ideology that has been disastrous for America? Yet Lieberman and McCain’s saber rattling continues. The best thing any president could do for our national security is to end the occupation of Iraq and get some traction on Israel-Palestine.

    Anyway, I digress. David, I know you will never vote for Obama, but the perception from our side is that Obama is indeed a moderate. Did you ever get around to reading that NYT article I linked to way up there? Here it is again for anyone who’s interested in Obama’s legislative experience in Illinois:

    http://tinyurl.com/3e2xox

  69. I’m not sure why Bloomberg would enter the race at this point, particularly when its likely that the GOP race may be over on Tuesday – I’m suggesting that John McCain is moderate enough to appease Bloomberg moderates/liberals.

    And if Obama would get the nomination, I wouldn’t see the need for Ralph Nader to jump in either. If Hillary were to get the nomination, I wonder if Nader would rise. The thing about Nader is that running for President is part of his fundraising/career gig. He’s a good consumer advocate, but he also a very known element that doesn’t bring anything new to the table.

    —————–

    I’m wondering if the Rosa DeLauro, and Chris Murphy endorsements will help Obama, or if the Hillary machine has already secured the vote. I haven’t seen any new polls lately. Turtle, you must have something to report on this front. Any Obama progress?

  70. David Jones

    turtle,

    I find it interesting that you believe Obama to be a moderate. His record suggests otherwise. I don’t say this as a criticism, I’m just making an observation. Not sure which issues cause you to believe he’s a moderate. Is it because his health care plan isn’t quite as liberal as some?

    And the notion that the establishment would get behind a candidate it believes to be moderate doesn’t make sense to me, whether on the Republican or Democrat side of the equation.

    Having said that, friends such as Chuck Coursey and some others on the town council support Obama, and I know they’re attacted by what they believe to be a unifying candidate. And if Senator Obama wins I hope they’re correct.

    As a Republican I strongly prefer to run against Clinton than Obama, but if a Democrat is destined to win I certainly prefer it to be Obama. He at least has a chance to bring the country together, something Clinton is incapable of doing. And if Obama should capture the White House I’ll give him a chance.

    I have more friends who are Ds than Rs so I’m not blind to the perspective of Ds. And I myself am a moderate, which essentially means I’m liberal on some issues, conservative on some issues, and down the middle on some issues. But I do believe in personal responsibility and don’t believe the government should be responsible for delivering all of our basic needs.

    I have a great deal of respect for what Obama brings to the table, which I believe to primarily consist of hope and inspiration. I believe his ability to speak to the youth of the country exceeds that of all other candidates. But I still don’t see how he comes together with Republicans. His great hope is to sweep Democrats into office, especially in the Senate, so that he has no need for Republicans.

  71. turtle

    I’ve heard nothing particularly illuminating. The Democratic race remains neck-and-neck in what has become a critically important swing state, and my impression is that there are still significant numbers of voters sitting on the fence. Anything could happen in the next 48 hours to tip the balance.

    Look at Obama’s tough loss in New Hampshire. In the last few days before the NH primary the Hillary campaign circulated a bunch of nonsense about Obama’s pro-choice position while the media kept up its delirious onslaught against Hillary. Surprise, middle-aged white women got mad and pushed Hillary over the top, changing the whole dynamic of the race.

    It’s amazing to me, however, that Obama is doing so well against the entrenched Clinton political machine. The Clintons have been laying the groundwork for Hillary’s run for years, and Obama sure is giving them a run for their money. Wow.

  72. turtle

    Oops, my post above was directed to the King.

    David,

    It’s funny how different perceptions are of opposition candidates. McCain has a reputation as a moderate, but many of us consider him to be pretty much a right-wing conservative.

    Since you mention it, Obama’s non-mandated health care plan has become a source of acrimonious debate among Democrats, who insist Obama is simply pandering to Republicans and that he is not fully committed to universal health care. This and other overtures to the right are what situate Obama as a moderate or centrist on the political spectrum for many Democrats.

    But if you support Obama, you are signing up for an effort to move past the ideological standoff that has defined our politics for so long. As for cynicism that Obama can actually effect any change in the status quo, my position is that if anybody can do it, Obama can.

  73. David Jones

    turtle,

    What are Obama’s other overtures to the right?

    As for health care, a pragmatic Democratic candidate might conclude that he/she can’t get the whole package at once and should take a more incremental approach. And the hard core is never satisfied with an incremental approach to anything. But an all or nothing approach frequently results in nothing.

    As a supporter of gay rights, I believe the gay/lesbian community made a tactical mistake insisting on the use of the word marriage rather than focusing on equal legal rights. While I understand, and even sypathize with, their desire for using the word MARRIAGE, I believe it caused a national backlash at a time when the country was showing signs of being open to legal parity.

    As for McCain, I think he’s more conservative than moderate, but once you put your name on a bill with Ted Kennedy the conservative base is going to be suspicious. What would have happened to a Democrat’s liberal credentials if they had co-sponsored any bill with Jesse Helms?

    Ted Kennedy & Hillary Clinton are to Republicans what W. and Cheney are to Democrats, a great rallying cry.

  74. turtle

    I agree with everything you just said.

    I’m thinking of Obama’s rhetorical overtures to the right, such as his evocation of Ronald Reagan and the “crisis” in Social Security, which raised all kinds of hell on the Dem side.

    A lot of the fire against Obama’s health care plan is inspired by Paul Krugman’s ongoing crusade in The New York Times. Krugman has legitimate reasons for disliking the plan, of course, but he is also committed to the idea that the Democrats should ratchet up the partisanship and steamroll the Republicans the same way the Republicans played the Democrats during the Bush administration. His man Edwards has dropped out of the race, and I’d be surprised, given the Clintons’ reputation for triangulation, if he sees in Hillary a standard-bearer for his cause. But since Hillary pretty much appropriated Edwards’s plan in the first place, and the plan does include mandates, she’s his obvious second choice.

