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Old 06-04-2008, 09:04 PM   #76
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Italian politics are a catastrophe. I don't know how their government even functions.
Well, in Naples, it doesn't, but I have the distinct impression that most of northern Italy does quite well for itself, which is probably why there is a northern successionist movement.

Italy is I suppose a special case. It is not typical of Europe, but they haven't followed the American system either. An incredibly successful country looked at from some angles, almost a Third World disaster zone looked at from others (witness the piles of refuse lying uncollected on the streets of Naples). A scarily high government budget deficit- yet they still have some of the most genuinely creative people and a solid manufacturing base that won't, I think, 'off-shore' or 'sub-contract' to China any time soon.

But we digress.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:10 PM   #77
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Labor is conservative and as individual politicians go Rudd isn't afraid of putting his Christian credentials out there (opposition to stem cell research and gay marriage while saying Christian socialism informs his sense of social justice - I prefer my Christian politicians to be hypocrites). The stepped up plan to try and introduce internet censorship and eliminate porn, the commentary on the police stepping in to stop Henson exhibitions and the wonderful stepped up alcohol taxes and talk of banning codeine painkillers being examples of this.

It isn't as though the Liberals weren't just as anti-freedom but nothing has changed in terms of social attitudes in this country and I doubt that it ever will, apathy coupled with effectively mandatory voting guarantees center-right parties and social conservatism are always going to come through strong, an aging population will not change that any time soon.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:14 PM   #78
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Labor is conservative and as individual politicians go Rudd isn't afraid of putting his Christian credentials out there (opposition to stem cell research and gay marriage while saying Christian socialism informs his sense of social justice - I prefer my Christian politicians to be hypocrites). The stepped up plan to try and introduce internet censorship and eliminate porn, the commentary on the police stepping in to stop Henson exhibitions and the wonderful stepped up alcohol taxes and talk of banning codeine painkillers being examples of this.
I was not aware of any of this. Sounds like a politician in the Tony Blair mode - nanny knows best, the Christian socialism angle, etc.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:23 PM   #79
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It's a whole bunch of fun, at the end of the day the porn filter can't work, alcohol taxes on kiddie booze switches the youth back to cask wine and making codeine painkillers demand a trip to the doctor stresses the system too much.

That I have a fundamental ideological disagreement with that is moot given that it fits fine with the laws of the land and general social attitudes in this country.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:34 PM   #80
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It's a whole bunch of fun, at the end of the day the porn filter can't work, alcohol taxes on kiddie booze switches the youth back to cask wine and making codeine painkillers demand a trip to the doctor stresses the system too much.

That I have a fundamental ideological disagreement with that is moot given that it fits fine with the laws of the land and general social attitudes in this country.
I think it just shows yet again how much authoritarian socialists and authoritarian rightwingers have in common.

The most dangerous phrase in politics is 'in their own best interests', 'cos it usually isn't.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:37 PM   #81
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I'm not sure that you could even label Labor socialist, they ran on a platform of economic conservatism and have demonstrated social conservatism.

Nothings changed.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:39 PM   #82
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I'm not sure that you could even label Labor socialist, they ran on a platform of economic conservatism .
Aha, well that seems to back up my original point about electorates ultimately voting in their own (perceived) economic best interests!
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:31 PM   #83
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But we digress.
But it's an interesting digression.

Please continue.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:46 AM   #84
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Could you explain to me what you, and other voters opting out or writing-in, are protesting against?
What did Obama do wrong to disqualify him from being voted for? Is it his "small town" faux pas?

And, I'm honestly just asking.

Update. My team was down 3-0 in the Calder Cup finals, but have won the last 2 games and are still alive (which prevented the Wolves from taking the cup on our ice, which we had to watch the Admirals do a few years ago)

Anyway, here's your answer:


Background to see where I fit in: middle-aged woman, college educated, agnostic. Although I’ve mostly lived in small towns, I’ve also lived in Boston and for several years in NYC. I consider myself independent although I am a registered Democrat. I’ve never voted Republican in Presidential elections, but I’m not a party loyalist and will split my vote in other elections. I live in an area with a corrupt Democratic party. This area is now under investigation for a lot of things, by the Secret Service and other agencies including the FBI for violations across the board up to and including our judges. So while I support the stated values of the Democrats, I often find the reality much different from the lip service and often find the laws enacted for protection don’t have many teeth. By nature, I’m a populist. I’m pleased when the citizenry gets rowdy. I like a shakeup when government is unresponsive.

I’m generally unresponsive to rhetoric. I don’t get inspired by Obama’s speeches (or really, anybody’s) and I wasn’t outraged by Jeremiah Wright. I pay attention to what is said but I only believe what people do.

