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The Folly of Experience

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Posted on Mar 7, 2008
Obama and Clinton
s.current.com

Are they experienced? Stanley Kutler takes a critical look at the (over-)emphasis on experience in anything resembling the Oval Office before a candidate assumes the presidency.

By Stanley Kutler

Experience is the word du jour in this political season. The debate over experience cuts two ways—it is, of course, a politician’s, not a historian’s, argument.

John McCain and Hillary Clinton have used it as a major talking point in support of their own candidacies and to build a case against Barack Obama. But presidential history attaches little importance to experience; it is strikingly absent in the historical credentials of our most honored presidents. Certainly, inexperience blighted some recent presidencies, including those of John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and, more memorably, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In 1945, shortly after Harry Truman became president following Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death, Director of the Budget Harold Smith compiled a summary of Truman’s votes and statements on issues through the years. Truman thanked Smith and then added: “What I have said or done before I was president has no bearing on what I will say or do now.” And how did all that experience prepare Truman for the fateful news he received upon FDR’s death about the development of an atomic weapon?

The president’s experience did not spare us at two critical junctures in our history. James Buchanan, arguably our worst president, served in both the House and the Senate and had been secretary of state and minister to England—altogether a wealth of political experience. He was jokingly referred to as “the Old Public Functionary.” Yet he fiddled in Washington as the secession crisis left him paralyzed in mind and action, unable or unwilling to prevent the dissolution of the Union. Herbert Hoover came to the presidency in 1928 with the widest experience of anyone since the earliest days of the Republic, having a rich, diversified career in both government and the private sector. Those successful experiences notwithstanding, Hoover is best remembered for his failure to relieve individual suffering during the disaster of the Great Depression.

The meager experience of our most successful presidents stands in sharp contrast. Theodore Roosevelt had been New York’s police commissioner, an assistant secretary of the Navy and a one-term governor of New York. He was vice president for all of six months. Woodrow Wilson, whose success is more problematic, served a two-year term as governor of New Jersey and seven years as president of Princeton and briefly taught at Wesleyan University, where he founded the debate team and coached football. Rather puny experience, at best.

William Howard Taft, who served the one term between TR and Wilson, had extensive, varied experience, such as serving as a local and federal appellate judge, directing the occupation of the Philippines and being secretary of war. Who remembers Taft? His one presidential term was filled with political missteps and policy disasters, resulting in the rupture of the Republican Party.

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Generals who became presidents and had experience largely only in war have a mixed record. George Washington, of course, was a great success; Andrew Jackson has his devoted followers among historians. Zachary Taylor in two short years did not make much of a mark; Ulysses S. Grant, once the object of historical derision as a president, lately has attracted revisionists who have found merit in his record. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower had no prior political experience, but shrewd politicking—networking, we might say—enabled Ike to negotiate the hazards of advancement in America’s peacetime Army. His subsequent wartime commands, like Washington’s, provided the arena for his uncanny ability to lead and inspire others to follow him. That proved to be experience enough.

When Richard Nixon campaigned for the presidency against Kennedy in 1960, Nixon emphasized his experience. But when reporters pressed Eisenhower for a statement on Nixon’s accomplishments, the president tartly replied: “If you give me a week, I might think of one.” Greatly embittered, Nixon subsequently blamed Eisenhower’s lukewarm support for his narrow loss to Kennedy. Nixon desperately yearned for Eisenhower’s blessing; instead, he got shafted.

Prominent journalist Walter Lippmann famously dismissed Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 as “a pleasant young man” with few qualifications. Abraham Lincoln, whose greatness is universally acknowledged, had one term in the House of Representatives. In that brief time, he notably challenged President James K. Polk to name the exact spot where Mexicans had attacked and killed Americans on American soil. Lincoln and FDR’s leadership qualities, like Washington’s, inspired the nation in perilous times: Lincoln carried the nation through the fiery trials of the Civil War and Roosevelt steered through the shoals of economic disaster. We do better to understand their character, rather than prior experience, to understand their success and greatness. Anxious to capture the elusive qualities of leadership, historians often focus on Lincoln and Roosevelt’s temperament and, above all, their willingness to experiment with new measures and then move on if they proved inadequate. They were men of a pragmatic temperament, famously unmoved by rigid ideology or the inadequate dogmas of the past, to paraphrase Lincoln. They possessed extraordinary political antennae to direct their instincts.

Experience is rather thin gruel for measuring presidential success. Alone it is no substitute for good judgment, a bold vision, an ability to articulate it and inspire a following, and a temperament and organization to translate vision into programs and policies. These are the qualities that have rewarded us, and which have divided the good from the mediocre in our presidential history.


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By Our Future, March 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Obama has much in common with that inexperienced candidate, Abraham Lincoln:
- Illinoisans with multiple years of statehouse experience
- Less than five years experience in Congress when beginning the presidential campaign
- The ability to articulate a vision of America using oratory and rhetoric
- Working to united a deeply divided America

A few links:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/opinion/20kristof.html

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20080324_Why_abiding_Republican_has_switched_his_party.html

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-rutten19mar19,0,5754610.column

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 13, 2008 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

There’s that term “white” again…. you must be racist then, kath…...!?!?

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By kath cantarella, March 13, 2008 at 12:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

my above comment was too harsh on Mrs Clinton, and too soft on McCain.

And Obama, you don’t entirely fool me either.

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By kath cantarella, March 13, 2008 at 12:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is not lily-white. Common sense will tell you that.

He appears to be the best candidate, but he’s not taking the high road to the White House. That is very obvious.

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By cyrena, March 12, 2008 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

“...It’s also about governing record. Obama’s is ultra cautious and weak.”..


You don’t get it Will. Why is it that everybody I know with this name, “Will” is so ideologically dyslexic?

You claim that Obama is ‘ulta cautious’ and weak in governing.

You say this obviously without any comprehension of the fact that ‘cautious’ does not equate to ‘weak’.

Caution (in governing or anything else) means that you THINK about things BEFORE you do them. You THINK about the ramifications of your actions/policies/positions, and the effects on ALL fronts.

That is NOT an indication of weakness, but an indication of STRENGTH. Instead of just shooting blindly, based on one’s knee-jerk EMOTIONAL reaction to something, and how they are PERSONALLY affected at that moment in time, the cautious person THINKS about how it will reverberate and what the effects on the WHOLE, are likely to be.

So, you don’t get it. I believe that Bill Clinton did exercise this sort of caution when he was in the office. Barack Obama has done an even better job.

I don’t KNOW if Bill Clinton really knew what the outcome of his free trade pacts would be. So, maybe he just didn’t think that through. Or, maybe he DID and didn’t give a shit.

Either way, that was not ‘good governing’ despite what was generally a degree of caution on his part.

So, Obama is not ‘ultra cautious’ but rather ultra smart and gifted in being able to see the whole, and then make a judgment call, or perform whatever action is required. Sometimes, as he has made very clear since the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the OPTIONS are bad and worse. The only good ‘option’ was to have never attacked and invaded Iraq to begin with.

So, if you think that his excellent judgment in denouncing that ‘option’ of aggressive warfare was too ‘cautious’ maybe you should consider the results. That is unless you think that the results might eventually pan out to deliver the reasons for using the ‘option’ to begin with…to steal oil and other resources, and to control the region by gunboat diplomacy, which is actually terrorism.

Meantime, Obama has no problems at all with raising taxes on the very rich. So, why wouldn’t he be the brunt of the corporate media, instead of just the brunt of the Hillary campaign?

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By tdbach, March 12, 2008 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

MMC, you’re a one-note singer, aren’t you? Buy yourself an MP3 player, plug in those ear pods, and broaden your horizons.

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By Leefeller, March 12, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

If Obama can win aginst Hillary by staying on the high road, it will be one of the first changes we need to see in politics.  Hillary is the only one using this tactic right now, because she cannot win on issues, charisma or even intelligence.

On issues all three candidates offer little differences, except Hillary voted to go after Al Quada in Iraq. Everything else has subtle differences.  Not sure were they even differ on ending the war? 

Charisma, Hillary has none, she actually provides a involuntarily gag reflex in some people.

Hillary has intelligence, but it seems to be hidden behind her negative scorched earth policy. So one could never see it. Her concept of reality, seems very similar to Bush’s, when it comes to admitting a mistake or getting what she wants, the similarities of both Bush and Hillary are striking. 

In the long run I still maintain the three way race is a selected race for the entertainment of the masses.

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By Maani, March 12, 2008 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

tdbach:

Bravo!  I’m sure it is no surprise that I say a huge “ditto” to this.  (LOL)  It is beautifully put, and perfect in its assessment.

Thanks.

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By tdbach, March 12, 2008 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

“Experience is rather thin gruel for measuring presidential success. Alone it is no substitute for good judgment, a bold vision, an ability to articulate it and inspire a following, and a temperament and organization to translate vision into programs and policies. These are the qualities that have rewarded us, and which have divided the good from the mediocre in our presidential history.”

Now that sounds like it came from an Obama pamphlet. Coincidence? I think not. The problem is, the same thing could have been said to advocate for Hitler – who, by the way, came to power with virtually no experience in government.

You see, “experience” has two meanings here:

The one most talked about is experience in the political arena that is Washington. Cynics like Conservative Yankee would describe that sort of experience as “a cozy relationship with important corporate and political entities” – which is half true. You don’t get to be president and raise the money to do that by thumbing your nose at “corporate entities.” At least not unless you can get public financing for elections. Hillary and Bill learned that very early. Barrack has learned it, too. That’s one part of “experience” he’s not lacking in. As to the political entities, I wouldn’t use “relationships” as the defining characteristic of experience – again, Obama has worked on relationships in Washington with remarkable zeal and to good effect; it’s the political give and take, the nuances of getting things done in the big leagues of political gamesmanship that is Washington, that Obama is a virtual rookie at. But he could no more waltz into Washington on promises of “hope” and “change” and “new politics” and expect the whole system to march along to his tune than he could walk into Fenway Park with a wicket and a bat and expect the Red Sox to start playing by the rules of Cricket. I don’t know what is meant by “a LARGE stake in the establishment” but I think you’d be nuts not to have some “reverence for at least a part of the status quo.” Like procedural practices in congress. Like Senators and reps looking out for the interests of their constituents.

