2004 Democrat primary

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2004 Democrat primary

Postby Jonathan » Wed Nov 05, 2003 9:20 pm

http://salon.com/politics/wire/2003/11/05/finance/index.html

Federal campaign laws limit the amount you can spend on a presidential campaign to $45 million. However, you can opt out of the federal matching funds and spend any amount you damn well please. Bush did it in 2000 and raised more than anyone else, ever. He intends to do it again. Estimates of Bush's war chest range from $170 million to $200 million, and that's just for the Republican primary for which he is currently running unopposed.

The Democratic candidates have a choice: Play fair, or play dirty? Tough call. However, I think current national conditions are such that anything necessary (and legal) to get Bush out of office is called for. If I voted in the Dean vote, I would vote for rejecting federal matching funds (and rejecting the $19 million that goes along with that).

Update: the Dean campaign rejected federal matching funds.
Last edited by Jonathan on Wed Nov 17, 2004 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Lawyers in the democratic process

Postby Jonathan » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:22 pm

http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/PresFR3Q.asp

Apparently lawyers give the most to everyone, Republican and Democrat. Just what are they donating for? Better laws?
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Re: Lawyers in the democratic process

Postby quantus » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:47 am

Dwindlehop wrote:http://www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/PresFR3Q.asp

Apparently lawyers give the most to everyone, Republican and Democrat. Just what are they donating for? Better laws?

No no no, not better laws. They just want laws to keep changing, growing more convoluted, and in general grow the number of specialties within law to make more jobs for lawyers. Think of it as investment towards job security. The more opposite viewpoints that can be thrown together in one congress, the more useless each bill becomes because it needs to have so many amendments made in order to get enough people to pass it. A corrolary should be that the usefulness of a bill is measured as the inverse square of the number of amendments to a bill.
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Postby Jonathan » Wed Nov 12, 2003 6:55 pm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24179-2003Nov10.html

Soros, the billionaire who made his billions by such things as betting against the British pound is dedicating himself to getting George Bush out of the White House.

Interestingly, Soros also backed campaign finance reform efforts earlier. It would appear to me that he, like Dean and his decision not to accept federal matching funds, is doing what is necessary to get Bush out of the White House. I wish the loopholes in the existing laws could be closed so that this kind of chicanery wasn't necessary, but I do think it's more important not to have Bush serve a second term than to do the "right" thing.
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Postby Jonathan » Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:21 pm

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/11/15/clark/index.html

Polls show Clark is running fifth or sixth in the primary at New Hampshire and not even that good in Iowa. Donors still have interest in Clark, though, because some Democrats think Dean, the current standout Democratic nominee, will lose the general election to Bush. These Democrats think Clark could win the general election if given a chance because he has the foreign policy and military cred.
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Dean versus Clark

Postby skanks » Tue Nov 25, 2003 10:15 am

If I really felt that Clark was a shoo in against Bush, I'd be all for Clark. But really: don't decieve yourself on hype, take some time to see how the guy looks on camera and off resume. Despite being a general and being very intelligent and having a pristine record, I think the guy looks a bit weasely. The high tenor of his voice doesn't help and he seems all too uptight.

So those are weaknesses and the problem there is that if you have a guy who can get pushed around by the press he's going to look weak no matter how much military cred he has. And the push for Clark worries me because it just seems like another instantiation of Al Gore, albeit a more militarized Al Gore. (But hell, Al Gore actually was in the military while George Bush was AWOL).

Anyway, I mistrust Clark because I think he's another bow to the timidity of the Democrats that's been the recipe of Republican success.

So even though Dean may have his flaws, Dean's going to the candidate I 'm favoring with Kerry coming in second and Edwards coming in third.

Dean gets the favorite for a few reasons. Primarily because he's got a strong presence and a strong message. He's big and he's muscular and by any rational bet he could kick the living shit out of "aww shucks" Exeter graduate George Bush. And with the American voter, that counts probably at least as much as being a four star general. And get this: he's willing to distinguish himself from the republicans. Some claim he's too far to the left, but the fact of the matter is that American's are far more sympathetic with Democrats issue by issue. Once labels are dropped and issues are discussed Democrats have the advantage. And really, he's not that liberal anyhow. Is he going to get smeared by the rightwing press as "too liberal"? Hell yeah he is. But that's going to happen to any Democratic nominee. They rightwing machine smeared congressman Max Cleland as unpatriotic despite the fact that the guy lost both his legs fighting in Vietnam. The difference is that I suspect Dean is going to be able to fight back. He's going to delineate the issues and his stance versus Bush's stance in terms of specific policies and with a strong clear message, not some highfluetent vagaries.

John Kerry gets some points for similar strengths, but what the hell is he doing wasting his time attacking Dean for 'liberal' policies. He should be building up momentum for his campaign by promoting initiatives. I think it comes down to fact this he's a pick of the so-called Democratic Leadership Council which itself is more occupied with cleansing the party of any touch liberalism than of facing off against the right. Bah, just look at the Democrats whining about the RNC's bogus, pack of lies adverts they're not airing. The Democrat response is to ask the republicans to stop playing the ad because its dishonest. Pathetic. If they had the spine worthy of electability, they would raise money, make an add exposing the RNC lies, run it at least twice as much as the republican's so they could use the republican's dubious claims as a weapon against them.

The democrats may lose, but I'd rather have them promote an agenda and lose than do some watered down vague campaign and still lose. And in the long run, having a watered down candidate who's appeal is that "he's not as bad as the republicans" is a losing strategy, not matter how true the claim.
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Postby Jonathan » Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:22 pm

I'm leaning towards Dean because it appears he will have the cash money to wage a successful presidential campaign. As we all know, cash money wins elections.
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Postby Jonathan » Tue Nov 25, 2003 3:25 pm

Interestingly enough, I know someone who would vote for Clark or Bush over Dean. The reasoning? He has the impression that Dean will pull us out of Iraq as soon as he is elected and will raise taxes. And that's all it takes for this guy.
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Postby skanks » Mon Jan 05, 2004 1:46 pm

it's worth commenting on the deluge of attacks against Dean.

Some background info: The Democratic Leadship Council (DLC, not to be confused with Democratic National Committee, DNC) was founded in 1985 in partial response to the Democrats defeat by Ronald Reagan. The seek to reform the Democrats and occupy centrist positions.

The DLC has lots of resentment against Walter Mondale and George McGovern. One could interprete the attacks on Dean, particularly those by Lieberman and the other DLCers, as a fear of revisiting the failed Mondale McGovern campaign. There's one obvious problem with this attack: Dean (aside from perhaps the war) is actually a moderate roughly in the mold of Bill Clinton. So while Gephardt and Lieberman attack Dean for being "too liberal", you can go to deanfacts.com and find out that they're actually attacking him for being too conservative.

The DLC, flushed with success during the Clinton years, gained overwhelming influence over the DNC. DLC saw itself and promoted itself as being able to play kingmaker in the Democratic Party. And so by virtue of having huge influence its influenced swelled. Large donors give to the DLC and the DLC can pick among itself whose worthy of its support. The DLC even convinced the DNC to rewrite its primary rules to promote an early decision process (which was intended to ensure that only DLC candidate would get chosen). Consequently, there are many people who have a lot invested in the DLC and its in their interest that the DLC remains prominent. What they really dislike is that Dean has come up with a way of circumventing their influence. If Dean's fundraising method becomes accepted then it spells the end for the DLC's grip on influence. I had hoped that with Al Gore's endorsement of Dean the vitriol would subside, but now I fear that the DLC sees little difference between Howard Dean and George Bush. It's quite possible for the DLC to sabotage the Dean campaign, look forward to Hillary's appearance in the 2008 election, and hope that people will forget this whole internet fundraising nonsense and go back to the DLC big donor way of doing things.
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Postby skanks » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:13 am

earlier on I was skeptical about Clark, but he's got an ad that's really good and he's become much more polished lately. His site clark04.com is worth checking out to examine his positions on various issues. The writing is well done. It's powerful because its clear and not the least bit ostentatious. You can see his ads at http://clark04.com/ads but they're all lackluster except "Responsibility".

Wow. I think O'Neil's bombshell depiction of the Bush Administration from his inside position as treasury secretary can really hurt Bush if it penetrates public consciousness. I'm feeling that Bush can be defeated in the next cycle.
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Postby Jonathan » Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:19 pm

http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=2851

I feel compelled to post these quotes from "The National Conservative Weekly" about Mr. O'Neill's interview on 60 Minutes:

O'Neill never understood supply-side economics and was thus a surprise candidate for the job of Treasury secretary to begin with.
If you only knew the power of the Dark Side.

The press is having a field day with O'Neill's claim the 2003 tax cuts—the dividend and capital-gains reductions—were unnecessary and fiscally reckless. One wonders what this man was smoking when he was trooping around the hinterlands in Africa with U2. Since the Bush tax cut took effect, the stock market has risen 25%, the economy has produced 500,000 new jobs, the economic growth rate has doubled, and business investment has hit a 10-year high.
Oh, well, if the stock market is rising, bully for everyone then.

O'Neill just never seemed to be singing from the same hymnal as the rest of the Bush team.
The rest of the Bush team receives their instructions directly from God.
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Postby quantus » Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:29 am

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040122-5.html

mmm... supply side economics in practice.
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Postby quantus » Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:35 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3419715.stm

'Silver lining'

General Schoomaker said the attacks on America in September 2001 and subsequent events had given the US army a rare opportunity to change.

"There is a huge silver lining in this cloud," he said.

"War is a tremendous focus... Now we have this focusing opportunity, and we have the fact that [terrorists] have actually attacked our homeland, which gives it some oomph."

He said it was no use having an army that did nothing but train.

"There's got to be a certain appetite for what the hell we exist for," he said.

"I'm not warmongering, the fact is we're going to be called and really asked to do this stuff."

Essentially, I think he's saying that war is good or else we'll forget how to fight wars, which is for some reason bad?
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Postby Jonathan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:51 am

It looks certain now that the primary season will be highly competitive and drawn out. The good news for Democrats, at least theoretically, is that whoever comes out of it will be a stronger general election candidate. Kerry and John Edwards have already improved dramatically, as the results in Iowa prove. (Kerry won with 38 percent of Iowa's delegates and Edwards finished with 32.)

But the new alignment of the field pretty much kills the possibility of the quick and orderly contest that Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe had hoped for, meaning that the nominee is likely to emerge depleted of funds to take on President George Bush in November.

Dean, who before placing third in Iowa was the only candidate with the means and popularity to win quickly, now finds himself under enormous pressure to change course. The danger is that many undecided voters in New Hampshire are reaching the same conclusion many Iowans did: The man may not be electable.


I hadn't thought about it in precisely those terms, although that most definitely could happen.
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Postby Jonathan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:57 am

If you ask me, the thing to do is to have Edwards run as whoever can win the primary's VP. "Nice" winds up in second place, which doesn't cut it for the general election. But he's southern and people like him, so that makes him a great veep. But no one asked me.
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Postby Alan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:07 am

Yeah Kerry-Edwards looks like a likely pairing on the ballot. Dean seems a little unstable to me.
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Postby quantus » Sat Jan 24, 2004 3:15 am

Ummm, wouldn't we want Dean on the ticket if for nothing else than his money? I don't see how the Republicans will be defeated without a huge wad of cash.
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Postby Jonathan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:52 am

I wonder what happens to his campaign donations if he keeps losing. Maybe he blows it all in an attempt to get back on top? Or maybe he gives it all back. He ought to donate it to another candidate and bow out if it becomes unlikely that he gets the nomination.

I suspect Kerry will fall, Edwards will keep second, and Dean and Clark will battle it out. That's my prediction.
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Postby quantus » Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:30 pm

I think what I fear most is that someone or a small group already scripted this entire election and the media is playing it out for them. If I were to be a complete pessimist and conspiracy theorist, I'd say that we've only lived under the illusion of democracy for at least the past 60 years. To be rediculous, why not go so far as to say that we really lost WWII and the Nazi's let us live in false pride and security. Since this is random drivel by now, let me end at least with the immortal words of Winston Churchill, "Fuck the Nazis". Thank you and good night.
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Postby VLSmooth » Sun Jan 25, 2004 1:49 am

Yes Joe, you've figured it out. Everything is a conspiracy! 8)
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