Pharyngula

Now I guess I must vote for Obama

It was pretty much a given anyway, but now that James Dobson has given his screeching purple anti-endorsement, I cannot fail to punch that chad for Obama.

Another interesting bit in that article: Dobson also will not vote for McCain. It would be wonderful if the fundagelical right would simply recuse themselves from all elections henceforth in that way.

Comments

  1. #1 freelunch
    June 24, 2008

    In Christian terms, Dobson is the spawn of Satan and deserves to be rebuked by all Christians for his lies and the evil that he espouses.

    Let’s hear it for Senator Obama, a man who actually knows what good is.

  2. #2 Rey Fox
    June 24, 2008

    Yeah, but “Obama to Dobson: Fuck You” would have been a great headline. Otherwise, I just feel the sort of numbed frustration that I usually get when the decision of who will be the next leader of the free world is framed in terms of some pissing contest over people’s imaginary friends.

    And whose idea was it to put that extreme closeup of Dobson’s ugly, hateful mug at the top of that article? I’m glad I don’t have any pets, I’d have to peeling them off the ceiling right now.

  3. #3 Brownian, OM
    June 24, 2008

    Irony alert! Irony alert!

    To avoid damage please turn off your irony meters before reading the linked article.

  4. #4 Glen Davidson
    June 24, 2008

    And the McCain camp breathes a sigh of relief.

    Course, Dobson actually does have a point. If you’re claiming a Bible-based religion, why the hell not follow the Bible in “real life” (including Paul’s admonition for slaves to obey their masters)?

    That’s the endless quandary for the liberal Xian. It doesn’t go away just because the Xian (Obama or McCain) solemnly promises not to follow the Bible (if not in those words).

    Just for the big picture, mind you. Obviously we’re going to have to vote for Xians who are in a quandary of what the Bible is supposed to mean for the foreseeable future.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  5. #5 Julian
    June 24, 2008

    Why don’t we all just talk it out and decide on someone we would like to vote for, instead of the people we’re given to vote for. That’s the way this democracy thing is supposed to work, afterall.

    Having said that, I do happen to be an Obama supporter. He capitalized on a unique moment in U.S. politics by having the good sense to realize U.S. citizens like being spoken with as if they are intelligent. Some of his statements have turned my stomach, of course; those he made in regards to vaccine skepticism, for instance, but given the unearned apotheosis of Bobby Kennedy, it’s no surprise that a running politician wouldn’t come out and call Robert Kennedy’s son a raving lunatic.

    He’s most certainly a capable campaigner; lets just hope it doesn’t go to his head like it did with Clinton.

  6. #6 SC
    June 24, 2008

    “Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific values,” Obama said. “It requires their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.”

    This statement is a lone lifejacket of reason floating in a sea of insanity.

  7. #7 Chigurh
    June 24, 2008

    “he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view…” Dobson

    hmmmmmmmmmm

  8. #8 Lago
    June 24, 2008

    I love it.

    Obama says that different people interpret the Bible in different ways, so, that even if we were a purely Christian nation, we would still be in conflict. Could anyone claim otherwise? Why Doby can!

    Doby, in his typically arrogant way, cannot see this to be true, as his interpretation of the Bible is, of course, the only correct one, so there would be no conflict in his eyes. This is the same reasoning that claims no one was ever killed due to Christianity, because, if anyone kills you due to their Christian beliefs, then they were not truly Christians. Same reason there are no Christian pedophiles or robbers or anything else you do not like…

  9. #9 Ryan F Stello
    June 24, 2008

    Seems like Dobby is trying to use all the same criticisms that have been leveled against him over the years, just like nearly every other pig-headed creationist I’ve had the misfortune of talking to.

    Repetition and using statements out of context suits them.
    Self-reflection does not.

  10. #10 Capital Dan
    June 24, 2008

    I hope Obama just ignores this rattling, Christian fuckwit. I think just about everyone has heard enough about religion this election to make them sick of the whole irrational concept.

  11. #11 chigurh
    June 24, 2008

    “What the senator is saying there, in essence, is that ‘I can’t seek to pass legislation, for example, that bans partial-birth abortion, because there are people in the culture who don’t see that as a moral issue,’ ” Dobson said. “And if I can’t get everyone to agree with me, than it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. Now, that is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.”

    is he literate?

  12. #12 ajrw
    June 24, 2008

    Glen, I think you missed something there. Dobson wasn’t claiming that politicians should govern based on a literal biblical interpretation. Obama was rightly pointing out that it would be naive to write laws with backing only in the scripture, or to codify every scriptural admonition. Dobson seized on this to assert that Obama has a weak understanding of the Bible, which I think is a pretty lame distortion.

    I suggest that everybody read the speech which Dobson was referring to, if you haven’t, it’s very interesting. It includes the fact that Obama’s father is a Muslim apostate, that his mother is a skeptic and that Obama himself didn’t start attending church until he was 27.

    http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal/index.php

  13. #13 Wild Bob
    June 24, 2008

    @ Brownian #3

    “Irony alert! Irony alert!

    To avoid damage please turn off your irony meters before reading the linked article.”

    Too late.

  14. #14 Sven DiMilo
    June 24, 2008

    Dobson hates him?
    Phil Lesh likes him?
    Is it November yet?

  15. #15 chigurh
    June 24, 2008

    @6
    i think that is the nicest way he could have worded that without giving ground either way. brilliantly phrased. the irony that the religious nuts do not realize how very generous Obama is being is saddening

  16. #16 RDS77
    June 24, 2008

    “‘Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific values,” Obama said. “It requires their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason.’

    Dobson said the suggestion is an attempt to lead by the ‘lowest common denominator of morality.'”

    So there you have it, reason is the lowest common denominator. America should be hanging its collective head in shame at the fact that Dobson has become powerful enough to have his absurd worldview aired on cnn.com.

  17. #17 Zeno
    June 24, 2008

    Sometimes I think Dobson is sincere and really believes the bilge he spews out. Other times I consider how Focus on the Family is just a cash machine designed to keep him hip-deep in shekels. (Focus on the Family markets all of Dobson’s books and tapes, but he retains all the rights and skims off more moola than he would with a traditional publication contract with royalties. Focus on the Family is also a publisher that’s exempt from taxes.)

    Dobson, by the way, is not a theologian, minister, or any kind of cleric. He’s a psychologist who has found his calling by fronting for a right-wing Christian organization. God is damned good business.

  18. #18 Geral
    June 24, 2008

    Dobson is complaining because Obama can pick and choose passages in the Bible to believe?

    The irony is delicious, people are right.

  19. #19 SC
    June 24, 2008

    In the comments aired Tuesday, Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.

    “I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,” Dobson said, adding that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

    These people have a very…interesting relationship with the OT.

  20. #20 Blaidd Drwg
    June 24, 2008

    It’s not a poll, just a place to register your disapproval of Dobby, and it has a place to add your own comment:

    http://www.jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com/

    Brilliant!

  21. #21 Doubting Foo
    June 24, 2008

    Xenu is laughing at both of them.

  22. #22 Jeph
    June 24, 2008

    Note to James Dobson: No understanding of the Bible, Traditional or otherwise, extends further than the hairy outer limits of a particular reader’s thick skull. And if you claim that God spoke to your heart and told you how to interpret the thing, well, we know that sometimes God tells whoppers, such as “Vladimir Putin’s a swell guy” or, “Satan is waiting for you in California.”

    About a million years ago I read a short story by Umberto Eco that included a passage written from the point of view of an editor who had received a copy of the Bible. The editor’s take was that no one would read the thing. He suggested that virtually everything be cut except the really juicy stuff (the Conquest of the Holy Land, David and Bathsheba, etc.) and that the whole shebang be retitled “Red Sea Desperadoes.”

  23. #23 John Bode
    June 24, 2008

    SC@ #6:

    I want to meet whoever writes Obama’s speeches (if it’s not Obama himself) and just basically gibber in gratitude at them for the quality of their work. It’s been a while since I’ve actually enjoyed listening to a candidate speak.

  24. #24 The Chemist
    June 24, 2008

    I never really understood how a Catholic could be so interested in Biblical literalism. It seems so antithetical.

    Anyway, I never really saw Dobson as the loudest voice in Uber-Christendom, I just remind people that his previous enemy was a cartoon sponge.

  25. #25 Galactus78
    June 24, 2008

    Say what you want about Obama but at least he’s making all the right enemies.

  26. #26 Dan
    June 24, 2008

    Dobson… ugh… what a maroon…
    I’d punch him in the “Chad.”

    ~Dan
    http://jazzsick.wordpress.com/

  27. #27 Brian
    June 24, 2008

    Here’s to hoping Bob Barr takes away more votes from McCain as Nader will take from Obama.

    -Brian
    http://www.godless-heathen.com

  28. #28 Ray M
    June 24, 2008

    #2 Rey Fox: …who will be the next leader of the free world…

    Without wishing to offend anyone here, but the use of this phrase just irks the heck out of me. Does anyone truly believe that Shrub occupies such a position? Is this not just another sign of American arrogance and insularity?

    Just wonderin’

  29. #29 hje
    June 24, 2008

    Dobson to Jesus: “Your kingdom may not be of this world, but MINE is!”

  30. #30 RT NZ
    June 24, 2008

    Boy `o`boy am I glad I don`t live in the US ,I would hate to have to vote for either of those 2.
    Realistically, tho ,do you really think America is going to vote in an AfricanAmerican for president?
    Can`t see it myself , I think it would be good for not only the US, but for the rest of the world as well,but sorry ,just can`t see it happening .

  31. #31 Ichthyic
    June 24, 2008

    I just remind people that his previous enemy was a cartoon sponge.

    and we all know why…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIBmnfvXy7M

    ;)

  32. #32 justin
    June 24, 2008

    “In the speech, Obama said, “Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s?”

    In response, Minnery said, “Many people have called [Sharpton] a black racist, and [Obama] is somehow equating [Dobson] with that and racial bigotry.””

    ummmmm I’m not sure what the problem is with that. Dobson may not be racist in public(feel free to prove me wrong on that, I’d love to see it) But he is a raving homophobe and just an all around f***tard. IMHO he is more of a scumbag then Sharpton.

  33. #33 hje
    June 24, 2008

    God is damned good business.

    I realized just how true this is when I learned that Ken Ham made $175,000 in salary at AiG in 2006 (excluding royalties I’m sure). And I bet this line of business is recession-proof.

  34. #34 Phaedrus
    June 24, 2008

    There’s a lot to like about Obama, but it is instructive to remember there’s a lot to be wary of. Obama supports crappy health care, has rejected the public financing system he swore to adhere to, and supports the FISA compromise which removes warrants from eavesdropping and gives immunity to telecomms that broke the law. The last one really burns my ass and is pushing me towards Nader.

    It would be interesting for people to write a short summary of what they thing the world would be like one year after Obama wins, squirrel it away, and then pull it out a year after the inauguration (whether or not he wins) and see how it compares to reality.

  35. #35 raven
    June 24, 2008

    I’ve read somewhere that Dobson’s Focus cash machine is losing membership and donations to the Dobson expensive life style fund are down.

    He is an evil flakey troll.

    I remember when he was attempting to persecute a cartoon sponge. Pretty funny. Either he or another clone were at one time trying to out one of the telly tubbies.

  36. #36 phantomreader42
    June 24, 2008

    James Dobson:

    I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology

    I think we should take him seriously on this. After all, if anyone knows about distorting the bible to fit his own world view, it’s James Dobson. If anyone knows about “confused theology”, it’s James Dobson. :)

    Direct quote from the article:

    Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.

    Isn’t this the guy whose primary political issue is “thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman”? I wonder which book that’s from…

    Dobson the demented fuckwit again:

    And if I can’t get everyone to agree with me, than it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. Now, that is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution

    So, apparently in Dobson’s fantasies, the way to pass laws in a democracy has nothing to do with the will of the people.

    But then, I guess he knows whereof he speaks. If anyone has experience with fruitcake interpretations of the Constitution, it’s James Dobson. :P

  37. #37 Dahan
    June 24, 2008

    Geral @ 18,

    “Dobson is complaining because Obama can pick and choose passages in the Bible to believe?

    The irony is delicious, people are right.”

    Couldn’t sum up how I feel any better myself.

  38. #38 phantomreader42
    June 24, 2008

    raven @ #35:

    I remember when he was attempting to persecute a cartoon sponge.

    Actually, as I recall that was his butt-buddy, the late and unlamented Jerry Falwell.

  39. #39 Dahan
    June 24, 2008

    John Bode @ 23,

    Obama writes some of his own speeches, including the one on race a month or two back, however Jon Favreau is his head writer. David Kusnet, one of former President Clinton’s speech writers, also became involved this last month.

  40. #40 Rey Fox
    June 24, 2008

    “but the use of this phrase just irks the heck out of me.”

    I was just going for quick recognizable rhetoric. I guess that phrase has fallen out of favor somewhat in recent years though. Wonder why…

  41. #41 Kseniya
    June 24, 2008

    Dobson’s the fruitcake, just another blind fool with a megaphone where his mouth should be.

    What I want to know is… who is Tinky-Winky backing?

  42. #42 Hank Fox
    June 24, 2008

    The best part of all this is that, so far, all the articles I’ve read on this don’t cover Dobson very sympathetically. He’s coming across as a shrieking idiot, and Obama is coming across as independent, thoughtful and self-possessed.

    I think fundie political power in America has finally reached its twilight. Dobson doesn’t know it, but he’s burying himself and his movement with his ridiculous carping. History has passed him by, at last.

  43. #43 Kseniya
    June 24, 2008

    Hank, I cannot fully express how much I hope you’re right.

  44. #44 Damian
    June 24, 2008

    John Bode said:

    I want to meet whoever writes Obama’s speeches (if it’s not Obama himself) and just basically gibber in gratitude at them for the quality of their work. It’s been a while since I’ve actually enjoyed listening to a candidate speak.

    An amusing take on Obama’s “content free” campaign speeches.

  45. #45 hje
    June 24, 2008

    The Dobson business plan:

    1. Bash gays (or SpongeBob)
    2. ?
    3. Profit!

  46. #46 Emmet Caulfield
    June 24, 2008

    Actually, as I recall that was his butt-buddy, the late and unlamented Jerry Falwell.

    Immortalised in my mind by Hitchens’s “if you gave Falwell an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox” remark.

  47. #47 Wowbagger
    June 24, 2008

    Dahan, #39, wrote:

    Jon Favreau is his head writer

    Jon Favreau? As in the actor/writer/director responsible for Swingers? I’d definitely vote for anyone he’d write for.

    He’s money, baby!

  48. #48 homostoicus
    June 24, 2008

    Why Obama, PZ? You just said Dobson said he would not vote for McCain either. How does that help you decide? Twenty years Obama’s been listening to the drek spewing from Trinity church. And NOW he decides it’s not quite right?

  49. #49 aratina
    June 24, 2008

    Here here, PZ!

    What I can’t understand is why Dobson’s statement made headline news, however briefly. Who cares what the guy says in the first place. The least the media could have done was point out the blatant sexism in calling Obama a ‘fruitcake’. Dobson has a history of brandishing femininity as a weapon just like with Tinky-Winky as Kseniya reminded us.

  50. #50 Kseniya
    June 24, 2008

    (I think it was Falwell, but – what’s the diff? (None.))

  51. #51 Crudely Wrott
    June 24, 2008

    So, someone claims that someone else has twisted the Real(TM) meaning of scripture for their own purposes. That’s interesting.

    In other news, the sun rose this morning as expected. Indications are that it will most likely set later today, again.

  52. #52 John Lightfield
    June 25, 2008

    didn’t Jesus say something about “give to Caesar what’s Caesars?” in regards to taxes…
    sounds like churches shouldn’t be tax exempt

  53. #53 Crudely Wrott
    June 25, 2008

    Oh. Just in cased anyone missed it: Pot. Kettle. Black.

  54. #54 aratina
    June 25, 2008

    My bad. Dobson and Falwell run together in my mind. It still was a sexist characterization.

    Julian wrote:

    Some of his statements have turned my stomach, of course; those he made in regards to vaccine skepticism

    Trying to remember the vaccine quote, I googled up this link that pretty much proves Obama was talking about a person in the audience when he said that some people believe in a link between autism and vaccines, “this person included.”

  55. #55 waldteufel
    June 25, 2008

    Dobson is an evil bastard. Fuck him. A sniveling bastard who lives to meddle in other peoples lives. An ignorant shit who drools smarmy blather while fleecing his ignorant, credulous flock. I hope he gets the drizzling shits and lives forever.

  56. #56 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    I want to meet whoever writes Obama’s speeches (if it’s not Obama himself) and just basically gibber in gratitude at them for the quality of their work.

    last I checked, it was the same guy who ran John Edwards campaign, and wrote many of Edwards’ speeches as well.

    In fact, it’s the reason I’m betting that Obama will end up picking Edwards as his running mate.

  57. #57 Emmet Caulfield
    June 25, 2008

    (I think it was Falwell, but – what’s the diff? (None.))

    The difference is that Falwell has fed countless maggots and is well composted.

  58. #58 Joel
    June 25, 2008

    Posted by: homostoicus | June 24, 2008 11:45 PM

    Quite right and Obama’s reversal on public campaign financing is just one more in a long line of reversals made to help Obama take the Oval Office.

    I guess, changing whatever it takes to win is the change Obama has been talking about all along.

  59. #59 Rey Fox
    June 25, 2008

    “In fact, it’s the reason I’m betting that Obama will end up picking Edwards as his running mate.”

    Edwards said back in April or so that he wasn’t interested. We’ll see. That would be a nice ticket.

  60. #60 Kseniya
    June 25, 2008

    Not just “meddle” – he’d rather have women run a higher risk of developing cervical cancer than allow them, as adolescents, to be immunized against HPV. That’s a bridge from meddling to misogyny to murder. Screw him, his assholier-than-thou attitude and his potentially lethal sexual neuroses – lethal to women, of course, but no risk to himself, the soulless fuck.

  61. #61 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    The difference is that Falwell has fed countless maggots and is well composted.

    so… the conclusion is that Dobson would be of more use if he jumped into a chipper-shredder and fertilized someone’s lawn?

    just making sure, before I wholeheartedly agree.

    :p

    btw, there were 300 lbs. of Falwell meat to feed the maggots and fertilize to local flora.

    How’s Dobson doing in the weight dept. these days?

  62. #62 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    Edwards said back in April or so that he wasn’t interested.

    he re-opened the door on June 15.

    On June 15, 2008, Edwards stepped back from his initial outright denial of the position of the Vice President, leaving some openness to the idea saying, “I’d take anything he asks me to think about seriously, but obviously this is something that I’ve done and it’s not a job I’m seeking.” [57]. On June 20, 2008, The Associated Press reported that according to a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the names of John Edwards and Sam Nunn are on Barack Obama’s vice presidential shortlist. The two are the first names known to be on the list. [58]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Edwards

  63. #63 silentsanta
    June 25, 2008

    Yet more proof that evangelical Christians halt development at the Concrete Operations stage. I swear, it’s as though fucking Dobson is offended by the very idea of abstract thought. I can see it in my mind right now:

    “This concept of ‘translation when communicating’ confuses and infuriates us!”

  64. #64 Wowbagger
    June 25, 2008

    Kseniya,

    Yeah, it’s that attitude where it’s ‘if it’s God’s will then they won’t get HPV’ – but completely different when it comes to the surgically-implanted device that allows their black hearts to keep pumping – or that blue pill that counteracts impotence.

  65. #65 Emmet Caulfield
    June 25, 2008

    there were 300 lbs. of Falwell meat to feed the maggots and fertilize to local flora.

    Not so much meat as blubber: if he’d died on the beach, GreenPeace would’ve dragged him into the sea. Sadly, we missed the opportunity to render the bastard down for biodiesel.

  66. #66 Wowbagger
    June 25, 2008

    Or throw his putrid carcass from a helicopter while filming in order to create a symbolic YouTube homage to the scene from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

  67. #67 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    Not so much meat as blubber: if he’d died on the beach, GreenPeace would’ve dragged him into the sea

    not if it was in Oregon…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtVSzU20ZGk

    “What to do with one 5′ 300 lb whale on a beach, near Florence”

    :p

  68. #68 Ragutis
    June 25, 2008

    Not that I needed another reason, but I always enjoy anything that I know irks Dobson and his ilk. I’m almost tempted to get gay-married just to piss them off. But it’s so hard to meet nice black illegal-immigrant Muslim atheist evolution-believing environmentalist comprehensive sex-ed advocating socialist non-child beating gay men that are ACLU members around here.

    And (IIRC) it was Dobson that went after Sponge Bob, and one of the PBS cartoons. Tinky Winky(sp?) was Falwell.

    Didn’t John Cleese volunteer his services as speechwriter to Obama were he to win the nomination? That should make the convention a lot more interesting.

    Oh, and great handle there, Blaidd Drwg. Saturday can’t get here soon enough.

  69. #69 Emmet Caulfield
    June 25, 2008

    Or “What not to do with one 5′ 300 lb whale on a beach, near Florence”. Hilarious, but what a bunch of morons!

  70. #70 Dahan
    June 25, 2008

    Wowbagger @ 47,

    Sorry, not the same guy. This one also did work for Kerry during his last run at President.

  71. #71 Cujo359
    June 25, 2008

    If I decided based on which politician didn’t have some lame-brain assaulting his character, I’d never vote.

    Obama’s probably the best choice available, but even letting Dobson influence that vote in a negative way is probably giving him more power than he deserves.

  72. #72 craig
    June 25, 2008

    Not at all thrilled with Obama about the FISA thing…

    But you take what you can get.

  73. #73 Kaddath
    June 25, 2008

    PZ will have to create a Wackaloon of the Month award… Ham and Dobson going head to head….

  74. #74 Josh
    June 25, 2008

    It’s good if they don’t vote for McCain, but bad if they vote for Chuck Baldwin instead (Baldwin is hoping that he can pick up the super-conservative vote, for whom McCain is too liberal).

  75. #75 themadlolscientist
    June 25, 2008

    “I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,” Dobson said

    The Irony – and possibly the Farce – are strong in our boy Dobby. His highly selective and supposedly “traditional” Fundamentalist “understanding” of the Bible only dates back about 100 years in its current form.

    (Evangelicalism certainly existed before that, but it generally included some progressive emphasis on social justice as well as personal salvation. To find something close to modern-day Fundamentalism you have to go back to the First Great Awakening in the colonial era and add a generous dash of Puritan/Calvinist legalism.)

    The whole “God of the Bible” shitpile pisses me off in thermonuclear technicolor. In a real sense, the Bible itself has become a “god.” Robert Price, “The Bible Geek” (and author of The Reason Driven Life) calls it “this paper idol,” and he’s right.

    @ Blaidd Drwg #20: I just passed your link on to about two dozen of my fellow Fundamentalism-hating people of faith, including the pastors of my former church. I’m sure it will spread out from there.

    Fuck Fundamentalism and the three-legged mangy mule it rode in on. That shit gets people killed. God/Allah/Buddha/FSM/Ceiling Cat/Pink Unicorn/To Whom It May Concern save us from its followers!

  76. #76 bbcaddict
    June 25, 2008

    Obama gave Edwards a jetski- FINALLY!
    ok I watch Colbert too much..

  77. #77 scooter
    June 25, 2008

    I’m not sure if this has been mentioned before, but during one of his more newsworthy speeches, it may have been the one on Race in America, he spoke to all the different ethnicities, customs religions and mentioned ‘non-believers’ as part of the American Mix.

