The Friday Political Thread: Race for the Presidency Edition

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Unconvincing Quote of the Week
"I didn't do this to make him like a scary black man."—Lee Habeeb, editor of a video that makes Barack Obama look like a scary black man.

The Week in Brief
– Barack Obama told you to stop being such a racist.
– Hillary begged Michigan and Florida to give her her ill-gotten delegates.
– Liberals gathered at Take Back America.
– Lawrence Lessig launched his Change Congress crusade.
– John McCain toured Europe and the Middle East, gaffe'n all the way.

Below the Fold
– A MyDD blogger does a hell of a lot of homework on Pennsylvania demographics.
– Michael Dobbs sifts through the piles of bullshit that make up Hillary Clinton's Bosnia story.
– Charles Murray revises and extends his positive take on Obama's big speech.
– Spencer Ackerman settles scores with two Iraq War journo-hawks.
– Gregory Scoblete sees National Greatness Conservatism slithering back.

I head to the parallel universes of Japan and electronic music for this week's Politics 'n' Prog: Yellow Magic Orchestra, dai ski des!

NEXT: A Clean Page

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  1. Where’s click n’ learn/lonewacko/tlb? I can’t wait for this weekend’s news from him/her/it.

  2. !!!

  3. Nothing about passports? Even ‘below the fold?’

  4. Yello Magic is an interesting choice.

    I would have gone with Fantastic Plastic Machine

    http://tinyurl.com/2z5xj3

  5. ~~~ Special “Things They Didn’t Teach You in Cosmos Class” Edition ~~~

    1. A spokesman for the MexicanConsulate in SanDiego recently told us what they really think, blurting out: “This has been and will be Mexico”. The new movie Under The Same Moon is a tearjerker about IllegalImmigration. It’s also funded by the MexicanGovernment. Meanwhile, in Florida, the MexicanGovernment is giving “free” textbooks to the local schools in an attempt to indoctrinate U.S. schoolchildren.

    2. In other news, I visited the Welch-Gillespie Alternate Universe and found it lacking: lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007560.html

    3. And, there’s a DavidRockefeller/MonsantoCorporation/BillGates SeedBank in Norway: naturalnews.com/022829.html
    I don’t recall Reason mentioning something that sounds like it’s from an XFilesEpisode.

    4. And, for this week’s prog antidote, I offer candy and cereal for all, even Cosmos Except of course for SIV. No sweets for him.

  6. Bill Richardson endorsed Barack Obama today, thus ending the contested portion of the contest for the Democratic nomination.

    Stick a fork in ‘er; she’s done.

  7. I will point out that Richardson is a super-delegate.

  8. More Japanese prog…

    Ghost
    http://www.ab.cyberhome.ne.jp/~pochamal/

    Acid Mothers Temple
    http://www.acidmothers.com/

  9. Gawd, Lonewacko is a pompous, bloviating jackass. The only thing to learn by clicking on his links is that, contrary to appearances here, there are actually people more full of shit than he is. And they all post comments at his blog.

  10. Stick a fork in ‘er; she’s done.

    Shes done, for the third time since January.

    Somewhere around 500+ times since 1992.

  11. editor of a video that makes Barack Obama look like a scary black man

    Thus propaganda. Not that there’s anything wrong with propaganda. We all do it, even the editors of Hit & Run. Without it, the blog-o-sphere would be the electron-equivalent of rice pudding.

  12. Done. Finished. No Michigan, no Florida, and the superdelegates are moving away from her even faster than they have over the past month and a half. The race-panic story was her last chance, and it failed.

    If she goes out classy, maybe she can set herself up for a leadership position in the Senate.

  13. Habeeb’s video isn’t going to appeal to anyone but people who buy Ann Coulter books.

    But don’t dismiss the significance of that. The Republicans have a major enthusiasm gap this year, and a video like that is something that could get the Republicans’ base to turn out to hold their nose and vote against Obama.

  14. I’ll say shes done when Gore, Pelosi, and Reid endorse him.

    BTW, is Jimmy Carter going to endorse anyone?

  15. Pelosi is running the convention, so she can’t endorse.

    She’s been pretty freaking obvious in her statements lately, though. Telling the superdelegates not to overturn the will of the voters, and declaring “this is a delegate contests” when asked about Hillary possibly winning the popular vote.

