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Old 12-20-2008, 01:00 AM   #16
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I have not been into FYM in a while because of my firm belief that this is a U2 forum first and my not wanting to fray relationships w/other fans of my favorite band. I venture in here in spurts, sometimes(alot) more than others, almost never during contentious election seasons. I enjoy politics, I study it and economics like crazy and sometimes, sadly, for fun. However, it is not my favorite forum topic.

This is the first thread in a while that has drawn me back into FYM. The unreasonable are already out in full force, and Obama is a month from becoming President. To recap: This man was elected the first black President and not by the razor thin margins we have become accoustmed to since 2000! He won 53% of the vote, greatly increased turnout, and got 7 million more popular votes than Bush in 2004! Not only that, he is the first non incumbent Democrat since FDR to win more than 50% of the vote and by a margin of more than 5 points compared to his opponent. In other words, FINALLY, the Democrats have won by building a broad coalition and isolating the Republicans into 2 groups: the religious right and those who believe that economic opportunity should prevail only for the top 1% of the population. Notice that I said their beliefs, not their actual status as top 1% as Obama actually won this group. If you are in the group, nothing against you, more power to you. Theocons and economic royalists, and everyone else.

The above being said, PLEASE, PLEASE stop pushing Obama to govern from the far left. He was never going to, and he always made that clear. Proposition 8(I am from MA, I didnt support it, gay marriage hasn't hurt me or my family) was no secret- it defined marriage as man and woman. Obama always said he supported this concept, and therefore, supported proposition 8, or at least its practical effects. I keep hearing from Rachel Maddow and her ilk(really starting to upset me, BTW) that "the gay community got Obama elected, so he cant pick a bigot, etc, etc." Complete BS. If 69 million people voted for the man, most of them were not gay, in fact, not even a significant amount of them were. Of course, he won the gay vote, but this vote just is not that damn big. Most people are straight. I have no problem w/ gay, but get over it, they are a minority.

This selection in no way signals a change in policy toward gays from Obama. It was not like he picked Warren as a Congressional liasion, his chief of staff, a senior adviser, Sec of Health and Human services, etc, etc. Warren will have no policy role, zero, none! All he is doing is reading a prayer that opens the inagural ceremonies. He will be one of literally millions of people in attendance. This is being blown completely out of proportion, and I am glad Obama is standing up to that vocal minority egging it on. Like they do not think we have bigger fish to fry right now???!!!!!!

To those who think that, in general, Obama is pushing the same agenda as McCain, are you kidding me? Look who he has picked- moderate, pragmatic experts, Geithner, Napolitano, James Jones, Richardson, Summers, Pete Orszag, the list goes on and on. The last Democratic administration did the same thing. The proper contrast between Republicans and Democrats is not Republicans pick from the far right(Cheney, Phill Gramm as McCain's top econ adviser) and Democrats pick from the far left, it is that Republicans have governed from the far right(focus on ideology) while Democrats have governed from the center(focus on competence). Competence, not ideology- principle first used by Democratic President JFK's transition. Find everything you can about these picks- they support Democratic principles just as Obama does. Napolitano has spoken for comprehensive immigration reform that includes vigorous enforcement, Jones and Gates have spoken of the need for diplomacy. Summers, Orszag, etc have LITERALLY thousands of writings stating that the Republican policy of tax cuts and deficits and removal of all oversight DOES NOT WORK.

This is a huge contrast from McCain. If McCain were elected, you would have seen the same governing from the far right that Bush gave us. A relatively moderate Warren would have been passed over for the inaguration and those well to his right(Warren speaks of health care, poverty, lack of opportunity, genocide, etc) would be ACTUALLY influencing POLICY on such important issues as gay rights. Sarah Palin nutjobs would be in charge of HHS, making rape victims pay for tests! Everyone criticizing this needs to calm down and realize the limited, symbolic role Rick Warren is being given as well as see his important contributions to the development of an evangelical movement focused on MORE than abortion and gay marriage. Obama looked at the sum of this man's work and saw that his efforts to promote dialogue across differing points of view matched his own. Do they agree on everything? NO. Are critics wrong to suggest that Obama pick someone who shares all of his views? Damn right they are. We run into trouble when we govern from the far right, we run into the same when we govern from the far left.

