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Is Obama a Sure Thing?:

He's certainly the favorite, but I think it's odd that so many commentators seem to think the race is over. In 2000, with the same number of days to go in the presidential contest, four polls were published, giving George Bush a 4.5% lead over Al Gore. As we know, Gore wound up winning the popular vote, and came within a few hundred votes in Florida of winning the presidency. Over at RealClearPolitics.com, the two polls published so far today give Obama a 4.5% lead on average, and the average of all recent polls gives him a 5% lead.

Again, Obama is obviously the favorite. But the Democrats would be wise to hold off on all the talk of who is going to be in Obama's cabinet, the special session they will hold in Congress in November to start working on the Obama agenda, etc., and focus on winning the election.

JosephSlater (mail):
Nothing is a sure thing. But at this point, you need to start looking at state polls and the path to 270. Obama has 264 locked down solid (Kerry states + IA and NM), and about 8 states that get him to 270 or over, most-all of which he is currently leading in. CO and VA seem most likely to put him over the top, but he's also leading in most recent polls in FL, NC, NV (gets him to 269, which almost certainly = Obama win), MO, OH. Heck, ND (not that it will matter, probably) is a tossup state.

That's why RCP still has Obama at 286 electoral votes, and 364 when "tossups" leaning his way are included. Also, the "race is tightening" meme, while supported by Gallup's "traditional likely voter" metric is undercut by other polls -- Rasmussen has Obama up another point today, and I could cherry-pick some more.

Also, I'm guessing Colin Powell's endorsement will help Obama, at least tat the margins.

Still, I entirely agree with you, David, that Democrats would be wise to hold off the talk of all you list, and that they should focus on winning the election. But let me tell you, as someone working for/with the Obama campaign: we are.
10.19.2008 11:49am
JosephSlater (mail):
"at" the margins, not "tat."
10.19.2008 11:53am
the emperor (www):
Which commentators have said that the race is over?
10.19.2008 11:53am
BruceM (mail) (www):
I don't trust these polls. I think there are too many people who will say "sure I'll vote for Obama" to a pollster, to sound progressive, but come election day, when they're in the privacy of the voting booth, they will not vote for a black president. Racism, pure and simple. I sure hope I'm wrong. But I have a bad feeling the polls will keep showing OBama in the lead through the election, ditto with the exit polls, but when the votes are counted, it will be McCain by at least 10%. I hope I'm wrong. I really hope I'm wrong.
10.19.2008 11:54am
byomtov (mail):
True.

There's nothing deadlier than a premature gloat.
10.19.2008 11:54am
Sasha Volokh (mail) (www):
There are reasons other than racism for someone to say they're going to vote for Obama and then actually vote for McCain.
10.19.2008 11:59am
Foghorn Leghorn:
10.19.2008 12:00pm
JosephSlater (mail):
BruceM:

Respectfully, you're wrong. You're predicting a Bradley effect of over 15%?

If you want to feel better, check out the threads debunking the Bradley effect over at www.fivethirtyeight.com

Do you really think 15% of the electorate is are lying to anonymous pollsters over the phone -- and in many cases, automated polling with no "real person" at all -- because they are afraid to appear racist to a faceless stranger or machine?
10.19.2008 12:01pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Sasha:

Right, the Bradley effect is supposed to describe people who are afraid that pollsters will *think* that they are racists, not that they actually necessarily *are* racists.

Now my question to you: given how polls are done these days, given the policy differences between McCain and Obama, given the accuracy of most polls for black candidates of various stripes in various elections in the past decade, and given the accuracy of the polls for most of Obama's primary performances, what percentage of voters do YOU think are currently telling pollsters that they will vote for Obama when REALLY they intend to vote for McCain?
10.19.2008 12:08pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
JS, of course with recent polls showing Obama winning by 7-8%, the electoral math is heavily in his favor. But if McCain gets within 1-2%, the electoral math will obviously change. I've read that it's possible for Obama, but not McCain, to lose the popular vote and still win the election. I don't follow this reasoning, because Obama looks to win NY and California by over 20%, lose Texas by maybe 10%, and win Illinois by at least that margin. The other very populous are in play. So where does an Obama popular vote loss, electoral win come from (surely not from Idaho, Alaska, and Utah voting overwhelmingly for McCain), and shouldn't it be possible for the opposite to occur?
10.19.2008 12:10pm
Calderon:
I don't much like either Obama or McCain, though plan on voting for McCain for divided government and deficit reduction purposes (though since I live in Illinois my vote will count for absolutely nothing). That said, the race between them is over unless some horrific foreign policy event occurs that fits in to what McCain have been warning about (e.g., Russia invades Ukraine or Iran attacks Israel).

From a strategic viewpoint, I also disagree with your last sentence. If Obama starts announcing cabinet positions where he plans to place more well-regarded, senior, experienced people, it's only going to help him during the election by showing he'll rely on experienced people to make up for his own lack of experience. Likewise, if he can say Congress is behind him and they'll pass some comprehensive program as soon as he's elected, it will make him look more presidential, active, etc. That policy will also bring back echoes of FDR which most people regard favorably regardless of whether his programs actually worked or were harmful.
10.19.2008 12:11pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Obama's well ahead in all the states Kerry carried, New Mexico, Iowa and Virginia. That gives him 277 electoral votes and the election.
10.19.2008 12:14pm
George Weiss (mail) (www):
i agree the state by state polls mean much more.

the RCP average polls only take into account of polls done over the last week or so in each state-by virtue of their average-they help eliminate problems in the polling methodologies of various polls.

looking at the RCP state by state we have obama 'solid' in 243 states (solid seems to mean ahead by 9%) and leaning in 37 states (which seems to mean ahead by between 5 or 6% and 9%).

we also show a trend toward states moving toward obama. since 10/9-there have been no RCP state changes from leaning to solid or from toss up in mcains favor..and there have been 8 pro obama changes. Since 10/3 there have been 14 pro obama change and only 1 pro mcain change in the rcp averages.

its certainty true that things can change and that a canadiate can catch up..(RCP avrages montorously favored btoh hilary and juliani early in the primaries)...but thre is a huge diffrence between catching up with months to go and catching up with weeks to go.

Furthermore, it seems that the economy is the thing going for obama-since his lead seems to have taken off since the bailout talk-and that talk is not over...fresh developments will continue to occur from now through the elections.

Its also not comparable to 1948 like situations where a candidate has indeed 'caught up' a lot at the end-those cases were also not subject to the rigor of RCP...and the candidate who caught up may have been much closer to the tie than shown by the one or two national polls at the time.

As far as the Bradley effect-one could probably not expect as much of a Bradley effect in this day and age where black politicians and judges are fairly commonplace. Even if there is one-obama is so far ahead on a state be state basis to preclude it from having much of an effect.
10.19.2008 12:17pm
George Weiss (mail) (www):
arrg by 243 states i mean states which give him 243 electoral votes etc..*
10.19.2008 12:18pm
TomHynes (mail):
The betting market (www.intrade.com) has an 85% chance of Obama, 15% chance of McCain. McCain's chances are similar to a baseball teams chances of coming back from a 3-1 position in a baseball series. (.5 * .5 * .5 = 12.5%)

Go Sox.
10.19.2008 12:20pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
The polls have upped the percent Democrat to accommodate the increase in Democrat registrations. They may have overreacted due to fraudulent registrations.

Unless the fraudulent registrations turn into fraudulent votes.
10.19.2008 12:29pm
DUI (mail):
We also learned that George W Bush was a drunk driver between mid-October 2000 and election day.

In retrospect, that explains a lot about how the last 8 years have gone.
10.19.2008 12:33pm
EricPWJohnson (mail):
AlJazeera English lang broadcasts here in Qatar show a different picture - sure they are pulling for Obama - but they do show both sides Palin has throngs of people st her rallies and so does John.

They also showed 3,000 block walkers going through union neighborhoods in Michigan, a mass of Red McCain/Palin TShirts

Then they showed 10,000 plus volunteers at an orientation meeting in Virginia for McCain/Palin


AlJazeera also mentioned the makeup of the crowds - Palin its almost exclusively families and single mothers whereas Obamas rallies are only getting the really big crowds out if there is a band - and its always near a major university
10.19.2008 12:40pm
MartyA:
The fix is in! Hussein's folks have factored in the Bradley Effect and have stuffed the urban ballot boxes accordingly. Remember 2004 when the dems lost is Ohio and were going to protest? The reason they were so adamant was that they knew exactly how much they had paid for "extra" votes. What they realized later was that much of the cash they had put on the street was stolen by their precinct pols.
One thing to watch on election night when the results start to be reported is how quickly and how vigorously Hussein is declared the winner. I believe it was 2000 when Rather declared Gore the winner in Florida very early to keep the Conservative voters in the Florida Panhandle away from the polls. Look for a LOT of the same on Election Night. Look even for fake news from the media, things like roads blocked due to accidents, news of fires and unchecked fake notices, e.g., reports of fake concession speeches. Where vote theft will be major, Philadelphia, Newark, St. Louis, Cleveland, Chicago, etc., look for the media to encourage urban voters to go to the polls. There will be lots of "street money!"
10.19.2008 12:42pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
We usually credit the republicans with more sneakiness, but I can't think of a really devastating October surprise that damaged a Democrat that wasn't of their own making.

Thinking back to 2004, I remember we got tons of shocking stories about thousands of tons of missing explosives, horrifying news of civil war in iraq and so on. Days before the election.

In 2000, we got Bush's drunk driving record and so on.

Although a lot of the October surprises seem to be relatively old stories that the media gets ahold of and then decided to save for a key moment.
10.19.2008 12:48pm
PC:
Unless the fraudulent registrations turn into fraudulent votes.

I've been wondering how the numbers work for that. Let's say there is some vast conspiracy to steal the election for the Dems. What would be a good number of fraudulent votes to aim for in a swing state? 5,000? 10,000? Let's go with 5,000. So you need to turn 5,000 fraudulent registrations into fraudulent votes.

You don't need to have one person per fraudulent vote, you can probably get away with having each person that's in on the conspiracy to vote multiple times. Let's say each person votes in five different precincts. So you would need 1,000 people to be in on it. That's 1,000 people willing to commit five counts of a Federal felony. And even with that 5,000 votes is not going to guarantee a win.

Spread this conspiracy out to every swing state and you are going to need 8,000 people. Does anyone really think something like that could be kept quiet? And if ACORN is really trying to steal the election, why would they turn in obviously fraudulent registrations? All that does is put the focus on them. This entire voter fraud conspiracy strikes me as an underpants gnome sort of scheme:

1) Submit fraudulent registrations
2) ?????
3) Steal the election

No one has explained the logistics of 2) that doesn't involve a large amount of tin foil.

Back on topic, it's Obama's race to lose, but the campaign's ground game is not relaxing. The Powell endorsement is a big motivator, regardless of its effect on moderate Republicans. It wouldn't surprise me if rumors about having Powell serve in some official capacity start spreading around. Probably the same thing for rumors about Lugar. Obama will probably start shoring up his bipartisanship to show his desire to govern from the middle. It will help counteract all the shrieks about socialism and communism coming from the wingnuts.

Speaking of Obama's ground game, it's one thing the media hasn't covered much and I think a lot of people are going to be shocked at just how good it is. A few days ago a blogger noted that there were 10,000 events that had been organized for the Obama campaign between then and election day. Over at Five Thirty Eight they've been comparing the local efforts between the two campaigns and the differences are stark.

The ground game will probably be one of the bigger stories post-election.
10.19.2008 12:50pm
just me (mail):
Personally, I am pretty sure Obama has this one all but in the bag. Barring a huge mistake on his part (and a few more Joe the Plumber like answers to questions, with the minions attacking the questioner could turn into that, but my bet is Obama doesn't take anymore spontaneous questions rather than risk another Joe the Plumber incident), Obama just isn't going to lose.

I intend to vote for McCain, and in my state at least it is a toss up, but I don't think McCain can pull off the number of states required.

I am not sure I believe in the Bradley affect either-sure there are probably some people who lie, but I just don't see this in large enough numbers to swing enough to help McCain.

Should Obama be breaking out the champagne in a victory celebration just yet? Nope, there are still three more weeks, and a lot can go wrong, but at this point I think it will take a huge mistake that the media actually cares about covering to change the direction of the polls. I do expect the race-at least popular vote wise to be a close one, and one closer than the polls seem to indicate. I suspect Obama will have a pretty clear electoral vote win.
10.19.2008 12:53pm
just me (mail):
What would be a good number of fraudulent votes to aim for in a swing state? 5,000? 10,000? Let's go with 5,000. So you need to turn 5,000 fraudulent registrations into fraudulent votes.

The Ohio Secretary of state has 200,000 mismatched votes that she isn't sharing with the local election boards.

And it isn't necessarily that you need that many voters. Just choose a few big cities and haul several people around from precinct to precinct. Or better yet, a few dirty local election commissioners could look at the roles and who didn't vote and help them cast a few votes.

My opinion is that in order for voter fraud to work you do have to have at lest one local election commissioner in on the deal-and it doesn't necessarily need real voters casting votes to perpetrate. Just some knowledge of who the "fake" registered voters are.
10.19.2008 12:57pm
erics (mail):
Good grief. Have you even heard of RealClearPolitics or Fivethirtyeight?
10.19.2008 1:05pm
erics (mail):
Strike that. I guess I mean to say how can you say such a thing if you spend even two minutes on RCP.
10.19.2008 1:06pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
10.19.2008 11:33am
(link)
EricPWJohnson (mail):
AlJazeera English lang broadcasts here in Qatar show a different picture - sure they are pulling for Obama - but they do show both sides Palin has throngs of people st her rallies and so does John.


Did they show the 100,000 people (supposedly) Obama had at his St. Louis rally? Don't know if that's the real number, but it was enormous.
10.19.2008 1:07pm
JosephSlater (mail):
David:

Yes, if the popular vote narrows to 1%, some, maybe most, of the eight or so states Obama only needs one of that are now leaning to Obama could flip. Heck, as of today, I'm not sure how Ohio will go. But Obama is out-polling his national numbers in a couple of states either one of which would put him over 270: VA and, I believe, CO. So I still see Obama winning the electoral college in a 1% popular vote scenario.

