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jeffolie

Clinton seemed to move toward the center a little today. She attacked Obama regarding guns.

Still Clinton and Obama are hopelessly tied to the liberal, progressive movement in the Democratic Party.

I have managed to persuade my wife and four adult children to vote for McCain because of Clinton and Obama's positions on illegal immigration. That is five votes for McCain that I have switched from HillBama.

GK

jeffolie,

You are a great American.

But also consider that many times, people will tell you that they have switched allegiances just to get you to leave them alone, while still changing their mind at the last minute and voting for HillBama on election day. Remember that their friends, etc. would be pressuring them in the opposite direction. You can never know for sure.

If the RNC were smart, they would be running TV ads with the Pew Research chart above.

jeffolie

Barack Obama's Black Liberation Theology


I'm not sure how much of this theology that Obama is aware of and subscribes to: That's Obama's problem, no one knows who he is or what he believes. But one has to assume he believes in it 100% since he's unwilling to address it. He won't even say the words "black liberation theology", which is surprising since that's what he's been worshipping for 2 decades. I am willing to assert that he's a full-on subscriber judging from passages I've read from two of his books.

Black Liberation Theology...

"Black Theology refuses to accept a god who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against the white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of the Black theology is to kill gods who do not belong to the black community..."

Here is a video by cable syndicated talk show host Glenn Beck and his guests:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=928_TLwSl1I

What does his membership in the Trinity Church with its Black Theology say about Obama's judgement and credibility. Will he appoint followers of Black Theology as judges?


It is frightening to me that a follower of this Church will be the President of the US.

-----------------

The media's love affair with Obama makes them ask us to believe that Obama was courageous for defending Wright in his Philadelphia speech on race and also courageous for throwing him under the bus six weeks later for the exact same opinions.

The only plausible realities are that either the speech was naïve and the press conference realistic, or the speech was pandering and the press conference politically expedient. Neither paints a pretty picture of a politician who is supposed to change Washington.

Indeed, the press had characterized Wright in that role quite often. For example, the Chicago Sun Times described him as "a close confidant" in an article about people Obama "seeks out for spiritual counsel," and the New York Times described Wright as his "spiritual mentor."

Another source even called Wright the man "who helped introduce" Obama to his "Christian faith," who "counsels" him, is "like family," "a friend," "a great leader" and a "sounding board," who was a member of Obama's spiritual advisory committee and who officiated his wedding and baptized his children.

That source? Barack Obama. I wonder where "the press" got all those crazy ideas.

Do I think for a second that Obama believes the government created the AIDS virus to kill African-Americans? No. But at this point it's rational to wonder whether he is either lying or has an awful sense of judgment. He either knew Wright's views and didn't tell the truth about them, or he somehow missed the core beliefs of the man who was spending his Sunday mornings teaching core beliefs.

I'm glad Obama has come to the same conclusion that Wright's critics came to long ago. I just wonder why it took me two minutes and him two decades.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/05/beck.obamawright/index.html?section=cnn_topstories&eref=yahoo

---------------------------

USA Today said the results showed the Wright controversy had raised questions for some voters about Obama's values, credibility and electability.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama's standing has been significantly damaged by the controversy over his former pastor, according to USA Today/Gallup poll published on Monday.

The poll showed Hillary Clinton leading Obama 51 percent to 44 percent nationally among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters, in contrast to a CBS News/New York Times survey released on Sunday that had Obama leading Clinton by 12 points. The USA Today/Gallup results were a sharp reversal from two weeks ago, before the latest controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, when Obama led Clinton by 10 percentage points.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080505/pl_nm/usa_politics_democrats_poll_dc;_ylt=AqsDhH9WSUp1gflohjagAses0NUE

Lord Voldemort

Out here in the SF Bay in California, if you try telling people that there's statistical evidence that the nation as a whole is right of center, they go ballistic.
They'll claim it is all a Karl Rove lie, that I shouldn't be taken seriously at work now that they know I am 'one of those neocons' and they'll insist that the nation is really left of center instead.

And if you ask for proof, the change the subject or they say they its just flat out impossible that America is otherwise but only that because stupid voters get 'tricked' by Republican dirty tricks and misinformation that is seems that the nation is right of center.

The only time they will *briefly* consider other possibilities is only when undeniably forced to do so -- like when Kerry lost in '04. It reminds you of the hedonists of Logan's Run being forced out of their bubble city at the end of the movie and how they had to deal with the reality of the world on its own terms for the first time in their lives.

But otherwise, these people are so removed from reality that I wouldn't be hopeful for any purge soon of the fringers. The fringers are not 'on the fringe' as far as the Democratic Party is concerned. They -- and the wacked out views they hold -- are in the hard center of how the world works, in their view.

I can see a future where the Democratic Party gets replaced much like the Whigs got replaced by the Republicans more so than I see it reforming itself.

