Attention Obama supporters: your candidate is losing

Ok, now that I have your attention, please look at this map. The map is put out by Real Clear Politics and it shows McCain winning the electoral college vote by 274-264. The map is based on averaging the latest polls nationwide and is a snapshot of where the electoral college stands today.

Shocked?

Well, I think many people may be surprised. The conventional wisdom has always been that McCain is dead, 72-year-old meat.

Now, let me point out a few things. First, I am not claiming that this result represents what will happen in November. We’ve still got plenty of time for Obama to destroy the old guy. Second, I also am not even claiming that McCain is really ahead in all of the states indicated in red on the map. If you want to argue that Obama will take momentum from the Democratic convention and move ahead strongly in Colorado, for example, you may have a point.

But there is no way getting around it: Obama is in trouble. Recent polls are showing McCain ahead in Ohio, where Obama had a lead until recently, and Colorado and Indiana (same thing). Florida seems pretty solid for McCain, as do Missouri and North Carolina. In my opinion, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada and NH are going to be very, very close. If you are an Obama supporter, the last few weeks have got to be pretty depressing.

Yes, yes, there will be a surge (I love that word) for Obama after the Democratic convention. I wouldn’t be surprised if this map shows Obama ahead by 40 electoral votes a few days after the Democratic convention. But then there will also be a surge for McCain after the Republican convention, so things may even out.

Two months ago it looked like the old guy was dead and buried. Stick a fork in him. But he has made an impressive comeback. For those of you with an appreciation of history, I’m reminded of the Dukakis campaign. Let’s see if Obama starts wearing one of those tank commander helmets.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

95 thoughts on “Attention Obama supporters: your candidate is losing

  1. You are right about the polls. But don’t forget Obama’s amazing ability to get people out to the polls who would otherwise not vote. There were record turnouts in the primaries, after all.

  2. Remember that the popular vote isn’t what counts. It’s the electorial vote. I will say I’m surprised at how well McCain is doing even if a lot of that success comes from taking the low road. Expect in upcoming weeks Obama to start hammering away at McCain the same way.

    Obama has two really big problems right now. 1. the discovery of his brother living in abject poverty in Kenya while Obama is a multi-millionaire. 2. the connection to the Weathermen and Obama’s not being forthright about the connections.

    Those two things are going to dismay a lot of swing voters.

  3. Clark,

    I think you need to add a third:

    His vote against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act as a member of the Illinois legislature.

    When it came between possibly harming abortion rights or the possibility of infanticide, he preferred infanticide. This is not going to go away.

  4. Just like to point out in the map you linked to, McCain is winning when it assumes no toss up states, while when you go to the map with toss up states not counted toward a candidates electoral votes, Obama has more “solid” states. Not saying this means Obama is leading, but that it really depends on how you look at it.
    Plus polls are polls, what they say today has so little to do with what happens come november.

  5. I hope Clark and Aluwid are right but I worry that this might be a wake-up call that comes at just the right time to help Obama not take anything for granted.

    Too often, the Democrat has had a nice lead this time in the campaign and slowly bled it away right into November when it’s too late to reverse course (Dukakis, Kerry, possibly Gore?).

    This stumble might just be what Obama needed. I doubt McCain can keep up the momentum he has had the past few weeks. This may be his high point.

    Now if the media would report honestly on the Born Alive Act or the other issues Clark cited then maybe we’ll have a race.

    Either way this will be a referendum on Obama and it’s his to lose.

  6. Speaking as an Indianan here, I think Obama is going to pick Bayh as his running mate, and when he does, even though Indiana is second only to Utah in conservative voters, our state will end up going to Obama… it is just a weird thing about Indianans. They can’t not vote for their home-state guy.

  7. So let me get this straight, Republicans win because they tear down their opponents, no matter how good they happen to be. Nice principles you guys live by.

  8. Dan,

    The point is that Obama isn’t a good candidate, isn’t qualified to be President, and it’s ridiculous that the Democrats are nominating him. He’s been insulated in a hype bubble and the media have been handling him with kid gloves rather than exposing the uncomfortable truths about him (as with Edwards – thanks National Enquirer). McCain is just popping the bubble and finally letting the truth out.

    Besides, don’t pretend this isn’t a two-way street. Ed demonstrated one of the memes on this thread that the Obama campaign is using against McCain. Fair/Accurate? Of course not. But we’re talking about election to the most powerful position in the world, if you can’t withstand the heat then don’t run in the first place.

  9. The point is that Obama isn’t a good candidate, isn’t qualified to be President, and it’s ridiculous that the Democrats are nominating him.

    Aluwid, did they amend the constitution to add more qualifications for the presidency than 35 yrs of age and a natural-born American citizen? Saying he lacks experience is one thing; saying he isn’t qualified is just stupid. I’m also curious as to why you think Obama “isn’t a good candidate”? Because your politics differ from his?

    It’ll be interesting to see what sort of “surge” each candidate gets after their VP is nominated. There is still a long way to go until November.

  10. Christopher, I will agree with you in the sense that Obama certainly appears to be the best candidate for the Dems. Who else would be acceptable to the Dem base and more electable? Hillary? Kerry? Gore? Edwards (oops!)? I will also agree with you in that a lot can change in the next two months. One thing is for sure: the campaign will be different in late-October than it is now.

    Wow, Aluwid, I literally cannot believe the thinly veiled anti-Semitism on the Dem page you linked. I had to read it several times blinking my eyes. If any Republican site wrote something like that, it would be front-page news on the NY Times for a month.

  11. Christopher,

    I didn’t say he wasn’t legally qualified. I said he wasn’t qualified, in the same sense that I personally am not qualified to be President. I might be a decent guy, but I’m not capable of leading the nation, and neither is Obama.

    Obama was selected as the Democratic nominee for three primary reasons:

    1. He wasn’t in national office at the time of the vote for the Iraq War so he can claim his hands are clean.
    2. He is a “historical candidate” due to his skin color.
    3. He is charismatic

    Take away 1 and 3 and you have Hillary Clinton (historic due to her gender). Take away 1 and 2 and you have John Edwards (very charismatic but unfortunately for him he’s white). But none of that makes Obama qualified to be President.

    BTW, when I said “good candidate” I was referring to his politics. This is a 50-50 nation, you can’t expect someone with extreme positions to be elected. And come on, even NARAL didn’t oppose the abortion bill that Obama did. A similar bill at the federal level passed 98-0 in the Senate.

