I Don’t Like to Make Political Statements…

By JoCo February 4, 2008

…as you all know. And yet, there is this: I support Barack Obama and so should you.

So many people have already written and spoken about him far more eloquently than I could hope to do myself, so I won’t talk about his integrity, his inspiring message, his real commitment to change. Because here is the thing that matters to us here in this little circle of monkey-, robot- and mad-scientist-lovers: he a geek’s candidate. If you understand why network neutrality is important, if you can imagine how transparency and connectivity might improve our Democracy, if you think it’s sort of important that the people who run this country know something about computers and the internet, then you have no business backing anybody else. Obama understands these issues in the way that geeks understand them.

If you are not convinced by all the intelligent and forward thinking people around the internet who are also Obama fans (John Hodgman, David Rees of Get Your War On, Randall Munroe of xkcd, Andy Baio of Waxy.org, Lawrence Lessig of Lawrence Lessig, I could go on and on), then I must deploy the superweapon.

Do as I say: vote for Obama.


Vexxation says

don't forget wil wheaton.

Peter says

Oh, I always thought you were smarter than that.

Spiff says

I'm for Obama too.

Jesss says

If you disagree, why don't you explain WHY you disagree. You aren't changing any minds with insults.

I've rooting for Obama for months now. Unfortunately, our primary isn't until May (Oregon) so we won't have much say in the Democratic nominee.

Colleenky says

The husband has been phone-banking for Obama. Tomorrow (CA primary) he'll be volunteering for the local office - probably driving little old ladies to the polls or something. :-)

I kinda wish that Obama had more of a track record. As one of my friends said, "He's an empty vessel into which people can pour their hopes and dreams." [Thanks, Randbot, if you're reading.]

I'm certainly not voting Republican, so I'm voting for the dem candidate that I feel has the better chance of defeating whomever the Republican ends up being. I think too many people really hate Clinton for her to survive the general election.

Midwifemonkey says

I'm planning on doing just that (voting Obama) tomorrow night in the MN caucus..... woo hoo! Bringing our 5 year old along so she can see the process.

Luke M says

He's definitely the least worst one in the field, although given what he has to work with as well as the realities of American politics I can't get too excited.

Peter, a different one from the one who posted before says

Chris Hastings (Dr. McNinja) and Jeffrey Rowland (Overcompensating) endorsed Obama today, too. And judging by his momentum, I really think Obama's gonna get the nomination.

S. P. Miskowski says

You bet. I am doing it. I am backing Obama. (see my blog if ya don't believe me) So glad to see you, too, are an Obama-ite.

Shopmonkey Chris says

It's kinda weird - my father, who's probably almost 70 by now, is a big Obama supporter, and has been even before Obama declared his candidacy way back when, saying he was eerily JFKesq long before the Kennedy family even got involved. I'm too politically cynical to fall in love with any candidate anymore, but nobody can really deny the enthusiasm bubbling up in unexpected places.

Anonymous says

First let me say: I am a huge fan and it seriously hurts for me to say this...but I can't do what you say, JoCo.

I can't because there's way too much at stake.

Another republican president will finish this country, as an abode of liberty. We can look forward to extensions of the patriot act, more foreign wars, tax breaks for billionaires made permanent, etc, ad infinitum.

I couldn't vote for Obama even if I was also Barack Obama fan, because that's just not enough.

The democratic nominee has to have a chance of winning the actual election.

So, I don't really care to listen to how great Obama is. I don't care. All I care about is putting a democrat back into the white house.

Period. That's all.

If that makes me a cynic, then fine. That's what I am...but all of you should be too, if you give a damn about this country.

It might feel good to console yourself afterward, by saying "Well, I voted for the best guy, the one with the best platform. Voted my conscience. Shucks, isn't it just a damn shame he couldn't go all the way?"

To put it bluntly (and this is considered WAY to politically incorrect for anyone who matters to say) what we needed as a party was one more safe, solid, white-bread white guy to give us a slam dunk into power.

Don't shoot the messenger. That doesn't make me a racist. That makes me a realist.

But we couldn't find a safe candidate, on account of the democrats having become spineless asswits over the past eight years of humiliation and despair.

So instead, we have Hillary. She's got a good chance of beating Romney or McCain. Obama doesn't.

That's all that matters.

Vote Clinton.

shaggyJD says

"So instead, we have Hillary. She’s got a good chance of beating Romney or McCain. Obama doesn’t."

You're basing this on....?

Colleenky says

Anonymous: I agree with you about everything except for which Dem candidate can defeat the Republican. :-)

Anonymous says

Note to JoCo or any other moderator: If Obama wins the nomination, please delete my previous post (and this one, and any other replies to people yelling at me for what I said) from the site. The instant he does, I'm an Obama man like you wouldn't believe, and I don't want anything I say to hurt his chances of winning the presidency.

It's just that I don't think he can.

shaggyJD says

You're banking on there being more racists in the electorate than there are sexists?

CZ says

Wow, no Republicans here?

Well, Ill be going out tomorrow to vote in my primary. Im pretty sure Ill be pulling the lever for Mitt.

The good news is that if Mitt looses, I get McCain. Im not really excited about McCain from a conservative dogma pont of view, but I figure if anybody has earned a shot at the presidency, its a guy who spent vietnam in a POW camp.

Oddly enough, I dont really dislike Obama as much as I thought I would. I cant say I'd be too excited about him becoming president. But he seems like a nice enough guy.

Of course on the subject of Hillary, my feelings are a little more defined. Lets just say I still remember the last time she was president.

Good luck to your candidates, it ought to be a fun newsday tomorrow.

Colleenky says

CZ: I could live with McCain, if it came to that. And thanks for proving my point about Clinton. :-)

Anonymous says

To shaggyJD:

I'm basing it on Obama's lack of political experience and the fact that a whole lot of idiot americans don't like brown people.

In order to win the whole thing, a candidate has to garner 100 percent of the democrat base, plus win over some from the other side.

Unless you can give me some kind of evidence that there are NO democrats who will stay home rather than vote for a black man, we're looking at less than 100 percent support behind Obama within our own party.

And please don't try to make a case that Obama can get more republicans to jump over the aisle than Kerry or Gore.

So in the end, we'll have 49 percent of the popular vote...AGAIN.

Peter, same as the second one, different from the first. says

I disagree, Anony. Hillary is so much more polarizing than Obama. Republicans would come out in droves just to vote AGAINST her even if they feel kinda "meh" about their own candidate. Not to mention all the smear tactics they could effectively use against her. All they have to do is bring up the pardons that her husband sold (and her brother arranged) near the end of his administration. Not to mention Bill's shady post-presidency deals with the dictator of Kazakhstan. And while those might be damaging, if they wanted to go for a kill, all it would take is one new sex scandal with Bill and she would be DONE. Heck, they could even just make one up, and people would be arguing about whether or not it's true until long after election day. The truth is, Hillary and Bill (mostly Bill) have way to much baggage for her to win in a general election. Maybe it's not fair that Hillary has to suffer for her husband's mistakes, but that's the way it will go down with the public.

Anonymous says

To the republican:

That's funny stuff. The last time she was president.

Yeah, I remember that too.

Mostly I remember how we erased the national debt and how the other denizens of this planet respected us like we were human beings. Also, you couldn't be locked up without trial and waterboarded.

shaggyJD says

Oboy. I got a bad feeling about this...

Anonymous says

To Peter:

I agree, almost completely with what you say about Clinton. Hillary is not the candidate we needed either. I have serious doubts that she can win it either...basically for the reasons you mention.

All I'm saying is that she's slightly less likely to lose than Obama. So I have no choice but to support her over him.

Peter, same as the second one, different from the first. says

Anony, I don't think any one could realisticly carry 100% of either party. But I know that Obama could definately carry more than Hillary. Some of the most libral people I know tell me they would never vote for her under any circumstances.

Anonymous says

Then they're not really as "libral" as you think they are.

Roman V says

@ CZ: Yeah I'm with you regarding Romney. I don't really know about McCain - he seems to have a way to piss everyone off, whether it be social conservatives or fiscal conservatives with things like McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy and McCain-Lieberman, but then he goes and pisses everyone else off by acting like an uber-hawk with his "we are going to be in Iraq for 100 years" stuff he is trying to pull.

I personally would like to see Obama get the nomination - as if Hillary did the Dems would really not have a chance, if anyone can unite moderate, centrist, and conservative Republicans it's Hillary. Plus, once Obama gets the nomination people will actually look at his record, and his statements regarding working together and they will find that, well, he doesn't do it.

The only person with real bi-partisan experience is Romney, http://mitt-tv.mittromney.com/?showid=210796 which is good for people like me, who don't belong to any party and don't plan on doing so in the near ever.

Plus, he knows the economy, so people with small businesses relating to tech stuff would get a huge bump under a Romney administration.

If you want to be able to buy Manhunt 2 uncensored in any store, by all means, vote Ron Paul. But if you're the kind of nerd who wants a job for other nerds, then you need a strong economy and that's what Mitt can deliver.

Gle3nn says

I can understand the attraction to Obama. He is very charismatic and I like him alot. He's like JFK without the understanding of the benefit of tax cuts for the economy. There are too many fundamental areas where I disagree with his postitions.
I am mostly conservative but I vote by the person not by party. I still have yet to see any candidate that I'm happy with. Where are the independent party candidates?

Roman V says

Not to mention he knows quite a bit about foreign competition, which - if you look at the tech sectors - is quite prevalent.

Roman V says

(that was a continuation of my previous message, not a reply as such to later posts)

ichbinschnappi says

I don't turn 18 until November 21st, which of course means that I won't be able to vote in the election at all, but I've been following the race closely because I'm finally old enough to realize that such things actually affect me.

And I'm thrilled to read that JoCo agrees with me, along with ... a few others, despite my own lack of voting privileges. At least someone I've viewed as a genius for quite a while can verify that I've been thinking along the right track.

Peter, same as the second one, different from the first. says

Yes, yes, make fun of my typo, that totally matters in the advancement of the arguement.

Anyways, my point is that a lot of people value character over policy when choosing a leader. In a race between Hillary and McCain, it would be hard for me to decide. I think Hillary has better policy, but she has tried some pretty underhanded things in her campain (for example: twisting the comments Obama made about Reagan, trying to get delegates seated in Michigan and Florida, where the party ruled there would be no delegates). I feel like I would have a hard time voting for her. Meanwhile, I rarely agree with McCain on anything except torture (he's against it), but he's at least honest. I'd probably still lean towards Hillary in this case, but I know a lot of people that would pick McCain.

