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Old 03-15-2008, 07:24 PM   #1
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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Here we go again!
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Old 03-15-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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Someone closed the previous thread.
Pssst - I think it is a conspirtcy by the Obama supporters!
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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I don't believe Obama when he says that he never heard remarks like these come from Rev Wright. Still, that was a darn effective denunciation of Wright's remarks and exactly what he should have said. He's made the best of a bad situation, and he'll probably come out okay.

Unless . . . some sharp reporter or AoH* can do the gumshoe work and prove Obama was in the pews for any of these sermons (contrary to his statements). Then, the storm starts again . . .


* Agent of Hillary
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:44 AM   #5
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Politically expedient!

You can see some of his basic feelings come out in statements along the campaign trail. It is subtle... but he thinks America is unfair. When the reality is that America has a checkered past in this area. So does the rest of the world. But America is the leader in human rights... no question.

The man is caught between a rock and a hard spot. I do not think Obama is hard core in terms of his views on the racial divide. But, he leans a bit too far to the left for me. I do not have a fatal distrust of him. But the individual decisions he will likely make will not be in the Middle-Class interest. He will want to socially engineer America (with taxes funding it).

For that matter... the other two candidates do not perfectly suit me either. This is a year of voting for the most tolerable in terms of politics... and ultimately programs, direction, and taxes.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:51 AM   #6
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I am quite convinced Obama is hiding his true thoughts/positions on policy, race, "social justice", taxes, military, etc .

He is following a populist JFK reincarnation script designed to appear as a middle-of-the roader & win an election - & at the same time subtly using "race" as a wedge himself.

What does it mean when he says he is going to "bring people together" & "unify the country"? These seem to be his major campaign themes along with "change". One might naively think that means he's going to bring conservatives and liberals together (yeah right), but I tend to think it's code for a populist & civil rights agenda (& I suspect 92% of Afro-American Democrats in Mississippi do also.)
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:20 AM   #7
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But back to the subject of the thread - I would suspect Obama is actually deep down an agnostic or maybe even an a-theist.

His long affiliation with this particular Afro-centric church likely has more to do with Chicago/Illinois African-American Democratic Party politics than religion.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:34 AM   #8
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You can see some of his basic feelings come out in statements along the campaign trail. It is subtle... but he thinks America is unfair. When the reality is that America has a checkered past in this area. So does the rest of the world. But America is the leader in human rights... no question.
America has been unfair to some of its citizens -- particularly the poor and minorities. The fact that we are better than many other countries does not mean that we cannot improve in this area. Loving your country means wanting it to be the very best that it can be, not just better relative to others. Those who view any criticism of our government as a sign of disloyalty are the same ones who have screwed up this country over the past 7 years and who will continue to block progress in the future.

I long for a country where we are not classified by race and ethnicity, where we do not bear any hatred or distrust against other groups of people and do not feel that we have been victimized by anyone. But that day will not come without hard work by all of us. For those who have been paying attention, Obama has not been running as a "black candidate". He has been running as a candidate who just happens to be black, reaching out to all people who want this country to move forward. I have never heard him once say "it's time we had a black man in the White House", where I have heard Clinton say many times "it's time we had a woman in the Whitehouse" or some variation on that theme. There is a very fundamental difference between these two approaches. One is inclusive and one divides us.

I have written before that I understood what drove his pastor's words and therefore did not find them disturbing, but I also think that the old politics of grievance (no matter how legitimate) and group identity are not what we need today. I think as Obama's own words demonstrate, he believes the same thing. The President of the United States is supposed to be the president of all of us, not just the rich and powerful. We must look forward and work together - black, white, brown, red and yellow together. Old and young together. Rich and poor together. I don't see how anyone could object to this message.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:35 AM   #9
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I am quite convinced Obama is hiding his true thoughts/positions on policy, race, "social justice", taxes, military, etc .

He is following a populist JFK reincarnation script designed to appear as a middle-of-the roader & win an election - & at the same time subtly using "race" as a wedge himself.

What does it mean when he says he is going to "bring people together" & "unify the country"? These seem to be his major campaign themes along with "change". One might naively think that means he's going to bring conservatives and liberals together (yeah right), but I tend to think it's code for a populist & civil rights agenda (& I suspect 92% of Afro-American Democrats in Mississippi do also.)
What is this "civil rights agenda" that you fear?
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:41 AM   #10
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The President of the United States is supposed to be the president of all of us, not just the rich and powerful.
Nor should he/she be the President of the poor and weak.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:41 PM   #11
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For those who have been paying attention, Obama has not been running as a "black candidate". He has been running as a candidate who just happens to be black, reaching out to all people who want this country to move forward. I have never heard him once say "it's time we had a black man in the White House", where I have heard Clinton say many times "it's time we had a woman in the Whitehouse" or some variation on that theme. There is a very fundamental difference between these two approaches. One is inclusive and one divides us.
This is all fine and good. I don't really know what I think about all this yet, but I do think this whole Rev. Wright flap does give some reasonable pause about whether or not anyone who holds him high esteem (including Obama, apparently) for 20 years really *is* as much of a uniter as his campaign has portrayed him to be. Maybe he is, but I tend to think that this episode calls that into some question. The question is: How much of this rhetoric did Obama actually hear when he referred to Wright as an important spiritual advisor to him?

Personally, I haven't made up my mind yet on all of that. I think right now Obama has "plausible denial" on his side and thus deserves the benefit of the doubt. But if any footage emerges that shows he's not as appalled by, or distant from, Wright's remarks then we can most likely stick a fork in him.

I think a lot of people -- including independents and even some Republicans -- are so sick of the divisiveness of partisan politics and identity politics that they are ready to reach out to someone who may not represent their views on everything, but makes them feel like they aren't going to be a part of the usual vitrolic partisan stench. I think that speaks to Obama's appeal and, IMO, the attribute that makes him most electable to many. If he's going to have a chance to be president, he can't give too many reasons to let independents and political moderates change their minds about him in this regard.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:49 PM   #12
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Nor should he/she be the President of the poor and weak.
I said all people and I meant all people. But I hope we can agree that the government is more important to the poor and weak. The rich and powerful have ways of protecting their own interests that do not rely on the government. I think that for too long the government actually has protected the entrenched rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and weak. Certainly over the past 7 years it has done so.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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But I hope we can agree that the government is more important to the poor and weak.
I'm not sure I *completely* agree. I think "the rich" in our society have a lot more to lose in the sense that a complete breakdown of law and order would likely cost them a heck of a lot more than it would the poor. It ain't the rich who usually start revolutions.

I guess I'd say in some ways -- in terms of keeping civil order and enforcing property rights -- the rich benefit more from government, but in terms of helping the people sustain at least a minimally acceptable standard of living, it's much more important to the poor.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:57 PM   #14
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I'm not sure I *completely* agree. I think "the rich" in our society have a lot more to lose in the sense that a complete breakdown of law and order would likely cost them a heck of a lot more than it would the poor. It ain't the rich who usually start revolutions.

I guess I'd say in some ways -- in terms of keeping civil order and enforcing property rights -- the rich benefit more from government, but in terms of helping the people sustain at least a minimally acceptable standard of living, it's much more important to the poor.
Good points. I sure hope we are a long way from anarchy.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:06 PM   #15
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I also think that the old politics of grievance (no matter how legitimate) and group identity are not what we need today. I think as Obama's own words demonstrate, he believes the same thing. The President of the United States is supposed to be the president of all of us, not just the rich and powerful. We must look forward and work together - black, white, brown, red and yellow together. Old and young together. Rich and poor together.
Here, Obama makes the point himself, far more eloquently and forcefully than I ever could.

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Old 03-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #16
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Here, Obama makes the point himself, far more eloquently and forcefully than I ever could.

Gumbo. Aren't you the least bit skeptical? This guy came out of nowhere. How can you be so sure?

You are a logical guy. How do you know he is the right person for the job? Are you sure you are not projecting idealistic hopes onto him?

Personally... I have low expectations for any of the people running. I will choose the best in the lot.

Obama represents the biggest question mark for me. I really do not know what he is about other than his words. He has a scant track record... It is not a dig against him.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:32 PM   #17
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Because his record is so short and so thin, every crumb we learn has more impact (large and small) than it might otherwise. That's just a fact, and a liability that Democrats accept if they nominate him. It's the flip side of being "new" and fresh. He's a gamble--that gamble might pay off, or go very badly wrong.

Regarding the speech- it was fine. But again, what would we expect him to say? Is there anything in the speech that any logical person would disagree with? It's a speech that Hillary or McCain could have given (and I'll bet you'll find they have probably given similar ones). We need to all work together. We need less division. Yada yada.

Personally, I would like to hear Obama say less about "an economy that works for everyone" (whatever that means--the economy is a system, not an engine that magically produces things for people) and a little more about individual responsibility, the importance of making good individual decisions and working hard . . . with government assuring the rules are fair, but not attempting to equalize outcomes.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:35 PM   #18
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Chinaco:

A vote for president is always a leap of faith for the voter.

I do not know any of the candidates personally, although I did once meet John McCain when he was not running for president. As a former naval officer and Naval Academy graduate, I probably have a better personal feeling for at least some of the key things he has done in life. Like Senator Clinton, I went to Yale Law School and worked in a law firm, so I have a feeling for how that may have affected her life. I can also anologize from that experience to Obama's at Harvard.

That said, all I really know about Obama, Clinton or McCain is what I have read about their history, and what they and others write and say about their policies and goals. I have visited all their web sites, as well as independent third party sites that are designed to compare and contrast their policies to help one choose a candidate. I have watched them all speak and have watched the debates. None of them is the perfect candidate for me. Each of them has positions with which I disagree, although I find myself closer politically to Clinton and Obama than to McCain. Of Clinton and Obama, however, I choose the politics of hope and inclusion. Maybe he won't be able to do it, but I am willing to take a chance on someone who will at least try. All I have seen from Clinton is the old politics that divides us and cynically manipulates those divisions to gain power at any cost. I can't support that.

As far as record goes, Obama has been in elective office longer than Clinton. And while McCain has been an elected official longer than both, when that "experience" includes things like the Keating Five scandal, maybe it is not so valuable. And, as Obama himself said, experience without good judgment is worthless.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:49 PM   #19
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Chinaco:

A vote for president is always a leap of faith for the voter.
Yes, it is a leap of faith. But how much does one leap based on faith or hope in words... and how much evidence does one need? I suppose that I lean more towards a known than a big leap of faith for an unknown.

Obama appears to be a phenomenon born out of projections of hope or perhaps to punish the old line...
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:00 PM   #20
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What evidence do you need? What things do you know about McCain or Clinton that you do not know about Obama and that might be critical to making a decision? To the extent I am able, I am willing to try to provide helpful information that might assuage any concerns you have.
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