Someone Tell Me

I just got back from registering voters for Obama in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.  I was at Jacobs Field and PNC Park during baseball games and we registered voters in the parking lots before the games and I took in a couple of games myself.

It was great weather and I was happy to meet people who were excited with the opportunity to vote.  Many people offered why they were prepared to vote and change the direction of this country.  Issues such as unemployment, lack of healthcare, loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan, gas prices, cost of living and the environment were echoed over and over again.

Afterwards sitting in a Pittsburgh hotel I had time to reflect on all the input I received and began wondering,  why would someone who cited one or more of the aforementioned areas of concern ever vote for John McCain and a four year extension of Bush's policies.  It really dumbfounded me.

I wasn't concerned with the die-hard Republicans or the wealthy POV, they will always back their party.  My thoughts gravitated toward middle class moderates (Both Repub and Dem), and the so-called PUMAs.  Why they would expose themselves to 4 more years of economical hardship and vote for someone that will do nothing to improve their quality of life?

For the moderates, is it because some are under-educated and don't fully realize the differences between the two candidates?  Is it because they are afraid of Obama's inexperience?  Is it because they think he's too liberal?  Is it because Obama is black?  Do they really believe all the smears or do they just rely on them to justify their apprehension toward Obama?  Is the Obama campaign's message wrong?

Someone tell me.

For the PUMAs, whose mission is to "teach the Democratic Party a lesson".  Do they despise Obama and his message that much?  Why will they vote Democratic down ticket but not for Obama, doesn't that go against their mission of what they are trying to accomplish?  Do they not value HRC's message of how important it is to have a Democratic POTUS?  Do they really think John McCain isn't that bad?   Do they believe Obama is a sexist?  Do they really believe that what they are doing is for the best interest of their family and our country?

Someone tell me.

I am a 38 year old white male.  I am a single father with two boys (4 & 9).  I have lost two good paying jobs over the last four years because of Dubya's economic policies.  He and his administration, personally, have made my family economically unstable and has planted doubts about our future.  I now work two menial jobs, with just enough money to pay the bills and keep food on the table.  Because of rising prices and lack of quality paying jobs I have been forced to dip into my sons college funds thus endangering the ability for them to go to college.  Thanks to HRC my two sons have healthcare, I, however, do not.  I have a cousin on his second tour in Iraq, and have to comfort his wife and baby daughter on a weekly basis.  George Bush has made it very personal to me and I intend to do everything in my power to ensure his policies and agenda comes to an end in January 2009.

Now I don't agree with every stance Obama takes on the issues, I have never fully agreed with any such candidate. I do, however, know he is the person that I feel will do what's needed for people like me and will fight for the middle class.  There are two people remaining in this presidential race, many wish they weren't these two people, but it is what it is.  

One vows to continue down the same old path ensuring that the rich get get richer and the common folk get shafted.  He vows to continue a war and maybe start new ones.  SS is in jeopardy and healthcare isn't even on the radar.  He loves big oil and sure as shit doesn't give two shits about our children.  Women?  Yeah right.

The other vows a new path forged with more emphasis on the middle class.  He wants to get us out of a war and urges diplomacy over violence.  Has stated that he wants HRC to "spearhead" the effort to universal healthcare.  He wants all children to have the opportunity to succeed by improving our schools and making college affordable for everyone.  Stands up for women's rights including equal pay and the right to choose.

I believe my story is very comparable to a majority of  people in the US.  So why would this type of person vote for John McCain over Barack Obama?

Someone tell me.

Tags: 2008 General Election, Barack Obama, John McCain (all tags)



Re: Someone Tell Me

hey haven't seen you around in a while

by lori 2008-08-01 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Been out registering folks...How have you been?

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Never been better .

You ?

How are the kids ?

By the way what did you think of Obama's trip ?

I thought he did well until the Berlin speech .

by lori 2008-08-01 07:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Kids are shopping tomorrow, can't wait.

