The Imperfections of Barack Obama

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posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 11:42 AM
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Opinion

I LOVE this opinion piece! It says things that I have tried to say here and have only had mediocre success in doing so.

People have the strange idea that to support someone means that their candidate should agree 100% with them or else be banished and abandoned for someone who does! (There's a fantasy! A politician who agrees with me on ALL the issues!) LOL

Now, we get called "Kool-aid drinkers" and "Obamatrons" because of our support for Obama, as if we would follow him to the ends of the earth and give our lives for him, if he only requested it, but nothing could be further from the truth. That's just a GOP strategy to try to make Obama supporters feel guilty or cult-like for supporting him. (By the way, you guys, it doesn't work! Have you noticed in my avatar I actually call MYSELF the Obamanator?
)

Anyway, my point is that I do disagree with Obama on some issues. I AM disappointed in some of his actions and stances. His opponents seem to think that I should flounce out of the room in a fit of temper (like Dawn Summers) because I don't 100% approve and agree with Obama. But that's not (to me) what supporting a presidential candidate is about.

And what's more I don't owe anyone any explanation for my support for the man. I have tried to be civil and defend myself (and Obama) when I felt attacked, but this is not something I owe to anyone. I am an adult person. Not a 3rd grader who must report and justify why I feel the way I do to people much younger and less educated and experienced than myself.

But that's beside the point.


The point is that Obama is not perfect. And like my husband, my dogs, my family and friends, I still support them. None of them is perfect and I don't agree with any of them 100%, but to expect me to turn my back on them without a significant reason is just going to lead to disappointment.



I've never been one to demand purity from political candidates I support. While I would like to agree with them on all issues (or to put it more accurately -- would like them to agree with me on all issues...), I gave up expecting that in the eighth grade when I lost my race for vice-president due to a woeful lack of understanding by my classmates.
...
And so it's with bemusement that I see all the angst about Barack Obama's positions on the FISA bill, faith-based programs, and the horror that he's "moving to the center."
...
I haven't been pleased at him softening several other issues that helped bring him overwhelming popularity in Democratic and Independent circles. Maybe it's a mistake for him, maybe smart. But I understand it. The battlefield changes. It's what happens. And happens reasonably. To say, "Oh, we thought he was different," ignores the reality that he is different, even if not different in every way. It also ignores that, like with our friends, the good things one likes about him far outweigh what makes us gnash our teeth. And significantly, it ignores that as progressive as Barack Obama is -- he also came to national attention by drawing people together in the center, that we are not Red States or Blue States, but the United States. That's as much a part of who he is and has always been, not a flip or flop in sight.


It's a great piece! Bravo!

[edit on 4-7-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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You are the true obamanator, BH.

Im at work now, but i skimmed over that article


Moreover, perspective is important: it's one thing to soften one's views, and another to reverse them completely, as John McCain keeps doing, whether being against offshore drilling and then supporting it. Or against oppressive immigration policies and then for them. Or saying we'll be greeted as liberators in Iraq and later insisting he was always critical of how the war was run.



I am reading it as if I, myself, had written it. I could not agree more with this article

star and flag (fitting...for the 4th of July)



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 12:13 PM
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Great find, BH... good on you!

I find the attitude of the GOP and such ilk to be endlessly fascinating. Not only do they behave as though Obama supporters consider him to be some sort of Messiah (interestingly, I have never spoken to any Obama supporter who feels this way. I'm sure there are some, but in my personal experience, the vast majority of people who spout that are in the fear Obama camp, and seem to insist that support of Obama = worship of same...
), but they get all excited when a whiff of a rumor, usually proven false, comes along that Obama might be doing something bad... and that 'something bad' is generally an example of how McCain especially behaves on a nearly daily basis...




posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
(interestingly, I have never spoken to any Obama supporter who feels this way. I'm sure there are some, but in my personal experience, the vast majority of people who spout that are in the fear Obama camp, and seem to insist that support of Obama = worship of same...
)



i completely agree with you, OMS


To use a GOP tactic:

Maybe its the republicans paying people to PRETEND to be obama fans that and get on TV to say Obama is the messiah. I mean - what makes for better fox news TV than that?