    I’m unhappy about the Pats’ loss in the Super Bowl, but I’m going to take it as a harbinger that the wild card will win on Super Tuesday.

  75. turtle

    I get the impression that there are still many people sitting on the fence between Hillary and Obama. This is where Hillary’s vote in favor of authorizing Presdient Bush to go to war kicks in.

    I understand why Americans rallied behind the president in 2003. Even if you tuned out the administration there was plenty of misinformation circulating at the time about Saddam and weapons of mass destruction. Further, the invasion had support from liberals for various reasons other than a great game resource grab. The history behind the US relationship with Saddam is long and complicated, and the perfect storm that positioned Cheney and the neocons favorably with Bush after 911 was not well understood at the time. Neither was the fact that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were ideological adversaries and that the neocons’ obsession with Iraq had nothing to do with al Qaeda.

    Hillary wants to be the leader of the free world. She was not some average citizen trying to parse a bewildering situation and do the right thing. Rather, Hillary was a powerful senator with a safe seat from a blue state who was First Lady during years of low-intensity warfare by the US against Iraq. Her current foreign policy advisors include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, both Iraq hawks. Almost half the Senate Democrats voted no on the authorization to go to war. Hillary voted yes.

    When confronted with her vote Hillary affects to have made a reasonable decision based on the available evidence. She appeals to legalese, although practically everybody in the country grasped that the AUMF meant the US would invade. That was one of the tragic things about the march to war, the seeming inevitability of it all. The Clintons had great stature among Democrats, and Hillary had an opportunity to show leadership and oppose what has turned out to be a disastrous foreign policy blunder. But she didn’t. Why not?

    I think it was a combination of hawkishness and political expediency. The sanctions scheme against Iraq was on the skids, and the prevailing wisdom was that sooner or later something had to be done about Saddam. Also, she wanted to be president and was and is clearly averse to taking an unpopular stand that would mark her as “weak on national security”.

    We’re not talking health plan mandates here. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has caused over 10,000 casualties, tens of thousands of innocents killed, and a humanitarian crisis. Iraq is now a dangerously destabilized country rocked by civil war. The invasion has exhausted the military, bankrupted the United States, and inflamed anti-Americanism around the world. Yet Hillary refuses to admit that she made a profound error of judgment on the biggest vote of her career. Do we then want to make her president of the United States?

    Barack Obama got it right on the war. His opponents dismiss his famous anti-war speech because Obama was not in Congress at the time. However, Obama was running for a Senate seat in a race where he was considered a long shot, and in a state where support for the invasion ran high. Not only did he have the courage to oppose the war, but he had a very clear argument for why it was a bad idea. Obama is no dove, but he demonstrated leadership and foresight on why this war, a preemptive invasion against Iraq, was “a dumb war”. It’s a dealbreaker.

    Obama’s anti-war speech may be found here:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama's_Iraq_Speech

  76. turtle

    Oops, here’s the link again:

    http://tinyurl.com/ywvtcv

  77. WH Alum

    Turtle,

    There are many of us still on the fence on Hillary vs Obama. Thank you for your willingness to share your insights and the links.

    I’ve had several phone calls from both camps in the past 2 weeks. Obama’s callers were enthusiastic and one gave me a chance to voice my concerns. Hillary’s were dull and very obviously reading from a script – and not very well. That alone has just about pushed me over the fence onto Obama’s side. Whoever is leading his campaign and hiring the callers is doing a much more effective job.

  78. turtle

    My pleasure! Glad to hear the grounds crew have been doing a good job.

    I went to the rally this afternoon at the Civic Center to hear Obama speak. It was a full house and the place was rocking (but very civilized–not like the Wolf Pack games–). Obama is indeed an inspiring orator and ambitious for the country. You’ve got to wonder why anyone would want to be president just about now, but Obama is confident in his ability to lead.

    I have never been this psyched to go the polls.

  79. K

    Wowzer. I just got back from the Obama rally at the Civic Center (oops, the “XL” Center). That was a barnstormer. That place was packed, choc-a-bloc to the rafters. And he gave us our money’s worth. And not just with flowery rhetoric. He addressed pretty much every important issue on the table in the country right now.

    The energy in that room was something that I haven’t felt about a potential leader–ever. I feel strongly that this will not be a 50 + 1 guy. He’s going to move the ball big time, b/c he gets people on board–all kinds of people. And if the worst thing that they can throw at this guy is that he’s too “hopeful” or too naive, well, then you know he’s got something going. Folks are swarming to get in line behind him. The “Big Mo,” as George H.W. Bush called it, is behind Mr. O. Will it be enough to carry the day tomorrow? No one can say for sure. All I know is that this is the most exciting election in a generation and I’m glad to be around for it.

    Go out and vote tomorrow!

  80. B

    WH Alum, glad to hear you liked our calls. Just so you know, those were volunteers making them, not hired guns. I did a few hours; others did much more.

  81. TWC

    I too was at the “Barack the Vote” rally downtown yesterday with my son, and the first thing that comes to mind is simply …wow! I agree wholeheartedly with Caroline Kennedy that this country has not had someone as inspirational as Barack Obama running for president since John F. Kennedy.

    To those of you who are still leaning toward voting for Hillary Clinton today, would you please re-consider one last time all of the problems and baggage that she will bring with her if she is the Democratic Party candidate or president-elect:

    (1) As turtle has so compellingly made the case above, how can you vote for her when she was so wrong about Iraq? She will never be in a position where she can effectively debate this issue with John McCain, since she voted with McCain to authorize this tragic war. She has consistently aligned herself with the western-wing of the Israeli Knesset, and it was only recently that she changed her tune on Iraq when it became clear she had no chance to be the Democratic candidate unless she did.

    (2) Do you really want to be walking on pins and needles for the next nine years wondering how long it will take Bill Clinton to re-embarrass the Democratic Party and this country by dinking another White House intern? And if you think Bill Clinton is reformed and would never stoop to something this low again, you need to rejoin the rest of us in the real world today as you walk into that voting booth.

