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June 27, 2008

Comments

Vinnie Park

Excellent response. Well done.

Stu

what'd your friend say?

Dan E

My friend totally understood, and actually passed my email on to the Obama campaign dude who was helping him organize the fundraiser. The guy wrote back with a lengthy response that included the following paragraph:

"Some "fallout" is to be expected i suppose from the campaign in general as positions come under closer scrutiny, and the reality of the candidates' positions rubs up against the expected, hoped for, or projected positions of the candidates. all in all, one must ask: will the country be better off with Barack Obama and the Democrats in the white house, or with John McCain and the republicans in the white house? and then, along the way, some compromises will be made. politics, some have said, is the art of the possible."

Some compromises will be made, indeed.

Stu

Yeah, I've never bought that "will the country be better off..." argument. By that standard, we'd be better off with a bucket of hot wings and a 40-ouncer in the White House.

Dan E

Agreed. Would you rather eat horse shit or dog shit?

Michael

I was withholding a hefty mid-two-figures donation to the Obama campaign until they sounded the all-clear that they weren't going to bail out the debt from the Clintons' profligate, hubristic, misguided and destructive campaign. But this spineless pander has convinced me the money would be better spent on the ACLU. I'm under no illusions about pols, even Obama, but the whiplash from his reversal on FISA must have left the junior senator from Illinois sporting a neck brace.

The response from the Obama campaign person was downright slimy. So every time Obama caves to the clueless, reactionary beliefs of the slack-jawed yokels in flyover country, we're supposed to sit back and go, Well, he's still better than McCain? Obama has started down a slippery slope. To quote the great Ian Curtis, where will it end?

Jason

A somewhat dissenting opinion, given that I mostly agree on the underlying principle:

a. Withholding the cash is well and good, if you feel this election is in the bag. Despite all the favorable signs at the moment, it's not. McCain is exploiting major loopholes in the "public" financing system (which Obama rightly opted out of), and actually raised more money than Obama in May, and has considerably more cash on hand. He is outspending Obama on TV already in some important markets. And if you advertise shit-flavored ice cream on TV enough times, people will end up buying it.

b. Obama still has exactly one vote in the Senate. The FISA cloture vote lost 80 - 15. So would we have preferred that it lost 80 - 16? This shit is political poison, and you don't give the other side ammunition unless absolutely necessary. To date it has not been necessary. If we came within one vote, then I could see the outrage. Blame Pelosi and Hoyer.

c. Instead of withholding support, let's try to push our man in a progressive direction and hold him accountable. It looks like you have managed to do both, by sending a message back through channels - that's good. But I hope we all get past this soon, because warrantless surveillance is about 1% of what needs to be fixed in this country, and we need an Obama in there to get it started.

And for the record, I felt stung by this too.

Dan E

All good points, Jason — especially the part about the majority of Democratic senators being spineless pieces of shit, and the need to "keep on pushing" as Curtis Mayfield once said.

My big worry, however, is that these sort of "compromises" in the name of being elected will be made in exponential fashion as November approaches, until "I'm Not McCain" becomes his only real selling point.

I gave money to the Kerry campaign, I worked for the Kerry campaign, and I watched in slo-mo horror as Kerry contorted himself into ever more conservative positions, none of which ultimately helped his cause — and probably actually hurt him, because so many independents and left-wingers were turned off by a guy who appeared to offer little beyond "I'm Not Bush".

Obama SEEMS smart enough to have learned from his party's past mistakes. Hopefully this is the case.
I will still vote for him, but I'm not giving any money or man-hours to his campaign until I can be a little more certain that this isn't Kerry, Part 2.

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Dan Epstein

  • About Me
    Dan Epstein is the author of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s and Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76, both published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press. He writes about baseball, music and other cultural obsessions for a variety of outlets and publications. He lives in Greensboro, NC, and is available for speaking engagements.