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Friday, May 30, 2008
 
David Sirota Can't Really Be This Dumb...

Can he? Pimping for more Democratic candidates to come out against the war, he claims:

Military conflicts don't end on their own, and they don't end because of politicians, insiders and parties. They are forced to end by power-challenging mass movements. That is the principle behind the Lamont Lesson - and we're lucky that lesson is again being taught.


Military conflicts generally end when one side wins; not when the peaceniks finally get their way.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008
 
Poll Vault

A number of writers are looking at some very interesting poll results this morning. Richard Baehr notes that there is a startling difference in three particular states that indicates the Democrats are nominating a very risky candidate:

Were the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democrats would be in very good shape even without Ohio. That is because current surveys show Hillary Clinton winning all three states by solid margins over John McCain. But John McCain trounces Barack Obama in the same three states by over 20% in each case. So with Clinton as the nominee, these states vote as they did when her husband was the nominee. When Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, these states vote as they did when George Bush was running. The differences in the poll results are shocking. Clinton wins Arkansas and Kentucky by 14% and 9% respectively. McCain wins against Obama in the two states by 25% and 24% respectively. This means the shift from Obama to Clinton is a change of over 34% margin in one state, 38% in the other.


That's a staggering difference and a reminder that just having an (R) or a (D) after your name is not all that matters.

Jay Cost notes that the main difference between where Hillary and Obama do well portends poorly for the latter. Hillary and Obama are essentially even in Safe Democrat States, and in Swing Democrat States. Obama does better than Hillary in Safe Republican States, but Clinton does better in Swing Republican States. And in those states, Clinton does a LOT better than Obama among White and Hispanic voters.

At Salon, Paul Maslin examines the youth vote possibility and concludes it's probably not worth much, and might backfire:

Furthermore, what the god of demographics giveth, he or she might also taketh away. I worked for the Howard Dean campaign in 2003 and 2004, and I have always felt that a big part of his last-minute decline in Iowa four years ago was due to a mostly older electorate engaging in a more detailed consideration of the Deaniacs. Meaning, many of the graying Iowans took a look at the hundreds if not thousands of young out-of-state campaign volunteers who were knocking on their doors, decked out in orange ski hats and claiming to be part of "the perfect storm," and decided they didn't want what the youngsters were selling. Clearly Hillary Clinton has built impressive margins over and over this season among seniors, and I suspect that part of her appeal to older voters stems from a similar backlash at the younger alternative. The more messianic the whole Obama thing seems, the more his brand becomes associated with kids, and perhaps the more aged wine there is for McCain & Co. to sip.


That's right on the money. Most observers agree that the Deaniacs in their orange caps behaved like typical kids enamored of their first love, just as Obamania seems a trifle overblown.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008
 
Obama: A Nod and a Wink to the Far Left?

I found this quote rather disturbing.

That's why I'm in this race. I love this country too much to see it divided and distracted at this moment in history. I believe in our ability to perfect this union because it's the only reason I'm standing here today.


Perfect is rarely used as a verb, so this seems too odd to be an accident. Back in the 1960s, among the far Left, there was a raging debate as to whether man was perfectable. Even then it was pretty obvious that the communist utopia that many desired would butt up against reality; humans just don't act idealistically. So the Left began to claim that man himself was perfectable. Discussing the drafting of the Port Huron Statement, considered the beginning of the New Left, Tom Hayden writes:

At the time, as disfranchised students, embracing such an expansive idea required a wrenching re-examination of common assumptions. What, for example, was the view of human nature that underlay our assertion that all people had basic rights to participation, or that democracy was the system best suited to respecting human dignity? All-night discussions ensued, often concluding at daybreak. On the one hand, there were followers of the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, influenced by the atrocities of the Holocaust and Stalinism, who had asserted that "the children of darkness," the political realists, were in their generation wiser than "the foolish children of light," the pacifists and idealists. On the other side were the Enlightenment humanists who believed in infinite perfectibility through education and nonviolence as adopted by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. The dominant view was that we were children of light. We chose utopia and rejected cynicism. The statement ended on an apocalyptic note: "If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." But, reflecting our mostly mainstream backgrounds, we also wanted to be relevant, effective. Agreement was reached when Mary Varela, a Catholic Worker activist, inspired by Pope John XXIII, suggested that we follow the doctrine that humans have "unfulfilled" rather than "unlimited" capacities for good, and are "infinitely precious" rather than "infinitely perfectible." The theological amendment drew no objections and was incorporated without citation.


Of course the idea that humans can be perfected, or that any human institutions, especially government, can be perfected is absurd. It reflects more "we need it" rather than "we can get it."
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Monday, May 26, 2008
 
How Long Did It Take the Libertarian to Lie?

Bob Barr, accepting the nomination of the Libertarian Party:

"I am a competitor, and I am in this to win," Barr said. "I do not view the role of the Libertarian Party as spoiler, and I have no intention of being a spoiler."


Any Republicans considering Barr's campaign should be aware of his stance on legalizing drugs (in favor) and Iraq (immediate withdrawal). The xenophobes will like his stance on immigration, but again, he's not going to win. The real choices are Obama or McCain.
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