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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 1:38 am 
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If I was a man, I think I would feel the same way.

I don't intend that to be snarky - it's the truth. Both barriers apply to my life (though it is probably highly relevant that I am of Indian descent, not black) - so my personal gut feelings stems from the sexism I have seen and experienced, which has far exceeded the racism (I've had conversations with black women who have communicated the reverse, so I question whether my position would be the same if I was black). This has led me to feel that I have far more in common with white women than minority men; I wouldn't see any part of myself in Obama (except for the attorney part :P) - but I feel a powerful sense of identification with Hillary.

I want "he or she" to be a viable way to refer to the President. I will always remember the 8th grade discussion where some of my female classmates disputed the parental lie (as they saw it) that they could be anything that they wanted to be - "A woman can't be President, for instance; no one would vote for her because the President is supposed to be a guy." I want people to think about the "most powerful person in the world" and realize that that person can be a woman. I want boys and girls of all ages to see and mentally adjust to a woman calling the shots, giving the orders, directing the country... and to realize that that doesn't make her an uppity bitch who doesn't know her place, but a strong woman able to do a job that requires strength; I want a new generation of boys becoming men who have seen that, grown up with that, who are not (as) threatened by it. I want the leaders of the various departments of the federal government to adjust to being commanded-in-chief by a woman for the first time - many of them having come of age at a time when they reported only to men. I want foreign leaders of various nations to learn to put aside THEIR prejudices, to realize that diplomacy requires them to meet and negotiate with a woman even if that is uncomfortable to them (and make no mistake, it will be much harder for some of them to negotiate with a woman of any race than a black man.)

Most of all, I want our first female President to open the door for others. I want every woman who aspires to political office not to question whether her gender is a fatal barrier to her dream of serving her country. I am mindful of just how audacious these hopes are - and Barack Obama cannot fulfill them for me. As someone whose country has never been led by a female leader, I can't stop considering these things no matter how much I try (and I have tried.) If Hillary was a viable candidate whose positions looked like Mike Huckabee's (or John McCain's), I would not vote for her. But there are few major issues on which I wholly disagree with her stance. So yes, her gender tips the balance, barring any major developments in her campaign or Obama's in the next few days.

As we do not live in a genderblind world, I refuse to pretend that we do. But these are stigmatized sentiments to express. How ironic, that the same patriarchal society that has ensured we have not had a female President to date, now dictates (in the name of gender-blindness - how magnanimous!) that we cannot consider the societal ramifications of having a female President - because that would be doing something other than selecting the "best qualified candidate." I say that smashing a glass ceiling that holds back fifty percent of America's population is one damn good qualification, for starters.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:18 am 
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CNN has called Florida for McCain!

Maybe what little discussion of the Republican campaign there is should be somewhere else?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:33 am 
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I think it’s fine here.

John McCain has won Florida, abliet narrowly.

Giuliani came a distant third – he’s done for. Mike Huckabee pulled a narrow fourth. Clinton has thumped Obama in the meaningless Democratic contest.

The electorate was (unsurprisingly) weighted to the older end of the demographic scale. On the Democratic side, it was heavily female.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:13 am 
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Faramond, I think it's fine either way. I'm happy to continue to have discussion of the Republic campaign here, or to have it be in a separate thread.



In regards to McCain's victory in Florida, strongly solidifying his position as the Republican front-runner, I have decidedly mixed feelings. I do admire him personally more than any of the other Republican candidates. But his positions on most issues are so far away from my own (particularly Iraq, but also social issues) that I very much do not want to see him become president much more than any of the other Republican candidates. And that is why I have mixed feelings, because I believe that he is the only Republican candidate that has a good chance of winning in November.



Now, turning to nel's comments. nel, I actually agree with you that breaking the gender barrier is "more important" than breaking the racial barrier, because of simple mathematics: there are many more woman than there are African-Americans (or people of color of any type other than white, for that matter) in America. If there were two candidates, one a black man and the other a white woman, that I judge equal or very close to equal, I would likely support the female candidate for that reason(unless, of course, there was a white male candidate that I judged to be superior to both). And I agree with you that there is not a huge difference between Clinton and Obama on the issues. But where there is a huge difference between them is in their integrity (at least as I perceive it) and that is as important to me as their positions on the issues. You yourself pointed out that Clinton on so many issues " seems to have tested out all the positions for size before picking one that seemed politically expedient." I read that Chronicle article too, and I think the author missed an important point. Obama and his advisers no full well that supporting driver's licenses for illegal immigrants is not a politically expedient position, and that the votes that he will lose because of that position is likely to outweigh any gains in the Hispanic community. But when he takes a position, he generally remains steadfast. That is what raises him above Hillary Clinton, even more than his oratorical skills and ability to inspire.

