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Obama, Clinton and the War

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Posted on Jan 29, 2008
Obama and Kennedys
AP photo / Charles Rex Arbogast

Change they, apparently, can believe in:  Sen. Edward, Caroline and Rep. Patrick Kennedy get behind Sen. Barack Obama’s cause on Sunday.

By Robert Scheer

It should mean a great deal to progressives that in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Ted Kennedy favors Sen. Barack Obama over two other colleagues he has worked with in the Senate. No one in the history of that institution has been a more consistent and effective fighter than Kennedy for an enlightened agenda, be it civil rights and liberty, gender equality, labor and immigrant justice, environmental protection, educational opportunity or opposing military adventures.

Kennedy was a rare sane voice among the Democrats in strongly opposing the Iraq war, and it is no small tribute when he states: “We know the record of Barack Obama. There is the courage he showed when so many others were silent or simply went along. From the beginning, he opposed the war in Iraq. And let no one deny that truth.”

But that is precisely the truth that Sen. Hillary Clinton has shamelessly sought to obscure. Her supporters have accepted Clinton’s refusal to repudiate her vote to authorize the war, an ignominious moment she shares with other Democrats, including presidential candidate John Edwards, who at least has made a point of regretting it. It was a vote that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, 3,940 U.S. service members—five more on Monday—and a debt in the trillions of dollars that will prevent the funding of needed domestic programs that Clinton claims to support. And it doesn’t end with Iraq. Clinton has been equally hawkish toward Iran and, in a Margaret Thatcher-like moment, even attacked Obama for ruling out the use of nuclear weapons against Osama bin Laden.

Clinton’s apologists include Gloria Steinem and too many other feminists, who should know better than to betray the women’s movement’s commitment to peace in favor of simplistic gender politics. It is disturbing, not because they conclude that Clinton is the best candidate, but because they refuse to challenge their candidate to be better. Does it not matter that Clinton’s key foreign policy advisers are drawn heavily from the ranks of the neoliberals, who cheered as loudly for President Bush’s war as did the neoconservatives? Are they not concerned that Richard Holbrooke, who exploited his experience and access to secret information during the Clinton presidency to back Bush’s Iraq invasion, is a likely contender for secretary of state should she win?

Sandy Berger, a key Clinton adviser, played a major role in convincing Kennedy’s congressman son, Patrick, to vote for the war authorization against what the younger Kennedy said was the advice of his father and his own better instincts. According to a Knight Ridder report at the time, “Patrick Kennedy said the most persuasive arguments for attacking Iraq came from members of the Clinton White House,” including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who is often described as the foreign policy expert closest to Hillary. Patrick J. Kennedy refuses to be burned twice and now supports Obama.

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Yes, if Hillary Clinton is the candidate, she probably will be better than the Republican alternative and, as Ted Kennedy made clear, deserving of our support. But isn’t it troubling that she can’t hold a candle to Sen. John McCain when it comes to fighting Pentagon waste or pushing for campaign-finance reform to curtail the power of lobbyists? Isn’t it disturbing that Sen. Clinton has received more money than any other candidate of either party from the big defense contractors, according to a report on the Huffington Post? Why have the war profiteers given her twice the campaign contributions that they sent to McCain, if not for the expectation that she is on their side of the taxpayer rip-off that has seen the military budget rise to an all-time high? It’s for the same reason that the bankers, Wall Street traders and other swindlers who produced our economic meltdown fund Clinton.

Hillary Clinton has made “experience” key to her claim to the presidency and tells us she will do the right thing from “day one.” The reality is that her extra four years in the U.S. Senate hardly provides better experience than Obama’s eight years in the Illinois state Senate battling for progress with the nation’s most hard-boiled politicians. And if she lays claim to her husband’s presidency, then she must also take responsibility for caving in to big media with the Telecommunications Act, selling out to the banks with the Financial Services Modernization Act, and killing the federal welfare program—a political gambit that deeply wounded millions of women and children. Her political career began with the Senate and she hit the ground running, but, as her craven support for Bush after 9/11 shows, it was in the wrong direction.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By cyrena, January 30, 2008 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

Tony, I didn’t take the quiz, but I do remember being really impressed with Gravel, from the interview that TD did with him, sometime back.

All of these quizzes I’ve ever taken had me favoring Kucinich.

So much for those…

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By kath cantarella, January 30, 2008 at 10:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

thanks, Robert.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2008 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment

I guess you missed it Mudwallow.

The was an excellent interview with Gravel on this site, though it’s been a while back. I remember though, that I was very impressed with him.

Then,there was another piece with Gravel when he was speaking with some techies up in Mountain Valley.

And, god knows there been more than enough on Dr. Racist Paul…here again..right here on this site. Tons of shit from him in fact.

So, maybe you missed it. You could always join one of their campaigns though. You’re not going to find any similarities between them I’m afraid, but it might be worth it to you anyway.

I’m sure you’re correct that they are both still running. Gravel was on the Florida ticket, (rowdy said he voted for him) and we couldn’t get rid of Paul if we wanted to.

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By cyrena, January 30, 2008 at 10:42 pm Link to this comment

I’m not even sure that it’s pandering Tony. I think that they (including Maani of course) interpret what they want, the way they want to spin it. It’s that simple.

In reality, I think your post from harretz is far more accurate, because they ARE starting to pay more attention to Obama now that he has gained some serious attention here.

This same paper posted a poll about 3 or so months ago, (give or take, it’s in the achieves) on who the Israelis wanted for OUR President. Their repug 1st choice was Giuliani, and their Dem choice, (right behind him vote wise) was Hillary. Obama was way down the list, and the only thing the ‘caption’ said about him, (by way of introduction) was that he had made his FIRST visit to Israel in the latter part of 2006, and he had wanted to see the Apartheid Wall. That’s all it said. It didn’t mention what he ‘thought’ about that wall, or if he even said what he thought about it.

Meantime, the article you posted doesn’t surprise me, because it was only a matter of time before they (the Israelis and AIPAC) began to investigate him even more thoroughly.

And, when they do, they will no doubt discover the connections between Obama and the late Edward Said, (both were academics and scholars in international policy and Human Rights) and so it’s gonna come out that Obama has been part of a human rights initiative on behalf of the Palestinians, (about a decade ago) because that was his field, prior to him entering the political scene in Illinois. As an attorney, CIVIL RIGHTS is his field of the law. He’s NEVER made a secret of that, nor has he ever made a secret of the fact that he taught international as well as Constitutional law at DePaul University. NONE of that is secret, and it’s damn sure not anything to be ASHAMED of!!

Now AIPAC might not like it, and some of the citizens of Israel might not like it, and so they would put their support behind Hillary, who is clearly an “Honorary Daughter of Israel”.

On the other hand, who gives a flip whether they don’t like him? I’m tired of Israel and their dual-citizenship lackeys like Scooter Libby and Wolfie, and of course I could go on, deciding who should run our country, on top of taking billions of our tax dollars as some sort of ‘welfare’ that they think we OWE them.

Obama has already spoken out against LOBBIES, and he did it (again) as recently as last week. And, short of naming names, he was really CLEAR on it. So he didn’t NAME AIPAC, but exactly who is the biggest lobby we’ve got going, outside maybe the defense industry, who ALSO supports Hillary?

So, the only thing you’re ever gonna get from Maani is smear and spin, and he’ll smear anybody. Doesn’t matter who. Anybody that comes up with any endorsement for Obama get’s the instant attack from Maani. Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy..n and on. If God came up with an endorsement, he’d smear Her too.


For weeks, his main argument AGAINST Barack, was that he ‘voted just like Hillary’ most of the time. See what I mean? That’s how he campaigns for his girl. So, rather than ever be able to provide ANYTHING positive, or a reason for anyone to support HIS candidate, he instead just tells us all how BAD Obama is, by comparing his votes when they happen to be the same as hers. His point seems to be that he’s just as bad as she is.

And then he wonders why I call him a moron…

Great piece from Scheer.

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By Mudwollow, January 30, 2008 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

Be sure to omit mentioning Mike Gravel or of Ron Paul, who are both still running I think.

Why not sponsor some debates and then not let these two talk? Better yet, don’t invite them.

