Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Second Choice

Very sad day with John Edwards dropping out of the presidential race. It has been obvious for a few weeks now that it would have to happen but I, like most everyone else, am surprised that it came quite so quickly. It sounds like contrary to popular rumor that this has nothing to do with Elizabeth (thank goodness for that!) and really is more an acceptance of the inevitable and one can't really argue with that.

There's a lot of speculation in the media and the blogosphere (can you separate those anymore?) about where John's supporters are going to go. This one, at least for now, is heading for Hil's camp. Hillary's positions by far are the closest to Edwards' and frankly, for all the talk of change, it takes someone that knows the system to change it and she knows it better than most anyone else that's running. That's not to say that I'll be all that disappointed if Obama wins as he definitely has a lot going on - that's the nice thing about being a Democrat this year!

I am totally ignoring all the shit about who is the most electable because that is absolutely meaningless. All of the scary stuff about how Hillary is so divisive and how she would lose to McCain is both wrong and playing into the hands of the Republicans. I don't get that groundswell of anti-Hillary feeling even at work, where I'm surrounded by people much more conservative than I am - I really think that's a narrative manufactured by the media that has no bearing on reality. Do they forget just how fucking popular Bill was at the end of his presidency and how popular he remains? You know, we really do remember just how damn well off we felt with Bill in charge and frankly I think most of us - boomers, tweeners, Gen Xers - can identify with Hillary. She doesn't frighten us the way the pundits seem to think - she IS us, even moreso than Bill. So if anyone's counting, add this Edwards supporter to the Clinton column.



At 3:14 PM, Blogger Special K said...

Edwards was a terrible senator for the 1.5 years he actually acted like he was in the senate and not running for president. He only cares about the poor so long as it will get him votes, just like the poor he defended in his law practice (it was cash the motivated him in the case of the latter). I'd much rather HRC or BO to JE.

He almost certainly droped out now because he made a deal with one or both of the camps for a post in the new admin.

And what's with all of Hil's earmarks? Does she think that her spending proposals won't survive the light of day so she has to sneak them in? Apparently so.

And Obama was rated the most liberial sentor for last year. Now he is running in the center throwing around the name of Ronald Reagan every chance he gets.

I can see why this group makes you so proud.

Would someone with integrety stand up and run for president? Please?

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

Gee, CK, why don't you tell us how you REALLY feel? ;-)

Not surprisingly, I disagree with pretty much every word you typed above with the possible exception of "I" and "the". I've talked to enough people that actually know Edwards that I believe he means what he says.

As I said, if Edwards did nothing else, he reminded the Democratic Party what the hell being a Democrat is supposed to mean. Speculation on why he dropped out is only that - speculation. But I think you're wrong as he inevitably would have picked up a number more delegates after SuperDuper Tuesday and would have been in a stronger position to broker a deal if that is what he really wants.

Earmarks, schmearmarks - everybody plays to the constituents and would be a fool not to.

And yes, I think Obama is really more liberal than the position he's staked out and that's one of the reasons I prefer Hilary. But given a choice between Obama, McCain, Romney, Huckleberry or Ron Paul, I have no problem voting for Obama at all.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger Special K said...

“Not surprisingly, I disagree with pretty much every word you typed above with the possible exception of "I" and "the". “

And if asked, I’m sure you would be proud of your open-minedness.

"As I said, if Edwards did nothing else, he reminded the Democratic Party what the hell being a Democrat is supposed to mean."

That is probably true. Democrats during our lifetime have generally aimed to aid all of the poor directly in exchange for votes. They love to attack the rich and the special interest (JE in particular).

Being a libertarian (not to be confused with the party) and an American before any party affiliation, I prefer to help the poor to help themselves when they can and help them directly when they cannot. That mean setting up a system that allows everyone an opportunity to make what they can of their life without regard to race, color, religion, etc., etc,.

You're a smart guy so I'm sure you can see how much better off the poor are in the economically advanced countries (like the G7) than they are in the vast majority of the world. That is because the "rich" create jobs and wealth less encumbered by government corruption and taxation. That wealth filters down. (Don't use the cheap Democrat trick of making a trickle-down joke here unless you have evidence that it does not) Given the rates of crime, drug abuse and poor single mothers, the poor in this country seem much worse off than before the ‘war on poverty’ began and the Dems have held the purse strings for most of that time. The historical message of the Dems sounds great, but it does more harm than good. I care more than to support that. You should too.

(Yea, it’s a slow day at work) But getting back to the Dems, we've seen in Mecklenburg what it means to me a Dem recently. They (the county party) were tasked with picking our new Sheriff. They set up bogus precincts and ran a fraudulent election that 'selected' a crook. The excuse for all of this was it would build the party. In 12 hours of hearings on this matter, the good of the people of Meck. was never mentioned or considered. (The NC Dem Party did nullify the election and we got a good man for Sheriff.)

I hope JE or HRC or BO or even JM will remind the Democrats and Republicans what it mean to care for everyone. I’d love to hear one of them speak the truth. You admitted that BO does not. I put them all in the same boat.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Tony Plutonium said...

The fact that I don't agree with you doesn't mean that I'm close-minded, CK - you know better than that. It means I disagree with you. In this case, vehemently.

"wealth filters down"? Give me a fucking break - all you have to do is look at the current economy to see that that is a ridiculous premise that has no basis on reality. What more proof do you need? Libertarian, my ass - that's Reagan-era silliness that has been proven time and again to be bogus.

One of the things that I like about Clinton (and that many of my liberal brethren do not) is the record of her husband when it comes to helping people help themselves. There are a lot of Dems that still think he caved when we worked with the Reps to get welfare reform passed, but by and large it worked pretty well. Of course it worked better until the Bushies destroyed the economy.

If you want to base our policies on the success of the G7, then I assume you are fully supportive of universal health coverage, right?

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Special K said...

"The fact that I don't agree with you doesn't mean that I'm close-minded, CK - you know better than that."

Actually, I didn’t say you were closed minded. That’s for you to decide. But the line I referred sounded like you would much rather disagree with me. No, people are right sometimes when they disagree with me. But disagreeing with every word (ex. “I” and “the”) without addressing my argument with any proof or examples (except welfare reform) doesn’t make you look like you are looking for common ground, even though you found it later in your post.

In the post when you agreed that Obama is running a campaign on ideas other than how he has voted as a senator. I would say he is being dishonest. You would probably say he was being smart to hide is true politics. In my book, lying is lying. That doesn’t mean he’s not the best one to vote for, it means you are willing to only tell one side of your guy. If that is true, should anyone trust what you say is the whole story? I know I’d believe more of what you say if I got more of the good and bad from you. It would make you more of an authority on BO, or HRC or whoever. But it’s your blog. You can do what you want. (Hey, we agree on that!)

"wealth filters down"? Give me a fucking break"

First, let’s review your retort to my statement: 1) I can’t believe you said that, 2) looking at our economy alone is enough to compare the poor in the USA to the poor in the rest of the world, 3) this has been proven by someone somewhere (no examples given), therefore, 4) it is bogus. You wouldn’t believe that logic if anyone else had written it, would you? I know you are a smart guy, but that logic is a stretch.

To quote David Lee Roth, "one break, coming up." Explain to me why there is famine in the third world and not in the USA (I’ll limit it to there since you want to look at our economy). I think I explained my position in my post that it is because adequate wealth is created in our economy to "raise all boats." It may not raise them as much as you or I would like. For example, I want everyone to have basic health care. That should be available for everyone and it is not adequately available now. But that was not the point or the topic. I wrote (and you ignored) that "I'm sure you can see how much better off the poor are in the economically advanced countries (like the G7) than they are in the vast majority of the world." I didn't say well off or well enough, I said better off. I will grant you that ignoring the difficult parts of my post does make it easier to hold you your position.

So let's put it another way, where are the poor better off despite the economy being much lower (than ours? (per capita GDP should be a fair measure) I look forward to an answer. If they are better off in developed countries, then where does this higher standard of living come from if not from the economy? If it didn’t filter down, there would be no difference.

Welfare reform under Clinton? I was proud of him for it. NAFTA? I was proud of him for that one, too. (before you blow that one off, the manufacturing jobs and trade are not going south because of NAFTA, they are going east where there is not such trade agreement). In fact, I don't think any president has done a wholly good or bad job. Even Nixon ended the Vietnam War. You must like that about him. I don't see the same amount of fairness or thought in your posts, but it's your blog. Bush = bad is easy and I'm sure you get a lot of support for it, but you look like just a Bush hater as opposed to someone who puts thought behind their opinion.

"If you want to base our policies on the success of the G7, then I assume you are fully supportive of universal health coverage, right?"

Well, kind of. I don't think any of the countries that have universal health coverage have done a great job. We have it here. It's called walking into the ER. You'll get help, but that is long after help should have been given or offered. It is both too painful and expensive to wait until there is an emergency.

Going straight to universal insurance coverage would be about the slipperiest slope in history. I mean, where do you draw the line on who gets what coverage? We can't afford to treat everyone with every procedure known. It would break us and that would cause many more to go without help than the situation we have today. Leaving politicians to draw that line sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy and I care more for the country than to support it. It might not happen that way, but no one really knows. I can see plenty of room for disagreement there.

I would prefer tort reform that would lower the liability for basic health care professionals and allow professionals like RNs, PAs, and EMTs to administer help. I would also like to allow them more leeway in this class of professional helping without the direct supervision of an MD. This would lower the cost and improve the availability of health care to the poor right away. After that we could probably afford some national health insurance with the savings from cutting out some of the earmarks that congress (yea, both sides) shoves through without anyone reviewing who they go to and what the people get in return.

That is where we differ greatly and where I need a - break. You blow it off as everyone does it. You even make it sound like a good strategy. The thought that anyone would pipe my taxes to anyone as a favor without review pi$$s me off, whether it is my man (or woman) or not. Would you agree that it was OK for the VP to give contracts to his constituents like Halliburton as a favor? Maybe he would have been a fool not to have. I’m sure you will see that one differently. I don’t. It is corruption, plain and simple, but that’s my moral compass talking. You have to decide where you stand for yourself. I actually think more of you on that point, but your point of view here really sounds bad IMO.


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