I also do take exception to one thing that you wrote.

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And it is particularly ironic to me that those who contend Hillary has no more relevant experience that Obama are quick to point to a long laundry list of errors that Hillary has allegedly made (which apparently were not done within the course of Hillary getting "relevant experience").


At least here in this thread, I am the main person who has made the contention that Clinton has no more relevant experience than Obama, and I most definitely have not pointed to a "laundry list of errors" that she has allegedly made. Nor have I seen anyone else point. I will say again that the vast majority of her professional life was spent as corporate defense attorney, and that that experience does not qualify as the type of public service experience that she claims to have (which again goes to the integrity/trustworthy issue). I notice that no one has responded to the question that I posed earlier about what legislative initiatives she has shepherded into law in her legislative career. I ask again: is anyone aware of any?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 3:51 am 
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While I hate to get dragged into these inevitable discussions on race and gender that surround the Democratic contest, there’s one other thing I have to add. Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly any sort of ideal feminist candidate – her pre-Senate experience comes from being the wife of a Governor, then a President, and her own run for the Presidency is largely driven by support from within the Democratic political machine that her husband has built for her. She would be far more impressive as a female candidate if she had risen to a winning position on her own merit. Critically, I’m not convinced that she could have.

I’m also not sold on this whole shattering glass ceilings and breaking barriers rhetoric, either for Obama or Clinton. For example, in 1979, Great Britain elected a female Prime Minister for the first time in its history. By and large, this changed nothing. There had been a steady increase in the number of women in Parliament and positions of power before her election, and it continued afterwards. There wasn’t any sort of sudden shift in the political or social landscape, not do I believe that future generations of Britons, male or female, were necessarily more willing to accept female leadership due to Thatcher’s example.

Similarly, my state recently got its first female Premier, and there hasn’t been any sort of visible change. After the first day or two, it was basically ignored. I think that, these days, women in positions of power and authority are common enough for people not to bat an eyelid when they become heads of Government. Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic primary and the general election would be a symptom of this, not a cause. What you’re left with when the initial fanfare has died down (usually within 48 hours) you’re left with someone who needs to Govern a country. I see no reason that Clinton couldn’t, but I really hate to think that there are people voting her in the primaries purely to have the experience of those first 48 hours without thinking of the next four years. Not quite as much as I hate the thought of people voting for Clinton in the primaries because Obama is black (and, based on demographics and Clinton’s strong support among older and Latino Democrats, I fear that to be the case), but I still don’t like it. I don’t really like the thought of people voting for Obama simply because he’s black, either, but he can’t win the primaries simply with the support of his own identity-politics constituency. Clinton can.

In other news, county-level maps of the Florida vote. No real surprises – on the Republican side, Huckabee was strong in the north while McCain and Romney more or less carved the rest of the state up between them. On the Democratic side, Edwards and Obama shared the north while Clinton won the rest.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:35 am 
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Well, tonight was Nerdanel's: Hillary walloped Obama in Florida. Of course, there are no delegates, so it's something of a beauty contest. There may be a distasteful racial issue brewing, but in this case it's not racial prejudice on the part of whites, but on the part of Hispanics- enormous blocs among the Dems of California and Texas.

McCain is still gathering steam: not only did he win a closed primary w/o independent support, in a state where the Republicans tend to be God 'n' Guns sorts, despite being outspent five to one by Romney, but reports are that Giuliani will endorse him when he drops out.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:24 am 
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V,

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But where there is a huge difference between them is in their integrity (at least as I perceive it) and that is as important to me as their positions on the issues. You yourself pointed out that Clinton on so many issues " seems to have tested out all the positions for size before picking one that seemed politically expedient." I read that Chronicle article too, and I think the author missed an important point. Obama and his advisers no full well that supporting driver's licenses for illegal immigrants is not a politically expedient position, and that the votes that he will lose because of that position is likely to outweigh any gains in the Hispanic community. But when he takes a position, he generally remains steadfast. That is what raises him above Hillary Clinton, even more than his oratorical skills and ability to inspire.