I thought he did fine.  I mean no matter how it turned out the McCain camp was going to say something.  His adds sort of wreak of desparation...the last one about Moses was lame.

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I think they feel he has sufficient standing on the maverick issue with the public especially with independents and moderates that they are willing to go as low as possible to deal with Obama.

I am not a fan of the ads but I think they are trying to build a narrative of Obama.

Rove is basically running Mccain's campaign , I wonder when someone would point that out.

by lori 2008-08-01 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

This is what the Repubs count on election after election, get voter's minds off of the particulars and hone in on the Democratic Candidate's personality...Unpatriotic, elite, unsafe, a risk, etc.

The under-educated voter latches on to this type of stuff...Make no mistake it is classic Rovian fear-mongering.

Hopefully, we as a country will wake up and see it for what it really is...

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

You're doing everyone a service - keep up the great work.

by rfahey22 2008-08-01 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Thanks for your hard work for the Obama campaign...I salute you!

But please, no more about PUMAs. I don't care about them or why they think the way they do. I'm tired of trying to put them on the therapist's couch and talk through their problems. Can we please just stop talking about them already??

by Johnny Gentle Famous Crooner 2008-08-01 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

You're right, it was what I was thinking about though...I will be more careful next time...I agree with you..

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

The group is so small, smaller than a meeting for the fan club of the giant roach from 'Men In Black' would be if they had one.  We need to insist on ignoring them as if they are of no matter, which is the absolute truth at this point. That's how I see it, and you and all the bloggers here know my history, so that should be a wake up call to 'them'.

We only legitimize them when we continue the discourse about them.

by emsprater 2008-08-02 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I'm a member of said cockroach's fan club (the president and treasurer too) and I will not stand for this denigration.  Alien insects are people too!  Ok, granted, technically they're not, but they do have FEELINGS.


by fogiv 2008-08-02 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

but they do have FEELINGS.

I'll need to disagree with you here.  Actually, they have FEELERS.

by Purple with Green Stipes and Pink Polka Dots Dem 2008-08-02 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I'll concede the point.

by fogiv 2008-08-02 01:00PM | 0 recs

and i mean GREAT diary hootie!

well done and highly rec'd.

by canadian gal 2008-08-01 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: great.

Thanks CG!!

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Interesting. I am not rich and don't want to prejudge you. But if I were struggling to raise two kids, I probably wouldn't spend time out registering voters. I would probably do everything possible to help my family.

Maybe that's the difference between a hard-core liberal and a moderate/independent democrat?

by leaf 2008-08-01 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

some would consider registering voters helping their family.

by linfarted 2008-08-01 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Well seeing how George fucked this country over including me, I am not going to seat by idly and hope someone else does something.  My kids are my life and I feel I would be jeopardizing their future if I didn't do everything to get Obama as POTUS.

Thanks for your pseudo-concern...

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I don't have any 'concern', let alone 'pseudo-concern' about you. I don't know you, and certainly have no interest and right to suggest sth to you, I am just explaining my own philosophy. Each one of us are different.

Well, I am not waiting for Nancy to save our planet or Barack to save my kids. Maybe that's why the so-called moderates/independents are not so easy to be fooled by each side? I guess I'm trying to explain to you why it's not an easy task to persuade us to believe anybody with a D is better than anybody with a R? Independent means independent.

by leaf 2008-08-01 07:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Well, I can only assume that the Bush policies have not affected you in any way, shape or form...I on the other hand have experienced his wrath first hand (lost jobs, iraq, higher prices).

When Bill-D was POTUS everything was good, then 8 years of Dubya-R shitty.  If your way of trying to change things is to hop on the internet and disgrace everyone who is trying be pro-active then so be it...I'll stick to my way..

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I am not waiting for Nancy to save our planet or Barack to save my kids

What, exactly, do you do about it?