The other face of experience is OUR, the voters, experience with the candidate. We’ve experienced Obama’s oratory, but little else. What will happen if he takes over? What will happen when his “new politics” collides with real politics and his frustration boils over? (You might look to his friend, Deval Patrick in Massachusetts for some clue how this might turn out, and Massachusetts politics is strictly minor league compared to Washington.) You pretty much know what would happen if Clinton is president. You may not like it. You may not be comfortable that she’ll do “the right thing” by your lights. But you know it will be a carefully navigated and guided approach, pragmatic to a frustrating degree perhaps but pragmatic – which is comforting to most of us. But Obama? I think, for all his rhetoric about change, Obama would pilot the ship of state in pretty much the same general direction Clinton would, and he’d be pragmatic in his choices as well. But I don’t know. And even if he turns out as I suspect, I fear he’ll run into more than a few icebergs and sand bars along the way, and I’m not sure we can afford that right now. (Sorry for switching metaphors.)

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By Maani, March 11, 2008 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

bert:

I do appreciate the support.  Thanks.  However, I am quite used to the childish “schoolyard” approach of MMC, Cyrena, Leefeller and some others here.  They apparently never learned anything about real discussion and debate, and think that vulgarity, name-calling, accusation, intimidation and ad hominem attacks are all acceptable practices.  I am of course most surprised by Cyrena in this regard, since she claims to be some kind of professor.  I can only hope she is not teaching her students the inappropriate and negative practices she engages in.

As for MMC, his johnny-one-note act has indeed become tiresome, and I continue to find it breathtakingly hyprocritical that no one calls him out for the spamming and trolling he does in this regard.  Note that I was called out as a “spammer”  simply for posting the same two-paragraph post on three threads.  Yet MMC has posted his hopelessly obsessive drivel on almost every single thread on the entire site - and often multiple times in a single thread.  Still, not one word of chastisement from anyone.  This is also typical of the “mutual admiration society” comprised of the Hillary-bashers here.

Finally, as you pointed out elsewhere, most of this group is so fact-challenged - or, more often, fact-denying - that even “reasoned” debate becomes extremly difficult.  Their attitude is either transparent denial, studied ignorance, or “I’ve made up my mind; don’t confuse me with the facts.”  And, of course, their favorite response to these types of assessments of THEM is to try to turn it around by saying things like, “That’s incredible coming from YOU” etc.  This is yet another “schoolyard” tactic; the “am too” “am not” “am too” blow-a-raspberry-at-your-opponent approach.

The best we can do, then, is simply not give in to the frighteningly anti-American suggestion by MMC, Cyrena and others that anyone who does not support their candidate - much less has the unbelievable temerity to question or criticize their candidate - simply “shut up,” or go to another site.

Peace.

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By G.Anderson, March 10, 2008 at 10:04 pm Link to this comment

As every Grad student knows, that’s the whole basis of science.. experience is often a delusion.

As Mr. Kuhn pointed out in The Structure of Scientific revolutions, for thousands of years there were millions of people who swore to the idea that the earth was the center of the universe.

Galileo, showed that the sun was actually the center of the solar system, negating the validity of those observations.

Experience does not in itself prove something is right, because there is an asymetric relationship between experience and falsehood.

So now there is a new political vision, a new perspective, that is challenging some in the Democratic party that continue to view it’s consituency as victims, who need more social programs, more interventions, more Big Bills.

(When the Iraq War reaches that moment in time when it costs more than World War II, will anyone wonder aloud how the congress, and the Pentagon, and all our military leaders collective experience has not helped us win? Not to mention 12 billion dollars a month.)

Times change, we need a new political vision to lead this country, it’s the old one that got us into this mess..

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By Leefeller, March 10, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Hillary voted to support the War, this is a given, why did she do this?  Maybe she wanted to support the war, she seems to like the idea of war, I have not heard her say anything against the war.  Her experience knows that oil is important so we go to war for it. 

When, I herd that Hillary brokered the Irish peace talks, I was beginning to believe to be quite an accomplishment that can be placed in the experience slot, so now we can plan on her brokering the world peace talks, she has so much experience.

Then I found out the story was a stretching of the truth, just a little embellishment if you will. No ends to the lies, and stretching the truth, always bending the story.  Well I am sick of the crap, come on Hillary folks give us a break, maybe the truth is out there, just dig a little deeper, Hillary does sound like Bush?  Your diamond is a lump of coal.

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By bert, March 10, 2008 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

MMC

You write:  “Naaaaaani, Naaaaani, Naaaani.  u por delufus moretunie.

More to the point your continued posturing on behalf of war woman is out of place here in liberal land.  That’s right Maani,Truthdig is a leftist/progressive/liberal political blog.  Face it your pumping up the wrong crowd. “

You don’t have to be so rude to Maani, or anyone for that matter, in your disagreement MMC. I am a leftist/progressive/liberal yet do not agree with you most times. But that does not mean I am not a liberal.

That great philosopher Bertrand Russel defined a liberal this way:

“The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.”

According to Mr. Russel you may not be a liberal becasue you appear to hold your beliefs dogmatically.

Which leads me to another Bertrand Russel quote:

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubt.”

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By bert, March 10, 2008 at 6:46 pm Link to this comment

MMC

It took no real courage to get up in front of a left leaning liberal collge group and speak out against the war on Iraq. It was a safe bet.

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By bert, March 10, 2008 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

NNC

This question is starting to get a bit old at this stage of the game. Plus except for a very small, vocal, active - especially on left leaning blogs like this one - this is not the burning issue of a MAJORITY (read - needed to win an election Duh!!!! Thats is what we are about here!!!!) of Americans.

Iraq has fallen to third place on issues of most importance to Americans as they vote for President. The economy, bread and butter issues are Number 1 right now and most likely will be throi
ugh the elction.

It’s the economy stupid!!!!

Sp MMC and every one else who keep harping on this -get off it all ready. We got your point. We know how you feel.

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By TennTom, March 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems that there is a case to be made for inexperience in that a presidency might evolve and adapt to the needs of an age. The problems from experience are never pointed out in that solutions are rooted in the problems of the past much like “Epaminondas” who always uses the last last solution for the next problem.
Granted some issues are timeless, but I am worried by those who know all the answers.  I want a President who knows how to ask the right questions.

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By i,Q, March 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Bush does get a small nod in the second paragraph, but i think that the lack of experience is so overwhelmingly blatant at this point that it goes without saying.

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By Will, March 10, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s about more than experience. It’s also about governing record. Obama’s is ultra cautious and weak. The Clintons are the greatest policy experts of our time, and they created more positive change on behalf of minorities and the middle class than anyone. But they dared raise taxes slightly on the very rich, earning the lasting hatred of corporate media, which started the smear campaign sixteen years ago, which is why Obama is winning now.
http://a-civilife.blogspot.com

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By i,Q, March 10, 2008 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

When there is no plan for withdrawal and no change of mindset toward the war, the worst thing that Obama could have done is to vote against providing the soldiers in Iraq with the supplies and resources they need to keep up with their misguided mission.  There are more considerations than simply saying this war was stupid, we should not have started it, so now let’s just stop payment.  It will take planning and more money just to end it. But if you really want to split hairs. Hillary not only continues to vote for the same measures you are trying to attack Obama with, she stupidly gave the W his way and helped to construct the house of cards we live in now.

i’m kind of surprised, Maani, after reading many of your posts, you seem to be in favor of the abstract concepts of morality and character and common human decency, yet despite Hiillary’s transformation into the Electo-tron Scorched Earth Candidate (perhaps she read too much into the Saturday Night Live skit celebrating bitch-ness as integral to success), you still unwaveringly support her. Doesn’t her most recent (in a long line of other) personality transformation give you pause? When is the cost of short term victory at odds with the long term goal?

Up until this kitchen sink moment i felt like i could be satisfied with either candidate, but now i’m not sure that Hillary is actually a step up from her chum McCain, and so i will have to think long and hard about whether i will support HIllary should she win the nomination. If it is more important to Hillary that she win, than that we all win together, then not only is she a prime example of the the “old politics” that i have come to loathe so much,  but she is a hypocrite and her message about being our champion has the same ring to it as Julius Caesar’s war against the Roman Senate for the good of the Republic.

i don’t buy the nonsense that Obama is some sort of political messiah, i never have and i think that once the initial manufactured “shock” wears off, that Obama is a politician with all the expected election necessities like fund-raisers and advisors and political insiders trying to move the mountain, the difference that will be left is that Obama won’t be throwing out the kitchen sink, he and he won’t be reinventing himself every several weeks.

i hope that you will take a pragmatic look at the two candidates and compare their records without the false bias that Barrack is perfection personified, and when you see that the two candidates are , as one might expect, fairly even on the campaign contribution realities, you can see that it is really not even a story.  All three candidates have “taken on” undue special interest influence. Darling Hillary has said on numerous occasions that we need to fight special interests. She in fact has the same stance as McCain. i take their money, sure, but it just doesn’t influence my vote.  Right.  Maybe the spotlight is on Barrack because he’s the only one who hasn’t failed yet on the national level with regards to special interest.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 10, 2008 at 1:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My favorite philosopher once opined:

“But if you love him
You’ll forgive him
Even though he’s hard to understand
And if you love him
Oh, be proud of him
Cause after all he’s just a man”

“STAND BY YOUR MAN”
Tammy Wynette and Billy Sherrill (1968)

BUT Hill-The_Business-Shill publicly denounced this position saying she was not a “Tammy Wynette Stand by your man” type of woman… which (since they are still together) leads a curious person to wonder just what-the-hell kind of woman she is under all that mean.

...‘of course, I admit to some prejudice as Tammy Wynette made a bunch of highway miles more pleasant, and Hill-the-business-snake gave no one I know an ounce of anything except platitudes.

