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Posted on Oct 9, 2008
AP photo / Jim Bourg, pool

By Scott Ritter

(Page 5)

I gave Biden one more chance to speak with me, this time in June 2002, when I was in Washington pushing for in-depth hearings on Iraq. It was less than a year since the events of 9/11, and I was concerned that the issue of Iraq and al-Qaida were being dangerously morphed into one and the same. If the Senate could conduct meaningful hearings on Iraq, perhaps the war drums could be silenced long enough to get weapons inspectors back into Iraq, and thus bring fact-based clarity to the rhetorically based speculation that was running rampant at the time. Biden, Kerry and Sen. Richard Lugar all turned down meetings, saying that Senate hearings on Iraq were “not on the table at this time.” Barely a month later, at the end of July 2002, Sen. Biden, together with Sen. Lugar, convened a hearing on Iraq with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In an Op-Ed article published in The New York Times (July 31, 2002), Biden and Lugar described the purpose of these sudden hearings: “Without prejudging any particular course of action—including the possibility of staying with non-military options—we hope to start a national discussion of some critical questions.” But there was really only one option being considered by Joe Biden: regime change. Biden never saw fit to challenge the conventional thinking concerning Iraq’s WMD programs. He never saw fit to, as he once wrote in reference to me, “call on your knowledge and expertise in the future as we move forward in making some difficult choices.” The choice, as Biden made clear in his opening statement at the hearing, was simple: How to “remove a tyrant” without “leaving chaos in his wake.” Biden’s concerns did not revolve around WMD and the legitimacy of a U.S. war, but rather around how to achieve “ … a better understanding of what it would take to secure Iraq and rebuild it economically and politically.” 

That Joe Biden is an architect of the war in Iraq is without question. His hearings and the manner in which he shaped the conduct of those hearings (prohibiting, for instance, the appearance of witnesses such as myself and Dennis Halliday and Hans von Sponek, both senior U.N. diplomats who directed U.N. humanitarian operations inside Iraq) were geared for facilitating a vote in the Senate authorizing President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq—a declaration of war, so to speak. Only Biden can answer questions concerning his conduct at this critical juncture in our nation’s history. But the fact that Barack Obama would select as his running mate a man so heavily involved in bringing about the war in Iraq, at a time when Obama claims to be in opposition to that very same war, speaks volumes about the lack of judgment and, frankly speaking, character of the senator from Illinois who aspires to be commander in chief. 

I am not one of those who accept at face value Barack Obama’s contention that he is an anti-war candidate. True, unlike Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Joe Biden, Barack Obama did not vote in favor of the Iraq war powers resolution in October 2002: He was not in the U.S. Congress. However, there is nothing in Obama’s statements, actions and record of collaborations (including his selection for vice president) that back up his assertions that he would have voted against the resolution if he had been in Congress at the time. One must be judged, in the absence of demonstrable action, on the record of past patterns of behavior.

Obama’s short tenure in the Senate has shown him to be an astute political survivor who has taken the path of least resistance when it comes to the most critical (and politically sensitive) issues. This is especially true concerning Iraq (Obama is a consistent supporter of fully funding a war he claims to oppose) and Iran (Obama’s ongoing embrace of the Bush administration’s case against Tehran, despite the many similarities between the Iran situation and the buildup to the war in Iraq, including wild exaggerations on issues pertaining to threats derived from weapons of mass destruction programs based more on rhetoric than fact, fear-based charges void of substance concerning “terrorism” and “sponsorship of terror”). While we will never know for certain, I am strongly inclined to believe that, had Obama in fact been a senator in 2002, his status as a political animal with high aspirations would have compelled him to take the same politically expedient move all of his similarly inclined senatorial colleagues did, and vote in favor of the war powers resolution.

People today spend a lot of time discussing the relative merits of the vice presidential picks of both candidates. While I in no way share the value systems of a Sarah Palin, I am comfortable that neither does John McCain. There is a reason why the religious right in America does not like him. And while Palin will be only a heartbeat away from the presidency if McCain is elected president, the choice is still about John McCain versus Barack Obama. Palin is but a footnote in this matter. I know why McCain picked Palin as his running mate: It was an act of crass politics, a caving in to the religious right which constitutes such an important part of the current base of the Republican Party. It was this same sort of craven submission to the radical right which caused me to move away from McCain back in 2000. Nothing which occurred at the 2008 Republican National Convention, from the standpoint of Republican actions, surprised me.

But the Republican National Convention did provide a fuller backdrop from which to better assess the Democratic Party’s nominee, Barack Obama and, sadly, he was, and is, lacking in so many ways. The choice of Joe Biden as his running mate was as crass a political move as was McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin, with one major exception: Palin was selected to shore up McCain’s shortfalls among the Republican base. Biden, on the other hand, was selected to shore up the shortfalls of Barack Obama. McCain can overcome his shortcomings among his political base. It is questionable whether Obama can overcome his own weaknesses.

The American people are, in my opinion, ready for change. McCain is running away from the past eight years of the Bush presidency as fast as he possibly can. This is never a good thing, especially since both McCain and Bush are from the same party. Obama talks the talk of change, but it is not certain that he can walk the walk. No matter how hard he tries, his fundamental lack of experience in the critical fields of foreign policy and national security compel him to take the safe road of conformity, morphing into a Republican-light candidate whose pronouncements of command capability ring empty.

Ralph Nader is right: The two-party system is failing America. There isn’t time between now and Election Day to create a viable third-party candidate, and so the sad reality is one of two deeply flawed men, the byproduct of a deeply flawed political system, will serve as president for the next four or eight years. During the time before the election, both candidates will do their best to woo the American people. McCain will base his courtship on the false promise of security, and his exaggerated sense of duty-driven purpose that he claims he alone can provide. Barack Obama can trump John McCain’s militaristic vision of American greatness by returning to his own core values, those which inspired America and breathed life into the audacity of hope. But to do this he will need to re-engage on the issue of national security in a manner which clearly sets himself apart from McCain.

The war in Iraq continues to be a disaster, as is the war in Afghanistan. There is no need to seek out additional military adventure against either Iran or Russia. Obama must reject the neoconservative agenda of global hegemony set forth in the Bush administration’s national security strategy, and define a new course which has America assuming a leadership role in seeking multilateral solutions based upon fact-based criteria driven not by American power and greed but rather the rule of law. America needs and wants a change for the better. If Obama can succeed in capturing the imagination of the American people by convincing them that he is a viable candidate of change, then he will be the next president of the United States. But what I learned from my experience observing the Republican National Convention is that Barack Obama has a long way to go, and a short time to get there.   

Scott Ritter is a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq and author of “Waging Peace: The Art of War for the Anti-War Movement” (Nation Books, 2007).

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By Lurker, October 10, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

Good read, but you said:
“Barack Obama did not vote in favor of the Iraq war powers resolution in October 2002: He was not in the U.S. Congress. However, there is nothing in Obama’s statements, actions and record of collaborations (including his selection for vice president) that back up his assertions that he would have voted against the resolution if he had been in Congress at the time.”

On October 2nd 2002 at an anti-war rally Barak said:
“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al-Qaeda.”
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama’s_Iraq_Speech

Will you update you article in light of this?

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By Lurker, October 10, 2008 at 4:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I enjoyed your view, but I think you made a fatal error when you said ” Barack Obama did not vote in favor of the Iraq war powers resolution in October 2002: He was not in the U.S. Congress. However, there is nothing in Obama’s statements, actions and record of collaborations (including his selection for vice president) that back up his assertions that he would have voted against the resolution if he had been in Congress at the time.”
On October 2nd 2002 at an anti-war rally Obama said:

“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. “I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al-Qaeda.”

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Barack_Obama’s_Iraq_Speech

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By SamSnedegar, October 10, 2008 at 4:14 am Link to this comment

Oh, come on. We have survived (more or less) a moron in the white house for 8 years; we can surely survive four more years of nearly anything except being lied to by the people who are trusted to give us good information and fail—-people just like Scott Ritter, who was likely a CIA operative in Iraq for his whole tenure there, and who has repeatedly failed to MENTION oil in ANY of his supposed illuminations.

Both Bush presidents are morons, along with their supposed mentor, Ronnie Raygun, the DUMBEST man ever to hold the Presidency until he set the Bush family loose in the White House. Reagan at least was a good enough actor to play a presidential part, even as he left in his wake a press corps who began developing FICTIONAL accounts of nearly everything just to install him in the presidency.

I happened to live in California during ALL of his governorships, and if there was ever a moron in the state house in Sacramento, he was the one: he had no command of ANY information worth spit.

And look at what these morons have given us: Dan Quayle a heartbeat away from the Presidency, George HW Bush a heartbeat away, and then IN the oval office, and then George W Bush, a certified idiot (if you find an honest IQ test of his), and now this McCain numbskull and his pick for veep, another Quayle type from whose painted, pretty lips drop the most awful excrement ever produced in a presidential campaign.

If we can survive the fecal storm of just the Bush family, we are good to go with nearly anything, including probably a McCain presidency, but I seriously doubt that the power behind the Bush puppetry will let McCain in the door. My bet is that they will somehow install Jebbie in the place of his dumber and dimmer sibling, and move on with the dictatorship of the USA who covet, lie, kill, and steal oil with impunity.