  12. Polling and analyzing will vary depending on who’s doing it, of course, but I’ve found FiveThirtyEight.com to have the best analyses.

    Their tracking as of 8/20 has Obama winning the electoral vote 272 to 266, with a tie in the popular vote at 48.5% each.

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/08/todays-polls-820.html

    Contrary to Aluwid’s laughable claim above (8/21 6:12 am), Obama has received a lot of negative media attention (esp. from Faux News, which is working overtime to tank him), while McCain’s personal history has been left unexplored. Apparently his “war hero” status makes him immune from examination of his infidelity, temper, racist/sexist comments, and unconservative voting record.

    I’m no Obama supporter, but McCain is certainly the greater of the two evils.

  13. Mike,

    Do you feel that thrill going up your leg?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9zp19KTT4c

    A few links:

    Washington Post puts Obama on page 1 three times as much as McCain:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/15/AR2008081503100.html?sub=AR

    How about popular TV comedians? Obama only drew half as many jokes as those made against McCain:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/08/obama-jokes-tv.html

    Americans are noticing the pro-Obama bias of the media.

    “Half of Americans think the press is trying to help Sen. Barack Obama win the presidential election, according to a new poll by Rasmussen Reports.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0708/11912.html

    Very classy spelling of Fox News in your post by the way. I think it’s ironic that the Clinton campaign, of all people, learned to appreciate Fox when running against Obama as it was the only network that wasn’t in bed with him.

  14. Do you moderate posts with too many links or did I just get put into the moderation queue? Because my last post is awaiting moderation…

    Thanks

  15. On the subject of attack ads, here is the latest Obama attack ad:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpmFd25tRqo

    To claim that Democrats don’t “tear down their opponents” is pretty funny. Having said that, however, it’s worth pointing out that many things are fair in presidential politics. Attack ads are a very dangerous thing. If you come across as too mean-spirited, you lose sympathy rather than gain it. However, if an attack ad makes you say, “wow, that really is a good point” and the charge sticks and is believable, well, then it’s an effective attack ad. McCain’s Paris Hilton ads worked well because of their timing, right as Obama was finishing his world tour. There is a bit of discomfort in middle America about Obama’s celebrity status.

    Is there discomfort about McCain having seven houses? I’ll guess we’ll find out.

    My personal prediction (as somebody who does NOT like McCain but is forced to vote for him because he’s the best of a bad lot) is that the more Americans learn about McCain the more they’ll like him. The more they learn about Obama, the less they’ll like him. I could be wrong, but that’s how I see it right now.

  16. I don’t think it’s in Obama’s best interest for us to pay too much attention to the candidates houses. Here is part of McCain’s response:

    “Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses?”

  17. Mike, I like and respect you, but your claim that McCain has been “immune from examination” and Obama has not (thereby implying there is no media bias for Obama) is simply the silliest thing I have ever seen you write (and I disagree with you on many, many issues). If there is one fact that is incontrovertible, it is that the media clearly favors Obama, and even members of the media admit it over and over again (as cited by Aluwid above). Yes, Fox News has had a lot of negative coverage, but what about CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN and on and on, not to mention the NY Times, Wash Post, LA Times, NY Daily News, Miami Herald and on and on? When was the last time all the network anchors followed McCain on one of his trips to Iraq?

    Your claim that McCain is a greater danger than Obama is certainly your opinion and a more supportable statement (depending on your worldview).

  18. Geoff,

    Obama received a lot of heat from those networks and papers over his connection to Reverend Wright, and after his Middle East/European tour and the “celebrity” status thing. Overall I think the coverage on the mainstream press has been pretty balanced on him.

    McCain, on the other hand, has yet to go through any public scrutiny of his infidelity to his first wife (if Edwards isn’t qualified for the Presidency because he had an affair, why is McCain?) or the significant number of offensive things he’s said over the years. (Personally I find it impossible to vote for a man who would call his wife a “c*nt” in front of the press.) Not to mention his frequent temper tantrums and outbursts of profanity, even on the Senate floor.

    These things have been aired by partisan web sites like Daily Kos and AlterNet, but I haven’t seen anything about them in the mainstream press. The reason for this is that the press likes McCain. He’s always been open to them, invites questions, and jokes with them, so they go easy on him. He’s even been on the Daily Show something like nine times, and hailed as a celebrity by Jon Stewart (that right-wing ideologue).

    Obama gets more coverage, it’s true, but I think that’s because he’s actually saying and doing things, rather than just reacting. McCain has been in reaction mode for months now. If he’s so ticked about the coverage of Obama’s World Tour, why doesn’t he organize one of his own?

    And while he’s at it, he should stop saying stupid things like “in the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.” He makes frequent gaffes like that, and it makes him look like an idiot.

  19. Geoff, I am an Obama supporter and I agree with your post—except the title, that is. Obama is not “losing,” he is behind in some polls. Big difference. (But your title sure is catchy!)

  20. “McCain has been in reaction mode for months now. If he’s so ticked about the coverage of Obama’s World Tour, why doesn’t he organize one of his own?”

    Mike, didn’t you see the big McCain tour? While Obama was addressing thousands in Berlin, McCain countered with a speech from a German restaurant in the US. Same thing, really. {/snark}

  21. Does it surprise anyone that an adulterer and warmonger is popular with a country full of adulterers and warmongers? Excuse me, a country full of people proclaiming “family values” while committing adultery and warmongering.

  22. BrianJ: It was funny when McCain complained about Obama giving a speech in front of a crowd in Germany, then it turned out McCain had given a speech in Canada a few months earlier. The McCain campaign pulls a lot of those kind of boners — complain that Obama did such-and-such, and then oops! McCain has done the same thing. Obama’s “seven houses” commercial is simply a reaction to conservative media branding him and his one $1.4m home as “elitist.”

    jjohnsen: I think your claim is overstated, but has some basis in truth. There is a lot of jingoistic nationalism in many Americans, and McCain’s “I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime” approach to foreign policy resonates with them.

  23. I’m anything but a fan of McCain. But to say the media hasn’t covered his messy divorce, discussed his anger, or so forth is amazing. I’ll admit I don’t watch TV news but in the papers it’s been covered a lot including dubious stories like a purported affair with a lobbyist that was big news earlier this year.

