Monday, January 21, 2008

Does Bill hurt Hillary?

Apparently some 'high level' Democrats have asked Bill to tone it down with his attacks on Obama. The former president, either because he's listened to the requests or because he's playing on a new strategy seems to have done just as much.

Some see Bill Clinton's actions as being 'out of control' when it comes to falling in with the rest of Hillary's campaign. This has raised the question of what role he would be playing if Hillary makes it to the White House, and if Hillary's staff there would be able to keep him 'under control'.

So when all this is added together, is he actually hurting Hillary's chances to win the nomination?

It's a valid question and I have to say to an extent, I think he is. For the most, I like Bill Clinton. However, he really needs to step back and let Hillary just run. Right now, he's putting himself in the limelight a bit too much, and I think this can potentially turn off voters that might be undecided and wish to see Hillary being Hillary, not Bill Clinton's wife.

The best thing Bill Clinton can do now is to step back, be supportive, be there for Hillary; but be a background figure of sorts. A reminder of the good old days, but also a willing participants in letting Hillary execute the changes that this country needs.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Huckabee and the Constitution

I like Huckabee, at least, from a personal perspective he seems like a pretty cool guy. However a lot of his ideas I disagree with.

I'm glad he's not ashamed of his faith, he shouldn't be. However, to hear him come out about how he would like to change the Constitution be more in line with the Bible was quite scary.

Where is the separation of Church and State? Do people forget how the United States came to be? People had been escaping religious persecution. What happened to the idea of freedom of faith. I think that the President of the United States should be guided by his or her beliefs and ideals. However, when it comes to religious faith I think that the President has no business enforcing anything in that arena.

Everybody should be free to worship as they see fit. Civil laws should be based on a common moral understanding that we all can agree with. But the idea of changing the Constitution to be more like the Bible... The first question would be, more like which part of the Bible. The New Testament? So, lets exclude all Jewish and non-Christian American Citizens? What would making the Constitution more like the Bible accomplish? It's one thing for a President to say 'I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman' and quite another for said President to say that's the way it's going to be, because he or she says so.

The argument is that after all, the majority chose the President, therefore, shouldn't this mean that the President speaks for the majority of the country's citizens? Well, the reality is more complicated and people might vote for a candidate because they best align with their own beliefs, even when they might not agree with everything the President believes.

I don't think the President should have any right or business imposing religious views, concepts or morals on the citizens. To do so is to take us a step closer to a Theocracy and that's not a path I think we want to ake.

Judge rules on Nevada caucuses

Something that I didn't understand about this lawsuit was that if what the Teacher's Union was worried about was the inability of their members to participate in the process if they were working... on a Saturday, why didn't they move to try and get a similar deal to the one the casino workers got? Instead, they decided that blocking the casino workers would bring the equality they desired.

What kind of mentality is that? I can't do something, so here, let me make sure nobody else can? If you feel so passionate about the inability of some of the union members to participate in the process, why wait until now?

The whole thing was just pretty suspect, in particular when four of the plaintiffs behind the lawsuit had originally voted to allow the casinos to serve as caucus locations. The ties to the Clinton Campaign make the whole thing even worse.

It's a shame to see such a move, I'd certainly be all about supporting an effort from the Teacher's Union to allow school workers working that Saturday to caucus at their schools, but all I can do is shake my head at this strange lawsuit they decided to engage in instead.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


So it seems that Senator Clinton and Senator Obama have reached a truce of sorts
for the good of the Democratic Party. About time I say.

Both candidates need to focus on the issues going forward, leave the identity politics out of it and stop snipping at each other. They have different opinions issues, just present them and move on to the next one.

Hopefully said truce will hold. I can't say I'm very happy with the lack of acknowledgment regarding the last comment of Obama's teenage drug use, and the media keeps blowing out of proportion Clinton's comment regarding Dr. King, but hopefully we'll be able to just move on now.

Now, if the unions in Nevada would stop attacking each other...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Negative Campaigns

The Democrats have to stop.

Really, just stop. I don't think the people that run these campaigns are as in touch with the voters as they want to think they are. Some pundits claim negative campaigns are necessary, I don't think they are and I think candidates do a disservice to themselves when they resort to these tactics.

Candidates contrasting themselves with other candidates is all good, but when the line is crossed to then put the candidate down in any way, then the whole thing takes on a new meaning. To be fair, the media rarely helps when this happens.

Obama has been very good at not playing the race card, yet, his campaign keeps getting accused of doing so. On the other hand, I really feel that the comments Hillary made about Dr. King are also being taken out of context.

The sad part is that these things are being done not by the candidates, but people supporting them. Still, it is up to the candidates to set the record straight and move on to the actual issues.

And please, this is a message to people supporting Hillary. Stop bringing Obama's past regarding drug use up. He was open about it, wrote about it. Someone already tried to use this against him and it backfired. Stop doing it. It doesn't help Hillary's case at all. She's enough of a candidate that she doesn't need this kind of defense.

All three candidates are excellent candidates. They have differences in opinions on how to handle certain issues, but that's fine. Please, do not fall in a trap that does have the potential to divide the Democrats when the time of the general election is upon us. I heard today on MSNBC a senior adviser of Hillary say she didn't believe for one second that this whole thing could divide the party.

I heard that, and all I could do was roll my eyes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Religious Fanaticism

For some time I've been of the opinion that organized religion is humanity's invention to help ensure civil order. After all, the threat of the afterlife is certainly a strong deterrent when it comes to committing acts against society.

To give some background, I was raised a Catholic and for thirteen years of my life (K-12) I went to a Catholic school. I used to be that kid that would go to mass every single morning. But these days, although I do consider myself a spiritual person I admit I'm not very religious. There's a reason for it, and perhaps I'll discuss it in another entry but for now now let's just say that I have my differences with the Catholic church.

Still, even with such a religious background one thing that has always baffled me, and sometimes annoyed me is religious fanaticism. I'm not talking about being observant of your faith here. If you have your faith and you stick to it, I respect that. I'm talking about instances where religion seems to override what I like to label the 'collective' common sense. Now, granted, common sense is actually a subjective term. Different cultures have different things they consider common sense.

But, lets cut to the chase here. At the core the issue I'm concerned about is tolerance. I like to believe that we were given free will for a reason. That if god had wanted me to follow just one path, that would have been the option given. But... it was not. The argument is usually that God wants you to choose the right path. Well, who is to say what the right path is?

No, I believe that reasoning is what separates us from animals. Call it what you will, soul, reasoning mind, in the end it amounts to the same. We're able to decide which way to go. I like to believe that there is a final destination, but, unlike many groups I think there are many different paths leading there.

The idea of killing in the name of God, the idea of rejecting others because they have different beliefs those are concepts that bother me to no end. When I hear about incidents of this nature it makes me want to scream, to call at those involved to tell them to listen. To listen. So many times we fail to do that. We find ourselves so involved in our own thoughts, in our own beliefs that we fail to consider those around you, those that in the end we share this planet with.

If people were more willing to do a bit more of listening than telling each other what they are to think, I think the world would be just a bit of a better place.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kerry hurts Obama?

After Senator Kerry's endorsement of Senator Obama, I've seen a few opinions floating around that this could actually hurt the hopeful Democrat presidential candidate.

It's hard to tell, Kerry is not exactly super popular, in particular when it comes to the state of South Carolina. That said, he does represent the 'experience' and 'establishment' and his support could help fortify what is seen as one of Obama's weaknesses, the experience factor.

In addition to this, one has to question the timing and location for Senator Kerry to do this. It's no secret that he and Edwards haven't been all warm and cozy since the 2004 election. Differences in how to best run the campaign led to the two not liking each other much. With South Carolina being one of the states that Edwards was expected to do relatively well, the whole thing makes me frown a little.

I'm not suggesting Kerry is trying to attack Edwards, but, I have to admit the whole thing makes me feel kind of blah.

In the end, I don't think Kerry's endorsement is going to hurt Obama's chances, although it'll be interesting to see how the other campaigns spin the situation. I mostly hope that, like now former presidential hopeful Bill Richardson has asked, the Democrats focus on running positive campaigns and don't fall into the trap of slinging mud at each other, potentially damaging the Democrats chance of getting to the White House.