February 4, 2008

Super Tuesday: a competitive election for once

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at February 4, 2008 3:24 PM

Tomorrow's Super Tuesday, so don't forget to vote (if applicable)! I think it's well-known at this point that this blog is endorsing Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. He's more progressive on policy issues, and he has an ability to inspire people that I've rarely seen in politics. He's also better positioned to make the case against John McCain, having opposed the Iraq war from the beginning—with the war as unpopular as it is now, it doesn't make sense for the Democrats to nominate someone with Clinton's record when an Iraq war opponent could make a major line of attack against the Republican nominee. Hillary isn't too bad otherwise, and I'll certainly support her in the general against McCain if she wins the nomination, but I find Obama to be better along almost all dimensions. (Plus having the presidency held by only two different families over 20+ years isn't really a good thing.)

Candidates aside, it's exciting to be involved in an election where the outcome isn't known beforehand: when I've voted in primaries before, the nominee has already been established by Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina, and in general elections the direction of California's electoral votes has never been in question. (Even going downballot, I live in one of the safest Democratic districts in the country.) But this time the Democratic race is far from over, and since delegates are assigned proportionally rather than winner-take-all it'll likely go on after Tuesday. So be sure to vote!

Tags: Democrats, Election 2008, Politics
Comments

We Texicans get our chance in March and it might still be up for grabs even THEN. Will wonders never cease. Seems to me, the big development for Obama last week was his announcement of his fund-raising in January. Better than a million bucks a day. He's not just a movement- he's a steamroller.

Posted by: JSpur | February 4, 2008 3:48 PM

Any comments on the propositions? I found them a rather boring lot, though Mark Kleiman makes an interesting case against all those Indian gaming measures. Too little, *way* too late for my vote, though (I voted about two weeks ago, when I realized I needed to vote for Obama rather than a throw-away to Dodd).

Out of personal perversity, I voted Yes on 91. :-) And split my votes on the gaming measures, just to make sure that the identical propositions don't get identical vote totals.

Posted by: Justin | February 4, 2008 4:12 PM

Wow, that's some purposeful voting, Justin! As for myself, I'm voting tomorrow (it's been a bit since I've voted in a primary since in most cases it makes ZERO difference which GOP candidate I pick) and really looking forward to a good election for once.

I'm voting against all the propositions - I don't think the Indian gaming compacts have enough checks on them and funding the government through promoting gambling addictions is not my idea of a good move. I also hate the fact that the poster children of the term limit "reform" prop are both abusing their public office and cut the guts out of the measure, taking redistricting reform off the table.

My worst nightmare presidential race would probably be Huckabee vs. Hillary, with Romney only being slightly more palatable. Fortunately, it doesn't look Huckabee is a factor anymore, and Romney is on the ropes. Perhaps Super Tuesday really will be super!

I'd love to see a McCain vs. Obama race - I'm happy with either result there.

Posted by: Chris L-S | February 4, 2008 5:16 PM

I'm with Chris L-S here on the Indian gaming propositions. I can't justify voting yes and the possibility of leading more people to gambling addiction. There's got to be a better way to increase jobs in those areas and to get more government funding without going that route.

The other propositions I'm mostly in the dark about (except the Pasadena city one, measure D, which is essentially a tax on internet usage, hiding underneath a 'renewal' of other standard things. Ugh).

Posted by: Zifnab | February 4, 2008 5:50 PM

Lesleigh has also chastised me in the past on lottery/gambling issues like this. I realize it's classist and relatively conservative, but dangit, gambling is effectively a tax on people who suck at math! Such measures aren't my favorites, but I have a hard time actively opposing them (so screwing with vote totals becomes an influential factor in my decisions, sometimes). :-)

Chris - I'm curious as to your reasoning regarding dream matchups. As I read it, you find Clinton, Huckabee, and Romney unacceptable, but would have no problem with McCain (obviously, I know you've liked him for years) or Obama. What puzzles me is why Obama is OK with you, but Hillary isn't. To the extent that Clinton differs from Obama, it's by being pro-war like McCain...

Posted by: Justin | February 4, 2008 6:18 PM

It has more to do with who she is and how she does business than her stated positions. As far as I'm concerned, her positions are determined by focus groups and are stated in carefully rehearsed and planned ways. Her husband is in many ways the ultimate demagogue, willing to say whatever the populace wants to hear in order to retain power. So for me, it boils down more to character and personality than to policy positions. Both Obama and McCain are not deeply entrenched in their respective parties power structures - they have a better chance of shaking things up if elected.

Posted by: Chris L-S | February 4, 2008 6:24 PM

Yeah, I didn't mention the propositions because I don't have a strong opinion about them. I may just go with my default policy of voting "no" on everything.

I'm not opposed in principle to the casino expansions or the state raising revenue from them, any more than I'm opposed to the availability of alcohol or tobacco, where the same addiction issues apply and which are also taxed by the state. The main downside from my perspective (which Justin alludes to) is that revenue from gambling will tend to be drawn from lower-income segments of the population, effectively a regressive tax (as are taxes on alcohol and tobacco, and indeed sales taxes in general). I'd much prefer that state funding come from a progressive tax structure. (Unfortunately, the current legislature includes enough Republicans to prevent this from happening.)

