Just to Make Things Official About This Election: Obama for President

By this point it should be obvious to anyone who’s read this site for more than a day, but just in case it’s not:

I endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States and will be voting for him on Tuesday. I heartily encourage you to do so as well, if in fact you have not voted already.

I’m going to vote for him because I believe he is what I think a president should be: Smart, informed, engaged, practical in ideas and in the execution of those ideas, deliberative and as we have seen in this campaign, someone who keeps his head while all those around him are losing theirs.

Also, look: Dude came from almost nowhere and torpedoed Hillary Clinton in the primaries, and barring something close to a massive violation of both natural and political laws, is going to torpedo John McCain in the general election Tuesday. Clinton and McCain are (or were) two of the most popular politicians around: Clinton among the Democratic base and McCain among the general population. Obama got help from economic, national and world events, and from Clinton and McCain both running bad campaigns, but at the end of the day, the dude simply out-performed, out-strategized and out-campaigned the both of them.

He’s not where he is now because he got lucky. He got there because he worked for it. I mean, holy God, people: He’s a black man named Barack Hussein Obama. Think of what you have to do just to get beyond that here in these United States. I joked the other day that it was a verifiable miracle of St. Obama, but in the real world, it’s no miracle. The man earned being where he is today, and likely where he will be at the end of Tuesday night.

I’m voting for Obama, but I’m also voting against both the Republican Party and John McCain, and voting against both for the same reason: Outside of a drive to win and be in power, there’s just nothing there. It’s in fashion for Republicans to kvetch and moan that George Bush has trashed the Republican brand, and of course there’s something to that, because when your standard bearer for the last eight years is the single worst president in the history of the nation, save for the one who actually presided over the dissolution of the United States, it’s hard to come back from that.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Bush is the standard bearer for the GOP because the GOP wanted him. He was (in what will likely soon be more than one sense of term) the ultimate president for the modern GOP: a genial figurehead for the general population to have its figurative beer with while the “smart guys,” rather less attractive (no one wants to have a beer with Karl Rove), do their thing in the background. Bush was what the GOP wanted him to be and did everything they wanted him to do. Its problem is not that Bush wrecked the GOP brand, but that through him the modern GOP became what it was always going to be, in the end.

The tragedy of John McCain is that he thought the modern GOP had another round in it, and bought into the program. In one sense you can’t blame him, because it had flattened him in 2000, and in the end he wanted to be president, and he decided to go with what he’d personally seen work rather than trying to do his own thing. This was half smart, since it got him through the primaries. But then came the general, and it failed him, because 2008 is not 2000 or 2004, and this year it’s not enough to be president of just the Christian fundamentalists and the Limbaugh/Hannity fan club. To be sure, McCain had a hard road this year no matter what. It’s hard out there for every Republican. But it didn’t help him that he ran a campaign that Obama’s folks saw coming from miles away.

I was never going to vote for John McCain, but of all the GOP primary candidates this year, he was the one I would have had the least problem with eventually becoming president. But he lost me with his campaign, which was substanceless, stunt-driven and more focused on trying to scare voters from Obama than on making the case for McCain. I wanted to feel like if McCain won that there would still be enough of a break between his administration and the Bush administration that we wouldn’t continue the downward spiral we’ve been on — that McCain at least would be there at the controls, trying to yank the flaps into a “climb” position. Instead all I got from his campaign was that McCain’s a maverick, and Obama hangs with terrorists and probably wants to eat my children. You know, I’m not stupid. I know when someone’s trying to distract me with handwaving from the fact there’s no there there.

And then there’s the Palin thing, which exposed the bankruptcy of both the McCain campaign and the modern GOP. No one in the world believes that the Palin pick was anything more than a spur-of-the-moment choice, a sop to the GOP base and a transparently cynical bid for the Democratic women still smarting from Clinton’s loss in the primaries, an estimation by McCain’s camp that Palin’s possession of a vagina outweighed the fact that she shared not a single policy with that presidential candidate. That failed, at least; about the only Hillary supporter McCain picked up is Lady de Rothschild, to whom he is most welcome. The rest were understandably insulted.

But the Palin pick did firm up the support of the GOP base, a fact which should terrify anyone with a working brain. Palin is indisputably the single worst major party candidate for high office in living memory, a proudly ignorant political automaton whose only notable qualities are a pretty face, a sufficient lack of awareness to blind her to her own incompetencies and a quality of ambition that can only be described as voracious. The GOP base should have been insulted that this was all it was given by the McCain campaign; instead it embraced her and has declared her a frontrunner for 2012. Which tells you that the GOP base has learned nothing in the last eight years; Palin, in every way that matters, is nothing more than Bush with boobs. The GOP base doesn’t want a president, it wants a mirror.

It’s appalling that the GOP base holds up Palin as the sort of person it wants as president of the country, and it points to the sort of intellectual and moral vacuousness that party has that the rest of us simply can’t afford anymore. McCain’s decision to pick her as his running mate is something politics wonks will discuss for decades, one of those credibility-destroying moments that in retrospect simply defies belief.

As for how I felt about it personally, let me put it this way: before the Palin pick, I was going to vote for Obama. After the Palin pick, I was also and most emphatically voting against McCain. The only way Palin should be in the White House is on the public tour. Shame on McCain for proclaiming she’s competent to actually be president. He deserves to lose for that single decision alone. I suspect he may.

So: I am for Obama. I am against McCain. And I believe the GOP deserves what is very likely to come it, this Tuesday. My vote that day will reflect all three of these.

273 thoughts on “Just to Make Things Official About This Election: Obama for President

  1. I voted for him last week, taking advantage of our 2 weeks of early voting. I did this in spite of the fact that I am less sure of him than I was previously.

    One thing I really like about him was that he said things like, “This is a great program, and it is something that I am going to try to do, but we have to agree that it might take a year or more to get it through congress.” One speech I saw, he gave estimates on whether things he wanted were actually doable based on congressional agreement.

    Now he acts like he is running for dictator, like all the others, with statements like “I will establish …. I will ensure …. ” making promises he knows he can’t keep by himself.

  2. Supposedly one of Obama’s biggest fundraising spikes was immediately following Palin’s convention speech. (And in my case, during the speech.)

  3. Thank you for living in a swing state, John. When I left the country of my birth, it was in part because I feared that there were none of you left. Discovering how wrong I was has been one of the highlights of this campaign. Obama alone is not what gives me hope for America, but rather the people who support him, the ones who raised him up, the ones who turned him from a longshot into a contender. They are the ones who, come Tuesday, will give new meaning to “government by the people, for the people,” and they are the ones in whose intelligence and judgment I might learn to trust again.

  4. A great summation of the facts in this election; you hit every major point for my support of Obama. I’m sending the link to this post to every one of my family in Pennsylvania. Most of them are disaffected Republicans, and I’m hopeful that they pull the correct lever on Tuesday.

  5. I was already going to vote for Obama–I’d caucused for him in the primaries–but when McCain picked Palin as his running mate, that was when I started sending money to the Obama campaign. Palin may have energized the GOP base, but she also energized me into campaigning against her.

  6. JJS: I suspect the “I will” bits were in campaign speeches, while the “I’ll try” bit were in debates and interviews.

  7. Thank you for saying so well the things about this campaign that I’ve been thinking.
    I plan on sharing this with everyone I know here in Colorado.

  8. Well said. If I may take a moment to emphasize …

    The McCain campaign is an intolerable slap in the face of feminists.

    The choice of Palin was the most base form of tokenism imaginable. I wish Republican women had revolted against this choice – particularly those well-qualified women who were passed over in favor of Governor Palin.

    The characterization that protecting a woman’s health is the position of pro-choice extremists is more to be feared than any of the paper tigers McCain has tried to use to generate fear of Obama.

    On Tuesday, accompanied by our 9 year old daughter, we will be casting our votes in the swing state of Florida in favor of Senator Obama. We’ll be doing it with her, but more importantly – for her.

  9. I’m still undecided: should I vote for Obama, or should I plunge this very long, thin, sharp needle directly into my right eye? Decisions, decisions. . . .

  10. I already voted, using early voting here in Illinois. This close to Chicago, that won’t stop me from voting again on Tuesday. Several times. ;-)

    I look at this slightly differently: This election is about nerds versus bullies as much as it is anything else. I’m firmly on the side of the nerds; I may have been a career military officer, but I was a nerd, and I had a real education as an undergraduate instead of a worthless piece of paper from that trade school in Maryland (or New York, or Colorado). The GOP, however, has been the party of bullies since Nixon; and if you need any proof, just take a look at Ailes, Gingrich, and Rove, to name three of the worst culprits. And the last thing that the US needs right now is to have another bully in the White House — either for our own good, or the world’s.

    By no means did that mean I’d necessarily vote for Obama; I’m in a “safe” Democratic state, so I had/have the freedom to vote otherwise if I wish. (If you think I’m going to reveal my actual vote, you don’t understand the concept of “secret ballot” — except that I’ll admit that I wrote in “Josiah Bartlet” in 2004… primarily because I actually knew both candidates.) Obama has some serious problems, including his continued advocacy of allowing (that is, making mandatory in practice) prayer in schools.

  11. “whose only notable qualities are a pretty face, a sufficient lack of awareness to blind her to her own incompetencies and a quality of ambition that can only be described as voracious.”

    John, John, John, you left out nice ass and great legs. C’mon, man, these things are important!

    About the only purpose she serves is slamming a few more cracks in the glass ceiling. Nowhere near as many as Hillary and Obama have put in it, but a few more.

  12. I am voting for Obama, but I think we are all going to be a little disappointed over the next 4 years. The president just isn’t capable of doing all the things that he promised; Congress is just too inefficient and self-interested to make substantive changes that quickly. I suspect the things that do get done will come at the cost of many compromises on issues we thought he wouldn’t bend on. I just hope we can get him a second term and a real chance to see the long term effects of his leadership.

  13. “but at the end of the day, the dude simply out-performed, out-strategized and out-campaigned the both of them.”

    Why does this sound like he should win “Survivor”?

  14. I think that if the pre-South Carolina primary John McCain of 2000 had been the one who showed up for this election, it would actually be a good deal closer. That John McCain was an honorable man. The version that showed up this time though does not resemble that person at all.
    Of course, I would never have voted for him, having been “in the bag” or is it “drank the Obama kool aid” a very long time ago.

  15. John, I confess that I agree with every bit of this, and am maybe a little burnt out on the election, so I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the substance. Which left me free to notice once again that you are a hell of a writer. That’s some incredibly tight, well-turned prose.

    I especially like the way you can introduce colloquial words and rhythms into a clearly serious piece and end up looking more dignified. It’s somehow the opposite of Palin’s G-droppin’ aw-shucks-we’re-all-just-reg’lar-ol’-morons shtick, the kind of folksiness that could only come from somebody who grew up in the Uncanny Valley.

  16. Thank you once more for all you’ve written that makes sense and just smacks folks with a dose of reality.

    Mind if I snag that header for my wordpress? I really like it!

  17. I’d already voted for Obama a couple weeks back by absentee ballot. Went with Shelley to do her early voting at Greene County office in Xenia.

    We got there 10 minutes before nine and the line was already double the “If you are here, it’s a 3 hour wait” sign. Then the lady came out and said this was the same process as absentee voting, so everyone had to fill out four or five pages of documentation before they would be given their absentee ballot. Apparently you could start filling out the forms once you got inside the building. So, given all that and other appointments that afternoon, she decided to brave the lines on Election Day. Sure to be an early morning….

    It was exciting to me that so many people were in line and eager to be a part of the process this year. I thought about doing an informal bumper sticker poll of the parking lots, but the stickers with candidate names on them were few and far between. I considered counting the likely affiliated bumper stickers (Unitarians=Obama, Colts fans and other blind-faith underdog supporters= McCain….) but it just got too tricky. I mean where to count the guy with both a Satanism-themed bumper sticker and a PETA one??? :)

    Anyway, probably too small and anecdotal a sample, but it sure feels like more people are interested in voting than the usual partisan faithful. Hope your own sojourn to the polls goes smoothly!

  18. I don’t recall when McCain has said that Palin would make a good president. In the debates he simply said he was proud of her and then tried to state that Biden wasn’t always right.

    Though McCain’s example of Biden didn’t support the first Gulf War doesn’t mean he was wrong. In fact, Biden may have had a better plan, but since we went with the first War, we’ll never know if Biden had a better plan.

    Anyway, did McCain EVER state that Palin would make a great President or is it always “she’s a maverick like me.” or “She’s strong on energy.”?

    Seems like he has always avoided that part of the question…

  19. Anyway, did McCain EVER state that Palin would make a great President

    Uh, the whole part of picking her to be the VP candidate?

  20. The bit about McCain never actually coming out and saying that Palin would make a good president, reminds me of an observation I saw some years ago:

    “Why is the Vice President candidate picked by the one person who is most certain not be around to care about the quality of their job as President?”

  21. And just to push all the right buttons, I don’t think I’m the only person out there who thinks Obama is looking like the conservative choice in this election — and no, folks, I think the current model of the Republican Party gave up all credibility to be considered the party of limited-government, fiscal restraint and modest reality-based foreign policy a long time ago.

    That doesn’t mean I still have huge policy differences with Obama and the Democratic Party — and eventually, the latter are going to over-reach and get slapped down, because demo-crazy rolls like that — but there might just be room to have a grown-up debate on those questions with (and within) an Obama Administration.

  22. Re: David:

    Yes. Since we may assume that McCain, at least, is not ignorant of the Constitution and its strictures of succession, we may assume that in picking Palin, we was well aware that should he die in office, which for a 72-year-old four-time cancer survivor was not a small chance, Palin would thence become president. Either he approves of her as president, or he’s signalling he doesn’t care what happens to the nation after he dies. Either is unacceptable.

  23. I think the case for Bush being worse than Buchanan is a case of initial state. The fundamental flaw that was the conflict over slavery was splitting the country long before he got there, and the confrontation was always going to come when the South stopped being able to oppress the North. Maybe it might have been done better, but I doubt that even a good president would have stopped it.

    Bush? Bush came into office with a country in wonderful financial and military shape. He proceeded to bleed it dry, waste *trillions* on a war that not only didn’t need to be fought, but was *counterproductive*. He filled every branch of government with incompetents and looters, he did his best to wreck the constitution… oh, god, the list goes on forever. In terms of damage *done*, Bush is the worst.

  24. I had many disagreements with the John McCain who ran in 2000, but still respected him; the one running right now is pretty much promising to turn the country’s downward spiral into a nosedive by performing drastic spending cuts during a recession, offering massive tax cuts to the rich, and expecting the Laissez Fairy to save us all with magic supply-side pixie dust. (Not to mention a health care plan that, in my personal situation, can be summarized as “Vote for me! I want your wife to die in agony!”)

  25. The only point I disagree with you on is the worst president: Ulysses S Grant. He was too busy drinking to notice the coruption in his administration. On second thought, maybe W is the reincarnation of Grant — instead of a drunk we have a dry drunk screwing up the country.

  26. I was only pointing out that McCain dodging the specific question is also telling about how he really feels about it.

    I’m not really a presidential or VP scholar by any means, but historically, I don’t think VPs have really been selected for their presidential capabilities, but more for their ability to deliver votes in key states – I’m thinking about Quayle here.

  27. If I had a vote in the US mine would definitely be cast for Obama. Quite apart from the improvement I believe his presidency will give to the US I also think it would be vastly better both for my adopted country Canada and my home country England.

  28. That really should be “votes in key states or demographics.” I don’t think Palin was selected for her ability to deliver Alaska’s vote, but I do think she was selected for her ability to excite certain demographics and not for presidential readiness. But I don’t think that is really something unusual.

    Which is why I pointed out that I don’t think that McCain thinks she is presidential material.

  29. A wonderful summation. Thank you, John.

    I originally decided to vote Obama because I admired his vision. I’d not heard anyone speak so eloquently of hopes and the American dreams I believed in since, perhaps, Robert Kennedy. I watched the pulse of the country quicken with his ideas, and the expressions on the faces of people who saw something in him that had nothing to do with instigating fear or war or one-upping the rest of the world.

    McCain’s choice of Palin was just the icing on the cake. As if the sleazy campaigning wasn’t enough, he chose a person who might help his cause, but was in no way, shape, or form ready to step in as president if necessary.
    And that meant he didn’t give a damn about the country–only about winning.

    Barack the vote.

  30. Like you, I’m voting against Palin.

    But there’s a much more important reason for voting for Obama: Supreme Court Justices. I read that three may leave. THREE! We can’t afford more Scalias and Thomases.

    I am also voting FOR Obama because when he was president of the Harvard Law Review, he didn’t just appoint his friends and supporters to important positions. He appointed a few conservatives, pissing off his supporters. (Frontline had an excellent nonpartisan summary of both candidates 3 weeks ago). He wanted what was best for the HLR, not pushing his beliefs onto the magazine.

    So I think he will be a centrist, doing what’s best for the country in a well-thought out, deliberative way. Not in an impulsive mavericky way.

  31. I’m sorry, but whenever I look at Obama, I get the impression that he’s all sizzle and no steak. He might be ready to be president in the future, but NOT in 2008. I do have one good thing to say about him — he kept Hillary from becoming the nominee, and the country should be eternally grateful to him for that alone. But I’m not grateful enough that I’m goint to vote for him.

  32. It’s a shame we’ve left Ohio, because that three fewer votes, mine, the spouse’s and our 18 YO son’s, to flip the state to Obama. I’m going to be proud to have him as our President for all of the reasons you’ve stated. However, there are other reasons I’m voting Democratic which have less to do with Obama (I was a Clinton supporter) than with repudiating the near-decade of sheer kleptocracy that was the Republican administration of this country. Even if an Obama administration and Democratic Congress are only modestly competent, it will be a huge improvement.

  33. Patrick: You might find some validation of your point here. Go to the 4:00 mark.

    If you didn’t see it, McCain was interviewed by ABC’s Robin Roberts a couple days ago and as he was saying that Palin would make a fine VP “…or…OR…,” his eyes bugged out. Rachel Maddow observed it was as if it was only just occurring to him right there what he’d done.

  34. I’m sorry, but whenever I look at Obama, I get the impression that he’s all sizzle and no steak.

    Yeah, those complete, complex sentences expressing grown-up ideas — and some basic civility and regard for truth over “truthiness” — just screams Not Ready For Primetime to me. Mr Carruthers, sorry to be quite so blunt (and a wee bit vulgar) but McCain lost all fucking credibility to play the “experience” card when he picked Palin. FFS, this is a woman who doesn’t have the brains and judgement to realise when she’s
    being punk’d by a Canadian shock jock
    !

  35. OK, somebody’s going to have to disagree, and it might as well be me.

    First, a lot of JS’s points are excellent. I had a whole lot more respect for McCain before I’d ever heard of Sarah Palin. If by some fluke McCain does get elected, I will troop down to the church every day for the next four years and light a candle for his survival.

    But I’m definitely going to vote for him. Rather, I’m not going to vote for McCain; I’m going to vote for a gridlocked government. With both houses of Congress firmly in the hands of the D’s, I want an R wielding the veto pen.