GK

Lord Voldemort,

I know, I live there. Being a 'Republican' is worse than being a criminal, especially if you are a person of color.

The best way to tease SFBA people is :

1) Remind them about which party their Governor is from. You know, the guy who won 60% of the vote in 2006?

2) Remind them how not long ago, California was a Republican state (until 1988), and Texas was a Democrat State (until the 1970s). Few Bay Area residents know this.

3) Show them the voter distribution in 2004 by income.

4) Show them this table of how many tech industry execs donated to Bush, particularly if it is a company that they work at.

The key is, don't defend Bush, but rather expand the debate landscape in your favor :

a) Force them into a position where they have to say that even McCain and Schwarzenegger are 'extremists', due to being part of the Republican Party.

b) Force them into a pro-US vs. anti-US debate, rather than an R vs. D debate. Especially if your opponent is an immigrant. Make him explain why he came to the US, whether he thinks taxes are too low, whether America has too much racism, etc. When he doesn't have good answers, challenge him on why he is merely copying the views that appear the be fashionable, rather than putting in the effort to learn about his new country.

The fringes will be marginalized on a national level - the Bay Area itself is a concentration of fringe leftists. Exclude the Bay Area, and California becomes a swing state - seriously. SoCal is much redder than most people realize. Exclude the SFBA, and CA is no more blue than Pennsylvania or Ohio.

Lord Voldemort

Yup GK,

All those facts and observations do keep me sane in an Insane Unfree Zone. :)

Oh, and don't forget to mention how people at cocktail parties nearly ask you if you are retarded or something for choosing to be a Republican. (It's in their body language and tone of voice)

My favorite tactic is to not even bother shifting the 'debate' at all. When they spit (sometimes literally) in your face about how 'Bush lied', you simply respond 'yeah, to suckers like you...and you fell for it. And Bush is SUPPOSED TO BE the dunce?' and grin like a Cheshire Cat while doing so. They aren't used to getting boomeranged like that and it is sure fun to pull on them at a purely emotional level.

In my experience, most immigrants here are rather rational. They think that the 'native born' Americans are spoiled brats who don't know what privation really is and how surreal everything about these 'debates' are because of all the opportunities that abound around us in the Bay Area yet all the 'natives' can do is bitch, bitch, bitch and behave as if they don't have any common sense.

That's not to say that there aren't a lot of them who want to 'Ape the Americans'.

Perhaps I hang around different immigrants than you do. Or, most likely, I don't get exposed to the same things because I am one of those 'native born' and white to boot. As for Indian-Americans, I get a kick over the whole ABCD thing (American Born and Confused Desi). Most Americans don't know about that and I only found out because I befriended and trained an Indian co-worker who was fresh off the plane and thus relaxed around me.

But still, getting an answer to 'What is ABCD mean?" was was like pulling teeth because none of them wanted the White Guy to know about that little cultural detail.

ABCD was my best friend on scoring with Indian chicks, too. "Well...if you are going to continue to get crap from your friends and family back home no matter what, you might as well have an American boyfriend."

I saw some article a few years ago showing how California is going to become a Red state again simply because more Republicans have replacement level numbers of children than the Dems do and that 80% of all children grow up to adopt the same ideological outlook as their parents. Before that, Ohio will beat California to the Red state finish line for the same reason.

World Citizen

OMG, a very POINTLESS post, GK. Your posts about technology are way better then this left<>right brain expletive deleted by site administrator ;)

GK

"World Citizen",

It is pointless to want the Democrats to move closer to where more voters reside, rather than the fringes?

I see that you cannot contest any specific points in the article.

Also, you still have been hiding from the many questions that I have posed to you again and again :

What are you doing to stop the violent massacre of peaceful Buddhist monks in Burma? In Tibet? Of innocents in Sudan and Zimbabwe? Where is your so-called 'world community' in preventing these atrocities?

Also :

If you think Al-Qaeda is a creation of the CIA to get Republicans elected, then why is not a single Democratic Senator saying this? Why do you believe something that not one Democrat thinks is credible?

I'll throw in another :

Taiwan is not recognized by the UN. Yet, it is a democratic, wealthy country. Does it deserve to exist as an independent country?