Anonymous says

Sorry. I genuinely shouldn't have made fun of the typo. That's just not okay.

I apologize and I felt bad about that instantly.

However, it doesn't change the fact that a real liberal will never say "I wouldn't vote for Hillary under any circumstances." Her or any other candidate.

Liberalism is ABOUT policy, not personality. Personality and a 50-cent-piece is worth two quarters.

Besides, I still don't get what Hillary was ever supposed to have done or said to earn such vitriolic and universal hatred.

CZ says

Tomorrow will make or break Romney, frankly I would like to see him get the nomination, but I think its going the other way - McCain will probably take it.

Its a no lose situation for me, I wont feel bad about voting for McCain. It also wont be the first time either, I actually voted for him over GWB the last time around.

On the Dem side, its basically a formality. Hillary will take the nomination.
Sorry Obama fans. (really, I am)

So it shapes up to be Hillary vs. McCain.
It will be an interesting election cycle. Will Hillary-Hatred (TM) be enough to unite conservatives behind Mr just a little too close to liberal McCain?

Will the Dems patch up their differences and pull for Hillary in time to stave off McCains appeal to the independants?

This will be more fun for me than watching the superbowl. I wish I could bring nachos and beer to the polling place.

Peter, same as the second one, different from the first. says

Thank you for the apology, most people wouldn't be mature enough to do that.

And I don't really know why so many people hate Hillary so much, either. I mean, she's not exactly the most instantly-likeable person in the race, but I don't think she's done anything to really deserve all the haters she's got. However, in regards to electability, it's a pretty major handicap.

Shruti says

The way I see it, Clinton and Obama's platforms are virtually identical.
So that leaves personality and viability left to vote on.
And Obama wins those rounds. Not with me, necessarily. There's something about his speaking style that I find distinctly off-putting. But with the nation as a whole - there are just so many (young) people who are so motivated by him, and that's a *good* thing, that's a *fantastic* thing, that people are getting interested and involved and passionate.

And then regarding viability. Personally, there are zero people I know who would say "I am not voting for X because he is black, and I am morally opposed to having a black president, because black people are too weak and too emotional." On the other hand, I know TONS of people who would say that about a woman. Granted, they are generally people who would vote Republican, but still, they're votes Clinton's losing. And generally I'd say fuck those people because their opinion is absolutely ridiculous, but there's also a whole nother group of people who hate Clinton because of what happened earlier, or because it would continue the Bush-Clinton dynasty. (My roommate explicitly told me that she could never support someone who let her husband get away with cheating on her.) - and ultimately she just seems like such a divisive candidate that it's maybe not worth it, maybe even if her healthcare plan is better, or if she's more experienced, or less full of rhetoric.

(As for what I do like, I know I sure liked Joe Biden a hell of a lot. Because the foreign policy ideas of both the remaining Republicans [we must Win, whatever that means!] and the Democrats [we must Pull Out Troops As Fast As Possible, irrespective of the possible consequences!] seem ridiculously naive and ineffective, but that's something else entirely, I suppose, and completely unfeasible...)

(And regarding healthcare, since I mentioned it earlier - I have an eerie feeling that out of everyone, Mitt Romney's plan makes the most sense [although I like the idea of socialized medicine a lot too] - it seems like both Clinton and Obama are trying to find some awkward middle ground that just doesn't make sense ... I don't know that much about economics, so my perspective/opinions are perhaps not well founded, but I feel like you have to either go one way or the other and not try strange middle-of-the-road things that end up getting the worst aspects of both sides of the left-right economic spectrumful of ideas.)

In conclusion, I have no idea whom to support, but I'm glad that you're secure in your convictions...

Colleenky says

Here is a more eloquent argument in favor of Obama over Clinton as the Dem candidate, which basically expands on the reasons that Peter II stated. http://tinyurl.com/32dzvx

My husband (more politically savvy than I) tells me that head-to-head match-ups (e.g., Obama vs. Romney, Clinton vs. Romney, etc.) show that Obama is doing better against the Republican candidates. (Sorry I can't cite.) So for now, at least, we don't have to imagine who would do better, Obama *is* doing better. Of course, how much stock you put in poll results is up to you.

Finally, thank you everyone for keeping this civilized and on-topic so far.

[posted w/out having read Shruti's comments]

Peter II says

I've heard of those polls too, Colleenky.

SaintPeter says

Well, this is nice. I am voting in the CA primaries tomorrow and I had planned to vote for Obama. I feel so validated.

Roman V says

McCain doesn't really have support from fiscal or social conservatives, in fact it seems he has their nega-support. This will really be important in the closed primary states where only Republicans vote. Keep in mind that I think every Republican state in Super Tuesday is winner-take-all.

Clinton at times tries to play the centrist, experienced candidate which is why I see her getting the Dems nomination. It seems like a loose-loose for the Dems, if Hillary wins like I said she unites all republicans, and if Obama wins, they will find holes in his record within really a matter of minutes. Why is that the Dems seem to, when everything gets put on the line, seem to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

Thomas Thunderbus says

As much as I wish Obama would win the presidency, It's not time.
If Obama is the presidential Candidate, Democrats have no chance.

People have been beating around the bush on this so far, but I'm going to come out and say it: The voting Americans do not want a black president.
I wish it wasn't so, but racism still has too hard of a hold on North America.
You may think "No, America is smarter than that", but that's what you thought before Bush was re-elected, too.

I dislike Clinton.

I disagree with Shruti, as I have heard many differences between their platforms. For example: War. Obama says "We need to get out of there NOW" where Clinton says "We will get out... soon"

James says

I liked Obama since the fist time I saw him on Oprah plugging his book The Audacity of Hope. I've been an Obama man ever since. Its one of the best most eye opening books I'e ever read. He is the real deal.

Grant says

No can do, man. I'm backing McCain.

I have a feeling that I am something of a rarity in the nerd community.

Colleenky says

Since I've already said everything I'm going to say about the candidates, I will instead offer an interesting op-ed piece in Time about the real reason that anyone runs for President - naked ambition. http://tinyurl.com/2q5xes

Peter II says

Roman, I don't think the republicans could find a hole in Obama's record big enough to compensate for the exaustion the American people have with the republican party. George W. Bush is a weight chained to the ankles of any republican nominee, and whether or not that's fair, their going to have a heckuva time trying to distance themselves to him.

Shruti says


"I disagree with Shruti, as I have heard many differences between their platforms. For example: War. Obama says “We need to get out of there NOW” where Clinton says “We will get out… soon”"

- ok, but both are reactionary responses to general unease with the state of the war now, not actual thought-out policies, and ultimately, there's very little difference - both are going to try (whatever that means) to start getting troops out as soon as they're in office.

Shruti says

to clarify: that's not so much a difference as a triviality.

Dave says

I'll be casting my vote for McCain tomorrow. Why? Because I like the fact that he has actually gotten stuff done in the federal government. Obama seems like this magical vessel for all the hopes and dreams of everyone, but the truth is no presidency ever turns out like that. Even incredibly popular guys like FDR held private military tribunals and tried to restructure the Supreme Court (arguably the biggest power grab in the history of the US). I don't support torture, and it's for that reason that I'm going with the guy who had the integrity to spend five years of his life withstanding foreign torture to stand up for the ideal that every US citizen is equal, and that he wouldn't use his privilege to deny that ideal. Foreign immigration? McCain has a good plan, and experience because he has been a border state senator for decades. War? At least McCain has the balls to tell the truth: that we won't leave Iraq no matter who gets elected. Obama sounds nice, but McCain has shown me he can actually do the right thing, not just talk about it.

It comes down to this: if McCain and Obama debate, McCain will be able to talk about what he has done, not just what he will do.

Roman V says

@ Peter: It took me roughly a minute and a half and I found a number of occasions in which Obama appears to be contradicting his message of working across the aisle. I'm no politician - these guys have research teams, and, God help us, access to Google.

Peter II says

Roman: If you can give us a link to one of these occasions, that would be greatly appreciated. I'm skeptical, because I feel like if it were really as big a thing as you make it sound, we would have already heard this from Hillary's camp.

JoAnn from VA says

I am more of a libertarian than anything else, but since they can never manage to agree on much other than "Leave me alone and let me keep the money I earned instead of stealing it through taxes and forcing me to live in a socialist state" I tend to vote Republican as the lesser of two evils. Problem is that the lesser of two evils is still evil, isn't it. I am not excited about anyone on either side at this point. McCain is virtually identical to Clinton in voting record and in beliefs.
So- I am still undecided. And I can't hold my breath and throw a tantrum and refuse to buy your stuff cause I already own it all, and am still going to your concert in Alexandria. :o) It is ok to disagree people- this is the flipping USA after all. Just be civil while disagreeing if you can.

Colleenky says

Roman: Also, it seems to me that Peter II's point was *not* that there are no holes in Obama's record, but that this would not be enough to overcome many American's discontent with the Republican party. So the fact that you found whatever you found doesn't really invalidate his argument.

Gary says

The original virtual Gary supports Obama.

Roman V says


"...Obama was known in the Illinois Capitol as a consistently liberal senator who reflected the views of voters in his Chicago district. He helped reform the state death penalty system and create tax breaks for the poor while developing a reputation as someone who would work with critics to build consensus. ..."

Very little of Obama's record represents any sort of working across the isle, as compared especially to Gov. Romney, see http://mitt-tv.mittromney.com/?showid=210796 for example.

Roman V says

@ Colleenky: I think most Americans are tired of the parties in general and want someone who can work with people of all sides on all issues. Obama's record does not demonstrate that, and McCain's record shows him polarizing either to the far right with the war (100 more years, apparently) and to the left with most everything else, like illegal immigration and 2nd amendment stuff.

Colleenky says

Roman: I'm not really arguing against you, I was just pointing out that your "gotcha" against Peter II, wasn't very gotcha-y. [disengaging from this particular argument]

DavidR says

Enough of this debate: Dump all the options and vote for Perot! No... Wait... Never mind... Obama will do, for now.

SeanL says

I hear a lot of talk about 'Change' from both Obama and Clinton...but they are both still funded by the various organizations that are pushing for more of the same. I don't trust either of them, and they won't get my vote in the primary. I'm voting for Mike Gravel tomorrow (look him up, if you haven't heard of him). He's been totally ignored by the media, and hardly able to get in on any of the debates. I know he's probably not going to win any primaries, but I refuse to let that influence who I am voting for, because the system is now setup in such a way that you're made to believe there is only two or three choices, which is rediculous.