But don’t expect Scott Ritter to explain this to you: his job is propaganda, not information.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 10, 2008 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

ElisabethW:

If you think realistically that Ralph Nader can get 102 million votes then it’s very clear why you are an UNEMPLOYED journalist.

In the last election, John Kerry got 59 million and George Bush got 62 million.  That’s 121 million votes in total. 

Do the math.

Say there’s 150 million votes this time with all the new registrations.

Off the bat, McCain will certainly get 40%—60 million votes. 
Obama will also certainly get 40%—60 million votes.

That’s the George Will rule: 40% of voters will go for each major party NO MATTER WHAT!  The only one to crack that was Richard Nixon in 1972, getting more than 60%.

That means the election WILL be decided by the remaining 20%—30 million votes.

There simply aren’t 102 million votes out there for Ralph Nader. 

Even if you say only 30% will vote for both McCain and Obama, that’s still 90 million votes, leaving only 60 million at large.

With 150 million votes, 60 million won’t get you elected, but it COULD get a 3rd party off the ground.

And 30% is a good floor.  Even today George W. Bush would STILL get almost 30%.

But Nader is attacking the system from the top.  The christo-fascists proved you have to do it from the bottom.

I’m done discussing Ralph Nader.  He’s a waste of band-width.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 10, 2008 at 3:54 am Link to this comment

floydW:

You call for anarchy in your poetic “ar!” post.  But the financial and business markets have been calling for and GETTING anarchy since Ronald Reagan said we had to reduce government.  It’s called DEREGULATION!!!!

We have anarchy. That’s what let mortgage brokers write mortgages that should be illegal, and deceive poorer people into buying into them. Anarchy is what allowed investment banks to leverage their funds 30 to 1! .  Anarchy is what allowed the Glass-Stiegel Act to be overturned.  Anarchy is what allowed merger after merger of banks to the point that if one fails it can bring down the others.

Anarchy is what set off this wildfire that a hose of $700 billion dollars can’t put out because it’s just a trickle.

Uncontrolled, unregulated capitalism ALWAYS leads to cheaters coming to the forefront.  Bad money always pushes out good money.  We are now seeing the Panic of 2008 (fine, old word, that, “Panic”—predates “Crash” and “Depression”).

It is the result of anarchy.  As was the crash of 1929.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 10, 2008 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, October 9 at 8:24 pm #

By Inherit The Wind, October 9 at 5:00 pm

I thought that kind of local organizing was what the Greens and Peace and Freedom want to do. Somehow, they just don’t seem to be as good at it as the christofascists.
************************************

ROFLMAO!!!!!  You got THAT right, Tony!

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By Leefeller, October 10, 2008 at 3:38 am Link to this comment

Nader will only do one thing.  Take votes from the Democratic pick, I use the word pick, because yes he was picked for us by the elite.  Compared to McCain, Obama is sane only from what I have seen.  Though I am not a rabid supporter of Obama, I will vote for him. 

If enough people vote for Nader McCain will win, it is pure an simple. 

Sometimes I believe Nader is working for the Republicans, our nation is in turmoil, we have a president in office right now who would declare marshal law and may if the rigging of the vote does not put McCain in. Nader is playing with the big boys now.

Paul will pull a few votes from McCain.  Knowing the media is biased and controlled, why would Nader think he has a chance, he doesn’t, he is a wild card and way to liberal for the ignorant masses. I would vote for Nader, I like what he has to say, but I am also a realist.

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By elizabethe, October 10, 2008 at 12:23 am Link to this comment

Well, the Washington Post online did not fix politics and exacerbated it instead, with its blog, “The FIX”...that reporter pushed the two current frontrunners to the front when the audience protested every inch of the way, and, oh yes, true to the media’s current behavior, they ignore the audience and tell them you like what they say, and that it is indeed YOUR opinion, and they are giving you what YOU want, and actually reporting.  They make us the villains, when it is them.  The Fix kept ignoring his audience when he said Hillary and Obama, and the audience said, “we like edwards”—mostly, and a few said “we like kucinch” but did they say they hated Hillary, oh yes, and I too, said I hate Hillary, and he ignored all of us, handily, and reported the money and finally I figured out, OH, SO that’s how he gets frontrunner, because there was NOTHING that put any of the media frontrunners up in front except the hype and the money that followed.

I am an unemployed journalist, if you look at my site, http://www.MVToday.blogspot.com on the profile panel.  I realize the media thinks they can pretend to report (they did not used to be this way, they have morphed into corporate ugliness)and they are pretending in our faces so much and so often that I can picture them wanting the world to blow up so they can go to their typewriters and then, lo and behold, they will discover no audience, if indeed they are left behind to do the proper reporting. 

They are “not responsible” and they are willfully in our faces, and telling us “this is the way it is” when indeed it is not.  Not our opinion of who is the frontrunner, who is the BEST is the who is the frontrunner.

Check out the credentials of each candidate’s education, track record, and platform offerings, and then you tell me, “the way it is.”


And, look at my post, because the numbers are close enough.  Only 62 million in the combined two parties.  They cannot force their win against a majority.  “The fix” failed any fix whatsoever.

Chris Cilizza of the online blog “the Fix” loves the money.  He could care less whether Lieberman is an obvious turncoat without any backbone at all.  they all have stopped looking at the merits first and the money second.

A watchdog duty fulfilled demands the merits first.  Facts, honest facts, and objective watchdog of conscience and knowledge of what is on the table.

I will admit, I think Obama had a actual good point, it did not sound that way at first, but now it seems on target, Lipstick on a Pig fits.

But, there too, it is not how I want the merits addressed.

What is the proper national agenda, and will you pick the candidate who fits that as your vote?

Why would you choose the 38% divided into two and claim it belongs to the system of the majority of dishonest lovers of the safe evil no vote possible boxes…everything is pre-done by the media. Voters rule.  Not obey, rule!

So, that is why I loved thinking maybe Texas will decide they want Nader and 12 million might write-in Ralph Nader for President and the handcounts will have to continue until an obvious majority in each district is reached.  Can happen.  I hope it does.

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By Outraged, October 10, 2008 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

Re: jackpine savage

Your comment: “I’ll say it for the one millionth and first time: we’re not going to get a third party because Ralph Nader runs for president every four years…without ever having anything down ticket. I’ve actually voted minor party; i prefer it…but i’d prefer voting for a third party that had a chance and that wasn’t one man’s narcissistic quest.

How is it that you ascertain that third parties are hurt by Ralph Nader?  I do not see this as valid in any sense.  Also, qualify your summation that Nader’s candidacy is “one man’s narcissistic quest”.  I disagree, and I challenge you. Prove it.

I’m afraid that you are the victim of a propaganda campaign to destroy the validity of the American people’s interests.  And who better to destroy than Nader who has always worked on the side of the citizenry.  I’ll challenge you. Prove Nader’s narcissism.  It’s a lie, it’s bullshit, a scam.  I can agree that this was artfully employed, however show me your PROOF.  Have you been so manipulated that it is becoming difficult to extract fact from fiction…?  I would challenge you then to INVESTIGATE MORE, LONGER, AND MORE THOROUGHLY.

Better yet, jackpine… don’t PROVE it to me…PROVE it to yourself.

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By elizabethe, October 10, 2008 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

Well, the Washington Post online did not fix politics and exacerbated it instead, with its blog, “The FIX”...that reporter pushed the two current frontrunners to the front when the audience protested every inch of the way, and, oh yes, true to the media’s current behavior, they ignore the audience and tell them you like what they say, and that it is indeed YOUR opinion, and they are giving you what YOU want, and actually reporting.  They make us the villains, when it is them.  The Fix kept ignoring his audience when he said Hillary and Obama, and the audience said, “we like edwards”—mostly, and a few said “we like kucinch” but did they say they hated Hillary, oh yes, and I too, said I hate Hillary, and he ignored all of us, handily, and reported the money and finally I figured out, OH, SO that’s how he gets frontrunner, because there was NOTHING that put any of the media frontrunners up in front except the hype and the money that followed.

I am an unemployed journalist, if you look at my site, http://www.MVToday.blogspot.com on the profile panel.  I realize the media thinks they can pretend to report (they did not used to be this way, they have morphed into corporate ugliness)and they are pretending in our faces so much and so often that I can picture them wanting the world to blow up so they can go to their typewriters and then, lo and behold, they will discover no audience, if indeed they are left behind to do the proper reporting. 

They are “not responsible” and they are willfully in our faces, and telling us “this is the way it is” when indeed it is not.  Not our opinion of who is the frontrunner, who is the BEST is the who is the frontrunner.

Check out the credentials of each candidate’s education, track record, and platform offerings, and then you tell me, “the way it is.”


And, look at my post, because the numbers are close enough.  Only 62 million in the combined two parties.  They cannot force their win against a majority.  “The fix” failed any fix whatsoever.

Chris Cilizza of the online blog “the Fix” loves the money.  He could care less whether Lieberman is an obvious turncoat without any backbone at all.  they all have stopped looking at the merits first and the money second.

A watchdog duty fulfilled demands the merits first.  Facts, honest facts, and objective watchdog of conscience and knowledge of what is on the table.

I will admit, I think Obama had a actual good point, it did not sound that way at first, but now it seems on target, Lipstick on a Pig fits.

