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Old 06-13-2008, 08:20 AM   #1
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Default Excellent article on Obama and McCain

I'm kind of hit or miss with Samuelson, but when he's on, dude is spot on.

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/19880779.html

Cast a ballot for McBama
Published on Friday, Jun 13, 2008
WASHINGTON: For the party faithful, this is a sweet moment. They have their candidates and, whatever the obstacles, can still imagine victory in November. But the rest of us ought to remember that the politics of winning and governing often collide. The first involves maximizing popularity. The second requires farsighted choices that ultimately benefit the country but may initially hurt a president's approval ratings. What have we learned about the candidates' capacity for governing? Enough, I think, to temper the excitement.
Start with Barack Obama. Even those who disagree with him ought to feel pride in his impending nomination, because it continues America's racial reconciliation and atonement for slavery. But symbolism can't substitute for policy, and any feel-good fallout from electing Obama would soon fade. He'd have to earn popular support, and this would be made harder by a problem of his own making: He'd have to disavow much of his campaign rhetoric. The reason is that his campaign is itself a contradiction.
On the one hand, he projects himself as the great conciliator. He uses the metaphor of his race to argue that he is uniquely suited to bridge differences between liberals and conservatives, young and old, rich and poor — to craft a new centrist politics. On the other hand, his actual agenda is highly partisan and undermines many of his stated goals. He wants to stimulate economic growth, but his hostility toward trade agreements threatens export-led growth (which is now beginning). He advocates greater energy independence but pretends this can occur without more domestic drilling for oil and natural gas.
All this reflects Obama's legislative record. From 2005 to 2007, he voted with his party 97 percent of the time, reports the Politico. But Obama's clever campaign strategy would put him in a bind as president. Championing centrism would disappoint many ardent Democrats. Pleasing them would betray his conciliating image. The fact that he has so far straddled the contradiction may confirm his political skills and the quiet aid received from the media, which helped him by virtually ignoring the blatant contradictions.
And what does the straddle tell us of him? Aside from ambition — hardly unique among presidential candidates — I cannot detect powerful convictions in Obama. He seems merely expedient in peddling his convenient conflicts. He strikes me as a super-successful graduate student: the brightest, quickest, most articulate guy in the seminar. In his career, he has advanced mainly by talking and writing — not doing — and may harbor a delusion common to the well-educated: that he can argue and explain his way around any problem.
By contrast, no one can claim that McCain lacks convictions. He has often defied Republican party orthodoxy, and his credentials to lead a centrist coalition are stronger than Obama's. According to the Politico, he sided with his party only 83 percent of the time from 2005 to 2007. Even in this election year, he has taken unpopular positions. Note his criticism of farm subsidies, which won't help him in the Midwest. The trouble with McCain is that he often mistakes stubbornness for principle.
He has a hard time changing his mind, even when the evidence overwhelmingly suggests he's wrong. He has stuck with ''campaign finance reform'' despite its dismal record. After three decades, it has entangled political campaigns in rules and paperwork without solving any notable problem (for example, people continue to believe that wealthy ''special interests'' have too much influence). On immigration, he still does not grasp what I think is the actual problem: not illegal immigration so much as too many poor and unskilled immigrants, whether legal or illegal. Like Obama, he seems oblivious to the possible unintended consequences of endorsing an anti-global warming ''cap-and-trade'' program.
Steadfastness and good judgment are qualities we value in a president, and McCain has often displayed these. He was early and correct in his criticism of the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq War and of its treatment of prisoners. He has been consistent in his opposition to high and wasteful federal spending. But good judgment must accompany steadfastness, and there are enough instances of McCain's bad judgment to make you wonder which would prevail.

So, vote for McBama. The truth is that both candidates leave room for doubt, and neither has forthrightly addressed some of America's obvious problems — costly government retirement programs, immigration, our energy appetite. But for me, McCain does have one provisional and accidental advantage. By most appraisals, the Republicans will get slaughtered in congressional elections, and I have a visceral dislike of one-party government. It didn't work well under Bill Clinton or George W. Bush. Divided government doesn't ensure good government, but it may limit bad government by checking the worst instincts of both parties.
Samuelson is a Washington Post columnist.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

hmm... guy needs to explain how "export-led growth is now working".
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

He also needs to explain how winning the primary has continued racial reconciliation and atonement for slavery.

What I have seen, it has driven more racism. Now, if you choose not to vote for Obama, it is because your a racist. Not because you disagree with his politics.
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:30 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
He also needs to explain how winning the primary has continued racial reconciliation and atonement for slavery.

What I have seen, it has driven more racism. Now, if you choose not to vote for Obama, it is because your a racist. Not because you disagree with his politics.
I totally agree.
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

Racism is working both sides of the aisle this election cycle
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

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Racism is working both sides of the aisle this election cycle
I haven't heard too much racism coming from the GOP towards Obama.

