April 23, 2008

knowledge is good

4/23/08

This is Sean, Ian's brother, writing.

This reminds me of the court scene in "Animal House" when Hoover has had it with the screaming idiocy behind him, he turns to the guys and says, "Can someone tell those assholes to shut up?" and Boon jumps up and, full voice, yells "HEY, SHUT UP YOU ASSHOLES..."

Yes, Animal House was required viewing in our home growing up.

Ian asked me to write the blog today because he thought he was liable to say something nasty. Which is kind of hilarious, if you think about it, since he's managed to piss off a big group of people no matter what he writes. I can't imagine him turning to me, the most impolitic person he knows, unless he's just at the end of his rope.

Here's the thing. Lindsay invokes the "Ian Rule" or whatever, but the fact is, the internet works like this. There's a snapshot of a moment that gets relayed to someone's blog, and that blog then gets pored over by hundreds of totally random people who pick over the thing like it's the goddam Code of Hammurabi. They stumble on an inconsistency, they become sexually aroused and then they type in some horrible comment with their suddenly bespunked hands.

Ian, I'm guessing, has a hard time ignoring you blowhards. It's easy for me, as soon as you start saying "you democrats" or "you liberals" and then use Ian's words, (Ian, who is in no way a spokesman for ANYBODY, and this blog, whose words have the equivalent endurance of the hair you leave in your brush) you're really easy to ignore. Also, it's easy to ignore you if you're a dick.

I'm guessing that most of the "code word" entries, and the reason that we never learn anything about his career or personal life, is because the constant screeching gotcha-birds are always hovering, ready to shit into Ian's mouth the second his smile gets a little too wide. I don't know, I could be wrong. I barely talk to him, we're both raising children and writing shows and trying to sneak away from our wives to golf.

anywhoodle

A brief thought on the election.

I have a strict constructionalist view of the Constitution, I believe in the living document, and I also have a deep passion for the Declaration of Independence. So, it should be obvious that it would be hard to find a worse President for someone like me than President Bush. I understand that any new President would be better for America.

John McCain spoke out against torture, and he supports a smart immigration plan. I understand that his call for endless war is a real turn off to some of the people I know, but I see it slightly differently. I think he broadcasts strength and old-man crazy, but I don't believe he would be irresponsible. His sabre-rattling is like Reagan's. I like the crazy old fart, and I believe that his heart is in the right place. Sure, he hugged President Bush like a child clinging to his father, but, as the Obama decriers can't seem to figure out, a man can't be judged by some of his unfortunate friends.

Barack Obama is intelligent, liberal and honest. He has been a supporter of the second amendment, he has been unyielding in his support of a woman's right to choose, and the level of respect he has for the simple American dream, the patience he has for opposing viewpoints, and the balance between policy nuance and inspired leadership is a paradigmatic shift in the way the political world works.

Hillary makes me so unhappy. She has a wicked handle on a series of facts, but she's willing to bend interpretations to make anything say what she wants it to. She disregards caucus states, because they don't represent the "real voters", she disregards the Obama primary wins because there are either a lot of black voters, or are states that will be won by Republicans anyway... Today she's claiming to have more votes total, although to get to that math you have to count a state where OBAMA WASN'T ON THE BALLOT... She claims that if Obama loses Indiana, it's a sure sign that he can't win the general election because it borders his home state, regardless of the fact that she's lost two of the states that border hers.

We have had two presidencies filled with a man who ignores facts or comes to a conclusion that makes no sense given the facts. Do I think we'll have another attack like we did on September 11? I don't know, I don't think so. But we will have another Katrina, another economic blowout, another four, five, six... a dozen horrible things we can't imagine.

I just can't feel okay voting for someone that doesn't see information as fact. I don't want someone using phrases like "bad intelligence" to explain horrible mistakes, and I don't want someone reading what they want into the facts they are given. If Obama was this far behind, he would have dropped out.

If I can't vote for Obama, I will vote for McCain. I at least trust that the un-forseen will be dealt with as it is with him as President. I don't believe that Hillary will respond to what *is*, I believe she will try to tell us why the things that are happening are actually great for her and for us.

And, in case you're wondering how I write so much content, I just write and don't edit. And that's because I have my opinions, they're well informed and I'm super-smart.

Posted by Ian Williams at April 23, 2008 11:14 PM
Comments
Posted by: Matt at April 24, 2008 3:45 AM

"{Obama] has been a supporter of the second amendment."

