The Catfood commission as far as I see it is absolutely necessary. We need to hear all the possible solutions to the problems we confront on deficits and debt, no matter how unsavory. That is the practical and right thing to do, and certainly within a President's prerogative.
He discovered the practicalities of closing Guantanamo were considerably more problematic than he expected. Is that an error of judgment? Yes, I agree with you. Has he fundamentally transformed our foreign policy, our approach to the rest of the world, the way in which we interact with other nations, and the principles we stand for... yes. Please tell me what you would do with the individuals held at Guantanamo? You cannot criticize Obama in a vacuum of no viable alternatives.
The vast majority of the Democratic representatives in Congress do not agree with pulling out of Afghanistan. Obama never once campaigned on pulling us out of Afghanistan, so how did he lie? if anything he speculated he would focus on it more than Iraq which is what he's done.
He appealed to the judge on DADT because he disagreed with the principle that DADT should be overturned in the courts. That is integrity superceding what he believes is right. Whether Obama repeals DADT in his first term is, I agree, a key issue, but for me we will see what happens and I'm willing to give my President the benefit of the doubt until his term is closer to being through.
To say he's betrayed Democrats at every turn is ridiculous and unrealistic. You simply have no concept of what the reality of party leaders in power amounts to anywhere else in the world, or in the history of this country. Obama is as good as the base has EVER got... would have railed against Carter for his stance on abortion? would you railed against Kennedy for his tax cut policy?
Why do you think Bush won a second term? Because his supporters wholeheartedly went to bat for him against Kerry. Will it take a Republican President to be reminded of how lucky we were to have Obama, in the same way Bush showed us how lucky we were to have Bill Clinton.
I don't understand the objective of this at all. If it's to have a candidate more in line with your policy objectives as a Democrat, then that makes sense. But, if its too improve our electoral standing then it is a ridiculous suggestion.
1. Obama is a great campaigner when he's campaigning for himself. He's likable, effective with a broad appeal, and its going to be hard for any Republican challenger to compete with him on that score.
2. The Republican alternative candidates are, thus far, highly unelectable. If Palin runs she will struggle not to win the republican nomination given the enthusiasm for her in the party's base. Pawlenty is boring as hell and stands no chance. Haley Barber is not going to appeal to most of the country. Huckabee and Romney both have massive flaws politically from an objective viewpoint. Gingrich doesn't stand a chance.
3. Obama has failed miserably in the political battle that he confronts and his inexperience that many on this blog, like Jeremy pointed out at the time, has cost him dearly. He just doesn't understand the nature of the Republican attack machine. He was elected in a unique era and didn't confront the vast right wing conspiracy in the same way Clinton did, and Dukakis was destroyed by before that. Hopefully, he'll get there and realize that politcs has nothing to do with bi-partisanship. In fact, when you win the national conversation you're in the best position to make compromises with the opposition which are always going to be necessary to get anything done. But, we have to help. We are so darn introspective as Dems. We should be focusing and expressing to the American people why Republicans are proposing the exact same policies and offering the same type of dogmatic, ill informed and ineffective candidates that got us into this mess in the first place. He is our President and we have to fight for him.
4. If the economy improves the political landscape of the country will change very very quickly.
I think the Liberal Democrats have completely invalidated themselves as a viable party and their standing will suffer considerably in future elections. The UK just isn't used to the concept of coalition governments. Their one advantage is the voting system where in particular constituencies it is a straight choice between the Conservatives and Liberals and there is no viable Labour alternative. However, I think in the long run Labour have made the wrong choice as their leader, and should have gone with David and not Ed. If things do improve over the next few years I wouldn't be surprised to see David Cameron call a general election early so he can form a government without the Lib Dems. In the long run I think this would be for the best for Lib Dems, too.
It is interesting to note how center left/left wing political parties take up about 60% + of the British voting electorate and yet they have a center right government.
I am not a troll. This is a legitimate position and I feel very strongly about this because I think we need to get healthcare dealt with so we can move forward as a party.
My point isn't to defend Joe Lieberman's position. My point is to recognize the political reality of his existence as a key vote, which isn't going to change over the next 12 months, so we can get something done within that reality. We MUST recognize this if we are going to be successful in 2010 and 2012 so we are able to show the American people a list of legislative accomplishments. Additionally, I find the attacks on Joe excessive. It's almost suggesting its impossible for an independently elected Senator to take the position he has taken without any corrupt motives.