How long will you keep hiding from these questions?

brokerdavelhr

GK,
Good article. I like what you said about how neither candidate should not be purely conservative. Sure tradition has it’s place, but history has proved over and over again that failure to adapt either dooms a country into a state of perpetual middle age (comparatively speaking), or gets it wiped off the map completely. I think you have stated the problem very well. I noticed that the media focuses on Hillbama and Mccain, but say nothing at all about the libertarian parties. Actually, I have yet to meet a single person who even knows that Ron Paul is still in the race. I have also noticed that the big D parties focus mainly around what the other side is doing wrong (in their opinion) vs. stating in detail how they would come up with a real fix to the problem that would actually work. The media also tends to leave out the discrepancies of the candidates voting record. It is sad to note that (on the rare occasion) that they point out such a discrepancy, that the politician still gets free media. Meanwhile, the straight shooters who actually back up their statements, are placed on the back burner.
While I do not believe that tradition is the answer, I would also argue that history cannot be ignored. The country has evolved a great deal off of what our founding fathers envisioned, yet this is not unexpected given the principles this country was founded on. Even back then, our nation had found many problems with herself. Problems that not even our founding fathers could figure out. Every action has a reaction, and I believe that everything happening today, is the result of those actions made hundreds of years ago. Likewise the actions we take today to fix those, will cause even more repercussions later.
What is your take on all this? (As you can probably tell, I am not much of a politician. I am way outclassed in this area, and will not be arguing as I am in a ‘shut up and learn mode).

Thanks

World Citizen

"GK",

US was never "Leftist vs Rightist", it was always "Liberal vs Conservative". There will never be anything like in Soviet Union or China... USA has different grounds, yet very young ones. If you think that the majority of US population is "conservative", you may not be totally correct, and I think they tend to be more "liberal". "Conservative" means "stale" to me...
If you ask me, I dont think Obama is "leftist", he is far from that... Wishing for the nation to be stronger and healthier does not necessarily mean to be "leftist" ;)

The bottom line is: the final votes will show the true national position, not a chart on someone's blog.

You and your useless questions... I gave you my opinion several times, yet you insist asking (I'm glad you still remember me :D ) those questions that do not deserve the answer; but, I'll repeat myself, just to amuse you...

What are you doing to stop the violent massacre of peaceful Buddhist monks in Burma?

Training jihadists to make a revolt.

In Tibet?

Training monks to sustain the pain better.

Of innocents in Sudan and Zimbabwe?

Innocents are everywhere. What do you do?

Where is your so-called 'world community' in preventing these atrocities?

Killed by Republicans. Only I left to carry the banner.

If you think Al-Qaeda is a creation of the CIA to get Republicans elected, then why is not a single Democratic Senator saying this?

Why should they? They are not better then Republicans - all bought by corporations....

Why do you believe something that not one Democrat thinks is credible?

Why shouldn't I? It's a free country, if you can have an opinion, so do I.

Taiwan is not recognized by the UN. Yet, it is a democratic, wealthy country. Does it deserve to exist as an independent country?

It's not for me to decide; if citizens of Taiwan want to be independent, so be it. If India wanted to be independent from England and Portugal, it was allowed to happen... Why shouldn't be the same for Taiwan?
Iran wanted to be independent and it was democratic country, yet the so called "the country that brings democracy" (US ;)) came and removed the democratic government in favor of a better controlled puppet... If UN will refuse to satisfy the freedom of Taiwan, then UN is a disfunctional structure...

jeffolie,
You are a great American.

Did you mean: "You are a great Republican"?... And dont forget, there are North America and South America ;) One country cannot be just an "America", nor citizens "Americans"

World Citizen

Interesting, my post was moderated... so much for a freedom of speech and wiliness of exchange opinions... very sad... So, GK, you are keeping only posts that really make your blog look like there is no opposition to your opinions? A truly conservative and coward way...
I'm very disappointed in you, GK

Sam

To answer your question, GK, the reason political parties don't field more moderate candidates is because it is the activists on the extremes that nominate, work for, and donate to the candidates. The average voter (like me) doesn't want to be bothered until the general election, at which point we are presented with two candidates from either extreme who have spent the last few months trying to fool us into believing that they are more centrist than they actually are. At least, that is my cynical view on the subject.

GK

"World Citizen",

At least you finally gathered the courage to answer.

Your ridiculous answers show how little you know about the world. This confirms my opinion that the more one knows about the real world, the more they appreciate developed nations, especially the US. The less they know about the world, the more likely they will consider themselves some 'world citizen' who is not just indifferent to genocide, but actually thinks it is funny.

a) You actually think Taiwan can VOTE for what their relationship with China can be, and that China will allow it? I am amazed that you don't know China is not a democracy, and seeks to take over Taiwan by force, against Taiwan's will.

That you say the monks should 'bear the pain' shows your cold cruelty.

b) You believe absurd conspiracy theories about 9/11, etc. are not a single elected Democrat believes. That is your right in free speech (which most of the countries you defend do not permit, BTW). It also proves you to be quite illogical and distant from the mainstream thinking of normal people.

c) Obviously, you don't think the world community or the UN has any obligation to prevent genocide in Sudan, Tibet, etc. What is the benefit of being a 'world citizen', then, if you are indifferent to evil?

A "World Citizen" that thinks genocide is funny. Nice.