    I haven’t heard us mentioned before in a presidential race.

    I may have the particular speech wrong, as it is all a blur, but he has definitely decided to include us as part of the human race….
    that ummmm
    votes

    hehehe

  78. #78 Evan Henke
    June 25, 2008

    I admit it is a shame Obama clings to any religion at all after some great insights such as #6.

    I would argue, however, that any American able to vote has a moral duty to vote for the lesser of two evils. (Its going to be Obama or McCain, and that’s a fact) Voting for a third party candidate will accomplish nothing as far as the next four years are concerned. Perhaps one has a right to vote his support for a third party candidate, but does that trump the right of all people to not be subject to unjust war, domestic spying (Obama failure admitted @#34), or access to truthful national security information and/or honest government?

    Recognizing objections to this argument, I can’t help but cheer for Obama in the face of such unthoughtful objection such as Dobson’s.

  79. #79 themadlolscientist
    June 25, 2008

    Obama-Edwards. Now that’s my dream ticket!

  80. #80 BobC
    June 25, 2008

    President Obama and Vice-President Neil deGrasse Tyson. That’s my preference.

  81. #81 Cephus
    June 25, 2008

    As we were discussing on another blog, Dobson seems to have gone batshit insane over the years, he never used to be a complete lunatic in his younger years, some of his Character Counts radio spots were actually pretty decent.

    Of course now, he’s completely off his rocker, utterly delusional and prone to making the most ridiculous statements imaginable. Typical fundie, in other words.

  82. #82 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Obama supports crappy health care

    He also supports good health care. In his victory speech he said that, when we achieve universal health care “and we will”, that Hillary Clinton will have played a big part of that.

    has rejected the public financing system he swore to adhere to

    Can’t you make your argument without lying? He never did any such thing. His position was always conditional on the Republicans not allowing their 527’s to do their dirty work for them, but McCain has refused to do so — and has illegally abused the system, for which the DNC is suing him.

    and supports the FISA compromise which removes warrants from eavesdropping

    Yes, that’s a pisser.

    and gives immunity to telecomms that broke the law

    In Obama’s statement he reiterated his opposition to immunity. However, it looks like he may break his pledge to filibuster it — but he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to do so.

    The last one really burns my ass and is pushing me towards Nader.

    Oh, that’s really effective. Great idea, making Voltaire’s “the best is the enemy of the good” your guiding principle. McCain has a 0 score on reproductive rights and a 0 score on the environment. Very recently he excoriated the SCOTUS for restoring habeas corpus while Obama defended it, but that’s immediately forgotten because Obama is a flawed human being who, as he has said repeatedly, will disappoint. Absolute judgments are the modus operandi the religious, whereas rationality demands that we weigh likely outcomes and do what favors those we want — which pretty much means, in this case, voting for Obama and convincing as many others as we can to do the same.

  83. #83 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    last I checked, it was the same guy who ran John Edwards campaign, and wrote many of Edwards’ speeches as well.

    Obama’s speech writer is and has been the 26 year old Jon Favreau, who has never run anyone’s campaign.

    “Edwards said back in April or so that he wasn’t interested.”

    he re-opened the door on June 15.

    In your quotation he reiterated that he isn’t interested. Telling a reporter, when asked, that he will consider not turning down a direct request from the candidate to be VP is nothing like expressing interest.

  84. #84 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    hattip to TM.

    Having just reviewed all the issues raised in the post you responded to, AFAICT you’re absolutely dead on.

    perfect response.

    I found plenty of sites that detail why Obama refused to play by the rethuglican rules wrt to public financing.

    as to Obama’s methods of raising campaign funding, one writer for Newsweek who analyzed the entire situation had this to say:

    Obama’s massive fundraising machine–which thrives on small checks from 1.5 million individual donors and rejects money from lobbyists and PACs–deserves a ton of praise. It is, simply put, the most democratic in American political history.

    http://www.blog.newsweek.com/blogs/stumper/archive/2008/06/19/the-problem-with-obama-s-public-financing-acrobatics.aspx

    let McCain and his supports try and swiftboat that all they want. see how far it gets them.

  85. #85 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    the decision of who will be the next leader of the free world

    If anyone has a claim to that title, it’s surely the head of government of the world’s largest democracy. I wonder how many in any of the countries whose citizens comment here regularly could name him/her, without looking it up?

  86. #86 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    Telling a reporter, when asked, that he will consider not turning down a direct request from the candidate to be VP is nothing like expressing interest.

    I never said “interest”, I said the door was open again.

    Still, I’d say he’s just trying to keep the heat off until an announcement is made.

    All available information suggests he’s on the short list, and since he expressed “public disinterest” in April, it seems unlikely he would be on the short list if what he said in June was meaningless.

  87. #87 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    …another issue is how he was treated in the 2004 elections by Kerry, and I’m sure he wants some assurance from Obama that if he accepts the nomination for VP, he won’t be treated the same way.

  88. #88 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Quite right and Obama’s reversal on public campaign financing is just one more in a long line of reversals made to help Obama take the Oval Office.

    A complete and utter lie. OTOH, McCain has not only flipped on public campaign financing, committing to it in order to secure a loan and then opting out — which he got away with because Bush and the Republicans stonewalled on appointing a quorum to the FEC, but he has also flipped on warrantless wiretapping, Roe v. Wade, litmus tests, gay marriage, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Bush’s tax cuts, the estate tax, torture, habeas corpus, ethanol, Bob Jones university, the Confederate flag, the moratorium on offshore drilling, the windfall profits tax, privatizing Social Security, Yucca Mountain, normalization of relations with Cuba, negotiations with Hamas, negotiations with Syria, “the fence”, the DREAM Act, his own immigration legislation, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, the Lieberman/Warner global warming legislation, raising cigarette taxes, earmarks for Arizona, balancing the budget, the Law of the Sea convention, whether we would win easily in Iraq, and on and on. Oh, and he thinks Shiites and Sunni are interchangeable.

  89. #89 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    …add that he also flipped his own religion for the current race.

    in 2007, he started claiming to be a baptist instead of an episcopalian.

    not that I really think either candidate really has a strong identity with any particular xian denomination, but it IS just one more thing he has flipped on.

    http://www.democrats.org/a/2007/09/mccains_religio.php

    Knowing rethuglican strategy, they likely will take McCain’s radical waffling and try to project it onto Obama.

  90. #90 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    I never said “interest”, I said the door was open again.

    What I quoted was

    “Edwards said back in April or so that he wasn’t interested.”

    he re-opened the door on June 15.

    Re-opened the door to what? What door had he closed? If it wasn’t “interest”, then your comment was non sequitur. I think my noting that Edwards did not express interest on June 15 is on point.

    All available information suggests he’s on the short list

    What information is that? I would note that there’s a certain tension between “information” and “suggests”.

    and since he expressed “public disinterest” in April, it seems unlikely he would be on the short list if what he said in June was meaningless.

    I’m having trouble making sense of that. What he said in June is “obviously this is something that I’ve done and it’s not a job I’m seeking”. So if he is on the short list, it’s in spite of the fact that he isn’t seeking to be (or at least claiming not to be, and if we don’t take him at his word then indeed his statement is meaningless).

    I like Edwards and almost voted for him (in my state primary, before he dropped out), and think he would make a fine VP, but I don’t think he would be a very good choice politically, and I personally doubt that he will be the choice, but I’m not basing that on any available information other than that the Obama camp usually (but not always;
    Patti Solis Doyle is an obvious counterexample) makes good political decisions.

  91. #91 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Obama’s massive fundraising machine–which thrives on small checks from 1.5 million individual donors and rejects money from lobbyists and PACs–deserves a ton of praise. It is, simply put, the most democratic in American political history.

    On top of that, he asserted his position as the leader of the party and directed the DNC to also forego money from those sources. And, he asked the 527’s not to spend money on his candidacy.

  92. #92 Marc Jagoe
    June 25, 2008

    PZ,

    I can’t believe you would ever think there was a viable alternative. McCain has shown his true colors and it’s obvious. For me it’s a clear cut choice. Obama’s speech that Dobson was referring to from 2006 was featured on your site. There isn’t a candidate minus Ralph Nader that would fit your political views. There certainly isn’t another viable candidate worth wasting your vote on. The choice isn’t hard for me. I’ve wasted enough votes. This is coming from a former non-thinking Young republican. I admit it as far as politics goes.

  93. #93 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    then your comment was non sequitur

    not hardly.

    What information is that?

    you stated you read the source I linked to.

    did you not see the information I quoted?

    I’ll repeat it:

    …according to a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the names of John Edwards and Sam Nunn are on Barack Obama’s vice presidential shortlist. The two are the first names known to be on the list

    you can check wiki’s sources on that if you wish, but there were several reports with the same info as the AP one cited.

    basically, this person was told by Obama’s campaign that Edwards was one of the first two names on the short list.

    What he said in June is “obviously this is something that I’ve done and it’s not a job I’m seeking”.

    but the rest of his statement certainly implies he would not turn it down if offered it.

    or did you miss that part?

    but I don’t think he would be a very good choice politically

    I’m curious why you think so.

    lack of experience?

    association with Kerry’s failed campaign?

  94. #94 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    I have to admit that if I’d had a vote in 2000, I’d have gone for Nader, rather than the “lesser of two weevils”. We live and learn (or some of us do, anyway).

  95. #95 Ichthyic
    June 25, 2008

    and if we don’t take him at his word then indeed his statement is meaningless

    not meaningless. It’s standard “hedging”.

    Like i mentioned in the other posts, he was trashed by Kerry after the 2004 failure, and likely wants to make sure any offers made this time around come with some assurances.

  96. #96 386sx
    June 25, 2008

    Dobson: “What he’s trying to say here is, unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe.

    No wonder Mr. Dobson is a prominent evangelical fundamentalist preacher: he’s freakin stupid!

  97. #97 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    you stated you read the source I linked to.

    No, I did not; I only referred to the quote that you presented here. I should have read it though, and it does support what you wrote.

    but the rest of his statement certainly implies he would not turn it down if offered it.

    or did you miss that part?

    I commented on it back in #83, and far more accurately characterized it: “Telling a reporter, when asked, that he will consider not turning down a direct request from the candidate to be VP is nothing like expressing interest.”

    This conversation is going the way conversations with you so often go, so I’ll leave it at that.

  98. #98 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Obama’s speech that Dobson was referring to from 2006 was featured on your site.

    Twice, the first time in February with PZ saying it was the sort of religion-laced thing that had made him previously say he would never vote for Obama, and just recently with PZ lauding it.

  99. #99 386sx
    June 25, 2008

    It’s a good thing that Obama and Dobson are duking it out over this stuff, because everybody gets to see how stupid Dobson is. This is a good thing.

    Sorry Mr. Dobson, nobody is going to pander to you as much this time around. Everybody gets to see how dumb you really are. Sorry!

  100. #100 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    No, I did not; I only referred to the quote that you presented here. I should have read it though, and it does support what you wrote.

    I should add that not only did I not read the citation, but I didn’t even read the entire quotation — mighty sloppy of me. But the slop is not all mine: “basically, this person was told by Obama’s campaign that Edwards was one of the first two names on the short list” — no, the statement was that his was one of the first two names known to be on the short list — a quite different thing. The other known name is Sam Nunn. I think it’s rather unlikely that those two are at the top of the list.

    As for why I don’t think Edwards would be a good choice politically: he’s (characterized as) a rich white guy who gets expensive haircuts and lives in a large rich guy’s compound, he’s a “jacuzzi lawyer” (Tucker Carlson’s horrible mischaracterization), he campaigned on a “strident” anti-corporate platform, and just doesn’t seem to me to bring anything that Obama needs in terms of Electoral College math (he didn’t for Kerry). I think Sebelius or Wes Clark or Richardson make more sense politically. (I hope it’s not Richardson; he strikes me as a flake).

  101. #101 Matt Heath
    June 25, 2008

    While Obama is a politican, a lawyer, and no doubt a bullshitter, that speech of his really is fricking awesome. Also I suspect the idea that saying “This is the right policy because God wants it” should automatically lose you the argument would probably be agreed to by most people, including most godly people. Regardless of any election, Obama’s Law needs to spread over the interwebs.

    @ick Gotts @85: I thought I knew. Turns out I was wrong. Arguably, the head of state of that same country takes precendence.

  102. #102 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    I have to admit that if I’d had a vote in 2000, I’d have gone for Nader, rather than the “lesser of two weevils”. We live and learn (or some of us do, anyway).

    There are many lessons from that election still not learned — like how the mainstream media did their damnedest to sabotage Gore, claiming that he had lost the debates due to arrogance even though all the polls at the time of the debates gave Gore a 10% edge, with people saying that Bush, with his “fuzzy math” and other dismissive comments was arrogant, and with their campaign to paint Gore as a liar, even though he had told the truth about all the things they claimed he lied about (e.g., taking the lead in creating the internet, growing up on a farm, and being the inspiration of the character from Love Story — all true) … Another lesson is that the post-analysis of Florida ballots by the major media found that Gore won the popular vote there, while their misleading headlines led most people to think the opposite. (I didn’t see the HBO movie “Recount”, but I hear that it did a good job of covering this.)

  103. #103 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    While Obama is a politican, a lawyer, and no doubt a bullshitter

    Less so than your average commenter at this blog.

  104. #104 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    Here in Europe, we’re hearing more and more news about the fact that an Israel Iran conflict is imminent. Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister has even gone as far as to write that whilst he was in Israel for the 60th aniversary, a variety of factors and conversations have led him to the conclusion that Israel had effectively received the green light from Bush during that same visit.

    What would be the consequences of such conflict on the American election ?

    First, why is such scenario highly likely ?

    Many members in the Knesset believe time is running out. They stress that there is now a “favorable window of opportunity” that will close with the US presidential election in November, and that Israel can only depend on American support for as long as current US President George W. Bush is still in charge in Washington. They are convinced that the country cannot truly depend on any of the candidates to succeed Bush in office….

    Let us consider the consequences of such an attack ;

    . oil at above 200$
    . Iran counter strikes, unleashes its supporters in Lebanon and Gaza (Hezbollah and Hamas) in a military confrontation with Israel. A broader war will follow in the Middle East.
    . Iran would use both the threat of blocking the flow of oil out of the Gulf and an actual sharp reduction of its exports of oil
    . meanwhile this would trigger a military reaction by the US that would start a sustained air-led bombing campaign against Iran’s military capabilities

    Would a national security crisis of such an extent doom the chances of democrats to win the white house ? How would Americans react ?

    So could both Israel – that prefers McCain to Obama and is hurried to act as it is wary of the constraints that an Obama presidency may put on its ability to act against Iran – and the Bush administration guarantee the election of McCain ?

    I’m convinced Obama is the best candidate to a presidential election America has known for a long long time, but are Americans able to tell the difference, between what makes a good president and what makes a good commander in chief ?

    Right now, McCain has, IMHO, absolutely no chance to win, because the main concern is the economy, and all the “real” issues. And Obama is just unbelievably superior to him on all these issues.
    Obama is going to win by a very big margin, at least 8 points.
    Unless…

  105. #105 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Here in Europe, we’re hearing more and more news about the fact that an Israel Iran conflict is imminent. Joschka Fischer, the former German foreign minister has even gone as far as to write that whilst he was in Israel for the 60th aniversary, a variety of factors and conversations have led him to the conclusion that Israel had effectively received the green light from Bush during that same visit.

    There’s a much more direct reason to think that — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said so:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20140.htm

    Emerging from a 90-minute White House meeting with President George W. Bush on June 4, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the two leaders were of one mind:

    “We reached agreement on the need to take care of the Iranian threat. I left with a lot less question marks [than] I had entered with regarding the means, the timetable restrictions, and American resoluteness to deal with the problem. George Bush understands the severity of the Iranian threat and the need to vanquish it, and intends to act on that matter before the end of his term in the White House.”

    Read the whole article — it’s a shocker and vitally important.

  106. #106 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    So, what about this question :
    “So could both Israel – that prefers McCain to Obama and is hurried to act as it is wary of the constraints that an Obama presidency may put on its ability to act against Iran – and the Bush administration guarantee the election of McCain ?”
    What’s your take on this, how would Americans react in case of a conflict, would this influence their decision making process for this election ?

  107. #107 Moses
    June 25, 2008

    Doby, in his typically arrogant way, cannot see this to be true, as his interpretation of the Bible is, of course, the only correct one, so there would be no conflict in his eyes. This is the same reasoning that claims no one was ever killed due to Christianity, because, if anyone kills you due to their Christian beliefs, then they were not truly Christians. Same reason there are no Christian pedophiles or robbers or anything else you do not like…

    Posted by: Lago | June 24, 2008 8:44 PM

    And yet Slack, the subject of two recent threads, can’t seem to wrap his mind around where the “arrogance” comes from in the creationist/scientist intersections of faith & science… Despite how obvious people like Dobson make it…

  108. #108 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Psychological research has demonstrated that threats to, or even just the mention of, mortality cause people to take more “conservative” positions.

  109. #109 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    Matt Heath@101 – I admit I can’t name the largest democracy’s Head of State – but in my defence, I understand that’s almost entirely a ceremonial role.

  110. #110 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    So if Israel strikes Iran, it’s basically a done deal.
    McCain gets elected ?

  111. #111 Moses
    June 25, 2008

    Not at all thrilled with Obama about the FISA thing…

    But you take what you can get.

    Posted by: craig | June 25, 2008 1:47 AM

    I had a bit of an epiphany and I don’t do that anymore. A shit-sandwich is a shit-sandwich and I’m voting principles instead of least odious.

    If you’re willing to shit on the Constitution to win votes, you won’t get mine. Period.

    To get my vote, you must be:

    1. A person of your word.
    2. Fully support equal rights and social justice, despite possible political costs, for all persons.
    3. Stand up to lobbyists.

    Obama has failed all three in major ways:

    1. He’s obviously lied about stopping the war. He lied about campaign finance. He lied about why he voted present.

    2. He voted present FROM A SAFE SEAT (and has allowed the lies about his votes to stand) in gun control and women’s rights. He is ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE, and despite being not-gay, I have this quaint notion that RIGHTS ARE FOR EVERYONE, not just the ones we like or the majority.

    3. Epic fail here. Just look at how the Nuclear industry pushed him around like a 98lb weakling. He needs to see Charles Atlas. Or buy a spine.

    Anyway, at this point in my life I’m not willing to vote for the less-shit shit-sandwich. No matter how nice the bread on the outside is, it’s still a shit sandwich. Especially as I see little effective difference between the Democrats and Republicans. People like to think there is, I guess holding onto the “Liberal Democratic ideals” of the 60’s and 70’s that still, in isolated incidents, crop up in the Democratic party, but as a group, I don’t see it. Really, about all I see is that the Democrats are nicer (in empty speeches) to societies outliers (without doing anything) while shitting on our Constitution and selling our government to the highest Corporate Contributor than the Republicans.

  112. #112 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    He voted present FROM A SAFE SEAT (and has allowed the lies about his votes to stand) in gun control and women’s rights.

    Standard talking point lies. Obama’s “present” votes on abortion were AT THE REQUEST OF NARAL — they were strategic votes. Hillary Clinton lost a lot of support when she tried to paint Obama, who has a 100% rating on the issue, as “soft” on women’s rights.

    Especially as I see little effective difference between the Democrats and Republicans.

    You might as well tattoo “moron incapable of making distinctions” on your forehead.

  113. #113 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    I mean it’s crazy, an Israel/Iran/US conflict would just make the stagflationary situation even worse, the global economy would go nuts, islamic fundamentalism worse, but Americans would elect a president who would continue on the same line for another 4 more years. Just because, as you say TM, threats make people vote more conservative.

    So Americans wouldn’t wake up, wouldn’t realise that it doesn’t work, pleaaaaase tell me that they wouldn’t elect McCain even if there was a conflict, that they’d be able to understand why Obama is a better president even in a case of national security crisis?

  114. #114 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    Moses,

    No matter how nice the bread on the outside is, it’s still a shit sandwich.

    If you gotta eat, you still have to choose which sandwich you think is best. Only when you believe you can afford the luxury of not eating, can you put both in the garbage bin.

    If you think we can afford this luxury right now, do what you think is best.

    I just don’t think we can afford it.

  115. #115 JeffreyD
    June 25, 2008

    I have read the above and one point keeps gnawing at me. Those of you who say you would vote for Nader…why? Nader has become the stock almost joke of elections, ‘guess I’ll vote for Nader’. Why?

    I am truly not being obnoxious here, but I truly do not see why Nader would be worth my vote. What does he bring to the table really? I spent the morning searching the web for his positions and many are admirable, but how on earth would he get any of it enacted? The man is a gadfly and would inherit a hostile congress. I truly think voting for Nader or ANY OTHER third party candidate in this election is worse than a wasted vote, it is a negative vote that will allow Bush III to take the White, now soiled, House.

    Of course, everyone will vote as their conscious tells them and that is a basic right. I will vote for Obama, flawed but still the best in my eyes.

    OK fire away.

    Ciao y’all

  116. #116 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    I mean it’s crazy, an Israel/Iran/US conflict would just make the stagflationary situation even worse, the global economy would go nuts, islamic fundamentalism worse, but Americans would elect a president who would continue on the same line for another 4 more years.

    Unfortunately, Obama is also somewhat crazy about Israel and Iran — see the “The Iran Trap” link in the Ray McGovern article I posted. But there’s no issue, including that one, on which John “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” McCain isn’t significantly worse.

    The man is a gadfly and would inherit a hostile congress.

    Irrelevant, since it’s less likely that Nader will become President than that we’ll find pre-Cambrian rabbit fossils.

  117. #117 Rarus.vir
    June 25, 2008

    Dr. James Dobson is a very influential man in Christian circles. I’m glad every time I see a fundamentalist on television or read what they say in the news. It’s so much easier to let them shoot themselves in the foot with what they think and say than it is to rebut every single word. We should look forward to the debates with them, and the free air time they have on mass media because it is likely more damaging to them than anything atheist do or say about them. Any more atheists are just as irrelevant in their bashing of anything Christian, so this affords them a little time to shut up and let people see for them selves what influential Christians really think. Not many people agree with fundamentalism, however they still believe as a Christian, so personal attacks on (insert your adjective) Christians, simply makes rational people look like flamers. We should take the high road.

  118. #118 True Bob
    June 25, 2008

    IMHO, the real problem is that anyone truly qualified to be El Jefe isn’t interested in the job, and anyone interested in the job has already been compromised and is driven by ‘other than altruistic’ motives. So we are left with a ‘choice’ between two similair but not quite identical movements/parties. Bleeech.

    Just saying.

  119. #119 Ex Partiate
    June 25, 2008

    I am sorry I didn’t have time to read all the posts but as far as I am concerned Dobson is a jack ass of the first magnitude and anything he says is pure bullshit. I will vote for Obama no questions asked. We cannot have another 8 years of repugthugs missmanagement. As far as I am concerned those who think different are as a dumb as a box broken rocks

  120. #120 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    I’ve always thought that this super lenghty American electoral process is actually counter productive. People get swamped in all sorts of issues which have little relevance, and that are so prone to being spinned out of proportion by the usual spin-doctors and they completely miss the big picture.

  121. #121 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    I’m glad every time I see a fundamentalist on television or read what they say in the news. It’s so much easier to let them shoot themselves in the foot with what they think and say than it is to rebut every single word.

