Obama Says No to Public Financing

-

I agree with Barack Obama’s rejection of public financing in his presidential race because he is right that the ecosystem of campaign finance remains warped and that one side running tied by the rules of public finance and the other side essentially not would produce a disputed, potentially unfair outcome.


But I also like John McCain’s efforts in the past to restore and reform the public responsibilities of broadcasters. The spectrum allocations that they were granted include a public interest responsibility — and in my view, a managed and fair provision of free or low cost political ad space should be part of the social contract between broadcasters and the public they should be serving.
Cutting out the huge costs — or a significant portion of them — for on-air advertising decreases the need for huge sums of ad-directed money and could decrease the corruption so evident in the campaign finance system.
I realize myself that there is probably a lot of naivety in my take on all of this. Campaign finance interests me — but it’s something I haven’t drilled into deeply. We aren’t going to get broadcasters to reform their political ad rates without some kind of compulsory legislation — which will be fought over for years, but I think it’s useful some time to acknowledge that things as they are today don’t need to always be.
But bottom line — Obama made the right choice.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

104 comments on “Obama Says No to Public Financing

  1. Kathlkeen says:

    Ralph Nader would NEVER support telecom immunity or gov’tal immunity either. Now would Senator Russ Feingold or Congressman Dennis Kucinish. Men of honor in gov’t are a vanishing breed, but a few remain.
    I would prefer it if all paid political advertsing were banned and campaigning consisted of a series of serious debates on all the issues, a series of town hall meetings, all televised on C-Span.
    All the “mud-slinging'” occurs in paid politcal advertising. Why should the taxpayer have to pay, either in matching funds, or private contributions, for that? The high cost of campaigning is directly related to feeding the Madison Avenue Advertising moguls. I say it’s time for all “Fat Cats” to go on a diet and for an end of the noise pollution of campaigns.

    Reply

  2. Paul Norheim says:

    What I am saying is that your Obama bashing seem rather
    arbitrary, while the AIPAC or Israel bashing of some people here
    seem to be transparently connected to their general political
    view or profile. It makes sense. While your Obama bashing
    simply does not make sense, linked to the rest of your profile. It
    makes most people ask: Why Obama, of all people? Why not his
    grandfather, or the first man on the moon? There is no link with
    the rest of what you`re saying. You just seem to, you know, not
    like that guy. And so what?
    “For you, it has nothing to do with the frequency of the
    comments and everything to do with the content of the
    comments.”
    Wrong. There was one guy here recently, TonyForesta, who
    seemed to have ONE message: that the current White House
    Adm, and those associated with it where fascists and criminals.
    That is a simple message, and I more or less happen to agree
    with it. But seeing him repeating this message several hundred
    times during a couple of months, with the same repeated
    stream of accusations & invectives, the same tone, melody, or
    pathos, and implying people that evidently had little or nothing
    to do with his “mafia”, made me fed up, and I told him so, here
    at TWN, just as I told TE that we`ve got the point regarding
    Obama.
    You know: having POA here is good & necessary. But having five
    or ten POA clones at TWN would ruin the blog and make it a
    horrible place. And this TonyF. seemed to aspire to that. Being
    POA2. Die Hard 5. Or whatever. This blog needs diversity in
    thoughts, opinions and personalities. And when you, WigWag,
    are not bashing Obama in predictable ways, you actually bring
    that diversity to TWN. You simply make this blog more
    interesting to read. You should know that I see it this way,
    because I`ve often responded to your comments in ways that
    are not ad hominem, but serious efforts to get into a dialogue
    with you – and you`ve responded accordingly.
    You are clarifying your Iran position above. You have a point. I
    would be careful about the timing, since some people in power
    right now seem to be so eager to attack Iran – but yeah, you
    have a point. Still: “evil” is a word that should not be a natural
    part of the foreign policy vocabulary of any nation – Hitler and
    the Nazi`s is the exception that still should remain as a hell of
    an exception (remember: both Bush senior and junior compared
    Saddam to Hitler; Ahmadinejad is compared to Hitler… who is
    not compared to Hitler if “we” don`t like them?).
    Regarding POA, I agree that he is frequently mocking people
    with invectives that are crossing a line, writing as if he is
    shouting into a megaphone, and I`ve seen him doing that to
    you too. Because you`ve been attacked frequently (and BTW
    responded in the same language), I don`t expect you to agree
    with my general opinion on POA (expressed above). I see him as
    an ordinary, but well informed and intelligent American with
    sound instincts, a sense of what is morally and legally right and
    wrong, and an occasionally bad temper & some bad rhetorical
    habits. (But his invectives occasionally are quite inventive, as
    well..). Basically I like Americans, and I am sure I would enjoy
    having a beer with you or POA any time (but not all of us at the
    same table!).
    “No wonder you prefer Obama to Clinton or McCain.” Please
    remind me, WigWag: where did I say that? I think McCain would
    be worse than any of the rest, but have I ever been involved in
    discussions regarding Obama versus Clinton?
    Too issues left to answer,
    1) Elitism. Do I feel smarter than ordinary people? Than the
    majority?
    It depends. Foreign affairs is not my profession. I work with
    “ordinary people” all the time in one of my jobs. When they
    know something concerning the job, or something else that
    they have studied or been occupied with for a lot of time, I feel
    a bit dumb, humble, or confused. Regarding foreign policy, as
    well as other subjects, I`ve spend years reading about it,
    because I am very interested in those subjects. I have no doubt
    that I know a lot more about those subjects than my colleagues
    at that job. Does this imply that I am more able to say how
    things should be done or not done in foreign affairs? I don`t
    think so. Not necessarily. I consider myself to be an intellectual.
    (I am, by the way, also a writer of fiction and essays), And as
    you know from the 20`th century, so many intellectuals and
    artists have made such huge mistakes in crucial matters, that
    no one should believe that being an intellectual automatically
    implies that she or he is a wise person. Still, I believe that a lot
    of people are more ignorant than myself on certain issues. But
    also that there is an ocean of knowledge among people that I
    will never understand or get in touch with before I die. But yeah,
    I really should wish that people who vote in the UK knew
    whether Winston C. was a real person or a fictional character. If
    that makes me an elitist, then I`m an elitist. Fine. But even if
    those hundreds of millions of Americans have access to
    information from TWN and thousands of other sites, what does
    that prove, as long as the majority don`t search that
    information?
    2) “Why exactly did you comment that you don’t know if I am a
    man or a woman? And why exactly do you think that matters?”
    Exactly?
    He or she? Fake or real? Honestly, I can`t answer you. You use a
    moniker, and nobody can tell who is behind that moniker. He or
    she – does it matter? If you want me to be a sexist, than go
    ahead. But I hope I`m not. I don`t know who, or what you are
    anyway.
    Me? I`m Paul Norheim. In Norwegian contexts I spell my name
    “PÃ¥l”. Here I spell it differently, to avoid people calling me Pol,
    Pal or other misspellings that are worse than Paul.

    Reply

  3. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What a fitting end to this thread!
    Ya gotta love it. One of them has hoofs, and the other has bear hands. We can’t miss this opportunity, we should breed ’em and see what we end up with.
    A Grizzly Burro?

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I’ll ask you, POA, the same question I asked Paul. What possible difference could my gender make?”
    I’m tryin’ to figure out if I can get a decent mule out of ya.

    Reply

  5. WigWag says:

    I’ll ask you, POA, the same question I asked Paul. What possible difference could my gender make?

    Reply

  6. arthurdecco says:

    After re-reading my post after submitting it, I thought I’d like to change my last sentence to read:
    I think the nihilists are lurking among those who take umbrage at POA’s opinions and passions – both of which demonstrate a clear-eyed focus and morality many Americans are proud to think of as quintessentially American and a large part of their privately-held selves.

    Reply

  7. arthurdecco says:

    “As for POA, to me he seems vaguely nihilstic. His frequent refrain (that he makes at least as often as I criticize Obama) is that all the candidates are monsters, that we should reject all of them and that American foreign policy is almost completely evil. Now feel free to find that profound if you want to, to me it is rather monotone and not particularly informative. His tendency to see everything in black and white is hardly evidence of a person with a smart, nuanced view of the world.” Posted by WigWag
    WigWag, both of your Presidential finalists ARE proving themselves to be monsters, (as were many of the others that fought for the opportunity to get fabulously rich after leaving the office of the Presidency.) It’s just that some are less monstrous than others. POA recognizes that, judging by his posts. American foreign policy IS “almost completely evil”. Repeatedly saying so makes POA a concerned and informed citizen, not the monotonous and “not particularly informative” person you’d like us to believe him to be.
    And for the most part, in my opinion, your personal “smart, nuanced view of the world”, as you have laid it out here on the Washington Note is terribly wrong-headed and not at all in the ultimate interests of the United States, no matter how smart and nuanced you think yourself. (Though I have to say that you have added more than your share, [much of it valuable,] to this particular conversation on Senator’ Obama’s decision to forgo public financing.)
    Give me an authentic American Constitution defender like PissedOffAmerican over a tireless propagandizer with a “smart, nuanced view of the world” like you any day, no matter how scattershot or nihilistic you consider his criticisms of you and your thinking.
    And it wouldn’t hurt to remember that there’s nothing “nihilistic” about passionately defending the original intent of the American Constitution or the rule of law, or bemoaning the lack of legitimate oversight in your very-broken American political system.
    I think the nihilists are lurking among those who take umbrage at POA’s opinions and passions – both of which demonstrate a clear-eyed focus and morality many Americans would be proud to think of as quintessentially American and a large part of their privately-held selves.

    Reply

  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Why exactly did you comment that you don’t know if I am a man or a woman?”
    Allow me to answer for Paul, Wigwag.
    Its because he doesn’t know.
    Frankly, I don’t know either. What is it, Wigwag? Jenny, or jack???

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ho hum.
    “As to your other point, I specifically said that the fact that more Americans agree with me…blahblahblah”
    What “fact”? I haven’t seen any substantiation for your “most” rant, and until you post some, its just more of your usual donkey dung.

    Reply

  10. WigWag says:

    “WigWag is a more complicated case. She (or he, – who knows?)”
    No, Psul, I’m not suggesting a deal. I am suggesting that your concern about my frequent comments about Obama isn’t matched by your concern about others frequently commenting about Israel and AIPAC. What’s the difference? That’s an easy one, you don’t like the critism of Obama but you do like the criticism of AIPAC and Israel. For you, it has nothing to do with the frequency of the comments and everything to do with the content of the comments. But that’s okay. You and others can comment about Israel and AIPAC as often as you like and I will comment about Obama as often as I like, especially on posts that specifically reference the Presidential race, as this one did.
    As to your other point, I specifically said that the fact that more Americans agree with me than with you or POA doesn’t make me right and you wrong. But you called my comments inconsistent and you implied they were unusual. I was merely pointing out that regardless of your opinion about that, my views are not idiosyncratic; they are very commonly held.
    Here’s one example, Paul. You mocked my view about Iran when you paraphrased me this way
    “(Should we attack Iran? Oh no,
    God forbid! But you know, these Iranians are evil…”).” This is exactly what most Americans think. They think the Iranian regime is evil. They don’t want Iranians getting nuclear weapons. And yes, like me, they think attacking Iran is a bad idea. While this view may seem inconsistent to you, it doesn’t seem inconsistent to me and I don’t think it seems inconsistent to most Americans. In fact, I think you would be hard pressed to say it seems inconsistent to most Europeans or even most Sunni Arab governments.
    As for POA, to me he seems vaguely nihilstic. His frequent refrain (that he makes at least as often as I criticize Obama) is that all the candidates are monsters, that we should reject all of them and that American foreign policy is almost completely evil. Now feel free to find that profound if you want to, to me it is rather monotone and not particularly informative. His tendency to see everything in black and white is hardly evidence of a person with a smart, nuanced view of the world.
    Now to be honest, this may be somewhat unfair to POA. Perhaps it is hard for me to see through all the invective that POA hurls my way. You know what I mean, Paul. The “gads what an imbecile you are.” Or the comments about “braying.” Like most people, I don’t like to be attacked personally and perhaps it colors my ability to see the potentially smart things that POA may have to say. But I don’t think so. I think POA simply thinks that volume is a substitute for intelligence. He’s too blind to even realize that every time he posts his invective laced commentary, it is more a reflection on him than on the person he is trying to criticize. Most of us got over talking like POA does in grade school. For whatever reason, he never outgrew it.
    Finally, as to your comment that if Americans were more fully informed they might think differently than they do, this comment is elitist and offensive. Did it ever occur to you, Paul, that maybe Americans are as smart as you are? Did it ever occur to you that maybe they are as informed as you are? Did it ever occur to you that maybe they have access to exactly the same information you do (such as the Washington Note and a myraid of other sites and sources)? Sorry, Paul. The fact that they disagree with you, doesn’t mean they’re dumb or they’re immoral, or they’re uninformed. It just means they have a different opinion that you do. And to come full circle, Paul. This is why so many people find Obama to be an elitist. When asked why working people weren’t voting for him, the best he could do was claim it was because they were bitter. No wonder you prefer Obama to Clinton or McCain. I am sure you prefer his policies (whatever they might be), but you obviously are very comfortable with the type of elitism that Obama displays so regularly.
    And one more thing. Why exactly did you comment that you don’t know if I am a man or a woman? And why exactly do you think that matters?

