1 of 11
1
The most important reason to support Barack Obama for president
Posted: 08 January 2008 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

I’m no fan of David Brooks, but his Op-Ed in todays New York Times contains a statement that may express the best reason to support Barack Obama for president.

“Obama emphasizes the connections between people, the networks and the webs of influence. These sorts of links are invisible to some of his rivals, but Obama is a communitarian. He believes you can only make profound political changes if you first change the spirit of the community. In his speeches, he says that if one person stands up, then another will stand up and another and another and you’ll get a nation standing up.

“The key word in any Obama speech is “you.” Other politicians talk about what they will do if elected. Obama talks about what you can do if you join together. Like a community organizer on a national scale, he is trying to move people beyond their cynicism, make them believe in themselves, mobilize their common energies.”

This appears to be a major development in our national history. One of the commentators on MSNBC last evening, a conservative, observed that we haven’t had anyone like Obama since June 6, 1968, the day Robert Kennedy died. At long last, we may have a national leader who can inspire us in the way Kennedy tried to do. The devolution of government into an enterprise for the promotion of self-interest, which began when Nixon was elected, may be about to be turned around. If it happens, we may yet see a restoration of idealism and citizen participation for the common good. It will be harder than it was in the 60s, but to me it is essential to the preservation of any semblance of democracy.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15395
Joined  2006-02-14

I only hope he decides to support universal healthcare. So far he has been the most intransigent of the Democratic hopefuls on that subject. Paul Krugman has mentioned this HERE and HERE for example.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
dougsmith - 08 January 2008 07:25 AM

I only hope he decides to support universal healthcare.

I don’t know. In his victory speech in Iowa Obama said he’ll make healthcare better, not universal.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

On health care, I understand and largely agree. However, politics is still the art of the possible, even for an idealist. In addition, he has expressed a preference for a single payer system if he really had his “druthers.” The shape of any health care legislation will be driven by what is possible. What makes Obama’s approach stand out is that he will finally use public opinion to force change. The more the public demands, the more we’ll get, I suspect.

Another issue that I think is important, and tells me a lot about the candidate: Obama makes it a point not to wear an American flag button on his lapel. He also stands out in not ending his public addresses with the obligatory “God Bless America.” His point is that these symbols have been turned into tools of mindless conformity—- my phrasing, but that’s the essence. This has the hallmark of a truly creative politician, “buying” an idea when it’s of low value in the political market, and then using its potential for growth to bring about change.

Now that Obama is about to be placed under greater scrutiny, it will be interesting to look for patterns in what he says and does. He seems to be looking to change assumptions in American politics in a way that will bring people along. So far, this is one pattern that I see emerging.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Member
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  121
Joined  2007-09-28
PLaClair - 08 January 2008 07:01 AM

“Obama emphasizes the connections between people, the networks and the webs of influence. These sorts of links are invisible to some of his rivals, but Obama is a communitarian. He believes you can only make profound political changes if you first change the spirit of the community. In his speeches, he says that if one person stands up, then another will stand up and another and another and you’ll get a nation standing up.

Is this a new word—Communitarian?  I like it.  Speaks of interconnectedness on a human level, somewhat like many of our threads here.  Nice to add some of these thoughts to the national dialogue.  Goes with the idea that “all politics is local,” something often bandied about but usually not addressed until election time.   

Vanessa

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2423
Joined  2007-09-03
PLaClair - 08 January 2008 07:01 AM

I’m no fan of David Brooks, but his Op-Ed in todays New York Times contains a statement that may express the best reason to support Barack Obama for president.

I’m skeptical.  Of the objectivity of the NY Times, in particular.

There are pros and cons to many of the candidates and we need to read a lot of articles to make a rational choice.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2008 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09

I’m happily surprised at what I just saw from New Hampshire. Though the candidate I supported didn’t win the primary, I think we Democrats have good reason to be very, very happy. Both Clinton and Obama handled themselves superbly this evening, and Sen. Clinton appears to have heeded her wake-up call. It will make her a stronger candidate, both now and I hope in the general election if she wins the nomination. As one commentator on MSNBC put it, these are two political heavyweights now.

The betting money now has to go back to Clinton in my opinion, but not by much. This could go either way. Should be a fascinating next few weeks.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 05:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15395
Joined  2006-02-14
Jackson - 08 January 2008 09:33 PM

I’m skeptical.  Of the objectivity of the NY Times, in particular.

There are pros and cons to many of the candidates and we need to read a lot of articles to make a rational choice.

Just a slight clarification: the link was to an Op-Ed piece (Opinion-Editorial) by David Brooks. As such it isn’t necessarily intended to be “objective” in any journalistic sense of the word. It’s explicitly intended to be an article expressing David Brooks’s opinion. (As were the pieces I linked to from Paul Krugman).