In conclusion, remember what happened the last 8 years when Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld insisted on only those viewpoints they agreed with being heard? Remember the implications? I sure as hell do, we are paying for them now w. a major financial catastrophe, a rebuilt Al Qaeda, an ongoing war in Iraq, and a need to quadruple our deficit and bail out every incompetent piece of crap company just to avert a permanent depression. All happened on Bush's watch, all a mess Obama needs to clean up. Obama ran for President on the same premise I just discussed re:everyone agreeing with you, and nowhere in his campaign promises or themes did he even come remotely close to saying he would be shutting out all but those who supported gay marriage. Just realize, regardless of your viewpoint: 1.)Obama was elected with a very large majority, the largest in a long time for a Democrat and the first time the party has received broad based support since 1964 2.)He is taking a pragmatic course, as he has said all along and most importantly 3.)Those who elected him elected him to take on much more important issues than this non issue being blown up for no reason.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:48 AM   #17
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By the same logic, why should anyone care about gay rights? Those gays are a minority. Who cares about their trivial concerns, there are more important matters to address ourselves to. Or, you know, let's not discuss the issue of US gays being denied marriage rights, because this discrimination is trivial by comparison to that suffered by gays in, say, Iran.

These Palestinians are only getting killed in their hundreds, we should only trouble to get concerned when it's in the millions.

Your logic, Irvine, not mine.
Not really, he was talking about the magnitude of coverage the Palestinians get. Not that no one should care.

...

If Obama really wanted to pick a pastor on gay marriage for Postpartisan Outreach™, he probably could have found one who didn't equate gay marriage with pedophilia, or one who implicitly suggested the assassination of Iran's foreign leaders.

I don't think that's a necessary part of the gay marriage deal.

But he did pick a pastor who thought that.

Also, there's absolutely nothing new about this "flee running in terror from the far left to prove how moderate and centrist and reasonable Democrats are" theory that proves how New and Postpartisan Obama is. It's the same old story the Clintons and the DLC have peddled for the last 16 years. Triangulation, anyone?

Maybe Obama is different. Maybe he gets rid of DADT and DOMA, which would make this inauguration a really pointless controversy. But so far he's stepped out on the exact same foot as the timid Democrats of old. I suppose we'll have to wait and see how this shakes out.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:10 AM   #18
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Ann Curry interviewed him on Dateline last night

Rick Warren: Pastor in the political spotlight - Newsmakers- msnbc.com

In a video released to church members just before Election Day, Warren urged his followers to vote for California's Proposition 8, which aimed to reverse a ruling by the California Supreme Court allowing same-sex marriage.

Warren says he joined the fray out of a concern if Proposition 8 wasn't passed, pastors would lose their right to preach about the Biblical definition of marriage. But many constitutional experts say that fear was totally unfounded and gay rights leaders saw Warren's stance as an infringement on their civil rights.

After Proposition 8 passed, same-sex marriage supporters converged on the entrance to Warren's Saddleback Church.

This week, when President-elect Obama named Warren to deliver the opening prayer at the Inauguration, the controversy flared up again. The president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign wrote a letter to Obama saying Warren's selection "tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table."

Ann Curry: Some people in the gay community wonder why you supported Prop 8. Why you supported taking away their right to love each other in marriage.

Rick Warren: Yeah, well, I'm not taking away their right to love each other.

Ann Curry: In marriage.

Rick Warren: I am opposed to the redefinition of marriage. First place, to me, it was free speech issue foremost of all. First place, I don't know any church in America that's done more to help the gay community, particularly with AIDS, than Saddleback.

Ann Curry: And, in fact, gay people will say that is true.

Rick Warren: Yeah. And my wife and I have given millions of dollars to help people--

Ann Curry: Which is why they're so hurt.

Rick Warren: Yeah.

Ann Curry: Why many gay people are so hurt because of their faith and and reverence for what you have done in this issue. How have you reconciled yourself with that pain that you've caused because of that loss of faith in you?

Rick Warren: Well, because if that hadn't passed, the pain it would have caused to far millions more, I think, would be more severe. And here's what I see in this, Ann. For 5,000 years every single culture and every single religion has defined marriage as a man and a woman, not just Christianity [but also] Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism.

Ann Curry: Your position has raised the specter that you are homophobic. (laughter by Warren) And that is why people are angry. Gay people are angry. And how is it possible for them to be civil when someone-- maybe deny-- you would say, "I don't like what you are." You understand that.

Rick Warren: Yeah, I could give you 100 gay--

Ann Curry: Are you homophobic?

Rick Warren: Of course not. I've always treated them with respect when they come and wanna talk to me. I talk to them. When the protesters came, we served them water and doughnuts.