    (3) The hate-o-meter for Hillary Clinton is off the chart. Although I agree that much of this disdain is undeserved, the fact of the matter is that it creates an immediate and probably impenetrable wall of contempt that will prevent building a consensus on the key issues that this country must address over the next eight years.

    The overriding point here is that the Democratic Party needs a fresh start; someone who has a better chance of reaching out to Reagan Democrats, the significant body of independents that will ultimately decide the general election, and the otherwise uninspired youth in our midst to create a new majority that has a legitimate chance to move this country forward.

    With all due respect to those of you who are understandably nostalgic for the Clinton era after suffering through eight years of probably the worst presidency in the history of this great country, that candidate is Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton.

  82. Congrats to the Obama supporters, projections now showing an Obama upset in CT. Good work on the grassroots level. You beat the machine.

  83. turtle

    Thanks, King. Connecticut really mattered in this primary, and we supporters are thrilled Obama carried West Hartford and the state.

    Way to go, Nutmeggers!

  84. Turtle,

    What do you make of all the shananigans around the Clinton strategy to defame, attack, and poke holes in Obama’s character or background as a means of undermining his momentum.

    You see – this is the very reason I don’t want Hillary in the White House. Instead of a straight up battle – fair and square on the issues, she would rather go the alternate route — twisting arms of super-delegates, pressuring committed delegates, trying to get suspended states delegates to now count, and stoop to the level of nasty little attacks promulgated by her machine (notice its rarely her so she can stay above the frey).

    Can Obama win or is this whole thing rigged in her favor – no matter how many primaries he wins?

    Let me suggest, if Clinton pulls this out through underhanded means, that Obama supporters might need to really think about whether or not they want to legitimize Clinton.

    There are rules of fair play that nominees are expected to play by. Win it all costs isn’t one of them. God, I’d hate to see Obama lose out due to behind the scenes electioneering. It’s going to be very interesting.

  85. turtle

    Well, I think the negative advertising and so on is just politics (as you know!). The plagiarism charge was pretty lame, and it didn’t seem to have much of an effect even though TV gave it a lot of play.

    But the Clintons’ campaign to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates is just outrageous. Although the DNC should have tried to find a solution to the problem of disenfranchising the voters of those states, the rules are the rules, and the candidates agreed to bide by the rules. Incredible that Hillary would actually try to change the rules mid-game!

    At this point Hillary is pretty desperate. I think this race is over, and Obama will be the nominee. I hope Hillary will concede gracefully so the Democrats avoid a schism, which of course would be a real disaster for the general election.

    McCain is not the guy I wanted Obama to run against, that’s for sure. I think McCain would have clobbered Hillary, however, so at least the Democrats will be fielding a candidate with a fighting chance. I’ve heard nothing but derision on my side for McCain’s speech last night, but I thought it was pretty good. He will be tough to beat.

  86. Obama won last night’s debate.

    He stayed above the frey despite Hillary’s attempts to draw him into a dogfight over so-called plagerism from people in his own campaign, or the use a words. A very petty strategy. For someone who is supposed to be “bright” she could have approached this debate differently, instead she slept through it.

    Either she has a magic trick up her sleeve to defeat Obama, or she’s near ready to concede defeat. I’m not sure which. There wasn’t much there to separate the two candidates. All you know is Hillary is bitchy and was stopped cold, and Barack wanted to stay positive and unifying.

    Even if comes down to personality since they seem to have more in common than not, Barack is just pleasing to the ear – without the screeching and negativity.

    Obama is the Democrats ticket. Picking Hillary guarantees McCain in the White House.

  87. turtle

    If Hillary’s finale to last week’s debate hadn’t been immediately exposed as indebted to speeches by Bill Clinton and John Edwards, Hillary would have won that round. Did she imagine that the irony would pass unremarked? I don’t think people care much about politicians cribbing each other’s lines, but it’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

    Hillary is obviously a very intelligent person, but her campaign has done a dismal job of showcasing her. She does best when she has a time limit during debates, before she starts meandering into wonkishness or delivering clunkers from her advisors. She is said to be very impressive live. Still, Hillary’s performance over the weekend denouncing Obama for his (two-week old) mailers was tone-deaf. What makes her campaign think going even more negative on Obama will really work this time? Mark Penn and Howard Wolfson are being paid millions of dollars for this crap, and they’ve gone 0-11 since Super Tuesday. Amazing.

    Further, a lot of Democrats who viewed the Clintons favorably for years have become alienated over Hillary’s campaign tactics. Obama’s surrogates have fired some cheap shots, as well, but overall Obama has conducted an upbeat, inspiring campaign. I watched Bill Clinton on c-span give a rally speech in Texas on Saturday, and he rocked. That was always the problem with Hillary: she’s no Bill.

    Meanwhile, Chris Dodd has come out for Obama, and other superdelegates are starting to get behind the frontrunner. I can’t wait for tonight’s debate to be over.

  88. Obama looked calm and poised. He took ownership for his omissions which pretty much took the air out of the need for debate. There she sat nodding (as usual) and there was little to say.

    Hillary’s SNL take did nothing for her, if fact it was a whiney tactic. Indirectly attacking those who are running the debate is a foolish tactic to begin with. It’s just more of the same.

    I hope Texas and Ohio respond to this by giving him his due.

    On Tuesday, this whole thing should be over. Unless Hillary has a magic trick up her sleeve (and I don’t mean more pictures of Obama dressed like Osama) she’s done for.

    Here’s the fun part. The Clinton’s have an enemies list 8 miles long (which makes Richard Nixon’s list look minute), I wonder if they will put the squeeze on their betrayers? Revenge is a Clinton commitment. Who will they undermine? It’s going to be interesting to watch this unfold. More fun than the general election.

    Come Tuesday night, a lot of us hope to be celebrating for a number of reasons. I may have to do a moonwalk in Obama’s honor while singing “ding dong the witch is dead.”

