Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 30, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE DEMOCRATIC RACE....Barack Obama's decision to allow "reformed gay" singer Donnie McClurkin to preach at a series of campaign events in South Carolina has obviously not gone down well in the liberal blogosphere. But how about in South Carolina itself? Ed Kilgore reports:

Well, the Columbia State, which features massive political coverage every day, didn't bother to cover Obama's Columbia event. It did publish an AP story with the title: "McClurkin Wins Cheers At Obama Event Despite Gay Protests," which gives you an idea how seriously the writer took the cataclysmic-disaster interpretation of Obama's gospel tour.

These different optics reflect the very different issues Obama's campaign was dealing with in putting on this kind of event. On the one hand, it deeply offended not only gays and lesbians, but many progressive activists who want to support Obama as an alternative to Clinton, but suspect his commitment to the kind of ideological rigor and partisan zeal they consider essential in a nominee. On the other hand, it might have done him some good in SC, where his candidacy may ultimately rise or fall based on his ability to wrest a sizable majority of African-American votes away from HRC.

If anything, this puts the whole thing in an even worse light, because it makes it seem more likely that teaming up with McClurkin was a deliberate decision, not just a staff mistake. There's no telling, of course, but it's either a case of horrible judgment or a case of horrible vetting and planning. Those are both pretty bad signs.

It's funny. I was talking to a friend over the weekend and asked if he'd decided who to support. Hillary, he said. We talked about that for a while, and he went through several possible problems with her candidacy and why he'd decided they weren't really big things to be concerned about. But I didn't really find myself convinced. In fact, the conversation mostly just reminded me of a bunch of reasons to be concerned about her candidacy.

When you get down to it, I guess I'm sympathetic toward Hillary but really, really wishing that Obama would give me a good reason to change my mind and support him instead. But he just never does. Domestic policywise he's been fairly cautious and mainstream. On the foreign policy front he's better than HRC, but only by a couple of notches. And his Kumbaya campaigning schtick leaves me cold. Worse than that, in fact: it leaves me terrified that he just doesn't know what he's up against with the modern Republican Party and won't have the instinct to go for the jugular when the inevitable Swift Boating commences. (Needless to say, I have no such doubts about Hillary.)

At the same time, I've also never had the visceral hatred of Hillary that some people do. I've always liked her fine. Sure, she's calculating and political, but every politician is calculating and political. Her only problem is that she isn't quite as good as hiding it as some of the others. What's more, I think she'd make a good president, one who could hit the ground running and get a lot done in Congress. In fact, potentially she could be a great president, though I suspect she's rather too cautious to ever reach her full potential.

This is turning into a ramble, and as long as I'm rambling I guess I should ramble about John Edwards too. In a way, my reaction to him is even murkier. I voted for him in the 2004 primary, and on a policy level I like him better than either Hillary or Obama. He's also a very good speaker and campaigner. And yet, I somehow can't shake the feeling that he's basically running for vice president. Not literally, mind you, but in the sense that he doesn't quite seem to be fully fired up about the prospect of running the country. I think maybe I still haven't shaken my memory of his 2004 debate against Dick Cheney, where he seemed content to go through the motions and not really make a fight of it.

Hell, this is kind of a sucky post, isn't it? Several hundred words about how I can't make up my mind. But in a way, I guess I have. I'm really not in a Kumbaya mood right now, so despite my fear that Hillary will never be willing (or maybe able) to break out of the mainstream box she's painted herself into, I think she's my favorite. Obama's had six months to seal the deal with me, and he's done nothing but make me ever more nervous about him with every passing month. Hillary's too much of a conventional lefty hawk for my taste, but aside from that her policy instincts are good, her experience has taught her some valuable lessons, she knows her own mind, and she's not afraid of a fight. And I'd be delighted to finally have a woman in the Oval Office. I'll keep my eye on Obama, but I guess I'm officially leaning toward Mrs. Clinton at the moment.

Kevin Drum 12:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (112)

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Comments

If Obama made a conscious decision, and I can't believe he didn't - this isn't quite the same thing as being dumb enough to get a $400 haircut, then he's feeling desperate, almost McCain-ish. I mean, it's not like he was going to get the votes of any S. Carolina Rethugs to begin with, nor is S. Carolina an electorally important state.

Posted by: JeffII on October 30, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Reflects my state of mind as well

Posted by: Tom Coffer on October 30, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Richardson is a serious, non-loony (Kucinich/Gravel) alternative to Hillary/Barack/John.

Whether he's good enough to sway enough progressives, I don't know. But, contra the "big three," he has said he will get us all the way out of Iraq. And, he's not "Kumbaya" campaigning; he's been through enough political battles to know better.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on October 30, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

I've been "officially" for Obama for a while, though I've resigned myself to knowing Hillary probably has this wrapped up already. But basically, I feel the same as you. I'll still probably vote for Obama, but my heart really isn't in it.

Posted by: Mark on October 30, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary was clear about getting the US out of the Middle East, then I would set all my other doubts aside. As it is, she seems the least likely of the 1st-tier candidates to get America out, so as of now I'm as unenthused about her as I am the rest.

Posted by: F. Frederson on October 30, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Visceral dislike of Hillary:

1. She's a girl

2. Her name is Clinton

3. She's a Dem

I really don't think there's anything deeper than that involved.

Posted by: MaryCh on October 30, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

while rambling, it represents a lot of our frustrations.

and is hillary electable, or will the republican slime machine and the tradtional media soundbites
mouthing this machine take the democratic party
to yet another presidential failure.

Posted by: steve on October 30, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with you, Kevin; I just haven't found that one true love who sets my heart ablaze. Lately I've been leaning toward Dodd, but every time he opens his mouth he talks like an auctioneer. Richardson would make an excellent secretary of state. Maybe he'd make a great governor, but I'm not sure; he's not home enough for me to tell.

My concern with Obama is that he would be completely gobsmacked in the general by the loathsome, racist, swift-boating liars. I used to think that Hillary would make a terrible candidate because of this very issue, but she's persuaded me that she can handle it. I honestly don't think Obama could. And it will get very ugly, we all know that.

Posted by: merciless on October 30, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I'm not leaning toward Hillary like you, but I agree with you she's the best of the Democratic bunch on the question that concerns conservatives the most which is how to best deal with the threat of Islamofascism. Michael O' Hanlon supports her which is a good sign because of his strong stance in defense of our troops and General Petraeus. Also former General Claudia, also a top advisor to Hillary, said in

www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?articleId=496162bb-d0bb-4aeb-8796-5e034699c0c3

"she does not oppose the Iraq war -- and she said she's never heard Clinton oppose it, either."

I think of all of the liberal Presidential candidates, Hillary is the most likely to continue the freedom agenda of Bush in Iraq which is a good reason to support her.

Posted by: Al on October 30, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, this is kind of a sucky post

Not at all, Kevin. Not sucky at all. I think many of us who frequent and comment in your blog do so because we're principled but not dogmatic liberals -- like you -- and many of your intellectual struggles reflect our own. I was amazed at how similar the arguments I have with myself over the Dem candidates mirror your own. It was very illuminating to see them written out. Thanks!
___________________________

Posted by: Aris on October 30, 2007 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

So does this mean all pro Hillary blogging from now on?

Posted by: JerseyMissouri on October 30, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares how this affects Obama's campaign in SC? It's how it plays among his 'base' - young people, educated people - elsewhere that really matters.

Especially in Iowa and NH, of course.

My hope is that Obama will tank soon enough that Edwards, as the new anti-Hillary, will be able to get some regular news coverage. (Edwards has always been much more of an anti-Hillary than Obama, but what with the Great Edwards News Blackout of 2007, how many people have noticed?)

It's kinda silly to say Edwards is running for veep. It's hard to see either Hillary or Obama choosing him as a running mate. You could say he's running to raise the profile of the issues he cares about, and for all I know that might be true.

But he seems to be running more of a real campaign for President than Obama or Thompson, both of whom have been taken more seriously by the media. Obama seems to be running for Nobel Peace Prize for Bringing Americans Together Again, and Thompson seems to be napping rather than running, period.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on October 30, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Slightly off topic, but relates to one reason people won't embrace Hillary:
Kevin, why did you refer to Senator Clinton as "Mrs. Clinton" in your last paragraph? This is how George Will always refers to her. It keeps her in one's mind as an appendage of her husband's, and not as the fully-formed and accomplished person that she is. I don't recall you referring to her primary opponents as "Mr. Obama" or "Mr. Edwards."

Posted by: Karen on October 30, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Barak Obama strikes me as an RFK-like figure - a charismatic, patrician idealist whose judgment and honesty I trust far more than the others in the field. But I think you summed up my concerns for him quite well:

it leaves me terrified that he just doesn't know what he's up against with the modern Republican Party and won't have the instinct to go for the jugular when the inevitable Swift Boating commences. (Needless to say, I have no such doubts about Hillary.)

In terms of policy decisions, I think this country is in desperate need of a sincere, Boy Scout like Obama who will tell it like it is or needs to be, even if it's not what you want to hear.

However, a Democratic president is going to go up against a highly efficient, ruthless, sleazy and vicious political machine controlled by the GOP et al. Surviving the attack and being able to fight back is going to be absolutely essential if anything positive is going to get done.