Nevermind words he may have said, has he EVER voted against a single piece of gun control legislation? He's said that he favors DC's total ban, which is hard to square with someone who purportedly supports the 2nd Amendment.

"I understand that [McCain's] call for endless war is a real turn off..."

This is what makes it easy for me to start tuning out. Now excuse me while I go wash my hands.

Posted by: Anne at April 24, 2008 4:28 AM

Awesome in every aspect, Sean! God, I would have crawled under a big rock long ago if anyone dissected my humble little blog the way they do Ian's.

This is my favorite sentence (fragment) in Sean's post today: "...(Ian's) blog then gets pored over by hundreds of totally random people who pick over the thing like it's the goddam Code of Hammurabi. They stumble on an inconsistency, they become sexually aroused and then they type in some horrible comment..."

In that context, LOL @ the first comment today.

Ian: Many of us came here in the first place because you have a flare for expressing vivid opinions and convictions. It's part of what makes you fascinating enough to draw so many regular readers. Please don't water down your blog; take a time-out as you are doing today to get away from the dung beetles who thrive on rolling your every word into little balls of shit.

Rock on.

Posted by: scruggs at April 24, 2008 4:34 AM

Love it!

Posted by: Matt at April 24, 2008 4:49 AM

That wasn't lost on me, Anne, hence my last comment. Who exactly were the "dung beetles" yesterday? Liberal Democrats who don't appreciate being called racist. It appears no one likes it.

Here's a thought: Why not just shut off the comments altogether? Then you'll have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Greg T. at April 24, 2008 4:50 AM

Nice job, Sean!

My only quibble is that your title is not a clever play on words incorporating lyrics from a hip indie-rock group. I beleive I speak for most of Ian's readers when I say that the clever titles are what brings us back day after day.

Ian - Get well soon!

Posted by: CM at April 24, 2008 5:22 AM

I didn't see yesterday's entry as pissing off a large group of people; I saw it as a great opportunity for all of us who care to share our responses and debate things, and maybe even change our minds (yes, it happens!)

I have learned a lot from this blog, and whether an entry draws raves or cheers, it is always worthwhile. As was today's.

Posted by: Sean at April 24, 2008 5:41 AM

Matt, that last line was utterly brilliant.

"Knowledge Is Good" is the personal motto of Emil Faber, the man who's name graces the college in Animal House. He was apparently the inventor of the pencil.

Posted by: sam at April 24, 2008 6:21 AM

Kudos to Sean and Ian.

I'll too vote for McCain if I can't vote for Obama.

Billary will lose more Democratic congressional and state legislature seats than Bill did, and Bill got trashed in that regard. We'd be better off with McCain and a growing Democratic representation nationwide, giving Obama four more years to take root.

Posted by: jersey at April 24, 2008 6:34 AM

Question: am I the only one that had to google "Code of Hammurabi"?

So much for that History/Political Science major at a liberal arts institution...

Matt - Capitals Suck.

Posted by: Jackie at April 24, 2008 6:42 AM

You know, I didn't just wander in. I've been hear since before Coastopia reading off an RSS feed enjoying the ride, sometimes agreeing sometimes disagreeing. It seems that suddenly I am a dung beetle deserving to be on an ice floe.
You know, could one of you true believers tell me the difference between your language and this: "You are either in the coalition of the willing or you are in the axis of evil?"

Posted by: Sean at April 24, 2008 7:41 AM

You know, could one of you true believers tell me the difference between your language and this: "You are either in the coalition of the willing or you are in the axis of evil?"
***

Sure, I can. It has to do with English, and the fact that nobody uses words that mean the same thing these words mean.

Oh, and also, it's easy and fun to misquote Republicans in order to have a straw-man that's easy to tear down, but the above, which you put in quotes, was never said by anyone.

For the majority of Obama supporters, we were very happy with Hillary until she turned into the very thing we've been fighting. And we've not been fighting it for seven years, it's been for decades. She joined hands, literally if you consider Scaife's endorsement, with the very people who've been lowering public discourse for the last several presidencies.

So, most of us believe that we are capable of choosing a president based on the candidate's position on the things that matter most to us. Obama and McCain stand on opposite ends of some things when it comes to the Economy, Foreign Policy and the role of the Executive Branch. So, we can choose between them based on these things.