    Well quite. I mean, that strategy has just been so successful in the US over the past few decades, why change it now?

    Any more atheists are just as irrelevant in their bashing of anything Christian, so this affords them a little time to shut up and let people see for them selves what influential Christians really think.

    English translation, please?

  122. #122 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    I mean isn’t obvious to anybody with a proper functioning brain that Obama would do a much better president than McCain, that he might not be perfect, but that not voting, or voting for a third party candidate who has 0% chance of getting elected, increases the chances of McCain being elected ?

    I don’t understand these people who say they’re not going to vote for Obama because he’s not perfect. So who do they want instead ?

    Do they understand that it is going to be one or the other, not another one, not you, nor Nader, nor PZ, nor the FlyingSpaghettiMonster, it is going to be either Obama, or McCain ?

  123. #123 frankiemouse
    June 25, 2008

    the best part of reading this was when the site loaded i got a “Obama ’08” add with the “Join us” button just to the right of the picture of Dobson. w00t!!

  124. #124 scooter
    June 25, 2008

    #14

    Phil Lesh likes him?

    Through the transitive nightfall of Diamonds

  125. #125 3rd Chimp Blues
    June 25, 2008

    I don’t see either of these good Xians going to church on Saturday, so I must assume that the 10 Commandments are optional for them. They are for me!

  126. #126 scooter
    June 25, 2008

    As I may have stated previously, the current Republican Candidate is a dumbass, who flew a state of the art jet, over a Third World Country and was shot down by Soviet Army Surplus anti aircraft guns from world war II.

    If this loser is being trotted out as a warrior when he is a fuckwad who can’t even bring the airplane back home in a war where we got our asses kicked. I suggest we elect a wino as president as a wino is not a proven loser as a warrior he is just a random pick off skidrow.

    If a shit like pasty pink boy McCane were dropping bombs on us, in Texas, the best he could hope for is that we shot him in the head before we fed him to the hogs. And lowering meat into the hog pens can take as long as a week.

    The only reason that a waste of carbon like McCane is alive is that he was captured by Vietnamese, who are very forgiving. For what reason, I can’t imagine.

  127. #127 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    Seems like Dobby…

    Arrgh! If I were Jo Rowling, I’d sue! We must nip in the bud any association of James Dobson with the noble house-elf who goes by that appellation!

  128. #128 amphiox
    June 25, 2008

    Nick Gotts #85:

    By World’s Largest Democracy, were you referring to the one with the greatest population (India I’m guessing), largest land area (Canada probably), most extensive cultural influence (USA, or United Kingdom maybe if you take historical considerations into account), greatest political influence with regards to other democracies (I’d argue USA at least before the Shrub), or most raw military power (definitely USA)?

  129. #129 JeffreyD
    June 25, 2008

    Re truth machine at #116

    Mine: “The man is a gadfly and would inherit a hostile congress.”

    Reply: “Irrelevant, since it’s less likely that Nader will become President than that we’ll find pre-Cambrian rabbit fossils.”

    Let me rephrase, why would someone vote for Nader or another third party candidate who has no chance to win and would likely only help McCain? That was my real question and I do not think this part is irrelevant. By the way, I recognize the temptation, folks, but prefer a better answer than a one liner like “stupidity”. (smile)

    Ciao

  130. #130 Guido
    June 25, 2008

    #85:
    So, the Prime Ministrer of India, the largest democracy in the world, is the leader of the free world?

  131. #131 Matt Heath
    June 25, 2008

    #130:

    Dude!!! Spoiler warning!!!!11

  132. #132 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    Scooter,

    but even if he was once, a war hero, and a good warior, why should I give a fucking shit ? Why is this at all relevant ?

    Before one starts discrediting him as a good warrior (which IMHO noone will succeed in doing as a majority of people’s opinions are already fixed on that matter), it would seem to me far more important to get Americans to finally understand that we don’t need a good warrior as President, and quite the contrary, that what we need is someone who can think strategically, globally, who is able to negotiate, all the qualities that are so present in someone like Obama, and so evidently absent in McCain.

    And it is all the more important to do so, if an Israel/US/Iran conflict takes place right in the middle of the general election, which is extremely likely (read my post 104 and truth machine’s 105).

    Otherwise, we’ll be guaranteed to have another 4 more years of a nutcase warrior president.

  133. #133 AdobeDragon
    June 25, 2008

    [Obama] has rejected the public financing system he swore to adhere to

    Can’t you make your argument without lying? He never did any such thing. His position was always conditional on the Republicans not allowing their 527’s to do their dirty work for them, but McCain has refused to do so — and has illegally abused the system, for which the DNC is suing him.

    Just repeating TM’s comment because it bears repeating. The media has distorted the issue in favor of St. McSame–as usual.

  134. #134 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    @129: I said “If anyone has a claim to that title…”
    Actually, I don’t believe anyone does – at least until we have a one-person, one-vote election for it!

  135. #135 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    I’m hearing a lot of “Obama is flawed, but he’s the best we’ve got”. There has to be some line in the sand, yes? I mean, if he was advocating killing kittens but McCain was advocating killing children… vote for Obama? Hmmmm. Obama supports warrantless wiretaps, that’s in the FISA compromise, and says he doesn’t want telecomm immunity but said little against it before it was voted on, when he could have had an effect. That’s my line in the sand. I will vote for someone who will restore constitutional protections and will hold the past administration accountable. Perhaps I won’t have a candidate to support for a long time, but I will not be held responsible for helping our country march towards a police state.

    To Truth Machine, when explaining his rejection of public financing, Obama states that it is broken, etc. If he is opting out because McCain is chumping the system, have him come out and say so – but to promise to use the system, then to opt out when you have lots of money… not so good.

  136. #136 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    I just can’t stand these expressions like “leader of the free world” (usually in reference to the president of the United States), they show such poor understanding of international politics.

  137. #137 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    I see that truth machine and Icthy… er, Ichthy… er, Ichythy… oh, shit, however you spell it!… have already weighed in on this issue, but I’m going to redundify myself anyway, because this has been bugging me and I need to spew:

    Obama’s reversal on public campaign financing….
    I guess, changing whatever it takes to win is the change Obama has been talking about all along.

    I’m sick of all this cynicism around this public financing business! Again, these points have already been made here, but to reiterate…

    1. On Tactics — McCain talks a high-minded game, but he abused the system himself during the primaries, first promising to accept public financing, then using the prospect of said public financing to secure loans for his campaign, then opting out in a way that was probably illegal… except for the fact that there was conveniently no quorum on the Federal Elections Commissions, so they couldn’t take any action. As mentioned previously, the DNC is currently suing McCain over this. In addition, McCain has combined his campaign’s finances with those of the RNC in a that, while strictly legal, effectively circumvents the dollar-amount limits on individual contributors. Finally, McCain’s campaign, despite all high-minded rhetoric, has done nothing to restrain attacks on its behalf from “independent” 527 groups… and in fact, the very people who published the anti-Kerry slander Unfit for Command are now preparing a new book trashing Obama, which will be shilled by the same PR firm that represented the so-called Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.

    So if by “reversal” you’re referencing Obama’s willingness to change his tactics in the face of a changed tactical situation, I’d say that’s a Feature, Not a Bug™, especially in the man who would be Commander in Chief.

    2. On Political Substance — The underlying rationale for public campaign financing is the notion big-money donors (whether individual or institutional) effectively buy influence (whether explicitly or implicitly) that subverts democracy. As mentioned previously, what Obama has done is build his campaign on literally millions of small-dollar donors, which I believe nourishes, rather than subverts, democracy. Speaking as one of those small donors, I can tell you that nobody expects a $25 or $50 or $100 donation will “buy” even a handshake, much less any influence beyond the power of one vote. I do, however, feel invested in the campaign, and thus am engaged with the electoral process in a way that I never have been before. That sense of investment and engagement is good for democracy, and frankly, if Obama had gone into the public financing system, I would’ve felt slightly disinvested: Checking a box on your Form 1040 just isn’t the same.

    In addition, it appears that among the things Obama will do with all the extra money he raises from people like me are massive voter registration campaigns, get-out-the-vote efforts, and actual campaigns in states that, because they’re considered safely in one column or the other, usually get no attention from presidential candidates. All of that improves, rather than degrades, our democracy. IMHO, what the Obama campaign is doing goes much farther toward honoring the goals of public financing than the current version of actual public financing could ever hope to.

    You say that Obama will do anything to get elected; I don’t see that. OTOH, I say what Obama is doing is good for democracy. How fortunate would we be if it turns out that “good for democracy” turns out to be what it takes to get elected?

  138. #138 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    but you do accept the reality of the situation that your next president is going to be either a kitten killer or a children killer ? So which one would you rather have ?

  139. #139 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    I mean, if [Obama] was advocating killing kittens…

    I strongly disagree with the implication that Obama is a wanker!

  140. #140 baltrus
    June 25, 2008

    “In the comments aired Tuesday, Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament”

    Don’t the evangelicals cite the old testament in order to make their “homosexuality is against god” arguement?

  141. #141 David Marjanovi?, OM
    June 25, 2008

    Yeah, but “Obama to Dobson: Fuck You” would have been a great headline.

    Better yet: “Obama to Dobson: Go Cheney Yourself”…

    is he literate?

    You are talking about James “SpongeDob” Dobson, the one who said that SpongeBob SquarePants The OverCapitalized is gay… draw your own conclusions.

    I suggest that everybody read the speech which Dobson was referring to, if you haven’t, it’s very interesting. It includes the fact that Obama’s father is a Muslim apostate, that his mother is a skeptic and that Obama himself didn’t start attending church until he was 27.

    http://obama.senate.gov/speech/060628-call_to_renewal/index.php

    Quite an interesting speech indeed…

    (But is it normal for US politicians to give speeches in a church? On top of that, the speech mentions the importance of the separation of church and state. Does not compute. ~:-| )

    Obama supports crappy health care

    Look at it this way… he supports healthcare at all.

    The least the media could have done was point out the blatant sexism in calling Obama a ‘fruitcake’.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtVSzU20ZGk

    ROTFLMAO! My day is saved. :-D

    “The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds.”

    association with Kerry’s failed campaign?

    Did that campaign fail? I’m still waiting for evidence that it did.

    Anyway, at this point in my life I’m not willing to vote for the less-shit shit-sandwich.

    Two-party system, Moses. Two-party system. Introduce the separation of president and government, and then we can talk about shit-sandwiches.

    English translation, please?

    Transkoreanize it.

  142. #142 Pierce R. Butler
    June 25, 2008

    Here’s an equally compelling counterweight to Dobson’s, uh, thoughts:

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/080624/world/india_prayers_for_obama

    Indian group asks Hindu monkey god to lead Obama to election triumph

    [Tue Jun 24, 2:20 PM] NEW DELHI – A dozen priests chanted around a sacred fire in New Delhi on Tuesday as a group of Indians offered prayers to the Hindu monkey god Hanuman asking him to grant U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama an election victory in November.

    Bhama said he got the idea for Tuesday’s event after reading reports in Indian media that among the many good luck charms Obama carries is a replica of Hanuman. …

    (Can anyone here confirm or deny that last, or even the “many good luck charms” allegation?)

  143. #143 David Marjanovi?, OM
    June 25, 2008

    Oops, forgot to comment

    The least the media could have done was point out the blatant sexism in calling Obama a ‘fruitcake’.

    “Fruitcake” is sexist? I thought it’s a collective of “fruit”, like “nutcase” and “nutbar” are for “nuts”, that “fruit” is an analogy to “nuts” (as in “yet another loopy idea from the land of fruits and nuts”), and that “nuts” means “crazy” (as well as happening to have a homophone that refers to male anatomy)?

    Anyway:

    By World’s Largest Democracy, were you referring to the one with the [...] largest land area (Canada probably),

    Russia, if you… want to… count… OK, let’s just say Canada. :-|

    if an Israel/US/Iran conflict takes place right in the middle of the general election, which is extremely likely

    I can easily believe that Fearless Flightsuit is stupid enough to do that… but he can’t do it on his own, can he?

  144. #144 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    I can easily believe that Fearless Flightsuit is stupid enough to do that… but he can’t do it on his own, can he?

    Sorry, don’t understand what you mean…

  145. #145 MikeM
    June 25, 2008

    James Dobson is scoring points for Obama.

    As such, I encourage him to keep talking.

    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”
    — Plato

  146. #146 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    I just thought of an alternative, negentropyeater. (Not an alternative reality – that would take religion – but an alternative route of action for me). I write in Kucinich’s name for president! Brilliant. Except that he is a little wacky in the UFO business – as long as that doesn’t break any constitutional protections, I’ll be fine.

    How amazing is it, though, that here we are asking which president will disregard the constitution less? A vote for Obama is a vote to do away with part of our fourth amendment rights – no one is arguing that – and yet good people are raising money for him on the “the other guy is worse” argument. Depressing. If Obama is willing to throw away fourth amendment rights, in what other ways will he sell us out?

  147. #147 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    Don’t mean to spam – but look at our current Democratic congress. With few exceptions they’ve sold us out time and again – Bankruptcy bill, Patriot Act, They were briefed on torture, many voted for the war, FISA immunity, no impeachment, the list is endless.

    This is a direct result of the “hold your nose and vote” doctrine. Well, I’m tired of it.

  148. #148 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    If Obama is willing to throw away fourth amendment rights, in what other ways will he sell us out?

    I don’t know, you tell me, you’re the one who is making the claim that this is evidence that he is going to be such a monster.
    Again, you are bringing up issues, I wonder how relevant they are, and then we forget the big picture.

    So please explain how relevant this is, what exactly are you afraid of, with Obama ?

  149. #149 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    Our constitutional rights should be sacrosanct. We should not be having a discussion on which ones we’ll lose this election – let’s see… We lose the fourth with Obama, but we lose the fourth, first and fourteenth with McCain – no brainer. But, in fact, that is the discussion we are having (reality).

    I see something wrong with that – you don’t seem to, or at least not enough to do more than shrug. I wish to exert my miniscule influence by NOT voting for either, and by explaining my position on blogs and to family. Not much, but it’s what I got.

    So, again, I’m NOT ok with Obama throwing the fourth amendment overboard. To me it shows moral weakness at best, or craven power grab at worst (remember, he has taught constitutional law, he knows what he’s doing), and it makes me question what other examples of these traits he’s trying to hide.

    Am I being clear enough? Do you understand the “what else will he do” open question now?

  150. #150 Brownian, OM
    June 25, 2008

    Nick Gotts, everyone knows that the world’s largest democracy is India.

  151. #151 Brownian, OM
    June 25, 2008

    Well, at least we can say that Amphiox knows that.

  152. #152 Prof MTH
    June 25, 2008

    I do not know which was the worst part of Dobson’s view:
    1. His view that appealing to reason is “leading by the worst common denominator”.

    2. His own ignorance of his own Bible while claiming to be a Reverend: 1 Peter 2:18-21, Titus 2:9-10, Colossians 3:22, and Ephesians 6:5-19 all are NT passages that condone slavery. (There is a passage in 2 Timothy that prohibits slave trading but not slave ownership.)

    3. Calling a insistence on separation of church and State a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution. Of course we are aware that he is the founder of a University that has virally infected the DoJ with his shit-stained toilet paper use of the Constitution.

    To determine which is worst maybe I should start a poll we could all crash.

    Of course every sentence uttered by Dobson has something wrong with it. Why does the media give these f*cktards a public voice?

  153. #153 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    So, again, I’m NOT ok with Obama throwing the fourth amendment overboard.

    OK, this stuff pisses me off, too. It was the Republican administration that threw the fourth amendment (and most of the rest of the constitution) overboard. I completely agree that we should be frustrated with Obama and all the Dems in Congress for not being more agressive about dragging the constitution back into the boat… but being somewhat inept rescuers doesn’t make them the attackers.

    I’ve got a Hell of a lot more confidence in the long-term health of the constitution under an Obama (et seq.) administration than under the political heirs of the current crowd of neo-monarchists.

    BTW… I’m as impatient as the next fellow with the Democratic congress’ apparent wimpiness… but I’ve had an opportunity to get to know my own congressman (freshman Joe Courtney, D, CT-2) a bit, and I’m gaining an appreciation for how much harder it is for Congress to overcome a president from the other party… esp. this president, who’s whole program has been to maximize the power of the executive, and esp. when the so-called “majority” in the Senate is so thin as to be invisible on many critical issues (e.g., war, national “security,” etc.).

    IMHO, the very worst possible response to the Good Guys’ timidity is to vote for the Bad Guys!

  154. #154 negentropyeater
    June 25, 2008

    Do you understand the “what else will he do” open question now?

    Well, if you are naïve enough to believe that you could find a candidate where you wouldn’t be able to ask yourself the same kind of open-ended question then you might be waiting until eternity before you vote for one.

    As far as I know the current administration has thrown the fourth amendment overboard and Obama (who is a constitutional lawyer right ?) seems to think that this text is compatible with what he is proposing:
    ” The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Now, before I make the unwarranted claim that Obama is malicious, that he is hiding something, that this is evidence that he could do more damage, I need to check with another constitutional lawyer whether he is incorrect, if it is the case then I need to decide whether the consequences of the limitations proposed by Obama are significant and how detrimental the impact on people’s lives would be.

    Now, that one would want to do this in order to try and influence his policies, before he is President, I can understand. Why not write to his campaign ? Why aren’t there more people bringing up this issue if it is so important ?
    But to use this as sole decision criteria for the purpose of electing the President, I just don’t understand, especially when the alternative is so much worse.

  155. #155 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    D’Oh!!(@158)

    “…who’swhose…”

  156. #156 slim
    June 25, 2008

    Well if that doesn’t sign you up, this surely will: Cephalopods for Obama.

  157. #157 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    @156
    I for one welcome our new cinnamon-flavoured overlords!

  158. #158 MikeM
    June 25, 2008

    Ralph Nader had this to say about Obama today:

    “There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American,” Nader told the paper in comments published Tuesday. “Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.”

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/06/25/nader-obama-talking-white/

    That just amazes me. Since when is speaking/writing in Standard English considered “Talking White”? This is offensive to everyone. Everyone, I said.

    Now, I understand the point on the Fourth Amendment, but I think even that criticism might be overstating things. Make no mistake, the Democrats should have ruled Bush on that one, but at least the changes Obama supported were a step in the right direction.

    I have not yet seen a single reason to favor McCain over Obama.

  159. #159 Interrobang
    June 25, 2008

    If anyone has a claim to that title, it’s surely the head of government of the world’s largest democracy.

    Assuming the correct definition of “large,” you mean Stephen Harper is the “leader of the free world”?! Fucking gag me with a spoon already. He’s worse than Bush — the only thing worse than a stupid neocon is a less-stupid neocon.

    Our head of state (not the same person) is Michaëlle Jean, and she’s altogether not bad.

  160. #160 Dark Matter
    June 25, 2008

    I’m not too psyched about Obama as a candidate, but I see a non-vote for him as a vote for McCain, and McCain scares the hell out of me.

    But man, how I wish Edwards had been the nominee. Maybe he’ll be AG, at least.

  161. #161 Sven DiMilo
    June 25, 2008

    Since when is speaking/writing in Standard English considered “Talking White”?

    Serious misinterpretation. Nader’s comment clearly referred not to how Obama talks but rather to the stuff Obama isn’t talking about.

  162. #162 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    Nader’s comment clearly referred not to how Obama talks but rather to the stuff Obama isn’t talking about.

    Nader’s comment, like everything else he says, clearly referred to Nader’s opinion that nobody who isn’t Nader is worth a damn.

    At one point I admired him; now I see him as a cancer on our politics. I know this point is bitterly argued, but I believe we have Nader to thank (at least in part) for the worst president of my lifetime (if not of our entire history), as opposed to Al Gore, who, despite Nader’s conviction that there was no difference between the two, would almost certainly have led us in a vastly more thoughtful, humane, and forward-looking direction.

    Sometimes an irritant can be like a grain of sand in an oyster; Nader is more like a shard of glass in the shoe of American politics.

  163. #163 Emmet Caulfield
    June 25, 2008

    Our head of state (not the same person) is Michaëlle Jean, and she’s altogether not bad.

    Really? I thought the Head of State was Queen Elizabeth II, and the Governor General executed the ceremonial and functionary role of Head of State in the absence of the monarch. Has there been some constitutional change?

  164. #164 Sven DiMilo
    June 25, 2008

    Bill, it’s hard to argue that Gore wouldn’t have been preferable to the disaster of Cheney et al., but that’s hindsight. Their total incompetence and evil were not so apparent in 2000 (recall that Bush’s entire campaign was about bipartisanship and “reaching across the aisle”–we now know he was lying, but in hindsight) and Gore was not saying anything very “thoughtful, humane, and forward-looking,” but rather seemed to be trying as hard as possible to be a vanilla politician. Gore was deeply in debt to the same truly evil corporate moneymen as Bush; Nader was right about that. And of course maybe Nader’s votes would have put him over the top, maybe not; people who know a hell of a lot more about it than me are still arguing that point. I voted for him in 2000 because I was living in a state (Oklahoma) that was so obviously going Republican that neither candidate campaigned there for even a second. I thought his message–that the two-party system is badly broken and the US government is an effective oligarchy–needed to be heard; he was right.
    And I think he still is. I like a few things about Obama, but he’s not interested in even trying to do the things that Nader–and I–believe need to be done to restore some accountability to government. Yet I will hold at least one nostril as I vote for Obama because the alternative is clearly worse and now I live in a potential swing state. It’s a shitty situation. I choose not to take out my frustration on Nader…for one thing, he’s right.

  165. #165 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    Bill, Obama has expressed support for the FISA compromise which allows warrant-less wiretapping (that’s unconstitutional, by the way), so explain to me why you have “I’ve got a Hell of a lot more confidence in the long-term health of the constitution under an Obama”. And remember, All that is required for evil to triumph if for good men to do nothing. The Republicans have given a wonderful primer on obstructionism these last two years – where were the Democrats when the Patriot Act, etc., were being passed?

    and, yeah, negen*, shredding the fourth amendment is a big enough issue for me to reject a presidential candidate – it isn’t for you?

    How craven have we become when this is our response :

    “Well, if you are naïve enough to believe that you could find a candidate where you wouldn’t be able to ask yourself the same kind of open-ended question then you might be waiting until eternity before you vote for one.”

    We’re not talking about Health care or funding for NASA or education policy, we’re talking about our most basic constitutional freedoms being thrown out the window, and you shrug and say, “well, this is the best we can do”?

    Go over and read some Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer – http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/index.html – and maybe that will help answer some of your questions as to the exact problems with the FISA compromise.

    I look forward to your response but can you try and make it without the “McCain is Worse” meme, it doesn’t wash with me.

  166. #166 Longtime Lurker
    June 25, 2008

    Shorter Dobson: “I loves me so shrimp, but ‘teh gay’… no way!” Funny book of his, changes its content to suit his whims.

    Shorter Nader: “I don’t want to pay my dues by running on the state or local level as a Green.”

  167. #167 JJR
    June 25, 2008

    I’m still itching to see the Religious Right create their own Third party. Unfortunately they seem to have backed down on that threat.

    Funnily enough, Libertarians get the same sh*t from Republicans as Indy/Greens do from Democrats.
    “Oh, Losertarians” is the common hue and cry in those circles. Still, in my home district we have judicial matchups between Rs and Ls (the Dems don’t even run) and I vote for the Ls every time.