[edit on 7/4/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 01:19 PM
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Okay, I'll bite, BH.



Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Now, we get called "Kool-aid drinkers" and "Obamatrons" because of our support for Obama, as if we would follow him to the ends of the earth and give our lives for him, if he only requested it, but nothing could be further from the truth. That's just a GOP strategy to try to make Obama supporters feel guilty or cult-like for supporting him.


It was Obama's anti-war position that made him attractive to the energetic young "progressives", and his leftist positions on a whole host of other hot-button issues that made him attractive to the Democratic base. More importantly, however, it was his feel-good hope-change-unity rhetoric -- that he was "different" and "post-partisan" and eschewed "politics as usual" that made him attractive to many centrists and independents.

How important were these facts to his success in the primaries? Extremely. With only 24 months in the senate before running for the presidency full-time, Obama is by far the least qualified person ever to win the nomination of a major party.

But, if the principles that Obama ran on the primaries are not as important to him as they are to the primary voters, what reason would his champions have to continue to support him. Well, let's have a look at what this article is really saying. First we have the expression of disappointment; then a rationalization:


I haven't been pleased at him softening several other issues that helped bring him overwhelming popularity in Democratic and Independent circles. Maybe it's a mistake for him, maybe smart. But I understand it. The battlefield changes. It's what happens.


Translation: Obama is just another politician. I hoped that he was who he said he was, but clearly he is a political opportunist.


To say, "Oh, we thought he was different," ignores the reality that he is different, even if not different in every way. It also ignores that, like with our friends, the good things one likes about him far outweigh what makes us gnash our teeth.


How is he "different"? Is he a progressive? He's managed to expunge his entire voting record when he was in the Illinois senate, and was available to cast his vote on many important issues in the U.S. senate but opted to vote "present". The evidence we have that he is a "progressive" is his rhetoric in the primary campaigns. Now he is sounding more "conservative" on those same issues. So who is he? What does he believe? Or, as Charles Krauthammer asked: If and when he gets to the White House, "how will he govern? Do we know? Does he know?"

Furthermore, such changes of position at a core level is NOT normal. The tacking to the center for the general election that occurs after the primaries is usually a matter of emphasis, not substance. When you want the nomination you stress the extremes; for the general you stress the nuance. Doing an about face on core issues is not just tweaking for the larger audience; it's fraud.


And significantly, it ignores that as progressive as Barack Obama is -- he also came to national attention by drawing people together in the center, that we are not Red States or Blue States, but the United States. That's as much a part of who he is and has always been, not a flip or flop in sight.


Pure Hope-Change-Unity rhetoric. This is his strength? This is why you still support him, BH?

In the end, all this article is really saying is, "I still support Obama because, now that he's the Democtratic nominee, he's all I've got." That's fine if that's how you choose to look at it. But isn't that really saying, "we would follow him to the ends of the earth...cult-like...if he only requested it", only the cult is not Obama specifically, it's politics in general?



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 02:00 PM
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Originally posted by Tuning Spork
Obama is by far the least qualified person ever to win the nomination of a major party.


That's arguable. And I would also question whether you can accurately split the demographics as you have and determine exactly what attracted whom, but you're certainly entitled to your opinion and analysis on the subject.

I'm an old hippie who supports the 2nd amendment, thinks illegal immigrants should be sent back to where they came from, is pro-choice, supports legal, legitimate war and thinks gays should be able to get married.

Which of your demographics do I fit into? You tell ME why I support Obama since you have it all figured out!




Translation: Obama is just another politician. I hoped that he was who he said he was, but clearly he is a political opportunist.


All I can say here is that I understood perfectly what the writer was saying. There was no translation necessary. Your "translation" of it (based obviously on your perception and not mine) does not jive with my take on it.



How is he "different"?


I have said in countless posts how I think he is different. I'm not going to go over it all here. Suffice it to say that he will take this country in a different direction than we have been going. He's proactive, intelligent, thoughtful, has integrity, strength and honor. That's just a start.



He's managed to expunge his entire voting record when he was in the Illinois senate, and was available to cast his vote on many important issues in the U.S. senate but opted to vote "present".


www.abovetopsecret.com...


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
One criticism of Obama is that he voted “Present” 129 times in his 8 years as a State Senator. Firstly, 129 “Present” votes represent a whopping 3.2% of the over 4,000 total votes he cast, so 96.8% of the time, he voted either Yea or Nay.



So who is he? What does he believe?


I can't answer that for you. I can't answer most of your questions. These are opinions we each form for ourselves. If you don't know what I think of him after reading my posts on him, I cannot be more clear. If you don't know what YOU think of him, I can't tell you that, either.

How will he govern? I'm looking forward to finding out. We cannot read the future and have NEVER been able to tell exactly how a person would be once they get in the Oval Office. But I have a pretty good idea from what I have seen of the man. Of course it's just my opinion. We'll have to see.



Furthermore, such changes of position at a core level is NOT normal.
...
The tacking to the center for the general election that occurs after the primaries is usually a matter of emphasis, not substance.


This is clearly a matter of perception. Because in my observation, I have not seen any changes of position at a core level OR changes of substance. He has changed his mind about a couple things, but that's no crime or sin and it's not been enough to throw me off. I still believe he will be a great president.



Pure Hope-Change-Unity rhetoric. This is his strength?


His focus on change and hope is part of his strength (to me), but not by any means ALL of his strength.



This is why you still support him, BH?


Still? He hasn't done anything to lose my support... Why wouldn't I "still" support him? It's not just a whim I came to one day, saying, "Oh, Barack is so cute! I think I'll support him! Change! Yay! Hope! Woo-hoo! Change, Hope, Yeah"!!!


If I gave much credence to others' opinion of me, I might be insulted that you think I am that easily "bought".



In the end, all this article is really saying is, "I still support Obama because, now that he's the Democtratic nominee, he's all I've got."


Once again, a matter of perception. That is not what I see in the article and it's not my position. In fact, he was my choice for the Democratic ticket, even though I wasn't going to vote for him at the time. I thought he would make things interesting. And he certainly has.


[edit on 4-7-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 02:03 PM
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Spork, allow me to nibble too



Originally posted by Tuning Spork

It was Obama's anti-war position that made him attractive to the energetic young "progressives"


This is only true for a small percentage of his followers. The age-old concept "cant make everyone happy, if you try, you make them all mad" still applies here. In his speech that i remember (ill find you a link) he said

"i will speak with the generals.....(truncated) and the plan is to withdraw the troops within X amount of time"

Now that has changed.

Shocker. So Bush screwed things up more than he realized. Atleast he's formulating a plan to get them out of there. What do you hear from his opposition? Nothing. Nothing but "we gota be there, or its considered a loss, and we need victory"

The war is already considered a loss. Period. The only person who considers it ongoing are Bush and his followers. I am not one of these people, and judging by Bush's horrible approval rating, i can safely say im not alone. We should be "at war" in Afghanistan if we are to fight "terrorism" not "doing 1 better than ol dad" in Iraq. :shk:




How important were these facts to his success in the primaries? Extremely. With only 24 months in the senate before running for the presidency full-time, Obama is by far the least qualified person ever to win the nomination of a major party.


Define qualified: (ill do it)

Qualifications for president.

You have to be a natural-born US Citizen (a citizen from birth - but not necessarily born in the USA, which is a common misconception).

You have to be at least 35 years of age.

You have to reside in the US for at least 14 years.


Seems as though he meets the requirements to me. If you want, you can say he's "not corrupted" enough by Washington Politics to be President, there's a statement i'd agree with.