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By Maani, March 10, 2008 at 1:44 pm Link to this comment

MMC:

“Barack Obama took the same intelligent and considered approach with regard to the war while running for office at the same time.  He rejected the war while running for the Senate.  He educated the people of Il. and the rewarded him with a political victory.  He united people with the truth about the war and won and election…”

...and then promptly betrayed them by voting to fund that war - consistently, to the tune of over $300 million - as well as voting for the extension of the Patriot Act (twice), among other things.

Ya gotta love that principle and integrity…to sday nothing of “hope” and “change.”

Peace.

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By John Doe, March 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

An article about the presidency and political experience (or lack thereof) and there’s no mention about the worst of them all ... GEORGE W. BUSH. Such a wide gap of experience between him and AL GORE, and yet Americans sent the idiot to the White House (or was it the Supreme Court?) Oh, well, they deserve the president they elected.

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By nepat, March 10, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, that’s unfortunate for all the soldiers still over there fighting, that their fates are to be determined by polling and popularity of “issues.”

Newsflash: war is always an issue and should be - however inconvenient that becomes to any candidate.

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By jti, March 10, 2008 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i often marvel at the way the media has bought into HRK’s so-called experience when, in fact, BHO has more experience at the legislative level (state and federal). given her alleged experience, why did she fail at the penultimate moment for any nation - the invocation of war. HRK will loose. LMAO

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By Maani, March 10, 2008 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

I repeat bert’s question: “Do you live in an alternate universe where facts never mean anything?”

The numbers I have been posting come from opensecrets.org, a broadly respected tracker of campaign contributions.  And just so you don’t have to do spend any time doing real work finding this, here is the list for Obama:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/indus.asp?id=N00009638&cycle=2008

And here is the one for Hillary:

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/indus.asp?id=N00000019&cycle=2008

As you will see, they are not that far apart.  Obama got more from some than Hillary, Hillary got more from some than Obama, but it is essentially even overall.

So keep repeating completely insupportable canards all you like.  It doesn’t change the facts.

Peace.

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By bert, March 10, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Cyrena: Do you live in an alternate universe where facts never mean anything? The figures cited below are from Obama’s own campaign fundrasing records. You do know candidates have to submit those perodically - transparency in governemnt and all.

Obama’s own fundraising records show that he DOES rely on donors with special interests.

Three of Obama’s top fundraisers, who each have raised more than $50,000 for his campaign since January, were registered as lobbyists last year, according to reports filed with the Senate Office of Public Records.

In 2006, Alan Solomont of Solomont Bailis Ventures earned $90,000 in lobbying income; Tom Reed, of Kirkland & Ellis, lobbied for the Seismological Society of America, the Nanobusiness Alliance, and the Airport Minority Advisory Council; and Scott Harris, of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, represented Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Dell and Sprint-Nextel.

All three Obama fundraisers have said they are no longer lobbyists, although the public records office has not posted contract termination reports for any of them.

Several other major Obama fundraisers also have histories of lobbying government officials for a living. Thomas Perrelli was a lobbyist for Jenner & Block as recently as 2005. Until 2003, when Obama was a member of the Illinois Senate, Peter Bynoe was a registered state lobbyist representing Boeing and other corporate interests, according to the Illinois secretary of state. They have both raised at least $50,000 for Obama’s presidential bid, according to his campaign. 

Frank Clark, chairman of Commonwealth Edison, helped lead a $2.2 million congressional lobbying effort on nuclear research and waste disposal in 2000, according to a report under his name filed with the Senate. He also raised more than $50,000 for Obama this year. He played an important part trying to persuade state lawmakers to deregulate the energy industry in Illinois.

All this may surprise Obama’s supporters. And for Obama to continue this chrade is just plain wrong.

Sopurce: “The Hill” newsletter 4/19/07

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By cyrena, March 10, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

No Maani,

I’m believing in what is there, and simply not visible to all, or audible to all. (at least you).

If actions speak louder than words, (how trite) then I’d say the sound of the ‘action’ is rather DEAFENING.

So Maani, you just keep counting those bucks, and attributing the sources however you want…in your dreams. Because you can’t tell people something different than what they already know Maani, at least as far as the money goes.

But hey, when you finish counting at the end of the day, or the week, or in November when Obama wins, at least have the decency to admit that we’ve recognized your stale and smelly red herrings, for months now.

Now since you must be blind and can’t smell…you are at the bottom of the barrel on this batch of bad fish Maani. You need some new stuff. Nobody is buying this shit, unless it’s to bite long enough to explode it right back in your face.

Go fishing. Get some new material. I doubt if it’s gonna work any better, but who knows. Keep picking those wings off of the flies, and maybe you can use that as bait for the red herrings.

Meantime, I’ll keep enjoying the action of change. “Tis a beautiful thing, and it gives me hope. smile

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By Maani, March 10, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Leefeller:

You are simply repeating the same incorrect claims.

Obama and Hillary have brought in a total of ~$200 million each.  Of this, EACH has brought in between $35 million and $50 million in “special interest” money.  And with the exception of Hillary’s ~$800,000 in “lobby” money and ~$40,000 in PAC money, and Obama’s ~$4,000 in PAC money, the rest of BOTH of their intakes - i.e., the majority of BOTH of their donations - have been from “individuals.”

You can keep repeating the “Obama’s money comes from individuals” mantra all you like.  However, the FACT is that there is little if any difference in the sources of their donations.

Peace.

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By bert, March 10, 2008 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

While it is true that Obama has gotten a lot of small donations from supporters, it is also true he has a lot of corporate sponsors. He jsut tries to hode his, or as the article link below sugests, finesse his ties.

One link that names some of his, with dollar amounts is below. The article was in a newsletter called TheHill, and is titled “Sen. Obama finesses his lobbyist ties.”

In today’s election world no one can get elected without cirportae ties. Unfortunately. That is why I am for public financing.

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/sen.-obama-finesses-his-lobbyist-ties-2007-04-19.html

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By mitt, March 10, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The GOP has gotten plenty of fodder the past week, with Obama’s association with a Weatherman,  his ministers activism, his association with a murdered gay person in his church, his wife’s unhappiness (includes other women).  I remember the homegrown terrorists “black panthers”, the Patty Hearst group
I can see where Obama would fit right in with the Ayres guy. “Weatherman”  They should be languishing in jail but got off on a technicality.
No one paid attention When George Bush bankrupted TWO oil companies even with saudi money behind him,
his lack of respect for his national guard service
and his drug and alcohol use. Nope the sheep voted him in anyway.

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By Leefeller, March 10, 2008 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

Seeing the Hillary spin using the same lack of respect for truth as George Bush’s,  cloned similarities are very apparent.  Hillary using the kitchen sink approach to politics is an example of what we saw during the Bush campaign.  Transparency is not there, what is this head trip game with the taxes?  Right now the unquestioning media follows her like puppies. 

Hillary can take over the helm of George Bush without missing a beat but so can McCain.  Why would I support her if nothing is going to change, especially the attitude toward the war? 

Hillary brings nothing, nothing new to the table, she is “old politics” living in a good old boy wold of yesterday, attacking the politics of change, for change is not in her cards.

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By Leefeller, March 10, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Most of Obama’s money comes from individuals and just the fact that he address’s the lobby problem is a far cry over Hillary,  who is so entrenched with yesterday old politics.  So you may be right Obama may not be able to change lobby influence, but maybe he will not sleep with them either. That would be a nice start.

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By Maani, March 10, 2008 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Cyrena:

“As for the Congress, they are 535 Americans. Do you have any idea how fast 200 million Americans can replace ALL of their asses?”

Really?  If that were the case, why has it not been done?  The question is rhetorical.  It has not been done because the majority of the American populace is sleepy sheeple who are led around by the nose, are NEVER going to “get it,” and will continue to vote in the same losers (and occasional winners) as they always have.  Do you REALLY think that the voting population of America is EVER going to “replace all of their asses,” much less as “fast” as you think it can be done?  Get real, girl.

“As for the corporate influence, Obama has less of it than you might think.”

No, he has MORE of it than YOU think - or at least are willing to acknowledge.  $35 million in “special interest” money - including over $6 million from Wall Street, $5 million from the energy industry, $3.8 million from the education industry, $3 million from Big Pharma, $3 million from the real estate industry, and $6 million from “business” (and that’s just a start) - is not “less” corporate influence than most people believe about Obama, but FAR more.

[N.B. Yes, Hillary has taken in as much or a bit more than Obama from these and other special interests.  However, SHE doesn’t claim to be the candidate who is fighting “special interests”; he DOES.]

Keep believing the fairy tales, if you wish, but facts speak louder than claims, and actions speak louder than words.

Peace.

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By Maani, March 10, 2008 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

lawlessone:

This is actually one of the best cases made for Hillary that I have read thus far.

“[W]hile it is theoretically possible for ‘experience’ to be valuable in a job, it is seldom actually available for this particular job.  There are after all but a bare handful of living individuals who have ever worked even near the Oval Office…”

Hillary has; Obama hasn’t.  And Hillary was NOT just serving tea and crumpets; she was involved in many policy discussions, and shepherded through occasional legislation.

“For instance, none of the current candidates has ever been even president of a large company or chief executive officer of a significant bureaucracy.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the executive-type experience (which none of them have) tends to be dramatically different from the legislative-type experience which all of them have.”

Bush was supposed to be our “MBA” president.  Perot was a businessman.  He would have made a terrible president.  Bloomberg is a businessman.  He would also have made a terrible president (despite the so-called common wisdom).  I don’t personally think running a corporation is the experience that is required for the presidency.

“Look how badly we were served by various sons of Presidents gaining the office.”

Other than John Quincy Adams (who was a good, if not particularly great, president) and George Bush, which sons are you talking about?