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Of course Bush's policy has had a very negative impact on my life. But to many of us, independent/moderate type of democrats, we also ask another question: how are you be so sure a candidate with a D label won't be another George W. Bush? Nancy Pelosi certainly hasn't impressed me much, Jimmy Carter certainly was one of the worst president.

I'll give you another example of the difference between a hardcore ideologue(right or left) and so-called swing voter, like me. I opposed the Iraq war, opposed the surge in the beginning just like many other hardcore liberals. But after 12 months, do I believe surge make a difference, do I believe McCain/Bush made the right call and I made a wrong judgement on surge? Yes, for us independents, we admit they were right on surge and we were wrong. To ideologues on the left, they would still blame surge is a mistake; to ideologues on the right, they would ALWAYS believe Iraq war/surge was right. This probably explains why the large swing in opinions. The left will ALWAYS believe surge did not work/will not work; the right will ALWAYS believe surge did/will work; the middle will look at the facts, and change their opinions. The middle will always judge whether a politician makes a right call based on facts, not on ideology.

Anyway, I am not waiting for anybody to save me. My vote is just one vote. I can't change the planent, and I can only change my own life.

by leaf 2008-08-01 08:07PM | 0 recs

I'm going to call you a BIG FUCKING TROLL, again.

Again, please HR me leaf.  I really do want it for my collection.

by Purple with Green Stipes and Pink Polka Dots Dem 2008-08-01 08:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

You're right. Why do any of us bother to vote? No more voting.

In fact, I'm taking this opportunity to announce my KITV (Keep In The Vote) Campaign, "Change is Hard, So Why Bother Trying?"

by Cincinnatus 2008-08-01 08:53PM | 0 recs
What tripe

Regardless of whether you pick R or D, you pick the same platform, in it's entirety, that the ideologues on either side are picking. Vote R because the surge "worked", and you are also voting for anti-choice, less federal schooling grants, fewer market controls, and (if GWB is any indication) fewer civil liberties. Vote D and the reverse is true.

In our current political climate, there is little if any overlap between the partisan extremes, leaving the true swing voter to decide between diametrically opposed positions. It's a fallacy to assume that your end result is any more "balanced" than the ideologues, as you choose from the same pool. In point of fact, you are simply offered less optimal choices than the ideologues of either side.

by Neef 2008-08-01 10:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I'm a yellow-dog democrat, but I entirely respect your nonallegiance to either party. That's fine by me. This is America, after all.

I do, however, find fault with your rush to judgment over the gentleman's choice of registering voters rather than doing what you believe he should be doing with his life.

The man wasn't asking for your -- or anyone's -- advice.

No one knows what it's like to live someone else's life. I read the initial post and thought, "Wow, that's pretty awesome that this guy believes so strongly in Obama that he's traveling to get people registered."

You, on the other hand, read it and decided to pass judgment and offer your unsolicited advice.

Judge not, lest ye be judged. Someone pretty smart said those words a few thousand years ago.

by BenderRodriguez 2008-08-02 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Freedom

Interesting comment, leaf. I'm not your father, so I don't want to turn you over my knee and spank you. But if I were criticizing someone, it would be the lazy asshole who chooses to spend his non-working time in selfish pursuits, not someone who does his civic duty when he isn't slaving at a McBush job to feed the kids and keep them housed and clothed.

Maybe that's the difference between a good citizen and leech.

by QTG 2008-08-01 07:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I'm pretty sure that part of that statement is false...

by rfahey22 2008-08-01 07:40PM | 0 recs

I'm not a total asshole and don't want to prejudge you, but if I were you, I'd probably go fuck myself.

by JJE 2008-08-01 09:05PM | 0 recs
As opposed to sitting in front

of a computer and posting comments on a blog like you are doing?

Really,a as someone with 3 kids who is not rich, your comment reflects an absurd attitude.

And the idea that only "hard-core liberals" are the only ones that register people to vote is just wrong.

by fladem 2008-08-02 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

If people truly voted for their interests, every time, then we'd elect Democrats until the GOP shifted dramatically.

