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Johann Hari writes in The Independent today:

In five weeks, I hope to look back on this column with a wry chuckle at my paranoia. If the system works, Barack Obama will take the White House. The two issues John McCain is most closely associated with – invading Iraq, and deregulating the economy – have produced history-snatching catastrophes in the eyes of 80 per cent of Americans. In the first debate, McCain revealed he had nothing to say except more of the same: aggression abroad, market fundamentalist ideology at home. So why am I worried?

Is it an irrational fear of an October surprise? And what if that surprise is Bin Laden? Or Republican dirty tricks?

Read more from Johann's piece.

Question: Is the characterisation of the Republican and Democratic camps right? Is Obama a statesman-like figure about to be tripped up by unscrupulous means?

Comments

( Comment )
izuko wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 10:17 am (UTC)
A statesman wouldn't be trying to have arrested anyone who criticizes him, or try to set the feds on people who air his dirty laundry regarding William Ayers.

The governor of Missouri's response to Obama.
And his fun with the feds

Bill Clinton was right - Obama is just a thug politician. There's nothing statesman-like about this product of the Chicago Machine.

Oh, and if you want disenfranchisement, look no farther than ACORN. Or if you want to go back to the 2000 election, you always have Gore's attepts to disenfranchise military voters in Florida.

Edited at 2008-09-29 11:35 am (UTC)
absurdhero wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
The governor of Missouri is an idiot. Way to whip up a whole bowl of accusations without details or basis. You're seriously worried because Obama's little "truth squad" includes people who work for the justice system? Give me a break. I'm sure McCain doesn't have anyone on his staff that is a policeman, judge, attorney, etc...

Keep reaching, GOP. Keep reaching.

Edited at 2008-09-29 02:39 pm (UTC)
izuko wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
So you don't mind authoritarian thug politicians, so long as they're YOUR authoritarian thug politicians.

I guess, in a way, this does represent a break from Bush's policies. For all the childish accusations and protests, Bush hasn't actually tried to arrest someone simply for saying mean things about him.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)
Actually I think that statement is very true -- anytime I've seen a party use authoritarian methods, the people that support that party find a good reason to support the methods. And the people who don't support it, protest it. (in one way or another)
(no subject) - absurdhero - Sep. 29th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - idonotlikepeas - Sep. 29th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - absurdhero - Sep. 29th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - izuko - Sep. 29th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - absurdhero - Sep. 29th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - izuko - Sep. 29th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - absurdhero - Sep. 30th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 29th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - izuko - Sep. 29th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - phattyassid - Oct. 1st, 2008 03:10 am (UTC) Expand
celtic_thistle wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's stupid as hell. If that's all you've got against Obama, you're going to have to just give up now.
pennyann wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
As a resident of Missouri, I can attest that yes indeed, our governor is an idiot.

There is also a big difference between being criticized and being LIED ABOUT. This is not airing dirty laundry, it is MAKING UP dirty laundry. There's a difference. Even what our esteemed governor Blunt said backs this up:

"Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility."

[emphasis my own]

Trying to have arrested anyone who criticizes him? Exaggerate much?
izuko wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
And yet, your governor isn't trying to have anyone arrested for it. Makes a slight difference, doesn't it?

Was the dirty laundry "made up" about Obama's ties to William Ayers?
(no subject) - the_paulr - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC) Expand
the_paulr wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:01 pm (UTC)
Your first link contains no statements of fact other than "Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement..."

Your second link says that the ad was paid for by Harold Simmons, one of the main founders of the Swift Boat Veterans. Their allegations against John Kerry have been proven to be false. So why sould I believe anything that man has to say?

"The SBVT statements were accompanied by sworn affidavits, although one affiant, Al French, later admitted he had no firsthand knowledge of what he had sworn to.

The first SBVT ad was contradicted by the statements of several other veterans who observed the incidents, by the Navy's official records, and, in some instances, by the contemporaneous statements of SBVT members themselves.
"

You don't have to like Obama. I really don't care if you like him or not. But the more you try to spread lies about him the less likely I am to care about anything you have to say.
izuko wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
The point isn't the veracity of what Simmons says, but his right to say it. As I asked elsewhere, would you have a problem with seeing the 9/11 conspiracy theorists behind bars? Or maybe even Obama, himself? He's approved some whoppers (like the Spanish-language ad tying McCain to Rush Limbaugh statements taken out of context). How about Dan Rather? Maybe the guys who spread all the Palin rumors?

And those are just the provable falsehoods. What if we let Bush decide what was a lie and what wasn't?

As for the fisrt one, it was a statement by a public official. Sure, not a news article, but hardly a blog post, either.
(no subject) - the_paulr - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:01 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - the_paulr - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - the_paulr - Sep. 30th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC) Expand
tyrell wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 11:31 am (UTC)
Nothing Hari says about voter caging is untrue - in fact Greg Palast provided the evidence for it years ago. Add in Diebold and "no paper trail" voting machines with zero security and many "bugs", and Hari isn't being unreasonable here. There is a very large chance that the Republicans will attempt to fraudulently affect the votes: it happened the last two times.