  16. Alright then, joe. Reid, Gore, and Carter.

  17. I think Nancy loves Hillary, in all the right ways. The mind boggles, and wishes there was a video of it.

  18. Oh, and LoneWacko. LoneWacko would be a HugeEndorsement.

  19. Is he even a SuperDelegate?

  20. Anybody hear about Chris Wallace bashing his own network followed by Brian Kilmeade walking off the set in the same show over the discussion of the “grandma statement”?

  21. Should say, “Obama’s grandma statement”.

  22. “Obama’s grandma statement”.

    Not about Hill then?


  23. Stick a fork in ‘er; she’s done.

    I wouldn’t stick Hillary Clinton with your fork joe.

    How ’bout a little West German Bandstand

  24. So, how long until Hillary drops out then? When comes the end?

  25. That is quite possibly the finest Teutonic skiffle performance I’ve ever seen in my life, SIV.

    Cesar, I have no idea. She might will continue to campaign right up until the convention. It won’t matter, though.

    Obama is going to nail down enough superdelegates soon enough to guarantee that he’ll reach the magic number before the convention.

  26. Well Bill Clinton is opening his mouth, wagging his finger and biting his lip again. Thats never a good sign for Hillary. In fact, it usually signals some kind of impending implosion.

    Too bad for her that Bill didn’t take the advice Barry Goldwater gave him in 1994–“just shut up, you have no discipline.”

  27. I’ll believe Hillary is dead when I see photos of a wooden stake through her cold, calculating heart. And even then I’ll require the coroner’s report. And more photos. And an affidavit from Chelsea.

  28. It’s within the realm of the possible that the Democrats could pick up huge numbers of seats in Congress, maybe even a filibuster-proof majority, yet still see the Republican win the White House.

    Has such a thing ever happened before?

  29. yet still see the Republican win the White House.

    You’re admitting that joe? I thought this was your banner year, your realignment.

  30. Gaining a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a similar-sized majority in the House would be a realignment, Cesar.

    But with the most prominent RINO in the country as the GOP’s nominee, one who’s going to run as a Democrat, it’s possible that he, alone, could avoid the coming tidal wave.

    Heck, Guiliani and Bloomberg won in NYC. Weld, Celucci, and Romney won in Massachusetts. There’s no question which way those places are aligned.

    I think it’s possible that we could be looking at something like that. McCain is a very strong candidate on paper.

  31. Well, thats backtracking from what you said earlier I believe, when Obama would have a huge electoral landslide.

    Large Congressional majorities can’t do jack for a uber neo-con President that believes in the unitary executive anyway. Especially when said majorities are Democrats.

  32. I look back at the first 3/4 of Bush’s term, Cesar, when he cut a deal with Delay and Frist. They would give him everything he wanted on foreign policy, while he went along with them on domestic policy. Since Bush didn’t care about domestic policy after 9/11, but was obsessed with Iraq, he was willing to make that deal.

    I can foresee a similar arrangement with McCain and a Democratic Congress. He doesn’t actually care very much about the conservative movement’s (or movements’) domestic agenda, while the Democrats in Congress seem to have decided that they can’t force a determined president to change his military policy.

  33. “Yellow Magic Orchestra, dai ski des!”

    What a delightful cover of “Eye of the Tiger”!

  34. I still think a Democratic victory is very, very likely in the Fall, Cesar, as the field is just ridiculously tilted in their favor this year.

    But there is going to be an actual race between this guy and that guy, and it’s possible that lightning could strike. If Iraq turns into a warm version of Minnesota this summer and the economy makes a dramatic turnaround, for example. Or if Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s secret plan to suicide-bomb his own inaugural are made public.

  35. So we get a welfare state Democratic domestic policy, and a neo-con imperialist foreign policy.

    Theodore Roosevelt’s third term, here we come!

    Gee, what a bright prospect for the future of this country./sarcasm

  36. While there’s certainly the possibility that the Dems would be stupid enough to choose Obama, I’d put the chances of him being elected president somewhere around 0.1%. There’s a few interesting things that haven’t yet become part of the national conversation.