But I agree that people don't vote their interests.  Some do, but many vote based on the marketing of politics.  And when your ideas are shit, it's all you've got, and the GOP has kicked our asses in marketing their ideas.

"Tax and spend liberals."  I can't think of any phrase, derogatory towards conservatism, that is as well known.  Think about what conservatism means.  Hands off economic policies (not that Democrats are really all too hands on).  Now, that benefits the rich, but they market it so that you know that, with a lot of hard work, you TOO can be one of those rich...nevermind the impact of your schools, the level of income your parents had, or just plain luck.  They market ideals like hard work and sacrifice and machismo and practicality, and do it well enough that many don't realize that under conservative government it's the middle class sacrificing to the benefit of the wealthy, the great mass of Americans working hard to get by while someone else stuffs his pockets, and so forth.  

We've lost more battles than we've won, because they have a better ad campaign, in the large sense.  They frame things very well, such that the choice between "shoot now, ask questions later" and "get attacked, then retaliate" seems obvious, and leaves out the obvious solution...prevent situations like that from happening in the first place by being engaged in the world, rather than aloof and arrogant.

They're the tough guys, and America likes a tough guy, even if their tough guys have Daddy get them out of Vietnam.  Democrats haven't had a tough guy since LBJ.  And because they're tough, the Democrats play weak, because they're afraid of the marketing advantage the GOP has built up.  THAT'S why we caved on Telecom immunity.  It's why we appear to be caving on drilling.  The GOP brand of compromise is to push through their agenda when they're the majority and, when in the minority, to filibuster until Democratic bills are watered down or include major concessions toward GOP interests.  When we stop negotiating away our ideals, America will know we're serious about them.  At some point, this party has to take a serious stand, look the GOP in the eye, and say "if you want blood, you got it!"  

by freedom78 2008-08-01 08:29PM | 0 recs
PUMAs = leakage

you're always going to have some leakage.  Nader got 3% of the vote in 2000.

There were people then who thought they would Clinton and the Dems a lesson for some of Clinton's DLC policies by punishing Gore.  

I read a PUMA today who is a Democrat, but in reality, he's a big baby.  He was pushing "teach the Democrats" meme.  Silly.

I mean really, I supported Dean in '04 and he loss, but not for a single second did I want to "teach the party a lesson" and reinstall Shrub.

The funny part is McCain voted to impeach Clinton on all counts in 1999.  What a way to support Clinton.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-01 09:08PM | 0 recs
Re: PUMAs = leakage

Happy to see you Al!!!

by hootie4170 2008-08-01 09:15PM | 0 recs
Thanks for all the hard work

it's really appreciated!!

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-01 09:27PM | 0 recs
Not that's something I had

forgotten.  He did vote to impeach Clinton.   Wonder what the PUMA's think of that.

by fladem 2008-08-02 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

I'm really hoping the Obama campaign has taken prodigious notes on how McCain's Spears and Paris ad got replayed and discussed a thousand more times after only a reported six-to-eight paid playings in some major markets.

No wonder McCain and his camp are "happy" with the ad - you can't buy that kind of publicity on the cheap.

McCain is a gaffe-prone, stuttering, flip-flopping, ugly-tempered, gold-digging, walk-the-corrupt-fence-line, well-past-normal-retirement-age, I-don't-have- to-fly-commercial-'cause-I-married-into- money, melanoma-only-health-issue-I-can't-obfus cate-but-don't-worry-as-president-I'll-g et-even-better-health-care-and-will-live -forever,
I've-been-driving-around-the-country-for -the-last-eight-years-in-my-$400,000-Str aight-Talk-Express-and-the-gas-prices-ar e-hurting-me-to,
but trust-me-my-friends phony who has a choice of nine different homes he and his wife own in which he can live so, of course, why not drill for oil over there or out there because he can just move away from it.

