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Old 01-29-2008, 11:39 PM   #256
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Even my 82 year old mother who is an independent loves Obama. She didn't vote for Kennedy.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:11 AM   #257
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
It's been over 250 posts now, so I thought I'd make some comments of my own.

First off, I still think that my initial thoughts that Obama's support was primarily "image-based" in nature are correct. I would also state that the GOP primaries are also currently based on image.
I'd agree with you. To be frank, I can't remember an election in my lifetime that wasn't largely "image-based." When was the last time the "less charismatic candidate" won?

But I would also add that the criticisms of Obama are also rather shallow in substance. They have the veneer of critical thinking and skepticism but in reality I have yet to see anyone make a serious case for Obama's lack of fitness for office. In fact most of the criticisms seem to be along the lines of "well with that hope-change-hope talk, he can't possibly have any substance" which is really a nonsense argument. The fact that someone happens to be charismatic does not automatically mean they are lacking in substance.

What elements of Obama's platform are untenable and unrealistic?

What evidence do we have that Obama will be completely unable to handle the complexities of leading the nation?

What evidence do we have that his judgement is poor, his intellect lacking?

If these questions can be answered, well then we would have good reason to discount his charisma and soaring speeches. Without first making those arguments though, opposition to Obama is as "surface" as rabid support.

I'll be honest, I don't see much depth to any aspect of this election season or the discussion of it so far.

As to the viability of his promise of change, I see this as far more than a question of whether he's going to sweep into office and turn Washington into a daisies and puppies utopia. I don't expect that and I don't know that any thinking Obama supporter does. The question of change has less to do with changing Washington and a lot more to do with changing the country, particularly in terms of engaging of the electorate. This election, I see as a referendum on how cynical we've become as a nation.

Do we still believe that the ordinary citizens have a voice in our government? Do we still feel it's worth it to vote? Do we think it's possible to come together as a country despite our differences or is divisiveness and increasing polarization the expected norm? We'll know well before November whether the "change" Obama speaks of can be a reality--how far he gets in the race will tell us. Our country was built on soaring themes--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--themes that often failed to bear out in reality but could always be called upon and aspired to. If we no longer believe that such soaring themes have any relevancy or have any practical chance of being realized then we will scorn those who act as if they can. And if that happens I fear the days of the American Republic are numbered, and the days of the Empire are near at hand.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:07 AM   #258
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I think the cynicism generated by the Bush Presidency makes Obama incredibly attractive- I do wonder if we had a different President for the last 8 years, how that would affect how Senator Obama is viewed. It's a nostalgic comparison but I think he has a very long way to go before he can be compared to President Kennedy. I think that's being thrown around way too easily and lightly, no offense to the Kennedy family.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:27 AM   #259
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
It's been over 250 posts now, so I thought I'd make some comments of my own.

First off, I still think that my initial thoughts that Obama's support was primarily "image-based" in nature are correct. I would also state that the GOP primaries are also currently based on image.
This is how an American president is chosen, so it's just par for the course.

If JFK Jr. was around he'd probably be the front runner. Good looking, father was a president, charming, rich, what the hell more do you need?
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:41 AM   #260
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No doubt about it, JFK Jr would have been the hottest President ever-but no way could I have voted for him. He was great looking and probably a nice guy and decent person away from all of that public image, but not qualified for that job if he had lived and lived the same life. Unless he had become a Senator or something and had some real record of accomplishments. At least Senator Obama isn't riding on family coattails.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:56 AM   #261
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean
What elements of Obama's platform are untenable and unrealistic?

What evidence do we have that Obama will be completely unable to handle the complexities of leading the nation?

What evidence do we have that his judgement is poor, his intellect lacking?

If these questions can be answered, well then we would have good reason to discount his charisma and soaring speeches. Without first making those arguments though, opposition to Obama is as "surface" as rabid support.

I'll be honest, I don't see much depth to any aspect of this election season or the discussion of it so far.
But that's it. There's nothing inherently wrong with his platform. Or Hillary's platform. Or that of John Edwards. Or even Dennis Kucinich's platform. The differentiating factor, thus, becomes that of image itself. Since all but Obama and Clinton have been deemed the image of "unelectable," they have been cast out of the race. And so now we have to manufacture differentiating factors between the two candidates, which is where we're getting all this rhetoric about "change," "hope," and "inspiration," versus quasi-apocalyptic language of "two-headed 'Billarys'" and "division." But, essentially, all things being equal, their platforms aren't all that different.