“...[S]houldn’t it matter more what type of experience it was?  Whether the candidates appear to have truly learned from their experience?  Were they in a position to actually learn something arguably useful that cannot be learned by other means or with minimal risk on the job?  Better yet, did they learn the right things when they were gaining such experience?  In other words, did they make costly mistakes?  Most importantly of all, if they made mistakes and who doesn’t, are they adult enough to admit it and vow to change?”

Hillary made a “costly” mistake re her initial attempt to create universal health care during BC’s first term.  Everyone knows that.  But she has admitted that mistake - openly and honestly - learned from it, and moved forward to create an even better, more transparent plan.

Hillary made an even more “costly” mistake (in so many ways) in voting for the Iraq war resolution.  And although she has not “apologized” the way many people want her to, she did admit it was a mistake and is the single decision she made that she wishes she could unmake (and not solely for political expediency, though that is certainly part of it).  She has also said openly that if people are going to judge her solely on that vote, they are free to vote for Obama.  But she has, again, learned from it, moved on, and is as eager as Obama to begin disengaging from Iraq as quickly as possible.

Obama has not even had enough time to make “costly” mistakes, much less learn from them and/or show that he can.  This makes him a much bigger question mark in this regard than Hillary.

Thanks for the support.  LOL.

Peace.

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By Conservative Yankee, March 10, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are certain vested interests in the USA which have an abhorance toward specific types of “experience”

They would not want a person, laid-off through no fault of their own, forced into poverty and raising children in a slum.  A person with this type of past “experience” could have the resume of a Nelson Rockefeller, the morals of Mamie Eisenhower, and a campaign war chest of a billion dollars, and she wouldn’t make it through the Iowa Caucus ....if she got that far.

The “experience” necessary and referenced above is a cozy relationship with important corporate and political entities, a LARGE stake in the establishment, and a reverence for at least a part of the status quo.

Exactly the type of “experience” WE the People” do not need.

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By Purple Girl, March 10, 2008 at 4:58 am Link to this comment

As a 44 yr old I’d like to review th expereinces I have had over the last 35 yrs.
Saw a VP required to become Pres because of Corruption. I saw Hostages taken for over a yr, I saw gas lines at leaast a mile long, I saw my state of MI become a ghost town, I saw a pres who ignored a killer Virus because it was not effecting ‘his base’, I saw a country undermined by corp scandals and crimes. I saw a Pres sign a treaty which has helped our ghos town infrastructure to decay. I’ve seen the auto industry re introduce led sled gas guzzlers, I’ve seen a corrupt Congress focus on Politcal revenge instead of their jobs. And now I’ve seen it all again in fast forward over the last 7 yrs.
So expereince in What? Who has truely benefited from all this ‘Expereince’ certainly not Woman, Children, the environment, the nation nor the World Community.
Waht changes have occurred in the last 35 yrs. Our country has become the clearing house for Corporationist - those who feel the best World stratedgy comes from their controllin gth resources the prices and the Wages and Benefits. In th elast 35 yrs I have watched MY Country be handed - lock stock and constitutional rights - over to brick an dmortar entities- full of hollow promises and little pieces of worthless Paper.
Give me the Dice! I have seen th epast- and I Remember! I KNOW what you Offer Hill & Mac, and I not only do not want more- I want revenge - A Dish best served Cold. You too have played the game the Corps have laid out, I want some one who refuse this ‘Board Game’ and instead changes it from Monoploy to Life, and is out to win this game for all of Us!
I have not even had to state the areas both Hill & Mac ahve FAILED at to discount their candidacies- but I have countless examples to recall esp Hillary during her miniscule time in the Senate. She does not deserve to be Pres- she does not deserve to be a US Senator. Seh has qualified for Aiding and Abeiting, complicity, complacency…. Basically Dereliciton of Duty on the Armed Services Com(con). As for Mac- he once was admireable - but time moves on and he has proven his undying allegience to the same entities as Cheney. Neither the last 35 yrs nor their records should be considered anything to brag about and cerainly not Resume Worthy.
Neither should be running a presidential campaign- they both should be assembling their Defense Teams!

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By cyrena, March 10, 2008 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

HC asks:

•  “You’re voting for Barak Obama, a member of a 216 year old party.  How the hell is one man going to change the democratic party, the congress, corporate influence, etc.?”

Well, nobody said that he alone was gonna change the DEMOCRATIC party. And at this point in time, I don’t believe that it is the ‘party’ that matters to most Americans. Many people have become aware, (finally) that we have been destroyed by the party mentality of the political system. And, old is not better, when it has destroyed the whole.

As for the Congress, they are 535 Americans. Do you have any idea how fast 200 million Americans can replace ALL of their asses?

As for the corporate influence, Obama has less of it than you might think. That’s why you aren’t so very off the mark with this part of your post, even though you don’t realize it, because you can’t see beyond the ‘party’.

•  “Now if Obama were heading a new party that a unified nation supported, then I’d believe the hype.  But as far as I can see, you’re fooling yourself.”

For those millions who support him, they DO see him as heading a new party that CAN unify the nation. Now whether or not he can get beyond the poison of what has been in place for so long, remains to be seen.

Still, it might be more than ‘hype’. In other words, at what point in the MAJORITY, (silent or otherwise) does it turn from hype into reality? For you, it may remain ‘hype’ unless he slaps a new ‘party name’ on to the effort. Like a new label or new packaging, or a store that closes for remodeling, and then re-opens for business under a new name.

But, for many who support Obama, it’s not because he’s a democrat, but because he REPRESENTS a new party, even though he’s obviously staying within the name-structured system to at least make that accomplishment.

So, it IS a new party. It’s obviously NOT the repugs of old. And, it’s obviously not the Dems of old, because if one looks at the current fore runners across the board, we have 2 repugs (McCain and Clinton) and one Democrat, who is Obama. We DID have other dems in the race, like Kucinich and Edwards. But, they’ve been temporarily side-lined.

So, we’ve got a new party that has formed and united behind the Obama candidacy, and we’ve got a handful, (not many more) from the OLD democrat party that could be incorporated into the new one, and we’ll shed the old diseased skin of the rest of them.

Then, we’re good to go with the new party, (progressive rather than repug one day and dem the next) and we’ll get on with ending the destruction, and putting together a new team that can actually make some progress. Some stuff is salvageable, (the Constitution I’d like to believe) but the rest simply just has to go.

The status quo IS the disease, and we don’t need to kill it with chemotherapy, we just need to replace the diseased cells with healthy ones. And, we don’t even have to call them a different name, (formally) because we ALEADY KNOW the difference between diseased cells and healthy ones.

Meantime, this from Leefeller is TRUE:

“Hillary did not win Texas, but the media would have us believe otherwise.”

She did NOT win Texas, but the media would have us believe otherwise. They stop reporting after the first of the Texas 2-Step process.

The ‘silent majority’ knows though.

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By i,Q, March 9, 2008 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

1. Mr Obama, you gotta pick up that mic off the podium. (i really liked your last speech, and it would have played well if you had won Texas by then.) You need to walk around and engage the crowd a little more. Tell Ellen you’re sorry, but no more dancing. No more Oprah or Ted Kennedy, you’ve made the stage, now it’s up to you to hold it. So own the stage. Get a sense of its space and how your body relates to the audience at different spots on the dais. Make lot’s of eye contact, but be aware of where the cameras are so you can connect with the “millions” watching, wanting a little of that Obamagic.

2. Retire the stump speech,  it’s done. Throw it away, but keep the concepts. You need to make a few explanations of a few different subjects, choose one topic for different days of the week. You’ll have the advantage on sound-bites for the week. The goal is to wash the “speechiness” off of the campaign footage and demonstrate—rightly so—that Barrack is a communicator of ideas, not a classic phonograph record enjoining hymns of hope.

Stay aware of media coverage saturation. At a certain point most of us who are paying attention have seen the same rehashed stump speech on various election nights, and we hear the same lines repeated. We need to see you more off the cuff. That’s how you project the confidence of judgement without actually saying anything about judgement. You answer questions and explain to us how you see the world, demonstrate the courage you want us to know and be forthright and honest about whatever sludge bomb is hurled at you. In fact, you would do well to acknowledge dismissively their various barbs.

To start, a line for Monday Morning (it’s worded quite carefully, so don’t pass over the subtleties):

“Hillary has done everything she can to try and win a close race, and the so-called Kitchen Sink approach is I think, in the long-view, going to be a losing strategy. They say that campaigns go negative because going negative works, but at a certain point that twinge of fear subsides and people consider the character of these tactics with the purpose of distorting reality to inspire doubt, and well, you can only throw out the kitchen sink once. it’s old politics and I don’t have any more to say on that matter. Next question….”

3. Do not get bogged down proving your experience. Your readiness will show through in your words and action, especially when you aren’t trying to explain how much experience you have. You show good judgement by not engaging the trivial.

Your surrogates need to be injecting the suggestion of cynicism in the type of experience your opponents demonstrate. But hit Hillary first. Acknowledge that McCain went so far as to rebuke the whacky radio host after his comments. But the surrogates need to get the pundits deconstructing just what experience is and means, and is the Hillary camp exhibiting the kind of experience that voters ultimately will respond positively to.

There you go. Three steps to realigning the Barrack-i-verse.

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By i,Q, March 9, 2008 at 11:36 pm Link to this comment

i enjoyed this abstract look at the historical merits of pre-presidential claims to experience. i sure felt like the presidents mentioned have to bear the consequences of more than they might actually be directly responsible for. For example Hoover and the Great Depression, talk about bad timing.

This article reminded me of some thoughts i’ve been having about how the Obama campaign might re-juice its mo-jo, and so i thought i’d just write it directly to whom it is directed and maybe a little bird will catch it up and bring the message to Obama’s ears themselves…. and remember, Barrack’s just a person like you or me, so let’s put the brakes on the stupid religious mystique the right and the surrogates try to slap on a political rally that’s got a lot of people really excited about politics, believing that they can make a difference in the way their government behaves. Sure it’s a long promise, but electorates live on long promises, and generally are forgiving if some of those long tosses slip through the fingers of a narrowly divided Congress. We have to keep that in the picture too, that we can fight against even a McCain presidency if we get those seats moved over in the fall. So keep an eye on your local races too.

