illusionofjoy: (Default)

Since Dan Onorato decided not to seek a third term (in what may arguably be his wisest political move ever), I've actually become interested in the race for Allegheny County chief executive. The lone teabagger has dropped out of the Republican side of the race, leaving the crook and the Mt. Lebanon councillor/businessman. If registered Republicans have any members left in their ranks with two sane brain cells to rub together, they'll cast their primary ballots for D. Raja, the aforementioned member of Mt. Lebanon's town council.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side of the primary ballot, where your's truly casts his votes, we've got a race between County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty and County Council President Rich Fitzgerald. At first glance, it would seem that this would be a "flip a coin" vote. What distinguishes these two men? Thus, I've decided to go to their respective campaign websites and pick at their issues:

IssueFlaherty's positionFitzgerald's position
Property tax assessments

Both oppose court-ordered reassessments; both favour reforms in the assessment system but neglect to be specific.

Job creation

Both point to diversification in the regional job market as a way to maintain the county's low unemployment rate. Also, both support grants to encourage higher eduction as a way to strengthen the job market.

Drilling for natural gas the Marcellus Shale

Opposes drilling until further environmental studies are done and it can be ensured that drilling "is done cleanly and safely, that our rivers are not contaminated in the process, and our schools and neighborhoods are not put in harm’s way by drilling, extracting and transporting something as volatile and explosive as natural gas."

Supports drilling "in a safe, responsible manner which protects the environment and is minimally invasive to our communities."

Transportation

Opposes the drink tax, calling it "a failure in terms of the transit solution we were looking for." Proposes radically altering the organisation of the Port Authority with an eye towards future expansion of the light rail system.

No position stated.

Of the four issues both candidates touch on between their respective websites, Flaherty and Fitzgerald seem to agree on half of them. While their positions on drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale are similar, Flaherty's caution regarding the matter gains him points in my book. Finally, Fitzgerald's silence on the matter of mass transit where Flaherty not only addresses the issue but throws out some - admittedly embryonic - ideas on what to do about it gives this voter more than enough reasons to back Flaherty at the polls.

illusionofjoy: (Default)

Fellow Pennsylvania Democrats, it is time to go forth and VOTE!

Joe Sestak for Senate

Joe Hoeffel for Governor

The polls are open from 7:00AM until 8:00PM. You can confirm your voter registration status at the Pennsylvania Department of State website. View a sample ballot for your locality and precinct at SmartVoter.org. Most other inquiries can be addressed at VotesPA.com.

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost." - John Quincy Adams

illusionofjoy: (Default)

Madamab at The Confluence paints an ugly picture of just what may have gone on behind the scenes:

The unholy matrimony between Bush’s Brain and the Democratic Party was cemented by Brazile’s desire to recreate the Democratic Party in the image of the Republican Party - but with African-Americans as the powerbrokers instead of rich white men. Incredibly, she calls this corruption of the Party of the working class “mobilizing the grassroots.”

As for Rove, he wanted to knock out John McCain, a man whom Bush has still not forgiven for voting against the Deciderer’s disastrous tax cuts, and of course make sure Hillary Clinton, the only strong progressive Democrat in the race, did not win the White House. There is no chance that Hillary would forgo the opportunity to prosecute Rove and Co. for all of their heinous crimes against America and its people.

But Obama? His chief legal advisor, Cass Sunstein, has already gone on record as saying that Bush-Cheney should not be impeached. And of course, Obama has already voted to immunize the telecom companies, and by extension the Bush Administration, for their illegal warrantless wiretapping of Americans. Of course, the warrantless wiretapping program is one of the most rock-solid reasons for impeachment, according to Constitutional law experts. Poof! There it went.

Unsettling stuff.

illusionofjoy: (Default)

"We must elect Barack Obama our next president."

Hillary Clinton said this sentence with great frequency in her speech today where she suspended her campaign and endorsed Senator Barack Obama. She spoke eloquently, frequently touching upon traditional Democratic principles and how it is remarkably unremarkable that both a woman and an African-American could be considered for President and no one questions or states that it isn't possible in either case. I believe that there was nothing said tonight that her detractors could use against her - she has wholeheartedly endorsed Senator Obama; she has done her duty to the Democratic Party, to which she is loyal to a fault, in asking for her supporters to back Senator Obama and vehemently as they've backed her. It is now Senator Barack Obama's responsibility to convince us who carry little or no faith in him that he will do the right thing for us, that he will actually represent us and that he not only wants our votes, but values them as well. The ball, as they say, in now in Obama's court.

