Celebration Time

News
Wow. Can it be true? No more surges in Iraq? No more trickle down economics? No more ideologues in the Supreme Court? No more "heckuva-job"-style incompetence? We did it, America.

This is how I'm feeling right now:


Like, just happy. I'm proud of all of us.
61 Responses to "Celebration Time"

by sidewayys on

that remix is legit. obama is better than bush, cheers!

by thebes on

I waited 2 hours in line with 200 others to vote. I've never seen lines like that. There was an exhilarating sense we (as a nation, not individuals) were doing something historic. I'm in Missouri, which as this time hasn't been decided. But the buzz in line, the patter between the people, and even in the booths was "Obama!"

One woman, who thought she wouldn't get to vote, demanded she get to vote for him. She did, after solving her issues.

I've never been a part of anything like this. No election in which I have voted has been so inspiring and energetic.

There's gonna be hard times, no doubt, but our new president has inspired me to believe that, while it'll be hard, we'll prevail.

What a needed breath this is! We're turning from that scary path we were on and turning towards liberty.

by mnaz on

Yeah, it feels right. This is long overdue. Unfortunately there's quite a mess to clean up, including things that have been simmering for a long time now such as fixing social security's impending insolvency. I think America's image has been given a badly-needed boost in the eyes of the world, for what it's worth. The other unfortunate reality is that there are 75 days left in Bush's Presidency. Will his crew take a "scorched-earth" approach?

by Duncan Brown on

'Heckuva job'
been given the surge.
i feel better already
the fresh air
is exhilarating,
worth the waiting.

by Archie on

Are you all sure it will be all that different? Momentous election in terms of history, but The Dems and the Gop are pretty much the same group of people. You're all excited about 'change', but what kind of change is it gonna be?

by Bill Ectric on

I am especially happy that Obama won in my state, Florida!

by Levi Asher on

Archie, I know you are not alone in thinking "they are all the same". But I think there were stark differences between these choices. For instance, look at the fact that America just voted to end the Iraq war. It won't be easy to withdraw, but we have now committed to do so where John McCain's election would have been a commitment to remain until "victory". You can't tell me this is an insignificant point.

by TKG on

Levi, your point is 95% insignificant.

Withdrawal will be about the same time frame.

Bases will remain.

Look for Iran movement in next month or so (if it is to happen). Or maybe it will be Obama who begins that war. What will you think then?

Lesson for all of us, be careful what one wishes because we might well get it.

This reminds me of California Oba Alles -- I mean Uber.

The Butcher of Bolder's Prophecy comes true.

by Levi Asher on

TKG, where are you getting this information?

John McCain pledged to continue the Iraq War until the original American objective of "establishing democracy" was fully achieved. He believed that the war was going well and that, as Sarah Palin said, withdrawing would be "waving the white flag of surrender".

This election was (among other things) a referendum on the Iraq War, and the war lost.

by Mickey Z. on

It's absolutely fascinating to watch Obama supporters ignore his words and his record and simply ASSUME he's different from the rest. TKG is dead-on with his facts and besides that, The Prince of Hope has his eyes on Afghanistan now.

Obama has made no secret of his intentions yet, again, those who voted for him choose not to hear.

Same wine, new bottle...

by Mickey Z. on

I don't mean to SPAM and I promise to stop after this, but I have to re-post my 2008 public service announcement. I’m going to provide some of the many, many reasons you shouldn’t vote for McCain:

He’s raised twice as much money from Wall Street than his opponent. He voted for every Iraq war appropriation bill he faced. He's expressed a willingness to launch a nuclear attack on Iran. He refused to be photographed with San Francisco's mayor for fear it'd be interpreted that he supported gay marriage. He voted against single payer health care and for the big money bailout of Wall Street. He supports the death penalty, the Israeli war machine, and the fence on the US-Mexican border. When asked if “there’s anything that’s happened in the past 7 1/2 years that the U.S. needs to apologize for in terms of foreign policy?” he responded: “No, I don’t believe in the U.S. apologizing." He voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State and to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act. He…uh-oh. Sorry, I messed up and gave you some of the many, many reasons you shouldn’t vote for Barack Obama. My bad…

Regardless, I do believe that either McCain or Obama can help make this country what it once was: an arctic region covered with ice (insert rimshot here).

by Levi Asher on

Mickey Z and TKG, I'll keep arguing this one until 2012. Feel free to do the same, but I'd like you to explain your positions better.