    Contrast this with public media attention of Edwards’ affair (and lies about it) and Obama’s connection with the Weatherman.

    Color me unimpressed with either candidate though. Obama’s big issue was the war and even there he’s now changing his tune about the surge.

    I still think Obama has it wrapped up. It’s his to lead. But I don’t think the media did him any favors by going so easy on him the prior six months. He should be happy the Wright mess broke as early as it did. Now the Weathermen stuff is going to come out probably after the convention and may hurt Obama seriously.

  24. Aluwid, what, in your mind, makes one qualified for the presidency? Your own subjective rules for one’s qualifications mean little to anyone but yourself. I personally think McCain, if elected, will be a terrible president, but I allow that he is certainly “qualified” to lead if elected. Again, just because you feel that Obama’s views are “extreme” doesn’t mean that they actually are. But even if they were/are, it is silly to suggest someone too far to the left or to the right “can’t get elected.” It’s happened before, after all.

    Lastly, I don’t see how any of the three points you suggest for Obama’s getting the Democratic nomination are bad reasons to vote for him.

  25. It seems to me that if we’ve learned something the past 8 years it should be that what is very important isn’t just the “issues” but also how a person thinks and makes judgments. Neither Obama nor McCain look very good by that standard. Obama spent a rather long time working with a terrorist and McCain is a hot head who is amazingly ignorant of basic foreign policy issues he’s supposed to be familiar with.

  26. the who is richer thing makes me laugh. That McCain could in any way convince America that Obama is somehow more elite and wealthier than him just shows how stupid voters are. Look up The McCain Residences: A Google Earth Tour on Youtube and there’s no question which family is rich.

  27. I once heard a conservative/libertarian type describe the following: Sometimes, an election seems to be the equivalent of choosing between a pile of dog-doo-doo and a dog-biscuit for dinner. Neither is what you really wanted. But if I have to choose, I’ll take the dog-biscuit. It isn’t what I wanted, but better than the alternative.

    It’s gonna be a close race. Conservatives just need to get out, hold their nose, and vote for McCain.

  28. Both McCain and Obama are rich. Obama made more than 4 million last year alone. Fighting about who is the richest as if that will by default make the other one more like the common man is ridiculous.

    That’s what bugs me about these sorts of discussions. People with “their guy” are more than willing to bash the other guy in a way they are unwilling to judge their own guy in terms of.

    It’s the pot calling the kettle black.

  29. Geoff,

    This is the kind of stuff I really hate about politics: The use of partisan hacks to dig up every acquaintance any politician has ever had and then lay down guilt by association.

    Let’s be real here for a moment: Stanley Kurtz is a conservative writer for a conservative magazine that would love to dig up some dirt on Obama. If I was the donor of those records, I would ask the library to not grant him access either. Kurtz is not going to be fair and impartial with what he finds in them. (Sounds a lot like anti-Mormons who cry that they don’t have access to Church historical archives — why should we give that to our enemies when they’re only going to use them against us?)

    Calling Bill Ayers a “domestic terrorist” has a certain juicy ring in this post-9/11 world. The GOP hope, of course, is that Obama and Kurtz were secretly cooking up terrorist plots against the United States. But their relationship was 20 years after Kurtz had ended his violent activities, when he was, by all accounts, involved in non-violent school reform.

    This is a tempest in a teapot, but it’s page right out of the Karl Rove Republican Smear Campaign playbook. Instead of making the election about issues, McCain and his operatives are going personal. It’s disgusting and shameful, and our country and government are only the worse because of it.

    (And, yes, the Democrats do it, too. There’s plenty of blame to go around.)

  30. Bookslinger:

    In reading the directives to Latter-day Saints in D&C 98:10, I see no room in there for “lesser of two evils” approach. Choosing anything other than wise, honest, and good men “cometh of evil” and, as verse 11 tells us, we should forsake all evil.

    We need to forsake the world and its designs and machinations if we’re ever to become a Zion people.

  31. Gimme a break about McCain’s language. He’s a sailor, for crying out loud–in fact, he’s a third generation sailor. And both his father and grandfather were admirals.

    If we can no longer say “he cussed like a sailor” what will we say?

  32. Mike, sorry, we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this one: if McCain were best friends with Bill Ayers and not releasing information about their friendship, I would be all over him. Peoples’ closest associations ARE relevant — they give you an idea of what kind of person they are and what kind of president they would become. That is what is so disturbing about the Jeremiah Wright situation — Obama’s mentor is a complete racist wacko who hates the United States and everything we stand for. Sorry, that is relevant to me and I’d guess the vast majority of voters.

  33. If Bill Ayers and the rest of the Weathermen/Weather Underground weren’t domestic terrorists, then I don’t know what “domestic” or “terrorist” means.

    The sweetest irony of all is the review of Bill Ayers’s book that appeared in the New York Times on September 11, 2001 (!). The lead sentence:

    ”I don’t regret setting bombs,” Bill Ayers said. ”I feel we didn’t do enough.”

    Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn and Kathy Boudin were terrorists. Isn’t setting bombs to destroy property and kill innocent people, not armed combatants and not during wartime–but civilians who are going about their ordinary civilian business, like those 700 or so people who went to work at Cantor Fitzgerald in 1 World Trade Center on the day Ayers’s comment appeared in the Times. I wonder how many of them read that comment in the paper that morning.

    Only regret that you didn’t do more, eh, Bill? [McCain-like language omitted in deference to the M* administrators, who wouldn't like me referring to Ayers as a murderous b*****d whose egotistical arrogance is exceeded only by his complete lack of human decency.]

    Yeah, Mike Parker, “domestic terrorist” seems to fit Bill Ayers pretty well.

  34. One other thing: calling Kurtz a “McCain operative” is completely laughable. He and most of the people at National Review absolutely despise McCain and really only interested in digging up information on Obama because he is the one of the most liberal modern-day politicians and they are sincerely worried about his potential presidency. Yes, they want to bring him down, but they want to bring down all leftist politicians because they disagree with their ideology. Mike, you really need to get some information before you begin smearing people left and right.

  35. Christopher,

    I agree that “qualified” is subjective, it largely translates into experience in my opinion. I don’t believe that I would be saying that Hillary Clinton is unqualified. I’d still vote against her of course, but I don’t doubt she has what it takes to be President.

