A Debate on Substance

Let me start off by saying that I will support the Democratic nominee, whichever one of the two that it is.  The stakes are too high to let McCain bring in a 3rd term of the Bush era.  I don't want flames or trolling in the comment section, I want a debate of issues and policy.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Now, let me list the problems I have had with Hillary Clinton.

Please, I would appreciate it if her supporters could respond in a civil manner with substance.

I'm kicking this off with the first issue that made me learn towards Obama.

I am all about national security.  The NW Frontier is, essentially, a semi-autonomous region of Pakistan.  The government has tried fighting the Taliban and militias there, and ended up agreeing to a cease fire with them.  Obama spoke up about how we should target Al-Qaeda targets if the government of Musharref is unwilling to go after them.  Remember, we give a lot of money to Pakistan to fight Al-Qaeda.  Also, the Pakistani intelligence community was instumental in the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.  Hillary Clinton said he was naive and rash for making that statement.  I disagree.  Infact, Benazir Bhutto(God rest her soul) was in favor of the U.S. going in with troops and taking the fight to Al-Qaeda.  Her position seems to be similiar to Bush's; support Pervez and ask him nicely to bring about democratic reforms.

I don't blame her for her vote, I blame her for not reading the National Intelligence Estimate.  It boggles my mind.

Health Care;
I don't like the idea of a mandate, but I'm open-minded.  Skeptical as well.  I live in Massachusetts.  I've seen how a noble idea can only go so far, and can end up hurting people more than it helps.
First off, on the mandates.  Where's the beef?  How's it going to be enforced?  I find it ludicrous that she can even have a debate on this without saying how a mandate would be enforced.  If a mandate is central to the differences between her's and Barack's plan, than some substance should have been offered here and on the specifics of subsidies.  This wasn't done by her.  It leaves me with the impression that it's a cheap talking point.
Secondly, how are we going to get this through Congress?  It may be popular in a Democratic primary, but we don't have nearly the votes in Congress to push it through.  Hillary would have to convince the American people to go for this if she is the nominee, and I don't see that as a fight that she can easily win in a general election where most people don't want a mandate.

The Housing Crisis;
Many experts have been saying this, and I don't see much counter-argument on what I'm about to bring up.  I hope someone here can indulge me.
Freezing Interest Rates, a Moratorium on Foreclosures.. the general sentiment of experts seems to be that this would only be good for the short term, and only for those who need the help the most.  The consensus I seem to see is that interest rates for everyone else will sky rocket, and that it will only pro-long the problem.  I don't want a band-aid solution, so the proposal doesn't yet appeal to me.   Is there any dissent on this?  Furthermore, it seems to play into the attitude I have grown towards her; it's a cheap talking point, that she's going to wave a wand and fix the housing crisis.  It also irks me that Citigroup was one of her biggest contributors for some time now.

Tax Returns, Presidential Library Donors, WH Schedule;
I'm sorry, but I think everyone has a right to have these documents released.  Why should I vote for someone that won't release this information until after the nomination?  Is there anything to hide that may come up when she's forced to release her tax returns?  I want to know sooner than later.  I don't want buyer's remorse.  The argument that she doesn't have time to release her tax returns is dubious in my opinion.  How can she NOT have an accountant?

Red States;
A lot of comments have been made downplaying their importance.  They are vitally important.  God willing, we'll be sending men and women from these states to the House of Representatives and the Senate.  We need REAL majorities to bring about the changes that both of our candidates for the nomination are talking about.

Michigan and Florida;
She agreed to the pledge.  There is no disputing that.  Everyone except for her, Kucinich, and Gravel removed their names from the ballot in Michigan(unlike Florida, the Michigan Democratic Party chose to move their primary ahead of schedule).  Now she wants the delegates seated after winning decisively.  Ugh.  We need a smart solution for this, and now it looks like Florida is on its way to a revote; should Hillary accept a revote in Florida?  I certainly think so.

I genuinely want feedback.  I like having debates of substance.

Tags: Afghanistan, Army, barack, clinton, Economy, empty suit, Hillary, hsu, Iraq, obama, pakistan, rezko, shrill, whatever (all tags)



Tips, flames, recs..

..please recommend me, I'm ambitious.

by Setrak 2008-03-02 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

Your a good guy (gal...I don't know) Setrak.

It's late, wanna know the smartest thing I've come across in a week of 20 hour days on line (and I'm including my response because it is late and I'm incedibly vain, but read Catrily's comment to Re: Obama's red phone ad is based on lies:

Re: Obama's red phone ad is based on lies (2.00 / 1)

I have to keep reminding myself when I see Obama talking in circles and flip-flopping all over the place, that it's David Axelrod and his protege Pfouffle (sp?) that are coming up with this stuff.  He didn't pay Axelrod millions for his help to get into the Senate, for nothing.