First of all, I’ll answer your small town question. I took notice of the comments not because I didn’t find some truth in them and not even because of the stereotype (God knows, I use the stereotypes myself) but because it was an answer to a specific question, implying that the only answer to the reason that people might choose another candidate than him is unenlightened status---an implication I’ve seen in enough posts here. People choose their candidates for a whole slew of reasons—philosphical and personal and I find it shortsighted and foolish to offer a palatable, simplistic explanation for a choice. It’s a bigotry of a type. But I don’t think a whole lot of offense was taken. The running joke for a while was “What are you clinging to today?”

I would be hardpressed to deny that Hillary supporters include some racists. (As I would be naïve not to thing that Obama’s supporters include some sexists) But I find it distressing that many Obama supporters think that race is the ONLY reason why a Democrat might prefer someone else or the ONLY reason why Obama might not get a Democrat’s vote in November.

A few things bother me about Obama. We saw a lot of the candidates here being that Pennsylvania’s primary schedule provided a lot of campaigning time. On the same day, Hillary was speaking 2 blocks north of where I work, Obama was speaking 2 blocks south. (I didn’t go to either) They both appeared in St. Patrick’s Day events—Hillary at Scranton’s parade, Obama at the Irish women’s dinner (which I thought took a lot of courage since the bulk of the members were Hillary supporters and he made a good impression since women are not allowed to attend the men’s events—by the way, an awful lot of men were at the woman’s event). However, during the Wilkes-Barre events, Hillary made sure that union workers were used to set up her event. Union workers were not used for Obama’s event. I understand he requested them, but Hillary made sure they were used. I probably would have passed it off if he hadn’t had the same problem in the Verizon Center a few months before, where he used a nonunion hall and got a huge amount of flak for it. I would think he would have been more careful. (I am aware that he has a large amount of union support. I am also aware that the union that would have worked his event supports Hillary. And I am also aware it is in the realm of possibility that Hillary’s insistence on union workers and refusing to use nonunion venues is purely politically expedient. Edwards appears to have been the most prounion candidate.) But it is the difference between words and actions.

Obama works up a crowd better. I think Hillary works a crowd better. (Just a random observation)

I was put off by his refusal to debate after Pennsylvania. Not that I thought we needed more debates. But because it came after his worst showing at a debate. Bad timing. A little bit of fear there, discomfort? (Hillary in the same position may have done the same thing, but that is speculation). I thought that his race speech was strong and effective (and so I posted) but a parsing of it would indicate to me that it was a speech carefully designed to end a racial discussion not to encourage it. I wasn’t really happy with the sweetie comments, especially in their contexts. I believe Obama was the first candidate to broach that both the Republican and Democrat nominees take only public financing. This was said during a time before his very effective money-making machine took control and it seemed likely the Republican candidate would have the financial advantage with private donations. When he had scads of money coming in, he backed away. The public financing was meant to appear as a principled stance when it benefited him. I think he ultimately chose correctly on a pragmatic basis, but I took notice that it is easy to stand on principle when it benefits you. It’s been a pattern that hasn’t separated him from any other politician in my eyes. None of these were deal breakers either alone or cumulatively. I certainly appreciate some of his legislation.

I could list the flaws I find with Hillary, but it’s not like they haven’t been pounced on here.

What didn’t bother me? Not wearing a flag pin (lol). That was actually a plus for me, since I don’t wear flag pins, I won’t recite the Pledge of Allegience and I don’t cross my heart during the anthem, although I will stand respectfully enough. Jeremiah Wright didn’t bother me. In some ways it reminded me of many groups with legitimate complaints marred by hyperbole.

But to answer your real question, Although Obama didn’t give me a strong enough reason to vote for him, he didn’t do anything himself that would make me register a protest vote. The protest vote (mine anyway and many of the other people I know) isn’t against him.

The primary reason I’ll be voting for Hillary in November, it has been the media which is increasingly blurring the line between news and commentary. I’m not finding much difference these days between MSNBC and Fox. With a 24 hour cycle without 24 hours of news to fill it, the cable stations became ripe for opinion over analysis, loudness over reflection, taking a one-line sentence (or for that matter, a speech by someone like a Jeremiah Wright) and magnifying it all out of proportion. These talking heads have decided to determine the news, to sway it. If you say it loud enough and long enough, it must be so. They set themselves up to steer the course of this primary. I don't trust in the process as much anymore. They wrote the story before it happened. And when Hillary didn’t follow the narrative, they exploded on her and her followers. You know if there wasn’t this 24/7, this repetition, there wouldn’t be this polarization. There was mythmaking and misogyny.

There was an interesting column in the Washington Post regarding what we are finding acceptable as political discourse now.

Link here: Marie Cocco - Misogyny I Won't Miss - washingtonpost.com

Although I don’t agree necessarily with the last line regarding a hatred of women, I found the easy use and acceptance of misogynistic terms, gender based insults absolutely abhorrent. If this election brought out hidden racism, it also brought out the misogyny from the shadows. These are many of the people who are beating the drum for change, people whose undeserved stature in the media are making this acceptable. I don’t spend all day beating a feminist drum, but I want no part of these coronaters and I want no part of this coronation if those are the tools they chose to use. Strong women aren’t wanted if they don’t go along with the plan. That is the message I took away. From my party. That’s the message I don’t forgive.

