Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Experience Lie

One of the seemingly enduring lies circulating "out there" is that Barack Obama lacks the experience to be president. This is complete horse shit.

Alan Ehrenhalt, writing as a special guest columnist for Newsweek, argues that we
shouldn't dismiss or denigrate the most important piece of Sen. Barack Obama’s political resume, his considerable time in the Illinois state legislature. While not refuting that Sen. John McCain has more experience, Ehrenhalt writes: "But here’s something I bet you didn’t know: If Obama becomes president, he will have spent more time serving as a state legislator (eight years) than anyone who has occupied the White House since Abraham Lincoln."

And that counts for something: "During the years that Obama served in Springfield, 1997-2005, he was forced to wrestle with the minutiae of health-care policy, utility deregulation, transportation funding, school aid, and a host of other issues that are vitally important to America’s coming years, but that U.S. senators are usually able to dispose of with a quick once-over…. And perhaps most important, there is simply more personal contact across the aisle than there is in Congress. Legislatures have grown more partisan in the past decade, as all of American politics has. But in most state capitols, the wall of partisan separation is nowhere near as high as it is in Washington."

Given his public service prior to serving in the IL legislature and his service in the Senate, Barack Obama is eminently qualified and more than sufficiently experienced to become commander in chief.


coreydbarbarian said...

unfortunately, the experience lie is just one of the superficial mistruths. pop open the hood on the republican machine, you'll find the muslim lie, the friends w/ terrorists lie, the "his wife hates america" lie, and many, many more. sad.


Politicians(both stripes)lying. Who would have guessed?

csm said...

Yes, Bawdy, but the neo-cons exhibit a particular brand of hatred in their lies that is more noxious than the typical political lie... or do you not see that?


First off neo-cons as a political platform are witnessing their last days and I think they know it, hence the desperation. Independent voters aren't buying it. The only ones that are are becoming more and more irrelevent. As much as I detest McCain, I don't consider him a neo-con per se. If he had been President after 9/11 I don't think we sould be in Iraq right now.

As far as political lying goes, I care not if a Republican tries to slit the political throat of a Democrat or vice versa. I have a problem with politicians lying to the citizenry, which both sides seem to do with regularity.

csm said...

Understood, Bawdy. I'm no fan of lying either.

Regarding McCain, if he had been elected in 2000 things would definitely be different. I can't imagine that he'd have created a clusterfuck like GWB has. I wasn't a big fan of McCain back then, but I didn't detest him like I do now. He always had anger problems (hell, who doesn't) that make me suspicious of him in a world leader position. McCain is right now the biggest say anything and change any position to get elected mother fucker on the planet - even more so than Hillary (who has, at times, displayed that characteristic). It'll be interesting to see how McCain's flip-flopping is portrayed in the upcoming data. I mean, it is one thing to change your mind on a position or two, it is a completely different thing to change your mind on almost EVERY position.


I don't disagree with you. How do you think it makes me feel when McCain is brought up they have to add "Arizona senator". I realize why they have to but it still makes me want to puke.

coreydbarbarian said...

"He always had anger problems (hell, who doesn't)..."

(sarcasm)i don't have anger problems. and i NEVER cuss. ever, ever! (/sarcasm)

hey bawdy, can i ask you somethin?

there are two things you've said in recent weeks that 'stuck in my craw'. i have said the same things many, many times. but now, i'm questioning myself.

you have said, 'america gets the leader she deserves' (more or less) and 'i may not agree with you, but i would die to defend your right to say it'..more or less.

i don't know what the situation is like in the southwest, but up here in the midwest, we really are dealing with a lot of idiots. spoonfed, authoritarian-follower idiots. that link i provided in the "republicans are desperate" thread is actually pretty typical for the midwestern republican.

people seem to want to believe the lies - he's a muslim, he's a terrorist, he won't swear on the bible (koran instead), won't put hand-on-heart during pledge, etc. i go online to elevate the discourse, but that's just how things are in my part of the real world. my own brother-in-law admits he could never vote for anyone with such a muslim name, let alone a black man. admittedly, he's not the brightest crayon in the box, but he is typical.

if the first statement (the leader we deserve) is true, we're fucked.

have you ever tried to debate theology with someone who takes the bible as THE ONLY authoritative source of truth? it's the same mindset. faith and 'gut' feelings have been elevated to a place above reason for a lot of people. it is absolutely disheartening.

i'm getting to the point where i just don't want my wagon hitched to the same crowd that put dubya in power. (and their only defense is "but i really FELT like he was gonna do good things!")

the 2nd statement (die for your right to say it) is causing me more grief. i've always said it, and believed it, until recently.

i guess i've moved from 'everyone has a right to an opinion' to 'everyone has a right to an informed opinion'.

individual rights are still the cornerstone of our way of life (imo), but those rights come with a responsibility to the collective, as well. and way too many people are shirking their responsibility to be informed and just going with what feels good, what fits within their pre-existing ideological framework.

so i'm having trouble.

again, to make it perfectly clear:
this is not an attack on bawdy, not at all. but i no longer am willing to die for a person's 'right' to stubbornly cling to what feels good. and i don't want america to deserve a 3rd bush term. the agony!

i WANT bawdy's opinion here, but i'm open for comments from anyone.

well, anyone who can be rational, that is. ;-)

csm said...

