Thursday, February 21, 2008

Change You Can Xerox!

"Change you can Xerox."

Were those boos I heard over the death rattle of the Clinton campaign?

Give me a break, Hillary. You are getting an ass-kicking in state after state because people are NOT responding to the "zingers" and "gotcha" point-scoring techniques. That shit won't work this time. It's producing blowback.

"Change you can Xerox."

It's definitely silly season for at least one political campaign, isn't it?


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1 comment:

  1. I have to say, John, that this Clinton campaign and her supporters are really kind of shameless with their lying and bullshit.

    I had to listen to this blatantly Clinton-leaning political science professor on NPR describe himself as "non-partisan" today, after he virtually read from the Clinton campaign script while describing Obama.

    I am starting to realize that for a certain breed of liberal, not having a list of policy proposals that we will have to pay for - whether we are dealing with an enormous deficit or not and whether we can, thus, afford to pay for such programs or not - is interpreted as "not substantive." The irony, of course, is that I read such behavior is "fiscally responsible," because it means that he is not promising programs that he can't deliver on and that it wouldn't be wise to deliver on until we figure out how the government is going to live within its means, as is.

    But I had to sit and listen to this "non-partisan" political science professor describe Obama as non-substantive the night after a debate when he articulated an foreign policy idea - that we lead with diplomacy and engage, first and as a presumptive line of political action, rather than leverage regimes like Cuba, Iran, China, Vietnam, Iraq, etc. where such a policy is a clear failure for anyone not trying to defend that failure.

    Now conservatives lament this substantive policy difference as pie-in-the-sky. Honest enough. I think they're wrong. I think the failures of the last 8 years should at least get people questioning, seriously, about whether they might be wrong. But at least they're being honest about their differences.

    Clinton and her supporters, on the other hand, engage in a dishonest discussion, discounting a fairly important substantial difference between her and the Democratic frontrunner and Obama and McCain or Obama and many Republicans, generally, as "not substantive," which is radical code for "I don't agree," I suppose. Or perhaps they're just bullshitting, again. I think it's probably the latter.

    That's why, at some level, I would actually prefer the debate between Obama and McCain. At least, for all of my differences with both of them, I would get something of a more honest debate (although, I have to admit that things aren't starting out well). I still have many concerns about Obama. I do agree that too much hype will lead to inevitable letdown, and that is a concern that I think his campaign should be taking seriously, listening to some of their commercials. I also was a little concerned, watching the debate, today, while I took the kids to their scheduled visit to the school store, as I get concerned about with myself, frankly, that maybe Obama was getting a little full of himself. He wouldn't look at Hillary while he was talking to her. She was looking him right in the eyes, and he wasn't looking at her back. That concerns me. Maybe he's a little pissed. Or maybe he's a little arrogant. Either way, I'm a little concerned. Maybe I'm just paranoid.

    I had a friend ask me about this whole public financing question and I said that what I would like to see is the candidates, whomever they may be, put the money question aside for a moment, and agree to a series of lengthy, more honest, engaged discussions and debates - though, honestly, I think a more laid back discussion format might be better for facilitating honest reflection; ideally it should happen in a bar, I suppose, but I don't know if America is ready for two candidates hashing it out on live television drinking Sam Adams (I mean what other beer could you drink on such an occasion other than, perhaps, Budweiser) - ask the television companies and radio companies for donated time, maybe, or share the costs and see if maybe you can get to the core of that campaign finance issue - more honest discussion and engagement - first, before you start talking about where you're going to get the money.

    I have a feeling that if people felt more confident about the honest quality of the discussion, the source of the money would begin to fade as a concern. On the other hand, I have a feeling that if you have two candidates that both agreed to public financing, but they were still vicious pricks with one another, then noone would have their confidence significantly boosted in the system. That's just my suspicion. That's how I'd feel, anyway. The money is a proxy for what people are frustrated with more than the real problem, I think, unless candidates really are taking money and giving quid pro quo favors to lobbyists, which needs to end no matter how many ways said lobbyists wiggle around those campaign finance laws. And that really begins and ends with the integrity of the candidates involved, and could get a significant boost from the lead of two Presidential candidates.

    It would be nice to see Presidential candidates take seriously bringing some integrity to the process, I think. I don't if or to what degree it's going to happen this time around, but I'd like to see it happen. And I think Obama and McCain were the best picks of the litter to offer that opportunity this election year. So if they end up being the candidates, my faith in the marketplace of ideas is affirmed, some.

    OK. I better get work done on my finances, my weekend to do list, and my apartment, here, John. But you have give me a call if you have time.

    I'll talk with you soon.