Did you mean: "You are a great Republican"?...

You have just insulted all Democrats, by claiming that Republicans are the ONLY people that can be pro-US.

Interesting, my post was moderated

If you write an obscenity, that one word will be moderated, and it was. No actual argument of yours was moderated (particularly since they are so absurdly laughable), so don't lie that it was.

The point is, Obama is far more distant from the center of gravity than McCain, or even Bush. Period.

You cannot debate any point on its merits, which is why you hid for so long. Now that you have answered, you appear even more bizarre than I thought.

John Lynch

The Democrats won't win by a fluke. They'll win by bad decisions by Republicans. Eventually, everyone makes mistakes. The Republicans have made enough that they will lose in November unless they win by a fluke.

stalker

You might want to look at Krugman's analysis of the situation.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/election-fundamentals-continued/

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/phase-two/

1. Republican advantage is, according to you and PEW, that they are closer to the mainstream.

2. Democratic advantages include: a) stagnating or even declining personal income growth, b) an unpopular war, c) impending and almost certain recession, d) Bush's extremely low approval rating.

So really I'd rather be in Obama's rather than McCain's shoes.

For the record I am of the opinion that McCain is an opinionated semi-senile moron who will proudly continue Bush's legacy of alienating the rest of the world. (I may be opinionated too, but then again I'm not a President). If I were an American, I would vouch for Obama. As a Russian however I'd be quite content to see McCain win.

GK

stalker,

Your four Democrat advantages are true, which makes it all the more revealing that Obama isn't doing much better against McCain, than he currently is. On your specific points :

a) Debateable, and most Americans recognize that this is not in the control of any President. US per capita wealth is at an all-time high, in real terms.

b) Unpopular, yes, but most Americans do not want Obama's naive plan to 'withdraw in 60 days' and 'talk to Iran/NK'. They know that 2008 is the year of substantial improvements in Iraq.

c) Recession already began in December, as I have said here, and may be finished well before the election. It may have happened too soon for Obama to benefit.

d) Yes, but Obama should be doing much better than he is, given that. Such an opportunity only comes once in a generation, the last time being 1976.

I strongly disagree that Bush has 'alienated' the rest of the world. He just offends the leftists of the world, as he should. If anything, Democrats will damage America's credibility further by :

a) Opposing an expansion of ties with India, the most pro-Bush/pro-US country.

b) Opposing free trade with Columbia, a valuable ally high high potential to help move Latin America to greater prosperity.

c) Abandoning those in Iraq who have allied with the US, notably the Kurds and many assorted tribes of Shias.

France and Germany were the most vocal opponents of the US, and as a result, the voters tossed out Chirac and Schroeder, and installed pro-US leaders. Blair and Howard also won their first post-Iraq elections (as did Bush). Even Berlusconi is back in Italy.

So the 'US credibility in the world' argument holds no water - it is merely a leftist wish that has far too much evidence to the contrary. Jimmy Carter did not increase America's 'standing int he world', he merely made America look weak.

Eric

I'm a bona fide leftist. I wonder where you got that median voter ideology data from. What types of issues were used to determine the left-right ideology, and how much weight was given to each issue?

On economic issues like the environment, income distribution and workers' rights, the median voter agrees far more with the Democrats than the Republicans. It is the "values voters" that give the Right so much power, not to mention a successful method of making the moderate left look extremist and the far right look moderate.

The Democrats DID move to the economic center in the 1990s - and it created an opening on the anti-corporate left for Ralph Nader. If the Dems run toward the center on cultural issues but lean toward economic populism they would win easily. Unfortunately their liberalism today is more cultural than economic.

If the Democrats were to embrace Reaganomics-lite all over again, I would become one of millions of leftist Americans to break ranks and support a pro-worker, anti-big money candidate.

anon

Hillary and Obama are socialist to the bone.

I watched that man say how if he was president *barf*, he would leave America unarmed, and defensless. He would slow the progression of future Combat systems, stop all work on future and present nuclear weapons designs/research, and call on russia to do the same, and actually expect it to happen, all on "good faith".

Here is the youtube video with what he said.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl32Y7wDVDs&eurl=http://ginacobb.typepad.com/gina_cobb/2008/03/obama-would-lea.html

Yea, leave america wide open for a terrorist attack, something the last democrat we had in office did.

Socialism is alive and well with these two.

Only one thing could be worse if one of them were to actually get elected, Obama for president, Hillary for Vice...

I have seriously contemplated on Movein to Australia if either of these two idiots become the president of "we the people of the United STates"!


conradg

The "scale" seems silly, in that the "center" ought, by definition, to be the median line where half of all voters are to the right and left. That alone implies a biased scale.