Give us an Obama lobotomy please. we get so confused by people saying hard stuff.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 30, 2008 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment

Please understand me troublesum, I admire men (or women) of principle and advocate for their inclusion in the national dialog all the time. But there is nothing principled about politics. Remember that democracy means: rule by mob.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment

I am not proposing trust or who to vote for, the purpose of most of my posts (with the exception of urging everyone NOT to vote for John McCain) is to stimulate thought.
Please note this personal note: I have never voted for a democratic presidential candidate, nor for that matter, any republican. After all, with the already rigged electoral college, the people do not really vote anyway. Voting for independent candidates in the presidential election, is just a tiny demonstration protest to this entire fraudulent process.

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By JNagarya, January 30, 2008 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Ron Paul is the only serving congressperson I can stomach to support.  You should too (at least it F’s with McCain, Romney, Huckabee, etc.).

“The Democrats are neo-fascists.  The republicans are too.  Paul is a Libertarian, posing as a Republican, but speaking exactly (nauseatingly so sometimes) as a strict libertarian.  He is the least of the current lineup of evil.”

Ron Paul says he agrees with practically everything the John Birch Society stands for.  BOTH are far-right-wing lunatic fringe.

Paul is more of the same Bush*tonomics.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 9:19 pm Link to this comment

Damn, I always come out favoring Gravel on these tests.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

I like Edwards for AG too.

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By troublesum, January 30, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Sorry, that’s http://www.wqad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

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By troublesum, January 30, 2008 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment

Take the quiz: http://www.wquad.com/Global/link.asp?L=259460

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment

It isn’t either-or. It is possible to be principled and realistic at the same time. A great leader must be both. Kucinich may be pure as the driven snow, but he is never going to be President.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

BD:

Funny that whenever Hillary does this type of thing - EVERY TIME she does this type of thing - she is seen as “positioning,” “flip-flopping,” “changing with the political winds,” etc.  Yet when Obama does it, it is apparently okay and justified.

And this is supposed to make me trust Obama and his supporters and vote for him?  Please.

Peace.

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By yours truly, January 30, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Why is that?”

“Either we end the Iraq war or it’ll be the end of us?”

“But how?”

“By our electing a president who upon taking office is going to end the Iraq war plus turning things around here at home.”

“And then what sort of world?”

“It’ll be up to us.”

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By thebeerdoctor, January 30, 2008 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

Dingus1, I urge you to not make a mistake and support McCain. John McCain is a sentimental war monger who thinks he is being a straight talker when he mentions the grim sacrifices everybody must endure, when he announces: “there will be more wars”.
It is ironic that media types scream that Obama is an empty media creation, but assert as fact that McCain is a genuine hero. Really? I guess that all depends on what you consider to be heroic. The main reason to not support McCain is that he believes the war is not wrong, just not waged properly. This is a disastrous delusion.

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By johndoraemi, January 30, 2008 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My comments show I understand “this” quite well.  A party of warmongering imperialists are putting one of their own (pick one, coke or pepsi) up for the white house.  Nothing will change, and this disastrous empire of criminal invasions and fourth reich implications will go on (unless it capsizes under the weight of its own bloated psychosis).

Yes, the corporate media is complicit, and will attempt to thwart candidates who do not sign onto their bloodlusting plans.

Yes the American public are complicit for even turning on these corporate shills for Satan, and for not giving a damn how many millions are murdered in their name.

No, I’m not voting for Obama, Clinton, or any of them.

I’d sooner vote for Cynthia McKinney.  At least I won’t feel I need a shower afterward.

Obama is a gangster in a suit, indistinguishable from the rest of them.  Try understanding that.  The corpses continue to pile up.

And I ain’t buying what you’re selling.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

irish, I do think the gender thing is important to some people, just as race or religion is to others. But to jump aboard the Clinton wagon simple because of that, is to ignore that there were better women candidates in the Democratic party that were never considered, because they do not have the clout from being married to an ex-president. So to deny her place in the sun because she is a woman is wrong. But to assure her place in the sun simply because she is a famous woman is just as wrong.
We hear alot of howling about Obama’s voting for continual funding of the war. But what kind of support did Mrs. Clinton lend to the Out Of Iraq Coalition in Congress? The answer is none.

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By troublesum, January 30, 2008 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

I understand: idiots like Kucinich and Paul always put principles ahead of ambition, whereas men like Obama always do the opposite until they have nothing left except blind ambition.

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By thebeerdoctor, January 30, 2008 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

Try to understand this. The junior Senator from Illinois is trying to become President of the United States. A novice by any standards, he knew enough to realize that had he voted against the funding of the war, there would be a howl from all kinds of jingoistic nincompoops, who would claim Obama Does Not Support The Troops. And what if he had voted against continual funding? Would that have stopped the war? No, he would be relegated to that noble but lonely outpost occupied by Dennis Kucinich and Dr. Ron Paul. Praised by some for their consistent integrity and then totally ignored. To make the funding a litmus test is quite a stretch, when you consider that people with much more power and responsibility, such as House Speaker Pelosi, did nothing accept announce that impeachment was off the table.

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By amilius, January 30, 2008 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John Edwards brought specificity about policy and intentions to the campaign that prompted Hillary to respond in kind.  Obama avoided details.  I’ll vote for Hillary if his policies continue to be less detailed and progressive than Hillary’s.  After the Reagan comment, I am cautious of those whose sole interest seems to be persuasive rhetoric.

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By PatrickHenry, January 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

The great swing state of Florida, were voting machines are flawed, tens of thousands of votes not counted, McCain knew he could count on the jewish retirees from new england.  No doubt, Hillary did even better.

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By troublesum, January 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

Caroline Kennedy’s kids won’t die in Iraq - Iran.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Well, sure it’s pandering. Nobody’s perfect. But you know what? Pandering to AIPAC is not such a bad thing. It’s better than being in the pocket of AIPAC. At least the Zionists are worried they can’t count on him. What about Hillary? Was her speech to AIPAC “pandering”? Or does she really believe in Zionism?

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By troublesum, January 30, 2008 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

This race is shaping up like the one in 1964 in which we had a liberal democrat lying through his teeth about not sending troops to Vietnam, running against a republican senator from Arizona who was blood thirsty for a bigger war.  It doesn’t matter much who gets the democratic nomination, the war is going to go on and on against the will of a large majority of Americans.  Both Obama and Clinton stood up to applaud Bush at the sotu speech when he talked about possible pretexts for assaulting Iran.  What more do we need to know about them.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Tony:

Compare yours to this:

First, from CFR:

“Sen. Obama (S-IL) has taken a strongly pro-Israel tone in addressing the conflict. In a speech before AIPAC in March 2007, Obama said the United States must “strengthen the hands of Palestinian moderates” and isolate Hamas. Haaretz U.S. correspondent Shmuel Rosner said that before AIPAC, Obama “sounded as strong as Clinton, as supportive as Bush, as friendly as Giuliani.”  Obama cosponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 and, like most of his fellow candidates, has called on the Palestinian leadership to “recognize Israel, to renounce violence, and to get serious about negotiating peace and security for the region.” If elected, Obama says he would “insist on fully funding military assistance to Israel” (JPost) and continue to cooperate with Israel on the development of the Arrow missile defense system.”

And this from his speech to AIPAC:

“Our job is to never forget that the threat of violence is real. Our job is to renew the United States’ efforts to help Israel achieve peace with
its neighbors while remaining vigilant against those who do not share this vision. Our job is to do more than lay out another road map; our job is to rebuild the road to real peace and lasting security throughout the region. That effort begins with a clear and strong commitment to the security of
Israel: our strongest ally in the region and its only established democracy. That will always be my starting point. And when we see all of the growing threats in the region: from Iran to Iraq to the resurgence of al-Qaeda to the reinvigoration of Hamas and Hezbollah, that loyalty and that friendship will guide me as we begin to lay the stones that will build the road that takes us from the current instability to lasting peace
and security…we must preserve our total commitment to our unique defense relationship with Israel by fully funding military assistance and continuing work on the Arrow and related missile defense
programs. This would help Israel maintain its military edge and deter and repel attacks from as far as Tehran and as close as Gaza. And when Israel is attacked, we must stand up for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself.”

Hey kids, can you spell “pandering?”