Also, of course none of this matters until voters vote. So I'll say this as to "ground game." I volunteered in Ohio for Gore, Kerry, and Obama. I was always very impressed with the Republican GOTV efforts on the other side. I don't know what Republican efforts will be like this year, but I'll tell you honestly that the Obama GOTV operation campaign is much better than the Gore or Kerry GOTVs were. Which is another reason I like Obama in a 1% race.

So I'm not measuring drapes yet, but I'll repeat: McCain has a much tougher road to 270.
10.19.2008 1:09pm
Kelly (mail):
While Obama's lead in the popular vote is 4-5%, he's up by at least 8% in enough states to get him to 270 EV (according to RCP - Kerry states + IA + NM + VA). That's the deficit that McCain needs to close. It's not over yet, but I don't see that happening.
10.19.2008 1:10pm
Eric Muller (www):
Colin Powell's endorsement will surely help Obama at least a little, don't you think?
10.19.2008 1:13pm
Robert West (mail) (www):
I have some problems with electoral-vote.com's methodology, but this chart shows the difference between 2004 and 2008 nicely. In 2004, after the RNC, the outcome of state-by-state polls remained volatile, with a number of switching back and forth between Kerry and Bush, and a predicted result that was quite close. In 2008, after about two weeks after the RNC, Obama took a commanding lead and McCain's support plummeted.

McCain can change this, although the later it gets the harder that will be. But, at least looking at the state-by-state polls, the closeness of the popular vote is masking the true strength of Obama's position.
10.19.2008 1:15pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Powell probably helps in VA, NC, and FL, all states with lots of military and ex-military. I'm not saying it will be a huge swing, but if you were on the fence and worried about Obama's stance on the military. . . .

And again, Obama needs only ONE of those three (or COL, NV, OH, or MO. . .) to win.
10.19.2008 1:16pm
just me (mail):
Colin Powell's endorsement will surely help Obama at least a little, don't you think?

Doubt it-at least not in a remarkable way-I think mostly because very few people are surprised and I think it depends on why indpendants are independent,.

It might help if Powell does campaigning for him, but the endorsement alone, not so sure it will make a big difference.

Shoot I am not sure endorsements mean all that much anyway.
10.19.2008 1:28pm
vmark1:
NEWS FLASH: POWELL ENDORSES OBAMA...ITS NOT ABOUT RACE...

OK...Anyone that believes this..please send social security, credit card, and checking account number to this e-mail address in Nigeria...thank you...
10.19.2008 1:31pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
So far the Obama campaign has spent almost twice as much as the McCain campaign ($377M versus $200M). Is it any wonder that Obama will get elected? In 2004 the expenditures were much closer.

Money talks.
10.19.2008 1:36pm
Baseballhead (mail):
On the other hand, that Obama's been able to raise such an astonishing amount of money testifies to his ability to speak convincingly to a great deal of the American electorate. It's difficult to blame Obama for McCain's inability to do the same.
10.19.2008 1:46pm
CB55 (mail):
Bush Admin employees can start cleaning out their desks and up dating their resumes. There are lots of jobs down on K Street and if things do not work out the banking and auto people do need a helping hand. It's all over unless there is some political disaster, terror attack or Big Fix, McCain can write his contract for a book deal.

Powell is has a base that dates back to the men and women in uniform from Gulf War I and II. McCain brings to the table a family military that dates to the Punic Wars, but most of his base are either dead or retired.

Make no mistake about it. Most adults and high schoolers still can not locate Vietnam on a map, but at least they think they know about home country of Osama Bin Laden - Iraq. Like McCain they believe there is not a dime worth a difference between Sunni and Shia.

This one is in the bag and would the last Conservative turn off the lights and let old men like McCain not flow a fuse so he can rest in peace.
10.19.2008 1:49pm
just me (mail):
On the other hand, that Obama's been able to raise such an astonishing amount of money testifies to his ability to speak convincingly to a great deal of the American electorate. It's difficult to blame Obama for McCain's inability to do the same.

Except that he is getting money from Doodad Pro and Good Will. I suspect when all is said and done, Obama will be president and he will be president whose campaign will be receiving a pretty big fine for violations on campaign contritubtions. He has already had to send money back to foreign supporters.

That said, I am sick of obama commercials. And if I hear the dumb healthcare one that has been fact check as getting wrong one more time I think I will gouge my eyes out.

My daughter has started a count down to election day when she won't have to listen to another campaign commercial.
10.19.2008 1:49pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"And if I hear the dumb healthcare one that has been fact check as getting wrong one more time I think I will gouge my eyes out."


Wouldn't it be a lot less painful just to hit the Mute button?
10.19.2008 1:51pm
Kelly (mail):

NEWS FLASH: POWELL ENDORSES OBAMA...ITS NOT ABOUT RACE...

OK...Anyone that believes this..please send social security, credit card, and checking account number to this e-mail address in Nigeria...thank you...


I hope Republicans continue to discount every critique of their party Powell just made and believe he didn't mean anything by it, he's just going for the black guy. It's a great way to keep losing.
10.19.2008 1:52pm
Oren:

My daughter has started a count down to election day when she won't have to listen to another campaign commercial.

Why not just move out of the damned swing state?
10.19.2008 1:56pm
Angus:
Yeah, no kidding. I live in a deep red state and I haven't seen a single Obama or McCain commercial since the conventions.
10.19.2008 1:58pm
SenatorX (mail):
I don't think blacks are being racist voting for Obama as it is a pretty exciting first time event for them. Having said that, at this point it's pretty useless listening to a black person's reasons for voting for Obama. What is Powell, the last black on board that train?
10.19.2008 2:03pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"It's difficult to blame Obama for McCain's inability to do the same."

There are several problems with this. Obama was spending big money all along, long before McCain got nominated. McCain elected federal financing while Obama broke his pledge to do likewise.


But all that's besides the point. However he got his money, it's the prime mover behind his success, along with substantial help from the media.
10.19.2008 2:06pm
just me (mail):
Wouldn't it be a lot less painful just to hit the Mute button?

They are mostly radio commercials. We don't watch much TV here, but when we do pretty much Obama is on during every break.

I almost wonder if it isn't over saturation. It isn't even a different ad half the time, just the same one every 10 minutes or so. Not necessarily that it hurts him, but to the point that it isn't going to do anything to help him.
10.19.2008 2:09pm
JosephSlater (mail):
SenatorX:

Like Kelly, I strongly encourage you to ignore all the thoughtful, substantive points Powell made, points that have been made by moderates and conservatives throughout the campaign about problems with today's Republican party. I say that as a Democrat.
10.19.2008 2:10pm
trad and anon (mail):
The economy is tanking, which is no good for the incumbent party. Obama has locked in every state Kerry carried and a bunch of '04 swing states (to the point where the McCain campaign has stopped advertising there) and turned several GOP safe states like Virginia and North Carolina into swing states. And Obama just announced that he raised $150 million in the past month.

It's not completely impossible for things to turn around, but at this point McCain's last best hope is a surprise revelation about Obama's background. That or a terrorist attack.
10.19.2008 2:12pm
just me (mail):
It's not completely impossible for things to turn around, but at this point McCain's last best hope is a surprise revelation about Obama's background.

I don't think there is anything McCain can do to keep the train from running him over.

I do think a surprise revelation about Obama could change the race, but I think it would have to come from the media or be something that readily ties to Obama.

A few major Obama gaffes though could sink him. Too many Joe the Plumber like answers where they go after the plumber rather than try to control the damage of the message or another "Bitter" type comment could hurt him, but my bet is that Obama is very careful about media appearances in Joe like neighborhoods and I bet he doesn't take any questions. Obama isn't an idiot, he does seem to learn from his mistakes-at least when it comes to campaigning.
10.19.2008 2:16pm
_quodlibet_:

But the Democrats would be wise to hold off on all the talk of who is going to be in Obama's cabinet ...

I, for one, would be very interested in knowing who Obama plans to have in his cabinet. Same goes for McCain, perhaps even more so, given that McCain's health might deteriorate and Palin might have to assume to presidency.
10.19.2008 2:23pm
AndrewK (mail):
Politico notes today that given how close the election actually is, Obama's "inevitability" tack is as much confidence on his part as it is a strategy.
10.19.2008 2:26pm
JosephSlater (mail):
So far today...

Obama gains 1 in Rasmussen poll; he gains 2 in Gallup registered voter poll (to +10), gains 3 in one of Gallup's likely voter models, and gains 1 in Gallup's other likely voter model.

Also, he drew a reported 100,000 to a rally in Missouri yesterday. Today he got Colin Powell's endorsement. And he just announced record fundraising numbers.

Yes, some things could happen in the next less-than-two-and-a-half-weeks. But I don't see much momentum for McCain. Obama would have to make a huge, huge mistake. And he's not the type to do that. Which, come to think of it, is part of the reason why he's winning.
10.19.2008 2:27pm
OrinKerr:
Powell's criticisms made sense given Powell's views. Powell is a moderate, and his take was that it was time for the Democrats to win one and get some new ideas in the political system and bring things back to the center.

You can certainly disagree, but I don't see any basis to say that his real motivation was all about race. That is, unless your real goal is to delegitimize Powell so that you don't have to consider his criticism as a serious argument.
10.19.2008 2:28pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"They are mostly radio commercials."


Then how would gouging your eyes out help? Shouldn't you puncture your ear drums or something?
10.19.2008 2:38pm
AndrewK (mail):
Does the fact that Powell was rumored near endorsing Obama all the way back in August delegitimize the endorsement? It is obvious this is not only calculated to maximize political impact (not a bad thing), but to minimize risk to Powell (seems like a bad thing to me). Assuming Powell is supporting Obama for his politics and not his race, wouldn't the best thing to do have been simply to endorse Obama back in August and gotten a serious dialogue on Powell's political points going?

I almost feel the waiting was designed to minimize the dialogue. Sure, all this can be true and simply reflect Powell's support for Obama's positions, but then why "float" the idea of an endorsement back in August? Why not keep this completely under wraps?
10.19.2008 2:42pm
Observer:
Professor Kerr,

The McCain/Palin ticket is the most liberal Republican ticket in the history of the United States (by a significant margin). The Obama/Biden ticket is the most liberal presidential ticket in the history of the United States (by an even more significant margin). So, an Obama endorsement does not make sense for someone with moderate or centrist views (and perhaps not even from someone with moderate liberal views). This is not to say that Powell's endorsement had anything to do with race; after all, Chris Buckley and Doug Kmiec also made an endorsement that was completely nonsensical given their moderate (or even arguably right-leaning) political views.
10.19.2008 2:43pm
Matt_T:
I don't think blacks are being racist voting for Obama as it is a pretty exciting first time event for them.

That sort of IMPLIES that it is a racial reason, though I wouldn't call it racist. The more that word gets applied to marginal situations, the less it actually means. Secondly, lay off Colin Powell. I doubt that his reasons for voting for Obama are race-related and I think you underestimate his analyses of various issues at your own peril. Remember, his name was widely circulated as a potential Republican nominee within about the last decade.
10.19.2008 2:46pm
AndrewK (mail):
To be clear, support in August would have gotten a dialogue going. This would be evidence for principled support of Obama. Support to maximize political impact would not have floated the idea in August, and also could be principled support of Obama. Floating the idea and holding off seems to be less explicable.
10.19.2008 2:46pm
jb (mail):
1. If Biden had been the Dem nominee, does anyone believe that Powell would have endorsed him? Are there any substantive differences between Biden and Obama, any difference at all except race? Is this not the very definition of racism- supporting one man over another because of the color of his skin?
2. It's not the racists who cause the Bradly effect- racists generally don't care what anyone else thinks of them. It's the non-racists- good ordinary American- who say they are voting for or leaning to Obama because of the meme that the only reason not to support Obama is racism. I agree that the Bradley effect would be minimal but for this phenomenon. There are multiple legitimate reasons to support McCain over Obama, but anyone who expresses an opinion based on these reasons will be called a racist, and this will regenerate a Bradley effect where one would not have existed.
3. Analogous point for Palin supporters. She has supporters who will vote for her privately, but do not want to risk the ridicule of their betters by being open about it.
4. The hardest part of polling is figuring out exactly who will vote. Obama's most fervent supporters are the young folks, who are and always will remain the voters of the future. The old folks are more reliable voters, and they can remember Vietnam and find it on a map, and they remember the halcyon days of Jimmy Carter and undivided liberal government.
This isn't over folks.
10.19.2008 2:49pm
CB55 (mail):
Conservatives are so pissed off at Obama they might change all of the White House locks, glue the Oval Office chair to the floor, change all the phone numbers to a porn book store. They are like that Denver preacher praying that God does something or some disaster falls to prevent Obama from showing up in January. Many believe that if he does the very fabric of space time will be torn, dogs will mate with cats, people will fart backward and the AntiChrist will apply for a Social Security card and a Liberal will issue him one with out a background check...thus the universe will freeze over like a Montana parking lot
10.19.2008 2:50pm
SenatorX (mail):
JosephSlater you don't have to repeat the same thing over and over, I get it. My point, and I am sorry if you don't get it, is that when 99% of blacks are voting for Obama they unfortunately lose credibility when it comes to justifying their votes on something other than race. I don't blame them but it is what it is.

Of course, as you admitted you are campaigning for Obama, you don't want Powell's endorsement to be about race. You want it to be about everything but race so it works for you. You can try your best to spin it but I think you are a fool if you don't see how it’s going to be interpreted. Basically the Powell endorsement won't have as much kick as you want, because he is black. Sucks maybe but that’s the way it is.

Orin you tend to always try and view things in the best possible light. My point is not to delegitimize Powell (though I understand that argument) but because of the situation we are in his justifications face headwinds from the reality of racial bias. I am not creating the delegitimizing, the environment was already in place when we woke up today.
10.19.2008 2:54pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"There are reasons other than racism for someone to say they're going to vote for Obama and then actually vote for McCain."

True, but the fear of being thought a racist (whether one is or isn't) is the most well studied and documented reason for concealing one's true preference . . . do you have more elaborate thoughts on this, Sasha?
10.19.2008 2:55pm
byomtov (mail):
Powell's criticisms made sense given Powell's views.

I'm curious about the qualification in this statement.

It certainly applies to his (sensible) statements about taxes, but much of the criticism was levelled at McCain's tactics, the nature of the attacks on Obama, and GOP divisiveness in general. He specifically mentioned Michele Bachman's call for investigating to discover anti-American Congressmen, whispers about Obama being a Muslim, and so on. He also suggested that Palin was a poor choice for VP.

Why couldn't staunch conservatives make similar criticisms, since they are not based on policy matters or philosophical differences about government?
10.19.2008 2:55pm
trad and anon (mail):
Also, he drew a reported 100,000 to a rally in Missouri yesterday. Today he got Colin Powell's endorsement. And he just announced record fundraising numbers.
Not merely record fundraising numbers: he raised $150 million, more than double his previous record of $66 million. He'll probably raise even more this month, which would put him on track to quadruple McCain's $84 million in public money.

Pro-McCain 527's have raised a lot more than pro-Obama ones but the inability to coordinate with the campaign makes their efforts less effective.

As usual, making a campaign promise and breaking it later turns out to be a winning proposition. Remember the '94 Republicans who pledged to serve no more than 3 terms? Except the ones the voters kicked out of office, they're still around. The only time I can think of when a politician lost out by breaking a campaign promise was Bush Sr.'s "read my lips" pledge.

I've never been so glad to live in a blue state. I can watch the Rays collapse without sitting through any ads more annoying than the usual stream of Cia1is promotions.
10.19.2008 2:56pm
Random Commenter:
Powell's endorsement makes perfect sense, given Powell's well-known views. I doubt Obama's race had anything at all to do with it, other than as a plus-factor. Most people would agree the prospect of a black president is a pretty cheerful development, even if he is a leftist. Even the timing (last minute, election pretty much in the bag, no risk) makes Powellian sense.


I'm torn between hoping the dems win the whitehouse and large majorities in the house and senate, because it would pretty much guarantee that they'll quickly implement an over-the-top agenda and get thrown out), and hoping they win the whitehouse but pick up no meaningful ground in the legislative branch. The latter is about the only outcome that might force the GOP to consider its many sins at some length. (And that's way overdue.)
10.19.2008 2:59pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
jb (mail):
1. If Biden had been the Dem nominee, does anyone believe that Powell would have endorsed him? Are there any substantive differences between Biden and Obama, any difference at all except race? Is this not the very definition of racism- supporting one man over another because of the color of his skin?


Very circular argument.

Quite possibly Powell would have endorsed Biden, or at least stayed neutral. His arguments about Palin and Supreme Court nominees would still apply, and he wouldn't even have to worry about inexperience.
10.19.2008 3:01pm
PC:
Obama is giving a stump speech right now. He is talking about all Americans coming together in tough times, that America is greatest when we work together. Compare that to Gov. Palin talking about "pro-America areas" or the McCain spokesman that was talking about "real Virginia."

That's what Colin Powell was talking about. One campaign is talking about joining together, the other is trying to divide.

But hey, maybe Powell really is putting race before country. Maybe Powell is lying about everything he said. Your call.
10.19.2008 3:03pm
JosephSlater (mail):
SenatorX:

Sure, put your fingers in your ears and throw more and more moderates and conservatives (Parker, Buckley, Brooks, Will, Krauthamemr, Powell, etc., etc.) under the bus. Nothing's wrong with the Republican party!

Anyway, it doesn't matter what people who have made up their minds (me and you) think of the Powell endorsement. I've said it might matter to some undecided military or ex-military in VA, NC, and FL. You, apparently, think they will all say, "gee, a black guy supporting a black guy, all those black folks have lost their credibility."

I'm happy to have that be the condensed version of the Dem and Repub reactions.
10.19.2008 3:08pm
OrinKerr:
Senator X writes:

My point is not to delegitimize Powell (though I understand that argument) but because of the situation we are in his justifications face headwinds from the reality of racial bias. I am not creating the delegitimizing, the environment was already in place when we woke up today.

Maybe I misunderstood the thread, but then is your point that Powell is not acting on the basis of race, but that some people are going to think so because they're racists and think black people don't vote on the merits? That may be true, but I don't understand the relevance of it: Presumably racist voters are not voting for Obama.

Byomtov writes:

I'm curious about the qualification in this statement.

It certainly applies to his (sensible) statements about taxes, but much of the criticism was levelled at McCain's tactics, the nature of the attacks on Obama, and GOP divisiveness in general. He specifically mentioned Michele Bachman's call for investigating to discover anti-American Congressmen, whispers about Obama being a Muslim, and so on. He also suggested that Palin was a poor choice for VP.

Why couldn't staunch conservatives make similar criticisms, since they are not based on policy matters or philosophical differences about government?


In my experience, one of the things that makes one a "staunch" conservative is a lack of interest in criticizing conservatives on grounds unrelated to conservatism. Indeed, when I occasionally criticize conservatives for reasons unrelated to their conservativism, it is common for some of the self-identified "staunch" conservatives in the comment thread to criticize me for being liberal (or at least not a true conservative). The idea seems to be that if you criticize someone who is conservative then you are not conservative, even if you are criticizing something unrelated to conservative ideas.

To be clear, though, that's not why I'm saying Powell is a moderate.
10.19.2008 3:08pm
trad and anon (mail):
The hardest part of polling is figuring out exactly who will vote. Obama's most fervent supporters are the young folks, who are and always will remain the voters of the future. The old folks are more reliable voters, and they can remember Vietnam and find it on a map, and they remember the halcyon days of Jimmy Carter and undivided liberal government.
Every election, there's a lot of talk about how youth are energized as never before, and every election they stay home. But I don't think that will be true this time, because Obama actually got all those college students to the polls in the primaries. More will come in November. So I think there will be a youth vote effect of a magnitude never before seen in American politics.
JosephSlater you don't have to repeat the same thing over and over, I get it. My point, and I am sorry if you don't get it, is that when 99% of blacks are voting for Obama they unfortunately lose credibility when it comes to justifying their votes on something other than race. I don't blame them but it is what it is.
Because some very high percentage of black voters are supporting Obama, just as they support every Democrat, we can infer that one specific, highly unrepresentative black Republican is supporting Obama principally because Obama is black? Because he's one of "them"?

Drawing a conclusion about your views on race is left as an exercise for the reader.
10.19.2008 3:09pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Powell is a moderate, and his take was that it was time for the Democrats to win one and get some new ideas in the political system and bring things back to the center.


Except Obama's ideas are all 80 or so years old and were mistakes when they were first put into practice by FDR.

Powell's stated reasons do not square with any identifiable thing about Obama's campaign rhetoric, and actually conflict with Obama's past. His endorsement only square's with Obama's ethnic group. Powell has reduced his moral stature in history with this.

McCain is the moderate Powell claims to want, as the Observer noted.

Since Powell's words don't match up with the deed, something else explains it.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 3:13pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Because some very high percentage of black voters are supporting Obama, just as they support every Democrat, we can infer that one specific, highly unrepresentative black Republican is supporting Obama principally because Obama is black?


It's the way that previously unregistered AA's are turning out for him that indicts their claims they aren't voting for his skin color.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 3:17pm
CB55 (mail):
Maybe SenatorX has not thought that lots of Whites are gonna vote for McCain because he is a war hero, he's old, he's a Christian and or he's White. I think that makes those Whites just as credible as Blacks who will vote for Obama because he is a soul brother.
10.19.2008 3:20pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"It's the way that previously unregistered AA's are turning out for him that indicts their claims they aren't voting for his skin color."


Right. It's not like McCain put a woman on the ticket hoping to pick up the votes of Hillary supporters on the sole basis that they were women.
10.19.2008 3:20pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Tom Perkins:

Please advise the Republican Party to run on your "Obama will be the next FDR! (and we think that's bad)" platform.

In fact, wasn't there a thread about the wisdom of that in the VC recently?
10.19.2008 3:21pm
Shertaugh:
Maybe McCain should just come and say "BLACK MAN, BLACK MAN, BLACK MAN . . . TERRORIST, TERRORIST, TERRORIST . . . COMMUNIST, COMMUNIST, COMMUNIST . . . ARE YOU SCARED YET?"

But he doesn't have the political courage. Instead, he's just a sleazing, scumbag of a politician who's not changed his character since birth.

American owes this man nothing. Certainly not the White House.
10.19.2008 3:21pm
CB55 (mail):
So McCain selects a a She and not just another Middle Age Christian White male to build up the female base, and that makes him credible. Give me a break. Whine.
10.19.2008 3:23pm
AndrewK (mail):
At least we can all agree that whatever happens in November, it is obviously due to identity politics and not based on any real policy preferences. I'm being rather tongue-in-cheek but it does seem plausible that neither McCain nor Obama will have any positive policy mandate whatsoever.
10.19.2008 3:25pm
CB55 (mail):
It's time to place the nation on Orange alert and I do not mean Texas Longhorns.
10.19.2008 3:26pm
trad and anon (mail):
Tom Perkins, I don't think anyone is claiming that race isn't a major factor in why black Americans are unusually excited about Obama this year. (Well, someone probably does, but they're wrong.) But there's a big difference between saying that and concluding that a specific, highly unrepresentative, super-elite black person is supporting Obama principally because of Obama's race. Especially if you do so because he's one of "them." Ignoring the differences between individuals in favor of group characteristics is one of the hallmarks of racism.
10.19.2008 3:27pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Presumably racist voters are not voting for Obama. --
.
That bears repeating for emphasis.
10.19.2008 3:29pm
CB55 (mail):
AndrewK:

Anyone that wants to be president at this time is a glutton for abuse and punishment. I give who ever wins 1 term in office. This is the Age of the Big Disappointment.
10.19.2008 3:30pm
MarkField (mail):

In my experience, one of the things that makes one a "staunch" conservative is a lack of interest in criticizing conservatives on grounds unrelated to conservatism.


Interesting. I see exactly the opposite way. Your answer seems to me to imply that there's some place we can go to discover the true meaning of "conservatism" (or, for that matter, "liberalism"). I don't see it that way. To me, "conservatism" is defined by what self-proclaimed conservatives generally say (and same for liberals, of course). Thus, it's precisely those statements which seem to be erroneous or inconsistent with what other "conservatives" believe which would call for criticism in my view.
10.19.2008 3:32pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Right. It's not like McCain put a woman on the ticket hoping to pick up the votes of Hillary supporters on the sole basis that they were women.


Well to go with that tripe for a moment, then what does that say about Hillary? And I suppose you just don't believe Palin shook up the corrupt AK GOP establishment by running against their corruption, spending, and their being overly cozy with Big Oil?


Please advise the Republican Party to run on your "Obama will be the next FDR! (and we think that's bad)" platform.


FDR's disastrous economic policies deepened and lengthened the Depression. Arguing against that has all the intellectual honesty as arguing against gravity. I suppose you'll claim the numbers have a conservative bias in response?

You're absolutely right Shertaugh:


American owes this man nothing. Certainly not the White House.


America owes Obama nothing. Certainly not the White House.

He hasn't shown he has the chops.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 3:34pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
@ CB55

No actual counterpoint, then?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 3:37pm
MLS:
I am so tired of the back and forth bickering (and invective) by supporters of each candidate that I look forward to the brief respite between election day and swearing-in day before the 2012 presidential campaign begins.

At this point in time I am inclined (con law aside) to declare that polls are verboten, TV airheads need to get real jobs, candidate media spots are limited to just a couple of weeks before election day, etc.

Political campaigns are generally painful to experience, but this one has risen to new and unprecedented levels by the actions of both candidates.
10.19.2008 3:37pm
just me (mail):
My guess is that if Biden got the nod Powell would have remained neutral. But I also don't really think Powell had any intention of supporting a GOP nominee this go around-even if the GOP nominee was perfect. I think Powell has no real love for the GOP and hasn't since he left the secretary of state position. I think he chooses to openly endorse Obama because of his race, and because of the history Obama is making-I suspect obama or any democrat on the ticket was getting his vote, even if he kept that to himself.

I think the endorsement may be due to race, but not the vote and I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing.

Obama is giving a stump speech right now. He is talking about all Americans coming together in tough times, that America is greatest when we work together. Compare that to Gov. Palin talking about "pro-America areas" or the McCain spokesman that was talking about "real Virginia."


That;s because he is in the lead. When you are winning you can rest on your laurels and spout platitudes about working togetherp especially when you know you will likely have one of the largest democratic majorities every. He doesn't really have to work with the GOP and knows it, and they probably won't bother unless it is for something really controversial so they can stick a few republicans on it to be the fall guy.

But I don't believe for a second that Obama has any intention of being bipartisan, he is just spouting pretty platitudes.
10.19.2008 3:39pm
JosephSlater (mail):
AndrewK: if it were the Republican Party poised to make big gains in both Houses of Congress and win the Presidency, in a way that hadn't been equalled in many decades, would it be plausible to say that the hypothetical Repub Prez candidate wouldn't have a mandate for the policies he ran on? I seem to remember Bush claiming a mandate in '04 on much less.

Now, given the economic realities, putting all of one's favorite policies into place may be difficult in '08.
10.19.2008 3:39pm
CB55 (mail):
Tom Perkins:

In January you can come over to my place and watch the Obama swearing in or stay home, sulk, whine and drink beer. Life goes on pal, even if you are under, on or missed the bus.
10.19.2008 3:44pm
peter jackson (mail) (www):
Everyone is worried about the negative effect to Obama from people voting against him because of his race, but the truth is that he will receive tens of millions of votes for the sole reason that he (half) black. Most of these votes will come from white Americans. The problem is going to be that if he is elected, his presidency will be, as politically inexperienced as he is, it's own reward, although I'm sure his first "malaise" speech will be awesome. And we will be reminded that voting for someone solely based on race isn't a bad idea because it's somehow "immoral" in a suppositional way, but rather it's a bad idea because it produces undesirable outcomes.
10.19.2008 3:44pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Tom Perkins, I don't think anyone is claiming that race isn't a major factor in why black Americans are unusually excited about Obama this year. (Well, someone probably does, but they're wrong.)


Refreshing to see reality making a dent.


But there's a big difference between saying that and concluding that a specific, highly unrepresentative, super-elite black person is supporting Obama principally because of Obama's race.


Except for the disconnect between what Powell claims his reasons to be and what Obama has claimed he'll do and has done. And let slip to Joe the Plumber.


Especially if you do so because he's one of "them."


Are you arguing Obama is more centrist in his record and stated policy preferences than McCain?


Ignoring the differences between individuals in favor of group characteristics is one of the hallmarks of racism.


Well clearly Powell is ignoring the differences between what he says he wants and what Obama has done and said, what do you imagine the reason for that to be? I suspect it is the same reason AA vote registration is so much higher this time around than times past, and why the small fraction of AA's who are voting GOP is reported to be falling in this election.

Racism.

Their racism.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 3:45pm
David Warner:
Observer,

"completely nonsensical given their moderate (or even arguably right-leaning) political views."

For a moderate conservative, given that African-Americans tend to hold conservative views on many issues, voting for a center-left ticket headed by an African-American candidate might be preferable to voting for a center ticket without one if the election of that ticket frees up African-Americans to vote on their conservative views rather than their grievances.
10.19.2008 3:48pm
David Warner:
trad and anon,

"But I don't think that will be true this time, because Obama actually got all those college students to the polls in the primaries."

Perhaps. But these guys predicted it in 1991. And Palin wasn't on the ballot in the primaries.
10.19.2008 3:51pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"what Obama has claimed he'll do and has done. And let slip to Joe the Plumber."


Right. It's not like John McCain ever promised to spread the wealth. I mean, he certainly hasn't proposed to spend $300 billion to buy up peoples' mortgages, has he?
10.19.2008 3:52pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
Oh wait:


"We need to buy up these mortgages, give you a mortgage that you can afford, so you can pay your mortgage and realize the American Dream of owning your home." - John McCain



Nope, no spreading the wealth there.
10.19.2008 3:55pm
marcystrauss (mail):
After the Powell endorsement, I went to foxnewscom to see how they reported it. Interestingly, the article (which was fairly lengthy), failed to mention some of Powell's most tellling attacks on McCain---including his argument that McCain's pick of Palin who is totally unqualified says much about McCain's judgment.
10.19.2008 3:55pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
Mahan, I don't agree with anything about the "bailout" but McCain's mortgage support has the benefit of being both more nuanced than you are implying, and closely targeted to the cause of CDO's being of undeterminable (or so it's claimed) worth--and nothing at all like a generic wealth redistributing scheme.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 4:00pm
Oren:

He doesn't really have to work with the GOP and knows it

The odds of 60 (or more) Dems in the Senate is ~30%. Somehow, I don't think that the GOP minority Senators will have much qualms obstructing (and more power to them, I wholeheartedly approve) Obama's legislative agenda as forcefully as Senate rules allow them.
10.19.2008 4:04pm
PC:
It's not like John McCain ever promised to spread the wealth. I mean, he certainly hasn't proposed to spend $300 billion to buy up peoples' mortgages, has he?

It's not socialism when Republicans do it, it's just doing the hard things that need to be done. I can guarantee if a Democratic president tried to do the stuff that Bush is getting away with he would be impeached.

Tom Perkins, did you vote for Bush? Twice? Motes, eyes, etc.
10.19.2008 4:04pm
OrinKerr:
Observer writes:
Professor Kerr, The McCain/Palin ticket is the most liberal Republican ticket in the history of the United States (by a significant margin).
That is an absurd claim. See Willkie, Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, GHW Bush etc.
The Obama/Biden ticket is the most liberal presidential ticket in the history of the United States (by an even more significant margin).
More than FDR? McGovern? I don't think so.
So, an Obama endorsement does not make sense for someone with moderate or centrist views (and perhaps not even from someone with moderate liberal views). This is not to say that Powell's endorsement had anything to do with race; after all, Chris Buckley and Doug Kmiec also made an endorsement that was completely nonsensical given their moderate (or even arguably right-leaning) political views.
Observer, I think you are wrong in your comparisons, and also wrong in your sense of what matters to the American people right now. After two terms of GW Bush, ideology doesn't matter much: People aren't really sure what ideology means (is W a "conservative"?), and on the other hand they know they want competence and intelligence and something as far from what W offered as they can get. To you this may seem "nonsensical," but I don't think it is.
10.19.2008 4:06pm
CB55 (mail):
marcystrauss:


Peggy Noonan said it best. The GOP got beat up because they had empty bags. No frame. No story. They simply had lots of catch words that given the past Bush/GOP record and the present conditions voters can not relate to McCain. In 2004 it was vote for Bush or you'll die, Liberals will be teaching kids Jim that marry Joe the Plumber, and Kerry will give you money to welfare Queens. At the end of the day voters must think, how can McCain be both an outsider and yet remain a Republican even if he voted for the Bush agenda 90% of the time?!
10.19.2008 4:06pm
TerrencePhilip:
BruceM wrote:I don't trust these polls. I think there are too many people who will say "sure I'll vote for Obama" to a pollster, to sound progressive, but come election day, when they're in the privacy of the voting booth, they will not vote for a black president. Racism, pure and simple. I sure hope I'm wrong. But I have a bad feeling the polls will keep showing OBama in the lead through the election, ditto with the exit polls, but when the votes are counted, it will be McCain by at least 10%. I hope I'm wrong. I really hope I'm wrong.

I personally find it impossible to believe McCain will win, but if he does win the popular vote it won't be by 10%.

Like you I agree that some voters will make race-based decisions. I don't really know how big that effect is. Also, maybe some voters have non-racist reasons to be against McCain but think it makes them sound progressive to lie to pollsters about being for Obama? Whatever happens in a couple of weeks, scholars and ordinary people will have plenty of fodder for discussion about voter behavior, that is for sure.
10.19.2008 4:07pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

including his argument that McCain's pick of Palin who is totally unqualified says much about McCain's judgment.


Except Palin is at least as qualified as Obama is--is at least as qualified as a certain haberdasher was--Powell protests too much. His excuses are hollow, not in comport with reality.

And for that matter, who did Obama pick as VP? Joe "J-O-B-S is a three letter word" Biden. Imagine, if you can be honest, how the media would have treated that idiocy if Palin had said it.

I suppose it can only be a mystery what there is about Obama that Powell has decided to like, such that Powell employs tests against the McCain ticket which Obama miserably fails.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 4:07pm
Oren:

Except Palin is at least as qualified as Obama is

Because University of Idaho Boise is really just like Harvard?
10.19.2008 4:10pm
PC:
Because University of Idaho Boise is really just like Harvard?

Elitist.
10.19.2008 4:14pm
Warren Buffet supports a socialist? (mail):
Hey Bernstein, loved that little "share the wealth" button you posted the other day. Here's a question for you:

Warren Buffet, the second wealthiest human on the plant, supports Barack Obama; why would he support a socialist?
10.19.2008 4:15pm
trad and anon (mail):
Except Obama's ideas are all 80 or so years old and were mistakes when they were first put into practice by FDR.
Yep, FDR ran on a universal health insurance plan, and Obama wants to reinstate NIRA. And the centerpieces of McCain's campaign are abolishing the SEC and FDIC, repealing the FLSA and Social Security, and reinstating the gold standard.
10.19.2008 4:17pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Because University of Idaho Boise is really just like Harvard?

Elitist.


Not merely elitist, but beside the point.

Palin has done more with her sheepskin from Boise than Obama has with one from the Ivy League.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 4:17pm
Syd Henderson (mail):
Palin is underqualified, not totally unqualified. If she'd spent a full term as governor, she'd be a lot more plausible candidate. That's assuming she used that extra time preparing herself to be a national figure.
10.19.2008 4:19pm
U.Va. Grad:
Tom Perkins:

FDR's disastrous economic policies deepened and lengthened the Depression. Arguing against that has all the intellectual honesty as arguing against gravity. I suppose you'll claim the numbers have a conservative bias in response?

The numbers are right, and the numbers don't have a conservative bias. But the numbers are irrelevant. Joseph Slater is right because the electorate, by and large, believes FDR saved the economy. For reasons Ilya Somin and Bryan Caplan address in their work on the ignorance of voters, any amount of numbers thrown at the voters won't matter. Running on "Obama is the next FDR, and FDR was horrible for the American economy" won't work because nowhere near enough people agree with the second half of the statement.
10.19.2008 4:24pm
Warren Buffet supports a socialist? (mail):
Yes Tom Perkins, I was *so* impressed watching Palin in her interviews with Gibson and Couric; she was totally coherent and possessed an ability to speak in comprehensible, complete sentences in a manner responsive to the questions asked.

Oh, wait, that's the exact opposite of reality. Palin is a disgraceful pick; utterly un-informed about matters of national policy. But hey, if Putin rears his head in our air space, she'll be ready. Not like she's ever demonstrated any attempt to engage with Russia as governor, but she's got the air space covered.
10.19.2008 4:25pm
vmark1:
How long it will be if BO wins that his base accuses of him of 'not being black enough?' Spike Lee was on BET trying to lower expectations by saying..."BO is NOT Jesus...he is not going to just represent black people...but white people too...that's how government works..." Thanks for the civics lesson. Sadly I think its going to be needed.

Kelly, maybe CP didn't support BO because of race. How about something cynical instead. He waited to see what candidate looked like the winner...tossed him his support...and hopefully lands a nice cabinet spot? Now THAT is 'transformational' thinking...
10.19.2008 4:26pm
trad and anon (mail):
The odds of 60 (or more) Dems in the Senate is ~30%. Somehow, I don't think that the GOP minority Senators will have much qualms obstructing (and more power to them, I wholeheartedly approve) Obama's legislative agenda as forcefully as Senate rules allow them.
Sure. But with "only" 57-59 Democrats in the Senate the Democrats would only need to peel off 1-3 Republicans to push things through. The GOP will have to work very hard to hold the line.
Except Palin is at least as qualified as Obama is
Because University of Idaho Boise is really just like Harvard?
And mayor of a minuscule "town" for 6 years and two years as governor of a tiny state whose economy consists of the oil industry and federal spending is a much better qualification than being a constitutional law professor, a state legislator in a large, normal state for 12 years, and a United States Senator for four years. Why? Because she can see Russia from her house.
10.19.2008 4:27pm
CB55 (mail):
The late media guru Marshall McLuhan said that the content of any media is the content of another medium. The content of Palin is the content of the McCain/GOP message in a consumer society that has nothing to do with ideology but shopping, merchandising, mass marketing, direct mail, test groups and consumer profiles.
10.19.2008 4:33pm
vmark1:
normal state for 12 years

Trad are you from Chicago? Or even Illinois?
10.19.2008 4:35pm
just me (mail):
Warren Buffet, the second wealthiest human on the plant, supports Barack Obama; why would he support a socialist?

1. I believe Obama is a socialist in the European style-but I work with a very liberal friend who is a huge Obama supporter and she thinks the government should take over the oil industry, and she believe obama will do it, so there are some liberals out there who have no problems with the idea of nationalized industries-just depends on the industry-healthcare and oil are the two I hear about. Although she never really indicated just how the government should take over the industry, but she didn't think the government should buy the companies-since it was just a bunch of rich executives (wonder how much stock she has in some of those companies) and she figured Uncle Sam wouldn't fire any employees-they would just become government employees.

2. Buffet supports him, because he has so much money tax policy-especially on income doesn't matter. But it is the wealthy-those who own their own businesses, who are building their businesses that would be harmed by tax increases. Buffet's wealth inoculates him from a lot of the tax policy-how much income does he actually earn each year to be taxes as a percentage of his overall wealth?
10.19.2008 4:37pm
MartyA:
"-- Presumably racist voters are not voting for Obama. -- "

Well, maybe so for the white racists, but ALL the black racists are voting for Obama, some, multiple times.
10.19.2008 4:38pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Warren Buffet supports a socialist?


Yes, he certainly does. It's not even unprecedented.

Which Joe was Armand Hammer buddy with--hint, not Biden or the Plumber.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 4:44pm
Warren Buffet supports a socialist? (mail):
Sure Marty, Obama's going to win because of some massive, secret conspiracy to have people vote repeatedly. Not because 90% of the country thinks we're on the wrong track, or the 2-term GOP president is suffering from literally the worst approval ratings in the history of our country. Nah, everyone loves Republicans. Positing a massive conspiracy involving thousands of people voting multiple times in swing states is a far more plausible explanation for the likely election outcome.
10.19.2008 4:46pm
PC:
Warren Buffet, the second wealthiest human on the plant, supports Barack Obama; why would he support a socialist?

Because he hates America. iirc, Buffet has complained about cap gains:

"The 400 of us [here] pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter. If you’re in the luckiest 1 per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent."


People can argue about Buffet's views on tax policy, but I learned long ago not to bet against Buffet in business.
10.19.2008 4:48pm
PC:
Positing a massive conspiracy involving thousands of people voting multiple times in swing states is a far more plausible explanation for the likely election outcome.

It's the Republican grassy knoll.
10.19.2008 4:50pm
CB55 (mail):
MartyA:

This is a dead issue. News reports show voters are voting for McCain on a single issue cause he is an old war hero or that he opposes abortion. What do we call these people? The leader of a major black church supports McCain because of the abortion issue. I bet you can find like minded voters for Obama.
10.19.2008 4:51pm
CB55 (mail):
Give me a break. I love France, but the USA ain't a socialist state in the strictest sense of the word. Most Democrats are not even progressive, they believe in the stability that a strong middle class and opportunity and resources for the those that work. They work in the behalf of to poor in the believe that if we have too many of them they will riot and will make the rich not able to find good help. This is not a radical view. A tax cut for 95% of the people, with a tax increase on 5% of the nation's wealthiest citizens is not crazy - and it's definitely not socialist.

Socialism - in full blown socialism, we would be nationalizing industries (*cough* bailout *cough* *cough*), eradicating private property, and giving the workers control of the means of production. Obama, a socialist? Bah. Obama's stance on free trade is not all that different from other liberals who are on the right of progressives...liberals like change in small does - they just rearange the furnature, put on a coat of paint or change the curtains but he's a market driven capitalist that I like, and I will vote for him as soon as my ball out check comes in the mail. Mwahahha.

Obviously, McCain believes that taking excess money from the Treasury (more than $250+ billions from the Clinton Administration) and giving it to the largest corporations and the wealthy in the USA, and then taxing the working person is acceptable. Huckabee called giving the working person tax breaks nothing less than welfare, which appears to be McCain's misleading message today. Does this mean that Corporate America has been on welfare for the past 8-years? The GOP believes that if you are not an investor you are labor scum or worse on welfare but in any case you are not worthy of a tax cut because you will get spoiled by shopping at WalMart.

Sarah Palin redistributes oil revenue to her population every year ... thats not socialism? Sarah Palin pals around with secessionists... thats patriotic? Sarah Palin says we need to know the 'real' Obama... who's written two autobiographies and participated in 26 public debates. Palin won't even do an interview with out a life line.

Top 10% Wealthy benefit from Government Socialism while the 90% of us abide by Capitalism - Trickle Down Pyramid PONZIE Scheme. We have this under the Neo Cons! Americans are Middle Class or at least pretend they are because they are up to their azz in debt, but about 60% of them earn less than $55,000 a year, like Palin most do not own a passport, think a visit to a foreign country is breakfast at IHOP or a vacation at DisneyWorld and if they are lucky their biggest asset is their family home. You know the American Empire is in decline when Americans trusts a man that does not own how many houses he owns and has never held a real job.
10.19.2008 4:59pm
vmark1:
Since BO is going to win...let's pick his cabinet...Sec of Defense has to go to....WILLIAM AYERS.
10.19.2008 5:02pm
tvk:
Orin,

Just in case you are still reading this thread, are you still endorsing McCain? These days you seem to be spending so much time defending Obama and his endorsers that one can reasonably question that.
10.19.2008 5:06pm
SenatorX (mail):
Maybe I misunderstood the thread, but then is your point that Powell is not acting on the basis of race, but that some people are going to think so because they're racists and think black people don't vote on the merits? That may be true, but I don't understand the relevance of it: Presumably racist voters are not voting for Obama.

Are you saying that you think anyone who believes there is racial bias in the black vote right now is a racist themselves?

Are you saying a black man could wear a McCain t-shirt and walk around today without being called a "race traitor"?

Are you saying if Obama loses the election it won't be blamed on racists?

This is in our face every day now and I think you are going way out on limb to assume someone is a racist when they point out a racial bias in this current election. If one were to even suggest a black person might not vote on merits alone(elite or not) they are immediately determined a racist?

I do think it’s correct and noble to judge every person as an individual. However I don't think it's racist to notice trends. You would have to live a lie and act naïve all the time.
10.19.2008 5:13pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
I would pay more attention to Obama's "kitchen cabinet." They don't get Senate scrutiny, but can be highly influential. For example Reagan's kitchen cabinet included: William French Smith, Charles Wick, Holmes Tuttle, Joseph Coors, Earle Jorgensen, and others of a similar ilk. The corresponding people advising Obama will tell us a lot about him. Look for David Axelrod to be chief of staff and the one running the US government. Obama is similar to Reagan in that he doesn't like to deal with details and wants to stick to the big picture. Nothing wrong with that providing it's the right big picture. If we are denied details about who is in his inner circle, then watch out.
10.19.2008 5:24pm
Franklin Drackman:
All Y'all Pointyheads be misunderstandin the Brad-ley Affect. It ain't that %5 of Whites lie, its that 5% of the coloreds are too lazy to show up, thats why there aint no black guys doin lawnwork anymore, its all Mexicans, and THEY will show up rain or shine, but they afraid to vote cause of the INS and everything.
10.19.2008 5:25pm
first history:
But the Democrats would be wise to hold off on all the talk of who is going to be in Obama's cabinet . . .

I presume the source of this comment is the (London) Sunday Times:


With the economy on the brink of recession and the country in the midst of two foreign wars, Barack Obama is considering appointing a cabinet of stars to steer America through potentially its worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s if he wins the presidency on November 4.
. . .
A host of well-known figures, including some Republicans, have indicated they would be willing to serve in some capacity as Obama begins to acquire a winner’s glow. From Senator John Kerry, the 2004 presidential candidate with hopes of becoming secretary of state, to Larry Summers, a former US Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator who has been tipped as defence secretary, there are plenty who have signalled their availability.


I would definitely take this with a grain of salt, as this is the same organization that predicted a Bristol Palin wedding that would be a game-changing October surprise. Last I heard the "wedding" will take place this summer. (My bet is that if McCain-Palin loses there will be no wedding and Bristol and Levi will slip into obscurity.)

Of course Pelosi would say it's in the bag for Obama, do you think a Democratic leader would say "maybe Obama will lose?" She has to express supreme confidence in the Democratic candidate. Frankly, I hope Obama loses the popular vote but wins the Electoral College and thus the Presidency. Then conservatives can feel what Democrats have felt for the past eight years: "We wuz robbed!"
10.19.2008 5:29pm
Hoosier:
vmark1:
normal state for 12 years

Trad are you from Chicago? Or even Illinois?


I spent more than 20 years living in Cook County. And I'm with vmark: If that is a "normal" place, then I'm happy to be in the abnormal Hoosier State.

Illinois has sent three governors to prison in my lifetime. Blagojevich may make it four. How does that compare to Louisiana?

Normal?
10.19.2008 5:30pm
CB55 (mail):
A. Zarkov:

Obama has a precedent of custom and law. The Bush Admin had or has state paid advisers such as Rove and Meirs, and of course signing statements. Remember all of the stuff of law and precedent for better or worse that Bush enacted carries over to Obama. I can hear the GOP crying about the Bill of Rights, yet they were among the first in line to drown it in a glass of cola and ice.
10.19.2008 5:33pm
Darwin (mail) (www):

1) Submit fraudulent registrations
2) ?????
3) Steal the election

No one has explained the logistics of 2) that doesn't involve a large amount of tin foil.


Ok, here's the missing explanation.

1) Submit fraudulent registrations, including registrations for disenfranchised felons.
2) Have disenfranchised felon vote. This happens every election, and the votes are not invalidated retroactively.
3) Steal the election.

Or :
1) Submit fraudulent registrations in a state which does not require picture ID or verification of ID.
2) Submit fraudulent absentee ballot, which will also be counted and not invalidated retroactively.
3) Steal the election

This pretense that voter registration fraud cannot possibly result in voter fraud... methinks the lady doth protest too much. Now sure, one can make a reasonable argument that the few thousand fraudulent votes one could conceivably "steal" via these methods would be unlikely to sway an election. But then, of course, we'd have to explain all of the whining about a few thousand voters in 2000...

=darwin
10.19.2008 5:37pm
CB55 (mail):
Franklin Drackman:

Since Nixon, the GOP has demonstrated again and again that they do not need the Blk vote to win the White House...it wins despite the Blk vote
10.19.2008 5:38pm
peter jackson (mail) (www):
I don't understand why everyone thinks voter fraud would have to involve people walking into a polling place and vote multiple times. Where I vote it's like this: polling stations are assigned a number of sets of bar code stickers with a four digit code equal to the number of voters registered in that area. A voter signs into the station register and a sticker is affixed next to their signature. The matching barcode is affixed to the log for the voting machine to which they are assigned and a four digit code is . The voter enters the four digit code into the voting terminal, casts their ballot and goes on their merry way. At the end of the day the number of votes will be compared to the number of signatures assigned to each terminal. If they match, all is good.

By flooding the system with bogus registrations, more bogus votes can be validated with systems like the one we use here in Austin. The bogus votes need not be entered one at a time by a fraudulent voter walking through the front door, a corrupt volunteer poll worker is much more efficient.
10.19.2008 5:43pm
PC:
Darwin, ok, so you are saying ACORN is gathering up 1,000 ex-felons per state that are willing to commit multiple counts of a Federal felony? In your first scenario it would require extraordinary logistics. In the second, it would be easy to detect. Just because a registration is submitted does not mean it is accepted. If Mickey Mouse registers 70 times, Mickey isn't going to get 70 absentee ballots.

Either way, I still don't see any reasonable way to keep a conspiracy that big a secret. And I'm not sure why ACORN would blow their cover by turning in fraudulent registrations, as required by law. If ACORN was attempting to steal the election, wouldn't they trash all of the Mickey Mouse registrations so they wouldn't garner so much media attention?
10.19.2008 5:46pm
ADF79:
The national poll numbers don't mean a thing, of course. But probabilistic (Monte Carlo) simulations of electoral vote counts by state (based on a comprehensive running average of polling results for that state) show that Obama has a 94% chance of winning the electoral college. See http://fivethirtyeight.com.
10.19.2008 5:46pm
peter jackson (mail) (www):
PC:

ACORN isn't trying to "steal" the election. They're merely prepping the system for the fraudulent votes and/or legal attacks of others.
10.19.2008 5:55pm
Hoosier:
Obama is a total shoo-in.

There's really no question about it.

So there is no need to show up on election day to vote for him. He's already going to win, and it would be a lot of trouble for you to go to the polls.

Pass it on to your friends and neighbors.
10.19.2008 5:56pm
Angus:
FDR's disastrous economic policies deepened and lengthened the Depression. Arguing against that has all the intellectual honesty as arguing against gravity. I suppose you'll claim the numbers have a conservative bias in response?
Except that no one has proven that FDR's policies deepened and lengthened the Depression, nor is such proof possible. In order to prove that, you would have to be able to compare what did happen with what might have happened, which in the end is nothing more than creative fiction. It's the equivalent of asking: what would have happened if the Confederacy won the Civil War? Interesting, but not grounded in reality.
10.19.2008 5:58pm
Hoosier:
Angus: Yeah, counterfactuals are a pain. The best one can say is that the economy was in many ways as bad in 1937 as it was in 1932. The New Deal wasn't much of a recovery program. Hitler's aggression, on the other hand, was great for our economy.
10.19.2008 6:00pm
vmark1:
PC.

Lived in Chicago for 12 years..On election day I couldn't get any of my drivers to work. They all worked for the "Machine" they would troll nursing homes, retirement villages, Salvation Army...and for a carton of smokes, chocolates, booze, they would "bribe and drive" these folks to polling places all over the city. Blind? No problem. I'll help you w/the ballot. Demented? For SURE not a problem...It's great. The drivers made an hourly rate plus a bonus if they hit a quota...I was amazed. It certainly was no secret. Tip of the day. If you are in Chicago on Nov 4th and see large 16 pass vans rolling in your direction...get out of the way. An editorial in the Chicago Trib from the late 1800's opined..."The only thing the Chicago City Council hasn't stolen is the pot belly stove. It is January and too hot to pick up and carry away..." Cheers!
10.19.2008 6:01pm
PC:
peter jackson, who is actually doing the ground work for the fraudulent votes? Who is gathering up thousands of people to do this?

This has all of the hallmarks of a classic conspiracy theory. Plenty of accusations about them, but no one can say who they are or how they accomplished their nefarious task.
10.19.2008 6:06pm
Dave N (mail):
Angus,

While I agree that "what would have happened if" scenarios are an interesting parlor game and ultimately irrelevant, I think you can look at what actually did happen and see if what did happened can be measured a success or a failure.

From what I have read, the economic data in 1938 and 1939 wasn't horribly better than what Roosevelt inherited in 1933. And I think you can look at that data and decide whether his policies were successful or not.
10.19.2008 6:08pm
PC:
vmark1, let's take Ohio for example. In Ohio you need ID to vote. So not only does ACORN need to get enough fraudulent registrations through (while raising suspicion by turning in obviously fraudulent registrations), ACORN needs to know which registrations were accepted. ACORN then needs to pass that information on to them so they can create multiple fake IDs for the 1,000 people that are going to show up to the polls.

Doesn't this start to sound a wee bit ridiculous to anyone else?
10.19.2008 6:11pm
AndrewK (mail):

AndrewK: if it were the Republican Party poised to make big gains in both Houses of Congress and win the Presidency, in a way that hadn't been equalled in many decades, would it be plausible to say that the hypothetical Repub Prez candidate wouldn't have a mandate for the policies he ran on?


My point isn't based on the magnitude of the gains. My point is that everyone on this board seems to agree that the "real" issues are being overlooked by both campaigns. The claims are like this: (1) people are voting against Obama because they are racist, (2) people are voting for Obama because they don't like the McCain negative attacks, etc. etc. Hell, Democrats could win ALL the seats in both houses AND the presidency, and it wouldn't be a mandate. Same for Republicans. I know that when I wake up on November 15th, however, I'm not going to hear "Candidate X won, and guess what? It was so close he decided that he's just going to scrap his agenda."

I'm going to hear some bologna about how the election indicates that the voters want sweeping change, and that the imperial presidency is alive and well. But there just won't be evidence for that.
10.19.2008 6:12pm
AndrewK (mail):
This has been the most superficial campaign I have seen in my (admittedly short) lifetime.
10.19.2008 6:13pm
byomtov (mail):
Per Hoosier:

"Hitler saved the US from the Great Depression."

This comment is intended as a joke
10.19.2008 6:14pm
Dave N (mail):
I agree that Obama will likely win. I also agree that Republicans will probably lose Senate seats this year.

That said, it is my prediction that President Obama will be much like President Clinton in 1993-1995, and believe he has a mandate for more change than the American people will stomach. As a result, they will overreact (as Republicans have done in the past asw well).

Pelosi will get 20 seats this year--and lose 40+ in 2010. Republicans won't gain as much in the Senate, since 2004 was such a Republican year in the Senate, but Obama will have to worry about losing the Senate in 2012 along with potentially also losing his re-election.
10.19.2008 6:15pm
CB55 (mail):
How is Obama so called socialism different from McCain socialism. We do know that under Democrats and the GOP we bailed out Wall Street. The major banks are now in part state owned. We redistributed wealth to the top 10% of the population.
10.19.2008 6:19pm
Calderon:
In order to prove that, you would have to be able to compare what did happen with what might have happened, which in the end is nothing more than creative fiction. It's the equivalent of asking: what would have happened if the Confederacy won the Civil War? Interesting, but not grounded in reality.

By the same logic, it's impossible to prove that the New Deal had anything to do with ending the Great Depression, too. To evaluate ANY real life policy, you're going to have to compare it with a hypothetical situtation in which other policies were followed instead.
10.19.2008 6:20pm
MarkField (mail):

From what I have read, the economic data in 1938 and 1939 wasn't horribly better than what Roosevelt inherited in 1933. And I think you can look at that data and decide whether his policies were successful or not.


What happened was that the economy improved significantly from 1933 through 1936. After the re-election, Roosevelt decided to tighten things up monetarily. As a result, we had another round of depression starting in '37 or '38 and didn't get out until wartime spending took over.
10.19.2008 6:24pm
Darwin (mail) (www):
@PC :
Darwin, ok, so you are saying ACORN is gathering up 1,000 ex-felons per state that are willing to commit multiple counts of a Federal felony?

No. I am most definitely not saying that.

(emphasis mine)
Many convicted felons remain on voter rolls, according to Sun Sentinel investigation
"
More than 30,000 Florida felons who by law should have been stripped of their right to vote remain registered to cast ballots in this presidential battleground state, a Sun Sentinel investigation has found.

Many are faithful voters, with at least 4,900 turning out in past elections.

Florida's elections chief, Secretary of State Kurt Browning, acknowledged his staff has failed to remove thousands of ineligible felons because of a shortage of workers and a crush of new registrations in this critical swing state.
...
Several felon voters interviewed by the Sun Sentinel expressed confusion over automatic clemency and said they thought their voting rights had been restored. Some said they merely signed registration forms that were filled out by volunteers.

"If I wasn't able to vote, they wouldn't have given me my [voter registration] card," said John A. Henderson, 55, a Hallandale Beach Democrat. "I voted the last time and the times before that."
"

Pretty straightforward. ACORN doesn't have to "gather up 1,000 ex-felons per state that are willing to commit a Federal Felony" because they do so in the normal execution of their voter registration.

"
It's a third-degree felony for ineligible voters to knowingly cast ballots and for campaign workers and voters to submit false registration forms. Prosecutors and elections officials in South Florida could not recall any prosecutions related to felons registering or voting in recent years.
"

Note the key word "knowingly." If ACORN has, for example, a "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding possible felony disenfranchisement and ex-felons do not understand their eligibility to vote, then they could conceivably vote illegally and have their vote counted without committing the "Federal Felony" of voter fraud.

FWIW, I think Felony Disenfranchisement is incredibly Un-American and should be discontinued entirely. However as the law stands, it provides an avenue for the fudging of a few thousands of votes, demographically in the Democratic direction. It's no surprise that activist groups have figured this out and are exploiting it within the bounds of the laws which constrain voter registration activities.

I don't think this is really a critical issue in an election-swinging sense, but I didn't think that is was in 2000 either, when everyone told me it was.. so which is it?

=darwin
10.19.2008 6:26pm
JosephSlater (mail):
AndrewK: I would say that Obama has been running on some specifics -- his tax plan, his health care plan, etc., and that if he wins he can rightfully claim a mandate. I don't for a second think that everyone, or even a majority of folks voting for or against McCain are doing so because of race, nor have I heard others suggest that.

Tom Perkins: If you're still reading, the original mention of Palin was not about re-hashing her qualifications or lack thereof. Rather, a poster had noted that Fox News edited out/didn't discuss that part of Powell's endorsement that criticized Palin.
10.19.2008 6:31pm
Dave N (mail):
byomotov,

If you look at the history, the unemployment rate rate peaked at 24.9% in 1933, Roosevelt's first year in office, dropped to about 17% in 1936, dropped a bit more to 14.3% in 1937, and rose to 19% in 1938.

So yes, Hitler's rise did more than anything else to end the Great Depression.
10.19.2008 6:34pm
Federal Dog:
Once a herd starts stampeding, it cannot be stopped. People will only snap oout of it after the fact when it inevitably turns out that despite Farrakhan's, e.g., assurances, Obama is no messiah. When the cult falls apart, as cults always do, the backlash will be equally stupid and brutal. Stupid, because people should have understood all along what Obama is and is not. Brutal, because he is riding pure emotion into office, and emotion is fickle when disappointed.
10.19.2008 6:38pm
Dave N (mail):
Mark Field,

I agree that FDR deserves credit for chopping 10% off the unemployment numbers between 1933 and 1937, but the Depression was far from over in 1937 and did not end until World War II.
10.19.2008 6:42pm
Toby:
Here's all you need to know about the wide-spread support for BOs policies by the populace...

Votes on BO and JM policues
10.19.2008 6:43pm
vmark1:
PC. I'm in MI now...how'd you like MI loss to Toledo? Unreal. Anyway. In Chicago. You need ID also. A paystub, utility bill, DL, government paycheck, mind you that's what you need to show if you don't have a SS# or a valid Drivers License. You only have to show the last 4 of your SS on a document. Simple enough to get around. The problems are two fold. It's easy to register in numerous precincts. You only have to be a resident in a precinct for 30 days. They WON'T catch up. Your polling place reps are only making 120 bucks in Chicago to sit all day. Say you have 5000 registered voters. 1500 are sober enough to find the polling place. The rest are lost in one of the aforementioned vans, or crying about the Bears...so Big Joe Lebinowitz gives the polling place rep 500 bucks, and a bottle of gin to stuff the box w/the remaining ballots to whomever he chooses. It'simple. It happens all the time. Kennedy won Cook County by only 450,000 votes. Which gave Kennedy a 9,000 vote victory in all of Illinois. Best part? The old man Daley held back the final votes counts until late in the morning after the election see what figure he would need to guarantee a victory! There is nothing like Chicago politics.

W' only won Ohio by what? 140k votes? This is not lost on any of the parties involved...
10.19.2008 6:43pm
Darwin (mail) (www):
@PC:
In Ohio you need ID to vote. So not only does ACORN need to get enough fraudulent registrations through (while raising suspicion by turning in obviously fraudulent registrations), ACORN needs to know which registrations were accepted. ACORN then needs to pass that information on to them so they can create multiple fake IDs for the 1,000 people that are going to show up to the polls.

To be clear, I don't think ACORN or equivalent is trying to do the above kind of fraud, because it's a low-percentage move given Ohio's ID requirement at polling places.

But you neglect to mention that the Ohio voter ID requirement :

a) Dates to 2002.
b) Exists as a result of concessions to Republicans in the post-2000 Help America Vote Act.
c) Was only resolved as a fully-settled issue in 2006 (news.cincinnati.com).

In other words, this sort of fraud was a plausible result of ACORN's registration activities in your example, Ohio, up until as recently as 2006, and it only became impossible then because of the wishes of the Republicans. Not quite the dramatic point it seems.. ?

=darwin
10.19.2008 6:56pm
McCain/Palin Voter (mail):
Wikipedia Definition:

Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.

Obama is an empty suit with good speeches and a lot of money. McCain is an open book. Both have used propaganda, but at least I know what I'm getting with McCain/Palin.

If the Media wasn't in Obama's pocket, he would NEVER have beaten Hillary. I'm hoping the women voters vote for McCain/Palin and AGAINST Obama. Four years of Obama/Biden will be far worse than the Carter Presidency. I lived through that fiasco. Especially, with Pelosi and Reid it WILL BE FAR WORSE.

But Carter was the main reason we had eight years of Reagan (YEAH!!) So there's hope either way.
10.19.2008 7:03pm
just me (mail):
The bogus votes need not be entered one at a time by a fraudulent voter walking through the front door, a corrupt volunteer poll worker is much more efficient.

I actually suspect this is how most voter fraud happens.

Some systems are of course easier to game than others, but in the end I figure it is a corrupt election official or poll worker that commits the fraud.

In my ward you sign in, get a ballot, put it in the box (or now through the machine) and leave. If a campaign worker was corrupt, and had an idea of who was and wasn't a "real" voter on the list, they could sign in and cast a ballot-although they would have to get the person at the machine to cooperate, but I guess my point is that people determined to game a system, especially when they work the system can figure out ways around it.

I think maybe a good way to prevent fraud though would be to have double signatures at two stations with ID required. Check in at station one, show ID, sign in, get ballot, vote, place ballot in balloting container, check out, show ID, sign out, leave. This puts more bodies at each point, and perhaps have different parties working the different tables-so that one party can't game the whole thing.
10.19.2008 7:04pm
Anderson (mail):
Re: Prof. Kerr, I believe he's expressly on record as voting McCain for what he perceives as superior Supreme Court (&presumably lower-court) nominations.

It's a defensible position, though I would agree w/ General Powell that the Court is plenty right-wing as it is. Even if Obama were to nominate someone as far-left as Thomas is far-right (Reinhardt?), I doubt that the nomination would clear the Senate, and a solid conservative majority would remain.

NPR the other day called the Court evenly split b/t right and left, with one moderate swing vote -- Anthony Kennedy. GMAFB, as they say.
10.19.2008 7:05pm
Anderson (mail):
Both have used propaganda, but at least I know what I'm getting with McCain/Palin.

I imagine that votes for the Reichstag in 1932 had similar justifications. Were they correct, those voters, I wonder?
10.19.2008 7:06pm
Russ (mail):
"Hitler saved the US from the Great Depression."

This comment is intended as a joke


The problem with your statement, byomotov, is that your "joke" turns out to be completely accurate.

Well, maybe it needs a bit more, since the Japanese had something to do with our entry into WWII. And then, we attacked a nation, Germany, that never attacked us! Oh the lies!

WWII saved the nation's economy. Sorry if that distresses you, but that's thr truth.
10.19.2008 7:12pm
Russ (mail):
*the

...damn keyboard...
10.19.2008 7:12pm
just me (mail):
It's a defensible position, though I would agree w/ General Powell that the Court is plenty right-wing as it is. Even if Obama were to nominate someone as far-left as Thomas is far-right (Reinhardt?), I doubt that the nomination would clear the Senate, and a solid conservative majority would remain.

You have far more faith in Obama and the US senate he is getting than I do.

For one thing, I suspect McCain will continue to be principled on this issue and will vote in favor of any nominee that meets the constitutional requirements, and not on an ideological basis. He is voting for cloture, and probably wouldn't support or participate in a fillibuster.

I don't at all picture Obama nominating moderates or centrist judges-especially if it is left wing justices he will be replacing. I do wonder if Stevens and Ginsberg won't seize the moment and resign sometime in the first two years of Obama's presidency given they won't have to worry much about their replacements. If Obama can't put a liberal through with a liberal senate, then he will never get one through.
10.19.2008 7:17pm
Russ (mail):
Congrats, Anderson, on showing how completely unserious you truly are. Partisans on either side discredit themselves when comparing a political foe, in any way, to one of the most murderous and nightmarish regimes in history.

Bush=Hitler

Obama is a mulsim

Trig Palin really belonged to her daughter Bristol

Every time you vote democrat, God kills a kitten

With each side trying to paint the other not as mistaken, but as evil, it makes me wonder how we'll react to a true threat to our nation. Imagine if terrorists managed to pull off an attack on the US. We'd probably bicker so hard and see each other as the enemy, that we'd give the true enemy hope.

Oops, too late...
10.19.2008 7:17pm
vmark1:
Russ

Every time you vote democrat, God kills a kitten


I'm going to turn that into a bumper sticker...is that OK?grr
10.19.2008 7:22pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Dave N.

That's a good site, thanks for pointing us to it. As far as I can tell the unemployment numbers come from this reference:
Historical Statistics US (1976) series D-86
But I can't find out what's the methodology behind the numbers. As this kind of thing is highly political one must be very skeptical until you find out how they were calculated.
10.19.2008 7:39pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
@ JosephSlater.

That Fox did not repeat Powell's comments entire is not noteworthy. Also, while what you mentioned was that other poster's attempt to be pointed, my point is that knowing of those further words does nothing to burnish Powell's implicit claim that he's a moderate voting for new ideas, or that the Palin pick is any sort of valid indictment of the McCain campaign on the grounds of her inexperience.

There is still a gaping credibility problem on Powell's part when he makes excuses for his endorsement where the tests he applies to McCain's campaign are not ones where Obama is competitive.

Powell said the choice of an African-American candidate is electrifying, and I suspect that must have been the tingling going up the one guy's leg, and that it has burnt out Powell's faculties.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 7:46pm
LM (mail):
Joseph Slater,

One nit: To get a 15% swing, you'd need 7 1/2% Bradley Effect voters, not 15.
10.19.2008 7:47pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Did FDR help or prolong the Great Depression? According to this source, academic economists are about evenly divided on this question, but historians tend to believe he helped. In any case the source gives a pretty good summary of the competing viewpoints on this issue with extensive references.

Read and decide for yourself. Is this too much to ask of some people?
10.19.2008 7:48pm
JosephSlater (mail):
LM: Good point, I appreciate the correction. A 7.5% Bradley effect ain't gonna happen either, though.

Tom Perkins: Powell complained of a "narrow" Republican Party. Ignore that warning at your peril.
10.19.2008 7:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Popular joke in the United States in the 1934 about different political theories.

Socialism: If you own two cows you give one to your neighbour.

Communism: You give both cows to the government and the government gives you back some of the milk.

Fascism: You keep the cows but give the milk to the government, which sells some of it back to you.

New Dealism: You shoot both cows and milk the government.
10.19.2008 7:52pm
Pender:
Is Obama a Sure Thing?
Well, you know, feel free to make yourself rich with a 660% return on investment on Intrade if you think he's not. Otherwise this discussion seems pretty fatuous.
10.19.2008 8:00pm
Angus:
And then, we attacked a nation, Germany, that never attacked us! Oh the lies!
Germany declared war on the United States, thus necessitating our declaration of war against them.
10.19.2008 8:02pm
MarkField (mail):

I agree that FDR deserves credit for chopping 10% off the unemployment numbers between 1933 and 1937, but the Depression was far from over in 1937 and did not end until World War II.


I agree. It's more accurate to say that his first term ameliorated the Depression, but certainly did not end it. The scale of the problem was simply too great.
10.19.2008 8:16pm
OrinKerr:
NPR the other day called the Court evenly split b/t right and left, with one moderate swing vote -- Anthony Kennedy. GMAFB, as they say.

Anderson, I assume "GMAFB" means "Gone Made an Accurate and Full Benchmark?" FWIW, I think it's just eaier to say something like, "That's Correct."
10.19.2008 8:24pm
Observer:
"NPR the other day called the Court evenly split b/t right and left, with one moderate swing vote -- Anthony Kennedy. GMAFB, as they say."

This is far from accurate. The two "conservative" Justices on the Court, Thomas and Scalia, merely enforce the Constitution. This is what judges are supposed to do and there is nothing conservative about this. Alito and Roberts generally enforce the Constitution, but often consider themselves to be bound by precedents created by left-wing Justices, so they are moderate liberals. Kennedy is farther left, since not only does he refuse to overrule wrong activist precedents, but he also is comfortable moving jurisprudence farther left (see, e.g., Rasul v. Bush, Boumediene v. Bush, Lawrence v. Texas). The other four justices consistently support judicial activism, i.e., making up things that have nothing to do with the Constitution to support their policy preferences (admittedly, the difference between these four and Kennedy is just one of degree).

If Scalia and Thomas were as conservative as Kennedy is liberal, they would argue that the Constitution *requires* states to prohibit, say, abortion. After all, this argument could be made as convincingly as the argument that the Constitution prohibits states from prohibiting abortion. Same could be said for dozens of other constitutional issues.
10.19.2008 8:52pm
second history:
If Scalia and Thomas were as conservative as Kennedy is liberal, they would argue that the Constitution *requires* states to prohibit, say, abortion.

One can only hope. This is a proposition I support, along with the prosecution of both doctor and patient. Under the felony murder rule, both would be reponsible for the death of the fetus. To say Roe v. Wade is wrong on federalist grounds (that it should be left to the states) still allows the killing of human life. So if Roe is overturned, it should result in a ban on abortion, not merely changing the jurisdiction that allows the killing.
10.19.2008 9:05pm
Arkady:

This is a proposition I support, along with the prosecution of both doctor and patient. Under the felony murder rule, both would be reponsible for the death of the fetus.


One can only hope that Republican politicians will summon enough gumption to run on this platform.
10.19.2008 9:27pm
KeyComments (mail):
Yeah, Bush administration toady Powell endorses Obama. Obama administration = Third Bush administration.
10.19.2008 9:35pm
Cornellian (mail):
The two "conservative" Justices on the Court, Thomas and Scalia, merely enforce the Constitution.

Really? And when they disagree, as they frequently do (see, e.g. Raich v. Ashcroft) which one is "merely enforc[ing] the Constitution" and which one is making stuff up?
10.19.2008 9:38pm
Random Commenter:
" 'Both have used propaganda, but at least I know what I'm getting with McCain/Palin.'

I imagine that votes for the Reichstag in 1932 had similar justifications. Were they correct, those voters, I wonder?"

This is cheap imagery, even by Anderson standards.
10.19.2008 9:39pm
Not Danny Darwin:
It's over. People trust Barack Obama. People don't trust John McCain.

When it is so obvious that you're a lying phony, that David Letterman, who respects John McCain's service, is ragging on John McCain night in and night out for being a lying phony, it's over. You've lost the American people.
10.19.2008 9:50pm
AntonK (mail):
CB55 says, "How is Obama so called socialism different from McCain socialism"

Answer here.
10.19.2008 9:53pm
Observer:
"Really? And when they disagree, as they frequently do (see, e.g. Raich v. Ashcroft) which one is "merely enforc[ing] the Constitution" and which one is making stuff up?"

When they disagree on Commerce Clause issues, Thomas is generally the one enforcing the Constitution; Scalia is not "making stuff up" but occasionally refuses to overrule precedent that he probably knows to be incorrect in this area. But on most cases where they disagree, e.g., Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, both present a reasonable view of what the Constitution says and I won't pretend that I know better than either of them as to what the correct ruling is.
10.19.2008 10:06pm
KeyComments (mail):
"Not Danny Darwin", I'd trust Bill Ayers any day over Obama...he at least is not hiding who he really is.
10.19.2008 10:10pm
Tom Perkins (mail):

Tom Perkins: Powell complained of a "narrow" Republican Party. Ignore that warning at your peril.


If he thinks the Republicans are narrow, then genuinely he is become a fool. The party which tolerates no dissent today is the one headed by Obama.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 10:23pm
byomtov (mail):
Dave N. and Russ,

I see that my humor didn't get through. I fully appreciate that WWII was an economic stimulus. The joke I intended was the "Hoosier is a Nazi" spin of my comment. That's all.

Guess it failed. Sorry. I won't do it again.
10.19.2008 10:29pm
Anderson (mail):
I am always a little puzzled why one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century is off-limits for purposes of analogy or discussion.

Those who don't learn from history are condemned to ... what? mindless invocation of Godwin's Law?

It doesn't imply that McCain (not Bush, people, catch up with us here) = Hitler to suggest that "voting for the known evil" can lead to voting for an evil that ends up considerably worse than what's known. If I wanted to compare McCain, or Obama, to Hitler, I could certainly find more pertinent points of similarity.
10.19.2008 10:30pm
whit:
I have to agree that the dems are narrower than the repubs... at least as i define "narrow".

Fwiw, I used to be a dem. I also used to be pro-life. Now, I happen to a pro-choice repub. fwiw, I am not beholden to the repub party, I'm way to libertarian for that, but I almost always vote repub, finding them vastly preferable to the dems... anyway.

I see far more "tolerance" among repubs, as a pro-choice person than I ever did among dems as a pro-lifer. This is also evidenced by the conventions where people such as arnold and guiliani are prominent speakers. try finding pro-life dems (of which there are many) actually being given prominent speaking positions at the dem conventions... nope.

I realize abortion is not "the all" but imo it's pretty representative in this comparison between the two parties.
10.19.2008 10:33pm
byomtov (mail):
Dave N.,

BTW, the site you linked to is pretty interesting. There's a few things there you might consider.

The 1937-8 recession was due, according to the site, to a cutback in govt spending by FDR - hardly something we usually consider part of the New Deal.

Even with that downturn, GDP increased substantially from 1933 to 1938. The BLS reports that it went (in constant 2000 dollars) from $635.5 billion in 1933 to $879.7 billion in 1938, and increase of about 6.7% a year, despite the fact that there was a drop from 1937 ($911.1 billion) to 1938. Thereafter it took off, no doubt due to war spending.

So maybe something good was happening in there.
10.19.2008 10:49pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Tom Perkins:

I'll put that down as "warning ignored."
10.19.2008 10:53pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Re: FDR and the New Deal, these folks feel that FDR prolonged the Great Depression:

FDR's policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate

Note, I am not necessarily endorsing their conclusion, just bringing attention to it.
10.19.2008 11:05pm
Kevin P. (mail):
10.19.2008 11:10pm
Tom Perkins (mail):
@ JosephSlater, tell it to whit:


I see far more "tolerance" among repubs, as a pro-choice person than I ever did among dems as a pro-lifer.


Yours, TDP, ml, msl, &pfpp
10.19.2008 11:17pm
Mahan Atma (mail):
"McCain's mortgage support has the benefit of being both more nuanced than you are implying"


Ah, McCain supporters invoking nuance in defense of McCain, while describing Obama's tax plan as "spread the wealth" socialism.

If Republicans lose, I think a major factor in their loss will be a total and utter lack of self-awareness.
10.19.2008 11:47pm
Dave N (mail):
Byomotov,

I "get" your joke now. I wasn't 100% sure when I first saw it and so I responded as if it was serious.

Except for Sarcastro's posts, I can't always tell when someone is being less than serious.
10.20.2008 12:12am
Anderson (mail):
The 1937-8 recession was due, according to the site, to a cutback in govt spending by FDR - hardly something we usually consider part of the New Deal.

This is what I've seen as well -- FDR for once listened to the economists who were flipping out over deficit spending, and it got him a recession.

Re: the article linked by Kevin P, I'll be interested to see how it fares in the "marketplace of ideas" -- I'm not competent to judge the economic analysis myself, I suspect. But the Great Depression may be like the French Revolution, an event that's disappeared under its interpretations, as Nietzsche put it.
10.20.2008 12:15am
Jerry F:
"If he thinks the Republicans are narrow, then genuinely he is become a fool. The party which tolerates no dissent today is the one headed by Obama."

Perkins: Actually, it is an open question which party is narrower. The Republican Party certainly is far more accepting of centrists and moderates. But the Democratic Party has no problem tolerating extremes from the Left among its rank. The fact that Obama was associated with Ayers was not an obstacle to his political career; by contrast, I can't image that any Republican who is palling around with a guy who used to bomb abortion clinics would be elected to the Senate (let alone the White House). Socialists, black nationalists, radical atheists are all welcome in the Democratic Party. By contrast, open fascists, monarchists, white nationalists, feudalists or theocrats are not welcome in the Republican Party.
10.20.2008 12:21am
Russ (mail):
I am always a little puzzled why one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century is off-limits for purposes of analogy or discussion.

It's not a matter of being "off limits," but a matter of scale. Hitler burned Europe to the ground and killed nearly 20 million folks to do so. He can seriously be compared to Stalin, Pol Pot, and, on a smaller scale, to Kim il-Sung. But to compare any American politician to him is laughable. I love my Appalachian State Mountaineers, but if I tried to compare them to the Stellers Dynasty to the '70s, most people would, quite rightly, laugh me off the face of the Earth.

Additionally, the Hitler comparison is similar to the "facist" or "communist" argument - it is intended to shut down debate by establishing a moral high ground that is unassailable. The fact that it shows a complete lack of perspective is irrelevent to the accusing party.

Poltics becomes a much more civilized realm when we accept that the other side, as wrong as we feel their policies are, is not about to rape our daughters after burning the flesh off our faces.
10.20.2008 2:22am
Russ (mail):
*Steelers

Damn keyboard again. Hitler must be responsible!
10.20.2008 2:23am
CB55 (mail):
Joseph Goebbels might be called the father of modern mass behavioral management. His methods still resonate to this day. He staged parades, rallies, and wrote speeches at the service of Hitler and the Nazi German state. In Nazi Germany he became Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister in 1933, which gave him power over all German radio, press, cinema, and theater.

During Edward Bernays' (known as the father of spin) lifetime and since, propaganda has usually had dirty connotations, loaded and identified with the evils of Nazi PR genius Joseph Goebbels, or the oafish efforts of the Soviet Communists. In his memoirs, Bernays wrote that he was "shocked" to discover that Goebbels kept copies of Bernays' writings in his own personal library, and that his theories were therefore helping to "engineer" the rise of the Third Reich.

In post modern America we use Goebbels and Bernays methods to give new meaning to words and phrases such as homeland security, un-American, support our troops, war on terror, death tax, and torture.

Goebbels is dead but he never left the house.
10.20.2008 2:53am
David Warner:
Anderson,

"I am always a little puzzled why one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century is off-limits for purposes of analogy or discussion.

Those who don't learn from history are condemned to ... what? mindless invocation of Godwin's Law?"

I think Godwin's original intention was to clear some space for some other common cultural references to take root, but I agree that it has metastasized in a troubling direction.
10.20.2008 2:58am
Syd Henderson (mail):
One of the more chilling plot threads in the movie Hotel Rwanda is one of the radio broadcasters signaling the murderous militias where to find their victim, with him calling the victims "cockroaches." I don't think an analogy with Naziism is inappropriate there.
10.20.2008 4:00am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
jerry:

fascists, monarchists, white nationalists, feudalists or theocrats are not welcome in the Republican Party


Are you sure? Consider this:

when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr


And speaking of inciting terrorism, Eric Rudolph put a bomb in a gay club. He said it was his duty to fight "the homosexual agenda." Falwell said "AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals." He also blamed 9/11 on "the pagans, the abortionists, and the feminists and the gays and lesbians." Aren't these statements a form of moral support to Rudolph? In 2006, McCain delivered the commencement address at Falwell's Liberty University. Isn't that a form of moral support to Falwell? Why does McCain pal around with someone who provides moral support to an unrepentant terrorist?

And please explain how this is something other than support for "theocrats"(pdf):

The Republican Party of Texas affirms that the United States of America is a Christian nation
10.20.2008 9:24am
JosephSlater (mail):
Dear Whit:

Don't know if you're reading this, but Tom Perkins asked me to pass on the fact that Colin Powell is worried about the narrowing of the Republican Party.
10.20.2008 10:52am
CB55 (mail):
In a television appearance that outraged Democrats are already describing as Joseph McCarthy politics, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann claimed on Friday that Barack Obama and his wife Michelle held anti-American views and couldn't be trusted in the White House. She even called for the major newspapers of the country to investigate other members of Congress to "find out if they are pro-America or anti-America."

Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Bachmann went well off the reservation when it comes to leveling political charges against the Democratic nominee.

...

Matthews later pressed her to name a single member of Congress other than Obama who she thought was anti-American. Bachmann, who initially wouldn't budge, called for a major "expose" into the matter.

"What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they are pro-America or anti-America," she said.

In the new Conservative order, radio, writers and TV shock jocks not only suggest that Liberals are un-American, but they are gay, pal around with terrorist, are a danger to business and children, suffer from a mental illness, but should be liquidated. Those that are government officials and Liberals are known to cower with the word Liberal to describe them selves. Conservative use the word to incite outrage because Liberal is out of favor in the mainstream despite the fact that it was Liberalism that gave America the quality of life that most demand, expect and enjoy.
10.20.2008 1:41pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
I'll speak for myself and say that *I* do not "demand, expect [or] enjoy" the Liberal America that has evolved over the last forty years. I do not appreciate having Liberal moral values stuffed down my throat and having no voice in the matter because big-dollar special insterest groups like the ACLU and Labor Unions will sue anyone who disagrees. I do not like having to pay higher taxes to support people who think nothing of popping out babies every 18 months and have no intention of earning a living. I do not demand that others pay for my healthcare or housing or food - and I don't expect others to demand that of me.

Now, CB55, I put my name on this post - do you have the guts to put your name on the screed you posted?

Yeah, thought not.
10.20.2008 1:59pm
CB55 (mail):
GOEBBELS' PRINCIPLES OF PROPAGANDA

Based upon Goebbels' Principles of Propaganda by Leonard W. Doob, published in Public Opinion and Propaganda; A Book of Readings edited for The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

1. Propagandist must have access to intelligence concerning events and public opinion.

2. Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority.

a. It must issue all the propaganda directives.

b. It must explain propaganda directives to important officials and maintain their morale.

c. It must oversee other agencies' activities which have propaganda consequences

3. The propaganda consequences of an action must be considered in planning that action.

4. Propaganda must affect the enemy's policy and action.

a. By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence

b. By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions

c. By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself

d. By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

5. Declassified, operational information must be available to implement a propaganda campaign

6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.

7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.

8. The purpose, content and effectiveness of enemy propaganda; the strength and effects of an expose; and the nature of current propaganda campaigns determine whether enemy propaganda should be ignored or refuted.

9. Credibility, intelligence, and the possible effects of communicating determine whether propaganda materials should be censored.

10. Material from enemy propaganda may be utilized in operations when it helps diminish that enemy's prestige or lends support to the propagandist's own objective.

11. Black rather than white propaganda may be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.

12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.

13. Propaganda must be carefully timed.

a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.

b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment

c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.

a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses

b. They must be capable of being easily learned

c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations

d. They must be boomerang-proof

15. Propaganda to the home front must prevent the raising of false hopes which can be blasted by future events.

16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.

a. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat

b. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and which cannot be reduced by people themselves

17. Propaganda to the home front must diminish the impact of frustration.

a. Inevitable frustrations must be anticipated

b. Inevitable frustrations must be placed in perspective

18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

19. Propaganda cannot immediately affect strong counter-tendencies; instead it must offer some form of action or diversion, or both.
10.20.2008 2:00pm
CB55 (mail):
Opher Banarie:

If you expect and demand healthy food and not botualism in a can, think the Liberalism of Teddy Roosevelt.

If you expect and demand indoor plumbing and waste treatment think the wisdom of liberal Europe.

If you are able to read and write it is very liekly you were taught by some one who went to a public school, you are most likely to see a medical doctor that went to a school paid for by tax dollars

Before public fire and and public safety became common to all, only those of money had fire protection and physical security

It was Liberalism that freed the slaves and gave women the right to vote
10.20.2008 2:24pm
Opher Banarie (mail) (www):
CB55: Thanks for the long Goebbels quote. You obviously like that flavor Kool-aid. Keep drinking bro.
10.20.2008 2:35pm
CB55 (mail):
Opher Banarie:

I thought it was gin and tonic. LOL
10.20.2008 2:41pm
CB55 (mail):
Opher Banarie:

All political and economic systems facilitate the redistribution of wealth including Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism. The very rich are not often to be found using the public library, attending public schools, or using public transit, but the public demands that they are taxed for such services because it is a public welfare good. I know people who feel slighted because they are forced to pay taxes for sports stadiums. They do not like sports and do not attend such events.
10.20.2008 3:04pm
Russ (mail):
It was Liberalism that freed the slaves

Let's see...

...Republicans freed the slaves...

...Republicans passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments...

...Republicans, by percentage, voted more in favor of the CRA of 1964 than democrats...

...Republicans enacted Affirmative Action...

...Republicans had the first African American Secretary of State...

...Republicans sent more money in aid to Africa than anyone ever dreamed.

On the other hand...

...democrats have the only serving US Senator who was ever a member of the KKK...

...democrats interned Jpaanese Americans without cause during WWII...

...democrats had one of their own stand in thr schoolhouse door...

...democrats enacted The Great Society, creating a culture of dependence we still haven't recovered from.

Yes, democrats have had their moments for civil rights, but don't act as if the Republicans are evil people who are trying to keep African Americans down. History would paint you an ugly picture.
10.20.2008 11:10pm
LM (mail):
Russ,

Just because liberals are concentrated in the Democratic Party today doesn't mean they always were.
10.20.2008 11:35pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
don't act as if the Republicans are evil people who are trying to keep African Americans down


I wouldn't exactly say it that way, but there seem to be some issues. The RNC was 98.5% white.
10.20.2008 11:35pm
Russ (mail):
jukeboxgrad,

Great statistic. And your evidence for this would be...

I think a lot of democrats are merely upset that history doesn't paint a great picture for them, and want to shift blame to the party that truly did something for civil rights.

Democrats have the words, Republicans have the results. If you can factually refute any of the historical information, please do so.
10.21.2008 2:25pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
russ:

Great statistic. And your evidence for this would be...


See here:

Only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the [RNC] convention floor are black, the lowest number since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies began tracking diversity at political conventions 40 years ago. Each night, the overwhelmingly white audience watches a series of white politicians step to the lectern -- a visual reminder that no black Republican has served as a governor, U.S. senator or U.S. House member in the past six years.


36/2380 is 1.5%.

If you can factually refute any of the historical information, please do so.


I'm sure that living in the past is going to lead to lots of success for the GOP. Keep up the good work.
10.21.2008 4:39pm
CB55 (mail):
Russ:

You forgot to mentioned the Republican Southern Strategy after the Civil War that led to over 100 years of Black lynchings and new slavery and the birth Civil Rights Movement over 100 years after the War when even Russia thought Blacks could vote, marry whom ever they wished and live where ever they could. I think president Ike called his appointment of justice Warren his worst mistake. Senator Thurmond is both a hero of the GOP and Dixiecrats. Southern strategy was reintroduced by president Nixon and amplified by Karl Rove and the New GOP. In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to a Republican method of carrying Southern states in the latter decades of the 19th century and the 20th century by exploiting racism among white voters.
10.21.2008 6:23pm
CB55 (mail):
Russ:

Thanks for converting the subject from Liberals vs Con to Democrats vs the GOP...even if both do not always mean Liberal vs Con. For there are Cons and Libs in both parties, but me thinks the GOP has no room for Moderation or Libs.
10.21.2008 6:27pm
CB55 (mail):
Most every GOP president or candidate since Raygun has used Bob Jones University to define their policy. A school known for historical bigotry.

On February 2, 2000, George W. Bush, as candidate for President, spoke during school's chapel hour. [110] Bush gave a standard stump speech making no specific reference to the University. His political opponents quickly noted his non-mention of the University's ban on interracial dating. During the Michigan primary, Bush was also criticized for not stating his opposition to the University's anti-Catholicism. (The John McCain campaign targeted Catholics with a "Catholic Voter Alert," phone calls reminding voters of Bush's visit to BJU.) Bush denied that he either knew of or approved what he regarded as BJU's intolerant policies. On February 26, Bush issued a formal letter of apology to Cardinal John O'Connor of New York for failing to denounce Bob Jones University's history of anti-Catholic statements. At a news conference following the letter's release, Bush said, "I make no excuses. I had an opportunity and I missed it. I regret that....I wish I had gotten up then and seized the moment to set a tone, a tone that I had set in Texas, a positive and inclusive tone." Also during the 2000 Republican primary campaign in South Carolina, Richard Hand, a BJU professor, spread a false e-mail rumor that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate child. (The McCains have an adopted daughter from Bangladesh, and later push polling also implied that the child was biracial.)


In 2000, John McCain took the New Hampshire primary and was favored to win in South Carolina. Had he succeeded, he would likely have thwarted the presidential aspirations of George W. Bush and become the Republican nominee. But Bush strategist Karl Rove came to the rescue with a vicious smear tactic.

Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain...if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.

It worked. Owing largely to the Rove-orchestrated whispering campaign, Bush prevailed in South Carolina and secured the Republican nomination. The rest is history--specifically the tragic and blighted history of our young century. It worked in another way as well.
10.21.2008 6:42pm
CB55 (mail):
Now that the GOP has thrown bombs at Muslims, Liberals, Socialist, will the Republican Party keep pretending that it likes black people? It seems that the natural enemy of the GOP in this election are poor and Working Class Blacks and Latinos. As the Philadelphia story would have it, attracting black voters simply means returning to a proud history from which the GOP has only recently deviated. In truth, the history of the Republican Party's relationship with blacks is one of a bright start followed by a gradual but steady decline.

In 1854, the Republican Party was founded mainly to end slavery, and for two decades it honorably promoted African-American equality. Its first presidential nominee, pioneer James C. Frémont, took a staunch anti-slavery stand in 1856 and ran well, paving the way for Abraham Lincoln's election four years later. Lincoln was no radical. He believed white men superior to blacks and opposed the outright abolition of slavery. But he wanted to stop slavery's westward expansion in the hope that it would die out—a position that won him endorsements from leading African-Americans such as Frederick Douglass and 40 percent of the overall vote, enough for victory in a four-way race.

After the Civil War, the "Radical Republicans," who oversaw the Reconstruction of the South, brought blacks into electoral politics. Blacks naturally joined the GOP rather than the white supremacist Southern Democrats. In these golden years, black Republicans got the vote and even won elective office (Mississippi elected the nation's first African-American senator in 1870). Led by the GOP, the nation ratified the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, which ended slavery and gave black men full citizenship and the franchise.

The GOP's abandonment of African-Americans commenced with the presidential election of 1876. The party had already been subordinating its agenda of black equality to that of cultivating Northern industrialists when Ohio Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, to resolve a contested election, agreed to the notorious Compromise of 1876. In exchange for their support, Hayes promised Southern Democrats to withdraw federal troops from the South and to let them treat blacks as they pleased. Almost immediately, white supremacist, or "redeemer" Democrats regained power, heralding the reign of Jim Crow. Ironically, the compromise also crippled black Republicanism, as state Republican parties, to compete for white votes, engaged in racial me-tooism, purging blacks from the party or shunting them into "Black and Tan" delegations whose legitimacy was not always recognized.

By the Progressive Era, both the Republicans and the Democrats were generally uninterested in helping African-Americans. One issue that couldn't be ignored—though the parties tried—was the horror of lynching, which had become rampant in the post-Reconstruction South. Anti-lynching laws marked the last major civil rights issue on which Republicans were out in front.

In 1920 Leonidas Dyer, a Missouri Republican from a largely black St. Louis district, introduced an anti-lynching bill, which the new Republican president, Warren Harding, endorsed. The House passed it in January 1922 (231-199, with only 17 Republicans opposing and eight Northern or border-state Democrats in support). Yet even though they controlled the Senate too, the GOP couldn't, or wouldn't, pull out the stops to pass the law. While Majority Leader Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts supported the bill, the powerful Idaho Republican William Borah opposed it as meddling in states' rights and helped Southern Democrats kill it. The Borah-Lodge rift foretold a schism in the GOP between Northeastern liberals and a Midwestern and Western Old Guard that would later scramble the party's racial politics.

Meanwhile, blacks were fleeing the South for Northern cities. There, the Democrats' political machines delivered services and patronage to immigrants in exchange for their votes, and Democratic bosses shrewdly absorbed blacks into their system. In contrast, Republicans missed another opportunity. Their machines (yes, they existed too) reacted coolly to black voters' demands and to black politicians' ambitions—leading many to leave the party.

The realignment crystallized under President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1932, FDR won just 23 percent of the black vote. Yet he swiftly bolstered his black support. Gestures such as consulting a "black cabinet" of unofficial African-American advisers surely helped, but more important were his economic relief programs. The Depression hit black Americans disproportionately hard, and FDR's relief programs, such as the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Public Works Administration, gave them much-needed aid and jobs. A popular song among Depression-era blacks made it plain:

Roosevelt! You're my man!
When the time come I ain't got a cent
You buy my groceries
And pay my rent.

Mr. Roosevelt, you're my man!

In Congress, meanwhile, Northern and Western Democrats took the lead on progressive racial legislation; it was two Democratic senators who in 1934 introduced the next major anti-lynching bill. Between 1932 and 1936, writes historian Nancy J. Weiss in Farewell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDR, "Roosevelt and the New Deal changed the voting habits of black Americans in ways that have lasted to our own time."

Some Republicans still grasped desperately for black ballots. In an ideologically divided party, liberal leaders, such as presidential nominees Wendell Willkie and Thomas Dewey, incorporated pro-civil-rights language into the platforms. But their efforts paled next to Harry Truman's. Truman, the strongest civil rights president the nation had seen, won 70 percent of the black vote in 1948 with a bold, progressive racial agenda. He supported a Fair Employment Practices Commission to fight job discrimination and desegregated the military by executive order.

By the 1950s racial liberalism in the GOP was fading fast. Dwight Eisenhower, a conservative (though not a reactionary) on race, opposed Truman on key issues. In 1945 Eisenhower testified before Congress against integrating the military, and as president he resisted reviving the FEPC. He opposed the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education, which ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional. (Bowing to the inevitable, the 1956 GOP platform endorsed Brown.) Ike remarked that "you cannot change people's hearts merely by laws"—repeatedly justifying his inaction in the face of rising demands for civil rights laws.

(At last week's convention, Bush adviser Condoleezza Rice said the Alabama Republican Party of 1952 registered her father to vote when the Democrats wouldn't. That may be true, but in much of the deep South then the GOP was virtually nonexistent. In Georgia, writes the historian Taylor Branch, "Barry Goldwater had trouble drawing crowds to fill even barber shops.")

Entering the 1960 election the Democrats, behind such leaders as Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Herbert Lehman of New York, had become the unquestioned party of civil rights. Richard Nixon, who always overestimated his own popularity with blacks, still hoped to fare well—Jackie Robinson, for one, endorsed him—and he probably had a stronger civil rights record than John F. Kennedy. But JFK courted the black vote, famously phoning Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife, Coretta, when the civil rights leader was jailed. Kennedy would have commanded the black vote anyway, but the closeness of the election led analysts to mythologize the phone call as critical.

The battle over the 1964 Civil Rights Act marked the last hurrah for racial liberalism within the GOP. President Lyndon Johnson, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and the liberal Democrats decided the time was ripe to pass a bill with teeth, their Southern party-mates be damned. While the Republican leadership took a wait-and-see position, younger GOP congressmen such as New York's John Lindsay (who later became a Democrat) and Maryland's Charles Mathias worked on the bill, helping it to passage in the House over Southern opposition.

In the Senate, Southern Democrats predictably undertook a filibuster, which boded ill. Never had civil rights advocates mustered the two-thirds supermajority needed to close off debate. At first, few Republican senators were willing to vote to end the filibuster, believing strongly in states' rights. But behind the scenes Vice President Hubert Humphrey negotiated with Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois, a supporter of the bill. Humphrey claimed that he courted Dirksen as avidly as he had wooed his wife, Muriel. Dirksen promised to round up enough Republican holdouts if Humphrey would attach amendments paying lip service to state and local control. The deal was struck, and after more than two months the Senate voted 71-29 for cloture, with six Republicans joining 23 Southern Democrats in opposition (44 Democrats and 27 Republicans voted aye).

Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia, the Democrat who led the opposition, said Dirksen had "killed off a rapidly growing Republican Party in the South." But Russell had it backward. Significantly, the opponents of the 1964 law included the GOP's future leaders, including Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater and Texas Senate aspirant George H.W. Bush. They knew their electoral success depended on conservative support in the South and West.

Goldwater's "Operation Dixie" in his 1964 presidential race may have meant surrendering the black vote; LBJ won 94 percent that year. But it bore fruit four years later. Richard Nixon's successful "Southern Strategy" of 1968 became the blueprint for Ronald Reagan's Southern inroads and Lee Atwater and George Bush's Willie Hortonism.

By David Greenberg
10.21.2008 7:21pm