But Warren says he's surprised by the hostile reaction of gay rights advocates.

Rick Warren: The hate speech against me is incendiary.

Ann Curry: So what happened to Mr. Reconciliation?

Rick Warren: Tolerance used to mean, "I treat you with respect even though we disagree." Some people want tolerance to mean now that all ideas are equally valid. That's nonsense. There are some things that are right and there are some things that are wrong.

Ann Curry: If science finds that this is biological, indisputably, not something that can be explained in any other way except that people are born to be gay, would you change your position?

Rick Warren: No. And the reason why--

Ann Curry: Why?

Rick Warren: I'd be happy to tell you why. The reason why is because it doesn't matter to me. If it's biological, we'll be glad to know. We all have biological predispositions. Some people struggle with anger. And other people say, "I don't struggle with anger, but I sure struggle with fear." Some people say, "Oh, I don't struggle with this. I struggle with being shy."

Ann Curry: You're saying if it's part of your biology, it's your job to struggle against it if, in fact, it's the wrong--

Rick Warren: Well, here what I'm saying. I've had many gay friends tell me, "Well, Rick, why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners? It's the natural thing to do." Well, just because it seems natural doesn't mean it's best for you or society. I'm naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see. But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. And why should I reign in my natural impulses and you say, "Well, because I have natural impulses towards the same sex, I shouldn't have to reign them in." Well, I disagree. I think that's part of maturity. I think it's part of delayed gratification. I think it's part of character.

Warren says his opposition to same sex marriage is shared by a majority of Americans and by President-elect Obama — and is based on Biblical teachings.

Rick Warren: God said in Genesis 1, a man and woman should cling to each other for life. Now I'm in favor of human rights for everybody...everybody. I'm against redefining marriage historically 5,000 years... because then it'll be re-defined. What if it's between a brother and a sister?

Ann Curry: You said that God says in the Bible that a man and a woman should cling to each other for life, but it does not say that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. In fact the Bible says that King Solomon had 700 wives. Leviticus speaks of homosexuality as being a sin, but also orders the death penalty for eating fish that had fins and getting a tattoo.

Rick Warren: The people that make that argument don't understand there are three kind kinds of law in the Bible that are very different. There's civil law, which is for the nation of Israel. There's ceremonial law, which is for the Jewish priesthood. And there is moral law, which is for everybody. The laws about eating fish and stuff, those are civil and ceremonial laws for Israel. No Christian follows those.

Unlike like many opponents of same sex marriage, though, Warren doesn't see it as a danger to heterosexual married couples.

Rick Warren: I don't think gay marriage is any threat to marriage. So that's not why I'm voting the way I did. I think divorce is a bigger problem to marriage than anything else.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:16 PM   #19
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Obama seems able to do what most people cannot. See the good in everyone.
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Old 12-20-2008, 03:04 PM   #20
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To those who think that, in general, Obama is pushing the same agenda as McCain, are you kidding me?

This is a huge contrast from McCain. If McCain were elected, you would have seen the same governing from the far right that Bush gave us.

In conclusion, remember what happened the last 8 years when Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld insisted on only those viewpoints they agreed with being heard? Remember the implications? I sure as hell do, we are paying for them now w. a major financial catastrophe, a rebuilt Al Qaeda, an ongoing war in Iraq, and a need to quadruple our deficit and bail out every incompetent piece of crap company just to avert a permanent depression. 1.)Obama was elected with a very large majority, the largest in a long time for a Democrat and the first time the party has received broad based support since 1964
John McCain would have kept Bill Gates as Secretary Of Defense, and was also considering James Jones for a position. Obama decided to select both of them. Gates and Jones are Republicans that supported the Iraq war and opposed Obama's withdrawal plan. Although she is a Democrat, the biggest differences that Hillary had with Barack Obama were on Foreign Policy, yet, Barack Obama picks her to be Secretary Of State.

Its simply a myth that Bush never used diplomacy the past 8 years and did not listen to other opinions. Dozens of countries have deployed troops with US forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. NATO is involved in its first large scale mission outside of Europe.

Al Quada is reported to have regrouped, but they have not been able to hit the United States, and they have come close to being defeated in Iraq. With Iraq, one of the worlds worst dictators and US security threats has been removed and replaced with a developing democracy. Levels of violence are at their lowest levels since the invasion. The economy and production of oil are ahead of pre-war levels now. It is likely that the success that Bush has achieved in Iraq influenced Obama to pick people like Gates and Jones. Its a sign that he may not be planning a radical change from Bush policy in Iraq. Why change what is working so well now? But it remains to be seen what he will actually do.