    “Again, just because you feel that Obama’s views are “extreme” doesn’t mean that they actually are. But even if they were/are, it is silly to suggest someone too far to the left or to the right “can’t get elected.””

    Anything is possible. But Democrats should have seen this coming when they chose to nominate the most liberal member of the Senate. If Obama loses then I suspect there will be a lot of “What in the world were we thinking!?!” coming from the Democrats. (And “I told you so!” coming from the Clinton fans of course.)

    “Lastly, I don’t see how any of the three points you suggest for Obama’s getting the Democratic nomination are bad reasons to vote for him.”

    You don’t think it’s bad to decide your vote based on the candidates skin color?

  36. Geoff,

    Peoples’ closest associations ARE relevant

    Indeed, but Ayers is not a “close associate” to Obama. You show the disingenuousness of conservative vile slimes on Obama. You state that peoples’ closest associations are relevant, but Obama and Ayers aren’t close and never were. Not only that, but Ayers really is a respectable member of the community in Chicago in the days that Obama knew him. His “terrorist” days where when Obama was eight years old. Disingenuous, Geoff. But par for the course with Republicans.

    I love seeing Republicans get a taste of their own medicine. They SOOOO overreact. It’s beautiful to see them huff and puff. Saying silly things like “the gloves are off”—as if they haven’t been going with gloves off all summer, all these past eight years, no, 20 to 30 years.

  37. One other point to make. Democrats suck at going negative. Republicans have mastered it. The reason is that Democrats do better at focusing on actual issues that voters are concerned about. Republicans are “anti” anything. They are rarely “for” something. They rarely provide a platform on building positive things. They are generally for “destroying” things. Government is “too big” they say. We’ve got to dismantle, not build, they say. America is a “victim” in the world—everybody is against us. We must go destroy people around the world, they say. If they truly were to stand for the things they believe in, Republicans would rarely ever win. The only way they win is to drag their opponents down through the mud so that their opponent comes off dirty, scummy, and bad. Then the choice becomes, for voters, “Do we vote for the dirty, scummy, bad guy, or the one who isn’t as dirty. “The lesser of two evils” becomes the reason for the vote for a Republican. This was the justification for many in 2004. “The lesser of two evils.” The only reason John Kerry was “more evil” than Bush was because Bush was successful in throwing Kerry all over in mud. That’s all. Bush became the “lesser of two evils” for many.

    As Mormons we should really consider if we should be taking part in such vile slime. The fact that so many Mormons are closely tied to the Republican party and Republican leadership makes it hard for someone like me (a moderate) to associate myself with many Mormons. Of course why would any of you care if I don’t want to associate myself with the likes of you. I’m just saying what I feel. I couldn’t tell you if this is indicative of what others feel.

  38. Politics is messy. Civics is messy. When two world views or philosophies collide, it makes a mess. And it can be ugly. But it does not absolve us of the responsibility to make judgements and choices based on our best understanding and good will. It also does not give us the right to demonize other people or groups of people based on their opposing views. Many Mormons are aligned with the Republican party because it better represents their views of personal liberty and individual responsibility, while others are aligned with the Democrats because they perceive its policies as more caring and compassionate. That doesn’t make any of these people unworthy of association. It doesn’t make other views ‘bad’ but a blanket refusal to give other political persuasions the benefit of the doubt or a good faith reading does smack of close-mindedness.

  39. Aluwid,

    You don’t think it’s bad to decide your vote based on the candidates skin color?

    That’s obviously a sensitive subject. I don’t think its right to vote for someone (or against someone) based on their skin color alone, or even as a primary reason. But I have no problem with the Black community wanting to elect Obama because they believe he, as a black man, will respond to their needs and wants. Nor do I think it wrong for women to do the same in supporting Hillary.

    Geoff,

    <emObama’s mentor is a complete racist wacko who hates the United States and everything we stand for.

    Geoff, honestly speaking, how much do you know about Wright? I don’t disagree that he is a sometimes angry individual upset about what he views as institutional and individual racism and perpetual discrimination against the Black community by white America, but labeling him a “wacko” because you think he “hates the United States” and he disagrees with “everything [you (not we)] stand for” seems a rather unfair characterization based on your intake of 2 months worth of media coverage on Wright at the height of a tense Presidential primary season seems infair. Maybe you’ve done more research on his life and character than that, and if so, I apologize and withdraw the comment. If not, then how about toning down the rhetoric a notch or two?

  40. I should also add that I don’t think it wrong for grumpy, old rich white men to support McCain because they feel that he, as a grumpy, old, rich white man will respond to their views and needs. :)

  41. KHK,

    that doesn’t make any of these people unworthy of association. It doesn’t make other views ‘bad’ but a blanket refusal to give other political persuasions the benefit of the doubt or a good faith reading does smack of close-mindedness.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with most Mormons feeling a closer connection ideologically with general conservatives and the Republican party. Please, by all means stay close to those you are more comfortable. What I am saying is that the silence over, or even approval of the tactics that Republicans use, the slime they throw, the undercutting, the demonizing of their political opponent, strikes me as contrary to the principles we supposedly espouse as a religion. Does it not make you uncomfortable to see such demonization of a person, KHK? Or is that perfectly fine with you? On my blog, whenever I bring up this or that, it is about the fundamental issues, the things that actually matter. Like for instance, my most current post about Condoleezza Rice and how she insults our intelligence with her lies over what the missile defense shield in Poland is all about. She says it is about Iran and North Korea. But she is lying. It has everything to do with Russia. Why does she lie like that? She knows she is lying. I know a number of liberal bloggers who have demonized her, but the thing is that if your points are good enough, you don’t need to demonize, to fling slime at your opponent. You can question the ability of your opponent to lead, that’s perfectly fine. But take, for instance, McCain’s “celebrity” attacks on Obama. They aren’t about whether or not Obama can lead. They are about ridiculing Obama. They are about undermining him, not about questioning his leadership capability. They are not worthy of our religious standards.

  42. Oops! I was trying out block quotes, and I messed up. Sorry!
    Dan said: “Does it not make you uncomfortable to see such demonization of a person, KHK? Or is that perfectly fine with you?”

    Dan, be careful with your double standards. You’ve posted repeatedly on the vile, slime-throwing Republicans, painting everyone who associates with the same broad brush. That’s offensive and unfair. It reeks of . . . mud-slinging, in fact. As for my personal political leanings and history, be careful of making assumptions—I have given no indications of how I have voted in the past, or how I plan to vote in the future, but rest assured, I have done my homework on the issues that I feel are important and will vote accordingly.