Hillary's argument for her presidency has become an endless stream of attacks on the character of associates of the men running against her. It's deplorable.

We don't believe that you are either voting for Obama or McCain or you're an idiot. We do believe that the future of politics will be a future of substance, and a vote for Hillary is a continued support of the kind of fractious politics we've endured for the last several decades.

Ignoring nuance, which you do by asking the question, is the very problem with this old school view of politics.

Posted by: hilary at April 24, 2008 7:50 AM

i don't have time to be leaving comments on this blog but i'd like to say, uhm, three things:

1) sad that the repubs are getting what they want: smart, sensitive dems like you will split off from the party and vote for a war-monger rather than vote for the other dem. candidate. that's just great. i very much like mccain too, but he is not the right person to be leading this country right now.

2) i like how you discussed the issues in describing the candidacies of mccain and obama, but when it came to hillary, it was simple, character-assasination time. ironic how she--more than the other two combined--is a big ole' policy wonk, but people choose to hate her for reasons having nothing to do with that.

3) i'm a hillary supporter, but just barely. i'm currently reading "dreams from from my father" (love it), and i'm watching obama very closely, and even though i feel like she'd be stronger for our country right now--i feel a kinship with barack, i like him, and i will be thrilled if he's our candidate. i'm just not (yet) totally convinced he's ready to lead this country, which is approaching crisis level on several fronts. that said, i'd MUCH prefer his leadership/judgement over mccain's.

((ok four things))

4)I don't have the time or the rationale to back this up, but i can't help feeling that if a man, like john edwards, say, were nipping at barack's heels right now and winning most of the big states and giving him some competition, the pundits etc. wouldn't be calling for him to drop out of the race. just sayin'.

Posted by: the other Lee at April 24, 2008 8:06 AM

yes jersey, you're the only one.

;)

jk

as for yesterday I took it in the spirit that it was written. Ian was pissed and was venting, nothing more nothing less.

Posted by: bridget at April 24, 2008 8:43 AM

that was a great post sean. and your argument against hillary as a fact distortionist rang with clarity for me. i never supported her candidacy in the first place - too much clinton baggage and the fact that her negatives are so high that i didn't see very much getting done if she was president. Regardless of grasp of policy or her tenacity and fight. I could only see four more years of republican smear and clinton drama.

but witnessing her performance (and bill's) over the past few months has been jaw-dropping. and eye-opening. mccain might continue bush's policies (unacceptable to me) but hillary might continue bush's stubborn and successful practice of subordinating objective reality for her own version of it. Which really seems the worse to me because then you can't have a fair fight or reasonable argument over what's truly in the best interest of the country.

"winning" at all and any cost is a destructive bush legacy that will have been validated rather than repudiated.

Posted by: Jackie at April 24, 2008 9:17 AM

You are right. I shouldn't have put that phrase in quotation marks. It was wrong. Knew it as soon as I sent it.

Posted by: kjf at April 24, 2008 9:31 AM

obama, hillary and mccain supporters all agree - lucy is adorable.

Posted by: Caroline at April 24, 2008 10:30 AM

Hi Sean & Ian,

Written communication is tough because you can never convey the voice tone that you may be writing in and you certainly can't control the tone that the reader interprets.

Although I don't necessarily agree with your vitriol against Hillary I do feel badly if my small (or, actually, sorta long) post had any contribution to either of your angst. And I certainly didn't mean to offend. Sean, I don't agree with you but if that's how you feel about Hillary and McCain if you can't vote for Obama that's fine - I think you make a good and artculate argument. I guess I really have a beef with the Hillary-haters who hate her just cuz - and I think you'd agree that they are out there.

Anyway, I didn't mean to make this political again.

Sean you make really excellent observations about how we are just seeing a snippet of a thought or an argument. Point totally taken. But from our perspective, it is a blog and it's been posted for us to read so how should we take it? Maybe our reactions are just snippets of arguments, as well.

Life is too short to argue on a blog with virtual strangers so I will reiterate that I am sorry if anything I said pissed either of you off. It wasn't meant to. I don't want to be the kind of guest that comes into your house with shit on their shoes.

Posted by: Sean at April 24, 2008 10:32 AM

Hey Matt...

"Nevermind words he may have said, has he EVER voted against a single piece of gun control legislation? He's said that he favors DC's total ban"

Um... am I supposed to ignore the words he's said, or go by the words he's said?

Hillary, a blog has to contain as few words as possible. My point is that I admire Obama's politics and his character, but if I'm not given the opportunity then I will have to choose between the other two. I admire McCain's character though I find his political positions make me uneasy, and I admire Clinton's grasp of policy, but her lack of character makes me squeamish.

Because we can't imagine what this next president will have to face, from war to economic disaster to the North Korean invasion of Alaska, one's intellectual rigor and character has to be placed ahead of one's politics. Her actions as a candidate make me blanch.

Also - The future of political debate will be substantive, I believe that. When you question my assessment of Clinton because of my gender, you are embracing the very same brand of Clinton/Bush politics that has been shaming our country for decades. Fox News and NPR both have agenda, but they present *facts*, and those that discount other's opinions because of where they get their information are doing nothing to further the debate. I notice someone named "bridget" agrees with me, and one can't help but wonder how you would attack this post if it was written under that name.

Posted by: Matt at April 24, 2008 11:10 AM

Sean,

"...am I supposed to ignore the words he's said, or go by the words he's said?"

You got me there. As Lindsay might say, I refuted myself. But my point is that actions speak louder than words. I've heard Obama say nice things about the right to bear arms, too, but his voting record is no friend to gun owners.

Posted by: hilary at April 24, 2008 11:13 AM

regarding the bridget thing--i would have approached it the exact same way. i'm certainly not happy with maureen dowd's comments these days either. and by the way my name has one "l" in it. i promise not to take it personally that you've compared me to bush if you don't take it personally that you've assessed clinton a certain way because of your gender (because i certainly didn't mean it that way).

Posted by: Clara D. at April 24, 2008 11:36 AM

I liked your blog today, but I have to say, Sean, I don't think the commenters are ALWAYS guilty of "pick[ing] over the thing like it's the goddam Code of Hammurabi." When Ian puts it out there, plain and clear, saying that Hillary supporters (at least in PA) are old racist rednecks who should be pushed out to sea, there isn't much more to really pick apart...
It's hard, because I started out as an Obama supporter, and now I'm undecided, and I know that could be *slightly* due to the whole 'we're enlightened, Hillary supporters are bigots etc' attitude that I'm hearing more and more from many of Obama's fans. It's hard to determine if/how much that's affected me, but I feel bad about it, cause it's not necessarily his fault...I want to vote based on a candidate's beliefs/intelligence/vision/record, not the behavior of my fellow democrats.
What I really (selfishly?) wish is that I was still reading those long gushing entries (on this and other blogs), the ones that made me think "wow, ok, so maybe I'm not as madly in love with Obama as this person, but I do think he'd make a great president, and I love the fact that so many people have fallen in love with him --that's the sign of someone who really could effect change as much as Obama clearly wants to..." but these days I'm hearing SO much Hillary-directed negativity (including the whole racist vs. sexist argument --*snooze*) from his supporters that I'm forgetting all the cool stuff, the Obama facts I should know, the inspiration.
Ian, I know. It's your blog and you should totally write what you think, and not feel responsible for doing the Obama cheerleading squad thing all the time. But the thing is, you're good at it. And I want to be convinced-- I've been asking everyone to convince me...my primary hasn't happened yet and I want to be 100% certain when I vote.
Sorry, long comment, but I just wanted to say this and remind you that there are probably others out there like me that are so conflicted about this and still WANT to be persuaded, and we come to blogs like this in the hopes that you and your readers/commenters will help us figure it out.

p.s. My parents are another couple of Obama-lovin' old people...

Posted by: Rebecca at April 24, 2008 11:57 AM

I think you're all going to have to hold your nose and vote for HRC if she gets the nomination. Why? The Supreme Court. Period.

Posted by: Matt at April 24, 2008 12:46 PM

Jersey, that's very mean-spirited of you. I take solace in that the future looks bright for the young Caps team. Next in line to break my heart: The '08 Cubs.

Posted by: jordi's friend jill at April 24, 2008 1:22 PM

Clara D.,

I'm not much one for the gushing, and I have heard other Dems say that the Obama-love is so over the top that it turns them off, so if you feel like some of that is lacking now-a-days, it's probably because a lot of us got tired of being called groupies or idolators or fanatics. (I hope you don't think I am slamming you; a lot of people are now just necessarily cautious.)

But in the interest of trying to persuade you, here are a few of my many reasons for wanting Obama to win the nomination.