On the other hand, the arguments in favor of the gaming propositions are entirely unconvincing in terms of this being a good deal for the state, so I think I'm voting no on these.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | February 4, 2008 10:22 PM

Hmmm... I should check to see if my ballot got sent to Lemming's place so that I can get my absentee ballot in order (which is obviously too late for today, but I'd like to get this fixed for the future). Gah... it's way too easy for things to slip by when I don't get something in the mail in advance to remind me of stuff I should be doing. (At least I've managed to pay all my bills, though my credit card company is _supposed_ to send me reminder e-mails if they don't. On the bright side, Charter has been e-mailing me my monthly bills for $0.00 for months now.)

Posted by: Mason | February 5, 2008 3:04 AM

Of course the polls are closed now, but The Editors' arguments against props 93-97 are also pretty solid (or at least entertaining).

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | February 5, 2008 8:58 PM

This is all based on "The Editors' arguments" link and its reference to Carlos Mencia. Because this is all I care about in all of that:

FYI Carlos Mencia's real name is Ned. And his entire act is a sham. Comics perform regularly at the Comedy Store, owned by Pauly Shore's mother Mitzy Shore (infer: a sham career-maker), and will not perform when Carlos is in the room. Because he will steal any comic's act he can get a hand on.

Also, Mitzy Shore is responsible for making Ned into Carlos Mencia. Yes. Mitzy, who owns a classic comedy club in L.A., has sole responsibility of two sham careers.

Posted by: Josh | February 7, 2008 2:31 AM

Okay, can I just ask... did it pass anyone else's attention how pro-censorship Hillary is? Take the videogame industry alone, and you see how she's backed people up on censoring, to gestapo-like ends, the world of creative entertainment.

And trust me, though it raised me I don't see the videogame industry as a paramount of artistic endeavor, so when I use it as an example, I'm lowering the bar to say this.

Does this even BOTHER anyone else? That even the "most electable" democrat is for gagging people?

Posted by: Josh | February 7, 2008 2:39 AM

At this precise moment, I am feeling extremely grumpy and am accordingly pretty much bothered by everything and everything. :)

But such a view is differently quite different from mine.

Also, as for what's an artistic endeavor, I would say that videos most definitely are that but they are merely in an early stage of reaching their potential there (analogous to quantitative studies in biology). Anyway, this is beside the point for what you actually brought up.

If a Democrat wins the presidency (even a suboptimal one), I will already be quite ecstatic. Additionally, I like the idea of having a president who is not male or not white on general principles because those precedents need to be set at some point anyway. Only being "allowed" in theory and never happening in practice simply isn't good enough.

Posted by: Mason | February 7, 2008 5:50 AM

The censorship thing does bother me about Hillary but it's not a high priority issue for me (and I don't think it is for her, either, just an opportunity to pander). I expect that no candidate will match my preferences exactly and so there will always be issues like this. Hillary's basically in the right place on what I consider the big issues in this election: Iraq (despite her early support), climate change, health care.

On the other hand, I'm far from convinced that she's the most electable Democrat, and especially against John "100 more years in Iraq" McCain I think someone who opposed the war from the beginning would be much more effective.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | February 7, 2008 11:05 AM

Josh, I'd dispute that Clinton is the most electable Democrat. I think Obama would win in a landslide against anyone, while Clinton would win by a modest margin against most Republicans and would have a 50%+1 race against McCain (and it's not clear who'd win that one). There are counter-arguments that Clinton is more electable than Obama, though, so who knows? The relative electability of members of the same political party is a fundamentally unknowable quantity...

Yes, she bothers me, I consider her the worst of the (viable) Democrats this year. But consider the alternatives. She's incomparably better than any Republican in this year's race, and given the state of the modern Republican party she's far better than anyone who could possibly win a single delegate in a Republican primary. Censorship of video games - or torture and lawless government? That's a no-brainer. Remember, major portions of the Republican platform were literally unthinkable just eight years ago.

Posted by: Justin | February 7, 2008 11:06 AM

Josh: one thing i loath about hillary and senator lieberman from my state is how pro censorship they are.

Also i am pround to say obamba won CT. even more intersting was republican towns like wilton and new canaan had huge democratic turnout for the election (http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/wilton/28639.shtml, http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/newcanaan/28596.shtml)

Posted by: shellock | February 7, 2008 11:09 AM

Hmmm... my general level of coherence seemed to be attacked by gremlins during my post.

I wrote, "But such a view is differently quite different from mine." I am trying to figure out what I actually wanted to write in that spot and right now I'm drawing a blank. I'll let you know if it comes to mind, but otherwise ignore that part of the post except perhaps to laugh at its WTF nature.

Also, I meant "video games" when I wrote "videos", although that was pretty clear based on context.

In sum, hooqD onfoniks werkd 4ME.

Posted by: Mason | February 7, 2008 11:27 AM

Admittedly, I was trolling a bit. ;-)

As most of you know I support Obama, but of course I would rather have Hillary in office than any of the alternative Republicans. A lot of the responses seem to be across-the-board when I meant that comment to be reflective of a candidate within the democratic party, not comparing with republicans.

Not really comparing with anything, in fact. If you say "Hey, look, torturing innocent citizens/censoring videogames... that's a no-brainer", well, that makes me feel red-faced and foolish, but I wasn't trying to compare the two. I'm just saying, that one of the more palatable political figures to work their way through the political machine of America is, at times, against the First Amendment!

When I think about this, it makes me very, very angry with America. I'm not saying it should be a front-running issue over the war or anything.

Posted by: Josh | February 7, 2008 12:46 PM

AG & Justin: I too dispute that Hillary is the "most electable" democrat. Those were my sarcasm quotes around her campaign's rhetoric.

Posted by: Josh | February 7, 2008 12:51 PM
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