August 01, 2008

What the Heck... why I'm voting for Obama

Let the floodgates open.

Here's a list of reasons I sent to a friend who inquired about my support of Obama.
Warning: You won't agree with most of this if you have ever thought "That makes a lot of sense" while watching The 700 Club.

Here we go...Why I like Barack

1. Because I've been duped by the press into thinking he's the golden child and I've been raised on TV and sugar, so my ADD makes it impossible for me to look past his lack of experience.

Okay here's the real list.

1. He’s not a republican. This may sound like a joke, but it’s not. I’ve voted republican in every election so far, but I’ve been desperate to find a democrat worth voting for because I’m tired of the republican boys club. I’ve long justified their ways with talk of capitalism, trickle-down yada yada, but ultimately I’m beginning to have this sickening feeling that I’ve been duped. That the republicans in power are just a bunch of wealthy business men finding the best way to gladhand each other. I’m tired of the cronyism, the blind eye turned to racism, the environment, and poverty, the war mongering, and the stone age approach to the arts, censorship, and “decency.”

2. He hasn’t caught the disease yet. Obama is new to the game, and I know that many see this as a strike against him. But I have a very cynical view of Washington. And I believe that even those who enter with the best of intentions will see their morals slowly eroded away by a corrupt system. Barack is pretty fresh off working on the streets of Chicago, face-to-face with the real problems our nation is facing. I consider that a strength.

3. He doesn’t assume I’m an idiot. It seems politicians my whole life have reduced their belief system to a chart. I’m “For this”, “against that”, etc, etc. I’m pretty sure Focus on the Family even publishes flyers with easy-to-read charts on everybody’s clear and simple stance on everything. But life doesn’t work that way. People aren’t just for or against things. Intelligent people have complicated views on what’s right and how to implement that right. Obama wants universal health care – BUT he wants people over a certain income bracket to pay for it. He’s a democrat, but he wants to support faith-based initiatives with federal aid. He disagrees with Rev. Wright’s vitriol and hate, but loves the man and understands where his anger comes from. (And even had the balls to try to explain black anger to America – WOW!)

4. He can change his mind. Somewhere along the way the fear of being labeled a flip-flopper made it political suicide to reconsider an issue, or admit when you are wrong. The result of thinking you are never wrong is sitting in the Oval Office still convinced he did everything right regarding Iraq. Bush was even asked “What’s been your greatest mistake?” during a debate, and he couldn’t name one thing. WOW! Barack would be the first to say “I’ve made mistakes, and I’ll make more.” (In fact, I've heard him say this). This is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of wisdom and humanity.

5. I agree with him. I like Barack’s positions on the war, on health care, on faith-based charities, on lobbyists, on foreign relations, and a number of other things.

Well that's it for now. You're welcome to make comments agreeing, disagreeing, or whatever. This blog is ostensibly about Art, Faith, and Life; and I'd say that all of those affect or are affected by politics. So...let's do it.


Peter T Chattaway said...

Short answers:

1 is certainly true, though party affiliation itself is not a sufficient reason to vote for or against anybody.

I think you are wrong about 2 and 3. Just look at Obama's cynical maneuvers, his race-card playing, and his tendency to rely on puffed-up speeches to throw people off the scent whenever a controversial issue comes along -- including, yes, his since-discredited "race speech", which contradicted statements that Obama made both before and after the speech, and which deliberately avoided answering some of the key questions that had been raised prior to the speech (such as, Why had he been taking his family to a racist church for nearly 20 years in the first place?). Note also how Obama consistently lies, or at least spreads erroneous ideas, about his past: denying his Muslim upbringing, pretending that the relatively short-lived affair between his married 24-year-old father and his single 17-year-old mother was a big patriotic romance that somehow embodies the hope that races can come together in peace and harmony, etc., etc. To the extent that Obama peddles all this nonsense, he does think the voters are idiots. And to the extent that they let him get away with it... well...