    Oh, and FWIW, there have been local races in which both major candidates have been unacceptable because of their empty rhetoric and mud-slinging. In those cases I enjoy punching the ticket for a third-party candidate. That’s not really an option in the presidential race, since there is so much on the line.

  43. More good commentary from Jonah Goldberg:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/08/the_mystery_of_obamas_problems.html

    Here’s a great line (funny how we’ve seen some of this on this very thread):

    Ask the typical Obama supporter why this should be so and you’ll get a range of answers. Some just stare at the poll numbers the way my late basset hound would look at me when I tried to feed him a grape: with pure unblinking incomprehension. Others act like the guy who sits alone with his shopping bags at the public library, muttering about Fox News conspiracies and how Karl Rove-like aliens are doing terrible things with probes of proctological exactitude. Still others just shake their heads at the racism of anyone who could possibly have a problem with a very left-wing politician with almost no experience, who often sounds like his campaign slogan is: “People of Earth! Stop Your Bickering. I Am From Harvard, And I’m Here To Help.”

  44. As an Obama supporter I’m not wringing my hands yet, Geoff, and the only thing keeping me up at night is NBC’s lame-o delay of the Olympics. The polls to me are fairly meaningless because of the Summer. Sorry that I don’t fit into any of Goldberg’s “typical” responses.

  45. “People of Earth! Stop Your Bickering. I Am From Harvard, And I’m Here To Help.”

    As opposed to McCain’s: “My views are unassailable because I was a prisoner of war—oh, and my opponent is a nanny-poo-poo head.”

  46. What I am saying is that the silence over, or even approval of the tactics that Republicans use, the slime they throw, the undercutting, the demonizing of their political opponent, strikes me as contrary to the principles we supposedly espouse as a religion.

    I condemn it on both sides. I had thought both McCain and Obama would hold a higher level campaign but that hasn’t happened. What does bug me is when people on either side hypocritical condemn this sort of thing when the opposing party does it but not when their party does it.

    As for Condi Rice I think that’s a special case since in diplomacy you simply can’t always be explicit about your hand. That’s always true. It seems weird to come down on her for this. Do you really expect her to announce to Russian that it’s all about them?

  47. Not only that, but Ayers really is a respectable member of the community in Chicago in the days that Obama knew him. His “terrorist” days where when Obama was eight years old. Disingenuous, Geoff. But par for the course with Republicans.

    ????

    You’re really going to assert that Ayers was a respectable member of the community?

    Wow. Just wow.

    Note I’m not saying whether people in Chicago accepted him. I take it for granted they did. The question is more whether they should have.

    I can’t believe people who bring up every petty dictator a President has to pose for pictures with will say Ayers was respectable and it’s all no big deal. Plus clearly even Obama doesn’t feel that way given his treatment of the issue which frankly is nearly a coverup.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it quite the deal that some make out. But let’s not pretend it doesn’t matter or doesn’t say something about Obama’s judgment.

  48. Clark, I think a good test for these types of claim is, “would I care about it if my candidate had ties to this person.”

    So, my candidate is Mitt Romney. If he had ties to Bill Ayers and considered Jeremiah Wright his spiritual mentor, I would be extremely concerned. It would not be enough for me to not support him, but it would raise serious, serious questions.

    I oppose Obama because he is the most liberal senator in the Senate (based on his voting record), lacks experience and is a blank slate on many issues. Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright are not the main reasons I would not support him — his ideology is the main reason. But his connections with these people says something alarming about his judgment.

    What I don’t get is the lengths that Obama supporters will go to to defend the indefensible. A much more sensible attitude to take is, “look, the whole Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers associations are alarming, but I still agree with Obama on most issues and think he would be a good president.” That would show some intellectual honesty.

  49. Geoff, isn’t it enough to just not be alarmed by Ayers/Wright? I don’t see a real strong connection between Obama and Ayers—sure there was enough of a relationship to merit looking into it, but after doing so I don’t see it as a “big deal.” The Wright thing was more alarming, but I liked the way Obama handled it and that effectively turned off the alarms. Do you think I am being “intellectually dishonest”?

  50. BrianJ, I think you can answer your own question by asking yourself how you would respond if McCain or Bush or some other politician you dislike had such an association. Most liberals I know would be screaming like banshees if McCain had a close association with a former Weatherman and don’t even get me started on what would happen if McCain’s spiritual adviser were somebody like Wright. The fact that Obama threw Wright under the bus and tried to downplay his friendship and association with Ayers should be even more alarming — does this guy have an principles at all?

    Look, at the end of the day, there is no reason to go around in circles on this. If you have honestly looked at the evidence and are not bothered by it, that’s cool. But I think a mark of “intellectual honesty” is being consistent on such associations, and they DO matter.

    I am happy to say that the associations of my preferred candidate are all pretty good. :)

  51. Clark,

    I condemn it on both sides. I had thought both McCain and Obama would hold a higher level campaign but that hasn’t happened. What does bug me is when people on either side hypocritical condemn this sort of thing when the opposing party does it but not when their party does it.

    http://daoureport.com/thescoop/campaign-warfare-how-the-gop-belittles-its-opponents/

    That guy describes the difference better than I can. It’s a tactic to belittle and demean your opponent, something which Democrats just can’t do, but which Republicans have mastered. It has nothing to do with how qualified a candidate really is. It is about making him into a joke, or the butt of jokes. Democrats don’t do this. They’ve never mastered this. This is purely a Republican tactic.

    As to Condoleezza Rice, yes, I expect honesty from my Secretary of State. The missile defense shield in Poland has absolutely nothing at all to do with North Korea and Iran, but everything to do with Russia. Be bold, Ms. Rice. Tell the Russians this was the consequence of their action in Georgia. Why are you afraid? They already KNOW it is the consequence for their actions. Why do you lie?

  52. But Geoff, let’s say McCain is your candidate. Aren’t you troubled by his limiting of free speech in McCain/Feingold, his admission that he doesn’t know much about economics, his constant screw ups on basic foreign policy knowledge, his connection with Keating back in the day, his judgment in how he treated his wife when he came home from Viet Nam (PTSD gets you only so far), and so forth.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not calling you (or Dan) hypocrites. I am saying that it seems that this year, perhaps more so than even in prior years (except perhaps 04) neither candidate is particularly praiseworthy. It reminds me of the tag line for a bad B-action movie. “Whoever wins, we loose.” The choice is definitely for the lesser of two evils.