It makes me a little sick for it to come to this, but it seems that the only rational choice for success is to go with the best (perhaps only) political machine the Democrats have: the Clintons.

But to complicate things a bit more, I fear that Hillary and Obama (by virtue of his race and her gender and almost prohibitively high negatives) will be especially easy targets for the GOP smear machine.

Edwards would likely have a comparatively easier time in a general election than either Clinton or Obama.

Sadly, I believe the best shot the Democrats have - both to win a general election and to be successful once in office - isn't running. I really do think this country's last best hope is Gore. The fear of having the highest office monopolized for three decades by only two families sounds a lot like an empire in decline than a Democracy.

Posted by: Augustus on October 30, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

The left in general is not in a Kumbaya mood -- and that, in essence, is the problem with Obama's campaign. He's made a collossal misjudgement in assuming we are looking for a uniter who will bridge the partisan divide. I don't want bridges. The constitution has been shredded; the country has turned into something unrecognizable; our politics has veered into Orwellian territory. I want a leader who gives voice to my outrage, who will fight tooth and nail to restore America's moral standing, who will repudiate without equivocation the values and policies of the current administration. We need outrage and indignation, not conciliation or appeasement. I hope Obama realizes this soon.

Posted by: fbar on October 30, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

I am generally not a big fan of Kevin's mushy-middle posturing, but I can't bring my self to criticize this one - it hits right on target. Or flies right through the center of the vapor target as it were.

This I think is why there is still lingering hope for a Gore candidacy. But at this point I don't think that will happen and we will have to settle for Senator Clinton. Dynasty, healthcare/pharma donations, and all.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on October 30, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama DOES eventually come up with some killer statement or stand, we need to consider how long it took to make it.

Hillary doesn't knock my socks off. But she's undeniably tough and firm. Invaluable traits in a strong leader. People gave Bush a lot of credit for signing Cheney -- not for his warm fuzzies. Bush himself has been firm and steady (often unfortunately), which his supporters seem to appreciate. That kind of resolve inspires confidence.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on October 30, 2007 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary C. won't do foreign policy well. Moreover, the leading contenders of both parties are in the same boat.

Our Humpty-Dumpty of a government cannot do foreign adventures (i.e. imperialism) right anymore.

Maybe the fundaloonies Republicans are right--stop feeding the government.

On the plate of the current Bush regime: Maybe Bomb Iran, maybe Turkey explodes on the PKK, the Kurds rise up in anger, the US-Kurdish proxy army attacks Iran and All the king's horses and all the king's men cannot put the Middle East back together again.

Is this a thoughtful policy and how would a Clinton regime change any of that? Oil, access to oil, Israel and AIPAC run our foreign policy.

Americanos wise up. Stop paying for a good-for-nothing-government.

Yankee stay home and instead develop alternatives to oil and coal and do the world a favor!

Posted by: Dr WU-the last of the big time thinkers on October 30, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Dodd/Edwards

Posted by: DNS on October 30, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Great summary of how many of us feel. At best, the recent Obama misstep-- truly horrible and incompetent-- reinforces questions about his readiness for the big time.

As for Hillary, she can be a great President, much better than Bill. She and Bill need to dig deep and find the mission to lead and serve in a truly historical way. The US and the World badly needs great, constructive leadership!!

Posted by: erict on October 30, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with you Kevin. I was really excited about Obama and even donated to his campaign in the spring, but I just don't think he has the fight in him to stand up to the Republican smear machine.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary will be a competant president and after the last 8 years that may be enough.

I just wonder if the media will allow her to win. MSNBC is supposed to be the "liberal" cable channel and everyday starting with Joe Scarbourough, through Chris Matthews and on to Tucker Carlson it is a drum beat of anti-Clintonism.

I love how Matthews criticizes her everyday for bringing the "drama" of her marriage back into focus, while completely ignoring Rudy the serial philanderer's past.

Posted by: Teresa on October 30, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Paying a hairdresser extra to travel to you is worse than having a known bigot emcee your campaign event? Sorry, JeffII, but our campaign faux pas calculus differs radically.

Pace Kevin, I *do* think Edwards is much more passionate this time around, as compared to the Kerry-non-overshadowing-veep-run. Being in Iowa, I have the advantage of seeing the candidates in person, but there's enough footage up on the web for people to keep up with how candidates sound on the stump as opposed to in 2004. Take a couple minutes and check out the clips before you write someone off.

Posted by: Wandering Around on October 30, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, why does your reaction to Obama's campaign style influence your thinking? Progressives should pick candidates on substance, not style. Leave that to the idiots who vote for they guy they'd like to drink beer with. Besides , if his style is effect with lots of other people, why should it matterr how it strikes you or me? We're not the only ones who vote.

Other than that your mainn objectioon seems to be that Obama is onnly slightly more courageous than the too-cautiouus Clinton. Doesn't that make him better? Isn't that a good reason to move to his camp? After all, he is ,in fact, more courageous.

Primaries aren't about getting thhe candidate of one's dreams. That happens so rarely that its hardly worth thinking about. Primaries are about the process of arguing and assessing and in the end, casting one's own little vote, in the awareness that one's own little vote is only a tiny part of the decision makinng process. Frickin' Nader supporters held out for the dream candidate.

Lastly, Obama does great at fighting Swiftboaters, much better than Hilary. She's too cautious, to inclined to "rise above it" Obama comes out swinging. Remember, he ws the guy thhat cut off Fox for promoting smears about him. Also being black works to his advantage. The corporate types who control the big media outlets are afriad to appear racist. ABC, if you recall, actually researched --yes, researched! reporters acting like reporters!--the madrassa smear and exposed the lie. Do yu think ABC will do that for Hilary?

I'm sorry for the annoyed tone of this post. But it is annoying that people act like Hilary has already been chosen and then talk themselves into supporting her.

Posted by: wonkie on October 30, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

And Hillary, never my fave of this field, has run an outstanding campaign tactically and strategically. One of the best I've seen.

Posted by: Frank C on October 30, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

One of the most disappointing things about Obama is that he's likely to leave the race for the Presidency without a trace of what he represented remaining behind.

Ordinarily, a challenger will push the status quo candidate toward bolder positions and approaches, to counter the movement of activists toward the challenger. I think that Dean, for example, did force Kerry to adopt a more confrontational approach toward Bush than he might otherwise have employed (albeit not confrontational enough still).

I can only say that I don't know of any such position or approach of Obama's that Hillary has felt obliged to mimic. So far as I can make out or remember, she's exactly what she was from the beginning -- the one real exception being, I think, that she's become quite aggressive in pushing national health care.

But there I think it's Edwards who took the lead, and forced both Obama and Hillary to copy.

I would certainly far prefer to see Hillary shaped by Edwards and his populist message, than any message being pushed by Obama -- whatever that may be.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 30, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Karen on October 30, 2007 at 1:10 PM is right. Rush calls her Mrs. Clinton, too. Granted, the Clinton name isn't the same dirty word for Kevin's audience as it is for Rush's, but to the extent you're sharing his language, you're giving him that little bit more of credibility.

Posted by: thersites on October 30, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

I don't get how anyone could come the conclusion that Hillary would 'hit the ground running' and get a lot done in the Congress. She's scared to death of offending the right. She's spent the last 7 years looking over her shoulder in fear that the right might attack one of her positions as too liberal. She would spend the next 4 doing the same. I like Hillary. I think what people call her cackle is charming. She's funny and engaging and knows her stuff and she's loose and confident - but the last 7 years she let us down on everything, most especially civil liberties.

Obama needs a record of some accomplishments. Sorry to say that with a Harvard JD he has really accomplished very little. Community organizer? What's that? Someone who organizes midnight basketball games. Organizes teen dances at the rec center and says "Fellas on the left side, girls on the right" Part time legislator. Part time law teacher. Something just does not add up. If Obama had set up a clinic or internship program or anything I might be impressed. But he just doesn't cut it. Not good enough. Same for Senate. No leadership. There is a subtle racism to Obama supporters - they only see his skin color and do not judge him as they would any other man or woman. Plus he also seems to be an introvert with a huge ego. A cursory read of one his books shows this.

There is only one candidate consistently showing the courage of his convictions and willing to take on the corruption - Edwards, but he is getting the Al Gore treatment from the media. If only Gore would endorse him. He's the only candidate willing to lay it on the line. HRC wants to take itty bitty baby steps to change. Obama - God only knows what it is he wants to change.

Posted by: Chrissy on October 30, 2007 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Paying a hairdresser extra to travel to you is worse than having a known bigot emcee your campaign event? Sorry, JeffII, but our campaign faux pas calculus differs radically. Posted by: Wandering Around

Yep - Idiots Out Wandering Around. Re-read my post, you've misread. With Democratic friends like you . . . (and an "educator" to boot).

Posted by: JeffII on October 30, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I want a leader who gives voice to my outrage, who will fight tooth and nail to restore America's moral standing, who will repudiate without equivocation the values and policies of the current administration.

I hear you, I just don't see how anyone could pull a lever for HRC on that basis. Obama's rhetoric might not be strong enough for my liking, but it's quite clear to me that he represents a more significant repudiation of Bush's policies than Hillary does. She doesn't seem to want to take a firm position on reversing any of Bush's worst decisions. I can only assume she wants the latitude while in office to conduct herself as she sees fit, though I doubt very much she could be anywhere near as nasty as Bush.