Now, you may believe that a particular Op-Ed writer is more objective than another, or even at times more objective than the newspaper’s own journalists, but that’s a separate issue. At any rate, segregating these sorts of articles to a particular page is a newspaper’s way of telling you that they’re not necessarily objective by any given criterion.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02
George - 08 January 2008 07:51 AM
dougsmith - 08 January 2008 07:25 AM

I only hope he decides to support universal healthcare.

I don’t know. In his victory speech in Iowa Obama said he’ll make healthcare better, not universal.

He lost to Hillary in NH though.  :(  There is always a chance he will make the health care universal or what have you, but the thing is, I’m not too hip on Hillary.  I’d rather have a write in vote than her or anyone else for that matter.  In all honesty, I personally think Obama is our best bet- but that’s my opinion.  The rest of the candidates aren’t worth much.  Then again, I haven’t looked at the improbable (at winning) Green Party.  I have a feeling, that whoever wins is going to have a hell of a time cleaning up the Shrub’s mess.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02

Here’s another question for you all…  Is the type of president we want:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/09/opinion/08dowd.html?th&emc=th  Now I understand crying under extreme pressure as well as any woman, but to be honest, there is no place for tears in an emergency.  What if she does try to pull out of Iraq and for some reason they retaliate and attack us?  Is she going to break under the pressure and start crying or is she going to jump to the task and save the tears for later after the emergency if over?  It would be far better if she could hold back the tears until the trauma is finished.  The time to have a good cry is not when the pressure is on but when it’s finished.  Any good mother knows that when her child is injured and needs medical attention it’s time to act, not cry.  She can cry after it’s all over and done.  You can’t save anyone if you are crying, but you can save someone if you act and save the tears for later.  Hillary should know this, she’s raised kids- maybe not two rough and tumble boys who crack their heads open, but still it happens with girls too and you can’t do anything for them if you are crying because their heads are cracked wide open and bleeding.  In an emergency, it’s time to act, not react.  You can cry later after it’s over and if she is crying now, before the election is over, what will she be like in office?  One bloody nose is not the time to cry but to go into action.  She needs to pick herself up and start campaigning harder, which obviously she did or she would not have won in NH, but the time for tears is after the election process of finished, not now.  Personally, I don’t think she’s up for the job if she can’t take a little bloody nose in the process, because that is politics and the time for tears is not during the trauma.

 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2011
Joined  2007-08-09
Mriana - 09 January 2008 07:48 AM

Here’s another question for you all…  Is the type of president we want:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/09/opinion/08dowd.html?th&emc=th  Now I understand crying under extreme pressure as well as any woman, but to be honest, there is no place for tears in an emergency.  What if she does try to pull out of Iraq and for some reason they retaliate and attack us?  Is she going to break under the pressure and start crying or is she going to jump to the task and save the tears for later after the emergency if over?  It would be far better if she could hold back the tears until the trauma is finished.  The time to have a good cry is not when the pressure is on but when it’s finished.  Any good mother knows that when her child is injured and needs medical attention it’s time to act, not cry.  She can cry after it’s all over and done.  You can’t save anyone if you are crying, but you can save someone if you act and save the tears for later.  Hillary should know this, she’s raised kids- maybe not two rough and tumble boys who crack their heads open, but still it happens with girls too and you can’t do anything for them if you are crying because their heads are cracked wide open and bleeding.  In an emergency, it’s time to act, not react.  You can cry later after it’s over and if she is crying now, before the election is over, what will she be like in office?  One bloody nose is not the time to cry but to go into action.  She needs to pick herself up and start campaigning harder, which obviously she did or she would not have won in NH, but the time for tears is after the election process of finished, not now.  Personally, I don’t think she’s up for the job if she can’t take a little bloody nose in the process, because that is politics and the time for tears is not during the trauma.

The events of the past few days are just bizarre. Perversely, Clinton appears to have benefited from her temporarily loss of emotional control. Added to that was an apparent backlash against Obama because in Saturday’s debate, Obama criticized her and then so did Edwards. This is being portrayed as two men ganging up on Hillary, but there’s no evidence for that and I doubt that’s what happened. Edwards made a decision to go after Clinton, the same as he would have done had Clinton been a man.

Nevertheless, Clinton’s margin of victory in NH was fully accounted for, several times over, by a double-digit advantage among women. Apparently, women (who were never particularly fond of Hillary to my understanding) felt sorry for her and voted accordingly.