  89. turtle

    So, King, will you be traveling to Rhode Island this weekend to GOTV?!

  90. No, I worked over the weekend, as usual.

    Tomorrow is Barrack’s big day. Let’s hope the polls are right this time.

    Time for Democrats to throw away the Superdelegate concept. Seems to go against the will of the people. What say you on this, Turtle?

    Why this trickery in the Democrat’s nominee process? I don’t get it. Why should one delegate have the right to fly in the face of vote of the people. All delegates should be committed, period.

  91. turtle

    I’m ambivalent about the superdelegates. On the one hand, they have a disproportionate amount of power. On the other hand, the electorate depends mainly on TV and radio for news so is badly informed. Therefore I’m not altogether opposed to the idea of a savvy elite having more weight, even if they’re self-interested pols who tend to favor establishment candidates, and even though it’s undemocratic. If it’s very close the superdelegates will alienate half the party no matter what they do, so one hopes, audaciously, that they’d do the right thing.

    At this point I hope Obama racks up enough pledged delegates, even with a Michigan & Florida re-vote, to make it absurd for Hillary to appeal to the supers (although that’s probably not going to happen). Not that she wouldn’t cook up some justification to do it anyway. She’s been just appalling of late.

  92. Kevin Walsh

    The concept of vesting a “savvy elite” with the potential ability to wrest the party nomination away from a candidate favored by a supposedly uninformed electorate (why? to save the voters from themselves?) strikes me as stunningly paternalistic. It betrays a lack of confidence in the ability of John Q. Public to discern what is best for himself, his family, and his country. Then again, the whole democratic worldview seems to contemplate that the government’s proper role is to take care of the citizen to the extent possible, and the citizen’s role is to let the government take care of him/her to the extent possible.

    I would expect that the whole idea of “Superdelegates” would be absolutely foreign to republicans. The republican worldview seems to contemplate that most Americans are more than capable of taking care of themselves, thank you very much.

  93. Kevin Walsh

    The concept of vesting a “savvy elite” with the potential ability to wrest the party nomination away from a candidate favored by a supposedly uninformed electorate (why? to save the voters from themselves?) strikes me as stunningly paternalistic. It betrays a lack of confidence in the ability of John Q. Public to discern what is best for himself, his family, and his country. Then again, the whole democratic worldview seems to contemplate that the government’s proper role is to take care of the citizen to the extent possible, and the citizen’s role is to let the government take care of him/her to the extent possible.

    I would expect that the whole idea of “Superdelegates” would be absolutely foreign to republicans. The republican worldview seems to contemplate that most Americans are more than capable of taking care of themselves, thank you very much.

  94. turtle

    The republican worldview seems to contemplate that most Americans are more than capable of taking care of themselves, thank you very much.

    The republican worldview gave us two terms of the disastrous George W. Bush administration, so count me unimpressed with the wisdom of the Republican rank and file.

  95. turtle

    Further to this discussion:

    Caucuses are undemocratic because they favor activists;

    Winner-take-all delegate allocation is undemocratic because it disenfranchises the voters of the losing candidate, especially if the margin of victory is slight;

    Proportional delegate allocation is undemocratic because the winner of the popular vote may end up with fewer delegates than the loser;

    Machine politics is undemocratic because the machine has disproportionate power;

    A long campaign season is undemocratic because senators like Clinton, Obama, and McCain are too busy running for president to do the jobs they were elected to do, but a short campaign season is undemocratic because outsiders like Obama need more time to introduce themselves to the electorate;

    The influence of big money is undemocratic;

    The whole process is undemocratic because TV and radio news is overwhelmingly infotainment and propaganda, so the citizenry is underinformed and susceptible to demagoguery;

    George W. Bush is the most autocratic president of modern times, so the idea that the Republican party is somehow more democratic than the Democratic party is extremely dubious.

  96. Kevin Walsh

    Turtle, as an initial matter, President Bush was, for better or worse, elected by voters beyond the Republican rank and file. In reponse to some of your other points:

    Caucuses do in fact give more influence to motivated and involved participants in the process. I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with the absence of a secret ballot.

    Winner-take-all delegate allocation disenfranchises no one. Are you seriously suggesting that casting a vote for a losing candidate is tantamount to being deprived of the right to vote?

    I confess that I do not understand how proportional delegate allocation could lead to the winner of the popular vote garnering fewer delegates than the loser of the popular vote. Are you talking about the electoral college?

    I do not understand the assertion that political machines have “disproportionate” power. I would be grateful if you could elaborate.

    A long campaign season is not undemocratic, because if a candidate’s constituents conclude that the candidate is not adequately doing the job he/she was elected to do, the constituents have a remedy at the ballot box in the next – democratic – election.

    A short campaign season is not undemocratic, especially in the age of the internet, as all sorts of information about any serious candidate is instantly available to anyone who cares to look.

    The influence of big money, TV and radio news is what it is, but it is not “undemocratic.” Each voter has a responsibility to sift through and critically evaluate the information available on each candidate, and make their own educated decision when the curtain on the voting booth closes behind them.

    Finally, I stand by my assertion that the concept of superdelegates is paternalistic, and I am actually very surprised that democrats do not find it offensive, or at least insulting.

  97. turtle

    Sorry, but the Republican party (and the Supreme Court) get the credit for George W. Bush.

    As for my hyperbolic post, my point was that there all kinds of distortions in the democratic process, and the superdelegates are hardly the most egregious example.

    In closed primaries, winner-take-all doesn’t reflect the actual preferences of party voters; in the electoral college smaller states have disproportionate voting power.

    Some states have byzantine rules governing the allocation of delegates in the Democratic primaries. Hillary won the Nevada caucuses but Obama got more delegates (by one or two), although they have yet to be officially committed. Hillary won the popular vote in Texas, but because Obama won the Texas caucuses he may end up with more delegates overall. Obama’s whole primary strategy has been to exploit the proportional delegate system across the fifty states. No, I’m not talking about the electoral college here, which is winner-take-all.