Quote:
As to the viability of his promise of change, I see this as far more than a question of whether he's going to sweep into office and turn Washington into a daisies and puppies utopia. I don't expect that and I don't know that any thinking Obama supporter does. The question of change has less to do with changing Washington and a lot more to do with changing the country, particularly in terms of engaging of the electorate. This election, I see as a referendum on how cynical we've become as a nation.

Do we still believe that the ordinary citizens have a voice in our government? Do we still feel it's worth it to vote? Do we think it's possible to come together as a country despite our differences or is divisiveness and increasing polarization the expected norm? We'll know well before November whether the "change" Obama speaks of can be a reality--how far he gets in the race will tell us. Our country was built on soaring themes--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--themes that often failed to bear out in reality but could always be called upon and aspired to. If we no longer believe that such soaring themes have any relevancy or have any practical chance of being realized then we will scorn those who act as if they can. And if that happens I fear the days of the American Republic are numbered, and the days of the Empire are near at hand.
Cynicism has been on referendum for 40 years now, and no president has ever made a solid case as to why we shouldn't be. If Obama is able to heal the divisions, then more power to him, and I wish him the best.

But, again, this sentiment is merely a repeat of Bill Clinton in 1992; a youthful candidate to save us from the "darkness" of the (elder) Bush Administration. Yet, we saw what happened. In a matter of two years, the political winds blew the other direction, and we had a GOP-controlled Congress for the rest of his term, effectively condemning us to manufactured scandals and controversies straight out of the neoconservative playbook they themselves had taken from The Prince. The end justifies the means, after all.

But I digress, only slightly. If we are to believe in the Enlightenment-era values that created our country--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--then that will require having the fortitude to defend it, and that, alone, has eluded liberalism for 40 years now, thanks to the philosophical arrival of cultural relativism. And that's where we get the Democratic platform not being shaped by any sense of purpose or ideology, but rather by the shifting winds of the focus group.

The 2000 and 2004 elections, for the Democratic party, were the apex of this problem. Am I entirely convinced that 2008 has suddenly rectified this? Not really, but I think there has been some sparse, probably unconscious steps to change. As for the future unity of the United States, only recently have I decided that the old Roman Republic/Roman Empire comparison is probably not valid for us. It is, perhaps, better to look at the history surrounding the advent of the printing press, instead. This was a truly revolutionary invention that forever changed the history of Europe, transforming the "old world" into something completely different. The internet has been an invention that has had an equivalent impact to that of the printing press. It must be remembered that change didn't happen overnight with the printing press, and change hasn't happened overnight with the internet either.

From a historical point of view, the internet is new. It still has plenty of time to manifest its destiny. But I believe that its present impact has been less the spread of democracy, as neoconservatives would have wished, but, instead, the subdivision of hegemony. We are, in essence, discarding the ties that bind us, in favor of associating with those that agree with us. I believe that 2008 has been the first election to exemplify this cultural shift, as we now have an election, where the base of support is not surrounded around the party, but, instead, are congregating around individual candidates with seemingly little chance of reconciliation between the camps--and this applies to both the Democrats and Republicans. In the end, I believe that we will all rally around our parties in this election, but I would be curious to see if this holds true in 2012.

The ties that bind us together are loosening, and I'm not sure what can be done. But one thing that will go a long way is the sense of our next president actually accomplishing something. As for whether Obama, Clinton, or anyone else can achieve that, it's anybody's guess. But it is imperative. Merely "feeling good" or being "inspired" isn't going to cut it anymore. We've tried that, and it's failed.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:16 AM   #262
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Hillary's running on image and feeling as well, otherwise we'd have Biden versus Dodd right now.

An area that I view Obama more favorably than Clinton are the Iraq and Iran votes for military action. Another area is that Obama supports lifting the $97,500 income cap for Social Security taxes and Hillary opposes it. So, he at least has a good answer for "where will the (funding) money come from?".
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:26 PM   #263
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Now that Edwards and Richardson is out I'm voting Obama next Tuesday. Obama said some wonderful things about Edwards today. Its is really cold outside today and I've got to canvas my precinct, so people know where to vote. I hope that it warms up here this week. I live in New Mexico and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:32 PM   #264
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What is really cold in New Mexico, 50? Bunch o' wimps
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:08 PM   #265
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Quote:
Originally posted by watergate
I live in New Mexico and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
I live in NM, too, and it ain't that cold. Get your butt out to vote on Tuesday!! I don't care who you vote for, just let your voice be heard!