  53. Clark,

    You’re really going to assert that Ayers was a respectable member of the community?
    Wow. Just wow.
    Note I’m not saying whether people in Chicago accepted him. I take it for granted they did. The question is more whether they should have.

    Yes actually. He is a distinguished professor University of Illinois Chicago, and he has done much community work within Chicago. That is very much a respectable member of the community. It matters not at all what he did in his younger days. Barack Obama did not KNOW him when Ayers was an extremist. Barack Obama knows him in his days as a respectable member of the community. It really is astounding how hard conservatives are grasping at straws.

    Plus clearly even Obama doesn’t feel that way given his treatment of the issue which frankly is nearly a coverup.

    Obama is showing his wisdom. Whether or not Ayers is a respectable member of the community now (which he is), Obama knows that conservatives are going to create a narrative that is false, that Obama is tied to a man who was a terrorist in his youth. To play it safe, Obama distances himself from the man. It is wise. But see, you would like to have it both ways, Clark. You prefer not to give Obama a break. To you there are two scenarios and in both scenarios Obama loses.

    1. Obama sticks with Ayers. To you that means that Obama prefers to hang out with terrorists.

    2. Obama throws Ayers under the bus. To you that means that Obama is hiding something.

    In neither case does Obama gain favor in your eyes. In both cases, he loses, because you would prefer to see him lose. It is already set in your genes, Clark. Nothing Obama does in this situation would improve his standing in your eyes. He knows this, so he opts for the lesser of the two evils, which is option number one.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it quite the deal that some make out. But let’s not pretend it doesn’t matter or doesn’t say something about Obama’s judgment.

    Obama shows his wisdom on the matter, but you refuse to see it, because you don’t want to believe that Obama may be the real deal, a fairly decent candidate in a world of wickedness.

  54. Geoff,

    So, my candidate is Mitt Romney. If he had ties to Bill Ayers and considered Jeremiah Wright his spiritual mentor, I would be extremely concerned. It would not be enough for me to not support him, but it would raise serious, serious questions.

    Mr. Romney has strong ties to Hugh Hewitt. That right there tells me the qualities of Mr. Romney and why he will lose.

  55. Just to add, there are things about McCain I’ll praise. He’s been one of the few major Republican leaders to attack pork. Something that I think largely cost the Republicans their leadership. He’s been outspoken even against bad Republicans like Stevens of Alaska. (Had Republicans distanced themselves more forcefully what would have happened?) McCain clearly is one of the few Republicans worried about the environment, who accepts global warming, and who seeks after alternative energy. Plus, while it’s his foreign policy that scares me the most, I’ll give him credit for pushing for the surge even though it was a political losing strategy at the time.

    Likewise I’ll give praises for Obama. He’s a great speaker at a time I think the nation needs unity and motivation. He’ll help bring African Americans more into the fold of acceptance and recognize they are accepted. He will provide a clear break with Bush in the eyes of foreign powers. He wants to reign in some of the Executive powers Bush overreached. He’ll be able to get Democrats on board with the War on Terror instead of sniping on the sides. He’ll marginalize Reid’s power. He’s probably more stable overall on economics even if I worry about his tax policies.

    A lot of course depends upon who the running mates are and how much actual power they have. Even they have Cheyney like power then that can temper the weaknesses of the candidates. (Romney on McCain’s economics, Biden on Obama’s foreign policy)

  56. Clark,

    The choice is definitely for the lesser of two evils.

    But that is what conservatives want you to believe. If they have convinced you of this, you will be voting for them. If you can see that this is not the right paradigm to look at the election, then you will vote for the right candidate, be it the Republican or the Democrat, or a third party candidate. But if you are voting for “the lesser of two evils” already in your mind you will be voting for the Republican, or staying home, and the Republican party has succeeded with you.

  57. Dan, you highlight the problem in my mind exactly. You think conservatives have “convinced me of this.” Such is far from the truth. I’ve been troubled by McCain for years. I’ve been skeptical of Obama for nearly as long. (Frankly in foreign policy he scares me and there’s no trail to point to so as to see how he’d lead beyond some very, very questionable choices with Wright and Ayers) He’s a great speaker. Reaganesque. That’s not enough to build a presidency off of.

    The reason you don’t see it as the lesser of two evils is partially because you’re just happy someone agrees with you regarding Iraq and so forth. But honestly, don’t you see some of these other issues as at least somewhat troubling?

    BTW – are you really saying Parsley had the same role to McCain that Wright did to Obama? Really?

  58. Clark,

    He’s a great speaker. Reaganesque. That’s not enough to build a presidency off of.

    That’s funny. I thought I heard Reagan’s name oft times mentioned during the Republican primaries. Now we have a nominee for president who invokes the title “Reaganesque” but that’s not enough for you. ;)

    But honestly, don’t you see some of these other issues as at least somewhat troubling?

    What other issues?

    BTW – are you really saying Parsley had the same role to McCain that Wright did to Obama? Really?

    In that video, McCain calls Parsley a “spiritual advisor.” Maybe McCain was lying…

  59. BTW – after Bush, doesn’t it bother you at least a little that Obama has had little executive experience and almost no Senate experience? Even if you think experience isn’t necessary, don’t you worry about a trail so as to judge his ability to govern? (The warning signs were there for Bush – people just didn’t heed them)

  60. Reagan also had (1) policies I mostly agreed with and (2) experience. (He’d been a union leader, been governor, and also spent years as a political commentator)

    I pray Obama will be Reaganesque in more ways than speaking ability. I really do. Simply because I think unless he really flubs up that he’ll win. Bush left too horrible a legacy.

    Regarding Parsley, you avoided the question. Let me ask it again. Did McCain have a relationship with Parsley akin to what Obama did with Wright. If you simply want to say McCain’s a bad speaker who too often plays the hyperbole card I’ll agree 100% with you. I think Obama will mop the carpet with him come debate time. But that’s not what I asked.

  61. And Clark,

    Let’s talk foreign policy.

    1. The surge in Iraq. Did it accomplish in its stated goals? Is there political reconciliation in Iraq? Nope. Then Obama was right all along.