But, there too, it is not how I want the merits addressed.

What is the proper national agenda, and will you pick the candidate who fits that as your vote?

Why would you choose the 38% divided into two and claim it belongs to the system of the majority of dishonest lovers of the safe evil no vote possible boxes…everything is pre-done by the media.

So, that is why I loved thinking maybe Texas will decide they want Nader and 12 million might write-in Ralph Nader for President and the handcounts will have to continue until an obvious majority in each district is reached.  Can happen.  I hope it does.

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By Outraged, October 9, 2008 at 11:23 pm Link to this comment

Noam Chomsky:(3min)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_uXGCZenwY

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 9, 2008 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

First, sorry about my little outburst; I am soooo angry and frustrated, I can’t even think straight.

On a brighter note; here’s a link to an article by Garrison Keillor.  Very much worth a read:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/10/09/opinion/edkeillor.php

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By Outraged, October 9, 2008 at 11:06 pm Link to this comment

Okay…whether it annoys the hell out of you or not, my “50 cents”.  LOL.

Thank you again..Scott Ritter.  I think it needs to be remembered that there are those, like yourself, who have STOOD UP, laid your career on the line and revealed the truths they knew as they knew them.  And again for this reason, I thank you Scott.

Re: Elizebethe

Your comments: “There is no two party system, they are 38% of registered voters.”  AND “<i>They are trying to claim the entire view and do not allow the best in the view.  62% can vote against the 38% and win handily!

This is the issue.  Vote for someone you can trust.  The scuttlebutt is “only Obama and McCain” stand a chance…. but is that TRUE..?  This is the issue, if we vote Nader we have the CHANCE to turn this around, if we don’t… we don’t stand a chance.

The other candidates have already been “vetted” and “bought and paid for”.  Nader will NEVER be “vetted” by these interests, as he has no intention of attaining their “blessing”, because he KNOWS they are the root cause of many of the issues we face.  And to be “vetted” by these interests, is to marginalize voters interests.  This we have witnessed with the bailout and FISA.  The interests of the People were discounted, and THAT is the bottom line.

Re: WriterOnTheStorm

Your comment: “Nader asserts nothing less than the surrender of our self-image as Great And Noble Defender Of The One True Democracy. He asks us to give up our imperial pretensions and our delusional manifest destiny as expressed in the notion of American Exceptionalism. He demands that we stop trying to solve our domestic problems with thinly disguised projections of military strength abroad.

In short, he is asking us to outgrow our collective adolescence and to join the world of adults. When you are a child, you dream of heroic adventure, of finding your destiny.

Well put.  I agree, with one exception….I do not think Nader KNOWS he will not be elected.  You could be right, but still I disagree for this simple reason, I have never found Nader to be a person of frivolity, his life’s work and determination disavows it.  I often claim regarding Nader, Never say, never…. there’s a reason for that.

The reason I personally say that, is because Nader’s proved it.  Either way, I agree with your comment: “he is the seed of adulthood in this country. And he deserves our honor and our praise.”

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By elizabethe, October 9, 2008 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

The two parties are obviously money-corrupt powermongers against the people.  On another site, I suggested maybe Texans will consider the opportunity to overturn the status quo a welcome change due at the ballot box, and the encouragement that there is a majority registered outside the two evil boxes, might net a majority for Nader in TEXAS where they like to do things big….Nader is in every encyclopedia…and his contribution to politics is to take it seriously for a serious agenda, so, the big thing that could happen in Texas is the majority rule in Texas IF FOR NADER…well, guess what, he is a “write-in” there.  A point that the media cannot control the votes will be proven handily if the truth is Texas prefers Nader.

Kindness would be for the legislature to show the wisdonm of putting him on the ballot sooner rather than realizing the error that May was not realistic for a ballot access deadline for challengers.

Yes, the Nader Campaign had posted a whole page of options Texas could have taken to fix the situation.

for those who are curious as to the reality of Nader can win, check out the reality of a Majority is outside the two party at a registered vote level on my blog: http://www.MVToday.blogspot.com

I am a registered Independent.  Massachusetts is one of 26 states which allows party declaration when you register.  Independents are 50%...over 2 million.

Texas has over 12 million voters.  If you want Nader and you live in Texas, what will you do?  Sit and wait for the big event?

I live in MA, and he is on the ballot, and yes, of course, at 50% registered Independents, and 1% Minor Parties, IF THE VOTES are the TRUTH, I say he can win MA.

But, not only have I said, “Nader Can Win” since January, now I am saying “President Nader” ...and wondering what he would like to chose among his priorities first IF he is ELECTED BY A MAJORITY…but Tonights picture suddenly changed in my head, I had believed, Oh they wouldn’t do the write-in…well, when they realize the nation is 62% outside the two parties…I think they just might think Texas might want to ...prove democracy is for people!

httpp://www.MVToday.blogspot.com

The media offers only two choices, but there are SIX.  Baldwin, Barr, McCain, McKinney, Nader, and Obama.

This country is ruled by “We the People” not the corporate monopoly’s that have seized media power against people.

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By floydw, October 9, 2008 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

A few thoughts on the current crisis, and the conditions producing it.

Yes, the two-party system is rife with miserable inefficiencies, unproductive and an unfortunate burden to our democracy with the most dire of consequences, but what has become of our culture? It is widely recognized that Washington, Wall St., and to a certain degree, “Main St.” are plagued by corruption. What is responsible? What is lacking?

What is sorely needed is more Ar. You know, like the pirates say: Arrrrrr. No just kidding. Ar, as in the root of art, as in thou art or what art thou?; the present indicative of to be.

Ar as in art, like artist, more like techne; to do something well; to produce something of value. As in the art of leadership, the art of teaching, or the art of journalism. Has technology alienated us from techne?

Ar as in the root of aristocracy, an endangered species, seemly very near extinction, that must be restored to its proper niche and population levels in our environment. “Our kingdom for a nobleman,” must be our war cry. A true, genuinely noble man (or woman). Several in the service of each community would be a real boon!

Ar as in anarchy, not in the chaotic sense, but rather of the libertarian kind, but this only when our cultural norms depreciate the value of avarice and appreciate the value of virtue. This is the only means to cure our culture of the malignant effects presently manifesting as geo-political, economic and ecological crisis.

Then will man — and by extension society, civilization — find yet again our true source of vigor and integrity. Vir (“man”) requires virtue (“strength”) to thrive, in its absence we perish and society decays. The solution to our current problems lies not in the public sphere, with government or the financial system, the problem is entrenched in the secret recesses of our psyche (as the Greeks would say), our soul (as the Christians have it), our mind (as translated from the Sanskrit). Humanity must choose between ignorance, dissonance, terror and dissolution; or virtue, integrity, wisdom and prosperity. The floggings will continue until morals improve!

However, the resolution to our conundrum is infused with paradox: that which plagues us collectively must be resolved individually. The collective is an amplified personification of the dominants in the personal.

The resolution requires individual participation, an involvement, in the form of self-examination, and a certain measure of personal response-ability to issue forth that which is most noble, most virtuous in the human character to guide our collective evolvement, our evolution.  If we prove incapable of transcending the destructive nature and inherent limitations of our cultural conditioning, we will remain “prisoners here — of our own device.” If each of us will manifest the best of human nature, everyday, in every circumstance, our troubles will simply disappear. And this conduct will spread virally, as if infused with a supercharged currency.

In this Age of Deregulation, the only re-regulation that will ultimately be effective against our current predicament is a regulation of human emotion and motivation. The only government that can restore our critically dysfunctional systems is the governance of virtue, high ideals and lofty values.  It is true that “pride goeth before a fall.” It is also true that unbridled avarice is essentially caustic, toxic to the body-politic and corrosive to civilization’s cornerstone.

If we are to cure the current crisis plaguing our socio-economic systems, we must make a radical examination of the culture responsible for producing it. We must see clearly that which nourishes the root of our problem. And the prescription must likewise be radical.  We can ill-afford to deal solely with symptoms at this critical juncture.

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By wildflower, October 9, 2008 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

Pssst Linda . . . Palin told a lie today – about an energy issue of all things:

“At a townhall event in Wisconsin on Thursday, Palin was asked by a concerned questioner whether it was true that the United States was shipping 75 percent of its Alaskan oil overseas.

She responded by proclaiming it impossible, since Congress had put strict bans on the amount of oil and gas that America could export.

Not so. As the Associated Press reported:

. . . Congress has never imposed outright bans on oil exports. Congress prohibited exports of Alaska oil in 1973 when the Alaska oil pipeline was built. But that ban was lifted in 1996 when there were large volumes of Alaska oil coming down from the North Slope and U.S. demand was soft.

The Alaska ban has never been reinstated.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/09/palin-stumped-again-on-he_n_133449.html

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By kath cantarella, October 9, 2008 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A two-party system isn’t so bad. The trouble is, you don’t even have a 2-party system.

C’mon Obama, don’t let your people down. Stand up to the money. Stop playing in it.

President Obama, 2009.

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

Obama, on the other hand, is a great organizer. That’s how he got where he is today. I bet he will be strongly emphasizing local organization as leader of the Democratic party. He knows damn well that only broad support of people on the local level will give him the power to take on the ruling class.

