Comments for en-gb 30 Sat 04 Jul 2015 16:38:39 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at tamlocks you can debate what the popular vote means, and by the way you should include florida but we still have the electoral college so isn't that a bit contradictory? Mon 05 May 2008 20:59:50 GMT+1 joecar11 what one must wonder about is the validaty of us elections. with the electronic problems with the voting machines and the influence these companies have in Washington can you really believe the outcome of any national election in the us? Tue 29 Apr 2008 12:22:12 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Marcus,"The founding fathers of the United States were all religious Christians "NO! They were Deists, to a man. George Washington never took Communion, and it was almost a century before there was an truly "Christian" president.The founders took separation of Church and State seriously.Salaam, etc.ed Mon 28 Apr 2008 02:34:46 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII Greta_Hansen"And more to the point...why is there a religious test? Bill Moyers poses a question: Could an Agnostic be president? If not, what does that say about our secular, constitutional democracy."The answer to Bill Moyers question is that it is alive and kicking. It says that people get to vote for those who believe in the same things they do because they can run for office. Since the overwhelming majority of Americans, I think it's around 87% believe in god (I'm not one of them) and won't trust someone as President who doesn't, it becomes an acid test of electability. This is not the same as aborgating the Constitution's clear separation between Church and State which is also alive and kicking no thanks to the religious right. It would take a Constitutional amendment to change that or a Constitutional convention which would open up a can of worms on a vast range of issues nobody wants to happen. Even if the Supreme Court were to ignore that separation in a ruling in a case brought before it on say abortion, it would later be overturned when the court changes and another case comes before it."If a line has to be drawn, draw it around Christians and Jews. We are united."Now that's an interesting statement. You could write a book about its implications. To me it signifies that while there is no official religion and no law allowed regarding religion, the underlying philosophy and principles which form the basis of the United States Constitution came to a degree from distillation of biblical teaching, for instance the ten commandments. The founding fathers of the United States were all religious Christians but they understood the tyranny of religious intolerance well. Many of the original European settlers of America left Europe including Britain to escape religious persecution, the Pilgrims and Puritans for example. Yet when they arrived, they were just as intolerant of "outsiders" to their religion as the oppressor they escaped. Even so the Constitutional guarantees, it has taken over 200 years to perfect American society to the point it has reached so far and it is not done yet. Then why shouldn't society based on these values be defended against those who not only don't share them, Islam for instance but would impose values discredited in Western civilization centuries ago on us all?This has interesting implications in the unique psychology of nuclear weapons. To the chess loving Russians, this gambit had no satisfactory resolution for them during the cold war. It would not seem rational to them as atheists that their opponent would prefer complete annihilation of the human race to enslavement where people would remain alive with the hope of one day being free again. But to those who believe in an afterlife and that their actions will ultimately be judged by God, this is perfectly natural. The American nuclear policy code named "Mutually Assured Destruction" or MAD for short was very appropriately named. In fact, many Americans not only believe that thermonuclear war is the fullfillment of biblical prophesy, they expect to see it in their own lifetimes. Some actually eagerly anticipate it. The world should make no mistake. No matter what treaties say, the US has used nuclear weapons in the past and if sufficiently provoked or threatened, it will use them again. Hillary Clinton said as much just a couple of days ago in regard to Iran and Barack Obama would be no different. This must be confounding to the European mind which is unprincipled and therefore has no core values it finds worth fighting and dying for. How ironic that this is the only reason they didn't all fall prey to the USSR as slave colonies. From a European perspective, the United States is the most frightening monster possible, one it cannot control or even influence any longer and it just continues to grow stronger. Europeans look eagerly for any signs it is weakening either in its power or its will but there really aren't any. There is no reason for encouragement either no matter which candidate wins. In this regard, they are all the same. Checkmate! Sun 27 Apr 2008 15:33:27 GMT+1 Greta_Hansen Yes, Ed, thank you for the expeditious link to the Wright interview. Bill Moyers is a reliable, old-school investigative journalist.My question is, who is really stirring up trouble? Rush Limbaugh isn't the only McCain rabble-rouser. Let's talk about McCain and Pastor Hagee. Since when are there only two "Children of the Book?" If racism may be addressed, why not religious intolerance? Another sample of Moyers and Public Television:"If a line has to be drawn, draw it around Christians and Jews. We are united." -- Pastor John Hagee, Founder, Christians United for Israel (CUFI)July 17, 2007, John McCain addresses the third annual CUFI summit in Washington, D.C. (full video of McCain's speech also on link above):"It's very hard trying to do the Lord's work in the city of Satan and I'm very grateful to have all of you here."Senator Joe Lieberman, introducing Pastor Hagee: "Pastor Hagee, in the words that the Torah uses to describe Moses, he is an "Ish Elokim," a man of God and those words really do fit him; and, I'd add something else, like Moses he's become the leader of a mighty multitude, even greater than the multitude that Moses led from Egypt to the promised land.Pastor Hagee, on Lieberman: "Therefore it is time for America to embrace the words of Senator Joseph Lieberman and consider a military preemptive strike against Iran to prevent a nuclear holocaust in Israel and a nuclear attack in America."House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, guest speaker: "This is a mission, this is a vision that I believe is a vision for God's time."Other attendees included Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich ... and a smattering of other national legislators. Bush sent a personal note from himself and Laura blessing this event. And somehow -- scariest of all -- the new face of "Accuracy in Academia," the most popular conference speaker, Brigitte Gabriel of "American Congress for Truth." Ms. Gabriel bills herself as a Maronite Christian from Lebanon but ... I can't tell whether she's West Side Story or West Palm Beach ... the accent is jarring. Mind you, the academic "witch hunt" today is but a variation of past routings of supposed Marxists or practicing Darwinists ... another Victorian, line-drawing, category of "other." Ms. Gabriel suggested the following (to bring professors in line with our equally cowed "mainstream" media? Is she going to have John Esposito arrested?): "Another thing you can do is monitor universities. Monitor what the professor is saying about the Middle East policy and our foreign policy. The students cannot challenge their professors because they get bad grades. But you can. It's your job and your civic duty to do so. Another thing you can do — another thing you can do — if you know there is a suspicious mosque in your community or suspicious Islamic organization, find out who owns the deed to that mosque. Is it some Saudi sheiks or Islamic sheiks outside of America? Write their names down. Come home. Call your local FBI office. Turn the names to them. This is how they can start monitoring them. Israel's enemies are our enemies."McCain was on the stage throughout. I wonder what he thought as Hagee bellowed:"They intend to bring that bomb online and if they use it, you think gas is high now. Life as we know it is going to change instantly and forever and I'm telling you, you need to get your life ready to meet the son of God in all his glory. It's going to happen, it's going to happen, it's going to happen." [Applause]McCain hasn't rejected Christian Zionism ... they're his front line. Eight years ago, he himself would have called them "agents of intolerance." What does this say about religious tolerance in America? And more to the point ... why is there a religious test? Bill Moyer poses a question: Could an AGNOSTIC be president? If not, what does that say about our secular, constitutional democracy. Trust me on this ... the word "God" appears NOWHERE in the Constitution. Not once.Note: I am not the Stanford "ACLU" Greta, although I certainly admire her distinguished profile; I had no idea. I owe my best training (if I have to pick just one) to the fine History faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Sat 26 Apr 2008 18:04:09 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Try arguing that an full house should beat four of a kind (because all five cards are matched up) in the middle of a game of poker, and see how well you get on."Rules is rules," and the goalposts may be moved (by mutual agreement), but AFTER the current game is over.It's clear to me (and George McGovern) that all the participants in the current exercise have agreed to the rules BY ENTERING, whether they understood them or not.It's also clear that HRC (through her proxies or otherwise), opted for the more severe of the penalties on offer.The cause of democracy and 'fair play' is not advanced by these shenanigans. The time to agree a better set of rules and regulations will be after the GE, but considering that the present rules were created by essentially the same sort of folk, it doesn't inspire optimism...Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/PeaceNamaste -ed Sat 26 Apr 2008 09:59:25 GMT+1 ronaine Thanks for that MarcusAurelius (fab moniker by the way - very Roman Imperial)I guess the Rev Wright issue will run - as long as people don't look deeper into the church and the completeness of the bloke's sermons (see Ed Iglehart's link on the next blog up). He did serve in the military didn't he? He's helped a lot of Americans in his neighbourhood has he not? And hasn't the Senator explained his stance on this already? It seems an odd equation to presume that the Senator's patriotism should be questioned on this basis. It does seem, at least for me, to reflect America's suspicion or unease with a mixed race candidate. But fair play on the rest of your reply. This may just be semantics, but I would say Sen. Obama deserves an 'enquiring' press when it comes to the issues you raise - rather than 'bad' press. And surely a reasoned line of enquiry - covering the policy issues of all your presidential candidates - is what you would expect from your media. And not just dubious smears. Sat 26 Apr 2008 09:40:32 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII DianneB you are right, he can't win the key big states. Both parties often have the same problem. Republicans campaign to get very conservative members to support them when they are seeking nomination. Democrats appeal to the far left. Then after they get nominated, they often move towards the center in the general election. But sometimes they either forget, don't move far enough, or the things they said to their extremists in their party during the nomination are thrown back at them by their opponents in the election. The real reason McGovern lost in 1972....he advocated giving poor families on welfare a guaranteed income of $4000 a year when many working families barely made $6000. It was this kind of ultra left lunacy which did him in. Nixon didn't need any dirty tricks, he should have just run his campaign like most other ordinary crooked politicians do.ronaine #55Why does Obama deserve bad press besides the fact that his long time pastor and friend hates America openly? How about the fact that he has only two years of experience in government, has no specific programs, talks only in generalities about change without any specific details of what he would change and how he would change them. And while he criticizes Clinton for having supported the invasion in Iraq, he forgets that almost the entire country was behind it including the Director of the CIA appointed by a Democrat. We don't know what he really would have done had he been in Congress himself at the time. It's easy to be an armchair general and second guess with 20-20 hindsight. He says he'd pull out of Iraq but he doesn't say what he would do if the worst happens and as a consequence the entire region breaks out into civil war as many fear. He does not inspire much confidence that he can handle this much power and responsibility once you get past his smooth oratory style. Why hasn't the press ripped him to shreds already? Because they haven't done their job, that's why. They are afraid that if they challenge him on the issues, they will be accused of racism. Sat 26 Apr 2008 05:42:12 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Dear BBC Blog contributor,Thank you for contributing to a BBC Blog. Unfortunately we've had to remove your content belowThis decision has been made because it contains material on which the copyright appears to be owned by someone else....Please do not post large chunks of text copied from other sources: this may be an infringement of copyright. Short quotes to illustrate a point may be permissible, although this is at our discretion. ..If you can rewrite your contribution to remove the problem, we'd be happy for you to post it again.["large chunk of text" removed] look down on anybody unless you are helping him up.- Jesse Jackson Sat 26 Apr 2008 00:19:25 GMT+1 ronaine Thanks DianneB,I can understand that you feel strongly for Sen. Clinton - and what her candidacy represents. And her chances of winning in November. That is fair play. What I find difficult to understand isa) why you feel Sen. Obama deserves bad press - surely you can see that the 'questionable associates' issue is a case of low smear tactics. How does Rezko compare with Whitewater?b) why, as you say, he can't 'walk the walk' - how do you know? He is a centrist, he believes in consensus politics - just like President Clinton.The question that is pertinent is: would you vote for Sen. Obama should he become the nominee? Fri 25 Apr 2008 14:37:26 GMT+1 DianneB Obama may be slightly ahead as a nominee but he can't win key state voters, which will eventually lose the General election...on top of this he gets a lot of deservedly bad press of late. Hillary could win, picking up the swing voters and still get upper middle class and black party members. So who do you choose, Hillary, who can win the General election, or Obama who is liked by certain party members, like Pelosi, which is not a reason to vote for him.Hillary's win in OH and PA, not to mention the probable wins in WV and KY show her projections in a far better light than Obama's right now and I don't think he can change it. It's claimed that it is race related and some of that could be true, but do I hear arguments regarding negative comments regarding age and sex when Hillary is sniped at? He talks of change, but never detailed information, he is a good orator, I've always said so;"he can talk the talk, but he really can't walk the walk" Hillary's strategy makes her more accessable and therefore the more favourable a candidate in the General election. I totally support Hillary as the only candidate equipted to be President and a good one too, unlike the present idiot! Fri 25 Apr 2008 13:03:44 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart This post has been Removed Fri 25 Apr 2008 11:35:55 GMT+1 ronaine Thankyou Greta and Bluejay...2 absorbing and rational posts. If the hunger for a change of direction in the US we hear about is true, the Democrats are going to need to hear voices like yours, I feel.Generally the impression we get, reflected more and more by the posts here, is of 'supporters' determined to undermine either candidate's electibility.The stuff aimed at Sen. Obama is not only ridiculous, but often disturbing.And I do admit that criticisms of Sen. Clinton sometimes involve subtle, and not so subtle, misogyny.It was bound to happen to a certain extent, sadly, but amongst Democrats? With two candidates not that far away from each other on policy?hmmm. Fri 25 Apr 2008 10:35:07 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII I've often thought foreigners in general and Europeans in particular know very little about American civilization except at its most superficial level. No irony in America? How could anyone say that if they really knew about America? Ever heard of the great short story writer O'Henry? read The Gift of the Magi, one of his most famous stories. What about Edgar Allen Poe? How about Jack London? And of course Rod Serling was a master of irnoy in his now famous TV series The Twilight Zone. Alfred Hitchcock may have been born in Britain and knighted by the Queen but he created his most and best films in Hollywood. The very existance of America itself is an Irony and that it is the greatest power ever (BBC's America, Age of Empire Series' conclusion not just mine) even more ironic. Just think if King George III hadn't taxed the the colonists on tea or insisted on the colonists buying those stamps, the US might not be much unlike say Canada is.Of course irony may well be in decline in many parts of the world including America. After all, it takes a certain level of intelligence, knowledge, and attention span to appreciate it. With the dumming down of society all over the world it seems, we might be at too low a level to get it anymore and it may no longer be commercially viable. Fri 25 Apr 2008 00:47:08 GMT+1 Greta_Hansen Bluejay (45) ... Thank you for saying that. Did you see Susan Eisenhower's Wash Post op-ed endorsing Obama?"The biggest barrier to rolling up our sleeves and preparing for a better future is our own apathy, fear or immobility. We have been living in a zero-sum political environment where all heads have been lowered to avert being lopped off by angry, noisy extremists. I am convinced that Barack Obama is the one presidential candidate today who can encourage ordinary Americans to stand straight again; he is a man who can salve our national wounds and both inspire and pursue genuine bipartisan cooperation."Susan Jacoby furthers your point in her recent LA Times article: Why do we only listen to those who already agree with us? I still have my tattered copy of Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative," because I wanted to know what and how the other side thought ... so I could better argue with my (mostly) Republican uncles.I grew up on a sugar beet farm roughly fifty miles north of Denver (as a child, I was much comforted by the discovery that Marie Curie had sprouted from similarly remote circumstances). My father was a first generation Swede, son of generations of farmers. He was, several times, the only elected Democrat (well, other than the Coroner, who was also the local mortician and ran unopposed) during his 32 years in office in (at that time) the largest county in the continental US, encompassing a good portion of the north-eastern quarter of Colorado. Often, he won by huge majorities. He counted both former Democrat Governor Dick Lamm and former Republican Senator Hank Brown as real friends. Back then, politicians could live "principles, not party" and retain office.Like my Dad, it's Obama's devotion to bi-partisan, non-partisan politics -- not trading influence but swapping solutions -- that rings true. Respect is possible. It's a matter of style ... persuasion ... humor. My dad was a joiner ... ditch board, Beet Growers Association, Elks, Masons, Rotary, Cattlemen's. It's what one did in a small town (very small -- only 27 in my graduating class and that was a combined rural school district including TWO towns). I was three-years-old when my dad was first elected. I used to pass out campaign literature on my horse, a shallow pretext for the lovely lunches "pressed" on me by hospitable farmwives. Once, during heated meetings between the farmers and the factory for a new "beet contract" the "Sugar Company" representatives walked out of negotiations, among them ... my eldest sister's husband, a company man. Two minutes earlier he had been arguing nose-to-nose across the table with his farmer father-in-law.Just as they were leaving, a note arrived from the farmers, handed to my brother-in-law. It read, simply: "Herb wants his daughter back." Everybody laughed, the Factory fellas took off their coats and both sides got back to work ... because everybody wanted the same thing. To grow beets to make sugar.Centrists can talk to both sides and weigh other viewpoints. True, this is only possible if you don't talk out of both sides of your mouth; trust is earned. The blind loyalties of machine politics breeds pit bulls like Carville, big bosses like Rendell, advisors like Carl Rove and arm/fact/brain-twisters like Billary.Obama is the middle way. Thu 24 Apr 2008 22:39:54 GMT+1 kecsmar #18. It is not just the media "they" have played, it is also the american public falling hook-line and sinker too....doesn't say much does it?! Thu 24 Apr 2008 22:33:55 GMT+1 paddyenglish In an interesting aside to the day's politics, Reddit users (and others) are raising money to buy flowers for veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, after the tough questions she directed at Dana Perino.So far over $1,500 have been raised. Thu 24 Apr 2008 20:22:48 GMT+1 Cardiblogger ScottMN (44)And what effect would different running mates have for Obama? What if he talked Richardson into running on the ticket? Thu 24 Apr 2008 19:45:27 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart ScottMN (44),"Could we have more electoral college vote analysis - who is ahead in the handful of states that matter???" Thu 24 Apr 2008 19:21:43 GMT+1 turningblueandgrey Good grief,The weather underground and the black panthers have been defunct (de-funked?) for over 3 decades. Does anyone really think they re-emerged after 8 presidential elections to proffer Obama?I believe MoveOn only recently gave an unsolicited endorsement to Obama (in other words, an endorsement that came well into this long primary process, not an anointing before Iowa) after reaching an internal majority decision. I might be wrong about MoveOn endorsement details.I hope you’re kidding, DougTexan. That kind of innuendo is close to the spam of a few months ago “Obama is a Muslim” --and we can thank the outspoken USMC / USN veteran, pastor Wright, for putting that lie to rest. It sounds a little like the AM radio hosts’ months of discussing Barack HUSSEIN Obama, too.Why am I disappointed by the current state of this election? My dad returned from WWII only to drop out of some veteran’s and patriotic groups because they were more racist than his prewar New England high school or his post war college. A lifelong Republican, he argued with any critic of the ACLU, because he believed that rights are rights and America was not a totalitarian, Orwellian country, where those who say what we dislike have fewer rights than the rest of us (he recognized that those tables are easily turned, as could also happen when writing one’s own rulebook for POWs and torture). He could also admire Moynihan or McGovern in the same breath as Eisenhower or Goldwater, for national service or strength of character. I never paid much attention to cable news or talk radio until getting very enthused about Obama since the start of this election. I regret that the basic respect and bipartisan appreciation of character, and deeper discussion of issues that I grew up hearing, is so lacking in those media. Without getting past such basics, we will have a hard time with the real challenges we face. Thu 24 Apr 2008 19:06:52 GMT+1 ScottMN My guess is a shotgun "marriage" Hillary pres - Obama vice with Hillary agreeing to one term and Bill out of sight of course those kind of agreements can be renegged on and the two teams may have trouble burying the hatchet....Could we have more electoral college vote analysis - who is ahead in the handful of states that matter??? And - for example if its Obama - would there be enough lost racist democrats in the South for Obama to not win anything there? Or on the other hand what would be the effect of him "bringing out the black vote"? And as Latinos supported Hillary and McCain - what effect would that have on an Obama vs McCain??? Florida? California even?Would Latinos support Hillary over McCain -could she win Florida? Thu 24 Apr 2008 18:54:01 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions proles (#38): '"the Duopoly Party candidates share virtually identical policy positions, mostly well to the right of much of public opinion on many of the largely undiscussed issues. So what's the point of going to the trouble and expense of annointing one or the other servants of corporate power and foreign interventionism?"What are you smokeing!! Clinton and Mccane perhaps, but Obama? It amaises me how so, so many people think that there isn't a dime's bit of difference between Republicans and Democrats! Even Jessy Ventura conceeded that there is this election cycle!! Also Churchill said the '"some election, some popular vote!" comment, Ward or winston? interesting Thu 24 Apr 2008 18:42:04 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions Streathamite in Milano! (#19): I've said it before, and I'll say it again, and again if necessary. The electoral college system, while originally created and used, yes, to keep out large portions of the population-as the idea of women/civil rights wasn't even a twinkle in the eye of the most forward thinking philosopher at the time of our nation's inception, is now symbolic! Though I agree, it is precisely because of this reason that it should be disguarded!! Quite the contrary, I think the UK system of dimocracy is by far the best one in the world!! It is very sensible!! Thanks for your positive views on ours, though-you don't get that much, either in the US or abroad!Reuben33g (#21): A little generalistic and predjidous, don't you think? I agree that, sadly, our education system is not what it used to be!! And I make no excuses for it!! But come on now!! Don't you think, that, say, if today's high schooler doesn't know what they should know compared to a middle schooler of the 60s, that in some cases, perhaps its because that high schooler didn't do their best to learn or slacked off a bit? Don't you think that Clinton's first secritary of state was perhaps just unfortionately somewhat of a Biggot-sad that those people still exist? If anything many public school districts are arguing to lesson the amount of material unloaded on Kindergardners, because they don't think and haven't seen any proof, that today's 5-year-olds can successfully learn, and retain the information given to them during their first year of school. And besides!! Just because someone may not know all the basics of what they should know, doesn't mean they can't educate themselves, and make an informed decision on who they want to represent them to the rest of the world!! Your first post was more accurate-do away with the electoral college system, and let the voters decide!!David Ginsberg (#26): Thank you very much for the glowing assessment of our political humer!! I love the Daily show!! Particularly when Stewart makes fun of British politics! If only this nation's president could make it so that our foreign policy could be worthy of being thought of in the same way as our entertainment is abroad, we'd be in heaven!!# 29: I urge you, have a look at the purpose of today's electoral college system before stating that people's votes don't count. Although the rest of your post is right on-very good points!! Thu 24 Apr 2008 18:09:20 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Some American humour:! Thu 24 Apr 2008 18:08:11 GMT+1 David Cunard "The pool advert is plainly political" - I don't think The Weekly Standard (owned by Rupert Murdoch) or Michael Goldfarb have the wit to deliberately place a moving, paid-for advertisement there but rather that it is a happy juxtaposition. There really is such a thing as an 'endless' pool - and if anyone is swimming upstream, the effect an Endless Pool has, then at the moment it must be Mr Obama. Thu 24 Apr 2008 18:01:44 GMT+1 Cardiblogger The problem with Clinton's electibility argument is so obvious that it's pathetic to see anyone even mentioning it with a straight face. The face that she manages to beat Obama in hard-core Democratic states does not mean McCain will also beat him. Unless, of course, a large percentage of her supporters remain as sour as they are now in telling pollsters that they will not vote for Obama if he wins. And that in and of itself should tell us that the Clintons and their ilk care far more about themselves than the country or their party. Thu 24 Apr 2008 17:50:23 GMT+1 proles The comment field is actually working today, amazing - that's pretty ironic in itself, as is the whole elections charade which mimics an "election" without really being one. As has been pointed out repeatedly, perhaps unecessarily, the Duopoly Party candidates share virtually identical policy positions, mostly well to the right of much of public opinion on many of the largely undiscussed issues. So what's the point of going to the trouble and expense of annointing one or the other servants of corporate power and foreign interventionism? Well apparently there isn't one for most eligible voters as the turnout figures continue to demonstrate, despite media hoopla ballyhooing the sham election proceess. Who won the popular vote? No one! In PA only 32.5% of eligible voters participated in both primaries - total! Two-thirds of the eligible electorate turned down all three of the Duopoly Party clones. Similar results have been consistently recorded in primary after primary all season long. To paraphrase Churchill: some election, some popular vote! Thu 24 Apr 2008 17:48:09 GMT+1 DougTexan Though I am not a Democrat, I like Hillary Clionton s style and American Spirit of not giving up. She represents the best the Democrats have to offer with out a doubt.After all, she was prolifered and handled, trained and placed by the party for this race.On the other hand, Obama is questionable on many fronts. Just who did grooom him and set the process for his run at president. Was it the weatherman, the revolutionary group, the Black panthers (another revolutionary anti-white black muslim type group), or was he profered by the move organised financial and P.A.C. group. Looking from my side of the mirror, not all change is for the best, especially when 'what' it is, is not stated, but left to each individules desire. Dangerous to say the least. Thu 24 Apr 2008 17:31:15 GMT+1 proles test Thu 24 Apr 2008 17:18:08 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart NoRashDecisions (33), Never worry. The betting is 60:40 on a Democrat being elected POTUS in November:!xxed Thu 24 Apr 2008 17:05:33 GMT+1 JPPeterson Herein lies the mess.Both campaigns are right.With neither candidate able to "clinch" this nomination through the primaries the super delegates decide.They are free to vote any way they choose. They do not have to consider the votes cast or where they came from. With neither candidate a clear winner this is completely up in the air. Both sides will argue why the super delegates must vote their way. They don't have to listen.Why would the Obama campaign do less than argue "We got more votes". This argument has no real legs under the standing DNC rules or Clinton would already be out.Why would the Clinton campaign not argue "We got more votes that indicate eventual victory". True, but frankly more people voted for the other guy. Count the Florida and Michigan popular votes. The Obama machine in Michigan actively campaigned as "Undecided". Give the man the 40% of the Michigan vote that went for "Undecided".That solves....nothing. Short of a total implosion in one of these campaigns, the remaining primaries will indicate neither candidate is a clear winner.One of them will need to back the other or the party will split for this election cycle at least. Unfortunately, the situation leaves neither forced to do that. Thu 24 Apr 2008 16:48:20 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions politicsisfun (#7): What are you talking about!! Wile I agree, as I've stated before, that the electoral college should be done away with, it is largely just symbolic now. Esentially, whomever wins the popular vote in a given state, that state goes to that candidate. If this is truely the case, if people's votes really don't matter, then what's the point of voteing!!? We would have to rely on other means-namely a dictitorial method, of choosing our president-God help us! Yes the voters in Fla/Mis matter, but those states's governers broke the rules when they decided to hold their contests before super Tuesday, and knew they were doing it, and knew the consiquenses of doing so. So for them to demand a re-count on the grounds that their people don't matter is, I think, immature, and won't hold much water to the DNC. Their votes won't count in these primarees this election cycle-there just simply isn't enough time. But as a silver lining, perhaps in four years the governers of all the states will think twice before breaking the DNC's rules on wen to hold their primareeys, huh? Yes the convention is in an election year, as you correctly put it, "to merely show off the candidate" for president. The goal is not to have the candidate chosen at the convention-in fact that would be a disaster!! The convention is rather a spring board, a launching if you will, of the respective campaigns into the general election season. In non-election years, the conventions are more or less what they are in the UK, a chance for the respective parties to get together and talk about how to solve the problems of the nation and how to apeal more to voters so as to have a better chance of being elected come the next general election. An Obama/Clinton ticket or vice versa? Are you jokeing? No!! At least not in my opinion!! The purpose of a vice president is to assume the duties and responsibilities of the presidency should something happen to the president. That being said, each candidate, should they accept the other as their running mate, is more or less saying that that candidate is better than them, if not just as good, to have the job!Perplexingkwi(#16): And your reasoning is? It really bothers me how you, and it seems so many other Brits, seem to think that no matter what happens with the Democrats, Mccane is destond to win in November!!! Why do you think this? Do you secretly actually want another Republican president? Do you honestly think that, just as there is a hunger for no more Labor in power in Britain, there isn't the same hunger for no more Republicans in power in this country as well? Whatever it is, I would urge you to have a little faith!! Its a long way till November, and (God willing!!!), hopefully the Democrats will unite and heal their wounds in order to take back the white house!!! Thu 24 Apr 2008 16:19:06 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Interesting take on things, from an "electoral vote" perspective: am in the camp which is surprised by the idea that HRC with all her baggage, including an increasingly incoherent husband could ever be considered more 'electable' than BHO.ome interesting public participation, inspired by MoveOn:, the North Carolina Republicans going negative against McCain's express wishes:! Thu 24 Apr 2008 15:24:06 GMT+1 NIKUZAI The 'electability' argument?! Please be more specific and say 'Hillary's electability argument'. I believe Obama is way more electable. On the BBC site I have seen current polling which rates Clinton vs McCain at 46 to 45 and Obama to McCain at 46 to 44. Clinton and Obama, judging by those figures, are on the same level of support, whereas McCain loses a certain degree of his support if he's up against Obama.Some commentators have mentioned that Clinton's strength is her supposed ability to attract the core Dem vote: union members, working class, etc. What is not disputed is that Obama has attracted more than significant amounts of the youth vote as well as independents and former Reps. So I foresee two potential scenarios:1) Clinton wins the nomination, she retains the core Dem vote - but she fails to sway a significant enough amount of ind/former Reps. The youth vote returns to it's previous apathetic nature and fails to turn out come election time. McCain's campaign would destroy Clinton's character, latching on to the electorate's negative stereotypes of Hillary as well as Bill's previous time in office. 2) Obama wins the majority of the remaining primaries, wins both the popular vote and persuades the super-delgs to make him the candidate. Clinton supporters are disheartened but the majority end up backing Obama. Obama builds on the new Rep/ind following he attracted during the primaries. Obama vs McCain is a tough race, but Obama manages to get by without any more bittergate moments; contrary to a race involving Clinton, this race is exciting but amicable. He wins the election.I'll hold my hands up and admit that that is an entirely subjective prediction. However, regardless of Clinton's 'turning the tide' (which is complete rubbish in my opinion), you have to remember that Obama's campaign anticipated yesterday's results, predicted other previous results since NE/NH and are in it for the long haul. While Clinton's campaign has shown resilience, it has been shortsighted (i.e. not planning campaign spend beyong Jan/Feb) and has relied on character attacks. Character attacks may be the norm in contests, but the frenzy that Obama has inspired has compensated immeasurably. Thu 24 Apr 2008 14:12:19 GMT+1 skye_eg As an impartial voter on the left (I'm impartial between Obama and Clinton), I fear that Obama is far less equipped than Clinton to be able to handle the upcoming barrage of nasty vicious venom from Republicans this upcoming general election and possibly for the next 4 years. Thu 24 Apr 2008 14:11:33 GMT+1 NHGeoffB The big state argument is very faulty, at least in most of them. Any democrat will win NY,NJ, MA, CANo democrat can win FL, and probably not MI in this cycle nowDemocrats are unlikely to win TXSo the argument only stands for OH and PAAnd even then, does it occur to people that maybe Obama didn't get the majority of votes in these states simply because he wasn't the only Democrat running?Because I find it unlikely he would lose either of those states either...Furthermore, he has shown amazing results in a lot of the so-called Red states. It is not beyond the scope of possibility that he could actually carry some of those in November. Besides, as some people here have pointed out, while the 'polls' have shown that more Obama supporters would vote for Clinton over McCain than Clinton supporters for Obama, that means nothing, as a huge portion of Obama's base (namely African Americans and young people) will stay at home if Clinton gets nominated on so-called electability, thereby crippling the Democratic party, not just this year, but for the foreseeable future, as these groups realize that their votes don't actually count, even in the Primary, which is the closest to a 'popular vote'-driven election we have in the states (at the national level anyway)Its all rubbish Thu 24 Apr 2008 14:05:08 GMT+1 Candace9839 Clinton had a 20 percentage point lead going into Pennsylvania and won by less than 10, spinning this to a "come-from-behind" win. The popular vote argument including (by her reasoning) the excluded states of Michigan and Florida is the same sort of spin. Thu 24 Apr 2008 13:46:55 GMT+1 bobgodwin Electability or Eligibility??? we must be going out of our minds. Am very disgusted that in the 2008 people still have prejudice over the color of your skin!!! Instead of using the “Electability” I think it’s better to use a phrase like this “Too dark to be elected” This should be the right meaning to the word “Electability”!!! My goodness when will people begin to see beyond their nose???? Someone please tell me when!!! The media institutions are meddling too much into this electoral process!!! I don’t want to mention names but l think it’s time for people to read beyond the titles in order to assimilate the right meaning of these articles and TV shows manipulated by some big media giants in support for the Clintons nomination. Secondly after taking a close look at the electoral process in America and the constitution am beginning to wonder if democracy really exists in the USA. Because the meaning of democracy like l was thought in school is governance by majority or plurality of votes. To cut it short it’s time end this messy thing called “super delegates” or the elites trying to impose their candidate over the majority!!! And therefore undermining the principles of democracy! Thu 24 Apr 2008 13:30:02 GMT+1 DavidGinsberg I have never thought that Americans lack humour, I was merely pointing out what a brilliant joke it was to include an ad for a treadmill swimming pool in amongst that article on the Clinton Victory. It was subtle and perfectly pitched which is a mark of great satire. US political humour is great stuff. We get the Daily Show over here in the UK and I am astounded how far ahead it is of our own tame efforts. My particular favourite was Jon Stewart running rings around Alistair Campbell "blair's spokesperson" when he was in trying to hawk his book. Over here we are still stuck with the deeply dire impressionist Rory Bremner who is too convinced of his own brilliance to be cutting anymore. Even the French "Guignol des Infos" a version of Spitting Image, is more entertaining.I think the problem with the political process in the states is that in Clinton and Obama you have two increasingly serious and shrill candidates. This is probably more to do with the media consultants around them than the candidates themselves. The more you see them the less you really know them. When you have such carefully crafted images you need a good humourist to deflate the pomposity. Thu 24 Apr 2008 13:05:55 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Speaking of Irony American style:, there's always the onion: Thu 24 Apr 2008 12:50:52 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart Rueben (3),The electoral college was set up in the days when horseback was the quickest method of communication, and embodies the "federal" nature of the united "states", as Marcus notes.NoRash (5),You forgot http://www.ironictimes.comDoc Cahill,I agree HRC as VP would drag down an Obama candidacy. My preference would be Jim Webb, with true cross-party and military credentials. He would also make Virginia a likely prize.And I seem to recall a nominee who took on his rival as VP - JFK. I was amazed at the time that LBJ, arguably as Senate Majority Leader more powerful than any VP, accepted the spot. In three years he was president.Hmmmmed Thu 24 Apr 2008 12:46:32 GMT+1 Greta_Hansen Emmnues (18): Roger that. The Clinton bumper-sticker ought to read: SHE AIN'T NO MAMMY ... ON TO TAMMANYOhhhh How I wish I were a cartoonist ...Bill and Hill set off from Arkansas to Washington in a flatulent clunker, Bill in black face -- wait! No. Just tar. Hill at the wheel (quite fetching in bandalero regalia -- is that a Miss America or bullet sash? Defiant fist in air -- no, wrong again. Just clutching a shot glass.CONVOY!!! Thu 24 Apr 2008 12:43:51 GMT+1 onoidiot In case anyone is wondering who the next Secretary of State could be if the democrats win the general elections, this article has a guess: find it in paragraph three. Thu 24 Apr 2008 12:35:55 GMT+1 Reuben33g NoRashDecisions (#6):Have you ever seen the movie Idiocracy? That’s where we’re headed.Our education system has been dumbed down a lot from my parents and grandparents generations, your typical high-school graduate today would not be able to complete with an eighth-grader from the 1960s.Our universities have been transformed from places where you could get a classic education to liberal indoctrination centers. Bill Clinton’s first Secretary of State was a Rhodes scholar with the diplomatic ability of a soccer hooligan, I’d pick a Manchester United fan over that guy.Can the masses be trusted. Thu 24 Apr 2008 12:13:39 GMT+1 DianneB Bwark!!!! If it walks like Dukakis, guess what?! lol... "Bonehead" Obama has made some fine speaches, but when it comes to debates, he's on the spot, unable to learn his lines and if he's not bright enough to think on his feet, he's not bright enough to be president... ...or do you want another Bubba Bush puppet? He's also very questionable (see link) when it comes to security issues! I personally don't think he's fit to be a senator! The people he mixes with and his previous endevours, not to mention his Pastor, makes him bad news! He should resign from the campaign now, because every day, more of his exploits are surfacing...sorry Obama, you'll not get to pay back your campaign funding with kickbacks, because people are wise to you and you are not trusted!HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT!!! Thu 24 Apr 2008 12:09:55 GMT+1 Streathamite it takes a helluva lot to create an electoral system which makes the UK one look sensible by comparison, but the US presidential elction system does exactly that. why not just have a straight vote count, rather thzan a college system which stopped making sense the moment the model T ford conquered America? Baffling, and a shame cos you've got most of the rest right. Thu 24 Apr 2008 11:33:57 GMT+1 Emmnues As a student of politics observing the democratic primary has been fascinating. The way the Clintons are expertly playing the media, their use of metaphors, fear and devisive techniques is superb. Bill and Hillary are Macchiavellian geniuses. When the primaries are over, their style would make a great case study for academics, and the many dictators scattered around the world. Thu 24 Apr 2008 11:25:33 GMT+1 Candace9839 The Clinton spin is laughable. She blows a 20 point lead and calls the resultant 10 point margin a come-from-behind-win. She counts disqualified Michigan and Florida and then says she's won the popular vote. Seems unlike her husband, she did inhale. Thu 24 Apr 2008 11:13:52 GMT+1 perplexingkiwi As a 60+ UK based wasp I ask myself forwhom I would vote between Clintonand Obama? the answer ;Obama becauseI couldn,t bring myself to vote for a eye bulging bully of a middle age, middle classwoman; that makes me probably sexist??Come to Nov. I would not vote at all bdecauseMcCain will win. Thu 24 Apr 2008 09:59:25 GMT+1 Reuben33g NoRashDecisions(#5):Yes, I believe that Hillary's candidacy for president was planned by the elite in the democratic party long before her husband left office, but they didn't plan for McCain and Obama getting this much popular support.I do like the debates in the British parliament, which make American political debates sound like:"I know you are, but what am I?"However, don't I think that a British style of parliamentary government would be accepted in America.We'll work with what we've got. Thu 24 Apr 2008 09:43:55 GMT+1 lewisbrooke I think people are getting carried away. By the time all states have participated in the primaries, one of the trwo candidates will have a delegate lead, probably of more than a hundred, possibly a bit more than that.Surely that candidate will be chosen by the super-delegates, and will become Democaratic nominee without too much fuss.There is no way they would choose the nominee with less delegates, otherwise the whole previous 6 months or so would have been completely wasted. Why have a nomination system if you don't follow it?! Thu 24 Apr 2008 09:24:32 GMT+1 Board Stupid One reason the Democrats will lose is that they have chosen their candidate using an electoral method that is quite different from that used in the POTUS election.By using proportional representation Obama has gained delegates that in the POTUS elction he would not get. Whilst the GOP winner-takes-all may not seem fair it at least is closer to the system used in the Novemeber election. If the Democrats had used a winner-takes-all system Clinton, not Obama , would be leading with 1,911 pledged delegates to Obama's 1,257. And that's not even having a single superdelegate vote.Moreover, Obama's wins are in states he won't win in November. Polls showing head-to-head by state indicate that Clinton would beat McCain but that Obama would lose - and heavily at that.And that's before the GOP machine has even started to get nasty - believe me they will be worse than anything Clinton has done so far. If Obama is selected I honestly believe we could be seeing a McGovern all over again. Thu 24 Apr 2008 08:48:00 GMT+1 ukcowgirl You all keep forgetting about 'that woman's' baggage and how ruthless the republicans can be when election time comes round. They will draw out everything they can to put her down. that is one of the reasons I want her out of this race. If a state is democratic, it will vote democratic and be carried by the democrats. Obama has shown that he doesn't need to carry all the big states. Our country is ready for a change and he is it! I JUST HOPE THE SUPERDELEGATES DON'T INTERFERE, but rather help the process along. We are reaching an historic era for America as a super power. It is do or die time for the USA. Talk of annihilation puts us back eight years. Thu 24 Apr 2008 08:44:56 GMT+1 attacanteblue I think everyone seems to be weighing up Hilary's chances of winning a general election (the "electability" argument) based on a strange idea that somehow she can become the nominee fairly by either trumping the delegate count or the popular vote.But seriously folks, how many African/Americans (or for that matter the impressionable young voters) are going to want to turn out to vote for her if Obama is democratically the choice of the "people" yet is prevented from having a run in November. You don't think some 25%+ of the electorate will not feel disenfranchised by a closed-door decision in Clinton's favour?Clinton's supporters might well be miffed if Obama is chosen, but at least a sizeable chunk of them will be able to accept that this was the democratic decision - and turn out to support their candidate; whatever exit-polls in the heat of battle say. Thu 24 Apr 2008 08:31:09 GMT+1 DrCahil In response to Politicsisfun, it would be a grave mistake for Obama to have Hillary as his running mate! Hillary is too greedy for power, and will not stop until she is the POTUS! Placing someone this devious (who does and says anything to win) just a heartbeat away from the Presidency simply means she will do anything to get her ultimate prize. Several people died under mysterious circumstances when the Clinton impeachment proceedings were under way. That's all I'm saying.An Obama - Bloomberg ticket, or even an Obama - Rendell ticket, would be a better bet! Thu 24 Apr 2008 08:12:11 GMT+1 DrCahil The popular vote argument is just more hogwash from the Clinton Campaign! It is the delegate count that matters - period! And they can NEVER win that. So their only strategy is to be the irritating fly, hoping that this will persuade a few more Super delegates to take their side. Unfortunately, the cost of all this to the Democratic Party is steeply rising.It is time for any right thinking super-delegate (since they are the ones who will decide this race) to man up and take their fly swat out! Thu 24 Apr 2008 08:05:24 GMT+1 rupertornelius To say baldly that Americans don't understand irony is like saying there have never been smart people in America. Unlikely to be true. Oh, and I think 'electability' should have at least one 'a' in it - just for appearance's sake! Thu 24 Apr 2008 07:27:13 GMT+1 politicsisfun AS previously pointed out there is a popular vote but it doesn't necessarily count come the General Election.Also adding to the Democrats mess is the question of Florida and Michigan, don't the voters there matter and given the chaotic nature of voting in individual states i.e who is entitled to vote in primaries it obviously is a mess.Also why does the nomination have to be decided before the Convention, is the Convention merely an excuse to show off the candidate. Also as someone from the UK can the purpose of the Convention be explained, particularly in non election years.A final point, I would have thought in the interests of unity and winning if Obama gets the nomination Hillary on the ticket, she obviously reaches parts Obama doesn't. Or if McCain was very clever a McCain/Clinton ticket would be a walk over. Especially as anyone is better than Bush apparently. Thu 24 Apr 2008 07:23:16 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions Also Reuben 33g: What reccomendations do you have in order to make it so that the public can, in fact, be trusted with "direct" democracy, as it were? Thu 24 Apr 2008 03:43:25 GMT+1 NoRashDecisions To you Justin, and to David Ginsberg, and to all those who think that we don't do political satire or irony, or at least not a lot, might I point you toward, the Capital Steps, or any news paper cartoonest to name a few!!! It really bothers me that foreigners think that we make political jokes and satire once in a blue moon!!!!Reuben 33g (#3): Yes I see, and agree with your point. Superdeligates, the electoral college and the like should all, to use a European phrase, '"be confined to the dustbin of history"!!! However, do you really think that the US is ruled by an all powerful aligarchy-in effect pre selecting the Republican and Democratic candidates, who will, when all is said and done, act virtually the same way in office? God I sure hope that's not the case!!! O dear!! Any one in Britain willing to trade us their parlimentary system for ours?Justin said '"The fact that working out who won the popular vote is so complex and divisive is further evidence, should evidence be needed, of the weirdness of this primary season."Yes, that may be true, but hey! With our system, and I'm sure you'd agree, I'd deffinately want the nation to decide on a candidate based upon "the popular vote" rather than deligates/electoral college etc any day!! Thu 24 Apr 2008 03:33:20 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII The popular vote may be important in the Democratic pirmaries but in the general election, the outcome is decided in the electoral college and in each state it's winner take all. Can the genius which made the United States of America possible by inventing the constitution have been so wrong? No, students of American history know that this was part of the grand compromise that made it possible for the Constitution to work. It won't matter if a candidate wins a state by one vote or one million votes, he will get the same number of votes in the electoral college. We've had more than one president elected with a minority of the popular vote. Every now and then someone comes up with a idea to change to voting the President by popular vote but that invariably soon goes away. This is why it will be so difficult for Obama to win IMO. By losing the big states, it will be very difficult for him to overcome this by winning in a lot of little states. Anything more than a 55%/45% split in the popular vote in an America Presidential election is usually considered a landslide. I think we are about to see one. Thu 24 Apr 2008 02:02:12 GMT+1 Reuben33g The ruling American oligarchy believes that unwashed masses cannot be trusted with direct democracy. They rely heavily on safeguards built into the election processes keeping the mob from voting for bread and circuses.The whole 'super-delegate' thing shows that the democratic party values public opinion about as much as founding fathers who set up the electoral college. And the popular vote matters as much in this democratic primary about as much as it did in the 2000 presidential election:Not at all. Thu 24 Apr 2008 01:50:27 GMT+1 Justianus Ah, the popular vote.That's a myth, if ever there was one. Have a look here:, for later postings, here: is no "popular vote". Thu 24 Apr 2008 01:05:31 GMT+1 kecsmar The term popular vote is an interesting one. It is very much akin to proportional representation, ; which as seen in Europe doesn't work, as it just leaves a mess and no progress, just endless compromises. Hardly what one votes for.... Thu 24 Apr 2008 00:09:59 GMT+1