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By troublesum, March 9, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment

whyzowl1
Of course the whole thing is designed to keep the rabble from having anything to say about public policy.  All the cadidates who best represented the wishes of the majority have been eliminated.  We are left with three candidates who represent corporate interests.  There can be no serious discussion of issues now.  Yesterday it was reported that Obama and McCain were asked by a reporter if they wore briefs or boxers.  Hillary volunteered that she wears boxers and always has.

KEEPING THE RABBLE IN LINE   a series of interviews with Noam Chomsky by David Barsamian.  Worth reading especially whenever you get to taking our elections too seriously.

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By HG, March 9, 2008 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

You’re voting for Barak Obama, a member of a 216 year old party.  How the hell is one man going to change the democratic party, the congress, corporate influence, etc.?

Now if Obama were heading a new party that a unified nation supported, then I’d believe the hype.  But as far as I can see, you’re fooling yourself.

Either an Obama presidency will culminate in a stalemate with the status quo which accomplishes nothing, or a betrayal of your unrealistic ideals.

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By HG, March 9, 2008 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

To support Obama doesn’t necessarily mean to hate Clinton and your requirement of a perfect president is unrealistic.

And what’s wrong with sex anyway?

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By i,Q, March 9, 2008 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

The skill that qualifies a person to be president, it turns out, is the ability to get elected. Once elected, assuming the presidency will be an experience which none of them can claim to understand best.

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller:

“Hillary sleeping in the beds of big pharma, the health insurance industry, and others for for the past 20 years.  Hillary has taken much of her financing from these industries, and she will not be able to effect change cutting off the hand that feeds her.”

Just to keep the record straight, both Hillary AND Obama have taken ~$35 million from “special interests” including Big Pharma (Hillary only took a little more than Obama) and Big Energy (Obama took more than any other candidate in either party).

Obama is no angel when it comes to special interest money, all his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

Peace.

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By kxa123`, March 9, 2008 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Leefeller are you OK?

A little too much mania I think. When your imagined McCain/Clnton ticket doesn’t materialize will you get the help you need? Do you really believe that Hillary will leave the Dem. party to join McCain? How about Vince Foster murder?

Hillary is fighting. When did the Democratic party decide fighting to win was a bad thing? Maybe Kerry would have conceded by now - would you be happy then?

Obama did have his speech in 2002 but once into the Senate, where he could actually oppose the war his is against/for/against etc.,  he votes just like Hillary. His antiwar position is a fairy tale and that’s not racism that is truth.

Or does he have some votes and action against the war? Let me know where to look to find him “changing” politics about the War and actually giving us “hope” he will stop that war crime.

Until then I see him as another triangulating (GPO=party of ideas???) corporate insider.

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By lawlessone, March 9, 2008 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some Presidential candidates tout their “experience” as making them inherently better for the office than other contenders.  It seems intuitive.  After all, experience in our own lives suggests “experience” is helpful.  However, while it is theoretically possible for “experience” to be valuable in a job, it is seldom actually available for this particular job.  There are after all but a bare handful of living individuals who have ever worked even near the Oval Office (and that’s counting Vice Presidents which before Cheney actually was a quite diminished job, more of a coat holder function). 

  Fewer yet except maybe Jimmy Carter or Al Gore are eligible.  Consequently, “experience” can only be one relatively small component in the overall determination of who should nominated.  Moreover, those reciting the word as sort of a mantra to attack or shout down opponents need to recognize there are several unproven assumptions in the assertion.

  For instance, none of the current candidates has ever been even president of a large company or chief executive officer of a significant bureaucracy.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the executive-type experience (which none of them have) tends to be dramatically different from the legislative-type experience which all of them have.  The latter experience usually is a series of forced cooperations, conciliations and compromises in order to accomplish anything as opposed to the former which gets the luxury of resorting to coercion more often than naught.

  Even if any of the present three national office seekers had been quartered somewhere in the White House, the experience may have turned them into the worst possible later re-occupants.  Cheney and Rumsfeld come to mind as prime examples of the genuinely dysfunctional value of such “experience.”  We might be 3 Trillion dollars ahead in Iraq alone, not counted our dead and disabled, if we hadn’t relied on their alleged “experience.”

  Moreover, other than having sat through state dinners which might grant a head start on protocol knowledge and adding a few extra business cards to the rolodex, there’s no conclusive evidence that being related to a President conveys any irreplaceable knowledge of the job of President itself.  In fact, maybe the opposite is true.  Look how badly we were served by various sons of Presidents gaining the office.  Bush is merely the worst of the lot. 

  And, if experience was so useful, wouldn’t Castro or Kadafi be running perfect countries?  Hardly any national leader has more experience than them.  Or, is the history of kings and queens trained from birth to lead their countries demonstrative that “experience” is what is needed?  If so, then maybe we should encourage Prince Charles to migrate here and seek office.  Do anyone believe that his long tutorial will automatically lift Britain to new heights once his head hold the crown?

  But, even if we ignored our history as to the purported value of experience, at least as to Presidents candidates, shouldn’t it matter more what type of experience it was?  Whether the candidates appear to have truly learned from their experience?  Were they in a position to actually learn something arguably useful that cannot be learned by other means or with minimal risk on the job?  Better yet, did they learn the right things when they were gaining such experience?  In other words, did they make costly mistakes?  Most importantly of all, if they made mistakes and who doesn’t, are they adult enough to admit it and vow to change?  If not, then such “experience” if any, might do us more harm then good.

  Stump speeching and sound biting silly slogans is not enough.  Sometimes, it’s better to select the cautious newbie than the arrogant oldie.  In any event, tough questions ought to be asked and research done on all those who blithesomely insist experience automatically trumps everything else including facts and logic.

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By SL, March 9, 2008 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Why? Because I’m willing to consider Obama running with Hillary?
No one is more critical of the Clintons tactics than I. I’m just considering other possibilities should Obama lose.
Check out my Blog.
http://skeweredpolitics.blogspot.com/

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By Leefeller, March 9, 2008 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Looks like Hillary is going for a McCain, Hilliary ticket, believe she wants to stick it to the Dems.  She is one sick puppy.

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By Leefeller, March 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

Hillary offers old politics, status quo, her entrenchment with special interests goes against the people in the same way the special interest controlled media does. Example would be the big three state sweep when actually it should be two to two.  Hillary did not win Texas, but the media would have us believe otherwise.  Hillary brings nothing new to the table.  Hillary sleeping in the beds of big pharma, the health insurance industry, and others for for the past 20 years.  Hillary has taken much of her financing from these industries, and she will not be able to effect change cutting off the hand that feeds her.  Deception to conceal and distort the real Hillary record as something it is not and in a positive light for the future is really nothing more than old politics. 

So, a Hillary and Obama ticket would be just like the Bill and Gore non team. Dumbing down of new ideas, for the status quo.

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By whyzowl1, March 9, 2008 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Does anybody else out there get the recurring sense that both Hillary and Obama are Judas Goat candidates, pre-selected for us by the establishment to give the Republican candidate—even in the face of aftermath of the Bushocalypse—a good chance to win the presidency? It goes without saying that there’s a substantial percentage of the American electorate as a whole that would never, under any circumstances, vote for either a woman or a black candidate. Either one of them is going to head into November with high built-in negatives.

I mean, put yourself in their Guccis; the Republicans ARE the party of the “haves and the have-mores.” The Dems, on the other hand, might negatively impact the progress of the war-profiteering gravy train that is the Global War on Terror, might respond to the meltdown of the economy in unpleasant ways, might <gasp> even raise taxes on the rich! No, no, we simply can’t have that.

So the sympathetic, faux populist Democratic lightning rods for popular social dissension lead their loser supporters to the slaughter—again. And you know what’s really sweet? The suckers never catch on. Never.

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Bert:

A well-thought-out assessment.  And I believe the question of who would better withstand the right-wing GOP smear and attack machine (which will be in full force, despite McCain’s claim that he will be “civil”) is very much on the minds of the superdelegates, and will be a major factor in their decision if the two candidates remain as close as they are now.

Peace.

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By Opteron, March 9, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who believes in experience let’s look back 7 years and see what happened by those who had experience:

1 - The federal budget deficit went from $5 trillion to $9.5 trillion.

2- The Fourth amendment of the US constitution was trampled upon, violated at least 935 times.

3- 1.2 million Iraqis where killed for no reason except for OIL that benefits Haliburton and the cronies in the government.

4-The US lost its moral authority around the world by violating intentionally international laws (and its own constitution)

5- The US economy is bankrupt and the dollar went from $0.9 for 1 Euro to $1.56 for 1 Euro! We are still at the beginning of the recession and nobody can say how deep the hole will be.

Clinton and McCain contributed to these disasters through their work in the senate and the executive branch was elected for their “Experiences”.

If that’s what you call experience good for you.

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller:

If that was all a First Lady did, then you (and Granny Doc) would be correct.  But it is NOT all that a First Lady does - in addition to the fact that Hillary greatly expanded the role of First Lady beyond anything any prior First Lady had ever done (with the possible exception of Eleanor Roosevelt).

She was far more intimately involved in policy discussions than any Frist Lady before her, and served far more often as a true “emissary” to foreign leaders, and not just a “tea and crumpets” visitor.  Indeed, wasn’t this one of the things so many people COMPLAINED about: that she was serving almost as a “co-president?”

You can’t have it both ways: either was overstepped her bounds as First Lady and served as a sort of co-president, or she simply entertained “dance groups” etc.

Among Hillary’s accomplishments as First Lady was that she initially instigated the investigation into what became known as Gulf War Syndrome - a SERIOUSLY unpopular and politically dangerous position to take at the time - and when the condition was proved to exist, she helped draft and champion legislation that provided special medical benefits for vets with GWS.

Hillary’s experience as First Lady DID give her legitimate and valuable experience - perhaps less than she seems to claim, but far more than you and others give her credit for.

Peace.

