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Obama Theocrat

Hope and change, no just more of the same.




 

Comments

Norm, I don't defend this religious pandering bu11sh!t by Obama, but your reaction to it indicates that you were legitimately shocked by this turn of events. Were you really that naive?

Obama ain't no saint (or perhaps he is too much of one), but it looks like he's gonna spend a lot of money and get a large volunteer organization sufficient to increase Democratic turnout. He may even be successful enough to change the Texas legislature (through voter registration, volunteer recruiting, organizing, and cooperation with Rick Noriega) just in time to hand the redistricting power pack to the Dems there. We may be able to partially repair Tom DeLay's damage.

Quite honestly, Obama seems like a fine candidate, but with plenty of flies in the ointment, like the religious crap. But when will we stop obsessing over only the presidency? As if the executive is the be-all end-all of Democracy. If we want a more Democratic nation come November, we go with Obama. Otherwise, go Republican or possibly Hillary. She may pass certain arbitrary litmus tests easily, but I have no doubt Obama will increase turnout and voter registration more than Hillary. I'm tired of worrying excessively about the ideological purity of a single candidate when there are literally thousands of elections in November.

We did without a faith-based office for more than 200 years before the worst president in history started pissing all over the Constitution on his way to a 26% approval rating. He produced an economy in tatters: exploding deficits, skyrocketing energy prices, health care and tuition costs spiraling upward. If that wasn't enough, we've wasted more than 4,000 American lives, shattered tens of thousands more, gotten hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed, and millions of Iraqis displaced - a war we can't win and should never have fought. After 5 1/2 years, Baghdad has electricity for maybe 6 hours a day. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is slipping away fast.

Why on earth would either of the candidates want to associate themselves with anything with the stench of George Bush wafting off of it? Two different faith-based program directors left the position, disillusioned and disgusted. LET THE PROGRAM DIE!

Norm,

Are those of us that actually want to like Obama disappointed? Yes. On all his run to the center moves.

but we elected a theocratic authoritarian ass about 8 years ago.

Obama isn't that, and the "they are all the same" lie is a big part of what allowed us to get there and what has driven voter participation into the toilet.

Should we all make clear to Obama that this shit is the old politics and not the new? hell yes.

Should we start down the phony narrative of elections not mattering.

I can't peer into Obama's mind and tell you what he really thinks. My guess is that he is a moderate on a number of issues and tries to see both sides of the argument. Some of what he has done in the past weeks is moving to the center for votes and some of it is about saying what he thinks, who knows which is which.

The reality of the situation is that he will be a profoundly better president then Bush was or McCain could be and he will likely be better then most any other democrat has had the courage to be.

If you feel the need to continue to protest all the ways in which Obama falls short of what this country really needs, I encourage you to do so.

I would just suggest you take more of the tone of the Daily Kos (your old Nemesis) and not conjure the self defeating lies of liberal self destruction.

You know Obama really is about Change you know...the problem is it's not ENOUGH change for all the activists and liberal enthusiasts in this country. The way our political system is designed only allows for small increments of change to take place at any given time. If it swings to far one way or the other the country revolts and rejects it out of fear, that is why the change candidate is Barack Obama and not Denise Kucinich...Denise just represents way to much change. It would just shock the system and the country and his policies would never be actualized in our political system. It's sad but true...give it another Fifty years though and we will probable have a Candidate like Denise able to realistically run for the Presidential office and win. In the mean time, small changes are all this country can really handle at any given time, it's the way it's always been. I say lets be happy do get and keep slowly pushing this country forward!

Sorry...that last scentence was suppose to read,"I say lets be happy with the Change we do get and keep slowly pushing this country forward!"

The people who are defending Obama on this sound JUST like the Bush apologists.

Defending his every move, no matter how wrong he is, refusing to admit any sort of wrong doing, refusing to criticize. And ending it all with, "well, let's just sit back and be content".

Stupid. And more of the same from both his apologetic supporters AND himself.

"Denise Kucinich" :) Are you expecting Dennis to have a sex change operation any time soon?

I hate this. I'm tired of religion seeping in everywhere it doesn't belong and....I'm not surprised and I'm still talking Obama up. Do you know the saying: The great is the enemy of the good? So far, Obama sure isn't great but if we hold our breath waiting for great it's never going to happen. What I'm hoping is he's good enough to surround himself with a good (great?) cabinet.

Obama kool aid drinkers might be surprised and disillusioned. The rest of us are just digging in and hoping we will see some real progressive moves from Obama when he is president. If not, we can really start in on him when he is safely in office.

@Norm: Yes, Obama is Just Another Politician and not the "revolution" he is marketed as, but how about we have a little perspective? Obama is hardly a "theocrat" compared to what kind of creature the Religious Right would put in charge. It is disappointing that Obama panders so heavily to the religulous, but in my opinion you're presenting the issue way out of context, and that is wrong.

And it's counterproductive. The system, in practise, provides only Obama or McCain as options. And once either of them is put in power, there's shit all anybody can do to keep them in check for the next 4 years.

In other words, the problem isn't Obama, it's the system. The system is broken. And attacking Obama only leaves an opening for McCain...