    Four years ago, the R’s promised fiscal responsibility, and they flagrantly broke that promise. This year, the D’s are promising expanded entitlement programs and a “family-friendly” tax code, and I fear that they’ll keep that promise if they can.

    What the D’s are proposing to do amounts to creating economic incentives for procreation. Our country’s already got over 300 million people, and the Census Bureau projects a population of 420 million by 2050. The last thing the country or the world needs is more people consuming more resources, tearing up more habitat for more subdivisions, and putting out more greenhouse gasses and other nasties.

    The R’s program isn’t great on that score either; as I recall, McCain wants to enlarge the dependent-child credit. But I’m hoping that a Republican president and a Democratic Congress will shoot down one another’s programs. Fewer laws is better laws, especially measures of the kind that the two parties are promoting.

    McCain’s foreign policy? In the wake of the Iraq debacle, he’d have a hard time getting a Democratic Congress to support foreign adventures. Remember that one reason why Congress was so eager to authorize the Iraq war was Bush the Elder’s enormous popularity in the wake of the successful and photogenic Gulf War. Different situation today, folks.

    Supreme Court justices? I don’t think McCain’s going to try to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I don’t think that any sensible Republican president is. (Obviously, that doesn’t include certain governors of states with bears on their quarters.) But in any case, a solidly Democratic Senate can bat down noxious appointees, if they only have the cojones. Furthermore, there’s more than one kind of problem Supreme Court justice. Would Obama appoint more justices of the kind who were in the majority on Kelo vs. New London, and would a Democratic-controlled Senate cheerfully approve them?

    I’d be happier with, say, President Obama and a vicious obstructive partisan Contract-With-America style Congress. But that’s not going to come out of this election. So, not without hoping that Palin contrives to get eaten by wolverines at a moose-hunting-themed press conference, McCain for Prez!

  36. Porphyrogene:

    You’re divided government meme would have a little more credibility if the House and Senate Republicans had shown the slightest evidence that they’d be competent to run an orgy at a sex addict’s convention held in a whorehouse.

    On principle, I do agree with you that it’s not ideal when any party had control of both houses of the federal legislature, and the executive branch. (The last time the GOP was in that position, they went from hubris to nemesis in world record time.) But much as I hate to say this, the Republican Party needs at least eight years in the electoral wilderness until someone takes out the big Government, tax and spend theo-con trash and remembers something my late Grandmother used to say: Trust takes a lifetime to earn, and a moment to squander.

  37. John,

    No surprises in your endorsement, but I am surprised that you didn’t pick up on the fact that the main reason the Republicans put so many incompetents into power is because they believe that government bureaucracy is inherently incompetent anyway. If government is “part of the problem”, then you can just give your favorite fellow-traveler a seat of power and nothing bad will happen because you don’t actually WANT them to do the job.

    In many cases, the viewpoint is that putting someone competent in that seat would actually make things worse. Hence FEMA, TSA, Iraq planning, Sarah Palin’s selection and so many others. The neo-con philosophy can have value in viewing government with a critical eye. But when it actually seeks to govern, it is a morally bankrupt, sociopathic philosophy that is only interested in governing for the sake of the power, prestige and future income opportunities (as a lobbyist or pundit) that the office provides. Look at it this way: why would you actually want to work for an organization that you see as incompetent and useless?

    The neo-con philosophy has now been demonstrated to cause MORE government corruption. To a neo-con, it doesn’t really matter how you allocate the money amongst the agencies, since it’s all “waste, fraud and abuse” anyway. So we end up with mismanagement of everything possible to mismanage: FEMA, TSA, FDA, EPA, the war in Iraq on down to many of the political campaigns.

    When Obama says he is going to run a non-partisan presidency, I think he means that ability and intelligence are more important to him than having the right beliefs. THAT is the biggest difference between him and the wing-nuts on both ends of the political spectrum.

    The biggest thing I’d like to see out of the Democrats is to provide enough funding (and competent management) for the EPA, CPSC, FDA, SEC and other regulatory agencies (possibly even including the IRS) so that they can actually enforce the laws that are already on the books. Universal healthcare, Green power and all the other stuff can wait until the recession ends.

    The biggest concern I still have is that none of us really know how beholden he is to the Chicago Democratic machine. I’m optimistic that, while he may throw them a bone or even some meat, he won’t bend to their will. One advantage of a grass-roots campaign is that you have enough people personally attached to your team that you are much less dependent on the old guard.

  38. Being from Isreal, I don’t get a vote in this, but, my children. If you plan to vote for McCain/Palin because you really think I’m coming back soon, I was just messing with Bush’s head when I told him that. I didn’t think the dude would actually RUN, let alone win. What can I say? Omnipotence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

    That said, no, I’m not coming back during the next eight years. Are you kidding? There’s corporate sponsorships to line up, new apostles to recruit, scheduling, roadies…

    Don’t get me wrong. My Second Coming is really gonna rock, but for now, I’m just dropping by for the occasional visit. Getting all that together is an eternal bitch, or I’d have done it a long time ago.

    Besides, you guys weathered a Great Depression, a world war, a Cold War, and Andy Dick. At least you aren’t doing stupid stuff anymore like setting cities on fire and spreading plagues by killing off the cats who controlled the spread in the first place. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but hey, not as many of you believe Dad created the world in only 6 days one October 6000 years ago. We’re impressed up here.

    Until we realize you have Andy Dick, and frankly, Hell is PISSED they can’t pawn him off on us.

    Oh, and Mr. McCain, if you’re reading this? Don’t make any plans for late 2010. Just sayin’.

  39. About the only purpose she serves is slamming a few more cracks in the glass ceiling

    Nonsense. She’s a token. It’s simply a way to pretend to care about women without actually caring; do you think for a moment that one of Palin’s VPILF-loving dude fans suddenly had a feminist epiphany?

    Porphyrogene, that might make sense if the President’s only function were to wield the veto pen. It’s not. Do you really want to risk Palin managing our foreign policy and appointing anyone to the judiciary?

  40. porphyrogene: Even with a divided government, they will pass an expanded child tax-credit. Mom, motherhood and apple pie are in both party’s platforms. I’ll probably be voting for divided government in 2012 and possibly in 2010, but right now I just want someone who can clean out the Augean stables of the Bush administration. McCain might even be capable of accomplishing that, but the fact that he appointed Palin shows that he is beholden to the religious right and the neo-con power brokers. (See previous post).

    Raine:And that meant he didn’t give a damn about the country–only about winning.
    Or he was being controlled by people who didn’t give a damn…I don’t think McCain’s as maverick as he thinks he is. Hence the twitchy campaign, jumping from theme to theme. He’s another Ronald Reagan, taking the advice of whoever happens to be the last person to speak to him about an issue.

    Patrick M: I was thinking the same thing. Palin may only be as bad a choice as Dan Quayle was from a purely pragmatic standpoint. But George H.W. Bush was a lot younger in ’88 than McCain is now. The risks are a lot higher.

    Jennie: I’m with you on the supreme court. Not so much for Roe v. Wade, but for trimming back the power of the executive branch that Bush/Cheney accumulated. OTOH, since Obama voted for the telecom immunity, I have to wonder if he really will be committed to limiting that power once he’s in office.

  41. Lon@22: Holy crap, where do you live? I just got back from Yellow Springs. Go have tater babies at Young’s for me, will you?

    Oh, and so I don’t threadjack this: voting for Obama. At work, I was accused of “drinking the Obama Kool-Aid,” and I responded: “But Kool-Aid is DELICIOUS.” Was it a lucid, thoughtful reply? Nope. Did it get that person the hell out of my damned office? Yup.

  42. John,

    Something’s flaky in the comment system. My second comment (#42?) went in with a lower number than my first comment (#49?) and many of the comments I was replying to (porphyrogene@#46, for example). It looks like it reversed the order. Some stupid programmer probably optimized code by walking the query set backwards. We’ll see what my comment numbers look like now that I’m posting a third.

    Apologies if there’s a link that I missed for website problems. Poked around a bit and didn’t see one.

  43. Look: Any president who didn’t disappoint me from time to time would surely piss of most of the electorate. I already know a few of Obama’s positions that don’t exactly make me kvell, and I expect to find out lots more.

    Adlai Stevenson was the last candidate I fully approved of, and I was twelve years old when he first ran, so what did I know?

    That said, Obama’s the first presidential candidate I’ve ever had that I could vote for with enthusiasm.

  44. I take it back. It’s some kind of a time zone issue with the DST fallback. My posts are going in as Eastern Standard (currently 3:49 PM), but other people’s posts are showing as late as 4:13 PM even though they were posted earlier. So mine are getting inserted in the list “chronologically” and bumping the numbers down. I’m going to reboot my PC in case this is purely a local effect on my machine since it was on all night.

  45. Bozo the Clone:

    “Something’s flaky in the comment system.”

    It might have something to do with the time change. I think I’ve put most comments back where they should be, temporally.

  46. This is the single most well-crafted endorsement I’ve seen, John, with the possible exception of Colin Powell’s. I fully agree with every point.

    One additional point, though: I’m frustrated as hell that the “Obama is a terrorist socialist communist Muslim Hitler baby killer Israel destroyer” crowd apparently cannot be won over. Unless Rush or Hannity or that email forwarded by your friend said it, it must be a lie and can therefore be ignored. I’m speaking from bitter experience here. Fortunately, the object of their scorn will win anyway. Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to notice when President Obama fails to destroy Israel, kill their babies, take all their money to give to welfare cheats, etc. Such people worry me.

  47. Simply put, if Obama gets in, there may be hope for a peaceful, prosperous future in the less-than-decades term for America. If McCain gets in, I do not believe that America has a hope for a peaceful, prosperous future in any timeframe that’ll do any adults any good.

    It’s not just the GOP who’s “brand” has been ruined in the last .8 decades. The United States itself has been tarnished, and thrown aside it’s moral high ground. That needs to be earned back. Further GOP rule is a guarantee of that Not Happenning. I don’t know if Barry is the guy to bring it back around, but I know nobody on the GOP ticket is the guy.

    I just wish I had a voice for this, the most obviously important election of my life. Ho hum. Should’a made sure earlier, nobody to blame but myself.

  48. My oldest son will be eligible for the draft a day after the next election. OF COURSE I”M VOTING FOR OBAMA. And I’m taking my kids with me when I vote. My vote for Obama is a vote for their future.

    I honestly can’t imagine what this country would be like if Palin was president.

  49. “Nonsense. She’s a token. It’s simply a way to pretend to care about women without actually caring; do you think for a moment that one of Palin’s VPILF-loving dude fans suddenly had a feminist epiphany?”

    VPILF. I’m going to have to steal that.

    As for how I voted, well, that should be obvious by now. I don’t vote for eye candy; I vote for the one who doesn’t placate me with slogans and talks to me like I actually might understand something more than an empty term like “rugged individualism.” (I’m a rugged [looking] individual, and I’m not a Republican.)

    Yeah, I think that’s the Harvard-trained lawyer who only owns one house.

    I’d have said this was a coin toss election before the Palin nom (even though I’ve been pro-Obama since, oh, before Iowa), but since July or so, it’s been pretty obvious I’d never get another good night’s sleep if McCain won.

    Maybe Bob Barr or the Green candidate, but McCain?

    Um…

    Yeah. That would guarantee my moving to Canada by 2012.

  50. The last two times the Democrats had a sustained period with both Congress and the Presidency in their control, they:

    1. Beat the Great Depression, the Germans, and the Japanese, and established the New Deal.

    2. Established the Great Society Programs, passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and got enmeshed in Vietnam.

    That’s not a bad record for undivided (D) government.

  51. I’ve already voted for McCain-Palin. I am happy I cast that vote. I think that Obama-Biden will be a disaster for this country.

    And Obama has his work cut out for him. Pew just released a poll of likely voters showing McCain by one. Zogby’s Friday one day poll had the same result.

    One reason I think McCain will win is PA. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is his stated intent to kill the coal industry (which is getting play in western PA’s papers) Obama has shot himself in the foot in this state. As northern and central PA were already McCain supporters, that leaves Obama only the Philidelphia area.

  52. SteveM:

    Obama-Biden a disaster for the US? How? And, specifically, how will they be worse for you personally than a McCain-Palin administration?

    I assume you’re white, straight, Christian, debt free, have good insurance (which McCain will make more expensive), earn over $200,000, and have no children likely to be sent to Iraq. Otherwise… how exactly will you be better off under McCain?

  53. Sorry, John, I just can’t do it. I don’t see anyone there at all, what there is a series of masks. If there’s someone there, deep inside the pile, it’s a scared little boy. He goes along to get along, and that’s not the recipe for a President.

  54. David #60–

    We’re going to have to disagree on that. I think the New Deal and the Great Society definitely make for a bad record, and I’m afraid that the D’s are going to try to add to it.

    OK, I’m a greedy corporate fat-cat who doesn’t care about honest hard-working American families. But there’s another side to things…

    The biggest problem our nation and our world face is overpopulation. The current economic hard times will pass. The American military presence in Iraq will eventually end. Gay marriages will one day raise no more eyebrows than Catholic-Protestant unions do today. But the population will keep growing, and growing, and growing.

    If the Census Bureau’s projection holds, we’ll have about 40% more people in 2050 than today. That means that we’ll have to reduce the per-capita environmental footprint by close to 30% just to stay at today’s unsustainable level. Even if we all decide to limit ourselves to the living standards of Pakistani goatherders, exponential population growth will eventually wipe out our attempts to reduce our impact on the ecosystem.

    If we take our environmentalism seriously, we have to confront that problem. A minimal start would be to refrain from providing economic incentives for procreation. So what would the D’s Great Deal propose?

    Increasing the dependent-child credit and making it refundable. Ditto the earned-income credit. Taxpayer-financed day-care. Ditto health-care for children. Mandated family leave. And probably much more, as long as we can justify it as the compassionate thing to do.

    Today, one-third of the births in this country are financed by the Great Society’s Medicaid. We’d be a much greater society if we could cut our birthrate by a third. Unfortunately, the measures advocated by the D’s would have exactly the opposite effect; and all the good we do with hybrid cars and compact flurorescents and recycled milk-jugs will be swamped by our growing numbers.

  55. Nice piece John. Hope it makes anyone still straddling that fence think just a little harder before going to vote.

    First – already voted for Obama/Biden on Monday.
    Felt good, took only about 90 minutes. Had a lot of newly registered first time voters showing up whilest I was in line. Nice to see them taking an interest in the country. Suspect they may only have voted for the top couple of spots on the ballot, but at least they showed up! Yay for the newbies!

    Second – It seriously concerned me this morning when I heard Palin’s staff didn’t know the well-established time-honored official protocols for calls from foriegn heads of states which allowed her to be spoofed by a Quebec radio station. Kudos to that station for finding yet another weak link in the RNC’s prize lipsticked pig and her staff!!

    Goes to show we really DON’T want these people back in power.

  56. I would also like to officially announce my vote for Obama. Which already happened, because Ohio rocks!

    Now, if I could only convince my parents (in PA) to vote with me…

  57. You seem to have taken the media’s line on Palin there…

    I don’t know what to make of her to be honest, however I have learned not to trust a damned thing the media reports on her. Reporting on the nasty rumors about Trig not being hers (when they sat on the Edwards baby story…) and other such nonesense (there is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine) and number twisting (claiming she cut funds when records show had actually increased) has broken what trust I had left. Unfortunately that leaves me with very little to go on seeing as I don’t want to search records forever myself. That basically leaves me to assuming that she is an ok human being and she has more policy positions in line with me than not with a not perfect but ok record in government so far.

    Meh, turned into a anti-anti-Palin sort of rant, but the last 1/3rd or 1/4th of your post is an anti-Palin diatribe so whatever…

  58. I’m not eligible to vote in this election.

    Having said that I’ve followed US politics for a long time now, and I did really like the John McCain who campaigned in the 2000 Republican Primaries. He was the best Republican candidate I’d seen in a long time.

    Up until the VP nomination, I thought either candidate could do a good job. Then came Palin.

    No, just no.

    She’s been embraced by that element of society which scares me the most: faith-holders with a simplistic worldview and an absolute refusal to consider even the possibility that any other opinion could be valid.

    An endorsement by those who refuse to think and refuse to consider the facts of a situation before making a decision does not instill confidence. A candidate who self-identifies with that same group fills me with stark terror.

    A Palin presidency would be akin to putting every decision down to a single throw of loaded dice.

    She is the first step to the Republic of Gilead.

  59. Okay, Porphyrogene (if that is your *real* name), riddle me this: Did you follow this philosophy for the elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006? I.e., did you vote Democrat to offset the Republican president? If not, why would we both listening to you?

  60. stevem @# 63: “And Obama has his work cut out for him. Pew just released a poll of likely voters showing McCain by one. Zogby’s Friday one day poll had the same result.”

    Latest national polls, from fivethirtyeight.com:

    CBS/NYT: Obama 54, McCain 41
    CNN: Obama 51, McCain 43
    Diageo/Hotline: Obama 50, McCain 45
    Gallup: Obama 52, McCain 43
    Rasmussen: Obama 51, McCain 46
    Research 2000: Obama 50, McCain 46
    Zogby: Obama 49.5, McCain 43.8

    Smallest spread is 4 points in R2K. Largest is 13 points in CBS/NYT. 538’s model has the gap at 5.4 points. Zogby’s spread is Obama +5.7. Pew’s latest isn’t in that post, but on the Pew site, they show Obama 52, McCain 46. From where you’re getting the “McCain by one,” I don’t know.

  61. Suppose your position was: “Bush has been a disaster. McCain would likely be another 4 years of Bush. Obama is the lesser of two evils. Therefore, I endorse Obama.”

    I could somewhat sympathize with this position. By voting for Bob Barr, I have more or less said as much myself. The current incarnation of the GOP is in need of serious change; and losing at the polls Tuesday may be the first step toward such a change.

    But let’s be honest here: Obama has nothing on his resume that suggests he can handle the Oval Office. Never ran a state. Never achieved conspicuous success in the private sector. The Obama campaign makes much of his history as a community organizer. That might be relevant if this were a campaign for the chairmanship of the United Way. For President of the United States, something more substantial is in order.

    And let’s look at Obama’s “ideas”. His proposal to expand the EITC is simply a welfare program by another name. Is state-sponsored welfare a new idea? He may not “hang with terrorists;” but he is clearly in favor of government-driven income redistribution. These are his words—not John McCain’s. With a likely supermajority for the Democrats in Congress, you can expect the size of the government to grow, and taxes to rise for everyone. Pelosi is already talking about another $300 billion “stimulus package.” Want to bet that an Obama Administration gives it to her?

    This is, quite simply, a personality cult that became a national movement. This is why anyone who gushes over Obama is forced to rely on vague platitudes like “Obama will bring us all together.”

    While we are all holding hands and singing Kumbaya under the banner of the Obama Republic, more of your money (and mine, for that matter) is going to be wasted in Washington.

