February 23, 2008

 

Two liberals discussing politics

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Titillating stuff for some, but if you're a snoozer when it comes to national affairs, check back soon for some fluff. This starts with a column by my friend N.


A New Moon on the Rise

By N

I see a bright new day coming. I see a new moon on the rise. I see the Republicans losing in a squeaker and the Democrats winning in the last few minutes of the Super-duper Bowl this November.

It has to be close. The fact that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were elected twice – the second time after it should have been pretty clear to most Americans that they had led us into an illegal war by untruths and deceptions – indicates a very strong sentiment for the Republican way of thinking as exemplified by Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney.

The fact is that another war has been going on among the people of America these past eight years. You could call it a Civil War, non-violent but absolutely an antagonistic and desperate battle between the two ways of thinking.

It makes perfect sense for Sen. John McCain to be way out in front of the Republican pack. From what I hear and read, I get the definite impression that the majority of Republicans feel that the Iraq War was right, is right and should be fought no matter how long it takes to achieve victory. That’s McCain’s main suit. That’s right up his alley. It’s what he’s been saying all along and saying it louder than any other candidate.

From what I read and hear from the news media, the economy is the number one issue among the voters, with the Iraq War coming in second. That may be so. Another big issue, especially among Republicans, is illegal immigration. Health care for all Americans has become a popular issue. Improving our education system is a traditional topic of concern.

Other concerns that have become traditional over the years include the “family values” factor, which usually translates into which candidate is able to pass themselves off as the most religious and especially the most Christian, with those in favor of a woman’s right to choose considered to have less “family values” than the strict anti-abortion people. Those who are in favor of allowing folks of the same sex to marry are considered to have less “family values” than those who believe it would destroy the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

There are other things that will factor in, regardless of whether or not people will admit it to the pollsters. These include the race factor. There are still many millions of Americans that would never vote for a black person. And there is the gender factor. There are many millions of Americans who would never vote for a woman to be president of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of its military.

Among the most important things that will factor in is the “dumb” factor. The “dumb” factor should never be underestimated. It is like the black matter or the invisible matter that fills much more of the universe than visible matter. When you hear it argued that one candidate has more “experience” than another, you are witnessing a type of reasoning that doesn’t take into account that George W. Bush has the experience of seven years as president, but he is still just as incompetent as he was the day he was presented the crown.

To tell the truth, it is the “dumb” factor on the part of the voting public that brought us to this point in our history. That’s why we’ve been engaged in this illegal war in Iraq for five years and why we’ve allowed the executive branch, with the complicity of Congress, to take away so much of our Constitutional rights and to Lord over us like a mighty Caesar.

In the end it will be the “dumb” factor that will make it a close race between the Republicans and Democrats this November. The extraordinary thing about it is that it will be close. That’s the scary thing. If the Republicans win, that will be the final straw that broke the back of American Democracy and America’s leadership role in the world, which will mean that not only will America be in serious trouble but the world itself will be in more trouble than it’s been in since World War II.

It all boils down to this Civil War between the Republican way of thinking and the Democrat way of thinking. For the most part, the Democrats have nothing to be proud of. Although they’ve managed to gain control of the House and the Senate, they have not removed us from Iraq and they have not gained an inch of ground in the battle to regain our Constitutional rights and restore the balance of power between our three branches of government.

As for the candidates for president, they are all thinkers. Even the current president, Mr. Bush, is a thinker. But there is a difference between each one in terms of the depth and wisdom of their thinking.

The deepest and wisest thinker of those still running is the former senator from Alaska, Mark Gravel, but he is not really in the race, because he is too far ahead of his time, as was Congressman Dennis Kucinich. In a world of lesser thinkers, the better thinkers will always be considered as odd balls beyond the pale of normal thought.

This leaves us on the Democrat side with Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, a woman and a black man, as the top contenders. Both are thinkers in the Democrat tradition of attempting to make the yoke a little easier to bear for the least of these, the poor and the dispossessed and marginalized.

They are similar in their beliefs that the Iraq War was wrong and needs to be brought to a quick end. Sen.Obama showed the better instincts by speaking out against the war while Sen. Clinton was voting with the majority to give Mr. Bush authority to use whatever force he thought necessary to remove the threat of Saddam Hussein, which, in effect, allowed him to brush aside the United Nations and enter into an illegal war, breaking International Law and the United Nations Charter which America had signed an oath to.