That isn't to say Obama shouldn't be criticized! Have at him! But with all due respect, can't you figure out the minimal subtlety required to criticize Obama without coming off sounding like you're just "bashing" him? Not to mention its kind of hypocritical to accuse Olbermann of being overdramatic when you're doing the same thing yourself.

@politicjunky: I call bullshit.

Countries that were backwards colonies and monarchies when America was already the world's best example of democracy and progress (leaving aside slavery in the South), are now way ahead of the USA.

Collectively, these countries have got public healthcare systems, secular government, strong free speech and privacy legislation, etc.

America can't even excel in one of those categories.

The problem isn't that the change will be too sudden or some shit. The problem is that the People have been mindfucked by those in power to vote against their own interests, eroding democracy in a country that was once the world's best example of "government by the people for the people".

It won't take 50 years of bullshit compromises to get a government that isn't full of superstitious rich power-mongers. All it will take is for the majority to wake up and realize they're getting fucked over by the top ten percent.

we can really start in on him when he is safely in office.

No you can't.

Look at how ineffectual the 2006 election was. If Bush can get away with murder, so can Obama. Now maybe, hopefully, Obama will be a much better president than Bush. But the point is, nothing in the system will strongly compel him to, because the system is so very broken.

*poke*

My comments are not showing up, but I bet if I resubmit them I'll have double posted. Sigh.

I'm a tad surprised and depressed by this. Not that my hopes were that great but nonetheless, he seemed to have been fairly low-key on the religious thing so far.

What depressed me the most though, is that I guess this goes to show that for all the havoc the crucifix-junkies have caused with their meddling in politics, they are STILL a group that every candidate must pander to, in order to stand a chance of getting elected. That just boggles my mind.

Obama is so worried about appearing to be an unpatriotic muslim at this point, that I think he'd do just about anything to change his image in this respect.

Obama also seems to be trying harder and harder to woo the conservative vote lately and at the same time ignoring his base. I've seen so much negative commentary coming from the liberal press lately. On the one hand I'm not surprised, because he supports things I don't (like his latest wiretapping vote). But on the other hand it's depressing; by slamming Obama, they're only helping McC@nt. When McC@nt votes conservative it's not news, because that's what's expected of him. It doesn't matter - I don't know why I even read about it - it just angers me. Even though I don't agree with much of what Obama plans to do, I'll be going with the lesser evil and voting for Obama come November.

I'll be changing my middle name in solidarity too.

Obama is so worried about appearing to be an unpatriotic muslim ... Obama also seems to be trying harder and harder to woo the conservative vote lately...

The question is, is he underestimating how much he is alienating non-conservatives? And is he underestimating how many of them are stupid enough to be provoked into not voting, or voting for a "spoiler" in a swing state?

Also, while he seems to have a knack for playing both sides of the fence, at some point this trick could come back to bite him in a big way - mainstream liberals and conservatives both might catch on, and come to see him as a "faker" who greedily tries to have his cake and eat it too. Then the entire voter base he was pandering to will evaporate. (And then President McCain starts a nuclear confrontation, and mankind perishes.)

He has to actually get into office. Let him pander; just a little bit. He has to demonstrate he is not a Muslim. Thats the political reality. He is going to have to dumb down and say "and may god bless America" after his speeches; there is unfortunately; no way around it...

He has to actually get into office. Let him pander; just a little bit. He has to demonstrate he is not a Muslim. Thats the political reality. He is going to have to dumb down and say "and may god bless America" after his speeches; there is unfortunately; no way around it...

Is this all you are going to post nowadays? What ever happened to other news? Why is this page completely election-based?

I know this is your website Norm, but don't you think it's a little absurd to only post things related to the election? It's just like watching the evening news...Meanwhile Seymour Hersh is reporting on the secret war against Iran. http://therealnews.com/id/1809/July 1, 2008/Secret+war+against+Iran+underway

Or there are hunger problems in the US. http://newsproject.org/videos/79

Or Senators are becoming lobbyists: http://newsproject.org/videos/83

There is other news out there, why don't you share it with your readers?

A lot of us come here mainly for the video, I am pretty tired of the election and I think a lot of others are too, but it is your site. I'm just afraid you are losing readers because of this.

I hate this. I'm tired of religion seeping in everywhere it doesn't belong and....I'm not surprised and I'm still talking Obama up.

Agreed. Obama said months ago that he favored such programs, and made no secret of his plan to extend them (This is only one instance--fwd to the 5:20 mark). That certainly doesn't exclude him from criticism for it--although I think calling him a 'theocrat' is a little over the top--but this should not be coming as a surprise to anyone.

he's playing to win. a lot of idiots in this country need to hear the "god" shit. so let 'em. we need a competent chief exec to begin the nearly impossible task of restoring credibility of our federal government at home and abroad. i believe obama will be a vast improvement, and i believe we should make every effort to get him elected. i suspect norm ha a bit of fun provoking discussions like this, and if that is his aim, i can only say thanks.