Likewise, the claim that the Democrats are well outside the moderate range of most voters doesn't jive with the fact that in virtually all polls, the Democrats have a huge generic lead against Republicans. Even in the head to head races between either Clinton and Obama against McCain, the two Democrats are ahead. This suggests that the scale being used is out of touch with reality, but is using an abstract and subjective set of data, not objective data.

Likewise, when the host claims to be a moderate, and cites his three issues, I would say that these are only moderate issues if one supports them in a moderate way.

For example, #2, using market forces to solve problems, could, if taken very seriously, lead to the abolition of social security and medicate, etc. Most people would vote against a candidate who advocated such things. Even Bush's Social Security privatization plan went down to resounding defeat because it lacked voter support. So in actual real life tests, the electorate seems to view such ideas as far to the right of center, not part of the moderate middle.

In general, I'd say the host here is very much a creature of the right, not of the moderate middle, based on the current median of politics. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it's incorrect to pretend otherwise.

GK

conradg,

The "scale" seems silly, in that the "center" ought, by definition, to be the median line where half of all voters are to the right and left.

What if America is a country with more people to the right, than to the left?

If we do what you suggest, the median in, say, Canada, will be different than the median in the US. Absolutes do matter. Many Democrats in the US would be considered right-wing in Europe.

There is no denying that Obama and Clinton are much further from the center of gravity than McCain, and a bit further even than Bush. There are times when a party goes through bad years (Dems in 2004, GOP in 2008), but the center of gravity does not gyrate wildly.

In general, I'd say the host here is very much a creature of the right, not of the moderate middle,

Only to the extent that John McCain is also a creature of the right, by your definition.

conradg

GK,

Yes, the "center" of politics in Canada, or anywhere else, is not going to be the same as in the US. Trying to create a fixed scale of leftist-rightist ideology is simple-minded nonsense. Doesn't exist in the real world.

The center has no ideological meaning. It's a statistical value, as all, and hence it changes as the electorate changes. If more people want Democrats in office than Republicans, then the center lies within Democrat territory, not Republican. And vice-versa.

When you say that Obama and Clinton are further from the "center" than McCain, you are conflating your own ideological scale with the actual demographic distribution of political views in this country. Polls simply do not back you up on this, in that both Democrats are beating McCain right now. Hence, the center is in Democratic territory right now, regardless of what your ideological judgment says.

Your big problem is that you look at these things through a fixed ideological lense, which is generally characteristic of people at the extreme end of either spectrum. Most people, and virtually all moderates, are not oriented towards ideology as you are, which pretty much disqualifies you from being considered a moderate.

McCain, unlike yourself, is not an ideologue. (And I don't mean that as an insult, just a fact. Being an ideologue is fine.) Which is why he's gotten in so much trouble with right-wing ideologues over the years. He doesn't much care for policy even. He's driven by a very different set of political motives and views. That's why he's polling relatively well even though the country is trending very Democratic right now. I would not call him a creature of the right, merely one who is on the right on most issues.

GK

conradg,

I see that the personal attacks start right away, after just one post of minor disagreement from me. And you call me the ideologue.....

1) The center of gravity of the US voter is much closer to McCain, as per the Pew Research Center. Period. Just because you don't like something doesn't make it false.

2) Yes, the "center" of politics in Canada, or anywhere else, is not going to be the same as in the US.

Yes, and last I checked, only US citizens could vote for US Presidents (contrary to what global leftists would like), so the US center, which is further to the right than Canadian/European centers, is what matters for US elections.

3) Democrats are beating McCain right now. Hence, the center is in Democratic territory right now

They are tied in Rasmussen polls. You can't simply select what supports your narrative. Also, by your logic, since the GOP has won 5 of the last 7, and 7 of the last 10 elections, is it not true that the long-term average lies solidly with the GOP, despite occasional deviations?

The GOP has years where everything is stacked against them (1976, 2008), and Democrats do as well (1972, 1980, 84, 88, 2004). It is clear who is out of favor more often.

Another item you are confused about is the difference between anti-GOP sentiment vs. anti-incumbent sentiment. Note that the Democrat congress has a lower approval rating than Bush. This tells us, if Obama wins in November, it will take a very short time for his approval ratings to drop to Bush-like levels.

4) So why am I a more strident supporter of McCain than of Bush? Why am I a big fan of Joe Lieberman (he was the VP candidate in 2000, you know) and Zell Miller, while an opponent of Chuck Hagel and Lincoln Chafee? Do tell me how I can understand myself, O wise one... (hint : could it have something to do with the 3 items I said were important to me?)

conradg

GK,

Calling you an ideologue isn't an insult, it's just a fair description. Some of the greatest political figures in history have been ideologues. So don't assume it's a personal insult at all.

The Pew Research scale is not an indisputable fact of political life. It's the very thing I'm criticizing, so you can't just declare it to be true, period. It's one of those silly, subjective scales that people invent to prove themselves right. It's reminiscent of the Spinal Tap guy bragging about his guitar having a knob that goes to 11, rather than the usual 10.

1) If McCain is near the center, and the Dems further away, this should be reflected in the polls. Since it is not, he's not.

2) You're the one who brought up Canada and other foreign countries. So this criticism should be self-directed.

3)I'm pointing to the most recent polls at RealClearPolitics.com

ABC has Obama +7 Clinton +3
Quinnipiac has Obama +7, Clinton +5
POS/GQR has Obama +5, Clinton -1
The Rasmussen poll is a tracking poll, which means it has lag. But even throwing in that tie, the average of the four polls has Obama +5, Clinton +2.

None of that is consistent with the premise that Obama and Clinton are further away from the center than McCain.

You are right that previous elections have showed a shift towards the GOP. Guess what that means? The political center moves around. It doesn't stand still. Clearly there was a righward shift, especially in Presidential politics, followed by a rightward shift in congressional politics. Now it's shifting back to the left. Bad for you, I guess, but it's not bad to face reality, just a little embarrassing.

Whatever the long term trends are, and they are debatable to be sure, we are talking the present moment, and the candidates in this cycle. It doesn't look very good for Republicans. The low ratings for congress is not directed at Democrats, however, but at Republicans, which is why polls show the Republicans in congress to be in big trouble, and the Democrats to be on the verge of big gains. It certainly looks like Democrats are going to increase their hold on congress once again. We may be returning to that long period of congressional dominance by Democrats, after only a ten year experiment with Republicans. And demographically, it's hard to see how this will change in favor of Republicans.

In general, many liberal views are gaining in support, such as gay marriage. On the other hand, there's still strong support for free market economics, including myself, but with a decidedly liberal bias. And then there's the fact that McCain is forced to take liberal positions on such issues as global warming, even though most Republicans and conservatives disagree.

I think it's obvious why you're a supporter of McCain - he's a conservative on most issues, which reflects your own ideology well. And Lieberman couldn't even win his own party's senate primary. He's certainly not in the center when it comes to Iraq and foreign policy in general. Overwhelming poll numbers show that. He's become a Republican, and when the Dems win new senate seats this fall he'll find himself in no man's land.

It's also pretty clear that Miller's a virtual Republican, especially on foreign policiy and Iraq, whereas Hagel and Chafee are strongly anti-war. Obviously, you care about that issue a great deal. Is this a mystery?

World Citizen

One thing that I personally do not understand is the constant trial to link environmental and health issues with political views, weather left or right. Do our water, air, trees, animals, etc. care about Democrats or Republicans?

Olives & Arrows

Conradg,

It's quite noticeable that you chose to avoid, what for a leftist ideologue must be some unpalatable realities of US politics. Of course, the political scale of left and right, the ideological centre exists outside of and independent of American politics. As GK has more than adequately explained that...... Fact is-- the majority of Americans consider themselves "conservative" and most elections are ultimately decided by the size of the GOP base that turns out on election day.
The November election will be no different. Given the unpopularity of Bush (somewhat driven and exaggerated by a leftist compliant media) the polls between the parties are actually quite close. And that has to be foreboding for any Democratic analyst/strategist with any semblance of reality. Overplaying what isn't actually a very strong hand has to be worry for realistic Dems. Indeed, the Donks are just one "october surprise" away from yet another humiliating loss in November, just one forged memo, a William Ayers or a wet cigar away from defeat.

(GK, I've been reading here for a while just lurking and decided to contribute my 2 cents. Great blog, keep up the great writing.....)

Olives&Arrows

Fat Man

Good Analysis. Good Work.

GK

Olives and Arrows,

Thanks for your encouragement. Do comment some more in the future.

Conradg,

Your argument has gaping flaws, as follows :

1) You think Lieberman (as well as Zell Miller) is 'barely a Democrat' simply because he supports success in the effort to bring democracy to Iraq. Nevermind that he supports Democrat positions on all other issues. Thus, for you, being pro vs. against success in Iraq is the single overriding partisan issue. Without realizing it, you just made being a Democrat and being pro-US/pro-democracy mutually exclusive, which is disastrous for the party. Democrats should, instead, be aggressively offering new ideas on how to achieve pro-US goals, rather than undermining these goals at the behest of leftists.

This exactly proves the whole point of the main article - that there is a gaping vacuum in the moderate left. They are forcibly excluded by the narrow-tent leftists that have enslaved the party.

2) It is clear that McCain is far closer to the center than Obama/Clinton. Pew is a left-leaning organization, so simply dismissing for not agreeing with your wishes is not meaningful.

In such an anti-GOP cycle (which last happened in 1976), it is remarkable that Obama isn't doing much better. The very absence of a landslide, in this environment, shows how far from the center he is. In years where Democrats are weak (1972, 80, 84, 88, 2004), the GOP does win in crushing landslides. In other words, if Dems win in 2008 by anything less than a 1972 or 1984-type margin, it exposes their weakness, proving my point.

