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Torn between Obama and McCain

alphatarget1

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2001
5,710
0
76
This pretty much describes how I feel about this election. Either way, whoever wins will be screwed.

http://www.realclearpolitics.c..._obama_and_mccain.html

I suspect that there are many voters like me, in this city and around the country, wavering in their choice for president. This doesn't necessarily mean we fit the caricature of the "undecided voter" often derided as either lazy or unthinking. It means instead that we find the entire campaign--the debates, the commercials, the press coverage--counterproductive to making a decision.

After nearly two years of ceaseless campaigning, how can this be? Surely we all have relatively clear pictures of the type of president Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will make?

There is, however, an almost mind-bending surreality to the substance of the campaign. As parts of the economy appear to melt down around us, the candidates debate the finer points of their tax proposals, the merits and demerits of Roe v. Wade, and whether or not Joe the Plumber will have access to health insurance under their administration.

In all likelihood, very few of the policy proposals that Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain now proffer will ever make it out of a Congressional hearing room. And while the appointment of Supreme Court justices is undoubtedly important, the emphasis placed on abortion obscures the reasons why. As a matter of jurisprudence, Roe v. Wade was a terribly constructed decision, yet I find it hard to believe that it will ever be overturned simply because of the politics now surrounding it. There are more pressing issues the Court will consider--free speech, the regulatory reach of Congress--that don't easily fit into old categories of "strict" or "loose" constructionist.

The tired rituals of politics continue to force public discourse into such anachronistic boxes, and neither candidate is immune. After his defeat in the 2000 Republican primaries, Senator McCain learned how to put his "maverick" reputation (an odd label for anyone examining the totality of his voting record) to good political use. Senator Obama, notwithstanding "post-partisan" language (a claim belied by his actual behavior in the Senate), seems not to depart very far from standard Democratic policies.

Here we come to what I think is the crux of the difficulty that I and others like me have in deciding how to vote: this election has become a referendum on Barack Obama. He's the new candidate on the block, the one wowing millions of new voters and voting blocs, declaring an end to Vietnam-era fights. Many, however, are quite torn when it comes to a President Obama.

I fall smack dab into Senator Obama's target demographic: white professionals under age 40. (If you, too, fall into this category, then I regret to inform you that you are not part of a generational revolution, but a cog in a political campaign.) What are the reasons Senator Obama has offered for us to give him our vote?

As a matter of policy, I have great philosophical disagreements with Senator Obama. I and many other Americans do not think the tax code is or should be a vehicle for pursuing fairness. On health care, I tend to stand with Senator McCain in thinking that we may finally need to sever the link between health insurance and employment. McCain has consistently supported free trade, and while I can't believe that a man as intelligent as Obama would disbelieve the benefits of free trade, he has continuously made protectionist noise during the campaign.

But because of fiscal constraint and political reality, it is unlikely that either candidate will enjoy free rein to put his favored policies in place. So where should we look in evaluating what type of president Obama will be? One of his most frequently cited attractions is "hope" - a broad, vaguely defined notion suggesting that he will usher in a renewed era of American history. This strains credulity and I have to think that plenty of voters around the country are similarly skeptical.

There are two main problems with "hope" as an electoral justification. First, it seems to imply that we as a country are so desperate that we can only hope Obama can save us from collapse. This indicates not hope in Obama, but an astonishing lack of hope in ourselves, something no president can remedy.

Second, many voters in my cohort see Obama more as a symbol of hope: whether because of his mixed-race heritage, his age, or his rhetoric. This is a comforting illusion, and probably among the worst reasons to vote for someone. Have we reached the point in American politics at which symbolism has become an explicit voting reason? Politics is politics is politics--always and forever. Anyone who doubts that Obama is a standard politician--albeit a very good one--should read Ryan Lizza's portrait of Obama's years as a Chicago politician in the July 21 New Yorker.

But this cuts both ways. Maybe the fact that Obama is a good politician is a good reason to vote for him. Many of you will protest: surely you wouldn't be so cynical as to cast your vote for a politician who actually held himself out as one? Not so fast. Having talent in politics means you have smarts--both street and book--and are likely intuitive about other people's thoughts and feelings. It probably also means you will shed stubbornness to get something done, and that you won't be afraid to stand up for a principle, even symbolically, when the time comes.