Do you think no one has responded to you because no one thinks they can be rational? Or is there some other insidious reason?

As for my 2 cents on your current quandry: Does America get the leader it deserves? Well, I guess you can make a case for that. On the other hand, there is so much deception, fraud, and subterfuge that the only way to get better leadership would be via revolution. And things just aren't that bad to foment one. Let's face it, even with the shitty 8 years we've suffered through the USA is still far ahead of most of the world in terms of livability (I'm not saying we are at the top, just that we have it pretty dang good).

Regarding fighting to the death for freedom of speech, I think that needs a caveat. It should also carry with it punitive measures if you misuse your free speech by knowingly lying or deceiving - especially for media people... whattaya think o' that?

Anony Mouse said...

"i don't want america to deserve a 3rd bush term.'

I think I see a Kool Aid drinker. Its like Obama is speaking through the barbarian right into the blog. Are we ready for a another term of Carter?

coreydbarbarian said...

i figured everybody was caught up in more recent threads. or maybe my questions sounded too dire & desperate, or over the top. sometimes the things i write can be construed as melodramatic - not that i mean for 'em to sound that way. it's just hard for me to be relatable sometimes, i guess.

but thanks for your two cents! on america getting the leader it deserves, you make good points. i can't argue with what you've stated. but i can add to them!

my hope is that we are seeing a minor revolution amongst the progressives, albeit a bloodless one (that's a good thing, of course). i just don't know how much more poor leadership the nation can take - even 4 more years down this road could be too much.

and regarding the "..but i'd die fighting for your right to say it" mantra, i like your caveat. especially for the media. but how to enforce it?

also, my biggest problem seems to lie with the willfully ignorant - the holocaust deniers, climate change 'skeptics', anti-science zealots, the "genetics and/or biology don't determine sexuality" crowd, the racist fucksticks, etc.

in my mind, all these positions boil down to either propping up a flimsy belief system (sorry about the b-word;) or their investment portfolio. and i can't honestly say i would die for that kind of 'freedom'. ya know?

and mousey,
i don't even like koolaid! more of a 100% fruitjuice or nonfat milk kind of guy... ;)

and obama is speaking through me??

i wish, pal. if i could have even 1/4 of his charisma, social savvy and oratory skills, i'd break outta poverty fo sho. i think.

re: bush's 3rd term, i understand why mccain supporters are reticent to acknowledge the similarities between bush and mcsame, er, mccain. but they are there on most every issue - especially the top two: the economy and foreign policy. mccain has indicated that he intends to use many of the same advisors in these areas, even phil "the enron loophole" gramm, aka purveyor of the mortgage crisis, aka..ah, you get the point.

yes sir, we sure would be lucky if we got mccain for the next 4 years...

so on what basis do you equate obama's policies with carter's? oh yeah, one issue - the windfall tax. hmmm.

now that i think about it, didn't fdr institute a similar tax? funny how noone on the right compares barack to fdr, isn't it?


Just spendin' a little quality with the better half, I just now read your post, corey.

I would go as far as we get the government, leadership and society we deserve. It takes citizens to make our system work, and it is work. You used the term, "responsibility to the collective". I have an aversion to that and if you thought about it you might see what I am talking of, but I call it just citizenship. So many people at my place of business tell me they don't vote. They don't vote! This blows me fuckin' mind, for fuck's sake.

The second pet phrase, I believe went more like this, "I would defend unto the death your right to believe as you do, even though I do not agree." Now there are stupid people. Of course there are stupid people. There will always be stupid people. If someone wants to have Christianity taught in public schools, I don't care if they have that believe, because I have the federal court system if they try to install such a curriculum. But wait you say, this is exactly what is going on. I say, this is why we need to keep an eagle-eye on all three branches of the federal government. Now if the federal government had stuck to it's knitting(protect civil rights and the union in total), we wouldn't be having this conversation. People in general have lost the eagle-eye, even the media to a large degree, and with all the technological know how at their fingertips.