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Aaaw shyuuuucks.
    Sniff.

    Reply

  12. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag, are you seriously suggesting a deal here – me saying:
    hey you guys, shut the fuck up about AIPAC, and then I promise
    that WigWag will keep silent about Obama?
    Heh?!
    Don`t you see that those guys ALSO attack Obama – not on
    every post, but sometimes – actually on several posts above this
    one? Isn`t it childish to say: Paul, if you can make these guys
    stop spamming against Israel, I promise to stop spamming
    against Obama? Come on!
    WigWag, you sometimes enjoy delivering unpleasant facts to
    TWN, and one unpleasant fact that you are well aware of, is that
    the majority of Americans can`t find Iran on a map. I can`t
    remember exactly, but according to a British newspaper,
    something like one third of the UK population sincerely believe
    that Winston Churchill is a fictional character (if you google
    Umberto Eco + Churchill, I guess that you`ll find it: he was as
    shocked as me when he read that notice, and wrote an article
    about it – not a good one BTW, but anyway…).
    “Most Americans” – what`s that? Does the majority of
    Americans have a political profile? Nope. But you`re one single,
    reflecting, informed citizen, and I have no doubt that you`re
    even able to distinguish between the Kurdish areas of Iran, Iraq,
    Syria and Turkey on a map at any given time.
    Would you think that the majority of Americans are struggling
    with dilemmas like: “Hey, Obama seem to be a big sexist,
    doesn`t he? – and McCain, well, I don`t think that I like that
    guy, so… what the hell should I do?” I would guess that you
    represent a tiny minority on that issue, WigWag, since we`re
    into guessing.
    You said: “My guess is that you couldn’t find one in ten
    Americans who agree with you about most things and you
    couldn’t find one in twenty who agree with Carroll or POA.”
    Feel free to guess on this, WigWag, and I have never pretended
    even to be in accordance with the majority of Norwegians. So
    what?
    But if you go behind the frequent invectives of POA (your “one
    in twenty” example), what do you find?
    A good old fashioned moralist! A moralist who says: the US
    government should respect the American Constitution; should
    not put itself above the law; should not torture; should respect
    the Geneva Conventions and habeas corpus; should not treat
    their population as potential enemies on the same level as
    convicted criminals; should not attack other countries for
    reasons different than the ones they present to the American
    people. And who all the time asks: what has this or that
    politician, what have the Congress or Senate done to stop this,
    and punish those responsible for the abuses?
    If I was an American citizen, I would be happy to see much
    more people like POA – be it politely or furiously – insisting on
    this issue. This is a thousand times more important than if
    Clinton, Obama or McCain is winning this race. I would think
    that America, and the rest of the world as well, would be better
    off if there were more old fashioned moralists like POA in
    America just now. And I would not be surprised if Americans, if
    they were more informed, actually would agree more with
    POA`s position than with AIPAC, or with the trivial Obama
    bashing that you and TE seem occupied with full time.
    And this is one thing I really like about our host, Steve
    Clemons: I`m sure he`ve often felt that POA is a pain in the
    ass. But he wants him to continue, rude or polite, because his
    case is a sound one.

    Reply

  13. WigWag says:

    Wrong, POA, I comment about many subjects.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see. We are “obsessing” about Israel, but you are merely “commenting” about Obama.
    Do you consider that a fair assertion, Wigwag, considering that you pretty much post ONLY about Obama, ad nauseum?
    Seems to me the “obsession” label belongs in your’s and Tahoe’s court.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Thats a lotta “mosts”, with nothing but air to back them up.
    Once again, WigWag acts as though he’s talking to idiots.
    Tell ya what, Wigwag, why don’t you back those “mosts” up with some substantive collaboration? I hardly think you’ll be able, as its not something you can just pull out of a feed bag. Alfalfa, or oat hay tonight, WigWag?

    Reply

  16. WigWag says:

    Morton’s friend, thanks for your comment. If the presumptive democratic nominee came out and stated publically that he wanted the FISA Bill pulled from the Floor in both the House and the Senate, do you really think Pelosi and Reid would let it come to the floor? It’s too late in the House. This terrible bill has passed. But it’s not too late in the Senate. Obama can still call on the Senate Majority Leader to pull the bill. He can say that he will vote against it. He can threaten to fillibuster the bill if it comes up. If he did any of these things, Reid would pull the bill and the Senate would have no FISA Bill to even vote on. I hope Hillary Clinton threatens a fillibuster. But as I said earlier, given his support for the bill, it would humiliate Obama and wouldn’t help in her effort to get his campaign to pay off her $10 million campaign debt.
    David, I live in Florida. Obama is way behind in the polls here. You could be right but I would be as shocked if Obama wins Florida as I would be if he lost Pennsylvania. All the latest polls show Obama substantially ahead in Ohio, where the Republican party has been, as you know, decimated. If I were a betting man, I’d bet that Obama wins Ohio and thus the election. One thing’s for sure, If Obama wins Florida, there’s virtually no way that he won’t be elected president. What could hurt him in Florida and Ohio is if there are any more videos out there of him, his wife or his friends/spritual advisors, speaking disrespectfully about working class voters. I have no reason to believe that there are, so I think he has a good shot at being the next President. Obama will anhiliate McCain in the debates. As long as he can avoid speaking extemporaneously on too many occassions, it looks like Obama’s in the cat bird seat. Before long, we can all look forward to Obama tapping our phones instead of Bush.
    Paul Norheim I have never posted anything on this site except under the moniker of wigwag. Believe me, don’t believe me; it’s your call. And you and POA may not believe it, but my politics are really not as confusing or contradictory as you seem to think. Actually, for better or worse, they’re kind of typical. In fact, in the United States, they’re far more typical than your politics or POA’s or even Linda’s. Most Americans support Israel at least a little. Most Americans don’t think about AIPAC very much, but those that do tend to like the organization even more than I do. At least as many Democrats voted for Clinton as voted for Obama. It’s arguable whether she did or did not win the popular vote, but either way the popular vote was remarkably close. Most Americans dislike the Iranian regime but don’t want to attack it militarily. Most Americans have a far better impression of Israel than any of the Arab States. Most Americans feel bad for the Palestinians but think they are at least as much to blame for their problems as the Irsraelis are. Many if not most Americans have a generally positive feeling about Europeans even though they’re convinced that the United States had to bail the Europeans out twice within the last 100 years.
    So to but it bluntly these positions that you attribute to me may seem inconsistent to you but most Americans think more like me, not the typical Washington Note Reader. My guess is that you couldn’t find one in ten Americans who agree with you about most things and you couldn’t find one in twenty who agree with Carroll or POA.
    I know this doesn’t make me right and you or POA or even Carroll wrong, but it does demonstrate that it’s your positions that are out of step, not mine.
    Paul on the post by Steve up top if you look at the comments, you will find a number highly critical of Israel and AIPAC. When I see your comment on that thread telling everyone to stop obsessing about Israel and AIPAC, I will know the time has come for me to stop commenting about Obama.

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I’d hafta kill ‘im if he attacked Roy Orbison, Paul.
    That’d be akin to throwing out an original copy of The Traveling Wilbury’s, or passin’ up an old Fender discovered in some backwoods pawn shop.
    Yep, definitely a capital offense.

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    POA, you know, both you and I`ve given these folks a bit more
    attention than they deserve. But since one of them is such a
    frequent spammer, and the other one so frequently makes up
    artificial “choices” (like: I don`t like the sexist Obama, and I
    don`t like McCain, so could anyone give me some advice?)
    they make themselves hard to ignore.
    They are like those filling our mail boxes with advertising
    material. We get pissed off, and they say: hey, just ignore it!
    Don`t attack us; we`re just spamming. Ever heard about the
    scroll wheel?
    Tahoe Editor is the easiest, but also most annoying case – he`s
    an anti-Obama spammer, plain and simple, and I couldn`t care
    less even of his motives. Let`s assume that he is secretly pro-
    McCain. So what? There are plenty of those out there.
    WigWag is a more complicated case. She (or he, – who knows?)
    sometimes delivers arguments that are not stupid, even when I
    disagree strongly, and is not singlemindedly occupied with ONE
    issue, like TE.
    However, the more i think about it, I can`t see any consistency
    in WigWags political profile.
    Contradictions? Ambiguities? Fine.
    But a lot of these ambiguities seem to be highly artificial. I can
    only see three pillars in the posts of WigWag:
    1) Anti-Obama
    2) Pro AIPAC.
    3) A certain pleasure in provoking “the usual suspects”,
    especially on Middle East issues. (Should we attack Iran? Oh no,
    God forbid! But you know, these Iranians are evil…”)
    Why anti-Obama? Why not anti-Clinton? Why not “anti”-
    McCain? Or a campaign against the late Roy Orbinson, Tiger
    Woods, or Bill Gates? It seems completely arbitrary and obscure,
    from a political viewpoint.
    Both TE and WigWag act as if TWN is a kind of blog created to
    support Barack Obama. And the paradox is that the “usuals
    suspects” here, like you and Carroll, certainly are NOT pro-
    Obama in any sense of that word. Among the handful of (more
    or less) pro-Obama regulars here, you have Dan Kervick and
    Linda, people whom WigWags says he enjoys having those
    polite and interesting debates with.
    WHERE ARE ALL THE OBAMA FAN BOYS & GIRLS?
    WELL, CERTAINLY NOT AT THIS BLOG!
    If they were here, some of the bashing would at least be
    understandable. But they are imaginary products.
    So please TE and WigWag: write about anything, except
    repeating that Obama is a bad guy.
    WE KNOW THAT.
    Do you hear me?
    W E
    K N O W
    T H A T
    T H A N K
    Y O U
    V E R Y
    M U C H
    If you want your message to be effective regarding Obama,
    there are hundreds of blogs out there were you can do more to
    stop Obama.
    So I ask you politely, for the last time:
    Please stop spamming the wrong audience.

    Reply

  19. David says:

    Obama is making the right moves in Florida. McCain is not. I think Florida will trend Obama as the campaign progresses, and I don’t think McCain can stop it. Hillary campaigning with Obama will help seal this deal.
    I agree that Pennsylvania will go Obama regardless. Ohio will prove extremely interesting – I’m guardedly putting it in the Obama column at this point. Obama can improve his standings there – McCain can only try to hold on. Trend line should prove revealing come September.

    Reply

  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Morton’s friend……….
    Wigwag’s attempt to place the FISA sellout squarely in Obama’s lap was transparently dishonest. It was a prime example of why many of us have tired of Tahoe and Wigwag’s ceaseless swiftboating. To boot, his shallow musings about Hillary’s part in this shows just how little the FISA issue means to him. As Paul pointed out, and I have as well, the issues, to Tahoe and Wigwag, only seem to be addressed if they serve as fodder for their anti-Obama spam work. Its quite telling that Wigwag has had nothing to say about the FISA issue in the past. It was only after Obama gave him “fuel” to address the issue that he engaged it.
    Its interesting, I can find absolutely NOTHING about Hillary’s stand on this the last few days. NOTHING. Nada. And this has been true about Hillary with just about EVERY major issue that has arisen for the past eight years. This woman has committed to NOTHING politically, and has failed to wage ANY substantive opposition to the policies, appointments, and criminal enterprises of George Bush.
    Wouldn’t it stand to reason that WigWag or Tahoe, if truly concerned about the ISSUES, would hold ALL the candidates to task for their policy advocations, political standpoints, and complicity in the criminal endeavors of this Executive Administration?
    Honestly, considering the one track “substance”, (actually, its really over-flattering to call it “substance”), of WigWag and Tahoe’s posting, it is not at all unreasonable to call them both “trolls”. This is especially true of Tahoe, considering his zealous spamming of a myriad of blogsites. And as far as WigWag goes, if Carroll’s intuitive observations are spot on, (which they can reasonably be surmised to be, considering the uncanny similarities of WigWag’s semantics, rhetoric, and political bent to past posters that have trolled here), one has to question WHY someone would feel compelled to repeatedly disrupt the discourse of a blog such as this one, with multiple contrived personnas and dishonest representations of their own circumstances.
    Are we just to consider it a coincidence that these remarkably similiar personnas all wax eloquent about the victimhood of jews under the vicious anti-semitism of the regular TWN commentors? Or they all seem to be selling the ridiculous premise that “AIPAC is just like any other lobby”?

    Reply

  21. Morton's Best Friend says:

    One last thought for Wig:
    Your comment above that somehow Obama controls what the
    Dems do in Congress is, to my knowledge, wrong. We don’t have a
    parliamentary system in the party gets elected and the PM is the
    head of the party, so to speak.
    Obama, no doubt, has influence, but no real control, and the
    influence is asserted in both directions. Obama has to work with
    his fellow Dems as much as they with him. So, factually, your off
    base here, IMO. He can’t order them to vote a certain way.

    Reply

  22. Morton's Best Friend says:

    Well, this certainly has been an interesting thread…
    Wigwag, I think I understand your position here and your
    probable choice to sit this one out.
    I’ll leave you with this: Because this is a binary choice we have,
    there is no “sitting out” the election.
    Every otherwise Democratic voter who doesn’t show up is, in
    fact, giving McCain a passive vote. It’s simple math.
    Since you appear to be an otherwise reliable Democratic voter,
    your not voting is, in fact, a vote for McCain. I know many
    people argue with this, because it doesn’t seem intuitively
    correct–but it is.
    If there are 10 reliable Democratic voters and 10 reliable
    Republican voters, and one Democrat sits out, the Democratic
    candidate gets 9 votes and the Republican gets 10 and wins.
    The only way he doesn’t win is if a Republican voter also sits
    out–or crosses over–but there’s nothing you can do to bring
    that about. The only thing you can control is YOUR actions.
    (And certainly your NOT voting for Obama in no way encourages
    a Republican to vote FOR him, if you see what I mean.)
    So, unless you’re interested in helping McCain get elected, I’d
    hold my nose and vote for Obama in November. I will be,
    except I won’t have to hold my nose. But a vote is a vote.
    PS: For what it’s worth, I don’t understand the obsession with
    you and Tahoe or your identities. Seems like a waste of time.
    No one’s forcing anyone to read what you write; that’s why God
    created the scroll wheel.

    Reply

  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ok, Tahoe. I’ll bite.
    Tell us what your justification was for agreeing with MarkL when he called me “virulently anti-semitic”.
    While you’re at it, I’d be interesting in you explaining the punchline to the humor you found in calling Carroll an “ignorant slut”. Ponder as I might, I just can’t seem to find the humor. Perhaps you’ll enlighten us.
    And I’m a little curious, when you cite some lyin’ sack of shit that started the BS about Obama having had attended a Madrassa, is that what you consider giving “TWN readers and the general public some much-needed reality checks”?
    Yeah, you’re a real one man team of reality, aren’t you Tahoe? Courageously spammin’ the internet on McCain’s behalf. What a hero you are.
    But take heart, Tahoe, at least WigWag is still clickin’ on your links. Perhaps you might convince him not to vote for Obama. You really are the king of effective, arncha?

    Reply

  24. WigWag says:

    TE, As for Vice Presidents, I think McCain could surprise us. Piking Crist might seem logical but McCain already has Florida locked up. Obama’s chances in Florida are slim. If McCain can’t win Florida without Crist, it’s hard to see how he can garner enough electoral votes to win anyway. I think McCain will pick Romney. Romney doesn’t bring him any particular swing state (although Romney is popular in Northern Florida and almost beat McCain there)but he does bring something McCain needs, money. Romney has plenty of his own, and if McCain picks him, he will be willing to spend it. My longshot pick for McCain is Guiliani. While McCain will never win New York, he just might think Guiliani could help him win New Jersey (where he is popular). I think McCain has no chance in New Jersey, but he thinks he does.
    For Obama, I don’t think the choice is that easy. Webb might be logical but Webb has tail hook problems and he made an awful comment about “horny women” when referring to this scandal. Obama already has a problem with older women. Will he want to exacerbate that problem by picking someone whose sexist commentary will be broadcast far and wide if he’s selected? As for Richardson, he’s popular with Latinos, but an African American and a Latino on the same ticket? Somehow I doubt it. People (including Steve Clemons on this site, unless I am wrong) have mentioned that Richardson may have some embarassing infidelity and harrassment problems in his background. This may all be spurious rumor, but if it’s true, then Richardson is out. The guy I would pick if I were Obama is Ed Rendell (Governor of Pennsylvania). He might help lure back some disaffecteded Clinton voters; he’d guarantee an Obama win in Pennsylvania (though I can’t see Obama losing Pennsylvania anyway)and he is popular with a demographic in the Democratic Party that doesn’t like Obama and hasn’t been willing to vote for him, at least so far.
    My personal belief is that McCain will win Florida (no matter who he picks) and Obama will win Pennsylvania (no matter who he picks) I think whomever wins Ohio, wins the election. Right now polls show Obama with a considerable lead in Ohio. Governor Strickland is extremely popular. His selection would give Obama a real leg up in Ohio. Strickland was a passionate supporter of Hillary’s candidacy right up to the bitter end. If Obama picked him, many Clinton supporters would be impressed. Unfortunately for Obama, Strickland has already said he won’t accept the Vice Presidency and it is widely known that Strickland’s wife, a well known reporter in Ohio, thinks Obama ran a sexist campaign. She has gone so far as to refuse to appear with Obama on the same platform.
    Wes Clark would be an interesting choice for Obama. Whether Clark would help Obama win Arkansas seems unlikely. Clark has never held political office in Arkansas or anywhere else and I don’t know anything about whether he’s popular in his own state. I don’t think Obama can beat McCain in Arkansas without picking Clinton. My question about Clark is, what does he bring to the table other than impressive credentials? What states does he help Obama win? Which demographic group does he shore up for Obama? I would point out that if Obama does pick Clark, the total number of years of experience in federal elective office between them would be four years. And, as I think everyone is willing to admit, those are four lackluster years for Obama. Lots of Obama supporters don’t think that matters but lots of voters might think it does.
    As for the possibility that he will pick Clinton. I go to bed every night praying it doesn’t happen. It would set the cause of women in politics back 25 years. Of course, she already has $60 million raised for the general election that will have to be returned if she isn’t picked. That $60 million might look awful enticing to a campaign that seems to think money is more important than anything else.

    Reply

  25. WigWag says:

    “Over a year ago you were on here with about four different names and lives.
    You were first an indian who trecked across the ME and said no one could understand the ME except you. Then you were working for a charity in NY, then you were Canadian, then you were going overseas, then you were getting married…then you disappeared for awhile only to pop back up now.”
    See, Carroll, this is what I mean, you’re delusional.

    Reply

  26. Tahoe Editor says:

    P.S.: I’m really looking forward to this event Barry will be putting on with Hillary on Friday — letting that news nugget slip out a week early to “distract” us from the fact that he will no longer be “aggressively pursuing an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”
    My friends who fell for BO early because Hillary went “so negative” on him wrote to tell me how much her National Building Museum “concession” moved them to tears. I told them those tears need to be examined — they are terrified and Hoping to death that what Pat Buchanan this morning called a “loveless marriage for the sake of the children” is more of the Change� We Can� Believe� In. Maybe they didn’t hear all those boos.
    Seriously, Friday is a performance to watch. Hillary is coming off a vacation. It will be veeery interestink. I’ll make some room around my heavy Wimbledon TV schedule to squeeze it in.
    Steve, I know you don’t want to tip TWN’s balance too far off the fo-po beat, but we should get some VP speculation going.
    I still think Barry, for political reasons, must choose a white man (though I wouldn’t be completely shocked if he made a play for the West and Hispanics by tapping Richardson — that man is a full-on idiot). If any Obamabots want to label me a racist for that, we can talk about Michelle “Black America Will Wake Up” Obama.
    Sounds like the BO camp is testing the waters with Edwards. But you don’t Change� poverty from a 28,000-square-foot hedge-fund office while promising the American Dream of $400 haircuts for everyone and exploiting cleft-palate stories ad nauseam.
    Jim “Women Can’t Fight/We Should Drill Offshore” Webb is out.
    Does anyone have some insight to strike down Wes Clark? He is what Obama needs — a handsome white guy with four stars and a bunch of ribbons so he can say “Supreme Allied Commander” every day and have Clark go out and have that national security debate Barry claims to be so “happy to have.” I find Wes to be an unimpressive candidate; the only thing I liked about him was his support for Hillary. Did he poo-poo Barry’s experience too much in the primary to take him out? He was sitting next to BO flashing his pearly whites the other day.
    Can anyone strike Crist down for McCain?
    It’s Vetting Time!
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/cs_20080621_9379.php
    Guessing game: Who will be the next Democratic vice presidential candidate?
    http://www.newsobserver.com/1573/story/1097941.html

    Reply

  27. Tahoe Editor says:

    — I stay on topic, I keep ’em short and sweet, and there’s no limit. Remind me how FISA is related to campaign finance?
    — I provide this information to give TWN readers and the general public some much-needed reality checks and to prepare you for the huge disappointment when Barry is not the next president — something P has predicted over and over.
    — I’ve never insisted Hillary’s loss was solely attributable to sexism, so there’s more echo-chamber voices in your head, Carroll. I’ve given up on my hopes for a Clinton presidency this time around, and I haven’t mentioned her since she suspended.
    — Oh lord, sorry I’m not representing by being one with the “great spirit”. America could use a little ObamAntidote.
    — NOW, since you all have taken us OFF TOPIC, here’s my take on YOUR TOPIC:
    Obama picking a fight with the MoveOn set is actually a brilliant political move. “Sorry, leftwingnuts, you won’t be able to sue the phone companies. This is a tempest in a teapot, so I’m cutting your legs off on this one.” Pissing off the lefties is required to conjure the post-partisan mirage. David Brooks hit the nail on the head today.
    I’ll apologize again for getting carried away with the insult-slinging spirit of TWN by referencing Jane Curtin — but the likes of P lecturing me on civility when he sets the highest bar for viciousness … I’ll be giggling myself to sleep tonight.
    I’ll take your OFF TOPIC and raise you one: What happens when you take away Fast Eddie’s teleprompter? Haven’t we already seen 7 years of this? I tell you, this man will break about as much ground as Geraldine Ferraro.
    Have a great weekend.
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=W-l2f7TWZjs

    Reply

  28. Carroll says:

    Posted by WigWag Jun 20, 10:56PM – Link
    Carroll, you calling TE nuts is really rich!
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    I called you a nutcase a long time ago wiggie.
    Over a year ago you were on here with about four different names and lives.
    You were first an indian who trecked across the ME and said no one could understand the ME except you. Then you were working for a charity in NY, then you were Canadian, then you were going overseas, then you were getting married…then you disappeared for awhile only to pop back up now.
    You had the exact same rant and agenda on Iran then as you have now, almost word for word. Your stalking of POA and me in threads and insults are also word for word.
    And you are doing the same thing you did then. You don’t put forth an opinion. You moa is to wait for another poster to posit his opinion and then you attack that opinion and poster under the guise of “discussing”. Even when you aren’t addressed or included or replied to by that poster or in a discussion you insert yourself by throwing an insult to another poster just to get our attention.
    I will go find some of your old post for you. You can just copy them, since they are the same as what you are posting now.

    Reply

  29. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    1) I`ll give you, or rather Tahoe Editor, this: regarding ad
    hominem attacks, he is far from the worst of the bunch. My
    insinuations did not reflect his general habits, and I apologize
    for that.
    2) I should criticize what TE has to say, “substantively”…Well, I
    never argue substantively with missionaries, spammers, or
    advertisers. As a matter of fact, I stopped arguing with my dear
    parents 20 years ago, and they were missionaries by profession.
    I don`t see TWN as a field for missionaries or advertisers.
    3) Retroactive immunity? Very important. These hysteric kinds
    of laws against privacy represent an epidemic disease spreading
    also to my continent. However, your immediate reaction, on
    another thread a couple of days ago, was to use this highly
    important issue to bash Obama once again (this time admittedly
    in context), which provoked POA.
    Frankly I have no idea how important this issue is to you.
    Is it? Or does it simply provide a convenient opportunity to bash
    Obama?
    Or tease the “usual suspects”?

    Reply

  30. Linda says:

    They all are just acting like politicians in an election year–everybody in both parties. They want to go home and run on a record of having done something, and they make rotten trade offs to get something to brag about. The worst legislation gets passed in Presidential election years, especially in the 1990s and 2000s, because neither party has had a veto proof majority.
    All the provisions being discussed are tied to the military appropriations bill that they have to pass. So they all are horse-trading, and it isn’t very pretty. The Republicans wanted the telecom immunity and FISA stuff. The Democrats wanted an extension of unemployment benefits and the GI Bill, and they all horse-traded and made a mess. And it’s worse this year because we have a President with no leadership skills, etc. with very low support but still able to veto.
    Not to pick on Clinton but make my point from 1996. They have to pass appropriations, and Bill Archer from TX (thankfully retired from House)was Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and stuck a real poison pill in one of the major appropriations or perhaps another bill that had to start in his committee. It was one of the longest bills I’ve ever seen with all kinds of unrelated stuff. The poison pill that Archer put in was to make awards for pain and suffering in civil rights litigation subject to income tax as they had never been before. Lawyers’ fees already were double-taxed both to the plaintiff and then to the lawyer. People were going through years of litigation only to find that they got nothing when then won. It took about ten years to get the double-taxation reversed. When Clinton signed the bill, he noted that he disagreed with that tax on pain and suffering and would see that it was changed. He never did, and 12 years later after being introduced with bipartisan support in every single Congress since then, it still hasn’t been reversed. For years now it’s been co-sponsored by John Lewis and by Deborah Pryce, a fairly conservative and powerful Republican woman from Ohio, who is not running for re-election. Just maybe it will pass as a tribute to her. But I’ll believe it when I see it.
    As for who’s flipping and flopping, they all are and do–and they all are better than Bush who never changes his mind when the realities and facts change.
    Wigwag, the next two paragraphs are your quotes, actually the second is you quoting me, and you just didnt get it. I don’t revere Obama or tie myself in knots defending him. I agree with Steve that any smart politician would do exactly what he did, and I think McCain or Hillary would do the same thing in that situation. It’s a calculated risk, i.e., most voters don’t care about campaign finance reform, and it’s not going to be an issue that will change anyone’s vote. So it’s worth taking the flak to keep the advantage.
    “You and Linda and others are tying yourselves in knots to try to defend positions that are indefensible. Linda actually said this above:”
    “Reverse on public funding, raise and spend more money than ever before, win, and then be perfectly positioned to do real campaign finance reform. It would be like Nixon going to China or LBJ passing civil rights laws.”
    However, you missed what I was saying, i.e., don’t give up the advantage of having great ability to raise funds without taking them from PACs and lobbyists, spend as much as it takes to compete in all 50 states, get elected, and then be in a great position to say that the spending is obscene and do something about it.
    I think that would be a brilliant political move by anyone who would/could do it. I know what I think and am clear on why I am voting for Obama. If he is elected and is smart enough to do that, we’ll hear about it on 1/20/09. If not, we’ll hear another State of the Union Address about staying in Iraq, extending the Bush tax cuts,and drilling for oil in Alaska and off-shore in CA and FL.
    It’s a very clear choice for each of us to make.