1.) Agriculture. As I've been wandering the streets of suburban Philly, it's been a hard sell to get people to listen to me talk about agriculture policy, but I like to eat organic, and I like to eat local, but I know that I don't pay enough attention to that when I go to the grocery, so I am unwittingly supporting corporate ag rather than local ag. Obama has been a true friend to the family farmer in Senate. The people of rural Southern Illinois weren't expecting much from this man when he went to the Senate and he surprised the ever-loving crap out of them. Part of the reason for this is that he isn't taking money from corporate agricultural interests like Monsanto. He's not beholden to them for anything. If we're looking for someone who is smart about sustainable agriculture, we want Obama in the White House.

2.) Civil discourse/community building. I signed up to go to an Obama volunteer meeting because I was so attracted to this politician who wrote such beautiful speeches. I admit it wasn't the most substantive reason to join the cause. But the morning of the meeting, I read a diary entry on dailykos about "tikkun olam" that linked to an article in a magazine by the same name, written by a rabbi. The article was all about how Obama embraces the ideals of tikkun olam (the Hebrew roughly translates to "healing the world"). It talked a lot about how fractured the US is in regards to community--our fear of looking our neighbors in the eye because someone might need something from us. I had to stop reading the article to make it to the volunteer meeting in time. When I got there, the first step in our meeting was to break out in small groups and "tell our stories". The field organizer explained that this was an important step in every campaign activity and I thought "this is exactly what that rabbi was writing about." Even when it comes to how Obama runs his campaign, his focus is on building a community and making sure that everyone has an opportunity to speak out. At every event since then, when it's been time to share our stories, I've shared this story. I believe he's going to be the best leader for our country because he encourages us to talk.

And with every meeting, I've heard the stories of others who have different reasons for supporting Barack and through that process, my commitment deepened.

Clara, go to an Obama campaign meeting if you can. There's no better way to learn why people support Obama.

-Jill

Posted by: jennifer at April 24, 2008 2:33 PM

You would vote for McCain over Clinton? A Republican??? Seriously? So policy doesn't matter? Just personality? If we Dems can't pull it together, we're gonna lose again in November and it will be are own fault. I'm depressed.

Posted by: Lindsay at April 24, 2008 2:41 PM

Matt,

Is the 2nd Amendment a particular passion of yours? I'm not asking that to be mean, just to get a sense of where you are arguing from.

'Cause there is no inconsistency at all, as I see it, between acknowledging that the 2nd Amendment probably protects an individual right (not a group right) on the one hand, and supporting particular pieces of legislation restricting that individual right on the other.

Correct me if I'm wrong (and I would never invite that if I though I were wrong), but according to the Supreme Court for lo these many decades, the law in the United States is not, and has never been, on the side of the individual right. So for Obama, and several other left-leaning law professors, to be in the individual right camp is a remarkable turn of events. Maybe it doesn't seem that way if you've been either too deep into the NRA view of things, or only casually following it. But there are a lot of gun rights supporters who are pretty excited about winning the war on the right while losing this or that battle over a piece of legislation.

Did you hear the Court's arguments in Heller? I happened to be stuck in traffic and happily discovery CSPAN radio. Walter Dellinger, for DC, pointed to several founding era laws that look exactly like DC's law (which is not a total ban, by the way). He found a tight precedent between the trigger lock or disassembly provision in one law and an actual DC regulation (I think) that forbade carrying guns to market that looks like the carrying provision of the current DC law.

He didn't spend much time at all on the individual versus group rights debate.

After listening to (mainly) Scalia's and Breyer's questions, I can away seeing how the Court could reach a very principled consensus recognizing an individual right AND upholding the DC law, or applying a saving construction to read the trigger lock and disassembly provisions as disjunctive.

What I am shocked by is that fact that you didn't slam Sean for claiming to be both a strict constructionist and a living document type.

And, I truly apologize for the civil tone of this comment. I do think you're a dick, but I am curious about your point of view.

Posted by: Clara D. at April 24, 2008 3:03 PM

Jill, thank you for taking the time to post that. The points you mentioned were very interesting, and I will indeed try to make it to an Obama campaign meeting sometime soon...I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't been to one yet!