    You say: “The man earned being where he is today, and likely where he will be at the end of Tuesday night.” My questions are: Exactly how? Exactly when? Has a single public entity or private-sector organization ever become more efficient because Obama was at its helm?

    An Obama presidency may or may not be a worse prospect than a McCain presidency. But nothing substantive about the candidate’s words or his record warrants such heady optimism.

  62. Stevem:

    “Pew just released a poll of likely voters showing McCain by one. Zogby’s Friday one day poll had the same result.”

    You mean this Zogby poll?

    After a strong day of polling for Republican presidential candidate John McCain on Friday, Democrat Barack Obama experienced a strong single day of polling on Saturday, retaining a 5.7 point advantage that is right at the edge of the margin of error of the Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby daily tracking poll. The race has remained remarkably stable down the stretch, this three-day rolling average poll shows.

    Zogby also included this note, which I find amusing: “A special note to blogger friends: calm it down. Lay off the cable television noise and look at your baseball cards in your spare time. It is better for your (and everyone else’s) health.”

  63. Edward Trimnell:

    “An Obama presidency may or may not be a worse prospect than a McCain presidency. But nothing substantive about the candidate’s words or his record warrants such heady optimism.”

    I disagree with you on that to some extent – in that previous executive (or business) experience has not in the past been a good indicator of presidential performance. GWB ran a business (baseball team) and had executive experience. And if you think he did a good job as prez well, then, we’re clearly arguing from different perceptions of reality.

  64. That “baseball cards” comment is Zogby throwing a small tantrum about Nate Silver at 538. Nate isn’t a pollster, just a statistician, best known before this election season for his baseball analysis.

    Zogby uses 2004 voting registration numbers, which show many fewer Democrats than are actually registered this year, and he has a bad habit of making grand pronouncements on little data. Nate’s pointed out these flaws before, and I think Zogby is definitely holding a grudge.

  65. MaryL:

    Oh, I got the dig. However, it’s not Nate Silver who is freaking out; it’s everyone else. Silver’s been very good at telling people to take a deep breath.

  66. Like many here, I kind of liked McCain until this election. He’s pandering to the GOP base & alienating almost everyone else. His choice of Palin only solidified my choice of Obama.

    On a scary note, I’ve had a couple of my 7th grade students approach me & make statements along the following lines after we discussed the political process in my history class: “I hope that McCain wins because my parents say that, if Obama wins, things will be hard for us,” voice sinks to a whisper, “white people.” Doing my best to stay neutral (like a teacher should), I reminded the children that, if he were to treat white people badly, he would be treating the family that raised him badly, & he would probably be removed from office. Parents often scare me, & this unconscious racism is just another example.

  67. Obama has shot himself in the foot in this state

    If “shooting yourself in the foot” means leads in PA of anywhere from 5-15 points, I’d hate to see a state where Obama’s clearing the bases (just to continue with the use of cliched metaphors).

    I think the New Deal and the Great Society definitely make for a bad record,

    I assume, then, that you’re not going to claim social security, medicare, or use any of the other establishments of either program?

    Obama has nothing on his resume that suggests he can handle the Oval Office

    Neither did Lincoln. That’s not to say that O=L, but experience–especially executive experience recently–is overrated.

    Obama’s “ideas”.

    The stupidity of putting scare quotes around “ideas” stopped me reading the rest of your post.

  68. ‘Palin is indisputably the single worst major party candidate for high office in living memory, a proudly ignorant political automaton whose only notable qualities are a pretty face, a sufficient lack of awareness to blind her to her own incompetencies and a quality of ambition that can only be described as voracious.”

    You know, if you replace the word “Palin” with the word “Obama” and change the appropriate pronouns, this statement is just as true…

    I like Obama’s idealism, his optimism, I like his enthusiasm for his own beliefs. The man genuinely beleives in what he says, he’s no poseur when he says “I want to spread the wealth around…”

    I shudder to think whats going to happen to it when the Pelosi-Reid Congress runs roughshod over it. Obama has no political clout with them, and while he might be able to claim some of the bills they pass as his own, there are going to be times where they ignore him, and he’s not going to veto them and risk his own political career. They have their agenda, and it doesn’t exactly mesh with his.

    All that said, he’s going to be a 1 term President IMO. I still say he ran 4 to 8 years to early…

    Andrew

  69. Andrew:

    “You know, if you replace the word ‘Palin’ with the word ‘Obama’ and change the appropriate pronouns, this statement is just as true…”

    Really, no. It’s possible you are unwilling to see the manifest difference in capability between the two, starting in evident intellect and moving on from there, but that’s neither here nor there in terms of the reality of things.

    Obama’s definitely got weaknesses, but they’re not even close to what Palin’s are.

  70. Obama has no political clout with them, and while he might be able to claim some of the bills they pass as his own, there are going to be times where they ignore him

    You know, so far, a number of people have assumed the same thing. Their names were H. Clinton and J McCain. Neither have been proven correct.

    You don’t come out of the Chicago political system by letting people ignore you.

  71. @79

    “Neither did Lincoln. That’s not to say that O=L, but experience–especially executive experience recently–is overrated.”

    Then Palin is qualified to be Vice-President? :-)

    Who was the last President elected with as little “Executive” Experience as Obama?

    Carter was a two term Senator and a 1 term Governor.
    Reagan was a 2 term Governor of California.
    Nixon was a Representative for four years, a Senator for 2, and then VP for 8.
    Johnson was a 6 term Representative and 2 term Senator, then VP.
    JFK was a 3 term representative and 1 term Senator.
    Ike had no political executive experience whatsoever in that he never held political office, but he was a politician extraordinaire during the war, and Ike was one of the better presidents of the last century.

    Are we to believe that Obama’s years in Illinois state politics and the 100 plus days he spent as a Senator have prepared him for the days ahead? Is he the next Ike, or the next Carter?

    Andrew

  72. What you said John.
    I am from Illinois, so I’ve been following Mr. Obama for a long time now. I was thrilled when he won Iowa. But I’ll admit, I was misty-eyed when I heard Hillary won New Hampshire. I realized I had visceral ambivilent feelings, so I polled my beliefs and found that Obama and Edwards were both within a 1 point margin of what direction I wanted to see our country move toward. Mr. Obama was one-point higher, so I cast my primary ballot for him without reservation. I used to be a journalist, so this was the first primary I voted in. We have to declare a party in this state.
    Yet, I couldn’t, really, believe, or maybe hope, that someone so hopeful, so ideological, could really win.
    I do not believe Mr. Obama is a saint. I truely believe that we should render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and render unto God the things that God’s.
    But Obama is the best choice we’ve had is a long, long, time.

  73. @Jon,

    While I most vociferously disagree with many of Palin’s personal views and some of her politics, the factof the matter is Almost any argument you can come up with as to why Palin is unqualified (lack of executive experience, etc…) is equally applicable to Obama. There’s simply no rational way you can compare the two on a “National Politics” level and conclude one is more prepared than the other. They are both ill prepared. The problem is only one of them is running for the top office.

    Andrew

  74. Then Palin is qualified to be Vice-President? :-)

    Nope, but not particularly for her lack of experience. Instead, it’s largely because she is ignorant, shallow, and too dumb to realize either of those things. That’s a problem in a VP, let along a President.

    Are we to believe that Obama’s years in Illinois state politics and the 100 plus days he spent as a Senator have prepared him for the days ahead?

    Oh for the love of…starting a sentence off with “Are we to believe” is the worst kind of sententious rhetorical bullshit (SRB).

    What I actually said (which you should have known from reading) is that experience (especially executive) is overrated. It is overrated because we are currently in a period that exalts the free market and the ‘titans of industry,’ though the financial crisis is putting paid to some of that. As an example of how it its overrated, I pointed to Lincoln, who had little experience and yet managed to be perhaps the greatest American President ever.

    Instead of actually engaging with that, you went with SRB.

    (By the way, citing Carter and Nixon in support of the experience card is not a winning argument. You did avoid the junior Bush, however, which was smart).

  75. @ Porphyrogene
    Bristol Palin. I realize it’s not entirely kosher to bring the children of the candidates into the argument, but her pregnancy and subsequent decision to have the child pretty much undermines you entire argument. Do you really believe that anyone makes a decision to have a child based on tax credits? I would say that there is a far greater chance that the population would increase dramatically under the control of a president who has vowed to overturn R.v.W, and doesn’t support sex education.

  76. McCain’s choice of Palin as a running mate is extremely concerning. Experience is something that can be gained, but this republican notion of being anti-elite ( substitute intelligent) is bizarre. Do the American People really want people like Palin and Joe the Plumber sitting across the negotiating table from Vladimir Putin?

    You really go to send the best to go up against leaders of foreign powers who are not entirely friendly to the US.

  77. @86

    David:

    In today’s 24 hour news cycle, Lincoln could never be elected. Likewise Roosevelt (FDR), Kennedy, Taft, and quite a few others.

    SRB or not, many voters are putting their belief in that Obama’s lack of experience won’t hurt him and isn’t really important. In one sense, that’s true, look at what all those politicians with that experience did…

    Bush the younger was a 5 year Governor, Clinton was a multi term governor, Bush the elder was a two term representative, but then was also an ambassador, head of the RNC, envoy to China, head of the CIA and then VP…

    This election will be the first time since 1960 a senator is going to be elected president, there’s a reason for that.

    Andrew

  78. stevenm – where in Pennsylvania are you claiming to be from? You’re wrong about polling (as John and others have already pointed out) and the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette endorsed Obama. Oh, yeah, if you’re supporting McCain/Palin, the facts don’t matter to you.

    Obama is likely to win Pennsylvania, because even though PA is “Alabama in the middle,” there are enough rational voters in the state to compensate.

    Like many posters, I had some respect for McCain in 2000, but he’s been losing it over the last few years and completely lost it this year. Selecting Palin was a bone to energize for far right. It seemed to, for about six days. But Palin turns off most thinking voters, so few independents and virtually no Democrats are supporting her. Even most of the old Hilary supporters (like me) are more than happy to vote for Obama, given the alternative.

    If for no other reason, a vote for Obama/Biden is another vote against the ludicrously negative campaigning engaged in by McCain/Palin and the other Republicans. I’ve had to hit the mute button quite a lot over the last few days while watching network TV.

  79. @Doug,

    Those are fair questions…but honestly they can be applied to Obama and Biden as well, some of the things they have said with regards to negotiating with other countries bother me as a voter, but then I am not a single issue voter. I know some voters in both parties are put off by what he said, more so on the Republican side, but to many there are other more important issues.

    Andrew

  80. I think we need to cut Porphyrogene @66 a little slack here. His response (apologies in advance if I’ve mis-stated the gender of the author, but it sure reads like a guy wrote it) has prompted me to think a bit here. Let see how it goes. . . .

    First, the comment reeks of middle to upper-middle class privilege. Ok, so I’m not a greedy corporate fat-cat – I’m just one of their pawns – but I wouldn’t think to of blaming the poor for overbreeding and adding to the ecological footprint. If you look at WWF’s reports, the 3rd and 4th world nations are living closer within their fair earthshare, with the exception of biodiversity loss which unfortunately is not quantifiable yet within ecological footprint calculations. That’s unlike first world nations, which contribute mightly to ecological overshoot. If there’s anyone the world could do without to achieve sustainability, it’s. . . us. Does the thought make you uncomfortable? It should.

    News for Porphyrogene: without exerting greater ingenuity and effort, we can’t begin to envision the transformations in human societies that need to occur to get us through the environmental crises of the next generation. We can barely understand the concept of “350” right now and we’re certainly not thinking hard about what’s needed to preserve biodiversity in order to maintain adequate ecosystem services. Family planning and reproductive choice are two of the actions needed, but I’d like to think we’re undertaking them as much for childrens’ health, womens’ health and equality for women as we are for ecological footprint reduction. I agree that the transformations need to be more profound, and that hybrid cars, CFLs and recycled milk jugs just won’t cut it. I’d like to think that “Factor Four” and other sustainability concepts are going to get us over the hump, but I agree that population growth runs the risk of swamping any sustainability advancements we make. However, and I’m perhaps unfairly characterizing Porphryogene’s argument, it sounds ever so much like demanding that the poor curtail breeding (and that Democrats stop abetting the breeding) so that Porphryogene can maintain his(?) existing standard of living.

    Neither the Republican or Democratic leadership are thinking hard enough about these issues. However, the Republican leadership and most of the captains of industry and finance are sprinting in the wrong direction and making the problems worse. The Democrats are at least dimly aware that something is wrong, even if they aren’t leveling with people about magnitude of the challenges that face us.

  81. They are both ill prepared. The problem is only one of them is running for the top office

    Both of them are “running for the top office”. Palin pretty much admitted that she’s going to run (though she coyly says it’s after eight years of McCain), and as Vice President she’s certainly expected to be able to step into those shoes if needed.

    Of course anyone who frets about experience should be concerned about both Palin and Obama, fingers-in-ears chanting about “executive experience” notwithstanding.

  82. Eddie @ 64- I’m white, straight, Christian-lite, not even close to being debt free, have decent insurance (which I pay for direct for myself and family), make a $100,000/year (give or take, my best was $168k) and while my children are not likely to be sent to Iraq (my daughter is 6 and my son 4) every male member of my immediate family, with 2 exceptions, has served in the military (including myself).

    Obama would be a disaster, IMO, on many issues, such as national debt (which neither party has shined but which I hope divided government w/ McCain as president will rectify), on taxes (I do NOT trust Obama on this issue), energy (Obama borders on inanity on this, so far as I am concerned), foreign policy and war (McCain is head and shoulders above Obama on this issue).

    John Scalzi @ 74- Yes, that was the poll. I thought Zogby’s note at the end was funny as we news junkies are pests.

    Three quick comments on that poll-

    1. It seems Obama made up ground on Saturday. Per Rasmussen and Gallup (a cable interview), Republicans do terrible on Saturdays.

    2. Pew reported today (on cable) that Obama leads McCain by 5 with registered voters but trailed one with likely voters.

    3. Here’s a poll released to day, by the firm that pegged 2004, that has the race very much up in the air- http://www.ibdeditorials.com/series13.aspx?src=POLLTOPN

    Laurie Mann @ 91- I lived in Trout Run, outside Williamsport though I was not born there (I’m an Arizonan). Went to high school at Liberty, PA, graduated, did the Marine and college thing, married a girl from Trout Run, moved back to AZ but all the in-laws are still in PA. Per the in laws and extended family (numbering several dozens), McCain (or more particuraly, Palin) is rocking everything but Philidelphia.

  83. Mythago: The thing that makes me more comfortable with Obama’s lack of executive experience is that he’s repeatedly demonstrated the ability to put together a high-quality, empowered team. No president can manage the whole shebang on their own, no matter how experienced they are. From Harvard Law to the current campaign, Obama has shown executive and team-building skills every step of the way.

    And once again, when it comes to negotiations with anybody, whether a foreign government, the opposing party, or the wing-nuts in your own party, I’d rather have a poker player than a craps-shooter in charge.

  84. Do the American People really want people like Palin and Joe the Plumber sitting across the negotiating table from Vladimir Putin?

    As much as I respect Obama, I don’t know if I want him sitting across the table from Putin, either. Biden is even worse. For as much as the press went after Palin, I was disappointed that Biden didn’t get the same level of scrutiny. He graduated in the bottom half of his undergraduate class and near the bottom of his law school class, after going to a middling law school…and he is somehow seen as being sharp.

  85. In today’s 24 hour news cycle, Lincoln could never be elected

    1. I don’t know that that’s true, 2) it’s irrelevant to the discussion

    many voters are putting their belief in that Obama’s lack of experience won’t hurt him and isn’t really important

    You don’t really know in what ‘many voters’ are putting their beliefs. It’s pretty much always a sign of someone losing an argument when they start vaguely to invoke what the crowd or the mob or the public *must be* doing, despite having no way of knowing.

    Bush the younger was a 5 year Governor, Clinton was a multi term governor, Bush the elder was a two term representative, but then was also an ambassador, head of the RNC, envoy to China, head of the CIA and then VP…

    Bush the younger was a disaster. Was that because of his experience or in spite of it? Clinton was a pretty solid President. Was that because of his experience or in spite of it? Bush the elder was a pretty solid President. Same question.

    My point is that you’ve listed lots of Presidents with experience, some good, some bad, some awful, but you haven’t demonstrated any way in which experience is critical to the job.

    This election will be the first time since 1960 a senator is going to be elected president, there’s a reason for that.

    Senators tend not to get elected because they have so many procedural and non-binding votes on every issue that you can paint them as for or against anything. Remember Kerry’s “I voted for that before I voted against it?”

    Besides, what on earth are you asserting? Surely in your framework, McCain has lots of experience, and he’s a Senator?

  86. While I agree with some of your reasons,, and I am not a Republican, I think electing Obama will be a cure far worse than the symptoms. I hate the partisanship and outright stupidity of our elected leaders, and giving any one party a supermajority is likely to make our current state of the union worse in the near term, and less likely to improve over the long term.

    Assuming he does win the election, I’ll be interested to see what you have to say after his first 100 days in office, and after he has a full year.

  87. giving any one party a supermajority is likely to make our current state of the union worse in the near term, and less likely to improve over the long term.

    Did you read the list above? New Deal, WWII, Great Society, Great Depression, Vietnam.

    4 out of 5 is pretty good.

    3. Here’s a poll released to day, by the firm that pegged 2004, that has the race very much up in the air- http://www.ibdeditorials.com/series13.aspx?src=POLLTOPN

    You’re cherry-picking the low-end poll. Here’s a list of all the polls in the field:

    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/11/cellphone-effect-continued.html

    Per the in laws and extended family (numbering several dozens), McCain (or more particuraly, Palin) is rocking everything but Philidelphia.

    Really? That’s your source? Your family? Do we need to get into a discussion of anecdote vs. data?

  88. #85, Andrew: They are both ill prepared. The problem is only one of them is running for the top office.

    If you are a VP candidate whose running mate is a 72-year-old man with a history of health problems, believe me, you are running for the top of the ticket. This point has been made only about 100 million times during the course of the election, but feel free to ignore it again.

  89. Why the emphasis on results in school? In Biden’s case that would be almost 40 years ago. All school does is give you a start in life. What happens after that is what defines you. This goes for GW too and anybody that did poorly in school. You could name as many successful people who didn’t do well in school as you could unsuccessful people who topped their classes.

    Do you really think Obama couldn’t negotiate with Dmitry Medvedev? Oh, and by the way, Medvedev replaced Putin as president in May. Obama would be as capable as McCain. Palin, on the other hand, couldn’t name a newspaper she read. When Katie Couric pressed she said she read them all… but she still couldn’t name one.

  90. The argument against “single-party government” is very funny, indeed, coming from Republicans/conservatives.

    The reason it isn’t a problem when Democrats are in charge goes to the essential differences between the two parties: Congressional Democrats are independent-minded, about as easy to herd as cats, whereas Congressional Republicans prefer to be like-minded and vote as their leadership wants.

    Democratic-majority Congresses fought Democratic Presidents, from FDR to Clinton – not tooth and nail, but they certainly stood up for their own agendas, and told their own President to go whistle when he had different priorities.