Peace.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Ben:

I take issue with two statements here.  First:

“While it is important to know where they stand in general on issues, the most telling factor in a presidential candidate is the guiding framework of convictions which gives rise to their policies…What Obama has that Hillary doesn’t is that strong framework of convictions.”

Really?  Let’s set aside for a moment why you think Hillary does NOT have a “strong framework of convictions.”  Re Obama, not ONE person here has explained to me how Obama’s “strong framework of convictions” is in evidence re the Iraq War issue. Not ONE person here has explained how his anti-war “conviction” - on which he initially premised his entire candidacy - explains his ongoing Senate support for bills that funded (and continue to fund) that war.  How does this show the “courage of one’s convictions?”  If he were so intensely anti-war - even just anti “stupid wars” like Iraq - then wouldn’t he - shouldn’t he - have voted “No” on every bill that funded that war?

I’m sorry.  This does not show “conviction.”  It shows the same kind of “positioning” of which Hillary is constantly accused.

Second, you say, “Hillary clearly only cares about winning. She stayed with Bill because he provided her a path to the presidency, and she has yet to apologize for her Iraq war vote because she believes that will get her republican votes in the general election. In the eyes of many she staged a crying seen for votes, and she has violated statutes she advocated this summer by campaigning in Michigan and Florida purely to gain delegates.”

This one needs parsing.

-What FACTS can you point to to support your contention that she “clearly” ONLY “cares about winning?”

-Your comment that “she stayed with Bill because he provided her a path to the presidency” is PATENTLY insupportable, unless you are inside her head or personally lived with them or know their personal lives.  What an OUTRAGEOUS statement to make!

-I agree that she should have apologized for her vote for the initial resolution allowing force to be used in Iraq.  However, Obama himself is running on a “leave the past in the past” platform.  Whatever the reason behind her vote, she realized she was wrong (even if she did not admit it publicly) and moved on.  Why can’t everyone else?  As an aside, this is, ironically, one issue in which Obama lifted his position from Hillary: Hillary was the first to call for a draw-down of troops at “one or two brigades per month”; Obama then incorporated this exact language into his own position.

-The “crying” episode is moot: it can be spun to support any viewpoint.  Yet even Obama privately supported Hillary here, noting to reporters that they cannot possibly understand the emotional effect that campaigning has on an individual.

-As for campaigning in Michigan and Florida, I had not heard about Michigan, so I cannot speak to this.  However, re Florida, she did not “campaign” there until votes were already cast (she made two appearance at fundraisers).  Obama, on the other hand, ran TV ads for more than a week PRIOR to the voting.  (My mother actually called me from South Florida to tell me this, and I heard it from other relatives and friends as well.)  Yet DESPITE the fact that Obama was illegally advertising - which almost certainly reached more people than Hillary’s two “contained” and last-minute appearances - Hillary won 50% of the vote to Obama’s 33%.

Peace.

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By irish, January 30, 2008 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not agree with you. There are probably many Democrats, Independents, Greens & even Republicans that will vote for Hillary and not because of gender politics. I also do not feel sorry for Hillary. I personally was for Kucinich and for the moment I wish to put Senator Obama aside.

The reason I am responding to your post is because the elephant in the country IS that most men fear a woman in the presidency (mommy issues, booby fixation, religous encourged chattel.)Not misogyny..FEAR. You all know what I am talking about. It is so evident in every radio talk show, media written word , and talking head TV program. I even kind of understand it myself. As a wife, mother and sister I had days where no person could do or say anything right. I have apologized to everyone in my family numerous times. Thankfully, they have forgiven me. BUT not all people have such forgiving ah moments. Not everyone can forgive and let go of those transgretions. So while it is understandable…it is a FACT that most men amd even some women do not want to acknowledge this fact. Let’s put it off for a few more years, says 8, 12, 16?  How many times have you heard “America is ready for a woman president, just not this woman!” Maybe not Hillary, but truth be told, America is not ready for any woman yet.It might not happen in my lifetime.

Which brings me back to Senator Obama. I may not be able to vote for him if he gets the nomination. Why you ask (those of you who demand concrete reasons) do I say this? Because as inclusive as he says he is…I’m too old. He said it himself, in fact he keeps saying it…Hillary comes from a different time, and that time is PAST (I heard old, he said past) he also spoke about the past times of civil rights in the 60’s, old ways…not the new ways of CHANGE. Well, h**l if marching in the streets and getting bashed in the head isn’t looking for change, I don’t know what is. Senator Obama is a politician not a god. I’m sure even he would agree with that statement. But many people including some here want to make him out to be just that, god. Well he has failings and glaring ones if you happen to be of a certain age. I resent being ignored. I resent being told I am not capable of thinking future thoughts, I resent being pushed to the side as inconsequential and PAST. I have one vote and it’s worth alot to me, even if it isn’t to Senator Obama.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment

For those who think Obama is in the pocket of AIPAC, read the following article in Haaretz:


Ambassador vs. Ambassador: Is Obama good for Israel? 

By Shmuel Rosner, Haaretz Correspondent

The debate surrounding Barack Obama’s attitudes toward Israel refuses to calm down. On Wednesday, Obama sent a letter to the U.S. ambassador to the UN, calling upon him to make sure that any Security Council decision dealing with the events in Gaza will not be biased against Israel. But this did not yet convince all the doubters, Jewish and Israeli. Obama also has quite a few supporters in the Jewish community, but those opposing him are fairly vocal, and seem to be even more so as the campaign progresses.

A couple of weeks ago, the Israeli tabloid Maariv ran a leading headline claiming that Israeli officials do not want Obama to be elected. They don’t think he will be good for Israel. The sources were anonymous, and the content not very convincing. This week, however, one senior Israeli official - or to be more precise, former official - has decided to go on the record with his doubts. The former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Danny Ayalon (currently co-chairman of Nefesh B’Nefesh), wrote that “we should look at the Obama candidacy with some degree of concern.”

For a former ambassador, and one that was here not long ago - a year or so - raising questions about an American candidate is not a small thing. But Ayalon is not shy about airing his concerns. In an article he wrote for the Jerusalem Post under the headline “Who are you, Barack Obama?”, the former envoy writes: “Since early on in his campaign, he has said that he would meet with the President of Iran - but we are left in the dark as to what agenda he would pursue on this issue. With the exception of promoting American divestment from Iran, an idea he adopted during a meeting with Bibi Netanyahu, Obama has largely avoided highlighting what specific demands he would make of Ahmadinejad and any timetables he would establish for the Iranians to dismantle their nuclear program.”

The rest of the article can be read at:

http://news.haaretz.co.il/hasen/spages/948037.html

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By Crimes of the State Blog, January 30, 2008 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

I’m unimpressed with all the Democrats.  They are functionaries for a vile, corrupt, immoral party of imperialism.

Pretending otherwise is dishonest, and requires checking your critical thinking at the door.

Obama makes empty gestures about ‘bringing home (some of) the troops’, meanwhile he funds every war supplemental spending bill.  He actually wants to escalate in Afghanistan, increase the military size, require everyone’s kids to start slaving for federal government (neo-Hitler youth?) programs, and he has not so subtly THREATENED IRAN WITH NUCLEAR FIRST STRIKE.  That is what “all options (except impeachment) are on the table,” means.

Gravel was correct to be afraid of these people.  They do not work for us, they never have, and they never will.

Ron Paul is the only serving congressperson I can stomach to support.  You should too (at least it F’s with McCain, Romney, Huckabee, etc.).

The Democrats are neo-fascists.  The republicans are too.  Paul is a Libertarian, posing as a Republican, but speaking exactly (nauseatingly so sometimes) as a strict libertarian.  He is the least of the current lineup of evil.

John Doraemi publishes Crimes of the State Blog
http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

To hell with NOW. They are playing the gender card. Saying that Ted Kennedy has abandoned them because he endorsed Obama is outrageous sexism. Making a big deal out of that still photograph where he is supposedly “snubbing” Hillary is worthy of Rush Limbaugh.

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By Nancy Perloff, January 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the best support statements on Obama I’ve read in a long time.  Now I have to read what you are responding to.

A secret fan.