The person with the best instincts on such a serious matter shows the best judgment, and the most political courage when you consider how popular the rush for war was at that time. I knew what Mr. Bush was up to a couple of years before he did it, as did millions of other thinking Americans, but Sen. Clinton didn’t.

On top of that, when you are talking about real change and a new day coming, there’s something to be said about charisma, that ability of voice and vision, with a personality that causes a vivid impression on the senses and is able to carry the pulse and will of people, especially young people, Sen. Obama is the only candidate in the race, Republican or Democrat, that has it.

John F. Kennedy was a thinker with charisma. He was wet behind the ears when elected, but by the time of his last year in office you could see him stepping up to a higher level of wisdom and was beginning to realize that the only way to a lasting peace was through peace and respect between us and the Soviet Union. Had he lived, I believe he might have followed that wisdom to include all nations.

Like Kennedy, Obama may be a little wet behind the ears, but he’s a thinker who can hear the cries of the poor and he has good instincts when it comes to war and peace. And he’s got charisma, the kind that brings people together with a sense of hope and a belief that things can really change for the better.

Unlike Jack Nicholson, I believe he’s the best man for the job.


*******


N, but be careful what you wish for...

http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2008/02/13/barack-obama-establishment-man/

(From a Kucinich supporter who will likely not vote for Obama)

T


*******


T -

I think Kucinich would make a better president than Obama, because he is more wise and has more depth and breadth of vision in regards to war and peace, our Constitutional rights and the type of America that we should be. He's right in saying that Bush and Cheney should be impeached and tried for lying to Congress and the people. I think Gravel would be even better. His positions on war and peace are just as deep and wide as Kucinich, and maybe even a little deeper and a little wider. And I agree with his position on drugs. He thinks they should be legalized and regulated. I do too.

As for Larry Johnson's blog piece, I agree with him on the failure of the press to show the public what was really going on. But I was not impressed with anything else he had to say, especially his warning about a Kenya and Muslim connection, and fears that other bad things will come to light. I don't go for this type of thinking, because it is too close to the way that people like Ann Coulter think and I find the logic unimpressive.

As for Hilliary, I find her a little more politically oriented than Obama and too close in her thinking to her husband.

I think McCain, Huckabee and Romney are all too war-like, and therefore too bone-headed and dangerous to be good presidents. I think Ron Paul has the best vision on war and peace than the other Republicans, but I find him too radical in his conservative views. But still he would make a better president than the other Republican contenders.

As far as I'm concerned, the biggest danger that we face today is the way America makes war and causes war and is unable to see that war only begets war. We should be able to defend ourselves while at the same time waging peace and showing respect to all nations.
If nuclear war has not destroyed us all within the next 40 years, global warming will. We can't avoid nuclear war by bombing nations that are trying to get nuclear energy. It is not good logic. We've got to start respecting the sovereign rights of all nations and begin working with them as legitimate members within the family of nations.

N


*******


N -

I agree, the comment on the Kenya/muslim connection is specious. As for the logic of the rest of Larry Johnson's article, it's your prerogative to judge it on the merits, though I would say it's a far cry from the likes of Ann Coulter.

I've been no fan of Sen. Clinton, and I am undecided at this point whether I will support the Democratic nominee. That is based primarily on the DNC's tacit approval of freezing Kucinich out of the later debates (NBC is definitely on my shit list for that). But I see Obama supporter's not digging deep enough and going with pat "feelgoodism" from his very vague platform of "change." Why has he aligned himself with Bushhawk "Independent" Sen. Joe Lieberman instead of ardent war foe Sen. Russ Feingold or even his senior partner from Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin? What's up with his preachiness and alignment with anti-gay black ministers? Why did he go on a "values tour" with wingnuts like Pat Robertson and James Dobson? This and other things show me that Barack Obama is much further to the right than Hillary Clinton. He wants to bring everyone together and have a bipartisan lovefest? I don't see it happening until the Dems have the strength to show their ass when Republicans, who have done nothing to promote bipartisanship these past seven to possibly 30 years, want to throw a spanner in the works. Is Clinton any better? I think she'd make more of an effort to thwart obstructionism from the right, that's for damn sure.

Permit me the imposition of suggesting some further reading on the subject of Obama and his campaign:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/erica-jong/patriarchy1000-hillary_b_86408.html

http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh021308.shtml

http://www.taylormarsh.com/archives_view.php?id=27009

http://www.sacbee.com/111/v-print/story/649427.html

http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=529&Itemid=34

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0208/Claiming_theft.html


T


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T -

I don't know if the facts you give here are true, but for the sake of argument, let's say they are. None of that causes me to think Obama might be a two-faced snake in the grass, a war monger and a right winger who wants to allow greater influence by the Church in our government.
I see him as he appears to be and I take him at his word. I'm the same way with Clinton. I take her as she appears to be, and I believe she believes what she believes. I'm the same way with John McCain.

However, I also see McCain as a danger because of his positions on the Iraq War and his small, Bush-like mind. We really need to start moving in a more intelligent direction that has some sort of chance of bringing peace instead of more war.

After listening to Obama and Clinton for quite a bit, I've decided that he's more wise than the former first lady. And I think he has the charisma that is needed to bring the most people together and restore our standing around the world.

As for those other information links that you provided, I'm not much for that type of reading. I'm too lazy. I don't mind giving my opinion and responding to opinions, but I don't care much for reading the opinions of others. That's ironic since I'm a columnist that writes his opinions quite a bit. It takes all kinds, I guess.

N


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N -

I may end up warming to Obama but for now I see and hear too many inconsistencies to be comfortable voting for him much less supporting him. Sure, compared to McCain he's all that and a bag of chips, but frankly charisma seems a rather useless trait to me.

Like I said I'm no Clinton fan, and I may end up voting third party for the third time in 12 years. I hear rumors that Ralph Nader, the antithesis of charisma and who had endorsed Edwards, is thinking of another run - it would be my second vote for him. I understand and respect that a man of leisure such as yourself has little time to devote to investigating the opinions of professional opinion holders (it often seems a near-futile cause), so I'll part with an offering of this recent tidbit from liberal stalwart Paul Krugman:

"Will the next president be prepared to fight for an effective [economic recovery] plan?... Until recently, I thought the biggest political struggle facing the next president was likely to be over health care reform. But right now it looks as if the first thing on the next administration’s plate will have to be dealing with a weak economy. And if effective action isn’t forthcoming, the next president will suffer the fate of Jimmy Carter, who began his administration with words of uplift — 'Let us create together a new national spirit of unity and trust' — and ended up delivering America into the hands of the hard right."


Warmest Regards,

T
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Comments:
I don't like Obama. Every time I say that some Democrat blasts me, but whatever. I basically agree with all your points re the guy. He gives people the warm fuzzies, but you can't "work together" with the Right. WTF? How do you "compromise" on gay rights? Don't ask, don't tell -- that was a compromise. Civil unions. Second class status. His connection with the radical preachers is scary. Besides being anti-gay, they are also mostly anti-choice, I think.

I don't like any of the candidates. Haven't liked one since Bill Clinton (not that he did such a great job after all). But I think Hillary is more likely to fight for the core stuff, despite her wrong vote on the war. I supported it too back then because I didn't know what a fuckup it would turn out to be. Obama does get a point for that, but what else? Nothing that I can see.

I did like Obama a while back when I didn't know much about him. But now? No. That deal he did for his house was pure sleaze. The people who think he's above all that are just naive. Now that the money's pouring in, he's just like the rest of them. Bleh.

If Hillary gets it (doubtful now), I'll vote for her because IMO it's voting Bill back in, and even though he fucked up, he wouldn't be a bad choice in there again given the alternatives. But I can't see myself voting Obama or McCain. Don't know enough about Nader at this point to say.

Good post.
 
Miz UV - You and I, for similar but likely also different reasons, are not part of the Democratic Party's base, of which a large chunk are the type who will protest any questioning of St. Barack. As that kind of reminds me of the base on the other side of the aisle, it looks like my vote may again go to Nader, who I just heard announced his candidacy today. I assume his platform will be similar to 2000, that being that the two major parties are essentially the same.

I can see him getting some major flak from the Obama camp if their holiness is the nominee. But you know Nader's not in it to win it, but to hold the feet of those proclaiming a desire for change in D.C. to the proverbial fire. Change takes more than just the vagueness of vision, charisma, ambition and desire to accomplish. It takes the absolute stick-to-it-iveness of principle, something I'm convinced about with regards to Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nader but as yet not so much for Barack Obama.
 
"I don't know if the facts you give here are true"

??????


In other news, when the fuck has Nader ever managed to be helpful by running for President? He claims that he wants to discuss the issues, but he's as silent as a fart in an elevator BETWEEN the elections, when the issues still exist. In fact, I can PROMISE you an opportunity to vote for him much sooner than November.
 
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