Surely, if McCain wants to go negative, the Obama campaign can prick this opponent's fragile balloon with the greatest of ease.

by RickWn 2008-08-01 10:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Hi, hootie4170.  Good job on your diary.

I believe the answer to the question you ask at the end is muddled by the presumption you make at the beginning.  Namely, you start out with the presumption that McCain's policies would be just like Bush's.  I realize that's the DNC's  message, but that doesn't make it honest.  It's an attempt to paint a caricature for the benefit of the DNC.  Most Americans don't see it that way.  Republicans and Independents certainly don't.

You eventually move on to say that you believe a majority of Americans are in a position at least similar to yours.  It makes sense that you would believe they share your perspectives.  With no insult to you intended, I believe your situation is more unique than you perceive it to be.

My perspective is that Obama and McCain are dead set on promising tons of money and benefits to the middle class.  Both have promised to issue mountains of treasury debt and apply it to the wallets and/or net worth of the "middle class".  I find this unfortunate.  I understand the political calculus of the mad rush to the center and the desire to play uncle money-bags.  But that's what it is, madness and play.

Given Obama's new positions on energy and Iraq, the only thing left is Roe v Wade.  And really, how many people put that high on their list?  Most folks just want that issue to go away.

by SuperCameron 2008-08-02 12:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Thanks for your reply...A couple things...

You state..

Namely, you start out with the presumption that McCain's policies would be just like Bush's.  I realize that's the DNC's  message, but that doesn't make it honest.  It's an attempt to paint a caricature for the benefit of the DNC.  Most Americans don't see it that way.

Fact is most Americans do feel that way.

The Gallup/USA Today poll found that 68% of voters said they were concerned when asked whether they thought McCain would pursue "policies that are too similar to what George W. Bush has pursued.

Next, you state that Obama is promising tons of money to the middle class folk without submitting ways to pay for it.  His $1,000 energy relief check would be paid by placing a windfall tax on oil companies.  The only other proposal was a 50 million dollar stimulus package in which half would go to state governments and the other half to our federal infrastructure budget.

Lastly, your opinion is Obama has flip-flopped on energy and the war in Iraq.  On energy he is being pragmatic by entertaining the idea of releasing some of the off-shore leases for drilling in return for a commitment by the GOP and Big Oil for funds and research of alternative energy.  Not much of a flip flop, but very pragmatic.  How has he changed his position on Iraq?  He has been against the war from the start and sticks by his guns that he will begin removing troops as soon as he is in office.  If anyone has sung a different tune it has been McCain and Dubya with their time horizon meme and how they are now going to make Afghanistan a priority again.

If you think a women's right to choose isn't high on many people's lists you should do more research.  Add to that healthcare, college affordability, immigration, employment, etc.

by hootie4170 2008-08-02 12:47AM | 0 recs
You do know

That McCain has trillions in tax cuts for the rich, while Obama would pay for his tax by increasing taxes on the rich.

With a deficit heading over $500 Billion as a result of tax cuts that McCain once opposed and now supports, and I have trouble understanding how anyone who claims to care about the deficit can think that Obama and McCain are similar.  

by fladem 2008-08-02 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

Where I grew up, a lot of people think that nothing is going to change.  It doesn't matter who the president is.

by psychodrew 2008-08-02 05:06AM | 0 recs
Cynicism and Ennui

are the greatest threats.  We need to change that more than anything else.

No president or government can really solve the nation's problems.  We have to do that.  And we can't do jack when we don't believe it is worth trying.

Partly I think a President Obama can influence that.  Mostly we need to do it ourselves.


by chrisblask 2008-08-02 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

well, you need to ask, and then listen to the answers. I'm sure there are many, some of which Barack can address and correct and some he can't. And then tell us what they say, how they explain.  

In the primaries indies polled that they had a hard time choosing between Barack and John McCain. Right there was the first sign of a problem for Barack.  Indies liked him because he was new, and showed respect for pug policies. And for some because he isn't Hillary Clinton, and they wanted him to win the nomination over her, but didn't know if they wanted him to win the GE over John.

