flewellyn: (Default)
[personal profile] flewellyn
Following the primaries, I'm still very much undecided whether I want to support Obama or not. Both my first choice (Edwards) and my second (Clinton) have come out in support of him, and that says a lot to me.

But then I hear about stuff like this, in which protestors and dissenters at an Obama rally were systematically excluded and dismissed by his campaign's operatives. And it makes me wonder...isn't this Bush stuff? If Obama means to unify the party, how come his campaign's actions seem geared toward unity through purge?

Very discomfitting. If Obama turns out to be Bush Lite, then my choices at the ballot box will be Bush Lite or Bush Redux. Not much of a choice, is it?

Date: 2008-06-29 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nimbrethil.livejournal.com
Not quite. Obama and McCain are not your only options for voting. There ARE other candidates. (And no, you wouldn't be wasting your vote to pick one of them).

Date: 2008-06-29 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
This is true. And if Obama turns out to be Bush Lite, I might just go McKinney.

Date: 2008-06-29 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nimbrethil.livejournal.com
That's who I'm learning toward. Not decided yet.

Date: 2008-06-29 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randallsquared.livejournal.com
I'm not sure it was ever much of a choice. Clinton seemed like Bush Redux as well, perhaps more so than McCain. Obama has been drifting toward the authoritarian middle rather quickly lately, judging by reports I see that filter onto Reddit.

Date: 2008-06-29 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
Clinton seemed like Bush Redux as well

Only if you listened to what the media said about her, as opposed to what she actually said herself.

Date: 2008-06-30 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lucretiasheart.livejournal.com
What she said about herself is what condemned her in my eyes. She's a total "insider" with all the movers and shakers that got us to where we're at now-- which is why I never would have been able to vote for her.

Date: 2008-06-30 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
“Senator Edwards has really a very straightforward question here, which is will you continue to take money from lobbyists or will you take his position…”

“Yes I will. I will, because you know a lot of those lobbyists, whether you like it or not, represent real Americans.”

...Yeah, no.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
Zohmig, lobbyists are SOOOO evil.

Sheesh.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
Moneyed lobbyists? Yeah, li'l bit.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
Well, it depends on what they lobby for. I have no love for the NRA, Focus on the Family, or their ilk. On the other hand, NOW and NARAL and the ACLU? They have all my support.

They're all lobbyists, though.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
Their bribes are acceptable to me only in that they balance out the right's. But yes, I'm against bribes.

It's also ludicrous to suggest that Clinton has only taken money from our lovely lefty lobbyists. If that were the case, I would honestly have significantly less of a problem with it.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
I don't like money in politics either, but castigating Clinton for taking money from lobbyists, when everybody else does it too, is just silly.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
I (and [livejournal.com profile] lucretiasheart) was referring to her similarity to bad politicians, not her difference from anyone else.

Date: 2008-06-30 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lucretiasheart.livejournal.com
Exactly. Whoever thought that legalized bribery has a place in ANY free and fair political system? It's farking crazy!!

Date: 2008-06-30 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
I'm not exactly fond of it myself. But while it's here, we have to deal with it.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
It's always struck me as odd that, in politics in America, we think it's bad when someone has experience with the system.

Any other job, we'd say "experience is good! More is better!" But no, we want our politicians NOT to know the workings of the system, NOT to have experience with moving and shaking things. It's just so totally bass-ackwards.

Date: 2008-06-30 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
There are good arguments for either side, IMO. Personally I prefer a person who has moving-and-shaking experience but who has had a limited amount of time to become corrupted by the political system. Washington experience isn't the only kind of experience that matters (or else Clinton wouldn't be able to claim everything she's done since law school as experience—which I think is perfectly legitimate, just a bit hypocritical when she won't accept other people's non-Washington experience).

Date: 2008-06-30 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randallsquared.livejournal.com
The reason is that most people looking at politics in America, right and left, realizes that the system is corrupting. The longer someone has been successfully using (or being used by) the system, the more corrupt they are, all else being equal.