Yes, Obama appears to have won with a little over 7 percent margin in the popular vote(their actually still counting votes). But the average popular vote margin in US Presidential elections is 9 points, so this is not a large victory in that respect. Lets not forget that over 60 million people voted for John McCain.

McCain won Whites 30 and older by landslide numbers of of 17 to 18 percentage points. If you look at the electoral map, the old divisions or polarisation seen in recent elections is still there. Its not at all a broad based victory like Reagan's two victories and Bush Sr. victories were in the 1980s. Its not even remotely close to being the victory that LBJ had in 1964.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:15 PM   #21
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John McCain would have kept Bill Gates as Secretary Of Defense, and was also considering James Jones for a position. Obama decided to select both of them. Gates and Jones are Republicans that supported the Iraq war and opposed Obama's withdrawal plan. Although she is a Democrat, the biggest differences that Hillary had with Barack Obama were on Foreign Policy, yet, Barack Obama picks her to be Secretary Of State.

Its simply a myth that Bush never used diplomacy the past 8 years and did not listen to other opinions. Dozens of countries have deployed troops with US forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan. NATO is involved in its first large scale mission outside of Europe.

Al Quada is reported to have regrouped, but they have not been able to hit the United States, and they have come close to being defeated in Iraq. With Iraq, one of the worlds worst dictators and US security threats has been removed and replaced with a developing democracy. Levels of violence are at their lowest levels since the invasion. The economy and production of oil are ahead of pre-war levels now. It is likely that the success that Bush has achieved in Iraq influenced Obama to pick people like Gates and Jones. Its a sign that he may not be planning a radical change from Bush policy in Iraq. Why change what is working so well now? But it remains to be seen what he will actually do.

Yes, Obama appears to have won with a little over 7 percent margin in the popular vote(their actually still counting votes). But the average popular vote margin in US Presidential elections is 9 points, so this is not a large victory in that respect. Lets not forget that over 60 million people voted for John McCain.

McCain won Whites 30 and older by landslide numbers of of 17 to 18 percentage points. If you look at the electoral map, the old divisions or polarisation seen in recent elections is still there. Its not at all a broad based victory like Reagan's two victories and Bush Sr. victories were in the 1980s. Its not even remotely close to being the victory that LBJ had in 1964.
Gates is a registered independent, not a Republican, though he has obviously said he leans that way. Gates opposed the surge and strongly disagreed with Bush's policy of not engaging with Iran, he even said so. Obama's withdrawl plan? Gates strongly supported the withdrawl timeline negotiated by Bush HIMSELF. It is not a myth that Bush has not been diplomatic- witness his pushing aside of allies France in Germany before the Iraq war, the saber rattling w/Iran and N Korea, the lack of any progress on Israel/Palestine, the list goes on. Dozens of countries have helped us- only substantially in Afghanistan, a mission that would have been undertaken by any President. We are shouldering 90+% of the burden in Iraq, always have been. Hillary's foreign policy differences w/Obama were stylistic, never really substantive. She has said so herself- Hillary's Iran stance matched Obama's until she saw an opening to exploit in the spring primaries. She always favored some level of diplomacy, so did Gates, so did Rice, so did Bush, so did Obama. No real difference. Obama, contrary to popular opinion, never promised coffee and tea w/ ahmadinejead himself. The primary difference between Hillary and Obama was on mandated health care and on a 'trade timeout' that Hillary wanted. Obama ran a little less as an economic populist and more as a pragmatist, that was the only difference between the two and it was domestic issues.

We were through all of this last spring, strongbow, but you still dont have the facts, so lets go through again. Obama keeping gates is not an endorsement of the Bush Iraq strategy, nor does it mean it has worked. It was for continuity purposes as we shift our troops back to Afghanistan and rebuild a broken army, no more, no less. The Bush strategy was devised by Rumsfeld and Cheney, not Gates, he disagreed in many ways and was the adult that the pragmatists(Baker, HW BUSH) insisted go back in to clean things up. Al Qaeda has regrouped and is as strong as it was in 2001, probably stronger. Just because they have not hit the US since 2001 means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It was 8 yrs between 1993 and 2001, it has not yet been 8 since 9/11. Ask the people in Islamabad, Somalia, Israel, Indonesia, India, Afghanistan, Britain or Spain how Al Qaeda has been doing since 2001. Saddam Hussein was never a security threat to the United States, and there was never any substantial Al Qaeda base to be eliminated in Iraq. Foreign fighters always represented less than 5% of the insurgency, and there was not a single AQ cell in Iraq in 2003 before we invaded. All of this is factual. The surge, once again, has failed by its own stated reason for existence- to buy time for the Iraqis to pursue a political solution, which has not happened yet. The US military can keep any country relatively calm, we are the best military on earth. The question is, should we stay forever as their crutch and cannon fodder when they are making no progress, absolutely not. Gates knows that, Bush knows that, Obama knows that.