Yes, that is significant to me. And Ms. Clinton lost my genuine support due to her "expedient" approach to an issue near and dear to my heart. General Pace, some months ago, came out in favor of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," stating that homosexuality was immoral behavior. Hillary's first comment was that she would "leave it up to others to decide" whether homosexuality was immoral. Within 24 hours, gays and allies had clued her into the fact that she said the wrong thing, and she immediately took the decision away from others whether homosexuality was immoral, opining:

Quote:
Well, I've heard from a number of my friends and I've certainly clarified with them any misunderstanding that anyone had, because I disagree with General Pace completely. I do not think homosexuality is immoral. But the point I was trying to make is that this policy of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is not working. I have been against it for many years because I think it does a grave injustice to patriotic Americans who want to serve their country. And so I have called for its repeal and I'd like to follow the lead of our allies like, Great Britain and Israel and let people who wish to serve their country be able to join and do so. And then let the uniform code of military justice determine if conduct is inappropriate or unbecoming. That's fine. That's what we do with everybody. But let's not be eliminating people because of who they are or who they love.


That's when I realized (be patient with me, I'm a young'un) that Hillary was so deeply ambitious that she would (in the parlance of a favorite show of mine, Queer as Folk), "say anything, do anything, f*ck anything" to get elected. I apologize for the profane expression, but that is really what I think of her. I think that her actions will consistently reflect the political consensus, and I do not believe she will be a friend to any group whose needs contradict the political consensus (as her stance on illegal immigration proves.) I am no wholesale fan of hers. Apart from the female commonality, the part of me that can relate to her is a part of which I am not necessarily proud - the part that will "say anything, etc." (within, in my case, basic ethical parameters) to achieve goals. I'm not so quick to condemn her because I can relate to her strong and passionate (if often calculating) approach to achieving her goals. I don't automatically believe that's a bad thing for our country. (In fact, as someone who (to some extent) shares that tendency of hers, I am sensitive to the extent I perceive her to be more greatly condemned for it because she is a woman. And yes, I absolutely think that sexism plays into that critique of her.)

If we are to distinguish between someone who will do what politics dictates and someone who will act according to his innate sense of what is right, I need to understand what the practical ramifications of the distinction are. (The latter is not automatically a positive; indeed, GWB has often acted according to his innate sense of what is right. Few things have been as tragic to our country for recent years.) Where Hillary's positions are so similar to Barack's, I have yet to be convinced that the distinction is tenable. Indeed, Hillary's ability to be practically electable (i.e. to compromise positions and goals) may be an ASSET in the coalition building necessary to govern at the federal level.

Quote:
At least here in this thread, I am the main person who has made the contention that Clinton has no more relevant experience than Obama, and I most definitely have not pointed to a "laundry list of errors" that she has allegedly made. Nor have I seen anyone else point.


I have not followed this thread as closely as I should (partly for reasons I have already shared with you). I can truthfully state I was not referring to anything you said. I was thinking of (1) remarks made by Obama's stand-in at a political proxy debate for the four remaining Democratic candidates, at an event I attended last night at the SF Jewish Community Center and (2) remarks made by Obama supporters at recent San Francisco Young Democrats events that I have attended. It was not intended as a pointed remark at you. I apologize if it came across as such; you simply weren't on my mind when I said that.

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I will say again that the vast majority of her professional life was spent as corporate defense attorney, and that that experience does not qualify as the type of public service experience that she claims to have (which again goes to the integrity/trustworthy issue).


:blackeye: Well, I will be the last person to decline to vote for someone because of her corporate defense attorney past, although I know that corporate defense-side law firms are not your favorite entities. ;)

In her defense, I would gently remind readers that Hillary also participated in the following during her law years:
- Member, Yale Review of Law and Social Action
- Student intern/postgraduate worker, Yale Child and Study Center
- Student volunteer, New Haven Legal Services
- Student intern, Marian Wright Edelman's Washington Research Project (research on migrant workers' issues)
- Student intern, Treuhaft, Walker & Bernstein (Bay Area; worked on child custody cases)
- Staff attorney and later Chair, Children's Defense Fund (Cambridge, MA)
- Consultant, Carnegie Counsel on Children
- Staff attorney, House Committee on the Judiciary (Watergate)
- Lecturer/Professor (not sure of title), University of Arkansas, Fayetteville School of Law
- Co-founder, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
- Chair, Board of Directors, Legal Services Corporation
- Chair, Arkansas Rural Health Advisory Committee (to be fair, this was under her husband's administration)
- Chair, Arkansas Educational Standards Committee (ditto)
- Chair, ABA's Commission on Women in the Presidency
- Board member, Arkansas Children's Hospital Legal Services
- Published policy articles on children's/family law in major publications, including Yale Law Journal