Barack is the new kid on the block and he hasn't a long record of accomplishing much.  That's why I think he has to make his message clearer and get far more specific. I think he should run as the professional (not as the CEO, but the professorial one who values experts and professionals, and will have an administration top heavy on brains and accomplishments).

I think he should run on a promise of competence, that he'll fire hacks and re-professionalize the executive branch. That he'll bring accountability and not protect his own loyal staff if they don't perform or they do something wrong or too stupid.  Throwing under the bus is a good thing, to those who value performance and accomplishments over loyalty anyway.

I think a big difference between the two that may appeal to indies is competence, he's preparing to take over on day one, and he knows what needs to be done, first second and so forth, and tell us.

right now it's two personalities and not one wonk. There is room for wonk, and that's a place that John McCain can't go.  

by anna shane 2008-08-02 07:09AM | 0 recs
Getting to the sensible center

I got a lot out of your diary; you've posed some incredibly important questions that haven't been considered enough.

There are a good many centrists in the Democratic Party, who believe that the core issue facing the country is this: how do we aggressively grow our economy, in a way that strengthens the private sector and provides jobs for hard-working people like yourself. ONLY if this happens will our government have the resources to re-build a shredded safety net, as well as complete the New Deal compact by adding National Health Insurance.

People like me find ourselves in the center because too often, Republicans seem more willing to do the former, and are more pro-growth....the only problem is, under GOP rule, the "spoils" of a growing economy usually end up in the hands of the few, via massive tax cuts for the rich...e.g., W's tax give-away in 2001. Bottom line, Democrats are definitely more fair, and belive that the workers who produce a growing economy should share it its benefits. On the other hand, growing protectionist sentiment--as well as unreasonable environmental standards--in the Democratic Party are worrisome. They seem to get a greater emphasis in current Democratic Party orthodoxy than do economic growth and jobs.

For centrists, the closest our country has ever come to striking this balance was under a Democrat, Bill Clinton. Contrary to popular opinion, our allegiance to him wasn't about personality....he was obviously likeable, but his personal foibles let us down too many times. However, POLICY-wise, we centrists feel like he put the country on very sound footing. Now that W has essentially destroyed the country's revenue base, a lot of that hard work is down the toilet.

Three policies that I feel will help us achieve that economic growth are,

  1. free trade, and more new FTA's
  2. new energy production--drill/drill/drill
  3. ending this country's insane ethanol policy

When Nancy Pelosi won't allow a vote on the Colombia Free Trade Pact, she is harming our country's workers--and economy--simply to follow a narrow ideology. For companies like John Deere, Catepillar, etc., Colombia represents a huge untapped market. And this means jobs for American workers.

And when she won't allow a vote on drill/drill/drill (even Obama is now seeing the light on this issue!), she is again following ideology, not common sense.

When ideology trumps common sense, centrists and policy wonks like me head for the exits. My sense is that most moderates (definitely my case) are still making up our minds about this election. We want to see McCain shed W, and his right wing orthodoxy. And we want to see Barack Obama shed Nancy Pelosi, and her left-wing orthodoxy....which is getting more and more imperial, btw, with her refusal to allow votes on major issues (did I hear someone say Newt Gingrich???)

I hope I've provided one answer to your question. It sounds like you've had some rough knocks; I've also dealt with job displacement, as well as searching for some kind of health care plan (where they do more than just refuse claims..) over the last three years. With respect to the upcoming election, I'm glad you're still "in the game".

by BJJ Fighter 2008-08-02 10:36AM | 0 recs
Thoughtful comment, BJJ,

happily mojoed.

I a registered Democrat (as of yeterday) but that does not mean I sign up for every Democratic platform.  