As for 4 and 5, they kind of cancel each other out, unless you change your mind every time Obama does -- and he's been doing a lot of that lately! The fact that he thinks he can get away with a lot of mistake-making simply because he says "I'm not perfect" afterwards is not a particularly strong reason to vote for him, either. We're still waiting to see what Obama has ever done -- not just said, but actually done -- that turned out right.

DAN BUCK said...

I think your second paragraph is pretty well loaded with assumptions. For example: "cynical manuevers", "race-card playing", "relying on puffed up speeches", "since-discredited", "racist church", "muslim upbringing", the thing about his parents' affair.

These are all so heavily-laden with your lens of the world, it's hard to imagine anything I say will have validity to you. You have clearly decided what you would think of the man before the primaries and have interpreted the same events negatively which I viewed positively.

And I suppose that's the most aggrevating thing about politics, is that we are all watching the people and events third, and even fourth hand through lenses which color those things for us. The trick, I think, is to look for those glimpses of humanity through all the spin and rhetoric.

As for 4 and 5 - if you think believing in certain things precludes the ability to change your mind, I think you're reading the wrong blog.

Peter T Chattaway said...

I think your second paragraph is pretty well loaded with assumptions.

No, it is simply a summary of the various facts that I have studied over the past seven months and the interpretations that I have come to about those facts. Do you really want me to unpack them all for you, though? Do you really want me to challenge the pro-Obama assumptions out there in detail?

For example, what is your objection to the references to Obama's parents and Muslim upbringing? Do you dispute the facts themselves, or do you simply dispute my interpretation of the spin that Obama has tried to put on those facts? Do you, in fact, dispute that Obama has put the spin on those facts that I said he has put on them?

You have clearly decided what you would think of the man before the primaries . . .

There, you are wrong -- perhaps because of your own lens of the world? Obama was barely on my radar prior to the primaries. But then I began hearing things. As befits the fact that I am a Canadian, one of the first things I can remember hearing was that Obama said he would unilaterally rip up the United States' trade agreement with my country if the "President of Canada" did not give in to his demands, which doesn't square all that well with Obama's image of himself as a man who can heal America's image in foreign countries. (Never mind that Canada is Illinois's biggest trading partner and we have a Prime Minister, not a President; doesn't Obama keep tabs on this sort of thing?) And then Obama's people privately told the Canadian government not to take Obama's public statements seriously -- that he was just doing what left-wing politicians have to do to secure the support of the party's base -- and Hillary Clinton went to town on that, of course, because it didn't square all that well with Obama's image of himself as a "new" kind of politician. (Since winning the primary, I believe this is one of those issues where Obama has indeed backed down from his earlier public stance -- so Clinton was right to go after him for that.)

The trick, I think, is to look for those glimpses of humanity through all the spin and rhetoric.

I'm not all that interested in "humanity", really -- not when I'm hiring someone to do a job for me. I'm not voting for My Best Friend when I elect a Prime Minister. I'm voting for someone who embodies the policies that I think will serve the country best.

Obama's problem, of course, is that he has been reversing himself on many of his stated policies lately, and he has accomplished virtually nothing in his legal and professional career that might give us any clue as to which policies he would actually enact.

DAN BUCK said...

Just for the record... to equate my search for humanity in a candidate with "voting for my best friend" is called a straw man fallacy.

I am looking for someone who is using his head and heart when making decisions, not his lobbyists.

But I'll repeat what I've said in my last post. We are clearly seeing the same events and interpreting them entirely differently. Is one of us using our "lens" and the other seeing things clearly? No. Probably both of us are guilty of "lens" viewing, I don't know that's possible not to.

I'm not asking you to like Barack (or asking US citizens to vote for him) I'm just laying out how my close study of the man over the last 10 months has resulted in a favorable impression for me.