fuck religious people. they are the lower common demonator. they do not care enough about life to even want to learn half the truth of it. they have already decided a long time ago that the world is going to shit and there is just absolutely nothing to be done about it except just wait for the magical master jesus to come and wash all of their dirty away. now that we live in an obese human overpopulated world that is ever growing more dense by the act of our parasite like behavior grown off of the thought that the world is here for humans we are all kind of fucked. its actually too late unless half of current population at the very least is willing to die right now. this is what religion has given us. i understand its supposed need for the elementary steps in our evolution but facts are way more helpful. if barack is supposed to be intelligent, the further step, then why is he trying to play these figures who need truth just as much as anyone who is lost and scared and squats to hide forever in the first somewhat safe place they find. he would realize they dont vote democrat for a simple reason, abortion. but then again, after following barack since 04 i have decided, he is very intelligent. so that means he is playing the religious, but who else is he playing? that's what im starting think about concerning him these days. on a side note, when our population grows to 20 to 30 to 40 billion and a rapid virus or disease overtakes most of humanity hopefully someone calls it jesus.

Those who think this pandering will insulate Obama from being called a Muslim are kidding themselves. C'mon, ask yourselves a few questions:

(1) How many people do you think there are who believe this ridiculous Muslim stuff who aren't just looking for an excuse, any excuse, to hate Obama? How many do you think there who believe this crap today who can (a) be convinced that he isnt a Muslim, and (b) actually vote for him?

(2) I said it jokingly in another thread, but seriously, wouldn't it be just as easy for right-wing smear artists to twist Obama's support for faith-based programs into support for Muslim faith-based programs? In fact, if Obama were hit with the question in a future debate, "Do you support giving funds from your office of faith-based programs to Muslim charities?", how can he answer it without offending someone?

I repeat, not only is this dumb pandering, I think it is stupid politics. Ask anyone you meet, "What politician initiated the Office of Faith-based programs?" With what political party do you associate the Office of Faith-based programs?" Even clueless Americans will give the correct answers. I repeat, Why on earth would either of the candidates want to associate themselves with anything with the stench of George Bush wafting off of it?

I repeat, not only is this dumb pandering, I think it is stupid politics.

I agree for the most part. But situating the issue in a broader context than the Muslim smears--which, apparently, has convinced some 13% of registered voters, who, you're right, probably wouldn't vote for Obama anyway--I think Obama is making efforts to reach out to the some 33% of 'values-voters' that help Bush into office (or, at the very least, made the popular vote close enough, that he could steal the election).

Whether this is politically a good or a bad idea, I don't know, as I'd need to see some data. But let me indulge in some anecdotal, empirical speculation (the weaknesses of which I'll admit in the absence of hard data). Most of those alleged 'value-voters' care all and only about a few things: abortion, gay marriage, etc. So that Obama supports abortion and refuses, even though he ostensibly opposes gay marriage, to support the Defense of Marriage act, automatically disqualifies him in the eyes of many such voters.

On the other hand, it may not be a totally pointless pander. Obama has won some support from evangelical and catholic leaders, e.g. Doug Kmiec, who was denied communion as the result of his support for Obama. In addition, there are a number of evangelicals for whom the environment and poverty have emerged as more central issues that abortion or gay marriage (see the link above to the CNN forum).

So, Obama isn't going to win over all the theo-Right with this pander--but if he cuts into a portion of it, it may help undermine the Republican party's monopoly on religious voters.

At what cost? you might reasonably ask. Well, I have the same question. I cannot see any circumstances under which the government giving away free money to religious organizations is a good idea, and Obama's support for them does not change my views on that in the least.

How did a guy who ran a brilliant primary campaign suddenly get so dumb?

Seriously, forget the principles, forget the rule of law, forget all those outrages of the Bush administration that so bother we 'radical lefties'. Obama has mantras he should be pounding away at every day.

IT'S THE ECONOMY, STUPID.

Gas Prices.

Foreclosures. Four years of home-value appreciation - wiped out - and many had borrowed on that.

S&P 500 index now lower than when Bush took office.

IT'S THE WAR, STUPID.

Still bogged down, political progress in Iraq - zilch. Wasting over $100 billion a year while pinching pennies on CHIPS. Afghanistan sinking.

IT'S HEALTH CARE, STUPID.

Why is Obama talking about Faith-based programs at all? A recent Rasmussen poll shows that Democrats outpoll Republicans 10-0 on major issues. Formula to win: BE AN OLD-FASHIONED DEMOCRAT!

Is this all you are going to post nowadays? What ever happened to other news? Why is this page completely election-based?

Look at a U.S. news paper. There's a lot of election news out there, and a lot of us here like to discuss that.

I don't see this as any big shift on Norm's part. The usual topics, inter alia, here are religion, evolution, liberal politics, science more generally, literature, and humor (the Onion, the Daily Show, etc.). I don't see how a video on religion and government--a convergence many of us feel quite strongly about--is somehow out of the norm (no pun intended).

Tim, I think your overall point is fair. But setting aside issues of principle, and looking at the issues through the eyes of a cold-blooded campaign strategist, this is all I can say:

When Obama talked, during his campaign, about creating a 'broader coalition' and 'moving beyond the old divides', this appears to be what he had in mind. What I had hope his that he would use his rhetorical abilities to move the center to the left, although I expected a few panders like this (FISA I didn't see coming; the faith-based initiatives I've known about for months). I suspect that Clinton would have fought for a narrow victory along exactly the lines you set out above. At the time, I regarded that as a flawed strategy, because it would place victory or defeat within a margin of few percentage points, and it would have also meant opposition from the outset of her Administration to all her ambitious programs.