Swapping out the administration in Washington is more important to me than my views on any single issue - DC has gone way too far Modern GOP (I have a hard time calling it Right-wing or Conservative, because it's more simply wacky-GOP-as-we-know-it than conservative by any sane definition).  Power has gone to these folks' heads and it needs to stop.

Increased economic growth (which implies positive trade and energy policies) is issue #1.  Nothing else will be achieved if there is no money to achieve it with.  As a staunch environmental conservationist I often make this point by saying: "If my children are starving and the last breeding pair of pandas walks by, we're having steak for supper."

We've all been knocked about by the national situation these past years.  Some of it is beyond anyone's control, perhaps, but the Coaches always have to take responsibility.  Time to fire them and try a new team of leaders.


by chrisblask 2008-08-02 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Thoughtful comment, BJJ,

Chris--many thanks. Your comments over the months have helped me take a more measured and thoughtful approach in my writing, and hopefully make some kind of contribution to the discourse.

One other thought: in the ongoing discussion "are we in a recession, are we not in a recession...", this week's economic stats bear more scrutiny than usual. While the pain out there--particularly for people like the writer of this diary--is palpable, we see GDP still growing, and a job loss last month of 51,000. This number is unacceptable, but far less than the usual 100,000-120,000 at this point in the cycle of a slowdown.

The stat from this week's GDP report that I want people in our party to think about is the 9% growth in exports. This is the first major economic slowdown our country has faced since we fully embraced globalization and went full-throttle on free trade. That might explain why this is a "different type of slowdown"....

With the biggest housing meltdown and liquidity crisis since the Great Depression, this economy is still managing to expand, albeit with very tepid growth. I believe the take-away here is that globalization and free trade provide a "buffer", which is now keeping the country from going off a cliff. This buffer hasn't existed in the past, and is why we keep hearing that this slowdown "doesn't look like past recessions". I expect and hope that it will smooth out the curves in future cycles as well.

Hopefully, a Democratic administration will get serious about job re-training for industries which have been the hardest-hit in the change to a global economy. But in the meantime, the left wing in this party should be grateful that the explosive economies in Brazil, Russia, India, and China are buying in a big way from the John Deere's, Catepillar's, and Bucyrus'--like companies here in the States.

by BJJ Fighter 2008-08-02 11:45AM | 0 recs
Wow, that's the nicest thing anyone has said

to me in a long time.  You are very welcome, and thank you very much.

Interesting comments on globalization.  I am *very* pro-trade and pro-capitalism.  Seems that theological war has been fought in the last century, and trade and capitalism beat Socialism and central control hands down.  I hope your insights are correct, and it sounds like solid logic to me.

This is another good point that we need to understand as/if the GOP starts to take credit for that buffer.  That buffer is an artifact of the evolving world that has little to do with the current administration, there are larger forces at play of which they are only a small part.  I feel the same about the economic boom of the nineties.  While I supported that administration, I credit that growth primarily to those who had the biggest hand in it (I got in a poetry discussion with someone earlier in the year about this) - the Tech Sector and the Internet boomed because millions of people worked very hard at something that had been growing since the year I was born (1965 - RFC 1 was written in pencil at Alta, Utah that year).  

The fact that we have the buffer of globalization now does not make up for the ham-fistedness of the current administration in playing their role in the economy.



by chrisblask 2008-08-02 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Someone Tell Me

The Republicans have been very effective in selling the message that Democratic policies don't work, and they've undergirded this with appeals to nativism and peace through strength.  The Dems will always have to fight for these voters until they have some recent and tangible demonstration that their policies benefit people in the middle class (even while such voters sense that GOP policies are making their life less secure, Republicans play this interesting game of ramping up the nativism and national security issues every time this happens, and so make the claim that they are addressing voter anxiety).

What I find more difficult to understand is why self-described progressives would ever offer less than total support for a Democratic candidate.  The best answer I can come up with is that progressives, by their nature, tend to be purists, and many have short memories.  

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-08-02 11:55AM | 0 recs


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