    The Democratic party after 1968 tried to break the power of political machines and shift more influence to primary voters. But the voters tended to nominate weak general election candidates, hence the emergence of the superdelegates. If there’s a clear frontrunner, the superdelegates will follow suit, but if not their job is to pick the candidate who has the best chance of winning the general election.

    You seem sanguine about the influence on democracy of big money and a consolidated, subservient media; how about a little trip down memory lane.

    Bill Clinton was hamstrung by a well-orchestrated attack machine financed by billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. The first president to be pilloried over a mistress, Clinton’s attempts to destroy Osama bin Laden were dismissed at the time as “wag the dog”. (Even so, the damaged Clinton got quite close to brokering a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.) The media’s treatment of the Gore v. Bush race has been exhaustively scrutinized, and there’s little doubt that the media savaged Gore, who distanced himself from the scandal-ridden Clinton, and fawned over Bush. The travesty of the 2000 election followed. Fast forward to 2002-03, when the Washington press corps notoriously cheerleaded the march to war–The New York Times even apologized for its coverage. Fox News, a propaganda organ of the GOP, dominated TV news until the country started to tank and the president’s popularity plummeted. “It is what it is”? These things have consequences.

    Each voter has a responsibility to sift through and critically evaluate the information available on each candidate, and make their own educated decision when the curtain on the voting booth closes behind them.

    Of course that’s true, and yes, the internet has revolutionized access to information, but most people still depend on TV & radio for news, and most TV & radio news is junk.

    Finally, my point about perpetual campaigning is that it’s a challenge to hit on just the right set of protocols to optimize the democratic process without compromising governance. I have a problem with these senators gallavanting about the campaign trail for 2 years, but I also appreciate the disadvantages for outsider candidates in a shorter campaign season. I would like to see a balance struck.

  98. Kevin Walsh

    Turtle, thank you for the lengthy response. Your conclusory statement placing the credit/blame for the Bush era solely with the republicans and the Supreme Court ignores the reality of Bush’s re-election in 2004.

    I continue to struggle with your assertion that, in closed primaries, winner take all doesn’t reflect the “actual preferences” of party voters. In Connecticut, for example, Senator McCain won the closed republican primary (and took all of Connecticut’s republican delegates), because more Connecticut republicans cast their vote for him than for any other candidate. Are you suggesting that Connecticut republicans may have an “actual preference” for someone other than Senator McCain?

    I regret having injected the electoral college into this discussion about primaries – of course, the electoral college has no impact on the outcome of any primary, or on either party’s selection of a nominee. I don’t understand the reference to the electoral college in your discussion of closed primaries, and I fear that I may have muddled the discussion on this point. If so, I apologize.

    As for delegate allocation in the democratic party, while I appreciate your generous efforts to enlighten me, I despair that I may never understand this.

    Finally, with respect to your concerns about the influence of the media – I note that you, at least, have been able to discern that most TV and radio news is junk. Do you believe that the typical voter is less discerning than you are?

  99. turtle

    Kevin,

    With regard to the Bush era, yes Reagan Democrats and others voted for W., but his support was overwhelmingly from the GOP and the Republican rank and file.

    I find it hard to believe that you don’t appreciate the difference behind the proportional delegate system in the Democratic primary v. winner-take-all, regardless of how inarticulate I may have been on the subject. The idea behind the proportional system is to register the preferences of the voters among a slate of candidates and not simply reward early frontrunners, who have significant advantages in fundraising, machine support, media exposure, and so on. The delegates are apportioned according to each candidate’s percentage of the vote, but a candidate must achieve a 15% threshold to be awarded delegates. In short, the Democratic party is trying to be more democratic.

    Each state, however, has different rules governing their caucuses or primaries, and if it’s a primary, whether it’s open or closed. Further, even pledged delegates can change their minds. Some states, like Texas, have rules of truly daunting complexity. It can become quite confusing, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. It is a meaningful difference, however; if the Democratic primary, like its Republican counterpart, operated as winner-take-all, Hillary would be the frontrunner today instead of Obama. It’s a factor in her contention that she has as much of a claim to the nomination as Obama. Since the delegate math is against her, Hillary’s resorted to the extraordinary measure of bolstering McCain at the expense of her primary opponent. Her whole tactic of casting Obama’s electability into doubt seems designed to persuade the superdelegates that she is the less risky candidate for the general election.

    My reference to the electoral college in my discussion of closed primaries was simply to point out a standing complaint against winner-take-all in the general election: smaller states have disproportionate weight, and the winner of the popular vote may not win the election, as was the case with Gore v. Bush. Every four years there are howls of protest over the electoral college and how the whole system is badly in need of reform, but nothing ever comes of it.

    I have no idea how discerning the average voter may be. Historically most Americans are not that interested in politics. Anecdotal evidence suggests that even very well-educated and attuned voters fall for ginned-up culture war non-issues like “the attack on Christmas” and “intelligent design”, promulgated by the right-wing noise machine. In addition, many well-educated and attuned voters, and certainly the political elite, were persuaded by the Bush administration’s case against Saddam. Granted it was a complicated and confusing situation, but the media was complicit in drowning out the opposition. So, again, the degradation of mass media is indeed a serious problem. The occupation of Iraq has been a bit off radar recently, but the US is in a ghastly, alarming predicament in the Middle East. All these lives squandered and trillions spent to have effectively bolstered Iran’s power in the region–it’s just tragic.

    The fact that Republican rule of the past 7 years has resulted in war, recession, bankruptcy, careening national debt, breathtaking corruption and incompetence, erosion of core American principles, etc., etc., yet national polls suggest a close race between McCain and either Hillary or Obama, suggests that the electorate remains more ideological than “discerning”.

  100. TWC

    I was hoping to visit this moribund blog today to find it alive once again with everyone’s favorite topic–taxes and the West Hartford budget– but no such luck. (Sigh.)