3) The political center moves around.

Actually, it doesn't (except over decades). America is 20% leftist, 40% moderate, and 40% right-wing. This was/is true in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

The only thing that changes is the composition of the parties. Democrats move to the right and get more votes. When they move to the left, they lose. In-power Democrats will behave differently from out-of-power Democrats, due to the pressures of satisfying the majority. Hence, Clinton's many right-wing actions, such as cutting taxes on Cap Gains, reforming welfare, signing NAFTA, and bombing Saddam in 1998 over his WMD programs. Arguably, 1996-2000 was better for conservatives than 2006-08.

America, today, has more rightwing people than leftists, period.

This also proves another point of the article, that structurally, the Right being bigger than the Left, that the GOP tends to control the center a lot more often than Democrats, hence the 7-3 record over 10 elections, and 5-2 record over the last 7 since Carter. Truly a shambolic performance, and it is remarkable that in a two-party system, that the two parties are so unequal.

But Democrats can improve their win-loss record immensely by moving to the right, and controlling the center. When they figure this out, they will win again, and most Americans will be less opposed to them. But this would involve nominating candidates in the purple zone.

Democrats will probably win the WH in 2008, which will be one of their typically infrequent flukes. The 2012-2030 period will thus probably be GOP-dominated, just like the post-Carter period.

Olives & Arrows

America, today, has more rightwing people than leftists, period.

Apparently two of three Americans self-identify as "conservative". It's rather fortunate for liberals that the media is overwhelming leftist, otherwise the GOP would be winning even more than the 70% of recent elections that GK cites. Conservative ..hehe.. estimates put 85% of the mainstream media to the left of the ideological median, with a hefty portion of that majority leaning quite heavily to port.

Democrats will probably win the WH in 2008,....

I give the Dems a 55/45 chance of winning. Again, some conservative handicapping since the polls are running closer than that number.

jim

I grew up in a Democratic family and it's painful to me how the radical Left has taken over the party of my parents and grandparents.

In the 90s there was a brief hint of sanity with the New Democrats - pro-free market, pro-America. But the New Democrats have been destroyed and replaced with the rabid Marxists of the DailyKos crowd.

Obama -- a morally repugnant man who is clearly a racist, a marxist, and anti-American -- represents a shameful new low in American politics.

Very sad.

pbrower2a

The American political process has an effect much like the old Spanish Torno, an alternation between political parties. We get an inevitable and almost-predictable change, if for different reasons.

The Left, like the Right, invariably runs out of ideas and turns to patronage to consolidate the base. Look at George W. Bush -- one might expect conservatives to most resist the effort to buy political support through draining the Treasury, but that's exactly what we got. The patronage doesn't feed the base so well as it drains everyone else. With the Left, the patronage appears as welfare to the "partisan poor" or as good jobs to government employees; with the Right it is business subsidies and military procurement.

We have seen blatant incompetence and tendencies toward dictatorial government under GWB... and we have been turning away from him. Obama seems like the sharpest turn from him (short of the fringes Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul), and he can succeed this time against a now-weak campaigner.

Maybe Obama can do some genuinely-conservative things, like getting a line-item veto and putting an end to earmarks. Driving out the cronyism and corruption characteristic of the 43rd Presidency without replacing it with different corruption and cronyism will be a huge achievement.

I think that the 2008 election is something of a fluke, but what is a "normal" Presidential election, anyway? I hope that I never see elections similar to those of 2000 or 2004 in which political hacks sway the election through their control of an electoral machinery instead of campaigning for politicians, even if they go "my" way. 1996? That's the closest analogy to this one, with a well-respected relic then in his seventies against a much younger candidate -- but this time there's no incumbent. 1992? It featured a strong third-party challenge by a moderate, more like 1912 than any other 20th century election. For predictably "normal" elections by local standards, look to places like Cuba, North Korea, Belarus, Burma, Iran, or Syria.

Obama, should he win, is going to succeed much like Reagan: "I'm not (Carter/GWB)".

In 2000 we may have needed conservatism without corruption... but we got unprecedented corruption.

M. Simon

Maybe Obama can do some genuinely-conservative things, like getting a line-item veto and putting an end to earmarks. Driving out the cronyism and corruption characteristic of the 43rd Presidency without replacing it with different corruption and cronyism will be a huge achievement.

From a Chicago politician? Surely you are joking.

pbrower2a

I'm not joking. I think that this country is ready for some serious reforms, including efforts to close the Constitutional loopholes that allow rule through a Party apparatus under a feeble President, a compliant Congress, and an apparatchik like Karl Rogue. Note the Russian word; it fits him well. The man exercised a combination of executive, legislative, and judicial power without ever having been elected, appointed and confirmed, or made subject to civil-service rules, contrary to the formal norms in our Constitution. There's an English word for that sort of government:

DICTATORSHIP!!!

