Democrats, Primaries etc - Since I'm not sure where to put this one

Akash
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Postby Akash » Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:38 pm

Magilla, I'm certainly not claiming that Obama can't lose in November. Of course he can. My only point is, if he can't beat McCain, then neither could Hillary :p

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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:11 pm

Here's hoping we don't have to say "I told you so" in November.

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:21 pm

What else was there to argue? You stated that you prefered Hillary to Obama. That's your preference, I certainly can't argue with you about that. I addressed one part of your post that you were misinformed or just wrong about.

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Postby OscarGuy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:03 pm

I don't ever want to hear you complain again about people ignoring one part of your post and going full force at another part.
Wesley Lovell
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:27 pm

Speaking of Palestinians, neither of these douchebags will touch that issue (and when they have in the past, it's always the wrong touch). If Josh is embarrassed by Jews in Florida, then I'm embarrassed by the Democratic candidates.

THE NATION
CRISIS IN GAZA? NOT FOR OBAMA OR CLINTON...

Posted by John Nichols at 03/01/2008 @ 5:43pm


"Israeli aircraft and troops attacked Palestinian positions in northern Gaza on Saturday, killing at least 46 people and wounding more than 100 in the deadliest day of fighting in more than a year."

"Hamas says Israel bombs Gaza Interior Ministry"

"Gaza residents are told to boil drinking water as purifying chlorine runs out"

"Escalating fighting renews threats of an Israeli invasion of Gaza"

"Rice heads to Israel"

That's the news of the day.

The next president will have to deal with the reality of a humanitarian, political and military crisis in the Middle East that grows worse with each passing year because of the internationally recognized reality that the United States -- while profoundly influential in the region -- fails to operate as an honest or effective player.

So what is the response from the Barack Obama campaign on this desperate day?

"Barack makes a surprise stop at the Sombrero Festival in Brownsville, Texas," announces his website.

And what of the Hillary Clinton campaign?

"Our campaign announced that we've raised approximately $35 million in contributions for the month of February," declares her website.

Search as one might at mid-day, but you won't find a statement on the exploding crisis in the Middle East.

Of course these candidates are locked in a serious competition that may be heading for some sort of conclusion with Tuesday's Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont primaries. But couldn't they at least bother to appear interested in the challenges that one of them might face as president?

None of us should be unrealistic. It would be ridiculous at this point to expect Obama or Clinton to display the concern for the plight of innocent Palestinians evidenced by Jimmy Carter... or even by the recently-engaged George Bush.

But failing to even discuss the burgeoning crisis in the Middle East sends a signal that should trouble people on all sides of the debate.

Carter told me a few months ago that the only way for a president to make progress toward peace in the region is to begin working on Middle East issues even before taking the oath of office.

If knowledge, concern and evidence of determination are not on display from the start, said the president who forged functional relations between Israel and Egypt, it will be impossible to advance the arduous process of peacemaking.

That Obama and Clinton are not inclined to look up from their campaigning for long enough to address an international crisis is probably to be expected. But that doesn't make it any less unsettling. And if their current disengagement foreshadows things to come, then the talk of "change" that has so energized the 2008 presidential race will almost certainly turn out to have been just that: talk.
http://www.thenation.com/blogs/campaignmatters?bid=45&pid=293268

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 6:07 pm

Sabin wrote:I talked to my elderly Jewish relatives about who they would vote for. They have voted Republican only once or twice in this 80+ years and they said they would vote for McCain over Obama because "they didn't know about him." Meaning whether or not he would be good for the state of Israel. They cited Jimmy Carter as a President who was bad for Israel, casually forgetting the landmark peace agreements that he initiated. If enough Jews are similarly short on memory and casual in allying themselves with a country they don't live in, I fully expect Barack Obama to lose Florida. New York looks good, and California and Illinois are locks but Barack Obama needs Florida and there are enough old Jews there who only care about the security of the State of Israel who will vote for McCain, forgoing any future domestic policies in this country in lieu of a terrifying future where Obama takes office and is somehow "bad" for Israel. At this point, a loaf of white bread and a jar of mayo would be good for Israel. I'm embarassed.