    I find this debate over the legitimacy of the “super-delegates” puzzling. How can either of you support or condemn the Democratic Party’s super-delegate scheme while conversely condemning or supporting the Electoral College? Both are unambiguously undemocratic, keeping us locked in the days when the elitist of this country (white, male, land owners in the 18th century; politically-correct, highly-educated policy wonks–or lawyers–in the 21st century) are fearful of losing control of this country if we embrace true democracy.

    By the way, for those of you who were too quick to write off the Clintons’ candidacy (note the intended use of the possessive plural), you forgot that they are honorary graduates of the Karl Rove School of American Politics and are the masters of the fine art of negative campaigning; i.e., just enough negativity to cause voters to question the legitimacy of the other candidate, without being so negative that you turn voters off.

    Barack: Please take note and learn very quickly (before it’s too late)–negative politics works if you do it right.

  101. Turtle,

    You statement that George Bush is the most autocratic President in history is a out on the far side of fiction.

    Least of which just about any President pre-1900 could legitimately fit that bill.

    And I’ll remind you that Democrats control both Congressional chambers. G.W. is an easy target at best, yet Pelosi and Reid together accomplished nothing in the way of opposition – even when the President’s approval rating was lower than turtle poop.

    Now, onto Barack. He’s killed himself these past two weeks. Today’s speech was so incredibly disappointing that it was barely watchable (thank you C-SPAN). Rev. Wright is wrong, and Barack doesn’t seem to think so, or if he does – he doesn’t want to tell us so. Now black militants are on every channel tearing down the bridge that Barack pretended to build. What a shame. Radio, Television, and on and on.

    And Barack’s comments about his white grandmother were in poor taste. Are there any other family members that made racial jokes at the dinner table who he may want to offer up and embarass to try to elevate the esteemed Rev. Wright?

    Meanwhile, no thanks to her lousy campaign, or endless screeching, we can Hillary rising; a second or third, or fourth wind. I see Hillary picking up ground and even making her case at the convention.

    And the DNC and I see hours and hours of televised commercial loops of Rev. Wright superimposed over Democratic Candidate Obama. So they will turn on Obama and end this racial nightmare before it starts to hurt them in Southern Congressional races. You watch. Hillary started to go down that road in one interview I saw and then she caught herself. When she realizes she can knock Barack off the winner’s circle, her surrogates will attack like tigers in the night.

    And then we all see a real collaborator and compromiser, John McCain, taking the White House with relative ease. That’s what I see. And I’m not even sure if I’m happy about it.

    What a shame. So much promise.

  102. turtle

    King you are in the minority if you think Obama’s speech was “disappointing”. The media raved about it, and even Obama’s detractors expressed admiration for his performance. Yes Fox is still hyperventilating over Wright, but what do you expect? I wonder if their flagging ratings have picked up any.

    I realize the Reverend is just too much for the mainstream, but so what? He’s not running for president. Obama not only satisfactorily explained his relationship with Wright but demonstrated leadership by delivering a seminal speech about race. Meanwhile, Hillary needs everything under the sun to go her way to win the nom. The NYT ran a piece today about how her chances are getting slimmer by the day, and Obama is still at 73.8 on Intrade. More stories are beginning to appear about how bogus some of Hillary’s alleged success stories are (S-CHIP, Irish peace accords, Family Medical and Leave Act), and Democrats are infuriated by her remarks about McCain’s experience at Obama’s expense. I’m still confident Obama will be the nominee.

    By the way the 19th century presidency was a pretty weak institution.

  103. Cynic

    Glad you’re happy turtle.

    After listening to the Rev. Wright fiasco I now understand Michelle Obama’s comments last month. Her comments fall right into line with Wright’s preachings.

    So why should we think that Barak is sincere, since he and Michelle have belonged to the same congregation for 20years?

    As to the Press, why would you expect anything else from the mainstream media. They are the ones that put him where he is today.

  104. Turtle,

    You couldn’t be more wrong. Obama speech missed the mark, badly. Cynic is correct. The media built him up, and now he’s getting a taste of what Hillary was getting not to long ago. Not all the media loved it. I can tell you that people around the water cooler at work had a lot to say, and many who were critical were Democrats.

    The fact that he spent so much time praising Rev. Wright in his speech was not well-received. We didn’t want to hear about what a nice guy Rev. Wright was. What we all wanted to hear was a strong rejection of his anti-white, anti-American sentiment. We got a few token sentence mixed in somewhere.

    Then he shifted the topic to related topics on black/white issues … the problem is that he never closed the loop on what should have been a clear condemnation of Rev. Wright and his comments. He should have quit the church. Much like the way, George Bush Sr. was forced to quit the all white golf club back in the 90s.

    Average white people (not diehard liberal activists) have a new distrust of Obama. Everyone has been hoodwinked into believing Obama is something new and different. He’s different alright. He’s a step in the wrong direction; if he can’t condemn Rev. Wright, how can he unite America?

    We listened to the same speech. Yet you found his measily comments satisfying. The rest of us felt outrage. I’m sure Obama didn’t want to have this discussion. But at least we know what he really thinks.

    I wonder how his Grandmother is making out now that he made sure everyone in town thinks she’s a racist. What a class act. I still can’t get over that one. Even Jimmy Carter didn’t throw drunken Billy under the bus.

    Really disappointing. And you just don’t seem to see it.

  105. turtle

    …Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way.

    But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

    If that’s not good enough for you, what on earth do you want the man to say? Do you really think Obama is a racist? Anyone who has read Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, and who has been watching Obama since he burst onto the national scene, knows that he’s a patriot and an American nationalist, and that he has a sophisticated grasp of the problems that bedevil this country. Do you really want a President McCain who is in lockstep with Bush’s disastrous policies? “Maverick” McCain is the most cynical of flip-floppers, and you know it and I know it.

    I dislike Wright’s rhetoric, but between anyone here and Rev. Wright, who has done the most for “the least of these” for over thirty years? You’re a Christian, aren’t you, so it’s a fair question.