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By benL, January 30, 2008 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

Take a look at the big picture. You are making decisions based purely on a patchwork of micro-trends. Yes, Hillary has a laundry list of policies and that “35 years experience” which she now says more often than Giuliani does “9/11”. But step back, examine the candidates as a whole, and examine the context through which they view their supposed stances on issues. Policies alone don’t make a good president. In fact, they can only tell you two things about a candidate: 1) Where they stand in general on an issue/ where they think the public wants them to stand on an issue and 2)The ability of the candidate to hire good assistants to write intelligent policies for them.

While it is important to know where they stand in general on issues, the most telling factor in a presidential candidate is the guiding framework of convictions which gives rise to their policies. This is illustrated perfectly by the United States Constitution. The genius and success of the constitution lies in its outlining of a framework of values from which to shape the policies of the country. The United States has thrived for 225 years because the convictions have remained the same, while the policies have been allowed to change and adapt to present conditions.

What Obama has that Hillary doesn’t is that strong framework of convictions. He believes that politicians need to stop dealing in absolutes so they remember that at the core of the policy debates we share common values and goals. Why do I believe he means this ? He is committed enough to this vision that he spent time and effort writing two books about it, and he is comfortable enough with it to admit his mistakes (he has admitted the problems in his acquaintance with Rezko). On the other hand, Hillary clearly only cares about winning. She stayed with Bill because he provided her a path to the presidency, and she has yet to apologize for her Iraq war vote because she believes that will get her republican votes in the general election. In the eyes of many she staged a crying seen for votes, and she has violated statutes she advocated this summer by campaigning in Michigan and Florida purely to gain delegates.

Motives and values guide policies, and with a candidate who has convoluted motives (Hillary), there is no guarantee that her deeds as president will remotely resemble her promises.

  I encourage you examine the two a little more closely (take a look at Obama’s second book), and I think you’ll begin to find that although they have similar policies on the surface, Obama and Hillary are a lot different under the surface.

Ben

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By thebeerdoctor, January 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

I do not think it is a good idea to support Hillary Clinton. The kind of vicious low-ball tactics employed by her campaign and her husband, use to be reserved for Republicans. But now they think it is just fine to employ this crap against competitors in their own party, Obama and Edwards before he quit. If winning is so important that employing any ruthless means is justified, then perhaps Clinton should be in the party where she started from, the GOP.
She appears to be more like Richard Nixon everyday, which may mean that she will be elected. But I do not think it would be long into her historic term that she will become as divisive and reviled as the current occupant.
Barack Obama is a roll of the dice. But since the election process has been rigged to be this ridiculous glamor pageant. He is now the only option, with a slight chance of being something different.

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By benL, January 30, 2008 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment

Sounds like a perfect way to run a successful democracy Margie! Just tell everyone to make decisions on their own and never talk or listen to other peoples opinions!

Our children will feel safe when they hear such wonderful and empathetic ideas being suggested!

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm Link to this comment

MMC:

Again, you ignore the fact that, while it is true that Hillary voted for the initial resolution allowing Bush to use force in Iraq, both she and Obama voted IDENTICALLY on ALL bills for continued funding of the war.  As well, although Kennedy also spoke out against the resolution, he voted “Yes” on EVERY SINGLE BILL to continue funding the war - even moreso than either Hillary or Obama.

Let’s keep the FACTS in play here as we make our various assertions.

Peace.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

Aegrus:

“Obama does not get a free pass by the media. People point to his middle name Hussein very often as a negative, perpetuate the fallacy of Obama being a muslim (also as a negative)”

Actually, the MSM has rarely if ever mentioned this except in noting that there are repugnant emails going around and comments on boards like these that make those ridiculous assertions.

“..belittle his success as racially motivated…”

In the MSM?  Show me where.

“...disqualify his campaign as inexperienced…”

Again, most of the MSM does NOT subscribe to the issue of “experience” as a whole, though they did compare the relative experience of the two front-runners in the early part of the campaign.  As for Washington experience, it may not be “necessary,” but it definitely helps re national as opposed to state governance.

“...question how “black” he is…”

In the MSM?  You MUST be kidding!  Again, show me where.

“..and the latest slander is his association with Rezko (of which he spent 5 hours as a junior attorney gathering and compiling papers three years prior to legal proceedings against the company).”

Actually, it has come to light that Obama’s relationship with Rezko was NOT limited to the five hours he worked on that proceeding, but also with respect to a house that he purchased on the lot next to one of Rezko’s, and tens of thousands of dollars he took from Rezko for his campaign.  And even HERE the clear bias of the MSM is in evidence.  When Hillary was found to have taken money from Hsu, she unloaded the money quickly, yet the MSM made this front page news and beat it to death for well over a week.  Yet Obama is in the EXACT SAME SITUATION - having taken alot of money from Rezko, and unloading it quickly - yet the MSM has barely given this story ANY play, much less front page news.

It is not MY objectivity that we should be discussing here, but the media’s, and those who have bought into Obama’s rhetoric lock, stock and barrel despite the fact that his positions on all the major issues - Iraq, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, global warming, civil rights and liberties, etc. are different from Hillary’s only in the details.

Why do I support Hillary?  A quick and admittedly simplistic answer is that her positions on all the major issues are either extremely similar to Obama’s (Iraq, Iran, Israel, global warming, civil right and liberties), or better than his (health care, Pakistan, economy), but SHE is the one with the reputation of being able to “reach across the aisle” to get things done, SHE is the one who already has relationships with many world leaders (where he would have to create these from scratch at a very precipitous time), and, yes, because she has all this PLUS four additional years in the Senate.

Peace.

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By Aegrus, January 30, 2008 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

I’m pretty confident in Obama’s ability to turn this race around in his favor. Polls give an idea, but I don’t trust them for accuracy. You’re point is understood, however.

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By Aegrus, January 30, 2008 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

There is some question of reading comprehension with the response you’ve provided, Maani.

The talking points and rhetoric provided shouldn’t warrant a response, yet is is fundamentally unfortunate how not responding is often taken as a concession.

Obama does not get a free pass by the media. People point to his middle name Hussein very often as a negative, perpetuate the fallacy of Obama being a muslim (also as a negative), belittle his success as racially motivated, disqualify his campaign as inexperienced (which is both false and experience in Washington is not a requirement for presidency), question how “black” he is and the latest slander is his association with Rezko (of which he spent 5 hours as a junior attorney gathering and compiling papers three years prior to legal proceedings against the company).

Hillary Clinton campaign has failed to organize independents, republicans, rural democrats, lefties, centrists and progressives as effectively as Barack Obama’s campaign. That is the fact, it’s proven again and again.

Maybe if there was a little more objectivity on your part, the misrepresentations of your words would dissolve into hard facts and evidence.

Contrarily, I’ve stated why I support Obama, but why do you or anyone else support Hillary? I’d like to discuss REAL ISSUES instead of the talking points presented in your last post, which are perpetuated by the lying and unprofessional mainstream media of yellow journalism and celebrity worship.

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By Blueboy1938, January 30, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

Clinton is leading 49% to 23% (9% JE) in California; 56% to 28% (10% JE) in New York; 59% (!) to 28% (11% JE) in Massachusetts; 43% to 28% (16% JE) in Alabama; 47% to 22% (16% JE) in Minnesota; 34% to 20% (16% JE) in Tennessee; 49% to 32% (10% JE) in New Jersey; 37% to 27% (15% JE) in Arizona; 44% to 19% (27% JE) in Oklahoma; 31% to 18% (9% JE) in Utah; 44% to 31% (18% JE) in Missouri; 57% to 17% (14% JE) in Arkansas; 41% to 17% (7% JE) in Deleware.  She and Obama are basically tied in Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico (Gov. Richardson getting 44%), and Idaho, with only Georgia and Illinois with a clear majority for Obama.  This was all before Edwards withdrew.  His 13% in Georgia will likely give Clinton a win there, and his 15% in Idaho will probably do the same there.

However, since most Democratic primaries award proportional delegates, it is unlikely that Clinton can sew this up on February 5th.  These are the facts.  Obama is an inspiring and charismatic candidate.  The same cannot be said of Clinton.  Poll numbers can be deceiving.  But at this point, with Edwards out of the race and his votes much more likely to go to Clinton, the edge is in her favor.  That’s all I’m saying.  She and Edwards have split the white vote.  That’s a fact.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Blueboy:

I would add to Aegrus’ comment that it is not a foregone conclusion that Edwards voters will go to Hillary.  First, Edwards may well come out in support of one or the other outright, thus all but guaranteeing that candidates’ being chosen as Dem nominee.

Even if he does not do this, Edwards will “broker” his delegates at the convention.  One likely scenario is providing his delegates to Obama in return for the VP slot.  Another is, as others have suggested, brokering those delegates for a position in the cabinet.

In any event, whether Hillary or Obama becomes the nominee, I think there is a better than even chance that Edwards will be on the short list for Attorney General.

Peace.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Aegrus:

You make a number of statements that require response.

“I think the fundamental difference is Obama doesn’t triangulate, and keeps true to his message.”

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page that when we say “Obama” we also include his “people,” and we do the same re Hillary and HER “people.”

Given this, Obama (i.e., his people) deliberately misrepresented what Hillary said re MLK and LJB, making it sound like she was, at best, diminishing the role of MLK and grassroots organizing and, at worst, sounding racist.  Obama NEVER chastised his people for this or distanced himself.  It may well be that Hillary does this type of thing more often, but that does not let Obama off the hook when he does it.

“I’m glad Barack hasn’t taken PAC money directly, but I also understand there are many hands in his campaign finances linked to federal lobbyists and PACs. This second-handed donation, I feel, does mitigate the influence of these large entities.”

I see no difference in accepting money from lobbyists or directly from the industries and businesses they represent.  As as aside, you probably know that Obama had long-standing ties (NOT just one incident) to Tony Rezko, a shady real estate developer, from whom he took a fairly sizable amount of money.  Obama has agreed to offload the money.  However, this entire story has been largely suppressed by the mainstream media.  Yet when Hillary was found to have taken money from Hsu - and DESPITE offloading it right away as well - the story was front page news and was beaten to death by the media.  Thus, another “free pass” for Obama, while Hillary gets lambasted.

“Barack goes to the rural areas, he speaks to the independents and Republicans in addition to the Democrats. His appeal brings in all Americans.”

No more or less so than Hillary.  She also goes to all places (rural, urban, etc.) and speaks to people of all three political persuasions - and gains many of them as supporters.  Indeed, this speaks to your final comment:

“Obama is the candidate with the power to transcend gender, race, class, faith and partisanship!”

Setting aside that this is largely a regurgitation of Obama’s rhetoric - and setting aside the absurdity of “transcending” gender (unless Obama is TG) - neither you nor anyone else here has explained exactly what substance there is to this claim. Hillary ALSO has people of both genders, all races, all classes, all faiths and all political persuasions supporting her - in greater numbers than Obama in some places, in equal numbers in some places, in lesser numbers in some places.

I am still waiting for ANYONE on these boards to explain to me EXACTLY what is meant by all of these extraordinary claims, much less to provide substantiation for them.

Peace

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By Rowdy, January 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Same as the old boss.

We won’t get fooled again!

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By Aegrus, January 30, 2008 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

I think this statement is a bit narrow-minded. South Carolina is a different environment than many of the other states in the union. Even from SC to NC people’s opinions differ widely. That’s part of the beauty of our great nation, and I think it should be respected.

Do take into account how Barack Obama is seeming to do very, very well in Montana at this very moment according to some reports.

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By Dingus1, January 30, 2008 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
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I have voted for plenty of democrats in the past, and Mr. Obama intriques me.  But as a McCain supporter, no it would not be better if Mrs. Clinton were in the oval office as opposed to McCain or even Mr. Obama or Mitt Romney.  Can’t anybody run this country other than a Bush or a Clinton?  Why have 4 or 8 more years of polarizing politics, which is exactly what would happen with a Billary presidency.  In fairness to Mrs. Clinton though, Mr. Obama was not even in the senate to provide a yea or nay vote when deciding to go into Iraq.  It is very easy now to be against the war after nearly 4,000 U.S. deaths.  For argument’s sake, if the most rosy predictions of successful outcome came true in regards to the Iraq war, with minimal casualties on both sides and little to no insurgency, would Obama be so quick to be against the war?  Very likely not.  Because American support for the effort would be extremely high.  Let’s face it, politicians are politicians.  They pander to whoever is sitting in front of them listening to them spew whatever, and when the going gets tough on a certain subject, then they punt.  This is why problems involving the three, 800 pound budget eating gorrillas will never get solved - Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  These three behemiths dwarf the Iraq War by trillions of dollars in this countries debt mess over the next several decades.  And simply raising the taxes “on the rich” won’t come close to closing the budget gap.

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By Blueboy1938, January 30, 2008 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment

The withdrawal of John Edwards from the race throws most of his votes to Hillary Clinton, even though he may not endorse her.  They split the white vote up to this point (South Carolina whites went 36% to Clinton, a whopping 40% to Edwards, and 24% to Obama), so where are those people going to go if not to Sen. Clinton.  Can you say, assuming he does not endorse Obama, “Attorney General John Edwards”?

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By Aegrus, January 30, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

I think the fundamental difference is Obama doesn’t triangulate, and keeps true to his message.

Besides that point, Hillary seems to qualify everything she’s worked on after law school as political experience. Using that mirror on Obama shows very similar work done in urban communities, state senate, poverty advocation and beyond.

I won’t strike the claim of Hillary being able to work across the isle to pass legislation, but I’ll argue that Clintonian policies of triangulation enabled a Republican controlled house and senate. Also, while Hillary clearly doesn’t hate any group of Americans, it is apparent to me her words continually divide Americans regardless of her intent.

All this said leads me to this conclusion that Hillary Clinton is a strong asset to the Democratic party, and her heart is in the right place. Her campaign, though, mistranslates her positions. That much should not be denied.

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By Sue Cook, January 30, 2008 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

I concur! Maybe it’s a little selfish of me but…

I just hate to see one of two very good candidates for the democrats lose out. I don’t think Hillary will come back if she loses at 61. I would like to see history repeat itself twice over with a 1st woman president, followed by a 1st black president.

Time is more on his side than hers.

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By Sue Cook, January 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

I don’t dislike Obama, quite the contrary. I think he is a very articulate.

I believe everything you say about him can also describe Hillary.  She has worked with republicans and accomplished passing many bills with them and coming quite close to some.

Her agenda is not to divide and conquer.

I just think that because she has been around a lot longer than Obama, she has more history to distort as the media and people like Robert Scheer tend to do.  Every article ever written by him with her as his subject is always negative against her.

Therefore, I feel the need to set the record straight in her defense. It may be harsh, but so is he in his thoughts of her.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Sue - I guess I stand corrected.

I do think a lot of women are going to vote for Hillary because she is a woman. There are also lots of male chauvinists who will vote against her because she is a woman.

I see Obama as transcending identity politics, and that is one reason why he is so “inspiring”.

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By Sue Cook, January 30, 2008 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

Not so.

I like you!

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By RealFish, January 30, 2008 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where we are now in a fight against the only-slightly under the radar second revolution against our Constitution by the Reagan/Robertson spawned Neoconservative movement, where having one more Republican in the Executive office will likely seal the deal in the Constitution’s total demise, I thank you for your vote for John McCain by-Green-proxy.

This is not party loyalty, since I am an independent who loves what our country is supposed to be, what our liberal founders intended. It’s a matter of numbers. It’s also a matter of voting for someone who at least gives mouth service to restoring the Constitution. So far, that does not include either Clinton or anyone on the Republican side.

But go ahead and vote Green, follow your conscience, and then live with that conscience when President McCain swears his oath of office a year from now.

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By John Hall, January 30, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sue, it’s not that I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because I hate her (honestly, I don’t like her or her husband very much). It’s because she’s pro-military/industrial complex, and she’ll cave in to the wants of corporate America. She also won’t end the war in Iraq and may look for a fight with Iran. I could almost see myself mocking her and calling her “Georgette W. Bush”. Enough of the Bush/Clinton era already!

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By homovivens, January 30, 2008 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Bravo! As good as Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.”

Sheer’s essay assays the Clintons’ bid for the presidency and distills the best argument against it.

Her putative support of domestic policies cannot be taken seriously as her religious commitment to the military-industrial complex precludes it: there isn’t enough money to do both on the level that each requires.

Tom Edsall’s piece on HuffPost lays out the military-industrial monies backing Hillary, confirming Scheer’s excellent indictment against Hillary—for all the right reasons.

Ted Kennedy got it right: Obama wants to change the world; Hillary wants to win the White House.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

No, the shoe is really on the other foot. It’s not Robert Scheer who is a sexist; it is obviously you who are a man-hater.

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By Roderick Smith, January 30, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

21 of 50 Democratic Senators and one Republican voted against the Iraqi War Resolution on October 11, 2002. To their shame, 29 Democrats voted to approve it, and with 49 Republicans, that was enough for President Bush to circumvent the War Powers Act and start a war based on an imminent national threat. Hillary Clinton is culpable both for the inception of the Iraq War and for all the war crime and horror that it has brought. That’s what she must apologize for.  We cannot go forward until there is an accounting for all the damage done.

By the way, Mr. Scheer is a rare and dispassionate voice of objectivity, and at all times, in print or in person, is in pursuit of logic and reason.  You, however, by your words betray yourself to the contrary.

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By JNagarya, January 30, 2008 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“By oregoncharles, January 30 at 10:29 am #
(10 comments total)

“Mr. Scheer states that, of course, Hillary would be better than the alternative, then proceeds to disprove it:  “Isn’t it disturbing that Sen. Clinton has received more money than any other candidate of either party from the big defense contractors” - to say nothing of the Wall Street gangsters and Rupert Murdoch, as he adds.

“In truth, I’m just as offended by Obama’s remarkably empty campaign rhetoric and revealing votes for the war funding.  I have no intention of voting for either of them, as the Greens will run a much better candidate.  But I’m especially bothered by self-contradictions.  Once again, I have to call Bob Scheer naive:  He doesn’t think the money talks?  Well, yes, he does, that’s why he mentioned it; so why doesn’t his conclusion match his evidence?  Blinded by party loyalty?”

It is naive to believe that voting Green will have any consequence other than helping Republicans.  (Should I mention that in some instances Republicans run disguised as Greens—and one can’t tell the difference?)

As reality is more and bigger than oneself, one must include considerations in addition to/beyond oneself.  “I like what s/he” says is insufficient.  As is unevidenced allegations of “empty campaign rhetoric”.

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By Aegrus, January 30, 2008 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

@oregoncharles,

Yeah, there is some question of contradiction for all major candidates. Still, many progressive (like myself)don’t vote Green Party because their issues are often one-dimensional. Yes, big money does swing the government, but progress has to include their positions to an extent because they represent a part of America.

I’m glad Barack hasn’t taken PAC money directly, but I also understand there are many hands in his campaign finances linked to federal lobbyists and PACs. This second-handed donation, I feel, does mitigate the influence of these large entities.

At any rate, Obama’s all-inclusion policy has a very real potential to facilitate progress in America much more quickly than the strong-arm of Hillary Clinton’s Politico Machine as far as I can logically understand. Radical change is opposed in radical ways. I think most Americans want to move beyond partisanship.

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By jerry, January 30, 2008 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did not Kennedy annonce after listening the Powell’s presentation before the world thru the UN that the evidence supporting Iraq’s WMD and Hussein’s complicity with Bin Ladin “Compelling?” Because I’ve always looked up to Kennedy, I was hoodwinked into believing Powell’s lies to be true. I’m sure others read Kennedy’s assessment and were likewise misled by him. Teddy should retire or at least shut up before dragging down Obama’s campaign

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By oregoncharles, January 30, 2008 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Mr. Scheer states that, of course, Hillary would be better than the alternative, then proceeds to disprove it:  “Isn’t it disturbing that Sen. Clinton has received more money than any other candidate of either party from the big defense contractors” - to say nothing of the Wall Street gangsters and Rupert Murdoch, as he adds.

In truth, I’m just as offended by Obama’s remarkably empty campaign rhetoric and revealing votes for the war funding.  I have no intention of voting for either of them, as the Greens will run a much better candidate.  But I’m especially bothered by self-contradictions.  Once again, I have to call Bob Scheer naive:  He doesn’t think the money talks?  Well, yes, he does, that’s why he mentioned it; so why doesn’t his conclusion match his evidence?  Blinded by party loyalty?

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By JNagarya, January 30, 2008 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the perfect encapsulation of FEMALE sexism and chauvanism—

“Men like you are all alike with your delusional sexist thinking. Afterall, it’s your strength, and if you don’t have that, your feelings of insecurity and ineptness will surely creep in, and you’ll be faced with the reality of being none other than a simple, pitiful little guy with a very boring and mundane life!

“I challenge you to write articles with fairness and intelligence for both genders with the same high esteem as you obviously hold for yourself and let’s keep your male chauvinistic self righteous rhetoric in your mind only.”

That is the usual name-calling, and none of it rebuttal. 

You support Hillary BECAUSE she’s female—and only thereafter fish for rationalizations to disguise that fact.  Female sexist are opposed to all double-standards—except their own.  I’ll bet you’re big on slinging the “hormones” canard—you know the old one: women can’t be president because of their hormones—about “testosterone poisoning”.

There was a time when Feminists were about advancing cooperation and compassion, and changing the world by de-militarizing it.  But they’ve capitulated: now they enlist in the military—“to be equal one must pretend to be male”.  nd now they’ll support a pro-war candidate because she’s FEMALE.

Female sexists, pretending to be Feminists, oppose all double-standards—except their own.

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By SlimJim, January 30, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t believe he insinuated anywhere in those words above that Clinton is a weak female or the like. So, what exactly are you getting at Sue? Obviously you need to get your mind out of the clouds and stop focusing on gender identity/roles everytime you debate. Your language repertoire is damaging to a healthy society, Ma’am.

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By Aegrus, January 30, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

It’s a bit alarming to see such vehement reprisal of Scheer’s article. Sue Cook’s Hillary Brownshirting is awfully unwarranted.

Why do the Hillary supporters refuse to acknowledge Barack Obama’s inclusion policies? He is creating the setting for the inclusion and equality you are fighting for! It’s what Hillary should represent in an ideal world, but Obama is the candidate with the power to transcend gender, race, class, faith and partisanship! This transcendence has been displayed in every state he campaigns.

Barack goes to the rural areas, he speaks to the independents and Republicans in addition to the Democrats. His appeal brings in all Americans. This is the first step to healing our country, in my opinion.

A vote for Barack is NOT a vote for misogyny! I just don’t understand why criticism of Hillary is taken so badly. She’s a great person, and would be a great candidate. Obama is a preference of many (soon to be the majority), and I think everyone should prefer his candidacy.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 11:02 am Link to this comment

Rogelio:

“Obama is certainly the better candidate and that is why Kennedy supports him. Kennedy realizes that Hillary will not push the agendas that the “liberal” Democrats demand. Hillary is more of a conservative Democrat.”

The facts do not bear this out.  The Senate voting records of these three are virtually identical on almost every conceivable issue, including abortion, agriculture, campaign finance, crime, defense, education, environment, family/children, health, immigration, labor, reproductive rights, senior/social security, trade, transportation, veterans affairs, welfare/poverty, and women’s issues.  As well, they deviated only rarely in each of appropriations (including funding the Iraq war), business/consumer, guns, military, and national security.

As well, the currently stated policy positions of Obama and Hillary are largely identical (differing only in details) on Iraq, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, and many domestic issues.

Finally, Hillary and Obama have virtually identical “liberal” rankings with The Almanac of American Politics, NARAL, the ACLU, Americans for Democratic Action, the League of Conservation Voters, National Journal, and Progressive Punch, among others, and equally “non-conservative” rankings with both the American Conservative Union and the NRA, among others.

Contrary to the media, pundits, polls and quite a few people here on LieDig, the reality is that Obama and Hillary are not as different as many would make them out to be - and certainly not enough for Kennedy to make his endorsement on the basis of who is more “liberal.”

Besides, Kennedy himself voted for EVERY single bill to continue funding the war in Iraq (even Obama and Hillary didn’t do this), as well as re-authorizing the Patriot Act (twice) and supporting the Real ID Act (national ID Card).

As an aside, I fail to see how this equates with “change” or a particularly “liberal” position on these issues.

Peace.

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By Sue Cook, January 30, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

What is it with this guy?

Ok, Mr Scheer, we got it already. You are a true Hillary/woman hater. And you know something?, I don’t care what you think of her.

Let me remind you that Obama has not served his full term in the senate like he promised his constituents that he would. It’s been only 3.