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By Tony Wicher, October 9, 2008 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, October 9 at 5:00 pm

I thought that kind of local organizing was what the Greens and Peace and Freedom want to do. Somehow, they just don’t seem to be as good at it as the christofascists.

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By Tony Wicher, October 9, 2008 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment

By troublesum, October 9 at 10:04 am #


The German people used to say that Hitler was the leader that history put forth in his time so that Germany could triumph over all.  Let’s get real please.  The hero worship is just what many people object to in both these men but especially in regard Obama.

—————————————————————————-

troublesum,

I guess you are responding to my post that Obama happens to be the person to lead us in a progressive direction at this time. My intention was the exact opposite of hero worship. Obama is a perspicuous politician who has put himself in a position to lead this historical movement, but the historical forces are what is fundamental. The moment in history is everything. The neocon agenda of world hegemony is over, not because of anything Obama has done or will do, but because imperial hubris and the internal contradictions of capitalism have led to the collapse of the empire. The United States no longer has the resources to keep the empire going no matter how much McCain and the neocons would like to. It falls to Obama to endeavor to bring the empire to a soft landing and to replace imperialism with internationalism. He will be regarded as a great leader if he succeeds.

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By Elizabethe, October 9, 2008 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am voting for Nader and aiming to help him win the 62% outside the two parties, 104 million voters, claiming all 24 states which register non-partisan entirely and the 21.3 million who declared indepdence from the two parties in the 26 states where party declaration is offered with registration.  62 million in the combined two parties split between two candidates will pale in contrast to Nader on the merits and the voters finding their majority choice is statistically already there.  There is no two party system, they are 38% of registered voters.  Freedom on November 4th, and believers of the best can and should win will vote Nader!  Spoiler belongs to the worst, and I credit that to either of the two spoilers of true democracy.  They are trying to claim the entire view and do not allow the best in the view.  62% can vote against the 38% and win handily!

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By wildflower, October 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

Re: Linda S

Pssst, Linda. . . Just popped out of a time warp? 

Don’t worry about it. Let me bring you up to date.

Ayers was named Chicago’s Citizen of the year in 1997.

Get it?

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By 911truthdotorg, October 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

Nothing will change in this country until people like Scott Ritter develop the balls to come out and say that the official story of 9/11 is a complete fairy tale and that a NEW, TRUE 9/11 investigation is critical to this country’s survival!! That is the foundation for EVERYTHING these scumbag politicians do. Obama has turned into Rudy Giuliani Jr. with all his war mongering 9/11 talk!

My God! What will it take??

bush could come right out and say that the 9/11 story is a lie, and the American sheeple still wouldn’t believe it.

http://www.911truth.org
http://www.ae911truth.org

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By elizabethe, October 9, 2008 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The two parties have failed and they have their failure in our face as intentional usurption of the proper view of democracy…voters have free will choice and the media cannot railroad the status quo into office without our approval.  We still cast our votes, and we are registered outside the two parties at 62% mostly independents, non-partisan registration belongs to 24 states, 82 million, and 21.3 million actual independence by declared no party choice, is the significant outside status of the 26 states which allow party registration declaration.  As a Massachusetts voter, I am registered with over 2 million others as an Independent and I intend to vote for Nader.  Only 36.8% are registered Democrat in MA, certainly they do not own this state, which certainly is liberal and likely at least the outsiders at the 51% registered level are anti-war, I have no doubt.  That includes the Greens which are part of 1%.  But, I am a peace activist and Nader volunteer and supporter and I believe he may very well take the state, if not the nation.  Massachusetts has nothing to lose by insisting on voting the truth for who and what agenda is wanted and expecting to show a majority stating the people rule against the media.  No one has any landslide until the voters decide that.

62% outside the two parties and 38% in the two parties combined shows the proper view of democracy IS ALREADY registered by the 24 states and the voters themselves.  At a very significant showing.  We do not have to be stuck in a 38% railroading of unwanted red ink and red blood foreseeable.

We can vote for a candidate who will put the public interest on track and end the Bush Military Industrial Complex which the media seems to love, and the public can say NO at the BALLOT BOX, and talk that way, and tell the media they cannot give any two party candidate the landslide NOT VOTED.

The Democrats are the anti-democracy tyranny party who do not want any opposition and expect to copy the Republican agenda and are offering that copycat platform of nothing good, only bad corporate corrupt war continued, healthcare for profit, whether with the 5,000 credit to attempt to “shop” with in a profit environment, or a regulated environment still profit and private, leaves the public without, not with, unequivocably.  And, the soldiers who come home in coffins, well, they won’t care much about money.

I do not either, but I am fighting for democracy to rule on November 4th.

I am voting for the man with the merits to back a proper Presidency.  A man who earned my vote with a legendary track record.

And, there are 104 million voters outside the two evil boxes which have only 62 million declared in those two boxes.  There is no monopoly in fact favoring them at all.  There are two parties in office and they want to continue what is before us now.  Unreal.

Change is due if anyone wants a democracy, scream against the media voting as if the voters have no votes and the media has it all.  We did not give them that authority.  No. The voters can vote at a majority level.  There is no two party system, only two parties who should be voted out, handily in November on the 4th by a majority.  104 million against the two parties would be fantastic success.

I am guaranteeing my vote for Nader, and I know not only that he CAN win, but he just MAY, and I am saying as of this week every morning, President Nader…will happen.  Majority can overturn the liars and usurpers of democracy and the majority can reclaim the proper view of the ballot as powerful, very powerful, the overnight success without bloodshed.  Worth the effort, yes.  Thank you Mr. Nader, I hope to see President Nader taking office in January, and would like the media to ask him now, what are his top three priorities he would like to tackle of the over 30 platforms he is serious about!?

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By Inherit The Wind, October 9, 2008 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

I guess I have to say it again:
If we want to change things and gain influence, we need to take a lesson from how the extreme christo-fascist right-wing-nuts moved from the fringes to a veto over the Republican party.

I’m not saying take on their politics of creationism, school prayer, “abstinence”, “pro-life”, etc, etc.

Rather their tactics of there not being a campaign ANYWHERE that’s too small to matter.  Get the school boards and you get the schools.  Get the towns and you get the local machinery.  Get the statehouses and you can redraw the congressional district lines.  Get the governorships and the state Secretaries of State and you control who can vote, and where.

That’s how a group that represents AT MOST 15% of the electorate now has a strangle-hold on the Republican Party, and with it, America.

I hate their politics and their aims, but I sure admire their tactics!

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By Frank Cajon, October 9, 2008 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

Anyone with a normal IQ can see that neither of these men is an ideal choice. Neither are any of the three splinter party candidates. Bottom line: Election is in less than four weeks.
Two options, One: Don’t vote, and don’t bitch about how bad it is. Two: Vote, and make it count. This means, yes, hold your breath, vote for Obama. Why? Math. McCain=a three front war on the ground, in Iran, Iraq, and Afganistan by summer 2009 with a military draft. Obama=A one front war by fall 2009 in Afganistan with UN support. Where McCain, despite the US being flat broke, will spend a half trillion a year on these wars, and tax it out of the working class while not a dime from bankers/corporate vampires/big oil/arms/pharmaceuticals, Obama will likely make them pay SOME of the freight.
Meanwhile, we build a Labor Party. We abandon the Democratic Party for the farce it is and go to our unions and organize Labor candidates, and socialist measures to insure our stake in the political process is not stolen by the slavery/electoral college or fixed elections. We work to root out the state legislators that are the sleeze of the political minor leagues, replace them with labor representatives and workers. We reorganize the Green Party, dump McKinney and her loud mouth and get some real change agents who are across the board socialists with a background of labor rights work and rename the party, building a coalition with the P&F;, Libertarians, and remnants of the Democrats to form a party built on the model of the successful Labor Parties in other countries. It will take several years, but we need to make it impossible for a ‘major’ candidate to win the EC, then build a large enough base to overthrow the ‘majors’ as they destroy one another. That is what they do best anyway.

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By Folktruther, October 9, 2008 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Max Shields has put his finger on the major problem with the Dem party: it is in the way of real progressive change.  It is BLOCKING this change by supporting the policies of the ruling class that funds them, while purveying the rhetoric of progressives opposed to these policies.

This has been demonstrated most dramatically recently, when the Dems rushed to the aid of Bush and was intrumental in swindling the American people out of a trillion dollars to give to the bankers.  Against the outraged protests of the Dem rank and file.  With Obiden not only supporting it, but canvassing House reps to support it.
              ***
Lichen, while it is true that Scott Ritter comes from a conservative tradition, he has been very courageous in opposing it for progressive purposes.

Your solution of reforming the American electoral system is not only impossible for political reasons, it doesn’t go far enough. 

People should be given the right to vote at birth.  My motto is: 

    OUT OF THE WOMB, INTO THE VOTING BOOTH

Not that it would matter; political leaders still would pay no attention.  But it would tend to politize the young instead of simply rooting for which party is goint to exploit and swindle them.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Linda S, October 9 at 6:45 am #

By Inherit The Wind, October 9 at 5:41 am

Walter Annenberg, famed Republican, sat on that same board with Obama and Ayers.

**

It was an Annenberg Foundation grant. Annenburg didn’t sit on the board himself.

**********************************************
OK, but he personally approved Ayers.
**********************************************


Showing others how you fail to pay attention to the facts does not help you boy.

***************************************

Lady, I’m 53 years old.  Cut the “boy” shit.  What are you, some old Southern White-supremacist lady who still calls Black men “boy”? (BTW, I’m not Black, either). Or, are you going to call me “that one” like McLame did?

***************************************

Obama associates with people who hate America.

***********************************************
That’s bullshit and you know it.  Ayers violent past is long in the past.  He’s now a respected professor—AND YOU KNOW THAT TOO!

Plus, Sarah Palin sleeps with a traitor every night.  She even made videos for his treasonous party, The Alaska Independence Party.  That party was founded by terrorist who got himself killed selling plastic explosive!

People who want to break up the United States, like Todd and Sarah Palin, are clear-cut, no-doubt traitors!
***********************************************
He’s a looser and you know it ...LOL

That’s why he’s leading by 11 points.  He just broke the 50% ceiling for the first time on Tuesday, reaching 51%, and is now holding at 52%.

Sounds like he’s winning and stretching it out, too!

Better get used to saying “President Obama” and a filibuster-proof Senate!

We’ll wipe the 8 years of Bush spoils-law off the books and restore America as a land that stands for freedom, prosperity and peace around the world.  Bush and the Re-Thug-li-cons will be remembered as a deadly disease America survived, but not without bad scars.

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By keepyourheaddown, October 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Linda S BUY A CLUE it’s already over and McLIAR LOSES…

and you wouldn’t know a domestic terrorist if you fell over one…

you can’t even spell…

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By TheRealFish, October 9, 2008 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment

MikeSchoch says “And anyone who thinks he spoiled the 2000 election has either not paid attention or is in denial. The Supreme Court decided the 2000 election, remember?”

Bush the Lesser “won” Florida by less than 2000 votes. Nader took somewhere in the territory of 200,000 Florida votes that pretty much all dipped from Gore’s pool. Had Nader’s name not been on the Florida ballot, no recount would have been needed and the Supreme Court would never have gotten their hands on the election.

We would never have been in Iraq.

James Lee Witt might well still head FEMA and Katrina victims would have been as well tended as all other disaster victims were while he headed that agency.

The Department of Justice would actually serve justice equally, as opposed to only serving as a tool of political leverage.

There would very likely never have been the downright raping of government agency oversight allowing us to face the brink of the second Great Depression.

Everyone should be able to run who can run, but there will always be consequences. And why stop at three parties anyway? Why not four, six, eight?

Imagine how well things would run when we elect a president from a four-way pool who takes 30% of the vote, where opposition candidates get 16%, 25%, and 29%. How well would this executive reflect the voice of the masses?

(Of course, I suggest that the one we have now—Bush the Lesser—actually is only representing about 30% of the public; see how well that works?)

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By yellowbird2525, October 9, 2008 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisor stated publically that there would be NO MEDIA given to any “shadowy” other parties; some states do not even allow 3rd partys on the ballots there; so, it is NOT a democracy at all which means the WILL OF THE PEOPLE; the 2 parties are in total agreement on the program as seen where Rep; Dem; Rep; etc all do exactly what they want & not at all what is promised when they run; Dem Congress ONLY because once again they LIED to the people; as did the Reps; they have their own agenda which is being carried out as we speak; their problem is this: THE PEOPLE are NOT going with THEIR agenda; not in THIS country; not in the countries who’s politicians they have bribed; & whoever is NOT going with their agenda has civil unrest created by our Gov & Corps forcing them to do what THEY want them to do; you hear about the head of Iran being “insane”; well, folks: want to take a long hard look TRUTHFULLY at what OUR Gov has done & is planning? Why do you THINK they are coming out with “Hitler” did so much good he shouldn’t be just seen as an insane person? Hawaii: they went over forced them off the land, took it; & then “made” them a state; they STILL resent & have much anger re this; apology NOT accepted nor is it even acceptable once you hear the REAL story & not the “spin” they want you hear; reason there is Civil war in Mexico; same thing, folks: way I see it this is how it will go down: the people versus the politicians; the US Gov which has their own agenda working with Corps to take over countries lands & water rights; huge mega farms which THEY will supply from every country keeping most of the $ for themselves; & the people will have nothing; just about like here in USA today; isn’t it interesting that the states are so “broke” yet they have much $ they are giving out to the politicians & to the illegals; & for all their plans & programs; & to those in the city, & county; much money at both Fed & ST levels; yet “we are broke” is so lame it is time to say: the immigrants who have lived here longest have an agenda which I done told em take it to the politicians & to the Corps that work with them; the PEOPLE of this nation have been harmed by the political parties of this country long enough.

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By Tubalcain, October 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I understand and agree with Mr. Ritter’s position on Obama not being too different from McCain and him picking Biden for VP of all people. Mr. Ritter did vote for Bush Jr who’s experience has left the country and parts of the world in shambles. I question both Obama & McCain’s readiness but the McCain route is extremely dangerous for America & the world considering his age, VP pick and that it is an extension of the Bush Admin Policies. He firmly believes in unilateral preemptive war, privatization of government programs,cronyism, etc.

I do think Obama’s pandering is more politics. He already has one strike against him being Black so he has to watch what he says very carefully. If he says that the doesn’t agree with Israel’s actions or on Iran he’ll be labeled Anti-Semitic and his political career will be over. If he says the same about Russia then he’ll be quickly labeled anti-American or “Angry Black Man” or some other nonsense. The main problem for Democrats is that they let Republicans “frame” the discussion or issue, the second that happens they lose. Mr. Ritter brings this up with the “surge”, instead ask why are we there in the first place? and how does that compare to pre invasion Iraq? We are taking credit for a fire that we started and are putting out ourselves?

Overall, Mr.Ritter brings an interesting coherent article on the current candidates, I would like him to write about Iran and what’s really going on.

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By KDelphi, October 9, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment

diamond—Who on this thread said thaty they thught Obama was “dangerous”. They talk about how OTHER people may think he is. I say there are very few.

To the contrary, I dont think he is “dangerous enough” to his opponents!

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By diamond, October 9, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

What nonsense. You’re like fussy children who just don’t want anything you can actually have. The problem with a ‘third party’ candidate is not that there’s no time but that they simply don’t have widespread support from the community and their policies and their agenda make them essentially unelectable.If people really understood what the Republicans believe and what they stand for they would be unelectable too. If Scott Ritter can’t see any difference between Obama and McCain he’s just not trying. At least the lady in Pennsylvania had no problem: she told Democratic electoral workers going door to door, ‘I just can’t vote for that black boy.’ No confusion there. Just ‘Say it loud, say it proud, I’m a racist.’ All this talk about how ‘dangerous’ Obama is just makes me laugh. You mean more dangerous than people who send anthrax through the mail to senators because they won’t vote for legislation that gives the President roughly the same powers as a king who rules by divine right? Or more dangerous than people who invaded Iraq to get its oil after lying about why they were invading? Or more dangerous than people who are tapping everyone’s phones and spying on people’s emails just because they can? More dangerous than people who did Abu Ghraib? More dangerous than the greedy, reckless fools who’ve wrecked the global economy with their crazed de-regulation ideology and won’t admit it was them? Count your blessings: in pre World War II Germany they had countless ‘third party’ candidates in the parliament. It was chaos and very soon it was anarchy - which Hitler (!) was put in place to fix. Then the third party became the Third Reich: Germany now has a law that unless you have at least 2% of the vote you can’t sit in parliament. This law would have kept the Nazis out of parliament in the first place. Learn from the mistakes of others: more is not necessarily better, as the world is only beginning to learn from the economic meltdown. Now more than ever you need stability and consensus. What you don’t need is someone like Ralph Nader who doesn’t even have 2% of the vote, to my knowledge. Linda S. I think you mean that you want Obama to lose in November. Loose is what Dick Cheney and John McCain’s morals are.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, October 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

America is not ready for the kind of change Nader is proposing. His approach necessitates a difficult and transformative reassessment, not only of how we run our government, but of who we are as a people and as citizens of the world.

Nader asserts nothing less than the surrender of our self-image as Great And Noble Defender Of The One True Democracy. He asks us to give up our imperial pretensions and our delusional manifest destiny as expressed in the notion of American Exceptionalism. He demands that we stop trying to solve our domestic problems with thinly disguised projections of military strength abroad.

In short, he is asking us to outgrow our collective adolescence and to join the world of adults. When you are a child, you dream of heroic adventure, of finding your destiny. You can be reckless, because you believe mightily in your invincibility, you secretly suspect that you and you alone may be immortal.

Adults must act with responsibility. They have a sense of community, and thus take care of each other, and those less fortunate than themselves. Adults have an appreciation for the fragility of all things. They take great care not to move too quickly, nor to act rashly, nor with vindictiveness, nor rancor, nor vainglory. They have the maturity to honestly asses their behavior, and to correct their mistakes. They accept that sometimes we lose, and there is nothing to be done about it.

It’s hard to grow up. It’s difficult to accept one’s limitations. Ralph Nader knows he will never be elected. But he is the seed of adulthood in this country. And he deserves our honor and our praise.

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By felicity, October 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

troublsum - you need to google the just war theory which actually goes back to Cicero and St.Augustine - among other historical luminaries.