    The Republican-majority Congress did everything Bush wanted, gave Bush everything he asked for – and, most crucially, protected the Bush Administration by refusing to exercise or authorize any oversight whatsoever, from the moment Bush-Cheney took office (remember those secret meetings Cheney had with executives and lobbyists from the energy sector? I’d still like to know what went on there) to the moment Hastert/Frist handed the gavels over to Pelosi/Reid.

    Even the 9/11 Commission Hearings took place only because there would have been sheer hell to pay had they not. And even there, the GOP members of the Commission made damn sure the final report pulled a lot of punches.

    Everything else – the decision making that led to war with Iraq; the chain of command that authorized torture; the lawless surveillance programs; the refusal to enforce laws regulating the finance sector; the use of Federal government resources to aid Republican electioneering; letting religious fundamentalists shape federal policies and proselytize in the military; stocking federal agencies and, esp. the DoJ with political hacks and more religious fundamentalists – the GOP protected Bush, enabled Bush Administration coverups, and stood by the Bush Administration’s refusal to honor subpoenas.

    The GOP abdicated its responsibility to the country, and even its own Constitutional powers, to a degree never ever seen before. Because the GOP protects its leaders no matter what, because the GOP is a top-down organization.

    There won’t be any such thing if Obama wins the Presidency, nor even if he sweeps in another 25 or so Democratic Representatives and another 10 Democratic Senators. Because Democrats do not automatically obey their leadership: they never have, and they’re hardly likely to start now, with so many disaffected former GOPs having found new homes in the Democratic Party. Democrats may be united more than ever – it took the sheer awfulness of GOP Only Rule to do that – but the party is a bigger tent than ever, too.

    Don’t expect the Democratic Party to ever march in lock-step like Republicans do. Unquestioning obedience just isn’t in the Democratic DNA.

  91. I wanted to believe in Palin when she was announced as McCain’s running mate. At first, she appeared like a Heinleinesque female; strong, beautiful, capable of handling not only a political career but a family, an ability to hang with the boys and their toys (hunting, guns) and her speech at the RNC was pretty captivating for a woman of my stature who saw for that brilliant spot-lighted moment that she was everything I wanted to be. I was dazzled in those first whirlwind moments of her VP candacy.

    Then, she opened her mouth unaccompanied by a teleprompter.

    *Sighs*

    After some careful consideration, I am going to my plan b and try to be the best woman I can by.my.self.

    The more and more I think about it, the more I have to answer this with not only my head, but with my heart.

    There are a lot of things in this country that are broken. We enable people instead of encouraging them to better themselves. We change regulation only after the consequences are evident. We put all our effort into fighting things that do not directly influence our lives and we ignore the bigger issues that do.

    We are a culture directed by fear, driven by a biased and ratings sustained media, and controlled by a government who believes in order to make us safer, we give up the freedoms that make us great.

    I have seen this country rally in its most desperate and hurting times, but I have not been alive long enough to see it heal and get behind something that promotes hope and change and a better future.

    Should this be wool that is pulled over my eyes, oh, how will I cry when nothing is accomplished. But if it’s one thing I’ve come to believe in the course of my short time here on Earth, is that I’d rather be wrong believing in something wonderful for those few moments where your spirit lifts and you can barely breath, then constantly be hammered with the drab, grey and predictability that is our demise.

    Thanks to your post, John and a lot of soul searching. I know which lever to pull come Tuesday.

  92. stevem @ I’m white, straight, Christian-lite, not even close to being debt free, have decent insurance (which I pay for direct for myself and family), make a $100,000/year (give or take, my best was $168k) and while my children are not likely to be sent to Iraq (my daughter is 6 and my son 4)…

    Hmmm…pretty much describes me, too (well, except the income – I make a decent one, but somewhat less than that ;)

    And I agree with every word Scalzi has written in this post. I was originally a Chris Dodd supporter in the Democratic Primary, but supported Obama after it was clear it was him vs. Clinton. And yes, after McCain picked Palin, I started giving my hard-earned money to the Obama campaign, and decided I now had someone to vote against, not just vote for.

    So hey, Sarah Palin energized me, too! and not just because she’s good-lookin’ ;)

  93. Wendy @67:

    The phone call spoofing of world leaders is a Canadian tradition. GWB was told by the Canadian television comedian Rick Mercer during the 2000 election that his candidacy was endorsed by Prime Minister Poutine of Canada– GWB was unaware that our PM’s name was Chretien, not the artery-clogging comfort food.

    Also, during the 1995 Quebec secession referendum, a Quebec radio comic called Elizabeth II and passed himself off as Prime Minister Chretien. He asked the Queen of England to help the “No” side. And yes, it really was her on the line– the clip got a good deal of coverage at the time.

    The real Jean Chretien, when he heard about this, said, “Next time we meet, she might ask to see my ID!”

  94. Stevem @ 95:

    Pew’s poll today showed O+7 with likely voters. No idea where you think you got the M+1 from.

    PPP are currently releasing their final numbers and there’s a lot of Obama at 50%+. So undecideds are unlikely to affect that.

    As a white, male, in a household with no kids, earning over $200K we ought to be a shoe in for McCain… except for (a) as a Green Card holder I have taxation without representation I can’t vote; and (b) both of us would vote for Obama in an instant.

    The US needs a change. The taxes are not necessarily too low but they are spent badly. The infrastructure is a joke and, yes, you need universal health care.

    Anyway, on Tuesday I’ll be throwing a tea bag into Elliott Bay for the hell of it and to remind myself about the lack of representation and then a few ex-pats like me will be hitting a pub to watch the results.

  95. Jon – enjoyed the post, and agree with some of what you say, if not your conclusion. I heard Obama speak the first time more than four years ago on NPR’s “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” as a guest contestant and immediately thought, “here’s a guy that could be President of the US.” Frankly I’m a fan. He’s eloquent, obviously very intelligent, and seems to be a man of great ideals.

    But I’m not voting for him. There are simply too many points in policy and philosophy where I don’t agree with Obama. He’s anti-gun; I’m not. He’s pro-choice; I’m not. His tax policy is redistributionist by his own admission and that bothers me, even if I’m not part of the 5% who will be donating to the cause. I don’t agree with him on Iraq, although I think we made a mistake in getting involved in the first place. We broke it, so we bought it…worked for me as a 5 year old and it works for me now. I admit we’ve done an awful lot wrong thanks to Bush 43, and we could clearly do things differently, but a blanket promise to withdraw doesn’t seem feasible to me. The spending policies I’ve heard Obama propose simply sound like too much pie in the sky to me. I don’t see how we can pay for them, and don’t hear anything about what programs would get cut. That leaves bigger deficits (the Bush solution) or more taxes. Either way, I’m not happy with the result.

    I could go on, but you get the point. We can debate policy and interpretation of the facts all day, but the simple fact of the matter is that I just don’t agree with much of what Obama stands for. Therefore, I can’t vote for him…much like many folks (JS included!) don’t agree with McCain and can’t vote for him. I don’t think that makes you bad people, or fools. I just think it means we disagree.

    When I hit my polling place on Tuesday I’ll be voting for McCain because as flawed a candidate as he is, I agree with his positions on issues important to me more than I agree with Obama. He may not win, but at the end of the day, that’s where I’ve got to put my vote.

    And who knows, maybe my thoughts will change over the years. I’m firmly convinced that had I known Joe Lieberman better in 2000, and had he been at the top of the ticket, I’d have voted DNC that year. Kerry/Edwards was a bad joke, but I might have been interested in a Hillary Clinton ticket then, or now (or in 2012!). It’ll be interesting to see what the future holds.

  96. @Mythago,

    “Of course anyone who frets about experience should be concerned about both Palin and Obama, fingers-in-ears chanting about “executive experience” notwithstanding.”

    Very true. Its on of the more amusing things to come out of election cycle IMO, the cries of “My candidate isn’t as inexperienced as yours!” Who knows, perhaps either one of them could actually turn out to be ok?

  97. I can’t stand it. I have to say something.

    Anyone, Republican or Democrat, Socialist or Capitalist, who cashed the stimulus checks GWB sent out is openly advocating the redistribution of wealth. Those weren’t personal checks he was writing, that was our tax money taken unevenly and given back evenly. If you had a problem with it, you should have sent them back. It is so, so, SO irksome to hear rhetoric bandied about as though it were gospel when it’s convenient and blatantly ignored when it’s not.

    *whew*

    Now that that’s solved, I’ll be moving on to world peace. I’ll report back in a day or two.

  98. 95:, McCain (or more particuraly, Palin) is rocking everything but Philidelphia.

    Doesn’t the Greater Philidephia area contain nearly half of the state’s population?

  99. stbeeman’s second paragraph pretty much nails how I feel.

    John, I disagree with you on what Bush means to the GOP. A lot of Republicans can’t stand GWB because he’s too liberal: No Child Left Behind, immigration policy, expansion of federal powers, trying to democratize foreign countries… He’s a train wreck.

    I also don’t agree that the modern GOP had to become what it is. I think it has lost its way, and needs to return to conservatism. The GOP needs to remind the country that the powers of the federal government are enumerated by the Constitution, and that entitlements can’t grow beyond what we’re able to pay, and that we shouldn’t think that we should pay more just because we can tax more.

    Unfortunately, a McCain presidency won’t do that. When he claims to be a “maverick”, he means that he’s a Republican who likes to trash conservative ideas in favor of liberal ones. When he picked Palin, he energized his base because she actually seemed conservative — and Democrats seem to underestimate how incredible that breath of fresh air seemed, even if it was illusory — but the man who mucked about with campaign finance reform and a woman who wants increased federal special education funding simply can’t credibly paint themselves as conservative.

    I’m still tempted to vote against Obama by voting for McCain — Obama’s philosophy is too far distant from mine, and I fear what he’ll do to the Supreme Court especially — but I know I can’t do it. Republicans would take it as a sign that I’m willing to compromise most of my ideals in order to beat a left-wing candidate, so they’d move farther to the left; the Democrats, then, would also be incented to differentiate themselves by moving left. I’ll vote for the Constitution party (their platform is good, even though their Presidential candidate appears to be a 9/11 “truther”) or a write-in.

  100. Greg:

    “Anyone, Republican or Democrat, Socialist or Capitalist, who cashed the stimulus checks GWB sent out is openly advocating the redistribution of wealth.”

    Interestingly, I never cashed mine. Mind you, it was for $6.10.

  101. stevem @95 Per the in laws and extended family (numbering several dozens), McCain (or more particuraly, Palin) is rocking everything but Philidelphia.

    Not to rain on your parade Sir, but I live about 40 miles from Williamsport in a county (Centre) that is likely to go 65% for Obama, at least by the latest polls. It also seems likely that we will elect a Democrat to Congress for the first time in 40 years. Clinton County (the county just to the west of Williamsport is also polling to go for Obama as are Washington, Erie, Beaver, Allegheny, Cambria, Butler, Indiana, and Armstrong Counties in Western PA.

    The Eastern part of the state is even more in Obama’s camp. The Morning Call from Allentown released a poll this morning (Sunday) that puts Obama up +9 in the state.

    Your family is relying on blind hope more than data.

    We may be from Pennsyltucky, but we have enough brains to recognize when we have been kicked around for the last eight years by a bunch of thieves and dishonorable ideologues.

    I am voting (PROUDLY) for Obama

  102. JReynolds @108: Ahh, don’t doubt for a minute the Canadian ability to land a good spoof, and they have a history of pulling off some doozies. I was, after all, born near Buffalo and spent many a formative year watching Canadian TV, which was frequently better than the dreck on the local stations.

    What I was questioning was the training and gullibility of the current staff of the VP candidate, who have been charged from the beginning with keeping her from speaking without the aid of a speechwriter and/or teleprompter. That no one in the staff &/or security hierarchy knew the correct protocols for calls from foreign dignitaries, or had sense enough to ask, should concern us all.

    This was a repeat and known successful tactic and someone in Palin’s camp should have been on the lookout for it. They weren’t. Do we really want these people running the country again?

    Kudos to the Canadians for getting through and pulling it off!! Again!!

  103. Well, it only took 65 comments for someone to call Obama a boy.

    greg at 112: It’s only redistribution of wealth if the money goes toward the poor. If the money goes to the rich, it’s called “trickle down.”

  104. Well said, Mr. Scalzi. I voted for Obama in early voting, and I’m very hopeful, but I can’t let myself do any sort of victory dance yet, no matter what the polls say. I can still feel the voter fraud burn from the last two elections.

    Just to be safe, I’ve made sure my passport is up to date.

  105. Beyond Palin’s glaring intellectual weaknesses, her behavior as Alaska’s chief executive have left a lot to be desired: she seems a vindictive petty influence peddler.

    Like Cheney-Lite. Is that really what the right wants in the White House. Again, that is.

  106. I’m amazed by those here who can’t seem to perceive that Obama is really really smart. REALLY smart. They’d actually prefer Palin, who I’ll admit has the cunning of a street-crook, over Obama.

    Boggling.

  107. stevem – gotta watch that observer bias. If I were to go by only the people I know and talk to, then the only people voting for McCain are either rich, selfish and oblivious, or rabidly bigoted. Which I know perfectly well is not true, but that’s observer bias for you.

    You know, like the guy at our dojo who’s voting for McCain because all black people are poor, ignorant, and shiftless. It never occurs to him that he works in what amounts to the complaints department of a downtown charity. Rich, educated, black people are not likely to hanging out there. Neither are rich, educated white people, yet somehow he’s never extrapolated that to mean bad things about white people.

  108. “I also don’t agree that the modern GOP had to become what it is. I think it has lost its way, and needs to return to conservatism.”

    I’ve heard this from a few Republicans, that they think that the Republican party is not conservative enough. Trust me when I say that it’s hard to imagine how further to the right the Republicans can go and still have anything in common with the rest of the world – out here, we consider the Republican party fairly close to far-right. I guess that it’d be nice to see the Republican party roar back as the champions of fiscal responsibility and measured response, but they’re not going to attract those sorts of people when their guiding principle is “small-town values”, a meaningless phrase if ever I heard one.

    I got no problem with the redistribution of wealth. Capitalism works by getting the money moving around the system – letting it pool too much in the hands of the rich means that trade stops (after all, why trade if you’ve got it all?), and trade stopping means the market can’t correct in that lovely capitalist way it does. Robbery works the same way, and so it’s something of a balancer if things aren’t fair. Sure, it seems unfair that the rich get slugged a little more for being rich, but then the rich *get* rich by being good at dealing with that sort of thing. If there’s one group that can roll with the punches, it’s them.

    And I think the key difference between Palin and Obama is that Obama can answer basic questions with an intelligent answer. Although I’ve been hoping you Americans vote him in ever since I saw what he focused on as the big problems with America at the start of his campaign – partisanship and education.

  109. @ blocksmash “Do you really believe that anyone makes a decision to have a child based on tax credits?”

    Here in Australia we’ve had a $3000 (or more?) baby bonus for the past 3-4 years, and 07-08 was the all-time record for new births after years of declines. They’re popping out so fast the govt can hardly write cheques fast enough.

    One baby = new plasma TV. Two babies = new laptop & PVR. What a deal.

  110. 66. Porphyrogene said: Even if we all decide to limit ourselves to the living standards of Pakistani goatherders, exponential population growth will eventually wipe out our attempts to reduce our impact on the ecosystem.

    You know, if you continue that same train of thought, you would eventually reach the conclusion that the only real way to limit unimpeded population growth (in a population of anything, not just humans) is to either:

    a) remove resources so that anything past maximum sustainable will just die
    b) reintroduce predators
    c) let plagues run rampant

    Is that what you’re trying to say?

    If we take our environmentalism seriously, we have to confront that problem. A minimal start would be to refrain from providing economic incentives for procreation. So what would the D’s Great Deal propose?

    Increasing the dependent-child credit and making it refundable. Ditto the earned-income credit. Taxpayer-financed day-care. Ditto health-care for children. Mandated family leave. And probably much more, as long as we can justify it as the compassionate thing to do.

    Today, one-third of the births in this country are financed by the Great Society’s Medicaid. We’d be a much greater society if we could cut our birthrate by a third.

    This part looks like it’s saying two things:
    a) You think that people make decisions on whether to have kids based on how it would affect their taxes.

    b) You think that we should stop supporting the care and feeding of children. It would cause a lot of them to die, therefore decreasing the population growth.

    Do I have that right?

    On the latter: I really hope you’re not one of those that talks big about “family values.” Because your comment says to me that you don’t value families at all and don’t think the government should either.

  111. 125. Simon said: Here in Australia we’ve had a $3000 (or more?) baby bonus for the past 3-4 years, and 07-08 was the all-time record for new births after years of declines. They’re popping out so fast the govt can hardly write cheques fast enough.

    I’m not sure being paid to have kids is the same as a tax credit…

  112. John, yah coulda just saved us all a lotta time and said,

    Hi, I’m John Scalzi the science fiction writer. On Tuesday November 4th, I’ll be voting for Barack Obama because I’m a liberal, and like all liberals voting for Barack Obama, I despise the Republican Party and everyone currently associated with them. Thank you. And remember, Barack Obama on November 4th!

    We’re a couple of ‘undecideds’ in our house. My wife, who wanted Hillary Clinton very, very badly, is lukewarm about Obama. Never lukewarm enough to vote McCain, because like you, she’s a true-blue liberal, and if there is one thing I’ve learned being married to a true-blue liberal for the last 15 years, she’ll sooner cut off her own legs than vote for a Republican in a Presidential election.

    Who will my wife vote for? She’s not saying. But it’s not John McCain. And if you say, “OK, so when you vote for Obama, honey….” She pipes up and says, “I never said I was voting for Obama!”

    Me, I’m in the same old pickle as I have been since Romney conceded to McCain. Can’t manage to give a damn about McCain. Liked the Palin pick, because Palin is every bit as token and identity-driven as Obama, and because I enjoyed seeing Obama’s defenders slay Palin on her experience, then turn around and defend Obama’s identical lack of same. Priceless.

    Perhaps I’ll write in Romney-Rice on November 4th. Because Mitt Romney and Condi Rice, combined, are smarter and have more combined economic and foreign policy experience than Barack, Sarah, Joe and John rolled together.

    Naturally, Obama will win. But that’s OK, because every time Obama fucks it up (and the Democrat-controlled Congress and Senate right along with him) I can be like every true-blue liberal these past 8 years, and fly off into high dudgeon about how Democrats are destroying America and how Democrats are the worst thing since butt rash.

    Looking forward to it, in fact. Yepper.

    But then, also not. Because it’s not Obama I’m so cynical about, it’s his cultish Movement that he’s created to get him this far. It’s no joke saying that Obama has become messianic in his appeal for a vast swath of America. He’s gonna bring total peace, heal the economy, heal the debt, heal the Great National Divide, then go global and heal the planet, just prior to being translated and lifted onto the right shoulder of (insert favorite diety or dieties here) where he will smile down upon us forever and ever….

    The contrarian in me just wants to throw the fuck up.