Still, I don't see how she inspires progressives at all with her campaign. There just seems to be faith that she'll govern much like Bill, and that her presidency will be a restoration of those years.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on October 30, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Wisconsin, so it won't matter who I wind up throwing my vote to. It'll already be decided by the time I hit the booth... and that sucks.

Posted by: Michael Patrick on October 30, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

thanks for the post. uggh...

I really like Obama, and can't stand the thought of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton cycle.

I just can't figure out how Obama gets traction.

Posted by: chris brandow on October 30, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Kevin, if it makes you feel any better, we are in the same boat.

Posted by: Ben Bartlett on October 30, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

My favs in order:

(1) Edwards
(2) Hillary
(3) Dodd

Obama isn't ready for prime time. He's where Edwards was in 2004 - some good instincts and charisma, but not enough courage of his convictions and fierceness. Time may cure this.

Notes: IMO Edwards is running for president. But he is raising the profile of his issues by running, and that is a good thing. Also I call Hillary Hillary because that is what she is calling her self. I figure it's her call. :-)

Posted by: EmmaAnne on October 30, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Some people are obviously turned off by all the references to Hillary's 'inevitability'.

A purely liberal reaction, I believe. The appearance of such inevitability is often what unites the GOP. Often the ONLY thing.

While it's hardly a substantial Presidential consideration, it does help win elections.

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on October 30, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, darn..I had just about made up my mind not to even vote for the first time in my life but now I guess I will have to just to cancel out Kevin's vote for Hillary.

And it's not even that I hate Hillary, I use to be a supporter. Even donated to her first senate campaign.

I am just tired of it all folks, tired of media selected and Dem establishment selected candidates. Tired of the DC incest tank. Tired of government by, of and for the "parties" and their finacial backers. Tired of being thrown a few crumbs from my own taxpayer financed table while the elite get the lions share. Tired of hearing that the public's "entitlement" programs are the problem while they vote themselves more money every year and earmark the budget to hell and back. Tired of financing their strutting their stuff as masters of the universe on the taxpayers American dime while they ignore everything that has anything to do with maintaining the ecomonic and democratic engines that made American what it originally was.

Most of all tired of the Orwellian nightmare of phoney, ponied up "wurs" and the corrupt, stupid politicans that sell them.

I have gone outside the box and am staying outside the box..if I don't have good choices then I chose nothing. I am not going to bother to stick my pinkie in the crater of the hull of the Titantic, let it sink. We can build a new one.

Posted by: Renfro on October 30, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Karen -

"Kevin, why did you refer to Senator Clinton as "Mrs. Clinton" ... I don't recall you referring to her primary opponents as "Mr. Obama" or "Mr. Edwards."

I'm sure Kevin doesn't mean to be derogatory, etc. I assume he writes that way because just writing "Clinton" is still more likely to bring to mind Bill, and not Hillary, in the mind of the reader. I know that is still the case for me.

Maybe we should start refering to her as "Clinton 44" :-)

Posted by: Robert Earle on October 30, 2007 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII. Sorry, you're right. I did misread your post. I thought you had a coherent point. I was wrong.

PS I kinda like the "Idiots Out Wandering Around" moniker -- makes me feel like I live someplace temperate enough that wandering around would be a viable option. Off to go stock up on pork tenderloins now...

Posted by: Wandering Around on October 30, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I understand Mr. Drum's mood very well. Regardless of what front running Democrat wins the nomination and election, nothing much will change.

Obama's pandering to a perceived anti-homosexual faction is no different than Sen. Brownback's position on the issue. Clinton's voting for the Iran rebuke is no different than McCain's musical call out to bomb Iran. Edwards is a holllow man whose only quality has terminal cancer and will not be there to guide him when the going becomes tough. Kucinich is unelectable despite being the most articulate about the problems and solutions needed to fix America.

The only good that will come out of the next Democratic administration will be expectations will not be realized and the electorate will hopefully rebel and raise hell. Until we really clean house, ridding ourselves of both Democrats and Republicans, nothing will change.

Posted by: Brojo on October 30, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You really should consider supporting Dodd. I feel the same way as you do about the leading candidates. Your last paragraph pretty much summed up my view of the race except that it left out Chris Dodd. I know he's not polling well, but that's because people like you won't consider him.

Why not? I'd love to know why, if any reason. I see a lot more of him in the news because he's my Senator, so I know that I have more opportunities to learn about his views, but on every major issue he seems to have a pragmatic, realistic approach grounded in the liberal principles that we all seem to want in a candidate.

Sujal

Posted by: sujal on October 30, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Off to go stock up on pork tenderloins now...
Posted by: Wandering Around

Don't forget the peppermint Schnapps, or is that too Wisconsin-Minnesota-ish? :)

Posted by: JeffII on October 30, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

You really should consider supporting Dodd. I feel the same way as you do about the leading candidates. Your last paragraph pretty much summed up my view of the race except that it left out Chris Dodd. I know he's not polling well, but that's because people like you won't consider him.

Why not? I'd love to know why, if any reason./em>
Perhaps because he is one of the most corrupt politicians in Washington in supporting illegal infiltration?

http://grades.betterimmigration.com/testgrades.php3?District=CT&VIPID=148

http://aycu27.webshots.com/image/23146/2005005247141757186_rs.jpg

Posted by: Luther on October 30, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

All this talk sounds too much like 2004, when people held their noses and accepted the inevitability of John Kerry.

I suggest you stop buying into the idea that a presidential race is about only one thing; money and strategy. I suggest you stop with the "politicians are all the same" business. I suggest you stop electing losers.

Do me a favor and read the text of the speech John Edwards delivered yesterday here in New Hampshire.

Then ask yourself two questions.

1) Is this the guy I want in the White House?

If the answer is yes, then ask

2) Can I trust him?

If you decide you want John Edwards in the White House, and you answer "No" to the second question, this may say more about you than John Edwards. I might suggest you ask yourself if you can trust anybody.

If you answer "Yes" to the second question, get off your blog and start working your tails off to fight off the big multi-nationals pushing Hillary Clinton (Kicking off Hillary for Rural America with lunch in the offices of a Monsanto lobbying firm! "Rural America, indeed!)

If you decide that you don't want John Edwards in the White House, there's no reason to answer the second question. Still, get off your blog and go to work to elect the candidate you do want in the White House.

Talk is cheap.

Posted by: John, New Hampshire on October 30, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

My two main problems with Hillary have always been the dynasty thing, and most importantly, that I thought there was no way in h_ll she could win. I'm still nervous on the second count, but a lot less than I used to be. This is partly because she has greatly improved and partly because at this stage of the game, she appears likely to mop the floor in head-to-head tests with any of the leading Republican candidates. Its always a question of not who is the best in absolute terms, but who are the best of the available choices. I'm sorry Gore decided not to run, I agree he would have been the best president (though not necessarily the best candidate, he still seems to exhibit some of the characteristics that made it so easy for the press to skewer him 2000.) But one of the only times in 35 years I have ever agreed with my father - in - law was in early 2000 when my mother-in-law was fretting about Bill Clinton's all too obvious personal failings: "Well, honey, Jesus Christ isn't going to run!" We will have to dance with one of the folks that has decided to show up at the prom, and Hillary certainly seems the best dancer at the moment.

The other issue I have is that I would like, for a change, to have a President who has worked out his (her) personal issues before being sworn into office. Of the top tier on either side, I think the only choice on that count is Hillary. She certainly has had issues up the wazoo, but she impresses me as someone who has dealt with it as a adult, and moved on, without inflicting a lot of damage from her personal issues on those around her. I know Chris Matthews and his ilk are obsessed with the idea that Bill will 'act up' again, but my guess is that 61 year old heart patient has minimal ability to follow up even he still has the instinct, and I think their is ample reason to believe he has moved beyond some of his demons too. And if anyone still continues to think their relationship is one of convenience rather than an enduring, if difficult to understand, permanent bond, I would suggest they view a tape of a recent Meet the Press, where he (Bill) set across from Tim Russert watching the tape of Hillary b__ch slapping Russert when he tried his smamy gotcha on the Clintons supposed disagreement on the issue of torture. I don't he could fake the glorious glee he showed to her response. And BTW, I think the fact that Hillary is up to a spontaeous b__ch slap of Russert is as good a reason as any to believe she can go the distance.

Posted by: dc susie on October 30, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, if you really want universal health care - and Lord knows you've blogged about it enough - you'll never ever ever get it if Senator Clinton wins. Not a snowflake's chance in hell. To paraphrase her, she learned from 1993 that you have to work within the System.

If you want to reverse the economic inequality that makes us look like a Third World country, you'll never ever ever get it if Senator Clinton wins. The lobbyists, the PACs, the financial community, hell - even Rupert Murdoch - have all invested too much not to demand a return on investment.

If you want to to end our kids getting killed in quagmires overseas, and if you want us to begin to restore our image in the eyes of the rest of the world, you'll never ever ever get it if Senator Clinton is elected. She buys into the worldview that military intervention is necessary to protect our "interests" - and given the disaster she would inherit from Frat Boy, her reflexive cautiousness would opt for marginal change from the status quo.