Oh yes, and by the way, during that time, she broke ANOTHER glass ceiling by becoming the first female partner in her corporate law firm (as one of millions of women who is following in her footsteps, I believe that we have to thank her, not condemn her, for participating - and succeeding - in the corporate law firm world at a time when women were severely discriminated against for even trying. The job I do every day would not have been open to me without the thousands of women, of which Hillary was one, who paved the way when the going was painfully difficult.) As a corporate defense-side attorney with long-term public service aspirations, I must strongly protest any insinuation that corporate law firm work disqualifies someone for said public service - especially when one remains as committed to finding time to serve the public interest as Ms. Clinton's resume indicates. (and, if someone does find the time, then it seems to me that they are entitled to cite their public interest endeavors, notwithstanding their corporate law background) I am learning firsthand the hours required in the world of corporate law, and I admire anyone who could remain partner track while indulging as many public interest assays as she was able to do. I am satisfied, based on the professional affiliations I have quoted above, that she is amply justified to claim public service experience (and I strenuously disagree that it calls her integrity into question if she claims said experience.) Quite frankly, very few people that I know of, beginning with me, have done (or even hope to do) nearly as much in the public interest.

L_M, I'd like to respond to your point about glass ceilings, but unfortunately, it will not happen tonight.

_________________
I won't just survive
Oh, you will see me thrive
Can't write my story
I'm beyond the archetype
I won't just conform
No matter how you shake my core
'Cause my roots, they run deep, oh

When, when the fire's at my feet again
And the vultures all start circling
They're whispering, "You're out of time,"
But still I rise
This is no mistake, no accident
When you think the final nail is in, think again
Don't be surprised, I will still rise


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:49 am 
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nel, it is always a pleasure to engage with you about important issues, even (or perhaps even particularly), when we don't agree. I'm going to ponder the points that you made and respond tomorrow (assuming that I have anything worthwhile to say in response).

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:53 am 
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Well, I think sexism is a large part of why people do not like Hillary Clinton -- the visceral response she inspires in some is, I think, particularly visceral because she's a do-or-die, principles-be-hanged FEMALE politician.

But unfortunately when the principles she's willing to sell down the river for the sake of political safety/success are (1) don't kill people (Iraq), and (2) don't be mean to people just because they're different from you (gay rights) -- then she loses me.

And even if she were not a sell-out on issues such as peace and human justice, I would not want her to be the Democratic candidate if, indeed, it's true that so many people hate her (even if the reasons are sexist) that she would lose the election.

The Bush administration has been a disaster for the country and for the world. In the end, the long-term health of the world is the most important thing, I think.

If Americans turn right around after these eight horrendous years -- after watching the Bush administration cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people by starting an unnecessary war -- and elect ANOTHER member of the same party as Bush, then I fear that the rest of the world is going to think we really are greedy, thoughtless, bloodthirsty amnesiacs.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:12 am 
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While I hate to get dragged into these inevitable discussions on race and gender that surround the Democratic contest, there’s one other thing I have to add. Hillary Clinton isn’t exactly any sort of ideal feminist candidate – her pre-Senate experience comes from being the wife of a Governor, then a President, and her own run for the Presidency is largely driven by support from within the Democratic political machine that her husband has built for her. She would be far more impressive as a female candidate if she had risen to a winning position on her own merit. Critically, I’m not convinced that she could have.

I’m also not sold on this whole shattering glass ceilings and breaking barriers rhetoric, either for Obama or Clinton. For example, in 1979, Great Britain elected a female Prime Minister for the first time in its history. By and large, this changed nothing. There had been a steady increase in the number of women in Parliament and positions of power before her election, and it continued afterwards. There wasn’t any sort of sudden shift in the political or social landscape, not do I believe that future generations of Britons, male or female, were necessarily more willing to accept female leadership due to Thatcher’s example.