The average margin of victory in presidential elections you speak of is a number since 1850. In the last 50 years, elections have been much closer. 1960, 1968,1976, 1992, 2000, 2004. I did not ever claim that it was as broad based as Reagan's victories, nor LBJ nor even Clinton's. You are wrong about Bush Sr, he won by 53-45, exact same margin as did Obama, and Obama with a much bigger turnout percentage wise. It is clear you do not even read posts before you respond to them- my point was very clear, it was the first time a non incumbent Democrat had won over 50% and by more than 5 pts since FDR and the first time, under this metric, that a Democrat had received broad based support since 1964. Of course, it was not a 1964 landslide, never claimed that, the old divisions are still there, but McCain winning the white vote nationally came largely from racking up ENORMOUS 80% margins w/ whites in one region- the deep South. Obama won whites in CA, MA, NY, etc, won college educated whites nationally, won fastest growing demographics(young and hispanic) and geographic areas, etc. Do the Democrats have a hell of alot of work to do with white voters, absolutely. Was Obama's support among this group alot better than was Kerry's? No doubt. He won NC, VA, IN, CO, NV, FL states that would have been considered impossible for the Democrats only 2 short years ago. No denying this was a broad based victory, even though divisions naturally still exist. 59,934,814 is not over 60 million votes for McCain, and what do you mean by not forgetting? It does not matter, he lost. Kerry won 59 million votes in 2004, what is your point?
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Old 12-21-2008, 06:03 AM   #22
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i love the title of this thread.
how dare someone be allowed to speak!

i feel your rage, people!!

you either believe in freedom of speech or you don't.
i don't agree with what he says either, but that's not the point i'm trying to make.
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:16 AM   #23
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I knew for the last year that Obama was not as principled as he let on. His compromise is ego-centrically driven because he feels he can be the GREAT MAN that unifies people, even if the compromises forced on people are unjust.

Hilary's nomination

First, he nominates that vicious thug Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State, when her views are aggressive and cowardly, threatening to obliterate Iran if it attacks Israel; if taken on first principles, this means that, if one's ally were attacked, one would be right to destroy the attacker of that ally; on this basis, Iran would be in its rights to obliterate Israel for attacking the Palestinian people since 1948 with ethnic cleansing, colonization and occupation. The right-wing mainstream media likes to blame everything on Hamas, but that group is only 21 years old folks. If fundamentalist Jews who felt it was okay to mistreat and murder Palestinians for decades believed in compromise or a fair peace, they could have reached it decades before Hamas, which is actually still a reasonable group, despite its ethical problems.

Let us suppose Hilary was lying and that she really cared for Muslim peoples and nations, then she proved herself more willing to pander to nationalist and American Jewish fundamentalist fears than Obama; she's still proven herself a bad choice.

I would much rather have had the brave Republican Senator of Nebraska, Chuck Hagel, who is retiring in January 2009; he bravely admitted supporting the war was a mistake, criticized Bush at every turn (more than even McCain), supported Obama as President against the wishes of his own party, and decried Israel's 2006 massacre of over 1,000 innocent Lebanese when most Dems were too busy kissing up to American Jewish fundamentalists instead of standing for human rights.

Obama could have picked someone with honor, but he went for the very political choice of Hilary to please nutcase nationalist supporters of her and prevent her criticism of him in Congress. As Jon Stewart pointed out, Hilary and Barack agreed on nearly every domestic issue; international affairs was the only real division between them. Hilary's more likely to mess it up, unless the idealistic side of her wins and she actually cares about justice for the Palestinians.

Let's not forget that the underlying story of this campaign, despite McCain's unforgivable selection of that racist bigot Sarah Palin as his running mate, was that Hilary was more willing to play dirty with racism than even McCain. It was she who brought up Bill Ayers and exploited Rev. Wright on Fox News, even though both men are American heroes in standing for social justice and not hypocritical American nationalism. Yes, I said it; Hilary Clinton's behavior was more shameful than that of McCain.