    I would vote for Obama if he taps Sen James Webb (D-VA) to be his V.P. Webb is pro-RKBA, and Obama still has a steep learning curve on the 2nd Amendment.

    I *might* vote for an Obama/Edwards ticket. *Might*.

    If he picks Hillary, I’m either staying home or voting McKinney or Nader. Not like it really matters in Texas, which I think will back McCain solidly, regardless who I vote for.

    @#&!$@ Electoral College system. *grumble*

  168. #168 kap
    June 25, 2008

    “Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.”

    You mean we can pick and choose what is antiquated and irrelevant in the Old Testament? Twelve years of parochial schools and nobody ever told me this? This is great. This Dobson guy must be way more enlightened then those stodgy Jesuit priests who taught me evolution in high school. But wait: If the OT is the divinely inspired word of God, how can we mere mortals, made primarily of water and carbon, er, I mean dust of the ground, know which portions to discard? I know, just to be on the safe side, how about if we discard ALL OF IT. So looooong, Genesis.

  169. #169 Sven DiMilo
    June 25, 2008

    Shorter Nader: “I don’t want to pay my dues by running on the state or local level as a Green.”

    Please. What part of “not a career politician” is unclear to you?

    See here for dues paid in other currency.

  170. #170 Longtime Lurker
    June 25, 2008

    Sven, I am well aware of Nader’s career as a consumer advocate and activist/organizer, but his occasional forays into presidential politics are quixotic and counter-productive. Nader would be a great Bernie Sanders-style Independent in Congress, and would even be a good Secretary of the Interior or Attorney General- a Congressional run would do some good to elevate his name over its current “punchline” status.

  171. #171 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    Emmet Caulfield@163

    Oh dear – have I ended up defining Liz Windsor as leader of the free world?

  172. #172 Suze
    June 25, 2008

    Serious question, late in this thread but I honestly cannot figure it out: what is it about Matthew 5:17-20 that Christians somehow don’t get? I mean, what is the interpretation that somehow doesn’t mean that Jesus said straight-up that the OT is still in effect? It’s hard to read anything else into it, hard to NOT be literal about it if you believe any of it. “The Law” is absolutely the bit about slavery and shellfish. How do they (including Dobson) just overlook that straight-out-of-Jesus’s-mouth bit and say that real Christians don’t have to obey the OT law?

  173. #173 Sven DiMilo
    June 25, 2008

    Nader would be a great Bernie Sanders-style Independent in Congress, and would even be a good Secretary of the Interior or Attorney General

    I totally agree with all 3 suggestions.

    a Congressional run would do some good to elevate his name over its current “punchline” status.

    On further reflection, I think you have a good point there too. I doubt he’s interested in a swimming-upstream one-vote role in Congress, though. I think that what he really wants is simply to get the important issues on the table and under discussion. It’s not in the interest of Republicans or Democrats to discuss them.

  174. #174 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    Sven:

    Bill, it’s hard to argue that Gore wouldn’t have been preferable to the disaster of Cheney et al., but that’s hindsight.

    It’s true enough that the caliber of disaster represented by the presence of these bozos in our polity was hard to predict on election night in 2000 (I’ve often made that same point myself), but I for one never believed there was “no difference between the two.” For one thing, it was always obvious that Bush was an intellectual lightweight (and that’s putting in politely) while Gore, whatever his other faults, was clearly smarter than the average bear. Yeah, maybe he fooled us with the “compassionate” head fake, but anyone who didn’t realize Bush was distinctly conservative just wasn’t paying attention. I don’t claim to have known he was going to the worst ever, but I knew even then it wouldn’t be good.

    Gore was deeply in debt to the same truly evil corporate moneymen as Bush; Nader was right about that.

    Evidence? Don’t just throw out names of contributors; I’m looking for evidence in Gore’s public record, before or since 2000, that suggests his administration would’ve been in the thrall of “evil corporate moneymen.” OTOH, Bush and Cheney were corporate moneyment; the only thing we didn’t know at the time was just how evil they were.

    I thought his message–that the two-party system is badly broken and the US government is an effective oligarchy–needed to be heard; he was right.

    Again, evidence? You can assert the “brokenness” of the two-party system all you want; the evidence of my adult lifetime (i.e., 12 years of Reagan/Bush followed by 8 years of Clinton/Gore, followed by 8 years of Bush/Cheney) is that there are distinct differences in how this country behaves when the two different parties are in power, and also differences when power is divided between parties. Whether we’d be better off with more parties is a different question (personally, I don’t believe so), but the Naderite position that Rs and Ds are really all just one big corporate party and nothing ever changes is sharply contradicted by actual experience.

    I don’t mean this as a personal dig against you, but it seems to me Nader’s cranky contrarianism sounds appealing to people who are frustrated about the direction we’re going… but he really has nothing positive to offer in the way of effectively changing that direction for the better. The Corvairs are all gone now, and Ralph’s still pissing on everyone’s campfire.

  175. #175 Longtime Lurker
    June 25, 2008

    Sven, I think Bernie once again is the model for what Nader could be in Congress, he serves on the Budget; Veterans; Energy; Environment; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions comittees.

    Draft Nader Now!

  176. #176 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    Phaedrus:

    (Doing this quickly, on my way out the door)

    Bill, Obama has expressed support for the FISA compromise…

    Not really. What he said was that it was a disappointing bill, but better than the alternative, which was leaving the administration’s utterly lawless course unchecked. And he’s promised to fight the telecom immunity… though it looks like Dodd (an Obama supporter) has taken up the cudgels on that one, according to the link you provided.

    And remember, All that is required for evil to triumph if for good men to do nothing.

    Uh-huh. And that includes when good men fail to do a little bit because it’s impossible to do the perfect thing. I’ll match you truism for truism: Politics is the art of the possible.

    I look forward to your response but can you try and make it without the “McCain is Worse” meme….

    Sorry, no can do. Because it’s not just a “meme”; McCain (and the Republican approach to governing generally) really is worse. And the Dems aren’t bad; regardless of recent ineffectiveness in undoing the evil acts of the Bushies, they really do believe in the rule of law. Evidence suggests Bush and Cheney do not, and evidence that McCain would change their direction is nowhere to be found.

    BTW, the difficulty Dems have had in reversing the evils perpetrated by this administration just shows how critical possession of the White House is. If you want us to begin moving back in the direction of our historical constitutional values, you really need to get behind the idea of not putting another Republican in the Oval Office!

  177. #177 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    Bill, Sven,

    As an outsider, I think you both have valid points. Yes, the US electoral system (like the UK’s) is deeply flawed and oligarchic; if, like Sven in 2000, you’re living somewhere you know the outcome, I think on reflection it still makes sense to go for a candidate who opposes the oligarchy (I’d probably prefer McKinney to Nader this time, from the little I know of them). But if you’re anywhere that could go to either of the main parties, please vote Democrat – and not just that, donate to them, campaign for them, chivy your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, whatever. Are foreigners allowed to donate? If so, I will. Meanwhile, hope none of the more liberal of the Supreme Court Justices drops dead.

  178. #178 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    I understand you Bill. You stand by your support for the violation of the constitution by saying that if you didn’t support this LITTLE violation, then there would be a BUNCH of violations. I can subscribe to that idea when the issues are minor – health care, educational systems, foreign policy.

    Question is, do you have any standards at all? Is there any line in the sand past which you might actually not support either side? An example would help here. Maybe you just think that some wiretapping isn’t a big deal?

    Also, don’t you feel you bear some of the responsibility for allowing Obama to violate the constitution? You might state disagreement, or disapproval, but at the end of the day if you vote for him, you are enabling him. This is a similar issue with Obama stating that he is disappointed with an unconstitional FISA law, but will vote for it. He could, of course, kill it, set a line in the sand that all portions of the law must be constitutional to garner his support, and work from there. Now, don’t you think that would be a better America?

    I’m sure that a smart person like yourself can find plenty of options that expose the problems with the idea that if you don’t support Obama you are “doing nothing”.

  179. #179 Phaedrus
    June 25, 2008

    Just to add…

    The current corrupt crop of Democratic leaders is a direct result of your kind of calculating. They are just progressive enough to supply an alternative to the amazingly horrible republicans and they continue to shift as far right-ward (blue dogs) as the public allows them to. Look at their record over the last seven years, failure to obstruct the bad stuff and outright support of a lot of horrible stuff, and ask yourself if your idea really works.

  180. #180 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    Question is, do you have any standards at all? Is there any line in the sand past which you might actually not support either side? – Phaedrus

    Consider the dilemma the liberal/left French had in the second round of their last-but-one Presidential election: Chirac vs Le Pen. As the slogan had it, and as most chose:
    “votez l’escroc, pas le facho” – vote for the crook, not the fascist.

  181. #181 Bill Dauphin
    June 25, 2008

    I understand you Bill. You stand by your support for the violation of the constitution by saying that if you didn’t support this LITTLE violation, then there would be a BUNCH of violations.

    No, you don’t understand me at all. This isn’t a “little violation”; it’s a attempt (and admittedly a weak, unsatisfying one) to begin the process of reversing 8 years of rampant violations.

    Question is, do you have any standards at all?

    Oh, fuck you! The suggestion that those of us who refuse to abandon the best presidential candidate in the race have no standards (by which you really mean “don’t love the Constitution”) is exactly the same shit as right-wingers saying people who don’t support torture don’t love America. I manage to disagree with you without calling your “standards” into question; see if you can find it within yourself to reciprocate.

    I’m sure that a smart person like yourself can find plenty of options that expose the problems with the idea that if you don’t support Obama you are “doing nothing”.

    The issue is electing a president, and “a smart person like [my]self” can see that the only alternative to Obama is McCain. Only an idiot could think McCain will be better for the things we liberals love than Obama will be.

    [Obama] could, of course, kill it

    Actually, he couldn’t. Not with a virtual tie in the Senate and the Worst President Ever in the White House. OTOH, maybe next year, when he’s in the White House and we’ve elected a filibuster-proof majority to the Senate, we’ll have more options. How’s that for fucking standards??

  182. #182 Salt
    June 25, 2008

    I cannot fail to punch that chad for Obama. – PZ

    The idol is being presented to Obama as he is reported to be a Lord Hanuman devotee and carries with him a locket of the monkey god along with other good luck charms.

    “Obama has deep faith in Lord Hanuman and that is why we are presenting an idol of Hanuman to him,” said Bhama.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Hanuman_idol_for_Obama/articleshow/3160730.cms

  183. #183 Emmet Caulfield
    June 25, 2008

    Thus spake Nick Gotts:

    Oh dear – have I ended up defining Liz Windsor as leader of the free world?

    You mean Mrs. Battenberg? ;o)

    In fairness, I doubt she could do a worse job than the gibbering tool who currently claims the appellation.

  184. #184 Nick Gotts
    June 25, 2008

    Emmet@183 – now, now, be fair. It’s only the grandiloquent titles I begrudge her. It’s surely quite in order for a woman to retain her own name after marriage, and if I’d been living in Britain with the surname Saxe-Coburg-Gotha during WWI, I think I’d have changed it!

    Night all.

  185. #185 Evan Henke
    June 25, 2008

    #181 for the win! Not voting for the best plausible candidate is nearly on par with believing the Old Testament needs to be interpreted literally and formed into international law, especially in the context of this election. There is simply too much at stake as Bill and others have already finely stated.

    #182, This is certainly bizarre, yet I doubt Obama will really go off the deep end in office simply because he accepted an award showing a group’s support of him, regardless of what the group takes the award to mean.

  186. #186 chgo_liz
    June 25, 2008

    “In the comments aired Tuesday, Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.”

    Which testament is Genesis in again? You know, the text that provides the backbone for creationism/ID?

    Oh. That one. Hmm.

  187. #187 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    The idol is being presented to Obama as he is reported to be a Lord Hanuman devotee and carries with him a locket of the monkey god along with other good luck charms.

    “Obama has deep faith in Lord Hanuman and that is why we are presenting an idol of Hanuman to him,” said Bhama.

    Perhaps Salt doesn’t understand the difference between “said Bhama” and “said Obama”. In any case, what sort of idiot puts any credence in this bit of internet trawling?

  188. #188 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Also, don’t you feel you bear some of the responsibility for allowing Obama to violate the constitution?

    None of us has the power to prevent it, moron — certainly not voting for him doesn’t give you that power. However, it does greatly increase the chances that McCain will violate the constitution.

    You might state disagreement, or disapproval, but at the end of the day if you vote for him, you are enabling him.

    Only very very very VERY stupid people believe that.

    I’m sure that a smart person like yourself can find plenty of options that expose the problems with the idea that if you don’t support Obama you are “doing nothing”.

    Voting for him is not “supporting” him or supporting any particular action of his. In the real world, people must make choices among a variety of imperfect alternatives. Outside of probabilistic noise, there are only two possibilities: McCain will be President or Obama will be President. Therefore, it is INCREDIBLY STUPID to evaluate either one in isolation; only comparisons matter.

  189. #189 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    And remember, All that is required for evil to triumph if for good men to do nothing.

    How ironic, coming from a moron who thinks it’s “principled” to not cast a vote that minimizes the evil of a John McCain Presidency.

  190. #190 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Go over and read some Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional lawyer

    Greenwald said that anyone who doesn’t vote for Obama because of his stance on FISA is acting like a 4- or 14- year old, you dishonest moron.

  191. #191 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Bill, it’s hard to argue that Gore wouldn’t have been preferable to the disaster of Cheney et al., but that’s hindsight.

    “hindsight” shows that those who made the tweedledee-tweedledum argument were stupid, ignorant, intellectually dishonest, and had poor judgment. Those of us who argued for voting for Gore, and for Kerry, were right then and we are right now.

    Phaedrus refers to Glenn Greenwald and his sharp criticism of Obama, but being the sort of stupid, ignorant, intellectually dishonest person with poor judgment that he is, he doesn’t note what Greenwald says about the issue at hand:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/06/21/obama/index.html

    Having said all of that, the other extreme — declaring that Obama is now Evil Incarnate, no better than John McCain, etc. etc. — is no better. Obama is a politician running for political office, driven by all the standard, pedestrian impulses of most other people who seek and crave political power. It’s nothing more or less than that, and it is just as imperative today as it was yesterday that the sickly right-wing faction be permanently removed from power and that there is never any such thing as the John McCain Administration (as one commenter ironically noted yesterday, at the very least, Obama is far more likely to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will rule that the bill Obama supports is patently unconstitutional). The commenter sysprog described perfectly the irrational excesses of both extremes the other day:

    Argh

    Why are so many four-year-olds and fourteen-year-olds making comments on blogs?

    Four-year-olds see their preferred politicians as god-like fathers (or mothers) whose virtuous character will guarantee good judgment. If a judgment looks questionable to you, then it’s because you don’t know all the facts that mommy and daddy know, or it’s because you aren’t as wise as them.

    Fourteen-year-olds have had their illusions shattered about those devilish politicians so now they perceive the TRUTH – – that mommy and daddy make bad judgments because mommy and daddy are utterly corrupt.

  192. #192 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    Nader’s comment clearly referred not to how Obama talks but rather to the stuff Obama isn’t talking about.

    Nader’s comment is racist. Obama has no more obligation to “talk black” than John McCain does, but Nader carries Republican water (no wonder, since they have paid for his campaigns) by attacking Obama. But on top of that, his statements are lies — Obama has spoken on numerous issues of great importance to the black community, and has spoken directly to the black community, as with his Father’s Day speech. And when he does deviate from “talking white” he is attacked from the right for being a “black candidate”. Somehow, he’s even guilty of some political crime for the huge preference the black community has for him — a preference that didn’t materialize until Iowa, before which time Hillary Clinton got the bulk of black support, putting the lie to the rightist claim that it’s a matter of identity politics and black racism.

  193. #193 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    To Truth Machine, when explaining his rejection of public financing, Obama states that it is broken, etc. If he is opting out because McCain is chumping the system, have him come out and say so

    I see, it’s Obama’s fault that you’re too ignorant and intellectually lazy to know that he has done just that, and to think that your failure to know something makes it false.

    but to promise to use the system

    As I have noted and Icthyic reiterated, he never did any such thing.

    then to opt out when you have lots of money… not so good

    How do people get this stupid? That makes no sense at all. He’s opting out so he won’t end up with too little money to respond to McCain’s unlimited 527’s. And where is he getting his money? From the public — as opposed to from the very wealthy, large corporations, and other special interests. That’s the whole point of public financing — to avoid undue influence by concentrated wealth. But morons like Phaedrus (and the right wingers and the MSM punditocracy) treat it as some sort of end in itself.

  194. #194 truth machine
    June 25, 2008

    To Truth Machine, when explaining his rejection of public financing, Obama states that it is broken, etc. If he is opting out because McCain is chumping the system, have him come out and say so

    Gee, I wonder what that “etc.” represents …

    http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20080620/oppose20.art.htm

    The system is broken
    I support public financing and will work to make it viable.

    By Barack Obama

    The decision not to participate in the public financing system wasn’t an easy one — especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections, as it exists today, is broken — and the Republican Party apparatus has mastered the art of gaming this broken system.

    From the very beginning of this campaign, I have asked my supporters to avoid participating in unregulated political activity such as so-called 527 groups, and instead to help us build a broad coalition of small donors free from the influence of PACs and Washington lobbyists — the ultimate goal of the public financing system. And voters have responded in record numbers: More than 1.5 million people have contributed, and nearly half their contributions have been for $25 or less.

    John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs, and we’ve already seen that Sen. McCain has no intention of reining in his allies running 527s with millions of dollars in soft money.

    What’s more, Sen. McCain has, in fact, been running a privately financed general election campaign since February, using private money raised during the primary to attack me and target battleground states. By the time he accepts his party’s nomination, Sen. McCain will have run a privately funded general election campaign for seven months.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that we need to limit the influence of big donors on campaigns, and I’ve co-sponsored legislation to fix the system — legislation Sen. McCain does not support. I am firmly committed to reforming the system as president, so that it’s viable in today’s campaign climate.

    But the fact remains that the system as it stands doesn’t work as it should. And that’s why I’m asking my supporters to declare our independence and run the type of campaign that reflects the grassroots values that have already changed our politics and brought us this far. With this decision, this campaign is in the voters’ hands in a way no other campaign has ever been before.

    So who is killing kittens here? Why, it’s Phaedrus, with his stupidity, ignorance, and intellectual dishonesty.

  195. #195 Ragutis
    June 26, 2008

    The idol is being presented to Obama as he is reported to be a Lord Hanuman devotee and carries with him a locket of the monkey god along with other good luck charms.

    “Obama has deep faith in Lord Hanuman and that is why we are presenting an idol of Hanuman to him,” said Bhama.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Hanuman_idol_for_Obama/articleshow/3160730.cms

    Posted by: Salt | June 25, 2008 6:02 PM

    Oh the Freepers will love that… Hinduism: the other brown faith.

    It’s not as terror-ific as the Muslim meme, but I’m sure it’ll turn up on Fox & Frauds before the week is out.

    Phaedrus, you’re just way off on this one. You might get a sanctimonious boner from voting Nader, but forgive the rest of us for being more concerned with getting the nation turned around after the Repubs have spent 7 1/2 years turning everything they’ve touched into shit. (and hoping to prevent another 4 (+?) years of the same.) Once Obama’s elected we can try to shift him on FISA and other concerns. Seems more likely to work than voting for the guy that’ll never win or the one committed neither to listening nor changing anything.

  196. #196 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Oh the Freepers will love that… Hinduism: the other brown faith.

    It’s not as terror-ific as the Muslim meme, but I’m sure it’ll turn up on Fox & Frauds before the week is out.

    We can watch this garbage evolve before out eyes, with Salt carrying the Freeper’s water by offering it as a reason not to punch Obama’s chad:

    http://wonkette.com/400687/indians-send-obama-terrifying-monkey-god-statue-for-good-luck

    Our tale begins in Mumbai, where a gentleman named Brij Mohan Bhama says he read a Time magazine article reporting that Barack Obama carries around a monkey charm for good luck.

    “We have heard that he carries a small monkey charm in his pocket. So he is a devotee of Hanuman. That’s why we want to present him with this idol,” he said.

    Somebody else speculates that the article just said he carried around a good luck charm, and that Mr. Bhama and his prayer group drew the natural conclusion that “he is a devotee of Hanuman.” The point is Barack Obama is being shipped a two-foot-tall polished bronze idol of a monkey, which he is sure to bring out at the next rally in order to scare the shit out of white voters everywhere.

    Good luck charm -> monkey charm -> worships Hanuman -> religious wacko, too dangerous to vote for.

  197. #197 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Uh oh … It’s true! It’s true!

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/whitehouse/photos/0,27424,1811278,00.html

    The Candidates’ Lucky Charms: Barack Obama

    Amongst the things that Barack Obama carries for good luck are a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny monkey god and a tiny Madonna and child. For the other candidates’ good luck items, click the “next” button.

  198. #198 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    “Oh, fuck you!” – good answer, Bill. I ask you again, do you have any standards? Is there ANY position a presidential candidate could have that would cause you not to vote for him, if his opposition was plausibly worse?

    Truth Machine, thanks for the link to Obama’s speech and I was mistaken about his rejection of the finance system.

    You looked up Greenwald, I see, do you now agree that the FISA “compromise” is unconstitutional?

    “None of us has the power to prevent it, moron — certainly not voting for him doesn’t give you that power”. Democracy 101 – the people voting actually do have the power to elect their representatives.

    I’ll try and say this again, maybe it will sink in. I understand (Yes, I do Bill) that every election involves a compromise, that no candidate is perfect. But I think there should be a few red flags that disqualify a candidate from receiving my support (and YES, a vote, no matter how hesitantly given is and endorsement of the candidate – what the hell else could it be?). When Obama said he would vote for a bill that is unconstitutional one of those flags went up, for me.

    Look, no amount of calling names or cursing me is going to change my mind. Now maybe answer my questions in an honest dialog – show me where I’m wrong – I’ll fall in line.

    – is there ever anything that would disqualify a candidate if his opponent could be shown to be worse?

    – the current congress is a result of this kind of calculation, are these the kind of results you find attractive?

    I await your answers you fungus covered ass wipers of other people’s bottoms moron mice.

    (I’m new to the cursing thing but I want to fit in)

  199. #199 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Far worse than carrying a monkey charm:

    http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1818011,00.html

    “He denounced the Court’s decision to limit the death penalty to crimes involving homicide.”

    Disappointing, but still not a reason to enable a John McCain presidency.

  200. #200 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    You looked up Greenwald, I see, do you now agree that the FISA “compromise” is unconstitutional?

    I never disagreed, you dishonest moron. The point remains that you invoke Greenwald but ignores what he says about Obama vs. McCain.

    I’ll try and say this again, maybe it will sink in.

    Fuck you. You’re the dense one.

    show me where I’m wrong

    It’s been done, repeatedly.

    I’ll fall in line.

    Liar.

  201. #201 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    But I think there should be a few red flags that disqualify a candidate from receiving my support (and YES, a vote, no matter how hesitantly given is and endorsement of the candidate – what the hell else could it be?).

    As has been explained, you incredibly dense cretin, it’s an action that shifts the probability between two different possible outcomes — McCain as president or Obama as president. Dead kittens or dead children — it’s a moral choice, and abdication is not an option, no matter how much it might appeal to moral cowards like you. Not to mention the fact that “dead kittens” is a radically dishonest overstatement, compared to the real numerous dead children and dead pregnant women that a McCain presidency is likely to result in.

  202. #202 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Answer the questions, truth. Is that asking too much?

  203. #203 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    the current congress is a result of this kind of calculation

    Only in the sense that the alternative would be worse. This is your fundamental stupidity and intellectual dishonesty: a) It’s always a matter of weighing choices; it’s invalid to measure the negtives of just one alternative and ignore those of the other alternatives. b) you can’t avoid bad outcomes merely by failing to act.

    Consider this post: http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/6/25/1204/74882/511/541568

    As we’ve seen these past couple of weeks, we’ve got a problem in our caucus — while we have been busy stocking up on more Democrats, fact is the good ones are being swamped by the bad ones.

    Now we’re at a disadvantage vis a vis AT&T. We don’t have the millions to pump into campaign coffers, nor the lobbyists to twist arms in Capitol Hill. And those Democrats feel safe. Many are in solid (D) districts and have no fear of the opposition. Or they are in tough districts, and think that they are solid given the Republican alternatives. And that was certainly the case when we were in the minority or even with our tighter current majorities.

    But things have changed. Democrats currently have a 37-seat majority in the House — larger than any enjoyed by the GOP during its reign of corruption starting in 1994. That means that if we win 32 seats, well within the realm of possibility, we’ll have a 101-seat majority in the House. Even if we gain a more realistic 20 or so seats, we’re still talking a 77-seat majority.

    And that’ll give us breathing room to begin holding our party accountable.

    Remember, we don’t have the millions to compete with AT&T’s lobbyists, and our best-crafted arguments can be easily ignored. All the while, Steny Hoyer buys loyalty by tirelessly campaigning and raising money for his fellow Democrats. So how can we overcome those obstacles?

    Primaries.

    The point is that the progressive netroots, which have been very active in bringing about political change — unlike twits like you — first focused on a getting Democratic majority, and is now shifting its focus to making that majority more progressive. It’s an incremental process, not the sort of absolute “line in the sand” “best is the enemy of the good” stupidity you indulge in.

  204. #204 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Answer the questions, truth. Is that asking too much?

    I did, you cretin, repeatedly:

    is there ever anything that would disqualify a candidate if his opponent could be shown to be worse?

    Your question is pure stupidity. Candidates are disqualified by not being natural citizens, etc. Not voting for someone doesn’t “disqualify” them. Apparently you are — in the most stupid fashion possible — asking if there is something so horrible about them that I wouldn’t vote for them. No, not if the alternative is worse, moron. Again and again, one must weigh outcomes. Absolute measurements are stupid. Even if you don’t agree, you show that you are incredibly stupid by saying I haven’t answered.

    the current congress is a result of this kind of calculation, are these the kind of results you find attractive?

    I already answered this, idiot. The current congress is a result of all sorts of forces, but had people followed your stupid prescription, it would be worse. Your pathetic stupid dishonesty is manifested in your weighing of the actual congress but not the counterfactual alternative. People who aren’t morons consider both — the actual outcome, and the outcome resulting from alternate actions. But for people as stupid as you are, the counterfactual, the situation that didn’t come about, is outside your comprehension — out of sight, out of mind.

  205. #205 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Can’t answer the questions, can you truth. Tsk, Tsk.

    And as you give our constitutional rights away, piece by piece, I’m sure you’ll continue to mouth the phrase – “but McCain would have been worse!”

  206. #206 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    these the kind of results you find attractive?

    Here is the fantasy world that fools like Phaedrus live in: that if the current state of affairs is undesirable, that shows that the actions that produced it were bad choices. By that argument, a cancer patient dying after five years would prove that her doctor had committed malpractice. Of course, this is sheer idiocy, predicated on the unsupported assumption that a desirable outcome was possible by following some other course. It’s both stupid and deeply intellectually dishonest, with the critic applying a standard that cannot be applied to the critic himself, since the consequences his plan of action aren’t available for examination. (This is also the stupid trick used by libertarians, whose imagined utopia is just that, imagined.)

  207. #207 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Can’t answer the questions, can you truth. Tsk, Tsk.

    Ok, now you’re just being an obvious troll.

    I’m sure you’ll continue to mouth the phrase – “but McCain would have been worse!”

    Yes, I will continue to “mouth” the truth, you stupid fuck.

  208. #208 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    And as you give our constitutional rights away, piece by piece

    I don’t have the power to do so, you stupid fucking cretin. The giving away of constitutional rights is being done by others, and you and I are both powerless to stop it — certainly not by failing to cast an effective vote. Voting for Obama no more gives away constitutional rights than not voting for him does. Anyone with an IQ over 50 can grasp that.

  209. #209 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Not a troll, updating sync issue – didn’t expect two posts.

    “No, not if the alternative is worse, moron”

    And this is the definition of no standards. Bill, at least, seemed to get riled at the idea, but you seem happy with it.

    “And that’ll give us breathing room to begin holding our party accountable.”

    Elect a majority and then decide what you stand for? This is your big plan? What a load of crap. Here’s an idea – decide what issues really matter to you, find and support candidates that at least promise to fulfill them, and work on the other issues from there.

    “Yes, I will continue to “mouth” the truth, you stupid fuck.”

    I’m sure the founders would have been proud – yes, we’ve destroyed all your work, but we didn’t do it as fast as the other fuckers would have.

  210. #210 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    How amazing is it, though, that here we are asking which president will disregard the constitution less?

    It’s not amazing, it’s political reality. You have to be an incredibly ignorant git to have so little insight into politics.

    A vote for Obama is a vote to do away with part of our fourth amendment rights – no one is arguing that

    No, only incredibly ignorant gits argue that … and it contradicts your previous statement. A vote for Obama is a vote to disregard the constitution less, as you said.

    and yet good people are raising money for him on the “the other guy is worse” argument.

    Yes, good, non-stupid people. The stupid people are enabling the worse guy. Incredibly stupid and dishonest people dismiss “the other guy is worse”, even though it’s true.

    Depressing. If Obama is willing to throw away fourth amendment rights, in what other ways will he sell us out?

    Fewer than McCain will, you fucking cretin.

  211. #211 Chico DiMilo
    June 26, 2008

    a gambler’s lucky chit

    ‘Ey, I got some lucky chit for you right here, ese.

  212. #212 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Not a troll, updating sync issue – didn’t expect two posts.

    Because you’re a cretin.

    Elect a majority and then decide what you stand for?

    You’re a fucking cretin. I already know what I stand for. And a Dem majority was important in reducing the damage of the Bush administration. Despite the repeated Dem caving, the results of continuing the Rep majority would have been far worse.

    Here’s an idea – decide what issues really matter to you, find and support candidates that at least promise to fulfill them, and work on the other issues from there.

    What an incredibly stupid fuck. You’re complaining — as we all are — about people not fulfilling their promises. I have in fact found and supported candidates who, by my judgment, are better than the alternatives, largely based on issues.

    You have no argument and you have no sense. See you around.

  213. #213 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    I’m sure the founders would have been proud – yes, we’ve destroyed all your work, but we didn’t do it as fast as the other fuckers would have.

    It’s not “we” who have destroyed it, it is the totality of political and economic forces. And stupid dishonest dipshits like you, with your pretense that non-action is action, have done far more to destroy it than I have.

  214. #214 Azkyroth
    June 26, 2008

    Welcome back, truth machine.

  215. #215 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Yeah truth, I’ve seen what you stand for. You can’t list a thing, not a single, nasty, disgusting thing that wouldn’t get your vote if you could somehow convince yourself the other guy is worse.

    Thank God we have that Dem majority to reduce the damage of the Bush administration. Without them the Iraq war would still be going on, we would still be “renditioning” people, holding and torturing them with no rights, spying on Americans without warrants… Yeah, keep telling yourself that it’s all OK because the Repub’s would have been worse.

    I’m not complaining that people aren’t fulfilling their promises – Democracy 102 : that comes AFTER the election. I’m complaining that Obama has already pledged to disregard parts of the constitution.

    Cheers

  216. #216 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    You can’t list a thing, not a single, nasty, disgusting thing that wouldn’t get your vote if you could somehow convince yourself the other guy is worse.

    You say that like it’s a bad thing. In fact, only very stupid, intellectually dishonest people, would withhold their vote if the other guy is worse. You can be the pathetically dishonest piece of shit you are and cheat and say “somehow convince yourself”, but the premise of the discussion has been that the other person is worse, and in the case of McCain he clearly is.

    Yeah, keep telling yourself that it’s all OK

    Nowhere have I said it’s “all OK”, you goddamn fucking lying sack of shit. It’s NOT OK — but it’s also NOT IN OUR CONTROL. You’re the sort of garbage who would say that Sophie was “OK” with her choice. What you simply refuse to face, because you’re a moral coward, is that choice is unavoidable.

    I’m not complaining that people aren’t fulfilling their promises

    Because you’re an idiot. Obama promised to filibuster immunity, but apparently isn’t going to. That sucks — it isn’t ok.

    I’m complaining that Obama has already pledged to disregard parts of the constitution.

    That’s a thoroughly dishonest characterization. But regardless, I have complained, loudly, about the same thing. So that isn’t what distinguishes us — it’s because you’re a lying sack of shit that you pretend that it is. I have the same view as Glenn Greenwald — who has pointed out what childish idiots people like you are.

  217. #217 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    I’m complaining that Obama has already pledged to disregard parts of the constitution.

    This is particularly pathetic and dishonest, when it is the Bush administration — which would effectively be continued by McCain — that disregarded the constitution, with the help of their agents, the telcos. It’s already been done; the immunity clause of the FISA bill — which Obama opposes — just makes it easier for them to avoid prosecution. But he hasn’t “pledged” to vote for immunity. Rather, he has reneged on his pledge to filibuster it. Another pledge that he has made is that once he is President he will launch an investigation into criminal activity by the Bush administration. I don’t expect him to keep that pledge or, if he does, I expect it to be a whitewash. That’s not OK — it sucks. But it’s not a reason to enable McCain, no matter what kind of idiocy a lying sack of shit like Phaedrus spews.

  218. #218 Azkyroth
    June 26, 2008

    If anyone has a claim to that title, it’s surely the head of government of the world’s largest democracy. I wonder how many in any of the countries whose citizens comment here regularly could name him/her, without looking it up?

    Do you mean the President or the Prime Minister?

  219. #219 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    If anyone has a claim to that title, it’s surely the head of government of the world’s largest democracy. I wonder how many in any of the countries whose citizens comment here regularly could name him/her, without looking it up?

    Nope, I had to look it up:

    Pratibha Patil

    I knew she was a woman, but couldn’t remember her name full name (only her last).

    Do you mean the President or the Prime Minister?

    President (of India).

  220. #220 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    President (of India).

    Azkyroth may have been alluding to the fact that, while Patil is head of state, PM Manmohan Singh is the de facto head of government.

  221. #221 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    It’s not as terror-ific as the Muslim meme, but I’m sure it’ll turn up on Fox & Frauds before the week is out.

    The Hanuman/Obama story made it to Lou “flaming asshole” Dobbs.

  222. #222 Nick Gotts
    June 26, 2008

    @219 I was meaning the Prime Minister, which is why I said “Head of Government”, not “Head of State”. I admit I’d forgotten that the current Indian President is a woman, let alone her name. The Presidency in India is pretty much purely ceremonial. You could argue that Sonia Gandhi, President of the Congress Party, has at least a right of veto over Manmohan Singh’s actions – if she wanted him out, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t last long – but he is the one actually running the country in practice as well as holding the post of PM; she had sense enough not to take on a job for which she’s completely unfitted by training and I’d guess by temperament. She likely sees Singh as keeping the seat warm for the next of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, probably her son Rahul.

  223. #223 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 26, 2008

    It’s apparent PZ and others begrudgingly having to decide in favor of Obama (same here), but when has ANY election EVER offered anybody a candidate they are entirely happy with?

    Oops, I almost forgot – the elephants seem ALWAYS to adore their candidates. Even when they know nothing about them. ESPECIALLY when they know nothing about them. They are simply happy to hate the other side. I think they call it “patriotism” or something.

  224. #224 Nick Gotts
    June 26, 2008

    Nader carries Republican water (no wonder, since they have paid for his campaigns) – truth machine

    Evidence for this claim?

  225. #225 Arnosium Upinarum
    June 26, 2008

    Good to see you kick ass, Truth Machine.

  226. #226 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Evidence for this claim?

    You’re apparently one of those intellectually lazy slugs who a) is so uninvolved in the world around them that they don’t possess even minimum common knowledge and b) can’t be bothered to spend even five seconds in this google age to seek such knowledge. But as a kindless, I spent those five seconds for your lazy ass:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/07/09/MNGQQ7J31K1.DTL

    You should now have enough of a hang of it to further pursue this matter by yourself if you actually give a damn.

  227. #227 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    I would also note that this isn’t even the sort of thing one should waste time asking for evidence of unless one has some extraordinary reason to think it didn’t happen, since Nader’s campaign was obviously something that Republicans would want to foster.

  228. #228 Nick Gotts
    June 26, 2008

    “truth machine”@226

    You’re apparently an idiot who doesn’t realise it’s 2008. Look at the date on the article you pointed to, moron. I was neither saying nor implying that your claim is untrue, in fact I find it quite credible, but the “evidence” you point to is crap.

  229. #229 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Meanwhile, hope none of the more liberal of the Supreme Court Justices drops dead.

    If only more people (like, say, Ralph) were worrying about that 4 and 8 years ago. We will have Roberts, Alito, and Thomas with us for another 3 decades.

    Stevens 87 Ford
    Ginsburg 75 Clinton
    Scalia 72 Reagan
    Kennedy 72 Reagan
    Breyer 70 Clinton
    Souter 69 GHWB
    Thomas 60 GHWB
    Alito 57 GWB
    Roberts 53 GWB

  230. #230 Nick Gotts
    June 26, 2008

    I would also note that this isn’t even the sort of thing one should waste time asking for evidence of unless one has some extraordinary reason to think it didn’t happen

    Let me guess – you’re a journalist on Fox News or The Daily Mail, rather than, say, a lawyer, scientist or medic?

  231. #231 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    You’re apparently an idiot who doesn’t realise it’s 2008.

    What part of “his campaigns” are you too fucking stupid to comprehend, cretin? That it’s 2008 is irrelevant when you asked for evidence for my claim, which was about 2000 and 2004.

    I was neither saying nor implying that your claim is untrue, in fact I find it quite credible, but the “evidence” you point to is crap.

    It’s the content of your head that is crap.

  232. #232 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Let me guess – you’re a journalist on Fox News or The Daily Mail

    Let me guess — you’re a moron. At least my guess is plausible.

  233. #233 Nick Gotts
    June 26, 2008

    “truth machine”,

    Nader carries Republican water ,/I>

    You think a politician will be grateful for contributions made 4 years ago? You evidently wouldn’t be safe out in the big bad world without your mum, so I guess we can deduce you’re neither lawyer, scientist, medic, nor journalist. My apologies.

  234. #234 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    P.S. I didn’t think that journalists on Fox News or The Daily Mail were particularly familiar with the notion of a null hypothesis.

    Good to see you kick ass, Truth Machine.

    No problem .. but other duties call. Bye.

  235. #235 Nick Gotts
    June 26, 2008

    Let me guess — you’re a moron. At least my guess is plausible. “truth machine”

    I use my real name here, and am readily googleable, so anyone can check what achievements, if any, I have. You hide behind a puffed-up, self-aggrandising handle, indicative of severe insecurity, and anyone who glances at your contributions can tell you are suffering from some fairly serious psychopathology.

  236. #236 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    I think there are pro and cons of using a real name. I’ve been tempted by changing to my real name, but somehow, I enjoy the privacy.
    I’m not certain if that really indicates a higher level of insecurity or simply less willingness to expose oneself, not because of fear, but because it tends to change the nature of the conversations. What is nice on a blog, is that people are judged for what they say, how they argue, the evidence they bring, the knowledge they have, and not who they are.

  237. #237 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    I put this question last night, and I’d be interested in people’s response (truth machine answered exhaustively)

    Is there anything a candidate might support that would keep you from voting for him even if the case can be made that his opponent would be worse?

  238. #238 James McGrath
    June 26, 2008

    I would have thought you’d vote for him simply because he’s apparently the antichrist, regardless what James Dobson thinks! :)

  239. #239 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    Is there anything a candidate might support that would keep you from voting for him even if the case can be made that his opponent would be worse?

    If the other candidate also supported the same horrendous thing and was worse because he supported other bad things on top of this, NO, nothing would keep me from voting from the first candidate.

    The good example was what happened to me when I had to vote in the french prseidential election 6 years ago. Socialists had lost the first round (we have a two round system) and my I had to chose between Chirac and Le Pen. I disliked Chirac very much, but I hated Le Pen, really hated, I would have left the country if he had been elected. I went to vote and cast my ballot for Chirac in order to make sure that Le Pen doesn’t get elected, like millions of other socialists.
    You have the choice between two candidates, that’s all, you can’t change it, it’s too late for that now. You have to take the decision between those two that you think is best for you and your country.

  240. #240 cicely
    June 26, 2008

    I just know I’m going to regret wading into this particular cesspool, but….

    Phaedrus:

    The problem is that, in the real world, voting “neither of the above” to the two-party pre-selected candidates is effectively the same as saying, “I’ll ride with the majority; you pick for me”. I’d like it to be different, but at this time, in this place, it’s not.

    In your “line in the sand” question, it’s very much the same thing. Given the choice between someone who (completely contrary to my own morals/ethics) is firmly in favor of murdering out of hand all members of a given religious or ethnic group, and someone who not only advocates wholesale ethnic murder but also would mandate coercive pederasty, are you really comfortable with opting out of the choice? Of, essentially, saying, “No, you guys pick for me”?

  241. #241 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus:

    I see others have done a more than creditable job of replying while I’ve been away from my keyboard. Even so…

    “Oh, fuck you!” – good answer, Bill.

    Considering your reaction to this (and the continuing episodes of the vapors you had throughout your reply), I can’t help wondering whether you’ve actually been reading this blog for very long. If you have, you’ve probably noticed that “cursing and namecalling” are fairly routine around here… but you may also have noticed that I don’t usually indulge in them. However, unlike Chris Crawford, I believe that anger is sometimes an appropriate response, and this is such a case:

    I ask you again, do you have any standards?

    I tell you again, this approach to argument — impugning the fundamental moral value of the person you disagree with — is illegitimate. Though your line has the form of a question, in this usage it is, as I said before (and you didn’t deny), an implied accusation that I have no standards vis a vis the Constitution. As such, it’s precisely equivalent to right-wingers who say “If you don’t agree with [insert oppressive, unconstitutional scheme here], you don’t love America.”

    IMHO, the deepest circle of rhetorical Hell is reserved for people who adopt that style of argumentation. That’s not because I’m concerned about my delicate sensibilities — I can take care of myself — but because arguing that way inherently destroys any chance of substantive discussion: If your first response to your opponent is to deny his fundamental moral value, why would you then bother to discuss anything of substance with him? You have no actual basis for thinking I have no standards, other than our disgreement about this one issue… yet you’d apparently rather destroy your opponent than engage with him on the substance.

    So what is the substance?

    Is there ANY position a presidential candidate could have that would cause you not to vote for him, if his opposition was plausibly worse?

    Sure. But the hypothetical scenario you suggest — that even the very best viable candidate was so reprehensible that it would be impossible to vote for him/her — would be a reason to leave the country, or perhaps to become a revolutionary. Have you advocated either of those? No. You’ve advocated… what? Voting for the worst candidate? Voting for a nonviable candidate (which amounts to voting for the worst candidate by proxy)? Doing nothing at all, while sneering at those who continue to support the best candidate? You’ve made this an argument about my “standards” (and those of your other opponents); I’m asking you what actions you propose that would actually honor the standards you claim I don’t possess?

    I’ve often commented that if abortion foes really believed abortion was murder, they wouldn’t settle for the sort of candy-ass remedies they do (e.g., rape-or-incest exceptions, weak or no criminal penalties, etc.)… from which I infer that they’re being disingenuous. Similarly, if you really believed that Obama was both the best available candidate and a true enemy of the Constitution, you wouldn’t settle for the candy-ass remedy of snarking at me about my supposed lack of standards… from which I infer that you are being disingenuous.

    What are my standards? I love this country with all my heart. Unlike the current crop of neocon, neo-monarchist, Christian dominionist right-wingers, I believe that saying I love the country is precisely equivalent to saying I love the Constitution. But while I love my country, I’m also deeply ashamed of the direction in which it has been led by the current Republican power structure (note: not just George W. Bush, but the whole ideological framework for which he is the figurehead), which I believe has systematically contravened our historical constitutional values and in the process placed the whole world in several different kinds of peril.

    Thus, in my mind, there is literally nothing in the world more important than ending Republican control of our government. So yeah, I would vote for pretty much any Democrat for president (and BTW, I’m putting my time, treasure, and shoeleather where my vote is), regardless of that candidate’s personal worth. That’s not an abdication of standards, that’s an expression of my commitment to real standards.

    As it happens, though, I won’t be holding my nose when I vote (and canvass and phonebank and fundraise and GOTV) for Obama. I’ve been arguing the “McCain is worse” position because you seemed to have made up your mind about Obama, and my sole interest here is in changing the world one vote at a time: If I could stipulate your premise and convince you that even so you should vote for Obama, my work would be done.

    As it happens, though, I believe Obama’s combination of political philosophy and personal gifts creates in him the potential to be one of the very best presidents of my lifetime (and FSM knows, we desperately need him to be). Specifically, I do not believe him to be an enemy of the Constitution. On the contrary, I think of all the candidates from both major parties, he has the deepest commitment to fundamental constitutional values (with the possible exception of Chris Dodd, who never had a chance to win anyway).

    As for the current bill… Obama didn’t author it, hasn’t championed it… hasn’t even said nice things about it. He has grudgingly averred that it’s probably the best currently available response to the even worse shit that’s already happening in its absence.

    The thing about legislators (and, BTW, the reason it’s historically so difficult for a legislator to get elected president) is that legislation is all about compromise. Outsiders invariably treat legislators (esp. U.S. Senators, because their votes are so visible) as if they were the enthusiastic proponents of everything in every bill they ever voted for… but the reality is far different. On top of that, one of the glories of the Constitution is that it’s a living document, constantly subject to interpretation and reevaluation. For example, just today, the Supreme Court has apparently (I’ve only seen the headlines) determined that the Second Amendment does grant an individual, personal right to firearms ownership after all, overturning a Washington, DC, gun law. Shall I therefore concluded that everyone who ever voted for any bill containing any gun control provisions is now an enemy of the Constitution, and thus forever undeserving of my vote? Of course not. I’m no constitutional scholar (note, however, that Obama is) but AFAIK the Fourth Amendment has been subject to constant tension over the parameters of “unreasonable” and “probable cause” and the precise scope of meaning of “place” and “seizure” and so forth. I don’t like the answers in this bill… but I take comfort from the fact that Obama apparently doesn’t like the bill either.

    Effective political leadership requires a delicate balance between principle and pragmatism. Total focus on the former leads to ineffectiveness and marginalization (Can you say “Ralph”? I knew you could.); total focus on the latter leads to tyranny. From what I’ve seen so far, I trust Obama to strike that balance. Certainly I trust him to strike that balance orders of magnitude more successfully than McCain.

    If that still doesn’t sound like “standards” to you, I just don’t know what else to say.

  242. #242 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    PS to Phaedrus:

    And this is the definition of no standards. Bill, at least, seemed to get riled at the idea, but you seem happy with it.