    2. Calling Iraq a “dumb war” from the getgo. Obama was right all along.

    3. Calling for a stated timetable. Let’s see, everyone on the right vilified him for this, but let’s count the number of important people who have now conceded Obama’s point and are also calling for a timetabled withdrawal. 1. Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister. 2. George W. Bush (which must really stink for him) who has signed on to the deal to withdraw most if not all troops by 2011. Huh…on what points exactly is McCain right in Iraq? Let’s see, he first agreed with those who said it would be a cakewalk. Not only that, but he was one of the first (even way back in October 2001 on the David Letterman Show who said that Iraq was the next stage) to sound the war drums against Iraq. Not very sound mind, methinks. Let’s not forget that McCain called for an immediate withdrawal from Somalia in 1993. Or Lebanon in 1983. Or Kosovo in 1999. Not very sound, methinks. Let’s not forget that McCain, the hothead is calling for some of the stupidest things in terms of dealing with Russia (like kicking Russia out of the G8—which would, by the rules of the organization would require Russia to kick itself out!!!). The man speaks before he thinks, Clark!

    I’m sorry, but in terms of foreign policy, Barack Obama has shown far greater wisdom than Bush and McCain. I don’t see where your fear is…

  62. Obama throws Ayers under the bus. To you that means that Obama is hiding something.

    No it doesn’t. I don’t know why you’d say that. The fact Obama wasn’t forthright about Ayers and has engaged in a coverup makes me think he’s hiding something. And Obama hasn’t thrown Ayers under the bus.

  63. Clark,

    after Bush, doesn’t it bother you at least a little that Obama has had little executive experience and almost no Senate experience? Even if you think experience isn’t necessary, don’t you worry about a trail so as to judge his ability to govern?

    Not at all. I’m not going to judge the character of the next president based on the qualities of the worst president in America’s history. I don’t see many warning signs from Obama like I saw from Bush in 1999. The warning signs were truly there and it is utterly sad that so few saw them. But there are very few warning signs that Obama will do stupid things as president. The only warning sign that troubles me right now is his caving in on the FISA bill. I can understand his rationale for not doing something about it—it would distract and draw attention away from the narrative he was building—but if he doesn’t do something better about FISA as president, then I would be very troubled by it. However, that issue is a minor one compared to the greater and more important issues of foreign policy. And domestic policy, well, I have little concern with what he wants to do. It all sounds good to me.

    Did McCain have a relationship with Parsley akin to what Obama did with Wright.

    Clearly he didn’t, and my raising up Parsley was definitely a red herring.

  64. Clark,

    The fact Obama wasn’t forthright about Ayers and has engaged in a coverup makes me think he’s hiding something.

    Let’s run down this scenario. What is Obama hiding. Ayers is currently a respectable member of the community who worked with Obama on a board of a particularly popular program in Chicago’s inner city (if I recall correctly). What exactly is Obama hiding? Please, share your fears, Clark.

  65. Dan, when you say conservatives are grasping at straws about Ayers, do you mean conservatives like Clinton? Remember she’s the one who brought him up first. Further it was a topic in the debates way back in April.

    This is what’s funny – so many people bring up charges to tarnish conservatives with when most were brought up by Democrats in the primaries.

  66. Clark,

    Truly Hilary was running a Republican type campaign in the primaries. Note that it didn’t work because Democrats are generally turned off by that kind of nasty smearing slime. But it is troubling that she did so.

  67. (Sorry, posts are popping up around the same time I post. Plus I’ll be leaving for the evening soon. So this’ll have to do for a while.)

    What do I find troubling about Ayers.

    1. While Obama was working with Ayers at the Woods Fund (’99 – ’02) Ayers was publicly saying, “I don’t regret setting bombs…I feel we didn’t do enough,” in the New York Times. This set off a firestorm so it’s hard to see that Obama wouldn’t have known about this.

    2. People are being denied access to the Ayers-Obama Annenberg Papers.

    3. The Mike Klonsky connection between Obama and Ayers.

    4. Obama dismissed a connection (see ABC interview quote here) and said Ayers was just “a guy in my neighborhood” seems disingenuous. It’s also not a claim that Obama agreed with Ayers but rather how he chose to work with him. Why not admit that they had a working relationship? It’s not an issue (as Obama claims) of “kind of game in which anybody who I know, regardless of how flimsy the relationship is, that somehow their ideas could be attributed to me.” Rather it’s more akin to say charges against Ron Paul and the racism in his journal. (Not quite as bad – and as I said I don’t see it quite as significant as some are making it out to be)

  68. 5. Ayers kicked off Obama’s state senate campaign in his home.

    Note I’m not suggesting that Ayers shows any light on Obama’s beliefs. I am saying that the association shows poor judgment. To see why turn the tables. Imagine Ayers was an unrepentant racist and it was a Republican in that kind of relationship. Would it be valid to bring that up as an example of poor judgment? (I’d note that one Republican was forced out of leadership by Democrats for just making a toast of a repentant racist.)

  69. Dan, Hilary was running the same kind of campaign that her husband did. What’s amazing to me is that you don’t see this as typical. Rather seeing it as an unfortunate aberration. To me it is sadly typical of both parties.

    Once again let me be clear. I don’t see Ayers as a big issue. I do worry about Obama’s reactions to it.

  70. Clark, you can insult McCain and question his associations as much as you want. He is among my least favorite Republicans, and there is a LOT about him I find troubling/alarming/disturbing, including all the things you mentioned.

    At the end of the day, as I’ve posted several times, I agree with McCain about 50 percent of the time and I agree with Obama about 5 percent of the time. So, it’s simply a matter of going with the guy you align with better politically. If McCain wins (and until he wins) I predict I will be among his biggest critics. But right now, for me, the emphasis has to be on making sure Obama doesn’t win because that would be a disaster.

  71. Once again, just to be clear, I don’t find the Ayers thing a particularly deciding factor. There are many other things (such as taxes and Iraq) where I have much, much more profound issues with Obama.

    Geoff, I can see that. To me the ultimate issue, driven home by that last 8 years, is that with a President what counts is much more character and how one reacts to problems and judgment making than is policy views. I agreed with Bush on a lot of policy matters. However his ability to govern was…bad.

  72. Clark,

    If you have “profound issues with Obama” on Iraq, then you must be truly troubled that both al-Maliki and George Bush are aligning with Obama and calling for that timetable that Obama called for. McCain, on the other hand, calls for some vaguely defined “victory”—when pressed he has demurred. What exactly is McCain’s “victory” in Iraq, Clark? Obama has been very clear, and more importantly, the real players are in line with him. What exactly troubles ye on his Iraq plans?

  73. The problem Dan was that Obama was calling for it before the surge not particularly caring what was happening on the ground. If the Iraqi government wants us out that’s fine. I have no trouble with that. I’m surprised you’d think I’d be surprised by this. This to me just points to the success of Petraeus.

    Given events on the ground I do think we should start pulling out now. I’ve felt that way for a few months. (I’m fairly sure I’ve even told you that)

    Geoff, I think that’s what I’m saying. The one thing I’ve learned the last 8 years is that it isn’t just about the guy who is most aligned with you on issues.

  74. Clark,

    If the surge didn’t accomplish its stated goals of political reconciliation, what exactly are you praising Petraeus for? What success did he actually bring the country of Iraq? Obama was right to question the veracity of the surge, because it was doomed to fail from the start. Political reconciliation does not come to pass with an increase of 30,000 soldiers. It just doesn’t happen that way. General Petraeus was following orders, so I don’t know why you call it “his” surge. It was Bush’s. And it was (and is) a failure based on its stated goals.

    This is a side issue, but it highlights the deep divide between those who favor this war and those who have never favored it.

  75. Geoff, the conversation got away from me, but I wanted to thank you for answering my question. I agree with you: while I surely have political differences with you and other Republicans (and Democrats, too!), I respect a person who strives to be consistent.

  76. By the way, Clark, read this Matthew Yglesias post to see that we’re basically back to the point of November 2006 when Maliki proposed that Americans withdraw from Iraq’s cities.

    Details, of course, differ and there were some problems with Maliki’s proposal from the point of view of operational specifics. But basically back in November 2006, Iraqi political leaders and progressives in the United States alike wanted to see some kind of phased redeployment of American troops out of Iraqi cities and then out of Iraq. Bush, instead, opted for the “surge” strategy and now eighteen months later we’re . . . doing roughly what Maliki wants which is roughly what he wanted 18 months ago which is roughly what progressives have been saying we should do for a log time. To surge proponents, the fact that they are now proposing what we were proposing years ago underscores the success of the surge. That seems a bit curious to me, but if it helps bolster political support for doing the right thing it might not be the worst thing in the world. But still, the proper chronological perspective leaves me wondering what the surge is supposed to have accomplished.

    Well over $100 billion has been spent since Maliki’s November 2006 PowerPoint, and lots of America soldiers have been killed or maimed. And now they’re in a position to basically walk through the door that’s been open at least since the midterm elections — one where we leave Iraq not in “defeat” but with a handshake and a pat on the back from the new government, and a determination to cut our losses on an endeavor that never made strategic sense.

    Exactly. And let’s just make sure this point is clear. John “maybe 100″ McCain has been constantly and consistently on the WRONG side of this. It is utterly sad that Bush rejected Maliki’s “withdrawal” plan in 2006 only to accept the very same plan in 2008. $100 billion dollars later, hundreds of Americans dead later, thousands of Americans wounded later, tens of thousands of dead Iraqis later, the offer hasn’t changed. With McCain, you will truly get more of the same. With Obama, you will get something far better. I still don’t understand how you see it differently.

  77. It matters not at all what he did in his younger days.

    I guess then that it doesn’t matter if someone was a guard at Treblinka when he was a 19-year-old. That Ayers can even get a job anywhere but at a state institution making license plates is just a quirk in the criminal laws.

    If we jail someone for life who’s arrested with 100 kilos of cocaine, then surely we should jail for life someone who set bombs in the Capitol and elsewhere. (And who in 2001 expressed no regrets for doing so, and in fact said he wished he could have done more–whatever that meant.)

    Does Obama consider that to be “rehabilitation”? I guess the U of Illinois–Chicago considers it to be enough (but they’re part of the great leftwing conspiracy that is the academy).

  78. Dan, as you know it’s primarily on foreign policy that I distrust McCain. So bringing him up seems odd. As I said I don’t care for either candidate and don’t trust either. You seem to be going for the very tactic you decried Republicans doing. (“The lesser of two evils.”) I’ll give McCain credit for pushing for the surge when it wasn’t popular. I’ll attack him for having little apparent subtlety when it comes to foreign policy. (And a lot of ignorance – although that appears true of Obama too)

    With regards to the surge, I wonder how you feel about Obama now that he’s changed his tune. Remember his attack on the surge? “Originally, the administration suggested that the key measure was whether it gave breathing room for political reconciliation. So far, I think we have not seen the kind of political reconciliation that’s going to bring about long-term stability in Iraq.” (Jully 22, 2008) Now he’s saying, “They [the surge] have created the space for political reconciliation.”

    So even your candidate doesn’t agree with you.

    Also note that the point of the surge was to create the opportunity for a degree of reconciliation. Let’s not keep moving the goal posts. One of Bush’s huge errors (and heaven knows he had enough of them) was portraying Iraq as if it could have a full western style democracy any time soon. That was never in the cards and led to unrealistic expectations. It seems like you are falling into that false dichotomy as well.

  79. With regards to Maliki’s desires. Note that the last couple months has seen fair agreement across political groups on this issue. The earlier period there wasn’t that consensus.

  80. why will people not vote for him…it’s not the color of the skin — it’s the content of character, of which Barack Obama has none.

  81. Jimbot, I don’t think that fair.  I don’t understand why people have to demonize people they disagree with.  There’s no evidence that he lacks character and a lot of evidence he has a lot.  I don’t care in the least for McCain but I think that’s true as well.  I even think it true of Bush who has make a remarkable number of mistakes.

  82. If jimbot means that Obama has no character, I have to disagree.  I heartily and lustily disagree with Obama on his policy positions, but he seems to be a good family man and certainly has a good character.

    If jimbot is referring to the new Dem meem, which is that the only way Obama can lose is because the United States is a racist country, well, I have to heartily disagree with that.  If Obama loses (and that looks increasingly likely) it is simply a factor of his being far to the left of the electorate.  Democrats win if they are moderates or conservatives (Clinton, Carter).  Far-left Democrats are far less likely to win.  That’s just reality.

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