Here are some differences between McCain and Obama:

1. McCain had pledged to continue the Iraq War. Obama has pledged to bring American troops home.

2. McCain was considered likely to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe vs. Wade (and with the current court at 4 vs. 5 to overturn, one more appointment would make the difference).

3. McCain preached classic trickle-down economics in his tax plans. Obama wants wealthier Americans to pay more taxes.

Mickey and TKG, please explain why these three points don't matter.

by Mickey Z. on

The first reason they don't matter is because they're inaccurate.

1. Obama talks of bringing home "combat" troops in a phased withdrawal (leaving more than 100,00 behind) and then amping up the war in Afghanistan. Obama believes the surge has worked and he's not against leaving private armies like Blackwater in Iraq. When Tim Russert asked him, during a debate in New Hampshire in September 2007, if he could promise having American troops out of Iraq by 2013, he would not do so.

2. Obama specifically said he has no "litmus test" for Supreme Court justices and would consider appointing an anti-abortion judge. Plus, he has supported some of the worst Bush appointees to the federal bench, including Thomas Griffith (D.C. Cir.), Susan Blake Neilson (6th Cir.), Milan Smith (9th Cir.), Sandra Segal Ikuta (9th Cir.), and Kent Jordan (3rd Cir.).

3. From Obama's website, re: his tax plan: "Families making more than $250,000 will pay either the same or lower tax rates than they paid in the 1990s"

Reason #2: Even if they were true, would you stack up these three issues (as important as they are) against the mountain of evidence AGAINST Obama?

Here's a fun link:
http://www.votenader.org/issues

by Levi Asher on

Mickey, now you're talking! I hope you know, though, that nobody wins an argument with me just by showing up. My responses, point by point:

1. I have no idea what you're trying to say here. What do the quotes around "combat" troops mean? Are you trying to point out that Obama will not just suddenly bring all the troops home? The best thing he can do is take his responsibility as commander in chief seriously, act carefully but decisively, and get as many troops home as quickly as he can. Time will only tell whether he will do this or not, but if he does not he will be held accountable. The fact that he refused in an interview to commit to a scenario involving 2013 doesn't bother me at all -- most politicians do not like to commit to hypothetical scenarios presented by journalists, because these words can easily be used against them. We all know what "end the war in Iraq" means.

2. Absolute nonsense! Do you really believe , based on Obama saying that he has no "litmus test" in response to that familiar question, that Obama will appoint a Supreme Court justice who intends to overturn Roe vs. Wade? No serious observer of the political scene can possibly believe this, and I don't think you believe it either. I think you are deflecting rather than addressing my very serious point that with a McCain victory Roe vs. Wade would likely be overturned, and with an Obama victory it won't.

3. Uh ... yeah -- in the 1990s. When Bill Clinton was President. Mickey, this is 2008. We're talking about about the difference between Obama and McCain, not the difference betwen Obama and Bill Clinton (who was, after all, another Democrat).

Mickey, I like your point about Obama's similarities to McCain and his slick, perhaps even hypocritical political maneuvering. Sure, Obama's hands are as dirty as any other successful politician's. He's a moderate liberal, very familiar with the art of compromise. I never said he's anywhere near perfect, but I don't think the USA was going to vote for Dennis Kucinich for President, so he's the best we got.

My points still stand, and I still await a serious challenge to these three points:

1. Obama will move more strongly towards ending the Iraq war than McCain.

2. Obama's victory means Roe vs. Wade is safe.

3. Obama's victory means wealthy Americans will be asked to pay their fair share of taxes -- as they did, yes, in the 1990's the last time we had a Democratic president.

I ask again, why don't these three points matter?

by TKG on

I refer you to statements by Susan Rice and Samantha Power and also more in depth policy analysis by Colin Kahl.

The withdrawl time frame simply can't vary that much for practical and logistical reasons as well as political considerations.

The Foggy Bottom brain trust doesn't change that much and differences are mainly gradations and rhetoric.

The rhetoric on the decrease in troops will be consistent with Obama's campaign rhetoric, but in actual implementation won't differ much from no matter who was in the White House.

What's interesting is Obama's rhetoric has been that he will redeploy troops from Iraq to fight on the ground in Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see how much this takes place.

As an exercise in rhetoric vs reality maybe people ought to write here in this thread what they think Obama will do in the next six months to a year and then we can all check back and see what came to fruition.

Congrats to Obama. I certainly didn't support him, but as President I hope the country does well under his administration.

by TKG on

A postscript -- I am not arguing anything. I am just talking and discussing and presenting what I think is an accurate analysis.

I don't care if anyone agrees or disagrees and am not trying to convince anyone of anything or sway opinion per se.

by Levi Asher on

Thanks, TKG. To me, "arguing" is a fun sport. I enjoy it and I never take it personally. I also love it when somebody proves me wrong about something.

But this hasn't happened yet today. Obviously, withdrawing American troops from Iraq will not be easy or simple, but that hardly convinces me that there's no difference between a Presidential candidate who pledges to continue a war and one who pledges to end it.

I hope (and expect) Mickey will respond too, and I look forward to that response. I hope that any argument that takes place here is understood to be an argument between friends.

by Mickey Z. on

I'm not the one deflecting, Levi. Let me try again.

1. There is a huge difference between saying "troops" and "combat troops." Obama will maintain (at least) tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq along with private armies like Blackwater and the largest embassy ever built. All he has stated is an openness to “reducing the number of combat troops within 16 months.” He has also publicly declared his desire to intensify the US invasion of Afghanistan ("bolster efforts in Afghanistan so that we can capture and kill bin Laden and crush al Qaeda"). He has not ruled out using nuclear weapons on Iran. When asked if “there’s anything that’s happened in the past 7 1/2 years that the U.S. needs to apologize for in terms of foreign policy?” Obama responded: “No, I don’t believe in the U.S. apologizing." He voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State, for chrissake. His foreign policy advisors include men like Brzezinski. If American voted for Obama because they thought he'd end the war (personally, I think thy voted for him because he wasn't McCain), they got severely duped. Obama is marching in virtual lockstep with the same US foreign policy objectives of the past 100 years.

2. So, you want to take Obama at face value when he laughably claims he'll raise taxes on the wealthy but not take him at face value when he says he has no Supreme Court litmus test. Nice tactic, my friend. Your certainty on this issue is unjustified. Go back and do your homework, re: Supreme Court appointees and also the likelihood of the court to actually re-visit Roe v. Wade. P.S. During the Clinton-Gore years, it became much harder than ever for women to exercise their right to choose. The issue is far greater than who's on the court. It goes state by state and Obama will steer clear of the issue much like his predecessors did.

3. Yeah, I guess I just can't tell the two wings of the same corporate party apart. Again, do your homework and examine who has paid what taxes over the past 50 years and who hasn't. Then you tell me if it matters who's in the White House. 61% of American corporations do not pay taxes. Do you think Obama - a man who raised hundreds of millions to win this election - is going to dare challenge that? You say: "wealthy Americans will be asked to pay their fair share of taxes share of taxes"? I'm sorry but this reads like a bad punchline.

You say you're waiting for a serious challenge, but I guess we're at the mercy of your definition of "serious."

And one more time: Even if your three points were 100% accurate, they'd pale in comparison to the mountain of evidence against Obama (and Biden).