Whether those are enough reasons to vote for Obama remains in question. It certainly appears preferable to have someone in office who has proven to be a shrewd thinker. And what of McCain? He wouldn't be here running for president if he wasn't a practiced politician with good judgment developed over the years. But doubts about Obama don't automatically move me to McCain's camp, even if I agree more with his policy positions. Obama's past associations--Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Acorn--even if purely political, give me pause. But I and others remain absolutely mystified by McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

If Obama's "hope" campaign represents the degeneration of American politics into pure symbolism, then Palin's place on the ticket, as David Brooks has persuasively argued, represents the final refutation of anything resembling intellectually-informed politics. It's sad that the modern Republican Party has devolved from its 1950s intellectual roots to a rejection of those roots today. Even sadder is the fact that the intellectual bankruptcy of one party usually augurs a similar fate for the other (and Nancy Pelosi's stewardship of House Democrats shows that this has already begun to happen).

So who will I and the other Americans like me vote for? I'm not sure: I can only say that the choice will likely have little to do with specific tax proposals or subsidy programs, and much more to do with the ways in which we see ourselves as citizens and voters.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
141
116
You'd rather have 4 more years of Bush 2.0 instead of Obama?
 

alphatarget1

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2001
5,710
0
76
Originally posted by: Pepsei
are you in california? at least go and vote in the local election....
I'm doing absentee. Will be voting for republicans for state senate and house because CA democrats are running the state into the ground, voting for D-Ellen Tauscher for house rep (reelection).
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
141
116
The author is a Republican shill, using the guise of being "undecided" to present a lot of reasons to consider McCain even though his policies mirror Bush. The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.

The two tickets are nothing alike. Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin. There are dozens of stark contrasts. "Undecideds" just haven't taken the time to read their policy positions, PERIOD.
 

alphatarget1

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2001
5,710
0
76
Originally posted by: jpeyton
The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.
I happen to think that they (associations of Obama) are important to explore. Obama gets a free pass from the media, given that any other politician with similar associations would've been eaten up by the media a long time ago.

Politicians all say what they need in order to get elected. The only way to judge whether they are fit for command or not is to look at their record.

Attack the message, not the messenger.
 

UberNeuman

Lifer
Nov 4, 1999
16,937
3,083
126
Originally posted by: jpeyton
The author is a Republican shill, using the guise of being "undecided" to present a lot of reasons to consider McCain even though his policies mirror Bush. The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.

The two tickets are nothing alike. Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin. There are dozens of stark contrasts. "Undecideds" just haven't taken the time to read their policy positions, PERIOD.
"undecideds" at this point are morons...

Both camps have given where they stand - pick a camp and stfu....
 

CallMeJoe

Diamond Member
Jul 30, 2004
6,938
5
81
Originally posted by: UberNeuman
Originally posted by: jpeyton
The author is a Republican shill, using the guise of being "undecided" to present a lot of reasons to consider McCain even though his policies mirror Bush. The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.

The two tickets are nothing alike. Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin. There are dozens of stark contrasts. "Undecideds" just haven't taken the time to read their policy positions, PERIOD.
"undecideds" at this point are morons..............
What about those of us who are undecided whom to write in?
 

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
27,929
141
106
Originally posted by: alphatarget1
Originally posted by: jpeyton
The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.
I happen to think that they (associations of Obama) are important to explore. Obama gets a free pass from the media, given that any other politician with similar associations would've been eaten up by the media a long time ago.

Politicians all say what they need in order to get elected. The only way to judge whether they are fit for command or not is to look at their record.

Attack the message, not the messenger.
I'd be more worried about Palin before Obama.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,992
10,469
136
I feel just like the author of the article, except I still think picking Obama is the obvious choice. The fact that neither candidate will be able to do even a tenth of what they promise just makes it that much more obvious IMO. Then there's the despicable Republican propaganda machine, and finally the choice of Palin, and... what was it you were torn about again? I don't think Obama is all that great, but at least he can inspire people, and I think quality is important in a President.
His age is a plus in my book, he's more or less from my generation (I have an older brother his age), and I'm sick to death of the baby boomers reliving the 60s. Get over it. Nor is Obama's age that unusual for a President really. Several have been even younger than him when entering office, while none have ever been as old as McCain.
As for his mixed race heritage, that honestly doesn't sway my vote in the slightest, but I gotta admit I do consider it kind of a plus, "icing on the cake" as it were. No "white guilt" or any of that bullshit, but just that it does make for a nice big "fuck you" to the racists who actually care about this kind of thing, as though it matters.
Otherwise, I'm just voting for the most overall qualified candidate IMO, and the lesser of the 2 evils.
 