  106. Cynic

    In 2000 you liberals and the media wanted George Bush skinned alive for daring to just speak a Bob Jones U., because of the schools policies. We’re talking 1 visit here, not 20yrs.

    There was no forgiveness on the part of you liberals. No understanding.

    I think his wife elicited both their true feelings with her comment on finally being proud of this country.

    As to his sophisticated grasp on the problems, it is called Socialism. Nothing new. Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, etc all preceded him.

  107. turtle

    Hilarious. I guess since Obama can no longer be accused of being a Muslim Manchurian candidate you can always compare him to Stalin.

    Ask me about those liberal baby-eating Satanic rituals sometime…

  108. Turtle, those paragraphs speak to my point.

    I’m sure Rev. Wright has good qualities, I never accused him of being the devil. But I also think Rev. Wright harbors anti-White, anti-American sentiment. I’ve seen the clips too. He was pretty darn passionate, it didn’t seem to me as if he was getting up on the wrong side of the bed one day.

    And Barack does have a point. We only have those clips, I would bet those 7 or 8 clips are probably the tip of the iceberg for what’s been heard their for 20 years. Doesn’t make it right.

    Neither does it make it right that he so happened to be a soldier, or has spoken at fancy meetings, or feeds homeless people. Hey guess what. Adolf Hitler fed poor people, spoke at fancy meetings, and he was even a veteran of WWI. And he’s still one of history’s most evil creatures. Everyone probably has some good points.

    Now I’m not suggesting Rev. Wright is Hitler. But the personal accolates don’t do much for me, they are misplaced. I see Rev. Wright as a racist, getting up in front of his church each week, faning the flames of hate. I didn’t see anything helpful in G-dming the USA. Did you? So you get some Christian talk and then you get “rally against Whitey”? There is something inconsistent there.

    That kind of talk has no place. David Duke has no place either.

    And I see Barack as an apologist for Rev. Wright. That’s what’s done him in for me.

    Condemnation would have went a long way. And he could have done it quickly and earnestly. And without reference to his grandmother. But he didn’t do it. No, he hates white people, but feeds poor people… so?

    Ask for his grasp of the issues. We really haven’t heard much detail from ANY candidate. We’ve heard plenty about what they like and don’t like. That’s pretty simple to do for anyone. Where’s the beef? Hillary, Obama – seem similar to me. Wanting National Healthcare? Everyone wants free stuff, problem is that its just “not free”.

    You are right about Hillary though. She’s phoney. But she’s not sitting in a powderkeg church listening to language that probably would be considered enough to incite a riot.

    But there is no law against hating people. If Rev. Wright hates white people or things the government hates black people, then he’s entitled to think whatever he wants. I just don’t want MY president defending Wright’s character and dismissing his sermons as “just clips on youtube.” And I don’t want my President attending for 20 years and thinking “nothing of it.”

  109. And you know Turtle. One thing that really irks me. He says Rev. Wright is his family friend for years and years. Do you really think he doesn’t know how Rev. Wright thinks or feels about all of this? Of course he does. He chose to befriend Rev. Wright and attend his Church. He could have gone to a dozen other Churches that didn’t spew hate from the lectern.

    But he does like many of us do. We find a place of worship where we are comfortable. Rev. Wright’s rhetoric and thinking must have been just right.

    You can’t have it both ways. Bottom line… Barack and his family attend there because they agree with the thoughts and ideology of black liberationism, no matter how extreme it is. So there you have it. It’s pretty simple.

  110. turtle

    Oh boy. First it was Stalin et al. and now King has played the Hitler card. Boo!

    Those are some fast and loose assertions about Wright “getting up in front of his church each week, fanning the flames of hate”. You know this how? Trinity is the largest UCC chapter with over 8,000 parishioners, including whites. Where’s the evidence that Trinity runs a great big racist hatefest every Sunday?

    No, I don’t like hearing “God damn America” and several of Wright’s remarks are sheer demagoguery, but given the country’s racist history and the truly alarming conditions of the urban poor I can appreciate Wright’s agitation. I don’t care for his rhetoric, but it’s no mystery why Obama would have been drawn to Wright: they were both active in trying to improve the lives of poor black people in Chicago, the church is a powerful institution in the black community, and Trinity is the biggest and most influential black church in Chicago.

    I agree with you that Obama made some disingenuous statements in trying to distance himself from Wright, but Occam’s Razor, I believe Obama when he says there’s more to Wright than these infamous videos, and ultimately I’m not that concerned with the crackpot views of Obama’s pastor, since I like Obama’s views, and Obama’s the guy who’s running for president.

    If you want some beef read The Audacity of Hope. It’s good.

  111. turtle

    And furthermore, we in the land of the free are at liberty to criticize the government. If Wright is outraged by America, that is his privilege as a citizen.

  112. Cynic

    No one said Wright could not criticize the govt., the question was how could Obama stay in a Church ( or any other institution) while this vile rhetoric was spewed.

    Most people when they disagree with the policies of their Church or organiztion’s leaders would either try to replace them or move on to a more compatible Church. Which goes back to the question of how could he have stayed there, exposing himself, wife and children to this vile hatered. It would appear that he either agrees with Wright or was pandering to the Congregation for votes, neither of which was what he presented himself to be.

  113. turtle

    I don’t know, Wright seems “compatible” with the more incendiary side of Christianity:

    Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

  114. turtle

    I finally got around to watching the full segments of Wright’s sermons from which the clips were cribbed, and Wright’s got a lot more going on than I gave him credit for.

    But since Cynic is content to ignore Obama’s lauded speech on race as well as his denunciations of Wright’s more egregious statements, here’s one of your own media guys calling it on the ginned-up controversies stoked by Fox News:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/21/wallace-obama-fox/

  115. Cynic

    I can only imagine what you’d be saying if Bush or MaCain had uttered a similar phrase: like “typical Black person”

  116. turtle

    Are you actually saying that McCain or Bush are victims of a double standard? That would be funny if it wasn’t grotesque.