    Which is not really fair to Obama. But it is fair to the glazey-eyed sea of Obamanistas (Obamanites? Obamists? Obamaniacs?) who trail after him, like penitents seeking redemption at the feet of Christ.

    Which is, I guess, accurate, given the amount of White Guilt and Black Pride that is combining to drive this electoral cycle. Nevermore will any progressive white ever have to live in fear of their own racist thoughts or feelings, because hey, they voted for Obama. Never again will it be said that a black man can’t go all the way in America, because hey, Obama beat The Man at his own game.

    Which is, in a certain aspect, remarkable, given the racism that has infected and infested this country since its inception. A black man, in the Oval Office. Almost totally impossible, even 8 years ago. Yet here we are. And if I must be thankful for Obama, I will be thankful that he’s not Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. Two men who never earned an honest cent in their lives, and who lately (especially Sharpton) thrive on racial discord and racial hatred. A pox on them both. P’tew!

    One thing I personally hope for, in the aftermath of the rise and victory of The One, is a house-cleaning in the GOP. Or the birthing of a new national party that can better represent — truly — the thoughts, ideas and feelings of fiscal conservatism married to domestic realism. Part of the reason the Republicans are so fucked right now is because they’ve lost the confidence of the (substantial) number of Americans who truly to believe in Less Government That Operates More Efficiently, and domestic tax and spend policy that doesn’t function as a redistributive Robin Hood.

    Will I get my wish? Hard to say. Maybe America is past the point of desiring Small Government. Maybe we’ve finally crossed over and truly do want a BIG MAMA GOVERNMENT that takes care of us from beginning to finish, provides all the safety nets we could ever desire, and sustainability… Eh, we’ll let the Next Next Next Generation worry about sustainability. Worked great for the Europeans, right?

    I’d like to think not. But looking into the collective eye of the Obama crowd, I suspect this is, in fact, exactly what’s happened. Tired of the pitfalls and unsurety and the randomness of real life, Americans have decided it’s time for a little Unreality. Hope! Change! Healing!

    All yours, for an Obama vote on Nov. 4th.

    Praise Him, in whose Name our Collective Will be done, Amen.

  113. Karen @ 56:

    Those folks frustrate me, too. You are exactly right: they just do not, and will not, want to believe anything except that which fits their narrow world-view. A few days ago when I got overly irritated by this kind of stuff and couldn’t sleep, I read some of Anne Lamott’s more recent salon.com posts, and re-read parts of Grace, Eventually. And then I took some of the steps she recommends, none of which included beating my head against the brick wall of people who refuse to think out of a very tiny box. And just in case anyone wants to know where I’m coming from, I’m a 56-yr.-old white Catholic woman who homeschooled all three of her children… and I absentee-voted for Obama last week.

  114. Sorry, John, but I can’t fall in line with the internet-wide fanclub Barack Obama has assembled. I agree that he’s run a fantastic campaign, but that’s ALL he’s done, as far as I’m concerned. Even you admitted that his resume is thin. He came out of nowhere and suddenly he’s shining beacon of all that is good for America.

    He does not have the credentials to be President of the United States of America. Furthermore, the little we do know about him is so far left as to make W. look dead-center.

    Yes, I know, Sarah Palin isn’t qualified either, and she’s an extremist too–but two wrongs don’t make a right, and anyway, she’s not running for President.

    I’m no big fan of John McCain, and I think his campaign has been by turns idiotic and disgraceful, but as a *candidate*, he’s the lesser of two evils. I can’t in good conscience vote for Barack Obama. Maybe four or eight years from now, after we know more about him and where he stands, but not tomorrow.

  115. #125 Simon, as of 1 July 2008 the Oz Baby Bonus is $5000.

    #127 MWT, no it isn’t the same as getting a tax credit. It is better.

    As Simon says (heh), it probably helped with 2007 being a record year for births beating the previous record set in 1971. The fertility rate jumped from 1.81 to 1.93. The lure of large screen tv eh.

  116. #128: Sub-Odeon, whether you know it or not you’ve just reminded me why I really would rather drink poison than vote for McCain-Palin, or the theo-con infested Republican Party.

    I don’t harbour any delusions that Barack Obama is Jesus Christ or anything close. Being an observant Catholic, FWIW, I don’t think that would be looked on too kindly by my church.

    But I also know the difference between the pulpit and the ballot box. I thought John McCain did too. But unfortunately the Republican Party doesn’t, and has turned politics into some fundamentalist enterprise where the only thing worse than an infidel is a back-slider from the one true faith.

    When the Republican Party stop pissing on people who have the gall to think differently, and engages in some honest self-examination that leads to earning voter’s trust again, give me a call.

    #130: Sarah Palin is too “running for President”. Or do I need to remind you again the Vice President only has two constitutionally defined roles, one of which is to replace the President if he’s incapacitated or killed in office? And if you don’t “know enough” about Obama when he’s been on the campaign trail for the best part of two years, I really have to wonder what would satisfy you this side of a Vulcan mind-meld?

  117. I love hearing how people will vote McCain because Obama’s left-wing. In most of the developed world Obama would have trouble running as a centrist because by most standards every candidate in this election is right-wing.

    The only one with any socialist chops is Palin, but since her social policies are the furthest right she gets a pass for her distribution of collective wealth.

    Vote for whichever candidate you believe it; but please don’t mistake the current Republican Party for centrist. A more socially conservative Republican Party would be moving from the far right to the extreme right, and extremes in politics are never good.

  118. Sub-Odean, thanks for explaining why I’m voting for Obama. I need a new Christ figure to follow around blindly, kissing his his holy anointed feet as he trods the Earth, vegetation springing up from his footprints. And, yay, he doth saved the world from the Right, who are not, and the Moral Majority, who are neither.

    /snark

    You know, your words are ironic considering how Republicans worship at the feet of Bush still, and now have moved their idolatry to McCain. I really think this whole “Cult of Obama” crap is just projection from you guys, who acted that way about Bush and can’t fathom that someone would vote for a black guy for any reason other than that he’s black. (Quick note – that is pretty racist, and you might want to do some self-evaluation to see what other baseless prejudices you have. Well, if you care, that is.) While it is pretty obvious that Obama is, yes, black, I am excited to vote for him, and would do so if he were white, or a woman, as long as he had the same policies and attitudes.

    I can appreciate that, as a result of the amount of people voting for him, an incidental result is that we will have a black president, which, it winds up, is pretty historic.

    Of course, I could always turn it around, as it has been, and say you are NOT voting for him because he is black. Thanks to your other comments in this thread and others, I can pretty safely assume you are a pretty comfortable bigot and/or racist, so I think I’ll just jump to the same conclusions you did and say you belong to a racist party who just can’t wait to blame, not a Liberal, but a Black Guy for screwing up in the White House. It is, after all, called the White House for a reason.

    It would be nice if the Right could find some original comments, instead of just copy and pasting Sean Hannity or Michele Malkin’s blogs.

  119. Craig@#27:
    That doesn’t mean I still have huge policy differences with Obama and the Democratic Party — and eventually, the latter are going to over-reach and get slapped down, because demo-crazy rolls like that —
    The only way they’d roll worse than the past eight years of Republi-think-i-can would be by setting off WW3 somehow…

  120. As I write this, there are 135 comments, and I haven’t read a one of them. I’ll try to, certainly. But before I do that I wanted to add my own praise, even knowing that sentiments have surely been expressed in those 135 comments and even being aware of the high possibility that a commenter has done so using exactly the same word: Mr. Scalzi, that was one righteous essay.

  121. Here in Australia we’ve had a $3000 (or more?) baby bonus for the past 3-4 years, and 07-08 was the all-time record for new births after years of declines. They’re popping out so fast the govt can hardly write cheques fast enough.

    One baby = new plasma TV. Two babies = new laptop & PVR. What a deal.

    Three grand will just about, but not quite, pay for the diapers, clothing, car seats, toys, crib, and other expenses that come with a new baby…and that’s before you count in the medical costs of delivery, post-partum care, and pediatric visits.

    Anyone who claims that a $3K check is a deciding factor for the decision to have a baby is either not a parent, really bad at math, or both.

  122. Dave Robinson @133: In most of the developed world Obama would have trouble running as a centrist because by most standards every candidate in this election is right-wing. and Meruson @123: Trust me when I say that it’s hard to imagine how further to the right the Republicans can go and still have anything in common with the rest of the world – out here, we consider the Republican party fairly close to far-right.

    I live in New Jersey and work in Manhattan, so I’m surrounded by Obama voters. I’ll bet Obama takes New York City by 90%, and New Jersey by 75%. Many of the Obama supporters around me don’t understand how anyone could possibly vote for anyone else. Many think that anyone who doesn’t love Obama is racist.

    This is a serious blind spot. They claim that the right wing is ideological, blind, closed-minded, unwilling to accept differences among people, but they suffer from the same ailments. Trying to see the other guy’s perspective is the first step toward understanding and dialogue, but there’s almost no dialogue here: just stereotypical race war or class war rhetoric.

    I know a Brit who used to work in the US and then went back to the UK. He thinks that even Obama would be to the right over there. My response to him is invariably the same: we’re not over there. I am frankly amazed by the explicit tyranny in the EU, especially the abolition of free speech. Google “Bart Debie” or “Frank Vanhecke” to see some examples, and before you start to say “Great! I hate those racist bastards!” consider that they’re sending people to jail for speech over there.

    Europe was filled with tyrants in 1776. Why do we think they’re so much better now?

    Meruson also said: The only one with any socialist chops is Palin, but since her social policies are the furthest right she gets a pass for her distribution of collective wealth.

    Palin doesn’t have “socialist chops”. Socialists nationalize natural resources and existing businesses. (Some might say that excessive taxation is a form of nationalization, which is why Obama is considered socialist, but that’s neither here nor there.) State management of a resource that was never owned by someone else isn’t the same thing. If you think otherwise, consider that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia does the exact same thing with the exact same commodity, yet he leads the ninth most authoritarian regime in the world. If you want to live there, be my guest — I’ve been there, and it wouldn’t be my first choice.

  123. Sub-Odeon:

    “John, yah coulda just saved us all a lotta time and said, ‘Hi, I’m John Scalzi the science fiction writer. On Tuesday November 4th, I’ll be voting for Barack Obama because I’m a liberal, and like all liberals voting for Barack Obama, I despise the Republican Party and everyone currently associated with them.'”

    Well, Sub-Odeon:

    1. I’m in the least interested in saving anyone any time; that’s not why anyone comes here;

    2. Your encapsulation is largely wrong;

    3. To the extent that you think I mindlessly vote for liberals just because they’re liberals, fuck you. I’ve never mindlessly voted in my life, and suggesting that I do so with my franchise is a really excellent way to piss me off. Try not to do that again.

  124. @132:

    I’ll take a ~20% (nine out of forty-three Vice Presidents have succeeded to the office) chance that Palin will become President for some fraction of McCain’s presidency rather than four years of a guaranteed Obama presidency.

    “And if you don’t ‘know enough’ about Obama when he’s been on the campaign trail for the best part of two years, I really have to wonder what would satisfy you this side of a Vulcan mind-meld?”

    I’m very skeptical of the informational value of running for office. Actions speak louder than words. Over Obama’s short political career he has merely used each office as a stepping stone to the next one. His thin record as a legislator is far too liberal for my center-right taste as a voter.

    To put it on a more gut level: I don’t want to be SOLD a Presidency, and Obama has been far too much the salesman and not enough the leader.

  125. I’m not sure which is more frightening, the prospect of the McCain victory, which I now reluctantly conclude is likely on the basis of the poll margins, or the fact that many of the readers here appear to believe this post to be superlative political analysis.

    John presents an impressive and passionate case for why he is voting for Obama. No quibbles there. However, he also presents an incoherent case for why he is voting against McCain, one that betrays a near-complete failure to understand the Republican party. (Let me add, however, that I don’t disagree with his personal opinion of Bush, although I’d say he was the second-worst Republican president and fourth-worst president ever.)

    Consider these two statements: “Bush was what the GOP wanted him to be and did everything they wanted him to do. Its problem is not that Bush wrecked the GOP brand, but that through him the modern GOP became what it was always going to be, in the end.”

    and “Palin’s possession of a vagina outweighed the fact that she shared not a single policy with that presidential candidate…. But the Palin pick did firm up the support of the GOP base, a fact which should terrify anyone with a working brain.”

    The reality is that Bush did virtually nothing that the GOP wanted except the early tax cuts and the war. He did give them Alito and Roberts, but the Mears nonsense balanced that. Bush is widely loathed throughout the party as a traitor and a backstabber, which is the reason his approval ratings are so low. Bush and McCain, along with Romney and Giuliani, represent the “moderate” GOP elite which is allied to the neocons and strongly opposed to the conservative GOP base upon which they are nevertheless dependent. Palin, on the other hand, represents this base and comes from it; her great popularity with it is the only reason that McCain still has a good chance to win at this point despite his taking anti-conservative positions on immigration, free speech, and the Wall Street bail-outs.

    Since there appears to be some wiggle room in the two quotes referenced – GOP vs GOP base – I quote the following to demonstrate that there is, in fact, none. “Which tells you that the GOP base has learned nothing in the last eight years; Palin, in every way that matters, is nothing more than Bush with boobs. The GOP base doesn’t want a president, it wants a mirror.”

    This is incorrect. Palin is, as far as we know, what Bush pretended to be in 2000, not the Bush that actually presided from 2001-2008. Sarah Palin is not only not “indisputably the single worst major party candidate for high office in living memory”, but her 80-percent approval ratings as governor and the way in which she has single-handedly made this election competitive tend to demonstrate that she is rather better as a candidate than John Scalzi is as a political analyst, her unpopularity on this site notwithstanding. It’s worth noting that even those professional political analysts who despise her ideology and/or her populism consider her to be a formidable politician and a serious player in the future.

    In fact, if Obama wins, there is a very good chance that he will lose to Palin in 2012. But as always, time will tell and I will cheerfully acknowledge John’s excellence as a political analyst should he prove to be correct.

  126. VD:

    “I’m not sure which is more frightening, the prospect of the McCain victory, which I now reluctantly conclude is likely on the basis of the poll margins,”

    I’m pretty sure you meant to say “Obama” there.

  127. As living in Sweden, a country with big exports to the US and that de facto relies on US military support I strongly hope that Obama lies about a lot of things. Otherwise things could go wrong very quickly over here – apart from what happens in the US.

    To me Obama is itching to do Things, solve Problems and implement Plans. It smells of politics for the special interests and against the average citizen. Thankfully we Swedes have been free of that kind of politicians the last 20 years (which correspondence with raised standard of living, school vouchers, increased rule of law and fewer Bridges to Nowhere), but I feel sorry for you americans. But – he may lie. Lets see in some years.

    I am also very impressed how Obama could go from nowhere to the presidential election in such short time, with so many skeletons in his closet that somehowe never became active. Obama is clearly Mr Teflon as no one has been since Reagan. Which may not be the best ability to bring to the White House …

  128. Europe was filled with tyrants in 1776. Why do we think they’re so much better now?

    Because they’re not actually filled with tyrants now? Europe’s got its problems (including the UK surveillance state) but comparing them to 1776 as if there’s a parallel just reveals your ignorance of 1776.

    State management of a resource that was never owned by someone else isn’t the same thing. If you think otherwise, consider that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia does the exact same thing with the exact same commodity, yet he leads the ninth most authoritarian regime in the world

    1. There’s no rule that forms of governance can’t share characteristics (ie that Abdullah does it, doesn’t mean that socialists can’t do it), and 2) really? you want to exculpate Palin by invoking the Saudi monarchy?

    I don’t want to be SOLD a Presidency

    If you voted for Bush (as I suspect you did), then I laugh heartily at this.

    did virtually nothing that the GOP wanted except the early tax cuts and the war

    Oh bullshit. The GOP has been running away from Bush throughout 2008 because they learned the lessons of the 2006 smackdown, not because they had problems with what he did. All of those Republican Reps and Senators gleefully supported the President in 2000-2006, with nary a twitch of protest.

    It’s worth noting that even those professional political analysts who despise her ideology and/or her populism consider her to be a formidable politician and a serious player in the future.

    Please, let’s have some links, so that we can laugh at the professionals.

    By the way, I’m all in favor of the GOP taking the lesson of (potentially) losing this election that they need to become *more* conservative. And I say this as a lifelong Democrat.

  129. Jake Freivald@139

    I can think of plenty of reasons why someone would choose to vote for McCain/Palin that don’t involve racism; and being an optimist I will continue to believe that those reasons are the most common reasons people are supporting the ticket.

    As to free speech, there is always the question of whether the right to free speech includes the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

    You mentioned tyranny. It’s fear of tyranny that’s driving some people away from McCain/Palin (especially Palin) and toward Obama. To people who do not support Palin’s religious and social beliefs her policies look very much like an attempt to impose a religious and social tyranny on those who disagree with her beliefs.

    A vote for Obama is a vote that says one does not want those beliefs made the law of the land.

    As to socialism, I contend that the primary focus of socialism is the principle of collective ownership and egalitarian distribution. Socialism has nothing to do with previous ownership of that which is distributed but only with how and why it’s distributed. By those standards the checks Alaska sends out are a perfect example of socialism.

  130. #138 Marko said “Three grand will just about, but not quite, pay for the diapers, clothing, car seats, toys, crib, and other expenses that come with a new baby…and that’s before you count in the medical costs of delivery, post-partum care, and pediatric visits.

    Anyone who claims that a $3K check is a deciding factor for the decision to have a baby is either not a parent, really bad at math, or both.”

    Marko, two things. It is actuallly $5000, but as from January the rules are changing. No more lump sum. They’re spreading the payments out over 13 weeks for the very reason that supposedly many low income earners were blowing the entire amount on TVs and junk. Some people were trying to delay the birth because the bonus was increased after a certain date too.
    The second thing, we’re talking Australia where medical costs are significantly less than the USA so the delivery costs and post-natal care aren’t really an issue. Socialised medicine baby.

  131. I note that the rationale that many people to use to justify voting against Obama is, “We don’t know enough about him.”

    I also note that The Audacity of Hope, 384 pages on Obama’s political philosophy, has sold somewhere north of one and a half million copies since it was published a little over two years ago, and Dreams from my Father, a 403-page memoir of his life until his entry to Harvard Law School, has sold somewhere north of a million.

    Since I must assume that people who are reading and posting comments to this blog possess basic literacy skills, I can only conclude that the “We don’t know enough about him” argument is somewhat equivalent to holding one’s hands over one’s ears, closing one’s eyes, and yelling, “la la la la I can’t hear you.”

  132. Well, that and the same people who are worried they don’t know enough about Barack Obama are generally happy enough to vote for Sarah Palin, who most of them didn’t know existed until a couple of days before the Republican National Convention.

  133. Porphyrogene –

    @ 39 – Four years ago, the R’s promised fiscal responsibility, and they flagrantly broke that promise. This year, the D’s are promising expanded entitlement programs and a “family-friendly” tax code, and I fear that they’ll keep that promise if they can.

