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Potomac Primary: Winners and Losers

The big winners in last night's Potomac Primary were, of course, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), both of whom scored a sweep, winning in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

But, aside from the obvious, who were the winners and the losers from last night's proceedings? The Fix's take is below. Offer your own take on the victors and the vanquished in the comments section below.

WINNERS

Gov. Tim Kaine (D-Va.): How about this resume for a potential running mate? Kaine was among the first elected officials to endorse Obama, helped deliver a massive victory for him yesterday, and governs an emerging battleground state. Given that laundry list, it's hard to see Kaine not winding up among the final pool of veep picks if Obama becomes the nominee.

Club for Growth: After a series of near-misses against Republican House incumbents in past cycles, the Club has now knocked off two members in consecutive election cycles. In 2006 it was Michigan Rep. Joe Schwartz; last night Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) joined that ignominious list. The Club used its vast bundling ability to deliver more than $430,000 in campaign cash to state Sen. Andrew Harris (R) and spent more than $700,000 on television ads hitting Gilchrest. The Club's ability to raise money for its endorsed candidates and its willingness to spend its own cash on ads make it a potent force in Republican primaries. Incumbents beware.

Young voters: Every cycle candidates pledge to engage the youth vote and every cycle it doesn't happen. Except this one. Exit polling in Maryland and Virginia showed that voters under 30 comprised 14 percent of the electorate in each state. That's up from eight percent in Maryland and Virginia in the 2004 Democratic presidential primary. Much of that increase is due to the excitement Obama has created among young people; he carried under 30 voters by 30 points in Maryland and 52 points in Virginia. Do those young voters stay involved in the campaign if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the nominee?

EMILY's List/SEIU/Moveon.org: This trifecta of progressive interest groups spent, and spent heavily, on behalf of Donna Edwards (D) in her upset win over Rep. Al Wynn (D) in Maryland's 4th District. That spending helped even the financial playing field with Wynn and ensured that voters in the district knew they had a choice. It was a nice win for EMILY's List, which had a far less positive night on the presidential level as their candidate -- Sen. Clinton -- lost women in Maryland and Virginia by double digits.

Tom Davis/Jeannemarie Devolites Davis: He, a member of Congress who will retire after this term. She, a defeated Virginia state legislator. And yet, there they were last night positioned directly behind McCain (and within the camera shot) as he gave his victory speech. Not bad face time for a political couple who will soon be -- at least temporarily -- out of politics.

LOSERS

Status quo: The across the board losses by Clinton in the Potomac Primary coupled with the defeats of Wynn and Gilchrest suggest that voters of both partisan stripes are ready for something different in 2008. Exit polling bore that sentiment out. Nearly six in ten Democratic voters in Maryland and Virginia cited a candidate's ability to bring change as the most important quality in making their choice, while just one in five voters said that having the right experience was the key element in picking a candidate. Couple those numbers with the dismal approval ratings for President Bush and Congress and there is a real sense that the American people want change -- even if they are not sure what form that change should take.

Martin O'Malley/Barbara Mikulski: The two leading elected officials to pick sides in Maryland's Democratic primary chose wrong. Will it hurt either one at home? Probably not. O'Malley's favorability numbers have taken a hit following a special session in the state legislature during which several taxes were raised, but Maryland is a very Democratic state and O'Malley has until 2010 to punch up his numbers. Mikulski, who has represented Maryland in the Senate since 1986, is an institution and faces absolutely no danger of losing her seat. Still, it's always better to be on the winning side than on the losing one.

Evangelicals: Evangelical voters comprised nearly half (46 percent) of all participants in the Virginia Republican primary. And they voted overwhelmingly for former governor Mike Huckabee (Ark.) over John McCain. But, it wasn't enough to put Huckabee over the top in the Commonwealth as McCain prevailed 50 percent to 41 percent. If Huckabee had edged McCain in Virginia it would have likely forced a reassessment of the race by the party and the press -- especially given Huckabee's wins over the weekend in Louisiana and Nebraska. McCain's win in Virginia likely seals the deal for the Arizona senator.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 13, 2008; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Governors Coalescing Behind McCain

Comments

optimyst,
I asked those questions in all seriousness, not trying to be argumentative. I did not say that the 2008 DNC actions were willy-nilly. I said that the actions of the Dems in FL in 2000 when they wanted to try to count votes every which way to ensure that "all votes were counted" were willy-nilly. I said the DNC was arrogant in 2008.

I realize this is a primary, but these votes should mean something too. Technically you are correct in that every vote was counted in 2008 in FL and MI. But if that count is discarded, the count and the votes means nothing. Ask the people of Washington DC about that when it comes to representation for congress or general elections (but then even they got a say in the primary). The fact that there are voters whose votes will not count in both elections makes it a valid comparison.

And finally, I did not say that Obama took his name off to spite the people of MI, I said that it was a mistake to do it (for whatever reason - spite/spirit of DNC) unless it was a DNC rule. According to laurarozek, it was a DNC REQUEST, not a RULE.

I actually do appreciate your responses to my questions, especially about the 2000 elections. I don't quite know what to think about Floridians feelings that a loss of a vote is orderly and acceptable but as long as you are ok with it, so am I. But I wish you would read what I am actually writing and get my arguments correct.

Posted by: dave | February 14, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

optimyst,
I asked those questions in all seriousness, not trying to be argumentative. I did not say that the 2008 DNC actions were willy-nilly. I said that the actions of the Dems in FL in 2000 when they wanted to try to count votes every which way to ensure that "all votes were counted" were willy-nilly. I said the DNC was arrogant in 2008.

I realize this is a primary, but these votes should mean something too. Technically you are correct in that every vote was counted in 2008 in FL and MI. But if that count is discarded, the count and the votes means nothing. Ask the people of Washington DC about that when it comes to representation for congress or general elections (but then even they got a say in the primary). The fact that there are voters whose votes will not count in both elections makes it a valid comparison.

And finally, I did not say that Obama took his name off to spite the people of MI, I said that it was a mistake to do it (for whatever reason - spite/spirit of DNC) unless it was a DNC rule. According to laurarozek, it was a DNC REQUEST, not a RULE.

I actually do appreciate your responses to my questions, especially about the 2000 elections. I don't quite know what to think about Floridians feelings that a loss of a vote is orderly and acceptable but as long as you are ok with it, so am I. But I wish you would read what I am actually writing and get my arguments correct.

Posted by: dave | February 14, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Claudia,I rely on you to be the voice of reason and you are doing a GREAT job. But even I cannot sit here and not comment on this:
"yes, I must hate women because I don't think their lives are inherently more valuable than the innocent lives of the children they have the "right" to kill.
paranoid feminazi liberal crap."
Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 04:28 PM
*****************************************
Hey Mike,
So, you must be "pro-life." I've always found that phrase a little confusing. If you are so pro-life, would you send an 18 year old boy off to fight in Iraq where his chances of living may be 50/50? How about the homeless? Are you helping to feed and shelter them? That would certainly be very pro-life of you!
How about all the orphaned children in Iraq, Darfur, Afghanastan, and LOUISIANNA?
Do you give money to teens who are pregnant in order to help take care of their unwanted children?
Ever been raped?
Ever been demeaned by your uncle, counsin, father, brother, neighbor who just wanted to see how your breasts are coming in or if you have pubic hair yet?
Eh. Just a bunch of "paranoid feminazi liberal crap."
Become a woman, go work for Blackwater, and get back to me on that.

Posted by: sheridan1 | February 14, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

JimD: You must not be reading, listening, or watching anything to not realize The Media is in the tank for Obama. I am still convinced Hillary will win The White House this year, as I have been from the beginning. I mentioned a word "Idiot-ology" that appears to fit many of these voters, in that they are voting for something, but don't know what that something is that they are voting for.

Posted by: lylepink | February 14, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Chris - Don't forget to state the most obvious loser: Clinton - three times over.

Posted by: DanKirkd | February 14, 2008 3:16 AM | Report abuse

I am a long time member and supporter of Emily's List. The whole purpose of the group is to elect pro-choice women, period. Male candidates are not endorsed as they are outside the stated mission of the group; it isn't a matter of which candidate supports women the most, it is getting more women into public office, to more accurately reflect the gender make-up of the electorate as a whole.

As a member you are free to support any candidate the group recommends, or not support a candidate at all. You decide when, if and to whom you will make any donation. Any donation is written directly to the candidate. The donations are then bundled and given to the candidate as written.

If you choose you can support specific programs instead of candidates. These include 'get out the vote' efforts and grass roots political training of new women candidates.

The group has been very successful overall, and actually developed some of their tactics by learning from successful republican fund raising efforts. Much to the chagrin of the republicans, who have often tried to shut the group down.

And, of course, fund raising support may have nothing to do with who you actually vote for, which in my case is a wide range of candidates of all genders and political parties and philosophies. I just believe strongly that we need more women in elected office, hence my membership.

Posted by: cjbriggs | February 13, 2008 11:28 PM | Report abuse

To dcmenefee1: Hillary's problem isn't that she's a woman -- it's that she's a Clinton. Been there, done that. We don't need a return to 1990s polarizing politics, especially since the Clintons' track record show they're far more corporate than progressive. I would love to see a woman become president someday...but I'd like to see her do it on her own, not because of name recognition of whom she's married to. Hillary's just a Lurleen Wallace with a Yale Law degree.

Whom would I like to see as veep candidates? For Obama, someone like Jim Webb, especially because Kaine could then appoint a successor were they to win. Webb has the foreign policy experience to complement Obama. If not him, how about Wesley Clark?

For McCain, Chuck Hagel would probably do well among independents, but they may have too many disagreements to work as a ticket (though they are supposedly friends). Were I McCain, I might be interested in Kay Bailey Hutchinson (were Obama nominated) or J.C. Watts (should Clinton somehow rally and get the Dem nod), because you know many women and/or blacks are going to be disappointed on the Democratic side. It's human nature.

And as one of those rare birds -- an anti-abortion liberal -- the talk about the issue on this thread reminds me of the penguin in the Pat Oliphant cartoons who always popped up in the corner during a presidential race and asked, "What about abortion?"

Posted by: VPaterno | February 13, 2008 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama's calculations today leave out Michigan and Florida which - well say what you will.


The point is, the talking points (of both campaigns) are now being repeated in the media without attribution to the campaign which is producing the spin.


That is not good - you can't fool all of the people all the of the time, but you can try to fool some of the people some of the time - it's getting a little worn.


Fact is: these primaries were Obama's easy part of the schedule.


Now Hillary has her chance to catch-up - and she probably will - they have to do something with Michigan and Florida - and the superdelegates have to vote - there is more than enough margin in there to sway this race either way. This will be interesting and it just may have to go all the way to the convention.