If you want us to really meaningfully try and dodge the political, economic, and moral crisis that climate change is preparing for us, you'll never ever ever get it if Senator Clinton is elected.

What you will get in a second Clinton Administration is more Flag Burning Amendments, school uniform bills, bellicose non-binding resolutions, mush, mush, mush. Symbolism in lieu of action.

I argued this point with Steve Soto over at Left Coaster when he declared for Hillary. His argument was very much like yours - she's the only one who can match the Right in street fighting, and because we're so inherently weak in the face of the Smear Machine we have to settle for barely winning and give up our aspirations for substantive change. Well, I say that's poppycock. If we stand for a clear alternative to business as usual, I think the people will follow. People want change right now - it's a golden opportunity. I don't want us to miss it.

Posted by: Greg in FL on October 30, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I stopped disliking Senator Clinton, beyond the normal disdain I have for anyone who runs for office and thus seeks the power to rule me, the moment she actually did run for office. She certainly is preferable to Giuliani, if it comes to that, and I really can't say I have any strong preference for any Republican. Romney has a decent resume, but gosh, what a phony he is. Thompson manages to be inoffensive for the most part, but that's about all that can be said.

As to the Democrats, Obama just strikes me a younger Democratic Thompson; I mean what has the guy ever done, besides being inoffensive? The amount of hope some invest in him is remarkable. Edwards gives me pause for the same major reason I voted in a Republican primary in 2000, which I had never done before, to cast a ballot against George W. Bush, despite the fact that I also greatly dislike McCain. Guys who make huge piles of cash from unsavory enterprises, like Bush via taxpayer subsidies and eminent domain, or Edwards by making phony claims in front of juries regarding the causes of cerebral palsy, often have extremely bad ideas of how the world should work. Bush has certainly been every bit as bad domestically as I feared, and I suspect Edwards will be similar.

Senator Clinton has made some pretty good cash by the means our political scum usually does, but certainly with nothing approaching the methods of Bush and Edwards. We could do worse than Senator Clinton, and we well might.

Posted by: Will Allen on October 30, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

dc susie,the dynasty thing is of course very unfortunate, and I can certainly can see why someone would not wish to vote for Senator Clinton as a result, but it'd be nice if someone would give a positive reason for voting for them.

Posted by: Will Allen on October 30, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Not a horrible post at all. I rather liked reading your almost stream of consciousness thoughts on the candidates. Like you, I've been wanting Obama to do something to make me want to support him and it hasn't happened and at this point I don't see it happening. My problems with Clinton are things that are out of her control but they're real -- I loathe the prospect of 24 (at least) years of having either a President Bush or a President Clinton. And I absolutely dread a return to the Clinton Rules (although at least we'll have blogs to fight back with this time). I had convinced myself that HRC wasn't really going to run -- that all the hype was a combination of the wet dreams of the right and the speculation-mongering of the press. "She's too smart to run," I told myself and my friends. I wish I had been right. That being said, I agree that she'd be a good and possibly great president who could certainly hit the ground running. Just not a candidate I ever see myself getting excited about.

Posted by: someBrad on October 30, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, she's calculating and political, but every politician is calculating and political. Her only problem is that she isn't quite as good as hiding it as some of the others.

I'm sorry for saying so, Kevin, but that's the most egregious bullshit I've ever read in anything you've ever posted.

Is Giuliani "good at hiding" his calculating and political nature? Good God, the man has completely reversed himself on gay rights, abortion, and gun control, he can't take two breaths without mentioning 9-11, and he takes "phone calls" from his wife in the middle of campaign speeches. Do you see anyone calling him "calculating" or "political" when he pulls these stunts?

John McCain looooves to call attention to the fact that he was a POW, he regularly mischaracterizes his past positions on important issues, and he has recently sucked up to the very same people who trashed him in 2000. Is he "calculating" or "political"? Hell, no. He's a "stright-talker!"

This, Kevin, is exactly what Bob Somerby was complaining about, and his point seems to elude you.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on October 30, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

My two main problems with Hillary have always been the dynasty thing . . . I'm sorry Gore decided not to run

Well, there was a bit of the dynasty thing going with Gore and his dad, too.

What bothers me about all the leading Democrats is that they are not as willing to bail on Iraq as I am. What consoles me is that they all seem to be reality-based types--left to formulate an actual policy, as opposed to campaigning, they are going to look first to get us a policy that works, and that will eventually get us out of Iraq.

Posted by: rea on October 30, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yuck, Kevin.

You sound like you have no choice but to support Hillary or Obama, which is just what the DC Village and corporate media have been putting in our nation's collective faces for the past year.

Mission accomplished, is what corporate board members in media companies are saying.

Me? I'm still holding out for Al Gore, though that appears completely beyond hope right now. And therefore I am still going to vote for either Edwards or Kucinich, who I believe the be the best of the announced candidates. My cohice in the voting booth will depend upon how many others like you have decided by the day before the primary in CA that there is no choice but Hillary or Obama.

I can't believe we have handed the Republicans the gift of Hillary or Obama in order to unify the Republicans when they are in such disarray.

Posted by: mitchell freedman on October 30, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

KEVIN DRUM- THE RAMBLING MAN.

good ramble kevin.

Posted by: mestizo on October 30, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

The main issue I have with Hillary is that she has no principles. She will do or say anything to get elected.

I know what Obama stands for (inclusiveness).

I know what Edwards stands for (helping the lower and middle classes).

I know what Richardson stands for (ending the war in Iraq and bringing the troops home).

What does Hillary stand for ????

Posted by: mfw13 on October 30, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Luther, I did not know Sen. Dodd was a friend of the Western Hemisphere's indigenous human beings. The more I learn about Dodd the more I like him. He did not vote for the bankruptcy reduction law either. If Dodd can prevent Mukasey from becoming AG, he may win my primary vote.

Posted by: Brojo on October 30, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

because it makes it seem more likely that teaming up with McClurkin was a deliberate decision, not just a staff mistake

Here's the quiet bigotry that has been pushing this whole unfortunate situation: this notion that McClurkin was invited because of his views, which apparently are critical to securing the African American vote. Couldn't be that he was invited because he's one of the most popular gospel singers in the country. Has to be his homophobic views? Why? Cause that's what gay rights groups think appeals to black folks. Thanks--it's okay to engage in bigotry so long as you are doing so in defense of bigotry. Got it.

It was a deliberate decision. He found popular gospel singers who support his campaign to perform at a gospel concert. It wasn't a forum on human sexuality or religion and sexuality. It was a gospel concert. A week later and a thousand Aravosis post later, it turned into him giving a stage for a homophobe.

I hate identity politics, for this very reason.

Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hmm... while I understand the confusion. I'm confused there too. This is really about how someone has handled a very bad situation. The ex-gays "movement" has been seriously discredited and is more organized and more prepared to do battle than any group of anti-science religious fundamentalists. To even associate himself with these guy shows a serious lack of judgment. He's been running away from his support in the gay community -- and throwing us under the bus, even -- for quite some time. I'm not a member of the looney left -- I'm young and educated and should be the backbone of his paradigm changing campaign. Yes I did support Dean in 04, but that's because I liked his mix of center left policies and positions. I eventually voted for Edwards for the same reason. I remember being really jazzed about Jerry Brown in 92 -- the first year that I could vote. And voted for him as mayor of Oakland. Again, although he's portrayed as being a leftist is really about sensible democratic policies. Of lowering government handouts. Of inspiring people from the middle. (Remember Brown was winning in 92 and attracting huge numbers to the polls, until Clinton was declared the saviour of the old guard democrats.) I want Obama to challenge the democratic party and bring his koombaya approach to really dealing with these issues like showing his support for religion by making the separation of church and state and important cause. And being able to sell that to the country, while also being able to push the loony right back to the caves where it used to keep its mimeograph machines. In the end, I have no idea who I'm going to vote for in the primaries. I like Clinton, actually. Although I don't always agree with her positions -- but she has not positioned herself as being outside tradition. Obama needs to stick with his guns or go home.

Posted by: Inaudible Nonsense on October 30, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Count me as another one who's evolving from resigned to Clinton being inevitable to actively enthused about it.

What I want is someeon who's tough, not afraid to hit back hard, able to think on their feet, disciplined enough to stay focused and on target.

The only person who fits that description is Clinton.

The only substantive objection to her that I've heard in the progressive blogophere is a distaste for her middle-of-the-road ways.

Everything else - from faux dynasty concerns (please: look up the word, ok?) to repetition of RW/GOP memes about how cold and calculating she is - is non-substantive. Has nothing to do with policy, nor with who she's likely to appoint to carry out policy. These kinds of criticisms drive me nuts because they have nothing to do with what a President is about, or why we vote for one, or what we hope and need the next President to do.

I've become suspicious, at the very least, at those who keep repeating those vaporous and irrelevant criticisms. I don't think they're meant to do the Dems, or the country, any good. In fact, I think they're concocted and spread by people who hope the Dems lose in 2008.

Posted by: CaseyL on October 30, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Obama: Throw the gays overboard.

Posted by: Vicente Fox on October 30, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Gay Rights Groups: All African Americans are homophobes. Throw them overboard.

Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

giving a stage for a homophobe.

If the high-heeled pump fits....