    Reply

  31. WigWag says:

    Sorry, Paul. All I can do is repeat what I said earlier. TE’s posts are short, sweet and to the point. They don’t take up a lot of space and if you don’t like them it’s easy enough to cruise right past them. I look at alot of the links he posts. Many if not most look interesting to me. Many of them are from very main stream sources. He has as much right to post about Obama (especially on posts where Steve make Obama the subject)as Carroll, or POA or you or others have to post on AIPAC or the Neocons. TE’s comments about Obama aren’t any more obsessive than posts about those subjects.
    TE and I both take positions that are frequently unpopular here. Some people like yourself usually respond with a counterargument that is smart and fun to respond to. Others like POA and Carroll respond with vitriol that rarely contains anything substantive. You know what I mean, the comments about braying and the name calling. Actually, TE is better about not responding to comments like this than I am. He rarely allows himeself to be goaded into responding in kind. I frequently do.
    Any one who is sick of TE’s point of view should ignore it. I find it interesting and I like to read it. If you don’t agree with what TE has to say, criticize it substantively. If you don’t want to, chat with someone else.
    To be frank, it’s not just Steve’s post that makes this place interesting. It’s comments from people like you or TE or Linda or even Dan Kervick (who I kind of miss and regret being somewhat unkind to). As for the comments from Carroll and POA, I guess they just have to be tolerated as a necessary evil. There’s no reason why I can say what I think but they can’t say what they think.
    On a substantive matter, POA has criticized me for being too harsh on Obama about retroactive immunity. I wonder how important you think this issue is.

    Reply

  32. David says:

    The as yet unannounced 527s waiting in the wings with very large amounts of money at their disposal from very wealthy people like the benefactor$ who bankrolled the Swift Boaters is what this is about. Obama would be crazy to agree to be limited. This is the trap Richard Mellon Scaife et al were hoping would be sprung on himself by Obama, but he ain’t that stupid, and now they are screaming bloody murder.
    On NPR today, Nichelle Norris (sp?) and company bought the bull about no 527s for Obama to be worried about. Does anybody happen to have a date that pinpoints when NPR decided to go intellectually lame. A ninth-grader could figure this one out.

    Reply

  33. Paul Norheim says:

    “Carroll, you calling TE nuts is really rich!” (WigWag)
    But you didn`t comment on this, WigWag:
    “Since TE has made every single thread here about evil Obama
    and poor Hillary I was curious enough to look and see that TE
    has been Obama bashing for months and months at over 27
    different blogs besides this one, at least I stopped counting at
    27.” (Caroll)
    Is this what we call spam, or is it that mixture of reflections,
    opinions, info and links that is great about TWN?
    I would say that Tahoe Editor is an obsessed spammer, don`t
    you think?
    And frankly, I don`t think that you have the antennas to sense
    this, WigWag, since you for a while bought that mixture of spam
    and ad hominem sarcastic attacks from antiObama/pro-Clinton
    “Ironbelle” a couple of weeks ago. You enjoy arguing with
    opponents, but occasionally it looks like you`re buying
    anything that those who share your opinion are trying to sell
    you.
    This is surprising, since I know that you appreciate that distinct
    culture at TWN: reflections, opinions & facts.
    I don`t like attacking people like I did with TE. But his behavior
    here represents the opposite of that great spirit. He is
    advocating one single, highly trivial opinion, and supports it
    with thousands of facts and links. That`s the opposite, it seems
    to me, of what TWN is all about.

    Reply

  34. WigWag says:

    Sorry, POA, on this one, Obama’s the man in charge. not Hillary and not McCain.

    Reply

  35. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Solely blaming Barack Obama for the passage of this bill is as asinine as blaming the Iranians for the Iraqi Shiite majority, WigWag.
    But keep bra….uh…talking.
    And of course you have no idea where Hillary stands on this. She is, if nothing else, a political animal, and has managed to stay in the shadows on EVERY hot bed issue that has rolled down the pike, for eight years now. The only difference between Hillary and Pelosi, or Obama, for that matter, is she sells out quietly, behind the scenes.

    Reply

  36. WigWag says:

    Carroll, you calling TE nuts is really rich!

    Reply

  37. WigWag says:

    Actually, POA, I want to go further, If Clinton had any guts she’d threaten to fillibuster the FISA Bill if it contained retroactive immunity. But of course, she won’t. It would embarass and humiliate Obama and she can afford to do that. She needs his help to pay off her more than $10 million campaign debt. Which of course gets us back to the reason campaign finance reform is so important.

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    Sorry,
    the last sentence in my comment above should have been spelled:
    TE does not like BO.
    (or, as he sometimes chose to spell Obamas name: B.H.O. I tent
    to believe that this is not said from a reflected or considered
    right wing position, but that he is inserting that Hussein thing
    just to hurt the candidate. I tend to believe that he is too shallow
    to be right or left wing. He has simply realized that he does not
    like that guy, and wants everybody else to understand that.)

    Reply

  39. Carroll says:

    Gawd!…TE is still at the Obama bashing I see.
    Since TE has made every single thread here about evil Obama and poor Hillary I was curious enough to look and see that TE has been Obama bashing for months and months at over 27 different blogs besides this one, at least I stopped counting at 27.
    It is funny that most of us on here are very much realist and don’t view Obama as some supernatural hero who is going to solve all our problems and Hillary as evil. Some of us chose Obama over Hillary based on certain positions and others chose Hillary, again based on certain positions that had nothing to do with race or sex. But ET insist that Hillary was defeated only because of sexism and Obama playing the race card.
    So ET goes on fighting his imaginary fight against the TWN posters…same rant and story day after day.
    In a nutshell, he’s nuts. Hillary lost..it’s over..Let’s move on. This election is now about McCain vrs Obama.

    Reply

  40. WigWag says:

    I have no idea if Hillary Clinton has done anything to fight the FISA sell out. All I can tell you is what she said about retroactive immunity; she said the same thing Obama said; she said she was against it. Obama said today he will vote for the House Bill when it comes up in the Senate, as far as I know, Clinton has not commented yet. If she supports it, her vote will be repulsive.
    The problem is this. McCain may support retroactive immunity, but he can’t do a damn thing about it. The Democrats control both houses not the Republicans. Only Pelosi and Reid can bring the bill up. And they wouldn’t do it if Obama told them not to. While he stands on the side lines pretending not to like the bill, in fact, the bill is only passing because of him. If he doesn’t want it to pass all he has to do is say to Nancy and Harry, don’t bring it up. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have that power. John McCain doesn’t have that power. Right now, only Obama has that power. The bill should be called the Barack Obama FISA Reform Bill. Maybe Clinton hasn’t done enough to oppose it. McCain’s position is awful. But the bill is passing because one man decided it was in his interest. That man is Barack Obama. If he hears from his supporters that they don’t approve, he could still change his mind and tell Harry and Nancy to table the bill again. If the Obama supporters here are any indication, then this doesn’t seem likely to happen.

    Reply

  41. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, here is a site that monitors progressive blogs, and what they have compiled would seem to lend the lie to WigWags implication that “Obama supportors” are giving Obama a pass on his FISA stance.
    http://blogometer.nationaljournal.com/archives/2008/06/620_keeping_the.html
    An excerpt…
    6/20: Keeping The Pressure On Obama
    We’re only two weeks into the general election campaign and the netroots are already upset about some of the decisions that Barack Obama has made. First, the netroots are angry that Obama taped a radio ad on behalf of a conservative GA congressman facing a primary challenge from a progressive state senator. While some suspect that Obama’s decision was motivated by his desire to make a play for GA, they are nevertheless disappointed by the move and are urging their readers to donate money to the progressive challenger.
    The netroots are also disappointed by Obama’s silence regarding the FISA compromise bill, which gives legal protection to telecommunications companies that participated in the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance activities. Liberal bloggers believe that the FISA bill is not a compromise but a “capitulation”, and they’re dismayed that Obama (who opposes retroactive immunity for telecoms) isn’t using his bully pulpit to draw attention to this issue. It’s clear that while the netroots are excited about Obama’s candidacy, they won’t hesitate to criticize him when he steps out of line. It’s less clear whether Obama will respond to the netroots’ criticism, however.
    continues……..

    Reply

  42. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    after reading your defense for TE, I have nothing to add to my
    original post – except for repeating: even when the host and the
    commentator TE seem to talk about the same issue, TE is still off
    topic, since he`s, one way or another, just repeating his one and
    only point: TE does not like BA.

    Reply

  43. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I think its about time we asked Wigwag to tell us EXACTLY what Hillary has done to fight this FISA sellout.

    Reply

  44. Paul Norheim says:

    WigWag,
    while I was writing to Tahoe Editor, you posted a comment
    about retroactive immunity and Obama`s vote. That was a
    constructive contribution – I would think that many
    commentators and readers here agree on that.
    Now, I see that you have written in reaction to my post about
    Tahoe Editor. I will read that. But first – my post to you, written
    between your last two posts.
    You know – US elections is on a direct level none of my
    business, as a Norwegian. On another level, it`s everybody`s
    business, since the politics and actions of the US (semi-) Empire
    is influencing almost everybody on the globe some way or
    another – even life on Mars would have been influenced, if there
    was any. Enough said about that.
    You`ve been a consequent Obama basher, just like Tahoe
    Editor. Still, my comment above is not in any way meant as, and
    should not be interpreted as an attack on you. Your are using a
    larger palette than Tahoe in your writings, and just like you, I
    enjoy reading and arguing with someone I often don`t agree
    with. Another difference: I can`t see any POLITICAL profile while
    reading Tahoe, just a one-eyed “mission” (or “conviction”, that
    seem very superficial to me). You obviously have a political
    profile – a very complicated and contradicting profile, indeed,
    but this makes you more interesting to read or talk to.
    However, your Obama bashing puzzles me a bit (not on a
    political, but a psychological level, an aspect that I usually hate
    to bring into the arena of politics, but I`ll do it here). You`ve
    delivered plenty of different arguments against Obama. Some
    arguments seem to be based on rational considerations. Some
    seem a bit strange and exaggerated (like the “sexist Obama”).
    Some seem to be stuff that you as well may say against McCain;
    and even (when she was in the game) Hillary Clinton. And I have
    to say: some seem to be plain gut feelings, instincts, beyond
    what even you can explain.
    This is fine: Everybody make choices based on such
    combinations, though some people try hard to make rational
    choices that run against their instincts, or believe doing so.
    However – given your intellect, knowledge and stated positions
    on different political and social issues – seen as a whole, I think
    I`m not the only one who would like to ask: WigWag, what on
    earth is it that make you so against Obama, since you
    supported a lot of Clinton positions of many issues, not very
    different from Obama`s positions?
    However, your antipathies against Obama seem to have other
    sources as well, more close to home, so to speak. I remember
    once you commented that you didn`t like Barack Obama
    because he was a kind of latte drinking guy like Dan Kervick
    (you may have changed opinion regarding D. Kervick trough
    subsequent debates with him). This I found puzzling. I`ve seen
    several other comments from you that make me think that your
    positions regarding the candidates are too much influenced by
    what your opponents at TWN seem to think about those
    candidates. This surprises me a bit. If I am correct, you`re a
    woman born in the 1950`s? (I am a man born in the beginning
    of the 1960`s). Aren`t we to old to be so reactively influenced
    by our opponents?
    And while you`re maneuvering among what you call “the usual
    suspects”, it seems to me that they are far from being Obama
    fan boys or girls. They just seem to be more opposed to McCain
    than BO, and seem to think (just like you, but with different
    preferences), that they may vote for the lesser evil. Thus you
    don`t score any points there, and seem to some extent to be
    influenced by imaginary opponents.
    I believe that this imaginary influence is the reason why some of
    your comments, frankly spoken, are beyond your level. After all:
    how many of your opponents and “usual suspects” are bashing
    John McCain all the time?
    You know, one of the reasons why TWN is great, is that both
    the host and most of the commentators go beyond party
    politics.
    In sum: I think you`re distracting yourselves, as well as your
    readers, with your points against Obama, and I think you could
    do better, if you cut through your own confusions.
    Me?
    I am confused and ambivalent as well on a lot of issues. But –
    as I`ve said before: as a Norwegian, I have the luxury of
    distance in these matters. At least I think so. But perhaps I`m
    just to far from the events.

    Reply

  45. WigWag says:

    Morton, thank’s for your comment. Let me reiterate, Senator McCain’s opinion on retroactive immunity is vile. Giving telecoms a pass on their disgusting behavior is a terrible mistake. It gives Bush and his ilk a total pass on everything he’s done to take us down a very dark path in the past 8 years. McCain’s position is inexcusable and it represents the worst example of what Republicans stand for.
    But giving Obama a pass on this is equally bad or worse. Why? He agrees with McCain so his position is equally bad. But he promised to take a different approach. He promised not to support retroactive immunity and he broke his promise. His bad position is amplified by hypocracy.
    And to make matters worse, retroactive immunity is coming up now because Senator Obama wants it to. Despite his promise to fix it all if he’s elected, once immunity is granted it can’t be taken back. Taking back immunity after it’s been granted would be an ex post facto violation prohibited by the constitution. Any first year law student knows that. There won’t be any do overs.
    After bottling this up for months, why do you think Pelosi and Reid have brought this up now. They didn’t need to, so what explains the timing? It’s simple, they wanted to pass this after the nomination was decided and before the convention to get it off the radar screen. Obama made a deliberate political calculation that he didn’t want to engage McCain on a issue pertinent to home land security where the public thinks he’s weaker than McCain. This is more than “tacking” to the Center. The Senator has made a conscious decision that fighting McCain on this was bad politics so he told Pelosi and Reid to get the legislation passed now so it will be forgotten by November. Like with campaign finance reform, he tossed his long held and fervent beliefs overboard for a temporary tactical political advantage.
    You and Linda and others are tying yourselves in knots to try to defend positions that are indefensible. Linda actually said this above:
    “Reverse on public funding, raise and spend more money than ever before, win, and then be perfectly positioned to do real campaign finance reform. It would be like Nixon going to China or LBJ passing civil rights laws.”
    In other words she’s claiming that Obama is abandoning campaign finance reform in order to save campaign finance reform. The idea that he would do this is incomprehensible to everyone accept Obama supporters. People who believe the ends justify the means have caused alot of harm in this country.
    The bottom line is that the only reason retroactive immunity is about to pass is because Obama wants it to pass. The fact that this might be marginally beneficial to him politically doesn’t make it good policy or ethical policy.
    Bu the way, if Mrs. Clinton votes for this, I will be happy to say that her vote on this subject is equally despicable.
    We now know that, at best, Obama is a typical politician. His claim to be a transformational candidate is now considered to be a joke by everyone, including his supporters. The question is do we really know what Obama stands for? People who don’t like him, (like me), think that he’s a blank slate and that people attribute to him whatever policies and attitudes they think they like. Time will tell, but it’s just hard to believe that people who like Obama, (like you and Linda) can be comfortable with what you see so far. Clinton’s campaign is finished and everyone knows where McCain stands. Do you really like this guy or are you willing to admit that at best, he’s the lesser of two evils?

    Reply

  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Comical. I was going to say basically the same thing to Paul when he commented on the fact that I’ve made it over clear, ad nauseum, that I think WigWag is a jackass. My immediate reaction was, uh, well hey Paul, have you got the message yet that WigWag and Tahoe don’t like Obama?
    Truth is that Tahoe’s links usually coincide with the same exact links being posted at the RW websites. His talking points are right on script too. He’s even gone so far as to post commentary from entirely discredited contributors, such as that scumball that started the rumor that Obama attended a Madrassa school.
    Then, to top it off, Tahoe was right there cheerleading as MarkL accused me of “virulent anti-semitism”. Yet, when queried, Tahoe refused to comment as to why he had agreed with MarkL’s accusation.
    Look, I know I grate on a lot of TWN readers, but I do try to dispense my rants on a number of separate issues. And I certainly am not in the habit of spamming this board with any and every link I can find that disses George Bush and his band of treasonous scumbags. I do read stuff before I post it, and I generally try to include an excerpt that is substantive enough to tell the reader if it is worth clicking on or not.
    Personally, I agree with Paul on both counts. I have been a bit overzealous with the derision I’ve thrown WigWag’s way. After all, I’ve posted here long enough to know that most of the readers here are intelligent enough to know braying when they hear it.
    But I gotta agree with Paul 100% about Tahoe’s input as well. It has turned into little more than spam, link after link after link. It is indeed tiresome, and, by now, I doubt many people even bother to click on them.

    Reply

  47. Dennis says:

    After todays Democrat support of the Republican telecom immunity bill which also gives immunity to the Bush administration’s crimes, the true colors of the Democrats are finally shown.
    Democrats, especially the whinney “Blue Dog Democrats”, are best described as just more Republicans.
    Obama isn’t going to come through for the American people.
    Campaign gifts to the Democrats?
    Not mine!
    You don’t have to be a blind conservative not to see it, just an ignorant one to deny it.

    Reply

  48. Morton says:

    Wigwag writes: “Senator Obama has now joined Senator McCain
    in supporting the House version of the FISA bill that provide
    retroactive immunity to telephone companies who spied on their
    customers. Senator McCain has supported retroactive immunity
    right along.
    I write: I heard Obama say that he felt that the bill was a start
    and what could be achieved, in his view, right now. As
    president, he would push for the elimination of the retro
    immunity. Will he? Who knows?
    Those readers of the Washington Note who support Senator
    McCain know that their candidate has been consistent about this
    issue, no matter how absurd those of us who oppose immunity,
    think that consistency may be.
    I write: Why is it good to be consistently wrong? Again, I’ve
    never understood this preoccupation with “at least you know
    where he stands.” Yes, he stands on the wrong side and believes
    in it. At least Obama says he’s on the right side of the issue,
    even if he feels the need to tack. Reaching across the aisle
    obviously involves tacking; how could it not? Sometimes, he will
    “appear” more conservative; and sometimes he will appear more
    liberal. I have no problem with that unless he’s simply
    capitulating to take the easy way out.
    (Obama is also accused of being a down the line liberal because
    of his voting record. Hard for him to win this argument; but
    that’s what you get when you are trying to cross the divide.)
    Senator Obama has flop flopped on this issue today in the same
    way that he flip flopped on his promise to accept public funding
    for his general election campaign yesterday. These flip flops are
    as bad or worse than Senator McCain’ss flop flop on off shore
    drilling.
    I write: Actually, one of them–campaign finance–is not, at
    least in my view. This issue involves raising more money;
    drilling in the arctic involves hurting the environment
    potentially. Hard to say these issues are of equivalent moment.
    Telecom immunity is much more serious, but he has tried to
    address the complexities of the vote and the trade-offs
    involved. Why present it as a simple flip flop when it isn’t?
    When you tack, you go left and you go right, but you’re always
    heading in a specific direction (not just going back and forth).
    You have to tack to make progress against the oncoming wind.
    I don’t “revere” Obama, secretly or otherwise. He’s a good man, I
    believe, trying to do good things for the country in a very
    difficult time and, in general, I agree with his principles and
    direction. Time will tell if I’m right.
    Dan Rather should spend some time in a class on remedial fact
    and source checking. He had a great story that could have
    turned the election and he blew it with what appears to a rookie
    move. Not good.
    I have no problem with Tahoe’s posts in the way Paul states and
    agree with your rebuttal on this. Though, I agree with you, that
    some Obama supporters feel that it’s a sin to criticize Obama.
    That’s just silly.

    Reply

  49. WigWag says:

    Paul your comment to Tahoe Editor is completely unfair. TE make his points in a succinct, polite and informative manner. If you don’t like his links, don’t look at them. I find them very interesting, but I understand if you don’t. That’s the great thing about this site; those who are not interested in a comment don’t have to read it, they can move on. Nor are his comments off-topic. Steve’s post here was about campaign finance issues and the Presidential campaign. All of TE’s comments have been related to this and he hasn’t repeated himself. He’s given us several different links and he hasn’t repeated any of them. There are always five or six different threads here. If you don’t like what’s going on in one, it’s always easy to cruise right over to another.
    I think the problem that many people here have with those of us who critique Obama is that Obama supporters don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to confront the dramatic inadequacies of their candidate who (although they don’t admit it) they secretly revere. If you don’t like TE’s comments, don’t read them. I look forward to his comments, Paul. And even though you and I usually disagree, I look forward to yours.
    With all due respect, it’s time to lighten up.

    Reply

  50. Paul Norheim says:

    Tahoe Editor,
    I don`t know how many comments you`ve written at TWN
    during the recent months. 300? 500? 1000? Perhaps more? I`ve
    not read them all, but from what I`ve read, there seem to be a
    message going through all those comments, right?
    Something that may be food for thought for the rest of the
    readers of The Washington Note?
    You try to get that message through by providing a lot of
    perspectives, facts, rumors, quotes, links etc. to help the rest of
    the readers come to the same conclusion, seeing what you`ve
    seen.
    And this message running through every post (except a few ad
    hominem attacks, of course, when someone attack you, ad
    hominem, or not ad hominem, or you just feel bored), what is it
    all about?
    I think I`ve found that message some months ago (and please
    correct me if I am wrong). Your message is:
    TAHOE EDITOR DOES NOT LIKE BARACK OBAMA.
    Wow. Did you hear that. Let me repeat:
    TAHOE EDITOR DOES NOT LIKE BARACK OBAMA.
    That`s a simple, but powerful message, isn`t it?
    What do you say, Tahoe: after 300-1500 comments at TWN,
    would you say that your readers and fellow commentators here
    have got your point? Do you think that they now are more or
    less aware that you don`t like Obama? You know, some of these
    people are quite intelligent. What do you say?
    To me, your comments seem a bit off topic. Regardless of the
    issue, or the reflections provided by fellow commentators, you
    stick to your pet issue, your single point: Tahoe does not like
    Obama. Since you are writing so frequently here, and I feel that
    I`ve got your point, I would prefer to hear what you have to say
    about anything else.
    Any thoughts about cats? Hot dogs? Synthesizers? Or perhaps
    trout fishing? Believe me, it would feel more refreshing if you
    said something about trout fishing.
    Off topic? Well, to me, repeating the very same message several
    times a day seem highly off topic at a blog like TWN, whatever
    that message may be. Even more so, if the message is that you
    don`t like a certain presidential candidate. As you may have
    figured out, there are 100`s of millions of Americans who
    don`t like a certain candidate – or none of them.
    Anyway, would you say that you`ll have to write 1500 new
    comments to make folks here realize that you actually don`t
    like Barack Obama?

    Reply

  51. WigWag says:

    Senator Obama has now joined Senator McCain in supporting the House version of the FISA bill that provide retroactive immunity to telephone companies who spied on their customers. Senator McCain has supported retroactive immunity right along. Those readers of the Washington Note who support Senator McCain know that their candidate has been consistent about this issue, no matter how absurd those of us who oppose immunity, think that consistency may be. Senator Obama has flop flopped on this issue today in the same way that he flip flopped on his promise to accept public funding for his general election campaign yesterday. These flip flops are as bad or worse than Senator McCain’ss flop flop on off shore drilling.
    Why are the democrats capitulating to the President on retroactive immunity now? The reason is that Senator Obama wants the issue off the table so he doesn’t have to debate Senator McCain about it in the fall. It’s simply not a good sign that he’s afraid to confront McCain about this issue and have an honest debate.
    This bill still hasn’t passed the Senate. There’s still a chance to stop retroactive immunity in spite of Senator Obama’s support for it. If Obama supporters who sent him money (the only ones he seems to care about)write to the Senator and urge him to oppose retroactive immunity, maybe he will change his mind. He’s flip flopped on this issue before, maybe you can get him to do it again.
    Regardless of which candidate you supported, everyone should write to their Senators and tell them that retroactive immunity is a terrible idea. Democrats need to let their Democratic Senators (who control the Senate after all)know that support for retroactive immunity will not be tolerated.

    Reply

  52. Tahoe Editor says:

    Oooh, The New Politics
    I am so excited by Barack Obama’s new politics. Like Chris Matthews, I got a thrill down my leg when the senator announced his candidacy promising a “new kind of politics.” As I recall, he said, “Our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, commonsense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can’t tackle the big problems that demand solutions. And that’s what we have to change first.” Goosebumps!
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/oooh_the_new_politics.html

    Reply

  53. Tahoe Editor says:

    Steve set the stage for this race: “One side running tied by the rules of public finance and the other side essentially not would produce a DISPUTED, POTENTIALLY UNFAIR OUTCOME.”
    Dan Rather: “I think he’ll be forgiven for this unless McCain hammers home the point, ‘look, this is just indicative of a guy who doesn’t really know who he is and a guy you cannot trust.’ Not smart.”

    Reply

  54. Morton's Best Friend says:

    “Joe: “While you are lying and breaking your word, don’t be self-
    righteous about it.”
    Hmmm. If you’re going to lie…what does it matter if you’re self-
    righteous about it?
    I’ve never understood that particular line of reasoning.
    You mean, it’s BETTER if you lie and you’re not self-righteous
    about it? How does one even do that?
    “I’m lying to you, and I don’t care because I have to or want to or
    everyone does it.”
    “I’m not lying (though I’m lying about THAT) because what you
    thought my position was isn’t my position.”
    “I’m lying, but I don’t want to talk about it or tell you why. I’m a
    humble liar.”
    Frankly, Joe is a putz here: “”I guess you can’t take him at his
    word. Every excuse he made is false and misleading. He’s now
    no longer playing by the rules that every presidential candidate’s
    always played by. He’s also gone back on his word and his
    promises…”
    C’mon, Joe. Can’t we distinguish between big, important lies
    and lies or compromises that are clearly tactical, pragmatic
    moves? Fortunately for McCain, he doesn’t have to lie here,
    because his original position works best for him.
    If we’re going to argue about lies–and their importance–let’s
    argue about lies that, say, ended up killing over a million people
    and cost the US about a trillion dollars. This is a lie that McCain
    supported from the beginning and continues to–shall I say it?-
    -self-righteously support.
    And if Russert was going to get exercised about keeping one’s
    word, he should have gotten exercised about McCain keeping his
    words on the Bush tax cuts.
    And speaking of Russert, try reading the Daily Howler’s pieces
    on the War Against Gore–in which Russert played a clear role–
    if you want to talk about integrity.
    And if we’re going to take up Mr. Brooks…he’s held more
    positions than a weather vane in the middle of a hurricane. Trot
    over to Sleeper’s latest post at tpmcafe for chapter and verse.
    The man who said that principled consistency was the
    hobgoblin of small minds was probably Mr. Brooks himself.
    But you know what? There’s enough hypocrisy to go around. I
    don’t always consider it the worst sin, especially in politics.
    When Barack does something REALLY bad, let me know.
    As to your last question to Steve: Are you actually proposing
    that McCain is standing on principle here and not going for
    “calculated political advantage”?

    Reply

  55. Tahoe Editor says:

    Joe Scarborough: “The thing I hate from politicians the most is when they think we’re stupid. And yesterday, Barack Obama’s video underestimated the intelligence of Americans and those who cover his campaign. We’re not that stupid.”
    Pat Buchanan: “It reeked of insincerity. We all know the truth. We all knew he was going to do it. What does he put out this nonsense for?”
    Mika B: “Yeah, almost as if somehow they’re being victimized.”

    Corporate money favors Obama
    http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2008/06/16/daily36.html
    The Audacity of Abandonment
    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/RichardHCollins/2008/06/19/the_audacity_of_abandonment&Comments=true
    Obama’s money move lifts expediency over principle
    http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/06/our-view-on-cam.html
    Obama goes for the money
    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080620/BLOG2503/80620053/1068/opinion
    A Politician, Not a Messiah
    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=Zjk4MWExNWVmODlhNTc1ODJkMDZkYWUzMThkMzIzYmU=
    Obama’s Lame Claim About McCain’s Money
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/142399
    Is Obama’s credibility at risk?
    http://primebuzz.kcstar.com/?q=node/12519
    Click and dragged onto Obama’s love boat
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23896322-5007146,00.html
    Obama may be big on hope, but he’s small on real change
    http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_9645306

    Reply

  56. Tahoe Editor says:

    Steve, I don’t know what the “ecosystem of campaign finance” means, but are you now saying we can expect a “disputed, potentially unfair outcome” in November?
    That’s Changeâ„¢ We Can Believe In® !
    You say “bottom line, Obama made the right choice,” but you don’t offer a coherent reason for saying so. If you could tack on “for calculated political advantage while sacrificing principle” you’d at least make sense. Otherwise you have us hanging, and it looks like yet another fence-sitting, cover-your-bases, meaningless “give em props” token.

    Reply

  57. Tahoe Editor says:

    DAVID BROOKS: Fast Eddie vs. Dr. Barack
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/opinion/20brooks.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin
    “Fast Eddie Obama didn’t just sell out the primary cause of his life. He did it with style, all for a tiny political advantage.”
    “risibly insincere”
    “split-personality politician”
    “an idealistic, lakefront liberal fronting a sharp-elbowed machine operator”
    “He’s the most effectively political creature we’ve seen in decades. Even Bill Clinton wasn’t smart enough to succeed in politics by pretending to renounce politics.”
    So much for Change™ We Can Believe In® !

    Reply

  58. Tahoe Editor says:

    Joe Scarborough: “I guess you can’t take him at his word. Every excuse he made is false and misleading. He’s now no longer playing by the rules that every presidential candidate’s always played by. He’s also gone back on his word and his promises, and as The New York Times said this morning, when he says the system is broken and these Republicans are going to use 527s against me, as The New York Times says, in fact it’s the Democrats who appear much better poised to benefit from such efforts — everybody knows that, with Soros and Democratic supporters, there’s no doubt. Here’s my deal. If you’re going to be self-righteous and then you get into the mud, don’t be self-righteous while doing it, because we’re just not that stupid. That’s what I take from it.”

    Feb. 26 Tim Russert: “Senator Obama, let me ask you about motivating, inspiring, KEEPING YOUR WORD. NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT. Last year you said if you were the nominee you would opt for public financing in the general election. Try to get some of the money out. You checked “Yes” on a questionnaire. And Now Senator McCain has called your bluff, saying, “Let’s do it” — you seem to be waffling, saying, “Well, if we can work on an arrangement here.” Why won’t you keep your word, in writing, that you made to abide by public financing of the fall election?”
    BO: “If I am the nominee, I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that is fair for both sides.”

    BO’s answer on the questionnaire: “My plan requires both major party candidates to agree on a fundraising truce — return excess money from donors and stay within the public financing system for the general election. My proposal followed announcements by some candidates that they would forgo public financing so they could raise unlimited funds in the general election. The FEC ruled the proposal legal, and Senator John McCain has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. IF I AM THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE, I WILL AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE REPUBLICAN NOMINEE TO PRESERVE A PUBLICLY FINANCED GENERAL ELECTION.”
    THAT’s the kind of Changeâ„¢ I Can Believe In!
    Joe: “While you are lying and breaking your word, don’t be self-righteous about it.”

    Reply

  59. WigWag says:

    TE, it looks like our progressive friends on the Washington Note werre all for campaign finance reform before they were against it. That reminds me of someone, who was it?

    Reply

  60. Linda says:

    Morton,
    You may be right, but I’d at least like to see a Presidential Commission with a bunch of constitutional scholars appointed to look into the whole mess–electoral college,etc. We’re no longer in an age where most people read “Federalist Papers,” or even newspapers. The big expense is media ads that are annoying at best, and use the public airways and invade our homes.
    Perhaps it would require amending the Constitution re: Presidential elections. Parts of Constitution are totally out of date anyhow. For example, in the Bill of Rights, the 7th amendment has never been up-dated for inflation: “In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved….”
    I’d rather see a Presidential Commission like that than have the next President appoint another commission to study how to fix Social Security. Both Clinton and Bush did that, and it’s really easy to fix, but nobody has had the majority or will or whatever to do it. It’s that kind of inaction and fighting in DC tha makes us all angry and wanting change.

    Reply

  61. Tahoe Editor says:

    Barack “new kind of politics” Obama was confronted with an unexpected choice: change or big bucks. He went with big bucks. No surprise, but it tarnishes his “brand” and questions his trustworthiness.

    Reply

  62. Morton says:

    Well, as far as I can tell, and I’m not an expert, but REAL campaign
    finance reform always seems to run into First Amendment
    problems. Limiting speech or the amount of speech–by say,
    forcing everyone to spend the same amount–will be struck down
    by the courts. Plus, money is like water: It always finds a way and
    doesn’t like being cooped up behind restrictive barriers.

    Reply

  63. Morton says:

    True, Tahoe, but what’s the point?
    Obama’s rolling in it and McCain isn’t. So neither one is truly
    principled in that sense.
    So why should Obama get slashed–in particular–because of his
    choice which is as pragmatic as McCain’s?
    Because he’s claiming to be “special”? Well, so was or is McCain,
    whose straight talk express has had more than its share of switch
    backs, back and fills, and circularity.
    Eventually, the art of politics brings everyone down to earth to a
    terrain that’s hardly flat and a playing field that’s hardly even.

    Reply

  64. Linda says:

    Well, I had to comment one more time-not a feeling, but I’ve been thinking…and Obama just could be very tough, shrewd, and smart politician.
    Reverse on public funding, raise and spend more money than ever before, win, and then be perfectly positioned to do real campaign finance reform. It would be like Nixon going to China or LBJ passing civil rights laws.
    If that doesn’t make sense, somebody hear will find the flaw in my logic.

    Reply

  65. Tahoe Editor says:

    Right. But that was the case last year and the year before that. The system didn’t “break” the moment BO’s money started pouring in, and he’s not opting out because the system is broken — he’s opting out because he’s rolling in it, and he’s counting on Wall Street to keep the taps open.
    Obama’s Back Flips
    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=298769662128800

    Reply

  66. Morton says:

    “Essentially Kerry opted for public financing, along with Bush, in
    June only to be swiftboated by external 527s not bound by the
    same constrictions. This sunk his ability to respond in an effective
    way.”
    Jay Mandle had an interesting op-ed in the WaPo today on this
    issue, which brings me in line with Dirk’s thinking and what I heard
    Obama say.
    Campaign finance reform is broken, in part because it doesn’t go
    far enough in eliminating the influence of money contributed to
    campaigns and in part because it doesn’t eliminate 527s.
    So, bottom line, elections are still a race for capturing the most
    money.

    Reply

  67. Dirk says:

    This decision by Obama has been concisely explained by J. Kerry here:
    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/06/kerry.php
    Essentially Kerry opted for public financing, along with Bush, in June only to be swiftboated by external 527s not bound by the same constrictions. This sunk his ability to respond in an effective way.
    I was disappointed at first; but seen in that light it is the wisest choice for Obama and indded any campaign facing the GOP machine.

    Reply

  68. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    I’d suggest a truce on this because I think you are a good person,good citzen who cares and does things for the good of her community–probably better than I. while I haven’t worked for Catholic Workers, a friend of mine was administratively involved in running local organization for decades, and I do know all about them, Dorothy Day, etc. He’s been for Obama from the start. Are the Catholic Workers going to vote for McCain or not vote at all?
    “What this election has demonstrated to me that I didn’t really get before is that Democrats are just as hypocritical as Republicans.” I believed that for a long time and would continue to believe it no matter which candidate got the nomination. We don’t get very good choices. I could cite many examples of political hypocrisy from both Clintons.
    The odds are, given the mess the next President will inherit that it is likely to be a one-term failed administration. I wonder what insanity or arrogance or whatever would motivate anyone to run. Al Gore is probably the smartest one around.
    It’s this part that bothers me: “I feel the same way about Barack Obama that you and others feel about George Bush. I think he’s a no talent hack who has been handed what he has based on no merit at all.”
    One thing you can’t do is tell me or anyone else how I or he/she feels. And you were addressing me. I don’t feel about the candidates. I think about them and their records. And I just can’t understand how you can totally dismiss Obama’s accomplishments as making him “a no talent hack who has been handed what he has based on no merit at all.”
    I have reasons for strongly preferring Obama over Clinton and McCain. I don’t want to attack you, but you leave yourself wide open to being attacked by others because of statements like that one. It sounds like a feeling rather than a reasoned conclusion. Anyhow I’m calling a truce and not commenting for a while.

    Reply

  69. WigWag says:

    POA, in the interest of turning the other cheek, let me politely respond to this particular comment that you make:
    “Your “you must be proud” admonition, aimed at the Obama supporters is completely inane, considering McCain’s position.”
    I don’t think this comment is inane at all. McCain admits that he wants to stay in Iran forever; it is obvious that the neocons will play a major role in his administraton and, despite his objections to the Bush policy on torture, many of his supporters hope that he will continue many of the Bush policies. Everybody knows who McCain is and what he stands for. Certainly at the Washington Note everyone knows.
    While McCain’s policies are worse, Obama’s hypocracy is far worse. He’s all for campaign finance reform until it’s in his interest not to support it. He’s against telecom immunity until he feels he needs to support it. He’s against NAFTA and then he’s for it. He tells one audience Iran is a theat and another, more conservative audience that’s it’s not. His spiritual advisors say sexist things without a peep out of him. He thinks the only possible explanation for the fact that people like me may not be smart enough to support him is that we’re bitter.
    And everyone, even McCain’s supporters know his warts. Obama supporters, here and all over the internet revere the man and make him sound like the Messiah. That’s why I think it makes sense to point out Obama’s shortcomings, especially here.
    And respectfully, I don’t think I’m swiftboating Obama. I think all my comments about him are detailed and factual and I know that smart people can disagree with me.
    As for my motives, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. How can we know anything about each other’s motives?
    As for your comment that I stump for Israel instead of the United States, I don’t think I’ve been coy about my support for Israel. I’ve said I’m a Zionist and I have argued as clearly as I can when Israel has been criticized in a way that I think is unjust. Others disagree, that’s fine. I am interested in the Washington Note because there are smart people who disagree with me here. That’s why I enjoy it here. There are millions of places to go where everyone agrees with me. I spend little time in those places because I think it’s boring.
    I also disagree with you that I don’t like Obama because I support Israel. Actually, it’s the opposite, I think both Clinton(had she been elected) or McCain would be tougher on Israel than Obama will be. As I have said before, Obama has a little credibilty with the Jewish community. I know you don’t care about that, but he obviously does. The result is that he is less likely to be willing to pressure the Israelis to make the hard choices necessary for peace. Why do you think sp many ardent Zionists (Congressman Wexler for example)support Obama. They are confident that if he’s elected, he won’t do anything to cross Israel. If you disagree, that’s fine, but you have to admit it’s a plausible argument.
    As for chilling out, POA, I’ll chill out when you chill out.