  37. The above arrangement is also an extremely efficent way to completely bankrupt ones economy.

  38. Rezcko? His role in that mess?

    His wife working for a hospital that may have benefitted from some questionable dealings?

    Tose types of interesting things?

  39. Joe, I know, I know, I’m beating what some consider a dead horse. I do it for you Joe. So ya won’t be quite as disappointed when the shite really really hits the fan and he drops out for the good of the party. Just a gut feeling. Blood is in the water and the sharks are circling.

  40. Joe. So ya won’t be quite as disappointed when the shite really really hits the fan and he drops out for the good of the party.

    Look, I thought Hillary Clinton was going to get it but I’m not THAT deluded. Are you in the mirror universe?

  41. Another week and there’s no Emerson. Instead we get Yellow Magic Orchestra. Don’t you know the Japanese love Emerson. Keith Emerson is God. When is Hit and Run going to notice!

    By the way I would die for a steamy video of Hillary and Nancy Pelosi in bed. Jenna Jameson eat your heart out! Oh my fingers tremble at the thought!

    I don’t know about you but all these years Bill’s been missing something. His wife is hot as she goes down…LOL!

  42. Cesar, I have been accused of livin in my own little world.

    or was that my own little mind?

  43. Wow that Bosnia story is amazing. The scariest part is that Hill is probably not lying. What Sinbad remembers is a trip to entertain troops, always with guards around, often inside steel. Hillary remembers going on an epic adventure in a war zone to spread democracy in a way that only a teenage girl and her mom can.

  44. Lefty,

    “…your heart out!” was a really lousy way for you to end that sentence. 😉

  45. While there’s certainly the possibility that the Dems would be stupid enough to choose Obama, I’d put the chances of him being elected president somewhere around 0.1%. There’s a few interesting things that haven’t yet become part of the national conversation.

    Aren’t you the guy who told us that immigration was going to play a HUGE role in this year’s primaries?

    So…uh…how’s that going, Nostradamus?

  46. Look, I thought Hillary Clinton was going to get it but I’m not THAT deluded. Are you in the mirror universe?

    Cesar, brotherben may be Spock-with-goatee, but he was the first to congratulate me and that makes him non-evil in my book!

  47. Speaking of Obama, I just saw him drive by… No, seriously…

    So I’m sitting there about an hour ago at this brewpub just trying to enjoy watching Oregon go down in flames in the NCAA tournament over a nice IPA when this guy comes up to the bar and says “hey, did you hear that Obama is at American Dream?” (a trendy pizza place / bar on the next block). Pretty soon you can hear “Hey, Obama’s at American Dream” echoing throughout the place with barely concealed excitement to the point of giddiness. Within minutes people are emptying out of the building like it’s on fire. The guy next to me had just ordered another beer when the news hits and he says its mine if I want it on his way out the door. So I’m sitting there weighing Obama vs. a free oatmeal stout… well, of course one has to have priorities so it really wasn’t a tough decision (hey, it’s a great stout – tell me you wouldn’t do the same).

    Anyway, I notice the police have shut down the street so Obama can get his slice of pizza, and this goes on for the better part of an hour. As I’m sipping my complimentary stout enjoying Oregon’s 2nd half implosion in a damn near empty place, I see people running down the street who clearly haven’t run since high school PE class (and we’re talking people for whom HS was a long time ago). It’s just bizarre how much people want to see this guy – these are grownups acting like a bunch of teenage girls at a boy-band concert. There’s something more than just an intellectual or philosophical agreement with his policies, whatever they are, going on here. Of course this is a very liberal college town so I suspect Obama could declare himself President-for-life and he’d get nary a raised eyebrow from anyone around here, but still… it was really quite amazing to see first hand.

    Too bad he didn’t stop in for a beer or two as I would have liked to ask him about the “War on Drugs” and his protectionist rhetoric but oh well – maybe next time. I did raise a glass to him as he drove by to thank him for the free beer though. So you see, he’s already done more for me than any other presidential candidate ever has. 🙂

  48. Brian, that’s an amazing story. How was the stout? What brewery?

  49. Brian:

    I would have been with you, drinking a free stout…

    Right now I’m actually having some Great Divide Oaked Yeti…

    Quite a tasty beer.