UberNeuman

Lifer
Nov 4, 1999
16,937
3,083
126
Originally posted by: CallMeJoe
Originally posted by: UberNeuman
Originally posted by: jpeyton
The author is a Republican shill, using the guise of being "undecided" to present a lot of reasons to consider McCain even though his policies mirror Bush. The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.

The two tickets are nothing alike. Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin. There are dozens of stark contrasts. "Undecideds" just haven't taken the time to read their policy positions, PERIOD.
"undecideds" at this point are morons..............
What about those of us who are undecided whom to write in?
Well, you can't decide on one of the two candidates - now you want someone to write in? Try Donald Duck...
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,007
571
126
Originally posted by: jpeyton
The author is a Republican shill, using the guise of being "undecided" to present a lot of reasons to consider McCain even though his policies mirror Bush. The fact that Wright, Ayers, and ACORN are mentioned means he went down the GOP talking points memo.

The two tickets are nothing alike. Obama/Biden vs. McCain/Palin. There are dozens of stark contrasts. "Undecideds" just haven't taken the time to read their policy positions, PERIOD.
Or perhaps he's doing what liberals are supposed to do, and considering both sides before making a decision.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
Obama is keen on lowering taxes for those in real need of lowered taxes as i understand it, he's a true liberal and an upholder of the constitution by not infringing on peoples rights, as i understand it (but fuck him for FISA).

He's going after Bin Ladin, AQ and the Taliban, to me, that is important because i'm in Afghanistan/Pakistan, no more fucking meddling around with this shit, he'll ask them to strike or give us free room with enough air support to do the job right.

I would vote for him just because he would effectivly end the first front in the WOT and diminish the costs of not only the US but all NATO countries involvement in it.

That's 10 billion a week you didn't have before.
 

alphatarget1

Diamond Member
Dec 9, 2001
5,710
0
76
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Obama is keen on lowering taxes for those in real need of lowered taxes as i understand it, he's a true liberal and an upholder of the constitution by not infringing on peoples rights, as i understand it (but fuck him for FISA).

He's going after Bin Ladin, AQ and the Taliban, to me, that is important because i'm in Afghanistan/Pakistan, no more fucking meddling around with this shit, he'll ask them to strike or give us free room with enough air support to do the job right.

I would vote for him just because he would effectivly end the first front in the WOT and diminish the costs of not only the US but all NATO countries involvement in it.

That's 10 billion a week you didn't have before.
Aren't you British? You have your own financial crisis to worry about.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,007
571
126
Originally posted by: alphatarget1
This pretty much describes how I feel about this election. Either way, whoever wins will be screwed.

http://www.realclearpolitics.c..._obama_and_mccain.html

I suspect that there are many voters like me, in this city and around the country, wavering in their choice for president. This doesn't necessarily mean we fit the caricature of the "undecided voter" often derided as either lazy or unthinking. It means instead that we find the entire campaign--the debates, the commercials, the press coverage--counterproductive to making a decision.

After nearly two years of ceaseless campaigning, how can this be? Surely we all have relatively clear pictures of the type of president Senators Barack Obama and John McCain will make?

There is, however, an almost mind-bending surreality to the substance of the campaign. As parts of the economy appear to melt down around us, the candidates debate the finer points of their tax proposals, the merits and demerits of Roe v. Wade, and whether or not Joe the Plumber will have access to health insurance under their administration.

In all likelihood, very few of the policy proposals that Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain now proffer will ever make it out of a Congressional hearing room. And while the appointment of Supreme Court justices is undoubtedly important, the emphasis placed on abortion obscures the reasons why. As a matter of jurisprudence, Roe v. Wade was a terribly constructed decision, yet I find it hard to believe that it will ever be overturned simply because of the politics now surrounding it. There are more pressing issues the Court will consider--free speech, the regulatory reach of Congress--that don't easily fit into old categories of "strict" or "loose" constructionist.

The tired rituals of politics continue to force public discourse into such anachronistic boxes, and neither candidate is immune. After his defeat in the 2000 Republican primaries, Senator McCain learned how to put his "maverick" reputation (an odd label for anyone examining the totality of his voting record) to good political use. Senator Obama, notwithstanding "post-partisan" language (a claim belied by his actual behavior in the Senate), seems not to depart very far from standard Democratic policies.

Here we come to what I think is the crux of the difficulty that I and others like me have in deciding how to vote: this election has become a referendum on Barack Obama. He's the new candidate on the block, the one wowing millions of new voters and voting blocs, declaring an end to Vietnam-era fights. Many, however, are quite torn when it comes to a President Obama.

I fall smack dab into Senator Obama's target demographic: white professionals under age 40. (If you, too, fall into this category, then I regret to inform you that you are not part of a generational revolution, but a cog in a political campaign.) What are the reasons Senator Obama has offered for us to give him our vote?

As a matter of policy, I have great philosophical disagreements with Senator Obama. I and many other Americans do not think the tax code is or should be a vehicle for pursuing fairness. On health care, I tend to stand with Senator McCain in thinking that we may finally need to sever the link between health insurance and employment. McCain has consistently supported free trade, and while I can't believe that a man as intelligent as Obama would disbelieve the benefits of free trade, he has continuously made protectionist noise during the campaign.

But because of fiscal constraint and political reality, it is unlikely that either candidate will enjoy free rein to put his favored policies in place. So where should we look in evaluating what type of president Obama will be? One of his most frequently cited attractions is "hope" - a broad, vaguely defined notion suggesting that he will usher in a renewed era of American history. This strains credulity and I have to think that plenty of voters around the country are similarly skeptical.

There are two main problems with "hope" as an electoral justification. First, it seems to imply that we as a country are so desperate that we can only hope Obama can save us from collapse. This indicates not hope in Obama, but an astonishing lack of hope in ourselves, something no president can remedy.

Second, many voters in my cohort see Obama more as a symbol of hope: whether because of his mixed-race heritage, his age, or his rhetoric. This is a comforting illusion, and probably among the worst reasons to vote for someone. Have we reached the point in American politics at which symbolism has become an explicit voting reason? Politics is politics is politics--always and forever. Anyone who doubts that Obama is a standard politician--albeit a very good one--should read Ryan Lizza's portrait of Obama's years as a Chicago politician in the July 21 New Yorker.

But this cuts both ways. Maybe the fact that Obama is a good politician is a good reason to vote for him. Many of you will protest: surely you wouldn't be so cynical as to cast your vote for a politician who actually held himself out as one? Not so fast. Having talent in politics means you have smarts--both street and book--and are likely intuitive about other people's thoughts and feelings. It probably also means you will shed stubbornness to get something done, and that you won't be afraid to stand up for a principle, even symbolically, when the time comes.

Whether those are enough reasons to vote for Obama remains in question. It certainly appears preferable to have someone in office who has proven to be a shrewd thinker. And what of McCain? He wouldn't be here running for president if he wasn't a practiced politician with good judgment developed over the years. But doubts about Obama don't automatically move me to McCain's camp, even if I agree more with his policy positions. Obama's past associations--Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Acorn--even if purely political, give me pause. But I and others remain absolutely mystified by McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

If Obama's "hope" campaign represents the degeneration of American politics into pure symbolism, then Palin's place on the ticket, as David Brooks has persuasively argued, represents the final refutation of anything resembling intellectually-informed politics. It's sad that the modern Republican Party has devolved from its 1950s intellectual roots to a rejection of those roots today. Even sadder is the fact that the intellectual bankruptcy of one party usually augurs a similar fate for the other (and Nancy Pelosi's stewardship of House Democrats shows that this has already begun to happen).

So who will I and the other Americans like me vote for? I'm not sure: I can only say that the choice will likely have little to do with specific tax proposals or subsidy programs, and much more to do with the ways in which we see ourselves as citizens and voters.
I think my only issue with this article is on abortion.

To me, I'm not voting for McCain because I honestly believe he will or can do anything to curb it. I'm voting for him because, out of principle, he disagrees with it, and Obama does not.

The reason to vote along the abortion issue is because the candidates' stance on it indicates what kind of principles he or she holds. If one believes abortion-for-convenience to be murder, then how can he ethically vote for someone who supports or at least will not condemn the widespread slaughter of thousands per year?
 

midway

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
301
0
0
Republicans will never be happy with the Ayers info. Because it really is all out there already but it doesn't give them the answer they want.
 
Jun 26, 2007
11,925
2
0
Originally posted by: alphatarget1
Originally posted by: JohnOfSheffield
Obama is keen on lowering taxes for those in real need of lowered taxes as i understand it, he's a true liberal and an upholder of the constitution by not infringing on peoples rights, as i understand it (but fuck him for FISA).

He's going after Bin Ladin, AQ and the Taliban, to me, that is important because i'm in Afghanistan/Pakistan, no more fucking meddling around with this shit, he'll ask them to strike or give us free room with enough air support to do the job right.

I would vote for him just because he would effectivly end the first front in the WOT and diminish the costs of not only the US but all NATO countries involvement in it.

That's 10 billion a week you didn't have before.
Aren't you British? You have your own financial crisis to worry about.
Did i mention the financial crisis? No? Well fuck you then.

I wasn't aware that there were rules attatched to this thread, disregard the first section and go with the latter if you will because that sure as fuck concerns me.


 

UberNeuman

Lifer
Nov 4, 1999
16,937
3,083
126
Originally posted by:Atreus21
If one believes abortion-for-convenience to be murder, then how can he ethically vote for someone who supports or at least will not condemn the widespread slaughter of thousands per year?
Did you vote for GWB?

 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,992
10,469
136
Originally posted by: Atreus21
I think my only issue with this article is on abortion.

To me, I'm not voting for McCain because I honestly believe he will or can do anything to curb it. I'm voting for him because, out of principle, he disagrees with it, and Obama does not.

The reason to vote along the abortion issue is because the candidates' stance on it indicates what kind of principles he or she holds. If one believes abortion-for-convenience to be murder, then how can he ethically vote for someone who supports or at least will not condemn the widespread slaughter of thousands per year?
McCain won't do a damn thing about abortion. That issue is the biggest much ado about nothing in modern American politics. Even if, by some unbelievably remote miracle, Roe v. Wade is overturned, that would just push the issue back on the states. And how many would vote to ban abortion? Probably none of them. And those few that might would just fuel abortions in neighboring states that didn't. No solution.

Your "reason" just isn't true. There's a HUGE difference between pro-choice and pro-abortion. There's an added layer of morality here that the pro-lifers refuse to look at beyond the morality of abortion itself, which is the morality of forcing your morals on others, particularly through govt. It's not something to be taken lightly, especially with the kind of inflammatory rhetoric you used here.
 

Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
14,681
1,894
126
If you haven't picked a candidate at this point....you are too stupid to vote.
It is quite easy to still be torn between the candidates...McCain would have my vote were it not for Palin, his uneven performance since the financial crisis and the fact that I am hesitant to reward the Republicans with my vote given the Bush Administration...and unfortunately, McCain comes with the baggage of his party.

Obama has an appealing message of change and hope, but I don't think he can deliver...he is a far left Democrat in moderate clothing, and my fear is that he will be a rubber stamp to a Democrat controlled Congress...and given Pelosi's behavior over the past few months, I have lost all faith in Congress...and would prefer a President who will serve as a counter balance.


 

UberNeuman

Lifer
Nov 4, 1999
16,937
3,083
126
Originally posted by: Starbuck1975
If you haven't picked a candidate at this point....you are too stupid to vote.
It is quite easy to still be torn between the candidates...McCain would have my vote were it not for Palin, his uneven performance since the financial crisis and the fact that I am hesitant to reward the Republicans with my vote given the Bush Administration...and unfortunately, McCain comes with the baggage of his party.

Obama has an appealing message of change and hope, but I don't think he can deliver...he is a far left Democrat in moderate clothing, and my fear is that he will be a rubber stamp to a Democrat controlled Congress...and given Pelosi's behavior over the past few months, I have lost all faith in Congress...and would prefer a President who will serve as a counter balance.
So, did you vote for Kerry over Bush? You would have had your counter balance then....
 

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