Similarly, my state recently got its first female Premier, and there hasn’t been any sort of visible change. After the first day or two, it was basically ignored. I think that, these days, women in positions of power and authority are common enough for people not to bat an eyelid when they become heads of Government. Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic primary and the general election would be a symptom of this, not a cause. What you’re left with when the initial fanfare has died down (usually within 48 hours) you’re left with someone who needs to Govern a country. I see no reason that Clinton couldn’t, but I really hate to think that there are people voting her in the primaries purely to have the experience of those first 48 hours without thinking of the next four years. Not quite as much as I hate the thought of people voting for Clinton in the primaries because Obama is black (and, based on demographics and Clinton’s strong support among older and Latino Democrats, I fear that to be the case), but I still don’t like it. I don’t really like the thought of people voting for Obama simply because he’s black, either, but he can’t win the primaries simply with the support of his own identity-politics constituency. Clinton can.


Wot L.M. sed.

Likewise if Obama won, the surprise that a black man was President would last 48 hours. Then he simply becomes another leader. It is the qualities of the person that matters not their demographic identity.
As a side issue Margaret Thatcher may have broken a glass ceiling over here but she made pretty sure it was reinstalled pretty sharpish. It took the Labour administration of 1997 to bring women into the process of government in enough numbers so that the sex of a government minister is hardly noticed now.
But then we have been used to women leaders over here for more than 500 years. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:33 pm 
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Edwards is dropping out

It's a two horse race now. It will be interesting to see how this effects the other two, but I can't help but think it will help Obama. Edwards has not, however, endorsed either candidate at this point.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:43 pm 
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I was pretty surprised to see that. I do think that it will help Obama, but only time will tell.

Less surprising is the news that Guiliani is also dropping out. The word is that he will be endorsing McCain. I would be pretty surprised if McCain didn't win the Republican nod at this point. But in this crazy election year, who really knows? After all, he was almost entirely written off as viable candidate this past summer (and most people were assuming that Guiliani was almost unbeatable).

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Teremia wrote:
If Americans turn right around after these eight horrendous years <snip> and elect ANOTHER member of the same party as Bush, then I fear that the rest of the world is going to think we really are greedy, thoughtless, bloodthirsty amnesiacs.

I think it's very likely, now that we are saddled with the two least electable Democrats, though I think Hillary has a better chance in the general election than Obama. Obama is getting a very small percentage of the white vote except among youth and the highly educated. We've pretty much guaranteed another Republcian president by narrowing the choice to the two Democratic candidates with the greatest negatives, clever voters that we are.

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I think Clinton could win against Romney, if for no other reason than the religious right will run screaming from a Mormon. She wouldn’t stand a chance against McCain though, despite the fact that McCain is not at all loved by the Republican party, because there is such a visceral hatred of her by so many people (not all of whom are Republicans either).

Obama would have at least a fighting chance against McCain, if for no other reason that he doesn’t carry the emotional baggage that Clinton does, and he would helped greatly by the fact that he is such an inspiring figure, whereas McCain comes across as rather dull and boring in comparison.

Obama would have a cake-walk over Romney.

I’m pulling for Romney for the Republican nomination. ;)


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tinwë wrote:
I think Clinton could win against Romney, if for no other reason than the religious right will run screaming from a Mormon.

Are you suggesting they would just stay home? Don't forget, Pat Robertson endorsed Romney, so there is probably some segment of the religious right that would vote for him on the basis of 'values'.

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Actually yes, I think a lot of them will stay home. I don’t know why Robertson supported Romney - maybe to keep the nomination away from Giulliani? I do know that a lot of the “anybody but Clinton” crowd are included in the religious right, but I think in the end the choice between a Mormon and Hillary will keep many (or at least some) of them at home.

I’m not passing judgement on Mormonism, btw, just my gut instinct about the religious right.


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The Bush administration has been a disaster for the country and for the world.


This is a complete exaggeration. I know most of you consider this just another opinion, or even a fact. But there's just no sense of perspective in such a statement. Let me say it: Bush is a bad president. Okay? Bush is a bad president. He's bad! Bad! ( Oops, I had a Dana Carvey as GHWB moment there. )

That doesn't make his administration a disaster. It is not disastrous if the president doesn't share your own views! And yet this "low disaster threshold" has become standard in American politics on both sides. How soon into a Hillary Clinton Administration would it be before some conservatives were calling it a disaster? One week? One hour? One femtosecond? "An evil liberal anti-family-values neuron fired in her brain in that femtosecond! It's a disaster!"