(I expect many more replies but I will be away from the computer for a while)

by Phil on

It's really hard to predict what specifics any president will do, political promises being what they are, but what is not so hard to see is that McCain and Obama are very different animals. Obama is smart, focused, and fresh, and has the potential to move an entire generation of people. McCain is clumsy and politically entrenched in an ideology which is bent on preserving a few ideas (anti-abortion, patriotism as defined by militaristic and religious views, and trickle-down economics). It's amazing to me how many people vote on a single issue. Obama will change this focus. He doesn't really have great differences in his plans than other politicians. What he has is the ability to inspire people around him to focus on their part of the solution. This is a common theme in his rhetoric and it will get stronger and stronger. If you've ever gone to an Obama rally and paid close attention to the people around you and what they are saying you will see this phenomenon. In Cleveland we had 80,000 people singing "This Land is Your Land" at the top of their lungs: old, young, black, white, everyone. Not only that, on the train ride home we all sang the song together, blacks and whites. This may not seem all that significant to some people who live in a homogeneous community, but believe me, this is HUGE. Urban Cleveland blacks singing along with Bruce Springsteen and me, a 47 year old middle-class white guy...before Obama, this would be utterly unthinkable. Today I have hope.

by Levi Asher on

Thanks for the answer, Mickey -- I think at least we've now boiled these differences down to the point where we are speaking the same language. So, again, point by point:

1. I do believe that Obama is sincerely committed to ending the war in Iraq. I'm not sure how I feel about the likelihood of increased activity against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. There is the key difference that Al Qaeda does threaten the USA whereas Saddam Hussein's Iraq did not, but even so, yeah, I am wary. That doesn't mean that there is no difference between Obama and McCain on foreign policy, though. And I really can't picture Obama working with Blackwater. We'll have to wait and see.

2. Fair taxation was a core part of Obama's message, while the remark about "litmus tests" for Supreme Court appointees was simply the standard stock answer to the question that every Presidential candidate gets asked. They all say they have no litmus test, and they are all lying. However, Obama is lying to *protect* our constitutional right to privacy, whereas McCain is lying to remove that right. I say that's a key difference.

3. Again, fair taxation was a core part of Obama's message, so I do think he will (along with Congress) deliver on this. Again, let's wait and see.

by Mickey Z. on

Thanks, Levi. I just re-read my last post and it came across as too aggressive. I apologize for that.

Gotta run...

by Levi Asher on

I don't think so, Mickey! No worries. Thanks also to others who are responding here. I think it's a worthwhile discussion, that's all.

by Bill Ectric on

I'M gOnNa gEt FreE heAlTh caRe,
Nyah, na, na, na Naaah, na!
I'm goNna Get fRee HEaLth CArE,
Nyah, na, na, na Naaah, na!
tHe TrOOps cAn KiSs mY A-ass,
'cauSe i'M gonna get Freee HEALth CaRe!

Wait, I didn't mean that about the troops, sorry.

by TKG on

Here's a nice quote from a well known politician:

"...all Americans can be proud of the history that was made yesterday. Across the country, citizens voted in large numbers. They showed a watching world the vitality of America's democracy, and the strides we have made toward a more perfect union. They chose a President whose journey represents a triumph of the American story -- a testament to hard work, optimism, and faith in the enduring promise of our nation.

Many of our citizens thought they would never live to see that day. This moment is especially uplifting for a generation of Americans who witnessed the struggle for civil rights with their own eyes -- and four decades later see a dream fulfilled."

Bush supported Obama, which is the weirdly ironic thing.

by Mickey Z. on

Another of Obama's advisors is Lawrence Summers, who just may be named Treasury Secretary. Summers, in 2005, said innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers
And then there's this:
http://www.counterpunch.org/summers.html

More change we can believe in?

There will be change.

Not only the US, but the rest of the world is looking to Obama for change.

People in France are totally excited about Obama, and they voted for Sarkozy (not all of them, of course)

We have to move past this cynical red state blue state mentality and get to work, because the damage Bush caused to our country is going to take years to fix.

I think we can all get behind Obama and work for change. The Democrats have a chance - they can't blow it. Obama in his speech said "This is our moment." We've seen how bad things can be. We have to work for change. One man can't do it. We are all in this together.

by mtmynd on

I was somewhat taken back by the words of TKG and Mickey Z.

It sounded so much like the fear tactics from the Bush administration we've had to endure for the past 8 years.