Demetrius says

"Anonymous Says:"

If Hillary is depending on getting all of the Democrat(ic) votes to win the GE she's in for a rude awakening. I could NEVER support her. And, I am far from alone in this. She and her machine/cabal are the antithesis of why I got involved in politics. I was brought in by people who said "You have the power!" and "Yes, we can!" My main reason to be involved is to change the political paradigm in this country. I'm not so afraid of the GOP that I'm willing to give up on that. I don't just want the same old bu**sh** politics in a Blue State Blue pantsuit.

Her campaign is all about power for *her*. She has shown that she will employ the worst Rovian tactics to get that power. A win for her says: "No. *We* (Grassroots Progressives) can't." If she is the best nominee we can get then my involvement in politics has been for naught. And, I will be perfectly happy to go back into apathy mode.

Loss of *my* support is the least of Hillary's problems, though. I'm sure there are plenty of "loyal Democrats" who will hold their noses and vote for her. But, Republicans will come out of the woodwork to oppose her (Republicans that *don't* have the same visceral haterd for Obama.) And, this will hurt Democrats all down the ballot. If she managed to get elected they would use whatever power they have to make sure she had no positive legacy. Hillary has almost no chance of doing the job we need done.

Colleenky says

SeanL: I have to agree with Anonymous on many points. Specifically, I think that this election is too important not to game the system. I'd hate to see another Ralph Nader type debacle.

Shruti says


I love Gravel. Seriously. I'm so glad someone else does...

Roman V says

@David: Vote Quimby.

Demetrius says

...and, it would do me a WORLD of good to see Malia and Sasha playing in the Rose Garden and traipsing about the White House!

Roman V says

also, i posted my reply regarding obamas record, but it says it is awaiting approval....

Luke M says

Let's see now:

CZ sez:

Wow, no Republicans here? Well, Ill be going out tomorrow to vote in my primary. Im pretty sure Ill be pulling the lever for Mitt.

The Business candidate over the Hawk. Have fun with that. It's a huuuuge tent!

Anonymous sez:

In order to win the whole thing, a candidate has to garner 100 percent of the democrat base, plus win over some from the other side.

Not strictly true, but truthy. Good enough if you're looking for reasons not to vote for the Colored fella.

Anonymous sez:

The last time she was president.

Haw haw haw! Because if there's one thing Bill Clinton was, it was pussywhipped.

Thomas Thunderbus sez:

As much as I wish Obama would win the presidency, It’s not time.

It never is. That's what keeps commentators in business, explaining how that thing that shouldn't have happened, happened anyway.

Dave sez:

Dave Says:
February 4th, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I’ll be casting my vote for McCain tomorrow. Why? .... I don’t support torture

You're hilarious.

SeanL sez:

the system is now setup in such a way that you’re made to believe there is only two or three choices, which is ridiculous.

Ridiculous in the sense of "the way things actually work," right?

I have a great slogan: Vote Obama -- Dare to Hope One Last Time!

It's like a Monkees reunion tour, but with nukes.

Then we all watch as Portugal reclaims the world. Good times!

selene says

i'm sorry but i cant vote because i'm a resident in this country.

Demetrius says

...watching the Grateful Dead rallying for Obama. If the man can raise the Dead - he can heal a sick country!

Shruti says

haha, best excuse ever.
I was registering people to vote the other day, and this one kid walked by, and I was all, "hey, are you registered to vote? It takes under two minutes and we send it in for you!" and he looked at me with like, the saddest expression and was like, "I'm foreign" and kept walking. It was the second best moment of the day - the first was when we registered this guy to vote, and he took one of the free "vote!" wristbands, and went down the hall yelling at people to "vote, motherfuckers!"

Rachel says

I've heard people say, "There are too many racists for Obama to win the vote," but I've also read of polls showing that the opposite is true -- that, because Obama isn't personally descended from slaves, he's a *safe* black that more people are comfortable with. (Sorry -- it's been several months since I read that, and I can't find my citation.)

Anonymous says

Okay, Luke.

I tried to explain this carefully.

*I* am not trying to look for reasons not to vote for a black man. That is because I am not a racist. I don't give a damn what color anybody is.

But it is a big hairy FACT that there are millions of racist jerks in this country who will NEVER vote for a black man, just like they'll never vote for woman.

I am the first to admit, like I pointed out in my first post, that the democrats screwed up big time the instant it came down to a race between a woman and a black man.

Don't call me a racist just because I refuse to stick my head in the sand and go "LA LA LA...I'M NOT LISTENING...WE SOLVED THAT RACISM PROBLEM IN 1969! I LEARNED THAT IN MIDDLE SCHOOL!"

Obama can't win. Hillary might barely win. Why? Cause this country is a disgusting backwater of cultural bankruptcy.

Thus, my original preference for a stable, unassailable white male to be a shoe-in for president after 8 years of global humiliation is based not on racism, but...again as I said before...based on realism.

manstraw says

wish I could vote. can't. Canadian.

I would love Obama be your next President. I don't see it happening. I would love to be proven wrong. I'm praying to all the molecules in existence that the democrats win the next election. I honestly don't care who the actual President is nearly so much.

To al the dems out there. Do me proud and get up off your butts and vote!

Andy says

You know, I hate to be the kind of fan who judges a musician by his political affiliations, but Jonathan Coulton... I love you.

Also, "Anonymous," have you been politically isolated for the last year or something? When polled against any of the Republican candidates, Obama's generally won by a sizeable margin. You're not being a realist, you're just being blindly cynical.

Anonymous says

To Demetrius:

Please don't act like Obama is any less self-serving and hollow than Hillary.

I didn't want to get into this, because I didn't want to bash Obama or talk about anything other than his chances of winning, but it's pretty obvious to me that in lieu of any real dedication to his platform, he's running so that he can become the first black president. It's all about him and how he's going to break the barrier. He's convinced himself that it's his destiny.

And you know what? That scares the crap out of me.

Is that going to matter come November, when I'll vote for whoever is wearing the blue? Hell no.

Another thing that bothers me about Obama is the degree to which he sucks up to the religious crowd.

Hillary has to say "God bless America" and profess some kind of belief too, or she'll throw away any chance she might have, but it brings up an interesting point.

One of the reasons that I'm a liberal is that I am an atheist, and let me tell all of y'all. We're gonna have a list of black, brown, female, shemale, eskimo, and albino presidents as long as your arm before an uncloseted atheist can get elected in this country.

Anonymous says

To Andy:

Please believe me when I say I hope with all my heart that you are correct.

All I'm saying is, Cleetus and Jimbo and Bubba and all their boys don't answer informal polls.

They will, however, be coming down out of the hills to vote against the woman and/or black guy.

Let's hope there aren't as many of them as I think there are.

EarBucket says

Y'know. . .this is just an anecdotal data point, but my dad's a right-wing, conservative Midwestern Christian Republican who voted for Bush twice, listens to Rush Limbaugh, reads Ann Coulter, and literally believes John Edwards is a socialist.

He's voting for Obama in tomorrow's primary.

My mother-in-law wouldn't let my wife watch the Cosby Show growing up because there were "too many niggers on it."

She's planning to vote for Obama in our primary.

This guy's got the potential to utterly rewrite the electoral map in this country. The Democratic party has a choice between rushing for two yards or passing downfield for a touchdown. Let's hope they make the smart play.

Randal says


Really? Cause I did an informal poll of Cleetus, Jimbo, and Bubba just the other day (we're neighbors), and while Cleetus and Bubba were for Huckabee, Jimbo was for Obama.

Not that surprising, really--not everyone in the South is automatically a racist, or an idiot, for that matter.

Clinton had a shot a healthcare reform, with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, and couldn't get it passed back in '93. Her new proposal is, if anything, even worse than the original one. Her failure to repudiate her vote to send our troops into Iraq leads me to believe that she's not really interested in getting them out of Iraq. Which puts me in a bit of a bind, as my children will hit the age where they may be asked to die for their country--a noble and worthwhile sacrifice when given for the right cause, but Iraq (its resources and its gravy-train contracts) isn't the right cause.

Demetrius says

"Please don’t act like Obama is any less self-serving and hollow than Hillary."

Oh... I have a hard time believing that *anybody* could be as self serving and hollow as Hillary - unless it's Bill. But, as long as good was coming of it I was willing to forgive Bill.

Obama went to great pains *not* to run as the "Black Candidate". This is why he had such broad appeal. He ran on a record of service and an inspirational vision for transforming American politics. It was the Clintons and their surrogates that injected race into the, umm... race. Of course, they could apologize for it later or distance themselves from their sacrificial "over-zealous supporters". But, by then the bird has flown. Hasn't it? The Clintons are very good at the political game. I don't believe for a minute that this wasn't part of their strategy: 1) make Obama the Black Candidate 2) marginalize him as "another Jesse Jackson" and 3) rally Mainstream America around Hillary, the Sensible Candidate. Hillary preaches that voters should judge them on their records. But, she plays the gender card whenever she sees an opportunity to score points with women. I say: Judge them by the content of their character - not the content of their *underwear*!

WRT religion: Obama speaks to his faith because he really *believes*. Speaking as a radical evangelical agnostic, (I don't know if God exists. And, *you* don't either!) I think no one should have to profess a belief that is not genuine. But, if it *is* genuine - it is a part of who you are - it's something that people should know about you. Have at it! Atheists (at least those *I* know) still have values that inform their decisions. They should be able to speak to those, too - without having to fake a religion.

Gle3nn says

"the other denizens of this planet respected us like we were human beings."
Anon- Seriously?
I remember the nineties as being quite violent toward us even though we did nothing in retaliation. Remember the WTC bombing in 93? The embassy bombings? The U.S.S. Cole? Somalia? Every time we were hit, the administration did nothing. Clinton even forced the release of a known terrorist in 93 who later flew a plane into the WTC. Peace was tried many times, They didn't love us then either.

Bill Cunningham says

Coming out of lurk here to make one post and then not get involved in a lengthy political debate:

I'm 38, I've voted in every Presidential election since Clinton vs. Bush Sr.

I registered Republican when I first registered to vote, mostly because my family were democrats. But I voted for Clinton that first time. Then again. Then I voted for Gore, but that didn't work out. By that time I'd switched officially to the Democratic party, and then at one point I was in Perot's party. After that, I didn't feel like being in any party. During the Bush v. Kerry election, I voted for Bush (sadly) because I hated Kerry and I was concerned that the commitment we had made to Iraq and Afghanistan would be botched if the administration switched. Ha! What a f-ing fool I was!

