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Tilting at Windmills

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February 1, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

POLITICAL SCIENCE TEA LEAVES....Who's really the most liberal senator? Over at OTB, Chris Lawrence has more on this subject, including yet another measure that goes by the shorthand nickname CJR:

The results suggest that Obama has the 9th most liberal voting record in the Senate, with rival Hillary Clinton in 11th place and very little daylight between them.

....On the Republican side, John McCain appears in the middle of the GOP pack, as the 20th most-conservative senator, with no credible chance of being the "most conservative" (a rating that South Carolina's Jim DeMint runs away with). McCain is, however, more conservative than GOP stalwarts like Orrin Hatch, Thad Cochran, Sam Brownback, and Lamar Alexander.

So there you have it. If you average this with the Lewis/Poole OC results, it seems likely that Obama is about the 10th most liberal senator and Clinton is probably around 15th or so. McCain is Clinton's mirror image, with an average ranking that places him around the 15th most conservative senator.

Kevin Drum 2:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Comments

Garbage in, garbage out.

Posted by: Chris Brown on February 1, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

don't tell Ann Coulter. He commitment to campaign for Hillary is about the best Probama endorsement running.

Posted by: Trypticon on February 1, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

It's a good point, Kevin, but before I go to lunch, I have to say: it doesn't matter. The right wing uses this as their most standard line, and I heavily doubt that our pointing out this study will change their effectiveness of it. The only real option would be to highlight Obama's positions that appeal to the conservative side, and that would bludgeon the charge that he is the "most liberal".

Posted by: Boorring on February 1, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

ahem-- "Her commitment..."

Posted by: Trypticon on February 1, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares?

McCain will not be routed for being more or less a conservative, but instead for being more like Bush and not being able to credibly show how he ever or actually stoop up/against the guy and his stupid policies that drove America into the ground.

Posted by: Jimm on February 1, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jimm is right. McCain has been campaigning saying he has backed Bush 100% since the beginning. Those comments are going to come back to haunt him very soon.

Posted by: DR on February 1, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting news. I voted yesterday in MoveOn's online poll for Dem nominee. Just received word that 70% of MoveOn members voted for Obama. So MoveOn will be endorsing Obama in the primaries.

Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

The measurements for determining political ideology are based on bills that have gone through committees and go to the floor for a vote. Since almost none of the bills that make it to the floor for a vote are liberal, there is little evidence of any members of the Senate being liberals.

Posted by: Brojo on February 1, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Nepeta,
Happy Friday Cat Blogging.

I am not certain if it is going to be good for Obama to have MoveOn.org endorse him. Them's a bit too lefty for moderate dems, repubs and indies. Course this is JMHO.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 1, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

MoveOn endoresement could be a negative for Obama because of:

a. It will reinforce his image as the most liberal senator.

b. MoveOn's mocking of Gen. Petraeus has marginalized them and will give the GOP an excuse
to tie Obama to the "general BetrayUs" ad.

Posted by: mikeel on February 1, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think a MoveOn endorsement is a bad thing for anybody, at this point.

Posted by: Swan on February 1, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Labels aside (and just what the heck is a liberal or conservative these days?), the "counting votes" approach hints that Obama, Clinton and McCain all qualify as far from the fringes--that is, what most voters would "call in the sane range." Where this leaves bros. Huckabee and Romney, I don't know.

Posted by: dware on February 1, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Optical Weenie,

I would have voted for Inkblot if he'd been on the MoveOn ballot. Why wasn't he?

Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

MoveOn too lefty? Nah...

Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

This was the same group that did the same thing to Kerry in '04. It's just another way to marginalize the probable nominee.
Then, one spent time having to educate rightist trolls that, unfortunately, he wasn't. This year, why bother?

Posted by: Mike on February 1, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Nepeta,
Inkblot wasn't on the MoveOn ballot because Kevin won't get off his rump and go canvas to get the signatures that Inky needs to be considered a viable catidate.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 1, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

The L.A. Times endorsed Barack Obama!

Posted by: Boorring on February 1, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

....Anf then George made signing statements on the bills undermining both parties.

We really need to do away with these things.

Posted by: Ya Know... on February 1, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Can we banish this "daylight between them" cliche? Where does it come from anyway?