I'm embarrassed for you. The fact that an idea about Israel has this much influence on our elections and our foreign policy is disgusting. Especially when the American media continues to be biased and so easily demonizes the Palestinians. The Israel Lobby's stranglehold on American foreign policy needs to end, man. This is fucking ridiculous.

Though it's always great to see a Jewish person taking the "alternative" position like you have, Josh. :)




Edited By Akash on 1204413673

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:51 pm

OscarGuy wrote:And something Magilla said I think has some resonance. Remember how in 2000 and 2004, we thought the young voter was going to turn out and turn the election to the Democrats? Then they didn't. Obama may be energizing them now, but most of them won't care come November when this whole thing has become a mere slugfest and has been dragging on four 9 months. Young voters are still an apathetic lot and no matter how much you believe Obama's going to pull them out, I wouldn't count on that entirely because young voters are notoriously fickle and will be gung-ho one minute and blasé the next.

You've gotta be kidding me. With all due respect, I have to defend the under-25 voter here. Young voters are part of the reason why the Democrats are having such huge turn outs in the Primaries and your statement completely ignores the ferver and passion young voters have displayed in this election. Turn on your TV dude! Interest in American politics has completely swept college campuses and every other place young people congregate. And it's because of Obama, not Hillary. If they're this passionate in the primaries because they want Obama in the White House, why would they not show up to vote if he actually gets the nomination? That reasoning makes no sense. The idea that it's impossible to get them in the polling booth has been disproven this year by the primaries. They're voting, and they're voting in record numbers. And the only way that could change is if Obama ISN'T the nominee.

Kerry in 2004 was completely uninspiring which is why he didn't get the numbers he was hoping for. And throughout the season, the numbers reflected that. The Democrats did not have the kind of turn out in the Primaries in 2004 that they have this year.

AND, you're actually wrong about 2004. The youth vote declined by 16 percentage points between 1972 and 2000, but in 2004, the youth vote actually INCREASED by 11 percentage points (you can read it here http://www.civicyouth.org/quick/youth_voting.htm) So much for fickle.




Edited By Akash on 1204413565

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Postby OscarGuy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:49 pm

I, for one, have given her no credence for her service under the president except in capacity as first lady where she pushed the boundaries of what First Ladies could do. She was far more like Eleanor Roosevelt than Barbara Bush. She did a great deal of good work as First Lady and whether she had any influence on or any involvement in his politics is purely coincidental.

And I've even said I don't agree with her stance on the war in Iraq and long ago I said something about her support of action on Iran. The problem is, I can't necessarily believe anything Obama has said. Whereas Clinton has actually acted, Obama seems to have sat back in his years in congress and coasted to this day. His words seem as blatantly full of false hope as Reagan once sounded. He doesn't strike me as a leader. He doesn't impact on me that he can be a capable president.

I may think Hillary's ok and that she doesn't support the DOMA repeal is certainly a negative point against her, I still think she stands a better chance of accomplishing things as president than does Hope Springs Eternal Obama.

That being said, my support for Hillary is only because I don't like Obama. If Edwards were still in the race, I wouldn't support either Hillary or Obama. And that's my problem with your characterization of me and my positions. I don't know how others feel, but I suspect Magilla and other Hillary supporters do so simply because Obama's not a better choice. Hillary's marginally better.

And something Magilla said I think has some resonance. Remember how in 2000 and 2004, we thought the young voter was going to turn out and turn the election to the Democrats? Then they didn't. Obama may be energizing them now, but most of them won't care come November when this whole thing has become a mere slugfest and has been dragging on four 9 months. Young voters are still an apathetic lot and no matter how much you believe Obama's going to pull them out, I wouldn't count on that entirely because young voters are notoriously fickle and will be gung-ho one minute and blasé the next.
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:01 pm

Thanks Damien. And thanks for making the good point that if Hillary (and her supporters) insist on giving her credit for the fortunes of the Bill Clinton years, then she must also incur the misfortunes. And anyone who read that three part Counterpunch article on her and Bill knows that she was always the more ambitious one of the two, and supported many of her husband's odious politically expedient but morally questionable tactics (bombing Baghdad etc).

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Postby Damien » Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:50 pm

Obama on DOMA:

"I also believe that the federal government should not stand in the way of states that want to decide on their own how best to pursue equality for gay and lesbian couples — whether that means a domestic partnership, a civil union, or a civil marriage. Unlike Senator Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether."


Or as one right-wing nut job site put it:

"OBAMA PLEDGES TO GUT MARRIAGE, FAMILY

I suppose it's good at least to know what we're getting from a candidate. So often they obfuscate and dodge, and won't really tell us what they stand for and what they plan to do. Not so for Barak Obama.

Baptist Press reports that Obama has pledged to the homosexual community to use the presidency to undermine marriage, family and the ability of people of faith to speak out about this dangerous and immoral lifestyle."
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:51 pm

Just to show that I'm not really a big fan of either one of them (and I'll post another article about Obama and the "Muslim smear" criticizing Obama in the Hillary vs. Obama thread).

ANTIWAR.COM
Democrats Offer Only Shallow Changes
by Alan Block


Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as they demonstrated in this week’s televised presidential debate, are firmly against the war in Iraq - Barack earlier but Hillary even more firmly than before. At least that’s what they say. It’s worth remembering that at a much later stage in the campaign in 2000 George W. Bush was touting the virtues of a humbler foreign policy and vowing that a Bush administration would be extremely reluctant to get involved in the ticklish business of nation-building.

However, they showed little or no inclination to look more deeply into the policy assumptions that underlie the war. They affirmed that the United States must remain the leader of the world, that it must keep an eye on Pakistan and help it to become more stable and democratic (having proven in Iraq how good we are at that little chore). They were willing to consider intervention, even military intervention, in Darfur, and the issuance of an ultimatum to Russia to the effect that the sacred independence of Kosovo so recently declared (and of no import to America’s core interests) would be defended with military might if necessary.

Specifically, Sen. Obama veered from a question that was essentially about judgment and experience in foreign affairs and didn’t necessarily require a disquisition on particular policy choices, felt obliged to say this:

“So on Pakistan, during the summer I suggested that not only do we have to take a new approach towards Musharraf but we have to get much more serious about hunting down terrorists that are currently in northwestern Pakistan.

“And many people said at the time well, you can’t target those terrorists because Musharraf is our ally and we don’t want to offend him. In fact, what we had was neither stability in Pakistan nor democracy in Pakistan, and had we pursued a policy that was looking at democratic reforms in Pakistan we would be much further along now than we are. So on the critical issues that actually matter I believe that my judgment has been sound and it has been judgment that I think has been superior to Senator Clinton’s as well as Senator McCain’s.”

To be sure, Sen. Obama did not, as he clarified later for Sen. Clinton, essentially say that we should be bombing Pakistan whether Pakistan likes it or not. But he did say “we have to get much more serious about hunting down terrorists,” which means either direct intervention, indirect intervention, or active bullying of the Pakistani government to do it for us - in an area that no central government in Pakistan has ever effectively ruled.

Obama was as vague as usual on just what concrete policies might be implied by the admonition to pursue “a policy that was looking at democratic reforms in Pakistan.” But it’s not especially humble to be dictating policy to another country, even if it is ostensibly good policy in the abstract.

Sen. Clinton was no more humble. In response she bragged that:

“Well, I have put forth my extensive experience in foreign policy, you know, helping to support the peace process in Northern Ireland, negotiating to open borders so that refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing would be safe, going to Beijing and standing up for women’s rights as human rights and so much else.”

Those all sound pretty fine in the abstract, and perhaps they were helpful to the cause of human rights and perhaps even to the countries in question if the country is Northern Ireland. But they have little or nothing to do with the core interests of the United States of defending our territory from attack and minimizing the dangers that Americans face from foreign troublemakers. It seems to be a tenet of the people we call “liberal” in this country that they will use the hard and soft power of the United States abroad mainly if U.S. core interests are not involved. To focus on U.S. interests would be selfish, you see.

A bit later on, in response to a question about al-Qaeda possibly being reconstituted in Iraq after a U.S. troop withdrawal, Sen. Obama wasn’t all that shy about considering yet another intervention:

“Now, I think that we can be in a partnership with Iraq to ensure the stability and the safety of the region, to ensure the safety of Iraqis and to meet our national security interests.”

To be sure, he followed that up by saying “we have to send a clear signal to the Iraqi government that we are not going to be there permanently.” The assumption, however, that because he is a Democrat he would be able to undertake a quick get in, promote stability and get out operation is worthy of plenty of skepticism..

Later, the conversation turned to Russia, and both candidates seemed to be saying that Putin is an authoritarian baddie (true enough), but to complain that it was because the Bush policy toward Russia was “incoherent” (Clinton) and faulty because, as Obama put it, referring to Bush:

“He then proceeded to neglect our relationship with Russia at a time when Putin was strangling any opposition in the country when he was consolidating power, rattling sabers against his European neighbors, as well as satellites of the former Soviet Union. And so we did not send a signal to Mr. Putin that, in fact, we were going to be serious about issues like human rights, issues like international cooperation that were critical to us. That is something that we have to change. ”

The implication is that somehow, if the U.S. had been more “engaged” with Russia in a constructive way, maybe Putin wouldn’t have turned so authoritarian, as if words from Obama, more than from Condi Rice, would have been more persuasive in causing Putin to abandon what he perceived to be his self-interest. The implicit assumption is that somehow American influence can be a magical tool to bring about sweetness and light in the world at large.

One might hope, if one of these two becomes president, that he (or she) would begin an orderly withdrawal from Iraq as quickly as feasible. But it’s dispiriting that neither is ready even to begin the process of questioning whether the United States needs to keep troops in so many countries of the world or to view the rest of the world as merely a province of the United States, cosseted by the watchful eye of the Mother Eagle.

http://www.antiwar.com/bock/?articleid=12446




Edited By Akash on 1204401091

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:44 pm

I've never seen you criticize her at all Oscar Guy. That was my point. Or (I don't want to make this about Oscar Guy) any of the Hillary backers here, to be honest. Nothing single minded about it. And some of you just dodge criticisms of her entirely.

And when you said, "So really throwing the gay card in there is a touch misleading" YOU were actually being misleading, considering that she continues to support D.O.M.A and Obama doesn't, so that actually is something we can compare them on. She more recently said she would consider repealing the part about federal benefits, but won't repeal the statute entirely, whereas Obama wants to repeal it entirely. So I wasn't being misleading by "throwing out the gay card."

And if there's any characteristic that's "criddic-like" it's blindly supporting a leader with no filter for criticism.




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Postby OscarGuy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:39 pm

I never said she has done nothing wrong, Akash. But of course you're so closed-minded that anyone who says anything different than you obviously hasn't said anything. You're as singular minded as Criddic is, just on different issues.
Wesley Lovell

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." - Benjamin Franklin

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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:29 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Will they change their minds if Bloomberg is Obama's running mate?

What if the preponderance of "old" people everywhere vote for McCain and Obama's pasionate young supporters become worn out, tired and stay home in the general election?

What if the large numbers of independants and crossover Republicans who have voted for Obama in the primaries are only voting for him to keep Hillary from getting the nomination and vote Republican in the national election after all?

There are still way too many "ifs" out there.

Of course Magilla, but the point is, if Obama can't beat McCain, then neither can Hillary. She is running third in the recent national polls; McCain beats her by 12 points and Obama beats McCain by 7 points. Also the undeniable influx of new voters brought in by the Obama campaign -- young and independents -- are less likely to show up and vote at all if Hillary is the nominee. It's really that simple.




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Postby Akash » Sat Mar 01, 2008 2:26 pm

Damien is correct Oscar Guy. Both Obama and Hillary are "against gay marriage" (meaning, they have to say this because a lot of Americans are against gay marriage) but they're both in favor of civil unions. Obama though has been more vocal in denouncing homophobia and has come out AGAINST the homophobic Defense of Marriage Act that Bill Clinton signed into law.

To be fair yes, Hillary has wavered on Don't Ask Don't Tell (and even criticized it) but she has supported DOMA and said that she would have voted for the Defense of Marriage Act herself. But I can see how defending Hillary against any attack is more important than something you believe in.

Say what you want, but at least I know Obama is a disappointing lesser of two evils, and I'm willing to call him out on his many, many flaws (most recently his response to the "Mulsim" charge, which shouldn't be seen as a "charge" at all, and I posted an article that criticized him for validating that established paradigm). But Hillary supporters are something else entirely man. She can do no wrong. Amazing.




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