Posted by: Miata7 | February 13, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

think The Media and journalism, as a profession, with their "Love Affair" with Obama and the constant bashing of Hillary on a daily basis, along with the American people are the really big losers.

Posted by: lylepink | February 13, 2008 06:56 PM

Obama won overwhelmingly and took every demographic group, including the ones that had been solidly for Clinton in previous primaries. Even if I took your assertion that the media was somehow backing Obama seriously, I don't see how they could be a loser since Obama did win overwhelmingly.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 13, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Random points:
1. In 1896 the U.S.Supreme Court decided the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, in which they decided that "separate but equal is constitutional." It was an 8-1 vote. The lone dissent was by Justice John M. Harlan of Kentucky, who wrote: "The United States Constitution is color-blind." It was in 1896, and it still is. We are only now living into that magnificent constitutional truth.
2. The winning ticket is Gore-Obama. Frankly, Obama cannot win at the top of the ticket. Hillary can't win at the top of the ticket ... but neither can Obama. So ... we get to the 2nd ballot of a brokered convention, and Obama says to Gore, "I'll give you all of my delegates, if I run as your V.P. running mate." End of story. And absolutely unbeatable combination.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: ripcord1965 | February 13, 2008 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Dave, you make facile arguments, but how come I think it is only to be argumentative rather than to learn anything from our exchange? Nonetheless, I will answer your questions, which you will then twist into a result that satisfies whatever it is that gives you your jollies.

First, you want to know if I was a FL resident in 2000 and how I felt about it. Yes, I was. Had the contest been safe for Gore, I would have voted for Nader, but it was obvious that it would be close, so I voted for Gore. I was disgusted about the outcome, both for the incompetence in so many parts of the system here in Florida, but also for the dubious intervention of the Supreme Court.

Now, you try to relate these two circumstances to suggest that the closed 2008 Florida democratic primary somehow is another chapter in our hall of shame. Further, you refer to the DNC delegate penalty as willy nilly.

Nice try. Probably a non Floridian finds it compelling even. But these comparisons are false. There is a big difference between a closed party primary and a general election. Different rules, different laws, different everything. It's not like voters will be disenfranchised in voting for President. That's November.

And if you recall, the problem in 2000 was voting irregularities that made getting an accurate count very difficult and time-consuming. There are no challenges regarding the 2008 primary vote. Every vote WAS counted. So the comparison is not valid.

There was nothing willy nilly about what happened. DNC told states that no states other than Iowa, NH, NV and SC could hold a primary or caucus before February 5. Florida's legislature and governor (republican) defied the rule by setting the primary on January 29 and were penalized as a direct result by removing all of our delegates. Same for Michigan.

The situation in 2000 was chaotic. The situation in 2008 is orderly, though the Clinton campaign is trying to create chaos.

Finally, you suggest Obama took his name off the Michigan ballot because he has some spite against the voters there. Yeah, great strategy for a democratic candidate who wants to carry the electoral votes of a reliably blue state. Your comment was disingenuous. In fact, now that we've completed about 70% of the contests, it is the Obama campaign that has earned praise for its efficiency and professionalism in competing for every vote and every delegate.

So, I've wasted my time making a serious response to your mindless comments about a race you have no horse in. Enjoy, if you can't learn anything.

Posted by: optimyst | February 13, 2008 8:34 PM | Report abuse

A proverb "young and stupid" has been said for many thousand of years. Think about it - before you vote for the President of the United States of America.

Posted by: inva | February 13, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

laurarozek,
Was is a request by the DNC or was it a rule that was broken by Clinton? I am not a Dem or a HRC supporter but I do believe that people's votes should count. According to CNN, the number of dem voters in MI was around 570,000.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 8:00 PM | Report abuse

The most important thing we can realize is that Obama doesn't have any firm plans to change the country. Check out this funny Yes We Can parody:

http://www.mockiavelli.com/2008/02/obama-pledges-t.html

Posted by: barnesseth | February 13, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

If Obama wants to win - and I believe he does - no way he's the running-mate. Obama will need someone with strong foreign policy/defense credentials - Biden, Webb, Richardson - to go against McCain.

Posted by: GordonsGirl | February 13, 2008 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Optimyst,
Was it a DNC rule to take the candidate's names off the Michigan primary slate? Or did Obama take his name off on his own? I say if he took it off on his own to spite the people of MI/to be in the DNC spirit, it was a mistake to do so. I would be interested to know if you were a resident of FL in 2000 and if you were how you felt about the vote count then. I find it fascinating that Democrats wanted to change rules willy-nilly and count votes based on projections of how they thought people would have voted because "every vote must count" back in 2000 and can then so casually dismiss the votes of people in the primary because of the arrogance of the DNC. But that's just me in VA where voting tends to go smoothly. I just know how I would feel. And I don't think there can now be a "fair" vote in either of those states. Nor do I think that the earlier vote is entirely fair - just more fair.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe 2.5 million people voted in Michigan and Florida - living in Michigan, I'm convinced it's significantly less.

Most people in Michigan are annoyed with the Michigan Democratic party, but I don't believe this will translate into a lackluster turnout in November. If you are very interested, I suggest reading the local papers, which have had quite a dialogue about this very subject.

Having had many discussions about this topic, most Democrats favor another primary OR not seating the delegates, as there was not a complete ballot. The only people I know who want the delgates sat are Hillary supporters, whi admit it's not fair as she refused to remove her name from the ballot, as requested by the DNC. She, in effect, cheated.

Posted by: laurarozek | February 13, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

thecrisis - "If abortion is made illegal, then illegal abortions will take place and it will look just like prohibition except with peoples' lives at stake."

I have to answer this with a big fat "so". Most all things that are illegal still occur. That does not mean they should not be illegal. It does not make them any more ok. This is not the leg of the argument you should stand on.

The more interesting part of your argument is that humans are not special. I find the "Nothing sets us apart other than a few chromosomes and some luck" line fascinating. The fact that a group of us are debating this concept on a blog makes me think this argument is somewhat lacking also. But it is still interesting to debate.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight, 2.5 million democrats vote in Fl & Mi, less than 2.5 million dems voted in the last 8(EIGHT) primaries and because the DNC didn't like that the FDC held thier primary before super Tues those 2.5 million votes don't count. I can see the RNC commercials in Fl & Mi already. Between that and the vote in the senate yestrday on telecom immunity with 17 Dems with no backbone voting with GW I'd have to say that it seems like Jack Kavorkian is the chairman of the DNC not Howard Dean.
PS If I were a voter in Fl or MI I'd write in a vote for someone other than the Dem nominee in Nov

Posted by: jmfromdc | February 13, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I think The Media and journalism, as a profession, with their "Love Affair" with Obama and the constant bashing of Hillary on a daily basis, along with the American people are the really big losers.

Posted by: lylepink | February 13, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Someone else said it on this list earlier, but what is really becoming apparent and is getting much less attention in the media is that both Dems and Reps have a hunger to end the decades of the politics of division.

Whether either McCain or Obama can win the White House without the slash and burn that has been the mainstay of poltics, particularly Republican politics, since the times of Nixon remains to be seen...but hidden in the mis-wording of all the exit polls is the undeniable fact that American want to stop fighting other Americans.

Both Hillary and Huckabee to some extant, are the remants of this last gasp of this type of campaigning. Huckabee basing his appeal to evangelicals and conservatives, Hillary basing hers on an appeal to women and to a certain extent Latinos.

If they do no further service to this country than drive a stake through the heart of American identity politics, both Obama and McCain will have done more for this country than the current occupant has in the last 7 years.

Posted by: ethanquern | February 13, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

A few other "sweeteners" in Kaine-as-VP: White, Southern, speaks fluent Spanish (thanks to Peace Corps work in Honduras years ago). Downside? No international affairs experience of any kind.

Posted by: wallygva | February 13, 2008 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Mike is nothing more than another theocratic right-winger who is convinced the government is a bunch of scary monster men trying to steal his guns and force him to work in a rice paddy while sending his children to military boot camp in Beijing. Only his god and his guns can protect him from the evil that is social compassion.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with evangelicals losing. McCain was supposed to win VA by 20 - 30 points. That sure as heck did not happen. They showed their strength and their unwillingness to rally to McCain should be a big worry for him.

Posted by: Normscoffee | February 13, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The admin cost of SS was supposed to be low, from what I had read years ago, thus qualifying SS as "efficient". I do not know if that is still true. Anybody know?'

'American insurance industry's administrative costs run to about 10 percent of investments while the Social Security Adminstration's is about 1 percent.' From the Social Security Administration's numbers.

Medicare's administrations costs running 3% now... insurance industry's profit generally ranges in the 15-20% range, and that doesn't count administration, which is about 12%. Advertising amonts to another 15 to 20%.

'And your comparison of human life to animal life' We ARE animal life and we go through the same stages of embryonic development as every vertebrae life form. At it's early stages, a human embroyo closely resembles a fish embryo. At a later stage, a pig's. You are confusing relgion'\philosophy with science and facts.

and calling anyone who disagrees with you a 'kook' who admires [insert your personal demons/straw men du jour] just makes you look like a simple-minded child.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Strong 2nd to the idea of Biden as VP for Obama. Experience, knowledge and 'gravitas' for real and equal to McCains; good relations with Clintons so could be a bridge there; can be the scrappy one on the campaign and let Obama remain 'presidential;' both men secure enough to really work together, not compete .... and just IMAGINE the smiles on that campaign poster!!

Posted by: esommers2 | February 13, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, how'd you know I was listening to Tool right now? Crazy!

Besides, I was using the "Men" point more to be facetious than anything.

You theocrats continue to stretch and skew the founding documents of our country in favor of your religious beliefs. There are a few passages that loosely reference religion, and for theocrats, that overrules the hundreds of Supreme Court decisions that have reaffirmed the separation of church and state, as well as the words of Thomas Jefferson himself:

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

From the words of the highest founding father himself, religion has no place in government. Fear the wall.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Another 'loser' is moderates in both parties. It was ironic watching John McCain give his victory speech, and standing behind him was retiring Senator John Warner and retiring congressman Tom Davis, both considered moderate and independent in the Republican party. Tom Davis couldn't even run for Warner's Senate seat because the right wing is controlling the nominating process. Both of their seats will probably go to Democrats in November. Two other members of Congress from Maryland lost their primary elections, Al Wynn, considered a moderate Democrat and Wayne Gilcrest, a moderate Republican. Ironically, Gilcrest's loss to a far more conservative makes the race for the seat competitive in November.

Posted by: gckarcher | February 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

maurban -

I believe capitalism benefits the masses, and lifts the poor out of poverty. I also think we all have a unique duty to give to the poor. Some rich don't do that. That's a shame. Not the government's problem, IMO. Take it up with God.

You're selectively forgetting passages of the Bible that refer to protecting the weak. I believe in just war theory.

And, for the record, based on my religious beliefs, I am against capital punishment. So, maybe on that issue I'm not as "hypocritical" as you probably assumed.

I'm sorry Christianity was a "nightmare" for you.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

rpy - enjoyed the chat. Have to go pick up my wife. Peace be with you, see you tomorrow.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike: Was wondering, you make references which indicate you are a Christian, but also comments which indicate that you are for capitalism. How can that be? For Jesus clearly states that the pursuit of wealth is a sin, as well as the accumulation of wealth. If God refuses to let a rich man into heaven, but the goal of capitalism is profit, how can God be in favor of capitalism???

Also, I see you are or were in the Corps. Thank you for your service. But how can a Christian be in the military when killing is a mortal sin forbidden by God? (And just to refute a popular myth...the original Hebrew Bible says thou shall not kill, not thou shall not murder. People in power changed the wording over the years so poor people would continue to die for their profit)

(For the record, I am pro-market, but no longer a Christian...woke up from that nightmare at age 12. Just fighting Christian hypocrisy wherever I see it)

Posted by: maurban | February 13, 2008 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh and lets not forget that the "Creator" stuff is from the Declaration of Independence, which is not law and really has less to do with the United States than it does with England.

I'm more worried about the Constitution, which holds no reference to your religion or your deity, even though it was written after the DoI. What does that say about the intent of the founding fathers? I think they were very clear in their leaving religion out of the Constitution and in the churches, where it BELONGS.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"If you really want to use their words, then only Men were created equal, right? "

In english, when refering to the noun "everyone", which could include males and females, the proper pronoun is "he" or "his".

Example: "Everyone forgot his toothbrush"

That does not mean the group was all-male.

That's the english language.

Tool.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Winners: David Ploufe--His measured, intelligent management of the weekend sweep, never getting too far ahead of the results, yet imbuing them with the enthusiasm that comports with the facts, helped to give each new victory its extraordinary power, without repositioning Obama too far away from his original underdog status. Honest, smart, and representative of the more straightforward political approach to come.

Th Potomac Region: When is the last time that you can recall this region being so enthused about a candidate--across three states? There is a genuine opportunity to mobilize our resources for change and unity. This is marked, notable and real--we should strike to sustain the belief and commitment of these days.

If you haven't been able to attend a rally, you can get the entire Obama rally setlist--all the way from U2's "City of Blinding Lights", to which Obama takes the stage, to the Obama victory anthem "Signed, Sealed, Delivered"

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewIMix?id=273867065&s=143441&v0=575

Posted by: caraprado1 | February 13, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

The Nebraska GOP primary is May 13th. I think that you meant that Huckabee won in Kansas this weekend. Probably worth of a correction.

Posted by: bharr4 | February 13, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Mike, you again reference your religion in your argument.

"the gift of human life, and what sets us apart and makes us special."

Life is not a gift, it's what happens when two animals have intercourse.

Nothing sets us apart other than a few chromosomes and some luck. Nothing is more amazing about a human birth than a chimpanzee birth, scientifically.

Nothing makes us special. We are a smart animal among somewhat less smart animals. Except we cannot figure out the one thing that all other animals have built into their system - the ability to live symbiotically with their environment.

If you really want to use their words, then only Men were created equal, right? Since an embryo of either gender is not a man, then it's not equal?

What about when the pursuit of happiness (a single, young girl aborting a pregnancy resulting from a broken condom so she can keep her life on track) conflicts with the guarantee of life and liberty for the embryo?

When does an embryo become human? In strictly non-religious terms, it is human when it can survive outside of the womb, at which point it is no longer legal to have an abortion unless the mother's life is at risk.

And since there is no scientific basis for this so-called "Creator" does that mean the point is moot?

Regardless of all of these points, this whole debate is irrelevant. If abortion is made illegal, then illegal abortions will take place and it will look just like prohibition except with peoples' lives at stake. And don't dare make the argument that a mother who wants an abortion deserves to die because that is nothing but pure, concentrated ignorance.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

"So, it's all good. McCain wins in November 2008 -- which is a compelet disaster for the Republicans, and that's a good thing!!"

Lose-Lose

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

raarm, your guy Sharpton agrees with you

http://www.drudgereport.com/flashsc.htm

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"Would you see any role for regulation in what you're describing?"

Well I'm not a polcy wonk, but I expect something reasonable would work just fine.

The beauty of the market (you're talking to a master of finance guy who truly loves market efficiency and Harry Markowitz) is that so long as there is a market for a service [in your example, pre-existing conditions], a supplier will be there to meet that demand.

Plus, insurers could easily "diversify" their "portfolio" of insurees.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike writes
"You can't deny the kooks hate America. They're Chavez and Putin's admirers and best friends."


Classy.

.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

dcmacafee1 wrote: "In propping up Obama and tearing down Hillary, the media are dangerously close to fracturing the Democratic party as they did in 1972."

I don't know about "the media" but this is the logical outcome. McCain's a lucky man, the Democrats will tear each other apart at the convention because neither Clinton nor Obama will have any rational for dropping out. There's no hope for a united ticket unless one of them is willing to spend four years in the Office worth a "Warm Bucket of Spit" as one VP once described it (or, more kindly, John Adams description of it as the most useless office any Republic ever devised. He could not have anticipated Cheney because no one could have anticipated Bush).

So, it's all good. McCain wins in November 2008 -- which is a compelet disaster for the Republicans, and that's a good thing!!

Posted by: TechConsultant | February 13, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I'm glad we can agree on something. Because I think that employer-provided health care is terrible. It doesn't encourage long-term thinking about care, since the HMOs know that they don't have to keep the insured happy, they just have to keep the employers happy.

Of course, even in your example, we'd have huge insurance companies that are inefficient. And they would probably deny a lot of people for pre-existing conditions. Would you see any role for regulation in what you're describing?

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

thecrisis:
"The government does a fantastic job with law enforcement and fire fighting"

the real crisis is that in your clammoring fit to defend all things government, you can't even distinguish between federal, state, and local. so long as you defend your holy provider.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The government does a fantastic job with law enforcement and fire fighting, two of our three true entitlements as Americans, so I wouldn't hesitate to support the government running our third of three American entitlements - health care.

But no one is proposing socialized medicine. Not Obama, not Clinton. Socialized medicine is the (cheap, fast and highly successful) system in many foreign countries, but no politicians are asking for that in our country.

All the Democrats want is a way to bring down health care costs, raise the level of coverage (no more insurance companies dodging bills because of line 37 column B on page 142 of the policy) and make it more available for Americans to purchase. Why the GOP thinks cheaper and more effective health care is bad is beyond me.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

rpy - why couldn't we all buy personal health insurance that we can take with us from job to job? Eliminate the middle man (our employers), and truly open up the market.

Don't you like Geico for car insurance? I'd love to see the next Geico for healthcare.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"Rather than doing so, proud chose the knee jerk attack on liberals instead."

I think she was justified.

You can't deny the kooks hate America. They're Chavez and Putin's admirers and best friends.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: I don't think McCain would use the juvenile Obambi moniker -- but based on his joke choices I guess I shouldn't put anything past him.

As an aside based on how old McCain is, is it any wonder his name means "Son of Cain"? Anyone ask him if he's seen Uncle Abel lately?

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I wasn't planning on cutting intel.

Missile defense is a good start.

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

thecrisis--

principles transcend time and technological change.

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator..."

I'm not speaking for them, I'm using their words.

And your comparison of human life to animal life demonstrates the profundity of your lack of appreciation for the gift of human life, and what sets us apart and makes us special.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Re: MI and FL

As a MI resident until recently, I have a complex opinion about the whole issue with the DNC.

1)Many, many people believe the current system puts way too much emphasis on Iowa and NH, which not very representational of the US as a whole. What MI and FL (and many other states) were trying to do was push the conversation about why those two states get to have so much influence on what is supposed to be a national primary race. This year is crazy atypical as far as the primary goes. The last several primaries have been well decided by this point in the schedule, so you can say that MI and FL look a little silly now, but at the time no one, including those who think the IA and NH situation is great, disagreed with them that their later primaries made them much less influential.

2) I think the way the situation ended up was terrible. Instead of working together to find some kind of compromise, the DNC and local Dems drew their lines in the sand and stuck by them, to the detriment of everyone.

3) BUT, once the DNC decided "this is how it is going to be" and the candidates agreed to follow the rules- No campaigning, delegates don't get seated- each has an obligation to keep his/her word. Leaving your name on the ballot when everyone else removes theirs or announcing a victory party in the state BEFORE the primary is cheating. All's fair in love and war, you say? Fine, if that's the kind of Pres you want. Not me.

If Obama wins the pledged delegates from the primaries/caucuses, but Hillary gets the nomination from seating MI/FL delegates, a lot of people will feel that she stole it (shades of 2000, anyone?) and they will respond appropriately in the general election. (Same thing if she uses Superdelegates to put herself over the top).

I think we still need to have a discussion about this whole nominating process. Over a year of campaigning and untold millions of dollars and a bunch of duly-elected officials running around the country eating at state fairs instead of doing their job in DC. Surely we can do better?

Posted by: raarmstr | February 13, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I just do not understand all this crap about "the only fair thing to do" being to give FL and MI "another chance"...

I could not have been ANY CLEARER what the conseqences would be for going before Feb 5, and those States chose to do so. If the people in those states have a problem, they should ensure their current state elected and unelected officials are ousted from office.

It is simply comical that Hillary would now whine about this... they all knew the rules, and only Obama and Edwards had the grace to try and remove their names.

What we are about to see is some serious "scorched earth" politics from the Clintons. They thrive on a divided country (she has the scars remember) and if necessary they will divide their party in their quest for more power.

But the people will rise up against it.

Start putting your money on an Obama Presidency, while you can still get odds of 2-1. Because in 2 weeks, those odds are going to narrow significantly.

Posted by: Boutan | February 13, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
"Most intel dollars go through the DOD budget, starting with NSA, DNI, DIA, NGA (the old NIMA), etc."

To have that debate, proud would have had to ask rpy1 to clarify which parts of the DOD budget he endorsed cutting. Rather than doing so, proud chose the knee jerk attack on liberals instead.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

*****
rpy1 -- I like the way you framed it.

I'm not defending our current system. I'm just fanatically opposed to socialized healthcare.
*****

Fair enough. What would you like to see?

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Your comment that we really don't know what form change should take is absolutely right. We all just know that we cannot and will not put up with the same horse hay that we have indured. I will vote for Obama, not because he has all the answers - how could you even guess what the questions will be come November? - but because he instills graditude to be an American again. Not the false patriotic swill we have been fed, but the honest feeling that we can help. That we have a voice and it does not have to sound like everyone elses, that maybe if we think out of the box and don't disregard any idea but honor the thought, we will find some brillant solutions. We will all be part of the solution.

Posted by: goddessreturns | February 13, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

rpy1 -- I like the way you framed it.

I'm not defending our current system. I'm just fanatically opposed to socialized healthcare.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah, we'll see who has a coherent response on questions of foriegn policy and the military when it comes to debate time between Obambi and McCain."

What a sophisticated response. Is that cute 'Obambi' going to be one of McCain's tactics, or are you just channeling zouk today?

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike,

Come on man. You cannot possibly claim the founding fathers thought "...every human being was created equal in the eyes of a loving God" because the founding fathers had no CLUE that we'd be able to:

1. fertilize, freeze and either implant or destroy embryos (a regular part of in vitro fertilization),

or

2. abort a pregnancy with little risk to the mother, prior to the embryo's viability outside of the womb.

I really get sick of GOP pundits speaking on behalf of the founding fathers while completely overlooking the guarantees of the Constitution.

The overarching problem here is that pro-lifers actually think that their religious beliefs are valid in a strictly law/political discussion. Who cares what anyone thinks about their personal god when talking about federal law? I certainly don't and based on the verbiage of the Bill of Rights, it's apparent the authors of the Constitution had no intention of basing laws on religious ideals.

In every corner of the animal world, parent animals abort (often during pregnancy) or kill their offspring quite regularly, based on the availability of food/resources/shelter. Humans are quite a bit more civilized than this, but for an 18-year-old single woman to abort a pregnancy that is a result of failed contraception is not any different than an animal aborting its offspring for the exact same reason - lack of resources to care for it.

What your religion tells you to believe is irrelevant. The fact is that neither you nor anyone else has the authority to dictate to a woman what she can do with her body and her embryo, which scientifically is NOT a human being.

Just like a tadpole is not a frog, a maggot is not a fly and a caterpillar is not a butterfly.

Stop using your private religious beliefs to try and affect a public discourse. People with science are to frame this debate, not bible-thumping theocrats.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, you know I usually respect your work here, but you're off base in your most recent reply to proud.

Most intel dollars go through the DOD budget, starting with NSA, DNI, DIA, NGA (the old NIMA), etc.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike writes
"How pathetic for a wannabe commander-in-chief."

If you're responding to proud's claims, you might want to verify them, before believing them as gospel.

(Hint: she's got it wrong)

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

simon, Yeah, we'll see who has a coherent response on questions of foriegn policy and the military when it comes to debate time between Obambi and McCain.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 13, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Mark -- I'm surprised you remember the specifics of the classes you took way back then ;)

I have a hard time remembering any of my professor's names, and it hasn't been nearly as long.

You're smart and I appreciate your ideas.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Sry Proud, I missed your other thread. I only have limited time these days. You know, someone has to work to keep the economy going to pay the welfare queens

;-)

The stimulus is a very dumb idea. As I've said before, we're borrowing $150b from China so people can go to Wal Mart to buy a bunch of Chinese junk. Give me a break. Politicians (on both sides) are a bunch of pandering cowards who would rather sign a bad bill to appear like they're doing something, than make their case why it is bad.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

The admin cost of SS was supposed to be low, from what I had read years ago, thus qualifying SS as "efficient". I do not know if that is still true. Anybody know?

Every long time regular on this blog thought the "stimulus" was a huge waste of deficit financing. Its fair to argue that adding more waste to it made it even dumber.

Unfortunately, the only candidates who had the temerity to criticize it were MDH and Dr. No. MDH had some constructive criticism. But "No" was also an acceptable alternative.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 13, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"Oh sure, until an attack on our homeland occurred, until your city got bombed with a dirty bomb, and then you'd be lashing out that "we got caught with our pants down" just like the liberals did after 9-11."

Proud, what you conveniently overlook is that the events you cite are a result of intelligence failures, while the person to whom you responded endorsed cutting the DOD budget. Them're two different things.

But thats the problem with the GOP / conservatives these days. They're so busy debating mischaricatures of liberalism and/or Democrats that they don't even know what the real arguments are, much less have a coherent response.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

jac, it's all good. Trust me, I'm actually not a neanderthal myself, more of a lib.... ertarian. Having worked in the federal gov space (as a contractor) for 20+ years, I've seen that their efforts are largely inefficient and wasteful (and frequently, counterproductive... there's that dern law of unintended consequences again...). I happen to think that Gilmore's one tax-cutting stroke was the most popular move any gov ever did for Va since pre-Wilder. Yes, I'm including Spec's hero George Allen, as well as kaine and Warner.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Mike, with health care you've got a tough situation for the following reason:

* Premium does decrease if you have a larger risk pool. There's less of a need to save up for the big charges in those cases, and they are spread out across a larger group.

* Meanwhile, bigger groups are less efficient. That's true.

So what we have now are big, inefficient HMOs that charge us for their lack of efficiency *and* charge us for their advertisements *and* charge us for the hefty executive salaries. And then they don't pay the claim.

In this case, the inefficiency that comes from having something be big is a lot less important than what you get out of it. Do you think that it is efficient for hospitals to have to deal with dozens of different procedures for collecting on a claim?

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

How pathetic for a wannabe commander-in-chief.

Add to that: refusal to say the pledge or wear the flag.

Why is it so hard to understand "peace through strength"?

I guess it's the "strength" part liberals hate.

They want to bring us down to size. Another France.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

After seeing the posts on this board I'm convinced more than ever of the need for universal health care, especially universal mental health care.

Every Obama supporter that posts here makes a far more eloquent argument for the need for every American to be covered by universal mental health care than I or any other Clinton supporter ever could.

We can cure Obama-mania in our lifetime.

Get these people some health care!!!

Posted by: svreader | February 13, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I dunno how high on my priority list that stuff is, so I will think about your question.

You and Katy were debating a point that I read about in a college philosophy class - when is one life worth more than another - that was the crux of a first or second century epistolary debate between the Syriac Fathers and the Babylonian Rabbis. It's not new...and its not easier now than it was then.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 13, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"But then, I'd be one of the folks who would be in favor of decreasing the amount of money that goes to the DOD anyway...

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 05:08 PM "

Oh sure, until an attack on our homeland occurred, until your city got bombed with a dirty bomb, and then you'd be lashing out that "we got caught with our pants down" just like the liberals did after 9-11.

There's no point in arguing with libs on matters pertaining to the military, I don't know why I try. To them America is the bad guy.

Obama's got it as a main theme in his stump speech...every bad that we do, repeated over and over, we're so bad, the US is the enemy of the world. How pathetic for a wannabe commander-in-chief.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 13, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"Some times the free market does not deliver the best product for the lowest cost. Every time I have seen this happen it was a situation where the buyer of the goods/services was not the consumer."

The circumstance you just described was not a free market.

So, your sentence should be revised to say:

"...the [closed] market does not deliver the best product for the lowest cost."

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

"big bureaucracies are inefficient largely because, well, they're big"

Exactly my point.

It's the inherency argument.

Govt. bureacracies are *inherently* inefficient because they are *inherently* BIG.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

bsimon sez:
" I was merely editorializing about how stupid it is for us to (essentially) buy health insurance from our employers."
And that is spot on!!
Some times the free market does not deliver the best product for the lowest cost. Every time I have seen this happen it was a situation where the buyer of the goods/services was not the consumer. Like health insurance. Or dog food. A number of useless govt agencies fit this model -- like the SBA and the Agriculture Dept.

Posted by: philjones | February 13, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

JD, I was hoping you'd chime in earlier on the other thread, when Spec was giving me crap about my lack of support for the bloated stimulus package. I think the Dems were awfully quick to jump on the spending spree bandwagon, and it's really a shameful excuse for legislation.

From before: "Spec, You mean the Dem "Christmas tree package"? For one thing, the dems slowed it down and added a bunch of spending to it to the tune of 15 Billion dollars extra.

I hope the President doesn't sign it; it's a political trick and a bloated short-term bailout that will have no long term benefit for the economy."


Too late, looks like he signed it today.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 13, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

philjones -- just because we have the best military in the world doesn't mean we have the most efficient one.

And just because you like the idea of medicare doesn't mean it's efficient. It's ripe for fraud, as you say.

Take a logic class. I "LIKE" does not equal I "ADMIRE THE EFFICIENCY OF".

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

So much fun to read these comments. I found a USMC Mike particularly interesting today. I am not sure if the Constitution has this in it: being alive is a right of anyone who is not dead. However, I guess anyone is absolutely entitled to being alive. If a society is willing to save one from starving to death, why not willing to save one from being sick to death? We are all just too human, which means we are all subject to being driven by our deeply embedded social psychology which is in Hobs' terms being worry about security, greed, pride, and vanity. That's why the private insurance industry needs to be regulated. And that is why persons such as an Obama is needed. To have more fun, allow me to observe this Internet cute courtesy since I am now hidden behind my user name, Stupid!

Posted by: pinepine | February 13, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I haven't served, but I have been in the private sector, and know that big bureaucracies are inefficient largely because, well, they're big.

I'd argue that the bridges collapsing is a sign of ignoring public investment in infrastructure over a long period of time. But you probably disagree with that.

And I believe you on the military thing. Shouldn't have brought it up. But then, I'd be one of the folks who would be in favor of decreasing the amount of money that goes to the DOD anyway...

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike
"I happen to believe every human being was created equal in the eyes of a loving God."

The question returns to when is life a human life? Is it the moment the sperm enters the egg? If so, a lot of human life dies before the fertilized eggs ever implant in a uterine wall. Shoot the lil' fellers are alive before the fleetest of 'foot' (tail) reaches that egg first. Surely we're not wasting valuable life with each of the millions (if not billions) of swimmers that never reach that prize somewhere up in a fallopian tubes?

Then there's the whole set of 'em that don't implant properly. Did you know that something like 25% of pregnancies result in miscarriage? God seems to be pretty callous about life himself, that the failure rate of viable pregnancy is so high. Let me tell you, when that mean little statistic caught up with us, we were pretty devastated, and shocked at the number, which is a largely unknown statistic - until you find yourself qualifying for it.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

'Social Security -- now there's an impecably managed idea! Entitlements will grow from 60% to 70% of our federal budget - and no one can keep them from ballooning.'

social security is self-funding. it should be in a separate fund [which has a surplus, btw] so it isn't stolen from the middle class and funneled directly to wealthy contractors like Blackwater --which is so superior to the military that they like to shoot at our soldiers along with the Iraqi civilians.

Yes indeed, let's privatize the entire military and hire a bunch of savage mercernaries from the most violent countries in the world to go on a massive, unaccountable killing spree. good idea.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"WHEN HAS THE GOVT *EVER* DEMONSTRATED EFFICIENCY IN A LARGE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY?"
(pant pant)
Well, let's see. The IRS is pretty efficient. The Defense dept may be inefficient in areas, but they have organized the best armed forces the world has ever seen. And I can't say Medicare does a bad job; it hasn't been effective in detecting fraud, but then, that function has not been adequately funded (for what reason, I wonder). Mmm, why can't we extend Medicare/Medicaid to the entire population? We are already covering the very young and the very old -- the two expensive ends of the healthcare spectrum. And we have a pretty precise idea how much it will cost us.

Posted by: philjones | February 13, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
"Sarcasm"

Yeah, I know. My knee still jerks when I see intentional misrepresentation. Which it shouldn't because I've been known to be sarcastic myself.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 5:03 PM | Report abuse

rpy1 --

interstate roads -- you mean the ones that *could* be finished in 1/5 the time, but are drawn out intentionally while the bidding companies try to secure the next job?

Need I mention bridges that shouldn't collapse?

Social Security -- now there's an impecably managed idea! Entitlements will grow from 60% to 70% of our federal budget - and no one can keep them from ballooning.


The Military -- you obviously never served, because only an ignoramous would assert it is an "efficient bureacracy". I have seen so much "waste, fraud, and abuse" (a popular phrase in the USMC) your head would spin. But I'll forgive you your ignorance.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

'improved contraception plus RU-482 are helping make abortion safe, legal, and rare.'

and don't forget education--very important aspect. i doubt if there is anyone i have ever met who doesn't think abortion should be as rare as possible. no one is 'pro-abortion'. they are only for allowing women, rather than government, to make that medical decision.

i have never understood why some gay people [whom i will probably never meet] getting married should somehow affect my own marriage 'the protection of marriage idea'. protect it from WHAT?! could someone explain that to me? it's baffling.

'A state that wanted to try single payer could be a good laboratory for a public-private partnership that would lower the hospital district property taxes and provide cheaper care through clinic'

very good idea...

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

"Not to belabor the point, but actually a woman's life is more valuable than an embryo's--philosophically speaking, the women is the primary rights-holder."

that depends on your philosophy.

don't parade your opinion as fact.

I happen to believe every human being was created equal in the eyes of a loving God. So too, did our founders. I'm glad you weren't one of them.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

The real winner in this election cycle is freedom. We are showing the world the power of the vote in a free society. This election has become an Epic event....
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/02/13/an-american-epic-the-election-of-2008/

Posted by: glclark4750 | February 13, 2008 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"WHEN HAS THE GOVT *EVER* DEMONSTRATED EFFICIENCY IN A LARGE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY?"

It was an error - or a distraction - on my part to use efficiency in that context. It was not my intention to argue or imply the relative efficiencies between buying health insurance from private companies vs. a single payer system. I was merely editorializing about how stupid it is for us to (essentially) buy health insurance from our employers. My employer isn't in the healthcare business. It costs them a lot of money to manage my (and other employees') benefits, between HSAs, insurance plans, wellness plans, etc. In that context, its an extremely inefficient process.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the "troglodyte" reference, JD. I can't stand what the GOP-controlled legislature has done to my state. By and large they are parochial, self-interested, right-wing-social-agenda pushers, whose main theme has been to fight tax increases while maintaining -- wrongly -- that we can keep the same level of services without them (remember how the car tax destroyed the budget?). And, as a lawyer, I'm pretty disgusted with their habit of putting their thinly qualified political cronies on our courts. BUT, I take it back, in the interests of civil discourse.

Posted by: jac13 | February 13, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I'm not bsimon, but government has done a pretty good job with the following:

* interstate roads
* Social Security
* public universities

oh, and one other I'd think you'd be the first to come up with:

* the military

In addition, we have examples where going from a public system to a private system leads to problems. Here are two:

- Utilities: see the blackouts a few years back in California that were the result of companies like Enron gaming the market.

- Military (again): We have little accountability for what we get from PMCs like Blackwater, Dyncorps, etc. They cost more *and* do a worse job at it to boot!

Posted by: rpy1 | February 13, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Not to belabor the point, but actually a woman's life is more valuable than an embryo's--philosophically speaking, the women is the primary rights-holder.

Posted by: Katya04 | February 13, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I oppose Federal single payer - cannot imagine it to be efficient or cost effective. Its one advantage would be to get us out of employer paid health care which puts us at a disadvantage with the rest of the industrialized world. But the huge cost that can be saved is at the local/state level - the ER as clinic -and it should be solved closer to home than DC.

A state that wanted to try single payer could be a good laboratory for a public-private partnership that would lower the hospital district property taxes and provide cheaper care through clinics like the CVS ventures in TX and I think, MN.
MI should try it first - if the auto industry could save even 10% by moving away from employer based, they and their unions and the depressed state of MI would cry hallelujah.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 13, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Mark-

Thanks for your response about Huck.

It seems as though your discomfort with his proposed amendments (which will never happen) stems primarily from his references to the Bible, yet your reasoning is un-religious.

Could you never support a marriage/life amendment candidate, or just not one so conspicuously evangelical?


Regarding veterans care, that's an issue that truly should (and could) be bipartisan.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

In one week in the Gallup national daily tracking poll, Hillary has gone from a 13% lead to a 1% deficit. Obama now leads 45% to 44%. Expect this trend to continue and to impact the results in Texas and Ohio. The momentum is unmistakable.

Posted by: optimyst | February 13, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

ooh "troglodytes" and "toolbags" -- them's fightin' words!

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Spec, you could learn from jac's reply.

Jac, for the record, I agree with you that Warner will trounce Gilmore. He's a far better politician (and quite the centrist, for those who don't know).

Your comment about 'troglodyte' is unfortunate. Troglodytes? Toolbags? Hmmm, I guess we know which side is the mean ones, which ones personalize everything, politics of personal destruction and so forth.

As for the transportation bill, I thought that his was defeated and this was a compromise bill pushed by the GOP leadership. His bond referendums were certainly voted down as too liberal for this fiscally conservative state. But Ok.

As for rail to Dulles - it'll happen, eventually. Kaine's as much to blame as anyone for the above-ground below-ground delays (not that there's a short blame list there).

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

improved contraception plus RU-482 are helping make abortion safe, legal, and rare.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"McCain looks bad enough next to his own wife."

True enough.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Oooo, VPOTUS Tim Kaine is so perfect, what with him being a Southern Democrat and highly approved of governor, youngish, moderate yet courageous in advocacy of minorities including gays, a good Catholic able to stump his faith while vowing secular leadership, likable, sensible, polished, trustworthy, and white :). In short he'd bring what balance is necessary and sufficient to reflect well on Obama without any negatives. Thanks, Chris, for the great idea.

Posted by: jhbyer | February 13, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

A complete moron.

Sure sign of a moveon.org/DailyKoz kook.

Also a sure sign of someone who won't answer your point - but will attack you.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

pitts: "frail, pale, and stale"

Classic! If people thought Nixon looked bad next to JFK, imagine how McCain will look next to Obama. McCain looks bad enough next to his own wife.

I think we're going to see politicians reconsidering that second or third marriage to a much younger woman.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Loser: Terence Richard "Terry" McAuliffe. He currently serves as Chairman of the Hillary Clinton for President committee.

I had to get that out. I feel better now.

Posted by: johng1 | February 13, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

Spec:

still awaiting your proof. (oh yeah, since you state 'finances: wrecked'... then that suffices). I forgot who I was talking to.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I'll take the wiki quote as correct.

Thanks.

I do not want to see the Constitution amended in these two ways. I do understand the philosophical underpinning of "pro-life" but I actually do not understand the philosophical underpinning of "defense of marriage".

This thread is not the place for the second discussion, because I am starting from so far away from seeing how even allowing aggies and 'horns to mingle has anything to do with my marriage or yours that nothing will make me think our Constitution should address it.

As to the first: my starting point is that
if I were a legislator, I would try to make it unlikely that abortion would be used as a means of birth control, but I would not keep a rape victim, or an incest victim, or a woman with a serious physical health complication from getting an abortion.

I see a time, soon, when the embryo or fetus will be able to survive outside the host mother on life support, and we will be able to say that a mother who has serious health implications or the mother who cannot love the child because it was conceived in hate can be as well served by an early c-section as by an abortion - thus making abortion an indefensible choice.
-------------------------
Those figures on military deaths were
fascinating. However, I think the figures on severely wounded survivors would tell a different story. Having said that, I want the nominees, who will both be Senators, to cosponsor bills to upgrade veterans' and in-service medical care and rehab. They should do this while they are campaigning against each other. All three of them have said they support it. They can open every presidential debate saying they disagree about a lot, but that their cosponsored bill is a nobrainer.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 13, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"yes, I must hate women because I don't think their lives are inherently more valuable than the innocent lives of the children they have the "right" to kill.

paranoid feminazi liberal crap."

Sorry, devildog, once you make the "spread your legs" comment, your woman-hating credentials are etched in stone.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

"[private healthcare is] a somewhat inefficient process. Single-payer advocates want to raise taxes [and redirect] our payments from private companies to the gov't."

WHEN HAS THE GOVT *EVER* DEMONSTRATED EFFICIENCY IN A LARGE FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wrong, JD. I do live in VA and I'm not on Kaine's staff -- although I was a contributor to his campaign. His major accomplishment: getting the troglodyte VA General Assembly to pass a transportation funding bill in the '07 session. There are others. Among them: he has made two terrific appointments to the state courts, and stands a good chance of beating back the Bush administration's attempt to kill the extension of rail service to Dulles airport.

And whoever said Gilmore's gonna get trounced by Mark Warner in November is right on the money. Gilmore is such a jerk they couldn't even stand him as chairman of the RNC and bounced him in less than a year.

Posted by: jac13 | February 13, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Another big loser: Julian Bond, president of the NAACP, with his utterly ridiculous and self-abasing argument for seating the "elected" delegates from Michigan and Florida rather than holding a caucus or primary to recalibrate. Bond, with his knee-jerk support for fading Hillary Clinton, is now officially part of the sad old guard who time is passing away on an hourly basis.

Big loser: McCain, who looked frail, pale, and stale in his victory speech after the Potomac primaries Tuesday evening. Putting him on a stage next to the vibrant, articulate, smart, and vigorous Obama will be terrific. I can't wait!

Big winner: America

Posted by: dee5 | February 13, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

A blastocyst is not a baby.

'feminazi ' sure sign of a rushlover.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Winners: AG Doug Gansler and Rep. Elijah Cummings, Co-Chairs of Obama's MD campaign, both reported to have eyes on a higher office; Gansler on the Governorship in 2014- or 2010 if O'Malley keeps this up- and Cummings on Mikulski's Senate seat when she retires in 2010, as is rumored.

Posted by: jallenba | February 13, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

your corporate healthcare at work defrauding you:

NEW YORK, NY (February 13, 2008) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is conducting an industry-wide investigation into a scheme by health insurers to defraud consumers by manipulating reimbursement rates. At the center of the scheme is Ingenix, Inc., the nation's largest provider of healthcare billing information, which serves as a conduit for rigged data to the largest insurers in the country.

Cuomo also announced that he has issued 16 subpoenas to the nation's largest health insurance companies including Aetna (NYSE: AET), CIGNA (NYSE: CI), and Empire BlueCross BlueShield (NYSE: WLP), and that he intends to file suit against Ingenix, Inc, its parent UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), and three additional subsidiaries.

The six-month investigation found that Ingenix operates a defective and manipulated database that most major health insurance companies use to set reimbursement rates for out-of-network medical expenses. Further, the investigation found that two subsidiaries of United (the "United insurers") dramatically under-reimbursed their members for out-of-network medical expenses by using data provided by Ingenix.

Under the United insurers' health plans, members pay a higher premium for the right to use out-of-network doctors. In exchange, the insurers promise to cover up to 80% of either the doctor's full bill or of the "reasonable and customary" rate depending upon which is cheaper.

The Attorney General's investigation found that by distorting the "reasonable and customary" rate, the United insurers were able to keep their reimbursements artificially low and force patients to absorb a higher share of the costs.

"Getting insurance companies to keep their promises and cover medical costs can be hard enough as it is," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. "But when insurers like United create convoluted and dishonest systems for determining the rate of reimbursement, real people get stuck with excessive bills and are less likely to seek the care they need."

Cuomo's investigation also found a clear example of the scheme: United insurers knew most simple doctor visits cost $200, but claimed to their members the typical rate was only $77. The insurers then applied the contractual reimbursement rate of 80%, covering only $62 for a $200 bill, and leaving the patient to cover the $138 balance.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"You have the God-given right to spread your legs any time you want to, then kill a human life at your convenience. Because your life is somehow more valuable than your murdered baby's."

USMC Mike just took the lead from mibrooks in the Misogynist of the Millennium race.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Dave wrote: "I read earlier that it was because he (Obama) had chosen to take it off. If that is the case, it's his own dumb fault."

Dave, we had this whole conversation a couple of weeks ago where I calculated the depressed Florida turnout from the lack of campaigning. At the time, we agreed to disagree.

But, I do come at this as a Florida voter, so I can at least claim to be a little closer to the situation. I can't see why Obama should take any flak for abiding by DNC rules, then insisting that the Clinton campaign does as well.

If anything is his "dumb fault," it might be expecting the Clinton campaign to honor its commitments.

Since this was a closed party primary, the rules of the DNC will govern. As I said earlier, I'm sure delegations from Michigan and Florida will be seated, but they lost their right to impact the outcome.

I'm also sure that Howard Dean is thrilled with Obama's strategy of competing in all states, red or blue, all caucuses and all primaries. I'm not so sure that Hillary's big blue state strategy is a good fit for Dean's 50 state strategy designed to increase democratic representation in state legislatures and governors mansions, Congress AND the White House. Obama's coat tails are going to be a huge asset for the DNC.

To the extent that the Clinton campaign wish to force this issue, I think it gives Obama an effective debating point. It would go something like this: despite my lead in the popular vote and delegate count in contests around the country, my opponent would like to circumvent some rules we agreed upon in order to gain an unfair advantage by seating delegations which were penalized by the DNC. I hope voters in Texas and Ohio will let my opponent know what they think of this desperate attempt at the voting booth on March 4. I need your votes to level the playing field.

If the DNC and the voters of Michigan and Florida would like to arrange a re-vote in order to send a proper delegation to Denver, it would be my honor to compete for their votes.

Posted by: optimyst | February 13, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
" think healthcare should be free for everyone. Why should we have to pay for it? I say, let the government use their money."

What an idiotic thing to say. Everybody will have to pay for healthcare, the question is to whom they will write the check, figuratively speaking. Right now we pay for our own healthcare, via lower salaries and wages, through our employers, to private health insurance companies. Its a somewhat inefficient process. Single-payer advocates want to raise taxes which effectively changes the situation by changing our payments from private companies to the gov't. In either case, the vast majority end up paying for their own healthcare.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

yes, I must hate women because I don't think their lives are inherently more valuable than the innocent lives of the children they have the "right" to kill.

paranoid feminazi liberal crap.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

let's see JD. There's no longer any money for desperately needed roads. Oh that's right, those roads are needed in parts of the state no longer represented by goobers.

Finances: wrecked.

Discussion: over.

See you in November, when Gilmore gets crushed.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike... your anger is symptomatic of, well, the fringe of your Republican base! It's fun though, to read of Marxist paranoia, socialism and the like... is America ripe for revolution?

Posted by: twofeathers50 | February 13, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

' You have the God-given right to spread your legs any time you want to, then kill a human life at your convenience. '

hate women much?

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

'claudia: when you see words like socialized and marxist in a post, just remind yourself that you're dealing with a brain-dead dittohead troll.'

yeah, i know. it's a waste of time. don't know why i bother. but the idicocy is so painful.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

"Why should we have to pay for it?"

Good point.

Add to that, my car payment, my mortgage, and my heating bill.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I think healthcare should be free for everyone. Why should we have to pay for it? I say, let the government use their money.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I was an election officer in Virginia. I have never seen so many young voters. So many of them were not yet 18, but will be 18 by the November election. How do I know this? The driver's licenses that they showed for identification were vertical, with profile picture.
If these young voters turn out in November, then the big winner of this election was the USA.

Posted by: sensible | February 13, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to Gilmore's "I killed the car tax" campaign as he stumbles toward 35 percent of the vote against Warner.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 04:07 PM


I'm sorry Spec, I guess I missed your proof that he (or anyone else) wrecked Virginia's finances.

You wish to try again? Last chance now, so be careful. You don't want to be bested by a toolbag.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"government handouts? you mean like the one Bush signed today?"

That would be your Pelosi-Reed congress hard at work. Now, if only we can find a way to get everyone dependent on government handouts every month, we could have a huge constituency of voters!

"health care for all at a nominal cost"

Why do you liberals have to mask your true intentions? Healthcare is not a right guaranteed by the consitution. I recommend reading it sometime drindle, if you can.

"government regulation of all our affairs? you mean like telling us who we can or can't marry and forcing us to have babies we can't afford or take care of?"

Oh, I forgot. You have the God-given right to spread your legs any time you want to, then kill a human life at your convenience. Because your life is somehow more valuable than your murdered baby's.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

claudia: when you see words like socialized and marxist in a post, just remind yourself that you're dealing with a brain-dead dittohead troll.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"Spec, if your cute little offhand comment is meant to denigrate the hugely popular move by Gilmore, you are embarrassing yourself."

Riiiight, JD -- it was hugely popular... until people saw what a mess Gilmore left the state in.

Gilmore couldn't be elected dogcatcher now, but I'm sure you and a few other true believers will still vote for the toolbag in November.

One thing I will give Gilmore some credit for: Along with Macacawitz Allen and Goober Kilgore, he's helped move VA firmly into the purple column.

I'm looking forward to Gilmore's "I killed the car tax" campaign as he stumbles toward 35 percent of the vote against Warner.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

'rfpiktor, he's already told us what it looks like. Socialized medicine, government handouts, government regulation in all of our affairs. We're going to be "changing" to a Marxist society. At least the discussion will be civil though, right?'

government handouts? you mean like the one Bush signed today?

"A system for providing medical and hospital care for all at a nominal cost by means of government regulation of health services and subsidies derived from taxation."

health care for all at a nominal cost -- omigod, what a nightmare.

government regulation of all our affairs? you mean like telling us who we can or can't marry and forcing us to have babies we can't afford or take care of?

and a marxist society? we're going to get rid of capitalism? that's going to be quite a shock to Wall Street.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The removal of the names from the ballot was done at the request of someone who has considerable influence in the party. I believe that of the candidates in the race only Clinton and Kucinich did not remove their names. There are reports of democratic supporters of Edwards & Obama in Michigan who decided to skip what they knew was a pointless primary that didn't count. Do you really think the final tally in those states is reflective of the party in that state or what it would have been with a campaign? If a contest is going to count shouldn't campaigning in that state be encouraged and not discouraged actively by the party. The party decided not to count them, the candidate with the name recognition whose lead in the polls drop when her opponents enter the territory (new strategy for Hillary- stop Obama from getting to a state) won, and then the party takes it back? Everyone knew they wouldn't count when they occured and that impacted the result by a not insignificant margin that favors one candidate.

At this point giving those states an apportionment according to the votes that occured is a conscious choice on the part of the party to favor one candidate and to make it clear that all of its decisions regarding the party contests are mutable and can be changed at any minute to favor the candidate of their choice.

Posted by: cmsore | February 13, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

You mean: destroying Virginia's finances. Oh wait, that was Gilmore.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 03:39 PM

Spec, if your cute little offhand comment is meant to denigrate the hugely popular move by Gilmore, you are embarrassing yourself.

Warner and Kaine both have had a chance to reverse that tax cut and re-implement the most hated tax in Virginia's history. The fact that they didn't means... what exactly? That they too have destroyed Virginia's economy?

Sounds like good liberal talking points... until you are faced with the facts of course. Read this

http://www.vaperforms.virginia.gov/i-bondRating.php

Virginia is the most fiscally sound state in the union. Our bond rating shows that we've been at the top for 70 years, longer than any other state.

So... I'm willing to listen to your side now. Do you have some evidence for your attack? Otherwise, I accept your apology in advance.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

"President Obama will tell us what change looks like, come January '09."

rfpiktor, he's already told us what it looks like. Socialized medicine, government handouts, government regulation in all of our affairs. We're going to be "changing" to a Marxist society. At least the discussion will be civil though, right?

Posted by: donttreadonme | February 13, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

While not highly likely, I think MD-01 could be picked up by the Dems. Andy Harris is a doctor from suburban Baltimore running in a district composed primarily of rural Eastern Shore. It would be my guess that many residents -- even those who have been leaning Republican in recent years -- would be less willing to vote for an outsider. The Dems nominee, Queen Anne's County State's Attorney Frank Kratovil, is from the Eastern Shore and has some name recognition.

I wouldn't count on a Dem victory, but I think it's certainly in play with the absence of Gilchrest. It will be interesting to see if any money from DCCC gets thrown Kratovil's way, or if any more PACs start to get involved.

Posted by: terrencelong84 | February 13, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - " I thought you conservatives were all about 'accountability'. Is that no longer the case?"

I'm not blaming Optimyst or at least I did not mean to. I was just trying to state that his view that everyone would wind up happy at the end was, um, optimistic IMO. I'm am blaming Obama for taking his name off the ballot, if that is what he in fact did. We conservatives do believe in accountability and in politics in America, politicians and their organziations should be accountable to the people. It's a bad choice either way - penalize the people of FL and MI for something they had little if any control over or "reward" the states for "breaking the rules". I think it's worse to penalize the votes of millions of people than to eat some crow and figure out how to do better and work it out next time. The RNC penalized the states but at least their votes mattered. I don't think that a do-over is any more fair than keeping the same results. Unless perhaps you only let the people that have not already voted now vote. That would still not be completely fair as the people voting later would have the benefit of hindsight to base their votes on. But it would allow everyone who wants to vote the opportunity to be counted.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

While the media is ready to coronate Obama here is a thought.

An interesting note, even though it mathematically impossible for Huckabee to win, people still vote for him. So the key question will people vote for the individual who has momentum or will they vote for the individual whom they believe in.

So Is Barack Obama Inevitable?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1736

.

Posted by: PollM | February 13, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

"In the same way that W was going to be a drastic improvment over Clinton?"

I don't know about you, but I never thought that. From the outset, W was clearly in over his head. GOP power brokers either didn't see it, or didn't care. I tend to suspect the latter.'

It was always supposed to be Jebbie... nobody thuoght georgie could stay sober long enough to make a speech. then jebbie had all kinds of family problems, and miraculously [and probably with the help of 24/7 'caretakers'] george managed to stay on the reservation. and the rest is history. and i'm sure it will be wri large and heinous.

Posted by: drindl | February 13, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

I responded with a couple questions on the previous thread.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 13, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"For example: mostly get rid of the car tax (oh wait, that was Gilmore)."

You mean: destroying Virginia's finances. Oh wait, that was Gilmore.

Interestingly, that same Gilmore is going to suffer a very public beatdown of historic proportions this year, and I am eagerly looking forward to it.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

"people want change -- even if they are not sure what form that change should take." -C.Cillizza.

President Obama will tell us what change looks like, come January '09.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 13, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Dave, I'm guessing jac doesn't live in Va. Either that, or he's on Kaine's staff.

Jac, if you have your ears on and wish to prove me wrong, please name 2 accomplishments of Keane's.

For example: mostly get rid of the car tax (oh wait, that was Gilmore).

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

davidmwe- you post the same thing multiple times a day. Are you trying to collect data for a thesis / dissertation / other research project?

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - "Best part: whomever wins will be a drastic improvement over the Dubya."

In the same way that W was going to be a drastic improvment over Clinton?

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 02:44 PM

It was clear to most Democrats that W was a bumbling idiot, his luck was that Gore ran away from his time with Clinton and the dirty politics in FL ending with the GOP Supreme Court ruling, which again Gore ran away from.

Another big loser is Democrats trashing either Hillary or Obama. The only thing that can come from it is a GOP win for Grandpa McCain.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 13, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Obama had the young vote (and most many other segments). The 18-29 year group is using the Internet to help make their election choices and with "figures" like these, it is no wonder Barack is on a roll:

Barack vs. Hillary- The Google Effect:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=47

Posted by: davidmwe | February 13, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

jac13 - "BTW, Kaine is a very good gov. The power of his organization that was on display yesterday was also seen last November when he helped the Dems take back the VA Senate; the House of Delegates is next."

Funny, I thought that elected officials' performance was based on what they do or don't do for their constituents, not how well they may or may not try to get others elected.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The RNC cut the delegates in half for FL and MI, because those states also broke RNC rules. I see a lot of people whine about how badly the DNC is treating these states, but nobody ever mentions the RNC.

The only fair thing to do is to give MI and FL another chance. Each state should have another primary or caucus, to allocate their full share of delegates. Ironically, that would make them far more important in the nomination process than they would have been if they'd followed the rules to begin with. This election cycle, going late is more important than going early.

Posted by: Blarg | February 13, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The Dems in MI and FL sealed their own fate when they moved their primary. They were told by the DNC that if they did so, they would lose their delegates. So if voters in those states want to be mad at someone, look to their own state reps. Whether or not the DNC was right to strip MI and FL of their delegates is another issue entirely.

You can't change the rules of the game just because you don't like the way the game is going. All of the candidates agreed that if those states moved their primaries, then they would not campaign or accept the outcomes in those states. For Hillary to put her name on a ballot in a state that she knows and has agreed would not count means that she was acting deviously from the beginning. Sort of saying "hey, I know the delegates won't count, but let me put my name on the ballot so that if things don't look so good for me, I can cry that the people of these states should be represented and get those delegates".

Its these types of dirty tricks and double speak that the voters are tired of. We are tired of politicians who "game the system" for their own personal advantage.

Hillary doesn't come off a winner by saying that the delegates should now count when originally she signed off on their delegates not counting. If she felt so strongly about it, why didn't she lobby the DNC when those states first moved their primaries. Oh, I guess if she knew then what she knowns now.....

That said, I do believe that the voters in FL and MI should have their voices heard. But I think that can only be done via a "do-over" primary that the individual state parties should have to pay for (or at least split the bill with the DNC). They were the ones who moved their primaries, so they should pay for it. They should also pay for it by losing their jobs and being voted out of office by the people of those states. Their representatives did them a disservice by moving the primaries the way they did.

PG

Posted by: PeixeGato | February 13, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I agree with Dave; no way Davis would be VP. #1, I don't think he even wants to stay in politics any more, and #2, what would he bring? McCain needs someone with conservative street cred, someone to shore up his gravitas (remember that from 04?) with the meat eaters and knuckledraggers.

also, I think the VP for him absolutely must be not from Congress - someone with exec experience. Rudy, Huck, Minnesota's gov what's-his-name. Someone who's had to balance a budget, hire and fire.

I'd guess that Barrack is thinking the same way.

JD

PS Remember when everyone used to say that a Senator could never get elected, that they had too many votes people could go back and parse for opp research... guess that rule's going to be broken, unless my guy Kucinich can stage a huge comeback.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: agreed. Were it not for 9/11, Bush would already be in the history books as a one-term Carteresque bumbling failure. His presidency was going nowhere.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

dave writes
"I'm glad you seem to think that the millions of voters in MI and FL will be OK with being disregarded and, in effect, not having their votes count. Why was Obama's name not on the ballot in MI. I read earlier that it was because he had chosen to take it off. If that is the case, it's his own dumb fault."

Thing is Dave, its not up to optimyst, its up to the MI & FL Dem party officials. They were told the rules - don't hold your events before 'super tuesday'. They moved their events to be held before super tuesday. Why would you now blame Optimyst - or the Obama campaign for that matter - for the state parties being sanctioned for breaking the rules? I thought you conservatives were all about 'accountability'. Is that no longer the case?

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

thecrisis | February 13, 2008 02:09 PM

Crisis, "OUT OF IRAQ NOW" is the winning argument. No one will think it means literally "now" but definitely now, not in 100 years.

Obama can plug a simple message and people will go for it and dispense with the wonky laundry lists. Obama has a clear simple message that is believable.

Now means now. Let's get out of Iraq NOW. Let the military and conjoined State Department busybodies sort out the details and timeframe.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 13, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Florida and Michigan are a tough call. If the party doesn't enforce their rule for no other primaries before February 5, then what state will pay attention to the rule?

On the other hand, the Democrats have to look forward to the general election and decide if the flack they get in Michigan and Florida, two important states with a lot of electoral votes, if they don't seat the delegations, might be fatal for the party's presidential ticket in those states.

Perhaps there will be a deal, seating the delegations in return for agreements not to buck the party's Feb 5 date again?

A lot depends on whether seating them will make a difference in who wins. It might if it stays close. If one of them breaks out in front, it may all be moot.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | February 13, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"In the same way that W was going to be a drastic improvment over Clinton?"

I don't know about you, but I never thought that. From the outset, W was clearly in over his head. GOP power brokers either didn't see it, or didn't care. I tend to suspect the latter.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Don't think Obama will pick Tim Kaine as his running mate. Can't have two first-termers on the ticket. My suggestion is Biden: great nat. sec. and foreign policy chops, and not identified with the Clintons -- tho I am torn, 'cause I think he'd make a great secretary of state. (BTW, Kaine is a very good gov. The power of his organization that was on display yesterday was also seen last November when he helped the Dems take back the VA Senate; the House of Delegates is next.)

Posted by: jac13 | February 13, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Winnner: The Old Dominion. Virginia solidified its position as a new battleground state. I can almost see Russert's white board now....

Posted by: halfie22 | February 13, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Gov Martin O'malley was indeed a big loser being a visible outspoken Hillary supporter. He looked really pathetic yesterday defending Hillary is the face of certain defeat. The only thing I can give him is having guts and being loyal but he was dead wrong. Hopefully he will now switch his endorsement with Obama's huge win here in MD yesterday.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 13, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Delegate apportionment and media favoritism help Obama:
picture of popular majority obscured

Obama is an exciting and inspirational figure, in part because the media have done his heavy lifting and promoted him as the shepherd of all mankind-- with few questions put to him about his preparedness to herd his flock.

The picture media have painted of Hillary is far less flattering-- the overbearing-micromanaging-tired-old-house-mom-career vixen-in-post menapause-with-a-philandering-husband. Under this deluge of media ridicule, it's pretty hard for Hillary to trump a more handsome and charismatic figure like Obama. Although he is accomplished, Obama has a much shorter record of public service to put under the microscope.

We know less about how these two will govern because all we see is a rock star and an overly ambitious dominatrix trading sound bites through media proxies. It's like a twisted Survivor series with little at steak.

The clashing portrayals of the two and the DNC's delegate apportionment system, obscure the true picture of the electorate-- to the peril of the Democrats and the detriment of a viable and accomplished public servant who could do some good.

I won't try to fake neutrality here; I strongly support Hillary, and so do the majority of Democratic voters. If the primaries were winner-take-all, Hillary would be far ahead in delegates, and it would further reflect that she is ahead in the national popular vote. The popular vote is pretty important in giving legitimacy to the winner of any election, but the media fail to put Hillary's popularity in perspective because they simply don't like her.

In propping up Obama and tearing down Hillary, the media are dangerously close to fracturing the Democratic party as they did in 1972. Then too was an emerging grassroots candidate who promised an abrupt end to an ill-advised, costly and unpopular war. His chief rival, Hubert Humphrey, offered a more practical approach to ending the war, but he was virtually ignored by the press. The media chose McGovern, put him on pedestal, and promoted him as the populist candidate throughout the primaries.

McGovern went on to win the nomination while Humphrey had actually won the popular vote. In retaliation, many prominent Democrats, including party leaders, endorsed Richard Nixon for President.

McGovern was trounced like a narc at a biker rally in the general election, and only Watergate could propel a Democrat to the White House four years later.

The media could be setting Obama up for a huge fall, and his ground breaking candidacy could plague future minority candidates if he is also trounced like McGovern was.

If the primaries were winner take all, Hillary would lead 1,126 to 993 over Obama in delegates- even after the Potomac primaries, and she would still lead in the popular vote. Under the current delegate system, Hillary would also be ahead if only Floridians could seat their delegates.

But the media are not paying attention to any of this.

I hope the media know what their doing and that they've picked a winner. I'm a Democrat and will vote for the winner of the two in general election.

I just ask the media to please just be right about this one!

Posted by: dcmenefee1 | February 13, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

optimyst,
I'm glad you seem to think that the millions of voters in MI and FL will be OK with being disregarded and, in effect, not having their votes count. Why was Obama's name not on the ballot in MI. I read earlier that it was because he had chosen to take it off. If that is the case, it's his own dumb fault. It all may work out in the end but I have a hard time thinking that everyone will be happy. I know if I was in one of those states, I would not be. But maybe that is why you have the moniker you do...

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Even if the DNC gives Hillary a gift of MI and FL it won't be enough to catch Obama. The total net combined of FL+MI would only be about 50 delegates. Obama already has a 125 pledged delegate lead now and that will continue to grow. Also, its starting to look like she won't net much, if anything, from either Texas or Ohio -- latest polls show the gap closing rapidly in both states.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 13, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

With the ouster of Rep. Gilchrest, the citizens of MD-01 will suffer, as they will be represented by a first-term, minority-party ideologue who will be less than irrelevant.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Mark_in_austin,

Don't know about JD but I don't see a McCain/Davis ticket. While I like him and have voted for him, Davis is arguably a centrist version of McCain, which is the least of what he needs.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Hillary now has a problem with her Michigan-Florida strategy. First, she will fail to gain a sympathetic ear from DNC now that Obama has a lead in delegates and votes. This will be seen as anti-democratic since in the case of Michigan, Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot, and in the case of Florida, the candidates didn't campaign there. The best she'll be able to hope for is a do over, either as a caucus or a primary. The caucus plan won't appeal to her because she knows she'll lose, and the primaries will be too expensive to hold, both for the DNC who would have to fund them and for Hillary's bank account, which can't fund competitive races in Ohio, Texas, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And even if she could compete in a do over primary, the wind (Big Mo) is now in her face so she'd likely lose.

So she can kiss Michigan & Florida goodbye -- ain't gonna happen.

What I do think will happen is that after the nomination is conceded to Obama, the DNC will seat neutral delegations from Michigan and Florida that will ratify the results of the convention. At the end, everybody will be happy and make nice.

Posted by: optimyst | February 13, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I am young Democrat that grew up on the shore (MD-01). I don't live there anymore, but I am sad to see Wayne (Gilchrest)go. He was a good guy who got slandered by the Club for Growth. He represented the interests of the shore well for his whole tenure. Now a district that mostly is comprised of the Eastern Shore will be represented by a right winger from across the bay, seeing as after the Maryland redistricting this became one of the two strong Republican districts (with Bartlett's district). It is a shame to see level-headed moderate Republicans become a dying breed because of outside funders. I wonder if the media is going to make a big to do about Republicans requiring ideological purity, because they certainly did when Joe Lieberman was booted from the Democratic party.

Posted by: bradleyhirsh | February 13, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

dave - not in the same way. Really. [grin]

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 13, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

JD -

Can you see a McC - Davis ticket?
bsimon - agreed. They will not have a lovefest, but a clean campaign will be the novelty item we want.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 13, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that the contrast between the Obama and McCain speeches was striking. [Gotta listen to something while stuck in the car in an ice storm.]

I don't think Kaine will make the short list. Simply tougher times to be a governor right now and the tax issue would hurt him.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 13, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

bsimon - "Best part: whomever wins will be a drastic improvement over the Dubya."

In the same way that W was going to be a drastic improvment over Clinton?

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

More winners:

DC Mayor Adrian Fenty. Strong supporter of Barack Obama and stuck by his side all day yesterday. It seems they have already struck up a special relationship that may translate into some real progress for DC when Barack becomes POTUS.

Former VA Gov Doug Wilder. Another fierce energetic supporter of Barack Obama. He certainly has a way with words. Obama is fortunate to have him on his side.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 13, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Winner: America.

An Obama v McCain race for the Presidency will do this country a lot of good. Best part: whomever wins will be a drastic improvement over the Dubya.

Loser: politics of us vs. them.

good riddance.

Posted by: bsimon | February 13, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Emily's List? If Hillary were running against Abraham Lincoln, who would it endorse? Anyways, the company who makes those big cans of whoop-ass is the biggest winner. I understand it is rushing a dolce leche flavor to market in time for the TX primary (Hillary's group of haters can use it to get the taste of sour grapes from their maws).

Posted by: bondjedi | February 13, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Not sure what Tom D and JeanneMarie won, exactly, since they're about to go make a million bux a year at some law firm or consulting firm or lobbying firm.

Tom will get more airtime, nationally, from today's Roger Clemens inquisition (*tell me again what baseball and steroids has to do with the Government Oversight Committee?*) than from that McCain shot.

PS agree w/Dave wrt Kaine - don't think he'll be VP, he's been too milquetoast here in the OD. Not a bad governor, but he's no Mark Warner. I'd guess VP will be a Clintonista, as a healing gesture. Maybe Richardson.

Posted by: JD | February 13, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Just compare the two victory speaches. On the one hand, you have McCain giving a tired stump speach to a crowd of people who were less than enthusiastic. He was flanked by his standard geriatric group of white male supporters.

On the other hand, you have Obama in an arena with 18,000 people who are screaming and cheering with excitement.

If you also consider that the turnout on the Dem side has generally doubled that of the Repubs, then it is clear to me that if Obama is the nominee, he could win in a landslide. Now, that landslide could be because of poor Repub turnout, Obama appealing to smart Repubs and independents and attracting their votes, or the Evangelicals deciding to staying home or run a third party ultra-conservative candidate. The reason doesn't matter.

The point is, Obama will get high turn-out. If Clinton is the nominee (particularly if she gets the nomination with the super delegates and against the will of the voters), I just don't see her getting such an enthusiastic and large turn-out, which makes the election harder for her to win.

I see the Clinton campaign moving in the wrong direction. A few months ago, they said everything would be wrapped up by Feb. 5. Now, even if she wins every state, she may not have enough delegates to win the nomination. Clinton is slowly loosing all of her advantages. She lost women, people over 60, and is beginning to loose the Hispanics. If Obama makes no futher gains in support from Hispanics, he can tie the delegate count in Texas, the state where Clinton says she will win big. If he improves his standing in that demographic, then Clinton can kiss being president goodbye.

PG

Posted by: PeixeGato | February 13, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

EMILY'S List a winner? Based on promoting a candidate that lost to Wynn by a few hundred votes last time? Wrong column CC. The massive defection of women to Obama should have easily put them in the losers column.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Loser of the potomac primary(or chesapeak primary,or better yet beltway tuesday)

Hillary Clinton-look 9 losses in a row, all in double digits. stop looking towards texas and ohio as a firewall.

drop out now and save face.

to any hillary supporters, here's something to think about. do you really think hillary can roll in to the last 3 states with potentally 10,11 or 12 losses in a row? and please dont bring up super delegates, if last night wasnt any indication, this might be the excuse to finally jump ship. if hillary wants to run, in case of dem loss, 2012 may be better in the long run.

for the good of the party. just drop out hillary.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | February 13, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The Nebraska GOP primary is May 13th. I think that you meant that Huckabee won in Kansas this weekend. Probably worth of a correction.

Posted by: balthasar78 | February 13, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The Obamamentum train is unstoppable; how can the Clinton campaign actually wait for March 4th?

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | February 13, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

CC: On Tim Kaine - "Given that laundry list, it's hard to see Kaine not winding up among the final pool of veep picks if Obama becomes the nominee."

As my grandmother would say, you must be smokin that wacky weed. Tim Kaine is the most invisible Governor Virginia has had since I can remember. The only time he has been spotted is when he was trying to fix the his botched transportation funding issue in VA. Other than getting elected, he has zero accomplishments in VA. If you want a VP that lacks substance and personality from a state you are probably going to get anyway, he's your man.

Posted by: dave | February 13, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Obamacan for Obama-Kaine?

Posted by: mugamack | February 13, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Question for Chris: does the defeat of Gilchrist create a pick-up opportunity for Dems, since it removes an incumbent and basically creates an open seat, or is his district a safe GOP seat which is now exchanging a moderate for a conservative rep?

Posted by: machnacki02 | February 13, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Spec, you're definitely right on that one. I couldn't imagine two more polar opposites (who are realistic candidates, that is, Paris Hilton or Snoop Dogg might seem a little out of place) running for president against each other.

I can't help but think that Obama will fare much better if he's on stage next to McCain. McCain will beat Obama in the condescending military experience arguments but people will see past the hot potato issues of the moment and will see an old, angry white guy with a little gray hair left who wants to push for a 100-year military presence in Iraq, standing next to a young, hopeful and optimistic intellectual who is looking to a global future, not just an Iraq future.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok. Let's say it will be McCain vs. Obama.

In one corner, elderly white man.

In the other corner, biracial man who is barely a baby boomer.

On that alone this would already be the biggest contrast between candidates in presidential history.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 13, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

biggest loser - Hillary Clinton, who for the second contest in a row, acted like she had a chance to win (Maine and then Virginia) and then attempted to write off her stunningly huge defeats as freebies for Obama.

You lose Hillary, time to drop out! The delegate math simply doesn't work for you, assuming the establishment (super delegates) aren't interested in starting a civil war by overriding the popular vote and pledged delegate count.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 13, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

One thing I don't get about EMILY's List: have they ever endorsed a man over a woman?

Their stated purpose is the election of pro-choice democratic women, and not pro-woman democrats, etc., so does an endorsement from EMILY's list in the presidential race this time around really mean anything?

Even if Obama's policies are twice as good for women in America, he's out of the running for EMILY's list support just because he's missing a chromosome?

Really? I thought that we might be past strict identity politics in 2008, but I guess not. Strom Thurmond lives....

Posted by: buckwheaton1 | February 13, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

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