It reminds me of my commenting on the absolutely beautiful desert sunrise to the stranger next to me and listening to him saying there's going to be a tornado in Kansas tonight. Totally out of the moment.

I don't believe anyone that comes to this site actually thinks Obama will erase all the problems of the world or fix every wrong the country has. What I see from this election is a brilliant new talent with a fresh vision to help our country forge ahead with it's promises penned by the founders of our Constitution.. an ongoing process as it has been since 1776.

What more do these two folks which for?

by Mickey Z. on

What does this mean: brilliant new talent with a fresh vision?

by mtmynd on

Mickey Z... I refer to Barack Obama as a brilliant new talent simply because that's the way I see the man. Politics, like most endeavors, requires talent to succeed, and I seriously doubt that anyone would disagree that the talent this young man has demonstrated to date is remarkable. He is inspirational on many levels for many, many people.

I trust his vision for correcting the very large problems we face, problems, arguably, we as a nation have not had to deal with on the scale we are witnessing today. To begin with the mortgage crisis and fighting two extremely expenses wars which are depleting both our Treasury and the patience of our populace. He appears to see how to confront and correct these problems with an assuredness and clarity that has to be necessary to deal with them. I don't know if there has been a President in our history that has this degree of cool, collected calm, but it is comforting to see this in a leader... any leader.

Of course, only time will tell, but I do not stand alone in admiration of this man and what he has accomplished in such a relatively short time. I don't know if you saw his first national appearance at the 2004 Democratic Convention, but after Barack Obama gave his speech, to anyone that recognizes talent, it was obvious that this man had a future. It shouldn't be a surprise that only four short years later, here he is the President Elect of the United States of America. A truly amazing journey and one that has only begun.

by mnaz on

Ok, look at it this way: Worst-case scenario: Nothing changes. Troops either stay, or shift from B back into A. Corporations 'A' now run the thing instead of 'B'. The court appointments aren't what we expected. Etc. etc. etc. So what? There was a lot to gain, potentially, and very little to lose in choosing Mr. O in this election, right? What a bunch of nattering nabobs. You guys don't know a good party when you see one.

by mnaz on

Okay Mickey, so the system is almost completely whored out to global corporate interests. What are the "lefties" supposed to do? Pool their shekels together to form their own Blackwater and storm Pennsylvania Avenue? You have a point though about sitting back though. Can't really do that. I need to keep educating myself and pushing for more earth-friendly change. Mega-Corporatism is a runaway, planet-munching monster; has been for quite some time.

For me, the Iraq invasion was a major red flag-- a war essentially for Exxon and Halliburton and a host of other "Defense, Inc." cronies, based on deliberate lies. As a side note: What's ironic about "Operation Iraqi Freedom" is how thinkers on the middle-to-right of spectrum chastised "lefties" who protested the invasion for being soft on despotic world injustice (insert target dictator here-- Hussein in this case), but that's a whole other discussion, the World Cop thing. Yeah, I guess too many of us have been too groggy about it all for too long.

Still though, even if it's true that the electorate is at least starting to emerge from a post-trickle-down fog (in theory), it's a slow transformation. Obama still has to say (and not say) certain things to attain office. And we now have a more robust left-oriented media system and blogosphere than even three or four years ago. All of the lefty talkers I've heard in the last day or two say that they're not inclined to let Obama's politics slide if he doesn't at least make an effort to loosen the corporatist stranglehold on America and the planet.

As for Clinton's crimes, I might challenge at least a couple of them that I remember (I don't have them all in front of me- printer broke): The Somalia invasion was ordered by Bush the First, wasn't it? And NATO intervention in the Balkans intervened in genocide, didn't it? Or have I been reading too much unfiltered propaganda?

by Duncan Brown on

Some truisms about Middle East politics. There will be no peace without Syria, and no war without Iran.
The frightening thing is that strategically speaking, Iraq is the gateway to both nations.
If the USA doesn't leave soon, think the unthinkable.

by mnaz on

Thanks Mickey.