So: I agree Obama needs to hammer away at the issues you suggest, and relentlessly. But as for FISA and faith-based initiatives, surely it is pretty easy to see precisely why Obama picked these issues: the soft underbelly of the Democratic platform in the eyes of the general voting public is national security and Democrat's perceived hostility to religion.

Again, I say all this not to excuse either stand Obama has taken, both of which touch on core constitutional principles for me, which are not negotiable. But it may not necessarily be a bad electoral strategy on faith-based initiatives. (FISA is just bad politics, as Greenwald has convincingly argued at length).

The emphasis of the campaign is all wrong. Fighting the "values war" is fighting the GOP on their home field - abortion, school prayer, evolution - these are issues that Obama can't outredneck the rednecks. (Let me qualify that - opposition to abortion is an issue that I can at least see as principled - the rest is horseshit.) Faith-based initiatives a soiled product - John DiIulio and David Kuo have already told their flocks that this is a cynical sham - reviving it in hopes a winning a (very) few votes is a distraction and not worth the time spent on it.

I suspect that Clinton would have fought for a narrow victory along exactly the lines you set out above.

Here's where I disagree strongly. An economically-oriented campaign could give Obama a BIG win. Look at these numbers. Look at the Case-Shiller index – the collapse in home prices is far from over. This recession isn't going to be mild - and Wall Street is owning up to that.

But the economy is only one leg of a what I think is the correct strategy: a"reality-based" campaign - there's foreign policy and health care too. To focus on "values" is to fight the 2000 or 2004 elections over again. By failing to realize that, Obama is playing into the GOP's hand and failing to distinguish himself from his GOP opponent in the most advantageous way.

oops, ...

look at these numbers - I was referring to the CCI at the bottom of the page.

""Denise Kucinich" :) Are you expecting Dennis to have a sex change operation any time soon? "

Sorry, aside from being a bad speller I guess I also mistook his big ears for hair-buns. ;)

"It won't take 50 years of bullshit compromises to get a government that isn't full of superstitious rich power-mongers. All it will take is for the majority to wake up and realize they're getting fucked over by the top ten percent."

I'd like to think you are right..but how long does it take to wake up to that? It's taken 200 years just to get our first African American Candidate for God's sake! I think the learning curve for Americans is a lot slower than you give them credit for.

Yemen of little too much faith:

I'm leaning Nader-ward. McCain is soft in the head, Reaganhood, Nader is old, but Carteresque, McCain is in up to his pudup with Don Diamond, Arizona land (and movie studio) Corleone-scheister, friend of Israel-centric "the J" orthodox, neo-neo-conservative fanatical Zionists, O man, Hud-ra-maut, Ye Gods, but can I really vote for Obama?

Yes we can (did) vote for Bill Clinton.

No we can't!

Never again, I'm going with...

Nader!

but, Don Diamond...

Hell!

Obama gives me the S(l)ick Willeys.

"Democracy" without ranked voting, is a crock of scheiss...

philosopher's tone as 1.22474 - You are going to take the one vote you have every four years and do exactly what the right wing operatives would like you to do...you've reminded me, I read once that the worst insult for an Israeli is to be called a xxxxx (I don't remember the word) - basically it meant "SUCKER."

Tim - I love that - a reality-based campaign. I think you're right - change the framing but....I do wonder how much is focused on what the press will pick up. In other words, if you've got a politician in the forest saying let's work on the important things but no one hears it because the media won't cover it, will that politician get elected...

I thought this was an interesting post about the FISA vote: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2008/07/is-there-secert-conspiracy-at-heart-of.html

if you've got a politician in the forest saying let's work on the important things but no one hears it because the media won't cover it, will that politician get elected...

If the politician would quit pandering to right-wingers in an effort to get votes he's unlikely to get - and which is anyway counterproductive because a lot of voters would like a guy who defends his principles even if they disagree with him - the politician will keep raking in contributions. Then he can buy advertising.

BTW - he's 1.22474 - clearly a close approximation to being completely irrational.

Now that I think about it... no matter how rational you are, whether you're number one or a complete zero, you're always infinitesimally close to being irrational.

Sorry .. sometimes my inner math geek takes control.

BTW - he's 1.22474 - clearly a close approximation to being completely irrational.
Pretty funny. And, I think this is one place you are allowed math humor....:)

When are you people going to get on board with the ONLY choice we have? Like him or not, Obama is it. All of this anti-Obama crap here is right out of the Rush Limbaugh playbook to steal yet another election from the Democrats.

So Obama is pandering. So fucking what. If you haven't noticed, there are a lot of religious hicks in America and Obama needs at least a few of their votes. There are also a lot of hicks scared shitless, still, about terrorism and Obama will probably be pandering to them as well. It's called politics so grow the hell up and make your choice: Obama or McCain.

As an athiest, childless heathen in america under the age of 50, I've only BEEN disappointed with public policy vs. religion, and will only BE disappointed. Even my parents who are old enough to have been alive before "under god" was a part of the Pledge of A., still argue with me that it was original to the pledge and that this nation is built on a foundation on believing in Jebus.