There was no entitlement for Hillary to become President. But I would expect when the press comes down on her, it comes down on her with the same criteria you would come down on any other political candidate. She was entitled to that. So were we. My vote will reflect that.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:15 AM   #85
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I would be hardpressed to deny that Hillary supporters include some racists. (As I would be naïve not to thing that Obama’s supporters include some sexists) But I find it distressing that many Obama supporters think that race is the ONLY reason why a Democrat might prefer someone else or the ONLY reason why Obama might not get a Democrat’s vote in November.
That collumists have attacked Hillary supporters as racists to shut down criticism and will probably be even more vigilant against Republicans does a disservice to claims of a post-racial candidacy.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:30 AM   #86
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I've been uncomfortable with that "shut down" for a while now. I don't find it merely objectionable, I find it dangerous.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:45 AM   #87
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What I found bothersome, and I know I'm not the only one and I know that it's not merely or purely a media invention either because people who don't bother with CNN, MSNBC, etc have expressed the same thoughts to me is that Hillary more than passively stoked the fire here. Any rational person will admit that some racists voted for her over Obama (similarly with the sexists vice versa). And she never made any kind of statements about it which I could even understand, but her constant emphasis of the WHITE working class voters that were voting for her (I suppose that the white people out there in Oregon and Washington are unemployed bums?) was at times really distasteful. And maybe she would have gotten a pass on it were it not for Bill's gaffe in South Carolina and her "He's not a Muslim....as far as I know" (WTF honestly), and the Bobby Kennedy icing on the cake in the end. I don't ascribe malicious motives to her only because doing so would be inconsistent with who she has been throughout her life. However, I think that she crossed the line in this election, probably under the guidance of that idiot extraordinaire, Mark Penn. And you can't just blame the media for blowing things out of proportion, because I really do think that many, many people were genuinely bothered by some of her behaviour irrespective of what CNN told them. Just like I think some people were genuinely bothered by some of Obama's comments.

The media is at fault for a lot. But that doesn't give the candidates a free pass either.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:02 PM   #88
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Are there polls showing numbers for voters who are Republican and/or conservative but don't like McCain? Will they stay home? Or write in somebody else?

My parents are in that camp, and they aren't going to vote for McCain. I wonder how many more are in that camp - enough to have a positive impact for Obama?
My parents are the same way. They're die-hard Republicans, but despise McCain. They believe he's really a liberal running as a Republican. So, they may sit out this election year.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:26 PM   #89
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Okay. It's time for my two cents!!!

I'm one of the older Interferencers, and yes, I will admit to being near that Hillary demographic of older women who were solidly in her corner. I was, and still am really, for John Edwards, as he best speaks for people like me who are struggling financially. But, since he is not running anymore...

...I have grown to embrace the idea of an Obama presidency. I think he has Bono-level charisma, and maybe even more! His speeches are magnificent. He has assembled one heck of a bright team around him, something that bodes well for his Cabinet and Supreme Court selections! I love the idea of Michelle and his little daughters living in the White House. I love what an Obama election would say about us, the people of the United States, to us and the rest of the world, that this man has been judged not by the color of his skin but by his outstanding character and intelligence (I'm paraphrasing MLK here).

But....but...

When I watched Hillary's concession speech yesterday, I cried for her.

I know far too well how it feels to be disappointed. I know personally how it feels for you and your friends at a workplace to all be let go within months of each other because you have made the mistake of growing older. It happened to me last year. It hurts. The women who are vocal about not wanting to vote for Obama because of how Their Candidate was treated, I'll bet they've felt the same disappointment as I have. They are taking Hillary's defeat very, very personally, because they see themselves in her defeat.

I like Hillary very much as a person, and I wish her well. I wish for her a vacation on a sunny beach somewhere that she can kick back, drink Pina Coladas and read trashy novels, somewhere she can relax. I don't think she had the best judgment as far as her campaign advisors went, and that could be a flaw that would hurt a presidency. That, in my mind, is what did her candidacy in...well, that and the fact that Obama is a once-in-a-generation kinda candidate.

As for the angry Clintonistas who are threatening to vote for McCain...Cindy & John McCain slept together the first night they met. While he was married to his first wife. Who was disabled as a result of a car crash. Who waited for him while during his 5-year stay at the Hanoi Hilton. I'll bet that ugly and just plain WRONG scenario cuts too close to home for some of these women, who might have endured the same type of treatment in their own lives. I hope they realize this, and choose to come home to the Democratic party in November.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:05 PM   #90
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Thanks for the explanation, BonosSaint.

I'm not sure whether it's the right way to punish Obama and the Democrats for the media's failings, indirectly helping the Republicans, but I understand how you came to that conclusion a lot better now.

And good luck that your team turns the tide.

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Okay. It's time for my two cents!!!

Who waited for him while during his 5-year stay at the Hanoi Hilton.
The Hanoi Hilton?
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