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Originally posted by
MrsSpringsteen


What is really cold in New Mexico, 50? Bunch o' wimps
Actually, Ms. S, it's going to be in the single digits tonight here in Northern NM but it's up in the 30s during the day. People sometimes think the weather in NM is similar to AZ but it's the high desert out here so it gets really cold, especially this year.

/NM weather forecast
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:58 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally posted by watergate
Now that Edwards and Richardson is out I'm voting Obama next Tuesday. Obama said some wonderful things about Edwards today. Its is really cold outside today and I've got to canvas my precinct, so people know where to vote. I hope that it warms up here this week. I live in New Mexico and I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather.
Try -14F this morning...

Anyway, no matter what the weather entails on Tuesday, I'll be out at the caucus.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:48 AM   #267
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


But that's it. There's nothing inherently wrong with his platform. Or Hillary's platform. Or that of John Edwards. Or even Dennis Kucinich's platform. The differentiating factor, thus, becomes that of image itself. Since all but Obama and Clinton have been deemed the image of "unelectable," they have been cast out of the race. And so now we have to manufacture differentiating factors between the two candidates, which is where we're getting all this rhetoric about "change," "hope," and "inspiration," versus quasi-apocalyptic language of "two-headed 'Billarys'" and "division." But, essentially, all things being equal, their platforms aren't all that different.



Cynicism has been on referendum for 40 years now, and no president has ever made a solid case as to why we shouldn't be. If Obama is able to heal the divisions, then more power to him, and I wish him the best.

But, again, this sentiment is merely a repeat of Bill Clinton in 1992; a youthful candidate to save us from the "darkness" of the (elder) Bush Administration. Yet, we saw what happened. In a matter of two years, the political winds blew the other direction, and we had a GOP-controlled Congress for the rest of his term, effectively condemning us to manufactured scandals and controversies straight out of the neoconservative playbook they themselves had taken from The Prince. The end justifies the means, after all.

But I digress, only slightly. If we are to believe in the Enlightenment-era values that created our country--"all men are created equal", "We the people", "a government of the people, for the people and by the people"--then that will require having the fortitude to defend it, and that, alone, has eluded liberalism for 40 years now, thanks to the philosophical arrival of cultural relativism. And that's where we get the Democratic platform not being shaped by any sense of purpose or ideology, but rather by the shifting winds of the focus group.

The 2000 and 2004 elections, for the Democratic party, were the apex of this problem. Am I entirely convinced that 2008 has suddenly rectified this? Not really, but I think there has been some sparse, probably unconscious steps to change. As for the future unity of the United States, only recently have I decided that the old Roman Republic/Roman Empire comparison is probably not valid for us. It is, perhaps, better to look at the history surrounding the advent of the printing press, instead. This was a truly revolutionary invention that forever changed the history of Europe, transforming the "old world" into something completely different. The internet has been an invention that has had an equivalent impact to that of the printing press. It must be remembered that change didn't happen overnight with the printing press, and change hasn't happened overnight with the internet either.

From a historical point of view, the internet is new. It still has plenty of time to manifest its destiny. But I believe that its present impact has been less the spread of democracy, as neoconservatives would have wished, but, instead, the subdivision of hegemony. We are, in essence, discarding the ties that bind us, in favor of associating with those that agree with us. I believe that 2008 has been the first election to exemplify this cultural shift, as we now have an election, where the base of support is not surrounded around the party, but, instead, are congregating around individual candidates with seemingly little chance of reconciliation between the camps--and this applies to both the Democrats and Republicans. In the end, I believe that we will all rally around our parties in this election, but I would be curious to see if this holds true in 2012.

The ties that bind us together are loosening, and I'm not sure what can be done. But one thing that will go a long way is the sense of our next president actually accomplishing something. As for whether Obama, Clinton, or anyone else can achieve that, it's anybody's guess. But it is imperative. Merely "feeling good" or being "inspired" isn't going to cut it anymore. We've tried that, and it's failed.
Fascinating. You always manage to think of/see things in a way I had not thought of before.

