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RE: The election is basically over.


RE: The election is basically over.
by Stefanie at 6:01 pm EDT, Aug 29, 2008

Decius wrote:
You assert that there is essentially no difference in qualification for the presidency between Obama and Palin.

Actually, I think Palin is the more qualified of the two. She's actually held top executive positions in both local and state government. You call that oversimplification, but it's very good experience. If I remember correctly, at some point during this week's convention, Bill Clinton said that the only suitable experience for the job of President is having been President, and he's not the first one to say so. Logically, the closest things would be Vice President and Governor, and both parties have made those arguments over the years.

Decius wrote:
...and I further assert that Palin is not reasonably viewed in the same light,...

Mainly because she hasn't been held in any light, outside of Alaska. That's O.K. though, because change is good, or so I heard many times this past week. ;) Besides, no one had heard of Obama until he ran for Senate, and he hasn't done anything as a Senator but run for another office.

Decius wrote:
...but if you can provide an alternate explanation for why a significant percentage of the general population supports Obama, I'm all ears.

Furthermore, the former case must not be true, as you draw a distinction between "hardcore leftists" and "the general population,"...

So, in lieu of an alternate explanation, the initial assertion automatically stands as being correct?

Those who share a candidate's political views are generally going to vote for that candidate. Those voters might be officially independent where party affiliation is concerned, but they still have ideologies, and they vote accordingly. Also, many of those supporters will say and do anything to positively spin their candidate's image, including the creation of a cult of personality, if the candidate in question is up to it. Obama's personality has been highly marketed... mainly because of the lack of anything else to market. Whether these people actually perceive Obama as something extraordinary or as just another means to an end is difficult to determine.

Then, you always have some who support Obama for the same reason they support any Democrat: he whispers sweet nothings into voters' ears and promises them he'll take care of them, and it makes them feel good; substance be damned. In that regard, he's no different from Clinton, Gore, or Kerry, but he's much better at playing the game of politics than the latter two, and possibly the equal of the former. Those voters don't want to be self-reliant. They see government as their provider, and the only freedom they want is the freedom to act irresponsibly, knowing that there will be a government-provided safety net. They don't care about ideology, they just want to avoid putting any effort into their own lives. For that purpose, any Democratic candidate will do, but Obama is the most liberal nominee we've seen... possibly ever. If calling Obama an intellectual gets him elected, then so be it.

Decius wrote:
Bonus points if you can demonstrate that Palin shares equivalent qualities.

Oooh! I love bonus points! Let's see... I'd first have to know what those qualities of Obama's are.

You haven't yet theorized (and it would have to be theoretical) about what qualities the general population admires about him. After all, among Democrats, he didn't win in a landslide; it was the closest contest that I can remember. Presentation often makes the difference in politics, so maybe his packaging was prettier than that of Clinton's. Would Democrats support Obama over Clinton just because he seems like a nicer person (or, as Biden put it, "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy")? Would they support him because he uses the word "change" and gives pretty speeches about hope? In the absence of any evidence (in the way of a legitimate track record) that Obama is an "extraordinary statesman and intellectual," what else could it be? And why did nearly half of the Democrats support someone else during the primaries?

Regarding the general population, the polls have been back and forth with both candidates under 50%, so it's been a wash between McCain and Obama. There's no evidence in the polls that Obama has replicated Beatlemania among the general population, and he didn't get much of a bump from Biden or the convention... at least not what one would expect for such an "extraordinary statesman and intellectual." Now that McCain has a V.P. and an upcoming convention of his own, he might even go above 50%. I'm not seeing this pro-Obama general consensus to which you refer.

Decius wrote:
Therefore, you must believe that most Obama supporters do not view Obama as "an extraordinary statesman and intellectual."

So, what I'm asking you, is why do you think they support him? Why did he win the Democratic Party nomination from Hillary Clinton?

No, your statement was: "Obama is widely perceived to be an extraordinary statesman and intellectual who has the ability to develop a deep understanding of challenging policy issues, and leverage those understandings to move the country in a new direction on a number of different fronts." I disagreed that he is "widely perceived to be," meaning among all voters, not just Democrats. That Obama is perceived as an "extraordinary statesman and intellectual" by the general public is a gratuitous assertion on your part. To use your own words, it's "a silly oversimplification that only a blind partisan would make and I'm sorry but the objective public is simply not going to buy into it," nor am I. ;)

There's really nothing special about Obama. He's just another (albeit highly skilled) politician. He has practically no experience as a diplomat nor as a chief executive. So, the question actually becomes, "Why do you think people support [insert Democrat here]?", which I've answered, above.

Decius wrote:
This election is over.

It has just begun. This is the first time I'll be voting for a Republican for President since the 1980s, although technically, I'm only voting for the Vice President.

RE: The election is basically over.

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