After Barack Obama fired a shot into the heart about everything I believe about how a Democratic Nation should function in prematurely declaring himself the winner, I yanked all support for him. Barack Obama may be victorious in this primary, but his is a tainted victory. It hurts greatly, as a lifelong Democrat, to think that I have no candidate that I can unequivocally support in the November election. There are times I've thought to myself, "well, maybe I should give Obama a second chance," only to have him do or say something which has me feeling pushed right back to the fringes of the Democratic Party. When Hillary Clinton spoke today, she spoke of a Democratic Party promoting an America where no form of discrimination was acceptable and where everyone was welcome. This is the Democratic Party I wish for as well, and the Democratic Party that Obama should be working for - no more sardonic quips about how white, middle class voters "don't matter."

Ever since I started journalling (as it was called before 'blogging became the preferred term), I have always "endorsed" a candidate for President. Despite the apolitical Goth stereotype, I am patriotic to a fault; I love my country, and I do become emotionally involved when it comes to politics (against my better judgement and to my detriment, I am sure). In 2000, I supported Al Gore, along with Hillary Clinton's New York State Senate run. In 2004, I supported John Kerry. In 2008, however, I find myself reluctant to support the presumptive Democratic nominee...I can only stand firm in my opposition to John McCain.

Barack Obama has a lot of work to do - and it is his, and no one else's, responsibility to do it. There are nearly five months between now and November 4th; on that date, you will see me post once more encouraging people to vote. However, the events between now and then will determine whether or not there will be an accompanying image saying, "Obama for President" or simply nothing at all.

It's over?

Jun. 5th, 2008 05:15 pm
illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Something interesting happens when you take away Barack Obama's 59 ill-gotten Michigan delegates, giving back the four to Hillary that she rightfully earned. First, Hillary gets 73 delegates, bringing her total pledged delegate count to 1,643.5. Obama loses 59 delegates, making his total pledged delegate count 1707.5. Adjusted for justice, which was obviously not on the rules committee's minds last weekend, Obama maintains a pledged delegate lead, albeit of only 2%.

Read more... )
illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

I just unsubscribed from Barack Obama's mailing list. In doing so, there was an optional field asking why one was choosing to unsubscribe. I kept it to the point: "I no longer support your campaign."

In all honesty, I stopped supporting Obama's campaign quite a while ago. His tactics for gaining support and winning became anathema to my personal values and what I expect from a Democratic candidate. If you recall, there was a time when I would have been willing to support Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, despite the fact that he was far from my first choice. Now, I simply can not support him - and I doubt he can, or even wants my support anyhow. I'm not part of the "new" Democratic Party. Sorry kids, I like my old classical liberalism tied to FDR and JFK - this new flavour just doesn't taste right to me.

So, let's play with the numbers, shall we? With all of the primaries and caucuses wrapped up, here are the spoils of war:

Popular VotePledged Delegates
Hillary Clinton17,785,009 (50.43%)1639.5 (48.14%)
Barack Obama17,479,990 (49.57%)1766.5 (51.86%)

Hillary Clinton wins the popular vote by less than one percentage point. By contrast, Barack Obama wins the pledged delegate count by nearly four percentage points. You'll note that I did not tabulate any totals for superdelegate endorsements, which were the metric used by Obama and the mainstream media to coronate him as the "presumptive nominee" last night. There is a good reason for this: until the votes are cast at the convention in August, superdelegate endorsements carry only a symbolic meaning (albeit, a potentially ephemeral one, as superdelegates can change their pledge at any given time up to and until the convention votes are cast). In effect, Barack Obama, the mainstream media and the Democratic National Convention are all lying: no candidate has reached the new magic pledged delegate number of 2118, ergo there is no nominee.

Hillary Clinton knows this, which, I suspect, is one among many reasons she did not give a concession speech last night. While all of the Obamaheads in the country were gleefully getting off at their man's "victory," Hillary politely told the conformist masses to get bent. And this is why she is the only candidate for me. All the way to Denver!

Well behaved women rarely make history.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

The mainstream media is all but ignoring the returns from South Dakota and Montana's primaries tonight, opting instead to crow about how Obama has "clinched" the nomination. The propaganda machine formerly known as the Associated Press is even going so far as to state that Hillary is vying for the Vice Presidential spot. What Orwellian nightmare are we living in that it is acceptable to simply make up the news?

In case you care about what the last people to vote had to say, here are the numbers thus far:

South Dakota
(80% tallied)
Montana
(4% tallied)
Hillary Clinton56%39%
Barack Obama44%58%

I'm sure the numbers for Montana will tighten up as more precincts report their numbers. A four-percent tally is hardly definitive.

I'll have popular vote totals in the near future. I may pontificate on the end of the primary at length at some point, but right now...just the facts.

illusionofjoy: (Default)

We all knew the system was fucked up. This is how fucked up it really is. From Taylor Marsh's website:

Right now, we have one candidate who leads in elected delegates and another who leads in the popular vote. It's almost unprecedented, and no one could have guessed we'd be in this position a year ago. Next to Florida in 2000, this has been the most incredible election contest I have ever witnessed, and it's not even over yet.

In August, it will be the Democratic superdelegates who will decide this contest with their votes at the convention. So...what's the most democratic way to determine the winner here? And, all essential questions of electability aside, who has the democratic moral high ground as the voting comes to a close?

Barack Obama's lead in elected delegates is impressive, but I believe it is an extremely flawed measurement. You see, delegates are malleable. With the right strategy and pressure, they can be changed at will. These changes can occur at local conventions, in DNC meeting rooms, or simply in the brain of an elected delegate with a change of heart. The will of the voters often has nothing to do with it.

Ignoring who prefers which candidate at the moment, who is with me for making the Democratic Primary more...well...Democratic?

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

The Associated Press, once a reliable and - dare I say - trustworthy news organisation, has been spewing propaganda all day long. I refuse to link to any of it. You can look it up yourselves, if you really want to...if you enjoy being lied to and manipulated. I, for one, have had enough.

Instead, allow me to direct you to this article from RealClearPolitics. An excerpt:

A new Pew Research Center poll points to a surging tide of fury, especially among white women. As recently as April, this group preferred Obama over the presumptive Republican John McCain by three percentage points. By May, McCain enjoyed an eight-point lead among white women.

What's dangerous for the Democratic Party is that, for many women, the eye of the storm has moved beyond Hillary or anything she does at this point. The offense has turned personal.

They are now in their own orbit, having abandoned popular Democratic Websites that reveled in crude anti-Hillary outpourings -- and established new ones on which they trade stories of the Obama people's nastiness.

McCain, of course, sees an opening here:

Defeat...from the jaws of victory...

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

It must be nice to be a media mogul. I would love to be able to manipulate people's perceptions and pull their strings like the proverbial puppet master. I place a heavy dose of blame on the mainstream media for the state of the nation today. It was the hacks at ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and so on and so on and so on who gave us such smash hits as "Bush vs. Gore," "The lead-up to the War in Iraq," "The Swiftboating of John Kerry" and, most recently, "The Character and Career Assassination of Hillary Clinton" (I used the word "assassinate" - how dare I). So, I don't think I'm being too paranoid or overly cautious when I double and triple check news stories against many other sources. These people have an agenda - a sad one at that which boils down to the fact that if they pump up the drama enough by creating news rather than reporting it, they keep viewers and, by extension, advertising dollars.

Hillary Clinton won the Puerto Rican primary today, a victory which, like many preceding it, the Associated Press referred to as "symbolic." Symbolic of what, they did not elaborate on, but I will be so bold as to say that her victories are symbolic of her ability to win in the general election - despite media attempts to shut her down. Well, to be honest, it is the mainstream media in bed with the so-called Democratic "leadership."

As they believe they have curtailed the presidency of Hillary Clinton, the mainstream media now turns their scope on Barack Obama. The video below, originally embedded in a post on No Quarter is a two-part CNN "special report" on Obama's prior campaigns:

Suffice it to say, he does not play nice...and incidentally, RealClearPolitics reported this nearly a month ago. So, "hope and change we can believe in?" Obama supporters, I know how you feel about your candidate - your passion is unparalleled, but I really have to level with you: I think we've all been sold a false messiah. And, I'm being completely honest when I say that this is not what I wanted to see happen.

I have been essentially breathing this campaign for months now. When it started, I was actually optimistic about what the Democratic Party had: a female contender and a minority contender. This seemed too good to be true...and it was. The more I researched and read about Obama, the less I thought he was qualified or worthy of the presidency. I don't delude myself into believing that Hillary Clinton is a saint by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I hold John McCain in any high esteem in any way, shape or form. However, the campaign of Barack Obama has turned out to be one of the biggest lies ever perpetrated upon the American public. And now everything is going to come out for those who, unlike me, have neither the time nor inclination to pour over articles about politics and boring documents regarding Party rules for delegate allocation, etc. In the coming months, those who only watch ten minutes of news in the evening or who spend twenty minutes with the radio on during their commute or who skim the newspaper during their fifteen minute break at their soul-crushing job are going to know what I and a few other politics obsessives know - and they aren't going to like it.

Unless something radical happens very soon, the way has been paved for John McCain to be the next president.

illusionofjoy: (Default)

After a very long "lunch" break, the Democratic Rules Committee has come to a decision regarding the delegates of Florida and Michigan. To surmise: all the delegates will be seated, albeit with only half-votes each. Florida's delegate count will stand as-is, while Michigan's delegates have been reassigned in such a way that Hillary Clinton gets 69 delegates while Barack Obama gets 59 delegates - a "compromise" which not only awards Obama all of the uncommitted votes, but four of Clinton's delegates as well!

This is unacceptable. If Florida and Michigan are to be punished with half-votes for moving up their primaries ahead of schedule, then Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada should share the same fate for committing the same crime. However, the big travesty here is that Obama has been given Michigan delegates that he did not earn. I might have been able to stomach him receiving the "uncommitted" vote, but to blatantly take four of Hillary Clinton's delegates and simply hand them over to a candidate who did not earn them, who didn't get the percentage of the popular vote to earn them is beyond reproach!

The Democratic Party, in today's decision, has proven that it is continuing to let slip its tenuous grasp on what Democracy really is.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Pander Bear Barack strikes again! I guess his preacher problem became too great and now he's thrown his entire church "under the bus." From the Chicago Tribune:

Sen. Barack Obama is leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, his longtime religious home in Chicago and a place that has triggered repeated controversies during his presidential bid.

Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt has confirmed Obama is essentially resigning from the church. No other details were immediately available.

Political expedience strikes again - is there anyone or anything Barack Obama won't betray in his bid for power? Pathetic.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Let's face facts: Barack Obama did not have to take his name off of the Michigan ballot. There was no rule stating that he or any other candidate had to do so in order to comply with the asinine decision of the DNC to punish that state (along with Flordia) for moving their primaries up ahead of schedule. An "uncommitted" vote is just that: uncommitted, and delegates should be seated at the convention as uncommitted. The fact that Barack Obama ran ads in Michigan encouraging people to vote "uncommitted" in lieu of voting for him is a fallacy; it does not mean that uncommitted votes are actually votes for Obama. What it does mean is that Obama once again tried to circumvent the rules and game the system to his advantage: saying that uncommitted on a ballot actually means Barack Obama is effectively the same as telling people in 2004 to vote for Bush if they actually wanted to vote for Kerry - it does not work that way!

Truthteller at No Quarter effectively sums up Obama's fantasy argument for stealing votes in Michigan:

Let us summarize Obama’s position: we must respect imaginary voters who would have or could have cast votes in Michigan and Florida, for if we do not respect these imaginary voters, we run the risk of disenfranchising voters who may or may not exist. It is a specious argument, especially as the Obama campaigns victories were in caucus states. Is not his delegate count predicated on the systematic disenfranchisement of voters who would have participated but could not have participated in caucus? What if those states held primaries? Should we reallocate the ballots with exit polls and with the primary results in Nebraska and Washington state? After all, the delegate count as a result of their caucuses do not reflect the desires of the primary voters in those two states.

Obama’s argument hinges on a series of hypotheticals, none of which can be substantiated with incontrovertible evidence. So now we are in the territory of known knowns (votes actually cast), known unknowns (we know people did not cast votes, but we do not know how many there are or why they chose not to participate), unknown knowns (we know write-in ballots exist in Michigan, but we do not know how the desires of those voters and unknown unknowns (the number of people who do not vote for whatever reason in any election). If the Committee restricts itself to evidence that can be viewed and analyzed, they will side with the Clinton campaign. If the Committee chooses to dwell on hypotheticals and on imaginary scenarios, they will side with Obama. Either we uphold democracy, or we undermine it in the name of Obama’s political fantasies.

Barack Obama: the George W. Bush of the left.

illusionofjoy: (Default)

CountTheVotesCast PAC is an organisation lobbying to have the certified tallies of the Florida and Michigan primaries stand as is in regard to the popular vote totals and all delegates seated. This is their ad, now airing in and around Washington, DC:

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Remember kids, racism is out, but sexism is in. Salon's Joan Walsh lays out which campaign is doing the real damage to the Democratic Party:

For several months I've found myself bothered by a double standard in both the behavior and the media coverage of the Obama campaign, as supposedly representing a new kind of clean, post-partisan politics, by contrast with the dirty old win-at-any-cost Clintons. Hardball Obama campaign tactics -- David Axelrod partly blaming Clinton for Benazir Bhutto's death; the intimidation of Clinton voters by a pro-Obama union in Nevada (to be fair, some Obama supporters claimed intimidation by Clinton forces, too); the campaign's infamous South Carolina race memo (prepared before Bill Clinton made his dumb Jesse Jackson remark); the multiple "Harry and Louise" mailers distorting Clinton's healthcare proposal; not to mention ties between Obama, Axelrod and the Exelon Corp., even as Obama is touting his lobbyist-free campaign. Nothing seems to stick to Obama; he's Teflon.

This episode was worse than many but not entirely atypical: After his staff helped whip up a frenzy about Clinton's remarks, Obama himself said he accepted Clinton's statement that she had been misunderstood, and Axelrod tried to act gracious and insist that it's time to move on. But the damage had been done. Obama has run a better campaign than Clinton, there's no doubt about it, but he's had a lot of help from a fawning media.

If this is what "hope" and "change" look like, it is no wonder that I am clinging to my stagnant cynicism.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

How undemocratic the Democratic Party has become. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, in a disgustingly obvious attempt to prematurely end the race, are pressuring superdelegates to state whether they are endorsing Clinton or Obama by next week. From the New York Times:

Hoping to bring their party’s presidential nomination fight to an end, the two top Democrats in Congress said they were pressing superdelegates who had yet to declare a preference in the race to make their choice public by the middle of next week.

Party officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, had been contacting uncommitted superdelegates, encouraging them to prepare to go public and resolve any last question about the contest between Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Pelosi dares to take impeachment for Bush and company "off the table," but has the unmitigated gaul to try and force the hands of superdelegates? And what of Reid? What is his issue? In fact, what is the issue any of these so-called "democrats" (the lower-case "D" is intentional, just like when I speak of republicans like Bush and Cheney - note the lower-case "R") have with letting the process run it's course naturally? Of course not - that might mean that Hillary Clinton ends up getting nominated, resulting in the Democrats taking the White House and we simply can not let that happen!

Pelosi and Reid may succeed in their little haka to get superdelegates to endorse for one candidate or another, but until the votes are officially cast in August, the endorsements are meaningless. Unlike pledged delegates, the superdelegates are unpledged - they can endorse and re-endorse and flippity-flop from candidate to candidate on a day to day basis, if they so choose (SEE: Kevin Rodriquez). No superdelegate endorsement matters until August!

Hillary is ahead in the popular vote. She is ahead in the electoral college polls, handily winning battleground and swing states. Meanwhile, Obama's poll numbers are slipping among every demographic except African-Americans, while his unfavourable rating is actually higher than Hillary's now!

All the way to the fucking convention!

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

I am not the only lifelong Democrat finding myself less enchanted with Barack Obama the more I get to know him. Frankly, it will take more than a minor miracle for him to get my vote in November if he is nominated - or, more accurately, installed - as the Democratic candidate of choice to run again John McCain at the convention in August. I live in Pennsylvania, which is shaping up to be a battleground state, should Obama be the nominee. Richard Baehr at RealClearPolitics lays out what happens when enough voters feel as alienated as I do:

Read more... )
illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

An interesting article from the New Statesman:

Here we come to the crunch. Hillary Clinton (along with her husband) is being universally depicted as a loathsome racist and negative campaigner, not so much because of anything she has said or done, but because the overwhelmingly pro-Obama media - consciously or unconsciously - are following the agenda of Senator Barack Obama and his chief strategist, David Axelrod, to tear to pieces the first serious female US presidential candidate in history.

"What's particularly saddening," says Paul Krugman, professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton and a rare dissenting voice from the left as a columnist in the New York Times, "is the way many Obama supporters seem happy with the . . . way pundits and some news organisations treat any action or statement by the Clintons, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent." Despite widespread reporting to the contrary, Krugman believes that most of the "venom" in the campaign "is coming from supporters of Obama".

But Obama himself prepared the ground by making the first gratuitous personal attack of the campaign during the televised Congressional Black Caucus Institute debate in South Carolina on 21 January, although virtually every follower of the media coverage now assumes that it was Clinton who started the negative attacks. Following routine political sniping from her about supposedly admiring comments Obama had made about Ronald Reagan, Obama suddenly turned on Clinton and stared intimidatingly at her. "While I was working in the streets," he scolded her, ". . . you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of Wal-Mart." Then, cleverly linking her inextricably in the public consciousness with her husband, he added: "I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes."

One of the many things Barack Obama will have to do to regain my support is to condemn the misogyny surrounding his campaign. This means doing much more than apologising for calling a female Michigan reporter "sweetie."

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

It is a sad day indeed when even America's bullshit detector, Ted Rall, starts sipping the Obama Kool-Aide. Still, I take solace in the fact that Rall will take a shot at any politician and has been one of the very few cartoonists and columnists on a major syndicate to take Obama to task on more than one occasion. For the moment, I'll take today's cartoon as simply being a lapse in output, and not a more sinister sign of indoctrination.

Meanwhile, the rest of the mainstream media has there collective noses out of place over Hillary Clinton's supposedly "controversial" comments about RFK. VastLeft at Corrente sums up my feelings on the matter perfectly:

The media frenzy around Howard Dean sounding gravelly in a microphone was 100% bullshit.

The media frenzy around Hillary Clinton recalling the campaign of a great Democrat who was assassinated is 100% bullshit.

Anyone who falls for either is not just any dupe, but the kind of dupe who lets the media pick our candidates.

I am so sick of bullshit.

illusionofjoy: (Hillary Clinton 2008)

Barack Obama has a legitimacy problem, one fed by the mainstream media. The latest numbers show that Hillary Clinton's win in Kentucky increased her popular vote advantage from .05% to .44%. It is a slim margin, but she is technically winning, despite every effort to shut her down. Clinton has even indicated that she would be willing to take it all the way to the convention, if necessary. I've been waiting to hear these words for a long time, and I support this decision wholeheartedly. I will not have Obama foisted upon me like George W. Bush was in 2000 - oh no, not in my party.

But back to Obama's legitimacy problem. I bring this up because web journaller Anglachel has written a post which pretty much sums up my reasons for refusing to vote for Obama:

In a democratic political system, the consent of the minority to the majority's power is the measure of legitimacy. The majority, after all, has what it wants. How dissenters are treated and the degree to which they assent to the majority's possession of power while retaining the ability to dissent from the majority's policies and objectives shows how much the majority is trusted, respected, and considered within the bounds of acceptable political behavior. One of the markers of the Bush regime is the degree to which it has no legitimacy with most of the citizens. They are still trammelled by the institutions of government, but have continuously sought to dissolve these boundaries and rule through sheer force.

The increasing rejection of Obama by voters is a measure of his declining legitimacy. People who once thought they would gladly vote for him, like me, are now implacably opposed to him. He is no longer legitimate in our eyes. He has not sought legitimacy, which would mean facing up to opposition and allowing himself to be challenged, questioned, and probably be found wanting by some people, but has opted to pursue power at any price. Participating in and profiting from the media hatred of the Clintons, throwing out accusations of racism to try to forestall criticism and inflate AA vote counts, encouraging people to be "Obamacans" not Democrats, the "Democrat for a Day" strategy, engaging in intimidation and threats to extract caucus votes, aggressively trying to monopolize money specifically to silence alternative voices, and treating voters who do not choose him first with contempt.

As I've stated previously, the more I get to know Obama, the less and less I like him. It is with alarming frequency that I have been looking at the man and - shockingly - started seeing the George W. Bush of the left. There are the inexcusable verbal gaffes, the middle finger on camera, the arrogance and, biggest of all, the huge sense of entitlement that leads him to believe that it is acceptable to declare himself the winner when the race is damn near tied (an arrogant entitlement aided and abetted all too generously by the same mainstream media who gave us Bush versus Gore 2000).

I no longer see Obama as the "lesser of two evils." At least with John McCain in office, a Democratic majority in the House (perhaps with a few spinal implants) could keep him in check (including preventing right-wing "activist" justices from being seated on the Supreme Court). Despite the fact that Obama's policies either mirror or are watered-down versions of Hillary's policies, I still question the wisdom of putting someone in high office whose ambition crosses over to the point of ignoring the will of the voters. The popular vote should always be paramount! Obama is proving that he doesn't care about the popular vote, so long as he gets to play president eventually.

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Seth Warren

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