    Reply

  70. Morton says:

    “Morton, McCain has raised a total of about $90 million so far.
    Obama has raised almost as much from donors contributing
    $1,000 or more ($83 million) as McCain has raised from all his
    donors.”
    Wigwag, I think we’re getting balled up in what the issue is here.
    The point is not–at least from my POV–how well BO is doing
    relative to McCain in terms of raising money. He’s doing a lot
    better, clearly. And probably, if he weren’t, he’d be playing the
    public financing tune. So yes, there is some hypocrisy, as there
    is on the other side (McCain’s).
    My point is this: the rationale behind campaign finance reform
    is that politics is dominated by a FEW people (relatively
    speaking) who have a lot of money. So the masses are squeezed
    out. And this was largely true prior to the Internet.
    But Dean and now Obama have shown how to generate a lot of
    money–equal to or greater than the big money donors–by
    getting lots of “small” contributions from lots of “ordinary”
    people. Now that this has become the reality, I see LESS need
    for the public money route, because the same goal–broad
    public participation in funding the elections–is largely being
    served. So, I’m not too upset that Obama has chosen to opt out,
    regardless of his promises.
    If McCain were bringing in a ton of money, he’d be opting out,
    too. I don’t require Obama to be pure as the driven snow to
    support him or to believe that he’s trying to do things
    differently. Giving up his money advantage would be giving
    McCain an advantage. And since I don’t want the latter to win, I
    don’t want him getting any unnecessary advantages.

    Reply

  71. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Ok. So your constant Obama bashing accomplishes what? Why be so selective with your derision, if, as you claim, “What this election has demonstrated to me that I didn’t really get before is that Democrats are just as hypocritical as Republicans”?
    What has Hillary done that so merits your adoration? Can you enlighten us as to how, exactly, she has waged any substantive opposition to the policies of George Bush?
    You are correct that Obama seems to be an empty suit, but why don’t we see you questioning the inexplicable FACT that the same media that has been complicit in advancing the crimes of the current administration has created this carnival sensation Obama, and marketed him for public consumption. That doesn’t strike you as odd?
    Really, WigWag, your motives here are extremely suspect. I fail to see the pluses for you in your campaign of incessant swiftboating of Barrack Obama while you don’t engage the issues, EXCEPT to swiftboat Obama.
    Surely, McCain’s support for immunity, torture, the Iraq war, and a myriad of other GOP disasters transcends Obama’s capitulation to this latest bill on immunity and ceding dangerous powers of domestic spying to our Executive Branch. Is it your contention that Obama is worse in this respect than McCain?
    Your “you must be proud” admonition, aimed at the Obama supporters is completely inane, considering McCain’s position.
    There seems to be no logic to both your and Tahoe’s efforts here, as your postings are absent any positive notes on either of the candidates while tearing down just ONE of the candidates.
    My own personal feeling on this, which you will of course deny, is that you stump for Israel, rather than the United States. It is the only explanation that would explain your demonization of Obama while ignoring both the issues, and the qualities, (or rather, LACK of qualities), of his oppposition.
    Really, WigWag, I think you should chill out.
    Not to worry, Obama knows full well the price to be paid by defying your masters, and I have full confidence that he poses no threat to Israel’s taxpayer funded gravy train, nor will he stand in the way of Israel’s efforts to exterminate the Palestinians.

    Reply

  72. WigWag says:

    “You’ve already bought into the idea that Obama’s record is worth nothing and that he is only words. Have you or anyone here ever worked in public housing projects and done community organizing? I have,”
    Thanks for your response Linda. I’ve criticized Obama’s “community organizing”, so its perfectly fair to ask if I have any experience to suggest I know what I’m talking about.
    I was a umion organizer for 4 years, I was a shop steward for 8 years and I was President of my local for 8 years. My local supported community housing, we volunteered at the local food bank and we helped raise money for autism research back before it was a popular cause. When my child developed Type I diabetes, I volunteered for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and ultimately I became a chapter president.
    Now that I am retired, I volunteer for the local Catholic Worker House (even though I’m not Catholic). Actually the joke about Catholic Workers is that we’re not Catholic and we don’t work. The Catholic Worker movement was started by a woman named Dorothy Day who has actually been nominated for sainthood (she would have hated the idea). The Catholic Worker movement is a pacifist movement and the people most identified with Catholic Workers are Philip and Daniel Berrigan. I don’t do anything particularly exalted for them, I make sandwiches and serve coffee on our twice weekly coffee line for homeless people. I’m also a monitor in our shelter a day or two a week. Unlike me, most Catholic Workers have POA’s attitude about all the candidates. They think they are all terrible; all part of a corrupt system.
    When it comes to commenting on issues that Steve Clemons posts here, I’m a dilettante. But when it cames to his “community organizing” Barack Obama was a dliettante. He did it just long enough to promote his political career and white wash his subsequent work for his friend Rezko.
    I understand that to you, my disgust with Senator Obama may seem a little extreme. But I don’t know why it should. Many people on this site comment continuously and in a vitriolic manner about many people and groups they don’t like. AIPAC takes a beating, Neocons take a beating, Israelis take a beating, from Carroll and ArthurDecco, Jews take a beating and George Bush certainly takes a beating from almost all of us. I agree with many of the comments that people make about some of these people and some of these groups. I feel the same way about Barack Obama that you and others feel about George Bush. I think he’s a no talent hack who has been handed what he has based on no merit at all. It doesn’t mean I don’t think Obama has a compelling life story and it doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s smart. He does and I do. But I think Obama will be as bad a president as Bush. 4 or 8 more years of a man destined to be a disaster doesn’t strike me as anything to cheer about. What this election has demonstrated to me that I didn’t really get before is that Democrats are just as hypocritical as Republicans. If Obama’s behavior on the issues today doesn’t prove that, what will? I don’t see any reason to be less emphatic about my opinions than most other folks here are about theirs.
    Kapeish?

    Reply

  73. Linda says:

    Wigwag,
    I don’t happen to agree with SCOTUS that corporations are like people and have rights to speech as much as they can buy. And I don’t really like many interpretations of the Second Amendment either. I don’t disagree with you that neither party wants to solve this for this election. There are lots of ways to accomplish it probably by taking back control of public airwaves (Can blame Bill Clinton and Republicans for some of that), getting rid of 527s. etc. If there is a will, there probably is a constitutional way to have real campaign finance reform.
    I know all the risks of voting for Obama and will hold him accountable, but he seems, by far, better than McCain–more likely to do the right thing. Sure, it was hypocrisy not to take public financing, but it was the smart thing to do so long as there are 527s and he’s counting on a lot of small donors who will feel they have a stake in his administration and what he does.
    You’ve already bought into the idea that Obama’s record is worth nothing and that he is only words. Have you or anyone here ever worked in public housing projects and done community organizing? I have, and it’s hard work and not exactly safe either. He has a very remarkable record so far considering that he didn’t start out with Kennedy family money, etc.
    Decision is easy for me because if Clinton had won, I’d have voted for her as I did reluctantly for Bill in 1996. I personally blame both Clintons’ inexperience in 1992-1994 for blowing a chance for health care reform and all the increasing number of uninsured and underinsured for next 20 years. I don’t think either Clinton’s or Obama’s plans will work or be very good, but either would be better than McCain. The only politically feasible way to get to real universal single payer system is probably to do Clinton or Obama plan first and then have many problems that need to be fixed—probably will take another generation.

    Reply

  74. WigWag says:

    Paul, it seems that you’re right; unfortunately. I guess it’s getting a little out of hand and it must be quite irritating. Point taken.

    Reply

  75. Paul Norheim says:

    During the last couple of weeks I think every reader of The
    Washinton Note, a blog mainly focusing on foreign policy issues,
    have learned that according to POA, WigWag is a jackass and a
    pissant, and that WigWag, on his part, strongly believes that POA
    is a jackass, as well as a pissant.
    Is this correct, POA and WigWag, or am I in any ways
    misunderstanding and misinterpreting any of you, regarding this
    issue?

    Reply

  76. WigWag says:

    Gads, POA what a jackass you are.
    Gads, POA what a pissant you are.
    Any candidate who supports telecom immunity, Obama, McCain, Clinton, La Rouche, Nader, anyone who supports telecom immunity is taking a loathesome position.
    Gads, POA how boring you are.

    Reply

  77. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO!!!! WigWag, I’ve already made it clear to you what I think of jackasses such as yourself, so don’t attempt to engage me in another tit for tat derailment of yet one more thread.
    Suffice to say that your criticism of Obama for signing onto a policy that McCain embraces shows just what an ass you can be. If you decry Obama’s position here, where is your chagrin at McCain’s active endorsement of this bill?
    And, as you well know, I refuse to support ANY of these posturing lying pieces of shit. I have made that clear here on numerous times, and your efforts to paint me as some sort of Obama advocate is yet one more example (as if I needed one) of what a disingenuous little pissant you can be if someone shoves a burr under your sidesaddle.
    Its telling that you decry Obama’s position on an issue that you have yet to comment on, except to rip Obama a new asshole. As I commented elswhere, these issues obviously don’t mean anything to you, except as ammunition through which to obsessively attack Obama. Any excuse to attack Obama is jumped on perversely by you.
    Its hilarious, really. You feign disgust at a policy that your own candidate has championed, and mutter some patronizing and condescending bullshit at the Obama’s supporters; “you must be proud”. If this immunity issue meant anything to you, you certainly would be criticizing McCain As well. And the same is true on many of the issues. You tacitly endorse a candidate whose policies you will only criticize if they are able to be placed in Obama’s lap.
    Go ahead, you poor thing, get the last word. Thats the end of my exchange with you on this topic.

    Reply

  78. WigWag says:

    And by the way, POA, you can’t pin McCain’s positions on me I’ve already told you I don’t like him and probably won’t vote for him.
    So let’s review Barack Obama’s day:
    1. He opts out of federal financing and campaign expenditure limits. He becomes the first candidate to do this since the system was put in place in 1974. He makes a mockery of fifteen years of Democratic support for campaign finance reform.
    2. He acquieces and allows Reid and Pelosi to support legislation that provides telecoms with immunity for illegal wiretapping.
    What can we expect for tomorrow, POA? Privatizing social security? Bombing Iran? Overturning Roe v Wade? We know where McCain stands on these issues. Tell me, POA, now that your love for Senator Obama has been made plain, where does the annointed one stand on these issues?

    Reply

  79. WigWag says:

    And by the way, POA, you can’t pin McCain’s positions on me I’ve already told you I don’t like him and probably won’t vote for him.
    So let’s review Barack Obama’s day:
    1. He opts out of federal financing and campaign expenditure limits. He becomes the first candidate to do this since the system was put in place in 1974. He makes a mockery of fifteen years of Democratic support for campaign finance reform.
    2. He acquieces and allows Reid and Pelosi to support legislation that provides telecoms with immunity for illegal wiretapping.
    What can we expect for tomorrow, POA? Privatizing social security? Bombing Iran? Overturning Roe v Wade? We know where McCain stands on these issues. Tell me, POA, now that your love for Senator Obama has been made plain, where does the annointed one stand on these issues?

    Reply

  80. WigWag says:

    To paraphrase Harry Truman, POA, I’m just telling the truth. To you it feels like hell.
    Now that I politely answered your question, POA, who are you “endorsing”? I am sure you were glad to hear that Senator Obama supports immunity for Telecom companies that illegally wiretapped their customers. Doesn’t bother you a bit, does it?

    Reply

  81. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, tell us, WigWag, what is McCain’s position on this issue?
    You McCain supportors must be so proud.

    Reply

  82. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I see, WigWag. So your strategy in endorsing McCain is kinda like, uh, “reverse advocation”, eh? Insteaed if building up McCain by telling us his attributes and qualifications, and desirable policy ideas, you are simply going to keep nipping at Obama’s hamstrings in true scumball fashion?
    And yeah, voting for McCain is a real “progressive” move, WigWag.
    I see, Tahoe. So, your constant swiftboating of Obama is just some sort of stealth rejection of McCain? Or are you gonna pencil in “Hillary” as some sort of misguided and ineffective bit of useless protest?

    Reply

  83. WigWag says:

    By the way, for those who haven’t seen it, The NY Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post are all reporting that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have capitulated to the President and that a bill will be passed next week to rewrite the federal rules on wiretapping. Immunity for telecoms is included in the bill. Check this out from the NY Times:
    “The lawsuits will be dismissed, Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 2 Republican in the House, predicted with confidence.
    The proposal — particularly the immunity provision — represents a major victory for the White House after months of dispute. “I think the White House got a better deal they even they had hoped to get,” said Senator Christopher Bond, the Missouri Republican who led the negotiations.”
    Who signed off on the compromise? You guessed it, the new head of the Democratic Party, Barack Obama.
    You Obama supporters must be so proud.

    Reply

  84. WigWag says:

    In answer to your question, POA, I probably won’t vote for Obama. I doubt I will change my mind, but I might if anyone can convince me that he’s more qualified to be President then lets say, you are. I think McCain would be a bad President. He seems relatively clueless about domestic affairs and his foreign policy expertise is more appropriate for the 20th century than the 21st century. I know there are people his age who are mentally vigorous, but I have to confess that to me, McCain looks like he just isn’t mentally sharp. Despite all of this, McCain at least has the experience to be President. I can’t see that Obama has ever done anything useful; his work as a community organizer is a joke, his work in the Illinois legislature just makes him a sleazy local pol and as for the US Senate, he’s barely ever bothered to show up. When he has been there, he doesn’t put in an honest days work.
    I am more likely to vote for McCain than Obama, but I am especially likely to just sit this election out. Most of the Democrats I know in my community in South Florida say they will probably do the same.
    I find Joe Lieberman loathesome. As for whether I’m masquerading as a leftist, my guess is that I have been a progressive for longer than you have been alive.

    Reply

  85. Tahoe Editor says:

    Wrong. Your talent for putting words in others’ mouths is at an all-time low.

    Reply

  86. PissedOffAmerican says:

    So, uh, Tahoe, you’re endorsing McCain, right?

    Reply

  87. Tahoe Editor says:

    I don’t ever remember calling myself a leftist. But P does have lots of voices ringing in his head.

    Reply

  88. WigWag says:

    Linda, respectfully, there are just a couple of problems with your suggestions. (1)Neither party wants to solve the campaign finance problem. They only want to “solve” it when the other guy’s ahead and they’re behind. Now that it’s Senator Obama who is ahead in fundraising, Howard Dean, the DNC and all the hypcritical democrats who have been screaming for campaign finance reform for years are conspicuously silent. The Democrats are no worse than the Republicans, but on this issue, at least, Obama proves they’re not any better. (2)Your suggestions violate the First Amendment, at least according to the Supreme Court (see Buckley v. Valeo). Civil libertarians and progressive are supposed to support first amendment rights not oppose them.
    And I know you think that Obama would appoint better judges than McCain. I think you’re probably right. But in the Buckley decision that banned all the suggestions that you made in your comment, two Supreme Court judges appointed by Democrats (Byron White and Thurgood Marshall concurred in the decision. So did Harry Blackmun (the author of Roe v Wade) who was apponted by a Republican (Richard Nixon) but whom most progressives revere.
    When it comes to the financing of campaigns there is one rule you can live by: Republicans=Democrats.
    I can’t help but wonder, Linda, whether you concur that Senator Obama’s decision is rank hypocracy.

    Reply

  89. Pita, NC says:

    Obama has switched his stand on this issue. As the power broker’s chosen one he’s safe doing it too. Join us in a protest over the rigging of this nomination.
    http://charlottefrontandcenter.com/post_card_project
    We’re calling on you to join us in a nationwide demonstration of outrage
    The scheduled mail date is July 3 an Independence Day declaration. Please post on your website. We have already established a mailing list for all of the states and possessions listing, the officers of the DNC, the media and some Super delegates. This protest uses the USPS website Click2Mail.

    Reply

  90. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Considering that Hillary is out of the running, one can only conclude that Tahoe Editor’s (and WigWag’s) incessant swiftboating is designed to send votes in McCain’s direction. So congratulations Steve, you have your very own Leiberman twins, masquerading as concerned leftists. Who knows where these two are REALLY coming from? And this “true believer” rationale went out the window when Hillary did.

    Reply

  91. Linda says:

    If both parties really wanted to solve this, just limit every SS number and every corporate tax ID number (corporation) to a contribution of $200, get rid of 527s, perhaps get radio/TV to give free air time, but limit campaign to be only from Labor Day to election day.
    Or change the public financing to requiring that $5 of everyone’s federal income tax go for public financing and get rid of all private donations rather than having it an opt in check-off on tax returns.
    If anybody wants to contribute more than $200, then suggest they give it to charity.

    Reply

  92. WigWag says:

    Morton, McCain has raised a total of about $90 million so far. Obama has raised almost as much from donors contributing $1,000 or more ($83 million) as McCain has raised from all his donors.
    Here are my sources (for whatever they’re worth).
    The Washington Post June 8, 2008)
    In 2008, he (Obama) raised 54 percent, of his total individual contributions for the primaries in larger donations of $1,000 or more, according to CFI.
    Los Angeles Times, June 5, 2008
    “Obama has raised three times more than McCain — $265 million to McCain’s $90 million. He has tapped far more donors than any other candidate in 2008. Although he has not yet reached the estimated 2 million donors who gave to Bush through November four years ago, Obama has received money from 1.5 million individuals.”
    And this is the Statement from Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer on the Decision by Senator Obama Not to Accept Public Financing for his Presidential General Election
    “WASHINGTON, June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Democracy 21 is very disappointed that Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) has decided not to accept public financing for his presidential general election campaign.
    We had hoped and expected that Senator Obama would stick with the public pledge he made to accept public financing and spending limits for the presidential general election, if he was nominated, and if his Republican opponent also agreed to accept public financing and spending limits for the general election. These conditions have been met.
    We do not agree with Senator Obama’s rationale for opting out of the system. Senator Obama knew the circumstances surrounding the presidential general election when he made his public pledge to use the system.
    With his decision, Senator Obama will become the first major party presidential nominee to reject public financing for his general election campaign, since the public financing system was established in 1974.”
    He pledged to abide by the public financing system, it became personally disadvantageous for him to do so, he broke his pledge. He’s a hypocrite. So much for the transformational candidate. And to all the Obama supporters out there, this is the time to come clean and admit your candidate is a hypocrite or forever forfeit the right to claim you believe in campaign finance reform. Or are you only for campaign finance reform when it helps your candidate and hurts the other candidate? If so, what does that make you…?

    Reply

  93. Morton says:

    Not sure about that Wigwag. I guess it depends to some degree
    on what “small” is. According to this, it’s $200…
    “A contribution of $2,300 to a presidential candidate can go a
    long way, but the contributions of $200 and less are going even
    further for the Democrats in the presidential race, according to a
    study by the Campaign Finance Institute this week.
    March marked the second month in a row where more than half
    of the contributions going to Democrats Hillary Clinton and
    Barack Obama came from donors giving $200 or less.
    Sixty percent of Obama’s contributions last month and 58
    percent of Clinton’s came from small donors, mostly in online
    contributions, according to the campaigns, while only 18 percent
    of donations to Republican John McCain came from donors
    giving less than $200.
    Since the start of 2007, Obama has collected more money from
    small donors than from those giving more than $200. He’s
    brought in $83 million from large donors and $101 million from
    small — just $4 million shy of the total in small donations
    received by all candidates combined in 2004.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/04/small-donors-
    play-big-role.html

    Reply

  94. WigWag says:

    Alan, I don’t think Senator McCain’s choice is any more ethical than Senator Obama’s. Despite the fact that he has been a leader for campaign finance reform in the Senate, if he had the ability to raise more than the $80 million or so that accepting the federal match would give him; he would be opting out also. Let’s be frank. If their positions were reversed, and McCain had the ability to raise $250 million for the general and Obama was in a position to raise, at most $50-60 million, McCain would be opting out and claiming that the “ecosystem of campaign finance remains warped.” And what would Obama be doing; he’d be advertising how much more ethical he is because he’s participating in the public finance system.
    The bottom line is this. The Democrats have been in favor of campaign finance reform for exactly one reason. The Republicans have been kicking their butts in fundraising for 30 years. They thought campaign finance reform would give them a leg up and help narrow the gap. The Republicans have been against campaign finance reform for exactly the opposite reason. They didn’t want a new finance system when they were so happy with the advantages they derived from the system already in place.
    And even though Senator McCain has been a prime advocate of campaign finance reform, he’s full of it also. He’s a war hero running term after term for a safe seat in Arizona. He never had to worry about losing his seat, so by taking the “high road” on this issue, he sacrifised nothing. He may have earned the enmity of some of his republican colleagues, but this served to bolster the “maverick” image that was then part of the image he was trying to cultivate. To win over the Republican base, he has now dropped that immage. But once his base is placated and the Republican convention is behind him, he will assuredly do another flip-flop and drop the schtick of being the loyal conservative republican. He will run to the center and work assidiously to reinvigorate his image as Mr. Maverick.
    Now that the Democrats are in ascedance, you won’t hear a peep from them about public financing of campaigns. All you’ll get is the malarkey that Senator Obama fed us today when he announced he’s opting out. It’s hard to know whether the Democratic fundraising success this year is anomalous. If it’s not, you’ll never hear a word about campaign finace reform again from the Democrats and you’ll find the Republicans become the main advocates for it.
    Morton, as you probably know, Senator Obama has raised more money from gifts of $1,000 or more than any other candidate who ran for either the Republican or Democratic nomination. If you don’t believe it you can check it out yourself by going to either the FEC website or a website called opensecrets.org that monitors campaign giving. He’s done a great job on fundraising but the idea that he is raising his money from small donors and that he is eschewing lobbyist money is a myth. His “bundlers” have raised even more money than Clinton. The last candidate who had bundlers raise as much as Obama is the current occupant of the White House, George W. Bush.

    Reply

  95. Mr.Murder says:

    Actually he advanced talk of public financing and had surrogates claim Hillary was bought out.
    Now that he loads most of Clinton’s foreign policy team on the wagon Obama flip flops on campaign finance reform as well.
    Color me surprised, not.

    Reply

  96. alan says:

    Wigwag: can you expand a little on the making of an ethical choice by politicians. Can help me understand how Sen McCain’s record on the choices he has made are on the ethical side. I recall him borrowing money from a bank using his commitment to public financing as collateral? What exactly happened in that negotiation and was there an issue of ethics involved?

    Reply

  97. Tahoe Editor says:

    And Obama has reneged on his pledge to work in that direction. This web video is a joke — opting out “because the system is broken”? Who’s buying that canard? Was it not broken last year? He’s opting out because he can raise more himself, period. “Broken system” is meant to distract us from “broken promise.” This web video really shows Obama’s ability to speak from both sides of his mouth.
    Yes, BO has lots of small donors. But he has piles of big money, too.
    Time to drill deeper, Steve.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/06/obama_broke_his_promise.html
    Memo to Obama: You Can’t Represent the Uprising While Undermining It
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/memo-to-obama-you-cant-re_b_107907.html
    Why the ruling class chose Obama
    http://www.pslweb.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr009=e62kvxs3ld.app5b&page=NewsArticle&id=9323&news_iv_ctrl=1261

    Reply

  98. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Comical, really. Amazing how these rabid anti-Obama trolls leap at ANY discourse about Obama to villainize him, no matter the issue. Never saw WigWack comment on Hillary’s favor with the arms industry or AIPAC, did we?
    Cheerleading for ANY of these people is ludicrous, and the loudest cheerleaders seem to also be the most spineless and irritating. They work at it. Its what they do best.

    Reply

  99. Morton says:

    It is SOMEWHAT hypocritical.
    But Obama is getting the lion’s share of his funds from small
    donors–not entirely, of course, but largely. It really is a
    grassroots organization.
    This fact addresses one of the concerns that motivated campaign
    finance reform: the undue influence of a SMALL number of wealthy
    donors.
    Until elections are publicly financed and circumscribed, this is what
    we have.

    Reply

  100. WigWag says:

    Obama made the right choice if he wants to win, but he certainly didn’t make the right choice ethically.
    In this election the Democrats are raising dramatically more money than the Republicans. Obama has raised four times as much as McCain; the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is destroying the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee; the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (led by Senator Schumer)has raised twice as much as the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee. The only Republican group doing better than its’ democratic counterpart is the Republican National Committee which is doing substanitally better than the Democratic National Committee (led by the famous moron, Dr. Dean).
    Obama’s decsion has nothing to do with a “warped” campaign finance system and everything to do with the fact that this year it’s the Democrats winning the fundraising race. Of course, for all these years it’s supposedly been most of the Democrats and only one Republican (John McCain) supporting campaign finance reform.
    There’s a word for Senator Obama’s behavior and the behavior of the Democrats this year. The word is hypocracy. But I don’t begrudge them that. After all, their just politicians and the Republicans are just as bad.
    But those who think that Senator Obama’s decision to refuse public financing is anything other than pursuing his own self interest are being naive in the extreme.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *