His Choice

29 Oct


40 Responses to “His Choice”

  1. Kate October 29, 2008 at 1:01 pm #

    I absolutely love how the bouncy, happy music in this ad manages to subtly obscure the viciousness of the message. This is brilliant.

  2. Starbuck October 29, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    I agree with McCain’s quote he doesn’t understand the economy as well as he should. The instincts he’s talking about lately sound better, but there’s a lot he’s said and done before that’s very questionable.

    This of course begs the question of whether Obama understands the economy well. Just because he hasn’t admitted not understanding, doesn’t mean he understands it well.

    Wasn’t Obama ranked by National Journal as having the farthest left voting record of all 100 U.S. senators? To most Americans, would that kind of voting record indicate good understanding of the economy? And during the campaign hasn’t there been quite a few things Obama said that show lack of understanding about the economy? The primary debate question he botched about cap gains taxes? The redistribution stuff in the radio Q&A? The inconsistency about the near 40% tax rate being harmless for job creation and also saying he’d delay it if there’s a recession?

  3. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    @Starbuck – I think you missed a couple talking points, there. You neglected to mention Obama wants to usher in a neo-socialist, Black Power regime that will collectivize all means of production.

    You also forgot that Obama wants to arrest all plumbers and put them in reeducation camps and that his wife is pretty angry.

  4. STEEL October 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    There is that little thing about Obama being a space alien too.

  5. Mike In WNY October 29, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    @Starbuck, it is pointless to bring up valid concerns about “The One” here, idolatry obfuscates a logical discussion.

  6. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    @Mike in WNY – actually, dredging up tired, pointless, debunked, ridiculous talking points “obfuscates” (or rather, obviates) a logical discussion.

    “Wasn’t Obama ranked by National Journal as having the farthest left voting record of all 100 U.S. senators?”. contributed by our friend, Mr. Starbuck.

    I rest my case

  7. Buffalopundit October 29, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    From the National Journal rankings:

    Three senators do not have scores for 2007 because they missed more than half of the rated votes in an issue area: John McCain, R-Ariz., who was running for president;

    Here are the votes in question

  8. Byron October 29, 2008 at 3:32 pm #

    Trivia question: Who said, in January of this year: “I am not a Clintonista and would, in fact, prefer Obama to lead the ticket.”

  9. Byron October 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    No Googling!

  10. Russell October 29, 2008 at 4:12 pm #

    So tired, pointless and ridiculous that BP felt compelled to post the link. Good point, Humanist. And how was it debunked if the National Journal did indeed rank him the most Liberal? It’s right there within the link BP provided.

  11. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 4:58 pm #

    @ Russell – because, as any good liberal will tell you, Obama is a centrist candidate, hardly the SuperLiberal the McCain campaign would have you believe. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)should be suing if the establishment party nominee is adjudged more liberal than him. According to a reputable study, Obama is tied with Biden as the 10th most liberal senator – http://voteview.com/sen110.htm

    Media Matters has a pretty good expose on the National Journal poll (http://mediamatters.org/items/200802110008?f=s_search)…basically, it takes the NJ poll to task for its sample size (only 99 “key” votes instead of every non-unanimous vote cast) as well as for changing its methodology after proclaiming (by pure coincidence, I’m sure) John Kerry the “most liberal senator” in….you guessed it, 2004 when Kerry was the Democratic candidate for President. The NJ admitted their methodology was flawed in ’04, but stepped right back into it in ’08.

    Among the votes Obama cast that earned him this scary title: implement the 9-11 Commission’s homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage. Booga-Booga!

  12. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 5:05 pm #

    @Russell – debunked because the NJ poll named John Kerry the “most liberal senator” in 2004 when….jeepers! when Kerry was the Democratic Party nominee for President! Whatta coincidence!

    Kerry and Obama the “most liberal senators”? Bernie Sanders, the independent socialist senator from Vermont, might have a few things to say about that.

    Media Matters has a nice takedown of the NJ poll – http://mediamatters.org/items/200802110008?f=s_search

    Basically, it only takes 99 “key” votes (instead of every non-unanimous vote cast) and the methodology of assigning “liberal” vs. “conservative” to each vote is suspect. For example, Obama earned his “most liberal” title partly based on the following votes:

    – implement the bipartisan 9-11 Commission’s homeland security recommendations
    – provide more children with health insurance
    – expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research
    – maintain a federal minimum wage.


    This (http://voteview.com/sen110.htm) is a much more reputable study and ranks Obama tied for 10th most liberal senator alongside his running mate, Joe Biden.

  13. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 5:18 pm #

    @Russell – for some reason, WordPress is not posting my lengthy response to you, so you’ll have to settle for the following:

    1) Media Matters has a nice takedown of the National Journal poll – http://mediamatters.org/items/200802110008?f=s_search

    2) Obama is the “most liberal” senator? I think Russ Feingold or perhaps the independent socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, would have something to say about that

    3) Among the votes assessed that won Obama this dastardly title:
    – implementing the 9/11 commission’s recommendations for improving homeland security
    – expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research
    – maintain a federal minimum wage
    – provide more children at risk with health insurance


  14. WNYPMH October 29, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    Don’t bother Humanist, Russy isn’t encumbered by the truth or facts.

  15. Mike In WNY October 29, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    he did not mention that the Journal changed its methodology and has acknowledged a flaw in a previous vote rating.

    MediaMatters, the admittedly leftist web site, doesn’t say Obama wasn’t the most liberal Senator. They say the Journal’s methods changed and there was a flaw in some unidentified previous vote rating, they don’t say which one. MediaMatters is just another misnomer since the truth doesn’t matter to them.

    Here’s the August 25, 2008 explanation for the National Journal explaining Obama’s rating as most liberal in 2007.

  16. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    @ Mike in WNY – Media Matters is “leftist”? Why, because they play the idiotic ramblings of GOP neanderthals right back at them and let their own words impeach them? Fine, if Media Matters is leftist, then the National Journal is a bunch of knuckledragging neocons in the tank for the GOP. So there!

    I would rather go by the study that assesses senators on all of their non-unanimous votes, rather than cherry-pick 99 out of over 400 and assign wacky “liberal” and “conservative” values to them (voting to implement the bipartisan 9/11 commission’s security recommendations is a liberal value? Who knew?!)

  17. Byron October 29, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    Notice how the Freeners are jumping on the McCain side now that he’s taken to calling every policy he doesn’t like “socialism”? If McCain started promoting the flat tax – and, perhaps, disenfranchising people who don’t own property – he could be the New Libertoid Heart-throb!

  18. Starbuck October 29, 2008 at 7:23 pm #

    T.H. – That’s a pretty lame response. We have different views, but you’re capable of much more substance than your comment implies. Those rants you’re parroting about fear he’ll arrest policial opponents are equivalent to what’s said sometimes about conservatives on MoveOn, DU, etc. Those kinds of distortions on either side don’t add anything. So never mind what I’ve never written.

  19. Starbuck October 29, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    Pundit – Do you agree it’s reasonable to describe McCain’s legislative record as centrist and Obama’s is couple notches to the left of center?

    If absences from voting in 2007 makes that a bad year to compare, ok maybe 2006 is better. In 2006 National Journal rankings, McCain is near the middle of the pack at 46 (meaning 45 senators voted futher right and 54 senators further left that year). They ranked Obama at 89 (meaning only 10 out of 100 senators voted further left than did Obama that year). By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s voting that year was rated by NJ as more centrist (68).

    In just the 2006 votes they ranked for economic policy (34 votes described here), Obama was 4th most to the left and McCain again was near the center at 66th. Economic policy vote rankings here.

    That same year, the American Conservative Union rated McCain and Obama, respectively, with scores of 65% and 8% “correct”, using their definition of correctness on 25 issues:

    So their ranking also finds McCain’s voting record pretty much in the center and Obama’s closer to an extreme among senators, similar to National Journal even though the selected issues between the two ranking organizations weren’t the same.

  20. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    @Starbuck – “lame” is throwing out the familiar right wing trope about “he’s the most liberal senator!!1111!!!” and expecting anyone to take you seriously.

  21. Byron October 29, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    Humanist, why not be happy that the most liberal Senator (according to some) has a great chance of being the next President? Sounds good to me.

  22. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    @Byron – fine by me….except Obama is far from the “most liberal” senator. I’m confident he’ll promote a progressive agenda and arrest the thuggish direction the Bush administration has steered the federal government toward in the last 8 years, but I have no illusions that he’s an out-and-out liberal.

    But then again…I never thought I’d see a black President in my lifetime.

  23. STEEL October 29, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    Is liberal a bad thing? Maybe we should maybe try it out. Conservatism has proven to be a miserable failure.

  24. Mike In WNY October 29, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    @The Humanist, I did not assign the leftist label to MediaMatters, they describe themselves as Progressive, that means uber-liberal.

    Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

  25. The Humanist October 29, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    @Mike in WNY – progressive means progressive. From Webster’s:

    1 a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities c: of, relating to, or constituting an educational theory marked by emphasis on the individual child, informality of classroom procedure, and encouragement of self-expression
    2: of, relating to, or characterized by progression
    3: moving forward or onward : advancing
    4 a: increasing in extent or severity a progressive disease b: increasing in rate as the base increases a progressive tax>
    5 often capitalized : of or relating to political Progressives

    I don’t see “uber-liberal” in there, do you?

  26. Starbuck October 29, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    T.H. – Actually in votes related to economic policy in 2006 (omitting 2007 due to the absences), Obama’s voting record was the the fourth most left out of 100 accoridn to National Journal. McCain’s was in the middle. That was the 2nd part of my reply earlier but I had a few links in that comment so it fell into “must be approved by moderator”. Check back here tommorow after Pundit has time to ok it.

  27. Starbuck October 30, 2008 at 12:11 am #

    I agree a bit with Steel, in that I don’t get why use of the L-words are so objectionable? I know “liberal” became very disliked a few years back so out of politeness I try to avoid using that.

    Set aside for a monent whether or not it’s agood idea to move economically to the left at this point. We all have different views. But if someone does think that’s a good idea, then why would they be so upset about it being mentioned that their candidate had, let’s say, the 4th leftmost Senate voting record in the last full year available (2006) or the 1st leftmost voting record in 2007?

    Shouldn’t those be bragging points for someone who thinks that’s the direction in which the country should move?

    Or even to say “liberal”? If someone thinks the country move in a so-called liberal direction economically, why complain so much as T.H. does if someone mentions in passing that their candidate is the 4th most economically liberal senator in 2006 or the 1st most out of 100 in 2007?

    Why is that considered a bad thing by supporters? Why isn’t it bragged about?

  28. Byron October 30, 2008 at 7:56 am #

    Humanist – I’m sure you know that for Freeners, as for Humpty Dumpty, words mean exactly what they say they mean, neither more nor less. C.f. “red herring”, “putting words in his mouth”, etc.

    In any case: Hockey Mama for Obama.

  29. Russell October 30, 2008 at 8:21 am #

    Humanist, Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders may have the most Liberal ideologies, but in the time period in question, they’re simply saying he had the most Liberal voting record.

    Are you saying that those four issues you highlighted are not in line with Liberal philosophy? They listed many votes. No one is saying that simply voting for each of those or those four alone make one a Liberal, just that they’re part of the model. I have no problem with that and don’t understand why you do.

    Why are Liberals so afraid of being called Liberal?

  30. The Humanist October 30, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    @Russell – “in the time period in question”

    So, I can take the time period of the last month in the NFL and, based on the Bills’ road record, I can declare them the worst road team in the league since they’ve lost both road games at Arizona and at Miami?

    My point in listing four of the votes used in the NJ poll methodology wasn’t to say they aren’t consistent with a liberal philosophy. My point was they aren’t exclusively liberal. There were plenty of conservatives in Congress (supported by conservatives outside the Beltway) who wanted the 9/11 commission’s recommendations passed, who wanted to increase federal funding for embryonic stem cell research and who wanted to expand the SCHIP program to provide health coverage to more at-risk children. It is just as ridiculous to label any legislation to increase military spending or reduce taxes as solely “conservative”

    I would love to see liberalism returned to a state of respectability among voters in this nation after a half-century of smears and attacks from the conservative right-wing….but you and I both know that the right wing still uses the “most liberal Senator” meme as a cudgel to hammer Democratic candidates and demonize them to the millions of voters who have been conditioned to equate “liberal” with “will do untold harm to the nation”

  31. Russell October 30, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    Humanist, that’s the way any of the indeces go, some even include procedural votes. There are very few issues before Congress, and even fewer actual votes on bills, that are exclusively anything. It’s not unique to this study. It’s the general practice for all watchdog groups on both sides of the aisle.

    I don’t think this is equivalent to your example. It merely states he has the most liberal voting record for that year. According to your example, it’d be like declaring the Bills one of the worst road teams for the month, if that’s the way the statistics pan out. And in fact things like that are done all the time in sports. For example, Thomas Vanek was named the offensive player of the week in the NHL two weeks ago. That doesn’t mean he’s the best player for the season, or a better player than Sidney Crosby or Ovechkin. It merely means he had the best offensive production for that week. Just like it merely means Obama had the most Liberal voting record for that year. That’s all they claimed. It doesn’t mean he’s the most Liberal member of the Senate.