  117. WIAMom

    Since entering America as a preteen, I learned quickly about the confusing phenomenon of unspoken racism. I learned it was OK to be told by White adults that they knew I was not really Black (they felt I was friendly) because I am from the West Indies. I learned that Blacks consider that I speak “White” and Whites consider that I “speak very well”. I learned that being approached by unfamiliar White students asking where they can buy “weed” should not offend me because I am Black and they just assumed I should have that knowledge. I learned to memorize my SAT scores (which I still know more than 20 years later) because I would have to recite them to my White friends who attempted to convince me that I got in to the University because of Affirmative Action. I learned, through the Provost office at school, that sexual assaults to my person by professors from other countries must be excused because they watch TV and think that is how Blacks are treated (several horror stories). I learned that my roomate will never again go to a party where everyone is darker than her because it made her too uncomfortable. I learned that my white friends would not sit by me in lecture halls or in cafeterias because they assumed I wanted to hang out just with other Blacks. I learned to accept that my boss can call me “little girl” or “young lady” (he was a couple of years older than me) because he was angry and that is not how he really thinks of me. I learned, through a mixed race friend (who looks White) that has been around executives who did not know his racial backround that “the man” really does not like me and is really out to get me.

    Thoughout these snippets of my life I still love America and understand Michelle Obama’s comment. I am truly proud to be an American now because we as a nation might finally be emerging from “the twighlight zone” that I have suffered in for so many years. I ask people to really listen and try to understand that things happen still in this country that are bittterly unjust, and because some of us speak out about it, does not mean we are un-American.

  118. Actually, they have too much class to say something like that turtle. But your team is doing a great job beating up on each other.

    From your comments above, criticizing the United States and its policies from a church pulpit justifies pulling that church’s protected tax status. His comments are not simply his right to utter during a religious service. And you know better.

    As for Reverened Wright… he doesn’t have much going for him any more. In fact, he never did. But you can defend him if you like. You can pick out sections of his speech that inspire you, and I’ll pick out those that offended me. Similiar tactics are used by Nazi sympathizers to attempt to find humanity in their fuehrer.

    I’m sort of surprised at your stance on this. But you are a party loyalist. I give you that.

    As for the notion that we’d emerge from the twilight zone if we had a black president. No, I don’t think so. But if we did have a black president, I guess we wouldn’t be hearing complaints about “ceilings” or “white man’s world” or all that other unhelpful rhetoric.

  119. turtle

    King,

    So you think McCain and Bush have “class”. Oh well, eye of the beholder.

    Also, you’ve overdetermined what I said about Wright, and it’s sleazy of you to keep making these references to Nazism. I’m not “inspired” by Wright and never said I was, but if you watch the extended clips of those sermons his more infamous remarks aren’t as jarring as they sound in isolation. It’s Wright’s job, after all, to expose hypocrisy. Although it seems to me hopeless to reconcile the actions of a modern superpower with Christian morality, I don’t begrudge a pastor for railing about it. I heard your Episcopalian clergy lambasting the Bush administration for its torture policy (although it was not during a service). Was that not their “right”?

    I do begrudge Wright for spreading the pernicious idea that the US government cooked up AIDS to wipe out African Americans. Even though I understand why African Americans would find such an idea plausible (and Wright seems to believe it–have you ever paused to wonder why?), it’s irresponsible of him to stoke this kind of paranoia. Still, are you going to deny that the history of racism in the United States is abominable? Are you going to deny that the United States has committed atrocities? If you insist, please do so without citing Hitler.

    It’s also funny you would call me a “party loyalist”. Hardly.

    You’re a fan of The National Review, aren’t you? Here’s Charles Murray, for heaven’s sake, on Obama’s race speech:

    But the other day he talked about race in ways that no other major politician has tried to do, with a level of honesty that no other major politician has dared, and with more insight than any other major politician possesses. Not bad.

  120. “Even though I understand why African Americans would find such an idea plausible (and Wright seems to believe it–have you ever paused to wonder why?)”

    Either you denounce him or agree with him. I’m having a hard time following you since you are all over the place on this issue. I know Obama supporters want to put this all behind them as soon as possible. Why do you seek common ground with someone so vile? If he’s making up nasty political propaganda from the Church lecturn, and claiming conspiracy against black people – and Mr. Obama can’t see fit to renounce him… .and I mean fully renounce him, then I can’t see Obama as any kind of unifier, let alone President.

    I’m probably “just a typical white” person. But you have to expect that this kind of language is offensive from someone seeking the highest office in the land. Not overheard, but intentionally uttered.

    The problem the Democrats have is that all around the water coolers, folks are wondering about Mr. Obama’s real feelings on the matter are. Obama’s sincerity is in question. He’s allegience to a racist black minister should raise questions. If McCain belonged to a Church where white nationalist spoke, you guys would be all over it. And if he dismissed the minister as wrong but still a great family friend; you’d be steaming too. Double standard as usual.

    As for what superdelegates do or don’t do come convention time, I’m not sure. Obama seems to be a liability at this point. Maybe the train has left the station, and Obama’s your guy. Sounds great to me.

    As for National Review, great magazine. but Murray’s praise goes too far. I’m sure if you scan NR you’ll find a few dissenting views. I saw quite a few articles from the left criticizing Obama, and continue to see open criticism of his recent behavior. And not every critical can be dismissed as a Hillary supporter, can they?

    I’m sure you won’t be surprised when John McCain wins in November. It’s pretty clear to all of us that its more likely that he’ll take independents and even Democrat’s votes.

    As for the Episcopal problem… that will eventually solve itself when a new Anglican church rises up from the ashes. Seems that the cash flow isn’t quite what it used to be. Gee, I wonder why?

  121. turtle

    You think the Episcopalian church’s position against torture is a “problem”?

    I don’t feel so absolutist about Wright to “denounce him or agree with him”, but I do feel absolutist about torture.

    Either you denounce it or you agree with it.

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