Saturday, August 16, 2008

Exxon John

19 comments:

BAWDYSCOT said...

This is all well and good but in respect for equal time, what NPR has informed me of is the fact Obama is in receipt of more money from Wall Street than Mr. McCain. Just ask Ralph Nader. Let us be up front and honest and say both candidates leave so very much to be desired for a multitude of reasons. One old and rickety and one young and tricky and none to good for the citizenry.

csm said...

As you might expect, I disagree. Obama is young in comparison to McCain, yes, but he is not some young "whipper snapper" without any credentials as some paint him out to be. Nor, would I say he is tricky. Just because Obama has received more money makes him tricky? I don't follow that logic.

While I can agree that too much money is probably being spent on presidential campaigns, one can hardly fault a candidate who seeks the office to seek the money to win the contest.

G said...

I think the "tricky" reference would be based on the shell game Obama has been playing with policy positions and personal issues that come up.

Personally, I don't fault Obama on the campaign funding issues or being very "DC politician-like" in his words and actions. But I DO fault him for trying to pass himself off as something different... as an outsider that is nothing like the traditional political machine.

For all the talk of hope and change, the only change I can see coming from Obama is to a more powerful, centralized federal government with left-wing policy goals... and "I HOPE it works."

There's a question that's been bothering me lately. I'm hoping you (Obama supporters) might be able to shed some light on it for me. The Obama supporters I've interacted with have almost all indicated that Obama as a candidate for POTUS is so dramatically superior to McCain that the election should be no contest at all. My question is that if you believe this superiority is so clearly evident, then why are the vast majority of threads in the blogosphere (including here) initiated with snarky little attitudes toward non-issues, rather than highlighting policy differences to stir up debate... which would more clearly differentiate the two candidates and make the alleged superiority obvious?

Seriously, these "issues" like flimsy plagiarism claims, special interest "connections" (which we already know about), sense of humor, etc. are the kind of thing I would expect from a candidate who is losing badly and desperately trying to pull out a victory... not someone who is leading in the polls.

BAWDYSCOT said...

It is because in essence, g, Obama is very minutely different from McCain(basically the difference between the two parties which is often muddled). Just ask Ralph Nader(I have to agree with him on this even though I find very little of his platform palatable).

I have to laugh when I hear how much of a maverick McCain is. He gets this moniker because he splits from his power base every now and then. A real maverick would split from Washington altogether and actually use the Constitution as a compass. McCain is no friend to libertarians.

But neither is Obama. The idea you can solve the countries problems(many not the domain of the federal government per the Constitution)by forming a commission or a starting a new "program" (I cringe at that word in this arena) or creating a new "Department" is old school and not a change whatsoever. Obama is a wolf in sheep's clothing and our electorate(the sheep)are the intended meal. Nanny state be damned!

Anony Mouse said...

I find it somewhat troubling how our politicians attempt to paint corporations as the bad guys or even the enemies while at the same time taking their money. It is ironic that Obama receives campaign funds from the same big bad oil companies McCain receives funds. Corporations provide higher quality services, relevant jobs and keep our economy strong. The government just soaks up the taxes.

I noticed how closely Obama came to uttering the word EXPERIENCE when referring to Justice Thomas. Later was shown just how much more experience Thomas has as a Justice over Obama as a presidential candidate. His camp knows it is a major problem and a word to avoid like the plague. I don’t know, maybe all of this is just above his pay grade.

BAWDYSCOT said...

I think it illustrative to consider motivations when discussing different sides to arguments. In my late twenties and thirties I was all for unfettered capitalism, but I have tempered this stance to some degree. Taken by itself, a corporation if boiled down to the core is all about making it's owners, whether a few people or millions, money and the more money the better the corporation is considered to be in the business world. Is the idea of a corporation an inherently evil thing? I would say no. But the fact remains through experience, a corporation hasn't an inherent interest BESIDES making it's owners lots of money. It hasn't any interest in helping anybody who isn't an owner. This is where the government comes in; it's job is to protect all interests and it should do this through regulation and arbitrated through the judiciary.