So if it seems really confusing, it's because it's not authentic.  When you have a blank slate candidate/politican, you never get cohesion, because they are not operating from their own beliefs and experience -- they look and sound as though they are moving in the breeze, because they are.  Every speech, every ad, ever press release, are all designed by people behind the scenes creating a product.

The candidates who have a consistent message are that way because it's their own voice and beliefs. They control the message because it's them.. they're authentic. They are not the product... that's the difference.  They aren't all over the place because their passions and beliefs aren't all over the place, and their message isn't crafted by people like Axelrod (the Karl Rove of the Democratic Party.)

by Catriley sez on Sat Mar 01, 2008 at 08:40:00 PM EST

Re: Obama's red phone ad is based on lies (none / 0)

This is one of the most astute things I've read in a long time. Brilliant analysis Catriley. Absolutely spot on.

The problem is that this sort of marketing works when you have the media at your back because they control the messages and flit over the inconsistencies. Your toast however if an investigative media bores in and contrasts conflicting positions. That's why it works for Republicans, but not for the Democrats. Once he gets the nomination and the media pivots to attacking Obama there will be so much fodder for their cannons it will be very ugly.

by MediaFreeze on Sat Mar 01, 2008

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

I'm totally a guy, and I hate to love you.  You're very civil and pleasant but I disagree with you so much!  Damn you.  At any rate, I don't think Axelrod is any worse than Mark Penn.  Axelrod is also Jewish, which is a plus in my book(I'm all about national security and looking out for my cousins in Israel).

Hey, they're both political operatives.  We're not suppose to like a Penn or an Axelrod or a Rove, but they're essential to our candidates.  And from what I have seen, Axelrod has been masterful.  If he let's us beat McCain, then whatever!  I may be idealistic but I'm also a realist.  I may want a lot of changes to be made, but I know none of them will happen if we don't win.

As for the media, I'm sure you might be right to an extent.  They will look closer at Obama, Fox News will continue doing the only thing we know how to do, but I think the dynamic is changing a lot.  The internet is becoming more and more important.  Obama's campaign has shown an effectiveness for rapid response, and that is nothing to underestimate.  Let's face it, would you prefer Hillary's campaign or Obama's campaign to go up against John McCain?

by Setrak 2008-03-02 08:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

That's an easy one. Did you watch Bill Clinton Stumping today:

The Big Dog Stumps - Best I've Ever Seen

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

Link is dead damn C-SPAN...
This should work:

rtsp://video.c-span.org/archive/c08/c08_ 030208_clinton.rm

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

This is her campaign, though, and not his.  She's the one running for the Presidency.  While I know there's a lot of talk of him serving as an informal adviser and a good-will ambassador, in the end, she's the one that has to go out there and sell herself to the general electorate.  She's the one that has to inspire people to vote for her.  She's the one that has to walk into those debates and go toe to toe with McCain.

I don't like the idea of a co-Presidency, even if it is Bill.  I also don't like the idea that the first woman President could be someone who has to rely on her husband, no matter how great he is, because it robs so much from the sweetness of a victory for her. Again, I love Bill.  A lot of the people going for Obama now are the kind of people who would have seen Bill back in '92 and said, "hey, this guy's got it.  He's uplifting, he's positive, he inspires hope."  The Bill Clinton in that speech is the one that I've been missing for awhile, and it's such a complicated mess because as I said, he's not the one running for the Presidency.

by Setrak 2008-03-02 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

Oh neither do I, and that is not what this speech is about. Please take an hour. It is only one hour and watch it. The world is much more complex that simple soundbites like "co-presidency". Please take the time to listen to this guy. You don't have to buy what he is selling, and it won't hurt you. But he is a master and it is a rare opportunity to hear something so timely and from the heart whatever your position is.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

The thing about WJC is that he is manipulative (and sometimes outright dishonest) with language.

Here is one example:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/ statements/284/

A better way to judge a candidate is to have them interviewed by a big group of informed journalists.

The link below is exactly that situation, and it is worth watching to the end, there is an "off the record" part that ties up the main body of the interview:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfga te/detail?blogid=5&entry_id=23636

by 1jpb 2008-03-02 09:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Tips, flames, recs..

Sorry to burst your bubble but Obama has had the same message since he started in politics.  In a 1995 profile in The Chicago Reader, he said, "What if a politician were to see his job as an organizer, as part teacher and part advocate, one who does not sell voters short but who educates them about the real choices before them?"  And,he has succeeded in passing meaningful legislation on the state and federal level. (IL: tax rebates, health care, ethics, and justice system reform where he overcame no support and the promise of a veto from the governor   US: ethics and arms control.)

Contrast this with HRC who has never changed minds to build coalitions for passing difficult legislation.  You want an example of someone with no core principles, HRC tried to pass an unconstitutional flag burning ban.  Her time in the Senate has been a period of sitting on the sidelines so as to not rock the boat as she waits for her presidential run.  And, HRC even admitted she doesn't have a core when she declared that she found her voice after she lost the Iowa caucus.  First you need to find your voice well before running for the presidency, and second if you think losing a caucus is the gateway to self understanding, then you've got a long way to go.

by 1jpb 2008-03-02 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

On health care, Obama also has a mandate on children. If she has an enforcement problem, so does he. Also, just as you are incredulous that this hasn't been discussed, I'm incredulous that Obama hasn't described what he's going to do about adverse selection.

by OrangeFur 2008-03-02 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

Those are details Orange. The important thing is to get everyone together.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:29PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

I'm sorry, I am really trying hard not to be snarky. Of course that is exactly the thing. It is soundbite policy, like Carily discusses above. Once you go down a level or two it just doesn't add up. But it is not supposed to. If it added up too much some other interests (the special interests) would be disenfranchised and they would oppose you. It doesn't matter that they are going to oppose you anyway in the general election.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:34PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

Most uninsured kids will fit into SCHIP, especially after Bush goes and the expanded SCHIP plan is not stopped by a veto.

Admittedly, even today there are a lot of kids who could be covered by SCHIP if they were signed up.  Obama does have plans for simplifying the interface between government programs and citizens.  This should help with the problem of people not signing up for services.  The business corollary would be how Apple is able to make complicated electronics more intuitive.  You can get a hint of this in action by comparing the cluttered HRC website and the simplified but still effective BHO website.

by 1jpb 2008-03-02 09:38PM | 0 recs

... I give Clinton, as well as Edwards, Dodd, and Richardson, a lot of credit for proposing a mandate. Obviously mandates are not popular, even among Democrats. Nobody likes to be told to pay for something. These candidates proposed them because they're necessary if insurers are required to cover everyone who applies at the same rate. They knew they were taking a political risk, but that it was the right thing to do. Obama took the easy way out and is now criticizing Clinton for having the principles to stand firm.

This is the same argument that Democrats face over and over with Republicans. We want to provide health care for kids, or promote green technologies. Unfortunately, we have to cut funding for something else or raise taxes to pay for it. The Republicans always hit us over the head for daring to do something. It's frustrating because our responsible position is politically harder to support than their irresponsible position. Obama is buying into their philosophy by raising the specter that people will have to pay for something desirable rather than have it appear out of nowhere for free.

by OrangeFur 2008-03-02 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

..but where's the beef?  How are we going to enforce it?

by Setrak 2008-03-02 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

The same way Obama will enforce his mandate for children.

Snark aside, there are lots of points of contact between citizens and the government. We might ask people to include documentation of their health coverage on their tax forms, for example. I imagine anything this ambitious will have a lot of details and a long phase-in period, similar to Massachusetts. Perhaps at first if you fail to document you have insurance, there won't be any penalty, but someone will contact you to make arrangements, or you'll automatically be signed up for the new public plan.

The government requires that we do a fair number of things, and for the most part we do them--paying taxes, for example.

by OrangeFur 2008-03-02 07:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

Right, we take taxes out of checks.  Social Security payroll, Medicare, etc.  Garnishing wages, to me, seems to be the only logical way to enforce a mandate.  Make sure everyone has it, and not say "get it or we'll fine you", which is what has happened here in Massachsuetts.  Barack Obama is completely right when he says there are people who don't just have no health insurance but a fine ontop of it. Yet if that's how we are going to go about doing this, why stop short at the private sector?  How far are we willing to subsidize health care?

I really don't know how we'll get health care reform through congress.  Even Obama's plan, which as you said does have a mandate for children.  He has a noble argument that children don't have a choice, but how are we going to approach so many families and convince them to accept another cost ontop of everything they already have?

by Setrak 2008-03-02 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

Just like they do for social security now, and then everyone has health insurance. It is a different world, that's for sure. But, it is what every other industrialized democracy on the planet does, and it works for them.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

We're not going to have that anytime soon.   The costs have got to be brought down first, and the health care lobby has got to be weakened, and then the American people persuaded into thinking that it's a good idea.

by Setrak 2008-03-03 01:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Also...

You live in MA, you must see how mandates don't work.  Half of the uninsured are still uninsured, and the system is out of money.  A good portion of the newly insured owe thanks to MA only because MA put them into the federal programs (Medicare/Medicaid/SCHIP) where they were already eligible--this has nothing to do with mandates.

The HRC and BHO plans have the same level of subsidizes, and these subsidizes don't cover middle income families, because they aren't considered poor enough, even if they are living pay check to pay check.  The HRC plan makes life even worse for these people (who technically aren't poor) because the unfunded mandate will be charged to them even if they can't afford it.

by 1jpb 2008-03-02 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance


- Her reasoning was that you don't telegraph your intention , a la the riots and death to obama that happened to Pakistan when he telegraphed it.

 Every president including Bush reserves the right to do what obama laid out but it is naive to telegraph it , because it could destabilize the region.

How does Obama square the fact that he said he didn't want an International Tribunal to investigate the death of Bhutto like Clinton said and the pro reform activist pressed for and the govt. eventually asked for because he didn' want to destabilize the govt , yet he telegraphed his intention to invade if they couldn't act , won't that destabilize the place.

Seems like he didn't know what he was talking about.

Iraq -

I don't think that was the wrong vote , but hey thats just me. I personally think taking out saddam was the right thing to do , the execution was flawed .

Again many would disagree but thats my opinion. Gen. Petreaus and the troops are doing well over there and I would prefer the government we have in there to Saddam .

I don't necessarily think her vote was the wrong vote but a lot of dems seem to think that way.


If obama can have mandates for kids , I don't see why not for adults. He obviously recognizes that the way to get to uhc for kids is through mandates so why not adults.

Leads me to think he is protecting himself from attacks .

Housing crisis

You do know that they basically have the same plans , infact he just basically ripped her plan.

Tax Return

I think she should release it , and obama should do likewise with Rezko . Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Red States

Guess it depends on what you mean by redstates.

I don' know what you are getting at with this line of argument.

Contrary to popular belief Clinton does better in the south than obama in head to head matchups.

Thats what is weird about the whole thing.

i suspect if you look at polling from Oklahoma , to my state Tennessee , texas , florida , Oklahoma , kentucky , arkanasa ,ohio etc.

The reason is because of blue collar voters , reagan democrats and moderate/conservative dems ( I put myself in that category).

Even before polling came out I said Obama would loses anywhere from 20 - 25% of democrats to Mccain but he would be held up by independents.

Look at the polls , it is the case.

That is why Clinton does better in the south , a sizeable chunk of southern demo would vote for Mccain over Obama and there are these types of voters in the midwestern states too.

If you are talking about upper midwestern states like NH , OR ,  Obama would be better fit. Because there are a lot of liberals in those states.

michigan , florida.

a revote would work and if clinton is still in the game after tuesday she would accept it and win the revote in both states.

by lori 2008-03-02 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

I brought up red states because Clinton's campaign, to down play the significance of states that Obama has won, has marginalized their importance.  They're not big states, they're not the important onces like Massachusetts or California or New York, they're not states that we'll carry in November.  But they are states where we have Democrats running.

International Tribunals are ineffective.  Inside of Pakistan, even if the tribunal found Pervez to be innocent of complicity, the people there still won't care.  They'll still think he was behind it.  The Pakistani people live in a world where the U.N. doesn't really matter because Pervez is the President and Dictator.

His Housing-Relief-Plan doesn't include a moratorium on foreclosures or a freezing of interest rates.  That's where I am skeptical of her's.  You're right, other than that their plans are similar.  Not just on that front, but on many others.  There's a LOT more than unites them than divides them.

by Setrak 2008-03-02 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

Biggest mistake Clinton has made to date IMO is not running a 50 state campaign. She lost so many delegates in the caucus states that she is screwed up now. Huge blunder.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:47PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

Don't know about Rev. Wright. Simply haven't followed that one. But Rezko definately. The issue being not simply illegality of which there may be none, but judgement. Yup. Seems that way to me.

by MediaFreeze 2008-03-02 08:44PM | 0 recs
Re: A Debate on Substance

The Rev is no big deal.  Over many decades he has had a few moments of nuttiness, but nothing remotely like McCain's new buddy Hagee.  On the good side the Rev pushes self reliance and living a good life.

BHO has consistently kept distance Farrakhan, who is very popular with some in Chicago:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail /2008/01/15/obama_decries_farrakhan_stat em_1.html?hpid=topnews

The Rezko thing is going nowhere:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/200802 18/pl_bloomberg/ar8nlioqedc4

by 1jpb 2008-03-02 10:00PM | 0 recs


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