I don't mind McCain (although his latest round of ads is more than a bit silly), and I don't agree entirely with everything Barack wants. But of the two, I get enthusiastic about Barack's passion and outlook on the country and I believe he will empower (I hate that word) many people to participate in social and civic action in this country.

Peter T Chattaway said...

Just for the record... to equate my search for humanity in a candidate with "voting for my best friend" is called a straw man fallacy.

Sorry, I did not mean to imply that that was what you meant by "humanity". I just find the term vague and kind of useless when it comes to discussing who a nation should hire for its top executive position.

I am looking for someone who is using his head and heart when making decisions, not his lobbyists.

I'm more interested in the decisions that he actually makes. I am reminded of something C.S. Lewis once said (paraphrasing from memory): "There is a philosopher who advocates 'moral earnestness'. I prefer morality."

And that's before we get to the question of exactly what sort of relationships Obama does have with the various "lobbies" out there. I mean, why did he go to that extremist black church for all those years, if not in part because he was trying to establish his "cred" with the black community? (As the son of a white woman and a Kenyan man -- and one who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, at that -- Obama had no significant connections to the African-American community until he began forging them later in life, and he was obsessed enough with questions of racial identity that he even subtitled his autobiography "A Story of Race and Inheritance".) And then there is his pandering -- some of it consistent, some of it not -- to the pro-abortion crowd, the anti-free-trade crowd, etc., etc.

We are clearly seeing the same events and interpreting them entirely differently.

Possibly. Although, given that you began your original post by denying Obama's Muslim upbringing -- which is a question of fact and not mere interpretation -- I am not sure that we have been seeing the same events.

But of the two, I get enthusiastic about Barack's passion and outlook on the country and I believe he will empower (I hate that word) many people to participate in social and civic action in this country.

Yeah, like Harvey Dent and the people of Gotham City in The Dark Knight, the people of the United States may well turn out to be better than the "white knight" that they've been pinning all their hopes on. But if they vote for him, they're still going to be stuck with him for four to eight years -- or more, if his wife pulls a Hillary on us.

DAN BUCK said...

I'm still not sure what your sources are that claim Obama was raised a Muslim. Both and (both independent) say he was not.

You and I have both said, it wouldn't matter if he was, except for the fact, that he's saying he was not raised Muslim.

Peter T Chattaway said...

The page doesn't contradict anything I've said, and in fact, it kind of confirms some points that it thinks it is denying, which is interesting (e.g. in response to the claim that Obama became a Christian because it was politically expedient at the state or federal level, says Obama became a Christian after he saw the role of the church in the political life of the African-American community at the civic level, when he was a "community organizer").

Anyway, the evidence of Obama's religious upbringing hinges basically on the involvement of his stepfather in Indonesia. (His father abandoned the family when Obama was only two years old, so he couldn't have been all that big an influence, even though he gave Obama his Muslim name and an extended Muslim family, etc.) So, without further ado:

Associated Press: "At first, Obama attended the Catholic school, Fransiskus Assisis, where documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim, the religion of his stepfather."

Chicago Tribune: "In their first neighborhood, Obama occasionally followed his stepfather to the mosque for Friday prayers, a few neighbors said. But Soetoro usually was too busy working, first for the Indonesian army and later for a Western oil company."

Los Angeles Times: "Neighborhood Muslims worshiped in a nearby house, which has since been replaced by a larger mosque. Sometimes, when the muezzin sounded the call to prayer, Lolo and Barry would walk to the makeshift mosque together, Adi said. 'His mother often went to the church, but Barry was Muslim. He went to the mosque,' Adi said. 'I remember him wearing a sarong.' . . . Bugs have eaten Obama's file in the school's archive, said Vice Principal Hardi Priyono. But two of his teachers, former Vice Principal Tine Hahiyari and third-grade teacher Effendi, said they remember clearly that at this school, too, he was registered as a Muslim, which determined what class he attended during weekly religion lessons."

Toronto Star: "Three of his teachers have said he was enrolled as a Muslim. In his autobiography, Dreams From My Father, he mentions his Qur'an studies here. A classmate of his in Jakarta has said that Obama used to wear a sarong and accompany his father to the neighbourhood mosque, but that his mother used to go to church."

Now, I am certainly not saying that Obama was raised as a particularly devout, let alone extremist, Muslim. The evidence does, indeed, indicate that both his father and his stepfather were pretty loose about the whole thing. But is Obama telling the truth when he says "I've always been a Christian" or "I've never practiced Islam" or "I have never been a Muslim"? It would seem not, no.

DAN BUCK said...

Thanks for the sources. I knew you'd have some. :) Although, you, again interpret facts diffrently than I.

It looks remarkably like every kid I grew up with whose families were members of Catholic churches but would say now that they have never been catholic. (I'm not picking on catholicism, it was just the most popular faith in the area in which I grew up).

I don't see any of Obama's statements about how Muslim he is as a stretch.

Peter T Chattaway said...

Well, I don't question any of his statements about how Muslim he is (or, rather, isn't) now. It's the statements about how Muslim he was that are the issue here. And for that matter, even if he was simply doing what his parents told him to do, that still rebutts any claim to the effect that he was "not raised Muslim".

For what it's worth, if those kids you knew were baptized Catholic and taken to church and served communion, etc., then they were Catholic, even if they left the faith eventually. Likewise with my own kids, who are Orthodox even if they haven't learned that word yet.

I grew up Mennonite, so I am familiar with the Anabaptist idea that religious identity is something you don't acquire until you're an adult. But of course, I believed that because it was what my parents and my fellow churchgoers told me to think. ;)

If Islam has its own version of Anabaptism, I have never heard of it.

Peter T Chattaway said...

FWIW, Stanley Kurtz:

Barack Obama's neighborhood newspaper, the Hyde Park Herald, has a longstanding tradition of opening its pages to elected officials -- from Chicago aldermen to state legislators to U.S. senators. Obama himself, as a state senator, wrote more than 40 columns for the Herald, under the title "Springfield Report," between 1996 and 2004. Read in isolation, Obama's columns from the state capital tell us little. Placed in the context of political and policy battles then raging in Illinois, however, the young legislator's dispatches powerfully illuminate his political beliefs. Even more revealing are hundreds of articles chronicling Obama's early political and legislative activities in the pages not only of the Hyde Park Herald, but also of another South Side fixture, the Chicago Defender.

Obama moved to Chicago in order to place himself in what he understood to be the de facto "capital" of black America. For well over 100 years, the Chicago Defender has been the voice of that capital, and therefore a paper of national significance for African Americans. Early on in his political career, Obama complained of being slighted by major media, like the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Yet extensive and continuous coverage in both the Chicago Defender and the Hyde Park Herald presents a remarkable resource for understanding who Obama is. Reportage in these two papers is particularly significant because Obama's early political career -- the time between his first campaign for the Illinois State Senate in 1995 and his race for U.S. Senate in 2004 -- can fairly be called the "lost years," the period Obama seems least eager to talk about, in contrast to his formative years in Hawaii, California, and New York or his days as a community organizer, both of which are recounted in his memoir, Dreams from My Father. The pages of the Hyde Park Herald and the Chicago Defender thus offer entrée into Obama's heretofore hidden world.

What they portray is a Barack Obama sharply at variance with the image of the post-racial, post-ideological, bipartisan, culture-war-shunning politician familiar from current media coverage and purveyed by the Obama campaign. As details of Obama's early political career emerge into the light, his associations with such radical figures as Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Reverend James Meeks, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn look less like peculiar instances of personal misjudgment and more like intentional political partnerships. At his core, in other words, the politician chronicled here is profoundly race-conscious, exceedingly liberal, free-spending even in the face of looming state budget deficits, and partisan. Elected president, this man would presumably shift the country sharply to the left on all the key issues of the day -- culture-war issues included. It's no wonder Obama has passed over his Springfield years in relative silence.

The whole thing is a fascinating read. And disturbing, of course.

Jeremy said...


I've been flat out since you emailed me this list and haven't had a moment to respond privately. For better or worse, since you've posted it publicly, I though I might post a small response here, though chattaway clearly has done a fine job to this point.

What I'd like to point out you are doing some of the very things you're "accusing" (I know you're not really accusing, but (a) there's not better term for it and (b) implicitly you are) those who oppose Obama (and hence your reasoning for supporting the man) of doing.

First, you say that, "you've been desperate" to find someone outside of the "good ol' boys club." This tells me that you are more partisan than even the most dyed-in-the-wool partisan, but under the guise of being open-minded. Thus, while you lament that none of the Obama supporters have bothered to get to know the man past their own predispositions, you yourself have gotten to know the man only through your predisposition.

Second, that he "hasn't caught the disease yet." This is simply nonsensical to me. If you would qualify Jim Dobson and the "family values movement" as partisans, then you must likewise characterize Obama's early career as such too. Beyond that, he's been in the legislature since 1997 and in the US Senate for months, really. I might argue that he's caught the "disease" worst than most, for the very reason he got into politics was to be able to do governmentally what he was already doing through nonprofit community organizing. More than that, to assume that he is clean as a whistle from the influence of lobbyists and such is more naive than saying Brittany Spears is mother of the year. From someone who rubs elbows with lots of low-level politicians, trust me, to get to the point he is at, he has made compromise after compromise after compromise to get where he is and is as beholding to "them" as anyone.

His not assuming "you're an idiot." Ok, nice rhetoric. SUre things are hazy and foggy, sometimes gray areas exist and need to be waded through. But, I would liken him to what I think it was Chesterton said about modern man, "Modern man has both feet firmly planted in midair." There lacks a significant grounding to the man. Remove any suggestion of islamic upbringing, you still have a worldview that denies the deity of Christ, removes the idea of "sin" from its theology, and more.

Those become of high importance when we discuss the social issues that greatly affect our nation daily. For instance, not only does he believe partial birth abortion should remain legal, he would want his daughters to birth a baby to it's shoulders, stick a scissors into its brain and shop-vac the brains out. Not only has he come out fully behind the efforts to redefine marriage, he would enact ENDA, extend "human rights" protections to one's sexual orientation, and make it a crime to discriminate based upon one's heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgendered identity or expression whether actual or perceived. Which is fine until an employee reads his Bible in the breakroom and a gender-confused individual "perceives" that has hate. Extreme? Now who's being naive?

What is more, his supreme court nominees will insert international law into our constitution, undo any good the pro-life movement has accomplished in the last 30 years, and we can kiss goodbye any chance of the Federal court system upholding the definition of marriage in this country.

And that's just the big stuff. We don't even touch divorce, which is costing Americans $112 billion annually and untold zillions in psychological damage. I haven't mentioned economics, but that makes most chambers of commerce cringe. And, then there's always the bit about negotiating with the president of Iran, which reminds me of someone negotiating with the bully for your milk money - just when you think you've found agreement, WHAM he hits you again. Though that's not as laughable as his desire to negotiate with Al Qaeda. What's he gonna offer?

At a minimum, I'd like a President who doesn't mind sticking his hand over his heart during the national anthem - even if his life will be lived to demonstrate his patriotism. Men died for that anthem. Honor it. I'd like a first lady who's been proud to be an american even when Lee Greenwood was singing. It'd be nice to have a presidential candidate campaigning more in Hinton, WV than Nuremberg, Germany.

I guess, what it boils down to me, Dan, is that you are supporting this guy because you like him. Not because you necessarily agree with his issues, since you've already noted some disagreement with his potential presidency. You've found someone outside of some "club" you believe exists and, come hell or high water, you're not getting "duped" by the same schmucks again.

Even if you get duped by new ones.

jeremy said...

Oh, forgot to add. I'm not a big fan of McCain either. I voted for a guy who was out of the race by the time my primary came.

But, he most closely resembles my worldview, even if he's a bit wrong on some gray areas for me. And, most importantly, he's not Barry Obama. In fact, McCain I would classify as liberal on some things. But, he's a great deal to the right of Obama and, regardless of how I feel about his prepared remarks ability, I can't go with a guy who would rather abort his grandchildren, than encourage his daughters to remain ( comes an archaic word) chaste.

In college, a friend and I had late night discussions about faith and worldview. He challenged me to make my faith my own and not simply adopt that of my parents. Because he did that, there are things I will refuse to change my mind on, though my mind is certainly challenged by what seeks to change it. I've always been grateful to that man. If I could talk to him today I'd encourage remember his motivating salvo to me, "All Truth is God's Truth."

To me, that is the center of this election: which candidate most resembles, "Truth." In my estimation, Obama - even though he plays a good game - isn't even in the ballpark.

I pray I'm wrong.

DAN BUCK said...

Wow, Dys.

I don't know where to begin. And ultimately, it doesn't seem worth it to try.

"I pray I'm wrong."

That's a pretty safe prayer, for any of us. :)

deanna said...


I am impressed with the civil tone of your dialogue here in these comments. The rational behavior among dissenting voices is refreshing.

I have read as much as I can about Obama, McCain (and others now out of the race). My conclusions are the same as yours and I will be voting for Obama as well. I do not believe that the decision to support Obama is about simply "feeling good" about this guy over that guy. I "feel good" about McCain. I just don't agree with some of his stated plans for policy. I agree more with Obama's stated plans for policy. So he gets my well-researched vote.

This is how I decided who to support in the last six presidential elections. Works for me.

I reject the suggestion by those who support other candidates that I am making my decision pro-Obama for shallow reasons. It would be like me suggesting that all those who vote for McCain are doing so just because they were duped into believing e-mail forwards about secret jihadist plans to kill Americans with Obama as their new-millinium Manchurian Candidate.

And I would never do that.

The Dada Drummer said...

For Poster Jeremy above...

"And that's just the big stuff. We don't even touch divorce, which is costing Americans $112 billion annually and untold zillions in psychological damage."

In all due respect, man, did I miss something? Is McCain promising to make all mommies and daddies stay married forever while Obama's platform includes mandatory home wrecking? What does this comment have to do with Obama's potential (or not) to be an effective president? Divorce is a hideous blight, but it is beyond the ability of the next President to fix this. That fix will come from better pre-marital counseling, pastoral attention to the needs and stresses on married couples, and an overall cultural re-commitment to the very idea of commitment.

Don't get me wrong. The Dada Drummer loves Jesus and hates divorce. But you're not making sense here.

The Dada Drummer said...

Oh, and the Dada Drummer doesn't like that Lee Greenwood song either.

jeremy said...

"In all due respect, man, did I miss something? Is McCain promising to make all mommies and daddies stay married forever while Obama's platform includes mandatory home wrecking? What does this comment have to do with Obama's potential (or not) to be an effective president? Divorce is a hideous blight, but it is beyond the ability of the next President to fix this. That fix will come from better pre-marital counseling, pastoral attention to the needs and stresses on married couples, and an overall cultural re-commitment to the very idea of commitment."

I'm not so sure it is beyond the Presidency to fix. It is at least within his ability to strengthen (or weaken).

I'll take the great state of West Virginia with which I am most familiar, as an example. When the family breaks down, a recent economic study tells us that WV loses $231 million annually. Now, that's not straight money out the pocket; instead, it is the financial impact of related expenses.

In other words, nonpartisan social sciences tell us that children who do not grow up in the home of a married mom and dad are more likely to abuse alcohol, do drugs, and commit crime. Hence, we pay the increased juvenille justice costs necessary to combat and discourage such activity. Such research also confirms that children are less likely to receive healthcare from their parents, and, hence, more likely to use public assistance. You and I fund that through our taxes. Likewise, the studies say that, on average, children of divorce are less likely to obtain a higher education and, hence, we as a society lose out on the taxes on the higher income that could have been obtained with higher education.

Thus, we ought to encourage strong marriages and create public policy that will encourage people to start marriage out on a good foot and discourage policies that undermine the institution of marriage itself. That same study that said WV loses $231 million, suggests that the breakdown of the family costs Americans $112 billion annually. But, it goes on to suggest that if we curbed the divorce rate by just 1%, Americans could save upwards of $1 billion annually.

In WV, for instance, as it is with many states, we have no-fault divorce. You can get married for the wrong reasons and, likewise, get divorced for the wrong reasons as well. It's, as you say, "a blight." I would rather our society allot, as they have in Texas (to the tune of $15 million), funds to encourage marriage through, as you suggest, counseling (pre-marital and pre-divorce) and to educate the citizenry on the benefits marriage provides to families and society as a whole.

This can also be done federally through TANF funding and faith-based programming. However, as I understand Obama's proposals, such faith-based funding would not be available to churches or faith-based ministries who would refuse to counsel same-sex parents or "marriages" or in other ways demonstrate a theological disagreement with homosexuality and would so counsel against it. That's a major strike against Obama's FBF, in my book.

Likewise, a president can encourage the definition of marriage to remain what it has always been: the union of one man and one woman. McCain has committed himself to such a definition, even campaigned for the AZ marriage protection amendment that failed in 2004. Obama has staunchly promised to secure the rights of same-sex couples to marry and oppose any effort - state or federal - to define marriage.

That impact is enormous. I cannot quickly put my fingers on the exact data, but my memory suggests that the very definition of marriage within the federal tax code, vis-a-vis federal benefits, would distribute untold millions of taxpayer dollars.

Plus, when public policy knowingly deprives a child of a married mom or dad, the above scenario of children less likely to get healthcare, more likely to do drugs, etc. is equally applicable. I oppose that. Since Obama is for such a policy and McCain has taken the Federalist approach (meaning, let the states decide), on balance, I have to lean for McCain.

Finally, the bully pulpit can be used to, as you say, provide, "an overall cultural re-commitment to the very idea of commitment." Undermining the definition of marriage does not do that. Encouraging abortion and contraception over abstinence education does nothing to strengthen "commitment." Excluding institutions that do marriage best b/c of theological disagreement does not contribute to that "idea." Implementing civil and criminal penalties for those with worldviews that oppose the homosexual lifestyle undermines any toward the idea of commitment.

Anonymous said...

Dan, your old buddy Jeff from Florida... forgetting every other issues, if I give you every point you made. Doesn't the fact that he said he wants to force oil companies to give every American a $1,000 stimulus check just scare the daylights out of you? Does that not possibly indicate that at his heart he is a Socialist? IF you want a socialist goverment, well, its a free country... or well... it is now... but is that really what you want?

The Dada Drummer said...

No, Jeremy. The president cannot fix divorce. The problem is bigger, deeper, and more complex than that. But that is beside the point. YOU brought up the charge that voting for Obama means voting for the dissolution of your neighbor's marriage vows. But we are NOT REALLY facing the choice between a candidate who is going to promote divorce and one who is not. That is a false distinction, but the kind of thing I am hearing all too often coming from the mouths of some passionate people. This fear is not called for. It is not helpful. These trumped up charges are not merited when we look at the realities of the two canditates.

It is NOT acceptable for anyone to paint Obama as "encouraging abortion" or to write that he "wants his daughters to birth a baby to it's shoulders, stick a scissors into its brain and shop-vac the brains out." That is appaling rhetoric. It is deceitful and un-loving. It is a low place for a smart person to stoop to. McCain opposes legalizing civil unions between same-sex couples, right. That is a FACT. But he does not advocate murdering gay men and women in the street, right? One is a position on public policy and the other is a mean, scary, and deceitful thing to say about a decent American. Don't do this kind of thing, man!

Neither presumptive candidate is evil and bent on destroying America. Both of these men love their wives, their families, their communities, and their countries. Both of these men have publicly declared their desire to serve God and their neighbor. BOTH of these men have good intellects and are well-educated. The choice here is NOT between George Washington and Atilla the Hun. Can we all please talk about real differences (and I mean REAL differences not implied outcomes of possible snowball effects from plausible policy if it were passed without opposition by other elected Americans).

jeremy said...

dada - it wasn't rhetoric. It was hyperbole. Still, that IS what the procedure is. Rhetoric would be to call it "partial birth abortion" or, worse, "a legitimate medical procedure" as Michelle Obama has termed it. It is a FACT that Obama advocates for a procedure that is performed by a glorified scissors and shop vac. No, it's not a pleasant way of thinking about it, but it is a FACT.

You're right, it makes me recoil to even say it. But, it's a reality. He advocates for it. Why is that off-limits in our critique of the man?

He also advocates for the redefinition of marriage. Is it unassailable on that as well? I'm not talking civil unions or domestic partnerships. He would push for the redefinition of marriage. That shouldn't be so. I never called him names, nor suggested violence on anyone. It is a FACT he supports the redefinition of marriage. Can we not talk in facts?

As for "encouarging abortion," I'm not sure what else to make of his statement:

"“Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” he said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.""

Such double talk! Teach values and morals AND don't "punish" them with a baby. Punish?! Dear goodness!

Shannon said...

Starbucks discontinued my favorite frappuccino. The gays ruin everything!

God is still speaking.

Shannon said...

Fixed link:

God is still speaking.

Laurie said...

Barack Obama has repeatedly stated his belief that marriage is "between one man and one woman" and openly states that his belief is based on his religious faith. Pardon my obtuseness, but how exactly is that a redefinition of the existing institution?

At the risk of further roiling the waters, I'd like to add that there are those who believe God is still speaking, that revelation didn't cease a couple millennia back, and that maybe this particular institution could stand a little renovating and expansion.

I will be voting for Barack Obama despite our differences on this issue because he is, on the whole, less wrong than McCain on too many issues of grave importance at this particular historical moment.

Anonymous said...
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jeremy said...

Laurie -

This is how it's a redefinition:

"If Barack Obama is elected president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will support him in fulfilling his vow to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which currently protects states from having to recognize same-sex marriages contracted in other states as they ordinarily would be required to do by the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution."


"The “pride” section of the Obama campaign Web site reads: "Obama also believes we need to fully repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.”"


Shane Alexander said...

Why do I get the feeling that "Come to Reagan talks" have been a bit more common than "Come to Jesus talks" among Evangelicals lately?

I am really starting to resent the implication that those of us who have left the Republican fold did so because we just didn't understand the conservative ideology. I was born in a red state. I cut my teeth on Rush Limbaugh. I was registered to vote on the 18th year of life and I voted for Dole and Dubya (twice). I have argued with liberals with intensity. I was an ideologue of ideologues. But I count it as nothing when compared to the power of Barrack (okay, I am only kidding and needling a few of you there). But seriously, guys, I would far rather be associated with Rev. Wright and a once-Muslim-enrolled student than some of the right-wing theocapitalist-Evangelicals on the radio. But that's just me.

DAN BUCK said...

I know this might just blow your circuitry Jeremy, but there are a number of people reading this blog who consider themselves Christian AND gay, and a larger number who are okay with that (including me).

You're welcome to disagree, but just so you know it's not a given on this blog that same sex marriage is a negative thing as it seems to be for you.

Shannon said...

You inhabit a high plane of awesome, Dan. :)