I can't comment on whether Obama is "statesman-like". He hasn't been anywhere near as aggressive as he could be. He could be calling McCain and Palin outright liars and it wouldn't be hard to show the evidence. (Youtube is doing it already.)

An October surprise is probably going to happen. Bush is still in power - he'll announce some popular move at just the right time to help McCain. Whether anyone listens to him by that point is what will make the difference.
(no subject) - grumpy_angel - Sep. 29th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
farla wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
Dismally so.

If our media doesn't report facts and just relies on "he said, she said" articles, the advantage goes to whoever lies most. If our media doesn't care about dirty tricks or explain them to the voters, the advantage goes to whoever uses them. If our media decides to always ignore election irregularities, the advantage goes to whoever resets the machines.
bridgeweaver wrote:
Sep. 29th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what to think about this article. I have to say that there is a lot of smoke in the air from the past several elections, and it frankly makes me nervous that my vote will not be properly counted. As much as I deeply care about the results of the election, I care more that the process be proven to be trustworthy, as the end of trust in our process would be a much more fundamental blow to our nation's system of government than even another September 11th, or a John McCain victory by fair means.
redvodka wrote:
Sep. 30th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Catastrophes
There is the conspiracy theory that (forgive me if i offend anyone) 9/11 is an inside job. Whether that is true or not, i do not know. However, look at how starting from Reagan administration on down to Bush. The Republican party seemingly uses the cold war to the war on Iraq to energize their popularity often. Granted, Bill Clinton's administration also had the former Yugoslavia civil war but that was done reluctantly, and only when there was proof on genocide going on.
sacraficialscar wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 03:38 am (UTC)
Just some things about Obama
Although this might not be the strongest thing against Obama there are more then enough reasons to not vote for the man. Before I get started I will say I'm not voting for Obama or McCain in this coming election, I will be writing in a name. I am a registered Independent and there is some serious faults with both candidates, in my opinion. Since this post is about Obama I will address his.

Obama:
Made the most money off of the Fannie and Freddie demise along with Barney Frank and John Kerry. Obama's deal with them goes back to 1994 when he was an attorney and pushed them even further to take high risk loans etc. FYI the 1992 Congress started this ball rolling and passed a MANDATE that Freddie and Fannie start giving high risk loans...it was furthered in 1994 like my above statement says.

William Ayres is a domestic terrorist, he has been quoted after 9/11 (when asked about terrorism and his part in what he did in the past) saying he didn't do enough. Innocent people could have died as a result of this mans careless and senseless behavior and he appears to not feel any remorse about his actions, yet he still enjoys what this country has to offer...or he would have moved don't you think. Obama announced his bid for Presidency from this mans house, it's more then a lack of judgment on Obama's part it's right out wrong and shows a lack od patriotism I expect from the President.

Obama's Policies would be catastrophic in our current economic condition and further more they ARE SOCIALIST, look up the constitution...it's not socialist friendly. He wants to pass 30% home equity tax, which is beyond ridiculous and it is ....you guessed it...socialist. His "universal" healthcare plan is only applied to children...bet you have not heard that part yet. His tax "decrease" on "95%" of the public is false....if you are single and making just enough to make ends meet (maybe even less) you get NOTHING, no break no cut ...nothing. He wants to put over 800 billion dollars worth of government programs into place my question is: with what money? Let me answer that, part of it would come from that "tax the rich" idea and the other would have to come from somewhere...look no further then yourselves. Taxing the rich and giving to the poor is lovely in theory but does not always turn out well. I wonder if he knows that many of the corporations and "rich" people supply many Americans with jobs and health insurance. With his tax increase he could quite possibly tax them into "out of business" and there go many jobs not to mention the economy. If you are self employed you had better watch out as well....look for an almost 50% tax increase there. I could go on but I think you get the point.

The man says wonderful lovely things and he is one hell of an eloquent speaker...charismatic as all get out but he's a flip flopper and his policies are horrible. He has not only approved (along with McCain) of this INSANE bailout bill but he helped get us down this path in the first place and he has benefited off of it as well, look at the second paragraph if you need reminding.

Don't even get me started on the media. We no longer have journalism in this country...we have bought and paid for. The lack of honest reporting is sickening....if things had been reported correctly and honestly we might not be in this mess. The people of America should write every news outlet and demand they clean up their act and do a REAL job instead of smearfests or softball articles to shed the light they want on their candidate of choice.

The people of America should also write,call, and fax Congress, House, Senate and so on until they listen up. We don't want anymore of this partisan BS that has taken over the White House for atleast sixteen years.

All I ask is that the American people do their homework and find out about where all the economy crisis mania started and who really is at fault, and go after them. I ask that people research their candidates and vote for the one they honestly believe will be the best for the job based PURELY on their record, policies, behavior and experience. I think until people do that and stop voting based on party lines or who the media chooses etc, we will just keep sinking.
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