I find it ironic for me because I have a very good older friend of mine who left Arizona FOR Indiana just a couple years ago. Here in Arizona he like me, and many old time Zonies for that matter, had a libertarian bent. But since his time in Indiana, he sends me the most awful shit on Obama and unfortunately, he believes a fair amount of it. It must be the water out there.



The irony doesn't stop there. You, like I, have our reservations about the current right wing Supreme Court, but I must say the Second Amendment reading stating an individual has the right to own firearms of some such would not have happened if we didn't have this right wing Supreme Court.

You talk of revolution; and in some scenarios it isn't out of the question. There is always the possibility the world financial system crumbles. And you can't defend yourself or your family and property or, whatever the fuck, overturn the fucking cesspool in Washington if you don't have an armed populace, no?

This is why all the idiots who e-mail shit like, " if we didn't take it to the Germans in WWII we would be speaking German right now and we will be speaking Arabic if we don't win the "War on Terror" have got it all wrong. If we end up having more attacks in this country(I doubt they will ever be on the magnitude of 9/11 again), we aren't just going to roll over and say you win. First they have to get here and then there is the fact WE HAVE A LOT OF FUCKING GUNS!

Thomas Jefferson believed the people had the right to overturn or expel an unresponsive government. I am pretty sure he figured guns were going to be needed for that task.

Now that this case has been ruled on(Heller vs Wash. D.C., I think)we need to get back to centrist court, because even though these right wing activist judges think they are civil libertarians they most assuredly aren't.

csm said...

And even tho' I agree with the latest SCOTUS ruling on guns, I still question the on-going viability of the second amendment, as written, in the 21st century. The right to bear arms... what kind of arms? The second amendment is silent on that. So can I bear nuclear bombs? Why not? What about a machine gun? Why not? Sanity has to temper the reality of time and the advancement of society on a 200+ year old statement. Though I embrace its intent, I question its ability to govern our existing reality.

And you may be correct about the ruling being different with a different composition of justices. What say you, me, Bob, and Corey replace the existing SCOTUS completely? (Don't worry, G, I'm not serious.)

G said...

I have a little bit of a different view. I don't think that the constitution was necessarily intended to tell us what rights the people have. Rather, it was designed to limit the government's power (see the 9th & 10th amendments). And the rights that were specifically enumerated were the ones the founders saw as most likely to be infringed upon by an overbearing government.

csm said...

Not a bad view, G, but given that, the constitution would clearly allow me to own nuclear bombs, given that it allows me to own guns, right?

coreydbarbarian said...

might just be me, but i always took the right to bear arms as the right to bear firearms, not (nuclear)armaments.

and while we're on the topic, i approve of the scotus decision on firearms, although i think the importance of this particular decision is being overstated somewhat.

did y'all agree with the other scotus decisions? to me, the valdez ruling seemed somewhat arbitrary. i approved of the child rape ruling, too.

Ceroill said...

Hey guys, help my memory out for a moment. In reference to the recent question about the second amendment, I recall many years back seeing a comic piece on Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority. I can't recall if it was in print (National Lampoon perhaps), or performance (in which case who was it). My sieve like mind is failing me on the details, but I know I saw/read it.

csm said...

If you watch Boston Legal there was a case on that show this past season where Nantuckett (I think... some community up there in New England) was suing the federal government to allow it to possess a nuclear warhead.

G said...


No. Not a nuclear weapon (in my view). Most people would agree that rights have limitations (e.g. the yelling fire in a crowded theater thing). Aside from that, is it even legal for an individual to possess enriched uranium? I assume the nuclear non-proliferation treaty's wording makes it a violation of international law.

And I'm with coreyd. If we take the natural reading of the 2nd amendment, it seems to be speaking of firearms... guns. The problem with the DC law was that it made the mere possession of a gun illegal... unless it had been put in a state where it was unusable (locked or disassembled). They tried to manipulate their law so people could "keep and bear arms," but the arms couldn't be fired.

coreydbarbarian said...

hey bob,
would that be michael nesmith?
click here for nuclear arms!


Yeah, I don't have any problems with reasonable limitations on the ownership of firearms. In essence I was using this ruling to see how far the federal government was going to go as far as controlling it's citizens. If they had upheld the ban(and it WAS an unreasonable ban)then I would be even more suspicious of the feds, more than I already am, in other words. Remember, the power is supposed to reside in ourselves.

csm said...

OK, then, if the second amendment applies to guns, what about laser weapons when/if they are developed? And a machine gun is a gun, would it be allowed?

My point is that this is an old document for an old world. Perhaps we need a new amendment or two to deal with the new arms and munitions we develop?