    Nephilium

  50. How was the stout? What brewery?

    Someone, it was actually quite good. Medium bodied stout, pretty smooth for a non-nitro tap beer. Malty with a hint of chocolate but not too sweet (which kills many a stout) or bitter. Quite enjoyable. And the place is a very small brewpub that just opened a few weeks ago called Block 15 Brewery in Corvallis, Oregon.

    Great Divide Oaked Yeti

    Nephilium, haven’t had that one before, but definitely love a good Imperial Stout. How is it?

  51. Quite a tasty beer.

    Heh. I see you answered my question before I asked it. 🙂

  52. Brian,

    As Moynihan would put it, this story you related is quite bizarre.

    The (other) important question about this story is: did Oregon loose?

  53. The (other) important question about this story is: did Oregon loose?

    Ali, indeed they did. After leading by as many as 13 in the 2nd half, like Clinton, they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with a predicable late game collapse.

  54. In case you wonder how ugly the general election between Obama and McCain will get, here’s the Obama/Wright video mentioned in the post:

    Scary Black Man Video

  55. If she goes out classy

    The time for that was a month ago.

    She can’t be bargained with. She can’t be reasoned with. She doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And she absolutely will not stop, ever, until she is President.

    Habeeb’s video isn’t going to appeal to anyone but people who buy Ann Coulter books.

    No one’s going to listen to those crazy Swift Vets!

  56. I used to be in the 1st Armored Division and I knew somebody who was in Bosnia when all this happened. Airstrips have better security than just about any AOR, for obvious reasons.

    And Hillary’s claims overall are laughable, which is a shame because it really was good experience for her, but she had to exaggerate it for some goofy reason.

  57. That goofy reason being the grasping at straws as she flounders and goes down in flames and all the other appropriate metaphors.

  58. Didn’t I read somewhere that Jenna Jameson endorsed Hillary. Maybe Hil can become a client at one of those bordellos for women JJ’s popping up in Nevada.

  59. If Iraq turns into a warm version of Minnesota this summer and the economy makes a dramatic turnaround

    I think a 92 scenario is much more likely, where the economic downturn is statistically ending by the time of the election, but where public sentiment hasn’t caught up and recession angst is still the big story.

    It’s hard for me to believe that McCain will be able to survive a general election campaign, since he apparently knows little to nothing about just about every subject of the day. We have a guy who openly admits he knows nothing about economics, and whose grasp of foreign policy makes W look like Richelieu.

    I wish the Democrats would just hire that Media Matters guy and assign him the task of compiling McCain tape that makes the guy look like the absolutely absurd ass clown he actually is. That should take, what – ten minutes?

  60. Brian:

    If you haven’t had the regular Great Divide Yeti yet, I recommend picking some up. Then, if you like that, go for the Oaked.

    Also, if you like Imperial Stouts… Stone’s IRS just came out this week.

    Another good one that (at least in my area) is harder to hunt down, but worth it is Alesmith’s Speedway Stout.

    Nephilium

  61. Who do you guys think is the bigger far-left socialist radical in the Democrat Party: Obama or Clinton?

  62. Which is this “Clinton” is that a synonym for “McCain”? (in a pants suit?)

    Neil – yup – McCain. that huckabee was pretty socialistic, too. and clinton. wow.

  63. Hai Kneel!

    I think you’re the hugest!

  64. Oatmeal stout?

    Man, that’s a though call.

    I had Sam Adams Black Lager for the first time last night. Yummy, as expected.

    TallDave, it wasn’t the charges in the Swift Boat Vets’ video that hurt Kerry, it was his unwillingness to answer them.

    Obama didn’t make that Shrum-ian mistake.

  65. woah, indeed!

    sorry for the size of the pic, but hier could be why… 🙂

  66. Wheres the general election poll joe?

  67. I give up. Where?

  68. D’oh!

    I forgot.

  69. http://www.gallup.com/poll/105559/Gallup-Daily-Clinton-Now-47-Obamas-45.aspx

    Scroll down, he dipped a little bit now hes recovered against McCain. Its even.