  32. STEEL October 30, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    Anyway, is anyone proud of being a conservative these days? I see a lot of candidates running away from their conservatism in this election.

  33. Russell October 30, 2008 at 10:48 am #

    STEEL, I don’t see it. I haven’t seen or heard anyone run away from the conservative label or deny being a conservative. In fact, a whole lot of what both Obama and McCain are talking about are tax cuts and smaller, more efficient and effective government. Those are the conservative mantras.

    If you have an example of a candidate running away from the conservative label, please share. Besides, this is only one year you’re claiming people are running away from it. As far as I can remember, candidates have always run away from the Liberal tag, even some of the most obviously Liberal.

  34. STEEL October 30, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    So Russel are you saying that McCain does not have a health care plan? Are you saying that Republicans are running on a platform of school prayer and flag worship this year? Are they touting their anti gay policies? Are they asking The president, leader of their party to campaign with them? Is McCain proudly touting his 95% conservative voting record? When I hear republican adds here in Chicago I hear them pointing out how independent they have been from the republican party line.

    Of course we all know that none of them are true conservatives anyway being that the Republican led congress along with a republican president grew the government bigger and spent more than in any time in our country’s history. I guess in a way they have been running away from conservatism for the last 8 years.

  35. Russell October 30, 2008 at 11:44 am #

    Yes, W has run away from conservatism. That’s not what you charged, though. He didn’t run away from being called a conservative. He ran away from being a conservative. He’s not a conservative and you still haven’t given an example of anyone running away from the conservative label. John McCain was never a conservative and no one would ever confuse him with one. George W Bush claimed to be a “compassionate conservative”, whatever that means, but he’s sure shown he’s no conservative either. He’s increased the size of government more than any president in my lifetime and nationalized the financial system–not very conservative.

    Do not confuse Republican with conservative and Democrat with Liberal. These terms are not interchangeable. Not campaigning with W does not mean someone is running away from the conservative label. In many cases it could mean quite the opposite. These days, being independent from the Republican Party line could very well mean someone is a conservative.

  36. STEEL October 30, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    I just don’t see anyone out there standing rock solid behind any of the main conservative principles (oh perhaps you will find someone in the bible belt areas)and no one even uses the term conservative in their ads.

  37. Byron October 30, 2008 at 12:11 pm #

    Actually, I think Reagan increased the size of government (relative to GDP) at almost the same rate as Bush II (vs. Clinton who shrank it).

    <a href=http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/06/01/GarrettRhine.pdf?Figure 3.

  38. Byron October 30, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Figure 3.

  39. Byron October 30, 2008 at 12:16 pm #

    Hmm, another source says federal spending/GDP decreased slightly under Reagan. I guess it depends where you draw the beginning and end points on that graph.

  40. Starbuck October 30, 2008 at 10:50 pm #

    The Humanist Says: October 29th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    @Mike in WNY – actually, dredging up tired, pointless, debunked, ridiculous talking points “obfuscates” (or rather, obviates) a logical discussion.

    “Wasn’t Obama ranked by National Journal as having the farthest left voting record of all 100 U.S. senators?”. contributed by our friend, Mr. Starbuck.

    That might be tired, but I don’t think it’s pointless, debunked, or ridiculous.

    The argument that 2007 was a bad year to look at due to candidates being absent from the senate a lot is a fair point, so I looked up 2006 rankings that were based on 34 economic policy votes and found something similar: Obama near the extreme (4th most left voting record out of 100 senators, McCain much closer to the center at 65th). My comment at 7:28 links to the 34 economic policy issues.

    I never said those voting record rankings are the most important thing in the world, but they can have some usefulness and all the ones I’ve seen put Obama near the far left of the senate and McCain near the center. Isn’t that somewhat informative, and consistent with how many campaign issue positions seem – McCain’s tending to be centrist and Obama’s much more “progressive” (using the preferred label du jour instead of the synonym “farthest left”)?

    How is it pointless, debunked, or ridiculous to see that Obama had the 4th most “progressive” economic voting record out of 100 senators in 2006? If I favored moving in that direction, I’d think that’s something to be happy to hear, not something to deny or be mad about it being mentioned. Why isn’t it a relevant thing to consider voting record rankings at least as a frame of reference, compared for example to arguing about which words are used as labels or which side’s commercials are more severe exaggerations?

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: