Friday, January 04, 2008

Iowa: so far, so good

Well, 2008 is looking less like a lost cause for the progressive side, with Obama's decisive and most welcome win in the Iowa caucuses. I dislike Hillary intensely, though not for the same reasons conservatives do, of course; mainly for the fact that she's a pure careerist who'll do whatever she thinks is necessary to ensure her own advancement, such as repeatedly siding with BushCo on supporting the war. (Also, the fact that she didn't promptly divorce Bill the minute he left office made it abundantly clear that she wanted to ride the coattails of the Clinton name to her own victory, despite ostentatiously adopting her maiden name — Hillary Rodham Clinton — in the early years of Bill's administration.)

So the fact Hillary got her ass handed to her yesterday indicates to me that I may well be able to vote this year, and moreover, have someone to vote for, not simply against. I like both Obama and Edwards, though I think Obama has a huge charisma/honesty edge, whereas Edwards has his Kerry baggage to dump. And if it comes down to Obama vs. Huckabee in the general election, polls so far indicate it'd be Obama by a long chalk. So the next caucuses will be most interesting to follow. Here's hoping Hillary's opportunism and dishonesty aren't overlooked by Democrats in New Hampshire, either.


  1. An Iowa caucuser, here. My experience was pretty much:

    I looked for a Gravel table, and finding none went straight to the Kucinich table until there were 7 of us (out of 555 caucusers). Talking to folks, we found there were definitely more Kucinich people, but many had, despite there being no reason to do so, gone straight to their 2nd choice.

    We Kucinich/Gravelists chatted and got to know each other. Chat was lacking in the viable candidate mobs. We also shared why we hadn’t picked this or that other candidate. My only beefs with Obama were that he voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act and — I think indefensibly — he has confirmed that he would not support civil marriage rights for same sex couples.

    As a group, we did some math. Only Obama could benefit by some of the non-viable caucusers moving to his group. Since Kucinich had said that if non-viable, he’d like his caucusers to pick Obama, that was that. With the help of some Richardson defectors, Obama picked up another delegate.

    It was fun. I hadn’t caucused since ‘88 (for Paul Simon). I should note that — quite unintentionally — I’ve never voted for a winning Presidential candidate. I could hire myself out as an election poisoner.

  2. One thing worse than a fundie, is someone with a MUSLIM background who LIES about it.


    No way I will ever vote for him.

  3. Obama's also got an atheist background, far more than a Muslim one (ex-Muslim atheist father, non-religious mother). Going to Muslim schools in Indonesia no more makes one a Muslim than going to Catholic schools in America makes one a Catholic.

    Kucinich was my ideal choice until I heard about his shaky record on pro-choice issues and his proposed alliance with nutjob Ron Paul. As far as I see it, Obama's far and away the best candidate in the field.

  4. Well, as far as Kucinich's record on choice, I think his present stance is sturdy, and is summed up well in this statement of his:

    "I've had a journey on the issue [of reproductive rights]. A year ago, before I became a candidate for President, I broke from a voting record that had not been pro-choice. After hearing from many women in my own life, and from women and men in my community and across the country, I began a more intensive dialogue on the issue. A lot of women opened their hearts to me. That dialogue led me to wholeheartedly support a woman's right to choose."

    Latecoming support of choice is better in my eyes than present non-support of gay marriage.

    But Obama will do just fine, compared to any of those in right field.

  5. I wasn't pleased to hear Obama's take on the whole gay marriage thing either. At the same time, I think that an Obama presidency will be a hell of a lot less likely to be one where the issue even comes up as a piece of legislation, as it's almost certain to under a Romney or Huckabee presidency. The next president will have his hands more than full cleaning up the eight years' of mess from this disastrous administration. But under the GOP, and especially Huckabee, they'd still make time to pander to the evangelicals every opportunity. Obama, on the other hand, will be putting his efforts into moving the country forward.

  6. Martin,

    I'm curious - what would you think about a Obama-Lieberman ticket?

    No argument follows; I'm just curious. :-)

  7. Only that I think such a ticket is about as likely as a Huckabee-Hillary ticket.

  8. One of the things going against Obama is that he is viewed as not having enough experience. Given that, he will likely want a running mate who is more seasoned than him but who is more low key. Bill Richardson perhaps? I get the sense he is in the race hoping to become someone's VP choice.

  9. I'm curious if Obama supporters have ever visited his church's website. As an atheist I'm awfully concerned about Huckabee (actually very concerned) and Mitt. However, those of you who think Obama doesn't bring some dangerous baggage with him ought to visit his home church's website: Obviously this doesn't imply that their views are his views, but I'm growing tired of avowed atheists/freethinkers/etc embracing liberal religious candidates as though they are much better than their right wing counterparts. To me, the ideal presidential candidate for an atheist is a libertarian. Since someone with that background will never get a fair shake (see Ron Paul), then my best hope is to vote for change on the local/state/congressional level.

    Anyway, just a thought or two for supporters of Obama.

  10. Ron Paul is an evolution denier, and appears to have pretty strong ties to racist and white supremacist outfits. Heck, even in this campaign, Paul refused to return a $500 donation from a white supremacist. He hardly sounds like a good candidate for atheist voters.

    Anyway, here's the thing. In America, it just isn't realistic to expect an open atheist to have a chance at the White House. Whatever Obama's church may be, as an individual he isn't the shameless panderer to Christian theocrats that Romney and Huckabee certainly are. A Huckabee presidency would be the closest America could possibly come to the fevered dreams of the Dominionists. Nor has Obama come out and made grossly stupid statements reflecting the usual mindless fundamentalist scientific illiteracy.

    As far as I can see, Obama and Edwards are the only two sound candidates out there. I hope America takes a big sanity pill and gets behind either one of them. As for libertarianism, well, not all atheists see that as a politically sound position, to say the least.


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