    You’re misrepresenting my reaction. I didn’t “get riled” because, as you implicitly suggest, you’d touched a nerve; I got riled because you were arguing like a jerk, instead of like someone who actually cared about having a discussion.

    “And that’ll give us breathing room to begin holding our party accountable.”
    Elect a majority and then decide what you stand for…

    Does it not occur to you that Dems know what they stand for, but the lack of an effective majority is preventing them from effectively pursuing it? Accountability comes with power; it’s nonsensical to hold people accountable for things that are outside their power to affect. First power to act, then accountability for actions; not the other way ’round.

  243. #243 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    You make good points Bill, but you miss some things, too.

    My question is exactly what it is :

    Do you have any standards?

    If you’ve got baggage that gets in the way of the question, get over it. I am actually interested in what, if anything, you would consider a deal breaker in a candidate.

    Good question about actions – I’m working that out myself right now. But I see the current workings of the Dem leadership as the results of the kind of “other guy is worse” calculations that most everyone on this blog seems to espouse. I’ll say again and again – I understand what you’re saying, I’m on board with it – to a point. Where is the basement? Is there anything thing up with which we should not put :)

    This constant “if we don’t do this bad thing, worse things will happen” smacks of the same sort fear mongering that Bush uses to enact his policy under the threat of terrorists. I think we’re above that. I think we need to decide that we will only go so far then….

    I’m working on the then. I’m not advocating inaction, as so many have falsely assumed.

  244. #244 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Sorry Bill, this is just crap :

    Does it not occur to you that Dems know what they stand for, but the lack of an effective majority is preventing them from effectively pursuing it? Accountability comes with power; it’s nonsensical to hold people accountable for things that are outside their power to affect. First power to act, then accountability for actions; not the other way ’round.

    What does “stand for” mean to you? The Dems in the senate had the power to block every single piece of crap legislation that now stains our nation, but they didn’t. This idea that since they didn’t like it, and gave a speech saying so, so it’s ok, blows my mind. They had to power to block the war resolution, and didn’t. They had the power to block the Patriot act, and didn’t. They had the power to block funding for t he war, and didn’t. Fill me in, Bill, what the fuck do they “stand for”, and how do they show it?

    How are they using they’re current majority – you proud of that – is that what they “stand for”? For a primer on how to effectively use even minority power see “Republican”.

  245. #245 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    I would have thought you’d vote for him simply because he’s apparently the antichrist, regardless what James Dobson thinks!

    funny, the previous Pope thought Bush was the antichrist:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MKY/is_9_27/ai_108881880

  246. #246 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Azkyroth may have been alluding to the fact that, while Patil is head of state, PM Manmohan Singh is the de facto head of government.

    The PM is appointed by the President.

  247. #247 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus:

    My question is exactly what it is :
    Do you have any standards?
    If you’ve got baggage that gets in the way of the question, get over it.

    “Baggage”?? What the Hell do you mean by that? Are you imagining that I’m suffering from some emotional hangup that prevents me from conforming to your bogus style of argumentation? That some childhood trauma, perhaps, rendered me constitutionally incapable of evaluating candidates? One of us needs to “get over it,” but I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

    I am actually interested in what, if anything, you would consider a deal breaker in a candidate.

    Well, I wouldn’t vote for Pol Pot, even if the other candidates were all worse… but then, if every candidate for president were Pol Pot or worse, I think deciding who to vote for would be the least of my worries. You keep pressing this ridiculous doomsday hypothetical, but it’s pointless: Of course I can imagine a candidate I couldn’t bring myself to vote for, no matter who he was running against, but Obama is lightyears away from being that guy. And if it ever came to pass that “that guy” was really the best of the lot, I wouldn’t be sitting around nattering on teh intertooobz about it.

    The Dems in the senate had the power to block every single piece of crap legislation that now stains our nation,

    Actually, when they were in the minority, the only thing they had the power to do was filibuster… at which point, the Republicans would have changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster (or weren’t you paying attention to the “nuclear option” fight?), thus potentially permanently damaging the instution of the Senate. It’s arguable that they should have done it anyway; it’s certainly not obvious that choosing not to amounts to a near-treasonous dereliction that makes them all unfit to serve.

    For a primer on how to effectively usetotally fuck your government, even when you only have minority power see “Republican”.

    There; fixed it for you. One of the occupational hazards of being The Good Guys™ is that you don’t get to fight as dirty as the bad guys do. Sometimes that can be intensely frustrating, but in the long run, it’s the right thing to do.

    Good question about actions – I’m working that out myself right now.

    Oh, good. You let me know when you come up with something… no doubt in a decade or two. In the meantime, I’ll be doing the best thing for the future of my country… which at this moment in history means I’ll be working very hard — and quite proudly — to elect Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

  248. #248 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    “Well, I wouldn’t vote for Pol Pot, even if the other candidates were all worse…”

    Good. We’re making progress, Bill. Still dodging the original question, but, unlike truth machine, there exists some sort of person that you just might not vote for.

    This from before :
    “That’s not an abdication of standards, that’s an expression of my commitment to real standards”

    And those standards would be… ?

    Got a new question, too. What, in your system of voting for the lesser of two evils almost always, keeps you from progressively voting for worse people until you end up faced with a vote for Pol Pot? Is there some sort of check or balance?

    previously :
    “it’s nonsensical to hold people accountable for things that are outside their power to affect.”

    but that ignores that pesky filibuster:
    “at which point, the Republicans would have changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster”

    So, we can all agree that your original line was bullshit. Dems had the power to affect things (and therefore should be accountable). As you point out, though, actually preventing or stopping a war (hundreds of thousands killed, billions spent, America’s honor indelibly stained) or stopping Bush from shredding the constitution might have made the Republicans mad. Republicans might even try to… *gasp*… change the RULES!

    What a pissant excuse.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. Being a Patriot means defending our constitution when under attack, even if the other guys are mean, or fight dirty, or call you names, or threaten, or beat you up. Our constitution has been shredded these past eight years, time and again. I’m betting that we only really know the tip of the iceberg. The Dems allowed it, sometimes even supported it, all when they could have stopped it.

    By refusing to hold them accountable, by refusing to have any actual standards by which we say, “this and no farther”, we bear responsibility. We, ultimately, are to blame for this mess.

    And your answer is : more of the same. Well shit to that. I’m drawing a line at the constitution. No one gets my vote who will agree to flaunting the constitution.

    And as people like me build coalitions, speak out and influence candidates, we will start to turn America around and get back on the track for truth and justice.

    Do we risk a McCain presidency. I say YES. You say we are given two options – I call bullshit! I can write anyone I want to in on that ballot. And while you sit home, powerless, washing your hands of responsibility for the actions your vote enabled, true Americans will be thinking, working and building an country firmly on a constitutional foundation.

    *applause*

    Thanks you… thank you.

  249. #249 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    I use my real name here

    The weakest possible ad hominem, a sure sign of intellectual bankruptcy.

    You hide behind a puffed-up, self-aggrandising handle, indicative of severe insecurity, and anyone who glances at your contributions can tell you are suffering from some fairly serious psychopathology.

    Perhaps, but I’m still right.

  250. #250 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    You say we are given two options – I call bullshit! I can write anyone I want to in on that ballot.

    Moron and moral coward — he would make Sophies’s Choice via abdication of choice.

  251. #251 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    And while you sit home, powerless, washing your hands of responsibility for the actions your vote enabled, true Americans will be thinking, working and building an country firmly on a constitutional foundation.

    This pompous dishonest fuck employs multiple false dichotomies in order to take on a false mantle of superiority, all the while never having done a damn thing. I’m actually politically active and busy putting pressure on Senators to filibuster this thing, while this Phaedrus fuck pretends that not voting is some sort of disabling action.

  252. #252 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    This idea that since they didn’t like it, and gave a speech saying so, so it’s ok, blows my mind.

    This asshole Phaedrus clearly has no mind, since not only has no one said it’s “ok”, but people have explicitly said otherwise.

    It’s because of the sort of patent intellectual dishonesty of people like Phaedrus that we are where we are. It’s the same tool being used by people like Hoyer to pretend that the Dems got a good deal when Kit Bond is snickering about how it’s better than the White House could have hoped. And yes, it’s the same sort of patent intellectual dishonesty that Obama is using to justify his reneging on his pledge.

  253. #253 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Well, I wouldn’t vote for Pol Pot, even if the other candidates were all worse…

    Yeah, because, as Phaedrus argues, not doing so would build Cambodia into a country firmly on a constitutional foundation.

    It’s Sophie’s Choice, Bill. Not voting isn’t a genuine option.

  254. #254 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    You say we are given two options – I call bullshit! I can write anyone I want to in on that ballot.

    Oh yes, you could write Kucinich’s name, or Nader’s name, or your own name, or not write anything, or not vote at all and just forget that you are an american citizen, it would all just have exactly the same effect.

  255. #255 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    #241

    Bill, that’s a marvelous essay, but as addressed to Phaedrus it’s as effective as reciting it into a toilet.

  256. #256 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    [cough]wanker[/cough]

    We’re making progress, Bill. Still dodging the original question…

    No!! I’m not dodging the question; I’m telling you quite specifically (and obviously, bluntness is required here) that the question is full of shit!

    “it’s nonsensical to hold people accountable for things that are outside their power to affect.”

    but that ignores that pesky filibuster:
    “at which point, the Republicans would have changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster”

    So, we can all agree that your original line was bullshit. Dems had the power to affect things…

    No, you totally miss the point: Under the so-called nuclear option, the Dems would not have affected the things you list, and would have lost the filibuster (potentially permanently) in the process. It only makes sense to fall on your sword if you thereby accomplish something; otherwise, it’s just pointless self-destruction.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret. Being a Patriot means…

    I’ll let you in on a little secret: The very reason we’re in the shit we’re in is that too many people think they have exclusive knowledge of what “being a patriot means.” (BTW, being a Patriot, with a capital P, means you play pro football in New England. Capitalizing the Important Words is a sure sign of a total blowhard [assuming you're not writing in German, of course].)

    Do we risk a McCain presidency. I say YES.

    Well, then, I say you’re dangerously reckless.

    And while you sit home, powerless…

    Ref the last paragraph of my previous comment for whether I’ll be sitting at home, and how I intend to exercise my power.

    *applause*

    Thanks you… thank you.

    There it is. Finally, after all your pontificating and high-minded accusations, you just think this is some sort of parlor trick. I was right to say “oh, fuck you,” after all; I should’ve just left it at that, and not wasted any further pixels on your self-important ass.

  257. #257 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Oh yes, you could write Kucinich’s name, or Nader’s name, or your own name, or not write anything, or not vote at all and just forget that you are an american citizen, it would all just have exactly the same effect.

    You have to realize, neg, that Phaedrus is very stupid and very dishonest. I and others have repeatedly pointed out that there are only two (virtually) possible outcomes, and yet he again falls back on this Naderite idiocy about “options” that have no effect on the outcome.

  258. #258 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    what you don’t seem to understand, is that in any of these cases, you’re basically saying, I can’t decide, so I prefer that others decide for me.
    If that’s the case, then fine. You can’t decide who is best suited to become the next president between Obama and McCain ?

  259. #259 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    It’s Sophie’s Choice, Bill. Not voting isn’t a genuine option.

    Well, I agree that doing nothing isn’t a genuine option. I was responding to Phaedrus’ ludicrously extreme hypothetical case in which all of the candidates were so thoroughly reprehensible that no moral human could vote for any of them. It is, as I’ve suggested, a totally bogus, utterly wankerly thing to worry about… but in that case, there might be options other than voting.

    I really wouldn’t vote for Pol Pot, but I wouldn’t subject myself and my family to living under someone even worse, either: I’d have to leave the country, or take up arms, or perhaps both.

    Thankfully, we don’t — and won’t — face that situation. Phaedrus is engaging in a typical “sophomore bull session,” rather than serious political discussion.

    BTW, I don’t think voting for Obama amounts to Sophie’s choice; I actually have very high hopes for him.

  260. #260 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    how many times have you already voted in a presidential election ?

  261. #261 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Do we risk a McCain presidency. I say YES.

    I heard the EXACT same arguments put forward by Nader fans in 2000, just substitute Bush for McCain.

    Yup, that really worked out well for pushing the idea of independent candidacies, and really well for the country as a whole.

    *rolleyes*

    some people apparently have very short memories.

  262. #262 David Marjanovi?, OM
    June 26, 2008
    I can easily believe that Fearless Flightsuit is stupid enough to do that… but he can’t do it on his own, can he?

    Sorry, don’t understand what you mean…

    He alone may be stupid enough, but without support from the rest of his gang he can’t do it.

    That just amazes me. Since when is speaking/writing in Standard English considered “Talking White”?

    That’s obviously not what Nader meant, judging from the quote you gave (comment 158). What he meant isn’t easy to figure out, but it seems to be “not appearing as caring only about problems that affect the black community”.

    And of course maybe Nader’s votes would have put him over the top, maybe not;

    He was over the top, before the Supreme Court usurped the right to vote.

    I await your answers you fungus covered ass wipers of other people’s bottoms moron mice.

    (I’m new to the cursing thing but I want to fit in)

    LOL! Now it’s my turn: I’d like to point out that you behave like a concern troll. :-)

    I haven’t read beyond comment 200 yet. This thread is growing far too fast, it’s late at night, and I want to read the post about the amphioxus genome at last…

  263. #263 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    For a primer on how to effectively use even minority power see “Republican”.

    Here that great defender of the U.S. Constitution suggests that we follow the lead of those who have done their damnedest, with considerable success, to discard it. Brilliant. But it’s consistent with his blithely dismissing “the other guy is worse” to praise “the other guy”. In fact Phaedrus has nothing bad to say about the Republicans, even though this discarding of the 4th amendment is their baby. 2/3 of the Dems voted against the FISA bill in the House; virtually all the Reps voted for it. Hey let’s follow their lead! What a fucking ass.

  264. #264 David Marjanovi?, OM
    June 26, 2008

    Capitalizing the Important Words is a sure sign of a total blowhard [assuming you're not writing in German, of course].)

    Not even. In german we capitalize all Nouns, but never Adjectives (unless they form part of a proper Name, like “the Black Sea”) or anything else, unless of Course it’s at the Start of a Sentence. There are no separate rules for Headlines in german.

  265. #265 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    I actually have very high hopes for him.

    me too, I really am convinced this is the guy.
    The more I listen to him, the more I’m convinced.
    The more I’m convinced he is really going to lead America into the direction of a much more socially and environmentally conscious secular democracy.

    He will do more than clinton, without the fluffyness of Carter.

    That’s my bet.

  266. #266 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    What he meant isn’t easy to figure out, but it seems to be “not appearing as caring only about problems that affect the black community”.

    I saw an interview with him last night where he made it “more” clear what he meant.

    Apparently, Nader means to put forward the idea that Obama is not focusing on the issues of “modern urban black communities”, and he wants to paint that as because he is too busy placating the “white community”.

    WHY he’s decided on this tack is beyond anyone’s comprehension, since the issues of the urban community, black OR white, largely overlap.

    It’s rightly going to blow up in his face. I expect Nader will sink to the bottom in a couple of weeks and be forgotten, just like he was before he started trying to play the race card.

    I see a possibility that some rethuglican pundits will try and take off with this “theme” over the coming months, and I actually hope they try it, as it will do them as much “good” as it will do Nader.

    Bottom line, Nader’s a non-entity in this race, far more so than he was in 2000.

  267. #267 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    . I was responding to Phaedrus’ ludicrously extreme hypothetical case in which all of the candidates were so thoroughly reprehensible that no moral human could vote for any of them.

    Why not? Again, it’s Sophie’s Choice. No moral human being could commit one of their children to dying — except when there’s no alternative. neg got it right in #239 and cicely in #240.

    As for the rest, of course Phaedrus’s scenario is absurd, has nothing to do with the real world, and our choice is nothing like Sophie’s. Creating such radical scenarios is fundamentally dishonest and intellectually bankrupt — there would be no need for it if one’s argument went through in the real world. This is the same tactic used by those who would defend torture — remember Jamie? I consider voting for Pol Pot in this scenario to being the direct counterpart of refusing to torture a mass murderer in order to save billions — in both cases it’s a matter of having principles and standards, and sticking with them even in the most ludicrous scenarios.

  268. #268 SC
    June 26, 2008

    And as people like me build coalitions, speak out and influence candidates, we will start to turn America around and get back on the track for truth and justice.

    Do we risk a McCain presidency. I say YES.

    If you genuinely believe that coalition-building (domestically and transnationally), organizing, propagating your ideas, and generally having a political influence will be as easy – or even possible – under a McCain presidency, then you are foolishly and dangerously ignorant of history. I encourage you to read up on Spain and Latin America.

  269. #269 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Apparently, Nader means to put forward the idea that Obama is not focusing on the issues of “modern urban black communities”, and he wants to paint that as because he is too busy placating the “white community”.

    And yet Obama gets over 90% of the black vote. As Al Sharpton said on CNN last night, Nader visited Harlem once, long ago — on Sharpton’s invitation — and has never been back. Nader’s being a hypocrite (particularly sad for him) and appears clueless about what Obama actually has said to the black community and what issues they perceive to be important.

  270. #270 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Well the rethuglican pundits are obviously trying the one card now with black community, which is the religious card;

    Today on Fox News, they were parroting Dr King’s niece on the Laura Ingaharam (you know O’Reilly’s new girl), who was saying that because abortionists had murdered particularly black embryo babies, the fact that Obama was pro life made him an unacceptable choice for the black community.

    It was really something to be heard !

  271. #271 SC
    June 26, 2008

    By the way, if you haven’t yet seen the film “An Unreasonable Man” about Ralph Nader, I recommend it. (I admit that I have a bit of a soft spot for him – I think my father had some of his siblings in school.)

  272. #272 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    I mean it was Dr King’s niece who was saying that because abortionists had murdered particularly black embryo babies, the fact that Obama was pro life made him an unacceptable choice for the black communitycrazy fuckwit . All of this was being spinned by this crazy fuckwit Laura Ingaraham who is now the female version of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (but much more sexy !).

  273. #273 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    The more I’m convinced he is really going to lead America into the direction of a much more socially and environmentally

    With the help of a large Dem majority in Congress, and the hindrance of the Roberts court. But I’m concerned about his dangerous views and statements about Iran and Israel. Not as concerned as with McCain, but it becomes moot if Obama goes all the way with his threats:

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080608_the_iran_trap/

    Obama went before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Wednesday and said he will stand with the right-wing Israeli government, even if this means backing an attack on Iran.

    “As president I will use all elements of American power to pressure Iran,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything in my power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Everything.”

    Obama went on to blame the Palestinians for the conflict, although the ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed in 2007 was 40 to 1. This is an increase from 30 to 1 in 2006 and 4 to 1 in 2000-2005.

    “I will bring to the White House an unshakable commitment to Israel’s security. That starts with ensuring Israel’s qualitative military advantage, …” Obama told AIPAC. “I will ensure Israel can defend itself from any threat, from Gaza to Tehran. …”

    Obama is “better than the other guy”, but he’s no messiah — don’t fall into the idolatry trap.

  274. #274 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    the fact that Obama was pro life

    Presumably you mean pro-choice.

    Chris Rock when he followed Laura Ingraham on Bill Maher’s show (from memory): “Damn that’s one mean bitch!”

  275. #275 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Let’s stay on message, guys.

    You’ve admitted that you’ll vote for just about anyone, as long as you can convince yourselves the other guy is worse.

    The Republicans are unacceptable, that’s a given Bill.

    In opposition we have Dems that are distinguished from the Republicans only by the extent that they need to be to please people like you.

    And so, as the right becomes more openly facist, the left continues to follow Democratic leaders in a slow march in the same direction – telling yourself all the way, “what were we supposed to do, we only had two candidates”.

    Here we are, watching the Democratic candidate say that he will, albeit unwillingly, support a bill that not only breaches our constitutional right to privacy but immunizes those that did it.

    Where does it stop? It’s not hard to imagine that next election terrorism will still be around and the right will be yelling for the ability to arrest anyone who undermines our war effort through speech. The Democrat will say, for national security concerns, that only certain speakers will be arrested. And your answer – That’s better, right? Vote for him. And on and on.

    Without some sort of absolute check, some line in the sand, your way of selecting leaders is broken.

  276. #276 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    And yet Obama gets over 90% of the black vote.

    Yes, but this how it works :
    it’s all about participation. The rethuglicans know they can’t get more than 10% black votes. So, here’s what they want to try to do : make sure the blacks don’t go to vote that much, less participation = less points for Obama, and because it’s a sizeable part of his electorate, and they are generally more religious (which Obama is not), guess what we’re going to hear for 4 months ?
    They don’t want to convince the blacks to vote for McCain, they want to try to keep as many as possible home.
    Look at Phaedrus, he’s going to stay home, as soon as they have a complaint, they miss the big picture, and they spin, and they don’t vote. Some people just are irrational.

  277. #277 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    [More proof that he's a stupid and intellectually asshole who keeps repeating his refuted "arguments"]

    Posted by: Phaedrus | June 26, 2008 7:32 PM

    Some people just are irrational.

    Indeed.

  278. #278 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Negentropyeater,

    spinned -> spun. Is there a metaphorical French equivalent? Fait tourner? :)

  279. #279 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    they want to try to keep as many as possible home

    By any means possible, legal or not — even totally corrupting the DoJ. Hey, those are the “Republican” tactics that Phaedrus champions. But the enthusiasm for Obama is so high — as polls repeatedly show — that they may fail this time. But GOTV is vital — fortunately the Obama campaign is particularly adept at that.

  280. #280 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    The Republicans are unacceptable, that’s a given Bill.

    And thus the moral course of action is to minimize the chance that they continue in power.

  281. #281 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Without some sort of absolute check, some line in the sand, your way of selecting leaders is broken.

    There is no absolute check, no line in the sand, that prevents someone from being selected. It’s a cretin’s argument, based on absurdly fallacious reasoning.

  282. #282 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    “There is no absolute check, no line in the sand, that prevents someone from being selected.”

    Exactly. What’s to stop everyone from writing in Kucinich? We could resume arguing over whether his health care plan goes far enough, or when Social Security will go broke. And we could resume voting for the lesser of two evils, because it really wouldn’t change the underlying moorings of our country.

    “Why? Why is that impossible? You’re so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshank’s table that you’ve missed your God given right to something better.”

  283. #283 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    And so, as the right becomes more openly facist, the left continues to follow Democratic leaders in a slow march in the same direction – telling yourself all the way, “what were we supposed to do, we only had two candidates”.

    and, if as happened in 2000, you vote a third party candidate “in protest”, and that has the effect of helping to elect the “openly fascist” party instead…

    how does THAT shift the window towards LESS fascism?

    your logic is simply flawed.

    I understand that at some point, you would like to see a third party influence that will help drive the other two parties, and that there is a kind of catch-22 in trying to support a 3 party system. However, the problem is, unless you get wholesale participation, support for a 3rd party candidate at this point is token at best, and damaging at worst.

    I’d like to be able to say that you would be better off waiting for a time when we aren’t so close to the brink of the “open fascism” you seem to detest so much before you put your energies into promoting a 3 party system. I just can’t guarantee we’re going to be in that place any time soon.

    ITMT, you can certainly go off and make your arguments for a 3rd party system…

    while casting your VOTE based on the current REALITY of a 2 party system.

  284. #284 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    your way of selecting leaders is broken.

    who’s way, now?

    this implies there actually is another way of selecting leaders in this country as a legitimate alternative.

    If you think that’s “writing in your name here”, this is either pure fantasy on your part, or you don’t live in this country.

  285. #285 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Exactly. What’s to stop everyone from writing in Kucinich?

    Fuck but you’re a moron, and perhaps the sort of person unable to pass the Sally-Anne test. The contingent history of the universe, including the states of the brains of U.S. citizens, is what’s to stop it, and none of us have the power to change that. What’s to stop you from walking outside, shouting “Hey, everybody, let’s stop all the violence and crime”, and having everyone listen to you, drop their weapons, stop beating their wives, stop stealing and cheating, stop running roughshod over the Constitution? Hey, it’s logically possible.

    Rational behavior is a matter of operating according to Bayesian probabilities determined by one’s current knowledge — it’s how scientists work. And then there are idiots like creationists, and like you.

  286. #286 SC
    June 26, 2008

    [anarchist] Anyone who thinks that the answer lies in a third, or fourth, or twentieth party or candidate is beyond deluded. Representative “democracy” is rotten to the core. Our best hope is to promote the configuration of this corrupt system that will best allow us to organize to overcome it.[/anarchist]

  287. #287 Rey Fox
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, he’s quoting Braveheart now, we better start listening.

    Seriously, you’re barking up the wrong tree here when it comes to “God-given rights”.

  288. #288 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    who’s way, now?

    this implies there actually is another way of selecting leaders in this country as a legitimate alternative.

    Phaedrus says he’s “working that out myself right now”, and yet has the gall to take on his airs of superiority (with “*applause*” yet) for his inaction.

    If you think that’s “writing in your name here”, this is either pure fantasy on your part

    His megalomaniac fantasy is that, if he writes in Kucinich’s name, that’s equivalent to “everyone … writing in Kucinich”. And he couples that with the most stupid and irrational of concepts when applied to empirical matters, the notion of possibility. It’s possible that there’s a God, it’s possible that God (or aliens) created life on this planets, it’s possible that the universe is only 10,000 years old, and it’s possible that everyone will write in Kucinich’s name. But as with all such possibility statements, they are completely and utterly irrelevant.

  289. #289 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    I knew I missed you Truth Machine.
    – “Hey, it’s logically possible.”
    I can’t stop laughing…

  290. #290 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    “Why? Why is that impossible? You’re so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshank’s table that you’ve missed your God given right to something better.”

    ah, I see the problem, you’re getting your logic from Hollywood movies.

    as TM noted, this guy’s logic reminds one remarkably of Jamie, and now I think I see why:

    they use the same source material.

    people say that watching movies and TV doesn’t impact adult decision-making, but I rather see than when given a choice with no reality-based information to go on, many adults will end up “intuitively” using something they saw in a movie or TV show as a basis to make decisions.

    Phaedrus needs to spend less time watching things on screens, and spending more time researching the ACTUAL political history of the US.

    for example, if he thinks there really are no substantive differences between the democratic and republican parties, I’d bet he has never bothered to look at the respective voting records of each party over the last 30 years.

    One can’t take a specific publicized incident (like the vote on the Iraq war), and apply that as a generality.

    The only thing the dems and reps have in common, is that there are ignorant representatives on both sides of the isle.

    that’s about as far as it goes, really.

  291. #291 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Btw, I don’t think he’s a messiah, just a very bright guy, and a good timing, with this mess, the level of inequalities, there should be some real change.

  292. #292 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    …for example, if one doesn’t want to spend weeks reviewing the entire public voting record, one can focus on a specific issue to see great historic differences.

    the League of Conservation Voters has a great history of the voting records of both parties wrt to environmental legislation for the last 30 years.

    http://lcv.org/scorecard/past-scorecards/

  293. #293 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, he’s quoting Braveheart now, we better start listening.

    He’s been treating fiction as fact all along — like the fiction that inaction “draws a line in the sand”.

    Seriously, you’re barking up the wrong tree here when it comes to “God-given rights”.

    He’s barking up the wrong tree anywhere. There is no “right” to desirable outcomes. One must make difficult and complex choices among actions. Phaedrus’s position is that, if the outcome is imperfect, those who acted are responsible for every negative aspect of the outcome, while those who did nothing are morally superior and have no such responsibility. And for this he gives himself applause and thanks. What an utter ass.

  294. #294 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    they use the same source material

    Good point. Hey, I know — let’s write in Jack Bauer for President and Braveheart for Vice President. “What’s to stop everyone from” doing that? Though some people might get it wrong and switch them. But we can take care of that by … by … well, hang on, I’m “working that out myself right now”.

  295. #295 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    , I know — let’s write in Jack Bauer for President and Braveheart for Vice President.

    Hey now! I think you’re on to something there!

    We just have to make sure it’s the fictional CHARACTERS that get the nod, and not the actors that portray them in movies/TV.

    we all know how voting for actors works out.

  296. #296 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    This is what you got from my post, Ich :

    “and, if as happened in 2000, you vote a third party candidate “in protest”, and that has the effect of helping to elect the “openly fascist” party instead…

    how does THAT shift the window towards LESS fascism?

    your logic is simply flawed.”

    Lets see… Kucinich is a… wait for it… wait for it….
    Democrat. So if the Democrats are the third party – what are the other two? Who’s logic are you critiquing?

    What standards do you guys use to vet a candidate

    – Fuck you! None!

    Electing progressively worse candidates simply because they have even worse opponents is a race to the bottom

    – Moron, it’s all we’ve got!

    Organizing to make sure our candidates adhere to some minimum standards

    – It will never work! You spell funny!

    You guys are a riot. It’s like arguing with children or the mentally handicapped with turrets.

  297. #297 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    I don’t think he’s a messiah

    I didn’t mean it literally, of course, I was offering a warning: “don’t fall into the idolatry trap”. One can see how people have already done that: some have turned on a dime in re the FISA bill as soon as Obama came out for it, jettisoning their previous criticisms. Inversely, others have, as Greenwald put it, treated Obama as the Devil Incarnate. One of the encouraging things that Obama has said is that he will disappoint — especially if we don’t seize this opportunity to create a movement. One excellent and important reason to vote for Obama is that having a Democrat in the White House will help enable the Democratic majorities in Congress to enact their agenda. I was no fan of Jimmy Carter, who was way too right wing for me, but it wasn’t until Reagan became president and we were fighting tooth and nail to hang on to every little gain we had made in the previous decades that I came to realize what a huge difference it made. Another reason, a rather ironic one as Greenwald pointed out, is that Obama is far more likely (to greatly understate it) than McCain to appoint SCOTUS justices who will overturn the FISA bill that Obama is going to vote for.

  298. #298 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    It’s like arguing with children or the mentally handicapped with turrets.

    Troll.

  299. #299 SC
    June 26, 2008

    We have turrets! We’re impregnable!

  300. #300 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    The problem is that Phaedrus still hasn’t understood that what he is suggesting is equivallent to doing nothing. He thinks his protest probably has similar effects as a prayer. You never know, sometimes, it works in mysterious ways, and something completely irealistic might happen, so if you’ve lost complete hope, you just put any name and pouffff, there you go, you got your dream president !

    ohoo ohoo Phaedrus, wake up, this is not a dream, this is the real world …

  301. #301 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, truth, walk me through how your way, voting for the lesser of two evils, makes things better in the long run?

  302. #302 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    He thinks his protest probably has similar effects as a prayer.

    God gives.

  303. #303 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, truth, walk me through how your way, voting for the lesser of two evils, makes things better in the long run?

    There’s a complex political process, of which voting is just one element, by which one can try, with no guarantees, to make things better, but I’m afraid it is beyond your comprehension.

    But it’s your thesis that you are morally superior, deserving of appause and thanks, for doing nothing, and that those who do make those choices that minimize the probability of undesirable outcomes have no standards, so the burden is on you to walk us through how doing nothing makes things better in the long run .. you intellectually dishonest troll.

  304. #304 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, truth, walk me through how your way, voting for the lesser of two evils, makes things better in the long run?

    See my comment @ #268.

  305. #305 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    Again, it’s Sophie’s Choice. No moral human being could commit one of their children to dying — except when there’s no alternative.

    Maybe even then: Don’t forget that Sophie ends up killing herself. But voting for Obama will feel like the polar opposite of choosing which child must die: I’ll feel like I’m doing something really good for my child, instead.

    It’s not idolatry &mdash FSM knows no politician is a messiah — but it’s not going to feel like a lesser-of-evils choice for me, either.

  306. #306 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    P.S. Only the most stupid of cretins needs to be walked through how putting the lesser of two evils into the White House is better in the long run than putting the greater of two evils into the White House … the sort of cretin who uses comparatives like “better” and “lesser” without any apparent sense of what they mean.

  307. #307 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. All show and then take a powder when someone calls your bluff. Punk.

  308. #308 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Maybe even then: Don’t forget that Sophie ends up killing herself.

    That didn’t free her of having to make the choice; nothing could free her of that.

    But voting for Obama will feel like the polar opposite of choosing which child must die

    Of course.

    It’s not idolatry

    It was just a warning. As I noted, many people are falling into that trap, even if you aren’t.

    but it’s not going to feel like a lesser-of-evils choice for me, either.

    Well, the very concept is corrupt at its core. As I’ve said, all choices involve weighing imperfect alternatives.

  309. #309 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. All show and then take a powder when someone calls your bluff. Punk.

    You’re a troll and an idiot, and you’ve done a fine job of making that clear to anyone reading your foolishness. You’re the one taking a powder, just as the IDiots do when challenged to provide their alternative theory. Once again:

    It’s your thesis that you are morally superior, deserving of appause and thanks, for doing nothing, and that those who do make those choices that minimize the probability of undesirable outcomes have no standards, so the burden is on you to walk us through how doing nothing makes things better in the long run …

  310. #310 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    BTW the timing of an Israel Iran conflict is becoming more and more certain, before November seems inevitable.

    And that is unfortunately an issue that is going to influence this election much more than this fourth amendment one.

    And what’s with this national emergency clause when the president gets to stay longer in office ?

  311. #311 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Lets see… Kucinich is a… wait for it… wait for it….
    Democrat. So if the Democrats are the third party – what are the other two? Who’s logic are you critiquing?

    the democratic nominee was already decided. Anything you choose to “write in” is essentially a 3rd party candidate, regardless of the label applied. You had your chance to vote in the primaries, if you lost, it means you didn’t work hard enough for your candidate. I’ll let Kucinich know it was your fault he didn’t get the nomination.

    Hey, truth, walk me through how your way, voting for the lesser of two evils, makes things better in the long run?

    Tell me how I can’t apply the exact same logic to a write-in candidate.

    Or have you decided your write-in candidate is faultless?

    pathetic.

  312. #312 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    The remarkable thing about Phaedrus is that he’s so stupid that he can’t even grasp that a straightforward answer has been given to him:

    “Only the most stupid of cretins needs to be walked through how putting the lesser of two evils into the White House is better in the long run than putting the greater of two evils into the White House”

    And yet he still demands to be walked through how less evil is better! ROTFLMAO!!

  313. #313 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    We have turrets! We’re impregnable!

    Please tell me the pots of boiling oil are ready?

  314. #314 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    And what’s with this national emergency clause when the president gets to stay longer in office ?

    http://www.concordbridge.net/NSPD-51.htm

  315. #315 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Hey Ichthyic, did you notice how the troll totally changed the subject with “Who’s logic are you critiquing?” Of course, you were critiquing his, but he completely dodged that (“take a powder” indeed) by seizing on “third party” — as if he had never heard of Joe Lieberman. Though perhaps he hasn’t, given that he has to be walked through how LESS EVIL is BETTER!

  316. #316 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Please tell me the pots of boiling oil are ready?

    Can we have a moat, too? I’ve always wanted a moat!

  317. #317 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Well, you’re wrong again, truth, but at least I have something to work with this time.

    “It’s your thesis that you are morally superior, deserving of appause and thanks, for doing nothing,”

    Not sure why you stick with this. When have I advocated doing nothing? As for applause and thanks, they were throw away lines, obvious as a joke to anyone but a stunted personality. Morally superior? Be your own judge. You are supporting a person who has agreed to disregard our constitution – you have rationalizations for this – but in the end you’ve said that there really isn’t anything you wouldn’t support given the opportunity. Where’s the morality in that?

    “and that those who do make those choices that minimize the probability of undesirable outcomes have no standards”

    I’ve asked repeatedly for you to give some sort of minimum standards a candidate needs to have and you have been very honest – you have none.

    “so the burden is on you to walk us through how doing nothing makes things better in the long run …”

    Again with the doing nothing. Go back on this thread. Read. Take your time. It will help you get things right.

    Ok, now, try and be truthful – how is voting for the lesser of two evils, without exception, not encouraging a walk to the bottom (exactly what is happening).

  318. #318 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Hey Ichthyic, did you notice how the troll totally changed the subject with “Who’s logic are you critiquing?”

    trolls often have the texture of wet watermelon seeds.

    Though perhaps he hasn’t, given that he has to be walked through how LESS EVIL is BETTER!

    What still boggles my mind, is that he can’t see that choosing Kucinich as a write-in candidate is using the exact same logic, in the end.

    since there are no faultless politicians (or people, for that matter), by extension any person chosen is chosen on essentially the basis of “the lesser of two evils”.

    it starts to sound like a glass half full/empty argument.

    I could just as easily turn it around and say both candidates are fantastic, with minor flaws, but Obama is better.

    I’m just failing to see how what Phaedrus is proposing is some inherently different logic, or proposing some not yet existing, but needed, process.

    Like I said, we already have a system in place to vote for representatives from each party, that Kucinich didn’t make it through the primaries is no different than Hillary not making it through, or Edwards, etc.

    That’s why I assumed what he was talking about was pushing for a 3rd party system, regardless of the label placed on the candidate chosen to represent it.

    His response to me suggests he is talking out of both his face and ass at the same time.

    IOW, I have to conclude that you’re right:
    He’s just trolling and has no real point to make.

    what a waste of time.

    good thing I had a couple of hours to kill.

  319. #319 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    he has to be walked through how LESS EVIL is BETTER!

    I do have to thank the troll for finally boiling down his position to its basics. You see, those who think that less evil is better have no standards, whereas someone like the troll, who denies it, deserves “*applause*” and thanks. By denying that less evil is better, he creates “some sort of absolute check, some line in the sand”. An absolute check against relativity! Sand, blowing in the wind …

  320. #320 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Can we have a moat, too? I’ve always wanted a moat!

    Of course!

    where else would we put the mutant man-eating squid, and the sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads?

  321. #321 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    I’ve asked repeatedly for you to give some sort of minimum standards a candidate needs to have and you have been very honest – you have none.

    …and he’s repeatedly answered you, so you must be blind. Are you using some sort of faulty screen interpretation program?

  322. #322 SC
    June 26, 2008

    When have I advocated doing nothing?

    What positive course of action have you advocated, and how is it advanced by not voting?

  323. #323 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Ok, now, try and be truthful – how is voting for the lesser of two evils, without exception, not encouraging a walk to the bottom (exactly what is happening).

    Ah yes, choosing the better of two options encourages a walk to the bottom.

    Brainless dipshit. This selectivity is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty.

    He’s just trolling and has no real point to make.

    He has points to make but they are all wrong, and irrationally and dishonestly argued.

    what a waste of time.

    ’tis true, but not the first time, nor the last.

  324. #324 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, Ich, I’ve been quite clear that I have no problem with choosing the lesser of two evils MOST of the time.

    I just have a basement. Don’t fuck with the constitution. Do that and you don’t get my support, even if the other guy bites heads off of puppies.

    Now, are you guys being intentionally dishonest? Nice to knock down straw men, but give my real arguments a shot and see how it works.

    While you’re at it, defend your own – how does unswerving lesser of two evils stop from hitting the bottom?

  325. #325 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    What positive course of action have you advocated, and how is it advanced by not voting?

    He hasn’t exactly been clear about it, but his latest response to me suggested he wanted to vote for Kucinich as a write-in candidate.

    In essence, it IS doing nothing (didn’t he vote in the primaries?), but technically, it is something… I guess.

  326. #326 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Hey, Ich, I’ve been quite clear that I have no problem with choosing the lesser of two evils MOST of the time.

    then you have no problem with the logic, only the application at any given point in time?

    *shakes head*

    watermelon seed.

  327. #327 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    “”I’ve asked repeatedly for you to give some sort of minimum standards a candidate needs to have and you have been very honest – you have none.””

    “…and he’s repeatedly answered you, so you must be blind. Are you using some sort of faulty screen interpretation program?”

    He dodged and dodged and finally said he had none. Are we reading the same thread? Not trying to be silly, but give the number of the post where he has named even one disqualification for office.

  328. #328 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    …and he’s repeatedly answered you, so you must be blind.

    Well, he did say that I answered, even though he is incapable of comprehending the answer. Indeed, I have no absolute standards that prevent me picking the lesser of two values when I’m trying to minimize the chosen value. Indeed, I admit that. And conversely, although the dishonest troll never entertains it,
    I have no absolute standards that prevent me picking the greater of two values when I’m trying to maximize the chosen value. I ADMIT it. Oh the shame.

  329. #329 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    When have I advocated doing nothing?

    Since your very first post, and in each following one.

    Since you suggested voting for a third party candidate when it’s obvious to anybody who has a functioning brain that this is equivallent, in this election (hey this election, not in the next one or in a century, this election ok ?) to letting others decide for him.

    You didn’t answer my question earlier on, have you ever voted in a presidential election before ?

  330. #330 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    I just have a basement. Don’t fuck with the constitution.

    uh huh.

    Now, you’re *sure* you want to write in Kucinich’s name?

    He voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Dennis_Kucinich

    “Don’t Tread on Me!”

    ROFLMAO

    oops, your basement is flooded.

    better call a plumber.

  331. #331 SC
    June 26, 2008

    I just have a basement. Don’t fuck with the constitution.

    Well, your “basement” is idiotic. The US constitution was progressive 200 years ago. Now it’s an anachronism (google “world constitutions” for a comparative vision; see also the Ninth Amendment). If you’re not fighting for human rights, you’re part of the problem. Step off, grandpa.

  332. #332 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    To SC :
    “What positive course of action have you advocated, and how is it advanced by not voting?”

    I’ve floated a few, but I admitted early on that I don’t have the answer yet. I’m pointing out that your guys logic of always voting for the lesser of two evils is not a recipe for success and so far has lead to a race to the bottom.

  333. #333 cicely
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus:

    Yes, you can write in any candidate you want, and so can I, and so can everybody else, but unless enough millions of other registered voters agree that your idea of the perfect, flawless candidate is the same as their idea of the perfect, flawless candidate, and actually turn out to write him/her in, it just ain’t gonna matter.

    I wish there were an option to vote “throw ‘em all back and try again; none of these are any good”, but that wouldn’t work in real life, either. We’d never make our way through the process and actually elect anybody, regardless of their relative degrees of moral turpitude.

  334. #334 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    He dodged and dodged

    You’re a liar, as is apparent to all. Why would I dodge not being the sort of cretin you are? I have been clear and consistent from my very first responses to you. As I said in #201,

    As has been explained, you incredibly dense cretin, it’s an action that shifts the probability between two different possible outcomes — McCain as president or Obama as president. Dead kittens or dead children — it’s a moral choice, and abdication is not an option, no matter how much it might appeal to moral cowards like you. Not to mention the fact that “dead kittens” is a radically dishonest overstatement, compared to the real numerous dead children and dead pregnant women that a McCain presidency is likely to result in.

    So, your a liar, an asshole, a troll, a cretin, a despicable piece of shit.

  335. #335 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Indeed, I have no absolute standards that prevent

    which he misinterpreted as “none” and “no answer”.

    like I said… waste of time.

    He doesn’t even know his own choice of candidate, the history of US politics, why constitutional amendments are sometimes a GOOD thing (and no, I don’t mean the ridiculous “flag burning” ones, or the “marriage” ones), or the difference between the voting records of democrats and republicans for the last 40 years.

    waste – of – time.

    dump the boiling oil and have done with it.

  336. #336 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    I’m pointing out that your guys logic of always voting for the lesser of two evils

    …is absolutely NO different than your own, IDIOT.

  337. #337 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    Are you guys really as dishonest as you seem?

    You create straw men from my arguments and congratulate yourselves on how clever you are for killing them. When I show them for what they are you quickly switch arguments.

    You like math, truth? I’m not so good, but I can see that, if the worst candidate can be mapped by a descending line, your logic simply creates a similar line with slightly less slope. Is that what you’re shooting for, or does it ever come up?

  338. #338 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Not trying to be silly,

    For some, it’s effortless.

  339. #339 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    it just ain’t gonna matter.

    In the best-case scenario, you mean.

    at worst, it takes votes away from whoever the representatives are that are actually electable.

    see re: Nader, 2000.
    arguable, but the point is obvious.

    so, bottom line, the effort is at best token, and at worst, damaging.

  340. #340 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Are you guys really as dishonest as you seem?

    have you ever heard the term: Projection?

  341. #341 SC
    June 26, 2008

    I’m still waiting for you to respond to my post @ #268.

  342. #342 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    I just have a basement. Don’t fuck with the constitution.

    You mean you don’t fuck with the constitution in your basement ?
    Why do you worry so much about the constitution, and not worry more about deciding rationally who you are going to vote for ?

  343. #343 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    “What positive course of action have you advocated, and how is it advanced by not voting?”

    I’ve floated a few, but I admitted early on that I don’t have the answer yet.

    In other words, you’re a liar. You floated nothing that distinguishes you from those who would vote, and nothing that is advanced by not voting.

    I’m pointing out that your guys logic of always voting for the lesser of two evils is not a recipe for success and so far has lead to a race to the bottom.

    That wasn’t the question, you idiot troll. And you can “point” all you want, but you have no argument, no logic; inaction, failing to vote, does nothing to change the course — a course that most certainly is not a consequence of picking the best among options. Your concept of cause and effect is mindbogglingly stupid — George Bush did not get into office because people chose the lesser of two evils, he got into office because a lot of people made bad choices — worse choices than they could have.

    Idiot.

  344. #344 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    This is like arguing with Creationists or Republicans. I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the dishonest crap that you guys are spewing. You twist, mis-represent and lie as easily as you breath.

  345. #345 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    This is like arguing with Creationists or Republicans.

    again with the projection.

  346. #346 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    This is like arguing with Creationists or Republicans.

    Ah, right, so everyone here is like a creationist or Republican except you.

    I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the dishonest crap that you guys are spewing. You twist, mis-represent and lie as easily as you breath.

    Fucking troll.

  347. #347 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    I’m not so good

    You finally said something true.

    but I can see that, if the worst candidate can be mapped by a descending line, your logic simply creates a similar line with slightly less slope.

    ROTFLMAO! You’re a lot worse than “not so good”.

  348. #348 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    I want to know just how much deeper he will dig his basement to keep from flooding his house.

    Is he still planning on writing in Kucinich, now that he has been shown that Kucinich has attempted to “fuck with the constitution”?

    or will he conclude that writing in Kucinich is voting for the lesser of two weevils?

    tick tock.

    meanwhile, his basement is still flooding.

  349. #349 cicely
    June 26, 2008

    Ichthyic, let me clarify. When I said “it just ain’t gonna matter”, meant in terms of actually getting Phaedrus’ (or anyone else’s) off-menu choice elected. Further up the thread, I mentioned that, in my opinion, voting for a non-viable candidate just to “send a message” is very much like telling the majority who do make their choice from the candidates presented, to pick for you. And that in this case, this election, that would be a huge mistake.

    Less-bad may not be good, but at least it isn’t worse.

    (I’ve got to call it a night; I can feel coherency slipping away. If I need to fine-tune some more, I’ll deal with it tomorrow. :) But I hate to guess how many responses there’ll be in this thread by tomorrow morning!)

  350. #350 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    I’m going to take a sec, drink a glass of wine, settle down.

    I can see you guys feel strongly about this :) I’ll try one last time to reach you, and listen to what you have to say.

    Do you guys not see how a “lesser of two evils always” can lead to a never ending spiral downward?

    If not, my time has been wasted.

    If so, what is your solution for it?

    I think having some set of criteria (we don’t need to define them right now) without which a candidate doesn’t get our support.

    Is there absolutely nothing worth doing other than voting for one of the two candidates? I’m not sure I agree, but, like I said – I’m working it out myself.

  351. #351 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Still waiting.

  352. #352 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Do you guys not see how a “lesser of two evils always” can lead to a never ending spiral downward?

    can you see how this is both a matter of perspective, exactly what you are doing, AND irrelevant, all at the same time?

    If not, my time has been wasted.

    everybody’s time was wasted.

    good thing we had the time to waste.

    don’t forget to call a plumber after you finish your wine.

    Is there absolutely nothing worth doing other than voting for one of the two candidates?

    push for a 3 party system?

    make sure you spend more time stumping for your preferred candidates in the primaries?

    either of which is of course only useful BEFORE the general election, get it?

  353. #353 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus,

    do you agree that in THIS election (not the next one, or in 8 years, but THIS election), voting for any person other than Obama or McCain is equivallent to letting others decide who is going to be the next president.

    Please can you answer this question by YES or NO ????

  354. #354 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Ichthyic, let me clarify

    noted.

    I missed your up-thread post.

  355. #355 Ragutis
    June 26, 2008

    And while you sit home, powerless, washing your hands of responsibility for the actions your vote enabled, true Americans will be thinking, working and building an country firmly on a constitutional foundation.

    *applause*

    Thanks you… thank you.

    Posted by: Phaedrus | June 26, 2008 5:41 PM

    I see the problem… Phaedrus is under the impression that he’s the avatar/incarnation of Patrick Henry.

    Do we risk a McCain presidency. I say YES.

    Phaedrus, You seem well-meaning in an unreasonable, illogical, impotent, libertarian kind of way, so I’ll do you a kindness and point out that allowing or contributing to a McCain win will make your stated goals exponentially more difficult to realize. You might want to call that principled, but most would say counterproductive is a better description.

  356. #356 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus, You seem well-meaning in an unreasonable, illogical, impotent, libertarian kind of way

    LOL

    I think someone was looking for phrasing to apply “Lenski” to as a descriptor.

    THAT would qualify as a “Lenski”, IMO.

  357. #357 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    ROTFLMAO! You’re a lot worse than “not so good”.

    Let me elaborate. If the math worked the way you think (Or “can see” — arrogant git) it does, then always picking the “lesser evil” would lead to the least … evil! No way would it get to the worst candidate!

    But the math doesn’t work the way you “can see”. Perhaps, instead of going with what your cloudy vision, you should run a simulation. Produce pairs of numbers, always picking the lesser of the two, and see where your line goes.

    Since you won’t do that, I’ll clue you in: what matters is the relationship between the successive pairs of numbers, not between the numbers in the pair. The trend you imagine is entirely fictional.

    Here’s the thing, Phaedrus: you’re really a quite stupid person. You sort of know it — “I’m not so good” — but you’re too dim to appreciate your own dimness. And you possess that really nasty combo found in creationists and right wingers: stupidity coupled with immense arrogance. So, when everyone else is telling you, and demonstrating to you, that you’re wrong, it’s not a possibility you are able to consider … rather, it is they who are all creationists and Republicans, even though that’s a prima facie absurdity.

    But, since you are so dim and so arrogant, no argument, none, will ever penetrate your thick skull.

  358. #358 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Yes, Ragutis, you have lenskied in the finest, most admirable Lenski tradition. Sincere and well done.

  359. #359 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Do you guys not see how a “lesser of two evils always” can lead to a never ending spiral downward?

    Ah, ever downward, to less …

    evil.

    See what a stupid stupid stupid person you are?

    But in fact there is no such spiral, because such a spiral depends on the relationship between successive outcomes, not between the choices that determined each outcome.

    If not, my time has been wasted.

    Indeed it has been. You have nothing to offer. I suggest that you take appropriate steps.

  360. #360 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    This is a thread to be remembered, in which we were instructed that not only isn’t less evil better, but that spiralling downward, ever choosing less evil, leads to the worst outcomes. Oh, and that we’re all creationists and Republicans.

    I think we should nominate Phaedrus for a Molly.

  361. #361 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    but you’re too dim to appreciate your own dimness

    I’m beginning to think that’s the average American, including our current CiC.

    Often (but not necessarily) too dim to appreciate their own ignorance, but the real problem being that apparently most are deliberately encouraged NOT to appreciate their own ignorance, and instead proceed apace from something they like to call “intuition”.

    Which is why creationism still flourishes, and why GW was elected… twice.

    I mean, compare:

    Clinton was just smart enough to recognize his own limitations and conclude he should surround himself with policy wonks.

    GW is not only too dim to realize his own ignorance, but surrounds himself (and was likely surrounded growing up) with those who intentionally encourage him not to do anything about it.

    It’s tangential, but it’s a trend that’s at the core of my concerns for the future of the US. My conclusion being it’s simply too late to change the trend.

  362. #362 Pierce R. Butler
    June 26, 2008

    truth machine at # 197: Uh oh … It’s true! It’s true!

    Your faith in the reportage of Time is touching.

    I thought you were trying to be one of the hard-asses around here?

  363. #363 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    listen to what you have to say

    That would certainly be novel.

    Is there absolutely nothing worth doing other than voting for one of the two candidates?

    Calling you a quite stupid person is too complimentary. There are many many things worth doing in addition to voting for one of the two candidates. Rather than “working it out myself” — which makes you dependent on one of the stupidest people on the planet — I suggest that you get politically involved. There are many activist organizations out there making a difference.

  364. #364 negentropyeater
    June 26, 2008

    My conclusion being it’s simply too late to change the trend.

    Nonsense. When people are deeply hurt, they’re forced to react. When they can’t rationalize inequalities anymore, they revolt.
    I think most people just don’t realize yet how deep this recession is going to be, what the real causes are, and what the consequences will be.

  365. #365 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Your faith in the reportage of Time is touching.

    It’s a photo, moron.

  366. #366 Bill Dauphin
    June 26, 2008

    And now for something completely different (but, sadly, not a man with three buttocks!):

    In german we capitalize all Nouns, but never Adjectives (unless they form part of a proper Name, like “the Black Sea”) or anything else, unless of Course it’s at the Start of a Sentence.

    My day job is editing and publishing technical books (mostly proposals) for an aerospace company. The engineers I work with have a habit of capitalizing words denoting Parts, Pieces, Components, Tools, and other Hardware, along with Words That Appear in Acronyms (WTAA) and the occasional Really Important Term. My constant joke is that if I could only convince the company we should publish everything in German, I wouldn’t have to spend nearly so much time lowercasing stuff!

  367. #367 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    it’s a trend that’s at the core of my concerns for the future of the US.

    Kind of a “downward spiral”?

    I think most people just don’t realize yet how deep this recession is going to be, what the real causes are, and what the consequences will be.

    There’s a reason for that, and it’s spelled “corporate media”. The web has made a big difference, and it’s important to preserve network neutrality — which Obama vocally supports. To quote the troll: “decide what issues really matter to you, find and support candidates that at least promise to fulfill them”.

  368. #368 SC
    June 26, 2008

    Bill Dauphin,

    What’s your opinion of this?:

    http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/texts/twain.german.html

  369. #369 Phaedrus
    June 26, 2008

    *sigh*

    pearls before swine, pearls before swine. Well, you guys have the America you’ve worked for… I’ll log off now and work towards some real change.

  370. #370 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    Kind of a “downward spiral”?

    heh.

    “My heroes have always been cowboys.”

    seems to kind of summarize the US IMO.

  371. #371 Ichthyic
    June 26, 2008

    I’ll log off now and work towards some real change.

    yes, go pump that water out of your basement.

  372. #372 truth machine
    June 26, 2008

    Phaedrus, You seem well-meaning in an unreasonable, illogical, impotent, libertarian kind of way

    Kind of in a Ron Paul way, considering his simplistic “don’t fuck with the constitution”. We just had Scalia tell us that DC can’t save lives — having previously told us that saving lives justifies holding people indefinitely — by banning handguns because the 2nd amendment implies a right of individuals to own “arms” … while weaseling all over the place about just what sort of arms those are — certainly not the sort available in 1789. Obama disagrees with that decision — some people think his views on the 2nd amendment “fuck with the constitution”. OTOH, the court also told us that the death penalty cannot be extended to non-homicide cases — something Obama also disagreed with. Is Obama’s interpretation of the 8th amendment fucking with the Constitution, or is court’s? Personally, while I oppose all capital punishment, I tend to agree with Obama’s view on the law — the court’s argument from the 8th amendment is arbitrary: capital punishment either is cruel and unusual or it isn’t; there’s nothing in the constitution supporting its application to homicide but not child rape (and the constitution explicitly allows the death penalty for treason).

    I don’t think that the issues are so ambiguous with the FISA bill, but unlike the troll I’m not so foolish as to take such single-issue stands when I can name many many issues on which I do agree with Obama, and many many many reasons why I would rather see him in the White House than McCain. And if I were going for fantasies, there are a lot of people I would prefer in the White House than Kucinich — Dodd, Feingold, Boxer, Jim Hightower, Arundhati Roy …

  373. #373 truth machine
    June 27, 2008

    pearls before swine

    Asshole.

    you guys have the America you’ve worked for..

    Asshole.

    I’ll log off now

    Taking another powder. Phaedrus has dodged considerably more questions and more arguments than your average troll.

  374. #374 Ragutis
    June 27, 2008

    Phaedrus, what’s the problem with this idea:

    Vote for Obama (Pres) and other Dems to stop/slow the rapid downhill slide our nation is in and then, starting Jan. 2009, you and your fellow Patriots bombard the White House and Congress with phone calls/letters/emails stating “Now that we put you in, if you feel like keeping the job THIS is what we expect of you…”

    Seriously… look at the two parties and their candidates. Which do you really think will be more responsive to the voice of the people? Taking your path, the nation is sure to suffer further. That might feed your righteousness, but it won’t help the citizens of this nation or it’s reputation any.

  375. #375 Ichthyic
    June 27, 2008

    And if I were going for fantasies, there are a lot of people I would prefer in the White House than Kucinich — Dodd, Feingold, Boxer, Jim Hightower, Arundhati Roy …

    have we already abandoned the plan to elect Jack Bauer?

    damn, I rather liked that one.

  376. #376 truth machine
    June 27, 2008

    have we already abandoned the plan to elect Jack Bauer?

    Dunno about “we”, but as for me … see my comments about him on the torture thread.

  377. #377 Ichthyic
    June 27, 2008

    see my comments about him on the torture thread.

    that thread itself was torture.

  378. #378 truth machine
    June 27, 2008

    that thread itself was torture.

    Indeed. :-) Nonetheless I just revisited it to find my comment:

    Jack Bauer is a fictional vigilante thug with superhuman powers. I have no expectation that such a person can “recognize appropriately” anything, nor would “stand ready to accept the consequences”, and I don’t want anyone like that in the position where he can torture anyone. Really, you people watch too much TV and know too little about the real world.

  379. #379 Ichthyic
    June 27, 2008

    Really, you people watch too much TV and know too little about the real world.

    …but nominating Bauer would be perfect irony.

    oh well.

    maybe next time.

    ITMT, I’m wagering we haven’t heard the last of Phaedy in this thread.

    takers?

  380. #380 Bill Dauphin
    June 27, 2008

    SC (@368):

    It’s been far too long since I first read that essay, and it’s far too late to reread it tonight, but I recall loving it. I’d be curious to know what a native German speaker thinks of it (I only studied German in high school, and that was far too long ago, too).

    As an aside, I live near Hartford, CT, where Twain lived during many of his most productive years. If you’re ever here, don’t fail to visit the Mark Twain House (which is currently in need of donations, BTW).

  381. #381 SC
    June 27, 2008

    Bill Dauphin @ #380,

    My ancestors were among the city’s founders. And the Mark Twain House was the destination of countless field trips – I have the floorplan in my head. I know a fundraiser there, and I agree that people should donate. What a beautiful area! (Of course, the Atheneum is also worthy of donations. GREAT museum.) Too bad Hartford’s going all to hell. Fortunately, Willimantic’s on an uphill swing…:)

  382. #382 Bill Dauphin
    June 27, 2008

    SC:

    So we’re apparently neighbors. Is Willimantic doing Third Thursdays again this summer? I remember watching Ned Lamont sing “Imagine” there one night in the summer of 2006… very cool.

    Any other CT Pharynguloids? Perhaps we should have a meetup?

  383. #383 David Marjanovi?, OM
    June 27, 2008

    I ask you again, do you have any standards?

    Fiat iustitia, et pereat mundus.

    Concern troll.

    Do we risk a McCain presidency. I say YES.

    So your standard you keep talking about is “we must never ever do anything lukewarm, so if we are already in danger of losing part of the Constitution, we must make sure we lose all of it, and kill people in the process”?

    You are a dangerous madman.

    I’d be curious to know what a native German speaker thinks of it

    Pretty funny, but it contains a few mistakes. Most notably, Mark Twain treated the cases as if his mother tongue were Chinese rather than English — English has cases, they just look the same most of the time.

    There are no separate Rules for Headlines in german.

    Fixed.

    And so, as the right becomes more openly facist, the left continues to follow Democratic leaders in a slow march in the same direction – telling yourself all the way, “what were we supposed to do, we only had two candidates”.

    And you really believe not voting at all will change anything about this? If the Democrats get enough votes, they might start thinking that they don’t need to go any farther right, don’t you think?

    Without some sort of absolute check, some line in the sand, your way of selecting leaders is broken.

    What is broken is the Constitution. The Electoral College has outlived it feasibility, and the lack of separation of president and government, which has created and upholds the two-party system, never was a good idea to begin with. As long as you don’t fix that, you will never have a serious third party. The best you could hope for is the drastic collapse of one of the big parties so that another one replaces it in a single election, sort of how the Liberal Democrats got replaced by Labour in the UK, only still more drastic.

    And what’s also broken is the lack of public financing for political campaigns. I notice that nobody has pulled the trivial retort out and asked you why you don’t run for president yourself if you aren’t content with either of the two serious candidates — that’s because everyone knows you’d need to be a multimillionaire to do that in the USA.

    Hey, truth, walk me through how your way, voting for the lesser of two evils, makes things better in the long run?

    Walk me through how your way, not voting at all, does not make things worse in the long, medium, and short run?

    I’m beginning to think that’s the average American, including our current CiC.

    Often (but not necessarily) too dim to appreciate their own ignorance, but the real problem being that apparently most are deliberately encouraged NOT to appreciate their own ignorance, and instead proceed apace from something they like to call “intuition”.

    Which is why creationism still flourishes, and why GW was elected… twice.

    Don’t be that pessimistic. The crazification factor is only 27 %, Fearless Flightsuit’s approval rating is now below that (25 % last time I checked), and Captain Unelected was not elected twice — perhaps once, but I have yet to see evidence that that’s the case.

    Rather than “working it out myself” — which makes you dependent on one of the stupidest people on the planet –

    LOL! The high art of rhetoric! I’m not being sarcastic. This is why people gave you a Molly.

  384. #384 SC
    June 27, 2008

    Bill Dauphin,

    I’m in Boston, but visit CT from time to time. A meetup would be fun. I’m not sure if there are any others; in any case, we could meet up and bring our family/friends :). I’ll be sure to let you know on here next time I’m headed your way.

  385. #385 negentropyeater
    June 27, 2008

    David #262,

    He alone may be stupid enough, but without support from the rest of his gang he can’t do it.

    Read my post #104, and tell me in your opinion, how an Israel attack on Iran could be stopped into degenerating into an American intervention ? Do you think Iran would not react ? With the election going on, how would the gang not support Bush, when it would be in McCain’s advantage ? And would the dems try to stop it ?

  386. #386 windy
    June 27, 2008

    We just have to make sure it’s the fictional CHARACTERS that get the nod, and not the actors that portray them in movies/TV.

    Donald Duck usually wins the “rejected” vote in elections in Finland. See, we have principled voters too!

  387. #387 Nick Gotts
    June 27, 2008

    I think there are pro and cons of using a real name. I’ve been tempted by changing to my real name, but somehow, I enjoy the privacy.
    I’m not certain if that really indicates a higher level of insecurity or simply less willingness to expose oneself, not because of fear, but because it tends to change the nature of the conversations.
    – negentropyeater

    A good point. My apologies to all non-real-name-users.

  388. #388 Kseniya
    June 27, 2008

    [Tangentially on-topic]

    More power to all the full-namers out there, but FWIW:

    Not quite three years ago, someone copied some pictures of me off my Yahoo profile and used them, along with my real name, for illegal purposes on an off-shore website. That was unpleasant, but it could have been worse. I’ve had a couple of friends stalked via Internet. A couple of times, it spilled over into 3D. That was not cool. One particular stalker was insidiously clever, and relentless in his, umm, attentions. There were phone calls. Threats made to relatives. Disturbing emails were sent to under-age teenage girls. Pictures of those girls were posted on unsavory public websites.

    I’ve escaped the worst (so far) but seeing the effects up-close, even as an ostensibly uninvolved and unaffected third party, was enough to make me hesitant about disclosing too much identifying information, even to friendlies, because I’ve seen how easy it is for a clever con to finesse certain details out of a good-natured and trusting person. I have a full and busy life offline, and have never felt the need to expand my internet footprint on MySpace, Facebook, or with my own blog. I’m happier being a quasi-anonymous webtourist. YMMV.

    People do “hide” behind partial names or pseudonyms, and sometimes abuse that anonymity, but for the most part, I think people make that very personal choice for justifiable reasons. There’s a fine line between cowardice and prudence… I’m a trusting person by nature, but I’ve learned that it’s a big, big internet out there, and there are far more people looking on in silence than we can even begin to count.

  389. #389 Ichthyic
    June 27, 2008

    A good point. My apologies to all non-real-name-users.

    Nick-

    did you catch the thread where the issues of using pseudonyms was discussed a while back?

    there were some great points made in that thread.

    ah, here ’tis:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/pseudonymity_anonymity.php

  390. #390 Nick Gotts
    June 27, 2008

    Thanks Ichthyic – I’ll take a look. But frankly I was just pissed off with truth machine and took an ill-advised swipe at him/her.

  391. #391 truth machine
    June 27, 2008

    But frankly I was just pissed off with truth machine

    For which you were well justified. But your “Let me guess – you’re a journalist on Fox News or The Daily Mail” really was rather silly and weak; it’s a bit like saying to a right wing troll “Let me guess – you’re a member of the Bush administration”.

    As for pseudonyms — after decades on the internet using my own name, I adopted one as a consequence of a) receiving a death threat and b) having some whackjob contact my employer trying to get me fired. “Hiding behind” a pseudonym is a dumb charge when many people have legitimate reasons to hide their real world identities, and suggests a general cluelessness about internet culture. It’s also rather smug and self-serving — not unlike Phaedrus and his bogus claims of having superior principles and standards. As for “a puffed-up, self-aggrandising handle, indicative of severe insecurity”, you’re just blathering. My handle is about a) my putting a high value on truth and b) my being rather left-brained and analytical. It actually represents a commitment, one that I admittedly don’t always achieve, and acts as a constraint: I actually do feel an obligation to tell the truth that I might not if I weren’t declaring myself as a truth teller, and it gives others a basis for calling me a hypocrite or poser when I don’t. Thus, it also pushes me to admit an error when it is pointed out, much as we all have a natural disinclination to do so.

    “and anyone who glances at your contributions can tell you are suffering from some fairly serious psychopathology”

    Ah, nice to meet you, Dr. Frist. Seriously, you can’t tell that. Quite a few people who have read volumes of my post, rather than just glancing, have noted that their initial impressions were mistaken. Often these impressions are due to their own psychopathological responses to certain emotional triggers I employ, like, say, “fuck you, you stupid piece of shit”. They might get more clued in if they would pay more attention to the “machine” part of my moniker, and realize that even a mechanical process with no psyche at all can produce such sequences of letters, as a result of some goal-directed process. The mere output does not provide grounds for the sort of inference you made.

  392. #392 truth machine
    June 27, 2008

    I just ran across this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/urgent_call_louisiana_their_sc.php#comment-939115

    in which Kseniya appropriately asks of Phaedrus “Please explain how asking is less useful than not asking.” … anyone notice a pattern?

  393. #393 David Marjanovi?, OM
    June 27, 2008

    tell me in your opinion, how an Israel attack on Iran could be stopped into degenerating into an American intervention ?

    So you think Israel can attack Iran without being allowed to? That’s not how the Lebanon war worked…

  394. #394 truth machine
    June 27, 2008

    So you think Israel can attack Iran without being allowed to?

    Your original comment was

    I can easily believe that Fearless Flightsuit is stupid enough to do that… but he can’t do it on his own, can he?

    but I’m at a loss as to your point … there’s considerable evidence that plans are well underway, with the involvement of both Israel and the U.S. military, for air strikes on Iran before Bush leaves office; according to Daniel Pipes, this is particularly likely if the Democrat wins in November. People seem to think that Bush needs Congressional approval, but such needs only apply when legal restrictions are translated into real world restrictions, but that connection has been dispensed with. The Bush administration has demonstrated that they can break the law with impunity, and not even impeachment — which at most results in removal from office — would be effective at such a late date. Criminal charges could be brought, but they would almost certainly fail … and Gerald Ford set the precedent of pardons prior to indictment (in fact, he pardoned Nixon even for future crimes), and Bush is arrogant enough to think that he can pardon himself and get away with it — and with the aid of his appointments to the SCOTUS, he might well do so.

  395. #395 Nick Gotts
    June 28, 2008

    Quite a few people who have read volumes of my post, rather than just glancing, have noted that their initial impressions were mistaken. Often these impressions are due to their own psychopathological responses to certain emotional triggers I employ, like, say, “fuck you, you stupid piece of shit”. They might get more clued in if they would pay more attention to the “machine” part of my moniker, and realize that even a mechanical process with no psyche at all can produce such sequences of letters, as a result of some goal-directed process. The mere output does not provide grounds for the sort of inference you made. – truth machine

    Seriously, I think it does. You’re clearly not a machine, and there is nothing psychopathological in responding with hurt and anger to an emotional trigger such as “fuck you, you stupid piece of shit”. It is clearly intended to cause hurt and anger – and you’re very good at doing so, and do it so much that you clearly enjoy it for its own sake. Your self-justifications may fool you, but they don’t fool me.

  396. #396 truth machine
    June 28, 2008

    Rather than concern ourselves with personalities and other small and narrow things, I urge all, especially people who share Phaedrus’s view, to read this deep essay explaining why its author will vote for Barack Obama:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/6/27/131721/272/167/542913

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