Ultimately, Iraq will be better off. In the long run. How could it not, with Saddam dead and gone? That's my opinion, anyway. That doesn't mean the invasion was right. It doesn't mean that the invasion hasn't caused too much suffering, and plenty of personal disasters. It was certainly poorly managed. But it shows a lack of historical perspective to call it a disaster for the country and the world, I believe. Why do so many opponents of Bush reach for the most extreme words and comparisons they can come up with?

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If Americans turn right around after these eight horrendous years -- after watching the Bush administration cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people by starting an unnecessary war -- and elect ANOTHER member of the same party as Bush, then I fear that the rest of the world is going to think we really are greedy, thoughtless, bloodthirsty amnesiacs.


Would you agree with "the rest of the world" that people who voted for McCain were greedy, thoughtless, bloodthirsty amnesiacs? Would this be a reasonable conclusion to make? A McCain Administration would not be the same as a Bush Administration, even if they are of the same party. True, a McCain administration won't immediately end the war in Iraq. Perhaps that's all it takes to be labeled bloodthirsty. When I vote for McCain ( if he's the nominee ), will I be a greedy, thoughtless, bloodthirsty amnesiac? Should I come up with some inflammatory adjectives to apply to those who would vote for the Democratic nominee, but then put them in the mouths of someone else to distance myself from them? "No no, that's not what I think, that's what I fear these people over here will think of you!"

To put it very bluntly, I don't care one bit about the opinion of those who would be so unfair and reactionary as to characterize voting for McCain in such an inflammatory way just because he's of the same party as Bush. Unless that is the opinion of someone on this messageboard ( I hope not ) in which case I will argue with him or her.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:34 pm 
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tinwë wrote:
Obama would have at least a fighting chance against McCain, if for no other reason that he doesn’t carry the emotional baggage that Clinton does, and he would helped greatly by the fact that he is such an inspiring figure, whereas McCain comes across as rather dull and boring in comparison.


You're right about that, tinwë—I remember that when McCain spoke after the Iowa caucus, when they went back to the talking heads on MSNBC they were all (including the conservative commentators) laughing at what a total snooze it had been.

But then I remember that George W. Bush—probably the least compelling orator I have ever seen in modern political life, so bad that I cannot bear to listen to him—was elected twice.

Granted, Gore and Kerry didn't give him much of a run for his money in terms of rhetoric.

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Quote:
You're right about that, tinwë—I remember that when McCain spoke after the Iowa caucus, when they went back to the talking heads on MSNBC they were all (including the conservative commentators) laughing at what a total snooze it had been.


Scarborough dislikes McCain because he's not conservative enough, and Olbermann just dislikes all conservatives. But that doesn't quite excuse the disrespect of laughing. Seriously, you're hosting news coverage and you openly laugh at a candidate? Yeeesh. I've always liked Chris Matthews so I'm not going to say anything about him. ( Did he laugh too? Did he laugh the hardest? Say it ain't so! ) But back to the problem, that Obama is such a better speaker than McCain. So how about this? Obama can be president of the debate club, and McCain can be president of the US? It's a win-win! No, doesn't work for you?


Quote:
Granted, Gore and Kerry didn't give him much of a run for his money in terms of rhetoric.


Gore has gone on to a successful career as occasional voice actor in Futurama, showing he overcame his rhetoric handicap. I think he also co-starred with a graph in some hit movie.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:12 pm 
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Faramond wrote:
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The Bush administration has been a disaster for the country and for the world.


This is a complete exaggeration.

These are both valid opinions.


Quote:
That doesn't make his administration a disaster.

There are many developments that contribute to the (I believe widely-held) view that this administration has been a disaster. Here are a few off the top of my head:

1. Gutting of environmental protection law.
2. Insertion of unqualified political operatives into every aspect of government resulting in the degradation of government function.
3. Politicization of every aspect of government.
4. Iraq policy that has devastated our armed forces, our standing in the world, and the Iraqi populace, contributed to Mideast instability, greatly strengthened Iran, increased terrorist recruitment and increased the debt-load on future generations.
5. Expansion of Presidential powers that have thrown our government out of balance.
6. Tax cuts for the extremely wealthy that have wiped out a budget surplus and greatly increased wealth inequity in the country.
7. The degradation of long-held values, as represented in Guantanamo, the torture doctrine, the withdrawal of hapeus corpus protections, etc.

You may not agree that any of these developments are problems; I happen to regard the cumulative effect as disastrous. Difference of opinion, both valid.

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