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

SL:

Actually, while it sounds optimistic, that eventuality does in fact exist, despite all the seeming obstacles.  Indeed, depending on how the next few primaries go (with or without FL and MI), there is definitely the chance that a brokered convention would lead to a Clinton-Obama ticket (if she does wel enough betwen now and then AND he continues to stumble, even minimally) or an Obama-Clinton ticket (despite Hillary’s contention that that would “never” happen; after all, it puts her into the catbird seat for 2012 (if Obama doesn’t run again) or 2016 (if he does)).

Keep in mind that Bill Clinton is a superdelegate, and he has been going around talking about this possibility for the past week or so.  Is it possible he knows something we don’t?

Time will tell.  And don’t let the naysayers (those who claim a ticket with both of them is impossible) confuse you: THEY can’t say for certain any more than anyone else.

Peace.

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By SL, March 9, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

I’m a rabid supporter of Obama but if by some circumstance he loses out to Hillary I don’t think it’s the end of the World.
A turn at V.P. may not be such a bad idea.
He’d be free to travel the world as a spokesman for the the U.S. getting to really know the worlds leaders and them him.
A Clinton/Obama ticket would be unbeatable.
He wouldn’t be burdened with the insurmountable task to fix the fuc* ups of the current village idiot and his republican minions in his first term.
He would have some influence within the Clintons WH while laying the groundwork for his eventual Presidency.
Or am I being too optimistic?

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By Leefeller, March 9, 2008 at 12:12 pm Link to this comment

The quotes below address my sentiments very closely.  The Media and Hillary supporters make her sound like something special, well she is not.

Granny Doc on the daily- Kos stated the following:

“Senator Clinton has no more experience with the day to day details of running the Executive Office than any other Presidential spouse.  Standing around with Chelsea while dance groups perform in exotic costumes, staying in palaces, and using the military and Secret Service agencies in droves to protect their persons, and generally making her way around the stage of public appearances, is NOT experience in executive management.  It does provide diplomatic experience, however.  Maybe Hillary could be made Ambassador to Urdustan?”

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By bert, March 9, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment

Experience may not matter once in the White House. But first you have to get to the White House.

Well, actually, first you have to get the nomination, and then you have to get to the White House.

Obama’s campaign is in a bit of a pickle right now.

Hillary has begun to attack. Whether you like it or not, attack ads work. If Obama does not answer her attack ads many will assume the ads must be correct.

If he does answer the ads, and especially if he attacks back, his whole campaign falls apart because he has staked his entire campaign on his claim that he is a new and different kind of politician and wants a new and different kind of politics.

Hillary has not run on such a campaign promise. She has never presented herself as something new and different or anything other than a politician.

If Obama counters with attack ads he shows himself to be just a regular politician after all.

Should Obama become the nominee he still faces the experience issue with McCain on the General. While experience may not matter much once in the White House, again, you have to win the General Election and get in the White House to prove the theory.

I am afraid that McCain and the Republican smear machine will make mincemeat of Obama and his record especially as regards the experience issue.

Democratic activists are trying to make this election a referendum on the Iraq War vote. That may win you the nomination in the primary season. But it is slim pickings for a General Election. A majority of Americans, while they want us to get out of Iraq, don’t really care for esoteric arguments about who was right first on getting us there. And Iraq has slipped to number 2 or number 3 (depending on who is polling) behind the economy as the number 1 issue in the General Election. So Obama’s chant ‘I was right on Iraq from the beginning,’ is not going to get much leverage in the General Election.

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By Bill Blackolive, March 9, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More than two centuries of genocide and New World plunder is US presidential experience.  Our corporations armed Hitler, etc. In order to see what
atom bombs did to humans and cities, and to scare the Russians, we ignored Japanese intellectuals screaming surrender etc.  Good grief, the pieces of their army on these many islands were starving and eating rats still fat from the last of the rice etc. Meantime, would Obama have guts enough to acknowledge there is the 9/11 coverup?  Maybe no, go to patriotsquestion9/11 and see some well known politicos left out of profit, getting consequently some pised off guts up, saying (at least on Patriots)there is the 9/ll coverup.

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By troublesum, March 9, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

McCain should choose Hillary as his running mate so she can play both sides as usual.

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 9:16 am Link to this comment

“Paix”  French for “Peace.”

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By Expat, March 9, 2008 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

^ French at all.  Just know a few clichés.  LOL.  Paix?  Say what?

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Expat:

“As the French say, “viva la differance”.  Have a good one.”

Actually, what they say is “Vive la difference.”  LOL.

Paix.

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By HG, March 9, 2008 at 7:25 am Link to this comment

Problem is terrorists aren’t interested in diplomacy.

The best diplomacy can do is fix the mess that Bush has made in Iraq, but how is the U.S. going to diplomatically negotiate with Alkaida and the Taliban?

Clinton is a reasonable human being.  She wouldn’t use force any more excessively than Obama would.

The hyper-macho Hillary image being portrayed by TruthDig is just another example of this countries closet misogyny.  Unfortunately, Robert Sheer’s stature is diminished promoting his 19th century ideas.

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By Expat, March 9, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Well then, that’s encouraging.  I really don’t want to get into a pissing match.  As you pointed out, I don’t normally revert to name calling but I really do enjoy a discourse based on the issues.  People who always agree have a very boring relationship and I enjoy a little Fencing (sp).  As the French say, “viva la differance”.  Have a good one.

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By Maani, March 9, 2008 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Expat:

Yes, I’m aware the word is “well” and not “good.”  I was just poking fun at you…LOL.

Peace.

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By Expat, March 9, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

^ don’t read too “well”.

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By cyrena, March 9, 2008 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

No more FAA either. Everybody could just get on their ponies and RIDE….

(or whatever else they could get in the air…)

Oops! Where’d that dude come from?

Oh yeah…The Department of Education too. Ron Paul definitely doesn’t want that monster around. Everybody should just do their own thing with this stuff.

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By cyrena, March 9, 2008 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

MC Mike

A TEN TIMING husband? smile

I swear I love it. I must be tired. I keep tuning-in just for a dose of the giggles.

I do think you might have a point there on the embittered and wronged woman crowd though. I hadn’t really thought of it that way before. Although…I had sort of attached a certain, general ‘man hating’ ideology to her supporters.

No proof, but that does seem to sort of show up here and there.


Ten Timing Slick Willey eh? Bet he couldn’t do it anymore. wink

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 9, 2008 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

“...the straw-man specter of ethno-bigotry or some two horns fallacy about all Muslims are bad people and all (I assume) Christians are good…”

I think if you checked up on what I have had to say about Palestine and Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran on other topics, you would know the answer to that, thanks,  TheRealFish…......

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By Expat, March 9, 2008 at 12:43 am Link to this comment

^ for calling maani a moron.  I still stand by everything else.

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By cyrena, March 8, 2008 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

Hi Guys, thanks for the hilarity. (no pun intended) I needed a break from all of the intensity.
MMC
•  “How did Bill ditch Hill while frolicking with Monica in the cockpit of the oval office if they were so joined at the hip?  Especially for that 3 a.m. call? Just .... you know ...... saying…”

MMC…I had the EXACT same question!! smile

Then I thought, well..maybe they WERE still joined at the hip, EVEN THEN, (during the frolicking with Monica) and Maani is including that in the ‘on hand’s experience’ part of the thing, (as opposed to the book learning part). Then again, if she had a book with her while the frolicking was in progress, (foreign policy 101?) it could have been a book learning/hands on experience exercise all in one.
In THAT case, Monica is qualified as well – right?

But, didn’t somebody say she was getting married around the same time as the election? Humm, she might not have time.

Then again, that would depend on who she’s marrying. If it’s “The Big Creep” (her term of endearment for Slick Willey) then that might work out. Ya never know. I mean, it could be that all of this deviation to smear Obama as a Muslim was really a cover for Slick Willey becoming a Muslim, (after studying the text and learning what he needs to know to accept that faith). And if that’s the case, then he COULD technically marry Monica, (after all of this time) and they could all 3 be co-presidents.

Do you think that might be the plan?

Well, it’s no more ridiculous than the stuff that Maani the Moron has come up with.

A word of caution…if you need a ride in an airplane, and the plan is to actually get from point A to point B in one piece, then ask for credentials from WHOMEVER is driving.

If you need a physician, and an operation, same thing. I don’t care which spouse it is that is claiming qualifications based on the ‘experience rub-off theme’, just make sure that the one YOU get, has his or her paperwork to prove they are the ‘real deal’. Like, a license with a photo on it.  If you’re still not satisfied, get references and witnesses.
That rub-off experience just doesn’t cut it at 30,000 feet, or in the OR.

Now Maani, for YOU only…it might be OK

Expat,
Quit apologizing for telling the truth. Besides, it WAS hilarious. Takes all the fun out when you go all serious and stuff with the apologies, and you run the risk of giving some sort of legitimacy to the whole thing to begin with. If it WASN’T satire/irony/parody, then Maani should never have actually ADMITTED it! You gave him an ‘out’ by suggesting that it was, and he’s such a moron, he didn’t even get that.

As a matter of fact, he says that your (not you’re) reference to him as a moron is:

“... a hopelessly weak, insupportable and unhelpful comment.”


So There!

Too funny…

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By Maani, March 8, 2008 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

rc:

“I think you need to do a little research on what it takes to become qualified to do either of those occupations. Your analogy is quite daft.”

expat:

“Your comment was just beyond any logic or reason.  If you truly believe “being there” qualifies one as a doctor or pilot; well I’m speachless.”

I’m beginning to think that most of the people on LieDig don’t read too good…

I specifically said IF the wives were “there” for the operations and/or flights, AND IF they had the necessary “book” learning (i.e., education), THEN they would be able to do the operation or fly the plane.  Because that is what ANY job requires: “book learning” (education) and training (which they would get by “being there.”)

You guys REALLY gotta start reading what’s written, and not just glossing over it.

Peace.

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By cyrena, March 8, 2008 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Maani,

Why do you again paint a broad brush of assumption? In this case it that

•  “…. ‘YOU KNOW everyone here, (presumably reading or posting to this site) HATES the MSM, and particularly the NYT.”

You DON’T ‘know’ that Maani, anymore than you ‘know’ anything else that you post here. It’s not an either/or thing Maani. Much of the MSM still serves a valuable purpose, and to simply NOT read it at all, would be stupid, and leave us unbalanced and uninformed. I personally DO read the NYT everyday, just as I do the LA Times. My own very favorite online site for news includes a collection of journalism from both the MSM and the alternative media, as well as special reports and interviews. So, STOP telling us what we ‘hate’.

Yes, many people are as disgusted as I am with the corporate takeover of such publications as the LA Times and the New York Times, but they DO STILL have at least some valuable and worthwhile news to report. I read the BBC as well as a variety of other MSM publications from around the US and around the world.

So rather than just paint all media with the hate brush, it is far easier to narrow it down to the main culprits of MSM, with FOX at the top of the list. But, FOX doesn’t represent ALL of MSM, and so you’re just at it again with your broad brush.

If nobody ever watched Faux Fox News ever in their lives, and still read the others, they would get most of what they needed to know. (not ALL, but most). So, stop exaggerating stuff.  It’s all relative, and the NYT and other MSM publications DO still have excellent journalists, who write excellent columns. They also have some bi-polar ones who do well most of the time, and write trash on other occasions.

I just came across one myself by Bob Herbert. He’s nearly always good, and nearly always relevant.

Here it is: Please note, it is from the ED/OP section, NOT the Science and/or Technology section, or the Religion section, or the Business section. It’s the ED/OP section. OK? (Makes a difference when you’ve got your broad brush in hand).

Confronting the Kitchen Sink

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/08/opinion/08herbert.html?em&ex=1205125200&en=fe9340c68926aacf&ei=5087

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By cyrena, March 8, 2008 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

Paul in Michigan,

You are a delight! I thoroughly enjoy your excellent posts. (maybe because mine is a mostly twin thinking/logic/truth pattern?)

Cutting to the crux of your excellent argument to Doug, I’ll repeat this semi-summary line:

•  “….That simply does not seem rational somehow, nor does it imply a very good grasp of the reality of world affairs….”

THAT is it…that’s the Real Fish. The rationality is the first to go in the establishment of an Authoritarian/Totalitarian Regime. The irrationality, (the insanity actually) makes for instability and chaos. The instability and chaos is created when nobody knows anything, (rumors/urban legends abound) there is no apparent chain of command, multiple bureaucracies are duplicated, laws may remain technically ‘on the books’ but they don’t mean anything, and there is simply NO LOGIC or reason to anything, including whatever the ‘founding’ ideology is. This irrationality prevails even in the face of proof (history or events that have proved the logic).

The result of course, is widespread instability and chaos, and those are absolutely NECESSARY conditions in the maintenance of a totalitarian or fascist state. So, the idea that one (anyone) does not have a grasp on the REALITY of world affairs, (or the REALITY of anything) is the result. Reality becomes the enemy. Nobody is supposed to know or grasp the reality, because new realities are created by the fascists, and it is those new and created realities that are sold to the masses, after the classes have been reduced to masses. For a complete control, reality must be avoided at all costs, and chaos prevails.  Terror becomes law, and law becomes terror.

All of this is straight our of the Nazi and Communist regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Cheney/Bush/Rove/ and their ilk. Remember when Karl Rove said, “We are an Empire, and we create our own realities?”  He wasn’t kidding.

So, this has all been perpetrated upon us here at home, and Douglas (from what I can gather) is observing from afar, (a South Pacific continent I THINK). That isn’t to say that just because he’s observing from another continent, that he wouldn’t have a grasp on the reality of world affairs, but the fact of the matter is that he doesn’t, and neither do most UnitedStatesians.

And, it’s really not the fault of most UnitedStatesians, that we don’t have a firmer grasp on the reality of world affairs, because much has changed, and because for at least 7 years now, we’ve been intentionally distracted by the false realities that the thugs in DC have chosen to create and feed us…to maintain the chaos.

As you read more and more from posters such as Doug and Maani, you’ll discover that they are simply a few of those who are part of the intended chaos that doesn’t have that rationality, because it has been intentionally destroyed. It’s only hard to say with them, whether or not they actually BELIEVE the shit themselves, or if they’re just as victimized by the insanity/irrationality as so many others.

On the Ron Paul rundown, thanks for the very REALITY-based list of the things he would re-do by elimination. Most UnitedStatesians don’t consider the ‘fine print’. I would only disagree, (if I understood you correctly) about his stand on Church and State. I’m convinced that Ron Paul would complete the task of making them one and the same, though he doesn’t say that directly. (gotta read between the lines).

He has a commitment to protecting NOT just the ‘unborn’ but the so far UNCONCEIVED as well, which is why he rejects ALL forms or contraception. (he calls it a form of ‘social control’). Needless-to-say, he doesn’t care what happens to them after their born.

Other than that minor thing, thanks for revealing the fine print on him.

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By Expat, March 8, 2008 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

^ to name calling.  I appologize.  Your comment was just beyond any logic or reason.  If you truly believe “being there” qualifies one as a doctor or pilot; well I’m speachless.

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By Roger Lafontaine, March 8, 2008 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who would you want to answer the White House phone at 3 am? If only Nixon had thought of that in 1960 ? Who would you want to handle the Cuban missile crisis- hard-nosed Richard Nixon or sweet-faced John F. Kennedy? Apparently we are to believe that tough guys are the only salvation in these crises. McCain and Hillary will bomb their way out of disaster. Kennedy chose diplomacy and so we are all still here to debate the future.

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By kath cantarella, March 8, 2008 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McCain and Clinton have very long, poor track records. On the other hand, Obama is sane.

Tough one.

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By SteveL, March 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm Link to this comment

If the Democrats loose in November look as this garbage the Clintons are now shoveling out as the beginning of the end.

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By Maani, March 8, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment

Although I know everyone here hates the MSM (and particularly the NYT), the following article struck me as remarkably even-handed in its look at Obama’s Senate history: it is neither fawning nor hyper-critical.  And it is hot off the press, having been posted to the NYT website only half an hour ago (as I write this at 4:30pm in NYC).

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/us/politics/09obama.html?_r=1&hp;=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

Peace.

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By TheRealFish, March 8, 2008 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Yo Doug.

Interesting theoretical parody. A little bit toward incest if you infer that these sibling characters are married to each other, though, ya think?

And, also, of course, I’m sure you weren’t inferring that either Obama is actually a Muslim, since it’s widely known and widely proven that this is just trumped up smearing urban legend—you know, kind of that same order of urban legend like that Iraq was somehow connected to the attacks on 9/11?

Besides, that other trifle about Nancy Pelosi deciding the race? Hm. To tell truth, I absolutely agree with the “inevitable” Hillary of just a few months ago:

It’s the delegates, stupid.

Really, truly, Doug: I’m not calling you stupid—unless you actually believe that undeniably wrong Muslim horses**t. I’m just paraphrasing the 92 Clinton campaign slogan about the economy (I guess it’s not plagiarizing, any more than the parody you offer here). Really.

Another perspective: Why is it that when clear historical facts are presented that show the empty-words “experience” mantra (“just words”?) isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, that the deft refutation of those historical facts is to offer the straw-man specter of ethno-bigotry or some two horns fallacy about all Muslims are bad people and all (I assume) Christians are good?

I mean the guy who wrote this article is an historian of some renown. I’m sure he has facts and figures all about the (original) Crusades and the several hundred year long Inquisitions that cast a bit of a shadow over Christian dominated governments of the past. (Literally millions and millions of dead over that time—many of them women and children in terms of the Grand Inquisitions—in those former religious “cleansings.”)

I’m sure you couldn’t mean to unintentionally support the type of thinking that leads to waging a new Crusade or having a government dominated by a single religion—could you?

Just at a time where moderate Islamics are now voicing their opposition to the relatively small population of radical Islamists around the world (mostly located in Afghanistan/Pakistan) who are trying to foment jihad, why would Right-thinking people play into the hands of such a small minority by so alienating the very ones who, for their own internal purposes, may actually help our cause in the end?

That simply does not seem rational somehow, nor does it imply a very good grasp of the reality of world affairs.

Why, it’s on the same level of saying that the people who have been so very provably wrong about Iraq over these past 7 years are now, miraculously, going to come up with the right plan for moving ahead, isn’t it?

If somebody drives the bus containing my family into a ditch (BTW: I *do* have family members in both Iraq and Afghanistan…), I’m sure not going to hand them back the keys and believe they know how to drive back out of it. Fool me once, and all that.

(For the record of disclosure: I’m white, male, 55, middle income, yes—college educated though I worked for many years in blue collar jobs, I hate lattes so much I’m not even certain how to spell them, and I voted for Bill Clinton twice and believe there *was* a right-wing conspiracy campaign waged against him and his administration. Oh, yes, one more thing. The Michigan primary does *not* count because 1) we were all told it doesn’t count before it was held and 2) if you didn’t support Hillary the only other ballot choice was “undecided.” See, since those competing in the campaign all agreed beforehand ON THE RECORD that Michigan wasn’t going to count—IT DOESN’T COUNT. However, I’m not opposed to a do-over. That would be fair.)

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By Paul_GA, March 8, 2008 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

...actually, very little in the way of dismantling Leviathan (big government) would’ve been accomplished in a Ron Paul administration; but it would’ve been a great way to start, by ending those silly, wasteful wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Ron Paul Revolution may be over, but the Revolution (of hearts and minds) still goes on. Dr. Paul has written a new book entitled “The Revolution: A Manifesto”, to be published either later this month or early next month; I eagerly await it.

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By rc, March 8, 2008 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maani,

I think you need to do a little research on what it takes to become qualified to do either of those occupations. Your analogy is quite daft.

p.s The wives would have at least needed security clearance. LOL.

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By BobZ, March 8, 2008 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Stan,

Right on the mark. Bush’s term as governor sure didn’t prepare him for the White House. Ike was right about Nixon - he had him pegged. The three greatest Republican presidents - Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Eisenhower; none had the requisite “experience”,especially Ike who had no political experience whatsoever, except an ability to put together the greatest wartime coalition in history which required a high degree of political skill. Funny how Repulbican’s hardly ever mention any of these presidents but worship at the alter of Reagan who was an average president at best, but better than either of the Bush’s who were respectively, below average, and awful.

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By TheRealFish, March 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

Paul in Georgia, this is Paul in Michigan:

Yup. If you are a complete states’ rights libertarian that believes the only part of the federal government that should remain open for business is running the military only when we are in times of war, then Ron Paul would be the perfect choice.

Because, behind the fact that he, like Obama, has been opposed to the Iraq invasion from the start, he has expressed his opinion that his task as president would be to attempt shutting down every other centralized government operation.

No more Medicare (whatever parts) for anyone.

No more Social Security (what little there is) for anyone.

No more Federal Reserve (the merits of that program is certainly questionable even to people who feel the more centralized governmental functions serve some common good).

No more CDC.

No more FCC (of course, that one’s become so politicized it’s hard to tell what value it serves).

No more protections against monopolies (not that many of those protections are being exercised today anyway).

No more Federal Trade Commission making sure China doesn’t dump heart medications filled with cement or children’s toys come to us painted with lead paint… Oops! Wait! I forgot: Bush-lite has already killed that one. Sorry about the food Fido.

No more National Park Service.

No more national space exploration or space science (of course that one has been being killed since we last stood on the moon—unless, of course, you are one who believes we only stood on the back lot of MGM for that bit of history…).

Jeez! No more frickin’ Homeland Security for cripe’s sake. Don’t know how we can possibly make political decisions without orange alerts popping up next to every Dem-dominated news cycle just prior to every election (since those are the only times they ever announce those changes in the state of American terror). Hm. Maybe part of that isn’t really such a bad idea after all.

Not too sure about US Embassies around the world. I will admit I haven’t heard or read his thoughts on those, though I expect they would be on the chopping block as well.

I could go on, but what the heck.

Yes, if you want everything that a president has any control over being shut down except the Pentagon and have absolutely everything else outsourced to private industry, then you are absolutely and most correct: Ron Paul is a divine gift. (Of course, he doesn’t much believe in “divine” anything, so you also could expect the Jeffersonian wall between church and state re-erected and built of reinforced concrete this time. I admit I give him points for some truly good ideas in some areas… .)

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 8, 2008 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

Yeah…. actually “Experience and wisdom” are gained from LEARNING from your mistakes…......

The true Neocon philosophy is to continually repeat the mistakes of history…. until there is nothing left, uhh.

That comes from practising “the art of war” instead of “the art of peace” http://www.cs.ucsd.edu/users/paloma/Aikido/artpeace.html

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By Ga, March 8, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, et. al. were all extremely “experienced” and look what that resulted in!

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By felicity, March 8, 2008 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

for president is obviously Dick Cheney.  Nobody can top his ‘experience’.

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By felicity, March 8, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

“Experience and wisdom are gained primarily from MAKING MISTAKES.”  Read George B’s resume and you might change your mind.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 8, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

Great pic of the vice-president cracking a joke with Tracey Flick….. uhh, err, I mean Madame President…... quotes from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0126886/quotes

Barack Obama (Paul Metzler): Dear God, than you for all your blessings. You’ve given me so many things, like good health, nice parents, a nice truck, and what I’m told is a large penis, and I’m very grateful, but I sure am worried about Hillary. In my heart, I still can’t believe she tore down my posters, but every month, she does get so weird and angry. Please help her be a happier person because she’s so smart and sensitive and I love her so much. Also, I’m nervous about the election ...and I guess I want to win and all, but I know that’s totally up to Nancy Pelosi. She’ll decide who the best person is and I’ll accept it. And forgive me for my sins, whatever they may be. Amen…..

Michelle Obama (Tammy Metzler): Dear God, I know I don’t believe in you, but since I’ll be starting Islamic school soon, I though I should at least practice. Let’s see. What do I want? I want Samantha Power to realize what a bitch she is and feel really bad and apologize for how she hurt me and know how much I still love her. In spite of everything, I still want Barack to win the election tomorrow, not that [expletive deleted] Hillary. Oh, and I also want a really expensive pair of leather pants and someday, I wanna be really good friends with Nancy Pelosi. Love, Tammy.

http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/20080307_tracey_flick_4_prez/

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By Maani, March 8, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Expat:

“Maani, sorry, but…my only conclusion is….your a moron!”

Setting aside confusing “your” with “you’re,” this is a hopelessly weak, insupportable and unhelpful comment.  If you disagree with my assessment, tell me why.  But simply resorting to name-calling is something I might expect from Cyrena and MMC, but not from you.

Peace.

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 8, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Somehow, it all fits in…....

Q: On that question, you haven’t talked about it much yourself. I wondered if maybe you felt a recoil from a decade ago when people gave you a hard time on that. Do you think that maybe you should have been talking more about that, and Democrats themselves—Pat covered John Kerry and it was very difficult, very rare to see him talk about his faith.

Senator Clinton: I don’t mean this to be critical of the press exactly, but the story is easier if you say that there’s a certain religious agenda that is promoted by a political party and people who have allegiance to that political party and if you try to have a more complicated and nuanced discussion of faith, that’s not so easy to communicate and it’s not as easily accepted. My faith has always been primarily personal. It is how I live my life and who I am, and I have tried through my works to demonstrate a level of commitment and compassion that flow from my faith. But, I wasn’t raised to or believed it was necessary to label it the way that so many people have over the last, say, 15 years…. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/06/us/politics/07clinton-text.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

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By Douglas Chalmers, March 8, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

Uhh, Maani, Hillary ‘became the doctor’ when she was elected as a senator and gained several years’ experience….....

I do hope that she will be peforming some kind of ‘operation’ on the cancer that is presently eating the heart out of the nation…...

Never mind the ‘pilot’ bit, Hillary will be the first ‘great helmswoman’ since China’s Empress Wu

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By Expat, March 8, 2008 at 9:59 am Link to this comment

^ my only conclusion is….your a moron!

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By Expat, March 8, 2008 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

Maani, a minute, a minute, hahahahahaha, sorry, sorry, I’ll be okay after I pick my self up off the floor from my laughter; I just can’t quite wrap my mind around your comment, sorry I’ve lost it.  Surely you jest, yes? Surely you are engaging in satire/irony/humor.  Please tell me that’s true!

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By Paul_GA, March 8, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

Certainly, some of the most “experienced” presidents have been horrendously bad; some of the least “experienced” have been surprisingly good. Whether or not a president will “work out” is like playing a game of chance; you put up your money, you spin the wheel or roll the dice or look at your cards, and you take your chances.

I still believe Ron Paul would’ve been one of the greatest presidents, but we’ll never know now.

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By Homer Hewitt, March 8, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And the most experienced members of the Bush
administration ......

Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld


homer   http://www.altara.blogspot.com

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By Maani, March 8, 2008 at 7:40 am Link to this comment

bca:

“Since when does being the first lady of the United States, along with an unremarkable term in the Senate, qualify one for the highest office in the land?  By this calculus, a doctor’s wife should be “experienced” enough to perform operations, or a pilot’s wife “experienced” enough to fly a plane.”

Actually, if the doctor’s wife were in the operating room during all his operations, or the pilot’s wife was in the cockpit during all his flights, and each of the wives had done the “book learning” required for those jobs, then, yes, they would be just as qualified to do the operation or fly the plane.

Hillary’s direct presence in the White House, her participation in various discussions - including policy issues - and the things she actually did AS First Lady (plus her six years as a U.S. Senator, which may not have been “remarkable,” but neither were they without accomplishment) do indeed qualify her to be president.

Peace.

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By HC, March 8, 2008 at 7:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Overall a welcome and informed piece on this largely false and empty notion of “experience.”  I need to pick up on one point in it, however, that of James Buchanan being arguably our worst president.  The indictment against him is that “he fiddled in Washington as the secession crisis left him paralyzed in mind and action,” serious enough, but against that paralysis and inaction must be measured the deliberate actions of the self-anointed “decider-in-chief” leading to the foundering of this nation in every dimension, from the political, to the economic, to the diplomatic, to the military, to the social, to the legal, to the moral.  No, it has not taken years of history to determine who wears the mantle of worst president, that travesty of governance and tragedy to the nation has been unequivocally evident since the 2000 elections.

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By MGerety, March 8, 2008 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

The question of Abraham Lincoln’s experience intrigued me so I looked up Lincoln’s biography. 

Lincoln served just one term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1846 to 1848. Lincoln didn’t seek a second term because he had no chance at getting reelected.  Lincoln, like Obama, vaulted to national attention with one convention speech, his 1858 acceptance speech for the Illinois Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.  In that speech he said these famous words: “‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”  The Lincoln-Douglas debates followed in a campaign that Lincoln lost.  When he was elected president in 1860, Lincoln hadn’t held public office for nearly 12 years.

I think it’s fair to say that Barack Obama, if elected, will be our least experienced president since Abraham Lincoln with Obama having served in federal office a year-and-a-half longer than Lincoln though having had fewer terms in the Illinois legislature than Lincoln.

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By bca9847, March 8, 2008 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

I have to add my thoughts to Clinton’s argument that she is the experienced candidate.  Since when does being the first lady of the United States, along with an unremarkable term in the Senate, qualify one for the highest office in the land?  By this calculus, a doctor’s wife should be “experienced” enough to perform operations, or a pilot’s wife “experienced” enough to fly a plane.

What this nation needs right now, is a candidate with the common sense to make good decisions when they need to be made.  Someone who will listen to the people surrounding him, take their advice, and come to a positive, thoughtful conclusions which will be in the best interest of our country - and the people of our country.

We do not need someone who has been “running” for President since 1992.  We need change in the White House - not more of the same!

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