I feel the problems start when some of the sides forget the essential motivations of all the different factions. The auto companies are a good example. Because the different factions were short-sighted and not very empathetic to all the other sides we now have an industry which is in dire trouble with the worst possible result being everybody loses.

To me the drive to "give it to Big Oil" smacks of envy. The companies themselves actually OWN very little of the world's supply. They just happen to have the needed expertise to get it out of the ground. The Saudis need Big Oil. Hugo Chavez, though he would be loathe to admit it, needs Big Oil. Russia, if it really were honest(they are notorious for not spending their own money for exploration and extraction), would admit it needs Big Oil. And now that everybody and their mother has the thirst for oil, Big Oil is in the spotlight, for good and bad. To test this hypothesis, just think of what would happen if Big Oil were to just pack up their belongings and went home satisfied to earn interest on the big earnings they have had for the last few years. What kind of chaos would that produce? Who wants to find out?

csm said...

Well, g, I've said before that anyone who truly wants to know a candidate's position need do nothing more than perform a few clicks to get to their web site and read. Unfortunately, many Americans are too lazy to be bothered. Me parroting what is on Obama's web site here does little IMHO.

Regarding things you disregard as non-issues I think are actually firm evidence of McCain's personality and lack of integrity - and I find that very relevant.

I would also point out that Obama has never gone negative. Not against Hillary... and not against McCain. Just yesterday someone said to me that they can't really tell the difference between McCain and Obama ads (they are a Republican) and I said something like "Then you aren't really listening. The McCain ads are almost always negative, and the Obama ads are not. McCain ads usually bash Obama right away. This too, I think, speaks volume of the character of the two candidates.

csm said...

Also, please elaborate on the "shell game" of which you speak?

Anony Mouse said...

I was never implying capitalism or even the big oil companies are perfect in any way. Certainly they should be regulated and Washington certainly takes enough of their profits. They are run by imperfect people just as is our government. My point is Obama attempts to portray the oil companies as evil while at the same time taking their money. Who is more disingenuous? In this case Obama with another typical attack ad by the one who claims he is not a Washington insider. Then ask where would we be without corporations keeping our economy strong? As CSM suggested, read their web message and then ask does their record support their claims and then ask how will they accomplish these huge initiatives?
They are both full of BS as any politicians but when these two are the only legitimate choices, McCain is much more qualified. Without his teleprompter, Obama comes across as very weak and unsure.

csm said...

And, of course, I come to the completely opposite conclusion, mouse. It is important for the candidate to be ready to be president (as if anyone actually knows or any experience is sufficient to prepare anyone) but it is also important to make the correct decisions. Obama used this line of reasoning quite successfully against Hillary and I'm sure he will do so again against McCain. Of course, it may not succeed against McCain, but I'm thinking it will. The only issue that McCain polls higher than Obama on is on handling war. But this can be diffused re: Iraq given that the Iraqis have indicated their desire for a US withdrawal. Even W conceded long ago that we would withdraw when the Iraqis asked us to leave (of course, I don't believe he ever thought that day would come). More Russian warmongering could potentially lift McCain into office, but McCain has sullied himself so badly in flip flopping over and over again that anyone who trusts him to be who he says he is now will likely be badly disappointed.

G said...

csm,

The "shell game" refers to his constantly changing statements on various issues, leading one to wonder under which shell Obama's position actually lies. I've noted his waffling and flip-flops on a previous thread. But just as a brief reminder: Campaign finance, FISA, NAFTA, Jerusalem, DC gun ban, Iraq, etc.

The problem with relying on his website to determine his policy positions is that so many of the proposals are (as one would expect) carefully crafted, intentionally vague, and lacking in the always important "how" (i.e. how do we pay for it, how does it get implemented, etc.). Plus, the things Obama SAYS are sometimes contradictory.

As for the negative campaigning, if Obama really wanted to run an exclusively positive campaign, he would be very firm and clear with organizations like MoveOn, et al, that he doesn't want to see any negative, smear-type ads from them.

Why are McCain's ads in general attack ads against Obama? Because everybody KNOWS that this election is about whether Barack Obama is an acceptable candidate for POTUS. Everybody knows that much of the nation is sick of what the Reps have done over the past several years (including conservative Reps themselves). So the election isn't a typical Rep vs. Dem debate, but Obama vs. himself. If people in general see Obama as an acceptable (not even good, just acceptable) president, then he will win. This election has very little to do with McCain. So of course, we should expect to see a consistent thread throughout the campaign: From McCain, "This is why Obama shouldn't be POTUS" and from Obama, "This is why I SHOULD be POTUS."

And let's be honest. Is there really anything wrong with negative campaigning? As long as it is honest (of course, expecting a certain degree of spin from each side), then isn't it important for us to be aware of the flaws of the various candidates? Seriously, a candidate is always going to be positive about himself/herself, but if the opponent doesn't reveal the hidden dirt, who will?

csm said...

EVERY candidate has issues with keeping things straight and changes on some issues. Although I would wish Obama to be a bit better on some things, comparing his "shell game" (if you will) to McCain's makes Obama look like a beacon of consistency.

And EVERYBODY does NOT know that "this election is about whether Barack Obama is an acceptable candidate for POTUS"... I'd say that this election is a referendum on whether we want 4 more years of George W. Bush's policies and practices. And if Obama can make that the message, he should win. I have to say, though, that I am disappointed in his recent lack of activity. IMHO he should have postponed his vacation until a later time. We'll see how badly that hurts him.

Obama needs to restage the current situation. He excels in front of large crowds and at big events. The Dem convention will give him a boost and Obama needs to keep going from there just like he did in the Dem primaries. (And, of course, McCain should get a bump from the Rep convention the week after, too.)

G said...

I wasn't comparing him to McCain. I was explaining what I consider to be a reasonable basis for bawdy's "tricky" comment.

I realize that the Obama campaign wants to frame this election as a referendum on George Bush's policies. But the simple fact is that John McCain is not George Bush. Sure, they have many similar positions, as one would expect from two centrist Republicans.

I agree with you that Obama excels at large events. When he's forced to go "off script" with his comments, he's mediocre at best.

Anony Mouse said...

I’m not sure where CSM gets the idea Obama is more consistent than McCain. McCain has been a sitting senator since the 80s. Of course he has changed positions on issues. Obama has changed every single position from his time attempting to gain the nomination to his time going into the convention. It is the most radical change a candidate has taken is such a short amount of time I have ever witnessed. But, if the flip flop is for the better and REAL then I have no problem with it. What bothers me the most is that his camp claims he hasn’t changed his message at all. Well, Change is his message I suppose.

I believe he has gotten off message since the book Obamination has become the #1 bestseller. I haven’t read it but it seems to have shaken Obama since he has referenced it so much lately. He makes claims of all the lies printed but hasn’t pointed out one that I am aware of. If he is so shaken by a book that criticizes his associations and political decisions he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance of surviving as president. Maybe he should seek wisdom from Bill Clinton. Then there is the whole abortion fiasco with Obama calling everyone associated with this criticism as liars as well as McCain gains and even surpasses Obama in the polls.

So much for the runaway CoreyB predicted.

BAWDYSCOT said...

George W. Tush ain't no centrist. Period. He is as fundamentalist as his divine enemy. Hence the fucking mess(all of it)we are in.

One thing I can say with certainty, even though I cannot with conscience vote for either of the two front-runners, neither of them will do the damage that Tush & Co. have produced. They can only add to the shitpile.

G said...

I wasn't speaking of social conservatism. I meant fiscally and with respect to the role of government in society. Sorry for not being clear.

csm said...

Mouse, you are full of shit.

Obama has NOT changed every one of his positions and you know it.

Now, how many positions has McCain changed in the last 8 years? I doubt you can count that high because it is more than 21 and you'd run out of "digits and such" on which to count...

Anony Mouse said...

My apologies csm. Not ALL of the issues just all of the CRITICAL issues. Sorry to misrepresent the man.

csm said...

Again, you are totally full of shit, mouse.