    Keep in mind that under Clinton, we saw surpluses even at the end of 8 years, and witha Republican majority. You can be as dubious as you want, but there’s strong evidence that a Democratic majority government might actually help the economy, rather than hinder it. It’s not a sure thing, but there’s no proof that it’s has to be a disaster.

    If you don’t *like* entitlement programs, and are morally opposed to them, fine. But the idea that they’ll hurt the economy more than what overspending we’ve had in the past 8 years is just silly. We’d have to buy everyone getting welfare a car and a house just to catch up tot he amount spent on the gulf war II. You can’t pretend that McCain isn’t militarily belligerent. He risks creating a third front with Iran.

    What the D’s are proposing to do amounts to creating economic incentives for procreation.

    And here we get to the point where you’re being factually wrong. (A) Democrats are in favor of this thing called birth control. (B) And non-fairy tale “just say no” sex education. (C) If you care to look at birth rates in blue states ersus birth rates in red states, you’d notice trend to red states having lots of births, not doing so well in education, and generally having to put poor family on some sort of welfare.

    If we really want a decreased birth rate, we should hope and pray more people become liberal elite types – they have fewer kids, later in life. That’s a fact.

    McCain’s foreign policy? In the wake of the Iraq debacle, he’d have a hard time getting a Democratic Congress to support foreign adventures.

    Not really. The President has a right to call the shots for a strike against another nation without congressional approval. See the War Powers Act of 1973. So you’re factually wrong here. McCain can start a war if he wants to.

    Supreme Court justices? I don’t think McCain’s going to try to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I don’t think that any sensible Republican president is.

    I’ve seen Republicans float this lie before, and I don’t think it’s an intentional lie on their part. It’s sort of like being related to someone who’s wife comes in with a black eye, bruises and broken bones every month or so, and saying “Oh, I don’t think he really beats her. She’s just clumsy”. You’re just misinformed.

    Let me take a guess – Roe V Wade isn’t something you think about much, and it wouldn’t affect you at all if it was abolished. Am I right?

    McCain will appoint judges who’ll overturn Roe V Wade. he’s on the record as saying that.

    @ 66 – The biggest problem our nation and our world face is overpopulation. The current economic hard times will pass. The American military presence in Iraq will eventually end. Gay marriages will one day raise no more eyebrows than Catholic-Protestant unions do today. But the population will keep growing, and growing, and growing.

    And because of this, you support a Republican? Have you never heard of birth control?

  134. The second thing, we’re talking Australia where medical costs are significantly less than the USA so the delivery costs and post-natal care aren’t really an issue. Socialised medicine baby.

    Uh, medical costs are pretty much the same in both countries, unless you pay your doctors in buttons, and your medical machinery grows on trees. The out-of-pocket cost to patients may be less at the hospital counter, but the doctors and nurses still get paid. You just pay more at tax time (compare the income tax rates in both countries for your income bracket), every time you go shopping (what’s the VAT in Australia again?), and every time you fill up at the pump (compare the price for a liter of Regular Unleaded in both countries–the reason why you pay much more is because your gasoline taxes are much higher.)

    I grew up in a country with socialized healthcare, so I’m not unfamiliar with it. I also know a little bit about economics, and I know that you can’t legislate cheap (or free) health care…you can only shuffle the bills around a bit.

    In the end, we paid a grand or so out of pocket for the medical costs associated with both our kids’ births, and my brother and his wife in Germany got to have theirs for “free”, but at the end of the month, I have quite a bit more of my paychecks left than he does. I also pay $60 for a fill-up, while he pays $150, and he gets to may a 17% VAT on everything in his shopping cart at the grocery store. He pays the same amount for his health care as we do for ours…the only difference is the way in which the money is collected.

  135. I’m pretty sure you meant to say “Obama” there.

    No, not at all.. I find it somewhat difficult to believe myself, but I set out those metrics a while ago and that’s how they compute.

    Basically, if the new poll models are correct and registration is an accurate predictor of turnout, Obama will win. If the new models instead perform as well as the new economics model has, McCain will win. I have a very slight preference for an Obama victory myself, but I expect an upset tomorrow.

    The GOP has been running away from Bush throughout 2008 because they learned the lessons of the 2006 smackdown, not because they had problems with what he did.

    You clearly have not been paying attention. The Republican base – not the Republican politicians – have been extremely upset with Bush for years. If it weren’t, the party wouldn’t be using the Obama scare tactics on the conservative base just as they had to do with Kerry. Also, McCain wouldn’t have chosen Palin except that he needed to throw them a bone.

    Huckabee’s near-upset of the elite-favored candidates in the primaries was the result of this widespread dissatisfaction.

  136. VD:

    “I have a very slight preference for an Obama victory myself, but I expect an upset tomorrow.”

    I suspect you’ll be wrong about that one. But we’ll know soon enough.

  137. You clearly have not been paying attention. The Republican base – not the Republican politicians – have been extremely upset with Bush for years

    I have been paying attention, and no, they haven’t. Bush’s approval ratings among Republicans in 2003-04 was above 90%. In early 2006, Pew said the following:

    “In January 2005, conservative Republicans approved of the president by a margin of 94% to 3%. While still overwhelmingly supportive, today just 78% of conservative Republicans approve while 16% disapprove.”

    16% of conservative Republicans disapproving is hardly ‘extremely upset.’

    A ‘near-upset’ in the primaries is hardly evidence of much, compared to that.

    Uh, medical costs are pretty much the same in both countries, unless you pay your doctors in buttons, and your medical machinery grows on trees.

    Uh, no, they’re not. Being able to invest in things like preventative care and not having people have to go to the emergency room to get their primary care means that costs in countries with national health are often substantially less.

  138. I’m always amused when someone says Obama is “black”, when looking at him he’s more of an orange. Perhaps an ochre.

    /snark

    From my position on the outside of the US political system, I can say that I don’t think Obama will be able to achieve half of what he’s promised. This isn’t to say he’s insincere; it’s just, y’know, the real world requires compromise whereas rhetoric does not. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to his ratings once he’s actually in a position to effect his programs.

    Despite this, one of the major effects I think he /will/ have is to rebuild the US’ credibility in foreign policy; at this point, all he has to do to do that is exist – although, again, he may take knocks against foreign leaders, particularly in Israel and Russia where warm fuzzies aren’t going to move people very much.

    On the other hand, a McCain presidency is /scary/ from the position of the rest of the world; quite aside from war and terror, the US economy drives the rest of the world’s economy, and we’ve had eight years of Bush driving it into the ground. I don’t think McCain’s economic policies have much of a chance in repairing the economy, and the economy /needs/ more constructive repairs than the current frantic hull patches.

    My long-term prediction is that the GOP will lose it’s hold as the rightmost of the two major American parties, and trend further towards the right; see all those Republicans claiming that Bush and McCain are not conservative /enough/. Meanwhile, the more moderate Republicans will form or join some other party – probably, judging by the Americans I know, something lauding the Constitution and strict adherence to it. I have my doubts about the efficiency of the Constitution and the political process it lays out in today’s world, but Constitutionalism looks safer, from here and now at least, than Neo-Conservatism.

  139. John @ #140,

    I don’t recall using the word “mindless” anywhere in my post. Lemme go see… Ah, nope. I’m also not sure I said that you “mindlessly vote for liberals because they’re liberals.” Those words too were nowhere in my post. So I am having a hard time seeing why you’re upset.

    I can possibly see, in a roundabout fashion, why you’d be pissed at my sarcasm over Obama’s culty following.

    However, I thought it went without saying that there is a huge difference between John Q. Scalzi and, oh, say, someone like the hilarious Obama Girl.

    My bad if I didn’t do more to make that distinction.

  140. @148:

    DG Lewis, “words are wind”*. He can say whatever he wants in his memoirs. For what is arguably the toughest, most important job in the world, I want somebody with a nice, fat resume–someone whose behavior I can predict by his past actions, not the ideals he penned in a book.

    *A phrase George R.R. Martin used often in A Song of Ice and Fire. Ironic, since he’s a steadfast Obama supporter.

  141. Aw crap. I didn’t close a tag properly. I’ll repost to make it easier to read….

    Marko, you are indeed correct. I did mean to the consumer/patient the out-of-pocket cost is cheaper. Much cheaper. The tax issue is harder to work out. See the this wiki for a comparison. For my usual income the tax rate in Oz is about the same as the US. It is only when you get to the really high incomes – the top 1 or 2% of wage earners – that the tax rates differ significantly. Our top rate then is a staggering 45% on every dollar over $180,000. Between $80k and $180k I think it works out to be around 32%. We also pay a 1.5% medicare levy. This can be reduced if you have private medical insurance. Our GST (VAT) is 10% on most goods and services except food. No GST on food.
    I pay about $85 for a fill up at around $1.40/litre (I think it is cheaper than that today – it’s been a couple of weeks since I filled up).
    So do we pay more tax on the whole? Probably. Is it a significantly different amount for the average person? Probably not. Are we getting significantly cheaper medical than the US. Certainly.

  142. Excellent analysis.
    At a conservative estimate, Obama will get at least two-thirds of the popular vote, the EC will be the cliff-hanger, as they don’t always follow…They’re also “The Manchurian Candidate”s ONLY hope of victory!

  143. Just as a followup on the health care thing: Australia spent $2886 per capita on health care in 2007, versus $5711 for the U.S.. This per the OECD. So the health care system in Australia spends about half the American per person.

  144. Sub-Odeon:

    “My bad if I didn’t do more to make that distinction.”

    Thanks, SO. I appreciate it. For my part I may be oversensitive on the “mindless voting” front. My apologies for snapping off your head.

  145. While seems to be calling it for Obama, has anyone considered that some poll analysis, from historically reliable polling companies (as opposed to those who usually all over the map), that Obama does not do better than his polling and undecided and softly decided vote tends to break against him hard?

    And this story encapsulates McCain’s character which is another reason I voted for him- http://www.slate.com/id/2188545/

  146. Just so we’re clear: I voted already. For McCain. I think it is extremely unlikely that Obama will carry my state, but I did my part to make sure. Given the extremes of polls that I’ve seen (Obama by 12 points? Obama by 2 points?) I really don’t know what to think, except that I don’t trust the polls, I don’t trust the media, I don’t trust the internet… everyone has a bias. So I’ll just sit back and watch the results tomorrow, I guess.

  147. And this story encapsulates McCain’s character which is another reason I voted for him

    It’s a shame that this McCain isn’t the one we’ve seen campaigning the past few months, then. It is my fervent hope that on Wednesday, McCain goes back to the Senate and resumes the behavior that won him the admiration of people from every part of the political spectrum. This year has warped him into someone I can neither respect nor admire.

  148. i love Obama not just cause he is black and that what most white people think he well educated and he stand out more than Mcain. I thin that once Mcain gets it all his ideas and his attiude be very different.

  149. Josh: You didn’t see one dime of a budget surplus.
    Those were projections and the debt continued to rise every year under Clinton.

    Don’t forget, we have billions in off-budget items that eliminated any paper surplus.

    Regards.

  150. David @145 quoted me with “Europe was filled with tyrants in 1776. Why do we think they’re so much better now?” and responded with “Because they’re not actually filled with tyrants now? Europe’s got its problems (including the UK surveillance state) but comparing them to 1776 as if there’s a parallel just reveals your ignorance of 1776.”

    The UK surveillance state is only one piece. The suppression of free speech, the disbanding of the Vlaams Belang, the pressure on Ireland to approve the treaty of Lisbon*, the discord that’s being ignored by the politicos, Italy’s government being forced to soften its immigration policies. The pro-EU politicians claim that the EU isn’t tyrannical, but their claims ring completely false.

    * The EU slogan If you don’t know, learn! reminds me a lot of the people who claim that non-wealthy Republicans don’t know that they’re voting against their own interests. It simply doesn’t occur to people that they may actually value different things.

    There’s no rule that forms of governance can’t share characteristics (ie that Abdullah does it, doesn’t mean that socialists can’t do it)

    True, and that proves my point: the fact that Palin distributes the wealth that comes from oil doens’t make her a socialist in any relevant sense. Unless you also want to say that King Abdullah is a socialist in any relevant sense.

    really? you want to exculpate Palin by invoking the Saudi monarchy?

    I’m not trying to exculpate anyone. I’m arguing against a really bad argument.

    For the record, the quotes that came after this in your post weren’t mine. That said, I’ll reply to this: The GOP has been running away from Bush throughout 2008 because they learned the lessons of the 2006 smackdown

    This is a myopic view of what the GOP has done. If you actually pay attention to conservatives, you’ll see that they complained about all the same things that I have complained about: NCLB, spending, immigration policy, foreign policy, and so on. And they’ve been doing it for a long time. Think about the Harriet Miers fiasco — was that because of the “2006 smackdown”?

    Dave Robinson @146: I can think of plenty of reasons why someone would choose to vote for McCain/Palin that don’t involve racism;

    Thank you. You aren’t alone, but there are plenty of people who don’t think like you, either.

    As to free speech, there is always the question of whether the right to free speech includes the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

    …but a substantive debate on immigration is not that, either. The Vlaams Belang isn’t inciting people to riot, they’re trying to maintain a culture that’s being overrun by other cultures. You can disagree with them, but sending people to jail because their political opinions strike you as xenophobic is Big Brother in a big way.

    The right way to confront bad ideas is with better ideas, not with dissolution of political parties and jail time.

    You mentioned tyranny. It’s fear of tyranny that’s driving some people away from McCain/Palin

    Indeed. And there’s a lot of fear on the right that an Obama administration will rubber-stamp anti-free-speech policies pushed through a heavily Democratic congress. I’m not saying it will happen (though I think Nancy Pelosi is one of the most unintelligent and therefore dangerous legislative leaders I’ve seen in a long time), but these fears aren’t one-sided.

    As to socialism, I contend that the primary focus of socialism is the principle of collective ownership and egalitarian distribution. Socialism has nothing to do with previous ownership of that which is distributed but only with how and why it’s distributed. By those standards the checks Alaska sends out are a perfect example of socialism.

    I’m willing to concede that if you like — we’re haggling over definitions here — but if it’s true then Saudi Arabia has a (partly) socialist government as well. The point is that socialism as a general principle of government at large is qualitatively different from an exception here or there for one particular natural resource. If Palin “has socialist chops”, then so does Abdullah, and if he does, then what the heck do we mean by “socialist”?

  151. JS,

    S’okay. Ask my wife. Sometimes, my head deserves to be snapped off.

    Thankfully, it grows back.

    ;^)

    BTW, I am just wrapping up “The Ghost Brigades”. Thanks for the entertaining read.

  152. The UK surveillance state is only one piece. The suppression of free speech, the disbanding of the Vlaams Belang, the pressure on Ireland to approve the treaty of Lisbon*, the discord that’s being ignored by the politicos, Italy’s government being forced to soften its immigration policies. The pro-EU politicians claim that the EU isn’t tyrannical, but their claims ring completely false.

    Yes, I realize that the UK is only one problem. That’s why I said that Europe had ‘problems.’ Note the plural. The UK citation is what’s known as an ‘example’ and is used frequently to back up a point without asserting that it is the only citation possible.

    And again, I will point out that all the things you mention in Europe now pale in comparison to what actual tyrants in 1776 did to their own people and others. To use this crazy ‘example’ thing again: drawing and quartering was still a legal punishment in many European states, and involved being hung until almost dead, then cut down, being disemboweled, and having your entrails burned before your eyes.

    Again, comparing Europe now to 1776 only illustrates your ignorance of what 1776 looked like.

    This is a myopic view of what the GOP has done. If you actually pay attention to conservatives, you’ll see that they complained about all the same things that I have complained about: NCLB, spending, immigration policy, foreign policy, and so on. And they’ve been doing it for a long time. Think about the Harriet Miers fiasco — was that because of the “2006 smackdown”?

    They complained pretty sotto voce, then, since the poll numbers stayed very high for President Bush among conservatives until quite late. Would you like to offer any actual counterevidence to those poll numbers?

  153. Christian @# 158: “He can say whatever he wants in his memoirs. For what is arguably the toughest, most important job in the world, I want somebody with a nice, fat resume–someone whose behavior I can predict by his past actions, not the ideals he penned in a book.”

    First, I would point out that while Dreams from my Father is a memoir, The Audacity of Hope is more an exposition of a political philosophy. Is it possible that it’s all a massive head-fake to trick people into thinking he’s one thing so he can move up politically and then foist some completely different agenda on the country? I suppose so, but I have to say, writing a book (even a best-seller) isn’t the highest-probability method of trying to pull a fast one on the American people. Occam’s razor leads me to believe that Obama’s real political philosophy is pretty much in line with what he took the time to write. And among all the various attacks that have been made, I don’t recall any saying that his behavior has been at odds with what he claims in his book.

    Now, you can say you want to base your decision on a voting record more than on a published philosophy, and that eight years as a state senator and four years as a US senator is not a long enough voting record for you. Fine – I don’t personally agree with that prioritization of the decision criteria, but that’s a subjective decision, and your prioritization works for you.

    But don’t claim you don’t know him. He’s told anyone who cares to read it, in a great deal of depth, who he is and how he would govern.

  154. Thing about any political party, there is a natural desire by most Party People to defend their people in public, yet kvetch in private.

    Bush enjoyed very good numbers in the polls because Republicans were not about to bash their man in front of a press they already viewed as working for the other team. Yet privately, most Republicans have been pretty lukewarm-to-hostile, over Bush.

    And McCain? Shit. Republicans wish he was a Democrat.

    I think we’ll see a lot of the same with Obama. Dems will back him relentlessly in the public eye, but if he goes too far to the middle, and spends too much time being nice to conservatives, they will bash him a lot behind closed doors for being a “traitor” to the ideology.

  155. I’m not trying to be snarky, David, so relax.

    Violent death may have accompanied tyranny, but it isn’t the definition of it. In 1776 some people thought taxation without representation was tyranny, too. So you can pick examples of bad things that people did and say, “Oh, yeah? it’s not as bad as that!“, but it doesn’t prove your point. The examples I gave show specific ways in which the EU continues on the path to tyranny. (All large centralized governments appear to move in that direction, by the way, which is why the Founders were so careful to enumerate specific powers in the Constitution — to prevent the overcentralization that leads to tyranny.)

    And of course, lecturing me about McCain / Palin seems foolish: they aren’t “tyrannical” by that standard, either. (You can bring up Gitmo if you like, but (a) that prison camp primarily houses people who have tried to kill Americans and their allies, and (b) McCain has been anti-torture from the beginning and appears to continue to be, despite apparent waffling.)

    Regarding “sotto voce”, let’s consider the blowback from the Harriet Miers nomination:

    Right-Wing News
    WorldNetDaily
    National Review
    Bill O’Reilly noted it in an interview with Mary Matalin.
    Michelle Malkin said that she was utterly underwhelmed. She also blogged about Laura Ingraham‘s opinion and noted noted that Ann Coulter said, “The one major beneficiary from [Miers’] nomination is Joe Biden, who will finally look like a constitutional scholar when questioning a judicial nominee.”
    John Fund of the Wall Street Journal said that “Conservatives are right to be skeptical.”