Not that I condon the theory, but by the time all conditions have been met before a war can be justified, it’s highly unlikely that a war will occur.

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By KDelphi, October 9, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

troublesum—I agree! And what they are trying to do with ACORN!

I cant even find an article about it. Thanks.

Things are much improved here in Ohio, (thanks to Gov. Strickland, and Sec, Jennifer Bruner), but, if teh GIOP can scare enough people, and, prove even one fraud at ACORN (might have been a “plant”—it was so obvious—I still think Lewinsky was—straying, here, K..) the rightwing lawyers wil fan out like the wings of a hawk!

I’m trying to find out what I can do.

Thanks for the link.

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By Max Shields, October 9, 2008 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The reason Obama/Dems ARE the problem is because they are in the way of a real progressive movement and have been ever since they coopted it decades ago.

The problems we face are deep and structural and require replacement at nearly all levels. The Republican Party is the clear enemy of this need. But they and we know that.

It is the Obama/Dems who are taking the wind out of the real movement we desparately need NOW. True there is no time to change this for an “election”.

It is what happens in real time, not election cycle time that matters. And real time doesn’t begin and end with an election and neither does the criticality of a progressive movement.

We’re not talking business as usual election time - Dems here, Repubs there. Both candidates are establishment status quo. One is a utterly dumb and the other utterly clueless (take your pick). And there advisors are Paulson look-a-likes.

War and more more, and debt and unraveling. The empire is at its end, but we the people must be ready to take it back and away from the fascist corporate trajectory it’s on.

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By michae rolof, October 9, 2008 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

and so his saying [” I am not one of those who accept at face value Barack Obama’s contention that he is an anti-war candidate. True, unlike Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Joe Biden, Barack Obama did not vote in favor of the Iraq war powers resolution in October 2002: He was not in the U.S. Congress. However, there is nothing in Obama’s statements, actions and record of collaborations (including his selection for vice president) that back up his assertions that he would have voted against the resolution if he had been in Congress at the time.  on the record of past patterns of behavior.”] meets with agreement on my part. Obama and Z. Brezinsky are ready to surge in Afghanistan, there will be a draft if only to ge the young unemployed off the streets. People will have been fooled again, and it will be their own fault.

VOTE WHITE-VAN AUKEN FOR REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/sep2008/elec-s13.shtml

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By troublesum, October 9, 2008 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

Obama tells David Brooks about the influence Reinhold Niebhur has had on him. huffingtonpost.com Niebuhr was the philosopher/theologian who helped democratic presidents reconcile christian beliefs with the realities of modern warfare.  He coined the term “the just war” as an excuse for invading third world countries like Vietnam and the Dominican Republic amoung others.  “Do it for God” is basically what it boils down to.  When Brooks asks Obama about Niebuhr, Obama responds with his understanding of Niebuhr’s belief that political leaders must use power even as it corrupts them.  Nieburh was necessary for democratic presidents, who unlike Bush, did not get their orders directly from God.  It’s quite chilling.

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By jaf, October 9, 2008 at 1:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is troubling to me Mr. Ritter because it rings so true! I am a 60-year-old lifelong Dem who has grown more disgusted with my own party with the passage of each of the last eight years. I took hope when Kerry said, “Help is on the Way”. He proved to be an effete yacht-club douchebag who could not bring himself to challenge the grotesque mockery that was the 2004 election in Ohio (forecast so accurately byAl Franken and others 6 months in advance). Obama was far from my first choice, but I had hope that he would surprise me. Then came the FISA vote, and a professor of constitutional law showed disregard for the Fourth Amendment as political calculus. This will be my last election cycle as a Democrat if they behave as venally as I expect after securing power this November.

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By troublesum, October 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Millions of voters are being purged from the voting lists in swing states.  This is what democrats should be worried about instead of Ralph Nader.  http//www.democracynow.org

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By MikeSchoch, October 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scott Ritter has a reasoned way of decision-making that is admirable. He must be nearly lost with McCain’s new persona of total abdication to the GOP. I’m sorry but taking on pork barrel spending cannot overcome my unease with the prospect of having a 5 year POW with his finger on the button.

Of course Ralph Nader is right about the two party system. And anyone who thinks he spoiled the 2000 election has either not paid attention or is in denial. The Supreme Court decided the 2000 election, remember? Nothing to do with Nader, everything to do with a Republican power grab. The race was not close, Gore won the popular vote, so quit whining about Nader spoiling 2000.

Third parties can shift the two major party platforms by capturing significant numbers of voters. Will Democrats shift if they are elected? Why would they? They just got rewarded at the ballot box with their (vaguely)stated positions that resemble Republican positions. Democrats are no longer an opposition party, which plain sucks.

The fear is just seething these days, predictably. Americans should be happy to have such a qualified and intelligent candidate as Ralph Nader, who understand the issues and help to focus debate in what is otherwise an echo chamber of shallow political cliches.

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By ribbie, October 9, 2008 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Dear LINDA S,
The word is not “looser”, it’s loser…as in you and McCain/Palin.  Go back to school, moron.

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By ribbie, October 9, 2008 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

Oh, please.  Our knight in shining armor, Ralph Nader refused to drop out of the 2000 election, stating that there was “no difference between the candidates.”  Apparently the Nobel Prize Committee thought differently.  Thanks to his selfish self-promotion, we were given George Bush,
two wars, a failing economy, 4200 dead severvicemen and women, tens of thousands of maimed and wounded, rampant corruption and attacks on our constitutional rights.  Nader is still spewing this nonsense at a time when the differences between the candidates counldn’t be any more obvious or important. 

One of the definitions of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results.  That is what you are if you vote for Nader instead of Obama.  Do you really believe that NADER is equipped to run the country?  Once again…please!

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By shemp333, October 9, 2008 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Me personally,  cannot wait to get a chance to vote for Jesse Ventura.  If you have ever read his books… he is the real deal 100%.  I’ve not yet come across in my life a personable icon with the total background all in check, and the charisma to pull it off.  I don’t care about him being a pro wrestler.. he was a Navy Seal and an intellectual one at that.  I have a hard time disagreeing with almost any of his policies.  Check him out… for the good of us all.

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By FLGibsonJr, October 9, 2008 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I had considered myself a Democrat all of my adult life, however I have come to the conclusion, like many people seem to be, that this modern Democratic Party is not substantially different than the Republican Party.  They now are both corporate controlled, and while differing on some social issues, when it comes to enormous issues like war, economics, and trade, there is very little difference.

I have come to the conclusion that new parties are needed to break this corporate control of both major parties, and I will be voting for Ralph Nader for the first time in 2008.  I am not unrealistic about his chances, but he is by far the most knowledgeable candidate up for election, and is the only one properly addressing the huge issues of our time.  Also, I see this as just a beginning, in effect joining a movement toward breaking the destructive stranglehold that the two major parties and their corporate sponsors have over our country.  I believe the damage they are doing to this country is just beginning to be felt.

As I mentioned before I will be voting for Ralph Nader, but not just for myself or may family’s best interests, I will mostly being doing it for my country.

Vote Nader 2008!

Regards,

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By yellowbird2525, October 9, 2008 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

the 2 party system is failing because of the fact quite simply that they both are agreed on an agenda that is NOT for the planet or the people; they are lawless: ignoring the laws: which apparently are for “books” or looks only; in fact, in each state they are actively & agressively adding, changing, deleting laws just like they are at the Fed level, county & city level: you CANNOT be a nation of law with utter lawlessness: none are abiding by “oaths of office”; the “financial” crisis was brought about by long goal predetermined laid out plans of ignoring the laws & having the agencys NOT do what they were supposed to do; ***ex: seen (scene) for the public: Bush created a Fed whistleblowing agency for whistleblowers to go to; where things would be taken care of properly; the person SAT on over 100 cases of whistleblowing including one from his own agency! Bush publically THANKED him on TV for his “service” to his country: in other words, the man had done as instucted: NOTHING; and the “laws” governing whistle blowers protection: are “gone”. Another is the FDA: which is on the side of the Chemical & Pharma companies: it is “scene” or seen to the public as being there to PREVENT companies or agencies & products to HARM the people; in deed, it is there for “scenery” only; they deliberately lie, misdirect, give FALSE information out “not confirmed by the mainstream medicines” etc; it is all LIES. The WHOLE GOV is in fact BASED ON LIES, DECEIT, DECEPTION: if we as a nation want to STAND UP to CANCER: we as a nation will need to remove the non existant Gov; which is for “scenery” only; and GET ONE IN that WILL: give me an ATHIEST with a PASSION for the PLANET, TRUTH, and PEOPLE: don’t even care if he/she has a passion for prostitutes: GET IT OUT of POCKETBOOKS ONLY!

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By troublesum, October 9, 2008 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

The German people used to say that Hitler was the leader that history put forth in his time so that Germany could triumph over all.  Let’s get real please.  The hero worship is just what many people object to in both these men but especially in regard Obama.

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By John, October 9, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The American political system has been highjacked by the rich and the Jewish lobby. Any candidate, either McCain or Obama, who even thinks of changing this cosy arrangement, will surely be stopped in his tracks, possibility even physical elimination.  The power of the American politics have now been too entrenched to be changed at all.  The only way to survive for the ordinary Americans or the ordinary folks all over the world for that matter is either to become deeply religious or philosophical, therefore having less worldly desires, or to start accumulating your wealth by all means.  For any intellectuals who have not managed to sell themselves successfully to the rich and wealthy you are in a historic epoch of pain, because you think too much!

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By felicity, October 9, 2008 at 10:32 am Link to this comment

Linda S. - better be careful, repetitive behavior can go from being a habit to a medical diagnosis.

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By Folktruther, October 9, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

No, Scott Ritter is wrong, the American people are NOT ready for change.  You don’t get change, unfortunately, by going to a voting booth and voting for it.  It involves a full spectrum struggle against power, and the American people are not ready for this.  We are not even ready to vote for McKinney over Nader in the professional class, although neither in the unlikely event of their election could provide change.

What is necessary first is to repudiate the Dem-Gop policy alliance.  This we are beginning to do, even those who hold their noses and vote for one or the other. 

But we need a positive alternative to unite us against power, and we have not even begun to develop one historically.  In my opinion, such a power alternative will reject most of the Western tradition.

Linda S.  I can understand your concern of Obiden consorting with Demoestic Terrorists.  We are the very worst kind.  You will be saddened to learn that Maryland just took 50 Terrorists of their Terrorist list, being progressive political activists which qualifies them now under the Dem-Gop alliance, but being peace and women activists, it being too silly to retain them.

But just think of the tens of thousands still on the list, ensuring the Demoestic peace.  Why a milliion names have been added to the non-flying List to prevent and hassle people from flying.  Don’t worry, both the Dems and the Gops are ready to fight Demoestic Terrorists.  USA1 USA1 USA1

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, October 9, 2008 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

The American empire is crumbling. The contradictions of capitalism have led to a worldwide economic crisis. The neocon agenda of world hegemony is over. Obama would not be able to pursue it if he wanted to. We have neither the military power nor the economic strength to do so, as Scott Ritter ought to know. Obama’s job is to manage a landing that is as soft as posssible. The only way to save the capitalist system is to make it more socialist, and that is exactly what we are going to see. Obama happens to be the leader which history has put forth at this time.

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By felicity, October 9, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

I was stopped in my tracks when Ritter used the phrase ‘war against Iraq.’ Wasn’t the ‘war’ supposed to be a ‘war’ against Saddam - all by itself weird -  normal people would take-out/ice the guy, not reduce an entire country to rubble in hopes of getting the guy collaterally.

Certainly hope some nation doesn’t decide to ice George collaterally by reducing America to rubble.

As far as a third party goes, pie in the sky.  Not enough voters are behind it. Politicians govern according to what keeps them in office.

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By Kashilinus, October 9, 2008 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ritter’s position has been consistent from day one. Like Richard Clarke, like Ralph Nader, no one gives them the time of day because of the mindless way that national policy runs on tracks that have no provision for getting off, slowing down, or stopping. The weakness in our system is our dependence on Savants like Greenspan, and the sycophants in the Congress who worship such lower order gods. My hope is that Barack Obama will be wise enough to realize that, unlike Bush, who intuitively knows wverything because God speaks to him, his decisions must be drawn from concensus. The era of governing by shoot-from-the-hip, gut feel must be brought to a close. There are smart people in the United States. The next president needs to have at his disposal an economic advisory council, a scientific advisory council, etc. to provide him with roadmaps for the future. Maybe in the end it is our good fortune that the wheels have fallen off the train.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 9, 2008 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

Yo, you know what?  I’m outa here; you’all just don’t get it!  Everything that is America is/has now been devalued to the point of irrelevancy! As an Atheist I say; god help America!

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By psickmind fraud, October 9, 2008 at 8:25 am Link to this comment

I was born while the Korean War was going on.  Just want to ask… during my lifetime, what wars/conflicts/police actions has this country engaged in that have been vital to (or even related to) the security of this country?  And since my answer to my own question would be “none”, why would people continue to join the US military when the record shows that they’re going to be put in harm’s way not to defend our country, but to enhance the wealth of the Military Political Industrial robber barons?

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By mud, October 9, 2008 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

Nice you figured this out Scott. Welcome.

Now, in less then 5 pages please, tell us what the hell took you so freaking long to put 2 and 2 together.

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By Leefeller, October 9, 2008 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

No stone unturned a most comprehensive and objective article on why things are as they are.  Many concerns have been very well addressed by Scott Ritter.  From Biden to politics to the election in general.  Iraq war vote and consensus by our politicians never made sense to me,  Scott Ritter, you cleared up some questions, Thank you.

Chris Hortin,

You address potential happenings I feel very possible also.  Bush has already used threats of marshal law. Only a few of us are aware and appriciate the potential, the elite will find any means of protecting and continuing their power. With no options and cornered like rats,  Powerful elite, will do anything possible it takes to succeed.  We could take bets on which options they may use, possibly more than one or even all of them and a few wild-cards not listed. 

Ritter’s pandering comment, “McCain is a hero”, almost caused me to not read the rest of the article, I am glad I finished it.  Palin is a larger concern to me than Scot Ritter proclaims in his article, but when he wrote this she may not have been drawing blood, she heads my list of concerns. 

But isn’t it always the sam?  Dividing the people by their minor difference’s, exploting those difference’s and keeping those out front like a red flag, for unity of the people can can never be.  For status quo, divisiveness is a very important t tool.

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By Back bencher, October 9, 2008 at 7:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pass the wind (and he sure has plenty of it) has once again demeaned a whole segment of society. believe it or don’t, there are educated non-drinking folks back here in the woods, and I warrant I take more showers than most citified folk. There are more Obama signs here than Mccain signs, so maybe the folks are “uninformed” but the drunk & irresponsible connotation depicted by the “Joe sixpack” epithet is incorrect. The irresponsible drunks and stoners seem to be congragated around Washington and Wall Street. Maybe we should dig up a demeaning slur for them; perhaps the Percy Pickpockets?

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By RB, October 9, 2008 at 6:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks again Scott for cogent writing.
Politics. A candidate for president has to deal with the American electorate. Not easy. There is a bit of the “wizard behind the screen” aspect of it all. Whether a fresh face or an old hand one never knows exactly what you are voting for. One hopes.
  Ralph has tried mightly to participate in debates. A worthy goal but colored by the (necessary?) goal of vote for me, I can win! To illuminate the issues - run to lose. I don’t think it would affect fund raising all that much.
  In the end, citizens must “force” the president to do their will. Obama is not our savior. He rightfully says “This election is not about me, it’s about you.” Scott provides a good framework for those who would listen. After the election it’s up to us.
  Thanks Scott. Hey you were born the year I was commissioned. 1961.

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By Chris Horton, October 9, 2008 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Thank you Scott for a deep and painful look behind the curtains, your remainder that the issues we face transcend traditional labels and your caution that Obama and Biden are deeply-flawed alternatives.  And for your warning that we must support them anyway.

And support them we must, and urgently. Obama’s growing strength in the polls must not make us complacent, and our disgust with his chauvinist foreign policy and cozy relationship with Wall Street must not blind us to the stakes. A lot can happen between now and Nov. 4 - or Jan. 20 - and the Republicans are playing hardball!  And as Scott points out, Nader is not an option this time.

We are witnessing one of the Godfathers of the “shadow government”, out in the open and allied with Palin’s militia movement, going down to a humiliating defeat, at a moment of existential crisis for the financiers and war-profiteers. At stake for Bush and many others in the inner circle is exposure, humiliation, prosecution and perhaps jail.

Facing him is Obama, channeling both an emerging popular rebellion and a large “realist” segment of the ruling class. A shrewd, crafty but inspiring and charismatic player with a foot in both camps, he leads an ad-hoc movement of millions, including labor, and speaks in generalities to the interests of an increasingly aroused and angry but still muddled and misinformed electorate.

Bush and Co. still have cards to play before the election, separately or in combination, including:
1. A major “terrorist attack”, perhaps together with a “statement by Bin Laden” endorsing Obama, or “proof” that Iran was behind it.
2. An international crisis, with Iran - begun by Israel or by a provoked, staged or invented incident - or with Russia in Ukrane or Georgia and a threat of nuclear war.
3. Massive vote-rigging. Even facing an Obama landslide, they control enough voting machinery in enough states to steal it if they are willing to forego plausibility.
4. Assasinations, leaving the Democrats without a standard-bearer.
5. Another financial crisis and a deadlocked Congress, perhaps due to Republican obstruction.
6. Declaration of an emergency and martial law, suspension of the Constitution and calling off or postponing the election, in response to any of these crises, or in response to mass protests portrayed as riots and insurrection.

You may say, why plan for such awful things, when the odds are they won’t happen? But this is has little to do with odds or luck. These are hard people, playing the game of world power. They and their families have eighty years of involvement in overthrowing governments abroad, installing and supporting tyrants and ruling by naked terror, and a long history of changing the rules when it suits them. They’re losing, but it’s their move. As readers of the alternative press including Truthdig know, there is precedent for, preparations for and/or signals that they’ve been considering every one of these moves!

So will they take their move? If not, it won’t be due to moral compunctions or respect for tradition. The question rather is will their golfing buddies - the other billionaires, the top brass and top corporate executives - let them? That is hard to call, but may depend in part on how frightened they are, on their assessment of the damage it would cause to their position in the world, on whether they believe the armed services would hold together and follow orders to commit treason – and on how strong the Obama movement is!