Joe Lieberman's positions are consistently conservative, consistently hawkish, and consistently anti-deficit. The extent to which we can poke holes, and draw out hypocritical statements is 1. pointless, because Joe will have his rationale for why he is making this stand now (I find him to be sincere even though I disagree with him, you guys don't) and 2. cynical, because why are we going to waste all of our energy trying to diminish Lieberman's motivations, when the reality is that right now it makes no difference.
What are we expecting to accomplish? Will Joe Lieberman turn around and say "you know, you have a point there and I'm going to change my mind and not filibuster the public option or expansion of medicare." I'm sure we can all acknowledge this won't happen.
Will Joe Lieberman be unseated any time soon? No, and he's not a Democratic candidate and doesn't face a primary challenge.
My point is that this is the most favorable political situation for the Democratic Party for a generation, even with Joe Lieberman's crucial position. He will vote for Healthcare reform. Make no mistake, it is now or never to get a lot of things done. The make up of the senate may never be this favorable to Democrats again for many years to come, and that is crucial considering how the use of the filibuster has evolved.
We have to acknowledge the political reality of Joe Lieberman, and stop acting as though its an injustice or a crime. It is what it is, and in the bigger picture, we must seize this moment to get everything done that we can.
While I doubt this will be a popular opinion here I think Joe Lieberman deservers a lot of credit.
Whether you're infuriated by his actions or not, you have to acknowledge the man is true to his convictions and, as an elected Senator he has every right to take this stand. He gains absolutely no political capital by taking this position, only further alienates the base of the party he caucuses with, and sets himself up for another aggressive challenge from the left at his next election, which is the only way he could lose.
It's perfectly reasonable for Lieberman to consider this healthcare plan w/ a government option or expansion of medicare too ambitious fiscally at a time when the national debt is at record levels and congress is struggling to get control of the deficit. It's perfectly reasonable for him to disagree with a government run plan ideologically. His position is legitimate and his responsibility is to his own judgment and values, which were clearly evident when the people of his state elected him again. It seems people are suggesting he's done something wrong, or should be punished, when the reality is he's doing justice to democracy, whether you like what he stands for or not, in ways most other timid politicians wouldn't even consider.
Unless there is some grave scandal about to break, he has nothing to personally gain by taking this action. It may also be the end result, that a more moderate healthcare reform act that is passed will do more to improve people's lives with less chance of sky rocketing premiums and dramatic/unforeseen consequences that we all know are a risk with the public plan's injection into our healthcare system.
I full support healthcare reform, but we should be realistic. Politically, this bill needs to be passed before it engulfs the entire administration to the point that we lose control of congress and potentially set the groundwork for a Republican President in 2012. If that happens, without any significant time for it to accrue support after it has been enacted, a public option would be overturned immediately, anyway.
Let's get what we can now, within the political reality of 60 votes, and move on to other things to substantiate a record to win seats and not lose them next November. Also, let's get a sense of perspective. Democrats have earned this massive majority, but it is not perfect, and moderate Dems and Republicans will always pull legislation to the center. But, if all we do is carp and attack those people nothing will get done. This is our political reality, the most favorable in many years, and we have to do everything we can now, otherwise in just over a year it will be gone, along with a host of opportunities.
If the Republicans lose this race it will be hysterical. It could also embolden some more moderate Republicans to stand up to Beck, Limbaugh... in my opinion, it will 100% undercut any notion that tonight was successful for Republicans if they win NJ as well as Virginia if they lose.
Just let Spector be. Let's not go undermining the Democrats broad spread appeal by launching an attack campaign against Spector. Our resources should be invested in going after our Republican held seats!
Most of these state polls have been lagging indicators throughout this election season, taking a few days to catch up to the national trends. Obama's mini surge post infomercial should give him what he needs in all of these states.
Chances of an election changing event on Monday are probably around 0.01% right now. Nothing is going to get through the news cycle noise of the voting day build up other than a terrorist attack. Friday it could have happened, but Monday is too late IMO.
Also remember this is the state that voted 58 - 41 in the 2006 Senate race in favor of the Dem. Yes it was for an institutional political figure, but that result still reflects the dynamics in the state to an extent. If Kerry can beat Bush in 04 with his weaker poll numbers against Karl Rove's GOTV machine then Obama can beat McCain.
Even at the height of McCain's support after the Republican convention he did not have a lead in Penn in the RCP average. I am a terrible pessimist, but just being rational, there is no hope for McCain in Penn. It's just the reality of the race being so far in Obama's favor that McCain has to focus there and Virginia. Even if there are polls that show McCain within 2 or 3 points I don't think he'll win.