-Clara

Posted by: Sean at April 24, 2008 5:13 PM

Lindsay, I have to admit, I know way less about this than most people, but my understanding of the living constitution argument is that the constitution was a starting point and the rights guaranteed can't be limited, but that ever more rights can be preserved. I don't *feel* like this is directly oppositional to the construcionalist idea, that we need to honor every single word...

You know what? I don't really know what I'm talking about here and I've used some fancy words. I do know, however, that I have a passion for the idea that we come into existence with inalienable rights, and the beauty of America is that we've founded a country not on geography or ethnicity (although these both are enormous factors in our history) but rather on an idea.

Posted by: Lindsay at April 24, 2008 5:44 PM

Nah, Sean. I said I was surprised that Matt didn't jump at the red meat, not that you're ideas are uninformed.

You're splitting the difference between two opposing camps: Strict constructionism (not one drop more or less than the text says--this goes under different names, but s.c. is the Nixon era version of this) and living constitution (the document evolves over time to fit the needs of society).

I think that most informed citizens can instinctively see a middle ground, but academics and academic judges see irreconcilable differences.

I'm in the "both of the above" camp. I think you stick to the text because that's what a Constitution is, but the text has some obviously open-ended clauses. Just because filling in those open ended clauses without ending up with a parade of horribles (inalienable rights to plural marriage, elective amputation, and unisex crappers) is difficult, doesn't mean it should be tried.

There are some interesting liberal and conservative legal scholars who are involved in working this out in a principled way. But you can count them on one hand.

For now, it's the constitutional law equivalent of a gay marriage/abortion/affirmative action debate. And with good reason: the dry, technical historical and philosophical argument has the potential to dictate how courts come out on each of those issues. Of course, it really doesn't, since judges will do whatever the hell their politics tell them to, anyway.

Posted by: Matt at April 24, 2008 9:21 PM

"there is no inconsistency at all between acknowledging that the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right and supporting legislation restricting that individual right."

"according to the Supreme Court for lo these many decades, the law in the United States is not, and has never been, on the side of the individual right."

I don't disagree with those two statements. I'm fairly confident that the Court will find that the DC ban is an unreasonable restriction, but certainly some restrictions are constitutionally permissible. Most people acknowledge that. When Justice Kennedy said during questioning in Heller that he believes in an individual right under the Second Amendment, it assured the 5 votes needed for a change in that holding. It is nothing short of ludicrous that it was ever anything else.

"What I am shocked by is that fact that you didn't slam Sean for claiming to be both a strict constructionist and a living document type."

I was going to, but forgot after I saw the old "100-year war" lie being repeated. Later on it just didn't seem important anymore. I think the two views are contradictory. I'm an originalist myself, by the way, not a strict constructionist.

"I do think you're a dick, but I am curious about your point of view."

You hang on my every word, I know. You couldn't keep your promise for a single day. But I do appreciate the fact that you made sense for once. Sadly, you'll have to get along without me until Monday, as I'll be traveling again.

Posted by: sharon at April 25, 2008 6:02 AM

Just getting to the party since I've been tied up with work & daughter's b-day. She turned 9. We got two hamsters (one for the little sis too). Pray for us, please.
I was thoroughly depressed Wednesday based on the PA results. I think the stat I heard was that 15% of voters said race played a role in their decision. Perhaps that reflects the heavy AA support for Obama - but my first reaction was it was the white crowd Ian decried who "aren't ready" for a black candidate. So that was pretty depressing for 2008. I also agree that Obama is getting outflanked by the Clintons. I think he's trying to stay positive and unfortunately, playing not to lose. And, as true Tar Heel BB fans, you know that playing not to lose instead of playing to win is a death knell. I'm fervently hoping that he will come out strong in NC. I saw him a week ago in Raleigh. My two daughters and I managed to get pretty close to the stage. They wanted to put us on the stage (my girls are pretty cute) but the 6 year old wouldn't have it. So, we stood nearby. Unbeknownst to me, Obama was backstage smiling and pointing at my older girl. She was so excited she couldn't speak - she finally tugged at my sleeve so I could see. When he came out, he made a point of making his way through the crowd so he could say hi and shake both girls' hands. I'm voting for Obama because of his policy positions, his capabilities to inspire others and his focus on collaboration and coalition building. But, he seems like an honestly warm and good person as well. And that's refreshing.
As many others have said, I used to admire Hillary Clinton a good deal. She's clearly smart and competent. However, she has no divine right to the presidency either. And her General Sherman-esque tactics make me sad.