Posted by: Jenna's Bush on October 30, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Obama has really been picking up with me the last few months. Now I have a mother who is a hardcore dem but thinks gay people are generally icky but also supports full non-discrimination for them in the workplace and civil unions for all (marriage meaning nothing for governmental purposes only a religious ceremony, say like Baptism).

So I personally have little problem with Obama on this issue because I am convinced he supports non-discrimination, which is all anyone can do on a policy level. As for the statement itself, if McClurkin meant is in terms of celibacy, like say St. Augustine and his raging hormones that's all right but if was more like a transformation into a heterosexual that's more problematic.

Posted by: MNPundit on October 30, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is a flash in the pan. Hillary is Hillary.

"What I want is someone who's tough, not afraid to hit back hard, able to think on their feet, disciplined enough to stay focused and on target."

John Edwards fits that description better than Hillary. He hasn't quit for four years of near total discouragement, and he won't quit on us if elected.

Posted by: jMe on October 30, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Gay Rights Groups: All African Americans are homophobes. Throw them overboard.

That is an outright lie, you Republican troll.

Posted by: Juanita de Talmas on October 30, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Casey,

Hillary has permanently high negatives among at least 40-45% of the people in this nation who will always compare her unfavorably to just about anyone the Republicans nominate. That is the problem, and if Bob Somerby thinks otherwise, then I disagree for once with Bob.

The last polling showed her going no better than 48% to any Republican, including Ron Paul when most respondents did not even know who he was. That is the most significant polling analysis to me because it shows me there is a 52% default against Hillary. Therefore, we have a very close election at best--we haven't seen corporate media get fed the barrage of anti-Clinton stuff the right and Republican Party operatives will begin throwing after the primary season--and worst, another state like Ohio or Florida where the Dems lose a close one that tips the electoral college to the Republicans. Again.

Better to have Edwards in there. Even Kucinich, if he was given a chance by people in Iowa and New Hampshire, would look Harry Truman scrappy against a nut job like Guiliani or the ultimately shallow Huckabee.

And Al Gore, if you or someone you know is reading this, would you just announce already? I'm ready to send a check and work like hell for you. You are ready to lead. Now lead, dammit!

Posted by: mitchell freedman on October 30, 2007 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think your "rambling" comments perfectly capture the current democratic voter populace, who is just about as torn as you are, but leaning in the directions you are.

Posted by: WonkoKevin on October 30, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Juanita:

I'm not a troll. I'm an African-American watching how quickly everyone seems to be to paint us as not only homophobic, but that one has to APPEAL to that homophobia to get our vote. I'm not the one pushing this nonsense. I'm not saying that Obama selected McClurking BECAUSE of his views. But that's EXACTLY what's being said. Over and over again.

McClurkin's views are, just that, his views. His appeal to African Americans has everything to do with his GOSPEL SINGING and little or nothing to do with his views on homosexuality. You wouldn't realize that if you've been following this so -called controversy. Not defending McClurkin, but I'm going to call foul where I see one.

And if you think I'm full of crap, tell me how many times you read or heard the "Obama wouldn't invite a Klansmen" comment during the course of this debate? And before you answer, what appeal does a Klansmen have to an audience, if not his bigoted views, especially when the SOLE identifying characteristic is his identity as a klansmen?

And what does John Aravosis have to say on this point:

"this pattern of embracing gay-bashers and wife-beaters is starting to suggest that perhaps Obama is trying to curry favor within his own community at the expense of lots of other communities, and worse, his soul."

I'm sure I'm just overreacting.

Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Your rambling, incoherent, fact-free, logic-free swamp of thought is undoubtedly a great deal like that of the ordinary voter. That's why the race is Hillary's to lose.

Just please save this sterling discourse somewhere - perhaps varnish it onto a nice heavy piece of wood, that you can use to smack yourself in the head while reading news reports about our boys and girls in Iran and Syria in 2009.

Posted by: tatere on October 30, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

This was a test by black folks to determine if Obama was really black or not. Nothing more, nothing less. Donny McClurkin is so huge in the black community and for Obama to disavow him would have been the end of his candidacy as far as blacks are concerned.

Everyone knows that McClurkin is in fact gay, but appears to be in some type of self denial.

My 2cents

Posted by: SeeYa on October 30, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I don't expect anyone will actually read this or respond to it, but here goes:

The #1 reason--by a WIDE MARGIN--that liberals hate George Bush and consider his presidency to be a failure is the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton voted for and supported the same Iraq War that is the primary source of Bush hatred among progressives, yet she is their top candidate. What is going on here? Liberals hate Bush for the Iraq War that he started, yet they have absolutely no problem whatsoever with the fact that Hillary voted for and supported the same Iraq War. If Bush is a bad president because of the Iraq War, then why is Hillary an improvement when her vote in favor of the same war clearly indicates that she would have done the same thing if she were president?

Posted by: Moonlight on October 30, 2007 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Talk about "damning with faint praise...".

If that's the best endorsement of Hillary Clinton you can come up with, Kevin, well...I think I'll pass.

Thom Hartman who is on Air America radio, and is a brilliant man, makes an excellent point about American presidents - In America we are supposed to be picking representatives not leaders. Our form of government is a representative democracy, not a monarchy or autocracy where we pick people who will think for us. That is why Bush is such a piss poor president - he thinks he know what is best for us and the hell with the will of the people. Of course, that's how he came into office, so we shouldn't be surprised by his jaundiced view of the world.

The ideal president is the person who would best assimilate all viewpoints and make decisions that represent the greatest number of points of view. On that basis, of the Democrats, I have to go with John Edwards.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on October 30, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure I'm just overreacting.

I don’t think so. I think John Aravosis is a fucking bigot.

Posted by: antiphone on October 30, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

"I hate identity politics, for this very reason."
--Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 2:54 PM

Thanks so much for your support, straight people. You don't get it, to use that overworked phrase, and you bloody never will. Calling John Aravosis a racist is not just stupid, it's offensive.

McClurkin is not only a known gay-hater, but he used the last half-hour of his appearance at the event to LECTURE THE AUDIENCE ON GAY HATRED. And poor Obama was shocked, SHOCKED to learn that this thing could possibly happen.

The simple fact is that even well-meaning straight people never understand the visceral impact of these haters. Oh, you sympathize, some of you at least, but for you it isn't a slamming punch in the gut. "What a shame," you murmur, as you turn to the sports page, "too bad these gay folk are such a thin-skinned bunch. Damn identity politics."

Well, fuck you.

Posted by: jprichva on October 30, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

You have to be joking about needing reasons to support Obama vs. Hillary. (1) Iraq. (2) Hillary is a life long politician. Enough said.

Posted by: Jor on October 30, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Re: John Edwards..."and on a policy level I like him better than either Hillary or Obama" What other level is there? I'm sorry, but unless you've been trapped in the wild with these folks and shared intimate truths, there is no other level upon which a rational decision can be made. I can't help thinking that this is the entire (or the main) problem with electorate. We spend too much time reading tea leaves (electability) or mind-reading peoples' motives that we actually think that policy is only one of many factors that must be weighed (if weighed at all). Disturbing.

Posted by: Ian D on October 30, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks so much for your support, straight people.

Assumptions and generalizations from a hypocrite.

Posted by: antiphone on October 30, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, Augustus says it better than I do regarding Obama
...whose judgment and honesty I trust far more than the others in the field.

Either you can worry about stupid campaign snafus that mean absolutely nothing about policy or you can worry about who you can actually trust as president. This snafu doesn't really mean jack shit in terms of real policy making judgment, honesty, or his character in general.

Posted by: Jor on October 30, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Assumptions and generalizations from a hypocrite."

Oh, I get it. This has nothing to do with Obama, as far as you're concerned, you're just a tired, pathetic homophobe.

Don't bother answering.

Posted by: jprichva on October 30, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Jprichva:

Apparently you confuse me for one of the uninformed members patrolling this internets. I'm not endorsing or condoning McClurkin's views. I'm only saying that castigating all African-Americans as homophobes to discredit this man is bullshit.
If Obama is a bigot because he McClurkin perfomed at a gospel concert, then John Aravosis is a racist for trading in this type of thought. Just as you can call McClurkin on the carpet for his misguided views, I'm going to call anyone who trades in this type of logic to advance their views.
Not a homophobe, not being dismissive of gay rights (or the impact of homophobia). Just pointing out that Aravosis and others are trading in bigotry to call attention to McClurkin's bigotry.
And I'll have to politely decline your offer.

Posted by: keith on October 30, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Kevin: I'm for Edwards, but that doesn't seem to be right, somehow.

Just go for it, will you?

Posted by: calling all toasters on October 30, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

you're just a tired, pathetic homophobe.

No, you’re very confused.

Posted by: antiphone on October 30, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm an African-American watching how quickly everyone seems to be to paint us as not only homophobic"

Sigh.... Talk about not getting it. Let's just start with the fact that some of the outraged commentary is, in fact, coming from African-Americans. And that nobody has claimed that African-Americans are homophobic. We're claiming that McClurkin is homophobic, and we have the quotes to prove it.

"but that one has to APPEAL to that homophobia to get our vote."

Nobody has claimed this, either. You'd do a lot better if you'd engage the arguments actually being made instead of the arguments you're creating yourself.