Posted by: matt on February 1, 2008 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting news. I voted yesterday in MoveOn's online poll for Dem nominee. Just received word that 70% of MoveOn members voted for Obama. So MoveOn will be endorsing Obama in the primaries.
Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 3:52 PM

One major question about this though, I keep hearing about how the membership voted and he got over 2/3rds of the vote, what I have not seen though is the percentage of the membership that cast any vote at all in this. If it isn't at least a third to a half minimum of the membership doesn't that raise real questions of how reflective of the membership this vote truly was? Not to mention how many of those that voted for each candidate were already committed to working for the respective campaigns and therefore how much help beyond any PR value is this endorsement? So I do not know what weight to give this endorsement because of these points, maybe none, maybe a lot. If you have run across the participating numbers of those at MoveOn for this vote that would be appreciated, thanks.

Posted by: Scotian on February 1, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting. But can there really be adequately rigorous definitions of those categories, liberal, conservative etc?

Posted by: Neil B. on February 1, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Can we banish this "daylight between them" cliche? Where does it come from anyway?"

From echo chamber pundits who struggle for original thought.

Posted by: Chris Brown on February 1, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

I just checked. MoveOn claims to have 3.2 million members. The vote total was 280,528, so only approximately 1/6 of the membership voted.
I think the biggest explanation of the vote is that members get almost daily e-mails from MoveOn. Often I neglect to read them as I'm sure others also do. It could also be that Obama supporters are more motivated to place a vote.
I'm not sure about that, but it's a possibility. But the important thing is that this vote determined who MoveOn would endorse and will at least lead to MoveOn's organizing grass roots efforts for Obama. Here's what MoveOn had to say with the vote results:

"What does MoveOn's endorsement mean? People-power. Together, we are 3.2 million Americans who care about our country and want change. Half of us live in states with primaries or caucuses this coming "Super Tuesday."

We know how to roll up our sleeves and win elections, and if we all pitch in together between now and Tuesday, we can help Sen. Obama win the biggest primary day in American history. Think about it: volunteering during the next four days could mean four years of a progressive president. Can you sign up right now to volunteer for Obama's campaign?

There are lots of ways to help. You can call voters from home, go door-to-door with others in your community, travel to "Super Tuesday" states, donate, put up a yard sign, volunteer in a campaign office, or join a local meetup. Senator Obama is running a grassroots campaign, and there's a role for everyone.


Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Re the previous post about National Journal rating Obama the most liberal Senator, John Kerry in 2004: Does anyone know what agenda they might have, any literal scoop about personnel etc. and not just suspicions?

Posted by: Neil B. on February 1, 2008 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

I just checked ADA's (Americans for Democratic Action) Senate voting scores. ADA chooses the 20 Senate bills they feel are most important for an assessment of liberal voting records. The last available record is for 2006. Both Clinton and Obama scored 95%, both losing 5% points on the same bill, voting aye on a free trade agreement with Oman, which was mostly concerned with agricultural trade. The Dem senators with a 100% ADA liberal voting record in 2006 were: Biden, Durbin, Harkin, Mikulski, Kennedy, Levin, Lautenberg, Bingaman, Schumer, Wyden, Reed and Feingold.

Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Neil,

I don't have a clue what agenda 'National Journal' might have. I do know that it publishes good pieces on areas of interest to liberals.

Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

I am pretty sure McCain yelled at me to get off his lawn. With an uncontrolled handgun. And armband.

Hillary, on the other hand, is an unabashed Goldwater Liberal.

Posted by: Sparko on February 1, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Scotian,

I just checked. MoveOn claims to have 3.2 million members. The vote total was 280,528, so only approximately 1/6 of the membership voted." Posted by: nepeta on February 1, 2008 at 7:54 PM

nepata:

I don't mean to sound rude but your math is way off if you think those two numbers translate into 1/6th of the membership voting. 1/10th of 3.2million is 320,000, therefore your 280528 equals roughly 8.75% or nearly 1/12th, not 1/6th which would be roughly 16.67%. I'm surprised you missed that, it is fairly basic arithmetic and leaped right out at me when I was reading your response, which I do thank you very much for and for providing the voting numbers. However, this does give me a better idea of how to factor in the MoveOn endorsement than I had to date, and it tells me that this endorsement has less meaning then I thought it might. After all if the most excitement was under 10% of the membership of such a group then it is unlikely it will tip the balance in terms of infrastructure (especially if the other 91% are not happy with their group endorsing any candidate at all preferring to wait until the primary had decided it). I add that because I have seen more than a few comments around stating their fury at MoveOn endorsing anyone (not just not their candidate, although there clearly was a fair amount of that in there too) and do not think at this late date it is going to provide much on the ground improvement, at least not enough to really change the dynamics already in play. Of course I could well be wrong about that, but that is true of most things any of us say when we are trying to read the tea leaves, especially political tea leaves.

Posted by: Scotian on February 1, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Feeling down and dirty, feeling kinda mean...

Posted by: elmo on February 1, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Coulter? All I see is neck. I know you're out there, bitch. Please, come out and play...

Posted by: elmo on February 1, 2008 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Lets say for the sake of discussion that MoveOns 70/30 vote is representative of their members. (This should be close to true so long as those who voted weren't somehow self selected towards Hillary or Obama). That still leaves roughly 1 million Hillary supporters. How are they going to feel if their organization starts actively campaigning against their choosen candidate? It seems to me becoming too active in the primary could cost them membership.

Posted by: bigTom on February 2, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

Sorry about the math. I was rounding and trying to get a quick and dirty approximation. It was quick and dirty, alright, but not anywhere near correct, as you pointed out. I basically agree with you. There will probably be quite a few disgruntled MoveOn members. I think it's best for an organization like MoveOn to wait for the primary result and then organize to support the Dem nominee. I've done telephone calling for a candidate through MoveOn before (what a horribly unrewarding task that is!) and attended a few of their meetups (a nice way to meet fellow liberals in the community). I hope this decision to support a candidate in the primary doesn't backfire on them because they ARE effective in organizing Dems for funding candidates and campaign work. But like you, I don't see they can do anything before Tuesday. If they get 100,000 of those 280,000 to actively campaign for Obama in later primaries, it might be helpful to Obama.

Posted by: nepeta on February 2, 2008 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

I'd caution that you consider where you're going with this because the standard expression containing the word "effigy" is not one that would comfortably find a home on this site.
----------
http://www.vcao.ney

Posted by: tylerhill on February 2, 2008 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

I'd caution that you consider where you're going with this because the standard expression containing the word "effigy" is not one that would comfortably find a home on this site.
--------
http://www.vcao.net

Posted by: tylerhill on February 2, 2008 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

I'd caution that you consider where you're going with this because the standard expression containing the word "effigy" is not one that would comfortably find a home on this site.

"effigy"? That's got to be some fucking D n'D reference, right?

Posted by: elmo on February 2, 2008 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

nepata:

I hope you are correct too regarding not negatively affecting MoveOn's ability, but I have a feeling it might seeing as they endorsed someone that has as one of his missed votes the condemnation of MoveOn over the General Betrayus ad against the remaining candidate who voted against it, and I can't help but think there are going to be a lot of those out in the membership who find that hard to swallow. Especially when you consider that 70% of 280,528 is roughly 196,418 (+or-2) and in a group as large as this one to see such a small number making such a choice for the entirety could well have that negative impact you are talking about. If they were going to do this they really should have set a strong minimum percentage threshold if they wanted to involve themselves in picking the primary winner instead of just supporting the party's choice as the voters decided. Something on the order of at least a third but perhaps half would have been better, after all as I understand the logic of MoveOn it is supposed to be a grassroots driven organization and setting themselves up like this to be dictated to by a very small percentage of the membership (in this case I am referring to the 8.75% that voted and not the 6.125% that decided it) seems like a very strategically and core mission purposes poor decision.

The irony is if they had done it that way, met the threshold and then endorsed they could have made their bones as a groups that can really deliver punch with their endorsement, but if as we both appear to agree on the result does not appear to do much at all on the ground and ends up being worth no more than the usual PR value then they hurt their power and credibility, possibly very seriously for some time if not permanently. This though looks to me like a really idiotic thing for them to have done, and it doesn't add to their credibility as an astute political movement/operation either in my books. If you claim to be representing a movement with a broad base and not individuals first then you need to act like it, and I think MoveOn may really have damaged that aspect of itself with this endorsement. It will be interesting to see what the fallout from this is assuming there is one (at least significant enough to be obvious, not the same thing of course) from the Obama endorsement.

Oh yes, thanks for not taking offence at my correction of your math, it was something that just really caught me off guard, but I also remember that I am one of those people that still does basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) automatically in their head and these days that seems to shock a lot of people including in my own peer range (40s). You wouldn't believe the amount of times I have weirded out salesclerks by working out sales tax faster than they can punch it in on the register or tell them change due, etc. As much as the rise of illiteracy worries me in NA the rise in innumeracy does even more so, and it has increased by no small amount in my lifetime. If you do not appreciate (as in value as well as have) basic math skills it is going to make respecting science in general properly (as opposed to a God in the white coat approach) that much harder in my opinion, since the foundation of all science is its language, mathematics.

Posted by: Scotian on February 2, 2008 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

"If you claim to be representing a movement with a broad base and not individuals first then you need to act like it,..." Scotian 2:42am

I just realized how easy this would be to misunderstand, the individuals I am talking about is not the membership of MoveOn it is politicians. I hope that prevents misunderstanding what I meant and making it look like I was trying a contradictory argument, it is late on the Atlantic coast and I missed it when I proofread for typos and meaning. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Scotian on February 2, 2008 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

"If liberals hated America, they would vote Republican."
-- George Carlin

Posted by: Quotation Man on February 2, 2008 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

If Obama is the nominee we are all going to watch McCain get inaugurated next January. . .

Posted by: Swan on February 2, 2008 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

No amount of Representatives, Senators, or Hollywood people endorsing him, or liberals living in really diverse, liberal urban areas being cool with electing a black guy is going to change that.

Posted by: Swan on February 2, 2008 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian, you are a very interesting person. I enjoy your thoughtful, fair-minded comments. Thanks.

Posted by: Sharon on February 2, 2008 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

In a way, it's not going to matter much if Obama enters the general election that some publication said that Obama was only the tenth most liberal Senator. What will matter is that another prominent publication said that he was the most liberal Senator in the country. Because that, you see, is the accusation that will be leveled against him by the Republicans. It's not really going to be a good response to say in a debate, "Well, I've got another publication that says I'm only the tenth most liberal."

John Kerry had the same problem, and it did not exactly work out well for him.

What I'd like to know is how Obama is going to answer the question. However Obama might be portraying himself as someone "post-partisan" who reaches out across the aisle is just not going to matter. The Republicans will for a certainty try to depict him as at the very extreme end of the liberal spectrum, and way out of the mainstream.

Unfortunately for Obama, that's exactly when his early opposition to the AUMF vote can be made to hurt him. While Hillary and Edwards could not attack Obama effectively on that vote, given that the vote was so unpopular among Democrats, it remains to be seen how the larger public sees that vote, when they are reacquainted with its full context.

What if McCain says to Obama, "You say you would have voted against the AUMF. But at the time of the vote, nearly everybody thought Iraq had WMDs -- in fact you admit that you did too. The point of the vote was to force Saddam to admit inspectors so that we could find and get rid of those WMDs, which, again, even you thought existed. Why would you vote against forcing Saddam to admit inspectors, given what you yourself believed? How is this not weakness?"

In fact, this line of attack by McCain is pretty inevitable, I think, given that Obama will be putting the albatross of the Iraq war itself around McCain's neck. McCain will have to push back by showing just how very much Obama's position on the AUMF might suggest weakness on national security, when placed in the true context. Again, this was not an argument that could work well for Hillary or Edwards, but could be very powerful in a general election.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 2, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

"The Republicans will for a certainty try to depict him as at the very extreme end of the liberal spectrum, and way out of the mainstream."

Oh, for pete's sake. They will do that to any Democratic nominee, just as they've done every single time in the past. As for the supposed attack by McCain, all Obama has to do is point out which one of them was right, not to mention the fact that the ill-advised Iraqi war has made us less safe, less secure. Since a sizable majority of voters agree with Obama, McCain's attack will fail.

Posted by: PaulB on February 2, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

"If Obama is the nominee we are all going to watch McCain get inaugurated next January. . ."

Gee, that's just what supporters of Obama say about Clinton. And what supporters of Edwards said about both Obama and Clinton. And what supporters of Clinton said about Obama and Edwards.

In all of these cases, it's a silly and unsupportable statement.

Posted by: PaulB on February 2, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Taking another tack: if I'm Obama and McCain tries that bit of silliness, it's trivially easy to respond with any or all of the following:

1. Discuss the "stovepiped" evidence fed to Congress and to the American public by the Bush administration, once again tying McCain to a horribly unpopular administration.

2. Point out that those who opposed the Iraq war were, in fact, completely right, demonstrating that McCain's judgment simply cannot be trusted.

3. Point out that the Iraq war has been an enormous distraction, taking away the focus from our true enemy, pointing out that McCain has lost sight of the real goal.

4. Point out that the Iraq war prevented us from finishing the job in Afghanistan, which is now in real trouble.

5. Point out that the Iraq war has made us demonstrably less safe and less secure.

and, the best attack of all:

6. Ask the voters who they want: a candidate who opposed the Iraq war or a candidate who wants to keep us in Iraq for another hundred years.

Obama wins on all of these since a sizable majority of the voters agree with each of these things.

Posted by: PaulB on February 2, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

As for this one; "The Republicans will for a certainty try to depict him as at the very extreme end of the liberal spectrum, and way out of the mainstream. - That's easy.

"If being liberal means that I support health care for all Americans, then I'm guilty of being liberal."

"If being liberal means that I believe that no American child should go to bed hungry, then I'm guilty of being liberal."

...and so on.

Instead of running from the question, instead of trying to answer it directly, you reframe it. It's a trivially easy thing to do and it's likely to be a winner, since other candidates have used this tactic quite successfully in the past.

For the record, I've seen no evidence that Kerry "had the same problem," nor that it hurt him in any way in the election. Kerry's problems were entirely different.

Posted by: PaulB on February 2, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

They will do that to any Democratic nominee, just as they've done every single time in the past. As for the supposed attack by McCain, all Obama has to do is point out which one of them was right, not to mention the fact that the ill-advised Iraqi war has made us less safe, less secure. Since a sizable majority of voters agree with Obama, McCain's attack will fail.


Of course they will attempt to portray any Democratic nominee as a liberal outside the mainstream. The question is, how will Obama respond to it? It doesn't help that Republicans have a prominent national publication they can point to that claims that Obama is the most liberal Senator in the US. As I said, this was exactly the circumstance Kerry found himself in. How does Obama improve on Kerry's response?

Of course Obama is going to pretend, as you do, that the AUMF vote is simply a case of "voting for the war". But that depiction is nothing but simple minded in fact, and I don't see why McCain in particular would allow him that cheap escape from the real meaning of the vote.

Of course McCain will be forced to defend his own ongoing support for the war. But in many ways this frees him to go on the attack against the real significance of Obama's own opposition to the AUMF, and in fact pretty much requires it. Among Democrats in the Democratic primary, it would generally be counterproductive or useless to emphasize the real meaning of the AUMF, and argue that it was the right call at the time, given what people though they knew. Many, perhaps most, Democrats believe that even if we knew there were WMDs in Iraq, we shouldn't have threatened war to get Saddam to admit inspectors. But there's no reason to believe that the greatest portion of larger public believes that. They certainly tend to be far more eager to use military force under such circumstances than does the average Democrat. That's what McCain can easily tap into.

This will enable McCain to attack Obama's opposition to the vote on the grounds that it suggests he is very weak on matters of national security. McCain will be quite happy to ask Obama whether he indeed thought there were WMDs, and if so why he thought Saddam should nonetheless not be forced to admit inspectors.

And it will certainly put Obama in a far more liberal light than he might ever be happy with.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 2, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know these organizations you mention, but I can tell you that we Illinois progressives who helped put Barack Obama in the Senate are extremely upset at his march to the right once he got there. He'll win big here, nevertheless, next Tuesday, but I will vote for Hillary Clinton.

Of the two, she has the more progressive platform.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com
Chicago, IL

Posted by: Carolyn Kay on February 2, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course they will attempt to portray any Democratic nominee as a liberal outside the mainstream. The question is, how will Obama respond to it?"

By using any one of the suggestions above. Or, better still, by laughing at it.

"It doesn't help that Republicans have a prominent national publication they can point to that claims that Obama is the most liberal Senator in the US."

Again, that's the way it's been forever. Nothing has changed in this election.

"As I said, this was exactly the circumstance Kerry found himself in. How does Obama improve on Kerry's response?"