Posted by: Terri at April 25, 2008 7:05 AM

Lots of folks are angry that people have a beef with Hillary "just cuz," that people can't articulate exactly why they don't like her. (For the record, there are tons of people who have a beef with Obama "just cuz," too, and worse, there are quite a few people who give reasons why they don't like Obama, when they REALLY don't like him for a particular reason which shall remain nameless here, and this becomes clear when some of the things they claim not to like about him intersect with the things that he and Billary (yes, sam, I stole from ya!) actually have in common). I understand this concern, but (and this is just a question) don't we all act, or not act, sometimes on the "just cuz" and is this necessarily a bad thing? Haven't we made a lot of decisions based on gut feelings that have turned out to be awesome decisions? Just asking ...

And, by the way, not wanting to vote for someone because they seem a bit too oily in the Slick Willie sense, and like too much of a career politician in the This-is-my-destiny; give-it-to-me sense is NOT a "just cuz."

Posted by: CM at April 25, 2008 8:09 AM

"I understand this concern, but (and this is just a question) don't we all act, or not act, sometimes on the 'just cuz' and is this necessarily a bad thing?"

Good questions, and the answers are yes and yes: It is a bad thing if you are deciding on someone to protect the free world from terrorism, or whether to have major surgery, or so many important decisions which should be based on some research.

Obviously you CAN rely on a gut feeling in deciding whether to kiss a boy or what to order from Bob's Big Boy.

If a person doesn't like Hillary because she'll say anything to get elected, because she will pander to the wrong people, because she secretly doesn't intend to help the poor at all, then those are good reasons...

But the issue are WAY TOO IMPORTANT to rely on "just cuz," especially if you're using it to bash someone who is a frontrunner for our party.

Why is it that people will research issues like schools for their kids, buying a home, etc., but when it comes to one of the most important decisions about our future, it's based on 'just cuz'?

"I just kinda don't like hillary" isn't a good reason.

Posted by: Lindsay at April 25, 2008 9:35 PM

I think there have been some good reasons articulated here in the past week, and they seem to follow a consistent theme.

For me, there is one big reason: her campaign. I got uneasy when I first noticed that she has some of the worst from the old Clinton team, and few of the best (besides Bill, of course). As the field narrowed, unease turned to profound disappointment , and then to revulsion. But the final straw for me was her new-found insistence on counting the non-races from Michigan and Florida, when her supporters were a plurality of the committee that voted not to count Florida in the first place.

(Can a strong Clinton supporter address that last point, please?)

And it getting worse: Now she's claiming that she is winning? (First it was some made-up electoral college primary, now it's a non-existant popular vote primary, if you include two states where Obama didn't run).

We've had eight years of 2+2=5. I'm weary of it.

Democracies and republics are based on elections or they are based on nothing at all. Elections have to have rules that are set out in the beginning and that do not change in mid-contest.

The last eight years were coincidentally brought to us by a Florida vote that did not conform to the rules. Two plus two equals four has been taking a beating ever since. If I /do/ end up pulling the lever for McCain over Clinton in November (I live in a safe Blue state), it'll be protesting the her campaign's behavior over the last few months.

And if I knuckle under and vote for her, and if I'm feeling very expansive, maybe I'll think of Galileo, when he signed his recantation of his theory: "It's still round."

Posted by: dpdir at April 26, 2008 10:57 PM

Everyone needs to take a step back and remember this party had the balls to put up a female and an african american up as a choice. if you can't get behind that or see what that means and wanna vote for the other side or act like a spoiled child and NOT vote if Hillary gets ( which is still highly unlikely but possible) the nomination then maybe you deserve a country that will dissolve into utter chaos. ( as I have heard articulated by many Obama supporters) . the 'threat" that they would either NOT vote or vote for McCain strikes me as a complete cop out. the days of not voting as a protest are over. go and write in Obama's name if you can't stomach the idea of Hillary. have some courage to stand up for what you want rather then pout at home and not participate.

ps: Sean, a lot of people who took offense at being asked to book passage on an "ice floe" are not blowhards. and its pretty hard to believe you would call people "dicks" for expressing outrage at it.

and one would have to be really ... shall we see, "super dumb" to think there was an ironic smile in that blog post.

and my hands are spunk free.

-grin-


Posted by: Tara at April 27, 2008 4:18 PM

Awesome! Being super-duper right runs in the family. :)

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