Ouch. Sobering accounts of Somalia and the Balkans. The task would seem impossible for anyone or any popular movement at this point, wouldn't it? To wrest back some control, some balance out of complete imbalance. The Cold War does seem the endless chain-reaction horror that just keeps on giving. As for American imperial economic exploitation. How in the world do we get the American public to even acknowledge it? I remember on the old P&P board here trying to point out such things as Reagan's unconscionable military support for Saddam's aggression in the '80s, only to be called 'anti-American' or have it dismissed as 'necessary due to the Cold War'. I see where you're coming from. Perhaps in the end my vote really is meaningless. I suppose that is indeed a depressing possibility.

One thing I noticed in the Somalia article: You cited the invasion date as Nov., 1993. Did you mean 1992?

by Mickey Z. on

Yes, my mistake. It started during the transition from Bush the Elder to Clinton.

by sidewayys on

this is beautiful dialog!! I suppose I'll weigh in with a late pass...Barack Obama getting elected President is a form of reparations, this is a certain sign of hope. Not only for black people, but much of his campaign was funded by 'regular' Americans and this is how democracy SHOULD work!!! This is a statement from the MAJORITY of America overwhelmingly that we will have accountability in our President, Pimp or Pope, whichever WE choose! (THE GOP HAS ROBBED MORE AMERICANS WITHOUT GUNS IN THE LAST 8 YEARS THAN ANY CRIMINAL EVER!!!)

i'm so happy im going to shave my entire body! i'm so happy im going to go hug a cop! im so happy im going to....buy a flag!!

by Mickey Z. on

Majority? Uh, check the numbers...

by Levi Asher on

Mickey, your method in criticizing a politician seems to be to gather lists of offensive things they've done. But this fails to show the big picture of a politician's career, just like it fails to show the big picture of Obama's career to focus on his association with Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright.

So Rahm Emanuel has a particular point of view, so what? He was an outspoken and well-known politician, so naturally he's taken some controversial positions. And he'll be Obama's Chief of Staff, not Secretary of State or Defense, so I don't think he'll be defining the administration's Middle East policy. Give Obama and his staff a few months to choose their future direction -- they may surprise you.

by Mickey Z. on

I fail to see how this is not a legitimate way to make a case: "your method in criticizing a politician seems to be to gather lists of offensive things they’ve done." These people have public records and that is how we judge them.

Obama is predictably surrounding himself with the usual suspects. Why is that not obvious to his "fans"?

One last point: Any American capable of raising $625 million to win the election is, by definition, not representing "the people." The two-party fraud is designed to weed out anyone who has not internalized elite values. Obama is no different than the rest except that he and his machine have done an amazing job at making Americans believe he's different.

by Levi Asher on

Mickey, what I mean is that you seem to be only collecting negatives. I don't see you weighing negatives against positives. In fact, I don't think you've mentioned a single positive thing about the Obama/Biden/Emanuel team, which suggests to me that you are cherry-picking facts.

I do understand that your position against the two-party system is valid, and I think it is important to discuss the fact that the Obama presidency may be disappointing in many ways. And, yes, anybody who mistakes Obama for a bold liberal will be especially disappointed -- despite the McCain campaign's caricature, he has clearly always been a skilled moderate. I expect his political stance as President to be similar to Bill Clinton's. But my main difference with you here is that you don't seem to think there is a difference between a Clinton/Obama style progressive moderate and a Bush/McCain style dinosaur conservative. Maybe in the ethereal realms of idealistic political theory, there isn't much difference. But here in the real world, where things like war and taxes and laws actually matter, there is a gigantic difference. And that's why all of your points about Obama's compromising style fail to damper my enthusiasm for this victory one bit. Even if he turns out to be a merely average President, I feel quite sure that McCain would have been a disaster in the same way that Bush is a disaster, and even the avoidance of disaster is worth celebrating.

by Mickey Z. on

I am not cherry picking. I genuinely cannot see a single positive thing about the Obama/Biden/Emanuel team.

by Mickey Z. on

One more thing: I have presented a virtual catalogue of Obama facts in this thread. With very few exceptions, none of these facts have even been acknowledged, never mind challenged. Thus, it's more than a little unfair to label my efforts as cherry picking.

by mnaz on

Would McCain/Palin have been a better choice? Could you find any positives about that ticket? Or is it in essence the two-party system itself that you're declaring profoundly broken and beyond redemption? Curious.

by Mickey Z. on

McCain-Biden, Palin-Obama...whatever combo I consider contains no positives to my eye.

by Duncan Brown on

MickeyZ
The past is not an option; we have to believe in the future now.
Obama and Biden are there by consensus.
Nothing or no one is perfect, but this Friday looks so much better than last Monday - which just serves to illustrate the wisdom of former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson's apposite one liner:
'A week is a long time in politics'

by Mickey Z. on

Consensus? Well, Obama and Biden won a slim majority (in terms of popular votes) from a relatively small number of voters. Every presidential election, some 80 million eligible voters stay home. Many reasons for that but some include the fact that we are not given a "none of the above" option and "third party" candidates are ignored by the corporate media and barred from debates. The system is a complete sham...not to mention the fraud, faulty machines, voter purges, etc. If a Third World nation tried to run its election like the won Obama just won - especially with the winner spending $625 million to buy the job - we'd see Jimmy Carter rushing in there to act as a "monitor."

by Levi Asher on

Mickey, most European democracies have multi-party rather than two-party elections. They end up with roughly the same mix of liberal/conservative and worthy/rotten leaders that we end up with in our two-party system. How do you see that USA would change if we had a multi-party instead of two-party system?

I am neither strongly for nor against the USA two-party system. I'd be open to alternatives, sure, but I don't see why this would make a clear difference in the issues that matter to me (again, foreign policy, economy, social issues, civil rights).

Also, you seem very suspicious of Obama's $625 million, but I think the fact that he was able to raise this much in legal donations proves how competent a leader he is. Competent leadership -- what a refreshing change this will be! It just doesn't bother me at all.

by Mickey Z. on

We don't have a two-party system. We have one corporate party with two wings. I'm not comparing to Europe or anywhere else. I am specifically criticizing the US system.

As for the $625 million, do you mean to tell me you are genuinely impressed that to become president, one needs to have access to more than a half-billion dollars? That doesn't disturb you? You see it as a sign of competence? Yikes...

by Duncan Brown on

MickeyZ.
In 'The Republic' Socrates remarks that we wont get better politics until we get better politicians.
That possibility cannot exist without the participation of all the electorate.
Generations of people fought long and hard for the right to vote.
Its almost a denial of their existence and forbearance to not participate in the process.

by Levi Asher on

Mickey, that'd be a good question if it were directed at, say, Mike Bloomberg (New York City's billionaire mayor) or Ross Perot (the Texas billionaire candidate). These rich guys -- I suppose McCain and Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton all fall into this category too -- used their own wealth to run for office.

But Barack has never been wealthy. He didn't spend his own money -- he raised all that money by convincing American donors that he was a great candidate. What on earth can you object to about this?

by Mickey Z. on

The genius of corporate propaganda has pacified the electorate and given us only the politicians willing to compromise enough to raise a half-billion dollars. We settle for the illusion of democracy every November and then quickly get back to reality TV and video games.

Eugune V. Debs sez: "It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it."

Emma Goldman sez: "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

by mnaz on

I read that 90% of Obama's campaign donations were $100 or less, which at least suggests a larger "grass roots" dimension to the campaign than the average corporate buyout. Or was that another clever way to disguise said buyout?

Well, at least many of us can say that we tried. We tried to vote for hope, change, and all that nonsense. If Obama is just another corporate figurehead and we are nothing but so many oblivious consumer units and markets, he may well get an earful somewhere down the line (one would hope, for a change).

At least the electrifying campaign made for good reality TV if nothing else.

by mnaz on

"If we wanted hope and/or change, all we had to do was vote for Nader or McKinney."

True enough. However the reality is that they have no chance to win, so most progressive-minded voters try to choose the major party candidate whom they think can actually accomplish some good and curb destructive policy and abuses of public trust, however imperfect their efforts may end up.

However, if, as you say, the federal government is in fact one corporate party with two wings, then of course this reasoning flies right out the window. And yes, you could say that it explains such things as why corporate media ignores minor party candidates and bars them from debates, although I'm not sure how election fraud fits into that picture-- why would one corporate party go to such lengths to make sure one of its client wings stole an election?

Mickey Z., it's obvious you've made the effort and done much research. You've given me plenty to think about and study up on, and I thank you for that.

by Duncan Brown on

'The winners shout, the losers curse'
That's politics folks.
It's also poetry.
Oh what an innocent song of experience it all is.

by Mickey Z. on

Thank you, mnaz (and everyone). It's a genuine and rare pleasure to discuss these issues - and disagree on this issues - without it devolving into personal attacks. I hope Levi feels a sense of pride. He's created a great site and lured in a regular group of smart, creative, open-minded, and yes, NICE folks. Not an easy task.

by Levi Asher on

Mickey and Mnaz and TKG and everybody else -- yes, I do feel proud, and I do think this has been a good discussion. The fact that we keep returning to it after several days proves there must be something worthwhile here. Hopefully we've all listened to each other and maybe gotten to understand different points of view better. That's what it's all about.

by Steve Plonk on

Let's hope the country as a whole can knit the economy back together and accomplish the lofty goals that Obama has voiced. We need both sides of the aisle and we need to put aside partisan bickering.

Obama won the election by a solid mandate and has a large majority in the House and the Senate. I remember the republicans so-called "contract ON America" during the Clinton administration. The contract was ON America exactly because of partisan bickering. We have to be able to compromise on something. Values are best left to the Churches. Trying to legislate morality has been an abject failure. So let's leave morals alone. Attempts to ban certain folks from getting "married" have succeeded in California. Now folks will just do what they do "underground". Republicans had control of both legislatures in Congress and could have passed legislation banning abortion but they failed to do so. That's because folks in their own party thought women should have the right to choose.

This morality thing will see-saw back and forth and will keep dividing people until we see that we need to leave morals to the churches, temples, and mosques. Certain rights not delineated belong to the people. Oppression is the result of morals legislation. We continue to trade with certain countries like Saudi Arabia who don't recognize womens' rights.
We trade with them because of their oil. Metaphorically speaking, we need to work with republicans, just like Clinton did, in order to keep the country moving in a progressive direction. Oppressive legislation, such as Propostion 8, is not the way to bring the country together. Gays also have individual rights. It is time we quit persecuting them.

Another thing...Registration of fire arms will not take away rights to bear arms anymore than registration of motor vehicles takes away the right to drive a car or truck. Registration just helps the government keep track of pieces of property owned and provides fees to police the owners of guns and vehicles. A person doesn't need an AK to shoot a deer. Therefore, assault weapons should be allowed only with the military, national guard, or police with strict regulations on who is allowed to carry one. Some first responders may be allowed to carry assault weapons during national emergencies.
Those in intelligence communities should be allowed to carry assault weapons as needed. All these above things are currently allowed. Collectors should be required to turn dangerous weapons over to the armories and be reimbursed at the current marketing rate. If a person is going to be hunting, they need a permit. So why not have them register their rifles, etc. at the same time? Just some ideas for the average Joe six-pack, that the republicans kept saying they were working for.

Well, kind folks and gentle people I personally know quite a few Democrats who own rifles, etc. I once belonged to the NRA and have medals to prove it. I don't have any problem with registering firearms. So, what's the big deal? Carrying guns in the national parks would not be a problem if the rangers know that those who enter the parks will be required register at the ranger station with their firearms. Most hunting is not allowed in National Parks. However, there is crime in national parks and the rangers are there to protect civilians and guests. There is hunting in some national forests and people should be required to register their need to hunt there.
Trophy hunting is shameful and I think people who do this should be required to eat what they kill or at least not leave the bodies lying around. The carcasses should be returned to the rangers to be fed to the other animals or be tagged so they will be disposed of properly...
Just some issues put out on the net for the average Joe and Josephine. All power to the people and the Democratic Revolution!

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