  70. TallDave, it wasn’t the charges in the Swift Boat Vets’ video that hurt Kerry, it was his unwillingness to answer them

    Riiiight, because there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for:

    they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

    LMAO Is that you guys are telling yourselves now? He just needed to “answer the charges?”

    The Wright thing isn’t going away. Now we find out the church was approvingly reprinting Hamas screeds.

    There are still lots of questions to ask: How many times did Obama attend? Was he actually in the pews for some of these things? How much money did Obama donate? What political favors were done?

    Pretty speeches aren’t going to cut it.

  71. Thanks for the alert on the Stone Neph. Those guys are good. The Stone smoked porter was my second favorite brew.

  72. Dave, that was some crack analysis d00d but I think I’ll take the Gallup poll first.

  73. So I’m sitting there weighing Obama vs. a free oatmeal stout… well, of course one has to have priorities so it really wasn’t a tough decision

    For me it doesn’t even have to be a free oatmeal stout. I’d choose a free Bud Lite over Obama. Or an old Coors Lite found in a garage fridge. Or warm half empty bottle of Mickeys. You would have to start putting your butts out in the Mickeys before I would consider Obama.

  74. TallDave,

    I gave up trying to reason with people who don’t believe the American military committed atrocities in Vietnam a long time ago.

    While you are a small fringe, you are nonetheless beyond reason.

    You keep flogging the race baiting, TallDave. It’s totally working for you. That, and the Good News from America. Seriously, you’ve got your finger on the pulse of America.

  75. America, Iraq. Same diff. They’re both shining models of democracy that are greatly admired around the world.

    Cough, Ack.

  76. I gave up trying to reason with people who don’t believe the American military committed atrocities in Vietnam a long time ago.

    LOL That’s not the point. No one doubts My Lai happened.

    The point is Kerry was saying this was commonplace, normal behavior for our soldiers. “Systemic, at all levels” in his words. It was a vicious slander of our troops and a lot of his fellow vets never forgot it, never forgave it.

    While you are a small fringe, you are nonetheless beyond reason.

    Lawlz, yeah keep telling yourself that. We’ll see what the electorate thinks.

  77. Also, if you like Imperial Stouts… Stone’s IRS just came out this week.

    Excellent! Thanks for the heads-up, Nephilium. Gotta love Stone’s Arrogant Bastard and I try to keep up with their special offerings, particularly Double Bastard in the fall, but I had missed this one. And speaking of oaked, have you tried their Oaked Arrogant Bastard?

  78. Dave, that was some crack analysis d00d but I think I’ll take the Gallup poll first.

    Why stop there?

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    Looking ahead to the General Election in November, John McCain continues to lead both potential Democratic opponents. McCain leads Barack Obama 49% to 41% and Hillary Clinton 49% to 43% (see recent daily results).

    On Saturday, Obama’s favorable ratings slipped a little further-46% favorable, 51% unfavorable. Before the Pastor Problem became big news, Obama was viewed favorably by 52%. One month ago, he was viewed favorably by 56%. McCain is viewed favorably by 54% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 43%. For Clinton, those numbers are 43% favorable, 54% unfavorable (see recent daily results).

  79. Or warm half empty bottle of Mickeys. You would have to start putting your butts out in the Mickeys before I would consider Obama.

    Heh. Ok, I have to admit I really did lol at that.

  80. Brian:

    The only thing I’ve failed to try from Stone (as a regular release) is their Levitation Ale. Haven’t seen it in bottles out in my neck of the woods.

    I’ve got their vertical epic (missing only the 02.02.02 and the 05.05.05), two years of Old Guardian, two years of Double Bastard, last year’s IRS, and I still have a bottle of XI sitting around.

    And for other Oaked beers, the Bourbon barrel Blackout Stout from Great Lakes is fantastic, the Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout is great, and I’ve yet to have a Jolly Pumpkin beer I didn’t like (okay… so they’re not oaked, they’re just barrel aged, but damn they’re tasty).

    Nephilium… beergeek.

  81. Since Kansas gets short shrift on politics & prog, check out this recent live version of Icarus Borne on Wings of Steel.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBRj7AF8YjQ

    Steve Walsh in his prime had arguably the best ever prog-rock voice.