Do you deny the widespread corruption, incompetence, recklessness, and intellectual vapidity of George W. Bush? Karl Rove was running the show, and party Bosses are not authorized to wield any governmental power.

Good reasons exist for the alternation of political power in America; after so much of the one side of the political spectrum, that side enriches itself and ignores the interests of all but the Base. Most of America isn't the Base of either party. George W. Bush was rotten from the start, so you can recognize why I think that America is in need of major change.

As for Chicago being a den of political iniquity (it is!) -- political machines have typically promoted their most competent and least corrupt out to statewide and national office. W. H. Taft. FDR. Harry Truman. Adlai Stevenson. Such people are too good to do the dirty work of a political machine.

brokerdavelhr

GK,
Haven’t written in awhile, just thought I would say a few things.
The first thing I would like to point out, is that McCain and Obama are not the only two candidates still in the race. They are just the only two most of America hears about. The only exception to this goes to Ron Paul, who has gotten very little media himself. The point here is that the average American only hears about what they have time to watch on TV. Lord forbid they actually research things on their own. I was shocked to find out how misleading (and in some cases) out-right wrong Obama and McCain’s campaign ads are. The question then becomes – Who’s fault is it really if another hack gets voted in, and the US takes another perverted twist from what she was originally founded for?
The second is the simple fact that until something catastrophic enough happens to shock America out of her complacent (and all to media trusting) skins, that the system will continue to mount it’s many number of ‘failed’ systems, and the ‘average’ American will continue to bear the brunt.
Last but not least, I am tired of candidates using the so called ‘global warming’ and ‘energy’ crisis’s, as a running platform. Yes I believe that pollution is bad, but a global catastrophe this does not make. Fact- there is no model that proves global warming. Heck, it even defies a few simple laws of physics when taken as far out of proportion as it is. Energy crises? Hardly. Yes gas prices are fairly high. Yes new innovations should be sought (like solar and wind) in the energy sector. But it is hardly a catastrophe. So in reality you have a few politicians (who undoubtedly make quite a bit off of these ventures), who can set a needless law, reap the benefit, and watch as the populace once again pays the price. Innovation is often hampered by laws passed by those who do not understand the scope of it. Al Gore for example. Great business man. A lying, ignorant, hack of a human being true. But he is a great businessman.
And there you have it- the soul of politics. Not of your average American mind you, for it is a self evident truth that the people are no longer being stood for. Not that this is through no fault of their own, for quiet ignorance is just as damaging to a foundation as brazen acts are. It freakin kills me when people blame everything on the government, and never even lift a pen to write their congressman. Then they wonder when their representative votes a certain way. They never stop to think that for their one sent in letter, a few thousand college students (who are now of voting age) sent theirs in opposition.
So let the chaos reign, and the games continue. I don’t know, GK what’s your take on all this?

SanFranciscoJim

Just like your claim that "Iraq will become a an overwhelming success" this year, you will be embarrassed again in your prediction that America will vote for four more years of incompetent Republican rule.

When will you ever learn from your mistakes?

GK

SfJim,

you will be embarrassed again in your prediction that America will vote for four more years of incompetent Republican rule.

When did I predict this? You are a pathological liar (as one needs to be to sustain such an uneducated worldview).

Plus, my prediction that the US would win in Iraq in 2008 was 100% RIGHT. It was a superb prediction, and a major post detailing the exact details of our comprehensive victory is coming up.

Even Obama and HRC have admitted that the Surge worked. You have collapsed in shambolic humiliation.

Tee hee.....

Until I do an updated post in Iraq's victory, study the reasons why your ideology is unattractive in nature.

jsf

I voted for... Carter,Reagan, Reagan, G.H. Bush, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, G.W. Bush, McCain

For anyone not old enough to remember, Gore started out as a Pro-Life, Pro-Gun Southern moderate, look what you must become to accepted by the DNC. I am a Democrat by the way, I have taken the ideology tests and fall in the middle or perhaps a tick to the left.

The caveat is I have a pro-Defense/Libertarian bent. I also have little use for arguing social issues. This election will put me at 5/4 Rep/Dem. My voting record proves the point that an even slight left of center bent will put me at times closer to the Republicans.

Micha Elyi

"I am a political moderate, in that I care about only three issues (among which are) aggresively fighting against terrorists and other enemies of democracy and women's rights..."

Such a remark demonstrates that among the other failings of so-called moderates is their extremist indifference, even hostility, toward men's rights. Such exclusive concern for women is called "equal treatment" by feminists; the sexism from which such sentiments are born passes unnoticed by "moderates."

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