You have yet to demonstrate that Kerry's "situation" and his "response" had anything at all to do with his loss in 2004.

"Of course Obama is going to pretend, as you do, that the AUMF vote is simply a case of 'voting for the war'."

"Pretend?" LOL.... Dear heart, your argument above is that McCain is, essentially, going to "pretend" that voting against the AUMF was voting against the war and voting against national security, neither of which is even remotely true.

"But that depiction is nothing but simple minded in fact, and I don't see why McCain in particular would allow him that cheap escape from the real meaning of the vote."

Do tell us what the "real meaning of the vote is," won't you? We're waiting with bated breath.

"Of course McCain will be forced to defend his own ongoing support for the war."

Yup, which puts him in negative territory before he even gets started.

"But in many ways this frees him to go on the attack against the real significance of Obama's own opposition to the AUMF"

Oh, please. The "real significance" is that Obama was right and Obama will have no problem making that case. And the "real significance" is that the majority of the American public side with Obama on this, not with McCain.

"Among Democrats in the Democratic primary, it would generally be counterproductive or useless to emphasize the real meaning of the AUMF"

You keep using that phrase. I don't think it means what you think it means.

"But there's no reason to believe that the greatest portion of larger public believes that."

Dear heart, there is ample reason to believe that the "greatest portion of [sic] larger public believes that," since that's what the polls indicates. In any case, the more nuanced McCain tries to get about that AUMF vote, the weaker his argument gets. This is a battle of sound bites, and Obama has an unmistakable edge.

"They certainly tend to be far more eager to use military force under such circumstances than does the average Democrat. That's what McCain can easily tap into."

And if the Iraq war hadn't unfoded the way it did, you might have a point. Unfortunately, the Iraq war is going to get in the way of McCain, leaving him nothing to "easily tap into," and leaving you without an argument. All Obama has to do is keep bringing it back to Iraq for a slam-dunk argument against McCain.

"This will enable McCain to attack Obama's opposition to the vote on the grounds that it suggests he is very weak on matters of national security."

I've already covered this above. When you're prepared to deal with my responses, we might be able to have a serious conversation. All you're doing now is blowing smoke.

"McCain will be quite happy to ask Obama whether he indeed thought there were WMDs, and if so why he thought Saddam should nonetheless not be forced to admit inspectors."

And Obama will be quite happy to ask McCain how that worked out for him and why he wants to be in Iraq for 100 more years. The public agrees with Obama, not McCain.

"And it will certainly put Obama in a far more liberal light than he might ever be happy with."

Stuff and nonsense. Come up with a real argument or go home. 'Cause all you're doing is demonstrating once again that you really don't like Obama. We get it. Now come up with a new schtick.

Posted by: PaulB on February 2, 2008 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton Again Lies about Iraq
by Stephen Zunes

In Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton lied again about Iraq.

At the forum in Los Angeles, Hillary Clinton declared, "We bombed them for days in 1998 because Saddam Hussein threw out inspectors."

That statement was totally false. The bombing campaign had been planned for months and the inspectors were not thrown out. They were ordered out by President Bill Clinton in anticipation of the four-day U.S.-led bombing campaign. ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on February 3, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! Talk about "nutty" ideas, huh? ;-)

Ron Paul acrually openly professes that spying on the American people is unconstitutional:

In opposition to the Protect America Act

Statement of Ron Paul on H.R. 5104

A bill to extend the Protect America Act of 2007 for 30 Days ...

Madame Speaker, I rise in opposition to the extension of the Protect America Act of 2007 because the underlying legislation violates the US Constitution.

The mis-named Protect America Act allows the US government to monitor telephone calls and other electronic communications of American citizens without a warrant. This clearly violates the Fourth Amendment ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on February 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

California is well in play. So now, I urge any Obama supporters to get out today, and do something. I'll be gone this afternoon doing work with the campaign in Oakland.

Again, get out and do something. From the article above:


But the Democratic numbers are the shocker. Clinton, a longtime California favorite, saw her once-commanding lead slip to two percentage points, 36 to 34 percent, in the new survey. That's down from the New York senator's 12 percentage point lead in mid-January and a 25 percentage point margin over Obama in October.

Good luck, everybody.

Posted by: Boorring on February 3, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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