But, if the principles that Obama ran on the primaries are not as important to him as they are to the primary voters, what reason would his champions have to continue to support him. Well, let's have a look at what this article is really saying. First we have the expression of disappointment; then a rationalization:


I haven't been pleased at him softening several other issues that helped bring him overwhelming popularity in Democratic and Independent circles. Maybe it's a mistake for him, maybe smart. But I understand it. The battlefield changes. It's what happens.


Translation: Obama is just another politician. I hoped that he was who he said he was, but clearly he is a political opportunist.



There's a translation from the mouth of a conservative. You're putting words in the guys mouth. "The battlefield changes"
So - maybe we should take a page out of ol George Bush's battlefield strategy and just throw more American lives at the situation and hope it goes away?

No.

When confronted with NEW obstacles, one must change the game plan. Happens in football
Happens in basketball
Happens in war
Happens in Politics





To say, "Oh, we thought he was different," ignores the reality that he is different, even if not different in every way. It also ignores that, like with our friends, the good things one likes about him far outweigh what makes us gnash our teeth.


How is he "different"? Is he a progressive? He's managed to expunge his entire voting record when he was in the Illinois senate, and was available to cast his vote on many important issues in the U.S. senate but opted to vote "present".


Are we really going to re-hatch the already busted crap about "voting present"?

Whats worse than voting present? Not voting at all - Ask John McCain.





In the end, all this article is really saying is, "I still support Obama because, now that he's the Democtratic nominee, he's all I've got." That's fine if that's how you choose to look at it. But isn't that really saying, "we would follow him to the ends of the earth...cult-like...if he only requested it", only the cult is not Obama specifically, it's politics in general?



How do you get the

In the end, all this article is really saying is, "I still support Obama because, now that he's the Democtratic nominee, he's all I've got."

extraction?

I support Barack Obama because he's the best choice of the two candidates. He's better than Clinton, he's better than McCain.

I dont support Barack Obama because i think he'll be the "greatest president EVER!!!"

And nobody here has said that.
You are making gross generalizations from a biased point of view to try and discredit the very reasons we support the man.

What do you know about our reasoning?

If you best friend punches you in the mouth, would you hate him forever?


Obama has done things i say "damn, wish he hadnt done that"

But his COMPETITION has done things that make me say "Wow!!! Im not voting for that guy"

Its like watching the superbowl

You have your two choices.

You can pick the Cowboys or the Bengals (hypothetical)

But your FAVORITE team is the Redskins.

But, since you want to watch the superbowl, you're proabbly going to pick someone to win.

I'd pick the cowboys.
You'd pick the bengals.

Then you'd come on here and tell me how the cowboys represent a section of western society that murdered and slaguthered millions of american indians.

Get off it man. Its a selection. We chose Obama for our reasons.

There's very few things that could sway my choice, and there is NOTHING that could get me to vote for McSame.


Thank you for your time


[edit on 7/4/2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 03:18 PM
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I find it entertaining that anyone declaring support for Obama is expected to mirror his views 100%.

Meanwhile the same people hyperventilating here about how Obama is a stealth Muslim Communist were telling us 6 months ago how McCain shouldn't win the primary because he was a dirty tree-hugging terrorist-loving liberal traitor


Obama's big so called "reversal" on Iraq basically amounts to him saying he will still withdraw in the short term from Iraq but will listen to what the military professionals are telling him about how to go about it. Just awful


Hmm, I want to see us get out of Iraq: do I want the guy who says it might take two years, or the guy who says it might take 100?
Yeah that's a difficult choice...

I vastly prefer Obama to McCain, but there are certainly things I disagree with him on. Nuclear power, gun control, and the space program being the big three, and if those were the big issues this fall, my vote might be different.

But this election is about repairing the damage the GOP has done to our country over the last eight years, and I don't expect anyone from the GOP to do that (except maybe Ron Paul, and he's not their candidate).

I respect McCain, I think he is basically an honorable guy who takes the idea of public service seriously, but a minor variation on the bad ideas and failed policies of the past eight years is not what the country needs right now.