    Sub-Odeon just said, “And McCain? Shit. Republicans wish he was a Democrat.” Bingo.

    Side note, John: will WordPress give you back your Preview button?

  156. Violent death may have accompanied tyranny, but it isn’t the definition of it. In 1776 some people thought taxation without representation was tyranny, too. So you can pick examples of bad things that people did and say, “Oh, yeah? it’s not as bad as that!“, but it doesn’t prove your point. The examples I gave show specific ways in which the EU continues on the path to tyranny. (All large centralized governments appear to move in that direction, by the way, which is why the Founders were so careful to enumerate specific powers in the Constitution — to prevent the overcentralization that leads to tyranny.)

    “Continues on the path to tyranny” is not the same thing as “tyranny.” My point is that comparing things to 1776 makes 2008 look pretty damn good, because back then there were real live actual tyrants who did real live actual tyrant things, rather than countries with representative governments who may or may not be on the slope to tyranny.

    And of course, lecturing me about McCain / Palin seems foolish: they aren’t “tyrannical” by that standard, either

    Where did I say McCain/Palin were tyrannical? I’m still working on your dumb historical comparison.

    Right-Wing News
    WorldNetDaily
    National Review
    Bill O’Reilly noted it in an interview with Mary Matalin.

    Gee, Jake, trusting the MSM? How un-conservative of you.

  157. # John Scalzion 03 Nov 2008 at 7:58 am

    VD:

    “I’m not sure which is more frightening, the prospect of the McCain victory, which I now reluctantly conclude is likely on the basis of the poll margins,”

    I’m pretty sure you meant to say “Obama” there.
    ———

    Actually VD is calculating that the polls are off by 5 points due to media bias.

  158. People’s careers are being destroyed, they are being named as ineligible for office, and they are going to jail — for speech. You can pretend that’s not tyranny if you like…

    “Representative government” doesn’t automatically make it better, either, because (a) the American founders pointed out that there is a tyranny of the majority that must be avoided, and (b) in some cases representation is being avoided as much as possible, as when referendums on the Treaty of Lisbon were being avoided.

    Re: McCain / Palin & tyranny, that was my error. I mixed up you and Dave Robinson. Sorry about that.

    Re: the MSM, I said “if you actually pay attention to conservatives”. I gave you a list of conservatives who said what I said they said. Not sure why this is an issue.

  159. By the way, Dave, perhaps part of the problem is that we’re talking across each other.

    My point wasn’t that today is like 1776 in some specific ways, but that European governments have not always been good to emulate, and that they wouldn’t be good to emulate now, either. They are less free (I’ll eschew “more tyrannical” for now) than the US, and I’d like us to remain more free than the European Union is shaping up to be.

    And I hate the fact that I overused “avoided” in my last post. :)

  160. The irony of an Obama supporter decrying the lack of substance in another campaign is ironic. It shouldn’t be amazing after Bush, but it’s still surprising how a person with literally no record of political accomplishment beyond campaigning can get elected to the Presidency.

    Although the most disappointed people within two years after this election are going to be Obama supporters. The messiah like faith they have cannot be sustained. He is, after all, only going to be a politician.

  161. “Palin is indisputably the single worst major party candidate for high office in living memory, a proudly ignorant political automaton whose only notable qualities are a pretty face, a sufficient lack of awareness to blind her to her own incompetencies and a quality of ambition that can only be described as voracious. ”

    Switch the name and pronouns, and I can (and do) say the EXACT SAME THING ABOUT BARACK OBAMA. The difference is that he is running for Pres, and she only VP.

  162. People’s careers are being destroyed, they are being named as ineligible for office, and they are going to jail — for speech. You can pretend that’s not tyranny if you like

    Again, I’m not arguing that the above is good. What am I arguing is that things in tyrannies in 1776 were *much worse*

    For example (again with the example thing!), in 1776, Russia had just finished fighting Pugachev’s Rebellion, in which an uprising of serfs (average life span: 35 years) was brutally crushed by Catherine the Great. This included reprisals against the serfs in which hundreds of thousands of serfs were killed.

    but that European governments have not always been good to emulate, and that they wouldn’t be good to emulate now, either

    You undermine that point by the historical comparison.

  163. Anyone who claims that Obama lacks substance should head over to his website and read the copious policy papers there.

    If that doesn’t convince you, I suggest you watch the Obama interview with Rachel Maddox–his riffing on the infrastructure problem shows that he’s smart and well-informed.

  164. bob@180

    Neither Obama nor McCain has ever struck me as “proudly ignorant.” The same cannot be said for Sarah Palin.

  165. Not buying it. Without the black vote and media 0 didn’t have any chance in primary. Again without the media, he would be 20 points behind in general. All you 0 supporters are for a rude awakening on Wed morning. Obama is nothing but empty suits. Take out the beautifully read platitude/cliche laden speeches, he’s got nothing. No record of accomplishments, poll driven and field tested sound bites, that’s all he’s got. I can’t believe so many people are failing for this nonsense.

    I saw the Charlies Rose interview of Tom Brokaw last week and it was telling how little those two know about Obama. You would think that these two liberals who have met Obama, interviewed him and have access to his advisors would know a little more about the man. I suggest you watch it. it’s eye opening. This is the reason Obama will lose tomorrow. Not racism, not people like McCain. It’s just people don’t know who 0 is. What’s he made up of? And believe me the less you know about the guy the better.

  166. bob:

    “Switch the name and pronouns, and I can (and do) say the EXACT SAME THING ABOUT BARACK OBAMA.”

    Well, you can say anything, Bob. It doesn’t mean what you are saying is accurate.

    In fact, I submit that saying “Sarah Palin = Barack Obama” is in its own way a test of political knowledge, and those who say it are on the EPIC FAIL setting.

    It’s one thing to say you don’t want Obama as president. Saying that the man is as ignorant as Palin, however, is just complete bullshit. The woman can’t remember what newspapers she reads, for Christ’s sake.

    madman:

    “Again without the media, he would be 20 points behind in general.”

    Yes, the media came to the homes of millions of people, held a gun to their head, and made them volunteer and/or contribute money to Obama campaign. It also made McCain decide to spend all his money on attack ads, and is probably responsible for the economy falling out from under everything, too. It’s all the media’s fault!

    Lots of people are suddenly failing a lot of ignorance tests in this thread, I see.

  167. Oh, please. She couldn’t remember what she read because she was coached out of her mind and didn’t want to offend anyone. That’s what happens when you have media people as advisers.

  168. Madman, I don’t know which is sadder: That you offer up that as an excuse, or that you actually appear to believe it.

    Could you please go be stupid somewhere else? Thanks.

  169. Not an excuse. But you can’t judge a person’s intelligence and capability by one gaffe. Do you want me to list Obama’s and Biden’s gaffe?

    That’s a chip shot. Can’t take any criticism, huh?

  170. I wonder how much Obama paid Ayers to write his books?

    Does it bother anyone that Obama is friends with and worked with a man who killed his GF and best friends while planning to kill married couples with kids?

    Scalzi too conveniently also ignores the Democrats’ deep responsibility for the Subprime mess – from the legislation, to the obstruction of reform, to the excutive steering of FNMA.

    But, hey, lets keep them in office where they can cook up some more house of card schemes.

    Obama talks a good game, but he would not know line losses from availability when it comes to power generation, just as he does not know income elasticity from disposable income.

    Obama is an empty suit, except for the CPUSA gnome carrying a megaphone that fills his left shoe.

    If Obama is elected, I am sure that at some point Scalzi will ask for some good recipes for crow. That is, if he can afford it.

  171. madman:

    “Can’t take any criticism, huh?”

    Criticism is fine; stupidity is annoying, and you appear to have it, and worse, wish to push it on my site.

    Austin:

    Your Ayers comments (both of them) also suggest you have the dumb.

    Now, both of you. Brain up or go.

  172. Well, Palin may not remember what newspaper she reads, but is that as dumb as asking a man in a wheelchair to stand up and acknowledge the crowd? As dumb as George Bush waving “Hi!” to Stevie Wonder?

    All of the candidates have said or done something that makes a person whack their head in frustration and go “Jesus Christ, how dumb can a person be!” After a couple of those, moreoften then not they get shuttled off to the side of the campaign, like Quayle in 88 and Biden this year.

    Andrew

  173. David @181: Again, I’m not arguing that the above is good. What am I arguing is that things in tyrannies in 1776 were *much worse*

    So we should be okay with emulating the kinder, gentler tyrannies of 2008? Sure, the specific punishments are less bad than Britain in 1776 or Moscow in 1953, but am I supposed to embrace the EU because they’re not as bad as Britain was two hundred years ago?

    “Introducing our new, improved European tyrannies! Now with fewer disembowellings!”

    George W. Bush’s vision for America is also better than the Britain (or the America or the anything else) of 200 years ago. Shall I emulate that as well?

    You undermine that point by the historical comparison.

    I don’t think so, but I’m not sure that we’re communicating effectively, either.

  174. Oh, for fuck’s sake, people. Palin couldn’t name a single newspaper she reads, including either the Anchorage Daily News, the major newspaper in her state, or the New York Times, the major newspaper in the US. She was given several opportunities to do so. Even the most dim among us could winkle out of our memory the name of a single newspaper in all of our great land. Either she gets such monumental stage fright that she can’t answer — which given her facility for media we know not to be true — or she simply doesn’t read newspapers and was trying to bullshit her way through a moment.

    Beyond this, attempting a tit-for-tat of dumb things candidates do to attempt to prove Palin isn’t deeply ignorant misses the point, I suspect intentionally. What little we’ve seen of her indicates she’s wholly ignorant on foreign relations, domestic policy and the basic concepts of the Constitution, which are concepts each of the other three candidates for high office this year are clearly fluent in. Everybody makes gaffes; Palin’s gaffes, however, expose the fact she’s unspeakably ignorant and unqualified for the position she’s running for.

  175. Bob @# 180:

    “Switch the name and pronouns, and I can (and do) say the EXACT SAME THING ABOUT BARACK OBAMA.”

    OK, let’s play.

    “(Obama) is indisputably the single worst major party candidate for high office in living memory…”

    Thesis statement that posits a position, with no substantive content in either case (yours or John’s), so we’ll pass on evaluating it.

    “…a proudly ignorant political automaton…”

    Graduated Columbia University. Accepted to Harvard Law School. Editor of Harvard Law Review. President of Harvard Law Review. Graduated with J.D. magna cum laude. Taught constitutional law at University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. FAIL on “proudly ignorant”.

    Authored The Audacity of Hope, a lengthy exposition of his political philosophy. Interviews, television appearances, and other unscripted interactions too numerous to mention where he spoke at considerable length about a broad range of topics. Again, taught constitutional law for 12 years. FAIL on “political automaton.”

    “…whose only notable qualities are a pretty face…”

    You know, of all the things I admire about Obama, I would have to say that “a pretty face” isn’t one of them. But maybe that’s just me. You might think he’s pretty.

  176. So we should be okay with emulating the kinder, gentler tyrannies of 2008

    No, you’re supposed to *stop* making stupid historical comparisons if you want anyone to pay attention to your arguments. Whatever the value of your point, it automatically harder to convince people if you pair it with something so obviously daft.

    The canonical example of this is, of course, shrieking “just like the Nazis!!!!” You’ve chosen a lesser example–Thank God–which only rises to the level of grossly idiotic as opposed to the purely demented.

  177. “As for how I felt about it personally”

    Well, there you have it. Feelings.

    Didn’t need to read the rest.

  178. Speaking on behalf of myself alone, although possibly for a larger number of people who think both candidates are absolutely dreadful, I think it is incumbent on all voters to vote for a candidate of limited government, free markets, peace, and maximum personal freedom. Neither the Democrat nor the Rebublican candidate fall into these categories. Accordingly, you cannot vote for either of these. You must vote for a third party candidate if for no other reason than to show that you do care enough to vote, but you want something which is not being offered by the ruling classes: real choice.

    Let’s face it, when a liberal democrat is running against a moderate democrat, we’re going to get a democrat in office. McCain is not a conservative and is not for limited government, freedom or peace. Then again, neither is Obama. They are united in their intentions to bilk the American taxpayer out of hard-earned dollars to fund government spending and pet projects. Neither of them intend to secure our borders. Neither of them wants to talk about the budget. Neither of them has any intention whatsoever of actually bringing all of our troops home from all over the world. Both of them voted in favor of the $700 billion bailout, thereby beggaring honest people who worked hard and played by the rules in order to reward the compulsive gamblers on Wall Street.

    The only issue on which they really differ is who they would give the loot that they intend to extract. With either of these candidates, the American taxpayer loses.

    If you don’t approve of the tax-and-spend mind-set of the candidates, please do something about it and vote for a third party. Write in a candidate who does support real liberty and who does not feel compelled to tell you what they think would make you more happy. Freedom means that each and every one of us gets to make our own decisions, keep what we earn, and spend it how we think best for ourselves and our loved ones. Ever-increasing taxation and wealth redistribution schemes are the enemy of freedom. Don’t vote ourselves further into debt-slavery.

  179. RW:

    “Didn’t need to read the rest.”

    Yes you did. Your decision not to will haunt you for the rest of your days. But it’s not too late! Go back!

    GO BACK!

  180. At 145, you said, “Because [Europe isn’t] actually filled with tyrants now?”

    At 171, you talked about what “actual tyrants in 1776 did to their own people”.

    At 181, you said, “things in tyrannies in 1776 were *much worse*”.

    You seem to think that if a ruler doesn’t disembowel others then he’s not an “actual tyrant”, and because I don’t use the word the same way you want to insult me. But tyranny has nothing to do with the acts of the tyrant: it just means that the tyrant has arbitrary and unrestrained power.

    If you want to abuse me because the EU isn’t completely unrestrained, then we can quibble. (The kings of Europe weren’t completely unrestrained in the 1700’s, either, but at least it’s a reasonable argument to have with me.) If you want just want to tell me that I’m an idiot, go find someone else who’s willing to waste his time feeding trolls.

  181. I realize that “tax and spend” is a buzzphrase that is supposed to set off a mindless panic reaction in the generation just before mine, but —

    What exactly do you expect the government to do? Borrow and spend? Sell off Yosemite National Park to Dubai and spend the proceeds? Tax and hoard? Dissolve altogether, leaving behind a collective of independent city-states where nobody is taxed and everybody lives off the grid?

    Now, as a Republican, arguments about fiscal responsibility, reasonable and fair tax rates, and prudent spending instead of bridges to nowhere – those are things I understand. But whining that Democrats (or any other politicians) are “tax and spend” candidates? That’s what government does. All those aircraft carriers don’t pay for themselves.

  182. Mythago,

    Maybe they meant to say “Tax and spend responsibly”, but then they’d have to define responsible, and that doesn’t fit into a 30 second sound bite….

    Andrew

  183. That would also imply that it’s sometimes OK to levy taxes, and apparently the kind of person for whom “tax and spend” resonates thinks that taxes are only OK when levied on other people. See, e.g., Grover Asshole Norquist.

  184. You seem to think that if a ruler doesn’t disembowel others then he’s not an “actual tyrant”, and because I don’t use the word the same way you want to insult me. But tyranny has nothing to do with the acts of the tyrant: it just means that the tyrant has arbitrary and unrestrained power.

    No, I think you are applying the word ‘tyrant’ to governments that are manifestly not tyrants. You can use a word to label anything you want, no matter how dumb. That does not mean the rest of us have to agree.

    Comparing them to _actual tyrants_ makes that silliness all the more manifest and by invoking 1776 you did just that.

  185. Way to go Scalzi. You managed to get your name bumped off my “D-List” of sci-fi writers (I at least occasionally plucked them off the remainder racks they so inevitably hit a few months after being published). I’m sure that’s OK, though. Sci-fi writers of your caliber must sell thousands of every title, and can easily afford to antagonize an avid reader who plows through 25-30 hardbound titles a year.

    Obama qualified to be president? Come on. You could list his life accomplishments on one side of a 3 by 5 index card and still have plenty of room left for Governor Palin’s moose stew recipe. Other than write three books about his favorite subject (if indeed he even wrote those books) he’s never run anything but his mouth.

  186. Awh, I think you hurt Larry Poe’s feelings.

    Thanks for your eloquence. You said what so many are feeling. At least 270 electoral votes’ worth.

    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

  187. It is refreshing to see demonstrated (yet again) that the ability to put words and letters together in a pretty fashion is no indication of analytical ability.

    Good luck selling your books.

    Regards,

    jfruser

  188. David: Look it up. Goodbye.

    Nothing cements a debate like going to the dictionary.*

    *As long as you’re in eighth grade or below.**
    ** This is probably unfair to eighth graders; I apologize.

  189. jfruser:

    As it happens, my agent told me today what my most recent royalty payment was. Suffice to say at this point, I don’t need luck to sell books. But thank you for the words of encouragement. You can imagine what they mean to me.

    Sigh. So many amateurs of snark.

  190. John, you should care about whether or not you are on my “to buy list”. I see your lastest masterwork is ranked 18544 on Amazon’s list. That’s right up there with annual crop productions surveys published by the University of South Dakota press.

  191. Because books have come into this thread I want to discuss my unspoken covenant with our host.

    As long as he keeps writing books I enjoy, I will keep buying and reading them. If I stop enjoying his books, he will stop enjoying my money. I read for myself; all the power’s on my side. Meanwhile, our host is writing his books for his reasons, not to meet my specific tastes and prejudices. When they intersect he gets money and I get a book, when they don’t I get a book by someone else.

    His politics are irrelevant to my enjoyment of his fiction.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled politics.

  192. Larry Poe:

    Seriously? You’re trying to snark me using an Amazon ranking? I find that very amusing. And a bit sad.

    Now not only do I not give shit whether I’m not on your “to buy” list, I’m also somewhat relieved. The average IQ of my readership is slightly higher without you.

  193. And McCain? Shit. Republicans wish he was a Democrat.

    SO, trust me, Democrats aren’t stupid by any means. They wouldn’t let the man nowhere near their camp.

  194. Man, you truly seem to a thin skin like your guy.

    Enjoy this:

    [Deleted because a cutting and pasting someone else’s entire blog post/article is not cool, and also likely a copyright violation. Madman, leave a link and one or two highlights from the article/entry. See “On Quoting” for details — JS]

  195. Ouch. Larry, you’re not a bitter aspirant, are you?

    I may disagree with John Scalzi on many things political, but he does write good SF. That’s not a statement on his politics. That’s a statement on his skill and his level of ability; on which I imagine he has worked very, very, very, very, very hard.

    The first two books in his OMW series have been very enjoyable, and I wish him all the best as he seeks to expand upon this success. I bought all three of the “main” OMW books at a Borders when I was at Ft. Lewis this summer, so I think it’s safe to say Scalzi has been (and is) on my “buy” list.