"I'm not the one pushing this nonsense. I'm not saying that Obama selected McClurking BECAUSE of his views. But that's EXACTLY what's being said."

And again, no, it's not, which is why you cannot back up these assertions. What is, in fact, being said is that Obama either got blindsided by the depth of McClurkin's bigotry or that he knew about it and decided to ignore it, for whatever reason. Either of these is sufficient to call into question Obama's judgment. Either of these is sufficient to justify this controversy.

"McClurkin's views are, just that, his views."

So are David Duke's. Would you have supported Obama inviting him to this tour? McClurkin is a self-loathing bigot, whose statements are enormously offensive to gay men and women and to progressives who are inclusive. You would question Obama's judgment if he invited a racist to join this our; why should I not question his judgment when he invites McClurkin?

"His appeal to African Americans has everything to do with his GOSPEL SINGING and little or nothing to do with his views on homosexuality."

What difference does that make? He's still a homophobic bigot whose views are deeply offensive. Why should I *not* question Obama's judgment for ignoring those views, particularly in light of the fact that McClurkin got an uninterrupted half hour to expound on those bigoted views at the event?

"You wouldn't realize that if you've been following this so -called controversy. Not defending McClurkin, but I'm going to call foul where I see one."

You obviously are not looking hard enough; or, rather, you're looking, all right, but in the wrong place.

"And if you think I'm full of crap, tell me how many times you read or heard the 'Obama wouldn't invite a Klansmen' comment during the course of this debate?"

You are, in fact, full of crap. And what on earth is wrong with that "Klansmen" [sic] comment? That is precisely the point -- McClurkin's views are just as offensive, just as bigoted, just as stupid, as are those of a Klansman. Instead of dismissing the point, why don't you deal with it?

"And before you answer, what appeal does a Klansmen have to an audience, if not his bigoted views, especially when the SOLE identifying characteristic is his identity as a klansmen?"

So a gospel-singing Klansman who preaches for half an hour on racial purity would be fine with you?

"I'm sure I'm just overreacting."

Nope; just completely missing the point.

Posted by: PaulB on October 30, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm only saying that castigating all African-Americans as homophobes to discredit this man is bullshit."

Nice strawman. Since nobody has done this, I'm afraid you don't have a point.

Posted by: PaulB on October 30, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Keith--

First off, I also think you miss the point, but it wasn't you who I was calling a tired, pathetic homophobe, it was the troll 'antigone'.

The point you miss is that some things have to be entirely out of bounds, as PaulB said, and inviting people to appear with you whose views are violently offensive has to be one of them. This doesn't paint the entire African-American community as homophobic...in fact, I know from first-hand experience that it is not..but it does say that by dismissing our concerns you are drawing a double standard that you yourself would never permit. To beat that horse once more, if David Duke could draw Obama some votes, you could be sure that Obama still wouldn't invite him to join a concert, even if Duke's voice were finer than McClurkin's. It just ain't right.

And the part you don't get is that just because African-Americans have been an oppressed minority for 400 years doesn't give them or any one of them license to turn around and do the same thing to another minority group.

YOU would be outraged if Duke were onstage with Obama...and more than outraged, you would feel it like a punch in the gut. Not merely "dissed", you would feel BETRAYED. Particularly from a candidate whose whole campaign was built around the notion that he is somehow above or past or beyond such nasty visceral appeals.

What this has shown us is that he is NOT above these things, when convenient. And so we are disgusted.

Posted by: jprichva on October 30, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

"this pattern of embracing gay-bashers and wife-beaters is starting to suggest that perhaps Obama is trying to curry favor within his own community at the expense of lots of other communities, and worse, his soul”

Gosh PaulB, you seem to have missed the “his own community“ thing. This would be the community of gay-bashers and wife-beaters of which Obama is a member?

Posted by: antiphone on October 30, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Dems are going after more money for Bushs war, Obama this is the year of 2007 and you need to wake up there never has been a black man as president and it is not going to change in 2008 so seriously we are up a creek without a paddle again,get ready for some more republican bullshit for at least 5 more years, Democrats promised a change if elected to office and you idiots are just as bad as the republicans and I do think Bushs mental health is an issue, need to check if he actually does have a brain, he can barely speak the english language.

Posted by: Al on October 30, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

I feel like I could have written this exact same post (though maybe not as well, since Kevin is in better practice as a writer). I've even made the point to friends that Edwards is running for vice president, and they just look at me with a blank look of confusion.

Another problem I have with Obama's campaign is how defensive his supporters appear. Even though I support Hillary, I'm definitely aware of her flaws and I'll gladly criticize her if she's said something I don't like. I think we need to go back to a time when it felt safe to criticize our leaders. All this "respect for the president over everything" crap is dangerous.

And that's what I worry about with Obama. His supporters will justify any misstep he makes, and I feel like we've had enough of that with Bush.

Posted by: Steve Simitzis on October 30, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Gosh PaulB, you seem to have missed the 'his own community' thing. This would be the community of gay-bashers and wife-beaters of which Obama is a member?"

ROFL.... Is that really the best you can do? I'm not even going to bother replying to that bit of nonsense, particularly since John himself has already addressed it.

What's even more notable is your complete failure to actually address any of the valid points raised here and elsewhere. Why is that?

Posted by: PaulB on October 30, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Paul B:

Let's just start with the fact that some of the outraged commentary is, in fact, coming from African-Americans.

So because some African Americans are outraged, it's okay to make stereotypical statements that impugn African-Americans in general, and Senator Obama in particular? Or does it mean that I can't be outraged because another member of my tribe is not similarly outraged? I forget, are African-Americans still a monolethic group?

And that nobody has claimed that African-Americans are homophobic.

Apparently you haven't read Mr. Hutchinson's (who's African-American) post over at Huffington Post. Here's the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/obama-should-repudiate-an_b_69244.html

Here's Aravosis in full bloom (yet again):

this pattern of embracing gay-bashers and wife-beaters is starting to suggest that perhaps Obama is trying to curry favor within his own community at the expense of lots of other communities, and worse, his soul."

Now you tell me, which community is Obama curry favor with by embracing gay-bashers? And if he's doing so to curry favor, wouldn't that imply that said community considers gay-bashing an important quality?

And the point was that the bigotry is IMPLIED by the argument (or conclusion) that Obama invited McClurkin on the tour because of his views. As an example, see the language I quoted from Kevin.

Would you have supported Obama inviting him to this tour? No. Why? Because, as I understand it, David Duke isn't a gospel singer. In fact, the only thing I know about him is he's run for political office in Louisiana (and possibly national office, but I could be wrong) and he is or was a former member of the Klan. If he invited him to a colloquim on race relations? I would absolutely support him being invited. However misguided, ignorant and just racist his views are on African-Americans, his not alone in those views. And to the extent our goal is to eradicate that ignorance, I think one has to let it be aired in public and discredited for what it is: ignorance.

And what on earth is wrong with that "Klansmen" [sic] comment

First, no Klansmen is ever going to get on stage with Obama or perform at a black gospel concert. Never. But let's assume a country & western singer who happens to have what many in the African-American community consider racist, knowing Obama's strong stance on racial issues, is drawn to his campaign and wants to support him for president (sincerely), in spite of his stance on race issue. He wants to be part of a country & western concert touring in Alabama. Would I be up in arms about it? No. Why? His presence on the stage, in and of itself, does not affect (IMHO) Obama's views on race-related issue or constitute an endorsement of his views. It does, however, speak to Obama's appeality to bring more Americans together. And as I explain above, the only way to eradicate bigotry/ignorance is through exposure and education. A better example, based on the facts of this situation, would be Rick Warrens (sp) inviting Obama to speak at his church on AIDS/HIV over the opposition of many on the right because of Obama's views on abortion.

So a gospel-singing Klansman who preaches for half an hour on racial purity would be fine with you?
Apparently you miss the point of my statement. The sole appeal of David Duke, apparently, are his racist views. So, he'd only be invited to the extent those views are RELEVANT to the subject matter of the event and the audience. For this analogy to work, McClurkin would have to have been invited because his views on homosexuality were relevant to the event and the audience. Which is what my original point is all about.

If you can't understand argument by implication, then I don't know what to tell you.

Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

particularly since John himself has already addressed it

Yes. He deleted it and claimed that he didn't really mean to write that or imply that. Oh and he blocked anyone who called on him on this issue and deleted their post, as well.

Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Keith--

What you are really demonstrating here is that you will bend yourself over backwards to defend Obama and the notion that when bigotry is aimed at African-Americans it is appalling, but when it is aimed at gays it's something we should be terribly understanding about.

And all the sophistry in the world doesn't change that.

Posted by: jprichva on October 30, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

John himself has already addressed it.

You mean he deleted it, but he wrote it and he’s responsible for that.

What's even more notable is your complete failure to actually address any of the valid points raised here and elsewhere. Why is that?

If you mean McClurkin's views, I disagree with them but they are his not Obama’s. I think Obama has to deal with what McClurkin said since it was at a campaign event. It’s a valid issue. So is the way Aravosis and others are dealing with it.

Posted by: antiphone on October 30, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

jprichva:

Thanks for your response. I think I've addressed the issue regarding David Duke and how if you take it to its logical conclusion, you are in fact implying that McClurkin's fans are his fans, in large part because of his bigoted views. That may not be the intent, but that's certainly how it plays out in my eyes.

I've had this conversation with a friend of my who is extremely angered by this whole situation. She's teetering in her support of Senator Obama. And I told her, if you believe that this episode outweighs Senator Obama's verifiable commitment to LGBT issues, then you absolutely shouldn't vote for him. But you also should not vote for anyone that is actively seeking the support of African-Americans by courting African-American ministers and state lawmakers who hold the same views.

My point isn't to question the right of LGBT members to call McClurkin on the carpet. That's your right and I fully support you and others right to do so. I would just appreciate it if you stopped pushing this David Duke/racist/ant-jewish analogy--it isn't accurate and it's not advancing this issue; or that Senator Obama did this to curry favor with the African-American community (other than the pure musical aspects of the situation). At least not in my opinion.


Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

I do not think the Edwards advocates understand that before Edwards entered the campaign he went to work for a hedge fund that owned two subprime lenders. Edwards may speechify about helping the lower and middles classes, but he works for the rich who exploit them.

Obama, like Edwards, is too afraid to advocate for civil liberties for homosexuals. They have this policy because they think it will help them win elections. They allow for the compromised civil rights of other people so they can satisfy their egos and win elections.

Clinton wants to become the first female president. She does not want to become president to change America's bullying foreign policy, to end the war in Iraq or to provide a plan for universal healthcare. She wants to be president to satisfy her need for public approval. She will sell every moral principle she has and advocate bombing any popular antichrist to achieve that goal.

All candidates must have a desire to become president to satisfy their egos before they can become president. That should not be their main reason for running, though. Of the three top Democratic candidates, it is ego that drives them, not issues or policies. What is disconcerting, is that their supporters are unable to recognize their primary motives for running.

Posted by: Brojo on October 30, 2007 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

What you are really demonstrating here is that you will bend yourself over backwards to defend Obama and the notion that when bigotry is aimed at African-Americans it is appalling, but when it is aimed at gays it's something we should be terribly understanding about.

Look, I love analogies. This klansman/racist one requires, to be effective, you to conclude that the bigot is being brought in precisely because of his or her bigotted views. I didn't create the analogy, I'm just pointing out the glaring flaw. No bending, no contorting, just explaining the weakness of the analogy.

I think the difficulty here is trying to find a way to express to Senator Obama how hurtful Mr. McClurkin's views are to members of the LGBT and how his unwillingess to dismiss him for the gospel tour is communicating either tolerance for those views or a tacit endorsement. I think a lot of people picked up on the Klan issue primarily because they thought it would resonate with Senator Obama and African-Americans. It doesn't for the reasons I suggest above.

Quite frankly, I think your message rings truer without any analogies. I don't know you and others are expressing outrage, but I can feel the passion with which you are arguing. I don't have the answers, I just know this klansmen/racist analogy isn't serving your laudable cause.

Posted by: Keith on October 30, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is still a Park Ridge Republican. She's never moved that far from being a Goldwater girl, it's just that the Republican party has moved so far to the right with the nutters that she now looks lefty. So yes, fiscally conservative, hawkish on defense, libertarian on social issues and corporatist to the core. Since uncontrolled corporations are one of the biggest threats to our society IMHO, Hillary is the candidate of last resort for me. Her pragmatism is the only thing that might succeed in bringing them somewhat to heel on the surface, but she won't do anything to rock their world.

Too bad about Obama though. He was my guy, but is just seeming too inexperienced these days. Still, the election is more than a year away. Maybe he is just trying to lull HRC into a false sense of security.

Posted by: bluewave on October 30, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Presidential preferences(in order): Gore, Edwards, Clinton, Obama.
Mr. Gore isn't running and I can't see the Democratic Convention rising up and drafting him by acclamation. Secretary of State would be nice, though.
Mr. Edwards doesn't seem to be having an overwhelming impact on democratic voters. And that is what he needs of he wants to move into first place. I don't think it is solely due to "MSM" marginalization, either.
Senator Clinton's drawback is that she appears to be (is?) too political; seemingly judging almost every action by how it will/won't appeal to voters. It can be necessary, but is dispiriting at times.
Senator Obama appears (to me, at least) to be so afraid of offending anyone who might be a potential supporter that he has muted his own beliefs and actions to the point that they are nearly unidentifiable.
As Mr. Gore is out and Mr. Edwards is struggling; right now I favor Senator Clinton. But no matter which person finally gets the nomination, they will need to backed by a more Democratic and more progressive Congress.

Posted by: Doug on October 30, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

When you talk about waiting for Obama to impress you, but getting turned off, over and over ---that's my experience.
Take, for instance, his remarks about Pakistan and nukes: what pissed me off more than anything was when Samantha Powers and Obama more or less said that Hillary would use nukes if elected.
For God's sake, Hillary is not the devil!!
He ruined a good them with the stupid attack.

Posted by: MarkL on October 30, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think you unfairly dismiss Edwards -- I too have vivid memories of that VP debate, and I think Edwards is a very different man.

If Edwards were not in the race, I'd be agonizing over the size of Obama's hat and the small number of cattle he has. But he is, so I've got my guy.

Posted by: Kimmitt on October 30, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

It seems that Kevin's post has certainly excited everyone. Myself, I'm just hoping that a Democrat takes the White House forever. Gore would be at the top of my list...I just saw him speak in Cupertino, CA and he was terrific with the large audience. But it's unlikely that he will declare. Next on my list is Hilary. Of all the Dem candidates, she appears to be the one who can win the race.

And we desperately need to win this contest. John Stephens (88) is just waiting for a Democratic President so he can retire. We certainly don't need another Clarence Thomas or Samuel Alito or Antonin Scalia.

So vote your conscience, but vote to win the office if you want to retain what few liberties we have remaining.

Posted by: Jackie on October 30, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Keith,

We are in agreement about this: I don't for one second believe that Obama selected McClurkin FOR his hateful views. I hope I've never left that impression. What I do think is that, once he was made to understand that this was a choice that dismayed us sufficiently to withdraw our support from him because of it, he just didn't think it was all that important.

I think Barack Obama is a decent man. I also think that, like most straight people, he genuinely does not understand on a VISCERAL level regarding gays what he DOES understand on that same visceral level when it comes to African-Americans.

Does that make him better or worse than Hillary? That's not for me to say, but Obama's problem is that his rationale for running for president explicitly rejected precisely this sort of nasty calculus. Hillary never did. And to be honest, Hillary's hubby wasn't particularly good for the gay community either (DOMA? DADT?) and I doubt she'll be much better. But she didn't raise any hopes...audacious or otherwise.

Posted by: jprichva on October 30, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

I actually don't see a huge difference between the policy positions of the Top Dems. Edwards, Clinton and Obama have all said they will withdraw troops from Iraq, but none have promised a complete withdrawal by 2013. Their health care and energy plans are similar. All want to roll back Bush's tax cuts. Quibbling over things like the exact income cutoff point ($200,000? $250,000?) is not evidence of some huge ideological difference.

So the real question is who is best equipped to operationalize these good intentions? Like Kevin, I am leaning toward Hillary at this point. Of the three, she is by far the most experienced in dealing with Congress and from her own mistakes as First Lady she has seen what works and what doesn't. Both she and Obama have developed solid personal relationships across the aisle. She is intelligent and a tough veteran of the political wars. It takes a tough person to not only survive a Presidential campaign but guide the Congress and the Nation. Obama may have that quality as well but right now I am very uncertain. He doesn't have enough of a track record in national politics for us to look at and his campaign thus far has not reassured me.

I am still waiting to see if Obama will do something to change my mind. But if the primary was today, I would vote for Clinton.

Edwards, for a variety of reasons I won't get into here, just isn't working for me.

Posted by: Ogre Mage on October 30, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

trading in bigotry to call attention to McClurkin's bigotry.

That don't make no sense.

Posted by: Uncle Ben on October 30, 2007 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Barack Obama's touring buddy, gospel singer and minister Rev. Donnie McClurkin, has garnered a lot of angry responses from gay rights groups. Obama has tried to assure gays of his positions on the issues. He launched Obama Pride, a section of his web site dedicated to gay rights. So why hasn't he dumped McClurkin?

McClurkin views homosexuality as a spiritual issue that one can choose to be delivered from by the power and grace of God. He even wrote a book titled 'Eternal Victim, Eternal Victor,' in which he said "The abormal use of my sexuality continued until I came to realize that I was broken and that homosexuality was not God's intention ... for my masculinity."

"We strongly urge Obama to part ways with this divisive preacher who is clearly singing a different tune than the stated message of the campaign," Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said in a statement yesterday.

Obama released a statement about his choice to team up with Rev. McClurkin on the campaign web site late yesterday.

"I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts of our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country.

"I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin's views and will continue to fight for these rights as president of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division."

So, if Obama strongly disagrees with Rev. McClurkin's views, why hasn't he removed him from the tour? And why is the statement regarding Rev. McClurkin only posed to the GLBT section of the web site? Shouldn't the explanation be readily available for all to see, front and center?

Posted by: Rebecca Armendariz on October 30, 2007 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin
Not sucky at all. Ruminative.

I'm where you are. I don't like Hillary best on the issues, especially Iraq & Iran. However Obama is only a notch (you got the right word) better, and he has not shown that he has the stuff to take on the Republican machine.

Posted by: tomtom on October 30, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

I hope the Dems nominate HRC. I have contributed to her campaign, financially. If HRC is NOT the nominee, I would vote Repub, pref Chenney.

Posted by: PA on October 30, 2007 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how the Republicans say they might vote for Hillary and yet, if they disapprove of her, call her a Liberal or worse.

Funny how people say we have to accept that all of our candidates have some problems, but then they dismiss candidates for trivial things.

Funny how Hillary supporters dismiss all the attacks on her and don't see ANY problems with her -- seems a little blind to me.

As an Edwards supporter I do see he didn't react well in the debate with Cheney in 2004. I think it's always a shock when you're faced with someone who will lie so blatantly to the world; especially when you're used to the highly-regulated world of the courtroom. I suspect Edwards learned a lot from that and won't repeat that mistake. He's been pretty good in the group "debates". I'd love to see him in a one-on-one.

I also realize people wonder about him "taking money from Murdoch". Well, he just wrote a book and got paid for it and then gave all the money to charity. Not much to get excited about.

I also realize people think a guy with that much money and a big house can't care about poor people, so all his rhetoric must be baloney. Well, he grew up dirt poor and a person don't just forget that. He worked his way up the ladder and, unlike Bush, should be recognized as successful in everything he's done -- that's definitely a plus for a person in charge of the government.

Some people say he worked for a hedge fund that had sub-prime loans. First, he did nothing illegal or immoral. Second, once he realized how they were treating people he left the firm. He stands with the working poor of America and isn't in the pocket of big Money.

The many criticisms of him have been proven to be trivial, untrue or just a twisting of the facts. In fact, he's been highly successful all his life and is now running a campaign of ideas and policies designed around 'putting people first'. Compare that to the other campaigns and individuals.

Obama is erratic and not very experienced and has been parroting Edwards so as to split the Progressive vote. He says he wants to 'change' government and bring Dems and Repubs together. Well, we don't quite know what he wants to change and we KNOW he can't bring Repubs together with Dems because the Repubs know they can't get elected if the public can't differentiate them from Dems, so the will never allow themselves to work with Dems. In fact, their current strategy has been to deny Dems any successes because it makes Dems look good for elections. They will deny children health care for political purposes, so how does Obama think he can change the effort of every Repub in America for the past 30 years? It's silliness.

Hillary...what to say. The woman is virtually a Democratic Richard Nixon. She's a Goldwater Girl, she's liberal, she's conservative, she's equivocating, she's a cipher, she's nothing, she's everything. If you can't tell what she is, then she's probably nothing you really want and certainly nothing you could count on. Tell me, will she remove the troops from Iraq? You could say, yes, no and partially and maybe and be right. Nobody knows. Will she do health care reform? Yes, no, maybe. Nobody knows. She has no strong agenda because she doesn't want to be committed to anything in particular. How can you vote for someone simply because they're tough and campaign well? Don't you care what they do when they're in office?

Sure, they're all politicians who feel free to use their words any way they see fit. But, Edwards has a consistent message, he campaigns well, he's tough from his life experiences and people don't viscerally hate him the way they do Hillary. At least people will listen to him without tuning him out first thing.

Edwards for President -- Leadership, not equivocation!

Posted by: MarkH on October 31, 2007 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

given the control that the Village and the MSM has over who gets spotlighted and whose message gets out (and whose polls are highlighted) it's pretty ridiculous to draw the line at the two "front-runners". i don't pretend to know what will happen, but what if John Edwards or Chris Dodd start doing well, even winning one or two of the earliest primaries?
Either Edwards or Dodd are clearly better people for the office than Hillary or Obama. Both are willing to say what they think. Both are willing to go against the status quo. John Edwards would leave Giuliani in the dust. Chris Dodd would eat him alive.

Posted by: fahrender on October 31, 2007 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Look, I love analogies. This klansman/racist one requires, to be effective, you to conclude that the bigot is being brought in precisely because of his or her bigotted views."

Not at all. McClurkin was not brought in because of his bigotry; he was brought in because he's popular. That he is a homophobic, self-loathing bigot and that Obama has defended him and allowed him to be the front man for this tour is the real issue. There is no flaw in the analogy -- the flaw is in your interpretation.

Think of it this way: Obama could have brought in Ted Nugent for a similar tour in the Western states. Would you excuse that because Nugent is still marginally popular and could bring in some folks who might not otherwise show up for such an event? Would you expect progressives to stand meekly by while Nugent is given such a platform? Would you expect Obama to defend Nugent and his views?

The issue is Obama's judgment -- first, in selecting McClurkin, second, in keeping him and defending him.

Posted by: PaulB on October 31, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"If you mean McClurkin's views, I disagree with them but they are his not Obama’s."

Nope. Obama's judgment. You'll go a lot further in this debate if you would actually take the time to read the arguments that are presented instead of simply making up strawman arguments and ignoring the real issues.

Posted by: PaulB on October 31, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

"So because some African Americans are outraged, it's okay to make stereotypical statements that impugn African-Americans in general, and Senator Obama in particular?"

ROFL.... Dear heart, since nobody is doing that, forgive me if I don't take this argument seriously. We'll have a lot more productive discussion if you actually read what people are saying rather than what you imagine they are saying.

"Apparently you haven't read Mr. Hutchinson's (who's African-American) post over at Huffington Post. Here's the link:"

I did. It doesn't say what you claim it does. Again, if you'd bother to actually read what people are writing, you'll do better in these discussions.

"Here's Aravosis in full bloom (yet again):"

LOL.... As I noted above, Aravosis has already dealt with this.

"Now you tell me, which community is Obama curry favor with by embracing gay-bashers?"

Southern evangelicals, idiot.

"And the point was that the bigotry is IMPLIED by the argument (or conclusion) that Obama invited McClurkin on the tour because of his views."

Again, nobody is really making this argument. As I said above: McClurkin was not brought in because of his bigotry; he was brought in because he's popular. That he is a homophobic, self-loathing bigot and that Obama has defended him and allowed him to be the front man for this tour is the real issue.

"Because, as I understand it, David Duke isn't a gospel singer.."

ROFL.... Nice way to completely miss the point. Duke is a bigot and a racist. If he were a popular gospel singer with those views, would you support his being on this tour?

"And what on earth is wrong with that "Klansmen" [sic] comment"

Plural vs. singular.

"First, no Klansmen is ever going to get on stage with Obama or perform at a black gospel concert. Never."

Well, that's kind of the point, idiot. Obama would never, ever have that. And yet, he invited someone just as offensive to another community to perform at his gospel concert.

"And as I explain above, the only way to eradicate bigotry/ignorance is through exposure and education."

So tell me in what way McClurkin's inclusion led to any sort of "eradication ... though exposure and education?"

"Apparently you miss the point of my statement."

Not at all, but you sure are missing the point of mine.

"If you can't understand argument by implication, then I don't know what to tell you."

ROFL.... Oh, the irony....

Posted by: PaulB on October 31, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Despite Obama's flaws, he is the best candidate. Hillary's true colors came through last night. She looked like a buffoon with her non-answer answers. The audience actually laughed at one of them. No matter how much I might try, I cannot like Hillary. I know it's a cliche, but she truly is too obviously calculating and way too cautious. If a die-hard liberal like me can't like Hillary, imagine your average voter. I cannot stand to think of enduring another Democratic loss.

Obama 08!

Posted by: John on October 31, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

What was so bad about Edwards' performance against Cheney in 2004? I thought he was impressive in that debate--particularly when Cheney listed how many times Edwards had been absent from the Senate and Edwards came back with a devastating critique of Cheney's voting record as a Wyoming congressman.

Posted by: Lee on October 31, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

It is refreshing, in fact delightful, to see a liberal blogger take Hillary Clinton in stride. Thanks, Kevin. She is not a monster; she's a mainstream Democrat. She may very well be a good president, and she is pulling ahead of the other Democrats for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. She is committed, disciplined, hardworking and personally appealing. Sorry, but the rest of you will have to get over it.

Even though I am gradually becoming a Hillary supporter, for the same reason as Kevin - the others just are not panning out - I believe that progressive people and institutions need to confront Hillary Clinton's policy and political weaknesses. The reason I have so little patience with the sexist Hillary haters is that we have work to do to keep her focus on a progressive agenda that is quite compatible with her core beliefs. We don't have time for hyperventilating over her FAILURE TO OPPOSE THE WAR IN 2003 or picking apart her latest statements to highlight the hedge factor. She is what she is. Again, get over it.

Asking myself what would be the best tactic to give spine to wishy-washy Democrats like Hillary always leads to Impeach Bush and Chainey, but that, like Draft Gore, seems less and less likely to happen. But standing up for progressive positions, even drivers' licenses for immigrants and medical marijuana, and building a mile-high firewall against attacking Iran might do the trick. Add net neutrality, carbon tax, health care, and ONE YEAR to get out of Iraq, and we could have a plan. It would beat unending (and tiresome) Hillary bashing. Keeping our focus on strong issue positions would get us out of the muck and perhaps build the kind of change in politics that Obama talks about but has not delivered.

Posted by: Brownell on October 31, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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