What i HAVE heard... is that he is too inexperienced and too liberal-- and questions as to why he can tie religion and politics together, and GOP'ers can't.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

Wonder whar mr. mike would have to say about that?its hard to discuss polital views on my all time favorite football teams site. they will separate themselves in due time!!
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Old 06-14-2008, 06:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

I have been trying to stay out of this but aren't both Obama & McCain on the pro Kyoto, anti Anwar, "global warming" train? If this is the case, I question the reasoning ability, and true motives, of both "pro economy" candidates. Just my two cents.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

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Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
I haven't heard too much racism coming from the GOP towards Obama.
I have not head too much racism coming from Obama about the GOP either Preacher; just as I assume you are claiming it is not Obama but his supporters that are peddling racist gibes against whites, I am referring to such conduct as:

Fox News referring to Michelle Obama as Obama's "baby mama" (a term used to describe a black woman who has a man's child out of wedlock);

An Atlanta restaurant marketing a T-shirt with the image of Curious George above the slogan "Obama in '08"

http://www.ajc.com/search/content/me...rman_0515.html

And this charming marketing of TheSockObama™, which "is made with high quality knit materials to capture the nostalgic look of the Sock Monkey that we all know and love."

http://thesockobama.com/

Those who seriously claim race baiting is only coming from supporters of one side this campaign need to take a another look at Matthew 7: 1-6
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Excellent article on Obama and McCain

http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/19706139.html

Transform the country? Already been done

By Paul Krugman

Published on Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008

NEW YORK: Fervent supporters of Barack Obama like to say that putting him in the White House would transform America. With all due respect to the candidate, that gets it backward. Obama is an impressive speaker who has run a brilliant campaign — but if he wins in November, it will be because our country has already been transformed.

Obama's nomination wouldn't have been possible 20 years ago. It's possible today only because racial division, which has driven U.S. politics rightward for more than four decades, has lost much of its sting.

And the de-racialization of U.S. politics has implications that go far beyond the possibility that we're about to elect an African-American president. Without racial division, the conservative message — which has long dominated the political scene — loses most of its effectiveness.

Take, for example, that old standby of conservatives: denouncing Big Government. Last week John McCain's economic spokesman claimed that Barack Obama is President Bush's true fiscal heir, because he's ''dedicated to the recent Bush tradition of spending money on everything.''

Now, the truth is that the Bush administration's big-spending impulses have been largely limited to defense contractors. But more to the point, the McCain campaign is deluding itself if it thinks this issue will resonate with the public.

For Americans have never disliked Big Government in general. In fact, they love Social Security and Medicare, and strongly approve of Medicaid — which means that the three big programs that dominate domestic spending have overwhelming public support.

If Ronald Reagan and other politicians succeeded, for a time, in convincing voters that government spending was bad, it was by suggesting that bureaucrats were taking away workers' hard-earned money and giving it to you-know-who: the ''strapping young buck'' using food stamps to buy T-bone steaks, the welfare queen driving her Cadillac. Take away the racial element, and Americans like government spending just fine.

But why has racial division become so much less important in American politics?

Part of the credit surely goes to Bill Clinton, who ended welfare as we knew it. I'm not saying that the end of Aid to Families With Dependent Children was an unalloyed good thing; it created a great deal of hardship. But the ''bums on welfare'' played a role in political discourse vastly disproportionate to the actual expense of AFDC, and welfare reform took that issue off the table.

Another large factor has been the decline in urban violence.

As the historian Rick Perlstein documents in his terrific new book ''Nixonland,'' America's hard right turn really began in 1966, when the Democrats suffered a severe setback in Congress — and Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.

The cause of that right turn, as Perlstein shows, was white fear of urban disorder — and the associated fear that fair housing laws would let dangerous blacks move into white neighborhoods. ''Law and order'' became the rallying cry of right-wing politicians, above all Richard Nixon, who rode that fear right into the White House.

But during the Clinton years, for reasons nobody fully understands, the wave of urban violence receded, and with it the ability of politicians to exploit Americans' fear.

It's true that Sept. 11 gave the fear factor a second wind: Karl Rove accusing liberals of being soft on terrorism sounded just like Spiro Agnew accusing liberals of being soft on crime. But the GOP's credibility as America's defender has leaked away into the sands of Iraq.

Let me add one more hypothesis: Although everyone makes fun of political correctness, I'd argue that decades of pressure on public figures and the media have helped drive both overt and strongly implied racism out of our national discourse. For example, I don't think a politician today could get away with running the infamous 1988 Willie Horton ad.

Unfortunately, the campaign against misogyny hasn't been equally successful.

By the way, it was during the heyday of the baby boom generation that crude racism became unacceptable. Obama, who has been dismissive of the boomers' ''psychodrama,'' might want to give the generation that brought about this change, fought for civil rights and protested the Vietnam War a bit more credit.

Anyway, none of this guarantees an Obama victory in November. Racial division has lost much of its sting, but not all: You can be sure that we'll be hearing a lot more about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and all that. Moreover, despite Hillary Clinton's gracious, eloquent concession speech, some of her supporters may yet refuse to support the Democratic nominee.

But if Obama does win, it will symbolize the great change that has taken place in America. Racial polarization used to be a dominating force in our politics — but we're now a different, and better, country.
Krugman is a New York Times columnist.
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