The Conversation (with poll!)

A Real Democrat is sitting in a cafe drinking a mocha latte and reading The Nation when a Concern Troll walks in. The Concern Troll is busily wringing his hands while his eyes furtively glance about--he has a very worried look on his face. He approaches the Real Democrat and The Conversation begins below the fold.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! I'm worried! I'm very very worried!

Real Democrat: What's troubling you friend?

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! Well don't get me wrong, I'm completely supporting Barack Obama, but I just wish he had more integrity.

Real Democrat: What do you mean?

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! Well he broke his pledge to take public financing. I understand why he did it and I'm still going to vote for him, but I just wish he were more honest.

Real Democrat: He never made any such pledge. He pledged to agressively pursue a deal with the Republican nominee, and if an equitable deal could be made then he would take public financing. Obviously that didn't happen.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! I understand he used some lawyerly language, but the spirit of what he said was that he wouldn't take public financing!

Real Democrat: Lawyerly language? It seemed like perfectly plain english to me... I don't see how he could have said it any more clearly.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But he said he would "agressively pursue" a deal. He didn't do that!

Real Democrat: What makes you say that?

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! He only had one face to face meeting with John McCain! I don't call that "agressive," do you?

Real Democrat: Let me explain to you how this works--by the time they had their face to face meeting all the negotiating had already been said and done. The meeting was just a formality. The negotiating had already taken place behind the scenes.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But Obama benefits from not taking public financing! I'm sure McCain would have agreed if Obama were really serious about it! Obama will have a huge financial advantage! I just wish he had more integrity, but I'm still voting for him!

Real Democrat: No he won't. Republicans are the party of the rich and always have the financial advantage. This election is no exception.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But Obama has raised more money than McCain!

Real Democrat: Yes, and he has raised that money under the auspices of campaign finance laws which prevent multi-millionaires from dropping six-figure donations on a campaign. The problem is those laws don't apply to donations to the parties or to 527's. Make no mistake, McCain will have more money spent on his behalf than Obama will. McCain has the financial advantage.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But Obama benefits from not taking public financing! I understand why he is going back on his pledge, but I just wish he were more honest!

Real Democrat: Again, he never made any such pledge.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But McCain would agree to take public financing!

Real Democrat: Of course he would, but he obviously wouldn't agree to oppose outside entities, such as the RNC and 527's, from spending money on his behalf. That would have been necessary for an equitable deal.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But how do you know that?

Real Democrat: Because they didn't make a deal.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But it benefits Obama to not make a deal.

Real Democrat: No. It benefits McCain to not make a deal. If McCain had been willing to pledge public opposition to external organizations spending money on his behalf then I'm certain Obama would have jumped on it. It would have benefitted his campaign.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But Obama promised to take public financing!

Real Democrat (starting to get irritated now): No he didn't.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! But he implied that!

Real Democrat(really getting angry now): No he didn't.

Concern Troll: Oh! Oh! Well I just wish he had more integrity. I'm going to vote for him anyway, of course...

At this point the Real Democrat stands up, shaking his head sadly, and walks out the door.

Tags: concern trolls, obama, public financing (all tags)



Tips, flames, concerns?

by Mystylplx 2008-06-25 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, concerns?

Jesus, you just perfectly encapsulated the back and forth I just had with Juno today.

by John in Chicago 2008-06-25 12:35PM | 0 recs

Sometimes debating here is like making out with a cheese grater, it's true.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-25 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: The Conversation (with poll!)

I don't know what that feels like, but the imagery made me spit my iced tea on my keyboard, thank you!

by Dog Chains 2008-06-25 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The Conversation (with poll!)

It's easy enough to find out!

by Mandoliniment 2008-06-25 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The Conversation (with poll!)

The handful of (very active) trolls apparently haven't crossed the imaginary line that would cause them to get banned (or don't care because they would just come back with a new username like flounder2).  

I'm sure that they don't care that we know that they're trolls.  The problem is that they've been successful in their work despite it, disrupting our discourse.

We spend so much time and energy, trying to debate with them, writing diaries about them, and rec'ing these diaries, we have little left for more substantive issues.

There are lots of really great diaries that receive only a handful of comments and don't make it up the rec list.

When we engage the trolls, the trolls win.  

by Can I Haz Moar Snark 2008-06-25 12:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The Conversation (with poll!)

I see signs of things changing. One semi-trollish diary hit the rec list today, but it was only there for a short while before it was knocked off by more positive diaries. The really hardcore trolls have come out into the sunlight. I don't think they will be as effective from here on out.

There are still a few more effective trolls that I suspect, but it's difficult to call them out if they are subtle enough. For instance, there is one user who seems like he's on our side who I suspect is really a troll. S/he has a habit of posting negative videos put out by the other side in posts criticizing those videos. It appears to me to be an effort to give broader coverage to those videos while appearing to condemn them. Very subtle indeed.

For my part, I'm going to start writing more anti-McCain diaries. I have in mind a multi-part series that will deal with one group of issues at a time. I got the idea from the one about McCain's stance on womens issues. I'd like to expand on that to cover all of the choices in the poll in that diary. The same can be done on energy, the economy, foreign policy, etc...

I also have in mind writing a diary about ideological purity based on the premise of accepting that there are times when we have to vote based on the lesser of two evils. That one will use the likely Senate candidate in my state. He would be a terrible choice under ordinary circumstances. Yet, when compared to the Republican there's no thought of holding back my vote.

by MS01 Indie 2008-06-25 12:39PM | 0 recs
Not that I'm a troll or anything, but

First of all, it's completely unrealistic to think that either candidate could "stop" the spending by outside groups on their campaign.  So if that's what Obama said, it sounds like political cover to me.  I think the political term for such a deal is called a "poison pill".  

I have no problems with this.  Obama has raised a lot of money from small donors and may be the first true netroots presidential candidate.

But, more importantly, Obama didn't need to make this (somewhat contrived) gesture to get my vote.  I want him to win and this is an acceptable way to win, in my opinion.

As far as the back-and-forth between McCain and Obama.  M'eh.  Mediocre political theater.

by the mollusk 2008-06-25 12:41PM | 0 recs


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