Someone with more experience at using power on others is not necessarily preferable to someone with less experience oppressing. :)

Date: 2008-06-30 02:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randallsquared.livejournal.com
Changed wording midstream; result: bad grammar. Oh, well.

Date: 2008-06-30 02:53 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-06-30 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lucretiasheart.livejournal.com
Exactly! Thank you!

experience vs. corruption

Date: 2008-06-30 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lucretiasheart.livejournal.com
It's not experience that is the issue to me, it's that the woman is a documented sell-out. She's tied to so many lobbyists and PACs (unlike Obama) that her so-called "experience" is just a quaint euphamism for "corporate puppet."

It's not that I don't comprehend the importance of knowledge and experience, but entrenched corruption completely trumps my respect for people such as Hilary. Generally speaking, you don't get the choice in an election-- most candidates are in "debt" to lobbyists and political action committees-- but Obama IS different. Nearly all his fund-raising is from many small individual donors all across the nation. This frees him from implied "obligations" to cow-tow to the big-money men who run everything in this country, and it's why I'm feeling enthusiastic about a presidential candidate for the first time in my entire life. His hands are not tied, there are no puppet strings coming out of every possible orifice in his body.

And another reason I really don't like Hilary is that she doesn't even fight to be independent, she is only too thrilled to become a puppet-- as long as she gets the accolades for it. Her ego is monstrous.

Re: experience vs. corruption

Date: 2008-06-30 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
Documented by whom, though?

Remember, the Hilary we see in the media and the Hilary that actually exists are not the same thing. The media HATE her, and have done everything they can to demonize her.

Date: 2008-06-29 11:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rantinan.livejournal.com

To my mind, "redux" is infinately worse than lite. redux in australian politcs has resulted in the same, but more so. So bush redux would result in an escelation of bush's policies. Not exactly comforting.
On the other hand lite (which is what we're suffering in aus at the moment) tends to result in a mix ofdifferent compromises. I dont LIKE what we have in power here at the momemnt, but thats a vastly long distance remvoed form actively despising it.

Date: 2008-06-30 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
I didn't watch the videos because I have slow Internet and I'm downloading something. But the post seems to be saying that some PUMA people were sent away from the event, and that this is bad not just because "free speech zones" are bad but because Obama should have reached out to these protesters in the interest of party unity. On the latter part... I just don't know what they're expecting. Why should Obama or Clinton, in promoting unity, take seriously members of an organization called Party Unity My Ass? If they had been simply Clinton supporters with some reservations they'd like to discuss, I might be more concerned. But they weren't.

I'm also reluctant to get information on an event from one source that is so biased. For example, she(?) says that one person was removed for holding "a sign about 2nd amendment rights." But we don't know what that sign said, and given the fact that that person was removed by the Secret Service, it's fairly likely that the slogan could be perceived as a threat. It probably wasn't an actual threat, but we all know that potential threats against the president or a presidential candidate are and have always been Serious Business. The poster could have removed this ambiguity by telling us what they sign said, but she didn't...

There's also the fact that people who think it would have been fair to give Clinton tons of delegates and Obama none in Michigan—that it's fair to change the rules in the middle of the game—are not people I trust to give me information about reality. I'm sorry about that, but it's true.*

I don't know why you're surprised about the free speech zone thing, honestly. It sucks (especially if the post is to be believed, of course) but they have been used at the last... let's see... five Democratic nominating conventions, IIRC. And probably at many smaller campaign events as well. So while I don't know whether you supported them, Kerry, Gore, Clinton, and Dukakis's hands are not clean on this. It really, really sucks, but that kind of thing is par for the course now. (Though I will say that the Republicans' free speech zones are much more heinous than the Democrats'. When you get sent to a Republican free speech zone, you get detained, sometimes for up to three days, as we learned in 2004. Democratic free speech zones, if the 2004 convention is representative, aren't much more than an inconvenience. You get led to the zone, which is a fenced-off but totally open area, and once there you're free to leave and, in most cases, go right back to protesting the event. I was there and saw this happen.)

Anyway—I swear I didn't mean for this to get so long—for me, personally, my vote in the general comes down to policy. Period. And this ain't that, so it won't affect my vote. But that is, of course, just me.

* This isn't to say that I think the actual result was fair. I think the only way that the situation could have been fair both to the contest and to the voters of Michigan and Florida would have been if the DNC hadn't made the rule in the first place or if MI and FL had not broken it. IMO, after that the whole thing was FUBAR and there was no saving it.

Date: 2008-06-30 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nimbrethil.livejournal.com
Free speech zones are reprehensible, period, whether they're instigated by Republicans or Democrats, whether they're heinous, or "just" an inconvenience. The very concept is an egregious violation of the 1st Amendment.

Date: 2008-06-30 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
Where did I say they weren't?

Date: 2008-06-30 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nimbrethil.livejournal.com
I guess I just don't see the point of splitting hairs in saying that it's not as bad as when the Democrats do it. It is unconstitutional regardless of which individual or which party is involved, and also regardless of the extent to which free speech zones are employed, and the whole "It sucks either way but X isn't as bad as Y" strikes me as just another variation on the lesser of two evils argument, which is, as far as I'm concerned, why American politics is in the shitty condition it's presently in. BOTH parties are corrupt, and using the Lo2E fallacy strikes me as a waste of time.

Date: 2008-06-30 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
Lesser is lesser is lesser. Unfortunately, as long as we have this voting system, we're stuck with it.

I'm sorry if I have trouble mustering up sufficient outrage about something that's been going on for twenty years and that I can do nothing about. And though they're far from perfect, I still like the Democrats and don't actually think they're evil. And I'm a radical. I'm sorry we disagree about the most realistic and effective ways to achieve our goals.

Date: 2008-06-30 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nimbrethil.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, as long as we have this voting system, we're stuck with it.

And that is precisely the logic I can't grasp. What leaves us stuck with this system is the mentality that we have to vote for the lesser of two evils. What's more, we're not slaves to our politicians--we CAN do something about it.

But as long as we continue to vote under that ideology, of COURSE we'll be stuck with it. It's a textbook example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If sufficient numbers of people would vote for candidates they actually DO like and believe in, rather than settling for the "least" corrupted, the system would eventually change.

Date: 2008-06-30 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheekyweebisom.livejournal.com
If sufficient numbers of people would vote for candidates they actually DO like and believe in, rather than settling for the "least" corrupted, the system would eventually change.

Okay, this is the logic that I don't get. First of all, yes, by definition, "sufficient numbers of people" are enough to effect whatever change you want. That's what makes them sufficient numbers. So, how about instead of "sufficient numbers" we go with "all the dissatisfied Democrats and all the progressives who feel so disenchanted that they don't vote at all." That's still probably a pretty big number. Is it a sufficient one? I don't know.

Then we get to "the system would eventually change." And in the mean time, how many lives are ruined? How many children don't get medical care? How many women are denied abortions? How many soldiers die? How many civilians die because of our wars? Etc.

I was 11 years old when Bush was elected. This is the political climate I've known for the entire time that I was actually paying attention. I don't feel like I can afford to play hard to get with political parties or candidates. The name of the game is damage control. Lest you think that I'm totally resigned and cynical, I should mention that I don't intend to limit my efforts to voting. I want to go to law school; I think I can better the system--even if it's in a small way--by devoting my career either to politics or to civil liberties work.

But when it comes to this election, I believe with all my heart that the country--and the world--will be better off with Obama in the oval office, so I will vote for him with head held high and a spring in my step.

"The lesser of two evils" sounds so blasé and hopeless, and my willingness to compromise is neither of those things. I prefer Voltaire: "The best is the enemy of the good."
Edited Date: 2008-06-30 06:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-06-30 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
IAWTC. This is why, while I don't actually disagree with it, I generally don't use the phrase "lesser of two evils."

Date: 2008-06-30 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
So, have you quit IM entirely or have you just switched services or something?

Date: 2008-06-30 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheekyweebisom.livejournal.com
I'm pretty much never on. I'll try to change that maybe Idon'tknowI'mkindofaflake.

Date: 2008-06-30 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
What leaves us stuck with this system is the mentality that we have to vote for the lesser of two evils.

I don't think that's the only thing, quite frankly. There are plenty of Democrats who are happy with the Democratic party and not liberal enough for the extreme-left third parties; even if everyone who agreed with the Green Party (for example) voted for them, they still wouldn't win a plurality. I don't think we actually have enough third parties to sufficiently splinter the Democratic and Republican voting blocs even if the Utopian fantasy of everyone voting for people who represent their views exactly came true.

If sufficient numbers of people would vote for candidates they actually DO like and believe in

I actually do like and believe in Obama. And I'm a feminist. So, yeah.

Date: 2008-06-30 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheekyweebisom.livejournal.com
Wait a second, Molly. I was with you for most of that, but this:

flewellyn: I don't like money in politics either, but castigating Clinton for taking money from lobbyists, when everybody else does it too, is just silly.
cacahuate: I (and lucretiasheart) was referring to her similarity to bad politicians, not her difference from anyone else.

...doesn't seem to go that well with this:

cacahuate: I don't know why you're surprised about the free speech zone thing, honestly. It sucks (especially if the post is to be believed, of course) but they have been used at the last... let's see... five Democratic nominating conventions, IIRC. And probably at many smaller campaign events as well. So while I don't know whether you supported them, Kerry, Gore, Clinton, and Dukakis's hands are not clean on this. It really, really sucks, but that kind of thing is par for the course now.

Date: 2008-06-30 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
The difference is I wasn't making an argument against voting for Clinton. I would vote for Clinton were she the nominee. I was merely explaining something I strongly dislike about her. As for why I dislike her for that when she is far from the only Democrat who takes money from lobbyists: a) degree matters, and b) it is only but one thing I dislike about her.

Date: 2008-06-30 04:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheekyweebisom.livejournal.com
I don't think Obama's the most glittering candidate ever, but unpleasant political tactics do not a Bush Lite make.

Stevens: 88 years old
Ginsburg: 75
Scalia: 72
Kennedy: 71
Breyer: 69
Souter: 68
Thomas: 60
Alito: 58
Roberts: 53

Just keep thinking about the Court. And then, when you find yourself not liking Obama, think about the Court some more. And then read this. And then think about the Court some more.

Stevens and Ginsburg are almost certainly going to retire in the next 8 years--do you really want to bank on McCain being a one-term president? Scalia will never retire. Seriously, he's sticking around for another 20 years. Kennedy might retire, but he might leave only if McCain wins. As the article I already linked but will link again notes, Souter is rumored to want to retire, but I hope that he would only leave if Obama won.

In any event, we're not talking about the possibility of a liberal Court. (No, we'll probably have to wait another 15 or 20 years for that.) We're talking about clinging to the four-justice minority.

Pleasepleaseplease pleasepleaseplease please vote for Obama. If he grows horns, vote for him. If he spits in the path of his supporters, vote for him. As long as he shows promise of appointing jurists who are unlike Roberts and Alito, vote for him.
Edited Date: 2008-06-30 04:30 am (UTC)

Date: 2008-06-30 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cacahuate.livejournal.com
Waaah but I heart Stevens and Ginsburg. With so many hearts.

Date: 2008-06-30 09:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
I would remind you that he intended to vote to confirm Roberts, until his staff told him that would be a bad idea, strategically.

Date: 2008-06-30 04:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheekyweebisom.livejournal.com
1) Source?

2) Even if that's the case, does it really make you think his Court appointees would be as conservative as McCain's? Voting on confirmation is not the same thing as nominating.

Date: 2008-06-30 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
Well, it doesn't comfort me a whole lot, I'll tell you that.

Source here (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/26/AR2007082601446.html?nav=hcmodule), for one.

Date: 2008-06-30 09:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flewellyn.livejournal.com
I'd also remind you that Obama is not yet the nominee. He's the presumptive nominee, because he has the majority of delegates right now. But that could change.

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