[edit on 7/4/08 by xmotex]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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I have never thought Obama was perfect. Even if he was perfect, the amount of change a president is able to effect depends upon the cooperation of Congress. Obama himself says that change must be incremental. Does that make him any less the candidate of change? No. He still offers a new approach to old problems. Even if he offers only new hope to his voters, that is something no candidate has done in many years. JFK led by inspiring people; I think Obama does the same.



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 07:43 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm an old hippie who supports the 2nd amendment, thinks illegal immigrants should be sent back to where they came from, is pro-choice, supports legal, legitimate war and thinks gays should be able to get married.


Well, I'll be dog gone. Were we seperated at birth? Because I agree with you on every single one of those.



I have said in countless posts how I think he is different. I'm not going to go over it all here.


You don't want me to research all of your ATS posts just for the sake of this thread, do ya?



He's proactive, intelligent, thoughtful, has integrity, strength and honor. That's just a start.


So is John McCain. So's Ralph Nader. So's Bob Barr. So's Dennis Kuscinich. The election of the presidency comes down to two things: ideology and competence. Much to Michael Dukakis's chagrin, these are not exclusive. It's not one or the other but a consideration of both. (I'm refering to the centrists out there, the swing voters, not you or I neccessarily, BH.)


(I'm refering to the centrists out there, the swing voters, not you or I neccessarily, BH.)


But doesn't that make this entire discussion moot? I mean, you and I aren't going to change each others minds on this.

Oh, sorry, I began debating myself. Wont happen again.



www.abovetopsecret.com...


Okay, I concede the point on the "present" votes. I'm a writer. I don't like to read.



How will he govern? I'm looking forward to finding out.
.....
He has changed his mind about a couple things, but that's no crime or sin and it's not been enough to throw me off. I still believe he will be a great president.


I shall take your cue and leave you to your opinion.



I thought he would make things interesting. And he certainly has.


Yes, he has. But the future is about facts and issues not just good intentions.

Obama beat Hillary for the nomination because he said he wanted to bug out of Iraq. And nowadays he sounds more like Hillary and McCain than Ron Paul or Dennis Kuscinich. Has the base been hoodwinked? Bamboozled? Is this just another shyster who'll say anything and do anything (think public financing) to get elected? So much for all that "post-partisanship" stuff.

In my opinion (of course
), the base has every right to be angry with him. ---->




[edit on 4-7-2008 by Tuning Spork]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 08:30 PM
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Originally posted by Tuning Spork
You don't want me to research all of your ATS posts just for the sake of this thread, do ya?


No.
This thread isn't about how BH feels about Obama. It's about Obama's imperfections and how, in general, many people who support him understand that he's not perfect. And regardless how other people think we should abandon him because we disagree on something or find out he's less than a Messiah, (
) that is THEIR perception and THEIR viewpoint and, yes, THEIR problem.

If you really want to know why I support him, I'll gather up some threads and post some links you can read, but something tells me that it's not curiosity that is driving you.
Many times I feel I am asked to JUSTIFY my support for the man, else it's assumed I simply have a crush on him or think he's just so cool. These critics cannot reconcile that his imperfections are OKAY. And that's what this thread was intended to be about.



He's proactive, intelligent, thoughtful, has integrity, strength and honor. That's just a start.


I disagree that John McCain and Ralph Nader are proactive, intelligent, thoughtful, have integrity, strength and honor. Not by a long shot. I don't know Bob Barr, so I can't comment. I would be thrilled to vote for Kucinich.



But doesn't that make this entire discussion moot? I mean, you and I aren't going to change each others minds on this.


I don't think it's moot at all. To me, a big part of the enjoyment of ATS is talking and getting to know people. Also, having those people get to know me. I think some big assumptions are being made here about "Obama supporters" (of which I definitely am one!) and I don't think it's fair. I figure the more you get to know me, the more you'll see that your assumptions about the group known as "Obama Supporters" might not be all that accurate. And if you can realize that about me, perhaps next time you hear that someone supports Obama, you'll not be so quick to think, "Oh... So you're one of those...