Could a coup be blocked? That is unknown also, and also involves us. The best deterrent would be for the Obama campaign to become a steamroller, but if an election theft, an attempt to spread panic or a coup scenario starts to unfold, it should find us in the mainstream, positioned to rally the people to pivot and face the new threat. That means being with our grass roots bases, including the Obama campaign, supporting him critically but committed to his victory.

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By expat in germany, October 9, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I cast my absentee ballot for Ralph Nader yesterday, and it felt good! Proximately, it may be tanatmount to a vote for McCain, but ultimately it underscores the power of one vote. [A Democrat recently told me that she saw Nader on TV the other night and that he was “arrogant.” Evidently, she won’t vote for someone with this trait (perceived or real). As long as running for the highest office in the country is still treated like a popularity contest, Americans will get the president they deserve.] Anyway, I encourage any disaffected Americans to vote “for” someone this year. I’m 52, and voting for the lesser of two evils has never had a happy ending. I’m confident it never will.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 9, 2008 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

Linda S, October 9 at 3:02 am #

No third party candidate can change the fact that Mr. Obama associates with demoestic terrorists.
***************************************************

It’s this kind of whacko-never-see-the-facts right-wing-nut thinking that has sunk our great nation.

Walter Annenberg, famed Republican, sat on that same board with Obama and Ayers. Is Annenberg a terrorist? No!  This is McCarthyism all over again—doctored photos and all!

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin made videos for a political party which adovcates treason, and her husband was a member of it for many years. Its founder HATED America, said so, and said he didn’t want to be buried under an American flag!  Plus he was murdered when a deal to buy plastic explosives went sour!  What does ANYONE who is not in the military need Plastique for? What do you think?

It’s that pure blindness of the Right that makes me sick to my stomach, and Linda S. is a purveyor of it.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 9, 2008 at 6:19 am Link to this comment

Ritter also understands why, while a 3rd party is needed, Nader isn’t it.

Ross Perot had a shot, but, being Ross Perot, his centralized, dictatorial and ego-based management style quickly showed he was going nowhere.  The last really effective 3rd party candidacy was George Wallace’s in 1968, where he won electoral votes.  Of course, as is usual with 3rd party movements that are effective, it was gobbled up by one party or the other—in this case the GOP, which is now much more racist than ever.

The ascension of FDR represented a techtonic shift in the parties as well, making the Democrats much more populist and, as well, seeking to suppress and absorb that back-woods slob appeal (“Joe Sixpack”) of Huey Long.

One could argue that in the last 30 years the Christo-fascists have built the TRUE 3rd party movement, and usurped the GOP.  They did exactly the OPPOSITE of Ralph Nader and his silly runs at the Presidency.  They started with school boards and mayors of little towns and sparse counties, patiently building a bigger and bigger base.

Now they have Senators (Imhoffe, Hatch, Chambliss, Cornyn, etc), Congressmen/women (I can’t remember the craziest of them) and, even a President (or so they thought).

No Republican gets anywhere without catering to them. Reagan, Poppy Bush, Dole, Dubya and now McCain has.  Reagan had a James Watt, who thought the Apocalypse was just around the corner.  Bush had Ashcroft, an Assembly of God nut (but STILL saner and more moral than Gonzalez). Now McCain has Sarah Palin, a true christo-fascist fanatical lunatic who can justify ANYTHING in the name of her “God”, even the murder of Obama. (When that idiot shouted “Kill Him!” did she say “Hey! We don’t do that in America!” No! She smiled. B****!)

So Ritter is right, we need a third party, but Nader ain’t it.

I think that progressives need to learn a lesson from the Robertson/Falwell camp: It takes hard work, patience, persistence and a building of followers at the lowest levels all over the country.  Don’t start at the top, start at the bottom and never give up.

I may hate their politics, but dammit, their strategy and tactics worked!  And it’s nearly sunk our nation into a 3rd world dictatorship.

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By Inherit The Wind, October 9, 2008 at 6:03 am Link to this comment

One paragraph in Ritter’s article rings home clearly and requires some review:
The more I listened to Obama, the more I realized that on the major issues of war and peace, there was in fact very little that separated him from the Republicans he opposes. Both have sold out American sovereignty in the name of Israeli security (or more important, Likud-inspired, AIPAC-driven policies falsely sold as being in the best interest of the Israeli people).
*********************************************

I have not been impressed with Ritter’s views on Israel but this shows that he knows the difference between Israel’s real security needs and the exaggerations of AIPAC and Likud.  I don’t think they “sold out” (well, maybe Bush has, but he’s ignorant by choice) but the point to understand that Likud does NOT have Israel’s best interests at heart is important.

**************************************************

Both assume Iranian nefarious intent, and point an accusatory finger at “Russian aggression” without reflecting on the cause-and-effect reality of irresponsible American foreign policy (the expansion of NATO, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, and the installation on Polish and Czech soil of a ballistic missile defense shield claimed to be for the Iranian threat, but optimized for missiles launched from within Russia).
***********************************

Bull’s-eye, Scott!  That’s as clear and cogent a description of Bushian responsibility for the mess as I’ve seen. I’ve tried to express the identical idea—recognizing Kosovo independence and our “adventure” in Iraq gave Russia a free pass in Georgia, and strikes fear in Iranian hearts causing them to act to protect themselves.

*************************************************
Even on the issue of the “surge,” McCain’s great weakness, Obama has flipped, stating that the “surge” in Iraq has succeeded “beyond our wildest dreams.” The senator from Arizona could not have said it better himself. Doesn’t Obama realize that if he embraces the “surge,” he legitimizes the war in Iraq and as such positions McCain as the candidate of choice, since certainly America would want to go with the architect of the “surge,” and not some untested “Johnny come lately” who simply hangs on the coattails of another’s success? When Obama sells himself as the candidate of change, what change is he talking about?
********************************************

I think Obama has not thought it through correctly, but then again, he voted for the new FISA, too.  I can only hope he’ll bring in people like Wesley Clarke and Erik Shinseki to advise him on military matters, and the reality of them.

I think Joe Biden only looks good when compared to a raving ignorant nut-case like Sarah Palin.  I was never enthusiastic about him, thinking his ethics were a little too loose (“Joe Biden-Biden, plagiarist”) and was deeply disappointed that Obama didn’t pick someone like Richardson or James Webb.

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By Mark, October 9, 2008 at 5:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Ritter, I have always enjoyed reading your clear, concise, essays.  As might be expected, we do not always agree, but I am left with understanding of your reasoning for the opinions you express.  Thoughtful dialog is far too often drowned in the yelling of slogans and slinging of rhetorical mud.

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By Big B, October 9, 2008 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

Linda s

I have the names of a few more terrorists that disagreed with their government, attacked it’s institutions, and led a revolution.
Madison, Jefferson, Payne, Franklin, Hamilton (well, you get the picture now)

How many of us can sit back at this moment in history and not admit that maybe Randy Ayers was right.
We may now be on the threshold of the next american revolution. I do not know who will win, but I do think it is nesessary.

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By Fahrenheit 451, October 9, 2008 at 5:14 am Link to this comment

Palin’s enthusiasm for working the crowds using very inflammatory language (lies and race baiting) reminds me of the pre-WWII days in Germany.  The conditions here now are not so different.  It worries me immensely to see my fellow countrymen reacting so violently (one of the crowd said “Kill him”).  not clear if he meant Ayers or Obama.  Palin draws crowds, not supporters; these people are clearly feeling she empowers them.  Can kristalnacht be far off?

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By jackpine savage, October 9, 2008 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

Well, yeah, the two party system is a failure and is almost certainly tearing America asunder…though it should be noted that it isn’t something implicit in the two party system itself. After all, we made it a fairly long way with a two party system.

One of the problems is money and how it enters the political system. Both parties are addicted to money so that they can run flashy campaigns to get Joe Sixpack to vote for them. The other problem is money and how both parties practice fealty to the money men rather than constituents.

I’ll say it for the one millionth and first time: we’re not going to get a third party because Ralph Nader runs for president every four years…without ever having anything down ticket. I’ve actually voted minor party; i prefer it…but i’d prefer voting for a third party that had a chance and that wasn’t one man’s narcissistic quest.

Now, Mr. Ritter, your claim against Obama’s experience rings very hollow coming from a man who will admit to voting for G.W. Bush.

As for Georgia: “But at least McCain himself believes in the importance of keeping the budding democracy in that tiny Caucasian republic viable.” I call bullshit. You’re better informed than that. Georgia is in no way a “budding democracy”. It is a US client state where we funnel lots of money into arming them to act as a proxy. Saashkavelli is no “democrat”. His election was fraudulent and his human rights record is abysmal.

Finally, Palin does matter because McCain won’t survive his first term and she’ll be our president. That probably doesn’t scare you because, after all, you voted for Bush…an act which calls into question your judgment on every other matter.

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By jackpine savage, October 9, 2008 at 4:43 am Link to this comment

Hey Linda,

Are you ever going to answer the question about what kind of people Bush, Cheney, McCain associate with? Don’t get me wrong, i love reading the same post you put up over and over again…with the same link. But how about a little depth, eh?

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