I wouldn’t mind having Clinton as president, though I continue to think that we’re at a pivotal time in history when an inspirational leader like Obama could really change things. But to have it happen like this sickens me. As an electorate, we haven’t learned a damned thing.

 Signature 

I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4095
Joined  2006-11-28

Yes, I think the issue of emotional expression in politicians is overated. Many of them probably call up tears when needed for effect, since it’s become quite common. And even if they are sincerely choked up from time to time, I hardly think it disqulalifies them from office. The tin soldier from TX has pretty good emotional control, and look what a disaster he’s been for America. I just think it’s irrelevant as long as they are clear communicators and function effectively, but the media loves to make a fus about such stuff.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7593
Joined  2007-03-02
PLaClair - 09 January 2008 11:32 AM

The events of the past few days are just bizarre. Perversely, Clinton appears to have benefited from her temporarily loss of emotional control. Added to that was an apparent backlash against Obama because in Saturday’s debate, Obama criticized her and then so did Edwards. This is being portrayed as two men ganging up on Hillary, but there’s no evidence for that and I doubt that’s what happened. Edwards made a decision to go after Clinton, the same as he would have done had Clinton been a man.

Nevertheless, Clinton’s margin of victory in NH was fully accounted for, several times over, by a double-digit advantage among women. Apparently, women (who were never particularly fond of Hillary to my understanding) felt sorry for her and voted accordingly.

I wouldn’t mind having Clinton as president, though I continue to think that we’re at a pivotal time in history when an inspirational leader like Obama could really change things. But to have it happen like this sickens me. As an electorate, we haven’t learned a damned thing.

I don’t think much of Hillary for playing that game and women should know better than to fall for it.  It’s not appropriate, esp in politics.  I was always taught to keep a stiff upper lip in public and my grandfather chastized me years ago for crying so loudly in the car on the way to my uncle’s grave site.  You just don’t do that in the public arena.  Obama would be far better in many ways.

No, we are Americans clear back to the Mayflower, but some things never die- esp public ettiquette.  Even so, I am currently wondering how she will perform during a crisis.  Will she sit and cry or will she get moving and do something about it?

[ Edited: 09 January 2008 11:44 AM by Mriana ]
 Signature 

Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3349
Joined  2007-11-21

Obama is a likable enough character, but it amuses me that people are so enthusiastic about his candidacy despite the fact that he has no executive experience. 

Perhaps that lack should not automatically disqualify him, but what is he really offering?  When he offers “change” what form does it take?  The nearest parallel to the current political climate might be the 1976 election.  Jimmy Carter ran as a likable average guy (promising to be a hard worker, though!), but he was a disaster as a president.  Like Obama, Carter promised a new type of leadership that would reach beyond partisanship.
http://www.campaignbuttons-etc.com/carter.htm
http://ap.grolier.com/article?assetid=0078990-00

Clinton would probably make the better president, but Obama might be easier to elect for Democrats simply because he’s an appealing figure running as the political outsider who will bring change to Washington.

The machine will probably chew him up and spit him out if he really tries to change things, but no need to worry about that unless he wins.  wink

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4095
Joined  2006-11-28

I don’t buy it that previous executive experience is much help, given the examples of Reagan and GWB who both had plenty and were horrible presidents. Prior experience is primarily useful in indicating the degree to which the person is likley to actually do what they say. I think it’s very difficult to predict who will do the job effectively, but I think ideology, positions on issues, and clarity of communication are all more important than precise prior job experience. And I don’t agree at all with the characterization of Carter as “a disaster” as president.

FWIW, I see very little of substance to distinguish Obama and Clinton, and while I have a “gut-level” and completely irrational slight preference for him, I’d be happy with either over the Republican alternatives.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2008 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2423
Joined  2007-09-03
dougsmith - 09 January 2008 05:58 AM
Jackson - 08 January 2008 09:33 PM

I’m skeptical.  Of the objectivity of the NY Times, in particular.

There are pros and cons to many of the candidates and we need to read a lot of articles to make a rational choice.

Just a slight clarification: the link was to an Op-Ed piece (Opinion-Editorial) by David Brooks. As such it isn’t necessarily intended to be “objective” in any journalistic sense of the word. It’s explicitly intended to be an article expressing David Brooks’s opinion. (As were the pieces I linked to from Paul Krugman).

Now, you may believe that a particular Op-Ed writer is more objective than another, or even at times more objective than the newspaper’s own journalists, but that’s a separate issue. At any rate, segregating these sorts of articles to a particular page is a newspaper’s way of telling you that they’re not necessarily objective by any given criterion.

My point is that the “reality-based community” needs to read a variety of opinion, from different perspectives.

The Democratic party needs to nominate a candidate who will win—

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 11
1