A place like Interference seems to attract a broad spectrum of people (granted we do all agree that we like U2 (though I suppose even that is up for debate if you visit EYKIW much, but beyond that). So perhaps there might still be hope for the ties that bind?
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:25 AM   #268
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Washington Post


Clinton's LBJ Comments Infuriated Ted Kennedy

There's more to Sen. Edward Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama than meets the eye. Apparently, part of the reason why the liberal lion from Massachusetts embraced Obama was because of a perceived slight at the Kennedy family's civil rights legacy by the other Democratic presidential primary frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Sources say Kennedy was privately furious at Clinton for her praise of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act accomplished. Jealously guarding the legacy of the Kennedy family dynasty, Senator Kennedy felt Clinton's LBJ comments were an implicit slight of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who first proposed the landmark civil rights initiative in a famous televised civil rights address in June 1963.

One anonymous source described Kennedy as having a "meltdown" in reaction to Clinton's comments. Another source close to the Kennedy family says Senator Kennedy was upset about two instances that occurred on a single day of campaigning in New Hampshire on Jan. 7, a day before the state's primary.

The first was at an event in Dover, N.H., at which Clinton supporter Francine Torge introduced the former first lady saying, "Some people compare one of the other candidates to John F. Kennedy. But he was assassinated. And Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually" signed the civil rights bill into law.

The Kennedy insider says Senator Kennedy was deeply offended that Clinton remained silent and "sat passively by" rather than correcting the record on his slain brother's civil rights record.

Kennedy was also apparently upset that Clinton said on the same day: "Dr. [Martin Luther] King's dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Ac. It took a president to get it done."

Both comments that day, by Clinton and her supporter, were meant to make the point that Clinton would be better equipped to get things done as president than Obama, her chief Democratic rival. Sources say Clinton called Kennedy to apologize for the LBJ comments. But whatever she said clearly wasn't enough to assuage Kennedy, who endorsed Obama earlier this week.

Kennedy insiders say the Massachusetts senator has also been angry with former President Bill Clinton for his "Southern strategy" themed comments on the campaign trail. The senator didn't hide his disdain for the nasty tone of the campaign during his endorsement speech at American University on Monday.

Kennedy's spokeswoman, Melissa Wagoner, would neither confirm nor deny that the senator was angered by Senator Clinton's LBJ comments. She simply said: "Senator Kennedy knows that candidates can't always be responsible for the things their supporters say. He's proud of President Kennedy's role in the civil rights movement, and believes that it's time to unify and inspire Americans to believe we can achieve great things again."

The Clinton campaign hasn't responded yet to our evening-time request for comment on Clinton's telephone apology to Kennedy. On the day of the LBJ rhetoric, however, a Clinton campaign spokesman was quoted on the New York Times' politics blog distancing Clinton from the surrogate who made the inappropriate assassination comment.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:00 PM   #269
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Clinton was a Goldwater girl and she didn't support LBJ in 1964. I'm going to see Obama tomorrow in my city. I think that he is going to take New Mexico and the majority of the state is Hispanic. Except most of the Hispanics in New Mexico are people who's families who have been here for over 400 years when the Spain colonized New Mexico, so New Mexico different than the rest of the Southwest. The Hispanics here have political power in New Mexico government that they had since Spain ruled New Mexico. They are very patriotic and they drive American cars, but they are liberal. Racist attitudes aren't tolerated in New Mexico except for Eastern New Mexico which is like Texas. There aren't too many immigrants here from Mexico and Latin America, because our wages are low. Most of the people from other countries here have degrees and are scientists and engineers, since New Mexico is home of the atomic bomb and we have the National Labs here.
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Old 01-31-2008, 05:39 PM   #270
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Sources say Kennedy was privately furious at Clinton for her praise of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act accomplished. Jealously guarding the legacy of the Kennedy family dynasty, Senator Kennedy felt Clinton's LBJ comments were an implicit slight of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, who first proposed the landmark civil rights initiative in a famous televised civil rights address in June 1963.
Marginalization of MLK aside, she made it perfectly clear with her "praise" of Johnson that he was continuing what Kennedy had started and had hoped to achieve. And the reality is that Johnson showed much more drive and backbone than JFK had about getting the Civil Rights Act through Congress, whether Ted Kennedy wants to admit it or not.
Quote:
Originally posted by watergate
Clinton was a Goldwater girl and she didn't support LBJ in 1964.
She was 16 years old and the daughter of a fervent Goldwater supporter at the time, so I wouldn't be inclined to see that as revealing of much of anything.
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