    As JS (more or less) stated in the linked thread, there is something… I dunno… Ill, about needing the producers of your entertainment to constantly flatter your politics for you. If I needed all my authors, actors, directors, musicians, etc, to all flatter my politics… Ugh. I’d not be able to read anything, listen to anything, watch any TV or movies… Shit. Talk about closing your mind. If you’re even a little bit conservative in America, you realize that the majority of your entertainers are not conservative. That’s just the way it is right now, and for the forseeable future. Best to get over it and enjoy the material on its own merits, not because you like the artist’s politics.

    Having said this, I do think it’s annoying that too many entertainers think that because they get up on a stage in front of crowds, or make albums, or write books, or act in front of a camera, suddenly they’ve got Enlightenment shining out of their assholes and that they need to share this Enlightenment with the rest of us poor, dumb, unedumacated consumers.

  196. Nancy @ #216: then what the Hell are Lieberman and Zell Miller still doing in the Democratic Party?

    =^)

  197. Sub-Odeon:

    “Larry, you’re not a bitter aspirant, are you?”

    I don’t suspect he is, he’s just one of those folks who seems to think that I should be more concerned about selling a book to him than anything else I might be concerned about. That much is clear from his posts.

  198. what the Hell are Lieberman and Zell Miller still doing in the Democratic Party?

    No, you didn’t bite my ass, LOL, but some folks have brains worth prying into. Others, obviously, not.

  199. Lieberman and Zell Miller still doing in the Democratic Party?

    You’re aware that neither of them are, right? Lieberman’s an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, and Miller’s long gone. You have to keep up with your left wing loonies.

  200. Nancy, this does beg the question: are their any “cross-party” pols in Washington D.C. that either Republicans or Democrats can mutually admire? Seems to me McCain was admired by many Dems and libs until he started running against Obama, then he became scum. Many Republicans like Zell, but he’s persona non grata for what he did during the 2004 election season.

    Is it even possible for a Party pol to have genuine respect lended to them by the Other Side? Or is the Other Side only interested in “respecting” someone from the Other Other Side because that someone doesn’t threaten them, or one of their guys running for office?

  201. Slightly OT: I’m really tired of the whole “one-party in power is bad” argument–it only applies to the Republicans in power. Let’s take an actual, close look at 1993-94. Bill Clinton passed:

    1) NAFTA. A Republican-priority bill. More Republicans than Democrats supported it. Clinton decided it was good policy, and the fact that most members of the other party supported it didn’t matter.

    2) The 1993 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. True, no Republicans voted for it, but the bill is largely credited with the economic boom that followed throughout the 90s, and it reduced the deficit by a substantial amount. Deficit reduction=Republican priority.

    3) One of the things Clinton *wanted* to do, but couldn’t until 1996, was welfare reform. It was on his list; he would’ve passed it in 1994 if he’d had time.

    4) The 1994 crime bill. 100,000 new police officers. Crime reduction=formerly a Republican goal as well.

    The big failure is health care, but again, a closer look is needed: Clinton wasn’t proposing a semi-radical, single-payer system, he wanted a more moderate, market-based plan. 18,000 Americans a year die because they don’t have health insurance; and the economic damage we suffer from having 49 million people uninsured is in the billions of dollars *each year.* Clinton’s plan would’ve saved at least some of them. Are we really better off without his plan?

    So we have five major legislative initiatives, four of which have their roots in Republican policies. This is extremism? This is bad government? (Not to mention the fact that the Republicans have been in control of the judiciary since the Reagan years.) 2002-06, that was bad one-party rule, but that was, of course, when the Republicans ran things.

    Voted for Obama, voted no on 8. Volunteering tonight & tomorrow.

  202. You have to keep up with your left wing loonies.

    True, yes. I have to say it’s easier and more worthwhile than needlessly traipsing after the opposition.

  203. Well John – having read your comments it has become obvious that you are arrogant and rude. You call people stupid when they don’t agree with you. Well it’s not a problem – I can go elsewhere, and I will.

  204. I have also noticed that you often delete people’s comments. Why does it not surprise me to see this from a liberal?

  205. Not to hijack this thread completely, but the discussion about artists and politics reminds me of the much broader discussion my wife and I have sometimes: how easily do most people overlook their own political passions in order to get along with friends, family, co-workers, a spouse, parents, etc.

    Whenever I hear or read a story about anyone who has screaming matches with their (insert political persuasion here) Mom, or can’t stand their (insert political persuasion) brother, I gotta think that’s an example of letting politics infest your soul to the point that it’s become poisonous.

    Total strangers? We don’t owe them much. Family and friends? Mom & Dad? To kick such people out of our lives, or to be kicked out of theirs, over politics… That’s when it’s clearly time to take a step back, pull your head from the vice grip our our politically-saturated media, and realize that some things are more important than whether or not a person votes for a certain candidate, is part of a certain party, or otherwise leans this or that way politically.

    If more Americans remembered this, on both sides of the political mountains, I think our political discourse would be a lot more civil and we’d not see so much demonization.

  206. SO, 224#Greg was a great sum up, written much better than I could’ve posted. To make matters worse, I’m a terrible typist.

    I, too, admired McCain back in 2000. Had he won the nomination, I would’ve seriously considered voting for him. Running against Obama was (is) not the reason many Dems have backtracked in support of McCain. Since his first bid for presidency, his ideals, policies and tactics have changed drastically, conforming to something far different than he preached in prior years that I, and many other voters, cannot support.

  207. Barry,

    I’m not sure I’m the one to say this, given my history and liberal blogs, but… John is remarkably tolerant for a self-proclaimed independent liberal. I’ve only posted here since the summer, but I’ve only ever seen him delete stuff that seemed deliberately rude, ad hominem, antagonistic, or otherwise “flame baity” in tone.

    He doesn’t delete on pure content, which is to his credit. And believe me, this makes this blog a lot more fun than many others, which do delete purely for content, and confuse “trolling” with “speaking an opposite opinion” like it’s going out of style.

    OK, I shall cease sucking up.

    Gotta go catch my train. Ciao.

  208. Barry Stephenson:

    “You call people stupid when they don’t agree with you.”

    Well, no. I call them stupid when, in my opinion, they say or act stupidly. Lots of people here disagree with me, but don’t do so in a manner I find stupid.

    Likewise, of course I delete posts, because I don’t want feculent stupidity stinking up the place. Just because some idjit feels free to shit himself in my house doesn’t mean I need to keep his contribution permanently on display.

    Elsewise, Barry, you look like yet another person who didn’t bother to read the site disclaimer and comment policy. I am not responsible for people who don’t understand the rules of the house, nor am I inclined to waste many tears on them after they flounce out in a huff, as apparently you are doing right now.

    Bye, now, Barry.

  209. That’s it, Scalzi! Your opinion is so stupid that I will no longer lick your head at conventions.

    My, this ia lively group.(insert sarcasm)

  210. nor am I inclined to waste many tears on them after they flounce out in a huff, as apparently you are doing right now

    Did I mention how lively this group is?

  211. Sub,

    Fair enough. I based my comment on only two posts, this one and one on prop 8. Judged too early maybe.

    But from what I see, John looks far too self-assured and arrogant. [Concern trolling start] This surely doesn’t help him win people to his cause [Concern trolling end].

  212. Barry:

    Those two topics have brought out trolls, so naturally there’s some deletion. More than on most posts.

    As for being self-assured and arrogant: yes, well. This is not news. On the other hand, I’m not actually concerned about winning people to my cause. This place exists for me to speak my mind.

  213. You said:

    “Smart, informed, engaged, practical in ideas and in the execution of those ideas”

    But Obama has never executed an idea in his life! The only thing he has ever done was run for office! Don’t you pay attention?

  214. zorb:

    “The only thing he has ever done was run for office!”

    The problem at this point is I can’t tell when people are being sarcastically arch or genuinely stupid. I’m going to be charitable in this case and assume sarcastically arch.

  215. Barry, John’s right, this is his blog. You have the right and the internet to start your own blog to argue or bitch about anyone’s point of view.

  216. But Obama has never executed an idea in his life! The only thing he has ever done was run for office! Don’t you pay attention?

    Uh huh, sure, but not to you.

  217. And he ran for office very very well.

    I do think people are under-estimating the value of running a (what looks at this point to be) hugely successful presidential campaign. If you read Fivethirtyeight.com’s reports from the field, you get the sense that the Obama campaign is unbelievably well-organized. Volunteers in the campaign outnumber McCain volunteers four-fold by some calculations, they’re raising money hand over fist, and putting it to use in substantive ways rather than just by doing attack ads. The Obama offices are busy late into the night all over the country, while a lot of McCain offices close early (and don’t have as much activity to start with).

    The Obama campaign has also been really sensible in its campaigning: they’ve stayed on message and reacted thoughtfully and mostly respectfully while McCain has been grabbing after one tactic after another. Obama plays a long game, sticks to the point, argues for unity without using the nasty “with us or with the terrorists” rhetoric the McCain campaign has been using, and uses Obama’s personal history as a exemplar of the best that this country can achieve.

    (That a child of a Kenyan immigrant and a hippie, who grew up mostly overseas, could get an excellent education, be elected president of HLR, and teach constitutional law at U of Chicago, says only good things about this country–and that’s before you consider what it says that he’s this close to being President.)

    Even if I were planning to vote for McCain on the issues (which I am not), I would have to respect the intelligence of Obama’s strategic choices in this campaign.

    Think about organizing tens or hundreds of thousands of campaign volunteers in fifty states–it’s like herding ten thousand angry cats. Yet they’ve made it work, harnessing the energy and enthusiasm of these people, and using that energy to build more energy.

    If someone can do that in a presidential campaign, I want to see what they can do in office. I honestly think Obama’s working on building a cross-party mandate that will give more more broad-spectrum political support than any president in my lifetime.

    Bravo on the post, John.

  218. Let me note that Larry Poe, in comment #206, wrote the following:

    Other than write three books about his favorite subject (if indeed he even wrote those books)

    (1) Does anyone doubt that the essentially unknown Obama wrote his first book himself? I mean, who’s going to ghostwrite a personal memoir by a thirty-five-year-old no-one has ever heard of? And Why? Wouldn’t we have heard something to the contrary by now (not counting certain delusionary and unsubstantiated hypotheses in the fever swamps of the online Right last month)?
    And, more importantly, (2) Larry Poe seems unable to count to three. Quelle surprise.

  219. Nancy, please use the appropriate HTML tags to italicize text you’re quoting, to set it apart from text you’re creating yourself. Your messages are difficult to read because you’re not following this convention. (For bonus credit, you could use blockquote instead, but for short quotes that’s probably overkill.)

    Main comment: I read zorb’s “only thing he’s done” comment as sarcastic, not serious. I invite correction from zorb if, in fact, this was a serious criticism of Obama. But it didn’t sound that way to me.

  220. Just to be a little more helpful, nancy,

    <i>this is in italics</i>

    yields

    this is in italics.

    I read zorb as sarcastic too.

  221. stevem – McCain won’t win Allegheny county either (Pittsburgh) and probably won’t win any other more densely populated counties. The notion that Obama will only win Philly is ludicrous in the extreme. I don’t expect you’ll be back here tomorrow night to explain how in the world you think McCain can win here without massive voter fraud in Pennsylvania. That’s tough to commit here (unlike in places like Florida) since most precincts have party majority/minority inspectors at the polls.

    I’ve been volunteering for Obama in a county that’s quite conservative, but Obama has at least a chance here. A surprising number of retired people do not trust McCain.

  222. Dave Robinson:

    I don’t believe my mother is a racist, but she’s a life-long Republican who mainlines Faux News. She’s naturally a fearful person. The McCain campaign has played on her fears, so she’s afraid of Obama.

  223. Thanks for the further info, Xopher. Should have included that, but didn’t. (Although I’d use em-/em, not i-/i.)

  224. Andrew H. and Xopher, thank you. I will remember customs. As for snarking on sarcasm, sorry. Guess being a newbie got me caught up in the liveliness.

  225. 242 [silly-assed rhetorical assertion]
    243 [measured reply, reserving judgment]
    245 [repetition of silly-assed rhetorical assertion]

    People: Be aware there’s a watchdog timer limiting the number of times this loop may be executed.

  226. Can’t in all good judgment vote for BO – I’m middle of road voter – best person and all that. The choice between the two main parties – kinda – well not so great.

    Demon’s have been in control of both house and senate – with nothing to show – so i would say BO is going to give us 4 more years of the same – nothing.

    Its not just one man or women that controls the country, economics etc – at least not yet, to think that BO is going to save the world is, well a bit out there. And as BO put it “there’s plenty of fault to go around” – how come he didn’t vote against it.

    So why not BO – well too much media letting him slide on major things that have popped up about the man. Plus kicking other media off the plane that don’t agree with him. No body really knows that much about him – only what we are “fed”; I don’t like being “FED”.

    This time around with things as they are – need experience, so I’m voting experience; not a time to play house.

    Also not a big fan of lawyers running things, and I go out and earn a living every day thus know about opportunity. Question – what additional opportunities would you have with BO as pres that you don’t have today?

    As Biden said in interview with Canada Free Press – this is not the democratic party of the past – this is about new world order.

    What do you expect to get from that – certainly not reaching out to people – perhaps more of – like it or not this is what you get.

    I have been wrong on many things in life – zigged when i should have zagged and zagged when i should have zigged – but there’s something strange afoot with BO and its not good.

  227. Peter K:

    If you call yourself “middle of the road” but then call the Democrats “demons,” you may not be being entirely honest with yourself about where you stand.

  228. Sub-Odeon — it’s been a long time since I’ve seen much publicly expressed cross-party respect when the parties were alive. It seemed to evaporate when the “liberals” mostly moved into the Democratic party, and the “conservatives” mostly moved into the Republicans (and those who didn’t were ground into mush.)

    John — I agree with you on Proposition 8 in California. It’s not the solution I prefer, but I can’t have that, and this is close enough for now. (For those not following, I want marriage to be a church sacrament, and civil unions to be a state function; you can have both, either, or neither, your choice, but you can’t force a church to perform a marriage for you, you have to find a church that will.)

    Totally OT, except for those who toast hero’s passings: I heard today that Col. John W. Ripley has died. The story of what a Recon Marine did in 1972 that he’s now in the Army Ranger Hall of Fame is well told here.

  229. John – I understand the point – actually both parties, demons and reputs have let the people down for a very long time. Just that the demons have been in control of house and senate and done nothing – so I’m a little harder on them today.

    Government is in so much control of everything we do – and as long as we have our TV’s life is good because we have our opinion for the day…no thinking required.

    I actually believe both parties have the American people just where they want them – divided – so both parties remain in POWER and believe me people from both sides are very wealthy.

    Look at business contributions – they contribute farily equally to both sides – with a few exceptions.

  230. “Obama got help from economic, national and world events, and from Clinton and McCain both running bad campaigns,…”

    You forgot to add “all of the national print and video press, as well as the late night talk show hosts.”

    We’ll find out tomorrow if he could close the deal. That’s his weakness in the general election.

    I hope you sell lots more books, John. I’ll need the tax money to help pay for my medical and retirement benefits.
    Thanks!

  231. Steve G @259 – I hope you sell lots more books, John. I’ll need the tax money to help pay for my medical and retirement benefits.

    Only if McCain wins!

    (Ah, I love baseless rhetoric.)

  232. There is no red America, or blue America; no black America, or white America; ‘real’ America, or ‘fake’ America: there is only the John Scalzi book-buying America! If we all work hard, and pull together, if you’ll buy a few books from him, if you’ll write some blog posts about him, if you’ll tell some friends about him, we can push John Scalzi into that bracket where Obama’s tax plan will raise his marginal rate from 35% to 39%!

  233. from Clinton and McCain both running bad campaigns

    Strange how people running against Obama keep doing that.

  234. “He’s not where he is now because he got lucky.” Dude! He was elected to the Senate because his oponent couldn’t be satisfied by sex with 7 of friggen 9 every night. What are the odds?

  235. Andrew 252: Oh, me too, ordinarily. In fact I have a little Notepad file with HTML tags for various purposes, and it has em and strong instead of i and b. I still use i when I want italics and don’t care what the website is using for emphasis (see how wicked I am?).

    Mark 264: Dude! He was elected to the Senate because his oponent couldn’t be satisfied by sex with 7 of friggen 9 every night.

    First of all, Obama was winning that election anyway. People were already saying “first black POTUS” about him before he was elected to the Senate, if you recall.

    And second, Jack Ryan (Jeri’s creepy ex, not the Harrison Ford character of the same name) was perfectly happy to have sex with Jeri Ryan…he just wanted other people to see him do it (typically for Republican politicians, he wasn’t satisfied with something good unless he could show it off to people who didn’t have it), and kept tricking her into going into sex clubs with him. She would cry and leave, and he’d apologize and do it again.

    So: his opponent was a total scumbag, and after HE dropped out, the Republicans brought in this wacko who couldn’t get elected dogcatcher, despite running for everything in sight every time he could. Yeah.

    But everyone who ever ran against Jesse Helms was running against a total scumbag, and John Kerry and Al Gore were running against a total wacko, and they all lost. So Obama must have more talent than you think.

  236. Well John – having read your comments it has become obvious that you are arrogant and rude. You call people stupid when they don’t agree with you. Well it’s not a problem – I can go elsewhere, and I will.

    Barry has apparently not learned one of the oldest lessons of the Internet: namely, if you are going to deliver a ringing exit line and then flounce off in a huff, you need to actually flounce off, or people will rightly conclude you are not only dishonest, but you’re so weak-willed that you cannot actually bring yourself to leave an Internet discussion.

    Barry: in other words, having declared that you’re going elsewhere, sticking around to make repeated comments makes it clear that all you want is attention. Sort of like the disgruntled little kid who grabs his teddy bear, announces he’s running away from home, and then stands at the front door shouting “I’m REALLY running away THIS TIME!” every ten minutes in the hopes that Mommy will rush over to talk him out of it.

  237. I’ve seen people bring up Democrats control of Congress in this election several times, and I’m a bit confused. For one, it’s only been the last two years, am I correct? Hard to compare to 8 years of the Bush administration. More than this, however, is the level of control. A one seat majority in the Senate, and little better in the House, meaning that Democrats were kept in check by Republican filibuster. It seems to me less like “control” and more like a deadlock. It also seems to me that, even with a likely better democratic majority after this election, we’d still see a deadlock with a republican president. I can’t see this as a good thing with the current state of our nation.

  238. Richard #270 – Yes your are correct, in a way – the same has held true for the most part in the prior years – the other way. None has served the people well and to beat up on the so-called demons for a moment – they could have done more in the last 8 years and certainly the last 2 years – but did not. Instead voted on things and when it went wrong point fingers saying they were mislead – wait i hear the violins playing.

    The richest people in the house and senate are democrats and the top 3 are women. All the fortunes have been made off the sweat and backs of the poor and working folks.

    Why don’t they just be honest and call themselves the New Socialists Party of America – instead of working under the false representation of the Democratic party – oh because that’s the only way they can stay in power – darn that power thing again.

    Vote for me free beer – a chicken in every pot and a gallon of gas.

  239. BTW…we get a big hug from the EU – that’s important ya know – they will like us.

    Welcome to the new world order —Biden (LOL)- Canada Free Press – this is not the democratic party of the past….

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