Politicians are NOT where change is going to come from in religious policy. They are slaves to the popular vote and the popular says that Armageddon will be here soon, and it's time to prepare for jebus to come back.

MEC, LB,

Let's accept one thing as given - we're all voting for Obama - absolutely no question about it - I am "on board". All I was talking about here the best ways for Obama to win.

But I object to your attitudes. Take, for example, "Politicians are NOT where change is going to come from in religious policy." But George Bush proved this statement wrong. Until 2001, there was no such thing as an Office of Faith-Based programs. Until Dubya, the official policy of the United States did NOT sanction torture. Until Dubya, we did NOT sanction wiretapping of large groups of people without a warrant. We have never been in a full-fledged war in which private contractors outnumbered American military personnel. Politicians do change things - and for the past 30 years I've seen all the change coming from the right - and almost all of it for the worse. Do right wing constituents just demand more from their politicians?

I don't have a choice - I'm voting for Obama - but I can't see how asking his supporters to shut up and fall in line is constructive.

Tim,

Because by pissing on Obama every chance you get you are making him a lot less attractive to those people who may not vote at all or aren't planning to vote for Obama. I'm not saying we should be like Republicans and accept everything the party throws at us, but we need to get to the White House first.

I don't understand why so many people here at OGM think Obama is such a terrible candidate. The man/woman you folks have in mind doesn't exist and certainly couldn't get elected, at least not in the U.S. Remember: small steps. First the White House and then we can try to undo 8 years of neo-con bullshit.

Tim,

Because by pissing on Obama every chance you get you are making him a lot less attractive to those people who may not vote at all or aren't planning to vote for Obama. I'm not saying we should be like Republicans and accept everything the party throws at us, but we need to get to the White House first.

I don't understand why so many people here at OGM think Obama is such a terrible candidate. The man/woman you folks have in mind doesn't exist and certainly couldn't get elected, at least not in the U.S. Remember: small steps. First the White House and then we can try to undo 8 years of neo-con bullshit.

Obama could be another Frank Roosevelt, but he ain't sayin'. He sounds like another Bill Clinton with his liggy striangulation (that giant vacuous sucking sound of business "is the business of Amerika"-as-usual) around our collective throat. So Ron Paul at least wanted to close 700 re-redundant military bases because we are in Deep D.O.O. D.O.O.:

the D.epartment O.f O.ffending everyone at all times (and extorting mafia-style with now-obsolete nukes, spooks, ).

Gee, Norm, you never labeled Hillary Clinton a theocrat, and yet following your logic:

Hillary Clinton Theocrat

There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles," said Clinton, a New York Democrat who often is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008.

Addressing a crowd of more than 500, including many religious leaders, at Boston's Fairmont Copley Plaza, Clinton invoked God more than half a dozen times, at one point declaring, "I've always been a praying person."

She said there must be room for religious people to "live out their faith in the public square."

Hillary Clinton Theocrat

Burns Strider, one of the Democratic Party’s leading strategists on winning over evangelicals and other values-driven voters, will join Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as she prepares to launch her 2008 presidential campaign.

Strider now heads religious outreach for the House Democratic Caucus, and is the lead staffer for the Democrats’ Faith Working Group, headed by incoming Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) created the working group in 2005 when Democratic strategists recognized that the party lost ground in the previous election because of trouble appealing to centrist and conservative voters in rural areas, who tend to be church-goers driven by moral issues. Strider was an aide to Pelosi when the group formed and joined Clyburn’s staff as policy director of the Democratic Caucus in 2006.

Even John Edwards supports Faith-based initiatives

Fancy that.

"In a manner consistent with the First Amendment, faith-based charities should be able to participate in delivering services. But they should also meet the same anti-discrimination standards as other charities receiving government support." --Statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 7, 2004

Seems that it's perfectly okay if Hillary Clinton or John Edwards speak of their faith and their support of faith-based initiatives, but if Obama does, he's a theocrat.

what do you do when a cat is hacking up hairballs, JoAnn? do you berate the beast for foolishly eating things that don't agree with it, or do you make nice on the kitty who is obviously suffering enough?

leave poor norm alone. he'll eventually aclimatize to voting for obama, but there's a lot of hairball material to be dealt with. if he had been made to swallow edwards or even hillary to the point where obama now stands, i daresay he'd be hacking wildly now. but it's over. no need to feed him more undigestible morsels that he may have missed the first time.

There was a time when both John Kerry and Al Gore were ahead of George Bush in the polls, but Bush eventually won.

With Obama being attacked by both the Republicans and Hillary Democrats, he will go the way of Kerry and Gore.

And when McCain is president, those of you who attacked Obama should feel real proud of yourselves.

jonathan,

It's not a matter of who Norm votes for. Anyway, he already said he will be voting for Ralph Nader. It is that all of this negativity towards Obama makes it more likely that McCain will win the nomination. And if he does, then Americans will deserve every bad thing that happens to us under a McCain presidency.

maybe i'm just not seeing norm as the media powerhouse you are. i agree that negativity about obama in the mainstreammedia from those who are essentially his natural allies should be discouraged from a tactical point of view.

but i thought this was a forum for a pretty specific demographic who could, more or less under the radar, say what they REALLY think. i dunno, maybe i'm wrong? maybe the forces of evil are focused on 1gm, stealing ideas to attack obama with? oh, shit, what an unpleasant thought. is this what you've been getting at? because the basic idea of criticizing the good guy is, by itself, totally kosher by me, and even necessary.

JoAnn If you're going to call out Norm on his negativity, then I would like to call you out on yours, too. The endless "Get used to President McCain" - "Practice saying President McCain", the jabs at the stupidity of Americans, etc., seem very defeatist and destructive to no purpose to me - and maybe to others still trying to generate hope and enthusiasm for getting a (any) Democrat in office (I hesitate to speak for anyone else though.) I can say for marketing purposes, you want people to think they are on the winning team ---there was no insult I saw the Bushies throw around more after the first election than "loser." There is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy to it, also. And, when you keep trying to wipe out hope, the only success you can claim is a bunch of hopeless people.

Well, Jill, I don't have any hope left. Everywhere I go I see lefties attacking Obama. However, I don't see righties attacking McCain everywhere I go.

I'm just saying it how I see it.

jonathan,

I don't know how much of a "powerhouse" that Norm's blog is. But I do know that the say things than Norm is saying are being said by Democrats everywhere. I'm reading the tea leaves from my reading of what I read. And I read a lot. And what I read spells trouble for Obama and a win for McCain.

Back when Kerry and Gore were running against Bush, I was certain Bush would lose. I was even more certain that Bush would lose the second time around, but he didnt.

Also, Jill, I've worked my ass off in an attempt to support Obama, only to be told that I'm "drinking the Koolaide" or to be told that I support people who hate America and on and on and on.

When it was just right wingers who told me crap like this, I didn't care. But these days, it is people who are on the left who tell me this.

I am left with no hope at all. Okay, perhaps a tiny sliver of hope, but that's all.

yes, JoAnn, i hear you 100%. but my question is, seeing that obama is far from perfect, where's a poor obama supporter to go to "point to the higher path" if not here?

I think Glenn Greenwald said it well:

There is no question, at least to me, that having Obama beat McCain is vitally important. But so, too, is the way that victory is achieved and what Obama advocates and espouses along the way. Feeding distortions against someone like Wesley Clark in order to please Joe Klein and his fact-free media friends, or legalizing warrantless eavesdropping and protecting joint Bush/telecom lawbreaking, or basing his campaign on demonizing MoveOn.org and 1960s anti-war hippies, is quite harmful in many long-lasting ways. Electing Barack Obama is a very important political priority but it isn't the only one there is, and his election is less likely, not more likely, the more homage he pays to these these tired, status-quo-perpetuating Beltway pieties.

Thanks for hearing me jonanthan. A poor Obama supporter.. Well, I would define myself as a supporter of Democrats over Republicans, being as those are the only two real choices that I have this election cycle.

Where to go? Well, I'll tell ya. I'm ready to just bury my head in the sand and enjoy life and just say "fuck it". I think I need to just forget politics. It's just too fucking stressful. My roommates don't worry about this shit and they're all happy. I should just join them in not worrying about it and just accepting life as it is here.

And speaking of that, we have a party here and everyone is happy, and here I am, like a fool, worrying about the damned election.

Fuck it!

Time to enjoy life and pretend that all is well.

But thanks for the little bone that you threw my way jonathan. ;) Take care..

I thought we'd moved on from discussing Hillary since she will not be the nominee, but yes you've presented evidence that qualifies her as a theocrat.

HILLARY CLINTON IS A THEOCRAT!

Do you doubt that I'd criticize her if she was the candidate and proposed the plan Barack just offered?

not throwin' any bones here. throwing a bone would be like, "yeah, i understand you're upset". i'm saying i agree with you 100%. the media is full of these attacks, many if not most from left of center. but- why try to change the 1gm policy (as i see it) of fearless honesty at all times? there are plenty of propaganda organs out there, many of them full of negativity about the obamish one, as you have pointed out. why pick on 1gm? is it because you feel safe to vent here? if so, that's fine, but why not extend the same freedom to the rest of us? in spite of being rebuked by them, you seem even more "get on the bus and shut up" than redseven or adam (who are very classy about it, i'll admit).

OK,I disagree with a lot of you, maybe not Adam, you all may hate me but I love that Obama is reaching out to the religious. I think it is fabulous and brilliant and a great idea if you actually care about the poor and the drug addicts and health care. Who do you think is doing all those good works at homeless shelters, downtown missions, who you ask??? Religious folk, really nice people who believe in god. I work in the slums with the mentally ill, there are lots of folks down there helping out that are not religious, but a more of them are, not just christians but all religions. There are a lot of christians who are not right wing nuts, lots and lots. Religious leaders were early abolisionists, religious folks (quakers mainly) were early anti nuke protesters , were founding members of greenpeace, are currently anti death penalty people. Religious folks care about the poor and the sick. They do volunteer work, they care about social issuues, they donate to charities. I also like that on this issue he is doing exactly what he said he would do NORM, exactly, read his early speeches. Look at his history and heros. He got involved with churches as a community activist because they helped him. His heros MLK, Lincoln, all used religious language. This is not pandering, he thinks this is the right thing to do and so do I.

k -

My mother worked for most of her life, but when her eyesight starting failing her (detached retinas) and her health otherwise made it difficult to work, she went to work at her local shelter - for a good part of the last ten years or so of her life. It was a secular organization and it received some government grants. I learned just how inspiring my mother's efforts had been when I attended her services when she died early this year and people at the shelter stood up and spoke of how she energized the place, but I head spoken with her often about her work and how she coordinated much of their efforts with local churches. Indeed, people in churches and other religious charities did - and do - some wonderful things. The secular organization with which she worked and the religious charity organizations complimented and amplified each others efforts.

One thing she was sure of: Bush's faith-based programs didn't do squat that couldn't and weren't being done already. The faith-based office is a patronage operation - Bush's office funneled more money to political allies and scored points with their leadership. David Kuo knew this; John DiIulio knew this. Being against a government office of faith-based programs is NOT being against "good works at homeless shelters, downtown missions". It being against the corruption of the state by religion and the corruption of religion by the state.

jonathan,

The hairball theory of political accommodation is brilliant - many wonderful chuckles.

One clarification: I don't have a problem with the religious talk that comes from Obama. Unlike Norm, until I heard him say he was going to continue the faith-based programs office, I was of the opinion that Obama's views on the relationship between government and religion were excellent.

k - I'm glad it makes you happy because he is obviously reaching some people then. Personally, I like a firewall between church and state. I don't want my government involved in religion and I don't like when religion feels they should be involved in politics. That is the beauty of America. Being founded by so many religious refugees, it is a country that is supposed to be open to all religions while not supporting any of them. Jimmy Carter, an extremely religious man, made sure his presidency respected America's traditional stand and I think that should be the model for any religious president.

What I am happy to hear is that this is what he said he was going to do.

I also find it sad that the poor and needy have to depend on the kindness and charity of the religious instead of knowing there is support from the government to those who need it and that it isn't charity. Don't get me wrong - I am not knocking those who help - I think it is fantastic, wonderful, incredible - I do volunteer work myself but --- that shouldn't be the first (and only) line of defense for them.

JoAnn,

Back when Bush was running in 2000, he was an unknown. I may be unhappy about Obama's position on some recent stuff, but overall he's running a vastly better campaign than Gore. He's also a vastly more attractive candidate than Kerry. Obama's charisma may drive Charles Lemos insane and give Norm the shakes, but in and of itself I've always considered it to be a huge asset. Ask 100 Americans of any political stripe: would you rather listen to a half-hour speech from Obama, Gore, or Kerry - Obama will win by a huge margin - and coming on the heels of an absolute idiot in the person of Bush - I think it helps even more. And John McCain is a snooze.

k is absolutely right about one thing - your proximity to political junkies at OGM and elsewhere in cyberspace has severely distorted your perception. Many people have not followed this campaign for the past year - they're not tired of the candidates. When they begin to focus on the campaign as summer comes to a close, are they really going to get excited over John McCain? He old, he's tired, and he looks it.

TIm, your mother sounds like a wonderful person. I agree with the fact that the Bush program was a political patronage operation done to get votes. I don't think we have a real understanding or what Obama is proposing. I think it would have been better to name it differently, and make sure it is clear that money can go to faith based organizations if they make sure there is absolutely no 'faith" in the programs offered. Also the process needs not to favour religious organizations over other non profits. I would like it if he made it clear that all social programs funded should use evidence based guidelines with expectation of outcome evaluation , etc, and faith and non faith have identical criteria.

I have to admit I don't like the idea of a separate special office for faith organizations or the continuation of current offices. I think he should have an office of community initiatives, or Non profit initiatives where all charities (religious and not) are treated equally on granting issues. No religion in the social programs at all, anyone can be hired, and limit religious symbolism in the program.

So perhaps my liking of this is too "koolaid" hopeful, and is not based on a real understanding of what is really being proposed. I do feel that the left has alienated the religious, to the detriment of the nation. One of the other issues I feel the left needs to look at is abortion, another wedge issue that seems to divide the US. I personally think the democrats should have a platform with an expressed goal of reducing the use of abortion in the country. Make it a core issue and focus on how criminalization is ineffective, and that social programs will be more effective.

I think that if we could not alienate the religious and get rid of abortion as a wedge issue of the right we could make major inroads into becoming a more humane country,,,, a bit more like Canada, where I live.

O my Brothers, oomnivoracious nabobs,

"all of this negativity towards Obama makes it more likely that McCain will win the " [Elliptical Oriface, oval, awefice, whatever]:

The fact that nattering nabobs of negativeness don't get it, it being a Wood-side-paneled-Hummer, from Obama, could, work,uhh, like, in the, the, the theocrat's favor.If the elitists disdain him, as they did Bush o' the malaprops (malaprops as props for the Bush magic show), Obama could pick up support from the pick up drivin' set. They like magic shows, 'specially at Las Vegas, Branson, etc.

"But suddenly, I viddied that thinking was for the gloopy ones, and that the oomny ones use like, inspiration and what Bog sends. Now it was lovely music ..."

C,G,C',E',Eb'

I mean the music inspiring, Tyrranicide, sub-ornicide respectively, Fascistination.

Obama could surprise. If a crisis looms, he could grow in the job. Show us a sign, Mr. O! No?

Hell, JoAnn's right?: McCain, naked mole rat, wins presidency, because progressives, yawn, stay home, ouch.

Hey Norm,

I was a regular to your site but left during the primaries. I’m not going to apologize for being inspired by Obama. I’ve been turned off by a lot of the chatter and punditry. Rather than spending my limited free time on blogs and truncated perspectives, I’ve taken the time to read about Obama’s plans and this faith-based initiative is a perfect example of how people have had a knee jerk reaction to some of his positions without weighing all the facts.

Norm, I’m an atheist, too, but before you call him a “theocrat” I would ask you to read the entire speech that you are referring to: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/amandascott/gG5xY3

Particularly this paragraph: "Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea – so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs. And we'll also ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work".

Now, again, as an atheist, I, too, get uptight about things that can be perceived as theocratic but Obama’s plan is an attempt to help community groups, both faith-based and secular, tackle important issues ranging from saving our planet to ending poverty. I don’t think you are against the idea of helping charitable groups help those in need, so long as there’s no proselytizing and the work helps secular causes, are you?

Obama: “What I'm saying is that we all have to work together – Christian and Jew, Hindu and Muslim; believer and non-believer alike – to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Norm, if you just don’t like the guy that’s fine but base it on facts. After reading his entire speech can you still call him a theocrat?

Hey Norm,

I was a regular to your site but left during the primaries. I’m not going to apologize for being inspired by Obama. I’ve been turned off by a lot of the chatter and punditry. Rather than spending my limited free time on blogs and truncated perspectives, I’ve taken the time to read about Obama’s plans and this faith-based initiative is a perfect example of how people have had a knee jerk reaction to some of his positions without weighing all the facts.

Norm, I’m an atheist, too, but before you call him a “theocrat” I would ask you to read the entire speech that you are referring to: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/amandascott/gG5xY3

Particularly this paragraph: "Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea – so long as we follow a few basic principles. First, if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them – or against the people you hire – on the basis of their religion. Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques can only be used on secular programs. And we'll also ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work".

Now, again, as an atheist, I, too, get uptight about things that can be perceived as theocratic but Obama’s plan is an attempt to help community groups, both faith-based and secular, tackle important issues ranging from saving our planet to ending poverty. I don’t think you are against the idea of helping charitable groups help those in need, so long as there’s no proselytizing and the work helps secular causes, are you?

Obama: “What I'm saying is that we all have to work together – Christian and Jew, Hindu and Muslim; believer and non-believer alike – to meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

Norm, if you just don’t like the guy that’s fine but base it on facts. After reading his entire speech can you still call him a theocrat?

Now, make no mistake, as someone who used to teach constitutional law, I believe deeply in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe this partnership will endanger that idea – so long as we follow a few basic principles.

I just don't believe that is true. My experience is that by their very nature religions try to spread the message. It's a part of their DNA, and to believe that there will not abuses is simply naive. The larger question is why would you want to mix the two. I see very little benefit and great risk in the partnership he is suggesting. The idea of a wall of separation between Church and State is a good one. A question for you, how does Obama's plan prevent a Church who is currently providing a program that would qualify from not just using government money to continue it freeing those funds for proselytizing? There is no compelling reason to create the partnership he suggests and considering the dangers it's foolhardy.

A theocrat is a little strong but he is certainly guilty of pandering to religion in a way I find extremely offensive, and that will in my opinion put a stamp of approval on a practice that I believe is extremely dangerous.

I do feel that the left has alienated the religious, to the detriment of the nation. One of the other issues I feel the left needs to look at is abortion, another wedge issue that seems to divide the US. I personally think the democrats should have a platform with an expressed goal of reducing the use of abortion in the country. Make it a core issue and focus on how criminalization is ineffective, and that social programs will be more effective.

It's apparently on the way, one of them a bill by Senator Clinton:

What then should Democrats and Sen. Obama do?

We need not wait for either the Democratic convention or the election to move forward on reducing the need for abortion. Two perfectly good bills are languishing in Congress. One, the Prevention First Act, was introduced by Sen. Clinton; the other, the Reducing the Need for Abortion Initiative by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and Rep. Tim Ryan, a pro-life Democrat. These bills need to move forward and perhaps be consolidated. (The Clinton bill does more for family planning, and the Ryan-DeLauro bill more for women who want to continue pregnancies.) Sen. Clinton is in a perfect position to make that happen, and we will work with her on that goal. Moving these bills before the election will give us a yardstick by which to measure members of Congress' commitments to meeting women's needs while recognizing their rights.

So long as that's not a step toward criminalization--women OR doctors--those lunatics usually don't want to punish women, but subject the doctor to capital punishment--well, I have some scruples, as I don't think it's really the government's place to encourage individuals one way or another about such decisions. But ultimately, this is acceptable, if it's a good political wedge.

"BTW - he's 1.22474 - clearly a close approximation"... Clapton (i.e., God Himself) is my witness. Yes we can (climb that giant... beans talk!)

Phffphphffftttt!

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