However, if the intent was to arm the citizenry so they could raise up against the government if/when needed, then I betcha that the founding fathers might think that nuclear weapons might be needed... How could a revolution be waged without nukes against a government with nukes? I think many believe that MAD is what stopped the USSR and USA from waging war against each other, instead engaging in a cold war... uh oh, I find myself rambling, which can only mean it is time to stop this comment!

Ceroill said...

corey, THAT'S IT!!!! Thanks, buddy! I've been trying to recall where I saw it long ago! One of the various bits from Elephant Parts!

coreydbarbarian said...

"Perhaps we need a new amendment or two.."

i'm thinking a whole new bill o'rights.

i kept thinking kentucky-fried movie or something, but a little digging, and..voila! elephant parts. :D


First off, corey, the nuclear device in the video looks suspiciously like a vibrator.

I have posted before about writing a new Constituiton or at least a new Bill of Rights. The reason why I feel this would be a huge mistake is the complexity of the new document. Of course, lawyers would have to get involved to dot every "i" and cross every "t". The sheer volume of the document would be mind boggling. Every faction would have to get their say. This would help in the fracturing of this country. You think we are partisan now, just wait until we have to agree on everything in the document. Will we be able to keep God out of it; remember atheists are in the minority. The rich will have more say because...they have more money and lobbyists and connections and.....more money.

The Europeans have tried to get their voluminous Constitution ratified for years now. They can't because they can't(as a whole)agree on what should be in it. It is hundreds of pages long and filled with legalese. I fail to see how in our current world how we could come up with anything but the same shit the Europeans did.

We have a simple document which most can understand. At the time of it's creation, the ideas were well...revolutionary. I feel they still stand the test of time today because they are essentially timeless. I suppose there could come a time when few believe in a divine being so that the freedom of religion would seem laughable, but it has served us well for now.

As far as the 2nd Amendment is concerned, I believe we should have reasonable restrictions on the types of weapons the general(legal)population can use to defend themselves and their property. This talk of nuclear weapons has to be toungue-in-cheek and adds nothing to the relevent conversation. The NRA isn't even holding up nukes as personal defensive weapons. As unreasonable as letting the general population have Uzis to play with is the idea a citizen cannot have a loaded .38 at the ready inside their own abode.

And as an aside, the progressives I have heard(mainly on NPR)have brought up the idea we would lower the amount of suicides if we were to restrict handgun ownership. This irks me too as I am a firm believer that an adult has the right to "check out" if they feel they need to. If someone doesn't want to be around it is not my right to stop them.

Lastly, as far as our government using nukes to put down a revolution, if it comes to pass the government will have little to govern now won't it. I would also hope the military would side with the people as the soldiers would know they were killing their own kin; I for one do not feel the military is filled with bloodthirsty warriors who would mindlessly follow the types of orders issued to kill fellow Americans. They would see the UnConsitutional aspect to the order given to shoot Americans. Maybe I am wrong, and I hope I never find out, but I still have faith in our original Founding Documents; I just worry about those in charge of upholding said documents.

coreydbarbarian said...

well bawdy, i agree with you on the nuclear device. of course, i think most missles are somewhat phallic. and grain silos, too. but that's a different story.

and i agree with you on rewriting the constitution, but i think another 'bill o'rights' style document is do-able. and perhaps necessary. then again, i'm a bit of a visionary. especially when i'm around hallucinogens. ;-D

yes, neighborhood nuclear arms is a tad absurd. but what about the laser guns, or the wave devices (sound, micro, etc.)? with a reasonable budget, i could personally whip either one up for you. heck, for you bawdy, i'd even mount the device on the back of an all-terrain robot to keep the critters off your property (and vandals, burglars, pesky feds, etc.) at no extra charge.

two more things:
firearms for suicides are just plain messy. ever had to clean up after something like that? if you've got to end it all, do it in the garage. i don't care if they do it (well, i do care, but i won't stop them), but for the love of pete, please don't be messy. your relatives are gonna have a hard enough time as it is. they shouldn't have to scrub and paint and lay new carpet, too.

(lot's of funny stuff in this post, but not that part. cleaning up after messy suicides sucks).

btw, the npr voices that advocated handgun restrictions to curb suicides? idiots. tell 'em i said so, too.

what was the other thing? oh yeah soldiers killing their kin.

the military is slowly being sucked into all sorts of domestic excursions (incursions?), like border patrol, drug war, supposed "terrorists" within our borders, etc. i'm too cynical to think many of them will care to differentiate between good guys and bad guys anymore, once they get used to stateside missions. just following orders, sir.

not that nukes are gonna solve anything. yet, viable alternatives of resistance do exist...

coreydbarbarian said...

with regard to missles being phallic symbols,
here's george carlin.