    They are still around, though as a 5 piece, not a 6 pierce. Walsh’s voice has lost some tone & range, but their new violin player shines. 30 yrs. later:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ_wjv6RqqQ

  82. That would the Rasmussen that had Obama beating Hillary for the past week, right, TallDave?

    Keep grasping at those straws. You’re Pauline Kael act is so adorable.

  83. TallDave, sorry but Rasmussen is a worthless outlier. Its not even in the ballpark of the other polls.

  84. Damnit….stupid “remember me”.

  85. A poll that shows no drop for Obama, and a steady lead over Clinton, throughout the Wright flap, and then a two-point drop on Friday, three days after the speech.

    Jeez, Cesar, how can you possibly quibble with that?

  86. Bottom line is it doesn’t look like the only people the Wright effected were those who weren’t going to vote for Obama in the first place. Whatever bleeding there was stopped.

  87. Here’s something reliable: the RCP average.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

    Check out the table. Obama started dropping vis a vis McCain immediately after March 4. No detectable change in the trend after the Wright flap broke (a change that does seem to show up in the Obama/Clinton race), and then a levelling off at this weekend.

    Also notable is that TallDave has mentioned exactly two polls, and they just happen to be the most pro-McCain outliers.

  88. Cesar,

    I’d say that it seems to have had an effect in the primary race, but not the general.

    We’ll see if the recovery we’re seeing in the primary shows up in the general election head-to-heads.

  89. As far as Obama’s chances in the election, pastor problems and polls notwithstanding, as I was saying a few months ago the fading of the war as the central defining issue of this election is not going to help the Democrats. At the time I wasn’t sure if I just wasn’t hearing as much about it or if it really wasn’t as big of a deal, but the last few months have only made it more clear that this isn’t 2006.

    While of course a sizable majority of people are still against it, the intensity of that feeling and the high priority it was given just doesn’t seem to be there now. This is probably due to both the lower casualty rate and the much greater importance given to economic concerns. The Democrats have the advantage of not being the incumbent presidential party, but that is at least partially offset by both the fact that McCain is seen as a GOP outsider rather than a Bush successor and the fact that for the Dems,historically, economic issues are typically an advantage for the GOP. At the very least it isn’t a gimme like the war issue is for them.

    At any rate, what most would have predicted as a runaway Democratic win in 2006 and 2007 is looking a lot less certain now.

  90. I don’t disagree its going to be a close election.

    But I do disagree with the OMG OBAMA RACE PANIC ITS OVER SCARY BLACK MAN MCCAIN WINS LOL!!!!!111one analysis, cause its just not true.

    In fact, if the Republicans keep pushing it its going to get really fucking stale.

  91. If it doesn’t work this time, if Obama can effectively knock aside the charge and convince people of his bona fides on race relations, people who keep harping on it are going to be easily cast as race-baiters. We could be looking at another Clinton impeachment.

  92. Nephilium… beergeek.

    Indeed – I am but a rank amateur in comparison. I bow to the master. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations.

  93. At any rate, what most would have predicted as a runaway Democratic win in 2006 and 2007 is looking a lot less certain now.

    The Congressional polling is still absurdly tilted towards the Democrats.

  94. Here’s something reliable: the RCP average.

    joe, I would need to look at it, but valid averaging across polls is a very difficulty thing to do…I am skeptical that RCP does it rigorously enough to say it is more reliable than the individual polls.

    [does a quick website review…finds no methods section for how polls are averaged]

    Nope, I don’t think they use valid methods for averaging across the polls.

  95. Well, then, count ’em.

  96. Damnit….stupid “remember me”.

    I like Reverend Cesar. He’s so angry. Not like that guy from “God Loves, Man Kills”, though.

  97. as I was saying a few months ago the fading of the war as the central defining issue of this election

    Agreed, but as the war fades, the economy rises in the political consciousness. Either way, advantage democrats.

    And the meme is increasing that the economy is bad *because* of the war. Now although this link is not as tenuous as say Al Queda and Saddam, is still a pretty weak causality. Nonetheless, it has the potential of being very politically effective.

    Like Fluffy said above, even if everything magically fixes itself by Nov (seriously, at least a 50/50 proposition), the perception that things are bad will linger until at least Spring ’09.

    Another thing is, like how violent crime has an uptick over the summer, I think there is a good (or rather bad) possibility that the rate either civilian or military (or both) casualties will rise over the next few months -esp if we keep our force level more or less constant, which seems to be the plan.

  98. Agreed, but as the war fades, the economy rises in the political consciousness. Either way, advantage democrats.

    Well, as I was saying, I don’t think that is obvious on its face. If it was a clear Bush successor running on continuation of his policies, like a VP or something, then the Dems would be better able to take advantage of the economic issue. But as it is, McCain benefits from being seen as outside the mainstream Bush GOP. At this point it’s not clear to me that the economy is going to be much of an advantage for the Democratic nominee. Maybe, but it is nowhere near the slam-dunk that the war issue would be if it were still at the level of 2006.

    In other words, the Dems may still be able to work the economic issue to an electoral advantage but it is going to be much more difficult to do than it looked a year ago or so. There is room for McCain to make a credible campaign on economic issues that isn’t there on war issues.

    I think there is a good (or rather bad) possibility that the rate either civilian or military (or both) casualties will rise over the next few months

    That is certainly a possibility and a flareup over there could dramatically turn the election quickly.

  99. The “fading war” is a relative phenomenon.

    The war has not become significantly less important in absolute terms; it’s just that the economy has become more important. Polls asking people to rate the importance of issues from “not at all” to “very” still show high levels of concern about the war, even as people asked to list important issues rank the economy higher.

  100. And in other non-preacher/passport/preposterous peril political news the KMT candidate won the Taiwan presidential election rather handily 58-42. The referendums for UN admission failed with less than 36% of the electorate even voting on them (compared with close to 80% whom voted for a president)

    I find it fascinating and a(n?) historical irony, but nonetheless completely understandable, that the CCP so much prefers the KMT to the DPP.

  101. Brian:

    I’m no master when it comes to beer, I just know what I like. If you want to learn more, check out Beer Advocate and RateBeer. Both have a lot of resources, as well as lists of what ranks the highest by style.

    As I sit here, and sip a Lagunitas IPA…

    Nephilium

  102. Not like that guy from “God Loves, Man Kills”, though.

    Art-P.O.G.: nice!
    That nasty ol’ Reverend Stryker will never kill Nightcrawler!

  103. Brian-
    Your right, it’s not obvious, but it logically follows.

    First, Republicans have spent the last seven plus years ‘restoring executive power.’ Well, you live by the ‘unitary executive’ you die by it. In other words, despite a Democratic controlled Congress, they will get no blame as things head south; all successes and failures, and the political laurels and fallout rest entirely on the executive. So, it is quite easy to equate ‘Bushism’ with ‘Republicanism’

    Second, although McCain is indeed outside the Republican mainstream, he winds up fighting over the same political ground as Obama (if the nominee). On this ground, Obama has a greater advantage due to greater ‘likeability’ and ‘outsiderness’; it’s the same dynamic that caused the first Clinton to prevail over the first Bush over this same political battlefield.

    Third, although Obama has his Resko, McCain has his Keating – who was part of the S&L scandal that has exact analogues to today’s problems. So while McCain isn’t cozy with Ken Lay nor Jimmy Cayne, he was with the previous incarnation of these ‘bogeymen’

  104. Look. The incumbent party’s approval rating is in the low 30s. The country is in an unpopular war and in the midst of a pretty nasty recession. Something like 65%+ of people in this country think we’re on the “wrong track”. “Change” is one of the best polling phrases of the election.

    If the Democrats don’t win in this kind of environment, they need to go out of business like the Federalists and Whigs.

  105. Cesar:
    The president’s approval ratings are in the toilet, but congress’s approval ratings are in the 20’s. And the Democrats control that. Right now, I’m more of the belief that people are just sick of the federal government (except for their own congressperson, for some reason those numbers are usually higher).

    At this point, both of the two major parties are horrible.

    Nephilium, putting at least one non-beer related post in on this thread.

  106. Nephilium-

    Its in the toilet because, excuse my French, they roll over and let Bush fuck them in the ass every chance they get.

  107. So I’m sitting there weighing Obama vs. a free oatmeal stout… well, of course one has to have priorities so it really wasn’t a tough decision.

    For me it doesn’t even have to be a free oatmeal stout. I’d choose a free Bud Lite over Obama. Or an old Coors Lite found in a garage fridge. Or warm half empty bottle of Mickeys. You would have to start putting your butts out in the Mickeys before I would consider Obama.

    I think it would matter greatly to me whether or not that was BEER in that “warm half empty bottle of Mickeys.”

  108. Nephilium: Are Congress’ approval ratings ever much above 20%?

  109. Breaking news…

    The Nation’s leading Libertarian Economist and Ron Paul friend, Dr. Walter Williams of George Mason University has just come out with a very, very hardcore, some might even say harsh statement against Islamic Radicalism.

    It’s creating a Blogosphere-wide firestorm.

    Ron Paul told the media that Williams was among his “top picks” for VP. Seems Paul was unaware that Williams was such a hardcore Pro-Defense Libertarian.

    Now up at Williams website and we link to it at http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com

  110. Seems to me that he’s just threatening peaceful muslims who aren’t sufficiently anti-jihadist.

    Kind of like Osama bin Laden threatening to kill and injure U.S. citizens who are insufficiently opposed to U.S. support for the Egyptian and Saudi governments.

    Now, I don’t know about you Eric, but in my experience threatening people rarely gets them to join a fight on your side. Even worse, making threats that you have no way of carrying out is a guaranteed way to get neutrals to become enemies. And at this point, the U.S. has no “might” to bring to bear, unless the U.S. air force starts immolating cities with nuclear bombs.

    If you doubt me, look at the contempt you are held by pretty much everyone on this board. It’s not merely because you are a moron. There have been a few polite morons that have hung out here and they have been treated politely. No, your insults and threats have driven most of the people who read these boards to dislike you. If one of us were to beat the crap out of you, most of us would look the other way.

    I doubt the good Doctor’s essay will change more than a handful of minds. but if it were to have a significant effect it would not be one to his liking.

    Calling threats to injure and kill innocent people who are neutral in a fight a “pro-defense” positions s just the kind mangling of language I expect from socialists like you Eric.

  111. I didn’t know LSD was so popular in Japan…

  112. Art – it may just be Shonen Knife. (And their fans, too, I suppose…)

  113. Excerpt from Froot Loop Dreams by Shonen Knife:

    “Theres a big bird named toucan sam
    With a pretty colored beak just like a candy cane
    I wonder if hed be so nice (be so nice)
    As to take us to fruit loop paradise
    Chocolate streams and ice cream dreams
    Fancy flavored clouds and sun
    Lots of cake and soda pop
    And lollipops for everyone

    I wish I was like toucan sam
    I could fly to the rainbow and candy land
    Take all my friends to a tasty place (tasty place)
    Get a beak and go flying in outer space

    Chocolate streams and ice cream dreams
    Fancy flavored clouds and sun
    Lots of cake and soda pop
    And lollipops for everyone”

  114. Yup. Conceptual pieces about foreign cereal icons. Pretty trippy stuff.

  115. Just saw on CNN: Spitzer’s replacement, almost immediately after being sworn in, confessed to both he and his wife having had extramarital affairs.

    In the future, we will not be able to determine where one scandal ends and the next begins.

  116. God help me, that ‘Poll-land’ exchange cracks me up every single time I’ve looked at this thread this weekend

    But then I read the ‘peace loving muslims’ link and harshed my buzz. Jesus, I though Dr Williams was smarter than that; I just lost I kinds of respect I had for him.

  117. The president’s approval ratings are in the toilet, but congress’s approval ratings are in the 20’s. And the Democrats control that

    Check out the generic Congressional ballots by party at pollingreport.com. The Democrats lead by something close to 20 points.

  118. joe:

    That’s actually the place I pulled the 20’s number from. As I said, one thing that continues is that everyone (in general) likes their congresscriter, but thinks congress as a whole is horrible. It’s almost like all the polls on the economy, where everyone says that their doing fine, but the economy as a whole is in bad shape.

    It seems the American populace thinks things are fine with their job or elected representative, it’s all those other poor slobs/dirty politicians that’s dragging us down.

    Nephilium… currently sipping a nice snifter of B.O.R.I.S the Crusher (to attempt to pull this back to beer).

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