And I'm not trying to change anyone's mind at all. On a very basic level, I'm just saying, this is what I think, this is why. I think that's what we're all doing.


Yes, he has. But the future is about facts and issues not just good intentions.


I totally agree! It's about BOTH.



Obama beat Hillary for the nomination because he said he wanted to bug out of Iraq. And nowadays he sounds more like Hillary and McCain than Ron Paul or Dennis Kuscinich.


He never said he wanted to bug out. That's everyone leaves immediately. He has never said anything less than 16 months (unless I'm mistaken)



Has the base been hoodwinked? Bamboozled? Is this just another shyster who'll say anything and do anything (think public financing) to get elected? So much for all that "post-partisanship".


I would have to say, No, No and No.



In my opinion (of course
), the base has every right to be angry with him. ---->

Again, I agree. But you should know by now that there are those of us who don't fit "the base". ")

I gotta go put some buffalo on the BBQ.



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 08:51 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I gotta go put some buffalo on the BBQ.


Now THAT we can agree on.


Happy Independence Day, BH. Hope ye had as much fun setting off fireworks as I wish I'd had. (I took a nap and disappointed my nephew.
)



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 09:08 PM
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hey, i hear your love for him and i respect that you have the right to choose any candidate.

i know i have come across as cynical, and well, i guess i am. i am not naive to believe there is a candidate w/ whom i will agree 100%.

what i want is 100% honesty and someone who wants to fight to get this country back to the principles it was founded on.

the reasons that i am so adamently against obama have nothing to do w/ the side issues, but everything to do w/ the fact he is anti american. and i don't say that he is anti american because he doesn't wear a pin or salute a flag. i find those to be silly arguements.

anyone who is for expansion of government, erasing individuality, taking my hard earned money to give to ppl who won't work or to other countries while claiming credit for it, obscuring laws that can be used against the citizens of this country, sticking their nose into private businesses and personal lives, and lies has not earned my vote.

if there were noone with whom fit my basic principles btw good and right than i would not vote or write in a random name. this election there is, but it seems that ppl are not ready to have a president that actually does the job we are supposed to be hiring them to do.

i am sure your man will get in and only time will tell who was right, although i am not out to be "right".... just out to get this, my country, back to what it is supposed to be.

[edit on 4-7-2008 by justamomma]



posted on Jul, 5 2008 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by justamomma
what i want is 100% honesty and someone who wants to fight to get this country back to the principles it was founded on.


How many people, let alone politicians are 100% honest? And even if you have an honest person going into politics, the corruption is so thick, it's going to be nearly impossible for them to STAY honest. I love Ron Paul, but I don't think even he could handle it.

I know Ron Paul is the best choice. But he himself said that he's not running. He is not one of the options.



the reasons that i am so adamently against obama have nothing to do w/ the side issues, but everything to do w/ the fact he is anti american.


If we were starting from a neutral ground, I would agree with you on some of your complaints, but this country is in BAD shape and some things need to be done to get us back to a place where we're not actively crumbling. I don't think we can dump $5000 per second into a war and not raise taxes. We have always known we would have to pay for this war sometime. Well, here we are. If we don't pay for it, we'll be over-our-heads in debt to the rest of the world.

I don't understand the complaint that you don't want your hard-earned money going to people who need it. Would you rather it goes to kill innocent Iraqis and our servicemen and women? Because that's where it's going now.



just out to get this, my country, back to what it is supposed to be.


I want the SAME THING.
But we have 8 years of reckless, irresponsible behavior to make up for. SOMEBODY has to pay for this stupid war. Where do you think that money is coming from?

And John McCain would continue to drive up the debt, allow more needless deaths, destroy our off-shore ecology by drilling for more oil, continue in Bush's footsteps to stomp on the Constitution and repeal Roe V Wade.

To me, a vote for Obama is as much to PREVENT another Bush term as it is anything.

Thanks for your input.


[edit on 5-7-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]





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