Inviting Rev. Rick Warren to the inauguration
Far more disgusting is Obama's decision to invite an anti-gay bigot like Rick Warren. It's not enough that Obama, in cowardly fashion, dismissed Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but he goes so far as invite a leader of the bigoted community that supports him.

Obama says it's about bringing people together. Since he's proud of Lincoln, I'll say a parallel would be if Lincoln said, as a compromise, that slavery could exist in a few states after the civil war as a compromise with the misguided South. There are certain things over which one does not compromise. I'm not gay, but I have seen gay people in hiding and have seen stories about them. They suffer enough in the shadows due to a society that shames them; they don't deserve to be treated this way.

It's obvious Obama truly believes that gay marriage is perfectly okay, but that he took on the political stance of only accepting straight marriage and civil unions for gays as a compromise with America's bigoted aspects. You don't bridge that gap by appeasing these sentiments. You eradicate them by proving they have nothing to fear by allowing these people equal rights and fighting for them.
Obama's just like John Kerry or that shameful President of the '90s Bill Clinton, after that President failed to get rid of the ban on gays in the military and got all conservative to win reelection; at least Bill tried, though.

Furthermore, Rick Warren is an egocentric windbag. Anyone who thinks he's generous and good-hearted is dumb enough to think Sarah Palin is genuine and down-to-earth; these people are obviously not good at reading people. They're both phony power-hungry freaks. I'm not saying to not engage Rick Warren, but this is an important symbolic moment. Gay people aren't trying to take away fundamentalist Christians' rights, but fundamentalist Christians are trying to destroy gays, as they have all non-Christians.

Enough! Stand up for what's right, Obama! Be cautious and economize your power, but don't sacrifice what's right for what's obviously wrong.

There could have been plenty of reverends or pastors that accept gays or don't vocally hate them from which he could choose. Instead Obama picked a guy politically designed to appeal to those who voted against him with the wrong tools. What's wrong with giving people health care or jobs? Why continue this culture war?

I was very happy to hear you go ahead with health care and environmental protection, but this sets my expectations back. Shame on you, Mr. Obama.
I entered this post into the translator at www.thispostisbatshitcrazy.com and the translation came back:

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I hate Jews.

Sincerely,

Gay Muslim (or Mr. Chris Carter)
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:19 AM   #24
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Apparently, Obama realizes that a stance on one issue does not completely define a person. Or does it?
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:50 PM   #25
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Gates is a registered independent, not a Republican, though he has obviously said he leans that way.
I never said he was a registered Republican. He actually said although he is a registered independent he considers himself to be a Republican.

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Gates opposed the surge and strongly disagreed with Bush's policy of not engaging with Iran, he even said so.
If Gates was really opposed to the Surge, why did he agree to be Secretary Of Defense and help implement the policy?

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Obama's withdrawl plan? Gates strongly supported the withdrawl timeline negotiated by Bush HIMSELF.
So? I'm afraid what you don't understand is that the Bush administration was never against withdrawal, just a withdrawal that was NOT conditions based like what the Barack Obama and the Democrats proposed in 2007 and tried to force down the Presidents throat. The Bush administration initially had withdrawal plans in 2002 that had over half of US forces out of Iraq by the end of 2003. But conditions on the ground changed those plans. The Bush administration was against pre-mature withdrawal plans that were not conditions based. The only reason there is a withdrawal plan now is because of the massive success the Surge has had in restoring internal security within Iraq and the successful improvement of Iraq's military capabilities. In addition, substantial progress has been made on the political front with the Iraqi government meeting nearly all of the 18 bench marks set for it by the 2006 congress.

Sorry, but Gates has always been and will always be closer to Bush on foreign policy and defense issues than he is to Presidential candidate and currently Presidential elect Obama.

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It is not a myth that Bush has not been diplomatic- witness his pushing aside of allies France in Germany before the Iraq war, the saber rattling w/Iran and N Korea, the lack of any progress on Israel/Palestine, the list goes on.
France and Germany were never pushed aside. They were encouraged to join the Iraq effort. More than half of the NATO nations deployed troops on the ground in Iraq, more than the number that deployed troops to help out in operation Desert Storm in 1991. Disagreements with certain allies does not in of itself constitute a lack of diplomacy. In any event, France actually supported the UN Security Council resolution that authorized the invasion, resolution 1441. They also have supported the UN resolution that authorizes US forces to be in Iraq EVERY YEAR since 2003!

The Bush administration has kept military force as an option in dealing with Iran and North Korea. If you consider that saber rattling, then it looks like your going to be disappointed with Barack Obama especially when you look at who he is appointing to the most important foreign policy post.

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Dozens of countries have helped us- only substantially in Afghanistan, a mission that would have been undertaken by any President.
Dozens of countries have also helped the United States in Iraq. Bill Clinton did have an opportunity to intervene in Afghanistan, but he left the problem to the Bush administration.

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We are shouldering 90+% of the burden in Iraq, always have been.
When combat is involved, that is usually the ratio that we see in conflicts the United States has been involved in since the 1950s.

Quote:
Hillary's foreign policy differences w/Obama were stylistic, never really substantive. She has said so herself- Hillary's Iran stance matched Obama's until she saw an opening to exploit in the spring primaries. She always favored some level of diplomacy, so did Gates, so did Rice, so did Bush, so did Obama. No real difference.
Well, that contradicts your claim about Bush and diplomacy.


Quote:
Obama, contrary to popular opinion, never promised coffee and tea w/ ahmadinejead himself. The primary difference between Hillary and Obama was on mandated health care and on a 'trade timeout' that Hillary wanted. Obama ran a little less as an economic populist and more as a pragmatist, that was the only difference between the two and it was domestic issues.
Obama and Hillary's biggest differences were on Iraq. Obama used his Iraq positions to beat Hillary in the Democratic Primaries. Few people would ever claim that Obama won the nomination of his party because of domestic policy issues.

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Obama keeping gates is not an endorsement of the Bush Iraq strategy, nor does it mean it has worked. It was for continuity purposes as we shift our troops back to Afghanistan and rebuild a broken army, no more, no less.
So your saying that Obama would have kept Rumsfeld as Secretary Of Defense if he had not been replaced by Bush after the first 6 years? The fact is that Gates helped implement the surge strategy and never supported the Democrats withdrawal plans that Obama and the Democrats tried to force on the President in 2007. Gates was helping to implement the OPPOSITE PLAN!

By the way, US forces in Afghanistan before the Iraq war numbered 7,000. Today, they number over 35,000! Contrary to popular belief, the United States never reduced troop levels in Afghanistan in order to invade Iraq. In fact, US forces in Afghanistan are now five times as large as they were before the invasion of Iraq!

The US military is strained, but it is not broken, and has been successful in making tremondous progress in Iraq, in helping improve security, train Iraqi military and police forces, and has helped with economic and political development within the country.

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The Bush strategy was devised by Rumsfeld and Cheney, not Gates, he disagreed in many ways and was the adult that the pragmatists(Baker, HW BUSH) insisted go back in to clean things up.
The Surge strategy was devised by Retired General Jack Keane, General Patreus, Bush, and to a much smaller extent Rumsfeld and Cheney. I have yet to find anything that shows that Gates opposed the strategy. If he opposed the strategy he could have turned down becoming the secretary of defense in which he would be actively working to implement that strategy. Gates unlike Barack Obama did not support leaving Saddam in power in 2003.

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Al Qaeda has regrouped and is as strong as it was in 2001, probably stronger.
What evidence do you have of this? What has this new found strength allowed Al Quada to do that they were previously unable to do? Shouldn't they be stronger in Iraq today, not weaker?

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Foreign fighters always represented less than 5% of the insurgency, and there was not a single AQ cell in Iraq in 2003 before we invaded. All of this is factual.
Its also irrelevant. Foreign fighters have always represented less than 5% of the insurgency in Afghanistan. There was not a single AQ cell in Afghanistan prior to the mid-1990s.

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The surge, once again, has failed by its own stated reason for existence- to buy time for the Iraqis to pursue a political solution, which has not happened yet.
The Surge never had just ONE purpose. It always had a number of political, economic and security goals. So far by an objective measure, it has been a massive success. Its only those with unwavering political bias that have insisted that it failed. Accomplishments continue on the political front, and Iraq is in a much better place today politically than it was before the start of the surge.

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The US military can keep any country relatively calm, we are the best military on earth. The question is, should we stay forever as their crutch and cannon fodder when they are making no progress, absolutely not. Gates knows that, Bush knows that, Obama knows that.
Its in the United States national security interest to see Iraq develop a stable government and society that is not a threat to its neighbors. The planets vital energy resources are located in countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Insuring stability and security in the persian gulf has been US policy there for decades. Because of these vital security issues, the United States should not withdraw from Iraq pre-maturely, and stay long enough to help build an Iraqi security force that can replace and provide the security it has provided over the last several years. Gates and Bush know this, but Obama campaigned for an immediate time based withdrawal regardless of coniditions on the ground. Hopefully though, he has changed his mind on this issue, and the massive success of the last two years has made it less of an issue.

Lets take a look at what Barack Obama said about the surge VS. what Admiral Mike Mullen has said about the surge.

YouTube - Obama Says The Surge Will Fail, We Will Fail.

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Saddam Hussein was never a security threat to the United States,
If that were the case, the United States would never have deployed over 500,000 troops to the Persian Gulf in 1990-1991 and gone to war with Saddam to remove his forces from Kuwait. It was the largest deployment of US troops anywhere in the world since World War II! In addition, the United States help set up a massive inspections regime after the war, regularly bombed Iraq from time to time in the 1990s, put the country under the most extensive sanctions and embargo regime in history(although this would later unravel) and help pass 17 UN Security Council resolutions against Saddam's Iraq, passed under Chapter VII rules which allow the use of military force to bring about enforcement. Sorry, but you don't do those things to someone who is "not a security threat".

Listen to what Bill Clinton said about Iraq in the 1990s:

YouTube - Bill Clinton 1998 Iraq Liberation Act

Notice he does not say that Iraq is NOT a security threat.

"Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them."

President Bill Clinton - December 16, 1998


YouTube - President Clinton orders attack on Iraq

Never a security threat?


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You are wrong about Bush Sr, he won by 53-45, exact same margin as did Obama, and Obama with a much bigger turnout percentage wise.
Its not the margin of victory that I was refering to, its the number of states that Bush won. Bush Sr. won nearly all of the states. That, is what a broad based victory looks like.

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it was the first time a non incumbent Democrat had won over 50%
Actually that is factually incorrect since Carter got more than 50% of the vote in 1976.

Also, there has only been two Democratic Presidents in history that received 50% or more of the vote when they ran for re-election, Roosevelt and Jackson. Bush got more than 50% of the vote in his re-election compaign in 2004.

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won college educated whites nationally
He won college educated PEOPLE nationally if you include those with graduate degrees. McCain actually won more people with just a 4 year degree.

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59,934,814 is not over 60 million votes for McCain, and what do you mean by not forgetting? It does not matter, he lost. Kerry won 59 million votes in 2004, what is your point?
The point is that the victory is not as sweeping as you and others have claimed. Votes are still being counted and its likely McCain will be over the 60 million mark soon, unless the count is now complete. McCain got more votes than Kerry, and it appears he will end up with either the 3rd or 2nd most number of votes any candidate has ever received for President in history, despite all the problems that made electing McCain this year so difficult.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:27 PM   #26
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In conclusion, remember what happened the last 8 years when Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld insisted on only those viewpoints they agreed with being heard? Remember the implications? I sure as hell do, we are paying for them now w. a major financial catastrophe
Attributing it all to Bush/Cheney is disingenous. There's plenty of blame to go around for the financial meltdown, and it wasn't caused by a single political party.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:45 PM   #27
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Obama seems able to do what most people cannot. See the good in everyone.
Dread, your one-liners may look to be crushed in between those massive essays, but they are being noticed.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:25 PM   #28
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Rick Warren: Tolerance used to mean, "I treat you with respect even though we disagree." Some people want tolerance to mean now that all ideas are equally valid. That's nonsense. There are some things that are right and there are some things that are wrong.
Clearly Old Think in the Age of Moral Relativism.

And remember this from the Saddleback Forum during the primaries?

WARREN: There’s a lot more I’d like to ask on that. We have 15 other questions here. Define marriage.

OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.
(Followed by further discussion civil unions and constitutions)

How is Obama pandering? They agree on this issue.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:29 PM   #29
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I entered this post into the translator at www.thispostisbatshitcrazy.com and the translation came back:
That's a bit unnecessary, Dalton.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:34 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by INDY500 View Post
Clearly Old Think in the Age of Moral Relativism.

And remember this from the Saddleback Forum during the primaries?

WARREN: There’s a lot more I’d like to ask on that. We have 15 other questions here. Define marriage.

OBAMA: I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman.
(Followed by further discussion civil unions and constitutions)

How is Obama pandering? They agree on this issue.
Define Pandering: In politics, portrayal of one's views to fit in line with a certain crowd of voters the candidate is attempting to impress.
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