I can honestly say that in my entire life there hasn't been a politician as inspirational to me as Obama.

Obama tells the truth, he is a smart man why doesn't talk down to people, and who doesn't deploy coldly calculated focus-grouped bull$hit. He elicits respect from both sides of the cultural divide. People from both sides like and are inspired by him. His campaign is about what America can be, not what HE can be. When he says "we" he means it. He has substance, he has a proven ability to work for the greater good.

Hillary Clinton wants to stick it to the Republicans, but nominating her will just force us into yet another closely divided 50/50 split election and yes, if the Republicans nominate McCain, Hillary stand a very good chance of losing.

I've had this discussion several times at work now, and it's so frustrating to see people saying they'll vote for Clinton in the primary because they think America won't vote for a black president.

It's not true.

Certainly Racism hasn't been eradicated in the US, but if you thing Obama's being black has been a detriment to his electability you just haven't been paying attention. He consistently pulls significantly more votes from rural areas than Clinton (which have traditionally been the areas that lean right) - that's VOTES, not just polls. Most of the urban folks I know who aren't already on his side are only on the fence because their afraid of this supposed racism that will keep him from being elected. But I'm looking and looking for it, and it just isn't there. Yes, there is still racism in America. No, it isn't going to be a problem for Obama in this election.

Clinton is the more uncertain candidate. I can't believe people can't see this. If Obama is the nominee, he will almost certainly win by a large margin. If it's Clinton, and she's up against McCain - she will lose. Despite all the past 8 years she will lose. She might win against any of the others but she'll lose against McCain. In any of the scenarios that she wins, it will be by a narrow margin with a divided country and her skeletons will chatter at her heels the entirety of her term.

Obama can beat ANY of the Republican candidates, because he isn't afraid of the future, he's excited about the what America can be, and he has the ability to make others embrace that future and see the potential. He has what Reagan had, and what JFK had - infectious optimism and boldness.

Unfortunately, Democrats always seem to nominate based on pessimism and fear, rather than optimism and hope. And that's way they almost always lose. And now I'm afraid too many in the party are too beaten down by past losses that there is a bunker mentality, they can't look around and see the world can be changed here, we're at a fulcrum. They can't dream anymore, all they can contemplate is bloody revenge. So to reach for a small victory, they'll lose the whole field.

I'm glad independents can vote in the Dem Primary in California. I'll be casting a vote for Obama tomorrow.

Please, please, please consider doing the same.

Clucky says

I don't think I could ever in good faith support a liberal. That being said. Obama is a pretty good liberal for a year that the republican candidate basically has no shot at winning.

Anonymous says

You make some laudable points, Demetrius.

However, I still would like to see some actual evidence to back up this image of Hillary as the worst person who's ever lived that SO many people seem to have.

But that's beside the point. I think Obama has indeed taken great pains to not appear to be running as the "black candidate." A bit too great, if you catch my drift. Yet, where he isn't overcompensating, he just reverts to transparency. A particularly obvious (and recent) move was for him to speak from Martin Luther King Jr.'s pulpit on Dr. King's birthday.

It's been clear to me, right from the start of Obama's rise to prominence (when he spoke at the DNC) that he sees himself as a virtual incarnation of Dr. King. He's such an oh-so-moving speaker. Such a truly GREAT man, springing from such humble roots as an immigrant father, yadda-yadda on down the retch-inducingly self-serving line-- which is what it is. A line.

He's the first and most ardent member of his own cult of personality...and I would say more power to him, if only he was a third-term veteran rather than a no-experience-having flavor of the month who has simply lucked into being the Great Black Hope.

And I STILL wouldn't care, if I thought he was going to win the damn election. Hell, maybe he will. But yes, I say again. We should have played it safe and waited another eight years to try the principled ethno-social progress-making. Too much is at stake.

Which brings me back to the religion can o' worms. You say "They should be able to speak to those, too - without having to fake a religion." Well, that's not the way it is. If you say you don't believe in god, you've got as much chance being elected here as one of those guys who gets caught on "to catch a predator."

But am I championing some atheist (or agnostic...I don't have a beef with you guys. you can sit on the fence all you want as long as you're not telling me I'm going to burn in hell) who can't win. I'm backing the person I think has the greatest chance of winning.

Demetrius says

"Clucky Says:"

I don't tend to support candidates based on specific policy positions or ideology. I tend to go for those who have integrity and approach problem solving with reason and logic. I like them as bu**sh** free as possible - mavericks, even. I was (*am*, at heart) for Dean. I like Obama. I even liked McCain at one point. I voted for him (against Bush) in the GOP primary of 2000. But, he's really pissed away whatever appeal he had to my rational side with his support for Bush's Stupid War. It's not the war as an issue, so much - as the war as a statement of how good his judgment is.

Anonymous says

I'm with you on the Dean front, Demetrius. Although Dennis Kucinich probably has the platform that most clearly mirrors my own views, I know I won't ever get a chance to vote for him because he'll never have a chance...smoking hot wife or not.

Julius says

I'm somewhat of a mutt. I'm conservative, but think we need MUCH better gun control. I wish I could find a viable Republican candidate that opposed the war. I'm a registered Republican, but i can't stand our current president because of my low tolerance of really dumb guys. I HATE it every time he opens his mouth. I'm a HUGE West Wing/Aaron Sorkin fan. I want leaders like that in the "real world"

I'm a words guy. I want a leader that can articulate his thoughts, can move me, can inspire people to action. Obama is really growing one me.

A friend of mine sent me this link today and it has REALLY made me take an interest in Obama. This is a video of his NH speech that I'm sure will be virally forwarded to every mailbox by the end of the week.

But... it's a great speech. It's like the JFK "Hat over the wall" space speech, or even the MLK "I had a dream" speech. I know those are dangerous waters to wade into, to compare something to those...

Ah heck, just have a look. Maybe it will inspire you... not as a democrat, or a republican, or a black thing, or a whatever. But as a human, and an American. As someone who believes that change is still possible... and needed.


As always- your mileage may vary.

Demetrius says

"A particularly obvious (and recent) move was for him to speak from Martin Luther King Jr.’s pulpit on Dr. King’s birthday."

By this point race was already an issue. So, for Obama *not* to speak to it on such a momentous occasion to a state with such a large African American demographic would have been odd. He has evoked King before. Not to say "Vote for me. I'm Black!" But, to note how King's vision is a vision for us all. I think it is Obama's ability to be inclusive in his message (even of Republicans) that is the most impressive. (My early criticism of him was that he was *too* willing to work with Republicans.) I think he is really capable of fostering a new cooperation because he really *wants* to. He thinks it is the right thing to do. And, he hasn't been in Washington so long that he is jaded to the possibility.

Demetrius says

"...smoking hot wife or not."

Oh... Don't even get me *started* on Elizabeth K! ;)

Anonymous says

See? There's always common ground.

Bill Cunningham says

The President is not a position to vote for based on platform. Platforms are for Senators and Representatives - the people you need to know want the things you want in order to draft law.

The President is to embody aspiration, to keep things pointed toward betterment, to interface with foreign heads of state, and to set the tone of the administration. It's usually better to have a bold president.

Dems could have gone with the bold choice in 04 - that would have been Dean. Didn't, went with "electable" Kerry. Lost. (Probably would have lost even with Dean, but we'll never know. He was certainly the bolder choice).

Clinton does not embody my aspirations, she won't keep things pointed toward betterment, she'll just get embroiled in endless, unwindable street fights with Republicans at ever turn. I don't think she will be the best face to the rest of the world (certainly not the worst though, this is probably the area she's at her least inadquate). The tone she'll set for the administration will be abysmal.

We can have another republican administration, we can fight the 1990's all over again for 8 more years, or we can do something better and new.

Anonymous says

I do want to reiterate, if this point has been lost at all, that this disagreement re: Hillary vs. Obama is only rooted in (for the Democrats in the forum here) is only so heated because our small differences inside the liberal umbrella are so tiny in comparison to our deep collective NEED to see the USA move away from the far-right.

So no offense to anyone who isn't a conservative. All I'm saying is that underneath the hype and the lies, both Hillary and Obama's real campaign slogan's should read (if they were indeed honest):

Vote for me: I deserve it.

And that sucks. It sucks because this nation needs something better than that, and it sucks because I think the swing voters are going to see that in either candidate and maybe run to McCain, because by November, his fake sincerity might appear better than either of theirs.

Bill Cunningham says

I disagree - I do not think Obama's slogan (being honest) is anything like "Vote for me: I deserve it."

It's more like: "Vote for me: and lets go do something better together"

Really, it is.

Anonymous says

I really don't think so, Bill.

That's still the line we're being fed.

Every four years, this culture is inundated with this insulting rhetoric that, by voting for one of the major-party candidates, we're going to be part of some great movement of grand doings and hopeful tomorrows.

Well, when has that ever happened? It doesn't. What we're really doing when we vote is attempting to preserve the specific American representative-government-themed social contract.

Checks and balances, term limits, procedural rules, vetoes, all of that stuff that's in the constitution, it's basically there to PREVENT any such lofty crap from happening. The best a presidential administration, legislature, court justice or anyone in government is really supposed to do according to the substance of our society is to deal with problems that crop up, make sure as few stupid mistakes get made as possible, and advance the general welfare of the country by some measure.

Franklin Roosevelt, with the help of four terms and some very unique situations, managed to accomplish a huge amount. His is the only administration that ever came close to the grandiose terms by which every candidate sells him/herself during the campaign.

So, I would urge people away from a candidate who bases everything on this chance for you, the voter, to participate in some lofty, hopeful enterprise. It's smarm without substance and it's insulting to the intellect.

I don't want to vote based on what makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I don't care about someone's stage presence or their public speaking ability or charm. I want to vote for a cold, calculating, experienced, savvy genius.

Basically I want to vote for a supervillain who will abide by the constitution.

Since that candidate does not currently exist, I have to go with Hillary...although I do hold out some hopes that Al Gore will integrate his mind with the Internet he created and emerge as our cyborg overlord.

Martha says

Speaking as someone who's respected Hillary Clinton for 16 years, and gets that politics is a hard world and she's had to fight dirty fighters;

Jonathan Coulton's with me tomorrow. Well, I'm voting in CA and he's voting in NY, but aside from that.

You can make strong arguments either way about which one has more trouble running against McCain (though I think the electability arguments for Obama tip the scale), but there's one candidate whose election starts to repair the damage done to America's standing in the world not from Day 1, but from the morning after the election.

If Barack Obama is the elected president, people in countries all over the world wake up, blink, and think, America's finally coming out of that horrible, eight-year fugue. Hot damn.

I do respect Clinton and I'll fight like hell for her if she's the nominee, but that's not the name I'm marking tomorrow. (Well, technically, today.)

Richard Crawford says

That did it! I'm fully in Obama's camp now. Especially since Edwards dropped out.

Brandon Barker says

I'm in with JoCo on this. You should really check out Lessig's blog on some of this.

The strategy of just wanting a "Dem" isn't the right way to look at this, at least for me. Based on character and issues, I would rank my preferences in the following way:

Obama > McCain > Clinton > Romney.

Chance of winning (at this point):

Obama =~ McCain =~ Clinton > Romney.

Since in my eyes I should pick from the candidates that have a pretty good chance of winning , and since I do not like Romney or Clinton at all, I may as well go for Obama.

If Clinton gets in, it will be due to this collective cynicism that we just need to get a "Dem" in.

Bill Cunningham says

Anonymous: "Well, when has that ever happened?"

I get what you're saying, but, the thing is, if you were a Republican in the 80's, that DID happen for you, it was Reagan. If you were liberal or a Dem then, you didn't see it because it wasn't the hopeful tomorrow you were looking for, but it WAS for the conservative world. Changes actually did happen that they much looked forward to, and people on that side of the fence were part of a large sweeping change.

Obama can be the catalyst for a change on that order in a more liberal direction. Clinton cannot.

I do not feel lied or pandered to by him. I don't see him as some magical candyman bringing brave-new-worlds for all the good children of America. I see him as an end to the dreary sniping bull$hit I've been dealing with in national politics my whole adult life. There will be new bull$hit, yes, I know... but I'm ready for some new bull$hit, I've quite had my fill of this old pile.

Your mythical constitutional supervillain not only doesn't exist, but never will. But occasionally a Reagan or an Obama comes along that can shift the game a bit, and build a new majority consensus around a new set of ideals.

It has been done. Reagan did it. Obama can do it too. He can catalyze a majority leaning left, and set the agenda for discussion on the national level for the next 8 years, maybe beyond. Clinton can't do that. Clinton will just dance to the entrenched partisan agenda we've been living with for the last 16 years.

Don't you want to put that aside? Aren't you tired of it?

Anonymous says

First of all, ol' Ronny built a majority consensus only in his Alzheimer's dreams. Everywhere else, he's a symbol of political division.

To conservatives, he's a vaunted demigod. To me, he's a bogeyman figure of American fascism.

We could debate who can be a better "catalyst for change" (we could even debate what the hell such an insipid and meaningless phrase denotes, for that matter), Hillary or Obama, all day long, but that doesn't matter.

Right now, no democrat should give a damn about that. That's like worrying about a hangnail when you've got a bleeding artery. We should stop the neoconservatives from burning the bill of rights first, then worry about the pie-in-the-sky bullshit.

So, no, I do not want to put anything aside other than the republicans. I am tired of Karl Rove and his subversion of our basic civil liberties.

I want a democrat in the white house, because ANY democrat will go a long way to stop this bleeding. We do not have the luxury of considering anything else, regardless of how nice it would be to have a break with the traditional bullshit.

Jack F says

As a Pennsylvanian, I don't get to vote until it's too late to matter. But I'll throw in my 2 cents here. On the key issues like the size of government, national defense, immigration, economic policies, - I don't think Obama will move the country in the right direction. I do like that he comes across as a strong leader, but his record on government spending makes it clear that he'll keep on spending and taxes will go up. When taxes go up, the economy goes down.

JP says

Wow, suddenly I have the urge to vote for Obama.

Oh I loved that pause in the song after you sang "I don't like to make political statements."

My mom was annoyed that you didn't sing that Bush was the Antichrist. I said "But mom, we are Jewish, we don't even believe in the Antichrist."

I like the idea of net neutrality

JP says

Wow, suddenly I have the urge to vote for Obama.

Oh I loved that pause in the song after you sang "I don't like to make political statements."

My mom was annoyed that you didn't sing that Bush was the Antichrist. I said "But mom, we are Jewish, we don't even believe in the Antichrist."

I like the idea of net neutrality and they both want health care for people that can't afford it, except for the Republicans. I read that they want to deregulate everything and hope that prices will go down, or that maybe the poor and lower middle class will go away.

So yes I am with you in voting for Obama. Why not write a song about it? Could you add something, maybe about health care, if you do. I will give you a dollar. Two if my mother pirates your song.

Giggleloop says

I already did - and I'm glad to see you did too. :)

JoCo says

I just want to say how amazed I am that this collection of comments has stayed so civil and productive for so long - good for us! I'm sorry I fell behind on approving the comments held for moderation, but I was asleep. That happens when there are multiple links, or certain cuss words (the moderation part, not the me sleeping part).

I do believe that Obama is "the real deal," and I also believe that he's electable. I love that when they asked each candidate to describe their greatest weakness he said that he was disorganized and had a messy desk, while the rest of the candidates said things like "I work too hard" and "I respect the Constitution too much." You could say that's just him not knowing how to handle that question in a debate, but whatever, it's clearly an honest response. In this day and age it's amazing that his first instinct was to answer that question honestly - he's supposed to be a politician! This is a meaningless example of course, and a stupid debate question, except for the fact that his response speaks very loudly to character (in my mind).

Anyone on the fence should really read the Lessig explanation I link to in my original post. I'll quote a couple of key sections here.

On the call to make the debates free (of copyright):
"But what put me over the line with Senator Clinton was the refusal to join the bipartisan call that presidential debates be free. Not because this is a big issue. But because even on this (relatively) small issue, she couldn't muster the strength to do the right thing.

Her failure here was not because her campaign didn't know of the issue. I spoke directly to leading figures (or so they said) in the campaign. The issue was discussed, and a decision was made. And the decision was to say nothing about the issue. You can almost see the kind of tiny speak that was battered around inside HQ. "Calling for free debates might be seen as opposing copyright." "It might weaken our support among IP lawyers and Hollywood." "What would Disney think?" Better to say nothing about the issue. Better to let it simply go away."

On a section of Obama's technology platform - and I really think this has amazing transformative potential:

"But the big part of this is a commitment to making data about the government (as well as government data) publicly available in standard machine readable formats. The promise isn't just the naive promise that government websites will work better and reveal more. It is the really powerful promise to feed the data necessary for the Sunlights and the Maplights of the world to make government work better. Atomize (or RSS-ify) government data (votes, contributions, Members of Congress's calendars) and you enable the rest of us to make clear the economy of influence that is Washington."

If Hillary can't even come out in support of making the debates free (worse: she never even addressed the issue!), I can't imagine her ever stepping up to do something as awesome as that.

Demetrius says

"Anonymous Says:
February 5th, 2008 at 2:31 am
Vote for me: I deserve it."

Douglas Adams wrote: “Anyone capable of getting themselves made president should on no account be allowed to do the job.” That is a sad reality of politics. What it takes to get elected is SO different from what it takes to govern once in office. My fervent hope is that a Dean, or Obama, or eventually a Subohd Chandra can change that. I want to live in the USA that would elect one of these guys.

Mel says

I'm voting for Provolone. I really like Cheddar, I mean, it makes great nachos. But for my money, there's nothing like provolone on a good hot corned beef or pastrami sandwich. American is just too conservative for me, and Swiss just doesn't have the structural integrity for the kind of cheese I need. There are so many that really like Provolone (I mean, it's even in Subway now!) that I really think it can unite the nation.

Shruti says

@Bill Cunningham, or anyone other fervent Obama-ite:

What is it about him you find particularly motivational? Because when I watch his speeches, or the debates, I just see another politician saying meaningless, unsubstantial words; I just see more rhetoric. And I see a falsely earnest, stern "sincerity" that to me seems like a mimicry of past leaders more so than an actual personality. And I hear that stupid word "change" repeated over, and over, and over - let me tell you, regardless of who's elected, there is going to be change. Nobody is going to be a Bush clone. But at the same time, regardless of who's elected, there is not going to be any REAL change - they're all relatively centrist, mainstream-major-party wide-appeal candidates.

I mean, you say "Obama can be the catalyst for a change on that order in a more liberal direction. Clinton cannot." - what makes you honestly believe that?

I'm just trying to understand the Obama frenzy, because I see it all around, and I honestly just don't get it. If you could explain, that'd be lovely...

(And I have to admit, I haven't read up on his technology platform, I'll do that today, I promise...)

AverageJon says

Ah... we'll finally have the last line to "The Presidents"

"And I don’t like to make political statements...
but go vote for Obama. He's a geek."

EarBucket says

Shruti, I think this post from hilzoy over at Obsidian Wings does a better job than I can of explaining Obama's substantive policy cred. He's got a record of getting good, solid legislation passed, and doing it by cooperating (not compromising, which is an important distinction) with Republicans--often very conservative Republicans. The guy gets stuff done.


junkle says

Wow. Mr. Coulton certainly has the right to do as he wishes with his website, but I hate when politics is in places it really doesn't need to be. Politics has destroyed many communities -- created very few. I kind of hate to see it here at all.

I also find it kind of sad how many Americans just buy into the "if you don't settle for a dem or rep candidate you are wasting your vote." If you agree with one of them, great -- if not look around you might be surprised some of the people (and ideas) out there worthy of support. Sometimes it isn't about winning it is about showing the major parties that a lot of people believe in something else -- trust me they'll adapt. :p

But the most important thing is take time to cast an INFORMED vote. Please don't be the person in front of me in line asking who they should vote for (it has actually happened).


Roman V. says

I'll vote for the first candidate who proves they use Linux... Best we have so far is I think most of the Romney boys use Mac, which is at least Unix-based, so they're getting there.

eliannrad says

Today in school there was a mock primary. Obama had a slight lead over Clinton by the end of the day.

Sorry JoCo, I voted for Clinton because I think one problem of this country is that it needs a woman's touch and Obama is a guy, like all of our former presidents. Being black or colored or whatever you want to call him has nothing to do with it. He's a guy. Why do we think because he's 'black' that he's going to be any different? I believe that's just as racist as saying he can't do a good job because of his race.

Anyways, I can't REALLY vote. Too young.

Jac says

NOTA 2008!

XDPaul says


I am a Whig. My father was a Whig. His father before him was a Whig. His father after him was a Whig. This means that his son was his own grandmother! Once removed!

See, I have a time machine. But you don't know that, because I posted this in the future.

Oh, right. Obama. I'll vote for him, but only if you assure me that he provides the best foil to that rascal Van Buren. He must be stopped at any cost!

Mark Gordon says

You've never been soft Baracked, til you've been soft Baracked by me.

Demetrius says

It kind of bothers me that none of the candidates has spelled out a plan to deal with the high levels of dihydrogen monoxide in our lakes and streams.


Demetrius says

"Anonymous Says:
February 5th, 2008 at 3:07 am

I do hold out some hopes that Al Gore will integrate his mind with the Internet he created and emerge as our cyborg overlord."

You said "overlord"... Did you mean "protector"?

przxqgl says

Mike Gravel for president!

Daniel says


Do you realize what you are saying? Let me change a few words and see if you would agree with someone saying this:

"Sorry JoCo, I voted for Obama because I think one problem of this country is that it needs a black’s touch and Clinton is white, like all of our former presidents. Being female or another gender or whatever you want to call her has nothing to do with it. She’s white. Why do we think because she’s ‘female’ that she’s going to be any different? I believe that’s just as sexist as saying she can’t do a good job because of her gender."

Andrea says

> However, I still would like to see some actual evidence to back up this
> image of Hillary as the worst person who’s ever lived that SO many people
> seem to have.

Anonymous, it may not be fair or rational, but so many people believe it so firmly that it would take a miracle to change their minds. There is no evidence strong enough to exonerate her in the court of public opinion because it's not about evidence*. They hate her. I even know late-middle-aged liberal feminist women who hate her.

Yes, most of us Obama supporters will probably get behind Hillary if she is the eventual nominee, but we won't be particularly excited or inspired about it, and without that sort of excitement in your base, it's really hard to win new supporters. Especially from a pool of people who, see above, hate you with an abiding and fierce passion that knows no sense or reason!

I've been watching Obama for a long time. He's my senator, and I was at one of his campaign rallies for that job. I've been getting his emails for years, and they are so smart and sincere. I don't agree with everything he's ever said or done, I'm not crazy about the religiosity, but I truly believe he's the real deal. I think Hillary is OK, but I think Obama is capable of inspiring us to do great things, to make sacrifices for our country and to lead us out of the despair and learned helplessness of the past 7 years.

"Change" is not empty rhetoric. It's shorthand for this: Look around you. The economy is in the toilet, we were led into a war with lies, people are being illegally detained, wiretapped and tortured in our name, the constitution has been ripped to shreds, science has been disregarded and abandoned, global warming has been advancing while our leaders stuck their fingers in their ears and whistled an "I can't hear you!" tune, and it all is so overwhelming that we don't even know how to redeem ourselves. I've had outrage fatigue for years! But we are going to muster our resolve and climb out of this together. We need specific plans, yes, and you can check his website for those (http://www.barackobama.com/issues/), but before that we need to believe it's possible and be inspired to take action. Action that only STARTS with electing Barack Obama.

Hillary is not the safe candidate. If you're worried about the racists, they're mostly sexist too. I will get behind her if she gets the nomination and begin the long, arduous and nigh-impossible task of trying to convince people to change their minds about her, but right now we have a chance to vote for someone great.

* (See: Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) by Carol Tavris for a really good explanation of why people's minds are so hard to change. I wish everyone in the world would read that book, actually. So much becomes clearer.)

JoCo says

Not to make this the 24-hour Lessig news channel, but he's posted a video that explains the "real change" issue (among other things) pretty well: http://lessig.org/blog/2008/02/20_minutes_or_so_on_why_i_am_4.html

ditto says

It makes me sad that the list of "intelligent and forward thinking people on the internet" JoCo can come up with is all men. Jonathan -- do you not read blogs by smart women, or are they not supporting Obama?

ouija repair says

I agree with this much. I don't like it when you make political statements, either.

JoCo says

@ditto: I knew I was going to get in trouble for something in this post. That's actually not meant to be a complete list of all smart people on the internet. Also, you said "smart women" - LOL!

Zeashun says

I'm republican.

Jonathan Coulton, My hero, wants me to vote for Obama.

Chuck Norris wants me to vote for Huckabee.

Huckabee might not make it through.

I don't like McCain.

If I were democrat, I would go for Obama.

I guess I won't vote.

Wait a second. I can't vote.

Why does it matter?

shaggyJD says

Uh, JC? *scratches head*

Greg says

Call me sheltered, but I've got more faith in America, having not seen firsthand as much bigotry as perhaps others have. I think a black man can be president. I think it is time.

Cresh says

Barrack is probably my second choice, behind Ron Paul of course. A distant second but third is so far away I don't want to think about it.

Marcy says

I could support Obama or Clinton, if either is the candidate. I'm still an Edwards supporter and will be voting for him in the primary. Edwards' positions most closely represent my own and so he gets my vote but if Obama is the nominee I can live with it.

Brie says

I think a woman can be president too -- and it's time for that, IMO.

awryone says

It's time for a GOOD president.

Shruti says

Haha, I think you've hit upon the single statement upon which everyone can agree...

Colleenky says

It's ALWAYS time for a good president. :-)

jami says

right on!

Bill Cunningham says

@Marcy - Edwards has dropped out of the race. He's not running anymore. If you'd rather have either Obama or Clinton,you're better off voting for one of them. (Obama!) - there's no point voting in a primary for a candidate who has already withdrawn.

It would be different if there was a tiered system, where you could pick a first choice and a second choice, but since that's not the case, and these races are pretty close, it's probably better to vote for one of the two active candidates.

kolding says

It's not often I'm inspired to comment on blogs but the post and the ensuing discussion make me want to throw out a few key points:
First, I entirely appreciate the unabashed support of a candidate and the sharing of that idea with others so they can learn more. It smacks vaguely of democracy, in fact.

Secondly, I have to applaud the 99% of people who have joined in the discourse in such a respectful way. I think if the electorate were made up of JoCo supporters, I'd feel a lot more safe and comfy about what is to come.

Finally, I have to comment on Anon's point about which democrat can get elected: If we step away from the idea of which dem you personally support, the nugget of that idea is an interesting one: How do we get a dem in the whitehouse so it does become about 'who can win?" Anon I can see your point that the 'don't like brown people' issue can play a role, but an equal number if not more 'don't like women/feministis/Clintons". The reality is that with Edwards out of the picture, there *isn't* that white bread white guy that the conservatives can feel comfy with, so at this point it's getting behind one candidate and PUSHING (which, I believe is the intent of the original post to begin with, yes?)

Here's to a hopeful future for all of us monkeys and robots...

Zeashun says

I'm not anti Hillary, I'm anti Bill

Tindómiel says

Psst, JoCo - that might have been a little too deadpan for people to catch.

eliannrad says

@Daniel: Point taken. Good point.
But there ARE actual differences in the way a woman thinks compared to how a man thinks.

Martha says

There are actual differences between the way any two people think. Broad statistical characterizations aren't the way to choose an individual. For anything.

The Dane says

Anecdotal evidence here. This will be my fifth presidential election. My wife and I are both registered Republicans. We both despise what this country has become. We voted in the Republican primary today in California. And if it's Obama vs. McCain in the General, then both of us are voting for Obama.

If it's Clinton vs. McCain, I suspect neither of us will vote because it won't really matter. Clinton and McCain seem very pea-and-pod to us. Neither one of them are worth having as president and neither one would inspire us to visit the voting booth. And we're not party-bound enough to care about blue or red. We just want a leader who we can respect and one who won't harm the country (more) and the world around us (more).

Peter II says

You know, I got to thinking, and despite Hillary's pitfalls, if she got the nomination and ran with Obama as her running mate, it would be a pretty tough ticket to beat. However, I don't think it'd be as effective as Obama paired with anyone else, especially Edwards.

Luke M says

@The Dane:

I respect what you're saying, but why, in that case, are you still registered Republicans? Is it so you can vote in the primary? Because I quit the Democratic Party in disgust this year, but I still voted in the primary because the California Dems allow undeclared voters to cast ballots. And not voting is sort of an empty gesture because SOMEONE is going to be President no matter what.

The last time it "didn't really matter" was 2000 and look how that turned out. If you voted for Bush in 2000 and/or 2004 and have since come to your senses, shouldn't you vote for the Democratic nominee out of a sense of penance if nothing else? Because seriously, all my Republican friends are now FORMER Republicans because this Bush/Cheney shit is FUCKED UP.

Oh, hey, Nader's on the ballot! Go, conscience!

Bill Cunningham says

Obama & Clinton will never run on the same ticket. They are too far apart in temperament, and I really think they sort of hate each other. Clinton would never have Obama in the second position because he'd be too much of a star, drawing attention and oxygen away from her. Obama would never have her in the second position because she'd be a drag on his momentum.

Giggleloop says

When I went to bed finally last night at 11pm, Clinton had 50% of Missouri's votes and Obama had 49% -- I was VERY happy to wake up this morning to hear that Obama had won Missouri by 1 PERCENTAGE POINT when all the votes were tallied. Yay! :)

Shruti says

@ Bill Cunningham:

Oh, I don't know, they seem to like each other a whole lot better than the Republican candidates do. Clinton as Obama's VP would, yes, definitely drag him down. But I can see Obama adding, you know, virility to Clinton's campaign. And it'd get all - well, more - of the Obama supporters who wouldn't necessarily vote for her on her side.

awryone says

There's this from The NYT:

From Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1980 to Mr. Kerry in 2004, the candidates who won Connecticut’s Democratic primary over the years share one unappealing distinction: Not one ever became president.

Break the curse, Barack!

Eric Ginsberg says

I think that Republicans are seriously hoping for a Clinton nomination because they know they can take her. Nay, they are bubbling with a festering hatred for all things Clinton that can only be satiated with an election season full of Clinton-bashing. They want it so badly, they can almost taste it; all they have to do is not say anything negative about her right now. Can they hold it in? We'll find out. Either way, most Americans already know how they feel about Hillary.

On the other hand, Barack Obama has a better chance of getting out more voters who have never voted before. So, whereas Hillary supporters and hard-line Democrats will get out to vote for her, Barack will get the same hard-liners, PLUS an overwhelming number of young and black voters (don't call me a racist, I'm just making an observation based on primary statistics).

Republicans will inevitably vote Republican, but swing-voters and people new to the voting process will look at McCain's wrinkled face, with his war stories of Vietnam (which I, by no means, disrespect), his endorsing Bush's tax cuts, his 100-year-war plan for the Middle East, and his kissing Jerry Falwell (who was, according to him at one point, an "agent of intolerance"), and then they will look at Barack Obama and see youth, hope and change. Barack said, "Somewhere along the way, the straight-talk express lost a few wheels," and he was absolutely right: the McCain that liberals and swing-voters could get behind in 2000 isn't the McCain that's running today.

That said, I think that Hillary could beat Mike Huckabee, but none of the other three, and I think that Barack could beat McCain and Huckabee, but would face a serious challenge against Romney (no idea who'd win that one).

Long story short (too late): I voted Obama. [in best zombie voice] Yeeeessss, maaasssssterrrrr.

Shruti says


"Barack said, “Somewhere along the way, the straight-talk express lost a few wheels,” and he was absolutely right: the McCain that liberals and swing-voters could get behind in 2000 isn’t the McCain that’s running today."

So true. It's sad.

Theis says

Umm. Guys and gals. Europe here.

Please vote for Obama. We're tired of getting dragged into silly wars.

I mean, it's fun and all, but a little tiring.

The view in Europe is generally that the academics and intellectuals support Obama and Miss Clinton. Take that in whichever way you choose. It makes sense to me that Mr. Coulton would support one of them, and I am genuinely glad that he chose Obama. He seems more uncorrupted than Clinton.

Tony says

My support list goes: Gravel, Kucinich, Edwards, Obama, Nader.

The reason I put Nader at the end is that he is much more qualified than the frightening Hillary Clinton.

I'm supporting Obama in his "movement" because I do believe he has a lot of very inspiring words for us to hear, but a large portion of me is very, very cynical and rightfully so. If Obama wins and takes the White House, then can't or won't deliver, he'll have singlehandedly created a new generation of cynics. When I step into the voting booth, I'm not holding my breath.

But considering Kentucky's primary isn't until May 20, it won't count anyway. Hooray electoral process!

Frederick Heath-Renn says

And believe me, when it comes to silly wars, Europe is the ubermaster.

(I like that word. Ubermaster. Yes, it has a certain ring to it.)

Erm...I think, though I'm not sure, that Obama won London. So I can sit back and pretend that I voted for him. Even though I didn't because I'm not a registered Democrat. (I'm not a registered American, which may explain that.)


The Dane says

@Luke M
I registered as a Republican as a wee lad in the '80s (when I was partial to Reagan). My first election was in '92. I think I voted for Perot (or Bush Sr., I forget) in '92, skipped in '96 because I was more interested in a girlfriend than politics, voted Harry brown in '00, and abstained in '04 (not imagining that Kerry was better than Bush, who I could not vote for). So yeah, I guess I'm not the average Republican voter.

I haven't changed party affiliation because I don't know where I'd go. I'm supportive of some Republican stances, some Democrat stances, and quite a few Libertarian ones. Mostly, I just vote for the candidate I think would accomplish the least evil. Unless I can't decide - then I abstain out of a sense of responsibility.

My wife, though probably slightly more in line with Republican values votes similarly. So while neither of us really consider ourselves Republicans, we still vote in the Republican primaries. And maybe have a tendency to pay slightly more attention to Republican candidates. That said, if Obama wins the nomination, we'll be voting for him in November. If Clinton wins, I'll responsibly abstain since between McCain and Clinton, I can't decide who would accomplish less evil.

Colleenky says

To all of you Dems who haven't had primaries yet, the Dem race is still very close, so please don't think your vote won't matter by then. Do as Master Coulton commands! ;-)

Jane says

"Republicans would come out in droves just to vote AGAINST her"

Wow. like Democrats who vowed anybody was better than Bush, then failed to put either Gore or Kerry over the top?

I keep hearing this so-called 'polarizing' argument, posited mainly by men who are irritated by 'uppity' women, and women who reflect their husband's views without even thinking about it.

Don't know why they're so embarassed to say they just don't like her, and haven't got a reason why.

McCain pushes this same wacko button for Republicans, but when they step into the voting booth, they will vote for him.

Barack is great on the vision talk, he just doesn't have any original vision action. He doesn't even show up to vote on any of his colleagues' vision action. Clinton has platforms, can wrestle down laggards on either side of the aisle, and in the end will get more accomplished.

Hillary is ahead with more delegates - go Hill!

Colleenky says

ETA: Just learned that Obama has around 614 pledged delegates to Clinton's 618. These numbers are estimates and don't include superdelegates, but it just goes to show that the Dem nomination is still up for grabs.

Demetrius says

"Hillary is ahead with more delegates - go Hill!"

She's not ahead with pledged delegates in any count I've seen since Super Tuesday. And, super-delegates can change their minds when the wind blows... So, we'll see how it works out.

I actually liked Hillary a lot before she became a politician. And, I think she was unjustly harangued by the Right. But, she was doomed (for reasons that only she knows) to be the kind of triangulating, opportunistic, disingenuous, manipulative, fundamentally dishonest politician I abhor. Maybe it's because she went thru her political adolescence under the gun of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy with the likes of James (Gollum) Carville as her guide. She learned how to play that game. And, that's ALL she learned. ...I hate that game with the burning passion of a thousand white-hot suns. And, I won't be a party to turning the reigns of the Democratic Party back over to the practitioners of it. I would love to have a woman as president. Just not her.

Partyman says

Why Obama? Does anyone know what he actually stands for? I've never heard him address any issues...he speaks in platitudes and piles on the rhetoric. By the way, how is he going to pay for healthcare??? We are, after all, not a socialist country.

Bonnie says

JoCo, I love you, but my answer is no. I don't vote for people because celebrities recommend them. I mean, right now Willie Nelson is out saying Sept. 11th was fake...doesn't say a lot for celebrity recommendations if you know what I mean. I actually do the research myself, look at a person's record & policy stances, & decide from there. Voting should be a personal & private choice, in my opinion. Voting should never be trendy. It's way too important, I think.

I'll never vote for anyone just because the person is "electable." That just makes it a crappy popularity contest with no real substance. I prefer substance in my candidates, no matter what political party he/she belongs to. Why should I cave to "electability?" What the crap is that? If that's the case, I'm pretty sure Lassie would get elected. Who doesn't like Lassie?

So find someone, anyone, in whom you can believe and feel good about. If it's Obama, then so be it. If it's Romney, so be it. Just be able to feel good about your choice.

Demetrius says

"Partyman Says:
February 7th, 2008 at 4:01 am

Why Obama? Does anyone know what he actually stands for?"

This is on his website, for anyone interested.

Demetrius says

"If that’s the case, I’m pretty sure Lassie would get elected. Who doesn’t like Lassie?"

Oh, please... I would NEVER vote for that bitch!


Orlando Esperanto says

I want to feel good about my choices but it seems that everytime I vote a politician always wins!

Besides, I can't vote for a candidate that doesn't support the rights of unborn geeks. To sustain our technology saturated culture/economy we need all the geeks we can get. How many future geeks are we losing everyday because of abortion? If it doesn't stop then the geeks shall never inherit the earth, because they'll have been aborted out of existence. If Obama was a true geek candidate, he'd understand that.

Kevin says

JC, when you going to sing "Yes We Can" for us? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZHou18Cdk)

Obama Supporter since 2008.

Demetrius says

Saluton, Orlando! Kiel vi fartas?


Orlando Esperanto says

Sorry Demetrius, mi fari ne paroli esperanto. :(

Sed mi sxati via Cafepress butiko! :)

Demetrius says

I don't speak it either... Except for a few phrases my son has forced into my poor brain. That boy's got his Geek on *big time*! (But, he's a great kid!)

Dan says

I am not from America, i have never been to America, BUT I Agree with you, Barack Obama seems to be the right person for America, i also like Clinton.
I mean im from The Netherlands, and even in my school you hear people shouting OBAMA OBAMA!
Thnx Dan!:)
ooh and Hi Jonathan Coulton =)

Wilfredo Hernandez Jr says

I agree with you completely, Jonathan, and I can't say how happy I am to see we're in agreement for Obama. It's the first time I've ever been excited about a political candidate. I've read his books and his policies, and I'm praying for the best. He's the man we really need in office now.

Cory says

Honestly, I wasn't thrilled with Obama earlier on, and I'm still not as thrilled as I could be. I was really pulling for Kucinich for many, many reasons(not least because he was willing to take firm stances that I think Democrats *should* be in favor of, but that the leadership doesn't seem to care for due to them not being centrist enough). But that boat has sailed at this point.

Obama's probably my choice now, but I'd be happy with Clinton to. I *do* remember 'her last term in office', and as someone that's been getting kicked around by our shoddy excuse for an economy and job market as it currently stands, I can't say I'd mind losing the enormous economic deficit we've racked up.

Unfortuantely, the election is a lesser of evils situation on most issues as it currently stands. Both Democrats and Republicans want to play 'world police' and only differ on the subject by how they want to approach it(judging by what they actually say on the issue), regardless of whether we're much of an example of ANYTHING to the rest of the world as it currently stands. Neither party seems to care that much for the domestic civil rights issues on the table excepting that the Democrats' official party stance seems to be 'toss them a little bone of compromise to get some votes without losing the center votes' and both Obama and Clinton are toeing that line. I'm glad they both have health care plans to present, but I'm not all that keen on either one.

Of course, the Republican plans for the economy, Iraq, healthcare, etcetera strike me as wildly reckless, irresponsible, and/or outright lunacy. So against that the lesser evil is pretty un-evil, as it were.

Personally, at this point I'm hoping for an Obama/Clinton ticket. Or the other way around, i could take it either way. I suspect Obama/Clinton would sit more comfortably with voters, though, so I have to back that notion.

And despite his dropping out at this point, I'd highly encourage anyone to go peek at the archived campaign site anyway. Specifically, http://www.dennis4president.com/go/issues/ to see what the man's campaign stood for. It's just unfortunate, to me, that the way the electoral process works, he was probably doomed almost as soon as he started. But I really liked what he had to say. It's just too bad he didn't get to say it enough, but keeping the Senate seat is arguably a good way to continue pressing for it all.

( All that said, I've been over Obama's site, And I can get behind enough of his stances that I'm comfortable with the man. )

Paul says


I realize that Obama has said some good sounding things about information and internet freedom. However, with all of the spending proposals he's pushing, I don't think that will be the problem everyone will be facing. There is only one candidate left in the race that will push for all freedoms, cut taxes, reduce spending, and attempt to get us off of our deep reliance on foreign loans to run the country. That's why Ron Paul is the only candidate I can support. I think a lot of people discount him simply because they see the R next to his name. But, think about it like this:

He's a true conservative, which means that he strongly opposes the war, and unlike Hillary, never voted for it. He strongly opposes the patriot act, and strongly defends all of our civil liberties. These are classic conservative principals, but the "main stream" Republicans have gotten so far from this that most people don't know it. So, if we want absolutely NO chance of having a pro-war, pro-police state Republican in the general election, then everyone should vote in the Republican primary for Ron Paul.

I strongly believe that there is very little difference between all of the other candidates on both sides. The Democrats will support your civil liberties, but will completely fail on financial freedom. The Republicans (other than Dr. Paul) will not protect your civil liberties, and as we've seen in the last 8 years, the new Republicans won't protect your financial freedom either.

Just Google Ron Paul for his positions on all of these things. He's got a very long record in the House of putting his votes where his mouth is, which is not something that can be said for any other candidate.

If you are indeed a "liberal" by the definition given by a previous post, and you vote based on principal alone, then you must consider Ron Paul. If you vote for either Obama or Clinton you're getting someone who will do many of the same things. So if you leave that race to the people who care deeply one way or the other, and instead vote in the Republican race for Dr. Paul, then you'll have 2 candidates in the general race that are for repealing the Patriot Act, and ending the war. I personally can't support either Obama or Clinton because I feel that they're over-promising with the spending programs. We can't afford the programs we have now. The only method for getting money to do the things they're proposing is to print new money, which devalues the money that we all already have, and therefore causes huge inflation.

Just my $0.02

Thanks for the incredible songs Jonathan. They make my world brighter :)

Alex Wollangk says

It seems to me that anyone who claims that Clinton is more likely to be elected than Obama is not paying attention.

His campaign is the only one that I haven't seen any negative campaigning from. I haven't heard a single lie, mistruth or half truth spun into a mistruth from his campaign. I've completely given up on the Republican party to put forward a candidate who really stands up. McCain came close, but he's been absorbed into the whole neo-con movement that I find deeply offensive.

My personal beliefs tend away from the socialist views of modern democrats, but Barack Obama's continued support in his speeches for the people in America to get involved has inspired me. His claims that he will do everything he can to make the business of governing transparent to the governed gives me hope.

Hope that the culture of corruption in the federal government will find in him as ardent of an opponent as he is on the campaign trail.

Hope that electing President Obama will be the first, best statement that the days of American policy dictated by corporate interest are well and truly over.

Hope that our government can get closer to a place where the actions and policies of our legislature will support the constitution and bill of rights and oppose hate and discrimination.

Electing Obama will put a real dent in the current lobby-mill in Washington. He has pledged that anyone who leaves his administration will not be allowed to lobby his administration. This means that the people working for his administration do it out of love for their country, not love of a cushy lobbying job after they leave.

Electing Obama will mean more transparency in government. He supports actions which would make any government action not directly classified by national security interests public and visible on the internet. He supports an end to no-bid contracts and back-room deals which sell off American interests for the financial interest of politicians.

Electing Obama will prove that you can win an election without accepting a dime from special interests. That President will then stand the best chance of withstanding those special interests who want their interests advanced before the interests of the American public.

Electing Obama will put a man in office dedicated to supporting the Constitution after an administration that seemed intent on destroying it. Barack Obama taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. We need someone to respond to the unconstitutional power grabs of the current administration with a true sensitivity to that Constitution. Someone who can not only inspire, but at the end of the day who will take real action to restore those checks and balances vitally necessary to move our government away from the authoritarian state it is becoming and back towards the democratic ideals the founding fathers foresaw.

So, lets put a candidate in office for whom principle trumps politics. A candidate who is truly interested in being the best President he knows how to be. A candidate who knows that special interest politics does not make a good President. Who knows that the Constitution is the embodiment of the source of his power, the document which conveys power from the American people to the President as well as defining the limits which maintain our Democracy. Undermining this document does not make a good President. A candidate who is willing to work across any divide, whether that divide is party, race or class, to accomplish the work of the people. Using these divides for political gain, even if you think what you are accomplishing is for the good of the people, does not make a good President.

This is my view of Barack Obama. I haven't seen anything yet that has tarnished any bit of this view.

I have heard that he gave a speech opposing the war and then removed it from his website, but research on the "Internet Wayback Machine" has proved that claim to be false. Obama has always opposed the war.

I have heard that his vote supporting funding for the war is inconsistent with his stand against the war. This vote was in support of our military on the front lines. It was not in support of the politics that got us there in the first place.

I heard that although he claims that it was not until recently that he wanted to become President that his own writings dispute this. What they neglected to add to this was that those writings were literally from papers Obama wrote in Kindergarten and First Grade. If you can hold statements we make as young children against us, we're all doomed.

Now, I have a hard time believing that anyone is perfect. I'm completely willing to believe that there are skeletons in his closet somewhere and he just hasn't been in public office long enough for them to come out. His speeches are inspiring, though, and his politics inclusive and transparent. This means that unless he completely changes after election he will have a hard time avoiding it if he fails to live up to his campaign. His speeches are so inspiring that they will remembered and if he works half as hard for transparency as he claims he will, his every action of his as President will be available for the entire world to scrutinize. This means that whatever those skeletons are, everyone will know about them and he's going to have such a hard time covering them up that he will have to deal with them.

Any time you advocate for a candidate and any time you vote you are investing in a dream. The dream that candidate will end up in office. Whether that is a dream or a nightmare depends on three things:

First, it depends on the claims the candidate makes in their campaign. I must say, Obama's speeches are filled with hope for his Presidency and even though there is a lot of inspiration, the inspirational speech has not drowned out the real changes he is proposing.

Second it depends on whether that candidate will follow through once they are elected. Obama's history as an Illinois State Senator and US Senator for the State of Illinois suggest that he will.

Finally, it depends on whether the candidate can work with the rest of the government to accomplish the change they are attempting. Obama's inspiration will go a long way towards accomplishing this. Combine that fact with the current power held by the Democratic Party and I feel that he really has the best chance of anyone to really accomplish his goals.

The dream of America I hear from Barack Obama is the best dream I've ever heard from a candidate as long as I've been paying attention. I'm willing to do everything I can to give that dream the best chance at becoming reality.

I'm not sure if this will change anyone's view, but it sure feels good to actually put it down.

Alex Wollangk

Anon says

For any of you that think Obama or Hilary will pull the US troops out of Iraq or repeal the patriot act, get ready to be disappointed.

The dems like to play the peace tambourine during an election cycle to keep their base interested, but when push comes to shove, they know what is at stake and they wouldn't dare put themselves in the situation where they could be blamed for either a humanitarian disaster in Iraq, or more terrorist attacks on US soil.

I highly doubt Obama will be the democratic candidate. The Clinton's have barely begun to delve into their bag of dirty tricks. When Bill and Hillary get backed into a corner, thats when they get downright criminal. Trust me, if Obama pulls this out, it will be a miracle. You Obama supporters will get a good taste of what the Republicans had to deal with in the '90s.

Dave says

Although I kinda like what I see of Obama's personality, I won't be voting for him. Because he is the more economically leftist of the remaining candidates, and because he's willing to compromise with the social conservatives in order to get his economic policies enacted, I oppose his policies more consistently than I oppose any of the remaining candidates. As we've seen in this campaign, and in his past dealings with Tony Rezko and Todd Stroger, his rhetoric about a "different kind of politics" is a slogan and nothing more. Of the remaining contenders, he's probably the one I'd most like to have a beer with, watch a game with, or live next door to, but no way I'd vote for him for anything.

Simpleton says

I saw a bit of an inconsistency w/ Obama not too long ago:

An interviewer asked him if he thought that race would be an issue (or whatever; paraphrased, of course).

Obama says something like: I don't care about race. I mean, I won in Illinois (I think it was, sry), and that state's 12.8% black (not 100% on this EXACT stat).

And my brother, who's walking by, looks at the screen and goes: "Well, if he doesn't care about race, then how does he know that lil' statistic?"

I did a double-take and went, "AW! I NEVER would have caught that!"

(My bro kinda shrugged, and said, "Doesn't matter anyway. The real power's not in the White House." Then he left; I never found out what he meant, but I have theories. Anywho.).

Mario says

agree with anon

Sean says

I'll be unpopular here and outright say that I typically vote republican. It's not that I think Obama is a bad person, or a bad leader - it's not even that I don't think his ideas are admirable, I just don't think what modern democrats think is best would actually work.
On the other hand, modern republicans aren't exactly behaving like a republican should, and their extremes are just as bad. The whole thing that attracted me to the party in the first place was the idea of making the federal government smaller, and limiting their control over our lives - a platform neither party supports in practice these days - just look at how they vote.

Purely from a battlefront standpoint, I DO support Obama as the Democratic candidate, but probably not in the general election. Here's why:
I don't trust Hillary - When she speaks, she does not seem genuine. When Obama speaks, he seems to deeply care about the future - he seems passionate, he really is filled with hope.
Now, I think Hillary would be easier for a republican candidate to beat in a General Election because of her political history - prejudices against the Clintons will overshadow anything she says for many conservative leaning candidates. Although I think she may be easier to defeat, I support Obama as part of a "cut your losses" thing.

I'm not sure I want him to win because I disagree with him on several issues, however - if he did win I would trust him to honorably hold the position. I don't trust Clinton to do that. (Although I might give Billy another go - I just really dislike his wife.)

All THAT said however, i'm not to big on McCain. The republican had really lousy candidates this year, you'd think they'd bring their A game, but nooooo.

I'll be surprised if we get another republican.

Frederick Heath-Renn says

It just amused me as I popped along today that someone said earlier

"As a Pennsylvanian, I don’t get to vote until it’s too late to matter."

Oh, how times change. Europe for Obama!

Jeremy says

We did it, J.

I hope all the nay-sayers that qualified their safe-bets on Clinton by saying that the instant Obama gets the nomination they'll support him whole-heartedly keep their word. It was this thread, back in February, where I first learned that there were people who thought Obama was the better candidate but were too afraid to put him forward as the standard bearer, all gently chiding you for your naiveté.

We'll need their help in November.

Arthur says

... so will there be a new line to the song?

GergtheOne says

I don't post this to be smart, but I have been curious. What are the early supporters of Obama thinking now? Has he done a good job, bad job, etc...what are your opinions?