Hillary dosen’t need to apologize for her vote in the Irag war.  For what purpose? She voted for what she thought was the right thing to do at the time.
And that included Bush using diplomatic solutions first. He did not, taking it upon himself to bypass congress on declaring war without their vote. I think that shows much courage and strength on her part, traits I believe you don’t possess.

Men like you are all alike with your delusional sexist thinking. Afterall, it’s your strength, and if you don’t have that, your feelings of insecurity and ineptness will surely creep in, and you’ll be faced with the reality of being none other than a simple, pitiful little guy with a very boring and mundane life!

I challenge you to write articles with fairness and intelligence for both genders with the same high esteem as you obviously hold for yourself and let’s keep your male chauvinistic self righteous rhetoric in your mind only.

Otherwise, again I reiterate, I don’t care what YOU think!......boring..get a real life!

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By P. T., January 30, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

“In the last seven years what has he accomplished?”


He opposed a war pinhead Hillary supported.  Hillary should have listened.

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By Rogelio, January 30, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Obama is certainly the better candidate and that is why Kennedy supports him. Kennedy realizes that Hillary will not push the agendas that the “liberal” Democrats demand. Hillary is more of a conservative Democrat. Unfortunately, Hillary stands a much better chance of winning than Obama does. I am leaning toward voting for Hillary because she can defeat McCain. Sadly, I wonder if America is prepared for a minority president. Race, like or dislike it, is a major issue. Gender is not a major issue as it was in 1984.

I fear that Hillary will continue a lot of the same b.s. that “w” pushed forward. Her political connections will not allow her to make the right choice in Iraq; that is get the hell out. In contrast, Obama appears to have less political alliances and therefore will make the independent decisions that will improve our nation. Who are we trying to kid, Iraq is a losing proposition and a waste of money (except for the war machine).

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By SamSnedegar, January 30, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

“...We the People don’t need all that oil in the Middle East…”

We may not NEED it, but we surely do WANT it, covet it, lie for it, kill for it, and steal it.

But Scheer no longer has any right whatsoever to talk about Iraq, war, presidential politics, or much of anything since he refuses now to tell the truth about mideast oil and why the Bushitters (and others including Bill Clinton) think we have to maintain our forces in Iraq to steal it.

I mean, we can hardly steal their oil if we are not there to guard it and maintain control of it.

The conversation you ought to be having is about how we CAN divest ourselves of a NEED for mideast oil. Now that we have driven the price of a barrel of oil to a foolish hundred bucks, there are many options which open up with respect to oil—-shale, tar, coal, and you name it. Except for the present infrastructure which presumes light crude as a starting point, we might well be able to end our dependence on foreign oil altogether, but no one INCLUDING Scheer will discuss that save for Dennis Kucinich, who as you know has been marginalized by Scheer and given the heave ho so we can all worship at the altar of the new oil baron Osama . . . er . . . Obama.

I don’t really care how much Scheer dumps on Hillary Clinton because she is as big a liar as Scheer as far as oil is concerned (and her AIPAC connection), but you follow Scheer down the Obama trail at your peril—-because Obama is as big a liar as the rest as far as why we are in Iraq and why we intend, Obama or McCain, to stay in Iraq forever and ever.

It is a shame. Scheer USED to talk about it frankly, but getting fired by the LA Times apparently changed his modus from teller of truth to corporatist.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

At this point, the only reason I can see for any Democrat to vote for Clinton instead of Obama is pure gender politics. Stop feeling sorry for Hillary. She doesn;t deserve your pity or your vote.

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By Tony Wicher, January 30, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Yes, and a lot of honest Republicans and independents probably feel the same way.

Obama is a breath of fresh air. Let us relegate the Clintons to history.

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By Sharon Ash, January 30, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now that it’s final, and Kucinich is no longer a part of the discussion for president, you are going to attempt to paint Obama a progressive using the meaningless Ted Kennedy endorsement as a platform for you to further attempt to alienate readers against Hillary.  You know, whether it is Fox, or it is Robert Scheer, attempting to slant the stories to meet their own personal agenda, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  So, when Obama get soundly defeated on Super Tuesday, I guess you will have to decide to be a McCain supporter and spin him as a progressive, or maybe just accept the fact that the majority of Americans understand that Hillary Clinton is highly intelligent, highly qualified, and no one knows our government better and is better qualified to restore our image in the rest of the world.

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By jackpine savage, January 30, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

It seems rather pointless to argue about which presidential candidate will be the worst warmonger.  The fact remains that they will all be warmongers.  None of them will remove the 14 permanent bases and the $500M fortress/embassy in Iraq.  None of them will draw down the imperial ambitions of our military-industrial-political complex.  Do we honestly expect them to reject the teet that they suckle from?

Had Sen Obama had the opportunity to vote, i have no doubt that he would have given authorization.  Though it should be noted that the authorization was based on the President returning to Congress before launching the invasion with good reason.  Instead, he submitted the same list that was the reasoning behind asking for the authorization.  He was not questioned on it because the whole thing was an exercise in making no one directly responsible.

The die has been cast.  The last man to lead this country with any real knowledge of the military warned us in no uncertain terms.  We ignored him, and we continue to ignore him.  We the People don’t need all that oil in the Middle East; the military needs that oil.  The Empire expands to serve its own Imperial needs.  Rome was a Republic until it opted for a professional army.  Between the end of the draft and today, the Republic has been subsumed by the Empire. The lies of Vietnam were exposed and acted upon because we refused to give citizen soldiers to a lie.  The lies of Iraq stand because those who fight are more soldiers than citizens.  Middle class suburbia has no stake in the carnage; they concern themselves with bread and circuses.

Because we elect our Caesars does not mean that they are not Emperors.  The Republic is dead and the Empire will fall. There is no such thing as a peaceful empire.  They live and die by the sword; ours will be no different.

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By Maani, January 30, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

“No one in the history of that institution has been a more consistent and effective fighter than Kennedy for an enlightened agenda, be it civil rights and liberty, gender equality, labor and immigrant justice, environmental protection, educational opportunity or opposing military adventures.”

Since LieDig refuses to print any truth, let me provide it.  And all of this is easily found via legitimate sources such as Project Vote Smart (which tracks all of the votes of each person in Congress).

1. Initial resolution to allow Bush to use force in Iraq.

Obama was not yet in the Senate.  Hillary voted for it.  Kennedy voted against it.

2. Ongoing appropriations bills to continue funding the war in Iraq.

Obama and Hillary had IDENTICAL voting records (i.e., whether Yes, No or Present) on all such bills.  Kennedy voted Yes on EVERY SINGLE BILL.

3.  Patriot Act

Obama was not in the Senate yet.  Hillary and Kennedy both voted FOR it.

4.  Reauthorization of the Patriot Act (twice).

All three voted FOR reauthroization both times.

5.  Real ID Act Funding

Hillary and Knnedy both voted Yes.  Obama was a no-show for the vote.

As for “gender equality, labor and immigrant justice, environmental protection, educational opportunity,” all three have virtually identical voting records.

As for Kennedy “opposing military adventures,” not ONLY did he vote Yes on EVERY bill to continue funding the war in Iraq, he “talks a good game” re “opposing military adventures,” but his voting record shows that he has supported many other funding bills for such “military adventures.”

Given that Kennedy voted for EVERY appropriations bill for the war, FOR the Patriot Act, FOR its reauthorization (twice), FOR Real ID Funding, etc., how does this equate with an “enlightened agenda” on “opposing military adventures” and on “civil rights and liberty?”

What a bunch of BS.

Peace.

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By Don Vito, January 30, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Allow me to re-phrase the following:

“As an Obama apologist, Scheer has demonstrated his blindness and his inability to decipher or deduce what is laid before him.”

To this:

“As a Clinton apologist, Chalmers has demonstrated his blindness and his inability to decipher or deduce what is laid before him.”

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By ocjim, January 30, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Too many accept Hillary’s Iraq war policy as posturing for conservative and moderate support, a calculated approach to overcome gender lines.

After the disaster of Bush we seek anyone who might bring sanity back to our leadership, for mad King George seems to be an apt reference.

As Scheer points out she probably would be better than the Republican alternative, especially with McCain’s reference to “other wars” and “one hundred years in Iraq.”

Obama is not perfect by any means but is eons better than Hillary. Her equivocating on the war has turned me off from the beginning. It’s like playing politics with an insanely evil Bush endeavor. Even in the legal world, the war would be thrown out because of tampering with the evidence.

The war is an abomination, throwing away lives and money, resources lost in a building process that will never happen.

Let’s face it. Bush has been fleecing others for his own gain for years. He is a user and we have been used.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 30, 2008 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

It should mean a great deal to progressives that Robert Scheer is once again shafting Hillary Clinton but completely ignoring Barack Obama’s own pro-war rhetoric. But that is precisely the truth that Obama has shamelessly sought to obscure. As an Obama apologist, Scheer has demonstrated his blindness and his inability to decipher or deduce what is laid before him.

Instead, he merely quotes the the Huffington Post, another blog. Of course, in assessing Hillary Clinton’s “experience”, if her years as first lady were irrelevant, then it is not necessary to blame her for any of Bill Clinton’s policies either. Scheer still wants to have it both ways, though,  as all the true misogynist male sexists have shown since the campaign began.

This 2002 speech of BO’s is not a true anti-war speech. It is merely a bet each way. Sadly, that has been proven by his own willing support of the Bush administration’s bombing of innocent villages in rural Pakistan last year. Condoleeza Rice is, after all, his handler on the Foreign Relations Committee. Who, then, is willing to actually bleed to death for this man’s ambitions…....???

...it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union…... I don’t oppose all wars.

...that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil…... I don’t oppose all wars.

I don’t oppose all wars. And I know that in this crowd today, there is no shortage of patriots, or of patriotism….

I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.

We may have occasion in our lifetime to once again rise up in defense of our freedom, and pay the wages of war. But we ought not – we will not – travel down that hellish path blindly. Nor should we allow those who would march off and pay the ultimate sacrifice, who would prove the full measure of devotion with their blood, to make such an awful sacrifice in vain.http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama’s_Iraq_Speech

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By anonymous, January 30, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

and, I didn’t believe there was ANY need to invade.  The war supporters showed unforgivable cowardice or an unforgivable lack of judgement—probably both.

I’ll not defend a candidate with so little regard for the people that they would back a war of choice so they could be better positioned to run for office later.  That’s exactly what Edwards & Hillary did and I’ll never vote for either.  I never voted for anybody who supported Bush before and I’m not starting now!

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By jmndodge, January 30, 2008 at 6:31 am Link to this comment

Yes, Teddy was a great disappointment to me when he helped the administration pull this tragic boondoggle on the American public.  I have however, come to realize the education was so important to Kennedy that he attempted a major compromize to attempt to address overwhelming needs, hoping that weaknesses of the progrom could be addressed during it’s implementation.  Kudo’s to Teddy Kennedy, let us hope he can influence his fellow democratic supporters to join the Obama movement,  and hold it to a progressive agenda.

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By kevin, January 30, 2008 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

who gives a crap what that fat, old,ALCOHOLIC, SECRETARY KILLER, says anyway, we havent respected ted kennedy for DECADES. he has been a FAR LEFT EMBARASSMENT to the party and to his family.  HE REPRESENTS LOSS…and has probably contributed to our lack of winning elections over the decades more than any single democrat. then he bent over on no child left behind. screw ted kennedy and the family he rode in on.
his endoresement, more of an albatross to most common sense democrats, is just trying to regain a bit of the old family pinache that his brothers had and he�s just using obama to do it.
camelot is gone teddy�. have another martini. yes, caroline,(and the rest of the world), obama is inspiring.. in the fifties and sixties, we needed inspiration. today we need COMPETENCE.
caroline’s endorsement was far more important in my view. but still, neither of them amount to a hill of beans.  its a decrepit old political family trying to annoint someone.  if teddy is a lion, he was the runt of the family.  to hell with the toothless old lion of knee jerk liberalism. democrats today are far more realistic. lefties lose.

THE WINDSURFING JOHN KERRY WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE PARTY… his endorsement is also an albatross… AND IT WAS OKRAH WHIMPFREY WHO MADE BARACK OBAMA THE BLACK CANDIDATE….and his wife who said,when asked if hillary having black support made her concerned, “i believe that black people will wake up”... so dont blame the clintons.

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By Keith, January 30, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is time our soldiers come home, pure and simple. It is the responsibility of the winner of the Democratic Party nomination to share this sentiment, I believe, despite whatever had transpired in the past.

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By kevin, January 30, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

who gives a crap what that fat, old,ALCOHOLIC, SECRETARY KILLER, says anyway, we havent respected ted kennedy for DECADES. he has been a FAR LEFT EMBARASSMENT to the party and to his family.  HE REPRESENTS LOSS…and has probably contributed to our lack of winning elections over the decades more than any single democrat. then he bent over on no child left behind. screw ted kennedy and the family he rode in on.
his endoresement, more of an albatross to most common sense democrats, is just trying to regain a bit of the old family pinache that his brothers had and he�s just using obama to do it.
camelot is gone teddy�. have another martini. yes, caroline� (and the rest of the world)�. obama is inspiring�.. in the fifties and sixties, we needed inspiration�. today we need COMPETENCE.
caroline’s endorsement was far more important in my view. but still, neither of them amount to a hill of beans.  its a decrepit old political family trying to annoint someone.  if teddy is a lion, he was the runt of the family.  to hell with the toothless old lion of knee jerk liberalism. democrats today are far more realistic. lefties lose.

THE WINDSURFING JOHN KERRY WAS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE PARTY… his endorsement also an albatross… AND IT WAS OKRAH WHIMPFREY WHO MADE BARAC OBAMA THE BLACK CANDIDATE…. so dont blame the clintons.

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By hettie, January 30, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It just amazes me that a seasoned reporter like you can just ignore the news in the Chicago newspapers about the Obama-Rezko relationship. If Obama wins the nomination you and all the other Obama supporters can thank yourselves when we either get a crook who might be under investigation by Patrick Fitzgerald or another Repbulican president. I for one will probable vote for the Republican if Obama is the Democrat candidate, sorry, Teddy.

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By David, January 30, 2008 at 5:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If there is one good thing about this election process, its that there has been discussion of Bill Clinton’s record as president (although not from the MSM - if you want to know nothing about what you’re voting for and instead what the polling data suggests, where a particular candidate is campaigning, who cried, who got feisty, who stinks in the morning, etc, the MSM is will tell you all about that). But what is clear, is that Hillary is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  She’s a Republican in action, a Democrat in rhetoric. She wants power for the sake of power (or maybe to settle personal scores).  She is not what this country needs in these troubled times.  I would support McCain over her.  At least he is willing to do something about campaign finance reform, and while I disagree with him on a host of issues, I think he would be a far more respectable and responsible president than Hillary’s ego trip.

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By Marjorie L. Swanson, January 30, 2008 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

Okay Teddy Kennedy thinks Obama is terrific. Teddy Kennedy also thought the “No Child Left Behind” plan was find and dandy. Bush managed to make a fool of him about that by not funding it properly. Shouldn’t the “wise” old man of the Senate have seen that coming? He also thought that big giant wet kiss to the Drug Industry bill was okey-dokey too.

Anti-war? I believe he really is. But when all is said and done, after all the years he has spent in the Senate, what the hell has he accomplished? In the last seven years what has he accomplished? In the past year with a Democratic majority, what has he accomplished? So if Teddy Kennedy says vote for Barak Obama I’m gonna run right out and do that. NOT!

Endorsements are pap served up for pinheads too stupid to make up their own minds.

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By Bubba, January 30, 2008 at 2:41 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer: “Yes, if Hillary Clinton is the candidate, she probably will be better than the Republican alternative and, as Ted Kennedy made clear, deserving of our support.”

“Probably” will be better? Bob, if all I knew about McCain were what you’ve written here, I’d have to say he would undoubtedly be better. Knowing more, I can still say he may very well be better, given that he should be held in check by a Democrat-led congress.

And I might prefer to see McCain for four years, followed by Obama or someone better, than eight years of Clinton, Holbrooke, Berger, Albright, and god only knows who else.

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By P. T., January 30, 2008 at 2:05 am Link to this comment

Bear in mind that Gloria Steinem has a background as a CIA operative.  Click http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/02/310075.shtml

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